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    Avaya Agrees to Buyout

    Filed under: — 11:48 pm

    Avaya agrees to be acquired by Silver Lake Partners and TPG Capital for about $8.2 billion, or $17.50 per share cash. Avaya provides communications systems equipment to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations.

    Source: Forbes


    News Corp Bids For Dow Jones

    Filed under: — 6:27 pm

    Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has made a $5 billion unsolicited bid for Dow Jones. Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal and has the Dow Jones Newswires and MarketWatch news properties, is said to be examining the offer. Down Jones cannot be taken over without the Bancroft family’s consent and they have owned the company since 1902.

    Murdoch has apparently had his eyes set on the Journal for a while, and he is planning to start a cable news channel to compete with CNBC. “Murdoch has said the channel’s programming will be generally more favorable to companies and executives than CNBC’s” so that could mean less objectivity.

    Source: BusinessWeek


    AMD/ATI Merger Possible

    Filed under: — 5:00 pm

    “Advanced Micro Devices may be looking to buy graphics company ATI Technologies, a move that would benefit the overall graphics industry, according to RBC Capital Markets.”

    “Walia based his prediction on recent checks in the PC food chain. RBC has an ‘outperform’ rating and $23 price target on ATI, and no rating on AMD. The firm expects ATI to report fiscal 2007 earnings per share of $1.06.”

    Read More: Forbes


    Wachovia to Merge with Golden West

    Filed under: — 9:30 am

    On Sunday, Wachovia announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Golden West, one of the last major savings and loans in California, for about $25.5 billion in stock and cash. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006, pending approvals.

    Analysts seemed optimistic about Wachovia’s intended acquisition of Golden West Financials, though they admitted the deal would be expensive and risky. Analyst Mark Hebeka believes the deal would give Wachovia a national presence with significant branch additions in the key markets of California, Florida and Texas, and would also add higher returning assets to Wachovia’s balance sheet with minimal risk exposure.

    Source: Forbes

    News is also being reported that two top Wachovia Corp. executives sold shares of the bank valued at $5.8 million around the same time that it began talks to buy Golden West Financial Corp. Wachovia said the executives, Benjamin Jenkins III, Wachovia’s vice chairman and head of consumer banking, and investor-relations chief Alice Lehman, weren’t aware of the discussions when they sold the shares on April 27 and 28.

    Does that mean they don’t have much faith in a combined company? Wachovia said the stock sales were consistent with its internal policies and procedures for executives who buy or sell company stock. But it still seems fishy.

    Source: Wall Street Journal


    Introductions, Disney/Pixar

    Filed under: — 1:36 am

    Hello, my name is Judah Guber and I will be writing the Business Bits blog, starting with this, my very first post. First, I would like to thank Devin Reams for doing a great job and I wish him luck in all his future endeavors. Also, Nathan I appreciate the opportunity.

    The first thing I would like to talk about to kick off the “new Business Bits” is the rumored deal between Disney and Pixar. Disney has pretty much thrown in the towel in terms of attempting to have their films compete with Pixar. The studio that practically invented animation is being bumped off by the animation studio, Pixar which created films such as Finding Nemo and The Incredibles which each made about the GDP of a small country. Disney decided that “if you can’t beat them, join them”. Disney is in talks to buy Pixar from Apple and Pixar chief executive, Steve Jobs.

    This is where it actually gets really interesting. The way Disney wants to pay for Pixar is with Disney stock, which would make Steve Jobs the largest shareholder in Disney. In essence, Disney is buying Pixar from Steve Jobs by selling him their own company. I guess its kind of like selling one of your properties in Monopoly in exchange for all of theirs, weird I know.

    In reality though, it would be a brilliant move by Disney which besides now having all of Pixar’s future films without another contract dispute, also now would have Steve Jobs on their board of directors. This would completely revolutionize the online content and distribution industries.

    If you have any interesting comments or stories feel free to contact me at

    Check back soon…..


    More AOL Rumors: Yahoo to Buy a Stake

    Filed under: — 4:07 pm

    Yahoo Inc. is considering buying a stake in America Online Inc., joining other Internet powerhouses interested in the company’s Web portal, a person close to the talks said Friday. They say the talks are not as “advanced” as Google, Comcast, and Microsoft’s… whatever that means. In any case, why on earth is this media company now so popular? What changed in the last month? They’ve always had a huge userbase! It must be Web.20 fever…

    The WSJ says, though, that a partnership between AOL and Yahoo would face antitrust issues. Basically combining the two largest web audiences is somewhat unfair.

    Source: Forbes, WSJ

    Occidental to Acquire Vintage Petroleum

    Filed under: — 2:28 am

    Occidental Petroleum Corp. said it agreed to acquire Vintage Petroleum Inc. for about $3.5 billion. The WSJ makes a good point: it seems acquisitions are the only way to get anywhere lately. The acquisition will help Occidental’s operations in California, Latin America (Argentina and Bolivia) and the Middle East (Yemen).

    In comparison, Vintage did nearly $800 million last year whereas Occidental brought in upwards of $11 billion. In addition to oil and gas production, Occidental owns specialty product subsidiary Occidental Chemical (OxyChem) and an energy trading and marketing operation, Occidental Energy Marketing.

    Sources: WSJ, Hoovers,


    Update: Everything AOL-related is a Rumor Says Exec

    Filed under: — 9:52 am

    Richard Parsons, Time Warner’s chief executive, said that news of a possible Google and/or Comcast stake in AOL is all “market rumor.” He also mentioned that there are no plans to partner with Microsoft. The two companies had talked in the past but negotiations broke off due to control issues. Time Warner is interested in expanding operations in China and India, says Parsons. Somewhat self explanatory given the fact that he’s visiting Hong Kong…

    …oh, and the fact that everyone else is doing it.

    Source: Reuters


    Google, Comcast Eye AOL

    Filed under: — 3:14 pm

    Google Inc. and Comcast Corp. are in serious discussions with Time Warner Inc. about buying a minority stake in America Online, according to people familiar with the situation. According to the WSJ Google approached Comcast about bidding for AOL last week. Google may actually make its own bid says another source. Either way, Google already has a long-standing relationship with Time Warner. If these two companies held a minority stake it would certainly put pressure on Yahoo and Microsoft… now apparently a daily occurance. Interestingly enough though, Google has always said they’re not in the content business; they’d rather send people to the best places on the internet.

    Source: WSJ


    How Do You Value A Blog?

    Filed under: — 1:59 am

    A question frequently posed is how is a blog valued? Before we all assumed it was readership and traffic numbers. We’ve now come to realize that quality is certainly valued over quantity. Steve Rubel even mentioned that “1.0″ thinking today. Ever since the AOL acquisition of WIN a few people have quoted’s analysis of the numbers. Is it safe to assume a link is worth $564? Quite frankly, no way.

    At first glance it seems reasonable to attach a monetary value to each incoming link. The problem is a link is as arbitrary as a reader. We all know Engadget readers (such as myself) are smart, sophisticated and love their gadgets! They’re not just another number! The inverse can be true though, if a reader such as Robert Scoble were to find something interesting and then share it with others the value of the blog is easily demonstrated. In addition, the infastructure, management, and reputation that WIN has developed are all factors (of many) to consider in a deal such as this one.

    Instead of dissecting the situation, people should look at the big picture. Put simply, a group like WIN is worth more than the sum of its parts. So no, my blog isn’t worth anywhere near $54,000. Neither is yours. I’m sure of it. I sure hope we stay away from this line of thinking…

    Sources:, Scobleizer, Micro Persuasion, InsideGoogle,


    MSN and AOL Merger

    Filed under: — 1:13 pm

    From the WSJ:

    Microsoft Corp. is in talks with Time Warner Inc. about taking a stake in the media giant’s America Online unit, as part of a broader discussion about the two companies working together, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Time Warner shares are up this morning (Bloomberg). Both sides have declined to comment… and sources say talks have taken place over a period of “months”. Nothing is imminent..

    Discussions started some two years ago after the companies settled a long-running antitrust suit that America Online, a unit of Time Warner, filed against the software giant, the source said. (Yahoo)


    Wachovia to Buy Westcorp

    Filed under: — 11:55 pm

    From the WSJ:

    Wachovia Corp. agreed to acquire Westcorp Inc. for about $3.91 billion in a deal aimed at boosting the Charlotte, N.C., company’s heft in the auto-finance business while giving Wachovia its first branches in California.

    Oracle to buy Siebel

    Filed under: — 1:49 pm

    From the WSJ:

    Oracle Corp. agreed to buy Siebel Systems Corp. for $5.85 billion in stock and cash, part of Chief Executive Larry Ellison’s plan to consolidate maturing segments of the software industry in an attempt to challenge SAP AG, Microsoft Corp. and International Business Machines Corp.


    eBay to Acqure Skype

    Filed under: — 10:21 am

    From the WSJ:

    EBay is in talks to acquire Internet-telephony company Skype Technologies for $2 billion to $3 billion, people familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal, in a deal that would represent a dramatic shift in strategy for the world’s largest online auction site.

    …I don’t get it. I know eBay is looking to expand, I understand what all the articles are saying but I won’t understand this until I see it.

    Update: The Motley Fool explains it a little more, I’m still not sure if I really buy it… Fred’s commenters have some interesting feedback, though.

    Per the Journal, you’ll see there is some synergy here, and it can all be summed up with one phrase: network effect. It pegs eBay’s user base at 157 million; Skype has 52 million users globally. That means eBay could sell Skype into more than 100 million households, and maybe a lot more than that. Seriously, think about it: Some eBay users are just nuts with their buying habits, but many are simply cheapskates. Others are technophiles who spend oodles of time on their computers. Skype could prove appealing to both types of eBay customers, albeit for different reasons.


    Six Flags For Sale

    Filed under: — 12:05 am

    Apparently my current employer is looking to get bought:

    Amusement park operator Six Flags Inc. announced Thursday it would seek proposals for a possible sale of the company, but would oppose efforts by Washington Redskins owner and dissident investor Daniel Snyder to take control outside this process.

    …unfortunately, as an employee, I could have never invested in Six Flags. A pity too becuase their stock is up 11%.

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