A consortium of investors including Yankees Global Enterprise, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Amazon and RedBird Capital acquires an 80% stake in Yes Network, a broadcaster of games involving the Yankees and the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, as well as other sports content, from The Walt Disney Company for $3.5bn. The other 20% of Yes Network is already owned by Yankees. The transaction received the approval of the US Department of Justice.
“This transaction brings the YES Network and all of its popular programming even closer to the organization that inspired its very development,” said Hal Steinbrenner, Yankee Global Enterprises CEO. “Along with our partners, we look forward to greatly expanding the way that sports content is delivered and consumed by fans everywhere.”
FCN Bank, an Indiana-based bank, and DSA Financial, the parent company of Dearborn Savings Bank, announced the signing of a definitive agreement whereby Dearborn Savings Bank will merge with and into FCN Bank, creating the largest community bank headquartered in southeastern Indiana. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"There is such a commonality between FCN and Dearborn Savings Bank in our cultures, and our commitments to serve our customers and communities. Together we can continue to offer great products and service options, along with experienced bankers to compete with the bigger banks, while still maintaining the community values that our customers have grown accustomed to. We look forward to working together to continue this legacy as the premier community bank in the region." Thomas Horninger, FCN Bank President and Chief Executive Officer.
FCN Bank is advised by Capital Market Securities and SmithAmundsen. DSA Financial is advised by Sandler O'Neill & Partners and Barnes & Thornburg.
Liberty Tax, a leading auditing firm, acquires Sears' outlet business for $133m. The acquisition of Sears Outlet is an important step forward in the evolution of Liberty Tax’s strategic objectives, as it follows the July 2019 acquisition of Buddy’s Home Furnishings and the proposed acquisition of The Vitamin Shoppe.
“We are excited about the acquisition of Sears Outlet and its unique model that offers its customers in-store and online access to outlet-value products across a broad assortment of merchandise categories while serving as a valuable supply chain partner for its vendors." Andrew Laurence, Liberty Tax Chairman of the Board.
Pj Solomon and Shearman & Sterling are advising Sears. Guggenheim is the debt provider to Liberty Tax.
Dynasty, the premier pricing, distribution and inventory management platform in the sports, music and other live event space, acquired The Ticket Group, a yield management and distribution platform focused on the live entertainment ticketing industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is an important addition to our product family because we are adding not only amazing capabilities but also a respected industry leader in Eric. We are looking forward to expanding our footprint in the ticketing field and to adding The Ticket Group's expertise to our own," Cole Rubin, Dynasty CEO.
Tilray, a global pioneer in cannabis research, cultivation, production, and distribution, acquired all of the issued and outstanding securities of FOUR20, an adult-use cannabis retail operator headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, for $83m.
FOUR20 provides adult-use cannabis consumers with a premium retail experience focused on high-quality product selection, education, and community. FOUR20 currently operates six licensed retail locations and has 16 additional high-traffic areas secured in desirable locations in Alberta, including Canmore, Calgary, and Edmonton.
“FOUR20 offers a premium retail experience for the mainstream cannabis consumer and builds on our broader retail strategy, which includes several minority investments in other leading cannabis retailers. With FOUR20, we will elevate the retail experience for consumers by offering the best quality-tested products while preparing for the next wave of legalized product launches taking place by year’s end.” Andrew Pucher, Tilray Chief Corporate Development Officer.
Briggs and Morgan and Taft Stettinius & Hollister, two of the leading US-based law firms, signed a merger agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The newly combined firm will be comprised of more than 600 lawyers spanning 12 offices across the US Taft’s unique decentralized leadership structure does not have a designated headquarters.
“This is an exciting and dynamic strategy, bringing two thriving firms together. The idea to join forces with Taft was driven by our clients and the desire to not just meet but anticipate their needs. The result is a firm that is greater than the sum of its parts.” Steve Ryan, Briggs President.
Maxim Crane Works, one of the largest lifting solutions businesses in the US, acquires Solley Equipment & Rigging, a leading provider of crane rental and related lifting services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The combination of Solley and Maxim Crane enhances Maxim Crane's full-service, nationwide crane rental and lifting solutions platform and expands its operations in one of the nation’s key geographic regions.
“The Solley Crane merger provides access to one of the most experienced teams of crane professionals in the region. We are excited about this amazing combination and look forward to providing our team members and customers with the additional geographic coverage and services that Solley Crane and its team bring to our company.” Bryan Carlisle, Maxim Crane CEO.
FedEx, a global leader of freight forwarding and courier services, acquires Cargex, an international freight forwarding company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition is expected to close later this year and is subject to customary closing conditions, as well as a Colombian regulatory filing.
“The addition of Cargex offers future growth opportunities in the Latin American region, a key market for us. We look forward to welcoming our new team members into the FedEx family and will utilize their expertise to make this integration a success.” Udo Lange, FedEx CEO.
BrightView Holdings, a leading commercial landscaping firm, acquires Pro Scapes, a New York-based landscaping firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to welcome Pro Scapes, its employees and their customers to BrightView, I am certain that BrightView’s existing operation will learn many of Pro Scapes’ secrets for success, especially in their snow removal business.” Andrew Masterman, BrightView President and Chief Executive Officer.
Tyson Foods, a leading food company, invests in the food division of Grupo Vibra, a leading Brazilian poultry producer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This agreement is the result of the mutual trust between our two companies and the goal of both companies to expand globally, We also both believe in the importance of constantly adding value to our products. For us, this includes continuing to grow, innovate and strengthen the position of our brands." Flavio Sergio Wallauer, Grupo Vibra Chairman.
VSP Vision Care, a leading ophthalmic technology and lab service provider, acquires Community Eye Care, a vision benefits company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This acquisition is a part of our broader strategy of accelerating membership growth to help fulfill our vision of providing access to affordable, high-quality eye care and eyewear to more people,” Kate Renwick-Espinosa, VSP Vision Care President.
Quaker Houghton, a leading producer of industrial fluids, acquires the operating division of Norman Hay, a specialty chemical manufacturer, for $97m. This transaction is consistent with Quaker Houghton's strategy to increase shareholder value through strategic "bolt-on" acquisitions that complement its existing business.
"This acquisition represents an opportunity to add new technologies with good growth characteristics in attractive core market segments with high barriers to entry such as die-casting, automotive OEM and aerospace." Michael F. Barry, Quaker Houghton CEO.
Oakley Capital, a leading private equity firm, acquires Alessi, an Italian high-end design homeware products manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Oakley’s strategy will focus on further strengthening and expanding the proposition of the brand by targeting new audiences and optimising the portfolio’s mix of products, pricing, and distribution.
“We are delighted to become an investor in such a globally renowned brand. Alessi’s unique approach to design and product innovation makes it a highly attractive investment opportunity for Oakley. We are excited to partner with the Alessi family to support the business in the next phase of its development.” Peter Dubens, Oakley Capital Managing Partner.
International mass transit, mobility, and infrastructure company SYSTRA acquires TSP Projects, a multidisciplinary engineering firm and specialist in rail infrastructure. Financial terms were not disclosed.
By acquiring TSP Projects, SYSTRA is cementing its position as a major UK force in engineering and consultancy for mass transit, mobility, and complex infrastructure. The acquisition places the company firmly alongside the UK’s leading consulting engineering firms.
“As the signature team for transportation solutions, SYSTRA is committed to providing clients with truly specialist expertise, delivered locally. This acquisition is a game-changer for our UK & Ireland business, placing us among the leading UK consulting engineering firms. This is a good fit between two like-minded companies with a shared commitment to excellence, safety, and innovation.” Pascal Mercier, SYSTRA CEO.
Lippert Components, a leading OEM producer, acquires Ciesse, a supplier of railway interior products and systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The addition of Ciesse’s products, leadership, and customer base allows us to continue our growth and pursuit of obtaining a more complete suite of components and solutions for the global rail industries,” Jason Lippert, LCI CEO, and President.
HeleCloud, an AWS advanced consulting and managed services partner, acquired OlinData, an AWS advanced consulting partner. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with HeleCloud, By combining our specialist expertise and complimentary service portfolios, OlinData and HeleCloud can offer customers an even better-equipped team of proven experts within the fields of security and compliance, open-source." Walter Heck, OlinData CEO.
Lecta hires advisors for exploring strategic options.
Lecta, the leading specialist paper company, is exploring strategic options for the company operations. The objective of this process is to secure a capital structure that supports the business going forward and provides Lecta with the financial flexibility and funding to continue its transformation.
Evercore and Rothschild & Co are advising Lecta in the process.
Powerleague considers acquisition of football operator Goals Soccer Centres.
Powerleague has emerged as an early candidate to buy the rival five-a-side football operator Goals Soccer Centres. Goals is in crisis after auditors found evidence of false invoicing and exaggerated capital expenditure. Trading in Goals shares was suspended in March, and the company will be delisted from AIM next month unless it files accounts in time, which it says is unlikely. Goals put itself up for sale yesterday, with the accountancy firm Deloitte handling the process.
Goals runs 46 venues in Britain and has four in California in a joint venture. Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct is the largest shareholder, with almost 19%.
Saudi Aramco board considers New York IPO risky.
The board of Saudi Aramco has determined that listing the state energy giant in New York would carry too many legal risks to make it a realistic option, Reuters reported.
New York was the exchange favored by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before plans for the initial public offering were put on hold last year, even after Aramco’s lawyers and some government advisers had raised legal concerns.
New York offers the most extensive investor base in the world, vital for an IPO that aims to attract as much as $100bn, a sum that could prove tough for other exchanges to raise US President Donald Trump urged the kingdom to list in New York.
Blackstone and Cinven to bid for Smiths Medical Unit business. (FS)
Blackstone Group and Cinven are among buyout firms weighing bids for the medical equipment business of UK industrial conglomerate Smiths Group, Bloomberg reported. Smiths Group has been planning to separate the medical business after talks to combine it with US rival ICU Medical collapsed last year.
No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the suitors will submit a formal bid.
Dunya newspaper to be sold due to economic slump.
Turkey’s Dunya newspaper, the only financial newspaper in the country, has been sold to its former editor-in-chief due to problems in repaying its debts, Ahval reported.
Didem Demirkent, the former owner of Dünya, said in a written statement that it had become impossible for the company to continue operating under her management because it could not cope with the impact of a contraction in Turkey’s economy and its increasing debts.
Billionaire Fredriksen considers reorganization of shipping-to-fish empire.
Industrialist John Fredriksen is seeking investors to take larger stakes in his companies and could relinquish control of operations as part of a plan to reduce his workload. It was the most definite sign to date of a succession plan for Fredriksen, whose net worth has been estimated at more than $12bn.
His self-made business empire includes oil-tanker firm Frontline, dry bulk shipper Golden Ocean and rig owner Seadrill, as well as fish farmer Mowi and other companies.
Centerbridge to launch the sale of parking garage manager Apcoa. (FS)
Investment group Centerbridge has begun preparations for a sale of parking garage manager Apcoa, which could be valued at more than €1bn ($1.1bn) in a potential deal, Reuters reported.
The investor, which took control of Apcoa through a debt to equity swap in 2014, has mandated JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs as sell-side advisors and is expected to dispatch first information packages to prospective buyers in coming weeks.
Apcoa is expected to post earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization of about €85m ($94m) this year and could be valued at more than 12 times that.
MGB Biopharma completes funding round. (FS)
MGB Biopharma, a biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of anti-infectives to address antibiotic resistance, has completed its latest funding round, which was supported by new and existing investors, led by Archangel Investors and including Scottish Investment Bank (the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s national economic development agency), Barwell and TriCapital Investors.
“There remains a desperate need for novel treatments in our armory to treat C. difficile infections. The work that MGB Biopharma is undertaking is both important and innovative, and the results that have been achieved so far have been very encouraging.” Dr. Sarah Hardy, Chief Investment Officer at Archangels.
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec invested $202m in Healthscope, the second-largest private hospital operator in Australia and the largest pathology services provider in New Zealand, alongside Brookfield.
“We are delighted to support Healthscope, a world-class healthcare provider, in expanding its clinical care offering,” said Stephane Etroy, Executive Vice-President and Head of Private Equity at CDPQ. “This is an opportunity for CDPQ to invest in the Australian healthcare sector and support a company that provides essential services to the benefit of the communities.”
Toshiba Memory Holdings, a major memory manufacturer, acquires the SSD business of LITE-ON Technology for $165m. Toshiba Memory sees this acquisition as a way to significantly strengthen its SSD business. The transaction is expected to close by the first half of 2020 and is subject to customary closing adjustments and regulatory approval.
“LITE-ON’s Solid State Drive business is a natural and strategic fit with Toshiba Memory and expands our focus in the SSD industry,” Nobuo Hayasaka, Toshiba Memory Holding President, and CEO. “This is an exciting acquisition for us, as it positions us to meet the projected growth in demand for SSDs in PCs and data centers being driven by the increased use of cloud services.”
India Prime Minister creates bank behemoths to drive India’s economy.
India announced its most sweeping bank overhaul in decades minutes before data showed growth in Asia’s No. 3 economy slumped to a six-year low.
Four new lenders that result from a series of state-bank mergers will hold business worth INR55.8tn ($781bn), or about 56% of the Indian banking industry, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. The government will inject a combined INR552.5bn ($7.7bn) of capital into these entities, she said.
SoftBank, Tiger Global considers joining Naspers in backing Indian unicorn Dream11. (FS)
Japanese investment conglomerate SoftBank and New York investment firm Tiger Global may join Naspers in backing Indian sports fantasy company Dream11. The three investors have held discussions with Dream11 to pick up a stake worth $500m. The deal, if fructifies, will involve both primary and secondary infusion of capital, and may also see the participation of more than one new investor.
The development comes about two weeks after Mint reported that Naspers is in talks to buy a stake worth about $100m in the gaming unicorn from Kalaari Capital, Think Investments and Multiples Alternate Asset Management.
Blued seeks to raise $200m from US IPO.
Blued, China’s largest gay dating app, is planning a US initial public offering that could raise about $200m, DealStreet Asia reported.
The company has been meeting potential advisers about the proposed listing. The share sale will likely take place next year and could value Blued at around $1bn.
IDG-backed, Superdata Software of China files for Hong Kong IPO. (FS)
IDG-backed Superdata Software, a Chinese enterprise management software, has filed to raise an undisclosed amount in an IPO in the city.
The filing is heavily redacted, and no information about the number of shares that the company intends to offer in the listing and the amount it plans to raise have been specified.
Established in the late 1990s, the company provides enterprise management software and services to small and micro enterprises in China. The software cover areas such as financial management and enterprise resource planning management, among others.
Tongcheng Life raises $100m in the recent funding round. (FS)
Tongcheng Life, a leading Chinese e-commerce platform, raises $100m in the recent Series B financing round. The financing round was lead by Junlian Capital, and the old shareholder Bertelsmann Asia Investment Fund, Yilian Capital, Zhenge Fund, Yuanhe Holdings, and Weiguang Ventures.
SoftBank-backed Uhuru to raise $50m in London IPO.
SoftBank-backed Japanese startup Uhuru is expected to raise at least JPY5bn ($50m) ahead of its listing on London’s junior AIM market on Oct. 23, just days before Britain’s EU exit deadline on Oct. 31.
“Britain’s corporate governance is rigorous but should make the company more able to respond to investors,” Reuters reported.
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