DealZone

Deals wrap: A white knight for Potash?

In an attempt to thwart a $39-billion hostile takeover bid by BHP Billiton, Potash Corp has turned to China to try to find a white knight, according to the Globe and Mail. The Canadian miner is hoping that China’s worries over BHP getting control over the global potash market will lead to a consortium of companies submitting a rival bid, said the Globe.

“It is a viable option,” an unnamed source close to Potash Corp told the Globe, adding the venture posed some significant challenges in finalizing a consortium’s structure. The bid being considered would include some major capital from a Chinese resource company or investment fund, with smaller contributions from international sovereign wealth funds and possibly Canadian players such as pension funds. *View article*

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Smartphone maker Motorola, looking to boost its social networking content, has acquired German software company Aloqa GmbH, according to Reuters. The privately held Aloqa, which has developed a location-based social software, has joined Motorola’s Mobility division, which comprises the company’s set-top box and cellphone businesses. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. *View article*

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In a move that may portend well for the passage of carbon emissions legislation in the U.S., power company NRG Energy said it would buy privately held cleantech company Green Mountain Energy for $350 million in cash, according to Reuters. *View article*

Deals wrap: Yahoo not selling Alibaba stake

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said the Internet search company has no intention of selling its stake in Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba.

Bartz told Reuters that despite the Alibaba Group “constantly” approaching them to repurchase Yahoo’s estimated 39-percent stake, the company has no plans to accommodate those requests, adding the investment is “very strategic.” *View article*

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Another Chinese company, Sinochem, distanced itself from the possibility of making a bid for Canadian firm Potash Corp, in the wake of BHP Billiton’s $39-million hostile takeover bid for the miner. Han Gensheng, head of Sinochem’s overseas deals, told Chinese magazine Caijing that even a bid of $10 billion would be too large for Sinochem. *View article*

Deals wrap: Turning down Sanofi

A sign points the way to the headquarters of Genzyme in Cambridge, Massachusetts August 3, 2010.    REUTERS/Brian Snyder   Genzyme broke its five-week silence to reject an $18.5 billion takeover proposal by French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis, dismissing it as opportunistic and too low. *View article *View Genzyme’s letter to Sanofi-Aventis

Intel will buy Infineon’s wireless unit for $1.4 billion, enabling the chipmaker to boost its presence in the smartphone market. This is the second major deal for Intel within two weeks after the company announced its $7.7 billion offer for McAfee on Aug 19. *View article

Is Cisco in deal talks with Skype? A TechCrunch source says Cisco has made an offer for the Internet phone services provider. Earlier this month, Skype filed for an IPO. *View article

Deals wrap: Lowering expectations

Marius Kloppers, BHP Billiton Chief Executive, poses for photographs in central London August 25, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville BHP Billiton tried to dampen expectations it would substantially raise its hostile $39 billion bid for Potash Corp as bumper results showed it has plenty of firepower. *View article *View reaction from analysts and investors *View Potash Corp deal scenarios

Dubai World believes it can raise as much as $19.4 billion from selling key assets over eight years, if creditors back its restructuring, a document obtained by Reuters showed. *View article *View reaction from analysts and investors

Dell and Hewlett-Packard are expected to raise their bids for 3PAR, but technology investors and analysts warn of valuations taking a back seat to egos. *View article

Deals wrap: Deal talk gets frothy

A judge views samples of beer in west London August 3, 2010.  REUTERS/Toby MelvilleFoster’s said the split of its beer and wine divisions was on track for next year, but was silent on growing takeover talk for its profitable beer unit. Foster’s share price has been on a roller coaster ride on the takeover talk, surging 7 percent on Monday and sliding 4.5 percent on Tuesday. *View article

BHP Billiton’s monster earnings expected on Wednesday could strengthen its hand in its bid for Potash Corp and intimidate any rival bidders. *View article

*View analysis on China’s reaction to a possible BHP deal

*View Bloomberg article on the downside of mining mergers

The recent rush of M&A activity is a result of idle cash and not a sign of a stable rising market. *View Barron’s article *View NYT blog pouring more cold water on the boom in deals.

Deals wrap: Dealing in the clouds

Dark clouds pass over downtown Miami, Florida August 15, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos Barria Hewlett-Packard launched a $1.6 billion bid for data storage company 3PAR, topping an offer by technology rival Dell by about 33 percent. The competing bids for 3PAR come as technology heavyweights have been boosting investment in cloud computing and virtualization technology. *View article

Potash Corp has held discussions with China’s Sinochem Group, said a source close to the matter, as the fertilizer producer looks for options to BHP Billiton’s $38.6 billion hostile bid. Media reports have also mentioned Brazil’s Vale and Chinese private equity fund Hopu Investment Management.  *View article
*View graphic on potash and BHP Billiton and Potash Corp.

SABMiller and Asahi Breweries are looking at Foster’s Group’s beer operations, valued at more than $10 billion, but have not yet made any formal offers, sources said. Foster’s said in May it would split the beer unit from its ailing wine business. Analysts expect suitors will only emerge after Foster’s splits its business in early 2011 when complex debt and structural issues are resolved. *View article

Deals wrap: Looking for a better deal

Potash Corp mill general superintendent Trevor Berg holds a handful of chicklet potash inside the Cory mine facilities near Saskatoon August 19, 2010.  REUTERS/David StobbePotash Corp’s search for buyers willing to top BHP Billiton’s $39 billion hostile offer may lead to China. “I am not saying that we are opposed to a sale, but what I am saying is we are opposed to a steal of the company,” said Potash Corp CEO Bill Doyle. Here’s a factbox on the current market for potash, and a graphic on BHP and Potash Corp.

“As an Intel-watcher for 30+ years, I have my doubts that this acquisition will work,” writes guest columnist Robert Cringely about Intel’s deal for McAfee. *View article

The NYT takes a look at Rio Tinto’s often troubled relationship with China, and how the mining company is working hard to patch things up. *View NYT article

Deals wrap: Going hostile on Potash

A man walks into the head offices of BHP Billiton in central Melbourne July 22, 2009.     REUTERS/Mick Tsikas BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest miner, is making its $130 a share offer for Potash Corp directly to shareholders, bypassing the Canadian company’s board which a day earlier called the bid “grossly inadequate.” *View article

Private equity firm Lone Star is scrapping plans to sell a majority stake in Korea Exchange Bank worth about $4 billion because of weak demand from potential investors, a local paper said. The decision, if confirmed, would be Lone Star’s third failure to sell KEB since buying into the bank in 2003. *View article

It doesn’t always take huge financial backing to start a company. The WSJ found some entrepreneurs who started out with little money but a lot of time and business savvy. *View WSJ article

Deals wrap: Seeking clarity on Fannie and Freddie

A foreclosed home is shown in Chicago June 29, 2010.   REUTERS/John Gress The Obama administration will pick the brains of housing finance leaders on how to fix Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but made one thing is clear: there is no going back to their pre-crisis structure. *View article

BHP Billiton may see potash as an ideal fit within its portfolio but today Potash Corp’s board rejected BHP’s unsolicited $38.6 billion offer, terming it as “grossly inadequate.” *View article

Energy stocks ranked among the worst performers in the second quarter on jitters about a double-dip recession. What did the top fund managers do? They staked out the sector much like they did with financial companies earlier in the year. *View article

from Commentaries:

Green shoots or just talk in fertiliser M&A

CHINA/There are signs of life returning to M&A in the potash sector -- with market speculation that Potash Corp of Saskatchewan may bid for Germany's K+S.

Canada's Potash Corp -- the world's largest producer of the key ingredient in synthetic crop fertiliser -- said last month that North American potash inventories had fallen in July, an indication that sales of potash had begun to move again after a seizing up of the market.

Some analysts reckon that the market is now reaching a bottom and that there will be a sharp rebound in 2010 as farmers start buying again.