Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Monday, September 22, 2014

  • 4:01 PM
    • Troubled regenerative medicine firm Tengion (OTCQB:TNGN +3.4%) retains Jefferies LLC as exclusive financial advisor to help it review and structure potential strategic transactions.
    • The company has struggled in its development of a regenerated urinary conduit and replacement bladder. It has consumed over $300M and has little to show for it.
    | Comment!
  • 3:38 PM
     
    • Cyprus-based Oasis Beverages has bought Pabst Brewing for an undisclosed amount.
    • P-E firm TSG Consumer Partners will take a minority position.
    • The rights to beer brands Pabst Blue Ribbon, Rainier, Lone Star, Old Style, Schlitz, and National Bohemian are included as part of the transaction.
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  • 3:00 PM
    • Kellogg (K -0.6%) is one of the first round bidders for United Biscuits, sources tell The Wall Street Journal.
    • The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Turkish firm Ulker Biskuvi Sanayi AS were also involved in the bidding for the private equity-owned food company.
    • The offer prices for United Biscuits is reported to be in the neighborhood of $3.27B.
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  • 2:18 PM
    • Ericsson (ERIC -0.6%) has bought a majority stake in Apcera, provider of an enterprise cloud app development platform (PaaS) that tries to differentiate itself through a focus on security/policy controls. Terms are undisclosed.
    • Apcera, which faces competition from Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, Google, and several other prominent rivals, will continue to be run independently. Its PaaS platform supports public, private, and hybrid cloud deployments.
    • Ericsson predicts integrating Apcera's offerings with its existing cloud management software/services will allow it to provide carriers and enterprises with "complete cloud automation to run all workloads and use cases, while providing complete control for infrastructure."
    • The mobile infrastructure giant hasn't been shy about using M&A to increase its software and services exposure.
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  • 1:59 PM
    • Genetic Technologies (GENE +2.2%) sells its heritage Australian Genetics business to Primary Heath Care Ltd. subsidiary Specialist Services Ltd. for $2M in cash. The Australian Genetics operation provides diagnostic and sequencing services focused on Australia-only medical, forensic, paternity and animal genomic testing.
    • The transaction is part of the company's plan to divest non-core assets and focus its activities on the U.S. molecular diagnostics market and its lead breast cancer risk test BREVAGen.
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  • 12:54 PM
    • A source talking with Barron's: "They’ve been talking for months and months about this ... Yes, it hit a snag in July, and then resumed in August, and now it took a pause again in September. It could resume ... They were very close last week, and then things went on pause. Things feel very imminent-ish."
    • The source (possibly hoping to bring an EMC suitor to the table) adds Cisco and Oracle are also viewed as potential EMC (EMC +1.3%) buyers. He/she also says a full VMware (VMW +1.1%) spinoff remains a possibility, and that EMC CEO Joe Tucci wants to complete a deal by year's end, before his planned Feb. 2015 retirement.
    • The WSJ reported overnight EMC and H-P (HPQ -0.5%) had "held off-and-on merger discussions" for nearly a year. CNBC has since reported EMC wanted a large premium, and that H-P was open to unloading its cash-cow printer unit as part of a deal. The Barron's source says an H-P printer unit sale would be "a down the road thing," if it happened.
    • The NYT has reported EMC and H-P were discussing a "merger of equals." H-P currently has a market cap of $68.3B, and EMC a market cap of $60.8B. EMC and VMware are trading higher, while H-P is off modestly amid a tech selloff.
    | 2 Comments
  • 12:28 PM
    • As of the end of last week, 612.8K shares of Schuff (OTCPK:SHFK +0.8%) had been tendered to HC2 (OTCQB:HCHC -0.2%) for $31.50 per share in cash. Combined with its existing stake, this would give HC2 86% of Schuff's outstanding shares (enough to utilize HC2's NOLs against Schuff's profits, if you believe this SA Pro article).
    • Nevertheless, the number of shares tendered to date does not meet the 90% Majority-of-the-Minority Condition, and HC2 is extending its offer until the close of business on Sept. 29.
    • Source: Press Release
    • Schuff's current stock price is exactly $31.50.
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  • 12:18 PM
    • Auxilium Pharmaceuticals' (AUXL -0.3%) BOD says that Endo International's (ENDP -1.7%$2.2B bid "significantly undervalues" the company. Despite implementing a poison pill takeover defense, it says that it maintains the right to engage in discussions with Endo. ENDP says that it is willing to work with AUXL on a deal.
    • A marriage with Endo would probably scupper Auxilium's agreement to merge with Canadian eye drug manufacturer QLT, Inc.
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  • 12:11 PM
    • Shutterfly (SFLY +4.4%) has spiked nearly to $50 on the report.
    • Past reports had mentioned interest from other P-E firms such as Bain and Hellman & Friedman.
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  • 12:06 PM
    • Otter Media, a JV owned by AT&T (T +0.1%) and ex-News Corp. president Peter Chernin, is buying a controlling stake in leading YouTube content provider Fullscreen. Re/code states the deal will likely value Fullscreen in the $200M-$300M range.
    • Fullscreen's network covers 50K+ content creators, and is responsible for 4B monthly video views. Yahoo and Time Warner had reportedly expressed interested in the startup earlier in 2014.
    • In March, Disney agreed to buy fellow YouTube content provider Maker Studios for up to $950M. With Maker producing 5.5B monthly video views at the time of the deal, AT&T/Chernin may have gotten a relative bargain. Look for AT&T to promote Fullscreen's content to its U-verse and/or mobile subs.
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  • 10:19 AM
    • Continuing its previously-announced plan to liquidate the company or enter into another business, NovaDel Pharma (OTCPK:NVDL) sells its ZolpiMist NDA to Amherst Pharmaceuticals for $2.2M in addition to a 10% royalty on ZolpiMist sales (annual minimum of $150K, maximum payment = $500K).
    • NovaDel has now sold all of its pharmaceutical assets.
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  • 9:44 AM
    • The buzz from bankers at the LPC loan conference in New York City is that financing for a massive M&A deal shouldn't be a major issue in the current environment.
    • The development coincides with ongoing speculation that Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) is lining up an acquisition play for beer rival SABMiller (OTCPK:SBMRY).
    • A bridge loan of $75B-$80B by A-B would be needed to swing the deal, according to some bankers.
    | Comment!
  • 9:07 AM
    • Trimas (NASDAQ:TRS) -4.2% premarket after issuing downside guidance for FY 2014, lowering EPS outlook to $1.85-1.95 from prior $2.15-$2.25 vs. $2.17 analyst consensus estimate and sees revenues +6%-7% to $1.47B-1.49B vs. $1.5B consensus.
    • TRS also agrees to acquire Allfast Fastening Systems for ~$360M; Allfast manufactures solid and blind rivets, blind bolts, temporary fasteners and installation tools for the aerospace industry.
    | Comment!
  • 8:46 AM
    • P2 Capital reports a 16.9% stake (from 4.9% previously) in Epiq Systems (NASDAQ:EPIQ), and says its $20 per share take-private bid was rejected by the company last week.
    • Shares +9.25% premarket to $18.89
    • Previously: Epiq Systems launches strategic review
    | 1 Comment
  • 8:10 AM
    • Shares of Clorox (NYSE:CLX) are higher in early trading after the New York Post reports the company was the target of takeover interest during the last three to six months.
    • A number of analysts think an acquisition premium will linger over the stock due to the stable of strong brands Clorox possesses.
    • CLX +2.7% premarket to $93.01.
    | Comment!
  • 7:59 AM
    • Ferro (NYSE:FOE) agrees to acquire Italian tile coatings manufacturer Vetriceramici for €83M (~$108M).
    • FOE expects the deal to be accretive to its adjusted EPS by $0.12-$0.14 in 2015.
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  • 6:56 AM
    • Drugs and chemicals producer Merck KGaA agrees to acquire St. Louis-based Sigma-Aldrich (NASDAQ:SIAL) for $140 per share in cash. The $17B deal represents a 37% premium over Friday's close of $102.37.
    • Sigma-Alrich is the world's largest supplier of bichemicals and organic chemicals. Sales last year were $2.7B.
    • SIAL is up 35% premaket on light volume.
    | Comment!
  • 2:59 AM
    • TTM Technologies (NASDAQ:TTMI) has agreed to acquire rival circuit board maker Viasystems (NASDAQ:VIAS) for more than $250M, WSJ reports. The cash and stock deal will likely be announced as soon as today.
    • The two recorded roughly $2.5B in combined sales in 2013.
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  • 1:57 AM
    • After much speculation, Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGY) has announced that it would buy Dresser-Rand (NYSE:DRC) for $7.6B, and says that its $83/share bid was unanimously supported by Dresser-Rand's board of directors.
    • Siemens also announced the sale of its 50% stake of household goods joint venture BSH to partner Robert Bosch for €3B ($3.9B).
    • Siemens expects to close the Dresser-Rand deal by summer 2015, while it aims to complete the sale of its BSH stake in the first half of 2015.
    • Previously: Siemens close to acquiring Dresser-Rand for $6B
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:12 AM
    • EMC "held off-and-on merger discussions" with H-P (NYSE:HPQ) for nearly a year before the talks recently ended, the WSJ reports. The storage giant is also said to have held talks with Dell, but it's not clear where the discussions now stand.
    • The WSJ notes Cisco and Oracle are also seen as potential EMC merger partners, and reports JPMorgan is advising the company on its options. The WSJ's report follows one from the NY Post stating EMC is exploring selling its 80% VMware (NYSE:VMW) stake, in the wake of pressure from Elliott Management.
    • Beyond that, EMC and fellow IT hardware giants have seen their sales pressured by a secular shift towards cheaper hardware, and the adoption of white-label systems by Web/cloud service providers who account for an ever-growing portion of hardware usage. That might be motivating IT giants to explore consolidating, with the goals of becoming more efficient and pitching enterprise clients on end-to-end hardware/software/services offerings.
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