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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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)
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. | 8 Comments
Jan. 31, 2013, 5:07 AMKKR (KKR), JPMorgan's (JPM) Gavea Investimentos and Apax Partners are among those reportedly joining up to bid for Vivendi's GVT phone unit in Brazil, putting them in competition with DirecTV (DTV). The group may offer up to €5B, although that's well below Vivendi's asking price of €8B. DirecTV could be more willing to make a proposal that's closer to Vivendi's figure, due to the synergies the deal would bring. | Comment!
Dec. 20, 2012, 2:52 PM
Nov. 2, 2012, 5:30 PM
Oct. 12, 2012, 4:14 AMA group of AMR (AAMRQ.PK) bondholders has offered to provide $1B-$2B in financing to the bankrupt airline in exchange for large stakes in the carrier as part of its restructuring, the WSJ reports. The creditors, which include JPMorgan (JPM), Pentwater and Litespeed, are also open to US Airways' (LCC) proposal of a merger. | Comment!
Sep. 25, 2012, 5:48 AMSingapore state-investment fund Temasek has approached potential suitors for its 18%, $6.1B stake in Standard Chartered (SCBFF.PK), the FT reports. The move could renew speculation about a takeover of the bank, which has in the past drawn interest from JPMorgan (JPM) and Santander (SAN), although StanChart's £34B market cap makes it a big fish to swallow. | Comment!
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