DealZone

DealZone Daily

The pursuit of Cadbury is rapidly becoming a one horse race after Italy’s Ferrero ruled itself out of the fight and cut off talks with potential bid partner Hershey, leaving only the U.S. chocolate maker to declare its hand in the battle for the British confectioner. Cadbury, meanwhile, yesterday put the finishing touches to its defence against U.S. food giant Kraft’s 10.5 billion pound hostile bid by promising an improved performance and a raised dividend.

Luxembourg-based investment firm Genii Capital intends to improve its bid for Swedish carmaker Saab in order to catch the eye of seller General Motors. Bids from Genii, which is working with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, and Dutch carmaker Spyker have failed to prevent GM from appointing advisers to oversee the wind-up of the business.

India telecoms group Bharti Airtel has created a new unit to pursue emerging markets acquisitions after failing to reach a deal with South Africa’s MTN last year.

For other Reuters deals news, click here.

And in other media:

Kraft’s hostile bid for Cadbury will be used a case study in a meeting between Business Secretary Peter Mandelson and influential institutional investors, The Times writes, as he urges them to take a longer term view in their investments.

Deals du Jour

Bharti Airtel will not sweeten its offer for MTN now that exclusive talks between the two have been extended. Instead, the talks are about administrative issues, permissions and a scheme of arrangements, Bharti Chairman Sunil Mittal told the Economic Times. And the fate of Opel hangs in the balance, with General Motors poised to pick a buyer. Its board will address the topic later on Friday, sources told us.

For these and other stories on deals, click here. And for an overview of what other media are saying, have a look at our daily Market Chatter.

Deals du Jour

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Details emerge of the Swiss government’s disposal of 9 percent stake in UBS. Traders snapped up the 332 million shares at the top end of the expected price range in a heavily oversubscribed sale, a source told us. 

Talks over a complicated merger between telecommunications firms MTN and Bharti Airtel are extended for a second time until the end of September. As uncertainty over a successful completion drags on one shareholder we talked to said the extension showed that the deal may be too complex.

For the latest Reuters stories on M&A and investment banking, click here.

For a round-up of other stories featured in the media today take a look at our market chatter.

Deals du Jour

Reliance Communications is one of the bidders for Zain’s African operations, two banking sources with knowledge of the situation have told us. Talks over the deal — reported to be worth $10 billion — are preliminary. 

There is a queue of banks for the other big telecoms deal in the works, willing to fund Bharti Airtel’s acquisition of a stake in South Africa’s MTN, says the Economic Times. The two are in exclusive merger talks till Aug. 31.

For an overview of other stories in the papers, click here.

No bruised egos as Bharti-MTN redial once again

Exactly one year ago, squabbles over control forced Bharti Airtel and MTN to ditch their hope of forming a global telecoms group, but both emerging markets-focused companies are back on the negotiating table to thrash out a $61 billion merger.

What’s changed?

MTNFor a start, both firms are now publicly talking about a detailed structure for the combined entity, something that was missing last time.

As part of an initial deal worth more than $23 billion unveiled on Monday, Bharti will pay in cash and shares for 49 percent of MTN, while MTN pays cash and stock for an effective 36 percent stake in the Indian firm. Previous merger talks collapsed when the South African firm proposed a new structure that would have seen Bharti become an MTN unit.