Welcome back to our Weekly Roundup where we share headlines and brief summaries of notable news stories from around the world, along with a link for those seeking further information.
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EU agrees €750 billion stimulus plan
European Union leaders clinched a remarkable deal on a massive stimulus plan for their coronavirus-throttled economies in the early hours of last Tuesday, after a fractious summit.
It took almost five days for the 27 heads of government to sign off on the emergency funds to aid the continent out of its deepest recession since World War II.
To raise the money, the European Commission received the go-ahead to borrow in the financial markets for the first time.
At the same time, the approval was gained for the EU’s next seven-year budget, worth just over a trillion euro.
You can read the full report from Reuters here.
Chevron deal may set off new wave of Mergers & Acquisitions
In the first big deal since oil prices crashed four months ago, Chevron agreed last Monday to buy Texas headquartered oil exploration company Noble Energy for roughly $5 billion.
Many experts are suggesting that this may prove to be the beginning of a sweeping consolidation in the U.S. oil industry.
Noble Energy’s 2018 returns showed revenue of near $5 billion, however the coronavirus pandemic has caused a sharp decline in oil demand, putting intense pressure on oil companies with large debts like Noble Energy.
While the collapse in the price of oil has negatively impacted all oil companies, the downturn has presented opportunities for the bigger players to “gobble up the smaller fish” and consolidate their place at the top of the pile.
“In a downturn like this, the strong get stronger and the weaker players try to survive as best they can, and some will be bought,” said Duane Dickson of Deloitte.
You can read the full report from the New York Times here.
Increase in SPAC activity causes “blank-cheque blitz” on Wall Street
Amid the many repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, SPACs (or special-purpose acquisition companies) seem to be the major trend in financial markets this year.
SPACs are shell companies that have no operations but go public with the intention of acquiring or merging with a company with the proceeds of the SPAC’s initial public offering.
Investors buying shares in the shells are making their own wager: that the reputation of the Spac founder will translate into the purchase of a great company at a good price.
“Everybody who has any standing in their sector is thinking about a Spac,” said Anu Aiyengar, co-head of global M&A for JPMorgan Chase.
You can read the full report from the Financial Times by clicking here.
A&L Goodbody named top graduate recruiter in law
A&L Goodbody has been voted Ireland’s most popular graduate recruiter in law for the ninth year in a row.
The firm won recognition in the 2020 gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards, which are adjudicated by an expert panel of judges and the votes of over 13,000 undergraduate students in Ireland.
Keavy Ryan, partner with responsibility for ALG’s trainee solicitor programme, said: “This is a significant milestone and re-affirms ALG’s long standing reputation as the law firm of choice for students looking for a career in corporate law.
You can read the full press release from A&L Goodbody here.
Pincent Masons expansion continues in Dublin
Pinsent Masons has continued to expand in Dublin, reaching a headcount of 60.
The firm also announced in their financial year reports that global turnover had risen by four per cent to around €545 million and profit per equity partner total around €600,000.
Managing partner at Pinsent Masons, John Cleland, said: “Our refreshed strategy commits us to measure and communicate performance and progress by reference to metrics that reflect our purpose and measure our impact on our colleagues, clients and communities.”
“The pandemic has accelerated a cultural and behavioural shift across the business community. We run the risk of alienating clients and future recruits by judging success primarily by reference to turnover and equity pay. Those are probably the two metrics our current and future stakeholders care about the least. It’s time to start the process by which we change that.”
In Dublin, Pinsent Masons’ transactions and advisory teams now include corporate, commercial, sourcing, employment, intellectual property, life sciences, litigation, regulatory, data, technology, cyber, investment funds, insurance, banking, energy, projects, infrastructure and real estate.
Gayle Bowen, partner and head of the Dublin office, said: “The firm’s strategic investment in Ireland is being realised a full year ahead of target.”
You can read the full report from Irish Legal News here.
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