M&A Weekly Recap: Facebook Buys Face.com, CMH Bidding War


Vodafone’s (NASDAQ:VOD) $1.6 billion acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide is given the green light to continue, following the latter’s largest shareholder, institutional investor Orbis, dropping its rejection of the deal. The reversal was gained by word that 59 percent of C&WW’s shares had already supported the takeover.

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Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) announces that it will purchase Summit Microelectronics, which is a specialist in producing the power management chips which are used in mobile devices. Financials of the deal were not divulged.

Deutsche Boerse (DBOEY.PK) has requested that an European Union tribunal throw out the European Commission’s ban on the exchange’s $9.5 billion merger with NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX). The German exchange maintains that regulators made errors when they disallowed the deal, and if successful before the court, the Commission’s ruling could be reversed or a reassessment could be requested.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares move up substantially on Monday, following word that it has purchased Face.com. The likely objects of interest in the acquisition were the latter’s Photo Tagger facial-recognition app, which can be applied to the billions of pictures being uploaded by Facebook users, and its valuable domain name. A rumor floating around in May gives an approximation of the value of the deal, as between $80 million and $100 million. Shares of Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX), which has an investment in Face.com., are moving up in tandem.

Shares of Quest Software (NASDAQ:QSFT) have suddenly spiked , subsequent to a Bloomberg report that Dell’s (NASDAQ:DELL) reported bid of $25.50 for the company, has been bettered by an offer by Insight Venture. It had earlier been said by Quest that Insight maintained “certain matching rights” related to third-party offers.

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Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) boosts its investment in Central European Media Enterprises to 40 percent, by purchasing 9.9 million shares for $89 million, giving TWX greater say over CME’s 31 TV channels in Central and Eastern Europe.

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Sonus Networks (NASDAQ:SONS) purchases Network Equipment Technologies (NASDAQ:NWK) for approximately $42 million, in an arrangement that is intended to increase its array of real-time communication products. The transaction values NWK at $1.35 per share, which represents a 14 percent windfall to its Monday close.

Server appliance supplier Network Engines (NASDAQ:NEI) is acquired by private equity Unicom Systems for $63.2 million, or $1.45 a share, in cash. The announcement earlier in 2012 that top customer EMC is orienting away from NEI products brought shares of the latter tumbling down; the present transaction’s price brings an 85 percent premium to the company’s Monday close. Shares are currently halted.

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Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.A) Lubrizol is acquiring the skincare products maker Lipotec in a transaction for which the financials were not divulged. Following completion of the purchase, Lipotec will be integrated with Lubrizol’s advanced materials business.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) finalizes its $1.26 billion purchase of Ardea Biosciences (NASDAQ:RDEA), a firm that develops two potential drugs for gout and one for cancer.

BP (NYSE:BP) might well explore the potential benefits that an acquisition of the gas-focused energy and petroleum company BG Group (BRGYY.PK) could bring, says an analyst for Reuters. BG is said to have many projects to pursue, but insufficient cash, which could be a perfect fit for BP, with lots of money that needs to be placed where it can work effectively.

Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) is currently second behind Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the increasingly rivalrous market for cloud infrastructure services, and forecasts by Gartner have it that the market could grow from $3.7 billion in 2010 to $10.5 billion by 2014. All this might be prompting Bloomberg to report that RAX is becoming a ‘compelling M&A target’, although it won’t be inexpensive with a market cap of $6 billion, plus the fact that it says it’s not for sale.


UPS (NYSE:UPS) goes forward with its public cash bid of €9.50 for all outstanding shares of TNT Express, as the latter’s executive and supervisory boards “fully support and unanimously recommend” that shareholders accept the offer. The tender offer period will be in effect from June 22 to August 31.

Invensys (IVNYY.PK) comes up with no bid for itself, as it held preliminary discussions to that effect. It’s said that interested third parties included Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR), but the talks ended with no results.

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Blackstone (NYSE:BX) is poised, report sources, to divest its troubled German plastics firm, Kloeckner Pentaplast, to a group led by hedge fund SVP. The seller’s remaining equity investment of $127 million will be erased by the deal, but senior lenders should see no initial losses.

3M (NYSE:MMM) acquires Federal Signal’s (NYSE:FSS) FSTech unit, which produces hardware and software that is used in electronic tolling, parking and access control and law enforcement. FSS will use the $110 million in proceeds to help reduce its outstanding debt, which reached $235 million by the end of March.


3M (NYSE:MMM) says that paying $110 million for an acquisition is a nominal fee for entry into the $3 billion toll industry, which could grow by as much as 12 percent yearly, “as government agencies increasingly rely on tolling to fund roadway infrastructure”.

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A biding war could be developing in Oz, as the Australian TV holding company CMH goes on the block. News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) has already bid $2 billion, but Rupert Murdoch and fellow tycoon Kerry Stokes might now get into the act and make things much more entertaining.

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