Stocks climbed ever so slightly on Monday, shaking off steep losses early in the session as investors digested global trade concerns and awaited a decision from the Trump administration on whether to impose new trade tariffs on China later this week.
A bidding war for Perry Ellis
Perry Ellis stock jumped 8% after the clothing company received a $28-per-share acquisition bid from Randa Accessories. The offer represents a slight premium over the $27.50-per-share (or $437 million) go-private deal that Perry Ellis struck last month with its founder and chairman, George Feldenkreis.
As such, Perry Ellis' board has promised it will "carefully review and evaluate" the proposal from Randa in order to decide which offer is in the best interests of shareholders. But with shares closing today at $29.33 -- well above both its current offers -- it seems the market is betting the bidding will go even higher from here.
BRF's meaty restructuring
Shares of Brazilian pork and chicken giant BRF climbed 12% today after the company announced it will sell assets, including operational units in Europe, Thailand, and Argentina, with the goal of raising nearly $1.3 billion. With BRF still reeling from the fallout of a food safety scandal and the arrest of its former CEO in March, followed by an export ban on its products by the EU, the moves will enable the company to focus on Brazil, Asia, and other geographies in which it enjoys "a leading position and has strong competitive advantages."
BRF also noted it will continue moving forward with a previously announced Brazilian factory restructuring, with "final adjustments" at 22 of the 35 plants in its home country slated to be complete within the next 60 days.
Acxiom's transformational sale
Finally, Acxiom stock climbed 14.2% after Reuters reported early in the day that Interpublic Group (NYSE:IPG) was close to a deal to buy the database marketing company's core marketing solutions unit.
Sure enough, Acxiom confirmed the deal shortly after the market closed, announcing a definitive agreement to sell Acxiom Marketing Solutions to Interpublic for a whopping $2.3 billion in cash. The sale is expected to be complete by the end of this year, and should provide roughly $1.7 billion in net cash proceeds to Acxiom. After that, Acxiom plans to retire its debt, initiate a $500 million cash tender offer for its common stock, increase its outstanding share repurchase plan by up to $500 million, and use the remainder of its proceeds to invest in growth initiatives, make strategic acquisitions, and meet ongoing cash needs.
Keeping in mind the marketing solutions division comprised around three-quarters of Acxiom's total sales, the company will also rename itself LiveRamp to reflect its new focus on its faster-growing remaining business unit of the same name.
"The successful completion of this transaction represents yet another milestone in the Company's transformation," stated Acxiom CFO Warren Jenson. "This deal returns significant capital to shareholders, and at the same time, allows us to invest in LiveRamp's industry-leading capabilities, technology and market opportunities."