Monday, November 20, 2006


The WSJ reports that several buyout deals to be announced this morning. Blackstone Group last night was near a $20bn takeover of Equity Office Properties (EOP) as Wall Street wrapped up one of its biggest days of deal making ever. If completed, the proposed effort to take Equity Office Properties private would be the largest such transaction in history, and possibly the largest real-estate deal ever, after factoring in the company's $16bn in debt. Even so, it was just one of a parade of multibillion-dollar deals expected to be announced by this morning. They include a $25.9bn takeover of mining concern Phelps Dodge (PD) by Freeport-McMoRan (FCX); a $3.3bn takeover of U.S. Trust, the private-banking arm of Charles Schwab (SCH) by Bank of America (BAC); and a $2.5bn agreement by Russian steelmaker Evraz to acquire Oregon Steel Mills (OS). Last night, Wall Street bankers were discussing the possibility of still more major deal announcements today.

„Heard on the Street” column discusses Syngenta (SYT), which bets that if it builds the right genetically modified seeds, profits will come, and some investors like its chances. It offers a cheaper way into the booming $56bn agricultural-chemical industry than its biggest US rival, Monsanto. "There are some stocks in which you look out for performance over two and three years, and this is one of them," says Madelynn Matlock, who manages $270m for the Huntington International Equity Fund.

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