The merger market is picking up in 2017 after a ho-hum 2016. Here are six of the blockbuster mergers from major corporations that are in motion this year.
Amazon Buying Whole Foods:
Online retail giant Amazon has made their play for dominance in the retail grocery market, purchasing upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion. The sale price represents about $42 per share and comes in the form of an all-cash transaction that will include Whole Foods’ net debts. And despite the new ownership Whole Foods will continue on relatively unchanged on the street level as they will retain their name, CEO and headquarters in Austin, Texas.
Walgreens Boots to Acquire Rite Aid:
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc announced in June a play to purchase Rite Aid Corp. The sale will include 2,186 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid. The total sale price will be $5.175 billion. As part of the deal, Rite Aid will gain access to generic drugs that available exclusively to Walgreen for the next ten years. Both Walgreens and Rite Aid were initially under a sale agreement to Fred’s Inc. but terminated the sale after coming to their own agreement.
Bankrate Acquired by Red Ventures:
Bankrate, who works in the publishing, aggregating and distribution of personal finance content will be acquired by digital consumer choice platform Red Ventures for $1.4 billion. The terms will include a $14.00 per share payout to Bankrate shareholders in the all-cash sale. This represent a premium of roughly 31 percent compared with Bankrate’s three-month average. The deal has been approved by Bankrate’s board of directors but is still awaiting approval by shareholders and regulators.
Sycamore Partners to Buy Staples:
Private equity firm Sycamore Partners has agreed to purchase office supply retailer Staples for $6.9 billion in an all-cash deal. Staples shares will sell for $10.25 in the deal, marking a 20 percent premium over their 10-day average stock price. The new Staples deal comes shortly on the heels of another merger between Staples and Office Depot that was blocked by federal regulators for anti-trust concerns. Sycamore reps say they’re thrilled to acquire “an iconic brand, a winning strategy, and dedicated and passionate associates who are deeply focused on the customer.”
Berkshire Hathaway Energy To Acquire Electric-Grid Firm Oncor:
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. announced earlier this month that it will purchase Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC for $11.25 billion. The deal brings Oncor’s parent company Energy Future Holdings Corp under the BHE umbrella as well and will mark the third attempt to sell the Texas-based firm. Two previous attempts have been blocked by regulators in the state. Oncor is one of the largest power transmission networks in the country, serving roughly 10 million customers in the Texas. Despite the deal Oncor will retain their local management in Texas and will still be headquartered in Dallas.
Cirque Du Soleil Buys Blue Man Group:
Canadian entertainment company Cirque Du Soleil, known for the extravagant circus-inspired stage productions, has purchased the company behind the beloved musical stage act Blue Man Group. Financial terms of their deal have not been disclosed, but it has been rumored that the mergers comes as Cirque Du Soleil is eyeing a push into the Chinese market. Reps from the Montreal-based Cirque shared news of the acquisition noting: “We want to broaden our horizons, develop new forms of entertainment, reach out to new audiences and expand our own creative capabilities. Today, we are taking a decisive step towards materializing these ambitions.”