M&A Weekly Recap: Disney Sheds a Popular Magazine, Yahoo’s Wish List

The Cheat Sheet

Another week of solid mergers and acquisitions are in the books. 2012 is kicking off where 2011 ended: with companies taking more risk and putting more cash to work. Here were the biggest deals for the week.

Tuesday

Total , taking a 25% stake, and Chesapeake Energy enter into a shale joint venture based in Ohio. Total has paid $700 million up front, with a commitment to pay another $1.63 billion for up to 7 years to help cover capital spending in the venture.

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3M  announced the purchase of Avery Dennison for $550 million in cash. Financial statements or financial measures have been prepared on a basis other than those generally accepted (i.e. on a non-GAAP basis) but the office and consumer products business is estimated by 3M to be accretive to earnings by $0.03 in the 12 months following the closing.

CableVision shares rise after a Bloomberg article suggests a potential takeover of Time Warner Cable Comcast or Charter . Even at a potential $23/share takeout, CVC would be valued at 7 times EBITDA which determines the fair market value, and it is the industry’s lowest takeover on record for a multiple publicly traded target.

Regions Financial terminated talks to sell its Morgan Keegan brokerage firm to Stifel Financial . They never came to terms on the negotiation of the contract. Regions Financial has also been communicating with Raymond James .

Wednesday

Apollo Global , India’s Reliance and P-E firm might buy El Paso’s oil and gas exploration and production unit, reports Bloomberg. Kinder Morgan is looking to sell the business, to help finance its $21 billion acquisition of El Paso, whose value is estimated at around $8.1 billion.

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IBM snatches privately held Green Hat. Shares are down premarket, but for an undisclosed amount as it makes another strategic buy in the cloud computing space.

Entropic raised its fourth quarter guidance for earnings per share to $0.11 and for revenue to $56 million, which was above Street forecasts in both cases. The company also says it will place a bid of $55 million for assets of Trident Microsystems’ set-top box chips business.

Express Scripts , despite a tougher position on takeovers being wielded by the United States regulators is expected by traders to win an antitrust approval to buy Medco . The expectation has arisen in response to the creation of the largest United States manager of prescription drug benefits having more leverage to negotiate lower prices for consumers, and rivals would still manage plans for seven of every 10 insured Americans.

Meredith Corp. expanded its concentration into the women-focused media space by acquiring FamilyFun magazine and related assets from Walt Disney Co.’s publishing arm. The magazine, targets mothers with children ages 3 to 12 and focuses on family activities, such as cooking, crafts and travel and has an audience of about 6 million.

Thursday

Clorox buys Aplicare and HealthLink, for a total of $80 million-$90 million. They both make infection control products for the healthcare sector. Clorox says the acquisitions will be slightly dilutive to its 2012 profit but should not affect its plans for dividends or share buybacks.

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Some of Deutsche Boerse’s  largest shareholders doubt that acquisition of NYSE will receive approval from the European Union, with one portfolio manager putting the chances at 40% and saying that talks with the regulator do not seem to have gone well.

AGCO went up after CEO Martin Richenagen stated he would not rule out a merger with Caterpillar . He adds that strong demand will lift AGCO’s 2012 revenue to $10 billion, which compares favorably with a $9.8 billion consensus.

WebMD is coveted by Yahoo , reported Bloomberg, which caused the stock to plummet. The NY Post also reports that SoftBank (SFTBY.PK) has joined in the bidding for WebMD. Supposedly it’s on a “wish list” of assets Yahoo wants as part of its proposed asset swap with Alibaba (ALIBIY.PK) and SoftBank (SFTBY.PK). Yahoo is also said to be interested in acquiring The Weather Channel.

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Friday

Citigroup ended efforts to sell consumer-lending unit OneMain Financial that resulted in no deal. Months of exclusive talks resulted in the failure, which reflects volatile credit markets and investor wariness about loan securitization.

Carlyle and Blackstone are in discussions to acquire a substantial stake in the tower unit of Indian mobile carrier Reliance Communications. The value of the subsidiary stands around $4 billion, the WSJ reports. The sides need to agree on a price and lease agreements have with other operators of the unit, Reliance Infratel.

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Oshkosh shareholders were issued an open letter by Carl Icahn ahead of the truck manufacturer’s January 27 annual meeting. Icahn holds a 10% stake in Oshkosh and rival Navistar . He asked shareholders to vote in his 6 board nominees. Oshkosh was irate blasting Icahn’s moves in a filing of proxy materials. He also outlined his turnaround plan for the company.

Agco pays $31 million for a 60% stake in Santal Equipamentos. It is a Brazilian company that makes mechanized sugar-cane harvesters. The government is trying to eliminate the practice of burning fields to make the Sugar-cane easier to cut by hand as it is expected to be hot sellers in Brazil over the coming years.

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