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The boards of CBS and Viacom were negotiating late into Sunday night, trying to hash out a price for their long-awaited all-stock merger, Bloomberg reports. The companies aim to announce a merger by today, although the timing could slip into Tuesday, capping years of failed merger attempts and board infighting. Shari Redstone, whose family investment vehicle National Amusements controls both companies, would become chairman of the combined entity, while Viacom CEO Bob Bakish would lead the firm as CEO. (SA)

 

Investment banks are shedding thousands of jobs, with almost 30,000 losses announced since April as falling interest rates, weak trading volumes and investor pressure to protect profits force the sector to shrink.  Most of the cuts have come in Europe, with Deutsche accounting for more than half the total, but in New York City jobs in commodity and securities trading have also gone.  Bank executives are under pressure from investors to cut costs and protect profits. Since long-term US interest rates began to fall in November, financials have fallen 5 per cent, while the S&P 500 has risen 6 per cent. (FT)

 

Trying to diversify away from ETFs and index funds, BlackRock (the world’s largest asset manager) has scooped up a 30% stake in Authentic Brands Group, parent company of Sports Illustrated, for $875M. Created in 2010, Authentic Brands Group also owns Aeropostale, Juicy Couture, Nine West, Spyder, and Frye. The deal values Authentic at more than $4B including debt and will see BlackRock supplant private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners as its largest shareholder. (FT)

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.

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