DealZone

Deals wrap: Merger mania

Actor Terry Crews (C) poses shirtless for photographers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, August 19, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext’s plan to create the world’s largest exchange has sent competitors around the world scurrying to find partners, accelerating an industry shake-up.     The Wall Street Journal looks at the how stock exchanges make money and what it means for investors.

Google and Facebook, plus others, have held low level takeover talks with Twitter that give the Internet sensation a value as high as $10 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Deals wrap: Taxing Sara Lee

U.S. dollar bills are displayed in Toronto in this posed photo, March 26, 2008. REUTERS/Mark BlinchAvoiding being clobbered with a huge tax bill is a key consideration in deciding on a sale, break-up or spin-off for a large company like Sara Lee.

Activist investor William Ackman and Vornado’s Chief Executive Steven Roth will join the board of J.C. Penney next month, the department store operator said.

Google needs to buy a Groupon clone, reports GigaOM.

The retail sector is ripe for M&A activity, reports Morningstar.

Deals wrap: AIG makes the sale, probably

A woman walks past a Nan Shan Life logo in Taipei March 11, 2010.      REUTERS/Nicky LohAIG accepted a $2.16 billion cash offer for its Taiwan Nan Shan Life unit from a group led by local conglomerate Ruentex. Regulatory issues have dogged the sale of the unit and might yet delay it further.

Sara Lee could fetch more from an outright sale than if it were split up, but only if it can find a buyer that wants a wide array of assets, write Martinne Geller and Jessica Hall.

Asia’s private equity industry has quickly turned into a sellers’ market, as firms cash out of investments made on the back of the region’s robust economic growth.

Private equity funds in China
are nervously eyeing a push by the country’s top securities regulator to gain oversight of the fast-growing sector, fearing increased scrutiny and tougher new rules.

Deals wrap: Threat to cross-border M&A

MARKETS-AUSTRALIA/STOCKSRising protectionism could kill off some multi-billion-dollar Asia takeovers this year, bankers say, noting that governments are increasingly keen to protect their national icons.

Qualcomm plans to buy Atheros Communications for roughly $3.2 billion in cash. Atheros makes chips for Bluetooth wireless and global positioning system devices.

Goldman Sachs is not giving its multimillionaire clients a lot of time or information to think about investing in a $1.5 billion Facebook private offering. The WSJ asks if Mark Zuckerberg is ready for prime time.

Deals wrap: TD Bank’s $6.3 billion deal

TD Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Clark looks on during the annual shareholders meeting at the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, March 25, 2010. REUTERS/Mathieu BelangerToronto-Dominion Bank will buy Chrysler Financial from private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management for $6.3 billion. The deal is the latest in a series of foreign asset purchases by Canada’s big banks. For some back of the envelope math on the deal see Fortune.com’s Term Sheet.

Google is in talks with smaller players in the online discount coupon market after Groupon turned down the Web giant’s $6 billion buyout offer, the New York Post said, citing a source close to the situation.

M&A bankers should prepare for a surge. If deal activity follows a similar pattern to previous cycles, 2011 ought to be a considerably better year, writes columnist Jeffrey Goldfarb.

Deals wrap: Genzyme addresses investors

A sign on the fence marks Genzyme's plant in the Boston, Massachsetts neighborhood of Allston March 24, 2010.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder Genzyme, which is fighting off a hostile $18.5 billion bid from Sanofi-Aventis, will on Monday take another stab at persuading investors that its experimental multiple sclerosis drug is worth more than Sanofi’s projections.

AT&T said it agreed to buy spectrum licenses in the Lower 700 MHz frequency band from Qualcomm for $1.93 billion, to provide advanced 4G mobile broadband.

Sara Lee has been in talks to sell itself to Brazilian meat producer JBS, but the pair are at odds over price and it is unclear if a deal can be reached, a source familiar with the situation said on Sunday.

Deals wrap: Is Google getting a deal for Groupon?

Google Inc is inching toward buying e-commerce coupon website Groupon Inc for as much as $6 billion, the New York Times said on Tuesday. A deal, which could be in the range of $5 billion to $6 billion, could be struck as soon as this week but people with direct knowledge of the matter cautioned that the talks between Google and Groupon might still fall apart, the paper said. See Reuters analysis on how Google plans to spend its $33-billion cash hoard.

If completed, the acquisition would be Google’s most expensive to date. But is the price tag too steep? Groupon has so far raised $170 million in venture capital and reportedly hauls in upwards of $50 million every month.

All Things Digital tech columnist Kara Swisher, who first reported Google was interested in buying Groupon, calls the potential blockbuster a “killer move” for Google and writes: “While the $6 billion Google is considering paying seems high, Groupon’s fast-growing revenue and profitability make its multiples less daunting, said those familiar with the matter.”

Deals wrap: Waiting on the regulators

A front loader filled with potash is seen in Colonsay, Saskatchewan September 24, 2009.  REUTERS/David Stobbe BHP Billiton’s $39 billion battle to take control of Potash is expected to drag on into next year after it failed to win immediate backing from Canadian authorities.

“To some extent the longer it drags on, it might be better for BHP because it reduces the tension, although if someone else comes in like the Chinese it is another game,” said Peter Chilton, an analyst at Constellation Capital Management. *View article *View article on the possibility of a counter bid

“In the fast-paced world of Silicon Valley innovation, Google’s chief dealmaker David Lawee puts many a youthful engineer to shame,” writes Alexei Oreskovic. *View article

from Breakingviews:

Could Google revolutionize James Bond franchise?

One of India's top film producers is interested in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, James Bond's Hollywood studio. That may sound novel, but a purchase of MGM by Sahara India Pariwar would probably provoke only relief in Tinseltown -- because it wouldn't upset the industry's status quo. That would require a more radical approach -- something Google's YouTube unit just might be capable of, if it dares.

There's no deal yet between Sahara India Pariwar and the struggling MGM. But India's biggest film production company, which also operates multiplex cinemas, understands the prevailing Hollywood business model. Films are released first in theaters and then eventually appear on DVD and Blu-ray, on pay television, and on the Internet. The basic idea is that customers pay extra to see movies sooner -- especially during the theatrical "window."

That model, though, could be ripe for a shake-up amid the rising popularity of Web-based video, led by YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and Apple's iTunes. YouTube aside, these emerging channels have collaborated with content producers and have little interest in roiling the industry. Hulu, for instance, is owned by a trio of television networks. Netflix and iTunes have struck deals with producers to distribute their content, after a delay, to paying customers.

Deals wrap: Competition for Potash?

Potash Corp mill general superintendent Trevor Berg holds a handful of chicklet potash at a potash holding centre at the Cory mine facilities near Saskatoon, August 19, 2010. REUTERS/David Stobbe   China’s state-owned chemicals group Sinochem has approached Singapore state investor Temasek to join a consortium that may bid for Potash, sources said. It was unclear if this potential consortium will bid to buy a blocking stake or make a full counter offer. *View article

Air Products raised its bid for Airgas to $5.5 billion, the latest salvo in its hostile move on the rival company. *View article

The Justice department is looking into Google’s takeover of airline ticketing software firm ITA Software Inc, to determine whether the deal would exert too much influence on the online travel industry. *View WSJ article *View scores.org graphic on Google’s acquisitions