Friday, 30 March 2012

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 03/30/12

On Monday, Bausch & Lomb purchased fellow eye care company ISTA Pharmaceuticals from Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm, for $500 million. This is the latest in a series of moves by B&L, who already make the majority of ISTA’s US products, to become the world’s premier eye care firm. The target gained 1%. The following day, Foxconn bought an 11 percent stake in its Japanese rival Sharp in a deal worth around $800 million. This comes as Chinese tech firms like the buyer are outstripping their neighbours due to lower costs. The bidder was up 1.6%, while Sharp was boosted a massive 20.4%, possibly on the hope that Foxconn can streamline their troubled manufacturing process. The week’s final deal came on Wednesday in industrial manufacturing, when Tyco merged its flow control unit with that of Pentair. The resultant company has an estimated worth of around $9 billion. Pentair jumped over 15% as Tyco increased 4.3% by the bell.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 03/23/12

Over the weekend, it was announced that UPS would buy rival TNT Express for $6.8 billion. This is expected to increase the shipping giant’s exposure to the European and Chinese markets. The bidder and the target gained 3.44% and 1.05% respectively. On Monday, Vista Equity Partners purchased Misys for $2 billion. The private equity group plans to combine it with Turaz, another risk systems firm in their portfolio. The financial software company was up 9.8%. AboveNet was taken over by fellow fiber optics provider Zeyo Group in a $2.2 billion all-cash deal. As cloud computing grows rapidly, Zeyo may be looking to increase their higher bandwidth infrastructure. AboveNet was boosted 12.8%, reflecting the premium offered.  Later that day, it emerged that Williams Partners would absorb shale processing subsidiary Caiman Eastern Midstream for $2.5 billion. This is the latest in a string of deals by gas companies looking to cash in on fracking. The buyer was down 3.4%. Also that evening, Amazon acquired Kiva Systems, which makes its warehouse robots, for $775 million. Amazon’s move will improve not only its productivity, but also its margins as it strikes off another cost. The online marketplace increased by 3.7%.

The following day, Glencore bought Viterra for $6.2 billion. This will strengthen the diversified giant’s presence in agribusiness; Viterra is Canada’s largest grain handler. In an attempt to appease regulators, Glencore also divided some of the purchased assets among smaller firms in what was officially a consortium. The commodity trader dropped 1.1%. Also that day, On Assignment purchased rival staffing firm Apex Systems for $600 million. By supplementing its current offerings with Apex’s IT operations, On Assignment is creating one of the largest staffing businesses in the US. Its stock jumped over 26% on the news. The midweek saw Indian technology firms Tech Mahindra and Satyam merge in a $1 billion deal. The target had only recently recovered its reputation following allegations of accounting fraud three years ago. The bidder and Satyam grew 5.4% and 4.7% respectively. JPMorgan purchased a 20 percent stake in Bridge Trust Company for an undisclosed amount. Many see this as a safer bet on Chinese growth than that of its competitors; smaller investment trusts like these don’t take consumer deposits and bear much less of their client’s risk. The financial conglomerate finished 0.6% lower. Also that day, Zynga acquired OMGPOP for an unknown fee. In absorbing the mobile games company, the entertainment firm is looking to become less reliant on Facebook for earnings. They gained 2.5%. On Thursday, Lloyds sold $793 million worth of loans to Sankaty Capital, a subsidiary of Bain Capital. This comes as European banks look to divest non-core assets to strengthen their balance sheets. The British bank lost 2.7%.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 03/16/12

On Monday, Asahi Kasei purchased Zoll Medical, a healthcare equipment maker, for $2.2 billion. This is the latest in a string of international deals by Japanese companies looking to compensate for sluggish domestic numbers. The chemical company was up 0.2% as Zoll was boosted 24%, mirroring the premium offered. Aeroports de Paris bought a 38 percent stake in Turkish operator TAV Havalimanlari for $874 million. This is in line with the French group's strategy which looks to invest in airports which have strong growth potential in the OECD or BRIC countries. The buyer gained 0.4%. Chinese video site Youku will merge with its rival Tudou in a deal valued at $1.1 billion. This comes in the midst of regulatory threats and significant losses for the two firms. It’s their hope that consolidation will allow for increased efficiency in their content and monetisation capability. Tudou was jumped a massive 156% as Youku increased by 27.4%. Also that day, UnionBanCal Corp took over Pacific Capital Bancorp for $1.5 billion. The buyer feels that the improving economy will allow for a credit mark up on Pacific's loans, which weren’t previously expected to perform well. The bidder’s parent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, lost 1.4% while the target closed 57% higher.

The following day, tyre corporation TBC merged with Midas in a $310 million all-cash deal. They believe that significant value can be added by combining TBC's expertise and capital with Midas' platform. The automotive repair franchise was up 1.6%. Apollo Global Management acquired Great Wolf Resort for $703 million. The private equity firm was attracted to the water park operator's strong revenue growth in spite of their profitability issues. Apollo fell just over 0.1% on the news. Also that day, Dell agreed to buy data security firm SonicWall. The move, which was estimated to be worth $1.25 billion, will significantly strengthen Dell's security software portfolio. The tech giant grew 1.6%. Thursday saw further action in the tech sector as News Corporation and Permira sold software maker NDS to Cisco Systems for $5 billion. The software mogul feels that the streaming and security program company will help grow its video services. The seller increased by 0.9% while the buyer dropped 1.4%. The following day, it was announced that Sanofi would take over medical device firm Pluromed for an undisclosed amount. This will allow the bidder to expand its biomed portfolio with products like Rapid Transition Polymers and ‘LeGoo’, a pioneering endovascular gel for the occlusion of blood vessels. The healthcare company closed 0.2% higher. Also that day, Astral Media was acquired by Bell Canada for $3.4 billion. The group's diversification has been noticeable in the past year, with it absorbing CTV and several Toronto-based sports teams. The communications provider dropped 1.05%, as Astral was boosted 34%.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 03/09/12

On Monday, American International Group sold $6 billion worth of shares in American International Assurance. When the insurer received the government bailout, its Asian counterpart was put in a special vehicle by the government. Since then, AIG has sold parts of this to try and repay the $182 billion bailout. This latest deal sees its stake reduced from 33 to 19 percent. The vendor gained 3.2% as AIA lost 0.7%. The following day, KKR entered into a $250 million partnership with Chesapeake Energy. This move, which looks to expand the firm’s royalty acquisition business, is the latest in a series of private equity deals in the energy sector. KKR fell 1.8% while the US’ most active driller dropped 2.8%. Also that day, AmerisourceBergen Corporation purchased rival World Courier Group for $520 million in an all-cash deal. This will allow the pharmaceutical service firm to add speciality logistics to its portfolio. The buyer closed 0.7% lower.

The midweek saw HSBC divest its Asian and Latin American insurance units to AXA and QBE Insurance for $914 million. This deal is part of its plan to focus on its more profitable Banking and Wealth Management units while cutting costs. Both AXA and the seller were up by 1.8% and 0.7% respectively, while QBE were relatively unchanged. On Friday, the London Stock Exchange group acquired clearinghouse LCH.Clearnet for $612 million. There has been much consolidation by major exchanges of late, aimed at widening margins and strengthening profits. The deal will allow the British exchange to earn extra fees should European regulators force OTC transactions to use clearinghouses as intermediaries. The bidder closed 7.5% higher. Also that day it was announced that Insight Capital Partners would buy Quest Software for $2 billion. Quest are excited by the prospects that privatisation brings, such as additional flexibility with regard to new product lines. The enterprise systems firm was boosted 24%, exceeding the large premium being paid.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 03/02/12

Setting the pace for what was a relatively quiet week deal wise; Motorola repurchased $1.17 billion worth of shares from activist investor Carl Icahn on Monday as part of a share buyback plan. Despite him selling most of his shares, he will remain one of their largest shareholders, and stated that he applauded the board for the move, terming it “responsible behaviour”.  The tech firm and Icahn Enterprises dropped 0.1% and 0.9% respectively.Also that day, the Blackstone Group invested $2 billion into Cheniere Energy Partners, which will help them to build a facility to allow for the compression and distribution of natural gas. The private equity firm lost 1.1% while Chinere were boosted 13.4%. The final deal of the week came on Wednesday, when AMD acquired SeaMicro for $334 million. The Silicon Valley start-up manufactures “microservers” into which AMD plans to integrate some of its new chips. It hopes that bold moves like this will help it overtake Intel as the largest processor maker. The markets felt differently however, as buyer fell 2.26%.