Virtusa, an IT services provider, announced that its stockholders voted to adopt the previously announced merger agreement, under which private equity firm Baring Private Equity will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of Virtusa for $2bn.
"On behalf of Virtusa’s Board of Directors and executive management team, I would like to thank our shareholders for their overwhelming support of the transaction with BPEA. Our partnership with BPEA will accelerate our plans to be the leading provider of digital transformation for global 2k companies, and we look forward to the close of the transaction,” Kris Canekeratne, Virtusa Chairman and CEO.
Virtusa is advised by Citigroup, JP Morgan, Goodwin Procter, ICR, and Joele Frank. Citigroup and JP Morgan is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Baring Private Equity is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Ropes & Gray, Newgate Communications, and SEC Newgate.
Longview Acquisition, a special purposes acquisition vehicle, agreed to merge with Butterfly Network, a digital health company, in a $1.5bn deal. Upon closing, the combined company's Class A common stock is expected to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "BFLY."
"We believe the combination with such a premier healthcare partner as Longview Acquisition Corp. will amplify and accelerate the adoption of Butterfly iQ around the world. This partnership will enable us to bring more Butterfly innovative solutions to market faster, helping us improve patient outcomes and the way healthcare is delivered," Laurent Faracci, Butterfly CEO.
Butterfly Network is advised by JP Morgan, Mintz Levin, and Westwicke. Longview Acquisition is advised by Cowen & Company, UBS, and Ropes & Gray. Debt financing is provided by UBS.
Parsons, an American technology-focused defense, intelligence, security, and infrastructure engineering firm, completed the acquisition of Braxton Science & Technology Group, a satellite ground system company, for $300m.
"The addition of BSTG complements our space portfolio, increases our product offerings in high-growth markets, and adds critical intellectual property that complements and expands our capabilities for the US Air Force, Space Force, and research laboratories. We look forward to welcoming BSTG's employees into the Parsons' family, driving synergistic solutions that leverage our expanded set of space solutions, growing our technology, and furthering our customer's critical missions including joint all-domain operations," Chuck Harrington, Parsons Chairman and CEO.
Braxton Science was advised by KippsDeSanto & Co and Sparks Wilson. Parsons was advised by Goldman Sachs and Latham & Watkins. Goldman Sachs is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
PAE, a global company in delivering smart solutions to the US government and its allies, completed the acquisition of CENTRA Technology, an independent provider of high-end intelligence support, information analytics, engineering services and other advanced technology solutions, for c. $208m.
“The acquisition of CENTRA expands PAE’s addressable market into new, attractive mission-critical business areas, opening up important higher growth and margin market areas for the worldwide PAE enterprise. The combination of PAE’s and CENTRA’s capabilities and experience will position PAE to bid a significantly expanded pipeline of opportunities that were previously not actionable to PAE prior to the acquisition. In addition, through the combination with CENTRA, PAE adds uniquely qualified employees to our global workforce with subject matter expertise across a broad range of critical national security issues,” John Heller, PAE President and CEO.
CENTRA Technologies was advised by Citizens Capital Markets and Greenberg Traurig. PAE was advised by Renaissance Strategic Advisors and Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational professional services network of firms, agreed to acquire EagleDream Technologies, a cloud-native transformation company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Combining EagleDream’s depth of cloud-native expertise with the core competencies PwC provides offers us the ability to help enterprise’s redefine what’s possible with technology. Together, our detailed engineering skills and end-to-end approach enables us to drive impact and value in the market at scale,” Bob Moore, EagleDream Technologies Co-Founder and CEO.
EagleDream is advised by DC Advisory and Trevett Cristo. PwC is advised by Momentum Cyber and Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Clearlake Capital completed the acquisition of software-as-a-service providers Zywave and Advisen, from Aurora Capital, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The combination of Zywave and Advisen creates a unique software platform for the broader insurance market as stakeholders look to digitize mission critical workflows within their day-to-day operations. Zywave has created a differentiated SaaS product platform that will be strengthened by Advisen's loss and policy data to enable smarter business decisions for insurance customers," Behdad Eghbali, Clearlake Co-Founder and Managing Partner.
Advisen was advised by Houlihan Lokey. Clearlake was advised by Lambert & Co. Aurora Capital was advised by William Blair & Co and ASC Advisors.
Donuts, a domain name registry company, agreed to acquire Afilias, an internet domain services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The Afilias and Donuts teams share a commitment to security, stability and reliability. This will only grow stronger as we implement the best technologies and services from each organization while maintaining seamless delivery to our registry and registrar partners as well as our end registrants," Akram Atallah, Donuts CEO.
Afilias is advised by Moelis & Co and Sidley Austin. Donuts is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Arcline Investment Management, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Evans Capacitor Company, a designer and manufacturer of high-reliability power-dense capacitors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"First and foremost, we want to thank everyone who has contributed to Evans Capacitor's growth over the last 24 years, especially our customers and our employees. Arcline's commitment to investing in our products and our people will continue to serve our stakeholders well for many years to come," Charlie Dewey, Evans Capacitor Co-Founder and CEO.
Arcline was advised by Houlihan Lokey and Joele Frank.
Private equity firm Sumeru Equity-backed GoGuardian, a K-12 EdTech company, agreed to merge with Pear Deck, a student engagement platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The merger brings together two of the fastest-growing companies in education under a single umbrella and will enable a strong partnership that drives expansion into new, but interconnected growth areas, while supporting both organizations’ longstanding missions to help ensure K-12 learning environments are safer and more engaging for students.
“Over the past five years, that focus has manifested as a set of tools that are simple, effective, and improve outcomes for all learners. We’re eager to team up with GoGuardian to develop new, innovative solutions to support educators, students, and leaders,” Riley Eynon-Lynch, Pear Deck Co-Founder and CEO.
Sumeru Equity and GoGuardian is advised by Robert W Baird.
Accel-KKR-backed Siigo, a ERP software company, completed the acquisition of Memory, ERP software company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The combined businesses of Siigo and Memory serve a common goal of bringing cloud-based technology in accounting, administrative and electronic invoicing software to an estimated market of more than 1m SMBs and more than 300k accountants throughout Latin America.
"While we take great pride in what we have accomplished over the past 35 years, we are excited to become part of the Siigo family and believe that our partnership will do great things, not only for Memory, but for all of Uruguay and beyond. With support from Siigo and Accel-KKR, we are eager to realize continued innovation and development as we seek to deliver the best products in the market for our valued customers," Roni Lieberman, Memory CEO.
Rimkus Consulting Group, a forensic engineering and consulting firm, completed the acquisition of IRC Building Sciences Group, an engineering and consulting firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're honoured to join the Rimkus family and to work alongside their team of seasoned and established experts. Our two companies are aligned in our shared vision of being a global leader in engineering and consulting. Together, we will continue to provide and expand our professional expertise and customer service to our valued clients across Canada," Albert Duwyn, IRC Building Sciences Group President.
Noodle Partners completed the acquisition of HotChalk, an online education program manager. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Noodle is growing quickly. What is most important to us as we achieve scale is that we are extremely thoughtful about who joins our ranks. HotChalk had been on our radar for years as a competitor. This represents a crucial step for our growth not just as a network, but as the most trusted source of expertise in all of online higher education," Meredith Ruble, Noodle CFO.
Lowe Capital Management, a private investment group, and Construction Safety Group completed the acquisition of Incorp Holdings, a building materials provider, from Brown Gibbons Lang & Company, a financial services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The transaction allows Incorp to continue executing its successful growth strategy with the added value of a seasoned strategic partner.
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, a National Security Solutions provider, completed the acquisition of 5-D Systems, a CMMI Level 3 Systems and Software Engineering company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of this long-term teammate enables us to immediately achieve our goal, while seamlessly complementing and expanding our engineering team with capability and credentials to help with our continually growing unmanned tactical and target system development efforts. 5-D brings specific new capabilities to Kratos with their legacy manned conversion and larger aircraft experience including the QF-4, with the associated runway takeoff and landing modes that have direct application on several Kratos pursuits. We are excited about being well-positioned with a Kratos technology center near several key customers and with the continuing expansion of our capability and experience in high performance unmanned jet drone systems,” Eric DeMarco, Kratos President and CEO.
Delta and WestJet scrap joint venture plans.
Delta Air Lines and Canada's WestJet had scrapped a planned US-Canada joint venture after the US government demanded changes the airlines insisted were "unreasonable and unacceptable", Reuters reported.
The US Transportation Department required the carriers to remove Swoop, an ultra low-cost carrier affiliate of WestJet, from the alliance, and divest 16 takeoff and landing slots at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
The airlines responded the US demands were “arbitrary and capricious” especially the slot divestitures. They had argued the alliance would “optimize aircraft utilization, enhance schedules, and lower costs.” The airlines said they remain committed to developing a joint venture “but in the meantime will explore deepening the alliance.”
Zurich Insurance to acquire MetLife's US unit for $4bn.
Zurich Insurance Group is in advanced talks to buy MetLife's US property and casualty car and home insurance unit at around $4bn, Reuters reported.
The deal would expand Zurich Insurance’s P&C business, as the industry grapples with fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, which drove up claims for business interruptions and event cancellations. It would also allow MetLife to exit a business in which it faces fierce competition from larger players such as State Farm, GEICO and Progressive Insurance.
“Zurich subsidiary, Farmers Group, is proposing to acquire the business in conjunction with the Farmers Exchanges. The terms of any transaction are subject to negotiations and there can be no assurance that a transaction will take place,” Zurich Insurance Group.
L3Harris Technologies to sell pilot training services unit.
L3Harris Technologies, one of North America’s largest aerospace and defense manufacturers, is planning a sale of its pilot training services business at around $1bn.
The company is working with an adviser to sell the unit, which is attracting interest from private equity firms. No final decision has been made and L3Harris could opt to keep the unit, Bloomberg reported.
BRS agreed to sell Simpson Performance Products. (FS)
Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co, a New York-based private equity firm announced the sale of Simpson Performance Products, a provider of critical safety equipment for the motorsports industry.
"With BRS's support, Simpson has expanded its product offering of cutting-edge safety gear for the motorsport industry. We look forward to continuing our quest to help our consumers stay safe while pursuing their passion for motorsports," Chuck Davies, Simpson CEO.
Simpson Performance Products is advised by Harris Williams & Co and Kirkland & Ellis.
Wendy’s bids to buy nearly 400 of its eateries out of bankruptcy.
Wendy’s submitted a bid to buy nearly 400 of its restaurants from operator NPC International’s bankruptcy sale.
“The company submitted a consortium bid together with a group of pre-qualified franchisees to acquire NPC’s Wendy’s restaurants,” Wendy’s said in the filing, which doesn’t reveal the size of the bid, Bloomberg reported.
If it’s successful, Wendy’s expects several existing and new franchisees would ultimately purchase most of the NPC restaurants, with the company acquiring eateries in one or two markets at most to keep its ownership level at around 5% of locations.
Perella Weinberg to seek IPO via a $1bn blank-check merger. (FS)
Joe Perella and Peter Weinberg are looking to pull off the deal by taking their boutique investment bank, Perella Weinberg Partners, public through merging with a blank-check firm, Bloomberg reported.
Perella Weinberg is in talks with a SCAP for a deal, which is expected to be valued at more than $1bn. The identity of the SPAC couldn’t immediately be learned.
A deal, if completed, would cap an at times turbulent 14-year run for the small but influential firm, whose founders have counselled some of the world’s mightiest corporations. It would also be another signpost of the SPAC boom, as more companies choose to avoid the volatility of a traditional IPO by seeking a deal with a shell firm created only to make an acquisition.
GTCR-backed Maravai LifeSciences raises $1.62bn in IPO. (FS)
Shares of Maravai LifeSciences, a provider of a capping reagent to Pfizer and BioNTech for their Covid-19 vaccine, rose 18.3% in their market debut on Friday after the company raised $1.62bn in its upsized IPO, Reuters reported.
GTCR-backed Maravai had earlier priced its upsized offering of 60m shares on the Nasdaq at the top end of its range of $24 and $27 apiece. The IPO values Maravai at $8.12bn at the debut price.
Warburg Pincus and GTCR-backed Sotera Health raised $1.1bn in Nasdaq IPO. (FS)
Shares of Warburg Pincus and GTCR-backed Sotera Health, a medical sterilization firm, jumped 17% in their debut on Friday, after the company raised about $1.1bn in its IPO. The company’s shares opened at $27, valuing it at about $7.5bn. Sotera had priced its IPO at $23 per share.
After the IPO, Warburg Pincus and GTCR own 41.9% and 27.9%, respectively, of the company.
JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, Barclays, Citigroup and RBC Capital Markets were the lead underwriters for the offering.
TMT Investments-backed Backblaze plans a $1bn IPO. (FS)
Backblaze, US cloud storage and backup software provider, seeks to hire investment banks for an IPO in 2021 that could value at around $1bn.
TMT Investments-backed Backblaze is aiming to complete its IPO next year. The plans are subject to change and market conditions, Reuters reported.
General Atlantic-backed Wish files for IPO. (FS)
E-commerce firm Wish, backed by General Atlantic, made public its regulatory filing for an IPO to list its shares on the Nasdaq, joining a host of companies rushing to take advantage of investor appetite for new listings, Reutersreported.
In a filing, the bargain shopping app based in San Francisco reported revenue of $1.7bn for the nine months ended Sepember 30, an increase of 32% from a year earlier. Wish confidentially submitted paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to go public in August.
Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are the lead underwriters for Wish’s listing.
AbCellera Biologics plans an IPO. (FS)
AbCellera Biologics, a Canadian antibody-drug discovery platform, filed for an IPO, detailing plans for an antibody treatment for Covid-19 that it’s developing with Eli Lilly.
AbCellera in its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission listed the size of the offering as $200m, a placeholder that will likely change. The company will disclose the size and price range for the IPO in a later filing, according to Bloomberg.
Carl Hansen, AbCellera founder and CEO, owns a 26.3% stake in the company, making him the largest shareholder, according to the filing. Thermopylae Holdings owns 26% of the shares, while DCVC Bio has a 12.4% stake and Viking Global Investors and its affiliates own 8%.
Roblox files for an IPO.
Videogame company Roblox has filed for a multibillion-dollar stock market debut, as the pandemic has supercharged demand for online gaming.
Roblox said to underpin the planned IPO that the company has enjoyed massive sales growth. Revenue advanced 56% to $488.2m in 2019 and increased further during the pandemic. Sales in the first nine months of this year rose more than 68% to $588.7m and bookings in that period surged 171% from a year earlier, WSJ reported.
Omnichannel Acquisition announces pricing of $200m IPO.
Omnichannel Acquisition announced the pricing of its IPO of 20m units at a price of $10 per unit. The units were listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade began on November 20, 2020.
Each unit consists of one share of Class A common stock and one-half of one redeemable warrant, with each whole warrant exercisable to purchase one share of Class A common stock for $11.5 per share.
After the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, the shares of Class A common stock and warrants are expected to be listed on the NYSE. The offering is expected to close on November 24, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.
Goldman Sachs raises $10.3bn for buyout stakes.
Goldman Sachs Group raised $10.3bn for a new fund that will primarily buy private equity stakes as interest in such deals intensifies, Bloomberg reported.
Goldman’s global head of secondary investing Harold Hope, said the fund is group’s largest and includes about $250m of internal capital. It will be used to acquire holdings owned by existing fund backers and stakes that buyout firms may want to spin off into new vehicles.
Goldman’s new fund is the company’s eighth in this business. It’s 43% larger than the $7.2bn pool raised in 2016. The firm has committed almost $40bn in its secondaries strategies since the group’s founding.
KKR prepares for new European buyout fund. (FS)
KKR is preparing to raise another European buyout fund just a year after its last one, having outspent rivals during the coronavirus pandemic.
The US private equity firm is in the early stages of planning for a new fund. The vehicle is likely to be larger than the $6.9bn KKR raised for its fifth European private equity fund in November 2019, Bloomberg reported.
KKR plans to begin the fundraising next year. Such a quick return to the fundraising trail is a result of KKR having been the world’s most active buyout firm this year.
IQHQ raises $1.7bn to pursue expansion.
US premier life sciences real estate developer IQHQ completed a second $1.7bn equity raise from investors including a $158m contribution from CenterSquare Investment Management.
IQHQ, which raised an initial $770m nine months ago, said the latest fundraise was backed by new and existing strategic partners and the proceeds will be used to pursue the expansion of its development pipeline in life sciences markets including Boston, San Francisco and San Diego.
Top shareholders in merging carmakers Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Groupe PSA have moved to tighten their grip on the combined business and head off any potential hostile bidders, Reuters reported.
A prospectus for the deal, which will create the world’s fourth-biggest automaker, showed that there would be a loyalty scheme for long-term shareholders in the business, which will be called Stellantis. Investors that hold Stellantis stock uninterrupted for at least three years could be given extra voting shares. Under the loyalty scheme, the combined voting rights of these top investors in Stellantis could top 50% after the three year period.
Fiat Chrysler is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, d'Angelin & Co, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Legance, Loyens & Loeff, Sullivan & Cromwell, Community Group, Image Sept and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisors are advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Macfarlanes. PSA Group is advised by China International Capital, Mediobanca, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, BonelliErede, Bredin Prat, Cabinet Bompoint, Clifford Chance, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Linklaters, NautaDutilh and Stibbe. Peugeot is advised by Zaoui & Co. Exor is advised by Lazard. Bpifrace is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
William Hill announced that its shareholders have voted to approve the $3.82bn proposed acquisition by Las Vegas casino operator Caesars Entertainment.
The pair expect to obtain the other necessary competition and regulatory approvals in the second quarter of 2021 and possibly as early as the end of March 2021.
“We are pleased to have received William Hill shareholder support for our recommended cash offer. We continue to work towards satisfying the remaining regulatory conditions and look forward to completing the transaction next year and integrating William Hill US into our Caesars sports betting and igaming franchise," Tom Reed, Caesars CEO.
William Hill is advised by Barclays, Citigroup, PJT Partners, Slaughter & May, Weil Gotshal and Manges, and Brunswick Group. Caesars Entertainment is advised by Deutsche Bank, Harris Hagan, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, Phelps Dunbar, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, and Teneo.
Rhone Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Illycaffe, a premium coffee brand. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We chose Rhone as a travel companion for this next phase of growth because of their deep, global experience in strategically partnering with family-owned companies and based on their ability to understand illy’s unique, premium positioning rooted in its superior quality, longstanding heritage and authentic, sustainable business model. By partnering with illycaffè, Rhone has demonstrated that it shares our inclusive approach to value creation, which considers all our stakeholders and is deployed in combination with the pursuit of the highest ethical standards in running our business. I strongly believe that Rhone will be an ideal partner as we continue to realize our dream of offering the greatest coffee to the world, which is our foundation and uncompromised vision for the future,” Andrea Illy, Illycaffe Chairman.
Illycaffe is advised by Goldman Sachs, Gattai Minoli Agostinelli & Partners, and SabelliBenazzo. Rhone Capital is advised by Credit Suisse, Chiomenti, and Brunswick Group.
Banco Santander, a commercial bank, agreed to acquire payment solutions for merchants for acquiring and issuance services assets of Wirecard, an insolvent German payment processor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"At Santander, we aim to provide the best payment solutions and services to our customers. The assets and talent we will gain as part of the acquisition will help us accelerate Getnet’s expansion plans in Europe, while also increasing our product development capacity,” Ana Botín, Banco Santander Executive Chairman.
Banco Santander is advised by AZB & Partners. Wirecard is advised by Jaffé Rechtsanwälte and Brunner Communications.
Italy’s top-flight Serie A soccer league moved closer to selling a stake in its media business to boost virus-hit revenues when it agreed to accept a $2bn offer from a private equity consortium, Reuters reported.
CVC Capital Partners, Advent International and state-backed Italian fund FSI are bidding for a 10% stake in a new unit that will handle the league’s broadcast rights.
“We have found an agreement and unanimously voted in favour of the financial terms of the proposal, but we haven’t closed the deal yet, we haven’t committed yet," Paolo Dal Pino, Serie A Chairman.
Synopsys, a provider of tools used in the design of an application-specific integrated circuit, completed the acquisition of Light Tec, a provider of optical scattering measurements and measurement equipment. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This acquisition enables Synopsys to continuously augment the materials and media software libraries provided in their optical software products for faster, physics-based system modeling.
"Light Tec's proven optical measurement capabilities provide our customers with robust new tools for high-accuracy optical product simulations and visualizations. The acquisition of Light Tec demonstrates our commitment to helping designers meet demanding optical system requirements, speed product development and save R&D costs," Howard Ko, Synopsys General Manager.
CVC Capital competes with CD&R for Bilfinger. (FS)
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is competing with rival buyout firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice for German industrial services provider Bilfinger.
Bilfinger’s two largest investors including Swedish activist Cevian Capital, would likely welcome a sale after the company’s stock slumped 35% this year. It closed Friday at $26.6, giving Bilfinger a market value of about $1.2bn. ENA Investment Capital, which boosted its stake this month, has urged the firm to explore asset sales, Bloomberg reported.
Deliberations are still at early stage and may not lead to a deal, other suitors could still emerge. Thomas Blades, Bilfinger CEO said that the company is “not putting itself up for sale,” while acknowledging that buyout firms reached out for talks.
Italy and UniCredit in talks on Monte Paschi takeover.
Italy and UniCredit are intensifying talks about a takeover of state-controlled lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena as the country’s Treasury steps up efforts to meet the bank’s demands for acquiring the lender.
The finance ministry is ready to inject as much as $3bnbn of fresh funds into Monte Paschi and is studying measures to shield the potential buyer from legal risks and integration costs. The government is also including a tax benefit in its draft budget law to meet UniCredit’s request for a deal that won’t impact capital, according to Bloomberg reported.
The government is reviewing options to take as much as $11.8bn of pending legal risks off Monte Paschi’s books, including moving them to a special purpose vehicle controlled by the state, to make the sale viable for UniCredit. The Treasury is also considering rules to cover integration costs that may include thousands of job cuts. Finance officials had previously indicated they’d be willing to put in about $1.7bn.
Elliott to bid $872m for Swiss baker Aryzta. (FS)
Private equity firm Elliott Management has made a fresh takeover bid for Swiss baking company Aryzta.
Elliott proposed an offer of about $0.87 per share in recent weeks and reiterated its interest in the past few days. That price would represent a 32% premium to Thursday’s close and value Aryzta at about $872m, according to Bloomberg.
CNPC and CNOOC consider Exxon’s Iraq Oil Field Stake deal.
China’s oil giants China National Petroleum and CNOOC are weighing the acquisition of Exxon Mobil’s remaining stake in West Qurna 1 field in Iraq, at around $500m, Bloombergreported.
A deal would mark Exxon’s exit from the project and a further retreat from Iraq by international oil majors, following Royal Dutch Shell’s departure from the giant Majnoon field three years ago. No final decisions have been made and there is no guarantee the deliberations will lead to a deal. Geopolitical risks in Iraq could bring uncertainties to any potential agreement.
Cineworld considers rescue plans from lenders.
Cineworld Group is considering two rival offers from creditors to keep the world’s second-largest cinema chain in business through the pandemic.
Centerbridge Partners, which already provided the bulk of a $250m loan to Cineworld in June along with Arcmont Asset Management and Sand Grove Capital Management, has offered a new credit facility that would be secured by some of the company’s assets.
Senior lenders are working on their own proposal for a new loan that would rank equally with the bulk of the existing debt. Those lenders are represented by law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer and investment bank Houlihan Lokey, Bloomberg reported.
Frasers cautions about Edinburgh Woollen Mill deal.
Frasers Group has warned administrators to Peacocks, Jaeger and Edinburgh Woollen Mill against staying away from offering a deal to the previous owners of the collapsed retail team, according to FT.
Frasers Group is attempting to buy the brands that had been rebuffed. “We have followed up our interest daily via email and calls asking for updates and information, but have been met with delays and absolute refusals. We understand, through FRP, that EWM’s management are flatly refusing to provide details,” Frasers.
“Well aware of our duties as independent officers of the court, take them extremely seriously and are committed to running fair, transparent and open processes”. A sale would only be made “in the manner prescribed by law, applicable regulations and best practice,” FRP.
BNP Paribas weighs a sale of Axepta.
BNP Paribas is planning to offload its Italian payments unit Axepta, adding to a spate of deals in the rapidly consolidating sector.
French retail banking group is speaking with advisers about a disposal early next year. The Italian merchant acquiring unit, which specializes in the management of electronic payments, may be valued at as much as $240m and is expected to attract interest from industry peers.
U-blox Holding proposes merger with Telit.
Telit Communications notes the recent media speculation and confirms that it has received a preliminary proposal from u-blox Holding, regarding a possible all-share merger.
Under the terms of the proposal, Telit shareholders would receive u-blox shares valuing at $3.3 per Telit share, which would result in Telit shareholders owning approximately 53% in the combined company.
The board of Telit is considering the proposal, together with its financial adviser, Rothschild & Co, and a further announcement will be made when appropriate. The proposal assumes any such merger would be structured as an offer for Telit by u-blox. U-blox believes that such a combination has a strong strategic rationale and could result in substantial synergies for both organisations.
There can be no certainty that any transaction will ultimately be forthcoming nor as to the terms of any such offer, if made.
Telia sees no chance of 4-to-3 merger in Swedish telecoms market.
According to Allison Kirkby, Telia new CEO, who did a similar deal in the Netherlands in an earlier job, said there is little chance of a merger that would cut the number of mobile operators in Sweden from four to three.
Kirkby previously ran Tele2, where she has acted swiftly to shed overseas assets and refocus Telia as a Nordic regional player. At Tele2, Kirkby pulled off the sale of its struggling Dutch subsidiary to Germany's Deutsche Telekom in a four-to-three deal that passed muster with EU competition regulators, Reuters reported.
She told the Morgan Stanley Technology that similar consolidation in Sweden was unlikely because the weakest market player is stronger than was the case with Tele2 in the Netherlands.
Massimo Zanetti's top investor extends bid to delist the coffee maker.
Italian coffee maker Massimo Zanetti Beverage said on Thursday that MZB Holding had extended the acceptance period for its voluntary offer on the company to November 27. The previous deadline for the offer was November 20, Reuters reported.
MZB Holding, an owner of a 68% stake in the coffee maker, said in September it would offer $6 a piece to buy all of the group’s ordinary shares to delist the company. Massimo Zanetti Beverage group debuted on the Milan stock exchange in 2015 in an IPO that set an initial price of $13.7 per share.
Pignataro is considering an IPO via a blank-check merger.
Andrea Pignataro, the Italian tycoon behind trading software and financial-data provider ION, is weighing raising capital for dealmaking through a blank-check firm.
Pignataro, a former Salomon Brothers bond trader, has been speaking to advisers about a US IPO of a special purpose acquisition company. The potential SPAC would hunt for investments in industries including the European technology sector, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private, Bloomberg reported.
No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction.
Israel Aerospace Industries' IPO approved.
The sale of shares in state-run Israel Aerospace Industries was officially approved by a ministerial committee on privatization.
As much as 49% of the company’s equity is to be offered on the bourse. Proceeds from the offering will be ploughed back into research and development programs, acquisitions and investment, according to the filing late Thursday, Bloombergreported.
In June discussions had focused on offering a 25% stake in the company with the goal of raising roughly $1bn. But no final decisions had been made at the time.
EQT initiates second fund subscription line tied to ESG. (FS)
EQT, a Stockholm-based private equity firm, is adding an ESG twist to a popular form of financing among private markets fund managers.
The firm has launched a $3.2bn fund subscription credit facility that links performance on certain environmental, social and governance issues to more favourable interest rates for EQT infrastructure funds using the facility.
The new facility, which could grow to as much as $5.9bn, is the second one tied to ESG issues that EQT has arranged this year. The fund subscription facility will have an emphasis on gender diversity and greenhouse gas reduction.
Ex-Reuters COO to lead OneWeb. (People)
OneWeb emerged from bankruptcy under new management after the British government completed its acquisition of the troubled satellite operator, signaling a more interventionist industrial strategy after Brexit, Bloomberg reported.
The $1bn deal concluded after clearing regulatory hurdles. Former Thomson Reuters CEO Neil T Masterson will be CEO from December 17.
Ignacio Juliá Vilar appointed as country manager appointed for ING in Spain. (People)
Ignacio Juliá Vilar has been appointed as country manager for ING in Spain and Portugal from January 1, 2021.
Ignacio, who joined ING in 1999, has a wealth of retail experience that will help drive growth in Spain’s primary customers, digitalization and revenues. This includes previous roles as ING’s chief innovation officer and as head of the Retail segment. He currently leads the Maggie transformation programme and will further build upon the capabilities already developed for that to benefit the Spanish retail business.
Ignacio succeeds Roel Huisman, whose next role will be announced in due course.
Goldman Sachs names new team in its UK investment bank. (People)
Goldman Sachs has named new leaders of its UK investment bank and European equity advisory unit.
Richard Cormack, co-head of ECM, has been named co-head of UK investment banking alongside Nimesh Khiroya, a Head of activism and shareholder advisory in EMEA, FNreported.
Bharti Airtel, an Indian global telecommunications services company, completed the acquisition of Vodafone's Indus Towers, an independently managed company offering passive infrastructure services to all telecom operators, for $10.6bn.
Taken together, Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers had over 163k towers and 367k tenancies as at 31 March 2018. With over $3.8bn in revenues (for the financial year ended 31 March 2018), the combined company will be well placed to invest on a national basis to satisfy the future demand from all telecoms operators in India as they continue to densify their networks to support sustained data traffic growth and roll out new network technologies.
Indus Towers was advised by Kochhar & Co. Bharti Airtel was advised by Walker Chandiok & Co, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and AZB & Partners. Vodafone Idea was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Bharucha & Partners. Vodafone was advised by Ernst & Young, Morgan Stanley, S&R Associates, Slaughter & May, and Maitland.
Fuling Global, a manufacturer and distributor of environmentally-friendly plastic and paper foodservice disposable products, announced that the company's shareholders voted in favour of the privatization deal with Fuling ParentCo.
The parties currently expect to complete the merger as soon as practicable, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions outlined in the merger agreement. Upon completion of the merger, the company will become a privately held company, and its ordinary shares will no longer be listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market.
Fuling Global is advised by Houlihan Lokey, Conyers Dill & Pearman, Kaufman & Canoles, King & Wood Mallesons, and PondelWilkinson. Fuling ParentCo is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing, a financial services company, agreed to acquire a 70% stake in Kenedix, a real estate investment services provider, for $1.3bn.
“Sumitomo Mitsui Financial has positioned property business as core for our sustainable growth and bigger corporate value, and we have been trying to strengthen this business,” Sumitomo Mitsui.
Kenedix is advised by Greenhill & Co, Nomura, and Anderson Mori & Tomotsune. SMFL is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, SMBC Nikko Securities, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto and Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu.
Competition Commission of India cleared Indian multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries' $3.4bn bid to buy Future group's retail assets even as Amazon sought to block the potential deal, alleging contractual violations by the latter.
The approval by the CCI is a setback for US giant Amazon, which has argued that a 2019 agreement it inked with Future prevented the Indian group from selling its retail assets to certain parties, including Reliance - led by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani.
Amazon has also approached the CCI and the country’s market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, urging them to consider the arbitration order and not approve the deal.
Reliance Industries is advised by Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Khaitan & Co, and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Reliance Retail is advised by Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Citigroup, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Honeywell, a multinational conglomerate, agreed to invest in Trinity Mobility, a software developer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This strategic investment, which is structured to provide Honeywell with a path to full ownership of Trinity, will allow Honeywell to more fully partner with cities that are expanding their smart city deployments or integrating new systems.
"We look forward to expanding our relationship with Honeywell to offer customers a complete technology solution for the complex integrations that are needed to create a truly smart city. Our combined expertise and Smart Cities IoT platform provide tremendous connected opportunities for smart city solutions globally for both existing and emerging cities to meet their sustainability and productivity goals as well as create a more engaging citizen experience," M Ashok Kumar, Trinity Founder and CEO.
Venture capital firm Baring Private Equity led a $198m Series D round in Codemao, a coding education startup. Additional investors in the round include Bank of China, CITIC Securities, Goldstone Investment, Wens Investment, Sino-Ocean Capital, Greater Bay Area Homeland Investments, Youshan Capital, and Hillhouse Capital.
Shenzhen Dianmao Technology, the company behind Codemao, said it will continue to focus on improving technology, content development and building talent teams.
Apollo, Carlyle, Bain explore a $6.4bn Hitachi Metals sale. (FS)
Apollo Global Management, The Carlyle Group, KKR and Bain Capital are among potential bidders for Japan's Hitachi Metals, a deal that could fetch more than $6.4bn.
Parent company Hitachi has been planning to sell its 53% stake in the unit, which makes components for cars and industrial equipment, as it streamlines its operations, Reutersreported.
Initial bidding will be closed by the end of this month. The deal would be the latest by private equity in Japan this year.
Oaktree and Varde Partners to invest $2.5bn in Vodafone Idea. (FS)
US-based Oaktree Capital and private equity firms Varde Partners, has offered investing around $2.5bn into Vodafone Idea through hybrid debt papers.
Oaktree Capital is said to have offered $2bn-2.5bn of capital to the Birla Group that faces tens of billions of rupees in government debt.
The telco has also been in talks with other potential investors to raise funds amid mounting losses and shrinking revenues.
Eureka Forbes put on the block again.
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group has restarted the sale process of home hygiene products maker Eureka Forbes, DealStreetAsiareported.
The cash-strapped group is in talks with potential buyers, including private equity funds and a well-known consumer appliances company.
The SP Group was evaluating other structures to monetize the asset without divesting ownership and was engaged with a large Canadian fund to raise debt by pledging the cash flows of Eureka Forbes as collateral.
ESR Australia strengthens portfolio with $220m asset acquisition.
ESR Australia Logistics Partnership, the new logistics partnership initiated by global logistics real estate firm ESR, has paid $220 to acquire a portfolio of 11 assets.
In a statement, the Warburg Pincus-backed logistics real estate firm said EALP acquired the portfolio of assets from Propertylink Australian Industrial Partnership II, an ESR-managed partnership, DealStreetAsia reported.
The acquisition raises EALP’s AUM to more than $730m and diversifies its portfolio with core-plus assets. EALP’s portfolio now includes 36 properties with gross floor area of over 500k square meters.
Evergrande seeks for $2bn in Hong Kong IPO.
China Evergrande Group and Evergrande Property Services Group unit are seeking to raise around $2bn in a Hong Kong initial public offering.
The sale of 1.62bn shares comprises 50% new stock and 50% so-called sale shares, with the price range set at $1.09 to $1.2 apiece. The offering size could be increased to 15% to meet demand if an over-allotment option is exercised, Bloombergreported.
The company secured 23 cornerstone investors who agreed to subscribe for 789.5m shares, which is nearly 7% stake of Evergrande Property Services after the IPO. The money raised would help Evergrande pare back a $120bn debt pile under a more stringent oversight of developers’ fundraising activities by Chinese regulators.
Fosun-backed Gland Pharma rallies on debut after biggest India pharma IPO.
Gland Pharma rallied in its trading debut after the initial public offering of the Chinese-owned drugmaker raised $873m in India’s biggest-ever IPO by a pharmaceutical firm, Bloomberg reported.
Shares of the unit of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical ended at $24 in Mumbai, up about 21% from the IPO price of $20.2. They reached as high as $25 earlier.
Boyu-backed Antengene raises $361m in Hong Kong IPO. (FS)
Antengene, a cancer drug developer backed by Boyu Capital, has raised about $361m in an IPO on the Main Board of the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday.
The company offered almost 154.2m shares at a price of $2.33apiece. The stock opened at $2.5 per share on Friday, giving the firm a market cap of about $1.7bn.
The IPO offering was backed by 10 cornerstone investors, which collectively subscribed for 76.9m shares at $179m. The two biggest cornerstone investors were US financial services firm Fidelity Investments and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, which pledged $70m and $20m, respectively, DealStreetAsiareported.
India Reliance Retail closes fundraising exercise after raising $6.3b for 10.9% stake. (FS)
Reliance Industries and its retail subsidiary, Reliance Retail Ventures, have completed the current phase of partner induction and fundraise exercise for RRVL.
“RRVL has received cumulative subscription amount of $6.3bn from the following financial partners and allotted 692.8m equity shares to them. The respective equity stake in RRVL, on a fully diluted basis,” RRVL.
Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to RRVL and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal counsels. BofA Securities, acting as an additional financial advisor, advised on the process as well as transaction structuring, DealStreetAsia reported.
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