S&P Global, IHS Markit Announce All-stock Merger Deal – Quick Facts

G4S Issues Statement On Extension Of GardaWorld Cash Offer – Quick Facts

G4S plc (GFSZY.PK,GFS.L) said its Board has urged shareholders to take no action in relation to the offer made by GardaWorld. The Board of G4S has unanimously rejected the offer. G4S noted that GardaWorld has received only 0.17% acceptances, reflecting the derisory level of the offer.

Earlier, Garda World Security Corp. said its offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of G4S plc is being extended and will remain open for acceptance until 1.00 p.m. on 16 December 2020.

Oil Prices Tumble Ahead Of OPEC+ Meeting

Oil prices fell on Monday in cautious trade as investors await the outcome of a meeting of producer group OPEC+ to decide whether to extend large output cuts.

Benchmark Brent crude for February delivery fell 2 percent to $47.30 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for January delivery were down 1.6 percent at $44.79.

Oil prices remain on track for a 20 percent gain this month, marking the strongest monthly gains since May, amid promising news surrounding coronavirus vaccine trails.

Oil-producing group OPEC, and its allies, are likely to delay an output hike when they meet later today and tomorrow.

OPEC+ previously agreed to raise output by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in January but the plan might be put on hold due to the demand decline prompted by a surge in Covid-19 cases and the second wave of lockdowns.

The group held an initial round of talks on Sunday, but no agreement was reached.

Aphria Closes Acquisition Of SweetWater Brewing Company – Quick Facts

Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO,APHA) announced the company has closed the acquisition of SW Brewing Company, LLC. The unitholders of SweetWater received $250 million in cash and $50 million in Aphria stock at closing. Aphria financed the cash component of the purchase price under the agreement through available cash on hand, including the recently raised funds under its At-the-Market equity program.

Irwin Simon, CEO, said: “We look forward to expanding our addressable market and leveraging SweetWater’s existing infrastructure to accelerate Aphria’s entry into the U.S. ahead of federal legalization of cannabis to fuel sustainable profitable growth.”

Fresh Attitude Baby Spinach Recalled For Salmonella Risks

Vegpro International is recalling Fresh Attitude baby spinach citing potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The recall involves Fresh Attitude baby spinach of 5oz with best before dates of December 4 & 5; and 11oz with best before date of December 4.

The affected products were produced in Vegpro’s Eastern Canadian plant and have been distributed only in Eastern Canada, as well as in six states of Northeastern United States.

All other Fresh Attitude product sold in the US is produced in Belle-Glade Florida and is not linked to the recall.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that the product was possibly contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

However, no illnesses have been reported to date.

Consumers are urged to return the affected products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

In similar incidents involving Salmonella risks, natural grocery retailer Vitamin Cottage Natural Food Markets Inc. in early November called back Natural Grocers Brand 4-ounce Organic Whole Elderberries. Meijer, a privately-owned retailer, in October recalled whole cantaloupe and select cut cantaloupe fruit trays and bowls.

Bitcoin Rises To 3-year High

Bitcoin rose to a three-year high on Monday.

After reaching $18729 at one point, the most popular cryptocurrency was trading at $18609 at the time of writing of this article.

After opening at $18,120, BTC rose by 2.52 percent in the last 24 hours.

From $12928 recorded a month ago, Bitcoin gained around 40 percent.

This is also the highest price of the year, traded at major cyrptocurrency trading platforms, that is more than 160 percent of its value at the beginning of this year.

The virtual coin has gained $2,431 over the last seven days – its biggest weekly gain since June last year.

On Monday, Bitcoin had a market capitalization of $344 billion, hitting one of the highest ever recorded.

The Bitcoin rally in the past six weeks is being attributed to a liquidity crunch afflicting bitcoin mining pools in China, triggered by a Government crackdown that reportedly prevents miners from selling their BTC holdings.

However, another section of analysts point to institutional investor interest as the reason for the BTC rally.

Bitcoin had recorded its highest price ever in December 2017 at nearly $20000.

S&P Global, IHS Markit Announce All-stock Merger Deal – Quick Facts

S&P Global (SPGI) and IHS Markit (INFO) have agreed to combine in an all-stock deal which values IHS Markit at an enterprise value of $44 billion, including $4.8 billion of net debt. Each share of IHS Markit common stock will be exchanged for a fixed ratio of 0.2838 shares of S&P Global common stock. Upon completion, current S&P Global shareholders will own approximately 67.75% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis, while IHS Markit shareholders will own approximately 32.25%. The merger is anticipated to close in the second half of 2021.

Douglas Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of S&P Global, will serve as CEO of the combined company. Lance Uggla, Chairman and CEO of IHS Markit, will stay on as a special advisor. Following closing, the company will be headquartered in New York.

The combined company expects to deliver annual run-rate cost synergies of approximately $480 million and $350 million in run-rate revenue synergies. The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings by the end of the second full year post-closing. The combined company anticipates to generate annual free cash flow exceeding $5 billion by 2023, with a targeted dividend payout ratio of 20-30% of adjusted earnings per share and a targeted total capital return of at least 85% of free cash flow between dividends and share repurchases.