• Friday, February 12, 2016

  • 5:41 PM
    • The FCC today approved Gray Television's (GTN +3.1%) plan to purchase 15 Schurz Communications TV stations, the last hurdle in Gray's $442.5M purchase of Schurz.
    • The agency issued a complicated decision that will call for the unwinding of some joint sales agreements, and for a Georgia NBC affiliate to remain on the air during the broadcast incentive auction despite duopoly rule concerns.
    • The approval follows an even more complicated set of transactions Gray has been undertaking to pull its megadeal off. It's swapped some stations with Sinclair Broadcast Group and decided to divest all the radio stations in the deal.
    • In addition, the Justice Department gave the deal a conditional antitrust approval so long as Gray sold off WSBT in South Bend, Ind., and KAKE in Wichita, Kan.
    • In Augusta, Ga., Gray owns CBS affiliate WRDW and Schurz owns NBC affiliate WAGT. Gray wants to offer WAGT's spectrum in the incentive auction and take it off the air after the deal's approval. The FCC approved a temporary waiver of its duopoly rule but decided that the public interest called for WAGT to stay on the air.
    • Gray will have to terminate a JSA with Media General as a condition to the deal.
    • Previously: Gray Television paying $442.5M for Schurz TV, radio stations (Sep. 14 2015)
    | 5:41 PM
  • 4:57 PM
    • The long-delayed merger of Exelon (NYSE:EXC) and Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM) appears headed for clearance by the D.C. Public Service Commission by the end of this month, according to a report by CTFN.
    • The PSC issued a surprise rejection of the $6.8B deal nearly six months ago but is poised for a revote that is much more likely to gain approval, according to Robert Burns of the National Regulatory Institute.
    • EXC and POM negotiated a settlement with the D.C. mayor's office and several opposing groups, promising tens of millions of dollars in concessions that will go far in satisfying the PSC's statutory requirement that the merger benefit ratepayers, a far stiffer standard than required by most state electric power regulators, Burns says.
    • Earlier: Investors remain optimistic that Exelon-Pepco deal gets done (Feb. 10)
    | 4:57 PM | 6 Comments
  • 4:14 PM
    • CTC Media (CTCM +2.2%) said today it's gotten the last tranche of the price for its sale of 75% to the firm to UTH Russia.
    • The company had planned to comply with a Russian Mass Media Law that went into effect Jan. 1 with a sale of a 75% stake to UTH, the vehicle of billionaire Alisher Usmanov, for $200M. The deal was approved in December.
    • Of the $200M, $50M was held back and subject to adjustment depending on H2 2015 performance. CTC received $42.5M after a reduction, bringing the total consideration to $193.1M.
    • The company's awaiting a license from the U.S. Treasury to authorize the transaction, and expects the merger will finally close a month after it gets that license.
    • As for per-share amount going to stockholders, CTC says it's "unable to estimate" but it expects it will be "at the lower end of the upper half of the range approved by stockholders of $1.77 to $2.19 per share." CTC Media's trading at $1.89 on Nasdaq.
    | 4:14 PM | 1 Comment
  • 2:11 PM
    • Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) is up 1.2% today, following news that its affiliate Sirius XM Canada said it was approached for a potential deal.
    • The Canadian unit is in early stage talks, and Sirius XM owns about 32% of it. Meanwhile, The Globe and Mail says that top shareholders were examining a go-private deal that could value it at C$750M (about $538M).
    • That's about C$4.25/share; Sirius XM Canada jumped 15.8% in Toronto to C$4.26.
    | 2:11 PM | 9 Comments
  • 1:36 PM
    • Knowles (KN -12.1%) has tumbled towards $10 following its Q4 report. Though officially beating consensus by $5.8M, Q4 revenue of $310.5M was just slightly above the guidance ($310M) given in Knowles' Jan. 13 pre-announcement.
    • Knowles used the Q4 report to state it plans to sell its consumer electronics speaker and receiver component business. A $191.5M Q4 impairment charge was recorded related to the business, which carries relatively low gross margins.
    • Q1 guidance, which excludes the speaker/receives ops, is for revenue of $170M-$190M and EPS of $0.01-$0.07. The pre-earnings consensus, which naturally includes the business, was at $265.3M and $0.09. On the earnings call (transcript), Knowles stated reclassifying speakers/receivers as a discontinued business will have an $87M Q1 sales impact.
    • The rest of Knowles' MCE unit is expected to see revenue drop 30% ($34M) Q/Q due to "normal seasonality and lower shipments to a North American OEM as they adjust their inventory levels to reflect current market demand." That's almost certainly a reference to Apple, which offered light calendar Q1 sales guidance two weeks ago. Specialty component revenue is expected to drop 8% Q/Q following a strong Q4 led by hearing aid component sales.
    • Gross margin is expected to rise to 36%-38% from Q4's 32.8% due to the speaker/receiver reclassification. However, GM for continuing ops is expected to drop 500 bps Q/Q due to lower volumes/capacity utilization and a lower ASP for "mature" products.
    • Q4 sales benefited from "improving trends" at Chinese mobile OEMs. CEO Jeff Niew: "We expect growth from these customers in 2016 as they grow their share and we benefit from multi-[microphone] adoption and higher value audio solutions." Sales to Samsung fell Q/Q as expected. Kiew: "We continued to maintain strong microphone share at this customer, but sales remained weak due to mix shifts to lower-end handsets within their portfolio, as well as continued share loss experienced by this customer."
    • Knowles' Q4 results, earnings release
    | 1:36 PM
  • 12:37 PM
    | 12:37 PM
  • 9:46 AM
    • Noted biotech investor Dr. Philip Frost's OPKO Health (OPK -1.7%) acquires a 6.3% interest in Xenetic Biosciences (OTCQB:XBIO +13.6%), a developer of next-generation biologics and cancer-focused therapeutics.
    • Xenetic's product candidates include ErepoXen for the treatment of anemia, OncoHist for certain blood cancers, PulmoXen for cystic fibrosis and a Factor VIII for hemophilia (with Baxalta).
    | 9:46 AM | 11 Comments
  • 9:26 AM
    • Stifel Nicolaus sets its sights on the grocery store sector after yesterday's dramatic report of Kroger's (NYSE:KR) interest in a buyout of The Fresh Market (NASDAQ:TFM).
    • The investment firm gives Kroger a Buy rating and $45 price target after digesting the consolidation potential. Kroger's M&A spree over the last few years already includes Roundy's, Vitacost, and Harris Teeter - although management has been credited with successful integration strategies.
    • Investors have been rewarded from Kroger's growth push with shares of the grocery store chain outperforming the S&P 500 Index by a wide margin (+215% vs. +36% over 5 years).
    • Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) is also given a Buy rating from Stifel and assigned a PT of $27.
    • Previously: The Fresh Market closes +22% on buyout spike, more room to run? (Feb. 11 2016)
    • SFM +2.1% premarket to $22.55 vs. a 52-week range of $16.41 to $38.45.
    • TFM +1.81% premarket to $23.09 vs. a 52-week range of $17.81 to $42.09.
    • WFM +1.90% premarket to $29.48 vs. a 52-week range of $28.07 to $57.57.
    • KR +1.95% premarket to $37.14 vs. a 52-week range of $27.32 to $42.75.
    | 9:26 AM
  • 9:13 AM
    • Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) has received a non-binding offer from CEO Robin Li and Qiyi.com CEO Yu Gong to acquire Qiyi for an enterprise value of $2.8B on a cash-free and debt-free basis. Baidu, which owns 80.5% of Qiyi, has formed a special committee to review the offer.
    • The proposal envisions Qiyi, a top player in the Chinese online video market along with Youku Tudou and Tencent, remaining "a strategic partner" to Baidu following a sale. Last year, Alibaba struck a deal to buy Youku Toudu that valued the latter at $3.7B net of cash.
    • BIDU +4.1% premarket to $146.95. Nasdaq futures are up 1%. Baidu's Q4 report arrives on the afternoon of Feb. 25.
    | 9:13 AM | 1 Comment
  • Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • 7:49 PM
    • The Californic Public Utilities Commission has shortened its time frame for coming to a decision on Charter Communications' (CHTR -1%) buyout of Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.1%) and Bright House Networks, CTFN reports.
    • The administrative law judge on the case has set a final decision for May 12, earlier than the previously scheduled June 10. That means a proposed decision could come April 12.
    • The schedule shift comes amid grumbling by deal proponents who are eager to get it done. Industry analyst Craig Moffett had called the state's timeline "exceedingly tedious." Charter has said they are ready and willing to close on the deal and hoped for quicker action by California.
    • Previously: Charter -3.3% as loss widens on merger costs (Feb. 04 2016)
    • Previously: Charter-TWC: Progress inches along; Moffett raises deal odds (Jan. 28 2016)
    | 7:49 PM
  • 7:12 PM
    • Corus Entertainment (OTCPK:CJREF -3.5%) is planning a special meeting to consider its proposed $2.65B acquisition of Shaw Media, a unit of Shaw Communications (SJR -2.2%).
    • It's set a meeting for March 9 and issued an information circular. The deal was to be financed wth cash and issuing Class B non-voting stock; Corus expecs it can maintain its current dividend of $1.14/B share and pursue $40M-$50M in annual cost savings within 24 months.
    • Holders of Corus' Class A and Class B shares are entitled to vote on the deal, including issuing 71.36M class B shares that would go to Shaw in the deal.
    • If approved, the deal's still conditioned on approval by regulators at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
    • Previously: Shaw +15% early; Corus to buy media unit for C$2.65B (Jan. 13 2016)
    | 7:12 PM
  • 5:28 PM
    • Along with its Q4 results, Web.com (NASDAQ:WEB) has announced it's acquiring Yodle, a provider of local online ad/marketing services for 50K+ small businesses, for $300M in cash up-front + payments of $20M and $22M at the first and second anniversaries of the deal's closing date. For reference, Web.com closed today with an $826M market cap.
    • The acquisition is expected to close by the end of Q1, and will be financed using a $200M term loan and $100M in credit facility borrowings. Both the loan and the borrowings will carry an interest rate of LIBOR + 300 bps, with step downs based on leverage ratios. Web.com plans to use free cash flow to pay down the debt over time.
    • Web.com states the combined company would've had 2015 revenue of $767M - with Web.com having reported 2015 revenue of $543.5M, that implies Yodle had 2015 revenue of more than $223M, and that Web.com is paying 1.5x trailing sales.
    • Web.com: "Value added digital marketing solutions are a large and fast growing portion of the market where Web.com has developed a differentiated set of offerings. This market segment has been a strategic focus for us for several years, and the purchase of Yodle will solidify our position as a leading national provider in this space."  Over $30M/year in synergies are expected.
    • Shares appear to be halted - the last recorded trade was at 4:03PM, before Q4 results and the Yodle deal were announced.
    • Web.com's Q4 results, earnings release
    | 5:28 PM
  • 4:11 PM
    | 4:11 PM | 4 Comments
  • 3:59 PM
    • UPS (UPS -0.9%), one of the largest U.S. rail customers, is the latest company to oppose a merger between Canadian Pacific Railway (CP -2.9%) and Norfolk Southern (NSC -1.9%), WSJ reports.
    • UPS reportedly sent a letter to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board that a hostile takeover or acquisition would not be in the best interest of the intermodal shipping community.
    • It may not matter, as CP Rail CEO Hunter Harrison admitted yesterday that the railroad's options for winning a hostile bid are "becoming shorter and shorter."
    | 3:59 PM | 9 Comments
  • 3:45 PM
    • U.K. finance blogger Betaville reports hearing i-bank Moelis is "trying to broker a deal" between WebMD (WBMD +4.5%) and drugstore giant Walgreens Boots. Walgreen is said to have "already submitted an indicative offer."
    • The FT reported in January WebMD is exploring a sale of all or part of its business. However, soon afterwards, the company stated it's "not currently in any negotiations to be acquired."
    • Q4 results arrive on the afternoon of Feb. 23.
    | 3:45 PM | 1 Comment
  • 3:24 PM
    • IHS (IHS -1.3%) today wrapped its acquisition of Oil Price Information Service, the agency serving up price reporting for the oil, natural gas and biofuels industries.
    • The service adds a downstream piece to the IHS portfolio. It'll keep its headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md.
    • The companies had agreed to a deal for $650M last month. OPIS has about 290 employees and was previously owned by UCG.
    • Previously: IHS to buy Oil Price Information Service for $650M (Jan. 11 2016)
    | 3:24 PM
  • 3:03 PM
    • Dell had hoped to price on Wednesday the first $10B of debt it needs to raise to finance its $67B purchase of EMC (EMC -1.3%), but credit markets being what they are at the moment, the JPMorgan-led consortium of bankers needs another ten days to get the deal done, reports the NYPost.
    • Troubled equity markets are also an issue. Dell had hoped to raise $5B through the sale of its Perot Systems, but supposed front-runner Atos dropped out of the bidding after a big decline in its stock price.
    • Dell remains confident its purchase will close by October, but is on the hook for a $4B breakup fee if it can't make good on the acquisition.
    • The terms are for EMC owners to get $24.05 per share in cash, plus a VMWare (VMW +0.2%) tracking stock.
    | 3:03 PM | 9 Comments
  • 2:24 PM
    • Ahead of this afternoon's Q4 report, the NYT reports Pandora (NYSE:P) is "working with Morgan Stanley to meet potential buyers," and has held discussions about selling itself. Shares have jumpedin response.
    • The paper cautions talks are preliminary. The news comes with Pandora's shares having fallen into the single digits thanks to a market rout and ongoing concerns about competition and user growth/engagement.
    • Back in Oct. 2014, SA author Orange Peel Investments predicted Pandora would eventually drop to the $10 range, and then get bought out.
    | 2:24 PM | 7 Comments
  • 1:59 PM
    • Shares of The Fresh Market (TFM +7.6%) have been halted after Reuters reports Kroger (KR -1.7%) is seeking to acquire the company.
    | 1:59 PM | 17 Comments
  • 12:51 PM
    • DeLorme makes satellite tracking and navigation devices that are capable of sending/receiving text messages and sending SOS alerts. The company also has a library of cartography, mapping, and GIS software. Garmin (GRMN -2%) is buying most of DeLorme's assets for an undisclosed sum.
    • Garmin: "DeLorme is a respected brand with exciting products and technologies that are a natural fit in the Garmin portfolio ... Garmin will retain most of the associates of DeLorme and will continue operations at its existing location in Yarmouth, Maine following the completion of the acquisition. The Yarmouth facility will operate primarily as a research and development facility and will continue to develop two-way satellite communication devices and technologies."
    • The announcement comes ahead of Garmin's Q4 report, due on the morning of Feb. 17.
    | 12:51 PM
  • 10:17 AM
    • Manitowoc (MTW +4.7%) could be in sights of China's Sany Heavy Industry, sources tell dealReporter.
    • Rival Terex was also recently offered a buyout bid from the Far East (Zoomlion), in a move that could derail its merger with Konecranes.
    | 10:17 AM
  • 9:33 AM
    • Wipro (WIT -2.8%) is buying HealthPlan Services, a provider of BPO and Web-based exchange services for the U.S. health insurance industry, for $460M in cash. The deal is expected to close in the next 60-90 days.
    • Wipro: "In the highly competitive Exchange market, payers rely on HealthPlan Services innovative and robust offering to acquire, service and retain members. Payers also leverage the analytical and predictive engines of HealthPlan Services to better serve their members. Today, HealthPlan Services connects its payer clients to over 40 public exchanges and over 150 private exchanges in the U.S."
    • The company also suggests the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare) is contributing to HealthPlan's growth, declares HealthPlan provides "synergies with Wipro's presence in the Managed Medicare and Commercial Group Insurance markets," and calls the purchase "closely aligned with Wipros key levers for growth, which are to dominate the services market through industry utilities that multiple customers can use."
    • The deal follows one to buy German IT services firm cellent AG for $78M. Rival Cognizant bought healthcare IT firm TriZetto for $2.7B in 2014. Wipro is lower on a morning the Nasdaq is down 1.2% and the S&P 1.1%.
    • Update: Likely weighing on Wipro: Morgan Stanley has downgraded to Equal Weight.
    | 9:33 AM
  • 8:06 AM
    • Amedisys (NASDAQ:AMED) acquires North Andover, MA-based Associated Home Care for $28M. The private-duty agency has 1,500 employees that deliver care to 5,000 seniors in the Greater Boston area each day. Annualized revenues are ~$40M.
    | 8:06 AM
  • 6:50 AM
    • Innovus Pharmaceuticals (OTCQB:INNV) acquires Austin, TX-based Beyond Human, LLC for $630K in cash. The privately held firm's flagship product is a natural testosterone booster called Beyond T Human. The company generated ~$1.3M in sales in 2014 and ~$2.2M last year.
    • According to Innovus, the transaction will add $3M in gross revenues and over $600K in net profits to its operations, once integrated into its platform.
    | 6:50 AM
  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • 7:36 PM
    • Houston's MRC Global (MRC -5.2%) has a deal to sell its Oil Country Tubular Goods business to Sooner Pipe for $48M, in a move that cuts its exposure to upstream drilling volatility.
    • Sooner Pipe is a unit of Marubeni-Itochu Tubulars America. Sales at the OCTG unit were about $305M last year. MRC Global expects to take a pretax charge of $5M for its Q4 related to the deal.
    • MRC Global plans to refocus on its higher margin product lines, particularly valve, valve automation and instrumentation businesses. The deal's expected to close in Q1.
    | 7:36 PM | 1 Comment
  • 6:55 PM
    • Canadian Pacific Railway's (NYSE:CP) options for winning a hostile bid for Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) are "becoming shorter and shorter," CP CEO Hunter Harrison says, citing NSC's refusal to enter talks and mounting opposition to the proposed deal from politicians, customers and competitors.
    • Speaking at a transportation conference in Florida, Harrison rebuked U.S. railway execs for speaking out against mergers, saying they have become "fat and sassy" about competition and that it was wrong for competitors to oppose a merger that he believes will improve delivery times and costs.
    • CP Rail plans to submit a resolution to NSC investors asking that the U.S. company’s board “engage in good faith discussions,” and Harrison says a defeat would mark the end of its acquisition efforts.
    • Earlier: Norfolk Southern: More talks with CP "not in best interest" (Feb. 9)
    | 6:55 PM | 10 Comments
  • 2:21 PM
    • Exelon (EXC -1.1%) is lower after Bernstein's Hugh Wynne says it may be one of the most adversely affected companies by yesterday's Supreme Court decision to put Pres. Obama Clean Power Plan on hold.
    • Investors also may be jittery over EXC's proposed takeover of Pepco (POM +0.7%); the two agreed to combine in April 2014, but they're still awaiting approval from one of their market's regulatory bodies - the D.C. Public Service Commission - which initially voted to reject the merger last August.
    • EXC CEO Chris Crane said on the company's earnings call last week that if there is no resolution from the D.C. PSC by March 4, "we have to fold up" the deal.
    • The spread between the offer price and POM's stock has been volatile, but at the current level it implies an 85% probability the deal will be able to close, Bloomberg's Tara Lachapelle writes.
    | 2:21 PM
  • 12:58 PM
    • The proposed merger of Dow Chemical (DOW -0.1%) and DuPont (DD -0.3%), which prompted an upgrade at Bernstein a month ago, is now the subject of a more critical review at the firm, which calls the current merger structure "sub-optimal."
    • The current structure will create three problems, the firm says: the $4B in synergies the companies have guided are unrealistic; Dow would remain an integrated commodity/specialty player - which the firm sees historically as one of the company's main impediments - DuPont's culture issues would not be resolved; and the DuPont-dominated "specialty products" business would be a shadow of DuPont, "basically waiting to be carved up and sold."
    • Bernstein believes the Dow-DuPont split-up plan should be revised to form three focused agriculture, commodity and specialty chemicals businesses which would enable the resolution of the integrated structure at Dow, the muddled structure and diffuse accountability at DuPont, while also significantly increasing both cost and growth synergies.
    • Dow is rated Outperform with a $64 price target; DD also is rated Outperform, with an $81 target.
    | 12:58 PM | 8 Comments
  • 9:29 AM
    | 9:29 AM | 17 Comments
  • 7:24 AM
    | 7:24 AM | 1 Comment
  • 6:33 AM
    • Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has failed to get its hands on 100% of shares in newly-acquired rival Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU), after winning nearly 80% of the French-American company last month.
    • Following a second round of bidding, Nokia was still left with only 91.25% in Alcatel-Lucent, thus failing to reach the 95% threshold that would have allowed it to make a clean sweep by delisting all remaining shares from the Paris stock exchange.
    • Nokia now has the option of buying those shares in the open market, but probably at a higher price than its original offer.
    • NOK +1.7%; ALU -3.3% premarket
    | 6:33 AM | 24 Comments
  • 3:12 AM
    • Asahi Group Holdings (OTCPK:ASBRF) has agreed to buy SABMiller's (OTCPK:SBMRY) Peroni and Grolsch beer brands, which are seen as necessary MegaBrew casualties due to Anheuser-Busch's (NYSE:BUD) deep penetration in Europe.
    • Asahi, Japan's biggest brewer with 38% market share, is likely to pay over ¥400B ($3.5B) for the two labels, Nikkei reports.
    • An earlier line-up of bidders for Peroni and Grolsch included several private equity firms, conglomerates and other brewers.
    • Previously: Asahi ready to strike for Grolsch and Peroni (Jan. 11 2016)
    | 3:12 AM | 3 Comments
  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016

  • 6:29 PM
    • After reports that Canadian Pacific (CP +1.9%) was dropping its proxy fight for Norfolk Southern (NSC +1.3%), NS says in a statement that further talks with CP weren't in its best interest.
    • "NS has already met with CP and publicly provided clear detail regarding the NS Board's concerns," the statement reads. "While CP continues to publicly declare that NS should 'talk to CP about a potential combination,' we believe further discussions are not in the best interests of NS shareholders unless CP offers NS shareholders compelling value and addresses the regulatory issues inherent in its proposal."
    • Its board unanimously rejected three unsolicited acquisition proposals as "grossly inadequate" and presenting high regulatory risks, Norfolk Southern says, and CP hasn't addressed those concerns.
    • After hours: NSC flat in late trading.
    • Previously: Report: Canadian Pacific to pull plug on proxy battle for Norfolk Southern (Feb. 09 2016)
    • Previously: Railroad stocks march to their own drummer (Feb. 04 2016)
    | 6:29 PM | 5 Comments
  • 4:11 PM
    • Empire District Electric (NYSE:EDE) agrees to be acquired by Algonquin Power & Utilities for $34/share, or ~C$3.4B (US$2.4B), including the assumption of $900M in debt.
    • Algonquin says the deal will add C$4.1B of utility assets and 218K customers to its portfolio of utility operations, resulting in a total asset base of C$8.9B, an 87% increase.
    • Algonquin says the purchase price represents a 21% premium to EDE's Feb. 8 closing price.
    | 4:11 PM | 1 Comment
  • 3:45 PM
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  • 12:26 PM
    • Markit (MRKT -0.8%) has acquired systems integration software developed by JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) for an undisclosed sum. The company will "make the software available to sellside and buyside institutions seeking to integrate with major systems used in the syndicated loan market, including agent-servicing platforms and Markit's trade settlement services."
    • Customer deployments are expected to start in 2H16. Markit doesn't expect the purchase to have a material impact on 2016 results.
    • Markit exec Scott Kostyra: "Acquiring this software allows Markit to provide the global syndicated loan market with a proven solution for integrating with the newest technology for straight through processing of loan transactions and lifecycle events. We are offering an alternative to expensive and risky internal software builds and helping expedite industry adoption of risk and cost reducing initiatives such as Markit Clear for trade settlement and FpML for electronic communication of loan information."
    | 12:26 PM | 1 Comment
  • 11:59 AM
    • Halliburton (HAL -4.3%) plans to divest Baker Hughes' (BHI -1.7%) offshore drilling and completions fluids division and the bulk of BHI’s completion systems, adding more assets to the list of businesses it plans to sell to appease antitrust regulators, Bloomberg reports.
    • HAL already had agreed to sell BHI’s core completions business, which provides equipment for controlling the flow of oil as it is readied for production, and has decided to sell most of the rest of BHI’s related completions operations at the behest of regulators, according to the report.
    • HAL's acquisition of BHI was scheduled to close last year but has been delayed to no later than April 30 as the companies seek to resolve antitrust concerns in the U.S. and abroad.
    | 11:59 AM | 14 Comments
  • 11:49 AM
    • Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGY +0.2%) is close to a deal to combine its wind business with Gamesa (OTCPK:GCTAF +7.6%), which would create world's largest wind turbine maker, Bloomberg reports.
    • SIemens is the global leader in wind turbines designed for use offshore, while Gamesa specializes in onshore wind; together, the combined companies would have ~15% of the global wind market, exceeding Vestas Wind's (OTCPK:VWDRY) 10% share and GE’s 11%.
    • Siemens also is holding talks about buying Iberdrola’s (OTCPK:IBDRY -0.6%) 20% in Gamesa, according to the report.
    | 11:49 AM | 1 Comment
  • 11:49 AM
    • Turkcell (TKC -1.5%) is going forward with an effort to buy out partner TeliaSonera (OTCPK:TLSNY +1.3%) in their Fintur Eurasian joint venture, its CEO says.
    • The company has a non-binding bid in and will follow with a another offer after it completes due diligence, says CEO Kaan Terzioglu. TeliaSonera owns the other 58.55% of the venture, which owns operators in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Moldova.
    • Meanwhile, despite tough timing on the sale, TeliaSonera says "Several parties are interested in our holdings in Fintur and one of them is Turkcell."
    • As much as TeliaSonera is interested in getting out of the region, Turkcell has been pursuing more cross-border expansion after the end of a long boardroom deadlock broken by regulators.
    • Previously: TeliaSonera facing tough economic timing on Eurasian sale (Jan. 29 2016)
    • Previously: RenCap: Turkey may be best bet for emerging telecom growth, dividends (Jan. 04 2016)
    | 11:49 AM
  • 9:40 AM
    • With the aim of expanding its presence in managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS), Magellan Health (MGLN) acquires The Management Group, LLC, (TMG) a 30-year player in the space.
    • TMG currently supports ~13K people in Wisconsin through the state's Include, Respect I Self-Direct (IRIS) program, which serves adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities and frail elderly.
    • Financial terms are not disclosed but the deal includes an earnout based on winning future MLTSS contracts in other states.
    | 9:40 AM
  • 7:57 AM
    • CareDx (NASDAQ:CDNA) revises its $35M acquisition offer for Swedish biotech Allenex AB. Under the original offer, $6M of the total cash consideration was contingent on Allenex achieving certain commercial and financial milestones this year. Under the revised terms, the payment of the milestones will be deferred until March 31, 2017, if earned. In addition, the three principal Allenex shareholders will receive 150K additional shares of CareDx stock.
    • The common stock component for the non-majority Allenex shareholders has been increased to 0.01458 from 0.01298 CareDx share per Allenex share. If accepted, CareDx will issue an additional 1,753,806 shares. Non-majority shareholders have also been offered an all-cash alternative which has not changed from the original offer.
    • The majority shareholders of Allenex, representing 78% of the outstanding stock, have already agreed to tender their shares.
    • Previously: CareDx to acquire Allenex for $35M (Dec. 16, 2015)
    | 7:57 AM
  • 7:44 AM
    • WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX) agrees to sell natural gas assets in Colorado's Piceance basin to privately-held Terra Energy Partners for $910M.
    • WPX says the deal solidifies it as a Permian-focused company, provides a more balanced commodity mix, will enhance its liquidity, improve its capital efficiency and returns, and materially lower G&A expenses going forward.
    • WPX expects oil to comprise ~50% of its future production volumes, up from ~20% during 2015.
    | 7:44 AM | 1 Comment
  • 7:33 AM
    • Canadian utility operator Fortis (OTCPK:FRTSF) agrees to acquire U.S. electricity transmission company ITC Holdings (NYSE:ITC) for ~$6.9B in cash and stock; Fortis also will assume ~$4.4B in ITC debt.
    • ITC shareholders will receive $22.57 in cash and 0.752 Fortis shares for each ITC share; based on Monday's closing price, the deal values ITC at ~$44.90/share, a 14% premium.
    • The deal will boost Fortis' exposure to regulated power markets, which have stable power prices; falling electricity demand due to increased energy efficiency has prompted utilities to cut their exposure to volatile power prices in unregulated markets.
    • Fortis says it will apply for a listing on the NYSE and will keep its shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
    | 7:33 AM | 5 Comments
  • Monday, February 8, 2016

  • 5:48 PM
    • Activision Blizzard (ATVI -5.9%) says in an 8-K that it's satisfied another of the terms related to its takeover of King Digital Entertainment (NYSE:KING) with clearance from South Korean regulators.
    • The Fair Trade Commission of the Republic of Korea has given the OK to the $5.9B deal, leaving just a few steps left.
    • The company must satisfy an EU Merger Regulation condition, and get sanction from the High Court of Ireland (where King is based) at a hearing set for Feb. 18. Activision says the scheme of arrangement is expected to take effect Feb. 23.
    • Activision shares are up 0.5% after hours.
    | 5:48 PM | 8 Comments
  • 4:36 PM
    • Flamel Technologies (NASDAQ:FLML) acquires Charlotte, NC-based FSC Holdings, LLC, a specialty pharmaceutical firm focused on serving pediatric patients. It markets three products: three drugs for the treatment of infection, allergy and gastroesophageal disease and and medical device for the administration of aerosolized medication using pressurized Metered Dose Inhalers for the treatment of asthma.
    • Flamel increases its 2016 revenue guidance to $110M - 130M, inclusive of FSC's $10M - 15M.
    • Under the terms of the deal, Flamel will pay $20.25M over five years to former FSC owner Deerfield CSF, LLC, specifically, $1.05M per year for five years and a final payment of $15.0M in January 2021. In addition, it will pay Deerfield a 15% royalty per year on net sales of current FSC products, up to $12.5M for a period not to exceed 10 years.
    • Flamel will host a conference call at 5:30 pm ET to discuss the transaction.
    | 4:36 PM
  • 3:52 PM
    • Baker Hughes (BHI -4.3%) is downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $47 price target at Morgan Stanley, which notes that the North American rig count is entering a free fall phase with further contractions expected in the near future.
    • The firm points to growing risks related to the pending deal between BHI and Halliburton (HAL -1.1%), and believes the market is not pricing in the necessary risk associated with a potential failed deal.
    • BHI's weak 4Q results raise concern around the company’s ability to execute as a standalone company, Morgan Stanley says.
    | 3:52 PM | 4 Comments
  • 3:29 PM
    • AOL chief Tim Armstrong is the point person as Verizon (VZ -0.7%) explores a bid for assets at Yahoo (YHOO -4.3%), Bloomberg reports.
    • Discussions aren't far along and Verizon hasn't hired any bankers, but Armstrong is the one leading preliminary discussions, sources said.
    • Another source said Armstrong was picking up on conversations he had with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer at the Sun Valley media conference in 2014 -- before AOL was bought by Verizon, but while he was exploring the idea of combining AOL and Yahoo. The two are both former Google executives.
    • Armstrong has had a fairly free hand to run AOL as an independent advertising/media business at Verizon, and he also ran point on Verizon's $248M purchase of Millennial Media last year -- another company with which the independent AOL had begun tie-up talks.
    • Yahoo has dipped today, -4.3%, to a new 52-week low of $26.48.
    • Previously: Verizon confirms interest in buying Yahoo (Feb. 08 2016)
    • Previously: Bain and TPG reportedly eyeing Yahoo; shares close down 4.7% post-earnings (Feb. 03 2016)
    • Previously: AOL closes $248M deal for Millennial Media (Oct. 23 2015)
    | 3:29 PM | 10 Comments
  • 3:14 PM
    • Dow Chemical (DOW -2.1%) is upgraded to Positive from Neutral with a $54 price target, up from $46, at Susquehanna, even after rising nearly 12% in the past week.
    • The firm says it remains positive on the combined company's agriculture segment given Dow and DuPont's (DD -2.6%) pursuit of cost reductions in ag prior to the H2 2016 merger closure, and its expectation of $1.25B of cost (primarily R&D) and $500M of growth synergies.
    • The firm says it completed a revised valuation, changing the approach to now "apply the equity ratio to the pro-forma capital structure resulting in a 50/50 split," taking into consideration the Dow-DuPont combined entity.
    • DuPont already had been rated Positive by Susquehanna, but now with a lowered price target of $69 from $77.
    | 3:14 PM | 12 Comments
  • 2:51 PM
    • BroadSoft (NASDAQ:BSFT) has bought Transera, a provider of cloud-based contact center software targeting both SMBs and enterprises. For now, terms are undisclosed.
    • BroadSoft declares the purchase will allow its service provider clients to "comprehensive cloud contact center portfolio with minimal new investments, rapid time-to-market, and seamless integration with BroadSoft's BroadWorks [unified communications software] and BroadCloud [managed UC services] solutions." It also praises Transera's support for omni-channel (voice, e-mail, chat, and social media) communications and advanced contact center analytics.
    • Transera is expected to contribute $7M-$8M in 2016 revenue, while diluting EPS by $0.02-$0.03. The acquisition follows the purchase of Japanese hosted UC service provider PBXL.
    • BroadSoft is seeing huge losses as equity markets tumble; many other software firms are in the same boat. Q4 results arrive on Feb. 29.
    | 2:51 PM
  • 2:43 PM
    • Canadian Oil Sands (OTCQX:COSWF -1.2%), preparing to be taken over by Suncor Energy (SU -1.6%), is overhauling its senior leadership team and board of directors.
    • In as the new CEO is Sandy Martin, SU's VP of strategy and commercial development; out are Ryan Kubik, who was CEO during the takeover fight, and Donald Lowry, who was chairman during the period.
    • New Chairman Harry Roberts was a senior VP at SU before his retirement in 2010, and the four other directors also are connected to the acquirer.
    | 2:43 PM | 5 Comments
  • 10:38 AM
    • Pfizer (PFE -0.3%) announces the executive team that will lead the organization following the close of the Allergan (AGN -1.2%) transaction. Allergan chief Brent Saunders will President & CEO of the combined firm responsible for commercial operations, manufacturing and strategy.
    • Pfizer Group President, Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer (VOC), Albert Bourla, will be lead the Global Innovative Pharma (GIP) business. VOC will be folded into GIP after the Allergan deal is finalized.
    • Allergan EVP and President of Branded Pharma, Bill Meury, will lead a new operating segment called Global Specialty and Consumer Brands that will include Pfizer's Consumer Health unit and Allergan's ophthalmology and aesthetics businesses and Botox Therapeutic and Cosmetic.
    • The company will continue to manage its commercial operations through two businesses: Innovative Products and Established Products. Its decision to potentially separate the businesses will be made no later than the end of 2018. The Innovative Products business will be comprised of two operating segments: Global Innovation Pharmaceutical and Global Specialty and Consumer Brands. The Established Products business will continue to be led by John Young.
    • Additional members of Mr. Saunders' executive team are Tony Maddaluna, EVP and President, Pfizer Global Supply and Laurie Olson, EVP, Strategy, Portfolio and Commercial Operations.
    • Pfizer Chairman & CEO Ian Read's team will oversee Finance, R&D, HR, Compliance/Risk, Legal and Corporate Affairs.
    • Pfizer Group President, Global Innovative Pharma Business, Geno Germano, will be leaving the company.
    | 10:38 AM | 9 Comments
  • 10:15 AM
    • Suncor Energy (SU -3.4%) says nearly 73% of Canadian Oil Sands (OTCQX:COSWF -3.5%) shares and accompanying rights have been tendered to its C$4.2B takeover offer.
    • SU says that as a result, it will be able to ensure that the deal will be completed and it will acquire the remainder of the outstanding COS shares.
    • SU succeeded in winning over resistant COS management and shareholders after sweetening its offer last month.
    | 10:15 AM | 10 Comments
  • 8:57 AM
    • Lake Shore Gold (NYSEMKT:LSG+9.3% premarket after agreeing to be acquired by Tahoe Resources (NYSE:TAHO) in an all-stock deal valued at ~C$945M.
    • TAHO will pay 0.1467 of its stock for each LSG share, which works out to C$1.71, a 14.8% premium to LSG shares, based on both stocks' Friday close; the companies say the deal has an implied equity value of C$945M, assuming the conversion of some debentures.
    • The deal adds LSG's low-cost gold Timmins West and Bell Creek mines in Timmins, Ontario, to TAHO's portfolio, which already includes the Escobal mine in Guatemala and two mines in Peru.
    • The combined company is expected to produce 370K-430K oz. of gold in 2016 at total cash costs of $675-$725/oz. and all-in costs of $950-$1,000/oz.
    • TAHO -2.7% premarket.
    | 8:57 AM | 8 Comments
  • 2:02 AM
    • Speaking with Jim Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money" on Friday, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed that his company is weighing a bid for Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO).
    • "At the right price, I think marrying up some of their assets with AOL and the leadership would be good," he declared.
    • Verizon previously described its strategy as being broken into three tiers: having great connectivity, holding traffic-driving platforms, and owning content.
    • Previously: Verizon says any rumors of a bid for Yahoo are "false" (Jan. 28 2016)
    | 2:02 AM | 59 Comments
  • Sunday, February 7, 2016

  • 9:49 AM
    • Casino Guichard Perrachon (OTC:CGUIF, OTCPK:CGUSY) strikes a deal to sell Thai grocery store chain Big C to TCC Holding for $3.5B.
    • Big C is a listed stock on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
    • The sale will allow Casino to improve its debt position. Earlier this year, Casino was the target of a Muddy Waters attack piece over debt load.
    • Previously: Casino Guichard Perrachon slammed by short seller report (Dec. 17, 2015)
    | 9:49 AM | 2 Comments
  • Friday, February 5, 2016

  • 1:41 PM
    • CHX Holdings agrees to sell the Chicago Stock Exchange to Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group for an undisclosed amount.
    • The deal will have to pass muster with regulators before closing.
    • U.S. financial firms with minority stakes in CHX Holdings include E*Trade, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase.
    • Chicago Stock Exchange press release (.pdf)
    | 1:41 PM | 4 Comments
  • 12:43 PM
    • Ku6 Media (KUTV -3.1%) has hired Weil, Gotshal & Manges as legal counsel and Duff & Phelps Securities as a financial adviser as it considers a buyout proposal from Shanda Interactive Entertainment.
    • Shanda has offered to acquire Ku6 and take it private for about $51.5M -- about $1.08 per ADS. The company's depositary shares are trading at $0.83 today.
    • Shares have gained 18.6% since Monday's proposal for the transaction.
    • Previously: Ku6 Media gets buyout proposal from Shanda (Feb. 01 2016)
    | 12:43 PM | 1 Comment
  • 11:18 AM
    • VTech acquires LeapFrog Enterprises (LF +70.9%) for $1.00 per share.
    • The company traded over $10 just three years ago before buckling under to a seismic shift with young children increasingly learning by iPads and other mobile devices.
    • Shares of LeapFrog are up 71% to $0.97.
    | 11:18 AM | 10 Comments
  • 10:43 AM
    • Youku Tudou (YOKU +0.2%) has set a special general meeting to consider its buyout by Alibaba.
    • Shareholders will meet March 14 at 10 a.m. local time in Hong Kong to vote on the plan. If approved, American depositary shares would delist from NYSE as the company went privately held.
    • Shareholders of record at the close of business Feb. 11 will be entitled to vote.
    • Previously: Youku Tudou up 9.7% premarket on Alibaba buyout's higher price (Nov. 06 2015)
    | 10:43 AM
  • 9:43 AM
    • U.S. power utility AES Corp. (AES -0.9%) as well as Brazilian rivals CPFL Energia (CPL -0.8%) and Equatorial Energia are among groups showing preliminary interest in buying state-controlled power distributor Centrais Elétricas de Goiás, Reuters reports.
    • The plan comes as Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras (EBR -0.6%), Brazil's largest power holding company, is considering selling stakes in several distribution companies; the move underscores Pres. Rousseff's efforts to streamline the size of state companies, whose rapid growth has put public finances under pressure.
    | 9:43 AM | 1 Comment
  • 8:58 AM
    • IDEX Corp. (NYSE:IEX) agrees to acquire Akron Brass, a maker of engineered life-safety products for the safety and emergency response markets, for $224.2M.
    • Akron Brass is the industrial products division of Premier Farnell (OTCPK:PIFLF), which says the deal will help it focus on its core electronics distribution business.
    | 8:58 AM
  • 7:50 AM
    • Healthcare products distributor Henry Schein (NASDAQ:HSIC) acquires a majority ownership interest in Blumenau-based Dental Cremer S.A., a distributor of dental supplies and equipment in Brazil. It serves ~60K dentists across the country. 2015 sales were ~$70M.
    • The transaction will be neutral to 2016 earnings but accretive by $0.01 - 0.02 in 2017. The deal should close in H1. Financial terms are not disclosed.
    | 7:50 AM
  • 7:49 AM
    • The European Union approves Schlumberger's (NYSE:SLB) pending acquisition of Cameron International (NYSE:CAM), saying it had no major competition concerns.
    • The EU says CAM's and SLB's activities present limited overlaps in the markets of produced water treatment and on the drilling chokes market, and that the deal would raise no competition concerns, "given the very limited overlaps between the companies' activities and the modest increment in market shares brought about by the transaction."
    | 7:49 AM
  • Thursday, February 4, 2016

  • 6:26 PM
    • Honeywell (NYSE:HON) agrees to acquire smoke detection and video security company Xtralis for $480M.
    • Ireland-based Xtralis would be part of HON's Security and Fire unit, which is part of the Automation and Control Solutions division that accounts for about a third of HON's annual sales.
    | 6:26 PM | 2 Comments
  • 5:36 PM
    | 5:36 PM
  • 5:30 PM
    • While discussing its 2016 guidance, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) says it expects its field sales hiring solutions business to see mid-20% growth in 2016, after exiting 2015 at 30% growth. The outlook is said to reflect "continued pressure in EMEA and APAC given current global economic conditions," and single-digit growth for self-serve products. It also doesn't assume "meaningful contribution" from LinkedIn's Referrals and new Recruiter products.
    • Also: For its Marketing Solutions (ad) business, LinkedIn is shuttering its Lead Accelerator product as a standalone offering, and incorporating its technology into the Sponsored Updates ad product. The move is expected to have a short-term revenue impact. Nonetheless, LinkedIn forecasts Marketing Solutions will "accelerate in 2016."
    • Meanwhile, spending will stay aggressive: Capex will equal a high-teens % of 2016 revenue, and aggressive investments will be made for LinkedIn's Sales Solutions and Learning & Development (formerly Lynda.com) platforms.
    • Q4 sales/traffic details: Talent Solutions revenue (62% of total) +45% Y/Y to $535M - hiring revenue +32% to $487M, Learning & Development revenue totaled $49M. Over 3K corporate solutions accounts were added, raising the total above 42K (+29% Y/Y); LinkedIn won't disclose this metric going forward. The add-on/renewal rate "decreased moderately" Y/Y.

      Marketing Solutions +20% to $183M, with Sponsored Updates surpassing 50% of segment revenue and display ad sales dropping by a high-30s % amid ongoing "secular-driven headwinds." Premium Subscriptions +19% to $144M, with Sales Navigator providing a lift. LinkedIn notes general subscriptions are now growing only at a single-digit rate as subscribers migrate to products such as Job Seeker and Recruiter Lite.

      Registered members rose by 18M Q/Q to 414M. Unique visiting members only rose 7% to 100M (57M mobile). Member page views +26% to 37B. The U.S. was 61% of revenue.
    • Financials: 2015 free cash flow was $300M, up from just $21M in 2014. GAAP costs/expenses rose 39% Y/Y in Q4 to $877.9M. On a non-GAAP basis, sales/marketing spend was 31% of revenue, R&D 18%, G&A 11%, and cost of revenue 12%. LinkedIn ended 2015 with $3.1B in cash and $1.1B in convertible debt.
    • In other news, LinkedIn has announced it's buying Connectifier, a startup that has developed A.I.-based search technology for helping recruiters find job candidates. LinkedIn, which bough job search engine/listing platform Bright in 2014, says Connectifier will "further strengthen our core products and accelerate our product roadmap, leveraging powerful machine learning-based searching and matching technology to help recruiters and hiring managers find the perfect talent fit."
    • LinkedIn has tumbled to $139.46 after hours.
    • LinkedIn's results/guidance, earnings release, slides (.pdf)
    | 5:30 PM | 18 Comments
  • 4:45 PM
    • Chinese precision sheet metal supplier DSBJ is buying circuit board contract manufacturer Multi-Fineline (NASDAQ:MFLX) for $610M, or $23.95/share, in cash. The price represents a 46% premium to MFLX's Thursday close.
    • The deal is expected to close in Q3, pending approvals from shareholders and U.S./Chinese regulators. DSBJ plans to finance via existing cash, credit facilities, and new debt. The announcement has been made in tandem with MFLX's Q4 results.
    | 4:45 PM | 1 Comment
  • 12:57 PM
    • Hasbro (HAS +1.2%) and Mattel (MAT +5.2%) have held talks about a merger, according to a breaking Bloomberg report.
    • The companies are the two of the largest toy companies in the world and would carry quite a bit of clout and leverage (think Disney) if their distribution channels were combined.
    | 12:57 PM | 25 Comments
  • 9:54 AM
    • eLong (LONG +0.6%) has reached a deal to sell to China E-dragon Holdings for $18 per ADS, or $9 per ordinary share. The price represents just a $0.90 premium to eLong's Wednesday U.S. close.
    • Following the sale, eLong will be owned by a consortium of existing shareholders, management, and a firm called Seagull Limited. The buyers already own 78% of eLong's shares. The sale is expected to close before the end of Q2.
    | 9:54 AM
  • 9:48 AM
    • P-E firm Arlington Capital is buying iRobot's (NASDAQ:IRBT) defense/security robot business for up to $45M, after factoring a milestone-based contingent payment. The deal is expected to close "in the next few months."
    • Activist Red Mountain Capital previously called on iRobot to explore options for its defense/security robot ops, noting they account for less than 10% of revenue and aren't expected to grow significantly over the next few years. iRobot's Defense & Security sales fell 42% Y/Y in Q3 to $6.2M, with gross margin dropping to 42.9% from 53.3% a year earlier.
    • CEO Colin Angle: "iRobot sees significant growth opportunities in the consumer robotic technology market, particularly in light of the successful Roomba 980 launch and the potential presented by the connected smart home ... The divestiture of the Defense & Security business will allow us to focus on the Home Robots business, bring new products to market, continue our expansion in China and build upon successful new marketing campaigns."
    • Along with the sale, iRobot has announced it's expanding its buyback authorization by $65M, bringing the total value of its 2016 program above $100M. A 1M-share buyback was announced in late December.
    • iRobot has rallied above $35. Q4 results arrive on Feb. 10.
    | 9:48 AM | 4 Comments
  • 8:18 AM
    • Sinovac (NASDAQ:SVA) received a preliminary non-binding proposal yesterday from a group of Chinese investors who seek to acquire the company for $7 per share in cash. The competing bid follows one received on January 30 from an investor group led by Chairman, President & CEO Weidong Yin for $6.18 per share.
    • A special committee of the firm's independent directors will evaluate the offers.
    • Shares are up 8% premarket on increased volume.
    | 8:18 AM
  • 5:06 AM
    • Nestle (OTCPK:NSRGY) has agreed to buy out Osem Investments (OTC:OSEMF), Israel’s largest publicly-traded foodmaker, for about 3.3B shekels ($840M), returning to acquisitions in the industry after a series of divestments.
    • Nestle will pay Osem investors 82.50 shekels a share to buy the 36.3% stake it doesn't already own, the Swiss company said in a statement.
    • According to Bloomberg, the purchase is Nestle's biggest food acquisition since 2012.
    | 5:06 AM | 2 Comments
  • 2:04 AM
    • Sharp (OTCPK:SHCAY) has decided to enter exclusive talks with Foxconn Technology (OTC:FXCOF) regarding a takeover, choosing the Taiwan firm's offer over a rescue plan from government-backed Innovation Network of Japan.
    • The decision comes after months of uncertainty over the fate of the company, whose display business has continued to suffer massive losses despite two major bailouts.
    • According to broadcaster NHK, Foxconn offered over ¥700B ($5.9B) for Sharp, more than double the amount of investment proposed by INCJ.
    • Previously: Sharp meets with Foxconn and Japanese state-backed fund (Jan. 31 2016)
    | 2:04 AM | 3 Comments
  • Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • 7:30 PM
    • Shortly after Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) confirmed it's exploring "additional strategic alternatives" while pushing ahead with a reverse spinoff of its core business, the FT reports Bain, TPG, and other P-E firms are weighing potential bids for core Yahoo. The paper adds AT&T (NYSE:T) and InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IAC) "are also believed to be examining the company."
    • Many firms are expected to make full or partial bids for core Yahoo. CFO Ken Goldman: "A number of companies have said they want to look at us, and there are a number of private equity firms that are interested in looking at us. I’m not saying that we’ve received offers ... I’m saying parties have expressed interest in us. And what we’re saying is that we’ll be open [to] that.”
    • Re/code's Kara Swisher reports Yahoo has hired well-known tech i-banker Frank Quattrone to help it explore options; Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are already on the payroll. "It is clear to us that what is happening inside is very dysfunctional," says an unnamed major investor talking to Swisher.
    • Meanwhile, with a sale effort and job cuts already expected, Yahoo fell below $28 in regular trading following its Q4 report and myriad of job cut, writedown, and strategic review announcements. Weak guidance may have weighed: Yahoo guided in its earnings slides (.pdf) for Q1 GAAP revenue of $1.05B-$1.09B and 2016 revenue of $4.4B-$4.6B, below consensus estimates of $1.14B and $4.78B.

      2016 ex-TAC revenue guidance of $3.4B-$3.6B is below 2015 ex-TAC revenue of $4.09B, which itself was below 2014's $4.4B. Non-GAAP op. income is  expected to drop to $150M-$250M from 2015's $342M and 2014's $755M.
    • Also of note: 1) $230M of Yahoo's $4.46B goodwill writedown was related to the $1.1B Tumblr acquisition. On the earnings call (transcript), Yahoo disclosed Tumblr failed to hit the company's $100M 2015 revenue target. 2) Along with everything else, Yahoo has begun exploring the sale of "non-strategic assets" such as patents and real estate. It estimates such sales could yield $1B-$3B in cash by year's end.
    • Prior Yahoo coverage
    | 7:30 PM | 20 Comments
  • 4:32 PM
    • Jasper Technologies provides a platform for creating, managing, monetizing, and automating IoT services for Web-connected embedded devices. Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) is buying the company for $1.4B in cash and assumed equity awards, plus retention-based incentives.
    • Cisco: "Jasper is the industry's leading IoT service platform in terms of number of enterprises and service providers ... Jasper develops and provides a SaaS platform with a predictable, recurring revenue IoT business that manages and drives a wide range of connected devices and services for more than 3500 enterprises worldwide, working with 27 service provider groups globally."
    • The purchase comes 7 months after Cisco unveiled its IoT System, which aims to provide an end-to-end hardware, software, and services platform for IoT-related deployments. IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon are among the other major IT names to have shown a strong interest in IoT services.
    • In October, Cisco announced the purchase of ParStream, a startup providing a database for IoT data. The company has made a slew of acquisitions in recent years to grow its software/services exposure amid ongoing hardware pressures. FQ2 results arrive on Feb. 10.
    | 4:32 PM
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