French TGV high-speed train maker Alstom is prepared to sell assets to secure early EU antitrust approval for its bid for Bombardier’s rail division, Reuters reported.
Alstom and Bombardier believe they have a strong case with few overlapping activities, even if EU antitrust regulators are not convinced by the concessions and instead opt to open a four-month long investigation.
Alstom’s bid for Bombardier, announced in February, is worth up to $7bn. The French company wants to create the world’s Number 2 train manufacturer, to better compete with Chinese leader CRRC, in its second attempt at a deal, after the European Commission blocked its planned merger with Siemens last year.
Alstom is advised by Mazars Corporate Finance, Rothschild & Co, Davies Ward Phillip, Societe Generale and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Debt financing is provided by Credit Agricole, HSBC, and Societe Generale. CDPQ is advised by HSBC, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and McCarthy Tetrault. Bombardier is advised by Citigroup, National Bank Financial, Rockefeller Capital Management, UBS, Jones Day, Joele Frank, and Norton Rose Fulbright.
Twenty law firms of various geographies caution regulators of Google's acquisition of fitness tracking devices company Fitbit, claiming it would cause competition and privacy concerns.
"Past experience shows that regulators must be very wary of any promises made by merging parties about restricting the use of the acquisition target's data. Regulators must assume that Google will in practice utilize the entirety of Fitbit's currently independent unique, highly sensitive data set in combination with its own," the opposers.
Google is advised by Lazard and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Fitbit is advised by Qatalyst Partners, Fenwick & West and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Qatalyst Partners is advised by Cooley.
Zhiqiang Han, one of Portola's investors, filed a lawsuit requesting records that could prove wrongdoing related to Alexion $1.6bn acquisition of Portola, claiming that the deal value was too low despite promising outlook.
The investor suspects the fear of global pandemic drove the decision to sell. The suit alleges Portola in worsening its financial outlook beyond what financial advisor suggested in order to justify the low buyout price.
Portola is advised by Centerview Partners, Cooley and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Alexion is advised by RBC Capital Markets and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Centerview Partners is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Charles Schwab, a provider of financial services, completed the acquisition of Wasmer Schroeder, an independent investment manager of fixed income separately managed accounts with $10.5bn in assets under management, in an all-cash purchase. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Wasmer Schroeder's professionally managed portfolios and investment capabilities will help Schwab deliver on a wide-range of fixed income investment needs and preferences, and complements the total wealth management offering we make available to our retail and RIA clients," Rick Wurster, Schwab Asset Management Solutions Executive Vice President.
Wasmer Schroeder was advised by PL Advisors and Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Charles Schwab was advised by Sidley Austin.
Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps, a specialist in risk mitigation, investigations, compliance, cyber resilience, security and incident response solutions, completed the acquisition of Verus Analytics, a regulatory compliance provider of data-driven unclaimed property recovery services on behalf of state governments. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Verus’ focus on technology-based solutions for complex issues facing governments is a strategic extension of our business, and complements the work of our Kroll Business Intelligence and Investigations and Cyber Risk teams, as well as our valuation and corporate finance expertise. Importantly, the Verus team shares our same cultural ethos of professionalism, collaboration and transparency. I am thrilled to welcome Verus to Kroll," Jacob Silverman, Duff & Phelps President.
Verus Analytics was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Interstate Restoration, a provider of independent emergency response, decontamination, restoration and reconstruction services, agreed to acquire Rolyn, a full-service restoration company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Rolyn is one of the most respected names in our industry, with good reason. They have an outstanding leadership team and a highly-skilled workforce with expertise in all areas where we plan to grow as an organization. Welcoming Rolyn to Interstate is a great day for our company and great news for our clients," Stacy Mazur, Interstate Restoration CEO.
Interstate Restoration is advised by Groundfloor Media.
Hub International, a global insurance brokerage, agreed to acquire the life insurance product managing general agent business of ivari, a provider of a full range of insurance products and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
ivari's strategic refinement of resources will allow ivari to further support independent advisors and existing partnerships, a move that will strengthen their position in the marketplace as a mid-market insurance provider and offer growth opportunities in the future.
VMware, an American software company, agreed to acquire Datrium, a cloud-native disaster recovery provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"By joining forces with VMware, we will be able to accelerate our roadmap plans to support all the major cloud platforms, work with a broader partner community, including more than 4,400 members of the VMware Cloud Provider Program, and deliver more innovation faster," Tim Page, Datrium CEO.
Maxar Technologies, a space technology company, completed the acquisition of Vricon, a 3D data and analytics firm, for $140m.
"The Vricon software works on stacks and stacks of Maxar’s imagery and the Legion program will supercharge the Vricon machine. We will be able to create photo-realistic, 3D accurate data models overnight essentially, by harnessing the two capabilities together," Dan Jablonsky, Maxar CEO.
Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, and Peter Thiel completed the $200m investment in Anduril Industries. The investment values the company at $1.9bn post-money, almost double its last funding round in September.
"The money will enable Anduril to expand its development efforts in scale and scope as it tries to bring a fast-paced Silicon Valley approach to the slow-moving world of defense contracting. It’s self-funding its R&D rather than waiting for government contracts, making the confident wager that the artificial intelligence-laced surveillance and counter-drone systems it’s developing are going to be snapped up by a Pentagon hungry to tap more Silicon Valley tech," Brian Schimpf, Anduril CEO
MPS, a provider of content, learning, and platform solutions completed the acquisition of HighWire Press, a global provider of digital publishing tools and platform solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of HighWire further deepens our commitment to the academic/STM community, whom we were founded to serve back in 1970. We will further invest, build, and grow HighWire to advance global discovery, research, and innovation, which aligns with our overarching mission of making learning smarter," Rahul Arora, MPS CEO and Managing Director.
US Treasury considers lending $700m to YRC Worldwide.
The US government plans to lend $700m in coronavirus stimulus funds to trucking firm YRC Worldwide, in exchange for a 29.6% equity stake in the company, the Treasury Department said.
The Treasury said publicly traded YRC qualified for the loan under a provision of the $2.2tn law Congress enacted in late March that authorized $17bn for companies deemed essential to national security, WSJ reported.
Blackstone Property Partners to acquire 49% of Hudson Pacific Properties Hollywood Studio and office portfolio. (FS, RE)
Blackstone Property Partners agreed to acquire a 49% stake in a portfolio of three Hollywood studios and five on-lot or adjacent Class A office properties, at a gross portfolio valuation of $1.65bn currently owned and managed by Hudson Pacific Properties.
Under a new joint venture between the parties, HPP will retain a 51% ownership interest and remain responsible for day-to-day operations, leasing and development. The portfolio, which includes multiple properties currently under development, totals approximately 2.2m square feet and boasts tenants.
Singapore’s competition authority said it had raised concerns about the London Stock Exchange’s proposed $27bn acquisition of data and analytics company Refinitiv in an initial review.
The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore cited concern about the provision of foreign exchange benchmarks by the merged entity and said it would need to conduct a second phase review to consider the matter in detail.
“Third-party feedback revealed concerns as to whether the merged entity will continue to supply foreign exchange benchmarks at fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms to rival providers in the market for the global supply of index licensing and derivatives clearing services to customers globally (including Singapore),” Singapore’s competition authority.
Refinitiv is advised by Canson Capital Partners, Evercore, Jefferies & Company, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Eterna Partners. LSE is advised by RBC Capital Markets, Oliver Wyman, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Robey Warshaw, Blake Cassels & Graydon, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Teneo. Financial advisors are advised by Herbert Smith Freehills. CPPIB is advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges. Thomson Reuters is advised by Allen & Overy.
Novo, Eventide Asset Management and Wellington Management led a $120m Series C round for Freeline, a biotechnology company focused on developing curative gene therapies for chronic systemic diseases, with additional participation from Cowen Healthcare Investments, Acorn Bioventures and Ample Plus Fund.
"The potential of gene therapy to change patients’ lives has never been greater and we are delighted to have leading US and European biotechnology investors join us in this extended Series C financing. It comes at an exciting time for Freeline with our lead program in Haemophilia B progressing through clinical development, and with promising programs behind that, including a gene therapy treatment for Fabry Disease in the clinic and for Gaucher Disease and Haemophilia A in late preclinical development," Theresa Heggie, Freeline CEO.
Freeline was advised by JW Communications. Novo was advised by Latham & Watkins.
Axcel, a Nordic mid-market private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in AddPro, a Swedish provider of IT outsourcing, application and cloud integration services, from Adelis Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on the Nordic lower middle market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"AddPro’s impressive development and its market leading position, which Nicklas and his team has managed to build over the years, are a testimony to the strong corporate culture, the skilled management team, and the highly competent employees. AddPro has proven to be able to grow organically as well as acquisitively and we regard the company as a very attractive platform for continued growth," Christian Bamberger Bro, Axcel Partner.
Axcel is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young.
Totalmobile, a field service management software company, completed the acquisition of Software Enterprises, a provider of workforce management solutions and Lone Worker Solutions, a customised safety provider for lone workers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Following a transformational 2019, which saw Totalmobile deliver 70% revenue and 295% EBITDA growth, the acquisitions of Lone Worker Solutions and Global Rostering System creates further scale, offers entry into new market verticals and brings new, market-leading technology to enhance Totalmobile's market-leading FSM product suite," Mark Rogerson, Totalmobile Chair.
KLAR, a mid-market private equity firm focused on mission-critical products and services, completed the acquisition of Empower IM, a provider of software and BPO services for smart grids, energy market functions, smart energy metering and utilities, from Empower Group, a services provider to energy, industry and telecom sectors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The energy intelligence business has a strong position in the market and with its new committed owner, Empower IM is able to expand its business internationally. We believe that KLAR is well-suited to support the company's growth and has a solid understanding of the energy and utility industries and their respective potential," Mikko Vaahersalo, Empower Group CEO.
Simplify, a conveyancing and property services group, agreed to acquire Cook Taylor Woodhouse Solicitors, a provider of solicitation services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We acquired CTW because of its excellent reputation, strong team and scale in London and the south-east, which will complement Simplify’s own strengths. In a turbulent time for the housing market, it is great to be able to look forward and continue delivering our plans for growth and to further strengthen our position as the undisputed number 1 in UK conveyancing," David Grossman, Simplify CEO.
Unipol opposes the distribution of stake in Mediabanca among Generali shareholders.
Unipol, one of the investors in an Italian investment bank Mediabanca, announced it does not support the decision to distribute bank's stake among shareholders of the insurance company Generali.
Carlo Cimbri, Unipol CEO, said that the plan from activist investor Bluebell Partners to share Mediabanca's 13% stake in Generali as special dividend is "meaningless".
"By doing so you reduce Mediobanca's assets and make it weaker at a time when even the ECB has asked not to distribute dividends so as not to affect the capital," Carlo Cimbri, Unipol CEO.
Premier Oil abandons plans to acquire an additional stake in the Tolmount project.
Premier Oil said it would not acquire the additional 25% interest in the Tolmount gas project from South Korea's Dana Petroleum, while its creditors approved the acquisition of BP's North Sea assets under the amended terms, Reuters reported.
The UK-based oil and gas producer's creditors have approved the acquisition of the Andrew Area and Shearwater assets after BP last month agreed to discount the price of the North Sea assets it was selling to Premier Oil.
Aurelius Equity Opportunities, European buyout group, has made an offer to acquire troubled restaurant brands Café Rouge and Bella Italia from KKR-backed Casual Dining Group, FN reported.
In May, CDG filed an intent to call in administrators, as the Covid-19 shutdown measures deeply affected the operations of its restaurant chains. Since then, the company has been in negotiations with a number of potential buyers for some of its companies as well as its entire portfolio.
Kennet raises $250m for Kennet V. (FS)
Kennet Partners, a European technology growth equity investor focused on bootstrapped and capital-efficient companies, has raised $250m for its fifth fund, Kennet V, in partnership with Edmond de Rothschild. The Fund exceeded its target and secured new investors from across Europe and Asia.
"This fundraise is an important milestone for Kennet and demonstrates the success of our partnership with Edmond de Rothschild, which has provided us access to a range of new investors. Our experience investing in technology companies through multiple market cycles has shown that it is a good time to invest during times of profound change. We, therefore, believe that the coming 2-3 years will be an exciting time to deploy a fund," Michael Elias, Kennet Partners Managing Director.
Elysian Capital raised $333m in the first close for its third fund. (FS)
Elysian Capital, a UK buyout group, has held the first closing of its third fund at more than $333m, nearing its $370m target. The firm said the fund collected the sum within only three months and expects it to finish raising above its goal in the next months, PE Newsreported.
Elysian Capital III is larger than its predecessor, which was oversubscribed and closed in 2015 with total commitments of $308m. The new vehicle is set to follow the same strategy of the previous fund and focus on making majority-stake investments in lower middle-market companies.
Ares Management, an American publicly traded, global alternative asset manager, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in SSG Capital, an Asian alternative asset management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We believe SSG is the ideal partner for Ares to further expand into the strategically important Asian region. SSG is an experienced alternative investment manager with a long-tenured team with deep investment experience, well-established track record, comprehensive regional sourcing networks and global institutional investor relationships. We look forward to having Edwin Wong, Shyam Maheshwari, Andreas Vourloumis, Peter Cairns and their colleagues join our firm and we envision significant benefits for our respective investors and employees following this combination," Michael Arougheti, Ares Chief Executive Officer and President.
Ares Management was advised by Brunswick Group and Mendel Communications. SSG Capital was advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Jeju Air, South Korea's top budget carrier, said it may walk away from a deal agreed in principle to take over smaller Korean peer Eastar Jet, a Jeju Air official said on Thursday, as air travel slumps amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Jeju Air agreed in March to acquire 51% of Eastar Jet for $45m, a price lower than a preliminary deal to pay about $59m that Jeju Air reported in a regulatory filing in December.
Vietnam to divest the remaining 36% stake in Sabeco.
Vietnam's government will sell its remaining 36% stake in the country's largest brewer Sabeco by the end of this year. Sabeco, formally known as Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage, has a market capitalisation of $4.5bn, Reuters reported.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will complete the transfer of the stake to the state-owned State Capital Investment by the end of August to pave the way for the sale.
Sony considers the acquisition of Leyou.
Sony is weighing a bid for Leyou Technologies paving the way for an intensified bidding war for the Hong Kong-listed gaming firm, Bloomberg reported.
The Japanese tech giant is working with a financial adviser on the potential offer for Leyou. In May, the Chinese gaming firm confirmed it had received a non-binding takeover offer from Shenzhen-listed rival Zhejiang Century Huatong Group, after months of buyout talks with other bidders including iDreamSky Technology Holdings.
Perfect Diary to hire Goldman and Morgan Stanley for IPO. (FS)
Perfect Diary, the Chinese company behind the fast-growing cosmetics brand, has picked Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to prepare for a potential IPO, Bloomberg reported.
Guangzhou Yatsen E-Commerce, or Yatsen Global as it is known, aims to raise $400-500m in an offering, which could happen as soon as the end of this year. It has been considering Hong Kong among potential listing venues though no final decision has been made.
SK Biopharmaceuticals jumps 159% in its Seoul IPO.
SK Biopharmaceuticals, a biotechnology arm of SK Group in South Korea, surged to more than double the company's IPO price during its trading debut in the South Korean most massive first share sale in three years, Bloombergreported.
The stock soared 159% from the IPO price in Seoul, boosting its market cap to $8.2bn. SK Biopharmaceuticals now has the largest equity value among health-care stocks trading in the South Korea after Samsung Biologics, Celltrion and Celltrion Healthcare.
Warburg-backed Converge ICT hires banks for $700m IPO. (FS)
Converge ICT Solutions, a fibre-optic broadband services provider in the Philippines, has selected banks for its planned domestic IPO that could raise about $700m.
Bank of the Philippine Islands, BDO Unibank, Morgan Stanley and UBS Group are working with Converge ICT on the share sale, Bloomberg reported.
A listing by the Warburg Pincus-backed company could take place as early as this year.
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