Corporate Financier’s Notes by Aivars Jurcans
Done! And Done
American Express has agreed to acquire Kabbage, an online lending platform, for an undisclosed sum. Under the terms of the deal AmEx will acquire the technology, people and data of Kabbage, but not its loan book. SoftBank invested USD 250 million in Kabbage in mid-2017, at a valuation of USD 1.2 billion.
Source: FT, Reuters
Deals On The Table
Sun Life Financial, a Canadian insurer, is said to be in “advanced talks” to acquire Crescent Capital Group, a USD 28 billion credit manager which invests in bank loans, high-yield bonds and other debt securities.
Evertec, a Puerto Rico-based payments processor, is said to be exploring strategic options including a potential sale. Evertec’s market capitalisation is around USD 2.5 billion.
Axa, a French insurer, is said to be in talks to sell its Greek operations to Assicurazioni Generali. The unit, which offers life and general insurance products, could be valued at around EUR 150 million.
First Capital Securities, a Shenzhen-listed broker, is said to be working on a merger with Capital Securities, its smaller rival. First Capital, which has a market value of USD 6.2 billion is expected to issue new shares to private Capital Securities in a deal valuing the smaller firm at about USD 1.4 billion.
Emirates NBD, a Dubai bank, is said to be in preliminary talks to buy the Egyptian unit of Blom Bank, a Lebanese lender. Blom’s Egypt unit has 42 branches and is active in retail and corporate banking.
Canaccord, Canada’s non-bank brokerage, is said to be exploring strategic options including a sale of all or part of its business. Its UK wealth management business alone (with USD 34 billion in client assets at the end of June 2020) is estimated to be worth as much as USD 652 million.
The Money Trail
Lufax, China’s online wealth management platform backed by Ping An Insurance Group, has formed an alliance with Kasikornbank to set up an online wealth management platform in Thailand.
Ant Group, China’s mobile payments company and Alibaba’s fintech arm, is said to be planning to set up a consumer finance firm in Chongqing. Ant plans to team up with Nanyang Commercial Bank and China TransInfo Technology, an intelligent transport services firm. The founders are expected to invest about USD 1.2 billion in the firm.
Robinhood, a retail trading app, has raised new equity (USD 200 million) that gives it a valuation of USD 11.2 billion, up by nearly 1/3 from a previous injection in July 2020 (USD 8.6 billion).
The KBW Nasdaq Bank Index has fallen 33.1% this year; the S&P 500 is up 6.2%, including dividends.
K-shaped recovery – economic recovery where some segments of the economy – whether it be retail or housing – have recovered sharply, while others have continued to downtrend.
A Thought Worth Noting
“It [gold] is more a currency than a commodity. Everything else, to one degree or another, gets used up and doesn’t come back into the market. Gold just stays there.”
Fergal O’Connor, economist, University College Cork
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