Hellman & Friedman agreed to lead an $11 billion acquisition of Ultimate Software, a Weston, Fla.-based provider of human capital management cloud software.

Why it matters: No one on the outside seemed to see this mega-deal coming. There were zero media reports about a pending takeover, and neither Goldman Sachs nor Deutsche Bank were even covering the company until last week (when DB's "buy" rating clearly beat out Goldman's "neutral").

  • Other investors in the buy-side consortium include The Blackstone Group, GIC, CPPIB and JMI Equity. The deal includes a 50-day "go shop" provision, during which time Ultimate Software can solicit superior offers.

The bottom line: The $331.50 per share price represents over a 19% premium to Friday's close price, but just about matches its $330.73 all-time high set last September.

Go deeper: In hot cybersecurity market, acquisitions crowd out IPOs

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1 hour ago - World

U.S. policy shift will allow taxpayer funding for projects in West Bank settlements

Friedman (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel will announce tomorrow that they are expanding three agreements on scientific cooperation to include Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is a substantial policy shift for the U.S., which did not previously allow its taxpayers' money to be spent in the Israeli settlements.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.