Reuters reported that Louis Vuitton owner LVMH decided it would not buy Tiffany shares on the open market, a move that would have potentially enabled it to pursue its agreement to buy the US jeweller at a lower price than the one agreed last year.
"Rumors circulated recently indicating that LVMH would consider buying Tiffany shares on the open market. These rumours lead LVMH to recall that, in accordance with the agreement concluded with Tiffany in November 2019, LVMH is currently committed not to buy Tiffany shares," LVMH.
Tiffany is advised by Centerview Partners, Goldman Sachs, Sullivan & Cromwell, Weil Gotshal and Manges, and Sard Verbinnen & Co. LVMH is advised by Citigroup, JP Morgan, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, White & Case, Allen & Overy, Brunswick Group, DGM Conseil, Deluxewords, Kekst CNC, Montfort Communications, Publicis Consultants, and SEC and Partners.
Endeavour Mining, an intermediate gold producer, agreed to merge with SEMAFO, a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa, in a $690m deal. SEMAFO common shares will be exchanged at a ratio of 0.1422 Endeavour ordinary shares per share. The ratio represents a premium of 27.2%. La Mancha is strongly supportive of the transaction and has committed to invest $100m in the pro-forma group.
"This combination will create one of the leading gold companies, with the largest portfolio of operating assets located entirely in West Africa. In addition to being immediately accretive on all key metrics, this transaction will enhance our scale as well as providing improved trading liquidity, greater asset diversification and a reduced risk profile for all shareholders," Michael Beckett, Endeavour Chairman.
SEMAFO is advised by Maxit Capital, National Bank Financial and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg. La Mancha is advised by Norton Rose Fulbright. Endeavour is advised by Gleacher Shacklock, McCarthy Tetrault, Brunswick Group and Vincic Advisors.
FaceBank Group, a celebrity and sports-focused virtual entertainment company, agreed to merge with fuboTV, a live TV streaming platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The business combination of FaceBank Group and fuboTV accelerates our ability to build a category-defining company and supports our goal to provide consumers with a technology-driven cable TV replacement service for the whole family. With our growing businesses in the US, and recent beta launches in Canada and Europe, fuboTV is well-positioned to achieve its goal of becoming a world-leading live TV streaming platform for premium sports, news and entertainment content. In the current COVID-19 environment, stay-at-home stocks make perfect sense - we plan to accelerate our timing to uplist to a major exchange as soon as practicable. We look forward to working with John and his team of creative visionaries," David Gandler, fuboTV CEO.
fuboTV is advised by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. FaceBank is advised by Loeb & Loeb, Anthony L.G., IndexAtlas, Axxcess Capital and Blueshirt Group.
Thoma Bravo successfully completed its cash tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Instructure, an educational technology company, for $2bn.
Thoma Bravo will complete a second-step merger in which any remaining shares of Instructure common stock will be converted into the right to receive an amount in cash equal to the per share price paid in the tender offer, without interest and less any required withholding taxes.
Instructure is advised by JP Morgan, Cooley and Kekst CNC. Thoma Bravo is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Finsbury.
Charlotte's Web, a provider of hemp-based, cannabinoid wellness products, agreed to acquire Abacus Health Products, which produces pain relief pharmaceutical products, for $69m.
"The complementary strengths of our relative market positions made this merger a logical strategic move. With this acquisition, we strengthen the business to reflect the evolution of the category. Because most of Abacus's products are positioned in adjacent categories, our combined distribution reach has limited shelf overlap. Together we are the most developed CBD company across every channel and segment and positioned to accelerate our growth and extend our market share. Furthermore, it enables us to drive more scale production through our vertically integrated infrastructure," Deanie Elsner, Charlotte's Web CEO.
Charlotte's Web is advised by Canaccord Genuity and DLA Piper. Abacus is advised by Greenhill & Co and Osler Hoskin & Harcourt.
Palladium Equity-backed Kymera International, a specialty materials company, completed the acquisition of Reading Alloys, a provider of highly engineered materials, from AMETEK, a global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices, for $250m.
“This transaction completes our recent strategic portfolio review process and further strengthens our already strong balance sheet, which supports our capital deployment efforts. We wish Reading Alloys continued success and thank the team for their tremendous efforts through this process,” David A. Zapico, AMETEK Chairman and CEO.
EPAM Systems, a global provider of digital platform engineering and software development solutions, completed the acquisition of Deltix, a provider of software and services for quantitative research, algorithmic trading and execution analytics across equities, futures, options, FX, fixed income and digital assets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to welcome Deltix to EPAM. Deltix’s deep experience in quantitative research, algorithmic trading and execution analysis will be a valuable addition to EPAM’s growing FinTech practice, while also enabling us to expand these capabilities to other industries where real-time event processing is critical. With our combined expertise, we look forward to helping our global customers gain actionable intelligence through event-driven data analytics,” Balazs Fejes, EPAM Systems EVP, Co-Head of Global Business.
Central Freight Lines, a non-union less-than-truckload carrier specializing in regional overnight and second-day markets, agreed to acquire Volunteer Express, a full service expedited carrier, offering LTL, truckload, volume, expedited, dedicated and local cartage operations. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We welcome the members of Volunteer Express into a healthy, expanding company with a deep leadership bench. We have experienced tremendous growth year over year, and as our industry continues to evolve, we will continue to attract and retain the best talent while expanding our footprint and services for our growing customer base," Michael Brennan, Central Freight Chief Operating Officer.
Cognizant, one of the world's largest professional services companies, agreed to acquire Lev, a privately-held, digital marketing consultancy in the US. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Marketers face ever-increasing expectations to take their campaigns to the next level and drive even more value. Lev provides the strategic consulting and technical expertise for Marketing Cloud that enables marketers to create deeper connections with their customers and deliver strong ROI. We are thrilled to be joining Cognizant with their rich expertise in data, cloud, and Salesforce solutions. Together, we will be able to address a broader array of business and technology challenges for our clients," Michael Burton, Lev CEO.
Occidental nears settlement with Carl Icahn. (FS)
Occidental Petroleum is nearing a truce with Carl Icahn that would conclude one of the highest-profile corporate clashes of the past year and usher the activist investor into the embattled oil producer's board room as it seeks to recover from a series of setbacks.
Andrew Langham and Nicholas Graziano, two lieutenants of the billionaire investor, would receive seats on Occidental's board under the terms currently being discussed, WSJ reported.
Vanguard to merge two of its funds. (FS)
Vanguard announced its plans to merge the $770m Vanguard Capital Value Fund into the $17.6bn Vanguard Windsor Fund. Following the merger, which is expected to be completed in mid-2020, the combined fund will retain the Windsor Fund name and continue to focus on large- and mid-capitalization value stocks.
"We apply a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation process to the oversight of our funds and advisors to ensure we are offering sound, enduring solutions that meet the long-term needs of our clients. We believe this merger will benefit Capital Value Fund shareholders by providing them with exposure to the two outstanding investment advisors managing the Windsor Fund and will benefit the combined fund through improved economies of scale," Matt Brancato, Vanguard Head of Portfolio Review Department.
GS Engineering & Construction, one of the largest construction companies in South Korea, completed the acquisition of 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.
GS Engineering & Construction was advised by DLA Piper. Enterprise Investors was advised by Gessel.
Global Savings Group, a major global payer in digital marketing, completed the merger with iGraal, a subsidiary of M6 Group, a French media holding company, in a €124m ($134m) deal. As a result, M6 Group becomes the leading shareholder in GSG, with 38% of the capital and will consolidate its results via the equity method.
With this transaction, M6 Group is reinforcing its cash and cash equivalents while consolidating its position on the growing market of performance marketing thanks to the creation of a leading international digital group within the cashback and couponing market.
Tencent led a $240m funding round for Lilium, a Munich-based aviation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft for regional air mobility, with participation from other existing investors including Atomico, Freigeist and LGT.
"This additional funding underscores the deep confidence our investors have in both our physical product and our business case. We're very pleased to be able to complete an internal round with them, having benefited greatly from their support and guidance over the past few years," Christopher Delbrück, Lilium CFO.
Everbridge, a provider of critical event management, completed the acquisition of one2many, a global provider of cell broadcast solutions for safety applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“A comprehensive public warning system can be used to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, decrease the pressure on public health services, protect those that are most vulnerable, and coordinate the appropriate volunteers and stakeholders when needed. Now with the talented team and technology of one2many, the company that set the standard for how cell broadcasts should be used for safety, we significantly extend our lead in both technology and know-how to help governments around the world protect their residents and visitors while exceeding regulatory mandates,” David Meredith, Everbridge CEO.
Private equity firm Down2Earth Capital completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Grandeco, a wallpaper producer, from Gimv. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Grandeco is a market performer in a highly fragmented industry, the company has achieved above-average growth and profitability in recent years. In addition to its strong reputation in analogue printing, the company has a clear advantage in the area of digital printing. Together with our partner Gimv and the strong management team, we look forward to further building the company into one of the Pan-European market leaders," Alain Keppens, Down2Earth Capital Partner.
Statkraft, a hydropower company, fully owned by the Norwegian state, agreed to acquire the UK electric vehicle business of Vattenfall, a Swedish multinational power company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Statkraft has ambitious growth plans and ambitions to contribute to the transition to a renewable energy powered transport sector in the UK. Long term investment into the UK market is a key part of our strategy. Electric vehicles will change the power industry in Europe, and to achieve an emission-free transport sector, renewable energy must be used to charge electric vehicles," David Flood, Statkraft Managing Director.
Blackstone acquired industrial and logistics properties from Clearbell Capital. (FS, RE)
PE News reported that Blackstone acquired 22 industrial and logistics properties in the UK from Clearbell Capital, a London-based real estate investment management firm, for £120m ($140m).
The deal comes at a time when e-commerce and delivery services are preparing for a boost to their businesses due to the restrictions on physical movement in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Unicredit takes a 32.5% stake in Esselunga real estate unit.
Reuters reported that Italy's biggest lender UniCredit bought a minority stake in the company which owns the real estate assets of supermarket chain Esselunga for €435m ($465m).
Esselunga said the majority owners of its parent company Supermarkets Italiani had reached an agreement to buy the remaining 30% of the company, in a deal that values Esselunga €6.1bn ($6.5bn).
Shell cuts spending by $5bn and suspends share buyback.
Royal Dutch Shell will lower spending by $5bn and suspended its vast $25bn share buyback plan in an effort to weather the recent collapse in oil prices, Reuters reported.
The Anlgo-Dutch oil major said it would reduce capital expenditure to $20bn or below from a planned level of about $25bn while seeking to reduce operating costs by an additional $3bn to $4bn over the next 12 months.
Temasek led a $109m funding round for Cure.Fit, an integrated platform for food, fitness and meditation. The startup has also seen the entry of two new investors via the latest financing including, GableHorn Investments and Ascent Capital.
The latest financing comes less than a year after Cure.Fit closed a $120m Series D round, led by existing investors Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures), Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, and Oaktree Capital. The startup was reportedly valued at $575m in that round.
Elite Partners makes first close of $236m logistics fund. (FS, RE)
Singapore-based private equity firm Elite Partners Capital announced the first close of its pure-play Elite Logistics Fund, which has a target size of $236m and seeks investment opportunities in the European Union's and the UK's logistics sector.
The announcement did not mention the amount raised in the first close but Elite Partners said the fund would hold more than 4m square feet of logistics assets in Poland and the UK.
Khazanah, Telenor pause Axiata deal talks due to politics.
Malaysia's sharpened political risks are hindering a deal involving the nation's biggest mobile-phone carrier. Talks between Axiata Group's largest owner and Norwegian operator Telenor which were re-opened this year have been halted due to the change in Malaysia's government and coronavirus outbreak.
SoftBank considers $41bn of asset sales. (FS)
SoftBank Group intends to monetize up to $41bn of assets to acquire back $18bn of its shares and reduce debt in an unprecedented move to restore investor confidence as a financial market rout pummels its shares and its portfolio companies.
The Japanese tech conglomerate’s plans come as it contends with a growing financial squeeze on the company and its $100bn Vision Fund, which has recorded two consecutive quarters of losses after its tech bets fell short, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the global economy.
Chinese companies delay fundraising plans after watchdog tightens rules. (FS)
At least 10 Chinese firms said they could delay or change plans to raise funds via private share sales after regulators closed a loophole in recently loosened rules designed to help companies battling the economic impact of the coronavirus, Reuters reported.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission eased conditions for private placements last month, allowing bigger sales at deeper discounts and tripling the maximum number of participating investors.
Only investors classified as “strategic” can take full advantage of the relaxed rules. However, without an accompanying definition, a number of firms designated key executives and unrelated fund managers as strategic investors.
Bojiang Capital closes PE fund at over $113m. (FS)
Shanghai-headquartered investment bank Bojiang Capital raised more than $113m for its latest private equity fund, per a company statement.
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