Deals wrap: Are hedge funds losing their sex appeal?

GM/IPOA small but growing number of hedge fund investors believe the once-free spirited portfolios, viewed as the cutting edge of finance for most of the past decade, have become too conservative and boring.

Goldman Sachs, responding to pressure from shareholders, regulators and clients, said it will disclose more information about how it makes money.

The U.S. power sector could be among the hottest industries for deals in 2011, but shareholders may not see the benefits for some time.

Simon Property walked away from a $4.5 billion bid to take over Britain’s Capital Shopping Centres.

“Monday Monday” lived up to its name yesterday and the deal bonanza heralds optimism for 2011 M&A.

Weekends held hostage by M&A chatter

rtr1almWith Merger Mondays back in fashion, could “Freaky (Rumor) Fridays” be far behind, as Eric Savitz over at Barron’s Tech Trader Daily blog writes? Since this morning, there has been a steady stream of rumors — most of them originating in the options market — about who might buy whom. Not surprisingly, these are all tech companies, since tech is the one sector that has seen a flurry of recent deals, including Dell buying Perot Systems, Cisco buying Tandberg and Brocade shopping itself. A quick roundup:

    Blue Coat Systems option volume is up after Deal Reporter suggested Cisco might bid for it. NCR calls are up on rumors of a takeover bid, although it has not been linked to any company. American Superconductor jumps on rumors of an ABB bid. Riverbed Technologies could be acquired by Juniper Networks.

Another old favorite among tech gossips is also doing the rounds today — the idea of Microsoft buying Research in Motion. That one came from Alley Insider’s Henry Blodget (seems like he suggested the same thing in February too).

But as my colleague Wojtek Dabrowski, who covers tech, media and telecoms companies out of Toronto, says: “Microsoft could have bought RIM at $35, because that’s the low the stock hit in March of this year. The stock is now at $70 and RIM is under pressure from the iPhone. Such a deal makes no sense, though it could have in the past, especially given Microsoft’s continued commitment to Windows Mobile.”

Will Brocade find a buyer now?

One theory is doing the rounds about why the Brocade-shopping-itself story found its way into the press when it did. People familiar with the matter have told Reuters that Brocade has been up for sale for weeks; one person said Brocade began sending out feelers to potential acquirers nearly two months ago.

Hewlett-Packard is said to have looked at Brocade, as did Oracle. One source said on Monday that HP went as far as to begin due diligence. But from what I hear, no one has found Brocade compelling enough to shell out a few billion dollars on the spot. If anything, HP could be interested in some of the assets of Brocade rather than the whole company, which could be why it stopped short of making an offer.

Other potential acquirers include IBM and Juniper, which is the No. 2 network equipment maker after Cisco, but bankers and analysts think neither company is likely to step in. From what I understand, IBM has not looked at Brocade, although that could change any minute.

from MediaFile:

CSC: No comment is the safest

I was rather surprised yesterday to see an e-mail from Ogilvy PR pitching an interview with Dave Booth, the Chairman President of Global Sales and Marketing at Computer Sciences Corp, only a couple of hours after Xerox announced its $6.4 billion planned purchase of Affiliated Computer Services.

After all, CSC -- an IT services company that competes with ACS, and has a market value of $8.1 billion -- was the first company that came to bankers' and analysts' minds when I asked them who else could be in play, as tech companies look to buy into new growth opportunities.

Given how market sentiment works, any comments from the chief senior executive of a potential acquisition target like CSC could easily move the stock. As a rule, that's why, companies typically don't comment on rumor or speculation about themselves. So naturally, an on-the-record interview with the CSC chairman executive wasn't something I could pass up.