Deals wrap: Merger Monday

A worker attempts to repair power lines in Mobile, Alabama, September 1, 2005. REUTERS/Marc Serota Duke Energy agreed to buy Progress Energy for $13.7 billion in stock, creating the largest U.S. power company in terms of market value and generating capacity.

DuPont said on Sunday it will buy Danish food ingredients and enzymes firm Danisco for $5.8 billion to boost its position in the fast-growing food sector.

Genzyme shares rose more than 3 percent after Sanofi-Aventis confirmed the companies were in direct talks about a takeover deal.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner is taking the company private.

Big banks missed by a decade their golden opportunity for a foothold in China, reports the WSJ. Reuters columnist Wei Gu puts Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan’s China joint ventures in perspective.

When shopping for a deal, stick to countries with good governance, according to this paper.

Deals wrap: Who’s tuning into RadioShack?

A Radio Shack store is seen in Cambridge, Massachusetts April 28, 2008.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder    Blackstone Group and TPG Capital are unlikely to continue to pursue a possible bid for RadioShack, two sources familiar with the situation said.  The electronics company had a handful of private equity firms circling but interest appears to be waning.    *  View article

Private equity firms have incentives both to buy and sell right now. Pressure is on to invest billions of dollars raised in 2006-2008 as the end of those funds’ investment periods approach, while funds are also keen to sell or take public existing investments to reward under-pressure investors.  *  View article

Hedge funds have cut back their bets over a volatile summer for financial markets, worried that big swings in investor sentiment are playing havoc with their carefully-researched trades.  * View article

Penthouse aka FriendFinder finally files for IPO

After adopting the more innocuous name of a company it acquired last year, “FriendFinder Networks,” Penthouse Media Group filed for a $460 million IPO on Tuesday.

Penthouse bought FriendFinder– which runs sites that help subscribers find friends of all sorts, from for those interested in working on their French, to hook-up sites AdultFriendFinder and, a site for single Christians –for $500 million a year ago.

The idea was to tap into the online adult market and become less of a publishing company than an internet company. The purchase also included popular video chat site, an adult site which helps new friends connect visually.