Alvarez & Marsal Capital-backed Pacific Elite, an operator of collision repair shops in California, completed the merger with Crash Champions, a collision repair business services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"After seriously considering a range of different options, we are confident that this combination of two leading regional providers with the financial backing of a capital partner that is well-versed in the automotive collision repair industry is the best path forward to realize our expansion ambitions, and we could not be more energized about the future of our company," Mike Salyards, Pacific Elite President.
Crash Champions was advised by Gaffney Bennett Public Relations. Pacific Elite was advised by B. Riley FBR and Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo. Alvarez & Marshal was advised by Goodwin Procter. Debt Financing was provided by Antares Capital, BMO Capital Markets, and Madison Funding Partners.
Fox, a media company, is set to acquire Tubi, a provider of online video streaming services, for $440m. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions is expected to close before June 30, 2020.
"I am proud of what the team has already accomplished here at Tubi and we couldn’t be more excited about joining such a fast-moving, entrepreneurial company. We look forward to working together with FOX to accelerate Tubi’s leadership position in the market and bring new competencies to Fox,” Farhad Massoudi, Tubi Founder and CEO.
Tubi is advised by Qatalyst Partners and Fenwick & West. Fox is advised by Allen & Company, Jenner & Block, and Kirkland & Ellis.
Stockholders of The Habit Restaurants, an American fast food corporation, voted to adopt the merger agreement with Yum! Brands, an American fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in charbroiled hamburgers.
The Habit Restaurants is advised by Piper Sandler and Ropes & Gray. Yum! Brands is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Mayer Brown.
Stockholders of NewLink Genetics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel oncology products, voted to approve the merger with Lumos Pharma, a private clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company.
“We are pleased that the NewLink stockholders have voted in favor of this merger, and we are excited about the opportunity ahead for the combined company. We are on solid financial footing and look forward to the imminent initiation of our Phase 2b trial of LUM-201 in PGHD. Our team is enthusiastic about the potential for this orally administered therapeutic to disrupt the standard-of-care injectable treatment regimen for PGHD and other indications for which recombinant growth hormone has been approved,” Rick Hawkins, Lumos Pharma CEO.
NewLink Genetics is advised by Stifel and Cooley. Lumos Pharma is advised by DLA Piper.
Automobile giant Volkswagen said it still wants to acquire the US truckmaker Navistar in the $2.9bn deal, and added that the coronavirus crisis will require the carmaker to conserve cash as it shuts down plants and throttles back production, Reuters reported.
“We have not pulled the deal, we still believe it is a good idea, but we will watch like hawks the liquidity situation and the prioritization of all activities we are contemplating,” Herbert Diess, Volkswagen Group CEO.
Navistar is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell and Brunswick Group.
MJ Hudson, the international financial services support provider, agreed to acquire Meyler, a marketing services and analytics company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This move is another small but important step in our strategy for growth in North America. Meyler is an unregulated business with an entrepreneurial management team, a client base we understand and services we can scale. This deal builds on the 200 clients we already have in the US, the largest single market for alternatives clients and funds, and follows the opening of our New York office announced prior to the IPO," Matthew Hudson, MJ Hudson CEO.
MJ Hudson is advised by Cenkos Securities and Yellow Jersey.
Private equity firm The Najafi Companies and media broadcaster Trinity Broadcasting Network, offered to acquire Tegna, a digital media and marketing services company for c. $4.4bn.
The Najafi Companies and TBN have joined forces and expect to create a wholly-owned new entity for the proposed acquisition. The group believes a successful bid would create significant value to Tegna’s shareholders, while as a private company under Najafi and TBN, Tegna would have the opportunity and flexibility to execute a long-term value creation strategy, free from the pressures of managing short-term public shareholder objectives.
Gray Television has withdrawn its $8.5bn offer to acquire larger peer Tegna because of concerns about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on US regional TV station operators. Private equity firm Apollo Global Management and media mogul Byron Allen, which also had made $20-per-share all-cash offers for Tegna, remain in contention to buy the company and deal negotiations are continuing, Reuters reported.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan made an offer for up to 100% of IDEAL, a Mexican infrastructure company, on March 17, 2020.
On October 21 2019, Canadian funds agreed to acquire a 40% stake in IDEAL, which invests in infrastructure projects throughout Mexico, for $2.2bn. Alejandro Aboumrad, IDEAL Chief Executive, explained that under Mexican law, bids for more than 30% of a firm require the bidder to make an offer for up to 100% of the company.
Growth Catalyst Partners, a middle-market private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Government Executive Media Group, an American media publication that covers daily government business, from Atlantic Media, a print and online media company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“GEMG has all of the qualities we look for in companies including a strong management team, a proven portfolio of leading products and services and an excellent reputation in their sector. GCP seeks to build middle market leaders in large, fragmented industry sectors with high growth potential and GEMG is an ideal example. We are excited to partner with Peter Goldstone, Tim Hartman and the team to strengthen their footprint and market share in the public sector and build-out more services through organic growth and acquisitions,” Scott Peters, Growth Catalyst Partners Co-Founder.
Nylas, a provider of universal communications APIs for developers, agreed to acquire June.ai, a developer of AI-powered productivity tools that perform autonomous tasks such as organizing messages, surfacing attachments and automating responses. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"At Nylas, our mission is to make it easy for any company to build robust productivity features into their application. Integrating June.ai's core technology with Nylas' universal connectivity and omnichannel data extraction capabilities will enable developers to create sophisticated workflow automation within mobile and web applications faster than ever before," Gleb Polyakov, Nylas CEO and Co-Founder.
Morgan Stanley sees Private Equity able to deploy $2tn. (FS)
Alternative money managers amassed some $2.1tn of cash, with about $700bn of that concentrated in buyout strategies, Morgan Stanley said in a report.
Shares of the money managers are trading at attractive levels, according to Morgan Stanley. The firm reiterated its buy-equivalent rating on Blackstone Group, Hamilton Lane, Partners Group Holding and said it’s becoming more positive on hold-rated Apollo Global Management.
Coronavirus fears have ravaged the broader market and money managers are no exception, underperforming the S&P 500 Index since February 19. But the group stands to gain once the volatility wanes and they can look for opportunity in the wreckage.
SoftBank threatens to unravel $3bn WeWork stock deal. (FS)
SoftBank Group told shareholders of WeWork that it could withdraw from an agreement to buy $3bn of stock in the embattled co-working business, casting doubt on a deal that had been set to close in about two weeks, Bloomberg reported.
SoftBank cited numerous government inquiries into WeWork, including those from US attorneys, the Securities and Exchange Commission, attorneys general in California and New York and the Manhattan district attorney.
This week’s notice from SoftBank raises questions about whether it may seek to negotiate a lower price, delay the purchase until the economy stabilizes or withdraw entirely.
US mergers face antitrust delays amid virus disruptions. (FS)
Companies seeking US approval for mergers could face delays in completing their deals as federal antitrust officials seek extra time to complete reviews amid disruptions caused by the coronavirus, Bloomberg reported.
The Justice Department’s antitrust division said in a statement that it will ask companies for an additional 30 days for merger reviews that are in their final stages. The Federal Trade Commission said it will seek extensions as needed.
Deutsche Bank hires banker Kwok to head west coast tech M&A. (FS, People)
Investment banker Jusung Kwok is joining Deutsche Bank as managing director and head of West Coast technology M&A, Bloomberg reported.
Kwok will start in May in San Francisco reporting to Thomas Cho, head of Americas technology M&A, and Bruce Evans, head of Americas M&A. He joins the German bank from Citigroup, where he has provided mergers and acquisitions advice to technology companies since 2018.
The Competition and Markets Authority cleared PepsiCo's acquisition of Pioneer Food Group, a producer and distributor of a range of branded food and beverage products, for $1.7bn on March 18, 2020.
Earlier this month, South Africa's Competition Tribunal gave the green light to the transaction after an agreement with the two food manufacturers on issues including jobs and black economic empowerment. The competition body said it had approved the takeover with a "wide-ranging package of public interest conditions".
Pioneer Food is advised by PSG Capital and Webber Wentzel. PepsiCo is advised by Centerview Partners, JP Morgan, UBS, Bowmans, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Tiberius Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, completed the acquisition of International General Insurance, an international specialist commercial insurer and reinsurer, for $390m.
"The acquisition of IGI is perfectly aligned with our objectives. Since inception, IGI has had an enviable track record of growth in tangible book value per share through high-quality and low-volatility ROE, cycle management, its conservative reserving philosophy and a unique ability to benefit from changes in the property-casualty insurance cycle," Michael Gray and Andrew Poole, Tiberius Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer.
IGI was advised by RBC Capital Markets, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Rein4ce. Tiberius was advised by Cantor Fitzgerald, Dowling & Partners, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole and Lamson Dugan & Murray.
KKR is set to acquire Viridor Waste Management, a recycling and residual waste management services provider, from Pennon Group, an environmental utility infrastructure company, for $5.1bn.
The transaction is conditional on approval from Pennon shareholders, merger control clearance from the European Commission and certain other conditions, and is expected to complete in summer 2020.
"Following a detailed review of the Group's strategic options, we are pleased to announce the proposed sale of Viridor for an Enterprise Value of $5.1bn. The transaction is great news for shareholders as it recognises the strategic value that Pennon has developed and nurtured in Viridor over many years and accelerates the realisation of that value for shareholders. On completion of the transaction, Pennon will continue to focus on its sector-leading water and wastewater businesses and will consider further growth opportunities that create value for customers, employees and shareholders," Chris Loughlin, Pennon CEO.
Pennon Group is advised by Barclays, Morgan Stanley, and Finsbury.
Golden Square Equity Partners, a private equity fund that invests in technology, blockchain, biotech, natural resources and real estate, agreed to acquire Casa Mining, a gold exploration company, from Arc Minerals, a company focused on its copper exploration projects, for $50m.
“Given the extremely challenging market conditions we are experiencing with Covid-19 this transaction is attractive to Arc with a potential $5m cash payment upon the maturity of the loan note in March 2021 and a potential royalty of up to $45m going forward, allowing us to share some of the future upside at Casa,” Nick von Schirnding, Arc Minerals’ Chairman.
Arc Minerals is advised by SP Angel Corporate Finance.
Sarantis Group, an Athens-based personal care company, completed the acquisition of Luksja, a Polish personal care brand, from PZ Cussons, a major British manufacturer of personal healthcare products and consumer goods. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Luksja is a great fit with Sarantis's portfolio and I would like to thank the Luksja team for their important contribution to the development of PZ Cussons Poland in recent years," Alex Kanellis, PZ Cussons CEO.
Baird Capital completed the investment in Aura Futures, a provider of workspace technology solutions to mid to large-size enterprises. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to make this investment and partner with the Aura team to help them build a leading provider in the workspace technology market. Alpesh and his team have a track record of delivering innovative solutions in a market that increasingly demands a value-added approach. Karlson and Intevi provide Aura with an established and successful platform from which to build and we look forward to adding further companies to Aura in the near future," Andrew Ferguson, Baird Capital Partner.
EU seeks to prevent US takeovers of coronavirus research firms.
European Union leaders will discuss how to prevent hostile US takeovers of EU-based research firms at the forefront in developing drugs and vaccines against the coronavirus.
The talks, to be held in an extraordinary videoconference on the EU response to the virus crisis, come a day after the European Commission pledged financial support to a German firm after it emerged that Washington was trying to persuade it to move its research to the United States.
Top asset managers ask Andrew Bailey to close stock markets for two weeks.
Executives from some of the biggest asset managers told the Bank of England’s new governor that financial markets should close for two weeks as the world confronts the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on a conference call with BOE governor Andrew Bailey, several executives raised the possibility of a shutdown during a wide-ranging discussion on the state of the markets and the financial services industry.
UAE institutions consider rescue of Travelex owner Finablr.
Finablr, the owner of Travelex, has been thrown a lifeline by the central bank of the United Arab Emirates which has taken control of a remittance house at the heart of the struggling FTSE 250 group, after it asked advisers to prepare for a possible insolvency.
Abu Dhabi state-owned institutions are considering participating in a restructuring package if the group, which was worth more than £1bn ($1.2bn) only last year, can be stabilised.
OpenGate Capital to refinance EverZinc. (FS)
OpenGate Capital, a global private equity firm, refinanced EverZinc, a global zinc chemicals specialist. Financial terms were not disclosed.
EverZinc processes more than 195k tons of materials of which 40% are recycled and refined at ten production sites to serve its growing global customer base.
OpenGate Capital was advised by Lincoln International.
SoftBank Vision Fund and RA Hospitality, the Ritesh Agarwal-controlled investment entity, completed an $807m investment in the hospitality chain Oyo Hotels & Homes.
“This is a key development for Oyo Hotels & Homes, and additional funds will help the business achieve its strategic objectives for 2020, which include accretive and sustainable growth, operational excellence and investment in corporate governance and training,” Oyo spokesperson.
Search giant Baidu is set to acquire a 9% stake in IReader Technology, a software developer, for $100m.
As part of the agreement, IReader will license the intellectual property of its digital content to Baidu, while Baidu agreed to provide IReader with priority support in internet search, purchase and development of new content, commercialization, AI, big data, software and mobile app development. The duo will also join efforts in the areas of online education and intelligent hardware development.
Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com to buyback $2b worth of shares.
China’s JD.com said it would buy back up to $2bn of its shares, after the e-commerce company estimated a growth in sales in the current quarter that has been ravaged by the coronavirus outbreak. JD said it expects to fund the buyback, to take place over the next 24 months, with existing cash.
Last week, SoftBank Group said it was repurchasing up to $4.8bn of its shares after their recent slump.
The Hong Kong bourse operator is “committed to keeping our markets fully operational”, Charles Li, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing chief executive said, amid volatility triggered by the coronavirus epidemic.
Several European stock exchanges have said that they too will stay open for business. The Philippine Stock Exchange closed on Tuesday, but has said it will reopen on Thursday.
8F raises $358m for land-based salmon farming fund. (FS)
8F Asset Management, a Singapore-headquartered impact-focused private equity firm, raised $358m for its debut fund that will finance its global land-based salmon aquaculture business.
The 8F Aquaculture Fund I, together with parallel fund 8F Aquaculture Fund I (Ireland), exceeded its original target and received commitments from a global network of institutional and sovereign wealth funds in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the United States.
Hanjin Kal offers to acquire a 14.9% stake in Korean Air from Delta Air for $300m. (FS)
Hanjin Kal, a South Korean holding company that engages in airline, hotel, and travel-related services, offered to acquire a 14.9% stake in Korean Air, an airline and flag carrier, from Delta Air, a US airline, for $300m.
Hanjin Kal shareholders will decide in a March 27 annual general meeting whether to give board seats to Korean Air CEO and group chairman Walter Cho and Hanjin nominees, or candidates nominated by Cho’s sister Heather and activist fund KCGI, Hanjin Kal’s biggest shareholder.
Hillhouse-backed Blue Moon said to hire banks for $1bn HK IPO. (FS)
Chinese liquid detergent maker Blue Moon, backed by large private equity firm Hillhouse Capital Group, picked banks to lead its Hong Kong initial public offering of up to $1bn this year.
The Guangzhou-based firm which recently invited pitches from investment banks has selected China International Capital and Citigroup to lead its proposed float. Bank of America is also expected to work on the deal which will likely take place in the second half of the year.
HK-listed China Everbright teams up with Wuhan authorities to launch two funds. (FS)
China Everbright, a subsidiary of state-owned financial giant China Everbright Group, teamed up with Wuhan East Lake High-tech Development Zone, China Everbright Bank and Everbright Jin’ou Asset Management to launch East Lake Guangkong Kejin Innovation Fund with a size of $142m, DealStreetAsia reported.
China’s SenseTime seeks up to $1b funding, defers HK IPO. (FS)
Chinese artificial intelligence startup SenseTime Group deferred its plan for an up to $750m initial public offering in Hong Kong this year and instead aims to tap private markets joining the list of companies scrapping share-sale plans as the novel coronavirus outbreak batters markets.
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