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Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Thursday December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012 5:29 pm
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The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Thursday December 13, 2012:

Hearing Richard Schulze Could Offer $5B to $6B for Best Buy This Week

The Rumor:
Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) founder Richard Schulze could offer between $5B and $6B for his former company, according to the Star Tribune. The bid could come by Friday or Saturday, according to sources.

Best Buy shares had moved higher in the after-hours session on Wednesday and surged over $14 in the pre-market on Thursday.

A spokesperson for Best Buy declined comment on the report.

Best Buy closed at $14.12 Thursday, a gain of 16% on almost 6 times average volume.

Sprint to Offer $2.90/Share for Remainder of Clearwire

The Rumor:
Sprint (NYSE: S) plans to offer $2.90 per share to acquire the remaining shares of Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) it does not already own. The offer appeared in Clearwire’s 13D filing.

A note from BTIG said it could take as much as $5 per share to get the deal done.

Clearwire closed at $3.16 Thursday, a gain of 15% on 5.5 times average volume.

Hearing Renewed Chatter of ArcelorMittal Interest in US Steel

The Rumor:
ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) is rumored once again to have an interest in acquiring US Steel (NYSE: X), according to unconfirmed sources. US Steel has reportedly hired JP Morgan to handle the bid process. This same rumor has appeared periodically, most recently in October.

Spokespersons from ArcelorMittal and US Steel have repeatedly dismissed the rumor.

US Steel closed at $22.33 Thursday, a gain of $0.17 on average volume.

Helix Announces Sale of Oil and Gas Subsidiary for $610M

The Deal:
Helix Energy Solutions (NYSE: HLX) has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Energy Resource Technology GOM, Inc., the Company’s oil and gas subsidiary, to Talos Production LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Talos Energy LLC, a privately held Houston-based oil and gas company. The selling price involves a base purchase price of $610 million plus contingent consideration in the form of overriding royalty interests on ERT’s Wang exploration prospect as well as certain other exploration prospects. In addition, the parties have agreed to adjust the purchase price at closing, upward or downward, depending upon the results of the Wang exploration well. The estimated value of the transaction is approximately $700 million if the Wang exploration prospect is successful and meets expectations. If the Wang exploration prospect is determined to be unsuccessful, the estimated value of the transaction to Helix is closer to $600 million. ERT is currently drilling the Wang well and expects to evaluate the results in the next few days.

The transaction has an effective date of December 1, 2012 and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

Helix Energy Solutions closed at $18.57 Thursday, a loss of 2% on almost 4 times average volume.

Wal-Mart, Kroger Among Rumored Bidders for Hostess

The Rumor:
Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and Kroger (NYSE: KR) are among two dozen potential bidders for the assets of Hostess Brands, according to a source reported by Bloomberg. Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month. The sale process reportedly could generate $1 billion.

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