Unstructured Finance

Deals wrap: BSkyB deal unravels

News Corp will withdraw its bid for British broadcaster BSkyB, the company said. Breakingviews columnist Chris Hughes writes James Murdoch should stage his own tactical retreat and resign from News Corporation.

Medical device maker Kinetic Concepts said it would go private in a nearly $5 billion cash deal with a consortium of private equity firm Apax Partners and two Canadian pension firms.

Electronic Arts Inc, the video game publisher, is buying PopCap Games in a deal worth up to $1.3 billion as it tries to ramp up its social and casual games portfolio and better compete with Zynga.

Deals wrap: Looking back on GM’s debut

GM/IPOGeneral Motors’ momentous return to the stock market last week was helped in part by the automaker’s own executives. Several top managers at the top U.S. automaker acquired shares in the IPO and some added to their stakes afterward, led by Chief Executive Dan Akerson and Chairman Ed Whitacre.

Whitacre and Akerson acquired more than $500,000 of GM stock each, taking 800 shares each in the initial public offering and then adding to their stakes afterward in open market transactions, filings with U.S. securities regulators show.

The dramatic debut, the largest IPO in U.S. history, came a year and a half after the U.S. government rescued the automaker and forced a massive overhaul. It also marked the beginning of the end of the government’s 61 percent ownership stake in the company, which the Obama administration said it hopes to shed entirely by mid-to-late 2012. The New York Times reports that Treasury officials faced a tough decision over the public offering price in the days leading up to the listing, torn over how it would define the success or failure of Detroit’s $50 billion bailout.

Spring time for debt in Consol, PVH deals

Apparel company Phillips-Van Heusen agreed to buy fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger from London-based Apax Partners in a cash and stock deal for about $3 billion to boost its presence in Europe and Asia. It expects to use $3.05 billion debt, $385 million cash at hand, $200 million perpetual convertible preferred stock and $200 million from a common stock offering to finance the deal and refinance certain other debt.

Consol Energy agreed to buy Dominion Resources Inc’s Appalachian natural gas properties for $3.48 billion in cash, giving Consol a leading position in the growing Marcellus Shale field. It too is going to the debt markets to finance the deal, though for how much exactly is not yet known, Consol’s shares fell more than 9 percent after it said it would issue $4 billion in debt and equity to fund the purchase and development of the property.

Do two deals announced in one day make a trend? Maybe only in a blog, though CNBC’s David Faber also noted the rising use of borrowing. But it is at least probably safe to say that debt finance is appearing healthier than it has in months. With the Federal Reserve expected to say tomorrow it is ready to keep money cheap for months to come, the prospects for more of the same are looking bright.

Check Out Line: Phillips-Van Heusen tries Hilfiger on for size

tommy1Check out apparel company Phillips-Van Heusen’s deal to buy fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger for about $3 billion.

Phillips-Van Heusen, also owner of the Calvin Klein label, is making the cash and stock deal, expected to close in the second quarter, to boost its presence in markets like Europe and Asia. Tommy Hilfiger is currently owned by private equity firm Apax Partners.

“Tommy Hilfiger fits all of our acquisition criteria: a strong brand, superior management, highly profitable, immediately accretive to earnings, and focused on international growth,” Phillips-Van Heusen CEO Emanuel Chirico said.

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