Deals wrap: Yahoo, Softbank reach pact over Alibaba’s Alipay

After months of intense negotiations, China’s Alibaba Group said it has reached an agreement with Yahoo and Softbank that promises the e-commerce giant could receive up to $6 billion from an IPO or liquidation of its e-payment unit, Alipay.

Alipay is an Alibaba subsidiary that was transferred to a separate entity controlled by founder Jack Ma in order to meet Chinese regulations relating to foreign ownership. Yahoo owns 43 percent of Alibaba, which it acquired for $1 billion in 2005.

Australian brewer and takeover target Foster’s said it did not rule out takeover talks with SABMiller, but the company’s new CEO John Pollaers said “the value put on the table was so far away from reality that it wasn’t worth engaging (with SABMiller).” SABMiller, the world’s number two brewer had offered $10.4 billion for Foster’s last month.

Superstar hedge fund manager George Soros announced earlier this week he was returning all captial to outsiders, citing tougher government regulations as the reason for his decision. This piece by Deal Journal’s Shira Ovide quotes a comment by Senator Richard Shelby on Soros and asks, “is George Soros a hypocrite on regulation?”

Deals wrap: Dunkin’ Brands IPO prices above range

There appears to be a strong demand for this week’s biggest deal. Dunkin’ Brands, the provider of sweet treats and coffee raised $422.75 million after pricing its IPO at $19 per share, well above the range set by underwriters. This gives the parent of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins chains a market value of just over $2.4 billion.

This slideshow in PEHUB shows who Dunkin’ Brands’ top shareholders are.

Sources say private equity firms Centerbridge Partners and BC Partners are pursuing Caterpillar’s logistics unit, a sale that could fetch more than $1 billion. In a Reuters exclusive, several people familiar with the matter said “two or three parties remain in the auction as the bidding process for Caterpillar’s third-party logistics business has reached the final round.”

Soros goes long on Lehman

George SorosGeorge Soros must see something he likes in Lehman Brothers. Or maybe he just likes a good bargain. Or maybe he’s been talking to activist investor Carl Icahn. Either way, the billionaire financier hiked his stake in the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank to 9.5 million shares as of June 30 from just 10,000 shares, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday. That’s about a 1.4 percent stake. Lehman’s shares are down 75 percent so far this year as it battles through the credit crisis that has battered the balance sheets of many top banks. There was no word from Soros’s Quantum Fund on why he upped the stake, while a Lehman spokesman declined to comment.

Boosting stakes seems to be the play du jour. Hedge fund Harbinger Capital Management has accumulated a 4.9 percent stake in Cablevision Systems Corp, The Wall Street Journal said on Friday, citing regulatory filings. It’s unclear what Harbinger intends to do with its holding, but it may explain some uncharacteristic overtures that Cablevision has made to shareholders in recent months. In July it said it was willing to consider all options, including selling its Rainbow Media unit, home to cable TV networks like AMC and IFC, as well as MSG, which owns venues like Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. “Everybody was wondering why Jimmy got religion all of a sudden,” one analyst told the Journal.

And one from the trash talk department: Republic Services Inc, the third largest U.S. trash hauler, said on Thursday it had rejected Waste Management Inc‘s revised buyout offer. The new proposal continues to undervalue Republic, the company said in a statement. As a result, Republic will not furnish information to or discuss a combination with Waste Management, the biggest U.S. trash hauler. In other words: No thanks.