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Dealmakers clinch $68 billion of M&A in year's busiest weekend

By Bloomberg News, Bloomberg News on

Published in Home and Consumer News

A blockbuster Sunday of takeovers has bled into Monday for the fastest start to a week for global dealmaking so far this year.

Companies led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. and U.S. pharmaceuticals group Gilead Sciences Inc. announced $68 billion of deals, the highest tally for the start of a week since late November 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That brings the volume of deals announced in September up to $145 billion, a 50% increase from the same period a year earlier.

A clutch of other potential deals also came to light, including plans by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky to boost his stake in German wholesaler Metro AG. If deals keep flowing at the current pace - and there's no certainty that they will - September could be one of 2020's best months for M&A.

That would be a rare bright spot for advisers at a time when the coronavirus crisis continues to keep transaction volumes 33% below 2019 levels. While pharmaceutical and technology companies continue doing deals, activity in other industries remains muted.

Nvidia to buy Arm for as much as $40 billion

Nvidia Corp. agreed a cash-and-stock deal to buy SoftBank's chip division Arm Ltd. and take control of some of the world's most widely used electronics technology.

 

- Arm's tech is at the heart of the more than 1 billion smartphones sold annually. Chips using its code and its layouts are in everything from factory equipment to home electronics and Nvidia's purchase is fueled by the drive to bring artificial intelligence to everything that has an on-switch.

- Regulatory clearance may prove challenging, with signoffs required from China, U.K., European Union and U.S. authorities. Chinese approval may be particularly difficult given rising tensions with the U.S.

- Separately, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son is revisiting a management buyout of the group in a bid to address the persistent gap between its market valuation and the value of its investments, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Gilead agrees $21 billion deal for Immunomedics

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