M&A Weekly Recap: Microsoft Buys Into B&N, Teradata Acquires eCircle


Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) makes a $300 million stake in Barnes & Noble’s (NYSE:BKS) Nook and College operations, and shares of the latter pop. The move appears to resolve patent lawsuits between the firms, with Barnes & Noble likely giving up on Android as its eReader operating system, according to 9to5mac.

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Imperial Sugar (NASDAQ:IPSU) is acquired by private equity Louis Dreyfus Commodities, in an all cash transaction with a price of $205 million, which represents a share price of $6.35. This figure is a 75 percent windfall to Monday’s closing price for Imperial. The sale is expected to close in the second quarter.

Here is more on the Coca Cola (NYSE:KO) and Monster Beverage (MNST) acquisition-NOT saga: shares of the latter trade higher Tuesday, following all the chatter that it would be purchased by Coke, which definitively denied being in such discussions. However, now comes more talk from sources, who say that KO is paring its words about not being interested in the deal.

The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) is said to be buying the tech team of Digg, but not the actual company. Digg is an online content collector firm, whose founder Kevin Rose recently departed for Google. The Digg tech acquisitions are expected to help the Post reinforce its social media operation, as it benefits from a major traffic increase after its adoption of Facebook’s (FB) Open Graph.


Teradata (NYSE:TDC) buys eCircle, a major cloud marketing software firm in Europe. The latter’s messaging solutions will be linked with the former’s own analytics and marketing management software. The acquisition, of which the terms were undisclosed, occurs in the midst of intensified rivalry in the cloud marketing space, and increasing interest in the application of advanced data mining techniques to marketing.

Hot Topic (NASDAQ:HOTT) gets fingered as an attractive acquisition target by B. Riley, and its shares take off. The company’s market cap is $437 million, which is in the center of the recent merger and acquisitions’ range.

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Recent rumors that Nexon might acquire Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) may indeed be only rumors, according to Bloomberg sources, but the former is in talks with EA concerning the distribution of the coming version of its FIFA Online game in Asia. Nexon’s presence in Asia and its virtual goods sales could significantly help EA in its venture.

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Renewed chatter regarding a possible acquisition by BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), helped shares of Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT) survive its first quarter statement, in which earnings sank by 50 percent, missing estimates. The loss was blamed on higher operating costs and increased interest expenses.

Avon (NYSE:AVP) rejected suitor Coty in April, but Richmont Holdings, which owns Mary Kay and Dirt Devil, is assembling a bid which will rival that of Coty. Avon shares were up 9.2 percent at the close, when the news broke.

United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) will issue $1.8 billion in debt to complement its $5 billion in cash, to fund its purchase of TNT Express, after first expected to use only $3 billion of its reserves. Additionally, UPS declares its regular quarterly dividend of 57 cents per share and intends to buy back $1.5 billion in shares in 2012 and in 2013.

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Broadcaster NHK (Japan) announces that Micron (NASDAQ:MU) is the successful bidder for the bankrupt Elpida, following the pullout of bidder SK Hynix. The buyer had previously announced an offering of convertible notes that seemed to be connected with Elpida. It is anticipated that a sale of Elpida will further reduce worldwide dynamic random access memory capacity, and allow prices for the commodity to move along in their rebound this year.

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) purchases network data analysis software supplier Truviso, in a deal in which the financials were not reported. The buyer intends to join Truviso’s products with its Prime network management software. The hope is that the new resources will help carriers work with an explosion in the number of Internet-connected devices. Cisco has already integrated its previous purchase ClearAccess, into its system.

Chatter has it that Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) and Blackstone (NYSE:BX) could be joining forces to make an offer for private equity WM Bolthouse Farms.

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