Wall Street is chiming in on what is likely to ensue in the aftermath of T-Mobile's long-sought purchase of Sprint, now that most analysts are saying that "the deal is more likely to break."
Although an approved merger would allow T-Mobile to reap significant synergies, Nomura Instinet's Jeffrey Kvaal says investors backing the nation's third-largest wireless service provider are "winners in either scenario." The equity research firm upgraded T-Mobile to a buy rating from neutral as "a broken deal could remove a sizeable multiple impediment" and restore a modest premium, Bloomberg reported.
The outcome of the offer to buy Sprint has clouded T-Mobile's growth profile ever since it announced the deal in April 2018. Nomura's Kvaal predicts a court decision is likely to be come down by early February, and pegs the odds of approval at 45%.
Sprint is advised by Centerview Partners, JP Morgan, Mizuho, SMBC, The Raine Group, Morrison & Foerster, Potter Anderson & Corroon, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. SoftBank is advised by Morrison & Foerster. Deutsche Telecom is advised by Deutsche Bank, Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, PJT Partners, Allen & Overy, Hogan Lovells, DLA Piper, Latham & Watkins, Richards Layton and Finger, and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Cona Resources, an oil and natural gas company, completed the acquisition of Pengrowth Energy, an oil and gas exploration company, for $740m.
"We believe the acquisition of Pengrowth enhances Cona's long life, low-decline asset base, and adds a trophy asset in Pengrowth's Lindbergh oil property in the Cold Lake area of Alberta. This transaction fits with WEF's investment strategy of pursuing established businesses with best-in-class oil and liquids-rich assets in special situations, which require restructuring, recapitalization, or repositioning," Adam Waterous, Waterous Energy Fund Founder, and CEO.
Pengrowth Energy was advised by Perella Weinberg Partners and Tudor Pickering Holt. Waterous Energy Fund was advised by BMO Capital Markets, Scotiabank and Stikeman Elliott. Cona Resources was advised by RBC Capital Markets, TD Securities, AltaCorp Capital, CIBC World Markets and Blake Cassels & Graydon.
Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Sundyne, a designer and manufacturer of mission-critical flow control equipment, from BC Partners and The Carlyle Group. Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020, subject to regulatory approval.
"We are excited to partner with Warburg Pincus as we continue to expand our product offering of highly engineered pumps and compressors and serve the growing demand from our customers. We are confident that working with Warburg Pincus will result in further acceleration through organic and strategic opportunities while building on the momentum we have achieved over the past fifty years," Mark Sefcik, Sundyne CEO.
Sundyne is advised by Morgan Stanley and Latham & Watkins. Warburg Pincus is advised by Citigroup and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
American Securities, a private equity firm, completed the investment in United PF, the largest developer, and operator of fitness clubs under the Planet Fitness brand. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"In American Securities, we have found a partner with resources to support our vision, alignment in culture and values, and a long-term time horizon that promotes true partnership. We are excited to work with American Securities to continue developing our markets and bringing affordable fitness and the Judgement Free Zone® to more communities across the country." Trey Owen, United PF CEO.
United PF was advised by Harris Williams and King & Spalding. American Securities was advised by Jefferies and Kirkland & Ellis.
Kuvare, which operates as a holding company, completed the acquisition of Lincoln Benefit Life, an insurance firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Kuvare looks forward to LBL shortly joining our growing life and annuity insurance business. The LBL organization has been a leader within the US life insurance industry for decades, and the Lincoln Benefit brand is recognized throughout the country for insurance excellence. Over its 80-year track record, most recently under the ownership of RL LP, LBL has a rich tradition of offering high-quality policyholder service," Dhiren Jhaveri, Kuvare Chief Executive Officer.
Lincoln Benefit Life was advised by Morgan Stanley and Debevoise & Plimpton. Kuvare was advised by JP Morgan and Sidley Austin.
Another shareholder in Instructure came out against its $2bn takeover by Thoma Bravo, arguing the education software company is selling for cheap after running a flawed sale process. According to Lateef Investment Management, Instructure is worth at least $60 per share, and that's before factoring in the value of deductions it can make to lower its taxable income. Lateef owns a roughly 1.5% stake in Instructure.
"We are not supportive of this deal and will vote against it. We encourage you to seek a better outcome than this take under from Thoma Bravo," Quoc Tran, Lateef Chief Investment Officer.
Instructure is advised by JP Morgan and Cooley. Thoma Bravo is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Halifax, a private equity firm, completed a majority investment in TriMech, a provider of computer-aided design and engineering software, from McCarthy Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Engineers across organizations, from global multinationals to local firms, are counting on great partners like TriMech to help them employ increasingly complex software applications and products. TriMech is filling a crucial need in the knowledge economy, and we are pleased to partner with this impressive TriMech team as they build on their proven approach to ensuring their customers' success," David Bard, Halifax Managing Director.
TriMech is advised by Piper Sandler. Halifax is advised by Blicksilver Public Relations and Lambert.
Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, an independent investment firm, agreed to acquire Resolution Economics, which operates as an economic and statistical consulting company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We have been very impressed by the industry-leading business the Resolution management team has built over the years. The Company’s history of solving complex issues has enabled it to become a critical partner to many of its blue-chip clients. We are excited to partner with the management team to continue to grow Resolution for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders,” Matthew Rich, LLCP Managing Director.
Resolution Economics is advised by Houlihan Lokey. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
ICONIQ-led consortium agreed to invest $125m in HighRadius, a fintech enterprise software-as-a-service company. The financing round also saw participation from existing investors Susquehanna Growth Equity and Citi Ventures.
"The HighRadius platform is game-changing for CFOs and finance departments, and the company has earned tremendous customer loyalty by enabling receivables and treasury teams to perform more efficiently and effectively, and by delivering mission-critical ROI," Will Griffith, ICONIQ Capital partner.
HighRadius is advised by Treble Public Relations and Atlas Technology Group.
Insight Partners, a global software investor, agreed to acquire Armis, a developer of IoT security solutions, for $1.1bn. The transaction is expected to close in February and is subject to customary conditions and approvals.
"We considered growth rounds and strategic offers, but by partnering with Insight, we have the best of both worlds - operational support and independence, both of which were important in our decision to take on a scaleup partner this early in our company journey. We are thankful for the support we received from our investors at Sequoia, Tenaya, Bain, and Red Dot; and we, as well as the whole Armis team, are very excited to have Insight working alongside us as we enter this next phase, accelerating our platform and growth," Yevgeny Dibrov, Armis Co-Founder and CEO.
Insight Partners is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
ADT, a provider of security, automation, and smart home solutions, agreed to acquire Defenders, its largest independent dealer, for $381m in cash and stock.
"We’re excited to officially join forces with the impressive Defenders team after successfully partnering with them for nearly 22 years so that, as one company, we can create a unique and simplified platform. This opportunistic acquisition creates numerous strategic, financial and operational advantages for ADT, and is consistent with our stated goal of driving down the capital intensity of the business as we seek to drive long-term, profitable growth," Jim DeVries, ADT President and Chief Executive Officer.
Valet Living, a full-service amenities provider to the multifamily housing industry, agreed to acquire Trojan Waste Solutions, a doorstep waste, and recycling provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"On the heels of a year of tremendous growth for Valet Living, this acquisition will increase our footprint in Texas, where we now serve nearly 500k apartment homes across the state. We are transforming residential living in the southwest region and are excited to accomplish great things together with Trojan Waste Solutions in 2020," Shawn Handrahan, Valet Living President and Chief Executive Officer.
Valet Living is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Kymera International, a specialty materials company owned by affiliates of Palladium Equity Partners, agreed to acquire Reading Alloys, a provider of highly engineered materials, from AMETEK, a global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices, for $250m.
"As part of our strategic portfolio review process, we have made the decision to divest our Reading Alloys business. Reading Alloys is well-positioned for continued strong growth, given its leading market positions and differentiated manufacturing capabilities. We would like to thank the Reading Alloys team for their tremendous contributions to AMETEK and wish them continued success," David A. Zapico, AMETEK Chairman, and CEO.
Accenture, a multinational professional services company, agreed to acquire Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business from Broadcom, a provider of semiconductor and infrastructure software products. Financial terms were not disclosed. Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in March 2020.
Symantec’s portfolio of Cyber Security Services includes global threat monitoring and analysis through a network of security operation centers, real-time adversary, and industry-specific threat intelligence and incident response services.
“Cybersecurity has become one of the most critical business imperatives for all organizations regardless of industry or geographic location. With the addition of Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business, Accenture Security will offer one of the most comprehensive managed services for global businesses to detect and manage cybersecurity threats aimed at their companies,” Julie Sweet, Accenture’s CEO.
Town Sports International, which owns and operates health fitness clubs, agreed to acquire the studio business of Flywheel Sports, the operator of health clubs, spas, and other physical fitness facilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Flywheel is an iconic name in the fitness industry, and this acquisition accelerates TSI’s strategic plan as we continue to upgrade our club network and offer more value to our members. The Flywheel acquisition fits perfectly into TSI’s strategy, as it enables us to elevate our members’ fitness experience by offering a luxury, boutique product while elevating their fitness routines, along with the benefits of additional formats and locations. We look forward to integrating and adopting Flywheel’s five star standards and operational excellence within TSI as we raise the operational and service standards at all TSI locations,” Patrick Walsh, TSI Chairman, and CEO.
Dover, an American conglomerate manufacturer of industrial products, agreed to acquire Systech International, a provider of software and solutions for product traceability, regulatory compliance, and brand protection. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Systech brings a long and successful history of innovation to deliver world-leading solutions to protect brands and products over the past 35 years. We are excited to bring together Systech's innovative software solutions and Markem-Imaje's scale, global reach, and service excellence capability to build a market leader in the brand protection market," Richard J. Tobin, Dover's President and CEO.
Coca-Cola completed the acquisition of fairlife, a Chicago-based health food company that produces milk beverages. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited for the next chapter of fairlife's growth and innovation and look forward to continuing to work with our partners across the Coca-Cola system to meet fast-changing consumer needs in a vibrant category,” Tim Doelman, fairlife CEO.
Beaumont Health, a provider of health care services, agreed to acquire Summa Health, a health care organization. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to deliver on our shared mission to provide compassionate, quality care and enhance the health of our communities. Our Board is confident that this partnership will further our abilities to not only provide excellent clinical services throughout Northeast Ohio but also position our leadership, physicians, and employees for continued success and growth," Cliff Deveny, Summa President, and CEO.
AHEAD, a platform builder for digital businesses, agreed to acquire Platform Consulting Group, a provider of services to enterprise clients focused on cloud-native applications and modern development frameworks. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Platform’s expertise in software development will accelerate our ability to deliver transformational outcomes through application modernization and migration. We’re excited to welcome Platform to the AHEAD family,” Eric Kaplan, AHEAD CTO.
Saint-Gobain, a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of building materials, agreed to acquire Sonex, a manufacturer and supplier of acoustic ceiling systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This acquisition completes the group's existing offer in Brazil in ceilings. It is in line with the group's strategy to reinforce its presence in emerging countries. It allows Saint-Gobain to accelerate its development in Brazil.
Caixa Economica Federal picks banks for insurance unit IPO.
Brazilian state lender Caixa Economica Federal chose the bank syndicate that will manage the initial public offering of its insurance unit, Reuters reported.
Morgan Stanley will lead a 10-bank syndicate, including the investment banking units of Banco Bradesco, Itau Unibanco Holding, Banco Plural, Banco BTG Pactual, Banco do Brasil, Credit Suisse, Banco Santander Brasil, Bank of America and Caixa Economica Federal.
Insurance unit Caixa Seguridade will be listed in Brazil, although the banks expect to market the offering in the United States also. The banks expect to value it at around BRL60bn ($14.77bn).
Borden Dairy files for bankruptcy.
Borden Dairy, a 163-year-old milk producer, filed for bankruptcy with plans to erase millions of dollars in debt from its books, becoming the second major player in the industry to seek protection from creditors in two months.
The Dallas-based company filed its chapter 11 petition in the US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, blaming falling milk consumption, rising raw-milk costs, increasing freight costs due to driver shortages pressuring wages, and the growing clout of retailers.
Topgolf plans an IPO. (FS)
Topgolf International, an operator of driving ranges, selected banks for an initial public offering that could value the company at about $4bn.
The Dallas-based company is working with banks including Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Bank of America. Its IPO could come as soon as this year.
Olo is said to plan the US IPO in 2020 to raise $300m.
Olo, a food-ordering software company where Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer sits on the board, is planning a US initial public offering this year, DealStreetAsia reported.
The New York-based company could seek a valuation of about $1bn in an IPO. Olo interviewed potential advisers around the end of 2019.
John Wiley & Sons, a global company in research and education, completed the acquisition of mthree, which provides educational services, from ECI Partners, a private equity firm, for $129m.
"Wiley is committed to bridging the gap between education output and industry need. The acquisition of mthree advances Wiley's leadership in powering the high-demand, high-potential careers that are fueling the global knowledge economy. CEO Alex Headley and his team have built a great company with extremely high customer and client satisfaction -- mthree is putting people in great IT jobs with great companies, and these people are succeeding. We are very pleased to welcome them to the Wiley family," Brian Napack, Wiley President and CEO.
mthree was advised by Jefferies and Osborne Clarke. ECI Partners was advised by Addleshaw Goddard.
Appian, a developer of enterprise software solutions, agreed to acquire Novayre Solutions, a developer of the Jidoka RPA platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our shared vision for automation makes this a natural fit for Novayre. By joining forces with Appian, we will make it easier for companies to adopt and deploy RPA at enterprise scale," Víctor Ayllón, Novayre CEO.
KRY, a Swedish digital healthcare provider, raised $155m in a Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan-led funding round. Index Ventures, Creandum, and Accel also participated in the funding round.
“When the company was founded in 2015, we recognized the enormous potential technology had to transform the way patients access healthcare. Our ambition now is to expand into improving access to healthcare for millions more within Europe,” Johannes Schildt, KRY CEO.
Premier Oil to acquire North Sea assets from BP for $625m. (FS)
Premier Oil is set to buy North Sea assets from BP for $625m, and increase its stake in the Tolmount gas project, funded by a $500m rights issue, but faces opposition from hedge fund ARCM, which vowed to fight the plans, Reuters reported.
The acquisitions are the latest in a string of deals moving North Sea assets from oil majors to smaller groups, and Premier said the deals would generate more than $1bn in free cash flow by the end of 2023, boost its output to more than 100k boed and add 82m barrels of reserves and resources to its portfolio.
Premier Oil is advised by Jefferies, RBC Capital Markets and Camarco.
Carlos Slim takes a 3% stake in Quabit.
Shares of Spanish housing developer Quabit Inmobiliaria jumped after Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim bought a minority stake as he increases his bet on Spanish real estate, Reuters reported.
Slim’s investment arm Inversora Carso bought a 3% stake in Quabit on January 2. The news pushed Quabit’s share price up 4% to €1.1 ($1.2) in early trading.
Sunderland Football Club owner commences the sale of the team.
Sunderland started a process to sell the UK soccer team, just days after a coordinated fan backlash against its current owner. The board of Sunderland feels it has “no option but to sell the club” after a recent fan campaign asking for insurance entrepreneur Stewart Donald to depart. Donald said when he bought the team 18 months ago that he wouldn’t outstay his welcome.
“We are placing sufficient funds in the club to support the manager as he seeks to improve the first team in the next few weeks. I just ask that fans now unite to support the players and the coaching staff,” Stewart Donald, Sunderland owner.
Saudi Aramco faces difficulties shortly after the IPO.
Saudi Aramco’s status as an oil-producing behemoth located in one of the world’s most turbulent regions always marked it as likely to suffer bouts of volatility, Bloomberg reported. But few could have expected the stock to face so stern a test less than a month after the company’s historic $25.6bn initial offering.
The world’s most profitable company extended declines after dropping to its lowest closing price yet. The move suggests that rising oil prices -- Brent crude has climbed above $70 a barrel for the first time since May on a closing basis - are not necessarily a boon for the energy giant.
“The risks will remain over the near term as both the United States and Iran aim threats at one another,” Jameel Ahmad, FXTM markets analyst in London.
Ghosn’s escape raises French concern about Renault-Nissan ties.
Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan risks distracting Renault from its efforts to repair relations with ally Nissan Motor, Bloomberg reported. His new-found freedom raises concern the patching up of the Franco-Japanese partnership will be delayed. France is Renault’s most powerful shareholder.
Ghosn, who managed both companies, looks set to blast Nissan for its role in his arrest at a press conference in Beirut. His pledge to “speak freely” has fueled concern. His remarks may renew the mutual suspicion that has troubled relations between the carmakers.
Former Cerberus, BNP Paribas executives set up private equity firm. (FS, Correction)
A former executive from buyout group Cerberus and the former deputy chair of BNP Paribas’s Ukrainian arm teamed up to launch a new private equity business.
Matthew Hansen and Miroslav Boublik set up Financial Services Capital Partners, which will make private equity investments in financial services companies in Europe.
Varde Partners closes €600m sale of European luxury hotel portfolio. (FS, RE)
Varde Partners sealed a €600m ($669m) exit of a portfolio of eight luxury hotels to French real estate operator Covivio. The full-service independent hotels have on aggregate over 1.1k rooms located in Rome, Nice, Budapest, Prague, Florence, and Venice.
“At the time we acquired the business, it was in severe financial difficulty and facing an uncertain future. Having appointed a best-in-class management team, together, we have rebuilt trust with the company’s financial partners allowing us to refinance the business and execute an ambitious investment program,” Francisco Milone, Varde Partners partner and head of European real estate.
EG Group, the UK gas station company led by Mohsin and Zuber Issa, is working with a financial adviser as it evaluates making a bid for Caltex Australia. Any offer for the $6bn company could start a takeover battle with Alimentation Couche-Tard, a Canadian convenience-store giant, whose initial bid for Caltex was rejected.
Caltex is advised by Grant Samuel, UBS and Herbert Smith Freehills. Alimentation is advised by Goldman Sachs, Allens and Domestique.
Kotak Investment unikely to bid for Altico Capital. (FS)
Altico Capital India is one of the latest caught up in the nation’s shadow banking crisis that started in 2018 and had been courting suitors. One of them, Kotak Investment Advisors, will not make a binding bid for Altico by the January 15 deadline.
Kotak halted work on a binding bid for Altico after getting adverse feedback from creditors. Mumbai-based Kotak’s indicative offer hinged on a purchase of either part or all of Altico’s loan portfolio. A low cash infusion and a high fee structure caused the pushback.
Synergy Group submits a new bid for Jet Airways.
Synergy Group, which operates airlines in South America and Africa, submitted a fresh bid for Jet Airways, which was grounded in April.
“I am pleased to inform you that today Synergy has presented a fresh expression of interest to purchase Jet Airways,” Antonio Guizzetti, Guizzetti, and Associates president, the Brazil-headquartered group’s legal adviser.
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