Hot Equities to Watch Jan. 30th: Pep Boys, Thomas & Betts, GTx, Gannett, ABB

The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY): The Pep Boys announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement under which it will be acquired by The Gores Group, one of the nation’s leading investment firms, led by founder and CEO, Alec Gores. Total enterprise value of the transaction is approximately $1B.Under the terms of the merger agreement, The Gores Group will acquire all the outstanding common shares of Pep Boys for $15.00 per share in cash. This represents a premium of 24% percent over Pep Boys’ closing price of $12.08 on January 27, 2012 and a premium of 36% percent over Pep Boys’ volume weighted average closing price over the last 30 trading days. The transaction is currently expected to close in the second fiscal quarter of 2012. Following completion of the transaction, Pep Boys will become a privately held company and its stock will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Pep Boys noted that, in light of the proposed transaction, it will not host a conference call to discuss financial results for the 2011 fiscal year, but intends to file its year-end results with the SEC. Shares of The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack are trading 22.89% higher today.

Thomas & Betts Corporation (NYSE:TNB): ABB (NYSE:ABB) and Thomas & Betts (NYSE:TNB) announced that both companies’ boards of directors have agreed to a transaction in which ABB will acquire Thomas & Betts for $72 per share in cash or approximately $3.9B. The acquisition price represents a 24% premium to Thomas & Betts’ closing stock price on Jan. 27 and a 35% premium to the volume weighted average stock price over the past 60 trading days. The transaction is subject to approval by Thomas & Betts shareholders as well as to customary regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the middle of 2012. Shares of Thomas & Betts Corporation are trading 22.71% higher today.

GTx, Inc. (NASDAQ:GTXI): 08:41 EDT GTx jumps 21% after Citigroup raises price target for shares to $19. Shares of GTx, Inc. are trading 31.73% higher today.

ABB Ltd (NYSE:ABB): ABB (NYSE:ABB) and Thomas & Betts (NYSE:TNB) announced that both companies’ boards of directors have agreed to a transaction in which ABB will acquire Thomas & Betts for $72 per share in cash or approximately $3.9B. The acquisition price represents a 24% premium to Thomas & Betts’ closing stock price on Jan. 27 and a 35% premium to the volume weighted average stock price over the past 60 trading days. The transaction is subject to approval by Thomas & Betts shareholders as well as to customary regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the middle of 2012. Shares of ABB Ltd are trading 2.68% lower today.

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI): Says December advertising spending softened, exacerbated by Christmas day falling on Sunday, which negatively impacted advertising sales across some retail categories. Says November was the best month in the quarter in terms of total advertising in the publishing segment. Shares of Gannett Co., Inc. are trading 7.1% lower today.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com