Deal roundup, 3.2.15

  • One of Google Inc’s largest investors has cut its exposure to the company by nearly 29 percent over the past several months amid worries about a shift to cheaper searches on mobile phones. The $107 billion Fidelity Contrafund FCNTX has cut its exposure to Google to 5.2 percent of net assets as of Jan. 31. That’s down from 7.3 percent of net assets as of June 30.

 

  • Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s billionaire chief executive, told CNBC on Monday that the company had sold its entire stake in Exxon Mobil Corp because it could use the money in both an acquisition and stock purchases.

 

  • GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Novartis AG said they had completed a series of asset swaps worth more than $20 billion that will reshape both drugmakers.

 

  • German utility RWE AG on Monday closed the sale of its oil and gas production unit DEA to Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, ending months of uncertainty over whether the 5.1 billion euro ($5.7 billion) deal would go ahead.

 

  • Vivendi SA shares fell and those of Numericable-SFR SA rose after the former said it would sell its remaining stake in the latter to tycoon Patrick Drahi at a discounted price.

 

  • Bollore Group said it bought 40.5 million additional shares in Vivendi for 852 million euros ($952 million), taking its stake in the media group to 8.15 percent from 5.15 percent and reinforcing its position as top shareholder.

 

  • Hewlett-Packard Co said it would buy Wi-Fi network gear maker Aruba Networks Inc for about $2.7 billion, the biggest deal for the world’s No. 2 PC maker since its botched acquisition of Britain’s Autonomy Plc in 2011.

 

  • Hedge fund Kerrisdale Capital urged Webster Financial Corp on Monday to consider spinning off its health savings business from its main banking operations, a move it said could boost the company’s share price by 36 percent.

 

  • France’s Orange SA and Italy’s telecom operator Telecom Italia SpA have been discussing a possible alliance between the former monopolies, Orange’s chief executive told the Journal de Dimanche.

 

  • Chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV has agreed to buy smaller peer Freescale Semiconductor Ltd and merge operations in a deal valuing the combined company at over $40 billion. Freescale shareholders will receive $6.25 in cash and 0.3521 of an NXP share for each Freescale share.

 

  • U.S. pharmaceutical and medical equipment maker Johnson & Johnson agreed to sell its Cordis vascular technology unit to Cardinal Health for $1.9 billion, completing its exit from the cardiovascular stent business.

 

  • Boston Scientific Corp said it would acquire Endo International Plc’s American Medical Systems urology portfolio for up to $1.65 billion.

 

  • A senior member of Ireland’s junior coalition party on Saturday said opposition to the sale of the state’s 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus Group Plc had softened in recent weeks and the party was likely to ultimately agree to the deal. Aer Lingus’ board last month recommended that Ireland back a 1.36 billion euro ($1.52 billion) bid for the airline from British Airways’ owner International Consolidated Airlines Group.

 

  • European Union antitrust regulators will decide by April 8 whether to approve a plan by Norwegian telecoms company Telenor and Swedish peer TeliaSonera to combine their Danish mobile businesses, the European Commission said on Monday.

 

  • The Waddington Group, a private equity-owned manufacturer of plastic plates, cups and cutlery, is exploring a sale that could value the company at around $1.5 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

 

  • U.S. regional lender PacWest Bancorp said it would buy Square 1 Financial Inc in an all-stock deal valued at about $849 million, as the bank looks to increase its exposure to the fast-growing technology and life-sciences markets.

 

  • NTT Communications Corp is in talks to buy German data center provider e-shelter facility services GmbH for about 100 billion yen ($834 million), according to a source familiar with the matter.

 

  • Finmeccanica’s SuperJet International joint venture has won a $350 million contract with Interjet to provide the Mexican airline with ten additional SSJ100 aircraft, the Italian aerospace and defense group said on Monday.

 

  • Taiwan’s Far Eastone Telecommunications Co Ltd has emerged as the front runner to buy Ting Hsin International Group’s 4G telecoms unit in a deal likely to be worth around T$18 billion ($574 million), the Commercial Times reported.
  • Canadian telecom services provider Mitel Networks Corp said it would buy U.S.-based Mavenir Systems Inc for $560 million to offer internet telephony services that uses the high-speed 4G LTE mobile standard.

 

  • Australian dairy group Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co Holdings Ltd said it will buy the cheese business of Lion Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd for A$137.5 million ($107 million).

 

  • App-based cab service Ola has bought rival TaxiForSure for $200 million as it eyes a bigger share in India’s fast-growing online taxi services industry, where it competes with local players as well as Uber, the U.S.-based online taxi-hailing company.

 

  • Malacalza Investimenti agreed on Sunday to buy 10.5 percent of Banca Carige SpA from the Carige banking foundation in a 66.2 million euro ($74.2 million) deal that makes the family controlled holding the biggest investor in the mid-sized Italian lender.

 

  • Egyptian financial services firm Pioneers Holding Co has won the race to buy Egypt’s Arab Dairy Products Co SAE for 255 million Egyptian pounds ($33.4 million), beating a rival offer from Al Nour, the market regulator said.

 

  • Israeli real estate investment firm Gazit Globe Ltd said on Sunday its wholly owned subsidiary Gazit Brasil will buy the remaining 40 percent of Mais Shopping in the city of Sao Paulo for 75 million reais ($26 million).

 

  • Unilever Plc has agreed to buy Britain’s REN Skincare brand as the company expands its personal care business.

 

  • Partner in Pet Food, a European pet food maker, has been put up for sale by private equity firm Advent International, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

 

  • The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said on Friday Puerto Rico-based bank Doral Financial Corp was closed, and its business taken over by Banco Popular de Puerto Rico.

 

  • Sonova Holding AG, the world’s largest maker of hearing aids, says it will acquire Germany’s Hansaton Akustik GmbH for an undisclosed price, in a bid to bolster its retail presence in Germany.

 

  • Groupama said it had launched the sale of up to 28.4 million shares in Veolia Environnement, or about 5.05 percent of the share capital, via an institutional private placement by way of an accelerated bookbuilding.

 

  • The French state is selling a 3.96 percent stake in defense group Safran via a share placement, which could rise to as much as 4.55 percent via an overallotment option, the finance and industry ministries said in a joint statement.

 

  • New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, China’s third-largest life insurer, said on Sunday it had aborted the planned sale of a stake to a strategic investor which was to help it develop its Internet insurance business.

 

  • South Africa’s Bidvest Group Ltd has “no aspiration” to buy all of Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd, its chief executive said, as the share price of its target continued to trade above its planned offer price.

 

($1 = 119.89 yen) ($1 = 0.89 euros) ($1 = 1.29 Australian dollars) ($1 = 31.36 Taiwan dollars) ($1 = 7.63 Egyptian pounds)

 

(Compiled by Anet Josline Pinto and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru)