The Stars Group's shareholders approved the proposal to combine with Flutter Entertainment. The special resolution approved the previously announced plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act between The Stars Group and Flutter, whereby Flutter will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of The Stars Group.
Subject to remaining regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, The Stars Group now currently expects the deal to close in May 2020.
The Stars Group is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Barclays, Moelis & Co, A&L Goodbody, Blake Cassels & Graydon, Gilbert + Tobin, Jones Day, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt and Slaughter & May. Flutter is advised by Goodbody, Goldman Sachs, PJT Partners, Arthur Cox, Blank Rome, Clayton Utz, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Stikeman Elliott, Drury Porter Novelli and Finsbury.
DraftKings, a digital sports entertainment and gaming company, completed the merger with SBTech, an international provider of sports betting and gaming technologies, and Diamond Eagle Acquisition, a public by an entity founded by Hollywood executives Jeff Sagansky and Harry Sloan, at a $3.3bn valuation.
“By bringing together our leading consumer brand, data science expertise and industry-leading products with SBTech’s proven technology platform, we will accelerate our innovation, growth and scale. I am confident that the new DraftKings will progress our goal of offering the best, most innovative sports and gaming products to our customers,” Jason Robins, DraftKings Co-Founder and CEO.
DraftKings was advised by The Raine Group and Sullivan & Cromwell. SBTech was advised by Stifel, Herzog Fox & Neeman and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Diamond Eagle Acquisition was advised by Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Winston & Strawn and Priority PR.
Boeing, an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, and missiles worldwide, terminated the $4.2bn acquisition of an 80% stake in Embraer’s commercial aviation division.
“Boeing has worked diligently over more than two years to finalize its transaction with Embraer. Over the past several months, we had productive but ultimately unsuccessful negotiations about unsatisfied MTA conditions. We all aimed to resolve those by the initial termination date, but it didn’t happen. It is deeply disappointing. But we have reached a point where continued negotiation within the framework of the MTA is not going to resolve the outstanding issues,” Marc Allen, Embraer Partnership & Group Operations President.
IBERIABANK, an American financial holding company, received shareholder approval for the merger of equals between IBERIABANK and First Horizon National.
"We are pleased to have received overwhelming shareholder support for the pending merger with First Horizon. The combination of these two regional banking companies will provide a superior platform to better serve our stakeholders and communities. The resulting organization will deliver highly diversified businesses, produce complimentary revenue streams, expand the product capabilities of both companies, and strengthen our position in high growth, attractive markets," Daryl G. Byrd, IBERIABANK President and Chief Executive Officer.
IBERIABANK is advised by Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Stifel and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. First Horizon National is advised by Morgan Stanley, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Sullivan & Cromwell and Joele Frank.
Private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Silver Lake agreed to invest $3.2bn in Expedia Group, a travel shopping company. The $3.2bn financing consists of a $1.2bn private placement of perpetual preferred stock and approximately $2bn in new debt financing.
These efforts are part of a comprehensive strategy to enhance Expedia Group's financial flexibility and strengthen its liquidity position. The closing of the fundraising transaction is expected on May 5, 2020.
"Between the significant steps Expedia Group continues to take to simplify the business, the talented leaders I have gotten to know over the last several months, and this new funding, we are in better position to continue to rise to the current challenge and come out even stronger than before – we understand the financial challenges ahead and we will continue to prudently address those needs. We are excited to have Apollo and Silver Lake as valued partners in this effort as they share our strong belief in the long-term growth of Expedia and look forward to David and Greg's invaluable insights as Board members," Peter Kern, Expedia Group Vice Chairman and CEO.
Expedia is advised by JP Morgan, Moelis & Co, and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Silver Lake is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Apollo Global is advised by Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, and Sidley Austin.
Apax Partners completed the acquisition of Coalfire, a provider of cybersecurity advisory and assessment services, from The Carlyle Group and Chertoff Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We’re very pleased with Apax Partners’ acquisition of Coalfire and look forward to driving our growth through new technology investments, strategic acquisitions and offering expansion focused on optimizing the pervasive shift toward multi-cloud environments and remote operations. We appreciate the stewardship of our previous owners, The Carlyle Group and The Chertoff Group, that has set the course for this opportunity with our management,” Tom McAndrew, Coalfire CEO.
Coalfire was advised by William Blair & Co, Latham & Watkins, Citypress PR, and Lumina Communications. Apax was advised by Kirkland & Ellis, Greenbrook, and Kekst CNC. The Carlyle Group was advised by PwC.
Providence Strategic Growth, an asset management firm, completed an investment in Next Glass, a provider of software to the beverage alcohol industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The investment intends to support the Next Glass' pursuit of add-on acquisitions of technology platforms serving beverage alcohol producers, wholesalers, resellers and consumers.
"We are grateful for PSG's support in establishing this $2m Small-to-Medium Sized Business Support Fund. Breweries, bars, restaurants and other pillars of local communities around the world deserve our support during this trying period. We're committed to helping these businesses re-open and expand after restrictions lift," Trace Smith, Next Glass CEO.
Next Glass was advised by Lumos Partners, Snell & Wilmer, and North 6th Agency. Providence Strategic Growth Weil Gotshal and Manges and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Digital Media Solutions, a marketing technology company, and Leo Holdings, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, entered into a definitive business combination agreement in a $757m deal.
Immediately following the closing of the proposed transaction, Leo intends to change its name to Digital Media Solutions. The board of directors of Leo unanimously approved this transaction.
“Over the past decade, we have been a critical partner to large global brands in acquiring new customers and deploying marketing spend efficiently. We’ve built a diversified, sector-agnostic business model that counts Fortune 100 companies across the Insurance, Finance, Education, Health & Wellness and Home Services verticals as customers. We’re thrilled to achieve this exciting milestone together with Leo, and look forward to further accelerating our growth as a public company," Joe Marinucci, DMS CEO.
Digital Media Solutions is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Leo Holdings is advised by Citigroup and Kirkland & Ellis.
Northwest Bancshares, a full-service financial institution offering a complete line of business and personal banking products, employee benefits and wealth management services, completed the acquisition of MutualFirst Financial, the holding company of MutualBank, an Indiana-based financial institution, for $346m.
"We are pleased to announce the completion of our merger with MutualFirst Financial and MutualBank. The management teams and employees of both Northwest and MutualFirst Financial have worked tirelessly over the past six months to prepare for the integration of our two companies. We believe that this transaction will help deliver value through increased operating scale and new market opportunities. The combined strength of our institutions will allow us to better serve customers across all of our markets with a wide range of financial products and services, while maintaining the personal service they expect from their community bank," Ronald J. Seiffert, Northwest President and CEO.
MutualFirst Financial was advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Silver Freedman Taff & Tiernan. Northwest was advised by B. Riley FBR and Luse Gorman.
Prometheus Group, a provider of asset management operations and optimization software, completed the acquisition of WorkTech, a provider of contractor management and productivity solutions software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited that WorkTech is joining the Prometheus family. With the mounting pressure on margins, having visibility into the contractor workforce is mission-critical. This acquisition is another advancement in our strategy to help customers optimize their asset management efforts,” Eric Huang, Prometheus Group CEO.
Prometheus Group was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and ClearComms Consultancy.
Asset management firm Viking Global Investors led a $120m Series B financing round for Affinivax, a clinical-stage biotechnology company. The round saw participation also from private equity firms Bain Capital Life Sciences and Ziff Capital Partners.
“We are very pleased to welcome such a strong syndicate of new investors to Affinivax and look forward to benefiting from their deep experience. Having built the company to over 70 employees and advanced MAPS into clinical testing in less than 5 years, we are very excited to look ahead to our next phase of growth, taking our lead pneumococcal vaccine through Phase 3 testing and bringing several additional novel MAPS vaccines and immunotherapies into clinical trials," Steven B. Brugger, Affinivax CEO.
Blackstone sees investing opportunities in crisis. (FS)
The Blackstone Group expects to see plenty of investment opportunities once the current economic crisis diminishes, and is already taking steps to deploy capital on oppressed assets, Bloomberg reported.
"We are already seeing actionable opportunities appear from the dislocation initially in structured credit and liquid markets. Since the crisis began, we bought $11bn of public equities and liquid debt across the firm, and we are well-positioned to do more," Jon Gray, Blackstone President.
US lawmaker pushes for a ban on mergers until coronavirus pandemic ends.
The chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel called for a moratorium on mergers in the next coronavirus stimulus package and a ban on deals that are not directly related to companies about to fail, Reuters reported.
Democratic US Representative David Cicilline’s proposal attempts to ensure that large companies do not wipe out competition from smaller rivals already struck by the pandemic.
“We must take immediate action to halt this trend by including a moratorium in the upcoming stimulus package on all transactions that do not involve firms that are truly failing or in bankruptcy,” David Cicilline, Democratic US Representative.
Chesapeake adopts poison pill after shares drop on oil rout.
Chesapeake Energy, a company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration, adopted a poison pill to prevent any takeover attempts after the oil-price crash and coronavirus pandemic sent the debt-burdened shale pioneer’s shares tumbling, Bloomberg reported.
The shareholder rights can be exercised if a person or group acquires 4.9% or more of Chesapeake’s outstanding common stock. Under those conditions, holders of the rights can buy common shares at a 50% discount or Chesapeake can exchange each right for one share.
The purpose of the new shareholder rights plan is to protect its tax-related assets known as "net operating loss carryforwards."
Neuberger Berman and Chinh Chu increase blank-check IPO deal. (FS)
Chinh Chu, a veteran Wall Street dealmaker, and investment firm Neuberger Berman increased to $360m the amount they are looking to raise in an IPO for a new blank-check company, Reuters reported.
Chu and Neuberger Berman initially targeted a raise of $300m for CC Neuberger Principal Holdings I but increased that by 20% due to an order book that was close to three times oversubscribed.
Mirae misses payment on $5.8bn Anbang hotel deal. (RE)
Mirae, the Korean asset manager that had promised to acquire a chain of luxury US hotels sold off by distressed Chinese insurer Anbang, failed to make a payment due on April 17, raising questions about whether the $5.8bn deal will proceed as planned, FT reported. Mirae said the deal was still ongoing and that it was in talks with Anbang.
"We are still negotiating the deal and continue to communicate with them," Mirae spokesman.
Affinity Health Partners completed the acquisition of Washington Regional Medical Center. (RE)
Affinity Health Partners, a rural health system owner and operator, completed the acquisition of Washington Regional Medical Center, formally Washington County Hospital in Plymouth North Carolina. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition will allow Affinity Health Partners to expand our successful, rural healthcare, integrated care model in North Carolina. We look forward to building on the platform of success forged when we reopened the hospital last spring. We believe one of the critical means through which small critical access hospitals can be preserved and continue to provide their communities with high-quality, convenient and cost-effective care is to create connected networks of care and keep the focus where it belongs: on improving services for the patient," Frank Avignone, Affinity Health Partners CEO.
Cyprium closed its fifth fund at $445m. (FS)
Cyprium Investment Partners, a private investment firm, closed its fifth fund, gathering a total of $445m in commitments. The capital was provided by insurance companies, asset managers, pension funds, and family offices, many of which have been with the group for two decades.
Over the next several months, Cyprium anticipates a growing need from non-sponsored companies looking to refinance, respond to strategic acquisitions, and expand as the competitive landscape evolves and the economy begins a path toward recovery.
Private equity firm Hg Capital completed an investment in smartTrade Technologies, a managed services and hosted software provider for trading desks. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Welcoming Hg, a real expert in software and technology in this sector, creates a truly compelling offering. I am personally very excited about the prospects of the business. Keensight Capital and Pléiade Venture have played a decisive role in our growth to date, and we are grateful of their involvement. Now, with Hg's support, alongside the smartTrade team, I am committed to further developing a great service for our customers, as they look to modernise their own systems," David Vincent, smartTrade Technologies Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder.
smartTrade was advised by Arma Partners and Hoche Partners. Hg Capital was advised by Deloitte, Bryan Garnier, Linklaters, White & Case, and Brunswick Group. Keensight Capital was advised by Citigate Dewe Rogerson.
Exor, a holding company incorporated in the Netherlands and controlled by the Italian Agnelli family, launched a mandatory tender offer to acquire all remaining shares in GEDI, an Italian media conglomerate, at a €233m ($252m) valuation.
"With this transaction we're committing to a rigorous entrepreneurial project in support of GEDI as it addresses its future challenges. In addition to applying our media sector experience, also at an international level, EXOR will ensure the stability needed to accelerate the necessary technological and structural transformation," John Elkann, Exor Chairman and CEO.
Exor is advised by Banca IMI, Mediobanca and Pedersoli Studio Legale.
Euronext, a European stock exchange, agreed to acquire a 70% stake in VP Securities, a Danish central securities depository, for c. €150m ($162m), from Danish Central Bank, Danske Bank, Nykredit, Nordea and Jyske Bank. The completion is expected by early Q3 2020 once regulatory approvals have been received.
“The acquisition of VP Securities represents a major new milestone in the deployment of Euronext’s ambition to build the leading pan-European market infrastructure. The acquisition of VP Securities will position Euronext as a leading CSD operator in Europe, and as a leading player in the Nordic region because there is no European success without a Nordic dimension. This reinforcement of our post-trade activities will allow Euronext to pursue the diversification of its topline. With about 200 talented employees, VP Securities will enable Euronext to further enhance its custody and settlement offering to deliver new and improved services for the benefit of the Danish real economy and European capital markets,” Stéphane Boujnah, Euronext Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Chr. Hansen, a developer and producer of natural ingredients, agreed to acquire HSO Health Care, an Austria-based B2B company specializing in probiotics. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I am excited that we have reached an agreement with HSO Health Care, which has demonstrated very fast growth through a globally recognized portfolio that complements our own UREX™ products nicely. Women's health is a high-growth segment where innovation is becoming increasingly important, and with the addition of the Astarte™ portfolio, we will be able to deliver innovation to a much larger market more quickly," Mauricio Graber, Chr. Hansen CEO.
BioChek, a provider of veterinary diagnostic, agreed to acquire BIOTECON, a molecular and microbiological diagnostics provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This allows us to offer a complete diagnostic management solution from Farm to Fork for our customers. Food safety starts with healthy animals. We are proud that with the acquisition of BIOTECON we can now cover the whole chain, starting with the monitoring of animal health, through management of safe processing to the final consumer product," Barend van Dam, BioChek Founder and CEO.
Telefonica to divest Germany's cell towers to Telxius for €1.5bn. (FS)
Telefonica, a Spanish telecom giant, entered negotiations to divest its cellphone towers in Germany to Telxius for €1.5bn ($1.6bn), Reuters reported. Telefonica owns 50.01% in Telxius.
Telefonica intends to sell 10k German towers to Telxius, the telecom infrastructure company it owns in partnership with private equity fund KKR & Co and textile billionaire Amancio Ortega’s investment fund Pontegadea.
Mediaset increases stake in ProSiebenSat.1 to 24.9%.
Gruppo Mediaset, an Italian commercial broadcaster, raised its stake in ProSiebenSat.1 Media to 24.2% from 20.1% as it presses ahead with its plans to create a pan-European TV champion. Gruppo Mediaset has been building the stake over the last year to push its broader agenda of uniting broadcasters under a Dutch holding company it is setting up, Reuters reported.
Earlier this month, Germany’s anti-trust watchdog cleared the way for Gruppo Mediaset to raise its stake in ProSiebenSat.1 Media to up to 25%, allowing it to vote its stake at the German company’s annual general meeting in June.
Generali not worried about potential takeovers.
Assicurazioni Generali, an Italian insurer, stated it was confident of being able to rebuff a potential takeover bid, thanks to a "solid" group of core domestic shareholders and strong capital and financial position, Reuters reported.
The insurer said it was "very solid from an operational and financial point of view as well as in terms of capital and governance."
Generali's smaller market capitalization has fuelled speculation in the past that it could become an acquisition target for larger rivals such as France's AXA or Switzerland's Zurich Insurance.
Richard Branson seeks a buyer for Virgin Atlantic.
Richard Branson is looking for a buyer for Virgin Atlantic Airways as he struggles to secure a $618m government bailout, Bloomberg reported. Branson set an end-of-May deadline to save the UK airline from collapse and is focused on securing new private investment from more than 100 financial institutions.
"Houlihan Lokey has been appointed to assist the process, focusing on private-sector funding. Discussions with a number of stakeholders continue and are constructive, meanwhile the airline remains in a stable position," Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman.
Nestle CEO expects busier year for M&A deals.
Nestle expects a “more vigorous” year for acquisitions in 2020 as the packaged food giant looks to expand its business, Reuters reported. The KitKat chocolate bar maker is working on several exciting leads in the M&A area.
“We did tell you we expect a more vigorous year when it comes to M&A, looking at our pipeline here that continues to be the case. The pipeline certainly looks more interesting than it did last year,” Mark Schneider, Nestle CEO.
Campari prepared for deals as the sector consolidates.
Italy's Campari is ready to pursue large acquisitions to stay ahead in a consolidating spirits industry, Reuters reported.
"The world of spirits is consolidating quickly, and we're ready for even much bigger deals than we've completed so far, in the future we'll need to conduct important operations," Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Campari CEO.
Rewe on the lookout for M&A targets.
Rewe, a German supermarket chain, is looking for takeover candidates to complement its grocery and tourism activities, despite the coronavirus crisis.
“We will look into all opportunities that are currently emerging for new partnerships and acquisitions,” Lionel Souque, Rewe CEO.
Takeda to divest assets in Europe to Orifarm.
Takeda Pharmaceutical, a Japanese multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company, stated it would divest selected over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceutical products that are sold in Europe to Orifarm Group, a manufacturer of generic drugs.
The sale, which includes two manufacturing sites in Denmark and Poland, would amount to about $670m subject to customary legal and regulatory closing conditions.
Tikehau Capital launches European long term fund. (FS)
Tikehau Capital, an alternative asset manager, launched its first European long term investment fund devoted to the clients of Banca March, a family-owned Spanish bank, PE Newsreported.
The vehicle will focus on companies active in the energy transition by financing and supporting their development, transformation and international expansion. It is designed to enable Banca March's private clients to invest in very long term assets, including private equity.
Citigroup names Stefan Hafke as Chief Country Officer for Germany. (People)
Citigroup elected Stefan Hafke as Chief Country Officer for Germany, part of a series of changes at the top in the country, as the US bank continues to shake-up its leadership in Europe, FN reported.
Hafke has been serving in the role on an interim basis since February, replacing Stefan Wintels, who became global co-head of Citigroup's financial institutions group.
APG, a provider of pension fund management and consultancy services, CPP Investments, a global investment management firm, and ESR, a logistics real estate platform, agreed to form a $1bn joint venture, ESR-KS II. The transaction is expected to close before July 2020, subject to relevant regulatory approvals.
ESR-KS II will invest in and develop a best-in-class industrial and warehouse logistics portfolio in the Seoul and Busan metropolitan areas. APG, CPP Investments and ESR will hold 35%, 45% and 20%, respectively.
“Asia’s consumer sector has been one of our key investment themes. The continued growth of South Korea’s e-commerce market is driving the demand for quality logistics facilities. This new joint venture deepens our longstanding relationship with ESR and APG. It will be key to our growth strategy in the logistics sector globally,” Jimmy Phua, CPP Investments Head of Asia Real Estate.
Nexon, an online gaming platform, completed a $123m investment in DMI Finance, a financial services company. DMI has plans to use the fresh funding to accelerate its balance sheet growth in the digital consumer and micro, small and medium enterprises finance businesses.
"NXC sees this as an opportunity to have an impact on financial inclusion in India where a large part of the population is locked out of the formal credit markets," Nexon.
Emerging Markets Property Group, an online classified solutions provider, completed the acquisition of Kaidee, one of Thailand's major marketplaces. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“EMPG is at the forefront of the global online marketplace industry and has grown to the prominence given its focus on providing localized solutions to each market in which it operates. This acquisition will allow Kaidee to accelerate its plans to provide market-leading solutions to Thailand across all of our verticals,” Tiwa York Kaidee CEO.
Takeda plans to divest the consumer health unit for c. $3.7bn.
Takeda Pharmaceutical, a Japanese multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company, intends to divest its over-the-counter medicine business, looking to reduce a massive debt load after last year's purchase of Irish drugmaker Shire and tighten its focus on advanced treatments.
Japan's biggest drug company is talking with financial advisers to choose a potential buyer for wholly-owned subsidiary Takeda Consumer Healthcare, aiming to sell for $3.71bn.
KKR-backed IndiGrid seeks nearly $800m in solar assets. (FS)
IndiGrid, an infrastructure investment trust backed by private equity fund KKR and Singapore’s GIC, is looking to add c. $786m of solar power projects to its portfolio and expects some financially stressed assets to become available in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported.
The move is part of the firm’s plan to more than double its portfolio to $3.9bn over the next two years, with solar accounting for as much as one-fifth.
“We see that there will be consolidation in the solar industry. It’s a good time for both sellers and buyers to complete the transactions,” Harsh Shah, IndiGrid Chief Executive Officer.
Vietnam Airlines sells 49% stake in Cambodia Angkor Air.
Vietnam Airlines, the flag carrier of Vietnam sold its 49% stake in Cambodia Angkor Air, the national carrier of Cambodia, citing difficult operating conditions. The details of the buyers were not disclosed.
Under the original plan, Vietnam Airlines was to divest its shares in two stages. In phase 1, the company was to sell its 49% stake in the carrier for $49m with the second phase, entailing the sale of its remaining capital, to take place within the following 36 months.
The remaining 51% share of Cambodia’s Angkor Air is owned by the Cambodian government, who does not want to nationalize the airline fully. Vietnam’s flag carrier also signed a contract to sell five A321-200s valued at $37m as the impact of the virus outbreak affects their financial position.
Virgin Australia suitors kick-off due diligence. (FS)
Administrators of Virgin Australia invited prospective buyers to examine financial information about the business, days after the carrier became Asia’s first airline to fall to the coronavirus, Bloomberg reported.
Suitors signed non-disclosure agreements and started due diligence in a so-called data room. About ten parties, including private equity firms, received marketing materials.
China Everbright targets $2.82bn for its ESG fund. (FS)
China Everbright, a Hong Kong-based financial conglomerate, launched a new private equity fund to raise c. $2.82bn to finance environmental and sustainable businesses across countries and regions along China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Yes Bank eyes tapping advisers for $655m fundraise.
Following its mid-March rescue by a clutch of public and private sector banks, Yes Bank is planning a new fundraise of c. $655m and has begun talks to appoint investment banks.
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