Merger Arbitrage Mondays: March 22, 2010

by: Asif Suria

Last week was very active with new mergers and acquisitions announced, rumors of deals for some very well know names like Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) and Polycom (NASDAQ:PLCM), and the successful completion of two acquisitions.

Polycom, widely recognized for its Klingon starship shaped conference phones, had an interesting ride last week with the stock jumping more than 10% from Tuesday’s close of $30.44 to an intraday high of $34.14 on Wednesday on nearly 10 times average daily volume on speculation that investment firm Apax Partners has been in negotiations with the company since November to take it private at $37 per share. A couple of valuation related downgrades later, oddly enough the stock closed the week at $31.34, just a little higher from where it had started the week.

SINLetter pick Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TEVA) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) also duked it out for German generic drug manufacturer Ratiopharm and it looks like Teva won this $5 billion round, much to the delight of Teva investors who bid the stock up 3% last week.

Since we don’t include international deals or rumors in the Merger Arbitrage Mondays list, you will not see these deals in the table below. You will however find the newly announced acquisitions of Orchard Enterprises (ORCD), Chordiant Software (CHRD), Sport Supply Group (RBI) and Sterling Banks (STBK).

The acquisitions of Bare Escentuals (BARE) and Home Diagnostics (HDIX) completed last week and hence they have been removed from the Merger Arbitrage list below (click to enlarge images).