Insurance departments of Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Ohio and Texas have now approved Centene’s pending $17bn acquisition of WellCare, bringing the total number of states to approve the transaction to 24.
The companies continue to expect that the transaction will be completed by the first half of 2020. Completion of the transaction remains subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, receipt of the remaining required state regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.
“We are making important progress in our merger process and are pleased that state insurance regulators continue to see the benefits that our combination will bring to recipients and communities. We will continue to work with the remaining state insurance regulators to demonstrate how we will provide recipients with access to affordable, high-quality services and products as well as deliver fair compensation for providers and create savings for states.” Michael F. Neidorff, Centene Chairman, President and CEO.
Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis, Locke Lord and Sard Verbinnen are advising Wellcare. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is advising Goldman Sachs. Barclays, Allen & Company, Barclays, Evercore, JP Morgan, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Joele Frank, and Morrow Sodali Global are advising Centene.
DTE Midstream, a non-utility business of DTE Energy, is set to acquire Momentum Midstream, a gas company, and Indigo Natural Resources, a primary gas company, for $2.3bn.
The acquisition includes a gathering system and gathering pipeline in the Haynesville shale formation of Louisiana for a purchase price of $2.3bn in cash, plus a $400m milestone payment upon completion of the gathering pipeline in the second half of 2020. The primary assets gather natural gas produced in the Haynesville shale basin and access multiple major downstream pipelines, including those serving the Gulf Coast.
"This acquisition is highly accretive, has world-class resources, has excellent access to large markets, and is in the early- to the mid-cycle development phase. It checks all of our boxes," Jerry Norcia, DTE Energy President, and CEO.
Kirkland & Ellis is advising Indigo. Credit Suisse and Jefferies & Company are advising Momentum. Barclays, Dechert, and Shearman & Sterling are advising DTE Energy.
Marriott International, an American multinational diversified hospitality company, agreed to acquire Elegant Hotels, which owns and operates seven luxury freehold hotels and a beachfront restaurant, Daphne's, on the island of Barbados, for $199m.
Following the acquisition, Marriott intends to carry out renovations to the hotels in the Elegant portfolio. Upon completion of the planned property renovations, Marriott intends to operate all the Elegant hotels as all-inclusive resorts under one or more of Marriott's collection brands.
"There is a strong and growing consumer demand for premium and luxury properties in the all-inclusive category. The addition of the Elegant portfolio will help us further jumpstart our expansion in the all-inclusive space while providing more choices on the breathtaking island of Barbados for our 133m Marriott Bonvoy members," Arne Sorenson, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International.
Liberum Capital, Macfarlanes, and Powerscourt are advising Elegant Hotels. PwC is advising Marriott.
Nautic Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Spartech, a manufacturer of plastic packaging products, from Arsenal Capital Partners, a middle-market focused private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Spartech is a manufacturer of specialized acrylics and other engineered extruded plastics used in a variety of applications and end markets including aerospace & defense, healthcare, industrial, automotive, consumer goods, and packaging.
“We are excited to work with the Nautic team as we enter the next phase of Spartech’s growth. Nautic shares our vision of growing this brand, investing in new products, and further enhancing our customer experience. We are proud of our strong customer relationships today and are confident that they will only improve as a result of this new partnership.” John Inks, Spartech COO.
Robert W Baird and Kirkland & Ellis advised Spartech and Arsenal. Locke Lord advised Nautic. BNP Paribas provided debt financing to Nautic.
One Equity Partners, a middle-market private equity firm, completed the acquisition of ORS MEDCO, a wholesaler of maintenance and repair focused non-discretionary and consumable industrial and automotive aftermarket products, from Essendant, a supplier of workplace essentials. Financial terms were not disclosed.
ORS MEDCO distributes safety and security products, tools, body shop & repair products, welding, paint, chemicals, and abrasives operating through its ORS Nasco, Medco, and Nestor distribution networks.
“We are thrilled to become an independent company through our partnership with OEP and believe that we will be able to increase and expand sales to existing and new customers," Chris Kempa, ORS CEO.
CareFinders Total Care, a healthcare provider, completed the acquisition of DanielCare Caring Choice, a provider of personalized healthcare services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This acquisition is an important step for CareFinders' growth and expansion strategy. CareFinders is the largest personal home care company in New Jersey, with 19 offices. And now, CareFinders' current presence in Connecticut will more than double with the addition of DanielCare.
"This is an incredibly exciting time for CareFinders. With our Total Care approach, we believe CareFinders will continue to lead our industry and ensure long-term success for our patients and employees." Jim Robinson, CareFinders CEO.
HIG Capital-backed Whitney, Bradley & Brown, a provider of technical and management consulting services, completed the acquisition of BRTRC Federal Solutions, a provider of consulting services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
BRTRC offers management and technical advisory services in program management, technology solutions, communications, acquisition strategy, and other specialties.
“First, I’d like to thank my team for the energy they have poured into building BRTRC over the past 30 years. We are looking forward to the opportunity to leverage WBB’s resources and BRTRC’s capabilities to continue to serve our clients.” Larry McDonald, BRTRC President.
HGGC-backed Davis Group, a provider of innovative media planning and placement services, is set to acquire Alternative Service Concepts, an insurance brokerage firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
ASC provides specialist end-to-end claims solutions to US & Lloyds insurance businesses, public entities, self-insured entities, insurance agencies and brokers.
“I am delighted ASC will be joining Davies and excited about their ambitious growth plans in North America. I look forward to working with the wider Davies team to offer our solutions in this new geographic reach to our clients.” Glenn Backus, ASC President.
Xandr, an AT&T's advertising unit, acquired clypd, an advertising platform that uses data to target television ads better, Reuters reported. Clypd, which counts TV networks Discovery and CBS as partners, uses data to enable advertisers to target viewers more precisely by their interests.
The deal will add linear TV ad inventory, or ad space, from clypd's clients to Xandr Community, a product that pools advertising space from AT&T-owned properties that include WarnerMedia and DirecTV, but also third parties like cable networks A+E and AMC.
Lynn Tilton to declare bankruptcy of Dura. (FS)
Lynn Tilton, a distressed-debt financier, put Dura Automotive Systems, an automobile parts company, into bankruptcy with plans to repurchase it at a court-approved auction.
Tilton continues several years-long court battles with creditors for ownership of many of the companies she controls through various funds and holding companies. One of those entities, Zohar III, is also in bankruptcy, where it is under the control of a court-appointed, independent director.
SoftBank to prepare a rescue financing plan for WeWork at $8bn valuation. (FS)
SoftBank Group is preparing a rescue financing plan for WeWork that may value the office-sharing company below $8bn, Bloomberg reported.
The new figure is a fraction of the $47bn valuation the startup commanded as recently as January.
Goldman Sachs Group considers selling a 49% stake in Metropistas. (FS)
Goldman Sachs Group is seeking buyers for its 49% stake in Autopistas Metropolitanas, a Puerto Rico toll road concession, that could value the asset at more than $2bn, Bloomberg reported.
Casper Sleep considers an IPO.
Casper Sleep, an online mattress retailer, is working with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group on a US IPO, Bloomberg reported. The company could go public as soon as this year or the first half of 2020 at a valuation of $1.1bn.
Verizon considers selling HuffPost website.
Verizon, a communication technology company, seeks a buyer for HuffPost, a news and opinion website and blog. A sale of the site would follow Verizon Media's sale of Tumblr for less than $20m.
Austrian sensor manufacturer AMS plans to launch a new takeover bid for German lighting group Osram, wherein it offers the same price but lowers the acceptance threshold to 55% as Bain and Advent currently refrain from the bid.
Osram labor representatives oppose the takeover citing AMS management’s ability to integrate the much larger group. Osram is more than 2.5 times the size of its suitor, based on 2018 revenues.
“We are pleased to announce the launch of the new takeover offer to acquire Osram, delivering on our stated intention. We are convinced that our offer will be successful as it provides a highly attractive, fully valued price at a straightforward acceptance threshold.” Alexander Everke, AMS CEO.
Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Macquarie Group, Kirkland & Ellis, Camarco, and FTI are advising Bain. Osram is advised by Lazard, Perella Weinberg Partners, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gleiss Lutz, and Hengeler Mueller. AMS is advised by PwC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, UBS, Herbst Kinsky, Linklaters, Allen & Overy, Schellenberg Wittmer, and Brunswick Group.
The London Stock Exchange has revealed a series of management changes as it prepares to integrate the $27bn Refinitiv acquisition, which is due to complete in 2020, Financial News reported. Current CFO David Warren would retire and step down from the board after the deal completes.
Canson Capital Partners, Evercore, Jefferies & Company, and Eterna Partners are advising Refinitiv. RBC Capital Markets, Oliver Wyman, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Robey Warshaw, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Teneo are advising LSEG. Allen & Overy is advising Thomson Reuters. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is advising Blackstone.
Private equity firm Sovereign Capital Partners agreed to acquire Murgitroyd Group, an international practice of intellectual property attorneys headquartered in Glasgow, specializing in patents, trademarks, designs, and copyrights, for £66m ($85m).
"Almost 20 years since Murgitroyd Shares were admitted to trading on AIM, the Board of Murgitroyd is pleased to have reached agreement on an offer which provides an opportunity to engineer an orderly ownership transition for all shareholders in the Murgitroyd Group and the certainty of an immediate cash return which fairly reflects the near term prospects for the group. Sovereign's evident commitment to support the Murgitroyd Group as it continues to invest to build scale in a fast-changing market and the particular importance attached by them to the skills and experience of the Murgitroyd Group employees and management team were key factors in the Murgitroyd Directors' considerations. I am delighted to confirm that the Board intends unanimously to recommend the offer to shareholders," Ian Murgitroyd, Chairman of Murgitroyd.
Deloitte, N+1 Singer, Burness Paull, and TB Cardew are advising Murgitroyd. Spectrum Corporate Finance, Zeus Capital, and DWF are advising Sovereign Capital.
FSI, an asset management company, agreed to acquire a 19.59% stake in Kedrion, a developer and distributor of plasma-derived medicinal products, for $111m.
Kedrion is a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the development, production, and distribution of plasma-derived therapeutic products. The closing of the transaction will be subject to the approval from the competent Antitrust Authorities.
Lazard, and Carnelutti Law Firm are advising Kedrion. Rothschild & Co and Gattai, Minoli, Agostinelli & Partners are advising FSI.
KKR-backed Upfield Europe, a subsidiary of Upfield Group, a manufacturer of plant-based butter and spreads, is set to acquire Arivia, a producer of plant-based cheese products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This strategic acquisition will enable Upfield to enter a new segment, presenting an additional growth opportunity for the company. Arivia's Violifewill become part of the iconic Upfield brand family, which includes household names such as Flora, Rama, Country Crock, Blue Band, and Proactiv.
"Our entire team is extremely pleased to become part of the Upfield family and pursue our common goals for more sustainable, higher quality, and delicious alternatives to dairy products." Anthimos Misailidis, Arivia CEO.
Reuters reported that the Russian government commission that reviews deals involving foreign investors could consider Finnish utility firm Fortum's acquisition of the remaining stakes in Uniper by the end of the year.
Russian regulators have so far capped Fortum’s ownership in Uniper at 49.99% due to a strategic water license operated by the German firm’s Russian subsidiary Unipro.
Matthieu Pigasse resigns from Lazard. (People)
Dealmaker Matthieu Pigasse resigned after 17 years at investment bank Lazard to pursue a new entrepreneurial project, the bank said on Sunday. Mr. Pigasse, who has deep relationships with the French establishment, has reportedly talked to a small number of US advisory boutiques.
“I am excited to begin my next chapter beyond investment banking in a new entrepreneurial project,” Lazard cited Pigasse as saying.
Walmart's Asda and Rothesay Life agree on $4.9bn pension deal.
Wallmart-backed Asda signed an agreement for a bulk annuity insurance ‘buy-in’ of the Scheme with Rothesay Life, a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension schemes. The agreement secures the benefits of members - providing certainty and security for all of the Scheme's approximately 12.3k members.
The British supermarket group said the deal would be followed by a full buy-out of the scheme in late 2020 or early 2021 after it had paid a one-off final contribution of about $1bn.
“This transaction is good news for members of the scheme, simplifies the Asda balance sheet, and will transfer our pension liabilities at a competitive price,” Richard Mayfield, Walmart CFO.
Oxford Nanopore comes back with £1.6bn fundraising. (FS)
Oxford Nanopore, Neil Woodford's biotech holding, is amid a secret £1.6bn ($2.1bn) private fundraising, despite reportedly telling investors it was planning to float.
The company received £50m ($65m) a year ago from Amgen, a Californian biotech company, valuing it at £1.5bn ($2bn). The latest fundraising could allow Woodford's stake to be sold.
Daniel Kretinsky to acquire a 4% stake in ProSiebenSat.1 Media.
Daniel Kretinsky, who owns a $7.8bn Czech energy conglomerate, bought a 4.1% stake in ProSiebenSat.1 Media, a German entertainment company, in a bet on the future of the European television industry.
The billionaire is the largest shareholder in Czech Media Invest. It’s the first step in CMI’s new strategy to purchase minority shareholdings in the continent’s media companies.
Vast Networks to be liquidated.
Vast Networks, the company that runs Africa's largest public wifi network, is being liquidated after the unprofitable business failed to secure new investors.
The demise of the company is a blow to its majority owner MultiChoice Group, South African entertainment company. Vast's other shareholder is Dimension Data Holdings, a Johannesburg-based unit of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone.
RCF Group puts IPO on hold.
RCF Group, the audio systems specialist, withdrew its IPO in Milan, citing unfavorable conditions in the primary market.
Earlier this month RCF had set a price range of $1.3-$1.6 per share in the initial public offering, valuing the company at between $499m and $630m.
Antwerp and Zeebrugge ports consider a merger.
Antwerp port, Europe's second-largest port, and Zeebrugge port, which specializes in roll-on/roll-off transport, such as for automobiles, handling an annual 40m tonnes of goods, are considering a merger after nearly two years of exploratory discussions and a study into how the two could work together more.
More far-reaching cooperation would enable the ports to respond between to future challenges, such as digitalization and a transition to more green forms of energy.
Polish government states interest in mBank’s acquisition.
Jerzy Kwiecinski, a Poland’s Finance Minister, encouraged the state-run financial institutions to takeover mBank, the country’s fourth-largest lender by assets, which is worth about $2.9bn.
The Polish State indirectly controls c.60% of the local banking market, following the State’s purchase of Pekao from UniCredit in 2017.
BNP frontrunner to take over the Deutsche Bank derivatives unit. (FS)
BNP Paribas is the frontrunner to take over Deutsche Bank's business that sells certificates and warrants to retail investors. Analysts had estimated the unit's value at €400-500m ($445-556m).
Wincanton intends a merger with Eddie Stobart.
Wincanton, a logistic company, is considering a merger with Eddie Stobart Logistics to create one of Britain's largest logistics company. The other potential buyer of Eddie Stobart is its largest investor DBAY Advisors.
US boutique banks seeks to hire senior staff in Paris. (People, FS)
US boutique investment banks are looking to hire senior staff in Paris in the wake of Britain's departure from the EU and have poached bankers from France's most established advisory firms, including Lazard, Reuters reported.
Evercore, a financial advisor, has tapped headhunting firm Charta Partners to hire French bankers with long-standing relationships with the country's key companies as it prepares to open an office in Paris.
Evercore competes with US independent advisory firms Centerview, Greenhill, Perella Weinberg and Moelis, who are all also looking to hire in France.
CI Financial-owned GSFM, a private equity firm, is set to acquire a 49% stake in Redpoint Investment Management, a provider of investment management services, from National Australia Bank-owned MLC Asset Management. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Redpoint uses a quantitative approach to investing in listed asset classes, including Australian and global equities, global infrastructure, and global property.
“GSFM’s acquisition of a 49% equity stake in the business will allow the Redpoint team to focus on investment management, while also introducing our funds to a wider audience through GSFM’s dedicated, focused and specialist distribution capability.” Max Cappetta, Redpoint CEO.
Taimei Technology, a Chinese cloud-based software provider that serves pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organizations, completed its Series E and Series E+ rounds of financing at $212m. The Series E and Series E+ rounds were led by New York-based investment company Tiger Global Management and Tencent, respectively.
Taimei Technology operates as a technology solution provider in the field of life sciences with a focus on clinical research and pharmacovigilance, which is also known as drug safety, is related to the collection, detection, assessment, monitoring, and prevention of adverse effects of pharmaceutical products.
Cipla to acquire Elores from Venus Remedies.
Cipla, a multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, acquired Elores, a novel and patented anti-infective product, from Venus Remedies, a pharmaceutical product manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Elores is indicated for the treatment of life-threatening infections caused by gram-negative bacteria.
“Elores underscores our commitment to anti-microbial stewardship and is a significant addition to our branded portfolio of anti-infectives in India. We recently acquired Zemdri, and with the acquisition of Elores, we have added to our offering of new generation antibiotics,” Umang Vohra, Cipla Managing Director, and CEO.
Mediaworks considers selling its TV business.
Mediaworks, a New Zealand's largest independent broadcaster, is looking to sell its beleaguered television business and has appointed an adviser to identify potential buyers.
The business includes the main Three TV news broadcaster, which may have to be shut down if no buyer is found soon, leaving several hundred people jobless and the country with just one state-owned broadcaster for reporting TV news.
"The market that free-to-air television operates in is tough and has been exacerbated this year," Michael Anderson, Mediaworks CEO.
PAG considers selling Paradise Group. (FS)
PAG, a Hong Kong-based alternative asset manager, considers a sale of its stake in Paradise Group Holdings, a restaurant operator, known for its colorful dumplings with exotic flavors, Bloomberg reported.
The buyout firm is working with an adviser on the potential sale that could value Singapore-based Paradise at more than $367m.
China to change M&A rules for listed companies.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission scrapped profitability requirements in M&A deals involving publicly traded companies to facilitate restructuring in a slowing economy. The CSRC also would allow the flotation of assets in strategically important emerging sectors on Shenzhen's ChiNext start-up board.
The relaxed rules are aimed at allowing capital markets to play a bigger role in corporate reorganizations and giving companies easier access to funding.
Bukalapak considers a merger with Lazada.
Bukalapak, an e-commerce unicorn, considers a merger with Lazada, an Alibaba-backed company, that develops an online shopping and sells marketplace, in Indonesia.
Citigroup appoints Peter Babej to lead the Asia-Pacific region. (People)
Citigroup appointed Peter Babej as its CEO for the Asia-Pacific region. In this new position, he will be responsible for all Citi businesses in the 17 countries and jurisdictions where the US bank is present.
Babej joined the bank in 2010 and has been the global head of its financial institution's group for the last two years. Before joining Citi, Babej served in senior roles at Deutsche Bank and Lazard, where he advised financial institutions across North America, Europe, and Asia.
"The Asia-Pacific region is one of Citi's strongest performing businesses, representing about a fifth of revenues and about a third of net income," a Citi spokesman said.
TikTok to appoint a new India head. (People)
ByteDance-owned TikTok, a social media video app, has appointed Nikhil Gandhi as its India head. Based out of Mumbai, Gandhi will lead the development of TikTok's products and operations in the country.
Gandhi joins the company from Times Global Broadcasting where he was serving as president and COO. In his new position, Gandhi will focus on inspiring creativity among TikTok's users, while also working to have a broader positive impact in the country.
"I am excited to be part of TikTok's journey in India at a time when it is strengthening its overall presence in the country and building a platform that enables creative expression. I am looking forward to working with the team to build a platform that adds value to India's growing digital community, every day," Nikhil Gandhi, TikTok India Head.
LGT Lightstone considers investing up to $50m AMP's India unit. (FS)
LGT Lightstone Aspada considers investing up to $50m AMP Solar Group's India unit, Deal Street Asia reported.
The India-focused impact investment platform will acquire a significant minority stake in AMP Energy. The investment will help form the beachhead for Lichtenstein investor LGT, a bank and fund manager with around $220bn of assets, to foray into the Indian subcontinent's energy market.
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