(Adds Spirit Pub, Farrow Ball, Telecom Italia, Cenovus and Unicredit)
n>Oct 23 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** Britains Spirit Pub Co Plc said it had rejected a takeover proposal from Irish cider maker CC Group Plc. Spirit Pub, which is engaged in takeover talks with brewer and pub owner Greene King Plc, said CC, the maker of Magners and Bulmers, had until Nov. 20 to announce a firm offer.
** American buyout firms Carlyle Group LP and Bain Capital are among a group of four private equity funds preparing second-round bids for British luxury paintmaker Farrow Ball, sources familiar with the situation said. Gulf Investment firm Investcorp and Ares Private Equity are the others bidders for Farrow Ball, which could be valued at about 250 million pounds ($401 million), the sources said.
** Telecom Italia SpA is in advanced talks to sell the mobile phone towers of its Brazilian unit TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil) and could agree a deal in weeks, three people with direct knowledge of the situation said. Telecom Italia is aiming to raise 900 million euros ($1.1 billion) from the sale, but bids have come in at between 500 million and 600 million euros, the sources said.
** Cenovus Energy Inc, Canadas No. 2 independent oil producer, said it is mulling the future of its royalty-generating freehold oil and gas properties in Western Canada after competitor Encana Corp raised billions through the sale of similar properties. It expects to announce its plans for the properties in the next three months.
** Unicredit is talking with a consortium comprising Fortress Investment Group and Italys Prelios on the sale of its bad loan unit Unicredit Credit Management Bank (UCCMB) and could soon enter exclusive talks. The sale could yield Italys biggest bank by assets more than 600 million euros ($758.5 million).
** A consortium of buyout firms Advent International Corp and Avista Capital Partners is in advanced talks to acquire UCB SAs US generic drugs unit Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.
** Russias top crude oil producer Rosneft is ready to continue investing into Italy as attractive opportunities become available, CEO Igor Sechin said at a conference in Verona.
** Money manager Old Mutual Global Investors (OMGI) said it would merge its Old Mutual Property Fund into Henderson Global Investors Henderson UK Property OEIC, forming a 2.7 billion pound ($4.32 billion) fund.
** Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd plans to acquire the remaining 40 percent stake in Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airport and the firm that operates services within the airport, MAHB said in a statement.
** Germanys Metro AG said it was satisfied being the owner of department store chain Kaufhof after a report that the owner of rival chain Karstadt wanted to make an offer.
** Juice maker Grupo Cutrale and investment firm Safra Group raised a definitive offer to acquire Chiquita Brands International Inc, in a new attempt to scuttle the US-based companys plans to combine with Irish rival Fyffes Plc.
** US weapons maker Raytheon Co said it was acquiring a privately held company in its core defense business for about $400 million, and the deal should close next month after completing regulatory reviews.
** Deutsche Telekom has started looking for an alternative buyer for T-Mobile US after Frances Iliad abandoned its efforts to buy the business earlier this month, Germanys Monthly Manager Magazin said.
** Health insurer Humana Inc is exploring a sale of its urgent care subsidiary Concentra in a deal that could value it at around $1 billion, according to three people familiar with the matter.
** German utility E.ON and gas firm VNG AG have sold their jointly owned regional gas grid EVG Thueringen to First State Investments, the asset management arm of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), E.ON said.
** Lloyds Banking Groups aborted attempt to sell hundreds of branches to the Co-operative Bank was not influenced by politicians, a committee of lawmakers said on Wednesday.
** The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) has decided to resume selling stakes in major local companies to the public, planning to offer its stake in Kuwait Investment Co in the first half of 2015, state news agency KUNA reported. ($1 = 0.6238 British pound) ($1 = 0.7910 euro) (Compiled by Anannya Pramanick and Amrutha Penumudi in Bangalore)
(Recasts lead, adds source)
ROME/MILAN Oct 23 (Reuters) - Unicredit is talking with a consortium comprising Fortress Investment Group and Italys Prelios on the sale of its bad loan unit Unicredit Credit Management Bank (UCCMB) and could soon enter exclusive talks.
Thats the way were leaning, CEO Federico Ghizzoni told reporters on the sidelines of an event, adding a decision could be taken on Thursday.
Fortress and Prelios are pitted against a group of investors led by US private equity fund Lone Star after UniCredit drew up a shortlist of bidders last month.
The sale, which could yield Italys biggest bank by assets more than 600 million euros ($758.5 million), would be the countrys biggest distressed debt sale for several years.
Ironing out the detail of the transaction is a complicated issue that is taking time, a source close to the deal said, adding the bank was discussing with the consortium about the industrial plan for UCCMB.
The winner would buy both UCCMBs business operations, or platform, and a bad loan portfolio worth more than 3 billion euros.
The unit for sale manages more than 40 billion euros of non-performing loans that belong to both UniCredit and to third parties. It has more than 700 employees and is based in the northern town of Verona.
Both UniCredits CEO and a top executive for Fortress have give assurances the sale would not impact employees, but unions are opposed to the transaction.
The sale is part of UniCredits plan to strengthen its balance sheet in light of the Europe-wide bank asset review, the results of which will be unveiled on Sunday.
In Italy non-performing loans rose to 173.9 billion euros in August, the highest level since the current statistical series began in 1998.
Banks, however, are finding it hard to shed bad loans as prices offered in many cases fall short of the book value of the assets, experts involved in some transactions said.
The completion of the euro zone stress tests could help unblock further bad loan deals, they said. (1 US dollar = 0.7910 euro) (Reporting by Alberto Sisto in Rome, with Gianluca Semeraro and Francesca Landini in Milan; Editing by David Holmes)
Poland-Lithuania continued to deliver good growth and reported a 28% increase in PBT to pound;21.4M which reflects strong underlying profit growth of pound;6.2M before absorbing pound;1.3M as a result of weaker FX rates and pound;0.2M of additional new market investment in Lithuania, where we achieved full national coverage in the quarter. Despite a competitive marketplace, customer numbers increased 2% year-on-year to 845,000 and credit issued and revenue grew by 5% and 9% respectively. We benefited by pound;4.7M from the sale of non-performing receivables in the quarter and expect to continue to do this on a regular basis to augment our debt recovery activities. Annualised impairment as a percentage of revenue improved by two percentage points since the half year to 27.7%.
Q3 PBT in Czech-Slovakia fell to pound;4.1M driven by a pound;3.8M reduction in the underlying profit and a pound;1.0M FX impact. The key factors driving the underlying reduction were continued strong competition and flat demand for credit in our market segment in the Czech Republic alongside regulatory changes in Slovakia, the disruptive effects of which have proved longer-lived and more extensive than initially anticipated. These factors resulted in a 2% contraction in customer numbers to 368,000, a 19% reduction in credit issued and annualised impairment as a percentage of revenue increasing to 30.8%. We have implemented incentives for field management and agents aligned to improving collections performance and have invested further in our central collections unit to support our field force. In Slovakia, we have launched a pre-paid card to deliver loans to customers, which will reduce loan delivery times and provide a competitive advantage. In both markets we have also implemented selective credit tightening to bring the impairment levels back within our target range.
Our Hungarian business delivered good underlying profit growth of pound;0.9M before absorbing pound;0.9M as a result of weaker FX rates. Growth was achieved by increasing customer numbers by 11% to 312,000 which drove credit issued growth of 11% and an increase in revenue of 13%. Annualised impairment as a percentage of revenue increased to 21.2% which reflects our strategy to grow the business supported by controlled credit easing, and remains well below our target range of 25% to 30%.
Our business in Romania-Bulgaria reported good PBT growth reflecting underlying profit growth of pound;1.9M before absorbing a pound;0.7M investment in Bulgaria and pound;0.2M as a result of weaker FX rates. We have implemented selective credit tightening and rebalanced operational incentives in order to bring impairment into our target range in the second half of the year. Annualised impairment as a percentage of revenue improved slightly to 32.0% in Q3 and is expected to deliver a further reduction in Q4. Notwithstanding these actions, customer numbers grew by 11% (to 314,000) whilst credit issued grew by 3%.
Mexico continued to achieve strong growth. Reported PBT increased to pound;3.7M and underlying profit grew strongly by pound;1.0M before absorbing pound;0.3M as a result of weaker FX rates. We were pleased to increase customer numbers by 7% to 781,000 alongside a 9% increase in credit issued and revenue growth of 18%. At the end of Q3 2014, annualised profit per customer was pound;22 (Q3 2013: pound;18). As a result of careful credit management, annualised impairment as a percentage of revenue improved to 29.4%. We continued to expand our footprint in Mexico City with the opening of a new branch. We launched our life and medical assistance insurance cover, Provident Plus, which has been taken by 34,000 customers since July.
We will launch our first digital loan proposition in Poland under the hapi loans brand before the end of the year. Developed as a separate operation to our home credit business model, we will be offering fair, transparent and competitively priced online loans with forbearance features to customers looking for a digital-only credit service. The initial phase of hapi loans will focus on Poland before we look to roll out across more of our other markets. This is an exciting new proposition that we expect will deliver significant incremental growth alongside our Provident brand.
Plans are progressing for our launch into Spain and we are on track to deliver our first loans to customers early next year.
As noted in our half year results announcement, Hungary will implement legislation limiting the proportion of an individuals income that may be spent servicing consumer credit (50% to 60% depending on income level). We will adapt our product offering and will be compliant with the new legislation by the required date.
The Polish Ministry of Finances proposals relating to caps on mandatory non-interest charges for credit and default charges still await approval in parliament. We continue to believe the legislation will become effective in Q2 2015. We continue to await a date for the court appeal process to begin when we will challenge UOKiKs decision made in December 2013 in respect of APR calculations. UOKiKs review into the way loan fees are calculated by a number of non-bank consumer credit providers is ongoing and we are continuing to work with UOKiK to explore alternative charging methodologies.
We do not currently expect any of these matters to have a material impact on our business.
Funding and balance sheet
In September, we renewed pound;100M of bank facilities due to mature in early 2015. The new facilities mature in the second half of 2017, further strengthening our funding position. Unamortised arrangement fees of pound;0.7M will be recorded as an exceptional refinancing cost.
Our on-market share buyback programme of pound;50M to help reset the capital ratio to around 45% is progressing and at the end of September, we had bought back pound;31.6M of shares and the equity to receivables ratio was 48.7%.
The following table shows the YTD performance of each of our markets.
AnaCap Financial Partners said Thursday it has bought a EUR1.9 billion (US$2.4 billion) portfolio of non-performing loans from UniCredit Group. The portfolio primarily consists of secured and unsecured bankruptcy and other enforcement claims, AnaCap said. London-based AnaCap, a specialist PE firm, invests in the European financial services sector.
AnaCap Financial Partners LLP ("AnaCap"), the specialist European financial services private equity firm, has announced the successful completion of the acquisition of EUR1.9 billion non-performing loans ("NPLs") from Italian lender UniCredit Group. Under the terms of the agreement, funds advised by AnaCap will acquire the portfolio.
The portfolio primarily consists of secured and unsecured bankruptcy and other enforcement claims. A significant portion of the portfolio will continue to be serviced by UniCredit Credit Management Bank, with the management of a portion of claims migrated to third parties. Investments completed with UniCredit in 2013 also paved the way for this transaction, establishing a strong partnership between the seller and incumbent servicing partner.
The latest transaction is among the largest of its kind in Italy to date.
It is estimated that there is currently EUR800 billion of NPLs on the balance sheets of European banks - more than double the level seen in 20091 - which along with other non-core legacy assets continue to tie up capital and liquidity which may be more profitably allocated elsewhere. Further flows of new credit are vital to help encourage renewed lending and ease the pressure of illiquidity throughout the region.
AnaCap has now purchased over EUR4.5bn claims in Italian NPLs over the past two years along with a EUR550m performing portfolio of Italian salary guaranteed loans. The acquisition marks the continuation of a highly active period for AnaCap more broadly in Europe as well, including the recent acquisition of a EUR495 million portfolio of NPLs from Volksbank Romania.
Justin Sulger, a Partner at AnaCap, commented:
"We are delighted to have completed this acquisition, emphasising our commitment to helping rebuild the European financial services sector by establishing strong partnerships with institutions like UniCredit. We remain highly confident in our ability to continue to deploy capital in a wide range of credit opportunities across the continent, harnessing broad based expertise in financial services, including a deep understanding of consumer, SME and mortgage debt in local markets."
For Immediate Release
16 October 2014
The parties were assisted by two law firms, Paul Hastings LLP, on the UniCredit SpA side and NCTM LLP on the AnaCap side.
1International Monetary Fund, Financial Stability Report, April 2014