• Global sovereign wealth funds are buying up assets this year at their fastest rate being involved in deals worth USD 40 Bn in the first nine months of 2014, the highest rate since 2007.
  • The money was spent across 79 transactions – the highest number since 2008 – with real estate & infrastructure dominating the deal flow.
  • Singapore is the top acquiring nation for SWF acquisitions with GIC & TEMASEK, respectively the world’s sixth & ninth largest state investors by assets, having invested close to USD 21 Bn YTD which is double that of the USD 8.9 Bn for the whole 2013 according to Dealogic.
  • This is highlighted by GIC’s purchase of INDCOR PROPERTIES Inc. from BLACKSTONE in November for USD 8.1 Bn which is one of the biggest investments made by GIC to date.

In addition to the increased deal count, Q1-Q3 2014 had the highest deal size on record with USD 220.9 M (+15.3% vs. 2013).

Source: Thomson Reuters, Financial Times, Dealogic, GCF Research & Analysis



DANONE (France) pays EUR 278 M to raise its stake in CENTRALE LAITIERE (Morocco) to 90.86%

DANONE will pay EUR 278 M to acquire an additional 21.75% stake in Morocco’s main dairy company CENTRALE LAITIERE, taking its stake to 90.86%.
The deal follows news last week that DANONE was investing USD 550 M in Chinese milk powder maker YASHILI.
60% of DANONE’s revenue is generated in emerging countries, as DANONE is reducing its dependence on slow-growth Europe.

EV/EBITDA: 15.8x

November 3rd / Reuters

LACTALIS INTERNATIONAL(France) announced to acquire ARAB DAIRY (Egypt) for EUR 7.35/share with a valuation of EUR 44 M

Europe’s biggest dairy group LACTALIS has offered to acquire Egypt’s ARAB DAIRY PRODUCTS for 66 Egyptian pounds (EUR 7.35) per share, topping at least two rival bids made this month.
The French company overbid its competitors with Saudi Arabia’s ARROW FOOD offering EUR 6.35/share & Egypt’s PIONEER HOLDING offering EUR 6.25/share. The current price per share on the Egyptian market is EUR 7.6/share.

EV : EUR 44 M
EV/Sales: 0.6x
EV/ EBITDA: 9.2x

Reuters/ November 19th


BRIGHT FOOD (China) plans MANASSEN (Australia) IPO

BRIGHT FOOD, which bought WEETABIX FOOD 2 years ago, is planning to list the UK breakfast-cereal maker in Hong Kong or London. The company is also planning a listing of MANASSEN FOODS AUSTRALIA, but has no time frame.
The Shanghai-based company, which is known for its WHITE RABBIT candy, is also “in discussion” with Irish dairy-products group GLANBIA.
BRIGHT is looking for dairy, sugar & wine deals across the globe, in places including Australia, North America & New Zealand.

November 7th/ Business Spectator

NESTLE (Switzerland) says exploring options for DAVIGEL (France) frozen food unit

NESTLE is looking at options for frozen foods business DAVIGEL, with a view to partnering the unit to help DAVIGEL in its next stage of growth.
In February, NESTLE was looking at selling DAVIGEL for about EUR 300 M (USD 373 M), as part of a drive to trim its sprawling portfolio.
The unit, based in northern France, had revenues of roughly EUR 700 M (USD 872 M) in 2013.

EV (2013): EUR 300 M
Est: EV/Sales: 0.43x

November 14th / Reuters, WSJ

Private Equity acquires 20% stake in NACTIS FLAVOURS (France) for EUR 10 M

NACTIS FLAVOURS, an expert in aromatic raw materials, ingredients & flavours, raised EUR 10 million from MML CAPITAL, aiming to accelerate its growth internationally.
This further strengthens its financial structure, with EUR 5 M in equity & quasi-equity & EUR 5 M in bonds.

EV: EUR 25 M
EV/Sales: 0.6x

November 24th / Food Ingredients First


Thai drink maker CARABAO sets IPO price range at USD 0.80 to 0.86 cents a share

Thai energy drink maker CARABAO GROUP PCL has set the price range of an IPO at 26 to 28 baht (USD 0.80 to 0.86 cents) a share, to raise up to 7 B baht (USD 215 M).
CARABAO plans to sell 250 M shares this month, or a 25% stake, & use the proceeds to repay debt & expand – particularly into neighbouring Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar & Vietnam.

EV: USD 957 M

November 2nd/ Reuters


FUTURE CONSUMER (India) buys ACTIS-controlled NILGIRI’s (India) convenience stores chain

FUTURE CONSUMER ENTERPRISE LTD, the food & FMCG arm of KISHORE BIYANI-led FUTURE GROUP, has acquired convenience stores chain NILGIRI’s in south India for an undisclosed amount.
It has acquired 98% stake of The NILGIRI DAIRY FARM & its subsidiary companies as part of the transaction.
The NILGIRI DAIRY FARM is engaged in the business of licensing franchisee rights to third parties for operating convenience stores under the NILGIRI ‘s brand, manufactures food, grocery, chocolates, dairy while owning a portfolio of brands in these products.

November 21st/ VC Circle



ESTÉE LAUDER (USA) snaps up third luxury brand in a month

ESTÉE LAUDER bought French luxury perfume brand EDITIONS DE PARFUMS FRÉDÉRIC MALLE, its 3rd acquisition in less than a month as the company looks to boost its portfolio of high-end luxury perfumes & skin care brands.
Paris-based EDITIONS DE PARFUMS FRÉDÉRIC MALLE is known for its collection of fragrances designed by master perfumers around the world. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The FRÉDÉRIC MALLE fragrances, which cost upwards of USD 150, are sold through five standalone stores in Paris & New York. They are also sold at BARNEY’S in the United States & LIBERTY in London.

November 7th / Reuters


LABORATORY CORP of America announced acquisition of COVANCE INC (USA) for USD 6.1 Bn

LABORATORY CORP of America’s announced acquisition of COVANCE INC for USD 6.1 Bn is sending ripples through 2 industries.
LABCORP is one of the key players in the medical-testing industry, while COVANCE does contract-research for pharmaceutical companies.
LABCORP’s deal for COVANCE is a bold bet that it can accelerate growth by jumping into a very different sector: conducting research for large pharmaceutical companies using contract workers. There are few synergies between the two businesses.

EV: USD 5.6 Bn

November 3rd / WSJ


BARING ASIA (Hong Kong) acquires Japan drugmaker BUSHU from TOKIO MARINE (Japan)

BARING PRIVATE EQUITY ASIA agreed to buy Japanese drugmaker BUSHU PHARMACEUTICALS, valued at 77.3 Bn yen (USD 670 M), from TOKIO MARINE CAPITAL.
BUSHU is a leading pharmaceutical contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) in Japan.
BARING will take a 100% stake in BUSHU.

EV: USD 670 M

November 17th/ Reuters


Engineering & Construction

INFOSYS (India) may acquire AIRBUS’s (France) engineering services unit CIMPA

INFOSYS is planning to acquire the engineering services unit of AIRBUS housed under CIMPA.
CIMPA is a fully-owned subsidiary of AIRBUS & the divestment would follow the company’s strategy to hive off non-core assets.
With employee strength of 940, the EUR 100 M CIMPA operates from 9 sites throughout Europe. The valuation is expected to be around EUR 80 M to 109 M.

November 13th/ Deal Curry

Water Treatment

CITIC (China), KKR (USA) offer SGD 1.2 Bn to buy UNITED ENVIROTECH (Singapore)

CITIC LTD, the main listed unit of China’s biggest group of businesses, & KKR & CO. offered to buy UNITED ENVIROTECH LTD. for SGD 1.2 Bn.
CITIC & KKR will jointly bid SGD 1.65 dollar-a-share in cash & make a comparable offer for convertible bonds held by KKR in a transaction that values the Singapore-listed target at SGD 1.9 Bn.
CITIC plans to develop UNITED ENVIROTECH as its primary water & waste-water treatment business.

EV: SGD 1.9 Bn
EV/ Sales (FYE Mar 2013) : 10.3x
EV/ EBITDA (FYE Mar 2013) : 46.2x

November 13th/ Bloomberg

Renewable Energy

China’s BLUESTAR to buy REC SOLAR (Singapore) for USD 640 M

CHINA NATIONAL BLUESTAR has agreed to buy solar panel maker REC SOLAR for USD 640 M, planning to combine it with another Norwegian asset it picked up in 2011.
The deal comes nearly a year & a half after REC spun off its solar panel arm, moving its headquarters to Singapore from Norway & effectively putting the company up for sale.

November 24th / Reuters


Furniture & Accessories

URBAN LADDER (India) acqui-hires curated marketplace for furniture & home décor BuyNBrag (India)

Bangalore-based URBAN LADDER HOME DÉCOR SOLUTIONS PVT LTD, the company behind the online furniture shop URBAN LADDER, has acqui-hired, a curated online marketplace for furniture & home décor.
URBAN LADDER deals across categories like beds, sofas, dining tables, tables & bar units, storage & shelves, seating & accessories.
It secured USD 20 M in its series B round by STEADVIEW CAPITAL in July this year.

21st November/ VC Circle


FORUM SYNERGIES (India), Others Invest In Ethnic Fashion Portal CBAZAAR (India)

Chennai based CBAZAAR.COM, an online Indian ethnic wear store owned by NET AVENUE TECHNOLOGIES, has raised INR 300-500 M ( USD 4.9 M – USD 8.2 M) from FORUM SYNERGIES & existing investors, INVENTUS CAPITAL & OJAS VENTURE PARTNERS.
The second round of funding values CBAZAAR at INR 1.5 Bn (USD 24.6 M). The funding will be utilized to expand into newer locations including US, UK, Canada, South Africa & the Middle East.
Today the company operates sales channels in over 130 countries with a clothing collection including over 20,000 Indian designs & styles.

EV: USD 24.6 M

5th November/ Deal Curry

Wine & Spirit

Bordeaux Wines Take Hit From Chinese Crackdown on Lavish Living

Shipments of Bordeaux wines to mainland China, their largest export market by volume & value, dropped 26% to EUR 240 M in the 12 months ending July, according to the Bordeaux Wine Council.
Bordeaux’s finest winemakers have been hurt by the Chinese Communist Party’s quest to fight corruption. That is hitting premium liquor producers such as French cognac maker REMY COINTREAU & luxury-goods maker LVMH.
Exports had risen to a record 538,000 hectolitres in 2012 from just 2,000 hectolitres in 2000, representing about 25% of total shipments abroad.
Prices for top Bordeaux wines have slid in the last three years, sending the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index of leading wines from the region down by more 33% as shrinking Chinese demand combined with three difficult vintages in Bordeaux have hurt investor appetite for wines from the region.

November 4th / Bloomberg

ABRAAJ (Dubai) buys into Southeast Asia’s wine scene by acquiring WINE CONNECTION

Middle East private equity firm ABRAAJ has bought into Southeast Asian food & drink chain WINE CONNECTION, as it looks to capitalise on the growing interest in wine & western food among the region’s middle class.
ABRAAJ, which manages assets worth around USD 7.5 Bn, bought a majority stake in the company that runs 55 restaurants & wine shops in Singapore & Thailand.
The deal is ABRAAJ’s fourth investment into Southeast Asia’s food & beverage industry.

November 5th / Reuters