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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 Completes Sale Of Charron Sports Services, Inc. To Corvus Industries, Ltd., DBA Br Bleachers And DBA Facili-serv

Benchmark International has successfully negotiated the sale of Charron Sports Services, Inc. (“Charron”) to Corvus Industries, LTD. (“Corvus”).

Based in Liberty, South Carolina, Charron is an industry

 leader in the installation, maintenance and restoration of aluminum bleachers, telescoping bleachers (gymnasium bleachers) and other seating. The company’s other offerings include basketball backstops and other various gym equipment items.

Since 1991, Charron has been committed to providing reliable and dependable bleacher repair services to some of the Southeast’s largest schools systems. Since inception, the company has grown from a small family business to a profitable venture. The company’s technical knowledge, experienced staff, and professionalism not only ensure client retention, but foster additional growth opportunities within the industry.

With operations dating back to 1973, Corvus is recognized nationally as a major player in the bleacher repair and maintenance space. Bleachers are considered a great liability for institutions, and Corvus has been dedicated to ensuring that bleachers are safe and current with the latest safety codes. Today, Corvus industries is further expanding its geographic presence with the strategic acquisition of Charron Sports.

Tyrus O’Neill, Director at Benchmark International, stated, “It was a pleasure to represent Charron Sports in this transaction, and on behalf of Benchmark International, we are extremely pleased with the outcome. Allowing both the seller and acquirer to prosper and benefit is always an ideal end result.”

Senior Associate, Trevor Talkie, added, “We have really enjoyed working with our client, Maury Purcell, and bringing to the table a company that very closely represents Charron’s ideal candidate in terms of corporate culture and values. Overall, this has been a thoroughly satisfying experience and we wish both parties the best of luck moving forward.”

President and Founder of Charron Sports, Maury Purcell, stated, “Benchmark International played an instrumental role in facilitating a transaction quickly and fairly. I would like to thank the Benchmark International transaction team for the extraordinary effort in representing Charron Sports in this deal. We strongly feel this end result could not have been achieved without the help of each member there."

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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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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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Who is Benchmark International? (Video)

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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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A Happy Deal: McDonald’s China set to sell for up to $3bn

In a deal that could fetch up to $3bn, McDonald’s China is set to be purchased by Citic Group Corp, the Chinese conglomerate, coupled with a US-based private equity group Carlyle.

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The Biggest M&A Deals of 2016

Despite economic and political uncertainty across the globe in 2016, the year remained one of the most active for M&A deals. According to data collected by Dealogic, the value of the average deal in 2016 was $104.2m which, despite being slightly down on 2015’s average of $115.4m, was significantly greater than the average deals made between 2000 and 2014 at $77.1m. Here, we take a look at the biggest transactions that contributed to a successful year of deal making in 2016.

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BENCHMARK INTERNATIONAL ADVISES ON THE SALE OF HEADLAND SERVICES LIMITED TO OASIS GROUP

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that a deal has been agreed for the sale of Headland Services Limited to OASIS Group.

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Good news for Oil & Gas M&A in the U.K.?

Siccar Point Energy, an exploration and pipelining company based in Aberdeen and backed by private-equity, have pulled off a significant deal to acquire OMV’s North Sea interests. The $1bn deal is estimated to be the largest for the offshore energy industry in the UK, following the severe drop in crude prices. This is the second significant deal of the year that the highly acquisitive firm has made in the North Sea.

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Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of Cleaning Equipment Supplies to ICE

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Cleaning Equipment Supplies to ICE.

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The role of HR in deal making

Within M&A there will always be a winner and, ideally, the deal will be a resounding success for both parties. However, more often than not there will be someone who loses out, and the road towards successful M&A is not always straightforward.

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Record 2016 for M&A against all odds

Despite major political disruption from events such as Britain leaving the EU and the election of a new president of the United States, 2016 is gearing up to be the biggest year for M&A deal announcements since 2007.

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Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of E.Braude Limited to Heatrod Elements

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of E.Braude Limited to Heatrod Elements.

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Estée Lauder has its eye on millennials with $1.45bn deal

American beauty giant Estée Lauder is no stranger to M&A. The company, founded by its namesake in 1946, already owns a number of the beauty industry’s most popular and largest brands, including MAC, Clinique, La Mer and Jo Malone. However, it is the beauty powerhouse’s latest acquisition of cosmetics company Too Faced, for a reported $1.45bn, which has captured the interest of industry commentators.

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Benchmark International Advises on the Sale of Dyson Energy Services to the Duality Group

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the sale of Dyson Energy Services to the Duality Group.

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October hits record high for global M&A

In the last week of October alone, five multi-billion dollar deals contributed to an unprecedented month of mega deals for M&A. In particular, renewed confidence in the US economy has buoyed deal activity, despite the impending presidential election, with over half a trillion dollars’ worth of deals announced globally last month.

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Barking Mad for M&A: good businesses are acquired, whatever the sector

Eyebrows were raised earlier this week when one of the U.K.’s largest dog-walking franchise businesses, Barking Mad, was snapped up by AIM-listed Franchise Brands for almost £1 million. While the deal highlights a booming sector in the U.K., it also points to the attractions for acquirers that go beyond particular sectors or industries and gives crucial insight for business owners who are exploring options for partial or full exit from a business, or turning to outsiders for investment.

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It was October Dealfest at Benchmark International!

October was a fantastic month for Benchmark International and we are proud to announce that our teams in the UK and US have completed deals with an overall, combined transaction value of $160,000,000.

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What do slowing sales and a growing services business mean for Apple’s M&A appetite?

This week, Apple has once again commanded the attention of global media following its latest quarterly financial report. While the technology giant’s previous financial reports have typically generated headlines for its record-breaking sales, the latest financials have significantly fuelled the global M&A rumour mill.

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Benchmark International named ‘Best Company Sales Specialists’ & secures ‘Award for Excellence in Exit & Growth Strategies’

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that is has been named ‘Best Company Sales Specialists for 2016’ by Acquisition International, along with securing the ‘Award for Excellence in Exit & Growth Strategies’.

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Salesforce leaked list exposes M&A targets

This week the world was exposed to Salesforce’s M&A shopping list after an email from the company’s board member Colin Powell was leaked by “hacktivist” group DCLeaks. The list, which was part of an internal presentation, revealed the names of 14 public companies that Salesforce allegedly had their eye on back in May this year.

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Louder!: PE invests in Ibiza

The night-time economy is a recognised driver of growth across Europe and the U.S. and global cities like New York and London play host to some of the world’s most popular DJs and artists after-hours, throughout the year. Further afield, the Spanish Island of Ibiza is one of the most popular seasonal destinations and over the decades has seen rapid expansion of the business arms of some of its most recognisable brands. It therefore comes as no surprise that the well-established Pacha is set to be sold for in excess of €350m to private equity outfit Trilantic Europe, with the Group’s owner, Ricardo Urgell, confirming earlier this week that a deal has almost been reached.

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Benchmark International Advises On The Sale Of Clady Plumbing Supplies Limited To Bassetts N.I. Limited

Benchmark International is pleased to announce that a deal has been agreed for the sale of Clady Plumbing Supplies Limited to Bassetts N.I. Limited.

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1st Class Holidays to PHD Equity Partners Deal shortlisted for 'Deal of the Year (sub £10m)'

Benchmark International is proud to announce that the deal in which 1st Class Holidays was acquired by PHD Equity Partners has been shortlisted for ‘Deal of the Year (sub £10m)’ at this year’s Insider North West Dealmakers Awards.

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Sell & Stay: What business owners can learn from the UFC

American mixed martial arts promotion company, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has hit the headlines again as it was revealed its new investors include 23 celebrities and sports figures. Ben Affleck, Mark Wahlberg, Tom Brady, and Serena Williams are just some of the famous faces who make up the group of private investors who bought the UFC for a figure reportedly in the region of $4 billion in July this year.

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Twitter and the great rumour mill of 2016

Author Terry Pratchett once said, “A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.” Nowhere is this truer than in the world of mergers and acquisitions. The potential buy-out of Twitter by Disney has been the subject of much rumour and this article looks at their veracity as well as examining other suitors that may be eyeing the micro-blogging site.

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