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Exclusive: Moelis clinches Pfizer advisory role with help from Eric Cantor – sources

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<span class="focusParagraph articleLocation”>Former U.S. Representative Eric Cantor helped Moelis & Co, the investment bank he joined last year, secure an advisory role with Pfizer Inc on its merger talks with Allergan Plc, three people familiar with the matter said.

The appointment illustrates how veteran politicians can help investment banks win business with companies concerned about the political or regulatory risks associated with their deals and want well-connected advisers.

Cantor, who led Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives between 2011 and 2014 and is now a Moelis vice chairman and managing director, will help Pfizer navigate the political pitfalls of a deal with Allergan, the people said on Monday.

Pfizer’s intention to redomicile in Ireland following the merger with Allergan in a so-called inversion intended to reduce its U.S. tax rate has attracted the ire of several politicians, including some U.S. presidential candidates.

Following a wave of inversions last year, the U.S. Treasury has made inversions more difficult by requiring that at least 40 percent of the combined company be owned by the overseas company’s shareholders.

While the possibility of the U.S. Congress taking legislative action against Pfizer’s deal during a presidential election year is seen as remote, the political controversy could spur Treasury to tighten the rules further to make inversions even more difficult.

Moelis and another investment banking boutique, Centerview Partners Holdings LLC, have joined Guggenheim Partners LLC and Goldman Sachs Group Inc as advisers to Pfizer on its negotiations with Allergan, the people said.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Guggenheim and Goldman Sachs are advising Pfizer, while JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley are advising Allergan.

The sources asked not to be identified because the advisory roles are not public. Moelis declined to comment, while Pfizer and Centerview did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A deal between Pfizer and Allergan, which have market capitalizations of $204 billion and $118 billion respectively, would be the biggest merger of the year and the largest ever transaction in the healthcare sector.

Banks advising Allergan stand to earn collectively between $140 million and $180 million, while banks advising Pfizer could make between $80 million and $100 million in total, depending on the purchase price, according to estimates by consultancy Freeman & Co.

Alergan’s and Pfizer’s advisers are finishing their due diligence and hope they can reach a deal before Christmas, one of the sources said.

(Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: R-Business


Several parties interested in Tata Steel's UK-based unit – union

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LONDON Several parties are interested in a Britain-based Tata Steel unit that makes construction products as the steelmaker cuts costs and restructures its business amid a surge in Chinese exports to its markets, a union said.

“We’re being told there’s interest from several different parties but there are no bids on the table,” said Paul McBean of the union Community.

McBean is also chairman of the Scunthorpe works multi-union committee, which represents several unions based at Tata Steel’s plant in north-east England.

Tata Steel said last month it would cut 900 jobs at its Scunthorpe plant. The plant employs some 4,000 people and forms the base of the long products unit, which has some 6,500 people on its payroll across Europe.

Europe’s second-largest steelmaker has been trying to sell the unit since last year, with increasing urgency as a global steel crisis intensifies, and with prices at decade lows.

A Tata Steel spokesman declined to comment on the sale talks, saying only that the company is “still assessing all strategic options” for the unit.

Tata Steel Europe chief executive Karl Koehler said earlier this month that the unit has no future within the company beyond the end of the current financial year.

The comments reinforced speculation that the company plans to wind down the unit if a buyer is not found.

McBean said he was not aware of the terms being discussed with the interested parties, but added they were probably on a par to the terms offered to Swiss-based commodities producer and trader Klesch Group earlier this year.

“Tata were offering Klesch the business for free and without any debt,” he said.

Klesch Group publicly withdrew its interest in the Tata Steel unit – which makes ‘long’ products used in construction, railways, shipbuilding and engineering – in August this year, laying the blame on the British government.

Britain has been severely hit by a global steel sector crisis that is fast rising up the political agenda in Europe, where many steelmakers lay much of the blame for their predicament on Chinese ‘dumping’ – selling products at below fair value.

Nearly 4,000 UK steel jobs were lost in October alone – equivalent to about one fifth of the sector’s workforce.

Tata Steel has been forced to slash costs and cut thousands of jobs since 2007 when it bought Anglo-Dutch producer Corus for $13 billion. In 2013 it booked a writedown of $1.6 billion, largely related to its European business.

(Reporting by Maytaal Angel, editing by William Hardy)

Source: R-Business


Kenyan conservationist says his Angelina Jolie-directed biopic to go ahead

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NAIROBI A film to be directed by actor Angelina Jolie about the life of Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey will be shot in Kenya, Leakey told reporters on Monday, giving what Nairobi hopes will be a boost to a struggling safari and tourism industry.

Kenya has been encouraging the film about Leakey, celebrated for campaigns to save wildlife from poachers, in the hope of bringing back tourists who have shunned the country after attacks blamed on al Shabaab militants from neighboring Somalia.

The film could put Kenya back on film-makers’ radar and help recover business that has been lost to South Africa, just as the Academy Award winning film “Out of Africa” did for the country three decades ago, when its portrayal of author Karen Blixen’s life in colonial Kenya drew tourists in droves.

“We will make the film and it will be made in Kenya – for sure,” 70-year-old Leakey told a news conference.

The film project has struggled to secure financing and agree on a script, while South Africa has pushed to be the location for filming, Leakey and others involved in the project have previously said.

Leakey said he discussed the project with Jolie a week ago and was confident a new script, cutting out some of the violence in the previous version, would be ready in a few months. Preparation for filming could start in early 2016, Leakey said.

Hollywood actor Brad Pitt, Jolie’s husband, had previously been linked to the main role but Leakey said that would depend on whether Pitt liked the new script.

Leakey, who will step down from his post as chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service at the end of the year, also said progress was being made in the fight against poachers – 83 elephants were killed by poachers in Kenya in 2015, down from 302 in 2013.

(Editing by Angus Berwick and Ralph Boulton)

Source: R-HMovies

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