Sprint received tens of millions of dollars in government subsidies for 885k low-income subscribers who were not using the service, the Federal Communications Commission said.
Sprint shares fell 3.3%, to $6.37, after the FCC said its Enforcement Bureau is investigating the subsidies and one Democratic commissioner called on the agency to pause its review of the $59bn tie-ups of Sprint and T-Mobile US over the issue.
The FCC said it is cracking down on abuse of the “Lifeline program” that gives low-income consumers a $9.25 monthly subsidy for phone or broadband services. The 885k subscribers represent nearly 30% of Sprint’s Lifeline subscriber base.
Sprint was advised by Centerview Partners, JP Morgan, Mizuho, SMBC, The Raine Group, Morrison & Foerster, Potter Anderson & Corroon, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. SoftBank, the largest shareholder of Sprint before the transaction, was advised by Morrison & Foerster on legal matters. Deutsche Telecom was advised by Deutsche Bank, Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, PJT Partners, Allen & Overy, Hogan Lovells, DLA Piper, Latham & Watkins, Richards Layton and Finger, and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Twin Point Capital, an investment firm, invests in Stealth Monitoring, which designs, installs, services, and live monitors security solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Stealth is one of the largest and fastest-growing providers of live video monitoring solutions in North America. The company is a leading and trusted provider of a high-quality and highly reliable suite of services, including video monitoring, access control, video analytics, and detection services that deter crime and provide real-time and valuable business data and analytics.
"We are very excited to work closely with the Stealth management team. We are confident that Stealth's robust technology platform and passion for serving the customer will drive continued growth and success. Stealth has a unique opportunity to help thousands of businesses, who are still using expensive and less effective physical guards or unmonitored cameras, to protect their assets better and enhance their business outcomes." Jonathan Friesel, Twin Point Managing Partner.
CIBC, Pacific Western Bank, Raymond James, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, Seyfarth Shaw, and Stikeman Elliott advised Stealth Monitoring. Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Cooley, and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin advised Twin Point Capital.
Vista Equity Partners, a leading investment firm focused on enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled businesses acquired AltaReturn, a leading provider of cloud-based, end-to-end technology solutions for the private capital and family office markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
As part of the acquisition, AltaReturn will be combined with current Vista portfolio company Black Mountain Systems, to form a new entity to be named Allvue Systems, headquartered in Miami with offices throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Combined, Allvue becomes the leader in alternative investment solutions and serves 50 of the top 100 CLO managers, with over $2.5tn of assets, 90k LPs, and $60bn of family office assets on its platform.
“AltaReturn and Black Mountain are two market leaders, led by strong management teams and with an excellent track record of customer service and innovation. With the creation of Allvue, Rey, Kevin, and the newly combined team will continue to make advancements and provide valuable technologies for their customers across the alternative investments industry.” Nadeem Syed, Vista Equity Partners Operating Principal.
Deutsche Bank and K&L Gates advised AltaReturn. Jefferies and Kirkland & Ellis advised Vista.
174 Power Global, the US-based solar project development arm of the Hanwha Group, has acquired OnForce Solar, a leading New York commercial solar development firm and community solar business, further advancing its presence in the retail energy and commercial and industrial project development markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Together, 174 Power Global and OnForce Solar will be able to provide more households with a community solar offering, giving consumers the option to purchase a “share” in a solar community project to adopt clean energy practices and reduce electricity costs.
“The Northeast market is key geography in our growth strategy, and this acquisition allows us to provide solutions in the underserved midscale commercial solar market while making community solar more available to home and business owners. OnForce Solar has been a pioneer in community solar, and we’re excited to join forces with this reputable and successful company, further expanding our national utility-scale solar development portfolio.” Henry Yun, 174 Power Global President.
Advance to acquire the entire stake of Allied Minds in HawkEye 360 for $66m.
HawkEye 360 was founded by Allied Minds in 2015 to use formation flying satellites to create a new class of radio frequency data and data analytics products.
"This is a major development. The sale provides an excellent return on invested capital, enables us to make a significant return of cash to shareholders, and strengthens our ability to continue to fund and support our existing technology portfolio. Our focus now is on realizing value from the rest of our portfolio through continued operational and financial support, as well as selective, well-timed exits to maximize returns to shareholders." Joe Pignato and Mike Turner, Allied Minds Co-CEOs.
Stone-Goff Partners (SGP) has invested in Walker Sands, a marketing agency focused on accelerating the growth of B2B brands. Financial terms were not disclosed.
From strategy to execution, Walker Sands offers tailored solutions to drive real business results for its B2B clients. Core capabilities include public relations, demand generation, branding, creative, marketing strategy, and web.
"Partnering with Stone-Goff will allow us to expand on the strong foundation we have built and continue to raise the bar for our clients and our employees. I am so proud of the agency we've built and excited for what's to come." Mike Santoro, Walker Sands President.
Walker Sands is advised by PALAZZO and Aronberg Goldgehn. Stone-Goff is advised by Fredrikson & Byron. TCF Capital Funding provided senior debt financing for the transaction.
Carroll Capital, a family office founded by Brian F. Carroll, acquired Easy Speech Pathology. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Easy Speech Pathology offers board-certified speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, applied behavior analysis therapy, and psychological services for both adults and children. Utilizing their comprehensive care approach, they provide an effective personalized intervention that improves the lives of the individuals and families they serve.
"The resulting partnership from this transaction provides the resources to continue the rapid expansion of Easy Speech to become a dominant regional player in the industry." Stephen Crisham, Generational Equity Executive Managing Director of M&A – Western Region.
Easy Speech Pathology is advised by Generational Equity.
CVC Capital Partners acquired DFE Pharma for NZ$633m ($400m) from Fonterra.
The cash from this sale, along with proceeds from our other asset sales across the year - which includes the significant contribution from Tip Top – will give us over $1bn available for debt reduction. The $633m deal to CVC Strategic Opportunities II is made up of a cash payment of $537m, payable on completion of the transaction, plus an interest-accruing vendor loan of $96m, for a term of up to 15 years. Built into the deal is a potential additional payment of up to $44m based on DFE’s performance over two years.
“We set ourselves a tough initial target for debt reduction, and we are pleased with the progress we are making. It’s an important milestone in our Co-op’s plan to lift our business performance. A year ago, we started a full portfolio review to re-evaluate every investment, major asset, and partnership, to make sure they were still right for the Co-op." Miles Hurrell, Fonterra CEO.
Facebook has acquired CTRL-labs, a New York startup that specializes in allowing humans to control computers using their brains. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The startup will join Facebook Reality Labs, a division of the social media company that is working to develop augmented-reality smart glasses. The size of the deal was between $500m and $1bn.
“Technology like this has the potential to open up new creative possibilities and reimagine 19th-century inventions in a 21st-century world. This is how our interactions in VR and AR can one day look. It can change the way we connect.” Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Facebook Vice President of AR/VR.
Nesco Holdings, a leading provider of specialty rental equipment to the electric utility, telecom, and rail end-markets, has acquired Minnesota-based Truck Utilities, specialty rentals, service, and truck up fitting company serving the electronic transmission, distribution, telecom, and other regional end-markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Truck Utilities has been family owned and operated for over 50 years. The company provides specialized fleet and equipment, service, upfit, parts, tools and accessories to the Upper Midwest region from its three facilities located in St. Paul, Fargo and Kansas City. Truck Utilities' current fleet includes 132 specialty units with an average age of 2.3 years and original equipment cost of $44m.
"We have known and interacted with Truck Utilities and its President, Craig Capeder, for over a decade. Nesco and Truck Utilities share a common commitment to providing customers best-in-class specialty equipment, responsiveness, and world-class service in the markets we serve. This transaction will provide our combined customer base with access to a young, growing fleet of specialty equipment, parts, and accessories, in addition to enhanced upfit capabilities and an expanded services radius." Lee Jacobson, Nesco CEO.
Blue Sail Medical has acquired all shares of New Valve Technology (NVT). The shareholders of NVT accepted the offer. The deal was publicly announced on the Chinese Stock Exchange the same day and will leverage the capabilities and experience in interventional cardiology of its subsidiary, Biosensors International Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
NVT is a technology-driven company dedicated to Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), with strong R&D pipeline and manufacturing capabilities based in Germany.
"Biosensors is strategically positioned to accelerate the adoption of our products through its highly complementary and global direct sales force focused on interventional cardiology. This will help NVT to gain share in the TAVI market. We believe Biosensors will drive the growth of our existing business, expand into new geographies such as China, a market with enormous growth potential, and also help accelerate our R&D initiatives." Mr. Urs Christen, NVT President and CEO.
Global business advisory firm EisnerAmper joined forces with public accounting firm Imowitz Koenig & Co, and real estate fund advisory firm Real Estate Systems Implementation Group (RESIG), have joined EisnerAmper. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 1979 and based in New York City, IK/RESIG have 14 partners and a staff of 125. IK provides audit, tax, and advisory services to leading companies in the real estate industry. RESIG is a leading provider of fund administration, structuring, and advisory services to real estate funds and management companies.
"Imowitz Koenig and RESIG, like EisnerAmper, have a long and celebrated tradition of being leading-edge, client-centric firms - which makes this union such a great fit. We are thrilled to welcome their team into the EisnerAmper family." Charly Weinstein, EisnerAmper CEO.
SGS has acquired a majority stake in ARGUS International. Financial terms were not disclosed.
ARGUS is a provider of data-driven inspection, audit, safety, and compliance solutions to the global aviation market.
“ARGUS is a globally recognized brand name in the airline, business aviation, fixed-wing, and rotary engine markets. Its broad client base and international activities will help SGS grow and keep pace with the increasing global demand for air traffic and safety.” Frankie Ng, SGS CEO.
Enhanced Healthcare Partners reported ceasing of New Fund. (FS)
Enhanced Healthcare Partners, who invest in middle-market healthcare businesses, reported today the closing of Enhanced Healthcare Partners raising $300m of committed capital with access to $600m in total equity to fund.
The Fund will invest in founder and entrepreneur-led lower middle-market healthcare businesses in North America, targeting platforms between $50 and $250m in enterprise value in the physician services, pharma services, payor services, and healthcare technology sectors.
"In sectors from medical transportation to dermatology, pharmacy to technology, EHP has proven to be a strategic partner to entrepreneurs and founders seeking to drive strategic outcomes and emerge as industry leaders." Samarth Chandra, Partner, EHP.
Hot Telecommunication Systems in merger talks with Partner Communications.
The announcement that Partner Communications controlling shareholder Haim Saban is relinquishing his shares in the telecom company is creating a new situation in the merger talks between HOT Telecommunication Systems and Partner. These talks follow the failure of Hot's merger talks with Cellcom Israel in the first half of the year in several meetings with IDB Development executives in London. Dexter Goei, a financial expert and the number two man in Hot controlling shareholder Altice after Patrick Drahi, handled the unsuccessful talks with IDB for Hot.
Rumors have been circulating about a deal between Hot and Cellcom, probably to exert pressure on Partner to agree to a merger with Hot. The trouble is aimed at Hutchison and Haim Saban.
Fluor considers divesting government and equipment units following strategic evaluation. (FS)
Fluor said it would sell its government and equipment businesses following a strategic review that began in the second quarter.
The engineering and construction company is planning to divest its construction equipment rental company AMECO and its government business, to raise over $1bn.
Fluor said it expects the actions announced to help drive cost reduction of $100m.
Nasdaq to unite with PJT Partners for private equity secondary venture. (FS)
Investment bank PJT Partners and stock exchange operator Nasdaq reported that
they had agreed on a partnership to provide data and technology to the opaque market of selling interests in private equity funds.
The funds available to invest in the secondary market has lowered since the end of 2018 to $69bn from $77bn.
"This partnership is an exciting next step for Nasdaq in our focus on delivering next-generation technology to the world's capital markets" Adena Friedman, Nasdaq, President, and Chief Executive.
Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing's (HKEX) bid to take over the London Stock Exchange is about "thinking big" and not about cost savings, Charles Li, HKEX's Chief Executive said.
"Now is the time to think big, when the world is polarizing to the east and west, it is time to become global. Together we can unlock the last frontier." Li told.
Barclays, RBC Capital Markets, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Robey Warshaw, and Teneo are advising LSEG. UBS, HSBC, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Slaughter & May, Moelis & Co, and Headland Consultancy are advising HKEX.
Enovation and Main Capital made a strategic acquisition of patient referral, patient file transfer, and healthcare communication solutions vendor POINT. Financial terms were not disclosed.
POINT is the leading player in the Dutch patient referral and patient file transfer market from hospitals and General Practitioners to long-term care facilities and vice versa. POINT positioned itself as the specialist on patient file transfer streams within and outside established care regions.
“For us, this is the next step in our communication portfolio. Our portfolios are highly complementary, as we can offer our clients an even better integration in the referral process. This means that we can offer healthcare providers an even more efficient solution for referrals. With our current international offices, we can help POINT in achieving their international business.” Jeroen van Rijswijk, Enovation CEO.
Xenon Partners, a software-focused technology private equity firm, has completed the acquisition of Metricfire, a leading provider in time series data monitoring. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Metricfire boasts two products that help developers and IT administrators monitor vast quantities of performance metrics.
“The Metricfire team has been working in the developer and IT administrator market for over eight years now. We were impressed with the company’s organic growth to date and believe it is well-positioned moving forward. This is a great opportunity for us to bring in our expertise and partner with the existing team to enable Metricfire to continue on its growth path,” Jonathan Siegel, Xenon Partners Partner.
The sale of the Walloon telecom player VOO to the American Providence is not yet given the green light.
A majority on the board of directors of the Liège inter-municipal company Enodia (parent company of Nethys) does not intend to give the green light at this stage for the sale of telecom operator VOO to the American investor Providence.
Another stumbling block is that Enodia takes over the shares held by the inter-municipal company Brutélé in Voo. Brutélé has temporarily suspended negotiations with Enodia.
Saudi Aramco IPO unlikely to completes this year after oil attacks.
Saudi Arabia is unlikely to make an IPO of its state-owned oil giant Aramco this year after attacks this month on its facilities, Reuters reported.
The deal, which was delayed last year, had been slated to take place as early as November. The plan was to offer a 1% stake in the Saudi bourse, the first step of the planned 5% sale that could potentially raise $100bn.
After attacks on its oil infrastructure, Saudi Arabia is moving forward with the much-anticipated initial public offering of its state-owned oil company and considering a proposal to offer investors a much more significant stake in the company than previously planned, WSJ reported.
Private equity pays off for the world’s wealthiest families. (FS)
Private equity was the top performer for wealthy families’ investment offices over the last year, during a time when most asset classes fell below expectations.
Family offices that made direct investments achieved an average return of 16% over 12 months to Q1 and Q1 in 2019, according to the latest Global Family Office Report, released by UBS and Campden Wealth Research. Those that invested in funds returned 11% on average over the same period.
BioNtech expects to raise nearly $304m in US IPO.
BioNtech, a European biotech firm, considered to raise to $304m in an IPO in the United States, BioNtech reported.
The company planes its offering of about 15.2m American depositary shares, including underwriters' option, to be priced between $18 and $20. At the top end of the price range, the company could be valued at $4.59bn, nearly double its valuation in January last year, when it had raised $270m.
It expects to use proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes and may also use it to acquire or invest in complementary technologies and products.
EQT prices IPO near the top of the range. (FS)
Shares in Swedish buyout firm EQT rose 25% on their market debut in Stockholm on Tuesday, adding nearly €1.5bn ($1.6bn) to the company’s market value within minutes and reviving sentiment toward Europe’s battered IPO market, Reuters reported.
EQT priced the much-anticipated initial public offering at SEK 67 ($6.89) per share, toward the top end of price guidance, after receiving enough orders to cover the SEK 12.8 bn ($1.32bn) deal ten times over.
EQT is the fifth largest listing ever across Nasdaq’s European markets and the first private equity firm to ever enter the public market in Sweden.
Czech PPF to be the last remaining bidder for broadcaster CME. (FS)
Investment group PPF, owned by the Czech Republic’s richest man Petr Kellner, is the last remaining bidder to buy broadcaster Central European Media Enterprises (CME) from AT&T, Reuters reported.
AT&T holds 64% of CME’s common stock but effectively controls 75% of the company when preference shares are factored in. It inherited CME after its merger with Time Warner. AT&T was seeking around 47bn crowns ($2bn) for the company.
Thomas Cook profitable Nordic business is looking for a buyer.
Thomas Cook’s Nordic business said it would continue to operate as it is a separate legal entity from its London-listed parent, which collapsed, and it was looking for new owners.
“Since we are an independent and profitable part of the business, we are already able to continue our operations with support from our banks, lenders, and guarantors,” Magnus Wikner, managing director of Thomas Cook’s Nordic business, said.
Hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers were stranded by the collapse of the world’s oldest travel firm, sparking the most significant peacetime repatriation effort in British history.
Woodford considers selling IP Group stake in the bookbuild. (FS)
Embattled fund manager Neil Woodford is set to sell his entire stake in British intellectual property company IP Group in an accelerated bookbuild, the bookrunner said.
Woodford’s flagship equity income fund was suspended in June after a rash of redemptions to give him time to sell less liquid assets and position to pay back any investors who seek to leave when it reopens, expected in December.
Currently the second-biggest investor in IP Group with a 13.4% stake, Refinitiv data showed, Woodford plans to sell the 142m shares to institutional investors, bookrunner Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.
Eurazeo sets up the Seoul office. (FS)
French-listed private equity firm Eurazeo has expanded into South Korea by opening a new office. The business has set up a branch in Seoul to be run by Solomon Moos, who has been in charge of corporate development in Asia at Eurazeo subsidiary Idinvest since 2016.
The company is already active in the South Korean market through Idinvest, and the move to open an office will speed up its expansion in Asian markets and help provide its portfolio companies access to the region.
Leonardo seeks partnerships in cybersecurity expansion.
Leonardo, an Italian defense group, is seeking partnerships with hi-tech companies in the cybersecurity sector, Reuters reported.
"We are looking at small companies that have interesting technologies," Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo's CEO said, adding that it could look at equity investments as well as cooperation agreements.
Polish government states interest in increasing a stake in mBank "on business grounds".
Poland's Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said that any decision to buy mBank, Commerzbank's Polish unit, should be taken on business grounds, commenting on speculation of potential state-run bank interest in the lender, Reuters reported.
"Generally speaking I'm in favor of increasing Polish ownership," Morawiecki said.
Online cruise portals Dreamlines and e-hoi are seeking for investors. (FS)
German online cruise portals Dreamlines and e-hoi are considering to raise money to fund their rapid expansion, capitalizing on the growing demand for luxury holidays, Reuters reported.
Dreamlines, which is backed by Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Target Global, Dimaventures, Hasso Plattner Ventures, and TruVenturo is working with GCA Altium on the deal, which could value it at more than €200m ($220m).
Alibaba Group has received a newly-issued 33% equity interest in Ant Financial, the world's most valuable unicorn company, following the satisfaction of the closing conditions outlined in the 2014 transaction agreements and the relevant amendments to those agreements. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Upon closing of the issuance, the profit-sharing arrangement under which Ant Financial previously paid fees amounting to 37.5% of its pre-tax profits to Alibaba Group was terminated.
Körber acquires a majority stake in Cohesio Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Australian-based company is a leading integrator of voice-directed and autonomous mobile robotics (AMR) solutions for logistics.
“With Cohesio, we are underpinning our claim to ‘market leadership through technology leadership’ in the future-oriented fields of voice and robot technology. We are also expanding our presence in the particularly fast-growing markets of the APAC region, where we are able to inspire and support our customers with the best products and solutions for the supply chain,” Stephan Seifert, Körber Chairman of the Group Executive Board.
AB InBev Asia unit raises $5bn in revived Hong Kong IPO under the shadow of protests.
Brewer AB InBev priced the Hong Kong IPO of its Asia-Pacific unit at the bottom of a marketed range to raise about $5bn, indicating deals in the pipeline may need deadened valuations to succeed as protests in the city unnerve investors, Reuters reported.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, relaunched the IPO this month after canceling a plan for a more significant IPO of the unit in July.
AB InBev's revived IPO excludes its Australian operations, which it agreed to sell to Japan's Asahi Group for $11bn shortly after the previous IPO was shelved.
India's RCom CEO steps down to focus on the US unit's bankruptcy process.
Indian telecom company Reliance Communications (RCom) Chief Executive Officer Bill Barney will step down but remain as head of its US unit, Global Cloud Xchange, as it goes through bankruptcy proceedings, GCX said.
GCX, an under-sea cable supplier, expects to complete the liquidation process by the end of the fourth quarter.
“With GCX’s recent voluntary Chapter 11 filing, it will be in the best interest of both RCOM and GCX for me to step down at this time to focus on GCX restructuring,” Barney said in a filing.
Aviva's Asian units attract interest from global suitors.
German insurer Allianz, Nippon Life and MS&AD Insurance are riving with competitors to acquire the Singapore and Vietnam businesses of Britain's Aviva. The combined deal value to the companies is estimated to be between $2bn and $2.5bn, Reuters reported.
Asia's fast-growing economies and its relatively low number of insured people make the region an attractive market for global insurers - the regional market, worth $1.7tn in premiums, is expected to account for 42% of comprehensive premiums by 2029 from about a third currently, a Swiss Re Institute report showed.
FWD considers $400m insurance deal with Vietcombank. (FS)
Billionaire Richard Li’s FWD Group is nearing an agreement to pay about $400m for a unit of Vietnam’s biggest lender and a long-term insurance distribution agreement with the bank, Bloomberg reported.
The Hong Kong-based insurer outbid competitors, including Prudential. As part of the deal, FWD will buy a business called Vietcombank Cardif Life Insurance, which is owned by Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam JSC, known as Vietcombank, and BNP Paribas life insurance unit Cardif.
Topsports to launch $1.2bn Hong Kong IPO. (FS)
Topsports International Holdings, the sportswear business of Chinese footwear retailer Belle International, launched a Hong Kong IPO of up to $1.2bn, Reuters reported.
The Chinese distributor and retail partner of foreign brands Nike and Adidas are selling about 930m shares with an indicative price band of HK$8.30 ($1.06) to HK$10.10 ($1.29) per share, the term sheet showed.
Tiger Global, General Atlantic eye $130m round in NoBroker. (FS)
Private equity investors Tiger Global and General Atlantic are set to lead a $100-130m funding round in real estate platform NoBroker, more than doubling its valuation in three months to $400m. In June, General Atlantic led a $51m investment round in the Bengaluru-based startup.
The round includes a small secondary share sale component by existing investors. The company is also looking to build products that generate customer recall beyond a one-time touchpoint of rental and sale, including paying monthly rent, which makes it an attractive consumer brand, Economic Times reported.
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