Seeking Alpha
  • Friday, March 27, 2015

  • 8:58 PM
    • Glenn Lurie, CEO of AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), says he's not worried about the outcome if Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) -- third and fourth in the U.S. wireless market behind AT&T and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) -- decide to merge.
    • "We are a very, very different company than the other three," he tells FierceWireless. "So whatever happens with them, I'm not really that concerned. I'm concerned about how we execute and how we operate."
    • His No. 1 goal, Lurie says, is to reduce churn and preserve the company's current subscribers in order to upsell other services.
    • Chatter continues to suggest that Sprint and T-Mobile may have to think about combining to achieve competitive scale, and in the meantime they're firing salvos in a price war that Lurie says AT&T won't join: "This industry is not commoditized at all."
    • Previously: Goldman upgrades T-Mobile; DT reiterates merger wish (Jan. 20 2015)
    | 21 Comments
  • 4:16 PM
    • Brean Capital's Difei Yang says small cap Hyperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HPTX) should be on the acquisition radar considering Big Pharma's appetite for rare disease players. The company's revenues are generated by two products, Ravicti (glycerol phenylbutyrate) and Buphenyl (sodium phenylbutyrate), that treat urea cycle disorders, inherited metabolic diseases caused by a deficiency in one of the enzymes or transporters in the urea cycle. Elevated ammonia, a consequence of the failure to convert ammonia to urea, can have serious consequences, such as brain damage, coma and even death.
    • Mr. Yang estimates that the company's takeout price at $60 per share. He lists Shire plc (NASDAQ:SHPG), Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX), and Endo International (NASDAQ:ENDP) as potential suitors. HPTX closed today at just under $43.
    • The company booked ~$114M in revenues last year but took a loss of ($6.3M).
    | 1 Comment
  • 3:47 PM
    • The WSJ reports Intel (INTC +5.9%) is in talks to buy FPGA vendor/foundry partner Altera (ALTR +22.7%). Shares of both companies have surged in response. With Altera currently sporting a $12.7B market cap, the deal would be the biggest in Intel's history, and one of the biggest in the chip industry's M&A/consolidation wave.
    • Intel struck a foundry deal with Altera in 2013, and is set to produce 14nm chips for the company. Altera's FPGAs are found in plenty of products containing Intel's Xeon server CPUs or network processors. The companies have also collaborated on a solution for Web data centers that pairs a Xeon CPU and an Altera FPGA in the same package, with the latter enabling on-the-fly programmability.
    • Altera archrival Xilinx (XLNX +5%) and smaller rival Lattice (LSCC +3.7%) have also spiked higher.
    • Update (4:00PM ET): The full story is now out. The WSJ states deal terms and timing are unknown.
    • Update 2 (4:08PM): Bloomberg has joined the WSJ in reporting of deal talks. Intel closed up 6.4%, and Altera closed up 28.4%.
    | 64 Comments
  • 3:27 PM
    • In a dig at Third Point's Daniel Loeb, Dow Chemical (DOW +3.2%) CEO Andrew Liveris says his company's decisive move to shift out of the commodity chemicals business shows how “Dow continues to behave as our own best activist.”
    • Dow's deal to sell its chlor-alkali business to Olin (OLN +18.2%) in exchange for $2B and a 50.5% stake in the smaller company will create the world’s largest chlorine producer with 5.7B tons/year of production and $1B in EBITDA.
    • Citigroup’s P.J. Juvekar offers three reasons why the deal is good for shareholders: The chlor-alkali divestiture at 8x EBITDA is a great multiple for a commodity business, the Reverse Morris Trust deal makes it tax-free and a split-off will allow Dow to buy back its own shares efficiently - a similar move by PPG Industries was viewed very positively two years ago, and Dow will sell ethylene to OLN for 20 years and will receive an upfront payment of ~$400M.
    • Dow may still get rid of its agricultural chemicals business, which does not have a lot in common with the rest of the business; with $7.3B in sales and almost $1B in EBITDA last year, the unit could be worth $10B.
    • Juvekar says Axiall (AXLL +5%) also could benefit from the deal, seeing consolidation in the U.S. chlor-alkali industry as a positive, and OLN says it will look to optimize its expanded chlor-alkali asset base.
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  • 3:12 PM
    | 2 Comments
  • 1:00 PM
    • More than 98% of voting shareholders from both companies approve the $34.6B megadeal for Halliburton (HAL -0.4%) to acquire Baker Hughes (BHI -0.2%).
    • The combination of the two oilfield services giants is not expected to close until H2 of this year after going through the regulatory process and the sales of some business units and assets by both companies.
    • Both companies have been downsizing sharply, citing the oil crash rather than the merger; HAL is cutting up to 6.5K jobs from its 80K global headcount while BHI is shedding 7K of its nearly 60K jobs.
    | 4 Comments
  • 11:41 AM
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  • 10:15 AM
    • Sony Pictures Television (NYSE:SNE) has agreed to acquire Dutch premium TV group Film1 from Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA), John Malone's European cable operator.
    • The deal means Sony will own and operate five premium movie channels as well as its over-the-top "Film1 Go" digital distribution service.
    • Liberty had acquired Film1 in buying Dutch cable operator Ziggo, and Ziggo will continue to carry the five Film1 channels, which feature films from Hollywood studios as well as independent productions.
    • The move is another in a series of recent Sony transactions to acquire European channels, including deals in the UK and Hungary.
    | 1 Comment
  • 10:03 AM
    • It's not a major surprise, but the Macerich (MAC -1.2%) board looks set to reject Simon Property Group's (SPG +0.3%) best and final buyout offer of of $95.50 per share, reports David Faber.
    • Investors have prepped for this: Macerich has been trading well south of $95.50 ever since the Simon ultimatum. It's currently at $85.93. Macerich was a $70 stock prior to Simon getting involved.
    • Previously: Investors bet Simon Property will walk away from Macerich (March 20)
    • Previously: Simon Property sweetens Macerich offer (March 20)
    | Comment!
  • 9:36 AM
    • Jiayuan.com (NASDAQ:DATE) has hired Barclays to advise on a $5.37/share non-binding buyout offer from Vast Profit Holdings. It has also hired Davis Polk & Wardell to act as its legal counsel.
    • The Chinese online dating platform currently trades 6% below the offer price.
    | Comment!
  • 9:30 AM
    • Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) completes its acquisition of privately-held Sophono, a developer of magnetic hearing implants. Terms are not disclosed. The business will be part of Medtronic's Surgical Technologies division within the Restorative Therapies Group segment.
    • Sophono's magnetic bone conduction hearing implants have been placed in more than 4,000 patients in 42 countries. They are indicated for patients at least five years of age with single-sided deafness or conductive, mixed hearing loss.
    • According to the World Health Organization, disabling hearing loss affects 360M people worldwide.
    | 2 Comments
  • 8:47 AM
    • Israel Chemicals (NYSE:ICL) agrees to acquire Canada's Allana Potash (OTCPK:ALLRF) for C$137M (US$109M), a deal ICL hopes will accelerate development of a potash mine in Ethiopia.
    • ICL already owns 16.36% of shares in Allana and would pay C$0.50/share for the portion it does not own.
    • Allana's Danakhil project in Ethiopia could yield up to 1M metric tons/year of muriate of potash for 25 years.
    | Comment!
  • 8:46 AM
    • Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal lifts his price target 15% for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE:TEVA) to $69 (from $60) citing the firm's continued shift to branded drugs, a deeper pipeline and a more global customer base. He also notes that management has a list of 25 preferred acquisition targets, including some in generics (for example, biosimilars) that would yield substantial synergies.
    | 2 Comments
  • 8:20 AM
    • Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) agrees to acquire Revett Mining (NYSEMKT:RVM) in an all-stock deal valued at $20M.
    • HL says it plans to continue to advance permitting of the Rock Creek project in Montana, one of North America's largest undeveloped silver and copper deposits; RVM has reported inferred resources of 229M oz. of silver and 2B lbs. of copper at Rock Creek.
    | 7 Comments
  • 7:24 AM
    • Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) says it will split off a major part of its chlorine business and merge it with Olin Corp. (NYSE:OLN) in a deal valued at $5B.
    • The new entity, which will include Dow’s U.S. Gulf Coast chlor-alkali and vinyl, global chlorinated organics and epoxy businesses, is expected to have revenue of nearly $7B.
    • The move comes as Dow faces criticism of its structure from the Third Point hedge fund, which has pressured Dow to break apart its petrochemicals business from its specialty chemicals segment.
    • DOW +6.1%, OLN +4.8% premarket.
    | 9 Comments
  • 5:03 AM
    • Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is looking to raise up to A$4.62B ($3.6B) through the sale of its entire stake in Caltex Australia (OTC:CTXAY).
    • According to a term sheet, Chevron is offering 135M shares at a floor price of A$34.20 each, a 9.7% discount to Friday's close.
    • CVX +0.2% premarket
    | 3 Comments
  • 4:39 AM
    • Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privee has agreed to buy Royal Bank of Scotland's (NYSE:RBS) international private banking arm Coutts International.
    • "This acquisition confirms our commitment in further developing our wealth management business and represents a significant milestone in our growth strategy," said UBP's chief executive.
    • While both parties did not disclose a price, the FT suggested on Thursday that the deal would fetch $600M-$800M.
    • Previously: RBS sale of Coutts International getting near (Mar. 26 2015)
    | Comment!
  • 1:49 AM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is in talks to buy online luxury retailer Net-a-Porter in what could be the biggest acquisition yet for the e-commerce giant, Women's Wear Daily reports.
    • Amazon has long coveted the high-end fashion retail sector and any deal for Net-a-Porter, which is owned by Swiss firm Compagnie Financire Richemont (OTCPK:CFRUY), could come with an approximate €2B price tag.
    | 6 Comments
  • Thursday, March 26, 2015

  • 4:43 PM
    • RBC Bearings (NASDAQ:ROLL) agrees to acquire Dover's (NYSE:DOV) Sargent Aerospace & Defense business for $500M.
    • RBC says Sargent supplies highly engineered products to a customer base it already knows well, and that Sargent's manufacturing processes and design expertise align well with and complement those of RBC.
    • RBC estimates EPS accretion of $0.25-$0.35 for the first year of operations as a combined company.
    • Shares halted.
    | Comment!
  • 4:29 PM
    • HP (NYSE:HPQ) is close to selling a 51% stake in its H3C Technologies Chinese networking hardware unit to state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup, the WSJ reports. Echoing an October report about HP's sale efforts, the paper states H3C is "worth roughly $5 billion in total."
    • Sources state a sale might include "a separate server operation," and could still be a few weeks away. Tsinghua is said to be competing with other bidders, including investment firm China Huaxin.
    • Tsinghua has bought Chinese chipmakers RDA and Spreadtrum, and since formed a mobile processor partnership with Intel. HP, meanwhile, saw its networking revenue fall 11% Y/Y in the January quarter, something that was blamed on "execution issues" in the U.S. and China. Like other U.S. enterprise IT firms, the NSA scandal has taken a toll on HP's Chinese sales.
    • The report comes as HP gets set to acquire enterprise Wi-Fi hardware/software vendor Aruba Networks ahead of a PC/printing spinoff expected to occur by the end of FY15 (ends Oct. '15).
    | 1 Comment
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