Carl Icahn is concentrating on a partial spin-off for 20% of eBay owned Paypal. He wants eBay to sell this to the general public by doing an IPO but to still keep the remaining stake. He believes a contract can be signed between the 2 entities that will permit eBay and Paypal to keep all existing synergies but also have more focus from Paypal on business development and a more independent management team.
Spanish telco operator Grupo Corporativo Ono SA (ONO) agrees to sell to Vodafone for 7.2 billion euros. The transaction price includes debts. The Transaction values Ono at a multiple of 7.5x 2013 EBITDA adjusted for cost and capex synergies says Vodafone in a press release.
It seems that Vodafone will finance this with cash and some undrawn bank facilities.
“The combination of Vodafone and Ono creates a leading integrated communications provider in Spain and represents an attractive value creation opportunity for Vodafone,” Chief Executive Vittorio Colao (Vodafone)
This deal could generate other M&A activity in Spain as Orange is trying to do some acquisitions as well. Orange showed interest by having discussions with some investment banks for possible targets.
Main benefits for Vodafone
- Ono covers 7.2 million homes released to marketing which represent around 41% of Spain, and it provides 200 Mbps speeds to its customers as the network has been fully upgraded to DOCSIS 3.0
- Ono’s network is complementary to Vodafone’s fibre-to- the-home (“FTTH”) build programme. Vodafone intends to complete its FTTH rollout to 1.5 million homes passed, providing it with access to a NGN network covering up to 10 million homes released to marketing, equivalent to 57% of total Spanish homes. will
- The Transaction is expected to generate significant cost and capex savings with an annual run-rate of approximately €240 million (£200 million), before integration costs, in the fourth full year post completion, equivalent to a net present value of €2.0 billion (£1.7 billion) after integration costs. The savings will be primarily derived from utilising Ono’s network for mobile backhaul, limiting Vodafone’s FTTH build plan to the initial 1.5 million homes passed, the rationalisation of overlapping activities and the migration of Ono’s mobile traffic to Vodafone’s network.
- Vodafone will be able to leverage its extensive distribution network to increase the penetration of Ono’s homes released to marketing, which is currently lower than any other major European cable operator. There is also a significant opportunity to cross-sell Ono’s high quality broadband, fixed telephony and pay-TV offerings to Vodafone’s existing customers. Vodafone also expects to be able to cross-sell its mobile services to Ono’s customers and offer new services, using both companies’ product sets and networks. Vodafone estimates revenue synergies with a total net present value of approximately €1.0 billion (£0.8 billion) after integration costs.
The deal must be signed off by regulators, although the companies don’t anticipate antitrust concerns to be an obstacle, a person familiar with the matter said.
Morgan Stanley advised Vodafone, and Robertson Robey Associates LLP assisted its board.
This Ukraine / Crimea crisis is most likely to disrupt not only the European M&A sector but also the global one. This crisis already affected global markets and most of the Russian businesses and banks are withdrawing and moving funds back to Russia as they are afraid of possible sanctions from EU and US.
Short term .. probably only Russian companies involved will be affected but problem is that in a longer term the region will have a big percentage of investors who will lack the confidence to pursue existing plans.
Russia represents around 19% of all international M&A value for 2013 and an impact caused by possible economic sanctions will be seen for sure in the region in the coming months as this represents a huge value of the total market.
Hertz wants to spin-off Herc, the equipment rental part of the company. This division takes care of renting diggers, drills, trailers, etc. In the last year this accounts for $1.1 billion revenue, representing 13% out of the Hertz total.
This appears to be an older idea as there has been speculation before that this spin-off will generate big benefits.
Under the chosen structure, the company will most probably spin off this division to its own shareholders. This transaction permits Hertz and Herc to separate without paying normal taxes as it would in a divestiture.
Hertz shares closed @ $25.98 per share on Friday, generating a total value of $11.6 billion.
Oh, it’s Monday again…
This might be a sign for Spotify preparing to go public. The Swedish startup also raised $ 250 mil in November. Company value has an estimate of around $ 8 bil.
In the year 2013 , Romtelecom revenues decreased by 1.6% to 609.5 million euros with a limited decline in fourth-quarter performance . EBITDA profit voluntary redundancy program fell by 4.1 % to 159.3 million euros.
Romtelecom has 1,24 mil customers for broadband Internet services and a growth of 4.5%. On the tv services area, the customer numbers grew by 7% to 1,35 mil. Fixed telephony had a drop of 3,3% in customer numbers to 2,25 mil.
Romtelecom and Cosmote will merge this year so a heave increase in the profit is expected due to big synergies that usually exist in telecom operators. Also the companies work silently on rebranding with T-Home (residential services), T-Mobile (mobile services) and T-Systems (business services).
All of these elements put together and the newly formed Deutsche Telekom “T” company will most probably have a bright and interesting future ahead in this difficult market that affected negatively their business until now.
Echo Nest was sold to Spotify. Spotify acquired most probably around 90% of Echo Nest and will operate independently. Also Echo Nest will most probably cancel all business contracts with the competitors but at the normal termination date. This company right now provides service to most of the online radios.
Spotify also mentioned that they have a new iOS SDK, that was programmed to be even faster then before.
The Korean administration wants to help local start-ups to by a more active presence of private equity funds and strategic investors. The Finance Minister specified that the government will work on optimising some of the regulations that currently keep the corporate M&A activities under a strict control.
South Korean M&A activity continued to decrease starting with the financial crisis from 2007.
The Finance Minister also said that the M&A market might almost double in 2017 with the help of the government measures being deployed.
Telkom Sa Soc and MTN Group 2 telecom operators from Africa, are working on an agreement for network sharing to optimise companies costs. This move actually prepares the companies as South Africa has a plan to lower the calls cost in order to optimise competition level on the market as bigger operators are charging smaller companies for terminating these calls.
MTN and Vodacom started a lawsuit against Independent communications authority of South Africa but they are all probably preparing to increase profitability with this agreement in order to absorb the possible revenue decrease.
This is only another step forward in Paul Polman’s (Unilever CEO) strategy. Unilever sold the Skippy brand in 2011 and Wish Bone in 2012. Also in Europe, a more recent exit happening last month, the Peperami meat business line.
Last year, the CEO mentioned that the company will continue to sell non-core businesses in 2014. Ragu represents about 39 percent of Unilever’s pasta sauce generated revenues.
Morgan Stanley was hired to fulfil the goal and Unilever expects a sale price of around 1.6 billion US.
Unilever shares price decreased 2.5 percent in Amsterdam after the announcement was made.
Titan Aerospace might sell their drone business to Facebook for around $ 60 mil. Facebook is interested about the wireless internet facility that these drones can have to be able to offer internet access to clients in countries where the telecom infrastructure is not developed yet. TechCrunch blogged about this on Monday.
Facebook and Titan declined to comment.
The effort would help advance Facebook’s Internet.org effort, aimed at connecting billions of people who do not currently have Internet access in places such as Africa and Asia.
Titan is developing a variety of solar-powered drone according to their website, with initial commercial operations slated for 2015. The drones, which fly at an altitude of 65,000 feet (20 km) and can remain aloft for up to five years.
Facebook is interested in having Titan build 11,000 of its Solara 60 model drones for its Internet.org project, according to the TechCrunch report.
Capital Partners is gladly announcing the completion of the management buyout of the leading local fitness operator, Word Class Romania.
Capital Partners has advised the management team to find the best suitable financial partner to acquire a controlling stake in the company from the Norwegian fund, NorgesInvestors. Until recently, the company was a subsidiary of World Class International, a fitness chain with presence in 9 countries and more than 60,000 members across Europe.
With the first club opened in 2001 in Marriott Grand Hotel with a clear scope to test the infant Romanian fitness market, in 2005 World Class Romania opened its second club in Bucharest Radisson Hotel, which became the starting point of a successful expansion to 11 clubs in 2013, which put the company in the forefront of, now a EUR 64 million, fitness market.
Mikael Fredholm, CEO World Class: “We are delighted to participate together with Resource Partners in the acquisition of World Class Romania and we see great potential in the growth of the fitness market in Romania. Supported by our partner we will be able to further develop the network and create high quality fitness environment in our clubs.”
Dan Farcasanu, Investment Director Resource Partners : “We are thrilled to partner with a very strong management team to acquire the leading fitness chain in Romania. We believe in the Company’s growth and consolidation potential in Romania, both in Bucharest and other cities. This first project in Romania is very much in line with Resource Partners’ strategy of investing in consumer oriented companies and supporting competent management teams in Central Europe.”
Vlad Busila, Managing Partner Capital Partners : “We are very pleased that we have managed to structure such a complex transaction considering the current market conditions. This transaction was made possible due to a great management team and the ambitious future plans and outlook of the company.”
Sabin Piso, M&A Director Capital Partners : “I enjoyed working with the WorldClass Management team on this project and I was impressed by the vast amount of experience of this team and excellent track record in adding value to this successful and solid business.
This MBO supports WorldClass Management’s vision of growing the company to a whole new level together with Resource Partners.”
World Class Romania – local leader of wellness sector, offers premium services for people passionate of sport and healthy living. World Class 11 clubs in 3 cities offer access to Gym, Aerobic, Cycling and Relaxation Area&SPA, providing its members the latest and most modern services on the market. World Class is exclusive partner of LES MILLSTM – the world largest provider of fitness concepts.
Resource Partners is one of the most active private equity investors in Central and Eastern Europe, specializing in growth financing of consumer goods and services companies operating within the region. Resource Partners manages funds provided by leading international financial institutions such as: Ardian, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Fund and Rabobank.
Capital Partners is Romania’s leading independent investment banking adviser, founded and owned by four Romanian ex- bankers: Doru Lionachescu, Andrei Diaconescu, Victor Capitanu and Vlad Busila. Since inception, Capital Partners advised on transactions amounting to more than EUR 1.8 billion successfully closed across its main business lines: M&A, Corporate Finance and Real Estate. Starting with 2013, Vlad Busila was named CEO of the Company.
Central European Media Enterprises (Pro TV owner) , had 2013 revenues equal to 691 mil dollars, decreasing from 772 mil dollars (2012). CME recorded in 2013 for the entire group, an OIBDA of 46.5 mil dollars compared to OIBDA of 125.4 mil in 2012.
However, it seems that in Romania, the group had the most significant growth in net income but also a big decrease in OIBDA compared to the previous year. The big change and also a very positive one is that Time Warner, the main shareholder, announced the support for the company’s cash needs which increased significantly the CME shares price .
The stock grew 62 percent to a max of 85 koruna, the most important increase since 2005. This is the most positive news regarding the company since 2013 when they had to replace Adrian Sarbu because of “unacceptable performing level”.
CME recorded an increase in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania with the most performing country being Romania (208 mil dollars instead of 195 mil dollars in 2012). This growth is mainly due to the fact that CME decided to exit the “must carry” space last summer. This means Pro TV has additional income now from cable companies because they need to pay in order to retransmit their content.
Michael Del Nin (co-CEO) : It was a difficult year for the company, in financial terms , but we are encouraged by Mastery we take regarding our operational priorities . In addition, today ( Friday, February 28 – Ed.) Have announced a series of related financial transactions that , upon completion , will fully meet the liquidity needs of the company will improve the company’s profile in terms of maturity and imprumutuirilor we will put you on a path to cash flow positive since 2015 ”
Christoph Mainusch (co-CEO) : Our results demonstrate that in 2013 remain the clear market leader in terms of audience share , in all the territories where we are present and we expect to maintain our position in 2014. We maintain our commitment to focus on the efficiency of our operations , identifying new opportunities to reduce operational costs and content . However , we will not jeopardize the leading positions of the audience ” .
“And finally, an update on carriage fees. We successfully concluded negotiations with all major cable and satellite operators in Romania. As a result of these deals, we expect carriage fees in Romania to increase further during 2014, compared to 2013.”
“so as we said earlier, we are planning or just very recently started a process to divest to those non-core assets. They include some of the distribution assets that we have largely in Romania, including some of the smaller businesses that we’ve got pieces of, including radio assets for example and cinema businesses. So that process follows a review of those assets. As we said in the last call, we believe that it is in the best interest of the company to focus on our broadcasting businesses, and we think that while those assets, in many cases are very good businesses and perform quite well, are probably more valuable in the hands of others. So that process, as I said, is about to begin and we expect to make a fair amount of progress on that in the coming months.”
Non – core assets that CME will look to exit from in the following months :
Media Pro Pictures (MediaPro Entertainment Romania)
MediaPro Pictures is the largest film and TV production company in Romania, part of MediaPro Entertainment along with other production units from Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Bulgaria. Since 2009, MediaPro Entertainment is part of CME (Central European Media Enterprises), a vertically integrated media and entertainment group, who operates broadcasting, internet and TV content companies, leaders on their market segments.
The company’s experience in film production was rewarded in 2007 with “Un certain regard” prize in Cannes Film Festival for “California Dreamin’ (endless)” and in June 2011 with the TIFF award for its short movie “Bora Bora”. MediaPro Pictures is the first production company in Romania that produced a film for the American market, “Fire & Ice”, made for the TV station Sci Fi Channel.
Media Pro Studios
MediaPro Studios in Romania is Eastern Europe’s largest and longest established film studios with a tradition in cinema spanning over 60 years. It provides full production services for the international film and TV industry. The complex is located in the town of Buftea, some 20 kilometers north-west of Bucharest. Since they were founded (in the 1950s), over 600 films have been shot, processed and/or serviced there – both Romanian and international productions.
Being the production services arm of MediaPro Entertainment which is part of Central European Media Enterprises, MediaPro Studios is now the center of a network of facilities that includes: 19 stages in Buftea(Romania), a complete studio under construction in Croatia, part of the Barrandov Studios in Prague and dozens of stages used for production in Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Slovak Republic. With these facilities comes the region’s largest production services provider – a collective of each country’s top production companies, ready to assist runaway productions for a more fluid and cost efficient response to clients.
Today MediaPro Studios has 16 stages, the largest water tank in Eastern Europe, a back lot (including a lake), more than 30,000 costumes from all historical periods, and exterior sets from the 16th to 18th century.
MediaPro Distribution is part of and benefits from the synergies within the MediaPro Entertainment division, the content and distribution division of Central European Media Enterprises (CME), the largest vertically integrated media company in Central and Eastern Europe.
MediaPro Distribution acts as the largest independent film distributor in the CEE region and as the worldwide exclusive Sales Agent of the programs produced by MediaPro Entertainment’s local production entities across its operating territories.
MediaPro Distribution currently operates the following business lines:
•Worldwide all rights (cinema, home-video, VoD, TV) distributor of MPE’s productions;
• All rights distributor (cinema, home video, TV) of independent productions in CEE;
• Free TV rights distributor of independent productions in CEE;
•All rights distributor (cinema, home video, VoD, TV) of independent productions in Romania;
• Theatrical distributor of Warner Bros. Pictures in Romania;
• As of 2011, MediaPro Distribution has set the basis for its organic growth and established the theatrical distribution operations in Hungary (as Pro Video Hungary), Czech Republic and Slovakia (as Bonton Films), with the Romanian team coordinating the activity from its Bucharest headquarters.
Starting with January 2011, MediaPro Distribution – the sole theatrical Licensee of Warner Bros. Pictures in Romania – is successfully maintaining its status as the most prolific independent film distributor, by presenting to the big screens an unique array of titles from the most renowned production companies: Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, Lakeshore Entertainment, Relativity Media, Nu Image, IM Global, Sierra/ Affinity, Red Granite, Film Nation, Europa Corp and Studio Canal.
Also, from 2011 MediaPro Distribution has extended its operations throughout Europe, in Hungary (Pro Video Film & Distribution), in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Bontonfilm), its main object being providing high quality content to the markets in which is currently operating and penetrating new territories with its innovating programs.
With its impressive portfolio, comprising no less than 300 feature films and an average of 40 yearly new releases, MediaPro Distribution is once again a pathfinder in the online movie exploitation segment, by developing new platforms for Video on Demand services based on IP and digital broadcasting.
MediaPro Distribution provides its clients several options for accessing the VOD content, making it possible for the exploitation license to be used: Online to a PC, Online to a Set Top Box, mobile or tablet distribution licenses and pre-load.
Founded in 2000, Hollywood Multiplex is one of the leading movie theatres in Bucharest offering 10 modern screening rooms with a total capacity of 2125 seats. It is equipped with advanced sound systems such as: Dolby Digital, Dolby SR (spectral recording) and DTS (Digital Theatre System), and three image rendering formats: film, Sony CineAlta 4K digital and RealD 3D.
MediaPro Music is one of the most important labels in Romania part of the Media Pro Group, managing in a relatively short time to become a major player on the Romanian musical market. Launched in 1997, it has also been involved in event planning such as concerts, promotion tours, autograph sessions, press conferences and publishing activities. The label has a wide portfolio of artists, with genres ranging from rock and pop, to dance, Latin, and traditional folk.
Pro Video is an active part of MediaPro Entertainment, one of the strongest providers of quality content in Central and Eastern Europe. Pro Video is the leading home video distributor on the Romanian market. In addition to being the exclusive Warner Home Video and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment licensee for the Romanian territory, Pro Video is also a major provider of independent and local feature films and it is currently expanding the distribution to other European territories.
The board believes the offer “is not in the best interest of shareholders.”
The shares traded at $15 in November before Elliott proposal, closed at $20.65 yesterday after a maximum of $21, 2 days ago.
Riverbed CEO, Jerry Kennelly said that company sales exceeded estimations for all products and geographic locations.
“Any such offer must deliver value to our shareholders in excess of what we believe will be created as we execute on our growth plans.” (RiverBed)
Riverbed® is the leader in Application Performance Infrastructure, delivering the most complete platform for Location-Independent Computing. We enable organizations to embrace location-independent computing to better leverage global resources, radically reduce the cost of running their business, and maximize employee productivity. Riverbed’s 24,000+ customers include 97% of the Fortune 100 and 95% of the Forbes Global 100.
A rebranding of these 2 telecom operators, controlled by Deutsche Telekom (DT) through the Greek group OTE is absolutely necessary in my opinion as Romtelecom is still viewed by the customers as an OLD mentality kind of company and Cosmote as a brand for the youth.
Changing these 2 brands into T-Home (Romtelecom home services), T-Mobile (mobile services) and most probably T-Systems for business services is an extremely positive event that will move these 2 operators to a new level, a strong new fresh look and an international very well positioned brand.
In Bulgaria, Delhaize had around 43 stores in Varna, Plovdiv and Sofia and entered Bulgaria around 2011 as a result of Delta Maxi acquisition, a Serbia based company with a lot of stores around Europe.
The transaction has an undisclosed price and it should take place in the second quarter as it is waiting for regulatory approval.
Blackstone is going to take 20 percent stake in Versace fashion company for about 210 million euros. Versace representatives specified that 60 million will be used for buying shares and 150 million will be fresh capital.
Taking all math into consideration, Versace fashion house is valued at around 1 billion euros!
In 2009 Gian Giacomo Ferraris took the CEO job, when Versace needed a fresh view, as it was generating losses at that point, and apparently he did a very good job considering.
Company is expected to have revenues close to 480 million euros for 2013 and a 18% growth.
Mr Ferraris also says that an initial public offering in the future is “not mandatory but it is part of the vision of the company”.
Through this transaction EEAF made a capital injection of € 5 million , which aims to increase the adoption of new market segments , expanding in emerging markets and technologies.
“We believe in long-term prospects for the company services and we expect a double-digit market growth in the coming years . At the same time , we are eager to work directly with the founder and the management team to further develop the company . We are optimistic that our experience of 15 years in financial, industrial and services business development in Romania and South East Europe will help the company’s efforts to accelerate growth, strengthen market leadership and increase international presence , “said Horia Manda , Managing Partner of Axxess Capital.
Star Storage was founded in 2000 and managed to build a solid portfolio of solutions and services in the field of information management. Company is present on the market with 3 lines of services : cloud and data center, document processing and archival outsourcing, document production and distribution.
Over the past two years , the company began to expand its international presence. Its cloud services are provided directly under the brand StarVault and through selected strategic partners .
“Investing in Star Storage was a necessary element to expand our international presence and fully benefit from the value we have created in recent years. We have a great team , we have invested a lot of time and a lot of passion and we managed to develop software really valuable and a complete portfolio of cloud services already successful at national and international level . I would like to thank everyone at Storage Star team for contributing to our success , “said Catalin Păunescu , founder and CEO of Star Storage.
Deutsche Telekom AG, the biggest carrier in Germany, is planning to ally with WhatsApp, the latest and most popular European phone company, in markets like Romania, but not in its natal country. According to board member Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom will be also offering various other alternatives, such as Jibe and Joyn, which will be appealing to different groups, as well. Apparently, Ms. Nemat is not convinced that a single model is actually going to work, which is why the Bonn-based carrier is trying to offer clients a wide array of opportunities. Depending upon the age group and importance of privacy, each individual will be able to make particular choices regarding the alternatives that are available. Deutsche Telekom AG has been seeking this advantageous alliance after Facebook Inc. has acquired WhatsApp Inc. for over $19 billion, and it is currently working towards making it very profitable.
RCS&RDS, cel mai mare operator de internet si televiziune de pe piata locala, a cumparat Cobalt IT, companie bucuresteana cu afaceri de 3,2 milioane de euro anul trecut si care detine brandul telecom iLink.
CEO iLink | Sabin Piso