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   Strategies & Market TrendsSpeculating in Takeover Targets

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To: Paul Senior who wrote (2643)12/22/2010 11:16:46 AM
From: richardred
   of 6275

BTW-New first for me today. I bought my first bank stock. In all my years of investing. I've never bought any airline or bank stock.

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To: richardred who wrote (2644)12/22/2010 11:28:38 AM
From: richardred
   of 6275
New buy today. LYBC-Lyons Bancorp, Inc. (LYBC.OB) A backyard company for me. Very Ill liquid though. Less than one mill shares outstanding. IMO- Good dividend yield, Good value stock, and speculative appeal to boot. All qualities I like. Picked up 200 shares at 40.00.

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To: richardred who wrote (2345)12/22/2010 11:55:07 AM
From: richardred
   of 6275
UPDATE 3-Teradata to buy cloud software firm Aprimo for $525
By Himank Sharma and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

BANGALORE, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Enterprise data warehousing company Teradata Corp (TDC.N) agreed to buy privately held Aprimo for $525 million to expand into cloud software services, as it gears to meet challenges from larger rivals IBM (IBM.N) and Oracle (ORCL.O).

Indianapolis-based Aprimo provides software to its enterprise customers, who use it to analyze data to map out their marketing and advertising efforts.

Cloud computing -- a technology that allows users to access data, software and services over the Internet and corporate networks -- is being touted as the next big trend in the technology sector.

Companies like Teradata, Oracle, EMC Corp (EMC.N) and IBM are shifting their focus from increasingly commoditized hardware to higher-margin software and services, particularly analytics, which help clients analyze market data to plot trends or prevent fraud.

Teradata's peers -- Netezza Inc and 3PAR -- have been snapped up in recent months by IBM and HP (HPQ.N) respectively.

The Aprimo deal follows IBM's $480 million purchase of marketing software firm Unica Corp, Aprimo's rival, in October. [ID:nN13175286]


The Aprimo buy appears to be "uncharacteristic" of Teradata, Susquehanna Financial analyst Derrick Wood said.

This acquisition puts Teradata more into application space instead of just a database provider, Wood said.

"As competition in Teradata's core market intensifies, it is looking towards related markets to branch out and diversify its total revenue," Wedbush Securities' Michael Nemeroff said.

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To: richardred who wrote (2645)12/22/2010 12:12:54 PM
From: richardred
   of 6275
IMO-The small regionals have the best speculative appeal.

Legacy Bancorp shares soar on acquisition
Legacy Bancorp shares soar on news of acquisition by Berkshire Hills

On Wednesday December 22, 2010, 11:37 am

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Legacy Bancorp Inc. soared by 42 percent Wednesday after the regional bank said it was being purchased by its larger rival, Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc., in a $108 million deal.

THE SPARK: The banks said Tuesday that 90 percent of the deal will be in the form of Berkshire stock and 10 percent will be in cash. Each outstanding share of Legacy common stock will be exchanged for 0.56385 Berkshire common shares plus $1.30 in cash.

THE BIG PICTURE: Berkshire Hills said the acquisition will create a combined institution with $4 billion in assets. Both banks are based in Pittsfield, Mass. and have branches in western Massachusetts and northeastern New York.

After taking into account Berkshire's pending merger with Rome Bancorp, the new bank will have more than 60 offices serving Berkshire County, the Pioneer Valley, New York, and Southern Vermont.

The Legacy acquisition is expected to be complete by June 30 of next year and should be accretive to Berkshire's core earnings by 10 per share in 2012, Berkshire said.

SHARE ACTION: Legacy shares rose $3.61 to $12.21. Berkshire shares fell $1.08, or 5 percent, at $20.20.

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To: richardred who wrote (2498)12/22/2010 12:55:19 PM
From: richardred
   of 6275
SFE has another small winner I presume, 25% stake. No disclosure as to the buyout price.

North Jersey firm acquires Quinnova Pharmaceuticals

We may not be seeing a rush of blockbuster acquisitions as 2010 draws to a close, but each December day seems to bring word of a small deal here and there.

On Monday, three transactions involved local companies. Just like some of those Christmas gifts you may have tossed into your shopping cart, they were missing price tags.

Quinnova Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Newtown, Bucks County, was acquired by a unit of Amneal Enterprises L.L.C., a Bridgewater, N.J., maker of generic and specialty pharmaceuticals.

Quinnova develops and sells prescription dermatology drugs, such as Neosalus. And it had attracted a total of $31 million from venture-capital firms in 2006 and 2009.

A privately held company founded in 2002, Amneal tends to keep its financials close to its medicine chest even as it shows a healthy appetite for acquisitions.

Amneal bought Akyma Pharmaceuticals L.L.C., a sales and distribution firm in Kentucky, in June 2007. No terms announced.

In June 2008, Amneal bought Interpharm Holdings Inc., of Hauppage, N.Y. While Amneal again didn’t say what it paid, documents filed by Interpharm with the Securities and Exchange Commission put the purchase price at $61.6 million in cash. The year before it was acquired, Interpharm’s annual sales were $75.6 million.

As for Quinnova, we may yet learn how much Amneal paid because one of Quinnova’s outside investors is publicly held. Wayne-based Safeguard Scientifics Inc. owns 25.7 percent of Quinnova, having invested $5.7 million since October 2009.

In Monday’s second deal, CDI Corp., a Philadelphia supplier of technical and engineering staffing, acquired DSPCon Inc., a software firm in Bridgewater, N.J. Like Amneal, CDI did not disclose the terms of its latest purchase in the press release, only that DSPCon had 40 employees working on aerospace systems.

Finally, Wolters Kluwer Health, the huge Center City-based medical publisher, completed its purchase of Pharmacy OneSource Inc., a Bellevue, Wash., developer of software used in about 1,200 hospitals.

Let’s sing the chorus: Terms were not disclosed.

Read more:
Watch sports videos you won't find anywhere else

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From: richardred12/23/2010 8:35:58 AM
   of 6275
Conditions Are Ripe for an M&A Boom in 2011
Corporations have the cash and motivation to go back on the hunt for acquisitions after a long drought

By Frank Aquila

Conditions that facilitate mergers and acquisitions are changing—positively, dramatically, and rapidly. Corporate boardrooms are once again abuzz with discussions regarding the next deal. After several years in which worldwide M&A activity dropped steeply, 2010 was a recovery year both worldwide and in the U.S.—but it looks like corporate dealmaking could really roar back into the headlines in 2011.

Many of the largest global companies appear ready to make one or more major acquisitions in the year ahead. That may be good news for shareholders: Studies have shown that M&A deals struck during soft economic periods yield higher returns than those completed during economic booms. While some companies may continue to be reluctant to proceed with acquisitions until conditions are perfect, opportunities for those that do proceed could be greater, because less competition might translate into reasonable prices for target companies.

So why are companies again focused on making acquisitions? While every deal is unique, a few key themes have emerged as M&A activity has picked up since the summer. Deals at the moment are highly strategic while also focusing on short-term revenue and profit growth. Acquisitions can be an effective strategic tool to accelerate growth in both revenue and market share. Companies understand that acquisitions can provide access to markets, products, and technologies that might otherwise be available only after many years of significant capital investment.
Wallowing in Cash

Large corporation clearly have the means, motive, and opportunity to make large acquisitions in 2011:

• MEANS: The largest global public companies have more than $3 trillion in cash reserves on their books, and that is growing every day. In addition, these companies have access to trillions of dollars in debt financing that is currently available at extremely low rates and on very favorable terms.

• MOTIVE: After almost three years of difficult economic times, companies are seeking growth. If organic growth is not available to them in the current slow economy, then an acquisition can provide it. In addition, companies have been able to identify their weak spots during the recession, and acquisitions are an effective means of filling those gaps.

• OPPORTUNITY: Given the length and severity of the economic downturn, many companies have not performed as well and are therefore for sale, shedding assets, or vulnerable to an unsolicited bid. Activist investors are more than happy to push these companies toward a deal.

Of course, companies must also have confidence in the overall economy as well as the desire to pursue a significant acquisition. Signs are that confidence is returning: According to a survey of 150 global businesses conducted by Thomson Reuters and Freeman Consulting, worldwide M&A activity is forecast to increase 36 percent in 2011. Similarly, a recent survey showed that 82 percent of U.S. business executives and 87 percent of European business executives expect increased M&A activity over the next 6 to 12 months. Not only will corporations be doing deals in 2011; private equity groups have also become increasingly active in the past few months, and they will likely continue to be busy.
Enter Non-U.S. Buyers

What sort of transactions can we expect to see? Sectors where M&A activity is likely to be quite strong include energy, mining, health care, and technology. In addition, look for significant transactions in the consumer product and financial service sectors. Real estate M&A activity may also see a revival. We will probably also see more airline deals in the wake of the recent hook-ups.

Cross­border deals will figure to be a hot spot, with acquirers from Asia and Brazil particularly active.

A few notes of caution are warranted. With lingering high unemployment in the U.S. and elsewhere, the recovery will probably remain fragile and somewhat restrained. The sovereign debt crises in Europe are not fully resolved, and a significant default would have negative effects on the euro and unsettle global capital markets. Since business confidence is an essential ingredient for sustained M&A activity, anything that suggests the recovery is at risk could bring dealmaking to a screeching halt.

If business confidence is maintained, however, M&A activity will likely reach its highest levels since 2007.

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To: richardred who wrote (2596)12/23/2010 8:38:23 AM
From: richardred
   of 6275
A better offer for VRGY

Advantest boosts buyout offer for Verigy
Advantest boosts offer to buy Verigy to $15 per share; Verigy stands by LTX-Credence deal

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To: richardred who wrote (2586)12/23/2010 9:30:33 AM
From: richardred
   of 6275
Deals to Be Done After AstraZeneca Setback

By Jacob Plieth

The halt in development by AstraZeneca of its most advanced follow-up compound for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection might spur interest in a handful of earlier-stage projects. Developing a vaccine for the disease remains a significant long-term goal for the biotech industry.

The discontinuation of motavizumab changes the playing field in this potentially lucrative disease area, and makes Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s ALN-RSV01, currently in Phase II trials, the most advanced RSV therapy in development.

A successful outcome in the study would surely prompt Cubist to consider buying out its junior partner, and might even renew speculation about a larger company buying out Cubist. Much earlier in development, meanwhile, MicroDose Therapeutx Inc, Novavax Inc. and NanoBio Corp. — the last two working on vaccines — offer possible licensing opportunities.

Of course, any potential partner — or indeed acquirer — would need to look far ahead, given that research here is still at a very early stage. Moreover, AstraZeneca is still the undisputed leader in this space, and won’t give up this position easily.

The U.K. company sells Synagis, the only drug approved for prevention of RSV in high-risk infants. Despite having only moderate efficacy, Synagis generates around $1 billion of sales a year, and Nomura analysts expect this level to be maintained; it isn’t a fast-growing drug, but should generate steady revenue at least until its patents start to expire in 2018.

Motavizumab was being developed as a more effective follow-up to Synagis, and had completed clinical studies — hence the hefty $445 million write-off booked by AstraZeneca when it was canned. The company has additional projects in the pipeline, including another follow-up in Phase I, and two vaccines in Phase I/II studies.

Of interest to a rival company wanting a slice of the action could be currently unpartnered clinical-stage projects under way at MicroDose Therapeutx, a private U.S. firm, and Australia’s Biota, although the latter is looking to follow-on molecules after the failure of a lead in Phase Ia trials.

And while AstraZeneca leads in the vaccines space, don’t rule out the preclinical vaccines on which Novavax and NanoBio are working.

The first has just received clearance to start a Phase I trial, making it the only RSV vaccine except AstraZeneca’s to get it into the clinic. NanoBio, meanwhile, last month secured a $6 million development grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which should propel its vaccine toward human studies.

Expect companies like Novartis and Merck & Co. Inc., which have a history of work in this area, to keep an eye on the RSV vaccine space. Given the preclinical stage of development, either project could likely be licensed for a modest up-front payment and the promise of future milestones.

Sure, successfully developing an RSV vaccine will be no picnic, and many obstacles will lie in the way, as earlier thwarted attempts have shown. But the fact that RSV is the leading cause of childhood hospitalization, along with the possibility of using an approved drug or vaccine in the elderly and thus expanding the market, should underpin industry efforts to improve on Synagis.

This article originally appeared on Dow Jones Investment Banker. To find out more about the service please visit:

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To: dvdw© who wrote (47)12/23/2010 9:37:37 AM
From: richardred
   of 6275
Rovi buying Sonic Solutions in $720M deal
Rovi buying Sonic Solutions in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $720 million

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From: richardred12/23/2010 9:54:53 AM
   of 6275
Jo-Ann Stores Agrees to $1.6 Billion Buyout


Jo-Ann Stores Inc. has agreed to be acquired by private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP for about $1.6 billion, but the fabric and craft retailer has through Feb. 14 to weigh other offers.

The deal comes as Leonard Green in July said it intended to approach warehouse retailer BJ's

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