Fidelity to pay $35bn for Worldpay

BY Richard Summerfield

US FinTech Fidelity National Information Services Inc (FIS) has agreed to acquire payment processor Worldpay for about $35bn.

The deal will see Worldpay shareholders receive 0.9287 FIS shares and $11.00 in cash for each share of Worldpay held - a premium of about 14 percent based on the last day of trading before the deal was announced. Upon closing of the transaction, FIS shareholders will own approximately 53 percent and Worldpay shareholders will own approximately 47 percent of the combined company.

The deal values Worldpay at around $43bn, inclusive of debt. FIS and Worldpay combined will have annual revenues of about $12bn and adjusted core earnings of around $5bn.

The merger is the biggest deal announced in the electronic payments industry to date. It comes as more consumers utilise digital payments, rather than cash. Worldpay, the companies noted in a press release, processes over 40 billion transactions annually, supporting more than 300 payment types across more than 120 currencies.

“Scale matters in our rapidly changing industry,” stated Gary Norcross, chairman, president and chief executive of FIS. “Upon closing later this year, our two powerhouse organisations will combine forces to offer a customer-driven combination of scale, global presence and the industry’s broadest range of global financial solutions. As a combined organization, we will bring the most modern solutions targeted at the highest growth markets. The long-term value we will create for clients and for shareholders will set the bar in our industry and will create a range of new career opportunities for our employees. I have never been more excited about the future of FIS.”

“At Worldpay, our focus has always been on delivering more value to our clients and partners and making decisions that achieve our growth and performance objectives. Combining with FIS helps us accelerate the achievement of that, now benefitting from new scale and capabilities that will truly differentiate the company globally,” said Charles Drucker, executive chairman and chief executive of Worldpay. “We are proud to become part of one of the financial services industry’s most respected and consistently performing companies, and I am excited about the new opportunities this brings both for the business and our colleagues worldwide.”

The deal is expected to generate an organic revenue growth outlook of 6 to 9 percent through 2021, and $700m of total core earnings savings over the next three years. Furthermore, the companies expect to generate $500m of revenue savings and aim to deliver nearly $4.5bn of free cash flow in three years.

News: U.S. firm FIS buys Worldpay for $35 billion in payments deal bonanza

Chemicals dealmaking to remain robust despite headwinds

M&A activity in the global chemicals industry is expected to decline slightly in 2019 in the face of ongoing uncertainty, according to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Chemical Industry Mergers and Acquisitions Outlook.

The report suggests that rising interest rates, trade tensions and slowing economic growth will impact M&A activity in the sector, though the market will remain robust.

Global M&A volume in the chemicals space reached 600 deals in 2018, a decline of 5 percent compared to 2017, but total M&A value was still higher than in each of the years from 2010 to 2013. The value of M&A in the global chemicals industry rebounded to $72.4bn in 2018, up from $46.4bn in 2017.

The first quarter of 2018 was slow, although deal volume increased in each successive quarter in 2018, and deal values were also strong, with billion dollar-deals increasing in both quantity and value throughout the year.

Deloitte expects 2019 to be a challenging year, with growth in industrial production down and protectionism on the rise in many developed economies. However, the emergence of digitalisation is expected to transform the global chemicals industry and create additional M&A activity in the future.

“In 2019, we expect a modest decline in chemical industry M&A activity, but as demonstrated in the past, activity should still be strong despite global uncertainty,” says Dan Schweller, Deloitte Global M&A leader for the chemicals and specialty materials sector. “Underlying conditions for a strong M&A market remain intact – ample cash on-hand for buyers, availability of relatively cheap credit, and the desire to increase ROI for investors.

“Protectionism and trade concerns are weighing heavily on companies and global regulators continue to heavily scrutinize deals,” he continued. “As a result, we may see hesitancy towards cross-border M&A deals. However, the equity market declined in the fourth quarter, which may make high deal valuations – a limiting factor for M&A in 2018 – more palatable to investors moving forward.”

Report: 2019 Global chemical industry mergers and acquisitions outlook

Roche secures Spark for $4.3bn

BY Richard Summerfield

Swiss healthcare company Roche has agreed to acquire US-based gene therapy specialist Spark Therapeutics for $4.3bn.

The deal will see Roche pay $114.50 per share in an all-cash transaction, a premium of approximately 122 percent to Spark Therapeutics’ closing price on 22 February 2019 and a premium of approximately 19 percent to the company’s 52 week high share price on 9 July 2018. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.

“Spark Therapeutics’ proven expertise in the entire gene therapy value chain may offer important new opportunities for the treatment of serious diseases,” said Severin Schwan, chief executive of Roche. “In particular, Spark Therapeutics’ haemophilia A programme could become a new therapeutic option for people living with this disease. We are also excited to continue the investments in Spark Therapeutics’ broad product portfolio and commitment to Philadelphia as a center of excellence.”

“As the only biotechnology company that has successfully commercialised a gene therapy for a genetic disease in the US, we have built unmatched competencies in the discovery, development and delivery of genetic medicines. But the needs of patients and families living with genetic diseases are immediate and their needs vast,” said Jeffrey D. Marrazzo, chief executive of Spark Therapeutics. “With its worldwide reach and extensive resources, Roche will help us accelerate the development of more gene therapies for more patients for more diseases and further expedite our vision of a world where no life is limited by genetic disease.”

For Roche, the addition of Spark will be critical as it loses the patent of its $21bn a year trio of cancer medicines Rituxan, Herceptin and Avastin. Going forward, biosimilars of these treatments will provide stiff competition for the company in both Europe and North America. The deal is also part of Roche’s pivot away from cancer treatments, an area in which the company has been the world’s largest player.

Loss-making Spark, the only biotech that has successfully commercialised a gene therapy for a genetic disease in the US, had $51.6m in revenue in the first nine months of 2018 from Luxturna and also had income from a deal with Pfizer, which it is partnering with on another gene therapy for haemophilia B.

News: Roche 'steps up' for gene therapy with $4.3 billion Spark bet

Global M&A activity forecast to grow in H1 2019, says new report

BY Fraser Tennant

The number of global M&A deals is forecast to increase by 2 percent year-over-year (YOY) during the first six months of 2019, according to a new report by Intralinks.

In its ‘2019 Deal Flow Predictor’, Intralinks highlights an uptick in M&A activity in North America (NA), Asia-Pacific (APAC) and in Europe, with the  strongest growth in deal announcements expected to come from the real estate, energy & power and materials sectors.

Among the report’s key findings for H1 2019:  (i) in NA, the number of M&A deals is forecast to increase by around 5 percent; (ii) in APAC, the number of deals is expected to increase by around 4 percent; and (iii) among the five largest European economies, France, Italy, Germany and the UK are expected to show higher levels of M&A announcements, with Spain expected to be flat.

Conversely, M&A activity in Europe, the Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Latin America (LATAM) is expected to fall by 1 percent and 6 percent in H1 2019, respectively. 

However, despite indications that the M&A market will push higher in the short term, Intralinks suggests that the pace of the current M&A up-cycle, which began in 2014, may have peaked and that dealmakers face considerable headwinds in 2019.

These headwinds  include a slowing global economy, partly driven by the trade war between the US and China, rising interest rates, depressed global equity markets, increasing nationalism and protectionism against cross-border M&A, and the uncertainty and potential damage to European economic growth caused by the political chaos of the current Brexit process.

In terms of Brexit, the Intralinks report examines whether the UK’s departure from the EU is an opportunity or a threat, while noting that UK has been one of the best-performing M&A markets in Europe in recent years  –  the number of announced deals for UK targets in Q4 2018 having been 41 percent higher than in Q2 2016.

“Of course, this does not necessarily predict what will happen once the UK actually leaves the EU, but it is nevertheless an interesting and counterintuitive example of how investors may be assessing the UK’s prospects as being brighter than they currently appear in a post-Brexit world,” said Philip Whitchelo, vice president, global market & customer engagement at Intralinks. “If the UK government makes good on its promises to continue to make the UK an attractive destination for investment, perhaps by lowering taxes and streamlining regulation, then Europe’s largest M&A market may continue to thrive.”

Report: Deal Flow Predictor 2019

Entegris and Versum agree merger of equals

BY Richard Summerfield

Chemicals manufacturer Entegris Inc has announced that it is to acquire rival Versum Materials Inc in a $4bn all-stock merger, creating a $9bn company which specialises in advanced materials, specialty gases and microcontamination control.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2019, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of US and international regulatory approvals, and stockholder approval at each company.

Under the terms of the agreement, Versum Materials shareholders will get 1.120 shares of Entegris for each share held. Entegris stockholders will own 52.5 percent of the combined company, while Versum Materials stockholders will own 47.5 percent.

The companies expect the merger to generate around $75m in annual cost savings within 12 months of closing.

“We are excited to combine with Versum Materials to create a premier specialty materials company for the semiconductor and other high-tech industries,” said Bertrand Loy, president and chief executive of Entegris. “The combined company will be ideally positioned to more effectively help our customers achieve higher yields and new levels of performance and reliability, and together, we will be well positioned to take advantage of long-term secular semiconductor growth, and to tackle new industry process challenges. I have great respect for the Versum Materials team and look forward to joining forces as we embark on this next chapter and create new value for our stockholders, employees and customers.”

“We could not ask for a better partner in Entegris,” said Guillermo Novo, president and chief executive of Versum Material. “This merger will create greater benefits and growth opportunities than either company could have achieved on its own. It dramatically accelerates our goal of portfolio diversification – creating an end-to-end materials solutions provider across the entire semiconductor manufacturing process. With enhanced global scale and world class technical expertise, we’ll be poised to drive further innovation and support investments across our technology, infrastructure, and additional capabilities – enabling us both to better serve our customers and provide expanded opportunities for our employees.”

News: Chemicals maker Entegris to buy Versum in $4 billion microchip bet

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