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  • 🧩 The DOJ does not want JetBlue to have Spirit

🧩 The DOJ does not want JetBlue to have Spirit

PLUS: 2023's biggest IPO, SBF's punishment is using a flip phone, recent trends in PE lending...

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Welcome to Lookzy. In today's Lookzy:

  • The DOJ does not want JetBlue to have Spirit

  • Flip phone = cruel and unusual punishment?

  • 2023's biggest IPO yet

  • Recent trends in private equity lending

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ECON SNAPSHOT

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THE VERDICT

Arguing today's litigation news

DOJ loves Spirit. The Department of Justice is expected to file an antitrust lawsuit this week to block JetBlue Airways Corp.’s $3.8 billion merger with Spirit Airlines Inc. Regulators are expected to argue that the deal would harm competition and raise prices for consumers by eliminating Spirit as a low-cost rival. JetBlue said it is working with the DOJ to address its concerns and believes the merger would benefit travelers by creating a stronger network and more choices.

Flip phone only. Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, on bail facing extensive fraud charges, may be allowed to use only a flip phone with no internet capability and a basic laptop with limited functions while on bail, following unconfirmed reports that SBF may have been communicating with witnesses via Signal and accessing cryptocurrency accounts. SBF’s lawyers agreed to the proposal but asked for some exceptions, such as allowing him to use email and Zoom for legal purposes.

Church and State. The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the city of Ocala, Florida, which was sued by an atheist group for holding a prayer vigil in 2014 after a shooting that injured three children. The group claimed that the city violated the First Amendment’s separation of church and state by organizing and promoting the event. The city argued that the atheists lacked standing to sue because they did not attend or see the vigil. The lower courts ruled that the atheists had standing and allowed the case to proceed, which the city appealed.

$122M to go away. Media and entertainment company Paramount Global settled a shareholder lawsuit that challenged its merger of Viacom with CBS Corp in 2021. The settlement will provide $122.5 million in cash and stock to the plaintiffs, who claimed that the merger undervalued Paramount’s shares and favored its controlling shareholder National Amusements Inc. The settlement also includes corporate governance reforms and an agreement to end all litigation related to the merger.

THE DEAL

Wheelin' and dealin' today's corporate news

Big buyout. Silver Lake Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board submitted a $12.4 billion buyout bid for software company Qualtrics International Inc. Germany's SAP, currently the majority investor in Qualtrics owning 71% of the company, had announced in January that it was considering offloading its ownership of Qualtrics as part of a restructuring after acquiring its ownership for $8 billion in 2019.

Big IPO. United Arab Emirates-backed oil company Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. raised $2.5 billion in an initial public offering, floating 5% of its gas processing unit ADNOC Gas in what appears to be the year's largest global IPO to date. The IPO values ADNOC Gas at about $50 billion, roughly in line with Occidental Petroleum Corp.

Activist settlement. Bath & Body Works Inc. and activist hedge fund Third Point LLC reached an agreement in which the company agreed to add a third independent director to its board. As part of the deal, Third Point will withdraw its nominations and support Bath & Body Works’ slate at the upcoming annual meeting, ending the proxy fight.

PE lending market. Private equity firms are lending less as interest rates rise and demand cools. According to a study by Reuters, private equity loans now average an interest rate of up to 12%, up from around 7.5% in 2021. This has made conventional bank loans more attractive for borrowers, especially in sectors such as technology and healthcare that have performed well during the pandemic. Some private equity firms such as Apollo Global Management Inc. and Blackstone Group Inc. have shifted their focus to other areas of business such as insurance and real estate.

BUSINESS OF THE FIRM

Lateral Moves:

  • DLA Piper hired a team of 10 data scientists from Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath as it launches a new Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics practice.

  • Orrick hired partner Wes White from IP boutique Reichman Jorgensen Lehman & Feldberg.

  • Arnold & Porter hired partner Marina Richter from O'Melveny & Myers.

BOILERPLATE

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