Hedgefund News Wrap: Week Ending 04/08/2016



(Fortune) – Just when the Pfizer and Allergan $160 billion merger received a green light, the U.S. government, specifically the President, took the deal to a screeching halt. As a result of a new U.S. Treasury rule aimed at such deals, titled “inversions,” Pfizer and Allergan walked away from the deal.

U.S. drug-maker Pfizer Inc. (PFE.N) and Ireland-based Allergan Plc (AGN.N) broke up on Wednesday and walked away from the historic $160 billion proposed mega-merger that was in the works. The merger would have allowed Pfizer to cut its tax bill by an estimated $1 billion annually by domiciling in Ireland, where tax rates are lower. Pfizer will now have to pay Allergan $150 million to reimburse expenses from the no-go deal.

Now, Allerigan has wasted little time in shacking up with someone else, as they have struck a $3.3 billion Alzheimer’s drug deal. Just hours after it’s break up with Pfizer, Allergan announced a significant licensing pact with the U.K.’s Heptares Therapeutics for its Alzheimer’s drug portfolio.

Read the entire article at Fortune
More coverage: New York Times and Rueters


(Business Insider) – After weeks and weeks of bidding, and Chinese insurance giant Anbang attempting to jump in and backing out, Marriott International and Starwood Hotels are officially the world’s largest hotel company.

The deal includes Marriott buying Starwood and paying its shareholders 0.8 shares of Marriott plus $21.00 in cash. Starwood shareholders will own about 34 percent of the combined company’s common stock after completion.

starwood and marriott

Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president and chief executive officer, said, “With today’s successful stockholder approval milestone, we are that much closer to completing our transaction. Our teams continue to plan the integration of our two companies, and we are committed to a timely and smooth transition.  We appreciate the stockholders’ vote of confidence in our ability to drive long-term value and opportunity as a combined company.”

The merger will create one big happy hotel family with 30 brands and 1.1 million rooms with Starwood’s Westin, W Hotels and Aloft joining Marriott’s Renaissance, AC Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton and others.

Read the entire article at Business Insider
More coverage: USA TODAY


(The Street) – Wait, who? Introducing Amy and Andrew, the artificially intelligent personal-assistance bots that do all of the time-sucking work for you. X.ai, the parents company of the bots, have just raised a round of venture funding totaling $23 million. X.ai plans to use the funds to beef up its data-science team and building out an enterprise product and eventually promote and sell it.

The bots take care of tasks such as scheduling meetings over email, all one has to do is “cc” Amy, or her counterpart Andrew, on an email regarding a meeting and she takes over the task of coordinating schedules and setting the date.

Of course, people are skeptical of using robots and what people may think of people who use them, but time will tell if people adapt.

Read the entire article at The Street
More coverage: CNN Money and Inc.com