DealZone

M&A wrap: T-Mobile “crying out” for Sprint tie-up?

Deutsche Telekom may be forced into a tie-up of its sub-scale U.S. wireless unit with Sprint Nextel after a $39 billion deal with AT&T collapsed. While Deutsche Telekom is now walking away with a $6 billion breakup package, its chief executive Rene Obermann has lost a lot of time and will now have to invest in the U.S. market or find a new way to exit the country, an option analysts regard as unlikely. T-Mobile USA “is just crying out for a merger with Sprint. That’s the only long-term solution for Deutsche Telekom,” Will Draper, head of telecoms research at Espirito Santo, said.

Goldman Sachs claimed the spot as the top U.S. M&A adviser in 2011 as rivals JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley fell in the standings due to the collapse of AT&T’s $39 billion deal to buy Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA unit. JP Morgan, which had previously been the top U.S. M&A adviser for the year, advised AT&T along with Greenhill and Evercore. Morgan Stanley, which had been No. 2 in U.S. M&A based on the dollar value of transactions on which it had advised, was working for Deutsche Telekom along with Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.

Olympus Corp is preparing to issue about $1.28 billion (100 billion yen) in new shares to bolster its depleted finances, with Japanese high-tech stalwarts Sony and Fujifilm seen as possible buyers, the Nikkei business daily reported. The report comes after a warning from one of the camera and endoscope maker’s leading shareholders that the scandal-tainted board may try to retain control by issuing new shares to dilute the power of existing shareholders.

The New York Times Co is nearing a sale of 16 regional newspapers spread across the U.S. Southeast and California to Halifax Media Holdings, it said on Monday. The possible sale, news of which comes just days after the Times Co announced the sudden retirement of its chief executive, is the latest in a series of steps the company has taken to cut costs and focus on its most important newspapers and their websites.

Qatar and Luxembourg are to buy bailed-out Dexia’s private banking arm for 730 million euros ($950 million), less than analysts had estimated, as the Franco-Belgian group is broken up.

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: Who will Sprint call?

A woman talks on her phone as she walks past T-mobile and Sprint wireless stores in New York July 30, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidBankers said Sprint had a handful of options after AT&T swooped in to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, but none of them would give it the clout to compete in a market dominated by AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which would collectively hold an almost 80 percent market share. Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead said he had no interest in buying Sprint.

Charles Schwab will buy online brokerage optionsXpress Holdings in a $1 billion deal that gives Schwab a stable of the most active retail traders, as options continue to boom.

Shutterfly said it agreed to buy privately held card design company Tiny Prints in a $333 million cash-and-stock deal, as the photo-sharing service tries to win back customers in a market increasingly dominated by social networking sites like Facebook.

Deals wrap: AT&T’s crystal ball

The at&t logo is seen at their store in Times Sqaure in New York April 21, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon StapletonAT&T’s surprise $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom will create a new leader in the U.S. mobile sector and likely draw scrutiny. The regulatory challenge will be predicting what the dominant form of communication will be 3 to 5 years from now, analyst Evan Stewart said. The deal will take a year to close, in which time customers are expected to see improved network quality, according to AT&T.

Sprint Nextel risks being further eclipsed by Verizon and the new AT&T, which together would boast 230.3 million customers in the U.S., compared to Sprint’s less than 50 million, writes Michael J. de la Merced and Jenna Wortham of The New York Times.

Citigroup plans to slash the number of common shares outstanding and reintroduce a dividend after suspending payouts two years ago, taking another step in its long recovery from the brink of failure during the financial crisis.

Mobile merger report rings bells

SPRINT/Sprint Nextel‘s stock soared 11 percent before the market opened on a British newspaper report that T Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom had appointed Deutsche Bank to advise on a possible run at Sprint, valuing the U.S. cellular carrier at $11 billion.

Sprint certainly is a logical target for any company looking to boost its position in the very busy U.S. mobile market. It announced a large goodwill write-off in February 2008

And Deutsche Telekom is on the make. It signed a deal with France Telecom to combine the companies’ British mobile phone businesses — T-Mobile UK and Orange — last week.

Deals du Jour

TMT is heating up. Vodafone, the British mobile phone operator, is pondering a bid for T-Mobile UK, while Microsoft has hired Morgan Stanley to sell its digital agency Razorfish. Both stories are in the Financial Times. Private equity group Candover says it has ended talks with potential acquirers, confident it can meet debt covenants. For all Reuters Deals news, click here.

And here’s what other media are writing today.

* Anglo American (AAL.L) is building its defences against a 41 billion pound ($67.74 billion) merger approach from Xstrata (XTA.L) by plotting talks about a major Chinese investment, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

* Switzerland’s UBS (UBSN.VX) is to pay 3 to 5 billion Swiss francs ($2.77-$4.62 billion) in the next two weeks to settle a U.S. tax probe into the bank, Swiss newspaper Sonntag reported on Sunday.