Mergers and Acquisitions Recap: ConAgra’s Country Sausage, Ilumina Battles Roche, RIMM Hopes Grim

The rebound in U.S. property prices has prompted Australia’s Westfield (WFGPY.PK) to sell eight malls here for $1.15 billion, with Starwood Capital buying seven of them for $1 billion.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) adds country sausage to its frozen breakfast offerings, as it purchases Odom’s Tennessee Pride for an unreported amount. The transaction is expected to close in 45 days.

Don’t Miss: Here’s Why Roche Dropped Its Illumina Bid.

Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) wins a battle on Wednesday in its struggle against a hostile takeover by Roche (RHHBY.PK), but the war is expected to continue. Illumnia shareholders elected the four company nominees to its board, in a sign that they are not amenable to Roche’s bid of $51 per share, and the latter now says that this offer will not be extended: “We do not believe that a price above Roche’s offer for Illumina of would be in the interest of Roche’s shareholders.”

Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) gets another high end brand to accompany its collection of luxury auto makers, including Lamborghini, Bugatti and Bentley, as its Audi unit affirms that it will acquire the Italian high-performance motorcycle maker Ducati from Investindustrial Group. Although the price of the deal is undisclosed, a previous report had it near €860 million, or $1.12 billion.

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and other phone vendors in difficulty might not find buyers, opines Tero Kuittinen, as he says that ‘every major merger and acquisition deal in this space over the last decade has been disastrous.’ The analyst points to the linkups of Sony/Ericsson, H-P/Palm, and BenQ/Siemens as all being ‘fiascos’ and remarks that “people are starting to suspect there is no money in smartphone manufacturing outside of Apple and Samsung.”

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Don’t Miss: RIM Shifts Focus to Middle East.