Deals wrap: A Blockbuster deal for Dish?

A Blockbuster movie rental store is seen in Golden, Colorado September 16, 2009. REUTERS/Rick WilkingActivist investor Carl Icahn may have shown up in person at Blockbuster’s bankruptcy auction to place his bid, but it was U.S. satellite TV provider Dish Network that walked away the winner.

Dish, led by satellite billionaire Charlie Ergen, won the assets of the once-mighty video rental chain for about $320 million, beating out Icahn and at least two other bidders in an auction that lasted into the early morning hours on Wednesday.

NYSE Euronext will “absolutely not” be placing a counterbid for Nasdaq OMX, a source close to the Big Board told Reuters corresondent Paritosh Bansal in an exclusive interview. The source said such a combination would be strategically unattractive and face “insurmountable antitrust problems.”

Embattled clothing retailer American Apparel is exploring a possible sale as it grapples with a lagging share price and persistent financial problems, sources close to the matter told peHUB.

Private equity-backed deals drove the U.S. market for initial public offering in the first quarter of 2011 and look set to continue doing so for the rest of the year, bankers told Reuters at the Global M&A Summit in New York.

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: A game of chicken

A sign is pictured on Wall St. near the New York Stock Exchange in New York November 25, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson Record amounts of cash and cheap financing have emboldened chief executives to sign off on deals aimed at boosting growth in a sluggish economy, helping push global dealmaking to a four-year high.

Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext announced the creation of the world’s largest exchange operator, dodging political issues that could threaten completion of a deal. BBC News takes a step back and looks at what is driving exchanges’ urge to merge.

In what must count as the longest game of chicken ever, biotechnology company Genzyme and French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis, which is seeking to acquire it, are still haggling over price.

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.

Chin up, guys, NYSE boss tells other CEOs


Speaking at his alma mater Goldman Sachs’s Financial Service Conference on Thursday, NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer said he was struck by the gloom and doom that seems to have come over other CEOs.

“I was at a dinner hosted by (Bank of America CEO) Ken Lewis,” he said, of a recent soirée that brought together about a dozen or so unidentified CEOs. “Everyone was pessimistic.”

They were pessimistic about the state of the economy, the stock markets, and just about everything else, he said. The last to speak when Lewis went around the table to gauge guests’ feelings about the economy, Niederauer said he was the only optimistic one.

Qatar Hero

guitar-hero.jpgInvestors buying freshly diluted equity has become something of a refrain in Europe. Barclays raised 4.5 billion pounds ($8.8 billion) from investors including Qatar and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui to rebuild capital and pursue growth. That drove the London bank’s shares up more than 5 percent. Existing shareholders will get a chance to buy up to 4 billion pounds of shares at a discount, with outside “anchor” investors underwriting the fundraising. The fact that the capital raising was well-flagged and successfully completed was enough to encourage buyers.

Also rising 5 percent were shares of UBS, as the New York Post reported the Swiss banking giant has hired Lazard to conduct a strategic review, lending a touch more credence to the talk that the bank is looking to split its wealth management and investment banking businesses. UBS’s share could also be reacting to the Barclays news, which shows that sovereign wealth funds haven’t gone into hiding.

Qatar, which on Tuesday agreed to sell 25 percent of its stock market to NYSE Euronext, is in talks with London and German stock exchanges about new partnerships, according to Al Arabiya Television. Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, agreed to sell a stake in the Doha Securities Market for $250 million in a bid to become the booming region’s financial hub. “Qatar is in talks with the London Stock Exchange and the bourse in Germany to build new strategic partnerships,” Al Arabiya Television reported, citing Hussein al-Abdullah, executive board member for the $60 billion Qatar Investment Authority.