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Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions
August 14, 2013 / 9:46 AM / 4 years ago

Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Steinway Musical, Mubadala Development, Strategic Value Partners)

Aug 14 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:

** China’s Baidu Inc said it has agreed to buy the app store of Hong Kong-listed Netdragon Websoft Inc for $1.85 billion in cash in what would be the biggest deal in China’s IT sector.

** Steinway Musical Instruments Inc, best known for its grand pianos, agreed on Wednesday to be taken private by Paulson & Co after the hedge fund firm raised its offer to $40 per share, valuing the 160-year old company at about $512 million.

** U.S. Airways and American Airlines are focused on fighting for their $11 billion merger in court and will argue that the federal government hasn’t proven that the merger would reduce competition, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

** Thailand’s CP Group has quit a consortium of investors that sought to buy a stake in the insurance unit of debt-ridden IDB Holding, a move that could hurt IDB chairman Nochi Dankner’s chances of keeping control of the conglomerate.

** The U.S. government on Tuesday sued to block American Airlines and US Airways’ proposed merger to create the world’s biggest airline, saying consumers would end up paying higher fares and fees.

** A German court threw in doubt Liberty Global’s completed 3 billion euro ($4 billion) purchase of KabelBW after reversing a 2011 antitrust approval, deepening uncertainties in a rapidly changing telecoms sector.

A spokeswoman for Liberty Media’s unit Unitymedia Kabel BW said the company will use all legal means available to fight the court’s decision.

** Russian President Vladimir Putin failed to clinch a concrete energy deal on a rare trip to Azerbaijan on Tuesday, dashing Moscow’s hopes to challenge the dominance of Western energy majors in the former Soviet republic.

** Strategic Value Partners (SVP) is targeting other private equity firms as potential buyers of its German plastic films maker Kloeckner Pentaplast, three sources familiar with the deal said.

SVP bought Kloeckner Pentaplast, whose films are used to package foods and medicines, from Blackstone last year. Blackstone had bought the company from Cinven in 2007, backed by 1.25 billion euros ($1.65 billion) of leveraged loans.

** Russian industrial and defence conglomerate Rostec is close to signing an agreement with Bombardier to assemble the Canadian plane maker’s Q400 aircraft in Russia, Rostec said on Wednesday.

** The European Commission has cleared the creation of a mobile commerce joint venture between the Spanish telecommunications operator Telefonica and two Spanish banks, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

** BATS Global Markets said on Wednesday that private equity firms Spectrum Equity and TA Associates acquired minority stakes in the U.S. and European exchange operator from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

** Mubadala Development Co PJSC, the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, is looking for partners to buy some assets in Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista’s mining, energy and logistics conglomerate Grupo EBX, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said..

** Italy’s Eni said on Tuesday it had agreed, following a meeting between its CEO and Mozambique’s president, to pay $400 million tax on the $4.2 billion sale of a gas field stake to China and build the east African country a power station.

** Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu is likely to get only 600-700 million euros ($800-$930 million) in the sale of its high-performance alloy unit VDM, less than initially planned, three people familiar with the deal told Reuters on Tuesday.

** The city of Prague has backed a plan to buy out German utility E.ON’s stake in municipal gas company Prazska Plynarenska, the city said.

The deal, for an effectively 74 percent stake in the firm, could be worth 5.4 billion crowns ($276.47 million), Hospodarske Noviny reported on Wednesday.

** Cosan SA Industria e Comercio, Brazil’s biggest sugar and ethanol producer, has pulled out a deal to buy a stake in logistics company ALL America Latina Logistica SA , it said in a filing.

** Russian drugmaker Pharmstandard has agreed to buy a supplier of ingredients for its flagship anti-viral and anxiety drugs for $590 million, as part of a plan to spin off its over-the-counter business.

** SolarCity Corp on Tuesday said it would buy direct marketing solar company Paramount Solar for about $120 million in a deal that is expected to help help cut the cost of acquiring new customers.

** Orbitz Worldwide Inc said on Tuesday that PAR Capital Management, one of its largest shareholders, sold 8.1 million of the 24.6 million shares it owned in the online travel agency.

** Buyout firm Kohlberg & Co on Tuesday refused to match a $477 million offer for Steinway Musical Instruments Inc said to be from Paulson & Co, leaving the 160-year-old maker of pianos and saxophones free to finalize a deal with the hedge fund titan.

** German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp is still aiming to sell both plants comprising its loss-making Steel Americas business, its finance chief said.

“We always said we’re aiming for a solution for both plants. We’re working on it,” Guido Kerkhoff told analysts during a conference call after ThyssenKrupp published third-quarter results on Tuesday.

** Jonathan Harmsworth, the Viscount Rothermere who controls the British mid-market tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail, on Wednesday made an offer to buy out the remaining voting shares he does not already own.

** Thai housing developer Quality Houses (QH) said on Wednesday it aimed to sell its stake in building materials retailer Home Product Center Pcl at more than 16-17 baht a share, as much as 26 percent above where the shares are now. (Compiled by Maria Ajit Thomas and Lehar Maan in Bangalore)

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