Daily Briefing Dec 21, 2016

Praxair Evades Tax Via Acquisition of Linde

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U.S. industrial gas giant Praxair has officially merged with German gas giant Linde in an attempt to move its tax headquarters to Europe. Approximately 1,400 voices in Sentifi financial crowd are discussing the matter, so stick with Sentifi and join the conversations.

sentifi top attention december 21

Praxair & Linde: Praxair moves it tax headquarters via merger

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Praxair is yet another major American corporation moving its tax headquarters overseas through the mechanism of a merger. This is an issue that the Obama administration has been trying to crack down. President-elect Donald Trump also shares the same sentiment, suggesting an overhaul to the American tax system to keep companies in the U.S. Both companies’ shares traded down following the merger, with Praxiar falling 3.7 percent in New York and Linde declining 1.7 percent in Frankfurt.

Sky: Fox agrees to buy Sky for $14.6 billion

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Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox announced its agreement to acquire European pay-TV firm Sky via a Scheme of Arrangement, which entails the company would need the backing of 75 percent of Sky’s independent shareholders. To fuel his ambition of consolidating his media empire across Europe and the U.S., the Australian-American media mogul targets Sky to acquire its 22 million customers in Britain, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.

Fred’s Inc.: Buys 865 Rite Aid stores

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Fred’s Inc. will become the U.S.’s third-largest drugstore chain after its purchase of 865 Rite Air stores, which in actuality is a transaction to pave the way for Walgreens’ bid to buy Rite Aid. Fred’s shares jumped 80 percent following the news. In October 2015, Walgreens made a $9.5 billion bid for Rite Air Corp., which raised federal officials’ concerns. This divestment of 865 stores will hopefully ease those concerns. Fred’s may be required to buy more stores if the FTC requires Rite Aid to sell more of its 4,600 stores.

Tribune Media: Sells Gracenote to Nielsen

Media analytics giant Nielsen is paying $560 million for entertainment metadata leader Gracenote from Tribune Media, a deal that boosted Tribune shares by 2.93 percent. It would also pave the way for Nielson into the digital age, well beyond its traditional TV ratings. It’s especially a good deal for Tribune as the company acquired Gracenote from Sony only for $170 million in 2014.

Lloyds Banking: In talks to buy card provider MBNA

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This marks Lloyds’s first deal since the recession. This deal will give Lloyds 26 percent of Britain’s credit card market. This is raising red flags because Barclaycard has 28 percent market share, and with just two banks dominating more than half of the credit card market, people are afraid that they could charge huge interest rates. Lloyds said it is in contact with regulators about the deal, which it expects to close by halfway through next year.

Akebia Therapeutics: Partner with Japanese drug company

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The two companies have entered into a co-development and marketing deal worth up to $1 billion for an experimental anemia drug. Akebia shares rose 28 percent following the news. Akebia will receive $265 million in upfront payments, with milestone payments that could raise the deal value to more than $1 billion.

Conatus Pharma: Shares skyrocket on licensing deal with Novartis

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Novartis paid the company $50 million upfront to license its liver treatment emricasan, with more payments under a collaboration and royalty deal. The news boosted Conatus shares by 141.33 percent. The Swiss pharmaceutical company will also pay 50 percent of Conatus’ phase-two emricasan development costs and all the expenses of phase-three trials.

CropEnergies AG: Shares rise on lifted profits forecast

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The company’s shares jumped 7 percent after it lifted the results forecast for the second time thanks to the revived prices of the biofuel. The company also attributed the upgrade to the positivity in the outline results for the August-to-November period, with revenues increasing 28 percent.

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