DealZone

Deals wrap: Weighting the benefits of a Potash deal

A reporter looks at a sample of still warm potash at the Rocanville Potash Corp mill in Saskatchewan September 30, 2010. REUTERS/David Stobbe Canada insisted it had made no decision yet on what to do about BHP Billiton’s $39 billion offer to buy Potash Corp, even as two newspapers reported that bureaucrats were advising that the bid should go ahead. A decision by the Canadian government is due by the end of Wednesday.

General Motors plans to sell just over $13 billion of shares in its IPO, people familiar with the matter said. GM could file an updated prospectus for its IPO today.

Spanish bank BBVA has bought joint control of Turkish peer Garanti Bank in a $5.8 billion deal to escape a price war for deposits and high funding costs in its sluggish home economy.

The NYT’s Andrew Ross Sorkin looks at how investors are buying big stakes in companies and disclosing the purchases long after the fact.  Is it time for a regulatory change?

Deals wrap: The GM IPO

A GM sign is seen outside the Medved General Motors car dealership in Arvada, Colorado August 12, 2010.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking As General Motors gears up for its initial public offering, the Treasury Department is calling the shots on everything from banking fees to the potential involvement of offshore investors. *View graphic on world IPOs *View graphic on GM value

ICBC, the world’s biggest lender by market value, paid a token $1 for a small U.S. brokerage firm, the Wall Street Journal reported. The deal highlights the continued strength and growing influence of Chinese financial companies.

Ambac, once one of the largest U.S. bond insurers, said it may file for bankruptcy protection this year, after missing an interest payment due on some debt.

Deals wrap: AIA shines in Hong Kong

An office worker leaves the AIA central building in Hong Kong's financial district September 21,2010.REUTERS/Tyrone Siu AIA Group surged 17 percent in its Hong Kong debut as investors piled into the record offering. The strong start boosted AIA’s market value above the $35.5 billion Prudential had initially offered for AIA in March, vindicating AIG’s decision not to accept the $30.4 billion bid that followed.

While investors flocked to IPOs of AZ Electronic and the Warsaw bourse, a dose of realism soured Enel’s goal to raise $4.2 billion from its green power unit. Enel dropped the bottom of its price range for Enel Green Power to 1.6 euros from 1.8 euros. “There are plenty of IPOs that seem to be working particularly well, and it is all to do with the willingness of the seller to be realistic,” said a source close to the deal.

Just days before bankers are expected to begin an IPO road show, General Motors buffs up its finances with a repayment to U.S. taxpayers and early payments to pension and retiree health plans. Taking a step back, the WSJ asks if GM is really worth $70 billion.

Deals wrap: What’s next for Apple?

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs smiles after the Apple's music-themed September media event in San Francisco, California September 1, 2010. REUTERS/Robert GalbraithShares of Sony rose nearly 3 percent at one point on Tuesday, but later retreated as analysts dismissed speculation that the electronics maker could be an acquisition target of Apple. *View article *View WSJ article looking at an Apple tie-up with Netflix

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said hedge fund manager Todd Combs would join the firm, potentially bringing the company a step closer to solving Buffett’s succession puzzle.*View article *View background article on Todd Combs

The NYT’s Andrew Ross Sorkin delves into SEC insider trading laws and how they apply to two rail yard employees facing charges. *View article

Deals wrap: The deals are back

Buoyed by the busiest August in more than a decade, global mergers and acquisitions have risen 21 percent so far this year, but the outlook for the rest of the year remains cautious. Reuters takes a look at the deal flow in the third quarter, who the top advisors are and why. *Full Coverage

Brazil’s federal government increased its total stake in oil company Petrobras to about 48 percent from 40 percent after a massive stock offering. U.S.-traded shares of the company fell 0.7 percent in early trading. *View article

Britain’s markets watchdog told investment banks to adopt “a much stricter culture” to prevent leaks to journalists about takeovers and other deals, and said it might impose new rules if nothing improves in a year. *View article

Deals wrap: Adjusting to Basel rules

Photos of yuan (top) and U.S. dollar banknotes are displayed at a money exchange in Hong Kong September 13, 2010.  REUTERS/Bobby YipNew capital rules set by global regulators brought relief to the world’s banks on Monday, giving weaker lenders time to raise funds and freeing the strong to lift dividends or hit the acquisition trail. *View article *View Basel III factbox *View analysis on the impact

Marking HP’s second major deal since the departure of Mark Hurd as chief executive, the company said it will buy security software firm ArcSight Inc for $1.5 billion in cash. *View article *View reaction from Seeking Alpha

Frozen out of deals for two years by a lack of credit and a stormy economic outlook, buyout firms are now back fighting over assets, keen to spend hundreds of billions of dollars before time runs out and they have to give money back to investors. *View article

Deals wrap: Intel’s big bet

A man stands in front of an Intel wall at the 2009 Computex trade show in Taipei June 3, 2009.  REUTERS/Pichi Chuang Chip maker Intel said it would buy security technology firm McAfee for $7.68 billion. “I think people were probably (expecting) some smaller acquisitions from Intel. It’s definitely — even by Intel’s standards — a pretty big acquisition for them,” said Vijay Rakesh, an analyst at Sterne Agee. *View article *View reaction from analysts and investors

GM declared plans for an IPO. For a breakdown of the U.S. government’s stake in the automaker, click here. Investors shouldn’t get too caught up in the IPO hype, writes Reuters columnist Antony Currie. The WSJ looks at some surprise risks gleaned from the IPO filings. The NYT follows the car maker’s progress over the past 100 years in this timeline.

Online gambling firms Sportingbet and 888 must strike deals to protect themselves from prosecution in the United States if they are to emerge as credible takeover candidates as the industry consolidates. *View article

from Breakingviews:

GM needs to double earnings to repay taxpayers

General Motors' much anticipated initial public offering filing finally landed on Wednesday. But investors shouldn't get too caught up in the hype. Sure, the automaker looks in pretty decent shape thanks to last year's bankruptcy clean-up, and car sales are motoring away from last year's lows. But to repay U.S. taxpayers in full, GM needs to at least double its earnings.

That's assuming the carmaker is valued at the same earnings multiple as Ford Motor. Granted, GM and its bankers could argue that it has advantages over its cross-town rival that may warrant a higher valuation. It has far less debt, for starters. And it has a stronger position in fast-growing China.

But operationally GM is still lagging: the pre-tax margin on its global autos business was 5.7 percent in the second quarter. After years of losses and in a fairly low-margin industry, that's worth shouting about. But it falls shy of Ford's 7.2 percent margin in the same period. There's an even bigger gap of more than three percentage points between the margins the two manufacturers make in the key North American market.

Deals wrap: Who’s interested in AIA?

The logo of the AIA tower is seen at its entrance in Hong Kong July 13, 2010.REUTERS/Tyrone Siu AIG has started talks with potential investors to sell stakes in its Asian life insurance business AIA ahead of AIA’s planned IPO, sources say. *View article* In a related matter, Prudential says its failed bid for AIA, which collapsed in May, will cost less than first expected. *View article

General Motors posts its biggest quarterly profit in six years a day ahead of an expected IPO filing. *View article *View article

Private equity firms that benefited from Dubai’s boom years are now looking to the emirate for reforms needed to revive the sector, writes Nicolas Parasie and Dinesh Nair. *View analysis

Deals wrap: Buying into GM

General Motors auto dealership employees drive brand new Chevrolet cars at a parking lot in Shenyang, Liaoning province, November 7, 2009.  REUTERS/Sheng LiIs a company that lost $88 billion from 2005 through the first quarter of 2009 and wiped out equity investors when it declared bankruptcy last spring worthy of another bet? The General Motors IPO is going to be a tough sell. *View article

Take a big picture look at the markets through the eyes of six European private equity executives. *View Financial News article

Internet telephony firm Skype filed with U.S. regulators to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of American depositary shares.  *View article