Posts tagged 'M&A'

Here’s why Bwin.Party was in freefall on Friday…

Given some readers will have followed our November report that Amaya Gaming Group of Canada seemed to be preparing a £1.2bn takeover offer for London-listed Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, it’s only fair that we now share the following — from erstwhile colleagues at Dealreporter:’s [LON:BPTY] potential suitors are rumoured to have lost interest in acquiring the company, two bankers following and an industry source with knowledge of the situation said. Read more

The corporate M&A genotype theory

Merger and acquisition activity, as we all know, comes in waves. There are M&A frenzies and then there are M&A lulls.

But a new study by a group of complexity and evolutionary scientists looks deeper into the social drivers of corporate M&A activity and suggests there may be more intrinsic forces, such as ancestry, at work.

The authors define ancestry as the cumulative number of mergers from all acquired entities — an idea that puts the corporation in the category of an organism which pursues M&A for mainly for survival reasons. The more pronounced a corporation’s ancestry on the M&A front, they say, the more likely it is to survive in the long term. Read more

When creative destruction becomes creative devastation

John Komlos of the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich proposes in a new paper that ‘creative destruction’ has become devastating, not just destructive:

the destructive power associated with Schumpeterian creative destruction has increased markedly relative to their creative component, in contrast to previous epochs. Creative destruction’s gentle winds have mutated into cyclones of destruction.

Thus, our sense of well-being will probably not keep pace with even the slow economic growth being predicted by Gordon, Summers, and Krugman. While the economy will be growing, albeit slowly, we predict that our sense of well-being will be mysteriously lagging well behind.

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A rear-guard Kazakh defence?

For a potential $7bn plus takeover battle, the attempt by National Company KazMunaiGas (NC KMG) to acquire full control of the London GDR-listed associate KazMunaiGas Exploration Production (KMG EP) has failed to generate much discussion.

Maybe it should given that NC KMG, which is 100 per cent owned by the Kazakh sovereign wealth fund, has offered just a 15 per cent premium to take out the the 37 per cent of KMG EP it doesn’t already own. Read more

On the subject of massive empire building, carmaker edition [Update]

Set the scepticism dial to 10 — on the basis that memories of German carmaker buying Chrysler is the sort of thing to make car executives wake up in a cold sweat. However Fiat shares were up more than 4 per cent at pixel time for a reason…

That reason is a story in the German manager magazin which reports major shareholders are in conversation about a potential takeover of Fiat by VW, with Chrysler the key to solving VW’s US problems.

Der Volkswagen-Konzern steht vor dem nächsten großen Coup. Auf Großaktionärsebene finden bereits Gespräche über eine Übernahme von Fiat statt. In einer Integration von Chrysler sieht Volkswagen einen möglichen Lösungsansatz für die eigenen US-Probleme.

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That’s it, there is now an app for everything

Judging by the amount of time it took to register and start playing, downloads may be a counter-indicator of investment banker business. But in a world where everything is gameified

“Buy. Sell. Merge. Master…” Read more

A Shire bump

Click to read:

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What Google could get for $30bn

Google has a $30bn warchest to spend on foreign acquisitions, or so it’s told regulators. If it decided to spend the cash in one go the options for what it could buy* are rather limited.

There are only seven companies outside North America (we skipped Canada, rather unfairly) valued between $29bn and $30bn:

  • Philips has to be top of the list, as the only technology company on the list. Beard trimmers would be a natural fit for the Silicon Valley behemoth, but medical equipment and lightbulbs not so much.
  • Nordic banks Swedbank, DNB and SEB could provide Google with a solid platform to launch its own currency.
  • Investor is out of the question: a Stockholm holding company with a wide portfolio of Swedish minority stakes, it would only be useful if Google planned to go a whole lot further and buy up every Swedish blue chip (currently worth a bit less than twice Google).
  • East Japan Railway is a bit low-tech for Google; the problem of self-driving trains has already been solved, after all.
  • Compass Group brings the most obvious cost savings: the British catering giant already runs the canteen at the Googleplex (“I liked the sandwich so much I bought the company,” Larry Page didn’t say). Perhaps Google could apply its innovative approach to rethink lunch.

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Takeovers, jobs and the capital markets

The attempt by US drug company Pfizer to buy AstraZeneca, the crown jewel of Britain’s pharmaceutical industry, has prompted entirely predictable reactions.

There is outraged huffing and puffing from the left and from vested interests about the loss of the UK science base. Even the FT has joined in with the pseudo-dirigism more usual in the Guardian or Le Monde, calling for an independent assessment of takeovers which might damage UK science… Read more

A brief history of M&A

SocGen are at it again, and this time they appear to be mid-thrust:

Disappointingly, there’s no introspective mention of value destruction to be seen, but we do get price defense as the main justification for M&A activity: Read more

M&A is back (ish)

Can it be a merger Monday if the big deal leaked on Friday?

Either way, the second quarter deal making was already off to a fast start before the cement makers got involved, according to Goldman Sachs, and Europe is finally starting to join in the fun.

A week into 2Q, M&A announcements continued at a brisk pace (+21%y/y) while completions also saw gradual improvement (+7% y/y). While the year to date strength in M&A has been primarily driven by the US (+21% y/y), we have seen notable improvement in selected pockets of EU deal flow. Specifically, EU buyers’ appetite have seen sizable growth (+38% y/y), though more in favor of cross-border purchases (2x vs. 2013TD) relative to domestic consolidation (+27% y/y).

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A gentle tug on the purse strings

It may be something in the wind, but is it becoming acceptable for companies to spend again?

Exhibit A: Morgan Stanley politely suggests that, even though companies which actually increase investment in their business with capital expenditure have tended to trail the scrimpers, it might be time to look at the capital intensive types again. Read more

F&C confirms…

It’s been a while since we used the RAW* tag on Markets Live. But hey! Monday’s session managed to drag the following pre-packed statement out of F&C Asset management…

London, 27 January, 2014: The Board of F&C Asset Management plc (“F&C” or the “Company”) notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it has received an indicative offer from BMO Financial Group (“BMO”) of 120 pence in cash per ordinary share (the “Offer Price”) for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of F&C (the “Possible Offer”). In addition, F&C shareholders will be entitled to receive and retain an ordinary course dividend of 2 pence per F&C share for the financial year ended 31 December 2013. Read more

A Monday (fantasy) merger tonic

Rattled by the equity sell-off?

Here’s an antidote…five pages of potential bid targets, courtesy of Andrew Garthwaite and team at Credit Suisse… Read more

Will bids (finally) come back this year?

Graham Secker and team at Morgan Stanley seems to think so, citing the corporate earnings recovery, rising business confidence and welcoming capital markets. There’s also an element of M&A having to come back into fashion, given that in Europe at least takeovers are running at a circa 20 year low… Read more

A bull market without buyers

A particular kind of buyer, at any rate. Talk of corporate cash piles has become cliché, while private equity has been turning a corner for so long it has entered some sort of fee-paying mobius strip. But it remains the case that stock markets have gone up without many purchases of companies in their entirety.

For illustration, the last decade of deal activity as a proportion of market capitalisation, from Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou and team at JP Morgan. Read more

AstraZeneca said to eye Forest Labs bid

What’s been lighting a fire under Forest Laboratories?

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Tinder-dry powder, but no matches to hand

As Liberum Capital see it, everything is in place for private equity to flourish — except for the small matter of deals.

Companies have lots of cash, debt is cheap, the market for secondary deals between private equity groups is healthy, and the number of buyout-backed initial public offerings is well on track to beat last year.

Fundraising also pulled in $204bn globally in the first half of this year, versus $170bn in the same period in both 2011 and 2012.

But there is a note of caution… Read more

It’s all about the synergies, just you wait, French M&A edition

Reading that Alcatel-Lucent is to cut 10,000 jobs (with 900 axes to actually fall in France) we found ourselves humming the grand old Duke of York.

We have no comment on the merits of this latest bout of self-help, which actually aims to cut 15,000 jobs and add another 5,000 by 2015. But for context (charts by us, data from Bloomberg): Read more

Catching a falling Blackberry

It’s possible Prem Watsa is a genius. We don’t wish to exclude it. Read more

Blackberry, bricked

Blackberry’s logo (below) resembles nothing as much as a hail of seven silver bullets. It appears the gun has been pointing the wrong way.

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An intriguing Delaware filing

NHI Wind Read more

Freudian, sorry, Fantasy M&A

Societe Generale are trying to tell us something about M&A here. We’re not sure what.

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Bidders said to circle Zoltek

Friday afternoon RAW klaxon. Buyer beware. Usual wealth warnings apply.

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The M&A pickup

For those who have a life are less interested in messy details, the explanation for the dealmaking optimism of recent months goes something like this:

– Since roughly last summer (OMT), tail risks are perceived to be down. And despite Washington’s reverse midas touch, the private sector has shown signs of staying resilient, including a streak of a spookily consistent employment reports. Read more

Is someone circling Pacific Drilling?

Does US-listed Pacific Drilling look like a credible takeover target? We think it probably does, 0n balance, and we’d very much like to find out more. Read more

Has FQM’s board approved a £3bn bid? Dunno — UPDATE

It’s 2:45am in Vancouver. Do you know where your investor relations department is?

Here’s this morning’s Daily MailRead more

The growth of M&A litigation

You know the script here. X company announces that it is acquiring Y; a few days later news of a class action law suit ticks across the wires, typically alleging the directors have failed in their fiduciary duties in some manner; thereafter, silence…

Research by Robert Daines and Olga Koumrian at Cornerstone suggests that such litigation has become the norm since the onset of the financial crisis. Read more

Veolia, Suez and the dirty business of denials

Big news in RAW sewage this Saturday evening.

PARIS | Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:33pm BST (Reuters) – Veolia Environnement and Suez Environnement said on Saturday they were not working on a merger after Le Monde newspaper reported the two companies had held talks that fell apart over antitrust concerns. Read more

Breaking: inevitable happens

The exact time of death can be recorded as 1:01pm BST. But, really, the pulse was lost long ago.

BAE Systems and EADS announced that they have decided to terminate their discussions. So should we blame another breakdown in eurozone relations? Or maybe, just maybe, BEADS wasn’t a merger worth saving. Read more