InBev’s $52-billion handshake with Anheuser-Busch fell a day short of making our July 13 merger-and-acquisition tally. But a rush of four sizable transactions still boosted the dealmaking total to a healthy $29 billion. The leading purchase: Dow Chemical Co.’s strategic addition of specialty-chemical maker Rohm & Haas Co. for $18.47 billion, including assumed debt.

Two of the other three largest North American deals among the top ten recorded in data provided to CFO.com by mergermarket, involved European buyers. Credit Mutuel SA, the French holding company for banks, acquired the German Citibank Privatkunden AG & Co. property of Citigroup Inc. for $7.74 billion, while Germany’s Fresenius SE, a health care company, will pay $3.73 billion for Los Angeles-based APP Pharmaceuticals, which develops, manufactures and markets injectable pharmaceutical products..

The number of transactions fell to 40 from 53, but the top deals were much larger than the tepid total of the prior week. Four deals were over the $3-billion threshold.

The M&A brought the value of 2008 dealmaking to $481.3 billion, encompassing 3,080 deals, compared with 2,854 deals worth $1.09 trillion a year ago at this time.

Dow Chemical Co. to buy Rohm & Haas Ltd. for $18.47 billion

Philadelphia-based specialty materials maker Rohm & Haas definitively agreed to be acquired by Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical for $78 a share, a premium of 74 percent. Not counting the debt assumed in the deal, it is worth about $15.3 billion. The acquisition by Dow, a diversified chemical company offering chemical, plastic, and agricultural products and services, is expected to close by early next year.
Seller financial advisor: Goldman Sachs; Lazard
Bidder financial advisor: Citi; Merrill Lynch; Morgan Stanley
Seller legal advisor: Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Sullivan & Cromwell
Bidder legal advisor: Shearman and Sterling; Cleary Gottlieb

Credit Mutuel SA to buy Citibank Privatkunden AG & Co KGaA from Citigroup Inc for $7.74 billion

Credit Mutuel SA, the Brest, France-based holding company for banks, has acquired Citibank Privatkunden AG & Co. KGaA, the Dusseldorf, Germany- based retail bank that is part of Citigroup Inc. The price being paid the New York City based banking group includes $7.7 billion of cash, along with earnings through the deal’s closing. That is expected the fourth quarter.
Seller financial advisor: Citigroup Inc
Bidder financial advisor: Lehman Brothers
Seller legal advisor: Linklaters
Bidder legal advisor: Bredin Prat; Herbert Smith/Gleiss Lutz/Stibbe

Fresenius SE to buy APP Pharmaceuticals for $3.73 billion

Los Angeles-based APP Pharmaceuticals Inc. definitively agreed to be acquired by Fresenius SE, of Bad Homburg, Germany, a health care company with products and services for dialysis, hospitals and outpatient medical care. Both boards have approved the merger. APP is a fully integrated pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets injectable pharmaceutical products. The price per share is $23 and a contingent value right worth up to $6 per share in cash, based on the meeting of financial targets after the merger. That represents a premium of 29 percent.
Seller financial advisor: Goldman Sachs; Lazard
Bidder financial advisor: Deutsche Bank
Seller legal advisor: Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
Bidder legal advisor: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher + Flom;
Latham & Watkins;
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Ashland Inc. to buy Hercules Inc. for $3.31 billion

Wilmington, Del.-based Hercules definitively agreed to be acquired by Ashland Inc., of Covington, Ky. Both boards have approved the deal for Hercules, a maker and marketer of specialty chemicals and related services for a range of consumer and industrial businesses. Ashland is a diversified chemical company that consists of four wholly owned divisions: Ashland Performance Materials, Ashland Distribution, Valvoline and Ashland Water Technologies. The price per share is $18.60 and 0.093-share of Ashland, valued ad t toal of $23.01, a premium of 38.11 percent. Excluding assumed debt, the deal is worth about $2.60 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year.
Seller financial advisor: Credit Suisse
Bidder financial advisor: Citigroup
Seller legal advisor: Latham & Watkins; Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz
Bidder legal advisor: Squire, Sanders & Dempsey

Quicksilver Resources Inc. to buy the Fort Worth Basin Assets of Barnett Shale from Chief Resources LLC, Collins and Young LLC, and Hillwood Oil & Gas for $1.31 billion

Fort Worth-based Quicksilver, an energy company, agreed to acquire the producing, leasehold, royalty, and midstream asset of the Barnett Shale formation in northern Tarrant, from three sellers: Chief Resources, Hillwood Oil & Gas, and Collins and Young, all of them U.S.-based based natural gas and oil exploration companies, in a deal expected to close on 08 August 2008.
Seller financial advisor: Merrill Lynch
Bidder financial advisor: Credit Suisse; JPMorgan
Seller legal advisor: Kelly Hart & Hallman
Bidder legal advisor: Fulbright & Jaworski

Ameriprise Financial Inc. to buy J. & W. Seligman & Co. for $440 million

Minneapolis-based financial services provider Ameriprise agreed to acquire J. & W. Seligman, the New York City based asset management firm, in a transaction expected to close by the end of fourth quarter.
Seller financial advisor: Merrill Lynch
Bidder financial advisor: UBS
Seller legal advisor: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Bidder legal advisor: Ropes & Gray

GSI Group Inc. to buy Excel Technology Inc. for $348 million

East Setauket, N.Y.-based Excel Technology definitely agreed to be acquired by GSI Group, based in Billerica, Mass., in a deal that both boards approved. Excel manufactures and markets photonics-based products, including laser systems and electro-optical components primarily for industrial and scientific applications. GSI designs, develops, manufactures, and sells lasers, laser systems, precision motion devices, and associated precision motion control technology and systems. The offer is $32 a share, a premium of 41.2 percent. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.
Seller financial advisor: Needham & Company
Bidder financial advisor: UBS
Seller legal advisor: Breslow & Walker
Bidder legal advisor: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

ION Geophysical Corp. to buy ARAM Systems Ltd. for $343 million

Stafford, Tex.-based ION, a geophysical technology and services provider, agreed to acquire Calgary, Alberta-based ARAM, which provides land seismic systems, along with its affiliate Canadian Seismic Rentals Inc..
Seller financial advisor: Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.
Bidder financial advisor: Evercore Partners
Seller legal advisor: Borden Ladner Gervais
Bidder legal advisor: Mayer Brown; Bennett Jones

Kohlberg & Co. LLC to buy PPG Auto Glass from PPG Industries Inc. for $270 million

New York City-based private equity firm Kohlberg agreed to acquire PPG Auto Glass from PPG, the Pittsburgh-based supplier of chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass, in a transaction expected to close in the third quarter.
Seller financial advisor: Internal
Bidder financial advisor: Morgan Joseph
Seller legal advisor: K&L Gates
Bidder legal advisor: Ropes & Gray

Opnext Inc. to buy StrataLight Communications Inc. for $172 million

Eatontown, N.J.-based optical module and components manufacturer Opnext agreed to acquire Los Gatos, Calif.-based StrataLight, an optical transport systems manufacturer, in a deal expected to close in the fourth quarter.
Seller financial advisor: Morgan Stanley
Bidder financial advisor: Goldman Sachs
Seller legal advisor: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Bidder legal advisor: Latham & Watkins

source: mergermarket

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