Market Overview

Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Wednesday January 25, 2012

The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Wednesday January 25, 2012:

Roche Offers $44.50 Per Share for Illumina

The Offer:
Roche (RHHBY) announced Tuesday that it is proposing to acquire all outstanding shares of Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) for $44.50 per share in cash, or an aggregate of approximately $5.7 billion on a fully diluted basis.

Illumina acknowledged the announcement by Roche. Consistent with its fiduciary duties and responsibilities, and in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, Illumina's Board of Directors will thoroughly review Roche's proposal and make a recommendation to stockholders in due course that the Board believes is in the best interests of Illumina stockholders. Illumina stockholders are advised to take no action at this time pending the Board's recommendation.

Analyst estimates on where an actual deal could be made, ranged from $56 to $80.

Illumina closed at $55.15 Wednesday, a gain of 46% for the day on 12 times the average daily volume.

BHP Billiton, Arcelor Mittal or Anglo American to Acquire Walter Energy for as Much as $120 Per Share

The Rumor:
Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT) will be acquired for as much as $120 per share, according to comments out of Davenport. The rumored buyers are BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP), Arcelor Mittal (NYSE: MT) and Anglo American (AAUKY) are the rumored buyers

A spokesperson for Walter Energy, Paul Blalock, told Benzinga he had seen the statement from Davenport posted in a Bloomberg article and had no comment. A spokesperson for BHP also had no comment, while those from Arcelor Mittal and Anglo American could not be reached.

Walter Energy closed at $70.14 Wednesday, a gain of 3.85% for the day on twice the average daily volume.

Merck to Acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals

The Rumor:
Merck (NYSE: MRK) to acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDASQ: IDIX), according to comments out of William Blair.

Spokespersons for both Merck and Idenix would not comment to Benzinga on the Blair report. Idenix has been a frequent takeover name of late.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals closed at $14.75 Wednesday, a loss of 0.94% for the day on more than 1.5 times the average daily volume.

Eddie Lampert to Take Sears Holdings Private

The Rumor:
Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) to be taken private by Chairman Eddie Lampert for $57.50, according to sources.

Lampert purchased 4.8 million shares of Sears on January 12 at 29.26. Based on today's closing price of $44.87, he has a profit of just under $75 million. Sears Holdings lost about 2% Wednesday on just under twice the average daily volume.

Carlyle Group to Acquire Corinthian Colleges

The Rumor:
Private equity firm Carlyle Group to acquire Corinthian Colleges (NASDAQ: COCO) for $4.50 per share, according to sources.

Corinthian Colleges is down about 50% over the past 12 months. A spokesperson for Corinthian told Benzinga he was not aware of the rumor and had no comment. A Carlyle spokesperson was not available.

Corinthian Colleges closed at $3.13 Wednesday, a gain of 6.83% for the day on slightly more than twice the average daily volume.

Royal Dutch Shell to Acquire Cabot Oil and Gas

The Rumor:
Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) to acquire Cabot Oil and Gas (NYSE: COG), according to sources.

Cabot was last mentioned as a takeover target back in October. Spokespersons for Cabot and Shell could not be reached for comment

Cabot Oil and Gas closed at $66.62 Wednesday, a gain 4.03% for the day on more than twice the average daily volume.

Human Genome Sciences to be Acquired

The Rumor:
Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ: HGSI) to be acquired, according to sources.

Much of Human Genome's move today was on the heels of Illumina's takeover bid from Roche. HGSI last had takeover chatter of its own on January 6, with Glaxo SmithKline (NYSE: GSK) the rumored buyer.

A spokesperson for Human Genome had no comment on the rumor.

Human Genome Sciences closed at $9.92 Wednesday, a gain of 8.65% for the day on 2.5 times the average daily volume.

Texas Industries to be Acquired

The Rumor:
Texas Industries (NYSE: TXI) is a takeover target, considering the current low price of the stock, according to Charles LaLoggia. Potential buyers include current 22% shareholder NNS Holding, 10% shareholder Longleaf and 10% shareholder Shamrock Activity Value Fund.

Texas Industries at $32.40 Wednesday, a gain of 3.57% for the day on half the average daily volume.

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

 

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