Nestle has entered exclusive talks with EQT, PSP Investments, and ADIA to sell its skin health business to a consortium led by EQT Partners for 10.2bn Swiss francs ($10.1bn), as the food group shifts its portfolio in response to changing consumer demands.
Nestlé Skin Health provides science-based solutions to meet the specific skin health needs of healthcare professionals, patients, and consumers. It offers a range of leading medical and consumer brands through three complementary business units in prescription, aesthetics and consumer care.
“EQT focuses on quality businesses. We have a lot of good ideas how to develop Nestle Skin Health into a pearl and then make our return,” EQT partner and co-head of private equity Marcus Brennecke.
Investors consortium is advised by Rothschild & Co, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Kirkland & Ellis.
Private equity firm KPS Capital Partners acquired Howden, a leading global provider of mission-critical air and gas handling products and services to the industrial, power, oil & gas, and mining industries, from Colfax, an American corporation manufacturing welding, air, and gas handling equipment, for $1.8bn.
"We are excited about our future as an independent company under 'KPS' ownership. KPS is an ideal partner, given its demonstrated track record of recognizing and growing world-class industrial companies. 'KPS' commitment to continuous improvement, its global network, access to capital, and significant resources will enable us to continue to grow our business and provide our customers with market-leading products and solutions." Ian Brander, Howden Chief Executive Officer.
JP Morgan, and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison are advising KPS Capital Partners. BNP Paribas, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Kirkland & Ellis are advising Colfax.
Michelin has acquired the entire share capital of Masternaut, one of the largest European telematics providers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Masternaut operates primarily in France and the United Kingdom. It provides a technical platform equipped with the latest technology and offers onboard telematics solutions to optimize vehicle fleet management and monitoring.
For Michelin, the acquisition will speed up the development of its Services & Solutions business for light vehicles and support the booming fleet market.
"Michelin is consolidating its expertise in telematics, enabling us to optimize customer mobility and respond to the needs of a changing market. Masternaut represents a further step in the expansion of our Services & Solutions business, especially in Europe and for light vehicle fleets." Florent Menegaux, Michelin Managing General Partner.
Kenya’s biggest lender by assets, KCB Group, expects to complete its acquisition of National Bank of Kenya by October.
KCB, which also operates in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan, last month offered to buy National Bank (NBK) through a share swap of one KCB share for every 10 of NBK, joining a wave of consolidation in Kenya’s banking industry.
The group expected to delist NBK’s shares from the Nairobi bourse before October, adding it would run the bank as a stand-alone subsidiary before integrating its operations within about two years of the acquisition.
Bain and Carlyle continue talks to acquire Osram. (FS)
German lighting group Osram said that talks with Bain and Carlyle were continuing after a report said the private equity groups could bid €35 ($39) per share for the company.
“Talks are ongoing. Due diligence is not finished yet,” a company spokesman said.
Pret A Manger considers Eat for meat-free expansion.
Pret A Manger, the UK food-to-go chain, is in talks to buy rival sandwich business Eat to transform its stores into vegetarian outlets, as it seeks to cater to the fast-growing demand for plant-based foods.
A person briefed on Pret’s plan said “nothing had been signed” but that the “details were being ironed out” on a deal for Pret to buy the majority or all of Eat’s 94 premises, Financial Times reported.
Pret intended to use the Eat stores to expand the number of Veggie Prets, which serve only vegetarian and vegan products as the chain seeks to appeal to environmental and health-conscious consumers.
The German government has no fixed position on mergers according to Merkel.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, when asked about Commerzbank, said that the German government has no fixed position on mergers.
Asked if she was in favor of Dutch bank ING taking a stake in Commerzbank, she said: “Regarding the banking landscape, those are private sector decisions. There is no precedent from the German government for anything that develops in this area,” Merkel told a news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, adding that there were no bans on international cooperation.
The organization that defends shareholder interests in the Netherlands called on ING Groep to clarify whether it is interested in acquiring German rival Commerzbank.
EDF to protect minority shareholders from nuclear regulations.
French state-owned utility EDF will protect its minority shareholders in any possible restructuring of its capital and will seek a reform of nuclear energy regulation, CEO Jean-Bernard Levy told shareholders.
The French government last year asked Levy to make proposals by the end of 2019 about restructuring EDF, in order to make its nuclear power generation activity more independent of the rest of its business.
“I will personally guarantee the equitable treatment of all shareholders ... their legitimate interests will be taken into account in any financial operations that may be decided,” Levy told shareholders at their annual meeting.
Enel says no formal contacts over possible Open Fiber-TIM merger.
Italy’s biggest utility Enel has had “no formal contacts” over a possible tie-up of its jointly owned broadband infrastructure network Open Fiber with Telecom Italia (TIM), Enel’s Chief Executive Francesco Starace said.
He was replying to shareholder questions at the annual general meeting. He did not elaborate, simply adding that he was “very happy” with Open Fiber.
TIM’s CEO Luigi Gubitosi said that a merger with Open Fiber would be positive for both companies. Open Fiber is co-owned by Enel and TIM’s second-largest shareholder CDP, a state holding controlled by the Italian treasury.
Helaba and Deka consider tie-up.
German public-sector banks Helaba and Deka are considering a potential tie-up, in a sign that the country’s fragmented banking market might be moving toward consolidation, Reuters reported.
Helaba is one of Germany’s Landesbanks which are traditionally owned by savings banks and regional states. They act as wholesale banks helping local savings banks arrange large loans. The Landesbank also have their own corporate lending and mortgage businesses and most of them - except Helaba - needed bailouts in the financial crisis.
BNP Paribas Bank Polska denies acquisition plans.
BNP Paribas Bank Polska does not plan to acquire another lender, its chief executive said on Thursday, adding that nevertheless, he expects to see further consolidation in the Polish banking sector.
“I think that it is not the end of consolidation on the Polish market. I think something will happen in Germany and that will affect the Polish market. We have an appetite for organic growth. At the moment we don’t plan to acquire another bank.” Przemyslaw Gdanski, BNP Paribas Chairman.
Leonardo in talks over the alliance in torpedo business.
Leonardo is in talks with a potential partner for an alliance in the torpedo business, the CEO of the Italian defense group Alessandro Profumo said.
Talking with journalists after the AGM, Profumo said that the company was not involved in any M&A deal at the moment, adding consolidation was an issue that sooner or later the group would have to tackle.
“This is a classic case of a business that is not big but where we have a good position ... it would be worth to join forces with others to become stronger,” Profumo said speaking about the torpedo business.
Accel raises $575m fund to back companies in Europe and Israel. (FS)
Venture capital firm Accel has raised a $575m fund, its sixth to be invested in early-stage companies across Europe and Israel.
Accel opened its doors in London in 2000, aiming to become the first meaningful partner to exceptional entrepreneurs from the region. Since those early days, Europe has witnessed staggering growth, as founders across the region have successfully scaled transformative global businesses.
“The European technology market has truly come of age, and is home to a vibrant ecosystem of talented entrepreneurs, seasoned executives and an ample supply of capital at all stages.” Philippe Botteri, Accel Partner.
MTN Nigeria debuts in Lagos in $6.5bn listing.
MTN Nigeria, owned by South Africa’s MTN Group, listed in Lagos in a 2tn naira ($6.54bn) flotation turning the telecoms company into the exchange’s second-largest stock by market value.
MTN Nigeria’s shares climbed 10% from their listing price of 90 nairas after the float went live.
SJL Partners, KCC and Wonik QnC completed the acquisition of MPM Holdings for $3.1bn under the terms of the merger agreement. Momentive stockholders will receive $32.5 for each share of common stock they own subject to minimum closing cash requirements.
Momentive develops and manufactures specialty silicones and silanes, as well as fused quartz and specialty ceramics products.
“The acquisition and the potential for greater combination with KCC’s silicones division will further enhance Momentive’s global leadership position by expanding our portfolio of products, broadening our geographic reach and strengthening our financial position.” Jack Boss, Momentive Chief Executive Officer, and President.
Momentive is advised by Goldman Sachs, Moelis & Company, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Investor Group is advised by UBS and Greenberg Traurig.
The Goldman Sachs Group has acquired United Capital Financial Partners for $750m in cash.
United Capital is a registered investment advisor with $25bn of assets under management and over 220 financial advisors serving 22k clients in over 90 offices across the United States.
“We have a leading wealth management franchise, driven by our preeminent Private Wealth Management and Ayco offerings, which will serve as a cornerstone of our business as we execute on our long-term strategy to offer clients solutions across the wealth spectrum. United Capital will help accelerate this strategy by broadening our reach, allowing more clients to access the intellectual capital and investment capabilities of Goldman Sachs.” David M. Solomon, Goldman Sachs Chairman, and CEO.
United Capital is advised by Moelis & Co and Kilpatrick Townsend. Goldman Sachs is advised by Fried Frank.
Arkema has acquired of ArrMaz, a US-based leader in specialty surfactants for crop nutrition, mining, and infrastructure for $570m.
ArrMaz offers tailored and sustainable solutions for the specific and ever-changing needs of its customers in a variety of industrial markets. ArrMaz is a global leader in specialty surfactants for crop nutrition, mining, and infrastructure markets with sales of $290m and 18% EBITDA margin.
“We are excited to join forces with Arkema after a successful long-term partnership with Golden Gate Capital. Under their ownership, we expanded and improved the technical performance of our core product suite, entered attractive new markets such as lithium flotation and proppant dust control, and expanded our research and development capabilities and facilities worldwide. We look forward to continuing to provide our customers with the highest quality chemical solutions and unrivaled end-to-end support as we enter this next chapter of our growth.” Dave Keselica, ArrMaz CEO.
ArrMaz is advised by Lazard, Moelis & Co, Kirkland & Ellis, and Nob Hill. Arkema is advised by Valence Group. Golden Gate Capital is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Nob Hill.
Advent International has acquired AccentCare, a nationwide leader in post-acute healthcare, from private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
AccentCare is the sixth largest home health platform and the third largest personal care platform in the United States, offering a range of services – from personal, non-medical care to skilled nursing, rehabilitation, hospice care, and care management – across 16 states.
“AccentCare is a terrific platform that is setting the standard for high-quality home and community-based healthcare. In partnership with the talented AccentCare management team, we see numerous avenues to use its industry-leading infrastructure to expand into new service areas and offer additional clinical capabilities, which will enable the Company to care for more patients in partnership with physicians, health systems and insurance plans.” Carmine Petrone, Advent Managing Director.
Advent International is advised by Barclays, Deutsche Bank, RBC, and Ropes & Gray. AccentCare is advised by Harris Williams & Co, JP Morgan, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
SymphonyAI Group has acquired Azima Global, a provider of machine condition monitoring and asset reliability solutions across several industrial verticals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Azima Global has built a suite of cloud-based machine diagnostic and analytic solutions, supported by a team of deep domain experts, that together deliver highly accurate and timely visibility into the condition of industrial assets at scale.
“Azima has spent over a decade building an industry-leading position in the delivery of effective and scalable machine health diagnostics. It was only a matter of time before we merged with a leading AI platform to develop integrated predictive maintenance and process optimization solutions. We are excited about the incremental value we can now deliver to both our existing and prospective customers.” Burt Hurlock, Azima Global CEO.
Bernhard Capital Partners Management has acquired a financial interest in The Lemoine Company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Lemoine Company is one of the most respected full-service construction management firms in the country, with expertise in disaster recovery, community resilience, and sustainability.
“This investment provides our company, our employees and our customers with tremendous growth opportunities. Our customers, many of whom we have partnered with for decades, will continue to see the same quality they have grown to expect from us combined with the capital and operational resources of Bernhard Capital to help fuel our expansion.” Lenny Lemoine, The Lemoine President, and CEO.
Aquiline-backed ClearCourse Partnership, a group of innovative technology companies providing software, services, and digital capabilities to the membership, events & bookings and sports & leisure sectors, has acquired instaGiv, one of the UK’s leading providers of mobile and digital fundraising solutions for UK-registered charities. The deal represents an expansion of the fast-growing Partnership’s offering into fundraising and donations.
“As one of the market leaders in the mobile donations and fundraising space, instaGiv is an excellent addition to the ClearCourse Partnership. It brings exceptional new products and services to the group that will significantly enhance our group offerings for clients with fundraising requirements. The strategic acquisition will also allow our existing companies to target the fundraising and charity sector with a combined complementary solution incorporating instGiv’s capabilities.” Gerry Gualtieri, ClearCourse CEO.
Kohl's explores the acquisition of At Home Group. (FS)
US department store operator Kohl’s has approached At Home Group to express interest in acquiring the US home decor retail chain, Reuters reported.
A deal would help Kohl’s expand its customer base, which focuses on women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, and boost its presence in the home goods category, which has traditionally accounted for a small part of its business.
Kohl’s recently started conversations with At Home Group to explore a deal. At Home Group has been exploring a sale for the last three months, and is already in advanced deal negotiations with private equity firms, including Hellman & Friedman.
Air Canada to buy tour operator Transat.
Air Canada said it is in talks to buy Canadian tour operator Transat to expand its leisure service, in an all-cash deal valued at C$520m ($388m) that boosted shares of both companies in morning trading.
Transat shares surged as much as 18% after the two Montreal-based companies agreed to a 30-day period of negotiations to finalize a deal, in which Transat shareholders will receive C$13 ($10) a share, a premium of 23% to its close. Air Canada shares were up 1.7%.
Soros Fund Management increases stake in Tesla convertible bonds. (FS)
Billionaire George Soros’ investment firm, Soros Fund Management, raised its stake in Tesla’s convertible bonds due in 2021 by 17.5m convertible bonds to 37.5m convertible bonds as of the end of the first quarter, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Australia’s anti-trust regulator apologized “unreservedly” for publishing confidential information about its decision to block a $10bn merger of TPG Telecom and Vodafone’s Australian joint venture, blaming a flaw in its website.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) decision to reject the deal was uploaded to its website an hour before the market closed on May 8, catching investors unawares as they were expecting a decision on the next day.
“We apologize unreservedly for this unfortunate and serious incident,” Rayne de Gruchy ACCC Chief Operating Officer.
Node4, the UK-based hybrid cloud, data, and communications managed services provider, has acquired virtual private cloud provider, Secura. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Secura will become part of Node4 already comprehensive portfolio of services, and strengthen its managed cloud hosting offers to the Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) market.
“We are delighted to welcome Secura to the Node4 family and look forward to working together to offer our customers a wider range of services. We’ve worked hard to find a business that is aligned with us both strategically and culturally and believe that Secura ticks all the right boxes for us. As we look to continue to grow Node4, it is important to work with those who can complement our offerings, and this is being achieved by adding Secura’s services to our portfolio.” Andrew Gilbert, CEO Node4.
Secura is advised by KPMG. Node4 is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Pinsent Masons, and Deloitte.
Aspen Pharmacare Holdings is set to meet a self-imposed deadline to close the sale of its infant-formula business by the end of this month after the deal was approved by a New Zealand regulator, Bloomberg reported.
The Overseas Investment Office agreed in principle to allow French dairy company Lactalis International to buy the unit from Aspen, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t yet public. The OIP has completed its checks on Lactalis, its directors and the transaction, and the last of the deal and legal documents are being signed.
SK Group invests $1bn in Vingroup as part of Vietnam expansion.
South Korea’s chips-to-energy conglomerate SK Group has agreed to buy 6.1% of Vietnam’s largest firm, Vingroup, for $1bn as it expands its investments in the Southeast Asian country.
SK Group in a statement said it would actively seek new business opportunities in Vietnam as a strategic investor in conglomerate Vingroup.
“Vingroup and SK Group intend to enter into future joint strategic investments that will leverage on each party’s expertise and enhance both groups’ ability to serve the Vietnamese market and the region,” both companies said in a statement.
Vingroup is advised by Credit Suisse.
Santos buys Exxon-led PNG gas field amid political ructions.
ExxonMobil has agreed to sell down its holding in the P’nyang gas field in Papua New Guinea to Santos, giving the Australian company a stake in the field that will help feed an expansion of Exxon’s PNG LNG project.
Santos will buy a 14.3% stake from existing partners in P’nyang, including Oil Search and JX Nippon, but mostly from ExxonMobil, for a total of $187m, Santos said in a statement.
“The arrangements we announce today mark an important step toward the proposed expansion at the PNG LNG plant via a 2.7 metric tonnes per annum third LNG train fed by existing Project resources and P’nyang,” Kevin Gallagher, Santos’ Chief Executive.
DXN explores $1bn sale. (FS)
DXN's owners are exploring a sale of the Malaysian health supplement producer, in a deal that could value the firm at as much as $1bn including debt, DealStreet Asia reported. Shareholders of DXN, including Southeast Asian private equity firm KV Asia Capital, are working with an adviser on the potential deal. They are also considering an initial public offering of the business.
DXN sells capsules made from lingzhi mushrooms, touted in traditional Chinese medicine as having near-miraculous properties including promoting longevity, boosting immunity and treating conditions from liver disease to cancer. It also distributes dietary supplements and food items like cordyceps coffee and spirulina cereal, as well as skin care products and cosmetics.
Sony to buy back up to 4.8% of stock through March 2020.
Sony said it would buy back shares worth up to 200bn yen ($1.83bn), or 4.8% of the stock, through March 31, 2020, in an effort to boost shareholder returns.
It follows a share buyback of 100bn yen ($912m), it's first ever, announced in February.
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