Thursday, December 12, 2013
6:29 PMStrategic Hotels & Resorts divests Four Seasons Punta Mita resort for $200M
- Strategic Hotels & Resorts (BEE) sells the Four Seasons Punta Mita resort and adjacent 48 acre La Solana land parcel in Mexico for $200M to Bill Gates' Cascade Investment (a 6.4% shareholder of BEE). Closing is expected in Q1.
- The sale represents a price of ~$980K/key. The resort was acquired back in 2001 from DESC and Four Seasons for an undisclosed price.
- The company has been taken to task for its relative underperformance by activists like Orange Capital, with one of the fund's recommendations being that BEE explore strategic alternatives.
3:36 PMJones Group spikes on report that Sycamore is nearing a deal| Comment!
1:07 PMSparton acquires electronic controls contract manufacturer Beckwood Services
- Sparton (SPA -0.3%) acquires electronic controls and assemblies contract manufacturer Beckwood Services in an all-cash deal. Terms were undisclosed.
- Beckwood generates annual revenue of $18M. Its customers include Fortune 1000 manufacturers of industrial control systems, measurement/detection equipment, analytical instruments, and military/DHS equipment.
- Sparton expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings within the first year.
12:47 PMEU to reportedly give Telefonica/KPN deal close scrutiny
- Reuters reports the E.C. will "open an in-depth probe" into Telefonica's (TEF -0.9%) $11.9B cash/stock purchase of KPN's (KKPNF) German unit on Friday, and will reject a German proposal to handle regulatory scrutiny of the deal.
- Many expected the E.C. to closely scrutinize the acquisition, which stands to lower the number of German mobile carriers from four to three (Telefonica/KPN, Deutsche Telekom, and Vodafone). Citi has estimated the deal could produce €4B ($5.5B) in annual synergies.
11:20 AMLifeLock acquires mobile wallet solutions provider Lemon for $42.6M
- LifeLock (LOCK) acquires mobile wallet solutions provider Lemon for $42.6M in cash to expand its reach into mobile.
- The Lemon Wallet app, which allows users to digitally store their credit cards and use them for mobile transactions, has been downloaded more than 3.6M times.
- In conjunction with the acquisition, LifeLock has launched a new digital identity protection app utilizing Lemon technology called LifeLock Wallet on iOS and Android. The offering is free and offers the features of the Lemon Wallet app, with the option to add a LifeLock subscription to receive fraud alerts and insurance.
10:45 AMTrimble acquires crop and soil data provider C3| Comment!
8:13 AMCentene to buy 68% stake in home health care provider for $200M
- Centene (CNC) agrees to acquire a ~68% interest in U.S. Medical Management, a provider of in-home health services, for $200M in cash and stock as it continues to expand its stable of services.
- In conjunction with the deal, CNC also is forming a new healthcare enterprise holding company that will connect it and other health solution providers.
- CNC expects the deal to add $0.02-$0.05 to EPS next year and $0.20-$0.25 in 2015, and add annual revenue of $220M-$240M.
7:00 AMIndian court lifts freeze on Nokia factory
- An Indian court has agreed to unfreeze a phone-making factory owned by Nokia (NOK) so that it can complete the sale of its handset unit to Microsoft (MSFT).
- Authorities seized the plant following a tax dispute. Nokia will deposit 22.50B rupees ($367.17M) in an escrow account as a condition for lifting the freeze and transferring the factory to Microsoft.
- The tax case will continue separately. If Nokia loses, it could face a bill of up to $3.4B.
4:21 AMLiberty back in for Holland's Ziggo
- Liberty Global (LBTYA) is in negotiations to acquire Dutch cable group Ziggo (ZIGGY), which already rejected an offer from the U.S. group in October for being too low.
- Liberty owns 28.5% in Ziggo, whose market cap is €6.63B.
- The talks come as Liberty expands its presence in Europe, having acquired Virgin Media for $16B earlier this year.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
4:48 PMUNS Energy +30% AH after Fortis agrees to acquire for $60.25/share
- UNS Energy (UNS) agrees to be acquired by Fortis (FRTSF), Canada's largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility, for $60.25/share, a 31% premium to today's closing price.
- The $4.3B deal, which includes the assumption of ~$1.8B in debt, would provide additional capital and new resources for UNS subsidiaries including Tucson Electric Power and UniSource Energy Services.
- Fortis serves more than 2.4M through its electric utilities in five Canadian provinces and two Caribbean countries, a natural gas company in British Columbia, and a gas and electric utility in New York.
- UNS +30.2% AH.
4:48 PMExelis to spin-off military and government services business
- Exelis's (XLS) board authorizes a plan to spin-off its military and government services business, Exelis Mission Systems. Completion is expected in summer of 2014.
- Exelis will focus future investments on strengthening its Critical Networks, ISR & Analytics, Electronic Warfare, and Aerostructures ops.
- Exelis is expected to generate $3.4B in revenue in 2013 after a pro forma adjustment for the spin-off, with a "meaningful appreciation in its growth and operating margin profile" as well as diversification of non-U.S. defense customers to 50% from 30% currently.
- Exelis Mission Systems' pro forma 2013 revenue is estimated at $1.5B. Division President Kennett Hunzeker will lead the spun-off entity.
- Conference call at 8:30am ET tomorrow
10:48 AMRosetta Stone acquires B2B language software maker Tell Me More for $28M
- Rosetta Stone (RST +0.9%) acquires Europe-focused, B2B language-learning software company Tell Me More for €20.75M ($28M).
- 95% of Tell Me More's €18.5 million ($25 million) business is focused on corporate and higher education verticals, with a significant presence in Europe as well as in China.
- The company has more than 3K customers worldwide and offers solutions covering 9 languages.
- Rosetta stone expects to achieve significant cost synergies by streamlining the 2 companies' sales forces under the Rosetta Stone brand and taking advantage of Rosetta's scale.
- Management expects the acquisition to contribute bookings of $25M-$27M in 2014. The impact to EBITDA is seen at $3M-$4M after excluding $3M-$4M in integration costs. Beyond 2014, the company sees "modest top-line growth" and EBITDA margins of 25% or greater.
9:24 AMJDS Uniphase buying Network Instruments for $200M
- JDS Uniphase (JDSU) is acquiring Network Instruments, a provider of network analysis/performance monitoring hardware for enterprises and data centers, for $200M in cash. The deal is expected to close within 45 days. (PR)
- Network Instruments competes with Riverbed's (RVBD) Opnet unit and NetScout (NTCT), among others; the deal could rekindle M&A hopes for the latter. Network Instruments had revenue of $40M over the last 12 months, and (per JDS) addresses $1B+ worth of markets growing at a 13% clip.
- JDS asserts Network Instruments' products complement its carrier-focused network analysis/monitoring products, and will help it create new offerings as "enterprise and carrier network performance management requirements converge."
- JDSU +0.7% premarket
7:41 AMMoody's buys Amba Investment Services
- Boosting the research and analytical capabilities offered by Moody's Analytics, Moody's (MCO) acquires Amba Investment Services for an undisclosed amount of cash.
- About 10 years old, Amba is known for providing outsourced investment research and analytics to financial institutions. It's expected to generate about $39M in revenue this year.
- The deal isn't expected to have a material impact on Moody's EPS.
- Press release
7:32 AMSavient assets to be sold to Crealta Pharmaceuticals
- Bankrupt Savient Pharmaceuticals (SVNTQ) has agreed to sell substantially all of its assets to Crealta Pharmaceuticals for $120.4M.
- The figure is more than double the stalking horse bid of $55M made by Sloan Holdings.
- The assets include Krystexxa, Savient's uric acid-specific enzyme for treating chronic gout.
- The transaction is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court, which is due to hold a hearing about the agreement on Friday. (PR)
5:09 AMCisco fails in challenge to Microsoft-Skype deal
- The European Union's General Court, the bloc's second highest court - has rebuffed a request by Cisco (CSCO) to revisit the EU's approval of Microsoft's $8.5B acquisition of Skype in 2011.
- Cisco argued that the deal led to a monopoly and that the EU should have demanded concessions from Microsoft.
- However, the judges disagreed. "The merger does not restrict competition either on the consumer video communications market or on the business video communications market," the judges said.
- Cisco can now appeal to the EU Court of Justice.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
4:51 PMDiscovery reportedly mulling bid for Scripps
- Variety reports Discovery's (DISCA) board discussed a possible bid for Scripps (SNI) at a Tuesday meeting.
- The magazine points out Scripps, which owns the Food Network, HGTV, and the Travel Channel, would mesh well with Discovery's own stable of "lifestyle-driven" channels. A merger would also give Discovery more leverage and bundling opportunities in talks with pay-TV providers.
- Scripps remains controlled by 24 descendants of founder E.W. Scripps. The heirs currently face restrictions on their ability to liquidate their holdings via public markets.
- SNI +9.6% AH. DISCA nearly unchanged for now.
2:27 PMSplunk buys network data capture startup
- Splunk (SPLK -1.2%) has acquired Cloudmeter, a developer of products that allow large volumes of data about corporate/data center network activity to be captured. Terms are undisclosed. (PR)
- Splunk plans to integrate Cloudmeter's technology with its machine data analysis software, and notes the former should strengthen the latter's value in IT operational intelligence/troubleshooting deployments (one of its core use cases).
- The purchase comes three months after Splunk bought BugSense, a startup that offered tools for analyzing the machine data produced by mobile apps.
1:41 PMGiant Interactive retains Morgan Stanley, D&F to consider take-private bid| Comment!