Market Overview

The Biggest Mergers Currently Stuck In Regulatory Purgatory

The Biggest Mergers Currently Stuck In Regulatory Purgatory

After a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump, Bayer AG (ADR) (OTC: BAYRY) generated excitement among American investors eager to finalize a long-anticipated merger with Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON).

But the Federal Trade Commission is not yet on board with the deal, and the companies still linger in merger limbo. They’re not the only ones.

Recently Delayed M&As

The FTC delayed a $4.5-billion acquisition of Cabelas Inc (NYSE: CAB) by Bass Pro Shops during antitrust investigations in 2016, and the case was last updated on December 30 with regulators seeking more information on the deal.

Aetna Inc (NYSE: AET) anticipates news in January of the Department Of Justice’s ruling on its $37-billion acquisition of Humana Inc (NYSE: HUM). The deal has been hanging on regulators since July.

In August, the DoJ blocked Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) from a Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) acquisition, and no news has been released since the suit was filed.

Recent Long-Term M&A Closings

Some companies have, after long delay, finally jumped the regulatory hurdles and recently closed on deals.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) only just won conditional approval to acquire St Jude Medical Inc (previously traded (NYSE: STJ)). Their deal had been in the works since April 2016.

Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST) completed a $4.6-billion acquisition of Media General, Inc. (previously traded (NYSE: MEG)) on January 17 after a seven-month holdup on DoJ regulations.

In December, the DoJ reached a settlement with AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE: AMC) for its $1.2 billion merger with Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (previously traded (NASDAQ: CKEC)) The deal had been on the table since April 2016.

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) closed the acquisition of Virgin America Inc (previously traded (NASDAQ: VA)) on December 6 for $57 per share after plans had been announced in April.


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