What you need to know on Wall Street today

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Inside the biggest ever all-cash merger

The day had finally arrived.

Almost two years after Bayer first made an offer to acquire Monsanto, and almost 18 months after the German drugmaker finally secured a $66 billion deal to buy the agrochemical company, it was time last week to close the transaction.

And when it came to paying for the largest all-cash acquisition in history, Bayer turned to JPMorgan, a bank that had been conflicted out of advising on the original deal. The US bank was entrusted with the unglamorous but enormously important work of collecting nearly $57 billion in cash from dozens of banks spread across multiple time zones, aggregating it into a single account and alerting other parties (the remaining $9 billion was financed through asset sales).

All before Monsanto shares opened for trading.

More here.

Fidelity diving deeper into crypto

An internal crypto fund at Fidelity Investments is looking for a new fund manager after key members of the team left the firm, according to people familiar with the matter.

The fund, which is small and exploratory, is inactive for now. It was launched in fall 2017 and used capital from the firm’s balance sheet to invest in crypto-related assets, the people said. It actively invested in digital currencies and crypto companies before two senior members of the project exited Fidelity.

The project, which has not been previously reported on, shows the extent to which Fidelity – by wagering its own capital -is diving into the nascent market for digital currencies. The fund invests in both crypto-assets and crypto companies, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Wall Street is sounding the alarm

The stock market looks like a runaway train right now compared to other asset classes. And while investors with dollar signs in their eyes may view the situation as a positive, Wall Street doesn’t like what it sees.

At the root of the concern felt by Goldman Sachs is the disconnect that’s growing between the equity and credit markets. The firm is specifically focused on US investment grade credit, which it notes has been selling off, even as stocks have continued to churn higher.

If this doesn’t strike fear in your heart, consider that the last time the US credit marketunderperformed stocks to this extent was in late January, mere days before the correction that rocked major indices. As such, Goldman is suggesting clients scale back the equity holdings in their portfolios ahead of what could be a turbulent summer.

The CEO of Publicis told us how he stared down a furious internal rebellion

Publicis Groupe’s new CEO, Arthur Sadoun, is sitting on the floor in a dark corner of the cavernous Porte de Versailles conference venue in Paris, and he looks grateful to be off his feet.

It’s a sunny day in Paris and the outside temperature is nearing 30 degrees Celsius (about 86F). The room is poorly ventilated. The stage lights are uncomfortably hot. Roughly 103,000 people are jammed into the conference centre, which is the size of two city blocks. The air conditioning is overwhelmed by their body heat.

Sadoun is surrounded by half-a-dozen of his top lieutenants in the Publicis empire. He is sitting on the floor because there aren’t enough chairs for everybody. Everyone is talking at once. Everyone is trying not to sweat.

Sadoun has just unveiled the ad agency network’s big, mysterious, and bold new move into artificial intelligence – a project named “Marcel.”

More here.

SoftBank revealed the inside story of how it took an $8 billion stake in Uber

You would think an offer of $8 billion might be a compelling enough reason to sign on a new investor. But not for Uber.

Rajeev Misra, the chief executive of SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, says he personally spent six months persuading Uber’s board to take his money.

SoftBank bought a 15% stake in Uber last year, making it the ride-hailing firm’s biggest individual shareholder and triggering major governance changes.

Speaking at the CogX conference in London on Monday, Misra said a consortium led by SoftBank paid “$7.9 or $8 billion” to buy shares from existing Uber shareholders. SoftBank also invested a further $1.5 billion directly into the company.

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