Eurozone’s Future Up In The Air; JAB Buys Pret; Bayer’s Divestiture

The Water Coolest

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Political turmoil in Italy sent US and international markets spiraling yesterday with the Dow dropping 400 points on fears that the new populist government could push the country to leave the eurozone.

As it so often does, the political turmoil spilled over into financial markets with owners of Italian bonds unloading their debt. Multinational companies that rely on sales to Europe’s third-biggest economy saw investors dump shares as well.

Simply put, the Italian political system is drunk and needs to go home. Elections in March proved inconclusive, leading to the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, appointing an interim Prime Minister, Carlo Cottarelli, who will stay on until another round of elections happens later this year.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a President, a Prime Minister, and an anti-establishment party walk into a bar.”



JAB, the privately held purveyor of consumer-facing food and drink, is in talks to nab every basic Manhattan white girl’s go-to lunch spot when they’re in a hurry and “can’t even,” Pret A Manger. JAB will acquire the company from Bridgepoint Capital in a deal valued at $2B.

Purchasing Pret is only JAB’s most recent foray into consumer-facing foods. JAB already owns Krispy Kreme, Panera, Peet’s Coffee, and in 2015 bought Keurig Green Mountain for $13.9B.

With Pret, JAB looks to take on their coffee-breathed arch-nemesis, Nestle. Nestle recently purchased Chameleon Cold Brew and a majority stake in Blue Bottle Coffee.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Check out that lineup, can you imagine what the breakfast spread at JAB must look like? Are they hiring?”



In what will be the largest anti-trust related divestiture of all time, Bayer will spin off assets worth $9B. BASF will buy the agricultural businesses, clearing the way for Bayer’s $66B proposal to buy Monsanto.

Bayer, best known for baby Aspirin, will prune its canola, soybean, and vegetable seed businesses, as well as Liberty, its herbicide business. The buyer, chemical giant, BASF was unavailable for comment on whether their products will turn us all into Alex Mack.

The US Justice Department had been c*ck-blocking the arranged tryst for almost a year citing “higher prices, lower quality and fewer choices” should the competitors be allowed to bump uglies.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “The Justice Department is over here worrying that the price of soybean seeds will increase but they’re allowing one of the largest chemical companies on earth to control the world’s seed population. I’m pretty sure this is how 90% of Marvel movies start.”




  • All company-owned Starbucks closed their doors yesterday afternoon for mandatory racial bias training. Maybe Roseanne should have attended.
  • MGM Resorts is buying New York’s Empire City Casino for $605M. A relative bargain on dead-beat, degenerate gambler per capita basis.
  • WellCare will purchase Meridian’s state insurance branches in Michigan and Illinois for $2.5B, adding roughly 1.07M new customers.
  • Canada will purchase Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, which could nearly triple the amount of Western Canadian crude transported to the Pacific coast. This deal is worth 4.5B Canadian Dollars … or roughly 3.46B real, US Dollars. The Dakota Access pipeline protesters are not going to like this one bit.
  • US indices were down yesterday:
    • DOW: -1.58%
    • S&P 500: -1.16%
    • NASDAQ: -0.50%


The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.