The afternoon deal: Speculating on sheikh’s successor

A day after the body of a prominent Emerati sheikh killed in a glider crash was found in Morocco, speculation is swirling around who will be tapped to take over his job as chief of one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed al-Nahayan ran the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), a fund reported to have assets of between $500 billion and $700 billion. He was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 27th most powerful person in the world in 2009.


He was also the younger brother of Abu Dhabi ruler and United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the man leading the charge to find a successor to head ADIA.

Created in 1976 to manage Abu Dhabi’s bountiful oil proceeds, ADIA has assets ranging from stakes in Citigroup to Britain’s Gatwick airport.

Here are some stories from around the Web on who may soon be in charge of managing those assets:

The afternoon deal: “American Idol” edition

AMERICAN IDOL/As “American Idol” enters the heated top-10 portion of its talent competition this week, there’s chatter offstage as the show’s parent company confirmed on Monday it’s in sale talks.

CKX, which also owns the rights to the “So You Think You Can Dance” TV franchise and the Elvis Presley name, stopped short of saying who it’s holding discussions with and warned there is no assurance the sale will close.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that One Equity Partners, JPMorgan and Co’s private-equity arm, is nearing a buyout deal to take the entertainment group private “for roughly $6 a share,” with CKX CEO Robert F.X. Sillerman set to retain a roughly 20.6 percent stake in the company.

The afternoon deal: Hard rock, hard time

Screen shot of Warren Buffett in a Geico commercial from news items today include the Teva deal, MGM Mirage’s move out of Atlantic City and a possible Siemens spin off. But the limelight shines elsewhere, on a hard rocking Buffet and inmate number No. 61727-054.

Warren Buffett Rocks Out (NYT)
“The Oracle of Omaha made a guest appearance in a music video produced by employees of Geico, the insurer he owns through Berkshire Hathaway.”

Madoff Beaten in Prison (WSJ)
“Mr. Madoff was treated for a broken nose, fractured ribs and cuts to his head and face, according to a felon currently at Butner serving time on drug charges who was familiar with his condition at the time.”

The 20 Hot New York City Startups You Need To Watch
(Business Insider)

The afternoon deal: Signs of spring

Frozen hand-prints adorn the window of a snowed-in parked school bus at a school in Brampton, February 14, 2007.  REUTERS/J.P. MoczulskiThe global market for initial public offerings is showing new signs of life after a spate of downsizings and postponements. Issue prices are not always what companies originally hoped for, however, and investors are being selective.

Following are some recent Reuters stories from the different regions that track the activez IPO market.

* GM CFO sees chance for profit, IPO in 2010
* Brazil’s OSX slashes IPO in setback for Batista
* Citi unit Primerica files for $234 mln IPO
* Nobel laureate’s firm spikes 44 pct in debut
* Mirion Technologies files for $202.4 mln IPO

The afternoon deal: Mining and Steel Summit

Workers weld steel bars at a factory in Huaibei, Anhui province, February 28, 2010. REUTERS/China DailyResource nationalism, China’s continuing hunger for commodities and the endless search for growth were dominant themes at the Mining and Steel Summit. Here are some stories from the summit:

Miners grapple with resource nationalism
China keen to invest in SAfrica mines
AngloGold may split ops, eyes Americas
Movie “Avatar” has few fans among mining execs

Great reads from the Web:

Bankruptcy Watch: Waiting for the Next Big Wave (WSJ)
“It is fashionable to look at the relative dearth in recent bankruptcy activity and declare an end to the financial crisis’s restructuring wave.” – WSJ

The afternoon deal: Testing the IPO waters

Climate activists Lesley Butler and Rob Bell (R) "sunbathe" on the edge of a frozen fjord in the Norwegian Arctic town of Longyearbyen April 25, 2007. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir   IPOs have been described as a company’s coming-out party but these days it’s more like a “testing the waters” event – which may or may not happen depending on the temperature. Find the latest IPO news below.

CBOE files for $300 million IPO (Reuters)
“The Chicago Board Options Exchange will pay a special dividend of $113 million before the IPO to its current stakeholders, and annual dividends of 20 to 30 percent of prior-year net income to shareholders after the IPO, the company said in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Kabel Deutschland IPO – ambitious play or cunning ploy?
“Kabel Deutschland’s premium pricing for its $1 billion IPO could invite a similar fate to other recent failed private equity-led offerings, and some still think it’s a ploy to smoke out trade buyers.”

Samsung Life gets bourse nod for record $4 billion IPO (Reuters)
“Fund managers and analysts are cautious in predicting demand for Samsung Life, ranked 14th among global life insurers in premiums received, but said the IPO would attract developing market-focused funds.”

The afternoon deal: Beyond the billions paid

The MetLife building is seen in New York, March 8, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton It was a two-year quest to seal the MetLife deal for Alico.  Beyond the $15.5 billion purchase price, what does it mean for the companies and the life insurance sector?

MetLife seals Alico deal after two-year quest
Factbox: AIG’s progress on asset sales

From the Web:

A.I.G. Sells Unit to MetLife (NYT)
“Now comes the hard part.” – NYT

The afternoon deal: Wrapping up the week

Jean-Marc Cuvilly (L) and Jeremie Le Febvre, partners with Triago, speak at the Reuters Private Equity and Hedge Funds Summit in New York, March 1, 2010.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The clouds of the financial crisis have parted over the PE and hedge funds industries, although risks remain. Here is a selection of the best stories from the Private Equity and Hedge Funds Summit.

* Risk? Not for us, say some investors

* Funds make slow return to leverage

* Debt mountain still looms for LBO debt

* Hedgies, private equity dance to investors’ tune

* SWFs muscling in on funds business

Other great reads from the past week:

AIG unit sale shows more buyers could hijack IPOs (Reuters)
“More buyers could hijack planned flotations at the last minute after Prudential’s surprise purchase of AIG’s Asian life insurance unit showed the benefits of such “dual track” disposals.” – Reuters

Facebook CEO in No Rush To ‘Friend’ Wall Street (WSJ)
“Most everyone in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street agrees: The eventual IPO of social-networking site Facebook could make its founder the world’s richest twenty-something.” – WSJ

The afternoon deal: Summit themes

Sovereign wealth funds are finding new territories to play in, pension woes are creating deal-making opportunities and investors suddenly find themselves wielding new-found power.  Those are some of the themes spotlighted on the last day of the Reuters Private Equity and Hedge Funds Summit.

Here is a selection of the best from the summit:

Hedgies, private equity dance to investors’ tune
Buyout exec Moulton says pension woes drive deals
Search for growth seen driving mergers
SWFs muscling in on funds business

From around the Web:

True Love: Who Wants to Buy JDate? (WSJ)
“Spark says it is reviewing the proposal. In the end it will depend on whether it takes its own advice and gives up the single life.” – WSJ

The Afternoon Deal: Reuters Summit exclusives

USA/At the Private Equity and Hedge Funds Summit, Primus co-CEO Robert Morse tells Reuters the opportunities in real estate in the U.S. are extraordinary. The $1.2 billion financial investment firm is now setting its sights on property owned by distressed sellers in the United States.

Here is a selection of the best stories from today’s summit:
BC Partners boss sees mini-bubble brewing
CQS raises $750 million for convertibles
BC Partners to court sovereign fund investors
Toscafund says UK stocks’ low value “absurd”

From the Web:

Buffett Casts a Wary Eye on Bankers (NYT)
“”Don’t ask the barber whether you need a haircut.” That little nugget was buried in Warren E. Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders published over the weekend.” – NYT

This Year’s Huge (So Far) M&A Deals And The Lawyers Masterminding Them
(Business Insider)
A slide show of the big deals and the lawyers behind them.