NRG Energy, an American energy company, agreed to acquire Direct Energy, the American utility business of Centrica, a British multinational energy and services company, for $3.6bn.
“The acquisition aligns with our broader strategy of perfecting our integrated business model and drives significant value creation for our customers and stakeholders. Direct Energy ’s complementary assets, talented team and excellent customer service make it a natural fit for our portfolio, and we look forward to welcoming Direct Energy to the NRG team,” Mauricio Gutierrez, NRG President and CEO.
NRG Energy is advised by Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Baker Botts, and Latham & Watkins. Centrica is advised by Goldman Sachs, UBS, Robey Warshaw, Cravath Swaine & Moore, and Slaughter & May.
Senators Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Mazie Hirono, Sherrod Brown and Mark Warner urged the Justice Department to be cautious in reviewing Google’s planned $2.1bn purchase of Fitbit, saying the tech giant had already cemented its dominance in some areas through acquisitions.
In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, the seven Democratic senators expressed scepticism that the purchase was solely a bid to enter the wearables market since Google’s revenues are largely based on advertising driven by consumer data. The senators also noted that Fitbit had a reputation for safeguarding user privacy while Google was known for its ability to monetize consumer data.
Fitbit is advised by Qatalyst Partners, Fenwick & West and Sard Verbinnen. Fenwick & West is advised by Cooley. Google is advised by Lazard and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
KLX Energy Services, a provider of mission-critical oilfield services, announced that its stockholders have approved the issuance of KLXE’s common stock in connection with the proposed merger with Quintana Energy Services, a provider of diversified oilfield services.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, which was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, Quintana stockholders will receive 0.4844 shares of KLXE common stock for each share of Quintana common stock.
Quintana is advised by Tudor Pickering Holt, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, and Dennard Lascar. KLXE is advised by Goldman Sachs and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Goldman Sachs is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Private equity firms Ascendant Capital and Oaktree Capital completed the acquisition of a 6.75% stake in Watermark Lodging Trust, a real estate investment trust, for $200m.
“This transaction provides us with additional operational and financial flexibility as we navigate the current economic environment, strengthens our balance sheet and creates a pool of capital with which we can opportunistically pursue growth,“ Michael Medzigian, Watermark Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Watermark Lodging Trust was advised by Hodges Ward Elliott, Paul Hastings, Clifford Chance, and Ross & Lawrence. Oaktree and Ascendant were advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins.
Blackstone-backed HealthEdge Software, a software services provider, completed the acquisition of The Burgess Group, a payment integrity software company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“After 23 years, I’ve discovered a partner in Steve and the HealthEdge team, who understand our passion in designing and delivering the industry’s first cloud-native payment integrity ecosystem. Working together we will accelerate our shared vision to challenge the inefficient status quo in claims administration. As one combined company, we can offer our existing complementary solutions while we collaborate to introduce another industry first: an end-to-end unified claims processing, payment integrity, and adjudication platform capable of delivering first pass payment accuracy to providers," Greg Burgess, The Burgess Group Founder and President.
The Burgess Group was advised by Seabrook Partners and Vedder Price. Blackstone and HealthEdge were advised by TripleTree and Debevoise & Plimpton.
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a minority stake in Cheney Brothers, a regional food distributor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We have great respect for the company that Byron and his family have built and the long-term value they have created for customers, suppliers, and employees. As a firm, we have been investing in market-leading food distribution businesses like Cheney Brothers for 25 years, and we look forward to working closely with the management team, sharing our expertise, and supporting the company’s continued success," Kenneth Giuriceo, CD&R Partner.
Cheney Brothers was advised by Morgan Stanley and Davis Polk & Wardwell. CD&R was advised by Debevoise & Plimpton.
Berkshire Partners, a private equity firm, and technology entrepreneur Eric Roza agreed to acquire CrossFit, a fitness services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to partner with Eric, his leadership team, and the entire CrossFit community. The women and men who are part of this vibrant and passionate community are deeply committed to this sport, and we recognize the transformative role it has played in so many people’s lives. We believe in Eric’s vision for the future of CrossFit and are excited to be a part of the team during this next chapter,” Marni Payne, Berkshire Partners Managing Director.
Brazilian power company submitted a $1.4bn offer to purchase a controlling stake in Sao Paulo-based AES Tiete Energia, contingent on any deal having the support of major AES Tiete shareholder BNDES Participacoes, Reuters reported.
The move marks the latest in Eneva’s effort to revive a deal that failed earlier this year, after AES Tiete’s board rejected its previous offer.
Eneva is offering AES Tiete’s shareholders 0.06 of its new common share per one common or preferred share of its target, implying a 10% premium. The new offer is almost $191m higher than its previous bid for AES Tiete, although a higher proportion of the previous offer was in cash.
Talkdesk, a cloud contact centre services provider, raised $143m in Series C funding round from a combination of new and existing investors. New investors participating in this latest round include Franklin Templeton, Willoughby Capital, Skip Capital, Lead Edge Capital and Top Tier Capital Partners, along with existing partners Viking Global Investors and Threshold Ventures.
The new funding will allow Talkdesk to capitalize on its current momentum and continue its global growth. The company plans to increase research and development spending and to invest in go-to-market, sales, marketing and channel development as Talkdesk continues to expand up-market.
“We are incredibly appreciative of the support and confidence of our investors, customers and partners who continue to endorse our vision of providing the industry’s most innovative and flexible solutions for the modern contact center. Lastly, I want to share my immense gratitude for the dedication and expertise of our employees who enable us to deliver for our customers, even during the most challenging times,” Tiago Paiva, Talkdesk CEO.
Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency, completed the acquisition of Ansonia Credit Data, a provider of business credit. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Equifax and Ansonia are aligned on the critical role data plays in powering the main street economy. Our integration into Equifax gives us the additional resources and capabilities we need to further scale and innovate for financing teams focused on the transportation and logistics industry. This is a fast-paced sector that relies on the real-time verified data we provide. This combination will help our customers to grow, better support their clients, and improve their ability to manage risk," Tony Kinninger, Ansonia Founder and President.
ChannelAdvisor, a provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions, completed the acquisition of BlueBoard, an e-commerce analytics company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"ChannelAdvisor is a recognized industry leader in the e-commerce space. By joining forces, we are able to add our deep experience to help launch ChannelAdvisor Brand Analytics, which is positioned to empower multi-channel brands to succeed online. Given ChannelAdvisor's global reach, extensive customer base and sizable salesforce, we see an opportunity to scale the business quickly," Kevin Cohen, BlueBoard Co-Founder and CEO.
Blackstone to acquire infrastructure assets from Alaska Permanent Fund for $1bn. (FS)
Blackstone has agreed to acquire a nearly $1bn infrastructure investment portfolio from Alaska Permanent Fund, FN London reported.
The Alaska fund initially sought to sell private equity assets as well, but the buyer wanted to adjust the price following the March market drop and those interests were pulled out of the deal. The terms of the infrastructure portion didn’t change. It is unclear who the prospective buyer for the private equity assets was.
"The $1bn deal came as Blackstone’s Strategic Partners raised a new $3.8bn infrastructure-focused secondaries fund as well as one targeting real estate. By the end of June, the unit had almost $40bn in assets under management," Jon Gray, Blackstone President and Chief Operating Officer.
SpaceX intends to raise funds at $44bn valuation. (FS)
Billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX is in talks to raise new capital at a valuation of about $44bn. The company is in discussions with investors to raise about $1bn at a price of $270 a share. At a roughly $44bn valuation, SpaceX would rank as one of the most valuable venture-backed companies in the US.
SpaceX's investors include Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, Google, Fidelity Institutional Asset Management, Baillie Gifford, NASA, and Valor Equity Partners.
Petrobras, Karoon agree on changes to terms of $665m sale of Bauna field stake.
Petróleo Brasileiro, a semi-public Brazilian multinational corporation in the petroleum industry, announced adjustments to a $665m contract governing the sale of its entire stake in the Bauna oil field to Karoon Energy, a global energy company, Reutersreported.
Under the new terms, Karoon is paying an initial $380m to Petrobras, including a $50m downpayment made on July 24 and $150m to be paid at the closing date of the deal, which depends on certain conditions being met. The remainder of the $380m will be paid in 18 monthly installments from the transaction's closing date.
A $2.45bn loan proposal for bankrupt LATAM Airlines by Oaktree Capital Management LP and the airline's shareholders has faced opposition from creditors, who say the debt package is too expensive.
The creditors said LATAM should have explored cheaper loans. They also questioned whether LATAM needed all of the $2.45bn in debt, noting that its advisors recommended $2.15bn in financing to continue its operations, Reuters reported.
Synaptics completed the acquisition of Broadcom’s wireless IoT business.
Synaptics, a computer hardware company, completed the acquisition of assets and manufacturing rights associated with the wireless IoT business of Broadcom, a semiconductor company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This transaction accelerates our broader strategy of shifting toward our IoT business and allows for the opportunity to redeploy our capital to drive top-line growth while increasing profitability with higher gross and operating margins. Acquiring this technology, coupled with the recently announced deal with DisplayLink, gives us greater depth in our product portfolio and positions us to offer more to our existing customer base," Michael Hurlston, Synaptics President and CEO.
Brooks Brothers gets rescue takeover bid.
The race to acquire Brooks Brothers Group, men's clothier in the United States, out of bankruptcy is on as brand manager WHP Global and a group of Italian companies prepare bids following Authentic Brands Group, a brand management company, and a commercial real estate company Simon Property Group's $305m offer.
Sparc Group, which is backed by Barneys New York owner Authentic and mall landlord Simon, agreed to make a $305m bid in a court-supervised auction for Brooks Brothers' global business operations, according to a Bloomberg report. A higher bid could still emerge before an August 5 deadline as other firms prepare competing offers.
Cogna sets price range for Vasta's US IPO.
Cogna Educacao, a private educational company, had set an estimated price range of $15.50-$17.50 for the US IPO of its subsidiary Vasta Platform, a Brazilian provider of K-12 school curriculum solutions. Vasta aims to issue 18.5m new shares in the IPO.
As part of listing requirements, Cogna said its subsidiary is expected to report a net revenue between $78m and $79m in the first half of 2020.
Dragoneer files for $600m US listing. (FS)
Dragoneer Investment Group, a growth equity firm known for investments in high-profile technology companies, is the latest investor to join the blank-check company rush, Bloomberg reported.
Dragoneer Growth Opportunities filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO that would raise $600m. The special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, plans to sell 60m units at $10 each. Dragoneer committed to investing an additional $150m when the blank-check company identifies a merger target.
Rush Street Interactive considers listing via dMY merger.
Rush Street Interactive, a gaming company that focuses on developing and operating real money and social gaming online products, is in talks to list through a merger with blank-check company dMY Technology Group, Bloomberg reported.
dMy is led by former EMC executive Harry You and former Glu Mobile CEO Niccolo de Masi. It's seeking to raise additional equity as part of the deal and has begun conversations with potential investors to raise more than $150m.
Dimed raises $203m in a share offer. (FS)
Dimed, a Brazil-based company principally engaged in the sale of drugs, and its existing shareholders raised $203m in a share offering, the company said in a securities filing in the early hours of Thursday.
Dimed, whose shareholders include a private equity fund managed by Kinea and pension fund Petros, raised capital will be used to invest in new stores, technology and logistics.
EU antitrust enforcers have temporarily halted an investigation into Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica’s $8.1bn bid for Dutch optician group GrandVision. The European Union competition regulator did not give details for the move, the third time it has halted proceedings. The previous deadline was August 27, Reuters reported.
The EU regulatory halt buys more time for EssilorLuxottica to come up with concessions to address competition concerns. The deadline for doing so was this week.
GrandVision is advised by ING Bank, Bredin Prat, and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. EssilorLuxottica is advised by BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, BonelliErede, Latham & Watkins, Stibbe, Sullivan & Cromwell, Brunswick Group, and Community Group. HAL Holding is advised by NautaDutilh. Debt financing to EssilorLuxottica is provided by Credit Agricole and HSBC. Legal advice to the debt providers is provided by Hogan Lovells.
An Amsterdam court has suspended until September 1 a planned merger of Italy’s top commercial broadcaster Mediaset and its Spanish unit under a Dutch holding entity, Reuters reported.
Vivendi, Mediaset’s second-largest shareholder, opposes the plan, fearing the changes would tighten the Berlusconi family’s grip over the group. It is fighting the plan in courts across Europe.
Mediaset Espana is advised by JP Morgan and Uria Menendez. JP Morgan is advised by Linklaters. Mediaset is advised by Banca IMI, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Mediobanca, Allen & Overy, Chiomenti, Pedersoli Studio Legale, and Brunswick Group. Financial advisors of Mediaset are advised by Shearman & Sterling.
Italy’s second-biggest bank Intesa Sanpaolo expects investor take-up to soar in the last few days of its takeover bid for rival UBI Banca, Reuters reported.
The bid ends on July 28 and requires acceptance of 50% plus one share, though Intesa is targeting 66.67% take-up to guarantee control of extraordinary shareholder resolutions and to be able to subsume UBI within Intesa. As of July 23, investors had tendered shares representing 26.4% of UBI’s capital.
UBI Banca is advised by Goldman Sachs, BonelliErede, and Linklaters. Intesa Sanpaolo is advised by Equita SIM, JP Morgan, Mediobanca, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Gatti Pavesi Bianchi, and Pedersoli Studio Legale.
Abenex Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Inlog Holdings France, a medical software solutions provider, from Haemonetics, a medical technology company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are enthusiastic about continuing what Haemonetics and the Inlog team have achieved over the last decade. We will rely on Inlog's team to better serve its clients by investing in innovation and in people. We are convinced that Inlog has strong assets to grow within the European market," Thomas Peretti, Abenex Director.
Tata Steel proposes the British government to take a $1.1bn stake in its UK operations.
Tata Steel, an Indian steel producer, is encouraging the British government to acquire a significant stake in its UK operations as part of a plan to preserve the long-term future of the vast Port Talbot steelworks in south Wales.
In return, the company's Indian parent would hand an equity stake of up to 50% to UK taxpayers - amounting to a semi-nationalisation of Britain's largest steelmaker as it battles the impact of the coronaviruspandemic.
The proposal, which is just one of the options the company is examining, would involve its parent company writing off an equivalent quantity of debt owed to it by the UK business, Sky News reported.
British Airways owner gets $955m boost from Amex deal.
British Airways owner International Airlines Group said American Express would pay it $955m to renew their partnership, providing a welcome boost to the airline’s finances at a time when it is burning through cash, Reuters reported.
IAG’s finances have been strained by the pandemic, leading to media speculation that it could need to raise new equity. It said at the end of April that it had $11.6bn of liquidity and it was burning through $232m a week. The $955m partnership deal could give it more breathing space.
MTN Uganda stake disposal to be restricted to East Africans.
MTN Uganda, the largest telecom company in Uganda, will restrict the sale of a 20% equity stake in the company to citizens of the East African Community trading bloc, Reuters reported.
The government is forcing all telecom operators, including MTN Uganda and the local unit of India's Bharti Airtel, to list a fifth of their shares on the Ugandan bourse to allow locals to benefit from the sector's profits.
"The shares are restricted to Ugandans, and also citizens from the East African Community," Ibrahim Bbosa, Uganda Communications Commission spokesman.
CureVac files for US IPO.
CureVac, a biopharmaceutical company which develops Covid-19 vaccine, had filed for an IPO in the United States.
Dietmar Hopp, a German software entrepreneur and billionaire, who holds more than 80% stake in CureVac, has agreed to acquire shares worth $116m at the IPO.
The company's filing comes days after the Qatar Investment Authority has bought a stake in the firm as part of a $126m financing round. GlaxoSmithKline, a British multinational pharmaceutical company, said it would take a 10% stake in the company.
Vodafone intends tower IPO for 2021.
Vodafone Group is seeing beyond the prospect of an extended hit to roaming charges from the virus and will list its mobile masts next year, as Chief Executive Officer Nick Read works to squeeze more out of company assets, Bloomberg reported.
The company considers IPO for the tower unit for early 2021 in Frankfurt, assuaging investors concerned that the pandemic would derail this plank in Read's strategy. Vodafone also said it was merging its towers in Greece with Wind Hellas Telecommunications SA.
Spain's Iberdrola received further acceptances from shareholders for its takeover of Australian wind and solar firm Infigen Energy, meeting a condition that would see the offer price increase by 3% to $634m, DealStreetAsia reported.
Infigen shareholders will now receive $0.65 per share from the Spanish utility firm hoping to finalise the deal after a month-long battle with Philippine conglomerate Ayala. Iberdrola currently holds 38.06% of Infigen following the 13.5% of acceptance received on July 23.
Infigen is advised by Goldman Sachs, Lazard, and Gilbert + Tobin.
Chinese investment holding company Yuzhou Group-backed RZ3262019, agreed to acquire the Chengdu residential and commercial development project from CK Asset, a real estate development company, for c. $1bn.
The company expects an unaudited gain of $490m from the disposal to a company. The directors believe that the terms of the disposal and the financing arrangements and the transactions contemplated thereunder are fair and reasonable and in the interests of the company and the shareholders as a whole.
KKR led an $800m round in Xingsheng Selected, an e-commerce platform, with participation from Sequoia Capital China, Tencent and Tianyi Venture Capital.
To date, Xingsheng Selected has completed five rounds of financing, with a total amount of more than one billion US dollars, attracting more than ten well-known investment institutions, including Sequoia Capital China, Capital Today, Tencent, KKR, Eastern Bell Venture Capital, GSR Ventures, and ZhenFund.
Flipkart Group, an Indian e-commerce group, completed the acquisition of Walmart India, the local cash & carry business of Walmart. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of Walmart India adds a strong talent pool with deep expertise in the wholesale business that will strengthen our position to address the needs of kiranas and SMEs uniquely. With this development, the Flipkart Group will further build upon the synergies across its businesses to drive greater value and choice for end-consumers and businesses alike,” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart CEO.
PipeChina to acquire pipelines valued at $55.9bn.
PipeChina, known formally as China Oil and Gas Pipeline Network, agrees to acquire pipelines and storage facilities from state-owned energy companies PetroChina and Sinopec for $55.9bn.
The creation of PipeChina is aimed at providing neutral access to the country's pipeline infrastructure in a bid to help small and non-state-owned companies and encourage investment in the sector, Reuters reported.
PipeChina is advised by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
Tencent-backed Beike files US IPO. (FS)
Tencent-backed KE Holdings, that's also known as Beike Zhaofang, an online real estate platform that offers brokerage and financial services for Chinese renters and homebuyers, filed for a US IPO that could raise about $2bn, Bloomberg reported.
Beike filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday and listed a placeholder amount of $1bn, an amount that's typically subject to change. At $2bn it would be the largest US IPO by a Chinese firm in more than two years.
Brookfield picks banks for $500m REIT IPO in India. (FS)
Brookfield Asset Management has picked banks for an IPO of its India real estate investment trust that could raise at least $500m, Bloomberg reported.
The Canadian asset manager has selected Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley to arrange the REIT offering. A listing on the Mumbai stock exchange could happen as soon as the end of this year.
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