DealZone

from Commentaries:

Anglo dresses interims up as a defence

    Anglo American hasn't yet received a formal bid from Xstrata. But the miner's interim results read very much like a defence document.CHILE-CODELCO/ANGLOAMERICAN
    The highlights alone give a pretty good idea of what chief executive Cynthia Carroll and new chairman John Parker will focus on if Xstrata does eventually pounce.
    Anglo's case hinges on four things.
    First, that its plan to cut $2 billion of costs by 2011 is ahead of target. Second, that it is getting on top of its $11 billion net debt, and third, that progress is being made in restructuring its problem child Anglo Platinum <AMSJ.J>. Lastly, Anglo acknowledges that it is an objective to reinstate the dividend.
    Added to these elements, lest they appeared to have too defensive a flavour, is the promise of growth, largely through its Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil and its Los Bronces copper development.
    Of these, cost savings are a crucial point of contention in the Xstrata debate, with the rival miner's chief executive Mick Davis confident he can squeeze a further $1 billion out of a combination with Anglo, taking the total to $3 billion.
    Anglo isn't making any promises beyond those already given but the tone of the language -- which includes talk of being ahead on "asset optimisation", procurement and job reductions -- hints that it may be able to find more savings on its own, without handing anything to Xstrata.
    So far the market seems largely happy to let Carroll stick to her plan -- highlighting Anglo's leading position in platinum, diamonds and iron ore alongside its cost cutting success. But investors might ask more searching questions in the event that Xstrata did come back offering a premium.

Truth in tender offers? An eyewitness account.

U.S. Securities regulators on Thursday sued a well-connected Kuwaiti financier, saying he reaped millions in suspicious profits after false takeover reports briefly sent shares of Harman International Industries soaring this week.

Reuters reporter Ransdell Pierson was in the office working the Sunday shift when he received a fax with the purported takeover offer.  Unable to verify the authenticity of the fax, Reuters did not publish the story.  Here is Ransdell’s first person account of what happened, and a copy of the fax. Would you have questioned its veracity?

Ransdell Pierson:

I was scouring newspapers on a Sunday shift in the Reuters New York bureau and waiting for news about distressed lender CIT Group, when the phone finally rang and broke my reverie. “Newsroom,” I said, and the caller replied, “Your Jeddah bureau is closed today. Can I send you a fax?” The male caller, who I imagined to be a middle-aged office aide frustrated by the thankless chore of delivering his fax, said it was a press release about a deal. Something about one company buying another for about $3 billion.
“If it’s such a big transaction, shouldn’t this news be coming over the PRNewswire or BusinessWire?” I asked him. He explained that it was the weekend, so faxing a press release was the best route.
I gave him a fax number and he called back, irritated the document hadn’t gone through. I gave him another fax number and he soon called back again, more irritated than before. So I gave him the number of a third Reuters fax machine, but told him that it needed to include contact information for all the parties. “Otherwise, we can’t authenticate it.” “OK, you’ll have it,” he replied.

Is oil heating up?

oil1Energy M&A has heated up over the past few weeks, with two large deals possibly on the horizon: the sale of Repsol’s Argentine unit YPF as well as Kosmos Energy’s stake in the Jubilee oil field in Ghana.

If thise deals would happen, it would follow Suncor Energy’s $20 billion takeover of rival Petro Canada, announced earlier this year.

So is M&A in the oil sector heating up? Maybe, but insiders warn that the fluctuations in oil and gas prices could slow the flow of deals.

Deals du Jour

British bank Barclays said it would sell its BGI investment arm to U.S. firm BlackRock for $13.5 billion, creating the world’s biggest asset manager. For today’s headlines, click here.

And in the media:

* Malaysian gaming group Genting is in partnership talks with U.S. casino operator MGM Mirage, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

* British boiler maker Baxi is close to agreeing a 1.7 billion euros ($2.4 billion) merger with smaller Dutch rival De Dietrich Remeha Group, the Financial Times reported. 

Deals du Jour

Australian miner OZ Minerals said its shareholders approved the sweetened $1.4 billion deal by  Chinese state-owned Minmetals’ to buy most of the indebted miner’s assets. For today’s headlines, click here.

And in the newspapers:

* Turquoise, the European equity system owned by nine investment banks, was forced to close on Wednesday morning because of a technical problem, Financial News said.

* The New York Times Co has hired Goldman Sachs to manage the possible sale of The Boston Globe, and plans to request bids in the next couple of weeks, The Boston Globe reported.

Deals du Jour

U.S. money manager BlackRock is set to buy Barclays Global Investors (BGI) for between $12 billion and $13 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The deal, which could come today, would create a global asset manager twice the size of its nearest rival. For today’s headlines, click here.

And in the newspapers:

* Australian bank Macquarie may trump a Chinese bid for assets of debt-laden miner OZ Minerals, the Australian Financial Review said, which could stoke further anger in China after its massive deal with Rio Tinto collapsed last week.

* The chief executive of German retailer Metro is already sounding out foreign investors to buy the combined department store group it hopes to create with the Karstadt chain, Handelsblatt paper reported, citing investment bank sources.