Friday, 25 November 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 25/11/11

Monday saw action in the insurance sector as Alleghany Corporation purchased Transatlantic Holdings for $3.4 billion. Executives claim that the fusion of their complimentary product lines will lead to superior performance. The bidder was down 6.8%,while the target gained 0.75%. In pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences bought Pharmasset for $11 billion in an all-cash deal. The buyer is very excited about the Pharmasset’s development of a new oral treatment regimen for Hepatitis C, which could be available by 2014. Gilead fell 9% as Pharmasset was boosted a massive 84%, reflecting the large premium being paid. Also that day, eBay acquired Hunch, a website which utilises a collective intelligence decision-making system, for an undisclosed amount. The figure is believed to be in the region of $80 million. Despite the technology being used to improve eBay’s e-commerce recommendations, the world’s largest online marketplace dropped 3.6%. 
The rest of the week’s major deals came on Wednesday. Samson Investment Company, one of the largest unlisted energy firms in the US, was taken over by a consortium led by KKR for $7.2 billion. The year’s biggest leveraged buyout would be the latest in a string of profitable oil and shale gas deals for KKR. The private equity firm lost 2.5%. Also that day, JPMorgan Chase said that they would buy MF Global’s 4.7 percent stake in the London Metal Exchange for $38.9 million. The bankrupt brokerage’s owners are looking to sell off different assets to repay creditors. Despite the deal making the buyer the largest shareholder in the exchange, the financial conglomerate closed 3.5% lower.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 18/11/11

On Monday, Bank of America announced that it would sell the majority of its holdings in China Construction Bank to a group of anonymous investors for $1.8 billion. The institution is looking to strengthen its balance sheet in order to improve weak shareholder confidence. The sellers fell 2.6% while CCB lost 0.6% on the Shanghai exchange the next day. Moodys purchased a controlling stake in Copal Partners, an Indian financial research institution, for an undisclosed fee. This is seen by the firm as a ‘logical extension’ of Moody’s Analytical; who are looking to outsourcing to cut costs. The rating and research company dropped 3.7%. VeriFone Systems bought Point International, a fellow tech-oriented payments firm, for $815 million. They believe that there is a “tidal wave” taking place, whereby cash and coin are being replaced electronically. The payments group were boosted almost 9%. Also that day, Walt Disney Company acquired Babble Media, a website for parents which features many bloggers, for an undisclosed fee. The entertainment group are planning to absorb the target into its “Moms and Family” brand; harnessing the important role that parents have taken in new media. The buyer closed 1.6% lower. The following day saw the week’s last major deal, with two of Japan’s largest steel companies saying that they would merge in a $1.6 billion move. Nippon Metal and Nisshin Steel are joining in order to retain competitiveness in the face of dwindling domestic demand and increased international competition. It is expected to create Japan’s second largest steel manufacturer. Nisshin fell 6.9%.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 11/11/11

On Monday, Best Buy purchased the full stake in its cell phone joint venture, ‘Best Buy Mobile’ from its partner Carphone Warehouse Group for $1.3 billion. Although cancelling plans to open more stores in Europe, Best Buy Mobile has been expanding rapidly in North America. The seller gained 1.1%, while the electronics retailer lost 3.1%. The following day, Italian suit maker Brioni was bought by PPR for an undisclosed fee (expected to be around $450 million). The French luxury goods group are hoping to attain a larger presence in the men’s fashion market, despite already controlling Gucci and YSL. They closed 2.4% higher. Also that day, Yum! Brand’s $566 million acquisition of the Little Sheep Group, was cleared by the Chinese Regulator. The Mongolian hot-pot retailer is currently the largest restaurant operator in China. The news was met extremely positively on the markets; the target was boosted 15.2% while the bidder was grew by 1.8%.

The next wave of deals came on Thursday, when Mitsubishi Corporation announced its largest mining deal ever; buying almost 25% of Anglo American’s Chilean Copper assets for $5.39 billion. Despite this move doubling the copper output of the Japanese giant, they fell 4.9% as their counterparty was up 3.6%. Tekelec was purchased by a private group led by Sirus Capital for $780 million. The telecoms firm increased 14% by the bell. Also that day, Starbucks took over juice maker Evolution Fresh for $30 million in an all-cash deal. They are looking to project the success of their coffee products onto healthier offerings in the juice industry. The US’s largest coffee chain gained 1.3%. The following day, China’s largest oil refiner Sinopec purchased a 30 percent stake in the Brazillian operations of Galp Energia for $5.2 billion. They are the latest in a string of growth-oriented Chinese companies investing to obtain new energy resources. The buyer was up 2.5% while Galp dropped almost 11%. Also that day Vivendi, owner of the Universal Music Group, bought the music division of the EMI Group from Citigroup for $1.9 billion. The deal must be cleared by competition authorities in Europe before contracts can be signed. The French media and telecommunications company was boosted 2.6% as the seller closed 2.4% higher.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 04/11/11

On Monday, B&G Foods purchased Mrs. Dash and five other household brands from Unilever for $325 million in an all-cash deal. The consumer goods giant has been recently selling several of the kitchen brands it gained from last year’s takeover of Alberto Culver. The buyer was up 8.3%, while the Unilever was down 1.5%. The following day, it was announced that BB&T Corporation would pay $301 million for $5.4 billion in loans and deposits from BankAtlantic. The commercial bank agreed to take only the best assets, leaving the seller with millions in troubled loans. Despite the deal expanding BB&T’s operations in the southeast, they fell 3.7% as BankAtlantic’s parent was boosted a massive 111%. Also that day, web powerhouse Yahoo bought InterClick for $270 million in order to improve its data targeting solutions for advertisers. The audience intelligence firm grew by 21%, reflecting the large premium being paid, while Yahoo closed 4.5% lower.

After hours on Thursday saw Billionaire Carl Icahn disclose an increase in his WebMD stake to 9.5%. Mr Icahn has been known to advise his companies to change strategy in order to raise their share price. The health information website was almost 1% higher the following day. On Friday, mining firm Anglo American said that it had increased its stake in De Beers to as much as 85% in exchange for $5.1 billion in cash. It has been hinted that the Oppenheimer family relinquished control of the company, which produces one third of the world’s diamonds, to diversify their portfolio. Anglo American was up 1.4%. Also that day, Kirin Holdings acquired the remaining 49% stake in Brazilian brewer Chincariol Participacoes e Representacoes following its purchase of a 51% stake in August. The deal was worth around $1.35 billion. They hope that gaining full ownership will help them improve governance and efficiency at Chincariol. The Japanese food and beverage firm dropped 0.6%.