Opening Bell: 12.19.23

BlackRock Accused by Tennessee of ‘Misleading’ ESG Strategy [Bloomberg via Yahoo!]
State Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said BlackRock funds that don’t take into account ESG factors are being unfairly impacted by the asset manager’s membership in climate groups, its shareholder-voting record and the pressure it puts on companies to meet environmental goals….

FTC’s Khan and DOJ’s Kanter Beat Back Deals at Fastest Clip in Decades [Bloomberg]
The US Federal Trade Commission said it brought 24 enforcement actions, while the Justice Department’s antitrust division brought 26 in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2022…. The stepped-up regulatory activity came amid a spike in transactions. There were 3,152 deals reported to the government in 2022 – the second highest number since 1976 and more than double the average filings in the previous decade.

Another Quiet Year for VC Deals [II]
[Tiger Global Management’s] VC arm, which only a year or two ago was making one new private investment a day, on average, is no longer the most active investor within this group of firms best known for their hedge funds.

Software firm Alteryx to be taken private in $4.4 bln deal [Reuters via Nasdaq]
Alteryx stockholders will receive $48.25 per share in cash for each share…. Shares of the data analytics software company fell 2% in premarket trading.

Balyasny Hiring in Energy as Sector Retains Lure for Hedge Funds [Bloomberg via Yahoo!]
Balyasny will add power traders in Denmark and may bulk out to its growing gas, power and carbon desk in London…. The company has already hired several commodities investment professionals in Singapore….

The Office Market Had It Hard in 2023. Next Year Looks Worse. [WSJ]
Many landlords have been able to extend their loans, often by putting in more capital. But a lot of those extensions are now expiring, and owners are losing hope that occupancy rates will rebound soon…. Office demand shows no sign of returning to prepandemic levels. While the number of full-time remote employees has dwindled, hybrid workplace policies look here to stay. 


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