The €5.7bn ($6.4bn) takeover of Scout 24, which operates digital marketplaces specializing in the real estate and automotive sectors in Germany, by private equity firms Hellman & Friedmann and Blackstone Group fell apart after the bidders failed to reach the threshold of 50% of shares. The deal was first announced in January.
“At the time of expiry of the acceptance period (...), the number of Scout24 shares for which the Offer has been accepted together with Scout24 shares owned and Scout24 shares attributable for the purpose of the calculation of the minimum acceptance threshold amounted to approximately 42.8% of all outstanding shares in Scout24,” the bidders said.
Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Allen & Overy and Gleiss Lutz advised Scout24. JP Morgan, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Latham & Watkins and Ernst & Young advised the bidders. JP Morgan provided debt financing and was advised by Linklaters.
Takeda Pharmaceutical, the largest pharmaceutical company in Asia, is forecasting a $1.7bn loss resulting from books costs associated with the $80bn acquisition of Shire, a Jersey-registered, Irish-headquartered global specialty biopharmaceutical company. The transaction was announced in May 2018 and closed last January.
Takeda agreed last week to sell its dry eye drug Xiidra to Swiss drugmaker Novartis for up to $5.3bn, as part of a move to dispose of $10bn worth of non-core assets to cut debt. The company also said it is selling TachoSil, a surgical patch for bleeding control, to Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon for $400m.
Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Ashurst, Davis Polk, Mourant Ozannes, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu and Slaughter & May advised Shire. Evercore, JP Morgan, Nomura, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, Ogier, Nishimura & Asahi and Sullivan & Cromwell advised Takeda. MUFG, JP Morgan and Sumitomo provided debt financing.
French construction and transport concession group Vinci successfully completed its £2.9bn ($3.8bn) acquisition of a 50% stake in Gatwick Airport, Britain’s second biggest airport. The airport was acquired from a consortium consisting of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Future Fund, Calpers, National Pensions Service of Korea and Global Infrastructure Partners in December 2018.
The acquisition gives Vinci, which already runs 45 airports in 12 countries, access to the world’s largest metropolitan aviation market. The company is now the second largest airport operator in the world, behind Spain’s Aena but has overtaken French rival ADP.
Barclays advised Gatwick. PwC, Freshfields and Weil Gotshal and Manges advised Vinci. Linklaters advised Future Fund. Slaughter & May, Charlotte Street Partners and Ramboll advised Global Infrastructure Partners.
Challenge TRG Group, a logistics recruitment and distribution company which recently rebranded from Challenge Group following the acquisition of TRG Logistics earlier this month, acquired Phoenix Training, a UK-based training specialist. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Tom Cropper, group CEO of Challenge TRG Group, said: “The resourcing market is becoming increasingly difficult and we believe that this strategic investment provides the group with further access and control over our supply chain and an ability to provide a seamless, end-to-end solution for our clients. The intention is to overlay Phoenix’s training services across our business, with a focus on developing and engaging our workforce, whether across industrial or driving sectors.”
SAS Daniels, Grant Thornton and Hill Dickinson advised Challenge TRG. HSBC and Praetura provided debt financing.
Archimed, a pan-European private equity healthcare specialist closed its €70m ($79m) acquisition of Bomi Italia, a medtech and pharma services provider. The bid for Bomi Group, listed on Borsa Italia’s AIM market translated into a per share offer of €4 ($4.5), representing a 30.67% premium.
“In addition to its sector expertise and industry networks, ArchiMed intends to make significant investments, allowing Bomi Group to expand more rapidly, both organically and through acquisitions. The entry of such a strong and specialized stakeholder represents clear added value when it comes to the fulfillment of our ambitious growth targets,” said Bomi Group Chief Executive Marco Ruini.
Simmons & Simmons advised Bomi. Bain & Co, Close to Media, Lanchner Communications, Equita, Georgson, KPMG, Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners and Bonafe Grifoni e Associati advised Archimed.
Saudi International Petrochemical Co and Sahara Petrochemical plan to target acquisitions and joint ventures in the United States and Asia once their $2.2bn merger is completed in order to expand market reach. The deal was first announced in October 2018.
“Combining Sipchem and Sahara will create an integrated petrochemical leader with an improved competitive position in Saudi Arabia and globally,” said Sahara CEO Saleh Bahamdan, who will also be CEO of the new entity.
Morgan Stanley, AS&H, Clifford Chance and Finsbury are advising Sahara. HSBC, Allen & Overy and Khoshaim are advising Saudi International Petrochemical.
Auchan, a French international retail group and multinational corporation, sold its Italian unit to Conad, the Italian cooperative retail group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Edgard Bonte, Chairman of Auchan Retail, said: “By bringing together, through this sale, the expertise of the Conad and Auchan Retail Italia teams we wish to improve the current difficult situation for the activities of Auchan Retail in Italy and allow Conad to continue, through this acquisition, its ambitious development plan within the country. For the teams of Auchan Retail Italia, it is the opportunity to join an Italian actor, henceforth the market leader with a strong commercial momentum.”
Oxford Endowment Fund made a minority investment in Osmosis Investment Management, a sustainable investment specialist with $1.5bn in client assets. This strategic equity investment is growth capital, which Osmosis will deploy to deepen the firm’s portfolio management, research and distribution teams and enhance its operational infrastructure. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Ben Dear, chief executive officer of Osmosis Investment Management, said: “This latest equity investment is tangible support for the role of an asset manager adding value through identifying new sources of investment returns with objectively measurable sustainable benefits. With climate risks rising up the agenda on a policy and corporate level it’s imperative that asset managers are able to offer their clients pragmatic investment solutions built on a more sustainable future."
UniCredit prepares takeover bid for Commerzbank.
Reuters reported that UniCredit, an Italian global banking and financial services company, is preparing for a potential bid for Germany’s Commerzbank. Although it is unclear whether and when a bid could be made, UniCredit’s top management has long been interested in expanding in Germany.
Lazard and JP Morgan are advising UniCredit.
Ardian closing in on a Spanish wind farm deal with Cerberus. (FS)
French investment fund Ardian is close to striking a deal with Cerberus Capital Management to acquire wind farms in Spain for $617m. The assets are currently held by Renovia, a portfolio company of Cerberus Capital Management. Among the assets covered by the deal is Renovalia Reserve, a joint venture between Renovalia and BlackRock.
Santander is advising Cerberus.
Natura got banking support for $2bn takeover of Avon Products.
Natura Cosmeticos, a Brazilian personal care holding company, secured support from at least three banks to finance a potential acquisition of Avon Products, a global beauty company. Banco Santander, Itau Unibanco Holding and Banco Bradesco have offered to fund the deal, which could be valued at as much as $2bn.
The banks haven’t made definitive financing commitments as Natura hasn’t finalized its acquisition plan. Citigroup is reportedly in talks to join the financing as well.
Goldman Sachs acquired a claim against The International Bank Corporation.
Goldman Sachs bought a claim against The International Bank Corporation, a Bahraini bank whose default ten years ago triggered the biggest financial crisis in Saudi Arabia. The claim was acquired from Commerzbank. Goldman bought TIBC’s debt after rulings in various jurisdictions appeared to strengthen the position of the Bahraini bank.
Ascopiave to select asset bids within four weeks.
According to a Reuters report, Ascopiave, a natural gas distribution company, received a series of non-binding bids for assets it has put up for sale and will select the best bids in 3-4 weeks. The company’s chairman said that the offers are very satisfying.
Ascopiave, one of Italy’s biggest gas utilities, is looking to sell a majority stake of a portfolio of more than 700k clients as it seeks to focus on its gas distribution network business in the northeast of Italy.
Workers of Volkswagen backed its restructuring plan.
Volkswagen workers backed a restructuring of the world’s largest carmaker after Chief Executive Herbert Diess pledged to spend $1.1bn on a new battery cell production plant near its headquarters in Lower Saxony. Labour opposition has stifled previous restructuring efforts at Volkswagen.
“The employee representatives on the supervisory board welcome the decisions, which they expressly support. These decisions set the course for sustainable further development of secure jobs as well as profitability,” labor chief Bernd Osterloh said in a letter to VW’s employees on Tuesday.
PKN Orlen to set Lotos takeover terms in the next 12 months.
Reuters reported that PKN Orlen, Poland’s biggest oil refiner, will set the terms on which to apply to the European Commission to takeover Lotos, Poland’s second-largest oil refiner, within the next 12 months.
“We are counting on it that in the next dozen or so months we will work out the terms on which we can apply to the EU for a merger with Lotos,” PKN deputy CEO Zbigniew Leszczynski said at a conference.
DocPlanner raised €80m in a financing round led by One Peak Partners and Goldman Sachs. (FS)
DocPlanner, the world's leading platform connecting patients with healthcare professionals, raised €80m ($90m) in a financing round led by One Peak Partners and Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing, with participation from existing investors Piton Capital and ENERN Investments.
“Since our last funding round, we’ve focused on the core marketplace and SaaS business; now we are making a concentrated push into new growth areas,” said Mariusz Gralewski, founder and CEO of DocPlanner. “We’re seeing more opportunities in our space, both in terms of the customer segment and product offering, as the health tech market matures.”
T-Mobile and Sprint Corp, two telecom companies fighting to win regulatory clearance for their $59bn merger, are considering possible concessions to salvage the deal. Among the top options being discussed is the separation and potential sale of their so-called prepaid businesses.
The deal, which was announced in April 2018, is facing concerns regarding competition in the US. The idea of concessions suggests that they’re anticipating a challenge from the Justice Department’s antitrust division and the Federal Communications Commission.
Sprint is advised by Centerview Partners, JP Morgan, Mizuho Securities, SMBC Nikko, The Raine Group, Goodwin Procter, Morrison & Foerster, Potter Anderson & Corroon, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Deutsche Telekom is advised by Deutsche Bank, Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, PJT Partners, Allen & Overy, DLA Piper, Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins, Richards Layton and Finger, and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Softbank is advised by Morrison & Foerster.
Walt Disney Co agreed to take control of Hulu, the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand TV and movies, from Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology company, in a $27.5bn deal. Disney will assume full operational control of Hulu, effective immediately, in return for Disney and Comcast entering into a “put/call” agreement regarding NBCUniversal’s 33% ownership interest in Hulu. Under the put/call agreement, as early as January 2024, Comcast can require Disney to buy NBCUniversal’s interest in Hulu and Disney can require NBCUniversal to sell that interest to Disney for its fair market value at that future time.
“Hulu represents the best of television, with its incredible array of award-winning original content, rich library of popular series and movies, and live TV offerings. We are now able to completely integrate Hulu into our direct-to-consumer business and leverage the full power of The Walt Disney Company’s brands and creative engines to make the service even more compelling and a greater value for consumers,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.
Swiss drugmaker Roche pushed backed its $4.8bn of Spark Therapeutics, a fully integrated, commercial gene therapy company. Roche said that the decision was made because the Federal Trade Commission needed more time to complete its review of the deal.
The deal was first announced in February. Under the terms of the agreement, Roche is to acquire Spark Therapeutics at a price of $114.50 per share. The per share price represents a premium of 122% to Spark’s closing price on Feb. 22, 2019.
Centerview Partners, Cowen & Company and Goodwin Procter are advising Spark Therapeutics. Citigroup and Davis Polk & Wardwell are advising Roche.
Donna Hrinak, Boeing’s president for Latin America, told the Financial Times that Boeing’s $4.2bn acquisition of Embraer's commercial aviation division is swiftly moving ahead. The deal was first announced in July 2018.
“We worked together for almost 12 months to design a structure that would be acceptable, that will not infringe on Brazil's sovereignty, that will protect Brazil's own security and defense interests. We came a long way to be responsive to the Brazilian government,” said Ms. Hrinak, a seasoned former US ambassador to Brazil and other countries in the region.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is advising Boeing. Pinheiro Neto is advising Embraer Commercial Aviation. Citigroup, Barbosa Mussnich & Aragao and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom are advising Embraer. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is advising the debt providers.
Private equity firm Post Capital Partners invested in Property Registration Champions, a full-service technology and program administrator for property registration programs across the United States. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Together we want to continue to assist municipalities with their property management needs, as well as expand into additional service offerings to better serve our municipal clients going forward,” said Michael Pfeffer, Managing Director of Post Capital.
XLCS Partners advised Property Registration Champions. Crowe Horwath, McGuireWoods and Winston & Strawn advised Post Capital Partners. United Bank provided debt financing.
Lee Equity Partners, a middle market private equity firm, agreed to acquire K2 Insurance Services, a leading specialty insurance services holding company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Since our founding in 2011, K2 has become one of the fastest growing and largest program managers in the US, with a focus on generating industry-leading underwriting results for our carrier partners," said Bob Kimmel, President and CEO of K2. "With Lee Equity's knowledge and experience investing in the insurance industry, we look forward to continuing to build on our proven track record of attracting high-quality specialty underwriting teams, acquiring specialty MGAs, and growing organically. We will do this by offering our MGAs new distribution channels, technology enhancements and access to additional carrier partnerships."
TigerRisk is advising K2. Evercore is advising Lee Equity Partners.
Boston-based private equity firm Riverside Partners made a majority investment in 3Play Media, a premium video captioning, transcription and translation service. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Michelle Noon, a General Partner at Riverside Partners, commented: "We are thrilled to partner with Chris Antunes and Josh Miller as founders and leaders of the business in order to support the significant continued growth of the Company. We were attracted to 3Play due to its demonstrated track record of success, its high quality and discerning recurring customer base and its proprietary, scalable software platform. Our significant investment in 3Play marks not only our recognition of the Company's achievements to date but, as importantly, our belief in the continued future success."
Cove Hill Partners, a long-term oriented private equity firm, invested in Clearlake-backed NetDocuments, a cloud-based document and email management service. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Cove Hill is excited to partner with the strong management team at NetDocuments and to join Clearlake as investors in the Company. As the premier secure cloud-based content services platform, NetDocuments represents a unique investment opportunity to drive growth over the long-term with a market leading business," said Justin Roberts, Co-Founder and Partner at Cove Hill.
Sky Island Capital, a Dallas-based middle market private equity firm, acquired a majority stake in Material Sciences Corporation, which produces advanced materials and specialty coated metals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Pat Murley, Chief Executive Officer of MSC, stated: "Bringing in the Sky Island team will allow us to be more aggressive with add-on acquisitions and continue to grow the company. We have worked with several of the Sky Island team members in the past where we had tremendous success growing the business through add-on acquisitions. We are excited to work with them again to reinvigorate those efforts."
BlackBern Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm, acquired Maryland-based Zentech Manufacturing, an engineering-driven electronics contract manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Jonathan Bernstein, Partner at BlackBern said: “the loyalty of their impressive customer list affirms this very talented leadership team and the differentiated model they employ. We look forward to partnering with Steve to invest in furthering this model in the current facilities and through strategic acquisitions.”
Private equity firm West Lane Capital Partners acquired a stake in Fantasy Files Group, a California-based developer, manufacturer and distributor of specialty cosmetic products under the Blossom, Blue Cross and Savina brands. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Nick Sternberg, Managing Partner of West Lane, said: “We are very excited to partner with Ron, Mark and their team to continue growing the Company’s various brands and expanding the distribution channels both domestically and internationally. The range of products offered by the Company has attracted a large and loyal customer base, and we are planning on launching various new and innovative products in the near future.”
Spur Energy and KKR to acquire Permian Northwest Shelf assets. (FS)
Spur Energy Partners, an oil and gas exploration company, and KKR, a global investment firm, announced the formation of a partnership to acquire large, high-margin oil and gas production and development assets across the Lower 48. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Dash Lane, Managing Director on KKR’s Energy Real Assets team, commented: “This acquisition is the first step in what we expect to be a multi-billion dollar investment partnership with Spur, which we believe is well-positioned to create significant value in today’s oil and gas market. We have known the Spur team for many years, have seen firsthand their commercial and operational expertise, and are thrilled to be partnering with Jay and his team.”
Michael Klein considers a takeover of Via Varejo.
Michael Klein, whose family is one of Via Varejo’s largest shareholders with a 25.2% stake, is reportedly looking to bid for the rest of the company. Via Varejo is a Brazilian retail company founded in 2010 through the merger of retail companies Casas Bahia and Ponto Frio. XP Investimentos is to join Mr. Klein in the deal.
Azul to acquire Avianca Brasil’s airline routes.
Brazilian airline Azul is looking to acquire some of bankrupt airline Avianca Brasil’s most coveted routes for up to $145m. Avianca Brasil filed for bankruptcy protection in December, setting off a fierce battle for its airport slots, Reuters reported. Azul had previously bid $105m for the routes.
Nextdoor secured $123m in a financing round. (FS)
Nextdoor, the world’s largest social network for neighborhoods, secured $123m in a financing round led by Riverwood Capital. Other investors included Benchmark, Tiger Global Management and Kleiner Perkins. Chris Varelas, co-founder and managing partner of Riverwood Capital, will join the company’s board of directors.
“We believe Nextdoor represents the future of local community and commerce – this investment reflects our collective belief in the power and opportunity in this space, and the Nextdoor team,” said Chris Varelas. “We’re excited to be a part of this growing local platform and the much-needed strengthening of communities that Nextdoor is enabling around the world.”
Oakley Capital, a private equity company, agreed to acquire Videotel group of companies from KVH Industries, a global leader in mobile connectivity and inertial navigation systems, for $90m. Videotel produces e-Learning training materials and management software for all commercial maritime sectors. This transaction continues Oakley's successful track record of investing in the maritime and education sectors.
"We are delighted to be partnering with the management teams of Seagull and Videotel, two companies we have admired for many years. Both teams are exactly the type of highly-ambitious professionals we continually seek to back. We look forward to supporting them in their plans to invest in new content and technology solutions based on the wealth of internal expertise which can now be shared across the group." Peter Dubens, Managing Partner of Oakley Capital.
Houlihan Lokey, Numis Securities and Greenbrook advised Oakley Capital.
Private equity firm CITIC Capital Partners invested in Singapore-based Cityneon, a leading creative services agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Cityneon Executive Chairman & Group CEO Ron Tan said: "We are honored and excited to have a strong and strategic partner like CITIC Capital. This is a testament to the capabilities of Cityneon's management team and track record. Riding on the growing momentum of consumer trends towards experience entertainment especially in North Asia, this partnership provides a springboard for us to expand our businesses in China and beyond, through the launch and introduction of existing and new Intellectual Properties under Cityneon's portfolios."
Nexon’s parent delayed the bidding process. (FS)
The parent company of South Korean gaming firm Nexon delayed the bidding process scheduled this week for its controlling stake in the company. The deal would rank as one of South Korea’s biggest, potentially reaching a valuation of as much as $16bn. The bidding is rumored to be postponed by one week. Chinese gaming giant Tencent, South Korean tech firms Netmarble and Kakao, as well as private equity firms Bain Capital, MBK Partners and KKR submitted initial bids in February.
Nexon stock price fell by 5% in response to the news.
Kunlun Tech agreed to US demands to sell Grindr.
Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech agreed to a request by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to sell popular gay dating app Grindr. The deadline for the sale was set in June 2020. CFIUS, an interagency government committee that scrutinizes acquisitions of US companies for potential national security risks, asked Kunlun to divest Grindr, whose database contains personal information such as a user’s location, messages, and HIV status.
Nissan looking to acquire a stake in a Chinese EV maker.
Nissan Motor Co, a Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Nishi-ku, Yokohama, is looking to invest in a Chinese electric-car startup. The firm intends to obtain a greater footprint in the world’s biggest market for new-energy vehicles.
Nissan wants to buy a stake of as much as 25% in a Chinese electric-vehicle maker, and it has narrowed the potential targets to startups including WM Motor Technology, Zhejiang Hozon New Energy Automobile and CHJ Automotive.
SoftBank lost $16bn due to falling Uber stock. (FS)
SoftBank Group, the world’s largest investor in ride-hailing companies, lost $16bn in market valuation as a result of falling stock of Uber Technologies. Uber plunged nearly 20% below its IPO price. The falling stock price is the result of worries that Uber will never achieve profitability – the company currently loses $1bn every year.
A91 Partners to close debut VC fund at $350m. (FS)
A91 Partners, the venture capital fund set up by three former managing directors at Sequoia Capital, is nearing the final close of its $350m debut fund. The fund is expected to close official paperwork in the coming weeks.
The three founders have themselves committed 10% of the fund, with another 10% coming from entrepreneurs and other people they have worked with over the years. The fund will be focused on making mid-stage investments, in Series B and C deals of $10-30m.
TR Capital looking to raise $300m for its fourth fund. (FS)
TR Capital, a Hong Kong-based secondaries specialist, is looking to raise $300m for its fourth private equity fund. TR Capital was established in 2007 to invest in Asia-focussed PE secondary transactions. It has executed 34 transactions via three funds that it floated in 2008, 2012 and 2016. It manages capital commitments of $600m.
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