DealZone

Deals wrap: Nokia rumors but no suitors

Nokia’s plunging share price and persistent speculation it might be a takeover target is far from attracting real suitors interested in saving the struggling mobile phone company, write Victoria Howley and Tarmo Virki.

General Motors is considering putting Opel up for sale again as management is losing confidence that the European arm will return to profitability, two German magazines reported.  Here’s a timeline of the twists and turns in Opel’s ownership.

Former BP  boss Tony Hayward and financier Nathaniel Rothschild aim to raise around $1.6 billion with a June listing of an acquisition vehicle that will target oil assets.

Samsonite, the world’s biggest luggage maker, narrowed the indicative price range of its Hong Kong initial public offer, the latest sign of weak investor appetite for richly-priced deals.

“While a handful of initial public offerings are hitting the market with a pop, many are landing with a thud,” reports the NYT’s DealBook.

Deals wrap: Just one word – plastics

A worker sorts plastic bottles at a recycling centre in Hefei, Anhui province November 10, 2010. REUTERS/StringerPlastics. They don’t glitter like gold does, but more top hedge fund managers are betting on the chemical commodities that go into making plastics and buying up shares in the companies that produce them.

The Smart Money 30, a group that includes some of the biggest stock-picking equity funds, also trimmed bets on tech giants Apple and Google while favoring General Motors and Citigroup, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

What’s the easiest way to boost your company’s reputation? Buy up a top global brand. At least that’s the advice being given to top Chinese companies by the country’s commerce minister, who is urging the country’s firms to seek out new foreign acquisitions in an effort to secure more name recognition abroad.

Deals wrap: Looking back on GM’s debut

GM/IPOGeneral Motors’ momentous return to the stock market last week was helped in part by the automaker’s own executives. Several top managers at the top U.S. automaker acquired shares in the IPO and some added to their stakes afterward, led by Chief Executive Dan Akerson and Chairman Ed Whitacre.

Whitacre and Akerson acquired more than $500,000 of GM stock each, taking 800 shares each in the initial public offering and then adding to their stakes afterward in open market transactions, filings with U.S. securities regulators show.

The dramatic debut, the largest IPO in U.S. history, came a year and a half after the U.S. government rescued the automaker and forced a massive overhaul. It also marked the beginning of the end of the government’s 61 percent ownership stake in the company, which the Obama administration said it hopes to shed entirely by mid-to-late 2012. The New York Times reports that Treasury officials faced a tough decision over the public offering price in the days leading up to the listing, torn over how it would define the success or failure of Detroit’s $50 billion bailout.

Deals wrap: GM’s market splash

A GMC vehicle is seen parked in front of a trader standing outside of the New York Stock Exchange November 18, 2010.REUTERS/Shannon StapletonGeneral Motors has raised billions of dollars in its IPO, but big investors still have plenty of cash on hand to plow into other new stock issues — if they have merit.

General Motors’ swift journey from dying company to blockbuster IPO is a remarkable story, which the Democrats received little political credit for.

One of the first signs General Motors was driving toward a record-setting IPO with booming demand from investors came from an unlikely indicator: a sudden shortage of chocolate mousse at an investor meeting.

Deals wrap: GM debuts

A General Motors dealership is seen  in Vienna, Virginia, May 27, 2009. REUTERS/Jim Young   General Motors prepared for a dramatic return to the stock market with what is set to become the world’s largest initial public offering, less than a year and a half after emerging from bankruptcy. “I think it shows that investors think that the worst is over and I agree,” said Morningstar analyst David Whiston about the oversubscribed IPO.

Small investors are clamoring for a piece of General Motors but financial advisers are not confident they will be able to satisfy client demand. The U.S. government says it has achieved its objective and is prepared to relinquish majority ownership in the resurgent carmaker.

View a factbox on GM’s share offering.
View a graphic on how GM’s IPO stacks up against the biggest.
Read an analysis on the outcome for taxpayers.
View a slideshow of GM though the ages.

Deals wrap: Strong reception for GM

GM/General Motors raised the common stock portion of its initial public offering by 31 percent, putting the deal on track to raise as much as $22.7 billion. For details on GM’s IPO click here. The NYT reports the IPO does not mark the end of the bailout era and the WSJ takes a look at the numbers behind GM’s valuation.

Britain’s Diageo is poised to be the leader in a race for Fortune Brands’ $8 billion plus Jim Beam spirits business if the U.S. conglomerate is pressed into breaking itself up.

Shares in Actelion soared on reports that the world’s largest biotech firm Amgen is studying a takeover offer for the Swiss drugmaker.

Deals wrap: Ramping up to GM’s IPO

A worker cleans the front grill of a Chevy HHR at a General Motors dealership in Montreal, June 1, 2009. Reuters/Christinne Muschi General Motors has increased the preferred stock on offer by 25 percent and raised the price for common stock in its landmark IPO, bringing the U.S. government closer to break-even on a still-controversial bailout of the automaker. NYT’s Andrew Ross Sorkin looks into who should get the credit for GM’s IPO and Dow Jones Newswires cautions investors with a look back to Blackstone’s IPO.

BHP Billiton is still interested in big acquisitions and does not regret spending $875 million pursuing three major deals that collapsed in the past two years, its chairman said.

If two’s a trend, expect more management/private equity buyouts of U.S.-listed Chinese companies — taking advantage of big discounts to peers on the Hong Kong and Chinese stock markets.

Deals wrap: BHP Billiton’s CEO confronts shareholders

A man walks past the head office of BHP Billiton in central Melbourne October 18, 2010.  REUTERS/Mick Tsikas BHP Billiton’s boss is likely to face calls next week for a massive share buyback when he faces shareholders in Australia after his third straight failure to pull off a major acquisition.

Investment bankers are pitching to advise Symantec on strategic options as some shareholders push to break up the company, but the software maker has not made a decision to hire bankers and remains on track with its own strategy, sources said.

General Motors is in the final stage of talks to sell equity to Chinese partner SAIC as part of its landmark initial public offering, two people familiar with the matter said.

Deals wrap: Potash Corp repercussions

The Cory Potash Corp mine site west of Saskatoon is pictured on November 3, 1010.   REUTERS/David StobbeAustralia’s farm sector would have too much of an advantage if BHP Billiton was allowed to buy Potash Corp, argued Canada’s farm minister. While Canada’s decision to block the deal stunned many, most Potash Corp investors seem unperturbed, eying its long-term growth prospects.

Alastair Sharp looks at what Ottawa’s market-rattling decision could mean for Canadian tech giant Research In Motion.

The terms of GM’s upcoming share sale show that, once public, the stock will have to as much as double before its biggest shareholder, the U.S. government, gets close to breaking even, writes columnist Antony Currie.

Deals wrap: Eying the GM IPO

A worker cleans the front grill of a Chevy HHR at a General Motors dealership in Montreal, June 1, 2009.   Reuters/Christinne Muschi Top Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Corp is close to making a decision on whether to buy a stake in its long-time partner General Motors, sources told Reuters. The WSJ reports General Motors will not have to pay U.S. federal taxes on up to $50 billion of profits for as long as 20 years. *View WSJ’s timeline on GM

Russian fertilizer group Phosagro wants Russian firms to buy a stake in Potash Corp in an attempt to scupper BHP Billiton’s $39 billion offer awaiting a crucial ruling from the Canadian government.

MUFG is in talks to buy Royal Bank of Scotland’s project financing unit, sources said, in a deal reportedly worth $6.4 billion and aimed at accelerating the overseas expansion of Japan’s biggest bank.