U.S. solar panel maker SunPower, a unit of French oil major Total, said it had agreed to buy Total-owned Tenesol for $165.4 million in cash in an expected deal that will regroup the French group’s solar business under one umbrella. Total announced the $1.3 billion takeover of SunPower in June.
Europe’s debt woes dragged worldwide investment banking income down this year, data showed, with fees on the continent slumping to the lowest quarterly level ever recorded and company listings and acquisitions grinding to a near halt. In Europe, fees raised since October from bonds, flotations and mergers and acquisitions stand at the lowest quarterly level ever recorded by the data providers. A stronger start to the year in areas such as mergers and acquisitions fizzled out, leaving investment banks’ overall haul of fees at $72.6 billion — down 8 percent on 2010.
Microsoft plans to buy internet telephone network Skype for $8.5 billion, the biggest purchase ever for the world’s largest software company as it seeks to regain ground on growing rivals. The money-losing Skype has 145 million users on average each month and has gained favor among small business users. The deal would also give Microsoft a foothold in the potentially lucrative video-conferencing market. Skype, which is minority owned by eBay, allows people to make calls at no charge but also offers some paid features.
Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange will take their takeover bid for NYSE Euronext straight to the Big Board’s shareholders as they try to corner the company into talks. NYSE has already rejected Nasdaq and ICE’s $11 billion unsolicited offer twice in favor of a lower bid from Deutsche Boerse.
A group of Facebook shareholders is seeking to offload $1 billion worth of shares on the secondary market, a sale that would value the company at more than $70 billion, according to sources. It would represent one of the largest transactions of Facebook shares to date and points to a growing wariness among early-stage investors and employees who fear the social networking service’s growth cannot keep pace with its market valuation.
Fiat will pump another $1.3 billion into Chrysler this quarter as it moves closer to its target of owning a controlling stake in the U.S. automaker. The deal will take Fiat’s holding in the company to 46 percent, just 5 percent shy of the 51 percent it needs to assume full control.
Glencore is looking to raise up to $12.1 billion for its initial public offering in a duel listing that will boost firepower for deals at the height of the resource boom. The long-awaited details of the offer, set to be the largest ever in London, were outlined in an intention-to-float that confirmed an earlier Reuters story. However, the company did not name a new non-executive chairman, a requirement for its listing.
The planned $18 billion deal between BP and Rosneft was left even more uncertain after its chief backer Igor Sechin stepped down as Rosneft’s chairman. Sechin, who is also Russia’s deputy prime minster quit after President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the removal of ministers from the board of state companies. BP’s tie-up with Rosneft is already blocked by a court injunction secured by the company’s Russian partners in its TNK-BP venture.
Nasdaq OMX Group responded to NYSE Euronext’s snub by reaffirming their cash and stock offer for the exchange was superior to that of the bid submitted by German rival Deutsche Boerse AG. Nasdaq’s CEO, Robert Greifeld said in a statement they have received positive feedback from NYSE Euronext shareholders and expects, at the very least a meeting with NYSE Euronext to discuss further details. Shares of Deutsche Boerse rose 1 percent after NYSE Euronext’s rejection of Nasdaq’s offer.