Shareholders of WestJet Airlines, a Canadian airline, voted in favor of its deal to be acquired by billionaire Gerry Schwartz’s private equity firm Onex Corp for C$3.5bn ($2.6bn). The deal was announced in May 2019. More than 92.5% of the votes cast at the special meeting were in favor of the proposed deal.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, CIBC, Blake Cassels & Graydon and Norton Rose Fulbright advised WestJet. Barclays, DLA Piper, Fried Frank, Goodmans and Longview Communications advised Onex. Barclays, Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets provided debt financing.
Charter Communications, an American telecommunications and mass media company, submitted a proposal to the Justice Department to buy telecom assets being sold under the $26bn T-Mobile and Sprint Corp combination, but never heard back from the agency. US officials decided to accept a deal to sell assets including Sprint’s Boost Mobile brand to satellite TV provider Dish Network to resolve antitrust concerns, ending extensive talks on a merger the Justice Department is expected to approve this week.
The Justice Department’s lack of response to Charter could raise concerns among critics of the $26bn merger of wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint that officials did not weigh all divestiture offers before deciding on a deal with Dish.
Morrison & Foerster is advising Softbank. Richards Layton and Finger, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Latham & Watkins, Hogan Lovells, DLA Piper, Allen & Overy, PJT Partners, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Evercore, Deutsche Bank are advising Deutsche Telekom. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett, Potter Anderson & Corroon, Morrison & Foerster, Goodwin Procter, The Raine Group, SMBC Nikko, Mizuho Securities, JP Morgan, Centerview Partners are advising Sprint Corp.
Aquiline Capital Partners, a private equity firm investing in financial services and technology, acquired CoAdvantage, a professional employer organization, and provider of strategic human resource solutions for small to mid-sized companies, from investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Aquiline Capital Partners has expertise in the insurance, benefits and Human Resources administration industries that will be valuable to our business as we continue executing our growth strategy while maintaining the company’s independence,” Clint Burgess, President & CEO of CoAdvantage.
Lazard advised CoAdvantage. Piper Jaffrey and Willkie Farr & Gallagher advised Aquiline. Debevoise & Plimpton advised Morgan Stanley.
ClearSky-led consortium acquired Altamira Technologies, a market leader in delivering innovative, mission-focused analytics and engineering solutions to the US national security community. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are very excited by the opportunity that this new partnership will provide to continue to drive strong organic growth, invest in innovative new solutions, as well as for strategic acquisitions,” said Altamira CEO, Ted Davies. “We have carefully constructed a unique platform built to scale and support core national defense and intelligence missions and are enthused that our investors share our vision for the future.”
KippsDeSanto & Co and Cooley advised Altamira. Ropes & Gray and Venable advised McNally Capital.
First Reserve-backed LineStar Integrity Services acquired Remote Operations Center and The Compliance Group, two compliance consulting companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Paul Neundorfer, CEO of LineStar, stated, "We are excited to work with the ROC and CGI teams to deliver a level of expertise and breadth of service to our combined customer base that does not currently exist in our market. These transactions align well with our strategy of adding talented, proven operators to our organization and being responsive to industry demands, particularly those associated with regulatory compliance."
Banner Corporation, the holding company for Banner Bank and Islanders Bank, agreed to acquire AltaPacific Bancorp, the holding company for AltaPacific Bank, for $87m. The transaction is subject to approval by AltaPacific shareholders, regulatory agencies and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.
“AltaPacific Bank is a respected business-focused bank and we consider it a compliment they chose us as their merger partner,” said Mark Grescovich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Banner Bank. “This is an excellent addition to Banner because it provides scale to our California franchise with attractive core deposits, commercial banking relationships and a similar credit culture.”
Panoramic Growth Equity, Vining Sparks and King Holmes Paterno & Soriano advised AltaPacific Bank. Stephens and Davis Wright Tremaine advised Banner Corporation.
South Plains Financial, the parent company of City Bank, agreed to acquire West Texas State Bank, a full-service bank in Texas, for $76m.
Curtis Griffith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of South Plains, commented, “We are pleased to announce the Company’s acquisition of WTSB, an exciting first step in our expansion into new West Texas communities and an important milestone since completing our IPO in May. WTSB shares a similar culture as South Plains with a longstanding commitment to their employees, customers and the communities that they serve, which creates a perfect union. Additionally, the merger will leverage our existing infrastructure which will provide scale benefits as we strive to deliver value for all of our stakeholders. We look forward to welcoming WTSB’s employees and customers to South Plains.”
Piper Jaffray and Alston & Bird advised West Texas State Bank. Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Hunton Andrews Kurth advised South Plains Financial.
IMImobile, a global cloud communications software and solutions provider, agreed to acquire 3CInteractive Corp, a private US cloud-based multichannel, customer engagement platform company, for $53m.
Jay Patel, Group Chief Executive Officer of IMImobile, commented: "We are delighted to announce the acquisition of 3C. It is a business with deep relationships with blue chip customers and the major US mobile operator networks as well being a pioneer in developing RCS as a channel for customer engagement. The acquisition will provide an opportunity to introduce the Group's core Enterprise CPaaS capabilities and suite of customer engagement products into the US, which is our largest addressable market. We also hope to consolidate our strategic leadership position in introducing new communication channels to our clients and partners worldwide."
Investec, N+1 Singer and Newgate Communications are advising IMImobile.
Bridgepoint-backed HKA, the world's leading construction claims and dispute resolution firm, acquired The Kenrich Group, an expert, business and litigation consulting firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"The combination of HKA and The Kenrich Group has created the largest construction claims consultancy in the US and additionally provides our mutual clients with an established practice in commercial damages, government contract claims and regulated utilities consulting," said Frank J. Giunta, Partner and President of HKA's Americas operations. "Our combined resources offer our clients unparalleled capabilities."
Osmose Utilities Services, the leading provider of critical inspection, maintenance and restoration services for utility and telecom infrastructure, acquired Power Survey Company, the industry leader in providing mobile contact voltage detection services to major utilities in North America and Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Ron Childress, CEO of Osmose, commented: “We are pleased to announce this compelling combination with Power Survey. Like Osmose, Power Survey’s critical and recurring services enhance the safety and reliability of utility infrastructure. This is a significant milestone for Osmose and an important step in our long-term strategy of providing our utility and telecom customers with a full suite of high-value services to support their infrastructure. The Power Survey team shares our commitment to unparalleled service, quality and safety, and we are confident that together, we will continue to enhance the reliability of utility infrastructure across North America and Europe. We are excited to welcome Power Survey’s talented and dedicated employees to our team and look forward to working together.”
Kirkland & Ellis advised Osmose Utilities Services. Houlihan Lokey and DLA Piper advised Power Survey Company.
Matrix Capital Markets Group, a leading, independent investment bank, sold Richmond Electric Supply Co, which provides electrical apparatus and equipment wiring supplies, to Locke, an employee-owned plumbing, electrical, and HVAC distributor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
John Orman III, President and CEO of Locke, said, “We are excited to welcome Mike and the entire RESCO team to our family of employees. Locke is committed to growing in every way possible and this addition provides all of us a tremendous opportunity. The growth potential is limitless, and we intend to take full advantage. We are thankful for the support of RTK and counsels on both sides for their support during this process.”
Aurora Capital Partners, a leading middle-market private equity firm, acquired Cold Chain Technologies, a leading global provider of single-use and reusable passive thermal packaging solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"CCT has built a premiere reputation in the cold chain packaging industry where the high cost of product spoilage has driven an intense focus by life sciences customers on quality and reliability," said Mark Rosenbaum, Partner at Aurora. "With the Company's long list of blue-chip clients and track record of organic growth, we believe CCT is well positioned as the best platform in the industry to continue to grow with its customers both domestically and internationally."
Harris Williams & Co and Goodwin Procter advised Cold Chain Technologies. Robert W Baird and Kirkland & Ellis advised Aurora Capital Partners.
Post Capital Partners recapitalized IntraLogic Solutions, a leading national security solutions provider that offers a comprehensive security solution for a range of end markets, with a particular emphasis on school safety. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Michael Pfeffer, Managing Director of Post Capital, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Lee Mandel and IntraLogic Solutions. Lee has done a tremendous job of developing advanced technology and software which has allowed ILS to grow quickly over the years and to fulfill a large security void within these institutions. We look forward to working with Lee and the rest of the team to continue to serve schools and public centers to provide a safer environment for all.”
Marcum, Nixon Peabody and US Sterling Securities advised IntraLogic Solutions. Crowe and McGuireWoods advised Post Capital Partners. Brookside Mezzanine Partners provided debt financing.
Accel-KKR invested in Sandata Technologies, the leading provider of Electronic Visit Verification and home health technology solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to work with Sandata to accelerate the company’s journey,” said Park Durrett, Managing Director at Accel-KKR. “Sandata’s market leading solutions have supported stakeholders in the home care industry for nearly forty years. We look forward to working hand-in-hand with management on this next phase of growth.”
Astronics, a leading provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense, and other mission critical industries, acquired Freedom Communication Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of communication test equipment, from private equity firms Tuckerman Capital and Hanover Partners, for $22m.
Peter J. Gundermann, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Astronics commented, “FCT is a leader in wireless communications testing, primarily for the civil land mobile radio market. Their market focus and technology complements those we already have, and together, we will offer a broader range of test solutions to an expanded market. The acquisition gives us a stronger market position in the radio test arena, a strong brand for our offerings and a larger addressable market. We are excited to expand our test capabilities and to bring FCT on board with our Test business.”
Mynd Property Management, a modern property management company powered by on-the-ground experts and technology, agreed to acquire HomeUnion, a company that enables investing in small residential properties in 20 US markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Adding HomeUnion’s capabilities to the Mynd platform solidifies our position as a leader in the small residential real estate investment business,” says Doug Brien, CEO and Co-Founder of Mynd Property Management. “Property management is a fundamental aspect of executing a successful investment. However, picking the right property in the right market for the right price at the right time – is also crucial. We saw this very clearly at our last company, Waypoint Homes. We look forward to leveraging our investment experience and HomeUnion’s data and tools to help our investors grow their portfolios.”
PathAI, a global provider of artificial intelligence-powered technology for use in pathology research, has secured an investment from LabCorp, a leading global life sciences company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The investment will support PathAI’s efforts to expand clinical development of artificial intelligence-enabled computational pathology and advance its eventual integration with clinical laboratories.
"As we continue to build on our early success in research toward faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment of disease, our relationship with LabCorp could help bring these efforts to the market – and more importantly, to patients – more quickly and broadly.” Andy Beck, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of PathAl.
Xenon Partners, a software-focused technology private equity firm, acquired Scout APM, a leading provider of Application Performance Management software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The Scout team have been thought-leaders in the developer market for more than 10 years. We were impressed with the company’s organic growth to date and look forward to partnering with the team moving forward,” says Jonathan Siegel, General Partner at Xenon Partners. “We have found in Scout a great product and scalable technology that was previously not well known in the APM user community--we now have an opportunity to change that.”
Toast, a restaurant management platform provider, acquired StratEx, a leading provider of HR and payroll software for restaurants. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"By adding StratEx to the Toast Platform, we can better support restaurants of all sizes in simplifying HR, payroll, and talent management on a platform that works seamlessly with Toast and our technology partner ecosystem." Chris Comparato, CEO of Toast.
Honeywell, a technology company that delivers industry-specific solutions, acquired privately-held TruTrak Flight Systems, a leader in autopilots for experimental, light-sport and certified aircraft. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition will become part of Honeywell's BendixKing business, helping to deliver affordable technologies to the experimental and general aviation markets. This market has grown by double digits over the past five years.
"Honeywell and BendixKing's capabilities in the aerospace industry will accelerate the continued development of the products TruTrak has built from the ground up" Andrew Barker Chief Executive Officer of TruTrak.
Peloton Equity, a Connecticut-based private equity firm, invested $31m in AeroSafe Global, which delivers cold-chain services for the bio-pharma industry that result in zero temperature excursions. AeroSafe will use the funding to accelerate its sales and marketing efforts, launch additional value-added services and technologies, and expand into new geographies.
"Peloton’s expertise and network in the healthcare segment will bring additional resources, insights and business development opportunities to accelerate industry adoption of AeroSafe’s innovative products and technologies," said Jay McHarg, Chief Executive Officer of AeroSafe. "This new financing round expands our team of blue-chip investors who enthusiastically support AeroSafe’s growth plans."
Frankly, which provides a complete suite of digital solutions for media companies, agreed to acquire video asset management platform Vemba. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Norbert Horvath, Vemba's Founder and Chief Technology Officer, who will become Frankly's Chief Product Officer following the transaction's closing, added: "This agreement allows Vemba to continue executing on our strategic vision and expand our abilities to serve our clients under the Frankly banner. Frankly has established a commanding footprint in the broadcast space, and combining our teams will create an extraordinarily compelling OTT multiscreen platform for the industry."
Kuehne + Nagel, a global transport and logistics company, acquired Worldwide Perishable Canada Co, a top player in seafood cargo and market leader in tuna export. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Perishables logistics is one of our strongest growth drivers at Kuehne + Nagel,” says Greg Martin, Regional Airfreight Manager Kuehne + Nagel North America. “Thus, we have been continuously investing in the expansion of our dedicated network: through selected acquisitions and by connecting key production countries to major markets. Setting up global certified standards which are reflected in our KN FreshChain solution, has further strengthened our perishables network worldwide, making it the largest in the industry.”
Alimentation Couche-tard, a Canadian multinational operator of convenience stores, invested $26m in Fire & Flower, a leading independent cannabis retailer based in Edmonton, Alberta. The investment will give the firm a 10% stake.
"Couche-Tard is excited to make this strategic investment in one of the fastest growing cannabis 'pure-play' retailers," said Brian Hannasch, President and CEO of Couche‑Tard. "This investment in Fire & Flower, with a path to a controlling stake, will enable us to leverage their leadership, network and advanced digital platform to accelerate our journey in this new and flourishing sector."
GMP Securities and Dentons advised Fire & Flower. National Bank of Canada and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg advised Alimentation Couche-tard.
Altice USA in talks with Stonepeak to sell its Lightpath stake. (FS)
Altice USA, a cable television provider, is negotiating with Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm, to sell a minority stake in its Lightpath fiber unit. The deal that would value the unit at about $3bn could be announced next week.
Altice USA would keep a majority stake in the unit.
Kraft Heinz holds off asset sales. (FS)
Kraft Heinz, an American food company formed by the merger of Kraft Foods and Heinz, put the sale of Breakstone’s and its Plasmon baby food business on hold. Kraft Heinz is still trying to sell its Maxwell House unit, but has so far faced pushback.
The halted divestitures put even more pressure on a company that is struggling with stalling sales, falling profit and shares that have tumbled 26% year to date. The company, which is backed by private equity firm 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has had to defend a business model that is heavy on cost-cutting and deal-making, as opportunities for both have dried up.
Nike explores options for surfwear brand Hurley.
Nike is exploring options for its surfwear brand Hurley International, including its possible sale. It is not clear how much Nike could fetch by selling the company.
The considered divestiture is the effect of a decreased interest in surf brands among non-surfing clients, who now prefer boutique brands and retro streetwear.
Petrobras to sell shallow-water oilfields for $1.5bn.
Petroleo Brasileiro, the Brazilian oil company, signed two contracts to sell shallow-water oilfields in the basins of Campos and Santos for $1.5bn plus $200m in future payments.
Pampo and Enchova fields were sold to a subsidiary of Trident Energy for $851m with an additional future payment of $200m, depending on oil prices. The Bauna field was sold for $665m to a subsidiary of Australia's Karoon Energy.
Banyan Investment Group acquired three hotels in Wisconsin.
Banyan Investment Group, a recognized hotel investment and management company that acquires and manages select-service hotels in the United States, announced that it completed the acquisition of a three-hotel portfolio of Marriott- and Hilton-branded hotels located in Madison, Wisonsin, for approximately $50m. Additionally, the company announced that it will operate the portfolio, comprised of the 127-Room Courtyard by Marriott Madison East, 130-Room Fairfield Inn & Suites Madison East and 115-Room Hampton Inn Madison East Towne Mall Area.
“In addition to expanding our footprint into the Great Lakes region, this portfolio aligns perfectly with our strategy of targeting strong markets with multiple demand generators that are well positioned to weather all phases of the economic cycle,” said Andy Chopra, founding principal and chief investment officer, Banyan Investment Group.
Green Growth Brands announced bought deal public offering of units.
Ohio-based marijuana company Green Growth Brands announced that it has entered into an agreement with a group of investment dealers, led by Canaccord Genuity Corp, pursuant to which they will purchase, on a bought deal basis pursuant to the filing of a short form prospectus, an aggregate of 20.5m units at a price of C$2.45 ($1.86) per unit.
Tom Barrack to step down as Colony Capital CEO. (People)
Financial Times reported that Tom Barrack struck a deal that will see him step down as chief executive of Colony Capital, months after assuming the role in the wake of a troubled merger with a rival fund manager. Colony will pay $325m to buy Digital Bridge, which manages a portfolio of 342k mobile phone towers and 39 data centers, and which already has a $4bn joint venture with Mr. Barrack’s company. Marc Ganzi, who co-founded Digital Bridge in 2013, will become chief executive of Colony in 2021.
Marfrig looking to bid for Paraguay’s Frigorífico.
Brazilian meat producer Marfrig Global Foods is a potential bidder for Paraguay’s Frigorífico Concepción. The estimated deal value is $230m. The other potential bidder is Brazil’s privately-owned JBJ Investimentos.
Gusto raised $200m in Series D funding. (FS)
Gusto, a company that provides a cloud-based payroll, benefits, and human resource management software for businesses, raised $200m in a Series D funding round led by wealth manager Fidelity Management & Research Company and Generation Investment Management. The new infusion of capital will be used for scaling the company’s product and team.
Freenome closes $160m Series B. (FS)
Freenome, a biotechnology company, announced the close of its $160m Series B financing, bringing its total financing to $238m. The company will use the proceeds to further the development of its early cancer detection blood test powered by its platform.
The new financing comes from RA Capital Management and Polaris Partners. The two investors were joined by funds advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Perceptive Advisors, Roche Venture Fund, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, and BrightEdge Ventures.
Previous investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, GV, Data Collective Venture Capital, Section 32, and Verily Life Sciences, also participated in the round.
Hippo Insurance raises $100m in Series D funding round led by Bond. (FS)
Insurance tech startup Hippo raised $100m in a Series D funding round led by Bond Capital. Participants in the round include Comcast Ventures, Horizons Ventures, and Zeev Ventures, among others.
The financing will be used to fuel the expansion of Hippo’s geographic footprint to more than 80% of the US homeowner population by the end of the year, deepen Hippo’s direct-to-consumer product portfolio, grow Hippo’s distribution network of industry partners, and further cement Hippo as the leading brand in modern home insurance.
Advent International made a £4bn ($5bn) offer to acquire Cobham, a British manufacturing company based in Wimborne Minster. Under the terms of the acquisition, Cobham shareholders shall be entitled to receive for each Cobham share 165 pence in cash representing a premium of approximately 34.4% to the closing price per Cobham share of 123 pence on 24 July 2019.
Commenting on the acquisition, Jamie Pike, Chairman of the board of Cobham, said: "Cobham has leading positions in a number of attractive technology markets, with capabilities and know-how that are well aligned with our customers' priorities. The Cobham management team's turnaround actions over the last two and half years have begun to improve our performance, which is reflected in our 2019 interim results announced today. We believe that Advent would provide a complementary partner for Cobham's stakeholders. The Cobham Board is unanimously recommending the offer from Advent as it represents an opportunity for shareholders to realize their investment in Cobham in cash in the near term. The offer represents a 50.3% premium to the average share price over the last three months."
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Rothschild & Co, Allen & Overy and MHP Communications are advising Cobham. Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Linklaters, Weil Gotshal & Manges and Finsbury are advising Advent. GSO provided debt financing and was advised by White & Case.
Equistone Partners acquired Heras, a leading provider of perimeter protection solutions, from CRH, an international group of diversified building materials businesses. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Hubert van Wolfswinkel, Director at Equistone, said: “We are very impressed by Heras’ leading position in the market, which it has achieved by having a strong European manufacturing footprint, long-standing customer relationships and a highly experienced management team.” Dirk Schekerka, Senior Partner at Equistone, added: “In partnership with Heras’ excellent management and employees, we will support the company’s continued growth trajectory and its expansion into new markets and regions.”
Munich Strategy, ERM, Ernst & Young, Houlihan Lokey and Clifford Chance are advising Equistone.
Jacquet Metal Service, a France-based company engaged in the storage and distribution of metallurgic products, agreed to sell Abraservice, which specializes in the distribution of wear resistant steels, to SSAB, a Swedish-Finnish company specialised in processing raw material to steel, for $49m.
“The Abraservice network is well aligned with SSAB Services strategy of providing products and services to machine builders and the aftermarket business. The acquisition will help us to further improve our direct relationship with customers and end-users, as well as address new market segments. The workforce of Abraservice has recognized experience and the skills of local management and employees will combine with SSAB in an excellent way,” says Gregoire Parenty Head of SSAB Services.
Severstal, a Russian company mainly operating in the steel and mining industry, completed its $215m sale of Mini-Mill Balakovo, a steel mill in Russia, to Abinsk Electric Steel Works, a steel bars manufacturer.
Alexander Shevelev, CEO of Severstal, commented: “Following the sale of Mini-Mill Balakovo, we plan to focus on developing steel production at our main asset, the Cherepovets Steel Mill. We are confident that this will enable us to streamline our internal processes to execute our updated strategic priorities successfully. We are committed to providing our customers with integrated solutions and increasing our production of high value-added products. At the same time Severstal will continue to supply long products via our long product facilities at CherMK. Mini-Mill Balakovo was the first producer of long products in the Volga Federal District and has become known as a trusted supplier of high-quality products. We believe that the Mini-Mill still has a lot of potential and will benefit from the new shareholder’s focus on long product production.”
Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm, sold Breath Therapeutics, which specializes in advanced and first-in-class inhalation therapies for severe respiratory diseases, to Zambon, an Italian pharmaceutical firm, for €500m ($557m).
Graziano Seghezzi, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners and Breath Therapeutics’ Board Member, said: “Breath Therapeutics is a perfect symbol of our investment strategy: cutting-edge platform and products developed by brilliant entrepreneurs for a debilitating disease with no effective treatment. We had a clear vision in mind for a transatlantic operation with strong bases in Europe and in the U.S. to maximize the commercial opportunity. We’ve achieved that vision and assembled a stellar management team by complementing the founders’ European skills with deep U.S. clinical, regulatory and commercial expertise.”
Sberbank and Mail ru Group announced a plan to create a strategic partnership and joint venture focusing on major Russian consumer markets of food and transportation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Herman Gref, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank: “Investing in this O2O platform is an important step in building Sberbank’s ecosystem. We are entering the largest and most dynamic markets in Russia to offer our clients a brand new model for consuming services and to establish a leading national last mile delivery player. Our future JV consists of fast-growing companies that have impressive potential and strong management, and are backed by the expertise of two of the country’s largest ecosystems and unprecedented client coverage.”
SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, acquired Germany-based OSMO-Anlagenbau, which provides a range of technical services to industrial customers and public authorities. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Markus Holzke, Managing Director of SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa, commented: "with OSMO's expertise and excellent reputation, we are deepening and expanding our range of services, and strengthening our market position as a leader in multi-technical services. We are looking forward to expanding our business together with the existing management team led by Klaus Eismann and the highly qualified employees of OSMO.”
Moody’s Corporation, an American business and financial services company, agreed to acquire RiskFirst, a leading FinTech company providing risk analytic solutions for the asset management and pension fund communities. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Combining Moody’s Analytics scale, reach and capabilities with RiskFirst’s leading solutions and extensive customer base creates a strong value proposition for buy-side institutions and asset owners,” said Matthew Seymour, CEO of RiskFirst. “This deal will enhance our capabilities while building on what has made RiskFirst successful: a sophisticated, technically excellent product combined with superior service and support.”
Kuehne + Nagel, a global transport and logistics company, acquired Austria-based Jöbstl Group, a medium-sized logistics enterprise headquartered in Wundschuh near Graz. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With the Jöbstl Group, we are gaining a company strongly rooted in their home state of Styria. Looking back at a long history ourselves, we have great appreciation for Jöbstl´s tradition as well. The family-owned company stands for reliability, flexibility and customer service with a personal touch – values that are also extremely important to Kuehne + Nagel”, says Franz Braunsberger, General Manager at Kuehne + Nagel Austria.
PACCOR, a supplier of sustainable plastic packaging solutions, acquired EDV Packaging Solutions, one of the leading manufacturers of rigid barrier packaging for the food industry worldwide. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very happy to welcome EDV Packaging Solutions as a new member of the PACCOR worldwide family. Over the past years, EDV has achieved very impressive growth and profitability. We are happy to merge forces in order to jointly capture further opportunities within Europe and outside of it," commented Andreas Schütte, the CEO of PACCOR.
Imagi International, a leading producer of CG-animated feature films, offered to acquire a stake in Les Ambassadeurs Club, one of London's most exclusive and distinguished gambling clubs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Wayra Barcelona, subsidiary and hub of Telefónica, provider of a wide range of comprehensive communication solutions, and Nauta Capital, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage technology companies, invested in hybrid cloud management specialist Abiquo. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our customers demand a complete multi-cloud offering, allowing them to use the most appropriate products and services from each cloud. For this reason, we have selected Abiquo to deploy the Multicloud Portal, offer value-added capabilities and manage the lifecycle of workloads, providing differential value in companies' journey towards the adoption of public clouds" Jose María Cuellar, Global Director of the Cloud unit at Telefónica.
SoftBank Group to invest $40bn in Vision Fund II, alongside Goldman Sachs and Apple. (FS)
SoftBank Group is expected to invest $40bn into its new technology megafund after securing backing from a coalition of investors including Apple, Goldman Sachs and Kazakhstan’s government. SoftBank’s board meet Thursday to approve the investment.
Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi have indicated they are likely to invest in SoftBank's fund again, though Saudi Arabia at a lower level than the $45bn it contributed last time. Microsoft is also reportedly interested in investing in the fund.
Anil Agarwal's Volcan to sell 2% stake in Anglo American.
Billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Volcan Holdings has offered to sell about a 1.9% stake in Anglo American, a British multinational mining company. Volcan is to sell about 24.7m shares in the mining group via an accelerated bookbuild. The stake is worth about $673m, based on Anglo American’s closing price on Thursday.
Apax nears deal to acquire Dixi. (FS)
Buyout firm Apax Partners is close to reaching an agreement to buy the German supplier of Dixi and Toi Toi portable toilets for as much as $890m, Bloomberg reported. The deal should be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Apax outbid several other private equity suitors to buy the company.
ABB plans sale of power-conversion unit.
Swiss engineering company ABB is starting a divestiture of a power-conversion unit that helps telecommunications and technology companies run infrastructure and use energy more efficiently.
ABB is collaborating with Citigroup on the transaction and sent sales documents to potential private equity and industrial bidders. The sale is part of the company's efforts to slim down.
Clariant and SABIC suspend talks to form chemicals venture.
Clariant, a Swiss chemicals company, and its large shareholder Saudi Basic Industries have halted negotiations to form a joint venture focusing on high-value specialty chemicals.
Clariant said the current market situation caused the decision.
Uber and Ola pursuing Addison Lee deal. (FS)
Uber and Ola, two ride-hailing apps, are among 'a handful' of parties in talks to buy Carlyle Group-owned Addison Lee Group, a London-based private hire taxi company. The two prospective bidders' interest in the London-based minicab operator is at an early stage and may not lead to any formal offer from either of them for Addison Lee.
Aaron Frenkel looking to acquire satellite operator Spacecom.
Israeli businessman Aaron Gover Frenkel, who owns a 33% stake in drone maker Aeronautics, is looking to acquire a controlling stake in Tel Aviv-listed communications satellite company Space Communication. Spacecom was previously owned by Israel-based holding company Eurocom Group, which went into receivership in late 2018. Mr. Frenkel's offer is rumored to value the company at $53m.
Weber Automotive put up for sale. (FS)
Weber Automotive, the German auto parts maker, has been put up for sale as part of insolvency proceedings. The company filed for insolvency amid deteriorating earnings and a dispute between its founding family and majority shareholder Ardian about a financial restructuring.
Weber Automotive is being advised in the restructuring by law firm Grub Brugger, while Ardian is working with Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Zwanenberg Food Group and Struik Foods in merger talks.
Zwanenberg Food Group, a prominent European producer of deli meats and a leading producer and exporter of meat preserves, and Struik Foods, a food-producing company operating at an international level, entered merger talks. The talks are at an early stage and there is no certainty that a deal will be reached.
Rolls-Royce ends talks with Indra on ITP Aero stake without agreement.
Rolls-Royce announced that its discussions with Indra Sistemas, which had expressed interest in the acquisition of majority stake in ITP Aero, an aircraft engine and components maker, have ended without agreement.
Vivendi appoints banks for sale of Universal stake.
French media group Vivendi is expected to appoint several investment banks on Thursday for the sale of up to 50% of Universal Music Group. Vivendi announced its intention to sell off up to half of UMG last July and suggested that it could complete the process by the end of January 2020.
Antipinsky Oil Refinery to be sold at public auction in bankruptcy procedure.
The Antipinsky Oil Refinery and its property will be sold at a public auction as part of the bankruptcy procedure, Maxim Andriasov, the plant's general director, said. The debt of the refinery to creditors exceeds $5bn. In particular, the debt to its largest creditor, Sberbank, amounts to $3.2bn.
"It is very likely that the court will introduce bankruptcy proceedings, which will end with the sale of the property at a public auction. Accordingly, our task is quite simple — to make sure that the plant continues to operate and maintain its value," Mr. Andriasov noted.
Fnac Darty negotiates strategic ticketing partnership with the CTS EVENTIM Group.
Fnac Darty has announced that it has started exclusive negotiations on a strategic partnership with the CTS EVENTIM Group, the European leader in ticketing.
As a result of the transaction, France Billet, Fnac Darty's ticketing unit, would acquire 100% of the capital of CTS EVENTIM France. CTS EVENTIM would acquire a 48% minority stake in France Billet, which would remain under Fnac Darty's control.
After the four years, CTS EVENTIM would have the option of increasing its share to a majority stake.
Financial terms were not specified.
Eurazeo closes $2.8bn Eurazeo Capital IV investment programme. (FS)
Eurazeo has held the final closing of the $2.8bn Eurazeo Capital IV investment program, with Investment partners providing about $780m.
As previous programs, Eurazeo Capital IV enables Eurazeo to invest in mid-cap companies with strong growth potential both in Europe and the United States.
Under this program, Eurazeo Capital has already completed investments in Europe (Iberchem, Albingia, and DORC) as well as in the United States (Trader Interactive and Worldstrides).
This fundraising was subscribed by blue-chip international institutional investment partners – asset managers, sovereign funds and insurance companies – and leading families in North America (51%), Europe (36%), and Asia (13%).
Australia’s competition regulator expressed concerns over the proposed acquisition by ANZ Terminals of Graincorp’s Australian bulk liquid terminals unit, potentially delaying the agribusiness firm’s restructuring efforts. The companies agreed on the $244m deal in March 2019.
Both ANZ Terminals and GrainCorp provide port-side bulk liquid storage services to store liquids including edible oils, tallow, non-flammable industrial chemicals and base oils for customers. The regulators said the proposed acquisition could result in higher prices for customers, and also raised concerns regarding the entry of new players in the market.
Blackpeak Capital and Gilbert + Tobin are advising Graincorp.
Australia’s competition regulator said it has approved AP Eagers’ proposed $580m acquisition of Automotive Holdings Group, an Australian company specialising in automotive retail and logistics, on the condition it sells its car dealerships in certain regions.
Last month, the regulator raised preliminary concerns over competition in new car retailing in these regions but noted the deal was unlikely to reduce competition in major cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
UBS and Ashurst are advising Automotive Holdings Group.
Toyota, a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer, invested $600m in Didi Chuxing, the world's leading mobile transportation platform. Through this new agreement, Toyota and DiDi plan to shift to full-scale implementation of services that they have been developing in China. By creating more-efficient and high-quality ride-hailing businesses, the two companies will provide mobility service solutions that contribute to Chinese society.
Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota Executive Vice President responsible for the connected area, said, "I am delighted that we are strengthening our collaboration, which utilizes Toyota's connected technologies and next-generation BEVs, with DiDi, China's mobility service market leader. Looking ahead, we will work with DiDi to develop services that are more attractive, safe, and secure for our customers in China."
Stora Enso to sell its stake in the Dawang paper mill.
Stora Enso signed an agreement to divest its 60% equity stake in the Dawang Mill in China, to its joint venture partner, Shandong Huatai Paper. The mill has an annual production capacity of 140k tonnes of super-calendered magazine paper and other publication paper grades based on recovered fibre. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We have had a joint venture partnership with Huatai over the past ten years of operation and believe Huatai can develop Dawang Mill for the long-term benefit of Chinese paper customers,” says Kati ter Horst, EVP, Stora Enso’s Paper division.
BJB Bank looking to acquire insurance companies.
BJB Bank, a commercial bank in Indonesia, is looking to acquire insurance companies. Yuddy Renaldi, President of the bank, said that the planned acquisition was still in the due diligence stage and that he could not specify the amount of funds prepared to realize the deal.
SCB looking for more GOJEK-like deals.
Thai lender SCB is looking for more deals similar to its recent investment in GOJEK, a transportation network company and logistics startup company based in Jakarta.
“We try to find a way to partner quickly and scale with startups. Even with the big platforms, if you cannot beat them, partner with them. So find more strategic partnerships that you can invest in and grow out of them,” SCB executive vice-president Tana Pothikamjorn said.
Total looking to buy 50% stake in Dhamra LNG Terminal.
French oil and gas giant Total is to acquire a 50% stake in Dhamra LNG Terminal, a unit of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, which is constructing a 12m tonne per annum LNG regasification terminal at its port located at Dhamra in Odisha's Bhadrak district. Financial terms were not disclosed.
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