DealZone

Deals wrap: Treasury sells stake of AIG

The Treasury made a small profit when it sold a portion of its shares in AIG, but it was unclear how its investment in the beleaguered insurer will ultimately fare.

Tuesday’s $8.7 billion stock offering, (being dubbed by some as AIG’s re-IPO) which included 200 million shares sold by the Treasury and 100 million sold by AIG itself, is far smaller than the $10 billion to $20 billion deal some banking sources had suggested earlier this year, hinting at a potential lack of investor interest.

With the sale, the Treasury has raised $5.8 billion of the $47.5 billion it needs to break even and now has another 1.5 billion shares to sell.

The government can claim a small victory with this sale, but the Deal Journal says the biggest beneficiary of the decision are the banks underwriting the sale.

A day after Yandex surged in its debut coupled with LinkedIn’s record IPO last week, comes the news that the maker behind a series of popular games on Facebook, Zynga, may file for a multibillion-dollar IPO as early as this week.

Deals wrap: Fiat speeds toward control of Chrysler

A new model of the Fiat 500 is pictured on display at the launch of Chrysler's flagship showroom in Los Angeles November 16, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni Fiat will pump another $1.3 billion into Chrysler this quarter as it moves closer to its target of owning a controlling stake in the U.S. automaker. The deal will take Fiat’s holding in the company to 46 percent, just 5 percent shy of the 51 percent it needs to assume full control.

Read the politically charged, behind-the-scenes story of how the Singapore Exchange failed in its bid for a full takeover of Australian stock exchange operator ASX.

The prosecution amped up the tone of its attacks on Raj Rajaratnam in closing arguments at the insider trading trial of the hedge fund manager on Wednesday, saying the Galleon Group founder wanted to “conquer the stock market at the expense of the law.” The jury is expected to begin deliberations once the defense wraps up its closing arguments either Thursday or next Monday.

Deals wrap: Galleon trial to be a “battle royal”

Raj Rajaratnam, the principal in the $21 million Galleon Group hedge-fund insider trading case, leaves Manhattan Federal Court for a bail hearing on conspiracy and securities fraud charges in New York, January 12, 2010.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton The insider trading case against Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam finally goes to trial next week. Rajaratnam faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud but plans to fight the charges and clear his name in court.

“All signs are pointing to a battle royal,” one securities attorney said of the upcoming trial in an interview with Reuters correspondent Grant McCool. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has agreed to testify for the U.S. government at the trial. Here’s a rundown of some of the other main players involved in the case.

Should Americans be alarmed that Germany’s Deutsche Boerse is taking over Big Board parent NYSE Euronext? Not really seems to be the consensus with lawmakers and regulators who took part in the Reuters Future Face of Finance Summit this week.

Deals wrap: Consolidation wave to grow for exchanges

Professional surfer Kelly Slater (L) catches a 40 foot wave beside Grant Baker during the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational surf contest at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu in Haleiwa, Hawaii December 8, 2009. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry “The mergers of exchanges have only just begun as growing competition and even new regulation drive them closer together, irrespective of national borders,” write correspondents Luke Jeffs and Rachelle Younglai from the Reuters Future Face of Finance Summit.

As talk of future exchange deals swells, the CEO of the Singapore Exchange said he’s not planning any more concessions to Australian officials to win approval for his exchange’s $7.7 billion bid late last year for that country’s bourse operator ASX.

J. Crew will once again be a private company after shareholders approved a $2.86 billion deal for the retailer to be acquired by TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners.

Deals wrap: Valuing Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens to a question after unveiling a new messaging system during a news conference in San Francisco, California November 15, 2010.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith Facebook has raised $500 million from Goldman Sachs and Russian Internet investment group Digital Sky Technologies in a deal valuing the social networking site at $50 billion, the New York Times reported, citing people involved in the transaction.

“Facebook doesn’t need to stay worth $50 billion forever — Goldman just needs to engineer an IPO valuation somewhere north of that, then exit quietly in the public markets,” writes Felix Salmon about the deal.

Italy’s Fiat set its sights on a majority stake in Chrysler after completing a long-planned demerger of its car-making activities from its truck and tractor business. Click here for a factbox on the demerger.

Battered car-makers rounding blind corner

AUTOSHOW/(Update: This piece was written, as several commenters have pointed out, before GM clinched a sale of Saab to Spyker on January 26.)

By Quentin Carruthers

(Acquisitions Monthly) Automakers face a demand slump in Europe and the longer-term challenge of addressing climate change. Both pressures are expected to lead to further restructuring, consolidation and M&A activity.

The North American International Auto Show, held each January in Detroit, Michigan, is just coming to an end. Detroit is the hometown of America’s “Big Three” automobile makers – Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler – and the show constitutes one of the most important events in the industry’s calendar.

The afternoon deal: Tiny Spyker wins a car

USA AUTOSHOWIt’s been an auto-fueled day with investors on tenterhooks awaiting  the now announced $400 million Spyker/Saab deal. Although Saab kept the spotlight, there is news from Chrysler, Opel, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Geely’s Volvo.

From Reuters, get the Saab deal wrap up here, along with a Saab factbox, timeline and profile of Spyker’s CEO Victor Muller. Find some additional facts about Spyker from The Swedish Wire here.

The Guardian has a great story on the mystique around the car brand called, “How did it all go wrong for Saab?”, and in a warning before the deal was announced, Fiat and Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said: “Marginal players will continue to be marginalized.”

from Environment Forum:

GM, Chrysler cleared executive decks in 2009

When 2009 began, both General Motors and Chrysler were sliding toward bankruptcy. As the year ends, both companies have survived to fight another day.

The same can't be said for their senior executives.

Of the top 10 executives at GM's glass-towered Detroit headquarters in January, only one -- Bob Lutz -- remains.  At Chrysler, only two of the 10 highest-ranking executives are still in Auburn Hills.  

At GM, the churn took a dramatic toll at the vice president level. Of the 55 top executives, including vice presidents and divisional leaders, who were at GM at the start of the year, 26 have left the automaker.  Of the remainder, few remain in the same positions they held, according to a Reuters tally.

The View From The Dealer Floor

Major automakers don’t sell cars to American consumers; they sell to dealers. And the biggest U.S. dealership chain by a wide margin is Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based AutoNation, which sold over 440,000 new and used vehicles last year.

So when AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson talks, auto executives listen — or so you would think.

In an interview with Reuters2ndautonationmikejacksonsep20082, Jackson said Detroit automakers had largely ignored his warnings over the past decade that the U.S. industry was headed for a crisis.

from Commentaries:

Should Volkswagen demand a Magna Carta?

GERMANY/Magna International seems to be taking seriously threats from Volkswagen to pull its business following the Canadian car parts maker's Opel victory.

Magna's co-CEO Donald Walker is saying that after talking to them, most of his other customers are happy that the car parts group -- which along with Russian backer Sberbank is buying a 55 percent shareholding in GM's Opel -- is able to protect their technologies.

Apparently VW is still unconvinced, so Magna will "finalising the internal procedures" and will have more talks with the German carmaker.