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Article from NYTimes.

Japanese companies have made a string of deals in the United States this year, but the pact announced on Monday is one for the record books.

The agreement by SoftBank to take control of Sprint Nextel is the biggest deal by a Japanese company in the United States since at least 1980, according to Thomson Reuters, which values the deal at $23.3 billion.

That far exceeds the next-largest deal, the $9.8 billion stake that NTT DoCoMo, SoftBank’s rival, took in AT&T Wireless in 2000.

The SoftBank deal is also worth more than some recent takeovers, including Takeda Pharmaceutical’s 2008 purchase of Millennium Pharmaceuticals for $8.1 billion. It also tops the $7.8 billion agreement the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group struck with Morgan Stanley in the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, according to Thomson Reuters data.

It also ranks as the biggest foreign deal involving an investment in an American company so far this year, according to Thomson Reuters.

The deal on Monday is a welcome development for the financial advisers involved, in a year starved for deal activity.

The agreement has lifted Citigroup, an adviser to Sprint, to sixth from seventh place in the Thomson Reuters global league table this year. Sprint’s other advisers, UBS and Rothschild, each moved up one spot as well.

One of SoftBank’s advisers, the Raine Group, entered this year’s league table in 30th place after the deal. (The deal is the group’s biggest, according to Thomson Reuters.) The Mizuho Financial Group, another SoftBank adviser, rose to 17th place from 22nd.

For American consumers, SoftBank is set to be the latest Japanese company to make its mark on daily life in this country.

In 1989, the Mitsubishi Estate Company made headlines with a deal to buy a 51 percent stake in the Rockefeller Group in New York. (The stake eventually grew to 100 percent, after Rockefeller went through bankruptcy.)

Craig Moffett, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein, drew a comparison to that deal last week, when Sprint confirmed it was in talks with SoftBank.

“This is tantamount to Japanese buyers buying Rockefeller Center,” he said.

The year 1989 was also when the Japanese electronics giant Sony took a foothold in Hollywood. Its roughly $4.7 billion purchase of Columbia Pictures Entertainment was a blockbuster at the time.

SoftBank’s shares fell 5.3 percent in Tokyo on Monday, with investors concerned over the company’s ability to turn around the ailing Sprint.

Read more here.

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Sounds to me like Tesla is going public. Here is some coverage on the topic from The GreenBeat blog at WSJ Online.

“Rumors are swirling today that Tesla Motors is seriously considering an initial public offering sometime soon. The talk has been tracked to two anonymous sources, who say the six-year-old company could cash in big on the battery-powered car trend before electric and hybrid models from companies like General Motors, Mitsubishi and Nissan make it to market.

Tesla has officially denied the prediction, calling the IPO chatter “rumor and speculation.” That said, going public in 2010 would give the San Carlos, Calif. company several distinct advantages. First, it would solidify its position as the electric car player to watch. It’s already been casually anointed as the leader by industry observers and the Department of Energy, which granted it $465 million in stimulus funds in its first round of low-interest loans for advanced transportation projects. Second, it could use the sale to raise money to get its hotly anticipated Model S sedan out the door by its 2011 due date.

Tesla is one of several cleantech companies anticipated to go public as soon as next year. When A123Systems shocked the market with its blockbuster IPO in late Sepember (its share price jumped 50 percent on opening day), many analysts, including the Cleantech Group, said that the biggest public offerings in 2010 will probably come out of the green sector. In addition to Tesla, solar system maker Solyndra — which received $535 million in loan guarantees from the DOE in March — and smart grid communications provider Silver Spring Networks have also been named as likely candidates.”

Read the full article here.

GigaOm also covers this topic saying:

“Last Friday, buzz about an imminent IPO for electric car startup Tesla Motors hit the Interwebs, courtesy of two anonymous sources familiar with the plans who spoke with Reuters. As in several previous stories about its possible plans for a public offering, the company has declined to comment.

But if and when Tesla goes through with its long-discussed goal of going public, it could be the biggest and possibly the first public offering for a U.S. car company since Ford Motor’s IPO more than 50 years ago. The event will also offer a glimpse at the role IPOs will play in the nascent green car market — is the classic venture capital model (invest early and find a big exit in the form of an acquisition or an IPO) viable for this sector, or will a green-car IPO be more about feeding big capital needs and branding?

Hopes for a Google-like moneymaker in cleantech (Google took only $25 million in venture capital to make millionaires of 1,000 employees and billionaires of its two co-founders in a wildly successful IPO) have already started to fade for some in the sector. Stephan Dolezalek, managing director of VantagePoint Venture Partners, which has invested in Tesla, told Reuters in September that public offerings now serve more as “financing events” for alternative energy and other cleantech startups rather than a way for investors and founders to cash in on equity.”

Read their version here.

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