The number of global and domestic mergers and acquisitions were up to their highest levels since 2011 in the first quarter of the year, according to a mergermarket report released over the weekend. For the year, Global M&A climbed 28.9% over the first quarter of last year, while the U.S. experienced an 85.1% surge for the period. The announcement prompted more of the same sort of activity, with the day closing rich with new Mergers and Acquisitions reports.
The most publicized of today’s mergers was Texas Instruments decision to acquire National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in cash. The deal would join two leaders in analog semiconductors, a $42 billion market last year. This year, chips have been struggling somewhat, especially in the wake of the Japanese Earthquake. Japan has traditionally been the largest consumer of semiconductors. Beneath the agreement, stockholders will collect $25 in cash per share or a premium of 78 percent to Monday’s National Semiconductor’s closing stock price.
Shares of Vodafone Group PLC slumped on Monday after the company announced plans to sell its 44% stake in SFR to France’s Vivendi for about $11.3 billion. Vodafone, a U.K. company intends €4.5 billion of the net proceeds to be returned to shareholders via a share buyback with the remainder devoted to reducing net debt.
Elsewhere, Pfizer Inc pushed up 1.1 percent to $20.60 following news that the company would sell its Capsugel unit, the world's largest producer of hard capsules, to KKR & Co, a private equities firm, for close to $2.4 billion.
The involvement of the privaty equity firm in the Pfizer deal is consistent with a trend over the past year of a growing number of buyouts being funded by private equity firms.
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