Business News

Published: Saturday October 12, 2013 MYT 7:08:00 AM
Updated: Saturday October 12, 2013 MYT 7:10:23 AM

Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

NEW YORK: The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:

** The Delaware Supreme Court swept aside a lower court order on Thursday that had halted Activision Blizzard Inc's $8.2 billion deal to buy back its stock from Vivendi SA .

** BlackBerry Ltd co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin are considering a bid to buy the struggling smartphone maker, according to a securities filing on Thursday, raising the prospect of an alternative to a $4.7 billion offer led by its top shareholder.

** Australia's Dexus Property Group and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board made an initial offer for Commonwealth Bank of Australia's A$3.7 billion ($3.5 billion) listed office trust.

** The sale of French construction company Materis' industrial mortars unit Parex has attracted a clutch of bidders with private equity and trade firms making it through to the second round of an auction process, banking sources said.

French private equity firm Wendel, which acquired Materis in 2006, has been seeking to sell some assets in a bid to reduce Materis' 1.9 billion euros ($2.6 billion) of debt and cut its overall exposure to construction.

** Russian bank VTB is to sell 50 percent of its mobile phone operator Tele2 Russia, in a deal expected to be worth about $2 billion including debt, to a group of investors, including units of Bank Rossiya and Alexei Mordashov's steelmaker Severstal. The deal stoked talk of an eventual tie up between Tele2 and rival Rostelecom.

** Platform Acquisition Holdings Ltd, founded by Jarden Corp Chairman Martin Franklin, said it would acquire privately held specialty chemicals maker MacDermid Inc for about $1.8 billion.

** Singapore-listed Del Monte Pacific Ltd will buy the canned food business of private equity-backed Del Monte Foods Consumer Products Inc for $1.7 billion, gaining a direct presence in the key U.S. market and reuniting a substantial portion of the Del Monte brand family.

** German medical skin patch maker LTS Lohmann has attracted offers valuing the company at 1.1-1.3 billion euros ($1.5-1.8 billion), three people familiar with the sale said.

Japan's Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical has bid along with Blackstone, which is looking to combine LTS with its drug contract manufacturing subsidiary Catalent, and KKR, which is seeking to complement its hard capsules maker Capsugel. Separately, private equity groups EQTCVC, Nordic Capital, Carlyle andWendel have placed offers.

** Westpac Banking Corp said it agreed to buy Australian assets from Lloyds Banking Group for A$1.45 billion ($1.37 billion). The sale was a part of Lloyd's global strategy to cut costs and shrink its international network to refocus on lending in the British domestic market.

** Swiss machinery manufacturer Sulzer has attracted bids of more than 800 million Swiss francs ($880 million) for its Metco operations from strategic and financial investors, three people familiar with the process said. Sulzer is selling the unit to concentrate on more lucrative businesses making pumps and equipment and providing services for the oil and gas industry.

** New York-based private equity firm Crestview Partners is seeking a buyer for Key Safety Systems, a supplier of airbags, seatbelt systems and other car-safety components that could be valued at more than $800 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

** Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd, the world's third-largest palm oil plantation operator, has offered 2.2 billion ringgits ($689.33 million) to buy the 51 percent of Felda Holdings Bhd it does not own. The deal will allow Felda Global Ventures to operate its value chain more efficiently, the company said in a statement.

** A fake press release, by company news distributor Cision , claiming electronics firm Samsung Electronics Co Ltd was buying Sweden's Fingerprint Cards for $650 million in cash pushed shares in the biometrics company up by more than 50 percent, prompting an investigation into suspected market manipulation by the Swedish Economic Crime Authority.

Both Fingerprint Cards, which develops and makes fingerprint scanners used to access computers andmobile phones, and South Korea's Samsung said the press release was a fake and denied they had been in talks.

** Dow Chemical Co will sell its polypropylene licensing and catalysts business to smaller peer W.R. Grace & Co for $500 million as the U.S. chemical maker looks to shed its non-core businesses.

** A Chinese-led consortium has offered to buy KHD Humboldt Wedag International AG in a deal valuing the German cement plant services firm at about $433 million, joining a trend of Chinese firms looking to snap up German infrastructure specialists.

** Drugmaker Vivus Inc signed a deal worth up to $300 million with Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc to market its erectile dysfunction drug, Stendra, in the United States, more than a year after it was approved. The deal, takes advantage of Auxilium's established sales network that already markets men's health products such as the testosterone gel, Testim. Auxilium will pay an upfront licensing fee of $30 million and up to $270 million in milestone payments.

** Russia's state-backed private equity investment fund and Deutsche Bank are investing $237 million in Rostelecom, betting that the telecoms group will benefit from rising demand for high-speed internetservices.

** Private equity firm KKR & Co will pay about $150 million for close to 30 percent of India's Gland Pharma Ltd, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, in what would be the U.S. buyout firm's eighth investment in Asia this year.

** South African life insurer Sanlam said it is in talks to acquire 49 percent of the general insurance business of Malawi's NICO Holdings in four African countries for an undisclosed amount.

** The world's largest listed oil producer, state-controlled Rosneft, should buy out the minority shareholders of its unit TNK-BP Holding at the prevailing market price, not at the peak levels of the past, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, indicating there will be no increase for investors hoping for an improved payout.

** Mining companies Glencore Xstrata and Vale SA have revived talks over a potential combination of their nickel operations in Canada's Sudbury basin, in an effort to cut costs as prices for the metal languish, sources familiar with the situation said.

** China is set to ramp up acquisitions of overseas oil and gas companies to feed its soaring growth in energy demand as the country overtakes the United States as the world's top net oil importer.

** Portugal expects to sell shares in postal service CTT in early December on the stock exchange hoping to capitalise on the successful market debut of Britain's Royal Mail, the economy minister said. The privatisation process, launched in July, is part of state property sell-off demanded as a condition of the country's EU/IMF bailout agreed in mid-2011.

** Italy is in talks to create a national rail group and bring in General Electric or another foreign firm as a majority investor, in the latest intervention by the government to help recession-hit businesses, trade unions said. They added that the plan would involve a state-owned holding company taking large minority stakes in train maker Ansaldo Breda and rail signalling firm Ansaldo STS, which are being sold by defence group Finmeccanica.

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