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Deals Digest: Top 5 Acquisition, Mergers, Funding of the Fortnight

Posted by Devayani Bapat

March 24, 2024

Learn about all the must-know deals shaking up the global market.

We’re back again with our fortnightly wrap-up, the Deals Digest. From billion-dollar acquisitions to game-changing mergers, here’s a roundup of the latest business developments shaping the economic climate globally.

Apple marches toward an AI-first approach with its acquisition of Canadian startup DarwinAI

Apple has significantly bolstered its AI endeavors by acquiring Canadian startup DarwinAI. The move precedes the imminent launch of iOS 18, marking Apple’s foray into generative AI. DarwinAI’s expertise in enhancing AI efficiency and its capability to scrutinize manufacturing components align closely with Apple’s objectives, particularly in advancing on-device AI functionalities.

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This acquisition equips Apple with valuable talent, including Alexander Wong, a prominent name in the world of AI, who has played a vital role in DarwinAI’s development. Their contributions are expected to be instrumental in fine-tuning AI features for iOS 18, an update the world eagerly looks forward to. With a focus on integrating AI directly into its devices rather than relying solely on cloud-based solutions, Apple aims to streamline operations and enhance user experiences through innovative AI technologies. This deal is their way of letting the world know they’re eager to achieve that.

AstraZeneca buys Amolyt Pharma for a whopping $1.05 Billion 

AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) has announced its intention to purchase biotech company Amolyt Pharma for $1.05 billion in cash to expand its portfolio of drugs targeting rare diseases. Amolyt Pharma is in the final stages of developing a treatment for hypoparathyroidism, a condition characterized by insufficient production of parathyroid hormone, often leading to chronic kidney disease. This acquisition is expected to fortify Alexion, AstraZeneca’s division dedicated to rare diseases. The agreement entails AstraZeneca acquiring all outstanding shares of Amolyt Pharma for $1.05 billion, comprising an initial payment of $800 million and an additional $250 million contingent upon reaching a specified regulatory milestone. AstraZeneca anticipates finalizing the deal by the end of the third quarter of 2024.

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Reliance Industries to buy Paramount Global’s 13% stake in Viacom 18 for $517 Million

Reliance Industries, led by Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani, is set to purchase a 13.01% stake in TV and streaming firm Viacom18 Media from Paramount Global for 42.8 billion rupees ($517 million). This transaction will increase Reliance Industries’ ownership in Viacom18 Media from 57.5% to 70.5%. Completion of the deal is contingent upon regulatory approvals and the finalization of Reliance’s merger with Walt Disney Co.’s TV assets in India, announced last month. The merged entity will dominate India’s media landscape, controlling broadcasting rights to significant sporting events and holding a substantial share of the Indian TV advertising market.

Alcoa to buy Alumina Limited for $2.2 billion in an all-stock deal

Pittsburgh-based Alcoa has announced its acquisition of Australia-based Alumina Limited in an all-stock deal valued at $2.2 billion, positioning the U.S. company as one of the leading producers of alumina and bauxite globally. According to this deal, Alumina shareholders will receive 0.02854 shares of Alcoa for each Alumina share held, resulting in a 31.25% ownership stake for Alumina shareholders in the merged entity.

This move highlights Alcoa’s strategic focus on metals, crucial for transitioning to cleaner energy sources. Alumina Chairman Peter Day noted it was the right time to amalgamate the two companies. The merged entity will possess a stronger financial hold over the market, enabling potential growth prospects. Initially resistant to Alcoa’s offers. This deal will enhance Alcoa’s capability to meet the anticipated surge in aluminum demand driven by the growth of renewable energy and electric vehicle industries globally and in the U.S.

EQT Corp to buy Equitrans Midstream at an approximate value of $14 billion

EQT Corp, a prominent U.S. natural gas producer, revealed its acquisition of Equitrans Midstream in an all-stock transaction valued at around $14 billion, encompassing existing debt. This strategic move is in response to the challenges posed by historically low natural gas prices. Notably, the U.S. shale oil and gas sector has witnessed a surge in merger activity; this trend is driven by the pursuit of enhanced scale and cost efficiencies amidst market volatility. This merger will contribute significantly to the expansion of EQT’s pipeline network by over 2,000 miles, facilitating cost savings in both gas production and transportation.

The business landscape is evolving rapidly, from mergers driving innovation to acquisitions signaling strategic expansion. Today’s deals portray the dynamism of the market and companies’ hunger to grow. As we move forward, anticipation builds for the next wave of transformative deals to redefine the business landscape. Watch this space for more on the ins and outs of the corporate world, and look at some of our previous roundups of the most prominent mergers and acquisitions here.

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Devayani Bapat
Devayani Bapat

With 6 years of experience in copywriting and social media management across genres, Devayani's heart lies with weaving words into stories and visuals into carefully crafted narratives that’ll keep you wanting more. She carries with her, her pocket notebook, a trusted confidante that goes with her wherever she goes, and scribbles down into it anecdotes on the go. Her secret weapon for keeping all things copy interesting! Apart from writing, Devayani is huge on travelling. You'll find her booking her next adventure while she's on her current one. And while on those adventures, you'll find her devouring true crime books one after the other. Whether it's a low down on a recent case or one that occurred 70 years ago, she can cook up a story narration you'll never forget.

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