Seeking Alpha
  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015

  • 6:10 PM
    • Xunlei Limited (NASDAQ:XNET) will sell its whole stake in video streaming platform Xunlei Kankan, for 130M yuan (about $21M).
    • The buyer is Beijing Nesound International Media. Xunlei is making the move to streamline its non-core and unprofitable businesses as it focuses on mobile Internet from its previous PC focus.
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  • 6:02 PM
    • The Vicks VapoSteam U.S. liquid inhalant business had 2014 revenue of $10M. Helen of Troy (NASDAQ:HELE) has acquired it from Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is expected to be paid for via HELE's revolving credit facility, and to be accretive in FY16 (ends Feb. '16).
    • As part of the deal, HELE has "acquired a fully paid-up license of P&Gs Vicks VapoPad trademarks for scent pads in the United States." The company notes "the vast majority of Vicks VapoSteam and VapoPads are used in Vicks humidifiers, vaporizers and other health care devices already marketed by Helen of Troy."
    | 1 Comment
  • 5:29 PM
    • Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) has closed on its deal to buy Eurosport France, moving to 51% control from its previous minority stake.
    • The move brings some completion to the network's deal last year to take control of Eurosport International, which didn't include the French operation.
    • With consolidation complete, Discovery CEO David Zaslav says he expects the Eurosport group to reach 1M subscribers in the next two years (from its current 200K), to the tune of an extra $100M in revenues.
    • It's another sports move for Discovery, which has been moving further into international sports in search of growth "as things taper here in the U.S.," Zaslav says. Eurosport International operates six all-sports pay channels.
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  • 4:17 PM
    • Ad-tech firm Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI) says it will acquire "intent marketing" technology provider Chango for about $122M, mostly stock.
    • The firm says that deal will let it expand its premium offerings with keyword, contextual targeting and retargeting budgets and give it access to an additional $35B of intent marketing spend.
    • It also will accelerate Rubicon's Buyer Cloud business, "advancing our technology roadmap and team build-out by more than one year," says Rubicon CEO Frank Addante.
    • Chango processes 1T pageviews/month and billions of search events from leading search engines.
    • Rubicon Project reaffirmed its Q1 outlook and set a conference call to discuss the Chango acquisition for 5 p.m. ET today.
    • Rubicon shares are up 1% after hours.
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  • 3:57 PM
    • GE (GE -1.1%) agrees to acquire a 49% stake in Enel's (OTC:ELPSY) newly formed partnership holding U.S. renewable energy assets for $440M, with Enel maintaining 51%.
    • The partnership has assets in North America with 760 MW of generating capacity, including a 200 MW wind farm under construction; it will maintain the power plants, and GE’s investment unit will have the first option to invest in additional projects for three years.
    • Enel has said it has no plans to publicly list the yieldco.
    | 4 Comments
  • 3:17 PM
    • Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) is up 6.2% and has touched a record-high $199 in the wake of its deal to acquire Bright House Networks, which would make it the country's No. 2 cable operator (Charter is now No. 4; Bright House is No. 6).
    • The deal's dependent on Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) successful pursuit of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) -- Charter's own bid for TWC fell apart, and Charter could step back in if Comcast's plan falters -- and if Comcast takes such a clear lead, Charter may not stop at Bright House in trying to catch up.
    • Mediacom, CableOne and Suddenlink could be the next targets. "I think it is inevitable most of the rest of the cable industry not owned by Comcast is sold to Charter," Pivotal Research Group analyst Jeff Wlodarczak tells Reuters.
    • As for John Malone, his Liberty Broadband (NASDAQ:LBRDA) -- Charter's biggest shareholder -- has agreed to purchase $700M of shares in the Charter/Bright House combo, in transactions that would leave it with voting power of about 25%.
    • Charter bonds picked up on the news as well.
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  • 1:55 PM
    • Hong Kong Television (NASDAQ:HKTV) has soared 28.3% in U.S. trading on news that its executive chairman, Wai-Kay "Ricky" Wong, is buying a controlling stake in his nearly bankrupt rival Asia Television.
    • Media reports have mainland China businessmen Wong Ching and Wong Ben-Koon selling their stakes to Ricky Wong; the two controlled 52% of ATV.
    • The financial details are undisclosed and regulators would need to clear the deal; the Executive Council is holding a special meeting tomorrow to discuss it.
    • But the government "would rather renew ATV's licence than let it die," says political scientist James Sung Lap-kung.
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  • 12:19 PM
    • Delek US Holdings (DK -0.2%) discloses that it is in talks to buy some or all of Alon Israel Oil, one of Israel's largest fuel station and convenience store operators and the parent company of Alon USA Energy (ALJ +5.4%).
    • A deal could give DK a stake in refineries and convenience stores in the U.S. and Israel; ALJ's refineries in Texas, California and Louisiana have an aggregate crude oil throughput capacity of 217K bbl/day and operates nearly 300 7-Eleven convenience stores in central and west Texas and New Mexico.
    • Alon Israel had owned more than 50% of ALJ stock but now owns ~48% after giving up its majority stake through a share sale last month.
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:08 AM
    • Actavis (NYSE:ACT) sells its generic drug business in Australia to privately-held Amneal Pharmaceuticals for an undisclosed sum. Actavis will continue to supply the market until the deal is complete.
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  • 9:05 AM
    • Charter Communications (CHTR, up 5.2% premarket) has reached agreement to acquire Bright House Networks for $10.4B.
    • The outlines of a deal were there, but it's early -- it was expected that a ruling would come down on Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) merger with Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) before Charter made a move.
    • The structure: a partnership where Charter owns 73.7% and Advance/Newhouse owns 26.3%. Charter will pay $2B in cash.
    • There's still several conditions to wrapping the deal, including Charter transactions with Comcast.
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  • 8:27 AM
    • Wintrust Financial (NASDAQ:WTFC) looks to expand in downtown Chicago with the purchase of North Bank, which has two locations and about $108M in assets, $55M in deposits, and $96M in loans.
    • The purchase price is roughly $17M in cash, and the deal is expected to close late in Q2 or early Q3. The purchase isn't expected to have a material effect on 2015 EPS.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 7:58 AM
    • Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) has completed its acquisition of Recurrent Energy from Sharp (OTCPK:SHCAY) for $265M.
    • With the closing of the transaction, David Brochu has been appointed Recurrent's new CEO to replace Arno Harris. Michael Metzner, Recurrent's CFO, is also stepping down from his role.
    • CSIQ +1.2% premarket
    • Previously: Canadian Solar to acquire Sharp's Recurrent for $265M (Feb. 03 2015)
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:47 AM
    • Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) is planning to make an offer for the New York Daily News as early as this week, valuing the troubled tabloid at just $1, Reuters reports.
    • The bid takes into account the New York Daily News' reported $30M annual loss, $150M investment in a printing press and declining circulation that relies heavily on newsstand sales rather than on subscriptions.
    • Cablevision also owns suburban newspaper Newsday.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:24 AM
    • Orthofix International (NASDAQ:OFIX) enters into an option agreement with privately-held eNeura that provides Orthofix with a 18-month option to acquire eNeura. Under the terms of the agreement, Orthofix will provide a $15M collateralized loan to support the commercialization of Spring TMS in the U.S. and Europe. If Orthofix exercises its option, it will pay $65M and eNeura will repay the unpaid principal of the loan. Orthofix may make future milestone and royalty payments to eNeura.
    • Spring TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is a device for the treatment of pain associated with migraine with aura. The FDA cleared it via the 510(k) pathway in May 2014.
    • Orthofix President and CEO Brad Mason says, "This agreement underscores Orthofix's commitment to pursue new growth opportunities in its BioStim strategic business unit that leverage our core competencies in pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) product design and manufacturing as well as our third party billing expertise. We believe eNeura's exciting application of electromagnetic field technology delivers a therapy that addresses a significant unmet need for patients and clinicians in the treatment of migraine headache."
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  • 7:13 AM
    • Endurance Specialty Holdings (NYSE:ENH) agrees to buy Montpelier Re (NYSE:MRH) in a cash and stock deal valued at $1.83B based on yesterday's closing prices. Montpelier owners will receive 0.472 shares of Endurance plus $9.89 in cash for each share they own, or $40.24 based on ENH's close of $64.30 yesterday.
    • It's a 5.5% premium to MRH's Monday close, and 1.2x Dec. 31 book value.
    • A conference call is set for 8:30 ET.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 7:00 AM
    • KKR (NYSE:KKR) and Hong Kong-based Anchor Partners are in talks to buy a majority stake in Groupon's (NASDAQ:GRPN) South Korean unit for around 350B won ($316M), Reuters reports quoting the Korea Economic Daily.
    • The two firms are in final talks to acquire a 51% stake in e-commerce firm Ticketmonster.
    • GRPN -1.5% premarket
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:57 AM
    • Harman International (NYSE:HAR) announces it will acquire Bang & Olufsen's car audio business.
    • The company will pay €145M ($155.75M) for the business and make license payments for the brand name.
    • Bang & Olufsen systems are in a range of car models that includes Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
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  • 6:54 AM
    • Citigroup (NYSE:C) has agreed to sell its Japanese credit card unit to Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (OTCPK:SUTNY), as it trims its global operations to bolster profitability.
    • The price of Citi Cards Japan was not disclosed, but local media reported the deal valued at around ¥40B ($335M).
    • In December, Citigroup announced it was selling its Japanese retail banking operations to SMFG unit Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.
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  • 3:58 AM
    • Philips (NYSE:PHG) has agreed to sell an 80.1% stake in its lighting components division to Go Scale Capital, a fund sponsored by GSR Ventures and Oak Investment Partners, as chief executive Frans van Houten focuses the Dutch company on the consumer health-care market.
    • Philips will receive $2.8B for the sale and will retain the remaining shares in the unit.
    • The deal is also prelude to an even bigger strategic move: spinning off its main lighting division, the world’s largest lighting maker, in a multibillion-euro IPO next year.
    • Previously: Bloomberg: Philips close to selling 80% of lighting components unit (Mar. 19 2015)
    | 1 Comment
  • 3:16 AM
    • Swiss luxury group Richemont (OTCPK:CFRUY) says it will merge its Net-a-Porter unit with Italian fashion site Yoox (OTCPK:YXOXY) in an all-share deal aimed at gaining a larger share of the fast-growing online luxury market.
    • A report last week suggested that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) was in talks to buy the online luxury retailer.
    • Richemont said it will receive 50% of the combined entity, but its voting rights will be limited to 25% to preserve the unit's independence.
    • Yoox shares are up 7.1% in Italy.
    | Comment!
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