Markross121_ No Comments

Here are the world’s 10 largest M&A deals this year

Chevron on Friday agreed to acquire Anadarko Petroleum in a transaction valued at $47.5 billion, including equity and debt. Under the agreement, Chevron will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Anadarko for $65 a share — a 37% premium to Thursday’s closing price. Anadarko shareholders will receive a mixture of cash and stock.

Chevron is the second-largest US energy company behind Exxon Mobil and the transaction will expand the company’s capabilities in US shale oil and gas production. Many industry commentators have indicated consolidation in the fragmented sector is overdue, prompting speculation of further deal activity.

This year, 108 deals with a value of over $600 billion have been announced. North America was the most active region, however, Saudi Aramco’s $61.9 billion purchase of Saudi Basic Industries was a notable transaction outside the region. Energy deals so far this year have topped $110 billion, including both the Anadarko and the Saudi Basic Industries transactions.

Here are 10 of the largest M&A deals so far this year in ascending order of their valuation size:

Ultimate Software/Hellman & Friedman

Sector: High technology

Target name: Ultimate Software

Target nation: United States

Acquirer name: An investor group led by Hellman & Friedman

Acquirer nation: United States

Deal value net debt: $10.4 billion

Date Announced: February 4, 2019


Newmont Mining/Goldcorp

Sector: Materials

Target name: Goldcorp

Target nation: Canada

Acquirer name: Newmont Mining

Acquirer nation: United States

Deal value net debt: $12.5 billion

Date Announced: January 14



Sector: Healthcare

Target name: Wellcare

Target nation: United States

Acquirer name: Centene

Acquirer nation: United States

Deal value net debt: $13.5 billion

Date Announced: March 27


Read More –



Markross121_ No Comments

Print M&A activity shows no sign of abating

While mergers and acquisitions are nothing new in print, the latest PrintWeek Top 500 found that there were at least 77 deals involving UK printers between March 2018 and March 2019 – the busiest period in M&A activity in recent years.

And things have not slowed down since, with deals involving companies big and small still happening in nearly every corner of the industry.

Among those finalised in the past month alone include DG3’s purchase of Newnorth, Bell & Bain’s merger via acquisition of J Thomson Colour Printers, and Positive ID Labels’ double buy of Banbury Labels and Dabbon Labels.

Suppliers have also seen their fair share of action, with Japan Pulp and Paper’s acquisition earlier this month of Premier Paper Group heading up the recent moves on that front.

Hopefully all these deals will prove successful, but acquisitions can, and do, go wrong for companies that cannot financially or strategically support their ambitions or, indeed, for a myriad of other reasons.

“Acquisitions can make sense, but be wary and be very clear why it’s advantageous to your business,” warns BPIF chief executive Charles Jarrold.

“Similarly, be sure to understand the business and do your due diligence on the acquisition before finding out late in the day that things are not what you expected. I used to work for a big US company who used the term ‘deal zeal’ – the buzz of getting caught up in an exciting acquisition can impede clear judgement.”

But acquisitions are nevertheless very popular in print as the industry continues to consolidate to ease overcapacity and increasing labour and raw materials costs.

They are also far and away the most popular form of M&A activity, with true 50/50 mergers proving incredibly rare in print, the only one listed in the latest Top 500 being Bright-source’s merger with Signal, which was already its sister company to begin with.

Many acquisitions, however, are promoted as being a merger via branding, communications with clients and PR.

“Mergers ae often billed as 50/50, but the reality is that this is rare in practice,” says Jarrold.

“There isn’t room to duplicate all functions, so one team or another, or one person or another, need to lead and businesses need clear structures and management processes. There is however room for making sure that the best of each business wins through – probably not 50/50, but a dispassionate look at what’s best.”

Richmond Capital Partners director Kevin Barron says true 50/50 mergers are often a “needs must deal” that happens when two companies that cannot afford to buy each other join forces to eliminate excess capacity.

“Generally you would start a new company that acquires the two companies, then at some point there is a rationalisation that goes on but that generally takes six to 12 months to work its way through, because you can’t merge companies in five minutes.

“So you end up with duplication for a while. We knew of one company who didn’t rationalise quickly enough and ended up with four finance directors.

“And egos can get in the way with 50/50 mergers – ‘my business is better than yours’.”


Read More –

Markross121_ No Comments

Hospital megamergers continue to drive near-historic M&A activity

Health system megamergers continue to push deal activity to near-historic levels, evidenced by the fact that the amount of revenue tied up in such deals was nearly four times higher in the second quarter of 2019 compared with the prior-year period.

That’s according to Kaufman Hall’s latest healthcare M&A report, which tallied $11.3 billion in total transacted revenue in the recently ended quarter. That also approaches 2017’s historically high figure of $12.6 billion in the second quarter, the report said.

Despite the eye-popping revenue figures, the number of hospital and health system transactions—19—wasn’t far from the 21 transactions announced in the prior-year period. The 46 transactions announced so far this year closely track the 50 announced at the halfway point of 2018, Kaufman Hall found.

Read More –

Markross121_ No Comments

Etsy to acquire Reverb

Etsy (ETSY +2.5%) to acquire Reverb Holdings, Inc., a privately held marketplace for new, used and vintage music gear for $275M in cash.

The transaction is currently expected to close in late 3Q19 or early 4Q19.

Etsy plans to provide financial guidance following the completion of the transaction.

Markross121_ No Comments

British Airways strike vote: Holidaymakers face chaos after pilots protest over pay

A summer of disruption for holidaymakers moved a step closer yesterday after British Airways pilots voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, saying that the airline had refused to change its position despite three days of intense negotiations.

Ninety-three per cent of the 4,000 BA pilots who are members of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) backed action on a turnout of 90 per cent over a pay dispute. About 500 BA pilots are not members of the union. Strike dates have yet to be announced by the union, which must give two weeks’ notice before taking action.

The airline responded by seeking an injunction in the high court today to prevent any strike action. Negotiations between the two sides are suspended because of BA’s legal move, although Balpa said that it would be open to further talks. If the airline fails to get an injunction, strike action could take place from August 6.

The potential pilots’ strike is the latest in a series of industrial actions affecting flights over the summer.

It may coincide with a series of strikes at Heathrow by Unite union members over a pay dispute for 4,000 workers including security guards, engineers and passenger service staff. Easyjet staff at Stansted are expected to walk out in a separate dispute, while workers at Gatwick are balloting for industrial action. Ryanair pilots are due to ballot on strike action this week.

Read More –

Markross121_ No Comments

Supermarket sales see first overall decline since 2016

Supermarket sales have fallen for the first time in three years as shoppers’ appetite for beer, cider and ice cream fell in comparison with a period last year buoyed by hot weather and the men’s football World Cup.

Shares in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons fell after industry data from Kantar showed the market shrank by 0.5% in the 12 weeks to 14 July – the first decline since June 2016.

The report said households had been taking one fewer grocery shopping trip during the period while stores are also being squeezed by a slowdown in price growth.

However, it anticipated that the market would return to growth once the comparatives with last year’s summer period pass.


Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said it was a “challenging 12 weeks” with sales declining or growth slowing at all the major grocers except Ocado.


He added: “Last year people shopped more frequently and closer to home as they topped up the cupboards while enjoying the sunshine and the men’s football World Cup.


“This year households are making one fewer trip, which may not sound like much but is enough to tip the market into decline.


Read More –

Markross121_ No Comments

Facial recognition could be a part of airport screening within 5 years

Before taking a flight, travelers typically arrive at the airport two to three hours before takes-off so they have time to check-in and make their way through security checkpoints.

What could make for a faster process?

Aviation attorney Mark Dombroff told Yahoo Finance’s “On The Move” a facial recognition system could become a standard part of airport screening relatively.

“I think we should see it implemented,” he said. “Since the events of 9/11 aviation and airplane travel has become even more and more stressful. It’s stressful on the passenger, on the crew, on the ground personnel and everybody across the board.”

“I realize that there’s inherit tension between the privacy issue and most of them are related to the more traditional law enforcement area and the facial recognition area,” he added. “I would predict that within 5 years we’re going to have facial recognition as part of the airport security process.”

In what he calls “The Disruptive Passenger Situation,” Dombroff got a chance to elaborate on the instances of passengers becoming unruly due to high stress from security check-ins, delayed flights and any other traveling factor one can imagine. He discussed how a British airline once charged a disruptive passenger 105,000 euros and how a U.S. airline delayed a flight due to a disruptive passenger and later billed them $120,000.

What is the best way to satisfy travelers?

“Anything that can be done to reduce the stress is something that I would say travelers, particularity business travelers, would be in favor of,” Dombroff said.

Some airports are making incremental changes to satisfy passengers. One option we see now is TSA pre-check, which is a government response program. Dombroff went on to talk about Clear, an alternative screening process that gets passengers through TSA quicker. Like Clear, facial recognition would be implemented be a private company that would allow people the ability to be able to opt out of the program whenever needed.

But the ultimate goal is to reduce stress for its users.

Read More –

Markross121_ No Comments

The global space business is worth $415 billion

Fifty years ago, the world watched as American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the first steps on the moon, the culmination of a near decade-long race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union to determine the world’s technologically superior nation.

Today, a new space race has emerged, not between rival superpowers, but competing private enterprise backed by some of the planet’s richest men. Companies like Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin are leading the charge to commercialize space travel, and they’re creating a ton of excitement along the way.

“Everybody’s talking about space again,” said Rich Cooper, Vice President of Strategic Communications and Outreach at the Space Foundation.

“Space has been cool for those of us who have been part of the industry, but there is a whole new generation of Americans that are getting reignited and excited about space because of companies like Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic,” he added. “You’re having a whole new set of market entrepreneurs enter this area and really bring the cost to access space down, but also communicating with people that makes them feel connected to it.”

Global space activity is a massive business

According to the Space Foundation, the global space economy is now worth about $414.75 billion, with more than half of that value coming from commercial space products and services.

Cooper says that number is only expected to grow as space related technologies creep into all corners of the developed world.

“Space is a critical infrastructure,”he said. “Everything that we do here on Earth is directly connected to what’s happening above. Whether that be cell phones, whether that be data, whether that be advanced medical technology… every facet of our lives is connected to that and that’s what becomes a larger part of a global space economy that is creating jobs and is creating opportunity that we always thought were reserved for the rocket scientists and the astronauts.”

Mars by 2030?

With the lunar landing behind us, experts and science fiction fans alike are looking to the next frontier in space travel: Mars. Depending on the time of year, the red planet sits anywhere from 33 million to 250 million miles away from Earth, putting the total travel time anywhere between 39 and 289 days. Although a trip that long may sound like a daunting task, Cooper said we could possibly send a human to Mars by 2030.

“The hope is that we could see [reaching Mars] hopefully within the early 2030’s if at all possible, if not sooner,” Cooper said. “This is a longer journey that needs to be taken and there are steps that need to be taken to make sure that it is safe, it is affordable, and it is sustainable.”


Read More –

Markross121_ No Comments

Car sharing company Turo is tech’s latest unicorn – $250M IAC investment

There’s a new unicorn in town.

Car-sharing company Turo recently landed a $250 million cash infusion from web giant IAC (IAC)— giving the Airbnb of cars a valuation of over $1 billion. The deal also makes IAC the largest shareholder of Turo.

“We believe that there’s a huge opportunity to transform the world’s 1.5 billion cars into cars that can generate earnings for their owners while they aren’t using them,” Turo CEO Andre Haddad told Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM in a recent interview.

Capitalizing on the growing car-sharing marketplace, Turo now hosts over 10 million customers worldwide. Customers can rent cars online or through the app.

So how does it work? “Turo enables all of these car owners around the country, around the world, to monetize their cars when they’re not using them,” Haddad explained.

The CEO sees it as a platform that’s more than just helpful for consumers, but also for the car owners themselves — giving them a modest income stream. “Last year, the average host on the platform earned around $550 a month sharing their car roughly ten days a month,” he told Yahoo Finance.

“A lot of people are sharing their main cars. Often it helps them pay for their car payments,” he added.

Founded in 2010, Turo has almost 400,000 vehicles listed on its site, and generated roughly $250 million in revenue in 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The car-sharing company operates in 49 states and 5,500 cities—except New York, as these rentals can’t be insured.

Haddad also stated that, when lending out your vehicle on Turo in the United States, the company provides insurance for the host through its partnership with Liberty Mutual.

“We provide the coverage that protects both the host and the guests,” the CEO said. “Your personal insurance when you’re sharing your car is not really covering that transaction,” he adds.

Whether Turo will follow in the footsteps of ride-hailing companies like Uber (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT) and go public however, remains to be seen.


Read More –

Markross121_ No Comments

UK sales slump at Ladbrokes

Gambling operator GVC Holdings suffered a double-digit slump in its UK retail sales during the first half of 2019, blaming a recently-introduced £2 limit on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT).

The Labrokes and Coral owner reported a 10 per cent fall in like-for-like retail net gaming revenue (NGR) in its UK market, driven by a sharp drop in the second quarter of the year.

Yet in spite of tough comparatives against last year, when the Football World Cup spurred on betting, the bookmaker enjoyed a 17 per cent growth in its online NGR, boosting overall group revenues to to a five per cent rise compared with the first half of 2018.

However, in the UK the firm was dented by a cut in the maximium stakes on FOBT to £2, which resulted in a 39 per cent year-on-year fall in like-for-like machines revenue.

“Part-substitution of this displaced revenue into sports-betting helped drive OTC (over-the-counter) wagers eight per cent ahead of last year,” the high street bookmaker added.

Read More –