It has been an intense week in the M&A and capital markets sectors in North America, with one of the more significant deals seeing a consortium of Bain Capital and Apple agreeing to acquire Toshiba’s chip unit for $18 billion. According to sources, Apple’s interest in the unit is thought to stem from its need to secure a source of chips. Bidding for the unit ended after being publicly open for more than eight months.
Another carve out of a business unit this week saw Zurich-based technology group ABB acquiring the Industrial Solutions business of GE for $2.6 billion. The buyer plans to further develop the business, which was not considered to be a core product of its previous owner.
In the oil and gas space, Phillips 66 Partners has agreed to purchase pipeline and other assets from parent Phillips 66 for $2.4 billion. The assets include 25% stakes in Dakota Access and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company as well as a 100% interest in coke processing unit Merey Sweeny. The deal strengthens the company’s position in the Bakken basin.
In the capital markets space, Discovery Communications has issued $6.3 billion in 2.2%, 2.95%, 3.95%, 5%, 5.2% and floating rate notes, with the proceeds from the issues intended to be used for the acquisition of Scripps Networks.
Apple has also completed a high value multitranche issue, offering $5 billion in 1.5%, 2.1%, 2.9% and 3.75% senior notes – the seventh issue by the company since the beginning of the year.
North of the border, Bank of Nova Scotia – Canada’s international bank – undertook a $1 billion offering of senior notes and $400 million offering of floating rate senior notes, with both paying interest at a rate of 2.4%.
Bass Pro Shops have received $4.745 billion financing for the acquisition of Cabela’s Incorporated. Both companies are fishing and camping retailers.
Outside of the M&A and capital markets spaces, one of the more significant other matters seen this week saw Sprint Communications enter into a an agreement with a consortium of international banks to secure a $3.2 billion financing package to vide supplemental liquidity for general corporate purposes.
One of the more notable agreements in Europe this week saw French rail group Alstom agreeing to a merger with the mobility unit of Siemens, with Siemens taking a 50% interest in the French company. The deal is seen as regionally significant as it is the first time that new President of France Emmanuel Macron has done a deal with his German counterparts and is seen as a preventative measure to create a group able to compete with the Chinese state-backed operator CRRC.
The Nordics have also been the sight of some significant M&A activity this week. US private equity house Hellman & Friedman has made a tender offer for Nordic digital payments handler Nets of DKr33.1 billion, with current majority shareholders Advent International and Bain Capital looking to reinvest in the company, reducing their holdings from 86% to 16%.
Moving to the power and energy sector, Finnish grid operator Elenia – the second-largest electricity distributor in the country – is being targeted by China Southern Power Grid in a deal said to be worth in the region of €3 billion.
In the UK there was activity in both the industrial and technology markets. The Atlanta-based Genuine Parts Company has acquired the Alliance Automotive Group from Blackstone and the group’s co-founders for $2 billion. Both the target company and acquirer are car parts distributors.
Canyon Bridge, a China-backed private equity firm, has acquired UK-based Imagination Technologies for £550 million. The target was listed for sale after Apple stopped using its products.
In the capital markets space, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has undertaken a $12.5 billion three-tranche bond issue; the second government issue this year. It consisted of $3 billion of long five-year notes, $5 billion of the 10-year tranche and $4.5 billion of 30-year bonds.
In Ireland, Dublin headquartered pharmaceutical group Allergan has undertaken a $2 billion share buyback deal that comes right after its $15 billion repurchase of stock, which saw shares of the company subsequently rise by 4%.
Credit Suisse has undertaken a $1 billion 2.997% fixed rate/floating rate senior notes issue and another $500 million floating rate senior notes issue.
Meanwhile in Italy, Banco BPM has issued €500 million 4.375% notes under its €25 billion EMTN programme. The deal is the first subordinated debt issue by an Italian bank since the liquidation of Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza.