The UK competition authority announced the launch of an in-depth competition investigation into the $4bn acquisition of Viagogo, an online marketplace for ticket resale, by StubHub, an online ticket exchange company.
The announcement follows the failure to address concerns the Competition and Markets Authority raised previously. The result of the original probe that started in April was the decision to give companies a week's time to take steps towards resolving the issue.
viagogo is advised by JP Morgan, Kirkland & Ellis, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Affiliates and Mercury. Debt for transaction is provided by JP Morgan and Madrone Capital Partners. eBay is advised by Goldman Sachs, Quinn Emanuel, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Sloane & Company. Debt providers are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Act II Global Acquisition, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, announced that the board approved the $516m merger with Merisant, a manufacturer of zero and low-calorie sugar substitutes, and MAFCO Worldwide, a manufacturer of natural licorice products. The board also noted that the combined entity will be renamed as Whole Earth Brands.
"We are pleased to announce this important milestone toward completing the business combination and to see the overwhelming support of our shareholders, which reflects the strategic value and growth opportunity inherent in Whole Earth Brands," Irwin Simon, Act II Executive Chairman.
Act II is advised by Cantor Fitzgerald, Goldman Sachs, Moelis & Co, DLA Piper and ICR. Flavors Holding is advised by Citigroup and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Cummins, a global technology and power solutions company, and NPROXX, a provider of hydrogen storage and transportation, agreed to form a joint venture for hydrogen storage tanks. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to combine Cummins' expertise, innovation and commitment to customer success with NPROXX's leading hydrogen storage technologies," Tom Linebarger, Cummins Chairman and CEO.
NPROXX is advised by De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Gleiss Lutz. Cummins is advised by Bird & Bird and K&L Gates.
Manchester Airport Group, a UK airport group, completed the acquisition of AirportParkingReservations.com, ParkSleepFly.com and ShuttleFinder.com, three airport parking, hotel and transfer booking platforms. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We know the great service and coverage that these businesses have built up over the last 20 years and together they will complement our growing MAG USA commercial services business. We are very excited to have Carlos and the team join the MAG USA family. The US market is a strategic focus for MAG's international growth and we're all looking forward to the journey ahead of us as the aviation market rebounds," Martin Jones, MAG USA CEO.
OJO Labs, an Austin-based startup with an AI-powered digital home-buying assistant, agreed to acquire Movoto, a full-service real estate brokerage that provides customers with search tools and information on top agents. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The Movoto team is as obsessed with consumer experience as we are at OJO Labs. It is the company's ability to optimize search based on consumer behaviour and engagement that has enabled them to compete with three massive, publicly traded companies while steadily gaining market share since 2018. Movoto's consumer-first search site combined with OJO Labs' AI advisor marks a completely new experience that will change the way we buy and sell homes forever," John Berkowitz, OJO Labs CEO and Co-Founder.
Orix-backed Nat Tech, the wholly-owned operating subsidiary of NTI Connect, a nationwide provider of mission-critical deployment services, agreed to acquire the fiber network engineering business of Precision Design Services, a provider of design, engineering, and project management for telecommunications and data communications systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of PDS aligns with NTI's strategy to expand our engineering services capabilities. Providing both fiber network engineering and fiber optic deployment services to all of our national customers in the important New York City area has been a top priority for us, and now we are in a strong position to deliver these capabilities to our clients in this market," Jim Estes, NTI CEO.
KKR-backed OverDrive, a digital reading platform for libraries and schools, agreed to acquire RBdigital, the media platform and app, from RBmedia, a provider of spoken audio content and digital media distribution technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Combining the RBdigital library business with OverDrive's industry-leading technologies will greatly benefit libraries and their readers worldwide. We're proud to enhance our value proposition for libraries by delighting readers with this new content on the award-winning Libby and Sora reading apps," Steve Potash, OverDrive Founder and CEO.
Apple completed the acquisition of Fleetsmith, a San Francisco-based startup company whose technology helps businesses manage Apple’s Mac and iPad devices among their employee bases. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The move is a push by Apple into the mobile device management industry, a category of business software dominated by players such as Microsoft and VMware.
Cedar Gate Technologies, a value-based care performance management company, agreed to acquire Citra Health Solutions, a provider of capitation management software solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The addition of Citra couldn't come at a better time. Now, more than ever, health systems are looking for ways to transition away from fee-for-service as value-based care becomes the new standard. Through Citra's long-standing capitation capabilities, we now provide our clients with the ability to design, administer and optimize all risk-based arrangements," David B. Snow Jr., Cedar Gate Technologies CEO.
Optum Ventures, the independent venture fund of Optum, led a $136m Series C round for DispatchHealth, a provider of tech-enabled in-home health care. The round included participation from existing investors Alta Partners, Questa Capital, Echo Health Ventures, new investors Oak HC/FT, Humana and additional strategic investors.
"Delivering patient care, especially to those with high-acuity needs, should be seamless, integrated, and immediate. DispatchHealth's technology platform combined with their adept medical teams on the front lines uniquely positions the company to deliver the right care, at the right time, in the comfort of a patient's home when they need it most," Andrew Adams, Oak HC/FT Co-Founder and Managing Partner.
Dun & Bradstreet looks for raising up to $1.4bn in US IPO. (FS)
Dun & Bradstreet, one of Wall Street’s oldest data and analytics providers, is seeking to raise as much as $1.4bn in a US IPO. The company, whose origins can be traced to 1841, said in a filing that it plans to sell 65.75m shares for $19 to $21 each.
Additionally, subsidiaries of Cannae Holdings, Black Knight and veteran dealmaker Chinh Chu’s CC Capital Partners have committed to investing a combined $400m in a concurrent share placement. At the top of the IPO range, the company would have a market value of $8.4bn based on the outstanding shares listed in the filing.
Hertz considers selling inventory to CarMax, AutoNation.
Hertz Global could flip its roughly 150k-car inventory as it looks to stay afloat after filing for bankruptcy last month. CarMax and AutoNation could be among those eyeing Hertz in bankruptcy amid a rise in demand for used cars, Bloombergreported.
The move could help ease some pressure for Hertz, as a sale of its used-car fleet would shore up some cash concerns and could fetch about $3bn.
Mitie, an outsourcing company, agreed to acquire the support services arm of Interserve, a services, maintenance and building group operating in the public and private sectors in the UK, for $338m, comprising $150m in cash and a 23.4% shareholding in Mitie to be held by or on behalf of Interserve’s shareholders. Completion of the transaction is subject to certain conditions, including approval from Mitie’s shareholders.
“The proposed combination of Interserve Support Services with Mitie will create the UK’s leading facilities management company, with strong prospects in both the public and private sectors providing significant opportunities to employees, customers, and shareholders alike. The transaction, which is consistent with our stated strategy of realising value for our shareholders, will reduce the Group’s debts, enable a paydown to our shareholders and stabilise the Group’s financial position through the retention of a proportion of the proceeds," Alan Lovell, Interserve Chairman.
Interserve is advised by Lazard, Slaughter & May and Tulchan Communications. Mitie is advised Banco Santander, Barclays, Evercore, JP Morgan and Jefferies & Company.
BorgWarner, an American worldwide automotive industry components and parts supplier, announced that shareholders of Delphi Technologies, a United Kingdom-based company that develops designs and manufactures vehicle propulsion systems, approved BorgWarner's all-stock $3.3bn acquisition offer. An overwhelming majority of Delphi Technologies' shareholders voted in favour of the transaction.
"We appreciate that a large majority of Delphi Technologies' shareholders have voted to approve the transaction, underscoring the value that we believe is inherent in bringing our companies together. We are now one step closer to delivering the expected significant benefits of this transaction to our combined stakeholders. We look forward to closing the transaction which is expected to occur in the second half of 2020," Frédéric Lissalde, BorgWarner President and CEO.
Delphi Technologies is advised by Goldman Sachs and Kirkland & Ellis. BorgWarner is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Rockefeller Capital Management and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
The National Commercial Bank, a Saudi Arabian bank, offered to acquire Samba Financial Group, a Saudi multinational banking firm, for $15.6bn.
NCB offered to pay a premium of as much as 27.5% to Samba's last closing price. The combined bank would have total assets of about $210bn, making it the third-largest in the region behind Qatar National Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Samba is advised by Morgan Stanley and Khoshaim & Associates. NCB is advised by JP Morgan and AS&H.
Generali, the largest Italian insurance company, agreed to acquire a 24.4% stake in Cattolica, an Italian insurance company, for €300m ($337m).
"The strategic partnership with Cattolica represents a unique opportunity currently in Italy for profitable growth in asset management and innovative services for P&C customers, pillars of our 2021 Lifetime Partner strategy. This allows us to extend our health and telematic services to the more than 3.5m Cattolica customers, thanks to the innovative platforms of Generali Welion and Generali Jeniot. Becoming a major shareholder represents an opportunity to be part of Cattolica's financial strengthening and its transformation into a joint-stock company," Marco Sesana, Generali Italia and Global Business Lines Manager and CEO.
Cattolica is advised by KPMG and Studio Mario Cera. Generali is advised by Rothschild & Co, Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners and Tremonti & Associati.
Evolution Gaming, a Live Casino studio facilities operator, agreed to acquire NetEnt, a supplier of digitally distributed gaming systems, at a $2.1bn valuation. NetEnt shareholders will receive 0.1306 Evolution shares for each NetEnt share.
"This strategic deal marks a significant step towards Evolution's long-term vision of becoming the global market leader in the online casino industry. The combination of Evolution's strong offering in Live Casino with NetEnt's leading position in online slots will result in a world-class portfolio of online games that will enable us to serve a growing customer base," Jens von Bahr, Evolution Chairman.
Evolution Gaming is advised by SEB Corporate Finance and Gernandt & Danielsson. NetEnt is advised by Lazard.
Private equity firm Astorg Partners agreed to acquire Normec Group, a provider of testing, inspection, certification and compliance services headquartered in the Netherlands, from Summit Partners, a global growth equity investor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Over the past years, we have spent significant time reviewing the testing, inspection and certification space through which we have identified Normec. Normec's leading position in its highly attractive core markets is a strong fit with Astorg's investment strategy, and we are very excited to support Normec's international expansion," François de Mitry, Astorg Managing Partner.
Normec is advised by ING Bank and Jefferies & Company. Astorg is advised by Publicis Consultants.
Lloyds Development Capital-backed Mandata, an integrated transport management solutions provider, completed the acquisition of Return Loads, the online freight exchange platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is an incredibly exciting announcement. We plan to invest in the current Return Loads platform to add a significant amount of new functionality and look forward to sharing news of our developments over the coming months," Chris Rigg, Mandata CEO.
Mandata was advised by Muckle and KPMG. Debt financing was provided by Santander.
An Ardian-led consortium agreed to acquire a 30.2% stake in INWIT, which operates in the wireless network infrastructure sector, from Telecom Italia, an Italian telecommunications company, for €1.6bn ($1.8bn). On completion of the transaction, the consortium will hold a 49% stake.
"We are fully convinced that digital networks, which showed their resiliency during the coronavirus crisis, will increase their importance globally," Mathias Burghardt, Ardian Infrastructure Head.
Novozymes, a global biotechnology company, completed the acquisition of PrecisionBiotics Group, a provider of probiotics for human gut health, for $90m.
"By becoming a part of Novozymes, we will get a global presence across businesses and new capabilities within science and discovery of new strains. This will help us to grow by developing new products where we can combine enzymes and probiotics," Barry Kiely, PrecisionBiotics CEO and Co-Founder.
Civil society groups push Congo to decline AJN Resources deal.
Civil society groups called on the president and prime minister to reject Canada-listed junior miner AJN Resources approval for it to buy five projects from Democratic Republic of Congo’s state-owned gold company, Reuters reported.
Under the draft deal announced in early February, AJN Resources’ Congo unit would acquire stakes of between 30% and 35% in five gold projects from SOKIMO in exchange for a 60% stake in AJN.
NMC Health considers the divestment of international fertility business.
The administrators of hospital operator NMC Health are weighing the sale of the company‘s international fertility business, which could be worth more than $500m, Reuters reported. Administrators from Alvarez & Marsal were appointed in April to oversee NMC Health after months of turmoil over its finances.
NMC, founded by Indian entrepreneur B.R. Shetty, is the largest private-sector healthcare provider in the UAE. The administrators have held early talks with banks about the potential sale ahead of a formal launch of the sale process.
”A range of options are being considered. No formal process has been launched,“ Alvarez & Marsal.
EU competition chief pushes for more cross-border M&A.
The EU’s competition chief has urged European companies to pursue more cross-border takeovers inside the bloc to ward off predatory foreign buyers, emphasising, in particular, the potential for consolidation in the telecoms markets, FT reported.
Margrethe Vestager, who is serving a second term as competition commissioner, blocked two major mobile telecoms mergers in Denmark and the UK during her first term which deterred companies from pursuing in-market consolidation in the sector.
"In a single market, we would not consider (it) to be controversial if European businesses consolidate. In some sectors, there is indeed room for cross-border consolidation, the telco sector in particular, because here we still have very national markets," Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner.
Seriti CEO considers acquisitions beyond South African coal mines.
Seriti Resources Holdings has satisfied its appetite for South African coal mines after acquisitions over the past three years made the company one of the nation’s top producers of the fuel. Seriti will consider a range of growth opportunities from other minerals to renewable energy, Chief Executive Officer Mike Teke said.
"We are going to take over several businesses that are not in coal. I want us to build a strong, formidable mining company," Mike Teke, Seriti CEO.
Epidarex Capital closes $127m life sciences VC fund. (FS)
Epidarex Capital, a transatlantic life science venture firm, closed Epidarex Capital III UK at $127m. The Fund will build new life science companies based on world-class research and innovation from emerging hubs across the UK, including spinouts from highly regarded universities. Typical initial investments will range from $2.5-6m.
The new fund has been cornerstoned by the British Business Bank via a $62m commitment from its Enterprise Capital Funds programme for early-stage venture capital. The programme combines private and public money to enable equity investments in high-growth businesses, and since its inception, it has committed over $1.7bn to facilitate finance to 540 smaller UK high growth businesses.
BioGeneration Ventures raised $119m for BGV IV fund. (FS)
BioGeneration Ventures, an early-stage VC in European biopharma, closed its fourth fund, BGV IV, at $119m. Strong market interest expediated the fundraise, with the commitments to date exceeding the fund’s original target.
BGV is a European VC fund focused on early investments in new biotechnology companies, with over $248m assets under management. The BGV IV fund has attracted notable institutions as investors such as, Bristol Myers Squibb, Schroder Adveq and the European Investment Fund. New investors to BGV IV include Industriens Pension and KfW Capital.
Great Eastern, the largest life insurance company in Singapore and Malaysia, agreed to acquire a 22% stake in Boost, a cashless e-wallet app in Malaysia, from Axiata, a Malaysian multinational telecommunications conglomerate, for $70m.
"This strategic investment will enable Great Eastern to participate in Axiata's growing fintech expansion plans in the region. Axiata's focus on providing financial services for the underserved, unbanked and underinsured customer segment also resonates well with our business strategy. By leveraging on Axiata's network and digital capabilities, and partnering with them, we want to grow our reach into new customer segments to provide for their financial needs and ultimately improve their lives. We are excited to have the opportunity to strengthen our collaboration to deliver more value to its growing customer base by providing our protection and insurance solutions for better financial security and peace of mind," Khor Hock Seng, Great Eastern CEO.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son exits Alibaba board. (People)
SoftBank Group Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said he would step down as a director of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, bringing to a close a decade and a half of board-level ties between the two Asian technology powerhouses.
Mr Son’s announcement, which he made at the end of SoftBank’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, follows the resignation of Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma from SoftBank’s board.
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