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Morning Meeting: Chinese IPOs in focus Add to ...

A look at some must-read news on deals and deal makers around the world.

Another Chinese IPO prices

China's Global Education & Technology Group Limited has priced its initial public offering at the top of the planned range. Beijing-based Global Education & Technology is the sixth IPO for a Chinese company on a U.S. exchange in the past month, and the offerings have generally performed well in a dicey IPO market.

Sinochem waits for a sign

Sinochem is looking for a signal from the highest levels of the Canadian federal government that a bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. will be welcome, or at least reviewed on a fair basis. That's a precondition for making a counterbid to take on BHP Billiton for the right to own Potash Corp.

Sinochem is willing to sign on to contracts requiring that Potash be operated on a commercial basis, helping to ease concerns that it would become a source of cheap potash for China. It's willing to back those concerns with an agreement to have a "golden share" that would give the government a big say in the operations.

Meantime, Potash Corp. chief executive officer Bill Doyle is talking about $240 or bust for his company's share price. He's also talking about the possibility of his shareholders choosing to keep the company independent, which he said in an interview Thursday is the best possible outcome for the company. That rarely if ever happens in Canadian mergers and acquisitions, and it's hard to see how Mr. Doyle will be able to find a white knight, which usually requires the agreement of the target board, and still keep stumping for a just-say-no defence.

Agrium's Australia bid moves along

Meantime, the other big Canada-Australia agricultural products deal is proceeding steadily. Agrium Inc.'s $1.2-billion (Australian) bid for AWB Ltd. got the stamp of approval from an independent adviser hired to give a look-see. AWB shareholders vote on the acquisition next month.

Whistler's tough run

No wonder finding a buyer for Whistler hasn't been easy. The resort hasn't gotten much of a boost from the Olympics, in fact for some people it's done the opposite as they've confused Whistler with another venue, rainy slushy Cypress Mountain. All in, the outlook for this winter at Whistler is mixed, not unlike the weather in Cypress. That doesn't bode well for the outlook for an initial public offering, either.

JR Ewing wins, patrolman Jon Baker loses

Larry Hagman, probably better known as J.R. Ewing from Dallas, has been awarded $11-million (U.S.) in a fight against Citigroup. Things aren't so good for his counterpart on the 70s TV dial, Larry Wilcox, best known as the patrolman who wasn't Ponch on CHiPs. (Mr. Wilcox played Patrolman Jon Baker.) He's been accused of being part of a group of penny stock promoters, and facing charges from the SEC.

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