Deals wrap: Dunkin’ Brands IPO prices above range

There appears to be a strong demand for this week’s biggest deal. Dunkin’ Brands, the provider of sweet treats and coffee raised $422.75 million after pricing its IPO at $19 per share, well above the range set by underwriters. This gives the parent of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins chains a market value of just over $2.4 billion.

This slideshow in PEHUB shows who Dunkin’ Brands’ top shareholders are.

Sources say private equity firms Centerbridge Partners and BC Partners are pursuing Caterpillar’s logistics unit, a sale that could fetch more than $1 billion. In a Reuters exclusive, several people familiar with the matter said “two or three parties remain in the auction as the bidding process for Caterpillar’s third-party logistics business has reached the final round.”

In a letter addressed to investors, billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros announced he was returning all capital to outsiders and ending his four-decade long career. The letter also stated chief investment officer Keith Anderson would also be leaving the firm. This piece in Deal Journal examines the reasons behind Anderson’s departure.


Deals wrap: Caterpillar bets on mining

The Caterpillar logo is seen on a tractor in Gilbert, Arizona October 20, 2009. REUTERS/Joshua Lott Caterpillar plans to buy Bucyrus International for $7.6 billion. The deal would create a global supplier of trucks, hydraulic shovels, blasting drills and coal-mining equipment and mark a step-up in acquisitions by Caterpillar under its new chief executive, Doug Oberhelman.

BHP Billiton scrapped its $39 billion bid for Canada’s Potash Corp and bowed to calls from investors to return cash, a move that came days after regulators blocked the year’s biggest takeover deal.

Australian wealth manager AMP and French insurer AXA SA launched a new $13.1 billion-plus bid for AXA Asia Pacific, a move set to challenge banks’ domination of the world’s fourth-largest wealth market down under.

Dealing with the yuan

A stronger yuan will have many side-effects, including in the world of deals. Chinese companies, like consumers, will have more money to play with and put firms across the globe in play. And for those buying into a Chinese company, things may get lot more expensive.

China is allowing more flexibility for the yuan, sending the currency soaring Monday to its highest level against the dollar since the landmark 2005 revaluation.

Most traders are maintaining forecasts for the yuan to rise a maximum 3 percent in 6 months and 5 to 6 percent in a year.

Truckin’ in China

It may be a fertile market, but Caterpillar and Navistar are hardly breaking new ground with plans to set up a joint venture in the People’s Republic. A source tells us the two U.S. machine makers are teaming up with China’s Jianghuai Automobile to set up a truck venture, a source said, hoping to gain a foothold in China’s 150 billion yuan ($22 billion) heavy truck market. But while the market may be fertile, it is a crowded space for foreign firms, with Daimler, MAN and others already tied-up with local partners.

Heavy truck sales in China rose 11.75 percent to 541,256 units in 2008, more than double the level in 2003, according to Nomura Securities, and are set to rise in the coming years on state pump-priming and infrastructure development.

While the money might be there, demand might not be for bourgeois trucks. “Foreign truck makers face a much bigger challenge in China comparatively because an Audi is a status symbol, while a Volvo truck can only push up trucking firms operating cost,” said Chen Qiaoning, an industry analyst with ABN AMRO TEDA Fund Management.