American billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway group has officially become the top shareholder in Bank of America after exercising its right to buy 700 million shares at a discount. Buffett had received the warrants in 2011 after investing $5 billion in the bank, which was suffering at the time from the fallout from the global financial crisis.
Gilead Sciences Inc agreed to buy Kite Pharma Inc in a $11.9 billion deal on Monday, as it looks to fuel growth with an emerging class of cancer immunotherapies that are expected to generate billions. Gilead will pay $180 per share in an all-cash deal, representing a 29.4 percent premium over Kite’s Friday close. Kite’s shares were trading up at $178.15 before the bell.
Italy's largest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo said on Wednesday it had reached an agreement to buy Switzerland's Banque Morval. "The agreement is in line with Intesa Sanpaolo's strategic plan to strengthen its presence on international markets in the field of private banking," the two said in a joint statement, without disclosing the value of the acquisition.
Heineken’s £403million takeover of Punch Taverns received the grreen light by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after the competition watchdog accepted plans to sell off some the almost 1,900 newly-acquired pubs to allay fears it could reduce competition. Heineken announced last December that it was teaming up with Patron Capital, the private equity firm, to buy Punch for £409m (€305m), or £1.78bn once Punch’s debt is taken into account.
Swiss dairy group Emmi is selling its 24% stake in Italian cheese specialist Venchiaredo to focus on markets and sectors with "growth potential". Emmi, which acquired the holding in 2010, is looking to focus its Italian business on desserts, cheese exports from Switzerland and its 25% stake in cheese trader Ambrosi, according to a statement.
Grab, the ride-hailing company competing with Uber in Southeast Asia, has pulled in $2 billion of new financing from existing investors Didi Chuxing, the company that defeated Uber in China, and SoftBank. The latest round of funding comes from Japan's Softbank and China's top ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing. Grab said Monday that it expects another $500 million will come from other existing and new investors. Its last announced cash injection was in September when it raised $750 million led by Softbank, whose chief executive Masayoshi Son is Japan's richest person and a self-styled tech visionary.
Cartier owner Richemont has sold its Chinese luxury brand Shanghai Tang to Cassia Investments, the Consumer-focused Private Equity fund, in partnership with Italian fashion entrepreneur, Alessandro Bastagli, the company said on Monday. No value for the deal was given but Richemont, which also owns jewellers Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Piaget, but "The transaction will have no material impact on Richemont's balance sheet, cash flow or results for the year ending 31 March 2018," Richemont said in a statement. The Swiss luxury group first acquired a stake in the retailer in 1998 before taking full ownership a decade later.
Glencore has sharply raised the stakes in the bidding war for Rio Tinto’s Hunter Valley coal mines by delivering a fresh $2.675 billion offer for the assets. In an announcement in London, Glencore said it would increase its offer by $125 million in an attempt to trump Yancoal’s $2.45 billion bid, which had been selected by Rio Tinto. However, in a major sweetener Glencore said it would expedite payment to Rio Tinto with a cash settlement once the deal is completed.
Billionaire activist investor Daniel Loeb's Third Point LLC hedge fund has taken $3.5 billion stake in Nestlé. The stake amounts to about 1.25% of swiss company's shares. The hedge fund is proposing Nestlé set a formal profit margin target of 18-20 per cent by 2020, boost its debt to buy back shares, put up for sale non-core products in its portfolio, and sell its 23 per cent stake in cosmetic maker L’Oréal, a stake with a market value of about $27 billion. Nestle’s current operating margin is about 15 per cent. Nestlé did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Warren Buffett’s company is lending $1.5 billion to Home Capital and spending roughly $300 million to purchase nearly 40 percent of the troubled Canadian lender’s stock. Berkshire said Thursday that the credit line will carry a relatively hefty 9 percent interest rate once Berkshire completes its initial stock investment later this month. The rate is similar to what Berkshire charged on loans it made during the financial crisis to companies including Goldman Sachs and General Electric.
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