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  • Today - Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • 9:05 AM
    • Safeway (NYSE:SWY) and Albertsons have agreed to sell 168 stores across eight states, mostly in the western U.S., in a bid to gain merger approval from U.S. antitrust regulators.
    • The companies, which together own ~2,400 stores, say they expect the buyers to hire most, if not all existing store workers.
    • The biggest beneficiary of the deal appears to be the Haggen chain, which is purchasing 146 stores and adding ~$750M in sales.
    | 1 Comment
  • Friday, December 19, 2014

  • 4:55 PM
    • News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) has bought BigDecisions.com, a site that "aims to help Indian consumers make smarter financial decisions through interactive, decision-making tools powered by sophisticated algorithms and data." Terms are undisclosed.
    • With News Corp. stating BigDecisions.com has "helped some 40,000 users," the site appears to have a fairly small base as of now. Last month, News Corp. spent $30M to take a 25% stake in Indian real estate site PropTiger.com.
    | Comment!
  • 4:33 PM
    • S&W Seed (NASDAQ:SANW) agrees to acquire of all of DuPont Pioneer's (NYSE:DD) alfalfa production and research facility assets, as well as all non-GMO alfalfa germplasm, for up to $42M.
    • S&W also agrees to be DuPont Pioneer's sole supplier of alfalfa seed through 2024.
    • S&W expects the alfalfa business to contribute $26M of incremental annual revenues in FY 2015 and $40M in FY 2016.
    | 3 Comments
  • 12:56 PM
    • The Delaware Supreme Court overturns a lower court ruling that had halted a deal by C&J Energy Services (CJES +0.7%) and Nabors Industries (NBR +6.1%), saying there was not enough evidence showing the C&J board had short-changed its shareholders.
    • A lower court last month held up C&J’s merger with a Nabors unit, finding C&J’s board did not adequately shop the company; the situation was unusual in part because C&J's board and management would keep control, while the new entity is to be incorporated in NBR’s home of Bermuda and 53% controlled by NBR.
    | Comment!
  • 10:17 AM
    • Alstom (OTCPK:ALSMY) shareholders overwhelmingly approve the company's plan to sell most of its power equipment business to GE.
    • Alstom had said last month it could return up to €4B ($4.92B) in cash to shareholders from the €12.35B deal.
    • Earlier: Alstom CEO discusses impact of fine on GE deal
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:50 AM
    • Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) has agreed to acquire Tervita LLC, an environmental waste solutions subsidiary of Tervita Corporation.
    • "The acquisition of this vertically integrated operation allows Republic Services to establish a significant platform in the E&P waste sector and positions us well for future growth opportunities," announced CEO of Republic Services Donald Slager.
    | Comment!
  • 1:51 AM
    • Xerox (NYSE:XRX) has agreed to sell its IT outsourcing unit to French IT services firm Atos for $1.05B.
    • "By divesting the slower-growing unit...Xerox can now focus on building up the faster-growing units, business process outsourcing and document outsourcing," said president of Xerox services business Robert Zapfel.
    • Xerox also revised its adjusted earnings forecast of $0.28-$0.30 per share for the current quarter ending Dec. 31 from $0.30-$0.32 per share. Analysts were expecting a profit of $0.31.
    • XRX +3.7% AH
    | 2 Comments
  • Thursday, December 18, 2014

  • 6:14 PM
    • Bloomberg reports Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) is "leaning toward making an all-stock offer" through 67%-owned TIM Participacoes (NYSE:TSU) to merge with Brazilian rival Oi (NYSE:OIBR), should it bid for Oi.
    • However, sources add TI wants a thumbs-up from Brazil's telecom regulator before it makes a move, and is unlikely to decide on its plans before February or March. An all-stock offer would allow debt-laden TI to avoid hurting its credit rating.
    • The latest wrinkle to Brazil's telecom drama comes a week after Bloomberg reported Oi, America Movil/Claro, and Telefonica/Vivo plan to jointly offer $15B for TIM. Such a deal could be easier for regulators to swallow, since it would spread TIM's assets between three carriers.
    • Oi rose 10.7% in regular trading today, aided by a market rally. Shares made a new 52-week low of $0.33 on Wednesday.
    • Prior Oi/TIM coverage
    | 1 Comment
  • 5:42 PM
    • Along with its results, NQ Mobile announces it has signed an MOU with Hong Kong-listed Chinese apparel retailer Tack Fiori, under which Tack proposes to buy NQ's FL Mobile game-publishing unit for $570M-$630M in stock.
    • The shares would be issued at a price representing a 10%-20% discount to Tack's average closing price over the 30 trading days prior to the signing of the MOU. With Tack having a $666M market cap as of today's close, the deal would make NQ Tack's controlling shareholder.
    • NQ previously sold a 3.58% stake in FL to Bison Capital for $15M, and a 0.92% stake to other investors for $3.85M.
    • Q3 results, PR
    | 2 Comments
  • 9:59 AM
    • Germany's Manager Magazin reports Alcatel-Lucent (ALU +4.8%) and Nokia (NOK +0.6%) have revived M&A talks this fall, and could agree to a merger or close partnership.
    • Reuters reported a year ago Nokia was "discussing internally" whether it should pursue a tie-up with Alcatel-Lucent, after reaching a deal to sell its phone unit to Microsoft. The WSJ later reported Nokia had decided not to pursue an Alcatel deal for the time being.
    • Nokia and Alcatel have considerable mobile infrastructure overlap, but a relatively limited amount of wireline equipment overlap. Alcatel's carrier IP networking (router/switch) ops are often seen as the company's most valuable asset.
    • Nokia is currently worth $30B, and Alcatel $9.8B. The latter has been aggressively cutting costs.
    | 36 Comments
  • 8:23 AM
    • Merck (NYSE:MRK) acquires privately-held Lausanne, Switzerland-based Oncoethix for an upfront payment of $110M and up to an additional $265M in clinical and regulatory milestones.
    • Oncoethix's lead product is OTX015, a BET bromodomain inhibitor (2,3,4) currently in Phase 1b development for the treatment of hematological malignancies and advanced solid tumors.
    • Bromodomain proteins 2,3 and 4 are considered potential cancer targets because of their pivotal role in regulating the transcription of growth-promoting genes and cell cycle regulators. In experimental models, the inhibition of BRD2/3/4 produced a potent antiproliferative effect associated with cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence.
    | Comment!
  • 7:58 AM
    • BT (NYSE:BT) is preparing a giant financing package including a £2B share placing to help fund its planned takeover of EE, The Telegraph reports.
    • The share placing will help keep the telecom giant’s level of debt manageable as it faces big bills next year from an increase in pension payments and costs.
    • Several of BT’s top ten investors have said they would support a share placing or rights issue to help finance the deal, worth a total of £12.5B, including £2B of EE debt.
    • BT is also expected to raise around £3B in the bond markets to help win the support of existing shareholders who may be resistant to any greater dilution.
    | Comment!
  • 7:52 AM
    • Alimentation Couche-Tard (OTCPK:ANCUF) agrees to acquire The Pantry (NASDAQ:PTRY), adding more than 1,500 locations to the Canadian company's U.S. network of convenience stores and fuel stops.
    • The deal values PTRY at US$1.7B, including debt, with Couche-Tard paying $36.75/share; PTRY +2.6% premarket after closing yesterday at $35.52, rising 23% amid reports of a deal in the works.
    • Couche-Tard has one of North America's largest network of convenience stores, operating primarily under the Couche-Tard and Mac's banners in Canada and as Circle K throughout the U.S.
    | Comment!
  • 4:35 AM
    • In the next bidding battle for Bisco Misr, Kellogg (NYSE:K) has raised its bid to 86.36 EGP per share, topping a rival offer from the UAE's Abraaj Investment Management, which increased its previous offer by 2%.
    • Previously: Bisco Misr bidding war continues (Nov. 30 2014)
    | Comment!
  • 3:31 AM
    • BGC Partners (NASDAQ:BGCP) has increased its takeover offer for rival interdealer broker GFI Group (NYSE:GFIG) by 3.8%, raising its bid to $5.45 per share.
    • BGC’s chairman and chief executive officer, Howard Lutnick, is looking to consolidate the shrinking interdealer brokerage business by topping CME Group’s (NASDAQ:CME) takeover bid for GFI.
    • CME matched BGC’s previous $5.25 per share offer on Dec. 2.
    • Previously: BGC Partners extends GFI tender for another month (Dec. 09 2014)
    • Previously: CME boosts offer for GFI Group (Dec. 03 2014)
    | 5 Comments
  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • 2:56 PM
    • Teradata (TDC +0.4%) has bought RainStor, a provider of archiving database software that leverages the Hadoop big data framework. Terms are undisclosed.
    • Teradata touts the high compression rates (10x-40x) supported by RainStor's software, as well as the immutability of data copies made with it (important for compliance/security purposes).
    • Earlier this year, Teradata bought big data consulting/services firm Think Big Analytics, big data management software firm Revelytix, and database software firm Hadapt (offers a platform that merges Hadoop with traditional SQL databases). Plenty of analysts have voiced concerns about Hadoop's impact on Teradata's standard data warehousing solutions.
    • Teradata also has a 7% stake leading Hadoop distribution provider Hortonworks.
    | Comment!
  • 2:27 PM
    • Varian Medical Systems (VAR +1.3%) intends to offer €17.50 per share (€30M) to acquire Bremen, Germany-based MeVis Medical Solutions AG, a provider of image processing software and services for cancer screening.
    • MeVis software is used in ~10K clinics around the world.
    | Comment!
  • 11:21 AM
    • NPS Pharmaceuticals (NPSP +21.3%) jumps on increased volume in response to market chatter that Shire plc (SHPG +2.5%) is mulling a bid for the rare disease therapeutics developer.
    | 2 Comments
  • 9:35 AM
    • Visteon (VC +6%) enters an agreement to sell close to 70% of Halla Visteon Climate Control to an affiliate of Hahn & Company for $3.6B.
    • The company says it expects the deal to close in the first half of 2015, but in the meantime is hedging most of the proceeds against currency swings.
    • Shares of Visteon perked up in November after the company confirmed it was in talks over a deal.
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:32 AM
    • Digital River (NASDAQ:DRIV) has extended its digital download services agreement with top client Microsoft to March 31, 2017. Microsoft can extend the expiration date via four six-month renewal options.
    • DRIV crashed on Dec. 8 after disclosing Microsoft had been given an extension for its deadline to give notice it wouldn't be extending the services deal. That triggered fears Microsoft would be jumping ship, and that DRIV's $26/share buyout agreement would be pulled in response.
    • In today's disclosure, DRIV states the acquisition is still expected to close in Q1 2015.
    | Comment!
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