Starbucks Licenses Coffee Sales To Nestle; Merger Monday; Instagram Adds Music To Stories

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Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes and 41 seconds



Starbucks hit it big, er, Trenta, signing a $7.15B coffee licensing deal that will allow Nestle to sells its products in stores around the world.

The deal appears to be the best thing since the Unicorn Frappuccino for both parties. Nestle will hold exclusive rights to peddle the world’s most popular coffee brand, and Starbucks will forge a partnership with the planet’s largest food and beverage company. Can you say power couple?

Starbucks will be putting its extra cash to good use, vowing to increase their share buyback amount from $15B to $20B by 2021.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “The only thing more infuriating than someone who says “expresso” is someone who thinks Starbucks brewed at home is even remotely better than gas station coffee.”



Monday’s are for deal closers only. Last week Sprint & T-Mobile and Marathon Petroleum were dominating the headlines. This week …

For the health of it: (To be fair, this deal is pending) Paul Singer and his activist investment fund, Elliot Management is saying “help me, help you” to Athenahealth. Elliot’s angle? Athena, the healthcare software company isn’t taking advantage of expansion opportunities. Already a part owner (8.9%), Elliot is seeking the remaining shares, in a deal that will take the company private and value it at roughly $6.5B.

Tastes like chicken: International Flavors and Fragrances, a flavor and fragrance maker (duh) with a focus on massive packaged food manufacturers, will buy Frutarom, a competitor in the space with a more health-conscious clientele, for $6.5B This is a match made in Flavortown.

Back in Black: Blackstone knows that Amazon and its competitors need a lot of warehouse space to store all the stupid sh*t you don’t need but you buy anyway. That’s probably why the firm made a $7.6B bet on Gramercy Property Trust.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Just shy of seven billion dollars seems like a relative bargain for a company whose R&D department is full of the greatest minds of our generation. Experts in making Doritos taste like ‘Cool Ranch’ aren’t exactly a dime a dozen on Linkedin.”



According to reports, a partnership with streaming services like Spotify will allow users to add music to their Instagram Stories, accompanied by a song title label.

The Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform, which has been looking to increase the distance between itself and its main competitor Snapchat, also announced the ability for users to share third-party content (think: GoPro) in their stories.

Speaking of Snapchat, the company which has traditionally shunned third-party content integrations, had some good news of its own: it plans to hire the VP of Finance away from Jeff Bezos and Amazon, to take over as Snap’s new CFO following Drew Vollero’s departure on May 15th.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “If these music stickers eliminate horribly shot, dark videos of concerts that you can’t even hear, then I will never use another social media platform again. Zuckerberg is now appealing directly to the court of public opinion.”




  • NBCUniversal has partnered with iSpot TV to better track how effective advertisements are based on actual business outcomes (e.g. actually going to the company’s website). iSpot can anonymously track viewers activity after showing an ad. No word on Cambridge Analytica’s level of involvement in this dark magic.
  • Digital shots fired! Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella claims that his company will outlast Amazon and Google in the cloud computing space thanks to more “trust” in Bill Gates’ baby.
  • Walmart announces that they will limit offering prescriptions for acute opioid drugs to 7-day maximums. They are also implementing e-prescriptions (in 2020) that are harder to counterfeit. If Breaking Bad taught us anything, it’s that drug regulations are merely speed bumps
  • Google is partnering with the Koch brothers to change the way that bail fees are set in the US.
  • US indices were up yesterday:
    • DOW: +0.35%
    • S&P 500: +0.39%
    • NASDAQ: +0.77%


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.