DealZone

Deals wrap: A status update from Twitter

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone attends the "World Economy and Future Forum" hosted by broadcaster MBN in Seoul March 3, 2011. Stone denied a report that Twitter was in talks to sell a $450 million stake of the company to a JP Morgan fund, reiterating that it was committed to remaining independent.   REUTERS/Lee Jae-WonCross Twitter off your IPO watch-list, at least for now. Co-founder Biz Stone told Reuters in an exclusive interview that the social networking service has no plans to go public or raise funds any time in the immediate future, saying his company is making enough money on its own at the moment.

Stone also flat-out rejected a Financial Times report earlier this week that said a J.P. Morgan technology fund was in talks to take a 10-percent stake in the social networking message service. “(The report is) made up,” he said.

News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is about to get a little bit bigger. The British government gave a green light to the company’s planned $14-billion buyout of satellite pay-TV company British Sky Broadcasting after Murdoch and co agreed to spin off a chunk of his Sky News channel into a separate company.

Taxpayers should celebrate that AIG is a step closer today to paying off its bailout debt to the U.S. government. The insurer sold $9.6 billion worth of MetLife shares on Wednesday, which should give it about $6.3 billion in gross proceeds to send back into the Treasury’s coffers.

Expect to see more mega-deals in the mining sector this year. A new report that shows a surge in global mining M&A last year also points out that deal valuations in the sector are set to increase this year as mining companies continue to reap the benefits of rising metal prices. The survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers tracked 2,693 global mining deals in 2010 worth a total of $113 billion.

Deals wrap: The biggest company you never heard of

A worker of the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. takes an anode sample at the copper smelting plant in central Philippines.  REUTERS/Cheryl RaveloGlencore is Switzerland’s top-grossing company and has been compared with investment banking giant Goldman Sachs. It’s the biggest company you never heard of.

Global listings activity has been the highest on record so far this year, with firms raising a total of $24 billion from IPOs, according to Thomson Reuters data.

A Renaissance Capital report looks at what is driving this year’s surge in U.S. IPO activity.

from Reuters Investigates:

The coming of Glencore

Checking background for our Special Report on Glencore, "The Biggest Company You Never Heard Of", I stumbled on the novel “The Fortunes of Glencore” by Charles Leveglencore acquisitionsr. On a whim I read it. There were some intriguing parallels between the 20th-century company and the book, even though that was published in 1857.

The further I read, the more I asked myself if this little heard-of scrap of 19th-century literature couldn’t be used as some kind of coda. It sounds crazy, but maybe you can understand the temptation. Glencore is a secretive, controversial Swiss-based commodities trading and mining giant, and even though it may soon be quoted on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges, it works hard to maintain its mystique. Could this little novel be some kind of “Da Vinci Code” for Glencore?

MYSTERY AND EXILE

The Glencore of the book is a mysterious figure to all those around him: “Little, or indeed nothing, was known of Lord Glencore...” it says. “‘Who is Lord Glencore?’ people would say. ‘What is the strange story of his birth? Has anyone yet got at the truth?’”

Deals wrap: Sexy but risky IPO

Formula One team Williams is on the final straight toward its market debut next week, the first of its kind to float, and while its novelty will attract some, others are unconvinced by the investment case.

Western investment banks are keen to underwrite more IPOs on China’s Shenzhen exchange this year as a surging economy turns the once insignificant market into a fundraising hotbed.

Italian fashion house Prada is quickly moving toward a Hong Kong listing thanks to a more favorable regulatory environment in Asia, Chief Executive Patrizio Bertelli told an Italian newspaper.

Deals wrap: Betting big on gas

BHP Billiton struck a deal to buy shale gas reserves from Chesapeake Energy for $4.75 billion, pitting itself against oil giants and China in the battle for the fast-growing energy source in North America.

China should account for 8-9 percent of global mergers and acquisition activity this year, continuing close to its strong levels in 2009 and 2010, JPMorgan’s head of China M&A said Tuesday.

Europe is braced for a flurry of stock market listings in the next two months as firms use annual results as launching pads for share sales — and hope to complete deals before investors disappear for the Easter break.

Deals wrap: What’s next for media?

MARKETS-CANADA-STOCKS/The London Stock Exchange is to buy the owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange, TMX Group, in an all share deal that will create a mining-dominant exchange at a time of rising commodity prices.

In a long range forecast for the media sector, investors should expect radical changes and lots of M&A, The Washington Post reports.

Porsche is about to hit the road with a 5 billion euro ($6.8 billion) capital increase, paving the way for a planned merger with Volkswagen, two people familiar with the matter said.

Deals wrap: Frothy results and scandal

A Sky News broadcast is shown on television screens in an electrical store in Edinburgh Scotland January 27, 2011.  REUTERS/David MoirNews Corp may have to raise its BSkyB bid as much as 20 percent as its 7-month-old offer gets tied down in a phone-hacking scandal that may undermine the deal. The deal will likely overshadow the company’s quarterly earnings, which are due after the market closes on Wednesday.

Russian companies could have mere weeks to seize a short window to launch IPOs as investor confidence remains fragile and the state mulls a privatization plan that could swamp capital markets.

“If anyone needs proof the tech sector has entered extra-frothy, double-latte territory, it’s best to look past the immense valuations discussed for Groupon or Facebook,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

Deals wrap: AIG makes the sale, probably

A woman walks past a Nan Shan Life logo in Taipei March 11, 2010.      REUTERS/Nicky LohAIG accepted a $2.16 billion cash offer for its Taiwan Nan Shan Life unit from a group led by local conglomerate Ruentex. Regulatory issues have dogged the sale of the unit and might yet delay it further.

Sara Lee could fetch more from an outright sale than if it were split up, but only if it can find a buyer that wants a wide array of assets, write Martinne Geller and Jessica Hall.

Asia’s private equity industry has quickly turned into a sellers’ market, as firms cash out of investments made on the back of the region’s robust economic growth.

Private equity funds in China
are nervously eyeing a push by the country’s top securities regulator to gain oversight of the fast-growing sector, fearing increased scrutiny and tougher new rules.

Deals wrap: Powering up China’s IPO market

A power-generating wind turbine is seen in a wind farm of Alpiq in Le Peuchapatte in the Jura region, western Switzerland October 7, 2010. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer Sinovel, China’s top wind turbine producer, plans to raise up to $1.4 billion in one of the most expensive main board IPOs in Shanghai. The listing may well be a test for China’s IPO market, which had a mixed performance late last year.

Shares in BP hit a six-month high after reports rival Royal Dutch Shell considered a takeover bid, and that economic damages from its oil spill will be lower than forecast.

Brazil’s Petrobras offered to buy Eni’s 33.3 percent stake in Portuguese oil company Galp for 4.7 billion, business daily Diario Economico reported without citing sources.

Deals wrap: HCP’s $6.1 billion acquisition

A sign is pictured on Wall St. near the New York Stock Exchange in New York November 25, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson HCP said it would buy most of the real estate assets of privately held nursing and assisted living firm HCR ManorCare from Carlyle Group in a $6.1 billion sale and leaseback deal. The deal follows a spate of acquisitions in the seniors’ housing and assisted living space.

Japan’s Otsuka Holdings could rise about 5 percent on its market debut on Wednesday after pricing its $2.4 billion IPO conservatively to reflect investor worries about its heavy reliance on profits from one drug.

In Hong Kong, the weak state of the IPO market is seen in Huaneng Renewables’ scrapped IPO plans and Datang’s low-priced IPO, the WSJ reports.