Waste Management, a provider of comprehensive waste management environmental services in North America, lowered its bid to acquire Advanced Disposal Services, the fourth largest solid waste company in the US, to $4.6bn from $4.9bn.
“We believe the revised agreement with Waste Management, coupled with our joint agreement to sell substantially all of the divestitures to GFL Environmental, delivers significant value and certainty of closing to Advanced Disposal stockholders. We continue to work hand in hand with the Waste Management team, GFL Environmental, and the US Department of Justice to gain regulatory clearance and complete the transaction,” Richard Burke, Advanced Disposal Chief Executive Officer.
Advanced Disposal is advised by UBS, Mayer Brown and Shearman & Sterling. UBS is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. Waste Management is advised by Centerview Partners, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Vedder Price and Joele Frank. CPPIB is advised by Debevoise & Plimpton.
Clearlake Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in WhiteStar Asset Management, a credit-focused investment management firm, from Pine Brook, an investment firm providing financial support to companies in the energy and financial services sectors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"WhiteStar is an important piece of expanding our credit related platform and we look forward to actively accelerating the growth of the business. This is a very important step and a true milestone in Clearlake's own growth and strategic path," Jose E. Feliciano and Behdad Eghbali, Clearlake Co-Founders and Managing Partners.
WhiteStar was advised by Milbank. Clearlake was advised by GreensLedge, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Lambert & Co. Pine Brook was advised by Berkshire Global Advisors, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, and Stanton PRM.
Mastercard agreed to acquire Finicity, which offers data processing software solutions for the financial sector, for $825m. Finicity's existing shareholders have the potential for an earn-out of up to an additional $160m, if performance targets are met.
"Open banking is a growing global trend and a strategically important space for us. With the addition of Finicity, we expect to not only advance our open banking strategy, but enhance how we support and accelerate today's digital economy across several markets. Finicity has a proven business, built on partnerships with thousands of banks and fintechs, similar to us. Finicity also shares our commitment to consumer-centric data practices, ensuring consumers have a say in how and where their information should be used. It's through the use of next generation open banking APIs and clear consumer approvals that this financial information can deliver streamlined loan and mortgage processes, rapid account-based payment initiation and personal financial management solutions," Michael Miebach, Mastercard President.
Finicity is advised by FT Partners and Cooley. Mastercard is advised by Barclays.
La Jolla Pharmaceutical, which is dedicated to the development and commercialization of innovative therapies that improve outcomes in patients suffering from life-threatening diseases, agreed to acquire Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company, for $43m and $16m potentially payable. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Tetraphase board of directors and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.
“Combining with La Jolla, which markets GIAPREZA, the first new treatment for patients suffering from septic or other distributive shock in more than a decade, should help accelerate XERAVA’s availability to patients in need. We are excited to have the opportunity to combine with a company that has a strategic vision similar to our own,” Larry Edwards, Tetraphase President and Chief Executive Officer.
Tetraphase is advised by Janney Montgomery Scott, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr and Argot Partners.
Technology accelerator Victory Square-backed FansUnite Entertainment, a sports and entertainment company, agreed to acquire Askott Entertainment, a full-service development company that combines esports with the regulated iGaming space. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This merger with Askott will represent our most significant milestone to date and transform us into one of Canada’s leading gaming companies. With the addition of Askott, we will have a fully integrated gaming asset that offers multiple B2C platforms for users, B2B technology for all forms of sportsbooks, and a seasoned team of executives that have led and grown multiple organizations on a global scale,” Darius Eghdami, FansUnite CEO.
Askott is advised by Haywood Securities and Gowling WLG. FansUnite is advised by Fasken Martineau DuMoulin.
Eagle Merchant Partners, a private equity firm, completed an acquisition of a minority stake in Code Ninjas, a provider of coding franchise system for kids. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Eagle Merchant Partners pursues rapidly growing franchise businesses that can successfully leverage a capital infusion to get to the next level. Code Ninjas is a proven system, teaching children how to code in a supervised and collaborative environment. The kids are having fun and learning, transferring their passion for video games into skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives," Stockton Croft, EMP Partner.
Code Ninjas was advised by The McLean Group. EMP was advised by PR South.
CoStar Group, the provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces, completed the acquisition of Ten-X, a commercial real estate marketplace, for $190m.
“We are pleased that we were able to close on our acquisition of Ten-X so quickly and we look forward to getting to work on combining the strengths of Ten-X with the strengths of CoStar Group to make the platform even more valuable for our brokers and the institutions they represent,” Andy Florance, CoStar Group CEO.
CoStar Group was advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges.
Elm Street Technology, a real estate technology and marketing solutions provider completed the acquisition of IDX Broker, a provider of real estate search applications and marketing solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We've listened to our customers and their desire to have a single point of contact and vendor for all of their marketing services, and now we are excited to be able to join the Elm Street Technology team to fulfill this request. Elm Street Technology has been executing on its mission to create an end-to-end solution with their Elevate platform and I believe it's quickly going to lead the space. We're thrilled to combine forces, company cultures and our mutual passion to be a part of this vision," Chad Barczak, IDX CEO.
KKR and XPV Water Partners, a private equity firm which invests in and actively supports water-focused companies, agreed to acquire Environmental Dynamics International, a global manufacturer of diffused aeration systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are committed to scaling solutions to promote water quality and we look forward to collaborating with EDI's management team and dedicated employees to deliver our resources, ideas and capital to unlock additional growth. Our ambition is for this acquisition to be the first of many as we expand our platform by teaming up with leading entrepreneurs, technologies and businesses across the sector," Robert Antablin, KKR Global Impact Co-Head, and David Henderson, XPV Managing Partner.
Quest Diagnostics, a provider of diagnostic information services, agreed to acquire a remaining stake in Mid America Clinical Laboratories JV, a growing and evolving organization providing a full range of laboratory services, from Ascension St. Vincent, a non-profit health system, and Community Health Network, a federally-qualified community health center. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This transaction delivers on our accelerate growth and operational excellence strategies, which focus on strategically aligned, accretive acquisitions, while bolstering our professional lab services. Health systems increasingly turn to Quest Diagnostics to optimize their lab strategies. We are pleased to take this step forward to deliver actionable diagnostic insights to more patients and providers in Indiana," Steve Rusckowski, Quest Diagnostics Chairman, CEO and President.
CloudEngage, an intuitive web personalization platform, agreed to acquire AnswerDash, a provider of AI-powered self-service support and e-commerce solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our platform provides rich customer data insights and real-time personalization across multiple channels. AnswerDash has a proven track record of delivering value to their customers by automating support, providing intuitive ways for web visitors to get predictive answers about products and services they're interested in," Paul Wagner, CloudEngage CEO.
Atos, a European multinational information technology service and consulting company, agreed to acquire Paladion, a managed detection and response services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
We believe this is an industry-defining deal, combining the scale and resources of Atos in managed security services with Paladion’s cloud-delivered managed detection and response technology,” Rajat Mohanty, Paladion CEO.
Dell explores spinoff of $50bn stake in VMware.
Dell Technologies is examining options including a spinoff for its roughly $50bn stake in VMware, an American publicly traded software company, as the PC maker seeks to boost the value of its shares, WSJ reported.
Dell recently kicked off a process to explore the possibility of unloading the stake or taking other steps that could include buying the rest of the cloud-software giant. The companies are working with outside advisers.
KKR, Cinven among firms weighing Unilever Tea bids. (FS)
Some of the world’s top buyout firms, from KKR & Co to Cinven, are among potential suitors weighing bids for Unilever’s tea business, Bloomberg reported.
Advent International, Bain Capital and Blackstone Group are also considering making offers for the unit, which controls brands including century-old Lipton. Unilever could fetch more than $6.3bn from the divestment, depending on which assets are included in a transaction.
The Unilever division has separately attracted interest from Swiss investment firm Jacobs, the owner of chocolate maker Barry Callebaut, as well as private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice. Some suitors are in talks to hire advisers as they prepare for the auction to kick off. Unilever is considering starting the bidding process after the summer holidays.
Maxar Technologies intends to acquire Vricon.
Maxar Technologies, a partner and innovator in earth intelligence and space infrastructure, announced its intent to exercise its call option to take full ownership of 3D data and analytics firm Vricon, for approximately $140m, or approximately $115m net of estimated cash at closing. To fund the transaction, Maxar intends to issue $150m in aggregate principal amount of new senior secured notes. Maxar has also agreed to repurchase $150m in aggregate principal amount of existing notes using the proceeds of the recent sale of its MDA business.
“Maxar commercial satellite imagery has long been foundational to US and allied defense and intelligence operations, and this acquisition will enable training, simulation and tactical missions to be conducted in highly immersive and accurate 3D environments. Vricon will allow Maxar to accelerate the creation of a living digital model of the Earth and become the global geospatial reference standard for existing and next-generation location-based applications,” Dan Jablonsky, Maxar CEO.
Schneider, Emerson eye bids for SoftBank-backed OSIsoft. (FS)
Schneider Electric and Emerson Electric are among manufacturing companies considering multibillion-dollar offers for industrial software maker OSIsoft, Bloomberg reported.
OSIsoft founder J. Patrick Kennedy and minority owner SoftBank Group are working with advisers on a potential sale of the whole company, which could fetch more than $4bn.
Next-round bids are due in July and the business could attract interest from other industrial companies as well as technology firms. Deliberations may not lead to a transaction and Schneider and Emerson may decide against making formal offers.
Lenders line up $2.6bn debt for eBay classifieds bidders. (FS)
Private equity firms competing to win the auction of eBay’s classified-advertising business may raise up to $2.6bn of debt to fund the deal.
Final bids are due in the first week of July. The remaining participants include a sponsor consortium comprising Blackstone Group, Permira and Hellman & Friedman, global consumer internet group Prosus, and online classifieds company Adevinta.
Clarke Capital and Ikonifi to acquire the assets of Brandless. (FS)
Clarke Capital Partners, a strategy-focused private investment firm, and Ikonifi, a performance-based digital marketing agency, agreed to acquire the assets of Brandless, an American e-commerce company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We had been rooting for the Brandless team, having fallen in love with their 'highest-quality' product lines, but found ourselves deeply saddened to learn of the company's closing. So when the opportunity was brought to us to join with Ikonifi's Ryan Treft and Brady Hansen to acquire the assets, we wasted no time as we worked to ensure the future of what Brandless, and its 'brand promise,' will continue to be to its millions of loyal customers," James Clarke, Clarke Capital Partners Founder.
Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square files for largest-ever SPAC IPO. (FS)
Bill Ackman’s hedge fund is about to go big-game hunting in the booming world of special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs. Pershing Square filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise the largest-ever SPAC, with unconventional terms that the fund believes will give it an advantage when doing a deal, FN reported.
The initial public offering seeks to raise $3bn for Pershing Square Tontine, a so-called “blank-cheque company” that will identify an acquisition target and buy it within 24 months.
BigCommerce to Seek US IPO. (FS)
BigCommerce, which designs and develops software to make online storefronts, is planning a US initial public offering this year, Bloomberg reported.
The Austin, Texas-based company is working with Morgan Stanley on the offering, which could value it at roughly $1bn. BigCommerce has filed confidentially for the listing and its financials could become public soon.
E-commerce has emerged as one of the winners in the coronavirus pandemic. Shares of Shopify, an industry leader and larger rival to BigCommerce, are trading at a record high and have more than doubled since mid-March, giving it a market value of $109bn.
Toyota reveals its $293m stake in Uber.
Toyota Motor holds a $293m stake in Uber Technologies, as it partners with the ride-hailing company to further expand into new mobility services, Reuters reported.
The Japanese automaker has also unloaded shares in some of its suppliers, adjusting its portfolio to reflect partnerships with rival automakers and technology firms as it transforms into a mobility services company.
Reporting the total size of its stake in Uber, which became a listed company last year, Toyota said it held 10.25m shares valued at $292.5m as of March 30. That is around 0.6% of Uber’s outstanding shares.
Mike Repole knows Alex Rodriguez is captain of Mets’ ownership bid. (FS, People)
Alex Rodriguez and his advisers were upset when they learned that potential Mets co-investor Mike Repole wanted to be a general partner of their bidding group, but Repole apparently understands that A-Rod is still the captain. Repole was investing money with A-Rod’s group and was going to be a general partner.
Major League Baseball only allows one controlling party per team. The rest of a team’s owners are typically considered limited partners, even if they have a say in operations.
Vitamin Water co-founder Repole and Florida Panthers owner Vinny Viola are deep in talks to invest a combined $250m with A-Rod and Jennifer Lopez in their bid for the Mets. Repole and Viola want a meaningful say in operations.
Thyssenkrupp Elevator has launched a high-yield bond to raise over $4.6bn to help finance its own acquisition by a private equity consortium.
The new $4.6bn bond offering, denominated in euros and US dollars, comes in addition to a proposed cross-border $3.44bn loan issued on Monday to finance the acquisition. Lead underwriters for the bond are Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs. Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, and UBS, Bloomberg reported.
The latest issue comprises the equivalent of $3.3bn in senior-secured bonds, in addition to $1.3bn in unsecured notes. Between loans and bonds, that brings the total debt being syndicated to $8bn, making it one of the largest offerings in the European leveraged-finance market this year.
ADAI, RAG, Cinven, and Advent are advised by Ernst & Young, Rothschild & Co, UBS, Kirkland & Ellis, NautaDutilh, and Hering Schuppener. Debt financing is provided by Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Credit Suisse, RBC and UBS. Alfried Krupp is advised by Mutter & Kruchen. Thyssenkrupp is advised by Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Macquarie Group, Nomura, and Linklaters.
Yandex, a Russian multinational corporation, is set to acquire a 45% stake in Yandex.Market, an e-commerce and trading platform, from Sberbank, a state-owned Russian banking and financial services company for $607m.
“We see great strategic potential in the full integration of e-commerce services into the Yandex ecosystem, unlocking significant synergies between Yandex.Market and other Yandex services. We aim to make Yandex.Market one of the leading e-commerce players in Russia, by significantly expanding its assortment, making ordering quick and easy, ensuring faster delivery times, and leveraging our existing logistics infrastructure, as well as our technological knowhow," Tigran Khudaverdyan, Yandex Deputy CEO.
Yandex is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
ServiceNow, a digital workflow company, agreed to acquire Sweagle, a Belgium-based configuration data management company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With capabilities for configuration data management from Sweagle, we will empower DevOps teams to deliver application and infrastructure changes more rapidly while reducing risk. Sweagle also brings deep DevOps talent to ServiceNow. Both founders are pioneers in configuration data management, and we are honored to have this talent join our team as we continue to help customers compete and win in a digital economy,” RJ Jainendra, ServiceNow Vice President and General Manager of DevOps and IT Business Management.
Siemens agreed to acquire UltraSoC, a provider of instrumentation and analytics solutions that put intelligent monitoring, cybersecurity and functional safety capabilities into the core hardware of system-on-chip, from Octopus Ventures and eCAPITAL, two venture capital funds. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Siemens' acquisition of UltraSoC means that for the first time our customers can access not just design-for-test, but a comprehensive 'Design for Lifecycle Management' solution for system-on-chips, including functional safety, security and optimization. By utilizing design augmentation to detect, mitigate and eliminate risks throughout the SoC lifecycle, customers can radically improve time-to-revenue, product quality & safety, and profitability. UltraSoC has a fast-growing business and impressive customer list and, as part of Siemens, can complement Tessent to create a truly unique offering in the market," Brady Benware, Siemens Digital Industries Software General Manager.
EFG Hermes Holdings, an Egyptian financial services company and Egypt's Sovereign Fund, agreed to acquire a 76% stake in Arab Investment Bank, a commercial and investment banking services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
In case of transaction completion, EFG Hermes Holding will have an ownership in the bank of not less than 51% and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt ownership of not less than 25% with the remaining stake continuing to be held by the National Investment Bank and the Federation of Arab States.
"The partnership with EFG Hermes comes as part of the Fund's strategy to cooperate with the Egyptian private sector to invest in promising sectors and in particular financial services and fintech. I am a strong believer in the Egyptian banking sector, which continues to present strong growth opportunities for investors with - great potential to compete and expand regionally and into Africa. I look forward to the successful completion of this transaction in the coming few months," Ayman Soliman, Sovereign Fund of Egypt CEO.
Cimbria Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of APX10, a SaaS company that helps to integrate big data on strategic decision-making processes. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We can not think of a better partner than Cimbria to help pave the way for future success given their value-add offerings and deep sector knowledge. With the strength of our teams combined, we are confident Danish water technology can positively affect the global utilities market faster and smarter than ever before," Ulrich Borup Hansen, APX10 CEO.
Volkswagen explores an offer for Europcar.
Volkswagen is exploring an offer for Europcar Mobility, Bloomberg reported. Shares of the rental-car company soared.
Volkswagen’s considerations are at an early stage. The carmaker could opt to not proceed with an offer. Europcar shares rose as much as 17% in early trading in Paris.
While Europcar has drawn interest from other suitors, finding a buyer during the Covid-19 travel slump could be difficult. Europcar hired advisers last year and set up a committee to weigh next steps after its largest shareholder, Eurazeo, warned of a potential exit from the car-rental agency and private-equity suitors began circling the firm.
Italian Exchange seen as the next target in the bidding war.
Italy’s national stock market could find itself at the center of a multibillion-euro bidding war if its owner, the London Stock Exchange, is forced to sell it to push through a landmark takeover of data provider Refinitiv.
European authorities decided to launch a full antitrust review of the $27bn LSE-Refinitiv deal, flagging competition concerns around businesses including data and government bond trading. It raises the prospect of the LSE needing to dispose of certain assets in order to appease regulators.
Rival European exchanges are already interested in one of these assets: Borsa Italiana. The Milan-based exchange could draw bids of about $3.4bn if it is put up for sale.
The LSE has owned Borsa Italiana since 2007 and wants to keep it. The Italian operations generated 14% of all LSE revenue last year, and allow the UK group to keep a foothold in the European Union.
FSN wins $98m in dispute with rival over acquisition. (FS)
Private equity firm FSN Capital said it has been awarded $98m by an arbitration tribunal in Denmark, after Swedish buyout group Procuritas was found liable for failings at a portfolio company.
Procuritas was ordered to pay damages after the tribunal ruled that the Swedish group sold its portfolio company Gram Equipment in January 2018 “based on fraudulent financial reporting”. FSN had claimed that more than a hundred fake invoices had been issued to artificially inflate revenues and profits.
Stonegate readies debt sale ahead of customers’ return. (FS)
Stonegate Pub, whose bars including the Walkabout and Slug & Lettuce chains, is preparing to tap investors for M&A financing as the UK gets ready to reopen its pubs.
The banks that provided $2.3bn of debt to support Stonegate’s acquisition of EI Group are set to place a portion of the deal with a small group of investors before broadly syndicating the remainder in late July.
The lenders had been forced to wait to sell their exposure after the coronavirus pandemic brought the leveraged debt market to a halt as well as forcing pubs to shut their doors. As governments and central banks act to buy their economies and credit markets improve, banks are now starting to shift large deals off their balance sheets.
Credit markets recover from coronavirus crash Barclays, Goldman Sachs Group, Nomura, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Bank and Cooperatieve Rabobank underwrote the bond and loan facilities nearly a year ago when Stonegate agreed to buy EI Group to become the biggest UK pub group with more than 4,7k establishments.
Boutiqaat hires Citigroup to advise on options.
Kuwait’s Boutiqaat hired Citigroup to explore strategic options for the online retailer of luxury goods and cosmetics, Bloomberg reported. The US bank is working with the company on possibilities including a partial sale of the business and fund raising.
Boutiqaat is seeking a valuation of about $700m. The company was valued at about $500m in a 2019 funding round.
Tenzing raises $500m for second fund. (FS)
London-based Tenzing has announced that it raised £400m ($500m) for its second private equity fund, doubling the amount collected for its predecessor three years ago.
The firm said Tenzing Private Equity was raised in nine weeks and is the first buyout fund raised through an entirely virtual process.
Mediobanca & Russell Investments launch fund to exploit opportunities amid crisis. (FS)
Italian investment bank Mediobanca and US fund manager Russell Investments are partnering to launch their third private markets fund.
The new strategy will be distributed until 30 September by Mediobanca's private banking division, which serves high net worth individuals, and managed by Russell Investments. Mediobanca Private Markets Fund III is set to "exploit new opportunities that arise" following the market dislocation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
European PE has worst half-year for deals since financial crisis amid pandemic. (FS)
The European private equity industry has recorded its lowest deal volume for a half-year period in more than a decade, as the Covid-19 pandemic halted most acquisition processes, FN reported.
As of June 12, the industry had reported 205 transactions, down 38% when compared with the first six months of 2019. Last time the region reported such a small number of deals was in the first half of 2009 when only 207 transactions were concluded.
Credit Suisse reviews funds connected to SoftBank-backed firm. (FS)
Credit Suisse Group has launched an internal review into funds it manages that have invested in billions of dollars worth of securities sold by a SoftBank Group-backed firm.
The four funds invest primarily in securities seeded by Greensill Capital, a firm that has become a high-profile name in financing global trade. Founded in 2011 by former Citigroup banker Lex Greensill, it provides short-term funding to corporate clients to pay invoices from their suppliers, also known as supply-chain financing.
Benettons said to draw funds’ interest for Cellnex stake.
Italy’s Benetton family has been approached by international funds for its $3.9bn stake in Cellnex Telecom, as the billionaire clan reviews its portfolio amid an ongoing dispute with the government over toll-road concessions.
The Benettons have no plan to sell the holding for now, as the family sees further growth potential. Group infrastructure company Atlantia has a right of first refusal on the Cellnex stake owned by the Benettons.
Barclays Private Bank CEO joins Ontario Teachers to lead $47bn equities unit. (People)
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board has hired the CEO of Barclays Private Bank, Karen Frank, to lead its equities department.
Based in the Canadian pension fund’s London office, Frank will take on the role of senior managing director, equities, in the autumn. Reporting to chief investment officer Ziad Hindo, she will oversee the private capital and high conviction equities teams.
HSBC hires Deutsche veteran to lead investment banking unit. (People)
HSBC has taken on Deutsche Bank's Adam Bagshaw as global co-head of advisory and investment banking coverage, FN reported.
This is the latest key appointment made despite the lender's overall hiring freeze and makes him one of the most senior investment bankers globally. Bagshaw was latterly co-head of corporate finance for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Deutsche Bank.
Crescent Acquisition, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, agreed to acquire F45 Training, the fastest-growing fitness franchise in the world, from FOD Capital, a family office investment fund, and Mark Wahlberg for $845m. Current F45 shareholders will hold approximately 60% of the combined company at closing, assuming no redemptions by the public shareholders of Crescent Acquisition.
“F45’s mission is to improve people’s lives and well-being, and the company was founded to make unique, effective and high-quality training accessible to everyone, while empowering franchisees to run successful businesses. As a public company, I am confident that we will be able to accelerate our mission, while creating value for our shareholders. We look forward to continuing to disrupt our industry and to inspire even more people to achieve their health and fitness goals through F45’s innovative workouts combined with our nutrition program,” Adam Gilchrist, F45 CEO.
Crescent Acquisition is advised by Credit Suisse, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Addo Investor Relations and Mendel Communications. F45 is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
India’s antitrust regulator approved Facebook’s $5.7bn acquisition of a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms, the digital services unit controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, giving the social media giant another foothold in one of the world’s fastest-growing online markets.
The clearance paves the way for a slew of smaller deals that take Jio’s parent, Reliance Industries, closer to its goal of becoming net debt free by March 2021 while using its roughly 400m wireless phone subscribers as the cornerstone of an e-commerce and digital services business.
Facebook is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Hogan Lovells, White & Case and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas. RIL is advised by Morgan Stanley, AZB & Partners, and Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Private equity firm Warburg Pincus-backed Weave Co-Living, a co-living rental accommodation provider and 32RE, a property investment manager, agreed to set up a $500m joint venture in Singapore.
“We are delighted to partner with Weave, Asia’s leading lifestyle-focused rental accommodation provider, in their first foray outside Hong Kong. Together, we look forward to building a 600-unit, Weave-branded and operated portfolio of properties in Singapore’s main social and commercial hubs,” Jeremy Choy, 32RE Co-Founder and CEO.
Japan Industrial Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire the imaging business of Olympus, a manufacturer of optical and digital precision technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Olympus said implemented measures to cope with the extremely severe digital camera market, due to, amongst others, rapid market shrink caused by the evolution of smartphones, but has concluded that its efforts weren’t enough. As it did with VAIO, JIP plans to streamline the business and will continue to develop products using Olympus brands such as OM-D and Zuiko.
KKR raises $10bn for its biggest Asia buyout fund. (FS)
KKR & Co has raised more than $10bn for its third Asia fund, on track to amassing the biggest buyout war chest ever assembled by a US private equity firm for the region, Bloomberg reported.
The New York-based buyout giant has achieved 80% of its $12.5bn target within seven months of official launch and plans to close the first round by the end of this month. At its full size, the fund would surpass a record $10.6bn raised by Hillhouse Capital for Asia in 2018.
KKR has been on a buying spree globally this year, snapping up assets after valuations plunged as the spread of the coronavirus grounded the global economy. Bigger funds with a long track record such as KKR have benefited from the turmoil, weathering better a drop in the flow of cash triggered by the virus outbreak and the trade war.
Blackstone to dispose of Embassy REIT stake worth $257m. (FS)
Blackstone is selling a large chunk of units of Embassy Office Parks REIT through a block trade. The unit could fetch $257m. The sale represents a 7% stake in the REIT, of which Blackstone owns 55% equity.
The sale of the REIT unit comes after media rumoured that IBM is considering ending leases for nearly half of its office spaces in India amid increasing acceptance of flexible working options such as work from home.
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