Five deals kick-starting 2021

04 January 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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Rounding off a tumultuous year TMT deals didn’t stop over the holiday season.

From consolidation to investments, IPOs to SPACs, here Capacity rounds up five big deals finalised in recent weeks.

Vodafone offers €2.1 billion to end Kabel Deutschland shareholder dispute

Vodafone has offered to pay up to €2.1 billion to increase its stake in Kabel Deutschland and end a legal dispute with the firm's minority shareholders.

Vodafone took a 76.8% stake in the German cable company in 2013 but has been locked in a dispute with the firm's other shareholders over the price it paid for the controlling share.

According to reports in late December, Vodafone is now looking to increase its stake to 93.8%, by offering €103 per share.

SP Global said that consideration from the Kabel Deutschland shareholders who accepted Vodafone's offer totals €1.56 billion. If all Kabel Deutschland minority shareholders tender the consideration will increase to €2.12 billion.

 

Ooredoo enters into MoU with CK Hutchison

Qatar's Ooredoo confirmed in late December that it had entered into an exclusive and non-legally binding MoU with CK Hutchison in relation to "a potential transaction to combine their respective telecommunications businesses in Indonesia", namely PT Indosat Tbk and PT Hutchison 3 Indonesia.

Oredoo said it was in the early stages of "assessing the merits of such a potential transaction" and that its MoU with Hutchison was valid until 30 April.

Ooredoo owns a 65% stake in Indosat, which saw its share price rise 7.6% following this announcement. According to Reuters the gain boosted Indosat's market cap to 30.70 trillion Indonesian rupiah (US$2.2 billion).

While the talks are not guaranteed to lead to a deal, Oredoo said in its statement that it will make a further announcement "as and when appropriate".

 

GTT secures $275 million term loan, withdraws previous financial statements

GTT Communications, Inc secured a US$275 million delayed-draw term loan facility in December, that it said would help in closing the sale of its infrastructure division.

GTT said the funds will ensure the "appropriate resources to execute on our business plan as we work towards closing the sale of our infrastructure division to I Squared Capital in 2021.

"It also demonstrates our commitment to providing a stable and responsible operating environment for our key stakeholders including employees, customers, vendors and suppliers,” GTT's statement continued.

The company has also addressed "certain accounting issues" that have been building over recent months, withdrawing a series of financial statements. It added: "The previously issued consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, each of the quarters in the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, and the quarter ended March 31, 2020 should no longer be relied upon."

GTT said it intends to file restated consolidated financial statements for these periods "as soon as practicable".

 

Golden Falcon Acquisition Corp. prices IPO

The first US SPAC to be focused on European TMT and fintech started trading on 18 December with a US$300 million IPO.

Golden Falcon offered 30 million shares – up from its planned 25 million – at $10 per unit, listed on the NYSE.

The company said it was formed "for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganisation or similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities".

"While the Company may pursue an initial business combination with any target business and in any sector or geographical location, it intends to focus its search on companies operating in the technology, media, telecommunications and fintech sectors that are headquartered in Europe, Israel, the Middle East or North America," a statement continued.

Headed by businessman Scott Freidheim and Makram Azar, former chairman of banking EMEA at Barclays, Golden Falcon said that out of more than 200 US SPAC IPOs last year only two were focused on Europe, and neither of these targeted the TMT or fintech verticals.

 

Softbank confirms IPO for SPAC

Joining the SPAC craze, Softbank last month said its newly created SVF Investment Corp would list on the NASDAQ with a target to raise $525 million, or up to $605 million if interest is strong enough.

The SPAC – a blank cheque company created to acquire existing businesses and raise funds – will be used by Softbank to acquire a technology related business.

To December 2020, $75.4 billion was raised through the IPOs of US-listed SPACs, according to data provider Refinitiv.