Corporate Financier’s Notes by Aivars Jurcans
Done! And Done
Phoenix Group, a British insurer, has agreed to sell Ark Life Assurance to Irish Life Group for EUR 230 million. Ark Life, which manages heritage savings and protection products in Ireland, has GBP 1.8 billion in assets under management.
Citigroup has agreed to sell its operations in Venezuela to Banco Nacional de Credito. The details of the deal were not disclosed.
Google has agreed to buy 87% of shares in Pring, a Japanese payments business. Metaps, one of the selling shareholders, has confirmed that it is selling its 45% stake for USD 44 million.
Vanguard, a Pennsylvania-based asset manager with roughly USD 7.9 billion worth of assets under management, has agreed to acquire Just Invest, a California-based wealth management boutique that has developed a customisable direct indexing offer. Founded in 2016, Just Invest manages about USD 1 billion of assets. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Caixabank, a Spanish lender, has agreed to sell a unit that processes payments for retailers to Comercia Global Payments (a local unit of Global Payments) for EUR 260 million and a pre-paid card business to Global Payments MoneytoPay for EUR 17 million.
Pollen Street Capital, a UK private equity firm, has taken a 10% stake in Bunq, a Netherlands-based challenger bank, for EUR 193 million, valuing it at EUR 1.6 billion. Bunq offers online banking services in 30 markets and has passed EUR 1 billion in user deposits in 2021.
Deals On The Table
Nordax Bank, a Swedish lender, is said to have offered an improved bid to buy Norwegian Finans Holding, an Oslo-listed owner of Bank Norwegian, in a cash transaction valued at USD 2.23 billion.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is said to be planning to buy 5% of Jefferies Financial Group shares for around USD 380 million.
Paytm, a digital payments services provider, is said to be considering raising about USD 268 million in a funding round before its initial public offering. The company was last valued at USD 16 billion.
National Australia Bank is said to be “in advanced discussions” to buy Citigroup’s Australian retail assets, valued at more than USD 1 billion.
The government of India is said to be proceeding with its plans to list Life Insurance Corp, a state-run insurer. A listing could potentially value LIC at as much as USD 261 billion.
Circle, a payments infrastructure provider for digital currencies and a USD Coin issuer, is said to be planning to go public in a blank-cheque merger deal that values it at USD 4.5 billion. According to the company, the global circulation of USDCs has grown more than 3,400% since January 2021 to almost USD 26 billion worth of coins.
Source: FT, Reuters
Bullish Global, a crypto group backed by Peter Thiel, is said to be planning to list through a Spac deal. The deal values Bullish at around USD 9 billion.
Metrics To Watch
Goldman Sachs’s annualised return on equity for Q2 2021 was 23.7%, ahead of the 14% medium-term target laid out in 2020.
Klarna, a Swedish payments firm, has acquired Hero Towers, an e-commerce technology firm which is said to connect online shoppers with retail workers via text messages, videos and online chat rooms. It is estimated that Klarna will pay about USD 160 million.
Younited, a French fintech, has raised USD 170 million from a group of investors. Younited offers personal loans to individuals and works with companies who want to offer their customers credit products.
The market of decentralised finance (“DeFi”) has grown from about USD 15 billion at the start of 2021 to USD 65 billion, according to JPMorgan research.
A Thought Worth Noting
“The biggest change we’ve seen in the last year is that crypto has got big enough for regulators to care.”
Sam Bankman-Fried, chief executive, FTX
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