Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian cannabinoids company, completed the acquisition of Reliva, a seller of hemp-derived CBD products in the US, for $85m.
"We are pleased to have closed the Reliva transaction ahead of schedule. The partnership between Aurora and Reliva is expected to create a market-leading international cannabinoid platform that we believe can deliver robust revenue and profitable growth," Michael Singer, Aurora Executive Chairman and Interim CEO.
Reliva was advised by Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr. Aurora Cannabis was advised by Cowen & Company and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.
Provident Financial, the parent company of Provident Bank, and SB One Bancorp, the parent company of SB One Bank, received a receipt of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance approvals in connection with their proposed merger.
The closing of the merger remains subject to the approval or waiver by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the approval of SB One's shareholders at the annual meeting of shareholders to be held on June 24, 2020, and certain other customary closing conditions.
Provident is advised by Piper Sandler and Luse Gorman. SB One Bancorp is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Hogan Lovells.
Horizon North, a provider of a full range of industrial, commercial, and residential products and services, completed the merger with Dexterra, a provider of quality solutions for the operation and maintenance of built assets and infrastructure including facilities management and operations.
Fairfax Financial now controls a 49% interest in the newly combined company while existing Horizon North shareholders maintain a 51% interest. Prior to the transaction, Fairfax Financial had no ownership interest in Horizon North, and the common shares were acquired in the normal course of investment activity.
"We will be stronger together, building a sustainable and profitable business to create more opportunities for our people and enhance our delivery to the customers we serve and the clients we work for," John MacCuish, Dexterra Chief Executive Officer.
Horizontal North was advised by Scotiabank and Blake Cassels & Graydon. Fairfax was advised by Torys.
The US national security panel approved Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech's $608m divestment of popular gay dating app Grindr to an investor group called San Vicente Acquisition. Kunlun has not disclosed the identity of the investors behind San Vicente. It said only that the group comprises seasoned investors that include one or more US entrepreneurs.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, ordered Kunlun last year to divest Grindr amid concerns regarding the safety of the personal data it handles, such as users' private messages and HIV status.
"We are pleased that all approvals for the sale of Grindr have been received and look forward to the close of the transaction in the days ahead," Grindr.
Chile's antitrust regulators approved Uber's acquisition of a majority stake in Chilean online grocery provider Cornershop, clearing a key hurdle for the ride-hailing company as it seeks to expand into the delivery of groceries and other goods. The Mexican authorities have yet to clear the transactions.
"The operation does not substantially reduce competition and, consequently, does not negatively affect ... access, price, quantity or quality," antitrust regulator FNE.
Chile's antitrust regulator initially said it was concerned that Uber's purchase of Cornershop would limit competition among the country's online delivery services. But the FNE said that a rush by supermarket chains into e-commerce and online platforms had alleviated those concerns.
Cornershop is advised by Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian.
Cisco Systems, an American multinational technology conglomerate, agreed to acquire ThousandEyes, a network intelligence company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I'm excited to welcome the ThousandEyes team to Cisco. The combination of Cisco and ThousandEyes will enable deeper and broader visibility to pinpoint deficiencies and improve the network and application performance across all networks. This will give customers end-to-end visibility when accessing cloud applications, and Internet Intelligence will improve networking reliability and the overall application experience," Todd Nightingale, Cisco Senior Vice President and General Manager.
Ocean Beauty Seafoods, a seafood company, agreed to merge with Icicle Seafoods, a seafood processor and wholesaler. The new company will be named OBI Seafoods. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The Alaska salmon business is experiencing significant market and resource fluctuations. In order to flourish in this rapidly changing environment, we need to develop flexible and efficient business models and form innovative partnerships. The merger will enable more focus on selling seafood products in the global marketplace by leveraging both strong sales teams. Increased sales will bring additional investment to support growth and jobs," Mark Palmer, Ocean Beauty Seafoods President and CEO.
Apple completed the acquisition of Inductiv, a Canadian machine learning company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Apple issued its standard statement regarding the acquisition, saying it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time and generally does not discuss its purpose or plans.”
Uber and Grubhub deal hinges on breakup fee after narrowing price gap.
Uber and Grubhub are haggling over a breakup fee after nearing an agreement on a merger price. Grubhub wants Uber to agree to pay it a cash sum should US regulators block a proposed deal to combine two of the country's largest food-delivery operators, Bloomberg reported.
Uber is reluctant to concede to any sizable payment - known as a reverse breakup fee - because of the takeover price it is offering. The tentative terms of the all-stock deal would value Grubhub at a premium to its closing share price on May 28.
While the coronavirus lockdown has created a high demand for takeaway meals, and those that deliver them, its damage to the wider economy has also increased the chances of mergers and acquisitions unravelling.
Sanofi completed the sale of Regeneron stock.
Sanofi, a French multinational pharmaceutical company, completed its sale of 13m shares of Regeneron common stock through a registered offering at a public offering price of $515 per share. This includes the previously announced overallotment option that has been fully exercised by underwriters. In addition, Sanofi announced the completion of Regeneron's repurchase of 9.8m shares or approximately $5bn in common stock directly from Sanofi.
As a result of the offering, Sanofi sold its entire equity investment in Regeneron, for total gross proceeds amounting to $11.7bn.
Tencent considers acquiring Warner Music stake. (FS)
Tencent Holdings is in discussions to acquire a stake in Warner Music Group as part of the record company's IPO, a key test for a new-issue market that has been hindered by the coronavirus pandemic, WSJ reported.
The Chinese internet giant is discussing an investment of $200m ahead of an IPO that is slated for next week.
BlackRock attracts asset managers and wealth funds after PNC exit. (FS)
BlackRock drew attention from some of the world's largest institutional investors and sovereign funds when a major stake was sold this month, illustrating chief Larry Fink's connections with deep sources of capital in the US, Middle East and Asia, Bloombergreported.
Existing shareholders Wellington Management, Capital Group and Fidelity Investments were among those that acquired shares when PNC Financial Services Group sold a $14bn BlackRock stake. Norway's $1tn wealth fund and Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings also increased their holdings.
Blackstone drops H2O as an advisor to $6bn multistrategy fund. (FS)
Blackstone Group is dropping H2O AM, an investment management firm, from its list of advisors that help manage one of its main liquid alternative funds, the latest blow for the London-based macro firm run by Bruno Crastes and Vincent Chailley, PE Insights reported.
The move is a setback for H2O, a majority-owned unit of France's Natixis that grew to prominence through high returns fueled by leverage. After getting hit with customer defections last July amid reports of illiquid holdings, some H2O funds lost more than 30% in a single day during March. That was in part because of ill-timed bets on currencies that benefit from rising oil prices, such as the Mexican peso, and wagers against safe-haven securities including US Treasuries.
KKR raises $4bn for its dislocation opportunities fund. (FS)
KKR raised c. $4bn, which includes $2.8bn in its KKR Dislocation Opportunities Fund and over $1.1bn from separately managed accounts committed to the same investment opportunities, PE Insightsreported.
The fund and separately managed account commitments will operate within KKR's $67.6bn credit business and will have the ability to draw on the firm's global network of resources and experience, including in private equity, infrastructure, and real estate, where appropriate.
"KKR's integrated global platform empowers us to access a deep pipeline of opportunities and recent market volatility has created the chance to invest in high-quality companies at attractive prices and with strong downside-protection. We are grateful for the trust of our investors which enabled us to immediately deploy a significant amount of capital into the March sell-off," Chris Sheldon, KKR Head of Leveraged Credit.
Marqeta raises $150m in a new funding round at $4.3bn valuation. (FS)
Marqeta, a payments startup, brought in a round of $150m in fresh capital from an undisclosed investor, valuing the company at $4.3bn.
"We're building a single global platform to define and power the future of money for the world's leading innovators. This new capital helps us accelerate our mission to empower builders to bring the most innovative products to market, wherever they are in the world," Jason Gardner, Marqeta Founder and CEO.
Barclays Investment Bank appoints Alex Lynch as Chairman of Banking. (People)
Barclays appointed Alex Lynch to the role of Chairman of Banking within its Investment Bank. Mr Lynch will be based in New York and report to Joe McGrath, Global Head of Banking.
Mr Lynch will focus on developing relationships with Barclays' clients, both within the financial institutions space and in other industries, particularly those that have propositions overlapping with and/or strong connections to financial institutions.
"We are delighted to welcome Alex to our team. With a long career spanning both the buy-side and sell-side and extensive experience in advisory, capital markets and investment roles, I know that Alex's perspectives and knowledge will be of great value to large-cap and middle-market clients across our franchise," Joe McGrath, Barclays Global Head of Banking.
ZF Friedrichshafen, a privately held provider of driveline and chassis technologies, completed the acquisition of WABCO, a global supplier of technologies and services, for c. $7bn.
"The combination of these two successful enterprises will bring a new dimension of innovation and capability for commercial vehicle systems technology. Together, we will create added value for our customers, employees and shareholders alike. This acquisition marks a major milestone in the history of our company. With it, we are consistently continuing the transformation in the powertrain and in the field of digitalization. We are closing this acquisition in an unprecedented social and economic situation," Wolf-Henning Scheider, ZF Friedrichshafen CEO.
WABCO was advised by Goldman Sachs, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, and Kekst CNC. ZF was advised by JP Morgan, Lazard, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gleiss Lutz, Latham & Watkins, NautaDutilh and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Goldman Sachs was advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Debt financing was provided by JP Morgan. JP Morgan was advised by Clifford Chance.
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a private equity firm, agreed to invest $105m in SIG, a specialist building products supplier. CD&R’s investment is part of a wider equity raise proposed by SIG, worth approximately $185m. The investment has a guaranteed minimum of $89.5m, conditional on the total amount of equity being raised and satisfactory amendments to the group’s financing facilities being agreed.
“I am pleased to welcome Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, an experienced business builder in our industry, as an investor, and we look forward to working with the CD&R team,” Steve Francis, SIG CEO.
Lufthansa accepts tweaked demands by Brussels over state bailout.
Lufthansa's management board accepted a more beneficial set of demands from the European Commission in exchange for approval of a $10bn government bailout, Reutersreported. The agreement comes after the airline's supervisory board declined an initial deal with Brussels including conditions that were significantly more painful.
Under the latest agreement, Lufthansa will be obliged to transfer up to 24 take-off and landing slots for up to four aircraft to one rival each at the Frankfurt and Munich airports. This translates into three take-off and three landing rights per aircraft and day.
Turkey exempts state companies from some merger rules.
Turkish companies whose shares are publicly traded and controlled by the state will be excluded from rules preventing mergers and how long companies have to wait until they can sell their shares after a buyout, Bloombergreported.
The regulator also defined managing control in public corporations as directly or indirectly owning more than 50% of voting rights solely or with partners and owning privileged shares that give the power to choose the majority of company's board of directors.
Italy's coalition government debates bid for Borsa Italiana.
Italy's coalition government is weighing whether to bid for all or part of Borsa Italiana as Rome attempts to take back control of strategic assets including government bond-trading infrastructure, FTreported.
The talks come as the government is contemplating expanding its so-called golden power to the financial sector and financial infrastructure, which would allow Rome to block or restrict market operations, considered a threat to national interests. They also come as the government is stepping up efforts to decrease the destructive economic result of the Covid-19 crisis.
Atlantia drives ahead with Telepass sale with bids due in June. (FS)
Atlantia, an Italian holding company, wants to press ahead with the divestment of up to 49% of its toll-road payment division Telepass and has asked bidders to submit tentative offers in late June, Reutersreported.
Four groups of private equity investors have emerged as the strongest contenders for the business and have been in talks with Atlantia for more than a year. They include two rival consortia led by Warburg Pincus and Bain Capital, respectively, while Apax and Partners Group are bidding independently. The third consortium including state-backed fund FSI and insurer Generali has shown interest but is less likely to be competitive.
Williams Grand Prix Holdings considers divestment of Williams Formula One.
Williams Grand Prix Holdings, a United Kingdom-based holding company, considers a divestment of Williams Formula One, a British Formula One motor racing team and constructor, Sky News reported. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The move comes just days after F1's owner, Liberty Media, agreed on the introduction of a budget cap from next year to ease the strain on teams which have seen revenues slump since the coronavirus outbreak.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield divests five French shopping centres valued at c. $2.2bn. (RE)
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, a European commercial real estate company, completed the disposal of a portfolio of five shopping centres in France to the joint venture formed by URW, Crédit Agricole Assurances and La Française, at a more than $2.2bn valuation.
"The closing of this transaction is a major milestone in the group's disposal strategy. In a very challenging environment, it demonstrates the quality of our assets and illustrates the trust of our partners in the management of URW to cope with the current situation and to generate future growth in the assets we operate. Today marks the beginning of a new strategic partnership formed with Crédit Agricole Assurances and La Française, and we look forward to working and succeeding with them," Christophe Cuvillier, URW Group CEO.
TPG Capital hires ex-Carlyle exec to oversee European healthcare investments. (FS, People)
TPG Capital hired Karthic Jayaraman from Carlyle to manage its healthcare investment activity in Europe. He joins the firm as a partner in London and will be working alongside Todd Sisitsky, Jeff Rhodes and John Schilling to co-lead TPG Capital's healthcare practice, FNreported.
Jayaraman previously spent nearly 20 years at Carlyle where he was most recently co-head of Carlyle Global Partners – the buyout group's long-dated strategy.
Saudi central bank gave country's wealth fund $40bn for foreign acquisitions. (FS)
The central bank of Saudi Arabia transferred $40bn to the kingdom's wealth fund, as the state-owned investor picked up minority stakes in American corporates amid the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, WSJreported.
"We are in a very unusual time. This is a very exceptional one-off transaction that came after a lot of deliberation," Mohammed al-Jadaan, Saudi's Finance Minister.
IK Investment Partners closes its $3.1bn fund. (FS)
IK Investment Partners closed its ninth mid-cap fund, the IK IX Fund, having reached its hard cap of $3.1bn. IK's previous mid-cap fund, IK VIII, raised $2bn in 2016.
The fundraise attracted significant interest from a high-quality institutional investor base across Europe (60%), North America (30%), Asia (7%) and South America (3%), with over a third of the money raised coming from new limited partners investing in IK funds for the first time.
IK Investment Partners will continue to invest across its core markets of the Nordics, the DACH region, France and the Benelux and support growing and resilient mid-cap businesses in the business services, consumer/food, engineered products and healthcare sectors.
Investcorp closes its $377m Italian NPL Fund II. (FS)
Investcorp, a global manager of alternative investment products, closed its second vintage Italian Distressed Loan Fund II at about $377m in commitments.
"Several years ago, we identified that many banks across Italy would need to reduce their credit exposure and strengthen their balance sheets, creating opportunities for investors with strong underwriting expertise. We know the Italian NPL market well, and we have further strengthened our capabilities through partnerships with dedicated local expertise in the Italian credit market," Timothy Mattar, Investcorp Global Head of Distribution.
Volkswagen agreed to acquire a 26% stake in Gotion High-Tech, a manufacturer of vehicle batteries, for $1.2bn.
“Together with strong and reliable partners, Volkswagen is strengthening its electrification strategy in China. The electric cars segment is growing rapidly and offers a great deal of potential for JAC Volkswagen. We are actively driving forward the development of battery cells in China through our strategic investment in Gotion,” Herbert Diess, Volkswagen CEO.
Volkswagen is set to increase its stake by 25% in JAC Volkswagen joint venture, a manufacturer of multi-utility electric vehicles, for $1.1bn. This amount includes the acquisition of 50% of JAG, the parent company of the Volkswagen partner JAC, and an increase in the stake in JAC Volkswagen from 50% to 75%. By gaining management control, Volkswagen is paving the way for more electric models and infrastructure. The parties intend to close the deal by the end of the year, subject to customary regulatory approvals.
“I am delighted with this strategic milestone in our mutual and trusted relations as Volkswagen takes a strategic role in a state-owned company for the first time, as well as investing direct in a Chinese battery supplier. These investments shape the character of Volkswagen in China, making it a more localized, more sustainability-focused mobility company. By opening up the market, China is giving Volkswagen new business opportunities,” Stephan Wöllenstein, Volkswagen Group China CEO.
DiDi Chuxing, a mobility and convenience platform, raised $500m from SoftBank Vision Fund 2.
The investment will enable DiDi to further enhance safety and efficiency by continuing its investment in advanced research and development of autonomous driving technology and testing, as well as deepen industry cooperation, and accelerate the deployment of autonomous driving services in specific areas in China and abroad.
Japanese diversified conglomerate Sumitomo completed the acquisition of a 35% stake in Metro Pacific Light Rail, a subsidiary of Philippine-listed infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investment. Financial terms were not disclosed.
MPIC said the acquisition gives Sumitomo, one of Japan’s largest trading and investment companies, a 19.2% economic interest in Light Rail Manila’s LRT-1 concession.
“This investment by Sumitomo is a welcome illustration in their belief in the future of this project,” Manuel Pangilinan, MPIC Chairman.
Brookfield rejoins the list of bidders for Virgin Australia. (FS)
Brookfield Asset Management rejoined the race to acquire Virgin Australia, as administrators prepare to narrow the field of suitors for the collapsed carrier, Bloombergreported.
The Canadian asset manager submitted a bid to administrators at Deloitte on Friday. Deloitte, which set Friday as the deadline for the second round of non-binding offers, will draw up a final shortlist of two groups early next week.
Geely Automobile launches share placement of up to $859m.
China's Geely Automobile Holdings launched an $836-$859m placement of 600m new shares to select institutions and investors. Proceeds from the placement will be used to expand business and meet working capital needs.
The shares are priced in the $1.39-$1.44 range, after 4.44%-7.85% discount to the last closing price of $1.51. There is a 90-day lock-up on the company, the term sheet showed. Geely said the placing represents an opportunity to raise capital for the company in the face of meeting dynamic challenges with uncertainties in the foreseeable future.
Bank of America Securities, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs are advising Geely on the share placement.
Paytm Mall in talks for Grofers stake.
Paytm Mall, an online retailer, held discussions with e-grocer Grofers for a potential investment. Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, a common investor in Paytm Mall and Grofers, initiated the deal talks, Economic Timesreported.
Paytm Mall, which has about $170m of cash on hand, is well poised to back a company in the grocery retailing space, which has emerged as a bright spot for the e-commerce industry during the Covid-19 outbreak induced nationwide lockdown.
SoftBank-backed SBG Cleantech eyes to raise up to $750m. (FS)
SoftBank Group-backed renewable energy firm SBG Cleantech is set to reach out to financial and strategic investors to raise capital to fund its ongoing and pipeline projects in India and the US.
SB Energy, the renewable energy arm of SoftBank Group, mandated Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays to help raise $500-$750m in SBG Cleantech, it's 80:20 joint venture with Bharti Enterprises.
"SB Energy is exploring potential co-investment partnerships to accelerate growth of its leading renewable energy platform. SoftBank is fully committed to its long-term ownership of SB Energy and has no plans to divest the business," Softbank spokesperson.
The DE Shaw Group closes its onshore China investment fund. (FS)
The DE Shaw Group, a global investment and technology development firm, closed its initial onshore investment fund in China, Hedgeweekreported. The DE Shaw Razor China Fund deploys a systematic futures strategy, making use of the firm's trading infrastructure and portfolio optimisation process. The fund's trading activities are supervised and managed by personnel in the DE Shaw group's Shanghai office.
"We're grateful for the opportunity to manage capital on behalf of a broad range of onshore Chinese investors, including institutions, asset managers, and high-net-worth individuals, and we're pleased the fund is off to a strong start," Julius Gaudio, DE Shaw Group Executive Committee Member.
KKR appoints Nicholas Hyde as Managing Director to lead the Client Partner Group in Australia and New Zealand. (FS, People)
KKR appointed Nicholas Hyde as a Managing Director to lead KKR's Client Partner Group in Australia and New Zealand. Mr Hyde will be responsible for managing and expanding KKR's client relationships in Australia and New Zealand, raising capital for the firm's private and public markets strategies, and leading new business development for the region.
"We are pleased to welcome Nic to the team. He brings significant experience that will help us further develop our business in Australia and New Zealand and strengthen our relationships with our valued investment partners. Nic's appointment reinforces our long-term commitment to the Australian market, and he will play an important role in our continued efforts to build a multi-product, world-class platform across a diverse range of strategies in the region," Scott Bookmyer, KKR Head of Australia.
JP Morgan ropes in former UTI Mutual Fund CEO as the chairman of South Asian business. (People)
JP Morgan roped in Leo Puri, former managing director and chief executive of UTI Mutual Fund, as its chairman of South Asia and Southeast Asia business, DealStreetAsiareported.
The move comes in as veteran banker and current chairperson Kalpana Morparia expressed her desire to retire from the role after a long a 45-year stint in the financial services industry.
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