Corporate Financier’s Notes by Aivars Jurcans
Done! And Done
Hastings, a UK insurer, has agreed to accept the GBP 1.7 billion cash bid from a consortium of Rand Merchant Holdings, its South African shareholder (with a 30% stake), and Sampo, a Finnish insurer.
Source: FT, Reuters
Metro Bank, a UK challenger bank, has agreed to buy RateSetter, a peer-to-peer lender, in a GBP 12 million deal (GBP 2.5 million up front and a further GBP 9.5 million over the 3 years following completion, subject to undisclosed performance criteria).
SVEA Finance, a Swedish-owned Hungarian debt collection management company, sold approximately 250,000 unsecured retail claims with a nominal value of around EUR 55 million to Intrum Group, another Swedish-owned entity. Upon closing of the transaction SVEA Finance is said to terminate its operations in Hungary.
Source: KPMG Tanacsado Kft
Deals On The Table
BR Partners, a Brazilian investment bank, has filed for an IPO. Its reported return on equity in H1 2020 was 30.4%.
Paya, an Atlanta-based payments company, is said to be close to merging with FinTech Acquisition Corp III, a blank-check acquisition company, i a deal that could value Paya at around USD 1.3 billion, including debt. When acquired by GTCR, its private equity owner, in 2017 Paya was valued at USD 260 million.
Covea, a French insurer, has agreed to invest a total of EUR 1.5 billion, partly in entities managed by PartnerRE (a Bermuda reinsurer), after walking away from a deal to buy it from Exor earlier this year. This agreement is said to be set to “normalise” relations between the two companies after Covea pulled out of its planned USD 9 billion acquisition.
Metrics To Watch
Commerzbank’s return on equity dropped by a quarter to 2.9% in Q2 2020.
Standard Chartered has reported “positive jaws” – revenues growing by more than expenses – of 7%; meanwhile, its return on tangible equity of 6% in 2019 was almost 1/2 that of peers like Goldman Sachs.
Apple Inc has acquired Mobeewave, a Montreal-based startup with technology that could transform iPhones into mobile payment terminals. Apple is said to have paid about USD 100 million for the startup. Mobeewave’s system works with an app and doesn’t require hardware beyond a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip, which iPhones have included since 2014.
The Money Trail
BNDES, a Brazilian state-controlled development bank, has raised USD 1.53 billion by selling a 2.6% stake in Vale SA, a miner, in an auction.
Investors stashed a net USD 7.4 billion of cash into gold-backed ETFs in July 2020, according to the World Gold Council, adding to the record USD 40 billion they invested in H1 2020.
A Thought Worth Noting
“The industry as a whole … is well prepared. But if there is a huge second lockdown, a macroeconomic meltdown and actual failures and bankruptcies, [all the banks] will be hit.”
Thomas Gottstein, chief executive, Credit Suisse
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