Merger Monday: 9 M&A Firecrackers Ahead Of Market Holiday

Just ahead of Independence Day market closures, rumors and news abounded of mergers, from revived chatter of Walt Disney Co DIS for Verizon Communications Inc. VZ to new disruptions by activist investors.

1. Bankrate

Red Ventures, a privately owned data company, entered a $1.4 billion deal to acquire Bankrate Inc RATE. Shareholders of the content publisher will receive $14 per share.

The transaction will blend Bankrate’s personal finance services with Red Ventures’ insight into consumer-brand connections.

"We're excited to join forces with the Bankrate team, which has built an impressive and powerful platform of consumer-facing financial services content and brands," Red Ventures CEO Ric Elias said in a press release. "Our capabilities are highly complementary. We see significant potential to leverage our technology, strategic partnerships and digital expertise and build on Bankrate's leading platforms to help more consumers find the financial services and products that meet their needs."

2. EQT Corporation

Traders circulated chatter that activist firm Jana Partners took a 5-percent stake in EQT Corporation EQT with the intention of tanking its pending, $6.7 billion purchase of Rice Energy Inc RICE.

3. AK Steel

AK Steel Holding Corporation AKS announced an agreement to acquire Precision Partners Holding Company, a Canadian automotive company, for $360 million in cash.

"This acquisition will combine the best of both companies, bringing AK Steel's innovation in materials and manufacturing together with Precision Partners' tooling and stamping knowledge and technology, to create a differentiated, innovative leader in the steel industry,” AK Steel CEO Roger Newport said in a press release.

4. Opexa Therapeutics

Opexa Therapeutics Inc OPXA and Acer Therapeutics announced a merger that will result in 11.2-percent ownership by current Opexa shareholders and 88.8-percent ownership by current Acer shareholders.

"Acer's lead asset, EDSIVO [for vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome], could be on the market within the next two years,” Opexa CEO Neil Warma said in a press release. “This factor, together with Acer's strategic vision, pipeline, the recently secured financing and Acer's strong management team, provides Opexa shareholders with an opportunity for growth in the value of their shares."

5. MRV Communications

Both parties’ boards of directors approved ADVA Optical Networking ADVOF’s acquisition of MRV Communications, Inc. MRVC for $10 per share.

"We see a very natural fit between ADVA Optical Networking and MRV as both companies have been long-standing suppliers to the Carrier Ethernet and Optical Transport markets,” MRV CEO Mark Bonney said in a press release. “With so much in common technically and culturally but with relatively little overlap among customers, the combined company will be in a stronger position to support the evolving needs of its target markets.”

6. LCI Industries

Lippert Components, Inc., a subsidiary of automotive supplier LCI Industries LCII acquired Italian manufacturer Metallarte S.r.l. and its subsidiary, RV Doors, S.r.l. for about $16.8 million in cash.

“Metallarte is our third European acquisition in 13 months,” LCI President Scott Mereness said in a press release. “We believe this transaction further accelerates the opportunities to expand LCI's product offerings for the European RV market.

7. Monster Digital

Monster Digital Inc MSDI will merge with Innovate Biopharma — a deal that will secure Innovate shareholders majority ownership.

"We believe that access to the public market this merger provides will be key in driving our lead program for celiac disease into its final stage of clinical testing,” Innovate's CEO Christopher P. Prior said in a press release.

8. NCI Inc

Information technology company NCI Inc NCIT reported its $283 million sale to H.I.G. Capital Management for $20 per share in cash.

9. Allied World Assurance

The insurance firms of Allied World Assurance Company Hldgs Ltd AWH and Fairfax Financial extended the offering period for purchase of outstanding Allied World shares from June 30 to July 5.

Posted In: Acer TherapeuticsADVA Optical NetworkingFairfax FinancialH.I.G. CapitalInnovate BiopharmaJana PartnersLippert ComponentsMetallartePrecision PartnersRed VenturesBiotechNewsHealth CareFuturesM&AMarketsTechGeneral