According to Reuters, US aluminum producer Novelis, part of India's Hindalco Industries, has no plans, for now, to offer concessions despite EU antitrust objections over its $2.6bn offer to acquire Apollo and Oaktree Capital-backed aluminum processor Aleris.
EU antitrust regulators sent a charge sheet known as a statement of objections to the companies, setting out their concerns, particularly on the impact of the deal on carmakers. The companies have two weeks to respond.
Deutsche Bank, Moelis & Co, and Fried Frank advise Aleris. Goldman Sachs and Latham & Watkins advise Novelis.
Groupe Mach, a Canadian real estate developer, dropped its C$528m ($405m) takeover proposal for Transat AT after the Canadian tour operator accepted a lower offer from Air Canada last week.
Group Mach President Vince Chiara said that if Transat wanted to reach out, the ball was in Transat's court. The Transat board has already accepted Air Canada's C$13 ($9.95) per share bid, over Group Mach's C$14 ($10.70) a share offer.
GFL Environmental, a leading waste management company, acquires Canada Fibres, a leading operator of material recovery facilities for the recovery and processing of recyclable materials. The transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, is subject to customary regulatory approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Given the current state of commodity markets, we believe that now is the right time for GFL to acquire Canada Fibers, with its long established relationships with recyclable material buyers and its expertise in operating single stream material recovery facilities," Patrick Dovigi, GFL Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
The Reserves Network, a leading staffing provider of office, industrial, professional, and technical talent, has acquired North Carolina-based staffing firm Hire Alternatives. The company will maintain the Hire Alternatives name and brand. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Hire Alternatives and The Reserves Network have a long history of working together in various capacities. Not only do we share similar business models and geographic locations, but we also hold the same core values of developing successful partnerships with our customers based on trust and confidence." Pete Pappas, Hire Alternatives Founder and President.
JDM Technology Group, a leading provider of software for design, construction, and operations, acquired EPAC Software Technologies, a provider of award-winning CMMS and EAM software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The transaction closed on June 28, 2019, after approval by EPAC’s founders and owners, C. Paul Oberg and Robert B. Lane, but was announced later. The acquisition strengthens the JDM Technology Group with a broader offering of maintenance management software solutions to its global customer base.
“We are pleased to have found a good home for the EPAC business moving forward,” said C. Paul Oberg, co-founder of EPAC. “EPAC has been committed to serving our customers with the best software solutions for maintenance since 1999. Joining the JDM group represents a great opportunity for our customers and employees, with access to additional resources, and technology, expanded global footprint and ensures the continued growth and longevity of the business.”
New Tech Minerals, a leading explorer and developer of potash, cobalt, and vanadium projects, acquired Sweetwater River Resources, a private company which is the applicant of record for 12 Federal Potash Prospecting Permit applications covering over 27k acres within the Paradox Basin, USA. Financial terms were not disclosed.
”Given the grades and size of the potash Exploration Target identified in Cycle 5, which America’s largest potash producer has been successfully mining for years, the Paradox Basin Potash and Brine Project represents a rare opportunity for further exploration and development, particularly with potash prices recovering over the past year,” said Jonathan George, New Tech.
Lightsource acquired 1.9GW of Brazilian solar projects.
Lightsource, a leading developer of solar energy power plants, has acquired a large number of solar projects in Brazil from independent renewables developer Enerlife. Financial terms were not disclosed.
BP holds a 43% stake in Lightsource. Some senior team members from Enerlife, including CEO Miguel Lobo, will transition to the new management team for the portfolio.
Kareen Boutonnat, Group Chief Operating Officer for Lightsource BP said: "This move creates a very firm footprint for us across the region and bringing the Enerlife team onboard significantly enhances our local capability and experience. These are the building blocks of which we will grow a very successful solar business across Brazil."
The managing and supervisory boards of Osram backed a takeover offer, which values equity at €3.4bn ($3.8bn) and enterprise value at €4bn ($4.5bn), from private equity firms Bain and Carlyle. The offer price of €35 ($39.50) a share represents a premium of 21% to the share price before the approach was made public.
German lighting group Osram will not change its strategy if shareholders reject a private equity takeover bid that the company's management supports. The offer needs a minimum 70% acceptance threshold from Osram shareholders to go through.
"We have no plan B because we have our own plan," said Chief Executive Officer Olaf Berlien.
Perella Weinberg Partners and Freshfields advised Osram. Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Macquarie Group and Kirkland & Ellis advised Bain Capital and Carlyle Group.
Britain's competition regulator stepped in and put brakes on Amazon's deal with online food delivery group Deliveroo and it considers launching a full investigation. Britain's Competition and Markets Authority served an initial enforcement order on the two companies on June 24, signaling possible concerns about the transaction.
The regulator, which called to the investment as "a minority shareholding" said it had reasons for suspecting that Amazon and Deliveroo "have ceased to be distinct" or were putting in place or considering arrangements which would result in them "ceasing to be distinct". The order requires Amazon and Deliveroo to operate independently, for now, meaning they cannot press ahead with the tie-up.
Amazon led a $575m fundraising in Deliveroo in May, making what the two parties called "a minority investment" and going up against Uber Eats in the global race to dominate the market for takeaway meal deliveries.
The consortium around x+bricks and SCP Group made a further improved offer to Metro for the complete acquisition of its hypermarket business Real. The consortium is now offering total cash proceeds of significantly more than €500m ($564m).
Marjorie Brabet-Friel, CEO of The SCP Group, and Sascha Wilhelm, CEO of
x-bricks AG: "We are convinced that our improved offer provides a significantly better outcome for Metro and its shareholders as well as for Real and the Real employees than the offer of other bidders."
Redos offer indicated enterprise value of approximately €1bn ($1.1bn), equity value of approximately €500m ($564m), expected cash inflow of approximately €500m ($564m). According to Redos offer, Metro will retain a 24.9% stake initially.
FNG agreed to acquire Ellos Group Holding, an e-commerce market leader in fashion and interior design in Scandinavia, from Nordic Capital and the other current shareholders. This makes FNG an important player in the European omni-channel retail market.
The purchase price would be approximately €229m ($258m), on a cash and debt-free basis. After the transaction, Nordic Capital will become an important minority shareholder in FNG.
"Ellos Group is the market leader in Scandinavia and offers a very attractive mix of fashion and interior and decorative items, with a strong positioning of its own brands. In combination with its powerful platform for financial services, this is an ideal asset for FNG," said Dieter Penninckx, founder and CEO of FNG.
Alantra, NautaDutilh, and Mannheimer Swartling advised FNG. ABG Sundal Collier, Cedarquist, and Allen & Overy advised Nordic Capital. ABG Sundal Collier was a bookrunner for the issuance of the planned issue of bonds by FNG Nordic AB. Mannheimer Swartling advised FNG on this issue, while Gernandt & Danielsson and Wikiborg Rein advised ABG Sundal Collier.
Proa Capital rose as a winner in the bidding war for Pastas Gallo, after beating Idilia Foods, Ventura and TowerBrook. The family owning Pastas Gallo will hold 15-30% stake in the company, and Proa Capital will acquire the rest. The transaction is valued at around €200m ($225m).
The goal of Proa Capital is to help boost growth and internationalize the Catalan company, which closed 2018 with a turnover of more than €200m ($225m).
EY, Banco Sabadell and Garrigues advised the shareholders of Gallo. Fidentis, Óptima Corporate and Linklaters advised Proa Capital.
Mining company Power Resources Group agreed to acquire Metalysis, a British high-tech specialist, which manufactures 3D printing powder, out of administration. Metalysis, which was backed by asset manager Neil Woodford, fell into administration in June, around the same time Woodford's equity income fund, was frozen. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Metalysis made an operating loss of £7m ($9m) in the year ended March 2018 on revenues of £886m ($1.1bn). It had a net book value of £10m ($13m).
"The technology metals focus is a perfect complement to PRG's existing vertically-integrated mining and refining operations and customer base," said PRG CEO Ray Power.
Tatneft, one of the leading integrated oil and gas companies in Russia, agreed to acquire fuel retail business consisting of 75 fuel stations and a terminal in St. Petersburg region from Neste Corporation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Under a separate agreement between Tatneft and Neste following the acquisition, the retail network will continue to operate under the Neste brand for up to 5 years. The divestment has no impact on Neste's Marketing & Services' operations in Finland and the Baltic countries.
Nail Maganov, the General Director of Tatneft, said: "The acquisition of Neste's retail business in the North Western Russia, which is one of the highest priority regions for Tatneft, is a significant contribution to the achievement of our strategic goals, including the marketing of approximately 50% of our own produced fuels domestically."
European Union antitrust regulators cleared on Friday the $2.8m acquisition of British airline Flybe by Connect Airways, a consortium created by Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and investment adviser Cyrus Capital.
The final approval of the merger is conditional on the release by Connect Airways of slots for the routes connecting the English city of Birmingham to Amsterdam and Paris, the EU said.
In January, the consortium acquired Flybe Group for £2.2m ($2.8m) and committed to make available a £20m ($26m) bridge loan facility to support Flybe's ongoing working capital and operational requirements.
Evercore and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner advised Flybe. Barclays and Hill Dickinson advised Stobart Group. Morgan Lewis & Bockius advised Cyrus Capital. Rothschild & Co, Herbert Smith Freehills, and FTI Consulting advised Virgin Atlantic.
The board of the British supermarket chain Sainsbury's was berated by its private shareholders at its annual meeting on Thursday over the failed takeover of rival Asda, as well as a share price slump and executive compensation.
Sainsbury's had its proposed £7.3bn ($9.2bn) takeover of Walmart-owned Asda blocked by the UK competition regulator in April, which said the deal was likely to increase prices for shoppers.
The group spent £46m ($58m) on the Asda deal and Mike Coupe, chief executive since 2014, got his total annual pay package risen by 7% to £3.9m ($4.9m) in the 2018-19 year despite the failure of the transaction.
Rothschild & Co, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, and Slaughter & May advised Asda and Walmart. Morgan Stanley, UBS, Linklaters, and Brunswick Group advised Sainsbury's.
Mentha Capital-backed InSites Consulting agreed to acquire online insight community innovator Join the Dots. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"By joining forces, we are taking a giant leap forward in becoming the market leader in online insight communities and in shaping the future of ongoing consumer dialogues," said Kristof De Wulf, co-founder, and CEO of InSites Consulting.
Frontier's management thinks the potential rival offer from a "credible industry player" might be better than Science Group's takeover offer. The target company is looking to reopen discussions with the Science Group.
The company is advising shareholders to take no action in respect of Science Group's 35p ($0.44) a share offer, even though the prospect of a better offer than the Frontier board dangled before its shareholders appears to be more of a joint venture proposal than a full takeover.
Additionally, the internet-of-things specialist admitted there is next to no prospect of the talks with what it called "a credible industry player" yielding a heads of terms agreement by 16 July, the closing date of the Science Group offer.
Panmure Gordon and MHP Communications are advising Science Group.
Mediaset open to a ProSieben merger but prioritizes pan-European plan.
Italian Mediaset didn't deny a possible merger with German equity partner ProSiebenSat.1 Media but said the Italian group's plan to create a pan-European media alliance took priority.
In May, Mediaset acquired nearly 10% stake in ProSiebenSat for $380m. Asked whether Mediaset wanted to strengthen its alliance with ProSiebenSat.1 in particular, either by taking more equity in the German business or carrying out a full merger, Berlusconi declined to rule out either option in the longer term.
Bosch in advanced talks to sell packaging unit to CVC. (FS)
According to the Wall Street Journal, Bosch, a leading car parts and tools manufacturer, is in advanced talks to sell its packaging machinery business to private equity firm CVC. The deal could value the unit at $959m.
The Bosch business, which competes with Italy's IMA, makes machines for pharmaceuticals and food packaging and has revenues of about $1.5bn. The car industry and its suppliers have come under pressure to accelerate investment in electric and self-driving vehicle technologies, following a regulatory crackdown on diesel.
Apart from CVC, Italian engineering group Coesia, German industrial holding Koerber, KKR and Bain have bid for the packaging business.
IAG uninterested in Norwegian Air despite the reports.
British Airways owner IAG has no plans to revive a bid for rival Norwegian Air Shuttle following a Spanish report that an offer was likely to be made in the next 15 days.
The airline group, which also owns Madrid-based Iberia, intended to make an offer worth about $1.2bn, according to Okdiario, which, based on a share price of NOK70-85 ($8.16-9.91), almost doubles Norwegian's current market value of $652m. The report said JPMorgan was advising on the deal.
"We have said many times in the past few months that we are no longer interested in Norwegian Air," IAG spokeswoman Laura Goodes said. "Nothing has changed."
Wasserman in advanced talks to acquire Lagardere sports marketing arm. (FS)
According to the Financial Times, Wasserman Media Group, a leading sports marketing, and management company, is in advanced talks to buy France's Lagardère Sport and Entertainment. The deal may value Lagardère Sport and Entertainment at around $250m to $300m, although there is no guarantee that an agreement will be reached.
Activist investor Amber Capital pressured the French company run by Arnaud Lagardère, to improve its governance and speed up its disposal program.
Deutsche Bank investment chief steps down ahead of restructuring. (People)
Garth Ritchie, Deutsche Bank investment banking chief, is to step down from the board at the end of July but will continue to advise Deutsche Bank till the end of November. Christian Sewing would pick up responsibility for the division following Ritchie's departure on July 31.
"Garth Ritchie has been a life-long employee of Deutsche Bank: highly engaged and committed and loyal to the firm. I would like to thank him personally for his excellent cooperation and partnership through his career and over the past 15 months as my deputy," Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank CEO.
Siccar Point considers going for a sale. (FS)
According to Reuters, Blue Water Energy and Blackstone-backed oil and gas producer, Siccar Point is considering going for a sale later this year. Siccar Point has in recent days invited over a dozen companies to review data on its Corona Ridge area in the west of Shetlands area to sell down part of its 70% stake in the Cambo field.
The company hopes that the interest in Cambo will draw offers for its entire portfolio, which includes stakes in the Mariner field which is operated by Norway's Equinor and is expected to start production later this year as well as Rosebank, a massive project also run by Equinor.
Rothschild and Lambert Energy Advisory are reportedly advising Siccar Point on the sale.
Barrick Gold eyes sale of Massawa gold project. (FS)
According to Bloomberg, Barrick Gold is working with advisers to find a buyer for its Massawa gold project in Senegal, which it acquired as part of its purchase of Randgold Resources. The asset could fetch a value of about $500m.
Cinema giant Vue in search of buyers for autumn sale. (FS)
According to Sky, the third-biggest cinema chain in Britain will start an autumn auction, which is likely to value the company at over £2bn ($2.5bn). The sale will gain interest from industry rivals.
Vue is majority-owned by two Canadian funds: the Alberta Investment Management Corporation and Omers. They each own 37% of the company, meaning their stakes could be worth around £800m ($1bn). The rest, a 26% stake, is owned by Vue's management, led by founder and CEO Tim Richards, at over £500m ($627m).
Three investors interested in Rio Tinto's aluminum assets.
According to Reuters, three investors, including Glencore, Trimet Aluminium and Liberty House, have expressed their interest in buying Rio Tinto's aluminum assets in Iceland, Sweden, and the Netherlands for up to $350m.
Rio Tinto restarted the sale process for the assets in late 2018, with the help of French investment bank Natixis, after Norwegian aluminum company Norsk Hydro pulled out of buying them, blaming a delay in getting European Commission approval.
Illycaffe is open to partnership and sale of minority stakes.
Italian premium coffee maker Illycaffe is open to a strategic partnership to help accelerate the growth of its retail network and could consider selling a minority stake, according to chairman Andrea Illy. The group wants to expand its network of branded cafes at home and abroad, especially in the US to compete against its bigger rivals like Starbucks and JAB.
"If we find a traveling companion who knows the retail industry very well we could speed up growth," Andrea Illy said, "adding a partner with a US expertise could be valuable. We are bombarded with proposals from investors and banks, if the right partner shows up, we could even open up our capital to let them get a return on their investment."
Emirates Global Aluminium to acquire Bosnia's Aluminij.
Emirates Global Aluminium, one of the largest industrial firms in the United Arab Emirates, is in preliminary talks to acquire Bosnia's debt-laden aluminum smelter Aluminij Mostar. Aluminij is 44% owned by the Federation government, with small shareholders holding another 44% and the Croatian government the remainder.
Bosnia's sole aluminum smelter and one of the country's biggest exporters threatened it would halt production on July 6 unless the government of Bosnia's autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation, helped it stay afloat.
Aluminij's total debt amounted to nearly BAM380m ($220m), of which BAM280m ($161m) was to the state power utility, EPHZHB, which last month stopped supplying it with power at favorable prices agreed with the government last December.
Russian Megafon considers selling real estate to cut debt.
Megafon, Russia's second-biggest mobile phone operator, whose net debt was RUB363bn ($5.7bn) at the end of March, is planning to lower debt by selling assets, as well as by efforts to increase revenues and reduce borrowing costs.
The company, indirectly owned by Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov, spent over $1bn to delist its shares from the London Stock Exchange in 2018.
Polish PGNiG will announce a significant acquisition on the Norwegian shelf.
In the coming days, Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo will provide information about the large takeover on the Norwegian shelf - said the president of the company Piotr Woźniak.
According to the company strategy, until 2022, PGNiG wants to extract 2.5bn cubic meters of gas from Norwegian fields.
Warburg Pincus wants to sell Accelya. (FS)
Warburg Pincus is preparing to sell Accelya, a Spanish services provider to the airline industry. The process is still in the early stages. The auction could come in the second half of this year but is more likely to be launched next year.
Accelya generates around €200m ($225m) in revenues, with more than 40% EBITDA margins. It has more than 90% recurring revenue, based on subscriptions and transactions. The auction is likely to be a sponsor-driven process, and private equity buyers are likely to be attracted by its high cash flow and management team. Trade buyers, including airlines, and IT services players could also have a look at the asset.
Evercore and BofA Merrill Lynch are reportedly running the sale process.
Axel Springer considers buying an auto division of Scout24. (FS)
Axel Springer is eyeing the acquisition of Scout24's auto division. The target company continues with separation of its car and property classifieds operations. Scout24 is engaged in discussions about splitting its ImmobilienScout24 home listings in Germany and AutoScout24 car listings across Europe.
Falko Regional Aircraft, an aircraft operating leasing and asset management company, closed Falko Regional Aircraft Opportunities Fund II at $650m.
The fund surpassed its original fundraising target of $600m and will make equity investments in new and used regional aircraft leased globally. It received commitments from a diverse group of institutional investors, including public and private pension plans, insurance companies, wealth managers, endowments, family offices, a fund of funds and a sovereign wealth fund from across North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
Falko has already made its first investment from the fund with the purchase of a portfolio of 19 current generation Embraer and Bombardier regional jet aircraft with leases attached, representing an equity investment over $100m.
The management of Health Management International and private equity firm EQT have offered to take the healthcare provider private in a deal that values it at S$611m ($450m) by way of a scheme of arrangement, for S$0.73 ($0.54) per share, which indicates a nearly 25% premium.
HMI and EQT received an irrevocable undertaking to accept the offer from HMI shareholders who own an aggregate of 61.8%. These include the Chin family, which owns HMI, and Malaysia's Maju Medik. If the scheme of arrangement is passed, EQT will hold a stake of 18.6-30.5% in HMI, while the Chin family will own 30-42.4%.
Brian Chang, Partner at EQT Singapore and Investment Advisor to EQT GP, said, "As a private equity investor with a demonstrated track record of success in the healthcare sector and in Asia, we are confident that EQT will be an ideal partner for HMI. EQT now looks forward to supporting HMI's talented team, whose expertise, entrepreneurship and reputation are best in class."
A consortium, which includes Fujia Group and four other companies, agreed to acquire a combined 100% stake in Hexie Health Insurance from troubled Anbang Insurance Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
After the transaction, Fujia Group, a privately owned company with businesses in petrochemicals, real estate, and finance, will hold a 51% stake in Hexie, becoming its biggest shareholder.
The transaction has gained approval from the government group that took over Anbang in February 2018 and is pending approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
Star Combo Pharma, an Australia-based listed nutritional products manufacturer, agreed to acquire Bio-E Australia, Australia-based natural health, food, and beverage company, for A$60m ($42m). Star Combo will pay A$42m ($29m) in cash and A$18m ($13m) in shares.
TPG-led consortium among three bidders for $2bn Columbia Asia hospitals. (FS)
According to the Wall Street Journal, a consortium that includes TPG Capital is one of three shortlisted bidders for a $2bn collection of Asian hospitals owned by Columbia Pacific Management.
The TPG consortium includes Malaysian conglomerate Hong Leong. The other two bidders are Malaysia's Sime Darby and investment firm General Atlantic. Trading and logistics conglomerate Sime Darby submitted a bid through Ramsay Sime Darby, a joint venture with Australia-listed Ramsay Healthcare.
Private equity firms KKR & Co, CVC Capital Partners, and Carlyle Group, and Malaysia's IHH Healthcare also reportedly expressed interest earlier in acquiring Columbia's Asia hospital business.
A deal is expected to be closed in two to three weeks.
Indian Government considers relaxing foreign direct investment rules for various sectors.
Presenting the annual budget for 2019/20, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the Indian government would consider further liberalizing of FDI rules in certain sectors including aviation, media, animation and insurance sectors, and ease rules for single-brand retailers.
The government's move to ease FDI rules is aimed at assuaging concerns of foreign investors who have become wary of India's investment climate of late, especially after new FDI rules for the e-commerce sector were seen as protectionist.
For the insurance sector, the government document proposed that investments of up to 74% should be allowed with necessary government approvals, above the current 49% limit that is permitted without an approval under a so-called automatic route. The move would come as a boost to firms such as Generali Group, AXA, and MetLife, which already operate joint ventures in India.
LionRock Capital and Li Ning partner for sports-focused PE fund. (FS)
LionRock Capital, a leading Chinese private equity firm, teamed up with Hong Kong-listed sports brand Li Ning to establish a consumer and sports-focused private equity fund – LionRock Capital Partners. The fund's investment strategy focuses on investing in industry-leading profitable, growth-stage consumer, or sports-focused companies.
"LionRock Capital and Li Ning look forward to working together in providing our portfolio companies with not only financial capital, but our collective relationships and experience in building industry-leading companies," Daniel Tseung, LionRock Capital Managing Director.
Air India to go on a second sale process as part of a plan to generate $15bn.
The government of India will reinitiate the process of divesting its stake in national carrier Air India, even as it increased its divestment target in the Union Budget 2019-20 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The high-profile divestment would be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to raise INR1.1tn ($15.3bn).
"Strategic disinvestment of select central public sector enterprises would continue to remain a priority of this government. In view of current macroeconomic parameters, the government would not only reinitiate the process of strategic disinvestment of Air India, but would offer more CPSEs for strategic participation by the private sector," said Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance minister of India.
PropertyGuru looking for acquisitions.
Southeast Asia's largest real estate listings platform PropertyGuru is on the hunt for mergers and acquisitions in areas such as mortgage-related fintech, data, and B2B software solutions. The company wants to boost its capabilities in those areas to solidify its leadership position in the region.
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