What Day Is It?
I’ve detailed in this space how Monday morning is often replete with news of multibillion-dollar takeover deals. This makes perfect sense, because the weekend provides a quiet few days to hammer out details behind closed doors.
I’m fairly certain, though, that just because I gave it so much attention, it hasn’t happened lately. (This is a corollary to the idea that your favorite sports team will start losing, the minute you point out how well they’re playing.) We’ve had to put the alliterative “Merger Monday” moniker on hold, while deals moved to other days of the week.
I’m not sure there have been too many Wednesdays with as many deals as we saw today. Among them:
-Commscope bought Andrew for $2.6 billion dollars
-Guitar Center was acquired by private-equity firm Bain Capital for $1.9 billion
-People’s United Financial bought industry colleague Chittenden Bank in a $1.9 billion dollar transaction
-Fidelity National InformationServices bought eFunds for $1.8 billion.
(For you business trivia fans, Andrew is the company that makes those satellite dishes with the red lightning bolt logo that you often see on top of office buildings.)
Observation: We saw few if any “leaks” in advance of these stories. Perhaps Corporate America is trying to throw us media deal-hunters off the scent by striking these deals during the week. Or perhaps it’s just a coincidence.
In any event, there was no shortage of news for our market reporters to talk about, thanks to the spate of takeover activity. How does Wheel-And-Deal Wednesday sound?
It’s not only takeover deals that seemingly arrive in bunches. Legal stories also tend to travel in packs.
In the space of an hour or two, we heard the following stories from the Breaking News legal docket:
-Massachusetts regulators charge UBS with improper behavior, in allegedly giving inappropriate gifts to hedge-fund managers.
-The National Association of Securities Dealers fines Wells Fargo Securities for inadequate disclosure by the lead analyst in a report on Cadence Design Systems. (The omission: the analyst had accepted a job at Cadence.)
-AdelphiaCommunications founder John Rigas and son Timothy Rigas are ordered to report to jail on August 13, to begin serving time on their fraud convictions.
I have no brilliant conclusion to this observation, other than to say it sure is a bad time to be a bad guy. But it sure is a good time to own a stock of a takeover target. As it’s always been.
Can’t wait to see what Thrill-A-Minute Thursday brings.