• Oct. 28, 2016, 7:06 PM
    • To finance its $85B deal for Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) -- half of which is coming in cash -- AT&T's (NYSE:T) invited its "relationship banks" to join a $40B bridge loan, at around three ticket levels, Bloomberg reports.
    • Based on ratings of Baa1/BBB+ (and AT&T's ratings are on negative watch at the credit rating firms), the loan pricing may open at L+112.5 basis points, with a 10 bp commitment fee, and upfront fees of 20-30 bps.
    • The company has BofA Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) on board to help finance the deal, though a $30B bond to help fund the deal won't be rushed as doubts remain about whether it will be completed.
    • There's no reason to finance early given that ambiguity, a senior banker says. CreditSight analysts: "The merger may ultimately not be approved ... we feel the odds are around 50/50 at this stage."
    • Some three-quarters of the financing is expected to take place in the investment-grade market. And doing the deal now rather than waiting for more regulatory certainty could end up more expensive for AT&T.
    Oct. 28, 2016, 7:06 PM | 17 Comments
  • Oct. 14, 2016, 6:49 PM
    • More firms are set to climb on the CBS-Viacom deal examination train, as the management team at CBS (CBS -0.2%) is close to hiring Goldman Sachs (GS +1.9%) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM -0.3%) to advise it on a possible re-merger, Bloomberg reports.
    • While those banks will advise CEO Les Moonves and the leadership, that's separate from the board's special committee hiring Lazard as it announced last week. CBS could add in other banks as well.
    • Earlier today, the special committee at Viacom (VIA -0.3%, VIAB +0.5%) confirmed it was working with Morgan Stanley as well as Allen & Co. and LionTree to look at the deal.
    • Meanwhile, while Moonves has said he'd want autonomy in running such a combination, Sumner and Shari Redstone (who control the two companies, and have said they don't intend to give up control) reportedly aren't willing to offer Moonves a stake or voting control in National Amusements, the family holding company.
    Oct. 14, 2016, 6:49 PM | 2 Comments
  • Feb. 9, 2016, 12:26 PM
    • Markit (MRKT -0.8%) has acquired systems integration software developed by JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) for an undisclosed sum. The company will "make the software available to sellside and buyside institutions seeking to integrate with major systems used in the syndicated loan market, including agent-servicing platforms and Markit's trade settlement services."
    • Customer deployments are expected to start in 2H16. Markit doesn't expect the purchase to have a material impact on 2016 results.
    • Markit exec Scott Kostyra: "Acquiring this software allows Markit to provide the global syndicated loan market with a proven solution for integrating with the newest technology for straight through processing of loan transactions and lifecycle events. We are offering an alternative to expensive and risky internal software builds and helping expedite industry adoption of risk and cost reducing initiatives such as Markit Clear for trade settlement and FpML for electronic communication of loan information."
    Feb. 9, 2016, 12:26 PM | 1 Comment
  • May 26, 2015, 8:37 PM
    • With attention already starting to shift to regulatory approval, Charter Communications (CHTR +2.5%) CEO Tom Rutledge says his company's $55B acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC +7.3%) will do better with the FCC than Comcast's: Think small.
    • "If you look at the ecosystem, who we're playing with in terms of other competitors, they're very large, and we'll still be a relatively small company compared to the large phone companies, compared to Comcast, compared to the wireless companies," he told CNBC.
    • Charter's simultaneous deal for Bright House Networks may pump up its own leverage, but it was critical to the TWC bid, says analyst Craig Moffett: Virtually debt-free Bright House and its borrowing capacity likely added as much as $18/share to Charter's $195.71/share offer. Moffett says TWC's handling of Altice's (OTC:ATCEY) counter-play was masterful.
    • About that debt: TWC bondholders are still nervous about the combined load (While the firm's 30-year bonds rose 11.7% today, they're still down about 16% from last month). Moody's is likely to push TWC into junk rating territory as debt-to-EBITDA rises from TWC's 2.97 to about 4.79 for the combination. But again, Bright House's addition and "conservative voice on the board" may be mitigating the effects.
    • And MoneyBeat's deal tally: Aside from big winner TWC, winners include Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), (eventually) rewarded for backing Charter, and UBS, working as sole adviser to Bright House; Losers include Comcast backer JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), and Deutsche Bank (DB -3.4%) -- a Charter backer back when, but unseen in the new deal.
    • Previously: Charter to merge with Time Warner Cable, buy Bright House (May. 26 2015)
    May 26, 2015, 8:37 PM
  • Apr. 24, 2015, 9:15 AM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is trading up 1.3% premarket, and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) is 0.8% higher as well, after confirmation that their $45B merger deal is dead.
    • In statements by the Justice Dept. and FCC thanking each other for their cooperation, it's clear that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was against the deal, which would have made agency approval a very long shot.
    • It's also clear why Wheeler was opposed: It's about broadband, not cable, and protecting the burgeoning streaming video market. "The proposed merger would have posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation especially given the growing importance of high-speed broadband to online video and innovative new services."
    • While Comcast doesn't pay a breakup fee with the deal's end, that doesn't mean everyone walks away cheaply: Advisers including bankers and lawyers will lose out on $380M in fees, chiefly Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), banker for Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR). J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) will drop from second to third in the league tables. As a mitigating factor, more deals are likely on the way, though.
    • Other sector players premarket: AT&T -0.3%; Verizon -0.2%.
    Apr. 24, 2015, 9:15 AM | 4 Comments
  • Nov. 11, 2014, 3:00 PM
    • "Capital allocation decisions are probably getting the most airtime right now," says Chris Ventresca, global co-head of M&A at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), after being asked what's being talked about in corporate boardrooms at the moment.
    • An optimistic lot, M&A bankers have for several years predicted an M&A boom in the face of continued lackluster action. This year though, the gap between bankers' pipe dreams and reality is perhaps the narrowest since the financial crisis, writes the WSJ's Maureen Farrell, and Ventresca expects the elevated level to continue.
    • For buyers, says Ventresca, there's a disconnect between their ability to drive growth and what shareholders/markets expect, so acquisitions are a key tool. And sellers are more receptive because a multi-year bull market means they're not selling at anywhere near the bottom.
    Nov. 11, 2014, 3:00 PM
  • Jul. 28, 2014, 1:54 AM
    • Bain Capital's credit arm, Sankaty Advisors, is buying the debt portfolio of JPMorgan's (NYSE:JPM) principal investment group for more than $1B.
    • The portfolio contains junior loans in North America and Europe as well as securities in Asia and Australia.
    • Sankaty, which has $24B under management, is likely to keep many of the employees who built the portfolio
    Jul. 28, 2014, 1:54 AM
  • May 20, 2014, 5:06 AM
    • JP Morgan (JPM) and private-equity firm Lone Star are in the final stages of acquiring a portfolio of Spanish property loans from Germany's Commerzbank (CRZBF) for €3.7-3.9B (up to $5.4B), Reuters reports.
    • The assets comprise €1B of non-performing debt and €3.3B of performing loans backed by office blocks and shopping centers.
    • Should the deal go ahead, JPMorgan and Lone Star would be following other major foreign investors - particularly Blackstone - into a property sector that is apparently starting to recover from a massive bust that occurred during the financial crisis.
    May 20, 2014, 5:06 AM | 1 Comment
  • Mar. 19, 2014, 4:23 AM
    • JPMorgan (JPM) has agreed to sell its commodities-trading operations to Swiss trading house Mercuria Energy Group, the WSJ reports.
    • The price isn't clear, although JPMorgan valued the assets at $3.3B in October. The final amount could depend on the valuation of large stockpiles of oil and metals the bank holds.
    • The deal is expected to be completed in the summer.
    • JPMorgan is selling the operations amid increasing scrutiny of banks' commodity operations following allegations of problematic practices.
    • Previous
    Mar. 19, 2014, 4:23 AM
  • Feb. 5, 2014, 9:35 AM
    • Trading house Mercuria, led by two former Goldman Sachs execs, has become the front-runner to buy the physical commodities unit of JPMorgan (JPM +0.5%), according to Reuters.
    • Mercuria reportedly had been competing with Macquarie and Blackstone (BX) to buy the JPMorgan unit.
    • JPM has valued its physical commodity business at $3.3B, but the deal value likely will depend on the valuation of large stockpiles of oil and metals the bank holds.
    • A final deal could take a few months to conclude, but a successful outcome would vault Mercuria into the top tier of trading houses with Glencore Xstrata, Vitol and Trafigura.
    Feb. 5, 2014, 9:35 AM
  • Jan. 29, 2014, 5:11 AM
    • JPMorgan (JPM) could choose a winner this week in the auction of its commodities unit, which has attracted interest from Blackstone (BX), Macquarie (MCQEF) and Mercuria Energy, Bloomberg reports.
    • The business could fetch $2B, below the $3.3B JPMorgan was apparently looking for when it put the business on the block.
    • The firm is selling the operations amid increasing scrutiny of banks' commodity operations following allegations of problematic practices. (Previous)
    Jan. 29, 2014, 5:11 AM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 12, 2013, 2:42 AM
    • Verizon Communications (VZ) received orders for $100B of new bonds from over 1,000 investors as it sold $49B worth of debt in the largest corporate-bond offering in U.S. history.
    • Everyone seems to have emerged happy from this deal. Verizon received a huge chunk of the money it needs - and at relatively low rates - to pay for the $130B acquisition of Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless; the banks involved made $265M in fees, with Barclays (BCS), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Morgan Stanley (MS) each earning about $41M; and investors received a higher-yielding debt from a strong U.S. company.
    Sep. 12, 2013, 2:42 AM
  • Sep. 3, 2013, 4:25 AM
    • Verizon Communications (VZ) has reportedly started syndicating a $61B one-year bridge loan that will support the company's $130B acquisition of 45% of Verizon Wireless from Vodafone.
    • Verizon intends to help pay for the deal with $49B in bonds and $14B in other debt, but might need the bridge loan if it can't issue the bonds by the time the transaction closes, which is expected in Q1 2014. The $63B in funding will replace the bridge loan.
    • JP Morgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America (BAC) and Barclays (BCS) are leading the financing and underwriting the deal.
    • Meanwhile, Verizon has no plans to enter the Canadian market. The carrier had been linked with a couple of struggling wireless start-ups. The news should be positive for Canada's three largest telecom operators - BCE (BCE), Rogers Communications (RCI) and Telus (TU) - whose shares tumbled in response to Verizon's expansion plans in Canada and then climbed on initial reports of the Vodafone deal.
    Sep. 3, 2013, 4:25 AM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 25, 2013, 2:45 AM
    • BATS Global Markets (BATS) is reportedly in advanced negotiations to merge with Direct Edge Holdings in an all-stock deal that would create the second-largest exchange operator in the U.S. in terms of shares traded, putting it behind the NYSE (NYX) but ahead of Nasdaq (NDAQ).
    • BATS CEO Joseph Ratterman is expected to become the head of the new firm, while Direct Edge boss William O'Brien would become president. The companies plan to continue operating all four of their U.S. stock-exchange platforms after the merger.
    • Both firms are profitable, with BATS earning EBITDA of $101M in 2012.
    • Direct Edge's owners include KCG Holdings (KCG), Goldman Sachs (GS), Citadel and the International Securities Exchange. Those of BATS include KCG also, as well as Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Credit Suisse (CS), Deutsche Bank (DB), JPMorgan (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS).
    Aug. 25, 2013, 2:45 AM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 5, 2013, 3:17 AM
    • JPMorgan (JPM) is reportedly in negotiations to sell its metals-storage unit, Henry Bath, to London commodities broker Marex Spectron.
    • JP Morgan last month said it would seek "strategic alternatives" for its physical oil, gas, power and metals trading division such as a joint venture, spin-off or sale.
    • The move comes amid increasing regulatory and Senate scrutiny in the U.S. on banks' physical-commodity operations. Bart Chilton, a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is due to say today that the Federal Reserve should scrap a decade-old ruling that allows banks to trade in the sector. The Fed is reviewing the policy.
    Aug. 5, 2013, 3:17 AM
  • Feb. 15, 2013, 7:38 AM

    "The Goldilocks era of post-crisis M&A has never been an if, but a when," says JPMorgan (JPM) vice-chair James Lee. "CEOs are declaring that day has come." Including the Berkshire buy, $40B in deals were announced yesterday and $140B this month. Transaction volume is up 27% Y/Y vs. an 8% slump for 2012. It should mean sweet profits for the newly lean banks.

    Feb. 15, 2013, 7:38 AM | 8 Comments