DealZone Daily

American International Group has agreed to sell it’s Taiwan life insurance unit for $2.15 billion, a key step in its effort to raise cash after a U.S. government bailout last year saved the company from collapse, Reuters reports.

CIT Group Inc is seeing little interest from bondholders in a debt exchange offer aimed at repairing its fragile balance sheet, making bankruptcy increasingly likely, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The following other corporate finance-related stories were reported by media on Tuesday:

PC maker Dell Inc is eyeing more acquisitions as part of a turnaround plan and is developing merger expertise, Chief Executive Michael Dell told Bloomberg in an interview.

Bank of America Corp has agreed to hand over to investigators documents describing the legal advice it received related to its purchase of Merrill Lynch, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

DealZone Daily

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown plans to outline a sale of government assets on Monday aimed at raising 3 billion pounds, according to a draft speech provided by his office. The sale will be carried out over the next two years and include betting company Tote and the cross-channel rail link between the UK and France.

In other stories reported by the media on Monday and over the weekend:

British bank Lloyds has lined up a syndicate of investment banks to underwrite a 11 billion pound rights issue, the Sunday Times reports, without citing sources. The deal would be linked to Lloyds’ attempts to reduce its participation in the UK government’s toxic asset scheme.

Barclays is planning to spin off a 4 billion pound portfolio of complex credit assets as its presses ahead with a process to clean up its balance sheet, the Financial Times says, quoting people familiar with the matter.

DealZone Daily

On a quiet day for deals, worth noting that Royal Bank of Canada joins the growing queue of prospective buyers of a wealth management business. Read the exclusive Reuters story here. On a larger scale, Wynn Macau‘s strong debut in Hong Kong ups the ante for Europe, where bookbuilding for the IPO of Poland’s PGE starts next week. For more deal-related news from Reuters, click here.


* The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp is questioning the positive conclusions given to Citigroup Inc’s management team in a government-mandated review in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal says.

* A management buyout of Malaysia’s national carmaker Proton Holdings could be possible, the firm’s chairman was quoted as saying in the Star newspaper.

Deals du Jour

Julius Baer will buy ING‘s private bank in Switzerland, the two have said (Reuters has long been reporting that Baer was the frontrunner to seal the deal).

The battle for Dutch retailer Super de Boer heats up, with Ahold now showing interest to buy 30 to 50 of its supermarkets. For these and other stories about deals, click here.

And two deal stories in other media:

Citigroup is working on a sale of its commodities unit Phibro in a move that could raise hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the Financial Times.

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.

Deals du Jour

At long last, Europe may see its first sizeable IPO: Aviva says it expects to complete the flotation of its Dutch unit, Delta Lloyd, in November. And shares in Telenor jump 15 percent after it settles a long-standing row with Russia’s Alfa Group. The agreement will involve a pooling of assets between the two companies. For these and other stories on deals, click here.

And here’s what we found of interest in other media today and over the weekend.

Shoprite Holdings Ltd chairman Christo Wiese is looking to swap some or all of his stake in Africa’s biggest grocer for stock in furniture maker Steinhoff, a South African newspaper reports.

Deals du Jour

Kraft’s bid for UK confectionary company Cadbury continues to generate headlines. And given the personalities involved, this should not be a surprise. Some of London’s top rainmakers are set to square up against a superstar of the 1980s merger era, Reuters’ Victoria Howley notes.

And here’s a round-up of deal-related stories from Thursday’s press:

* Volkswagen is considering overhauling its trucks business in a move that could herald a tie-up with German truckmaking and engineering group MAN AG, the Financial Times said. Reuters story here.

* Twitter is closing a round of funding that will value the company known for its 140-character, stream-of-consciousness blogs at $1 billion, technology news site TechCrunch said.

Road to fortune or highway to hell?

GM-OPEL/That will ultimately be the question asked about what kind of a future the German carmaker Opel faces.

Parent General Motors said on Thursday that it indeed wanted
to sell a majority stake in the unit to Canadian auto parts
group Magna and Russia’s Sberbank, a decision long favoured by the German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel.

With about two weeks to go until a general election in
Europe’s biggest economy, this would clearly be a political
victory — but the question remains whether it will also be an
economic one.

Deals du Jour

Orangina may change hands as Suntory Holdings is talking to the soft drinks maker’s current owners, Blackstone and Lion Capital. Suntory meanwhile is in talks itself to be sold to Kirin Holdings, its bigger rival.  

And Britain’s transport group National Express is ready to accept the 765 million pound bid offer from private equity house CVC and the Cosmen family, the Daily Telegraph says.

For these and other Reuters stories on deals, click here. Plus top stories in other media (some links may require subscription):

Spark needed

Could the sale of Britain’s biggest electricity distribution network help re-energise infrastructure dealmaking?

The supposedly steady business of buying and running roads, ports, and power grids has had a torrid time. The credit crunch has undermined some big infrastructure players, made it tricky to finance deals, and revealed that demand for some services — like toll roads and airports — is flakier than expected. Asset sales have run aground, instead of commanding the big premiums they would have fetched in the frantic debt-fuelled auctions of yore.

Nonetheless, optimists say the world’s long-term infrastructure needs are enormous. They are also cheered by the record $100 billion or so of funds that Preqin says are currently being raised (albeit slowly). And there may be some chinks of light on the M&A front. As Greg Roumeliotis and I wrote earlier: