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The ‘Urge to Merge’ is Alive and Kicking Globally – With a Trend towards Smaller Deals

In a much-talked-about piece in the New York Times recently, Hernan Cristerna, Co-Head of Global M&A at JP Morgan Chase, diagnosed the global mergers and acquisitions market as alive and very much kicking – in spite of ongoing Brexit anxieties and considerable political uncertainty around the Trump administration.

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Hewlett Packard Sees Acquisitions As Integral to Growth

California-based Hewlett Packard Enterprise has been busy bolstering its portfolio to stay ahead in cloud computing, with even more acquisitions on the horizon.

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Chemical Giants Set For $14 billion Merger

After years of approaches, US-based Huntsman Corp and Switzerland’s Clariant AG have announced that they will merge to create a chemicals manufacturer worth more than $14 billion.

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Amazon.com to acquire Whole Foods Market Inc

Amazon has announced it will acquire upmarket grocer, Whole Foods Market Inc, for $13.7 billion in a deal that includes the company's debt. Expected to close late 2017, the deal will not only be the largest in the online retailer’s history, but also a major step in expanding into bricks-and-mortar retail.

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Microsoft Continues to Look to Israel for Cyber Safety

American computing giant Microsoft continues to expand its acquisitions of Israeli-based software companies, with a reported $100 million deal for cybersecurity start-up Hexadite.

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Apple Continues Acquisition Trail with Lattice.io

Following news last week that Apple had completed a deal to acquire sleep-tracking device company Beddit, the tech behemoth has completed yet another acquisition in the form of Lattice.io.

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Chemicals Sector Continues to Remain Buoyant

Following our report last month on the $130bn mega-merger between US chemical giants Dow Chemical and DuPont, a new deal has announced the creation of a chemicals giant with a market value of approx $14 billion.  This latest high-profile transaction across the diversified chemicals sector sees companies are striking ever more aggressive deals to find new ways to slash costs and gain greater scale of their segments, typifying the current market trend for companies to cut costs and boost revenue.

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Apple Gets Into Beddit With Latest Acquisition

Last week it was revealed that Apple had completed a low-key deal to acquire Beddit, a Finnish company that makes sleep-tracking devices compatible with apps for both iOS and the Apple Watch.

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Coach Bags Kate Spade

New York design house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands, Coach Inc has acquired its rival Kate Spade & Company for $2.4 billion, a figure “not justified strictly by the numbers” according to the New York Times.

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An Apple/Disney Merger on the Cards?

Apple has hit the headlines this week with the media speculating whether or not they are set for a mammoth acquisition due to its significant and ever-growing stash of cash.

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SiriusXM Gets Connected With Automatic in $100 Million Deal

This week it was announced SiriusXM would acquire San Francisco-based connected car company Automatic Labs Inc. in a deal worth $100 million, according to TechCrunch.

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Becton Dickinson acquires C.R. Bard in $24 billion deal

In the biggest deal of the company’s 120-year history, medical device giant Becton, Dickinson & Company has announced its acquisition of C.R. Bard for $24 billion.

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Best in Show: PetSmart to Acquire Chewy in Record Breaking Deal

This week, PetSmart announced its intention to acquire fast-growing pet food and product site Chewy.com in a deal alleged to fetch $3.35 billion, surpassing Walmart’s $3.3 billion purchase of Jet.com to become the biggest e-commerce deal ever.

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Most Important Deal of the Day: Post Holdings Acquires Weetabix

Following months of speculation, it was confirmed last week that US cereal giant Post Holdings is to acquire British cereal company Weetabix in a deal worth £1.4 billion.

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Food sector M&A ripe for the picking

In the biggest deal to date in the natural and organic foods category, and in its largest takeover since 2007, French food company Danone is set to double the size of its US business this month with the acquisition of US organic food producer WhiteWave Foods. This included significant run-rate EBIT synergies of $300 million by 2020, an improvement of Danone’s full year like-for-like sales growth by an extra 0.5 percent to 1 percent, an increase of EBIT margin from 2018 and solid EPS improvement from 2017 and above 10 percent based on run-rate synergies.

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Dow and DuPont get EU go-ahead

The $130bn mega-merger between US chemical giants Dow Chemical and DuPont has been given the go-ahead by the European Commission. Earlier this year, it was announced that the deal would be subject to an investigation from EU competition regulators due to antitrust concerns.

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Apple acquires award-winning Workflow app

It was announced this week that Apple has purchased DeskConnect, the start-up business behind popular iOS app, Workflow.

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Walmart pushes further into online retail market with new acquisition

It’s no secret that Walmart has grand plans to muscle in on some of Amazon’s online retail market share and it seems the US retail giant has edged closer with the acquisition of ModCloth.

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Pinterest Acquires Crowdsourced Q&A Startup

Pinterest, the photo sharing site, has announced this week its acquisition of Jelly, the Q&A app founded by Biz Stone, cofounder of Twitter, in 2013.

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Udacity makes first acquisition with purchase of CloudLab

Online education platform Udacity has completed its first ever acquisition with its purchase of CloudLab for an undisclosed figure. With its specialism in tech-related nanodegrees – vocational qualifications that can be achieved faster and cost less than traditional degrees – Udacity plans to use CloudLab’s platform to allow users to code interactively and collaboratively from within their browsers.

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A whopper of an acquisition: Burger King owner purchases Popeyes

The appetite for M&A in the fast food industry shows no sign of waning following news that Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. has been acquired by the owner of Burger King and Tim Hortons.

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Yahoo! and Verizon update: What’s going on?

When it comes to M&A security breaches can be costly in more ways than one. Yahoo!’s expectations of a smooth transition in the Verizon takeover have been scuppered with the news that the acquiring company was not prepared to offer the full asking price.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Sport M&A Scores High

Love it or hate it, sport is everywhere, not only featuring on the back pages of our newspapers, but also dominating the front pages too. The business of sport generates massive revenue – it is estimated the global sports industry is worth almost $600bn, so it is no wonder it has sparked interest from investors over recent years.

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M&A and the Presidential Election

There are few things the M&A market likes less than political uncertainty and, following the results of the EU referendum and Brexit shaking up global markets, there is more to come in the form of the upcoming presidential elections in the US.

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M&A Activity Hits an All Time High

The corporate industry world has borne witness to some of the mega deals being signed throughout the year. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced as $160 billion merger with Allergan. A deal that was, according to Bloomberg, “the largest ever deal in the history of healthcare industry and second biggest deal overall on record”.

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