A special panel of Hudson's Bay Co, a Canadian retail business group, said that the C$1.7bn ($1.3bn) take-private bid, proposed by Chairman Richard Baker and a group of shareholders, was inadequate based on initial analysis. The offer was announced in June 2019.
JP Morgan and Blake Cassels & Graydon are advising Hudson's Bay Co.
SnapAV, a leading manufacturer and primary source of A/V, surveillance, networking and remote management products for professional integrators, and Control4, a leading global provider of smart home solutions, completed their $680m merger deal. The agreement was announced in May 2019.
“Together with SnapAV, we will be able to invest even more in innovation, bring together and build upon the very best of our combined capabilities, and do so with improved reliability, responsiveness, security, and privacy for consumers. Today’s announcement will enable us to better serve the expanding smart home market, making the lives of integrators easier and their businesses more effective and efficient.” Martin Plaehn, Control4 Chairman and CEO.
Raymond James and Goodwin Procter advised Control4. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advised SnapAV.
The US Federal Trade Commission said it was suing to stop Evonik Industries' proposed $625m purchase of rival hydrogen peroxide maker PeroxyChem Holding Company from One Equity Partners. The deal was announced in November 2018.
“It is disappointing that the FTC has taken this step to block the acquisition in the highly competitive hydrogen peroxide industry,” said Christian Kullmann, chairman of the executive board of Evonik, in a statement. “We remain optimistic that we will prevail at trial and complete the acquisition.”
Barclays and Dechert are advising One Equity Partners.
Fox Corporation, an American television broadcasting company, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Credible Labs, a leading consumer finance marketplace, for $265m.
Fox Corporation Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lachlan Murdoch said: "The acquisition of Credible underscores Fox Corporation's innovative digital strategy that emphasizes direct interactions with our consumers to provide services they want and expand their engagement with us across platforms. Credible, which has tremendous synergy with core brands such as FOX Business and FOX Television Stations and will benefit from our audience reach and scale, will drive strategic growth, further develop our brand verticals and deepen consumer relationships."
Herbert Smith Freehills and Kirkland & Ellis are advising Fox Corporation.
Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, sold Evans Food Group, a leading global producer of branded and private label pork rinds, to Highlander Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
José Luis Prado, CEO of Evans, stated, “I want to thank Wind Point, our board of directors and my team for their partnership and dedication over the past three years. Together we have transformed Evans into a powerful salty snack platform that is well-positioned to continue delighting our customers, employees and all stakeholders. We are excited about our future and look forward to continuing our progress in partnership with Highlander Partners.”
William Blair & Co and White & Case advised Evans.
Related Fund Management, Brookhaven Rail Partners, and Stephens Capital Partners closed their acquisition of Pioneer Railcorp, a railroad holding company that owns short-line railroads and several other railroad-related businesses including a railroad equipment company and a contract switching services company. The deal was announced in May 2019.
Andrew Right, Managing Partner of Related Instructure, said, “Short-line railroads play a key role in our country’s transportation infrastructure and are critical to the national and global economy. Pioneer, operating across 12 states, services a diverse set of customers with a wide array of cargo from agriculture to finished products. We are excited to work with Brookhaven and the talented team at Pioneer to invest in the business, to provide even better service to our customers and to further grow the business by adding new customers who can benefit from the reliability and cost advantages of rail transport and by driving expansion across the platform.”
BMO Capital Markets and Briggs and Morgan advised Pioneer Railcorp. Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer advised the buyers.
Central Bancompany, a Missouri-based bank holding company, completed its $104m acquisition ofLiberty Bancorp, the holding company for BankLiberty. Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Liberty common shareholders received $42 in cash for each share of Liberty common stock they own.
Brent Giles, Chairman and CEO of Liberty, stated, “The partnership between BankLiberty and Central Bank is a natural one. Our values align strongly, and we look forward to providing our customers with the same service they’ve come to expect from BankLiberty with the added resources and financial services from Central Bank.”
Raymond James and Kilpatrick Townsend advised Liberty.
Private equity firm Level Equity invested in Planet DDS, the company behind Denticon, the leading cloud-based dental practice management software solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The past four years have been very exciting for us at Planet DDS,” noted President Blake Rice. “Demand for our software has picked up considerably in response to the dental industry’s accelerating consolidation and adoption of cloud-based technology.”
Wpromote, an award-winning digital marketing agency, acquired Growth Pilots, a San Francisco-based paid media marketing agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're proud to be a dedicated partner that stops at nothing to achieve results for our clients," said Soso Sazesh, Growth Pilots Founder & CEO. "As we've matured, so have our clients, and we're excited to meet their needs beyond our current service set. Joining the Wpromote team allows us to expand our capabilities and better serve our clients as they grow and their needs evolve."
Engineering and architecture companies Short Elliott Hendrickson and Russell Planning & Engineering completed their merger deal. The deal was announced in June 2019. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Early in the due diligence process, we recognized the value both companies could offer to employees and clients. Mike Russell and his company are well-known, well-respected and award-winning. We look forward to leveraging the talents of both companies for the benefit of our clients and our employees.” David Ott, SEH President and CEO.
Piper Jaffray, a leading investment bank and institutional equities firm, closed its acquisition of Weeden & Co, a broker-dealer focused on providing institutional clients with premier global trading solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Together, we will be able to offer our combined client set the full breadth of an expanded product suite including Weeden & Co.’s highly ranked agency execution platform coupled with Piper Jaffray’s industry-leading deep sector research making our offering far more robust and relevant,” said Deb Schoneman, president of Piper Jaffray.
Platinum Equity and Littlejohn-backed Interior Logic Group acquired Flooring Systems, a Houston, Texas based design studio services and flooring installation business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of Flooring Systems is essential for ILG to now fully complete our Texas go to market strategy. This will allow us to offer the same portfolio of interior finish solutions across all of Texas that we perform nationally as the industry’s leading provider,” said ILG President and CEO Alan Davenport. “We believe the combination of Houston market excellence with ILG’s national customer relationships and buying power will provide an opportunity to further accelerate our growth in the industry.”
Blackstone considers a buy out of Indiabulls Real Estate's commercial properties. (FS)
Blackstone Group is set to buy the remaining 50% stake in Indiabulls Real Estate's commercial properties for about INR48bn ($689m), the Economic Times reported.
The deal, which will give the private-equity giant full control of the portfolio, is expected to be concluded over the next few weeks.
Textron is exploring options for fuel tanks unit.
Cessna business jets maker Textron said it would explore options for its unit that manufactures fuel tanks for vehicles, including a sale or a spinoff, as it focuses on its higher-margin businesses.
The company’s shares rose 3.13% to $48.5 before the bell. The unit, Kautex, is part of Textron’s industrial business, which reported a profit margin of 6.6% in the first six months of 2019, the lowest among the company’s four units.
Goldman Sachs is Textron’s financial adviser.
Nyca Partners raises $210m to invest in fintech startups. (FS)
Nyca Partners, a firm with investments in financial technology businesses including PayRange, Trellis, Affirm, and Acorns, has collected another $210m for its third venture capital fund.
Located in New York, Nyca’s debut fund closed on $31m in 2014. Its second fund, a similarly focused fintech effort, raised $125m in 2017.
Exo Imaging raised $35m in Series B round. (FS)
Exo Imaging, a company pioneering a high-performance ultrasound platform based on patented Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers technology and artificial intelligence for imaging and therapeutic applications, announced a $35m Series B financing round. The company was founded in 2015 and has raised nearly $50m to date. Intel Capital led the Series B.
Other investors in Exo include Applied Ventures, Bold Capital, Creative Ventures, Longevity Vision Fund, Magnetar Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, OSF Healthcare, Rising Tide Fund, Sony Innovation Fund, and Wanxiang Healthcare Investments.
Capstar Ventures seeks to raise $75m. (FS)
Austin-based Capstar Ventures will raise up to $75m for its inaugural fund, according to an SEC filing. The firm expects to raise funds in less than a year. Kathryn Cavanaugh, previously a partner with Grace Beauty Capital, serves as managing partner at the company.
Wexford Lodging Advisors and Trinity Private Equity Group JV to acquire 398-Room Marriott Kansas City, Overland Park. (FS)
Officials of a joint venture comprised of Wexford Lodging Advisors, a leading hotel investment and asset management firm, and Trinity Private Equity Group, one of the nation’s top alternative investment firms, acquired the 398-room Marriott Kansas City Overland Park. The joint venture will invest approximately $17m to upgrade the property’s guest rooms and public spaces. Davidson Hotels and Resorts, one of the nation’s largest third-party management companies, will operate the hotel.
Warburg Pincus looking to sell Accelya. (FS)
Private equity firm Warburg Pincus is looking to sell Accelya, a leading provider of technology products and services to the travel and transport industry. The deal could value the firm at approximately $1.7bn.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is advising on the sale.
Takeaway, a Dutch dot-com company specialized in online food ordering and home delivery, and Just Eat, an online food order and delivery service, agreed on the terms of a recommended deal to create the world's largest online food delivery firm outside China. The companies said they had backed the deal as outlined on 29 July, with Just Eat shareholders receiving 0.09744 new Takeaway.com shares for each of their shares.
Goldman Sachs, UBS, Oakley Advisory, Linklaters and Brunswick Group are advising Just Eat. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lazard, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, NautaDutilh and Slaughter & May are advising Takeaway.
ICAMAP, an independent real estate fund manager, and Ivanhoe Cambridge, a Canadian real estate company, offered to acquire easyHotel, an international super budget hotel chain headquartered in London, at a £138m ($168m) valuation. The offer represents a premium of approximately 34.8% to the closing price for each easyHotel share on 2 August 2019.
Commenting on the offer, Jonathan Lane OBE, Chairman of easyHotel, said: "The Independent easyHotel Directors consider that the offer is fair and reasonable and in the best interests of shareholders, the Company, its employees and wider stakeholders. Liquidity in easyHotel stock has been limited since the Company was admitted to AIM five years ago. If accepted, the offer should enable the easyHotel Group to accelerate its expansion into major European cities where it sees significant opportunity, underpinning the long-term growth and prosperity of the easyHotel brand."
Investec, Stephenson Harwood and Houston PR are advising easyHotel. Lazard, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Allen & Overy and Tulchan Communications are advising the buyers.
KKR's offer to buy out minority shareholders in Axel Springer, a German digital publishing house, cleared its minimum acceptance threshold of 20%, both firms said on Monday, bringing a plan to take the German publisher private closer to completion. The deal was announced in June 2019.
"This is an important milestone for our planned strategic partnership with KKR," Axel Springer's Chief Executive Officer Mathias Doepfner said in a statement. Completion of the deal remains subject to various regulatory approvals.
Allen & Company, Goldman Sachs, Lazard and Hengeler Mueller are advising Axel Springer. JP Morgan, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are advising KKR.
Funds advised by the global private equity advisory firm Apax Partners acquired ADCO Group, the global market leader in the mobile sanitary unit sector. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Renate Gerstenberg, CEO of ADCO Group, said: “We are very pleased to partner with Apax, who will support us alongside our existing shareholders in providing a long-term growth perspective for our company. This allows us to take the next step in developing our successful business model and investing even more in internationalization and digitalization. Together, we will lead ADCO into a prosperous future and continue to offer our customers innovative high-quality products and solutions, while also ensuring the company remains a great place to work for our employees.”
EY, Citigroup and KWM advised ADCO. Houlihan Lokey and Kirkland & Ellis advised Apax.
Swiss Re's ReAssure Group, a leading UK closed book life insurance consolidator, agreed to acquire life insurance and pension unit of Quilter, a financial services company, for £425m ($517m).
Mark Hodges, Chief Executive Officer of ReAssure, commented: "I am delighted to announce our latest acquisition. We have a long history of value-creating transactions and today's announcement is further evidence of our ability to grow our business."
Evercore and Brunswick Group are advising ReAssure.
Private equity firm Progressio acquired a minority stake in Polenghi Food, one of the leading global players active in the distribution of lemon and lime juice products for the condiments industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Filippo Gaggini, Progressio Managing Partner said: “We are very happy to have the opportunity to support Marco in this ambitious project that targets the company in a new phase of growth and consolidation. Polenghi is the fifth investment of the Progressio Investimenti III fund realized in the last 18 months. Once again we focus on Italian excellence and on markets where our companies have the right know-how to play as champions”.
Gobbi & Associati and Studio Pedersoli e Associati advised Polenghi Food. EY, Bain & Co, White & Case and Russo De Rosa Associati advised Progressio.
BGF-backed Fleetondemand, a European mobility technology provider, acquired FleetEurope, a Buckinghamshire-based vehicle management company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Chris Boyes and John Eggleston, who led the investment for BGF, said: “FleetEurope is a well-established player within the fleet sector that has shown unprecedented growth over the last three years. This impressive performance, combined with its experienced management team, broad range of long-standing clients and its reputation for service excellence were influential in our decision to invest in the business.”
Resolution Partners and Osborne Clarke advised FleetEurope. Gateley advised BGF. KPMG and Freeths advised Fleetondemand.
US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao granted tentative approval for an expanded transatlantic joint venture made up of Delta Air Lines, Air France KLM and Virgin Atlantic. The expanded joint venture would replace two previously approved arrangements in the US-United Kingdom and US-Continental Europe markets and will allow for additional benefits like more options on European flights, a Department of Transportation statement said.
The deal involves Air France-KLM buying 31% of Virgin Atlantic from Richard Branson's Virgin Group, giving it joint control of the airline together with Delta and Virgin Group.
Herbert Smith Freehills is advising Virgin Atlantic. Clifford Chance is advising Air France.
Total, a major energy player that produces and markets fuels, natural gas and low-carbon electricity, agreed to sell a 30% stake in Trapil pipeline to Pisto, a leading independent crude oil and refined product storage operator, for $290m.
"The sale of Total's interest in this infrastructure reflects its active portfolio management strategy. Rather than own infrastructure assets, the Group's aim is to hold contracts to use such infrastructure when needed to manage its industrial assets. This sale will help us achieve our target of divesting $5bn in assets over the period 2019-2020," commented Jean-Pierre Sbraire, Chief Financial Officer of Total.
KKR agreed to acquire a stake in heidelpay, one of the fastest-growing and most innovative fintech service providers in Germany, from AnaCap Financial Partners, a European financial services specialist investor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Daniel Knottenbelt, Member and Head of EMEA Financial Services at KKR, said: “We look forward to working together with Mirko and his highly experienced management team to help heidelpay continue to grow. We see enormous growth potential both organically and through M&A across Europe. We will draw on our deep sector knowledge, track record of working with founders, and our expertise through 20 years of investing in Germany to further shape heidelpay’s unique profile.”
Henry Schein, the world’s largest provider of health care solutions to office-based dental and medical practitioners, acquired a majority stake in Cliniclands, an innovative distributor serving dental practices throughout Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Cliniclands is a rapidly growing, successful company built upon a valuable business model,” said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein. “We are delighted to partner with the co-founders and the entire Cliniclands team. Our two companies have a shared commitment to the use of advanced technology to help our customers run successful, profitable businesses. We expect to achieve meaningful operating synergies and category expansion while expediting the delivery of products to Scandinavian dental customers.”
Illycaffe, the global coffee industry leader in quality, direct trade and ethical supply chain practices, acquired the illy division of Euro Food Brands, dedicated to the distribution of illy products in the UK. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We evaluated this move carefully – said Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of Illycaffe – and decided it was now time to further develop this strategic market by strengthening our focus and efforts there. By internalizing the distribution, we will be able to directly steer the development of the illy brand and grow the relationships we have with our UK customers. We will keep investing in the UK market in order to really boost our presence there. I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank Euro Food Brands, which has been distributing illy products during the last 25 years, significantly contributing to the success of our brand in the United Kingdom.”
Rostelecom, the largest digital service provider in Russia, acquired Alliance Telecom Group, which has been providing internet access and TV services across the Primorsky region since 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Anna Shumeyko, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff of the Presidential executive office of Rostelecom, commented: "The acquisition will strengthen Rostelecom's position in the broadband internet market in the Primorsky region. We are seeing a lot of opportunities to realize the synergy effects from operational cost optimization as well as from upselling the Alliance Telecom subscriber base with an expanded set of services, currently available to Rostelecom's clients."
Elliott calls for the break-up and more significant buyback at Germany's Scout24. (FS)
US activist investor Elliott has urged German classifieds group Scout24 to sell its car listings business and ramp up a share buyback program to boost returns to investors.
Elliott, opening a new front in its broader push to shake up corporate Germany, accused Scout24 Chief Executive Tobias Hartmann of showing a lack of ambition and urged his management team to take immediate remedial action.
“Should you take the decisive action needed to remove the impediments holding back Scout24, we believe the share price could rise to in excess of €65 ($72) per share,” Elliott said in a letter.
Banca Ifis in talks to merge bad debt business with Credito Fondiario.
Italy's Banca IFIS is in exclusive talks to sell some of its operations to rival Credito Fondiario, in a deal that would create a leading player in the soured loans market.
Under the deal, Venice-based IFIS would fold its bad loan collection and purchasing businesses into a new entity which would then become part of Credito Fondiario, with IFIS keeping a minority stake.
Both IFIS and Credito Fondiario were early movers in spotting the opportunity provided by Italy's booming market for lousy bank debts. They have grown their businesses to become both buyers and managers of other banks' loan portfolios.
Egyptian digital payments company Fawry IPO oversubscribed 30 times.
The initial public offering for Egyptian digital payments company Fawry was oversubscribed 30.3 times, data from the Egyptian stock exchange showed.
Australia's competition watchdog said it would not oppose Wesfarmers' $160m acquisition of Catch Group, an e-commerce retailer. The deal was announced in June 2019.
"The current growth in online marketplaces is fostering competition between providers, and feedback indicated that Wesfarmers' proposed acquisition of Catch would be unlikely to change that level of competition," Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said.
moneycorp, an international company offering foreign exchange and global payment services, acquires the Rochford Group, one of Australia’s largest independent treasury advisors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Commenting on the acquisition, Nick Haslehurst, CFO of moneycorp said: “We have worked with the team at Rochford Capital for several years and saw a very strong fit in our own client-led approach to providing effective risk management solutions. We are delighted to have the Rochford team joining us and believe we can help accelerate Rochford’s growth by deploying their operating model through the moneycorp group."
AUB Group, Australasia’s largest equity-based insurance broker network, offered to acquire Coverforce, Australia's largest privately-owned insurance broker, from Pemba Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Mike Emmett, CEO and Managing Director of AUB Group said, “Coverforce is a recognized and well-regarded business in the Australian broker market with a strong presence across the general insurance SME segment, leadership in key specialty markets and close alignment to AUB Group’s core business. The proposed acquisition is
consistent with AUB Group’s disciplined M&A strategy to acquire businesses that accelerate scale & growth, leverage and expand our expertise in key insurance risk areas and market segments, whilst adding to our core capabilities. I look forward to working with Pemba Capital and all other Coverforce shareholders on the execution of a successful transaction”.
Papua New Guinea shows backing of Total LNG deal.
Papua New Guinea signaled it was backing a previously agreed liquefied natural gas deal with French oil significant Total, although it said that some terms still needed negotiating.
The deal, for a project called Papua LNG, was agreed in April but put up for review after the prime minister who signed it was ousted in a parliamentary vote in May, following a political crisis caused by discontent over the distribution of resource riches.
Australia's VGI seeks to raise $679m for new Asian listed investment fund. (FS)
Australian wealth manager VGI Partners said it intends to raise up to A$1bn ($679m) for a new Asian-equities focused investment company through an initial public offering.
The offer price under the IPO on the Australian Securities Exchange will be A$2.50 ($1.7) per share for the investment company, to be called VG8.
Invitations to apply for ordinary shares in the new investment company will be made during the current calendar year, the company said in a statement.
Navis said to mull exiting the investment in Hanoi French Hospital. (FS)
Southeast Asia-focused private equity firm Navis Capital Partners is looking to exit its investment in Vietnam's Hanoi French Hospital, DealStreetAsia reported.
Falcon House considers divesting Indonesian hospitality brand Potato Head. (FS)
PE Firm Falcon House Partners is in talks to sell its existing stake in Indonesia's lifestyle and hospitality brand Potato Head Family, DealStreetAsia reported.
SG’s Pandan Ventures in talks with GPs to join first tech fund of up to $100m. (FS)
Pandan Ventures, a newly-formed venture capital firm in Singapore, is in talks with at least two general partners to join its first early-stage tech fund.
Didi Chuxing spins off the self-driving unit as an independent company.
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said it had launched its autonomous driving unit as an independent company that will focus on research and looks to deepen collaboration with automakers.
Didi‘s chief technology officer, Zhang Bo, has been named CEO of the autonomous driving unit. He will continue to be CTO of the ride-hailing giant.
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