Market Overview

Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Wednesday January 18, 2012

The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Wednesday January 18, 2012:

E*Trade Financial to be Acquired

The Rumor:
E*Trade Financial (NSDAQ: ETFC) to be acquired by a combination of companies, according to sources.

E*Trade last had takeover chatter back on October 24, 2011 and on November 10, announced it was ending plans to sell itself. An E*Trade spokesperson was not available for comment.

E*Trade closed at $9.36 Wednesday, a gain of 1.74% for the day on 65% of the average daily volume.

Private Equity to Acquire Crocs

The Rumor:
Crocs (NASDAQ: CROX) to be acquired by private equity according to sources. The price being discussed is around $25.00 per share.

Crocs did not respond to calls from Benzinga.

Crocs closed at $18.79 Wednesday, a gain of 3.98% for the day on 1.32 times the average daily volume.

Merck, Johnson & Johnson to Acquire Vertex Pharmaceuticals

The Rumor:
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX) has hired Goldman Sachs to handle the bidding process. Interested buyers include Merck and Johnson & Johnson. The rumored asking pice is $55 per share. That price is in the same range as analysts price targets for the stock in early December.

Vertex closed at $37.47 Wednesday, a gain of 2.63% for the day on 1.32 times the average daily volume.

Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Labs to Acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals

The Rumor:
Merck (NYSE: MRK), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) or Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) will acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IDIX), according to comments out of Wedbush. The takeover target price will be around $24 per share.

Idenix has had a tremendous run over the past week to 10 days, as part of the hepatitis C 'bubble', rising 100%. Competitor Inhibitex recently agreed to be acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb for $26 per share.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals closed at $14.48 Wednesday, a gain of 6.20% for the day on almost twice the average daily volume.

Posted-In: Long Ideas News Short Ideas Rumors M&A After-Hours Center Movers Tech

 

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