Lawyer Monthly - February 2022

January saw the announcement of Microsoft’s acquisition of video game giant Activision Blizzard. The record-breaking $68.7 billion deal marks the video game industry’s biggest merger to date, as well as Microsoft’s largest acquisition, easily surpassing its 2017 purchase of LinkedIn for $26.6 billion1 and cementing Microsoft as the third-largest video game company in the world in terms of revenue.2 The $68.7 billion figure also represents nearly half of the $130 billion worth of cash, short-term investments and cash equivalents that Microsoft had accumulated by the end of September 2021. It may be fitting to begin 2022 with a landmark merger, as experts have predicted a strong year ahead for the M&A sector. The first three weeks of January have seen a combined $100 billion in technoloy deals, and 69% of acquirers and advisers in the tech industry now expect 2022 to equal or exceed the $1.24 trillion glut seen by the sector in 2021.3 The Mergers and Acquisitions Research Centre offered an optimistic but slightly more sober outlook, predicting “perhaps the second highest level of annual activity ever.” The IPO market has shown evidence of a rocky start to the year, with multiple SPACs pulling their offering plans in the face of highly volatile equity markets.4 While investor sentiment towards SPACs may be continuing last year’s slow cool, several noteworthy new entries to the market have announced intentions to list via SPAC mergers this year, including Italian space company D-Orbit (at a $1.4 billion valuation)5 and crypto exchange Apifiny (at a $530 million valuation)6. As ever, this section of the magazine features a selection of the significant deals that have taken place in the past month, together with exclusive interviews with some of the involved legal advisors. Continue reading to see the highlights of the year so far. What’sHappening in theWorldof M&As and IPOs? 70 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM FEB 2022 1 2 3 4 5 6

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