Futures are pointing towards a slightly higher open this morning as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have once again taken center stage.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, $39.85, down $0.91) has made a $1.5 billion bid for data storage provider 3Par (PAR, $18.04, up $0.01) this morning, just a week after rival Dell (DELL, $12.07, up $0.03) agreed to acquire the company for $1.1 billion.
Both HP and Dell have been looking to expand beyond personal computers and they see an attractive candidate in 3Par. HP it will pay $24 a share to acquire the company, or a 33% premium over Dell’s bid of $18 a share.
Elsewhere, HSBC Holdings (HBC, $49.30, down $0.63) is in talks to buy a controlling stake in Nedbank Group from Old Mutual for as much as $7 billion.
Potash (POT, $149.67, up $0.84) is higher in pre-market trading and over $152 after formally rejected BHP Billiton’s (BHP, $67.44, dup $0.09) offer and is getting interest from other companies (and countries).
M&A activity continues to heat up in the dog days of August as companies with strong balance sheets and excess cash go on the hunt for bargains. This positive catalyst could help the bulls’ case in holding current levels on the major indexes as potential acquisitions are a sign companies are confident the economy will grow and business will improve in the coming quarters.
Ahead we head to press, Dow futures are up 25 points to 10,227 while the S&P 500 futures are up 4 points to 1,074. The Nasdaq 100 futures are higher by 10 to 1,835.
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