Markets & Finance

Bid & Ask


COLLECTIBLES

A Montblanc fountain pen covered in a white-gold web and known as the Magical Black Widow fetched an auction high of $20,740 at Bonhams in New York on Aug. 19, topping an $18,000 presale low estimate. A hand-painted Krone pen with a piece of the Great Wall of China set in the cap went for $5,795. The event took in a total of $517,780, short of the $650,000 pre-auction estimate.

GOVERNMENT BONDS

Texas sold $7.8 billion in one-year bonds on Aug.24 to pay for schools and help cut an $18 billion deficit. It was the state's largest sale of short-term notes in six years. The notes paid a record low average interest rate of .34 percent, down .1 percentage point from last year's average.

MEMORABILIA

An anonymous buyer paid $47,500 for the Dharma Van, a Volkswagen Type 2 used in the production of ABC's hit drama Lost. The van topped a two-day auction of 1,100 props and costumes from the series, which ended in May. Profiles in History, the dealer that hosted the event, says sales far exceeded pre-auction estimates.

THEATER

The Addams Family, a Broadway musical starring Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane (above), is booming at the box office, with an average ticket price of $114. The $16.5 million production opened in April to mostly negative reviews but trails only The Lion King ($122) and Wicked ($120), two established hits, in average price.

PACKAGING

Pactiv (PTV), the maker of Hefty trash bags, agreed to a $6billion takeover offer from Rank Group (RNK). The deal is the biggest yet for Rank's owner and New Zealand's richest man, Graeme Hart, who has amassed a fortune investing in businesses from lumber to dairy. Pactiv makes takeout-food containers, disposable cookware, and garbage cans, pulling in $3.4 billion in sales last year.

ENERGY

Indian state-run energy companies may counter Vedanta's $9.6 billion bid for the oil exploration outfit Cairn India. Vedanta, the mining company controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, agreed on Aug. 16 to buy as much as 60 percent of Cairn's India unit to gain access to the country's biggest onshore oil field. According to a source familiar with the matter, India's oil ministry has instructed Oil & Natural Gas to study the possibility of making a counteroffer.

MICROCHIPS

Price that Intel (INTC), the world's largest microchip maker, agreed to pay for security software company McAfee (MFE): $77bn. The $48 per share cash offer is a 60 percent premium to the price of McAfee shares before the deal was announced. Analysts expect Intel to begin weaving security software directly into its chips in an effort to speed up processing and help crack the mobile-phone chip market.

BANKING

First Niagara (FNFG) said it will buy NewAlliance (NAL) for $1.5billion. The deal is the biggest merger of U.S. lenders since October 2008. It adds 88 New England branches to First Niagara's more than 250 in New York and Pennsylvania.


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