DealZone

Deals wrap: The perils of Paulson

Hedge fund manager John Paulson became an overnight sensation in 2007, in part, by betting big and early on the collapse of the U.S. housing market. But he is now emerging as one of this year’s big losers in the $2 trillion hedge fund industry.

New China Life, the third-largest life insurer in China, has filed an application to list in a dual Hong Kong and Shanghai IPO, sources said, braving volatile markets to raise up to $4 billion.

Bank of America has held exploratory talks with the principal investment funds of Kuwait and Qatar about selling part of its $17 billion stake in China Construction Bank, three sources with direct knowledge of the talks told Reuters.

Investment banker say banks are barely making any money selling Treasury’s shares in bailed-out companies like General Motors and American International Group. As the Treasury thinks about selling the billions worth of shares that remain, Wall Street bankers are worried about profits.

Hedge funds are getting an unfamiliar taste of losing, reports the NYT.

The stock market squeeze is threatening to take the air out of AT&T’s best argument for the regulatory approval of its $39-billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA,” reports the Los Angeles Times

Deals wrap: Capital One beefs up credit card portfolio

HSBC is nearing a deal to sell its $30 billion-plus U.S. credit card business to Capital One, sources familiar with the situation said.

Investors who bet big money on the outcome of merger and acquisition deals are scurrying as a plunging stock market jeopardizes many transactions.

Even hedge fund superstars who outsmarted the housing collapse and battered financial sector might soon be telling their investors that they suffered double-digit losses during the last few days, managers and investors forecast.

Deals wrap: News Corp in play?

Reuters’ blogger Felix Salmon asks the question: “Could News Corp end up in play?

British group Aegis, one of the last independent advertising agencies, could fall prey to a larger rival if it sells its Synovate unit, with major shareholder Vincent Bollore in the role of kingmaker.

American International Group is looking to sell part of its airplane-leasing business through an initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Deals wrap: Zynga files for IPO

Zynga Inc filed paperwork for an initial public offering on Friday, the latest in a series of hot social media companies to seek capital in the U.S. public markets. The company, which is behind a series of popular games on Facebook, said it hoped to raise up to $1 billion. It did not specify the number of shares it plans to sell or give an expected price range.

A group including Apple, Research In Motion and Microsoft will pay $4.5 billion to snatch Nortel Networks’ patents from under the noses of Google and Intel, stealing a march on their rivals in a litigious market. Bankrupt Nortel had put up for sale 6,000 patents and patent applications in the largest public sale of its kind, a potential treasure trove for latecomers to the market such as Apple, Google and Intel.

Belgium’s KBC Group  is expecting around eight to 10 first-round offers for its private banking arm KBL, people familiar with the matter said, after attempts to sell the business for $1.9 billion failed in March. Bidders are expected to include corporate suitors and private equity firms from across the globe, the person said, and a shortlist for the next round will be drawn up in about a week.

Deals wrap: Dodgers strike out

The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming Major League Baseball for refusing to approve a television deal with News Corp’s Fox Network to give the financially strapped baseball team a quick injection of cash.

The WSJ’s DealBook reports the best part of the filing is who the Dodgers owe money to. Manny Ramirez is owed $21 million.

London Stock Exchange boss Xavier Rolet faces a crucial test this week as TMX Group owners vote on their planned merger with the LSE – a deal on a knife-edge that is likely to define his tenure.

Deals wrap: VCs think IPO activity low

More than 80 percent of venture capitalists believe the initial public offering market is at very weak levels and it is curbing profits, according to a new survey.

Online video site Hulu has been approached by a potential buyer and is weighing whether to sell itself, according to a person familiar with the matter. GigaOM lists the possible candidates and the merits of a deal for each company.

Taiwan regulators rejected Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co’s $1.6 billion joint management buyout of electronics component maker Yageo Corp, a decision that may cast a shadow over other private equity involvement in the island.

Deals wrap: Galleon trial to be a “battle royal”

Raj Rajaratnam, the principal in the $21 million Galleon Group hedge-fund insider trading case, leaves Manhattan Federal Court for a bail hearing on conspiracy and securities fraud charges in New York, January 12, 2010.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton The insider trading case against Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam finally goes to trial next week. Rajaratnam faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud but plans to fight the charges and clear his name in court.

“All signs are pointing to a battle royal,” one securities attorney said of the upcoming trial in an interview with Reuters correspondent Grant McCool. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has agreed to testify for the U.S. government at the trial. Here’s a rundown of some of the other main players involved in the case.

Should Americans be alarmed that Germany’s Deutsche Boerse is taking over Big Board parent NYSE Euronext? Not really seems to be the consensus with lawmakers and regulators who took part in the Reuters Future Face of Finance Summit this week.

Deals wrap: Betting big on gas

BHP Billiton struck a deal to buy shale gas reserves from Chesapeake Energy for $4.75 billion, pitting itself against oil giants and China in the battle for the fast-growing energy source in North America.

China should account for 8-9 percent of global mergers and acquisition activity this year, continuing close to its strong levels in 2009 and 2010, JPMorgan’s head of China M&A said Tuesday.

Europe is braced for a flurry of stock market listings in the next two months as firms use annual results as launching pads for share sales — and hope to complete deals before investors disappear for the Easter break.

Deals wrap: Taiwan’s tough market

A security guard gestures to the photographer to stop taking pictures, inside the Nanshan insurance headquarters building in Taipei October 13, 2009.  REUTERS/Nicky Loh

Three Taiwanese life insurance assets worth $2.5 billion are up for grabs, but a rash of exits by foreign firms and picky regulators could make investors think twice about a deal, write Faith Hung and Denny Thomas. *View article

“With its options running out and time running out, Potash Corp may soon have little choice but to negotiate with BHP Billiton over the $39 billion bid that the world’s largest fertilizer supplier has flatly rejected,” write Euan Rocha and Michael Erman. *View article
*View article on Yara open to buying Potash Corp assets

Andrew Ross Sorkin interviews Felix Rohatyn. The veteran investment banker has “grown uneasy about his own industry and perhaps himself,” writes Sorkin. *View NYT article

Deals wrap: Exiting AIG

The logo of American International Group (AIG) is seen at their offices in New York in this file photograph from September 18, 2008.  REUTERS/Eric Thayer/Files AIGs exit plan with the government is good for the company but  taxpayers may not be getting an equally good deal, writes columnist Richard Beales. *View column *View graphic *View WSJ report on how the exit plan was formed

Chinese refiner Sinopec will buy 40 percent of Repsol’s Brazilian arm for $7.1 billion. *View article *View factbox on China’s M&A activity

“Tucked away in a basement in London’s exclusive Mayfair district is a hedge fund manager investing entirely in raw materials, one of a small band trading commodity spreads and making big money in the process,” writes Christopher Johnson and Joe Brock. *View analysis