Friday, 29 June 2012

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 06/29/12


On Monday, Linn Energy purchased 12,500 acres of gas rich Wyoming property from BP for $1 billion. In the wake of the Gulf oil spill, the energy giant decided to pursue asset spin offs to raise funds; this is its second sale this year. The deal was met negatively by the market; with the seller and Linn falling 1.9% and 2.3% respectively. Also that day, Microsoft acquired Yammer, an enterprise social network, for $1.2 billion. This comes as the world’s largest tech firm looks to bolster its enterprise software offerings. The buyer lost 2.7%. The following day, SBA Communications bought over 3000 towers from TowerCo for $1.45 billion. The bidder believes that this investment will pay off when projected growth in telecoms fuels further cell-splitting by carriers. The tower operator was up 2.7%. The midweek saw The Tile Shop complete a $500 million merger with blank cheque firm JWC Acquisitions as it looks to go public. Through JWC the high end tiling retailer will now trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol TTS as it looks to finance further growth.

On Thursday, Petronas absorbed Progress Energy Resources for $5.35 billion. Foreign companies have been looking to invest in the North American energy boom, and many believe that Asian firms like Petronas are best positioned to gain from it due to their impressive extraction technologies. The target increased by 0.2%. The following day, brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev bought the 50 percent of rival Grupo Modelo that it doesn’t own. The $20.1 billion move is expected to help further the Mexican firm’s footprint in other countries while increasing the presence of Anheuser’s beers in Latin America. The buyer jumped 7.4% as Modelo closed almost 3% higher. Melrose took over the Elster Group for $2.3 billion. The British firm, which specializes in manufacturing turnarounds, is hoping that the utility meter producer will see performance increases under its cost-cutting regime. Elster and Melrose gained 3% and 2% respectively. Later on that day there was action in pharmaceuticals as Bristol Myers Squibb teamed up with AstraZeneca to purchase Amylin Pharmaceuticals for $7 billion. The main driver behind the deal is the Amylin's budding diabetes drug; adding new treatments to product lines has become important for medical giants as patents run out. The following Monday, Bristol Myers and AstraZeneca gained 0.3% and 2.1% respectively. The target was boosted 8.8%.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 06/22/12

The week’s first deal came on Tuesday, when KKR acquired Prisma Capital Partners, a fund of funds, for an undisclosed amount. It is believed that the private equity firm is looking to move into asset management through deals such as this. KKR gained 6.9% on the news. Also that day, pharmacy chain Walgreen purchased a 45 percent stake in British rival Alliance Boots for $6.7 billion. The move, which will create one of the world’s largest drugstore groups, is the latest in a flurry of acquisitions by US companies looking to capitalise on cheap European assets. The move was met with negative sentiment on the markets, with the buyer losing 5.9%.

On Thursday, the Cabot Corporation absorbed carbon supplier Norit for $1.1 billion. Securing this supply is part of their plan to refocus on higher margin units. The chemicals company fell 3.9%. The next day saw private equity group Bain Capital buy a 50 percent stake in Jupiter Shop Channel Company from conglomerate Sumitomo for over $1 billion. The private equity group is likely to have been attracted to the retail unit’s strong growth and wide reach in Japan. The seller decreased by 2.3%. Following a smaller increase the week before, telecoms giant América Movíl grew its stake in KPN to almost 21 percent for $1.59 billion. The Dutch firm have been trying to fend off their South American rival, citing a low offer, but to little avail. The bidder was up 0.6% as the target dropped 4.4%. 

Friday, 15 June 2012

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 06/15/12


On Monday, China Unicom bought back a 5 percent stake in itself from Telefonica for $1.4 billion. The European telecoms group is looking to sell non-core assets in order to maintain its financial health in the face of the credit crunch. The buyer jumped 6.5% while Telefonica lost 2%. Apax Partners and JMI Equity acquired Paradigm, which creates software to aid drilling by energy companies, for $1 billion. The private equity firms were no doubt enticed by the rising global demand for oil and gas. Also that day, private equity firm EQT Partners purchased BSN Medical for $2.26 billion. They will be looking to expand the medical supplies firm's reach and grow their product lines to cater for emerging markets. The following day, America Movil increased its stake in KPN for $58.5 million. This is the latest tactic employed by the Latin American telecoms giant as it looks to take over its Dutch rival and increase its presence in the European market. However, the target maintains that the premium being offered isn’t sufficient to close the deal. America Movil and KPN were up 3.2% and 1.2% respectively.

The midweek saw Saab sold to a Japanese consortium for an undisclosed price. The automobile manufacturer, which hasn't seen production in over a year, is to shift its focus to electric vehicles. On Friday, it was announced that Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing would buy the London Metal Exchange for $2.14 billion. It is believed that this move will help the bourse meet the growing demand for commodities in developing Asia. Hong Kong E&C's stock will react to the news on Monday. Later that day, just three days after tightening its grip on KPN, America Movil increased its stake in Telekom Austria from 2 to 23 percent. Many believe that Carlos Slim, owner of AMX, is advancing now due to the low price of European assets in the midst of the debt crisis. The bidder was relatively unchanged as the Austrian carrier gained 3.4%.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 06/08/12


On Monday, Salesforce.com purchased social networking specialist Buddy Media for $689 million. Through this deal, the relationship management company will strengthen its offerings in this rapidly growing sector. The buyer was up 0.2%. Also that day, Starbucks acquired Bay Bread for $100 million in cash. They will be looking to expand the San Francisco-based baker’s stores while introducing their product in Starbucks outlets. The global coffee shop chain gained 3.4%. The following day, private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners took a majority stake in Party City for $2.69 billion. Their plan is to grow the scale of what already is the leading party supply retailer in the country. Oracle absorbed social media analysis firm Collective Intellect for an undisclosed amount. The second such deal in as many days, this will allow Oracle to offer clients a new form of customer analysis which is believed to be quite effective. The enterprise software giant increased by almost 2%. Also that day, Venoco was bought out by CEO Timothy Marquez for $770 million. The MBO follows the energy group’s stock dropping over 30% in the past year. They fell 2.3% on the news.

The midweek saw Lloyd’s Banking Group sell $1.25 billion of distressed Australian real estate assets to Morgan Stanley and Blackstone. Proceeds from the sale will be used to pay back part of the British government’s bailout. The move was met positively by the markets; the vendor closed 6% higher, while Morgan Stanley and Blackstone jumped 8.4% and 3.5% respectively. Absa Group announced that it would buy the credit card business of retailer Edcon for $1.2 billion. This will allow the South African unit of Barclays to expand its reach in the fast growing country, while strengthening its relationship with the seller. The British bank was up 3.8%. Also that day, fashion company Kenneth Cole Productions was taken private by its namesake for $279 million. Mr Cole is apparently looking to revive the fashion brand’s focus on innovation. It gained 3.8%. 

On Friday, Chesapeake Energy sold assets from its midstream unit to Global Infrastructure Partners for $4 billion. This is expected to help improve the company's liquidity, which has been hampered by low gas prices. The oil and gas company was elevated 2.9% on the news. Sberbank acquired Turkish financial group Denizbank for $3.5 billion. The Russian state-owned bank has purchased numerous troubled financial firms since the economic crisis began. Sberbank dropped 0.3%. Later that day came the news that Marks & Spencer had entered into a joint venture with HSBC to open branches at 50 stores. Several retailers have begun providing banking services following the credit crunch to offer an alternative to traditional lenders. M&S and the banking group lost 1% and 0.4% respectively.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Mergers & Acquisitions - Week Ending 06/01/12


The week’s first deal came on Tuesday, when Marubeni bought Gavilon Group for $3.6 billion. Encouraged by a strong Yen, the buyer will be looking to import the grain producer’s product to the Asian market. The Japanese trading firm gained 2.6%. Also that day, P2 Capital Partners and GS Capital Partners, the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs, purchased Interline Brands for $1.1 billion. The management team of the supplier of professional contractors is also expected to invest as part of the deal. The investment bank was up 1.2% as target soared almost 40%, exceeding the premium offered. The midweek saw RIT Capital Partners buy a 37 percent stake in Rockefeller Financial Services for an undisclosed fee. The deal, which will see two famous banking families, the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, join forces, is based on the investment trusts collaborating in areas of expertise. The British firm was relatively unchanged.


On Thursday, tech company CGI Group absorbed British rival Logica for $2.6 billion. The move is expected to give CGI access to European markets as part of their plan to expand internationally. The move was met extremely positively; the buyer was boosted 13% while Logica was boosted 67%, exceeding the premium offered. Also that day, private equity firm Sycamore Partners acquired Talbots for $369 million. This comes as a surprise, considering the struggling women's retailer rejected several higher offers in the past; a plummeting share price may have provided a reality check. Their share price soared almost 90% on the news. The following day, Verizon Communications announced that it would buy Hughes Telematics, which provides wireless systems for vehicles, for $612 million in an all-cash deal. This comes as telecoms companies are looking to find new income streams. The telecoms giant was down 1.5%, as Hughes spiked 171%, mirroring the massive premium being paid.