Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

  • 4:32 AM
    • Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG) is said to be in advanced talks with China's largest developer, China Vanke (OTC:CVKEY), to buy stakes in nine of its shopping malls.
    • The purchase would give Carlyle access to China's commercial real estate market and a non-binding memorandum of understanding could be signed as early as tomorrow.
    • Sources say the deal could fetch between 6B-7B yuan ($976M-$1.1B) or even be valued at up to 10B yuan.
    | Comment!
  • 3:36 AM
    • A 5B yaun ($813M) e-commerce joint venture between China's privately-held Dalian Wanda Group, Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) and Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY, OTCPK:TCTZF) will be announced later this week, Reuters reports.
    • The new venture will unite three of China's most powerful non-state companies, and will be 70% owned by Wanda and 15% held by Baidu and Tencent respectively.
    • Wanda is a commercial property, luxury hotel and film conglomerate.
    | Comment!
  • 3:14 AM
    • Chiquita Brands (NYSE:CQB) has reiterated its commitment for a merger with Fyffes (OTC:FYFFF) and expects the deal to provide $60M in annualized pre-tax cost savings.
    • "Chiquita and Fyffes remain committed to the transaction and are continuing to work together to complete the combination as expeditiously as possible," says Chiquita CEO Ed Lonergan.
    | Comment!
  • Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • 8:26 PM
    • Allergan (AGN +0.4%) asks the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California for an expedited schedule for discovery and a preliminary injunction against Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX +1.4%) and Pershing Square Capital Management for violating insider trading laws. If successful, the pursuers will be blocked from counting their AGN shares in the total used to call the special meeting and they will fall short of the minimum 25% required to do so.
    • Allergan has established October 27, 2014 as the date of record for stockholders entitled to vote at the December 18, 2014 meeting. Its request to the Court would require the expedited discovery to be completed in October 2014 and would set a hearing on on the preliminary injunction motion before the special meeting.
    | Comment!
  • 12:49 PM
    • Google (GOOG -0.5%) was unable to buy Twitch due to concerns about "potential antitrust issues" related to the acquisition, Forbes reports. Due to the antitrust issues (stemming from Google's ownership of YouTube), the companies reportedly couldn't agree on a breakup fee.
    • Meanwhile, Amazon (AMZN +2.4%) is rallying amid favorable reviews for the Twitch acquisition. Analyst Jan Dawson sees Twitch expanding Amazon's advertising scale and drawing in new customers, and thinks its streaming tech could strengthen other Amazon services. "Amazon is clearly taking digital media very seriously, and spending heavily to fund it."
    • The Verge's Ben Popper observes Twitch will get to make full use of AWS, and will now have Amazon's resources to help with licensing. VC Ethan Kurzweil (a Twitch investor) thinks non-gaming use cases are possible. "We think that Amazon is investing here in Internet infrastructure and something more than gaming media ... What Twitch has really built here is a video-based community around any activity."
    • Yesterday: Amazon buying Twitch for $970M in cash
    | 21 Comments
  • 7:46 AM
    • Burger King Worldwide (NYSE:BKW) and Tim Hortons (NYSE:THI) announce plans to merge to create a restaurant giant with over $23B in annual sales.
    • Under the terms of the deal, Tim Hortons shareholders will receive C$65.50 per share in cash and 0.8025 shares in the new company per THI share.
    • The combined company will run Burger King and Tim Hortons as separate brands.
    • 3G Capital will own close to 51% of the new company.
    • BKW -1.0% premarket, THI +9.1% to $81.50.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:33 AM
    • Valmont Industries (NYSE:VMI) has acquired a majority interest in South Dakota-based AgSense, extending the company's offerings of agricultural remote monitoring and control technology.
    • "We are pleased to have entered this long-term partnership," says President Leonard Adams. "Growers increasingly seek to utilize data driven technology to increase yields and maximize water efficiency.'
    | Comment!
  • 7:11 AM
    • Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) acquires privately-held Dutch firm Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation for ~$200M in cash. The company is developing a deep brain stimulation system with 40 individual stimulation points. It its designed to allow more precise stimulation of the target while reducing the potential for side effects.
    • Medtronic will integrate Sapiens into its neuromodulation business.
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:19 AM
    • Telefonica’s (NYSE:TEF) board is discussing plans to raise its bid for Vivendi's (OTCPK:VIVHY) GVT to as much as €8B ($10.6B), Bloomberg reports.
    • Previously, Telefonica offered €6.7B for the Brazilian broadband unit.
    • The new bid could be announced before Aug. 28 and even before Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) puts forward its formal rival bid.
    | Comment!
  • 2:00 AM
    • In a surprise twist which lands Warren Buffett in the middle of the Burger King (NYSE:BKW)-Tim Hortons (NYSE:THI) deal, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) is now expected to provide about 25% of the financing for the merger, WSJ reports.
    • The exact structure of Buffett's participation remains unclear, but sources say he will invest in the form of preferred shares.
    • Due to deal being structured as a tax-inversion, the new move also shoves the billionaire into a heated debate over U.S. taxes.
    • THI +1.7% AH
    | 15 Comments
  • Monday, August 25, 2014

  • 5:53 PM
    • Comtech (NASDAQ:CMTL) says it's "exploring strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including a possible merger or sale of the Company."
    • No timetable has been set for finishing the review.  Shares are higher after coming off a halt.
    • Earlier: Comtech reportedly exploring sale, receives preliminary interest
    | Comment!
  • 4:25 PM
    • Reuters reports Comtech (CMTL +4.8%) is "exploring a potential sale and has received preliminary expressions of interest in recent weeks."
    • Citi is said to be advising the telecom equipment maker, which has mulled a sale at times in the past. Shares spiked shortly before the close on the report.
    | Comment!
  • 4:17 PM
    • Jeff Bezos: "Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon ... Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community." (PR)
    • Twitch had 55M+ unique visitors in July, and streamed 15B+ minutes of content produced by 1M+ broadcasters. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) expects the acquisition to close in 2H14.
    • Twitch is the third major digital content-related acquisition Amazon has made in the last two years: The company has also bought top book recommendation site Goodreads, and leading digital comics platform comiXology. Like Goodreads, Twitch provides a community of enthusiasts Amazon can potentially cross-sell various products to.
    • The purchase price is slightly below the $1B Google was previously reported to be offering. Re/code reports Google-Twitch talks had died before Amazon swooped in.
    • Earlier: Amazon reportedly close to Twitch deal
    | 16 Comments
  • 1:41 PM
    • The Information reports Amazon (AMZN +1%) "has been in late-stage talks" to acquire popular game-broadcasting platform Twitch, and could announce a deal shortly. Prior reports stated Google (GOOG -0.4%) was close to a deal to buy Twitch for ~$1B, or had fully reached one.
    • Twitch, whose platform allows users to live-stream their gaming activity (along with running commentary), has 50M+ users and a network of 4K+ content provider partners. The startup claims its average user watches 95 minutes/day of content.
    • Buying Twitch would represent a major investment by Amazon in free (ad-supported) online video. Thus far, the bulk of the company's Web video investments have been directed towards Prime Instant Video. Amazon has also been fleshing out its own game studio.
    • The Information's report shortly follows a WSJ report stating Amazon is working on a keyword-based ad platform (called Sponsored Links) that aims to replace ads based on Google's bread-and-butter AdWords keyword platform on Amazon's site and elsewhere. Amazon has already built up a sizable ad business, aided by its volumes of customer data.
    • Update (2:05PM): The WSJ reports Amazon has agreed to buy Twitch for $1B+.
    | 3 Comments
  • 12:25 PM
    • The NY Post reports AT&T (T +0.1%) has reached an agreement with the DOJ that paves the way for the agency to clear the DirecTV (DTV +0.8%) merger. No details are given on what conditions AT&T has agreed to.
    • Regulators have been expected to sign off on the $48.5B merger, in spite of concerns about its potential impact on pay-TV prices in areas where AT&T and DirecTV currently compete.
    • AT&T has tried to appease regulators by promising (among other things) to continue offering DirecTV's services on a standalone basis for 3 years, and to make big rural broadband investments.
    • In addition to the DOJ, the FCC is reviewing the merger.
    | 5 Comments
  • 10:57 AM
    • Lockheed Martin (LMT +0.9%) has completed its acquisition of nearly all assets of Sun Catalytix, a company that specializes in advanced engineering and chemistry of energy-related technologies.
    • The operation will become a wholly-owned subsidiary and will be known as Lockheed Martin Advanced Energy Storage.
    | Comment!
  • 9:23 AM
    • Dover's (NYSE:DOV) fluid-handling solutions division, OPW, has completed its acquisition of Liquip, an Australian manufacturer of storage solutions for the petroleum, aviation, and chemical markets.
    • Previously: Dover's OPW to acquire Liquip

    | Comment!
  • 9:21 AM
    • Raymond James thinks H-P could acquire FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE) or Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) to expand its enterprise security position.
    • Remarks made in H-P's FQ3 CC last week about the presence of "material non-public information" have fueled M&A speculation. UBS named Rackspace as a potential target on Friday, but re/code soon followed up by reporting H-P is still uninterested in the company. The enterprise security space has seen plenty of M&A activity over the last two years.
    • SA Pro author David Hernandez offered a bullish take on FireEye on Friday, arguing (among other things) the company's threat-prevention platform is differentiated by a superior virtual sandbox for analyzing/executing potentially malicious code.
    • FEYE +2.3%. FTNT unchanged for now.
    | 6 Comments
  • 8:22 AM
    • Stonegate Bank (NASDAQ:SGBK) is paying about 140% of tangible book value for CBB. Consideration will be the common stock of Stonegate, and the deal value is just north of $61M.
    • The purchase will boost Stonegate's deposit market share in Broward County to about 2%, and is expected to be immediately accretive to EPS, with double-digit accretion in year one. The expected modest dilution to book value should be recovered in less than three years, says the bank.
    • Conference call at 2:30 ET
    • Source: Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 8:03 AM
    • A strategic reason for Burger King Worldwide (NYSE:BKW) to snap up Tim Hortons (NYSE:THI) is the potential for the company to use its deep global development experience to help the coffee chain grow in new global markets
    • That plan could see Tim Hortons compete against Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) in more regions, including a deeper foray into the U.S.
    • Shares of Tim Hortons (THI) are flying in premarket trading, up 17.6%.
    | 1 Comment
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