MetLife to Buy Fortress Investment’s Logan for $250 Million

MetLife to acquire Logan Circle Partners for roughly $250M in cash

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MetLife (MET) and Fortress Investment Group (FIG) announced a definitive agreement for MetLife to acquire Logan Circle Partners, L.P., Fortress’ traditional fixed income asset management business, for approximately $250M in cash.

Following the anticipated separation of Brighthouse Financial next month and assuming the closing of the Logan Circle Partners acquisition, MetLife’s Investment Management business would have more than $560B in total assets under management, of which more than $140B would be managed on behalf of third parties.

Under the terms of the agreement, MetLife will acquire 100% of Fortress’ ownership stake in Logan Circle Partners.

This transaction will not impact MetLife’s existing $3B repurchase authorization, which is expected to be completed by year-end 2017. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.

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Rambus is For Sale

Rambus Hired Advisors to Explore Company’s Strategic Alternatives 

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Rambus Inc. (RMBS) manufactures and sells semiconductor products in South Korea and internationally. The company focuses on the design, development, and manufacturing through partnerships and licensing of technology and solutions related to memory and interfaces; and design, development, deployment, and licensing of technologies for chip, system and in-field application security, anti-counterfeiting, smart ticketing, and mobile payments.

Talk of potential deal activity caused shares to jump $1.20 this afternoon from the 11.60 level, followed by a volatility trading halt and reopen near 12.80, with a few quick call sweeps.

At exactly 1:26:26 ET, several thousand calls were swept across a number of strikes, including 667 Aug 12 calls from 38 to 45c, now worth $1.16, and several hundred Aug 13 calls from 11c to 28c.

Developing story..

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Berkshire Hathaway to Acquire Bankrupt Energy Future Holdings for $9B

Berkshire Hathaway Energy to acquire Energy Future Holdings for $9B in cash 

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Berkshire would be the latest suitor for Texas’ largest electric transmitter from parent company Energy Futures Holdings Corp., which is in bankruptcy.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy will acquire reorganized EFH, which will ultimately result in the acquisition of Oncor, an energy delivery company serving approximately 10M Texans.

The all-cash consideration for reorganized EFH is $9B implying an equity value of approximately $11.25B for 100% of Oncor and is subject to closing conditions, including the receipt of required state, federal and bankruptcy court approvals.

The transaction is currently expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Effective upon closing of the transaction, Bob Shapard will assume the role of executive chairman of the Oncor Board, and Allen Nye will assume the role of CEO of Oncor.

The Texas Public Utility Commission turned down NextEra’s $18.7 billion proposal to buy Oncor in April, citing concerns over the independence of Oncor’s board. NextEra is appealing the decision. But it appears Berkshire is sweeping in for less than the NextEra deal.

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Digital Ally Wins Patent, Shares Jump

Digital Ally announces denial of Axon request to invalidate ‘452 patent

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Digital Ally (DGLY) announces a significant victory in its legal battles against Axon Enterprise (AAXN).

On July 6, the U.S. Patent Office denied Axon’s petition for inter partes review, or IPR, of Digital’s Patent No. 9,253,452.

The Patent Office rejected every single ground of invalidity that Axon put forward challenging claims 7-10 and 20. These are the exact claims at issue in Digital’s litigation against Axon.

The Patent Office further found that “…the information presented [by Axon] in the Petition does not establish a reasonable likelihood that would prevail in showing the unpatentability of any of the challenged claims on the grounds set forth in the Petition.”

The ‘452 Patent generally covers the automatic activation and coordination of multiple recording devices in response to a triggering event such as a law enforcement officer activating the light bar on the vehicle.

This pioneering invention eliminates the burden of manually activating multiple recording devices when law enforcement officers are responding to an emergent situation. This invention will help to guarantee that all relevant evidence is captured, even if an officer forgets to activate his cameras.

With this loss, the company believes that the practical availability of Axon’s litigation defenses is now severely limited, principally leaving infringement and damages to be resolved.

Additionally, because Axon waited until nearly the expiration of its one-year time limit within which to file the most recent IPRs, Axon is now barred from filing any further IPRs against the ‘452 Patent, as well as against Digital’s Patent No. 8,781,292.

Digital Ally, Inc. produces digital video imaging and storage products for use in law enforcement, security, and commercial applications in the United States and internationally.

Axon Enterprise, Inc. develops, manufactures, and sells conducted electrical weapons (CEWs) worldwide. The company operates through two segments, TASER Weapons and Axon.

DGLY closed at $3.15, shares are up more than $2 in Friday’s pre-market trading. AAXN closed at $25.05.

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Advisory Board Could Be Sold for $1.5 Billion

UnitedHealth, Vista nearing deal to buy, split Advisory Board

Stocks to Buy, Take over targets

UnitedHealth (UNH) and Vista Equity Partners are close to a deal to buy and split up Advisory Board (ABCO), a health and education consultant, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

According to the report, UnitedHealth would acquire Advisory Board’s health-care unit and Vista would acquire its education business, which may sell for as much as $1.5B.

Vista has focused on high-growth software companies in recent years. First-quarter education revenue at Advisory Board, while comprising only 33 percent of the company’s overall sales, grew 15 percent from a year earlier. Health-care sales declined 6.6 percent, excluding exited programs.

UnitedHealth’s consulting unit focuses on aiding leaders of hospitals and insurers, implementing new technologies and advising health plans on how to design products and set rates.

Advisory Board’s consulting and research projects include collecting bills after care, improving patient care and helping hospitals and doctors with strategy and planning.

An announcement could be up to a month away given the complicated structure of the deal, the people noted.

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