Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Sunday, December 28, 2014

  • 11:01 AM
    • Egypt's financial regulator has extended the bidding period for Bisco Misr until Jan. 11, intensifying a $144M takeover battle between Kellogg (NYSE:K) and the UAE's Abraaj Investment Management.
    • Kellogg raised its bid for the Egyptian snack maker on Wednesday to 89.86 EGP per share following an earlier offer of 88.09 from Abraaj.
    • The battle has so far driven up the bid price by more than a fifth from Abraaj's opening gambit of 73.91 EGP/share.
    | Comment!
  • Friday, December 26, 2014

  • 2:06 PM
    • BCE (BCE +0.7%) and Rogers (RCI +1.1%) will each own 50% of Glentel following the closing of the BCE/Glentel deal. Rogers will pay half of BCE's purchase price in cash - BCE has committed to paying $594M for Glentel's equity, and assuming $78M in debt.
    • Following the purchase, Glentel will continue "operating as a standalone entity with independent management." The BCE/Glentel deal is still expected to close in Q1 2015.
    • Earlier: BCE, Rogers to jointly own Glentel's Canadian retail ops
    | Comment!
  • 12:49 PM
    • The Korea Times reports Goldman is thinking of taking a stake in Groupon's (NASDAQ:GRPN) Korean Ticket Monster deals site, acquired from Living Social a year ago for $260M. The paper adds Groupon "wants to sell at least a 20 percent stake and is also considering handing over managerial control, selling over half of its stake."
    • Groupon stated in October it's exploring options for its Asian ops (Ticket Monster included), and that it could benefit from having a partner in some markets. However, the company added it's not looking to fully unload Ticket Monster.
    • CEO Eric Lefkofsky on the Q3 CC (transcript): "Right now, we’re in 47 countries and we can’t invest in every country at the level that we would like to at all time ... [Ticket Monster] is growing faster than we thought. [It's] certainly growing faster than it was when we acquired it ... it has the potential to be the leader in e-commerce in Korea and we’re very focused on the long-term."
    • Shares at their highest levels since March.
    | 1 Comment
  • 8:02 AM
    • Glentel, Canada's biggest independent phone retailer, will see its Canadian retail ops jointly owned by BCE and rival Rogers (NYSE:RCI) once BCE's $670M acquisition of Glentel closes.
    • The carriers proclaim the JV guarantees Canadians "will continue to be able to choose a wide variety of wireless products and services at GLENTEL's 494 retail locations across Canada."
    • Glentel also owns/operates/franchises 735 retail locations in the U.S., and 147 in Australia and the Philippines. Prior to the agreement, Rogers had been seeking a court injunction to block the BCE/Glentel deal.
    | Comment!
  • Thursday, December 25, 2014

  • 3:14 AM
    • Sumitomo Mitsui (NYSE:SMFG) has announced that it will buy Citigroup's (NYSE:C) Japanese retail banking operations to expand services for wealthy individuals in the country.
    • The deal, which includes ¥2.4T ($20B) in deposits, 740K customers and 32 branches, is expected to close in October.
    • Previously: Timeline disclosed for SMBC, Citi deal (Dec. 24 2014)
  • Wednesday, December 24, 2014

  • 10:06 AM
    • Brookfield Asset Management (BAM +0.8%) agrees to acquire the 30.6% of Brookfield Residential Properties (BRP +4.8%) it does not already own, after raising its earlier offer by 5.4% to $24.25/share.
    • The deal will cost BAM ~$870M and value BRP at ~$2.84B.
    • BRP operates in 11 major markets in the U.S. and Canada, including Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and the Washington, D.C., area.
    | Comment!
  • 9:05 AM
    • After years of takeover drama, j2 Global (NASDAQ:JCOM) has informed Carbonite (NASDAQ:CARB) of its intention to commence a cash tender offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of Carbonite at $15/share.
    • Carbonite is flying on the news, up over 8% premarket.
    • Previously: J2 offers to buy Carbonite (again) (Dec. 03 2014)
    | Comment!
  • 8:02 AM
    • Middleby (NASDAQ:MIDD) says it will acquire Goldstein Eswood, an Australian commercial cooking equipment manufacturer with annual revenues of approximately $25M.
    | Comment!
  • 7:54 AM
    • HeidelbergCement (OTCPK:HDELY) has clinched a deal to sell its Hanson Building Products business to P-E firm Lone Star Funds for $1.4B to reduce its debt.
    • Up to $100M of the takeover price will be payable in 2016, depending on the 2015 performance of Hanson Building Products.
    • The cement maker expects the deal to close in the first half of 2015 and said it would use the proceeds to reduce net financial debt, which stood at €7.6B ($9.3B) at the end of September.
    • Hanson Building Products filed for an IPO in September.
    | Comment!
  • 7:09 AM
    • Carlyle Asia Partners IV, a Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG) fund, has agreed to buy General Electric's (NYSE:GE) stake in Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings (OTC:AISLF) for as much as $483M and then make a buyout offer.
    • The deal comes after two failed buyout offers for AsiaSat.
    • GE +0.5% premarket
    | Comment!
  • 2:30 AM
    • Sumitomo Mitsui (NYSE:SMFG) will buy Citigroup's (NYSE:C) Japanese retail banking operations in October for about ¥40B ($332M), Reuters reports, outlining a date for the long-awaited sale. Sumitomo Mitsui will announce the deal tomorrow.
    • Citi is looking to exit 11 consumer-banking markets with poor returns, including Japan, as it looks to focus on corporate and investment banking, markets and transaction services.
  • Tuesday, December 23, 2014

  • 4:35 PM
    • Leaked e-mails indicate Sony (NYSE:SNE) is exploring the sale of its music publishing ops, Dow Jones reports. The unit is believed to be worth $1.5B-$2B.
    • Sony has already done plenty of streamlining (I, II) this year.
    | Comment!
  • 2:23 PM
    • Smith & Nephew (SNN +11.2%) jumps on a 5x surge in volume in response to anonymous reports that Stryker (SYK +1.7%) is preparing a bid. Sources close to the matter say Stryker is willing to pay as much as a 30% premium to SNN's current price.
  • 1:26 PM
    • Trimble (TRMB -0.3%) has bought Iron Solutions, a provider of analytics tools for agricultural producers and dealers. Terms are undisclosed.
    • Iron claims to manage "over 15 million data points annually from over 1,200 manufacturers and over 2,200 retail sources throughout North America." Its products cover equipment pricing and dealership optimization, and also include an equipment marketplace.
    • Trimble has been growing its software exposurel; the company bought real estate software provider Manhattan Software in August. Agriculture was a weak spot for the company in Q3.
    | Comment!
  • 12:46 PM
    • IP risk-protection firm RPX (RPXC -0.4%) is buying most of the Rockstar Consortium's remaining patents (over 4,000 of them) for $900M - roughly a fifth of the ~$4.5B the consortium paid to buy the full portfolio in 2010 from bankrupt Nortel.
    • RPX will license the patents to a syndicate of 30+ companies that includes Google and Cisco in exchange for payments. Everyone else will be able to license them under FRAND terms. RPX is only directly contributing $35M to the purchase.
    • Rockstar, whose members include Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony, had launched a series of lawsuits against Android OEMs. The sale comes amid an increasingly difficult legal and political environment for IP licensing firms.
    • Spherix (NASDAQ:SPEX), which bought over 100 of Rockstar's patents and patent applications earlier this year and has used them to sue Cisco, Verizon, and Huawei, is trading lower
    | Comment!
  • 10:58 AM
    • Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) yesterday disclosed details of its sometimes-tense courtship of Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), showing that the companies had to bridge a $3.3B gap before reaching agreement for HAL to acquire its smaller rival for cash and stock that valued BHI at $34.6B.
    • BHI wanted $36.1B in stock and cash, which was 10% above HAL’s initial offer of $32.8B, and the companies eventually met in the middle during final, over-the-weekend negotiations.
    • Separately, an email yesterday from BHI CEO Martin Craighead to all employees did not mention layoffs but noted serious business concerns, saying pricing pressure on its products and services will intensify next year, and "market conditions will demand tough decisions from us in the months ahead.”
    | 1 Comment
  • 10:31 AM
    • The Family Dollar (FDO +0.2%) shareholder meeting has been adjourned to January 22, according to the Charlotte Observer.
    • The delay was expected with the FTC yet to finalize its ruling on the amount of store closings it requires in a Dollar General (DG +1%) acquisition of Family Dollar.
    • Recap: Dollar General is in with a $9.1B offer for FDO to top the $8.5B Dollar Tree (DLTR +0.9%) bid which is preferred by the target's board
    | Comment!
  • 8:45 AM
    • Dillard's (NYSE:DDS) is a potential acquisition target of Hudson's Bay, according to The Deal.
    • A buyout of the department store chain would give Hudson's a quick entry into the U.S. Midwest and South where Saks is thin.
    • DDS +3.3% premarket.
  • 8:14 AM
    • Looking to streamline its focus to the mortgage and real estate markets, Radian (NYSE:RDN) agrees to the sale of Radian Asset Assurance to Assured Guaranty (NYSE:AGO) for $810M in cash. Closing is expected in next year's first half.
    • Source: Press Release
    • RDN +7.8% premarket
    | Comment!
  • 7:03 AM
    • Under pressure to find new sources of growth, Telstra (OTCPK:TLSYY) has reignited its Asian expansion drive with a $697M purchase of Pacnet, Asia’s biggest operator of subsea cables.
    • Pacnet owns cables with a combined length of 46K kilometers and has 29 data centers in 17 cities in the Asia Pacific region including in China.
    | Comment!
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