Market Overview

Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Friday March 30, 2012


The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Friday March 30, 2012:

Hearing Netflix Has Hired Goldman Sachs as an Adviser

The Rumor:
Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser to explore strategic alternatives, according to sources. Netflix has been struggling to retain its dominance in the streaming video market since making the misstep of announcing the Qwikster service in September, which would separate the DVD rental service from the streaming service. The company subsequently lost 800,000 subscribers in Q4 2011 and its share price, which had reached $304 in July, plummeted to a low near $62 at the end of November.

Netflix spokesperson Steve Swasey declined comment on the Goldman Sachs rumor.

Netflix closed at $115.04 Friday, a loss of 0.01% on half the average daily volume.

Liberty Media Seeks Full Control of Sirius XM

The Deal:
Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LMCA) is seeking to take over Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI), according to filings Liberty made to the FCC. Sirus has asked the FCC to deny the application, according to WSJ.

Liberty Media currently owns preferred Sirius stock that is convertible into 40% of the outstanding 3.76 billion common shares of the satellite radio company. Spokespersons for the two companies were not available for comment.

Sirius XM Radio closed at $2.31 Friday, a gain of 4.52% on twice the average daily volume.

Hearing Liz Claiborne Seeking Buyer at $20 Per Share

The Rumor:
Liz Claiborne (NYSE: LIZ) has held talks with private equity firms for a takeover at $20 per share, according to WSJ.

Liz Claiborne responded to the report: "Our general policy is to not respond to rumors about our company. That said, in response to media reports today, there is currently no contemplation of any strategy for the company other than executing against the operating plan we have already discussed."

Liz Claiborne announced on January 4 it was changing its name to "Fifth & Pacific Companies" to better communicate its strategic focus on growing its three global lifestyle brands (Juicy Couture, kate spade and Lucky Brand) and reflect the sale of the Liz Claiborne namesake brand to J.C. Penney, among other recent transactions. The change is expected to be effective on or about May 15, 2012 at which time the Company will begin trading as Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc., under the symbol "FNP".

Liz Claiborne closed at $13.36 Friday, a gain of 12.93% on 7 times the average daily volume.

Hearing Renewed Takeover Chatter in Cree

The Rumor:
Cree (NASDAQ: CREE) was the subject of renewed takeover chatter on Friday. Cree was previously rumored to have hired Goldman Sachs to find a buyer at $40 per share.

A Cree spokesperson would not comment on the rumor, but told Benzinga it was the company's "fiduciary responsibility" to consider offers.

Cree closed at $31.63 Friday, a gain of 0.86% on slightly less than the average daily volume.


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