Category Archives: M&A

Why Live Nation Shouldn’t Merge With Ticketmaster

I got an interesting email last night from Michael Hershfield, the CEO of ticket site LiveStub, about the proposed Ticketmaster/Live Nation tie-up. If this deal goes ahead, then it seems we might be moving, without even realizing it, to a … Continue reading

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Ticketmaster-Live Nation: Mission Improbable

One congressman is already calling for an antitrust investigation of Ticketmaster — and that’s before any merger with Live Nation is even announced. If the Obama administration wants to demonstrate clearly to corporate America that the laissez-faire attitude of its … Continue reading

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JP Morgan: A Better Acquirer than Bank of America

Once Citigroup has been broken up, America will have two big financial supermarkets: Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase. There are many differences between them, but a very big one is their track record when it comes to recent … Continue reading

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Who Will Take Over Citi?

As John Carney notes today, Citigroup’s market capitalization is $21 billion; that of Goldman Sachs is $20 billion. Can anyone say "merger of equals"? Nothing’s unthinkable in this market, not even the idea that you can tie two rocks together … Continue reading

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Where Buyers Should be Looking

There was an interesting exchange just now on the deals panel, between Jim Casella, of Case Interactive Media, and Michael Wolff. If you have cash right now, said Casella, it’s a great time to be a buyer. This has been … Continue reading

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The Duplicitous Sheila Bair

After Wachovia agreed to be bought by Wells Fargo on Friday, the FDIC’s Sheila Bair put out a press release saying that her agency "stands behind its previously announced agreement with Citigroup". Except, it wasn’t quite as simple as that. … Continue reading

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Where is Citi’s M&A Expertise?

Bill Ackman made an interesting point at the Value Investing Congress today: Citi announced its deal with Wachovia on Monday September 29, at which point both boards had signed off on it. Given that all the specifics were in place, … Continue reading

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Wachovia: Getting Messy

The fight over Wachovia is getting messy. Court judgments are getting overruled; obscure provisions in the bailout legislation are taking on a crucial importance; the Fed is acting like King Solomon, splitting the baby between the West Coast and the … Continue reading

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How Much Will a Wells-Wachovia Deal Cost Taxpayers?

Anybody following the fight between Citi and Wells Fargo has to read Binyamin Appelbaum’s front-page piece in the Washington Post on the tax assumptions behind the Wells Fargo offer. In touting the deal, Wells Fargo executives said they did not … Continue reading

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Citi Examines its Carrots and Sticks

I just got off the phone with Carl Tobias, a professor at Richmond School of Law; I asked him whether the exclusivity agreement between Citigroup and Wachovia was worth the paper it was written on. His take was that it’s … Continue reading

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The Citi Exclusivity Agreement

Here is the exclusivity agreement upon which Citigroup is placing so many of its hopes; it was signed by executives from both Citi and Wachovia. If it holds up in court, Citi might just be able to walk away with … Continue reading

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Did Buffett Kill the Wells Fargo-Wachovia Deal?

Why did the Wells Fargo deal to buy Wachovia fall through at the last minute? The WSJ reports that Wells Fargo CEO chairman Dick Kovacevich blamed perceived weaknesses in a surprising area of Wachovia’s loan portfolio: Wachovia’s advisers were surprised … Continue reading

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Citi, Rejuvenated

A sign of the times in a WSJ headline today: Citi, Looking Rejuvenated, Weighs a WaMu Takeover Bid Yes, "rejuvenated". Young, fresh-faced, carefree. Or, alternatively, just as haggard and battered as it ever was, but looking increasingly healthy in comparison … Continue reading

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Bank Megamerger of the Day

While Wall Street has been utterly transformed by this financial crisis, US Main Street banking has not been. Yes, your local Fleet branch is now part of the same empire that owns Merrill Lynch, but it turned itself into a … Continue reading

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Wachovia Stanley? Really?

Why on earth did John Mack put out a memo today blaming short-sellers for the decline in Morgan Stanley’s share price? It’s the corporate equivalent of pinning a "kick me" sign to your own back — and it looks like … Continue reading

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Barclehs: It’s On

The FT reports that Barclays is swooping in on its white horse and scooping up the distressed Lehman Brothers: The two parties reached an agreement in the New York morning that centres around Lehman’s core US broker-dealer operations, which perform … Continue reading

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Merrill-BofA: Doubts Surface

Is Bank of America really going to buy Merrill Lynch? The stock market’s saying that it has its doubts. With stock prices having settled down a little this morning, BAC is trading at $29.36 per share (down 13%), while MER … Continue reading

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Could GE Buy Lehman?

"Banker 700" leaves an intriguing comment on my last post: GE will end up buying Lehman. They actually want LEH. They fit well together. You heard it here first. As Alea points out, it’s not all that crazy. GE has … Continue reading

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The Busch and the Marlin

David Kesmodel has the wonderful story of what happened when Anheuser-Busch’s then-CEO, August Busch III, went on an ill-fated marlin fishing trip with a group of Modelo executives in the early 1990s. Go read the whole thing, it’s great. But … Continue reading

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How Bear Markets Help M&A Dealmaking

The FT reports on how the Dow-Rohm deal got done so easily: Dow’s $78 per share bid represented a premium of 46 to 47 per cent to Rohm and Haas’ share price when the parties first started to negotiate, but … Continue reading

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Carl Icahn’s Communication Problem: Solved!

May 20: So far, Mr. Icahn hasn’t been in touch with Microsoft — though he tried to call the company’s chief executive, Steven Ballmer, through the main switchboard at Microsoft’s headquarters and was turned away, according to a person briefed … Continue reading

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InBev Goes Hostile

InBev has gone hostile, to no one’s great surprise, seeking to replace Anheuser-Busch’s current board with a new slate of nominees including Adolphus A. Busch IV, who is not to be confused with the current CEO, August A. Busch IV. … Continue reading

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Further Tales of Microhoo Incompetence

The WSJ reports today not only that some kind of Microsoft-Yahoo deal might be on again, but also that: In mid-May — weeks after Microsoft withdrew its bid — Yahoo offered to sell itself to Microsoft for about $33 a … Continue reading

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Bud Board Backs Busch By Blockheadedly Blackballing Belgian Brazilians

Disappointingly, but unsurprisingly, Anheuser-Busch will reject InBev’s takeover bid. Will they do so by promising shareholders much more value as an independent company? It’s hard to see how they could do that while maintaining a straight face. Will they wave … Continue reading

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Annals of Crap Research, M&A Leaks Edition

You might recall that about three weeks ago, there was a mini-spate of articles about how leaks imperil M&A deals. Here’s a typical one, from (not to pick on them in particular, there were many others). Here’s how it … Continue reading

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