Stocks finished Friday with a modest rally, but they’re hugging the flatline so far today. Gold and silver are a bit lower along with Treasuries, while crude oil and the dollar are essentially unchanged.
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus – and he wants to buy Macy’s (M)! Okay, technically it’s Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital that are teaming up to make the $21-per-share buyout offer. But the deal to take Macy’s private is coming just before Christmas, and the price represents a 32% premium to where M shares closed on Friday.
So, it may be fair to call the offer a gift to suffering shareholders. Stiff competition from online and big box retailers have combined to drive Macy’s shares down more than 56% in the last five years.
There is another buyout deal to talk about, too – in the oil patch! Occidental Petroleum (OXY) said it would buy the Texas company CrownRock for $12 billion. The CrownRock deal will give OXY another 94,000 acres of oil-producing land in the Permian Basin, boosting production by about 170,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. It follows other mega-deals by the likes of Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) over the past year.
Finally, it seems many of the world’s wealthiest individuals are looking to shield assets from scrutiny and taxation in Abu Dhabi now. Billions of dollars are flowing into newly formed Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) there versus traditional havens like the Cayman Islands or Switzerland. Bloomberg reports more than 5,000 SPVs are on the books there, up from just a few dozen in 2016.