Krypton, Helix of Giraffe? It’s all in the code name

M&A reporter Quentin Webb has just taken a look at 2010′s crop of M&A code names, the latest in a long cloak-and-dagger tradition that dates back at least to the “Barbarians at the Gate” era of the 1980s buyout barons. Click here for the full article –  just who was Mercury, Giraffe or Krypton, and why don’t Russian composers make the cut?


A post on code names from DealBook, back at the height of the merger boom, complete with code names for takeovers involving Morgan Stanley and others.

The FSA’s 2007 newsletter admonishing UK firms for “poorly chosen”  code names.

Or see Alphaville on how the FSA itself dubbed Northern Rock, er,  ”Elvis”.”

DealZone Daily

U.S. coal miner Peabody Energy raises its offer for Australia’s Macarthur Coal to $3.3 billion, but the new offer is below Macarthur’s market price, suggesting the bidding could go higher.

Billionaire U.S. investor Wilbur Ross pays 100 million pounds to take a 21 percent stake in new UK bank Virgin Money, and could commit up to 500 million pounds to support a bid to buy the branch network of the Royal Bank of Scotland and other deals, he tells Reuters.

Loss-making Japanese electronics firm Hitachi will seek more alliances and acquisitions, as well as introduce a new governance system to help accelerate decision-making, its new president says.

DealZone Daily

Auto partners Renault and Nissan are in the final stages of talks with Daimler to obtain symbolic stakes in each other as they look to share technology amid intensify competition, according to reports. For the Reuters story click here.

Canada’s largest pension plan, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, is buying Camelot, the British national lottery operator, for 389 million pounds. It saw off rival bidder CVC.

In other M&A and corporate finance news reported by Reuters and other media:

South Korea’s top insurer Samsung Life is expected to raise an estimated $4.7 billion in its upcoming initial public offering, the country’s biggest share float, after a major shareholder group agreed to sell the bulk of their holdings in the offering.

DealZone Daily

Swiss commodity trader Glencore buys back its prized Prodeco coal operations in Colombia from mining group Xstrata. Analysts reckon the deal is worth around $2.5 billion to $2.7 billion — making it an easy decision for Glencore to exercise its option to buy as it values the mines at $4-$5 billion, a source says.

China Life Insurance Co, the world’s biggest life insurer by market value, is looking to buy a bank, its chairman says. It
would be following peers as China relaxes restrictions on banks and insurance companies investing in each other.

In other M&A and corporate finance news reported by Reuters and other media on Friday:

DealZone Daily

Morgan Stanley has found buyers for its stake in Chinese investment bank China International Capital Corp, CICC Chairman Li Jiange says. The firms have reached a consensus regarding the stake sale and the deal was awaiting regulatory approval.

UK defence services firm VT Group walks away from bidding for smaller rival Mouchel, leaving it free to focus on its own takeover defence from Babcock.

In other news:

China Development Bank, a powerful, state-owned Chinese bank, says it will review its strategic tie-up with Barclays, including its equity stake in the British bank after more than two years in a low-profile relationship.

DealZone Daily

Merger Monday at long last? Spearheaded by British inusrer Prudential buying American International Group’s Asian life insurance unit for about $35.5 billion, the start of the week sees a swathe of deals announced.

Prudential confirms it is in advanced talks to buy the Asian arm of American International Group. The sides are finalizing the terms and financing, which will see Pru launch a $20 billion rights offer.

And others:

German pharmaceutical company Merck KGAA agrees to buy Millipore for around $7.2 billion, including net debt.

DealZone Daily

Top stories:

Schlumberger Ltd agrees to buy Smith International in a $11.34 billion all-stock deal that will boost the oilfield services leader’s revenue to double that of its nearest rival.

Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance, Japan’s second-largest life insurer, will sell about 1.07 trillion yen ($11.7 billion) of shares in Japan’s largest initial public offering in more than a decade.

EMI wants to keep ownership of the Abbey Road recording studios, immortalized by the Beatles album of the same name, though it is talking to other parties about revitalizing the site, the Terra Firma-owned music company says.

DealZone Daily

U.S. industrial gas supplier Air Products and Chemicals Inc launches a hostile bid to buy rival Airgas Inc for about $60 per
share in cash, in a deal valued at about $7 billion including assumed debt.

Deutsche Telekom is considering an initial public offering or spinoff of its U.S. wireless service T-Mobile USA, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. T-Mobile USA could have an equity value of around $20 billion, the Journal says.

There’s plenty of other M&A and corporate finance news reported by Reuters and other media on Friday. Highlights include:

DealZone Daily

Australian wealth manager AMP Ltd will not seek to extend its exclusive agreement with France’s AXA SA on a joint $11.4 billion bid for AXA’s Australian unit, sources tell Reuters, opening the door for rival bidder National Australia Bank Ltd to start talks with AXA SA.

Shares in Thailand’s Thanachart Capital jump ahead of the announcement of the winning bid for a stake in Siam City Bank (SCIB), for which its Thanachart Bank is the frontrunner. Kaohoon newspaper reports that Thanachart Bank, also 49 percent owned by Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, has put in the highest bid of around $958 million for the 47 percent stake, beating HSBC.

In other M&A and corporate finance news reported by Reuters and other media on Wednesday:

DealZone Daily

Three U.S. private equity firms have been shortlisted to buy Morgan Stanley’s more than $1 billion stake in China International Capital Corp, a holding the Wall Street bank has been trying to sell since late 2007.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Bain Capital and TPG Capital are competing to win the chance to acquire a stake in China’s best known and most profitable investment bank, sources tell Reuters.

In other M&A and corporate finance news from Reuters and other media on Tuesday: