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Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Tuesday January 8, 2013

January 8, 2013 8:07 pm
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The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Tuesday January 8, 2013:

Vivus CEO Reportedly Says Acquisition is ‘Inevitable’

CEO Comments:
Vivus (NASDAQ: VVUS) CEO Leland Wilson, talking to Deal Reporter at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, said partnership talks have been ongoing and a deal could be reached by year end. Wilson reportedly said a takeover is “inevitable”, and said it’s a matter “of when and at what price.”

Vivus shares traded as high as $15.12 on the report, but closed down 3% at $14.43 on twice average volume.

Hearing Renewed Chatter of Icahn Stake in Research in Motion

The Rumor:
Shares of Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) surged higher in early trading on Tuesday, on unconfirmed chatter that investor Carl Icahn was going to take a significant stake in the Blackberry maker. On November 13, 2012, another unconfirmed report had Icahn leading a group of investors to buy RIMM for $13 per share.

A spokesperson for Research in Motion declined comment on the rumor.

Research in Motion closed at $11.91 Tuesday, a loss of $0.04 on average volume.

Hearing Unconfirmed Chatter Google Could Bid for Virnetx Holding

The Rumor:
Hearing unconfirmed market chatter that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) could bid $50 per share to acquire Virnetx Holding (NYSE: VHC) in order to obstruct Apple’s (NASDASQ: AAPL) court case and/or settlement talks.

A spokesperson for Google declined comment on the rumor. A Virnetx spokesperson was not available for comment.

Virnetx Holding closed at $33.49 Tuesday, a gain of 1.5% for the day on average volume.

Hearing Illumina Withdraws Bid for Complete Genomics

The Offer:
Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) reportedly has withdrawn its bid to acquire Complete Genomics (NASDAQ: GNOM), according to sources. Illumina had bid $3.30 to acquire Complete Genomics. That offer was rejected by GNOM’s Board of Directors in November 2012.

On Monday, BGI-Shenzhen subsidiary Beta Acquisition Corporation, extended its all-cash tender offer to acquire Complete Genomics for $3.15 per share, till January 11, 2013.

Complete Genomics closed at $3.15 Tuesday, a loss of 1.5% for the day on 8.5 times average volume.

Detwiler Note Says True Religion Deal Less Likely Now

The Analyst Note:
A note from Detwiler Tuesday said not to expect an acquisition of True Religion (NASDAQ: TRLG) to be announced in the short-term. It cited poor holiday sales as a reason to doubt a deal could be done at all.

True Religion began a strategic review process on October 10, 2012. Deal Reporter reported on December 3 that private equity firms were losing interest.

True Religion Apparel closed at $24.54 Tuesday, a loss of 3.5% on higher than average volume.

Dish Offers $3.30/Share for Clearwire

The Offer:
DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH) confirmed Tuesday that it has formally approached Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ: CLWR) with respect to a potential strategic transaction on terms as generally outlined in the Clearwire release, including an offer to purchase all of the Clearwire common shares at $3.30.

Clearwire confirmed that it has received the unsolicited, non-binding proposal from DISH Network.

Sprint (NYSE: S) announced on December 17, 2012 that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the approximately 50 percent stake in Clearwire it does not currently own for $2.97 per share.

Clearwire closed at $2.92 Tuesday, but traded at $3.15 after the Dish offer was announced.

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