Mukesh Ambani to set up a $24bn e-commerce holding company.
Vodafone’s India venture in danger after court ruling.
China Feihe to raise $1.1bn in Hong Kong IPO.
Thai Siam Cement's packaging unit set to list in a $1bn IPO.
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Prologis, a provider of logistics real estate with a focus on high-barrier, high-growth markets, agreed to acquire Liberty Property Trust, a provider of commercial real estate, serving customers in the United States and the United Kingdom, for $12.6bn. The board of directors of Prologis and the board of trustees of Liberty have each unanimously approved the transaction.
"Liberty and Prologis represent two of the finest teams of real estate professionals and two of the finest portfolios of industrial real estate ever assembled. The joining of these two platforms at this moment, when industrial logistics has become so pivotal to the new economy, will further the industry's ability to support the nation's supply chain and enhance value creation for our combined shareholders. It is a testament to Liberty's outstanding teams of professionals, both present and past," Bill Hankowsky, Liberty Chairman and CEO.
Liberty Property Trust is advised by Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Prologis is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
LVMH, a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, offered to acquire Tiffany & Co, an American luxury jewelry and specialty retailer headquartered in New York City, for $14.5bn.
An acquisition by LVMH of Tiffany would increase its exposure to the high-end jewelry market, following its $5.2bn purchase of Italian jeweler Bulgari in 2011.
Tiffany & Co is advised by Centerview Partners, Goldman Sachs and Sullivan & Cromwell. LVMH is advised by GM Conseil, Deluxewords, Kekst CNC, Montfort Communications, Publicis Consultants and SEC and Partners.
SK Capital, a private investment firm focused on the specialty materials, chemicals and pharmaceutical sectors, completed its $775m acquisition of the Performance Products & Solutions business from PolyOne. The business has been renamed GEON Performance Solutions.
"GEON is a storied leader in the compounding industry, having pioneered and advanced the formulation of vinyl plastics for more than 70 years. We look forward to supporting the growth and improvement of the Company through investments in talent, innovation and market expansion," Jack Norris, SK Capital Managing Director.
SK Capital was advised by Valence Group, Latham & Watkins and Cerberus Business Finance. PolyOne was advised by HSBC and Jones Day.
Shareholders of Ashford, which provides asset management and advisory services, approved the combination with Remington Holdings, a holding company that offers hotel ownership and development services.
"With stockholder support of our combination with Remington, we have achieved a significant milestone as we move to complete this transformational transaction. We recently received the private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service and currently anticipate closing the transaction on or around Nov. 6, 2019. The combination will rapidly build operating scale and earnings power, and we expect it to significantly accelerate Ashford's growth," Monty J. Bennett, Ashford's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Remington Holdings is advised by Janney Montgomery Scott, Locke Lord, Norton Rose Fulbright and Morrison & Foerster. Ashford is advised by Robert W Baird and Baker Botts.
Apollo Global Management agreed to increase its stake in Athene Holding, a retirement services company, for $1.6bn. The transaction includes a share exchange between Apollo and Athene, purchase by Apollo of Athene shares, and also eliminates Athene’s current multi-class share structure which the companies expect will significantly improve Athene’s index inclusion eligibility and expand Athene’s investor base.
“We are tremendously excited to be announcing this strategic transaction, which we believe will meaningfully enhance value for both Apollo and Athene shareholders. Athene and Apollo have developed a special and symbiotic relationship since Athene’s inception a decade ago. By nearly doubling our economic interest in Athene to approximately 35%, we are reinforcing the durability of our relationship, and enhancing the strong alignment between the two companies," Leon Black, Apollo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Athene Holding is advised by Latham & Watkins and Sidley Austin. Apollo is advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Rubenstein Associates.
InstarAGF Asset Management, an independent alternative asset management firm focused on North American middle-market opportunities, agreed to acquire Oilfield Water Logistics, a provider of midstream water infrastructure and services to the energy industry in Texas. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Within North America's highest growth production areas, OWL plays a vital role in transporting and disposing of the significant water volume created.InstarAGF shares our commitment to safety, quality, sustainability, and customer service and is the ideal partner to help elevate and expand our platform, support North American producers and maintain best practices within the energy sector," Chris Cooper, OWL President and CEO.
InstarAGF is advised by Scotiabank and King & Spalding. OWL is advised by Morgan Stanley and Thompson & Knight.
Ellie Mae, a cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, agreed to acquire Capsilon, a provider of AI-powered mortgage automation software for mortgage lenders, investors and servicers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The team at Capsilon has built the leading AI-powered platform that is changing the economics of the industry by enabling mortgage lenders and servicers to significantly increase profitability on each loan. By joining forces with Ellie Mae, we are excited to extend our capabilities and deliver unprecedented functionality through deep integrations with the Encompass Digital Lending Platform. This will help lenders leverage automation from consumer engagement through investor delivery and servicing. We believe this combination will offer value to all of our customers and integration partners, regardless of LOS or servicing platform," Sanjeev Malaney, Capsilon CEO and Founder.
Capsilon is advised by Jefferies & Company and Kirkland & Ellis. Ellie Mae is advised by Sidley Austin and Allison+Partners.
Isramco, an oil and natural gas company, completed the merger with Naphtha Group, a group of Israel Petroleum Corporation, Naphtha Holding, Israel Oil Company, and Naphtha US Oil.
The Merger was approved by the company’s stockholders at a special meeting held on Oct. 22, 2019. Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, Isramco stockholders received $121.40 per share of company common stock. As a result of the merger, Isramco became an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Naphtha and the company’s common stock has ceased trading and will be delisted from the NASDAQ Capital Market.
Isramco was advised by Duff & Phelps and Norton Rose Fulbright. Naphtha Group was advised by Baker Botts.
Urbint, a provider of artificial intelligence for gas safety and risk reduction, agreed to acquire Opvantek, a provider of risk-based asset management solutions for gas, electric, and telecommunications utilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Urbint and Opvantek share a common goal – making communities safer and more resilient. Independently, Urbint and Opvantek have pursued this goal by delivering solutions that help utilities measure and mitigate risk. The combination of our technology solutions will accelerate our ability to deliver an enterprise risk platform more powerful than the gas industry has seen before,” Corey Capasso, Urbint CEO and Founder.
Kubient, a full-stack digital audience marketing platform, agreed to acquire Fidelity Media, a marketing and advertising company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Kubient's first-in-class Audience Cloud is built to provide an open transparent marketplace for both buyers and sellers. Fidelity Media's fmxSSP and header bidding capabilities are welcome additions to our already powerful marketplace offerings, and we look forward to providing even more options to Fidelity's robust client list," Peter Bordes, Kubient Chief Executive Officer.
Kubient is advised by KCSA Strategic Communications.
Mortgage Contracting Services, a provider of mortgage-related services, agreed to acquire M&M Mortgage Services, which offers a variety of mortgage field services, including several types of property inspections and delinquency interviews. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Adding a great business such as M&M Mortgage Services allows us to continue our pledge to clients to improve mortgage-related processes, build innovative technical solutions, and deliver on quality using the best people from the communities where we operate," Caroline Reaves, MCS's Chief Executive Officer.
Onto Innovation completed the merger of equals between Nanometrics, a provider of process control metrology and inspection systems, and Rudolph Technologies, a semiconductor company.
"Onto Innovation will leverage core competencies in software and optics to provide leading edge products in inspection, metrology, lithography, and enterprise process control. We believe our combination of complementary products and an experienced and passionate team will make an ideal choice for customers and create opportunities that increase value to all of our stakeholders, including our employees, customers, and shareholders," Michael Plisinski, Rudolph Chief Executive Officer.
Nanometrics was advised by Barclays and Cooley. Morgan Stanley and Wilmer Hale advised Rudolph.
BlueSnap, a global payments technology company, has acquired Armatic, a provider of accounts receivable and invoicing automation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With this acquisition, BlueSnap will provide B2B companies with an efficient quote-to-payment solution aimed at increasing sales and reducing costs.
"Today marks a major milestone for BlueSnap. B2B organizations are looking to simplify how they bill their customers and to get paid more quickly while reducing costs. We had already integrated the Armatic platform into our solution and shared joint customers, so we expect to generate tremendous growth through the addition of the Armatic team," Ralph Dangelmaier, BlueSnap CEO.
Huron Capital-backed XLerate Group, a nationwide auction and remarketing platform, completed the acquisition of Columbus Fair Auto Auction, an auto auction in Obetz, Ohio. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition bolsters XLerate's presence in the critical Midwestern market and our capabilities to service large fleet/lease and financial institution customers. We are excited that Greg Levi and his team will join XLerate's highly talented management group. XLerate's team will benefit from Greg's deep experience in customer compliance and digitally-enabled sales platforms," Cam Hitchcock, XLerate CEO.
Nuvation Bio, a stealth biotechnology company developing proprietary therapies focused on oncology, raised $275m in a Series A financing round. The round was led, structured and syndicated by Omega Funds and included participation from leading biotechnology investors including Aisling Capital, Altitude Life Science Ventures, The Baupost Group, Boxer Capital of the Tavistock Group, EDBI (global Asian-based investor), ECOR1 Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Pavilion Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Redmile Group, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company) and other institutional investors.
"The breadth and depth of Nuvation Bio's innovative pipeline demands a large initial investment. By syndicating one of the largest-ever Series A biotech financings, David and his exceptional team are well-positioned to advance Nuvation Bio's deep portfolio of therapies focused on dramatically improving the standard of care for those living with cancer," Otello Stampacchia, Omega Funds Founder and Managing Director.
Elim Mining, a private mineral resource company, agreed to acquire Sacaton Mine, a past-producing mine, which will change its name to the Cactus Mine, from the ASARCO Environmental Custodial Trust. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"People are the most important resource to Elim and we are thrilled to be joining the people of Pinal County to revitalize this historic site. Our company endeavors to focus on three things: economic development, environmental protection, and community partnerships. While ensuring a thriving surrounding community, another top priority will always be the health and safety of all employees and contractors; this focus is what we call the 'Elim Way'," John Antwi, Elim President and CEO.
Letter One, an international investment business headquartered in Luxembourg, agreed to acquire Destination Pet, a US pet health care provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With a differentiated platform and an experienced global management team, the acquisition of Destination Pet fits squarely within our focus on building leading companies and teams that occupy a strategic role in the healthcare sector. We share in the company's vision to deliver a new model of innovation in the animal health space and believe the business is positioned to grow in an attractive and growing market which will create significant value going forward," Meghan Fitzgerald, L1 Health Managing Partner.
Fortinet, an American multinational cybersecurity corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, agreed to acquire enSilo, a network security company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“As businesses become more networked and operations extend from the cloud to the edge and Internet of Things, the digital attack surface has expanded exponentially and has become more complex to secure. Manual threat hunting or point security solutions are ineffective when managing or securing these new environments. Instead, security and the network need to be integrated and orchestrated to enable advanced threat containment at network speeds. In acquiring enSilo, we add automated, real-time detection, protection, and response enhancements to our Fortinet Security Fabric to further protect endpoints and corresponding edge data,” Ken Xie, Fortinet Founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO.
Alphabet looking to bid for Fitbit.
Alphabet, an American multinational conglomerate and holding company of Google, is looking to bid for Fitbit, an American wearable device provider headquartered in San Francisco. No financial terms were disclosed.
There is no certainty that the negotiations between Google and Fitbit will lead to any deal.
AT&T poised to sell $10bn in assets next year. (FS)
AT&T unveiled a three-year strategic plan that included adding two new board members, selling off up to $10bn worth of non-core businesses next year and paying off all its debt from the purchase of Time Warner, bowing to pressure from activist investor Elliott Management, Reuters reported.
"We commend AT&T for the positive steps announced today, which will create substantial and enduring shareholder value at one of America's greatest companies," Elliott said in a statement.
Ben E. Keith Beverages to acquire assets from Artisanal Beverage Distributor.
Ben E. Keith Beverages, the third-largest independent beer wholesaler in the US, agreed to acquire assets from Artisanal Beverage Distributor, a boutique beer distributor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This full-scale move into the spirits market solidifies Ben E. Keith's standing as a top wholesaler of premier beverages and provides a dedicated and focused department to growing our spirits business throughout Texas. This strengthens our foothold in the space and complements our largest supplier partner Anheuser-Busch's growth into spirits," Kevin Bartholomew, Ben E. Keith Beverages President.
Southern Power to acquire Skookumchuck Wind Facility.
Southern Power, a US wholesale energy provider and a subsidiary of Southern Company, announced the acquisition of its 12th wind project — the 136-megawatt Skookumchuck Wind Facility located in Lewis and Thurston Counties, Washington. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This project is a great addition to our renewable portfolio. We continue to strive to develop clean, safe, reliable and affordable wholesale energy resources for the benefit of our customers," Bill Grantham, Southern Power President.
AECOM and Canyon Partners closed a $500m fund. (FS)
A joint venture between AECOM, an American multinational engineering firm, and Canyon Partners, an employee-owned hedge fund, announced the final close of its fund, AECOM-Canyon Partners, with a little more than $500m in total equity commitments.
The fund is targeting build-to-core investments in the top 25 markets in the US across a range of property types, including multifamily, mixed-use, office, hospitality, industrial and student housing.
Gas South to acquire assets in Florida.
Gas South, Southeast's natural gas provider, is set to acquire Florida assets from Peninsula Energy Services Company, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a diversified energy company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our team at Gas South has always been impressed with how PESCO built its gas marketing business in Florida by providing exceptional value and building mutually beneficial business relationships. When we had the opportunity to acquire this business, we viewed it as a great strategic and cultural fit. We're excited to have PESCO employees join Gas South to help us expand our retail natural gas business in Florida and elsewhere. We also look forward to continuing a very positive long-term relationship with Chesapeake Utilities as we continue to expand our respective businesses," Kevin Greiner, Gas South President and CEO.
PPF Group, a privately held international financial and investment group, agreed to acquire Central European Media Enterprises, a publicly-traded media and entertainment company, for $2.1bn. The valuation represents a premium of approximately 32% to CME’s share price on March 25, 2019.
“The Special Committee of the Board, together with our advisors, conducted an extensive review of alternatives, which involved outreach to and engagement with a significant number of strategic and financial parties. This announcement today reaffirms our commitment to deliver value to all shareholders,” John Billock, CME Board of Directors Chairman.
Central European Media Enterprises is advised by Allen & Company, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Covington & Burling. PPF is advised by JP Morgan and White & Case. BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Societe Generale and UniCredit are providing debt financing.
Reuters reported that online food delivery firm Takeaway.com asked its shareholder Delivery Hero to withhold from voting on its merger with Just Eat, citing a conflict of interest. Naspers-owned Internet conglomerate Prosus, which made an unsolicited $6.3bn offer to buy Just Eat, is the largest shareholder in Delivery Hero with a 22.3% stake.
"Delivery Hero's own market position as well as Prosus' position as the largest shareholder in Delivery Hero in itself gives rise to a conflict of interest," Takeaway.com said in a statement.
Takeaway is advised by Goldman Sachs, UBS, Oakley Advisory, Linklaters, and Brunswick Group are advising Just Eat. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lazard, Cravath Swaine & Moore, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, NautaDutilh, and Slaughter & May. Prosus is advised by JP Morgan, Allen & Overy, and Finsbury Hering Schuppener. Investec is providing debt financing.
Chardan Healthcare Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, completed a $55m acquisition of BiomX, a microbiome company developing both natural and engineered phage therapies.
"We believe this transaction leaves BiomX with a strong balance sheet and sufficient cash for the company to reach multiple value inflection points in its leading clinical programs. We also believe we have structured a transaction that will deliver value to all stakeholders and create opportunity for new investors. We are excited to make use of inherent features of the SPAC in combination with the fundamental qualities of BiomX and supportive shareholders for the benefit of all of our partners." Jonas Grossman, CHAC's President and Chief Executive Officer.
BiomX was advised by Cantor Fitzgerald, Goodwin Procter, Mayer Brown and ZAG-S&W. Chardan Healthcare was advised by Chardan, Loeb & Loeb and Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal.
PHD, a private equity firm, invested in Auto Marine Cables, a family-run supplier of low-voltage cables to the automotive and marine industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With its reputation for quality, its agile approach, and its ability to make "just in time" deliveries, AMC has a strong competitive advantage within the industry and is an integral part of the supply chain for many of its customers," Craig Richardson, PHD Partner.
PHD Equity Partners was advised by Hill Dickinson and Dow Schofield Watts. AMC was advised by Rickett Mitchell and Brabners.
Blue Water Energy, an energy private equity firm, agreed to acquire a 70% stake in Varel International Energy Services, a provider of drilling and downhole solutions to the oil and gas, mining, and industrial markets, from Sandvik, a high-tech and global engineering company offering tools and tooling systems for advanced metal-cutting, for $93m.
“In line with our strategy, we continue to focus Sandvik’s business portfolio to core areas. While Sandvik keeps the mining related part of Drilling and Completions, the oil and gas related operations will now receive full attention from its new owners to support profitable growth,” says Björn Rosengren, Sandvik President and CEO.
Cato Research, which specializes in drug development support for clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries, has merged with Specialized Medical Services-oncology, a full-service CRO solely dedicated to oncology. Financial terms were not disclosed.
By joining forces, CATO and SMS-oncology expand their presence across Europe and North America, deepen their oncology and regulatory expertise, and broaden their suite of services.
"CATO and SMS-oncology bring a powerful blend of capabilities focused on supporting small and mid-sized biotech and pharmaceutical companies with their innovative research. Our companies share strong cultural values, anchored by a commitment to high quality and personalized customer service. Together, we're focused on growing and enhancing our services to build an industry-leading company specializing in complex therapeutic areas, including oncology, cell and gene therapy, and rare treatments," Mark Goldberg, CATO Executive Chairman.
Crelan, a Belgian bank with roots in agriculture, agreed to acquire the Belgian banking unit of AXA, a French multinational insurance firm, for $690m. The consideration comprises a total cash consideration of $600m and the transfer of 100% of Crelan Insurance, the insurance company of Crelan.
"This transaction is another important step in the execution of our Ambition 2020 strategy, as we concentrate on businesses with critical scale and continue to simplify our business profile. We are extremely pleased to maintain our strong historical links through a continued partnership with AXA Bank Belgium, a key factor in this transaction, and to extend this partnership to Crelan’s network. Combining this with the transfer of Crelan’s insurance business to AXA, our leadership position in our preferred segments in Belgium will be further reinforced," Thomas Buberl, AXA Chief Executive Officer.
SoftBank Vision Fund agreed to invest $655m in Greensill, a non-bank provider of working capital finance for companies globally. The deal follows an initial $800m investment in May 2019.
Proceeds will primarily be used to accelerate Greensill’s international expansion plans and to finance strategic acquisitions of complementary businesses into the Greensill family, continuing its track record of disrupting traditional financing.
Bippy Siegal's Raycliff Capital agreed to invest $100m in Soho House, a hotel chain and group of private members' clubs originally aimed at those in the arts and media. The investment gave Raycliff Capital a 5% stake.
The new funds will help aid growth plans. The company plans to open new sites in 2020 and 2021, including in London, Paris and Mykonos.
Private equity firm Capital D agreed to acquire a 54% majority stake in VONQ, a recruitment marketing technology business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are delighted to have secured this significant investment from capital D. The team is very experienced in taking companies to the next level. In capital D, we’ve found a partner that can further accelerate our growth and help us increase the reach of our recruitment marketing technology on a global scale. We see this as a great opportunity to continue to empower hiring teams to attract the right applicants,” Wouter Goedhart, VONQ Co-founder and CEO.
H2 Equity Partners, an independent investment firm, agreed to acquire Contiweb, a manufectorer of auxiliary equipment for offset printing, from a New York-based private equity firm American Industrial Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thankful to AIP for the support we have received over the years and for its conviction in making Contiweb a successful independent company. We are pleased to continue in that vein, as an independent company, and will remain focused on developing and manufacturing excellent equipment and services for our customers around the globe. In the last few months, we have come to know H2 and have confidence in strong cooperation evolving from their technical and strategic orientation and their successful track record in similar situations," Rutger Jansen, Contiweb CEO.
ZephyrTel, a software company dedicated to serving global telecommunications operators, agreed to acquire Accuris Networks, which provides roaming, interworking, and convergence solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"It is a great privilege to add Accuris Networks to our growing cloud product portfolio, a further proof point towards our goal of providing value to telecoms businesses worldwide. We aspire to be a leading partner to Telco companies in their digital transformation and cloud migration programs, as we continue to acquire and develop new solutions that bring efficiencies and productivity gains to our customers," Mike Shinya, ZephyrTel CEO.
BGF-backed Hydrock, a UK-based engineering design consultancy, agreed to acquire MRB Consulting Engineers, an engineering consultancy practice offering clients in the property and construction industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Joining Hydrock, a well-respected, employee-focused company, is the perfect next step for the ambitions of our team and the growth of our client offer. I’ve got to know several of the Hydrock senior team over the past few months, and the obvious synergies in our staff culture and client approach makes me very excited for the future,” John McElwee, MRB’s Managing Director.
Vitruvian Partners agreed to invest in Sykes Holiday Cottages, the UK's fastest-growing independent holiday cottage provider. The transaction sees Vitruvian invest an undisclosed sum for a majority stake in Sykes, replacing existing backers Livingbridge following their five-year partnership with the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Sykes Holiday Cottages has gone from strength to strength, growing from a trusted family-run business to one of the largest holiday home rental platforms in Europe. In Sykes, we have found a team with a mission to become a global category leader and we hope to support that with our experience and capital. We back exceptional high-growth technology-enabled businesses with proven leadership teams and are excited to partner with Sykes Holiday Cottages during its next phase of growth,” Ben Johnson, Vitruvian Partners Partner.
David Montgomery ponders acquiring the Telegraph.
FT reported that veteran UK media executive David Montgomery is weighing a bid for Telegraph newspapers, following reports that the Barclay brothers could offload the titles as they look to shore up their business.
Potential buyers have been put off previously by the Barclays seeking to recoup the £665m ($852m) they paid for the Telegraph Media Group in 2004. Mr. Montgomery said it was "far too early to make an estimate on what the offer might be."
Jean-Louis Girodolle appointed as CEO of Lazard France. (People)
Lazard appointed Jean-Louis Girodolle as CEO of Lazard Investment Banking in France. The appointments follow the resignation of Lazard France chairman and CEO Matthieu Pigasse last week.
"Jean-Louis Girodolle has the right experience and long history with Lazard to lead our highly successful France Investment Banking franchise," Kenneth M. Jacobs, Lazard Chairman and Chief Executive.
IG Metall representatives demand concessions to employees in Thyssenkrupp’s elevator unit deal. (FS)
Top representatives at IG Metall, Germany’s biggest union, said they would not approve a sale of the elevator unit of Thyssenkrupp, a German multinational conglomerate with focus on industrial engineering and steel production, unless potential buyers give far-reaching concessions to employees. The unit, valued at approximately $18bn, has attracted at least ten bidders, including private equity firms.
“We will not give our approval without a fair agreement, without clear commitments to employees - no matter who the bidder is,” Joerg Hofmann, IG Metall Head.
Air Products, ACWA, Aramco joint venture raising debt to acquire assets.
Reuters reported that a joint venture between US-based Air Products, Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and Saudi Aramco is raising debt to help finance the purchase of assets worth $11.5bn by the end of the year. The joint venture is in advanced stages of talks with lenders.
The assets, to be purchased from Aramco, will include gasification assets, power block and associated utilities, as well as oxygen and desalinated water facilities.
Agnelli family not interested in selling its stake in GEDI.
Exor, the holding company of the Agnelli family, is not interested in selling its 6% stake in GEDI, an Italian media conglomerate. GEDI, which publishes prominent newspapers La Repubblica and La Stampa, is at the center of a battle for control between members of the De Benedetti family, which has a 43.8% stake in the group through their holding CIR.
KKR hires Deutsche Bank for Hensoldt's IPO. (FS)
Reuters reported that KKR added Deutsche Bank and KKR Capital Markets as additional global coordinators for the planned stock market flotation of Hensoldt, a multinational corporation headquartered in Germany which focuses on sensor technologies for protection and surveillance missions in the defense, security and aerospace sectors.
JP Morgan and Bank of America were previously hired to run the IPO. The listing will value Hensoldt at approximately $2.8bn.
JFrog ponders a $1.5bn Nasdaq IPO.
JFrog, a global Israeli software company, is considering going public on Nasdaq next year at a company valuation of $1.5bn. JFrog raised $165m a year ago in a funding round led by New York-based Insight Partners. At the time of the fundraising, the company said it was valued at over $1bn.
BinDawood hires JPMorgan and Goldman for IPO.
BinDawood Group, a Saudi Arabian retailer, is working with Goldman Sachs Group and JP Morgan Chase as joint global coordinators on a planned listing of its supermarket business on Tadawul as early as next year. The listing will value the company at approximately $1.9bn.
The group started preparations earlier this year to list the company that operates the BinDawood and Danube supermarkets and hypermarkets. The deal will allow Investcorp Bank to exit its minority stake in the retailer, marking the buyout firm's third exit from Saudi investments via an initial public listing in five years.
Investcorp signed a structured secondaries transaction with HarbourVest. (FS)
Investcorp Group signed a structured secondary transaction with HarbourVest to provide liquidity for Investcorp's existing $866m MENA private equity investment portfolio with up to an additional $70m of new capital for follow-ons and up to a further $60m for new investments.
"This milestone deal is a testament to the attractiveness of Investcorp's MENA portfolio to global institutional investors, our ability to leverage our strong relationship with an existing partner, HarbourVest, and to our innovative approach to creating value for all stakeholder groups. Our experience through secondary market transactions and creation of a buyout fund in Europe gives us credibility and confidence to be the pioneers of this investment strategy in the region," Hazem Ben-Gacem, Investcorp's Co-Chief Executive Officer.
Finnair and Air Serbia to establish a new codeshare partnership.
Finnair, the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, and Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, agreed on a codeshare agreement in order to provide their passengers enhanced travel opportunities within their networks in Europe. In addition, the new codeshares will also offer good connectivity between Serbia and key destinations in the USA and Asia.
"We are glad to have established a codeshare agreement with Finnair, that provides the guests of both companies more choice and flexibility in organizing their travels. We are sure that this exciting and strategically very important partnership will improve the economic relations of our countries. We are delighted to have the opportunity to host Finnair passengers on our flights to Belgrade as well as to other Air Serbia's destinations," Jiri Marek, Air Serbia's General Manager for Commercial and Strategy.
MIRA acquired an additional stake in Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm. (FS)
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets reached an agreement with Siemens to acquire an additional 10% stake in Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm in the UK. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are delighted to announce an additional investment in Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm. Offshore wind is a great success story for the UK and an important component of the country’s clean growth strategy. We are pleased to be supporting its continued development – bringing additional long-term institutional capital into the sector to support the UK’s transition to a future powered by renewables,” Leigh Harrison, MIRA EMEA Head.
Blackstone Group extended the deadline for its offer to buy Unizo, a Japanese hotel chain, to Nov. 6. Blackstone said the extension was "to provide additional time" for Unizo to respond to the offer.
Unizo is advised by Benedi Consulting, KPMG, ZECOO Partners, Daiwa Securities, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Nishimura & Asahi, TMI Associates, Horwath HTL Asia Pacific, Hospitality Capital Management and EY.
Diodes, a manufacturer and supplier of semiconductors, completed a $428m acquisition of Lite-On Semiconductor, a Taiwan-based supplier of "green" power-related discrete and analog semiconductor devices.
"The transaction meets our criteria for strategic acquisitions and is expected to be immediately accretive to our earnings. We look forward to further leveraging Diodes'Diodes' strong manufacturing know-how to drive increased operational and cost efficiencies, while also improving utilization of LSC'sLSC's production facilities in Taiwan and China," Dr. Keh-Shew Lu, Diodes CEO.
Lite-On was advised by Lexcel Partners. Diodes was advised by Jones Day. Bank of America, PNC and Wells Fargo Securities provided debt financing.
Yanlord Land, a real estate development company, is set to acquire United Engineers, an engineering services company, for S$1.7bn ($1.2bn).
The acquisition is in line with the company's objective of consolidating its interest in UEL and WBL, in order to increase the company's access to the property portfolios of UEL and WBL in Singapore and the PRC, and to enable the company to expand its property businesses and strengthen its position in its existing markets.
"We are happy to increase our stake in United Engineers as we are patient investors and believe in the long-term prospects of the businesses," Zhong Sheng Jian, Yanlord Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
United Engineers is advised by DBS Bank. Yanlord Land is advised by Newgate Communications.
Greenland, a blank check company, completed its $101m merger with Zhongchai Holding, a developer and manufacturer of traditional transmission products for material handling machinery and a developer of a robotic cargo carrier prototype.
"We are entering an exciting phase for our company where the resources of the public capital markets will be available to enhance our R&D efforts and business growth in the transmission industry. We believe that this will enable us to execute more rapidly and efficiently in delivering and scaling new designs and products to the world's connected consumers," Peter Zuguang Wang, Greenland's Chairman.
Alibaba and Jack Ma-led Yunfeng Capital agreed to acquire a 16% stake in Meinian Onehealth Healthcare, a China-based company principally engaged in the provision of physical examination and medical services, for $1bn.
The investment will make Meinian become the latest domestic listed company backed by Alibaba, who has so far poured nearly $14.2bn in about 20 such companies, as the e-commerce giant is raising the stake in the burgeoning Chinese market against the backdrop of an escalating trade war between China and the United States.
Saputo completed the acquisition of the specialty cheese business of Lion-Dairy & Drinks, a subsidiary of Kirin Holdings, for $179m, on a cash-free and debt-free basis will be paid in cash at closing from cash on hand and available credit facilities.
The specialty cheese business will enable Saputo’s Dairy Division (Australia) to diversify its product offering further, adding to and complementing its current activities.
Temasek, a Singaporean holding company, agreed to invest $100m in Scommerce, a Vietnamese logistics services provider.
“Temasek’s long-term partnership and investment will help fast-track the execution of our growth strategy to continually augment our technology and logistics infrastructure, management capacity as well as faster, smarter and more efficient services to meet the increasing demand of our customers,” Luong Duy Hoai, Scommerce and GHN CEO and Founder.
ABB, a multinational technology company, agreed to acquire a 67% stake in Shanghai Chargedot New Energy Technology, a Chinese e-mobility solution provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition will strengthen ABB's relationship with leading Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers and broaden the company's e-mobility portfolio with hardware and software developed specifically for local requirements.
"This investment is a further demonstration of ABB's commitment to enabling sustainable mobility. With China forging ahead in the development of a comprehensive e-mobility ecosystem, this acquisition will give ABB a significant role in delivering growth, working closely with SAIC and other leading Chinese car manufacturers," Tarak Mehta, ABB's President of Electrification business.
Mukesh Ambani to set up a $24bn e-commerce holding company.
Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani unveiled plans to set up a $24bn digital-services holding company that would become the main vehicle in his ambition to dominate the country’s internet shopping space. The move by Asia’s richest man is the latest sign of the oil-to-petrochemicals group’s pivot toward data and digital services for future growth. With the new holding firm, Mr. Ambani is also readying the businesses for an IPO.
“Given the reach and scale of our digital ecosystem, we have received strong interest from potential strategic partners. We will induct the right partners in our platform company, creating and unlocking meaningful value for RIL shareholders,” Mukesh Ambani.
Vodafone’s India venture in danger after court ruling.
FT reported that Vodafone’s joint venture in India is under threat after a supreme court ruling left the company on the hook for billions of dollars in retrospective fees, interest and fines.
The decision to charge levies for spectrum and license fees even on revenues unrelated to telecoms activity, is set to hurt the whole sector. But Vodafone Idea, in which the UK group holds a 45% stake, faces the heaviest costs and is in the weakest position to pay.
Unless the government intervenes, the country’s second-biggest carrier has three months to pay $4bn in historic levies plus penalties and interest. The third-biggest operator, Bharti Airtel, faces a $3bn hit.
China Feihe to raise $1.1bn in Hong Kong IPO.
China Feihe, the largest domestic infant milk formula maker in China, is looking to raise as much as $1.1bn in Hong Kong IPO. Feihe plans to use the proceeds for purposes including offshore debt repayment, potential acquisitions and funding the operation of a new manufacturing plant, the terms show.
The company is expected to stop taking investor orders Nov. 5 before beginning trading on Nov. 13.
Thai Siam Cement's packaging unit set to list in a $1bn IPO.
The packaging subsidiary of Thai Siam Cement, the largest and oldest cement and building material company in Thailand and Southeast Asia, is planning a local listing which could raise as much as $1bn. The IPO of SCG Packaging, which could be announced as early as this week, is aimed at independently beefing up the company's funding needs as it charts out a regional expansion strategy, Reuters reported.
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