Big mergin’: Wallets are out and mergers are happening, people

Phones, fuel, and timeshares: Major M&As this week, from T-Mobile and Sprint, to Marathon Petroleum and Andeavor.

Recently, all’s been fairly quiet on the M&A front. But yesterday a few mega-mergers took place, throwing an idling year for takeovers and tie-ups into high gear.

Big mergin’: Wallets are out and mergers are happening, people

And these are BIG.

Marathon is cooking with gas

Marathon Petroleum Corp. agreed to buy rival Andeavor for more than $23B in the biggest tie-up between US oil refineries in history.

As the world’s top fuel exporter, the US ships 3m+ barrels of gasoline and diesel per day. Thanks to Andeavor’s existing presence in Texas and North Dakota, Marathon’s ex-competitor now gives them access to the booming US shale oil sector — if you’re gonna own it, why not own it all?

‘Big vacation’ just got even bigger

Marriott Vacations agreed to buy timeshare operator ILG inc. for close to $4.7B in a stock and cash deal that will create the largest luxury brand for timeshare vacation resorts.

Together, the firm will have revenue of $2.9B and own more than 100 vacation properties around the world. The merger is predicted to contribute to $75m in annual savings within the next two years.

Now, that’s a great vacation deal.

And then there were 3

T-Mobile and Sprint, the nation’s 3rd- and 4th-largest wireless carriers, agreed to a $27B merger with the potential to shake up the US telecom industry.

The deal marks the latest attempt by T-Mobile (operated by Deutsche Telekom) and Sprint (run by SoftBank) to pool their subscribers — and finally hold a candle to giants like Verizon and AT&T.

T-Mobile and Sprint have flirted for years at the telecom-prom, but US regulators were good chaperones and kept them apart. But as Chinese telecoms threaten to crash the 5G party, regulators may go from monitors to matchmakers to keep US hometown heroes in the limelight.

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