Mergers & Acquisitions Cheat Sheet: Google, Apple, Citigroup and More

Providence Equity Partners has bought software company Blackboard (NASDAQ:BBBB) for $45 a share, $1.64 billion plus $130 million in debt, after months of speculation that Blackboard was looking to be acquired.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) is rumored to be in talks with Leucadia National (NYSE:LUK) and Centerbridge Capital over a sale of its OneMain consumer-financial services unit, formerly known as CitiFinancial. The deal could bring in as much as $1 billion for Citigroup.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) was outbid in an auctioning of now-defunct telecommunications equipment maker Nortel‘s 6,000 patents. Google bid $900 million and has remained the top bidder since April, but ultimately lost out to a consortium of companies including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), Sony (NYSE:SNE), Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), and EMC Corp. (NYSE:EMC), bidding a combined $4.5 billion.

Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (NYSE:SNI) has received a $1 billion buyback authorization. Scripps will buy 6.4 million shares for $300 million from the Edward W. Scripps Trust that holds 93% of the Cincinnati-based company’s voting power. The other $700 million worth of shares will be purchased privately or on the open market.

French utility giant GDF Suez SA (EPA:GSZ) plans to divest itself of about $14 billion in assets by 2013. The company plans to steer clear of any large mergers in the near future. “For now, we focus on organic growth,” said Chief Executive Gérard Mestrallet in an interview. “We might consider small and medium acquisitions in the future, but they will be specifically targeted.”

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