Posts filed under “M&A”

AOL Buys HuffPo for $315 Million

The Huffington Post, Ariana Huffington’s news and political focused website, has been acquired by AOL for $315 million — $300 million cash, the rest in stock.

Huff Po began in 2005 with a $1 million investment; it has since grown into one of the most heavily visited news Web sites in the country. The NYT called the deal “an unlikely pairing of two online media giants.” It is the company’s largest acquisition since the break up of AOL Time Warner in 2009.

In a surprise, Arianna Huffington will take control of all of AOL’s editorial content as president and editor in chief of a newly created Huffington Post Media Group. The Times notes she will have oversight not only of “AOL’s national, local and financial news operations, but also of the company’s other media enterprises like MapQuest and Moviefone.” The deal was signed on Sunday at the Super Bowl in Dallas, where Huffington and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong were watching the game.

AOL owns a series of well-known digital brands, including Mapquest, Politics Daily, the pop-culture news site PopEater, movie-news and ticket reservation service Moviefone, and the tech-news and review sites Engadget and TechCrunch, and local site This is at least the 5th acquisition by AOL since September 2010 (, TechCrunch, 5min Media, Thing Labs).


Betting on News, AOL Is Buying The Huffington Post
NYT, February 7, 2011

Category: Financial Press, M&A, Web/Tech

Insider Trading Prove Focused on M&A Tips

> The WSJ is reporting that the SEC is looking at specific Health Care takeovers that seemed to be tipped in advance to several big hedge funds. The chart (above) shows the extent and timing. There are many legal reasons to have owned these names, but the issue here is whether or not the funds…Read More

Category: Legal, M&A

WSJ: Expert Networks = Insider Trading

The WSJ occasionally buries huge stories in its much less read weekend edition; recall the option backdating investigation in 2006. This past weekend was a classic example of this: “Federal authorities, capping a three-year investigation, are preparing insider-trading charges that could ensnare consultants, investment bankers, hedge-fund and mutual-fund traders, and analysts across the nation, according…Read More

Category: Analysts, Legal, M&A

The History of Google Acquistions

Jess Bachman, who did several of the fantastic illustrations for Bailout Nation, turns his attention to this epic infographic of all of Google’s acquisitions in the pipe: > click for ginormous graphic > via SEO site

Category: Digital Media, M&A, Web/Tech

2010 M&A by the Numbers (1H)

Barron’s has some interesting data points on deal activity in 2010: • 1,701: volume of deals in the first half, about stable with the like period in 2009 • $362 billion: total value of deals in the first half • 8.7%: rise in first-half deal value from the 2009 period • $41.6 billion: value of…Read More

Category: M&A

As Goldman Bagged Clients, Merrill Bagged Itself

As a stark counterpoint to How Goldman Sachs Bagged Clients, I recall ever so fondly how Merrill Lynch bagged itself:  With a Sept. 2006, top-of-the-market, $1.3 billion acquisition of sub-prime originator First Franklin from National City: First Franklin is one of the nation’s leading originators of non-prime residential mortgage loans through a wholesale network.  [...] “This…Read More

Category: Bailouts, M&A

William Ackman on Kraft/Cadbury

Discussing Pershing Square’s stake in Kraft, with William Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management.

Part I

Part II

Airtime: Wed. Jan. 20 2010 | 7:21 AM ET

Category: M&A, Video

Buffett Sells Moodys, Buys Burlington Santa Fe

Dump the dog, buy the thoroughbred: • Berkshire Buys Burlington Northern in Buffett’s Biggest Takeover (Bloomberg) • Buffett’s Berkshire Sells More Moody’s (Barron’s) Prior to the takeover, Berkshire owned 22.6% of Burlington Santa Fe. At the end of 2008, Berkshire held 48 million shares of Moody’s. Their stake is now down to 38 million shares,…Read More

Category: M&A

Some of the emails that recently came to light — from prior to the Merrill acquisition closing — makes it pretty hard for the company to claim MAC — Material Adverse Condition. The email exchanges make clear it they had a pretty good idea about the lousy condition Merrill Lynch was in. To my read,…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Corporate Management, Legal, M&A

How Has Merrill Acquisition Impacted BofA?

Huge Bloomberg article on BofA’s Merrill acquisition. My view is that the vast majority of all mega-mergers are unmitigated disasters. The one true exception seem seems to be Commodity mergers (especially Energy/Oil), where you increase reserves but cut admin overhead. As disastrous and expensive as the acquisition has been, the Bloomberg column argues it also…Read More

Category: Bailouts, M&A