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   Strategies & Market TrendsSpeculating in Takeover Targets


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To: richardred who wrote (4188)5/18/2016 9:07:19 AM
From: Rarebird
   of 7067
 
Until 2008 FRP was a relatively small operator of local phone companies scattered across the country. In 2008, FairPoint more than quadrupled in size by buying Verizon’s landline and internet business in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. They now run a highly successful and profitable high speed internet business there and have built out a very nice fiber optic network.
Some have been disappointed that Fairpoint has not been bought out already. But I continue to see FRP as an acquisition candidate for a larger telecom company seeking to increase its scale and footprint at considerably higher prices.

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From: richardred5/18/2016 9:57:28 AM
   of 7067
 
Another value bid of a very familiar name from the ethanol thread days.

Andersons Receives 100% Acquisition Bid of $1B from HC2

finance.yahoo.com

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To: richardred who wrote (4028)5/19/2016 9:57:04 AM
From: richardred
   of 7067
 
Church & Dwight (CHD) Stock Surges on Takeover Speculation Church & Dwight (CHD) shares are soaring on Thursday morning amid reports that the consumer products maker may receive a $23 billion takeover bid from Reckitt Benckiser.

thestreet.com

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To: richardred who wrote (4116)5/22/2016 2:42:25 PM
From: richardred
   of 7067
 
RE-CTG I'm adding a new predator

UPDATE 1-Randstad: Looking for acquisitions of up to 500 mln euros
AMSTERDAM, April 26

(Adds details, CFO quotes, background)

Randstad, the world's second-largest staffing agency, is looking for mid-sized acquisitions of up to 500 million euros ($563 mln) to add professional and technical staff, its chief financial officer said on Tuesday.

Robert Jan van de Kraats said Randstad had taken small stakes in 10 technology companies and "we might even use the technology or buy the company as a whole".

It could spend 100 million to 500 million euros on acquisitions, he said, without giving a time frame.

The Dutch company is particularly interested in adding so-called outplacement services, which enable downsizing companies to help former employees find new jobs, already offered by the Dutch company's larger rival Adecco.

Randstad's core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margin rose to 4.5 percent from 4.2 percent over the past four quarters, compared to 5.5 percent at Adecco. Van de Kraats said a higher margin is a realistic ambition.

"They have the benefit of an extensive outplacement business which we do not yet have. So that has some impact, but nevertheless we should aim at getting there," he said. ($1 = 0.8883 euros) (Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; editing by Jason Neely and Susan Fenton)

uk.reuters.com

P.S.
Strategic Staffing

CTG's Strategic Staffing offerings address each client's specific staffing needs by providing quality technical labor in a consistent, efficient, and cost-effective manner.


For 50 years, CTG has been developing and enhancing processes to address the specific strategic staffing, vendor management, and subcontractor relationship challenges faced by our clients, and today is one of the largest staffing companies (named the 17th largest U.S. staffing company in 2014 by Staffing Industry Analysts). Today, using processes and procedures honed over decades and driven by dedicated resource management teams, CTG addresses a range of IT talent requirements, including:

  • High-volume contracted technical services
  • Single or multiple locations using contracted technical services
  • Non-standard approaches to technical services fulfillment
  • Improvements to the current contracted services process in terms of cost, speed, and quality.s.

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From: richardred5/22/2016 3:14:37 PM
   of 7067
 
eBay eyes acquisitions to expand fashion and lifestyle categories

Rasul Bailay & Shambhavi Anand, ET Bureau May 16, 2016, 03.16AM IST






NEW DELHI: US ecommerce giant eBay Inc, which trails Amazon and Flipkart despite having the first-mover advantage in India , is looking at expanding its fashion and lifestyle categories and acquiring online fashion retailers.

So far, though, two acquisition attempts have failed. The company held unsuccessful talks for a possible buyout of Fashionara and Rocket Internet-backed Jabong , people familiar with the matter said. "There were talks going on for a possible sale of Jabong to eBay a few months ago. However, they failed as eBay asked Jabong to completely change to a marketplace model that eBay operates.

articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com

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From: richardred5/22/2016 3:21:13 PM
   of 7067
 
Apple, Google locked in battle for supremacy May 22, 2016


At the top of the corporate world, Apple and Google are in a back-and-forth battle to be number one.



It's not clear which of the two Silicon Valley giants will emerge on top in a contest which highlights the contrast of very different business models.

For a brief time early this year, Google parent Alphabet overtook Apple as the world's largest company by market value.

Apple then regained, lost and recovered the leader position in May in a battle that appears set to continue for some time.

At the close Friday, Apple was worth some $522 billion, to $496 billion for Alphabet.

The two companies have both been hugely profitable in recent years, for different reasons.

Apple has delivered a line of must-have iPhones and other gadgets that have set trends around the world but now "appears to be a little bit immobile," says Roger Kay, analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates.

Apple shares have slumped some 30 percent over the past 12 months over concerns that its stunning growth pace is slowing and that the iPhone won't be able to rake in profits as it has up to now.

Finding next thing

Kay said Apple may be losing the position of innovation leader it achieved after the iPhone, with no new major hit products coming.

"They haven't really changed the nature of the game," Kay said.

"The (Apple) Watch came in, it was kind of interesting, people liked it... but developers are still searching for exactly how to use it."

Google, meanwhile, been evolving from a pure search engine to a leader in mobile with its Android operating system.

And it has at the same time been investing in "moonshots"—grand ventures that may have potential such as self-driving cars, fiber networks and Internet balloons.

Google "has positioned itself well, through organic investments and acquisitions, for most of the major trends in consumer Internet: mobile, video, local," said RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney in a research note.

Kay said the Android system which powers some 80 percent of mobile handsets is a valuable franchise that helps Google's mobile advertising efforts.

"The narrative that has boosted Google is the one about technology innovation and being at the wellhead of various important technologies," Kay said.



"That may or may not finally pay off. But they're looking. They're using their money to try to find innovative things to make the next big thing, whatever it is."

For Apple, a key moment will come later this year with the expected unveiling of its iPhone 7, a test on whether it can keep up its innovation and entice consumers to trade up.

The two companies have a virtual duopoly on the smartphone market, but Apple makes its own hardware and software while Google provides only the free Android software for handsets, including many made by low-cost manufacturers.

Showing intelligence

Google has been taking pains to show off its software and artificial intelligence.

At its just-concluded developer conference, Google unveiled a virtual home assistant as well as an upgraded messaging platform.

Google claims it is ahead of its rivals in artificial intelligence, and cites as proof its victory in the ancient game of Go by its supercomputer AlphaGo.

And Google also has shown its interest in virtual reality, adapting its upcoming version of Android to deliver more lifelike images, which could help in its battle against Apple.

But few are ready to count out Apple, which is known for keeping its research efforts secret, and which has a massive cash stockpile of some $233 billion.

Apple is widely believed to be working on some automobile project, and recently announced a $1 billion investment in Chinese ride hailing app Didi Chuxing, the bitter rival of US-based Uber.

Apple also moved to expand its global footprint by announcing plans for a development office in Hyderabad, India and a new app design center in Bangalore.

Even with Apple's share price in a slump, billionaire Warren Buffett disclosed he had taken a $1 billion stake, suggesting the shrewd investor sees Apple as undervalued.

The research firm Trefis said the latest Apple investment in Didi "signals that the company could get more creative" in using its vast financial resources.

phys.org

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To: richardred who wrote (4113)5/22/2016 9:55:12 PM
From: richardred
   of 7067
 
Aixtron Said in Talks for Sale to Chinese Investor Group

May 20, 2016 — 11:22 AM EDT

Aixtron SE, a German equipment supplier to the semiconductor industry, is in talks to sell itself to a Chinese private equity investor group, according to people familiar with the matter.

The private equity fund is backed by Hong-Kong based investment firm Buttonwood Finance Ltd., two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The parties aim to reach an agreement in the coming weeks, the people said.

A deal may value Aixtron at about 5.50 euros a share, or about 620 million euros ($695 million), though the price hasn’t been finalized, one person said. Aixtron has a market capitalization of about 535 million euros. No final decision has been made and talks may still falter, the people said.

Aixtron shares closed 10 percent up in Frankfurt, after climbing as much as 15 percent.

A spokesman for Aixtron declined to comment. Buttonwood Finance didn’t respond to requests for comment outside of regular business hours.

A purchase by Chinese investors would allow Aixtron, which is grappling with the loss of its largest customer, access to the Chinese market and funds to further develop its product portfolio. Aixtron’s shares plunged as much as 43 percent on Dec. 10 after the company said Chinese client Sanan Optoelectronics Co. canceled orders, forcing Aixtron to reduce its sales outlook.

The company is working with long-time financial adviser JPMorgan Chase & Co. to find potential buyers amid more difficult conditions for chipmakers, people familiar with the matter said in March.

Semiconductor companies have been combining as they face rising production costs and a shrinking customer list. In the industry’s biggest deal in the past year, Avago Technologies Ltd. agreed to buy Broadcom Corp. in a cash-and-stock offer valued at $37 billion when it was announced in May 2015.
bloomberg.com

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To: richardred who wrote (4195)5/22/2016 10:57:34 PM
From: richardred
   of 7067
 
China overtakes US as top nation for technology acquisitions

China has overtaken the United States for the first time as the world’s biggest “acquiring nation” for mergers and acquisitions in the technology industry, accounting for a 45 per cent share of the market in the first four months of this year, according to a report from Dealogic.


It estimated that Chinese technology acquisitions reached a new high of US$65.7 billion through 456 transactions, up from the previous record of US$41.6 billion through 434 deals in the same period last year.

“Historically, the US had consistently been the biggest buying nation per year-to-date period and annually since 1995 [in technology mergers and acquisitions],” the report said.

US mergers and acquisitions in the technology sector totaled US$45.6 billion in the first four months of this year.

China’s new record came amid the increasing deal sizes in the tech sector led by Chinese technology companies, which are making a big foray into the global information technology industry.

China’s outbound technology-related mergers and acquisitions reached a new annual high of US$17.6 billion for 69 transactions in the first four months of this year, topping the US$14.9 billion recorded for the whole of last year.

Chinese aviation and logistics conglomerate HNA Group took over Ingram Micro, a US-based hi-tech products distributor, in a deal worth US$6 billion in February, becoming the biggest China outbound technology acquisition on record.

On Tuesday, Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial Services Group completed a US$4.5 billion round of funding. It is the largest private funding round on record in the global technology sector, as well as the biggest China domestic technology M&A deal so far this year, Dealogic said.

Goldman Sachs leads the China technology M&A advisor rankings so far in 2016, with US$15.5 billion, followed by China International Capital Corp and Morgan Stanley with US$15.2 billion and US$8.4 billion, respectively.

There are also a growing number of China outbound mergers and acquisitions in the technology hardware manufacturing industry.

In late March, Wanfeng Technology Group, a privately-owned Zhejiang-based robotics maker, had acquired a 100 per cent stake in US industrial robot manufacturer Paslin for US$300 million.

“Such China outbound acquisitions are a win-win. It helps both Wanfeng and Paslin move into each other’s markets and compete for more market share within a short term,” said Jiang Yuhua, general manager of Wanfeng.

There would also be an increasing number of domestic technology companies looking for mergers and acquisitions in the virtual-reality (VR) market in the coming year, according to Bryan Ma, vice president of client devices research at market research firm IDC.

He said a large number of Chinese tech start-ups and private investors are racing to be VR suppliers and developers, now that Chinese tech companies have made early progress in tethered HMDs (head-mounted displays) as well as standalone HMDs.

“Many M&As would be seen in the [VR] market this year,” Ma added
defence.pk

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To: richardred who wrote (4196)5/22/2016 11:10:03 PM
From: richardred
   of 7067
 
China’s Midea Makes Cash Offer for German Robot-Maker Kuka
Daryl Loo
Vinicy Chan
May 18, 2016 — 12:53 AM EDT
Updated on May 18, 2016 — 6:16 AM EDT

Midea Group Co. is seeking to raise its stake in Kuka AG to become the industrial robot maker’s largest shareholder in a deal that values the German company at 4.6 billion euros ($5.2 billion) and illustrates a surge in Chinese investment in Europe.

Midea is offering 115 euros a share, contingent on it being able to raise its holding to at least 30 percent from an indirect 13.5 percent stake held now, it said in a statement Wednesday. In doing so, Midea would jump ahead of German industrial equipment-maker Voith Group in shareholder rankings. Kuka said its boards would evaluate the offer.

Kuka shares were trading 30 percent higher at 109.80 euros at 11:55 a.m. in Frankfurt. The offer price is a 36 percent premium to Kuka’s closing share price of 84.41 euros Tuesday and a 60 percent premium to what both companies called Kuka’s “unaffected” closing share price on Feb. 3, just before Midea almost doubled its holding to 10 percent.

The Chinese offer caps a period of takeover speculation around Kuka, which is based in Augsburg and competes with Switzerland’s ABB Ltd. and Japan’s Fanuc Corp. in the market for industrial robots. Chief Executive Officer Till Reuter has said in the past Midea would help open up the lucrative Chinese market for the maker of orange mechanical arms that counts Airbus Group SE, Volkswagen AG and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV as its customers. China’s biggest maker of home appliances is seeking to upgrade factories and cut dependence on workers, which are becoming more expensive.
Meaningful Stake

Today’s move comes as China National Chemical Corp., known as ChemChina, is seeking approval for a $43 billion takeover of Swiss seed company Syngenta AG in what would be the biggest acquisition by a Chinese firm. It also agreed to buy German machinery-maker KraussMaffei Group in January in a deal valued at $1 billion.

“We don’t plan to wholly acquire Kuka, what we want is to be a meaningful shareholder,” Midea Chairman Paul Fang said in an interview. “Under German conditions, this would be to have a stake of 30 percent, that’s why we had this condition. No matter how big a stake Midea holds, Kuka will be an independent company and we don’t plan to interfere in their independence."

Midea has made its own decisions on the transaction and hasn’t “had any communication or directions from the government,” he said.
Attractive Offer

Kuka said in a separate statement it will issue a “reasoned opinion” on Midea’s offer. In addition to Midea, the company has German entrepreneur Friedhelm Loh and Swoctem GmbH with 10 percent and Voith with 25 percent as large shareholders, according to its website.

“The offer price is highly attractive,” Equinet Bank analyst Holger Schmidt wrote in a note raising the share price target to 125 euros each with an “accumulate” rating. Midea is likely over time to target a full takeover, requiring the convincing of Voith Group, which holds a blocking minority, he said.

Kuka has expanded its Asian presence in recent years, opening a Shanghai factory in 2013 and increasing its China headcount. It’s already helping Midea to automate its factories, Reuter said in March.

“Midea wants to build smart factories that use less labor to produce smart appliances, as China’s working population is dropping and they need to adjust to higher labor costs,” said Juliette Liu, an analyst at Yuanta Securities Co. “The company intends to use Kuka to establish a dominance over industrial robotic manufacturing techniques in China.”

Midea wants to transform its manufacturing line with technology and is aiming to cut its workforce by a fifth by 2018 to 80,000, Midea’s Fang said in the interview. The company already has 100 Kuka robots in its factories.

With $10.7 billion in free cash, Midea could do more acquisitions, although it intends to focus on expanding its brand in Europe and America, he said.

“We are already strong in China but the focus is now on establishing a truly globalized brand,” he said.

bloomberg.com

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To: richardred who wrote (4107)5/25/2016 8:49:17 AM
From: richardred
1 Recommendation   of 7067
 
Fits right into the theme of weaker companies combining or being acquired. A slow grow environment is a perfect fit for this. It gives companies time to integrate, eliminate overlap, and build on strengths. Plus it puts pressure on competitors to keep up with the Joneses..

How IBM, Xerox Get Impacted By HPE Services Spinoff, CSC Merger



HPE's surprise move to merge its enterprise-services unit with CSC could pressure IBM to respond. (Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/Newscom)


The surprise move by Hewlett Packard Enterprise ( HPE) to spin off and merge its enterprise-services division with Computer Sciences Corp. ( CSC) could put pressure on IBM ( IBM) to respond, analysts say.

Shares in HPE jumped late Tuesday after the company announced the tax-free spinoff of its services business. HPE also reported better-than-expected fiscal Q2 earnings, but EPS was still down 2% year over year.

“We believe the HPE Services plus CSC transaction will cause Xerox ( XRX) services to be looked at as an acquisition target, as well as put pressure on IBM to consider making acquisitions in its services business,” Citigroup analyst Jim Suva said in a report.

The combination of HPE’s enterprise services business and CSC will have about $26 billion in annual sales. The deal is expected to close in March 2017.

Jason Kupferberg, analyst at Jefferies, says the HPE-CSC deal has merit.

“We believe the combined firm will trail only IBM Global Services and Accenture ( ACN) in terms of global IT Services revenue,” Kupferberg said in a report. “While neither CSC or HPE enterprise services are industry growth leaders and have been in turnaround mode, we see strategic rationale for the merger, given the complementary vertical exposures (CSC strong in insurance, health care and banking, with HPE enterprise services known for pharmaceuticals, transportation, and telecom.)”

Hewlett-Packard split into two publicly traded companies last November. Shareholders of HP Enterprise and CSC will each own half of the new company’s shares.

Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry said the HPE services-CSC merger is the combination of two struggling companies and could result in 65,000 layoffs.

“Two bad assets does not make one good asset,” he said.

investors.com


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