General Dynamics Makes Military Vehicle Push; Sara Lee Spins 'Dough'<BRACKET>

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --- General Dynamics ( GD) on Monday said it would buy Force Protection ( FRPT) for $360 million or $5.52 a share to bolster its Land System divisions that makes military armored vehicles.

Force Protection shares rose more than 30% in early trading to $5.48, while General Dynamics shares were unchanged at $63.45. The takeover represents a more than 35% premium to Force Protection's Friday close but is below its 2011 high of $5.90 reached in January.

Force Protection will add its Buffalo, Cougar and Ocelot vehicles designed to protect soldiers against landmines, hostile fire and IEDs in reconnaissance and urban operations to General Dynamics' Land Systems division, which makes Abrams battle tanks and Stryker infantry combat vehicles.

"Force Protection complements and strategically expands General Dynamics' armored vehicle business, adding new products to the expansive portfolio of combat vehicles that we currently manufacture and support," said Mark C. Roualet, a General Dynamics president, in a press release announcing the deal.

Force Protection's annual revenue has fallen to $656 million in 2010, after reaching levels double that in 2008, while its net income has fallen to $15.2 million from $46.9 million in 2008. In its most recent quarter ended in June, Force Protection lost $15.2 million. The company's shares have fallen since reaching a June 2007 high of $28.40.

General Dynamics Land Systems will add Force Protection to a division that earned $8.9 billion in 2010 and currently employs approximately 8,400 workers to manufacture vehicles designed to meet current and future ground-combat requirements, according to a press release.

General Dynamics said it will begin a tender for Force Protection's outstanding shares and that the deal has been approved by both companies' boards of directors. It expects the purchase to add to 2012 earnings.

Sara Lee ( SLE) Monday said it would sell its EuroDough division to private equity firm Sagard for $159 million, continuing plans to sell or spin businesses announced earlier in the year.

France based -EuroDough makes chilled dough that can be made at home into bakery goods and had $184 million in 2011 sales with approximately 430 employees.

"The divestiture of the European chilled dough business in France advances Sara Lee's announced strategy of creating two pure-play publicly traded companies poised for growth," said Sara Lee Chairman Jan Bennink in a release announcing the deal. "This transaction would complete the divestment of Sara Lee's European Bakery operations and enable our international business to focus on its core coffee and tea activities."

In October, Sara Lee sold its Spanish and Portugese fresh bakery businesses to Mexico's Grupo Bimbo for $154 million as part of a strategy to sell its bakeries businesses in deals that it expects can raise more than $1 billion.

Also in October, Sara Lee sold its North American coffee and hot beverage divisions to J.M. Smucker ( SJM) for $350 million and an additional $50 million over 10 years -- divesting its Douwe Egberts concentrated liquid coffee formula served up in diners nationwide -- and ground coffee, cappuccino and tea products divisions.

Sara Lee currently has $9 billion in annual sales from its meats and hot beverages divisions, which include brands such as Ball Park, Douwe Egberts, Hillshire Farms, Jimmy Dean, Pickwick Teas, Sara Lee and Senseo. In January 2011, the company announced it would split into two publicly traded companies, one focused on the international coffee and tea market and the other on North American meats.

American Dental ( ADPI) said it was being bought by private equity firm JLL Partners for $19 a share in cash, a 83% premium to the company's Friday close, which values it at $398 million when counting debt that will be included in the deal.

American Dental Partners, founded in 1995, also reported revenue of $70.2 million and earnings per share of 27 cents, beating estimates on Monday.

Shares of American Dental rose more than 80% in early trading to $18.66, the highest level this year since its 2007 high of $28.64.

American Dental's largest shareholders are Pyramis Global, Brown Brothers Harriman ( BBH), Dimensional Funds, Bares Capital and Stadium Capital, all with stakes greater than 5% of the company's outstanding shares according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission compiled by Bloomberg.

The company is affiliated with 27 dental group practices that have 282 dental facilities located in 21 states, according to a press release announcing the deal.

In case you missed it:

BP's ( BP) $7.1 billion sale of Pan American Energy fell through on Sunday, raising questions of whether it will look for another buyer or to spin different assets to fund its Macondo spill relief fund.

Late Friday, Reuters repoted that Yahoo! ( YHOO) has locked up confidentiality agreements with potential buyers of the company or its assets, while other interested parties held out to try and press group takeover bids.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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