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 GĂ©rard Mestrallet in an interview. “We might consider small and medium acquisitions in the future, but they will be specifically targeted.”

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