Deals wrap: Lowering expectations

Marius Kloppers, BHP Billiton Chief Executive, poses for photographs in central London August 25, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville BHP Billiton tried to dampen expectations it would substantially raise its hostile $39 billion bid for Potash Corp as bumper results showed it has plenty of firepower. *View article *View reaction from analysts and investors *View Potash Corp deal scenarios

Dubai World believes it can raise as much as $19.4 billion from selling key assets over eight years, if creditors back its restructuring, a document obtained by Reuters showed. *View article *View reaction from analysts and investors

Dell and Hewlett-Packard are expected to raise their bids for 3PAR, but technology investors and analysts warn of valuations taking a back seat to egos. *View article

Facebook may not be trading on the Nasdaq yet, but based on secondary market transactions the company is worth $33.7 billion. *View FT article *The case for a $50 billion Facebook

The M&A market is making headlines with blockbuster buys, but the WSJ takes a look at what the IPO market says about the state of deals. *View WSJ article

Dubai World in their hands

Interest is a murky business in Muslim finance, in which religious doctrine prohibits earning money from money loaned. And while bankers are largely upbeat about the deal being offered by Dubai to bail out Dubai World and its property unit Nakheel, relieved that they are getting anything at all, perhaps they will take some solace from the interest prohibition when they say a final goodbye to any interest they were due.

Dubai World is being recapitalized and Nakheel’s bonds are to be paid off – sans interest — with $9.5 billion of aid. The funds include about $4 billion from the government of Dubai and a previous loan of $5.7 billion from oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi. The plan is Dubai’s attempt to restructure some $26 billion in debt held by Dubai World, owner of the QE2 liner and Cirque du Soleil assets. Nakheel is the developer that conjured the emirate’s iconic global map made of islands.

Some investors were expecting Abu Dhabi to step in with more cash, but it is apparently done funding its neighbor’s excesses. Maybe next boom, they’ll be back.

DealZone Daily

British Petroleum¬†is bidding on a package of Devon Energy assets that the US energy company put up for sale late last year, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The company is looking at Devon’s position offshore Brazil, as well as Gulf of Mexico and Canadian assets, one source said. There could be around six other bidders as well as the British oil major. Read the story here.

And in news reported by other media on Thursday:

Dubai World will present its first concrete proposals to local banks on Thursday on restructuring $22 billion of debt, The National newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources. The state-owned conglomerate has requested meetings with Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank to present its proposals.

DealZone Daily

Australian wealth manager AMP Ltd¬†will not seek to extend its exclusive agreement with France’s AXA SA on a joint $11.4 billion bid for AXA’s Australian unit, sources tell Reuters, opening the door for rival bidder National Australia Bank Ltd to start talks with AXA SA.

Shares in Thailand’s Thanachart Capital jump ahead of the announcement of the winning bid for a stake in Siam City Bank (SCIB), for which its Thanachart Bank is the frontrunner. Kaohoon newspaper reports that Thanachart Bank, also 49 percent owned by Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, has put in the highest bid of around $958 million for the 47 percent stake, beating HSBC.

In other M&A and corporate finance news reported by Reuters and other media on Wednesday:

from Matthew Goldstein:

Dubai World’s leaky submarine deal

NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) - One might think that after
Madoff, Stanford and other Ponzi-like schemes, big banks would
be more careful about the money managers they do business with
-- especially people running highly speculative investment

But it appears not everyone at the global banking giant
HSBC <HSBA.L> got the message.

Consider the case of Dividium Capital, a now-defunct
investment fund that was registered in the Isle of Man, an
offshore banking haven located in the Irish Sea. Dividium,
which operated out of Switzerland, promised investors high
double-digit returns from the sale of gold certificates backed
by an investment in a Russian gold mine project.