DealZone Daily

Prudential says it has appointed Rob Devey, head of the UK insurer’s British and European operations, to lead the integration with AIG’s Asian life insurance arm. Read the Reuters story here.

And in news reported by other media on Wednesday:

Morgan Stanley has told investors that its $8.8 billion real estate fund may lose nearly two-thirds of its money due to bad investments, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reviewed fund documents.

US specialty chemicals maker Lubrizol has joined a string of other bidders in talks to buy Cognis, with an offer that could value the German maker of additives for cosmetics and detergents at about $4.1 billion, the Financial Times said.

Another deal in healthcare: what’s the magic pill?

pillsAs dealmakers everywhere struggle to get deals done, the healthcare industry seals yet another one.

Express Scripts has agreed to buy health insurer WellPoint’s prescription business for $4.68 billion in a significant expansion for the U.S. pharmacy beenfit manager. The deal will be a concoction of cash and up to $1.4 billion in common stock, and will generate more than $1 billion of incremental EBITDA.

This comes on the heels of Pfizer’s $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth, Merck’s $41.1 billion takeover of Schering Plough and Roche Holding’s $46.8 billion buyout of Genentech. Granted, this isn’t a pharma deal, but it still falls under the umbrella of the healthcare sector.

Unhappy new year for chemical makers

2009It doesn’t look like 2009 is going to be a happy new year for the chemicals sector.

LyondellBasell Industries, the world’s third-largest independent chemicals company, has told lenders it is considering filing for bankruptcy protection amid plunging sales and a cash crunch, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company is one of several in the sector facing one of the worst slumps ever in chemical demand. The industry has been battered by high price tags on crude oil and natural gas, which are key components of plastics and other chemicals.  Energy prices have plunged in recent months, but demand has also been hurt by recessions in most developed countries and a sharp slowdown in emerging economies.