LVMH attempted to prevent Tiffany's move to shift up the court date in its suit against the luxury goods provider in the US to push forward with the $16bn buyout. Previously, the acquisition of Tiffany was suspended by LVMH due to the intervention of the French government and weak performance of Tiffany.
Tiffany sued the bidder in Delaware and asked court to fast-track proceedings to receive a decision before acquisition's deadline, November 24. LVMH replied arguing that trial in six-seven months would be enough for both sides to prepare.
Tiffany is advised by Centerview Partners, Goldman Sachs, Sullivan & Cromwell and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisors are advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges. LVMH is advised by Citigroup, JP Morgan, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, White & Case, Allen & Overy, Brunswick Group, DGM Conseil, Deluxewords, Montfort Communications, Kekst CNC, Publicis Consultants and SEC and Partners.
Alstom, a French multinational rolling stock manufacturer, announced it cut its offer for rail unit of Bombardier, a Canadian multinational manufacturer of business jets and rail, by $350m, citing confidence in closing the deal in record time.
Companies expect to close the transaction in Q1 2020 as soon as all regulatory approvals are received and vote by Alstom shareholders is held on October 29.
Alstom is advised by Mazars Corporate Finance, Rothschild & Co, Societe Generale, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg. CDPQ is advised by HSBC, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and McCarthy Tetrault. Bombardier is advised by Citigroup, National Bank Financial, Rockefeller Capital Management, UBS, Jones Day, Norton Rose Fulbright, and Joele Frank. Debt financing to Alstom is provided by Credit Agricole, HSBC, and Societe Generale.
Veritas Capital, an investor in government and healthcare technology businesses, announced it would rename the US State & Local Health and Human Services of DXC Technology it is acquiring as Gainwell Technologies. The planned date for $5bn deal completion is October 1, 2020.
"The choice of Gainwell reflects the true vision of the new company. Its trusted expertise and comprehensive technology capabilities will further benefit from the entrepreneurial spirit of a standalone company as it leads the way in developing, implementing and delivering innovative and vital technology for its clients and the communities they serve. We look forward to supporting Gainwell Technologies as it partners with clients to navigate complex challenges and drive transformational outcomes, and to welcoming Paul and his talented team to the Veritas family," Ramzi Musallam, Veritas CEO and Managing Partner.
Veritas is advised by Goldman Sachs, Schulte Roth & Zabel and Sard Verbinnen & Co. DXC Technology is advised by Guggenheim Partners, JP Morgan, Latham & Watkins, Cravath Swaine & Moore and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
MetLife, a global provider of insurance, agreed to acquire Versant Health, a provider of vision care, from investors Centerbridge Partners and FFL Partners for c. $1.7bn.
"We are confident this acquisition will make our market-leading group benefits business even more attractive. The addition of the strong Davis Vision and Superior Vision brands will immediately establish MetLife as a leader in managed vision care. We look forward to offering our customers the exceptional member experiences that Versant provides," Ramy Tadros, MetLife President of US Business.
Versant Health is advised by Barclays, Centerview Partners and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. MetLife is advised by CapM Advisors and Sidley Austin.
CI Financial, an independent company offering global asset management and wealth management advisory services, completed the acquisition of Balasa Dinverno Foltz, a private wealth management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The purchase of BDF, a large and incredibly well-run RIA, significantly accelerates the growth and development of our US wealth business. We are very excited that the BDF team will be joining CI to help execute our wealth management strategy. BDF, with its client-centric approach, scale and experienced leadership, will be a strong foundation for continued expansion," Kurt MacAlpine, CI Financial Chief Executive Officer.
Balasa Dinverno Foltz was advised by Raymond James.
OPC Energy, a private electricity company in Israel, offered to acquire Competitive Power Ventures, an electricity company in the US, for approximately $750m.
"We have long recognized the potential inherent in the US electricity market, with an emphasis on expanding operations into the field of renewable energies. We see the US market as one of OPC's strategic target markets. There is growing momentum for increased development of renewable energy and a focus on a lower carbon approach to electricity supply. In parallel, the trends continue with a modernization of the grid with coal and uneconomic nuclear assets being retired and the construction of efficient, highly flexible natural gas power plants for economic and environmental reasons," Giora Almogi, OPC Energy CEO.
Delivery Hero, a local delivery platform, agreed to acquire Latin America operations of Glovo, an on-demand delivery start-up, for $272m. $60m of the investment will be subject to performance-based earn-out.
"Latin America is a region with exceptional growth potential for online delivery. Acquiring Glovo's local operations gives us the opportunity to double down on our efforts to drive innovation, continuously improve customer experience and support local vendors in the region. We have been working closely with Glovo for many years, and are proud to incorporate their Latin American services into our global network," Niklas Östberg, Delivery Hero CEO and Co-Founder.
Havas, a global communications group, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Camp + King, a creative agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“At Havas, we believe competitive advantage is multiplied by gaining an unfair share of talent. That’s exactly what we get from Camp + King, which brings the agility of a boutique shop with the output of a big agency. And with leaders like Jamie and Roger, we’re continuing to build out our constellation of stars. We couldn’t be more excited to grow our partnership with them and, in parallel, help fuel their ambitions for the future,” Stephanie Nerlich, Havas Executive Managing Partner.
Deutsche Boerse, a German marketplace organizer for the trading of shares and other securities, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Quantitative Brokers, an independent provider of advanced execution algorithms and data-driven analytics. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The QB team is thrilled to join Deutsche Börse’s portfolio of strategic companies to further accelerate our institutional client uptake and global expansion across markets and asset classes. Our partnership with a 30 billion-dollar, global, multi-asset exchange group will provide even greater momentum to our growth plans,” Christian Hauff, Quantitative Brokers CEO and Co-founder.
EQT bids for Chevron's Appalachia shale-gas assets.
EQT, a company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration and pipeline transport, has placed a $750m bid on Chevron's Appalachia gas properties and a pipeline stake, Reutersreported.
Chevron last year was considering the sale of the properties and took an $8.17bn charge to earnings to write down their value and an unrelated US offshore project. Most of the impairment charge was for the gas properties.
ChargePoint nears deal to go public.
ChargePoint, an electric vehicle infrastructure company, is nearing a deal to go public through a reverse merger with Switchback Energy Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company.
The deal for ChargePoint could value the company at more than $2bn and be announced as early as next week, Reuters reported, cautioning that talks could still collapse and terms may still change.
Illumina in talks to acquire Grail.
Illumina, which develops, manufactures, and markets integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function, is in late talks to acquire cancer testing startup Grail, Reuters reported.
Grail could fetch more than the $6bn valuation that it had reached from previous fundraisings. The companies could announce a deal as soon as this week.
MacAndrews & Forbes considers the selling of RetailMeNot.
MacAndrews & Forbes, an American diversified holding company, wholly owned by billionaire investor Ronald Perelman, is considering a sale of RetailMeNot, which maintains a collection of coupon web sites.
RetailMeNot is in talks with would-be bidders about a potential sale that could fetch $500m to $600m, Bloombergreported. RetailMeNot hired investment bank Evercore to serve as its financial adviser to manage the process.
Kobalt to explore a potential sale.
Kobalt Music Group, an independent rights management and publishing company, is working with advisers to explore strategic options including a potential sale, Bloombergreported. The company could be valued at more than $1bn.
Kobalt could attract interest from music producers such as Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group, as well as private equity and technology buyers. Music copyrights have grown in value with the renaissance of recorded music and online listening.
Richard Branson seeks $400m for its SPAC.
Bruised Branson's VG Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, seeks to raise $400m by selling 40m units at $10 apiece, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
"We intend to search for targets that operate in consumer-facing industries in the US and Western Europe. We believe that we will have a unique value proposition for our target due to our ability to apply the Virgin brand to fuel its growth and enhance its financial profile," the statement.
Equity Distribution Acquisition announces pricing of upsized $360m IPO.
Equity Distribution Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, announced the pricing of its $360m IPO. The company will sell 36m units at a price of $10.00 per unit.
Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one share of Class A common stock of the company at a price of $11.5 per share. The offering is expected to close on September 18, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.
Equity Distribution is advised by Credit Suisse.
Oaktree Acquisition II prices its $225m IPO.
Oaktree Acquisition II, a blank check company formed for the purpose of entering into a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses, announced the pricing of its $225m IPO. The company will sell 22.5m units at a price of $10 per unit.
Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one Class A ordinary share of the company at a price of $11.5 per share. The offering is expected to close on September 21, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.
Oaktree Acquisition II is advised by Deutsche Bank and Citigroup.
Antares Capital holds final close of its inaugural Senior Loan Fund. (FS)
Antares Capital holds final close of its inaugural Senior Loan Fund, which launched in December 2019. The fund closed on September 14 with c. $3bn of asset purchasing power, exceeding its initial target of $1.5bn.
"The closing of our inaugural fund is a significant milestone in continuing to diversify our investor base, and the ability to do so during the current market environment is a clear testament to the strength of the Antares brand. Investors appreciate that Antares' market position allows us to be highly selective in the opportunities in which we invest. Also, Antares has implemented a variety of measures to demonstrate alignment of interests with our investors, and ultimately when markets turn, we have a track record of strong performance through market cycles," Vivek Mathew, Antares Capital Senior Managing Director and Head of Asset Management.
Antares Capital Advisers was advised by Ropes & Gray.
SR One seeks to raise $400m for its new fund. (FS)
SR One, a venture capital firm focused on the biotech space, is looking to raised up to $400m for its new fund. Goldman Sachs International has been listed as the placement agent for the fund.
The company's current portfolio includes anti-fungal medicines company Scynexis, anti-bacterial product company Gladius, gene therapy company AGTC and more.
AEA Investors, Bridges Fund Management look for $400m for ESG-focused SPAC. (FS)
UK-based investment firm Bridges Fund Management and US-based AEA Investors seek to raise $400m by floating a new blank-check acquisition company with a focus on impact investing. The companies plan to offer 40m units at $10 each.
"It's already well-evidenced that businesses with strong ESG practices can achieve attractive investment returns. In an era where more and more people want to work for, buy from and invest in organizations that share their values, we believe companies that have a positive impact on society and the planet will be better-placed to succeed and grow sustainable," AEA-Bridges.
CPPIB names Edwin Cass as the first CIO. (FS, People)
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has named Edwin Cass as the pension fund's first CIO. Mr. Cass, who will be tasked with generating higher returns for the pension, will work closely with CEO Mark Machin and Chief Financial and Risk Officer Neil Beaumont, as well as the fund's investment department leaders.
"The time is right in CPP Investments' evolution to create a dedicated, fit-for-purpose chief investment officer role. Ed is very well positioned for this role, with his considerable investment expertise, enterprise-wide knowledge, and global experience," Mark Machin, CPPIB CEO.
Sunrise Communications, a Swiss telecommunications provider, said it won in court against its rival Salt Mobile that tried to block the $7.4bn acquistion of Sunrise by a multinational telecommunications company Liberty Global.
"After an oral hearing took place on Monday, September 14, 2020, the court did not find a breach of the exclusivity agreement and consequently rejected Salt's application," Sunrise.
Sunrise is advised by Deutsche Bank and Lenz & Staehelin. Liberty Global is advised by Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, LionTree Advisors, Homburger, Ropes & Gray, and Shearman & Sterling. Freenet is advised by Citigroup.
EQT Partners agreed to acquire Casa, Italy’s online real estate classifieds platform, from Oakley Capital, an investment management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our technology platform, brand equity, skills and organization are now positioning Casa it to be a much stronger player in the Italian market. We are very much looking forward to working with EQT on the next phase of Casa’s development. Their experience in Italy and in the online digital sector will be valuable to us as we look to continue to expand both our real estate agent customer base and service offering to property seekers in the Italian market,” Luca Rossetto, Casa CEO.
Oakley Capital is advised by Liberum Capital, Mediobanca and Greenbrook.
Sopra Steria, a European provider of consulting, digital services and software development, completed the acquisition of Sodifrance, a French IT service management company, for €62m ($67m).
"The strategic tie-up of Sodifrance with Sopra Steria brings us into a new phase in our development, with an ambitious business plan that will let us offer even more value to our clients and bright prospects to our employees as part of a new group that shares our core human values. I am convinced that our solutions for modernising legacy applications and migrating data will be a resounding success with the clientele of this European leader," Franck Mazin, Sodifrance Chairman.
Sodifrance was advised by Rothschild & Co. Sopra Steria was advised byImage Sept.
Equistone-backed FirstPort, the UK's largest residential property manager, completed the merger with Mainstay Group, a property and asset manager. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I am delighted to announce that our transaction to acquire Mainstay has completed and that we will now be joining forces to deliver the very best property and asset management services for our customers and clients. I am excited to see how we will learn from each other and work together to drive the highest industry standards and realise new market opportunities," Nigel Howell, FirstPort CEO.
Peak Rock Capital, a middle-market private investment firm, completed the acquisition of Halo Foods, a manufacturer of healthy bars and snacks. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Halo represents an exciting opportunity for us to invest in a leading provider within the growing European snacking space. We are excited to partner with the Company's talented management team to grow this platform through opportunities such as expanded distribution, product innovation, investments in the Company's operational capabilities and add-on acquisitions," Alex Dabbous, Peak Rock Capital Managing Director.
Blackstone and Fairfax, a financial holding company based in Toronto, completed the $500m launch investment in Ki Insurance, a fully digital and algorithmically-driven Lloyd's syndicate.
"Matthew, Mark and the rest of the Ki team have created a unique opportunity in Lloyd's to revolutionise the market and we are excited to be a part of this, in partnership with Fairfax. Ki's first-of-its-kind digital model will deliver a unique advantage to its' business partners which we believe will enable it to build to significant scale, while its algorithmically-driven approach represents an important evolution in the portfolio management of specialty risks," Qasim Abbas, Blackstone Senior Managing Director.
EU oppose the merger of Italy broadband networks.
The EU antitrust arm would likely oppose Italy's plan to create a single national broadband network controlled by former monopoly Telecom Italia,Bloomberg reported. Telecom Italia shares fell as much as 7.4%.
EU competition officials led by Margrethe Vestager are concerned that a proposed merger of Telecom Italia's landline network and Open Fiber, an Italian telecommunications company, would create a monopoly, reversing two decades of deregulation.
Synlab to sell the environmental business before 2021 IPO.
Synlab, an international medical diagnostics provider, has put its environmental business up for sale to streamline the laboratory services group ahead of a planned stock market listing next year, Reutersreported.
Synlab has invited potential buyers for Synlab Environment, which could be valued at between $355m and $474m including debt, to submit non-binding offers next month.
Next seeks acquisition opportunities.
Next, a UK multinational clothing, footwear and home products retailer, is seeking small acquisition opportunities thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic.
"I don't think you'll see an enormous deal go through but we are looking for active opportunities...in particular certain platform type opportunities," Simon Wolfson, Next CEO.
Ardian closes its fifth Expansion fund on $2.4bn. (FS)
Ardian has raised $2.4bn for its latest Expansion fund, Ardian Expansion Fund V. Despite a backdrop marked by the Covid-19 outbreak, Ardian has doubled the size of its previous fund in six months, highlighting investors' continued interest in European high-growth mid-sized companies.
Ardian Expansion Fund V attracted a global and diverse investor base. Investors from the previous generations of the fund represent 50% of Fund V, while more than a third of the fund's investors are new to Ardian.
"We are honored by the trust shown by our investors. Doubling the size of the previous generation in six months demonstrates the success of our strategy and the quality of our financial performance. This success also underpins the interest in the investment philosophy we have built over the last 20 years: to focus on developing strong relationships with experienced and dedicated management teams, leveraging the Ardian's network to fasten value creation for all stakeholders," François Jerphagnon, Ardian Head of Expansion.
GTCR-backed Corza Health, a developer of healthcare technology, agreed to acquire TachoSil, a surgical patch to deliver bleeding control, from Takeda Pharmaceutical, a global, research and development-driven pharmaceutical company, for $414m.
“This announcement continues Takeda’s strong momentum toward optimizing our portfolio for growth by delivering highly-innovative medicines and transformative care in our chosen business areas, as well as meeting our leverage targets. As we continue to streamline and simplify our portfolio, Takeda is confident that we have found the right partner in Corza Health as the next home for TachoSil. Corza Health’s expertise in healthcare, commitment to patients, customers and employees, and resources in partnership with GTCR make it well-positioned to ensure continued patient access to TachoSil and to invest in the product over the long term for their benefit,” Costa Saroukos, Takeda Chief Financial Officer.
DCP Capital Partners, a private equity investment company, offered to acquire 51job, a Chinese HR company, for $5.3bn. That’s 16% higher than September 16 closing price.
51job said it has not yet had a chance to carefully review and evaluate the offer. The board plans to evaluate the proposed transaction.
The American depositary receipts jumped to $79.1. 51job’s shares had declined 20% this year.
Uber considers selling a part of $6.3bn Didi stake.
Uber Technologies is considering selling part of its $6.3bn stake in Didi Chuxing, a Chinese transportation company that connects users of its smartphone apps with vehicles and taxis for hire, as it begins to shed minority holdings to raise cash, Bloombergreported.
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, is in talks about the sale with Didi and SoftBank Group, the Japanese conglomerate that is a major shareholder in both companies. While various scenarios are under discussion, one option is for SoftBank to team up with other investors to acquire a minority of Uber's 15% stake. Didi, which needs to approve any sale, is unlikely to buy shares itself.
The company is beginning to monetize stakes in other companies in an effort to boost its own share price.
Tencent-backed Kuaishou considers $5bn IPO in Hong Kong.
Tencent-backed Kuaishou, a Chinese video-sharing mobile app, is planning a Hong Kong initial public offering which could raise as much as $5bn, Bloombergreported.
The company is working with advisers on the share sale, which could happen as soon as early next year. Details of the offering including size and timeline could still change as deliberations are at an early stage.
Cargill acquires Chinese soybean processing facility.
Cargill, an American global food corporation, has acquired a soy processing facility in eastern China via a judicial auction, expanding its crushing capacity in the world's top soy consuming nation.
The company bought the facility in Rizhao, Shandong Province, previously owned by Shandong Xinliang Oils & Fats with a final bid of about $62m, Reutersreported.
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