Shorter Dealbook

Dealbook, The Abridged Version (09.07.06)

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Crime/Fraud/Legal/Investigations/Inquiries:
Corporations could face lawsuits over crackberries [legal]
IRS official tells lawmakers to lay off executive pay and options reform [legal]
Feds fight Ken Lay beyond the grave[legal]
Next up on options timing scandal: Home Depot [legal]
HP board battle [legal]
Citigroup banker cleared in China Life case [legal]
NatWest three trial dates set [legal]
M&A: [? = not yet closed, problems with the deal, lingering questions, etc.]
Blank Rome + Healy & Baillie
Stride Rite + Robeez Footwear
Royal Bank of Canada+ American Guaranty & Trust,
Alcatel + Lucent: ?
Wesfarmer, Australia’s biggest home improvement retailer+ insurance broker and underwriter OAMPS
For Sale/ LBOs/ Going Private/ Auctions/ Offerings:
Embarcadero Technologies acquired for about $234 million by Thoma Cressey Equity Partners [LBO]
London City airport [For sale]
New York Board of Trade [For sale]
Judge okays Tower Records auction [For sale]
KKR groups may sweeten the Coles bid [For sale]
People & Moves:
What’s next for Freston? [CEO]
Which CEO will meet the chopping block next? [CEO]
How a rlane guy becomes a car guy [CEO]
Miscellaneous:
The New New Establishment in Vanity Fair [Hierarchy]
Is the party over for the banks? [Banking]

Dealbook, The Abridged Version (09.06.06)

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Crime/Fraud/Legal/Investigations/Inquiries:
HP director resignation draws SEC inquiry [inquiry]
Judge rules bankrupt Dana Corp’s executive retention plan is illegal [legal]
How much did backdating cost shareholders [backdating]
Canadian class action suit filed against Imax [legal]
Fraud trial of NYSE trader kicks off [fraud]
M&A: [? = not yet closed, problems with the deal, lingering questions, etc.]
NASDAQ considering hostile bid London exchange
Compagnie Generale de Geophysique + Veritas DGC
Nippon Steel+ South Korea’s Posco: ?
Alcatel + Lucent: ?
Wesfarmer, Australia’s biggest home improvement retailer+ insurance broker and underwriter OAMPS
For Sale/ LBOs/ Going Private/ Auctions/ Offerings:
BGM final bids in the works [For sale]
Italian government mulling sales of state-owned property and stakes in companies [For sale]
SunGard Data Systems and Fiserv consider bids for UK’s Misys [For sale]
76ers [For sale]
Phelps Dodge kills Inco bid [For sale]
Money Raising:
The alternative energy start-up Cilion harvests $160 million in funding $$$
People & Moves:
Bill Ford down and out [CEO]
Everyone hating on Viacom [CEO]
Who else is on the way out of Viacom [Exodus]
Miscellaneous:
Lots of rumors about Time Warner [Rumors]
Scotia Capital sat out Canadian mining deal frenzy [Canada]
Flotation of one of Britain’s biggest gym chains will begin following merger of Virgin Active and Holmes Place [Fitness]
Wiki investments [Web 2.0]
Boston developer John B. Hynes III and financial services company Morgan Stanley on Friday bought 23 acres of South Boston Waterfront land from News Corporation [Real Estate]

Dealbook, The Abridged Version (09.05.06)

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Crime/Fraud/Legal/Investigations/Inquiries:
Jailed Bank of China managers say they are victims of a cover-up by the Chinese government [legal]
Madison Keats sued by employee claiming it runs a “financial scam” [legal]
NASD investigating the resurgence of blank-check IPOs [investigation]
Shareholder derivative claims for backdating companies [backdating]
Trial of Japan’s Takafumi Horie begins [trial]
Justice department to fight Dana Corporation bankruptcy retention bonus for executives [bankruptcy]
Canadian court tightening grip on Conrad Black’s spending [legal]
Should management buyouts be illegal? [legal]
M&A: [? = not yet closed, problems with the deal, lingering questions, etc.]
NASDAQ considering hostile bid London exchange
Compagnie Generale de Geophysique + Veritas DGC
Nippon Steel+ South Korea’s Posco: ?
Alcatel + Lucent: ?
Wesfarmer, Australia’s biggest home improvement retailer+ insurance broker and underwriter OAMPS
For Sale/ LBOs/ Going Private/ Auctions/ Offerings:
BGM final bids in the works [For sale]
Italian government mulling sales of state-owned property and stakes in companies [For sale]
SunGard Data Systems and Fiserv consider bids for UK’s Misys [For sale]
76ers [For sale]
Phelps Dodge kills Inco bid [For sale]
Money Raising:
The alternative energy start-up Cilion harvests $160 million in funding $$$
People & Moves:
Does Freston’s departure signal big moves at Viacom [CEO]
Miscellaneous:
Lots of rumors about Time Warner [Rumors]
Scotia Capital sat out Canadian mining deal frenzy [Canada]
Flotation of one of Britain’s biggest gym chains will begin following merger of Virgin Active and Holmes Place [Fitness]
Wiki investments [Web 2.0]
Boston developer John B. Hynes III and financial services company Morgan Stanley on Friday bought 23 acres of South Boston Waterfront land from News Corporation [Real Estate]

Opening Bell: 9.5.06

summerdriving.jpgOil steady, US summer driving season ends (Reuters)
We did it America, congratulations. Another summer in the books, and with it another summer driving season is history. Our reckless, fossil fuel-based, unsustainable standard of living has been vindicated. But it’s time to mothball your car and take the bus to work, because summer driving season is over. That’s right, summer driving season is finished, no more, terminated, and deep-sixed. Wave goodbye to your car, Mr. & Mrs. Taxpayer, hope you had a great Labor Day weekend, visiting the relatives. You can see them again on Memorial Day, or around the 4th of July. Oh, and if you’re an investor, time to dump that oil, because summer driving season ’06 is a museum piece.
Buybacks: The Next Corporate Scandal? (Infectious Greed)
Yoohoo, Wall St. Journal, are you there? Here’s a tip. Once your self-fulfilling options scandal starts to die down, here’s the next thing you can hype to keep yourselves busy. A new paper identifies stock buybacks as a scandal just waiting to be uncovered. See, there’s nothing wrong with buybacks per se (sounds familiar already), but what if they’re not necessary, and simply a waste of shareholder money? And what if all of those buybacks were only authorized to mask exorbitant stock options grants to executives!?! Why, we’d say this is a story. Now, all you have to do is hire a forensic accountant to go back and find buyback announcements that coincided in some way (time, size, etc.) with the awarding of new options packages. This is gonna be big.
Forbes.com Responds To NYT Bitchslap (Paid Content)
On Friday, just as you were hightailing it to some rain-soaked beach for the weekend, a mini battle erupted between Forbes.com and the Times. If you’ll recall, the Times recently ran a piece that questioned the traffic data being presented by Forbes.com (which if you’ll recall is at the center of Bono’s recent investment in Forbes). The Times suggested that Forbes.com was inflating its numbers, and that its site wasn’t so hot. Going on gut, we agree with the Times. Forbes.com doesn’t seem like much of a big deal at all. But Forbes.com was upset, and its CEO called out the the Times for the way it reports traffic at nytimes.com. Jim Spanfeller called the Times shameful and hypocrites for running the piece. Sadly, the volleying seems to have already died down. Good thing you were out of town, and didn’t get caught in the crossfire.
A Cock-and-Bull Story (Slate)
If you’re an urbane New Yorker, then you’ve no doubt seen the stories. Every sophisticated magazine from Harper’s to Atlantic to the Economist (probably) has felt compelled to run articles in recent years on the sex lives of teenagers, usually with a heavy emphasis on their proclivity towards practicing oral sex. There’s no doubt that these are big sellers on the newsstand, but surely something must explain this veritable epidemic of articles about the fellatio epidemic. And before we go any further, we know that this doesn’t qualify as an epidemic, which must be spread from one person to another, but that’s the word that gets used. Writing in Slate, Tim Harford breaks it down; why the sudden in trust in the activity. Of course, it’s all about incentives. Diseases are seen as being up, and pregnancy is no fun. Furthermore, evidence suggests that stricter laws against abortions actually do impact teens’ decision. So there you have it, teens of America are just rational, economic actors. And there all the experts thought there was something wrong with them.

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Dealbook, The Abridged Version (09.01.06)

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Crime/Fraud/Legal/Investigations/Inquiries:
Greg Reyes pleads not guilty [backdating]
As it turns out, lawyers are never guilty of anything [legal]
NASD Hits American Funds With $5 Million Fine [legal]
YouTube gives whistleblower a forum [legal]
Novell begins internal options grant investigation [backdating]
Feds investigating trading in oil and gasoline markets [investigation]
Johnson & Johnson wins antitrust suit [legal]
Progress Software restating previous financial results because of errors in stock-based compensation [legal]
M&A: [? = not yet closed, problems with the deal, lingering questions, etc.]
Sears + Sears
Wilbur Ross’ International Textile Group + Wilbur Ross’ Safety Components International
Russian state bank picks up stake in Airbus parent
Glencore, the Swiss commodities trading group getting in on the Rusal-Sual aluminum merger
Viacom buying remaining shares of MTV Japan
Wal-Mart Japan’s Aeon make eyes at Daiei from Marubeni
For Sale/ LBOs/ Going Private/ Auctions/ Offerings:
Metropolitan Life puts Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village on the auction block [Auction]AOL’s German unit [For sale]
R.R. Donnelley & Sons deal in trouble? [Going private]
QLT says no to buy-out offer [Buyout?]
Two buyout firms team up to take Cheddar’s [Sold]
Money Raising:
Playphone gets $9.1M$
Groxis takes $4M$
iTaggit tags $1.04M$
Tom Cruise gets first funding for film projects$$
Miscellaneous:
Warren Buffett gets married [CEO]
SEC: No action against former Shell boss [Energy]
IPO market sucks so VCs rely on M&A [Venture capital]
Hedge fund gets porny [Hedge fund]
Private Equity in the valley [Private equity]
Private Equity investors acquire stake in Germany’s Nordbank [Hedge fund]
The Children’s Investment Fund demands a vote on Euronext merger [Hedge fund]

Dealbook, The Abridged Version (08.31.06)

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Crime/Fraud/Legal/Investigations/Inquiries:
Greg Reyes pleads not guilty [backdating]
As it turns out, lawyers are never guilty of anything [legal]
NASD Hits American Funds With $5 Million Fine [legal]
YouTube gives whistleblower a forum [legal]
Novell begins internal options grant investigation [backdating]
Feds investigating trading in oil and gasoline markets [investigation]
Johnson & Johnson wins antitrust suit [legal]
Progress Software restating previous financial results because of errors in stock-based compensation [legal]
M&A: [? = not yet closed, problems with the deal, lingering questions, etc.]
Sears + Sears
Wilbur Ross’ International Textile Group + Wilbur Ross’ Safety Components International
Russian state bank picks up stake in Airbus parent
Glencore, the Swiss commodities trading group getting in on the Rusal-Sual aluminum merger
Viacom buying remaining shares of MTV Japan
Wal-Mart Japan’s Aeon make eyes at Daiei from Marubeni
For Sale/ LBOs/ Going Private/ Auctions/ Offerings:
Metropolitan Life puts Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village on the auction block [Auction]AOL’s German unit [For sale]
R.R. Donnelley & Sons deal in trouble? [Going private]
QLT says no to buy-out offer [Buyout?]
Two buyout firms team up to take Cheddar’s [Sold]
Money Raising:
Playphone gets $9.1M$
Groxis takes $4M$
iTaggit tags $1.04M$
Tom Cruise gets first funding for film projects$$
Miscellaneous:
Warren Buffett gets married [CEO]
SEC: No action against former Shell boss [Energy]
IPO market sucks so VCs rely on M&A [Venture capital]
Hedge fund gets porny [Hedge fund]
Private Equity in the valley [Private equity]
Private Equity investors acquire stake in Germany’s Nordbank [Hedge fund]
The Children’s Investment Fund demands a vote on Euronext merger [Hedge fund]

Dealbook, The Abridged Version (08.30.06)

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Crime/Fraud/Legal/Investigations/Inquiries:
Korean investigation into Lone Star Funds may delay sale of Kookmin Bank [legal]
Google chief executive joins Apple board [legal]
Home Depot adopts majority election for all directors [legal]
YouTube gives whistleblower a forum [legal]
Novell begins internal options grant investigation [backdating]
Feds investigating trading in oil and gasoline markets [investigation]
Johnson & Johnson wins antitrust suit [legal]
Progress Software restating previous financial results because of errors in stock-based compensation [legal]
M&A: [? = not yet closed, problems with the deal, lingering questions, etc.]
That big exchange mergers may be heading for trouble heading for trouble
Fosters pleads ignorance of takeover proposals
Russian state bank picks up stake in Airbus parent
Glencore, the Swiss commodities trading group getting in on the Rusal-Sual aluminum merger
Viacom buying remaining shares of MTV Japan
Wal-Mart Japan’s Aeon make eyes at Daiei from Marubeni
For Sale/ LBOs/ Going Private/ Auctions/ Offerings:
Metropolitan Life puts Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village on the auction block [Auction]AOL’s German unit [For sale]
R.R. Donnelley & Sons deal in trouble? [Going private]
QLT says no to buy-out offer [Buyout?]
Two buyout firms team up to take Cheddar’s [Sold]
Money Raising:
Playphone gets $9.1M$
Groxis takes $4M$
iTaggit tags $1.04M$
Tom Cruise gets first funding for film projects$$
Miscellaneous:
CBS’s Les Moonves and Viacom chief Tom Freston readying for fight [Private Equity]
Energy deals keep on keeping on despite lower oil prices [Energy]
Mergers still main exit strategy for Private Equity [Private Equity]
European buyouts surge while UK deals decline [Buy outs]

Dealbook, The Abridged Version (08.29.06)

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Crime/Fraud/Legal/Investigations/Inquiries:
Grasso’s lawsuit against H. Carl McCall dismissed [legal]
Echostar reaches $100M settlement with three networks, Fox still holding out [legal]
Suntrust says SEC has ended inquiry [legal]
Paypal founder accused of fraud in lawsuit [legal]
Canada issues antitrust order to Sotheby’s [legal]
London regulator widens scrutiny of hedge funds [legal]
Beatles reunion! For a lawsuit against record lables [legal]
Artists accused of fleecing gallery investors [legal]
M&A: [? = not yet closed, problems with the deal, lingering questions, etc.]
Fosters may be a takeover target
Commerzbank buys a piece of a Russian bank
Corel + has signed a definitive agreement to acquire InterVideo
For Sale/ LBOs/ Going Private/ Auctions/ Offerings:
A Jimi Hendrix song and other IP [Auction]
Seitel gets buyout offer [Buyout?]
R.R. Donnelley & Sons deal in trouble? [Going private]
QLT says no to buy-out offer [Buyout?]
Two buyout firms team up to take Cheddar’s [Sold]
Money Raising:
Playphone gets $9.1M$
Groxis takes $4M$
iTaggit tags $1.04M$
Tom Cruise gets first funding for film projects$$
Miscellaneous:
CBS’s Les Moonves and Viacom chief Tom Freston readying for fight [Private Equity]
Energy deals keep on keeping on despite lower oil prices [Energy]
Mergers still main exit strategy for Private Equity [Private Equity]
European buyouts surge while UK deals decline [Buy outs]