Mar 6, 2017

Activist investor doubles stake in WebMD

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Blue Harbour Group, the activist hedge fund run by Cliff Robbins, disclosed Monday that it spent $173 million to double its stake in WebMD, the online health care information resource for consumers and physicians. Blue Harbour now owns almost 9% of WebMD.

What this means: A deal could be imminent, and Blue Harbour may be trying to cash in. Last month, WebMD said it was exploring a sale or merger. Rumors of a sale have surrounded WebMD for more than a year, but Blue Harbour didn't buy its first WebMD stock until late 2016.

Looking ahead: A big source of WebMD's revenue, which totaled $705 million last year, is pharmaceutical advertising. However, WebMD executives have said they expect smaller advertising budgets from drug companies as they wrangle with pricing pressure from President Trump and Congress.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.