DealZone

Deals wrap: Blavatnik’s Access Industries wins bid for Warner Music

The headquarters of Warner Music Group is pictured in Burbank, California August 5, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries has won control of Warner Music Group with an offer of $8.25 a share, according to a source familiar with the matter. The agreement would set the world’s third-largest music company’s enterprise value at approximately $3.3 billion.

The NYTimes‚Äôs Ben Protess shines a light on Len Blavatnik, chairman of Access Industries and the new controlling stakeholder of Warner Music Group. Well-known for his investing prowess, he came to America as a penniless teenager and after building a fortune on oil and metal companies, he’s worth roughly $10 billion.

In this analysis by Jennifer Saba, she argues that as Internet giants Google and Facebook slug it out to seal a deal with Web video conferencing service Skype, Facebook looks likely to be the more aggressive suitor, not to mention a better fit.

Investors frustrated in their attempts to buy some of the hundreds of failing U.S. banks are testing a new approach. Rather than wait for an ailing bank to be seized by regulators and sold off to a rival, dealmakers are touting a $6.5 million bankruptcy sale as a way to attract new investors able to infuse banks with life-saving capital.

Deals wrap: The value of Groupon

An online coupon sent via email from Groupon is pictured on a laptop screen November 29, 2010 in Los Angeles. REUTERS/Fred Prouser Groupon is likely to pick Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to lead a second-half initial public offering that could value the fast-growing daily deals site at $15 billion to $20 billion, according to a source.

Commodity trader Glencore’s planned $12 billion London listing has long been seen as the first step to merging with Xstrata, in what could be the biggest mining takeover in history. The question for most analysts and investors since the IPO was confirmed is not if the deal happens but when — and how.

BP’s partners in its Russian venture TNK-BP rejected the UK oil major’s offer to settle a dispute caused by its $18 billion tie-up with Rosneft, casting further doubt on the deal.

Walgreen doubles its presence in Times Square

Walgreen’s deal to purchase privately held Duane Reade for $618 million gives it 257 new retail stores in the New York City area and a double presence in New York’s Times Square.

“We like their footprint, how it matches up with us,” Walgreen Chief Executive Greg Wasson said of Duane Reade in a Reuters interview. “(It) gives us a leading presence in Manhattan as well as supplements what we have in the boroughs in New York.”

Walgreen operates 70 stores in the New York area. Once the deal closes, Walgreen will operate more than 300 stores in the wider New York area, a tally Wasson said would put it on par with main rivals including Rite Aid and CVS Caremark.

West Coast Care

CVS CaremarkCVS Caremark Corp is bolstering its position on the West Coast with its acquisition of rival Longs Drugs Stores Corp. The deal, announced on Tuesday, is worth $2.54 billion and will allow CVS to expand in states like California and broaden the reach of its prescription services. The acquisition of Longs’ 521 stores will also give CVS a leading position in Hawaii, where it doesn’t operate. CVS will pay $71.50 per share for Longs, including its Rx America subsidiary, a prescription benefits management services company with over 8 million members. Longs shares closed at $54.04 before the news on Tuesday, but surged nearly 30 percent in extended trading on the deal. Shares in CVS fell nearly 7 percent on the news.
GM chief Rick Wagoner says there’s significant interest in the auto maker’s planned sale of up to $4 billion of assets as it battles record losses and falling sales, but no deals are expected soon. General Motors Corp is struggling against an accelerating downturn in its home market and high oil prices that have hammered sales of its trucks and SUVs, triggering a $15.5 billion quarterly loss, the third-largest in its 100-year history. Earlier this month, sources told Reuters GM was in talks with India’s Mahindra & Mahindara Ltd and automakers in Russia and China about selling its Hummer brand.

A consortium led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc has agreed to pay about $1.5 billion for a number of ABN AMRO’s private equity assets, the Wall Street Journal said Wednesday. On Monday, Belgian-Dutch financial services group Fortis said that together with Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Spain’s Banco Santander, it had sold a number of ABN AMRO private equity assets to a Goldman Sachs-led consortium. The Journal said Goldman’s investment comprised 32 European companies as well as roughly $450 million in capital to be invested in future deals.
Other deals of the day:

* Australia’s CSL Ltd, the world’s top maker of blood plasma products, is buying smaller U.S. rival Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings Corp for $3.1 billion, to boost its presence in the fast-growing biopharmaceutical industry.