Yahoo Japan nixes deal
Internet giant Yahoo Japan said yesterday that it had canceled plans to buy Japanese telecommunications company eAccess from its parent SoftBank Corp in a deal that was valued at about US$3.2 billion. In March, Yahoo’s Japanese unit — whose top shareholder is SoftBank — announced the deal which it said was aimed at growing the firm’s Internet services business through smartphones and tablets. However, yesterday Yahoo Japan said it had called off the merger after concluding it was more effective to operate the two firms independently. The deal had been scheduled to be completed in early June.
RBS reshapes offerings
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said on Sunday it is winding down its interest-rate trading business as capital and operating costs increase. RBS cited “increasing level of capital, operating costs and investment that would be required for business to be globally competitive in a market with extremely thin margins,” as the reason for winding down its rates prime broking and rates OTC clearing businesses. RBS’ prime broking business provides clients with margin consolidation and credit efficiency services, while its rates OTC clearing unit aids customers in clearing interest rates contracts that relate to over-the-counter transactions.
Deutsche Bank raises capital
Deutsche Bank says it is raising 8 billion euros (US$11 billion) in new capital from investors to strengthen its finances as it faces tighter regulation and seeks to invest in promising business areas. The bank says it plans to raise 6.3 billion euros in a rights offering and has already secured 1.75 billion euros by placing shares with a single investor from Qatar. Co-CEO Anshu Jain told analysts yesterday that the fresh capital would also help it meet “unforeseen challenges” that may be ahead. The move would increase the bank’s capital ratio, a key measure of financial strength, to 11.8 percent. That is well beyond the bank’s 10 percent goal.
British bidding war for mall
Three British retail property groups are among bidders eyeing a stake in Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent for a bid amount of ￡600 million (US$1 billion), The Times reported. British groups Land Securities Group PLC, British Land Company PLC in partnership with Norges Bank, and Hammerson PLC are understood to be the final bidders for the stake, the British daily said. Australia’s Westfield Group and the sovereign wealth fund of Norway are also thought to be finalists, the Times said.
Siemens readies energy bid
Germany’s Siemens AG is working on a formal asset-swap offer for Alstom SA’s power business that could come as early as this week and see France take a stake in a resulting rail-focused French group, sources close to the talks told Reuters. Alstom is already in talks with US conglomerate General Electric Co (GE) over a 12.35 billion euro bid for its power arm, which it is due to review by June 2. However, under strong political pressure, it has opened its books to Siemens so it can propose its own deal if it wants to. Moreover, a rival offer would give the French government more leverage with GE after it gave itself the power to block foreign takeovers in “strategic sectors.”