EU antitrust regulators resumed their investigation into Boeing's bid to buy the jet making arm of Embraer, with a decision due by August 7, Reuters reported. Embraer said that it was in talks with Boeing to extend the date to close its deal from the current April 24 deadline. Embraer said there is no assurance of the closure of the deal with Boeing or dates that it could be closed on.
The EU executive halted its probe on February 24 while waiting for the companies to provide information it had requested. The so-called stop the clock ended on April 7.
Embraer Commercial Aviation is advised by Pinheiro Neto. Boeing is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Embraer is advised by Citigroup, Barbosa Mussnich & Aragao, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Debt providers are advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority started an initial probe into the $5.4bn acquisition of Wright Medical Group, a global medical device company focused on extremities and biologics, by Stryker, a Fortune 500 medical technologies firm. The CMA is inviting comments from interested parties ahead of a formal investigation.
The CMA is looking to see if the deal will lead to a substantial lessening of competition within any UK market for goods or services. It set a May 5 deadline for interested parties to comment.
Wright Medical Group is advised by JP Morgan, Guggenheim Partners, Ropes & Gray and Stibbe. Stryker is advised by Houthoff and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Guggenheim Partners is advised by Latham & Watkins.
Roark Capital, an American private equity firm, completed the investment in The Cheesecake Factory, an American restaurant company and distributor of cheesecakes, in a $200m deal.
"This transaction not only meaningfully enhances our liquidity position to navigate the near-term Covid-19 landscape and get our affected staff members back to work as soon as practicable, but also importantly, solidifies our ability to manage the business for the long-term for all of our stakeholders once we emerge on the other side of this crisis. Moreover, Roark's investment underscores the strength of our brands, market positioning and long-term growth prospects," David Overton, The Cheesecake Factory Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
The Cheesecake Factory was advised by Wells Fargo Securities, JP Morgan, Latham & Watkins and Berk Communications. Roark Capital was advised by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
KKR agreed to acquire a minority stake in US Foods, an American food company and a foodservice distributor, for $500m. On an as-converted basis, the preferred stock will represent approximately 9.6% of pro forma common shares outstanding.
"We are pleased to see KKR return as a shareholder of US Foods as we seek to further fortify our balance sheet during the current difficult environment. KKR will be a valuable partner for us as we continue to focus on our associates, customers, communities and shareholders as the impacts of Covid-19 unfold. This transaction positions us to continue to build on our strengths as the environment improves over time," Pietro Satriano, US Foods Chairman and CEO.
US Foods is advised by Centerview Partners, Evercore and Cravath, Swaine & Moore. KKR is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Blue Sea-backed SignatureMD, a provider of support services to concierge medicine physicians, completed the merger with Paragon Private Health, a provider of concierge-type medical practice solutions helping physicians successfully launch customized, concierge programs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Combining our two companies isn't about getting bigger, it's about getting better and stronger together to expand our community of exceptional physicians, to serve more people looking for a closer relationship with their doctor for better health and peace of mind, and to innovate in areas like telehealth and remote monitoring to meet the emerging needs of our affiliated physicians and members. This merger comes at an exciting time as more and more doctors are choosing SignatureMD's flexible care model that puts them back in control without having to decide between practicing medicine on their terms and saying goodbye to thousands of their patients," Matthew Jacobson, SignatureMD Founder and CEO.
SignatureMD was advised by CapM Advisors and McDermott Will & Emery. Paragon was advised by Intrepid Investment Bankers and Sherrard German & Kelly.
Bain Capital Credit, an American private investment firm, completed its $50m investment in Merchants Fleet, a fleet management company.
“The fourth industrial revolution is pushing forward, being driven by societal and consumer shifts, and the fleet industry will see both evolutionary and revolutionary change. Over the past couple of years, Merchants Fleet has been embracing this change, and bringing to market comprehensive, innovative, flexible and specialized offerings that have impacted our clients tremendously and resulted in significant growth for our company. Bain Capital Credit has a long track record of providing flexible and scalable solutions for financing growth strategies, and we look forward to partnering with them as we continue to lead the disruptive change facing commercial fleets across North America,” Brendan P. Keegan, Merchants Fleet CEO.
Merchants Fleet was advised by Houlihan Lokey. Bain Capital Credit was advised by Stanton PRM.
Advent International-backed Ansira Partners, an independent global marketing services and solutions company, completed the acquisition of the digital marketing business of CDK Global, an automotive retail technology company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The completion of the acquisition of Sincro further amplifies the breadth and depth of Ansira's local marketing solutions, which is especially important today given the unprecedented change happening at the local level. We look forward to a bright future for Sincro as they continue on their accelerated path of product development and services innovation as an Ansira company, sharing our passion for digital marketing technology solutions and services," Jay Dettling, Ansira CEO.
Eneva, a Brazilian power generation company, withdrew its offer to acquire AES Tiete, a power generation company, in $1.5bn deal.
Eneva said it was pulling out of the deal after AES Tiete said it would not extend voting rights to preferred shares, according to Eneva breaking rules of the stock exchange segment in which AES Tiete is listed, Reuters reported.
Palo Alto Networks, a global cybersecurity provider, completed the acquisition of CloudGenix, a cloud-delivered SD-WAN provider, from Bain Capital, a private equity firm, for $420m.
"We are excited to welcome CloudGenix to Palo Alto Networks. CloudGenix has shown tremendous vision for how enterprises need to shift their security posture in today's cloud-scale, distributed environments. The integration of our platforms into a best-in-class SASE offering will benefit not only our combined customer base, but the industry at large as it continues to undergo network and security transformation," Nikesh Arora, Palo Alto Networks Chairman and CEO.
Hilltop Private Capital-backed American Track, a railroad design, construction and maintenance company, completed the acquisition of Track Inspection, Maintenance and Repair Group of Savage Transportation Management, a provider of trucking services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The Savage Track Inspection, Maintenance and Repair team has a strong reputation of quality service working for some premier customers in the US transportation, refining and manufacturing sectors. We are proud to add this group to our team at American Track and look forward to carrying on and expanding that legacy within our organization," Thomas Lucario, American Track President and CEO.
TWFG Insurance Services, a full service, national retail insurance agency, completed the acquisition of the personal and commercial insurance business of Panoptic Insurance, a national independent insurance agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is an exciting opportunity for us. This acquisition increases the value we can deliver to our agency partners, strengthens our well-defined business model, and adds thousands of customers to the TWFG family," Gordy Bunch, TWFG Founder and President.
Expedia nears the sale of the stake to Silver Lake and Apollo. (FS)
Online travel services company Expedia Group is in advanced talks to sell a stake to private equity firms Silver Lake Partners and Apollo Global Management for about $1bn, Wall Street Journal reported.
Expedia’s shares rose more than 6% in extended trading. The company’s shares have fallen about 47% so far this year as global travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic ground the travel and tourism industry to a virtual halt.
Virgin Galactic Chairman defies IPO calm with $720m blank-check deal.
Virgin Galactic Holdings Chairman Chamath Palihapitiya raised $720m for a new blank-check company, 20% more than its original target, after the coronavirus crisis upended plans last month.
The IPO represents a rare example of a stock market debut braving the volatility fueled by the economic fallout of the pandemic. Only two IPOs have priced so far in April, compared to 14 a year ago. Both were biotechnology firms, a sector with a more specialized investor base.
Epic Games is fundraising at above $15bn value. (FS)
Epic Games, the Fortnite videogame maker and owner of the Houseparty app that has exploded in popularity during the pandemic, held talks to raise a new round of funding valuing it above its last valuation of $15bn, Bloomberg reported. The company hired a financial adviser to handle the fundraising. It discussed raising between $500m to $1bn.
A group including KKR, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Iconiq Capital and e-sports startup AXiomatic Gaming bought $1.25bn of Epic Games’ shares in 2018. The company, founded by billionaire Tim Sweeney in his parents’ basement in 1991, was valued in the investment at $15bn.
PSA Group laid the groundwork for a possible revision of the terms of its combination with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Bloomberg reported. As PSA Chief Financial Officer Philippe de Rovira detailed the severity of the damage inflicted by the coronavirus crisis on the Peugeot maker and the broader European car industry, he said there's been no final decision on the $1.2bn payout to the shareholders.
"The planned move remains an open question and any change would have to be agreed by both PSA and Fiat as specified in the merger deal," Philippe de Rovira, PSA Chief Financial Officer.
FCA is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, d'Angelin & Co, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Legance, Loyens & Loeff, Sullivan & Cromwell, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Macfarlanes, Community Group, Image Sept, and Sard Verbinnen & Co. BPIFrance is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Peugeot family is advised by Zaoui & Co. PSA Group is advised by Mediobanca, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, Bredin Prat, Cabinet Bompoint, Linklaters, Stibbe. Exor is advised by Lazard.
The CMA cleared the $2.6bn acquisition of Telecoms division of Arqiva Group, a UK communications infrastructure company, by Cellnex, a operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures.
Following an investigation, the CMA found the deal does not raise competition concerns in the supply of large telecommunication infrastructure like mobile towers and pylons. It also concluded the combined business will continue to face competition from several other independent providers, including WIG and Freshwave Group.
Arqiva is advised by Lazard, Linklaters and FTI Consulting. Cellnex is advised by AZ Capital, HSBC and Clifford Chance.
Qatari sports broadcaster beIN demanded the English Premier League blocks the Saudi Arabia-backed takeover of Newcastle United because of the kingdom's alleged involvement in television piracy, as the political tensions in the Gulf spill into football, FT reported.
beIN has written to the league and its member clubs calling for them to further investigate the Newcastle deal. It claims that the Saudi state is behind a pirate Arabic-language television network called beoutQ, which has been streaming content including English football matches, for which beIN has spent billions of dollars acquiring exclusive rights.
"Not only has the potential acquirer of Newcastle United caused huge damage to your clubs and the Premier League's commercial revenues; but the legacy of the illegal service will continue to impact you going forward," Yousef Al-Obaidly, beIN Media Group CEO.
Private equity firm Stirling Square Capital Partners completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Assistansbolaget Forsakring Sverige, an automobile insurance brokerage firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We have been approached by many different players, but have worked hard to find the right partner to ensure the continued journey of the Assistance Company. We have sought a partner who shares our approach to development and digitalization and who can contribute both competence and capital for the next phase in the company's history. All this we found in Stirling Square," Lukas Fryklund, Assistansbolaget CEO.
Kartesia, a European private credit firm, completed the acquisition of International Cookware, which designs, manufactures and distributes cookware equipment, from Aurora Resurgence, a private equity firm, for $65m.
"The International Cookware Group is one of the most iconic French manufacturing companies. Having developed real technical expertise in developing high-quality products and a history of new product development has allowed the group to continuously increase its market share. We are delighted to accompany the group in this new development phase, alongside a highly competent and experienced management team which would become a key shareholder of the group through the transaction. More specifically, working together to in this transaction will enable the group to face the highly unusual current health and economic environment with greater security," Damien Scaillierez, Kartesia Managing Partner.
Abu Dhabi sheikh invests $1bn in LuLu. (FS)
An investment firm backed by a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family agreed to buy a stake worth just over $1bn in LuLu Group International, which runs one of the Middle East’s largest hypermarket chains, Bloomberg reported.
The company led by Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan acquired an almost 20% holding in the Abu Dhabi-based supermarket group founded by Indian entrepreneur Yusuff Ali. It was not immediately clear which company Sheikh Tahnoon is using for the investment or if he was buying the stake in his personal capacity.
Facebook agreed to acquire a 9.9% stake in Jio Platforms, the tech subsidiary of multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries, for $5.7bn.
"This investment underscores our commitment to India and our excitement for the dramatic transformation that Jio has spurred in the country. In less than four years, Jio has brought more than 388m people online, fueling the creation of innovative new enterprises and connecting people in new ways. We are committed to connecting more people in India together with Jio," David Fischer, Facebook Chief Revenue Officer and Ajit Mohan, Facebook India VP and Managing Director.
Facebook is advised by Hogan Lovells and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas. RIL is advised by Morgan Stanley, AZB & Partners, and Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Equinix, the global interconnection and data center company, and GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, agreed to form a $1bn joint venture to develop and operate xScaleTM data centers in Japan. GIC will own an 80% equity interest in the joint venture and Equinix will own the remaining 20% equity interest. The joint venture is expected to close in H2 2020, pending regulatory approval and other closing conditions.
"Hybrid and multicloud have emerged as the clear IT architecture of choice, and Equinix is continuing its efforts to satisfy both the interconnection and core workload needs of the top hyperscale and cloud companies powering this infrastructure. Following our successful partnership with GIC on the initial xScale data center joint venture in Europe announced last year, we are now continuing our partnership with the formation of a new joint venture in Japan. The new facilities under this JV will allow our hyperscale customers to streamline their continued growth, while strengthening Equinix's leadership position in the cloud ecosystem," Charles Meyers, Equinix President and CEO.
Equinix is advised by Citigroup, Baker McKenzie and Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu. GIC is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
SoftBank-backed SoFi, a financial technology company, completed the acquisition of 8 Securities, a robo-advisor and free stock trading company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Leveraging the learnings from the SoFi Invest platform in the US, SoFi can meet the needs of both experienced and novice investors alike in Hong Kong, all in support of our overall efforts to make headway on our mission to help people get their money right. Because when it comes to achieving financial independence, investing is not optional - it is imperative," Anthony Noto, SoFi CEO.
ValueAct disclosed a $1.1bn stake in Nintendo. (FS)
Activist investor ValueAct Capital Partners built a stake of over $1.1bn in Nintendo, a bet that digital software distribution and the development of new entertainment products will fuel growth at the Japanese gaming company, Reuters reported.
ValueAct, which first began buying the stock in April 2019, grew the position in Nintendo during the stock market sell-off in February and March.
SoftBank, Legend invested $150m in Qingju. (FS)
SoftBank and Legend Capital are rumoured to have invested $150m in Qingju, Didi Chuxing’s bike-sharing unit, marking the first time the unit raised funding from outside investors.
Didi raised $1bn for the bike-sharing unit. But $850m of that came from Didi itself, which was continuing its previous investment in the unit. Didi first expanded into the bike-sharing market when it acquired Bluegogo, a bankrupt bike-sharing startup, two years ago.
Federal Bank to buy a 4% stake in JV from IDBI Bank.
The board of directors of Federal Bank gave in-principle nod to acquire an additional stake of up to 4% in the equity capital of IDBI Federal Life Insurance from the IDBI Bank. Federal Bank currently holds a 26% stake in the insurance company.
The proposed stake purchase is subject to price finalization and all relevant regulatory approvals from the Reserve Bank of India and the insurance sector regulator, Federal Bank said in a regulatory filing, adding that the transaction may take up to six months for completion.
India joins China and Australia to loosen rules for raising capital.
India joined China and Australia in loosening rules around capital raising to help companies tap funds amid the economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported.
The market regulator unveiled rules to fast-track rights issues. China and Australia have already made regulatory changes to favor capital-raising, leading to a surge in issuance in both countries. Indian firms are likely to need the cash.
The coronavirus pandemic is set to deal a blow to an economy that was expanding at the slowest pace in a decade even before the outbreak. The International Monetary Fund has slashed its growth projection for India to 1.9% for the financial year 2021 from 5.8% estimated in January. Even that looks optimistic compared with what private economists are forecasting, with some having penciled in the first contraction since 1980.
SolGold reinforces defences against takeover.
Copper group SolGold strengthened its defences against a takeover, appointing Citigroup for advice and fundraising as big rivals eye acquisitions amid the global economic downturn caused by coronavirus.
The London-listed explorer is a prime target due to the potential of its undeveloped copper and gold project in northern Ecuador, FT reported.
Last month SolGold said it was in talks to secure the $2.85bn it needs to develop the Alpala project in Ecuador, including an immediate $150m for a definitive feasibility study of the project. The company says the mine will start production in 2025.
Logos hits first close of fourth China logistics venture at $800m. (FS)
Australian logistics developer Logos Group reached the first close of its fourth China logistics venture at $800m, with support from existing investors Ivanhoe Cambridge, Dutch property fund manager Bouwinvest, and a GCC-based investor.
The venture’s investment strategy is to develop a diversified portfolio of facilities targeted at third-party logistics and industrial tenants who service the growing domestic consumption and e-commerce markets. The venture will have over $800m in investment capacity from this first closing with the investment program to commence when China’s market conditions stabilise following Covid-19.
Northstar makes first close of Indonesia-focused fifth fund. (FS)
Southeast Asian private equity firm Northstar Group made the first close of its fifth fund – Northstar Equity Partners V – after raising about a third of its $800m target.
Northstar V received strong backing from a diverse group of investors, including sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, institutional investors, family offices, and high net worth individuals. With the first close of the fifth fund, the Northstar Group now manages over $2bn in assets.
Ningbo Jintian lists at premium on Shanghai board.
Sinowisdom-backed copper manufacturer Ningbo Jintian Copper listed at a premium on the board of Shanghai Stock Exchange after raising $223m in its IPO. Its initial listing shares account for 16.61% of total outstanding shares. The company’s initial price-to-earning ratio stands at 22.97.
Caitong Securities acted as the lead underwriter and sponsor for the IPO.
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