Blackstone-backed EagleClaw Midstream, a midstream operator, is suing the former owners of Caprock Midstream, alleging they failed to disclose tens of millions of dollars of liabilities during acquisition discussions, Reuters reported.
EagleClaw in 2018 acquired natural gas pipeline operator Caprock Midstream from Energy Spectrum Capital and Caprock Midstream Management for $950m. After the deal closed, EagleClaw discovered "numerous issues and claims for liabilities" with the pipeline assets.
The largest amount was a $22m bill presented after the close by Cimarex Energy from an audit of a gas gathering, water handling and electrical services agreements.
Caprock was advised by Barclays, Evercore, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Vinson & Elkins. EagleClaw Midstream was advised by Jefferies & Company and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
Via Varejo, a Brazilian retail company, agreed to acquire Airfox, a Boston-based fintech startup. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“I’m incredibly proud of what Airfox has accomplished so quickly and forever grateful to our ingenious and dedicated team members for all their hard work. With Via Varejo’s support, we’ll continue to lead the charge in leveraging today’s technology for tomorrow’s solutions and securing greater financial inclusion for all,” Victor Santos, Airfox Chairman, Founder & CEO.
Refinery Ventures, an energy-focused venture company, agreed to acquire Laconic Enterprises, a specialty energy firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This transaction facilitates Laconic’s long-term strategic plan by providing a solid foundation of transparency and regulatory compliance upon which to build out integrated project delivery teams to service clients across the globe,” Andrew Gilmour, Laconic Enterprises COO.
Refinery Ventures is advised by Bassett Financial.
Roche Holdings, a Swiss multinational healthcare company, completed the acquisition of Stratos Genomics, a DNA sequencing technology company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Roche is dedicated to creating innovative diagnostics for the most challenging clinical conditions with techniques that are tailored to individual genetic and disease profiles. These solutions address the demands of research and clinical practice to deliver on the promise of personalised healthcare for patients. We look forward to further advancing our sequencing technology as we move to the next generation of healthcare and welcome the world-class scientists and employees from Stratos Genomics to Roche," Thomas Schinecker, Roche CEO.
Virgin relinquishes control of galactic space business.
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has given up majority control of Virgin Galactic, selling $366m worth of shares in the space travel company to fund other Virgin businesses hit hard by coronavirus.
The group sold 25m shares in Virgin Galactic, offloading a fifth of its stake in a sale that brings its holding below 50%. Virgin remains the largest shareholder with a 40% stake, giving it a commanding say in running the business.
Axel Springer among bidders for eBay’s classifieds business. (FS)
Axel Springer, the German media group backed by private equity firm KKR, submitted an initial bid for eBay’s classifieds business, as the ecommerce group embarks on one of the biggest sale processes since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, FT reported.
The publisher of Die Welt and Bild and its US backer will face competition from groups including South African ecommerce group Naspers, the classified group Adevinta, which owns the Shpock platform, and a private equity consortium of Hellman & Friedman, Blackstone and Permira.
SelectQuote surges after raising $570m in an expanded IPO.
SelectQuote, a platform that allows consumers to compare insurance policies, rose as much as 41% after the company and its existing shareholders raised $570m in its upsized US IPO, giving it a valuation of $4.5bn, Bloomberg reported.
Shares of the Kansas-based company opened at $26.2 on Thursday. A total of 28.5m shares, including both primary and secondary, were sold for $20 each Wednesday after the offering earlier targeted a sale of 25m shares at $17 to $19 apiece.
Judge approves sale of Venezuela's US refineries.
A US judge approved moving forward with the sale of Venezuela's prized US-based CITGO refineries, allowing Crystallex, a Canadian mining company, to collect $1.4bn it lost in a decade-old takeover in the South American nation by the late socialist President Hugo Chávez, Daily Mail reported.
Obstacles still remain before moving ahead with CITGO's sale. Crystallex must first get a license from US Treasury officials, which had temporarily shielded Venezuela's opposition from losing CITGO. Chavez took over the gold mining firm's Venezuela concession and the local operations of other international companies as part of his Bolivarian revolution that has left Venezuela spiraling into deepening economic and political turmoil.
Crystallex, which went bankrupt, sued Venezuela to recover its lost investment in Venezuela. The case is unique because the court allowed Crystallex to attach assets of CITGO's parent company, the Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA, finding that Venezuela had erased the lines between the government and its oil firm.
Realterm closes its third logistics-focused fund at $370m. (FS)
Realterm, a real estate manager, closed its third logistics-focused fundraise at its $370m hard cap. The oversubscribed fund would specialize in High Flow-Through Logistics investments in areas including cross-dock truck terminals, transload and related trans-shipment, air cargo, parcel sortation, and final mile delivery facilities. Realterm Logistics Fund III, a closed-end, value-added fund, will target deals throughout the US.
Vance Street Capital eyes up to $375m for its third fund. (FS)
Vance Street, a Los Angeles based private equity firm, aims to raise up to $375m for its new Fund III. The firm, which focuses on mid-market businesses in the aerospace, defence, industrial and medical sectors, pulled in $320m for its debut vehicle in 2008.
The firm intends to make platform investments with enterprise values of between $30m and $300m in companies headquartered in the US and Canada.
Sherpa Capital, a private equity fund management company, completed its acquisition of a stake in CityBike, a European micro-mobility company, from Moventia Group, a Spanish transportation company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our investment in CityBike will provide the company with resources to execute its expansion plan and, additionally, will serve to support the management team organizationally with a focus on business development and business scalability. Throughout this process we will also count with the extensive experience of Moventia, which will continue to support the development of CityBike," Lars Becker, Sherpa Capital Partner.
Sherpa Capital was advised by KPMG and DLA Piper. Moventia Group was advised by Arcano Partners and Escala Legal.
Carlsberg UK, the flagship beer brand, and Marston’s, the UK's independent brewing and pub retailing business, are set to form a joint venture in a £273m ($334m) deal. Marston’s will have a 40% stake in the joint venture, while Carlsberg will own the remaining 60%.
“The creation of the joint venture is an important step forward for our UK business. The joint venture’s brand portfolio will allow us to offer a significantly stronger beer portfolio to our UK customers, and at the same time extend distribution into the Marston’s pub estate. In addition, the combined business will bring our customers wider choice, greater capacity, product innovation, and marketing and distribution efficiency benefits,” Cees’t Hart, Carlsberg CEO.
Marston’s is advised by Numis Securities, Instinctif Partners and JP Morgan.
Boparan Restaurant Group, an owner and operator of restaurants, completed the acquisition of Carluccio's, an operator of restaurants. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We welcome Carluccio's colleagues to BRG. This acquisition is in line with our strategy to grow our restaurant group with quality brands. Whilst it is an extremely challenging time for the sector, we believe quality hospitality businesses will recover in the long term as people return to eating out," Satnam Leihal, BRG Managing Director.
Boparan Restaurant Group was advised by FRP Advisory.
CVC Capital Partners agreed to acquire a 28% stake in PRO14 Rugby, a UK rugby league, from Celtic Rugby DAC, a company that runs the operations of PRO14. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I am delighted that we have managed to welcome CVC into the Guinness PRO14 as our partner. As a Board, we have been ambitious in our outlook and have significantly developed the league in recent years. One of our key goals was to secure a strategic partner to help accelerate our plans, and CVC brings a wealth of experience and great expertise in this regard," Dominic McKay, Celtic Rugby DAC Chairman.
Mid Wales Housing Association, a rental homes provider, agreed to merge with Tai Ceredigion, a provider of homes and services to a wide range of people. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is an amazing opportunity for everyone concerned and we will be working hard to ensure a seamless transition. Our priority is to provide the highest quality bilingual services and support for existing and new tenants and leaseholder residents," Peter Swanson, Mid-Wales Housing Chairman.
Rostelecom, a Russian long-distance telephony provider, agreed to acquire a 51% stake in VoiceLink, a smart road traffic control systems provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With the acquisition of VoiceLink, Rostelecom powers on with its strategy to continue developing its smart services family. Our principal growth engine, this business segment is continuously boasting double-digit growth rates in our revenue structure. The acquisition of VoiceLink further increases the Group's product positioning within the Smart and Safe City projects and makes a strong contribution to our strategy been to build expertise in smart transport systems engineering and construction. We are seeing a lot of opportunities to realise synergy effects through the promotion of smart products across our existing clients and within the national "Safe Roads" programme," Anna Shumeyko, Rostelecom Senior Vice President.
Nexi and SIA in talks over a potential merger.
Nexi and SIA are exchanging confidential information as they explore a potential merger that would create one of Europe's biggest payments providers, Reutersreported.
Executives have met in the past few weeks and asked their advisers to examine potential synergies as well as determine a valuation for SIA. The parties aim to resolve the advantages of a merger and whether they want to continue with more specific negotiations. Discussions may accelerate in June when the companies will review SIA's valuation ahead of a possible deal.
Nexi is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Mediobanca. SIA is advised by JP Morgan and Rothschild & Co.
USAerospace Partners still interested in Alitalia.
USAerospace Partners, an aviation service group, stated that it was still interested in Alitalia, a provider of airline services, and was open to join forces with the Italian government and other investors to restructure the loss-making carrier, Reutersreported.
The US-based group had filed an expression of interest to acquire Alitalia earlier this year, before the coronavirus crisis.
LEG Immobilien and TAG Immobilien in talks about a potential merger.
German real estate companies LEG Immobilien and TAG Immobilien are in talks about a potential combination of their businesses, Reutersreported. LEG would offer TAG shareholders to exchange their shares for LEG stock.
"At this stage, it is uncertain whether an agreement will be reached and whether a transaction will be announced," LEG.
Rosneftegaz gives up control of Rosneft after Venezuela exit.
Rosneftegaz, a Russian state holding company, lowered its stake in the country's largest oil producer, Rosneft, after its exit from Venezuela, Reutersreported. Rosneft disposed of its assets in Venezuela two months ago as the United States stepped up sanctions against the firm.
Rosneft, which usually pumps 4.7m barrels of oil a day, stated that Rosneftegaz now owned a 40.4% stake, down from just above 50% before the deal. It also said that its subsidiary, RN-NeftCapitalInvest, had become the owner of 9.6% of the company.
Anglo American explores sale of South Africa's coal alongside spin-off.
Anglo American, a South African multinational mining company, is still exploring a divestment of its thermal coal assets in South Africa as an alternative to spinning off and listing the business, Reutersreported.
Mining companies are under pressure to stop mining coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, from investors and governments intent to switch to cleaner fuels. Despite a global shift against the use of polluting fossil fuels, coal is still extensively used in emerging markets including China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, among others.
Barclays names new interim heads of equities. (People)
Barclays turned to its two regional heads of equities to temporarily co-head the unit globally following the sudden departure of Fater Belbachir, the former stock trading chief, FN reported.
Paul Leech and Todd Sandoz will become co-heads of equities, temporarily replacing Fater Belbachir who departed after only ten months in the role.
British lawmaker says the UK must defend its companies against overseas takeovers.
Britain must defend its companies against overseas takeovers in the aftermath of the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak, a senior British lawmaker said, adding that China's state-owned companies have drawn on state banks to outbid rivals, FTreported.
"Increasingly, China's state-owned enterprises have been able to draw on state banks to outbid rivals in Europe and America. In a downturn, the difference between state-backed credit and the buying power of normal commercial investors will become starker, further strengthening the hand of state-owned enterprises with a voracious appetite to buy rather than build," Tom Tugendhat, Foreign Affairs Select Committee Chair and a Conservative Party lawmaker.
Invision divests Vantage Education to a group of Swiss investors. (FS)
A group of Swiss investors purchased Vantage Education, a provider of higher education programs in Switzerland, from Invision, a Swiss private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Building Vantage over the past few years has been a great journey, and we are proud to have made a significant contribution to the development of the Group and the private education sector in Switzerland in general. I am very happy that we have found a good partner to help move the schools forward and that Vantage will remain in Swiss hands," Marco Martelli, Invision Partner.
KKR & Co agreed to invest in Jio Platforms, an Indian telecommunications company, at a $65bn valuation. Jio Platforms is part of Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani's sprawling oil products-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries. KKR joins Vista Equity Partners, Silver Lake Partners and General Atlantic which also invested in Jio this month. Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund is also in discussions to invest about $1.5bn in the company.
“KKR shares our ambitious goal of building a premier Digital Society in India. KKR has a proven track record of being a valuable partner to industry-leading franchises and has been committed to India for many years. We are looking forward to leveraging KKR’s global platform, industry knowledge and operational expertise to further grow Jio." Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director.
KKR is advised by Deloitte, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas. Reliance is advised by Morgan Stanley, Davis Polk and AZB & Partners. Vista Equity Partners is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas. General Atlantic is advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas. Silver Lake is advised by Latham & Watkins and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas.
SoftBank to sell 5% of its wireless arm for c. $2.9bn. (FS)
SoftBank Group is set to raise about $2.9bn by selling a 5% stake in its Japanese wireless subsidiary this month, the latest in a series of asset divestitures intended to fortify its ailing balance sheet.
The group intends to sell 240m shares of SoftBank, reducing its ownership stake to 62.1% after the deal, the parent company said in a statement. The total amount raised is slightly below that implied by the $12 to $12.2 price range SoftBank announced one day earlier. The deal closes on May 26.
Xinghua Port's majority shareholder explores sale.
Chinese port operator Xinghua Port Holdings' controlling shareholder is considering a divestment of his majority stake in the firm, Bloomberg reported.
Chairman Patrick Ng's family is working with an adviser to assess interest in the Hong Kong-listed company. The controlling shareholder reached out to potential buyers including state-owned Shenzhen International Holdings, a provider of investment, construction, and operation of logistic infrastructure facilities, and Zhuhai Port, a provider of logistics services.
A deal could value Xinghua Port at about $200m, including debt. Ng and his family own nearly 61% of the company.
Khazanah raises $168m by selling Telekom Malaysia shares at a discount. (FS)
Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional divested 172.3m shares in telco player Telekom Malaysia, raising gross proceeds of $168.6m, DealStreetAsia reported.
The placement price of $0.97 per share represents a 3.61% discount to Telekom Malaysia's closing price of $1.01.
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