DealZone

Deals wrap: LinkedIn boosts IPO, pushes more air into bubble

LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, boosted the pricing of its initial public offering by 30 percent valuing the 9-year old company at a little over $4 billion, or about 17 times their 2010 revenue.

LinkedIn’s IPO, which is scheduled for Thursday, comes on the heels of what appears to be an unsuccessful offering Renren.

Earlier this month Renren, one of the biggest social networking sites in China, stock surged 29 percent in their debut but it has since dropped to below its IPO price.

The poor showing of Renren has not slowed investors appetite for a chance to gobble up another slice of the social networking pie. Two other Internet giants are expected to go public sometime in the near future. Groupon may be valued as high as $20 billion and Facebook could be north of $100 billion.

Is this the start of another tech bubble or will investors rue the day they passed on the social network pie?

Deals wrap: Nasdaq, ICE drop NYSE bid

Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) dropped their $11.1 billion bid for rival exchange NYSE Euronext after it became clear the deal would not gain approval from U.S. antitrust regulators. The companies first offered to buy the New York Stock Exchange parent on April 1, aiming to curb a proposed friendly merger with Deutsche Boerse that was worth $10.2 billion when first announced in February. Deutsche Boerse responded to the news of the dropped bid by saying it plans to continue to pursue a merger with the Big Board parent.

In other exchange merger news, a consortium of Canadian banks and pension funds launched a $3.7 billion bid for TMX Group in the hopes of keeping Canada’s largest stock exchange from falling under foreign ownership. The bid tops a $3 billion offer for the exchange operator from the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The LSE said it remains committed to its own merger proposal with the TMX despite the higher rival offer, but should its bid fail it could find itself to be a takeover target, analysts said.

U.S. chemicals group DuPont won its takeover battle for Danish food ingredients company Danisco. The $6.4 billion acquisition is a part of DuPont’s push into the food technology business that CEO Ellen Kullman says will “create an industry leader in industrial biosciences and nutrition and health.”

Deals wrap: Poised to go hostile

Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange are poised to go hostile in their bid for NYSE Euronext after shareholders ratcheted up pressure on the Big Board parent to get a better deal.

Hong Kong’s first yuan-denominated IPO plunged as much as 11 percent on its Friday debut as investors turned their noses up at the low yields offered by billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hui Xian real estate investment trust.

Berkshire Hathaway shareholders are descending on Omaha for the conglomerate’s annual meeting, but there appears to be only one topic of conversation in town — Berkshire’s extraordinary claims about former Buffett lieutenant David Sokol. The New York Times looks for Warren Buffett’s next deal.

Deals wrap: Nasdaq triumphant?

Trading specialists glance at each other as they prepare to leave the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 26, 2009.  REUTERS/Chip East Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange unveiled a rival bid to buy NYSE Euronext for about $11.3 billion in cash and stock, a 19 percent premium to the offer made by German competitor Deutsche Boerse. The move could raise new antitrust questions as it would combine the two largest U.S. stock exchanges. The new offer is valued at $42.50 per share, Nasdaq and IntercontinentalExchange said. The offer represents a 19 percent premium to NYSE’s closing price on Thursday and is 27 percent above the company’s valuation before Deutsche Boerse’s $10.2 billion bid in February. Analysts were skeptical about whether Deutsche Boerse would launch a counterbid.

Citigroup might be uncomfortable sitting on information needed to determine whether the onetime successor to Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett violated securities laws when he personally traded in shares of Lubrizol, which Berkshire acquired for $9 billion, but it doesn’t have to be damaging territory for Citi, writes Rob Cox.

No.1 concert promoter and ticketing company Live Nation Entertainment is in the running to buy the recorded music assets of Warner Music Group, the world’s third largest music company, according to a person familiar with the talks. Bids have come in valuing Warner Music Group at around $3 billion on an enterprise value basis, which includes both debt and equity.

Deals wrap: Japan crisis may delay some IPOs

  The Glencore logo is seen on a sign in front of Swiss commodities trader Glencore building in Baar near Zurich January 5, 2010.

Extreme market volatility tends to make investors a jittery bunch. The deadly earthquakes and nuclear crisis in Japan will obviously have an immediate impact there, but the fallout from the catastrophe is expected to spread across the globe where it could delay or even cancel a slew of new share offerings and debt deals.

According to IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, one major deal in the pipeline that’s at risk of cancellation is the planned $6-$8 billion London-Hong Kong IPO of Swiss commodity trading group, Glencore, a deal expected in May.

Institutional investors will be demanding a higher return on their investments, forcing stock and bond deals to expect lower valuations, or face being pulled all together. Glencore’s IPO may be the victim of bad timing.

Deals wrap: Nasdaq getting hostile with NYSE

Chief Executive Officer of The Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. Robert Greifeld speaks at a news conference at the Nasdaq headquarters in New York, April 22, 2005.

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc, not wanting to be left out in the cold of the global mergers frenzy among exchanges, is closer to making a counter-bid for NYSE Euronext, a source familiar with the situation said. Nasdaq would finance the transaction with up to $5 billion in debt and would most likely have to sell Euronext’s Liffe derivatives business to IntercontinentalExchange Inc to raise the needed capital.

If successful, such a counter-offer would redraw the global exchange map and thwart yet another merger plan by Germany’s Deutsche Boerse.

Even though the Nasdaq group has several options to go forward with a bid for NYSE,  Michael J. De La Merced of The New York Times thinks Nasdaq will find itself hard pressed to stay alone as its competitors bulk up through a series of mergers.

Deals wrap: The biggest company you never heard of

A worker of the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. takes an anode sample at the copper smelting plant in central Philippines.  REUTERS/Cheryl RaveloGlencore is Switzerland’s top-grossing company and has been compared with investment banking giant Goldman Sachs. It’s the biggest company you never heard of.

Global listings activity has been the highest on record so far this year, with firms raising a total of $24 billion from IPOs, according to Thomson Reuters data.

A Renaissance Capital report looks at what is driving this year’s surge in U.S. IPO activity.

Deals wrap: A second NYSE bidder?

A pedestrian walks past the NASDAQ building in New York City, April 30, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas JacksonNasdaq OMX Group could launch a rival bid for NYSE Euronext to avoid being left on the sidelines, a source said.

The recent wave of exchange mergers marks an era of consolidation that will leave no more than four global trading firms in five years’ time, said Xavier Rolet, the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange.

Merger and acquisitions activity in the global mining sector is expected to accelerate in 2011, fueled by strong commodity prices and repaired balance sheets, Ernst & Young said.

Deals wrap: Pressure on exchanges

People watch the closing bell at the NASDAQ Marketsite in New York, November 3, 2008.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd may knock on the doors of the Nasdaq or Chicago’s CBOE as the stock exchange operator eyes a partner amid the politically-sensitive merger activity engulfing the sector.

The departure of L’Oreal Chairman Lindsay Owen-Jones may bring the cosmetics giant one step closer to buying a direct sales company. Some executives and bankers have long held a view that L’Oreal should get into direct sales to boost its penetration of emerging markets where make-up and creams are still sold door-to-door.

Multi-billion dollar deals are back in the headlines and and investors are onboard, the Wall Street Journal reports.

KKR’s latest listing missive

nysePrivate equity giant KKR’s latest document on its lengthy route to becoming a publicly-traded company makes the intriguing suggestion that it could list on either the Nasdaq or the NYSE.  

The idea all along has been for KKR, after listing on Euronext through buying its Amsterdam-listed fund KPE, to potentially list on the NYSE, so switching to Nasdaq would be quite a suprise.

Press releases up to now have pinpointed the NYSE as KKR’s possible future home. However, today’s document is a filing to unitholders rather than a statement to the press, so it is more formal and looks at all possible eventualities (such as a long section on risk factors).