News Stocks 

Principal Financial held takeover talks with fund firm WisdomTree last year, and it shows how ETFs are driving a wave of M&A

“ETF manager WisdomTree held sale talks with asset manager Principal Financial Group late-last year, sources tell Business Insider” writes Bradley Saacks for businessinsider.com. The firm has partnered with distribution platforms like TD Ameritrade to offer model portfolios made up of WisdomTree and other asset managers’ ETFs.The industry is suffering from fee pressures, outflows, and increased market volatility, which has triggered some asset managers to consider striking deals.Shares of WisdomTree cratered in the last 12 months, falling 40% amid a broader sell-off among asset managers. Source: businessinsider.com

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News Platforms 

Fiverr acquires content marketing platform ClearVoice

“Fiverr has acquired ClearVoice, a five-year-old Phoenix-based company that helps content writers find new jobs and show off their portfolios” writes Manish Singh for venturebeat.com. Prior to the acquisition, ClearVoice had raised more than $3 million in total.Fiverr did not share how much revenue it generates, but the company has raised more than $110 million to date. Source: venturebeat.com

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News 

Facebook’s foray into eCommerce continues with the acquisition of GrokStyle

“Facebook spokesperson Vanessa Chan confirmed the acquisition saying, “We are excited to welcome GrokStyle to Facebook” writes Karissa Bell for mashable.com. “Our team and technology will live on, and we will continue using our AI to build great visual search experiences for retail.”. The company is known for technology that allows shoppers to search for furniture and other items by taking photos with their phones. Source: mashable.com

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Crypto Futures News Platforms 

NYSE Operator’s Crypto Platform Bakkt Finalizes Its First Acquisition

“By acquiring certain assets in the company, Bakkt said it hopes: Bakkt had announced the acquisition of assets in RCG in mid-January” writes Ana Berman for cointelegraph.com. Bakkt, the much-anticipated digital assets platform operated by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has closed its first acquisition, a tweet from the company revealed Feb. 8. More recently, Bakkt published a list of eight evidently new vacancies at the company, all of which are based in Atlanta and New York City.On Thursday, Feb 7, ICE — the parent company of the New York Stock…

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News 

Meet the jet-setting Goldman Sachs banker who led Qualcomm through a hostile takeover, got stuck in Trump’s trade war, and made magic happen across the semiconductor industry

“Honestly, I never thought I would have been a banker this long but at its core, I really love my job,” Kiely said” writes Becky Peterson for businessinsider.com. But in 2018, the trade war between the US and China put semiconductor deals in the region on hold.Not every advisory role is an M&A job, and sometimes long-term endeavors, such as Qualcomm’s attempted $44 billion acquisition of NXP, fall through. Source: businessinsider.com

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News Platforms 

Spotify bets big on podcasts with acquisition of Gimlet and Anchor

“The music-streaming giant has bought Gimlet Media Inc., a popular podcast producer, and Anchor, a platform that helps creators produce and publish their podcasts” writes Matt Binder for mashable.com. The company on Wednesday that it has made two huge acquisitions that firmly plant Spotify in the podcasting business.Spotify has only been in the podcasting business for about , when it first rolled out podcasts onto its already very popular music streaming service.The company is looking to spend up to $500 million this year to bolster its podcasting business. Source: mashable.com

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News 

Alm. Brand marks rise in number of customers after acquisition of Saxo Privatbank in 2018

“Including former Saxo Privatbank customers, the number of Pluskunder increased by 34% and has now exceeded 21,000 customers measured in terms of households” reports financefeeds.com. A year ago, Saxo Bank announced the sale of Saxo Privatbank, a fully licensed retail bank with branches across Denmark, to Alm.Brand reported strong growth in new lending, and the number of Pluskunder (customers who have pooled all of their business with the bank) was up by 13% in 2018, not including former Saxo Privatbank customers.The integration of the Saxo Privatbank activities was fully completed…

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New filing: Amazon spent $1.65B on acquisitions in 2018, headlined by Ring and PillPack deals

“Amazon spent $1.65 billion on acquisitions in 2018, according to a new regulatory filing from the company” writes Nat Levy for geekwire.com. Analysts are making some big predictions for Amazon acquisitions in 2019.Two major acquisitions headlined Amazon’s 2018: Smart doorbell maker Ring and online pharmacy company PillPack, reflecting the company’s larger ambitions in smart-home technology and in health care.In addition to those two buys, Amazon said it spent $57 million on other acquisitions in 2018.Amazon acquisition history: Amazon has only hit $1 billion in acquisition spending in two other years:…

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