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M&A insights: Murdoch calls of News Corp and Fox merger after shareholder discontent

Updated: Mar 7

1) Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard:

On January 18th, the American multinational technology company bought the world’s largest video game maker for $68.7bn. This has allowed Microsoft to add franchises such as Call of Duty, Overwatch and Candy crush to its portfolio. It now jumps to third in the world rankings of largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

2) Bestway takes a £193mn stake in Sainsburys:

The retail conglomerate, Bestway, has bought the stake with the intention of buying even more stake in Britain’s second largest supermarket chain, ‘from time to time’. This adds to the large number of high-profile investors such as Qatar Investment Authority and Daniel Kretinsky, who own one quarter of Sainsburys total shares between them.

3) Truphone sold for £1:

German Businessman Hakan Koç, alongside Pyrros Koussios, has bought Truphone after months of uncertainty over the sanctions placed against former owner, and oligarch, Roman Abramovich. This was after they were able to get national security clearance. They hope to revive Truphone, after 15 consecutive years of losses – Koç has stated that “a certain amount of cash is needed to be invested to make it sustainable.”

4) Dell acquires Cloudify in up to $100m deal:

In an attempt to bolster its cloud services business, Dell has bought Israeli start up, Cloudify. The multi-cloud orchestration platform can automate DevOps processes and run applications across many datacentres. Having struggled with lack of innovation and R&D in recent years, this acquisition is likely to be a move in the right direction for the technology company.

5) Thoma Bravo add to their cybersecurity portfolio with Magnet Forensics deal:

Thoma Bravo bolsters its cybersecurity portfolio to tap into the rising demand for the service with the $1.34 billion acquisition of Canadian firm Magnet Forensics. The deal was done at C$ 44.25 per subordinate voting share representing a 15% premium to its last closing price.

6) Triton and Bain battle it out for Finnish construction systems provider Caverion:

In November a Bain Capital led consortium made a 7 euro per share bid for Caverion valuing the firm at 955 million euros. This was trumped by a 8 euro bid by Triton who, in a statement on Tuesday, said they seek the support of Caverion’s board to complete the deal by the third or fourth quarter

7) Rupert Murdoch called off a Fox and News Corp merger after shareholder pushback:

Rupert Murdoch and son Lachlan, who is set to be the successor of the massive media empire, called off a merger that would bring back together the two parts of the Murdoch family’s massive media empire. This was due to a strong resistance from shareholders who feared that the full value of the assets would not be realised if the merger goes ahead. To realise the synergies that Murdoch believes could be realized by combining the two parts, News Corp is exploring the sale of its investment in property website Move. This sale is believed to change the calculus for the merger and may get convince the committee evaluating the merger.

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