A boardroom tussle at Rogers Communications, a Canadian communications and media company, is unlikely to hinder its $21bn purchase of Shaw Communications, a Canadian telecommunications company which provides telephone, Internet, television, and mobile services.
The board of the company voted out Chairman Edward Rogers after he tried to replace Chief Executive Officer Joe Natale with another executive, Reuters reported.
Edward Rogers said he would remove the five RCI board directors who acted against him, as he is chair of the Rogers Control Trust, the family-controlled entity that owns the majority of ownership shares in RCI.
Shaw Communications is advised by CIBC World Markets, TD Securities, Burnet Duckworth & Palmer, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Dentons and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Rogers Communications is advised by Bank of America, Barclays, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Goodmans and Torys. Financials advisors are advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell, Latham & Watkins, McCarthy Tetrault and Osler Hoskin & Harcourt.
Sanderson Farms' stockholders approved a $4.5bn deal to be acquired by Cargill, an American privately held global food corporation, and Continental Grain, a privately owned global investor. Upon completion of the transaction, Cargill and Continental Grain will combine Sanderson Farms with Wayne Farms, a subsidiary of Continental Grain, to form a new, privately held poultry business.
"We are pleased Sanderson Farms stockholders approved this transaction and thank them for their support. We believe this transaction will benefit our various stakeholders, including employees, poultry producers and customers, and we remain focused on continuing to deliver the highest quality poultry products and services," Joe Sanderson, Sanderson Farms Chairman and CEO.
Sandorson Farms is advised by Centerview Partners, Fishman Haygood, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, MacKenzie Partners and Reevemark. Continental Grain is advised by Lazard and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Cargill is advised by Bank of America, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
Oasis Petroleum, an independent exploration and petroleum company, completed the acquisition of the Williston Basin assets from Diamondback Energy, an independent oil and natural gas company, for $745m.
"The closing of this asset acquisition allows us to integrate and drive significant value from our Williston Basin position, where we see long-term running room given our pro forma inventory depth. The closing follows Oasis' Permian Basin exit in June and represents a strategic portfolio repositioning, where we were able to buy assets for PDP value and sell assets for a significant premium to PDP value. With the closing, Oasis' pro forma volumes increase by approximately 50%. I'm thankful for the hard work of all those involved in this transaction, with special thanks to the field employees who have been running the asset since we announced the transaction," Danny Brown, Oasis Chief Executive Officer.
Diamondback Energy was advised by Goldman Sachs and Latham & Watkins. Oasis Petroleum was advised by JP Morgan, McDermott Will & Emery and Joele Frank. Debt financing was provided by JP Morgan and Wells Fargo Securities. Debt providers were advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Vinson & Elkins.
Realty Income, a real estate investment trust, completed the acquisition of VEREIT, a full-service real estate operating company which owns and manages one of the largest portfolios of single tenant commercial properties in the US, for $11.1bn.
"We believe the merger with VEREIT will generate immediate earnings accretion and value creation for Realty Income's shareholders while enhancing our ability to execute on our ambitious growth initiatives. Together, our company will enjoy increased size, scale, and diversification, continuing to distance Realty Income as the leader in the net lease industry. VEREIT's real estate portfolio is highly complementary to ours, which we expect to further enhance the consistency and durability of our cash flows," Sumit Roy, Realty Income President and CEO.
VEREIT was advised by JP Morgan, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Abernathy MacGregor. Realty Income was advised by Moelis & Co, Wells Fargo Securities and Latham & Watkins. Financial advisors were advised by Alston & Bird and Cravath Swaine & Moore.
Kite Realty Group Trust, a full-service, vertically integrated real estate investment trust, completed the merger with Retail Properties of America, which owns and manages a diversified mix of high-quality retail shopping centers, in a $7.5bn deal.
“We are thrilled to announce the successful completion of the transformational merger with RPAI, creating a top 5 open-air shopping center REIT. The merger will generate immediate earnings accretion and will drive further long-term value to our shareholders. We have already completed significant steps in our integration and are well-positioned to continue capitalizing on the strong leasing environment. While the financial and operational synergies are extremely compelling, we are most passionate about the quality of the underlying real estate," John A. Kite, Kite Realty Group Chairman and CEO.
Retail Properties of America was advised by Citigroup and Goodwin Procter. Citigroup was advised by Jones Day. Kite Realty was advised by Bank of America, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Hogan Lovells.
Ares Management, a private equity firm, completed an investment in LaserAway, a provider of aesthetic dermatology. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We have been extremely fortunate to partner with Seidler Equity Partners since 2018 and look forward to their continued support as long-term investors in the company. Ares brings differentiated expertise to the LaserAway team, particularly their experience supporting multi-unit consumer and healthcare growth companies," Scott Heckmann, LaserAway Co-Founder and CEO.
LaserAway was advised by Jefferies & Company, Buchalter and O'Melveny & Myers. Ares Management was advised by North Point Advisors, Kirkland & Ellis and Brunswick Group.
ProFrac, a oilfield services company, agreed to acquire FTS International, a pure-play hydraulic fracturing service company, for $407.5m.
"The Board and executive leadership team have carefully evaluated a range of strategic alternatives focused on maximizing value and determined that this cash offer from ProFrac, which provides immediate and certain value at an attractive price, is in the best interest of all stockholders. This transaction is the result of a thoughtful analysis of FTSI's best long-term position for stockholders. At the same time, our Board recognizes industry dynamics remain fluid and believes that the 45-day 'go-shop' provides us the optimal structure to execute this transaction. I'm confident this combination will create a stronger organization to successfully compete in our rapidly evolving industry," Eugene Davis, FTS International Chairman of the Board.
FTS International is advised by Ducera Partners, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Abernathy MacGregor Group. ProFrac is advised by Piper Sandler and Vinson & Elkins.
Raymond James Financial, a financial services company, agreed to acquire TriState Capital Holdings, a bank holding company, for $1.1bn.
“TriState Capital has a terrific, client-centric franchise focused on serving clients with premier private banking, commercial banking and niche investment management products and services. As we have followed the firm and management team over the past several years, including as its largest deposit client, we’ve admired its leadership position in offering securities-based lending through a scalable and robust technology platform. Importantly, this acquisition further illustrates our commitment to utilize excess capital through organic and inorganic growth that we expect to drive strong returns for shareholders over the long term," Paul Reilly, Raymond James Chairman and CEO.
TriState Capital is advised by Stephens and Mayer Brown. Raymond James is advised by Raymond James and Sullivan & Cromwell.
Shore Bancshares, a financial holding company, announced the approval of the merger of Severn Bancorp, a savings and loan holding company, with and into Shore at special meetings of their respective shareholders held on October 22, 2021.
"We are pleased to have received the approval of our shareholders for our acquisition of Severn and the issuance of shares of our common stock to Severn'sshareholders in connection with our acquisition, and the approval of the proposed transaction by Severn's shareholders. We believe that these voting results are an affirmation of our belief that the combination of Shore and Severn will create one of the most attractive commercial banks in and beyond Maryland with significant opportunities to enhance the banking experience for the combined institution's customers and drive increased value for our shareholders," Lloyd L. Beatty, Shore Bancshares President and CEO.
Severn Bancorp is advised by Piper Sandler and Luse Gorman. Shore Bancshares is advised by Janney Montgomery Scott and Holland & Knight.
23andMe, a consumer genetics and research company, agreed to acquire Lemonaid Health, an leading innovator in telemedicine and prescription drug delivery, for $400m.
"We believe that by combining Lemonaid Health's telemedicine platform, including its online team of medical professionals and its pharmacy services, with our consumer business, we are taking an important step in transforming the traditional primary care experience and making personalized healthcare a reality. By starting with genetics as the foundation, we will give patients and healthcare providers better information about health risks and treatments, opening up the door to prevent as well as better manage disease. Lemonaid Health's focus on the patient and its philosophy of delivering individualized care fits perfectly with our mission of empowering people to take control of their health," Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe CEO and Co-Founder.
Lemonaid is advised by Fenwick & West and Nelson Hardiman. 23andMe is advised Allen & Company and Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
CI Financial, an asset manager, agreed to acquire McCutchen Group, a financial advisor and asset manager. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“CI is an ideal partner for us and our clients, given the strong alignment of culture and values and its commitment to a client-focused model. Working with CI will allow us to expand and enhance the services we offer our clients while preserving the advisory model that our clients value," Matt McCutchen, McCutchen Group Founder and CEO.
CI Financial is advised by Hogan Lovells and Gregory FCA. McCutchen Group is advised by Raymond James and Perkins Coie.
Trump Media & Technology, a media company, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Digital World Acquisition, a special purposes acquisition company, in an $825m deal.
"Digital World was formed to create public shareholder value and we believe that TMTG is one of the most promising business combination partners to fulfill that purpose. DWAC currently has $293m in trust, assuming minimal redemptions, which can fuel TMTG’s scale up, including to provide world class leading technology services to build strong and secure social networks and diverse media offerings. Given the total addressable market and President Trump’s large following, we believe the TMTG opportunity has the potential to create significant shareholder value," Patrick F. Orlando, DWAC Chairman and CEO.
JLL, a professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management, agreed to acquire Building Engines, a market-leading building operations platform that transforms how properties are run, provides exceptional experiences for operators and tenants and improves net operating income, for $300m.
"The combination of JLL's expertise in managing buildings, Building Engines' leading building operations software platform and JLLT's CRE technology leadership will accelerate the transition of property operations from manual and reactive activities to technology-informed, automated or digitized activities," Jay Koster, JLL President of Investor Services, Americas.
Sumeru Capital, SoftBank VF 2 and Silver Lake Capital led a $200m funding round in 360Learning, a corporate EdTech SaaS company and pioneer of collaborative learning. Additional investors include Bpifrance Large, XAnge and Educapital.
"By focusing on collaborative learning and combining it with AI and data, we're radically changing how people learn in the workplace. Our engagement figures show that with the right learning approach and technology, L&D becomes a driver of growth. Learners take control of their own learning and their companies thrive and lead in the new hybrid work environment. We're delighted to welcome a brilliant new set of investors from three different continents to help us spearhead a transformative breakthrough in the learning market," Nick Hernandez, 360Learning Founder and CEO.
L Catterton, a private equity firm, completed an investment in Ben & Frank, an optical retailer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This investment is a reflection of Ben & Frank's strong momentum and the innovative approach of our entire team. We are poised to capture significant market share as we continue to open new stores and enter new markets, and we are very excited to partner with L Catterton in this next chapter of expansion," Mariana Castillo, Ben & Frank Co-CEO.
CD Projekt, a Polish video game developer, completed the acquisition of a 60% stake in The Molasses Flood, a US based video game developer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're always on the lookout for teams who make games with heart. The Molasses Flood share our passion for video game development, they're experienced, quality-oriented, and have great technological insight. I'm convinced they will bring a lot of talent and determination to the Group," Adam Kiciński, President and Joint CEO, CD Projekt.
BioUrja, energy commodity logistics solutions developer, agreed to acquire ethanol production complex from ADM, an American multinational food processing and commodities trading corporation. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"As a leading supplier of biofuels, we are excited to enter into the bio-ethanol production sector and become more vertically integrated. We are enthused about the growing beverage-grade and highly-distilled industrial alcohol markets, which are the focus of the Peoria plant, and are glad to absorb supplemental fuel ethanol into our existing supply capabilities. This is an opportunity for us to continue our growth in the renewables sector and participate in the global energy transition. It's a double bottom-line deal for us because of the strong financial performance of the plant and its contributions to our ESG strategy," Amit Bhandari, BioUrja Chairman and CEO.
Bristol-Myers in talks to acquire Aurinia Pharmaceuticals.
Bristol-Myers Squibb, a global biopharmaceutical company, has expressed interest in acquiring smaller rival biopharmaceutical firm Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company.
The New York-based company recently approached Aurinia about a deal. No final decision has been made and Bristol-Myers could opt against any potential deal. The talks come during a boom in health-care dealmaking, as large pharma companies look to broaden their suite of therapies via acquisitions, Bloomberg reported.
On Semiconductor explores the sale of Quantenna assets.
On Semiconductor, an American semiconductor supplier company, is exploring a potential sale of the assets it acquired in 2019 as part of an acquisition of the Wi-Fi chip company Quantenna. On Semiconductor is said to be seeking a $1bn valuation in the potential sale.
The company is working with an adviser and has been in discussions over the past few months about offloading the assets to potential buyers, Bloomberg reported.
Southwestern Energy in talks to acquire Blackstone-backed GeoSouthern.
Southwestern Energy, an energy company, is in talks to buy Blackstone's petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company GeoSouthern for roughly $1.7bn.
Discussions are at an advanced stage, though a deal could still fall through. GeoSouthern has been searching for a buyer over the past few months amid a flurry of dealmaking buoyed by higher US gas futures, which have nearly doubled since the start of the year, Bloomberg reported.
Roper Technologies weighs a $3bn sale of its process technology division.
Roper Technologies, an American diversified industrial company, is considering selling its process technology division, which could fetch as much as $3bn.
The industrial conglomerate is working with a financial adviser to explore strategic options for the unit. Roper is open to selling the division whole or in pieces. No final decision has been made and Roper could opt to keep the unit.
The potential sale comes as Roper seeks to pare certain business lines to focus on its core technology assets, which provide technology tools to the oil, gas and other industrial sectors.
Braze files for a $100m US IPO.
Braze, a customer engagement software maker, filed for an initial public offering. The New York-based company in its filing Friday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission listed the size of the offering as $100m, a placeholder that will change when terms of the share sale are set.
The company plans for its shares to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol BRZE. Braze is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Barclays.
Blackstone weighs up to $30bn for its flagship fund. (FS)
Blackstone is preparing to raise what could be the industry’s largest buyout fund on record. The firm may seek as much as $30bn for its next flagship private equity fund, Bloomberg reported.
No target has been set but fundraising could begin next year. Blackstone is also preparing to raise money for its next life sciences, energy and growth strategies, along with the flagship all four funds may raise more than $40bn.
Vista Equity prepares pitch for its next big software fund. (FS)
Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm, plans to join the growing list of private-equity firms pitching large funds focused on technology deals.
The firm aims to soon open a virtual data room for its next big flagship buyout fund to allow prospective investors access to documents related to the offering. The firm told them it is considering a target range of $20bn to $24bn for Vista Equity Partners Fund VIII.
The new fund will target 18 to 25 investments with an average check size of $750bn. Vista said it would host virtual informational meetings for investors starting later this month and running through the end of January. Vista plans to complete a first closing for the fund in early April 2022, although it could hold a preliminary closing this December to accommodate investors who need to close their commitments in the 2021 calendar year for budgetary or resource reasons.
New Mountain Capital closes Guardian III private credit fund on $1.15bn. (FS)
New Mountain Capital, a private equity firm, has closed its latest direct lending fund, New Mountain Guardian III with approximately $1.15bn of capital commitments from a diverse group of investors.
Commitments included a substantial investment from the General Partner and employees of the firm. The fund is expected to have approximately $2bn in investable capital, including leverage. Consistent with the firm’s investment philosophy, New Mountain’s private credit strategy focuses on lending to the highest quality companies in select, non-cyclical defensive growth industries.
“We would like to thank our investors for their strong support. We believe New Mountain’s investment philosophy of focusing on defensive growth industries where we have deep expertise continues to be a successful strategy for our credit business and proven to be a key differentiator," Steve Klinsky, New Mountain Capital Founder & CEO.
Banner Ridge raises $1bn in oversubscribed Secondary Fund IV. (FS)
Banner Ridge Partners, a $2.5bn multi-strategy private equity investment firm, has completed fundraising for Banner Ridge Secondary Fund IV at its hard cap with $1bn of total commitments. BRP IV is the latest fund to be raised as part of the firm's flagship secondary program. The fund was oversubscribed, receiving capital commitments from a wide range of institutional investors, including pension funds and several prominent family offices.
"The pandemic has created an incredible opportunity for us to make unique secondary investments in a market that rewards both complexity and innovation. We have expanded our investment team to include a broad array of skills, which has led to increased deal flow and better access to information, allowing us to make more informed investment decisions. We are well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that arise from being a distressed and special situations specialist. We have made several investments in the Fund and continue to make progress on a robust pipeline of opportunities that align squarely with our proven secondary investment strategy. We are grateful to have been entrusted by an exceptional group of investors and we look forward to continuing our long-term track record of outperformance on their behalf," Anthony Cusano, Banner Ridge Co-Founder and Portfolio Manager.
S&P Global, a provider of credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics in the global capital and commodity markets, won European Union approval to acquire IHS Markit, a provider of critical information, analytics and solutions, after agreeing to sell off commodity price assessment and financial data businesses, Bloomberg reported.
Divestments removed "problematic overlaps" that could have "limited customers' access to some competitive and reliable data which is essential to ensure fairness of physical trades and financial markets, said the European Commission.
IHS Markit is advised by Barclays, JP Morgan, Jefferies, Morgan Stanley and Davis Polk & Wardwell. S&P Global is advised by Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Community Group and Joele Frank. Financial advisors are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Private equity firm Platinum Equity completed the acquisition of Urbaser, one of the world's largest providers of environmental services, from China Tianying, a China-based company principally engaged in the municipal solid waste incineration, for $4.2bn.
"Urbaser is a world leader in environmental management that is developing innovative solutions that improve the quality of life for people in the communities it serves. The company is also another important addition to Platinum's growing portfolio of operating companies headquartered in Europe and a direct reflection of our commitment to investing in the region. We have had great success delivering divestiture solutions to sellers in Europe and creating value across a wide range of industries. Urbaser is another exciting step forward," Louis Samson, Platinum Equity Partner.
Urbaser was advised by Deloitte and Uria Menendez. Platinum Equity was advised by Citigroup, Santander, Beccar Valera, Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira and Latham & Watkins. China Tianying was advised by Credit Agricole, Societe Generale and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway decided to tender its 7% stake in Italian insurance company Societa Cattolica di Assicurazione to Assicurazioni Generali, which is seeking to take over the smaller rival.
Buffett agreed to Generali’s offer. With the tycoon’s stake, Generali is close to exceeding 50% of Cattolica shares.
Generali, with a stake of about 24% in Cattolica, is bidding for the rest in an all-cash transaction as part of a strategy to cement its already-commanding presence in the home market. According to the terms, Generali will pursue the bid if at least 66.67% of Cattolica investors accept the offer, and it has the right to consider whether to go ahead if it gets the acceptance of at least 50% plus one share, Bloomberg reported.
Cattolica is advised by Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, KPMG and Studio Mario Cera. Generali is advised by BNP Paribas, Bank of America, Mediobanca, Rothschild & Co, Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners and Tremonti & Associati.
IAA, a global digital marketplace connecting vehicle buyers and sellers, agreed to acquire SYNETIQ, an integrated salvage and vehicle recycling company, for £225m.
"We are very excited about the acquisition of SYNETIQ. This transaction significantly expands our business in the United Kingdom from both a scale and portfolio perspective, supporting the overall IAA growth strategy. SYNETIQ's management team and employees have done a tremendous job of using innovation to maximize value for their customers. We also know that reusable parts are increasingly of interest to UK insurers as they look to satisfy customer needs and meet their environmental goals. SYNETIQ's focus and expertise in this area is a true differentiator that is consistent with our focus on sustainability in the UK market and beyond. We look forward to welcoming the SYNETIQ team to IAA," John Kett, IAA CEO and President.
SYNETIQ is advised by Ernst & Young, Euclid and KPMG. IAA is advised by Deloitte, XMS Capital, O'Melveny & Myers, Walker Morris and ICR.
UK Takeover Panel has suspended the timetable on Ganfeng's offer for all of Bacanora Lithium's issued share capital.
The offer is conditional upon satisfaction or waiver of the Mexican Antitrust Clearance Condition, being either the deemed unconditional approval of the offer by the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission or the issuance by the FECC of a resolution granting unconditional approval of the offer.
Bacanora Lithium is advised Cairn Financial Advisers, Peel Hunt, Gowling WLG and Tavistock Communications. Ganfeng International Trading is advised by Teneo and Teacher Stern. Teneo is advised by Addleshaw Goddard.
CDPQ and DWS Group, an asset management firm, completed the acquisition of Ermewa, a rail-based supply chain, from SNCF, a logistics and transportation company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We look forward to working with Ermewa's highly experienced management team alongside our active partner CDPQ to unlock Ermewa's full potential and ambitions in the European railcar and global tank container markets. We are pleased to continue our strong relationship with SNCF through this transaction, demonstrating trust in our ability to drive value through active asset management and partnership approach." He added: "With a strong track record and industry-leading expertise, we believe Ermewa is ideally positioned to support and benefit from the strong sector tailwinds including Europe's expected rail modal share increase and decarbonisation trends impacting freight transport and European economies," Hamish Mackenzie, DWS Group Head of Infrastructure.
DWS group was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Shan Strategic Communications. SNCF was advised by Bredin Prat.
Investment group PPF said on Friday it had held discussions in good faith with Petrus Advisers on Czech lender Moneta Money Bank but that talks had not led to any conclusion.
PPF and Petrus Advisers are Moneta’s two biggest shareholders, and PPF was reacting to a Petrus Advisers statement this week in which the group had called on Moneta to move on from a potential acquisition of PPF’s Air Bank group.
In the Petrus Advisers statement, it had said it had been in negotiations with PPF about a potential solution, which included “agreeing in principle” a higher offer price than a previous deal for Air Bank that had been rejected by shareholders, Reuters reported.
EnQuest, a petroleum exploration and production company, completed the acquisition of a 27% stake in Golden Eagle fields from Suncor, a Canadian integrated energy company, for $375m.
"We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of a material interest in the high-quality, low-cost Golden Eagle development. As a highly cash generative asset, delivering material incremental production, reserves and resources, Golden Eagle is a great addition to our portfolio, further strengthening the company. We look forward to a productive partnership with the operator, CNOOC and our joint venture partners, NEO Energy and ONE DYAS," Amjad Bseisu, EnQuest CEO.
EnQuest was advised by JP Morgan and Tulchan Communications.
JD Sports, a British sports-fashion retail company based, completed the acquisition of a 80% stake in Cosmos Sport, a Greek retail chain of sporting goods. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is another exciting acquisition for JD that further expands our presence in Europe. We welcome the highly experienced and knowledgeable Tsiknakis Family to the Group and we look forward to working with them on the development opportunities in the region," Peter Cowgill, JD Sports Fashion Executive Chairman.
JD Sports is advised by MHP Communications.
Exor revives talks with Covea for possible PartnerRe sale.
The billionaire Agnelli family’s Exor holding revived talks for the sale of its reinsurance unit PartnerRe to Covea. The deal could be worth close to $9bn, the price agreed on by the Agnellis and the French insurer before the pandemic upended the sale in 2020.
Talks broke down in May 2020 after Exor rejected Covea’s request for a discount in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, with the buyers citing “unprecedented conditions and significant uncertainties threatening the global economic outlook.”
The Agnellis have since waived $175m in penalties incurred by Covea, as the French firm agreed to invest with Exor and in PartnerRe’s products, Bloomberg reported.
Italy, UniCredit to end talks over Monte dei Paschi sale.
Italy's government and UniCredit are preparing to call off negotiations over the sale of ailing bank Monte dei Paschi after efforts to reach an agreement over a costly recapitalization plan fell through.
Rome has decided it won't be able to meet UniCredit's requests for a recapitalization package worth more than $8.14bn as this would make a deal "too punitive" for the Italian taxpayer. The decision makes it harder for Prime Minister Mario Draghi's government to meet pledges to EU regulators to re-privatise the bank by mid-2022.
Rome has already reviewed the possible benefits of a standalone strategy, which would see the Treasury implementing parts of the measures agreed with UniCredit, including a capital increase worth several billion of euros. If the standalone plan goes ahead, MPS will also be rid of toxic debt - which is set to be trasferred to state-owned firm Amco - and its legal proceedings will be carved out and guaranteed by the government, Reuters reported.
Partners Group eyes a stake in $3bn watch brand Breitling. (FS)
Partners Group is in advanced talks to acquire a 25% stake in high-end watchmaker Breitling from CVC Capital Partners.
A deal could be announced in the coming weeks. The investment is set to value Breitling at about $3.3bn. Deliberations are ongoing, and negotiations could still fall apart.
CVC Capital Partners has been working with Rothschild & Co and GCA Altium to explore options for Breitling.
SoftBank is in talks to sell its French robotics business to United Robotics.
SoftBank Group is in talks to sell the Paris-based robotics business behind its Pepper android to United Robotics Group, an industrial robot maker.
The talks are ongoing and plans could change. It is not clear whether SoftBank will retain a stake in the business, nor how much the deal would be worth. The restructuring comes as SoftBank focuses on selling third party hardware following the commercial failure of Pepper.
Liberty Global in talks to dispose off network assets.
Billionaire John Malone’s cable group Liberty Global is talking to partners about ways to carve out its network assets.
London-based Liberty Global is considering splitting off its telecom infrastructure such as cables and fiber, leaving its remaining businesses to focus on providing mobile, internet and TV services, Bloomberg reported.
Executives at Spain’s Telefonica, which co-owns Liberty Global’s biggest asset - Virgin Media O2 - are open to applying that idea to their recently-merged UK business.
Liberty Global is advised by Accenture.
Sainsbury's ends talks on selling banking operation.
British supermarket Sainsbury's said that it had ended talks about selling its banking operation after concluding that approaches it received in November 2020 did not offer good value for shareholders.
Sainsbury's, Britain's second-biggest grocer, started exploring the sale of the bank a year ago as ultra-low interest rates and Covid-19 disruption increased pressures on the business. British banks including Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and Natwest were among possible suitors.
"Whilst the Board of Sainsbury's believe that it was in the best interests of shareholders to explore these expressions of interest, it has concluded that these do not offer better value for shareholders than will be realised through retaining Sainsbury's Bank," Sainsbury's.
Co-operative Bank thwarted in attempt to buy rival TSB
An ambitious merger approach from the Co-operative Bank to rival lender TSB has been knocked back, thwarting plans that would have created one of the UK’s largest high street banking chains.
Banco Sabadell, the banking group that owns TSB, confirmed in a statement that it had received an approach from the Co-op. But the group’s board responded that “this is not a transaction that we wish to explore at this moment as we have previously expressed publicly”.
Co-op’s audacious approach comes against a challenging backdrop for smaller and medium-sized lenders. Record-low interest rates have constrained profitability, forcing European lenders to cut costs and fuelling speculation of consolidation across the sector, FT reported.
Sono Motors files for US IPO.
Sono Motors, a solar car firm, filed for a US initial public offering, looking to cash in on investor demand as governments worldwide push for a shift to greener transport. If the IPO is approved, Sono Motors intends to list on the Nasdaq Global Market under ticker symbol “SEV.”
The offering is subject to market conditions, and there can be no assurance as to whether, or when, the offering may be completed or as to the actual size or terms of the offering.
Sono Motors is advised by Berenberg and Craig-Hallum.
Advent International in talks to acquire media rights in LFP. (FS)
Advent International is considering buying a stake in a new media rights company being set up by France’s elite soccer league Ligue de Football Professionnel.
The private equity firm is one of a number of investors interested in responding to Ligue de Football Professionnel’s search for a financial partner. Deliberations are in the early stages and there’s no certainty Advent will decide to pursue an investment, Bloomberg reported.
H2 Green Steel seeks new funds at $2.3bn value.
H2 Green Steel, a fully integrated, digitalized and automated greenfield steel plant, is in talks to raise money from investors that could value the Swedish startup at more than $2.3bn.
The company, whose backers include Mercedes-Benz and Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek, is working with advisers on raising $1.16bn. Deliberations are ongoing and no final decisions of the value and timing of any fundraising have been made.
H2 is advised by Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale and KfW.
Pantheon closes Secondary Opportunities Fund at $624m. (FS)
Pantheon, a private equity firm, has closed Pantheon Secondary Opportunities Fund, a program that will exclusively invest in the market for GP-initiated private equity secondary solutions, with total investor commitments of $624m.
“We’re pleased to have closed PSOF and look forward to putting capital to work on behalf of our clients in what we believe is an extremely dynamic market. As general partners increasingly access the GP-led market to solve for a fundamental limitation of the private equity fund model, which typically provides a finite period to which to grow and realize investments, we expect this market to continue to expand and evolve. This is presenting compelling opportunities for us to invest alongside high quality and established fund managers in some of their coveted private equity assets," Paul Ward, Pantheon Managing Partner.
A Singapore arbitration panel has rejected Future Retail’s plea to quash an order from last year that put its $3.4bn deal with Reliance on hold, in a boost for its partner Amazon.com Inc which is seeking to block the transaction.
Amazon has been locked in a tussle with Future and accuses it of breaking contracts when it sold its retail assets to Indian market leader Reliance last year. Future denies any wrongdoing.
“The arbitration tribunal has passed a decision dismissing the application to vacate the interim award. The Company would be deciding on its future course of action based on the legal advice and available remedies in law," Future Group.
Reliance is advised by Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Citigroup, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Khaitan & Co and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
Aurizon, a freight rail transport company, agreed to acquire One Rail Australia, an Australian rail freight operator company, for $1.76bn.
"The One Rail acquisition delivers a step change for Aurizon Bulk as a new entrant in the South Australia and Northern Territory region, and supports the ongoing growth of non-coal revenue in the Aurizon portfolio," Andrew Harding, Aurizon CEO.
Tencent Holdings, an internet giant, completed the acquisition of 14.6% stake in MD Pictures, a movie production house. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We enthusiastically welcome Tencent as a new investor in FILM. This investment reflects their continued commitment to cutting-edge technology and content companies globally,” Manoj Punjabi, MD Pictures Founder & CEO.
Western Digital-Kioxia $20bn merger talks stall.
Western Digital talks to merge with Japanese chipmaker Kioxia Holdings have stalled, highlighting challenges in completing deals in the evolving semiconductor sector.
The companies, which had been speaking since early this year, were working to finalize a stock deal that would have created a memory-chip powerhouse worth something on the order of $40bn. Though the talks are on hold now, they could still be revived.
One factor that played a role in the deal stumbling was a steady decline in Western Digital’s shares, which have dropped more than 25% from their high for the year in early June. They closed Thursday at $56.80, giving the company a market value of $17.7bn. A proposed Western Digital-Kioxia transaction was expected to face tough regulatory scrutiny. It would require the blessing of the Japanese government and China, which has been increasingly aggressive in its antitrust enforcement, WSJ reported.
Tokyo Kikai shareholders approve poison pill blocking a takeover attempt.
Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho, a manufacturer of newspaper printing presses, approved a "poison pill" measure on Friday aimed at blocking a takeover attempt by its top investor, setting up a court battle that will have sweeping implications for hostile bids in Japan.
Tokyo Kikai, said a majority of its shareholders approved a measure that would dilute Asia Development Capital's 40% stake. ADC was excluded from the vote and has already sought an injunction to nullify it. Had investors voted on Friday against the poison pill it would have handed ADC a victory.
About 79% of the votes supported the poison pill, Tokyo Kikai said in a statement. ADC said Tokyo Kikai would have lost if ADC had not been excluded, as the number of votes cast for the poison pill were fewer than those ADC could have cast alone, Reuters reported.
Paytm seeks a $22bn IPO in India. (FS)
Indian fintech firm Paytm has received approval from the capital markets regulator for its $2.2bn stock market listing that is likely to be India's biggest ever IPO.
This will largely be through a secondary share sale, technically known as an Offer For Sale, where existing investors will sell shares. Paytm may also increase the primary component through a fresh issuance of shares. The move to increase the offer size has come after receiving the Sebi comments which are minor in nature. Owing to high interest in startup IPOs, the company has taken the call to increase offer size.
The DRHP listed founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Japan’s SoftBank Group, Ant Group and Elevation Capital as selling shareholders, all of whom would trim a part of their holdings in the OFS.
Nykaa aims IPO at valuation of above $7bn.
Indian startup FSN E-commerce Ventures, which runs beauty company Nykaa, has priced its initial public offering at $14.5 to $15 per share, giving it a valuation of as much as $7.11bn.
The company aims to raise nearly $500m through a three-day IPO subscription starting from October 28 to November 1. The IPO involves issuing new shares worth up to $70.13m and offering up to 43.1m of its existing shares.
The company's investors include private equity firm TPG, Fidelity Investments and Indian film actress Alia Bhatt. Nykaa will use the IPO proceeds to set up new retail stores, fund capital spending and repay debts, according to the prospectus.
Nykaa is advised by Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Kotak Mahindra, Citigroup, ICICI Bank and JM Financial.
Ant Group-backed Kakao Pay to raise $1.3bn in an IPO.
Ant Group-backed Kakao Pay, a mobile payment and digital wallet services provider, has priced its initial public offering at the top of its indicative range to raise $1.3bn.
Kakao Pay shares were priced at $76 per share after an indicative range of $51-$76, the company said in a regulatory filing. Kakao cut its IPO target by 6% in late August after a regulator said it needed to resubmit its IPO registration statement.
Kakao Pay is advised by Samsung Securities, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.
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