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M&A Report: Sports Illustrated, DBRS and Fiat Chrysler In The News

M&A Report: Sports Illustrated, DBRS and Fiat Chrysler 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, Meredith Corporation sold its Sports Illustrated brand, financial data company Morningstar acquired the fourth largest credit ratings agency in the world, and Fiat Chrysler proposes a merger that would make it the third-largest carmaker in the world.

Sports Illustrated Cedes IP to Authentic Brands Group

The once powerful print market continues to force its brands into financial corners. Publisher Meredith Corporation has officially sold its Sports Illustrated brand to Authentic Brands Group for an estimated $110 million.

According to the terms of the deal, Meredith will still publish Sports Illustrated but will cede marketing, distribution and licensing to Authentic Brands. The move effectively transfers ownership of the intellectual property behind the iconic magazine.

Modern consumers are increasingly utilizing digital platforms to screen most of their editorial and news content, forcing many owners of long-standing print brands to re-shuffle their assets. Meredith has long kept Sports Illustrated and many of its other Time Inc. assets separate from its other ventures, holding out for a potential sale.

Morningstar Acquires DBRS, Fourth Largest Credit Ratings Agency

The financial data company Morningstar  is all in for the credit ratings business.

The Chicago-based company has officially agreed to acquire DBRS, the fourth largest agency in the world, for an estimated $669 million.

Morningstar has long sought to challenge the dominant three players in credit ratings: S&P, Fitch and Moody’s ratings numbering in the millions, exponentially dwarfing that of the competition.

DBRS has built strong connections around the world, with its holdings in Europe and Canada especially attractive to the expanding Morningstar. The company expects its share of credit ratings to jump from 0.1% to 2.4%. The deal is expected to close late in the third quarter of 2019.

Fiat Chrysler Proposes Merger with Renault

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has proposed a merger deal with French automobile manufacturer Renault valued at approximately $36.3 billion.

The combination would create the world’s third-largest car maker behind Volkswagen Group AG and Toyota Group.

The combined company would produce 8.7 million vehicles annually and save billions in sharing costs. Renault has signaled that it is interested and open to the proposal.

In Other News

These are some other notable deals or developments from the past week:

  • Cybersecurity company FireEye has acquired security instrumentation company Verodin for $250 million, focusing on future growth after a middling earnings report.
  • In yet another fintech merger, Global Payments and Total Systems Services have announced a “merger of equals” for a total of $21.5 billion.
  • Recorded Future, a cyber threat company that specializes in machine learning, will be acquired by private equity firm Insight Partners.