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, Sony Music Entertainment invested in premium DIY artist music, PayPal took steps to make retail returns easier and 7-Eleven significantly expanded its footprint (if unchallenged).
Sony Music invests in DIY artist market with AWAL acquisition
Sony Music Entertainment announced that it has completed its acquisition of AWAL, one of the leading independent distribution and recording companies. The deal, valued at $430 million is a big investment from Sony Music into the DIY artist market.
AWAL allows artists to upload their music directly to the server for possible publication.
The model is similar to other platforms like TuneCore, which allows artists, or anyone, to upload their music for streaming, but according to a Rolling Stone article, only about 10% of music submitted to AWAL is accepted for distribution by the company.
AWAL has released music by artists including Nick Cave, the Bad Seeds, and Finneas.
Sony’s acquisition is still under investigation by the U.K.”s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) even though the deal has been completed. The CMA has served an initial enforcement order which gives them the power to intervene in an in-progress or completed deal that could substantially lessen competition.
PayPal gained Happy Returns to manage retail returns
PayPal announced it has acquired Happy Returns, a service for online shoppers to send back returns to retailers without having to box and ship packages themselves.
Happy Returns currently runs a network of over 2,600 drop-off locations around the country and offers a combination of software, services, and logistics that allow retailers to manage returns through their own retail stores, by carrier, as well as through “Return Bar” locations.
PayPal made a strategic investment in Happy Returns back in April 2019, and the two have been working together closely since. Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
7-Eleven purchased convenience store chain Speedway
7-Eleven announced it has successfully completed it’s $21 billion acquisition of the convenience store chain Speedway from Marathon Petroleum Corp. The acquisition includes around 3,800 Speedway locations across 36 states.
7 Eleven had to negotiate terms with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to address competitive concerns. One such stipulation was to divest 293 stores to buyers vetted and approved by FTC investigators.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the FTC hasn’t yet come to an agreement with the parties and a majority of the commission that would fully resolve the competitive concerns in hundreds of local retail gasoline and diesel fuel markets across the country.
Even though the transaction has closed the commission still has the option to challenge the acquisition.
In Other News
Other hefty deals took place this week:
- Estee Lauder Companies Inc announced that it has made a $1 billion investment in Deciem, a Canadian-based, cruelty-free beauty company.
- AT&T announced that its WarnerMedia division is merging with Discovery Inc. to form a new publicly traded media company.
- Communications software company Twilio Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zipwhip, a business-texting platform for approximately $850 million in cash and stock.
- Clarivate plc, a London-based information and insights provider, announced that it is acquiring ProQuest, a software, data, and analytics provider, from Cambridge Information Group for $5.3 billion.
- Veolia Environnement SA announced that it has finalized a deal to buy Suez SA for $15.44 billion following a lengthy takeover battle.
- The Hershey Company announced that it is acquiring confectionery brand Lily’s Sweets, LLC.
- According to The Wall Street Journal, MGM Holdings Inc., the movie studio behind the “James Bond” movie franchise is exploring a sale.
- Privately-held electronics eCommerce company Newegg Inc. announced that it has completed the merger with Lianluo Smart Limited, a medical device business, to become a public company.