Nordic telecoms operator Telia’s close to $1bn bid for Bonnier Broadcasting faces a full-scale EU antitrust investigation after failing to address competition concerns, Reuters reported.
Telia announced the deal, worth SEK 9.2bn ($954m), in July last year as the company looks to expand its media business as telecoms groups spend heavily to capitalize on changing television viewing habits.
The rise of streaming services from big internet players such as Netflix and Amazon has spurred telecoms companies to follow their lead. Telia offered concessions to the European Commission last month but these were not sufficient to allay regulatory worries.
Bonnier Broadcasting is advised by Roschier Attorneys. Bonnier is advised by SEB Corporate Finance.
GlaxoSmithKline, a British pharmaceutical company, and Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical corporation, formed a £9.8bn ($12.8bn) joint venture to create a premier global consumer healthcare company with robust iconic brands. The deal announced is ending to a yearlong process by Pfizer to shed its consumer business, as it and other pharmaceutical companies focus more on higher-margin prescription-drugs. Glaxo has been pursuing the same focus, though has until now stayed committed to its consumer business, which its chief executive led before her promotion to the top job. Glaxo will hold a 68% stake and Pfizer the remaining 32% of the new joint venture, which generated combined sales of $12.7bn last year.
GlaxoSmithKline’s deal to buy Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business will not lesson competition in Australia, the country’s anti-trust regulator said as it approved the deal.
Pfizer is advised by Centerview Partners, Guggenheim Partners, Morgan Stanley, Clifford Chance, Dentons, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and White & Case. GSK is advised by Citigroup, Greenhill & Co, JP Morgan, Herbert Smith Freehills, Blake Cassels & Graydon, Kirkland & Ellis, Slaughter & May, and Brunswick Group.
Camerus Group accelerates its growth strategy by acquiring Lign'Expo and completing an LBO with Bpifrance and Siparex Mezzanine, backed by Omnes, its existing investor.
This refinancing deal allows Camerus Group to continue its ambitious organic development and external growth strategy. In this instance, the Group has completed a build-up deal on Lign’Expo.
“This new build-up allows us to firmly establish our positioning in the country and to set up synergies in order to best respond to the development of our customers and future partners." Christine Atzemis, Camerus Group Chair.
Apax Partners has acquired Baltic Classifieds Group, a portfolio of leading online classified advertising platforms in the Baltics. The stake will be acquired from Media Investments & Holding OÜ, a Baltic-based media business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
BCG operates Autoplius.lt, Aruodas.lt, Skelbiu.lt, CVBankas.lt, KV.ee, City24.ee, City24.lv, Osta.ee and Soov.ee, leading online classifieds platforms for automotive, real estate, jobs, and general merchandise. BCG’s portals are some of the most visited websites in their respective countries, generating more than 50m monthly visits in aggregate.
“The digital marketplaces they operate promote trust, fairness, and efficiency. We are excited to introduce the BCG team to our wide network of classifieds businesses and executives around the world. We look forward to investing in BCG further, with the support of our Operational Excellence Practice, to enhance the great value these marketplaces provide for advertisers and consumers." Tom Hall, Apax Partners Partner.
Ion Group considers the £1bn acquisition of Acuris. (FS)
Financial technology company Ion Group is set to win the auction for the owner of Mergermarket and Debtwire in a deal that could fetch as much as £1.2bn ($1.6bn).
Private equity group BC Partners is expected to announce the sale of Acuris, formerly known as the Mergermarket Group, imminently to the majority owner of Dealogic, The Telegraph reported.
The sale attracted interest from the rating agencies, Rupert Murdoch's News and other buyout funds. Acuris, a former subsidiary of the Financial Times, was bought by BC Partners in 2014 for £382m ($503m) from Pearson.
BlackRock to exit the rescue plan for Italian bank Carige. (FS)
BlackRock has pulled out of a proposed rescue of Italian bank Carige, a move that could push Rome’s fragile government into another costly state bailout. Carige has been put under special administration by the European Central Bank.
BlackRock’s decision, which highlights investor concerns about Italy’s uncertain political environment, was confirmed by the fund manager and Carige. “We have been informed of developments and are in contact with the temporary administrators,” ECB spokeswoman.
Under the plan, based on a €720m ($806m) capital injection, Italian banks were set to take up some of Carige’s shares by converting a bond into equity. But without more investors, BlackRock’s stake would have exceeded the 25% limit. The rescue aimed to help the state avoid its fourth major bank bailout in two years. The government has earmarked up to €1bn ($1.2bn) to buy Carige shares if it cannot find investors.
PSA Group consider a potential acquisition of JLR from Tata Motors.
PSA Group said it was ready to consider potential tie-ups after the French carmaker’s shares briefly rose on a report that it was in advanced talks with Tata Motors to acquire UK-based Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
Tata denied the report, which cited sources referring to an internal “post-sale integration document” describing cost savings.
“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on media speculation, but we can confirm there is no truth to these rumors,” said a spokesperson for the Indian carmaker, which owns 100% of JLR.
Chevron, the US oil group, has said it will not increase its offer for smaller rival Anadarko Petroleum, leaving the path clear for the higher bid put forward by Occidental Petroleum.
Chevron said in a statement that it would not be increasing its bid inside the four-day deadline after Anadarko’s board said that Occidental’s $55bn cash and stock offer was superior. It expects Anadarko to terminate the $48bn takeover deal that the two companies agreed last month.
Michael Wirth, Chevron’s chief executive: “This was an excellent opportunity for us, but it was not a necessity at any price. We simply are not desperate to do a deal. The deal we negotiated with Anadarko was a good deal with real synergies and a good strategic fit. But we are not going to chase it to a point where it erodes value for shareholders.”
He added that in a capital-intensive commodity business such as oil and gas, success or failure could be determined by how efficiently companies invested, and Chevron was “a disciplined steward of capital”.
Anadarko is advised by Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Vinson & Elkins, and Wachtell Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Chevron is advised by Credit Suisse, Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Shearman & Sterling. Occidental is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Edgewell Personal Care have acquired Harry's in a cash and stock transaction valuing the company at $1.37bn.
The combination of Edgewell and Harry's brings together complementary capabilities to create a next-generation consumer products platform with an expansive runway for accelerated top line growth and enhanced value creation.
"Building on Edgewell's and Harry's complementary strengths, our combined company will have leading brands and omnichannel capabilities that are essential to meet the needs of the modern consumer and win in today's market environment. We welcome Harry's entrepreneurial employees and look forward to working closely with Andy and Jeff, whose ingenuity and demonstrated success will enable us to take our US business to the next level. We are excited about our future and the opportunities we have to deliver superior long-term shareholder returns as a next-generation CPG platform." Rod Little, Edgewell's President, and Chief Executive Officer.
Edgewell is advised by Goldman Sachs, Perella Weinberg Partners, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Harry's is advised by Centerview Partners, Latham & Watkins, and O'Melveny & Myers.
ACI Worldwide, a leading global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, acquired Speedpay, a bill pay business, from Western Union, a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement, for $750m. This acquisition brings together two leading bill pay portfolios in the rapidly-evolving US electronic bill pay and presentment (EBPP) market.
Together, the ACI and Speedpay bill pay solutions will serve more than 4k customers across the US, bringing expanded reach in existing and complementary segments such as consumer finance, insurance, healthcare, higher education, utilities, government, and mortgage. This will enable the combined business to more effectively serve a rapidly-evolving category as well as pursue additional vertical segments.
"The acquisition marks an exciting new era in bill pay. The combination of Speedpay and ACI brings together an incredibly strong team of bill pay experts and a powerful next-generation platform. As we join forces, we are focused on driving innovation and revolutionizing bill pay for our thousands of customers. Strategically moving forward, this acquisition also accelerates the delivery of ACI’s ‘Any Payment, Every Possibility’ vision to serve the real-time digital payments needs of merchants, corporates and billers.” Phil Heasley, ACI Worldwide president, and CEO.
Western Union is advised by Centerview Partners and Sidley Austin. ACI is advised by BofA Merrill Lynch and Jones Day.
Perrigo Company, a leading global provider of Quality, Affordable Self-Care Products has acquired Ranir, a leading global manufacturer of store brand and value brand oral care products under the Plackers® and REMBRANDT® trademarks for $750m.
As a global leader in the store brand oral care market, Ranir's innovative technology spans consumer brands and private label products, including power and manual toothbrushes, teeth whiteners, dental floss, flossers, and interdental brushes.
"The addition of Ranir to the Perrigo family illustrates a key component of our new strategy; accelerating growth by pursuing adjacent self-care categories. I can't emphasize enough the opportunity we believe that exists by combining these two companies that are so closely aligned. This is highlighted by their geographic proximity, scale in-store brands, leading market shares, strong and complementary customer relationships, a focus on quality, similar company cultures and a shared belief in the opportunity presented by the self-care mega-trend. We expect this strategic combination will enhance shareholder value." Murray S. Kessler, Perrigo President, and CEO.
Ranir is advised by William Blair & Co and Kirkland & Ellis. Perrigo is advised by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
SnapAV, a leading manufacturer and primary source of A/V, surveillance, networking and remote management products for professional integrators, and Control4, a leading global provider of smart home solutions, have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby SnapAV will acquire Control4 in an all-cash transaction for $24 per share, representing an aggregate value of approximately $680m.
This highly complementary combination will leverage the increased resources of the two companies to provide integrators with a true one-stop shop, offering a complete product portfolio of custom smart-home, control, and automation solutions. Together, SnapAV and Control4 will drive increased innovation, simplified integration and compelling solutions that meet the demands of today’s expanding smart home industry.
“Together with SnapAV, we will be able to invest even more in innovation, bring together and build upon the very best of our combined capabilities, and do so with improved reliability, responsiveness, security, and privacy for consumers. Today’s announcement will enable us to better serve the expanding smart home market, making the lives of integrators easier and their businesses more effective and efficient.” Martin Plaehn, Control4 Chairman and CEO.
SnapAV is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Control4 is advised by Raymond James and Goodwin Procter.
Harsco Corporation has acquired Clean Earth, a leader in processing and beneficially re-using specialty waste, from Compass Group Diversified Holdings and certain other minority stockholders for $625m in cash, subject to post-closing adjustments.
Clean Earth is one of the largest specialty waste processing companies in the US, providing processing and beneficial reuse solutions for hazardous wastes, contaminated materials, and dredged volumes. Clean Earth analyzes, treats, documents and recycles waste streams generated across many diverse end-markets in the infrastructure, industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors.
“This acquisition is expected to create significant strategic and financial benefits for our shareholders and customers, including higher margin and recurring revenues, cost savings and potential cross-selling opportunities beyond what either company could achieve on its own. Clean Earth brings a proven management team and talented employees with a strong track record of growth and environmental and safety performance.” Nick Grasberger, Harsco Chairman and CEO.
Harsco is advised by BMO Capital Markets and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Sphera, software company looking to advance usability and capabilities for chemical management and managed regulatory content agreed to acquire SiteHawk, software and services provider for Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and chemical data management solutions. The SiteHawk product accelerates Sphera’s next phase of product integration for Product Stewardship into SpheraCloud, the Software as a Service platform was launched in 2017.
“The acquisition of SiteHawk not only expands Sphera’s cloud-based solutions but also extends Sphera’s Product Stewardship content, services and markets while extending our leadership position in the Product Stewardship space. As the industry leader, we believe it is critical to continue innovating and expanding our portfolio of cloud-based and content solutions while also enhancing our world-class, on-premise products. We also want to welcome SiteHawk’s current customers and colleagues into the Sphera family.” Paul Marushka, Sphera’s president and CEO.
Relation Insurance Services, a privately owned insurance brokerage that offers property and casualty, risk management, benefits, and TPA-consulting services have acquired Service First Insurance, a privately owned and operated insurance brokerage. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to announce that Service First has joined the Relation Insurance Services family. With decades of history delivering personal and commercial insurance services to the Northern Virginia market, SFI has built a strong business based on an outstanding reputation for service which closely aligns with our own. We believe that the addition of SFI and its leadership team is a natural extension of Relation into Northern Virginia, and we look forward to helping them to continue their history of excellence.” Joe Tatum Relation Insurance Services CEO.
Drawbridge Partners, a cybersecurity consulting firm specializing in the needs of hedge fund and private equity managers, to acquire inCyber Security, inCyber Compliance’s consultancy division.
“We searched for a best-in-breed cyber security consultancy and found that in inCyber Security. This acquisition will allow us to expand our consultancy practice and provide even more financial services firms strategic guidance on their most difficult security and compliance challenges.” Jason Elmer Drawbridge Partners Managing Partner.
Inflexion has agreed to sell Vivona Brands to specialist US branded consumer and healthcare services investor Webster Equity Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Vivona Brands was founded in 1992 and delivers on-trend beauty, wellbeing and lifestyle brands to global fast-fashion and beauty-savvy consumers. Vivona’s products are sold internationally through partnerships with major tier 1 retailer including Ulta Beauty, CVS, Walgreens and Target in the US and Sephora, Superdrug and Boots in EMEA.
"We are pleased that our hard work has led to the successful repositioning of Vivona. Our tenacity has resulted in a business that has expanded in the US and successfully launched new product lines. We are delighted to have found a strong new owner to support the continued growth of the business in a growing market, and we wish them all the best in the future." Simon Turner, Inflexion Managing Partner.
Sectigo, the world’s largest commercial Certificate Authority and a leader in web security solutions, has acquired Icon Labs, a provider of cross-platform security solutions for embedded OEMs and Internet of Things (IoT) device manufacturers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Sectigo’s expanded IoT Security Platform will provide device manufacturers, systems integrators, enterprises using connected IoT, and entire interoperable ecosystems, with the industry-first ability to use purpose-built IoT issuance from a trusted third-party CA.
"Icon Labs has been growing and addressing this challenge by securing the device market for more than two decades. For the first time, embedded security technology is combined with device authentication and identity management to provide customers with a complete IoT security platform that solves many of the challenges presented by the rising number of threats,” Bill Holtz, Sectigo CEO.
DP World acquired Canadian terminal Fraser Surrey Docks from a Macquarie Group fund for c. $300m. (FS)
DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, said it has agreed to buy Canadian marine terminal Fraser Surrey Docks from a Macquarie Group fund.
The marine terminal is being acquired through Canadian subsidiary DP World Canada Investment, which is 45% owned by Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec. The terminal is being acquired from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners a fund managed by the Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) division of Macquarie Group.
“We are seeing increasing demand from our customers for multi-purpose facilities in the region,” Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Chairman.
French retailer Casino reviewing options for Latin American assets.
French supermarket chain Casino Guichard Perrachon, which has been selling assets to cut debt and reassure investors, said it was reviewing strategic options in Latin America.
Casino, which controls Brazilian retailer Grupo Pao de Acucar (GPA), issued a statement after Brazilian paper 0 Globo said the French firm could announce “in the next few days” a plan to combine its assets in Latin America.
Casino had retail sales of €15.6bn ($17.5bn) in Latin America in 2018 or 42.5% of overall group sales. The region’s operating profit was €644m ($721m) or 53% of group profit.
Fox buys $236m Stars Group stake to enter the betting market.
Fox is buying 5% of gaming giant Stars Group and starting its own sports wagering platform - by far the biggest media investment yet in the burgeoning US sports-betting market.
The media company controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family will pay $236m for its stake in Toronto-based Stars, which last year bought Sky Betting & Gaming for $4.7bn, Stars Chief Executive Officer Rafi Ashkenazi said in an interview.
Commonfund Capital closes second secondaries fund at $450m. (FS)
Commonfund Capital has held the closing of its second secondaries fund, Commonfund Capital Secondary Partners II with $450m of capital commitments sourced from investors including endowments, foundations, pension plans, insurance pools, and family offices.
“It was rewarding to see how investors value Commonfund’s unique approach and access to select secondary transactions as well as our track record and alignment to limited partners,” Peter Burns Commonfund Capital President and CEO.
EasyKnock raises $215m fund.
New York-based EasyKnock hopes to capitalize on this trend by buying homes and leasing them back to owners at a fixed rate. The company today announced that it’s raised $215m in debt and equity from new and returning investors ($12m of which was equity), which brings its total raised to over $300m following a $103.5m debt-equity round last September.
Australian internet firm TPG Telecom’s best bet to recover from the serious blow dealt by regulators who blocked its $10bn merger bid with a rival lies with the courts, with analysts doubting any alternative plans can succeed.
TPG and the Vodafone venture said they will challenge the decision of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in federal court and gave themselves time until end-August next year to complete the deal.
TPG is advised by Macquarie Group, Herbert Smith Freehills, and FTI Consulting. Vodafone is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Allens, Linklaters, and Norton Rose Fullbright.
SoftBank big startup bets pay off with $3.8bn Uber gain. (FS)
Masayoshi Son is starting to demonstrate the potential of his enormous bets on technology startups.
The Japanese billionaire’s SoftBank Group reported operating income that more than tripled in the three months to March 31 to 494.9bn yen ($4.5bn), helped by a 418bn yen ($3.79bn) gain on Uber Technologies. SoftBank and its Vision Fund are the largest shareholders in the US ride-hailing giant, which is going public this week at a market value that may reach $79bn.
Toyota to set up a company with Panasonic for 'connected' homes.
Japan’s Toyota Motor and Panasonic said they plan to establish a joint company to develop “connected” services to be used in homes and urban development. The technology could be used to offer personalized services in the home.
“We will put our respective strengths together to offer new value in everyday life,” Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga.
Mitsubishi CEO declines management integration plans with Nissan and Renault.
Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko said his company had not discussed a possible management integration with Nissan Motor and Renault. Masuko also said he was not aware of such talks between Nissan and Renault.
France’s Renault has proposed a plan to create a joint holding company that would give it and Japanese partner Nissan equal footing in late April, Reuters reported.
Morrison and Brookfield consider acquisition of Vodafone NZ. (FS)
British telecommunications giant Vodafone Group is in talks to sell its New Zealand business to a pair of heavyweight financial investors in a deal that would be worth about $2.5bn.
As it readies for a court battle to merge its Australian business with TPG Telecom, Vodafone Group is also mapping its exit from across the Tasman where it is the country's No.1 player in the mobile telecommunications market.
Aurelia Metals stops talks to buy Glencore's CSA mine.
Aurelia Metals said it was no longer in talks about a possible acquisition of the CSA mine in New South Wales, the second Australian miner since April to back off from plans to buy the Glencore-owned copper mine.
Last month, Aeris Resources said it was unable to reach an agreement with Glencore on its $575m offer to buy the mine.
Lighthouse closes third India PE fund with a value of $230m. (FS)
Akin Gump has advised Lighthouse, one of India’s leading, middle market private equity firms, in the final closing of Lighthouse India Fund III, with a value of $230m, and with additional capital available for co-investment opportunities. Fund III closed on 30 April 2019.
Investors in Fund III include global institutions and a number of global endowments, pension funds, and family offices. Including predecessor funds, Lighthouse now advises and manages cumulative assets under management of nearly $500m.
Kejora-Intervest hits final close of Southeast Asia fund at over $100m. (FS)
Indonesian venture capital firm Kejora Ventures has hit the final close of its joint fund with South Korean counterpart Intervest, in an oversubscribed fundraise which surpassed the original target of $100m.
The fund brings together a group of prominent LPs such as Korea Development Bank, Korea Venture Investment Corporation, NH Investment & Securities and Industrial Bank of Korea. Other LPs include Barito Pacific Group of Indonesia, a leading commercial bank, and a pension fund from Southeast Asia.
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