United Financial Bancorp, Inc., has announced its acquisition of New England Bancshares, Inc. The corporations are the parent companies of United Bank and New England Bank, respectively. The business sale has been completed successfully, giving United Financial Bancorp control of all the stock of New England Bank.United Bank currently holds more than $1.6 billion in assets; it has branches in central Massachusetts. This business transaction was a complete merger, in which United Financial Bankcorp absorbed all of the outstanding stock of New England Bank, rather than a partial merger, in which New England Bank would have retained some control over its own assets.
The merging of Office Depot and OfficeMax that has been proposed by one of the company's largest and most aggressive investors would be logical, according to several stakeholders. According to Starboard Value LP, the business reorganization of the two rival stores would make sense. If the two giant store chains merge, some store locations could be closed, and the struggling companies' overall value and profit would be greater. Starboard is currently the largest shareholder in Office Depot with 14.8 percent of the company's stock. Office Depot's stock plunged from a high of $44.46 per share in May 2006 to a recent low of $2.51. Starboard wants Office Depot to cut store size and amount of stock as well as advertising expenses and other costs. Office Depot has responded by creating a poison pill strategy that would give shareholders more stock when one shareholder acquires a 15 percent stake in the company without the approval of the board of directors.
A massive business reorganization deal that will allow Clean Harbors to acquire Safety-Kleen was signed recently. Safety-Kleen is the largest recycling processor for used oil in the country. Clean Harbors has agreed to pay cash for the company's assets. Funding has been promised by Goldman Sachs, but the purchaser is exploring a number of financing options and has not yet stated exactly how financing will ultimately be done.Clean Harbors has stated that it considers the Safety-Kleen acquisition to be a positive development since it will enable the company to expand its waste treatment operations, particularly those involving waste oil. Safety-Kleen has been involved in environmentally friendly cleanup projects for nearly 50 years.
Bella Sera announced the purchase of Lorraine Roy Women's Apparel and portions of its inventory. As part of this business reorganization, Bella Sera plans to keep the name and merge the two stores into a new entity, titling a portion of its Danvers, Massachusetts, store Lorraine Roy at Bella Sera. The merger is scheduled to take place January 1.The two businesses have a seven-year history of working together, beginning when Bella Sera was located on Route 114 in Middleton. Because Bella Sera handles primarily bridal wear and Lorraine Roy handles special occasion dresses, the two stores often referred customers to each other. By combining the two businesses, the stores feel that both will be able to take full advantage of their existing customer base.
Over the past decade, U.S. cellphone providers have been involved in a ferocious competition to gain subscribers in a growing market. While some companies have found huge success through this competition, many others are now struggling to stay afloat. This week, a couple of those struggling underdogs reached a business reorganization deal that they hope will put them back in the race.
A123 Systems, a battery maker based in Waltham, Massachusetts, reported a second-quarter loss of $82.9 million, or 53 percent of revenue, from the second quarter of 2011. Given the company's precarious financial position, directors announced that A123 is considering a non-binding memorandum of understanding, or MOU, with a Chinese-based auto parts manufacturer, Wanxiang Group Corp. This would provide A123 with $450 million in cash if the company complies with certain provisions. While not technically a business sale, the MOU would give the Chinese company great control over A123's operations and a foothold in the business of supplying energy grids with components -- one of the largest aspects of A123's production.Memoranda of understanding, mergers, and business sales may seem confusing to those who do not deal in business law, but there are differences in the amount of control the larger company has over the smaller in each scenario. In the case of A123, the MOU would require the company to perform certain functions in keeping with the lender's standards and allow the Chinese manufacturer access to certain trade information that may currently be solely owned by A123. In return, the company may get the cash it needs to stay afloat.
Neighboring Connecticut utility regulators have approved the $5 billion acquisition of Boston's NStar by Northeast Utilities. Once approval is garnered from the Massachusetts Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, the merger would create the largest New England utility owner and provider, serving nearly 4 million electric and gas customers in 632 communities.