DealZone

M & A wrap: Can Facebook live up to the hype?

As Facebook is expected to submit paperwork to regulators for its initial public offering, Reuters Social Media Editor, Anthony De Rosa, uncovers three problems standing in the way of Facebook’s future growth.

Which exchange will Facebook choose to “friend”? Bloomberg reports NYSE and Nasdaq are competing now for what may be the biggest ever by a technology company.

European Union regulators have blocked the merger of exchange operators Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext to avoid giving them a stranglehold on the European futures market. “The merger between Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext would have led to a near-monopoly in European financial derivatives worldwide,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

The failure of the NYSE Euronext/Deutsche Borse tie-up is a stark reminder to dealmakers that the fate of their work often rests in government hands, Deal Journal writes.

M & A wrap: SEC explores Groupon memo

Among the series of distractions ahead of Groupon’s IPO last month was the Mason Memo, WSJ’s Deal Journal reported late Wednesday. Newly disclosed documents shed light on how Groupon was forced to explain the memo to the SEC.

Alibaba Group has hired a Washington lobbying firm in a sign that the Chinese e-commerce company would be willing to make a bid for all of Yahoo in the event that talks to unwind their Asian partnership fail.

The value of global takeovers dropped to the lowest level in more than a year this quarter, Bloomberg.com reports. A recovery in 2012 looks to be muted because cash-rich companies are weighing Europe’s economic crisis before making big purchases.

Deals wrap: GE to slow M&A warpath

General Electric Co Chairman & CEO Jeff Immelt talks to the media before speaking at the Detroit Economic Club in Birmingham, Michigan June 26, 2009. REUTERS/Rebecca CookGeneral Electric continued on its M&A warpath with a $3.2 billion agreement to acquire France’s Coverteam, a maker of automation systems used in the oil and gas sector, marking the latest in a series of deals in the energy industry. But, after some $11 billion in acquisitions in the energy sector over the past six months, GE plans to slow its pace of dealmaking, a top executive said.

Rio Tinto said it would go ahead with its A$3.9 billion ($4 billion) takeover offer for Riversdale Mining even if it ended up with a minority stake in the Mozambique-focused coal miner.

Canada’s federal election could add a fresh element of uncertainty to the London Stock Exchange‘s proposed C$3 billion ($3.1 billion) takeover of TMX Group, a deal which was already seen as far from a sure thing, writes Cameron French.

Deals wrap: eBay’s $2.4 billion GSI buy

Visitors chat next to the Ebay logo at the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover March 2, 2011. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz EBay said it plans to buy e-commerce company GSI Commerce, which owns Web businesses such as the flash site Rue La La and ShopRunner, for $2.4 billion. Ebay said it will offer shareholders of GSI $29.25 per share, a 51 percent premium over its closing price on Friday.

Tabula announced $108 million in funding, one of the largest venture rounds in a decade for a chip company, writes VentureBeat’s Matt Marshall. The company says it can create programmable logic devices for $200, compared to a cost of more than $1,000 offered by competitors.

Despite soaring valuations of tech companies and warnings that the bust a decade ago may be repeated, there are notable differences between the dot-com boom and now, write Evelyn M. Rusli and Verne G. Kopytoff of the New York Times. Today, the stock market is not glutted with offerings and attractive tech start-ups like Groupon have real businesses — not just “eyeballs and clicks”. But, as cash continues to pile up, the fear is that all the money cannot be put to work responsibly, they add.

Deals wrap: Blockbuster year for M&A?

A man and child look out over destroyed homes after a tsunami and earthquake in Sendai, northeastern Japan March 12, 2011. REUTERS/KyodoDespite upheaval in the Middle East and Japan, worldwide M&A have risen 58 percent to $717 billion so far this year, according to preliminary data from Thomson Reuters, marking the best start to a year since 2007 and building on last year’s tentative recovery. Analysts expect to see continued strong activity in mining and energy, but some warned it’s still too early to see the full implications of the recent crises.

Deal-making in Asia got off to a strong start in 2011, with cashed-up companies tapping investment opportunities in sectors from energy to industrials, and bankers say the transaction pipeline for the rest of the year looks healthy.

Executives at boutique investment banks see an increasing number of clients wanting their advice after a Delaware ruling last month accused large investment bank Barclays Capital of conflicts of interest.

Deals wrap: Walgreen prescribes drugstore.com buy

A sign for a Walgreens store is seen in Belle Glade, Florida January 6, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos BarriaWalgreen plans to buy drugstore.com for $429 million, expanding the online presence of the world’s largest drugstore chain.  Drugstore.com shareholders will receive $3.80 a share, which is more than double the company’s closing stock price on Wednesday.

A sale of the British government’s $107 billion stake in Lloyds Banking Group and RBS may start next year, Bloomberg said, citing four people familiar with the matter.

Geothermal energy is likely to attract interest as investors rethink the outlook for nuclear power following the crisis in Japan, writes Leonora Walet and Tessa Dunlop. Japan sits on enough untapped geothermal power to replace all of its planned nuclear stations over the next decade, but the quake-prone country’s only plan to harness that energy’s potential is to develop hot springs.

Deals wrap: Who will Sprint call?

A woman talks on her phone as she walks past T-mobile and Sprint wireless stores in New York July 30, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidBankers said Sprint had a handful of options after AT&T swooped in to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, but none of them would give it the clout to compete in a market dominated by AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which would collectively hold an almost 80 percent market share. Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead said he had no interest in buying Sprint.

Charles Schwab will buy online brokerage optionsXpress Holdings in a $1 billion deal that gives Schwab a stable of the most active retail traders, as options continue to boom.

Shutterfly said it agreed to buy privately held card design company Tiny Prints in a $333 million cash-and-stock deal, as the photo-sharing service tries to win back customers in a market increasingly dominated by social networking sites like Facebook.

Deals wrap: AT&T’s crystal ball

The at&t logo is seen at their store in Times Sqaure in New York April 21, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon StapletonAT&T’s surprise $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom will create a new leader in the U.S. mobile sector and likely draw scrutiny. The regulatory challenge will be predicting what the dominant form of communication will be 3 to 5 years from now, analyst Evan Stewart said. The deal will take a year to close, in which time customers are expected to see improved network quality, according to AT&T.

Sprint Nextel risks being further eclipsed by Verizon and the new AT&T, which together would boast 230.3 million customers in the U.S., compared to Sprint’s less than 50 million, writes Michael J. de la Merced and Jenna Wortham of The New York Times.

Citigroup plans to slash the number of common shares outstanding and reintroduce a dividend after suspending payouts two years ago, taking another step in its long recovery from the brink of failure during the financial crisis.

Busy week ahead at the mall

General GrowthGeneral Growth has a busy week ahead.

The No. 2 U.S. mall owner is weighing a $5.8 billion takeover bid from its larger rival, Simon Property.

It postponed a hearing in bankruptcy court to Friday to have a ‘stalking horse’ bid approved, which would set the floor for future offers for the company.

General Growth has so far favored a bid led by Brookfield Asset Management to help it exit bankruptcy, choosing it over another offer by Simon to come in as a passive investor and buy a minority stake in the company.

The afternoon deal: “American Idol” edition

AMERICAN IDOL/As “American Idol” enters the heated top-10 portion of its talent competition this week, there’s chatter offstage as the show’s parent company confirmed on Monday it’s in sale talks.

CKX, which also owns the rights to the “So You Think You Can Dance” TV franchise and the Elvis Presley name, stopped short of saying who it’s holding discussions with and warned there is no assurance the sale will close.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that One Equity Partners, JPMorgan and Co’s private-equity arm, is nearing a buyout deal to take the entertainment group private “for roughly $6 a share,” with CKX CEO Robert F.X. Sillerman set to retain a roughly 20.6 percent stake in the company.