DealZone

Deals wrap: Doubts grow over BSkyB bid

The British government said it would take the closure of the Rupert Murdoch tabloid, News of the World, into consideration when deciding on the mogul’s bid to buy BSkyB.

Shares in Rupert Murdoch’s bid-target BSkyB slumped as the phone hacking scandal engulfing the media mogul’s empire pushed the controversial deal into uncharted waters .

Private equity firm, Carlyle Group, is in talks to buy Energy Capital Partners, a buyout company focused on power generation, electric transmission, midstream gas and other energy markets, the New York Times said.

A Visteon Corp hedge fund shareholder that will get two board seats soon has been pushing to break up the U.S. auto parts supplier, betting the company has more value in pieces than as a whole, people close to the situation said.

A booming IPO market and the lure of high returns kept China’s private equity sector humming in the first half , stoking fear of asset bubbles amid rising concerns over the quality of listed Chinese companies.

from MediaFile:

Tencent, De Wolfe among interested buyers for Myspace

De Wolfe and Murdoch in happier times (Photo: Reuters)

De Wolfe and Murdoch in happier times (Photo: Reuters)

Chinese Internet holding company Tencent, Myspace founder Chris De Wolfe and Myspace's current management team are among the 20 odd names kicking the tires at the once might social network to see whether it's worth buying outright or partnering in some sort of spin-out with current owner News Corp.

Tencent has previously said it is interested in possible US acquisitions.

The names come up in Reuters' Special Report on 'How News Corp got lost in Myspace',  a behind the scenes tale on how the focused Facebook beat the partying Myspace. (We have the story in a handy PDF format here)

In the story, we highlight some of the key problems Myspace faced,  some well-known and some not often mentioned:

Deals wrap: Ghana oil fields targeted

China’s top offshore oil company CNOOC has made a joint $5 billion bid with Ghana National Petroleum Corp for Kosmos Energy’s assets, a source close to the deal told Reuters. Kosmos is prized for its stake in Jubilee, one of the largest oil discoveries in the world in recent years.

Previously a $4 billion bid by Exxon Mobile for Kosmos failed because it was unable to secure Ghanaian government support. GNPC sources have told Reuters since last year that it had been talking to CNOOC about a possible bid. *View article

FT’s Alphaville blog breaks down the ramifications of Barclays losing its court battle with Lehman Brothers over its purchase of Lehman’s brokerage unit in bankruptcy proceedings in 2008. A loss could cost Barclays as much as $10 billion. *View article

DealZone Daily

Auto maker General Motors is grappling with the future of its European units Saab and Opel after one sale collapsed and the other was pulled, targeting the bulk of its 9,000 job cuts at Opel’s German factories.

Bookseller Borders UK called in the administrators yesterday, adding its name to a growing list of failed British high street retailers. Administrator MCR is hoping to sell the business, bought by Valco (the private equity arm of turnaround specialist Hilco) in July this year, as a going concern.

Lachlan Murdoch, son of News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch, sold some $27.6 million of his shares in his father’s company as he bought 50 percent of Daily Mail & General Trust’s radio operations in Australia.

from MediaFile:

Could Google buy Twitter? Ask Arrington, then ask Swisher

******We sprinkled updates into this blog. We're highlighting them like this.******Thanks to TechCrunch, U.S. tech reporters are about to spend another weekend working instead of playing. UPDATE: Or maybe Kara Swisher at All Things D will save them!******Two sources told proprietor Michael Arrington that Google "is in late stage negotiations to acquire Twitter." He wrote:***

We don't know the price but can assume its well, well north of the $250 million valuation that they saw in their recent funding.

***

Twitter turned down an offer to be bought by Facebook just a few months ago for half a billion dollars, although that was based partially on overvalued Facebook stock. Google would be paying in cash and/or publicly valued stock, which is equivalent to cash. So whatever the final acquisition value might be, it can't be compared apples-to-apples with the Facebook deal.

***

Why would Google want Twitter? We've been arguing for some time that Twitter's real value is in search. It holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet, and Google doesn't even have a horse in the game.

from MediaFile:

Newspapers: These are a few of my favorite playthings

The story of rich billionaires buying troubled newspapers is one that has been told before, but never with headlines that practically nod and wink at you like this one from the Financial Times: Playthings for rich men could be unsafe toys

Tell us about it!

The story by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson explores the ups and downs of selling troubled, publicly traded newspaper companies to impossibly rich buyers. As he says, would-be press barons might find to their dismay that the old business model is dying. That means taking over a paper could be a reputation killer, not an enhancer.

The most interesting but sad item in the story is this tidbit:

The $5.6bn Rupert Murdoch's News Corp paid in 2007 for Dow Jones, owner of the Wall Street Journal and several local papers, would now be sufficient to buy Gannett, the New York Times, McClatchy, Media General, Belo and Lee Enterprises, even at twice their current share prices.

from MediaFile:

It’s Midway or the highway for Redstone

Sumner Redstone is selling low -- way low. Here's The Wall Street Journal with the news:

In an effort to help resolve his debt problems, Sumner Redstone has sold his controlling stake in videogame company Midway Games Inc to a private investor.

Mr. Redstone's holding company, National Amusements Inc., is expected to announce Monday that it sold its 87% stake in Midway to investor Mark Thomas, a move that represents a significant loss on the media mogul's investment but secures a hefty tax benefit as he negotiates other asset sales.