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TMCNet:  M&A Navigator: Deal Pipeline -- 28 Oct 2009

[October 28, 2009]

M&A Navigator: Deal Pipeline -- 28 Oct 2009

(M&A Navigator Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The following is a list of deals covered in detail by M&A Navigator this week: - ROMANIA'S COMPETITION BODY CLEARS TELEMOBIL SALE TO COSMOTE Romania's competition watchdog said it had cleared the sale of local mobile operator Telemobil to Cosmote, the mobile unit of Greek telecomms group OTE (ATH:HTO).

Status: Agreed - CISCO TO BUY WEB-SECURITY CO SCANSAFE FOR USD183M US networking specialist Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) said it planned to acquire London-based web-security services provider ScanSafe for nearly USD183m (EUR123.5m) in cash and retention-based incentives.

Status: Agreed - FINNISH KONECRANES BUYS US MTS CO Finnish lifting solutions specialist Konecranes (HEL:KCR1V) has acquired Cincinnati-based engineering company Machine Tool Solutions for an undisclosed sum.

Status: Closed - COMSTAR-UTS TO MERGE 18 UNITS INTO COMSTAR-REGIONS Russian integrated telecomms provider Comstar - United TeleSystems (LON:CMST) said today it would merge eighteen regional subsidiaries into Comstar-Regions as part of its restructuring.

Status: Agreed - COMROD COMMUNICATION TO RAISE EUR3.6M TO BUY TELESCOPIC MAST PRODUCER Norway-based antenna manufacturer Comrod Communication (OSL:COMROD) said it would raise NOK30m (USD5.3m/EUR3.6m) through a private placement to finance its planned acquisition of a telescopic mast producer.

Status: Talks - FAR EAST TELECOM WRAPS UP SAKHATELECOM BUYOUT Russian telecomms group Far East Telecom (PINK:FEEOY), or OJSC Dalsvyaz, said it has closed the buyout of its subsidiary Sakhatelecom for RUB1.318bn (USD45m/EUR30m).

Status: Closed - FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS SHAREHOLDERS OKAY VERIZON DEAL US communications services provider Frontier Communications (NYSE:FTR) said its shareholders gave the go-ahead to the acquisition of the local exchange operations of rival Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) in 14 states.

Status: Agreed - IDEATION ACQUISITION CORP STOCKHOLDERS OKAY SEARCHMEDIA DEAL Ideation Acquisition Corp (AMEX:IDI) said Tuesday its shareholders cleared the proposed acquisition of SearchMedia International.

Status: Agreed - BINANI CEMENT DISCUSSING TURKISH CO ACQUISITION Indian cement maker Binani Cement (BOM:532849) is negotiating to buy a sector company in Turkey for INR10bn (USD212m/EUR143m) in a move to boost its production capacity within two years.

Status: Speculation, Talks - DEUTSCHE BOERSE EMERGES AS FRONTRUNNER FOR WARSAW EXCHANGE German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse (ETR:DB1) is emerging as the lead bidder for Polish state-run Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Status: Bidding - ZUERCHER KANTONALBANK TO FULLY BUY AUSTRIAN PRIVATINVEST BANK Zuercher Kantonalbank (ZKB) said it has agreed to buy Austrian Privatinvest Bank (PIAG), which would enable the Swiss bank to set foot in the EU banking market and expand its international client base.

Status: Agreed - SUNWAYS DIVESTS MHH SOLARTECHNIK, INKS JV WITH BAYWA German solar cells and photovoltaic systems maker Sunways (ETR:SWW) said it has offloaded its stake in domestic sector player MHH Solartechnik to BayWa Green Energy for between EUR15m (USD22m) and EUR20m, depending on performance.

Status: Agreed - RWE WITHDRAWS FROM BULGARIAN NUCLEAR JV ON LACK OF FUNDING German utility RWE (ETR:RWE) said it has pulled out from its nuclear power plant joint venture with Bulgarian state-run National Electricity Co (NEK) because of problems with the project funding.

Status: Terminated - VERIS STOCKHOLDERS CLEAR DIVESTMENT Irish investment holding company Veris (ISE:VERI) said it has agreed to sell its property and facilities management business to Aramark Ireland and Aramark Investment for EUR50.8m (USD75m) in cash.

Status: Agreed - HSBC STRIKES CREDIT CARD JV DEAL WITH BOCOM UK's banking giant HSBC (LON:HSBA) said it is in advanced talks with Chinese Bank of Communications Co (SHA:601328), or BoCom, to form a credit card joint venture in China.

Status: Agreed - US HARSCO SEALS JV DEAL WITH ZHEJIANG CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS Chinese state-run building materials maker Zhejiang Construction Materials Corp inked a joint venture deal with US infrastructure and engineering group Harsco Corp (NYSE:HSC).

Status: Agreed - SPARTECH FINALISES WHEELS BUSINESS SALE US Spartech Corp (NYSE:SEH), an intermediary processor of engineered thermoplastics, said today it has closed the divestment of its wheels division to a group of private investors for USD34.5m (EUR23.3m).

Status: Closed - ARSENAL FC'S LARGEST STOCKHOLDER SEEN TO EYE HARRISON'S STAKE US businessman Stan Kroenke is expected to boost his stake in UK football club Arsenal to reach the 29.9% threshold which would require him to make a takeover bid for the club.

Status: Speculation - MAGNA GETS SPANISH UNIONS VOTE FOR OPEL DEAL Canadian automotive supplier Magna (TSE:MG.A) moved closer to a deal to take over German carmaker Opel after on Monday Spanish Opel workers voted in favour of Magna's plan for the German carmaker.

Status: Agreed - JAPANESE DOCOMO EXTENDS TO 9 NOV ACCEPTANCE PERIOD FOR NET MOBILE BUY Japanese mobile telecomms services provider NTT Docomo (TYO:9437) extended until 9 November the acceptance period for its tender offer for the purchase of German mobile content distributor Net Mobile (ETR:N1M).

Status: Bidding - FRENCH FUND ALTHINVEST TAKES 35% OF SOCREP FOR EUR600,000 French investment fund Althinvest has bought 35% of Socrep, a local maker of surface material for the ski and snowboard industry, for EUR600,000 (USD889,000).

Status: Closed, Speculation - SPAIN'S LARA FAMILY GIVES UP VUELING STAKE FOR EUR11 P/S Spain's Lara family has disposed of its 14.31% stake in Spanish low-cost airline Vueling (BCN:VULG) for EUR11 (USD16.3) per share, or a total of EUR47.06m Status: Closed, Speculation - SPANISH LA CAIXA SELLS 25% OF AGBAR TO FRENCH SUEZ, RETAINS VETO RIGHT Spain's top savings bank La Caixa has kept a veto right over "strategic decisions" at water utility Aguas de Barcelona (MCE:AGS), or Agbar, after it agreed to give control over it to its French partner Suez Environment (EPA:SEV).

Status: Agreed - RUSSIAN ROSNEFT MAY BUY REFINERY IN EUROPE Russia's oil major Rosneft (MCX:ROSN) is looking to buy a refinery in Europe.

Status: Bidding - DEUTSCHE BANK TO TAKE FULL CONTROL OF SAL. OPPENHEIM'S HOLDING CO Germany's Deutsche Bank (ETR:DBK) will take full control of the holding company of private bank Sal. Oppenheim.

Status: Talks, Speculation - TPG SELLS REMAINING DEBENHAMS STOCK FOR GBP0.816 P/S US private equity firm TPG Capital sold on Tuesday its remaining 120 million shares in UK department-store chain Debenhams (LON:DEB) for GBP0.816 (USD1.33/EUR0.9) per share.

Status: Closed, Speculation - ITALIAN IMA BOARD MEMBER RAISES STAKE TO 3.812% Giancarlo Folco, board member of Italian machinery manufacturer Industria Macchine Automatiche (BIT:IMA), or IMA, has boosted his stake in the company to 3.812%.

Status: Closed - ASSA ABLOY BUYS CHINESE STEEL DOOR MAKER PAN PAN Swedish lock maker Assa Abloy (STO:ASSA B) today announced it has bought Chinese high security steel door maker Pan Pan, in a move to further boost its leading position in the country.

Status: Agreed - MANDARIN CAPITAL FUND AGREES TO BUY 6.745% OF ITALIAN IMA FOR EUR14.5 P/S Chinese-European private equity fund Mandarin Capital Partners said it has entered an agreement to acquire 2.3 million shares, or 6.745%, in Italian machinery maker Industria Macchine Automatiche (BIT:IMA).

Status: Agreed - POLITICIANS SAY PROGLIO NOT LOOKING TO MERGE EDF, VEOLIA Henri Proglio, soon to take up the top position at French power utility EDF (EPA:EDF), is not seeking a full merger of the company with home utility Veolia (EPA:VIE).

Status: Denied - SPORTS DIRECT THREATENS LEGAL ACTION TO PROTECT BLACKS LEISURE STAKE UK sports clothing retailer Sports Direct (LON:SPD) plans to take legal action to protect its 29% in local outdoor clothing retailer Blacks Leisure which was taken over by the administrators of troubled bank Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander (KSF).

Status: Closed, Speculation - FORD PICKS GEELY AS VOLVO PREFERRED BUYER US carmaker Ford Motor Co (NYSE:F) said it has selected a group headed by Chinese Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (HKG:0175) as the preferred bidder in the ongoing talks for the sale of Swedish carmaker Volvo.

Status: Bidding, Talks, Exclusivity - FRENCH VIVALTO SANTE TO BUY 60% STAKE IN CPA French healthcare company Vivalto Sante will take over a 60% stake in local sector firm Cliniques Privees Associees (CPA) from the 180 practitioners who own it, for an undisclosed price.

Status: Agreed - EU OKAYS BELGACOM'S GAINING FULL CONTROL OF BICS The European Commission (EC) granted its approval to Belgian telecomms group Belgacom (EBR:BELG) to buy out its joint venture Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS), in which it holds a controlling stake.

Status: Agreed - CANADIAN AEROMECHANICAL CLOSES BUY OF US WINGSPEED ASSETS Canadian AeroMechanical Services (CVE:AMA), a provider of technological solutions and services for the aerospace industry, said it had closed the buy of the assets of US bankrupt sector player Wingspeed for USD250,000 (EUR169,000).

Status: Closed - SWEDISH SCA ACQUIRES ALGODONERA ACONCAGUA IN ARGENTINA FOR EUR16.1M Swedish hygiene and paper group Svenska Cellulosa (STO:SCA B) said that its Colombian joint-venture company had bought Argentina-based feminine care company Algodonera Aconcagua for some SEK165m (USD23.9m/EUR16.1m) on a debt-free basis.

Status: Closed - UK BALFOUR BEATTY WRAPS UP BUY OF US PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF FOR USD626M UK construction and engineering group Balfour Beatty (LON:BBY) said it had wrapped up the acquisition of US building consultancy specialist Parsons Brinckerhoff for USD626m (EUR422.5m) in cash.

Status: Closed - FRANCE TELEVISIONS GETS SIX TAKEOVER BIDS FOR AD UNIT FTP French state-run broadcaster France Televisions has received six takeover bids for its advertising unit France Televisions Publicite (FTP).

Status: Bidding - INDIAN SASKEN TO BUY CERTAIN ASSETS OF US INGENIENT TECHNOLOGIES Indian software company Sasken Communication Technologies (BOM:532663) said it had agreed to buy certain assets of US multimedia software firm Ingenient Technologies.

Status: Agreed - REED'S CLOSES BUY OF SONOMA SPARKLER BRAND US soda maker Reed's (NASDAQ:REED) said it had wrapped up the purchase of the brand and certain assets of sector player Sonoma Sparkler, including the six beverages sold under the brand, for USD252,000 (EUR170,000).

Status: Closed - UK CREW GOLD CLOSES SALE OF NUGGET POND FACILITY TO RAMBLER UK miner Crew Gold Corp (TSE:CRU) said it had wrapped up the sale of its Nugget Pond processing facility in Canada to mineral exploration company Rambler Metals and Mining Plc (LON:RMM).

Sector: Closed - US PPD TO BUY EXCEL PHARMASTUDIES IN CHINA US global contract research organisation PPD (NASDAQ:PPDI) said it had agreed to buy Chinese sector player Excel PharmaStudies for an undisclosed price.

Status: Agreed - VOLKSWAGEN TO MAKE DECISION ON KARMANN ACQUISITION IN TWO WEEKS German carmaker Volkswagen (ETR:VOW) will decide whether to buy a stake in bankrupt contract carmaker Karmann within two weeks.

Status: Talks - SWEDISH FOURIERTRANSFORM TO INJECT EUR5.8M IN VOLVO'S POWERCELL Swedish state-owned venture capital company Fouriertransform will invest SEK60m (USD8.6m/EUR5.8m) in fuel cell company Powercell Sweden, in exchange for new shares in Powercell.

Status: Agreed - US AUTONATION TO BUY VALLEY HONDA, VALLEY ACURA DEALERSHIPS IN SPOKANE US automotive retailer AutoNation (NYSE:AN) has agreed to buy Valley Honda and Valley Acura dealerships in Spokane, Washington.

Status: Agreed - PORTUGUESE BANIF PLANS SALE OF BROKERAGE UNIT IN BRAZIL FOR EUR58.3M Portuguese banking group Banif (ELI:BNF) is studying the divestment of its Brazilian brokerage unit for some BRL150m (USD86.4m/EUR58.3m).

Status: Speculation, Denied - GSI COMMERCE TO TAKE OVER RETAIL CONVERGENCE FOR USD180M US e-commerce service provider GSI Commerce (NASDAQ:GSIC) said it had entered an agreement to acquire sector player Retail Convergence Inc (RCI) for USD180m (EUR121.5m) in cash and stock.

Status: Agreed - BELGIAN AVH, ELECTRABEL CONSIDER ESTABLISHMENT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY FIRM Belgian diversified services company Ackermans & van Haaren NV (EBR:ACKB), or AvH, and power utility Electrabel are mulling over the setting up of a renewable energy firm.

Status: Talks, Speculation - X5 GETS NOD TO BUY STAKE IN PATERSON Russian grocery store operator X5 Retail Group (LON:FIVE) got the thumbs-up by the country's antitrust regulator to buy a stake in smaller rival Paterson.

Status: Bidding - EBRO PULEVA LIKELY TO BID FOR SOS' EUROPEAN RICE BUSINESS Spanish food group Ebro Puleva (MCE:EVA) is keen on buying the European rice business of rival SOS Corporacion Alimentaria (MCE:SOS).

Status: Speculation, Bidding - BUDIMEX TO BUY 50% IN REAL ESTATE UNIT FOR EUR92M Polish construction group Budimex (WAR:BDX) said in a market filing it would acquire 50% of its real estate arm, Budimex Nieruchomosci, from its current partner Grimaldi Investments for PLN385m (USD137m/EUR92m).

Status: Exclusivity - UNITED TECHNOLOGIES EMERGES AS FRONTRUNNER FOR GE SECURITY BUSINESS US industrial group United Technologies Corp (NYSE:UTX) seems to be the lead bidder for the fire alarm and surveillance systems division of diversified group General Electric Co (NYSE:GE).

Status: Speculation, Bidding - BARCLAYS SWEETENS BID FOR ITALIAN BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI BRANCHES UK banking group Barclays (LON:BARC) has raised to EUR540m (USD804.08m) its bid for the 135 branches put up for sale by Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BIT:BMPS).

Status: Bidding, Speculation - CEZ MAKES OFFER FOR 21.3% OF GERMAN UTILITY ENSO Czech power utility CEZ (PRG:BAACEZ) has made an offer for the acquisition of 21.3% of German utility Enso, controlled by Swedish state-owned sector player Vattenfall.

Status: Bidding - PRISA SEEKING FURTHER SPANISH-LANGUAGE MEDIA DEALS IN THE US Spanish media group Prisa (MCE:PRS) is chasing "the best partners and the best assets" in the radio sector in the US targeting Hispanic audience.

Status: Bidding - MORGAN STANLEY CONSIDERS SALE OF SONY CENTER IN BERLIN US Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds (MSREF), a subsidiary of financial service group Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), is mulling over the sale of its Sony Center property in Berlin.

Status: Auction, Speculation - DUTCH ING MAY DIVEST FROM ROMANIAN INSURANCE UNIT Dutch financial company ING Groep (AMS:INGA) may offload its Romanian life insurance unit, ING Asigurari de Viata, as part of its intentions to divest its insurance operations.

Status: Auction - GERMAN ESCADA RECEIVES SEVERAL OFFERS FROM POTENTIAL BUYERS Bankrupt German fashion house Escada (ETR:ESC) has received several binding offers from potential buyers, following due diligence procedures.

Status: Bidding, Talks - KARSTADT'S AUCTION LURES GERMAN, FOREIGN INVESTORS Karstadt, the department store unit of insolvent German retailer Arcandor (ETR:ARO), has drawn the attention of German and foreign potential buyers.

Status: Auction - WIND HELLAS SHORTLISTS WEATHER INVESTMENTS, NOTEHOLDERS Greek mobile operator Wind Hellas said it has shortlisted two bidders for its Hellas II assets, namely its current owner Weather Investments, owned by Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, and a group of bondholders.

Status: Auction - ENBW SAYS MANY POTENTIAL BUYERS INTERESTED IN GESO German energy group EnBW (ETR:EBK) has attracted numerous bidders for its eastern German utility Geso.

Status: Auction - RATIOPHARM SEEKING TO ATTRACT BUYERS WITH AMBITIOUS TARGETS German drug maker Ratiopharm has set an ambitious profit outlook hoping to attract potential buyers as the deadline for bids is expiring in early November.

Status: Auction - BLACK STONE MINERALS BOOSTS BID FOR EAGLE ROCK'S MINERAL BUSINESS Houston-based mineral group Black Stone Minerals said it has raised its offer to acquire the minerals business of US midstream company Eagle Rock Energy Partners without disclosing the new price of its bid.

Status: Bidding - ING TO SEPARATE INSURANCE AND BANKING OPS Dutch financial group ING (AMS:INGA) said it would separate its banking operations from its insurance and investment management activities over the next three years as part of a reshuffle filed for approval with the European Commission (EC).

Status: Auction - GOLDSHIELD MANAGEMENT BOOSTS BID TO GBP4.85 P/S Midas Bidco said Sunday it has raised its cash offer for British generic drug maker Goldshield Group (LON:GSD) to GBP4.85 (USD7.90/EUR5.25) per share, valuing the company at about GBP179m.

Status: Bidding - NOVERA ENERGY URGES SHAREHOLDERS TO REJECT INFINIS BID The board of UK renewable energy group Novera Energy (LON:NVE) has advised shareholders to reject the GBP0.62 (USD1.01/EUR0.67) hostile takeover bid of home rival Infinis Energy saying it "substantially undervalues the company".

Status: Bidding - CREDIT AGRICOLE MULLS OVER TIE-UP WITH SG, GROUPAMA French bank Credit Agricole (EPA:ACA) is studying a three-way merger with local rival Societe Generale (EPA:GLE) and insurer Groupama.

Status: Speculation - GERMAN RUPAG IN TALKS TO SELL BKN BIOSTROM STAKE German private equity firm Rupag Grundbesitz & Beteiligungen is looking to dispose of its 44% stake in home biogas plants developer BKN biostrom (ETR:B9K) this year.

Status: Talks, Speculation - UK CENTRICA TO SELL HALF ITS STAKE IN WIND FARM FOR GBP400M UK utility Centrica (LON:CNA) plans to sell half of its holding in the Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farm, the largest facility of its kind in the world, as part of a divestment programme launched in July.

Status: Talks, Speculation - STAGECOACH NEAR TO FORMAL OFFER FOR NATIONAL EXPRESS UK international passenger transport company Stagecoach (LON:SCG) is working on the last financing details as it prepares to place a takeover bid for troubled home sector player National Express (LON:NEX).

Status: Bidding - HEINEKEN WANTS FEMSA'S BEER OPS TO EXPAND TO LATIN AMERICA Dutch brewer Heineken (AMS:HEIA) is negotiating the acquisition of the brewing business of Mexican beverages group Femsa (MXK:FEMSAUBD) in an effort to set foot in Latin America.

Status: Talks, Speculation - LLOYDS'S PRIVATE EQUITY ARM EYES CPA GLOBAL FOR GBP400M UK Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) is in talks to buy patent and legal services group CPA Global for GBP400m (USD652m/EUR434m) through its private equity arm.

Status: Bidding, Speculation - UK WEST AFRICAN DIAMONDS CLOSE TO COMPLETE MERGER WITH AFRICAN MINER UK-based diamond miner West African Diamonds (LON:WAD) is nearing a deal to merge with an unnamed privately owned peer in western Africa, which would boost its annual production rate by 400%.

Status: Talks, Speculation - UK MATALAN'S FOUNDER HIRES PWC TO ADVISE ON POTENTIAL SALE UK value-fashion retailer Matalan's founder John Hargreaves has mandated US advisor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to manage a potential sale of the company valued at GBP1.5bn (USD2.44bn/EUR1.63bn).

Status: Talks, Speculation - CZECH CEZ MAKES OFFER TO BUY ENBW'S GESO IN GERMANY Czech power utility CEZ (PRG:BAACEZ) has launched a bid to acquire 100% of German sector player GESO, currently part of Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg (EnBW) (ETR:EBK).

Status: Bidding - REYAL URBIS EYES SALE OF ASSETS FOR UP TO EUR300M Spanish real estate company Reyal Urbis (MCE:REY) plans to sell assets for between EUR200m (USD300.8m) and EUR300m in November, in line with its debt refinancing plan.

Status: Auction, Speculation - US DDI MAKES USD0.19 P/S BID FOR CANADIAN CORETEC US printed circuit board (PCB) engineering and manufacturing service provider DDi (NASDAQ:DDIC) said it has launched a CAD0.20 (USD0.19/EUR0.13) apiece bid to buy Canadian PCB designer and producer Coretec (TSE:CYY).

Status: Bidding - VOLKSWAGEN IN DISCUSSIONS TO ACQUIRE BANKRUPT KARMANN German carmaker Volkswagen (ETR:VOW) is in negotiations to buy bankrupt contract carmaker Karmann.

Status: Talks, Speculation - SPANISH BANCO URQUIJO EYES BUY OF INDEPENDENT FIRM Spanish Banco Urquijo, a subsidiary of commercial bank Sabadell (MCE:SAB), is exploring opportunities to buy an independent company as part of its growth strategy.

Status: Bidding ((Comments on this story may be sent to (c) 2009 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

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