MasterCard has put forward proposals to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after the watchdog expressed concern over its acquisition of VocaLink. The CMA said the merger could make it difficult for the UK ATM network Link to negotiate a good infrastructure service because of reduced competition. The CMA had given MasterCard and VocaLink an ultimatum to remedy its competition concerns or face an in-depth investigation.
Italy's Luxottica and France's Essilor on Monday announced they have agreed on a 50-billion-euro merger deal to create an eyewear giant with over 140,000 employees and sales in some 150 countries. The deal, one of Europe's largest cross-border tie-ups, brings together Luxottica, the world's top spectacles maker with brands such as Oakley and Ray-Ban, with Essilor, the world's leading manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses. By merging, the companies would have jointly reported net earnings of over 15 billion euros, based on 2015 annual results posted by the two companies, and a net combined operating profit EBITDA of about 3.5 billion euros.
Yahoo, one of the Internet's most venerable companies, won't exist for much longer. According to SEC paperwork filed on Monday, it will be rolled into a publicly-traded investment company called Altaba. Basically, Verizon is paying $4.8 billion solely for Yahoo's core internet business, leaving behind Yahoo's 15% of Chinese retail giant Alibaba and a part of Yahoo Japan, which is a joint venture with Softbank. Those assets will continue to exist in a separate company that will now operate under the catchy Altaba name.
Fast food chain McDonald’s is selling a majority stake in its China business, valuing the enterprise at up to $2.1 billion. Chinese state-backed conglomerate Citic Ltd., Citic Capital Holdings and U.S. private-equity firm Carlyle Group LP will acquire an 80 percent holding in a deal valuing the business at as much as $2.08 billion, according to a statement Monday. Citic will own 52% of McDonald’s China operations, while Carlyle will own 28%. The new partnership plans to add more than 1,500 locations in China over the next five years. McDonald’s currently has 2,400 locations in China and 240 locations in Hong Kong. Franchising allows it to take a slice of sales while cutting operating costs.
Barry Callebaut has strengthened its partnership with the American company Mondelez through the purchase of equipment for the production of chocolate in Belgium. The news was announced in a statement Saturday in which are still not disclosed details on the amount of the financial transaction. The world number one in the cocoa sector will resume the works of Hal, near Brussels. The agreement should allow the Zurich group better fit into the quality of the chocolate market in Belgium.
Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant that owns Alcon, is buying Encore Vision, a privately-held company in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, focused on the development of a novel treatment in presbyopia. Novartis said Tuesday that the acquisition would add a “first-in-class” treatment to its ophthalmology pipeline, “providing a potentially disruptive innovation to patients in a new therapeutic area of high unmet need and high prevalence.” Terms were not disclosed.
Novartis announced an agreement for the acquisition of Ziarco Group Limited, a privately held company focused on the development of novel treatments in dermatology. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition adds UK-based Ziarco's once-daily oral H4 receptor antagonist, ZPL389, that is being developed for the chronic, itchy inflammatory skin condition to Novartis's existing portfolio of approved and investigational dermatological drugs.
Twenty-First Century Fox has formally reached an agreement with Sky for a total takeover to the tune of $14.8 billion. Under the terms of the acquisition, Sky shareholders will be entitled to receive £10.75 in cash per share, which represents a pretty healthy premium of 40 percent above December 6, 2016’s closing price. Twenty-First Century Fox already owns just over 39% of Sky. The price reflects a valuation of £10.75 per share, according to Reuters, who, along with the BBC, claimed that some investors were unhappy with the valuation but did not go into specifics. Reuters reported that the offer represented a 40% premium on the share price from the day before Fox’s initial proposal was received.
The japanese beer group Asahi said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire beer brands SABMiller Plc’s eastern European assets including Pilsner Urquell from Anheuser-Busch InBev NV for 7.3 billion euros ($7.8 billion), The deal gives bigger international heft to Asahi, which is one of the top beer makers in its home market of Japan, but only a small player globally. Asahi said it planned to acquire brands in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. AB InBev said it had made commitments to the European Commission to sell the CEE Business under the business combination with SABMiller.
Swiss private bank EFG International plans to cut up to 450 jobs over the next three years as part of its takeover of BSI Bank. The acquisition of Ticino-based bank from Brazil's Grupo BTG Pactual SA has made EFG one of Switzerland's biggest private banks, behind the likes of UBS, Credit Suisse, Julius Baer and Pictet. EFG announced its intention to acquire BSI in February and is currently integrating its assets, personnel and systems.
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