Bid & Ask


A set of 1954 X-rays of Marilyn Monroe's chest and pelvis fetched $45,000 at a Las Vegas auction of Hollywood memorabilia. The sum was far beyond the presale estimate of $800 to $1,200, indicating that some gentlemen prefer their blondes skeletal.

M&A Roundup

The number of announced global mergers and acquisitions fell to 5,426 in the second quarter from 6,079 in the previous three months. Deal volume was down 13 percent, to $420.5 billion. Yet the average premium on deals—the amount bidders are willing to pay over the closing price of the target's stock on the day before a deal is announced—rose four percentage points, to 24 percent, in part reflecting vigorous competition for some choice assets.

Banking: $102mn

Amount Morgan Stanley (MS) agreed to pay to settle claims by the Massachusetts Attorney General that the company provided billions of financing to subprime lender New Century, which in turn used the funds to target low-income borrowers unfairly. Of that figure, $58 million has been earmarked to assist more than 1,000 homeowners in the state.

Telecom: $1.9bn

Amount Japan's Sumitomo is paying for a 30 percent stake in Brazilian miner Mineração Usiminas. The deal allows Usiminas, which controls several iron ore mines, plus railroads, to profit from rising demand for the steelmaking material.


Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers behind the studio that brought The Reader and Inglourious Basterds to the big screen, reached an agreement with Goldman Sachs (GS) to retire $450 million in debt. Under the deal, which was first reported in The Wall Street Journal, the bank will take ownership of 250 films with $225 million in receivables and future cash flow.

Oil: $2.16bn

Amount Noble Corp. (NE), a supplier of so-called jack-up oil rigs, has agreed to pay for drilling company FDR Holdings. Cayman Islands-based FDR is controlled by a private equity firm managed by Carlyle Group and Riverstone Holdings. Noble's move is well timed: Uncertainty around U.S. standards for deepwater drilling in the wake of the BP accident has depressed prices for companies in that field.


The latest toy to roll off the line at Lamborghini's factory in Bologna carries a price tag of about $260,000. To create the LP 570-4 Superleggera, Lamborghini's surgeons carved 154 pounds off the three-year old Gallardo coupe. Fashioned from sheets of carbon fiber, the ultralight car rockets to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds.


In what amounts to a bet on the global recovery, Genco Shipping & Trading (GNK) entered into an agreement to buy 16 Supramax vessels from Bourbon for $545 million. Supramax ships are giant dry-bulk carriers that ferry iron ore, coal, grain, and steel. Genco's management cited growing demand for commodities from India and China as a factor in its decision to expand its fleet.


The world's largest gold coin sold for $4 million—about four times its face value—at an auction in Vienna. Minted by the Royal Canadian Mint, the 100-kilo (220 pounds)solid gold coin is featured in the current edition of Guinness World Records.

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