New Media Investment Group, a locally-focused print and digital content provider, offered to acquire Gannett, an innovative, digitally focused media and marketing solutions company, for $1.4bn. Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, shareholders of Gannett will receive $6.25 in cash and 0.5427 of a New Media share for each Gannett share they hold, representing a premium of approximately 18% to the five-day volume-weighted average price of Gannett shares.
“We believe this transaction will create value for our shareholders, greater opportunities for our employees, and a stronger future for journalism. Gannett is an innovative, digitally-focused media and marketing solutions company with well-known brands worldwide. Uniting our talented employees and complementary portfolios will enable us to expand our comprehensive, hyperlocal coverage for consumers, deepen our product offering for local businesses, and accelerate our shift from print-centric to dynamic multimedia operations. We are honored to become a part of Gannett’s storied history and a steward of their strong media properties into the future. We are committed to delivering significant synergies in a thoughtful manner, consistent with our shared goals for the business,” Michael Reed, New Media Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Goldman Sachs, Greenhill & Co, Nixon Peabody and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom are advising Gannett. Credit Suisse, Jefferies & Company, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Cravath Swaine & Moore are advising New Media Investment Group. Apollo Global is providing debt financing.
DD3 Acquisition, a publicly-traded particular purpose acquisition company, agreed to merge with Betterware de Mexico, a leading direct-to-consumer selling company, in a $367m deal.
"We are very excited about becoming a public company to support our continued expansion and boost our growth opportunities. This transaction represents the next chapter of our journey to become the leading consumer company in Mexico and Latin America focused on the home solution and organizational segment," Luis Campos, Betterware Chairman.
Weld County sold the North Colorado Medical Center hospital and related assets to Banner Health, a non-profit health system in the United States, for $328m.
“The commissioners are determined to use the proceeds in a manner that benefits our residents for years to come,” said Barbara Kirkmeyer, chair of the Weld County Board of Commissioners. “We are grateful to all of those who worked over the decades to make this hospital a jewel in northern Colorado.”
SoftBank Group and its affiliates invested $200m in Cybereason, creators of the leading Cyber Defense Platform.
“Cybereason’s big data analytics approach to mitigating cyber risk has fueled explosive expansion at the leading edge of the EDR domain, disrupting the EPP market. We are leading the wave, becoming the world’s most reliable and effective endpoint prevention and detection solution because of our technology, our people and our partners. We help all security teams prevent more attacks, sooner, in ways that enable understanding and taking decisive action faster.” Lior Div, Cybereason CEO and Co-founder.
Transat AT said it was filing a complaint with the Canadian financial markets administrative tribunal against Groupe Mach’s latest offer to buy 19.5% class B voting shares of the Canadian tour operator.
Montreal real estate developer Mach had made the offer to block Air Canada’s all-cash bid of C$520m ($394m), or C$13 ($9.8) a share, which Transat had accepted in June.
“This is nothing short of them depriving shareholders of their lawful right to dispose of their shares as they wish, including whom they give their voting rights to,” Alfred Buggé Executive Vice-President, Mergers & Acquisitions at Mach.
SurveyMonkey, a leading global survey software company, agreed to acquire GetFeedback, a customer experience management company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“SurveyMonkey and GetFeedback have an aligned vision on helping businesses navigate the feedback economy. Our customers can unlock growth and innovation in their organizations by understanding and taking action on the insights they collect with our solutions. SurveyMonkey’s deep expertise on feedback collection and analytics combined with GetFeedback’s rich capabilities in integrating feedback within the Salesforce ecosystem will allow us to be the premier customer experience solution for our customers.” Zander Lurie, SurveyMonkey chief executive officer.
BCD Travel, a provider of global corporate travel management, agreed to acquire Adelman Travel Group, one of the largest full-service business travel agencies in America. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very proud that we can include such a prominent TMC as Adelman in the BCD family," said Craig Bailey, president of BCD Travel America. “Our financial strength gives us the opportunity to grow through these types of acquisitions, which bring benefits to our customers, employees, partners and branches. It fits perfectly with our strategy to grow organically through investments in products and services and through acquisitions of successful organizations that share our corporate values and culture. ”
Uplight, the leading provider of end-to-end, customer-centric technology solutions dedicated to the energy ecosystem, acquired Ecotagious, a market leader in turning a customer's energy data into energy savings. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The deal follows the recent merger of Simple Energy and Tendril, and subsequent formation of Uplight, the premier provider of customer experience and engagement solutions for the utility industry.
"We are building something truly special at Uplight—a company purpose-built to serve utilities as they transform their business in pursuit of better customer relationships and dramatic reductions in carbon. Combining Ecotagious' industry-leading smart meter disaggregation and energy savings with Uplight's unified suite of energy action solutions significantly advances our ability to deliver the industry's most effective and personalized energy experiences." Adrian Tuck, Uplight CEO.
Microsoft agreed to acquire PromoteIQ, the leading provider of vendor marketing technology to online retailers and brands. Financial terms were not disclosed.
PromoteIQ’s technology strategically complements Microsoft’s current retail advertising offerings. The companies will aim to enable retailers with a portfolio of technology solutions to modernize their e-commerce platforms and maximize their monetization opportunity.
System One, a leading provider of staffing, workforce solutions, and integrated services, agreed to acquire Cohesion, which delivers workforce solutions and agile consulting services to government and private sectors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our firms’ combined service portfolio enhances our IT expertise, offering our clients efficient deployment of technology,” said Troy Gregory, President, and CEO of System One. “We are excited to invest in the growth of this exceptional team and expand our reach in IT. We look forward to bringing Cohesion’s deep subject matter expertise and experience in IT to all of ALTA’s clients.”
Next Level Insurance Agency, a Dallas-based healthcare consulting and brokerage firm, acquired A&H Benefits, a provider of employee benefits. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our goal is to grow strategically – in the right way. David and the support team at A&H Benefits have done an exceptional job over the years to exceed their clients' expectations. This acquisition represents an opportunity to serve a wide client-base and bring new solutions for quality, affordable, and sustainable healthcare. We're continuously evaluating additional acquisitions that support our mission and long-term vision." Danny O'Connell, Founder & CEO of Next Level Insurance Agency.
Leslie Doggett Industries-owned Truck Enterprises acquired Great Dane Trailer, a Chicago, Illinois based manufacturer of truck dry van, refrigerated van and flatbed semi-trailers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This acquisition comes on the heels of Doggett's acquisition of El Paso's Truck Enterprises two weeks ago and Doggett's acquisition of the Freightliner dealerships throughout the State of Arkansas last year. The addition of Great Dane complements Doggett's existing Freightliner and Western Star dealerships in El Paso, Laredo, and McAllen/Pharr as they will now sell and service flatbeds, dry freight and refrigerated vans with their over-the-road truck offerings.
Jeff Bezos sells Amazon stock worth $2.8bn last week.
Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos offloaded $990m worth of shares in the company last Thursday and Friday, taking the total value of shares sold last week to $2.8bn.
The move comes as part of a previously announced 10b5-1 trading plan. Bezos had already said he plans to sell stock worth about $1bn each year to fund his rocket company, Blue Origin.
Vivendi considers Universal with Tencent to tap music revival.
Vivendi is in talks to sell up to 20% of Universal Music Group to Tencent, valuing its prized asset at around €30bn ($34bn), as both firms look outside their core regions to expand in a recovering global music market.
While at a preliminary stage, the discussions highlight Tencent’s role as gatekeeper to China’s growing but tightly-controlled music market and the desire of Universal, whose revenues are surging as a result of online streaming, to expand beyond its traditional markets.
RLH to sell assets.
RLH, an innovative hotel company focused on the franchising of upscale, midscale and economy hotels, is in negotiations on various letters of intent or purchase and sale agreements on three assets: Red Lion Airport Hotel Atlanta, the Hotel RL Washington DC and Red Lion Anaheim Resort.
It is anticipated the company will commence marketing the remaining fee simple hotels which include, Hotel RLs in Olympia, Salt Lake City, and Baltimore in the next six to twelve months.
JP Morgan confirms the winning bid to take a majority stake in China fund JV. (FS)
JP Morgan confirmed it had won an auction to hold a majority equity stake in its Chinese asset management JV, becoming the first foreign firm to move closer to taking control of an onshore funds business under new rules.
The move comes against the backdrop of a rapid escalation in the US-China trade conflict, with Washington designating Beijing a currency manipulator and US President Donald Trump vowing to impose 10% tariffs on the remaining $300bn of Chinese imports from September 1.
Barneys files for bankruptcy protection.
US luxury department store chain Barneys New York Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and put itself up for sale after facing soaring rents and failing in its earlier attempts to find a buyer for the cash-strapped retailer.
Barneys secured $75m in new financing from affiliates of Hilco Global and the Gordon Brothers Group to help it keep operating as it navigates the bankruptcy court, it said in a statement.
The retailer will close its physical stores in Chicago, Las Vegas and Seattle, along with five smaller concept stores and seven Barneys Warehouse locations. Barneys for weeks has been searching for a buyer or an investor, grappling with a crisis due to a steep hike in rent at its Manhattan flagship store on Madison Avenue to roughly $30m from $16m.
Univision to conduct an auction sale.
Univision, an American Spanish-language free-to-air television network that is owned by Univision Communications, is trying to sell itself again. The Spanish-language TV network gathered a select group of prospective suitors in New York as it sought a price tag north of $10bn.
Morgan Stanley, Moelis & Co and LionTree are advising on the sale.
Blackstone Group offered to acquire a minority stake in BC Partners, a leading international private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This investment is a testament to the growth and institutionalization of our business, and will enable us to take the Firm to the next level for the benefit of our investors. We look forward to leveraging Blackstone's best-in-class resources and exceptional talent as we look to expand and strengthen our platform across our three key verticals." Raymond Svider, Partner and Chairman of BC Partners.
Evercore and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are advising BC Partners. Kirkland & Ellis is advising Blackstone.
The founding family of Cobham, a British manufacturing company, opposed the $5bn takeover bid made by private equity firm Advent International, claiming the deal jeopardizes the national interest.
Lady Cobham, whose late husband Sir Michael ran the firm and was the son of founder Sir Alan Cobham, has written to defense secretary Ben Wallace and business secretary Andrea Leadsom asking them to intervene in the deal.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Rothschild & Co, Allen & Overy, and MHP Communications are advising Cobham. Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Weil Gotshal and Manges, Linklaters and Finsbury are advising Advent. GSO Capital Partners is providing debt financing and is being advised by White & Case.
Mastercard has acquired the majority of the Corporate Services businesses of Nets, a leading European PayTech company, for €2.85bn ($3.2bn).
The acquisition comprises the clearing and instant payment services, and e-billing solutions of Nets’ Corporate Services business. The addition of Nets’ technology and teams strengthens Mastercard’s existing account-to-account capabilities.
“The global opportunity for real-time payments is accelerating. This deal strengthens our unique position as the one-stop partner for any bank, merchant, or government’s payment needs. The combination with existing Mastercard assets such as Vocalink, Transfast, and Transactis delivers real-time payment capabilities, innovation, and expertise that are truly differentiated.” Michael Miebach, Mastercard chief product & innovation officer.
EP Global said that it held open and constructive discussions with the main shareholders Meridian Stiftung and Beisheim Holding about their potential support of the $6.6bn tender offer by EP for Metro, a German retailer. Although EP was exploring several alternatives with the two shareholders, it became clear during the discussions that EP Global and the two shareholders have different views on the valuation of Metro and therefore the parties did not find common ground for an agreement under which the two shareholders would support the offer.
EP Global also confirmed that it would neither increase the offer price, nor lower the minimum acceptance threshold, nor otherwise amend the offer. The acceptance period for the offer expires on 7 August 2019.
Rothschild & Co is advising Metro. BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, goetzpartners and Kirkland & Ellis are advising EP Global.
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou urged shareholders of easyHotel, an international super budget hotel chain, to reject a £139m ($169m) offer for the company he founded because he says the bid is too low. The offer, made by ICAMAP and Ivanhoe Cambridge, represents a premium of approximately 34.8% to the closing price for each easyHotel Share on 2 August 2019.
“I find the offer from Icamap to be very low, and I urge all other shareholders to take no action (i.e., not accept the Icamap offer) until the true value, and future potential of easyHotel can be evaluated,” said Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
Investec, Stephenson Harwood, and Houston PR are advising easyHotel. Lazard, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Allen & Overy, and Tulchan Communications are advising the buyers.
Innogy, an energy company, based in Essen, Germany, is looking to exit its operations in the Czech Republic. Innogy is pushing for the sale due to the 2018 agreement between its parent company, RWE, and another German company E.ON.
Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lazard, Hengeler Mueller, and Finsbury Hering Schuppene GPG advised Innogy. BNP, PWP, Allen & Overy and Linklaters advised E.ON. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Rothschild & Co and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised RWE.
Boohoo Group, a leading online fashion group, offered to acquire Karen Millen and Coast, two renowned British fashion brands, for £18m ($22m).
Boohoo Group believes that the online business of these brands would represent highly complementary additions to its scalable multi-brand platform and extend the group's offer as part of its vision to lead the fashion e-commerce market globally.
Zeus Capital, Jefferies and Buchanan are advising Boohoo Group.
Quantum Capital Partners agreed to acquire Postcon, the number-two mail provider in Germany and a subsidiary of PostNL, a mail, parcel, and e-commerce corporation with operations in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This transaction will allow Postcon to develop its activities further and strengthen its position in the German postal market. The sale of Postcon marks another step in our strategy of focusing on our core markets in the Netherlands and Belgium, and supporting the transformation of PostNL into an e-commerce logistics service provider.” Herna Verhagen, PostNL CEO.
Accenture, a leading global professional services company, acquired Stockholm-based Northstream, a consultancy to communications service providers and networking services vendors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With Northstream now part of Accenture, we’re in an even stronger position to provide our communications clients with the innovation-led services they need to address the challenges they’re facing — including digital-driven disruption, changing customer expectations, and competition from new digital natives,” said Mattias Lewrén, Nordic CMT lead and Sweden Country Managing Director, Accenture.
Hartmann, a leading international supplier of medical and hygiene products, acquired Safran Coatings, a silicone coating specialist. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Welcoming Safran Coating into the Hartmann family is a key milestone in our 200-year old wound care journey. Under the Hartmann umbrella, the R&D expertise of both companies enables us to further boost the performance of wound care products and help to further minimize pain and accelerate healing for the millions of chronic wound patients around the world,” Britta Fünfstück, CEO of the Hartmann Group.
Hubert Burda Media, a German media group with headquarters in Offenburg, acquired NetDoktor, a digital health portal in Germany. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With the innovative health portal like NetDoktor, the number one provider of digital health services in Germany, we build our competence in the field of health care," Burda CEO Philipp Welte.
Tikun Olam founder forced to sell stake in the company.
Tzahi Cohen, the founder of Israeli medical cannabis company Tikun Olam, must divest most of his 70% stake in the company before it can receive its growing license back, according to a Sunday ruling by the Jerusalem district court. The firm, which until recently controlled half the local medical cannabis market, was forced to stop supplying buds to its patients earlier this year due to a regulatory reform spearheaded by the Israeli Ministry of Health.
BE Offices considers a £200m sale.
UK-based BE Offices, a real estate company, considers a £200m ($243m) sale. The company, formerly known as Business Environment, was founded in 1994 when a team of property investors purchased two buildings leased to a serviced operator.
Rothschild & Co is advising on the sale.
Mallinckrodt shares fall on Acthar worries.
Mallinckrodt suspended plans to spin off its specialty generics unit, citing opioid litigation uncertainties, and warned Acthar gel revenue was unlikely to exceed $1bn this year, sending its shares down 8%.
The company had announced the spinoff plan in December and expected to complete it in the second half of 2019. The division was put on the block in 2016 and talks with at least two likely buyers fell through.
KGAL sells solar power plants in Spain.
KGAL is to sell five photovoltaic plants in Spain by the end of the year. The company has successfully implemented a structured sales process to take advantage of what it sees as the currently optimal market environment and high demand.
Global Petrol Storage considering the takeover Oil Terminal.
Global Petrol Storage, a leading independent global petroleum storage and logistics provider, is looking to take over Oil Terminal, an oil & natural gas company in Constanța, Romania. The shareholders of Oil Terminal were notified about GPS' intention to take a majority stake in the company.
In Time looking for a new owner.
In Time, a Czech parcel delivery company is looking for new investors. The company recently informed its clients in its newsletter that it aims to be one of the "strongest e-commerce groups in Central and Eastern Europe."
Japanese brewer Kirin acquires a 33% stake in cosmetics company Fancl for JPY129bn ($1.2bn) as it reduces its exposure to the shrinking domestic beer market.
Japan’s second-biggest beer maker’s strategy of shedding underperforming overseas assets and expanding into health foods and beverages contrasts with peer Asahi Group Holdings that has snapped up foreign beer brands including Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Australian assets.
Axiata Group's top executive stressed that the group would walk out of merger talks with Telenor, a Norwegian multinational telecommunications company, if the latter cannot fully agree on the former’s terms to protect staff and national interest. The companies announced their talks in May.
“It is beyond only just a commercial deal. If I cannot get something to protect national interest and staff, I will walk out of the deal, despite the commercial benefit that the group could gain post-merger,” said Axiata president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim.
Citigroup is advising Telenor. Morgan Stanley is advising Axiata.
Japanese travel agency H.I.S., which already owns a 4.8% stake in Unizo, launched a tender offer last month to raise its holding to as much as 45%.
However, the process has turned complicated after the hotel operator's rejection and disclosure that US hedge fund Elliott Management had taken a 5.51% stake in Unizo, overtaking H.I.S. as the top shareholder.
Japanese hotel operator Unizo Holdings said it would reject a bid by H.I.S. to raise its stake, adding that the offer lacked synergy and was priced low, setting the stage for a potential rare hostile bid in Japan.
Duopharma considers a deal with trade war-hit Chinese firms.
Duopharma Biotech, Malaysia’s largest generic drugmaker, is in talks with two Chinese consumer healthcare companies for expansion of their production base in Southeast Asia and a potential stake sale, its managing director said.
Duopharma Managing Director Leonard Ariff bin Abdul Shatar declined to name the companies as the discussions were ongoing. However, he said both “reasonably big” companies were listed in China with annual revenue of more than $1bn each, Reuters reported.
“They have manufacturing bases currently in China, supplying to the United States. These are guys whom I would not have expected to see in this part of the world, but for the trade war,” he said.
Essel considers selling toll roads to India Sovereign Fund. (FS)
Indian tycoon Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group is in advanced talks to sell some toll road projects to an arm of the country’s sovereign wealth fund for about $350m, Bloomberg reported.
The assets that the National Investment & Infrastructure Fund is planning to buy are four toll roads that are in operations and two in construction. The parties expect to reach an agreement as soon as September.
NIIF makes third close of its Master Fund at about $2bn. (FS)
The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund announced the third close of its Master Fund at about $2bn, having signed agreements with AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest superannuation and pension fund, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of Canada’s most extensive single-profession pension plans.
The agreements include commitments of $250m each into NIIF’s Master Fund and co-investment rights of up to $750m each in future opportunities alongside the master fund, the Indian sovereign wealth fund said. The investment also makes AustralianSuper and Ontario Teachers’ shareholders in NIIF.
Indonesia promotes new bond raisings through Instagram.
Indonesia’s push to cut its reliance on foreign funds to fill the yawning current account gap has prompted it to chase a new and growing source of funding — digitally savvy millennials.
At a recent marketing event in Jakarta’s hip Kebayoran Baru district, Indonesia’s finance ministry used celebrities, dance music, and social media influencers to pump up interest in national savings bonds.
The latest two-year bond, dubbed by media “James bonds” due to the 007 series number, was one of the 10 Indonesia plans to launch this year as authorities look to tap young Indonesians’ growing appetite for fixed income.
DST may back PhonePe’s $1bn raise. (FS)
A set of marquee investors, like Israeli-Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Capital, is in talks to back a $1bn fundraising by PhonePe, an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company headquartered in Bangalore. Ribbit Capital, Falcon Edge, Green Oaks, and China’s Hillhouse Capital also entered negotiations with the company, Times of India reported.
Bristow Group's Airnorth put for sale.
Bristow Group's regional airline operator Airnorth, which operates flights across Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory, is up for sale with first-round bids due this week.
A potential acquirer is ASX-listed independent regional airline Regional Express Holdings, which is considering a move into the Northern Territory.
Royal Wolf put on sale. (FS)
Royal Wolf, which provides portable container solutions to customers for storage, has been put for sale by its current owners. The company could fetch as much as $300m. Royal Wolf has been pitched to several potential private equity buyers.
Cred close to raising $125m in Series A round. (FS)
Cred, the second venture of FreeCharge co-founder Kunal Shah, which incentivizes credit card payments with reward points, is close to finalizing a $125m Series A round of fundraising, at a post-money valuation of between $450 and $500m, DealStreetAsia reported.
This would be one of the largest-ever Series A funding round for an Indian startup.
Temasek looking to invest $100m in Ascent Health and Wellness.
Temasek, a Singaporean holding company, is finalizing an estimated $100m equity financing round in Ascent Health and Wellness, a pharma supply chain company. Temasek and Ascent Health and Wellness are likely to close the deal over the next 45 days.
Carlyle and Bain among shortlisted bidders for South Korea's Woongjin stake. (FS)
Carlyle Group and Bain Capital are among four shortlisted bidders for a stake in South Korean water purifier rental firm Woongjin Coway, Reuters reported.
Woongjin Group said it is selling a 25% stake in Woongjin Coway, just three months after the group regained control of the unit for KRW1.9bn ($1.6m).
Smart News is looking to raise $29m. (FS)
Smart News, which develops mobile software and other related software, is looking to raise $29m in the capital with Japan Post Capital as a lead investor to accelerate US business. The funds raised will be invested to build a global development structure.
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