Unstructured Finance

Deals wrap: Glencore IPO draws key investors

Glencore kept a lid on its aspirations for a much-hyped market debut, targeting proceeds of $11 billion after securing record commitments from investors. The commodities trader set a price range of 480 to 580 pence per share for the London IPO, confirming an earlier Reuters report. That values it at $61 billion at the mid-point, in line with early forecasts. Glencore is planning a dual-listing in London and Hong Kong.

Chip equipment maker Applied Materials will buy Varian Semiconductor for $4.9 billion, as it looks to maintain its edge in new chipmaking technology to meet rising demands. Applied expects to fund the transaction with a combination of cash on hand and debt.

ConAgra Foods said it raised its offer for private-label food maker Ralcorp Holdings by 5 percent to about $4.9 billion in cash. The company, one of North America’s largest packaged food companies is looking to gain access to more U.S. store brands that have been attracting people looking to cut spending on food. ConAgra’s proposal comes after Ralcorp said late on Sunday that its board rejected an unsolicited offer it received from a third party in March.

German engineering conglomerate Siemens is looking for acquisitions of up to 3 billion euros ($4.5 billion) to boost core areas after raising its full-year outlook on strong demand from emerging markets. The company makes products ranging from lights bulbs to trains and power plants to name a few.

When Nasdaq and InterContinentalExchange first unveiled their spoiler takeover offer for NYSE Euronext, it was valued at $11.1 billion – or $1.78 billion more than the bid from rival Deutsche Boerse. Within a month, that gap has narrowed by 55 percent.  In this Wall Street Journal piece, Shira Ovide explains what has happened in the past month to change the price-gap of the offers.

Deals wrap: Nasdaq and ICE take NYSE bid hostile

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.

In this Reuters Dealtalk article,  the reporters suggest that as deal volume and CEO confidence picks up, companies will become more daring and willing to take risks in their fight for assets. The case of Nasdaq and ICE taking their bid for NYSE hostile is a prime example of this attitude.

Investment firm Onex and its affiliates said they will sell their Husky International business to private equity firms Berkshire Partners and Omers Private Equity for $2.1 billion. Husky is one of the world’s largest suppliers of injection molding equipment and services to the plastics industry.

Deals wrap: Facebook investors look for exits

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.

The sellers have lowered their price after previously trying to offload shares at a price that valued the company at $90 billion, but buyers balked.

Power company Exelon Corp is set to buy rival Constellation Energy Group for $7.9 billion, which will add 1.2 million customers to its existing 5.4 million. The Exelon-Constellation deal is the latest in a series of acquisition in a fragmented U.S. utility industry that faces new costs to upgrade power grids and meet environmental controls.

Deals wrap: Lactalis Parmalat bid leaving sour taste in Italy

French dairy giant Lactalis launched a $4.9 billion offer to take over Italy’s Parmalat, prompting intervention by Italy and France to defuse a row over control of the Italian company. The bid comes just hours ahead of a meeting between Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and French president Nicolas Sarkozy where the Italian government has expressed worries about French moves on Italian companies. Europe’s biggest dairy group bought 29 percent of Parmalat in March which sparked alarm in Rome.

China’s Minmetals Resources said it has dropped out of the battle for copper miner Equinox Minerals, saying Barrick Gold’s $7.7 billion bid was too rich to justify a counter-offer. “Competing with Barrick at these prices would, in our view, be value destructive for (our) shareholders,” Andrew Michelmore, Minmetals’ chief executive, said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal paints a picture of Nasdaq’s hardships thus far in a bid for NYSE Euronext. The exchange has  sweeten their offer with more money but was still turned down and now hope to win over NYSE shareholders. Ronald Barusch sees a four-step program to Nasdaq’s victory.

Deals wrap: Nasdaq and ICE sweeten bid for NYSE Euronext

NYSE/NASDAQNasdaq OMX and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) said they have lined up a commitment to finance their rival bid for NYSE Euronext and have offered to pay a breakup fee if the deal fails to go through. This article from The Wall Street Journal lists the details of how Nasdaq and ICE is plan to sweeten their offer for the exchange even more.

Samsung Electronics is selling its hard-disk-drive (HDD) business to Seagate Technologies for 1.4 billion in cash and stock as Samsung looks to back out from the industry and focus on its core money-making memory-chip business. The acquisition will help Seagate, the world’s largest maker of hard drives better compete with rival Western Digital, which has plans to buy Hitachi’s HDD unit for $4.3 billion.

Leading corporate governance body PIRC is telling Xstrata shareholders ahead of their board vote they should reject the election of three directors nominated by its top shareholder Glencore because it does not perceive them as independent.  The world’s top commodities trader is in the process of completing a $12.1 billion duel-listing in London and Hong Kong.

Deals wrap: Why does J&J want to buy Synthes?

Doctors discuss medical treatment as they look at an X-Ray image on a monitor in this Reuters file photo. REUTERS/Fabrizio BenschAnother multi-billion dollar international healthcare deal could be coming if Johnson & Johnson has its way. Synthes, a Swiss medical device maker, confirmed it is in takeover talks with J&J after reports the U.S. health giant is keen to buy it for about $20 billion.

What does J&J want from a Swiss company many have never heard of before? The acquisition, which would be J&J’s biggest ever, would give the company a leading edge in equipment used to treat trauma patients. Synthes makes nails, screws and plates to fix broken bones, as well as artificial spine discs.

But a deal is far from certain at this stage. As the WSJ’s Katharina Bart points out, key to any deal is the agreement of Synthes Chairman Hansjoerg Wyss, a “secretive billionaire” who owns 48 percent of the company directly and through family trusts.

Deals wrap: Glencore’s $12.1 billion IPO

GLENCORE/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.

NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse are looking at several options to win support for their $10.2 billion deal, including paying special dividends to shareholders, according to sources briefed on the matter. The idea of paying the special dividends is to win shareholders support over an unsolicited higher offer from Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE). While NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse currently pay dividends, Nasdaq and ICE do not.

BP and Rosneft agreed to extend the deadline for their swap agreement by one month as the British oil producer tries to salvage the $7.8 billion deal. 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.

Deals wrap: BP’s Rosneft deal on the rocks?

BP/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.

HP held talks with software company Tibco about a possible acquisition until about two weeks ago, according to sources familiar with the matter. The talks come as new CEO Leo Apotheker is expected to revitalize the company’s software division via acquisitions, which only accounts for 3 percent of its revenue. It is not clear if the talks will resume. (more…)

Deals wrap: Nasdaq says offer superior despite NYSE snub

NYSE/NASDAQNasdaq 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.

Endo Pharmaceuticals Holding Inc. will buy American Medical Systems for $2.6 billion in cash to boost its key urology franchise. The deal is expected to immediately add to Endo’s adjusted earnings for 2011 and to boost 2012 adjusted earnings. (more…)

Deals wrap: A Blockbuster deal for Dish?

A Blockbuster movie rental store is seen in Golden, Colorado September 16, 2009. REUTERS/Rick WilkingActivist investor Carl Icahn may have shown up in person at Blockbuster’s bankruptcy auction to place his bid, but it was U.S. satellite TV provider Dish Network that walked away the winner.

Dish, led by satellite billionaire Charlie Ergen, won the assets of the once-mighty video rental chain for about $320 million, beating out Icahn and at least two other bidders in an auction that lasted into the early morning hours on Wednesday.

NYSE Euronext will “absolutely not” be placing a counterbid for Nasdaq OMX, a source close to the Big Board told Reuters corresondent Paritosh Bansal in an exclusive interview. The source said such a combination would be strategically unattractive and face “insurmountable antitrust problems.”

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