10 major Mergers and Acquisitions of 2020

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For many organizations, 2020 has been a year of cutting costs and staying afloat amid a turbulent market. However, a handful of major players, particularly in tech, have continued to expand through mergers and acquisitions.

According to a report by GlobalData, 24,689 deals were announced worldwide in H1 of 2020, which marks a 15% decline YoY. Deal value also fell by about 45%, to just over $1 trillion in 2020.

Despite the global slowdown, this week, Salesforce announced that it would be acquiring Slack for $27 billion. But Salesforce is not the only tech giant making moves in 2020. Here are 10 major mergers and acquisitions from this year:

Nvidia Acquires Arm: $40 billion (Announced September 13, 2020)

Nvidia confirmed its plan to acquire Arm in September for $40 billion (in a combined stock and cash deal.)

“Simon Segars and his team at Arm have built an extraordinary company that is contributing to nearly every technology market in the world. Uniting NVIDIA’s AI computing capabilities with the vast ecosystem of Arm’s CPU, we can advance computing from the cloud, smartphones, PCs, self-driving cars and robotics, to edge IoT, and expand AI computing to every corner of the globe,” Jensen Huang, founder, and CEO of NVIDIA said in a statement.

Nvidia also announced that “Arm will remain headquartered in Cambridge,” and the company will continue to “attract researchers and scientists from the UK and around the world.”

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Salesforce Acquires Slack: $27 billion (Announced November 4, 2020)

The Salesforce-Slack deal was officially announced on Tuesday, November 4th. Salesforce will pay $27.7 billion in stock and cash for the workplace communication giant, far exceeding Salesforce’s $15.3 billion purchase of Tableau last year.

Since 2009, Slack has seen rapid growth. With this acquisition, Salesforce becomes more competitive against Microsoft.

“This is a match made in heaven,” Benioff said in a statement. “Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. I’m thrilled to welcome Slack to the Salesforce Ohana once the transaction closes.”

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T-Mobile Acquires Sprint: $26.5 billion (Completed April 1, 2020)

After more than two years of regulatory issues, the third-largest wireless carrier in the United States, T-Mobile, completed its $26.5 billion acquisition of Sprint.

This merger provides a strong rival to Verizon and AT&T as 5G networks roll out across the world. Sprint’s focus on mid brand customers gave T-Mobile a leg up with their customer base–with prices locked in for the next three years, Sprint customers will have a slow transition into the new T-Mobile.

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Gilead Sciences Acquires Immunomedics: $21 billion (Completed October 23, 2020)

Gilead Sciences completed its $21 billion acquisition of Immunomedics Inc. in October, purchasing with it new technologies to fight against cancer. Gilead agreed to pay $88 a share in cash for Immunomedics, whose shares closed at $43 in September, a 108% premium.

The deal will help Gilead accelerate its efforts to diversify into cancer, Chief Executive Daniel O’Day said.

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Morgan Stanley Acquires E*TRADE: $13 billion (Completed October 10, 2020)

Morgan Stanley announced its acquisition of E*TRADE for $13 billion in February 2020 and was one of the largest acquisitions of the year. On October 10th, the deal finally closed.

This acquisition is expected to boost Morgan Stanley’s position across all channels and segments in the wealth management business. E*TRADE has over 5.2 million client accounts with over $360 billion of retail client assets, which were added to Morgan Stanley’s existing 3 million client relationships and $2.7 trillion of assets.

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Just Eat Acquires Grubhub: $7.3 billion (Announced June 10, 2020)

In June, Just Eat Takeaway agreed to acquire Grubhub for $7.3 billion, sidelining Uber, which had been in talks with Grubhub for acquisition months prior. Regulators approved the all-share deal in April. Just Eat Takeaway said the combined operation — which processed 593 million orders in 2019 — will have over 70 million combined active customers globally.

Grubhub shareholders got ~⅔ of one Just Eat Takeaway.com ordinary share in exchange for each Grubhub share, representing an implied value of $75.15 for each Grubhub share.

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Intuit Acquires Credit Karma: $7.1 billion (Completed December 3, 2020)

In February, Intuit announced its acquisition of Credit Karma for $7.1 billion, marking Intuit’s largest acquisition of all time. The acquisition was not without its challenges, though. In February, antitrust experts viewed the deal as concerning because it would allow a dominant firm to eliminate a competitor. Intuit already dominates online tax preparation, with 67% market share last year.

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division also filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block Intuit’s acquisition of Credit Karma.  At the same time, the department filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the competitive harm alleged in the department’s complaint.

The deal was completed on December 3, 2020.

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Visa (Attempts to) Acquire Plaid: $5.3 billion (Announced January 13, 2020)

Since January 2020, Visa has attempted to acquire Plaid, a financial technology company, for $5.3 billion. Plaid’s API software lets start-ups connect to users’ bank accounts and works with Venmo, mobile investing app Robinhood and cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Gemini.

Plaid says 25% of people in the United States with bank accounts have connected to the fintech company through an app. Visa and rival Mastercard were early investors in the start-up, along with the venture arms of Goldman Sachs, Citi, and American Express.

The merger has run into numerous regulatory issues, though. Last month, The Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit to block Visa’s planned acquisition of fintech start-up Plaid, alleging it would limit competition in the industry. In a statement, Visa said it “strongly disagrees” with the Department of Justice, “whose attempt to block Visa’s acquisition of Plaid is legally flawed and contradicted by the facts.” Plaid declined to comment on the suit.

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Uber Acquires Postmates: $2.65 billion (Completed December 1, 2020)

In July, after a failed attempt to acquire Grubhub, Uber entered into a $2.65 billion deal to acquire Postmates. The companies announced the all-stock deal on July 5th. Uber combined Postmates with its own food delivery subsidiary, Uber Eats, which has been growing during the coronavirus pandemic. Postmates will continue to operate under its own name.

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Amazon Acquires Zoox: $1.2 billion (Announced June 26, 2020)

Amazon acquired Zoox, a California-based company building autonomous technology for $1.2 billion in June. As Amazon migrates into the self-driving car space, Zoox’s technology becomes even more valuable for the tech giant.

Before COVID-19 hit the United States, Zoox was launching a pilot program for a ride-sharing service. At the time, Zoox had raised nearly $1 billion of funding to date, making it an autonomous driving “unicorn.”

Zoox CEO, Aicha Evans and his cofounder Jesse Levinson will continue to lead Zoox as “a standalone business” within Amazon.

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