Japanese elections and PetSmart deal — 5 things to know today

December 15, 2014, 1:00 PM UTC
Petsmart Poodle
NILES, IL - JANUARY 28: Petsmart pet groomer Danielle McFaul combs the hair of a teacup poodle at a Petsmart store January 28, 2003 in Niles, Illinois. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Photograph by Tim Boyle — Getty Images

Hello, friends and Fortune readers.

Happy Monday! The last week before the Christmas holiday truly begins starts today, and things are busy. There was a major private equity deal involving a certain pet store chain, and Uber is once again taking heat. Here’s what else to know in business today:

1. The British are coming! (for our pets)

BC Partners, a London-based private equity firm, has purchased PetSmart for $8.7 billion, reports Fortune‘s Dan Primack. The deal comes down to $83 per share, a 6.86% premium.

2. Let’s talk housing

The latest National Association of Homebuilders Housing Market Index number comes out today, and the industry is hoping to build on the momentum it had last month, when the number rose more than expected. A number above 50 represents positive growth, and last month the number ended up at 58.

3. Hong Kong protests cleared

The last protest site in Hong Kong has been cleared, according to TIME. The pro-democracy protests had raged for much of the fall, and though this seems to be the end, organizers said the fight would continue.

4. Uber gets in trouble — again

Uber’s bad PR slide continues. The ride-sharing service turned on “surge pricing” in Australia after the onset of a hostage situation in a busy section of Sydney. The company claimed it was to get more drivers on the road, but many thought it reeked of price gouging. Eventually, rides away from the hostage site were made free, though the higher prices remained in effect in the rest of the city.

5. Abe wins in Japan

Elections were held yesterday in Japan, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe got the huge victory he wanted. He didn’t get much of an economic recovery, though, as the Bank of Japan’s quarterly report was not good.

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