According to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon Comm. (VZ) is inching closer to spinning off its directories business in a deal that could be valued at as much as $13bn. The phone giant, which announced plans to shed its directory business late last year, is days away from filing papers with the SEC that would enable it to spin off the division. Analysts also have interpreted Verizon moves toward shedding its directories to be an indicator that it might use the proceeds to help finance a buyout Vodafone's (VOD) 45% stake in Verizon Wireless.
THe WSJ's "Heard on the Street" column questions taht "is Kirk Kerkorian trying to engineer an effective takeover of General Motors (GM) on the cheap?" If the Renault-Nissan alliance plan materializes, Mr. Kerkorian and his allies would control about 30% of GM. While a minority position, it would give the group a great deal of control, and would come without having to get into the pesky problem of paying a premium to grab a controlling interest. If the deal is structured in a way that it is a stealth takeover by Mr. Kerkorian, "GM will not sign up for that. They're smart enough ppl to look through that," says David Giroux, of T. Rowe.
Barron's Online discusses McDonald's, sayint that the shares may have more room to run. "In these trying times, McDonald's can be counted on for steady growth," says Dan Popowics, of Fifth Third Asset Mgmt.
The LightReading reports that as the fiber access mkt heats up, rumors abound that FiberNet (FTGX) in one co that might be on the block. The CEO denies it, but analysts say the fate of its peers suggests it won't be an independent firm forever. Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Colby Synesael feels any large and publicly held carriers could be potential suitors. FiberNet would probably be valued at 2-3x its annual revs, which were $33.8 million in 2005, he says.
Notablecalls: This piece of news will spark some interest in the stock.