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.