DealZone

Deals wrap: Looking back on GM’s debut

GM/IPOGeneral Motors’ momentous return to the stock market last week was helped in part by the automaker’s own executives. Several top managers at the top U.S. automaker acquired shares in the IPO and some added to their stakes afterward, led by Chief Executive Dan Akerson and Chairman Ed Whitacre.

Whitacre and Akerson acquired more than $500,000 of GM stock each, taking 800 shares each in the initial public offering and then adding to their stakes afterward in open market transactions, filings with U.S. securities regulators show.

The dramatic debut, the largest IPO in U.S. history, came a year and a half after the U.S. government rescued the automaker and forced a massive overhaul. It also marked the beginning of the end of the government’s 61 percent ownership stake in the company, which the Obama administration said it hopes to shed entirely by mid-to-late 2012. The New York Times reports that Treasury officials faced a tough decision over the public offering price in the days leading up to the listing, torn over how it would define the success or failure of Detroit’s $50 billion bailout.

In Asia, the IPO express looked back on track, with companies from China to Japan reiterating commitments to raise billions of dollars through stock market floats, although market volatility did cut appetites for some deals.

A Thanksgiving deal could be in the works in the U.S. as reports surfaced that private equity firm Apax Partners is near to buying marketer Advantage Sales and Marketing from buyout firm J.W. Childs Associates and Bank of America for $1.8 billion. The transaction could be announced Thursday and close by December 31, a person familiar with the deal told Bloomberg.

Deals wrap: Wanna buy an Irish bank?

Ireland’s banks are up for sale, the country’s central bank chief said, as the government seeks to cut them down in size after their reckless lending forced the country to seek an international bailout.

Shares in Bank of Ireland tumbled 29 percent and Allied Irish Banks lost 17 percent as shareholders face dilution from more capital injections, that could see AIB effectively nationalized.

Fortune’s Dan Primack observes how Republican Senator John McCain once used Ireland’s low corporate tax rate as a fiscal beacon, during his presidential run against Barack Obama. “Ireland considers the corporate tax rate to be a cornerstone of its economic well-being, but today that’s like saying that the Vikings consider Brett Favre to be a cornerstone of this year’s Super Bowl hopes,” writes Primack.

Deals wrap: GM’s market splash

A GMC vehicle is seen parked in front of a trader standing outside of the New York Stock Exchange November 18, 2010.REUTERS/Shannon StapletonGeneral Motors has raised billions of dollars in its IPO, but big investors still have plenty of cash on hand to plow into other new stock issues — if they have merit.

General Motors’ swift journey from dying company to blockbuster IPO is a remarkable story, which the Democrats received little political credit for.

One of the first signs General Motors was driving toward a record-setting IPO with booming demand from investors came from an unlikely indicator: a sudden shortage of chocolate mousse at an investor meeting.

Deals wrap: GM back in the driver’s seat?

General Motors Co posted a $2 billion third-quarter profit on Wednesday, driven by an accelerating turnaround in North America as it rushes to complete an initial public offering of stock set for next week.

The quarterly profit was the largest for GM since it emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009 and provides the last piece of financial data for investors evaluating the automaker’s $13 billion IPO.

The Sanofi-Aventis hostile bid for Genzyme is likely an anomaly in the pharmaceutical M & A scene, according to Reuters’ Jessica Hall. “Barring Sanofi’s overture for Genzyme, few large-scale mergers above $20 billion are likely afterward,” writes Hall.

Deals wrap: Eying the GM IPO

A worker cleans the front grill of a Chevy HHR at a General Motors dealership in Montreal, June 1, 2009.   Reuters/Christinne Muschi Top Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Corp is close to making a decision on whether to buy a stake in its long-time partner General Motors, sources told Reuters. The WSJ reports General Motors will not have to pay U.S. federal taxes on up to $50 billion of profits for as long as 20 years. *View WSJ’s timeline on GM

Russian fertilizer group Phosagro wants Russian firms to buy a stake in Potash Corp in an attempt to scupper BHP Billiton’s $39 billion offer awaiting a crucial ruling from the Canadian government.

MUFG is in talks to buy Royal Bank of Scotland’s project financing unit, sources said, in a deal reportedly worth $6.4 billion and aimed at accelerating the overseas expansion of Japan’s biggest bank.

Deals wrap: The GM IPO

A GM sign is seen outside the Medved General Motors car dealership in Arvada, Colorado August 12, 2010.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking As General Motors gears up for its initial public offering, the Treasury Department is calling the shots on everything from banking fees to the potential involvement of offshore investors. *View graphic on world IPOs *View graphic on GM value

ICBC, the world’s biggest lender by market value, paid a token $1 for a small U.S. brokerage firm, the Wall Street Journal reported. The deal highlights the continued strength and growing influence of Chinese financial companies.

Ambac, once one of the largest U.S. bond insurers, said it may file for bankruptcy protection this year, after missing an interest payment due on some debt.

Deals wrap: AIA shines in Hong Kong

An office worker leaves the AIA central building in Hong Kong's financial district September 21,2010.REUTERS/Tyrone Siu AIA Group surged 17 percent in its Hong Kong debut as investors piled into the record offering. The strong start boosted AIA’s market value above the $35.5 billion Prudential had initially offered for AIA in March, vindicating AIG’s decision not to accept the $30.4 billion bid that followed.

While investors flocked to IPOs of AZ Electronic and the Warsaw bourse, a dose of realism soured Enel’s goal to raise $4.2 billion from its green power unit. Enel dropped the bottom of its price range for Enel Green Power to 1.6 euros from 1.8 euros. “There are plenty of IPOs that seem to be working particularly well, and it is all to do with the willingness of the seller to be realistic,” said a source close to the deal.

Just days before bankers are expected to begin an IPO road show, General Motors buffs up its finances with a repayment to U.S. taxpayers and early payments to pension and retiree health plans. Taking a step back, the WSJ asks if GM is really worth $70 billion.

Deals wrap: Cutting the deal in half

A Wall St. sign is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange, September 30, 2008.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson Wal-Mart may scale back its bid for Massmart and take a 50 percent stake, rather than a full buyout, Massmart said in a statement. Wal-Mart has been under increasing fire from shareholders to revive its ailing U.S. stores, and some analysts have said it should concentrate on fixing its business at home before spending big on expansion. *View article

Private equity firm Blackstone Group reported a rise in quarterly earnings and said the value of its investment funds grew. *View article

With the U.S. car industry in a slow, fragile recovery from a punishing downturn, auto parts makers are reluctant to pull the trigger on deals, delaying a long-predicted wave of consolidation in the sector, write Soyoung Kim and Deepa Seetharaman. *View article

Deals wrap: Exchange consolidation

A man is reflected in the sign outside the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) building in central Sydney August 23, 2010. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz Singapore Exchange has agreed to an $8.3 billion deal for Australia’s ASX. The first major consolidation of Asia-Pacific exchanges faces regulatory hurdles, including getting Australia’s parliament to lift a 15 percent ownership cap on the ASX. *View article *View article on SGX’s CEO *View graphic on world’s top 10 exchanges *View WSJ article

Communications cable maker CommScope said it is in talks with private equity firm The Carlyle Group to sell itself. It is the latest sign of resurgent acquisitions for private equity firms, which are under pressure to invest billions of dollars of capital raised in the past few years. *View article

Wind farm owner and operator First Wind Holdings, which is planning a $300 million IPO this week, may be a risky bet in the current energy climate, write Clare Baldwin and Scott Malone. *View article *View IPOfinancial.com article

Deals wrap: On the road to a GM IPO

A Chevrolet vehicle is seen at a GM dealership in Miami, Florida August 12, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos Barria GM is on track for a mid-November IPO, sources told Reuters. China’s top automaker SAIC has not ruled out taking a stake in the company. *View article *View SAIC article *View WSJ blog which extracts some nuggets from GM’s SEC filing

China’s Sinochem will no longer launch a counterbid for Potash, sources said. “It’s finished,” Reuters was told. *View article

“BAE Systems could be poised for a major buying spree in the U.S. defense sector as Europe’s top defense contractor chases new growth in the face of looming spending cuts,” writes Soyoung Kim and Andrea Shalal-Esa. *View article