Deals wrap: Nasdaq triumphant?

Trading specialists glance at each other as they prepare to leave the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 26, 2009.  REUTERS/Chip East Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange unveiled a rival bid to buy NYSE Euronext for about $11.3 billion in cash and stock, a 19 percent premium to the offer made by German competitor Deutsche Boerse. The move could raise new antitrust questions as it would combine the two largest U.S. stock exchanges. The new offer is valued at $42.50 per share, Nasdaq and IntercontinentalExchange said. The offer represents a 19 percent premium to NYSE’s closing price on Thursday and is 27 percent above the company’s valuation before Deutsche Boerse’s $10.2 billion bid in February. Analysts were skeptical about whether Deutsche Boerse would launch a counterbid.

Citigroup might be uncomfortable sitting on information needed to determine whether the onetime successor to Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett violated securities laws when he personally traded in shares of Lubrizol, which Berkshire acquired for $9 billion, but it doesn’t have to be damaging territory for Citi, writes Rob Cox.

No.1 concert promoter and ticketing company Live Nation Entertainment is in the running to buy the recorded music assets of Warner Music Group, the world’s third largest music company, according to a person familiar with the talks. Bids have come in valuing Warner Music Group at around $3 billion on an enterprise value basis, which includes both debt and equity.

Canadian satellite company Telesat Holdings is weighing takeover offers from EchoStar and Carlyle Group, and may decide on a possible sale in the coming days, according to Bloomberg. EchoStar agreed to buy Hughes Communications for $2 billion including debt in February.

Huffington Post columnist and non-executive board chair of the Mobius Life Science Fund Lucy Marcus compiled a list of the 100 Most Influential VCs, Angels and Investors for the new, social decade, writes PE Hub’s Mark Boslet. Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson at number 3 and blogger investor Paul Kedrosky at number 4 might not come as a surprise. But Kevin Rose, Digg founder, at the top of the chart and Twitter investor Chris Sacca number 2 are questionable, according to Boslet.

The afternoon deal: Kraft and Berkshire financing

BURLINGTONNORTHERN/BERKSHIREThere’s an art to financing a deal and Kraft and Berkshire Hathaway ‘s brushstrokes are showing. Kraft launched a $9.5 billion debt sale to help finance its acquisition of Cadbury, and Berkshire announced a bond sale of up to $8 billion to help pay for its acquisition of Burlington Northern Sante Fe.

Berkshire’s bond sale announcement comes on the same day S&P stripped the company of its top AAA rating, citing capital adequacy and liquidity concerns related to the Burlington acquisition. An investment strategist tells Bloomberg the ratings firms are “are hedging their bets in the event of another economic downturn.”

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