In case you missed any of these catchy tunes last week, it's not too late to boogie down. Grab your headphones, CD player, iPod, speakers, guitar, cowbell, whatever you need -- it's time for the M&A Mix Tape.
"Lay Down Sally" by Eric Clapton and Sallie Mae
The big news of last week was the $25 billion deal for education lender SLM Corp
The participants in this deal were even more interesting. While we're used to seeing names like KKR, Texas Pacific, and Blackstone, it was J.C. Flowers and Friedman Fleischer & Lowe that engineered this deal. They may not be names on the tips of everyone's tongues, but they nonetheless bring some clout. J.C. Flowers is run by the highly respected former Goldman Sachs investment banker J. Christopher Flowers, who raised $1 billion for his first private equity fund after leaving Goldman in 1998. Don't expect this to be the last you hear about the firm, either, since reports claim he's looking to raise another $8 billion for a second fund.
On the other side of the deal, FFL touts leadership that includes 19-year Morgan Stanley vet Spencer Fleischer and Hellman & Friedman co-founder Tully Friedman. Since its start back in 1998, FFL has worked with a number of notable companies, including Montpelier Re, Tempur-Pedic, and BearingPoint.
Investors are also attracted by the fact that it wasn't just J.C. Flowers and FFL putting equity into this deal. Banking majors JPMorgan
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2 and Fremont General
When there's blood in the streets, you can bet that the dealmakers will come out to play. Right now, it's hard to think of any industry in more dire straits than subprime lending. With home prices cooling and buyers realizing that they may have gotten themselves in over their heads, subprime lenders are hurting and hurting bad.
Early last week, Fremont General
Interestingly, the buyer was not disclosed, but the name Fortress
"Put Me in Coach" by John Fogerty and Topps
The action going on over at Topps
In the case of Topps, the company has accepted a $9.75-per-share offer from Madison Dearborn and Tornante, a fund run by Michael Eisner. Investors were already unhappy with the offer, but have become further peeved by the fact that Topps dismissed a last-minute offer of $10.75 per share -- believed to be from rival Upper Deck.
Management argued that the higher offer had antitrust concerns and the buyer hadn't shown for sure that it had the means to finance the transaction. Plus, had Topps decided to chase the higher bid, it would have had to cough up an $8 million breakup fee to Dearborn and Tornante -- money that would be lost if the new deal fell through.
So the question is whether investors, for whom this is the last bite of the apple, should be happy with the lower offer. Board member Arnaud Ajdler, who owns a stake in Topps through Crescendo Partners, has been a particularly squeaky wheel in the process and is fighting the board to reconsider taking the current offer.
Well, that's it for this album, but be sure to keep tuned in to The Motley Fool for more tunes from the M&A front.
Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer is currently ranked 2,569 out of 26,694 Fools participating in The Motley Fool's CAPS service, and he encourages everyone to get heard. He owns shares of Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, but does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy doesn't fear the reaper.