Senate GOP blocks bill that would fund government and suspend debt limit, as time runs short to avoid shutdown and default [CNBC]
Lawmakers need to approve government funding before Friday to avoid a shutdown. The U.S. risks default if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by a point that is likely to come in October, according to the Treasury Department…. Democrats now have to pull off a daunting series of maneuvers to avoid a sequence of events that could ravage the economy and cost millions of Americans their jobs. The Republican opposition may force them to pass a short-term funding bill with GOP support, then approve a debt limit suspension on their own — potentially as part of their up to $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan.

Bank Mergers Are On Track to Hit Their Highest Level Since the Financial Crisis [WSJ]
Banks have announced more than $54 billion in deals through late September, according to Dealogic. That puts industry mergers and acquisitions on pace for their biggest year since 2008, when some big banks had to sell themselves to stave off collapse. At this time last year, banks had announced just $17 billion in mergers…. “[Banks] are no longer fearful of the bottom falling out,” said Nathan Stovall, an analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence. “They are no longer looking at a deal like trying to catch a falling knife.”

Houlihan Lokey co-president accused of leaking information in takeover deal [N.Y. Post]
Despite the fact that [Scott] Adelson was serving as an independent director of QAD Inc., the financier was allegedly ferrying information to Thoma Bravo, a giant private equity fund that bid $2 billion in late June to take the software company private, according to the little-noticed lawsuit, which was filed this month in Delaware by a hedge fund that’s looking to stop the deal…. In June, a day after Thoma Bravo presented an offer for QAD — an offer that had been increased from its original price — Adelson signed a letter of intent to buy a plane with [QAD co-founder Pamela] Lopker for $4 million, according to the suit. Adelson allegedly agreed with Lopker to keep the purchase “our secret,” according to the suit filed by Nantahala Capital, a hedge fund with a 5-percent stake in QAD.

Goldman’s Petershill Unit Slides After $1.4 Billion U.K. IPO [Bloomberg]
The Petershill portfolio, which offers investors stakes in almost two dozen money management firms, priced at 350 pence a share, in the center of the marketed range. The shares dropped 1.7% on Tuesday, in contrast to European buyout firms that had stock pops on their first days of trading.
Petershill -- a Goldman entity set up in 2007 to acquire minority positions in private equity, hedge funds, and other alternative managers -- has attracted rivals like Blackstone Inc. and Dyal Capital, who have raised funds with similar strategies….

Activist Hedge Fund Starboard Has Big Stake in Huntsman [WSJ]
The exact changes Starboard intends to push for to improve its stock performance couldn’t be learned. Huntsman’s shares are little changed since the company’s 2005 initial public offering, closing Monday at $28.07 versus $24.50 on their first day of trading.

Sunac Isn’t Evergrande—But It Is on Shaky Ground [WSJ]
Its stock rose 15% Tuesday, partly reversing a two-day slump after a document circulated online saying a unit of the developer was asking for government help…. Before the latest episode, Sunac’s shares and bonds were among the worst performers in recent weeks since investors feared contagion from Evergrande’s fallout. The developer prospered during China’s property boom by borrowing to spend on land and acquisitions. Sunac’s revenue last year was 230 billion yuan, the equivalent of $35.7 billion, more than six times its sales in 2016. Its borrowing, meanwhile, ballooned at a similar rate to $47 billion as of June, around half of Evergrande’s level.

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