DealZone

Deals wrap: Glencore disappoints while Yandex confirms price

Even though sources close to Glencore felt the commodities trader had left “money on the table” with an offer price of 530 pence that valued the company at $59.15 billion, the company’s shares were stuck under water on their first day of official trade, dashing hopes of a strong start.

While some analysts still expressed concern over Glencore’s valuation, several analysts and bankers brushed aside worries about the stock trading below the offer price. They said the market debut should be seen as a success given its size and the continued uncertainty in both commodity and equity markets.

In other news Yandex’s initial public offering, the Internet sector’s biggest U.S. float since Google, was 17 times oversubscribed, a source said, with demand boosted by a blow-out float of LinkedIn.

Yandex priced the offer at $25 per share, it said in a statement on Tuesday, confirming an earlier Reuters report.

The float on the Nasdaq raised $1.3 billion, or 19 percent more than initially expected for Yandex, the leading internet search site in Russia.

Deals wrap: AIG’s $9 billion stock offer less than half of what was expected

American International Group and the Treasury will sell nearly $9 billion in stock as the bailed-out insurer begins its return to public control. This offering is less than half of what had been expected when Wall Street banks offered their services to manage the stock sale in January. The company was rescued in September 2008, receiving $182 billion in bailouts and managed to restructure while preserving two core businesses. At the time, few expected AIG would even exist today.

Professional networking service website LinkedIn is looking to go public, a move that could value the company at more than $3 billion. In this article, NYT’s Steven M. Davidoff explains why certain plans LinkedIn has for its IPO would “not only disenfranchise its future shareholders, but contains elements that have been heavily criticized by corporate governance advocates.”

The impact of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile on competition, pricing and consumer choice will be examined at a congressional hearing, where top executives are scheduled to appear to defend the deal. A successful merger would concentrate 80 percent of U.S. wireless contract customers in just two companies — AT&T/T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

Deals wrap: Microsoft acquires Skype for $8.5 billion

Microsoft plans to buy internet telephone network Skype for $8.5 billion, the biggest purchase ever for the world’s largest software company as it seeks to regain ground on growing rivals. The money-losing Skype has 145 million users on average each month and has gained favor among small business users. The deal would also give Microsoft a foothold in the potentially lucrative video-conferencing market. Skype, which is minority owned by eBay, allows people to make calls at no charge but also offers some paid features.

This article in the Guardian by Graeme Wearden asked telecoms analysts what they think about the Microsoft-Skype deal.

Reuters columnist Felix Salmon gives his opinion on how being public eases acquisitions for companies, using the Microsoft-Skype deal and Facebook’s earlier interest in Skype as an example. Salmon writes that had Facebook been public, it could have snapped up Skype itself instead of having Microsoft buy it to keep it out of Google’s hands.

Deals wrap: Blavatnik’s Access Industries wins bid for Warner Music

The headquarters of Warner Music Group is pictured in Burbank, California August 5, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries has won control of Warner Music Group with an offer of $8.25 a share, according to a source familiar with the matter. The agreement would set the world’s third-largest music company’s enterprise value at approximately $3.3 billion.

The NYTimes’s Ben Protess shines a light on Len Blavatnik, chairman of Access Industries and the new controlling stakeholder of Warner Music Group. Well-known for his investing prowess, he came to America as a penniless teenager and after building a fortune on oil and metal companies, he’s worth roughly $10 billion.

Deals wrap: Facebook, Google dueling suitors for Skype

Internet giants Facebook and Google are separately considering a tie-up with Skype after the Web video conferencing service delayed its initial public offering, two sources with direct knowledge told Reuters. A Skype deal could be valued at $3 billion to $4 billion, according to one of the sources.

Swiss commodity trader Glencore’s planned $11 billion listing was fully covered on its first day as investors rushed to take part in the mega-float, two sources close to the deal said on Thursday. Investors placed orders for all the shares on offer, including a 10 percent overallotment option, sources said, adding it was too soon to say where in the indicated 480-580 pence ($0.79-0.95) range the shares would be priced.

Warner Music Group could reach a deal to sell itself as soon as close of business on Thursday when the board meets to make a final decision, according to two sources. The world’s third largest music company is expected to be sold for over $3 billion and leading the bidding is Russian-American industrialist Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries.

Deals wrap: Racking up the deals

Vehicles drive on flyovers during the evening rush hour in central Shanghai December 29, 2010. REUTERS/Aly Song There’s a new swagger among the bosses of emerging market companies as they sign checks for a growing list of acquisitions in both the developed and developing world. And this is just the start.

Strong demand for broadband and high-definition TV lifted first-half profits at bid target BSkyB by 26 percent, increasing pressure on Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp to secure its takeover deal without delay.

Veteran banker John Kanas gets to cash in big time on one of the most profitable bank buyouts in years when BankUnited goes public on Thursday. Kanas’ expected profits are in stark contrast to the FDIC’s losses from BankUnited.

Deals wrap: ICBC’s offer

A company logo of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is seen outside one of its branches in Beijing June 18, 2010.   REUTERS/Bobby Yip  Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, the world’s most valuable bank, says it will pay shareholders of its Hong Kong arm a 27 percent premium to take it private, as part of an effort to expand its presence there. *View article

GM is ratcheting up the PR in advance of an IPO, and the NYT takes a look at the mechanics of the promotion. *View NYT article

Who owns the “Sky” in “Skype”? *View paidContent article

peHUB is live-blogging KKR Earnings Call. *View peHUB article

from Breakingviews:

Skype IPO may add dose of healthy hype to Valley

Skype's initial public offering may add a dose of healthy hype to Silicon Valley. The Internet telephony group's $100 million float should be red hot. While there have been several tech offerings this year, investor reception has been uneven. A bit of justified excitement over Skype's growth and its backers' gains is just what the Valley's capitalists -- and entrepreneurs -- need.

With hot companies like Facebook and Zynga ruling out public floats in the near future, that leaves growth investors hungry for the next big ticket. Skype obliges. It has 560 million registered users and continues to grow. It added 86 million in the first six months of the year. Moreover, it is in the black. Skype has totted up $116 million of adjusted EBITDA since January, and this figure could grow rapidly if the company succeeds in cracking the lucrative enterprise market.

Moreover, Skype is big. Place estimated 2011 revenue of $1 billion on the same multiple as Google, and the company may be worth more than $5 billion. That would be a huge gain for the private equity backers at Silver Lake who led the firm's carve-out from eBay, clarified copyright issues with Skype's founders and tweaked its software. They valued the firm at $2.75 billion at purchase in 2009.

Deals wrap: Buying into GM

General Motors auto dealership employees drive brand new Chevrolet cars at a parking lot in Shenyang, Liaoning province, November 7, 2009.  REUTERS/Sheng LiIs a company that lost $88 billion from 2005 through the first quarter of 2009 and wiped out equity investors when it declared bankruptcy last spring worthy of another bet? The General Motors IPO is going to be a tough sell. *View article

Take a big picture look at the markets through the eyes of six European private equity executives. *View Financial News article

Internet telephony firm Skype filed with U.S. regulators to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of American depositary shares.  *View article

Deals du Jour

A man carries a cardboard with a picture of a mobile phone inside a hall of the upcoming CeBIT fair in Hanover March 2, 2009. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke (GERMANY)

Portugal Telecom <PTC.LS> and Spanish firm Telefonica <TEF.MC> have both agreed to sell their 32.2 percent stakes in Moroccan telecoms firm Meditel to local investors in a deal likely to be closed by the end of the year

Reports suggest that online telephony firm Skype is set to be sold to private investors by its current owner eBay, with further details likely to be announced today. Sources indicated to the New York Times that co-founder of Netscape, Marc Andreessen is among the group of investors.

For the latest news from Reuters on mergers and acquisitions click here.

Here are some of the stories reported in today’s press (some external websites may require subscriptions):