DealZone

Deals wrap: M&A powers up

File photo of Chinese electric workers working on a wire pole in Beijing October 25, 2005.  REUTERS/Jason LeeCreating the world’s largest utility, GDF Suez’s deal with International Power shows how hot the energy and power M&A market is. Take a closer look at the deals announced this year. View PDF

One of Hollywood’s biggest flops has been Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. So Tinseltown financiers are understandably puzzled over what looks like a forthcoming sequel to the MGM solvency horror story: a buyout of Miramax, writes Rob Cox. *View column

Chinese banking giant ICBC may be about to get a run for its money from a small band of minority investors. Its plan to take full ownership of Hong Kong subsidiary ICBC Asia makes sense. But the unit’s minorities are in a strong position to make ICBC pay top whack, writes Wei Gu. *View column

From virtually nowhere, China has rocketed to become the biggest foreign direct investor in Brazil this year with purchases ranging from iron ore mines to vast tracts of farmland and the electricity grid. *View article *View factbox

Deals wrap: ICBC’s offer

A company logo of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is seen outside one of its branches in Beijing June 18, 2010.   REUTERS/Bobby Yip  Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, the world’s most valuable bank, says it will pay shareholders of its Hong Kong arm a 27 percent premium to take it private, as part of an effort to expand its presence there. *View article

GM is ratcheting up the PR in advance of an IPO, and the NYT takes a look at the mechanics of the promotion. *View NYT article

Who owns the “Sky” in “Skype”? *View paidContent article

peHUB is live-blogging KKR Earnings Call. *View peHUB article

Goldman sells China

Goldman Sachs, putting together the pieces of its TARP repayment, is taking a page from Bank of America’s book and selling off at least some of its China exposure. The stake of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is being sold at a discount and should raise $1.9 billion – or about a fifth of what it owes in TARP.

Goldman, along with Morgan Stanley and others applied last week to repay the government. This may have more to do with Chinese bank assets being big and, presumably, more liquid than others Goldman has in its vast pool of assets. A more alarming analysis could be that asset quality at Chinese banks is as bad as it ever was.

Interesting that news of the sale should come from a bank that launched so many careers at the U.S. Treasury just as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner touches down in China.

Goldman: short East, long West?

FINANCIAL/GOLDMANSACHSFew can claim to have ever gotten very rich betting against Goldman Sachs. The bank is reported to be cutting its stake in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and perhaps buying into exchange-traded funds provider iShares.

The Wall Street Journal reports Goldman and ICBC have been talking. Goldman’s 4.9 percent stake in ICBC is worth about $8.5 billion. The timing of a sale seems right, as a lock-up period tying Goldman’s hands ends late next month. The Journal reported Goldman could raise more than $1 billion by selling 15-20 percent of its holding.

Over the last few months, others have also beaten a retreat from China and other points East as risk aversion has grown to dizzying heights. But other financial heavyweights, notably Citigroup, had to repair tattered balance sheets, while Goldman appears to be acting from a position of relative strength. The New York Times reports Goldman plans to pay back the $10 billion it borrowed from U.S. taxpayers last fall — perhaps within the next month.