Microsoft will pull the trigger. Microsoft will not need government assistance given its strong balance sheet. Given Microsoft’s track record, due diligence will be completed within a matter of minutes. The level of revenue synergy is mind-boggling. Keeping key Lehman employees might be difficult but MSFT could persuade them by announcing a firm commitment to spin-out its Investment-Banking and XBOX divisions into a single entity within two years. This would no doubt be the biggest IPO in 2010 (estimated proceeds of $200M). Lead underwriters are rumored to be SAP/Downey Financial and Intuit/First Fed. Overall, this transaction will surprise the market and usher in a new area of mega-conglomerates. The already fine line between “tech” and “financials” will be gone. Wells Fargo and Oracle is probably inevitable. Ellison will NOT sit idly, that much you can bet on.
Yeah, but LEH will resist until Carl Icahn forces them into it.
For all we know Icahn and Fuld might be part of the “old boys club.” No one finds it strange that not a single active investor has come forth so far? LEH board of directors are all hand picked by Fuld. So much for the board being independent.