M&A Roundup

E.ON and Acciona and Endesa; Volkswagen and MAN and Scania; Vivdeni Universal and Deutsche Telekom and Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa; Barrick Gold and N...
Helen ShawSeptember 28, 2006

•Germany-based E.ON, Europe’s largest utility company, is battling against Acciona, a Spanish construction company, for control of Endesa, Spain’s largest power company. E.ON increased its hostile cash bid to $47.1 billion. Acciona has purchased a 10 percent stake in Endesa for $4.3 billion and said it may acquire a 25 percent stake.

•Volkswagen, the largest shareholder of Scania, a Swedish truck maker, has stated that Germany-based MAN should abandon its hostile $12.3 billion bid that Scania has already rejected. Volkswagen’s chief executive prefers the idea of merging MAN and Scania with Volkswagen’s Brazilian heavy truck operations. At the same time, Volkswagen CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder does not favor the idea of MAN taking control of Scania.

•Vivendi Universal has offered Deutsche Telekom $3.2 billion for its stake in Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa, a Polish mobile operator; Deutsche Telekom rejected the offer. Vivendi and Deutsche Telekom have been vying for control of the company for years.

•Barrick Gold Corp. plans to extend its $1.3 billion hostile bid for NovaGold Resources to October 12. In July, Barrick initiated its bid, which NovaGold rejected. The Canadian-based companies, which are partners in a gold project in Alaska, have exchanged words and lawsuits since the launch of the hostile bid.

•UCB, the Belgian prescription drug maker of Zyrtec, has agreed to acquire Germany’s Schwarz Pharma for $5.6 billion in cash and stock. The deal will add two drug treatments to the company’s product line.

•Brazil’s Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), the largest iron-ore producer worldwide, is extending its tender offer for shares of Canadian nickel mining company Inco until October 16. The extension will give the industry minister in Ottawa more time to review the $19 billion takeover, which has already received regulatory approval from U.S. and Canadian competition authorities. The deal is also subject to regulatory approval from the European Commission.

•A majority of Univision shareholders approved the company’s sale to a group of private investors for $12.3 billion. The deal, which is expected to close in the spring of 2007, will sell the Spanish-language media company to private equity firms Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners, and Egyptian-born media tycoon Haim Saban. Previously, Mexican programmer Televisa had launched an unsuccessful bid for the company.