Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm, is reportedly in discussions with the Walt Disney Company regarding the potential acquisition of Disney’s streaming and television operations in India, as per a Reuters report.
On a different note, UBS Group AG has decided to halt the majority of its municipal bond underwriting business. Despite being ranked the 20th largest underwriter this year, the bank plans to shift away from negotiated muni bond sales and is expected to reorganize its public finance group. This shift is likely to result in staff cuts, though specific details are yet to be determined. UBS aims to focus on alternative solutions to access the new issue market and reallocate resources based on increasing client and advisor demand.
In a memo, UBS Global Wealth Management executives Jason Chandler and Patrick Grob stated, “We will shift our business away from the solicitation of negotiated new issues and instead pursue alternative solutions to access the new issue market, and we will reposition our resources to focus on where we see increasing client and advisor demand.” The move marks a significant retrenchment for UBS, which had revived its state and local government bond underwriting business in 2017, following its exit from the space during the 2008 financial crisis.
As the municipal bond market faces challenges this year, UBS’s ranking among underwriters has fallen, compounded by its designation by Texas as one of several firms that “boycott” the fossil fuel industry. However, the bank maintains its focus on providing competitive solutions in the municipal space for its wealthy clients.
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