Market Overview

Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Thursday February 16, 2012

The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Thursday February 16, 2012:

Grupo Elektra to Acquire Advance America for $10.50 Per Share

The Deal:
Advance America, Cash Advance Centers (NYSE: AEA) and Grupo Elektra announced late Wednesday that Advance America and subsidiaries of Grupo Elektra have entered into a definitive agreement under which Grupo Elektra will acquire control of all of the outstanding shares of Advance America, a leading U.S. short-term lender, for $10.50 per share in cash, representing a 32.7% premium to the Company's closing price of $7.91 on February 15, 2012 . The total transaction value is approximately $780 million, including the Company's outstanding debt as of December 31, 2011.

Advance America closed at $10.44 Thursday, a gain of 32% on 90 times the average daily volume.

Jingwei International Announces Intent to Go Private

The Deal:
Jingwei International (NASDAQ: JNGW) announced Thursday its intent to accept a "going private" proposal proposed by Mr. George Du, Chairman and CEO of the Company, and cease its public company status.

A special committee of the company's board of directors, comprised of independent directors, has recommended, and the board of directors has approved, plans to voluntarily delist the common shares from the NASDAQ Global Market and cease the registration of the Company's common shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Jingwei International closed at $2.11 Thursday, a gain of 45% for the day on 48 times the average daily volume.

CVR Energy Confirms Receipt of Notice from Carl Icahn to Initiate Unsolicited Takeover Offer for the Company

The Deal:
CVR Energy (NYSE: CVI) announced Thursday that it has received notice from Icahn Partners, an entity controlled by Carl Icahn, of its intent to initiate an unsolicited tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of CVR Energy for $30.00 per share in cash, plus a contingent value right.

Mr. Icahn has not commenced a formal tender offer nor has he indicated when he will do so. Mr. Icahn has also given the company notice that he intends to nominate nine directors to the company's Board of Directors at the next annual meeting, five of whom are employees of Mr. Icahn, and to submit a shareholder proposal.

CVR Energy's Board of Directors will review all of Mr. Icahn's actions and respond as appropriate in due course.

Earlier in the day, a $40 per share offer was rumored to be on the table. A CVR spokesperson would not comment on the rumor.

CVR Energy closed at $29.20 Thursday, a gain of 5.8% for the day on more than twice the average daily volume.

NRC Approves Indirect License Transfer Related to Exelon and Constellation Merger

The Deal:
Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC) and Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) announced Thursday that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a series of orders approving the indirect transfer of certain nuclear licenses associated with the Exelon and Constellation Energy merger.

The proposed transaction has been approved by shareholders of Exelon and Constellation. Required regulatory approvals or reviews have been completed by the New York Public Service Commission, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and the Department of Justice. It also requires regulatory approvals by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Maryland Public Service Commission.

Constellation Energy Group closed at $36.67 Thursday, a gain of 1.19% for the day on slightly less than average volume.

Exelon closed at $39.50 Thursday, a gain of 1.05% for the day on slightly less than average volume.

P.F. Chang's Announces Agreement to Acquire Majority Ownership in True Food Kitchen Restaurant Concept

The Deal:
P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc. (NASDAQ: PFCB) announced Thursday its agreement to acquire a majority equity ownership position in True Food Kitchen, a Fox Restaurant Concept specializing in healthy, locally sourced and globally inspired meals.

True Food Kitchen currently has four locations, with two restaurants in Arizona and two in California. Two additional True Food Kitchens are planned for 2012.

P.F. Chang's closed at $35.61 Thursday, a gain of 2.74% for the day on 5.6 times the average daily volume.

ConocoPhillips Announces Sale of Vietnam Business Unit

The Deal:
ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) announced Thursday that, as part of its ongoing strategy to create shareholder value, it has entered into an agreement to sell its Vietnam business unit for a total of $1.29 billion plus customary working capital adjustments.

The transaction is anticipated to close in the first half of 2012.

ConocoPhillips closed at $72.78 Thursday, a loss of 0.01% for the day on 88% of the average daily volume.

Hearing SinoChem to Acquire Mosaic

The Rumor:
China's SinoChem to Acquire Mosaic (NYSE: MOS) for $70 per share or more, according to sources.

Representatives of SinoChem and Mosaic would not comment on the rumor.

Mosaic closed at $55.50 Thursday, a gain of 1.19% for the day on average daily volume.

Hearing Xstrata to Pay $20B for 31.9% of Freeport-McMoRan

The Rumor:
Xstrata (XSRAY) is rumored to be offering $20 billion for a 31.9% stake in Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX), according to sources.

A Spokesperson for Freeport-McMoRan told Benzinga no deal with Xstrata had been previously publically mentioned and had no other comment on the rumor. A representative for Xstrata could not be reached for comment.

Freeport-McMoRan closed at $43.84 Thursday, a gain of 3.4% for the day on 1.4 times the average daily volume.

Hearing Kellogg May Make Bid for Diamond Foods

The Rumor:
Kellogg (NYSE: K) to make a bid for Diamond Foods (NASDAQ: DMND), according to comments from Kellogg CEO John Bryant.

Kellogg announced the acquisition of Pringles from Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG) on Wednesday. Diamond Foods had deal for Pringles pending until it ran into accounting issues. A Spokesperson for Diamond Foods would not comment on the rumor. A Kellogg spokes person could not be reached for comment.

Diamond Foods closed at $24.16 Thursday, a gain of 2.98% for the day on 1.4 times the average daily volume.

Posted-In: Long Ideas News Short Ideas Rumors Asset Sales M&A Global After-Hours Center

 

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