Mergers & Acquisitions: Peabody Energy, ArcelorMittal, and Validus Holdings Are Getting Hostile

HSBC (NYSE:HBC) will sell 185 of its branches to First Niagara Bank (NASDAQ:FNFG) for $1 billion as part of its agreement with the U.K. to pare down U.S. operations. First Niagara may sell off some of the branches that don’t fall in line with its business strategy and to avoid antitrust issues. Today HSBC reported that it would cut 30,000 jobs as it retreats from countries where it is struggling to compete.

Lansdowne Partners, a major European hedge fund, has sold its entire $850 million stake in Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), citing concerns for the future success of the firm as new banking regulations are put in place. Lansdowne exited the banking industry in 2008, just ahead of the financial crisis.

Peabody Energy (NYSE:BCU) and ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) have taken their bid for Macarthur Coal (ASX:MCC)hostile, after failing to reach an agreement over a proposed $5.2 billion deal. Peabody and Arcelor have not upped their offer, prompting the Macarthur board to tell its shareholders not to take action on the proposal.

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Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) is still pursuing a hostile takeover of Transatlantic Holdings (NYSE:TRH) after Transatlantic filed a lawsuit against the company in the Delaware Court of Chancery in an attempt to block the $3.2 billion hostile bid. Despite Transatlantic’s complaint that Validus misrepresented its offer, Validus maintains that it was superior to a competing offer from Allied World Assurance (NYSE:AWH).