DealZone

The morning deal: Selling Abraxis

A sign for the NASDAQ Market site is seen in New York's Times Square, February 8, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon StapletonBiotechnology company Celgene has agreed to acquire Abraxis BioScience for $2.9 billion in cash and stock. Abraxis shared are up 20 percent on the news and that’s got to make Abraxis Chairman Patrick Soon-Shiong happy, he owns over 80 percent of the company’s outstanding shares.

Activity in the red-hot potash sector: the Belorussian government hopes to raise up to $7 billion from the sale of a minority stake in potash producer Belaruskali to help replenish state coffers.

Shares in BP jumped 8 percent today, helped by bid talk and optimism that the worst may be over for the stock as the company comes closer to halting the massive oil leak from its Gulf of Mexico well. Read about the fantasy M&A story here.

Investors will closely watch the sale of two French firms (Picard Surgeles and Medi-Partenaires) to see if they will be snapped up in direct deals rather than going to auction, waking up a private equity M&A market that has slumbered. Read more about the future of PE deals here.

Shares of Tesla Motors continue a hot streak rising 15 percent this morning. Here’s a graphic on how its models compare with the competition, and a video of CEO Elon Musk.

Good medicine for Morgan Stanley

USA/Morgan Stanley‘s jump from 10th to first in our M&A league table should put them on cloud nine. The first quarter was busy with drug deals, and Morgan Stanley was in on the biggies: advising Wyeth on its $64.5 billion acquisition by Pfizer, and Schering Plough on its $46 billion takeover by Merck. And with the ink still to arrive on the paper of both deals, more good stuff could be on the horizon. The trick for Morgan Stanley, and anyone wanting to take down the king of the hill, is to spot and exploit the trend.******If drug deals remain du jour — and many expect the sector to stay hot, despite all the swallowing going on — the trend will certainly be toward Biotech. The markets for biologics and pipeline-filling cancer treatments have been strong in the face of expected government action to lower doctor and drug bills.******The heightened merger activity in Big Pharma has switched the tables a bit in the sector. After Roche’s nearly $47 billion acquisition of Genentech, analysts became increasingly convinced that the remaining big biotechs like Celgene, Gilead, Genzyme, Biogen Idec and Amgen could emerge as buyers, given that traditional Big Pharma is either digesting deals or just not so big anymore.******Christopher Kaufman; DealZone Editor******Deals of the Day:******* Drug maker Lupin Ltd said it has acquired a 51 percent stake in Multicare Pharmaceuticals Philippines Inc, marking the Indian firm’s foray into the $2.5 billion Philippines pharmaceuticals market.******* Britain-based dairy products maker Dairy Crest said it had sold its 49 percent stake in Yoplait Dairy Crest (YDC) to the Yoplait Group for 63.5 million pounds ($92.66 million) and that it would use the cash to reduce debts.******* Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine said its North American unit, VAE Nortrak had acquired U.S-based Leading Enterprises Inc, a supplier of speciality components for railway tracks, as part of a plan by the company to expand its railway division.******(PHOTO: A sign is pictured on Wall St. near the New York Stock Exchange in New York November 25, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson )