DealZone

M & A wrap: Yahoo on the block?

Yahoo’s long-time advisers Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co are preparing to give potential buyers financial information, in a sign the troubled Internet giant is ready to put itself on the block, sources said.

Australian coalminer New Hope Corp put itself up for auction after receiving several bid approaches, sending its market value surging 15 percent to almost A$5.1 billion.

Executives at Research in Motion have refrained from buying the company’s shares for the longest period in at least six years; investors are wondering if RIM is skittish about its own prospects, Bloomberg reports.

Investors unimpressed by Hewlett-Packard’s dysfunctional governance have sold off its shares, leaving the tech company vulnerable to a bid. And Larry Ellison’s acquisitive Oracle is a credible potential suitor. At least financially, a deal would stack up. A Breakingviews analysis suggests that even paying a 40-percent premium, Oracle could reap a hefty return.

M & A wrap: D.Boerse/NYSE deal trouble

European Union regulators will formally object to the proposed merger of Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext this week, two sources with knowledge of the case said, which may force the companies to offer concessions to ease competition concerns.

Private equity firms see only limited scope to invest in Europe’s under-capitalized banks, as they could run the risk of losing their shirts and face political resistance.

Europe’s food and consumer goods groups are on the verge of a new wave on acquisition activity as they exploit exposure to emerging markets to protect themselves from the looming downturn.

M & A wrap: Alibaba interested in Yahoo

Jack Ma, CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is keen on buying Yahoo if the opportunity presents itself and has held discussions with other potential buyers about options. The potential deal is raising privacy concerns, reports the Financial Times. The WSJ also looks at what role Beijing would play in a merger.

Private equity funds in the Middle East and North Africa, under increasing pressure to produce returns for investors, have strategic buyers, including sovereign wealth funds, looming larger on their deal radar.

Pharmaceutical Product Development said it agreed to be acquired by private equity firms Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman in an all-cash deal valued at $3.9 billion, the latest in a string of private equity takeovers in the healthcare industry.

M & A wrap: Bidders emerge for HSBC unit

European insurers Allianz and AXA are among the potential bidders for HSBC’s sale of its general insurance business, which could fetch more than $1 billion, sources said.

Spain’s ruling Socialists abruptly shelved plans to boost public coffers by selling part of the lucrative state lottery, in the face of tough market conditions, political opposition and banks’ funding concerns.

Interest in the London Metal Exchange as a takeover target has snowballed and the number of suitors has risen to double digits because business is booming with volumes at record levels, its chief executive Martin Abbott said.

M & A wrap: China’s grim IPO market

Weak pricing for Citic Securities’ Hong Kong share sale and a soft Shanghai debut for Great Wall Motor showed greater China’s IPO markets, while still open, are buckling in the face of economic uncertainty and hefty supply.

French insurer AXA confirmed it is exploring the possible sale of its private equity unit, adding that there is no guarantee that the process will lead to a transaction.

“The outlook for mergers and acquisitions probably will be good over the next two or three years as corporations cast off caution to foster growth, said Steven Baronoff, head of M&A at Bank of America Corp,” Bloomberg reports.

M & A wrap: What’s Buffett saying about the price of stocks?

“Warren Buffett’s determination that Berkshire Hathaway shares are cheap enough to buy back may mean the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is also a bargain,” reports Bloomberg.

London Stock Exchange head Xavier Rolet has won the backing of LCH.Clearnet’s board for his planned $1.3 billion takeover of Europe’s largest independent clearing house, a source familiar with the situation said.

In the year since United Airlines and Continental Airlines merged business has been surprisingly rosy. But things may become difficult in the coming months as the new United tries to clear three tall hurdles: new labor contracts, a new reservations system and government approvals, reports the WSJ.

M & A wrap: Has Buffett run out of things to buy?

Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway said it will launch a share buyback program, an extremely rare move from Buffett that comes after months of investor complaints that the stock was undervalued.

The London Metal Exchange has thrown open its doors to a potential $1.5 billion takeover and is considering a sale that might end the independence its chief executive previously said was not negotiable.

A move by Sinohydro, China’s largest builder of dams, to cut the size of an initial public offering in Shanghai bodes ill for other mainland IPOs in the pipeline as a deepening debt crisis in Europe rattles global markets.

M & A wrap: Deal activity slows

Mergers and acquisitions slowed significantly in the third quarter, stymied by economic uncertainty that stifled the confidence and growth horizons of corporate executives, according to Wall Street dealmakers. Go to the Global Deals Review: Q3 2011 page for full coverage.

At least seven firms, mainly private equity, have shown interest in data and analytics company CoreLogic, attracted by its growth businesses and relatively cheap valuations. Might it be sold whole or in pieces?

The WSJ gets analysts’ opinion on the fate of HP’s PC division.

Yahoo’s board is not looking for a new CEO, they want to chop up the company and sell off the parts, reports Business Insider.

M & A wrap: Dream team hired to save T-Mobile deal

AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA have amassed an army of former senior government antitrust officials to try to save their $39 billion deal to combine wireless businesses.

“While Hewlett-Packard directors deliberate over the potential dismissal of the tech giant’s chief executive, Léo Apotheker, the board is expected to also consider what will become of his two biggest initiatives: a big acquisition and a potential spinoff of its PC business,” the NYT reports.

United Technologies has reached a $16.5 billion cash deal to acquire aircraft components maker Goodrich. The deal comes as blue-chip United Tech looks to cash in on the upswing in plane orders and production as declining global spending on defense pressures its military business.  The WSJ gets analysts’ reaction to the deal.

M & A wrap: SABMiller seals Foster’s deal

SABMiller agreed to buy Foster’s for an increased price of A$5.10 a share valuing the Australian beermaker at $10.2 billion and putting SABMiller at the head of Australia’s beer market.

“Google’s critics get a chance to vent today, using the invective of antitrust. A hearing of the Senate antitrust subcommittee is also something of a swan song for its retiring chairman, the estimable Herb Kohl,” the WSJ said in an opinion piece.

ConAgra’s failed bid for Ralcorp provides the WSJ with a good opportunity to look back at some failed bids that, in hindsight, now seem like a pretty good deal.