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   Strategies & Market TrendsSpeculating in Takeover Targets

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To: richardred who wrote (3876)2/4/2015 9:46:05 AM
From: richardred
   of 6844
Snyder's-Lance, Inc. introduces a new corporate logo reinforcing its focus on premium branded snacks
PR Newswire
Snyder's-Lance, Inc. 43 minutes ago

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Snyder's-Lance, Inc. (LNCE) is introducing a new corporate logo symbolizing the completion of its strategic shift to become a branded snack food company. Snyder's-Lance is focused on serving consumers' busy lifestyles with quality, premium and differentiated snacks.

Snyder's-Lance, Inc. is introducing a new corporate logo symbolizing the completion of its strategic shift to become a branded snack food company.

"We are dedicated to serving the snacking expectations of our consumers and retailers. As a result, we are proud to say snacking is our passion," said Carl E. Lee, Jr., CEO and President. "Our company is going through a very exciting time as we compete in a dynamic and growing category. This corporate rebranding effort reflects not only the transformation of our company but it also reinforces the energy and commitment our associates have for making great snacks."

The new logo features a modernized font, visually striking icon and colors that reflect the company's commitment to quality and wholesome ingredients. The icon also symbolizes the journey from seed to table in every Snyder's-Lance product. The new tagline, "Snacking is our passion™," demonstrates Snyder's-Lance's commitment to our consumers and their snacking needs. Together, the new logo, icon and tagline offer a fresh perspective on the company's focus and commitment to meet evolving category trends with innovative new products.

This new corporate identity is part of an overall transformation of the company, which started with the acquisition of Snack Factory® Pretzel Crisps®, and was followed by the divestiture of Lance Private Brands, the acquisition of Baptista's® Bakery and the acquisition of a majority stake in Late July®.

About Snyder's-Lance, Inc.
Snyder's-Lance, Inc., headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., manufactures and markets snack foods throughout the United States and internationally. Snyder's-Lance's products include pretzels, sandwich crackers, pretzel crackers, potato chips, cookies, tortilla chips, restaurant style crackers, nuts and other snacks. Snyder's-Lance has manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio. Products are sold under the Snyder's of Hanover®, Lance®, Cape Cod®, Snack Factory® Pretzel Crisps®, Late July®, Krunchers!®, Tom's®, Archway®, Jays®, Stella D'oro®, Eatsmart™, O-Ke-Doke® and other brand names. Products are distributed nationally through grocery and mass merchandisers, convenience stores, club stores, food service outlets and other channels. LNCE-G

Logo -

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

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To: richardred who wrote (3683)2/5/2015 8:45:54 AM
From: richardred
1 Recommendation   of 6844
Pfizer to Buy Hospira for $15 Billion as Drug Maker Looks to Expand Revenues

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From: Glenn Petersen2/5/2015 2:42:35 PM
   of 6844
Summer Redstone's health may be failing:

His passing could put both Viacom and CBS into play.

Moonves looks to buy CBS ahead of potential Viacom merger

By Claire Atkinson
New York Post
February 4, 2015 | 11:22pm

CBS boss Les Moonves, fearful a merger with Viacom will be forced upon his company after majority owner Sumner Redstone dies, is discussing ways to buy out the broadcaster’s controlling shareholder, National Amusements Inc., sources told The Post

Moonves, the 65-year-old CEO of the Tiffany network, believes a merger with Viacom will leave him in an inferior position vis-à-vis Philippe Dauman, the Viacom CEO, and could shortchange CBS minority shareholders, sources said.

As a result, Moonves has been having discussions with Wall Street heavy hitters about backing such a buyout, sources said.

“[Moonves] has been talking to a few banks and private equity firms about buying CBS,” said a well-placed source.

It is unclear how far such discussions have progressed. The buyout plan is one of a number of options Moonves has, sources close to the conversations stressed.

One obstacle Moonves faces is that any NAI buyout would need the approval of the majority of the members on a trust that will take control of NAI down the road after Redstone dies.

Dauman is on the trust’s board, sources said.

Redstone, 91, owns 80 percent of NAI, which controls both Viacom and CBS.

Fans of Moonves are quick to point out that he has done a better job of building CBS than Dauman has done of expanding Viacom.

CBS shares have climbed 136 percent since it was split from Viacom in January 2006.

Viacom is up 61 percent over that same period.

The Moonves plan comes as talk of a media mega-merger with Viacom has ratcheted up in recent weeks. Redstone’s health continues to falter, sources say.

Viacom has seen big ratings declines as Nielsen has failed to find a way to measure young viewers’ habits.

Plus, Moonves would bristle at working for Dauman, many have said.

“There’s no way Philippe Dauman and Leslie Moonves are going to work in the same shop. They have totally different personalities and skill sets and mindsets. Unless it’s forced on him, Les wouldn’t want to work for Philippe or vice versa,” said GAMCO’s Mario Gabelli, who holds sizable stakes in both firms.

Dauman could gain added leverage over distributors were Viacom to house a broadcast network.

To be sure, a merger of the two would face significant hurdles.

A second shareholder, referring to how Moonves has nourished CBS better than Viacom brass have done with that company, insisted that “if someone wants to come and make a bid at a premium, we’d be open” to it.

However, “a merger of equals, that would dilute us.”

Indeed, several shareholders have been examining their rights as minority owners should a merger of Viacom and CBS be forced on them.

“You’d hope fairness and common sense prevail,” added Gabelli, who has held stock in Viacom for some three decades.

“I’m sure Les would like to do a lot of things that would take him out of Sumner’s orbit,” said one longtime media veteran. “But Viacom-CBS is one of the best industrial combinations you could come up with. The synergies are compelling.”

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To: richardred who wrote (3561)2/6/2015 9:58:09 AM
From: richardred
   of 6844
Harris buying defense contractor Exelis in $4.4 deal Communications and info tech company Harris buying defense contractor Exelis for about $4.4B

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) -- Communications and information technology company Harris is buying Exelis in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $4.4 billion.

The new company will have approximately 23,000 workers worldwide, including 9,000 engineers and scientists.

Exelis, the former defense unit of manufacturer ITT Corp., makes night-vision goggles, anti-bomb products and does technical work for the government.

Harris Chairman, President and CEO William Brown said in a statement on Friday that the companies have complementary businesses, with the acquisition making it stronger to compete against rivals and providing greater scale.

Harris Corp. is based in Melbourne, Florida, while Exelis Inc. is based in McLean, Virginia. There are plans to consolidate the companies' headquarters and for senior members of both Harris and Exelis to be part of the combined company's management.

Exelis shareholders will receive $16.625 in cash and 0.1025 of a share of Harris common stock for each Exelis share they own. That would put the deal value at $23.75 per Exelis share. The companies put the enterprise value of the deal at $4.75 billion. That figure includes assumed debt.

Harris stockholders will own about 85 percent of the combined company, with Exelis shareholders owning the remaining 15 percent.

The boards of both companies approved the deal unanimously. The buyout still needs approval from Exelis shareholders and is targeted to close in June.

Exelis shares rose $6.14, or 34.7 percent, to $23.85 in premarket trading about an hour ahead of the market open. Harris shares rose $4.70, or 6.8 percent, to $74.19.

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From: Glenn Petersen2/12/2015 9:01:27 AM
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BREAKING: Expedia Buying Orbitz for $1.6 Billion

Dennis Schaal, Skift
Feb 12, 2015 8:25 am

It’s just Priceline Vs. Expedia now in the U.S., at least for now. — Dennis Schaal

It is a two-horse race now in the online travel booking world: Expedia is buying Orbitz for about $1.6 billion in cash. This comes after Expedia announced that it was buying Travelocity last month for a paltry $280 million.

Shares in Expedia rose nearly 10% in pre-market trading, while Orbitz rose over 21%.

Details of the $1.6 billion deal:
  • Expedia will acquire all of Orbitz’s brands, including consumer brands Orbitz, ebookers, HotelClub, and CheapTickets.
  • It will offer $12.00 per share in cash, a premium of about 29% over the average share price for the five trading days up to and including February 11, 2015.
  • The deal is still pending shareholder approval and approval by regulatory authorities.
“We are attracted to the Orbitz Worldwide business because of its strong brands and impressive team. This acquisition will allow us to deliver best-in-class experiences to an even wider set of travelers all over the world,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Expedia, Inc.

“From the flagship brand, to other well-known consumer brands such as CheapTickets, ebookers and HotelClub and the business-to-business brands Orbitz Partner Network and Orbitz for Business, the Orbitz Worldwide team has built a devoted customer base and we look forward to welcoming them to the Expedia, Inc. family.”

“Our mission at Orbitz Worldwide has been to build our brands to be the world’s most rewarding places to plan and purchase travel,” said Barney Harford, Chief Executive Officer, Orbitz Worldwide. “We’re excited for Orbitz Worldwide to join the Expedia, Inc. family and for our teams to work together to further enhance the offerings we provide to our customers and partners.”

An official at a competitor to Orbitz told Skift in early January that it was an open secret that Orbitz has been engaged in a process to be acquired for some time, although the activity now appears to have entered a more formal stage. Market conditions might made this a relatively attractive time to sell. Travelocity’s 2013 decision to outsource its operations to Expedia Inc., and then Expedia’s purchase of it last month gave it even more clout with hoteliers, and put increasing pressure on Orbitz to find an exit.

Expedia was not the only bidder for Orbitz, but the rivals have not yet been determined.

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From: The Ox2/20/2015 10:58:24 AM
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Citigroup: M&A set for big jump this year
  • "Animal spirits are on the up," says Citigroup. "Cash piles, cheap borrowing rates, an improving global economy and increasing CEO confidence should all boost activity again in 2015.”
  • With the global equity rally boosting the value of stocks to a record $67.1T, says the team, companies would need to spend $4T on M&A to close the gap between stock prices and deal-making - that would be up 43% from 2014.
  • More than $350M in deals have been announced so far this year.
  • Europe has the most potential for boosted M&A, as last year's activity was 52% below the 2007 for the region (not including the U.K.). Citi sees deals worth $800B this year vs. $470B in 2014.

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To: The Ox who wrote (3886)2/20/2015 11:12:00 AM
From: The Ox
   of 6844
FTC Sues To Block Sysco-US Foods Merger

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From: Glenn Petersen2/26/2015 3:51:45 AM
1 Recommendation   of 6844
HP in Talks to Buy Aruba Networks for Wi-Fi Infrastructure

by Alex Sherman Ed Hammond
2:02 PM CST
February 25, 2015

(Bloomberg) -- Hewlett-Packard Co. is in talks to acquire Aruba Networks Inc., a maker of wireless-network infrastructure used by hotels, universities and shopping malls, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The purchase may be announced as soon as next week, said one of the people, asking not to be identified discussing private information. The deal hasn’t been completed and the talks could still fall through.

Aruba rose 21 percent to $22.24 in New York trading Wednesday, giving the company a market value of about $2.4 billion.

This would be the largest acquisition in several years for Hewlett-Packard, where Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman has been focused on cutting costs and returning the business to growth. Hewlett-Packard is planning to split itself in two later this year, with Whitman remaining in charge of the business focused on corporate customers.

Hewlett-Packard is “now in a position where we can actually make acquisitions, which we couldn’t when we started,” Whitman said in an interview on Tuesday, after the company released its quarterly earnings.

Howard Clabo, a Hewlett-Packard spokesman, declined to comment, as did Pavel Radda, a spokesman for Aruba.

Aruba makes hardware and software used to build Wi-Fi networks for customers including China’s Dalian Wanda Group Co., which uses the technology in shopping malls. Other customers include California State University at Los Angeles and the Edzan Hotels & Suites in Qatar.

The company’s annual sales are projected to grow to more than $1 billion by fiscal 2017, the average of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg show, from $729 million in the year through July.

Small Addition

Hewlett-Packard’s entire networking group contributed $562 million in sales for the company’s first quarter, down 11 percent from the year-earlier period. The division has faced challenges in the U.S. due to changes in the types of networking technology being bought, and in China due to management changes at its H3C networking unit. HP is in the process of selling its majority stake in H3C, people familiar with the situation have said.

Aruba would be a small addition to Hewlett-Packard’s overall business. The Palo Alto, California-based company reported sales for the first quarter of $26.8 billion. After its forecast for full-year profits fell short of analysts’ estimates, Hewlett-Packard’s shares fell 9.9 percent Wednesday, to $34.67. At that price it has a market value of about $63 billion.

Hewlett-Packard has a checkered past when it comes to deals. In the decade before Whitman took over, the company struck almost $66 billion of acquisitions, including of the U.K.’s Autonomy Corp. for $10.3 billion in 2011. Just one year after that deal closed, Hewlett-Packard said it would write down about 85 percent of the purchase price after discovering accounting improprieties that inflated Autonomy’s finances.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Sherman in New York at; Ed Hammond in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mohammed Hadi at Elizabeth Wollman

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From: Glenn Petersen3/2/2015 2:57:17 AM
   of 6844
Chip Makers Will Merge in Deal Worth $11.8 Billion

New York Times
MARCH 1, 2015

NXP Semiconductors said on Sunday that it would buy a smaller peer, Freescale Semiconductor, in an $11.8 billion deal that would create a big maker of chips for industries as varied as automobiles and mobile payments.

The merger will also offer some relief to the private equity firms that bought Freescale at the height of the leveraged buyout boom, only to see the financial crisis bring the company low.

A combination would help the two chip manufacturers in their dealings with customers like car companies and phone makers that are looking to consolidate their lists of suppliers.

In fall 2013, Applied Materials, an American manufacturer of chip-making equipment, acquired Japanese rival Tokyo Electron for more than $9 billion. Other semiconductor companies, like Qualcomm and Infineon Technologies, have also struck deals, in part to gain greater negotiating leverage.

Both NXP and Freescale have also benefited from a recent boom, as companies of all stripes look to add networking capabilities to their products. NXP in particular has had a surge in demand for so-called near-field communications technology that lets phones — notably the iPhone 6 — interact wirelessly with equipment like payment terminals.

Together, NXP, which has its headquarters in the Netherlands, and Freescale, which is based in Austin, Tex., reported $10.6 billion in sales last year.

“The combination of NXP and Freescale creates an industry powerhouse focused on the high-growth opportunities in the smarter world,” Richard L. Clemmer, NXP’s chief executive, said in a statement. “We fully expect to continue to significantly outgrow the overall market, drive world-class profitability and generate even more cash, which taken together will maximize value for both Freescale and NXP shareholders.”

Under the deal’s terms, NXP will pay $6.25 a share in cash and 0.3521 of one of its shares for each Freescale share held. That values Freescale at roughly its existing market capitalization, although shares of Freescale rose last month after The New York Post reported that the company was exploring a sale.

The discussions between the two companies that eventually led to the current deal began a little over six months ago, according to people briefed on the matter, though potential strategic acquirers of Freescale had made inquiries about a deal several times over the past four years.

Both NXP and Freescale were previously parts of bigger corporations that eventually became targets of private equity firms. NXP was formerly a division of the Dutch electronics giant Philips until it was acquired in 2006 by a group led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital for about $10 billion.

Freescale had been a part of Motorola until being purchased in 2006 by the Blackstone Group, the Carlyle Group, TPG Capital and Permira for $17.6 billion, including the assumption of debt.

Both companies soon began to struggle under new ownership, burdened by new and huge debt obligations and falling demand during the financial crisis. Freescale in particular suffered from an economic downturn and the loss of its biggest customer, its former parent.

During its darkest days, Freescale’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, plummeted around 80 percent. And its ratio of debt to Ebitda swelled to 13 times.

Faced with potentially needing to put the chip maker into bankruptcy, the company’s private equity owners slashed costs, shook up management and revamped its product portfolio, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The fortunes of the two companies have improved since going public. Since an initial public offering in the summer of 2010, NXP’s shares have leaped 506 percent, closing on Friday at $84.90. Freescale’s stock has doubled since returning to the public markets in June 2011, closing at $36.11.

But with $1 billion in new debt to finance the deal, the combined company will be maintaining a heavy debt load of some $9.5 billion.

At the initial deal price, Freescale’s private equity backers will roughly recoup their initial investment. But the private equity firms are betting that cost savings of about $500 million from merging the two manufacturers will propel the stock price of the combined company.

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To: richardred who wrote (3860)3/5/2015 10:30:34 AM
From: richardred
   of 6844
MLR- Very happy with earnings yesterday. A new 52 week high,and a divided increase along with very good prospects moving forward. It's about the only thing I'm considering

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