Lagardere agrees to buy U.S. airport food group HBF for $330 million: Reuters

Lagardere travel retail, a division of French conglomerate Lagardere (LAGA.PA), said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy U.S.-based Hojeij Branded Foods for $330 million as it refocuses on services like airport shops. HBF, based in Atlanta, operates restaurants and coffee shops in airports with partner brands such as Italy’s illycaffe, and also owns some like Vino Volo, a wine bar group it bought last year. Lagardere has been looking to sell off some assets such as Elle magazine as it moves away from the tougher media industry, though boss Arnaud Lagardere has said he wanted to hang onto publications like Paris-Match. He had flagged travel retail as one focus for fresh investments, and publishing. The HBF acquisition, which should close in the fourth quarter of 2018, will entail costs savings of around $10 million annually from the fourth year after the acquisition, the French group said
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Lagardere agrees to buy U.S. airport food group HBF for $330 million: Reuters

Lagardere travel retail, a division of French conglomerate Lagardere (LAGA.PA), said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy U.S.-based Hojeij Branded Foods for $330 million as it refocuses on services like airport shops. HBF, based in Atlanta, operates restaurants and coffee shops in airports with partner brands such as Italy’s illycaffe, and also owns some like Vino Volo, a wine bar group it bought last year. Lagardere has been looking to sell off some assets such as Elle magazine as it moves away from the tougher media industry, though boss Arnaud Lagardere has said he wanted to hang onto publications like Paris-Match. He had flagged travel retail as one focus for fresh investments, and publishing. The HBF acquisition, which should close in the fourth quarter of 2018, will entail costs savings of around $10 million annually from the fourth year after the acquisition, the French group said
Continue reading "Lagardere agrees to buy U.S. airport food group HBF for $330 million: Reuters"

Lagardere agrees to buy U.S. airport food group HBF for $330 million: Reuters

Lagardere travel retail, a division of French conglomerate Lagardere (LAGA.PA), said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy U.S.-based Hojeij Branded Foods for $330 million as it refocuses on services like airport shops. HBF, based in Atlanta, operates restaurants and coffee shops in airports with partner brands such as Italy’s illycaffe, and also owns some like Vino Volo, a wine bar group it bought last year. Lagardere has been looking to sell off some assets such as Elle magazine as it moves away from the tougher media industry, though boss Arnaud Lagardere has said he wanted to hang onto publications like Paris-Match. He had flagged travel retail as one focus for fresh investments, and publishing. The HBF acquisition, which should close in the fourth quarter of 2018, will entail costs savings of around $10 million annually from the fourth year after the acquisition, the French group said
Continue reading "Lagardere agrees to buy U.S. airport food group HBF for $330 million: Reuters"

Investment firms explore buyout of Yum China: Reuters

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Investment firms are exploring a buyout of Yum China Holdings Inc. (YUMC.N) in what could be one of Asia’s biggest M&A deals this year, sources close to the situation told Reuters. Yum China, which had a market cap of $13 billion as of its closing price on Monday, was spun off from the KFC and Pizza Hut owner Yum Brands! Inc (YUM.N) in 2016 and later listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The firm itself has been discussing internally about switching to the Hong Kong bourse for a listing, because of the city’s proximity to the Chinese market, potentially higher valuation and its convenient timezone for executives, a separate source with knowledge of the plan told Reuters. Chinese investment firm Hillhouse Capital Group is planning to lead a consortium to buy the KFC and Pizza Hut operator in China, said four of the
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Blackstone may buy stake in India’s Jet Airways loyalty arm: Bloomberg

(Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) is in talks to acquire a stake in the frequent-flier loyalty program of Jet Airways (India) Ltd (JET.NS), Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. A potential deal could value the loyalty program, Jet Privilege Private Ltd, between 30 billion rupees and 40 billion rupees ($429.1 million-$572.1 million) and would be dependant on Jet Airways securing adequate funding for its airline operations, Bloomberg said. The Indian carrier and its partner Etihad Airways will remain investors in Jet Privilege even after a potential Blackstone transaction, Bloomberg said. Etihad owns 50.1 percent of the loyalty program, while Jet Airways owns the rest. “As a minority shareholder (in Jet Airways), Etihad continues to work constructively with the Jet Airways board, promoter and management team,” an Etihad spokesman said in an
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Blackstone may buy stake in India’s Jet Airways loyalty arm: Bloomberg

(Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) is in talks to acquire a stake in the frequent-flier loyalty program of Jet Airways (India) Ltd (JET.NS), Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. A potential deal could value the loyalty program, Jet Privilege Private Ltd, between 30 billion rupees and 40 billion rupees ($429.1 million-$572.1 million) and would be dependant on Jet Airways securing adequate funding for its airline operations, Bloomberg said. The Indian carrier and its partner Etihad Airways will remain investors in Jet Privilege even after a potential Blackstone transaction, Bloomberg said. Etihad owns 50.1 percent of the loyalty program, while Jet Airways owns the rest. “As a minority shareholder (in Jet Airways), Etihad continues to work constructively with the Jet Airways board, promoter and management team,” an Etihad spokesman said in an
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Orchard raises $150 million to expand after GSK gene therapy deal: Reuters

Anglo-American biotech company Orchard Therapeutics has raised a further $150 million to fund its work in gene therapy, building on earlier fundraisings worth more than $140 million. The new financing comes four months after its acquisition of a portfolio of GlaxoSmithKline rare disease medicines, including the gene therapy Strimvelis for ADA severe combined immune deficiency (ADA-SCID), or “bubble baby” disease. Gene therapy is a hot area for drug research – highlighted by Novartis’s $8.7 billion acquisition of AveXis in April – but products sold to Orchard are viewed as too niche for GSK as it refocuses its drug research under CEO Emma Walmsley. Strimvelis has so far been used to treat just a handful of patients since its launch in Europe two years ago. Orchard, which has previously said it would consider an initial public offering (IPO) as the company develops, said on Monday the latest financing had been
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VTG calls on suitor Morgan Stanley Infrastructure to hike bid: Reuters

Rail logistics group VTG (VT9G.DE) said on Tuesday that Morgan Stanley Infrastructure should sweeten its takeover offer but added the suitor had not shown any willingness to do so. “There is certainly room for improvement,” Chief Executive Heiko Fischer told Reuters, confirming the target’s critical view of the 53 euros-per-share bid. The U.S. investor announced a cash takeover offer for VTG last month after securing a large stake from German billionaire Klaus Michael Kuehne. Kuehne Holding AG agreed to sell around 20 percent of VTG for more than 300 million euros ($342 million), raising Morgan Stanley Infrastructure’s stake in the company to 49 percent.

Carlyle starts preparations for $5 billion listing of chemicals group Atotech, say sources: Reuters

Buyout group Carlyle (CG.O) is starting preparations for a stock market listing of German speciality chemicals group Atotech, a former part of oil group Total (TOTF.PA) which could be valued at around $5 billion, people close to the matter said. The private equity investor has asked investment banks to pitch for roles in an initial public offering which is expected to take place in New York next year, two of the people said, while another person said a German IPO was also a possibility. Carlyle declined to comment. Atotech, a Berlin-based maker of speciality chemicals and equipment for printed circuit boards and semiconductors, posted adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $329 million on sales of $1.2 billion last year.
Carlyle bought Atotech in 2016 at an enterprise value of $3.2 billion or 12 times its core earnings. The investor would likely seek
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Bain Capital to take UK insurer esure private in $1.55 billion deal: Reuters

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Bain Capital has agreed to buy esure (ESUR.L) for 1.21 billion pounds ($1.55 billion), in a deal that gives investors in the British insurer a 37 percent premium on the share price at the end of last week. The insurer said its independent directors and two biggest shareholders, Chairman Peter Wood and Toscafund, supported the Bain deal at 280 pence per share. They together own 47.7 percent shares of the company. Wood and Halifax bank launched online insurer esure.com in 2001. After a management buy-out in 2010, it became an independent company and listed in London in March 2013 at 290 pence per share. The deal ends over two years of speculation around esure being a takeover target for U.S. private equity firms and reports of Wood trying to offload his 30.69 percent stake in the insurer.
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Musk says Silver Lake, Goldman advising on taking Tesla private: Reuters

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that he was working with buyout firm Silver Lake and investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) as financial advisers on his plan to take the U.S. electric car maker private. The announcement represents the latest effort by Musk to add credibility to his proposed $72 billion deal for Tesla, following his tweet last week that funding for it was “secured”. That earlier tweet has triggered investor lawsuits as well as an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into the accuracy of his statement. Musk also posted in a blog post on Monday his most detailed vision yet into how a Tesla take-private deal could work, but shares in the car maker ended flat, indicating investor skepticism over its feasibility. A source familiar with the matter said Silver
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Spain’s Amadeus to buy U.S.-based TravelClick for $1.52 billion: Reuters

Spanish travel technology firm Amadeus IT Group (AMA.MC) has agreed to buy U.S.-based TravelClick for $1.52 billion from private equity firm Thoma Bravo, Amadeus said on Friday. Amadeus, which operates global travel booking systems and offers check-in services for airlines, said the deal will boost its presence in the hospitality sector. “The addition of TravelClick’s solutions to the Amadeus portfolio will create a hospitality IT leader providing a broad range of innovative technology to hotels and chains of all sizes across the globe,” the company said. Amadeus sees combined core earnings of 2.02 billion euros and revenue above 5.06 billion euros after it closes the deal, which it expects to be immediately accretive. Amadeus will partially finance the buy with a 1.00 billion euro ($1.14 billion) debt facility, it said. TravelClick, which operates in 176 countries, serves such hotel chains as Hilton,
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Australia’s Capilano Honey gets $138 million bid from consortium: Reuters

(Reuters) – Australia’s Capilano Honey Ltd (CZZ.AX) said on Monday a consortium of China-focused Wattle Hill RHC Fund and Roc Partners agreed to buy the company for A$189.8 million ($138 million). The deal, which comes at a time of enormous Chinese interest Down Under, will offer the honey producer’s shareholders A$20.06 per share in cash or stock, representing a premium of 28.2 percent to the stock’s last close. Capilano said Wroxby Pty Ltd, which currently holds a 20.6 percent stake in the company, intends to vote in favor of the deal if there is no superior bid. Capilano shares surged as much as 27.73 percent to their highest since August 2016. Australia has seen renewed interest from Chinese and China-focused investors across sectors, including food, healthcare and energy, amid mounting trade tensions with the United States. Food and health scares in China, most recently
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KKR plans to list its Indian businesses on local exchange: FT

Investment firm KKR & Co (KKR.N) plans to list a bulk of its operations in India on the local stock exchange, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing four people involved in the matter. The expected public offering of KKR’s Indian unit excludes private equity operations, which are part of the company’s broader Asia private equity business run out of Hong Kong, the FT report on.ft.com/2MeXXZZ said. The timing of the potential IPO has not been finalised, the report said. In India, KKR operates as a buyout company with a credit business that not only takes stakes in local companies but also lends to them. KKR was not immediately available for comment.

UK’s esure soars on possible $1.5 billion offer from Bain Capital: Reuters

Britain’s esure (ESUR.L) is in advanced talks over a possible 1.17 billion pound ($1.49 billion) bid from Bain Capital Private Equity, the insurance company said on Monday, sending its shares more than 30 percent higher. esure was founded when its top shareholder Peter Wood and Halifax bank launched online insurer esure.com in 2001. After a management buy-out in 2010, it became an independent company and listed in London two years later at 212 pence per share. Bain Capital has proposed buying esure at 280 pence per share in cash, 37 percent above the insurer’s share price close of 204 pence on Friday. “esure has indicated to Bain Capital that it would be minded to recommend a firm offer for esure if made by Bain Capital at the price set out in the proposal …” the company said in a statement. Under British takeover rules, Bain
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KKR to buy control of REEL for $530 million, one of India’s biggest buyouts: Reuters

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Private equity firm KKR & Co (KKR.N) said it will acquire a 60 percent stake in India’s Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd (REEL) for $530 million, adding it was one of India’s largest buyouts. KKR will buy the stake via a combination of primary and secondary investments, in a deal that gives the waste management company an enterprise value of $925 million. The deal comes at a time when the country is focused on reducing pollution and improving sanitation infrastructure via its Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission – an initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The main aim is to eliminate open defecation by October 2019 by building individual and public toilets. KKR India’s CEO Sanjay Nayar said REEL is the only comprehensive environmental management company offering end-to-end services across India and that its work uniquely supports the Swachh Bharat Mission. REEL also
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Online furniture retailer Westwing targets late 2018 IPO, say sources: Reuters

Online furniture retailer Westwing, backed by German ecommerce investor Rocket Internet, is reviving plans for a Frankfurt stock market listing which may come in late 2018, people close to the matter said. The company, which in 2016 shelved its initial public offering (IPO) plans, may sell shares worth about 100 to 150 million euros ($116-$174 mln) – mostly newly issued ones, they said. Westwing may be valued at 400 to 450 million euros in a potential deal, the people said. Citi and Berenberg have been chosen to organise the flotation as so called global coordinators, they added. Westwing said that it is under no time pressure to do a deal. “We have always said that we will at some stage plan a stock market listing,” a Westwing spokeswoman said. German start-up investor Rocket Internet holds 32 percent of Westwing, with other investors including Investment AB Kinnevik , Access
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Singapore’s Golden Gate Ventures launches $10 million crypto fund: Reuters

Singapore-based venture capital firm Golden Gate Ventures said on Friday it will launch a $10 million fund to invest in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology startups. The fund, called LuneX Ventures, will invest in early-stage companies globally such as cryptocurrency exchanges and security providers. Investors in the fund will include high-net worth individuals and family offices. The fund is among a cluster of similar ventures that invest in the cryptocurrency space, backed by wealthy individuals and financial firms, that have emerged over the past year. Such firms have partially replaced the retail investor base, which drove bitcoin’s skyrocket rise in 2017. The price of the world’s biggest and best-known virtual currency has more than halved from a high of near $20,000 late last year.

UnitedHealth is buying pharmacy operator Genoa: Axios

Health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc has at least a tentative agreement to buy specialty pharmacy operator Genoa Health from private equity firm Advent International, news website Axios reported, citing a source familiar with the deal. Genoa Chief Executive John Figueroa will move on and Chief Commercial Officer Mark Peterson will run the business for UnitedHealth, the report bit.ly/2MvSFW7 said. Both UnitedHealth and Genoa Health were not immediately available for comments.
Bloomberg had reported bloom.bg/2Mxb0Ce on Tuesday that Advent International was in talk with potential buyers about selling Genoa Healthcare, citing people familiar with the matter.

China’s Bytedance seeks to raise $3 billion at up to $75 billion valuation, say sources: Reuters

Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, owner of China’s leading news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, aims to raise about $3 billion in its latest funding round that would see its valuation soar to as high as $75 billion, people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The fundraising comes as the six-year-old firm is considering an initial public offering in Hong Kong next year and has been in talks with investment banks for a multi-billion-dollar listing, two of the sources said. How successful Bytedance’s fundraising is will be an indicator of broader appetite for Chinese investments amid heightened Sino-U.S. trade tensions and Beijing’s debt crackdown that are slowing the Chinese economy and aggravating tight market liquidity. Fast-growing Bytedance runs China’s popular news feed Jinri Toutiao and short video platform TikTok, which was also the world’s most downloaded app in the first quarter. Founded by entrepreneur Zhang Yiming in 2012, Bytedance
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