Unstructured Finance

Deals wrap: Who will Sprint call?

A woman talks on her phone as she walks past T-mobile and Sprint wireless stores in New York July 30, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidBankers said Sprint had a handful of options after AT&T swooped in to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, but none of them would give it the clout to compete in a market dominated by AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which would collectively hold an almost 80 percent market share. Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead said he had no interest in buying Sprint.

Charles Schwab will buy online brokerage optionsXpress Holdings in a $1 billion deal that gives Schwab a stable of the most active retail traders, as options continue to boom.

Shutterfly said it agreed to buy privately held card design company Tiny Prints in a $333 million cash-and-stock deal, as the photo-sharing service tries to win back customers in a market increasingly dominated by social networking sites like Facebook.

Buyouts in Asia are chiefly dependent on bank loans but in a first-of-its-kind for the region, the debt portion of one deal last week was financed entirely through a bond issue, likely opening a new funding route for private equity firms, writes Stephen Aldred.

Secondary market trading has provided a valuation boost for many venture capitals’ assets, like Facebook and Twitter. Now, the expansion of startups’ market inclusion is set to generate greater short-term profit and higher expectations for investors, many of which have no affiliation to venture capital or to venture capital limited partnerships, writes peHUB’s Jonathan Marino.

Deals wrap: AT&T’s crystal ball

The at&t logo is seen at their store in Times Sqaure in New York April 21, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon StapletonAT&T’s surprise $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom will create a new leader in the U.S. mobile sector and likely draw scrutiny. The regulatory challenge will be predicting what the dominant form of communication will be 3 to 5 years from now, analyst Evan Stewart said. The deal will take a year to close, in which time customers are expected to see improved network quality, according to AT&T.

Sprint Nextel risks being further eclipsed by Verizon and the new AT&T, which together would boast 230.3 million customers in the U.S., compared to Sprint’s less than 50 million, writes Michael J. de la Merced and Jenna Wortham of The New York Times.

Citigroup plans to slash the number of common shares outstanding and reintroduce a dividend after suspending payouts two years ago, taking another step in its long recovery from the brink of failure during the financial crisis.

Deals wrap: Icahn turns inward

Investor Carl Icahn speaks at the Wall Street Journal Deals & Deal Makers conference, held at the New York Stock Exchange, June 27, 2007.  REUTERS/Chip East Seems billionaire investor Carl Icahn has had enough of managing money for outsiders. The 75-year-old stock picker dropped a bit of surprising news on Tuesday when he said he plans on returning all of his clients’ money, making him the latest in a string of investors to do so.

Barnes & Noble’s bid to reinvent itself as a formidable competitor in the burgeoning e-books sector is off to a solid start. Its Nook is the second best-selling e-reader on the market behind Amazon’s Kindle, and the book chain’s chief says it has 25 percent of the e-books market.  So why can’t the bookseller find any buyers? Reuters correspondents Phil Wahba and Jessica Hall take a closer look in a new piece.

Jury selection in the trial against Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam kicks off the action today in a case at the heart of the biggest insider trading investigation in a generation.

Mobile merger report rings bells

SPRINT/Sprint Nextel‘s stock soared 11 percent before the market opened on a British newspaper report that T Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom had appointed Deutsche Bank to advise on a possible run at Sprint, valuing the U.S. cellular carrier at $11 billion.

Sprint certainly is a logical target for any company looking to boost its position in the very busy U.S. mobile market. It announced a large goodwill write-off in February 2008

And Deutsche Telekom is on the make. It signed a deal with France Telecom to combine the companies’ British mobile phone businesses — T-Mobile UK and Orange — last week.

Handicapping prospects of a Sprint Nextel deal

sprint.jpgSprint Nextel Corp appears to be considering several deals, including a possible spinoff of its Nextel business, a WiMax joint venture with Clearwire Corp, or a takeover by Deutsche Telekom.

With the company scheduled to report earnings on May 12, investors hope something — anything — will happen to shake up the struggling wireless company. But analysts aren’t so sure that any of those transactions would create value for shareholders, especially considering the company’s less-than-stellar acquisition track record and its struggles with subscriber losses and network problems.

“While restructuring is a possibility we see significant hurdles to completing value added transactions,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Simon Flannery. “There are multiple impediments to value creating transactions including technological, regulatory, and financial barriers.”

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