Unstructured Finance

M & A wrap: An offer for Yahoo

“A group of investors led by private- equity firm Silver Lake offered to buy a minority stake in Yahoo! Inc. for about $16.60 a share,” Bloomberg reports.

AT&T will struggle to find buyers for any asset sale big enough to salvage its $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA, with most likely buyers Leap Wireless and MetroPCS Communications lacking the cash, writes Sinead Carew.

Glencore  is in talks with Spanish refiner Cepsa on a merger of oil operations that would be a first major step towards transforming the commodity trader’s energy division into a vertically integrated oil company, industry sources said.

Canada’s competition regulator has dealt a sharp blow to a C$3.8 billion proposal to take over TMX Group, voicing “serious concerns” about a deal that would bring most of the country’s financial exchanges under one roof.

“Facebook has strong incentives to go public next year. But it may end up with an offering at a less-than-opportune time or a valuation of less than $100 billion. Facebook’s own choices have left it without full room to maneuver,” writes The Deal Professor.

M & A wrap: American Airlines files for Chapter 11

American Airlines and its parent company AMR Corp filed for bankruptcy after failing to win a labor deal with pilots and suffering from mounting fuel costs.

Thomas H. Lee Partners is interested in buying the U.S. operations of Yahoo, breaking away from other bidders that are for now eyeing either a minority stake or teaming up with the Internet giant’s partners in Asia, sources familiar with the matter said.

Facebook is now targeting a time frame of April to June 2012 for a initial public offering, raising possibly $10 billion, the WSJ reports.

M & A wrap: Tepco sheds assets

Mobile carrier KDDI Corp said it would sell up to $2.6 billion of convertible bonds and use the money to buy back its own shares from Tokyo Electric. Tokyo Electric is selling off assets under a restructuring plan to raise funds to compensate victims of the Fukushima crisis.

China is preparing to buy up plum assets in Europe, the commerce minister said, as the escalating debt crisis leaves countries in the region increasingly vulnerable to the deep pockets of Chinese firms.

Zynga’s tough work environment with its focus on metrics could cause a brain drain for the online game company, DealBook reports.

MF Global a month later and still a mystery

By Matthew Goldstein

It’s been about a month since MF Global began spiraling towards bankruptcy and still there’s no clarity about what happened to the missing customer money that was supposed to be kept in untouchable, segregated accounts. It’s not even clear how much money is missing.

When the Jon Corzine-led firm filed for bankruptcy on Halloween, it was believed some $900 million in customer money couldn’t be accounted for in MF Global’s segregated accounts maintained at Harris Banks and other institutions. That sum was quickly revised downward to about $600 million. And the number remained at $600 million until the court-appointed liquidation trustee surprised everyone last week by saying more than $1.2 billion in customer money might be missing.

But now even that $1.2 billion figure is in doubt. Officials with the CME quickly questioned the much higher figure and so did other regulators. A law enforcement source tells me federal investigators also doubt the $1.2 billion figure and believe the missing money is still about $600 million.

M & A wrap: T-Mobile deal on the rocks?

AT&T said it would take a $4 billion charge in case its takeover of T-Mobile USA fails, a tacit recognition of the dwindling chances that the deal will get through U.S. regulators. If the deal collapses, Deutsche Telekom may be forced to sell assets closer to home and take a knife to its cost base, reports Victoria Howley and Georgina Prodhan.

Australia’s government approved SABMiller’s $11.2 billion deal to acquire Foster’s Group under foreign acquisitions laws, but imposed conditions requiring the company to keep brewing operations in Australia.

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group could raise up to $2.83 billion, which would be the biggest Hong Kong initial public offering of the year, tapping volatile equity markets to fund the purchase of diamonds and gold and pay down debt.

M & A wrap: Olympus scandal heats up

Former Olympus Corp CEO Michael Woodford said that Tokyo police were best able to get to the truth behind one of Japan’s biggest accounting scandals, as speculation mounts of possible links to organized crime.

AT&T was dealt a blow as the top U.S. communications regulator sought to have its planned $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA sent to an administrative law judge for review.

“Battered Chinese companies listed in the U.S. or Singapore could be a feast for M&A bankers who see opportunities for take-private deals,” reports the WSJ’s Deal Journal.

LIVE BLOG: Sensex, Nifty plunge to 2011 lows

The BSE Sensex and Nifty plunged to fresh 2011 lows in Wednesday trade, a day before the expiry of derivatives contracts, amid renewed worries about faltering global growth.

M & A wrap: Exchange merger

The Tokyo Stock Exchange will take over its smaller rival in Osaka in 2013 to create the world’s third-biggest bourse, aiming to build scale to cope with a weak home market and compete with a flurry of global tie-ups.

KKR and Japanese trading house Itochu Corp have joined forces in a roughly $7 billion bid for U.S. oil and gas group Samson Investment, in a rare link-up between a major private equity firm and a Japanese company.

Shanda Interactive  said it agreed to be taken private by a group led by its Chief Executive Tianqiao Chen and his family in a deal that values the Chinese Internet firm at $2.3 billion.

M & A wrap: Merger Monday

Gilead Sciences struck a deal to buy Pharmasset for about $11 billion in a huge bet on hepatitis C treatments to diversify its portfolio.

Property and casualty insurer Alleghany said it would buy reinsurer Transatlantic Holdings for $3.4 billion in cash and stock, possibly putting an end to the months-long buyout battle for the reinsurer.

“Warren Buffett, who invested $23.9 billion for his Berkshire Hathaway in the third quarter, said the company could spend as much as $10 billion on its next acquisition,” Bloomberg reports.

Tyrone Gilliams keeps going and going despite charges

By Matthew Goldstein

It’s been an eventful month for hip-hop promoter and commodities trader Tyrone Gilliams, the man federal authorities allege defrauded investors out of at least $5 million.

The self-styled Philadelphia philanthropist was indicted by federal prosecutors on securities fraud charges on Nov. 14 after being arrested on criminal complaint in October. The Securities and Exchange Commission this week also filed civil fraud charges against the 44-year-old former University of Pennsylvania graduate and college star basketball player.

The SEC complaint and the indictment closely mirror the allegations we first raised against Gilliams in a Special Report in May, which revealed how Gilliams worked with a network of associates across the country to raise at least $5 million from two investment funds and then diverted that money to support his extravagant lifestyle. The money was supposed to be used for trading in Treasury STRIPS and to generate sky-high returns. But federal authorities contend Gilliams and his TL Gilliam LLC trading firm never did any trading as advertised.