DealZone

Deals du Jour

Dutch bank ING has hired JPMorgan to advise on the sale of ING’s private banking business in Europe and Asia, which could fetch over $1 billion, sources tell Reuters.

The sale of the units may may take a few months and could draw interest from global and Asian players, one source with knowledge of the deal said.

In other deals reported by Reuters and other media:

Amazon.com will pay about $928 million for booming online shoe retailer Zappos.com, expanding aggressively into the apparel arena with a well-known name after trying unsuccessfully to go it alone.

U.S. drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb said it will pay $2.4 billion to acquire Medarex, a biotechnology company that has been helping it develop a promising treatment for melanoma since 2005.

British bus and train operator National Express said it was approached by an unnamed suitor after rival FirstGroup ruled out a formal takeover offer for the company.

Deals du Jour

National Australia Bank is selling new shares to raise up to US$2.25 billion to help it scout for acquisitions, it says. The fundraising will also be used as a buffer against rising bad debts, but the unexpected share sale by Australia’s largest lender will also allow it “to pursue value creating opportunities,” according to its CEO.

Just last month, NAB bought most of British insurer Aviva’s Australian businesses for A$825 million to expand in wealth management.

In other deal news reported by Reuters and other media:

Procter & Gamble is in advanced talks to sell its prescription-drug business with several parties, including specialty drugmaker Warner Chilcott and private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Deals du Jour

Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch is in talks with several firms including Blackstone and Apollo Investment Management to sell management rights of its $2.65 billion Asian Real Estate Opportunity Fund, a source tells Reuters. A deal would be valued at a few hundred million dollars, the source said.

Meanwhile, China’s sovereign wealth fund has acquired 1.1 percent of British drinks firm Diageo drinks group, the Financial Times reports. China Investment Corp’s stake is worth 221 million pounds.

In other media reports on Tuesday:

The chief executive of German automotive supplier Continental is planning to propose a 1 billion euro ($1.4 billion) capital increase, the FT says.

Deals du jour

CIT Group Inc, which lends to nearly one million small and mid-sized businesses, signed off on a $3 billion deal late Sunday in rescue financing from a group of bondholders to avoid bankruptcy.  And private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co on Monday moved a step closer to gaining a stock-market listing.

For these stories and all the rest of the latest deals news from Reuters, click here.

And in the newspapers (some external links might require subscriptions):

* Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) might have to sell part of their businesses under proposals to be announced by the opposition Conservatives on Monday, the Times newspaper reported.

Deals du jour

A brace of autos deals feature in this edition of Deals du jour. Bankrupt auto parts supplier Delphi Corp (DPHIQ.PK) has had talks with bankruptcy lenders readying a bid for its assets that could challenge a proposed sale to private equity firm Platinum Equity, people familiar with the discussions say. Meanwhile, as Christiaan Hetzner writes, General Motors will have a hard time overcoming Germany’s resistance to a financial investor if it wants to sell Opel to RHJ (RHJI.BR) in the hope that it could later buy its European carmaker back.

For these stories and all the rest of the latest deals news from Reuters, click here.

And in the newspapers (some external links might require subscriptions):

* Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), the world’s largest memory chipmaker, is expected to invest at least 1 trillion won ($790 million) in a semiconductor production facility in the second half, a newspaper reported. Reuters story here.

Deals du jour

Barclays mulls a sale of its private-equity arm, AIG says it will pursue a New York public offering for its life-insurance unit, and CIT’s assets appear attractive, but only to bargain-hunters. For these stories and all the rest of the latest deals news from Reuters, click here.

And in the newspapers (some external links might require subscriptions):

* Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) is operating under a secret U.S. regulatory sanction that requires it to overhaul its board and address perceived problems with risk and liquidity management, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

* Citigroup Inc (C.N) is close to a secret agreement with one of its main regulators that will increase scrutiny for the bank, the Financial Times reported.

Deals du jour

U.S. officials consider giving CIT Group Inc a temporary loan as part of an aid package to help the lender avoid collapse; U.S. asset manager Franklin Resources Inc (BEN.N) drops out of a consortium negotiating to buy American International Group Inc’s (AIG.N) asset management unit; and The New York Times Co agrees to sell its New York City classical music radio station for $45 million, to help pay off debt. For these stories and all the other latest deals news from Reuters, click here.

And here’s what’s in the newspapers and online (some links may require subscriptions):

* Belgium’s Solvay (SOLB.BR) has narrowed the list of bidders for its pharmaceuticals business to Swiss company Nycomed and Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N) of the United States, FT.com reported on its website.

Deals du jour

In China, two regulators are facing off over GM’s controversial plan to sell its Hummer unit to a little-known Chinese outfit. In the United States, the sale of a stake in Facebook gives the whole a value of some $6.5 billion. And in Germany, Software AG is buying IDS Scheer in the country’s first major corporate takeover of 2009. For more on these stories, and all the other latest deals news from Reuters, click here.

And here’s what the papers are saying (some external links may require subscriptions):

* China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) could make a binding offer for up to 75 percent of the Argentine unit YPF of Spanish oil major Repsol (REP.MC) in the next few days, ABC reported, citing sources close to the talks. Reuters story here.

Deals du jour

Suntory and Kirin consider joining forces to create one of the world’s biggest beer and soft drinks companies, with annual sales of $41 billion. Meanwhile Friends Provident and Venture Production are both fending off unwanted approaches. For all the latest deals news, click here.

And here’s the latest dose of market chatter:

* McGraw-Hill has hired Evercore Partners Inc, a top U.S. merger advisory boutique to sell BusinessWeek magazine, Bloomberg said, citing a person close to the situation.

* Bank of America Corp is trying to avoid paying billions of dollars in fees to U.S. taxpayers for guarantees against losses at Merrill Lynch, saying the rescue agreement was never signed and the funding never used, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Deals du Jour

The following deal-related stories appeared in today’s newspapers:

* British private equity firm Silverfleet Capital has begun exclusive talks to buy German sausage maker Kalle Nalo from rival Montagu Private Equity, the Financial Times said.

* The world’s biggest mutual funds firm, Fidelity Investments, has sought potential candidates to succeed its president Rodger Lawson who rejoined the company in mid-2007, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* Four of the biggest names in the UK digital media scene are teaming up to launch an investment fund for internet start-ups, the Financial Times reported. Michael Birch, co-founder of Bebo, the social network acquired by AOL last year for $850 million, is the cornerstone investor. He is joined by Brent Hoberman, Peter Dubens and Jonathan Goodwin.