Inside these posts: Acquisitions

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Hub Group Q1 profit beats market view

Freight management company Hub Group posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by strong growth at its intermodal segment, and forecast 2011 revenue above market expectations. Get the full story »

Groupon scoops up Whrrl creator Pelago

Employees work inside Groupon's headquarters at 600 W Chicago Ave., Feb. 15, 2011. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Chicago-based daily deal giant Groupon has acquired Pelago, the Seattle-based maker of Whrrl, a location-based mobile game for people to share recommendations on fun activities.

Financial terms of the deal, which was announced on Groupon and Pelago’s respective blogs on Monday, were not disclosed. Pelago Chief Executive Jeff Holden will oversee product development at Groupon, and many of the company’s employees will assume “integral roles in future Grouponnovations,” Groupon CEO Andrew Mason wrote in his blog post. Get the full story »

Burcon expects interest from ADM

Burcon Nutrascience Corp. expects that its new partnership with Archer Daniels Midland Co. could eventually result in their marriage.

Burcon earlier this month signed a licensing deal with Archer Daniels for the production, distribution and sale of its Clarisoy soy protein, which can go into juices, soft drinks and sports drinks.

Although the deal does not give ADM a right or option to buy Burcon, Johann Tergesen, Burcon’s chief operating officer, said he assumes ADM would want to take it over down the road. Get the full story »

Adidas, Nike tee up for Fortune golf unit

Initial takeover offers for Fortune Brands’ golf unit are expected to be submitted today by a range of bidders, including Adidas AG, Nike Inc and private equity firms, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Fortune Brands said in December it would split off its golf and home products units under pressure from activist investor William Ackman.

NYSE to launch direct challenge to CME March 21

NYSE Euronext will launch its long-awaited challenge to CME Group’s lucrative interest rate futures franchise on March 21, the exchange operator said on Wednesday.

The launch highlights the importance of the derivatives business to the operator of the world’s best known stock exchange, which agreed last month to be taken over by Germany’s Deutsche Boerse AG. The combination would dominate European futures trading, even as the NYSE tries to win a foothold in U.S futures, where CME is the biggest player. Get the full story »

As commodity costs rise, Kraft looks to advertising

Northfield-based Kraft Foods Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to bulk up its marketing efforts and introduce several new products in an effort to offset higher ingredient costs.

The company estimates that pricier ingredients will cost it between $700 million and $800 million in North America alone. The higher costs will be particularly important to areas where Kraft competes the most, including meat, cheese, chocolate and coffee. Get the full story »

Pritzker Group buys control of Peco Pallet

From Crain’s Chicago Business | The Pritzker Group has acquired a controlling stake in Peco Pallet, a Yonkers, N.Y. company that supplies pallet rentals to grocers, discount retailers and warehouses. The Pritzker Group, which represents investment interests of Chicago’s Pritzker family, called Peco Pallet an “industry leader,” while David Lee, the CEO of Peco Pallet, said the acquisition would enable Peco to “continue expanding throughout North America.”

BHP makes first acquisition since Potash bid

Global mining giant BHP Billiton has agreed to buy shale gas interests from Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $4.75 billion in its first move into shale gas as it looks to beef up its oil and gas business.

In BHP’s first big acquisition since a string of failed deals, the global miner said it was buying Chesapeake’s holdings in Arkansas’ Fayetteville shale natural gas field. Get the full story »

Strategic acquires two Four Seasons hotels

Strategic Hotels & Resorts is using $95 million in stock to buy two Four Seasons hotels from the Woodbridge Company, which will become its largest investor.

The heavily-leveraged Strategic needs ways to retain and grow its 16-hotel portfolio of luxury properties without taking on more debt, said FBR Capital Markets analyst Patrick Scholes. Get the full story »

Motorola Mobility scoops up security provider 3LM

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. has acquired a Mountainview, Calif.-based company that makes the Android mobile operating system secure for business environments.

The acquisition will help Motorola sell more Android smart phones to business customers, a realm traditionally dominated by Research In Motion’s BlackBerry. Three Laws Mobility Inc., or 3LM, is a developer of security software and other products for Android. Get the full story »

InnerWorkings to buy Chilean company

Chicago-based InnerWorkings Inc. said it has acquired a print management firm in Chile as its seeks to expand in Latin America.

Terms of the acquisition of CPRO Services Ltd. were not announced.

CPRO Services had revenues of $22 million in 2009 and employs about 50 people, InnerWorkings said. CPRO’s clients include Unilever, Nestle and LAN Airlines. Get the full story »

Smurfit-Stone shareholders oppose Rock-Tenn deal

A group of hedge funds that owns a combined 9 percent stake in Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. said it would vote against Rock-Tenn Co.’s $3.5 billion deal to buy the packaging and paper company.

Third Point, Royal Capital Management and Monarch Alternative Capital said in a letter to Smurfit-Stone’s board on Wednesday that the company could go it alone and shareholders would be better off. Get the full story »

KBR earnings helped by acquisition of Chicago firm

Houston-based engineering and military contracting company KBR Inc. (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) expects to generate less than a fifth of its 2011 revenue from U.S. military logistics, though the engineering company said that will be more than it had previously anticipated.

KBR Chief Executive Bill Utt said Thursday that the $280 million acquisition of Chicago-based Roberts & Schaefer, a bulk material handling and processing specialist in mining, power and refining, would contribute 11 cents a share to KBR’s 2011 earnings.

KBR has focused more on engineering projects for the energy and mining industries to offset the lost military work. Get the full story »

Molex picks up unit of chip maker Luxtera

From Crain’s Chicago Business | Molex, the electronic connector maker based in Lisle, said it is buying the optical cable business of chip maker Luxtera Inc.

Caterpillar suspends Aurora mining shovel plan

Caterpillar Inc. suspended a plan to build mining shovels at its Aurora facility, which would have created 300 jobs through 2014.

The change of plans is due to the company’s acquisition of South Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International, a maker of shovels, walking draglines, drills and other mining equipment. The $7.6 billion deal, which was announced in November, is expected to close in mid-2011.

The company said in a statement that it suspended the all development and capital investment for mining shovels in Aurora “to conserve resources and eliminate business risks associated with internal development.” Get the full story »