Unstructured Finance

DealZone Daily

Prudential says it has appointed Rob Devey, head of the UK insurer’s British and European operations, to lead the integration with AIG’s Asian life insurance arm. Read the Reuters story here.

And in news reported by other media on Wednesday:

Morgan Stanley has told investors that its $8.8 billion real estate fund may lose nearly two-thirds of its money due to bad investments, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reviewed fund documents.

US specialty chemicals maker Lubrizol has joined a string of other bidders in talks to buy Cognis, with an offer that could value the German maker of additives for cosmetics and detergents at about $4.1 billion, the Financial Times said.

DealZone Daily

Cerberus Capital Management said it would buy defense contractor DynCorp International for about $1 billion in cash in one of the biggest leveraged buyouts of a publicly traded US company since the global financial crisis.  Read the Reuters story here.

A subsidiary of China’s Sinopec Group agreed to pay $4.65 billion for ConocoPhillips’s stake in a Canadian oil sands project, marking the country’s second largest investment in North America.  Read the Reuters story here.

And in stories reported by other media on Tuesday:

Buyout lender Intermediate Capital Group has raised 843 million euros for a new fund that will invest in debt-burdened private equity deals, the FT said. The fund will buy debt at a discount and provide fresh capital for European companies worth as much as 500 million euros.

DealZone Daily

Britain’s ruling Labour government would seek to extend its powers to scrutinise foreign takeovers of UK companies if it wins an election on May 6, a party source told Reuters on Sunday.  The source played down a BBC report that the plan would amount to a “Cadbury’s Law”, to protect UK companies against hostile takeovers .

Shares in Macarthur Coal leapt 10 percent as investors bet a global bidding war for the Australian miner could escalate, amid talk that Xstrata may enter the fray.  A bid would pit Xstrata against Peabody Energy of the US and and local miner New Hope Corp.

And in news from other media over the weekend and on Monday:

National Australia Bank is working on plans for a 2 billion pounds flotation of its UK operations, according to the Sunday Times. The plan would be put into action if NAB fails to acquire 318 branches being sold by Royal Bank of Scotland.

DealZone Daily

The Dubai government unveiled plans to recapitalise its indebted Dubai World flagship and repay Nakheel bonds in full, injecting what it said was $9.5 billion in new funding, but without new aid from Abu Dhabi. Read the Reuters story here.

Bharti Airtel looked set to wrap up its $9 billion deal to buy most of Kuwaiti telecom group Zain’s African assets, giving India’s top mobile operator a foothold in the frontier market after two failed attempts to buy South Africa’s MTN. Read the Reuters story here.

For more on these and the rest of the latest deal-related news from Reuters, click here.

DealZone Daily

Arrow Energy says discussions with Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina over their $3 billion joint takeover offer for the Australian group are continuing. That is despite a story in the Australian Financial Review that says Arrow is set to reject the bid as too low. Read the Reuters story here.

Also in energy, China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is planning a joint venture with Argentina’s Bridas Energy Holdings. It will pay $3.1 billion to take a 50-percent stake in subsidiary Bridas Corporation. Incidentally, Bridas owns 40 percent in Pan American Energy — which is 60-percent owned by oil major BP.

For these and all other stories, click here.

And elsewhere in media:

The Japanese government is considering spinning off Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp’s fibre-optic businesses into a separate company, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

DealZone Daily

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc used accountancy gimmicks and had been insolvent for weeks before it filed for bankruptcy in September 2008, a court-appointed examiner has found. The good news is, but there was not extensive wrongdoing.  Read the Reuters story here.

Norway’s Yara International said on Friday it would not raise its offer for Terra Industries to match or exceed a rival bid from CF Industries Holdings Inc, Reuters reported. Yara agreed last month to buy Terra for $4.1 billion to create the world’s biggest mineral fertiliser producer.

And in news from other media on Friday:

Buyout firm Advent International has appointed advisors to assess a possible sale of budget store chain Poundland, the Financial Times said. The group has hired Close Brothers to look at options.

DealZone Daily

American International Group could learn the fate of the stalled $2.2 billion sale of its Taiwan unit Nan Shan Life Insurance as early as Thursday, when Taiwan’s parliament will review a report on the deal from the top financial regulator.  Read the Reuters story here.

A clutch of private equity firms have bid up to 400 million pounds for British greetings card retailer Card Factory, sources familiar with the process told Reuters. Here is the story.

And in news reported by other media on Wednesday:

Barclays is looking to buy a retail bank in the US to extend its presence after buying Lehman Brothers, reports the Wall Street Journal. Barclays is not in talks and no deals are imminent, but has designated an internal team to assess possible targets.

DealZone Daily

Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, is lining up a bid for the 21 percent stake in Turkey’s Garanti Bank that is being sold by General Electric, a source close to the deal tells Reuters. The stake in the most actively traded stock on the Istanbul bourse is worth $3.7 billion at current market prices. Read the story here.

And in news from other media on Tuesday:

Marsh & McLennan, the number two global insurance broker, has put its security consulting business Kroll up for sale for $1.3 billion, the Financial Times said.  Carlyle, Apax, BC Partners, General Electric and two trade bidders made first expressions of interest in late February, the report says.

Prudential shareholders have been given assurances they will share in the lucrative underwriting of the insurer’s record $21 billion rights issue to head of a brewing row between investors and the company, the Telegraph said, citing sources close to the company.

DealZone Daily

American International Group was closing in on a deal to sell its foreign life insurance unit to MetLife Inc for about $15.5 billion in cash and stock, sources familiar with the matter say. MetLife is expected to pay AIG about $6.8 billion in cash and about $8.7 billion in equity, which includes convertible preferred, common shares and common equivalent securities, for the unit, American Life Insurance Co (Alico). Read the Reuters story here.   Indian conglomerate Essar Group plans to raise about $2.5 billion to $3 billion by listing its energy and power businesses on the London bourse in late April, a person familiar with the matter says. Read the Reuters story here.   In other M&A and corporate finance news on Monday:   Kraft Foods is being investigated by UK regulators on whether the company misled employees and investors in its pursuit of Cadbury, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.   Top Prudential shareholders are threatening to revolt because they were not given a role subunderwriting the insurer’s $20 billion rights issue, reports the Telegraph. Shareholders are “furious” they have not been offered a role and that the job and lucrative fees that go with it have been given to a group of 30 banks instead.

DealZone Daily

Japan Airlines will keep its partnership with American Airlines, due to concerns that forging ties with rival suitor Delta Air Lines would make it difficult to achieve a quick turnaround, a source tells Reuters. Delta and American have been courting JAL, now bankrupt, for months, looking to gain access to its vast network in Asia.

British pay-TV group BSkyB sold a 10.4 percent stake in commercial broadcaster ITV, finally bringing an end to a long-running legal battle. BskyB had been ordered to cut its stake to below 7.5 percent in 2008. Since then, it has been through a series of appeals, all of which it lost.

For these stories, and all other Reuters news on deals, click here.

And for a selection of news in rival media:

The government of Ghana has blocked the estimated $4 billion sale of a stake in its Jubilee oil field, foiling months of talks between potential buyer Exxon Mobil Corp and the stake’s owner, Kosmos Energy LLC, the Wall Street Journal says.

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