Tag Archives: Equity Shares

Exclusive: Italy is in talks to cut spending on Open Fiber -sources JV broadband control | Instant News

ROME / MILAN (Reuters) – Italy is considering a cheaper route to win control of broadband operator Open Fiber, three sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, as it looks set to play a guiding role to improve connectivity across the country.

Open Fiber is jointly owned by Italy’s largest utility, Enel, and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).

Enel has been in talks to sell up to 50% of the fiber infrastructure group to fund Macquarie Australia for 2.65 billion euros ($ 3.11 billion) since last year and a deal is expected to be reached in June.

The original scheme envisioned CDP buying 10% of Open Fiber from Enel and negotiating governance rights with Macquarie to secure control.

But disagreement over the value of Open Fiber has prompted the two sides to discuss alternative routes, the sources said.

Under the new scheme under discussion, Enel will sell all or part of its 50% stake to Macquarie, after which CDP will increase its stake to 51% through a capital increase, the sources said.

CDP and Macquarie declined to comment. Enel could not be reached for comment.

In this way CDP could save hundreds of millions of euros in winning control of the joint venture.

One of the sources said the talks were at an advanced stage, adding that Enel could maintain a small stake in Open Fiber.

The Italian government has previously championed CDP’s bid to win control of Open Fiber as part of a broader plan to combine it with the former landline assets of the Italian Telecom (TIM) telephony monopoly.

But ministers from Mario Draghi’s new government have cast doubt on the project, saying Rome is reviewing its options.

TIM, of which CDP is the second-largest shareholder behind French media company Vivendi, has repeatedly said it will not agree to own less than 50% of any single network company – something that could spark regulatory issues.

A fourth source said the industry ministry is studying other options including a co-investment scheme to allow operators to build their networks in some areas and reach commercial agreements in others.

The Draghi government has put digital infrastructure at the heart of its agenda and is relying on a grant from the European Recovery Fund to accelerate fiber-optic rollout.

Draghi has not said whether his administration intends to implement an integrated network project but the Ministry of Finance has meanwhile pressed for plans to ensure CDP has control over Open Fiber, one of the sources said.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte in Rome, and Elvira Pollina and Stephen Jewkes in Milan; Edited by Matthew Lewis


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AMP Australia said Ares wanted to buy a 100% private market business unit | Instant News

FILE PHOTOS: The logo of AMP Ltd, Australia’s largest retail wealth manager, adorns their headquarters located in central Sydney, Australia, May 5, 2017. Image captured May 5, 2017. REUTERS / David Gray / File Photo

(Reuters) – Wealth manager AMP Ltd said on Monday that US-based Ares Management Corp is interested in buying a 100% stake in its asset management unit’s private market business, at the end of a 30-day exclusivity period between the two parties.

AMP said that and Ares continued to work toward a potential deal, with Ares showing interest in buying the entire private market business, contrary to Ares’ original plan to buy a 60% stake for A $ 1.35 billion ($ 1.03 billion).

Under the previous plan, AMP would retain 40% of AMP’s Capital unit, which is engaged in infrastructure and real estate investment, with the joint venture between the two companies worth A $ 2.25 billion.

Previously, Ares had withdrawn a company-wide A $ 6.36 billion takeover proposal, instead of continuing talks over AMP Capital – considered its most valuable unit.

Wealth managers have seen their value fall in recent years after a royal banking commission exposed widespread abuses by the company, leading to an exodus of clients even as another scandal broke.

Just last week, a media report said the AMP CEO was stepping down, forcing the company to confirm twice that he had not quit, although it did confirm succession planning discussions were taking place, raising questions about the stability of his leadership.

($ 1 = 1.3089 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Edited by Peter Cooney and Daniel Wallis


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UPDATE 2-Agreement with CPPIB Canada helps Igua Brasil in the privatization of Cedae-source | Instant News

(Adds details about Igua’s interest in privatization, the advisor in charge of selling Cedae)

SAO PAULO, March 22 (Reuters) – Canadian pension fund CPPIB acquired a 45% stake in Brazilian sanitation company Igua Saneamento SA for 1.18 billion reais ($ 213 million), according to a statement on Monday.

CCPIB said it would acquire 514 million reais ($ 93.4 million) of new shares issued by Igua Saneamento and 664 million reais in existing shares.

The deal reinforces Igua’s bid for the privatization of Rio de Janeiro’s Cedae sanitation company, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

Igua has hired investment banking units Banco Bradesco SA and Banco BTG Pactual SA to advise on bids in the auction scheduled for April 31, added the person, who requested anonymity to reveal private discussions.

CPPIB’s support could also help fund another deal the company is considering, the privatization of the sanitation company Corsan, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the source added.

After CADE approves the acquisition of CPPIB, existing investor Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) will hold a 39% stake in Igua, Brazilian development bank BNDES will own 11% and private equity firm IG4 Capital Group will retain 5%.

CPPIB said the two private equity funds managed by IG4’s asset managers would remain Igua’s controlling shareholders.

This new funding round underscores investor interest in the sanitation sector as new laws passed in June are expected to encourage states and cities to privatize water and sewage companies and to universalize services in Brazil.

For now, Igua is suspending plans for an immediate initial public offering expected for this year. However, Igua kept a mid-term plan for listing. The CPPIB acquisition contract has a clause in which the company commits to conduct an IPO within three years. ($ 1 = 5,5057 reais) (Reporting by Carolina Mandl and Tatiana Bautzer in Sao Paulo Editing by Bernadette Baum and Matthew Lewis)


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Activist investor ValueAct builds a 5.2% stake in Germany’s Stroeer | Instant News

(Reuters) – US activist investor ValueAct has built up a 5.2% stake in Stroeer, German digital and outdoor advertisers said on Wednesday, following negative publicity surrounding stock loans taken by the company’s top investors.

Stroeer disclosed its shares, worth about $ 250 million at Wednesday’s close, in filings under German stock exchange rules that require companies to report shareholdings when they remove a key threshold – in this case the 5% barrier. ValueAct was not immediately available for comment.

Stroeer shares plunged 10% on February 22 after Managers magazine reported that CEO Udo Mueller and board member Dirk Stroeer had pledged a large stake as collateral against the loan.

Mueller, who is the company’s main investor, later said he did not see the risk associated with stock collateral.

The loan is a small position in relation to his total assets and he has used it as bridge financing to buy 50 million euros ($ 60 million) of real estate, Mueller told analysts on Feb. 24.

Activist investors, who often build stakes before pressing for changes in management or strategy, have targeted several German companies in recent years – including industry group Thyssenkrupp and business software company SAP.

In 2020 as the pandemic shuts down much of the world, many activists quickly finish or avoid campaigns until the end of the year when hopes for a vaccine and economic recovery pave the way for a more active proxy season in 2021.

ValueAct, founded two decades ago and now run by Mason Morfit, has long had a reputation as a friendlier activist where partners work more collaboratively with management behind the scenes instead of issuing public demands to fire the CEO or sell the company on short notice. . .

($ 1 = 0.8284 euros)

Reporting by Douglas Busvine in Germany and Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Boston; Edited by Arno Schuetze and Matthew Lewis


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UPDATE 1-Telefonica is in exclusive talks with investors for the Brazilian fiber unit | Instant News

(Write with COO comments)

MADRID, February 25 (Reuters) – Telefonica is in exclusive talks with financial investors about setting up a joint fiber optic venture in Brazil, Chief Operating Officer Angel Vila said Thursday.

The Spanish telecommunications group plans to expand high-speed fiber-optic coverage to more cities in Brazil, following a similar project launched in Germany in partnership with insurance company Allianz.

“Brazil is the size of a continent. Our capital expenditure (capex) will not reach everything, “Vila told Reuters.

After speaking with many potential partners, the company has held exclusive talks with “international operators with a financial and infrastructure profile”, said Vila, declining to name investors.

Talks have progressed, he added, but “in this situation you can never say 100% that you will sign.”

Previously Vila told analysts that the second phase of development could be done through agreements with fiber owners such as the American Tower.

Telefonica is already using the infrastructure of larger US companies in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Vila said they “may be interested in consolidating” the agreement.

Vila said she could not confirm a Bloomberg News report that exclusive talks were held with Canadian pension fund Caisse de depot el placement du Quebec (CDPQ), due to a confidentiality agreement.

“CDPQ is a top class long-term global investor, that would be very attractive,” he added.

American Tower did not immediately respond to a request for comment. CDPQ could not be reached immediately.

Telefonica plans to hold half of the business through Telefonica and its local branch Telefonica Brasil.

Vila told analysts by conference call that it could expand the unit later through acquisitions.

Telefonica cut its dividend after reporting a 10% drop in previous 2020 earnings on Thursday, although it expects business to stabilize this year. (Reporting by Isla Binnie, Eid by Inti Landauro, Kirsten Donovan)


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