Midweek M&A Madness

As the weather (slowly) warms up, plenty of M&A bankers are hoping the market for deals will as well. We’ve noticed a few more targets coming to market in recent weeks and have compiled a list of some of those we’ve come across. Our sources are various news reports and the Buyouts “Seeking Buyers” list.

The following companies (among many, many others) are either formally considering “strategic alternatives,” reported to be on the block, or rumored to be in sale talks in the past week.  I can’t be comprehensive, but I can try. For prior lists, go here, or here, and send any additions my way.

Digital Ally- The Deal reports the company hired Banc of America Securities to help is explore strategic alternatives before Michael Caulfield, BofA’s managing director on the account, joined the company as its VP of Strategic Development.

AIG has lowered its asking price on its Taiwan insurance unit to between $1.8 billion and $2 billion, from between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, according to local reports.

PSA Peugeot Citroen, a Paris car maker, is open to partnerships with other companies, a move that analysts called “very serious and very significant.”

WellPoint Inc., a health insurance company, explored a potential LBO but decided against it.

Russ Berry and Company, a listed infant and juvenile products business, has hired Sagent Advisors to assist it in exploring “a full spectrum” of strategic alternatives after receiving several inquiries in the aftermath of its gift segment divestiture in December.

MMC Energy has sold two of its electric generating facilties but continues to pursue the sale of its two GE LM6000 PC Sprint turbines, acquired at a cost of $31 million.

Time Warner is spinning off AOL as an independent, publicly traded company. It acquired the business in 2000 for around $100 billion.

Quigley Corp., a maker of common cold medicines, is exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale of its pharmaceutical division, which would involve separating its OTC products and pharma assets.

Enerjex Resources Inc., a listed oil and natural gas acquisition company, announced it engaged C.K. Cooper & Company to explore strategic alternatives including debt restructuring, or a business combination.

Gatorz Inc., a performance eyewear designer and distributer, is aggressively pursuing strategic alternatives with “two viable alternatives” on the table. The company faces a debt restructuring as it is in default of some contracts and loans.

Myers Industries, based in Ohio, is exploring the sale of certain businesses in its Automotive and Custom Segment. Those businesses are Ameri-Kart(TM), Buckhorn Rubber Products(R), Michigan Rubber Products(TM) and WEK Industries(TM).

Challenger Energy Corp., a listed Candadian oil and gas company, is restructuring under creditor protection and is seeking strategic alternatives that could include the sale of the company.

Bristol Investment Fund continues to pressure Advocate Inc., a listed company in which it’s invested, to hire a banker to explore a sale of the company.

Trump Marina Casino, an Atlantic City casino, continues to explore strategic alternatives which include a sale of the company after Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. terminated its agreement to purchase the company.

Tuscany Energy continues to explore strategic alternatives for the company, including acquisitions or a “corporate transaction.”

Garneau Inc., an oil and gas pipeline product maker, alongside its financial advisor, Peters & Co. Limited, continues to work with the Special Committee of Garneau’s Board of Directors in its review of strategic alternatives for the company.

Torreypines Therapeutics Inc. has received approval from its board to liquidate its assets after considering strategic alternatives.

Tom Hicks is willing to sell a control stake in the Texas Rangers, the baseball outfit he previously sought minority stake buyers for. Hicks said he intends to maintain control in his hockey team, The Dallas Stars, but would sell up to 49%. He is using Raine, a firm formed by former Goldman Sachs banker Joseph Ratvitch, to sell the stakes.

CVC Capital may have competition for iShares if Barclays decides to sell it individually instead of as part of its entire BGI unit. Vanguard has placed a bid for the company.

Update: GSC Investment Corp., a New York specialty finance company, has retained Stifel Nicolaus & Co. to advise it in exploring strategic alternatives.

Previous weeks: Midweek M&A Madness May 27, Midweek M&A Madness May 13, Midweek M&A Madness May 5