Unstructured Finance

M & A wrap: MF Global files for bankruptcy


MF Global files for bankruptcy, according to a court filing.

Did Corzine’s risk taking cripple MF Global?

Charlie Gasparino sets the stage for MF Global’s current situation.

Australia’s Qantas Airways has seen its share of suitors knocking on the company’s cabin doors before, and with the stock trading at record lows, now may seem to be a good time to welcome a white knight.

Chinese groups Pang Da and Youngman will pump more than half a billion euros ($709 million) into Swedish carmaker Saab, aiming to return the struggling carmaker to profit by 2014.

Every year sees some start-ups that don’t make it from proof-of-concept to maturity. But this year, the situation is particularly bad, entrepreneurs and their potential backers say, simply because there are so many more young companies. And next year they expect it to get worse.

“In their first interview about the crimes of Bernard Madoff, the son and the wife of the man who scammed billions of dollars provide the first inside account from the immediate family,” 60 Minutes reports:

“Groupon Inc. may increase the price range of its initial public offering amid higher-than-expected demand for the shares from investors,” sources tell Bloomberg.

M & A wrap: Who’s buying EMI?

EMI, once the glamorous monarch of the British music industry, is about to be sold by Citigroup. Reuters lays out EMI’s future and who is likely to walk away with the company’s recorded music and song catalog.

Despite all the rumored interest in Yahoo, progress on a deal has hit a brick wall mainly due to the company’s lack of strategy and restrictive confidentiality agreement, people familiar with the situation said.

“Yahoo has been exploring a potentially tax-free way to dispose of its roughly 40% stake in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, according to people familiar with the matter,” reports WSJ.

M & A wrap: Sony looks to integrate

Sony is to take over its mobile phone joint venture with Ericsson for 1.05 billion euros ($1.5 billion), as it seeks to exploit its music and video to help it catch smartphone leaders such as Apple.

U.S. patent records point to a possible conflict of interest in an Olympus investment in a cookware company, raising more questions for investors demanding a full explanation from the Japanese company of acquisitions that made heavy losses.

“With 57 completed deals under its belt this year, Google has already smashed its 2010 record of 48 acquisitions — and it is only October,” reports DealBook.

M & A wrap: Deal trouble at Olympus

Olympus Corp head Tsuyoshi Kikukawa resigned after a scandal over hefty advisory fees wiped out half of the 92-year-old firm’s market value, but his successor stuck with the company’s line that it had done nothing wrong.

KKR  plans to launch a new pan-Asia fund to raise up to $6 billion in the first quarter of 2012, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, underlining the global buyout industry’s bullish view on Asia’s economic growth.

Regulators are considering easing a proposed rule so that fewer hedge fund advisers would have to hand over troves of confidential data to the government, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

M & A wrap: ArcelorMittal jumps ship

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, has unexpectedly pulled out of its joint $5 billion bid with Peabody Energy for Australian miner Macarthur Coal, just a day after the buyers said they had secured a majority of shares.

New Hope Corp, the $5 billion Australian coal miner that put itself up for auction earlier this month is considering a break-up and asset sales amid interest from global resource companies, two sources said.

Foster’s, Australia’s largest brewer, said it expects beer sales to pick up again when the economy improves, fuelling small shareholder anger at the company’s capitulation to a $10.4 billion takeover by SABMiller.

M & A wrap: Merger Monday

Health insurer Cigna will buy HealthSpring for about $3.8 billion to jump-start its business selling Medicare plans for the elderly.

Oracle struck a deal to buy RightNow Technologies for around $1.5 billion, agreeing to pay a nearly 20 percent premium for the cloud-based customer service company.

The FBI is probing the massive advisory fee involved in Olympus Corp’s takeover of a British company, a media report said, in a deepening scandal that has wiped out more than half the company’s value.

M & A wrap: Groupon scales back IPO

Groupon plans to raise as much as $540 million in an initial public offering, less than previously planned, as the daily deals website grapples with a weak equity market, executive departures and questions about its accounting and business model.

Saab moved closer to collapse on Friday as its owner rejected the latest rescue proposal from reluctant Chinese investors and its court-appointed administrator said the Swedish carmaker lacked the cash to carry on.

Scandal-hit Japanese firm Olympus gave in to shareholder pressure over massive fees paid to advisers in a 2008 acquisition, announcing it would set up a third-party panel to examine its past M&A deals.

M & A wrap: Groupon’s got a deal for you

Groupon is planning to launch a roadshow for its initial public offering next week, on Monday or Tuesday, three sources familiar with the situation said.

Nasdaq expects between 15 and 20 more U.S. initial public offerings before the end of the year, a top executive at the company told Reuters. The company had initially foreseen as many as 120 IPOs in 2011, but the final tally for the year could come at 80 percent of that because of volatility in global markets.

Abbott Laboratories said it will split into two publicly traded companies. The move may increase pressure on other diversified healthcare companies to examine potential break ups. The New York Times examines the split.

M & A wrap: Stalking Dexia

Qatar National Bank, the Gulf state’s largest lender, is eyeing Denizbank, the fast-growing Turkish arm of euro zone debt casualty Dexia, in a deal potentially worth up to $6 billion.

Deutsche Lufthansa may have to break up its British bmi unit to sell the underperforming carrier, as larger airlines eye its access at Heathrow airport and smaller players look to pick off its budget and regional operations.

The NYT’s DealBook digs into the red flags surrounding Groupon and asks the questions: “How did so many Wall Street firms desperate to underwrite the Groupon I.P.O. miss the warning signs when pitching such a sky-high valuation? Or did they just turn a blind eye?”

M & A wrap: Dollar Thrifty’s hard-earned lessons

Dealpolitik lists the key lessons learned from Dollar Thrifty’s merger saga.

Rio Tinto signaled a major retreat from its aluminum business on Monday, putting an estimated $8 billion worth of assets up for sale across six countries, only four years after buying aluminum giant Alcan for $38 billion.

Kinder Morgan struck a $21 billion deal to buy rival El Paso, combining the two largest natural gas pipeline operators in North America in a huge bet on the fast-growing market for that fuel. The NYT takes a look at dealmaker Richard D. Kinder and how he has shaped Kinder Morgan.