Research in Motion and 16 Stocks Making M&A News This Week

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to this week’s top mergers and acquisition news:

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Research in Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM)

In a Monday interview with Die Welt, Chief Executive Thorsten Heins of RIM said that his firm will explore strategic alliances with other tech companies once it has introduced its new BlackBerry 10 models, adding that the group’s strategic review might lead to the divestiture of the company’s hardware production or the sale of licenses to its software, among other options. Heins remarked that “The main thing for now is to successfully introduce Blackberry 10, then we’ll see.”

Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming of Lenovo says that his company is searching out potential buyout targets and alliances, among which include a possible arrangement with Research In Motion, according to Bloomberg, from an interview with Ming at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.

LM Ericsson Telephone Company (NASDAQ:ERIC)

Ericsson and STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) have retained JPMorgan to explore a divestiture of their cellphone-chip joint venture, ST-Ericsson, say inside sources to the Wall Street Journal.

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN)

It is thought that the online deals provider Groupon has purchased Glassmap at an undisclosed price. Glassmap’s tech permits smartphone users to share their current location on a real-time basis with family and friends.

AT&T (NYSE:T)

AT&T will acquire the domestic retail wireless unit operated under the Alltel name by ATN’s subsidiary, Allied Wireless Communications Corporation of Atlantic Tele-Network, which is a telecommunications service supplier to rural, niche and other under-served markets. This is an all-cash transaction valued at around $780 million.

United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX)

The company will divest the former Goodrich Corporation pump and engine control systems business to Triumph Group, as required by regulators as a condition of UTC’s purchase of Goodrich Corporation. The transaction should close in the first quarter and is subject to regulatory approvals and the usual closing conditions.

YM BioSciences (AMEX:YMI)

On Friday, YM said that its leading proxy advisory firms Institutional Investor Services  and Glass, Lewis & Co. have recommended that shareholders of YM BioSciences okay the previously announced plan under which a wholly owned subsidiary of Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) will acquire YM in a cash transaction for $2.95 per share. The initial waiting period under the United States Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 has expired without any action by the Federal Trade Commission or the Antitrust Division of theUnited States Department of Justice.

Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR)

Sprint Nextel’s proposed offer for  the wireless service provider Clearwire is getting more and more flack from shareholders of the latter. Investors who control a total of 29 percent of the outstanding minority shares are not at all happy with Sprint’s $2.2 billion bid ($2.97 per share) and are pushing for a higher offer. Already, the would-be buyer holds more that 50 percent of Clearwire, but an actual buyout requires approval from holders of just over 50 percent of the firm’s minority shares.

Banco Santander (NYSE:SAN)

Santander is thinking about making a $3.2 billion offer for the United Kingdom division of National Australia Bank, so as  to step up its British expansion, said sources to The Sunday Times, which also reported that executives in London and Madrid have been examining such a deal subsequent to the collapse of talks to acquire a network of 316 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland Group last October.

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE)

Life Technologies is buying the privately-held Dutch firm BAC BV, though transaction terms were not reported. The purchase  enlarges the buyer’s capabilities and product offerings in the expanding market of biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing. BAC BV is a European leader in the discovery, development and manufacture of protein purification products.

Allergan (NYSE:AGN)

It was announced Tuesday night that Allegan will pay almost $1 billion for MAP Pharmaceuticals and obtain full control of its experimental treatment for migraine headaches. The transaction price of $25  per share in cash marks a 60 percent bonus over MAP’s close on Tuesday at $15.58. The deal is valued at $958 million in total, inplying that Allergan has considerable faith that MAP’s new migraine treatment will win FDA approval by the agency’s deadline of April 15th.

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Western Digital Corporation (NYSE:WDC)

Western Digital expanded its product portfolio, addressing small- and medium-sized units from the network backup software and appliances from Arkeia Software, a privately-held data protection firm which was recently acquired. In addition, WD said that the Arkeia Network Backup version 10.0 software, for which a release candidate was delivered in December, became generally available on Tuesday.

OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE:OMX)

Analyst Gary Balter at Credit Suisse has pointed out factors that indicate a merger between OfficeMax and Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) could be more likely than not in the near term. Some reasons include the fact that Starboard acknowledged a stake in the latter and added to it in November to 14.8 percent, recent share appreciation in OfficeMax, the exit of Office Depot’s COO Kevin Peters, and OfficeMax’s 20.4 percent interest in Boise Cascade which could hold around $4 per share of value which might be able to be put toward integration and closing costs.

Natural Resource Partners (NYSE:NRP)

The company reported on Wednesday that has purchased a 48.51 percent general partner interest in OCI Wyoming and 20 percent of the common shares and all of the preferred shares of the latter from subsidiaries of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. Natural Resources paid a net $292.5 million for the interests after the usual closing adjustments to the acquisition price of $310 million. The purchase was financed via a term loan of$200 million, the issuance of $76.5 million in equity, including a general partner contribution of $1.5 million, along with $16 million in cash.

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Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (NYSE:KKR)

The global investment firm KKR has purchased a 24.9 percent in the investment manager Nephila Capital. Shares will be purchased pro rata from Nephila management and from Nephila’s minority stakeholder, Man Group, which will retain an 18.75 percent interest. Nephila is an investment manager focused on investing in natural catastrophe and weather risk. Terms of the transaction were not reported.

ICG Group (NASDAQ:ICGE)

ICG Group said that one of its consolidated firms, Investor Force Holdings, will be acquired by MSCI I. Through the terms, MSCI will buy InvestorForce in a $23.5 million cash transaction, which should close in the first quarter. Upon closing of the transaction, ICG will post a gain of about $15.4 million on the divestiture of its InvestorForce interest and the release of any escrowed proceeds to ICG will bring additional gains.

NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX)

Chief Executive Duncan Niederauer said that his firm will not divest its European business so as to compete following a planned merger with IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE:ICE), but intends rather to spin off Euronext, says The Wall Street Journal, which added that both Nasdaq OMX and the London Stock Exchange have placed informal inquiries about acquiring Euronext, citing inside sources.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO)

Cisco sells its Home Networking Business Unit, along with its proven products, tech, Linksys brand, and talented team, to the private-equity firm Belkin, based in Playa Vista, California, with operations and sales in more than 100 countries. The firm has worldwide operations, and its headquarters are located in Irvine, California. Terms of the transaction were not divulged, but it should close in March.

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