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Red Hat buys Makara to expand cloud products

Red Hat, the Raleigh-based software company that's sitting on more than $1 billion in cash, will use some of that money to buy a California company.

Red Hat announced this morning that it will buy Makara, a Redwood City, Calif.-based developer of software for so-called cloud computing.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Grifols secures loans for Talecris takeover

Grifols of Spain announced today that it's lined up the more than $4 billion in financing it needs for its proposed takeover of Talecris Biotherapeutics.

The deal would give Grifols ownership of North Carolina's largest biotechnology company and one of the Triangle's largest pharmaceutical employers. The Spanish company said it signed loan agreements, signaling that it expects the deal to go through.

But the acquisition, announced in June, still requires approval from U.S. antitrust authorities and Wall Street analysts are increasingly worried the deal could be rejected.

Modality of Durham bought by Epocrates

A small Durham company that sells training and reference applications for iPhones and iPads has been acquired by a California technology firm for $13.8 million.

Modality, which was founded in 2006 by CEO S. Mark Williams, became a subsidiary of Epocrates this month. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company's products include mobile drug-reference tools for physicians and pharmaceutical salesmen.

Epocrates filed plans in July to raise as much as $75 million in an initial public offering. Buying Modality will expand its product lineup and could help attract more attention on Wall Street.

"We're always looking at ways to add value for physicians," said Epocrates CEO Rosemary Crane. "We were looking for great technology and great apps."

Caterpillar to buy Bucyrus for $7.6 billion

Caterpillar isn't spending its money just to expand in North Carolina.

The world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment also is using its cash to buy other companies. Caterpillar announced this morning it will acquire Bucyrus International for $7.6 billion.

Bucyrus is a Wisconsin-based maker of mining equipment, and will help Caterpillar's new CEO Doug Oberhelman extend the company's control of that market.

Talecris, Grifols sweeten buyout terms

Most shareholders of Talecris Biotherapeutics will get a slightly sweeter deal under revised terms of the proposed $4 billion takeover by Grifols of Spain.

The companies altered the terms to settle a lawsuit by Talecris investors, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Talecris investors, including its more than 2,000 local workers, now will receive $19 in cash and 0.6485 of a Grifols share for each Talecris share they own.

Talecris board members and Cerberus Partners, the investment firm that owns 49 percent of Talecris, still will get the original terms, $19 in cash and 0.641 of a Grifols share.

The difference isn't much, less than 10 cents based on Grifols' closing price today. But it does mean that investors, who still need to vote on the deal, will have more incentive to approve it.

Kilpatrick Stockton to merge with San Francisco law firm

Kilpatrick Stockton, an Atlanta-based law firm with a large Raleigh office, is merging with a smaller San Francisco firm.

The union with Townsend and Townsend and Crew will form a firm with nearly 650 lawyers in 17 offices. The new firm will be renamed Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton on Jan. 1.

In North Carolina, Kilpatrick also has offices in Charlotte and Winston-Salem. The Raleigh office has 38 lawyers, led by partner Gary K. Joyner.

Townsend has offices in Washington, but none in this state.

The combined firms will create one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the world.

“Considering that the Triangle has a lot of knowledge-based workers and a lot of technology companies we feel like it will be beneficial to us to have merged,” Joyner said. “We think it will enhance both our service offerings as well as maybe our attractiveness to other lawyers to possibly join us.”

Talecris takeover may hit FTC opposition, report says

Shares of Talecris Biotherapeutics fell today after a report that federal antitrust regulators may seek to block the company's $4 billion acquisition by Grifols of Spain.

The Deal Pipeline reported that the Federal Trade Commission is preparing a lawsuit to stop the union, citing an unnamed antitrust lawyer in Washington. The FTC, which blocked a previous buyout of Talecris, is again worried that a takeover would hurt competition in the market for medicines made from blood plasma, and lead to higher prices for patients, according to the report.

The Deal Pipeline is an information service that tracks acquisitions for investors and other clients.

An FTC spokesman declined to comment. Both companies said they had no knowledge of FTC plans to oppose the transaction.

US Oncology to be bought for $2.16 billion

US Oncology, which helps manage Cancer Centers of North Carolina, agreed to be bought for $2.16 billion by drug distributor McKesson.

Texas-based US Oncology provides services and supplies to more than 1,300 oncologists across the country, including access to clinical research.

In this market, that includes an affiliation with Cancer Centers of North Carolina, which has clinics in Raleigh, Cary, Clayton and Dunn. That group, established as Raleigh Hematology Oncology Associates in 1979 by Dr. William Berry, affiliated with US Oncology in 1995.

The McKesson deal is the latest tied to changes coming under the federal health overhaul, including cuts in reimbursement by Medicare and Medicaid. While patients won't notice much change for now, new affiliations and business agreements could reshape much of the industry.

Talecris reports stronger results as merger looms

Talecris Biotherapeutics' top executive has been tight-lipped since June, when the company announced its $4 billion buyout by Grifols of Spain.

This morning, the company reported stronger quarterly earnings but CEO Larry Stern once again didn't hold a conference call with Wall Street analysts.  He hasn't publicly commented on the progress of the deal, or much else.

But in an internal employee newsletter this month, Stern emphasizes that the company is continuing its work producing medicine from blood plasma, regardless of the merger with Grifols.

He also raises the possibility that the deal might not happen.

"Whether U.S. and global regulatory authorities approve the merger with Grifols, or we are once again left standing at the altar, I'm confident we have the strategies, plans and entrepreneurial team to embrace change and actively shape our destiny," Stern wrote.

CommScope agrees to $3.9 billion buyout

A Hickory-based, publicly traded company that makes telecommunications cable has agreed to be taken private in a $3.9 billion buyout.

CommScope announced this morning that it agreed to be acquired by the Carlyle Group of Washington for $31.50 a share. That's about 36 percent more than the stock's closing price on Friday.

CommScope officials confirmed Monday that they were in talks with Carlyle, sending the shares surging.

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