European Union antitrust regulators set a new deadline of July 31 to rule on Alstom's bid for Bombardier's transport business after the French TGV high-speed train maker offered to sell assets to address competition concerns, Reuters reported.
The European Commission will now seek feedback from rivals and customers of both companies before deciding whether to accept the package or demand more in line with its procedures. The EU competition enforcer could also open a four-month-long investigation if it has serious doubts.
Alstom is advised by Mazars Corporate Finance, Rothschild & Co, Davies Ward Phillip, Societe Generale and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Debt financing is provided by Credit Agricole, HSBC, and Societe Generale. CDPQ is advised by HSBC, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and McCarthy Tetrault. Bombardier is advised by Citigroup, National Bank Financial, Rockefeller Capital Management, UBS, Jones Day, Joele Frank, and Norton Rose Fulbright.
SSR Mining, a Canadian-based precious metals producer, and Alacer Gold, a low-cost intermediate gold producer, announced the receipt of the required shareholder approvals for the previously announced merger of equals.
On closing of the transaction, each of the Alacer issued and outstanding common shares will be exchanged for 0.3246 of an SSR Mining common share. The transaction is expected to close following the receipt of regulatory and final court approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Alacer Gold is advised by CIBC World Markets, Scotiabank, Marval O'Farrell & Mairal and Stikeman Elliott. SSR Mining is advised by National Bank Financial, TD Securities, Lawson Lundell, McCarthy Tetrault, White & Case and Kingsdale Advisors.
Google could stave off a full-scale EU antitrust investigation into its $2.1bn bid for Fitbit by pledging not to use Fitbit’s health data to help it target ads, Reuters reported.
Google could allay competition worries by offering a binding pledge to EU competition enforcers along the lines of its promise last year not to use Fitbit’s health and wellness data for Google ads. Failure to do so will trigger a four-month-long investigation following the end of the EU’s preliminary review.
Fitbit is advised by Qatalyst Partners, Fenwick & West, and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Fenwick & West is advised by Cooley. Google is advised by Lazard and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Torstar, a Canadian media company, agreed to an amended agreement to be acquired by holding company NordStar Capital for $60m, a 17.5% increase over NordStar’s previous bid.
NordStar raised its bid after a competing, unsolicited bid was received from a private investor group, offering 14% more than its original bid.
Torstar is advised by Blair Franklin Capital Partners, Marckenz Group Capital Partners, and Blake Cassels & Graydon. NordStar is advised by Navigator Capital, PointNorth Capital, RBC Capital Markets, and Norton Rose Fulbright. Fairfax is advised by Torys.
Helios, an Africa-focused private investment firm, agreed to merge with Fairfax Africa, an investment holding company. Helios will contribute certain economic streams to Fairfax Africa in exchange for a 45.9% equity and voting interest in the pro forma share capital of Fairfax Africa. On closing of the transaction, Fairfax Africa will be renamed Helios Fairfax Partners and continue to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
"We are proud to be partnering with Fairfax Financial and Prem Watsa on this next step of Helios' development. The combination leverages our mutual strengths and enables us to provide public market investors with unique access to a differentiated set of investment opportunities on the African continent, as we have been doing for our partners in our private funds. This will strengthen our ability to deliver on our mission to generate globally competitive investment returns and create positive socioeconomic development outcomes for Africa by building profitable, value-creating and socially responsible businesses," Tope Lawani, Helios Investment Partners Co-Founder and Managing Partner.
Fairfax is advised by Alvarium Investments, Goodmans and McCarthy Tetrault. Helios is advised by Lazard, Kirkland & Ellis, Stikeman Elliott and Teneo.
Chesapeake Utilities, a diversified energy company, received regulatory approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission for the pending acquisition of Elkton Gas, a gas company, from South Jersey Industries, a publicly held energy services holding company.
Assuming all closing conditions are satisfied, the transaction is anticipated to close by August 1, 2020, at which time Elkton Gas will become the newest wholly-owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities.
"The acquisition of Elkton Gas is a great, strategic fit for our company and will enable us to more quickly expand our services in Cecil County. We thank the Maryland Public Service Commission for approving this acquisition, and we look forward to completing this transaction and welcoming Elkton Gas into the Chesapeake Utilities family. Together, we will remain committed to delivering superior service to the customers and communities we serve through increased, affordable and cleaner energy options," Jeff Householder, Chesapeake Utilities President and CEO.
South Jersey Industries is advised by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
EQT-backed SUSE, an independent open-source company, agreed to acquire Rancher Labs, a designer and developer of software solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The deal is expected to close before the end of October 2020, subject to customary closing conditions including receipt of regulatory approvals.
"The next chapter in SUSE's development will continue, and even accelerate the momentum generated over recent years. Together with EQT, we will benefit both from further investment opportunities and having the continuity of a leadership team focused on securing long-term profitable growth combined with a sharp focus on customer and partner success. The current leadership team has managed SUSE through a period of significant growth, and now, with continued investment in technology innovation and go to market capability, will further develop SUSE's momentum going forward," Nils Brauckmann, SUSE CEO.
Investment management firms HIG Capital and RCM Capital Management agreed to acquire PI Financial, a securities brokerage firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to be working with experienced financial professionals who share our belief in PI's model and long-term growth prospects. We expect the ownership transition to be seamless for our team and our clients, and we look forward to building on our momentum with the support of our new owners," Jean-Paul Bachellerie, PI Financial CEO.
PI Financial is advised by Longview Communications.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board led an expansion of Series C round for Perfect Day, an animal-free dairy products company, to $300m. The expansion was supported by Temasek and Horizons Ventures.
"We never doubted we'd reach this point, we just didn't expect to get here so quickly. And, thanks to our world-class team and investors, we're not planning to take our foot off the pedal anytime soon. The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how fragile our food system is. We're committed to building real change that prioritizes diversity, agility, and resilience," Ryan Pandya, Perfect Day Co-Founder and CEO.
T. Rowe Price, an investment management firm, led a $2.5bn investment round in Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer. Participants in this investment round included Soros Fund Management, Coatue, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Baron Capital Group. Existing shareholders Amazon and funds managed by BlackRock also participated.
"We are focused on the launch of our R1T, R1S and Amazon delivery vehicles. With all three launches occurring in 2021, our teams are working hard to ensure our vehicles, supply chain and production systems are ready for a robust production ramp-up. We are grateful for the strong investor support that helps enable us to focus on execution of our products,” RJ Scaringe, Rivian Founder and CEO.
Allianz, a global insurance firm, completed the acquisition of the automobile and a property-casualty business unit of SulAmerica, a Brazilian insurance brokerage firm, for $734m.
“Today, a new Allianz is being born that combines the best of both worlds. In a challenging moment, professionals from both sides have shown exemplary quality, professionalism and performance in this operation. This allowed completing the transaction ahead of the deadline, consolidating the brand as a reference in Brazil. We thank SulAmérica for their efforts throughout the process. And welcome the new employees, brokers, and clients to Allianz Group and thank in particular all involved employees from all sides for making this acquisition a success,” Eduard Folch, Allianz Brazil CEO.
Sony, a creative entertainment company, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Epic Games, a developer of interactive gaming titles such as Fortnite, for $250m.
“Sony and Epic have both built businesses at the intersection of creativity and technology, and we share a vision of real-time 3D social experiences leading to a convergence of gaming, film, and music. Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike,” Tim Sweeney, Epic Games Founder and CEO.
Greylock Partners and TCV-backed Silver Peak considers a $1bn sale. (FS)
Greylock Partners and TCV-backed Silver Peak Systems, a networking company, is exploring a potential sale that could value it around $1bn, Bloomberg reported.
Silver Peak is working with a financial adviser. The company could appeal to publicly traded technology firms that have networking businesses.
Cirque du Soleil lenders consider bid to displace TPG's offer. (FS)
Lenders to Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group are working on an offer to replace the bid made by TPG and other shareholders of the company, which is restructuring under bankruptcy protection, Bloomberg reported.
The lenders are set to present a binding "credit bid" to a committee of Cirque's board by Tuesday. Credit bidding involves cancelling outstanding debt as part of an offer to acquire a debtor's assets. Cirque's creditors mentioned that they would also be willing to inject as much as $375m to help the company restart.
C.K. McWhorter interested in acquiring a professional sports team.
C.K. McWhorter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of CTRL USA, is interested in the purchase of a professional sports team or limited partnership options.
"It is an opportune moment in all markets, and I have been aggressive with all business opportunities within the current state of our economy during Covid-19. It is my firm belief that younger thriving investors are within an opportune moment of transition. I'd like to be clear in my aim to be especially aggressive in my pursuit of any major sports team options. I am also aware of the responsibility of the role especially as an individual representing a new day and age in team ownership," C.K. McWhorter, CTRL USA Founder, Chairman & CEO.
Fisker eyes deal to go public. (FS)
Fisker, an electric vehicle maker, is in talks to go public through a sale to a blank-check acquisition company, modelled after a successful deal earlier this year by rival Nikola, a designer and manufacturer of electric components.
Apollo Global Management-backed Spartan Energy Acquisition is leading a bidding war among blank-check companies for Fisker and could secure a deal for close to $2bn as early as next week.
Mubadala set for exclusive talks with Petrobras to buy Bahia refinery. (FS)
Mubadala, Abu Dhabi's investment fund, will enter into exclusive talks with Petrobras, a petroleum company, to purchase Brazil's second-largest refinery, Reuters reported.
Mubadala will discuss the contract terms with Brazil's Petrobras in an exclusive negotiation expected to take several weeks. If the contract changes significantly, Petrobras will call back competitors for the second round of bids based on price.
Hedge funds enter a battle for McClatchy. (FS)
The future of McClatchy, the once-towering operator of storied American newspapers, is coming down to a hedge-fund bidding war, Bloomberg reported.
Chatham Asset Management and fellow debt holder Brigade Capital Management said months ago they would bid more than $300m for the bankrupt publisher. But they're now facing competition from Alden Global Capital for control. McClatchy has until July 15 to tell its bankruptcy judge who won the auction.
Blackstone closes life sciences fund at $4.6bn. (FS)
Blackstone closed its first life sciences fund at $4.6bn, the largest pool of private capital raised to invest in the sector to date. This is the first fund raised sinceBlackstone acquired Clarus Ventures, a biomedical investment firm, and renamed it Blackstone Life Sciences, PE News reported.
The fund strategy focuses on strategic collaborations with established life science companies, late-stage product financings and growth investment in emerging companies.
DCM Ventures amasses $880m in its latest funds. (FS)
DCM Ventures, a venture capital firm, closed its most significant funds to date, raising a total amount of $880m. DCM IX, its global fund, comes out to $780m, and its A-fund, which is meant for seed-stage investments, is at $100m.
The company plans on using the "family of funds" to invest in early-stage SaaS and vertical cloud companies, business-to-business and business-to-consumer fintech startups, and consumer internet companies.
Rethink Impact closes second fund with $182m. (FS)
Rethink Impact, a venture capital firm, closed on its Fund II at $182m. The fund brings its total assets under management to $300m.
Rethink Impact has backed over 25 companies focusing on gender diverse teams helping to solve the world's greatest challenges. With this new fund, the firm will provide additional access to funding with a continued focus on the leaders who need it most.
Surf Group considers an IPO.
Surf Group, a Brazilian mobile network operator, is considering an IPO in US or Brazil.
The company asked investment banks to pitch for a role in the offering. A target for the size of the IPO has not been set yet. The date of the potential IPO is unknown, and the company could still decide not to pursue it.
Davidson Kempner Capital Management said it considered Thermo Fisher Scientific's current $11.5bn offer to acquire German genetic test maker Qiagen to be "inadequate" and would not tender its shares into the offer, Reuters reported.
The investment manager, which owns a 3% stake in Qiagen, said Thermo Fisher's offer of $44 per share was not adequate and believed the standalone fair value to be about $56 per share. Davidson Kempner urged Qiagen's board to issue an adverse recommendation change. The acceptance period for Thermo Fisher's offer ends on July 27.
Qiagen is advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Lazard, Moelis & Co, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Linklaters, and Mintz Levin. Barclays and Goldman Sachs are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. Thermo Fisher Scientific is advised by JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Hengeler Mueller, NautaDutilh, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Joele Frank and Brunswick Group. JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are providing debt financing, and are advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Gleiss Lutz.
Royal Caribbean Group, a cruise line brand, completed the acquisition of the remaining stake in Silversea, a luxury cruise line with its headquarters in Monaco. The remaining one-third stake held by Heritage Cruise Holding was paid for in the form of 5.2m shares of Royal Caribbean Group common stock, which represents about 2.5% of the total common stock.
"Silversea has been a great fit for our company from the very first day. The cultures of the two organizations have proven to be harmonious, and guests have responded favorably to the combination," Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO.
Silversea was advised by Barclays and Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Royal Caribbean Group is advised by Perella Weinberg Partners and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Silversmith Capital-backed Appfire, a provider of apps for software development teams, completed the acquisition of Beecom Products, a software developer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We’re thrilled to join Appfire. This strategy will propel us into the next stage of growth and accelerate our ability to help modern organizations solve challenges with our product solutions. As we scale up with Appfire, so do our capabilities to develop products and experiences that are cherished by the members of the Atlassian ecosystem globally,” Fabian Hediger, Beecom Co-Founder.
Beecom was advised by Niederer Kraft & Frey. Appfire was advised by Homburger.
MVM Group, a Hungarian energy group, agreed to acquire Innogy Ceska, Innogy's customer electricity and gas business in the Czech Republic, from E.ON, a German utility company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This transaction marks the final step in the fulfilment of the remedies offered by E.ON in the context of the antitrust approval of E.ON’s takeover of Innogy. The transaction is subject to the approval of the European Commission and is expected to close before year-end.
"Under the new owner, we want to further develop products and services and look forward to a new stage in our cooperation and the potential that the new owner offers to improve the offer for our customers. I want to assure all our customers and partners that we will continue to be a reliable partner for them," Tomas Varcop, Innogy Ceska CEO.
Cassa Depositi e Prestiti considers acquiring a stake in Telecom Italia Network. (FS)
Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, an Italian state lender, is in talks to acquire a stake in some of Telecom Italia's fixed-line assets, Bloomberg reported. CDP would join Swisscom's Fastweb and KKR to become an investor in Telecom Italia's secondary grid, covering the last mile of cables from street cabinets to premises.
The possible acquisition could stimulate a partial spinoff of the carrier's network while supporting what Italy's government sees as a critical strategic asset.
Unilever considers scaling back extent of tea business divestment.
Unilever, a British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company, is considering scaling back the potential disposal of its tea business and may hold some operations in emerging markets, Bloomberg reported.
The multinational consumer group is debating whether to hold on to its tea business in India and Indonesia. Unilever is also considering excluding its stake in a PepsiCo, a venture that makes Lipton bottled drinks.
Removing these assets from the sale could reduce the eventual proceeds by as much as several billion pounds and make the portfolio less attractive to some potential bidders. The remaining parts of the business could fetch about $5bn to $6.3bn.
Pictet Alternative Advisors closes Monte Rosa V on $1.2bn. (FS)
Pictet Alternative Advisors, an alternative investment specialist, closed Monte Rosa V, the fifth fund in a series of diversified, multi-manager private equity funds, at $1.16bn.
Monte Rosa V will invest mainly in North American and European buyout funds, as well as in other geographies. It will also invest in venture capital, growth and turnaround funds.
"As this fund is 1.5 times bigger than its predecessor which we closed in 2017, this successful fundraising reinforces the important role private equity plays in investors' strategic asset allocation," Maurizio Arrigo, PAA Head of Private Equity.
Virgin's adminstrators are sticking with a plan to sell the carrier to Bain Capital despite renewed hope among aggrieved bondholders that creditors will be able to consider a last gasp bid from them to resurrect the stricken airline, SMH reported.
Bondholders dropped their Takeovers Panel application following a Federal Court hearing where they revealed they would put forward a formal deed of company arrangement for creditors to consider alongside an offer from Bain at an upcoming meeting in August.
The bondholders took court action to access documents relating to the transaction so they could have more time to consider Bain's offer and prepare their alternative proposal.
Virgin Australia is advised by Deloitte, Houlihan Lokey, Morgan Stanley, and Clayton Utz. Bain Capital is advised by Herbert Smith Freehills.
Freshworks, a customer engagement software company, completed the acquisition of Flint, an IT orchestration and cloud management platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Like many companies today, we felt the pressure of today's remote environment as we went from 13 workplaces to 3k+ home offices in a matter of days. IT automation is vital to help accelerate the transition to a remote workforce and resolve service issues faster. With the addition of Flint's intelligent automation, Freshworks takes the legwork out of tedious, repeatable tasks so IT teams can focus on high impact work while providing an exceptional employee experience," Prakash Ramamurthy, Freshworks CPO.
Tahoe considers $1bn divestment of its insurance unit.
Tahoe Investment Group, a Chinese conglomerate, is considering a sale of its life insurance unit that could bring about $1bn, Bloomberg reported.
The company is working with an adviser to seek buyers for Tahoe Life Insurance. Tahoe has approached several insurance firms to calculate their interest in the potential divestment. Discussions are at an early stage, and Tahoe could decide not to divest the business.
China state funds to cut stakes in PICC amid stock bull run.
Reuters reported that People's Insurance of China and three China-listed tech companies announced that their major state shareholders plan to reduce holdings, a move that comes amid a fiery bull run in China's stock market. The planned stake reduction is worth as much as $1bn based on PICC's mainland market price.
The bull run, encouraged by state media, has been fuelled by signs of early economic recovery for China from the coronavirus, capital market reforms and accelerating inflows of foreign funds.
Tata Sons said to acquire AirAsia India stake at a discount.
Tata Sons, an Indian conglomerate, is in talks to acquire Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia Group's stake in their airline joint venture in India at a steep discount in which Tata holds a 51% stake.
Tata Sons will likely tie-up with other financial investors to acquire AirAsia's 49% stake in the venture.
Honda invests in CATL to develop EV batteries.
Honda Motor, a manufacturer of vehicles, will acquire a 1% stake in Contemporary Amperex Technology, a Chinese electric vehicle battery maker, to jointly develop EV batteries.
The move comes at a time when auto manufacturers and electric vehicle battery makers are joining forces in pursuit of an electric future. CATL will also supply batteries to Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen.
China Bohai Bank raises $1.8bn in Hong Kong IPO.
China Bohai Bank, a commercial bank, raised $1.8bn after pricing its shares at $0.62 as it carried out the largest IPO in Hong Kong so far in 2020, Reuters reported.
The bank had signalled that it would sell 2.9bn shares at $0.6 to $0.65 each. Cornerstone investors who bought into the IPO ahead of the institutional bookbuild accounted for about 30% of the total deal. The largest of those investors was Yichang Health Pharmaceutical which bought $200m worth of stock, followed by four funds which took a $50m share each.
Li Auto files for US IPO.
Meituan Dianping-backed Li Auto, a Chinese electric vehicle maker, filed for a US initial public offering, Reuters reported.
The move comes as share prices of EV makers, including Tesla and Nio, have risen in recent months. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS are the underwriters for the IPO.
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