Corporate Financier’s Notes by Aivars Jurcans
Done! And Done
Mastercard has agreed to buy Ekata, a digital identity verification company, in a deal valued at USD 850 million.
Access Bank, a Nigerian lender, has agreed to buy just over 78% of shares in African Banking Corporation of Botswana for an undisclosed cash sum of around 1.13x times book value as well as a 2-year deferred payment.
Centuria Capital Group, an Australian investment manager, has agreed to buy Primewest Group, a property fund manager, in a stock and cash deal that values the target at USD 462.51 million.
Deals On The Table
Credit Agricole Italia is said to have secured majority support for a USD 1 billion takeover of Creval, a rival bank, after agreeing to pay the maximum price regardless of acceptance levels for its offer.
John Paulson, a US billionaire investor, is said to be planning to participate in Piraeus Bank, a Greek lender, capital increase. The share sale is expected to raise as much as EUR 1.38 billion.
Citigroup is said to have put its consumer operation in 13 markets across Asia and eastern Europe up for sale. Consumer banking in these markets accounted for just USD 4.2 billion out of the USD 74.3 billion in revenue Citigroup earned last year and operated at a loss.
Revolut, a UK digital banking app, is said to be “on track” for a new fundraising that could value it at more than USD 10 billion. The company was valued at USD 5.5 billion in early 2020 when it raised USD 500 million.
Goldman Sachs has invested GBP 50 million in Starling, a UK digital bank. The cash investment is going to be treated as an “extension” of the GBP 272 million funding round Starling announced last month, which valued it at about GBP 1.1 billion.
Wise, a fintech formerly known as TransferWise, is said to be in discussions with British financial regulators about going public via a direct listing. Wise was most recently valued at USD 5 billion in a secondary sale in July 2020, equivalent to around GBP 3.6 billion at current exchange rates.
According to Moody’s estimates, consumers around the world have stockpiled an extra USD 5.4 trillion of savings since the coronavirus pandemic began.
A Thought Worth Noting
“If inflation were to come back sustainably it would put the European Central Bank in a very difficult position because we would still be in a very weak recovery and it would put the onus much more on fiscal policy with an increased risk of financial market fragmentation.”
Maria Demertzis, deputy director, Bruegel (a think-tank)
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