French gas analysers maker among recipients of angel investment in March

2017 has so far proven to be fairly promising in terms of the aggregate value of angel investment deals signed off in Western European companies, with both January and February surpassing November and December by volume and value. According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, so far it does not appear that March is likely to reach the same heights. Although there are still 11 days to go until the end of the month at the time of writing, the EUR 52 million invested across 29 deals so far means the result is still some way off the 47 deals worth EUR 120 million signed off in February and the EUR 125 million injected through 52 transactions in January. The result could also be down year-on-year as activity does not appear likely to reach the same levels as March 2016 (43 angel investments worth EUR 111 million). Despite the decline recorded in March to date, there have still been some significant injections announced; so far European angel investments have broken the EUR 10 million barrier in the month under review.

Intel to snap up Mobileye in multi-billion-dollar deal

Intel is targeting the driverless car sector for its next phase of growth as it estimates the industry to be worth up to USD 70,000 million by 2030. The California-headquartered company, which is facing increasing competition from other chip-makers like Qualcomm, has agreed to acquire Mobileye for about USD 15,300 million. Intel is offering USD 63.54 per share, representing a 34.4 per cent premium to the target’s close on 10th March, the last trading day prior to the deal being announced. If the transaction goes through, it will be the largest among those that target Israeli companies, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.

Sterling Bancorp and Astoria Financial join bank merger bandwagon

Sterling Bancorp is buying Astoria Financial in a USD 2,200 million all-scrip takeover that will make the combined entity the sixth largest regional bank in the New York metropolitan area. The announcement came just months after New York Community Bancorp dropped its USD 2,000 million offer to take the target private.

Standard Life agrees merger with Aberdeen

Standard Life is acquiring Scotland-based Aberdeen Asset Management in an all-scrip deal worth around GBP 3,776 million. The implied offer price can be valued at GBP 2.87, representing an 18.5 per cent discount to the target’s close of GBP 3.51 on 23rd October 2015, the last trading day before news of the deal was first reported. As a result of the transaction, the merged entity will be held 66.7 per cent owned by Standard Life’s shareholders, with Aberdeen’s owners controlling the remaining stake.

Restaurant Brands to acquire Popeyes

Restaurant Brands International (RBI) announced on 21st February that it would acquire fried chicken fast food chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (Popeyes) just days after its parent 3G Capital abandoned a USD 143,000 million deal to buy Unilever through Kraft Heinz.

Hologic to acquire aesthetics firm Cynosure

Hologic has agreed to acquire Nasdaq-listed Cynosure by April this year as it looks to tap the beauty industry for further growth. The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, can be valued at USD 1,440 million, including debt and net of cash. The offer price of USD 66 apiece represents a 28.2 per cent premium over Cynosure’s close of USD 51.50 on 13th February, the last trading day prior to the announcement. According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, this is Hologic’s first acquisition since its USD 3,743 million purchase of Gen-Probe, a nucleic acid testing system provider, in 2012.

Snap files for IPO

Snap, the parent of social media photo sharing application Snapchat, is trying its hand at the capital market by filing paperwork with the New York Stock Exchange for an initial public offering worth around USD 3,000 million. Founders Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy, as well as venture capitalists Lightspeed and Benchmark Capital, are expected to divest their stakes through the deal by the end of this year. Underwritten by financial giants including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, the IPO is the second largest to have been announced globally in the past four years, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. The highest valued IPO during the period is Hotel Lotte’s KRW 5,742 billion (USD 5,002 million) planned listing on the Korea Exchange, which is also set to take place this year.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announces first acquisition

In December 2015, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, alongside his wife Priscilla Chan, established the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) with an aim to “advance human potential and promote equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research, and energy”, according to its webpage. Funded by the couple’s personal wealth, the USD 45,000 million organisation was formed as a limited liability company (LLC), rather than a charity. Explaining his choice of structure for the entity, Zuckerberg stated: “By using an LLC instead of a traditional foundation, we receive no tax benefit from transferring our shares to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, but we gain flexibility to execute our mission more effectively.

Spanish mobile application developer targeted by angels in January

2016 ended on a fairly encouraging note in terms of the aggregate value of angel investment in European companies, although the year as a whole followed the general pattern witnessed in global M&A, in that a decline was registered on 2015. 

McDonald’s to sell businesses in Far East

McDonald’s is reaching out to potential suitors for the sale of its Jasdaq Securities Exchange-listed unit, a process that has been ongoing since 2015. The Oak Brook-based fast food chain intends to offload a 33.0 per cent interest in McDonald's Holdings Company Japan (McDonald’s Japan), for around JPY 100 billion (according to Nikkei Asian Review). Facilitated by Morgan Stanley, the deal has attracted a number of private equity buyers, the Wall Street Journal reported.


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