As the US stocks trade lower on Thursday after a report showed first-time applicants for jobless benefits climbed last week, several M&A activities took place around the world. Some notable M&A activities are discussed here.
Hess Buys Stake in Console Shale Project and Acquires Additional Acreage
Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) said Thursday that it has acquired Marquette Exploration LLC and other leases in Ohio’s Utica Shale, boosting its acreage position by 85,000 net acres at a cost of approximately $750 million. The leases, in which Hess will have a 100 percent working interest, are in Jefferson, Harrison and Belmont counties. Appraisal activities on this acreage are planned to commence in the fourth quarter. On Wednesday, the company had announced that it has entered into an agreement with CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) to acquire a 50 percent interest in CONSOL’s nearly 200,000 acres in the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio for aggregate payments of $593 million. Hess will pay CONSOL $59 million at closing, which is expected in October, and $534 million in the form of a 50 percent drilling carry of certain CONSOL working interest obligations over a five year period. The transactions provide Hess with approximately 185,000 net acres in the Utica Shale play. HES was trading higher by 0.89 percent to $59.79 on Thursday.
QuinStreet Acquires IT Business Edge
QuinStreet Inc. (Nasdaq: QNST), the leader in vertical marketing and media online, said Thursday, that it has completed the acquisition of IT Business Edge. The addition of IT Business Edge now allows QuinStreet to expand its reach and capabilities in delivering targeted, measurable marketing results to business to business (B2B) technology marketers. IT Business Edge is an online media and marketing company that provide targeted content for senior business and technology decision makers and measurable marketing programs for IT marketers. B2B is an important area of future opportunity and growth for QuinStreet. B2B technology marketing spend is estimated at $8 billion per year in North America, with some $3 billion spent online. The transaction closed on August 25. QNST was trading lower by 0.36 percent to $11.16 today.
Hitachi Acquires BlueArc for $500 to 600 Million: Reports
Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (HDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) said that it has reached a significant milestone in its strategy to give customers seamless access to all data, content and information with the acquisition of BlueArc Corporation, a leader in scalable, high performance network storage. Hitachi did not reveal the cost of the acquisition, but Japan's Asahi newspaper said it was about $500-600 million. Building upon a successful 5 year OEM partnership, Hitachi Data Systems and BlueArc will give customers the unmatched combination of Hitachi enterprise-class quality, reliability and support with innovative, highly scalable, high performance BlueArc network attached storage. Hitachi Data Systems completed the acquisition of all outstanding shares of BlueArc in an all cash transaction. Hitachi's move comes after BlueArc filed with U.S. regulators in June for an initial public offering to raise up to $100 million, saying in its regulatory filing it had been posting losses since 2003 and expected to continue to do so. HIT was down 1.05 percent to $50.65 on Thursday.
PerkinElmer to Acquire Caliper Life Sciences for $600 Million
PerkinElmer Inc. (NYSE: PKI), a global leader focused on improving the health and safety of people and the environment, said Thursday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Caliper Life Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: CALP) a Hopkinton, Massachusetts-based leader in imaging and detection solutions for life sciences research, diagnostics and environmental markets, for $10.50 per share, for a total net purchase price of approximately $600 million in cash. PerkinElmer said the deal will expand its product portfolio to include broader offerings for molecular, cellular, animal and tissue imaging. It also will include platform technology additions to help expand into areas like environmental contaminants and food pathogen detection. The total purchase price represents a premium of 42 percent for Caliper Life Sciences shareholders, relative to the closing price of $7.39 on Wednesday, September 7, 2011, the last trading day prior to today’s announcement. The acquisition has received the unanimous support of the Boards of Directors of both companies, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011. PKI was trading lower by 1.90 percent to $21.63, while CALP jumped 41.14 percent to $10.43 after the announcement.