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Merger and Acquisition

Nigerian Owned Pleasures Magazine Founder Adedotun Olaoluwa Acquires American Media Giant Gannett’s Shares

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Globally acclaimed Dotmount Communications Group, publishers of Pleasures Magazine today announced its acquisition of Gannett Co.Inc’s shares, a highly respected diversified news and media information company that operates in broadcasting, publishing, and digital, in a move expected to enhance the Dotmount Communications’s global reach with comprehensive integrated services for a strong stable of clients and projects.

Gannett (GCI) is a diversified news and media information company that operates in broadcasting, publishing, and digital. The most famous brand the company owns is USA Today. Its broadcasting segment runs 43 TV stations; its publishing segment provides daily content through more than 80 daily publications and more than 400 non-daily local publications; and its digital segment covers content through digital platforms, digital marketing services, and an online HR software solution.

“In just ten years of existence, the parent company of Pleasures Magazine, Dotmount Communications Group has made an extraordinary impact in the ever-evolving world of media and digital marketing — establishing itself as an emerging dominant player in the field, we are thrilled with this addition to our growing roster of media platforms,” says Adedotun Babatunde Olaoluwa, President and Executive Chairman of Dotmount Communications Group.

“We respect and recognize that chairman Mike Reed has been at the forefront of thought leadership about the convergence of media platforms – and his team’s abilities will be great assets for our firm.”

Dotmount’s new acquisition comes on the heels of a string of acquisitions over the past two years. Since fall 2019, the company has snapped up shares from major media companies.

Dotmount Communications Group, an international strategic communications consultancy that uses an in-depth understanding of public, commercial and political drivers to provide insightful strategic counsel and meet complex communications challenges.

The group has over the years supported government, corporate and private entities, delivering sophisticated communications programmes that shape awareness, guide opinion and enhance understanding on a national, regional and international basis.

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Merger and Acquisition

Titan Trust Bank to Acquire Union Bank as Atlas Mara, Others Sell 89.4 Percent Stake

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Titan Trust Bank Limited, the newest national commercial bank in Nigeria is set to acquire an 89.4 percent stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.

This followed an agreement reached by Union Global Partners Limited and other major shareholders to divest 89.39 percent shareholding in Union Bank to Titan Trust Bank.

In May 2021, Investors King reported that Atlas Mara Limited, a London Stock Exchange-listed company, was looking to offset its 49.97 percent stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and exit Africa. Zenith Bank, Access Bank and others were reportedly in talks with Atlas Mara to acquire its stake in Union Bank, according to a Bloomberg report.

In a not so surprising statement, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc on Thursday announced it has received notification from Union Global Partners Ltd and other existing shareholders of the bank (presumed to be Atlas Mara Limited and other minority holders) of their intentions to relinquish a combined 89.39 percent stake in Union Bank to a new buyer, Titan Trust Bank.

The board of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc disclosed this in a statement signed by Somuyiwa Sonubi, Company Secretary and obtained by Investors King. The bank added that the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other financial conditions, would upon completion transfer 89.39 percent of Union Bank’s issued share capital to Titan Trust Bank.

Commenting on the development, the Chairperson of Union Bank, Mrs. Beatrice Hamza Bassey said, “on behalf of the Board, we congratulate all the parties involved in reaching this phase of the transaction and the Board looks forward to supporting the next steps to ensure a seamless completion of the process following regulatory approvals. We are grateful to our current investors whose significant and consequential investments over the past nine years facilitated the transformation of Union Bank, one of Nigeria’s oldest and storied institutions. Today, the Bank is well-positioned with an innovative product offering, a growing customer base of over six million and consistent year on year profitability. This is a solid foundation for our incoming investors to build on as we move into a new era for the Bank.”

On his part, the Chairman of Titan Trust Bank, Mr. Tunde Lemo, OFR said, “The Board of Titan Trust Bank and our key stakeholders are delighted as this transaction marks a key step for Titan Trust in its strategic growth journey and propels the institution to the next level in the Nigerian banking sector. The deal represents a unique opportunity to combine Union Bank’s longstanding and leading banking franchise with TTB’s innovation-led model which promises to enhance the product and service offering for our combined valued customers.”

Established in 1917 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971, Union Bank is one of Nigeria’s long-standing and most respected financial institutions. The Bank has a network of over 280 Sales and Service Centers across Nigeria.

Similarly, Titan Trust Bank is the newest national commercial bank in Nigeria. Started by a former CBN Deputy Governor, Tunde Lemo, It commenced operation in October 2019 with a strong capital base and demonstrated precision in the execution of its strategy by showing tremendous growth, even in difficult times.

Edited by Samed Olukoya.

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Merger and Acquisition

WarnerMedia & Discovery Receive Green Light for Merger

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The proposed merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia, which would see the former acquire the latter from under the umbrella of telecoms giant AT&T, has finally been given the green light by the European Commission to go ahead.

Discovery announced today that it has finally received unconditional antitrust approval for the deal from the European Commission, bringing it one step closer to the completion of the merger. The plans to move WarnerMedia from under AT&T to merge with Discovery were first announced in May this year, but only today did the European Commisson – the executive body of the European Union – give the deal the much-needed go-ahead.

Plans for the merger included David Zaslav, current President and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery continuing as the CEO of the new merged company. AT&T and Discovery plans to bring television stations like CNN, TBS, TNT, HGTV, Food Network and Discovery Channel together under one umbrella. It also plans to include streaming services HBO Max (owned by Warner Bros.) and Discovery+.

According to Discovery, the deal is expected to be closed in mid-2022, as it still waits on other approvals from regulatory bodies and the final go ahead from the company’s shareholders. AT&T’s shareholders do not need to give any approval for the deal to go through.

The deal has been said to be worth $43 billion. The decision from AT&T to sell WarnerMedia to Discovery for just over half of the price it was bought shows that WarnerMedia (which was known as Time Warner at the time of the initial acquisition) did not live up to the expectations placed on it by the telecoms company.

AT&T acquired WarnerMedia back in 2018 for a fee of $85 billion, as the streaming market began to experience a battle of strength, dominated by heavyweights Netflix and Disney.

Now, the new deal is expected to pile pressure on streaming heavyweights Netflix and Disney, as the combined strength of Discovery and WarnerMedia is sure to place the new “Warner Bros. Discovery” company in direct competition with other streaming heavyweights.

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Merger and Acquisition

Oracle to Acquire Cerner in $28 Billion Deal

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American software giant Oracle has launched an expansion into the healthcare space, as it finalised an agreement to purchase American technology hardware, device and service provider, Cerner. Cerner also designs software used by medical professionals to store and analyse medical data and records.

Oracle Corporation agreed a deal to acquire Cerner, in terms that include an all-tender offer for $95 per share, approximately $28.3 billion when looking at equity value. The acquisition is expected to be closed in the 2022 calendar year. Currently, the deal is still subject to regulatory approvals as well as Cerner stakeholders tendering most of Cerner’s outstanding shares in the tender offer.

The acquisition of Cerner bodes well for Oracle, whose expansion into the healthcare scene will boost both the reputation and financial strength of the company. The acquisition will not mean that Cerner will cease to exist, but rather that Cerner will begin to operate as a dedicated Industry Business Unit under the umbrella of Oracle, which intends to grow Cerner’s reach by using Oracle’s global footprint to access new areas much faster than would be accessible normally.

Cerner will make use of Oracle’s resources and infrastructure to improve the technological services in order to ensure that it can provide better, faster and more efficient care for patients. Some of the resources belonging to Oracle which will be particularly useful in the deal are Cloud, AI and ML.

All the Cerner systems which will be running on the Oracle cloud will be available at every period in time. Running on the Oracle database will also mean that the information and data will only be accessible to authorised healthcare professionals, with IT workers unable to access the private data.

The Chief Technology Officer and Chairman of Oracle, Larry Ellison said that one of the major benefits of this deal is the reduced workload on the medical professionals, who now have digital tools that make accessing information easier. He also said it would look to improve privacy in the healthcare system.

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