2017’s Troubled Merger Deals

Corporate mergers are often worthy of top business news, but recent headlines have also included several large scale mergers that have fallen through. Some fell prey to government regulation, while other merger flops have seen one side back out. In industries ranging from agriculture to media to online betting, here are five major corporate mergers that have fallen apart this year.


Last month the FTC authorized a legal action that would bar online betting giants DraftKings and FanDuel from merging into one firm. The FTC joined with the Offices of the Attorneys General in the State of California and the District of Columbia to rule that the pair together would represent 90 percent of the fantasy sports market place and could a make a┬ámonopoly if they joined together. Despite being one another’s biggest competitors reps from FanDuel and DraftKings have issued statement reaffirming that the partnership would provide a higher quality product for the customers.

EnergySolutions Acquisition of Waste Control Specialists

The US District Court for the State of Delaware has intervened in EnergySolutions’ $367 million acquisition of rival Waste Control Specialists. The state stepped in to support the Justice Department’s civil antitrust lawsuit, which would block the radioactive waste disposal provider from absorbing its next biggest competitor. The ruling was handed down after a 10-day trial in May, ruling that they would become the single most accessible option for low-level radioactive waste in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Fred’s Purchase of Rite Aid and Walgreens

Stock prices plummeted for retail pharmacy giant Fred’s this month after a proposed purchase of 865 stores from Rite Aid and the Walgreens Boots Alliance fell apart. The deal crumbled after Walgreens and Rite Aid mutually agreed that they no longer agreed to transfer all remaining shares of Rite Aid to Walgreens with the conclusion of the deal. The pair have, in fact, struck out on a separate deal in which Rite Aid will transfer all 2,186 of their stores and related distribution assets and inventory to Walgreens for $5.175 billion in cash. Walgreens and Rite Aid reportedly agreed to pull back on the Fred’s merger after learning they were unlikely to secure FTC approval for the deal.

Sky Network and Vodafone New Zealand

Sky and Vodafone have pulled the plug on a sale and acquisition plan that would have transferred Vodafone’s New Zealand holdings over to Sky. The ended the planned deal after a prolonged battle with New Zealand’s Commerce Commission and have subsequently pulled their appeals from that office. The deal, worth a total of $3.44 billion would have created the largest telephone and telecom firm in New Zealand. In a statement Sky noted the the two firms will “will continue to work together to strengthen our commercial relationship for the benefit of the customers and the shareholders of our respective organizations.”

John Deere’s Acquisition of Precision Planting from Monsanto

Tractor maker John Deere was informed last month that Monsanto was pulling out of their 2015 agreement to sell off Precision Planting LLC. The sale’s termination also kills off several other planned partnerships between Deere and Monsanto including a digital partnership between Deere and The Climate Corporation, a division of Monsanto. The merger had run into some resistance from the Justice Department in 2016, but at the time both firms said they were prepared to bring their case before the government. A rep for Deere noted that they were “deeply disappointed in this outcome as we remain confident the acquisition would have benefited customers.”
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