CBS and Viacom completed their $21.5bn merger, reuniting media mogul Sumner Redstone’s US entertainment empire, Reuters reported. The combined entity, ViacomCBS, is controlled by National Amusements, the holding company owned by billionaire Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari.
“Today marks an important day for CBS and Viacom, as we unite our complementary assets and capabilities and become one of only a few companies with the breadth and depth of content and reach to shape the future of our industry. Our unique ability to produce premium and popular content for global audiences at scale – for our own platforms and for our partners around the world – will enable us to maximize our business for today, while positioning us to lead for years to come. As we look to the future, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities ahead for the combined company and all of our stakeholders – including consumers, the creative community, commercial partners, employees and, of course, our shareholders,” Bob Bakish, Viacom President and Chief Executive Officer, who will become President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company.
Viacom was advised by LionTree Advisors, Morgan Stanley, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Shearman & Sterling, Latham & Watkins, and Finsbury Hering Schuppener. CBS was advised by Centerview Partners, Evercore, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Lazard, Moelis & Co, Jones Day, and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. National Amusements was advised by Evercore and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Aurelio Valporto, the head of Brazilian investor group Abradin, urged EU antitrust regulators to block Boeing's $4.2bn acquisition of Embraer’s commercial passenger jet division or demand substantial concessions.
Aurelio Valporto complained about the deal to the European Commission two months ago, saying it created hurdles to competition in the Brazilian aerospace industry, and on Wednesday took his grievance to Brazil’s antitrust watchdog CADE. Abradin represents minority investors, Reuters reported.
"It is a killer acquisition, not a joint venture. Embraer airplanes are competitors of Boeing airplanes. What will be left from Embraer won’t survive, and even if it was possible to survive, Embraer wouldn’t be able to produce any aircraft with 50 passengers or more,” Aurelio Valporto.
Embraer is advised by Pinheiro Neto, Citigroup, Barbosa Mussnich & Aragao, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Boeing is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Monomoy Capital Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Sportech, a supplier of cab components for utility task vehicles. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We would like to congratulate and thank Chris Carlson for building a market-leading business and organization. Monomoy is excited to partner with the Sportech management team and to collaborate with the company to drive long-term value for all of its stakeholders," Dan Collin, Monomoy Co-CEO and Partner.
Sportech is advised by BMO Capital Markets and Faegre Baker Daniels. Monomoy Capital is advised by Alvarez & Marsal, Kirkland & Ellis, and Sloane & Company. Debt financing is provided by Cerberus Business Finance.
Waystar, a provider of revenue cycle technology, agreed to acquire Recondo Technology, which develops web-based software tools for health care payment processing. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Recondo shares Waystar’s commitment to helping healthcare organizations take the estimated $350bn of administrative waste out of the revenue cycle. Joining forces will strengthen our AI-powered offerings, which will, in turn, drive greater value for our clients and a better experience for patients. We have been impressed by the Recondo team and leadership, whose expertise and professionalism will be a strong addition to Waystar,” Matt Hawkins, Waystar CEO.
Waystar is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Bateman Group.
MetLife, a global provider of insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs, agreed to acquire PetFirst, a pet health insurance administrator. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“For more than 15 years, we have proudly focused on developing products and services to meet the growing and evolving needs of pet parents across the US. During this time, we have seen pet insurance continue to gain importance as a valuable product for families. With MetLife’s tremendous reach and resources, we see a strong opportunity to help more pet parents get access to pet insurance and alleviate the potential financial burden of a sick or injured pet,” Katie Blakeley, PetFirst CEO.
MetLife is advised by Guggenheim Partners and Mayer Brown.
Alder Midstream, a part of the Glenfarne Group, a privately held energy and infrastructure development and management firm, completed its acquisition of IACX Energy, which produces oil and gas. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“As global energy demand grows with emerging technologies, clean-burning natural gas is expected to represent nearly half of new energy consumption over the next several decades, and demand for natural gas liquids and helium is expected to remain high as well. Alder Midstream is focused on improving existing gas infrastructure assets and constructing new projects to facilitate gas flow globally,” Brendan Duval, Glenfarne Group Founder and Managing Partner.
IACX Energy was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Sun Capital-backed StonePoint Materials, which operates as a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Road Builders, a materials and paving construction operations company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of Road Builders continues to demonstrate our thesis of investing in founder-owned companies with a strong market share that wants to partner with one of the leading independent aggregate producers in North America. We look forward to working with StonePoint to continue to expand its geographic presence and scale,” Aaron Wolfe, Sun Capital Partners Managing Director.
Thompson Street Capital Partners-backed Marmic Fire & Safety, a full-service fire safety service provider, completed the acquisition of Fire Control Systems, a provider of commercial fire protection services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is a large, transformative acquisition that nearly doubles our geographic footprint across the country, making Marmic one of the largest self-performing companies in the fire safety industry. We are excited to partner with the FCS team and work with them to continue their success,” Michael Teeter, Marmic CEO.
Thompson Street Capital was advised by BackBay Communications.
Pilot Chemical, a specialty chemical company, completed the acquisition of Organo Sintesis, a manufacturer of products for personal care, disinfection, sanitizing, cleaning, oil and gas, and water treatment industries and serves customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition expands Pilot Chemical’s business into the Mexican market and South and Central America and provides growth opportunities for the company’s existing surfactants and antimicrobial businesses.
"We are extremely pleased to become part of a highly regarded company like Pilot Chemical, with whom we share a similar entrepreneurial history and a family culture. Having Pilot’s support and resources will allow our team to improve upon its track record of technological discovery. The synergy of our talents and capabilities will significantly boost our growth,” Federico Soto, OSSA Director-General.
General Motors and LG Chem agreed to form a joint venture to mass-produce battery cells for future battery-electric vehicles. Together, the companies will invest up to a total of $2.3bn.
The JV will establish a battery cell assembly plant on a greenfield manufacturing site in the Lordstown area of Northeast Ohio that will create more than 1.1k new jobs. The collaboration also includes a joint development agreement that brings together two companies in battery science to develop and produce advanced battery technologies.
“Our joint venture with the No. 1 American automaker will further prepare us for the anticipated growth of the North American EV market, while giving us insights into the broader EV ecosystem. Our long-standing history with General Motors has proven our collective expertise in this space, and we look forward to continuing this drive for zero emissions,” Hak-Cheol Shin, LG Chem Vice Chairman & CEO.
IKEA, the furniture retailing group, is set to acquire a minority stake in US tech startup Optoro, a software company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're on a mission to become a circular business by 2030, and we need partners like Optoro who can help us achieve our goals. Optoro's solution will enable us to eliminate much of the waste created in the reverse supply chain, from minimizing the carbon emissions released in return shipping to finding the best next homes for returned items," Javier Quiñones, IKEA Retail US President & Chief Sustainability Officer.
JetSmart, a Chilean low-cost carrier, agreed to acquire the Argentinian division of Norwegian Air, which provides airline services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very excited about the opportunity to combine Norwegian Argentina with our current JetSmart operations. JetSmart has a long-term commitment to Argentina as well as of our vision of becoming the leading ultra-low-cost airline in South America. With this transaction, we will continue providing affordable air travel to our customers both from Aeroparque and El Palomar airports," Estuardo Ortiz, JetSmart Chief Executive.
BCM One, a managed technology solutions provider, completed the acquisition of Arena One, a managed solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition expands BCM One's existing managed hosted voice and unified communications offerings and expands its national customer footprint.
"BCM One is a great fit for us. Not only is there technology and services alignment, but their mission to provide a world-class experience with every human interaction supports our client-service centric approach and culture," Jerry Salvi, Arena One CEO.
Volvo Group Venture Capital, HELLA Ventures, and Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital arm InMotion Ventures completed an investment in Apex.AI, a software services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Existing investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Canaan Partners, Toyota AI Ventures and Airbus Ventures.
"It’s a testament to our work to have InMotion Ventures invest in our company. InMotion’s strategic investment will accelerate the development of Apex.OS, enabling Apex.AI’s customers to meet aggressive timelines in taking R&D projects into certified products,” Jan Becker, Apex.AI CEO and Co-Founder.
Motive Partners, a private equity firm focused on technology-enabled companies that power the financial services industry, agreed to acquire a 60% stake in the investment services business of Fiserv, which provides integrated information management and electronic commerce systems and services, for $510m.
“As a leading provider of mission-critical solutions to a growing, blue-chip client base, we look forward to partnering with Fiserv and the Investment Services team in this joint venture. The Investment Services business has demonstrated its ability to deliver a compelling solution for its wealth and asset management clients and I am confident that our team at Motive Partners will add significant value through innovation, insights and an expanded network. We are excited to work with the leadership team and key clients to create new solutions for this growing market segment,” Rob Heyvaert, Motive Partners Founder and Managing Partner.
Applied Systems, a provider of cloud-based software for the insurance business, is set to acquire Indio Technologies, a solution provider for the insurance application and renewal process. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition will provide our customers and employees with access to new innovation, resources, and scale to further transform agencies’ and brokers’ daily workflows and accelerate business growth,” Michael Furlong, Indio CEO.
Ackman's Pershing Square raises stake in Howard Hughes to 14.8%. (FS)
Activist investor William Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management raised its stake in real estate company Howard Hughes, according to a regulatory filing.
The New York-based investment firm reported having a 14.8% stake in the company, or 6.4m shares, including 2.2m shares of common stock and 4.2m underlying forward purchase contracts. Previously it had an economic interest of 12.6%, including common stock and swaps.
Allakos is exploring options, including a sale.
US biotech company Allakos is considering strategic options that include a potential sale, Bloomberg reported.
Allakos is working with a financial adviser and is sounding out interest from potential buyers, including global pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
Petrobras to add assets to the divestment portfolio.
Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras' plan to divest between $20bn and $30bn over the next five years is not ambitious enough, and the company will need to divest from additional assets, Chief Financial Officer Andrea Marques de Almeida said.
In a presentation released shortly before the executive's comments, the firm said assets in Bolivia and some legacy deepwater oilfields could be among those the company will put on the block.
Steve Cohen in talks to acquire an 80% stake in New York Mets.
The owners of the New York Mets are in talks to sell up to an 80% stake of the Major League Baseball team to billionaire Steve Cohen, who is already an investor in the club, Bloombergreported.
The transaction would value the team at a baseball-record $2.6bn. The Mets confirmed the talks in a statement.
JFrog to hire Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan for the 2020 IPO. (FS)
JFrog, a technology company that makes tools for software developers, hired Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan to lead its initial public offering next year, Bloomberg reported. JFrog could seek a valuation of $2bn or more in US IPO.
Customers representatives seek a local takeover of PG&E.
More than 110 Northern California city and county officials representing the majority of bankrupt PG&E’s customers are proposing to turn the utility giant into a customer-owned cooperative.
The coalition led by the city of San Jose includes officials from 58 cities and 10 counties who altogether represent more than 8m residents, according to a statement from San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. The group is proposing, among other things, to continue managing PG&E’s expansive territory as a single system, honor existing power and labor contracts, and have a board overseeing the co-op set customer rates.
Revelstoke raised $1.4bn across two new funds. (FS)
Revelstoke Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on health care, clinched two investment vehicles totaling almost $1.4bn and inked the acquisition of Upstream Rehabilitation. The funds Revelstoke Partners Fund II and Revelstoke Single Asset Fund I, collected $714m and $660m, respectively.
PAI Partners, a European private equity firm, and Kirkbi, the holding and investment company of the Kirk Kristiansen family, agreed to acquire Armacell, a provider of engineered foams, from The Blackstone Group for €1.4bn ($1.55bn).
"Under the leadership of its existing management team, Armacell has delivered consistent growth on the basis of best-in-class technical expertise and customer service. Armacell has successfully demonstrated its track record of innovation with the introductions of new and highly differentiated applications such as ArmaForm and ArmaGel. PAI has a long history of investing in the industrials sector and in partnership with KIRKBI and Patrick’s impressive team, we expect to drive Armacell’s further expansion through product innovation, commercial excellence and a number of strategic acquisitions," Mathieu Paillat, PAI Partner.
PAI Partners is advised by Deloitte, Allen & Overy and Greenbrook. Kirkbi is advised by Lazard and FTI Consulting. Blackstone is advised by KPMG, Boston Consulting Group, Rothschild & Co, and Clifford Chance.
Northgate, a light commercial vehicle rental, agreed to merge with Redde, which provides car hire and repair services to motorists who are involved in accidents where they are not at fault, in £1.1bn ($1.4bn) deal.
"The board is delighted to announce the recommended merger of Northgate and Redde. The combination will create a champion automotive services business with scale, reach, and resources to provide mobility solutions to a broad customer base. The merger has compelling strategic logic - delivering an enlarged platform providing enhanced mobility solutions for vehicles and their users throughout the automotive services value chain. Both boards have identified significant cost synergies and opportunities for revenue cross-sell. This merger represents an attractive opportunity for both companies to enhance their market-leading positions further, delivering synergies, customer benefits, and shareholder value," Avril Palmer-Baunack, Northgate non-executive chairman.
Redde is advised by Cenkos Securities, JP Morgan, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, and Square1 Consulting. Northgate is advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Buchanan.
BP agreed to acquire an additional 7% stake in Lightsource BP, a developer of long-term management of utility-scale solar PV projects, to equalize their shareholdings in Lightsource BP to create a simplified 50:50 JV structure. Financial terms were not disclosed.
As part of the transaction, BP will purchase newly-issued equity in the business to help accelerate Lightsource BP's growth, supporting its ambitious drive towards 10GW of developed assets by the end of 2023.
"BP is committed to helping meet the world's rapidly growing demand for low carbon energy. Solar, which is predicted to increase by a factor of 10 by 2040, plays a key role in this energy transition. That is why we want to invest more in Lightsource BP and to deepen our partnership. We want to advance the solar energy business worldwide, and we can bring scale, capability, and resources to make that happen. We are proud to be advancing solar alongside such a dynamic partner," Dev Sanyal, BP CEO of Alternative Energy.
TELUS International, a provider of communications and information technology, is set to acquire Competence Call Center, a provider of higher-value-added business services, for $1bn.
“We share the TELUS International team’s passionate commitment to putting customers first and are looking forward to coming together as one organization to amplify the power, reach and performance of our combined capabilities for the benefit of our clients and our teams,” Christian Legat, CCC CEO.
The Competition and Markets Authority is investigating Bauer Media's completed takeover of certain radio businesses of Celador Entertainment, Lincs FM Group, and The Wireless Group along with the entire business of UKRD Group.
CMA is concerned about how these transactions could affect the future viability of First Radio Sales. If FRS were to shut down, local radio stations would have to seek sales representation from Bauer or Global, leaving local radio stations with little choice when trying to sell national radio advertising airtime and potentially leading to them paying higher commission rates.
"We note the CMA's findings. We firmly believe that these transactions are pro-competitive and will benefit both the acquired stations and the broader local commercial radio industry as we look to invest in the radio industry's digital future. Our focus now is on agreeing a route forward with the CMA that supports a strong and sustainable future for the local commercial radio sector," Dee Ford, Bauer Media Managing Director.
FMBcapital Holdings Group, the Mauritius based holding company for First Capital Bank Botswana, completed the acquisition of Bank of India (Botswana), the overseas branch of Bank of India. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The opportunity to acquire BOIB came as a result of the decision by Bank of India to divest from certain markets outside of India, including Botswana. The acquired business complements FMBCH’s offering of products and further strengthens its position as a regional player in the financial services industry. The transaction was concluded after all statutory and regulatory requirements were fulfilled in Botswana.
“The acquisition of BOIB feeds into our strategy and focus to grow our regional footprint and leverage on increased cross border trade and commerce in the markets that we operate in. The acquisition was an incredible milestone for our business and a reflection of the belief that our shareholders and customers have in the growth of the business we have created,” Dheeraj Dikshit, FMBcapital Managing Director.
Euronext, the exchanges operator, is set to acquire a 66% stake in Nord Pool, a power trading venue, for $93m. This acquisition marks another major step in materializing Euronext’s objective to grow its presence in the Nordic region.
"Expanding to the power market is key to Euronext’s mission of financing the real economy. By joining forces with Euronext, Nord Pool will be even better positioned to support the shift to new ways of managing power supply in the face of climate change and the transition to sustainable growth. This acquisition is fully in line with Euronext’s ambition to build the leading pan-European market infrastructure, and further diversifies the Group revenue into a new asset class, spot power trading, relying on physical demand for electricity," Stephane Boujnah, Euronext CEO.
Diageo, a British brewer and supplier of alcoholic beverages, is set to acquire Tipplesworth, a producer of pre-bottled cocktails. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of Tipplesworth brings another great innovation into our portfolio. The increasing popularity of cocktails in Great Britain is one of the trends driving spirits growth, and this acquisition means we can now bring great quality ‘on tap’ cocktails to consumers in the on-trade across the country,” Melissa Wisdom, Diageo Commercial Director.
Saudi Aramco raises $25.6bn in the world’s biggest IPO.
State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco’s IPO will be the biggest in history, but will still fall significantly short of the towering $2tn valuations long sought by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Aramco priced its IPO at $8.53 per share, the top of its indicative range raising $25.6bn, and beating Alibaba’s record $25bn listing in 2014, Reuters reported.
At that level, Aramco has a market valuation of $1.7tn, comfortably overtaking Apple as the world’s most valuable listed firm. Saudi Arabia relied on domestic and regional investors to sell a 1.5% stake after lukewarm interest from abroad, even at the reduced valuation.
Italian tax authorities consider FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles American business' value underestimated.
Italian tax authorities claimed thet FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles underestimated the value of its American business by €5.1bn ($5.6bn) following its phased acquisition several years ago, presenting the carmaker with a potentially hefty bill as it prepares to merge with French rival Groupe PSA.
Groupe PSA is aware of the tax audit and does not expect it to harm or delay the deal.
Lawrence Stroll to consider bid for Aston Martin Lagonda Global.
Canadian fashion billionaire Lawrence Stroll, the father of Formula 1 driver Lance and owner of the Racing Point F1 team, is planning a bid for luxury automaker Aston Martin Lagonda Global, Autocar reported.
Both his business interests and car collection are reported to have given him the contacts to head a consortium looking to take control of Aston Martin, in the belief they can take advantage of its current low stock value and more economical than expected sales prior to building the brand’s equity up again in future years, most notably by taking advantage of anticipated sales for the recently launched Aston Martin DBX SUV.
Blackstone weighs a £4bn bid for IQ Student Accommodation. (FS)
Blackstone is weighing a £4bn ($5.1bn) takeover bid for IQ Student Accomodation, a major British student housing provider, as its owners plot a sale or stock market listing in 2020.
Blackstone is to be among several private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds in the early stages of planning bids for IQSA.
Kering in talks to acquire Moncler.
Kering, the parent company of Gucci and Balenciaga, held exploratory talks with Moncler about a deal to buy the Italian apparel company, Reutersreported.
"We maintain contacts and interacts with investors and other sector participants, including the Kering group, in order to explore strategic potential opportunities to further promote the successful development of Moncler. At the moment, however, there is not any concrete hypothesis under consideration," Remo Ruffini, Moncler CEO.
Moncler had a market valuation of about €9.8bn ($10.8bn) as of Wednesday's close on the Milan Stock Exchange.
Botswana's Minergy stops UK listing plans.
Botswana coal miner, Minergy, put on hold its plans to list on London's junior AIM stock market as coal prices have tumbled in the southern African market while uncertainty surrounding Brexit weighed on decision making.
The company, which commissioned its 1.2m tonnes per annum Masama coal mine early this year, had planned to list on AIM in 2018 but says it will now focus on operations and related efficiencies around the plant and product output.
"Current unfavorable market conditions are making it extremely difficult, with uncertainty surrounding Brexit weighing on decision-making. This is despite successful meetings and roadshows to potential investors in London throughout 2019," Morné du Plessis, Minergy Chief Executive Officer.
Panoramic Resources recommended that its shareholders rejected a takeover bid by larger peer Independence Group NL and went ahead with a capital-raising effort, breaching an offer condition.
The miner said the $216m offer was "opportunistically timed" and shareholders would reduce their exposure to "near-term improvements in operational performance" if they accepted. Panoramic also announced an entitlement offer to raise about $21m.
Panoramic is advised by KPMG and Fivemark Partners. Independence Group is advised by Citigroup, Herbert Smith Freehills, and Citadel Magnus.
Konecranes, a Finnish overhead crane provider, agreed to acquire remaining 50% of MHE-Demag, a supplier of industrial cranes and services in Southeast Asia, from Jebsen & Jessen, a diversified industrial group, for $163m.
"With the MHPS acquisition now behind us, Konecranes is ready to take the next steps on its growth path. This acquisition underlines our intent to pursue profitable growth, and meaningfully expands our footprint in a strategically important region with several fast-growing markets. The acquisition will also bring greater balance to Konecranes’ regional sales structure," Teo Ottola, Konecranes Interim CEO and CFO.
Konecranes is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Apollo hires Tetsuji Okamoto to lead its Japan business. (FS, People)
Apollo Global Management hired Tetsuji Okamoto, a managing director at Bain Capital, to head its operations in Tokyo, becoming the latest global fund to set up shop in Japan, Bloomberg reported.
The firm is planning to hire more staff for its Japan team to explore corporate carve-outs and deals with small and mid-sized companies, as the country is one of its target markets in Asia. Okamoto was mainly responsible for debt financing at Bain Capital.
SDIC drops $830m London IPO.
SDIC, which was set to become the second Chinese company to make use of the Shanghai-London Stock Connect scheme, said it would not go ahead with the listing, blaming market conditions.
Overall, the number of initial public offerings in London has halved this year so far, with just $4.82bn of deals getting over the line - the lowest volume since 2009 in the aftermath of the financial crisis. SDIC was preparing to list GDRs worth about 10% of its market capitalization, which would have put the deal size at around $830m.
"The company believes this is a prudent decision and is in the best interests of its existing and future shareholders," SDIC representative.
Prologis to create a $1.7bn China core logistics fund. (FS)
Prologis, a logistic operator, announced the formation of its $1.7bn new open-ended Prologis China Core Logistics Fund and an increase in its total development capacity to over $3.5bn.
The development capacity expansion comes from an additional commitment of $882m by Prologis and HIP China Logistics Investments into the Prologis China Logistics Venture 3.
“China represents the largest consumption opportunity in the world, with a sophisticated and rapidly-growing e-commerce market. Our strategy in China is to invest in the highest-quality logistics assets located in the most important consumption markets in the country,” Eugene F. Reilly, Prologis chief investment officer.
Connect the World of Dealmakers
Expand your network of fellow Dealmakers by inviting your colleagues and coworkers.