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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 others) are either formally considering “strategic alternatives,” reported to be on the block or are rumored to be in sales talks. For prior lists, see below, and send any additions my way.

IPC Hodings, a reinsurer based in California, is now a target after shareholders rejected an offer from Max Capital Group. The rejection comes after Max Capital topped a bid from reinsurer Validus Holdings, which was started by Aqualine Capital.

ReadyMix Inc. will pursue strategic alternatives for the company following indications of interest from suitors. The company retained Lincoln International to advise it.

White Electronic Designs Corporation, which previously announced it retained Jefferies Quarterdeck to advise it in strategic alternatives, has completed its process and has decided to continue to operate as a standalone company.

Sara Lee is selling its household products and personal care businesses and has barred buyout firms KKR and Blackstone, among possible other financial buyers, from participating in the auction.

Zix Corporation, an email encryption services business based in Dallas, retained Allen & Company to assist ZixCorp’s Board of Directors in investigating strategic alternatives for its e-Prescribing business. This strategic review may result in a partnership, joint venture, the sale of some or all of its e-Prescribing assets or a similar transaction.

Entelos, a London Biosimulatoin software company retained financial advisory firm Seven Hills Partners to help it explore “strategic alternatives,” including “various financing and capital raising alternatives.” The company has asked shareholders to vote in favor of a delisting from the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market.

TII Network Technologies retained Mooreland Partners to advise it on the consideration of strategic alternatives, including an expression of interest received from Wilcom.

Ibex Technologies Inc., a listed Canadian biopharmaceutical company is seeking “strategic initiatives” after reporting a lower third-quarter profit.

Kinbauri Gold, based in Ottawa, Ontario, retained Gryphon Partners as its financial advisor. Gryphon Partners will assist the company’s special committee in the evaluation of strategic alternatives to maximize value to Kinbauri’s shareholders. The company previously recommended against a takeover offer from Orvana Minerals.

Exelon Corporation has filed materials to solicit proxies from the shareholders of NRG Energy for a merger between the companies.

Ezra Dabah, the former CEO and largest shareholder of The Children’s Place, continues to urge the company to take itself private, while also asking for new board members. His board member nominees were rejected.

Soapstone Networks Inc., a software developer which was previously “aggressively” pursuing strategic alternatives with help from Morgan Stanley, has failed to find a buyer and will liquidate.

New Range Resources is reviewing indications of interest from potential buyers of its oil and gas assets. New Range is a Calgary-based junior oil and gas company conducting exploration and operations in Alberta. The common shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol RGE. Emerging Equities Inc. is its advisor.

SteelCloud Inc., an integrator of computing appliances, is reviewing strategic alternatives. The company said, “We have received positive responses from potential investors for the progress we have made in strategically positioning our enhanced SteelWorks(R) Mobile product for BES 5.0 with our partners and potential partners.”

Hirsch International, a US Apparel business, has seen its CEO place a bid to acquire the company.

Mathstar Inc., an Oregon semiconductor company which has ceased operations, is considering mergers with Tiberius Capital, PureChoice Inc. or an unidentified private bidder.

Herley Industries Inc., a microwave technology business, continues to explore strategic alternatives, although the company has said a sale is not a viable option given economic uncertainties.

Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corp. is working with Broadpoint Capital to consider strategic alternatives including a potential sale. The company makes cholesterol and bronchitis drugs.

Interlink Electronics, based in California, is exploring strategic alternatives, the company said.

Powerboat Industries, a boat maker based in North Carolina, has retained Jacobs Capital to help it find a partner to provide additional capital to the company.

Anheuser Busch is testing the waters for a potential sale of its central European assets, which could go for $2 billion. Five private equity companies have expressed interest according to Reuters: Cinven, Warburg Pincus, CVC Capital Partners, TPG, and KKR.

Stephen Pagliuca is one of three parties interested in buying The Boston Globe from its owner The New York Times.

Kona Grill has rejected a buyout offer from Mill Road Capital, saying it was too low.

Carlyle Group, Blackstone Group and TPG Capital are considering the purchase if First Republic Bank, based in San Francisco. The bank is owned by Bank of America.

Ascend Media is seeking buyers. The company is now controlled by its lenders, led by Wells Fargo. It was previously owned by CCMp Capital and Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

Italian eyewear maker Safilo is considering selling 30% of itself to Bain Capital and PAI.

Previous weeks: Midweek Madness June 10, Midweek M&A Madness May 28, Midweek M&A Madness May 27, Midweek M&A Madness May 13, Midweek M&A Madness May 5