Jeff Leerink, SVB Securities' CEO and Founder, and The Baupost Group, a hedge fund, agreed to acquire SVB Securities, the investment banking business of SVB Financial Group, a financial services holding company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This transaction is a significant milestone in SVB Financial Group's strategic alternatives process. The Restructuring Committee and its advisors conducted a disciplined and independent process intended to maximize the value of the business for SVB Financial Group stakeholders. We are confident that the transaction led by the investment bank's current management team will preserve and enhance the value of the business," Bill Kosturos, SVB Financial Group Chief Restructuring Officer.
The Pennant Group, a group of affiliated home health, hospice, home care and senior living companies, completed the acquisition of Bluebird, which provides skilled home health, private duty, and hospice services across Southwestern Idaho. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Bluebird's operations fit uniquely within the strong continuum of care we have successfully built in Idaho over the last 12 years. This transition brings with it a strong group of operational and clinical leaders and outstanding clinicians who have made a meaningful impact in Southwest Idaho's healthcare continuum over the last few years. We are excited to join them, and add our home-based care-focused resources, systems, and best practices, to help them drive continued clinical and operational progress, and provide life-changing home health, hospice, and home care services to the residents of the Treasure Valley and across Idaho," John Gochnour, Pennant Group President and COO.
Hearst vies with BC Partners, Apax for Ascential’s $1bn consumer trend unit. (FS)
Hearst Communications, the century-old media conglomerate, is among final bidders competing to acquire Ascential’s consumer trend-spotting unit. The data analytics firm’s WGSN business has also attracted offers from private equity firms BC Partners and Apax Partners. Ascential could pick a winning bidder in the coming weeks, Bloomberg reported.
WGSN, which offers paid-for subscriptions and bespoke consultancy services to help companies understand customer trends, may fetch about $1bn or more. London-listed Ascential is working with JP Morgan on the WGSN sale. The divestment is part of a breakup plan announced in January. The plan to split itself up also includes a separation and listing of its digital commerce assets in the US.
Cargill enters dispute for Brazil soy crusher's assets.
The Brazilian unit of US grains merchant Cargill has asked a bankruptcy court to halt the auction of two plants owned by soy crusher Imcopa, scheduled for June 27, the latest twist of a running legal saga involving rival Bunge.
Cargill confirmed filing a petition with the bankruptcy court regarding the sale of Imcopa's assets. The company and other prospect bidders would benefit from additional time and more information on the conditions of the transaction.
Cargill's move is another sign of likely consolidation in Brazil's soy crushing industry at a time of healthy margins and cheap soybean supplies after a bumper crop. Imcopa's crushing plants are located in the southern state of Parana and are currently processing soy supplied by Bunge under an agreement with a brewing company leasing the assets for almost 10 years.
Blackstone’s Horizon head Scott Bommer to leave company. (FS, People)
Blackstone Group’s Scott Bommer, CIO of its hedge fund unit’s Horizon Platform, is leaving the company due to health reasons, Reuters reported.
Bommer started in 2021 as a senior managing director and prior to joining Blackstone, he was in charge of hedge fund SAB Capital for 17 years. The Blackstone Horizon platform will now be managed by an investment committee led by Blackstone Alternative Asset Management hedge fund head Joe Dowling.
Horizon, which launched shortly before markets turned in July 2021 with around $2bn in capital, is down 22% since its launch.
PAI Partners, a pre-eminent private equity firm, agreed to invest in Azets Group, a provider of business-critical accounting, tax, payroll, audit and advisory services to SMEs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With its proven and resilient business model, Azets provides a strong platform for future growth. Thanks to its leading market positioning, the firm is well-placed to benefit from the growing levels of compliance, regulation and outsourcing that underpin its core services market. We look forward to partnering with the management team and Hg in this next phase of Azets' growth," Colm O'Sullivan, PAI Partner.
Azets Group is advised by Deloitte, Ernst & Young, OC&C Strategy Consultants, Alpha Advisory, JP Morgan, Jefferies & Company and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. PAI is advised by Alvarez & Marsal, KPMG, Bain & Co, Deutsche Bank and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Hg Capital is advised by Brunswick Group (led by Azadeh Varzi).
Orange $19bn bid to combine its Spanish operations with Masmovil Ibercom is under threat from European Union merger watchdogs unless the firms fix a list of competition concerns set to be issued by regulators.
The European Commission is poised to issue a so-called statement of objections to Orange and Masmovil cataloging potential reasons to veto the tie up between Spain’s second and fourth largest mobile operators.
Coca-Cola HBC, a manufacturer and seller of Coca-Cola products, agreed to acquire Brown-Forman Finland, a subsidiary that owns the Finlandia vodka brand from Brown-Forman, an American multinational corporation that specializes in the production and distribution of alcoholic beverages, for $220m.
"Having been associated with the distribution of Finlandia for 17 years in several markets, we are excited by this unique and regionally relevant opportunity that will support the acceleration of our on-premise business across more of our markets. The proven complementarity of our premium spirits business with our strong NARTD portfolio enables us to offer solutions for a broad range of 24/7 consumption occasions, particularly socializing moments. We view this as an attractive investment and a natural evolution of our role as one of Finlandia's distribution partners, further attesting to the strength of our time-tested and wide-ranging partnership with Brown-Forman. We appreciate the trust placed in us and look forward to creating more value for our partners and customers by capturing new opportunities with our well-rounded beverage portfolio." Zoran Bogdanovic, Coca-Cola HBC CEO.
Michelin, a French multinational tire manufacturing company, agreed to acquire Flex Composite Group, a provider of engineered fabrics and films, from IDI, a private equity firm, for €700m ($766m).
"We are very pleased to extend a warm welcome to the FCG teams into our Group, to create a recognized leader in high-tech technical fabrics and films. This operation draws on the best of both companies, in particular on our shared expertise in polymer composite solutions. We are aiming to generate synergies and to push back the frontiers of deep-tech innovation in a wide range of new products and applications. This acquisition is a milestone in our strategy to position the Group as a key player in polymer composite solutions beyond mobility," Florent Menegaux, Michelin CEO.
BorgWarner, an American automotive supplier, agreed to acquire the Electric Hybrid Systems business segment of Eldor, a provider of automobile products, for €75m ($82m).
"Eldor's technologies are a great complement to BorgWarner's ePropulsion portfolio, particularly as it relates to expanding in high-voltage power electronics beyond the inverter. As we continue with our Charging Forward M&A strategy, we look forward to welcoming Eldor's talented team to BorgWarner later this year," Frédéric Lissalde, BorgWarner President and CEO.
Nordic Capital, a private equity investor, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Foxway, a European provider of circular IT services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're pleased to have Nordic Capital as a new partner on our journey. We are immensely proud of the team at Foxway and how we have built a European leader in circular IT. With new valuable international experience and expertise, I'm confident that this will able us to support more clients on a global scale to incorporate a more sustainable profile in their businesses. With our leading in-house refurbishment centers, Foxway is leading the industry into a more sustainable era and enabling the complete eco-system of circular services," Martin Backman, Foxway CEO.
Perwyn, a private equity firm in London, completed the acquisition of Cruiseline, which provides voyages in the Mediterranean, North Sea, Latin America and the Caribbean. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Tikehau Capital for their contribution over the last few years. Their financial support and vision will leave an indelible mark on all our teams. I am also very grateful to Montefiore. Their strategic support has enabled us to take leading positions in a number of markets and we are stronger today than we were before Covid-19. We are very excited to be entering a new phase of development with Perwyn. We are convinced that their flexibility in terms of investment horizon, their considerable financial capacity and, above all, the high quality of their teams are all assets for Cruiseline," Pierre Pelissier, Cruiseline Chairman.
Inflexion-backed Rosemont, a pharmaceutical company, agreed to acquire Lucis Pharma, a specialist pharmaceutical business in the UK. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As well as continuing to broaden our portfolio and add to our strong growth globally, this acquisition also gives access to pipeline products and developer relationships to accelerate our entry into new product areas such as sachets. We will continue creating innovative solutions that meet the needs of dysphagic patients and establish best practice for their care," Howard Taylor, Rosemont CEO.
Subsea7, a Luxembourgish-domiciled subsea engineering, construction and services company serving the offshore energy industry, withdrew its offer to acquire DOFG, an integrated offshore services company, for $1.04bn.
The board of DOFG concluded that $3.34 per share is below the equity valuation expectation of the board and its current shareholders. Subsea7 was guided in its offer by the pricing of the new share issue through an initial public offering at $3 per share, as well as the pricing of shares allocated to the DOFG chairman and directors at $2.2 per share on the 8 June 2023.
Berlin, Intel strike deal on $33bn chip plant after months of subsidy talks.
Intel will invest more than $33bn in Germany as part of its expansion push in Europe, the US company said on Monday, a project key to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's ambitions to create a global chip hub. The deal, which involves two leading-edge semiconductor facilities, involves $11bn in German subsidies, Reuters reported.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said he was grateful to the German government and the local state of Saxony-Anhalt, where the company plans to built one plant, for "fulfilling the vision of a vibrant, sustainable, leading-edge semiconductor industry in Germany and the EU". Under Gelsinger, Intel has been investing billions in building factories across three continents to restore its dominance in chipmaking and better compete with rivals AMD, Nvidia, and Samsung. The deal in Germany would be Intel's third big investment in four days, following a $4.6bn chip plant in Poland and a $25bn factory in Israel.
Polish developer GTC falls on surprise Swiss chalet move.
GTC, a real estate company controlled by a foundation set up by the Hungarian central bank, is seeking to expand into Swiss and French luxury properties, in a surprise move away from its focus on eastern European offices, Bloomberg reported..
Shares in Warsaw-listed GTC fell after it said it’s in advanced talks for the acquisition of a majority stake in Ultima Capital, which develops chalets and villas from Gstaad in Switzerland to Cannes in France and the Greek island of Corfu. Ultima said the enterprise value of the deal may be in a range between CHF1.25bn ($1.4bn) to CHF1.35bn ($1.5bn).
“GTC’s move is quite surprising, as it has no experience in the challenging luxury hotel segment or even in markets where Ultima operates. Minority shareholders have perceived the company as the proxy for eastern Europe’s offices, and now they may be puzzled,” Maciej Wewiorski, BOS Bank Analyst.
Fortescue expands battery and electric powertrain output in UK with new plant.
Australian miner Fortescue Metals is expanding its battery and electric powertrain production operations in the UK with a new plant in Oxfordshire, Reuters reported.
The Banbury facility will open in 2024 and operate alongside Fortescue’s other Oxfordshire facilities including the Kidlington factory which will open later this year. The new plant will focus primarily on manufacturing of heavy industry, electric and zero-emission powertrain systems and will offer automated assembly for battery modules and packs.
"This new state-of-the-art site will bolster the UK’s electric vehicle supply chain and create over 120 highly skilled jobs, helping to grow our economy," Kemi Badenoch, Business and Trade Secretary.
UBS chief Ermotti hints at keeping Credit Suisse domestic bank.
UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti has given the clearest indication yet that his bank intends to keep hold of Credit Suisse’s domestic business in spite of fierce opposition within the country.
Speaking at a company-wide meeting this week, Ermotti told Credit Suisse staff that retaining the Swiss bank and merging it with UBS’s domestic business was still the “base case scenario”.
The fate of Credit Suisse’s domestic business has emerged as one of the most contentious elements of UBS’s takeover of its stricken rival, which was finalised this week. The shotgun marriage between the banks has attracted criticism within Switzerland. A poll published shortly after the deal showed that three-quarters of voters wanted the mega bank to be split up, Financial Times reported.
JEPLAN, a developer of new recycling technologies and systems that meet the various needs of consumers, is set to go public via a merger with Advantage Partners-backed AP Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses, in a $300m deal.
"JEPLAN has been working very hard in order to realize our vision, “BRING everyone into circular economy”, and has been supported by many investors since our inception. We are now aiming to make our business more global by raising funds through listing on the NYSE. Today, as the first step towards achieving that goal, I am very happy to announce our entry into a business combination agreement with AP Acquisition. Going forward, JEPLAN will use this funding to expand the reach of our innovative chemical recycling business to the rest of the world," Masaki Takao, JEPLAN CEO and Founder.
Physics Wallah, a offeror of live classes, video lectures, test series, and dynamic exercises for JEE, NEET entrance, and board exams, completed the acquisition of a 50% stake in Xylem Learning, a mobile and AI-powered platform that offers entrance exam preparation services, for $61m.
"With an investment we have the remarkable opportunity to enhance the learning experience for JEE/NEET aspirants in south India, bridging the gap in quality education and expanding our addressable market in the region. From my lens, Xylem Learning is like PW of the south,” Alakh Pandey, PW Founder and CEO.
Hildrics Capital, a Singapore-based investment firm, completed the acquisition of an 8.2% stake in GIIB Rubber, a chemical and rubber manufacturing company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to partner GIIB, which has an established track record of close to 30 years and an extensive presence across 60 countries, to support its next phase of growth and expansion plans," Kee Siong Choo, Hildrics Capital Founder and CEO.
Polestar, a Swedish automotive brand, and Xingji Meizu, a technology company, agreed to form a joint venture. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The joint venture is expected to strengthen Polestar's offer in the Chinese EV market by bringing together Polestar's capabilities within design and performance with the software and consumer electronics hardware development expertise of Xingji Meizu.
Black Box, an IT solutions provider, agreed to acquire GSN Australia, a provider of traditional and digital CX solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to welcome GSN Australia to the Black Box family. Their team of experts brings together traditional and digital engagement solutions to help customers transform their employee and customer experiences–at scale," Sanjeev Verma, Black Box President and CEO.
TPG sells entire stake in India's Shriram Finance for $171m. (FS)
India's Shriram Finance said US private equity firm TPG sold its 2.65% stake in the non-banking financial company to some investors in an open market transaction, Reuters reported.
"They still remain partners in the group's insurance business. We believe they will look to deepen the relationship for newer opportunities within the group," Umesh Revankar, Shriram Finance Executive Vice Chairman.
Macquarie front-runner to buy up to 50% in EnergyAustralia from HK's CLP Holdings. (FS)
Australian investment bank Macquarie Group could be the front-runner to buy up to 50% stake in electricity and gas supplier EnergyAustralia. Hong Kong-based investment firm CLP Holdings, which owns EnergyAustralia, was in discussions to finalise the deal with Macquarie but was also continuing talks with other interested parties, DealStreetAsia reported.
EnergyAustralia is one of the country’s biggest electricity and gas suppliers after AGL Energy and Origin Energy. It is also the third-largest carbon-polluting power producer in the country. In fiscal 2022, EnergyAustralia recorded an operating loss of $674m as multiple weather events in the country and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on coal and gas prices negatively affected it.
Animoca Brands partners with Mitsui to explore Web3 market in Japan.
Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming developer Animoca Brands has formed a partnership with Japanese trading and investment company Mitsui & Co, through a strategic investment, to create a new business that will explore the Web3 market in Japan. The agreement will see the two firms collaborating on new business initiatives aimed at spurring innovation and promoting the adoption of Web3, a decentralised iteration of the internet built on public blockchain technology, in the Japanese market, DealStreetAsia reported.
The partnership follows a surge in interest for Web3 in Japan, with both the national government and the Japan Business Federation promoting its adoption as a national strategy. Web3 is expected to foster systems that are both secure and universally accessible, revolutionizing various industries. Animoca Brands is providing practical Web3 business initiatives using digital assets and blockchain technology. Mitsui, on the other hand, boasts a diverse portfolio of business development expertise and a global network.
Timken Singapore proposes to sell stake in Indian unit for $231m.
The Singapore-based parent of Timken India has proposed to sell an 8.4% stake in the Indian bearings and power transmission products maker for up to $231m on June 20, Reuters reported.
The floor price of the stake sale to institutional investors by Timken Singapore is set at $37 a share, a 14% discount to Monday's closing level. Bank of America is the sole bookrunner for the stake sale. Timken Singapore owned a 67.8% stake in the Indian unit as of March 31, according to exchange data. Shares of Timken India have risen over 12% so far this year.
Buffett adds to his holdings of Japanese trading houses. (FS)
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway added to stakes in Japan's five biggest trading houses to beyond 8% on Monday, a move likely to highlight and add to the momentum driving Japan's stock market to new heights.
Berkshire announced stakes in Itochu, Marubeni, Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Sumitomo in 2020 and adding in line with plans to hold the stakes long term and increase them as far as 9.9%.
Buffett's investments and his optimism about Japan's prospects have drawn attention to improving economic conditions and shareholder-friendly corporate governance reforms that have helped underpin a sparkling rally in the Nikkei share average, Reuters reported.
Carsome raises fresh funds including debt from Evolutionx. (FS)
Malaysian online automobile marketplace Carsome’s management recently talked about the platform's strong performance in 2022. It said the company had grown revenues by 250% YoY, and most importantly achieved operational profitability for the first time in Q1 2023.
The startup announced on Monday that it has raised a new funding round from existing investors 65 Equity Partners, Seatown Private Capital Master Fund, Qatar Investment Authority, Gobi Partners, and Asia Partners. It also attracted a long-term debt facility from a new investor, EvolutionX Debt Capital.
Following the funding, the Carsome group’s liquidity position is now $200m, which is sufficient to take the company to breakeven. Yet, it still requires fresh capital to fund its growth plans in the region.
Indonesia's BCA explores strategic options for life insurance unit.
Indonesia’s Bank Central Asia, Southeast Asia’s biggest bank by market value, is considering strategic options for its life insurance unit including a potential stake sale.
The Jakarta-listed lender, which has a market value of $74bn as of Monday, is working with an adviser on a strategic review of Asuransi Jiwa, also known as BCA Life.
A potential deal could see BCA joining a list of lenders and insurers in Asia seeking tie-ups for their insurance subsidiaries. These include India’s Kotak Mahindra Bank that is in talks to sell a stake in its general insurance unit to Zurich Insurance Group and Japanese insurer Tokio Marine tapping investment banks to work on a sale of its Southeast Asia life insurance business, Reuters reported.
Power firm Leader Energy weighs $433m Malaysia IPO.
Leader Energy is preparing for an initial public offering in Malaysia and is seeking to raise as much as RM2bn ($433m), in what would be the country’s biggest first-time share sale since 2017.
The Kuala Lumpur-based power company plans to submit its draft prospectus to the regulator as soon as the end of this month. Leader Energy may raise between RM1bn ($216m) and RM2bn ($433m) and is targeting a December trading debut.
At RM2bn ($433m), the first-time share sale would surpass the RM1.5bn ($324m) raised in 2020 by Malaysia’s biggest home improvement retailer, Mr DIY Group, and would be the largest since Lotte Chemical Titan RM3.8bn ($823m) share sale in 2017, Bloomberg reported.
Gold miner Amman Mineral raises $715m in Jakarta’s top 2023 IPO.
Amman Mineral Internasional, the owner of the second-largest gold and copper mine in Indonesia, raised about $715m in an upsized initial public offering.
Amman Mineral sold 6.33bn shares at a fixed price of $0.11 each. The company had set the size of the base offering at 6.29bn shares. The first day of trading on the Jakarta Stock Exchange is scheduled for July 5.
Amman Mineral owns the second-largest copper and gold mine in Indonesia and the fifth-largest copper mine in the world, when combined with deposits in its planned Elang project. The company posted net income of $1.09bn in 2022, Bloomberg reported.
Health tech firm Enlitic eyes Australian listing.
Health technology firm Enlitic is considering an ASX listing. The San Francisco-based company’s management has met with firms including Barrenjoey Markets and Shaw & Partners to select a broker line-up.
It’s early days, but Enlitic is expected to raise about A$40m ($27m) for a A$300m ($206m) market capitalisation.
The nine-year-old business’s choice of Australia as its listing destination may stem from its founder Jeremy Howard’s Australian background, as well as its CEO Michael Sistenich’s experience locally, AFR reported.
Gentree Fund said to be raising the Philippines' largest VC vehicle at $120-150m. (FS)
Philippines-based Gentree Fund, the investment vehicle of the Sy Family Office, is said to be raising $120-150m for a new venture capital fund that will invest locally and in Southeast Asia.
The new fund will focus on early-stage companies up to the Series A stage.
Deutsche Bank names Credit Suisse’s Yeung as APAC ECM co-head. (People)
Deutsche Bank has named Credit Suisse’s Nora Yeung as its co-head of equity capital markets for Asia Pacific. Yeung will join the German lender in September and will be based in Hong Kong. She will jointly lead the business alongside Melody Ngan, and will report to Haitham Ghattas, the region’s head of capital markets.
The banker worked at Credit Suisse for 12 years, most recently as co-head of ECM origination for APAC. She previously worked at Goldman Sachs Group in Hong Kong and London, Bloomberg reported.
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