The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing Roche’s $4.8bn bid to acquire Spark Therapeutics, a US-based gene therapy specialist. FTC recommended that the deal be approved without requiring any asset sales. Following the staff’s recommendation, officials at the top of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition must weigh in. The next step would be a vote by the FTC chairman and four commissioners.
“Although closing this deal is taking longer than I had hoped, my excitement about our anticipated partnership has only increased,” Severin Schwan, Roche CEO.
Centerview Partners, Goodwin Procter, and Cowen & Company are advising Spark. Citigroup and Davis Polk & Wardwell are advising Roche.
Shareholders of Corindus Vascular Robotics, a provider of robotic-assisted vascular interventions, approved the $1.1bn acquisition by Siemens Healthineers, a medical equipment manufacturer.
Under the terms of the agreement, Siemens Healthineers will acquire all fully diluted shares of Corindus for $4.28 per share in cash of $1.1bn in total. The transaction is expected to be closed by end of the calendar year 2019, subject to Corindus shareholder approval, receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The Corindus board fully supports the acquisition proposal.
Citigroup, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, In-Site Communications, and Matter Communications are advising Corindus.
Private equity firm Pala Investments completed the acquisition of Cobalt 27 Capital Corp, a battery metals streaming company, for C$501m ($383m). The offer price represented a 66% premium to current share price. The offer was announced in June 2019.
"We believe this is a highly compelling offer for Cobalt 27, as the transaction provides shareholders with a large upfront premium. It is also clear that nickel will be an increasingly critical component of the electric battery revolution, and the creation of Nickel 28 provides shareholders with significant incremental value and continued exposure to the strong fundamentals of battery metals," Anthony Milewski, Chairman and CEO of Cobalt 27.
Regent Advisors, Scotiabank, TD Securities, and Stikeman Elliott advised Cobalt 27. Goldman Sachs, Torys, and White & Case advised Pala. ING Bank and Societe Generale provided debt financing.
Stonyrock Partners, a newly-formed investment firm specializing in hedge funds, real estate, venture, and infrastructure, is set to acquire a minority stake in Oak Hill, a middle-market alternative asset management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to partner with Stonyrock, a strategic long-term investor with an experienced management team, in this next phase of Oak Hill’s growth. We look forward to continuing to develop our team and position our firm to build on our long history of success,” Tyler Wolfram, Oak Hill Managing Partner and CEO.
Kekst CNC, Evercore and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison are advising Oak Hill. Willkie Farr & Gallagher is advising Stonyrock.
Advent International-backed Aimbridge Hospitality, North America's largest independent hotel management firm, completed its merger with Interstate Hotels & Resorts, an independent multinational hotel operator. The deal was announced in August 2019. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Aimbridge is thrilled about the opportunity to join forces with Interstate to enable us to bring even more value to our hotel owners," said Dave Johnson, Co-Founder and CEO of Aimbridge. "Our combined scale will ensure access to more robust data and the best talent to further differentiate us as leading hospitality managers. Personally, I am excited to work with Mike Deitemeyer, a good friend and well-respected industry leader."
Parthenon Capital-backed NXGEN and Payscape, two premier payment companies, completed the acquisition of BluePay Canada, a provider of online payment solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“For myself and our team, this feels like a homecoming. We have closely watched the success of both Payscape and NXGEN over the years, so we are both excited and humbled to be included in this next chapter of growth with support from Parthenon Capital.” Marcus Dagenais, BluePay Canada Head.
Sole Source Capital, an industrial-focused private equity firm, is set to acquire a majority stake in Worldwide Produce, a distributor of fresh produce, dairy, and specialty foods. Financial terms were not disclosed.
SSC plans to use WWP as a platform to acquire other regional foodservice distribution companies and will leverage the company's exemplary reputation and deep industry relationships to help execute its M&A strategy.
"We are impressed with WWP's strong track record, which includes sustained revenue growth through the Great Recession, and look forward to leveraging the Company as a platform for consolidation in the space." David Fredston, Sole Source Managing Partner.
Texas A&M University, a public research university, is set to acquire a 12.5% stake in Volition Veterinary Diagnostics Development, a life science firm developing easy-to-use, cost-effective blood tests. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences is excited to be working with Volition to develop tests for the early detection of cancer and other diseases in animals," Eleanor M. Green, Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine Dean.
Granite Creek Capital Partners, a private investment firm, and Red Arts Capital, an investment firm focused on supply chain and industry-related companies, agreed to acquire Sunset Pacific Transportation, a logistics provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We see significant benefits and value in partnering with Red Arts Capital for this investment. They have a proven track record of success in the logistics industry and will bring valuable operational, financial, and business development experience to Sunset Pacific. Sunset Pacific’s distinctive business model delivers a high-touch, cost-effective service to its customers. That unique combination and an excellent, long-tenured management team position the Company well for expansion,” Brian Boorstein, Granite Creek Partner.
Alamo Group, a manufacturer of equipment for infrastructure maintenance, completed the acquisition of Morbark, a manufacturer of equipment and aftermarket parts for forestry, tree maintenance, biomass, land management and recycling markets, for $352m.
“Morbark is a well-run, profitable, and growing company in a sector that has been steadily improving. Their products expand and complement our range of vegetation maintenance equipment in an adjacent market.” Ron Robinson, Alamo Group President and Chief Executive Officer.
HCAP Partners, a mezzanine debt and private equity firm, agreed to acquire a stake in Lone Star Analysis, a provider of predictive and prescriptive data analytics and analysis. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Lone Star Analysis provides decision analysis and advanced analytics software for a diversified customer base of Fortune 500 clients in transportation and logistics, aerospace and defense, and other industrial markets.
“IoT adoption and the proliferation of AI automation are now requirements across many large enterprises looking for cost reductions and capital efficiency. Lone Star’s predictive analytics tools are at the forefront of the industry. As data created by enterprises increases exponentially, companies such as Lone Star Analysis, with its leading-edge software applications and strong IP, are poised for growth in the years ahead,” Nicolas Lopez, HCAP Partners Principal.
BlueBolt, a digital agency specializing in technical implementation and integration, is set to acquire Restful Brilliance, a provider of technical and software solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With this acquisition, BlueBolt will further strengthen its capabilities delivering Enterprise Digital Content & Commerce solutions by combining the resources and expertise from Restful Brilliance into a unified team. Upon completion of the acquisition, slated for Jan. 2, 2020, the combined company will continue to be privately held and operate as BlueBolt.
"We are excited to add the technical depth and eCommerce expertise Restful Brilliance has accumulated to the BlueBolt Organization," David Risner, BlueBolt CEO.
Falcon.io, a social media marketing platform, completed the acquisition of Unmetric, a social media intelligence platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Falcon.io will integrate Unmetric into their Social Media Marketing platform, enabling customers to drive consistent brand experiences across social content, engagement and insights.
"Our mission is to deliver a powerful social software suite that enables the brands we serve to win in their markets. Today the Unmetric acquisition gets us closer to this vision," Ulrik Bo Larsen, Falcon.io Founder.
EchoStar Global, a subsidiary of EchoStar, a provider of satellite communication solutions, completed the acquisition of Helios Wire, a satellite-enabled IoT connective company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition includes Helios' Australian subsidiaries Sirion Holdings and Sirion Global. Sirion Global holds global spectrum rights for S-band Mobile Satellite Service, administered by Australia, and has been working to develop solutions for high volume asset tracking and monitoring applications by satellite.
"This acquisition advances our strategy and further lays the foundation for a global S-band solution for the future. This acquisition of Helios and Sirion Global positions us closer to realizing that vision." Anders Johnson, EchoStar Chief Strategy Officer.
Textmunication Holdings, a cannabis holding company completed the acquisition of Resonate Blends, a cannabis wellness lifestyle product company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
In addition to closing on Resonate, Textmunication is accelerating its fundraising efforts through a Private Placement Memorandum to eliminate debt incurred during the transition, fund potential new acquisitions and provide working capital to expand on its strategic initiatives. The company has targeted several cannabis acquisitions to assist in vertical integration, supply chain efficiencies and delivery of cutting-edge products developed around the “Resonate System.”
“We are extremely excited to join Textmunication as we plan the launch of our family of wellness lifestyle products. With the combined capabilities of the Resonate and Textmunication, we are focused on creating value through organic growth, partnerships, and acquisitions.” Geoffrey Selzer, Resonate Blends CEO.
The Reserves Network, a staffing and staff outsourcing service provider, completed the acquisition of ExecuTeam Staffing, a Texas-based provider of staffing services, and its subsidiary Team1Medical, a medical staffing service provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We’re thrilled to have ExecuTeam as a part of our TRN family. Both companies share some unique historical and cultural similarities, making this partnership very authentic. It’s a privilege to add such talented staff to our team.” Neil Stallard, The Reserves Network CEO.
WayForth, a full-service provider of total home transition solutions, completed the acquisition of Home Transition Resource, a provider of professional move management services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are proud to be joining a family of industry leaders that will enable us to offer a thoughtful, integrated, full-service approach to moving services for our clients and referral partners. We are thrilled to have found the perfect partner in WayForth and to be bringing this innovative platform to the Northeast." Kate Grondin, Home Transition Resource Owner, and Founder.
Dominion Energy completes the acquisition of a solar generating project from First Solar.
Dominion Energy, an American power and energy company, completed the acquisition of a solar generating project from First Solar. The facility, owned by the company's contracted generation arm, is expected to enter service later this year and provide power and renewable energy attributes under a Dominion Energy South Carolina contract that was previously filed and accepted in South Carolina.
"Dominion Energy South Carolina already has 500 megawatts of utility-scale solar projects that are operating in our service area. We are excited to add to our supply of low-cost, clean energy with this post-merger solar project in South Carolina. We look forward to continuing our work with developers to collaboratively and cost-effectively create a lower-carbon future for our state." Keller Kissam, Electric Operations President.
Trump Organisation explores strategic options for Washington Hotel. (Real Estate)
The Trump Organisation is exploring a sale of its landmark opulent Washington hotel after nearly three years of ethics complaints and lawsuits accusing him of trying to profit off the presidency.
The opulent, 263-room hotel built in the Old Post Office down the street from the White House has hosted parties thrown by diplomats from the Philippines, Kuwait, and other countries, and has been among Trump’s biggest moneymakers. It is at the center of two lawsuits accusing the president of violating the emoluments clause of the US Constitution, which bars presidents from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments, AP News reported.
“People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel and therefore we may be willing to sell. Since we opened our doors, we have received tremendous interest in this hotel and as real-estate developers, we are always willing to explore our options.” Eric Trump, Trump Organisation Executive Vice President.
California's governor wants Berkshire to bid for PG&E.
California Governor Gavin Newsom wants Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to make a takeover bid for bankrupt utility giant PG&E. The company’s equipment was damaged in a series of deadly blazes that devastated California in 2017 and 2018, saddling it with an estimated $30bn in liabilities and forcing it into bankruptcy.
"If Berkshire is interested in buying the San Francisco-based power and natural gas company, now is the time to make an offer. We would love to see that interest materialize and in a more proactive, public effort. That would be encouraging to see. They are one of the few that are in a position to make a significant run at this.” Gavin Newsom, California Governor.
Authentic Brands is nearing the acquisition of Barneys.
Reuters reported that Authentic Brands Group, a brand management company, is nearing the acquisition of Barneys, a luxury retailer, for $271m, after a competing bid from a trade show executive failed to qualify for a bankruptcy auction.
The retailer filed for bankruptcy in August citing rent hikes as a factor. The chain is one of the most high-profile victims of distress in brick-and-mortar retail, which face significant competition from e-commerce websites.
"We look forward to proceeding with our plans for Barneys as we continue the closing process. Our goal is to preserve and build upon Barneys' legacy and evolve it for the future," Authentic Brands said.
Starboard plans to acquire Box. (FS)
Starboard Value, a hedge fund, intends to buy Box, a cloud content management and file sharing service for businesses that has underperformed its competitors due to a slowing growth rate and weak profitability.
Starboard sees the software maker as having multiple avenues to unlock value, including accelerating growth, striking a better balance between its sales growth and profitability.
LVMH looking to acquire Tiffany.
Luxury brands retailer LVMH has approached US jewelry group Tiffany with an acquisition offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This takeover would help LVMH to enter the US market as Tiffany is grappled by the political tensions and increased tariffs on its exports to China.
Churchill Capital considers bidding for Univision Communications. (FS)
Churchill Capital II, a Michael Klein's special-purpose acquisition company, is intending bidding for Univision Communications, a Spanish-language broadcaster, Bloomberg reported.
No final decision has been made and Churchill Capital may opt to move forward with the bid.
Schwab to launch the Schwab Alternative Investment Marketplace platform. (FS)
Schwab Advisor Services has launched the Schwab Alternative Investment Marketplace platform that offers menus of private funds for Schwab's clients. The new platform offers removal of custodial fees, streamlined capital call processing, and access to third-party alternative investment funds.
"We continually listen to what advisors tell us they need, and based on their feedback, we're pleased to provide access for their clients to a growing list of alternative investment funds. By working with known firms that have experience and scale, we're offering an additional way to deliver alternative investment solutions to clients," Jalina Kerr, Schwab Advisor Services Senior Vice President of Client Experience.
Care.com is exploring strategic options, including a sale.
Care.com, an online marketplace for babysitters and other caregivers, is undertaking a strategic review, including exploring a potential sale, Bloomberg reported.
The Waltham, Massachusetts-based company is working with financial advisers. No final decisions about the sale have been confirmed.
C&A to raise $445m in Brazil IPO.
C&A Modas, the Brazilian unit of Dutch fast-fashion retailer C&A, set to raise BRL1.8bn ($445m) in its IPO, including supplementary and additional share allotments, Reuters reported.
C&A and its bankers have priced its shares at BRL16.50 ($4.1) at the bottom of a previously set range of BRL16.50-20 ($4.1-$5).
The investment banking units of Morgan Stanley, Banco Bradesco, Banco BTG Pactual, Citigroup, Banco Santander Brasil, and XP Investimentos managed the offering.
Banco BMG raised $396m in IPO.
Banco BMG, a medium-sized retail Brazilian lender, raised BRL1.6bn ($396m) in IPO after priced its preferred shares at BRL11.60 ($2.9) each. The company decided to issue only the supplementary allotment, known as greenshoe, raising the initial number of shares by 15%.
BMG intends to use the proceeds to launch new products and invest in technology and marketing.
The investment banking units of XP Investimentos, Itau Unibanco Holding, Credit Suisse, Brasil Plural and Banco do Brasil managed the offering.
Banijay Group, a French - Italian global production and distribution company, agreed to acquire Endemol Shine Group, a Dutch-based media company that produces and distributed multiplatform entertainment content, for $2.2bn. The company is currently controlled by The Walt Disney Company and funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management.
"Endemol Shine brings an incredible array of industry-leading talent, globally-renowned brands and high-quality creative content. Combining the resources of these two companies will instantly strengthen our position in the global market, and our capabilities across genres will further define us as a go-to provider of first-class IP worldwide. Welcoming the Endemol Shine brands and talents to our existing business will signal enhanced opportunities in the marketplace, and we are all excited by what the future holds for the combined entity," Marco Bassetti, Chief Executive Officer at Banijay.
Deutsche Bank, LionTree Advisors and Hogan Lovells are advising Endemol Shine Group. PJ Solomon, Rothschild & Co, Societe Generale, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, and Kirkland & Ellis are advising Banijay. Cravath Swaine & Moore is advising Walt Disney Co. Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison is advising Apollo. Deutsche Bank, Natixis Partners, and Societe Generale are providing debt financing and are being advised by Latham & Watkins.
Vance Street Capital, a Los-Angeles based private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Eirtech Aviation Services, a provider of specialist aviation services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are confident that our partnership with Vance Street will offer EAS both the capital, industry relationships and operational support to help sustain our recent success and support our future growth initiatives,” David Kerr, Eirtech Deputy CEO.
KPMG, Cooley, and McCann FitzGerald advised Eirtech. Neuberger Berman, Arthur Cox, O'Melveny & Myers, and Prosek Partners advised Vance Street.
Greencoat Capital, UK's largest sector-focused investor, agreed to acquire Templeborough Biomass Power Plant, which owns a waste wood biomass plant in Rotherham, UK, from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, an investment firm specializing in infrastructure investments, particularly wind power. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are proud to have made our first bioenergy investment, and delighted with the asset that CIP has developed. Greencoat has demonstrated sector-leading performance with both its wind and solar strategies, and we look forward to replicating that in the bioenergy sector where we see a significant pipeline of investment opportunities," Minal Patel, Partner at Greencoat Capital.
Evercore, Eco2 and Poyry Consulting & Capital are advising Greencoat Capital. Mirae Asset Financial Group, Rothschild & Co and Herbert Smith Freehills are advising CIP.
Flotonic, which is controlled by former AFI chair Lev Leviev, offered to acquire the remaining shares in AFI Development, a real estate development and investment company focused primarily on the Russian market, at a $314m valuation. Flotonic currently holds 64.88% of the issued share capital of the AFI.
"The above factors also underpin the rationale that the company's portfolio of assets would best be undertaken by a private company having the strategic flexibility to manage the more entrepreneurial development risks and capital expenditure of the business and to react to potential operational opportunities," Flotonic said in a statement.
BDO is advising AFI. VTB Capital is advising Flotonic.
German real estate firm TLG Immobilien agreed on the terms of its merger with Aroundhome, a Luxembourg-based real estate company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Whilst there are various ways to grow a company, the best is to combine forces with leading market players in the same field. Therefore, our strategy was to look for the industry partner who ideally fits with TLG, which has led to the acquisition of an initial 9.99% stake in Aroundtown and an option to further increase the stake up to 14.99%. We welcome working with Aroundtown towards a future merger of the two companies and creating one of the largest commercial real estate firms in Europe with a focus on top tier cities in Germany and the Netherlands." Sascha Hettrich, FRICS, chairman of the supervisory board of TGL.
UBS and Sullivan & Cromwell are advising TLG.
Jingye Group to rescue British Steel.
China’s Jingye Group has fuelled hopes of a rescue deal for British Steel with plans to send a delegation to the second-biggest UK steelmaker’s main plant in Scunthorpe. Hebei-based Jingye, which also owns hotels and a medicines business alongside its main steelmaking operations, is due to visit the Lincolnshire steelworks next week.
FT reported, the renewed interest comes after Ataer Holding, an arm of the Turkish military pension fund, failed to agree on a takeover during their 10-week exclusivity period to pursue a deal.
Jingye had previously expressed an interest in buying British Steel, which collapsed into insolvency in May. Their revived interest will spur hopes that the whole of the company - and thousands of jobs can be saved.
Barclay family to dispose of The Telegraph.
The Barclay family has put the Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers up for sale as it assesses its multibillion-pound business investments in the UK.
Daily Mail and General Trust and the owner of the Evening Standard and The Independent newspapers are among potential buyers, Reuters reported.
Morgan Stanley is helping InterXion explore a potential buyout bid. (FS)
InterXion Holdings, Europe's second-largest data center operator, is exploring a potential privatization takeover bid. The deadline for offers is the Nov. 1. The potential bidders are KKR, Blackstone Group, and Digital Colony.
In addition to the data centers, InterXion operates more than a dozen subsea cables that connect the Middle East and Asia to Europe.
Morgan Stanley is advising InterXion on the bid.
LafargeHolcim not interested in bidding for BASF's construction chemical business.
LafargeHolcim, a building materials and solutions provider, refused to bid for BASF's construction chemicals business. The company has no plans for large acquisitions at the moment, Jan Jenisch, LafargeHolcim CEO said.
After divesting some businesses and using the proceeds to pay down debt, the Swiss company would look at smaller deals and investing in its existing operations.
Leonardo Del Vecchio to increase his stake in Mediobanca to 7.5%.
Leonardo Del Vecchio, an Italian billionaire, raised his stake in Mediobanca, an Italian investment bank, to around 7.5% ahead of the annual shareholder meeting. Del Vecchio is Mediobanca’s third-biggest investor.
He has urged Mediobanca to build its investment banking business and grow through M&A, relying less on consumer credit and its most prized asset - a stake in Italy’s top insurer Generali.
Altamar seeks to raise €750m for its 11th fund. (FS)
Altamar Capital Partners, a Spanish private equity firm, is seeking to raise €750m ($831m) for its 11th fund, an investment vehicle that will focus primarily on secondary investments.
The target fund is much similar to the last one in which the target was €750m ($831m). A quarter of that fund is reserved for secondaries and co-investments, while the rest is being used for primary investments.
DAZN seeks to raise $500m.
DAZN, a sports streaming service owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik and led by former John Skipper, is seeking to raise $500m, Bloomberg reported.
The funds will be used to support DAZN's expansion. The subscription service launched in Germany and Japan in 2016, entered the US market in 2018 and now operates in nine countries.
Intercos considers an IPO in 2020.
Intercos, an Italian make-up company, is in the process of picking banks for an IPO, which is expected to take place in the first half of next year, Reuters reported. The company could be valued at up to €1.5bn ($1.67bn) and float around 40-50% of its capital.
L'Oréal will invest in Cathay Innovation, a global venture capital fund created in affiliation with Cathay Capital to support entrepreneurs engaged in the sustainable transformation of the world through technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With this transaction, L'Oréal strengthens its connection to the beauty tech startup ecosystem, particularly in China, the group's second-largest market and a pioneer in digital innovation.
"We are thrilled to welcome L'Oréal as an investor in our ecosystem and believe that we will develop together a partnership of exceptional quality. China is a breeding ground for innovation in the new uses of disruptive technology, and in particular in the world of beauty. We will work to identify new emerging trends and collaborate with the most promising startups. Together with L'Oréal teams and visionary Chinese entrepreneurs, we will develop new innovations for consumers in China and the world at large,” Mingpo Cai, Cathay Capital Founder, and President.
Arthur J. Gallagher completed the acquisition of a minority stake in Edelweiss Insurance Brokers (EIBL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Edelweiss Group, India's leading diversified financial services conglomerate. Financial terms were not disclosed.
EIBL is a fast-growing corporate insurance broker offering general insurance solutions to institutional as well as individual clients across India and is well-positioned to leverage the distribution networks of its parent group.
"EIBL presents an exciting opportunity to expand Gallagher's commercial insurance footprint in India, in keeping with our growth strategy to invest in market-leading businesses that broaden our specialist capabilities and diversify our geographic presence," J. Patrick Gallagher, Arthur J. Gallagher Chairman, President, and CEO.
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec agreed to invest $250m in Piramal Enterprises, an Indian financial and industrial group active in financial services.
Piramal Enterprises will use this investment to repay debts and support growth. The flagship listed firm of the Piramal Group of companies plans to raise a total of $765m of fresh capital through a mix of rights issue and preferential allotment.
“We are delighted to deepen our partnership with Piramal Enterprises, a company whose value creation approach aligns well with CDPQ’s long-term objectives and perspective as a global institutional investor. This transaction further demonstrates CDPQ’s commitment to invest in different sectors of India’s economy,” Anita M. George, Executive Vice-President and Head of Strategic Partnerships, Growth Markets at CDPQ.
J-STAR, a mid-market player in the Japanese private equity market, acquired Kurashino, a content creation firm, 1K, a lifestyle media publisher, and CRAFTA, a user behavior analyst. Financial terms were not disclosed.
J-STAR will combine the three companies’ strengths – strong contents creation by Kurashino, solid media management infrastructure by CRAFTA, and 1k’s media brand – into an acquisition platform for the sector.
“By pursuing synergies and growth strategies including additional acquisitions, we will help the target group continue to contribute to fulfilling and enjoyable lives for their users,” J-STAR said.
Bharti Airtel, a telecommunication company, agreed to acquire a stake in Vahan, a startup that uses artificial intelligence models to match job seekers with employers inside messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Vahan is a part of Airtel’s Startup Accelerator Program to support the growth of early-stage Indian tech startups. Through the program, the company will have access to Airtel’s online and offline distribution network, deep market understanding and ecosystem of global strategic partners.
“We have the potential to drive the accelerated growth of emerging startups that are solving hard problems,” Adarsh Nair, Airtel CPO.
SoftBank shifts to a safer strategic approach post-WeWork debacle. (FS)
SoftBank Group is raising investments for its secound gigantic Vision Fund, which would be used to fund Alto Pharmacy, a pharmaceutical delivery startup, and Creator and Memphis Meats, a company focused on robotic burger-making and a maker of lab-grown meat. The exact details have not been disclosed.
Bloomberg reports, Vision Fund 2 is the next iteration of SoftBank's first $100bn fund, which since 2017 has sent tremors through the startup world with its giant bets on tech companies, including the now-flailing co-working giant WeWork. The Japanese conglomerate is still in the process of raising money for the new fund, and has said it expects it to be even larger than the first.
Qatar Airways, JAL to bid for Malaysian Airlines.
Khazanah Nasional, soverign wealth fund of Government of Malaysia and owner of Malaysian Airlines, has shortlisted four potential investors for the ailing airlines.
Qatar Airways, Japanese Airlines, and China Southern Airlines are the three of the four shortlisted bidders for Malaysian Airlines. A Middle Eastern or Chinese airline could eventually invest in the state carrier, Reuters reported.
Pakistan's tycoons consider the acquisition of Barrick mine.
Bloomberg reported, that Pakistan's tycoons have offered to acquire a disputed copper and gold deposit that was once explored by Barrick Gold and Antofagasta, gold and copper mining companies.
Officials at the provincial Balochistan government have met with a consortium of four business groups, including tycoons Arif Habib and Muhammad Ali Tabba, who consider investing about $1bn of their own cash in the project.
Postal Savings Bank got regulatory approval for IPO.
Postal Savings Bank of China, one of the nation's largest state-owned lenders, got regulatory approval for IPO that could raise more than $3.3bn.
Beijing-based Postal Bank, which is already listed in Hong Kong, intends to sell 5.17bn shares on the Shanghai stock exchange.
UTI Asset Management hires Citigroup and ICICI ahead of Mumbai IPO.
UTI Asset Management, a mutual fund company, is set to go public at Bombay Stock Exchange in the upcoming weeks. The offering could raise about $366m, Bloomberg reported.
Existing shareholders plan to sell a combined 30% stake in the proposed offering. T. Rowe Price Group, State Bank of India, Life Insurance Corp of India, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank are the existing shareholders of the firm.
HSBC Holdings, SBI Capital Markets, Citigroup, ICICI and Kotak Mahindra Bank are picked to arrange the Indian mutual fund's share sale.
Ucommune considers an IPO.
Ucommune, a China’s biggest shared workspace provider, has filed a confidential prospectus with the US securities regulator as it seeks an IPO before the end of the year, Deal Street Asia reported.
Beijing-based Ucommune, which was valued at $2.6bn about a year ago, has appointed Citigroup and Credit Suisse to work on a listing, while Bank of America has a minor role on the deal.
ESR closes bookbuilding, prices IPO at the midpoint of guided range. (FS)
Warburg Pincus-backed ESR Cayman, the industrial property investor, priced its initial public offering at $1.6bn after the bookbuild was finalized on Friday. The company will start trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Nov. 1. The final pricing which was in line with guidance delivered earlier on Friday. ESR initially targeted raising up to $1.45bn but increased the size of the deal because of the demand from investors.
Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank are advising on the IPO.
JS Global pulls its $461m Hong Kong IPO.
JS Global Lifestyle, a household appliance manufacturer, has pulled its $461m IPO offering at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. JS Global, which owns Chinese kitchen-appliances maker Joyoung and US home-appliances maker SharkNijia, initially informed investors on Friday that it planned to price the IPO at the bottom of the indicative range of $0.7 to $0.9.
The IPO is among a handful of recent offerings seen as tests of investor sentiment as markets are already on edge amid a trade dispute between the United States and China. While the books were covered for the IPO last week, JS Global could not secure enough solid orders and had to cancel the deal, Reuters reported.
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