Benzinga’s M&A Chatter for Friday February 15, 2013

Benzinga’s M&A Chatter for Friday February 15, 2013

The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Friday February 15, 2013:

Hearing Renewed Chatter of Coke Bid for Monster Beverage

The Rumor:
Renewed chatter of a possible bid by Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) for Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST) surfaced on Friday. Benzinga first reported on a potential deal on April 26, 2012, based on analyst comments. The story was later picked up by the Wall Street Journal.

A spokesperson for Monster Beverage declined comment on the latest rumor. A Coca-Cola spokesperson was not available for comment.

Monster Beverage closed at $ 51.08 Friday, a gain of 7% on 3 times average volume.

Hearing Chatter of Fast Retaling Interest in Gap

The Rumor:
Shares of Gap (NYSE: GPS) rose sharply higher Friday on chatter of possible interest by Japan’s Fast Retailing (OTC: FRCOY).

A Gap spokesperson declined comment on the rumor. A Fast Retailing spokesperson was not available for comment.

Gap closed at $ 32.88 Friday, a gain of almost 5% on 3 times average volume.

Report Office Depot in Talks to Sell 50% Stake in Mexican Unit

The Rumor:
Bloomberg reported Friday that Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) is in talks to sell the remaining 50 percent stake in its Mexican unit to Grupo Gigante SAB. Office Depot’s largest shareholder, Starboard Value, is reportedly pressuring the office supply retailer to complete a deal.

Office Depot closed at $ 4.59 Friday, a gain of 2% on twice average volume.

Hearing Chatter of Possible Cummins Bid for Westport Innovations

The Rumor
Cummins (NYSE: CMI) is rumored to be in talks to acquire Westport Innovations (NASDAQ: WPRT), according to unconconfirmed market chatter. The two companies already have the Cummins Westport joint venture, which designs, engineers, and markets 6 to 12 litre spark-ignited automotive natural gas engines for commercial transportation applications, such as truck and buses.

Spokespersons for Cummins and Westport Innovations were not available for comment.

Westport Innovations closed at $ 31.54 Friday, a gain of 8% on 3.5 times average volume.

Nasdaq OMX Group Reportedly Considers Options

The Rumor:
Nasdaq OMX Group (NASDAQ: NDAQ) is reportedly exploring the possibility of going private or splitting the company up, according to sources, reported by Reuters. Nasdaq is not currently in talks with private equity firms, but investors are frustrated with the valuation of the company. Carlyle Group is said to have been in talks with Nasdaq previously.

Nasdaq OMX Group closed at $ 31.07 Friday, a gain of 1.5% on 1.5 times average volume.

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