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Merger and Acquisition

FTC Files Order in US Court to Restrain Microsoft From Acquiring Blizzard

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an order in a U.S. court to restrain Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard from going through.



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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an order in a U.S. court to restrain Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard from going through.

The FTC’s recent filing is coming after it had filed a legal challenge in December last year to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and is now seeking a temporary restraining order and injunction from a US Federal District Court.

The 34-page lawsuit filed by the FTC, reads in part, “Both a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction are necessary because Microsoft and Activision have represented that they may consummate the proposed acquisition at any time without any further notice to the commission.

“A preliminary injunction is necessary to maintain the status quo and prevent interim harm to competition during the pendency of the FTC’s administrative proceeding to determine whether the proposed acquisition violates U.S antitrust law. A temporary restraining order is necessary to maintain the status quo while this court decides whether to grant the requested preliminary injunction”.

Reports reveal that the FTC filed for an injunction in an attempt to halt the deal before the July 18 deadline, as it is concerned Microsoft may be preparing to close its acquisition regardless of the block. It is understood that European regulators have given the deal a go-ahead last month, which suggests that Microsoft could continue with its acquisition despite an injunction in the U.S. preventing the deal from closing.

Following the filing, the US judge will now need to decide on issuing a temporary restraining order to restrict Microsoft from closing the deal for two weeks and a preliminary injunction that would prevent Microsoft from closing until the result of the FTC legal challenge. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for August 2nd, shortly after Microsoft’s appeal hearing is scheduled.

Investors King understands that if the FTC’s injunction is unsuccessful, Microsoft will not hesitate to fast-track the deal

Speaking on the lawsuit filed by the FTC, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick emailed his employees Monday, describing the FTC’s action as “a positive development in our merger process.” Moving the case to federal court “accelerates the legal process,” he wrote, noting that the company’s excellent legal team has been, preparing for this move for more than a year.

Kotick suggests the merger will support its hundreds of millions of players, protect American workers, increase shareholder value, and enable the two companies to more effectively compete against the global competitors that dominate the video game industry around the world.

Why is the FTC Against Microsoft From Acquiring Blizzard

It is a well-known fact that Microsoft and Sony control the market for high-performance video game consoles. The number of independent companies capable of developing standout video games for those consoles has contracted, with only a small group of firms commanding that space today.

Microsoft now proposes to acquire Activision, one of the most valuable of those developers, in a vertical merger valued at nearly $70 billion that will increase Microsoft’s already considerable power in video games.  Therefore, the FTC suggests that if the deal goes through, would give the computer giant an unfair advantage over rivals.

With control of Activision’s content, Microsoft would have the ability and increased incentive to withhold or degrade Activision’s content in ways that substantially lessen competition- including competition on product quality, price, and innovation. This loss of competition according to the FTC, would likely result in significant harm to consumers in multiple markets at a pivotal time for the industry.

Meanwhile, Microsoft insists that taking over Activision would be advantageous for both the gaming industry and gamers and has even offered to put its name to a legal document that promises the availability of games like Call of Duty to other consoles for a decade.

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Merger and Acquisition

Dangote Industries Set to Revolutionize Agriculture Industry with Mega Merger, Creating Dangote Foods Plc



Dangote Industries Limited has unveiled plans for a merger that will give rise to a formidable entity known as Dangote Foods Plc.

This colossal conglomerate is poised to transform the agriculture industry and enhance food security across the nation.

The merger will combine three subsidiaries of Dangote Industries Limited, including Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Salt, and Dangote Rice, resulting in a diversely profitable mega-company.

The fusion, scheduled for completion by the end of 2023 pending regulatory approvals, promises to yield significant benefits for all stakeholders, notably shareholders.

Dangote Sugar Refinery’s Group Managing Director and CEO, Mr. Ravindra Singhvi, highlighted the merger’s strategic importance, stating its potential to create substantial shareholder value.

The amalgamation will not only generate cost-saving synergies but also expand product offerings and revenue streams.

Dangote Foods Plc is set to become a powerhouse in the market, boasting a wide array of products, including sugar, salt, tomato, and rice, among others. This merger will facilitate broader distribution capabilities and increased operational efficiency through synergy.

The journey towards this monumental merger began when Dangote Sugar Refinery notified the Nigerian Exchange Limited of its intention to merge with NASCON Allied Industries Plc and Dangote Rice Limited, both subsidiaries of Dangote Industries Limited.

This move marks a pivotal moment in the corporate history of Nigeria, with Dangote Industries Limited reaffirming its commitment to driving growth, innovation, and food security for the nation.

As regulatory approvals progress, Dangote Foods Plc is poised to emerge as a prominent player in Nigeria’s agricultural landscape, ultimately paving the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for the country.

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Merger and Acquisition

Eni’s Strategic Shift: Nigerian Agip Oil Co. Sold to Oando PLC



Oando Plc

Italian energy giant Eni has unveiled its plan to sell its exploration and production subsidiary, Nigerian Agip Oil Co. (NAOC), to indigenous energy solutions provider, Oando PLC.

This strategic move aligns with Eni’s 2023-26 strategy and awaits approval from local and regulatory authorities.

Eni’s decision to divest its onshore assets is driven by various factors, including ongoing oil thefts and spills and a shift towards more focused exploration budgets.

The Nigerian Agip Oil Company primarily operates in onshore oil and gas production and power generation.

It holds interests in four onshore blocks, oil mining licences (OMLs), two onshore exploration leases, and two power plants within Nigeria.

Previously, Eni held a 20% stake in four OMLs, with Oando also having a 20% stake, while the remaining 60% was owned by NNPC E&P.

Production from these assets feeds into the Obiafu-Obrikom plant and the Brass terminal, contributing 24,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to Eni’s net production in 2022.

Eni further exports a substantial portion of its gas production from these licences to the Nigeria LNG (NLNG) plant, where it maintains a 10.4% interest, with additional gas going to the Okpai plant and another open-cycle plant in Rivers State.

Ongoing efforts in the area include workovers to mitigate mature field decline and the development of new compressors to reduce gas flaring.

NAOC also manages the Okpai 1 and 2 power plants, boasting a combined capacity of 960 MW, along with two onshore exploration areas, OPL 282 and 135, where it holds 90% and 48% stakes, respectively.

Despite this divestment, Eni affirms its commitment to Nigeria through Nigerian Agip Exploration and Agip Energy and Natural Resources, as well as its continued involvement in onshore and offshore assets operated by others. Eni will also retain NAOC’s 5% interest in the Shell Production Development Company joint venture.

Wale Tinubu, CEO of Oando Group, expressed excitement about the deal’s potential to unlock unprecedented opportunities for the Nigerian energy company. This transaction aligns with Oando’s strategy of acquiring, enhancing, appraising, and efficiently developing reserves.

Oando’s acquisition of NAOC includes 40 discovered fields, with 24 currently in production, as well as 12 production stations, 1,490 km of pipelines, and three gas processing plants.

This purchase will significantly bolster Oando’s reserves, increasing them from 503.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) to a formidable 996.2 million boe.

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Merger and Acquisition

Access Bank Acquires Standard Chartered’s African Subsidiaries, Expanding its Global Footprint

The subsidiaries to be acquired by Access Bank include those in Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, and Sierra Leone, along with Standard Chartered’s consumer, private, and business banking business in Tanzania.



Access bank

Access Bank, a leading Nigerian financial institution, has reached an agreement to acquire Standard Chartered’s subsidiaries in five sub-Saharan African countries.

This strategic deal marks the success of Standard Chartered’s divestment plan announced last year, which aimed to streamline its operations and focus on faster-growing markets in the region.

The subsidiaries to be acquired by Access Bank include those in Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, and Sierra Leone, along with Standard Chartered’s consumer, private, and business banking business in Tanzania. As part of the agreement, Access Bank will assume responsibility for providing uninterrupted banking services to the employees and clients of Standard Chartered’s businesses in these countries.

Standard Chartered’s decision to divest its African subsidiaries aligns with its global strategy, which seeks to enhance operational efficiencies, reduce complexity, and drive scale. By redirecting resources within the Africa and Middle East (AME) region, Standard Chartered aims to capitalize on other areas with substantial growth potential.

The deal signifies a major step forward for Access Bank, solidifying its position as a leading player in the African banking landscape. With recent expansions in Europe and an extensive presence in key trading corridors across Africa, Access Bank is poised to build a robust global franchise.

The acquisition will enable Access Bank to serve as a gateway for payments, investment, and trade within Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world.

The value of the transaction remains undisclosed, and the completion of the deal is expected within the next year, pending regulatory approvals in the respective countries, as well as in Nigeria.

Sunil Kaushal, Standard Chartered’s regional CEO for AME, expressed confidence in the strategic decision, emphasizing the opportunity it provides to reallocate resources to high-growth areas within the region. This move allows Standard Chartered to optimize its operations and further strengthen its position in markets poised for expansion.

Roosevelt Ogbonna, Access Group Managing Director, commented on the acquisition, highlighting the bank’s commitment to bridging the gap between cross-border and domestic transfers across all business segments. With a focus on facilitating seamless transactions and enhancing connectivity, Access Bank aims to foster increased trade and investment within Africa and beyond.

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