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M&A‌ ‌Report:‌ Frank, W.R. Grace & Co. and Playdemic In‌ ‌the‌ ‌News‌ ‌

M&A‌ ‌Report:‌ Frank, W.R. Grace & Co. and Playdemic In‌ ‌the‌ ‌News‌ ‌

In‌ ‌keeping‌ ‌with‌ ‌our‌ ‌mission‌ ‌to‌ ‌provide‌ ‌comprehensive‌ ‌advertising‌ ‌analysis,‌ ‌MediaRadar‌ ‌puts‌ together‌ ‌a‌ ‌report‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌important‌ ‌mergers‌ ‌and‌ ‌acquisitions‌ ‌news‌ ‌each‌ ‌week.‌ ‌Stay‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ loop,‌ ‌whether‌ ‌you‌ ‌sell‌ ‌advertising‌ ‌space‌ ‌or‌ ‌focus‌ ‌on‌ ‌business‌ ‌development.‌ ‌ ‌

This‌ ‌week, JPMorgan Chase & Co. gained college planning solution Frank. Standard Industries completed its W.R. Grace & Co. acquisition and Electronic Arts (EA) expands its mobile gaming foothold with Playdemic.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. acquired college planning tool Frank 

The multinational investment bank JPMorgan Chase has acquired a college planning platform, Frank Financial Aid. 

Frank is an online service that connects students with scholarships and state aid opportunities and offers assistance for students to negotiate financial aid. The platform was launched in 2017 and has served over 5 million students at roughly 6,000 institutions. 

Frank’s services are available for free to students, while charging schools an annual fee. For that reason, most users of Frank come from low- to moderate-income families and are first-generation college attendees. 

Frank will retain its branding and its founder, Charlie Javice, will continue to lead its operations as JPMorgan’s head of student solutions on the bank’s digital products team. 

Financial terms of the deal have not been released. 

Standard Industries gained W. R. Grace & Co. 

Standard Industries, a New York building materials company, announced on Wednesday that it has completed its $7 billion acquisition of W.R. Grace & Co., a Columbia-based specialty chemical company. 

W.R. Grace will operate as a privately held, standalone company within Standard Industrustries’ portfolio.

Grace’s president and CEO, Hudson La Force will remain with the company until the end of the year when he will transition to Standard Industries’ advisory board and will be replaced in January by Bhavesh V. Patel, who currently serves as CEO of LyondellBasell. 

The closing price of $70 per share was negotiated up after Grace rejected Standard’s first two offers of $60 per share last year, then $65 per share in January. According to Forbes, Grace’s 2020 revenue dropped from nearly $2 billion in 2019 to $1.7 billion last year. 

Electronic Arts expands by purchasing Playdemic

EA has completed its deal to acquire the UK-based mobile gaming company Playdemic from WB Games, a subsidiary of WarnerMedia, which is owned by AT&T for $1.4 billion in cash. 

AT&T announced in May that it is spinning off WarnerMedia as part of its pending $43 billion merger with Discovery. The acquisition is part of EA’s effort to expand into the mobile gaming market through acquisitions, and follows its $2.4 billion acquisition of Glu Mobile in April. 

Playdemic is best known for creating Golf Clash, which has racked up over 80 million downloads. Electronic Arts is the third-largest Western video game company with a market cap near $40 billion, mostly from its dominance in console and desktop game titles. 

In‌ ‌Other‌ ‌News‌ ‌

What else is going on this week?

  • Mood Media completed the acquisition of its long-time competitor PlayNetwork from Octave Group for an undisclosed sum.
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance has made a $970 million majority investment in Shields Health Solutions, a leader in integrated, health system-owned specialty pharmacy care.
  • French beverage conglomerate Pernod-Ricard has announced it is acquiring Specialty Drinks Ltd., the parent company of The Whisky Exchange (TWE), one of the largest online retailers of spirits in the United Kingdom, and the largest online retailer of whisky in the world.
  • South Korean multinational electronics company, LG Electronics, has signed a deal with Tel Aviv-based automotive cybersecurity specialist Cybellum to acquire a 64% stake. 
  • Boston-based restaurant software vendor Toast, Inc. has gone public in an IPO that raised $870 million and valued the company at about $20 billion.