Today - Wednesday, December 4, 2013
5:11 PMNewmont Mining selling Nevada site for $83M| Comment!
4:59 PMCareer Education completes European ops divestiture| Comment!
12:20 PMTopsy seen improving iOS search; Twitter reportedly mulled acquisition
- As analysts and pundits mull Apple's (AAPL -0.6%) surprising purchase of Twitter analytics startup Topsy, plenty of attention has been given to Topsy's advanced search tools, which many consider to be better than Twitter's (TWTR +5%) on-site search capabilities.
- Azeem Azhar, the founder of fellow social analytics firm PeerIndex, thinks Topsy could end up acting as "the search layer for iOS," indexing both social media content and "the best bits of the Web that power Siri and Apple Maps." He points out doing so would reduce (but not eliminate) Apple's dependence on Google.
- TechCrunch, meanwhile, thinks Topsy's search tech and ability to gauge consumer sentiment could improve the quality of the App Store and iTunes' search and recommendation engines. And Gene Munster sees Topsy potentially improving Siri and Maps by integrating data related to current events and trending topics.
- Separately, AllThingsD reports Twitter, which is rallying today along with other Internet momentum names, considered buying Topsy on multiple occasions, out of interest in its search tools. But the microblogging giant ultimately held off, something sources think stems from Twitter's belief it could build some of Topsy's tools on its own.
11:55 AMANSYS acquires chemistry simulation software maker Reaction Design
- ANSYS (ANSS +0.7%) acquires chemistry simulation software developer Reaction Design. Closing is expected in Jan.
- Reaction Design has over 400 customers globally. ANSYS plans to offer Reaction Design's CHEMKIN-PRO gas-phase and surface chemistry software alongside its computational fluid dynamics solutions, aiming the offerings at users who want to improve fuel efficiency of combustion engines.
10:59 AMEssex reportedly offering more than $60 per share for BRE
- Essex Property's (ESS -2.4%) offer for BRE Properties (BRE +13.3%) is higher than a rejected $60 bid from Land & Buildings earlier this year, reports Bloomberg, citing two sources. BRE has been working with Wells Fargo to explore strategic options, including a sale. Essex plans to pay for the purchase with bank financing, a stock offering, and the sale of assets.
- It's been a busy deal year in the REIT sector, with $78B of acquisitions YTD, up 41% from 2012.
- BRE's currently trading at $60.50.
- Earlier coverage
10:53 AMTeradata falls due to fresh Morgan Stanley downgrade
- Less than two months after cutting Teradata (TDC -5.3%) to Equal Weight, Morgan Stanley has downgraded the maker of data warehousing and business intelligence hardware/software to Underweight. The prior downgrade took place after Teradata issued a big Q3/2013 warning.
- There have been concerns about the long-term impact the adoption of the increasingly popular Hadoop big data/analytics framework will have on Teradata's traditional warehousing solutions (though some argue it's only a minor threat), as well as about the growth seen by Amazon's Redshift warehousing service since its 2012 launch.
10:17 AMApartment REITs higher on reported bid for BRE
- A check of other multi-family REITs amid news of a $5B bid for BRE Properties (BRE +12.8%) by Essex (ESS -1.8%).
- Equity Residential (EQR +2.2%), AvalonBay (AVB +2.5%), UDR (UDR +2.5%), Apartment Investment and Management (AIV +4%), Camden (CPT +3.2%), Home Properties (HME +3.3%), Mid-America (MAA +1.7%), Post (PPS +4.7%).
9:35 AMTowerJazz CEO does not confirm deal to buy Panasonic plants
- TowerJazz's (TSEM) CEO Russell Ellwanger said of media reports claiming the company would buy 3 chip plants from Panasonic (PCRFY) for ~$100M, "I am not confirming about Panasonic but Panasonic is a very, very good semiconductor company with good technologies."
- Ellwanger noted that TowerJazz is keen to find acquisitions that increase capacity through well-run factories, but that "Any type of acquisition we look at would be a few million dollars of cash or equity but nothing more than that."
- The remarks may simply be the drawing of a line in the sand as TowerJazz negotiates with Panasonic, which has long made its intention to divest large parts of its semi operations clear.
9:28 AMGoogle roundup: Robotics, YouTube music service, Chrome apps
- The NYT reports Google (GOOG) has quietly acquired seven companies over the last six months in an attempt to "create a new generation of robots." Former Android chief Andy Rubin, reassigned earlier this year to an unspecified role, is spearheading the effort.
- Google is tight-lipped about its exact plans. The NYT observes Larry Page is a proponent of the idea that "technology should be deployed wherever possible to free humans from drudgery and repetitive tasks." The report comes shortly after Amazon made waves with its drone delivery announcement.
- AllThingsD reports the launch of YouTube's anticipated subscription music service has been pushed back to 2014, with a Q1 launch possible. Though YouTube has the licenses it needs to launch, the online video giant is said to be unsatisfied with the current state of the product.
- While music subscription services are nearly a dime a dozen at this point, YouTube's huge base and ability to integrate videos (both official and user-generated) could make it a serious challenger to leaders such as Spotify.
- Fresh off giving Chrome apps the ability to work in local/offline mode on PCs, Google is set to release a toolkit that allows developers to bring Chrome apps to Android/iOS. Creating a larger developer ecosystem for Chrome apps is key to growing Chrome OS' relatively small PC market share.
7:56 AMSBA Communications in $645M deal to add 2,000+ Brazil wireless sites
- SBA Communications (SBAC) announces an expansion of operations in Brazil with the acquisition of 2,007 additional wireless sites for ~$645M at current exchange rates.
- Oi SA (OIBR), one of Brazil's largest telecommunications service providers, and its affiliates, will enter into a long-term lease with SBA for antenna space on each of the sites.
- SBA expects the sites will contribute ~R$110M of cash leasing revenue and R$70M of tower cash flow to results during 2014, and anticipates the transaction will be immediately accretive to AFFO/share.
7:36 AMHomeAway acquires Australian vacation rental group| Comment!
7:23 AMDover offloads another unit in deal worth up to $200M
- Dover (DOV) has agreed to sell its Zurich-bsaed DEK Printing Machines unit to Hong Kong listed ASM Pacific Technology (ASMVF) for an initial $170M and another contingent payment of $30M.
- DEK provides materials deposition technologies and support services, including printing-equipment platforms, stencils, precision screens and mass imaging processes used primarily in the electronics industry.
- The deal, which is expected to close in mid-2014, is the latest in a series of transactions that Dover has been carrying out. Others include the spin-off of the company's Knowles unit and the sale of two business lines to LTX-Creedence. (PR)
6:59 AMMedicines Company buys anti-infections firm for up to $474M
- Medicines Company (MDCO) has acquired Rempex Pharmaceuticals, a developer of treatments for multi-drug resistant infections in hospitals.
- Medicines paid $140M upfront and will pay another $334M in milestones.
- Rempex's products include Carbavance, which has completed Phase 1 dose-escalation studies in normal subjects and is expected to enter registration trials next year.
- Another pharmaceutical is Minocin IV, which has already been approved. (PR)
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
6:50 PMSony reportedly looking to buy Renesas fab for image sensor production
- The Nikkei reports Sony (SNE) is looking to acquire a chip fab from struggling Renesas (RNECY), and plans to use it to expand CMOS image sensor production. The expected sale price is said to be $96M; an MOU could be signed as soon as the beginning of next week.
- The paper points out Sony already has a ~30% share of the CMOS image sensor market, thanks in part to growing sales to Apple, Samsung, and other mobile OEMs.
- The report comes as image sensor rival OmniVision (OVTI) provides soft guidance to go with an earnings beat, and reports of seeing "intensifying competition."
6:30 PMIntel buys hackathon software developer, will integrate with Mashery
- Intel (INTC) has acquired Hacker League, developer of a Web-based software platform for managing hackathons (intense, collaborative coding sessions beloved by many a tech company). TechCrunch reports the price tag is well below the $180M Intel paid for popular API management platform Mashery earlier this year.
- Hacker League's products will be integrated with Mashery's, with the goal of creating a richer set of tools for developers. Mashery's products are used in roughly 80 hackathons/year, and Hacker League has managed 460 of them since Oct. '11.
5:49 PMReuters: Sycamore in advanced talks to buy K&G from Men's Wearhouse
- Sycamore Partners is in advanced talks to acquire the struggling K&G discount chain ops of Men's Wearhouse (MW), Reuters reports. The company retained Jefferies in March to explore strategic options for the stores. The negotiations come as Men's Wearhouse plays the "I buy you, you buy me" game with Jos. A Bank.
- The unit, which sells men's, women's, and childrens apparel from brands like Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole and Rocawear, accounted for 15% of MW's FY2012 sales of $2.5B.
5:34 PMPremiere Global Services acquires Powwownow for $52.6M
- Premiere Global Services (PGI) acquires SMB-focused conferencing/collaboration provider Powwownow for $52.6M in cash.
- The company states the acquisition positions it as the second largest independent conferencing/collaboration provider in Europe.
- Powwownow serves 240K active users in the U.K., France, and Germany with an annual revenue run-rate of $22M.
- Management affirms that 2013 results will be in the ranges provided in Oct., with revenue of $523M-$525M and EPS of $0.78-$0.79. 2014 revenue is seen at $560M-$570M (vs. consensus of $546.5M) and EPS at $0.85-$0.88 ($0.81), with SaaS-based product sales growing over 50% Y/Y to over 10% of the overall revenue run-rate by year end.
4:02 PMIs AstraZeneca weighing a bid for Forest Labs?
- "According to usually knowledgeable people, AstraZeneca (AZN) has been running the numbers on a takeover bid for Forest Labs (FRX)," FT says.
- AZN's advisers reportedly gained preliminary board approval for a cash offer then subsequently met with top execs at FRX, although the talks "might have already stalled following a recent surge in FRX's shares," Bryce Elder says, again citing "well-informed types."
- Some wonder however, why FRX would have announced Project Rejuvenate if the company were planning on selling itself. "If FRX is looking to get bought, why take such a deep dive into boosting share value?" FierceBiotech's Damian Garde asks.
11:23 AMRetail star Kate Spade attracts buyout interest
- Fifth & Pacific's (FNP +0.6%) Kate Spade brand is drawing interest from potential buyers, according to Bloomberg.
- Kate Spade has a very strong track record of sales growth in the U.S. with on-trend designs.
- Sterne Agee thinks that interest is so high that a sale could fetch more than Fifth & Pacific's current market cap.