Financial Daily Dose 10.26.2020 | Top Story: Inspire Brands In Talks to Acquire Dunkin for Deal Worth $8.8 Billion

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PE-backed Inspire Brands is in negotiations to take over Dunkin’ Brands Group, the parent of both Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, in a deal valued at nearly $9 billion. Inspire includes Buffalo Wild Wings and Jimmy John’s among the big names in its stable of brands – Bloomberg and NYTimes and MarketWatch

Meanwhile, Bayer AG—still smarting from its 2018 acquisition of Monsanto (and its litigation-plagued Roundup weed-killer)—is in talks to pay upwards of $4 billion to acquire U.S. biotech firm Asklepios BioPharmaceutical in “a bet on cutting-edge gene therapy” – WSJ

Apollo Global Management, the massive investment fund run by Leon Black, is in crisis mode at the moment thanks to renewed scrutiny of Black’s “decades-long relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.” A series of investors are “distancing themselves from the firm,” and the “freeze in new money could hurt Apollo at a time when it’s trying to raise $20 billion for several new funds” – Bloomberg

Lee Kun-hee, “who built Samsung into a global giant of smartphones, televisions and computer chips,” died this weekend at 78. Lee had effectively helmed the chaebol since taking the reins of Samsung Group in 1987 after the death of his father. Since then, he served as chair of the Samsung Group, CEO of Samsung Electronics, and chair of the same, where he “remained Samsung’s big thinker, the provider of grand strategic direction.” He was twice convicted and later pardoned for white-collar crimes – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Last week we looked at the drama at Amazon over paid time off for voting. Today, we’ll kick off the week by rounding out the picture with a survey of how the rest of corporate America is addressing the rapidly approaching election day (while many are trying assiduously to keep out of party politics) – NYTimes

The Journal takes stock after Quibi’s demise, reminding us that while it’s arguably the best-financed of the lot, it’s hardly the only short-form streaming platform to go belly up in recent years. Go-90, Fullscreen, or Vessel, anyone?  – WSJ

Guitar Center is the latest retailer to begin preparing for “a potential bankruptcy filing that could come as soon as next month” after missing an interest payment of “roughly $45 million earlier this month, setting off a 30-day grace period that could end in default.” GC—the country’s “largest retailer of musical instruments”—managed to avoid a Ch. 11 filing despite a missed interest payment in April – NYTimes

Alibaba and Ant Group founder Jack Ma revealed on Friday that the latter’s “set the price of its record initial public offering in Shanghai,” though Ma didn’t share the amount. Ant’s IPO is “one of the most hotly anticipated” in years, “on course to make history by surpassing Saudi Aramco’s record $29 billion share sale in 2019” – Bloomberg

Yes, the recent DOJ/Goldman settlement over the 1MDB scandal included substantial clawbacks and bonus cuts for top GS brass. But the lack of an outside “compliance monitor requirement” in favor of Goldman’s internal “anti-corruption compliance monitoring” is “raising eyebrows” – Law360

Washington’s war on TikTok ticks on, with DOJ lawyers on Friday telling D.C. District Court Judge Carl Nichols that the White House was acting within its national security powers with its proposed restrictions on the video-sharing app that would make it “unusable on Nov. 12” – WSJ

Recent shakeups by WarnerMedia’s new overlord, AT&T, suggest that Jeff Zucker’s time as CNN president may be limited – WSJ

I found this Adam Gopnik piece on the history and staying power of the Louvre was just about perfect. I think you might enjoy it, too – NewYorker

Stay safe.

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