DONE DEAL! This Week’s Mergers and Acquisitions

M&A activity was smaller this week, but the rumors were big!

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to mergers and acquisitions completed last week:

  • AOL (NYSE:AOL), after a dismal performance in the past year, is back on the scene, and not with Time Warner (NYSE:TWX).  The company announced that it plans to acquire the Huffington Post for $315 million.  The price tag seems like a drop in the bucket relative to the billion-dollar deals we’re used to following, but the implications are pretty big.  Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of the Huffington Post, will head the new Huffington Post Media Group as a result of the merger.  The Huffington Post is a promising company, with exploding visitor growth and healthy margins.
  • In an unsurprising move, Spain’s top bank Santander (NYSE:STD) moved forward in its agreement to buy the remaining 70.4 percent of the Polish Bank Zachodni WBK (PINK:BKZHF) from Allied Irish Banks (NYSE:AIB) for a 4.5 percent premium, which values the company at $5.7 billion.  This deal is merely part of Santander’s push into higher growth markets, especially considering it emerged relatively unscathed from the banking crisis and hasn’t been hit that hard by Spanish debt woes.  Over the past year, it acquired RBS (NYSE:RBS) branches, Swedish SEB’s retail banking division, and Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) Mexico division.  Poland is a hot target now, because it did not suffer a recession and Polish asset owners from abroad are desperately selling to deal with their problems at home.
  • Well, it’s officially official:  mere weeks after our last update, Beckman Coulter (NYSE:BEC), the lab equipment maker, found a buyerDanaher (NYSE:DHR), a diversified manufacturer.  The acquisition, at $5.87 billion or $83.50 per share, represents a 45 percent premium over Beckman’s stock price prior to its announcement that it was looking for potential buyers.  Danaher feels this is a fair price for Beckman’s respectable position in the diagnostics market.
  • We all love drama, but sometimes a straightforward deal really hits the spot:  Kindred Healthcare, a private firm headquartered in Kentucky, announced this past Tuesday that it plans to acquire RehabCare Group (NYSE:RHB) for $900 million.  Both boards agreed, and it will close by the middle of 2011.  Although the sum is comparatively small, the acquisition will create the largest long-term acute care services company in the U.S.

Not all deals get done. Don’t Miss: The Rumor Mill: Mergers & Acquisitions in Question >>

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