Mergers and Acquisitions Recap: RailAmerica Gets Buffett Bounce, Blackstone Cuts a Deal

Blackstone (NYSE:BX) is acquiring Accor’s challenged U.S. budget hotel business for $1.9 billion. Accor, which is a French hotel group, wants to concentrate on growth outside of the United States, but Blackstone’s plans call for putting “significant capital” into the Motel 6 properties in order to “accelerate the expansion of the franchise base”.

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Benihana (NASDAQ:BNHN) okays its purchase and being taken private by Angelo, Gordon & Co.’s Private Equity Group, for a price of about $296 million. The transaction features an offer of $16.30 per share, which is 46 percent above the average close for the 30 days that ended March 13th, when the company reported that it was ‘exploring strategic alternatives’. Observers are monitoring other similar-sized restaurant sector names, such as Kona Grill (NASDAQ:KONA), O’Charley’s (NASDAQ:CHUX), and Texas Roadhouse (NASDAQ:TXRH), following P.F. Chang’s China Bistro’s performance after going private recently. Meanwhile, shares of Benihana zoom more than 20 percent in late afternoon trading.

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), Waddell & Reed (NYSE:WDR) and Norway’s SWF make a 20 percent, $1.6 billion investment in Formula One Group from CVC Capital Partners, ahead of its Singapore initial public offering, which is due in June.

In an investor conference, United Tech (NYSE:UTX) CEO Louis Chenevert reaffirms that he is confident that the firm’s $16.5 billion purchase of Goodrich (NYSE:GR) will close in July. The European Union has given itself to the end of August for completion of its antitrust evaluation, but Chenevert says that “We have done the right things to wrap this deal up”.

Shares of RailAmerica (NYSE:RA) jump following word that Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA) (NYSE:BRKB) might be thinking about acquiring the firm from majority-owner Fortress Investment.

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