Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Friday, January 30, 2015

  • 4:33 AM
    • Further strengthening the ties between Middle East growth carriers and Europe’s aviation sector, Qatar Airways has acquired a 9.99% ($1.7B) stake in International Consolidated Airlines Group (OTCPK:ICAGY), the owner of British Airways and Iberia.
    • The transaction deepens the Qatar’s link with the London Heathrow hub; Qatar Holdings owns 20% of the airport operator.
    • IAG has also been reported to be looking at expanding its hold on London Heathrow with the potential takeover of Aer Lingus (OTC:AIRXY).
    | Comment!
  • Thursday, January 29, 2015

  • 9:00 PM
    • Perceptron (NASDAQ:PRCP) is acquiring Coord3 Industries, an Italian maker of coordinate measurement machines (CMMs), for $2M in cash, a $350K deferred payment, and $10.7M in assumed debt. It's acquiring Next Metrology Software, a Czech developer of CMM software, for $2.6M in cash and $230K worth of deferred payments.
    • Perceptron declares the deals give it a leadership position in the CMM market. CEO Jeffrey Armstrong: "By combining the full range of Coord3's CMMs with Perceptron's laser scanners and NMS's easy-to-use TouchDMIS CMM operating software, Perceptron moves into a market leadership position, able to offer price-competitive, fully integrated CMM solutions worldwide."
    • Coord3 and Next Metrology have annual revenue of ~$15M between them; Perceptron expects the purchases to be accretive by the end of FY16 (ends June ' 16). FQ2 results arrive on Feb. 4.
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  • 5:10 PM
    • Endo International (NASDAQ:ENDP) finalizes its $2.6B takeout of Auxilium Pharmaceuticals. Auxilium's shareholders approved the deal on January 27.
    | Comment!
  • 2:59 PM
    | 2 Comments
  • 11:03 AM
    • The powerful rally in the Swiss Franc has given more M&A firepower to multinationals based in the nation, notes Bloomberg.
    • The food industry could see one of the first deals if an emboldened Nestle (OTCPK:NSRGY) decides to make a run at General Mills (GIS -1.9%).
    • A combination of Nestle and General Mills has been floated around by analysts before due to the powerful synergies that could be struck between the food giants.
    | 2 Comments
  • 10:01 AM
    • The hire by Avon Products (AVP +2.7%) of James Scully as its new CFO has rekindled speculation of a P-E buyout.
    • Scully comes over from J. Crew which was brought private by TPG Partners and Leonard Green in 2010.
    • Barclays Capital: "We can’t help but wonder if this appointment has greater meaning?" (h/t Notable calls).
    | Comment!
  • 8:33 AM
    • Kate Spade (NYSE:KATE) strikes a deal with The Lane Crawford Joyce Group to help strengthen the presence of its brand in Greater China.
    • The company also acquired a 60% interest in KS China through its partnership with E-Land Fashion for a payment of $36M.
    • Through some efforts to consolidate operations in the region, the businesses in the China will be run under Kate Spade China with Walton Brown (The Lane Crawford Joyce Group property) holding an equal partnership interest.
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  • 7:55 AM
    | 2 Comments
  • 6:58 AM
     
    • Steve Madden announces it purchased the assets and IP of Blondo for an undisclosed amount.
    • Blondo is a fashion footwear brand with a focus on boots.
    • The transaction is expected to close in the back half of 2015 and add $0.01 to EPS for the full year.
    | Comment!
  • 2:23 AM
    • The London Stock Exchange Group (OTCPK:LDNXF) is looking to sell Russell Investments for $1.4B in mid-February, after buying Frank Russell from insurer Northwestern Mutual last year for $2.7B.
    • The exchange operator has tapped Barclays to sell the business, and has at least three interested buyers, including CIBC (NYSE:CM), Reuters reports.
    • LSE hopes to fetch around $1.4B for the unit.
    • Previously: Report: CIBC eyeing Russell's asset management business (Dec. 11 2014)
    | Comment!
  • 1:59 AM
    • The approval for an $8.2B Sysco (NYSE:SYY)-U.S. Foods deal is being delayed again after the FTC sent a subpoena to a third-party food distributor this week asking for more information.
    • "I think it’s shockingly unclear” at this point whether the FTC is preparing to clear the merger," a source told the NY Post.
    • Antitrust concerns are focused on whether the deal will drive up costs, as the two are the only ones with geographic reach to offer nationwide contracts for a wide variety of goods.
    • Previously: Sysco to divest assets to win merger approval (Nov. 21 2014)
    • Previously: FTC questions Sysco, US Foods merger (Sep. 23 2014)
    | 1 Comment
  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015

  • 12:38 PM
    • The European Commission clears Mylan's (MYL -0.1%) $5.3B acquisition of Abbott's (ABT +0.7%) non-U.S. Developed Markets Specialty and Branded Generics Business. The EC is concerned that the transaction would potentially reduce competition so its approval is contingent upon the divestment of some of Mylan's businesses in Germany, the U.K., France, Ireland and Italy.
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  • 11:35 AM
    • Canada's TELUS (NYSE:TU) has taken a 20% stake in Quebec-based IT/consultant firm Alithya.
    • The firms plan to offer joint solutions/services, and TELUS will send 94 employees to Alithya in the coming weeks to form a combined team of about 600 consultants.
    | Comment!
  • 10:27 AM
    • More Chinese investment in Hollywood as Hunan TV & Broadcast agrees with Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) to invest a combined $1.5B into making and distributing films.
    • The deal covers the next three years and means that Hunan will set up a unit in the U.S., and Lions Gate will also help distribute Hunan's Chinese films in overseas markets.
    • China's Dalian Wanda -- already one of the biggest theater operators in the U.S. -- was reportedly in talks to buy a stake in Lions Gate.
    | Comment!
  • 9:44 AM
    • Shareholders with Reynolds American (RAI +1.5%) have approved an issuance of shares in connection with the company's acquisition of Lorillard (LO +0.8%).
    • The merger is still subject to regulatory approval.
    • The company expects a closing in the first half of 2015.
    • Reynolds American merger update (.pdf)
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:39 AM
    • Founded in 1988 and based in NYC, Ryan Labs Asset Management specializes in liability driven investing and total return fixed income strategies, and has about $5.1B in AUM. Sun Life's (NYSE:SLF) purchase of the company is expected to close this quarter.
    • Sun Life started its third-party business in Canada last year, and this purchase will extend its footprint in the U.S.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 9:15 AM
    • Shares of Graphic Packaging Holding (NYSE:GPK) are on watch after Vertical Research Partners identifies the stock as a likely target of International Paper (NYSE:IP).
    • Analysts in the sector think the merger between Rock-Tenn and MeadWestvaco will push more paper producers into a consolidation mode.
    • GPK is already up 4.8% for the week.
    | 1 Comment
  • 8:08 AM
    • CommScope (NASDAQ:COMM) agrees to acquire TE Connectivity's (NYSE:TEL) telecom, enterprise and wireless businesses for $3B, in an attempt to diversify its operations and broaden its geographic reach.
    • COMM says it expects more than $150M in annual savings starting in the third year after the deal closes.
    • TEL says the sale will allow it to focus on connectivity and sensor markets, particularly harsh environment applications; the deal does not include TEL's subsea communications or data communications businesses.
    • TEL says it will use proceeds from the sale for stock buybacks, as well as acquisitions and other investments; its board authorizes a $3B expansion of its share buyback program.
    • Earlier: TE Connectivity beats by $0.08, misses on revenue
    • TEL +3.6%, COMM +2.1% premarket.
    | Comment!
  • 6:54 AM
    • It's BGC Partners' (NASDAQ:BGCP) serve and the company doesn't disappoint, responding to Michael Gooch's open letter to shareholders with one of its own.
    • "In a final desperate attempt to protect their conflicted and self-interested transaction, GFI (NYSE:GFIG) management is asking you to accept $5.85 per share in cash and stock, which is $0.25 less than BGC's $6.10 all-cash offer."
    • "Time is short," says BGC chief Howard Lutnick, urging GFI shareholders to vote against the merger with CME Group. The special meeting - originally set for yesterday - is due to take place on Friday.
    • Source: Press Release
    • Previously: Head of GFI Group writes open letter urging acceptance of CME bid (Jan. 27)
    | 11 Comments
  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015

  • 4:14 PM
    • Along with its Q4 results, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) announces its board has "authorized a plan for a tax-free spin-off of the company's remaining holdings in Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) into a newly formed independent registered investment company (SpinCo)."
    • Shares in the SpinCo will be "distributed pro rata to Yahoo shareholders, resulting in SpinCo becoming a separate publicly traded company." After the spinoff, Yahoo will own its core business and a 35.5% stake in Yahoo Japan. SpinCo will assume no debt in the deal, and Yahoo will retain its cash.
    • The spinoff is expected to be completed in Q4 2015, after a one-year lockup on Yahoo's Alibaba stake expires.
    • Yahoo's 384M-share (15%) Alibaba stake has a current market value of $39.5B. The company closed today with a total market cap of $46.7B.
    • Yahoo has jumped to $51.08 in AH trading. Alibaba is fractionally higher.
    | 40 Comments
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