DealZone

Deals wrap: Hynix may finally have new owner

Shareholders of Hynix Semiconductor will take final bids for a controlling stake in the South Korean memory chipmaker, said a leading shareholder. The $2.3 billion stake sale is the third attempt by creditors-turned-shareholders to find a new owner for the company.

Dutch bancassurer ING will sell most of its Latin American operation to Colombia’s GrupoSura for $3.7 billion in a deal resulting from its state rescue in 2008. This sale now paves the way for the sale of ING’s U.S., European and Asian businesses, which are worth about 18-19 billion euros.

Internet radio service Pandora debuted last month well above its offer price but fears of the company’s chances of turning profit quickly dragged shares down. Deal Journal writes why two stock-research firms are telling investors to “scoop up” Pandora stocks, while one other notable firm is advising against it.

Reinsurer Validus Holdings has taken its $3.2 billion bid for Transatlantic Holdings hostile after merger talks came to a standstill.

Is the worst over?

Merger mania is back, at least that’s what the numbers seem to show.

A staggering total of about $60 billion worth of corporate deals have been announced or rumoured in global markets since Saturday alone. The takeover feast is impressive, spread as it is across diverse sectors such as foods, semiconductors, financials and telecoms.

Kraft Foods’s blockbuster $16.7 billion offer to buy Cadbury has suddenly turned the spotlight back to dealmaking and swept away markets’ lingering concerns of patchy economic growth. The rising deal volume is a welcome relief for investment banks, who’ve gone through a torrid year after Lehman’s bankruptcy last September brought M&A to a halt. The dealmaking will help them partly fill their coffers with much-needed advisory fees and a kick up in the league tables.

No doubt with many equity markets rallying to 2009 highs, and lured by prospects of improved valuations, many buyers are chasing deals while prices are seen as cheap. That could have been the thinking behind Abu Dhabi’s move to offer $1.8 billion to buy loss-making Nasdaq-listed, Singapore-based Chartered Semiconductor in a chip sector emerging from its worst downturn.