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Showing posts with the label Acquisition

Deal: Hollywood Agency CAA To Buy Rival ICM

In a historic deal in the talent agency industry, two of the biggest entertainment and sports talent agencies operating in the US are about to merge to become one. It's so that Creative Artists Agency (CAA) , a powerhouse talent agency with a roster of stars, has reached a deal to buy ICM Partners , a rival powerhouse agency. CAA buying ICM is a blockbuster deal that'll see two of Hollywood's most powerful talent agencies merge into one more robust powerhouse. The combined agency would be a more formidable one for arch-rivals such as William Morris Endeavor (WME) and United Talent Agency (UTA) . Normally, CAA, ICM, WME, and UTA are considered the "big four" talent agencies in Hollywood and sports, representing the most significant share of A-list talent across both industries. Now, it appears that the "big four" would soon become the "big three."  CAA is the bigger of the two agencies, commanding a bigger roster of talent and business than IC

Deal: PE Firm EQT Bids $3.9B For German Pet Food E-Tailer Zooplus

EQT , a Swedish private equity firm, has bid to buy Zooplus , a German online retailer of pet food and supplies listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It's offered 470 euros of cash per Zooplus share, valuing the pet food e-tailer at  3.36 billion euros ($3.94bn) . The offer represents a 69% premium to Zooplus's closing price on the 12th of August, the last day before another private equity firm announced a bid for the company. US-based  Hellman & Friedman  first offered 3 billion euros ($3.5bn) then later raised its offer to 3.29 billion euros ($3.85bn). Now it's been outbid by EQT's higher bid. Zooplus also entered buyout talks with US-based KKR & Co. after Hellman & Friedman had penned its offer. But, the PE rival to Hellman later terminated the talks after Hellman raised its bid from 3 billion euros to 3.29 billion euros. With the competing bids, the final decision rests on a vote by Zooplus's shareholders, requiring majority acceptance for any b

Deal: Blackstone Buys Condor Hospitality's Hotel Assets For $305M

Blackstone , the private equity giant, is yet again adding to its massive commercial real estate portfolio with a big purchase. It's agreed to buy the hotel assets of the  Condor Hospitality Trust , a publicly traded real estate investment trust that's liquidating all its assets and winding down its business. Blackstone will pay $305mn in cash to buy Condor's entire hotel portfolio. The PE firm won't be assuming any debt from the purchase. Condor's portfolio includes 15 hotels in 8 American states, some franchised under prestigious brands like Hilton and Marriott . Hotels are the trust's only business from which it gets all its revenue, and now that it's selling them, the trust has instituted a plan to distribute the sale proceeds to shareholders and close down its operations. Notably, Condor is shutting down after a tumultuous year for hotel operators caused by the pandemic's restrictions on travel and recreation. It, in fact, saw annual sales slip f

Deal: DraftKings Bids $22B For UK Betting Giant Entain

A certain American company has been on a tear ever since going public last year. It's DraftKings , a sports betting company that's riding the high waves of increased legalization of mobile sports betting in the US and tearing its way into more business as time goes. In the US where DraftKings is based, there's been a wave of legalization of sports betting spurred by the Supreme Court striking down a federal ban on it in 2018. It's such that sports betting is now legalized in more than two dozen US states and more states are considering it. The wave has vaulted DraftKings to high growth thanks to the company being an early mover and working hard to build this growth, DraftKings has spent big money on acquisitions to expand. For example, just last month, the company bought online casino Golden Nugget in a $1.6bn all-stock deal that marked its biggest acquisition to date. Right now and shortly after making its biggest acquisition, it appears that DraftKings is even push

Deal: US Bancorp Buys MUFG Union Bank For $8B

There's a big new consolidation-by-acquisition in the American financial services industry. It's that US Bancorp , a retail banking giant, is buying the MUFG Union Bank , the American retail banking division of the Japanese financial services giant Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group . US Bancorp will pay $8bn to buy MUFG Union Bank, split into $5.5bn in cash and 44 million shares worth $2.5bn at current prices. Upon closing the deal, the Japanese parent company of the acquired bank will hold a 2.9% stake in US Bancorp with the shares it's getting. Notably, the acquisition excludes MUFG Union Bank’s corporate and investment banking operations and certain other assets, with the focus mostly on its retail banking operations. US Bancorp is the parent company of the flagship U.S. Bank , the fifth-largest banking institution in America. The acquisition will benefit the flagship bank with the addition of 1 million+ retail customers, 190,000 small business customers, and $90bn in d

Markets: Zoom's $15B Five9 Deal Hits A Hurdle

This July, Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM), the famous video-conferencing software company whose fortunes escalated during the pandemic, inked its first big acquisition with Five9 (NASDAQ: FIVN), a company that makes software to manage contact and customer support operations online.  The agreement was for Zoom to buy Five9 for $14.7bn paid fully with the acquirer's stock, but now that deal appears to be hitting a hurdle; Since the acquisition agreement, Zoom's stock has fallen by 20% and shrunk the value of its offer. In fact, Five9's shares now appear to be trading at a value above the value of Zoom's offer with the 20% drop taken into account, casting the deal in doubt. Unsurprisingly, an influential advisory firm known as  Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) is  cautioning against the deal and advising Five9 shareholders to reject it. The firm presses that Five9 shareholders would be exchanging their stock for “a more volatile stock whose growth prospects have become le

Tobacco Giant Philip Morris Cleared To Buy Asthma Drugmaker Vectura

Irony abounds everywhere including in the business world. This time, it's such an irony that a major maker of tobacco products is forging ahead with its plan to buy a leading maker of drugs tackling asthma, a major respiratory disease for which tobacco smoke is identified as a major cause. The tobacco giant here is Philip Morris (NYSE: PM), the 2nd-biggest seller of cigarettes on Earth while the drugmaker is Vectura (LON: VEC), a British company whose specialty is making asthma inhalers. After winning a bidding war with the biggest offer of £1bn ( $1.4bn) , Philip Morris has gotten the majority vote from Vectura's shareholders (75% of them) to proceed with its acquisition, it announced . Before winning the vote from Vectura's shareholders, Philip Morris had a bidding war with the  Carlyle Group , an American private equity firm. Carlyle was the first to offer to buy Vectura before getting outbid by Philip Morris, then brought a higher offer than Philip Morris before getti

Deal: Goldman Sachs Buys Digital Lender GreenSky For $2.2B

It's another big deal in the digital lending space in the span of a few weeks. GreenSky (NASDAQ: GSKY), a specialty digital lender for home improvement services, is getting acquired by banking giant Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) for $2.2bn . Goldman has confirmed that it's acquiring GreenSky in an all-stock transaction worth $2.2bn. Obviously, it's a strategic acquisition for the banking giant to strengthen its position in the consumer lending market. Per deal terms, GreenSky shareholders will receive an equivalent of $12.11 in Goldman shares for each Class A common stock of GreenSky they hold. The deal values GreenSky at $2.2bn, inclusive of a $446mn adjustment tied to taxes. While big at face value, purchasing GreenSky for $2.2bn isn't a blockbuster deal but rather a lifesaver for a company that went public in 2018 at a value nearly double that figure. GreenSky was valued at $4bn with its IPO when it began trading at $23  but lately had been trading around $6 . Goldman

Alert: Intuit Buys Mailchimp For $12B

In what marks one of the biggest tech acquisitions of this year and one of the biggest acquisitions of a bootstrapped startup on record, Mailchimp , the popular e-mail marketing and automation platform, has been bought by financial software company Intuit for $12bn (!). Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) has confirmed that it's buying Mailchimp to make it its fifth major product suite. The other four are TurboTax for tax filing, QuickBooks accounting software, budgeting app Mint , and credit scoring service Credit Karma  that Intuit bought last year for $7bn . Mailchimp is a super-success story in many ways thanks to this acquisition. It's rare that a tech company completely bootstrapped from its start is selling for $12bn, it's actually unheard of. It marks off a sweet exit for a company founded two decades ago and is still controlled by its two founders; Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius . The $12bn deal is split into cash and stock; first, $500mn of restricted stock units for Mailchim

Deal: PayPal Buys Japanese BNPL Startup Paidy For $2.7B

Back again with another big acquisition, it appears that the payments processing giant PayPal is keen on growing its business by acquiring smaller players. This time, the company's acquisition seems out-of-the-norm, not in the traditional payments processing space but in the emerging field of "buy now, pay later (BNPL)" and then in Japan . PayPal has agreed to buy Paidy , a Japanese BNPL startup, for the sum of $2.7bn in cash. It marks one of the biggest acquisitions of a Japanese tech startup in recent history, elevating the country's status in the tech startup scene. Paidy is a popular 'buy now, pay later' service in Japan, facilitating loans for consumers to shop online and then pay back in installments, usually with little or no interest and no late fees. Without interest or late fees, BNPL startups like Paidy make money by charging online retailers for using its service, concocting the function of traditional credit cards but with a different business

Deal: SoftBank Swaps T-Mobile Shares For Deutsche Telekom

SoftBank Group , the ever deal-making Japanese tech conglomerate, is back again with another multi-billion-dollar deal. This time, it's the company swapping shares in an American telecoms giant with that of a German counterpart. SoftBank is swapping some shares in T-Mobile US (NASDAQ: TMUS) for that of  Deutsche Telekom (DT)  (ETR: DTE) in Germany. The swap will give SoftBank a 4.5% stake in Deutsche Telekom that's worth about $5bn at the agreed-upon price. Afterward, it'll retain a 3.3% stake in T-Mobile US. As per  official deal terms , Deutsche Telekom (DT) will get 45 million existing T-Mobile US shares from SoftBank in exchange for issuing 225 million new shares of itself to the Japanese conglomerate for €20 each, a 12% premium to their current price on the public markets. Additionally, Deutsche Telekom has laid out plans to invest some $2.4bn  of expected proceeds from the just-announced  sale of its T-Mobile Netherlands franchise to buy 20 million more T-Mobil

Deal: Advent, GIC To Buy Swedish Drugmaker Sobi For $8B

In a type of deal that signals the globality of modern finance, two major investment firms, one American and the other from Singapore , are teaming up to pursue a big buyout on the Swedish stock markets. It's Advent International , a US-based private equity firm, teaming up with Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC to buy Sobi , a Swedish drugmaker. Advent and GIC have offered to pay the equivalent of $8.1bn to acquire all shares of Sobi, which is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange (STO: SOBI). That price marks the largest buyout of a Swedish company in more than five years. It's  35% above Sobi's closing price the last day before acquisition rumors of the company began swirling. Already, Sobi has signaled that the buyout offer will likely proceed, recommending to shareholders that they accept the offer. The two biggest shareholders of the drugmaker with a combined stake of about 46% have given their approval, leaving just a few percent left for majority approval

Deal: Uber Partly Sells Russian Joint Ventures For $1B

Ride-hailing giant Uber is yet again on the deal-making terrain, this time regarding its business in Russia. Such dealmaking of Uber selling and exchanging business assets has become a fixture for the company under the leadership of CEO Dara Khosrowshahi , who has led the company to offload most of its non-core businesses. This time around, Uber has agreed to sell part of its joint ventures in Russia to Yandex , the local tech giant that it partnered with in those ventures. Yandex will pay Uber $1bn in cash for Uber's indirect stakes in their joint ventures covering self-driving cars and food and grocery deliveries . The payment is part of a restructuring that'll lessen Uber's joint ventures with Yandex and make the latter gain more control. Notably, Uber is retaining some other joint ventures with Yandex but the Russian tech giant has acquired the option to buy it out later for between $1.8-$2bn . If Yandex proceeds with its option to fully buy out Uber's local ven

Deal: PayU Owner Prosus Buys India's BillDesk For $4.7B

In the Indian tech world, there's something big to celebrate today. It's that an Indian fintech company is getting acquired for a sum marking one of the biggest exits of recent times in the country's tech industry. It's BillDesk , a payments processing company, getting acquired by Prosus , the parent firm of payments company PayU . Prosus has agreed to buy BillDesk for the sum of $4.7bn . It'll then merge it with its PayU business division, making its payments business stronger than ever.  This is the 2nd big acquisition by Prosus in recent months after it agreed to buy Stack Overflow, the famous Q&A site for software developers, for $1.8bn in June. It's apparent that Prosus is keen on spreading its wings. Prosus is a holding company for various tech businesses and with no core operations of its own, akin to a private equity firm. It's, in fact, a holding firm for the foreign portfolio of  Naspers , a South African tech giant best known for its lucra

Deal: Fintech Firm Buys EV Startup, Yes

In the American stock markets, many strange things happen. It may be meme stocks with excessive valuations (AMC, GameStop), strange penny stocks (that single restaurant worth $100mn ), or an electric car startup that became more valuable than Ford before it came crashing down ( Nikola ). Today, the strange thing in the stock markets is an acquisition. It's that a company originally focused on financial-tech services is using its stock to buy an electric vehicle startup. The buyer here is Ideanomics , a public company that's changed its name several times in recent years apparently pursuing whatever business was in vogue. Ideanomics is buying  VIA Motors , a Utah-based startup that's working on electric commercial vehicles. The deal is worth $630mn, split into $450mn of Ideanomics stock (NASDAQ: IDEX) upfront and $180mn as potential earnouts. Before we go further, let's have a brief look at Ideanomics and its rocky history.  It was founded back in 2004 under a differe

Deal: News Site Politico Sells To Germany's Axel Springer

Politico , a famous news website covering the world of politics, is getting sold to a media conglomerate based in Europe. The buyer is Axel Springer , the German media conglomerate which is Europe's largest digital publisher. Axel Springer has agreed to buy Politico LLC , which includes the Politico news website, the Protocol tech news website, and Politico Europe , a site covering European politics. Politico Europe is a joint venture between Politico and Axel Springer that the latter will now be acquiring fully. Officially, the price of the acquisition wasn't announced, but rumors began circulating last week that Politico was in talks to be bought for $1bn , about 5x its yearly revenue. If so, this makes Politico's purchase one of the most expensive digital media deals as of late. Politico was launched in 2007 as a project of  Robert Allbritton , a heavyweight in the mass media industry. Allbritton has since then served as the site's publisher and will continue to d

Deal: Pfizer Buys Cancer Drugmaker Trillium For $2.3B

Pfizer , the pharmaceuticals giant best known at this time for its Covid vaccine, is continuing to make moves in other segments apart from the coronavirus. It's freshly acquiring a company that's working on drugs targeting certain forms of cancer. Pfizer has agreed to acquire  Trillium Therapeutics , a Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage biotech company. Based in Canada, Trillium is working to make drugs to treat cancers, with two drug candidates in its pipeline but none yet past the trial stage. Pfizer will pay $18.50 per share to acquire Trillium, a 118% premium to the company's average closing price over the past 60 days. The acquisition values Trillium at $2.3bn , excluding a small stake that Pfizer already owns in the company. As it looks, Pfizer is betting on Trillium to up its game in the oncology (cancer-study) business. It's a sector that brought in $11bn in sales for Pfizer in 2020, about a quarter of its sales for the year. Pfizer is apparently betting that Tril

Antitrust: UK Objects To Nvidia's $40B Arm Acquisition

The antitrust agency of the UK government is challenging the acquisition of Arm Holdings , a chip designer, by American chipmaker Nvidia . It's a significant challenge given that Arm is headquartered in the UK and could see the deal stalled as a result. Nvidia is in the process of buying Arm for the sum of $40bn . It signed a binding agreement for that last September. In a statement , the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said Nvidia buying Arm raises "serious competition concerns." The agency says its main concern is Nvidia restricting access to Arm's intellectual property by its rivals if it gets hold of the company, which seems to be a valid concern given Nvidia's major rivals license Arm's chip designs to make their chips. The UK government also noted concerns of loss of competition that could lead to more costly or lower-quality chip products in the industry if Nvidia absorbs Arm Holdings. To address the concerns, Nvidia offered the UK&#3

Deal: Hyatt Buys Resort Operator Apple Leisure For $2.7B

In a major deal in the hospitality industry, Hyatt , a hotel chain giant, has agreed to buy one of the world's biggest operators of resorts and spas. It's buying Apple Leisure Group , a fellow American company specializing in luxury resorts at chic destinations. Hyatt will pay $2.7bn in cash to buy Apple Leisure from its current owners, private equity firms KKR and KSL Capital Partners . Both PE firms bought Apple Leisure from a fellow PE firm, Bain Capital, in 2017 for an undisclosed price. Now selling for $2.7bn, it seems they'll be walking away with worthy gains. By buying Apple Leisure, Hyatt is greatly upping its game in the luxury resorts market. Apple Leisure operates many resorts, precisely about 100, in 10 countries with a portfolio covering 33,000 rooms.  With it, Hyatt which also operates a high number of luxury resorts is increasing its strength in the market. Hyatt is a major hotel brand, owning both hotels of its own and franchising its name to others. But,

Deal: Delivery Hero Sells Yogiyo App To Korea's GS Retail

Delivery Hero , a German food delivery giant with operations across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, is selling its local food delivery app in South Korea named Yogiyo , which is the second-largest delivery app in the country. It's selling it for 800 billion Korean Won ($688mn) to a consortium spearheaded by GS Retail , a Korean convenience store chain. GS Retail partnered with private equity firms Permira and  Affinity Equity Partners to finance the acquisition. The convenience store chain is contributing 30% of the acquisition price tag while the two PE firms split the remaining 70%. GS Retail operates 16,000 convenience stores in South Korea and has a few dozen logistics centers offering on-demand deliveries to its customers, so it makes sense that it's buying Yogiyo from Delivery Hero to bolster its delivery business. Now, Delivery Hero isn't exiting the Korean market with Yogiyo's sale but rather scaling to higher heights. Selling Yogiyo, Korea's 2nd-larg

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Pokémon Go Creator Niantic Raises $300M, Valued At $9B

Niantic , an augmented reality (AR) company whose products include the famous  Pokémon Go game, has raised a big new round of funding. It's raised $300mn in funding at a valuation of $9bn. All the funding came from just one investor; Coatue , a New York-based hedge fund famous for investing in many blue-chip tech startups. With its new funding, Niantic says it'll invest in current games and new apps and expand its AR developer platform called Lightship . The company says it's set on building the "real-world metaverse," jumping on the bandwagon popularized by Facebook's parent firm, Meta.  The base for Niantic's metaverse vision is the Lightship developer platform which it launched this month. It's a platform for developers to build augmented reality apps and experiences, drawing from Niantic's tools that helped create its hit  Pokémon Go game. To draw creators to Lightship, Niantic has also set up a $20mn venture fund to invest in AR startups

Deal: Workday Buys Ohio Startup Vndly For $510M

Workday (NASDAQ: WDAY), the famous HR/finance software vendor, has made a big new acquisition to support its platform. The company will acquire Vndly , a software platform for companies to manage contract workers. Vndly fits in well in Workday's overall software suite, and the rationale behind the purchase is clear. Vndly is an Ohio-based startup. Workday will pay $510mn to buy it, marking one of Ohio's biggest startup exits this year. Vndly has raised roughly $60mn from VCs, so a $510mn exit is very lucrative and more so for a startup founded just four years ago .  Before now, Vndly and Workday were already close allies. Vndly's platform is integrated with Workday's, with official certification to go. The Mason, Ohio-based startup is part of Workday's global network of endorsed software partners, so Workday didn't even have to look far to snatch its latest acquisition.  Vndly was founded in 2017 by two entrepreneurs,  Shashank Saxena and Narayana Surabhi .

Amazon, Apple Fined $230M For Reseller Collusion In Italy

Tech giants Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) have been handed sizeable fines by the Italian government following an investigation into alleged reseller collusion between both companies. Amazon was fined €135mn ($151mn) and Apple  €69mn ($78mn), totaling $229mn .  The fine was levied by the  Italian Competition Authority . According to the agency, Apple and Amazon had a contractual agreement to allow  select resellers to sell Apple and Beats products on Amazon's Italian marketplace. The agency said that the selection was applied in a "discriminatory" way that violated European Union rules and affected price competition. According to the  Italian Competition Authority, at least 70% of local consumer electronics purchases are made on Amazon, making it a dominant retailer. This dominance, therefore, demands a "level playing field" for retailers that sell on Amazon's marketplace, the agency said. This is the nth time Amazon is getting in the cr

Antitrust: US DOJ Sues To Block Major Sugar Industry Merger

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is freshly on the antitrust circuit, seeking to block a merger it deems detrimental to consumers. The agency has filed a lawsuit to block the sale of  Imperial Sugar , a leading American sugar producer, to rival  U.S. Sugar . The DOJ says the proposed deal will make just two sugar producers account for an "overwhelming majority" of refined sugar sales in the U.S. Southeast, U.S. Sugar being one of the two producers. This concentration of power would make consumers pay more for refined sugar, the DOJ says.  Imperial Sugar is owned by Louis Dreyfus Company, a privately-held agricultural giant based in the Netherlands. The company agreed to sell Imperial to rival U.S. Sugar for the sum of $315mn this March.  U.S. Sugar is another privately-held agricultural giant headquartered in Florida. It can produce up to 850,000 tons of sugar annually at its refinery plant in Florida, and buying Imperial would give it two more sugar plants in Kentuc

Alt-Meat Maker Impossible Foods Raises $500M In Fresh Funding

A leading maker of plant-based meat substitutes, Impossible Foods , has obtained a fresh cash infusion from VCs. It has  raised $500mn in new funding, bringing the total amount of funding it has raised since inception to $2bn.  The latest round was provided entirely by existing investors doubling down on Impossible Foods.  Mirae Asset Global , a Korean investment firm, led the round and was joined by other unnamed existing investors.  It's evident that investors are longing for Impossible Foods, a leading brand in the nascent market for plant-based meat substitutes. There's clearly huge potential for plant-based meat substitutes, driven by an increasing vegan population and the appeal to lower the carbon footprint that spurs from meat consumption. To that end, Impossible Foods is growing rapidly. Its products can now be found in more than 20,000 retail stores, compared to 150 as of March 2020, and 40,000 restaurants globally. Over the past year, Impossible has launched in ne

Deal: KKR Makes $37B Buyout Offer For Telecom Italia

Private equity giant KKR (NYSE: KKR) has ventured into Italy for its latest buyout deal. The firm has offered to buy Telecom Italia (BIT: TIT), the largest telecom provider in Italy, in a deal worth  €33bn ($37bn), including debt. KKR offered 0.505 Euros in cash for each outstanding  Telecom Italia share, a 46% premium to the last closing share price before the offer. That sums up to  €10.7bn ($12bn) in cash to be paid for Telecom Italia, and including the telecom firm's large net debt of €22.5bn ($25bn) sums up to $37bn in total.  KKR's offer is non-binding and must be approved by Telecom Italia's board members and majority shareholders before the deal goes through. Approval must also come from the Italian government, which was veto power over the takeover of the formerly state-owned telecoms firm.  Telecom Italia gave no indication that it'll approve the deal. If approval is given, it'll mark one of the biggest buyout deals of a European company by an America

Earnings: Nvidia Is On A Tear

Chipmaking giant Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) has unveiled the financial results for its latest fiscal quarter ended October 31, 2021. The company reported a sharp rise in sales that can only be described as being on a tear. Nvidia posted $7.1bn in revenue in the quarter, up 50% year-over-year . The large growth was driven mostly by the company's data center sales, which increased 55% year-over-year to $2.9bn. Similarly, Nvidia's gaming revenue rose 42% year-over-year to $3.2bn. Net income for the quarter was $2.5bn , up 4% from the same period last year. It was an outstanding quarter all-around for Nvidia, a beneficiary of the recent massive growth of the gaming industry and data center boom. Nvidia's GeForce graphics cards are very popular with gamers, and data center operators patronize Nvidia's high-performance graphics processors for artificial intelligence applications.  Save for data centers and gaming, Nvidia has other minor product lines, including automotive chip

Cyber: Apple Sues NSO Group Over Spyware Hacks

Tech giant Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has filed a lawsuit against NSO Group , a controversial Israeli company that sells smartphone hacking tools and has been  implicated in the hacks and surveillance of many notable persons, including journalists, activists, and business executives, by state-sponsored actors. Apple has sued NSO Group for infecting iPhones with spyware to track users of interest. As part of the suit, the tech giant seeks a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple products. NSO Group is best known for its Pegasus spyware that can be covertly installed on mobile phones running most versions of iOS and Android. The company exploits vulnerabilities in both operating systems to introduce spyware into a phone without the user's knowledge. Pegasus was the center of a Washington Post investigation called "The Pegasus Project," revealing that the spyware was used to surveil over 1,000 identified notable individuals across countries with shoddy hu

Markets: Retail Giant Authentic Brands Scraps IPO Plans

Authentic Brands Group , a New York-based retail conglomerate, has suspended its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) after already filing an S-1 document with the US SEC. The company has instead opted to raise private funding to fund expansion in the main time. Authentic Brands Group's portfolio retail brands include apparel retailer Forever21 , men's suit maker Brooks Brothers , and department store chain Barneys New York . The company is akin to an old people's home where once-vibrant retail brands go to stay after they've gone past their peak. Authentic buys these befallen retail companies and makes money from what's left of them through licensing deals.  Over the years, Authentic has relied on hefty venture funding to assemble its constellation of old-guard brands. An IPO was supposed to raise even more money for expansion but has been set aside in favor of private funding.  Authentic is  rather selling  equity stakes to private equity firm CVC Capital

Markets: IoT Startup Samsara Files For IPO

The latest tech startup to board the IPO train is Samsara , a VC-backed startup that makes internet-of-things (IoT)-based fleet monitoring hardware and software for logistical operators. It has unveiled an S-1 filing with the US SEC, showing its intention to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Samsara has raised nearly $1bn from VCs including Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global, and General Catalyst, with a valuation of $5.4bn from its last funding round. The company's co-founders sold a previous startup named Meraki to Cisco for $1.2bn . As expected, Samsara's S-1 filing gives a deep glimpse into the company's business with information not publicly disclosed before. The company has been rather secretive over the years, making this long-awaited information. We've extracted some important information so you don't have to, mostly the financial stuff. Samsara brought in $303mn in revenue in the nine months ended October 2021, compared to $174mn in the same