Hopjump, a digital marketing company and provider of personalized travel recommendations, agreed to acquire SmarterTravel, a provider of independent advice travel deals, from Tripadvisor, an American online travel company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The travel industry has taken a hit, but it will absolutely come back. Hopjump is taking a long approach on travel, and this acquisition positions us to engage further with our customers to ensure that they can make educated decisions on where, when, and how to travel. Now, more than ever, people are looking for information and guidance on how to travel in 2020 and beyond. The addition of the SmarterTravel portfolio positions us to serve all types of 21st-century travelers,” Jordan Staab, Hopjump Co-Founder and President.
Uber agreed to acquire RouteMatch, a developer of the transportation software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Public transportation will always be a vital artery that connects people to their cities and towns. But as many have told us, there are many challenges that simply did not exist when fixed route services and systems were created decades ago. We believe that inclusive transportation software can help transit agencies deliver more value for riders, businesses, and communities. We are extremely excited to bring together ideas, products, and insights from our team’s collective expertise. As allies of public transit, we look forward to finding new ways our technologies can improve transit riders’ end-toend experiences, and expand accessibility even further for those who need it," David Reich, Routematch CEO and Uber Transit & Pepper Harward Head.
Everlance, a provider of tools for mobile workers, completed the acquisition of TrackMyDrive, a business mileage tracking solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We really admire what Steve has built with TrackMyDrive. It's clear to us that he is deeply passionate about solving problems for his customers and we look forward to what we can accomplish together," Alex Marlantes, Everlance CEO.
ChromaScape, a supplier of pigments, colorants and additives for the landscape and custom dispersions markets, agreed to acquire Greenville Colorants, a processor of liquid and powder dyes. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Greenville Colorants complements ChromaScape in many ways and their core competency is completely in line with what we do. Greenville serves similar and adjacent markets and will allow us to extend our manufacturing footprint in the Southeast. We're excited about this addition to the ChromaScape family and our ability to provide even greater technical expertise in a variety of applications to our respective customers," Joe Majewski, ChromaScape CEO.
Uber in talks with possible bidders on $500m Freight-unit deal.
Uber Technologies is in talks with investors interested in taking a stake in its Uber Freight division, Bloomberg reported.
The San Francisco-based company, led by Dara Khosrowshahi, held discussions to raise $500m in a funding round that would give its freight business a standalone valuation of about $4bn after the deal. No transaction has been finalized, and the terms could change.
Carlyle targets $2bn for Americas growth equity fund. (FS)
Carlyle Group is seeking to raise as much as $2bn for a fund dedicated to mid-size private equity deals in North America, Bloomberg reported.
The Carlyle Growth Equity Fund will focus on opportunities in the US and Canada. The alternative asset manager has not formally launched fundraising efforts for the vehicle.
Carlyle is planning the fund, led by Adam Palmer, as the firm tweaks its strategy for investing in smaller, fast-growing companies following the departure of Rodney S. Cohen, who was co-head of Carlyle US Equity Opportunity Fund I and II, which raised $1.1bn and $2.4bn, respectively. Cohen was named head of private equity at Black Diamond Capital Management in March.
CommerceHub to hire adviser for IPO at $2bn valuation.
CommerceHub, a private equity-backed maker of e-commerce software that has seen its business boom during the Covid-19 pandemic, is preparing an IPO that could value the business at more than $2bn, Bloomberg reported.
The company is working with Morgan Stanley on a public listing that could launch in the fourth quarter of this year or in 2021. As with any company that pursues an IPO, CommerceHub may also garner takeover interest. The company could target a valuation of as much as $3bn.
GoHealth share price soars after its $914m IPO.
GoHealth, health insurance platform, fell 7.3% in its trading debut after exceeding its goals for an IPO to raise $914m.
Shares of the Chicago-based company rose as much as 25% from the $21 offer price but closed at $19.46 in New York trading Wednesday, giving the company a market value of about $6.1bn. GoHealth sold 43.5m shares on Tuesday for $21 each after earlier marketing 39.5m of them for $18 to $20 each.
Miners raise $3bn in streaming deals.
Mining companies may raise as much as $3bn by selling a share of future output in so-called streaming deals, according to the head of Wheaton Precious Metals.
The coronavirus outbreak has spurred volatility in metals prices, and the climate for streaming deals is improving as base-metals companies look to extract value from the precious-metals byproducts that are often found with copper, lead or zinc, Chief Executive Officer Randy Smallwood.
"I had a really crazy February and March where I was basically around the world twice in a four-week period. Any time there's a bit of financial stress in the industry it always opens up financial opportunities for us," Randy Smallwood, Wheaton Precious Metals CEO.
The combined company resulting from the merger of Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and France’s Peugeot owner will be called Stellantis, Reuters reported.
Stellantis is derived from the Latin verb “stello”, which means “to brighten with stars,” the companies said. The names and the logos of the group’s constituent brands will remain unchanged after the deal’s projected close in the first quarter of 2021.
Fiat Chrysler is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, d'Angelin & Co, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Legance, Loyens & Loeff, Sullivan & Cromwell, Community Group, Image Sept and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisers are advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Macfarlanes. PSA is advised by Mediobanca, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, Bredin Prat, Cabinet Bompoint, Linklaters and Stibbe. Peugeot family is advised by Zaoui & Co. Exor is advised by Lazard. BPIFrance is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Thermo Fisher Scientific, a manufacturer of scientific instruments, consumables, and chemicals, raised the bid for Qiagen, a provider of Sample to Insight solutions to transform biological materials, to $12.2bn after Davidson Kempner, a hedge fund and minority shareholder in Qiagen named previous offer "wholly inadequate".
The amendment increases offer share price from $43 to $49, increasing the bid by c. $1bn in total. In addition, the minimum acceptance threshold has been lowered from 75% to 66.67% of QIAGEN's issued and outstanding ordinary share capital at the end of the acceptance period on August 10, 2020. Thermo Fischer will also be paid $95m if the minimum requirement is not met.
Qiagen is advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Lazard, Moelis & Co, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Linklaters, and Mintz Levin. Barclays and Goldman Sachs are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. Thermo Fisher Scientific is advised by JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Hengeler Mueller, NautaDutilh, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Joele Frank and Brunswick Group. JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are providing debt financing, and are advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Gleiss Lutz.
Polaris Equity, a Danish private equity firm to acquire and merge four coach operators Larsenbus, Egons, Papuga Bus and Papuga. The combined entity will be renamed to "Vikingbus" in which 60% will be owned by Polaris Equity and the remaining 40% by current managers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Together, we will be an even better and stronger partner to large and small customers alike. We will strengthen our already solid local presence and offer customers the largest and most flexible bus and coach fleet in the industry. Based on our combined skills and diverse bus and coach fleet, we will sharpen our competitive edge and enhance our capacity to develop new offers and digital services for our customers," Mogens Pedersen, Egons CEO.
Polaris Equity is advised by Pricewaterhousecoopers, Lundgren and Point Communications.
ASML, a semiconductor company, agreed to acquire Berliner Glas, a privately held manufacturer of ceramic and optical modules. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited by the opportunity to make a bigger contribution to innovation in the semiconductor industry as a part of ASML, while we retain the focus to be successful in the other markets that we serve," Andreas Nitze, Berliner Glas CEO.
RSK Group, an integrated environmental, engineering and technical services business, agreed to acquire PA Group, an asbestos removal specialist and RoC Consulting, a civil and structural engineering company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our strategy of diversification and growth is helping RSK to navigate through the coronavirus crisis, and our focus remains on creating a stronger, more resilient business, providing complete solutions to our clients. In PA Group and RoC Consulting, we have found two well-respected businesses who share our vision and values. I look forward to seeing both businesses grow within the group," Alan Ryder, RSK CEO and Founder.
Cirdan, a medical informatics and imaging technology company completed the acquisition of PathXL, digital and computational pathology business of Philips, a Dutch multinational conglomerate. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited by the prospect of being able to further invest in our laboratory informatics business with this acquisition. We have shared a close relationship with key members of the PathXL team over many years and are looking forward to combining our products and resources to bring the best of each to the industry. It has been our long-term vision for our products to be global technological leaders, and with the addition of PathXL we will be able to accelerate the inclusion of deep learning and digital pathology technology," Dr. Hugh Cormican, Cirdan CEO.
Almana General Hospitals considers IPO.
Saudi Arabia's Almana General Hospitals is in early talks with banks about an IPO on the kingdom's Tadawul exchange, Reuters reported.
Almana, focused on the kingdom's eastern province, is part-owned by Sanabil Investments, a commercial investment company owned by the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund. Sanabil acquired a 20% stake in Almana in 2016. Almana has asked advisors to carry out a valuation of the hospital in conjunction with the possible IPO transaction.
Fortune Fountain in troubles to keep control over Baccarat Crystal. (FS)
The troubles for Beijing-based Fortune Fountain Capital and its struggle to hold on to Baccarat Crystal, 256-year-old French crystal glassmaker, highlight the problems. Chinese investors have run into after taking on excessive leverage to buy European brands - sometimes through private credit deals at lending rates far higher than those of bank loans.
Fortune Fountain, which describes itself as a wealth management platform and family office, agreed to buy Baccarat for €164m ($186m) in June 2017. It promised at the time to also invest up to €30m ($34m) in the company.
But in 2019, Fortune Fountain defaulted on a loan from two Hong Kong-based private lenders, Tor Investment Management and Sammasan Capital, which financed at least half of the enterprise value of the deal, FT reported.
S4 Capital raised $146m to fund acquisitions. (FS)
S4 Capital has raised £116m ($146m) through the issue of 36.8m shares at $10.02 each. Shares in the digital advertising & marketing services firm were trading 6.4% higher at $10.66 each on Thursday morning in London, giving it a market capitalization of £1.64bn ($2.06bn).
The fundraise comprised a placing of 29.7m shares at $10.02 each and the subscription of a total of 7.1m shares by directors. The placing and subscription shares represent around 7.5% of the company's issued share capital.
US judge confirms Berkshire Hathaway unit's won in a ruling $734m against Schulz Holding. (FS)
A US judge confirmed a €643m ($734m) award in favour of a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway that claimed it was fraudulently induced to buy a German pipemaker that had inflated sales to look profitable, Reuters reported.
US District Judge Lewis Liman in Manhattan said the arbitration panel employed "sound" reasoning and did not exceed its power in ruling against Schulz Holding, whose US and German businesses were purchased by Berkshire's Precision Castparts for €800m ($913m) in 2017.
Precision Castparts accused Schulz of using fake invoices and backdated orders to inflate revenue and profit, when the Krefeld, Germany-based company had actually been teetering near bankruptcy. It also said the acquired businesses were worth no more than €157m ($178m).
Google agreed to acquire a 7.73% stake in Reliance's Jio Platforms, an Indian digital services company for $4.5bn.
"Google has empowered millions of Indians to access helpful information and, like Jio, is a force for change and innovation. We welcome Google onboard and are excited about our partnership for what it can deliver to Indians, from universalising Internet usage to deepening the new digital economy and providing a prime mover to India’s economic growth. Together, we hope to play a strong facilitative role in the transformative journey of building a new, Digital India," Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Chairman and Managing Director.
Reliance is advised by Morgan Stanley, AZB & Partners and Davis Polk & Wardwell. PIF is advised by Citigroup and Latham & Watkins. L Catterton is advised by Kirkland & Ellis. TPG Capital is advised by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Mubadala is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Silver Lake is advised by Latham & Watkins, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. KKR is advised by Deloitte, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. General Atlantic is advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Vista Equity is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Qualcomm is advised by Trilegal. Google is advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and J. Sagar Associates.
ESR-REIT, a Singapore-based industrial real estate investment trust, agreed to merge with Sabana REIT, a diversified portfolio real estate investment trust, in a $227m deal. ESR-REIT will hold c. 12.2% of the total issued units in the combined entity.
“The merger is in line with our strategy to establish ESR-REIT as one of the leading Pan-Asian industrial REITs. We believe the merger will deepen our presence in Singapore and solidify the Enlarged REIT’s position as the 5 h largest industrial REIT in the country by asset size and the 4th largest by market share," Adrian Chui, ESR-REIT CEO and Executive Director.
ESR-REIT is advised by Citigroup, Maybank, RHB, United Overseas Bank and Newgate Communications. Sabana REIT is advised by Credit Suisse and HSBC.
Reliance Industries’ plans to sell 20% stake in its oil-to-chemical business to Saudi Aramco is delayed, chairman of the Indian conglomerate said.
Reliance, operator of the world’s biggest refining complex, last year announced a $15bn deal with the world’s top oil exporter Aramco as part of the Indian company’s efforts to cut its debts.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances in the energy market and the Covid-19 situation, the deal (with Saudi Aramco) has not progressed as per the original timeline,” Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director.
One of Indonesia’s biggest tycoons, Anthoni Salim, risks a rare setback if a $3bn deal between companies he controls is rejected by shareholders, Reuters reported.
Three investors in Hong Kong-listed First Pacific told they are critical of the price for the deal, which would see its subsidiary Indofood, best known for the Indomie noodle brand, buy Pinehill, one of Indomie’s distributors and manufacturers, for $3bn.
Salim, Indonesia’s sixth-richest man, owns 51% of Pinehill and also holds 44.3% of First Pacific’s shares. ICBP’s 2019 annual report says Salim controls First Pacific.
Bell Textron, a manufacturer and distributor of helicopters and tilt rotor aircraft, agreed to acquire Zhenjiang Aerochine Aviation, a provider of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Bell is known worldwide for its industry-leading support and services, and this milestone will enhance our award-winning customer service in China. The growing fleet in China warrants an Original Equipment Manufacturer MRO center, so we decided to further increase our investment in China,” Michael Reagan, Bell Support & Services Director.
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