Unstructured Finance

Deals wrap: Streamlining HP

If private equity firms had their way, Hewlett-Packard would look less like a monolithic tanker and more like a small fleet of streamlined schooners, reports Nadia Damouni and Poornima Gupta.

Borse Dubai owns nearly 21 percent of LSE stock and the Qataris hold 15.1 percent, Thomson Reuters data shows, making the investors easily the largest shareholders in the London exchange and key decision-makers in its future.

BYD, the Chinese automaker backed by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett surged more than 40 percent on its Shenzhen debut, as investors bet on a strong outlook for the company’s fledgling electric cars business.

News Corp secured British government backing for its buyout of BSkyB on Thursday after the minister responsible rejected complaints the move would give Rupert Murdoch too much power and influence.

Online daily deal site LivingSocial is meeting with banks to discuss an initial public offering of about $1 billion, according to a source familiar the situation.

Deals wrap: LSE may become a target

The London Stock Exchange, which plans a shareholder vote on its $3.5 billion merger with Canada’s TMX Group on Thursday, could become a target itself if the deal fails, analysts said.

BJ’s Wholesale Club agreed to be bought by private equity firms Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners for $2.8 billion in cash, an offer price that shows there is a modest appetite for retail deals.

Dell expects acquisitions to remain a critical focus for the computer maker, which is expanding into areas such as storage and services, according to its top executives.

Lightsquared loans suffer from interference

By Matthew Goldstein

It looks like the problems that Phil Falcone’s upstart wireless network may cause with some airline navigation systems may be impacting the price of the more than $1 billion in high-yield debt LightSquared has sold to hedge funds and mutual funds.

Over the past two weeks, the prevailing market price of LightSquared”s four-year term “junk” loans has slumped to about 95 cents on the dollar. That’s still a solid price for the high-yield offering that carries a 12 percent coupon. But it’s down considerably from late May, when the loans were fetching as much as 102 cents on the dollar.

LightSquared’s loans soared in the spring amid optimism that the prospects were looking good for the planned high-speed wireless network backed by Falcone and his Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund. The optimism was fed by talk of a LightSquared initial public offering later this year, an infrastructure sharing agreement with telecom giant Sprint and a perceived increase in the value of its spectrum holdings.

Deals wrap: Investing in Kraft

Billionaire investor Nelson Peltz bought 12.2 million shares in Kraft Foods during the first quarter, his investment firm reported this week.

“Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan and UBS were among bankers leading LinkedIn’s massively hyped — perhaps overhyped — IPO last month. And today — surprise!!! — all four banks told investors to buy, buy buy LinkedIn stock,” reports the NYT’s DealBook.

Bernard L. Madoff, the convicted fraudster, doesn’t think he deserved a 150-year sentence, the NYT reports.

Deals wrap: Dodgers strike out

The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming Major League Baseball for refusing to approve a television deal with News Corp’s Fox Network to give the financially strapped baseball team a quick injection of cash.

The WSJ’s DealBook reports the best part of the filing is who the Dodgers owe money to. Manny Ramirez is owed $21 million.

London Stock Exchange boss Xavier Rolet faces a crucial test this week as TMX Group owners vote on their planned merger with the LSE – a deal on a knife-edge that is likely to define his tenure.

Deutsche’s he said/she said derivatives mystery

By Matthew Goldstein

Valuing derivatives–especially complex ones tied to esoteric assets–is always a tough proposition. And maybe that’s what a previously unknown whistleblower action involving Deutsche Bank is all about.

The other day I wrote about a big settlement Deutsche reached in that matter with a former trader, who claims some of the bank’s most esoteric derivatives were improperly valued to hide trading losses. Deutsche denies the allegation and says an internal investigation found no substance to the trader’s charge.

Then again, the bank did find some substance to Matt Simpson’s allegation that another former top trader based in London, Alex Bernand, may have done some improper trading in one of his personal accounts. As I reported, the bank in October 2009 quickly dismissed Bernand–its former global head of credit correlation–after a quick internal investigation substantiated much of what Simpson alleged on that point.

Deals wrap: M&A pace set to slow

M&A deals declined in the second quarter from the previous three months, casting gloom on hopes of a reviving world economy that will prompt executives to put their cash-rich balance sheets to work. Get full coverage on the state of M&A here.

China Everbright Bank has delayed meetings with investors to promote its planned $6 billion Hong Kong share listing, three sources with direct knowledge of the deal said, underscoring shaky sentiment in global markets and weak IPO performances in Asia.

At the Rebuilding Japan Summit, three veteran M&A advisers provide insight into corporate consolidation in Japan and what role this may play in the wake of the March 11 disaster.

Deals wrap: Battling for TMX

The London Stock Exchange faces a nail-biting fight for Canadian peer TMX Group after aggressive rival bidder Maple trumped its sweetened offer by a whisker overnight. Proxy advisory firm ISS recommends TMX shareholders back the LSE offer.

Hulu has defied early skeptics that old-school media companies could collaborate to create a successful service for a new generation of TV watchers. But joint ventures have a knack for degenerating and an unsolicited approach for Hulu creates a perfect opportunity to find it a better home, writes Breakingviews columnist Jeffrey Goldfarb.

“Hulu LLC may cost potential buyers from Yahoo! Inc. to Amazon.com Inc. as much as 50 times earnings for a chance at owning what may be the next Netflix Inc,” reports Bloomberg.

Deals wrap: VCs think IPO activity low

More than 80 percent of venture capitalists believe the initial public offering market is at very weak levels and it is curbing profits, according to a new survey.

Online video site Hulu has been approached by a potential buyer and is weighing whether to sell itself, according to a person familiar with the matter. GigaOM lists the possible candidates and the merits of a deal for each company.

Taiwan regulators rejected Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co’s $1.6 billion joint management buyout of electronics component maker Yageo Corp, a decision that may cast a shadow over other private equity involvement in the island.

Deals wrap: SABMiller ready for another round?

SAB Miller said it would keep talking to Foster’s Group after Australia’s largest brewer rejected the global giant’s $10.1 billion cash takeover offer as too low.

Research In Motion has lost so much value that an acquirer could pay a 50 percent premium and still buy the BlackBerry maker for a lower multiple than any company in the industry, Bloomberg reports.

Rather than moan about Groupon’s inability to say anything in the quiet period, CEO Andrew Mason should enjoy it while it lasts, writes Felix Salmon.

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