Magazine

Bid & Ask


Noteworthy expenditures of the week

Collectibles

Winston Churchill's gold-mounted dentures fetched $23,750 at auction—more than three times the pre-sale estimate. The British Prime Minister's false teeth were specially designed to disguise a lisp. The buyer was a collector who also owns the microphone Churchill used to announced the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

Power: $9.1bn

Amount an investor group led by Li Ka-shing's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings has offered for EDF's power network in the U.K. The deal is the biggest ever for 82-year-old billionaire Li, who has been called "Superman" by Hong Kong's media because of his investment record. Cheung Kong Infrastructure continues to diversify internationally because it is hemmed in by restrictions in the local power market. Two-thirds of the company's revenues last year came from gas, water, and toll-road operations in Australia, Canada, and the U.K. The transaction is subject to approval by European regulators.

Entertainment

Walt Disney (DIS) agreed to sell Miramax to Filmyard Holdings for $660 million, ending a six-month search for a buyer for the studio. Filmyard is backed by partners including construction executive Ronald Tutor and private equity firm Colony Capital.

Commodities

Australia's GrainCorp. is buying compatriot AWB for $723 million to create the country's largest agribusiness and top wheat exporter. Asia is now the largest buyer of the grain.

Debt Markets

IBM (IBM) raised $1.5 billion by selling three-year notes at an interest rate of 1 percent, the lowest on record. Big Blue's bond sale signals that the corporate debt rally that began in June is extending into August. Companies sold $90.1 billion of bonds in the U.S. in July, the biggest total for that month in more than a decade.

Rental Cars: $1.3bnValue of Avis Budget Group's (CAR) offer for Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG). Avis' bid tops one from Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ). One sticking point: Dollar Thrifty wants Avis to agree to a breakup fee, to hedge against the risk that U.S. regulators will nix the deal as anticompetitive.

Health Care

Outgoing Omnicare (OCR) CEO Joel Gemunder could walk away with $133 million in pension payments, severance, and other compensation. That's one of the biggest exit packages for a U.S. corporate executive. Omnicare sells medication to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Mining

Vale (VALE) is paying $1.1 billion for Brazilian copper producer Paranapanema. Rio de Janeiro-based Vale, which already mines copper in Brazil and Canada, has set a goal of becoming one of the world's top producers of the metal.

Lindblad is an associate news editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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