Saturday, 31 December 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 30/12/11

Tuesday saw a $924 million deal, as EDF increased its stake in Edison, an Italian utility firm, to 81 percent. This move comes as Europe's largest power company look to increase their foothold in the country. The buyer was relatively unchanged on the news, while the target lost 1.7%. Also that day, MetLife sold its $10.5 billion retail banking unit to GE Capital. This is believed to be a result of the threat of increased regulation for the insurance giant. The bidder fell 1.2%, as the vendor gained 0.3%.

The following day saw a similar sale, as Citigroup spun off its retail banking operations in Belgium to Credit Mutuel Nord Europe for an undisclosed fee. This deal fits in with CMNE's expansionary tactic in Western Europe. The seller lost 2.9%. On Thursday, Alexion Pharmaceuticals acquired Enobia for a total of $1.1 billion. The buyer citied a life-saving drug currently in production by the firm as a bullish sign. They were relatively unchanged during the day’s trading. On Friday, OTE sold its 20 percent stake in Telecom Serbia for $512 million. The Greek telecoms operator said that they will use proceeds from the sale to reduce their debt, which stands at almost $1 billion. Deusche Telecom, OTE's parent, was 0.4% higher by the bell.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 23/12/11

On Monday, Bi-Lo purchased rival [Winn-Dixie] for $560 million. This will allow Bi-Lo to expand its outlets into Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas. The food retailer was boosted a massive 70%, reflecting the large premium being paid. The following day, [Dexia] sold its Luxemburg operations to a Qatari investment fund for $952 million. This is the latest step in the dismantling of the Belgian-French bank, which has been bailed out twice since the financial crisis began. The seller was down 6.7%.

The midweek saw [Delphi Financial] being bought by insurer [Tokio Marine Holdings] for $2.7 billion. This will allow Tokio Marine to increase its presence in the US market following its takeover of Philadelphia Consolidated in 2008. The bidder gained 1.2%, while the target was up a whopping 73% mirroring the mark-up offered. [HSBC] agreed to spin off its Japanese private banking unit to [Credit Suisse] for an undisclosed fee. This sale is being seen as an attempt to reduce its costs and improve its capital base. The buyer was relatively unchanged on the news, whilst Europe's largest bank lost around 0.3%. Also that day, the [TMX Group] acquired a 16 percent stake in the Bermuda Stock Exchange. The transaction, for which price was undisclosed, represents the groups search for growth outside of the Canadian market. TMX closed 0.4% higher.

The following day, [Deustche Lufthansa] sold the unprofitable carrier BMI to the International Airlines Group for $270 million. The purchase is driven by IAG's aim to grow operations at Heathrow Airport, the world’s busiest by international passenger traffic. The vendor grew by 1.9%. Also that day, [Akamai Technologies] took over Contendo for $268 million. This will allow them to speed up their online offerings through cloud computing. They were up almost 19% by the bell.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 16/12/11

On Monday, the London Stock Exchange Group purchased the remaining 50 percent stake in FTSE for $701 million from publishing house Pearson, thereby attaining full ownership of the financial indexing firm. The group is looking to move into indexing, data and analytics in a bid to reduce its reliance on capital markets as IPOs become rarer. The vendor gained 2% as the bidder fell 0.5%. Also that day, Whitehaven Coal acquired its rival Aston Resources for $2.8 billion. Despite the deal creating one of Australia's largest coal producers, the target and buyer dropped 1% and 1.4% respectively. The midweek saw Coca-Cola buy a 50 percent stake in Aujan Industries, one of the Middle-Easts largest drinks companies, for $980 million. The firm are looking to expand their operations in the region due to the strong growth and the high rate of non-alcoholic drink consumption there. The world's largest beverage company was up almost 1% on the news. Also that day, it was announced that private equity firm TPG Capital had teamed up with SurveyMonkey to takeover online survey rival MarketTools. The move will also see TPG take a position in SurveyMonkey which values it at around $1 billion. Also that day, Novellus Systems was taken over by Lam Research Corporation for $3.3 billion. They say that together they will bring innovation to the semiconductor equipment business at a time when demand for chips is increasing. Lam lost 8.4% as Novellus was boosted over 16%, reflecting the large premium offered.

The following day, Old Mutual sold Skandia Insurance to Swedish insurer Skandia Liv for $3.2 billion. This comes as Old Mutual is looking to refocus on its long-term savings business and reverse some of the expansionary steps it took in the 90s. The British insurer grew 1.9%. On Friday, Vattenfall, a Swedish energy company, sold its Finnish electricity and heat assets to a consortium of investors, including private equity firm 3i, for $2 billion. This is the latest step in its plan to cut costs and refocus on its domestic operations. 3i closed 1.4% lower. Apollo Global Management acquired Belgian chemicals firm Taminco for $1.4 billion. They based their decision on its excellent portfolio, strong relationships and talented staff. The private equity firm gained 0.7%. United Rentals bought fellow equipment rental provider RSC Holdings for $1.87 billion. The buyer and target were both up 1.5%. Credit Agricole spun off its private equity unit to Coller Capital for an undisclosed fee. This news came as European banks were told that they needed to generate over $150 billion in additional funding to fit regulatory requirements. The French bank's price was unchanged by the news. Also that day, Crown Castle purchased antenna system manufacturer NextG for $1 billion in an all-cash deal. This move will allow Crown Castle to grow its antenna business so that it may wirelessly serve areas that are not covered by towers. The wireless company was down 1.1% by the bell.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 09/12/11

On Saturday, enterprise software provider SAP purchased cloud-based rival SuccessFactor for $3.4 billion. They believe that their future growth is based largely in cloud computing, with this deal being the first step in the creation of a “powerhouse”. On Monday, the bidder fell 1.95% while the target was boosted 51%, reflecting the large premium offered. Also that day, energy firm Entergy said it would sell its electric transmission unit to ITC Holdings. The proposed deal would take the form of a reverse Morris trust; a transaction method which uses the shareholders as middlemen to avoid taxes. It would make ITC one of the US’ largest power providers. The vendor was up almost 4%, as ITC gained 3.1%. The following day, China Development Bank announced new agreements with 3 private equity firms. The state-owned institution set up an investment oriented subsidiary which will work with KKR, TPG Capital and Permira to help it diversify its holdings. KKR were relatively unchanged by Tuesday’s bell.

The midweek saw JC Penney acquire a 16.6 stake in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, an integrated media and merchandising company, for $38.5 million. Both firms have been struggling in recent times, and are hoping that the move will bring good fortune through new ministores and an increased online presence. The department store chain increased 0.6%, while Martha Stewart’s firm rose 33.3%. Also that day, Santander spun off its Colombian unit to Chilean counterpart CorpBanca for $1.225 billion. The Spanish bank is the latest in the Eurozone to divest assets in order to strengthen its balance sheet. The buyer finished 3.2% higher as the seller saw no change. The following day, IBM took over DemandTec, an online enterprise software company for $440 million in an all-cash deal. As with SAP on the weekend, IBM are looking to gain from the projected upswing in cloud computing. The tech giant dropped 1.3% as DemandTec flew up 54% due to the large premium tendered. On Friday, Rogers Communications and BCE, two massive communications companies, purchased Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment for $1.2 billion. It is believed the firms will be able to provide game coverage of the teams owned by the target, which include the NBA’s Raptors and the Maple Leafs of the NHL. Rogers lost 0.5%, while BCE closed 0.8% higher.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 02/12/11

On Monday, the Tokyo Electric Power Company sold its shares in KDDI back to the mobile network operator for $2.4 billion. This firm has been unwinding much of its assets since the Tokyo Earthquake in an attempt to raise money to compensate victims of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. The seller gained 1.8%, while KDDI was up 0.6%. Also that day, KKR purchased Capital Safety, a producer of fall protection equipment, for $1.12 billion. The private equity firm said that they saw growth in the industry due to increasing safety regulations in developing countries as well as its dependency on the energy and infrastructure sectors. The buyer was boosted 8%. The nest major deal came on Thursday, when BP sold its Canadian natural gas unit to Plains All American Pipeline for $1.67 billion in an all-cash deal; the latest in a string of sales aimed at strengthening its balance sheet. The global energy giant fell 1.8% as Plains finished 1.7% higher. There was also action in the electronic design automation market as Synopsys bought Magma Design Automation for $507 million. They believe that R&D will be a lot more productive in the new firm. Synopsys finished 1.7% lower while the target was elevated a massive 24.7%, reflecting the large premium being paid.

The following day, Heineken acquired a chain of 918 British pubs, known as the Galaxy Pub Estate, from RBS for $646 million. The British bank has divested much of its noncore assets in the face of a worsening economic environment in recent years. The brewer was down 1.7% while the vendor increased by 3.9%. Verizon attained 122 spectrum licences for $3.6 billion from a group of firms including Comcast and Time Warner. These licences allow the expansion of wireless networks, which the bidder will utilise as demand for its services increase. Verizon was relatively unchanged, as Comcast and Time Warner gained 3.5% and 0.6% respectively. Also that day, Google‘s $400 million takeover of Admeld, a provider of online display advertising, was approved by the Justice Department. The online giant’s motive is to advance from its traditional text based offerings into advertising which includes images and video. The world’s largest search engine had grew 1.1% by the bell.