DealZone

Deals du Jour

Ford Motor Co has slowed the sale of its Volvo car unit as it plans to open up the auction to losing bidders for General Motors’ Opel, the Wall Street Journal cited a person close to the company as saying.

In other M&A related stories reported by Reuters and other media on Friday:

Russian mobile network Mobile TeleSystems (MBT.N) is set to pay $1.28 billion, or $5.98 per share, for a 51 percent stake in fixed line carrier Comstar (CMSTq.L), newspaper Kommersant reported.

Low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines is preparing a bid to acquire bankrupt Frontier Airlines for a minimum of $113.6 million, exceeding the $108.8 million bid from Republic Airways Holdings. For the Reuters story, click here.

Deals du Jour

Spain’s Banco Santander (SAN.MC) has appointed advisers to spin off its Brazilian business in a $3 billion initial public offering (IPO) to create one of Brazil’s biggest bank, the FT reports. But it’s not new — Reuters carried the story last week, which said Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and UBS would underwrite any deal. Click here for that story. More details could come from Santander today alongside its Q2 results.

In other M&A related stories reported by Reuters and other media on Wednesday:

Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co is in the advanced planning stage for an initial public offering of stock in Dollar General Corp, a discount retailer. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and KKR are likely to underwrite the deal, the Wall Street Journal cited people familiar with the matter as saying.

Sumitomo Trust and Banking has agreed to buy Nikko Asset Management, Citigroup’s Japanese asset manager, for about 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion), the Nikkei newspaper reported.

Deals du Jour

Time Warner Inc (TWX.N), which plans to spin off AOL by the end of the year, said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it paid $283 million for Google Inc’s (GOOG.O) 5 percent stake in AOL.

In other M&A related stories reported by Reuters and other media on Tuesday:

German flagship carrier Deutsche Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) said it has applied with the Austrian Takeover Commission to extend a deadline for a planned deal to acquire Austrian Airlines (AUAV.VI) by a month to Aug. 31. Click here for a Reuters story.

Private equity group CVC Capital Partners was prepared to offer up to 1.5 billion euros ($2.1 billion) for Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (ABI.BR) Central and Eastern European assets, ahead of a Monday deadline, newspaper De Tijd reports. The private equity firm was in talks with 13 banks, including HSBC, Unicredit and Calyon to secure a loan of at least 700 million euros. While TPG Capital was still in the running, KKR had dropped out of the proceedings.

Harleysville bank was shopped around

Harleysville’s advisers shopped the bank around as they tried to raise capital to help it deal with credit issues.

Banks in the mix included People’s United, New York Community Bancorp and M&T Bank, according to a source familiar with the matter. It ultimately agreed to be bought by First Niagara for $237 million

The bank also tried to raise capital from private equity sources but those did not bear fruit.

Deals du Jour

Sweden’s Ericsson has won the race for the wireless assets of bankrupt Nortel Networks Corp, paying $1.13 billion for the crown jewels of the on-time Canadian telecom star.

In other M&A related stories reported by Reuters and other media on Monday:

Volkswagen (VLKAF.DE) is considering a 4 billion euros ($5.7 billion) capital increase to offset the credit rating impact of its merger with Porsche, Financial Times Deutschland reports.

Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) said it has sold Dresdner Bank (Switzerland) to the Liechtenstein-based LGT Group. LTG said the combined Swiss operations would manage client assets totalling almost 20 billion Swiss francs. Click here for a Reuters story.

from Commentaries:

Friends will find Pac-Man out of fashion

Pac-Man The 1980s revival continues. Music fans have been flocking to see the Human League and Spandau Ballet on their reunion tours. Now M&A aficionados can savour their own mini revival. Yes, it's the return of the Pac-Man bid.
Two mid-sized British insurers, Friends Provident and Resolution have revived this gambit, named after a mind-bogglingly dull computer game where the objective is to eat your pursuers rather than be eaten yourself. In M&A, this involves the target of a bid approach (in this case, Friends) turning on the bidder and launching an offer itself.
In the case of Resolution there was a certain logic in so doing. Resolution is effectively a cash shell company, which has opaque governance. Its nil premium share for share approach offered little to Friends other than the chance to hand over 10 percent of the combined company's profits to Resolution's management. The proposed nil premium counterbid made little sense (other than to eliminate the 10 percent profit share). But it did at least tease out a slightly more generous bid proposal from Resolution.
Pac-Man defences are rare in M&A -- and for good reason. They're wholly unconvincing. If you get a bid for your company, and think that the combination has merit, squabbling over who bids for whom seems to miss the point. At worst it smacks of management self interest.
This is not the only reason there have been very few Pac-Man defences. The bigger problem is that they are uniformly unsuccessful. The target never actually gets to gobble up the predator. It is 10 years since Elf Aquitaine's desperate  attempt to see off an ultimately successful bid by fellow French oil major Total. The same year, British regional brewer Marston's also used the defence against a bid from Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries. It too failed.
That doesn't stop it from rearing its ugly head from time to time. Pac-Man defences were raised as a possibility for Rio Tinto  to turn the tables on BHP Billiton and more recently as a means for Anglo American to round on Xstrata. But generally that's all it is: talk.
The Resolution-Friends situation is an unusual one. Resolution is a cash company that is desperate to do a deal, while Friends rejected a 150 pence per share bid from J.C. Flowers last year. There are particular reasons they have ended up in a sort of death embrace. So while the Spandaus may be back in favour, the Pac-Man bid is likely to remain consigned to the archive.

Small things matter

Interesting detail in a research note on Thursday from Credit Suisse, highlighting how it pays for bankers to sweat the small stuff in these lean times.

The bank’s own research and Dealogic data shows that deals worth less than $100 million have generated average success fees equivalent to nearly 1.2 per cent of the value of the transaction this year. Deals worth $1 billion or more have yielded just 0.2 percent.

As I wrote earlier, Credit Suisse also says that M&A may replace fixed income as a driver of investment banking revenues in coming quarters as the high-grade bond bonanza draws to a close.

from Commentaries:

Bankruptcy-related M&A at 5-year high – more to come?

This week's Thomson Reuters Investment Banking Scorecard shows bankruptcy-related M&A at a five year high.

 

There were five bankruptcy-related M&A deals announced during the week, including the acquisition of venture-backed public company Nanogen by French investment holding company Financiere Elitech for $25.7 million. 

 

So far this year there have been 173 bankruptcy-related deals, the highest level since the same period of 2004 when there were 202.

Is Genentech taking over Roche?

Roche’s megabucks Genentech buy is looking more like a reverse takeover — in some ways, at least.

Roche headquartersThe Swiss drugmaker splashed out $47 billion to buy out its biotech partner to secure access to Genentech’s impressive new drugs. But Roche’s U.S. operations are to operate under the Genentech name and research, development and commercial operations are all being based at the U.S. group’s South San Francisco headquarters.

Now Roche doesn’t even consider itself Big Pharma. It says it will leave the industry group Pharmaceuticals Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) but will retain Genentech’s membership of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

GE’s Immelt’s subtle defense

General Electric Co Chief Executive Jeff Immelt went to Michigan, the bleeding heart of the U.S. industrial heartland, on Friday to call for a resurgence in American manufacturing.Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric, speaks after being honored by the national non-profit group "A Better Chance" in New York
But even as he warned against relying too heavily on the financial industry to drive economic growth, he subtly set up a defense of the largest U.S. conglomerate’s hefty finance arm.

Analysts and investors are worried that the Obama administration’s proposed overhaul of U.S. financial regulations could force GE to spin off GE Capital, which has businesses ranging from leasing jet planes to investing in commercial real estate.

“We also need a financial system that is built around helping industrial companies to succeed,” Immelt told the Detroit Economic Club. “GE is an important part of this financial services approach. We plan to focus GE Capital on financing small- and medium-sized customers in industries that we know the best.”