Tuesday, April 10, 2007

United Rentals (URI) to Review Strategic Alternatives; CEO to Retire in June

United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI) announced that its board of directors has authorized commencement of a process to explore a broad range of strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value, including a possible sale of the company. The company has retained UBS Investment Bank and Credit Suisse to act as financial advisors in this process.


BCE Up on Reports Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Planning Bid

BCE, Inc. (NYSE: BCE) is higher on reports from the New York Times and the Globe and Mail that 5.3% holder Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan approached Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec and the Canada Plan Investment Board about making a $45 billion bid for BCE. The reports also said the fund held talks will at least one private equity firm.

A follow-up report from Bloomberg, noted that Teachers' Fund said it isn't excluding anything on BCE (NYSE: BCE), executive says.


Aixtron said it is not in talks with Applied Materials (AMAT) about a takeover - Bloomberg

Aixtron said it is not in talks with Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) about a takeover - Bloomberg.


Medwave (MDWV) to Explore Strategic Alternatives

Medwave Inc. (Nasdaq: MDWV) has decided to begin a process to explore strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including but not limited to the raising of capital through the sale of securities or assets of the Company, a recapitalization, strategic acquisitions, and the combination, sale or merger of the Company with another entity.


Reports Google (GOOG) Close to Ad Deal with DirecTV

According to reports from VentureBeat, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is negotiating an advertising deal with DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) similar to the deal they recently announced with EchoStar (Nasdaq: DISH).

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Nuvelo's (NUVO) Jump May Be Attributed to Rumors for Further Trials on Alfimeprase

Nuvelo's (Nasdaq: NUVO) 47% jump may be attributed to an analyst saying there are rumors circulating that Bayer (NYSE: BAY) may decide to take NUVO's experimental blood clot dissolver for further trials, which have been temporarily suspended after failing to meet main goals - Reuters

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Foot Locker (FL) Up on Renewed Takeover Chatter

Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) is seeing interest mid-day on renewed takeover chatter. In November of 2006, commenting on rumors of a takeover, the CEO said rumors of a potential sale of the Company are not true. Separately, Foot Locker has been mentioned as a possible suitor of Genesco (NYSE: GCO).

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The9 Ltd. (NCTY) Higher on Reports of Electronic Arts (ERTS) Stake

According to reports from Reuters, citing Shanghai Securities News, Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) is in a deal to acquire 19% of The9 Ltd. (Nasdaq: NCTY) for about $200 million.

A follow-up report quoted Electronic Arts as saying they have no such plans.

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Deutsche Bank Sees Sale of All or Parts of Pogo Producing (PPP) Soon

Deutsche Bank upgrades Pogo Producing Co. (NYSE: PPP) from Sell to Hold and raises their price target to $50, citing the growing likelihood of some form of corporate action over the near term, most likely the sale of the company in whole or in parts.


BusinessWeek Mentions XOM-for-DVN Rumor

Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN) : DVN, is an energy company engaged in oil and gas exploration, closed at $71.88. Business Week reported Oppenheimer oil analyst Fadel Gheit says rumors have surfaced XOM may go after DVN. DVN April option implied volatility of 25 is below its 6-month average of 29 according to Track Data. Paul Foster

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CNBC Said Besides BNI Buffett Invested In Another NA Railroad Stock

A CNBC reporter notes that besides Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. (NYSE: BNI), Warren Buffett has invested in two other North American railroads yet to be disclosed. Buffett disclosed a 10.9% stake in BNI on Friday.

The reporter mentions CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX), Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC), Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP) and Canadian National Railway Company (NYSE: CNI) as possibilities.

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Mirant (MIR) to Explore Strategic Alternatives, Hires JPMorgan as Financial Advisor

Mirant Corporation (NYSE: MIR) has decided to explore strategic alternatives to enhance stockholder value. JPMorgan will serve as the financial advisor in this process.


Kroger (KR) not pursuing LBO

Kroger (NYSE: KR) : KR's, David Dillon, Chairman & CEO, said "neither management nor our Board of Directors has any interest in pursuing a leveraged buyout transaction." The Wall Street Journal reported on 4/6/07 "People familiar with the matter say a number of firms across the Street have been eyeing KR." KR over all option implied volatility of 21 is below its 6-month average of 23 according to Track Data. Paul Foster


Dow Chemical (DOW) Higher on LBO Rumor

According to reports from the UK's Sunday Express, a consortium including Middle Eastern investors and American buyout firms is preparing a $50 billion offer for Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW). The paper said the offer could range between $52-$58 per share.
A follow-up report from Bloomberg, noted that Dow spokesman Huntley said the company has no interest in an LBO and plans to remain public.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pioneer Natural (PXD) Higher on Takeover Talk, Evaluation of MLP

Shares of Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (NYSE: PXD) are higher today on rumors of a possible takeover. Also, slides from the Howard Weil Energy Conference show the company is evaluating the formation of an upstream Master Limited Partnership. The stock is 3.8% higher in afternoon action.


Riley Investment Wants Regent Comm (RGCI) Sold

Riley Investment Management wants Regent Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: RGCI) sold, saying the stock is worth $4.50-$6 per share (currently at $3.18). More at 13DTracker.


Mamma.com (MAMA) Up On Takeover Rumor

Mamma.com Inc. (Nasdaq: MAMA) is moving higher this morning (+14%) on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) takeover talk. A couple websites and CNBC mentioned the rumor. NOTE: This has about 0% chance of happening in our opinion.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Marshall & Ilsley (MI) Higher On Reports of Sponsored Spin-Off

Shares of Marshall & Ilsley Corp. (NYSE: MI) are 7% higher in pre-open trading Tuesday on reports from the Wall Street Journal, the company is near a sponsored spin off of its Metavante Corp. unit, with private equity firm Warburg Pincus taking a minority stake in the spin-off. The deal is expected to be announced in the next few days. Link $


Giant Industries (GI) Lower on Reports FTC Could Block Western Refining Acquisition

Shares of Giant Industries Inc. (NYSE: GI) are 4% lower in early action Tuesday on reports from TheDeal.com, the FTC is expected to block Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE: WNR) acquisition of the company. Link $

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Starwood Hotels (HOT) Marches Higher As Takeover Talk Swirls

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: HOT) continues higher following yesterday's news that CEO Heyer was forced out. The move has created wild speculation that the company could be put on the auction block.

Shares of HOT are 2.3% today following yesterday's 4.6% move.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Riley Investment Management Request a Sale of World Air Holdings (WLDA)

In a 13D filing on World Air Holdings Inc. (OTC: WLDA), Riley Investment Management disclosed a 5.9% stake in the comapny. The firm also disclosed its disappointment with the company's leadership and urged a sale of the company. More at 13DTracker

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AirTran Holdings (AAI) Raises Offer to Acquire Midwest Air (MEH) to $15 (Cash/Stock)

AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AAI) substantially increased its offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Midwest Air Group (Amex: MEH), to $15.00 per Midwest share.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

WR Hambrecht Comments on Teva (TEVA) Takeover Targets, Is IPXL in Play?

WR Hambrecht comments on M&A speculation surrounding Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA). The firm said, "With the news on Reuters that Merck KGaA wants 'binding offers' by the end of April and following our visit with Impax Labs' (OTC: IPXL) CFO this week, we share our thoughts about the relative probability of TEVA acquiring either or both companies."

On Merck KGaA the firm said, "We believe it is unlikely that TEVA will acquire Merck KGaA's generic business for a combination of strategic, financial and competitive reasons and the timing just one year after closing IVAX, which will likely take at least another year to successfully integrate, seems to be an execution show stopper, in our view."

On Implax the firm said, "Impax, on the other hand, appears to be a much more plausible scenario which we would characterize as likely, perhaps as soon as Q3 this year, closing by year-end with upside to 2008 current guidance with additional strategic assets on the brand side that fit with TEVA's Neuroscience business. Our best guess is that TEVA will withdraw from the Merck KGaA bake-off in April and begin moving forward with Impax, as the most plausible near-term acquisition candidate."

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Blackstone, Centerbridge plan to bid for Daimlerchrysler's (NYSE: DCX) Chrysler group - Bloomberg

Blackstone, Centerbridge plan to bid for Daimlerchrysler's (NYSE: DCX) Chrysler group - Bloomberg. Blackstone, Centerbridge to signal intent today.


Sunoco (SUN) Active on Takeover Talk

Rumors of a Sunoco Inc. (NYSE: SUN) takeover sent shares of the company slightly higher this morning, but the shares have since backed off. According to a report from Bloomberg, trading in SUN call options was almost six times higher than normal.


Reports Bain Capital and Blackstone Group Are Among Bidders for Ceridian (CEN)

According to reports from Reuters, private equity firms Bain Capital and Blackstone Group are among the bidders for Ceridian (NYSE: CEN), citing sources. The report said two corporations are also bidding for the company, although their names were not disclosed.
Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital hedge fund has been pushing for changes at Ceridian.

In February, Ceridian announced that its Board of Directors has decided to explore a broad range of strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Prudential Maintains Positive Stance on Great Wolf Resorts (WOLF), Sees As Takeover Candidate

Prudential is reiterating their Overweight rating and maintaining $18 Price target on Great Wolf Resorts (NASDAQ: WOLF). Firm believes the stock is relatively inexpensive as they remain comfortable with their estimates and management guidance. As private equity interest remains high in the lodging/leisure space, they continue to view WOLF as a potential takeout candidate. From http://notablecalls.blogspot.com


IPSCO (IPS) Jumps 9% Following X/LSS Deal

Shares of IPSCO Inc. (NYSE: IPS) are 9% higher in early action following US Steel's (NYSE: X) buyout of Lone Star Technologies (NYSE: LSS) at a huge premium. IPSCO is a leading low cost producer of energy tubulars and steel plate in North America with an annual liquid steel making capacity of 4.3 million tons.

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Deutsche Bank defends UnitedHealth (UNH)

Deutsche Bank defends UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) following 7% decline this week due to concerns on commercial MLR outlook in 1Q07 report.The firm reaffirms their Buy rating on UNH and said they should meet or modestly exceed their Q1 EPS forecast of $0.71.


BCE, Inc. (BCE) Said There are No Ongoing Discussions With Any Private Equity Investor

In response to rumors private equity firm KKR was in talks to acquire BCE, Inc. (NYSE: BCE) the company said, "there are no ongoing discussions being held with any private equity investor with respect to any privatization of the Company or any similar transaction. BCE further stated the company has no current intention to pursue such discussions."

Rumors of a KKR takeover sent shares of BCE up over 10% in early action Thursday.