Monday, December 18, 2006


The WSJ reports that Express Scripts (ESRX) was last night preparing a $26bn cash and stock offer for Caremark Rx (CMX), in an effort to break up the co's existing takeover deal with drug chain CVS (CVS). An offer could be launched as early as today. It could set off a back-and-forth struggle for Caremark at a time when the co's deal with CVS was gaining credibility in the mkt. That transaction, which awarded no premium to Caremark's shareholders, initially failed to convince investors, who pushed shares in both co’s downward.

According to the WSJ, private-equity firms were in recent days moving into prime position to buy Biomet (BMET). An auction for the co was in its final days and could come to a head before year end. A contender remains Smith & Nephew (SNN), but the buyout shops were seen as leading candidates at the final hour.

The WSJ reports that Delta Air Lines, working to beat back an $8.4bn hostile merger bid from US Airways (LCC), is expected as soon as tomorrow to file a sweeping bankruptcy reorganization plan that values the co at $10-12bn. The range, representing the Atlanta airline's estd mkt value after emerging from bankruptcy, is down from the $12-14bn range the airline was calculating a few weeks ago. Still, Delta hopes creditors would prefer a plan that values the airline at more than US Airways' offer, and that would lead to an airline with an estd $10bn in debt versus $22bn under the merger scenario envisioned in the US Airways bid.

The WSJ reports that Loral Space & Comm. (LORL) in partnership with a Canadian pension fund, is expected today to announce a deal to acquire the Telesat satellite unit of Canada's BCE for more than $2.59bn. As part of the transaction, Loral will contribute cash as well as all of its own satellite assets to form a new co, based in Canada, that will own and operate the combined satellite fleet.

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