DealZone

Deals wrap: Nasdaq, ICE drop NYSE bid

Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) dropped their $11.1 billion bid for rival exchange NYSE Euronext after it became clear the deal would not gain approval from U.S. antitrust regulators. The companies first offered to buy the New York Stock Exchange parent on April 1, aiming to curb a proposed friendly merger with Deutsche Boerse that was worth $10.2 billion when first announced in February. Deutsche Boerse responded to the news of the dropped bid by saying it plans to continue to pursue a merger with the Big Board parent.

In other exchange merger news, a consortium of Canadian banks and pension funds launched a $3.7 billion bid for TMX Group in the hopes of keeping Canada’s largest stock exchange from falling under foreign ownership. The bid tops a $3 billion offer for the exchange operator from the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The LSE said it remains committed to its own merger proposal with the TMX despite the higher rival offer, but should its bid fail it could find itself to be a takeover target, analysts said.

U.S. chemicals group DuPont won its takeover battle for Danish food ingredients company Danisco. The $6.4 billion acquisition is a part of DuPont’s push into the food technology business that CEO Ellen Kullman says will “create an industry leader in industrial biosciences and nutrition and health.”

BP is in talks aimed at buying out its Russian partners in its TNK-BP joint venture and other options to help secure passage of a stalled share swap and Arctic exploration deal, sources close to the matter told Reuters.

Yahoo and Alibaba Group will have a tough time resolving their feud over the Chinese company’s transfer of a major Internet asset despite a joint statement from both companies that said they were working towards a resolution, writes Reuters correspondent Melanie Lee.

Deals wrap: Glencore IPO draws key investors

Glencore kept a lid on its aspirations for a much-hyped market debut, targeting proceeds of $11 billion after securing record commitments from investors. The commodities trader set a price range of 480 to 580 pence per share for the London IPO, confirming an earlier Reuters report. That values it at $61 billion at the mid-point, in line with early forecasts. Glencore is planning a dual-listing in London and Hong Kong.

Chip equipment maker Applied Materials will buy Varian Semiconductor for $4.9 billion, as it looks to maintain its edge in new chipmaking technology to meet rising demands. Applied expects to fund the transaction with a combination of cash on hand and debt.

ConAgra Foods said it raised its offer for private-label food maker Ralcorp Holdings by 5 percent to about $4.9 billion in cash. The company, one of North America’s largest packaged food companies is looking to gain access to more U.S. store brands that have been attracting people looking to cut spending on food. ConAgra’s proposal comes after Ralcorp said late on Sunday that its board rejected an unsolicited offer it received from a third party in March.

Deals wrap: Nasdaq and ICE take NYSE bid hostile

Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange will take their takeover bid for NYSE Euronext straight to the Big Board’s shareholders as they try to corner the company into talks. NYSE has already rejected Nasdaq and ICE’s $11 billion unsolicited offer twice in favor of a lower bid from Deutsche Boerse.

In this Reuters Dealtalk article,  the reporters suggest that as deal volume and CEO confidence picks up, companies will become more daring and willing to take risks in their fight for assets. The case of Nasdaq and ICE taking their bid for NYSE hostile is a prime example of this attitude.

Investment firm Onex and its affiliates said they will sell their Husky International business to private equity firms Berkshire Partners and Omers Private Equity for $2.1 billion. Husky is one of the world’s largest suppliers of injection molding equipment and services to the plastics industry.

Deals wrap: Nasdaq and ICE sweeten bid for NYSE Euronext

NYSE/NASDAQNasdaq OMX and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) said they have lined up a commitment to finance their rival bid for NYSE Euronext and have offered to pay a breakup fee if the deal fails to go through. This article from The Wall Street Journal lists the details of how Nasdaq and ICE is plan to sweeten their offer for the exchange even more.

Samsung Electronics is selling its hard-disk-drive (HDD) business to Seagate Technologies for 1.4 billion in cash and stock as Samsung looks to back out from the industry and focus on its core money-making memory-chip business. The acquisition will help Seagate, the world’s largest maker of hard drives better compete with rival Western Digital, which has plans to buy Hitachi’s HDD unit for $4.3 billion.

Leading corporate governance body PIRC is telling Xstrata shareholders ahead of their board vote they should reject the election of three directors nominated by its top shareholder Glencore because it does not perceive them as independent.  The world’s top commodities trader is in the process of completing a $12.1 billion duel-listing in London and Hong Kong.

Deals wrap: Glencore’s $12.1 billion IPO

GLENCORE/Glencore is looking to raise up to $12.1 billion for its initial public offering in a duel listing that will boost firepower for deals at the height of the resource boom. The long-awaited details of the offer, set to be the largest ever in London, were outlined in an intention-to-float that confirmed an earlier Reuters story. However, the company did not name a new non-executive chairman, a requirement for its listing.

NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse are looking at several options to win support for their $10.2 billion deal, including paying special dividends to shareholders, according to sources briefed on the matter. The idea of paying the special dividends is to win shareholders support over an unsolicited higher offer from Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE). While NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse currently pay dividends, Nasdaq and ICE do not.

BP and Rosneft agreed to extend the deadline for their swap agreement by one month as the British oil producer tries to salvage the $7.8 billion deal. BP’s tie-up with Rosneft is already blocked by a court injunction secured by the company’s Russian partners in its TNK-BP venture.

Deals wrap: Nasdaq triumphant?

Trading specialists glance at each other as they prepare to leave the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 26, 2009.  REUTERS/Chip East Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange unveiled a rival bid to buy NYSE Euronext for about $11.3 billion in cash and stock, a 19 percent premium to the offer made by German competitor Deutsche Boerse. The move could raise new antitrust questions as it would combine the two largest U.S. stock exchanges. The new offer is valued at $42.50 per share, Nasdaq and IntercontinentalExchange said. The offer represents a 19 percent premium to NYSE’s closing price on Thursday and is 27 percent above the company’s valuation before Deutsche Boerse’s $10.2 billion bid in February. Analysts were skeptical about whether Deutsche Boerse would launch a counterbid.

Citigroup might be uncomfortable sitting on information needed to determine whether the onetime successor to Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett violated securities laws when he personally traded in shares of Lubrizol, which Berkshire acquired for $9 billion, but it doesn’t have to be damaging territory for Citi, writes Rob Cox.

No.1 concert promoter and ticketing company Live Nation Entertainment is in the running to buy the recorded music assets of Warner Music Group, the world’s third largest music company, according to a person familiar with the talks. Bids have come in valuing Warner Music Group at around $3 billion on an enterprise value basis, which includes both debt and equity.