Mergers and Acquisitions Recap: Warren Buffett Leads Deals and Rumors of the Week

Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison is reportedly interested in buying Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), according to the New York Post. A source says the deal is “inevitable” if HP’s share price continues to drop after the announcement last week that the company planned to sell its hardware division to focus exclusively on its software business, which has been growing more rapidly and has had higher profit margins.

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Australian brewer Foster’s Group (ASX:FGL) said Tuesday that it plans to return at least $525 million to investors, potentially through a share buyback, in order to prevent a hostile takeover by SABMiller (LON:SAB). The news means SABMiller will likely have to raise its bid if it wants to effect a deal with shareholders.

Deutsche Boerse’s (ETR:DB1) proposed purchase of NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) has been approved by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment. The deal still has to get past competition authorities in the U.S. and Europe, with decisions likely by year’s end.

ConvaTec has reportedly bid 40 billion Swedish kroner ($6.3 billion) for Kinetic Concepts (NYSE:KCI), well above the Apex offering of $5 billion. However, while Apex has been outbid, Convatec doesn’t have committed financing, which may make the Apex offer more attractive to Kinetic.

Omnicare (NYSE:OCR) has offered $441 million, or $15 a share, to buy all outstanding shares of smaller rival PharMerica (NYSE:PMC). The offer is a 37.2% premium from Monday’s close. While Omnicare is currently pursuing a negotiated deal, CEO John Figueroa says he will take the deal directly to shareholders if necessary.

Samsung has stated that it has no interest in acquiring Hewlett-Packard’s (NYSE:HPQ) PC division, which H-P announced last week it was looking to sell or spinoff. Samsung is one of four Korean electronics companies rumored to be interested in the business, including Acer (TPE:2353), Lenovo (HKG:0992), and Toshiba (TYO:6502).

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ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH) stocks got a boost yesterday on rumors that both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Intel(NASDAQ:INTC) might be interested in taking over the software and technology systems manufacturer. However, the fact that a deal with Intel would face both regulatory challenges and customer backlash, and that a deal with Apple could alienate ARM’s customers while providing limited value to the buyer has the stock forfeiting yesterday’s gains, has the stock paring Tuesday’s gains.

Australia’s Macarthur Coal (ASX:MCC), in an attempt thwart a $5 billion takeover offer from Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) and ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT), which Macarthur thinks is too low, is playing up its growth prospects, hoping to lure in higher bids before Macarthur has to respond to the current bid on September 1.

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú, by some accounts the world’s richest man,has raised his stake in The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) to just over 7%, or 10.6 million Class A shares, according to a regulatory filing Monday. Slim and his family hold warrants to buy another 16 million shares, which would bring their holdings to 16%.

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According to China’s Commerce MinistryGoogle (NASDAQ:GOOG) has yet to file an application for regulatory approval of its planned $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings (NYSE:MMI). Chinese law stipulates than any enterprise running a business in China (NYSE:FXI) with annual revenues of 10 billion yuan or more globally and 400 million yuan in China must seek government approval for any proposed acquisition.

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will acquire CloudSwitch, a developer of software that allows companies to move applications to cloud platforms more easily. Systems similar to that of Verizon’s Terremark are Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Azure.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway will invest $5 billion in Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) to keep the company afloat after subprime mortgage-related losses left the lender low on capital. Bank of America announced the investment Thursday, saying it would sell Buffett cumulative perpetual preferred stock, which pays an annual dividend of 6%, and give him a warrant to buy 700 million shares at roughly $7.14 each.

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The FCC is asking AT&T (NYSE:T) for more information on the carrier’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, particularly on how the acquisition would allow AT&T to expand high-speed wireless service in the U.S. The request follows an earlier AT&T filing to the FCC that showed the carrier could deploy high-speed Long-Term Evolution, or LTE, coverage to 97% of the U.S. population for only $3.8 billion, a fraction of the purchase price for T-Mobile, thus seemingly tearing a hole in AT&T’s argument that its acquisition of T-Mobile is necessary to expand its wireless network to the benefit of the American consumer.

Hulu’s owners — Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA), Disney(NYSE:DIS), and Providence Equity Partners – have delayed the deadline for initial bids in the auction for the streaming-video service until the end of the week in order to allow interested parties to review the site’s financial information. Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), Google(NASDAQ:GOOG), DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are among the parties expected to bid on the site. Hulu’s owners hope to raise at least $2 billion from the sale. Initial bids were originally due Wednesday.