Qualcomm May Invest in Sharp, Sony Raises Funds for Olympus: M&A Weekly Recap

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to this week’s M&A headlines:

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Leucadia National Corporation (NYSE:LUK) will merge with Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE:JEF) through an agreement announced on Monday. Through the terms, all Jefferies shareholders distinct from Leucadia, which owns some 28.6 percent of the outstanding shares, will receive 0.81 of a share of the latter’s common stock for every share of Jefferies they now own. Following the close of the merger in the first quarter of next year, Jefferies will still operate as a full-service global investment banking company in its current form.

On Monday, Maryland-based Annaly Capital Management (NYSE:NLY) said that it seeks to acquire any outstanding shares of CreXus Investment Corp. (NYSE:CXS) that it had not already bought and is offering $12.50 per share, which constitutes a bonus of 13 percent over the Friday close. Annaly currently owns 12.4 percent of CreXus and the proposed purchase will be in the form of a cash transaction.

The Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE:SHW) is purchasing Consorcio Comex, a coatings and paint major based in Mexico, D.F. The acquisition is all cash with the buyer paying about $2.34 billion which includes assumed debt. The privately-held Comex was founded 60 years ago and currently has operations in the United States, Canada and in Latin America.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) purchases Earthmine, which is a mapping company that specializes in producing three-dimensional maps with street views. The transaction should close by the end of 2012, but Nokia spokesman Dour Dawson did not release the financial details. Earthmine is based in Berkeley, California.

In a move to reach the Upper Beaver project in the Kirkland Lake region of Ontario, Osisko Mining (OSKFF.PK) acquires Queenston Mining (QNMNF.PK) on a fully diluted basis. Osisko Chief executive Sean Roosen said on a conference call that, “We thought the opportunity was now … we saw it (Upper Beaver) as a strategic asset.” Presently, Queenston holds a huge land parcel around the lake through which it mines gold with more than 3.5 million ounces produced from 1913 up to the mid-1980s.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) will divest equipment to Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ:CLNE). The latter is currently building out a line of liquefied natural gas fueling stations for use by American truck drivers and is purchasing two GE-made MicroLNG facilities through which to supply liquefied natural gas for a network of 70 natural gas fueling stations it’s launching at truck stops on interstate highways in 2012, according to a company statement released on Tuesday.

Since discussions with private-equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC stalled out, KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) has, for the present, abandoned its efforts to sell itself, say sources close to the case. The firm had been talking with potential suitors since the summer and had reached the advanced discussions level. KAR remains majority-owned by a number of private-equity companies.

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The embattled Sharp Corp (SHCAF.PK)(SHCAY.PK) may get a hand up in the form of an investment from two U.S. companies, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), according to sources on Wednesday. Financials of a possible deal are as of yet unreported, but what is known is that Sharp is seeking to turn itself around with small displays with a new incarnation of pricey laptops as a vehicle for a new market. A deal, at least with Qualcomm, might emerge by the end of November, said a source who wished to remain anonymous.

The steel producer Posco (NYSE:PKX), which is based in South Korea, is part of a consortium that wants to purchase an approximate $1 billion interest in the iron ore miner ArcelorMittal Mines Canada, which is controlled by ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT), according to a Monday report in Money Today. The group itself is aiming for a 10 percent interest in the company, while Posco seeks to invest between $200 million and $300 million; the latter is being advised by Morgan Stanley.

It was reported on Wednesday that the Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) will raise ¥150 billion, or $1.9 billion, with the issuance of convertible bonds. Around 33 percent of the proceeds will go for the funding of the firm’s stake in Olympus Corporation (OCPNF.PK)(OCPNY.PK). Other uses for the remaining cash will be to pay for Sony’s purchase of Gaikai Inc., along with planned improvements in CMOS image sensors and debt repayment.

The buyout company Apollo Global Management (NASDAQ:APO) leads the other bidders in the potential acquisition of Aviva’s (NYSE:AV) domestic life insurance and annuities division, as it positions to top the offer of Harbinger Group (NYSE:HRG), according to sources who would know, who said that Apollo is pushing a joint bid with Guggenheim Partners LLC. Aviva Chief Financial Officer Pat Regan remarked last week that such a deal would transpire at a “substantial discount” to the unit’s book value, excluding debt, of £2.4 billion, or $3.8 billion.

News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWS) is said to be nearing an agreement to acquire a minority interest in the New Regional network YES, which is a broadcaster of sports, say persons who are acquainted with the talks involved, who added that an announcement could come in the next few days.

The steel producer ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) will divest its 50 percent interest in the South African manganese explorer Kalagadi Manganese for 3.9 billion rand, or $447 million. The move is a part of its program of selling off its non-core assets to pay down debt. The company, which comprises 6 percent of global steel production, announced on Thursday that it will sell its invstment to Mrs. Daphne Mashile-Nkosi or her nominee, which might be a consortium of shareholders from Kalahari Resources or other third parties.

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The Israeli generics drug producer Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE:TEVA) is said by Calcalist financial daily, to be the top bidder to purchase the Irish biopharmaceutical firm Amarin Corporation (NASDAQ:AMRN). The publication also reported that the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca Group (NYSE:AZN) is  considering a purchase of Amarin, whose current market value on Nasdaq stands at $1.6 billion. Spokespersons for both Teva and AstraZeneca declined comment.

Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) has refuted the rumor that it would divest its interest in Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) to the Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, as the former states that it wishes to stay a long-term shareholder in the company. Meanwhile, Chief Financial Officer Angel Vila stated at a Morgan Stanley TMT conference that Telecom Italia did not require a hike in its capital and went on to comment that ,“We are stable investors in Telecom Italia, and we are not considering monetizing the stake in Telco.”

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is now a minority investor in the streaming music service Spotify which move represents a new phase of financing that will bring in $100 million and at the same time bring the value of the firm to approximately $3 billion. According to an inside source, Spotify has finished the financing round. Of the new infusion of cash, 50 percent comes from Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and Coke is supplying around10 percent. Fidelity Investments is reportedly contributing 15 percent, with the remaining 25 percent coming from Spotify’s existing investors.

A top provider of essential hygiene and sanitation products and services, Swisher Hygiene (NASDAQ:SWSH), divested its Choice Environmental Services subsidiary on Friday to Waste Services of Florida, which is  a unit of Progressive Waste Solutions (NYSE:BIN), for around $123.3 million in a cash transaction. Through the terms, the acquisition price can be raised by as much as $1.75 million once a predetermined revenue target is met.

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It might be finally done. United States antitrust regulators approved Hertz Global Holdings’  (NYSE:HTZ) $2.6 billion acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (NYSE:DTG) on Thursday, following nearly a half-decade. Regulators have always been concerned that such a deal could limit competition. To that effect, Hertz will divest 62 Advantage brand outlets along with the rights to operate 29 Dollar Thrifty on airport locations, according to the Federal Trade Commission in a statement.

Contingent upon how its sale to its American rival United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) proceeds, the Dutch delivery group TNT Express is divesting its airlines operations to ASL Aviation Group so as to satisfy the takeover agreement’s terms to comply with rules set by the European Commission that disallow a non-EU entity from owning or controlling as much as 50 percent of an EU airline operator. In October, UPS was warned by the Commission in regards to the proposed unified entity’s high market share.

BioTime (AMEX:BTX) and its recently created subsidiary BioTime Acquisition Corporation jointly announced Friday in a release that they entered a non-binding letter of intent with Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN), which contains broad terms of a potential agreement through which Geron would contribute to BioTime its intellectual property and other assets linked with Geron’s discontinued human embryonic stem cell programs. For its part, BioTime would contribute $5 million in cash, $30 million worth of common shares, warrants to purchase 8 million common shares of BioTime at a pre-specified price, the rights to use certain human embryonic stem cell lines, plus minority stakes in 2 BioTimes subsidiaries. Additionally, a private investor would invest $5 million in cash in the firm.

In a Friday press release, Nike (NYSE:NKE) said that it will sell its Cole Haan affiliate brand to Apax Partners at a price of $570 million in a transaction that should close early next year. Nike  President & Chief Executive Mark Parker said that, “The decision to divest of Cole Haan allows us to sharpen our focus on opportunities with the highest potential for strong returns and to make sure the brands within the NIKE, Inc. portfolio are the most complementary to the NIKE Brand.”

The United Kingdom consumer products entity Reckitt Benckiser Group (RBGPF.PK) tops Bayer’s (BAYZF.PK) agreed-upon $1.2 billion offer  to buy the American vitamin maker Schiff Nutrition International (SHF) with an even higher bid of $1.4 billion. The move ignites a bidding competition for Schiff, whose lineup of vitamins and nutritional supplements like MegaRed and Move Free is alluring to firms looking out for stable sources of growth. Reckitt said late Thursday that it would offer $42 in cash for each Schiff share which would represent  a 23.5 percent premium over the $34 that Bayer agreed to pay on October 30th.

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In a Friday press release, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) announced its purchase of Gale Technologies, a leading supplier of infrastructure automation software that permits organizations to streamline their deployment of on-premise and hybrid clouds for self-service access to infrastructure. In addition, Dell reported the creation of its Enterprise Systems & Solutions organization which is concentrated upon the delivery of converged and enterprise workload topologies and solutions aligned with Dell’s Enterprise vision. Financials of the transaction were not released.