2021 Hot Deals - The New York Times

Agreement that captured the zeitgeist 2021: The year of the memes stock, Robinhood reigned supreme. The free brokerage firm, whose app w...


Agreement that captured the zeitgeist 2021: The year of the memes stock, Robinhood reigned supreme. The free brokerage firm, whose app was the tool of choice for traders who fueled the frenzy in GameStop, AMC and others, went public in July and briefly became a store of memes itself. He has since given up on his early earnings, like many other memes stocks.

The agreement that has never been: Aon’s $ 30 billion acquisition of Willis Towers Watson was announced with great fanfare – for an insurance deal – in March 2020, and things slowly went downhill from there. The Ministry of Justice for follow-up in June of this year to block the deal, and companies abandoned about a month later, rather than fighting it in court. It was the Biden administration’s first challenge to a potential merger, and its success set the tone for a wider push against business consolidation.

  • Honorable mention: Pinterest investors loved PayPal’s punchy price tag, but the payment company’s shareholders weren’t happy, so it pulled the plug.

Trade-in agreement: Less than a week after Didi’s initial public offering in New York City in June, China cracked down on the Beijing-based company, stop new user registrations and order it on the app stores. Caught in escalating tension between China and the United States, Didi’s stay in New York City did not last long: six months after its IPO, during which its stock market value fell by half. , Didi announced he would be struck off from New York and transfer its shares to Hong Kong.

  • Honorable mention: Two years after a spectacularly failed IPO, as the pandemic threatened its core coworking business, WeWork went public in October via a PSPC deal, succeeding in raising over $ 1 billion in the process. Adam neumann, the ousted founder of the company, said there had been “many lessons and many regrets.”

Offer of the year, DC edition: What started as a $ 2,000 billion proposal which included money for “human infrastructure” like home health care emerged from the bargaining process as a tighter $ 1 trillion package focused on the physical maintenance of roads, bridges, public transport and high-speed internet. Always, President Biden’s bill, enacted last month, represented the biggest investment in infrastructure in more than a generation – and an increasingly rare example of bipartisan compromise.

Crypto Release Party: It’s been a big year for all things crypto, but Coinbase has stood out. The cryptocurrency exchange public registration in April, which saw its value climb to nearly $ 90 billion on the first day of trading, marked when digital token trading became mainstream. Well, that and all the crypto companies hire lobbyists in Washington.

Trader of the year: Some investors rely on sophisticated algorithms to tell them when to buy and when to sell. The richest man in the world has just launched a poll on Twitter. He asked his millions of followers if he should sell 10 percent of his sizable Tesla holdings, they said yes, and he obliged. The brutal sale of over $ 10 billion in stock, and the count, made more sense when it became clear that Mr. Musk was already facing a huge tax bill for exercising stock options. purchase of expiring shares. Also, he has regularly demonstrated his ability to move around the price of Bitcoin with his tweets – and managed to shout Dogecoin on “Saturday Night Live. “

SPAC innovation attempt of the year: Bill Ackman’s $ 4 billion special purpose acquisition firm is the largest ever raised, and when it identified a deal target this year, it broke new ground: a complex purchase proposal 10 percent of Universal Music, which unexpectedly spawned a new kind of blank check company as part of the deal. Alas, the deal was rejected by regulators and the SPAC was hit by a lawsuit. The billionaire’s hedge fund bought Universal’s stake instead, but continued with its plan for a new type of vehicle, he called a SPARC, which he said improves on the traditional structure of PSPC. In a SPARC, investors don’t put money up front and sponsors, like Ackman, don’t have a deadline to find a merger partner. It’s a blank check for a blank check. (Regulators are wary of that too.)

The most shocking PSPC offers: Electric vehicle makers have launched PSPC mergers, but some leading companies have bypassed this year: Nicolas and Lordstown overthrown their leaders as they fought to keep noble promises. (Nikola’s Trevor Milton was later charged with fraud.) Speaking of high promises, a wave of electric flying taxi companies have also signed PSPC agreements this year, and some have found things as difficult as their counterparts on the ground: Archer Aviation was mired in a legal battle on trade secrets shortly after announcing its merger with a PSPC.

Agreement we didn’t see coming: Ken Griffin, head of the Citadel hedge fund, won an auction for a rare original copy of the US Constitution with a bid of $ 43.2 million – beating a group of crypto traders who had pooled millions of dollars to bid on the document.

Agreement we should have seen coming: Former President Donald Trump, used to complicated financial transactions, entered the world of PSPCs via a convoluted affair take his start-up social media business Public. Shortly after, the blank check company, Digital World, revealed that it investigated by the SEC

  • Honorable mention: Another trend-seeking Trump family member, former first lady Melania Trump, announced this week that she enter the NFT.

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