Deals: A Transactional Patchwork

In our M&A roundup for the period ended Aug. 24, top deals involve banking, insurance, and defense, with energy and natural resources accounting for much of the rest.

A tepid week of dealmaking featured the top 10 deals being scattered among almost as many industries. If there was a theme, in fact, it was that energy and natural resources deals didn’t dominate the way they have in recent months.

A $3.51-billion banking transaction, a $2.23-billion defense-industry deal, and a $1.8-billion insurance arrangement led the way. But the banking deal was fairly tame: the purchase by Mitsubishi UFJ financial Group Inc. of the remaining 34.6 percent of UnionBanCal Corp. that it didn’t control. It was followed by General Dynamics Corp.’s purchase of aviation services company Jet Aviation Management AG from British private equity company Permira and insurer Aon Corp.’s deal for British firm Benfield Group Limited, according to data provided to CFO.com by mergermarket.

Some mid-sized transactions had strong ties to basic industries like steelmaking, oil exploration, and coal mining, as the total value of the 21 North American deals fell to $5.76 billion (counting only the value of deals in which the target is North American.) The prior week, the total had been $13.06 billion.

Last week’s deals brought year-to-date transactions up to $630.7 billion, still slightly more than half the $1.25 trillion over the same period of 2007.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. to buy the remaining 34.6-percent stake in UnionBanCal Corp. for $3.51 billion

San Francisco-based UnionBanCal definitively agreement to be acquired by Tokyo-based Mitsubishi UFG, with both boards approving. UnionBanCal, a commercial bank holding company whose major subsidiary is Union Bank of California N.A., will have the shares acquired for $73.50 a share, a premium of 12.23 percent.
Seller financial advisor: Credit Suisse
Bidder financial advisor: Morgan Stanley
Seller legal advisor: Alston & Bird; Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
Bidder legal advisor: Mori Hamada & Matsumoto; Sullivan & Cromwell

General Dynamics Corp. to buy Jet Aviation Management AG from Permira for $2.23 billion

Falls Church, Va.-based defense systems contractor General Dynamic agreed to acquire the Zurich-based business aviation services company Jet Aviation. The seller is Dreamliner Lux S.a.r.l, a company controlled by the London-based private equity firm Permira Funds. The transaction is expected to closed by the end of the year.
Seller financial advisor: Morgan Stanley
Bidder financial advisor: Gleacher Partners/ Gleacher Shacklock
Seller legal advisor: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
Bidder legal advisor: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Homburger; Jenner & Block

Aon Corp. to buy Benfield Group Limited for $1.82 billion

Chicago-based risk management services company Aon agreed to acquire London-based Benfield, a reinsurance and risk intermediary for $6.52 a share, a premium of 29.1 percent.
Seller financial advisor: Merrill Lynch
Bidder financial advisor: Credit Suisse
Seller legal advisor: Debevoise & Plimpton
Bidder legal advisor: Clifford Chance

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