Mergers & Acquisitions: ING, Lloyds Face Government Mandated De-Mergers
TD Ameritrade Holdings (NASDAQ:AMTD) is considering a strategic M&A with E TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC). AMTD directors will meet Tuesday to discuss buying the brokerage company, whose largest shareholder, Citadel LLC, started pressuring the company to sell last week.
The ING Group (NYSE:ING) announced Monday that it would be selling its Latin America insurance unit to Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana in a $3.9 billion deal. As terms of its government bailout, the Dutch financial firm is required to separate its insurance and banking services. ING plans to spin off its remaining insurance operations through two separate public offerings, one for its United States group, and one that includes both its European and Asian divisions.
Lloyds’ (NYSE:LYG) proposed sale of 632 branches has only received two formal offers, from NBNK Investments (NBNK) and Co-operative Financial Services, ahead of its first bid deadline for the assets. Co-operative Financial’s bid has been called “lackluster” and its viability has been questioned as the firm prepares for the departure of its CEO on Friday. As a result, Lloyds is considering floating the branches to create a separate company. Lloyds is being forced to sell the assets as part of a European competition ruling on its merger with HBOS at the height of the financial crisis. As the result of subsequent bailouts, British taxpayers have a 41% stake in the firm.
Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) has taken its $3.2 billion offer for Transatlantic Holdings (NYSE:TRH) directly to shareholders in an attempt quash Transatlantic’s planned $3.2 billion merger with Allied World Assurance (NYSE:AWH). In a merger with Allied, Transatlantic would maintain a majority share in the new company, while merging with Validus would give Transatlantic a minority share.
Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) is expected to receive offers from Blackstone (NYSE:BX), Stifel Financial (NYSE:SF), Apollo (NASDAQ:APO) and other private equity firms for its Morgan Keegan brokerage unit, valued at $1.5 billion. The Birmingham, Alabama-based bank has yet to pay back its $3.5 billion TARP bailout, and hired Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) last month to explore the possibility of a sale in order to raise funds.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has bought gesture recognition software and patents currently licensed to companies like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony (NYSE:SNE) for their gaming systems from GestureTek. The acquisition is expected to improve Qualcomm’s smartphone product portfolio.
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NCR Corp. (NYSE:NCR) subsidiary Ranger Acquisition has commenced its tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of Radiant Systems (NASDAQ:RADS) for $1.2 billion, or $28 a share. RADS makes point-of-sale systems for the hospitality and specialty retail industries, and is expected to help NCR add a “third core industry vertical” to the company, which already has finance and retail offerings.