Monday, January 26, 2009

Headline Financial News 1/26/2009

  • Pfizer is plunking down $68 billion ($33 in cash and .985 per share) to purchase Wyeth.  This values the Wyeth at $50.19 a share versus Friday's close of $43.74.  Pfizer is cutting its dividend in half, laying off 10% of its workforce, and reported a 90% decline in fourth-quarter profit.  Remarkably, Pfizer was able to convince a bank consortium to commit to $22.5 billion for debt financing.  Who says banks aren't lending?  If you already have $20 billion or so laying around, banks are more than willing to lend you another $20 billion or so.
  • Speaking of Chapter 11, the Financial Times has a good article discussing how liquidation risks have grown due to the lack of availability of "debtor in possession" financing in the US.  US companies face a greater risk of liquidation as previous big providers of DIP financing, such as GE Capital, have left the business pushing up the cost of this type of financing.  DIP financing is necessary to get companies through the Chapter 11 reorganization period.  The article makes the case that an increase in liquidations are likely to lead to more job losses and a more protracted economic downturn.   

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