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


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.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Reports DoubleClick Looking at a Sale or IPO

According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, online advertising company DoubleClick is exploring a sale and is currently in active talks with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), among others. The company may also consider an IPO.

DoubleClick is majority owned by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which bought the company in 2005 for about $1.1 billion. Link


Reports NBTY (NTY) is Up for Sale

According to reports from, NBTY Inc. (NYSE: NTY), a maker of nutritional supplements, is on the auction block and first bids are due early next month. Link $


Reports Cadbury Schweppes' (CSG) CEO Said Merger with Hershey (HSY) Would Make Sense

According to reports from, Cadbury Schweppes' (NYSE: CSG) CEO, Todd Stitzer, said a merger with Hershey (NYSE: HSY) would make commercial, strategic and financial sense as the company prepares to split its confectionery and Americas Beverages businesses.

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Reports GM Could Stay Out of Early Bidding for Chrysler

According to reports from Reuters, General Motors (NYSE: GM) is not likely to make a first-round bid for DaimlerChrysler's (NYSE: DCX) Chrysler unit. The reports said GM is more likely to watch from the sidelines and may consider buying various Chrysler assets that buyout firms do not want. With GM staying out of early bidding, this would leave auto-parts supplier Magna Intl. (NYSE: MGA) and various private equity firms as the bidders when proposals are due Friday.

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Amdocs (DOX) Higher On Takeover Rumors

Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) is higher on rumors SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) could acquire the company. The rumors stem from comments by FTN Midwest analyst Doug Ashton that were mentioned at Barron's Tech Trader blog. Link

Shares of Amdocs are 2.5% higher in early action.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Devon Energy (DVN) Higher on Renewed Takeover Chatter

Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN) is 1.5% higher today on resurfaced takeover rumors. Volume has already eclipsed the 10 day average.

Labels: , Reports Saudi Basic Industries Corporation May Look to Acquire GE's (GE) Plastic Division reports Saudi Basic Industries Corporation has hired Citigroup to advise on a potential $12 billion bid to acquire General Electric's (NYSE: GE) Plastic Division.
In January, GE hired Goldman Sachs to help explore the sale of the company's plastics unit.


Investor Group Offers to Acquire Riviera Holdings (RIV) for $27/Share

In an amended 13D filing on Riviera Holdings (AMEX: RIV), an investing group led by Paul Kanavos, Robert Sillerman, Brett Torino and Barry Sternlicht sent a letter to the company proposing to acquire the company for $27 per share.


Detroit News Reports General Motors (GM) Still Has Bid on Table for DaimlerChrysler's (DCX) Chrysler Division

The Detroit News reports General Motors (NYSE: GM) still has a bid on the table for DaimlerChrysler's (NYSE: DCX) Chrysler division. The article states GM's bid has 3 components, but none of which include a cash payment (according to sources). The deal would include GM giving DCX a minority stake in GM with roughly less than 10% of GM stock, plus payoff $1 billion in Chrysler's health care costs then seek concessions for UAW workers.

The article continues by saying other potential suitors has stepped up, however, GM and Chrysler are still in talks and have met several times

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Reports Citigroup (C) Restructuring Could Involve 15K Job Cuts

According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) is finishing up a restructuring plan that could involve as many as 15,000 job cuts and a $1 billion charge against earnings. Link $

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Motorola (MOT) and Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) See Upside Action

CNBC mentions unusual activity in Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM). Both stocks are up on heavier-than-normal volume. NOTE: We've heard questionable takeover rumors on both. MOT is an Icahn stock, so rumors are always around on the name.

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SAC Capital Raises Stake in WCI Communities

SAC Capital raised its stake in Icahn-target WCI Communities, Inc. (NYSE: WCI) to 9.5% and changed its filing status from 13G (passive) to 13D reflecting its more activist role in the investment. More at 13D Tracker


Apollo Management Close to $3B Takeover of Claire's Stores (CLE) - NYP

According to reports from the New York Post, private equity firm Apollo Management is close to a $3 billion takeover of Claire's Stores Inc. (NYSE: CLE). The paper said the deal is likely to be between $32 and $34.50 a share. Link


Prudential plc (PUK) Up on Bid Talk

According to reports from Reuters, Prudential plc (NYSE: PUK) was higher in European trading on rumors American International Group (NYSE: AIG) could launch a 850 pence per share offer for the company.

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Reports Palm (PALM) Buyout Getting Close

Reports from, a Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) buyout could be finalized by Thursday, for $20 or more per share. The report said, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is the leading vendor bidder, but Palm management is also looking to private equity buyers. Link

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Reuters Reports Apollo Management has Submitted a $40 Per Share Bid to Acquire EGL (EAGL)

Reuters reports Apollo Management has submitted a $40 per share bid to acquire EGL Inc (Nasdaq: EAGL), cites sources close to the firm.
(NOTE - yesterday, EAGL agreed to be acquired for $38 per share by the company's CEO-led buyout group)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) Could Explore A Possible Sale

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) postponed its annual meeting scheduled for March 23, 2007 until March 29, 2007 following the expressed intention of a shareholder group to takeover the board.

The current board said it needs additional time to review the proposed actions of the shareholder group and also to evaluate alternative courses of actions that could potentially be presented to the shareholders, including a possible sale of the Company.

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ABN AMRO (ABN) Higher on Takeover Talk

ABN AMRO Holding (NYSE: ABN) is higher on reports from the Times of London Barclays PLC has hired bankers in an attempt to buy the rival bank.

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Foot Locker (FL) Preparing Tender Offer for Genesco (GCO) - WWD

WWD (Women's Wear Daily) reports Foot Locker (NYSE: FL) is preparing a bid for Genesco (NYSE: GCO). The article reports financial sources say Foot Locker is preparing a tender offer for shares of GCO between $44-46 per share and could be announced as soon as this week.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Transmeridian Exploration (TMY) to Review Strategic Alternatives for Major Asset of Company

Transmeridian Exploration Incorporated (AMEX: TMY) plans to review strategic alternatives for its South Alibek field in Western Kazakhstan. The field represents substantially all of the assets of the company. Strategic alternatives include the sale of a partial or complete interest in the field, a farm-in arrangement or a sale of the company in its entirety.

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Chapman Capital Demands Sale of eSpeed (ESPD)

Chapman Capital L.L.C., investment advisor to two investment funds that together own 9.3% of the Class A common shares of eSpeed, Inc. (Nasdaq: ESPD), today announced its demand that eSpeed's Board of Directors maximize shareholder value via a change-of-control transaction

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reports Acer Could Consider a Gateway (GTW) Takeover

According to reports at DigiTimes Tuesday, Acer is looking to make an acquisition and sources suggest Gateway (NYSE: GTW) may be a target of the company. Link

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Compuware (CPWR) Chairman Warns Of Possible Takeover

According to media report, Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq: CPWR) Chairman Peter Karmanos said in an e-mail to to employees that the company risks an outside takeover unless results start improving. Karmanos said the company is considering recommendations made by an internal committee.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Crystallex (KRY) Comments on Market Rumors

Crystallex International (AMEX: KRY) at the request of Market Regulation Services Inc., on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, Crystallex International Corporation is making the following statement concerning the increase in its stock price and trading volume which may have been influenced by recent speculation in the press concerning the possibility of Crystallex being the target of an unsolicited takeover bid:
"As a matter of Corporate Policy, Crystallex does not comment on rumors or speculation. There are currently no corporate developments concerning Crystallex of which management of the Company is aware and the Company has no announcements to make at this time."

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Cadbury Schweppes (CSG) Up on Peltz Stake, Takeover Rumors

Cadbury Schweppes (NYSE: CSG) is 10% higher today after the comapny said Nelson Peltz and certain of his affiliates have interests in 62,465,267 Cadbury Schweppes shares, representing 2.98 % of Cadbury Schweppes' issued share capital. The stake has sparked takeover talk.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Deutsche Bank Comments on FDO and DLTR Related to Dollar General (DG) Takeover

Commenting on the takeover premium KKR paid for Dollar General (NYSE: DG), Deutsche Bank said if competitors Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO) and Dollar Tree Stores (Nasdaq: DLTR) were to trade at DG's takeout multiple of 12x on consensus 2007 estimates, that would imply a price of $44 for FDO and $56 for DLTR, over a 50% premium for both.

Genesco (GCO) Higher On Reports Foot Locker (FL) Could Be Interested in Buying the Company

According to reports from, Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) is eying an acquisition and Genesco Inc. (NYSE: GCO) could be a good fit. The speculation follows comments from Foot Locker's CEO Matthew Serra that, "opportunities that we have looked at were aimed at acquiring businesses that would be complementary to our existing business."
Brown Shoe (NYSE: BWS) and Shoe Carnival (Nasdaq: SCVL) were also mentioned as possible targets.
Shares of Genesco are 3% higher in mid-day action.
Link to article $

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Chapman Capital Wants Immediate Sale of Embarcadero Tech (EMBT), May Seek To Replace Board

In a press release today on Embarcadero Technologies (Nasdaq: EMBT), 9.3% holder Chapman Capital reiterated its demand that the company's Board of Directors maximize shareholder value via a change-of-control transaction. Chapman's original 13D filing was released after the close on 03/07.

Chapman Capital has determined to seek nominees to replace Class I directors Timothy C.K. Chou and Frank M. Polestra, and Class II directors Michael J. Roberts and Samuel T. Spadafora, should a sale of Embarcadero not be announced by March 30, 2007.

Robert L. Chapman, said, "The Board, with no meaningful 'skin in the game, ' shall not be allowed to 'play venture capitalist' with the hard-earned money of a shareholder base held hostage by weak corporate governance."

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Trump Entertainment (TRMP) Hires Merrill Lynch to Evaluate Strategic Alternatives

Trump Entertainment Resorts (NASDAQ: TRMP) announced the engagement of Merrill Lynch to assist the Company in the identification and evaluation of strategic corporate options including, but not limited to, capital structure, financing and value-creation alternatives.

Shares of Trump Entertainment rose 7.95% on Friday on rumors of a sale.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Sunterra (SNRR) Higher After Confirming Sale Reports

Sunterra Corporation (OTC: SNRR) is 26% higher this morning after the company acknowledged it is in discussions with Las Vegas-based Diamond Resorts, LLC regarding the possible acquisition of Sunterra.

Sunterra said it has not signed an agreement yet and there be no assurance that any transaction will occur.

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Trump Entertainment (TRMP) Higher on Sale Rumor

Trump Entertainment Resorts (Nasdaq: TRMP) is higher this morning after CNBC reported the company hired a banker to explore a possible sale. The stock is 10% higher in early action.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Stifel Nicolaus upgrades Barnes & Noble (BKS) to Buy; Sees as Good Take-Private Candidate

Stifel Nicolaus upgrades Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) from Hold to Buy with a $43 price target. Analyst David Schick said, "Monday's lower guidance, we believe, presented conservative case or "kitchen sink" to gross margin outlook. We do expect traction for GM will take fully into FY08. But BKS is cheapest company we cover on EV/EBITDA basis. We see BKS story intact: (a) solid cash flow generator and (b) good real estate and store productivity, including domestic SBUX. We think BKS could be a good take-private candidate in low-to mid-$40 range, and we think MBO is perhaps best option. Specifically, good real estate, entrepreneurial culture at BKS, and vagaries of book business relative to public companies make "go-private" transaction look good, in our view."

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New Century Financial (NEW) Down on Bankruptcy Rumors

New Century Financial (NYSE: NEW) under heavy pressure mid-day. The stock is down 30%. Liquidity rumors are making the rounds.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Friendly Ice Cream (FRN) To Explore Strategic Alternatives

Friendly Ice Cream Corporation (AMEX: FRN) retained Goldman Sachs & Co., as financial advisor, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, as legal advisor, to assist the Board of Directors in exploring strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including a possible sale of the company.

NOTE: Friendly Ice Cream has long been an activist target of Sardar Biglari of The Lion Fund, LP.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Alcan (AL) Higher on Takeover Reports

Alcan Inc. (NYSE: AL) has moved higher in mid-day action on rumors Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (NYSE: RIO) is targeting the company in a takeover. The reports come from Brazilian newspaper, Estado de S. Paulo, which didn't site a source of the information. Shares of AL are 3.5% higher in mid-day action.

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Reuters Reports Blockbuster (BBI) is in Talks to Acquire Movielink

Reuters reports Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) is in talks to buy movie download service, Movielink, for under $50 million in cash and stock.

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Silver Lake wants to buy SAP AG (SAP) stake from founders, WIWO reports

Silver Lake wants to buy SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) stake from founders, WIWO reports - Bloomberg. Founder open to offers.