DealZone

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.

Investors are asking for more of their money back from hedge funds in June than in any other month in 2011 as fund returns hit by May’s commodity rout shake client confidence, according to data by hedge fund services firm GlobeOp.

Can a sports franchise be run like a hedge fund? That’s what Tom Gores, head of Los Angeles-based private equity fund Platinum Equity, is attempting to do with the Detroit Pistons after firing the NBA team’s chief executive and filling the job with a pair of Platinum Equity partners. According to NYT’s DealBook these moves “are straight out of the private equity playbook.”

Deals wrap: Turning down Sanofi

A sign points the way to the headquarters of Genzyme in Cambridge, Massachusetts August 3, 2010.    REUTERS/Brian Snyder   Genzyme broke its five-week silence to reject an $18.5 billion takeover proposal by French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis, dismissing it as opportunistic and too low. *View article *View Genzyme’s letter to Sanofi-Aventis

Intel will buy Infineon’s wireless unit for $1.4 billion, enabling the chipmaker to boost its presence in the smartphone market. This is the second major deal for Intel within two weeks after the company announced its $7.7 billion offer for McAfee on Aug 19. *View article

Is Cisco in deal talks with Skype? A TechCrunch source says Cisco has made an offer for the Internet phone services provider. Earlier this month, Skype filed for an IPO. *View article

Deals wrap: Deal talk gets frothy

A judge views samples of beer in west London August 3, 2010.  REUTERS/Toby MelvilleFoster’s said the split of its beer and wine divisions was on track for next year, but was silent on growing takeover talk for its profitable beer unit. Foster’s share price has been on a roller coaster ride on the takeover talk, surging 7 percent on Monday and sliding 4.5 percent on Tuesday. *View article

BHP Billiton’s monster earnings expected on Wednesday could strengthen its hand in its bid for Potash Corp and intimidate any rival bidders. *View article

*View analysis on China’s reaction to a possible BHP deal

*View Bloomberg article on the downside of mining mergers

The recent rush of M&A activity is a result of idle cash and not a sign of a stable rising market. *View Barron’s article *View NYT blog pouring more cold water on the boom in deals.

Deals wrap: Looking for a better deal

Potash Corp mill general superintendent Trevor Berg holds a handful of chicklet potash inside the Cory mine facilities near Saskatoon August 19, 2010.  REUTERS/David StobbePotash Corp’s search for buyers willing to top BHP Billiton’s $39 billion hostile offer may lead to China. “I am not saying that we are opposed to a sale, but what I am saying is we are opposed to a steal of the company,” said Potash Corp CEO Bill Doyle. Here’s a factbox on the current market for potash, and a graphic on BHP and Potash Corp.

“As an Intel-watcher for 30+ years, I have my doubts that this acquisition will work,” writes guest columnist Robert Cringely about Intel’s deal for McAfee. *View article

The NYT takes a look at Rio Tinto’s often troubled relationship with China, and how the mining company is working hard to patch things up. *View NYT article

from Breakingviews:

Surprise Intel $7.7 bln security deal is a gamble

Intel's $7.7 billion deal to buy security firm McAfee isn't only a surprise, it's also a gamble. Mobile gadgets are the chip industry's future, and Intel has fallen behind. It is betting that combining McAfee's security software with its hardware will give it a leg up. Perhaps so. But investors who knocked down Intel's shares are rightly skeptical the chipmaker can pull it off.

Theoretically, devices should be safer if a chip company worries about security from the start. Instead of papering over holes with software, the idea is to eliminate more of them at the source. Intel thinks McAfee's expertise will allow this. Another potential benefit -- running the software closer to the silicon, as the jargon goes -- could mean it works faster and uses less power. Both are important factors for mobile devices.

Yet hardware producers and software firms are fish and fowl. Few manage to cross the divide very successfully. Microsoft's continued flailing in consumer electronics hardware is a prime example. Integrating Intel's engineers of intricate devices made in clean rooms with the geeks at McAfee who figure out how square-eyed keyboard junkies break software security seems intuitively problematic. Intel, though, says it has been collaborating closely with McAfee for some time and likes the results.

Deals wrap: Intel’s big bet

A man stands in front of an Intel wall at the 2009 Computex trade show in Taipei June 3, 2009.  REUTERS/Pichi Chuang Chip maker Intel said it would buy security technology firm McAfee for $7.68 billion. “I think people were probably (expecting) some smaller acquisitions from Intel. It’s definitely — even by Intel’s standards — a pretty big acquisition for them,” said Vijay Rakesh, an analyst at Sterne Agee. *View article *View reaction from analysts and investors

GM declared plans for an IPO. For a breakdown of the U.S. government’s stake in the automaker, click here. Investors shouldn’t get too caught up in the IPO hype, writes Reuters columnist Antony Currie. The WSJ looks at some surprise risks gleaned from the IPO filings. The NYT follows the car maker’s progress over the past 100 years in this timeline.

Online gambling firms Sportingbet and 888 must strike deals to protect themselves from prosecution in the United States if they are to emerge as credible takeover candidates as the industry consolidates. *View article