NorthStar Realty Europe has entered into a definitive merger agreement with AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets, a global leader in real asset investments, acting on behalf of a client, for the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of common stock of the NorthStar Realty Europe.
The public-to-private transaction includes assets in London, Paris, Berlin, and Hamburg. The office portfolio is 96% let, with an average lease expiry of 5.9 years and offers the potential for asset management and further income generation, Axa said.
“The SRC ran a comprehensive strategic review process, considering all options and engaging with a wide group of potential buyers. We are pleased that the process has culminated in a transaction that unlocks the significant value we have created for NRE stockholders since inception, realizing an approximate 16% IRR assuming the estimated per share merger consideration of $17” Mahbod Nia, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company.
Northstar Realty Europe is advised by Goldman Sachs, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Sullivan & Cromwell, Clifford Chance, Venable, Goodwin Procter, and Vinson & Elkins. AXA IM - Real Assets is advised by Deutsche Bank, DLA Piper, KPMG, and CBRE.
CD&R fund completed the acquisition a majority equity interest in Sirius Computer Solutions, a leading national IT solutions integrator. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With $3.5bn in annual gross sales, Sirius provides world-class solutions from proven technologies helping clients transform their business by managing their operations, optimizing their IT, and securing it all.
“At Sirius, we are focused on how we can best deliver business outcomes for our clients, which is why we continue to invest in the best technical skills, the right processes and tools, and strategic partnerships,” Joe Mertens, Sirius president, and CEO.
CD&R was advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Credit Suisse. Sirius was advised by Debevoise & Plimpton and Raymond James & Associates, and William Blair.
Hub International, a leading global insurance brokerage, has acquired BenefitLink Resource Group Edmonton Holdings. Financial terms were not disclosed.
BenefitLink Resource Group is an independent benefit, and retirement consulting firm focused on optimizing expenditures, driving efficiencies, and simplifying the management of interest and retirement plans.
“Businesses today need to proactively manage and navigate the ever-changing benefits and retirement landscape, which is why we’ve been building on our capabilities in these areas in Canada. BenefitLink Resource Group has experience along with the resources, tools, and innovative proprietary products and services that will help us meet and exceed client expectations.” David Moon, President of Hub International Barton Insurance Brokers, a division of Hub International Canada West ULC.
Univision explores sale as market appetite for media companies improves.
Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications is exploring a possible sale and has hired advisers, Reuters reported.
The broadcaster confirmed its board of directors is reviewing options and has hired Morgan Stanley, LionTree and Moelis & Company as advisers. Univision decided to explore a sale after it improved some of its ratings in challenging markets and saw the shares of Walt Disney, which it considers a peer.
“The current environment favors scale and cross-platform offerings, and we believe those major media companies that fail to recognize and capitalize on this unique opportunity in Spanish-language media will be left behind,” Vincent Sadusky, chief executive officer of Univision.
Broadcom's head is acting like a private equity firm. (FS)
Hock Tan, Broadcom head of the acquisitive US chip company, is thought to be the most serious consolidator in software since Oracle’s Larry Ellison almost 20 years ago, Financial Times reported.
He already gorged on software once with the $18.9bn purchase of mainframe software company CA last year. Now Broadcom is circling struggling security software concern Symantec. It no longer looks so far-fetched to think of Mr. Tan.
He plans to apply the same operational focus and ferocious attention to costs that put Broadcom at the top of the chip world to an entirely new sector.
Comcast-led consortium closer to buy Zee Entertainment Enterprises. (FS)
Comcast, US cable giant, and Atairos, an investment firm is planning to join hands with Blackstone and James Murdoch's family office Lupa Systems to acquire Zee Entertainment Enterprises, owned by Subhash Chandra Indian mass media company.
However, social media giant Facebook has also sent feelers to seek a potential deal. Furthermore, both sides have held management meetings, but the talks are still in preliminary stages and might not materialize into a transaction.
Telefónica Perú sells 658 towers. (Real Estate)
Telefónica del Perú has agreed to sell 658 towers to an unnamed buyer for an unspecified sum in the first part of a sale that will include a total of 833 spires. Telefónica has a plan to sell off non-core assets that do not contribute to improved financial performance and to continue reducing the company's debt.
"The transaction, as well as maximizing efficiency of Telefónica assets, will also allow the company to strengthen necessary investments to continue its digital transformation such as the simplification and robotization of processes to improve efficiency and, reduce errors and generate savings." the company said in a statement.
Previously Telefónica had reached a deal to sell its data center business to investment fund Asterion for €600m ($669m) in a bid to reduce its debt pile to below €40bn ($45bn).
Metso and Outotec approved a demerger plan and a combination agreement to combine Metso’s Minerals business with Outotec. The combined company, Metso Outotec, had illustrative 2018 combined sales and Adjusted EBITA of €3.9bn ($4.4bn) and €369m ($416m).
Metso Minerals and Outotec are expected to become a leading company with an extensive presence across the value chain, allowing Metso Outotec to provide an end-to-end offering in minerals processing.
“This is a unique opportunity to create value for our customers, employees, and partners globally. Metso Outotec will have capabilities that will enable us to drive sustainable growth while providing our customers with high-quality technology, equipment, and services that will ultimately improve their businesses. We will have an extensive global presence, complementary offering, strong services, and a large installed base. We also have excellent people – the best talent in the industry. I am therefore eagerly waiting to join with Outotec’s personnel to begin our exciting journey together.” Pekka Vauramo, Metso CEO.
Energean, the oil and gas producer focused has agreed to acquire Edison Exploration & Production, oil business from Edison, oil, and gas business company for $750m.
"The acquisition of Edison E&P establishes Energean as the leading independent, gas-focused E&P company in the Mediterranean with a mainly operated, low cost, gas-weighted portfolio, with the capability, focus and team to prosper in our rapidly changing industry. It will diversify Energean into a multi-country, multi-asset, full-cycle E&P company with the scale, material cash flows, significant growth, and portfolio optionality. Edison E&P brings with it an exceptional team, and I look forward to working with them as we build on the multiple opportunities ahead of us." Mathios Rigas, Energean Chief Executive.
Energean was advised by Stifel, Morgan Stanley, Camarco, Peel Hunt and RBC.
Poland's biggest oil refiner PKN Orlen is expected to face a full-scale EU antitrust investigation into its planned takeover of rival Lotos and may even face a veto due to their combined market share, Reuters reported.
State-run PKN said last year that it plans to buy at least a 53% stake in its nearest rival Lotos, which has a market capitalization of 15.9bn zlotys ($4.23bn), from the government.
Teijin has agreed to wholly acquire Benet Automotive, a leading automotive composite and component supplier in the Czech Republic, from Jet Investment. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Benet is a tier one supplier of composite components to the automotive industry, offering advanced technologies for carbon-fiber-reinforced and glass-fiber-reinforced plastic molding, as well as the painting and assembly of vehicles. The company specializes in reinforced reaction injection molding (RRIM), a low-pressure process using polyurethane; and both conventional autoclave and resin transfer molding (RTM). Benet has three facilities in Czechia and one in Germany to serve European automotive OEMs including Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Skoda.
ClearCourse Partnership, a group of innovative technology companies providing software, services and digital capabilities to the membership, events & bookings and sports & leisure sectors, acquired Trillium, a leading provider of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and digital strategy consultancy. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Trillium delivers digital transformation projects for leading chartered membership institutes, associations, regulatory & awarding bodies, trade unions and charities, including the Law Society, the Association of Optometrists, and the Royal College of Physicians.
“Trillium is a valuable addition to ClearCourse. As an ever-increasing proportion of workloads take place through digital channels, user experience is more important than ever, and that is reflected in Trillium’s approach and continued success. It has a great reputation and potential for expansion. We look forward to working with the team to help them achieve their ambitious growth plans.” Gerry Gualtieri, ClearCourse CEO.
EcoOnline strengthens its position by acquiring one of Sweden’s leading HSEQ software providers, Nordic Port. Financial terms were not disclosed.
EcoOnline, the leading European provider of chemical safety and other HSEQ management software products, acquires Nordic Port, based in Gothenburg Sweden. With this acquisition, EcoOnline will strengthen its position and offering within Chemical management and add Environment and Quality management modules to the product portfolio.
Nordic Port has a strong position with loyal customers in their target markets and a similar vision, business model, and culture as EcoOnline. Together we will be able to serve all customer segments even better”, Göran Lindö, CEO of EcoOnline Group.
The Board of Donegal Investment Group disposeD of its animal feed business, Robert Smyth & Sons and its subsidiary companies, including its subsidiary company Burke Shipping Services, to Fane Valley Co-Operative Society. This is in line with the previously announced strategic review of the Company’s various businesses and assets.
Smyths engages in the manufacture of high-quality animal feeds from one of Ireland’s most modern production facilities. The Business supplies branded and un-branded feed products for ruminant and monogastric animals including Beef, Dairy, Sheep, Pig, and Poultry across the north and northwest of Ireland.
“We are pleased to announce that we have agreed to sell our animal feed business Robert Smyth & Sons and subsidiaries to Fane Valley Co-Operative Society. We wish the Businesses, their employees and management, and their new owners Fane Valley, every success in the future. We will continue to support the growth plans of our specialty dairy business Nomadic as well as continuing the strategic review of the remaining businesses and assets of the Company to maximize value for all shareholders.” Ian Ireland, Donegal Managing Director.
Mérieux NutriSciences, a global player in food safety and quality, has agreed to acquire KTBA, a Dutch company offering premium quality assurance consultancy and training, label compliance, and software solutions to support the food industry in responding to the growing demands of food safety from the market and consumers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition of KTBA strategically complements Mérieux NutriSciences services in the Netherlands where the company already operates testing activities in Ede, located in the Food Valley. This acquisition also strengthens Mérieux NutriSciences European label compliance, regulatory and risk monitoring services aiming at supporting its clients to make their products marketable and safe.
“We are very enthusiastic about having the talented and recognized team of KTBA joining us. This acquisition is fully aligned with our strategic roadmap and illustrates Mérieux NutriSciences commitment to offering solutions beyond testing to support our customers throughout the entire value chain.” Philippe Sans, Mérieux NutriSciences President & CEO.
Indutrade, an industrial technology sales company has agreed to acquire Natgraph, drying, and curing systems for industrial print applications manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Indutrade is the perfect new owner for Natgraph. Their unique approach, experience, and commitment to continuity mean they are an ideal fit for the company. They bring considerable size and strength that will enable us to grow by supporting our plans to develop products, penetrate more markets, and answer the needs of new applications.” Douglas Gray, Natgraph Sales Director.
Uniper’s employee representatives have today sent a letter to Fortum and several politicians in Finland and Germany concerning Fortum’s ownership in Uniper.
"We understand the concerns of employees. A comprehensive solution that protects the interests of all stakeholders can best be achieved together with Uniper's management. For this reason, we have repeatedly urged the start of formal discussions with the company's new management, and also spoken with the unions and employee representatives. We are in contact with the Supervisory Board of Uniper with a view to resuming such discussions as soon as possible." Uniper said in a statement.
Uniper was advised by Morgan Stanley, Rothschild & Co, Shearman & Sterling, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Finsbury. Fortum was advised by Barclays, Perella Weinberg Partners, Clifford Chance, Hengeler Mueller, and Roschier Attorneys. EON was advised by Goldman Sachs and Linklaters.
Moody’s warns Merlin’s £6bn take private deal could lead to a downgrade.
Moody’s has warned Merlin Entertainments, Europe’s largest theme park operator, that last month’s £6bn ($7.5bn) deal to take it privately could lead to a credit rating downgrade further into junk territory due to a likely increase in debt.
The owner of Legoland Resorts and Madame Tussauds wax museums is to be acquired by the Danish billionaire family that controls toymaker Lego, private equity group Blackstone and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board in a deal that valued Merlin’s shares at more than £4.7bn ($5.9bn), or close to £6bn ($7.5bn) including debt.
Uniper gets French approval for power assets sale to Kretinsky's EPH.
German energy group Uniper said it had signed agreements to sell its power generation and distribution businesses in France to Central European energy group EPH after receiving approval from the French government.
Uniper and EPH, majority owned by Czech billionaire investor Daniel Kretinsky, entered exclusive negotiations for the deal in December, and they had been waiting for the French government’s clearance following approval from EU competition authorities in May.
Panera accused of incompetent $7.5bn sale to help the founder.
Panera Bread investors claimed company directors mishandled the $7.5bn sales of the restaurant chain to JAB Holding, alleging in court documents that the business was unloaded on the cheap because the founder wanted to cash out his stake.
Disgruntled stockholders said in a filing that directors shouldn’t have let Ron Shaich, who founded Panera in 1981, handle the JAB negotiations in 2017 without the assistance of a select board committee. The company also erred in hiring Morgan Stanley as the board’s adviser because the investment bank had a long history of working for JAB, shareholders allege.
PKO BP Bank accepted the sale of the Częstochowa steel mill to the Greybull Capital fund.
The accepted the sale of the steel mill opens the way for a takeover which will prevent its liquidation.
"According to this declaration, the right final decisions have been made today. The Management Board of PKO Bank Polski, in line with earlier predictions, approved the purchase of the Częstochowa Huta by Greybull Capital as part of the pre-pack liquidation proposed by the Fund under the terms presented by Greybull Capital "- indicated Szymańska.
On Friday, the board of ISD Polska, the owner of Huta Częstochowa, filed for bankruptcy in the court. On Wednesday, trade unions from the smelter organized a protest in front of the bank's headquarters, PKO BP, which is one of the creditors of the steelworks and whose decision was dependent on further discussions with a potential commercial investor for the plant.
Blackstone Group is in exclusive talks to sell Center Parcs Europe holiday resorts. (FS)
Blackstone Group, an investment company, is in exclusive talks to sell Center Parcs Europe, holiday resorts to Aroundtown, German real-estate company, Bloomberg reported.
Aroundtown has agreed to pay about €1bn ($1.1bn) for the seven properties, which are operated by Pierre & Vacances. Eastdil Secured is thought to be an advisor on the deal.
Societe Generale considers sale of UK Private Banking Arm.
Societe Generale is planning a retreat from UK private banking just three years after making a significant acquisition to expand in the market, Bloomberg reported.
Investors back Actis’s bid for Abraaj assets. (FS)
UK private equity firm Actis is nearing a deal to take over two funds managed by its collapsed rival Abraaj Group, Private Equity News reported.
At least three-quarters of investors in a $1.6bn private equity fund and a $990m Africa-focused fund approved the proposed acquisition overcoming a significant hurdle in what has been a protracted sale process.
Naspers name new CEO. (People)
A little more than 100 years ago, Naspers was created by white South Africans to produce a Dutch-language newspaper. Now the continent’s biggest company, Naspers just named its first woman, and first black person, as chief executive officer.
Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa’s appointment to head the South African unit doesn’t just buck the trend of white, male directors at Naspers. Only one black woman now runs a Top 40-listed company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and only seven men of color do. The new Naspers unit won’t be traded, at least right away, and includes e-commerce, food delivery, newspapers, and online media.
Fatfish Global Ventures are updating on a proposed IPO. (FS)
Fatfish Global Ventures, a Swedish venture builder, is updating that the proposed IPO is progressing smoothly. With the Board of Directors has formally approved FGV to commence an IPO process on the Nordic Growth Market. FGV has submitted a formal examination application to NGM to record its interest for a potential IPO.
Dentsu Aegis Network acquired technology and business consultancy, Davanti Consulting, into Isobar Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition introduces technology consulting and Salesforce capability to Dentsu Aegis Network New Zealand – enhancing the network’s proposition of integrated client solutions across the entire customer journey. The acquisition also accelerates the development of Salesforce capability within Isobar Group Australia.
“Davanti’s strong reputation promises to accelerate the growth of Isobar ANZ, and enhance the group’s Salesforce capability – positioning us to capture one of the fastest growing segments in the market.” Henry Tajer, Dentsu Aegis Network Australia and New Zealand CEO.
Larsen and Toubro, an engineering and construction major, have agreed to receive a 31% of the stake in Mindtree, an Indian IT services company. The company owned already 29% of the shares. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Larsen and Toubro Limited has acquired equity shares to an extent 60.06% of the total shareholding of the company and has acquired control and is categorized as promoter according to SEBI (issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018," Mindtree said.
itelligence, the globally leading SAP Partner, has agreed to acquire ISS Consulting, a leading SAP service provider in Thailand. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With this acquisition, the SAP Platinum Partner, itelligence, continues expanding its market presence in Thailand and South East Asia.
"The new alliance is of high strategic importance to us. We are entering Thailand to take advantage of a fast-growing and strong SAP market. Our investment in ISS Consulting further demonstrates our commitment to becoming the leading SAP service provider in the Asian Pacific region. ISS Consulting's significant industry know-how in the manufacturing, automotive supplier, and food sectors makes the company a perfect fit for the itelligence group." Norbert Rotter, itelligence CEO.
An Indian court rejected a petition challenging ArcelorMittal’s proposed takeover of debt-ridden Essar Steel, removing a hurdle in billionaire Lakshmi Mittal’s entry into the country’s fast-growing steel market.
“The judge said the Ruia plea has to be rejected for various reasons including that it suffered from unreasonable delays,” Ravin Kapur, Essar’s founders Shashi Ruia lawyer said.
Aveo favors Brookfield arm in takeover talks. (FS)
Australia’s Aveo Group confirmed that the real estate investment arm of Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management is the preferred party with which the retirement-home operator is holding takeover talks.
“Aveo continues to negotiate with Brookfield in respect of its indicative proposal to enter into definitive agreements leading to a scheme of arrangement to give effect to the indicative proposal,” the firm said in a statement.
Budweiser APAC won't rely on M&A to grow after IPO.
Budweiser APAC will not rely on M&A deals to expand after the Asia-Pacific business of beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev lists in Hong Kong, the chief executive of the Asian company said.
Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, whose portfolio of more than 50 beer brands includes Stella Artois and Corona, began talking with investors this week about what will be the world’s largest IPO this year.
Analysts have suggested the spin-off could provide the Asian company with financial firepower for M&A deals with regional beer brands, as well as providing proceeds to help parent AB InBev lower its leverage.
Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Group acquired two properties in Indonesia. (RE)
Hankyu Hanshin Properties, an 100% subsidiary of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings, is entering the overseas commercial real estate leasing business with the partial acquisition of two properties in Indonesia. The properties, Plaza Indonesia Complex, and fX Sudirman are both landmark multipurpose buildings in Jakarta, and Hankyu Hanshin Properties became the beneficial partial owner through the acquisition of shares in the local entity that holds the assets.
Jakarta is one of South East Asia’s leading global cities, and the properties are located on the main thoroughfare of Jakarta’s central business district in prime positions next to stations on the North-South Line of the MRT, Indonesia’s first subway system, which opened in April 2019.
WeWork's China Rival said to seek up to $200m US IPO.
Ucommune is preparing to raise as much as $200m in a 2020 US initial public offering, Bloomberg reported, a capital infusion that would help the loss-making Chinese startup battle WeWork across the world’s No. 2 economy.
The four-year-old company is seeking to raise at least $100m. Ucommune had reportedly targeted an IPO in 2018’s third quarter, but market turbulence engendered by US-Chinese tensions forced it to back off, they added. The deal is in its preliminary stages and subject to change, they said, but a successful transaction will help re-fill coffers drained by a race with WeWork to set up shared office spaces from Beijing to Shenzhen.
Chinese tech giant Baidu partners Geely, Toyota in the self-driving push.
China’s top search engine operator Baidu has joined hands with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Japan’s Toyota Motor to cooperate on areas related to artificial intelligence (AI) amid a push for self-driving cars.
Under their partnership, Geely and Toyota have joined Apollo, an autonomous driving platform by Baidu. Baidu will provide Apollo Minibus, a software product for autonomous bus vehicles, to Toyota’s e-Palette vehicles in the future, and will work with the automaker to explore more uses of autonomous driving technologies, said Li Zhenyu, vice president of Baidu who is in charge of its intelligent driving unit.
With Geely, Baidu will cooperate in AI applications such as smart connectivity and smart mobility, Baidu CEO Robin Li and Geely Chairman Li Shufu said at Baidu Create 2019, a yearly gathering where the company shows its advances in AI.
Tier IV raises over $100m in Series A round. (FS)
Tier IV had raised over $100m in total in a Series A funding round. The main aim was to facilitate the commercialization of self-driving technology in private areas, depopulated areas, and urban areas.
This funding round, led by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, the Japanese major P&C insurance company, with participation from existing investors, Yamaha Motor, KDDI, JAFCO, and AISAN TECHNOLOGY, enables Tier IV to become a global platform company and scale out its self-driving business.
"Tier IV has a mission to embody disruptive creation and creative disruption with self-driving technology. We have derived a solid software platform and successfully integrated it with real vehicles. It is time to step forward to real services, embracing functional safety and risk management," Shinpei Kato, Tier IV Founder.
The Indian government is neither divesting nor privatizing ONGC.
ONGC run by a state will neither be disinvested nor, but only oilfields discovered by it are being monetized through a transparent bidding process to ensure the country's energy security, said Dharmendra Pradhan, Petroleum Minister.
"There are two challenges concerning natural resources. One is to keep an estimate on how much we have, and the other one is to monetize it. Disinvestment or privatization of ONGC is not happening. We are just monetizing. ONGC can also reinvest, and other government firms can also do so. Technology companies across the globe can also invest." Pradhan said.
Newcrest considers buyer for 26% stake in Indonesian gold mining firm.
Australia-listed Newcrest Mining is seeking a buyer for a 26% stake in Indonesia-based gold mining company Nusa Halmahera Mineral to meet regulatory requirements, DealStreetAsia reported.
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