Company News: Moody's, Club Med, ­Valeant, Coty, Shuanghui International

Banking on a Turnaround

Moody’s Investors Service raised its outlook for the U.S. banking system to “stable,” almost five years after it slapped a “negative” assessment on the sector. Banks have buttressed their balance sheets with capital and are benefiting from low interest rates and a burgeoning real estate recovery. Moody’s still has a negative outlook for Bank of America and Citigroup.

Club Méditerranée, the French resort operator better known as Club Med, received a takeover bid from its two largest shareholders, insurer AXA and Fosun International, a Chinese conglomerate. Going private would end almost half a century of public listing for the all-inclusive resort. Club Med started in 1950 on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca in a village created from used military tents. Despite closing properties in Europe and expanding in Asia, Club Med posted losses in six of the past 10 years.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has struck an $8.7 billion deal to buy Bausch & Lomb, which specializes in eye care. Despite the massive price tag, investors seem to think Valeant is getting a good deal, sending shares of the Canadian company up 14 percent immediately after the buyout was announced.

Coty, the Parisian perfumer, filed to raise up to $1.1 billion in a U.S. initial public offering next month. The proceeds will go to Coty’s current owners, including private equity firm Berkshire Partners.

Shuanghui International Holdings, China’s biggest pork producer, agreed to buy Smithfield Foods for about $4.7 billion. If the acquisition is approved, Shuanghui will control an additional 16 million hogs a year to help supply China’s growing appetite for pork. The offer was almost a third higher than Smithfield’s market price.

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