DealZone

DealZone Daily

Talk continues to swirl around Kraft’s potential bid for Cadbury. On Thursday Reuters reported a top shareholder in the British confectioner would accept 820 pence a share — well above Kraft’s first cash and shares offer but only a little higher than where the stock has been trading in recent days.

Activist investor Nelson Peltz, who has stakes in both Cadbury and Kraft, may now become a factor, a report says. A contractual obligation not to criticise Kraft’s management comes to an end on Friday. Will fireworks ensue when the gag is removed?

Other deal-related news in Friday’s papers include:

* BP Plc (BP.L) has had talks with Ghana’s national oil company about a possible joint bid for Kosmos Energy’s stake in the huge Jubilee oilfield off the coast of the country, Bloomberg said, citing two people familiar with the matter.

* China Resources Enterprise Holdings (0291.HK) is expected to sell its non-core assets to fund its acquisition of a hypermarket in China from its parent for up to HK$7 billion.

* More details are emerging of an IPO for fund manager Gartmore, which may be seeking to raise 500 million pounds from investors.

DealZone Daily

With just over two months to the end of the year, there is a sense that time is running out for getting deals done in 2009. Many of the long-running deal sagas are coming to a close, or are getting done. Overnight, news emerged that BAA has finally agreed a 1.5 billion pound sale of British airport Gatwick.

Other deal news in the papers on Wednesday include:

* U.S. Bancorp is eyeing FBOP Corp, an owner of eight banks that may be put up for sale by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC), the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the situation.

* National Express’s largest shareholder, Spain’s Jorge Cosmen, supports a merger proposal by British bus and rail operator Stagecoach, the Financial Times reported.

DealZone Daily

The end of the year looks set to be full of news of rights issues and IPOs as share investors are offered a bet on next year’s economic recovery.

The travails of UK transport firm National Express fill many of Tuesday’s business pages, with rivals First Group and Stagecoach both in the frame for a bid, while the debt-laden company finalises plans for a rights issue. For other Reuters stories on deals, click here.

Other stories in Tuesday’s newspapers include:

- Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is in advanced preparations to take rifle and ammunition maker Freedom Group Inc public, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Deals du Jour

POSCO and South Korea’s chemicals-to-brokerage group Hanwha are studying a potential bid for Daewoo International, sources close to the companies tell Reuters. Daewoo International’s market value is around $3 billion.

Meanwhile, five British companies unleash a wave of cashcalls to raise over 1.6 billion pounds, rushing to strengthen balance sheets during a “window of opportunity” as investors show a strong appetite to support fundraisings.

In M&A news reported by Reuters and elsewhere on Wednesday:

U.S. oil and gas exploration and production firm SandRidge Energy strikes a deal to buy bankrupt rival, Crusader Energy Group, for $230 million, in a cash and stock deal that would give it additional acreage in the Anadarko and Permian basins.

Deals du Jour

Bank of America fails to meet a deadline to hand lawmakers further details about its acquisition of Merrill Lynch and faces the possibility of new charges from U.S. securities regulators. Meanwhile, Oracle Corp (ORCL.O) Chief Executive Larry Ellison says Sun Microsystems Inc (JAVA.O) is losing about $100 million a month as European regulators delay approving his company’s $7 billion purchase of the struggling hardware maker. And in Asia, China Investment Corp, the $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, buys a 14.5 percent, $850 million stake in trading firm Noble Group (NOBG.SI), giving China greater exposure to global commodities and trading expertise.

For these stories and more deals-related news from Reuters, click here.

Here’s what we found in Tuesday’s papers:

* The head of confectioner Cadbury PLC (CBRY.L), which is facing a possible takeover by U.S. food giant Kraft Foods Inc (KFT.N), said there were some “complementary elements” in the two companies’ portfolios, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

* Plantation and palm oil processor Wilmar International (WLIL.SI) is expected to spin off its China food operation, raising up to HK$27.3 billion ($3.5 billion) in a flotation of shares in Hong Kong in October, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported. Reuters story here.

Deals du Jour

Royal Bank of Scotland is talking to investors to gauge support for a “modest” equity placement of 3 to 4 billion pounds, a source tells us, as it tries to limit government control.  JPMorgan and Cazenove are thought to be close to agreeing a price for Cazenove’s share of their J.P. Morgan Cazenove joint venture before the end of the year, the Independent on Sunday newspaper says.

For these and other Reuters stories on deals, click here. And for Monday’s stories in other media (some of the links may require subscription):

German power giant E.ON is in advanced talks with potential partners to build new solar power plants in Andalusia, southern Spain, its chief executive tells Spanish daily Expansion.

Deals du Jour

Kraft’s bid for UK confectionary company Cadbury continues to generate headlines. And given the personalities involved, this should not be a surprise. Some of London’s top rainmakers are set to square up against a superstar of the 1980s merger era, Reuters’ Victoria Howley notes.

And here’s a round-up of deal-related stories from Thursday’s press:

* Volkswagen is considering overhauling its trucks business in a move that could herald a tie-up with German truckmaking and engineering group MAN AG, the Financial Times said. Reuters story here.

* Twitter is closing a round of funding that will value the company known for its 140-character, stream-of-consciousness blogs at $1 billion, technology news site TechCrunch said.

Deals du Jour

The European Commission’s restrictions on state aid for banks may force Lloyds Banking Group to sell off all or part of its Halifax branch network, a report today said. The news comes days after it emerged that Royal Bank of Scotland may dust off old brands ahead of a similar sale, also prompted by the possibility of action from the European Commission.

And here’s a round-up of deal-related stories from Wednesday’s press:

* Creditors of Oleg Deripaska’s En+ energy and metals group may ask the Russian billionaire to pledge a stake of up to 10 percent in aluminium firm UC RUSAL in order to restructure a $1 billion debt, Vedomosti newspaper reported on Wednesday.

* Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners has gathered a group of banks to finance a possible purchase of Anheuser-Busch InBev assets in central and eastern Europe, Belgian daily De Standaard reported. Reuters story here.

Deals du Jour

Shares in Sprint Nextel have soared on talk that Deutsche Telekom may make an offer to buy the company. But the high cost of any deal, combined with the technological challenges, suggest the German company may be better off considering a joint venture rather than a bid, our commentary team say.

The high price of staying competitive in the U.S. market makes the decision on Sprint a tough call for Deutsche Telekom, analysts say.

And here’s a round-up of deal-related stories from Tuesday’s press:

* The U.S. government is talking to Citigroup Inc about how to sell the roughly one-third stake the government acquired as part of its bailout of the bank, Bloomberg said. Reuters story here.

Deals du Jour

A year on from the collapse of Lehman the newspapers are full of stories reflecting on the bank’s failure. A senior Bank of England official said he was “astounded” the U.S. government let the bank fall, but some might be more shocked by the rapid bounce-back of the stock markets, which is helping big M&A deals come down the pipeline.

For the latest Reuters deals news, click here.

And here’s a round-up of deal-related stories from Monday’s press:

* French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde plans to extend billions of euros of loan guarantees to France’s top banks for another year, and is calling on them to provide action plans on financing the economy, Les Echos reported.

* Tony O’Reilly is ready to give up his controlling stake in debt-laden Independent News & Media, following months of restructuring discussions. As part of a wider plan, bondholders will take cash and shares ahead of a rights issue, the Times of London reported.