2021 was a record year for mergers and acquisitions activity, and this year may be another. In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Jan. 10, Fool contributors Jason Hall, Rachel Warren, and Toby Bordelon, along with Fool Canada analyst Jim Gillies, discuss the companies they hope won't get snatched up in 2022.
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Jason Hall: Zynga, about a $13 billion deal -- Take-Two Interactive is buying them. A console PC gaming giant is basically buying its way into social and mobile gaming, buying the FarmVille maker. What's the stock you own or that you love, Jim, that you hope doesn't get acquired, but you think just might?
Jim Gillies: Company is Winmark (WINA 0.58%). I've owned it since 2009. It's one of my all-time favorite companies.
Hall: Yeah, I own it too.
Gillies: It is a parent company for the franchising of Play It Again Sports, Once Upon a Child, Style Encore, couple of other concepts.
Hall: Used stuff.
Gillies: Used stuff. I love this company. I've gotten my entire cost basis back and then some just from the special dividends this company has paid, forget about regular dividends. I absolutely think it's a fantastic company. They have recently replaced one of their long-term directors with a guy who is an operating partner for a private equity group.
Hall: There you go, first shot across the bow.
Gillies: I'm like, OK -- usually, the types of companies that this PE group generally does is, they work on distressed workouts and those types of things, not really going for the full operating companies like Winmark. So I'm holding out hope, but please, please, Winmark, do not cause me to have a big tax bill.
Rachel Warren: I'm going to mention a stock Jim talked about earlier: Pinterest (PINS 1.02%). I don't own it. I want to buy it. I think its business is misunderstood in some ways.
I know user growth has slowed, but the way it's monetized its users continues to really impress me in all of those key markets. I like this company. I really hope someone doesn't buy it. I hope investors give it a chance. [laughs]
Hall: I think there are some big shareholders that want somebody to buy it too.
Warren: I think so too.
Hall: They just don't want to sell it for $33 a share. Toby, what you got?
Toby Bordelon: I'm going to say Naked Wines (WINE 1.75%). I think it's way too early for this one to be acquired. I think there's still some growth there, but the stock's down 40%. And as I mentioned earlier, they are a bunch of large alcoholic beverage companies with mediocre growth prospects. So maybe one of them will look at this. It's a possibility. But I hope that doesn't happen. I want to keep this one a little bit longer.
Hall: Really interesting business. I want to say that for sure.