M&A Recap: Expedia Goes to China, Sirius XM May Get More Liberty

Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) acquires Renren’s (NYSE:RENN) interest in Chinese online travel provider eLong (NASDAQ:LONG) for $23/share. This marks a 65% premium to Friday’s closing price. Expedia says China is a key market in the firm’s efforts to expand globally.

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) tells all of a deal to purchase Pharmasset (NASDAQ:VRUS) for $11B in a deal that is expected to close in Q1 and become accretive to Gilead’s earnings starting in 2015. The offer price was $137/share. It marks an 89% premium to the closing price of Pharmasset.

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Pearson (NYSE:PSO) acquires China’s Global Education and Technology Group (NASDAQ:GEDU) for $294M in a deal slated to close in Q4.

Alleghany (NYSE:Y) confirms it will buy reinsurer Transatlantic (NYSE:TRH) for $3.4B in cash and stock, or $59.79/share. The buyout is a 10% premium on TRH’s Friday close. The deal should in theory end a long process involving a series of suitors for TRH, although it’s already called off an M&A with Allied World.

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY): eBay confirms it acquired privately owned Hunch.com to help shore up its prediction technology aimed at delivering spot-on recommendations to users. The amount remains undisclosed. The firm says it will keep employees of Hunch including three of the founders. EBAY shares recently traded at $28.78, down $1.03, or 3.46%. Its market capitalization is $37.15 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $26.86 to $35.35. Volume today was 7,523,809 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 13,251,100 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 20.99, while trailing earnings are $1.37 per share.

Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) is acquiring CamWest, a major builder of luxury homes in the Seattle area. After the announcement it outperforms a bit. CamWest owns or controls 1,500 lots. It is expected to have 2011 revenue of roughly $90M. Toll Brothers assumes the acquisition will be accretive to its FY12 earnings.

Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) got a Lazard upgrade and is rising today on a NY Post report claiming Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LCAPA) is thinking about adding to their 40% stake in the company, which it acquired in 2009. It’s noted that “tax implications and other disadvantages” may prevent Liberty from upping its stake for now. In March, that could be a different story.

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