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4 Big Mergers and Acquisitions You Need to Watch Out in 2015

May 10th 2015 at 10:51 AM

The year 2014 has been very rewarding for many investment banks because of the many big transactions that they helped to materialize. This whetted their appetites for more, which it seems, they will likely achieve in 2015.

Financial activists want business titans to make divestments, while businesses focused on buying out businesses are eager to put their money back to work. Indeed, there are great potentials for mergers & acquisitions in 2015. Here are some of the big things that may occur this year.

1. Time Warner Cable - Comcast
Some financial analysts predict that the planned acquisition by Comcast of Time Warner Cable could be turned down by Washington. This would derail a $45 billion deal which would be costly to the parties concerned except Comcast.

It appears that Comcast has no money tied up if the deal will not push through. But many banks stand to lose big money if the biggest deal of the year will not push through. If the FCC turns down the Comcast- Time Warner Cable deal, adverse repercussions can affect the cable industry in 2015.

2. Darden Restaurants
There is a brewing breakup in the chain of Darden Restaurants. This restaurant chain is feeling the pressure from Barington Capital Group. Darden suffered a backlash when Barington and other investors complained that the $2.1 billion sale of Darden’s chain of Red Lobster restaurants was too meager.

At the start of 2015, Darden is being pressured to initiate improvements in its Olive Garden chain even if its shares are not doing very well at the stock market. If this make-over of Olive Garden will not take place, expect a Darden break up in the coming months.

3. Yahoo-AOL Merger
Although it is really not a certainty, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer's ambition of building Yahoo! back into a web titan can be potentially derailed if activist Starboard Value gets its way. 

If things don’t go the way Mayer has planned, Yahoo! will be sold off and merged with another Internet 1.0 pioneer: AOL. If such a thing happens, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong will take the lead role in the combined company, considering his capability as an operations whiz

There is very little to report so far in the merger and acquisition process. But if it takes place, it's likely to be a multi-billion-dollar deal, certainly much bigger than the cost of a Chick Fil A franchise. This would provide a windfall in advisory fees to the participating banks.

4. Break Up of Hewlett Packard
This is not the usual M&A pushed through by an aggressive outside investor. Hewlett Packard decided to divide the company before any outside hedge fund investor lay siege to its 75 year old business legacy.

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