Seeking Alpha
  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014

  • 4:00 PM
    • Shanda Interactive has sold 48.8M Shanda Games (GAME -0.2%) Class B shares to a company controlled by acting CEO Yingfeng Zhang, and an equal number of shares to an affiliate of Hong Kong-based Ningxia.
    • Following the sale, Ningxia owns 24.1% of GAME's Class A and B shares, and 40.1% of its voting rights. Zhang's company respectively owns 9.1% and 34.5%. Shanda Interactive "no longer beneficially owns any ordinary shares of the Company."
    • Shanda Interactive doesn't intend to remain a member of the consortium that has offered $1.9B ($6.90/ADS) to buy Shanda Games. However, Ningxia and Zhang remain a part of it.
    • GAME also announces Zhang is now the company's chairman. He replaces Shanda Interactive co-founder Tianqiao Chen, who is leaving the board. Ningxia chairman Shengming Ma is joining the board.
    | Comment!
  • 3:57 PM
    • The Federal Trade Commission approves the merger between Medtronic (MDT +1%) and Covidien plc (COV +1.2%) with the proviso that Covidien divest its drug-coated catheter business before completing the transaction. Covidien agreed to sell the business for $30M to Spectranetics (SPNC +1%) several weeks ago.
    • Previously: Medtronic buying Covidien for $42.9B
    | Comment!
  • 3:48 PM
    • The Federal Trade Commission approves GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK +0.4%) proposed acquisition of Novartis' (NVS +0.6%) vaccines business and the proposed creation of a consumer healthcare joint venture between the two firms.
    • As a condition of the positive vote, Novartis will divest its private label nicotine replacement therapy transdermal patch, Habitrol, in the U.S. to Dr. Reddy's Laboratories SA (RDY +1.5%).
    | Comment!
  • 1:48 PM
    • Bloomberg reports Amazon (AMZN -0.5%) has finished internal talks to buy top Indian online fashion retailer Jabong. VCCircle reports Amazon has "completed its first level of talks" to buy Jabong, and that the deal could be worth $1.1B-$1.2B.
    • Jabong had a 1H14 GMV of INR5.1B ($82.9M) courtesy of 3.2M orders, up 3x Y/Y. The company is backed by German e-commerce VC firm/incubator Rocket Internet.
    • Indian restrictions on retail foreign investment could stand in Amazon's way. However, the new government is reportedly open to loosening e-commerce-related restrictions.
    • Amazon committed to investing $2B in India earlier this year, where it faces off against local giant Flipkart and eBay-backed marketplace Snapdeal. Alibaba just stated it plans to expand its Indian presence.
  • 11:16 AM
    • Delphi's (DLPH -0.2%)sale of its air conditioning business, Delphi Thermo, is being complicated by potential problems with one its South Korean JV partners, Reuters reports.
    • Delphi's business has caught the eye of France's Valeo (OTCPK:VLEEY -0.2%), Germany's Mahle and Japan's Denso (OTCPK:DNZOY -0.1%) and a sale could fetch more than $700M.
    • The potential problems stem from the fact that Erae (a company which Delphi holds a JV with called Kdac) has also expressed interest in the business but is being sidelined from the process.
    • Delphi's Thermal Systems unit posted adjusted EBITDA of $80M on sales of $1.5B in 2013.
    | Comment!
  • 9:44 AM
    • Abraaj has raised its bid for Bisco Misr to 80.58 EGP per share, announcing a $130M offer for the Egyptian cake and biscuit maker.
    • The UAE investment company's initial bid of 73 EGP per share earlier this month was topped this morning by Kellogg's (K -0.5%) offer of 79 EGP/share.
    • Previously: Kellogg makes offer for Egypt's Bisco Misr
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:12 AM
    • Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC) agrees to acquire hunting and shooting accessories provider Battenfeld Technologies for $130M.
    • SWHC expects the deal to be accretive to gross margins, EPS and cash generated in FY 2016, which begins May 1, 2015.
    • Battenfeld develops and sells shooting, reloading, gunsmithing and gun cleaning supplies.
    | Comment!
  • 6:40 AM
    | 1 Comment
  • 3:59 AM
    • Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) and Orange (NYSE:ORAN) have confirmed that they are in talks to sell their U.K. wireless carrier EE to BT (NYSE:BT), in a move that could combine the U.K.’s biggest fixed-line operator and largest mobile operator.
    • The news comes after Monday's report that BT was in talks to buy EE or Telefonica’s (NYSE:TEF) U.K. mobile business O2.
    • EE was valued at about $19B by its co-owners in October.
    | Comment!
  • Tuesday, November 25, 2014

  • 5:53 PM
    • CNBC reports Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has held talks with Shots, a Justin Bieber-backed developer of iOS/Android apps for taking and sharing selfies.
    • Shots reportedly has 3M+ users, nearly 2/3 of whom are women under 24. Twitter, meanwhile, has built a huge base for its Vine 6-second video service.
    • The report comes a day after CFO Anthony Noto accidentally tweeted out an apparent direct message about M&A talks. Noto: "I still think we should buy them. He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16 -- we will need to sell him. i have a plan."
    • Re/code also reports Twitter has talked with Shots.
  • 3:56 PM
    • Perrigo Company plc (PRGO -0.1%) places $1.6B aggregate principal amount of Senior Notes. The offering consisted of $500M 3.50% Senior Notes due 2021, $700M 3.90% Senior Notes due 2024 and $400M 4.90% Senior Notes due 2044. The three issues were sold at 99.937%, 99.579% and 99.701%, respectively.
    • Proceeds will fund the company's acquisition of Omega Pharma Invest NV.
    | Comment!
  • 12:59 PM
    • The merger between Cocrystal Pharma (OTCQB:COCP +10.9%) and RFS Pharma, LLC has closed. The shareholders of each company will each own ~50% of combined entity.
    • The merged organization will have a broad pipeline of products in hepatitis, influenza, rhinovirus, dengue fever and norovirus.
    • Dr. Gary Wilcox will be CEO and Co-Chairman of the new firm. RFS Founder and Chairman Dr. Raymond F. Schinazi will be the other Co-Chairman.
    | Comment!
  • 10:13 AM
    • C&J Energy Services (CJES +3.6%) says it plans to appeal a Delaware court ruling that requires it to solicit offers from other buyers for 30 days before it can merge with a unit of Nabors Industries (NBR -0.5%).
    • NBR announced in June that it would merge its completion and production business with CJES and receive $2.86B in cash and stock; the deal is structured as a Reverse Morris Trust, a transaction that allows a parent company to sell its unit in a tax-efficient manner.
    • But CJES shares are higher, as investor appetite for the deal had been waning given the integration risk and less favorable industry outlook.
    | Comment!
  • Monday, November 24, 2014

  • 9:49 PM
    • A Delaware court today ordered a 30-day hold on the C&J Energy (NYSE:CJES) acquisition of a Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) unit, finding C&J’s board did not adequately shop the company and telling it to feel out other potential buyers, WSJ reports.
    • The deal, announced in June, was unusual as CJES was the nominal buyer, agreeing to pay NBR 62.5M shares and $940M in cash for the fracking services unit, but NBR is to retain control of the combined entity with a 53% stake to CJES shareholders’ 47%.
    • The judge found that because CJES shareholders essentially were turning over control of their investment to NBR, the deal was subject to a corporate law theory that required the board to take steps to get the best possible price.
  • 6:55 PM
    • News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) is spending $30M to buy a 25% stake in, a leading Indian real estate site.
    • The investment comes on the heels of News Corp.'s $950M purchase of owner Move. The company also had a 61.6% stake in REA Group, which owns leading Australian real estate site
    | Comment!
  • 6:28 PM
    • Various hedge funds were told this month by a prominent London mining banker to prepare for an all-but-inevitable takeover of Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) by Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF, OTCPK:GLNCY), Bloomberg reports.
    • Former JPMorgan Chase dealmaker Ian Hannam, who now runs a boutique advisory firm, reportedly convened reps of more than 20 investors to share his views on the potential deal, perhaps intended in part to help position his firm to win a role in the transaction.
    • Glencore said last month it had abandoned a bid for Rio after a July proposal worth ~$160B was rebuffed.
  • 5:43 PM
    • HealthSouth (NYSE:HLS) climbed 5.2% today as investors liked its $750M purchase of the owner of Encompass Home Health, expanding its own home health business with another 140 locations across 13 states, while also saying further healthcare acquisitions may be likely in the future.
    • The acquisition will allow patients who are being discharged from HLS hospitals to continue their rehabilitation at home, under the care of Encompass; many of these older patients currently enter skilled nursing facilities to rehabilitate from injuries, strokes or other health episodes.
    • The deal allows HLS to expand into a separate post-acute care vertical with a leading provider to participate in the coming bundled payments system Medicare and Medicaid plans on implementing, according to Obsidian Research.
    | Comment!
  • 5:19 PM
    • Stryker (NYSE:SYK) is considering making a bid for medical device manufacturer Smith & Nephew (NYSE:SNN) as a standstill period that prevents it from making an offer nears its end, according to reports out earlier.
    • SYK is examining structuring the deal as a tax inversion, allowing it to move its legal address to the lower-tax U.K., but SYK is said to see strong strategic reasons to pursue a combination aside from tax advantages, and an inversion would not be essential to make the deal work.
    • J.P. Morgan analysts think an acquisition could be at least 7%-8% accretive to SYK's 2016 EPS, rising to 11% in 2017 and 13% in 2018, assuming a 30%-35% premium relative to the unaffected price and that the acquisition is not an inversion; however, the firm thinks SNN is not looking to sell, and a combination would not gain easy U.S. or EU anti-trust approval.
    • SNN gained 4.3% and SYK rose 1.4% in today's trading.
    | 1 Comment
  • 4:04 PM
    • Sources close to the matter say Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) (OTCPK:BAYZF) is exploring the sale of its diabetes device business as it focuses on higher growth areas. The company is supposedly working with Credit Suisse on the potential deal. Observers believe the unit could fetch between €1B - 2B ($2.5B). 
    • Bayer also intends to jettison its plastics business.
    | Comment!
  • 4:02 PM
    • Bloomberg reports The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP) are near a $7B deal to buy Telesat that would value Loral (LORL +7.2%) at $85/share.
    • Loral has spiked to $78.50 on the report. The company recently shot down a Telesat deal valuing it at $80/share.
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