Today we look at Amazon, Whole Foods, Western Digital and GE.
It was pretty obvious what the highlight of the Day In M&A was today, with confirmation that one of the deals of the year, Amazon / Whole Foods, has been given permission to go ahead. The $13.7bn affair has been given the thumbs up from both the US Federal Trade Commission, and Whole Foods shareholders. Perhaps the real issue now, and what we are waiting on, is to see how Amazon monitises its bricks and mortar purchase? This is especially the case given the way that Whole Foods itself struggled to do so for much of its independent existence.
Also related to a US megalith, we hear that a group led by Western Digital is to offer 1.8tln Yen for Toshiba’s chip unit, according to sources mentioned on Reuters. This has of course been a story with many twists and turns. Not surprisingly, the consortium includes our buyout friends at KKR, as well as the Network Corporation of Japan and the Development Bank of Japan. Not suprisingly, none of the main parties alleged to be involved in the deal have decided to comment – something which is of course normally a good sign.
GE is also in focus today as we are told the US giant is in talks with Swiss engineer ABB over the sale of its industrial solutions business. The word in the market as reported on Reuters is that GE has lowered its price somewhat in order to try and get the deal over the line.
Over in Italy and it would appear that Telecom Italia could be split in three, if the news sources from there in political and financial circles are to be believed. If only this approach had been carried out with our very own BT Group, a company which is still hurting from a £500m scandal in that country.
For the UK we see that CRH has been involved in a relatively hefty deal, in terms of selling its US distribution arm to Beacon Roofing for $2.6bn. Shares of CRH gapped up 72p to 2,672p on the news.
We finish today with news tha Rupert Murdoch does not apparently getting blocked from doing deals everywhere he goes, even when it involves deals between two of his own companies. For instance, the Australian authorities have cleared the purchase of Ten Network by News Corp.