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Marsh & McLennan Buys UK Insurance Firm JLT In $5.6bn Deal

FTSE 250 insurance firm JLT has accepted a $5.6bn (£4.3bn) takeover offer from US financial services giant Marsh & McLennan.

Shares in JLT, which employs more than 4,000 people in the UK, soared 32 per cent in early trading on Tuesday after the deal was announced.

The bid values JLT at $6.4bn and will see the company’s shareholders receive £19.14 per share, a premium of almost 34 per cent to the closing price on Monday.

Marsh employs more than 65,000 people around the world, with operations in 130 countries.

The company said it expects the deal will help it reduce expenses by around $250m, partly through job cuts.

Based on preliminary evaluations, Marsh said, it expects a potential headcount reduction of between 2 and 5 per cent of the combined group’s workforce. JLT employs more than 10,000 people, meaning the potential number of jobs lost could be more than 3,500.

Marsh chief executive Dan Glaser said the acquisition “creates a compelling value proposition for our clients, our colleagues and our shareholders”.

“The complementary fit between our companies creates a platform to deliver exceptional service to clients, and opportunities for our colleagues,” he said.

“On a personal level, I have come to know and respect Dominic Burke and his management team from my time both at MMC and as an underwriter. I am confident that with the addition of the talented colleagues of JLT, Marsh & McLennan will be an even stronger and more dynamic company.”

Mr Burke, JLT’s chief executive, said: “I am enormously proud of what JLT has achieved, founded on our people, our culture and our unwavering commitment to our clients. MMC is, and always has been, one of our most respected competitors and I believe that, combined, we will create a group that will truly stand as a beacon for our industry.”

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Medallia Brings On New CEO To Take It Public

Medallia has hired Leslie Stretch as its new chief executive in the run-up to a public offering that could come early next year, per Forbes. The company, which offers a SaaS app that captures customer feedback for companies, has been led by co-founder Borge Hald since its launch 17 years ago. Hald will move into an executive chairman and chief strategy officer role. Stretch, meanwhile, was most recently CEO of Callidus Software, a CRM software provider that was acquired by SAP for $2.4 billion earlier this year.

Medallia, founded in 2001, is ripe for an exit. Over the years, Sequoia has been a major backer of the San Mateo, CA-based company. Here’s a quick look at its funding and valuation history:

2010: $13M round | $31M valuation
2012: $35M | $103M
2014: $50M | $475M
2015: $150M | $1.3B

Learn more about Medallia in its free profile.

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BP To Buy BHP’s US Shale Oil And Gas Assets For $10.5bn

BP has agreed to buy US shale oil and gasfields from the Anglo-Australian miner BHP for $10.5bn (£8bn), in the UK firm’s biggest acquisition in nearly two decades.

Bob Dudley, BP’s chief executive, lauded the deal as transformational and industry watchers said the move significantly beefed up the company’s US shale presence, which was small compared to peers.

The acquisition will boost BP’s US oil and gas production by nearly a fifth and marks a new period of growth for the company, which is emerging after years under the $65bn burden of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

In total, 470,000 acres of assets are covered in the deal, including fields in the Permian in west Texas, the Eagle Ford in south Texas and Haynesville in east Texas and Louisiana.

Analysts said Eagle Ford was the most valuable of the three because of its scale and economics, while the Permian offered the greatest long-term promise.

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