DealZone

Deals wrap: Getting hostile

A sign points the way to the headquarters of Genzyme in Cambridge, Massachusetts August 3, 2010.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder   Sanofi is getting hostile in its bid for Genzyme, after Genzyme management refused to negotiate. The $69-per-share offer will be taken directly to shareholders but will they be looking for more? *View article *View graphic on hostile deals  *View WSJ article on pharma M&A

Growth in emerging markets is aiding a global M&A boom and with large cash piles in hand, companies are finding it hard to resist the urge to acquire. *View article

Coca-Cola has completed its deal to take over North American operation of its top bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises. Reuters interviewed Coke Chief Executive Muhtar Kent about what the deal will mean for the remaining independent bottlers. *View article

Business Insider makes the case for Yahoo and AOL merging, immediately. *View Business Insider article

Deals wrap: Disentangling from AIG

A protester yells at people in the AIG office building during a rally against government bailouts in New York's financial district, April 3, 2009.     REUTERS/Brendan McDermid American International Group and the U.S. government are moving closer to a deal on how the Treasury Department would exit its investment in the bailed-out insurer, sources said. *View article *View Bloomberg article

Southwest Airlines will purchase AirTran Holdings for $1.04 billion in cash and stock in a deal that will allow Southwest to expand its presence in major East Coast markets. The move by Southwest puts pressure on all major rivals, who are trying to strengthen their eastern markets to leverage more premium-paying business travel. *View article

Consumer goods group Unilever will buy hair and skin care company Alberto Culver for $3.7 billion in the latest move to rebalance its portfolio toward higher growth lines. Analysts said the price of the deal looked high, but could be justified by cost savings and by skewing Unilever’s business to more high growth, high margin categories. *View article

Deals wrap: Vaccine makers all the rage

A first aid kit made by Johnson & Johnson for sale on a store shelf in Westminster, Colorado April 14, 2009. REUTERS/Rick WilkingJohnson & Johnson, looking to catapult itself into the global vaccine market, is in talks to pay $2.3 billion to buy Dutch biotech Crucell. The potential deal may be more proof it was a question of not if, but rather when other successful biotech companies with late-stage products will be bought. The potential deal also signals that J&J is most likely out of that race for Genzyme.

“The bid price on the remaining shares can be considered as a knock-out price and is substantially higher than the analysts’ consensus target price,” one analyst said. *View article*

Speaking of Genzyme, one of the keys to a successful bid for the biotech company may lie with the heavyweights on the board of Sanofi. The French based pharmaceutical group, which has just lost its flamboyant, long-standing chairman, is dominated by representatives of top shareholders Total and L’Oreal , but is also brimming with pharma experts brought in via acquisitions.

from Breakingviews:

Genzyme shows how it can pressure Sanofi

Genzyme is showing how it can pressure Sanofi-Aventis. The U.S. biotech takeover target moved to unload its genetic-testing arm to Laboratory Corp on Monday for $925 million. The more Genzyme can do to fix itself up, the more likely it can squeeze its French suitor to sweeten its $18.5 billion takeover bid. Firms in the sector, once in play, almost always sell. A higher bid seems likely.

House-cleaning plans for the maker of rare-disease drugs are moving ahead. If Genzyme can fetch the same reasonable 2.5 times sales multiple for two other businesses it is shopping as it did from its genetic testing division, Genzyme will reap a total of about $1.3 billion. That's small beer, but all three units have been a management distraction. Last year, their combined operating margin was slightly negative.

Selling them off makes Genzyme more attractive. Moreover, they allow the top brass to focus on developing what looks to be a blockbuster drug for multiple sclerosis and fixing the firm's ongoing manufacturing problems, which would maximize value.

Deals wrap: No deal for NAB

An office worker walks past the AXA Asia Pacific headquarters in Melbourne December 17, 2009.  REUTERS/Mick Tsikas   National Australia Bank’s bid for AXA Asia Pacific has been blocked for a second time. The Australian competition regulator’s decision clears the way for AMP to make another bid for AXA Asia Pacific and that could come as early as Friday, according to an Australian Associated Press report. *View article *View article on NAB’s CEO

Sanofi-Aventis poured cold water on reports it had raised its offer for Genzyme, saying it was sticking to its bid of $18.5 billion. *View article *View article reporting Sanofi may raise bid

Deal making is a  prominent theme at the Aerospace and Defense Summit being held in Washington, D.C. EADS Chief Executive Louis Gallois said the company’s cash position of 9 billion euros gives it room for “reasonable” acquisitions. Northrop Grumman Chief Executive Wes Bush said the defense contractor has no plans to break itself up, and he would not forecast any large-scale mergers for the industry in the near term.*Full coverage of Aerospace and Defense Summit

Deals wrap: Factoring in China

Potash is piled into a large storage facility in Saskatoon after which it is loaded into train cars and transported in this December 2006 file photo. REUTERS/David Stobbe/Files Chinese and other investors have approached at least one big Canadian pension manager about a bid for Canada’s Potash Corp to rival BHP Billiton’s hostile offer. This is one of the first pieces of hard evidence to back up speculation that China is looking for a way to derail a takeover of Potash Corp by the powerful Anglo-Australian miner. *View article *View analysis on possible regulatory action from China *View Globe and Mail article on the concern about jobs and revenue in Saskatchewan

The recent M&A binge certainly suggests corporate treasurers are confident that whatever the near term may bring now is the time to expand. Are we headed for a recovery or is the buying spree just a case of too much money needing a place to go? *View analysis

Genzyme rejected an all-cash $18.5 billion offer from Sanofi-Aventis this week. Will the deal go hostile? Take a look at how events could unfold. *View article

from Breakingviews:

Sanofi, Genzyme play chicken over price

"Let me in and I might go higher." That in a nutshell is the message Sanofi-Aventis chief executive Chris Viehbacher is sending Genzyme's management in making public his $18.5 billion offer to buy the U.S. biotech company. The all-cash structure is intended to show that the French pharmaceuticals group is serious. But the lowball $69-a-share price has failed to move Genzyme's board. Viehbacher will be hoping that changes -- his threat of a hostile bid looks hollow for now.

One of his problems is that the price is hardly going to bowl Genzyme's shareholders over. Despite amounting to a near-30 percent premium over the undisturbed price before rumours started flying more than a month ago, Sanofi's offer values its target at about four times sales when biotechs usually go for five or six times.

His other problem is that without Genzyme's cooperation, the U.S. company's shareholders will know that any sweetening of an offer would be limited by uncertainty -- say to around $70 a share, the level news reports suggest Sanofi's board has authorized. That's because to have greater clarity, the French group would prefer first to have a good look at its target's books to help assess the extent of the industrial problems that have caused Genzyme to operate under the close monitoring of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Deals wrap: Turning down Sanofi

A sign points the way to the headquarters of Genzyme in Cambridge, Massachusetts August 3, 2010.    REUTERS/Brian Snyder   Genzyme broke its five-week silence to reject an $18.5 billion takeover proposal by French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis, dismissing it as opportunistic and too low. *View article *View Genzyme’s letter to Sanofi-Aventis

Intel will buy Infineon’s wireless unit for $1.4 billion, enabling the chipmaker to boost its presence in the smartphone market. This is the second major deal for Intel within two weeks after the company announced its $7.7 billion offer for McAfee on Aug 19. *View article

Is Cisco in deal talks with Skype? A TechCrunch source says Cisco has made an offer for the Internet phone services provider. Earlier this month, Skype filed for an IPO. *View article

Deals wrap: Can Genzyme play hardball?

A sign marks the headquarters of Genzyme in Cambridge, Massachusetts August 3, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder   Genzyme may be holding out for more money from suitor Sanofi-Aventis, but will find it difficult to persuade investors it is better off on its own.  *View article *View Genzyme timeline

When GM filed for bankruptcy last summer, the automaker wiped out creditors, and critics warned that Wall Street investors would have a long memory. What a difference a year makes. *View article

What’s better than an angel investor? That would be a super-angel investor, of course. This new breed is shaking up the venture-capital industry. *View WSJ article

Deals wrap: Where’s the bid?

A sign on the fence marks Genzyme's plant in the Boston, Massachsetts neighborhood of Allston March 24, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder Chances are, every big pharmaceutical company is running the numbers and weighing the pros and cons of acquiring Genzyme, but the focus is on French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis, which has yet to deliver a bid. Citi expects a Genzyme deal to be worth $19.7-20.5 billion. * View article * More coverage

The merger market is crawling at its slowest pace ever, with deals taking longer to close as players at every step move with extra caution amid fluctuating stock prices. * View article

WSJ takes a look at Goldman and its dealings with AIG. * View WSJ article