Mergers As Far As The Eyes Can See (AOL, BEC, DHR, BRK-A, BRK-B, WSC, ESV, PDE, SNY, GENZ, GGOX, ENWV)

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They call it “Merger Monday” for a reason.  Today’s news is not dominated by football hangovers.  It is dominated by a slew of headlines over mergers, mergers, and more mergers.  We compiled a brief summary of each deal this morning.

AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is paying $315 million to acquire privately-held Huffington Post to revamp its online content.

Beckman Coulter Inc. (NYSE: BEC) is being acquired by Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR) for $5.87 billion.  The deal comes to $83.50 per share and the $5.87 billion compares to a market cap of roughly $31.5 billion for Danaher.  Danaher investors better hope that synergies and cost efficiencies can be had in a serious way because this was about $10.00 above what we thought was a fair market value in December when the rumors first broke.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) is finally making good on an event that first surfaced last August.  Warren Buffett and friends are acquiring the rest of Wesco Financial Corporation (NYSE Amex: WSC), the remaining 19.9% not owned, for cash or shares of Berkshire Hathaway Class B common stock at the election of each shareholder for almost $550 million with a starting value before gains and items of $386.55 per share.

Ensco Plc (NYSE: ESV) is acquiring Pride International (NYSE: PDE) in a cash and stock deal valued at $41.60 prior to any dilution or share value change.  The deal is for 0.4778 shares and $15.60 in cash.

Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY) is reportedly close to striking a deal to acquire Genzyme Corporation (NASDAQ: GENZ) for some $74 to $77 per share plus what will be up to a $5 to $6 earn-out right per share based upon certain milestones.

In a much smaller deal, GigOptix, Inc. (OTCBB: GGOX) is acquiring Endwave Corporation (NASDAQ: ENWV) in a stock for stock deal that appears to be close to a merger of equals.  Endwave shareholders will own some 42.5% of the combined company.

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JON C. OGG