M&A Insights: News Corp LOVES Disney’s ESPN, Ancestry.com RUMORS

Shares of the genealogy major Ancestry.com (NASDAQ:ACOM) move way up Wednesday, following a Bloomberg report that the firm is mulling selling itself, and has recruited the aid of the technology banker Frank Quattrone to find suitors. Sources are upbeat that private equity companies will exhibit some interest in Ancestry, even in the face of its diminished valuation due to worries about its falling subscriber growth. Analyst Susan Etlinger opines that an offer might come from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) or Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

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News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) acquires Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) investment in Asian joint venture ESPN Star Sports. The transaction (financials undisclosed) will entail a new name for the Asian sports network, while Disney intends to use other branded ESPN networks that it operates, to broadcast sports in Asia.

Molson Coors’ (NYSE:TAP) purchase of the east European brewer StarBev from CVC, has been okayed by the European Union. The price of the transaction amounts to €2.65 billion ($3.3 billion), and the EU says that it neither triggers antitrust issues, nor does it substantially affect the market. The buyout conforms to the ongoing pattern of top beverage firms acquiring emerging-market plays in a growth search.

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