Thursday, March 4, 2010



·         US companies are holding near record amounts of cash, which could drive pickup in M&A; the 382 non-financial companies that have reported Q4 results are sitting on $932B in cash and short-term investments, up 8% Q/Q and up 31% Y/Y.  nearly 50% of deals so far in ’10 have been all cash vs. 24% of deals in ’09.  WSJ.   

·         M&A activity highs since ’08; more deals predicted going forward - Mergers and acquisitions of U.S. companies reached $106 billion in February, the highest monthly level since July 2008.  So far this year, M&A volume has totaled $144 billion, up 46 percent from the same period last year.  CNBC/Reuters    

·         VT Group has withdrawn its offer for Mouchel; Mouchel fell as much as 8% on the headlines – Reuters 

·         VT Group and Babcock heads holding meetings as both companies try to advance the battle for control – London Telegraph 

·         Facebook – the co shows few signs of wanting to come public – WSJ   

·         GE – the co could pursue a public offering of its 20.85% stake in Turkey’s Garanti bank.  GE is looking to sell its stake, currently worth $3.5B.  Reuters 

·         VMI - announced today that the boards of directors of Valmont and Delta, PLC (Delta) have agreed to the terms of a recommended cash offer for all of the outstanding ordinary shares of Delta.  The offer price is pounds Sterling 1.85 per ordinary share, representing a transaction value of approximately $430 million at current exchange rates. Valmont will finance the transaction with cash and debt. The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including Delta shareholder acceptance and regulatory approvals. Valmont expects to close the transaction in the second quarter.

·         MS - has found buyers for its entire 34.3% stake in Chinese investment bank China International Capital Corp., CICC Chairman Li Jiange said Thursday – DJ

·         Shinsei Bank and Aozora Bank are resuming their merger talks, Jiji News reported on Thursday – Reuters 

·         China's Bright Food Group will sweeten its offer to buy Australian CSR Ltd's sugar business and hopes to complete the deal by the end of the year, the China Daily reported on Thursday (Reuters) 

·         Air China Ltd., the nation’s third- biggest carrier, intends to buy Shenzhen Airlines Co. to add a hub in the south of the country.  Bloomberg 

·         Reliance Industries Ltd. has no plans to increase its bid for bankrupt chemicals maker LyondellBasell Industries – Bloomberg

·         PSO/IDC – IDC owners Pearson has whittled down the bidders for IDC to three PE teams and one strategic buyer (MHP) – FT  

·         PVH – FT now reporting story co in talks w/Apax for Tommy Hilfiger. FT reports bid could be wroth $3B vs. NY Post’s report yesterday said $4B.  

·         ZLC - is looking to sell the leases on as many as 12 of its New York City jewelry stores in an apparent move to shore up its finances – Reuters

·         General Growth - the Bankruptcy Court has approved an extension of the exclusivity period during which GGP has the right to file a plan of reorganization through July 15, 2010 and an extension of the period to solicit acceptances of a plan of reorganization through September 15, 2010 

·         SPG - "We appreciate the Court's decision to shorten the exclusivity period requested by General Growth. The Court has made it abundantly clear that General Growth must now conduct a truly fair process with all parties on a level playing field. Today we have been permitted to commence due diligence, and we will determine our best course of action as we move forward."

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