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Advertising Mergers & Acquisitions: June 2018

Advertising Mergers & Acquisitions: June 2018

In our last monthly report from May, we saw another 75 deals close for a value of $28.5 billion. The largest deal came from Microchip Technology’s $10.15 billion acquisition of Microsemi Corporation while the highest profile deal was arguably the $5 billion sum Bacardi paid for Patron Spirits. Now, let’s take a look at the completed mergers and acquisitions from the month of June.

Completed Deals

These deals have gone through all necessary steps and have been completed.

ARMO Biosciences

  • Eli Lilly Closes $1.6 Billion Purchase of ARMO Biosciences

Pharma company, Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), has acquired ARMO Biosciences, Inc. for $1.6 billion. ARMO is known for its immuno-oncology treatments and its addition to the Lilly portfolio will bolster the company’s cancer treatment drugs pipeline. The acquisition puts them in better standing to compete with major players like Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY).

(More details on Reuters and PR Newswire)

Aspire Health

  • Aspire Health Acquired by Anthem, Inc.

American health insurance company, Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM), has acquired Aspire Health, a healthcare company specializing in palliative care. Aspire Health will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anthem, while its associates will join Anthem’s Diversified Business Group. The acquisition will help Anthem enhance its medical care business, making it increasingly innovative and unique in combination with their other clinical care operations, which include CareMore Health, AIM Specialty Health, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in 14 states.

(More details on BusinessWire)


  • AT&T Completes Acquisition of Time Warner

Wasting no time following a federal judge’s decision to allow the deal on June 12th, AT&T closed the $85 billion acquisition ahead of the proposed June 21st deadline. At that time, the Department of Justice declined to file an emergency stay in order to block the deal. However, on Thursday, July 12th, the Department of Justice announced that it would appeal the federal judge’s approval of the acquisition.

(More details from CBS MoneyWatch and Reuters)

Excelsior Wine

  • Fetzer Vineyards Expands with Acquisition of Excelsior Wines

Fetzer Vineyards has acquired the Excelsior Wine Company collection. The inclusion of Excelsior in its portfolio makes Fetzer Vineyards one of the major suppliers of South American wines in the US and the 12th-largest wine marketer in the United States. The portfolio includes wine brands, such as Don Melchor, Marques de Casa Concha, Casillero del Diablo, Frontera labels, and Trivento Reserve.

(More details on PR Newswire)

Finish Line

  • Finish Line, Inc. Merged with JD Sports Fashion Plc

Finish Line, Inc. and JD Sports Fashion (LON: JD) have completed their merger. Following the $558 million deal, Finish Line has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of JD Sports, a sports-fashion retail company. The deal will help expand JD Sports’ presence in the US and Puerto Rico.

(More details on Business Wire)


  • GitHub, Inc. Acquired by Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) has acquired GitHub, an online code-sharing platform, for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock. The move comes as part of Microsoft’s aspiration to be the go-to source for all developer needs. Following the acquisition, Microsoft has set up Nat Friedman as the new CEO at GitHub and Microsoft’s corporate vice president.

(More details on TechCrunch)


  • Glassdoor Acquired by Recruit Holdings

Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd., a Tokyo-based human resources service company, has acquired jobs and salary website, Glassdoor, for $1.2 billion. Recruit Holdings has acquired a number of notable job recruiting companies in recent years, including Indeed, SimplyHired, and Interviewed. Glassdoor will continue to operate as a distinct and separate entity, aligning it and Indeed as sister companies.

(More details on AIMGroup and HRDive)

Home Chef

  • Kroger Finalizes Purchase of Home Chef

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) has acquired Home Chef, a meal kit and food delivery company, for $200 million, with an additional $500 million in incentives if certain growth and sales milestones are met by Home Chef. Following the acquisition, Home Chef meal kits will be available to Kroger customers, both in stores and online. The acquisition reflects a shift in the grocery market toward omnichannel retailing, or having both a physical and digital retail presence, and mimics Alberston’s acquisition of Plated last year and Blue Apron (NYSE: APRN) making their meal kits available in Costco (NASDAQ: COST) stores.

(More details on Forbes and PR Newswire)

Live Nation

  • Live Nation Acquires Red Mountain Entertainment

Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) has acquired a majority stake in the concert and festival promoter, Red Mountain Entertainment. Red Mountain, which handles concerts, festivals, and a variety of events and projects, will retain its name and continue to operate on its own.

(More details on Seeking Alpha)


  • Monsanto Company Acquired by Bayer AG

German pharmaceutical and life sciences company, Bayer AG (OTCMKTS: BAYRY), has acquired the Monsanto Company (SWX: MOO), an agrochemical and agricultural corporation, for $63 billion. The acquisition, which will double the size of Bayer’s existing agriculture business, propels the already robust company to a leading position in the sector. The Bayer-Monsanto merger is conditioned on the divestiture of agricultural businesses and assets worth about $9 billion to chemical giant BASF (ETR: BAS). For now, Monsanto will operate as an independent subsidiary of Bayer, pending the completion of the divestitures. After that time, Bayer will fully integrate Monsanto’s products into their agricultural portfolio and retire the Monsanto brand name.

(More details on Advancing Together and Seeking Alpha)


  • Quiznos Acquired by High Bluff Capital Partners

High Bluff Capital Partners, a California-based private investment firm, has acquired QCE LLC, the parent company of the Quiznos fast-food restaurant chain. In recent years, Quiznos has struggled to turn a profit; the brand filed for bankruptcy in 2014, then recovered, but closed more than 100 franchise locations in 2017. High Bluff Capital is betting on brand recognition to help rebuild the sandwich chain.

(More details on Nation’s Restaurant News)

Sunlight Supply

  • Sunlight Supply, Inc. Acquired by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE:  SMG), multinational manufacturer of do-it-yourself lawn, garden, and home protection products, has acquired Sunlight Supply, Inc., a hydroponics supplier, for $450 million. Scotts Miracle-Gro plans to combine Sunlight Supply with their previously acquired hydroponics business, Hawthorne Gardening Company, to extend their distribution capabilities far beyond their current state.

(More details on MarketWatch)

Tate\'s Bake Shop

  • Tate’s Bake Shop Acquired by Mondelez International, Inc.

Mondelez International (NASDAQ:  MDLZ), the conglomerate behind iconic brands like Oreo, Ritz, and Chips Ahoy!, has acquired Tate’s Bake Shop for approximately $500 million. Tate’s, which is known for its natural-baked cookies, will complement Mondelez’s existing biscuits portfolio. Tate’s will continue to operate as an independent business under its current management, but with increased distribution.

(More details on Daily Herald)


  • JHI Jobson Healthcare Information Acquired by WebMD Health Corp

WebMD Health Corp., an Internet Brands company, has acquired JHI Jobson Healthcare Information, a healthcare publishing and communication services brand. WebMD was attracted to the company due to its position in the pharmaceutical and optical sectors. Jobson will operate as an independent subsidiary of WebMD and remain headquartered in New York City.

(More details on PR Newswire)