BioTime’s LOI With Geron, Nike Sells Cole Haan: Merger and Acquisitions Update

Contingent upon how its sale to its American rival United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) proceeds, the Dutch delivery group TNT Express is divesting its airlines operations to ASL Aviation Group so as to satisfy the takeover agreement’s terms to comply with rules set by the European Commission that disallow a non-EU entity from owning or controlling as much as 50 percent of an EU airline operator. In October, UPS was warned by the Commission in regards to the proposed unified entity’s high market share.

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BioTime (AMEX:BTX) and its recently created subsidiary BioTime Acquisition Corporation jointly announced Friday in a release that they entered a non-binding letter of intent with Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN), which contains broad terms of a potential agreement through which Geron would contribute to BioTime its intellectual property and other assets linked with Geron’s discontinued human embryonic stem cell programs. For its part, BioTime would contribute $5 million in cash, $30 million worth of common shares, warrants to purchase 8 million common shares of BioTime at a pre-specified price, the rights to use certain human embryonic stem cell lines, plus minority stakes in 2 BioTimes subsidiaries. Additionally, a private investor would invest $5 million in cash in the firm.

In a Friday press release, Nike (NYSE:NKE) said that it will sell its Cole Haan affiliate brand to Apax Partners at a price of $570 million in a transaction that should close early next year. Nike  President & Chief Executive Mark Parker said that, “The decision to divest of Cole Haan allows us to sharpen our focus on opportunities with the highest potential for strong returns and to make sure the brands within the NIKE, Inc. portfolio are the most complementary to the NIKE Brand.”

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