Deals of the day

October 31
9:17 PM 2013

The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported on Thursday.

- US Airways Group and American Airlines are considering giving up take-off and landing slots at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport to win regulator approval of their $11 billion merger, two people familiar with the matter said. The airlines are hoping to reach a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department before the trial, due to begin Nov. 25, paving the way for a deal that would create the world's largest air carrier, the sources said. 

- Russian energy companies Novatek and Gazprom Neft are ready to raise their offer to $4.9 billion and fight Rosneft for gas assets owned by Italy's Eni and Enel, Kommersant newspaper reported. Competition for SeverEnergia, which has assets in northern Russia's Yamal-Nenets region, increased last month when state-owned Rosneft, the world's largest oil company by output, signed a deal to acquire Enel's stake in the gas producer for $1.8 billion. 

- Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, one of the world's most prolific investors, is building a $1 billion holding in Bank of America, seeking to benefit from the U.S. economic recovery, the Financial Times reported, citing sources close to the plans. Qatar Holding, the investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority, began buying BofA shares about two years ago, the newspaper said on its website, citing a person close to the fund. 

- Shareholders in property group GSW have approved an all-stock takeover bid by rival Deutsche Wohnen, clearing the way for the creation of Germany's no. 2 real estate company. Deutsche Wohnen said the number of GSW investors who voted in favor of the bid, worth 1.8 billion euros at the time of the Aug. 20 offer, had exceeded the required 75 percent. 

- Apparel retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers said it may consider raising its $2.3 billion offer for Men's Wearhouse Inc if it was allowed access to its larger rival's books for due diligence. 

- Zurich Insurance is in advanced talks to buy Australian Wesfarmers' A$2 billion ($1.90 billion)insurance business, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing sources. 

- Food packaging company Crown Holdings Inc said it would buy Spanish food-can maker Mivisa Envases for 1.20 billion euros ($1.65 billion) to expand its offerings for Spain's agriculture industry.

- New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra Co-operative Group is building up a 10 percent stake in Bega Cheese Ltd, two people close to the transactions told Reuters, a move seen linked to an international battle for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Ltd (WCB). Fonterra has tasked Goldman Sachs with offering Bega shareholders A$4.95 ($4.70) per share, a 12 percent premium to the stock's close at A$4.41 on Thursday, one of the sources said. 

- Australia's Nine Entertainment Co Pty Ltd is seeking to raise as much as $570 million in an initial public offering, a person familiar with the process said, a move that will help the troubled TV network pay down debt. 

- Taiwan's CTBC Financial Holdings said it agreed to buy Tokyo-based local lender Tokyo Star Bank from the current shareholders including U.S. investment fund Lone Star for 52 billion yen ($530 million), becoming the first foreign bank to acquire a Japanese lender. 

- Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd has entered into an agreement with a spin-out company of the University of Cambridge to produce carbon-based nanomaterials with potential use in electronic devices. 

- Austrian packaging group Constantia Flexibles said on Wednesday that it planned a stock market listing before the end of the year. 

- Brazilian investment firm Cambuhy Investimentos Ltda and Germany's joined to buy control of OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações SA's gas unit for 250 million reais ($115 million), helping the beleaguered oil company raise funds after seeking court protection from creditors.

- Daimler AG, the German parent of Mercedes-Benz, would like to expand its cooperation with Tesla Motors Inc, the U.S. electric-car maker, a top Daimler executive said on Thursday. 

- Saudi Telecom Co (STC) agreed to take full ownership of push-to-talk communications firm Bravo in a deal that will see Bravo's current owner Wataniya also pay STC $65 million to settle outstanding dues. 

- Two founders of digital entertainment, who are divorcing, have agreed to sell their stakes in the online gaming group if it is successful in winning a licence in New Jersey, the third U.S. state to allow online gambling. 

- Malaysian state power firm Tenaga Nasional Bhd has scrapped its bid for the retail arm of Ireland's Bord Gais Eireann, the Southeast Asian firm's chief financial officer said. 

- The Polish units of the Dutch lender Rabobank announced a plan to merge on Thursday, potentially opening the way for a spin-off of the combined businesses. Bank BGZ will merge with Rabobank Polska, the banks said, fulfilling a promise to combine the two made by the Dutch lender to Polands's financial regulator, which has so far blocked any idea of a sale of BGZ as a single entity. 

- The top shareholder in Monte dei Paschi dei Siena is open to the idea of a merger of the troubled Italian bank with another financial group, preferably "of an international standing", it said in a document approved by its board this week and seen by Reuters. 

- Insolvent German home improvement retailer Praktiker has attracted a second offer for its stores, this time for more of the shops, two people familiar with the situation said.  

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