There may be a pandemic and a recession. But in the past day, there has also been plenty of action among deal makers, as reported in the DealBook newsletter.
EBay announced on Tuesday that it would sell its classified-ads business for $9.2 billion in cash and stock to Adevinta of Norway. It is one of the biggest tech deals of the year, and will create the world’s largest online classifieds company.
Ant Group, the financial arm of China’s Alibaba, said Monday that it planned to go public this year in Hong Kong and Shanghai, in what could be one of the biggest initial public offerings on record.
Chevron struck a $5 billion deal to buy Noble Energy on Monday, in what may be the first of a wave of oil giants buying smaller, weaker rivals.
Walmart has restarted talks about selling most of Asda, its British grocery division. Competition regulators blocked a merger of Asda and J Sainsbury last year; Walmart restarted discussions in February, then suspended them during the crisis.
This suggests corporate boardrooms still have confidence in deal-making, perhaps more than could be expected during a pandemic.
Some 22,600 takeovers had been announced so far this year, according to Refinitiv, down 18 percent from the same time last year. But the total dollar value of deals was down even more, 38 percent, implying some caution. And then there are the buyers who have gotten cold feet, as when Sycamore Partners successfully got out of an agreement to buy control of Victoria’s Secret.
Buoyant equity markets have also coaxed companies to resume planning for stock listings. The I.P.O. hopefuls include Airbnb and Palantir, the data-mining consultancy.