DealZone

Deals wrap: Fund manager Soros ending career

Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros will be returning capital to outsiders and ending his nearly four-decade long career. In a letter to investors, Soros’ two sons cited tougher impending regulations on the hedge fund industry being the reason for returning the money. Soros said he will now only manage money for himself.

A study has found more than one-fourth of the 94 U.S. securities fraud lawsuits seeking class-action status and filed from January to June were related to so-called Chinese reverse mergers. Despite this surge in lawsuits, investors may have trouble recouping their losses even if they win.

Walt Disney Co., the majority shareholder of India’s UTV Software Communications, is proposing to buy most of the shares it does not already own in the company and delist them from all bourses. The deal has a market value of $826 million.

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The world’s largest credit and debit card processor Visa is to pay some $2 billion for CyberSource, a company that helps retailers take online payments, including from mobile phones. Analysts estimate Visa already has 45 percent of the online market and the deal will only serve to boost the company’s position further.

The U.S.’s largest mall owner Simon Property Group has sent a revised recapitalization plan to rival General Growth Properties, which would see new investors, including Oak Hill Advisers, RREEF, ING Clarion Real Estate Securities and Taconic Capital, inject a further $1.1 billion into the business. Simon has already offered to invest $2.5 billion for about a quarter of its rival, while  Paulson & Co — the U.S. hedge fund that bet against Goldman Sachs Abacus mortgage product — injecting a further $1 billion.

Film moguls Bob and Harvey Weinstein and backer Ron Burkle could reach a deal for Walt Disney’s Miramax Films within days, despite a rift between the Weinsteins and one of their minority shareholders Mark Cuban.

Could Google/China bust up be bad for Disney’s bus stop?

Walt Disney is leading a group effort to buy into China’s largest bus-based digital media and advertising company, Bus Online. The investment would be peanuts for Disney, but the headache could wind up being jumbo sized because one of their investors in the bus deal, sources tell us, is Google.

Google threatened to quit China only a few weeks ago and the internet search giant is finalizing a deal that will let the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) help it investigate the corporate espionage attack it thinks originated in the People’s Republic. China has warned the U.S. not to make politics out of the Google issue, but it may be too far into the saber-jangling season for that, with Barack Obama having announced fresh U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan in his State of the Union address.

Though Google’s stake in the Bus Online deal is said to be small, even smaller than the tiny investment this will be for media giant Disney, it could just be big enough to cause headaches for Mickey and Co.

Boys and girls, welcome to Disney’s Marvelous Media Machine

Walt Disney’s $4 billion offer for Marvel Entertainment would give it more than 5,000 comic book characters, including such mighty heroes as Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four. Disney’s Bob Iger told CNBC that the expanded roster will help bring more boys to the home of the Magic Kingdom, where Snow White, Cinderella and the Little Mermaid have long reigned supreme.

The cash and stock deal values Marvel at $50 per share, or a premium of 29 percent to Marvel’s closing stock price of $38.65 on Friday. The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies, and since Marvel’s CEO, Isaac Perlmutter, is also the largest shareholder of the company, it’s likely a done deal.

Marvel’s second quarter was a mighty one. It beat market estimates on strong DVD and pay TV sales of “Iron Man,” sending its shares to an all-time high. This year has been a lull for Marvel, with no new film releases due until 2010, when Iron Man 2 hits screens. Thor and the first Avenger movie, as well as Sony-produced “Spider-Man 4,” are slated for a 2011 release and an “Avengers” sequel is due in 2012.