4 Merger and Acquisitions Stock Stories After a Big M&A Weekend

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ): Current price $46.01

According to banking sources, Verizon has begun the syndication of the $61-billion bridge loan backing its $130-billion buyout of Vodafone Group’s part of its domestic wireless business. The sources added that some of the loan might actually be drawn upon because of its colossal size.

The 364-day billion bridge loan will be refinanced with a permanent capital structure comprised of $49 billion of corporate bonds and $14 billion of loans, said sources to Thomson Reuters. The loans will include a $2 billion revolving credit together with $12 billion of term loans. The huge bridge loan is being regarded by several banks as a rare chance to gain revenue from investment-grade lending.

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Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT): Current price $31.88

Analyst Shaul Eyal at Oppenheimer says that Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s device and services business for $7.2 billion amounts to a “Hail Mary pass.” Eval observes in part that, “While the transaction does not come as a full surprise it does remove an uncertainty enabling investors to weigh the chance of getting it right this time. We view the transaction as a MSFT call option on mobile, whereby some positive reward could be reaped from the money entered.

“If the option expires then (hopefully) not too much damage will have been done. While the transaction poses some near-term integration risk the following near-term catalysts could outweigh it: 1. potential dividend hike, 2. new external CEO with potentially fresh strategic thinking, and 3. shareholder activism (ValueAct).”  Oppenheimer kept its Outperform and price target of $37 on Microsoft while its shares are down about 5.6 percent Tuesday afternoon in extremely heavy trading.

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The Hillshire Brands Co. (NYSE:HSH): Current price $31.78

On Tuesday, Hillshire Brands said that it will acquire the maker of Golden Island jerky products. Golden Island will become a part of Hillshire Brands Gourmet Food Group, joining with high-end brands such as Aidells and Gallo. Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Sally Grimes will manage the group, and in addition will assume the role of president, Hillshire Brands Gourmet Food Group. Terms were not revealed and the transaction should close by the end of September, pending closing conditions.

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ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH): Current price $41.37

The semiconductor IP supplier ARM Holdings will buy Cadence PANTA display controller cores from Cadence Design Systems, Inc. The arrangement improves upon the firm’s long-standing ecosystem collaboration, and reinforces their technical alignment. Senior Vice President, Cadences IP group, Martin Lund, said that ARM and Cadence collaborate “on many levels, including IP integration, verification IP for all ARM AMBA protocols, and high-performance design solutions optimized for ARM cores. As a result, both companies offer more tightly integrated solutions to our mutual customers.”

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