CBS Eyes Sony, Disney Acquires the Star Wars Franchise: M&A Weekly Recap

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to this week’s M&A headlines:

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Apollo Global Management (NASDAQ:APO) and Apax Partners lead the bidders for the McGraw-Hill Companies’s (NYSE:MHP) Education division, according to the Wall Street Journal, with the deadline for offers closing yesterday. However, McGraw-Hill might yet elect to spin off the unit, which prior estimates said could be worth $3 billion. The company is due to make a decision by the end of 2012.

Shares of Joy Global (NASDAQ:JOY) spiked on renewed takeover chatter that General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) has offered $78 a share. Earlier this week, Larry De Maria at William Blair remarked that a takeout of Joy by GE was quite likely over the medium term.

Polypore International (NYSE:PPO) has retained Wells Fargo Securities for its help in exploring alternatives for its Daramic lead-acid battery separator facilities. The firm reports that it has no defined schedule set for the formal evaluation of the assets.

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Bayer (BAYZF.PK) purchases Schiff Nutrition International for the amount of $1.2 billion in cash along with the $34-per-share bid marking a 47 percent bonus to the latter’s Friday close. The acquisition reinforces Bayer’s footprint in the United States, which comprises the world’s largest market for over-the-counter and nutritional products.

JDA Software Group (NASDAQ:JDAS) says that after putting itself up for acquisition, it has received some interest from private equity companies and strategic buyers, according to Reuters. The firm’s market cap is $1.46 billion and it supplies customized software to such customers as government and aerospace defense contractors along with hospitality and media organizations.

Vodafone’s (NASDAQ:VOD) proposed $691 million acquisition of the New Zealand wireline carrier TestraClear has been okayed by regulators. The buyer is hoping to pose a challenge to the local wireline leader Telecom New Zealand (NZTFC.OB)(NZTCY.OB), as TelstraClear owns fiber, local loop, and cable television networks, along with its New Zealand mobile operations.

EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) purchases Silver Tail Systems, which develops software that analyzes Web/mobile activity to detect security threats and fraud. Details of the transaction were not reported. Silver Tail will be integrated with EMC’s RSA security division and the deal fits in with EMC’s stated aim of acquiring security firms that hold promising technologies.

Rumors that private equity Cerberus is interested in purchasing Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) have been confirmed by the Wall Street Journal; the prospective buyer is collaborating with real estate companies on an offer that could exceed $5 billion. Supervalu’s debt is said to be around $6 billion. However, part of such a proposal would include between $800 million and $900 million to take Supervalu private, which far exceeds its $643 million market cap. Cerberus, along with its partners, which include Kimco Realty Corporation (NYSE:KIM), expect to repeat the turnaround success they saw with the Supervalu peer Albertsons.

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Truck and engine maker Navistar International Corporation’s (NYSE:NAV) interim Chief Executive Lewis Campbell said on Monday that his company would consider selling any part of the firm as it tries to return to profitability. Navistar is halfway through a comprehensive review and “might try to monetize” any division that does not improve in a timely fashion.

Allergan (NYSE:AGN) reports in its conference call that it’s looking at strategic options for its obesity intervention unit, which include a potential divestiture of the business division. However, if such an option is pursued, the firm will offset any potential earnings dilution related to the deal.

Spectra Energy Corp (NYSE:SE) will purchase a one-third interest in the Sand Hills and Southern Hills pipelines which are currently under construction by DCP Midstream (NYSE:DCM). Upon completion of the transaction, the buyer, Phillips 66 and DCP would each own a 33.3 percent interest in the pipelines and will equally pay the remaining capital expenditures. Spectra’s total investment in the two projects is estimated at between $700 million and $800 million.

Noble Group (NOBGF.PK)(NOBGY.PK) and Posco (NYSE:PKX) have abandoned their $1.2 billion takeover offer for Australia’s Arrium, refusing to bid more after the firm’s board turned a sweetened offer down. However, analysts believe that it is Arrium’s benefit to stall, with iron ore prices now rebounding from three-year lows.

The European Commission has extended its review of the proposed merger of Glencore International (GLCNF.PK) and Xstrata (XSRAY.PK)(XSRAF.PK) to November 22nd, after Glencore made concessions to assuage European Union competition worries. Glencore is said to have offered to divest certain zinc assets. Such a combined entity would be the world’s biggest zinc miner and also fifth-largest exporter of hard coal.

There is much chatter within the entertainment industry regarding The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE:DIS) acquisition of the Star Wars franchise for $4.05 billion. Barclays believes that the firm will monetize the property and push it through the Disney ecosystem, while both Wells Fargo and JPMorgan say that the deal is positive for future earnings.

Shares of Clean Harbors (NYSE:CLH) take off on Wednesday as shareholders may now respond to Monday’s $1.25 billion purchase of the oil recycling company Safety-Kleen, which in 2011 brought around $1.3 billion in revenue, representing approximately two-thirds of CLH’s total, along with $161 million in EBITDA.

Last week Canada blocked the proposed takeover of Progress Energy Resources (PRQNF.PK) by Petronas, but now traders are once again more confident that the sale will go forward after all, sending shares of the latter higher in Toronto. Reason for the new optimism is that the parties parties are doing the proper things and appearing to be committed to work at getting the acquisition accomplished.

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Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (NYSE:POT) has been in discussions with the government of Israel and has met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the purchase of Israel Chemicals (ISCHY.PK). The proposed buyer already holds a 13.84 percent interest in the company, while Israel Corp. holds 52.3 percent; Potash has wanted to make this deal for a while, but has run into opposition from the government and regulators.

Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (NYSE:PVH) will buy Warnaco (NYSE:WRC) for approximately $2.9 billion in cash and stock, in an acquisition which “reunites the House of Calvin Klein.” The transaction is worth $68.43 per share, along with a 34 percent premium over Warnaco’s Friday close.

Micron Technology’s (NASDAQ:MU) proposed $2.5 billion purchase of the bankrupt chipmaker Elpida (ELPDF.PK) has been cleared by a court in Tokyo, which also threw out a rival scheme from the latter’s bondholders. Meanwhile, the holders expect to vote against the acquisition when it goes to a creditor vote, which must happen by February 26th. Opponents say that the deal delivers, “Elpida to Micron at a grossly inadequate price.”

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Bill Barrett Corporation (NYSE:BBG) will divest certain non-core natural gas assets that include all Wind River Basin natural gas producing properties, the Powder River Basin coal bed methane assets and also a working interest in its Gibson Gulch-Piceance Basin development property, to an affiliate of Vanguard Natural Resources (NYSE:VNR) for a price of $335 million.

Shares of JDA Software Group (NASDAQ:JDAS) pop on the news that it has agreed to be bought by the private supply chain management software company RedPrairie for $45 per share in cash. The amount marks an 18 percent bonus to JDA’s Wednesday close and a 16 percent premium when compared to its all-time high.

Trimble Navigation Limited (NASDAQ:TRMB) acquires the assets of Vico Software, which is involved in 5D virtual construction software and consulting services, for an amount that was not divulged.

CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) wants to purchase Sony Corporation’s (NYSE:SNE) TV and movie businesses, but executives with the latter put the kabosh on the idea that the units are even up for sale. After the top CBS executive Les Moonves expressed an interest in acquiring the divisions, Sony’s Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai replied that the entertainment companies are set for future growth after stumbling of late.

The shareholder advisory group ISS is backing the proposed merger of Glencore International (GLCNF.PK) and Xstrata (XSRAF.PK)(XSRAY.PK), which gives prospects for the transaction a boost. ISS supports the new terms of the $80 billion deal, and also takes back some of its earlier comments, but the group recommends against payouts that Xstrata has put in place in order to keep its most senior executives.

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Shares of the grocery chain Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) spiked before the Friday close on chatter that Cerberus Capital is in discussions to acquire all shares in the firm, so as to merge its operations with Albertson’s stores. Prior to this, Supervalu had announced a review of strategic alternatives and is now in active dialogue with a number of parties after having received several indications of interest.