Today Office Depot shareholders approve Staples, Inc.'s $6.3 billion acquisition plan. This is going to be another major industry consolidation move after Office Depot and OfficeMax merged last year. The Staples deal was first announced back in February, and now the FTC is reviewing it. This merger will leave only one major player in the office supply sector, and the previous attempt was shut down by the regulators almost a decade ago. However, the landscape has changed since then and now brick and mortar stores face competition from online retailers, including Amazon (AMZN).
ConAgra (CAG) under pressure from activist investor
Jana Partners LLC, activist hedge fund, is pushing for a change in ConAgra Foods Inc's board and a spin-off of Ralcorp. ConAgra acquired Ralcorp back in 2012 for $5 billion and planned to capitalize on the growth of the private-label sector. But instead of stimulating growth, Ralcorp was struggling with its older brands forcing ConAgra to write down the value of the private-label unit by a total of about $2.2 billion. Jana Partners has a 7.2% stake in ConAgra and is going to nominate Brad Alford, the former CEO of Nestle USA division, and James A. Lawrence, the former CFO of General Mills and Unilever, to the board.
Craigslist gets 28.4% back from eBay (EBAY)
In an effort to focus on its core business and end prolonged litigations, eBay Inc. announced today that it's selling its 28.4% stake in Craigslist back to the company for an undisclosed amount. Craigslist sued eBay for allegedly using proprietary information to start a competing business, ebayClassifieds.com. According to some analysts, with this one move, eBay redirects spotlight back to its main business, generates cash, and keeps shareholders happy.
- Ralph Roberts, Comcast Corp founder, died on Thursday at the age of 95.
- Carl Icahn turns down an offer to be a Treasure Secretary in a Trump administration.
- Can you spot the next start-up wonder?