Today - Thursday, December 5, 2013
11:09 AML&B urges sale of BRE Properties; nominates 6 to board
- "BRE Properties (BRE +0.4%) has chronically underperformed its closest comparables by a number of measures, including total returns, net operating income growth, FFO growth and dividend growth," says Land and Buildings CEO Jonathan Litt, urging the company to explore a sale in light of yesterday's report of Essex Property Trust's (ESS +1.3%) offer to buy for about $5B.
- "Selling the company to a best-in-class operator such as Essex would present an opportunity for BRE Properties’ shareholders to realize the potential of the company’s intrinsic value ... On behalf of all shareholders, we demand that the Board exercise its fiduciary duties and maximize shareholder value by exploring a sale of the company.”
- L&B also announces its nomination of six candidates to the board. If elected, they would constitute a majority.
- "We believe that our high level of frustration with the company’s poor track record is reflective of the views of many of BRE’s shareholders. We have been engaged with BRE’s management for over a year and BRE’s Board since August about ways to drive shareholder value, including full operational and strategic reviews." BRE this summer rejected a $60 per share bid from L&B.
8:17 AMMylan restructures Strides transaction to include provision for regulatory issue
- Allegations of "significant violations of current good manufacturing practice," may cost Strides Arcolab a quarter of a billion in its deal with Mylan (MYL).
- MYL's deal for the Bangalore-based company's injectable drugs business is now setup to exclude $250M unless the company can resolve the FDA's concerns.
- Here's the language from MYL: "The final transaction terms have been restructured to include provisions such as a hold back, or contingent consideration, of $250M of the potential $1.75B total purchase price, which will be payable in whole or in part to Strides upon satisfaction of certain regulatory conditions."
- For more on the FDA warning letter, see here
7:21 AMMerck to buy AZ Electronic for £1.6B
- Germany's Merck KGaA (MKGAF) has agreed to acquire AZ Electronic Materials (AZECF), a U.K.-listed provider of specialty chemicals used in the production of microchips and flat-panel devices, for £1.6B ($2.6B).
- Merck is offering 403.5 pence ($6.61) a share, a premium of 53% to AZ's closing price yesterday.
- The deal will enable Merck to grow beyond liquid crystals for flat-screen displays.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
6:22 PMIntuit buying document site Docstoc, reportedly for up to $50M
- Intuit (INTU) is acquiring Docstoc, a document-focused resource site for small businesses that claims 25M+ registered users. AllThingsD reports the purchase price "could reach $50 million."
- Docstoc offers 20M+ professional documents on its site, along with articles, videos, and other content aimed at SMBs. Some of its content is free, while other material requires subscription plans. The startup also provides a platform for uploading, syncing, and selling user-created documents.
- Docstoc is the latest in a string of SMB-focused acquisitions made by Intuit, which recently obtained $1.025B from the sale of its online/mobile banking software unit (but apparently could've obtained more).
- Other recent acquisitions include workers comp. tech provider Prestwick Services, tax return software firm GoodApril, and Facebook ad/e-commerce services provider Payvment.
5:59 PMTeng Yue unwilling to sell 6.8% stake in iSoftStone at proposed $5.45/ADR
- 6.8% shareholder Teng Yue Partners writes a letter to the board of iSoftStone (ISS) calling the current $5.45/ADR (previously $5.85) offer made by a consortium composed of CEO Tianwen Liu and ChinaAMC "wholly unacceptable."
- The fund is unwilling to sell its shares at the price and aims to discuss with the Independent Committee of the board a price at which it would be willing to do so.
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 plans, but sources say manufacturing and retail applications are being eyed. 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."