The Chatterjee Group and Rhône Group, two private equity firms, agreed to acquire Lummus Technology, a technology licensor of proprietary gas processing, refining, and petrochemical and coal gasification technologies, from McDermott, a Panamanian-domiciled multinational engineering, procurement, construction and installation company, for $2.7bn. The sale is a part of McDermott's recently announced Chapter11 bankruptcy plan.
"The restructuring transaction, which has the full support from all of our funded creditors, including our unsecured bondholders, is further recognition of McDermott's fundamentally solid operating business and proven strategy. Our record backlog, the majority of which has been booked in the last two years, and high rate of new project awards demonstrates our customers' continued confidence in our business, the demand for our skills and our long-term opportunities ahead," David Dickson, McDermott President and Chief Executive Officer.
McDermott is advised by AP Services, Evercore, Prime Clerk, Arias Fabrega & Fabrega, Baker Botts, Jackson Walker, and Kirkland & Ellis.
Clubessential Holdings, a provider of membership and club management solutions to the private club, college athletics, and health and fitness markets, agreed to acquire Vermont Systems, a provider of recreation management software for public entities. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This acquisition expands Clubessential Holdings' presence to municipal, county, state, and federal military public markets.
"Vermont Systems is at the forefront of providing innovative and comprehensive software solutions that empower recreation departments and professionals around the world. We are excited to join forces with Clubessential Holdings to drive future innovation, collaboration, and new products and services for our valued clients," Giles Willey, VSI President & CEO.
Vermont Systems is advised by Needham & Co and DLA Piper. Clubessential is advised by Cooley.
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Canadian pension plan operator, and the Fonds de solidarite, a development capital fund, agreed to acquire Canam Group, an industrial company that designs and fabricates construction products and solutions, from American Industrial Partners, a private equity firm, for C$840m ($643m).
“This transaction will repatriate control of the company to Québec and allow it to continue expanding, guided by its strong entrepreneurial culture. We are delighted to continue working with the Dutil family and support Groupe Canam, a partner of over 25 years,” Charles Émond, CDPQ Executive Vice-President of Private Equity and Strategic Planning.
Seaside Equity Partners agreed to acquire TalentSmart, provider of emotional intelligence training for clients ranging from the military to Fortune 500 companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to partner with TalentSmart and Seaside Equity on this investment. TalentSmart is a dynamic, growing company, and their in-demand products demonstrate that emotional intelligence is a key ingredient for success, both in business and personal life," Don Rice, LBC Small Cap Partner.
Debt financing is provided by LBC Credit Partners.
Platinum Equity agreed to acquire Centerfield, a technology-driven marketing and customer acquisition company. Centerfield also acquired Digital Ventures, which operates web sites in home security, residential services, senior services, and other verticals. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
"Centerfield has delivered millions of customers and sales to many of America's largest brands. The company has strong leadership and a proven technology platform and is well-positioned to accelerate its growth both organically and through acquisitions like Digital Ventures," Jacob Kotzubei, Platinum Equity Partner.
Centerfield is advised by Petsky Prunier Securities.
Toro, a worldwide provider of solutions for the outdoor environment including turf and landscape maintenance, snow and ice management, underground utility construction, rental and specialty construction, agreed to acquire Venture Products, the manufacturer of Ventrac-branded tractors and attachments, for $167m.
“Ventrac is well recognized in the industry for its market-leading innovation and commitment to meeting the diverse needs of customers. This acquisition supports our growth strategy in the professional market with the addition of a strong brand and expanded product offering to customers in the turf, landscape, and snow and ice maintenance categories. We have long respected and admired the Ventrac team, and we look forward to helping them grow on the successful foundation they have built in Orrville, Ohio,” Richard M. Olson, Toro Chairman, and CEO.
FireEye, the intelligence-led security company, completed its acquisition of Cloudvisory, which provides continuous visibility, compliance, and security policy governance solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Joining FireEye offers Cloudvisory a unique opportunity to combine our innovative approach to cloud visibility and FireEye’s unrivaled insights into the threat landscape. We are excited by the potential to quickly scale and help more organizations secure their cloud and container workloads,” Lisun Kung, Cloudvisory Co-founder and CEO.
Grace Hill, which provides online training for property management industry, agreed to acquire Kingsley Associates, a provider of real estate customer insights solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As an industry, we have so much data, and we strive to turn it into insight and then ultimately action. We see the opportunity to better connect resident and tenant insights to team performance. In short, Kingsley delivers insight, Grace Hill delivers action, and together we close the loop on talent performance," Dru Armstrong, Grace Hill CEO.
Reynolds prepares $1.3bn US IPO.
Reynolds Consumer Products, the maker of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil and Hefty trash bags, set the terms for a proposed US IPO that could raise as much as $1.3bn.
The company plans to offer 47.17m shares at an estimated price range of $25 to $28 apiece, it said in a regulatory filing Tuesday. It also added Academy Securities to a junior role on the deal, bringing the total number of arrangers to 11.
Gold Fields to hire RBC to explore the sale of a 30% stake in Chilean gold project.
South African miner Gold Fields hired investment bank RBC Capital Markets to explore the sale of a 30% stake in its gold project in northern Chile, Reutersreported. Gold Fields received environmental approval for the construction of Salares Norte, a mine high in the Andes mountains, in December, and said it would decide whether to go ahead in the first half of 2020 as it needs $834m in funds.
“We have not yet finalized the funding mechanism for the project should we decide to go ahead,” Sven Lunsche, Gold Fields spokesman.
HG Vora pushes Tegna to consider a sale or merger. (FS)
Hedge fund HG Vora wants Tegna, a US regional TV station operator, to pursue a merger or sale, arguing a tie-up could be very valuable at a time the industry is facing a wave of consolidation, Reutersreported.
HG Vora Capital Management, which owns about 4% of Tegna’s stock, is the third investor to push for changes at Tegna. Standard General has laid the groundwork for a proxy contest, and Donerail also wants changes to be made.
VF to explore options for nine brands.
VF said it was starting a review for nine workwear brands that target businesses, including Red Kap and Bulwark, as the apparel maker looks to focus on its retail-oriented brands such as Vans. The company said the brands under review represented about $865m of its total fiscal 2019 revenue of $13.85bn and about 50% of the workwear segment’s sales.
It also said divesting the brands, including VF Solutions that sells uniform to businesses and governmental organizations, would give it the financial flexibility to plan future divestments.
Sharp to acquire the assets of ACE Office Solutions.
Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America acquired the assets of ACE Office Solutions to successfully expand the Sharp Business Systems direct sales operations within the state of New Jersey.
"We are very pleased to welcome our newest members to the Sharp Business Systems team in New Jersey. We are confident ACE's culture of devoted and highly-trained customer service will translate well into Sharp's current culture of excellence," Joe McCormack, Sharp Business Systems Senior Vice President.
European competition authorities are expected to rule on the London Stock Exchange’s $27bn takeover of data and analytics company Refinitiv “around the summer”, Reutersreported. LSE agreed in August to buy Refinitiv in a deal aimed at offering trading across regions and currencies and establishing the British company as a rival to Bloomberg, triggering speculation about the possible sale of assets to gain antitrust approval and to fund the deal.
“The Milan stock exchange is a strategic asset for LSE, it is not up for sale at the moment”, Raffaele Jerusalmi LSE director, and Borsa Italiana Chief Executive.
Refinitiv is advised by Canson Capital Partners, Evercore, Jefferies & Company, Allen & Overy, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Eterna Partners. LSEG is advised by RBC Capital Markets, Oliver Wyman, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Robey Warshaw, Blake Cassels & Graydon, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, and Teneo. CPPIB is advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges. Thomson Reuters is advised by Allen & Overy.
Fortna, a global automation, engineering services and software company, agreed to acquire Pierau Planung, a European-based company in supply chain and logistics design, consulting, and project management. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Pierau shares the same core values of commitment to world-class customer service, innovation excellence, and best-of-breed, supplier-agnostic solutions, making them the ideal cultural and strategic fit to join the Fortna family,” Marc Austin, Fortna EMEA Managing Director.
Fortna is advised by Pricewaterhousecoopers and Kirkland & Ellis.
Deutsche Boerse-baked Clearstream, a seller and broker of securities, agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Fondcenter, the B2B fund distribution platform of UBS, a multinational investment bank, for $402m.
"We are delighted to reach this agreement with Clearstream, building on the successful relationship we have had with them and Deutsche Börse Group for many years. Through this transaction, and our long-term cooperation arrangements, we can achieve greater scale and breadth of offering for our clients and create significant value for our shareholders," Sergio P. Ermotti, UBS Group CEO.
Deutsche Boerse is advised by Ardea Partners and Bar & Karrer.
GS Engineering & Construction, one of the largest construction companies in South Korea, agreed to acquire Danwood, a Polish manufacturer of turnkey prefabricated houses, from Enterprise Investors, a private equity firm, for €140m ($155m).
”We strongly believe that under the new ownership Danwood has the potential to further strengthen its market position in Europe and reach for new markets outside the EU, becoming a global leader in the production of energy-efficient prefabricated houses,” Jarosław Jurak, Danwood President and CEO.
Carrefour, a French food retailer, agreed to acquire Potager City, the distributor of online subscription-based boxes of extra-fresh and seasonal fruit & vegetables. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With this acquisition, Carrefour is strengthening its food e-commerce offering. Customers will be able to subscribe to a practical, commitment-free box delivery service, providing them with extra-fresh, seasonal and local products that are both tasty and responsible, fully in line with our company purpose – the food transition for all !” Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Carrefour Executive Director of E-Commerce, Data and Digital Transformation.
DP World, a port operator, agreed to acquire a 44% stake in Swissterminal Holding, an operator of container terminals in Switzerland. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are delighted to be able to invest in an innovative operator of container terminals that has extensive expertise, committed employees, and solid values. The strategic partnership with Swissterminal strengthens DP World’s position as a leading provider of solutions for domestic supply chains. Swissterminal is the perfect addition to our existing range of inland terminals and seaport services in Europe. We look forward to jointly developing new intermodal solutions for our customers in the future." Dr. Martin Neese, DP World Inland Managing Director.
Blackstone is planning to acquire Israeli credit card company Isracard at a $810m valuation.
Isracard, was formed in 1975 by Bank Hapoalim, led by Yaakov Levinson, has three main operating segments: financing activity, debit card issuance, and clearing. It provides full discount and clearing services to the four debit card brands – Isracard, MasterCard, American Express, and Visa.
Kretinsky raised stake in French retailer Casino. (FS)
Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky and his junior partner Patrik Tkac said they had raised their stake in Casino to 5.64% from 4.63%, in a further show of support to the troubled French retailer.
The move comes as Casino CEO and controlling shareholder Jean-Charles Naouri is hunting for ways to ease the company's debts - and those of parent company Rallye - in part through asset sales.
"We continue to give our full support to the management ... and our confidence in its ability to implement its long-term strategic vision, to which we subscribe," Daniel Kretinsky and Patrik Tkac, Casino's second-largest shareholding duo.
Meridian Foundation and the Beisheim Group raised stake in Metro.
Investors Meridian Foundation and the Beisheim Group raised their stake in German wholesaler Metro to about 23% and are open to buying more shares, they said, adding they believe the firm is undervalued.
"The current stock price does not accurately reflect Metro's intrinsic value," Meridian and Beisheim.
Mechel keeps options open on Elga coal mine stake.
Russian steel and coal producer Mechel said it did not take up an option to buy back a stake in its Elga coal mine by a deadline on Monday, Reuters reported. It sold a 49% stake in the Elga project in Russia’s far east, its biggest asset, to Gazprombank, one of its main creditors, in 2016 as part of a debt restructuring process.
The mine holds one of the world’s largest coking coal deposits with reserves of 2.2bn tonnes and Mechel, controlled by businessman Igor Zyuzin, was granted a pre-emptive right by Gazprombank to repurchase a 34% stake before a deadline that expired on Monday.
Melrose considers $3bn divestment of Nortek Air Businesses.
Melrose Industries, the British buyout specialist, is considering selling the bulk of its Nortek division, Bloomberg reported. Birmingham-based Melrose is working with advisers to weigh options for the division’s air businesses, which sell products, including heating, ventilation, and cooling systems. It is seeking to raise more than $3bn from the sale.
Melrose bought Nortek in 2016 for $2.8bn, including debt. The original Nortek businesses’ adjusted operating profit has risen 40% under Melrose’s ownership, it said in a September investor presentation.
CDC Group plans to invest £2bn in African businesses over the next two years.
CDC Group, the UK’s publicly owned impact investor, is to commit a further £2bn into African businesses over the next two years, as it looks to double the size of its portfolio on the continent.
The company, the world’s largest bilateral development investor in Africa, today unveiled at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London a string of new partnerships totaling nearly $400m. The bulk of funds will be to provide African banks with greater liquidity to support SMEs, entrepreneurs, and microbusinesses in their regions.
CityFibre to buy TalkTalk's York fibre network for £200m.
Britain’s TalkTalk agreed to sell its fibre-to-the-premises network, which has rolled out ultra-fast broadband connections in the northern city of York, to Goldman Sachs-backed CityFibre for £200m ($260m).
TalkTalk also agreed a wholesale deal with CityFibre, which will see it switch its residential and business customers to CityFibre’s FTTP networks, helping underpin the fibre network operator’s expansion.
“We think the value is good, it’s more than three times the investment that we’ve made,” Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk CEO.
TalkTalk is advised by Lazard.
Peninsula to make a binding offer for 23% share in Illy Group. (FS)
Private equity firm Peninsula made a binding offer to buy 23% of Illy Group, the holding company that owns both premium coffee maker Illycaffe and the non-coffee businesses of the Illy family, Reuters reported.
Peninsula is interested in the 23% stake in the hands of Francesco Illy but needs to get the approval of the other family members, who own the remaining 77% of the group, to finalize the deal.
Orsted favors small deals over big M&A.
Denmark’s Orsted, the world’s largest operator of offshore wind parks, plans to steer clear of super-sized takeovers, its chief executive said, preferring small deals to keep the group among the biggest renewable players.
“I’m fundamentally convinced that you de-risk your M&A strategy by not overstretching it. I’d rather make a series of small acquisitions than one big bang where we could stumble,” Henrik Poulsen, Orsted CEO.
Yara non-fertiliser business CEO quits but IPO plans remains.
Norwegian fertilizer maker Yara said the chief executive of its non-fertilizer business had resigned but plans to list the unit remained under consideration.
The company appointed Yves Bonte to lead the new venture, which has yet to be named, but said Bonte had decided to leave the company to take over as CEO and chairman at Belgium’s Domo Chemicals.
“There is no connection between the status of this process and Yves choosing to take this position,” Thor Giaever, Yara spokesman.
Ares Management, an American publicly traded, global alternative asset manager, agreed to acquire 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, a 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 is advised by Brunswick Group and Mendel Communications.
Ant Financial-backed Zomato, an Indain food delivery app, agreed to acquire the food delivery business in India of Uber. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our Uber Eats team in India has achieved an incredible amount over the last two years, and I couldn’t be prouder of their ingenuity and dedication. India remains an exceptionally important market to Uber and we will continue to invest in growing our local Rides business, which is already the clear category leader. We have been very impressed by Zomato’s ability to grow rapidly in a capital-efficient manner and we wish them continued success,” Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO.
China Water Environment considers $500m Hong Kong IPO.
China Water Environment Group, backed by the nation’s state-owned investment holding company, is considering an IPO in Hong Kong that could raise more than $500m, Bloomberg reported. The water treatment company is working with advisers on a listing that could take place as soon as in the second half of this year.
China Water Environment Group, founded in 2013, runs underground wastewater treatment plants across 19 cities in the country, including Beijing and Shanghai.
Air France-KLM in talks to buy 49% of Malaysia Airlines, JAL looks for 25% stake.
Proposals to invest in ailing Malaysia Airlines include one from Air France-KLM, which wants as much as 49%, while Japan Airlines is looking at a 25% stake, Reuters reported. Domestic carrier AirAsia Group and Malindo Air, the Malaysian arm of Indonesia’s Lion Air, have also submitted proposals.
Air France-KLM said it had previously held talks with the owners of Malaysia Airlines but was not engaged in current efforts to find new investors for the carrier.
Baring PE Asia closes the seventh fund at $6.5bn. (FS)
Alternative investment manager Baring Private Equity Asia reached the final closing of its seventh private equity fund at the hard cap of $6.5bn in total capital commitments.
The Baring Asia Private Equity Fund VII, raised in 2019, exceeded its target by $1bn and is over 60% larger than the predecessor fund, The Baring Asia Private Equity Fund VI.
Dish TV’s merger talks with Airtel Digital stall.
Dish TV India’s talks to merge with Airtel Digital TV have stalled on differences over the deal’s structure, Bloomberg reported.
Essel Group’s Dish TV opted to explore a sale of the business for cash instead of an all-stock merger. The direct-to-home arm of Bharti Airtel remained committed to offering shares, contributing to the stalemate.
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