6 biggest deal reports this week: Manchester United open to selling the club

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6 biggest deal reports this week: Manchester United open to selling the club
Credit: © Reuters.

Here are 6 head-turning deal dispatches from the past week, as covered first on InvestingPro+.

1. Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI ) stock slipped this week after Politico reported the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT ) $69 billion takeover bid, which would be the biggest in the history of the gaming industry.

"We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but won't hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if required," an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said, according to Reuters. "We are prepared to address the concerns of regulators, including the FTC, and Sony (NYSE: SONY ) to ensure the deal closes with confidence," said Microsoft’s spokesperson, per Reuters. Activision shares were down 4.1% following the news Friday, and off 0.9% for the week, to $73.47. Microsoft added 1.7%.

2. RingCentral (NYSE: RNG ) has approached 8x8 Inc (NASDAQ: EGHT ) about a potential takeover, according to a source cited by Investing.com. RingCentral is said to be working with an investment bank to evaluate a potential transaction. The news followed a report from Investing.com last week that 8X8 was approached by a strategic buyer. With shares of 8x8 and RingCentral down down some 75% and 81.5%, respectively, for the year, investors have been calling for consolidation in the sector, a separate source relayed. However, it is unclear if the 8x8 board of directors would be open to a deal with its share price depressed.

Given the heavy debt loads of both companies, a cash deal may be hard for investors to swallow. However, a stock-for-stock deal could be one potential option. RingCentral said it does not comment on rumors or speculation. 8x8 has not responded to a request to comment on the rumor. RingCentral shares sank 6.3% for the week to $35.60. 8x8 shares were down 2.1% to $4.30.

3. Manchester United (NYSE: MANU ) confirmed heavy speculation that they are open to selling the club, saying its Board of Directors has authorized a process to “explore strategic alternatives for the club.” The club hired the Raine Group, which handled the sale of rival Chelsea to the consortium led by U.S. billionaire Todd Boehly earlier this year, as its exclusive financial advisor.

Manchester United will easily attract buyers, according to Jefferies. The analyst believes MANU is “a truly unique asset with significant global reach (>1B fans/followers) and plays in the strongest realm within the current media landscape -- live sports.” Shares surged 66% to $21.21 for the week.

4. Coupa Software (NASDAQ: COUP ) stock closed nearly 29% higher Wednesday after Bloomberg News reported that private equity firm Vista Equity Partners is exploring a deal to acquire the tech company. Several analysts see a potential deal price at $80 or more per share. Shares ended the week up 28.1% at $62.69.

5. Merck (NS: PROR ) & Company Inc (NYSE: MRK ) agreed to acquire Imago Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: IMGO ) for $36.00 per share in cash for an approximate total equity value of $1.35 billion. CEO Robert M. Davis said, “This acquisition of Imago augments our pipeline and strengthens our presence in the growing field of hematology.” Imago shares rocketed 93% for the week to $35.66. Merck gained 4.8% for the week at $107.50.

6. Mirati Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MRTX ) is attracting fresh takeover interest from large pharma companies ahead of updates on its drug pipeline, according to Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Mirati is working with an advisers, and large drugmakers have been studying the merits of a transaction, through there are currently no formal bids on the table and a deal isn't imminent. The stock jumped 34% for the week to $98.62.

Senad Karaahmetovic contributed to this article.

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