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$MAA to Buy $CLP in a Stock Deal Worth $2.15 Billion

“NEW YORK (AP) — Real estate investment trust Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. is buying peer Colonial Properties Trust Inc. in an all-stock deal, expanding its presence in the South and Southwest portion of the U.S.

The combined company will include 285 properties and some of its biggest markets will include Atlanta, Houston and Orlando, Fla. The offer valued Colonial shares at about $2.15 billion at Friday’s closing prices.

MAA shareholders will own 56 percent of the combined company upon completion of the deal whileColonial Properties shareholders will get 44 percent.

The combined company will keep the MAA name and its corporate headquarters will remain in Memphis, Tenn.

Each Colonial share will be converted into 0.36 of a share of MAA. At Friday’s closing MAA price, that would be worth $24.46. That is an 11 percent premium over Colonial’s closing price of $22.11 on Friday….”

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$ARCT Will Purchase a Portfolio of Retail Properties From $GE for $1.45 Billion

“(Reuters) – American Realty Capital Trust IV (ARCT) said it would buy a portfolio of retail properties from General Electric Co’s financial arm for $1.45 billion as it looks to cut its dependence on its top 10 tenants.

ARCT, a U.S. real estate investment trust owned by the American Realty Capital group, said the purchase would reduce net operating income from its top 10 tenants to 39.5 percent of the total from 82.5 percent….”

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$DISH Starts a Bidding War With $S for $CLWR


“(Reuters) – Dish Network Corp said it raised its offer for Clearwire Corp to $4.40 per share in cash, topping Sprint Nextel Corp’s bid.

Sprint raised its buyout offer for wireless service provider Clearwire to $3.40 per share on May 21 under pressure from activist shareholders.

(Reporting by Garima Goel in Bangalore; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)”

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$BRKA’s Power Production Unit Offers $5.6B for $NVE

“MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., the power-production unit at Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), agreed to buy NV Energy Inc. (NVE) for about $5.6 billion in cash to expand in Nevada.

The acquisition will make MidAmerican the largest U.S. utility owner by customer count, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The Berkshire unit will pay $23.75 per share, 23 percent more than NV Energy’s $19.28 closing price today, the companies said in a statement.

Buffett has been boosting investments in capital-intensive businesses as he seeks to allocate funds at his Omaha, Nebraska-based company, which had a cash pile of $49.1 billion as of March 31. MidAmerican will have assets of about $66 billion after the completion of the deal, which is expected in the first quarter of next year, according to the statement.

“By joining forces with MidAmerican, we will gain access to additional operational and financial resources,” Michael Yackira, chief executive officer of Las Vegas-based NV Energy, said in the statement.

The purchase is the largest announced acquisition of a U.S. regulated electricity company since Duke Energy Corp. (DUK)bought Progress Energy Inc. last July…..”

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Chinese Meat Producer, Shuanghui, Agrees to Buy $SFD for $4.7 B

“(Reuters) – China’s Shuanghui International agreed on Wednesday to buy Smithfield Foods (SFD.N) for $4.7 billion in cash, in a deal that will increase the flow of U.S.-made pork to the world’s largest consumer of the meat.

The agreement comes after Smithfield’s largest shareholder agitated for change at the company, including a call to break up the Virginia-based pork producer.

The deal will be subject to review by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, Smithfield said in a statement, which will come at a time of testy relations between the U.S. and China on matters of cross-border transactions.

China is also the third-largest market for U.S. pork – a brand of meat in high demand lately, as China suffers through another series of embarrassing food safety scandals, involving everything from rats to pigs.

The price of Shuanghui’s offer is $34 per share, a 31 percent premium to Smithfield’s stock price. Shuanghui will assume $2.4 billion of Smithfield’s debt

Shuanghui has promised to maintain Smithfield’s operations, staff and management. The thrust of the deal is to send the U.S. made pork to China, a factor that one person familiar with the matter said would help during Shuanghui’s CFIUS review…..”

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SoftBank Gets Approval for their $20 Billion Takeover of $S

SoftBank Corp. (9984)’s $20.1 billion takeover of Sprint Nextel Corp. (S), the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, got national-security clearance from U.S. officials.

Softbank was notified yesterday by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. that it has completed its investigation of the proposed transaction and found no unresolved national-security issues, according to a statement today. The deal is expected to close July 1, Softbank said.

Dish Network Corp. (DISH), which has made a $25.5 billion counteroffer for Sprint, has said allowing SoftBank to control a U.S. phone network would compromise national security. SoftBank uses some network gear made by Chinese manufacturers, and Sprint’s joint-venture partner Clearwire Corp. (CLWR) has Huawei Technologies Co. equipment in part of its network. Both carriers have said they plan to discontinue purchases and dismantle network equipment provided by Chinese companies.

“It’s positive for SoftBank’s share price as Dish has criticized this,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co. which oversees the equivalent of $4.8 billion. “One political barrier is cleared and it’s a plus for SoftBank.”

Shares Rise…”

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$VRX to Buy Bausch & Lomb for $8.7 Billion

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Internationalsaid on Monday it agreed to buy Bausch & Lomb from Warburg Pincus for $8.7 billion, a cash deal set to vault the Canadian company into the upper ranks of the global pharmaceutical sector.

The purchase strengthens Valeant’s offerings in ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, contact lenses and lens care products, along with adding ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments to its portfolio.

Valeant shares rose nearly 8 percent in Toronto to C$93.71, touching an all-time high. It had gained 13 percent on Friday following reports a deal was in the works.

The company’s stock has multiplied six times over in about three years, with Valeant racking up some 60 deals since 2008.

Bausch & Lomb is by far Valeant’s biggest acquisition to date, and will place it roughly among the 15 largest global pharmaceutical companies, said Valeant Chief Executive Michael Pearson in an interview with Reuters.

“This is a 160-year old company and brand name. I think we’ll be able to really leverage that,” he said, adding that the deal will boost Valeant’s 2013 earnings.

Talks with Bausch & Lomb have been going on and off for a few years but intensified in recent weeks, Pearson said, adding that opthalmology is attractive for its growth prospects and Bausch & Lomb’s large proportion of sales directly to consumers is also appealing.

Laval, Quebec-based Valeant plans to keep all three of Bausch & Lomb’s segments of contact lenses, pharmaceuticals and surgical instruments, said Pearson, putting to bed some market speculation from Friday that the company may seek to sell the surgical instruments arm.

The Bausch & Lomb deal also gives Valeant the large scale of operations that it lacked in China and emerging markets like the Middle East, Pearson said….”

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$AZN to Buy $OMTH for $443 Million

“LONDON (Reuters) – AstraZeneca is to buy Omthera Pharmaceuticals for as much as $443 million to build up its cardiovascular drug business, a priority area for Britain’s second-biggest drugmaker.

The acquisition of the U.S.-based specialist in fish oil-derived medicine underscores a drive by newChief Executive Pascal Soriot to revive AstraZeneca’s fortunes through a series of bolt-on deals.

It is his second purchase in the cardiovascular field, following the acquisition last month of AlphaCore Pharma, a small early-stage U.S. biotechnology company.

The latest transaction pitches AstraZeneca into competition with rivals including GlaxoSmithKlinethat already sell heart-friendly fish oil drugs.

Omthera’s leading drug has already completed final-stage clinical tests and has the potential to be combined with AstraZeneca’s blockbuster cholesterol fighter Crestor. Helvea analyst Odile Rundquist said the deal was “a good move as it perfectly complements AstraZeneca’s cardiovascular portfolio”.

AstraZeneca’s sales and profits are falling as older medicines lose patent protection and the company badly needs new products to replace former big sellers like the antipsychotic Seroquel, which lost exclusivity last year.

AstraZeneca said on Tuesday it had entered into a definitive agreement to buy Omthera for $12.70 per share, or approximately $323 million, a premium of 88 percent to Omthera’s closing price on Friday.

In addition, Omthera shareholders will get “contingent value rights” (CVRs) of up to approximately $4.70 per share, or $120 million in total, depending on the success of Omthera’s experimental drug Epanova, for treating patients with very high triglycerides, a type of blood fat that is bad for the heart…..”

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$BLK Gobbles Up MGPA to Expand Real Estate Holding in Asia

BlackRock Inc. (BLK), the world’s largest asset manager, agreed to buy private-equity property investment advisory firm MGPA for an undisclosed amount to expand real-estate business in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

MGPA manages about $12 billion, focusing on real estate funds management, co-investments and separate-account mandates for institutional investors, BlackRock said today in a statement. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter and won’t materially affect BlackRock’searnings per share, the New York-based firm said….”

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$ACT to Buy $WRCX for $5 Billion in Stock

“(Reuters) – Generic drugmaker Actavis Inc, which has been the subject of takeover speculation, plans to buy specialty pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott Plc for $5 billion in stock.

The companies said the deal had an enterprise value, including debt, of $8.5 billion.

The move comes as Actavis has spurned approaches from Canadian pharmaceutical companyValeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and Mylan Inc. Analysts have said that if Actavis were to buy Warner Chilcott, it would kill the chances of its being taken over.

Warner Chilcott shareholders will receive 0.16 share of the combined company. The companies said that would equate to $20.08 per share, based on Actavis’ closing share price of $125.50 on Friday….”

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$YHOO Plans to Purchase Tumblr for $1.1 Billion

“SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo is buying online blogging forum Tumblr for $1.1 billion as CEO Marissa Mayer tries to rejuvenate an Internet icon that had fallen behind the times.

The deal announced Monday represents Mayer’s boldest move yet since she left Google 10 months ago to lead Yahoo’s latest comeback attempt. It marks Yahoo’s most expensive acquisition since the Sunnyvale, Calif., company bought online search engine Overture a decade ago for $1.3 billion in cash and stock.

Yahoo is paying all cash for Tumblr, dipping into some of its remaining stash from a $7.6 billion windfall reaped last year from selling about half of its stake in Chinese Internet company Alibaba Holdings Group. Taking over Tumblr will devour about one-fifth of the $5.4 billion in cash that Yahoo had in its accounts at the end of March.

Yahoo also says that “per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business” with David Karp staying on as CEO.

Tumblr, a service started six years by Karp, a high school dropout, now figures to play a pivotal role in Mayer’s attempt to reshape Yahoo. To take on the challenge, Mayer ended a highly successful 13-year career at Google, which she helped surpass Yahoo as the Internet’s most influential company. Since coming to Yahoo, Mayer has concentrated on improving employee morale, redesigning services and bringing in more engineering talent through a series of small acquisitions that have collectively cost less than $50 million….”

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$ELN Will Pay $1B For a Stake in an Irish Drugmaker, $THRX

Elan Corp. (ELN) agreed to pay $1 billion for a share of the royalties on new drugs fromTheravance Inc. (THRX) as the Irish drugmaker tries to persuade shareholders to spurn a takeover offer by Royalty Pharma.

Elan will receive 21 percent of the royalties earned by Theravance from GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) on the four respiratory medicines, and 20 percent of that income stream will be paid to Elan shareholders as a dividend, the Dublin-based company said in a statement today. The transaction is subject to shareholder approval, it said.

Elan is adopting an investment model pioneered by Pablo Legorreta, chief executive officer of Royalty Pharma, which has offered to buy Elan for about $5.7 billion. The company’s board last month unanimously rejected the takeover bid, advising shareholders not to take action. Elan plans to announce several more deals this year, Chief Executive Officer Kelly Martin said in a phone interview today.

“This is just one piece of the puzzle,” Martin said. “This deal allows us to invest our long-termcash flow into interesting clinical and commercial assets.”

Elan’s hunt for new assets stems from Biogen Idec Inc.’s Feb. 6 agreement to buy Elan’s stake in the Tysabri multiple sclerosis drug for $3.25 billion in cash plus future royalties. The sale transformed the Irish company into an investment vehicle, since it has no operations. Elan said at the time that it planned to use the cash for possible acquisitions and would return some of the proceeds to shareholders.

‘Risk Spectrum’….”

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$YHOO Expected to Make a Bid for Hulu

Yahoo! Inc. Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer is exploring whether to bid for the Hulu LLC streaming-TV service, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Mayer met this month with Hulu senior executives to learn more about the site, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Amazon.com Inc. has also expressed an interest in Hulu, this person said…”

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$BKS Gaps Up 30% on Nook Sale to $MSFT

“Microsoft is offering to pay $1 billion to buy the digital assets of Nook Media LLC, the digital book and college book joint venture with Barnes & Noble and other investors, according to internal documents we’ve obtained. In this plan, Microsoft would redeem preferred units in Nook Media, which also includes a college book division, leaving it with the digital operation — e-books, as well as Nook e-readers and tablets.

The documents also reveal that Nook Media plans to discontinue its Android-based tablet business by the end of its 2014 fiscal year as it transitions to a model where Nook content is distributed through apps on “third-party partner” devices. Speculation about the plan to discontinue the Nook surfaced in February. The documents we have are not clear on whether the third-party tablets would be Microsoft’s own Windows 8 devices, tablets made by others (including competing platforms) or both. Third-party tablets, according to the document, are due to get introduced in 2014.

Nook e-readers, meanwhile, do not appear to fall into the discontinuation pile immediately. Rather, they’re projected to have their own gradual, natural decline — following the general trend of consumers moving to tablets as all-purpose devices.

Microsoft and B&N representatives declined to comment for this story.

A deal to buy the digital assets of Nook Media is the natural next step for Microsoft, which first announced a plan to work with Barnes & Noble on its Nook devices and content in April 2012, ponying up $300 million at the time to help. That plan included an additional $180 million advance to develop content for its Windows 8 devices — which Nook has been doing.

To date, there have been 10 million Nook devices sold, including both tablets and e-readers, with more than 7 million active subscribers. Microsoft has seen limited interested in its Windows 8 devices (although it says it has sold more than 100 million licenses for the OS to date). Currently the Nook app is available on every major platform, including Android, iOS and Windows…..”

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The Cloud is in Full Force as $BMC Accepts Off to go Private

BMC Software Inc. (BMC) agreed to be taken private in a $6.9 billion deal by Bain Capital LLC and Golden Gate Capital after struggling to compete with newcomers better equipped to handle the shift toward cloud computing.

The buyout group, which includes Singapore’s GIC Special Investments Pte Ltd. and Insight Venture Partners, is taking control of BMC in the third-largest private-equity deal of 2013. The investors said yesterday that they will pay $46.25 a share in cash, a 13 percent premium to the closing price on March 4, before Bloomberg reported that BMC had drawn renewed takeover interest after failing to find an acquirer last year.

BMC, a Houston-based provider of software that keeps corporate computer networks running smoothly, gets about 40 percent of its sales from the lucrative business of managing powerfulmainframe computers from International Business Machines Corp. Yet it has had a harder time keeping up with rivals in the market for server software, which is expanding as companies rely more on programs delivered over the Web, fueling demand for data centers and the technology that runs them.

“They’ve been outpositioned by some of the growth companies out there,” said Joel Fishbein, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets. “The world’s changed from a technology perspective very dramatically, and they haven’t been able to keep up.”

The emergence of software delivered as a service via the so-called cloud has helped newer competitors such as ServiceNow Inc. and Splunk Inc. grab market share. BMC is also contending with traditional rivals CA, Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM. About a quarter of new ServiceNow customers are replacing BMC products, ServiceNow Chief Executive Officer Frank Slootman said in a recent interview….”

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Alibaba Buys an 18% Chunk of $SINA’s Social Network Platform, Stock Soars Pre-market

“(Reuters) – Sina Corp, China’s largest Internet portal and media website, said e-commerce company Alibaba Group has bought an 18 percent stake in its microblogging service Weibo for about $586 million, valuing Weibo at more than $3 billion.

The company has also granted Alibaba the option to increase its stake in Weibo to 30 percent within a stipulated time, which it did not specify.

Sina’s U.S.-listed shares jumped 17 percent to $58.85 in premarket trade on Monday…..”

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Bayer to Buy $CPTS for $1.1 B

“FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s Bayer AG has agreed to buy U.S. contraceptive devices makerConceptus for $1.1 billion, aiming to underpin its position as the world’s largest women’s healthcare provider,

Bayer, whose shares were down 2.3 percent by 0823 GMT, will launch a public tender offer to acquire all Conceptus shares for $31.00 each in cash, in an offer agreed with Conceptus’s management, Bayer said on Monday.

That is a premium of 19.7 percent over the stock’s closing price on Friday and a multiple of about 30 times the adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) that Conceptus is targeting for this year.

Shares in global healthcare equipment and services companies on average trade at 9 times annual EBITDA, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine…..”

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Capstone to Acquire $BHP’s Pinto Valley Mine

Capstone Mining Corp. (CS), the owner of copper mines in Mexico and Canada, agreed to buyBHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP)’s Pinto Valley mine and railroad in the U.S. for $650 million in cash, marking its biggest acquisition.

Vancouver-based Capstone is expected to complete the purchase of the Pinto Valley copper mine in Arizona and the related San Manuel Arizona Railroad Co. in the second half of 2013, Melbourne-based BHP said today in a statement.

The deal comes as Capstone scouts for producing copper mines in the Americas to add about 100 million pounds of copper. BHP and Rio Tinto Group are among mining companies selling assets to shore up earnings and cut costs after more than $60 billion of writedowns in the industry. The agreement takes BHP’s divestments to $5 billion over the last 12 months, according to the BHP statement today.

BHP shareholders are likely to respond well to the company disposing of smaller assets like Pinto Valley, which have been taking up “too much management time and too much peripheral capital,” said Vincent Pisani, an analyst at Shaw Stockbroking Ltd. “It’s taken some time, but I think BHP are finally getting it,” he said.

BHP suspended mining operations at Pinto Valley in Feb. 2009 and said mining began again during the last quarter of 2012. Capstone said BHP had spent $194 million on equipment and infrastructure to enable operations to resume.

Cash Cost…”

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$ELN’s Board Rejects Royalty Bid Citing it Was Grossly Undervalued

“DUBLIN (Reuters) – Irish drugmaker Elan rejected a reduced $11.25 per share bid from Royalty Pharma , putting the ball back in the U.S. investment company’s court in an increasingly convoluted takeover saga.

Royalty made its initial approach in February, attracted by the promise of lucrative revenues from Elan’s multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. But Elan has fought to maintain its independence through a series of maneuvers designed to frustrate the bid, which is contingent on 90 percent acceptances.

Royalty last week lowered its bid for Elan to $11.25 a share from an earlier $12 offer, pricing in the result of a $1 billion share buyback by Elan. The $12 per share offer had valued Elan at $7.3 billion and had been sweetened from an initial proposal.

Buoyed by the outcome of the buyback, Elan, which claimed last month that most of its shareholders did not view Royalty’s original proposal as worth consideration, strongly advised shareholders to take no action in relation to the bid.

“The offer from Royalty Pharma grossly undervalues Elan’s current business platform and our future prospects. As a result the board unanimously and without reservation rejected the offer,” Elan Chairman Robert Ingram said in a statement on Monday.

As part of the share buyback, U.S. healthcare firm Johnson & Johnson cut its stake in Elan to 4.9 percent from 18 percent, accounting for more than 90 percent of shares repurchased.

Analysts were divided as to whether the buyback’s outcome signaled confidence in Elan’s plans to reinvent itself through a series of acquisitions, or speculation that Royalty would eventually return with a higher bid.

But after 73 percent of shares excluding Johnson & Johnson’s were not tendered at any price in the pre-announced $11.25 to $13.00 range, Royalty may have to come back with a better offer.


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$BLK Turns in the Towel to Pursue $DELL

“(Reuters) – Blackstone Group LP has ended its pursuit of Dell Inc, three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday, easing the way for founder Michael Dell and his private equity partnerSilver Lake to go ahead with a $24.4 billion deal to acquire the world’s No. 3 PC maker.

New York-based Blackstone pulled out just a month after it first launched a challenge to the billionaire’s attempt to take private the PC maker he founded.

Blackstone withdrew citing an unprecedented 14 percent drop in industry PC sales in the first quarter of 2013 and a lower earnings forecast by the Dell’s management, which saw operating income dropping from $3.7 billion to $3 billion in the current fiscal year, one of the sources said.

Blackstone and activist investor Carl Icahn, who has taken a significant stake in the company and opposes Michael Dell’s buyout, had made preliminary offers to the company challenging the deal with Silver Lake.

Icahn’s chances of a successful rival offer are viewed by analysts and investors as slimmer than Blackstone’s, yet the deal with Silver Lake still faces significant opposition from some Dell shareholders, including Southeastern Asset Management, the activist investor that owns 8.4 percent of the company.

Dell, Blackstone and Silver Lake declined to comment. Icahn could not immediately be reached for comment…”

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