Merger Mon­day re­turns as Siemens, Speed­way lead Us$40bil haul

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Foreign News -

NEW YORK: Merger Mon­day came roar­ing back this week, with a spate of ac­qui­si­tions from health care to con­sumer hit­ting the tape. The flow of deals started over the week­end, when Siemens Health­i­neers AG clinched a Us$16bil takeover of Var­ian Med­i­cal Sys­tems Inc, gain­ing tech­nol­ogy used for cancer treat­ment in the year’s big­gest health-care deal.

At least Us$39.6bil of trans­ac­tions were an­nounced be­tween Sun­day and Mon­day, mark­ing the fastest start to a week since be­fore the pan­demic, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Bloomberg.

The Ja­panese owner of 7-Eleven then agreed to buy Marathon Petroleum Corp’s Speed­way gas-sta­tion busi­ness for Us$21bil to ex­pand in the United States. There was also a smat­ter­ing of tech­nol­ogy deals, with Google agree­ing to in­vest Us$450mil in home-se­cu­rity provider ADT Inc.

It’s been nearly five months since things have been this busy, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Bloomberg. The last time was in early March, when Us$48.7bil of deals were an­nounced at the start of the week, in­clud­ing Aon Plc’s all-stock ac­qui­si­tion of Wil­lis Tow­ers Watson Plc.

“We have seen height­ened di­a­logue from lead­ing com­pa­nies, par­tic­u­larly in sec­tors that were least af­fected by the cri­sis, to strengthen their strate­gic po­si­tion through ac­qui­si­tions,” said Guillermo Baygual, co-head of merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions for Europe, the Mid­dle East and Africa at Jp­mor­gan Chase & Co, which was one of the banks that ad­vised Health­i­neers on the Var­ian deal. “We ex­pect more ac­tiv­ity con­tin­u­ing on this same trend.”

Mi­crosoft Corp also con­firmed Sun­day it was ne­go­ti­at­ing the po­ten­tial ac­qui­si­tion of the op­er­a­tions of the Chi­nese-owned Tiktok video shar­ing app in sev­eral coun­tries in­clud­ing the US. While de­tails haven’t been pub­licly an­nounced, the deal could have a price tag in the tens of bil­lions of dol­lars and be­come the US tech com­pany’s largest-ever ac­qui­si­tion, ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts.

Blank-check com­pa­nies in the US have also con­tin­ued to un­veil ac­qui­si­tions at a brisk pace. Elec­tric-truck startup Lord­stown Mo­tors Corp will gain a Nas­daq list­ing through a deal with a spe­cial-pur­pose ac­qui­si­tion com­pany an­nounced on Mon­day. Separately, as­set man­ager GCM Grosvenor said it will go pub­lic through a merger with a ve­hi­cle spon­sored by Can­tor Fitzger­ald LP valu­ing the busi­ness at about Us$2bil.

More multi­bil­lion-dol­lar deals are in the works. Nvidia Corp is in ad­vanced talks to ac­quire Arm Ltd, the chip de­signer that Soft­bank Group Corp bought for Us$32bil four years ago, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said in late July.

Over in Ja­pan, Taisho Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Hold­ings Co is lead­ing the race to buy Takeda Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Co’s Us$3bil con­sumer health unit, Bloomberg News re­ported. A pri­vate eq­uity con­sor­tium is also weigh­ing a bid for Kansas City South­ern that could value the rail­road op­er­a­tor at about Us$21bil in­clud­ing debt, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said. — Bloomberg

“We have seen height­ened di­a­logue from lead­ing com­pa­nies, par­tic­u­larly in sec­tors that were least af­fected by the cri­sis”. Guillermo Baygual

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