M & A Review: ConocoPhillips Divests, Rackspace Powers Up

Saying that the review is routine, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) $12.5B acquisition of Motorola (NYSE:MMI) is being studied by China’s Anti-Monopoly Bureau; the company has until March 20 to make a decision or begin a third phase. According to Beijing consultant Edward Yu, the review could be used to work out how Google could fully return to doing business in China.

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Buying at an undisclosed amount, Rackspace Hosting (NYSE:RAX) gets privately-held Sharepoint911 – a provider of SharePoint consulting, training, and JumpStart services within the SharePoint platform.

As part of its sweeping $15B-$20B 2010-2012 asset divestiture program, ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) is selling its Vietnamese business unit to independent global oil player Perenco for $1.3B.

Zale (NYSE:ZLC) could greatly benefit in a merger with larger rival Signet (NYSE:SIG). One investment banker commented that, “The Zale name has taken a beating, but it’s still a brand that people know. Signet is more skilled at marketing, so with them at the helm at Zale, it could become a prominent name again.”

Building up its defenses to fight Martin Marietta‘s (NYSE:MLM) takeover bid, Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) posts a better-than-expected Q4. VMC’s $0.22/share Q4 loss could have been lower, and it explained that the takeover fight cost it $2M. At the same time, Vulcan is announcing plans to trim costs by $100M and sell ~$500M in non-core assets in the next 18 months. This activity might be followed by a “competitive dividend.”

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To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lawson at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

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