Simon Property Group's $3.6bn offer to buy rival mall owner Taubman Centers is going to trial today after a monthslong dispute sparked by the pandemic, Bloomberg reported.
The timing of the offer couldn't have been worse. Simon, one of the biggest U.S. mall owners, agreed to pay $52.20 a share for Taubman, a 51% premium. Taubman's shares have dropped about 30% since March as the virus spread across the country, spurring lockdowns that shuttered bricks-and-mortar stores and pushed shoppers increasingly to the internet.
Taubman is advised by Goldman Sachs, Lazard, Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn, Kirkland & Ellis, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, and Joele Frank. Goldman Sachs and Lazard is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. Simon Property is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Evercore, Latham & Watkins, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, and Reevemark. Financial advisors to Simon Property are advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Dorel Industries, a Quebec-based bicycle and children's product maker, announced that its board has accepted the $354m take-private deal by Cerberus Capital Management, an American private equity firm.
"The family shareholders believe that the Arrangement is a win for all of Dorel's stakeholders, including the Public Shareholders. This transaction will enable Dorel to continue to serve our employees, business partners and other stakeholders, and positions Dorel on a path for continued growth," Martin Schwartz, Dorel President and Chief Executive Officer.
Dorel is advised by BMO Capital Markets, TD Securities, Fasken, and McCarthy Tetrault. Cerberus is advised by Houlihan Lokey, Rothschild & Co, Blake Cassels & Graydon, and Kirkland & Ellis. Debt Financing is provided by Koch Equity Development. Koch Equity Development is advised by Osler Hoskin & Harcourt.
Shareholders of SPAC B. Riley Principal Merger have voted in the favour of the $550m merger with Eos Energy Storage, a manufacturer of safe, reliable, low-cost zinc battery storage systems.
"We thank our financial partners and stockholders for their support in this transaction. We look forward to Eos's continued growth during this exciting time in the energy storage market," Dan Shribman, B. Riley CEO.
Eos Energy is advised by Deloitte, KPMG, Evercore, Guggenheim Partners, and Morrison Cohen. B. Riley is advised by B. Riley FBR and White & Case.
Bain Capital, an American private investment firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in US LBM, a distributor of specialty building materials. Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in December 2020 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including requisite regulatory approvals.
"We have grown tremendously over the past 11 years, and with Kelso's support we were able to accelerate our acquisition strategy that has positioned us for continued growth. US LBM's national platform, local go-to-market strategy, relationships with top suppliers, and record of successful integrations continues to make us an acquirer of choice in the building materials industry. We look forward to working with Bain Capital Private Equity and leveraging their experience of helping industrial companies scale and attract additional partners," L.T. Gibson, US LBM President and CEO.
US LBM is advised by Barclays and Debevoise & Plimpton. Bain Capital is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kirkland & Ellis and Stanton PRM. Debt financing is provided by Barclays. Kelso & Co and US LBM are advised by Ernst & Young.
Sumitovant Biopharma, a biopharmaceutical company, agreed to acquire a 28% stake in Urovant Sciences, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, for $191m.
"During this pivotal phase of growth, fully becoming a part of our parent company, Sumitovant, positions Urovant to invest in all opportunities around vibegron including launching and building our commercial organization while maintaining our strategic direction, our commitment to patients with urologic conditions, and our unique corporate culture for employees. This transaction benefits Urovant shareholders by derisking our future and providing current and certain value going forward," James Robinson, Urovant CEO.
Urovant is advised by Lazard, O'Melveny & Myers, and Jeff Winton Associates. Sumitovant is advised by Citigroup and Jones Day. Lazard is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
KAR Auction Services, a provider of whole car auction services in North America, completed the acquisition of BacklotCars, an online marketplace for auto dealers, for $425m.
"KAR has led the digital transformation of the remarketing industry for over a decade, and we're 100% committed to providing dealers with the best, most advanced platforms to sell and source inventory. BacklotCars has grown rapidly in the highly competitive dealer-to-dealer space and is the perfect complement to our current capabilities and footprint. I'm confident the addition of Backlot's leadership, technology, and exceptional customer-service model will quickly benefit our combined customers, enhance KAR's competitive position and accelerate growth for both organizations," Jim Hallett, KAR Chairman and CEO.
BacklotCars was advised by Evercore and Stinson. Kar Auction was advised by Guggenheim Partners and Winston & Strawn.
State Grid International Development, an investment holding company that invests in overseas electric power project development and operation industries, agreed to acquire a 96% stake in Compania General De Electricidad, the electricity grids of Naturgy, a Spanish energy company, for $3bn.
"The transaction proves Naturgy's capacity and patience to perform transactions that obtain the utmost value for its shareholders. It also marks an important step in the company's transformation and its future asset portfolio. We are increasing our financial capacity, which will allow us to take on growth opportunities linked to the energy transition," Francisco Reynés, Naturgy President.
State Grid International Development is advised by BBVA Compass Bank and Santander. Naturgy Energy Group is advised by Citigroup.
Cornell Capital, a private investment firm, and Hudson Structured Capital Management, an asset manager focused on alternative investments, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Vault, a provider of personal insurance to high-net-worth clients, from Allied World, a provider of insurance and reinsurance solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to the receipt of required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
"In less than three years, Vault has progressed from a dynamic startup to a fast-growing disruptor. Our team brings significant experience partnering with and growing leading insurance companies, and we look forward to working closely with Scott, Charles, and the Vault team to execute on our shared vision for continued growth. Moving forward, Vault has the potential to become an even stronger, more nimble competitor, capable of reshaping the sector, attracting and retaining top talent, and achieving market leadership in high-net-worth personal insurance," Henry Cornell, Cornell Capital Founder and Senior Partner.
Cornell Capital and Hudson Structured Capital Management are advised by TigerRisk Capital Markets, Debevoise & Plimpton and Joele Frank. Vault Holdings is advised by 100 Yards To Go.
Pritzker Private Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Highline Aftermarket, a distributor of automotive chemicals and products, from The Sterling Group, and Warren Distribution, a provider of automotive aftermarket products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to partner with Bob Schlott and the team at Warren Distribution as we continue to grow our great businesses. Highline and Warren have a shared passion for delivering world-class customer service, and together we’ll strive to be the best company to work for, buy from and sell to in the automotive aftermarket,” Darcy Curran, Highline CEO.
Pritzker Private Capital was advised by JP Morgan and Abernathy MacGregor. Highline Aftermarket was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Harris Williams & Co.
Private equity firm Alpine Investors and Jackson Mechanical Service, a commercial and industrial HVACR and boiler business, to form Orion Group, a commercial facility services company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This investment marks the first of many partner companies that we will bring into the Orion family over the coming years. Orion approaches each partnership with flexibility, creating a tailored solution to meet the business owner’s objectives. Whether the owner chooses to continue running the business day-to-day, play a different role within the company, or move on to the next adventure — we can create a plan to achieve their goals while making sure that their employees, business and legacy have a great home," Isaiah Brown, Orion President.
Alpine Investors are advised by Morrison & Foerster. Jackson Mechanical Service is advised by Generational Equity.
Smarsh, a provider of communications risk prevention services to the financial industry, agreed to acquire Digital Reasoning, a software solutions provider.
"Smarsh and Digital Reasoning's combined capabilities equip customers with an entirely new expertise that we are calling 'Communications Intelligence.' Using artificial intelligence and machine learning helps firms more efficiently supervise and mitigate risk at scale, and will now enable them to analyze their electronic communications to uncover business intelligence that can fuel sales and other revenue drivers," Brian Cramer, Smarsh CEO.
Digital Reason is advised by Barclays. Smarsh is advised by Haven Tower Group.
ManTech International, a provider of innovative technologies and solutions for mission-critical national security programs, completed the acquisition of Minerva Engineering, a provider of advanced cyber solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“ManTech has a well-established reputation as a leader of full-spectrum cyber capabilities. We are pleased to add Minerva Engineering’s talented people and significant customers into the ManTech family. The addition of Minerva Engineering is highly complementary and further builds upon our differentiated cyber offering, delivering more to our customers while positioning us for continued growth,” Kevin M. Phillips, ManTech Chairman, CEO and President.
MeridianLink, a software developer, completed the acquisition of Teledata Communications, a SaaS loan origination solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The addition of TCI, which combines over 20 years of FinTech industry expertise and cutting-edge IP, will accelerate lending innovation. We are thrilled to welcome a new addition to the MeridianLink family and expand our solutions line up in this rapidly evolving market," Christopher Maloof, MeridianLink Chief Product Officer.
Teledata Communications was advised by Financial Technology Partners.
Federal officials have granted TikTok and its Chinese parent ByteDance a 15-day extension of a deadline for completing a divestiture deal, in another delay of the Trump administration's efforts to turn the social-media app into an American company, WSJ reported.
The deadline extension to November 27 was granted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, a US panel that monitors cross-border mergers and acquisitions, according to a filing by TikTok in US District Court in Washington.
International Keg Rental, a provider of stainless-steel beer keg leasing and rental services, completed the acquisition of Global Asset Rental, a provider of beer industry asset rental services and logistics. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We have the right foundation and assets at International Keg to continue servicing the existing customer base while adding new offerings to enhance the customer experience and continuing to grow the business into new geographies. We expect the business relationship between our entities to remain unchanged; you should continue to receive the same, if not better, service and the same process for billing and charges. We also see strong market opportunities around the world, and look forward to executing on our expansion plans," Thadeus Avvampato, International Keg President.
Donald Trump restricts US investment in firms linked to the Chinese military.
Donald Trump's White House has fuelled tensions with Beijing by banning US investment in firms that have ties to the Chinese military, Sky News reported.
The executive order is designed to stop American businesses, pension funds and others from buying stocks in 31 companies designated by the Pentagon. The move is set to ramp up pressure on companies including telecoms giant Huawei and surveillance equipment manufacturer Hikvision, which already face US export bans and other sanctions.
"The US government maliciously slandered China's military-civilian integration development policy out of political motives and abused national power to unreasonably suppress Chinese companies," Wang Wenbin, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.
CalPERS allocates $8.45bn to alternative investments. (FS)
CalPERS committed a total of $8.45bn to alternative investments, according to a report to the board of the $402.9bn Sacramento-based pension fund.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s staff under its discretion committed $2bn to West Street Strategic Solutions Fund I, a distressed debt fund managed by Goldman Sachs, and $1.5bn to LongRange Capital Fund I, a middle-market private equity fund.
CalPERS also committed $1.15bn to TSSP Adjacent Opportunities Partners, an evergreen opportunistic multiasset class alternative investment fund, and $350m to Sixth Street Fundamental Strategies Partners, an opportunistic credit fund, both managed by Sixth Street Partners.
Pension officials also committed $600m to New Mountain Partners VI, a buyout and growth investment fund managed by New Mountain Capital.
CalPERS committed $500m each to Forecastle, Carlyle Group-backed AlpInvest Secondaries Fund VII, Oaktree Gilead Investment Fund Series A and Oaktree Gilead Investment Fund Series B.
Uber in advanced talks to sell ATG to Aurora.
Uber Technologies is in talks to sell its autonomous driving unit, Uber Advanced Technologies Group, to Aurora, self-driving car startup, Reutersreported. Uber is also considering taking stake in the new company if Aurora takes over ATG.
Uber's ATG, which works to develop autonomous driving technology, counts Toyota Motor and SoftBank Group among its investors.
Uber has been seeking options for its autonomous vehicle divisions, a heavy cash burn machine, including seeking more outside investment, as Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber Chief Executive Officer, refocused on core businesses including ride-hailing and food delivery since the pandemic hit.
FTC sues to terminate $350m Tennessee hospital deal.
The US Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, which has four hospitals in the Memphis area, from acquiring two more in a deal valued at $350m, Reutersreported.
The five FTC commissioners voted unanimously to bring the lawsuit, which would stop Methodist from buying two hospitals. The purchase would reduce the number of hospital systems providing general acute care in the Memphis area from four to three and give Methodist some 60% of that market.
“We are reviewing this recent action by the FTC and actively considering next steps,” Sally Hurt-Deitch, Saint Francis Healthcare CEO and Michael Ugwueke, Methodist Le Bonheur president.
Bed Bath & Beyond completed the sale of Christmas Tree Shops, Linen Holdings and distribution center In Florence for $250m.
Bed Bath & Beyond, an omnichannel retailer, completed the sale of its Christmas Tree Shops retail banner, its institutional Linen Holdings business and a distribution center located in Florence for $250m.
"The timely completion of these transactions represents another important milestone in our comprehensive plan to simplify our portfolio, unlock the potential of our business and extend our authority in the Home, Baby, Beauty and Wellness markets. We will continue to optimize our portfolio, including the potential sale of additional non-core assets. Since joining Bed Bath & Beyond a little over a year ago, our team has created greater financial flexibility and strategic focus through the divestiture of non-core assets and banners, generating over $750m to re-invest in our digital-first, omni-always transformation and drive strong and sustainable total shareholder return," Mark Tritton, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Bed Bath & Beyond was advised by B. Riley Securities, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and JLL.
Ovintiv considers a sale of Eagle Ford shale assets.
Ovintiv, an oil and gas producer, is looking to sell its Eagle Ford acreage in south-central Texas, to put assets on the block to raise cash during this year’s coronavirus-fueled oil slump, Reutersreported. The assets could fetch around $600m to $700m.
The Denver-based company’s Eagle Ford position, which it bought in 2014 from Freeport-McMoRan for $3.1bn, could help it pay off some of the $7.14bn in long-term debt.
Asphalt Materials completed the acquisition of three midwest terminals.
Asphalt Materials, a manufacturer and supplier of asphalt products, completed the acquisition of three asphalt terminals from a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum, a crude oil refining company.
The purchase of these facilities further expands AMI's capabilities in the Indiana and Illinois markets and its footprint in the Midwest. AMI plans to retain the current leadership team and employees at all three terminals and will continue to invest in and grow the product suite and capabilities at those sites.
"We are excited about the addition of our new teammates in St Elmo, IL; Benton, IL; and Mt. Vernon, IN. Their proven track record of safety, quality, and service will mesh well with the values of Asphalt Materials. These facilities are a tremendous strategic fit for our business and will enhance our commitment to support our core customer base," Chip Ray, Asphalt Materials President.
Guitar Center nears bankruptcy petition.
Ares Capital-backed Guitar Center, the country’s musical instrument retailer, is close to completing a prepackaged bankruptcy with backing from a majority of its creditors.
Guitar Center would join a number of retailers that have failed during the coronavirus pandemic. That includes iconic names J.C. Penney in department stores, Brooks Brothers in affluent apparel and Pier One in furniture.
The music company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing could come as soon as this weekend. The stores would remain open during the bankruptcy proceedings.
Bill Ackman places a new bet against corporate credit.
The fund manager Bill Ackman has placed a large bet that companies around the world will struggle to pay their debts because of the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic, The Guardian reported.
Ackman had bought insurance against corporate defaults in order to counterbalance the risk that company shares could fall in value.
“I hope we lose money on this next hedge. We’re in a treacherous time generally and what’s fascinating is the same bet we put on eight months ago is available on the same terms as if there had never been a fire and on the probability that the world is going to be fine," Bill Ackman.
MercadoLibre is not an acquisition target says CEO.
MercadoLibre, a Latin America's ecommerce company which has experienced dramatic growth due to Covid-19 lockdowns, is not being pursued by global rivals as an acquisition target, Reutersreported.
The Argentine firm is doubling its footprint in Brazil, its largest market, and in the July-September quarter surpassed $1bn in overall revenue for the first time, driven by an ecommerce explosion in the region.
MercadoLibre has been expanding into content and groceries. It has launched a partnership with Walt Disney and has begun distributing items usually found in supermarkets.
Instacart hires Goldman Sachs to lead IPO at $30bn valuation.
Instacart, a US grocery delivery app, has picked Goldman Sachs to lead its IPO, which could come early next year and value at around $30bn, Reutersreported
The San Francisco-based company is accelerating its IPO plans after voters in California backed a ballot proposal that upheld the status of app-based delivery drivers as independent contractors. This was a boost for the likes of Instacart and Uber Technologies, which rely on people to work independently and not as employees.
Instacart’s investors include venture capital firms Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and D1 Capital Partners.
UiPath hires banks for 2021 IPO.
UiPath, a software maker, is working with advisers on an IPO that could take place as soon as the first half of 2021, Bloombergreported. UiPath could be valued at more than $20bn in an IPO.
The New York-based software maker that helps companies automate routine processes is working with JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse on the planned share sale.
UiPath’s investors include Accel, Sequoia Capital, Coatue Management, Tiger Global Management and Tencent Holdings.
Bumble picks banks for IPO next year.
Bumble, a dating app on which women make the first move, is working with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup on its planned IPO, Bloombergreported.
The company, backed by private equity firm Blackstone, could list as early as the first quarter of 2021. Morgan Stanley is also advising on the listing.
Bumble could seek a valuation of $6bn to $8bn in an IPO.
Maravai LifeSciences plans to raise $1.35bn in IPO.
Maravai LifeSciences Holdings is looking to raise up to $1.35bn in its IPO. The biomedical company plans to sell 50m shares priced between $24 and $27 apiece and will list them on the Nasdaq under the symbol “MRVI”, Reutersreported.
Maravai focuses on mRNA research and provides products to enable the development of vaccines, including for some of the Covid-19 vaccines. However, the company added that there is no assurance that these vaccine programs will continue to use its products through commercialization.
Morgan Stanley, Jefferies and Goldman Sachs are the lead underwriters for the IPO.
C3.ai files for IPO.
C3.ai, the software maker founded by Tom Siebel, Oracle former executive, filed for an IPO, Bloombergreported.
The company in its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission listed the size of the IPO as $100m, a placeholder that will likely change.
Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are leading the offering.
Twitter to invest $100m in Social Justice Fund. (FS)
Opportunity Finance Network and Twitter to launch Finance Justice Fund, a new socially responsible investment that aims to bring $1bn in capital from corporate and philanthropic partners to the most underserved individuals and communities in America.
As the first corporate investor in the Fund, Twitter is committing $100m to the Fund for long-term, below market rate loans, making a $1m grant and ongoing contributions to support the fund and the disbursement of loans.
"The Finance Justice Fund will help to address long-standing issues of disinvestment, the racial wealth gap, and persistent poverty in our country. I commend Twitter for stepping up as the first corporate investor, for investing substantial capital, and for making a large grant to a fund that will deliver loans through CDFIs to underserved people and places across the country," Lisa Mensah, OFN President and CEO.
Peugeot announced that the consent solicitation has been successful and has received the required consents under each series of bonds with a very large majority. Peugeot also obtained from its banks the authorizations to engage the merger for both existing back up revolving credit facilities of $3.5bn each.
The success of this consent solicitation is a strong sign of confidence of Peugeot's bondholders and bank partners in the group's strategy towards the creation of Stellantis. The completion of the merger is expected to take place by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Fiat Chrysler is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, d'Angelin & Co, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Legance, Loyens & Loeff, Sullivan & Cromwell, Community Group, Image Sept, and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisors are advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Macfarlanes. Bpifrance is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Peugeot family is advised by Zaoui & Co. PSA Group is advised by China International Capital, Mediobanca, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, BonelliErede, Bredin Prat, Cabinet Bompoint, Clifford Chance, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Linklaters, NautaDutilh, and Stibbe. Exor is advised by Lazard.
Liberty Global and Telefonica have not offered concessions to European Union antitrust regulators reviewing their $38bn merger of Virgin Media and O2.
November 12 was the deadline for the two companies to offer concessions should the EU competition enforcer voice concerns. That could suggest either the deal is heading for unconditional clearance after the EU's preliminary review ends on November 19, or the Commission could open a four-month long investigation after that date, Reutersreported.
Telefonica is advised by Deloitte, Citigroup, Clifford Chance, and Herbert Smith Freehills. Liberty Global is advised by JP Morgan, LionTree Advisors, Allen & Overy, Ropes & Gray, and Shearman & Sterling.
Hongkong conglomerate CK Hutchison plans to use the proceeds raised from the $11bn European tower sales to Cellnex Telecom, to buy back shares that have slumped 28% this year.
The deal is estimated to generate about $7.7bn in gains for CK Hutchison's shareholders, the company founded by billionaire Li Ka-shing. Cellnex will make an initial payment of $10.1bn in cash and the rest in new shares that would give CK Hutchison a 5% stake in the Spanish mast operator.
Cellnex is advised by Arthur D Little, AZ Capital, HSBC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Clifford Chance, and McCann FitzGerald.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal, an appeal tribunal has told the UK's competition regulator to reconsider its decision to block the takeover of Footasylum by JD Sports, saying it failed to take sufficient account of the Covid-19 pandemic or the growth of brands selling direct to consumers,FT reported.
CAT concluded that "the assessment of Covid-19 effects is sufficiently material to the Competition and Markets Authority's overall conclusions as to require further examination of the final report as a whole."
It also upheld JD Sports' view that the growth of direct-to-consumer businesses at sportswear giants Nike and Adidas, which accelerated during the pandemic, posed a competitive threat, saying that the CMA did not have evidence to rule otherwise.
Footasylum is advised by GCA Altium, and Powerscourt. JD Sports is advised by Rothschild & Co, Addleshaw Goddard, and MHP Communications. Rothschild & Co is advised by Ashurst.
CVC Capital Partners and Advent International want to add a “breakaway” clause to their $1.8bn deal to buy into Italy’s Serie A football competition to protect their investment if a rival European super league is launched, FT reported.
The two private equity firms are part of a consortium with Italian investment fund Fondo FSI that is hoping to buy 10% of a new company that will manage the broadcasting rights for Italy’s top football division.
The two firms are worried about the potential for a new European competition to entice Italy’s biggest clubs including Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan away from Serie A.
IK Investment Partners, a private equity advisory group with operating across Northern Europe, agreed to acquire a majority stake in GeoDynamics, a SaaS provider specialising in location-based software solutions for mobile workforces, from Sofindev, an independent private equity firm investing in small and medium sized enterprises. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We have been proud to support GeoDynamics since 2016 in a partnership with Peter and Stijn. They have done a tremendous job, together with their team, to develop the company’s position as the number one provider in Belgium with a truly unique SaaS software solution for mobile workforce management. As the business has reached a scale to expand to new markets now is the right time to join with a new partner and we wish them every success with IK,” Jan Camerlynck, Sofindev Partner.
IK Investment Partners is advised by Maitland.
Italy welcomes pitches for advice on privatising Monte dei Paschi.
Italy's Treasury has asked financial and legal advisers to pitch for a role in the privatisation of Monte dei Paschi, a provider of retail and commercial banking services, as it strives to secure a merger deal for the Tuscan lender, Reutersreported.
Rome owns 68% of Monte dei Paschi after a 2017 bailout and must cut that stake by mid-2022 at the latest. Rome has sent out requests for proposals (RFPs) asking advisers to quote a price for their services to support the Treasury in finding a new owner for its stake.
UniCredit is seen as the preferred buyer for MPS given its robust balance sheet, but any deal would only come after the Treasury acts to remove the legal risks while also injecting fresh capital.
SSAB, a Swedish steelmaker, is in talks with Tata Steel about potentially buying the Indian group's Dutch steel mill and related assets, Reutersreported.
“SSAB has participated in several different discussions concerning consolidations in the European steel industry. The discussions with Tata are ongoing but no decisions have been made," SSAB.
Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister, welcomed the news, saying a takeover by SSAB could improve prospects for the massive IJmuiden plant and help make production there more sustainable. The Dutch government has repeatedly emphasised the importance of the IJmuiden factory for the economy and for reaching climate targets.
Engie flags further disposals after the sale of Suez stake.
Engie was reviewing options for its 40% stake in GTT, an engineering firm, and preparing for a potential spin-off of some of its client solutions business, as the sprawling French utility looks to simplify its structure, Reutersreported.
Catherine MacGregor, Engie CEO, said in a statement it could sell all or part of its stake in GTT, which specialises in the storage of liquefied gas. It did not give a value for the unit, only adding that the disposal could take place directly on the market or as a formal sale to a third party.
Gemfields to sell stake in Sedibelo Platinum.
Gemfields Group, a supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones, announces that it has commenced a sale process for its 23.65% equity holding in Ivy Lane.
Ivy Lane owns 27.64% of Sedibelo Platinum Mines giving Gemfields an effective and indirect interest in SPM of approximately 6.54%. SPM is not considered a core part of Gemfields' strategy. SPM is a public company and owns and operates the Pilanesburg Platinum Mines.
Gemfields is advised by Liberum Capital.
EG Group cash out ahead of $9bn Asda deal.
The owners of EG Group, a petrol stations business, have raised expensive debt-like financing from sovereign wealth and pension funds, handing them hundreds of millions of pounds in fresh cash that could help fund their buyout of the UK supermarket chain Asda, Financial Times reported.
The offshore vehicle sold new preference shares to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Alberta Investment Management and PSP Investments.
EG itself will not benefit from the funds raised, though its Jersey holding company is ultimately liable to pay interest on the preference shares.
Ghana demands Eni to merge oil field with local firm’s discovery.
Ghana’s government is forcing Eni to merge its Sankofa offshore oil field with a neighbouring discovery made by a domestic explorer and imposing its own terms on the deal, Bloombergreported.
The West African country’s government is seeking to maximize recovery of petroleum resources, and the move comes after the Italian oil major and Accra-based Springfield Exploration and Production missed a deadline to work out an arrangement for combining the fields.
Eni had opposed the unitization of Sankofa, which it operates in a venture with Vitol Holding, with Springfield’s Afina field. The Italian company said that Springfield hadn’t sufficiently tested its discovery to show that it shares a reservoir.
Caffè Nero seeks CVA amid Covid downturn. (FS)
Private equity-backed coffee chain Caffè Nero, is set to restructure its business after the coronavirus pandemic hit profits.
The chain, which operates around 700 sites across the UK and 200 overseas, entered a Company Voluntary Arrangement to restructure its business and minimise store closures and job losses.
Caffè Nero is backed by private equity investors, including London-based Novator Partners and Brussels-based Merifin Capital.
Caffè Nero is advised by KPMG.
Vodafone plans to raise $5bn in towers IPO. (FS)
Vodafone Group is considering raising about $4.7bn from an IPO of its European towers unit early next year, Bloombergreported.
UK-based Vodafone is planning to list its Vantage Towers unit in Frankfurt as soon as the first quarter in a deal that could value the business at around $24bn, including debt. This could make it the largest IPO on a European exchange for more than three years.
Deliveroo adds former Worldpay CFO to recipe for London float. (People)
Rick Medlock, a former finance chief of Worldpay, is being lined up to join Deliveroo as a non-executive director and chair of its audit committee, as the food delivery app heads towards a London flotation, Sky News reported. Deliveroo has been appointing bankers to help steer it through the biggest financial milestone.
His appointment provides a further indication of the company's plan to pursue a public listing in the coming months. Mr Medlock will add a wealth of public company experience to the tech company's board.
Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are working with the company, with other investment banks expected to be added ahead of an IPO.
The Competition Commission of India has approved Google picking up 7.73% stake in Jio Platforms for $4.5bn, clearing way for the internet giant to develop entry level Android smartphones jointly. The nod comes at a time when there is intense scrutiny over the impact of global firms, including Google on smaller companies.
The Indian watchdog CCI, was said to be interested in reviewing the data-sharing agreement between Google and Jio. With this, Jio will soon get all the funds from its investors who together are investing $15bn in the digital platform.
Google is advised by JP Morgan, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and J. Sagar Associates. Qualcomm Ventures is advised by Trilegal. PIF is advised by Citigroup and Latham & Watkins. L Catterton is advised by Kirkland & Ellis. TPG Capital is advised by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Mubadala is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Silver Lake is advised by Latham & Watkins, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. KKR is advised by Deloitte, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. General Atlantic is advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Vista Equity Partners is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Reliance is advised by Morgan Stanley, AZB & Partners, Davis Polk & Wardwell, and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
Delivery Hero said it would challenge a recommendation by South Korea's antitrust watchdog that it should sell its Yogiyo subsidiary in order to secure approval for a planned $4bn takeover of food delivery app owner Woowa Brothers, Reutersreported.
"We see it as a starting point for negotiations. On the negative side, we now see the process will take one to three months longer," Niklas Oestberg, Delivery Hero CEO.
Woowa is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Kim & Chang, Latham & Watkins, Shook Lin & Bok, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Yulchon. Delivery Hero is advised by Morgan Stanley, Bae Kim & Lee, Kim & Chang, Sullivan & Cromwell, WongPartnership, and Kekst CNC.
Indorama, a chemical holding company, agreed to acquire Indo Gulf Fertilisers, a manufacturer of fertilisers, from Grasim Industries, a diversified manufacturing company, for $356m.
The divestment of the Fertiliser Business is a significant value unlocking exercise for Grasim. It will further enable the Company to pursue growth opportunities in its core businesses.
"We are pleased that with this acquisition, Shaktiman and the Paras brands will be able to join hands to offer a complete range of products for our farmers including urea, phosphate fertilisers, potash, soil health products, seeds, and crop protection products. We are excited about this union and believe it will facilitate greater access and development of high quality agri inputs for the farming community,” Amit Lohia, Indorama Vice Chairman.
Grasim is advised by Kotak Mahindra Capital and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.
Japanese home improvement retailer Shimachu said it will accept a $2bn buyout bid from furniture chain Nitori Holdings, rejecting an earlier agreed offer from peer DCM Holdings, Reutersreported.
The switch reflects a changing investment culture in Japan, where unsolicited, hostile takeover offers were once considered taboo. Their rise comes as the government pushes for better corporate governance, putting management under pressure to improve shareholder returns, especially during buyouts.
"Initially, we thought we could get immediate synergies from the products made by DCM, which runs a similar business to us. But we have come to the conclusion that Nitori could help us grow bigger with its expertise originated from its own business model," Takaaki Okano, Shimachu President.
Private equity firm GIC, led a $200m Series D2 in Aixuexi Education Group, a edtech startup. The round also saw investment from Warburg Pincus.
With the new funds, the company will invest in technology and education services to improve its products. It will also empower offline education institutions across underdeveloped areas to go online.
Chinese President decided to halt Ant IPO.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, personally made the decision to halt the IPO of Ant Group, which would have been the world’s biggest, after controlling shareholder Jack Ma infuriated government leaders, WSJreported.
President Xi ordered Chinese regulators to investigate and effectively shut down Ant's stock market flotation.
The rebuke was the culmination of years of tense relations between China’s most celebrated entrepreneur and a government uneasy about his influence and the rapid growth of the digital-payments behemoth he controlled.
Asiana Airlines shares spike on a potential deal with a rival parent of Korean Air.
Shares in Asiana Airlines soared on Friday on prospects that the owner of larger rival Korean Air Lines could buy a hefty stake in the debt-laden, pandemic-hit carrier, Reutersreported.
Hanjin Kal is considering buying a stake in Asiana, while Asiana's state-run creditor said the deal was one of the options it was considering.
A deal would provide a lifeline for Asiana. In return, Korean Air, the country’s biggest airline, would see competition from South Korea’s only other full service carrier fade. It also would gain a valuable ally in Asiana’s creditor Korea Development Bank, as it seeks to fend off an activist shareholder from gaining control of its holding company Hanjin Kal.
PGGM and Charter Hall to acquire a fourth asset for $578m.
A tie-up between Charter Hall, an Australian property group, and PGGM, a Dutch pension fund manager, has acquired a fourth asset, bringing the portfolio value to $216m, DealStreetAsiareported.
The PGGM-Charter Hall partnership, called CHPIP, expects to have a total portfolio value of $578m. CHPIP, set up in the fourth quarter of 2019, is targeting investments in Australian industrial, logistics, manufacturing and last-mile distribution properties; both land investments and stabilized assets would be considered.
Hillhouse in advanced talks to take SOHO China private. (FS)
Private equity firm Hillhouse Capital Management is in talks to take SOHO China, a property developer, private in a deal that could be worth more than $2bn, Reutersreported.
Asia-focused Hillhouse has been in discussions with SOHO China over the past few months. A deal for taking SOHO China private could come after Hong Kong-listed companies have announced take-private deals worth $20bn so far in 2020, more than double last year’s annual volume.
Hillhouse is also considering assuming about $2.7bn of SOHO China loans as part of its leveraged buyout.
Coca-Cola’s Turkish bottler explores new markets as debt reduces.
Coca-Cola's bottler for Turkey and nine other countries spanning Central Asia and the Middle East plans to enter new markets after reducing debt to the lowest level, Bloombergreported. Any investment would most likely be through an acquisition of an existing bottler.
“Our main focus is to expand our franchise, growing our core business further with the addition of new territories. We could think of adding a new country or countries to our geography. There is a Coca-Cola bottler or operation in almost every country in the world. So you need to have either a partnership with that bottler in that country, or take over its business if they are quitting, with the permission of The Coca-Cola," Burak Basarir, Coca-Cola Icecek CEO.
Hong Kong has $6bn of IPOs before year-end.(FS)
Investors mourning Ant Group's suspended mega-listing can take consolation in the otherwise rude health of Hong Kong’s IPO, Bloombergreported.
Three companies won approvals from the Hong Kong stock exchange for first-time share sales that could raise a combined $6bn.
Among them, JD Health International, an online health care unit of China’s e-commerce giant JD.com, plans to start gauging investor demand for its $3bn IPO as soon as next week after getting the greenlight. The property management arm of real estate developer China Evergrande Group could raise about $2bn from the listing. Hillhouse Capital-backed Blue Moon, which makes laundry detergent, liquid soap and bathroom cleaners, could raise about $1bn in its IPO.
Evergrande Property Services Group and Blue Moon Group Holdings are also looking to launch their IPOs as early as next week.
India to invest $803m into NIIF debt platform.
Nirmala Sitharaman, Indian finance minister, said that the government would infuse $803m equity in National Infrastructure Investment Fund’s debt platform, in its attempt to drive infrastructure creation in the country, DealStreetAsiareported.
NIIF will leverage this equity to finance infrastructure projects under the national infrastructure pipeline.
“NIIF attracts a lot of sovereign fund for investment in infrastructure-related activities. It also has a debt platform through which it also raises a lot of money and by 2025 it has to provide and infra funding to the extent of $14.7bn national infrastructure pipeline,” Nirmala Sitharaman.
SoftBank is to invest $55-60m in Grofers.
SoftBank, a Japanese investment conglomerate, along with other investors, is close to investing about $55-60m in Grofers, an online grocer, to help the latter build a war chest to fight the growing competition in the country’s e-grocery space,DealStreetAsiareported.
SoftBank is expected to pump in about $30m while existing investors Tiger Global and KTB Ventures, a South Korean investment firm, are likely to contribute the rest.
CrossInvest targets Asia money managers for growth. (FS)
CrossInvest is looking to buy money management rivals and strike private equity deals in the fintech space intending to boost assets under management to over $3.5bn by 2023.
While Singapore has long been a regional hub for institutions, the number of independent asset managers selling financial services to the wealthy has grown in the past few years. The cost of running these operations remain high, leading to expectations that the industry will face consolidation.
CrossInvest (Asia) aims to use its wide-ranging fund management license to launch vehicles ranging from private equity funds and venture capital deals to a potential $100m hedge fund.
Nuix considers raising $705m in Aussie IPO. (FS)
Nuix, an Australian security software firm, is seeking to raise $705m after setting the price for the country’s biggest IPO of the year, Bloombergreported.
The Macquarie Capital-backed company plans to sell $72m of new shares, along with $634m-worth of shares from existing owners at $3.85 each.
Morgan Stanley and Macquarie Group are the joint lead managers of the offering.
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