Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Tuesday December 11, 2012

December 11, 2012 5:23 pm
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Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Tuesday December 11, 2012

The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Tuesday December 11, 2012:

Hearing Unconfirmed Chatter Harley-Davidson Hires Goldman Sachs as Adviser

The Rumor:
Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) has hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser to explore strategic alternatives, according to unconfirmed sources.

A spokesperson for Harley-Davidson declined comment on the rumor.

Harley-Davidson closed at $47.62 Tuesday, a gain of 2% on higher than average volume.

Hearing Sprint, Clearwire Close to Deal

The Rumor:
Sprint (NYSE: S) and Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) are close to a merger deal, according to a report from David Faber of CNBC. Sprint gained a controlling interest in Clearwire back in October, by acquiring Eagle River Holding.

Spokespersons for Sprint and Clearwire each declined comment on the report.

Clearwire closed at $2.68 Tuesday, a gain of 11.5% on twice than average volume.

Delta Acquires 49% Stake in Virgin Atlantic for $360M

The Deal:
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and Virgin Atlantic Airways have reached an agreement for a new joint venture, whereby Delta will invest $360 million in Virgin Atlantic, acquiring a 49 percent stake currently held by Singapore Airlines (OTC: SINGF). Virgin Group and Sir Richard Branson will retain the majority 51 percent stake and Virgin Atlantic Airways will retain its brand and operating certificate.

Delta Air Lines closed at $10.66 Tuesday, a gain of 5% on 3 times average volume.

Liberty Interactive Buys 4.8M Shares of TripAdvisor from Diller-von Furstenberg Foundation at $62.50/Share

The Deal:
Liberty Interactive (NASDAQ: LINTA) (NASDAQ: LINTB), (NASDAQ: LVNTA) (NASDAQ: LVNTB) and TripAdvisor (NASDAQ: TRIP) announced Tuesday that Liberty has purchased a total of 4,799,848 shares of common stock of TripAdvisor from Barry Diller and The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation at a price of $62.50 per share. As part of the transaction, Mr. Diller’s right to control the vote of the shares of TripAdvisor’s common stock and Class B common stock that are beneficially owned by Liberty has been terminated and Liberty now controls a majority voting stake in TripAdvisor. Giving effect to the transactions, Liberty owns and controls 18,159,752 shares of common stock and 12,799,999 shares of Class B common stock of TripAdvisor, representing approximately 22% of the equity and 57% of the total votes of all classes of TripAdvisor common stock. Liberty has attributed the shares of TripAdvisor common stock that it owns to its Liberty Ventures tracking stock group.

TripAdvisor closed at $40.91 Tuesday, a gain of 6.5% on 4.5 times average volume.

Hearing Warburg Pincus has Hired Goldman Sachs to Sell Bausch & Lomb

The Rumor:
Warburg Pincus has hired Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for Bausch & Lomb, according to Bloomberg. Abbot (NYSE: ABT), Glaxo (NYSE: GSK), Merck (NYSE: MRK) and Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) have all been contacted as potential buyers, according to sources.

The asking price is a minimum of $10 billion. Warburg Pincus paid $4.5 billion for Bausch & Lomb in 2007.

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