M&A Roundup

Energy Partners, Stone Energy Corp., and Woodside Petroleum; Wachovia Corp., Mellon Financial Corp., and MFS Investment Management; Gold Kist and P...
Helen ShawOctober 13, 2006

•Energy Partners, which is the target of an unsolicited takeover bid from Woodside Petroleum, has abandoned its planned $1.4 billion takeover of Stone Energy Corp. and put itself on the block. Energy Partners restated that it rejected Woodside’s $883 million takeover attempt. Stone Energy will receive an $8 million breakup fee from Energy Partners.

•Wachovia Corp. and Mellon Financial Corp. are contending against each other to acquire MFS Investment Management, the mutual fund unit of Sun Life Financial. The bidding is private, but some estimate that MFS could be valued at over $3 billion.

•Gold Kist, a U.S. chicken producer, has rejected a $1 billion takeover bid by Pilgrim’s Pride, claiming the bid does not reflect the company’s value. The offer by Pilgrim’s Pride is set to expire on October 27 and Gold Kist is recommending that its shareholders not tender their shares.

•The board of Borse Italiana has agreed to pursue merger discussions with Deutsche Borse, with the goal of creating a eurozone stock exchange that would include Euronext. Paris-based Euronext has already agreed to be acquired by the New York Stock Exchange in a deal that is being met with opposition in France. Euronext opposes a merger with Deutsche Borse.

•Credit Agricole has agreed to purchase about 650 Italian branches from Banca Intesa for about $7.5 billion. The deal gives Credit Agricole branches in the northern region of Italy. Credit Agricole is Intesa’s largest shareholder.

•The Dolan family, which owns about 22 percent of Cablevision stock and 74 percent of the voting power, has offered to take the company private in a deal that values the cable-television operator at $7.9 billion. At least two lawsuits have been filed to prevent the deal, claiming the family proposed an unfairly low price and proposed the bid before the investors could realize the gains from years of investment. The lawsuits seek class-action status and unspecified monetary damages.