Midweek M&A Madness

Now that the weather has finally warmed up, plenty of M&A bankers are hoping the market for deals will as well (look no further than Goldman Sachs, where YOY M&A fees were down 54% this quarter, for proof).

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.

Platinum Group Metals, based in Vancouver, is pursuing strategic alternatives. The business holds a 74% interest in large scale Platinum Group Metals reserve and resource in South Africa.

Athabasca Potash Inc., a Canadian business, is using CIBC World Markets Corp. and Genuity Capital Markets to help it look at a potential sale.

First Gold Exploration Inc., based in Quebec, has retained Minvestec Capital Corp. to help it explore strategic alternatives.

Ukrop’s, a family owned grocery business in Virginia, may be for sale, according to local reports.

Safilo, a luxury eyewear maker, expects to sell a minority stake in itself by the end of the month.

Bashas’ Inc., Arizona’s largest family-owned grocery chain, has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will pursue a sale of the company.

McGraw Hill has confirmed it will explore a potential sale of BusinessWeek.

Breakingviews.com is shopping itself. Thomson Reuters was named as a potential buyer.

Springer Science and Business Media, owned by Candover and Cinven, continues to shop stakes in itself. Bids for 49% of the business from TPG, EQT and a joint bid from Carlyle Group and Providence Group, fell short of expectations.

Rumours persist regarding the sale of Duracell and Pringles, owned by Procter & Gamble. P&S tried to sell Duracell around two years ago but only succeeded in exiting its coffee business, Folgers. The consumer products giant also hired Goldman Sachs to sell its pharmaceutical business, which includes the osteoporosis drug Actonel.

In addition to its attempt to sell The Travel Channel, Cox Enterprises is still looking for buyers for its newspapers in North Carolina and Texas.

Perella Weinberg Partners has joined the bidding group which includes Crestview Partners and Richard Li, for the assets of AIG’s asset management business.

Electroglas Inc., a supplier of wafer probers, will sell itself. It has hired Needham & Co. to advise it on its 363 sale.

Bankrupt Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corp. is seeking potential buyers for its approved drug, Antara, which deals with cholesterol.

Bridge Resources Corp., based in Alberta, has engaged RBC Capital Markets to assist with a review of strategic alternatives for its North Sea Southern Gas Basin exploration portfolio.

Publicly-traded Health Net is exploring strategic alternatives.

Bankrupt Jennifer Convertibles, a New York-based furniture company, will sell itself with advisory from TM Capital Corp.

EnerJex Resources, Inc., based in Kansas, has retained C. K Cooper & Company to help it evaluate strategic alternatives.