Friday, 29 July 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 29/07/11

The dispute over US debt reverberated around Wall Street this week; with the fearful atmosphere fostering only two major deals. The first of these came on Monday, when the ING Group sold Insurance Latam, its Latin American unit, to investment firm Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana for $3.9 billion. This sale came as part of the bid by the financial services giant to separate its insurance and banking components; a condition of its bailout from the Dutch government. The seller was down 2%. The following day, New Mountain Financial acquired a controlling stake in SNL Financial for an undisclosed fee. The buyer, a midmarket private equity firm, was down 0.6%.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 22/07/11

The weekend brought the news that Hertz Global Holdings would purchase the Donlen Corporation, a vehicle and equipment leasing company, for $250 million in cash. Despite this acquisition adding long term leasing to Hertz’s existing car rental business, they were down 0.7% on Monday; possibly due to them assuming $680 million of Donlen’s debt. The next major deal came in the midweek when Nalco, a water treatment company, was purchased by Ecolab for $5.4 billion. The largest takeover ever by the disinfectant maker was met by negative sentiment from its shareholders; it was down 7.4%. Nalco was up over 24%, reflecting the large premium that they had commanded. OPTI Canada, an oil sands producer which had filed for bankruptcy, sold itself to China National Offshore Oil Corporation for $2.1 billion. The buyer was down 4.4%. Later on Wednesday, Randstad Holdings purchased the SFN Group for $710 million; doubling its HR presence in the US. The buyer was boosted 3.8% on this news, while SFN rose 53%, mirroring the premium offered.

Thursday saw Express Scripts buy Medco Health Solutions for $29.1 billion, making the buyer the largest pharmacy benefits manager in the country. There has been increased consolidation in the health sector as of late due to the US government’s health insurance reform. Express’ stock gained 5.3% and Medco increased by 14.4%. Fridge was purchased by Google for an undisclosed fee as part of its social networking project, Google+. The world’s most popular search engine was up almost 2%. On Friday, News Corporation sold its Russian billboard company News Outdoor Russia to a consortium led by a Kremlin-controlled bank. This is not believed to have any connection with the scandal in which the media giant is currently involved. The sellers finished the week down 0.4%.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 15/07/11

Over the weekend, the news broke that Precision Castparts would buy aerospace manufacturer Primus International for $900 million. On Monday, the buyer, which engages in metal casting, was down 0.6%. Nestle purchased a 60% stake in Hsu Fu Chi, a Chinese confectioner, for $1.7 billion. Despite this deal dramatically increasing its presence in the Asian market, the Swiss food giant fell 1.1%. In pharmaceuticals, Arch Chemicals was bought for $1.2 billion by The Lonza Group. Arch was up 12.3% by the bell, exceeding the premium offered. Also that day, NCR acquired Radiant Systems, a retail and hospitality manufacturer, for $1.2 billion in an all-cash deal. This announcement was met with negative sentiment on the markets. The buyer, which produces self-service technologies, was down almost 1.9% while Radiant dropped 2.3%.

Tuesday saw Gaz Metro take over Central Vermont Public Service Corporation for $472 million, bringing Vermont’s two largest public utilities companies together. Central Vermont’s price fell by 2.6%, while Valener Inc., which has a significant stake in Gaz Metro, was up almost 1%. Also that day, it was announced that Electronic Arts would buy PopCap Games for $750 million in order to strengthen its position in the mobile gaming market. The buyer was down by almost 1%. The midweek saw Apollo Global Management purchase the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team for around $280 million. The private equity firm closed down 1.5%. The week’s final major deal came on Thursday in the energy sector. BHP Billiton bought Petrohawk for $12.1 billion in an all-cash deal as BHP look to increase their natural gas assets. The prices of both firms dropped by around 1.8%.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 08/07/11

Tuesday saw the markets back in full swing following the 4th of July weekend. TPG Capital purchased Immucor, a company which manufactures products related to blood transfusions, for $1.97 billion. This announcement boosted Immucor’s share price by 30.2%. Also that day, money transfer giant Western Union bought Travelex’s Global Payments unit for $976 million. The buyers fell by 4.45%. After a quiet midweek, Thursday brought the remainder of the week’s deals. eBay purchased mobile payments company Zong for $240 million in an all cash deal. It is believed that this will help PayPal utilise cell phone billing in online transactions. The world’s largest online auctioneer was up 1.25%. Later that day, Apollo Global Management bought Gulf Stream Asset Management for an undisclosed fee. The buyer was largely unaffected by this news.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 01/07/11

Last week got off to an extremely sluggish start deal-wise, with no major announcements until Wednesday. BJ’s Wholesale Club sold itself to two private equity firms; Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital for $2.8 billion in an all-cash deal. This news, which adds to the recent trend of retailer buyouts, was well received by the markets; BJs was up by 4.6%. Troubled social networking site MySpace was sold by News Corporation to Specific Media for $35 million. The once lucrative website was originally purchased by the media giant for $580 million before being overtaken in popularity by Facebook. It had become increasingly unprofitable, and the sellers, who had been looking to dispose of it, were up 1.25%.

On Friday, Nortel Networks, the bankrupt telecommunications manufacturer, sold $4.5 billion worth of patent assets to a group of technology companies which included Microsoft, Apple, Research in Motion, EMC and Sony Ericsson. The alliance fought off competition from rivals like Google and Intel. The seller was up 42%, while the buyers’ biggest gainers included Apple which was boosted 2.3% and EMC up 1%. Providence Equity Partners purchased Blackboard Inc for $1.64 billion. The firm, which makes university coursework software, was up 1.8% by the bell. Internet domain registration giant Go Daddy sold itself to KKR and Silver Lake for $2.25 billion. KKR ended the week up 1.5%. Also that day, the New York Times Company sold a stake in the Boston Red Sox worth $117 million in order to generate cash to help them in the current financial slump. The seller’s share price was relatively unaffected by this news.