Deals wrap: Appeasing Saskatchewan

Rocanville Potash Corp underground production supervisor Dave Esslinger displays a sample of potash 3280 feet below surface at the potash mine in Saskatchewan September 30, 2010. REUTERS/David Stobbe BHP is offering more concessions to Canada’s Saskatchewan province to get a $39 billion deal for Potash Corp approved. “I think it’s wrangling rather than anything more serious. There’s a lot that BHP is willing to do in order to ensure that this deal is a success,” said analyst Charles Kernot at Evolution Securities in London. *View article *View timeline *View scenarios for Potash

“General Electric, Honeywell International and United Technologies are among the suitors for BAE Systems’ aerospace unit that could fetch up to $2 billion for Europe’s top defense group, people familiar with the matter said,” writes Soyoung Kim. *View exclusive *View analysis on defense stocks

Sanofi has received the green light from U.S. antitrust regulators to take-over Genzyme. *View article *View analysis on how  Sanofi could raise bid *View article on Genzyme earnings

Super-angels are changing the dynamics within the startup funding business and this is good news for founders, writes Paul Graham. *View article from

Deals wrap: On the road to a GM IPO

A Chevrolet vehicle is seen at a GM dealership in Miami, Florida August 12, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos Barria GM is on track for a mid-November IPO, sources told Reuters. China’s top automaker SAIC has not ruled out taking a stake in the company. *View article *View SAIC article *View WSJ blog which extracts some nuggets from GM’s SEC filing

China’s Sinochem will no longer launch a counterbid for Potash, sources said. “It’s finished,” Reuters was told. *View article

“BAE Systems could be poised for a major buying spree in the U.S. defense sector as Europe’s top defense contractor chases new growth in the face of looming spending cuts,” writes Soyoung Kim and Andrea Shalal-Esa. *View article

Deals wrap: IBM shifting focus

A man visits the stand of U.S. firm IBM at the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover March 2, 2010.    REUTERS/Thomas Peter IBM said it would buy data analytics company Netezza for $1.7 billion. The move comes as IBM is shifting its focus from increasingly commoditized computer hardware to higher-margin software and services, particularly analytics. *View article *View additional article on IBM from WSJ

Face-recognition software maker L-1 Identity Solutions is being sold to two of Europe’s top defense firms, Safran and BAE. The use of biometrics is spreading quickly due to growing security fears. However, privacy concerns have posed a barrier to their adoption in some markets. *View article

In the digital mapping and navigation sector, options for would-be buyers are rapidly narrowing, fueled by a growing appetite for location-based services, writes Harro ten Wolde and Tarmo Virki. *View article

A bid battle between BAE, Boeing and Raytheon looms for Argon ST

As the U.S. prepares a massive attack against the Taleban in Afghanistan, where intelligence gathering – although sometimes imperfect – is key to success (as well as “hearts and minds”), it has emerged that some of the world’s biggest defense companies – notably BAE Systems, Boeing and Raytheon – are targeting for acquisition Argon ST.

Having hired in January Stone Key Partners, according to Reuters, Argon is seeking US$30 per share for its business, valuing it at US$660m. That’s a 40 percent premium to where its share price was on January 8 – just before news of a possible deal broke – but only 20 percent higher than where the share price is was as of May 11.

The question is why would Argon want to sell itself? There is one clue. Its growth rate has slowed in recent years. Its top line used to be growing at 11.9 percent per year. Now it is at 6.5 percent. Being part of a bigger defense group would help solve that problem.