DealZone

Deals du jour

A man looks at local newspapers, with articles regarding France's President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit on their front pages, at a news kiosk in Mexico CityA Facebook IPO is a few years off, Bank of America raises $13.47 billion in a share sale, GM’s bankruptcy plan envisages a quick sale to government, and more. Here are the latest deal-related stories:

Facebook CEO says IPO a few years out

Bank of America raises $13.47 billion in share sale

GM bankruptcy plan eyes quick sale to government

SolarWinds IPO prices at $12.50, above range

IBM to continue being active dealmaker

Itau interested in buying small banks in Brazil

Broadcom urges Emulex investors question rosy view

Viterra to buy Australia’s ABB for $1.2 billion

Investors expect better hedge fund terms

And in the morning papers:

Global mining company Rio Tinto may replace the $7.2 billion convertible bond that is part of its tie-up with Chinalco with a capital raising underwritten by the Chinese firm, The Australian newspaper said. Reuters story here.

India’s Religare Enterprises and Australia’s Macquarie Group have jointly bid $500 million to buy AIG Investments, which manages $100 billion in client funds globally, according to The Times of India.

David George, chief executive officer at Enterprise Inns, has invested 134,000 pounds in the company’s bonds, which are trading at around two-thirds of their face value, the Financial Times reported.

The British government will approve a Private Finance Initiative scheme to upgrade London’s M25 motorway, a project backed by 925 million pounds of bank loans and 200 million pounds of equity, The Times said.

Deals du jour

A journalist inspects a board with newspapers and magazines during the annual news conference of German publisher Axel Springer in BerlinState Street is selling $2 billion of stock, Morgan Stanley expects more listed company share sales and billionaire Kirk Kerkorian strikes his latest deal, and more. Here are the latest deal-related stories:

State Street sells stock, takes $3.7 billion charge

Morgan Stanley exec sees more follow-ons

Kerkorian buys MGM Mirage shares, stake now 42 percent

Fujitsu eyes more M&A to boost software operations

Lehman seeks OK to probe Barclays payment

Kona Grill shareholder offers to take company private

Morgan Stanley to sell remaining stake in MSCI

And in the morning papers:

The U.S. Treasury has preliminarily granted BlackRock Inc a second-recond interview to buy toxic assets from U.S. banks, using taxpayer money, the Wall Street Journal said on its website.

German retailer Arcandor AG‘s Chief Executive, Karl-Gerhard Eick, said he opposed Metro AG‘s proposal to combine the two companies’ department store chain, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported. Reuters story here.

Pfizer: Dealing with Lipitor side-effects

Pfizer’s at it again. The world’s largest drugmaker by revenue has set its sights on rival Wyeth and the two are talking about a deal that could be valued at more than $60 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pfizer was built in the last 10 years on two of the biggest deals in the sector — the purchase of rivals Warner Lambert and Pharmacia.

And another big deal would not come as a surprise. Some analysts and investors have made pleas to the company to make another acquisition to obtain products to prepare for an expected loss in earnings in 2011, when the patent on its flagship cholesterol drug Lipitor expires.

Gold Fools Getting Giddy

CANADA-DIAMONDS/It’s nothing like the M&A bonanza of 06 and 07, but after the collapse of 08, the market for mining companies is coming back to life for 09. As Cameron French reports, two recent mining M&A deals show how volatile metals prices and tight credit markets have unearthed some attractive acquisition targets.

HudBay Minerals is buying rival Lundin Mining, which suffered from weak zinc prices, for C$600 million. IamGold agreed to buy small player Orezone for about $140 million. The shares of both target companies had dropped more than 80 percent this year. As a sector, global mining shares are down 40 percent this year, with smaller players bearing the brunt of the decline. The only question now is whether current valuations – considering all this talk of deflation – are still too high.

French reports that the Iamgold deal — which has been welcomed by investors, as opposed to the deeply unpopular Lundin takeover — has been seen as a sign that that point has been reached. “It’s the first one made at these depressed levels. It’s kind of the first out of the gate that got things going again,” said Paolo Lostritto of Wellington West Capital Markets.

Racing to the Rescue

FRANCE/Who in the world doesn’t believe in supporting the auto business? As the U.S. Treasury contemplates the extent to which it will pump funds into the Detroit Three, European leaders are revving up measures to keep their car companies chugging along.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said France would consider making consumer auto loans more attractive as a way to help car makers hit by the global credit crunch and slowing economy. As if his country were plagued with a reckless, cut-throat sort of capitalism, the French president declared: “We cannot be the only country in the world that does not support our builders and manufacturers. We have to help industrial infrastructure.” He’s already offered 1,000 euros to every driver who trades in an old vehicle for a less-polluting one, so softening up auto loans would seem to be right up a Parisian alley.

In Italy, Fiat’s admission last week that its car business needs a partner to survive is seen as a way to put pressure on the Italian government for a solution. While media reports cite France’s PSA Peugeot-Citroen and Germany’s BMW as potential partners, industry watchers do not see a deal any time soon. Volkswagen says its finance arm has no capital problems, but is applying for state loan guarantees nonetheless. Sweden and Canada wasted no time pledging support for their auto sectors.