Corporate Financier’s Notes by Aivars Jurcans
Done! And Done
Quilter, wealth manager, has agreed to sell its international business to Utmost Group, a specialist life assurance company, for GBP 483 million.
Brookfield Asset Management, Canada’s alternative asset manager, has agreed to buy the remaining stake in Brookfield Property Partners, its commercial real estate business, for about USD 6.5 billion.
Mastercard has agreed to invest USD 100 million in Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations valuing the business at USD 2.65 billion.
Arrow Global, a European investor and asset manager, has agreed to a “sweetened cash offer” from TDR Capital, a private equity firm, that values it at GBP 563 million.
Deals On The Table
Amundi, a French asset manager, is said to have entered “exclusive talks” to buy Lyxorfrom Societe Generale in a cash deal worth EUR 825 million. The valuation for Lyxor (which has EUR 124 billion in client money under management) represents an enterprise value multiple of about 10x times estimated earnings for 2021.
Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
In year 2000 when HSBC acquired Credit Commercial de France for EUR 11.1 billion the target was valued at 3.5x times price-to-book. In comparison, today Societe Generale clocks in at a 0.3x times price-to-book ratio and BNP Paribas at 0.6x.
Thanks, But No Deal
Genworth Financial, a US insurer, has terminated a USD 2.7 billion buyout agreement with China Oceanwide Holdings Group. Proposed in October 2016, the merger was stalled for years “over concerns about Chinese access to sensitive data of US citizens”.
Plaid, a financial technology company, has raised USD 425 million in a funding round that values it at USD 13.4 billion. Plaid develops technology that enables consumers to link their bank accounts to share data and initiate payments with third-party apps.
As of late February 2021, investors had borrowed a record USD 814 billion against their portfolios, according to data form the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. That was up 49% from one year earlier, the fastest annual increase since 2007.
According to FT calculations based on the data from the European Central Bank, domestic government securities and loans held by eurozone banks rose more than EUR 140 billion to just over EUR 2.1 trillion in the year to February.
A Thought Worth Noting
“The increase in liabilities going between banks and governments is worrying to me and policymakers should look to address it. But the risk seems a bit beyond the horizon that keeps policymakers awake nowadays.”
Nicolas Veron, senior fellow, Bruegel (a think-tank)
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