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from Breakingviews:

Foster’s gets full measure from SABMiller

By Quentin Webb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Like two quarrelsome drunks who are suddenly best of friends, SABMiller and Foster’s Group have quickly patched things up after earlier hostilities. Foster’s has done well to secure a sweetened $10-billion-plus offer from its London-listed rival, with markets queasy and no rival bidders in sight. The deal is hardly cheap. But the sums just about work for SAB, and Foster’s was one of the few easily buyable brewers of size out there.

The all-cash deal is worth A$5.10 for each share in the Australian target, but this will come after Foster's makes a special A$0.30 cash return already flagged by the group. Shareholders will also receive a previously announced full-year dividend, which SAB had previously said would be lopped off any offer.

The terms imply an enterprise value of about A$11.9 billion at completion, based on SAB's forecast of A$1.4 billion for Foster's net debt by end-December. For its part, SAB claims the implied EV is in fact A$400 million lower, after effectively haircutting net debt for the estimated value of some inherited tax losses.

from Felix Salmon:

The FSA’s foolproof method for preventing M&A leaks

The UK's FSA has conducted an investigation into the way that big M&A transactions can get leaked before they are formally announced. Its conclusion might shock you, so make sure you're sitting down for this:

Our enquiries revealed that media reports containing leaks were often closely preceded by telephone conversations between insiders occupying senior roles on a corporate transaction, and the journalists who published those media reports. Due to their position as insiders, these senior individuals held detailed knowledge of the transaction. The calls between the insiders and journalists lasted up to 20 minutes in length and in some cases took place with journalists the afternoon or evening before the leak was first published.

from DealZone:

Noted: Goldman sees more utilities M&A

Goldman Sachs analysts say M&A among Europe's utilities is likely to pick up this year, and name Britain's Shanks, Drax, International Power, the country's water companies (Severn Trent, Northumbrian Water, Pennon and United Utilities), and Edison of Italy as the most likely targets. (Shanks, of course, is already in the Carlyle Group's crosshairs.)

The Goldman team looked at company ownership; the political and regulatory backdrop; and the firms' sizes and relative valuations to come up with its top picks.

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