Taiwan Regulators Block Sale of AIG Unit

Regulators in Taiwan blocked the proposed $2.15 billion sale of AIG%u2019s (AIG) Taiwan life insurance business to a Hong Kong-based consortium. AIG struck a deal in October to sell the Nan Shan unit to China Strategic Holdings and Primus Financial Holdings, the Financial Times reported. Regulators initially accepted the deal, then requested more information from the consortium, as well as assurance from Nan Shan.

3M to Buy Biometrics Company Cogent for $943 Million

Office supply maker 3M (MMM) agreed to buy biometrics company Cogent Inc. for $943 million, or $10.50 a share. A subsidiary of 3M will begin a tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of Cogent in the next ten business days, the companies said in a statement. Cogent%u2019s board unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer, and the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Is ArcSight Buyout Bait?

With the tech M&A market heating up, security software maker ArcSight is putting itself up for sale, according to reports. There appears to be lots of interest already. Will a bidding war ensue?

BHP Billiton Warns It Won't Buy Potash Corp 'At Any Cost'

BHP Billiton (BHP), the world%u2019s largest mining company, warned that it is not willing to buy Potash Corp (POT) "at any cost." CEO Marius Kloppers made the warning after announcing bumper profits for the first half of the year, Reuters reported.

HSBC in Talks to Buy Controlling Stake in South Africa's Nedbank

British bank HSBC (HBC) is in talks to buy a controlling stake in Nedbank, South Africa%u2019s fourth-largest bank. HSBC is in talks with insurer Old Mutual, which currently owns the stake, BBC News reported. HSBC is aiming to acquire as much as 70% of Nedbank in a deal worth as much as 49.9 billion rand ($6.8 billion).

3M May Spend $2 Billion on Acquisitions This Year

Office supply maker 3M Co (MMM) may double its planned spending on acquisitions to $2 billion this year as it aims to boost its oversea operations. "We told Wall Street that we would spend probably a billion dollars or north of that," CEO George Buckley told Reuters. "It could be double that number by the time the year is out."

Potash Had Contact With Brazil's Vale, China's Sinochem

Potash Corp. (POT) had contact with China%u2019s Sinochem Group and Brazil%u2019s Vale (VALE) as the Canadian company looks for alternatives to a hostile takeover bid from BHP Billiton Ltd (BHP). Vale and Sinochem both made contact late last week, Bloomberg News reported without naming its sources. Neither company has held formal talks with the world%u2019s biggest fertilizer company.

Chinese Companies May Bid for Potash

Chinese companies may bid for Potash Corp, (POT) as the country%u2019s growing food needs make access to fertilizer increasingly urgent. Companies including Sinofert, Chalco and ChemChina are all potential bidders for the Canadian company, Reuters reported without naming its sources.

IBM Reaches Agreement to Buy Unica for $480 Million

IBM (IBM) reached an agreement to purchase Unica Corporation for about $480 million, or $21 per share. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory clearance and approval from Unica%u2019s shareholders, should close in the fourth quarter, IBM said in a statement.

Sea Island Resort Agrees to Sell Most of Its Assets

Luxury Georgia resort Sea Island Co. agreed to sell most of its assets to a group of investors including Avenue Capital Group and Oaktree Capital Management. The price of the transaction was not disclosed. Sea Island had earlier been close to an agreement to be bought by Avenue Capital and Oaktree in a deal worth about $200 million, Bloomberg News said

Private Equity Groups Interested in Barnes & Noble

A number of private equity groups may be interested in bookstore chain Barnes & Noble (BKS), Reuters reported. Private equity firms including Bain Capital and Apollo are interested in "taking a look" at the company, Reuters said without naming its sources.

Kinross Gold to Buy Red Back Mining for $7.1 Billion

Kinross Gold Corp. (KGC) will buy the 91% of shares in Red Back Mining (RBIFF) that it doesn%u2019t already own. Kinross will pay $7.1 billion for the shares. The price represents a value of C$30.50 ($29.77) per Red Back share, The International Business Times reported. That%u2019s a premium of 17% over the price of Red Back shares at close of trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday.

Dow Chemical Swings to a Profit

Dow Chemical (DOW) reported second quarter earnings of 50 cents a share, compared with a loss of 47 cents a share in the second quarter of 2009. The company%u2019s sales rose 20 % from a year earlier, driven by a 19% price gain, the company said in a statement. Sales rose in all operating segments and geographic areas.

Roper Buys Supply Chain Software Firm iTradeNetwork

Diversified growth company Roper Industries got a bit more diverse Monday with the acquisition of iTradeNetwork, a supply-chain software operator that's focused on the food industry for $525 Million. The firm was backed by venture investor Accel-KKR.

Disney Discussing Buying Playdom for Over $500 Million

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) is discussing a deal to buy Playdom Inc for over $500 million in a bid to increase its presence in social network games. Disney wants to use Playdom to incorporate some of its iconic brands and characters into social network gaming, The Wall Street Journal said without naming its sources.

Sara Lee Considering Selling North American Bakery Unit

Sara Lee Corp. (SLE) is considering selling its North American bakery business and has asked its financial advisers to test interest from potential buyers, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company%u2019s advisers are speaking to companies and private equity firms that might be interested in purchasing the unit, which had $2.2 billion in annual sales, The Wall Street Journal reported without naming its sources.

Dell Boosts Its Storage with a Deal for Ocarina

Dell has struck another important deal in the storage space: Ocarina Networks. The company develops storage optimization technology, which includes things like compression and de-duplication.

Tyco Gets Into the Data Fastlane With a Deal for ADC

Tyco Electronics agreed to pay $1.25 billion or $12.75 per share for ADC, a provider of wired and wireless broadband equipment and services. This comes to a nice 44% premium above yesterday's closing price of $8.85. However, the price tag is still well below the levels of a couple years ago, when ADC's stock was trading over $17.

ADP Revs Its Car Business With Cobalt Buy

Automatic Data Processing, a large provider of HR, payroll and benefits administration services, has bought Cobalt, which offers marketing services to auto dealers. The $400 million deal helps boost ADP's own dealer-services business and combat tough times in the sector.

Facebook Buys NextStop for Location-Based Boost

Location-based services have seen rapid growth, with Foursquare the most prominent player. Facebook, wanting a piece of the action, has bought NextStop. The social travel recommendation site's location-based technology and engineering talent will be valuable to Facebook.

Alcatel-Lucent's Buy Gives It a Mobile-Apps Boost

Unlike its previous buys, Alcatel-Lucent's latest acquisition of ProgrammableWeb, a leading provider of web APIs, looks promising. It boosts Alcatel-Lucent's mobile apps business as telecom players could be increasing their adoption of APIs.

Is HP Taking on Apple with nuTsie Deal?

Is Hewlettt-Packard arming itself for a mobile Internet war with Apple? Just a few months after its purchase of mobile device maker Palm, HP announced this week a deal for mobile music-streaming service nuTsie.