Nothing is getting attention like the Nook: Why would Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LCAPA), a company that deals with video and online communications and media, be interested in a bookstore? The Nook, that’s why. Barnes & Noble’s (NYSE:BKS) Nook is currently controls 25% of e-book sales, second only to Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle. Liberty wants the Nook, and is offering over $1 billion for the e-reader and all those bookstores to sell it in. They were hoping to get a deal at $17 a share, but news of the possible merger has driven up interest in B&N stock, which is up 35.69% since last Friday, closing Monday at $18.59 a share. And now billionaire Ron Burkle is getting in on the action, buying another 603,000 shares of the bookseller at just under $18.49 a share on Monday, making it extremely unlikely that Liberty will get the stock for as little as $17 a share, though last Thursday that would have been a great deal considering shares were selling for $14.11 at close. Don’t Miss: Is Barnes and Noble an Unusual Acquisition for Liberty Media?
BP-Rosneft: This merger is looking unlikely after BP (NYSE:BP) existing Russian partners blocked the alliance with OAO Rosneft, according to Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, but discussions continue nonetheless.
eBay: EBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) is selling off its 30% stake in Internet-phone provider Skype SARL for $2.4 billion. EBay CEO John Donahoe hopes the money can in turn be used to make acquisitions and return money to investors through share buybacks.
Avis-Hertz: Earlier this month, Hertz (NYSE:HTZ), the one-time scorned suitor of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (NYSE:DTG), renewed its offer for the company at $2.08 billion. Now Hertz is trying to wrap up the deal while Avis (NASDAQ:CAR), the frontrunner in the competition for Dollar Thrifty’s affections since Hertz’s offer was rejected last September, tries to push its way back in. Shares in Dollar Thrifty are up 18.25% this month and closed yesterday at $80.27 a share, quite a bit more than the $72 share price Hertz is offering. But anti-trust laws still remain the primary concern, and as of yet, Avis has been unable to get anti-trust clearance and Hertz is likely to experience the same problem.
J.B. Chemicals: Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) Cilag GmbH International unit will acquire over-the-counter brands of India’s J.B. Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals (BOM:506943) for about $260 million, with the deal expected to close by the middle of this year, allowing Johnson & Johnson to boost its presence in Russia, the eight largest market for over-the-counter sales.
Prometheus Laboratories: Swiss food company Nestle (VTX:NESN) agreed Tuesday to buy the private U.S. gastrointestinal diagnostics firm Prometheus Laboratories for an undisclosed sum as part of its push to branch out into health care. Prometheus currently focuses on finding treatments for inflammatory disorders like Crohn’s disease, though how Nestle made the leap from Butterfingers to bowel problems, I don’t want to know.
Kraft-Cadbury: While Kraft’s (NYSE:KFT) hostile takeover of Cadbury is a year in the past, some people are still bitter. Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfield has refused to appear before the British parliamentary hearings on the takeover of the small English confectionary company. Nonetheless, Cadbury has been doing well for itself, and for Kraft, with total revenue last quarter rising 11%, with sales in India up 40% and sales in China and Indonesia both up 20%.