AT&T Dodges Bullet

| About: AT&T Inc. (T)
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Summary

AT&T gets reprieve from new FCC chairman.

Time suitors gathering info.

DHT shoots down first Frontline bid.

Welcome to the Bell issue of M&A Daily

AT&T

AT&T (NYSE:T) was under intense scrutiny from ex-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler for allegedly using free data offers to benefit certain streaming video and music services over others. The FCC expressed concern that this harmed competition. However, new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai dropped the inquiry into AT&T as well as similar inquiries into T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). According to Pai, free data plans are popular and pro-competitive. This could be the first of many changes at the FCC that could transform the telecom industry. AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) awaits FCC review. The $10.80 arb spread offers a 13% IRR if the deal closes by year-end.

Time

Time (TIME) management is meeting with suitors over the next few days. Concerned that management will be insufficiently enriched? Fear not: a new severance plan has them taken care of in a change of control.

DHT

The DHT (NYSE:DHT) board rejected the Frontline (NYSE:FRO) proposal to acquire the company for 0.725 FRO per share.

CEB

The preliminary S-4 has been filed for the Gartner (NYSE:IT) acquisition of CEB (NYSE:CEB).

VCA

The preliminary proxy statement was filed for the Mars acquisition of VCA (NASDAQ:WOOF).

Neustar

The definitive proxy was filed for the Golden Gate acquisition of NeuStar (NYSE:NSR). The NeuStar shareholder vote is on March 14.

Fidelity & Guaranty

Fidelity & Guaranty (FGL) and Anbang are discussing an extension of the walk date beyond February 8. The target expects to make an announcement of the outcome around February 9. The current arb spread is $1.49.

B/E

The S-4 was declared effective for the Rockwell Collins (NYSE:COL) acquisition of B/E (BEAV).

Cardinal Financial

The first S-4 amendment was filed in for the United Bankshares (NASDAQ:UBSI) acquisition of Cardinal Financial (NASDAQ:CFNL). The shareholder votes are on April 7.

Headwaters

Headwaters (NYSE:HW) shareholders approved the acquisition by Boral (OTCPK:BOALY).

Mentor

Mentor (NASDAQ:MENT) shareholders approved the acquisition by Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGY).

Surgical Care

Today is the exchange offer filing deadline for the UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) acquisition of Surgical Care (NASDAQ:SCAI). The $0.37 arb spread offers a 13% IRR if the deal closes by March.

Putnam High Income Securities Fund

Putnam High Income Securities Fund (NYSE:PCF) activist investor Bulldog owns 11% of the shares and is talking with management about ways to unlock value. PCF trades at an 8% discount to NAV. More to come in future editions of M&A Daily

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Disclosure: I am/we are long TWX, TIME, DHT, FGL.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: Chris DeMuth Jr and Andrew Walker are portfolio managers at Rangeley Capital. We invest with a margin of safety by buying securities at discounts to their intrinsic value and unlocking that value through corporate events. To maximize returns for our investors, we reserve the right to make investment decisions regarding any security without notification except where notification is required by law. This post may contain affiliate links, consistent with the disclosure in such links. We manage diversified portfolios with a multi-year time horizon. Positions disclosed in articles may vary in sizing, hedges, and place within the capital structure. Disclosed ideas are related to a specific price, value, and time. If any of these attributes change, then the position might change (and probably will).

Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.