Deals du Jour

Australian miner OZ Minerals said its shareholders approved the sweetened $1.4 billion deal by  Chinese state-owned Minmetals’ to buy most of the indebted miner’s assets. For today’s headlines, click here.

And in the newspapers:

* Turquoise, the European equity system owned by nine investment banks, was forced to close on Wednesday morning because of a technical problem, Financial News said.

* The New York Times Co has hired Goldman Sachs to manage the possible sale of The Boston Globe, and plans to request bids in the next couple of weeks, The Boston Globe reported.

* Sprint Nextel Corp and Level 3 Communications Inc  are in early talks about forming a joint venture including Sprint’s long-distance network, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal

* James Simons, the mathematics professor-turned-investor who founded the multibillion dollar hedge fund Renaissance Technologies LLC, has delayed his retirement plans, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the discussions.

Deals du Jour

U.S. money manager BlackRock is set to buy Barclays Global Investors (BGI) for between $12 billion and $13 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The deal, which could come today, would create a global asset manager twice the size of its nearest rival. For today’s headlines, click here.

And in the newspapers:

* Australian bank Macquarie may trump a Chinese bid for assets of debt-laden miner OZ Minerals, the Australian Financial Review said, which could stoke further anger in China after its massive deal with Rio Tinto collapsed last week.

* The chief executive of German retailer Metro is already sounding out foreign investors to buy the combined department store group it hopes to create with the Karstadt chain, Handelsblatt paper reported, citing investment bank sources.

BarCap bulks up in European M&A

Signs are displayed on the former Lehman Brothers, now Barclays Capital building in Times Square in New York

Barclays Capital has hired a senior Citigroup banker and a former top Morgan Stanley banker as co-heads of European mergers and acquisitions (M&A), as the former debt powerhouse repositions itself as a full-service, global investment bank.

The duo are Matthew Ponsonby, formerly Citigroup’sglobal co-head of infrastructure investment banking, and Mark Warham, who until earlier this year had been chairman of UK investment banking at Morgan Stanley.

BarCap, like SocGen and others, sees a chance to grab market share in M&A and other advisory work. Granted, European M&A volumes are less than a third of 2007′s — but some competitors are weakened and some bankers are restless (if not actually unemployed).

Deals du jour

A man rides past a newsstand with French daily newspapers in Nice, southeastern France, February 24, 2009.

AIG plans to float its Asian crown jewel, Volkswagen halts talks with Porsche, Nomura hires for a massive push in U.S. equities, and more. Here are the latest deal-related stories:

AIG to launch IPO for Asia crown jewel

Volkswagen halts tie-up talks with Porsche

Nomura hires for massive U.S. equity push

Cubs’ offer won’t be voted on next week: sources

Babcock & Brown infrastructure fund gets acquired

China pension fund plans foreign PE deals: sources

China government OKs Minmetals’ OZ Minerals deal

Daiwa SMBC to buy unit of Britain’s Close Brothers

Whitehaven says to drop merger deal with Gloucester

Metro to present Karstadt deal outline: sources

And in Europe’s morning papers:

* Hedge fund manager Noam Gottesman, co-chief executive of GLG Partners Inc (GLG.N), plans to move to New York from London to build up the fund’s U.S. assets, the Daily Telegraph said.

* Alan Miller, former fund manager at New Star, plans to launch two new funds in a joint venture with Alexander Spencer Churchill, the Daily Telegraph said.