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.
"The Times They Are A-Changin'" by Bob Dylan and TXU
Buyout funds everywhere could be singing this tune if the deal proposed last week for Texas energy giant and Motley Fool Income Investor pick TXU
This isn't the first time private-equity groups have zeroed in on utilities as potential buyout targets. In particular, KKR and TPG have individually made runs at Oregon's Portland General Electric, a utility owned by Enron, and Arizona's UniSource Energy, respectively. Regulators said "no dice" to both of those deals. This most recent attempt comes with significant political and environmental clout -- board members include former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, former EPA Administrator William Reilly, and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans. Despite this, the deal will likely get scrutinized almost as much as Britney Spears' new hairdo.
Along with KKR and TPG, the private-equity arms of Goldman Sachs
Credit Suisse and Lazard
"House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals and Oracle
Larry Ellison is back at it again. Oracle
Oracle made a lot of noise back in 2004 when it launched a hostile takeover for competitor PeopleSoft, a deal Oracle won with a price of $10.3 billion. A year later, Ellison and company snapped up another business software provider, Siebel Systems, for $5.8 billion. The really interesting part of the Oracle acquisitions is that they seem to be paying off for the company. While a great number of large acquisitions fail to return the level of shareholder value promised by management teams (cough, cough, Symantec-Veritas, cough, cough, HP-Compaq), Oracle seems to have hit the ball square on the sweet spot with its major acquisitions so far.
The Hyperion acquisition is outside Oracle's core focus of database and data collection software, but the fit makes a lot of sense. The smaller but faster-growing area of business intelligence (BI), which counts firms like Business Objects and Cognos as members, is a logical area for Oracle to grab a bigger footprint. Now that it's possible for a company to collect reams of data from any given part of its business, the focus is turning to better ways to view and analyze that data. Enter BI.
Hyperion's customer list includes 91 of the Fortune 100 companies, but the company's core strength within BI is in the area of financial reporting. It does have software that stems out into many other areas, but it wouldn't be at all surprising to see Oracle continue with its Hungry Hungry Hippo approach and snatch up another BI provider to augment Hyperion's offerings.
"The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers and Fertitta Capital Partners
Station, which was founded by Frank Fertitta Jr., started as a local bingo hall in 1976. Today the company focuses on the "locals" market in Las Vegas, as well as parts of California and one site in Michigan. Colony Capital, which is joining the sons of the founder in the buyout, focuses on real estate-backed investments and currently owns a number of gaming-related properties, including the Las Vegas Hilton and Resorts International Atlantic City.
Station joins Harrah's as a recent major transaction in the Las Vegas casino scene, and does beg the question of whether there is another similar transaction on the horizon.
Last Monday, Ericsson launched a counter-bid for video specialist Tandberg Television. The offer was $1.4 billion in cash and topped the offer made for Tandberg by Arris Group back in January. Tandberg's specialty is digital video solutions for applications such as video compression, digital TV, and interactive TV.
Struggling Tribunereceived a late bid from real estate investor Sam Zell to take the company private. Zell, fresh off his successful sale of Equity Office to Blackstone, proposed to create a highly leveraged privately held company organized around an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Early reports suggest that the offer is not finding any big fans at Tribune.
In the latest from the big question mark called Chrysler, reports have been circling that GM may be interested in swapping a minority stake in its company for the struggling unit of DaimlerChrysler.
Finally, in another buyout square dance, alternative asset manager Fortress Group, which recently completed its IPO as well as the purchase of short-line railroad operator RailAmerica, threw its hat in the ring for music company EMI. While Warner Music Group has been circling EMI, buyout groups Apollo, Permira, and One Equity have also been showing some interest.
TXU is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Symantec is an Inside Value pick. Try any one of our investing services free for 30 days.
Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer is currently ranked 4,950 out of 23,713 Fools participating in The Motley Fool's CAPS service, and he encourages everyone to get heard. He owns shares of Goldman Sachs, but does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy always rocks steady, bald or not.