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   Strategies & Market TrendsSpeculating in Takeover Targets

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To: richardred who wrote (4671)12/15/2017 8:50:13 AM
From: robert b furman
   of 6102
Merry Christmas Rick.


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To: robert b furman who wrote (4672)12/15/2017 10:27:32 AM
From: richardred
1 Recommendation   of 6102
The same to you Bob. I couldn't help myself , but post today. Ironically only fitting my SI post from near Christmas before. My long time favorite LNCE looks to be in Play.

:+ )

I'll be back on this thread after Christmas. Meanwhile a seasoned greeting from this threads tracking SITT idea. Thoughts of Lance Sugarplums dancing in my head. Yeah, I bought a bag also. Rick

P.S. Allan is only a snack. They could be given a hypothetical full belly by LNCE

Some Hunters

Hershey-HSY- Buys Allan Candy, Strengthens Position in Canada.

Coke-KO- Message 29767744


Kellogg-K- Message 27962604
Also lost out on bid for United Biscuit.

General Mills- Message 29705709

Conagra-CAG-See CPB

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To: richardred who wrote (4673)12/15/2017 10:39:36 AM
From: robert b furman
3 Recommendations   of 6102

Chocolate and salty on a health food pretzel.

Hershey's on a pretzel - that sounds like it is illegal.

Merry Christmas

I know this Christmas there will be one less at the table for us both - say a prayer at the family dinner table and be thankful of all the wonderful memories we have to cherish and feel love about.

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To: richardred who wrote (4605)12/18/2017 1:09:47 PM
From: The Ox
   of 6102

Campbell Soup to buy snacks maker Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 billion
(Reuters) - Campbell Soup Co ( CPB.N) will buy Pretzels and Cape Cod chips maker Snyder‘s-Lance Inc ( LNCE.O) for $4.87 billion as it looks to expand its snack business amid sagging soup sales.

Campbell said on Monday it would pay Snyder’s shareholders $50 per share in cash.

The offer represents a 27 percent premium to Snyder’s close on Wednesday, a day before CNBC first reported it had hired an investment bank to weigh a potential sale following an approach from Campbell.

The equity value of the deal is based on 97.46 million outstanding Snyder shares, according to Thomson Reuters data. Including debt the deal is valued at about $6 billion.

Campbell said it plans to finance the acquisition through a combination of long- and short-term debt of $6.2 billion.

Credit Suisse acted as lead financial adviser to Campbell in this transaction. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as Campbell’s legal counsel.

Goldman Sachs & Co LLC acted as lead financial adviser to Snyder‘s-Lance and Jenner & Block LLP acted as its legal counsel.

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To: The Ox who wrote (4675)12/18/2017 1:10:42 PM
From: The Ox
   of 6102

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From: The Ox12/18/2017 8:01:00 PM
   of 6102
And this:

In corporate news, Amplify Snack Brands (BETR 12.01, +5.01), which makes the Skinny Pop brand, surged 71.6% after agreeing to be acquired by Hershey (HSY 114.26, +0.12) for $12.00 per share in cash. HSY shares finished the session with a slim gain of 0.1%.

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To: richardred who wrote (4337)12/29/2017 5:41:07 PM
From: richardred
1 Recommendation   of 6102
TOP TEN TAKEOUT SITT LIST FOR 2018 & brief thoughts- several repeats

The market is done trading for 2017.

1. ASTE- Infrastructure - Forget Congressional debate for now,remember the hurricanes. IMO Deere & Cat among many shoppers.

2. CTG- Message 31367340

3. MNTX- Message 31104927

4. ASV- Hypothetical Hunters- CAT-Kubota

5. BGS- A food biggie looking for medium scale- merger of = with Pinnacle Foods for scale?

6. ANIK-
IMO a gem CINGAL® waiting for FDA US approval.

7. SABR- IMO a private equity target-

8. LYBC- Micro cap regional bank-became a holding company-IMO perfect fit for CNND

9. MCF- Southern Delaware Basin at a discount with oil > 55. Needs a neighbor buyout to drill it's property.

10. MITK- Wild pick-needs a parent with deep pockets to scale and grow at a faster pace. IMO a platform for Paypal-PYPL

P.S. I currently own all selections through common stock or call options. My Stock Sales Subject to change without notice. If Anyone is buying anything based from this list. Do your DD or you might be pee peeing & poo pooing.

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To: richardred who wrote (4678)12/30/2017 8:10:23 PM
From: richardred
   of 6102
RE-SABR speculation

Dec 07, 2017 1:00 pm
Expedia has been talking for a couple of years about being opportunistic when it comes to mergers and acquisitions for its Egencia business travel unit. That may be on the back burner for awhile, though, as the parent company, which has been bogged down in integrating acquisitions over the past couple of years, focuses on growing what it already has.
When it comes to mergers and acquisitions activity in corporate travel, Expedia Inc.’s Egencia business is looking for increased volumes and scale in markets where it is already operating — and it is less interested in broadening its footprint geographically.

The Expedia subsidiary also scoffs at the notion of buying new technology.

That’s the perspective of Egencia President Rob Greyber, whose wish list for mergers and acquisitions in corporate travel meshes nicely with Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom’s newly articulated strategy for the parent company. Okerstrom said the company’s “land grab” for new geographies is nearly completed, and instead he wants Expedia to expand by digging deeper roots into existing locations where it operates.

Sabre Travel Network and Expedia Announce Multi-Year Agreement

SOUTHLAKE, Texas, May 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

Sabre Travel Network, a
Sabre Holdings (NYSE: TSG) company, today announced it has signed a five-year
Global Distribution System ("GDS") subscriber agreement with Expedia, Inc., an
operating company of InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI). Over the term of the
agreement, Sabre Travel Network expects to process a meaningful portion of
Expedia's GDS bookings through the Sabre system. Specific terms are not being

"We are pleased to provide Expedia with the breadth of our distribution
services," said Hugh Jones, senior vice president, North America, Sabre Travel
Network. "This agreement underscores the value of the products and services
we provide to travel agencies."

"We are very pleased to announce Sabre Travel Network as a distribution
partner for Expedia," said Barney Harford, senior vice president of air, car
and private label at Expedia, Inc. "This agreement will bring diversification
to our GDS relationships."

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From: richardred12/30/2017 8:30:49 PM
   of 6102
The Year in Acquisitions: 22 Austin Startups That Were Acquired in 2017

Venture-backed startups are often faced with one of three futures — IPO, acquisition or failure. In this roundup, we’re looking at the most important acquisitions of 2017.

We cover acquisitions, mergers and fundings in our daily newsletter, The Beat. You can sign up for that here if you want to get this type of news when it happens.

Now, let’s take a look back at the Austin startups and tech companies that were acquired in 2017 — along with some of the investors who stood to benefit from those exits.

January CynergisTek, an Austin cybersecurity company that specializes in services for the healthcare industry, was acquired by Auxilio, Inc. Auxilio planned to pay $26.8 million in cash, stock and debt, and it offered up to $7.5 million more over the next five years if CynergisTek meets certain financial goals. CynergisTek was founded in 2004, and it does not appear to have raised any venture capital.


Silvercar, a tech-enabled car rental startup, was acquired by Audi. The deal was a natural fit since Silvercar, founded in 2012, built its brand around renting only silver Audi A4s and offering an easy-to-use app to get the car without waiting in the traditional lines at the airport. Audi had invested $28 million in Silvercar prior to announcing it would take a 100 percent stake. Audi didn’t say how much it paid in the acquisition. Silvercar raised about $60 million total, including a round led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and investment from Velos Partners and Austin Ventures.

April Nitero, a chipmaker that specializes in wireless, was acquired by California-based AMD. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Nitero, founded in 2009, had raised more than $3.1 million from investors including Austin Ventures, Southern Cross Venture Partners and Trailblaze Capital.

RetailMeNot, a digital discounts and marketing company that went public in 2013, was taken private in a $630 million buyout by Harland Clarke Holdings Corp. RetailMeNot was founded in 2009 and raised about $300 million from investors including Austin Ventures, Google Ventures, Adams Street Partners, JP Morgan Investment and Norwest Venture Partners.

AcademicWorks, an Austin-based edtech company founded in 2010, was acquired by Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), a Charleston-based cloud software company with a 300-plus person office in Austin. No word on the value of the acquisition.

Experiment Engine, an Austin-based company, was acquired by Optimizely, a San Francisco-based software company. No financial details disclosed. Experiment Engine, an alumni of Techstars Austin, was founded in 2014 by its CEO Claire Vo, who has worked with several Austin tech companies before founding Experiment Engine. She planned to join Optimizely and manage the product and team through the integration. Experiment Engine had raised funding from Corsa Ventures, Mercury Fund, Founder Collective and Right Side Capital Management.


Owlchemy Labs, an Austin-based VR startup that quickly became one of the most successful VR gaming studios, was acquired by Google. No word on the price point or other details. The acquisition comes on the heels of Owlchemy Labs’ release of the new Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality game. The startup had raised a $5 million series A from Qualcomm Ventures, HTC, The VR Fund, Colopl VR Fund, Capital Factory and a few Austin entrepreneurs.

Pristine, an augmented reality startup, was acquired by Washington D.C.-based Upskill. No word on the price paid. Pristine, led by CEO Peter Evans, had raised about $5.4 million. Its investors included S3 Ventures, Capital Factory and HealthFundr.


Whole Foods, the long-standing organic foods grocer, was acquired by Amazon for $13.7 billion. Whole Foods, founded in 1978, IPOed in 1992. In recent years, it had faced consumer and investor pressure over its prices at a time when traditional grocers were providing more organic offerings, which had been one of Whole Foods footholds. After the acquisition, Amazon began placing some of its devices for sale in Whole Foods stores — and the grocer also reduced prices on some of its goods.

Edgecase, an Austin-based retail data software company, was acquired by Toronto-based ecommerce company GroupBy Inc. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. As part of the move, Edgecase’s former office became GroupBy’s U.S. headquarters. Edgecase was founded in 2012 by Garrett Eastham — who was replaced as CEO by Susanne Bowen in 2015. The company had raised more than $15 million from investors including Austin Ventures, Capital Factory, Mike Maples Jr. (Floodgate) and Brett Hurt ( and formerly Bazaarvoice), Mack Capital and Allegro Venture Partners.

Kinnser Software, Inc., an Austin-based software developer for healthcare and hospice work, agreed to be acquired by Kansas-based Mediware Information Systems. Kinnser was owned by Insight Venture Partners. Mediware, meanwhile, is owned by TPG Capital. Kinnser was founded in 2003 by CEO Chris Hester. It had raised a $40 million Series A from Insight Venture Partners in 2012.

Mood Media Corporation, an Austin-based customer experience and engagement company, was acquired by Apollo Global Management LLC, GSO Capital Partners LP and other stakeholders. The move takes the company back into private ownership. Mood Media will keep its HQ in Austin.

July Clearhead, an Austin digital marketing optimization company with offices in Cincinnati and London, was acquired by New York-based Accenture (NYSE: ACN). No financial terms were disclosed. Clearhead was founded in 2012 by Matty Wishnow, Ryan Garner and Sam Decker.

August GloFish, an Austin company making bioluminescent pet fish, sold its IP for $50 million, the ABJ reported. Yorktown Technologies LP sold its GloFish brand and intellectual property to Madison-based Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. GloFish was founded in 2001 by Alan Blake and Richard Crockett.

September Newgistics, an Austin shipping and digital commerce startup, agreed to be acquired by Pitney Bowes ( NYSE:PBI), a global tech company, for $475 million. Newgistics, founded in 1999, raised about $26 million between 2000 and 2013, Crunchbase shows. It flirted with an IPO in 2011, filing to raise about $86 million. But it backed off the idea. Its biggest investor, at that time, was Austin Ventures. Other investors include Littlejohn & Co. LLC,Spiegel-Hermes General Service LLC, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company and AV Labs.

October Certain Affinity, a video game studio, accepted a $10 million investment from Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited for a 20 percent stake. Leyou also got an option to buy all the remaining shares of Certain Affinity in 2021 based on a formulation that won’t exceed $150 million. Austin-based Capstar Partners is also an investor in the company.

Novati Technologies, an Austin-based company that makes semiconductors, was acquired by Albuquerque-based Skorpios Technologies Inc., the ABJ reported. Novati, founded in 2012, will lose its name and assume Skorpios’. No financial details were released. But it seems the fast-growing company probably fetched a high price given it reported $40 million in revenue last year — that was up from $4.6 million in 2012. The company makes chips for healthcare companies and the defense industry.

November Top image: courtesy of Nestle Chameleon Cold-Brew, a cold coffee maker, was acquired by Nestle for an undisclosed amount. Chameleon was founded in 2010 by Chris Campbell and Steve Williams. It had raised about $9.2 million from investors including Boulder Food Group and Fortitude Capital.

Jwaala, an Austin mobile banking software company, was acquired by Georgia-based Alogent for an undisclosed amount. Jwaala was founded by former IBM workers in 2006, and it was initially backed by Amplify Federal Credit Union with an undisclosed amount.

The intellectual property of Austin’s Hypori, Inc. was acquired by Intelligent Waves LLC. The companies announced Intelligent Waves, based in Reston, Va., purchased the Virtual Mobile Infrastructure associated intellectual property for an undisclosed price. Hypori, which makes virtual mobile infrastructure for the federal government, was founded in 2011 (it was called DroidCloud back then) and has raised about $20 million.

Bridgepoint Consulting, an Austin firm that provides financial and tech support to businesses, was acquired by Chicago-based Addison Group, a large professional services firm with 22 offices in the U.S. Bridgepoint will keep its Austin HQ and its 140 employees will remain here.

Bazaarvoice agreed to a $521 million buyout by Marlin Equity Partners, a Los Angeles-based investment firm. The company, founded in 2015 by Brett Hurt and Brant Barton, IPOed in 2012. After a damaging lawsuit, its stock declined somewhat. Earlier this year, it launched a new product, Brand Edge, a product that gives companies that don’t sell directly to consumers access to reviews and ratings. The company expected the move to draw in thousands of new customers and drive revenue.


Keet Health, a patient engagement startup in Austin, was acquired by Clinicient, Inc., a business solution for outpatient rehab. Keet builds digital care plans with education and messaging components to engage patients. It was founded by David Self and Jon Read in 2015.

Amplify Snack Brands, maker of Skinny Pop Popcorn, was acquired by The Hershey Company for about $1.6 billion. The company was founded in 2014, and it went public in 2015. In recent years, it acquired Austin-based Oatmega protein bars, Pacqui chips and Tyrrells potato chips.

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To: richardred who wrote (4673)12/30/2017 8:34:58 PM
From: richardred
   of 6102
The year of the deal in Pa.? After a busy 2017, mergers and acquisitions unlikely to slow in 2018

Updated Dec 27; Posted Dec 22

This has been a year of mergers in central Pennsylvania.(PennLive file photos)


By Nick Malawskey

Across a spectrum of industries in Pennsylvania, 2017 was a year for big headline deals.

Companies took advantage of a surging economy to continue a trend of mergers and acquisitions that, experts say, is unlikely to slow in the year ahead.

And while each market segment -- retail, food, healthcare -- has its own internal trends driving M&A activity, those trends are buttressed by larger, broader market forces and a favorable regulatory environment that has companies looking to buy.

The list of business combinations and acquisitions making waves in Pennsylvania alone is dizzying: Ahold-Delhaize (which owns Giant), UPMC-Pinnacle, Rite-Aid-Walgreens, CVS-Aetna, Hershey-Amplify, Hershey Med and Highmark, Campbell's Soup and Snyder's-Lance.

Rebounding from the economic recession, over the last several years corporate profitability has soared. For example, the Derry Township-based Hershey Company's profit margins jumped from single to double digits post recession. That kind of growth has left some companies with strong cash reserves which, having weathered the financial storm, can be used to support mergers or acquisitions.

Those cash reserves are in turn supported by continued low-interest rates, which keeps borrowing costs low, said Daniel Eye, a senior portfolio manager at Roof Advisory Group in Harrisburg.

READ MORE: CVS, Aetna stocks down day after $69-billion merger announcement: What does it mean to consumers?

"With borrowing costs so low, it's much easier to buy companies/businesses and have that purchase be accretive to your earnings and to be accretive in a fairly short period of time," Eye said. "Investors, shareholders and the stock market in general tend to look favorably on acquisitions that are expected to add to the acquiring company's bottom line quickly."

While those market and regulatory forces have provided a strong financial environment to support M&A activity, many of the announced deals -- whether in healthcare or retail -- have sounded similar themes when being discussed by corporate officials.

When Hollywood Casino owner Penn National announced it was acquiring fellow gaming company Pinnacle Entertainment, corporate executives highlighted, among other things, the cost savings the merger would bring. An eye to cost savings was also a driver in the merger of Ahold and Delhaize which completed this year, and resulted in a restructuring of Ahold USA in the wake of the merger.

In industries like food or retail, where revenue growth is often slow, merging with or acquiring a competitor is a way for companies to increase their bottom lines through consolidation and cost reductions either through headcount reductions or consolidations in areas like manufacturing or distribution efforts, said Eye with Roof Advisors.

In addition to cost savings, an acquisition is often a way to increase market share and geographic reach -- both key considerations of the previous mentioned Penn National-Pinnacle Entertainment and Ahold-Delhaize mergers.

Growth was also a key driver of the recently announced Hershey-Amplify deal. Long a chocolate-focused company, Hershey has dominated the domestic chocolate market for decades with little room to expand organically.

READ MORE: Penn National-Pinnacle Entertainment deal will create gaming giant

For years Hershey has been looking to expand its snack offerings -- in 2015 it acquired beef jerky maker Krave -- and the deal announced just this week brings to Hershey Amplify's SkinnyPop brand among others, expanding the company's portfolio of snack products.

Similar forces are at work regarding the similarly-timed announcement that Campbell's was making a move to gobble up Snyder-Lance, another salty-snack maker which owns the familiar Snyder's of Hanover brand.

"This acquisition will dramatically transform Campbell, shifting our center of gravity and further diversifying our portfolio into the faster-growing snacking category," said Campbell's CEO Denise Morrison in a statement announcing the purchase.

Whether it's a bolt-on acquisition looking for increased marketshare or product diversification, or a true merger to advantage of economies of scale, geographic reach and increased buying power, companies in the midstate and beyond appear to be embracing a bigger-is-better ethos.

In part this is due, said John Engle, president of Almington Capital, because while the economy has surged in recent year the growth in GDP, and general economic activity has been somewhat tepid.

"That sluggish growth has helped to drive incentives across a range of industries for companies to pursue consolidation over organic growth," he said. "For companies that benefit from economies of scale, especially, acquisitions have played a major part in growth strategies in recent years."

READ MORE: UPMC Pinnacle unveils its new health care brand

Perhaps no industry's landscape has changed more than healthcare, at least in Pennsylvania, where major healthcare provider networks have been on massive consolidation campaigns for the last several years.

This year Harrisburg-based Pinnacle Health merged with Pittsburgh-based UPMC, the state's largest healthcare system. UPMC now owns almost two-dozen hospitals across western and central Pennsylvania, an incredible shift in what was a once a highly fragmented and community-based landscape.

That wave has been driven partially by cost-containment goals, but also by the better negotiating power offered by a larger system, particularly when negotiating contracts with insurers.

While consolidation and merger activity is likely to slow (at least regionally) in the healthcare provider market, the general pace of M&A activity isn't expected to slow in 2018. If anything, experts said, it's likely to increase -- driven in part to the nation's new tax plan.

Engle said he expects M&A activity to tick up as corporations repatriate overseas holdings thanks to the law's tax holiday, holdings which account to trillions of dollars.

READ MORE: Campbell Soup wants to acquire snack food company Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 billion

"A lot of that money is going to go toward corporate finance activities, including dividend increases and making new acquisitions," Engle said.

Those repatriated holdings, along with a lowering of corporate tax rates, will leave companies "flush with cash," said John Boyd, principal with the Boyd Company, who said he expects to see companies -- especially in the IT fields -- go on a buying spree over the next couple of years.

That, plus the federal government's "America First" policy could also drive business decisions as companies competing for federal contracts may have new incentives to shift operations back to the U.S., which could also spur M&A activity, he concluded.

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