New York-based Tiffany announced to hold a specual meeting of its stockholders on December 30, to discuss on the $15.8bn merger with LVMH.
At the special meeting, stockholders will be asked to consider and vote on, among other things, a proposal to adopt the previously announced amended and restated agreement and plan of merger, dated October 28, 2020, as it may be amended from time to time.
The transaction is expected to close early in the calendar year 2021, subject to the approval of stockholders at the special meeting, maintaining or obtaining applicable regulatory clearances and the satisfaction of certain other customary closing conditions.
Tiffany is advised by Centerview Partners, Goldman Sachs, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Centerview Partners and Goldman Sachs are advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges. LVMH is advised by Citigroup, JP Morgan, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, White & Case, SEC and Partners, Brunswick Group, DGM Conseil, Deluxewords, Kekst CNC, Montfort Communications, Publicis Consultants, and SEC and Partners.
Apollo Global Management's offer to take over Great Canadian Gaming, which has run into opposition from some of the casino operator’s largest shareholders, came just weeks after another suitor walked away from a potential deal for the company, Bloombergreported.
Great Canadian disclosed the interested party in documents attached to an affidavit filed in a British Columbia court. The company plans to hold a shareholders’ meeting on December 23 to vote on the $2.5bn Apollo offer.
The disclosure of other interest in Great Canadian may strengthen the hand of top shareholders including funds managed by BloombergSen, CI Financial and Burgundy Asset Management, that have criticized the company for accepting an offer they see as unacceptably low.
Great Canadian Gaming is advised by CIBC World Markets, Scotiabank, Blake Cassels & Graydon and McMillan. Apollo Global Management is advised by Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Macquarie Group, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Crestview Partners.
Kensington Capital Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, completed the merge with QuantumScape, an American company that produces lithium batteries that are used in electric cars, in a $3.3bn deal.
"Today marks a big step in the evolution of our company. This transaction allows QuantumScape to fund development and commercialization of our OEM-validated battery technology as we look forward to playing our part in the electrification of the automotive powertrain, helping transform one of the world's largest industries and fostering a cleaner future for all," Jagdeep Singh, QuantumScape Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
QuantumScape was advised by Goldman Sachs, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and ICR. Kensington Capital Acquisition was advised by Robert W Baird, Stifel, UBS and Hughes Hubbard & Reed.
Sycamore Partners-backed Premium Apparel, an apperal retailer, agreed to acquire Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey brands assets of Ascena Retail Group, a women's clothing retailer, for $540m.
“We are pleased to announce an agreement with Sycamore Partners, an experienced and trusted leader in the retail sector. The commitment Sycamore has made to our people and business is a testament to the long-term growth potential of our brands. I want to thank our associates, as well as our customers and vendors, for their support of ascena and our brands. We are looking forward to the holiday season and beyond in Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey stores and online," Gary Muto, Ascena Retail Group Chief Executive Officer.
Sycamore is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell. Ascena Retail Group is advised by Alvarez & Marsal, Guggenheim Partners, Kirkland & Ellis, ICR, and Joele Frank.
Biogen, a biotechnology company, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Sage Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company, for $650m.
“We are excited about the potential to bring together Biogen’s leading capabilities in neuroscience with Sage’s deep expertise in psychiatry. There is a tremendous unmet medical need in depression, and we are optimistic about the potential for zuranolone to help transform the treatment of depression and address the stigma often associated with chronic use of antidepressants,” Michel Vounatsos, Biogen Chief Executive Officer.
Sage Therapeutics is advised by Goldman Sachs. Biogen is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Guggenheim Partners.
Ayr Strategies, a vertically integrated cannabis multi-state operator, agreed to merge with CannTech PA, a medical cannabis consulting firm, in a $57m deal. Total purchase consideration of $57m will be paid as to $27m in cash, $15m in exchangeable shares, each of which would be exchangeable for a subordinate voting share, and $15m in seller’s notes. The transaction is expected to close by year-end, subject to customary conditions including required regulatory approvals.
“Our entry into Pennsylvania will build on the successful operational foundation we have established over the past year. Pennsylvania is a rapidly growing, but under-supplied medical market and we look forward to bringing our cultivation, processing and retail expertise to the Commonwealth to improve patients’ access to quality cannabis,” Jonathan Sandelman, Ayr CEO.
Ayr Strategies is advised by Gateway Investor Relations.
Loblaw Companies, a Canadian food retailer, agreed to acquire technology assets of Torstar-backed Eyereturn Marketing, a media company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition is an important milestone for us, adding immediate capability and credibility to our growing media business. These team members are some of the best and brightest in the ad technology space. Together, we'll take Loblaw Media to the next level, delivering outstanding campaigns with meaningful insights for our clients and promotions for our customers," Uwe Stueckmann, Loblaw Chief Customer Officer.
Unilever, a supplier of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products, agreed to acquire SmartyPants Vitamins, a US-based Vitamin, Mineral & Supplement company. Financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
“SmartyPants Vitamins complements Unilever’s portfolio of brands (Horlicks, OLLY, Equilibra and Liquid I.V) in the functional nutrition and supplement segment. We are excited to work with co-founders Courtney and Gordon and their team to grow their innovative and data driven business model,” Peter Ter Kulve, Unilever President of Health & Wellbeing.
3G Capital seek more time to find the next megadeal. (FS)
3G Capital, which invests alongside Warren Buffett, is seeking to hold on to its investors’ money for longer as coronavirus uncertainty and sky-high valuations delay its next megadeal.FT reported.
The Brazilian-US investment group behind Kraft Heinz, Burger King and Tim Hortons has been on the hunt for a megadeal ever since it failed to orchestrate the $143bn takeover of Unilever in 2017. It is now sitting on about $10bn of deployable funds.
The decision to seek more time reflects the broader market conditions, which despite the pandemic has seen the valuations of several companies rocket this year partly thanks to the stimulus packages that have inflated assets values in many sectors.
Advent to renew Unit4 sale plans. (FS)
Advent International is planning to revive a sale of Unit4, a software business, after receiving takeover interest from a blank-check company.
The private-equity firm could launch a sale process for the business next year. Netherlands-based Unit4 could be valued at as much as $2.4bn.
Advent abandoned a previous attempt to sell Unit4 in 2018. Deliberations about a new sale are ongoing, and no firm decisions have been made. One possible exit route would be to merge Unit4 with a blank-check company and Advent has already been approached about such a deal, Bloombergreported.
CTRL USA establishes $5bn private equity-value add fund. (FS)
CTRL USA has established a new global fund, seeking to raise at least $3.5bn for its second private equity-value add fund focused on commercial real estate acquisitions and development.
The US private investment company has begun marketing the new vehicle to prospective global investors. It’s aiming more than double the size of its first private equity buyout fund, which closed at about $300m in 2019.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, an integrated pharmaceutical company, agreed to acquire anti-allergy brands from Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the agreement, Dr. Reddy's will acquire Momat Rino (for Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan), Momat Rino Advance (for Russia), Momat A (for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan), Glenspray and Glenspray Active (for Ukraine).
"The new brands are a great addition to our product portfolio in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan which are important core markets for us. Momat Rino, the largest brand acquired, has recently received OTC registration in Russia and this will enable accelerated access of this product to patients. The acquired products will further add to Dr. Reddy's strong presence in the anti-allergy segment in these countries, and will also enable us to offer a more comprehensive solution to patients in this area." M V Ramana, Dr. Reddy's Chief Executive Office.
Sabadell considers sale of UK and Mexican business after scraping the merger talks with BBVA.
Spanish banks BBVA and Sabadell called off merger talks after disagreeing on financial terms. The failed deal would have amounted to an acquisition by BBVA, which has market capitalisation of $30bn compared with just over $2.3bn for Sabadell, but the smaller lender made clear that it considered the price suggested by BBVA to be unacceptably low.
While regulators including the European Central Bank have been pushing for cross-border and domestic deals, the failure of a BBVA merger with Sabadell shows how complex they can be.
Sabadell said it would now seek to launch a new strategy with a clear focus on its domestic market in the first quarter of next year and would launch a transformation programme of its retail banking business focused on small and medium-sized enterprises, which it said would have a neutral impact on capital and generate more efficiencies.
Banco de Sabadell is considering a sale of its businesses in Mexico and the UK to streamline operations after an attempted takeover by BBVA fell apart. The Spanish lender has been discussing a potential sale of its Mexican unit with advisers, and also received expressions of interest in its UK arm TSB Bank.
Advanz Pharma attracts private equity firms. (FS)
UK drugmaker Advanz Pharma has drawn interest from private equity funds, including US buyout fund Carlyle, as its creditors are scrambling to find a new owner following a debt restructuring deal last year, Reuters reported.
Carlyle is among a group of bidders that have handed in indicative offers for the London-based firm. Nordic Capital and TDR have also joined the auction led by Jefferies, a US investment bank.
The process is challenged by diverging views on valuation as Advanz’s creditors are aiming to cost at about $2bn while private equity bidders are cautious of paying up after previous attempts to sell the business fell through.
Advanz’s creditors are hoping the business could fetch at least $240m, which is eight to nine times its estimated 2020 core earnings.
End Clothing considers a $932m private equity outfit deal. (FS)
The founders of a contemporary fashion retailer are weighing a stake sale that could catapult them into the ranks of Britain's super-rich.
Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker, founders of End Clothing, have asked Goldman Sachs to find a new investor for their business. The duo was also deliberating with private equity firms including Cinven and General Atlantic Partners about a deal.
Goldman Sachs is seeking a valuation of about $932m, which would make it one of the year's biggest retail deals during a period of crisis for the wider industry. The sale of a significant stake in the company would trigger a big payday for End's two co-founders, both owning large minority stakes in the company.
Centrica seeks to sell liquefied natural gas portfolio.
Centrica, a UK-based energy supplier, is trying to sell its portfolio of liquefied natural gas supply contracts and other assets, as it seeks to simplify its operations amid volatile LNG prices.
The targeted value from such a deal couldn’t be learned. However, similar recent transactions suggest that Centrica, the owner of energy and electricity service provider British Gas, may actually need to pay any potential buyer to take the LNG business off its hands, underscoring the uncertain outlook for gas prices internationally, Wall Street Journal reported.
Capital is in exclusive talks with Montagu over ESS sale. (FS)
British outsourcer Capita said it was in exclusive talks with private equity firm Montagu over the potential sale of its standalone Education Software Solutions business, Reuters reported.
The divestments come as part of a broader strategic review of the software division by Capita.
The company, which has been trying to sell some non-core assets, had expected to get at least $668m for the education software business, whose platform SIMS is used by 21k schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Swiss drugmaker Vifor had bid interest but talks halted.
Vifor Pharma, a Swiss drugmaker, recently had a takeover approach from at least one private equity firm, but talks were halted due to differences over price.
The financial investors behind the initial offer suspended the discussions after failing to agree on a deal that would have delisted Vifor from Switzerland’s SIX exchange, Reuters reported.
The deal would have valued Vifor at $11bn. It was not immediately clear whether negotiations would be resumed or whether other companies from the healthcare industry might consider an offer for Vifor.
Sale of German airline Condor unlikely before mid-2022.
German charter airline Condor does not expect to find a new owner until 2022 at the earliest.
The carrier had agreed on a $358m sale to LOT, a Poland’s national carrier, but LOT’s owner, Polish Aviation Group, withdrawn from the deal in April when the coronavirus crisis grounded air travel.
Elementis top investor pushes asset sales after bid rebuffs.
A top investor in Elementis, a UK speciality chemicals and personal care businesses, said to investigate asset sales if it continues to rebuff takeover offers from Minerals Technologies, companies US rival.
Elementis management pursued expensive, debt-funded acquisitions that hurt its share price and invited opportunistic approaches. While the latest bid undervalues Elementis, it would be difficult to back the board if a more serious offer made, Bloombergreported.
Aegon’s Eastern European sale appeals to KBC and NN Group.
Aegon’s sale of its central and eastern European business has drawn interest of KBC Group and NN Group.
Amsterdam-listed Aegon is entertaining final offers for the unit until Monday. Vienna Insurance Group has also been considering an acquisition of the operations.
Bidders are most attracted by Aegon’s Hungary business. NN Group’s bid could be complicated by the fact that it has an activist shareholder, Elliott Management, pushing for capital returns rather than acquisitions, Bloomberg reported.
Google completed the announced acquisition of a $7.73% stake in Reliance Industries' digital platform, Jio Platforms.
The Google-Jio deal will seek to leverage Jio and Google’s existing digital services to capture the emerging digitisation market beyond the current 500m internet users in India.
Google was advised by JP Morgan, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and J. Sagar Associates. Qualcomm Ventures is advised by Trilegal. Public Investment Fund is advised by Citigroup and Latham & Watkins. L Catterton is advised by Kirkland & Ellis. TPG Capital is advised by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Mubadala is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Silver Lake is advised by Latham & Watkins, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. KKR is advised by Deloitte, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. General Atlantic is advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Vista Equity is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Reliance Industries is advised by Morgan Stanley, AZB & Partners, Davis Polk & Wardwell, and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
AGBA Acquisition, a British Virgin Islands company incorporated as a blank check company, agreed to acquire 100% of the Platform Business, a platform business, which include B2B, FinTech, Retail and Healthcare platforms, and 30% of IFA Business, an independent financial advisory business, from Convoy Global Holdings, a diversified financial institution based in Hong Kong, for $400m.
Convoy or its affiliate will receive 30m newly issued shares of the post-combined company, with a deemed price per share of $10 plus $100m in cash. Upon closing of Transaction, AGBA plans to remain NASDAQ-listed and trade under a new ticker symbol.
AGBA Acquisition is advised by Loeb & Loeb. Convoy Global Holdings is advised by DLA Piper.
PropertyGuru Group, an online property company, agreed to acquire MyProperty Data, a property data, analytics & solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This acquisition advances the goal we share with PropertyGuru – empowering Malaysians with accurate transaction data, so that they neither overpay nor underpay when making decisions. PropertyGuru is no stranger to us as we have collaborated on many occasions, such as in developing a Pricing Insight exclusive to PropertyGuru in 2018 and the Home Loan Pre Approval in 2019. It was natural for us to further collaborate and we are delighted to join the Group,” Joe Hock Thor, MyProperty Data Managing Director.
Fidelity Management and Research, a private equity firm, completed an investment in Nykaa, a cosmetic products manufacturing company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are very excited to have Fidelity, one of the largest asset managers in the world, to join as a partner in our growth journey. Their investment in a private company in India is testament to the strength of our brand and business model. Nykaa’s focus on business sustainability and corporate governance further supports such strong investor confidence,” Falguni Nayar, Nykaa Founder and CEO.
CVC Capital nears a $700m acquisition of Irrawaddy Green Towers. (FS)
CVC Capital, a private equity firm, nears a $700m acquisition of Irrawaddy Green Towers, a Myanmar-based telecom tower company.
Along with CVC, Chinese wireless infrastructure company Guodong Group and Malaysia’s largest wireless operator Axiata Group's unit edotco Group were among the shortlisted bidders.
CVC is talking to bankers to secure financing for the deal. Deliberations are ongoing and the parties could decide not to proceed with a transaction.
Blackstone and JD join bidding for CMC Holdings. (FS)
Blackstone and Chinese online retailer JD are among more than 10 parties to bid for CMC Holdings, the sole distributor of FANCL’s skincare products in Asia outside Japan, Reuters reported.
Bain Capital, Carlyle, MBK Partners, Sequoia Capital and CITIC Capital are also among the bidders for CMC, valuing the business owned by Hong Kong-based Chris Chan at close to $1bn. China’s internet giants Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings have shown interest and could join a bidding group later in the process.
In August, Chan appointed Morgan Stanley to sell CMC, which operates more than 200 stores in Greater China and Southeast Asia.
LG to spin-off affiliates.
South Korea’s LG would spin-off five affiliates into a new holding company next year, the latest reorganization at one of South Korea’s family-led conglomerates as they pass to a new generation of leaders, Reuters reported.
Analysts expect the new holding, to be headed by Koo Bon-joon, a son of LG’s founder, will be separated from LG.
LG, the holding company of South Korea’s fourth-largest conglomerate, said the spinoff would allow it to focus on electronics, chemicals and telecommunications services, its existing core businesses.
Alibaba and Tencent suspend talks to acquire iQIYI stake.
Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings have held separate talks with Baidu to buy a controlling stake in iQIYI, a video streaming service.
The discussions have stalled with little hope to continue soon as they balk at a valuation of $20bn demanded by Baidu and as both companies, which have their own video streaming services, face heightened scrutiny by China’s antitrust regulators, Reuters reported.
Investing in iQIYI may be politically difficult for Alibaba and Tencent after Beijing unveiled draft guidelines aimed at preventing monopolistic behaviour by internet companies. The draft’s scope ranges from big data to payment services.
Phone unit sale to free Huawei from US curbs.
Ren Zhengfei, Huawei Technologies founder, called the sale of its Honor budget smartphone division a clean break that should free it from US restrictions and create a new powerhouse in the world’s largest mobile arena, Bloombergreported.
Ren assured employees Honor would rapidly resume production after regaining access to American circuitry and software. His note comes days after Huawei unveiled a deal to sell the business to a consortium of more than 30 Chinese corporations, assembled by government-backed Shenzhen Smart City Technology Development Group.
Hahn & Co to buy Asiana's in-flight meal provider. (FS)
Korean private equity firm Hahn & Company is considering a takeover of the company providing in-flight meals to Asiana, as it has already decided to acquire the supplier for Korean Air.
In August, Korean Air signed a deal to sell its in-flight catering and duty free businesses to Hahn & Co at $845m to help overcome the liquidity crisis caused by the pandemic. Back then, the airline would retain a 20% stake in the new business entity to be set up by the PEF after the acquisition.
Hahn & Co established the new company Korean Air C&D Service in September, and the two companies are looking to close the deal before mid-December.
ExxonMobil abandons Bass Strait sale.
ExxonMobil has called off the potential multibillion-dollar sale of its oil and gas assets in the Bass Strait after responses from potential buyers failed to draw a price that tempted the US major to divest.
The decision comes just six weeks after the deadline for indicative bids for the portfolio set by adviser JP Morgan, which highlighted its large conventional oil and gas reserves, production and cash flow, and its importance to the east coast gas market.
Suning plans e-commerce business stake sale.
Suning, one of the largest retailers in China, is planning to sell a stake in its e-commerce business to ease financing pressures.
Suning.com is working with advisers to weigh interest from both strategic and private equity investors. The company is seeking a valuation of about $6bn for the business, though some potential investors approached by Suning.com have put a lower valuation on the unit, Bloomberg reported.
Discussions are ongoing, and the company may decide not to proceed with the plan. The potential stake sale comes as companies under the umbrella of parent Suning Appliance Group are facing scrutiny in the bond market. The prices of bonds issued by Suning’s units have plunged to record lows after the parent decided not to demand repayment of a $3bn strategic investment in developer China Evergrande Group.
Thermax explores strategic options for expansion.
Thermax is seeking its businesses bounce back to year-ago levels and is now focused on options for expansion.
The Indian maker of electricity-generation and pollution-control equipment will weigh mergers and acquisitions, technological arrangements and geographic partnerships that are small and easy to digest.
The company had $23m in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments as of September 30. Its shares have recovered about 20% from a six-year low in March, according to Bloomberg.
Display maker Royole ditches US to raise $1.8bn local IPO.
Chinese flexible display maker Royole is planning to raise as least $1.8bn in an initial public offering on Shanghai’s Star Market board after its US listing plan was shelved, Bloomberg reported.
The company seeks to file the application to China’s Nasdaq-style trading venue in December. Royole could see its valuation rise to more than $8bn. The final fundraising size depends on market conditions, and is still subject to changes.
Royole had initially filed confidentially for a US IPO that could raise about $1bn. It then decided to pursue a listing in mainland China instead.
Burger King India looks to raise $109m.
Private equity firm Everstone Group promoted Burger King India set the price band at $0.79 - $0.81 per share for its initial public offering which is slated for launch on December 2, DealStreetAsia reported.
The proposed IPO will see the company raise $109m comprising fresh issue of shares amounting to $61m, while promotor entity QSR Asia will sell up to 60m shares aggregating to $48.8m at the upper end of the price band.
Burger King India will use the funds to roll out new company-owned Burger King Restaurants by way of repayment or prepayment of outstanding borrowings of the company obtained for setting up of new company-owned Burger King Restaurants and capital expenditure incurred for setting up the new company.
SK Bioscience targets IPO in the first half of 2021.
SK Bioscience, a South Korean drug company, aims to seek a domestic stock market listing in the first half of the next year, DealStreetAsia reported.
The plan follows a successful IPO by its affiliate SK Biopharmaceuticals and other companies, such as Kakao Games, which attracted huge interest from Korean retail investors seeking higher returns in the face of near-zero interest rates.
SK Bioscience, which is 98% owned by SK Chemicals, said its board has approved the potential IPO and it has hired NH Investment as lead manager.
SAIC Motors sets up $1bn fund to invest in internet-linked vehicles with Alibaba.
Shanghai Automotive Industry Group, China’s largest state-owned carmaker and the Chinese partner of General Motors, has established a private equity fund to finance its forays into developing smart cars with the country’s biggest technology company Alibaba Group Holding, PE Insights reported.
SAIC Motor would invest $821m to create the $1bn fund with Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park Development. Hengxu Capital, a fund of funds platform under the carmaker’s SAIC Capital unit, will separately contribute less than 0.1% of the fund’s capital, used in a collaboration with Alibaba Network Technology to invest in smart electric vehicle technologies.
“The investment will expedite the self-innovation capability and transformation of the auto industry, relying upon the competitiveness of the respective partners in this fund in the areas of artificial intelligence; autonomous driving, chips and new energy vehicle,” SAIC Motor.
Mitsui Fudosan proposes a $1.2bn acqusition of Tokyo Dome. (RE)
Mitsui Fudosan announced a $1.2bn bid for Tokyo Dome, the operator of the landmark Japanese baseball stadium that is facing pressure from activist investor Oasis Management.
The Japanese real estate company plans a tender offer of $12.49 a share. Yomiuri Shimbun, the owner of the Tokyo Giants baseball team, is seeking to purchase a 20% stake after the deal is completed. Tokyo Dome supported the offer, Bloomberg reported.
The offer represents a 45% premium to Tokyo Dome’s closing price. Shares of the stadium operator jumped 17% to $10.06 after the acquisition plans report. Mitsui Fudosan closed 1.9% higher before the announcement.
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