Financial Daily Dose 5.28.2019 | Top Story: Fiat Chrysler and Renault in Talks to Merge


Fiat Chrysler and struggling post-Ghosn French automaker Renault are in talks to complete a merger of equals that could “reshape the global automobile industry.” If a deal is reached the combined company would be the third largest car company by sales in the world – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Fresh off an $85 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceutical over allegations related to the opioid epidemic in its state, Oklahoma is shifting its sights to Johnson & Johnson (the maker of a fentanyl patch) to see what it can do against the conglomerate now that Perdue and Teva are no longer part of the state’s public nuisance case against the drug makers and distributors – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Law360

California-based First American Financial Corporation, a title insurance provider, confirmed  late last week that it had fixed “a vulnerability in its website that exposed 885 million records related to mortgage deals going back 16 years”—a weakness that would have “allowed anyone to gain access to Social Security numbers, bank account details, drivers license and mortgage and tax records” – NYTimes and WSJ and Law360

Daniel Loeb and his Third Point empire are reportedly pushing health insurer Centene Corp. to consider selling itself before it drops $15.3 billion on a deal to buy WellCare Health Plans Inc., a deal the company announced back in March – WSJ

Just days after we reminded you that Meredith is extremely unsentimental about some of its biggest glossy brands, the magazine holding company giant announced that it’s selling the IP rights to Sports Illustrated to the Authentic Brands Group for $110 million. Meredith will retain publishing rights for SI for at least 2 years – NYTimes and WSJ

More payment-industry merging in a year that’s already seen two huge deals. Global Payments Inc. has agreed to purchase Total System Services Inc. as part of a deal valued at north of $21 billion – Bloomberg

Jack Ma’s Alibaba empire is mulling a second major public exchange listing—this time in Hong Kong—as a means for raising $20 billion. The e-commerce giant had a banner 2014 New York debut, but Ma reportedly has concerns about diversifying its funding channels, boosting liquidity, and bringing “China’s largest company closer to friendlier investors at home as U.S. tensions escalate” – Bloomberg and WSJ

Porsche contends that it’s a far cry from the rest of the VW family both on and off the road and is merely a “victim of ‘guilt by association’” in the diesel emissions scandal. Accordingly, it claims, it has no place in the car-dealer initiated RICO MDL against Volkswagen brands – Law360

Bloomberg goes to the source and finds Huawei founder and billionaire Ren Zhengfei “defiant” in the face of a new round of White House sanctions that “threaten his company’s very survival” – Bloomberg

So, volatility’s back en vogue.  Sounds like just the right time for Bitcoin to make a major comeback, right? – MarketWatch

White Collar Watch on what a recently passed House Financial Services Committee bill could mean (a uniform standard, for example) for insider trading charges – NYTimes

The Navy, the Pentagon’s Advance Aerospace Threat Identification Program, and UFOs.  Sign me up for this History-channel-at-2-am story – NYTimes


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