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Is M&A The Recipe For Bringing The Bite Back To Biscuits?

The UK biscuit industry is crumbling; slowing sales, intense competition and an increase in the price of sugar and wheat have hit the sector hard. Not to mention the pressure from the vast range of new and healthier products that are available. As a result, the UK sweet biscuit market, valued at £1.9bn, is experiencing a flurry of deal making.

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Collapsed Cigna and Anthem Merger Goes To Court

Earlier this month, the health insurance organisation Cigna Corp. announced the termination of its $54bn merger agreement with insurance company Anthem Inc. The deal has taken a further complicated turn, after Cigna announced that it had filed a lawsuit against Anthem seeking a $1.85bn termination fee, plus a staggering $13bn in damages. In an interesting twist, Anthem has launched its own lawsuit against Cigna, claiming the company has sabotaged the merger in its attempts to breach the agreement and collapse the $48bn deal.

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Benchmark International Named as the North West’s No.1 Financial Adviser

Benchmark International is proud to announce that it has placed top of the North West Financial Adviser table for the second consecutive year in Experian’s annual North West and Manchester Corporate Finance Review.

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Dow and DuPont subject to antitrust concerns

The mega-merger between chemicals and seeds producer DuPont and chemical corporation Dow is now expected to close later than anticipated. The $130bn deal has encountered a roadblock as the companies face further regulatory approvals, which means that this is now the second occasion the deal’s completion date has been pushed back.

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Tesco and Booker merger reignites Marmite war

They say that you either love it or hate it, but Marmite has been at the centre of a dispute between one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains and the suppliers of the distinctly British condiment. The feud escalated last year after Tesco refused to agree to Unilever’s price increases, however the dispute was resolved in October and Marmite was back on supermarket shelves. But now, the supermarket giant’s £3.9bn takeover of wholesaler Booker is expected to reignite Tesco’s feud with Unilever as critics argue the deal will create an incredibly dominant player in the sector.

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Split the bill: Airbnb rumoured to be acquiring Tilt

Ealrier this month, The Information reported that Airbnb is in talks to acquire social payments start-up Tilt, a move that would allow the users of the home share service to split the cost of their trips.

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A Whole New World (of streaming): Disney to acquire Netflix?

We’re just over a month into 2017 and already rumours are circulating about a magical mega deal set to take place this year. Despite the lack of evidence to back-up a Disney acquisition of Netflix, there has been much discussion throughout the industry about whether such an acquisition can and will actually happen.

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Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of Signalhome Limited to Lynx Private Equity

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Signalhome Limited to Lynx Private Equity.

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BENCHMARK INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATES SALE OF NEFCO, INC. TO NORTH AMERICAN FILTRATION, INC.

Benchmark International has successfully negotiated the sale of Nefco, Inc. (“NEFCO”) to North American Filtration, Inc. (“NAF”). The transaction represents the conjoining of two leaders in the water and wastewater treatment industry.

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Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of Malcolm Hughes Land Surveyors to the Ogilvie Group

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Malcolm Hughes Land Surveyors to the Ogilvie Geomatics, a part of the Ogilvie Group.

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Pharma companies set for another big year for M&A

Political and economic uncertainty caused pharma M&A to slacken off in 2016, seeing deal values in the sector falling to $273.7bn from $392.4bn the previous year. While 2016 was far from catastrophic for pharma M&A it failed to reach the all-time highs achieved from the mega-deals in 2015, and the collapse of the $160bn mega-deal between Pfizer and Allergan was just one of the year’s setbacks for the sector.

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The Mark - Vol.XIV Issue II

Please take a read of our latest edition of THE MARK, Benchmark International's in-house publication which provides readers with a thorough insight into key events within the M&A industry.

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SoundCloud destined for a 2017 acquisition?

It’s no secret that music streaming website SoundCloud is hurtling towards a period of financial difficulty. Last March the company followed in the footsteps of the likes of Spotify and Apple Music with the launch of SoundCloud Go, a premium music service that costs users $9.99 per month. Although it has since seen an increase in users, SoundCloud Go did little to alleviate the $52 billion loss the company reported for 2015, meaning it is likely to run out of cash by the end of this year.

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EU Regulators ‘Dislike’ Facebook And WhatsApp Merger

In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp in a deal worth $19bn. However, more than two years later, the social media giant has been accused of providing EU regulators with misleading information during its takeover of the mobile messaging service.

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Conarc Client Testimonial {video}

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A New Year sale for Kate Spade

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that US-based handbag and apparel designer Kate Spade is considering a potential takeover bid. The news comes just a couple of months after a US hedge fund, Caerus Investors, urged the fashion house to consider a sale in light of the falling price of its stock when compared to its peer group.

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M&A for R+D: what all businesses can learn from consumer goods companies

Recent industry analysis has highlighted a number of complex and significant trends within the consumer goods sector. In a sector powered by names such as Nestlé, Pepsi and Unilever, research shows that R+D budgets are diminishing as a share of revenues, particularly in comparison with highly innovative sectors such as technology. This trend is coupled with the progress made by smaller, newer brands which are eating into the market share in a range of sectors.

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Is Verizon set for a data breach discount from Yahoo?

In this digital age, cyber security is a growing global issue, and a costly one at that. No one perhaps knows this better than Yahoo, who this week admitted that it had been victim to a second giant data breach following the recently disclosed 2014 attack that had already damaged the tech giant’s reputation.

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Fox and Sky agree to a full Murdoch takeover

Sky has reached an agreement on the terms of a full takeover from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. The deal has been met with controversy since rumours first began circulating, however both parties have now agreed that Fox will pay £11.7bn for the 61 per cent stake in Sky that it does not already own, valuing the FTSE 100 company at £19bn. The acquisition will combine Fox’s film and television influence with Sky’s European distribution powers.

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M&A and U.K. start-ups: where next for the beginners?

The U.K has a vibrant start-up culture, with an estimated 600,000 new companies set up in 2015. A whole host of factors have powered this part of the economy. Many U.K. industries are world leaders, for example the recruitment sector, while the E.U. freedom of movement drew on human capital from across the continent. The development of new challengers in different industries and sectors plays a key role in stimulating M&A activity, with buyers attracted for reasons from exciting IP to up-and-coming talent. Established companies may find it difficult to truly innovate in-house, so M&A may also give the opportunity to roll-out acquired new products or services in support of their existing operations.

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