Inflexion-backed Ocorian, a provider of corporate and fiduciary services, agreed to acquire Estera, a leading global provider of funds, corporate and trust services, from Bridgepoint. Estera will be merged with Ocorian, forming a global corporate service and fund administration leader of significant scale. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is a landmark transaction for Ocorian. Together both businesses will be able to offer an enhanced service to their clients wherever they are located. The whole team looks forward to working with the team at Estera to take the enlarged business forward." Stuart Layzell, Chief Executive, Ocorian.
White & Case advised Inflexion. Deutsche Bank, Duff & Phelps, ING Bank, KPMG, Travers Smith and BAE advised Bridgepoint.
eCobalt Solutions, an advanced-stage development company with its flagship asset being the Idaho Cobalt Project, and Jervois Mining, Australian cobalt developer, agreed to combine. Jervois will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of eCobalt that Jervois does not already own (currently c. 4.5% shares).
The shareholders of eCobalt have come to an agreement to approve this offer.
Maxit Capital and Pilot Law are advising Ecobalt. Cormark Securities, TD Securities, Dentons, and Ken Klassen are advising Jervois.
Parsons Corporation, an American technology-focused defense, intelligence, security, and infrastructure engineering firm, acquired QRC, which develops and produces survey tools for cellular communication systems, from private equity firm DC Capital Partners for $215m.
“Bringing QRC into the Parsons family complements our existing portfolio, increases our presence in the high-growth markets of spectrum awareness and surveillance, adds critical intellectual property that complements and expands our available capabilities for the Special Operations and Intelligence Communities,” said Chuck Harrington, Parsons’ Chairman and CEO. “Our expansion into military hardware will provide significant value for both our shareholders and customers across federal solutions and critical infrastructure.”
NexPoint Hospitality Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust, agreed to acquire Condor Hospitality Trust, a hotel-focused real estate investment trust, for $318m. The merger consideration of $11.10 per share to be paid represents a premium of approximately 34% over Condor’s unaffected share price of $8.27 as of July 19, 2019.
Bill Blackham, Condor’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are pleased with our strategic alternatives process concluding with a transaction we believe is attractive for our shareholders. NHT is acquiring our very high quality portfolio of outperforming select service hotels and Condor shareholders are receiving a liquidity event at an attractive premium to our unaffected share price prior to the transaction announcement.”
KeyBanc Capital Markets and McGrath North Mullin & Kratz advised Condor. Goodmans and Winston & Strawn advised NexPoint Hospitality Trust.
Yellow Wood Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Dr. Scholl’s, a leading footwear and orthopedic footwear brand, from Bayer for a purchase price of $585m.
“The Yellow Wood team is excited to become the next steward of the iconic Dr. Scholl’s brand. Dr. Scholl’s is the leading brand in the footcare category, and we see great potential to grow the brand in its existing and other sales channels. The brand fits extremely well into the Yellow Wood consumer-focused business model as our firm has the operating experience from other carve-out investments to work with the Bayer employees who are continuing with the brand to build an exciting new stand-alone platform company.” Dana Schmaltz of Yellow Wood Partners.
Bayer is advised by Citigroup, Sawaya Partners, and Covington & Burling. Yellow Wood is advised by Fried Frank.
Vail Resorts, a leading global mountain resort operator, acquires Peak Resorts, a leading owner and operator of high-quality, individually branded ski resorts in the US, for $264m.
"The ski areas within the Peak Resorts portfolio exemplify the spirit of our sport as well as our Company's mission to provide an Experience of a Lifetime to guests. We're thrilled to welcome the resorts and their employees into the Vail Resorts family and invest in their continued success." Rob Katz, Vail Resorts CEO.
Moelis and Ropes & Gray are advising Peak Resorts.
Ascential, the specialist, global information company, acquired a 35% stake in Jumpshot, the marketing analytics subsidiary of Avast, for $61m.
Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer, Ascential, commented: "Jumpshot is a good fit for Ascential and supports our goal to help the world's most ambitious businesses win in the digital economy. Jumpshot takes existing insights and measurement platforms to the next level by connecting behaviours across any site, including walled gardens, providing brands with deep insight into consumers' paths to purchase in the digital economy. Having exclusive access to Jumpshot products is expected to accelerate sales for Edge by Ascential and allow Ascential to build unique products for our customers to drive their success in digital commerce."
SkyKnight Capital, a leading investment firm acquires Heffernan Insurance Brokers, a leading independent retail insurance brokerage platform headquartered in Walnut Creek, California. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to bring SkyKnight on as a value-added partner to help execute on our next phase of growth,” said Mike Heffernan, President and CEO of Heffernan. “SkyKnight’s investment allows us to gain valuable strategic and financial support, while retaining our independence and our culture of employee ownership.”
Microsoft, an American multinational technology company, invested $1bn in OpenAI, an AI research company, to support us building artificial general intelligence.
“The creation of AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity,” said Sam Altman, CEO, OpenAI. “Our mission is to ensure that AGI technology benefits all of humanity, and we’re working with Microsoft to build the supercomputing foundation on which we’ll build AGI. We believe it’s crucial that AGI is deployed safely and securely and that its economic benefits are widely distributed. We are excited about how deeply Microsoft shares this vision.”
Zoetis, a leading animal healthcare firm, acquires Platinum Performance, a privately held, nutrition-focused animal health company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With the acquisition of Platinum’s premium quality, nutritional formulas, Zoetis is entering this space for horses and building on the company’s existing nutritional portfolio for dogs and cats. The expansion in nutritionals aligns well with Zoetis’ increasing focus on health and wellness as part of the continuum of animal care, which spans from prediction and prevention to detection and treatment of disease
“Zoetis is excited to acquire Platinum Performance and add its high-quality, nutritional products and expertise to our diverse portfolio and team,” Kristin Peck, Zoetis Executive Vice President.
Westinghouse Electric Company acquires NA Engineering Associates, a Canadian-based provider of comprehensive engineering solutions including significant nuclear expertise. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This acquisition supports Westinghouse’s strategic growth initiatives by expanding the company’s footprint in Canada.
“We are excited to join Westinghouse, a leader in the global nuclear industry, and contribute our deep engineering expertise to support the company going forward.” Nick Aroutzidis, NA Engineering President & CEO.
Smart Communications, the leading cloud-based platform for enterprise customer communications, has acquired Intelledox, a global digital transformation software company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
As a result, customers will be empowered to deliver the smartest, most interactive communications possible, throughout the entire customer lifecycle - from acquisition to servicing, and every interaction in between.
“This is a tremendously exciting development for both companies. Since our start, we have been wholly focused on empowering companies to deliver personalized, relevant, and interactive communications at tremendous scale. Through our acquisition of Intelledox, we are now even better equipped to deliver best-in-class, two-way customer conversations throughout the entire customer journey. Together we will redefine customer engagement, while also improving internal efficiency and creating ROI that is unmatched in our industry.” James Brown, Smart Communications CEO.
ZOLL Medical, an Asahi Kasei Group company that manufactures medical devices and related software solutions, acquires Mobilize RRS, a privately held company that markets the Mobilize Rescue Systems app and associated rescue kits, which are designed to help bystanders deliver acute critical care in emergency situations. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This transaction will have a positive impact on saving more lives,” said Jeffrey Gerstner, CEO of Mobilize RRS. “With ZOLL’s extensive network, our emergency technology will be brought to a greater number of patients worldwide.”
PPG, a leading manufacturer of paints, coatings and specialty materials, acquires Dexmet Corporation, a manufacturer of specialty materials for surfaces in aerospace, automotive and industrial applications, from private equity firm Sverica Capital Management. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of Dexmet will enable PPG to provide further value to our customers by enhancing our range of product offerings, expanding our research and development capabilities, and increasing our market reach across PPG’s aerospace, automotive and industrial coatings businesses,” said Michael McGarry, PPG chairman and chief executive officer.
AN Global, a leader in next-generation digital services, acquires AgileThought, a leading provider of enterprise software development and transformation services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Florida-based AgileThought by AN Global will result in a joint workforce of over 3,000 employees, and create an expanded global digital transformation organization with offices across three continents in markets that include the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Portugal, and Spain.
"While AgileThought's exemplary delivery and consistent growth among high-end and high-value clients were impressive, its culture and brand promise to deliver for clients were both fundamental reasons for this transaction," Manuel Senderos, AN Global Chairman & CEO.
Ceva, a leading manufacturer of sensors and signal processing equipments, acquires Hillcrest Laboratories, a leading global supplier of software and components for sensor processing in consumer and IoT devices from InterDigital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are truly excited to welcome the Hillcrest Labs team to CEVA. Their unrivalled expertise in sensor processing and innovative sensor fusion technology, as well as proven track record of high-volume shipments align perfectly with our diversification strategy in the smart sensing domain. This acquisition presents opportunities for multiple royalty growth vectors." Gideon Wertheizer, Ceva CEO.
European lifestyle retailer Snipes acquired Michigan-based Mr. Alan’s Men’s Bootery, a lifestyle specialty retailer of urban-inspired footwear, apparel and accessories. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This is the second acquisition for Cologne, Germany-based Snipes, which entered the US market earlier this year with the acquisition of Kicks USA. The company is a subsidiary of Deichmann and operates 300 stores in Europe and the US.
Dr. Oetker, a German multinational company that produces baking powder, cake mixes, frozen pizza, pudding, cake decoration, cornflakes, and various other products, agreed to acquire Mavalerio, a Brazilian confectionery company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Franco-Nevada acquired acreage in the Marcellus Shale from Range Resources Corporation for $300m.
Franco-Nevada, a Canada-based company that owns royalties and streams in gold mining and other commodity and natural resource investments, acquired an overriding royalty acreage in the Marcellus Shale from Range Resources Corporation, a petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company, for $300m. The Marcellus is one of the most prolific and active gas and liquids plays in North America. The purchase will be financed with a combination of cash on hand and funds drawn from the firms's revolving credit facility.
Elliott discloses stake in UK's Whitbread. (FS)
Premier Inn owner Whitbread said activist investor Elliott Capital Advisors disclosed a stake of below 5% in the company. Elliott had become increasingly frustrated with Whitbread’s strategy of owning Premier Inn hotels outright and wants the company to offload chunks of its property portfolio.
The activist investor believes Whitbread’s strategy is “depressing” the company’s share price and is leaving it open to a cut-price hostile takeover.
Cisco in talks to acquire Signal Sciences.
Cisco, an American multinational technology conglomerate, is in talks to acquire Signal Sciences, a software company in Culver City, California. The negotiations are the latest sign of Cisco’s efforts to expand in cybersecurity. Signal Sciences raised $35m in Series C funding in February 2019. Lead Edge Capital led the round, with participation from existing investors CRV, Index Ventures, Harrison Metal and OATV.
Gannett in advanced deal talks with GateHouse Media.
Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, is in advanced talks to combine with GateHouse Media in a deal that would merge the two largest owners of newspapers in the US by circulation, Financial Times reported.
GateHouse, which is controlled by Softbank’s Fortress Investment Group, has made a cash-and-stock bid to buy Gannett. Gannett’s board is expected to approve the takeover in the coming weeks, but an agreement has yet to be clinched, and those briefed about the negotiations cautioned that the talks could still fall apart.
Kohlberg explores sales of Interstate Hotels & Resorts. (FS)
Kohelberg, a leading private equity firm, is exploring the possibilities of sale of it's Interstate Hotels & Resorts, the deal could amount to $1bn.
The private equity firm has tapped advisers to seek interest from potential suitors for the third-party hotel management company, Bloomberg reported.
Rick Fox looking to sell his e-sports company.
Former pro basketball star Rick Fox is close to a sale of his e-sports company, Echo Fox. Los Angeles-based Echo Fox fields a team playing in the North America League of Legends Championship Series. Mr. Fox may leave the company as part of a deal. He has been looking to dispose of the company since his investment partner, Amit Raizada, was accused of using a racial slur. Riot Games, which operates the League of Legends series, gave the organization 60 days to sever its ties to Mr. Raizada.
LionTree is advising on the sale.
GFL Environmental files for IPO to raise about $1.5bn.
GFL Environmental, North America’s fourth-biggest waste hauler, filed for an initial public offering that would be the largest in Canada in about five years.
The sale would aim to raise about $1.5bn and value the company at about $15bn, Bloomberg reported. Marketing will start in September, and the listing will be on the Toronto Stock Exchange and a yet-to-be-decided US exchange. All proceeds will go to the company’s treasury and be used to fund future growth.
Software provider Medallia’s trading debut ranks among year’s best.
Medallia ended its first day as a public company with one of the year’s ten best trading debuts after its $326m initial public offering.
Shares of the enterprise software provider, which rose as much as 88% Friday, closed up 76% to $37. That gave it the eighth-best first-day performance out of 105 IPOs in the US this year, Bloomberg reported.
Change Healthcare survives losing streak ahead of initiations.
The analyst hush is set to break on Change Healthcare as shares fall back toward its below-range IPO price. Shares in the health care software maker have traded up since their June 27 debut, the biggest IPO by a US company since Chewy, but they still haven’t breached the lower end of the offering’s $16-19 price range. Change was logging its sixth consecutive day of declines, the final session before a flood of analyst initiations may be published.
WeWork considers hosting analyst day for Wall Street banks in IPO push.
The We Company, the parent of shared office space manager WeWork, plans to host an analyst day for Wall Street banks on July 31, as the company steps up its preparations for an IPO, DealStreetAsia reported.
WeWork’s decision to host the event at this stage is unusual, given that IPO hopefuls have typically hired underwriters by the time they invite analysts from Wall Street banks to educate them about their company’s business.
iflix finalizes the new round led by Fidelity International.
Malaysia-based video streaming startup iflix has finalized a new round of investment to drive growth ahead of a prospective initial public offering. While the size of the series has not been disclosed, the company said in a statement that the total is “well more than $50m”.
“These investments are a clear affirmation of iflix’ business model and growth prospects and strengthen our ties to some of the region’s largest providers of local content. We have a strong pipeline of new content and are excited to be making our most extensive ever content offering available to our millions of users across the region,” Patrick Grove, iflix co-founder, and chairman.
The UK government intervened in the $5.5bn takeover of satellite company Inmarsat on national security grounds. The company agreed to be acquired by private equity firms Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus, and CPPIB.
Jeremy Wright, the culture secretary, issued a public interest intervention notice on the sale of the British satellite company. The minister said he had received representations from the secretary of state for defense, the business secretary and the foreign secretary before issuing the notice. The Competition & Markets Authority has also opened a review.
Inmarsat is advised by Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, PJT Partners, Clifford Chance and Headland Consultancy. The buyers are advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, UBS, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Kirkland & Ellis, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Kekst & Company.
Maurel & Prom, the Paris listed exploration and production company, made a $257m takeover offer for Amerisur Resources, which engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas assets. The consideration was to comprise 12.5 pence in cash, and new shares in M&P with a value of 4.5 pence, per Amerisur share, representing a 41.7% premium to Amerisur's share price of 12.0 pence on 17 July 2019.
M&P sees considerable benefit to shareholders from a combination and believes that the enlarged group would offer significant value upside for both Amerisur's and M&P's shareholders. The combination would result in a balanced portfolio of producing assets, with a wide range of high impact exploration and development opportunities across Latin America and Africa. This would allow value adding capital allocation decisions, benefiting
from M&P's access to both flexible and low cost debt and to capital markets.
Arden Partners, BMO Capital Markets, Investec, Stifel, and Camarco advised Amerisur. Hannam & Partners and Brunswick Group advised Maurel & Prom.
Barrick Gold Corporation offered to acquire all of the shares it does not already own in Acacia for $428m, implying an enterprise value of $1.2bn. On that basis, the terms of the Share for Share Exchange Ratio represent a premium of 53.5% to the closing price of 151 pence per Acacia Share on 20 May 2019.
Odey Asset Management, a British hedge fund which holds a 2.31% Acacia, intends to vote behalf of its clients, in favor of Barrick Gold's final offer to buy out Acacia.
JP Morgan, RBC Capital Markets, Lazard, RBC Capital Markets, Shearman & Sterling, and Camarco are advising Acacia. Rothschild & Co and Norton Rose Fulbright are advising Barrick.
Generali, an Italian insurance company, acquired AdvanceCare and Seguradoras Unidas, two Portugese insurance companies from Apollo Global for €600m ($673m). The acquisition of the two assets is consistent with Generali’s capital redeployment strategy in disciplined M&A to support profitable growth.
Jaime Anchústegui Melgarejo, CEO International of Generali, said: "With the acquisition of Seguradoras Unidas, Generali will become the second largest group in the Portuguese non-life segment. The transaction will enable us to optimise our strategic positioning in the country, to capture future growth opportunities, to achieve significant cost synergies through the integration of Generali Portugal and Seguradoras Unidas and to ensure the operational solidity of Europ Assistance in the Portuguese market.”
Barclays, Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners, Morais Leitao Galvao Teles Soares da Silva and Sullivan & Cromwell advised Generali.
VvAA Groep and ASR Nederland have agreed that ASR is to acquire VvAA Levensverzekeringen. With this takeover, VvAA will secure access to life insurance products, including term life insurance and annuity products for its more than 120k members. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Besides a multi-year collaboration for the life insurance business, VvAA and ASRalso intend to expand the services to VvAA members further. This takeover fits into ASR's strategy to grow not only organically but also through targeted bolt-on acquisitions, and it meets the strict financial criteria that ASRapplies for purchases.
"In our choice for ASRwe have carefully considered several elements, including the interests of our members and our staff. We want to offer our members a top-quality total package of products and services and optimal service. Besides, we were looking for excellent employment conditions for the current VvAA life insurance business colleagues. With this partnership, we can safeguard the quality of our service, now and in the future, in a way that takes full account of our VvAA standards." Kees Brouwer, chairman of the board of VvAA.
ASR is advised by Houthoff. VvAA Groep is advised by Aperghis & Co and NautaDutilh.
Investment companies Arrow Capital Partners and Cerberus formed a joint venture to acquire a €2bn ($2.2bn) portfolio of European industrial and urban logistics real estate. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We’re already in exclusivity on seven acquisitions totalling €130m ($146m) across four countries and have an extensive pipeline of opportunities we are progressing, including partnering with local developers who seek a long-term capital partner in their projects to help deliver their local pipelines,” Martyn McCarthy, managing partner of Arrow Capital Partners said.
Bluegem Capital sold Liberty London, the British iconic brand and flagship store, to Glendower Capital, a global secondary private equity manager, for £300m ($375m).
“I am grateful and proud of the team and of their achievements. I am confident we have built a truly differentiated business and assembled a first-class management team that will allow Liberty to reclaim its status as one of the most iconic brands in the world, and the last truly heritage British brand” said Marco Capello, Chairman of Liberty London.
GBH Group, a leading French retailer, acquires Vindemia, a leading retailer in the Indian Ocean, from Groupe Casino for $246m.
With this agreement, Vindémia's activities will continue and develop within GBH's Retail division. The completion of this disposal will be achieved after consultation with employee representative bodies and subject to approval by the French Competition Authority. In the agreement, GBH has committed to sell stores to a third party in anticipation of possible concerns from the Competition Authority.
Private equity firms LDC and Ares Management invested £100m ($125m) in Onecom, the UK’s largest independent business telecommunications provider.
Ben Dowd, Onecom CEO, said: “I am delighted that LDC have backed the Onecom management team to pursue our growth strategy over the next few years. We have worked very closely with LDC over the last few months and they share the same level of ambition as we do."
FNZ, the global financial technology company, has acquired JHC Systems, a leading UK-based provider of platform software to the wealth management industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
As well as realizing significant synergy opportunities, the acquisition results in the combined group becoming one of the top booking platforms in the UK, by bringing together FNZ’s and JHC’s respective existing customers in this market.
“JHC has a market-leading and well-established technology platform in the UK, combined with new state-of-the-art digital solutions.” Adrian Durham, FNZ chief executive.
CNOOC, China’s National Petroleum Corporation and Japan Arctic LNG, a consortium comprising of Mitsui and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National acquires Arctic LNG-2 from Novatek, a leading oil and natural gas asset firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We now have formed the structure of the Project’s participants by successfully closing the sale of interests in Arctic LNG 2,” noted Leonid Mikhelson, Novatek's Chairman of the Management Board. “The target level of Novatek’s participation has been reached, allowing us to make the final investment decision and optimally use the Company's cash flow to finance our new projects”.
Main Capital, a leading investment firm, acquires Optimizers, a provider of highly innovative supply chain software solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The collaboration with Main will accelerate the expansion of our business internationally by incorporating new technologies and the development of valuable partnerships in both European and USA markets. Together we will continue to invest in the functional enrichment of all product lines; making them more intuitive, smarter and adaptive in order to meet the future needs of our customers.” Stefan van Diggelen, Optimizers CEO.
Paradigm, a leading talent agency, acquires CODA, a leading music agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With CODA’s roster merging into Paradigm’s, the agency now also handles international representation outside North America for Bon Iver, Ellie Goulding, FKA twigs, Lewis Capaldi, Liam Payne, Mark Ronson, Pusha T, Rag’n’Bone Man, Rita Ora, Robyn and Take That.
"We look forward to the next chapter as one global company, driven by agents who share an unwavering focus on the artists we represent and the art they create.” Sam Gores, Paradigm CEO.
Oerlikon, a Swiss technology conglomerate, agreed to acquire Swiss-based AMT, one of the worldwide leading suppliers of high-tech Thermal Spray turn-key systems, core components and spare parts for a vast variety of industrial applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“As part of Oerlikon, AMT has the financial backing of a large corporation with access to capital to invest in growth, as well as, gaining access to Oerlikon's application development and R&D resources,” states Dr. Alexander Schwenk, CEO of AMT AG.
Private equity firm Inflexion sold Cawood Scientific, the UK’s largest independent provider of accredited agriculture and environmental testing services, to Waterland Private Equity. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to have worked together with the Cawood team to transform the business by increasing scale and expanding its capabilities into adjacent markets. We wish management the best in shaping Cawood’s next chapter of growth and development." Simon Turner, Managing Partner, Inflexion.
Arsenal Capital Partners agreed to acquire the Healthcare Packaging business of Clariant, a focused and innovative specialty chemical company, for CHF308m ($314m). Clariant’s Healthcare Packaging business offers products used to protect pharmaceutical products from moisture and oxygen. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals.
John Laing Environmental acquired Yorkshire Hydropower Holdings. (FS)
John Laing Environmental Assets Group, the listed environmental infrastructure fund, announced the acquisition of Yorkshire Hydropower Holdings for £4.3m ($5.4m). The acquired company owns 100% of the equity in Yorkshire Hydropower, which in turn holds the rights to two operational hydro projects and an operational battery storage system.
This represents the company's first investment in two new sectors - run-of-river hydro and battery storage, further diversifying the company's portfolio of environmental infrastructure projects including, wind, solar, anaerobic digestion, waste and wastewater.
Foresight Group, Winterflood Investment Trusts, Newgate Communications and Praxis Fund Services advised John Laing.
Cummins considers an offer for VW's large engines unit.
United States-based diesel engines maker Cummins has made an indicative offer for Volkswagen’s MAN Energy Solutions unit, Reuters reported, as the carmaker seeks to slim down its portfolio of different assets.
Volkswagen announced in May that it is exploring a sale or partnership for its MAN Energy Solutions as part of a restructuring of the German cars, trucks and bus empire.
Group 1 Automotive acquires five new franchises.
Group 1 Automotive, a leading automotive retailer, acquires five Volkswagen franchises in the UK. This transaction includes four Volkswagen franchises and one Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle franchise located east of London in the county of Essex.
This acquisition is expected to generate approximately $115m in annualized revenues. The addition of these stores increases the Company's UK operations to 49 dealerships (65 franchises), which includes 11 existing brands (Audi, BMW, Ford, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, MINI, SEAT, Skoda, Toyota, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles).
"We are pleased to further expand our global relationship with Volkswagen through the addition of these five franchises to our growing UK platform," Earl J. Hesterberg, Group 1 President and CEO.
Mirror parent considers buying former Johnston Press assets.
The UK’s largest regional newspaper group is in talks to buy parts of the old Johnston Press business as it continues efforts to consolidate the market.
Reach, previously known as Trinity Mirror, confirmed that it had made an offer to acquire some of the titles owned by JPI Media, which fell into the hands of its creditors last year.
Reach owns tabloid newspapers including the Daily Mirror and Daily Express, which it bought in 2018, but has also been the country’s most prolific acquirer of regional and local titles in recent years, including the Manchester Evening News and about 100 titles as part of its 2015 buyout of Local World.
Apollo Global considers an offer for France's Coface. (FS)
Buyout firm Apollo Global Management has approached Coface, the credit insurance company partly owned by French bank Natixis, with an acquisition offer, Reuters reported.
The potential deal would allow Natixis, owned by French cooperative lender BPCE, to cash out on its remaining 42% stake in Coface following an initial public offering of the company in 2014.
Cerberus looking to buy Metro Bank mortgage portfolio. (FS)
FT reported that Cerberus, the US private equity group, is in talks to buy a portfolio of mortgages from the UK’s Metro Bank, a retail bank. The bank said that it regularly assesses various opportunities in the market and accordingly confirms that discussions regarding the potential sale of a loan portfolio are taking place.
Metro Bank said in May it was looking to sell more than £1bn ($1.1bn) of loans that were at the center of an accounting error. At the start of the year, regulators found it had overreported its capital ratios. Large numbers of commercial property and buy-to-let loans were affected by the error, with the bank finding it was not holding enough capital against the loans because of the mistake.
US hedge fund holds talks with Dubai-based Bin Zayed Group over £300m Newcastle FC purchase. (FS)
An American hedge-fund backed by Japanese investment giant SoftBank has been holding talks with the Dubai-based Bin Zayed Group which is interested in buying Newcastle United Football Club for between £300m ($372m) and £350m ($434m).
It is believed Fortress Investment Group is one of several parties talking to Bin Zayed about providing expensive debt financing for a takeover of the Premier League club, owned by retail tycoon Mike Ashley.
CVC and GIC are looking for a stake in Euroclear. (FS)
CVC Capital Partners and GIC are among firms considering bids for a stake in the $6.4bn European settlements giant Euroclear, Bloomberg reported.
The Brussels-based company, which counts the London Stock Exchange Group as a shareholder, is planning to decide in the coming days whether to pursue a stake sale or an initial public offering of the business.
Campari considers the acquisition of liquor firm Rhumantilles.
Italian drinks group Campari said it had entered exclusive negotiations to buy French firm Rhumantilles to strengthen its rum business and grow its market in France.
Rhumantilles produces Caribbean Rhum Agricole brands via its Bellonnie & Bourdillon Successeurs unit. It is owned by Compagnie Financière Chevrillon and a group of minority shareholders.
African Unicorn Interswitch to hire JP Morgan for 2019 IPO.
Interswitch, a Nigeria-based payments firm, has hired advisers to resurrect plans for a stock-market listing in London and Lagos later this year, Bloomberg reported.
JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Standard Bank Group are among the firms working on an initial public offering, which may value the financial technology company at $1.3bn to $1.5bn.
London law firm Mishcon de Reya considers IPO.
UK law firm Mishcon de Reya is preparing for an initial public offering or a stake sale, Sky News reported.
The London-based firm, which wants to raise capital to accelerate its expansion, is expected to hire bankers to work on a deal in coming months.
Behavox targeting a $100m financing round. (FS)
British AI startup Behavox is targeting a unicorn status with its newest funding round. The boss of British artificial intelligence start-up Behavox could soon be worth more than $400m after it emerged his company is targeting "unicorn" status in an upcoming funding round. The firms AI-based technology is largely used by financial institutions including Jefferies, Arrowgrass and Anglo American to spot everything from rogue trading, bribery and expenses abuse.
Nigeria to privatize 10 electricity utilities.
Nigeria plans to sell ten electricity generation companies to private investors this year as it seeks to boost power supply in the West African nation, the Guardian reported.
The government has set up a committee for the sale of the remaining companies established under the National Integrated Power Project, the Lagos-based newspaper said, citing Alex Okoh, head of the Bureau of Public Enterprises.
FrieslandCampina to do due diligence on Arab Dairy
Egyptian cheese maker Arab Dairy will let Netherlands-based FrieslandCampina perform due diligence ahead of a potential bid for 100% of Arab Dairy’s, the company said in a bourse filing. The Panda cheese brand producer said it has received a letter of interest on Friday from the Dutch company asking to perform due diligence. Arab Dairy is 70%-owned by Pioneers Holding, one of Egypt's largest financial services firms.
EnPro Industries, a manufacturer of highly engineered industrial products, agreed to acquire LeanTeq, a privately-held, Taiwan-based company which primarily provides refurbishment services for critical components and assemblies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“LeanTeq complements Technetics Group, adding to our deep expertise and expanding the mission-critical suite of products we offer to our customers,” said Steve Macadam, President and Chief Executive Officer of EnPro. “The acquisition of LeanTeq demonstrates our commitment to investing in proprietary technologies in attractive and growing end markets and is consistent with our growth strategy, adding advanced technical capabilities, excellent financial characteristics, an experienced management team and significant aftermarket business. We look forward to welcoming LeanTeq employees to EnPro and working together to create value for our OEM partners, customers, and shareholders.”
GCA Altium and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom advised LeanTeq. Wells Fargo Securities and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher advised EnPro.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and its affiliates will invest $3.66bn in telecom tower assets of the Indian conglomerate. This multi-stage deal to acquire Reliance Jio lnfratel's tower unit marks it as the single-biggest private-equity deal ever in India.
"Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries has entered into an agreement with BIF IV Jarvis India, an affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management for an investment by Brookfield (along with co-investors) of $3.66bn in the units proposed to be issued by the Tower Infrastructure Trust," the company said in a regulatory filing.
China Southern Airlines considers equity diversification for $4bn capital injection. (FS)
China Southern Airlines will carry out an equity diversification plan that will involve the injection of CNY30bn ($4.4bn) of capital from three investors.
The Guangdong Hengjian Investment Holdings the Guangzhou Urban Construction Investment Group, and the Shenzhen Penghang Equity Investment Fund will each inject CNY10bn ($1.45bn) into the airline, as part of the country’s efforts to diversify ownership structures among state-owned firms.
Early backers Lightspeed, Sequoia considers $1.5bn divestment from OYO. (FS)
Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital, who were among the early investors in Indian hospitality company OYO Hotels & Homes, are set to take home a total of about $1.5bn in one of the most significant exits in the country’s startup ecosystem till date.
On Friday, OYO founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal announced that he would invest $2bn in buying back shares and in infusing fresh capital into the company, a part of which would come from early investors.
Lightspeed is expected to rake in about $1bn by selling half of its current 13.4% stake in OYO, making 50X returns on its five-year-old investment. In all, the company had invested about $20m into the six-year-old company, The Economic Times reported.
Tata negotiates to sell road business to GIC. (FS)
Tata Realty and Infrastructure, a wholly-owned unit of Tata Sons, is set to exit the roads business by selling four of its projects to Singaporean sovereign fund GIC. Feelers were reportedly sent out to global investors such as Macquarie, Cube Highways and Canadian fund CDPQ. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Ambit Capital is advising on the sale.
Inspur Cloud closed its $600m Series B round. (FS)
Inspur Cloud, a Chinese leading service provider of cloud computing and big data, said that it has closed a $600m in series B funding round led by China Construction Bank-backed fund, Minsheng Bank-backed fund and a few provincial government-backed investment group. Inspur Cloud will use the fresh capital to promote its brand and build cloud computing infrastructure and development center.
S Korean hardware firm Moiin opens $100m VR-focused venture capital fund. (FS)
South Korea-based virtual reality hardware company Moiin would set up a $100m venture capital fund to aid the growth of VR gaming globally. Based in Silicon Valley, the VR Development VC Fund will enable smaller developers to access funding for their initiatives, the company said in a statement.
Moiin, led by Jae Yoon Ok, will seek investment opportunities globally to drive global VR development forward to help usher in the fourth industrial revolution of a fully immersive VR world.
Etihad and Hinduja Group interested in reviving Jet Airways.
Etihad Airways, the second-largest airline in the United Arab Emirates, and Hinduja Group, an Indian conglomerate company based in Mumbai, are reportedly considered to be contenders for submitting a joint expression of interest to revive Jet Airways, an Indian international airline which is facing insolvency proceedings. The two sides were again holding discussions and examining funding requirements to pay off creditors and kick-start the airline, which shut operations on April 17.
Jet Airways lenders to provide interim financing to the bankrupt airline.
Lenders to Jet Airways agreed to provide some interim financing to the bankrupt airline to help it cover legal and other costs, as resolution experts look to find a potential buyer. In a regulatory filing, bankruptcy resolution firm Grant Thornton said Jet’s lenders had also approved the eligibility criteria for potential buyers.
Bahrain-based Investcorp closes maiden India PE fund at $150m. (FS)
Alternative assets manager Investcorp has closed its maiden India-focused private equity fund at c.$150m, senior executives said. Bahrain-based Investcorp entered India earlier this year when it acquired the private equity and real estate fund business of IDFC Alternatives.
Investcorp’s maiden India fund is a top-up of IDFC Alternatives’ fourth PE fund, which managed to raise around $70m before the acquisition by Investcorp. Investcorp is also leading the third PE fundraised by IDFC Alternatives.
“The fresh capital has more than doubled the fund size. The first close was at $ 70m, and we now have closed it at about $150m,” Rishi Kapoor, co-chief executive of Investcorp said. Most of the fresh capital came from high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) from the Gulf countries that have earlier been associated with Investcorp, along with domestic and international institutional investors, he said.
IFM Investors calls in co-pilot for Hobart Airport. (FS)
IFM Investors has formally joined the line up of big infrastructure owners lining up for a Macquarie Group-managed fund's controlling stake in Hobart Airport.
IFM Investors has tapped Morgan Stanley's investment banking team for advice on the potential acquisition and has its chargers preparing an indicative bid to be lobbed later this week, Street Talk reported
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