HSBC Divests Ping An Insurance, Yahoo Snags OnTheAir: M&A Weekly Recap

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to this week’s M&A headlines:

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Since an injunction against a takeover was lifted in September, Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM) will now probably consider a friendly offer for its competitor, the gravel and sand provider Vulcan Materials Company (NYSE:VMC), rather than launch another hostile takeover attempt, say knowledgeable sources. A judge in Delaware had enjoined the former in May from any moves of the sort.

In a Monday press release, Dean Foods Company (NYSE:DF) said that it will divest its Morningstar Foods unit to Saputo (SAPIF.PK) for $1.45 billion. The division is a top maker of dairy and non-dairy extended shelf-life and cultured products, among which include whipping cream, creams and creamers, iced coffee, ice cream mixes, aerosol whipped toppings, half and half, value-added milks, sour cream and cottage cheese. The sale was okayed by the company’s Board of Directors.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is said to be in discussions to purchase Whatsapp, a multi-platform mobile messaging application, say  knowledgeable sources. If such a deal happens, it would be an alternative way for Facebook to continue broadening its contacts with the mobile consumer. When the company reached the threshold of 1 billion monthly active users, Mark Zuckerberg remarked to BusinessWeek that mobile would be crucial to Facebook reaching the “next billion,” adding that “The big thing is obviously going to be mobile. There are 5 billion people in the world who have phones.”