Market Overview

Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Tuesday February 21, 2012

The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Tuesday February 21, 2012:

F5 Networks Acquires Traffix Systems

The Deal:
F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) announced Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire Traffix Systems, the leading provider of 4G Diameter signaling products for telecommunications service providers. The Diameter protocol has gained industry-wide acceptance by the 3GPP and GSMA as the standard for network signaling in all 4G/LTE networks.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

F5 Networks closed at $125.42 Tuesday, a gain of 0.40% on 63% of the average daily volume.

Westlake Chemical Threatens to Withdraw Offer for Georgia Gulf

The Offer:
Westlake Chemical (NYSE: WLK) says it may pull its offer for Georgia Gulf (NYSE: GGC), unless the management of Georgia Gulf changes its approach.

Westlake raised its bid for Georgia Gulf to $35 per share on February 1. Paul D. Carrico, President and Chief Executive Officer of Georgia Gulf responded to Westlake that the offer was not adequate.

Georgia Gulf closed at $34.05 Tuesday, a loss of 1.82% on 1.4 times the average daily volume.

Genomma Lab Internacional Announces Non-binding Proposal to Acquire Prestige Brands Holdings for $16.60 Per Share in Cash

The Offer:
Genomma Lab Internacional announced Tuesday that it has submitted a non-binding proposal to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Prestige Brands Holdings (NYSE: PBH) common stock for $16.60 dollars per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $834 million dollars, not including Prestige's net debt.

Genomma's all-cash proposal represents a premium of 23% over Prestige Brand closing stock price on February 17, 2012 and a 47% premium over the three month historical average of Prestige's share price, both as of February 17, 2012.

Prestige Brand Holdings closed at $16.41 Tuesday, a gain of 21% for the day on 28 times the average daily volume.

Kandi Technologies Reached Agreement to Acquire Yongkang Scrou Electric for $8M

The Deal:
Kandi Technologies (NASDAQ: KNDI) announced Tuesday that the company has entered into a Share Exchange Agreement to acquire Yongkang Scrou Electric for $8 million, by acquiring all of the outstanding capital stock of KO NGA Investment. Scrou is the only operating entity of KO NGA. No closing date has presently been scheduled.

Kandi Technolgies closed at $3.43 Tuesday, a gain of 1.78% for the day on slightly less than the average daily volume.

CH Energy Group to be Acquired by Fortis In Agreement Valued at$1.5B

The Deal:
CH Energy Group (NYSE: CHG) announced Tuesday that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Fortis, under which Fortis will acquire CH Energy Group for an aggregate purchase price of approximately U.S. $1.5 billion, including the assumption of approximately U.S. $500 million of debt. The all-cash transaction will provide U.S. $65 per share to common shareholders of CH Energy Group, parent company of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, an approximate 10.5 percent premium above CH Energy Group's closing stock price on February 17, 2012, the last trading day before the announcement; a premium of 13.1 percent above its most recent 20-day trading average of $57.49; and approximately 10.4 times its 2011 EBITDA.

Subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

CH Energy Group closed at $66.22 Tuesday, a gain of 12.68% for the day on 33 the average daily volume.

Alibaba Group Proposes Privatization of Alibaba.com for HK$13.50 per Share

The Offer:
Alibaba Group and Alibaba.com (ALBCF) today jointly announced that the Offeror has made a proposal to the Board of Directors of Alibaba.com to privatize the company. The Offeror and concert parties together hold 73.45 percent of Alibaba.com.

The proposal offers minority shareholders HK$13.50 per share in cash, which implies a premium of 60.4 percent over the 60-day average closing price of Alibaba.com shares, and a premium of 55.3 percent over the 10-day average closing price.

Alibaba.com closed at $1.71 Tuesday, a gain of 4.66% for the day on twice the average daily volume.

Gulf Resources Chairman to Consider Privatization Option

The Rumor:
Gulf Resources (NASDAQ: GURE) issued a press release Tuesday regarding recent market speculation as to the Company's plans with respect to a potential third-party investment in the Company, or a privatization transaction.

There have been recent market rumors about the implications for the Company of an investment letter of intent between Shandong Ocean Bright Stone Industry Fund Management and Shandong Haoyuan Industrial Group.

As of this time, the Company has not received from either SHIG or Ocean Bright any formal or informal offer as to any type of investment or acquisition transaction, or any other inquiry seeking negotiations or due diligence. The Company's Board of Directors will take appropriate steps in the best interests of the Company's shareholders to evaluate fully and independently any such offer or inquiry that may be received from SHIG or Ocean Bright in the future.

Gulf Resources closed at $2.87 Tuesday, a gain of 9.54% for the day on 8 times the average daily volume.

Life Technologies a Takeover Target as DNA Play

The Rumor:
Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE) is a possible takeover target, according to an article Tuesday on Bloomberg.com.

Life Technologies is one of the cheaper DNA plays, according to the Bloomberg report. Interest in DNA-related stocks have been in play since Roche (RHHBY) offered $44.50 per share for Illumina on January 25. The offer was rejected by Illumina's Board.

Life Technologies closed at $46.49 Tuesday, a gain of 1.24% for the day on more than twice the average daily volume.

Hearing Arcellor Mittal has Offered $17 Per Share for Mechel

The Rumor:
Arcellor Mittal (NYSE: MT) has offered $17 per share to acquire Mechel (NYSE: MTL), according to sources.

A spokesperson for Arcellor Mittal would not comment on the rumor. A representative for Mechel could not be reached for comment.

Mechel closed at $10.70 Tuesday, a gain of 0.38% for the day on almost twice the average daily volume.

Hearing Microsoft Will Make Offer to Acquire Research in Motion

The Rumor:
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) to acquire Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) for more than $20 per share, according to sources. Research in Motion continues to be a frequent takeover name.

Benzinga contacted representatives of both companies and neither would comment on this often rumored pairing.

Research in Motion closed at $14.88 Tuesday, a loss of 1.26% for the day on half the average daily volume.

Hearing AT&T Wants to Acquire MetroPCS

The Rumor:
AT&T (NYSE: T) to acquire MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS), according to sources. AT&T is reportedly seeking FTC approval for the deal.

A MetroPCS spokesperson had no comment on the rumor, while a spokesperson for AT&T could not be reached for comment.

MetroPCS closed at $10.31 Tuesday, a loss of 0.29% for the day on slightly more the average daily volume.

Hearing Anheuser-Busch InBev Considering Purchase of StarBev

The Rumor:
Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD) is considering a purchase of Czech Brewer StarBev, according to the Wall Street Journal. Such deal could be worth as much as $3 billion.

StarBev is currently owned by CVC Capital Partners.

Anheuser-Busch Inbev closed at $65.49 Tuesday, a gain of 0.18% for the day on half the average daily volume.

Posted-In: Long Ideas News Short Ideas Rumors Legal M&A Global Trading Ideas

 

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