DealZone

M & A wrap: Can Facebook live up to the hype?

As Facebook is expected to submit paperwork to regulators for its initial public offering, Reuters Social Media Editor, Anthony De Rosa, uncovers three problems standing in the way of Facebook’s future growth.

Which exchange will Facebook choose to “friend”? Bloomberg reports NYSE and Nasdaq are competing now for what may be the biggest ever by a technology company.

European Union regulators have blocked the merger of exchange operators Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext to avoid giving them a stranglehold on the European futures market. “The merger between Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext would have led to a near-monopoly in European financial derivatives worldwide,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

The failure of the NYSE Euronext/Deutsche Borse tie-up is a stark reminder to dealmakers that the fate of their work often rests in government hands, Deal Journal writes.

M & A wrap: The man at war with Olympus

Michael Woodford asked too many questions. That’s the reason the 51-year-old Englishman gives for why he lost his job as the first-ever foreign-born CEO at Japanese camera maker Olympus a mere two weeks after he was given the role in early October.

Woodford tells Reuters investigative reporters Kirstin Ridley and Alexander Smith in a new special report that it was his inquiries into a series of questionable takeover deals and advisor payouts the company made over the past half decade, including the biggest mergers and acquisitions fee ever, that led to his ouster. Board members insist instead it was Woodford’s failure to grasp the company’s management style and Japanese culture that cost him the job, but Woodford says allegations of a “power grab” by him are not the “real story”. Now, Woodford is on a one-man campaign to “cleanse” Olympus with the goal of removing its entire board.

Giving in to pressure from many corners, Olympus on Tuesday named six men, including a former Japanese supreme court justice, to investigate the past M&A deals at the core of the scandal in a bid to stem an exodus of irate investors. The all-Japanese committee will look into $687 million in payments made to a financial adviser for the $2 billion purchase of British medical equipment maker Gyrus in 2008  and the acquisition of three companies in Japan that Olympus, under chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa’s decade-long reign at the company, later largely wrote off.

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.

Deals wrap: Buffett makes a bid for Transatlantic Holdings

Shares in reinsurer Transatlantic Holdings rose more than 8 percent on Monday despite broad and deep market declines, after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made an unsolicited offer over the weekend to buy the company. The NYT looks at the chances of the deal getting done.

As broad economic worries pound the markets, a growing number of IPOs are being delayed or pulled. Tech IPOs, whose multibillion valuations recall the heady days of the dotcom boom of the late 90s and early 2000s, might fall the furthest.

Telmex, once the cornerstone of tycoon Carlos Slim’s empire, is set to delist from public markets as the world’s richest man, true to his style, shows his eye for a cheap deal, reports Cyntia Barrera Diaz and Tomas Sarmiento.

Deals wrap: Dunkin’ Brands IPO prices above range

There appears to be a strong demand for this week’s biggest deal. Dunkin’ Brands, the provider of sweet treats and coffee raised $422.75 million after pricing its IPO at $19 per share, well above the range set by underwriters. This gives the parent of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins chains a market value of just over $2.4 billion.

This slideshow in PEHUB shows who Dunkin’ Brands’ top shareholders are.

Sources say private equity firms Centerbridge Partners and BC Partners are pursuing Caterpillar’s logistics unit, a sale that could fetch more than $1 billion. In a Reuters exclusive, several people familiar with the matter said “two or three parties remain in the auction as the bidding process for Caterpillar’s third-party logistics business has reached the final round.”

Deals wrap: Express Scripts to buy Medco

Express Scripts will buy rival Medco Health Solutions for $29.1 billion in cash and stock to create a powerhouse in managing prescription drug benefits in the United States, the companies said on Thursday. The WSJ live blogged the companies’ conference call on the merger.

Two Chinese Internet firms have postponed their U.S. fundraising plans due to volatile global markets and after a series of accounting scandals tarnished the reputation of overseas-listed Chinese companies.

Shares of real estate site Zillow skyrocketed in their market debut on Wednesday, the latest to ride a wave of dotcom exuberance while stoking fears of lofty Internet valuations.

Deals wrap: BHP shrugs off green fears

BHP Billiton will buy U.S. gas producer Petrohawk Energy for $12.1 billion, ramping up its bets on the booming but environmentally controversial shale gas industry. The FT also takes a look at the deal.

Carl Icahn offered to buy Clorox in a $10.2 billion deal, but also invited the household products maker to solicit rival bids, which he said would yield much higher offers for the company.

They were just a few brief comments at an investor conference but they were enough to set the health insurance industry abuzz: Could Aetna buy Cigna?

Deals wrap: Doubts grow over BSkyB bid

The British government said it would take the closure of the Rupert Murdoch tabloid, News of the World, into consideration when deciding on the mogul’s bid to buy BSkyB.

Shares in Rupert Murdoch’s bid-target BSkyB slumped as the phone hacking scandal engulfing the media mogul’s empire pushed the controversial deal into uncharted waters .

Private equity firm, Carlyle Group, is in talks to buy Energy Capital Partners, a buyout company focused on power generation, electric transmission, midstream gas and other energy markets, the New York Times said.

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: Streamlining HP

If private equity firms had their way, Hewlett-Packard would look less like a monolithic tanker and more like a small fleet of streamlined schooners, reports Nadia Damouni and Poornima Gupta.

Borse Dubai owns nearly 21 percent of LSE stock and the Qataris hold 15.1 percent, Thomson Reuters data shows, making the investors easily the largest shareholders in the London exchange and key decision-makers in its future.

BYD, the Chinese automaker backed by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett surged more than 40 percent on its Shenzhen debut, as investors bet on a strong outlook for the company’s fledgling electric cars business.