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24 Jun 13. Dell rejects ‘inconsistent’ Icahn bid. Dell’s independent committee has paved the way for a showdown shareholder vote next month after saying that a takeover offer from activist investor Carl Icahn
had a “$2.9bn potential funding shortfall”. A review issued on Monday said that, even if Mr Icahn could finance his proposal, it would only allow for a special dividend to shareholders of $8.15 per share, rather than the $10 he had pledged. It also accused the investor and his ally, Southeastern Asset Management, of inconsistently valuing Dell’s shares.
“Southeastern has openly opposed a transaction for $13.65 [per share], but then sold 72 [million] shares to Icahn for $13.52 per share,” it said, referring to a deal between the two parties last week, which made Mr Icahn the largest shareholder behind founder Michael Dell. Mr Icahn’s latest proposal for a leveraged buyout, made last week, offers $14 a share for 62 per cent of Dell. The special committee has instead recommended the proposal of founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, which values Dell at $24.4bn, or $13.65 a share. A vote on the deal, which could be the biggest buyout agreement since the financial crisis, is scheduled for July 18. (Source: FT.com)

24 Jun 13. Cohort trims costs. Cohort’s (CHRT) shares jumped over 10 per cent on the day these full-year figures appeared, after the defence equipment and software specialist reported a forecast-busting performance. However, much of this reflected a big fall in the
cost base – group sales for the year actually fell slightly. Of the three operating divisions, surveillance and software specialist division
SEA maintained sales at £31.9m, but efficiencies pushed profits there up from £1.7m to £3.1m. Moreover, Cohort’s electronic warfare unit, MASS, saw sales slip from £26.1m to £24.8m, but adjusted operating profit rose 4 per cent to £5m. Still, a continued squeeze on defence spending has hit demand at the group’s consultancy division, SCS, where sales dropped from £17.5m to £14.1m and operating profit collapsed 62 per cent to £0.5m. But management remained reasonably upbeat, with the group order book having held up well at £95.7m – that’s down from £107.1m a year earlier, but reflects £11m of order run-off during the year. Group finances are in good shape, too, which has facilitated the £1.9m purchase of the freehold on one of the group’s sites. Broker Investec Securities has maintained its forecasts for 2014 and expects adjusted pre-tax profit of £7.8m, giving adjusted EPS of 15.9p (from £7.5m and 17.7p in 2013). (Source: Investors Chronicle)

27 Jun 13. Raytheon Company (RTN) has acquired a privately held company, Visual Analytics Incorporated, further extending Raytheon’s capabilities to meet the data analytics, data visualization and information sharing needs of its customers. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. As one of the largest processors of data for the intelligence community,
Raytheon has extensive experience handling large data sets and providing actionable information to its customers. The acquisition of Visual Analytics will add advanced analytic products and knowledge management solutions with intuitive user interfaces to Raytheon’s offerings to its customers. It will also broaden the company’s customer base in federal, state and local law enforcement. Under IIS with the new name of Raytheon Visual Analytics, the Frederick, Md.-based business will retain the services of CEO and co-founder Chris Westphal as its general manager, while president and co-founder David O’Connor will continue as chief technology officer.

21 Jun 13. TransDigm Group Incorporated (TDG) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of GE Aviation’s Electromechanical Actuation Division, for approximately $150m in cash. The acquisition, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close around the end of the third quarter fiscal 2013. The bu

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