DealZone

M & A wrap: Owners, insiders jockey ahead of LME sale

Market parties are jockeying ahead of a sale of the London Metal Exchange (LME), a deal that could radically alter the sway that banks and brokers hold over the world’s largest metals market.

Meanwhile, London Stock Exchange chief Xavier Rolet says he aims to put last year’s failed bid for Canada’s TMX Group behind him by forging ahead with plans to diversify.

Eastman Chemical is buying specialty chemical maker Solutia Inc for about $3.38 billion in cash and stock to extend its reach in emerging markets, particularly the Asia-Pacific region.

In a punishing year for hedge funds, the world’s biggest hedge fund is also one of the best performers, DealBook says. Bridgewater Associates, which manages nearly $120 billion, posted returns of 23 percent in 2011 — a year when the average hedge fund portfolio lost 5 percent, it added.

Roche Holding AG’s rivals Sanofi SA and Novartis AG see no need to match the Swiss drug maker in buying a gene-decoding business like Illumina Inc and reckon they can do partnerships instead.

Deals wrap: Waiting for a hostile bid

The head of TMX Group said on Friday a hostile bid could come “any day now,” as a consortium of banks and pension funds prepares to take their approximately $3.7 billion offer for the Canadian exchange operator straight to its shareholders.

Live Nation Entertainment is in talks with its largest shareholder Liberty Media on taking the concert promoter and ticketing company private, the New York Post reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Nokia said it was still in talks with “multiple parties” about its stake in Nokia Siemens Networks, after a report that U.S. private equity firms had backed away from bidding for a majority stake.

Deals wrap: Bid for ING Direct USA

General Electric and Capital One have submitted bids for ING’s U.S. online banking operations in a deal worth about $9 billion, Bloomberg reports.

The frothy market for Internet IPOs is raising the specter of a bubble, underscoring how little has changed despite lawsuits and investigations in the wake of the 1990s dot-com craze.

Maple Group Acquisition Corp, which has gone hostile with its $3.7 billion offer for Toronto Stock Exchange operator TMX Group , is in talks to add at least three other financial-services companies to its consortium, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources.

Deals wrap: Nasdaq, ICE drop NYSE bid

Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) dropped their $11.1 billion bid for rival exchange NYSE Euronext after it became clear the deal would not gain approval from U.S. antitrust regulators. The companies first offered to buy the New York Stock Exchange parent on April 1, aiming to curb a proposed friendly merger with Deutsche Boerse that was worth $10.2 billion when first announced in February. Deutsche Boerse responded to the news of the dropped bid by saying it plans to continue to pursue a merger with the Big Board parent.

In other exchange merger news, a consortium of Canadian banks and pension funds launched a $3.7 billion bid for TMX Group in the hopes of keeping Canada’s largest stock exchange from falling under foreign ownership. The bid tops a $3 billion offer for the exchange operator from the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The LSE said it remains committed to its own merger proposal with the TMX despite the higher rival offer, but should its bid fail it could find itself to be a takeover target, analysts said.

U.S. chemicals group DuPont won its takeover battle for Danish food ingredients company Danisco. The $6.4 billion acquisition is a part of DuPont’s push into the food technology business that CEO Ellen Kullman says will “create an industry leader in industrial biosciences and nutrition and health.”

Deals wrap: An all-Japan exchange?

A man walks past a glass wall with logos of the Tokyo Stock Exchange at the bourse in Tokyo November 4, 2010. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao Call it the survival instinct. The flurry of mergers and alliances underway in the global exchanges industry has served as a call to action for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which may begin merger talks with its main Japanese rival Osaka Securities Exchange as it seeks out ways to survive consolidation sweeping the sector.

Meanwhile, some of Canada’s big banks are protesting the London Stock Exchange’s proposed $3.2 billion takeover of Toronto Stock Exchange parent, TMX Group. Bank executives told a hearing that the deal threatens Toronto’s status as a global financial hub and could harm the prospects of Canadian companies looking to raise funds on public markets.

HCA, the biggest U.S. for-profit hospital chain, made history on Wednesday when it pulled off the largest private-equity backed initial public offering ever. Investors snapped up more shares than expected in the $3.79 billion IPO, shrugging off the hospital operator’s high debt levels as the market for newly traded shares heats up. Check out our list of the ten largest U.S. private equity-backed IPOs.