Pfizer has acquired all the shares of Therachon Holding, a privately held clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on rare diseases, with assets in development for the treatment of achondroplasia and short bowel syndrome (SBS) for $340m upfront with a potential earn-out of up to $470m.
Achondroplasia can result in serious cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic complications for approximately 250k people worldwide. There are currently no approved treatments for achondroplasia.
“At Pfizer, our strategy is focused on advancing the most promising science in the world, regardless of whether it is found inside or outside of our labs. By acquiring Therachon, we hope to leverage Pfizer’s leading scientific and development capabilities to more rapidly advance this potentially promising therapy for people with achondroplasia.” Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development, and Medical.
Therachon is advised by Goldman Sachs, Cooley, and Homburger. Pfizer is advised by Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer and Lenz & Staehelin.
ICR Integrity has acquired Sky-Futures Partners, a leading provider in delivering drone-based inspections and drone pilot training for the energy, industrial and government sectors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The transaction facilitates the next phase of ICR’s inspection service offering, augmenting its existing leading global provider of integrated maintenance and integrity solutions to the oil and gas, power, chemical and nuclear industries. The acquisition also strengthens ICR’s infrastructure to support additional growth and expansion through the company’s existing established networks.
“The acquisition of Sky-Futures by ICR is an exciting next step in our journey. The combination of ICR’s technical services with drone-based inspection operations provide a highly differentiated offering that will stand out in the market.” Sky-Futures Co-Founder and COO Chris Blackford.
Abu Dhabi's Gulf Capital-Waha Capital hold merger talks. (FS)
Abu Dhabi investment firms Gulf Capital and Waha Capital have held exploratory discussions regarding a merger, Reuters reported. Challenging fundraising environment, following Abraaj bankruptcy, is pushing Middle Easter Private Equity houses to merge.
Private equity firm Gulf Capital manages over $4bn in assets. Waha Capital’s total assets stood at $3.18bn at the end of last year. It also managed funds worth around $700m.
Waha Capital’s portfolio of investments includes stakes in aviation leasing firm AerCap Holdings, a major the Middle East and North African oil and gas services provider and industrial real estate.
Siemens spins off struggling gas and power in smart digital shift.
Siemens is spinning off its gas and power business, which has dragged on the German engineering firm’s performance as the rise of renewable power hits demand for gas turbines.
The new firm would be a “major player” in energy with revenues of €27bn ($30bn) and more than 80k employees, Siemens said, adding that it would now focus on its Digital Industries and Smart Infrastructure businesses.
Siemens said the Gas and Power division, which includes its oil and gas, conventional power generation, power transmission, and related services businesses, will be set up as a standalone company with the aim of a public listing by September 2020.
Metro in exclusive talks to sell Real hypermarkets to Redos.
Metro is in exclusive talks to sell its Real hypermarkets to a consortium led by real estate investor Redos, the German retailer said, adding it was taking a €385m ($431m) impairment charge on the loss-making chain.
Once a sprawling retail conglomerate, Metro has been restructuring in recent years to focus on its core cash-and-carry business, selling Kaufhof department stores and then splitting from consumer electronics group Ceconomy.
It has long sought to shed its Real hypermarkets chain, which has annual sales of more than €7bn ($7.8bn) but has struggled for years in a fiercely competitive German market, dominated by discounters Aldi and Lidl.
EQT and Digital Colony agreed to acquire Zayo Group, which provides mission-critical bandwidth to the world’s most impactful companies, for $14.3bn. Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders will receive $35 in cash per share of Zayo's common stock.
The offer price represents a 32% premium to undisturbed share price. “Zayo has a world-class digital infrastructure portfolio, including a highly-dense fiber network in some of the world’s most important metro markets. We believe the company has a unique opportunity to meet the growing demand for data associated with the connectivity and backhaul requirements of a range of customers. We are excited to work alongside the management team and EQT to grow the business and expand its presence in the global market." Marc Ganzi, a Managing Partner of Digital Colony.
Zayo is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Digital Colony is advised by Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. EQT Partners is advised by Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
3i Group has completed the investment in Magnitude Software, the leader in unified application data management solutions, in a deal valued at $340m.
The investment will allow the software company's current private-equity backer, Audax Group, to exit its stake. Chris Ney, Chairman, and CEO of Magnitude, will maintain a significant minority stake in the business.
“Magnitude provides a highly attractive market and business growth opportunity backed by a strong executive team, led by Chris Ney. Management has a track record of building great teams, delivering broad customer success and rapid growth. The data opportunity and the challenge is only getting larger with the increasing amount of data that companies generate and need to analyze.” Andrew Olinick, Co-Head 3i North America.
Magnitude was advised by Ropes & Gray and Shea & Company. 3i was advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
AGRO Merchants Group, a global leader in cold storage and logistics solutions, acquired of Cool Pak Solutions, a provider of storage and repacking services based in the Port of Long Beach, California. This transaction expands AGRO’s service capabilities on the West Coast and reinforces its industry leadership position in fresh produce repacking operations.
“Trade inflows of fresh fruits and vegetables have consistently grown over time and today represent a significant percentage of overall product sales in the US AGRO plays a vital role in this supply chain and we continue to expand our service capabilities through both internal capital investment and strategic acquisitions. At the same time, we’ve long sought a presence in Southern California, which represents a key produce import market. AGRO has closely followed Cool Pak’s progress since its founding and I’m thrilled that we were able to complete this important transaction.” Dave Moore, AGRO Merchants North America President.
Bristol-Myers Squibb sold $19bn of bonds in the biggest corporate debt sale of the year as it looks to finance its $90bn takeovers of Celgene and create a cancer-drug giant.
The company issued senior unsecured bonds in nine parts, Bloomberg reported.
The longest portion of the offering, a 30-year security, will yield 1.45% points more than similar-maturity Treasuries, after initial talk of around 1.6% points, said a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified as the details are private. The bond sale drew orders of $67bn.
Celgene is advised by Citigroup, JP Morgan, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Bristol is advised by Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi Group, Morgan Stanley, Dyal Co, Evercore, Kirkland & Ellis, and Joele Frank.
Hg, buyout investments in the tech and services sectors company, to acquire Litera Microsystems, developer of document management software, from K1 Investment, a private equity firm that invests in high growth enterprise software companies.
For Hg, Litera becomes the sixth legal and compliance business in its portfolio.
"Hg stood out. Their experience in software, legal, life sciences and global expansion will enable us to reach new levels of success, whilst allowing us to further invest in our people and culture." Avaneesh Marwaha, Litera Microsystems CEO.
Orange, the global telecoms group, to acquire SecureLink, one of the largest dedicated cybersecurity infrastructure and managed services providers in Europe, from Investcorp, a provider, and manager of alternative investment products. Offer values entire SecureLink at €515m ($576m).
“Cybersecurity is a growing priority for companies of all sizes, and we believe the two most important success factors are Scale and Proximity. Scale because today's threats are global, complex, and require matching protection capabilities. Proximity because in the global IT world, you want a trusted local partner to secure your most strategic assets. With the acquisition of SecureData and SecureLink, Orange has the highest scale to anticipate and fend off attacks, as well as local defense teams in all the main European markets, positioning the combined organization as the go-to defense specialist.” Hugues Foulon, Orange Executive Director of Cybersecurity.
Investcorp is advised by Jefferies & Company, Stibbe, and KPMG.
Kyocera Corporation has concluded an agreement to acquire 100% ownership of SouthernCarlson, a US distributor of tools, fasteners, packaging and facility supplies, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. Under the agreement, SouthernCarlson will operate as a US-based subsidiary of Kyocera Corporation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
SouthernCarlson serves a broad array of end markets from over 150 branches across North America. It is a leading distributor of the most recognized and highest-quality brands of construction fasteners, tools, packaging, facility supplies, and tool repair services.
Rothschild & Co advised SouthernCarlson.
Uber IPO has enough demand to price at top of the range.
Uber Technologies has enough investor demand to price its initial public offering at the top end of its price range, Bloomberg reported.
With more than 48 hours to go before the ride-hailing giant’s IPO is expected to price, investors have put in orders for at least three times the amount of stock on offer, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Still, Uber is expected to price the sale within its existing range as it is keen to ensure strong aftermarket trading for the stock.
Marathon Petroleum to merge midstream units.
US oil refiner Marathon Petroleum said it would merge its midstream units in a $9bn deal, and posted a surprise first-quarter loss due to higher prices of Canadian crude.
Marathon has been strengthening its midstream operations and retail unit, which includes Speedway gas stations and convenience stores and Andeavor’s retail and direct dealer business, to diversify its revenue streams beyond refining.
Waterton agrees not to increase stake Hudbay Minerals to more than 15%. (FS)
Private equity firm Waterton Global Resource Management said it agreed to not increase its stake in Hudbay Minerals to more than 15% after the private equity firm settled its drawn-out proxy contest with the Canadian miner.
Hudbay last week settled a board battle with its second-largest shareholder, Waterton, to elect a slate of 11 board members that include some of the nominees proposed by both parties.
The standstill provisions, under which Waterton reached the agreement, is part of the settlement agreement between Hudbay Minerals and Waterton, to deal with a long-drawn-out the proxy contest with the private equity firm, which urged the miner to replace its chief executive officer and nominated five directors to the company's board.
Lyft results underscore the importance of Uber of life beyond ride-hailing.
Investor disappointment at Lyft's growth outlook underscores the pressure for rival Uber Technologies to show potential backers of its initial public offering that it can expand services such as food delivery even as its core ride-hailing slows down.
Lyft posted its first results as a public company, one of the last data points for investors ahead of Uber’s IPO this week. Lyft, a smaller company, said growth was slowing and losses would shrink after this year.
Novartis considers an offer for Takeda Eye-Disease assets.
Novartis is considering a bid for eye-disease assets that Takeda Pharmaceutical gained through its $62bn acquisition of Shire, Bloomberg reported.
The Swiss drugmaker is among companies looking at the business, which includes Xiidra prescription drops for adults with the dry-eye disease, said the people. No final decision has been made and Novartis could opt to pursue other targets or Takeda could choose a different buyer for the assets, said the people, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private.
NCR considers sale after receiving takeover interest.
NCR, the maker of automated teller machines, is exploring options including a potential sale after receiving takeover interest, Bloomberg reported.
The Atlanta-based company is working with a financial adviser and has drawn interest from private equity firms. No final decisions have been made and NCR may choose not to proceed with a sale.
General Motor's Ohio plant sale plan draws Trump's praise.
General Motors is in talks to sell the Ohio car plant it idled earlier this year to a tiny electric truckmaker, a plan that won President Donald Trump’s praise despite the likelihood that the factory will employ far fewer workers.
The discussions with Workhorse Group, which makes plug-in pickups and all-electric delivery vans, and an affiliated new entity could bring “significant” production and assembly jobs to the Lordstown manufacturing complex, GM said. The United Auto Workers union is skeptical, calling for the company to keep operating the plant.
Hapvida is looking for more acquisitions.
Brazilian healthcare provider Hapvida Participacoes e Investimentos will look for more acquisitions in the near future after agreeing to acquire rival group Sao Francisco Saude for 5bn reais ($1.26bn), Chief Executive Officer Jorge Pinheiro.
The deal will enable Hapvida to expand to Brazil’s southeastern, southern and center-west regions, from its current focus only on the north and northeastern regions.
Pinheiro said he expects the deal to be approved by antitrust authorities due to the different geographical footprints of the companies.
Australia’s competition regulator blocked a proposed A$15bn ($11bn) merger between TPG Telecom and a Vodafone Group unit, sending shares of companies on both sides of the deal tumbling.
The merger was to combine Australia’s third and fourth-largest telcos to create a big player boasting TPG’s fiber network and Vodafone’s mobile system.
Its rejection on competition grounds, which was accidentally uploaded by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) a day earlier than expected, unraveled that prospect and drove a chaotic selldown across the sector in late trade.
“TPG is the best prospect Australia has for a new mobile network operator to enter the market, and this is likely the last chance we have for stronger competition in the supply of mobile services,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair Rod Sims said.
SoftBank to purchase new shares of Yahoo Japan Corporation for 456.5bn yen ($4bn), with the intention of making Yahoo Japan a consolidated subsidiary, as after the completion SoftBank will own 44%.
Since commencing service in 1996, Yahoo Japan has made efforts to expand its business area and to grow its business by grasping customer needs and the market environment, which has changed in accordance with evolutions in the communications environment, devices and technology.
With that addition, SoftBank Corp, which listed in December in Japan’s largest-ever initial public offering, forecast its operating profit would rise to 890bn ($7.9bn) yen in the current financial year through March 2020.
KKR has launched $1.14bn offer for Australian accounting software firm MYOB after buying almost a fifth of the Australian accounting software provider. The US buyout firm offered A$3.44 a share in cash for the rest of MYOB, 18% more than a closing price.
MYOB offers over 50 business management solutions including accounting, payroll, payments, retail point of sale, CRM and professional tax solutions, among others. It largely caters to medium and small businesses in Australia and New Zealand.
“The past year has been an eventful one for MYOB in which we accelerated our investment in the MYOB Platform and fast-tracked its delivery to our customers. This roll-out helped us to achieve even greater online subscriber growth and propelled us to a leading position in Australia and New Zealand’s online accounting market,” Tim Reed, CEO of MYOB.
MYOB is advised by UBS and Clayton Utz.
Blackstone Minerals acquired a 90% stake in Ta Khoa Nickel Project from Canadian investor AMR Nickel.
Australia-listed Blackstone Minerals has agreed to acquire a 90% stake in Vietnam-based Ta Khoa Nickel Project from Canadian investor AMR Nickel. The Australian firm has entered into a 12-month option period that will see Blackstone Minerals settle quarterly payments of $100k and exercise of the option by issuing A$1m ($700k) of ordinary fully paid shares. Located 160km west of Hanoi, the project includes the Ban Phuc nickel mine which is currently under maintenance. The location is near the new northern manufacturing hub, Hai Phong, where LG Chem and Vietnamese automaker VinFast have set up their factories.
Blackstone Minerals said AMR Nickel had invested more than $136m in Ta Khoa and generated $213m in revenue during a 3.5-year period of falling nickel prices.
T Rowe Price, SoftBank Vision Fund back GM Cruise’s $1.15bn round. (FS)
General Motors’s self-driving unit drew $1.15bn in fresh investment, with T. Rowe Price Associates joining existing backers including Honda Motor and SoftBank Vision Fund. In what is GM Cruise’s third major investment in the last year, the unit is now valued at $19bn. Cruise raised $2.25bn from the SoftBank Vision Fund and $2.75bn from Honda last year.
Cruise continues to tap outside investors as it races the likes of Alphabet’s Waymo to develop self-driving vehicles. GM wants to start an autonomous ride-hailing service at the end of this year and needs cash to bring along the technology and build out an infrastructure for that kind of business. The automaker is spending about $1bn a year on Cruise.
Grab explores spinning off financial services business.
Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab has mandated a few banks to approach potential investors to take minority stakes in its financial services business as it looks to spin off the unit.
Grab has adopted an aggressive strategy to expand its range of services, from transport to food delivery and payments, as it races Indonesia’s Go-Jek to become an app-for-everything in Southeast Asia, home to about 650m people.
Banks and insurance companies are among the potential investors in Grab’s financial services business, adding that the plan is in an early stage, Reuters reported.
Chinese AI start-up Megvii raises $750m ahead of planned HK IPO.
Chinese AI provider Megvii, commonly known as Face++, it raised $750m in its latest funding round.
The funding raises start-up Megvii’s valuation to slightly over $4bn as it prepares for a IPO in Hong Kong planned for later this year.
Bank of China Group Investment, the state bank’s private equity arm, led the fundraising with $200m.
Carrefour weighs options for China including a sale.
Carrefour is weighing options including a sale of its Chinese business, mirroring other international consumer firms that have decided to exit the country in recent years, Bloomberg reported.
The French retail giant is working with an adviser and has begun reaching out to potential suitors. Carrefour could seek about $1bn for the Chinese business, though it may also opt to divest just a stake or decide against a sale.
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