Market Overview

Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Tuesday January 24, 2012


The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Tuesday January 24, 2012:

Amgen to Acquire Dendreon

The Rumor:
AMGN (NASDAQ: AMGN) to acquire Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) for $21 per share, according to sources.

Dendreon has been a recurring name as a takeover over the past few years. The last chatter involved Novartis back on December 20. CEO Mitch Gold has always indicated in the past he wants Dendreon to remain an independent company.

Amgen would not comment on the rumor. A Dendreon spokesperson was not available for comment.

Dendreon closed at $13.97 Tuesday, a gain of 5.75% for the day on almost twice the average daily volume.

Range Resources to be Acquired for as Much as $100 Per Share

The Rumor:
Range Resources (NYSE: RRC) will be acquired for as much as $100 per share, according to comments out of Raymond James.

Range Resources is a weekly target for chatter. On January 17 it was rumored the company had hired advisors to handle potential bids. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) has been the name most associated with a takeover of Range Resources. As always, the company will not comment on rumors.

Range Resources closed at $57.20 Tuesday, a loss of 3.05% for the day on 1.6 times the average daily volume.

Collective Brands to be Acquired

The Rumor:
For the second day in a row, Collective Brands (NYSE: PSS) was the subject of takeover chatter.

Bloomberg reported that the parent company of Payless Shoe Source could be worth as much as $27 per share. Potential bidders include (NYSE: DSW), PE firm Irving Capital and Leonard Green.

A spokesperson for Collective Brands said the company would not comment while undergoing strategic review.

Collective Brands closed at $15.89 Tuesday, a gain of 6.36% for the day on more than 2.4 times the average daily volume.

Petroleo Brasileiro to Acquire 35% Stake in Transocean

The Rumor:
Petroleo Brasileiro (NYSE: PBR) to acquire up to a 35% stake in Transocean (NYSE: RIG), according to sources.

Spokespersons for both Petrobras and Transocean basically denied the rumors, but officially would not comment. Later in the day several major news media said the deal would not happen and Jefferies also made some negative comments regarding a potential deal.

Transocean closed at $45.83 Tuesday, a gain of 1.39% for the day on twice the average daily volume.

Arch Coal to Acquire Patriot Coal

The Rumor:
Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) to acquire Patriot Coal (NYSE: PCX) for $12.50 per share.

The rumor may be attributed to a press release from a stock newsletter.

Patriot Coal last had takeover talk back on November 2, 2011.

Patriot Coal closed at $8.03 Tuesday, a loss of 0.37% for the day on slightly more than the average daily volume.

Johnson & Johnson, Vertex Pharmaceuticals to Acquire Achillion Pharmaceuticals

The Rumor:
Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACHN) has retained Merrill Lynch to solicit bids from potential buyers. Rumored buyers include Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX), with a target price as high as $24 per share. Achillion last had chatter on January 20, when a survey of investors agreed the company was a potential takeover target.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals closed at $10.75 Tuesday, a gain 16.72% for the day on 4.5 times the average daily volume.

Amazon to Acquire Research in Motion

The Rumor:
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) to acquire Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), according to chatter circulating online.

RIMM's new CEO Thorsten Heins, said on Monday the company would listen to potential buyers, though that was not the primary focus.

Research in Motion closed at $15.01 Tuesday, a loss of 3.53% for the day on 1.5 times the average daily volume.

Terex Receives Bid

The Rumor:
Terex (NYSE: TEX) has has received a bid of $30 per share, according to sources. The name of the potential buyer was not mentioned.

Terex closed at $19.30 Tuesday, a gain of 3.15% for the day on slightly less than the average daily volume.

Watson Acquires Ascent Pharmahealth for AU$375 Million

The Deal:
Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WPI) announced Tuesday that it has acquired Ascent Pharmahealth Ltd, the Australia and Southeast Asia generic pharmaceutical business of Strides Arcolab Ltd, for AU$375 million in cash. As a result of the acquisition, Watson becomes the fifth largest generic pharmaceutical company in Australia based on revenue, and the combined company will be the second largest in terms of total molecules. Watson also becomes the largest generics company in Singapore and gains an established commercial base in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand. Watson expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to 2012 non-GAAP earnings.

Watson Pharmaceuticals closed at $55.89 Tuesday, a loss of 2.31% for the day on 5.5 times the average daily volume.

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