Weekly Digest January 26

Weekly M&A Digest
A curated selection of transactions and deals from the past week.
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Deal Summary

The Boeing Company to acquire Wisk Aero

The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA), a multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles worldwide, announced that they have invested $450 million in Wisk Aero. This investment will further advance the development of Wisk’s 6th generation eVTOL aircraft, a first-ever candidate for certification of an autonomous, all-electric, passenger-carrying aircraft in the U.S. The funding will also support the company as it enters an intensive growth phase over the next year, including its preparations for the launch of scale manufacturing and its extensive Go-to-Market efforts.
“With this investment, we are reconfirming our belief in Wisk’s business and the importance of their work in pioneering all-electric, AI-driven, autonomous capability for the aerospace industry. Autonomy is the key to unlocking scale across all AAM applications, from passenger to cargo and beyond. That’s why straight-to-autonomy is a core first principle. Boeing and Wisk have been at the forefront of AAM innovation for more than a decade and will continue to lead in the years ahead.” - Marc Allen, The Boeing Company’ CSO

Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), a multinational technology corporation that produces computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services, announced the acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), a leader in game development and interactive entertainment content publisher, for $68.7 billion. As a result, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. The planned acquisition includes iconic franchises from Activision, Blizzard, and King studios like “Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “Overwatch,” “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush” in addition to global eSports activities through Major League Gaming.
“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms…We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community, and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive, and accessible to all.” - Satya Nadella, Microsoft Chairman and CEO

The transaction is expected to close during their fiscal year 2023, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Curtiss-Wright to acquire Safran Aerosystems Arresting Company

Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE: CW), a global diversified product manufacturer and service provider, announced the acquisition of Safran Aerosystems Arresting Company (SAA). SAA is a designer and manufacturer of aircraft emergency arresting systems with over 5,000 systems worldwide and currently sells into more than 70 countries for $240 million.
“The acquisition of the Safran arresting systems business increases the breadth of our global defense portfolio and firmly establishes Curtiss-Wright as a leading global supplier of fixed-wing aircraft recovery and arresting systems…SAA’s technologies are a logical extension of our existing helicopter landing and recovery systems. The combination provides an opportunity to leverage our long-standing relationships with leading defense customers supporting critical defense platforms, such as the F-35, and is expected to yield significant opportunities for revenue growth, including increased foreign military sales.” - Lynn M. Bamford, Curtiss-Wright Corporation’ President, and CEO

Utz Brands to Acquire Clem Snacks and J&D Snacks

Utz Brands, Inc. (NYSE: UTZ), a manufacturer of a diverse portfolio of savory snacks through popular brands, announced the acquisition of the assets of two existing third party direct store delivery (“DSD”) distributors of Utz’s products, Clem Snacks, Inc. (“Clem,” a subsidiary of Clem Companies) and J&D Snacks, Inc. (“J&D”).
“We are excited to build on the solid foundation and stellar reputation that the Clem and J&D teams have built. These two key distribution partners have been representing and distributing Utz’s brands in the five boroughs of New York City and Long Island, NY, over the last twenty-five years, and we look forward to working closely with our independent operator network to expand and grow our expansive portfolio of brands in this vibrant and diverse market…The opportunity for growth and expansion remains robust, and we are poised to drive it to new heights.” - Steve Liantonio, UTZ’s Senior Vice President and National Sales Operations.

The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.

Griffon Corporation acquires Hunter Fan Company

Griffon Corporation (NYSE: GFF), a multinational conglomerate, announced the acquisition of Hunter Fan Company, the leading U.S. brand of residential ceiling fans, for $845 million (subject to post-closing adjustments). Hunter is now part of Griffon’s Consumer and Professional Products (CPP) segment.
“Hunter is a fantastic addition to our family of iconic brands, including AMES, True Temper, and ClosetMaid... “Hunter has strong strategic alignment with our Consumer and Professional Products segment and will enhance our product portfolio while accelerating our growth and online market presence. We are pleased to welcome the Hunter Fan team to Griffon.” - Ronald J. Kramer, Griffon CEO

SOURCES