Deals Rumor Mill: Magic Leap, Tegna, WeDoctor

Law360 (March 12, 2020, 4:01 PM EDT) -- The deals rumor mill is often overflowing with transactions that are reportedly close to being inked, but with so many rumors it can be hard to know which ones to stay on top of every week.

Here, Law360 breaks down the deal rumors from the past week that you need to be aware of.

Augmented Reality Startup Could Sell For $10B Or More

Augmented reality startup Magic Leap Inc. is mulling a potential sale, with Bloomberg reporting on Wednesday that the Florida-based company is evaluating that among other strategic options. According to the report, Magic Leap could go for $10 billion or more. The company, backed by the likes of Google and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., has hired an adviser to assist as it considers what to do. In addition to an outright sale, Magic Leap could pursue a partnership or the sale of just a stake in the business, the report noted. Facebook Inc. does not currently have interest in buying Magic Leap, the report noted.

Tegna Receives Takeover Offers Worth $8.5B, Including Debt

U.S. broadcasting company Tegna Inc. has been approached about a potential takeover by both Gray Television Inc. and Apollo Global Management, and a deal could potentially value Tegna at about $8.5 billion, including debt, according to a report from Reuters on March 6. According to the report, Gray Television was the first to lob an offer, making a proposal worth about $20 per share, followed by Apollo informing Tegna that it is prepared to make a similar bid. It's possible Tegna chooses not to make any deal, the report cautioned. The rumor comes a little over a month after reports in January said that Tegna investors including HG Vora Capital Management and Standard General have urged Tegna to consider a merger or sale. 

WeDoctor Pushing Ahead With IPO Plans That Could Value It At $10B 

WeDoctor is planning to go forward with plans for a Hong Kong initial public offering despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, with Reuters reporting on March 6 that the listing could value the Chinese online health care startup at up to $10 billion. The IPO for WeDoctor — which is owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. — could raise about $1 billion, the report said. The company is currently courting investment banks through what it is calling a 'beauty parade' that is taking place both via video conference and in person in China, the report said. The IPO is expected to take place during the second half of this year, and certain business units could be excluded from the offering, the report said. The news comes a little more than a year after reports in February 2019 said WeDoctor was mulling the listing of a spinoff on a new technology-focused board at the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Suitors Line Up For Coty's $8B Hair And Nail Products Biz

A small number of suitors have entered the second round of bidding for Coty Inc.'s professional hair and nail products unit, including German chemicals and consumer goods company Henkel AG & Co. and private equity giant KKR & Co. LP, according to a Tuesday report from Bloomberg. According to the report, some other bidders were not invited to the second round, including Advent International and a group featuring Cinven and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Meanwhile, some interested parties have made offers for just the unit's Good Hair Day business, or for Coty's Brazilian operations, the report noted. A deal for Coty's entire professional hair and nail products business could be worth as much as $8 billion, the report said.

China Biologic Nears $4.6B Go-Private Deal

China Biologic Products Holdings Inc. is in serious discussions to be taken private, with Bloomberg reporting on Tuesday that a private equity-backed consortium could buy the company for about $4.6 billion. According to the report, the two sides are in the late stages of negotiations, and a deal could be announced within weeks. The buying group includes Beachhand Holdings Ltd., which is owned by Centurium Capital, the report noted. The original offer, made in September, was worth about $120 per share, the report said.

Blackstone Eyes $4B Deal For Chinese Real Estate Developer

The Blackstone Group has entered into exclusive discussions to buy Chinese real estate developer SOHO China Ltd., and a deal could be worth about $4 billion, according to a Monday report from Reuters. According to the report, the two companies have been in exclusive talks since February, with Blackstone's bid worth about $0.77 per share, which is actually a significant premium to SOHO China's average per share value recently, the report said. A deal could be agreed upon within the next few weeks, the report said, and any agreement would likely include Blackstone assuming the considerable debt of SOHO China, which stood at about $4.7 billion as of the end of June 2019.

Sinclair Oil Could Be Valued At Up To $3B In Takeover 

Sinclair Oil Corp. is considering takeover offers that could value the company at up to $3 billion, according to a Thursday report from Reuters. According to the report, the Salt Lake City, Utah-based company has received multiple offers and is in the process of reviewing whether to engage in serious discussions about a deal. Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. has been hired to advise Sinclair as it figures out what to do, the report noted. Potential buyers include Par Pacific Holdings, CVR Energy Inc., Delek Energy and HollyFrontier Corp., the report said. Sinclair is also considering a potential reverse Morris Trust transaction, which would see the company listed publicly while the family owners could retain a stake in the business.

Nestle Seeks Sale Of $1B Chinese Food Biz Yinlu

Nestle SA has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to assist with the planned sale of Chinese food company Yinlu Foods Group, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. According to the report, Yinlu could be worth around $1 billion in a deal. Nestle is aiming to sell a majority stake in the business, and could retain a small stake so it can continue to monitor production of Nescafe ready-to-drink coffee, which is co-manufactured by Yinlu and Nestle in China, the report said. First round bids are expected to be in around late April or early May, but that time frame could get pushed back depending on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the report said.

Bank Of East Asia Seeks To Sell More Than $1B Of Assets

Bank of East Asia Ltd. is in the midst of a strategic review and could wind up selling its life and general insurance assets, as well as its pension fund business in Hong Kong, according to a Monday report from Bloomberg. According to the report, the Hong Kong-based lender is mulling the asset sale as it faces pressure from activist investor Elliott Management Corp. The company is hoping to fetch more than $1 billion in an asset sale, the report said. Other insurance companies could be among those with interest in the insurance assets, the report noted. 

Brazilian Insurance Co Caixa Puts IPO Plans On Hold

Brazilian insurance company Caixa Seguridade SA has decided to postpone its planned initial public offering due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak and declining oil prices, according to a Monday report from Reuters. According to the report, the IPO was originally scheduled for next month, but the company is now planning to wait between three and six months. The IPO was expected to raise upward of 10 billion reais ($2.12 billion), the report said.

Brookfield Halts Dual-Track Process For Australian Coal Export Terminal

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is hitting the pause button on plans to sell or list its A$2 billion ($1.3 billion) coal export terminal in Australia as a reaction to the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported on Wednesday. According to the report, Brookfield determined that running the sale and listing process was untenable in the wake of travel restrictions being imposed because of the spread of the coronavirus. The company could look to restart the dual-track process for the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal later this year, with hopes of making a deal or completing a listing during the third quarter, the report said. 

Chinese Food Group Mulls Sale Of Bean Curd Brand

China's Beijing Capital Agribusiness & Foods Group is considering a sale of its fermented bean curd brand, Beijing Wangzhihe Food Group Co., Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. According to the report, suitors include private equity firms and Chinese corporations, although some potential buyers are uncertain of whether it would be a smart move because of the brand's faltering popularity among younger consumers. The bean curd brand has been around for about a century, the report noted. Talks are still at an early stage, and it's possible no deal winds up taking place, the report said.

Stadium Operations Biz Legends Hospitality Is Up For Grabs

Legends Hospitality LLC — which was founded by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the New York Yankees — could be sold in a deal valuing the company at more than $1 billion, including debt, according to a Thursday report from Reuters. According to the report, investment bank Moelis & Co. is advising on the auction process for Legends Hospitality, which is also partially owned by private equity firm New Mountain Capital LLC. It's possible no deal comes to fruition, especially with major sporting events increasingly getting canceled right now because of the coronavirus outbreak, the report said.

--Editing by Amy Rowe.

For a reprint of this article, please contact

Hello! I'm Law360's automated support bot.

How can I help you today?

For example, you can type:
  • I forgot my password
  • I took a free trial but didn't get a verification email
  • How do I sign up for a newsletter?
Ask a question!