Mergers & Acquisitions

A recent Supreme Court ruling regarding sales taxes and new tariffs on Chinese imports instituted by the Trump administration will impact many retailers, which could in turn have an effect on M&A activity in the retail industry. Continue Reading SCOTUS Tax Ruling and New Tariffs Could Affect Retail M&A Activity

Once the sole province of hedge funds and special interest groups, many mainstream institutional investors have now also embraced a more activist perspective with regard to their portfolio companies. In his most recent letter to CEOs, Blackrock chairman Larry Fink advocated in favor of a series of Environmental-Social-Governance (“ESG”) issues and rhetorically asked companies, “What role do we play in the community?” Other institutional money managers, like New York City’s Comptroller Scott Stringer, have also accelerated their ESG-focused shareholder activism in recent years, targeting well-known retailers such as Kroger, Walmart and Home Depot in the process.  Continue Reading Shareholder Activism at Retailers in 2018

On January 18, 2018, Hunton & Williams LLP’s retail industry lawyers, composed of more than 100 lawyers across practices, released their annual Retail Year in Review publication. The Retail Year in Review includes many topics of interest to retailers including blockchain, antitrust enforcement in the Trump Administration, ransomware’s impact on the retail industry, SEC and M&A activity in 2017, cyber insurance, vulnerability to class actions, and the reduced tax rate.

Read the full publication.

As consumers celebrated lower avocado prices at Whole Foods during the last week in August, views were mixed regarding the FTC’s decision not to challenge the Amazon/Whole Foods merger.

On August 23, 2017, the FTC’s Bureau of Competition issued a short statement that read, in its entirety: “The FTC conducted an investigation of this proposed acquisition to determine whether it substantially lessened competition under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, or constituted an unfair method of competition under Section 5 of the FTC Act. Based on our investigation we have decided not to pursue this matter further. Of course, the FTC always has the ability to investigate anticompetitive conduct should such action be warranted.”

Continue Reading FTC Allows Amazon/Whole Foods Deal to Go Through, but Not Everyone Agrees

In a video roundtable series, Hunton & Williams LLP partners Lisa J. Sotto and Steven M. Haas and special counsel Allen C. Goolsby, along with Stroz Friedberg’s co-president Eric M. Friedberg and Lee Pacchia of Mimesis Law, discuss the special consideration that should be given to privacy and cybersecurity risks in corporate transactions. Continue Reading Privacy and Data Security Risks in M&A Transactions: Video Series

In the early 1990s, before everyone could instantly buy almost anything from their smartphone, the proposed combination of QVC network and Home Shopping Network (“HSN”) reportedly was shuttered due to antitrust concerns.
Continue Reading What Once Was Old Is New Again: QVC and HSN Announce Merger Plans 25 Years After Last Attempt

On April 3, 2017, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it completed its review of Danone S.A.’s acquisition of The WhiteWave Foods Company Inc. (“WhiteWave”). In order to allow the $12.5 billion acquisition to proceed, the Antitrust Division is requiring Danone to divest the Stonyfield Farms business to an independent buyer approved by the U.S. government. Continue Reading DOJ Completes Review of Danone/WhiteWave Merger, Requires Divestitures

Since the beginning of 2017, the SEC has announced three enforcement actions charging companies, activist hedge funds and related individuals with violating the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These enforcement actions targeted parties who allegedly failed to comply with disclosure obligations in the context of hostile takeovers and shareholder activism campaigns.

Read the full alert.

On April 5, 2017, Hunton & Williams LLP and Stroz Friedberg will host a webinar on managing privacy and data security risks before, during and after an M&A transaction. Join Lisa J. Sotto, partner and chair of Global Privacy and Cybersecurity at Hunton & Williams; Rocco Grillo, Cyber Resilience Global Leader from Stroz Friedberg; and Keith O’Sullivan, CISO from Time Inc., for a discussion on how to prepare for and understand privacy and data security challenges in the context of corporate transactions. Continue Reading Managing Privacy and Data Security Risks in M&A Transactions