Deal roundup, 3.17.15

  • Crestview Partners has acquired JR Automation from Huizenga Automation Group LLC, PE HUB reported. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Holland, Michigan, JR Automation is a provider of automated manufacturing system solutions.
  • Harbour Group has acquired Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Phillips & Temro Industries Inc, a provider of thermal management systems and controls for the transportation and heavy equipment sectors, PE HUB reported. No financial terms were disclosed.
  • Norwest Equity Partners said Tuesday it invested in eyebobs, PE HUB reported. Financial terms weren’t announced. Minneapolis-based eyebobs designs a line of reading glasses. Imperial Capital served as financial advisor to eyebobs.
  • H.I.G. Capital LLC said Tuesday that it recapitalized Fox River Fiber LLC, PE HUB reported Fox River will be combined with Rolland Enterprises Inc., an H.I.G. portfolio company. De Pere, Wisconsin-based Fox River is a manufacturer of de-inked recycled pulp produced using post-consumer waste paper. 
  • LLR Partners has invested in Agility Recovery, PE HUB reported. Financial terms weren’t announced. Generation Partners acquired Agility Recover in 2001 and retains a minority stake. Charlotte, N.C.-based Agility provides disaster recovery solutions. Golub Capital provided debt financing. Raymond James provided financial advice to Agility.
  • Macerich Co, the third-largest U.S. shopping mall owner, rejected a $14.39 billion unsolicited offer from larger rival Simon Property Group Inc, saying the offer “substantially undervalues” the company.
  • Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell its retail and commercial fuel marketing operations in Denmark to Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard.
  • European Union antitrust regulators have extended their deadline for a decision on General Electric’s 12.4 billion euro ($13.15 billion) bid for Alstom’s power equipment business after a request from the U.S. group.
  • BHP Billiton has put far less debt than expected into its $13 billion South32 spin-off, positioning the company formed from its unloved assets to weather tough markets and still pay a dividend.
  • The Italian government said on Tuesday it had no plans to sell a stake in oil major Eni, after a junior minister indicated the government planned to divest part of its holding.
  • Germany’s Merck KGaA placed a $4 billion bond with institutional investors to help fund its $17 billion acquisition of U.S. lab supplies company Sigma-Aldrich.
  • Russia’s Alfa Telecom offered $2.8 billion on Tuesday to buy back a 13.8 percent stake in Turkcell, a move that would give billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s group control of Turkey’s top mobile operator.
  • Britain’s OneSavings Bank Plc said it was open to takeover offers and expected more consolidation among smaller banks after more than doubling its annual profit.
  • The legality of a poison pill anti-takeover defense used by Dutch marine engineering company Fugro will be in the spotlight at a court hearing on Tuesday in a case brought by larger rival and shareholder Boskalis.
  • French cement group Lafarge will hold a board meeting later on Tuesday to discuss potential changes to the terms of its merger deal with Swiss counterpart Holcim, a source familiar with the matter said.
  • Buyout firm Apollo Global Management LLC is in advanced talks to acquire most of the assets of Digital First Media, publisher of the Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News, for around $400 million, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • U.S. arms maker Raytheon Co is in talks to buy network-security company Websense Inc, owned by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners LLC, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd is considering a bid for Cushman & Wakefield Inc, the world’s third-largest real estate company, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
  • Singapore Airlines Ltd is in talks to buy a stake in South Korea’s largest low-cost carrier Jeju Air Co Ltd, a deal that would be the flag carrier’s first foray into North Asia where rising demand from Chinese passengers is fuelling growth.
  • Germany’s second-biggest utility RWE has bought a minority stake in solar group Conergy, hoping to expand its foothold in the embattled solar industry after having missed the trend for years.
  • National CineMedia Inc and Screenvision LLC said on Monday that they had decided to scrap plans to merge after the U.S. government sued to block the $375 million deal.
  • Anglo American and other companies looking to sell some of their mining assets in South Africa should sell to national champions, or companies owned by local communities and by their workers, South Africa’s mining minister said on Monday.
  • Austrian property group CA Immo and Russian investor Boris Mints’s O1 Group unveiled a 2.80 euro per share bid for a minority stake in Austrian peer Immofinanz AG, moving ahead with an offer that Immofinanz has shunned. CA Immo and O1 Group are not at this stage planning a full takeover of or considering a merger with Immofinanz, CA Immo Chief Executive Bruno Ettenauer said.
  • British insurer RSA Insurance Group Plc is considering selling its business in Latin America as part of a broad restructuring plan, the Financial Times reported.
  • Bloomberry Resorts Corp said it would buy an island and a casino operator in South Korea, deals aimed at expanding outside its Philippines home base.
  • British newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror could bid for the Daily Express and Daily Star titles after it said on Tuesday that it was examining certain assets owned by Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell group.
  • Orange Chief Executive Stephane Richard sought to put to bed the idea that the French group was interested in a deal with Telecom Italia, only weeks after he told media that it would be an interesting consolidation opportunity. France’s Orange plans to take more time to review options for selling a stake in video sharing site Dailymotion, denying media reports that it was to enter exclusive talks with Asia’s PCCW.

($1 = 0.95 euros) ($1 = 1,130.31 won) ($1 = 121.29 yen)

(Compiled by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru for Reuters. Reporting for PE HUB by Luisa Beltran and Iris Dorbian.)