Today - Monday, December 9, 2013
9:16 AMVerizon confirms EdgeCast deal, says Vodafone deal to boost EPS
- Verizon (VZ) confirms it's acquiring CDN owner EdgeCast Networks. No price tag is given, but TechCrunch reported over the weekend Verizon is paying $350M+. The companies hope to close the deal in early 2014. (PR)
- Akamai (AKAM) investors aren't responding well to the news; shares -2.5% premarket. The deal could both strengthen an Akamai rival, and end Verizon's partnership with the CDN market leader.
- Verizon notes EdgeCast has 6K+ customers, and says the business complements that of TV Everywhere uploading/encoding service provider upLynk (acquired earlier this year).
- Separately, at a UBS conference talk (webcast), Verizon predicts its $130B purchase of Vodafone's Verizon Wireless stake (financed using both debt and equity) will boost EPS by 10%.
9:12 AMEqual Energy to be acquired by Petroflow Energy for $5.43/share
- Equal Energy (EQU) agrees to be acquired by Petroflow Energy in a deal totaling $230M, or $5.43/share, a 23% premium to the $4.43 closing price on Nov. 18 when EQU said its strategic alternatives process had successfully resulted in exclusive negotiations for a proposed transaction.
- Montclair Energy had been attempting the acquire EQU for months but failed to come up with an acceptable offer.
8:53 AMEssex and BRE in exclusive negotiations
- Essex Property Trust (ESS) confirms its proposal to buy BRE Properties, saying it offered $12.33 in cash and $0.2971 of ESS for each share of BRE - $58.08 based on Friday's close. Chatter last week said the offer was higher than a rejected $60 per share bid made by Land & Buildings earlier this year.
- The two companies have entered exclusive negotiations.
- BRE -2% premarket to $58.15
- Essex press release
- BRE press release
8:11 AMSysco lands US Foods in large foodservice merger
- Sysco (SYY) buys U.S. Foods in a deal that has a total enterprise value of close to $8.2B inclusive of the assumption of debt.
- After the merger closes, US Foods shareholders will hold approximately 87M shares of Sysco.
- The new combined company expects to realize annual synergies of $600M.
- The deal is slated to close in Q3 of 2014.
- SYY +10.2% premarket.
7:11 AMTerex to offload truck unit to Volvo for $160M
- Terex (TEX) has agreed to sell its truck business, which sells off-highway rigid and articulated haul trucks, to Volvo Construction Equipment for $160M.
- "Trucks no longer fit within our changing portfolio of lifting and material handling businesses," said Terex CEO Ron DeFeo. The deal reflects the company's strategy to "focus on those businesses that provide the greatest returns for our shareholders."
- Terex plans to use the proceeds from the deal to help finance a stock buyback program and dividend payouts. (PR)
6:47 AMWhiteWave to acquire Earthbound Farm for $600M in cash
- WhiteWave Foods (WWAV) is acquiring Earthbound Farm - the largest organic produce brand in North America - for $600M in cash
- The acquisition is expected to be accretive to EPS (+$0.07 before transaction costs) in the first year after close. Subject to regulatory approvals etc., it is expected to be completed during Q1 2014. WhiteWave plans to operate Earthbound Farm as a separate business unit.
- Earthbound's anticipated 2013 net sales are over $500M.
- WhiteWave will fund the acquisition with borrowings under its existing credit facilities, and intends to increase its credit facilities by $500M to fund further growth.
4:34 AMActivist investor to turn heat up on Bob Evans
- Sandell Asset Management reportedly intends to announce today that it will begin a consent solicitation at Bob Evans (BOBE), which will enable shareholders to vote on changes at the restauranteur outside an annual meeting.
- Sandell will also reveal that it has heard that Bob Evan has rebuffed buyout interest from at least one private-equity firm.
- The fund's expected move will come after Bob Evans, in which Sandell owns 6.5%, rejected proposals that the latter has made. These include splitting up the company's restaurant and packaged-food businesses, borrowing against its real-estate holdings, and even selling those assets.
- Sandell reckons Bob Evans could be worth above $80 a share, well above Friday's close of $51.31.
4:15 AMKKR, Bain bid for $1.6B Tyco security unit
- Tyco International (TYC) has reportedly attracted initial bids from KKR (KKR) and Bain Capital for ADT Caps, its South Korean security systems unit, which is valued at around $1.6B.
- Other suitors for ADT Caps include CVC Capital Partners, Hong Kong-based Affinity Equity Partners and South Korea's MBK Partners.
- The $1.6B valuation is based on an EBITDA multiple of 10, above the 8X that other deals in the sector attracted.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
6:28 PMVerizon reportedly buying CDN owner EdgeCast for $350M+
- TechCrunch reports Verizon (VZ) is acquiring content delivery network (CDN) EdgeCast for $350M+. EdgeCast counts Yahoo, Twitter, Pinterest, and Hulu among its clients, has been profitable for the last four years, and was on a $100M/year revenue run rate as of July.
- Thus, assuming EdgeCast is still growing, Verizon may be paying just ~3x forward sales. CDN market leader Akamai (AKAM) trades at 4.5x 2014E sales.
- Acquiring EdgeCast could unravel an enterprise CDN partnership Verizon has with Akamai. With telcos increasingly looking to offer their own CDN services, Akamai has been trying to turn a threat into an opportunity by offering carrier CDN solutions. In addition to Verizon, AT&T and Orange are clients.
- As for Verizon, the company could leverage its IP infrastructure and sales reach to grow EdgeCast's sales to third-parties, and (perhaps more interestingly) use EdgeCast's network to underpin an expansion of its online/mobile video offerings.
- This year has already seen Verizon add mobile support for certain FiOS channels, and acquire TV Everywhere encoding tech provider upLynk. The telco has also been reported to be eying the assets of Intel's Web TV unit, with the idea of offering a Web TV service in areas not covered by FiOS.
5:25 AMSupreme Court justice blocks last-ditch try to stop AMR-US deal
- The merger of American Airlines (AAMRQ) and US Airways (LCC) is all set to take off tomorrow after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg denied a last-minute effort by consumer groups and travel agents to prevent the deal from taking place.
- The plaintiffs fear that the deal will force prices up, hurt services and make planes more crowded.
5:02 AMBain, Golden Gate enter battle for Compuware
- Bain and Golden Gate Capital have reportedly teamed up to make a bid for software provider Compuware (CPWR), whose market cap is $2.34B.
- The private-equity firms agreed to acquire larger rival BMC Software (BMC) in May, although they wouldn't necessarily merge Compuware with BMC.
- Bain and Golden Gate could face competition from Thoma Bravo and Vista Capital.
- Any deal could represent an exit for activist investor Elliot Management, Compuware's largest shareholder with an 8.6% holding. Elliot tried to buy Compuware a year ago but was rebuffed.
Friday, December 6, 2013
6:29 PMComcast retains J.P. Morgan to evaluate Time Warner Cable bid
- Comcast (CMCSA +0.4%) has tapped J.P. Morgan for advice as it evaluates a bid for Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.2%), Reuters reports.
- Sources said Comcast does not intend to make a pre-emptive bid, but may jump in if it looks like Charter Communications (CHTR +0.4%) is getting close to a deal.
- TWC, for its part, considers Comcast the best suitor given its ability to make an all-cash offer and the better nature of the geographic fit between the 2 operators.
- Previous: FCC commissioner doubts Comcast-TWC merger would be approved
5:43 PMDisney acquires Indiana Jones marketing/distribution rights
- Disney (DIS) has acquired the marketing/distribution rights for future Indiana Jones films from Paramount. The media giant already had ownership rights to the films through the Lucasfilm acquisition.
- Paramount will maintain distribution rights for the first four Indiana Jones films, and will financially benefit from the release of future films.
5:11 PMYahoo buys concert streaming startup
- In its latest talent/tech acquisition, Yahoo (YHOO) has acquired Evntlive, provider of a platform that enables the live streaming of concerts. Evntlive's service will shut down, and its team will join Yahoo.
- This isn't the first time Yahoo bought a startup for its streaming tech: A year ago, the company bought OntheAir, a developer of apps that enable group video chats and webcasts.
- Though progress has been incremental, Yahoo has made a priority out of improving the breadth and quality of its professional video content (and thereby grow its video ad inventory), as the Katie Couric deal drove home.
4:45 PMADM still looking for overseas deals despite GrainCorp setback
- Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is still looking for deals overseas despite last week's failure of the GrainCorp acquisition that upended its plans in Asia, CFO Ray Young says.
- ADM is interested in acquisitions as well as other investments and joint ventures to help spread its business deeper into Asia, South America and eastern Europe, areas where ADM's vast storage and transportation network may be attractive to smaller agribusiness operators, Young says.
- The global agricultural business, already dominated by a handful of major players, will continue to consolidate, the CFO says.
10:29 AMIBM takes controlling stake in Dexia IT unit, shrugs off downgrade
- IBM (IBM +0.7%) has inked $1.3B worth of outsourcing deals (spread out over 7 years) with Dexia and several other European financial institutions to manage their IT infrastructures. (PR)
- As a result, IBM will take a controlling stake in the Dexia IT services unit that had been managing said infrastructures, and will "implement a cloud infrastructure" to expand the Dexia unit's services offerings into new markets.
- The tie-up is the kind of higher-margin/value-added services deal IBM has been focusing on, as it looks for way to maintain EPS growth in the face of top-line weakness. IBM's services revenue fell 4% Y/Y in Q3, but its backlog ($141B) was flat Q/Q and up 2% Y/Y.
- Separately, Cowen has downgraded IBM to Market Perform. The firm cites negative survey data regarding Big Blue's services workload and execution/delivery, and (with $100B worth of contracts set to be renegotiated in 2014, and Indian competition an issue) thinks the company's U.S. revenue growth outlook and IT outsourcing base are at risk.
8:18 AMConfusion reigns over InterOil's Papua New Guinea sale, shares halted
- InterOil (IOC) is halted after falling 21% premarket on news of the sale of a 61.3% stake in its Papua New Guinea gas fields to Total (TOT) for as much as $3.6B, as the clarity of the deal is questioned.
- The press release issued by IOC reads little like the one issued by TOT: Total says depending on the results of the delineation of the Elk and Antelope gas fields, "this could lead to a final investment decision by 2016 for the development of the fields and the construction of a liquefaction plant located onshore on the Gulf of Papua."
5:38 AMTotal in deal worth up to $3.6B for InterOil LNG interests
- Total (TOT) has agreed to acquire a 61.3% holding in InterOil's (IOC) Papua New Guinea natural-gas fields for as much as $3.6B as part of a plan to develop the reserves.
- Total will pay $613M up front, with the extra money dependent on the size of the resource and a final investment decision on building an LNG export facility.
- Should the Papua New Guinean government and landowners exercise rights to acquire a 22.5% interest in the project, Total will end up with a 47% holding and InterOil 30%. (PR)