Bid & AskBy
Value of a deal, including debt, between France's GDF Suez, operator of Europe's largest natural-gas network, and the U.K.'s International Power. GDF will pay IP shareholders $2.2 billion in a special dividend. The deal creates the world's biggest independent power producer by capacity.
A rare, 70-year-old copy of Batman No. 1 sold for $55,269 at auction. The seller, an Alaskan collector, bought the comic and two others for $300 in 1974 from a man who found them in the stuck drawer of a dresser bought at a garage sale. Heritage Auction Galleries expected the comic to fetch $40,000 to $45,000; the whiteness of its pages helped fuel a higher price from the anonymous buyer.
Oil & Gas
Nabors Industries (NBR), the world's largest onshore petroleum driller, will acquire Superior Well Services (SWSI) in a deal valued at about $900 million. Just under $736 million of that will be paid in cash. Superior's largest business is in "pressure pumping," which helps free oil and natural gas from deposits in rocks such as shale. The deal adds to Nabors' presence in the gas-rich Marcellus shale region.
Carlos Slim's Embratel Participações, Brazil's largest long-distance telecommunications company, offered as much as $2.6 billion to buy out fellow holders of preferred shares in cable-TV giant Net Serviços de Comunicação. Embratel said it is "confident" about Brazil's growing pay-TV and broadband Internet industry.
Royal Bank of Scotland, the U.K.'s biggest government-owned bank, agreed tosell a majority of its credit-card payment processing unit to Advent International and Bain Capital for $2.7 billion. RBS must sell noncore assets to comply with EU rules after taking part in a taxpayer-financed rescue in the credit crisis.
India Coal, the world's largest producer of coal, could garner more than $2.8 billion in a planned October initial public offering. The IPO—which would be India's largest if it tops $2.9 billion—represents 10 percent of the government-owned company's shares. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set a goal of raising nearly $9 billion from asset sales in the year ending Mar. 31.
Venezuela will sell $3 billion of dollar-denominated bonds to local investors after the government's borrowing costs dropped in the last two months. The bonds will pay a 12.75 percent interest rate. Venezuela last sold dollar bonds in October, when it issued $5 billion of bonds due in 2019 and 2024. The new bonds will mature in 2022.