Pershing Square Acquires Initial Stake in Universal Music Group
Topic of the day
Pershing Square Holdings announced that Pershing Square Holdings Ltd., Pershing Square L.P., and Pershing Square International Ltd., through an affiliated entity, have acquired 128,555,017 Ordinary Shares of Universal Music Group (UMG), representing 7.1% of the company from Vivendi S.E. for approximately $21.78 per share (or EUR18.58 per share at today's exchange rate). The total cash consideration of $2.8 billion represents an equity value for UMG of EUR33 billion. PSH's share of the cash consideration is approximately $2.5 billion. PSH and its affiliates have the right to acquire up to an additional 2.9% of UMG's Ordinary Shares at the same price per share by September 9, 2021, which right Pershing Square intends to exercise.
The Swiss stock market ended trading on Tuesday with gains. The SMI again reached a new record high of 12,383 points. Once again, the defensive index heavyweights Novartis, Nestle and Roche in particular recorded gains of between 0.1 and 0.7 per cent. Investors shifted back into stocks around healthcare, it said. "The overweight in cyclicals is being cut back a bit," a trader said. The money is going into more defensive sectors. The SMI improved by 0.4 per cent to 12,362 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 14 price gainers and six price losers. 22.69 (previously: 22.16) million shares were traded. The shares of the insurers Swiss Life, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance rose by up to 0.9 percent. Munich Re's second quarter business figures were described as consistently solid in trading. Dufry gained 3.0 per cent after first-half figures. According to Baader Helvea, the results reflect the still difficult situation in the travel business. The global duty-free shop operator's results fell slightly short of consensus expectations, analysts said.
European equity markets closed higher on Tuesday, benefiting from a recovery in metals and oil prices as investors await the release of US inflation figures on Wednesday. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.4% to 472.3 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and SBF 120 indexes gained 0.1 percent each. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 gained 0.2% and the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.4%.Economic expectations declined in Germany for a third consecutive month, due to a more challenging environment for the German economy, the ZEW economic research institute said Tuesday. The measure of economic expectations decreased to 40.4 in August from 63.3 in July. The reading missed economists’ forecast of 57.5 points taken from a survey by The Wall Street Journal. Munich Re AG said Tuesday that net profit rose in the second quarter and raised its full-year target for gross premiums. The German reinsurance company posted a quarterly net profit of 1.1 billion euros ($1.29 billion) compared with EUR579 million a year earlier, as announced last month. Operating profit was EUR1.55 billion, up from EUR755 million the year prior, while gross premiums written came to EUR14.64 billion compared with EUR12.83 billion. Kloeckner & Co. SE shares were down in early trade on Tuesday after second-quarter earnings came in slightly below analysts’ expectations, despite a swing to net profit and a steep rise in revenue. At 0845 GMT, shares in the German steel-and-metal distributor were down 3.9% at EUR12.27. The stock has risen more than 50% since the beginning of 2021.
U.S. stocks ended mostly higher as investors weighed strong earnings along with Covid-19 worries. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% while the S&P 500 added 0.1%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped about 0.5%, weighed down by losses in big tech stocks. The earnings season that is now winding down has bolstered the case for stocks, with analysts expecting that profits from companies in the S&P 500 grew 90% in the second quarter from a year earlier, easily surpassing earlier projections. At the same time, many investors are watching with concern the increase in Covid-19 cases in the U.S. U.S. productivity rose rose at a 2.3% annual clip in the second quarter, the government said Tuesday. That’s down from a revised 4.3% gain in the January-March quarter. Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had projected a 3.7% rise. U.S. productivity increased at an 1.9% pace year over year. Moderna Inc. will build a plant to make messenger RNA vaccines in Canada under a deal with its government that could provide a template for increasing global capacity. The facility, announced Tuesday, will be built, owned and operated by Moderna, Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel said in an interview. He said the company is discussing building similar plants with countries in Europe and Asia, though he declined to say which ones. Wells Fargo & Co. said Tuesday that Charles Noski had stepped down as chairman of its board of directors and will be succeeded by Steven Black, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive who joined the board last year. Mr. Noski, a former chief financial officer of Bank of America Corp. who joined the board in 2019, will remain on the board until his retirement at the end of September.
The stock exchanges in East Asia and Australia are mainly somewhat firmer on Wednesday. One of the strongest gains was recorded by the Japanese market with a plus of 0.5 per cent, led by energy and steel stocks. Participants continue to bet on a recovery in corporate results. Japan Post Holdings and Dentsu Group will report during the day. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.3 per cent at 3,539 points, while the ChiNext Price Index is slightly lower, with a host of emerging sectors and startups.
Treasury yields were higher in Asia after they ended with gains on Tuesday as the U.S. Senate passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which calls for $550 billion in new public-works spending above what already was expected in future federal commitments. Asset manager Louis Navellier said the surge on yields is still tied to last Friday's strong payroll report, while consumer price data on Wednesday will be closely watched.
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