French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in his comments on the legal dispute between LVMH and Tiffany, stated that he was within his rights to ask the French luxury group to delay the acquisition.
LVMH said it would not be able to complete its $16.2bn acquisition of the US jeweller after the government asked it to defer the transaction beyond January 6, 2021. The request was made in the wake of a US threat to slap tariffs on a range of French products in retaliation for French plans to tax American technology companies.
“In terms of economic diplomacy, my role is threefold: it is to share the government’s trade and transatlantic policy with French companies with international operations. Secondly, my role is to answer their political questions, regardless of the country but specifically regarding the United States. Thirdly, my role is to apply, whenever appropriate, the government’s opinion on an assessment of a political nature regarding the management of major international events to come. That is the reason why I replied to a question from the LVMH group, totally in my role," Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Tiffany is advised by Centerview Partners, Goldman Sachs, Sullivan & Cromwell and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisors of Tiffany 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, Allen & Overy, Brunswick Group, DGM Conseil, Deluxewords, Montfort Communications, Publicis Consultants and SEC and Partners.
Gores Holdings IV, a special purpose acquisition company backed by The Gores Group, agreed to merge with United Wholesale Mortgage, a consumer lending services provider, in a $16.1bn deal.
Upon completion of the transaction, including the private placement, the current owners of UWM will retain approximately 94% ownership of the combined company. The existing management team, led by long-standing President and CEO Mat Ishbia, will continue to lead the business.
"We are pleased to partner with UWM in this milestone transaction. Mat and his team have built an impressive organization that is the market leader in wholesale lending and has a strong focus on culture and delivering quality service and offerings for its customers. As a public company, UWM will be well-positioned given its significant competitive advantages and we look forward to working together to accelerate the next phase of growth and to drive value for all of our stakeholders," Alec Gores, The Gores Group Chairman and CEO.
United Wholesale Mortgage is advised by Goldman Sachs, Greenberg Traurig, and Kekst CNC. The Gores Group is advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co, Moelis & Co, Morgan Stanley, and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Debt financing is provided by Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley.
EU antitrust regulators have extended their investigation into Alphabet unit Google's fitness tracker maker Fitbit to December 23, Reuters reported.
The EU competition enforcer last month kicked off a full-scale probe into the deal, saying Google’s pledge not to use Fitbit’s data for advertising purposes was insufficient to address competition concerns.
Fitbit is advised by Qatalyst Partners, Fenwick & West, and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Qatalyst Partners is advised by Cooley. Google is advised by Lazard and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Two private equity firms Thomas H. Lee Partners and Frazier Healthcare Partners completed the acquisition of Adare Pharmaceuticals, a specialty contract development and manufacturing organization and global provider of advanced pharmaceutical technologies, from TPG Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Adare has a track record of leveraging its technologies to develop and manufacture value-add products for partners and patients. Oral solid drug delivery is the largest drug class, and this new relationship with THL and Frazier will enable us to invest in and further grow our global capabilities as a specialty CDMO in the pharmaceutical and microbiome technology areas that have driven our growth to date. As we look to the next chapter, we want to thank TPG for their great partnership and support over the past decade of working together," John Fraher, Adare Pharmaceuticals CEO.
Thomas H. Lee and Frazier Healthcare were advised by RBC Capital Markets and Kirkland & Ellis. Thomas H. Lee was advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co. TPG was advised by Debevoise & Plimpton. Adare was advised by McDougall Communications.
Accenture, a multinational professional services company, agreed to acquire N3, a tech-driven sales and demand-generation firm, that helps clients drive sales growth in an increasingly virtual environment, from RedBird Capital Partners, a private investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Increasingly, B2B buyers expect the same ‘Amazon-like’ interactions they experience as consumers when purchasing far more complex services— a trend that’s only accelerated in the current pandemic. N3 provides the perfect combination of skilled talent and technology to remove barriers and better influence purchasing decisions at critical stages,” Manish Sharma, Accenture Group Chief executive of Operations.
RedBird is advised by Guggenheim Partners, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Gagnier Communications. N3 is advised by Alston & Bird.
GEF-backed GRO-WELL Environmental Partners, a producer and supplier of all-natural and organic products for the lawn and garden industry, completed the acquisition of Pacific Topsoils, which specializes in supplying soil, bark and other landscape construction materials. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We've admired the work of Pacific Topsoils for quite some time, and we're proud to bring them into our family. We now have an offering throughout the West that is stronger than ever. Our customers and vendors can expect a smooth transition, with a lot of exciting initiatives as we continue to grow our product offerings and services," Tim Sellew, GRO-WELL President.
Terracon, an employee-owned consulting engineering firm, agreed to acquire Environmental Planning Group, an environmental consulting company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"EPG brings a tremendous wealth of experience and strong professional presence in the region, further enhancing our environmental engineering and consulting services in the Southwest and Western US. We're excited for this great team of professionals to bring their talents to our shared vision of client service, now and in the future," Gayle Packer, Terracon President and CEO.
Environmental planning Group is advised by 2020 Environmental Group.
Chinese state media have denounced ByteDance’s deal with Oracle and Walmart as “dirty and unfair”, saying Beijing had “no reason” to approve the agreement backed by Donald Trump. Editorials published by several Chinese state media groups signalled Beijing may not sign off on a deal that could put control of the short-video app in the hands of Americans, FT reported.
Confusion over who would own and control TikTok Global, the new US-based company that would be created by the deal, was already threatening to unwind an agreement blessed by the White House.
"This trick to finally take over TikTok . . . It is not the first time the US has played such dirty tricks to bully foreign companies in order to either destroy them or take them over," China Daily.
D1 Capital Partners, a global investment firm that deploys capital in both public and private markets, led a $660m Series G round in Robinhood, an American financial services company headquartered in Menlo Park, California. The round gave Robinhood an $11.7bn valuation. The round saw an additional $460m investments from Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, DST Global, Ribbit Capital, and 9Yards Capital.
"We believe investing at its core is a democratic concept — it allows people to take part in the success of a company or sector they believe in. With our latest round of funding, we’ll continue empowering people in their financial lives and enabling a more democratic financial system," Robinhood.
KKR to acquire 1-800 Contacts, a retailer of contact lenses, from AEA Investors, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"1-800 Contacts was founded 25 years ago to offer consumers a better way to buy contact lenses. Since the very beginning, we've kept the customer at the center of everything we do. It's gratifying that KKR sees such incredible value in our brand and that they will continue to support us in doing what we do best – delivering the best vision care to consumers with the highest quality customer service." John Graham, 1-800 Contacts CEO.
Topspin Partners-backed Remedy Health Media, a digital platform that serves communities of patients, care partners and healthcare professionals, agreed to acquire OBR Oncology, an oncology-focused digital media company that provides news and information resources to oncologists and oncology healthcare professionals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The addition of OBR allows Remedy to serve the oncology community in powerful ways by providing instant access to leading opinions and the most current medical information for oncology professionals. Aligning ourselves with innovative partners like OBR, which has been serving the oncology community for more than a decade, helps us amplify our mission and motivate communities of patients and professionals towards optimal patient care," Mike Cunnion, Remedy CEO.
Yandex in talks to buy online bank Tinkoff for $5.5bn.
Russian bank TCS Group is in talks to sell its online bank Tinkoff to Russian internet group Yandex for $5.48bn, Reuters reported.
The idea was first publicly floated last year when Oleg Tinkov, founder of Russia's TCS group, suggested here to Yandex's chief executive that they combine his bank with Yandex, known as Russia's answer to Google.
“The parties have come to an agreement in principle on a transaction that would consist of cash and share consideration worth approximately $5.48bn or $27.64 per Tinkoff share,” Yandex.
3M explores $3.5bn sale of food safety unit.
Industrial conglomerate 3M is working with advisers on the sale of its food safety business, Bloomberg reported.
The unit, which makes products for pathogen testing and allergen detection, could fetch about $3.5bn. A sale would give 3M extra cash amid the coronavirus pandemic in exchange for parting with a relatively minor part of its sprawling portfolio.
UniCredit looks to sell WealthCap businesses.
UniCredit is looking to sell its German leasing operations and a local real estate investment unit, Reuters reported.
UniCredit’s German leasing business, which provides financing for capital goods such as machinery, has an equity value of around $587m.
Lazard sees more deals in $100bn healthcare recovery.
A sharp recovery in health-care dealmaking will quicken as large pharmaceutical companies chase new treatments through acquisitions, according to one of Lazard’s senior investment bankers covering the sector, Bloomberg reported.
Since the start of August, the value of health-care deals globally has more than doubled year-on-year to $102bn. That’s thanks to multibillion-dollar deals from the likes of French pharmaceutical group Sanofi and US-based Gilead Sciences.
“In the first six months of 2020, healthcare companies became more inward looking than usual. As the year has progressed, the underlying strategic imperative - the need to propel growth and drive innovation - has come back into focus,” Dale Raine, Lazard Head of European healthcare business.
Siemens sees market value of energy spin-off above $20bn.
Siemens expects Siemens Energy to reach a market value of significantly more than $19.98bn when it floats on the Frankfurt stock exchange next week, Reuters reported.
The consensus forecasts for the value of the business, which makes gas and wind turbines, is $24.7bn to $26bn. Based on the number of Siemens Energy shares, that would result in a share price of $34-35.7 apiece.
Platinum Equity pulls out of offer for AA. (FS)
Platinum Equity no longer plans to make an offer for roadside recovery firm AA, Reuters reported.
Discussions with the board of AA “have been terminated by mutual agreement”.
The roadside recovery firm said in August it had been approached by three bidders, Centerbridge Partners Europe and Towerbrook Capital Partners acting together, Platinum Equity Advisors and Warburg Pincus.
AA said earlier this month it had been granted an extension for potential offers by regulators until September 29 and discussions with each group had continued to progress.
Atlantia to discuss motorways demerger.
Atlantia will hold a board meeting to discuss splitting off its motorway assets from the group, two sources close with the matter said, as it presses ahead with a plan to part ways with its Autostrade per l'Italia business.
Atlantia owns 88% in Autostrade, which runs half of Italy's motorway network, with Germany's Allianz and China's Silk Road holding the rest.
The reorganisation of Atlantia’s motorway assets is at the centre of tough negotiations between the group and Italian state lender CDP to end a dispute triggered by the deadly collapse of a bridge run by Autostrade.
Blackstone said it closed $8bn real estate fund. (FS)
Blackstone announced the final close of its most recent real estate debt fund, Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies IV. BREDS IV has $8bn of total capital commitments, making it the largest real estate credit fund ever raised.
Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies has $26bn of assets under management, and Blackstone Real Estate has a total of $167bn of investor capital under management as of the second quarter of 2020. BREDS IV will have flexible capital to lend around the globe, and will deploy a variety of investment strategies, including lending, liquid securities, structured solutions to financial institutions, and corporate credit.
Austrian sensor maker AMS said it had signed a so-called domination and profit and loss transfer agreement with Osram, in a key step towards closing out its $5bn takeover of the German firm, Reuters reported.
The domination agreement foresees an offer to buy out outside shareholders at $53.4 per share. It also contains annual recurring compensation of $2.6.
"Implementing the agreement will enable the swift and successful integration of AMS and Osram into a combined company that offers profitable growth for the long term,” Alexander Everke, AMS CEO.
Osram is advised by Lazard, Perella Weinberg Partners, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gleiss Lutz, Hengeler Mueller, and Finsbury Glover Hering. Lazard and Perella Weinberg Partners are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. AMS is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, UBS, Herbst Kinsky, Linklaters, Schellenberg Wittmer, and Brunswick Group. Financial advisors to AMS are advised by Allen & Overy.
French waste and water management firm, Suez, target of a hostile takeover bid from rival Veolia, said it needed some time to prepare alternatives. Suez Chairman Philippe Varin also told a hearing at the National Assembly that Suez was talking with European Union anti-trust services and had asked French stock market watchdog AMF to look into Veolia’s move, Reuters reported.
The head of Veolia however told legislators during the same hearing that time was pressing as he wanted to make his deal before Suez, as part of an existing plan to revamp its business, divests more of its units. Suez sees Veolia’s bid plan as hostile and is working on finding a consortium of investors to make a rival bid for the stake French energy group Engie wishes to sell.
“We simply need some more time to prepare alternative offers...We need to find investors who will be prepared to buy that (Engie’s) stake but we cannot act in a hurry in two weeks, this is not possible,” Philippe Varin, Suez Chairman.
Veolia is advised by Citigroup, Messier Maris & Associes, Perella Weinberg Partners, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Flichy Grange Avocats, Gide Loyrette Nouel, Hogan Lovells, Patrice Gassenbach, Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associes, and Xavier Boucobza.
Krause Group, an American business conglomerate, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Parma Calcio 1913, an Italian football company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of Parma Calcio 1913 is the fulfilment of a long-held dream. My family and I have a deep-rooted, intergenerational passion for both football and our ancestral home of Italy. Parma Calcio 1913 are fighters and bouncing back from Serie D with three consecutive promotions in three years is a testament to their resilience. I am honored to don the yellow and blue, and play a small part in the venerable history of this proud team. I look forward to growing the team, the sport, and its fandom in Parma, Italy, and the world," Kyle J. Krause, Krause Group Chairman and CEO.
Krause Group is advised by NCTM. Nuovo Inizio is advised by Mora & Associati, Studio Capitani Picone, Gattai Minoli Agostinelli & Partners, and Studio Legale Belli.
EQT Real Estate, a real estate arm of Stockholm-based private equity group EQT, and Sigma Capital, an asset management group, to launch a $1.29bn residential joint venture. EQT Real Estate and Sigma have initially committed equity of $386m and $21m, respectively, to the JV.
“EQT Real Estate is thrilled to be entering the London residential market, one with a severe supply shortage of professionally managed, high-quality, good value homes to rent, with Sigma Capital. In addition to the initial seven schemes, we are currently evaluating a growing pipeline of projects in Greater London to build a large scale, resilient and downside-protected institutional BTR portfolio with robust and diversified rental income. EQT Real Estate looks forward to partnering with the Sigma team to realise our shared vision over the coming years,” Peter Shacalis, EQT Real Estate Head of UK.
EQT is advised by Taylor Wessing and Greenbrook. Sigma is advised by N+1 Singer and KTZ Communications.
Frenkel Topping Group, a Manchester-headquartered financial adviser and asset manager, offered to acquire NAHL Group, a UK consumer marketing business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Frenkel Topping believes that there is a clear strategic, operational and financial rationale to combining these two complementary businesses that focus on providing excellent professional support to the victims of life changing injury, incident or clinical negligence. The company believes that a combination would be compelling to both sets of shareholders and to the broader stakeholders of both companies," Frenkel Topping.
NAHL Group is advised by finnCap, Peel Hunt and FTI Consulting. Frenkel Topping is advised by finnCap.
CLH Group, a bulk liquid product logistics company, agreed to acquire a majority stake in European bulk liquid storage business of Inter Pipeline, a multinational petroleum transportation and infrastructure, for $540m.
"This is a very positive transaction for Inter Pipeline. Monetizing a significant portion of our European asset base enables us to focus resources on developing our higher growth Canadian businesses. As such, proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce debt, strengthen our balance sheet and assist with financing our large capital expenditure program, including the Heartland Petrochemical Complex," Christian Bayle, Inter Pipeline President and Chief Executive Officer.
CLH Group is advised by Citigroup. Inter Pipeline is advised by Morgan Stanley.
NORD Holding, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Bock Group, a manufacturer of piston compressors, from GEA Group, a food and beverages company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased that with our investment in the Bock Group we are able to acquire a well-established company that has a strong market position and a reputation as a technology leader in the sector. We at NORD Holding look forward to accompanying Bock on its next phase of growth and actively supporting the management team with a constructive environment for development outside the structures and strategy of the GEA Group. We very much look forward to working with the management team and employees," Ronald Grott, NORD Holdings, Member of the Management Board.
NORD Holding was advised by Alantra. GEA Group was advised by Baker McKenzie.
Verbund, an Austrian electricity provider, agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Gas Connect Austria, a gas pipeline operator, from OMV, an integrated oil and gas company, for $318m. Closing is subject to regulatory approval and is expected in the first half of 2021.
"In an increasingly volatile environment, this transaction strengthens our share in the regulated business and ensures stable earnings contributions. VERBUND operates the Austrian power transmission grid and is experienced in operating regulated infrastructure. As a bridging technology, gas will continue to play a key role on the path to a renewable energy system. The importance of the gas network will grow significantly in future as it will increasingly be used to transport green gases such as green hydrogen. In the long term, we see a global hydrogen economy, one in which large quantities of energy need to be transported internationally. This makes the purchase of Gas Connect Austria a key strategic step for VERBUND," Michael Strugl, VERBUND Deputy Chairman.
HG Capital, a private equity firm, completed an investment in The Citation Group, a subscription-based HR and Employment law, Health & Safety, and ISO services provider, from KKR. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Citation is very simply a high-quality business, demonstrated by around 20 years of year-on-year growth. Our experience of the business and its sector means that we recognise further opportunities for transformational growth, and we’re excited to make this new investment in the business. Now, together with KKR, Chris and a phenomenal team, we will continue to reinforce Citation as a truly trusted partner to SMEs,” Nick Jordan and Joris Van Gool, HG Capital Partners.
Mediawan, a French media conglomerate, has received regulatory approval from the French Autorite de la concurrence for the acquisition of Lagardere Studios, a creator, distribution and manager of audiovisual content, on September 21, 2020.
The transaction, which was formalized by an agreement signed on August 6 2020 with Groupe Lagardere, as well as submitted to the staff representative bodies for consultation, is not bound by any more conditions precedent and should be finalized in Q4 2020.
Apax Partners agreed to acquire Odigo, an omni-channel cloud platform that supports companies in the management of their customer interactions, from Capgemini, a provider of consulting, technology, professional, and outsourcing services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Odigo is now a European leader in CCaaS solutions. We are very pleased to be in a position to support Odigo in its ambitious strategy to grow and accelerate its international expansion. We have been impressed by the quality of Odigo’s products, the management team, its unique positioning and new customer acquisition capability. We are eager to contribute our expertise and extensive experience in the SaaS sector,” Damien de Bettignies and Thomas de Villeneuve, Apax Partners.
BGF, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Calnex Solutions, a developer of testing and measuring solutions for evaluating the performance of Ethernet synchronization and OAM technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are delighted to announce our proposed placing and admission to AIM and grateful for the support from our existing and new investors, such as BGF. The move onto the public markets will provide us with new capital, a raised profile and enhanced ability to execute on acquisitions, as we seek to capture an increased share of the growing market for telecoms test solutions," Tommy Cook, Calnex Founder and CEO.
MarketAxess, a financial technology company, agreed to acquire Regulatory Reporting Hub, a regulatory reporting and compliance platform, from Deutsche Borse. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With over 30 years of experience in providing regulatory reporting and data services to the world’s leading financial institutions, we know just how important they are for our clients. With this acquisition, we’re strengthening both our global post-trade and data businesses in two important ways: significantly extending our European client footprint, and increasing our ability to bring new, innovative technologies and solutions to a critical and complex part of the trade lifecycle,” Christophe Roupie, MarketAxess Head of EMEA and APAC.
Apollo leads $8.4bn race to buy Asda. (FS)
The private-equity firm Apollo Global Management is thought to have edged into the lead in the $8.4bn bidding war for Asda after its rival Lone Star Funds dropped out, PE Insights reported.
It is believed that a third bid from private equity firm TDR Capital remains in the running – the group is understood to have been working on a deal with the billionaire Issa brothers, who are behind the British forecourts operator EG Group.
The brothers, who are also trying to buy Australia’s Caltex forecourts group, are putting their own money into the Asda bid rather than bidding via EG.
Credit Suisse, UBS held tie-up talks backed by both chairmen.
The chairmen of UBS and Credit Suisse supported a merger of equals between Switzerland’s two largest banks during discussions earlier this year, Reuters reported.
The details reported by finance periodical Bilanz suggest that a merger between Credit Suisse and UBS, which had been examined by staff working under UBS chairman Axel Weber in recent months, had been more seriously considered than previously known, receiving backing from both parties.
Societe Generale plans the merger of its two French retail networks. (FS)
Societe Generale is considering merging its two French retail networks in an attempt to boost profitability, after two consecutive quarterly losses due to poor trading results, Reuters reported.
A combined company would have about 10m clients and a stronger foothold in France’s regions, as well as generating significant synergies to boost profitability.
“We want to speed up structuring initiatives to strengthen our business model of diversified European banking group,” Frederic Oudea, SocGen Chief Executive.
BioNTech completed the acquisition of the German manufacturing site of Novartis.
BioNTech, a biotechnology company, completed the acquisition of the GMP certified German drug manufacturing facility of Swiss drugs giant Novartis. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition is expected to boost output of the coronavirus vaccine hopeful it is developing with Pfizer. The deal is part of a push to prepare for a global roll-out of an experimental vaccine that could be reviewed by regulators as early as next month.
“This acquisition reflects BioNTech’s commitment to significantly expanding its manufacturing capacity in order to supply a potential vaccine worldwide upon authorization or approval. We are working closely with Novartis to prepare for a smooth transition, and we look forward to welcoming the new members of our team and tapping into their impressive skills and expertise. From a strategic standpoint, the new site will bolster our vertically integrated business model with in-house manufacturing capabilities for mRNA manufacturing as well as vaccine formulation,” Sierk Poetting, BioNTech CFO and COO.
Novartis is advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Expected bank merger wave puts Deutsche Bank on stand-by.
Deutsche Bank is preparing for a wave of mergers, its finance chief said, in a potential change for Germany’s biggest lender, which has been focused firmly on a turnaround, Reuters reported.
Policymakers have long said Europe’s ailing banking sector needs to consolidate, but regulatory and political obstacles have hindered big deals over the past decade.
Cellnex close to acquiring Metrocall.
Cellnex, a Spanish wireless telecommunications infrastructure and services company, is close to acquiring Metrocall, a wireless data and messaging company in the Madrid, Reuters reported. Metrocall was valued at $70m by analysts.
Spun off from Spanish infrastructure operator Abertis in 2015, Cellnex has bought tens of thousands of phone towers across Europe in the past few years and now controls more than 50k sites. It is seen as a key player in a potential consolidation of the European telecoms infrastructure market.
Medicxi holds closing of its first $236m secondary fund. (FS)
Medicxi, a European life sciences investment firm, has held the closing of Medicxi Secondary 1 in connection with the completion of an “Exit & Reinvest” type of structured secondary transaction.
The interests in six clinical and preclinical stage companies held by Index Ventures Life VI, a dedicated life sciences fund advised by Medicxi, were acquired by a newly formed fund managed by Medicxi, called MS1. The new fund has been anchored by the secondary investor, Pantheon, with LGT Capital Partners as co-lead investor.
“We believe this Exit and Reinvest type of transaction (“E&R”) can be the blueprint for future investments by investors interested in obtaining exposure to biotechnology, but who are concerned by the long cycles of value creation in the asset class. In the future, this E&R approach will enable monetisation of the value created in the first steps of drug development, while simultaneously creating the optionality of retaining the future upside of late stage drug development,” Francesco De Rubertis, Medicxi Co-founder and Partner.
BlackRock, Sands Capital, and Silver Lake led a $500m funding round in Byju’s, an online learning platform, valuing the company at $10.8bn. The round was also joined by Alkeon Capital, Tiger Global, General Atlantic and Owl Ventures.
“We are excited to welcome Blackrock, Sands Capital and Alkeon as our partners. As we continue to create engaging and personalised learning solutions, partnerships like these reaffirm our commitment to build and transform the global learning landscape through technology, innovation and quality pedagogy. Continued support from our existing investors is a testament of their confidence in us and our mission," Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO.
Shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings is discussing concessions with EU antitrust regulators to allay concerns over its $2bn bid for rival Daewoo, Reuters reported.
Hyundai may face less onerous concessions after the EU competition enforcer dropped its concerns regarding the impact of the deal on the markets for large container ships, oil tankers and liquefied petroleum gas carriers.
KKR to acquire a 1.28% stake in Reliance Retail for $754m. (FS)
KKR agreed to acquire a 1.28% stake in Reliance Retail, a retail business of Reliance Industries, for $754m.
“I am pleased to welcome KKRas an investor in Reliance Retail Ventures as we continue our onward march to growing and transforming the Indian Retail ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians. KKR has a proven track record of being a valuable partner to industry-leading franchises and has been committed to India for many years. We look forward to working with KKR’s global platform, industry knowledge and operational expertise across our digital services and retail businesses,” Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director.
Reliance Retail is advised by Morgan Stanley, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, and Davis Polk & Wardwell. KKR is advised by Deloitte, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
BEA presses ahead with life insurance sale. (FS)
Bank of East Asia agreed to start a process of selling its life insurance unit in a bid to boost profitability and lift its shares, Bloomberg reported.
The bank, which counts activist investor Paul Singer’s Elliott Management as a shareholder, announced the plan after a business review. BEA could raise about $500m to $600m from a potential transaction.
BEA will also seek to enter into a long-term exclusive distribution agreement that will provide an ongoing source of revenue as a distributor of insurance products through its banking platform.
Ant Group to raise $17.5bn via Hong Kong IPO without cornerstone investors.
China’s Ant Group plans to raise about half of its $35bn dual listing in Hong Kong and will not offer a cornerstone tranche as it bets on strong demand from institutional investors.
Backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Ant plans to list simultaneously in Hong Kong and on Shanghai’s STAR Market next month in what could be the world’s largest IPO, surpassing oil giant Saudi Aramco’s $29.4bn float last December.
The financial technology firm is seeking to raise about $35bn after assessing early investor interest and based on a higher valuation of about $250bn or more, Reuters reported.
Smart Glove picks banks for $242m IPO.
Smart Glove, a disposable glove maker in Malaysia, has selected banks for its planned initial public offering that could raise more than $242m, Bloomberg reported.
The company has picked Affin Hwang Investment Bank and RHB Bank for the potential share sale. The offering could take place as soon as next year.
FWD plans up to $3bn Hong Kong IPO.
FWD Group, the Asian insurer backed by billionaire Richard Li, has picked banks for its planned Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as $3bn, Bloomberg reported.
FWD has selected Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley to work on the potential share sale. HSBC is also working on the offering, which could take place as soon as next year.
Ninebot's files for IPO in China.
Chinese e-scooter maker Ninebot will launch a domestic initial public offering soon with a listing structure that shows how eager Beijing is for Chinese tech companies to list at home amid rising tensions with Washington.
China’s securities regulator gave Ninebot the go-ahead late to float on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market, making it the first company with a VIE structure to sell Chinese Depository Receipts.
The variable interest entities structure was created two decades ago to circumvent Chinese rules restricting foreign investment in sensitive industries such as media and telecommunications, enabling Chinese companies such as Sina, Netease and Sohu to raise overseas money via offshore listings.
Keppel education asset fund raises over half of $500m target. (FS)
Keppel Capital Alternative Asset, Keppel Capital’s alternative asset subsidiary, has raised more than half of its $500m fundraising target for its Keppel Education Asset Fund.
When fully leveraged and invested, the fund is expected to have assets under management of approximately $1.2bn. The fund plans to partner with school operators to invest in private education-related real estate in the Asia Pacific-region.
The fund’s first acquisition was a 70% stake in a premium bilingual K12 school property operated by Malvern College Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan Province and has a pipeline of future deals including properties in Australia, China, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.
Ousted Tata chairman offers to sell shares in group.
Cyrus Mistry, the ousted Tata Sons chairman, said he was willing to sell his family’s shares in the conglomerate, a move that may end one of the most acrimonious disputes in India’s recent corporate history, FT reported.
The Mistry family’s Shapoorji Pallonji group, which retains an 18% stake in Tata, has been locked in a legal dispute with one of India’s biggest and best-known companies since Mr Mistry was sacked in 2016.
Both sides indicated that they were willing to part ways, however, after a lawyer for Tata said in India’s Supreme Court that the company would be willing to buy out the Mistry family’s holdings.
Connect the World of Dealmakers
Expand your network of fellow Dealmakers by inviting your colleagues and coworkers.