Archive for September, 2008

ImClone to announce sale talks continuing: report (Reuters)

Sunday, September 28th, 2008 | Finance News

(Reuters) -
ImClone Systems Inc is expected to announce later on Monday that it is continuing talks to sell itself to a major pharmaceutical concern for a price in the range of $6.1 billion, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, which has been trying to buy ImClone, last week raised its offer for the part of the company it does not already own to around $4.7 billion.

ImClone is expected to announce a deadline by which it hopes to have a deal with its other suitor, the paper said, citing the people familiar with the matter.

The two sides remain in "deep discussions" and believe they can reach a resolution within days, it added.

One person involved in the talks told the paper more than one company had expressed interest in exploring a transaction with ImClone following Bristol's unsolicited July bid.

These parties included Pfizer Inc and Eli Lilly & Co, the source said.

ImClone, Pfizer and Eli Lilly could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)


Lehman’s Neuberger unit closer to sale: sources (Reuters)

Sunday, September 28th, 2008 | Finance News

NEW YORK (Reuters) -
Private equity firms Bain Capital LLC and Hellman & Friedman LLC were closer to a deal on Sunday night to buy Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc's prized Neuberger Berman unit, two sources familiar with the situation said.

A deal could come as early as Monday, but is not finalized and still could take longer, the sources said. It was unclear what the price for the asset would be.

Lehman said in a statement earlier in September it was in advanced discussions with a number of bidders to sell the investment management division (IMD), which includes the crown jewel, Neuberger Berman.

An internal memo obtained by Reuters at the time said the investment bank hoped to announce a deal for the division "within a very short period of time."

The bank's holding company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month after trying to finance too many risky assets with too little capital.

Citing people familiar with the situation, the Wall Street Journal on Monday said a deal has been held up by issues including contract negotiations with Neuberger's money managers as well as the details of a purchase of some of Lehman's private-equity businesses.

According to the paper, the private equity companies would pay much less than Neuberger and Lehman's other money-management assets would have fetched before Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection. It said the deal could still fall apart.

The company originally put just a majority stake of the arm up for sale but later sought a deal for the whole unit.

(Additional reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)


Stock futures edge higher as bailout vote nears (Reuters)

Sunday, September 28th, 2008 | Finance News

NEW YORK (Reuters) -
Stock index futures rose on Sunday as lawmakers in Washington geared up to vote on creating a $700 billion government fund to buy bad debt in an effort to alleviate the global financial crisis.

Congressional leaders from both parties said they had a tentative agreement on Sunday, but questions abound as to whether the U.S. financial rescue plan, which would use taxpayer funds to buy up toxic mortgage debt, would restore confidence to shaky markets and head off a deeper downturn.

Optimism about the bailout was also tempered by a New York Times report that Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) were locked Sunday in a bidding war over a possible emergency takeover of Wachovia Corp (WB.N).

"The bailout plan is expected to provide relief and get credit markets back on track," said Chip Hanlon, president of Delta Global Advisors, Inc. in Huntington Beach, California.

"But in truth we've gone through it for more than a year now of these moves by Washington meant to fix our financial problems, while I suspect it buys the global economy some time, people would be wise to not get too excited," Hanlon added.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.6 point while Dow Jones industrial average futures was up 43 points and Nasdaq 100 added 7.75 points.

The uncertainty surrounding Wachovia follows a day of serious setbacks for European banking as the credit crisis that has already swallowed several major U.S. financial companies forced two more banks into government hands and threatened another.

Belgian-Dutch financial group Fortis (FOR.BR) was rescued by a state buyout after European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet held emergency talks with Dutch and Belgian and Luxembourg officials.

In London, regulators were also preparing to nationalize troubled mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley (BB.L) and were discussing a sale of its savings deposits and branches, people familiar with the matter said.

In Germany, Hypo Real Estate (HRXG.DE) was in urgent talks with banking regulator Bafin and the finance ministry about solving a refinancing squeeze at the bank, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday.

"The bailout obscures some of those (European) developments, but people would be wise to keep them in mind," Hanlon said.