Deals Rumor Mill: Bombardier, Thyssenkrupp, CureVac

By Benjamin Horney
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Law360 (June 18, 2020, 5:19 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.

Multibillion-Dollar Sale of Bombardier's Rail Biz on Track to Close Next Year

The CEO of Canada-based Bombardier Inc. told shareholders this week that the company's planned sale of its rail business to France's Alstom SA is still "pretty much on track" to close within the originally expected time frame, according to a Thursday report from Reuters. According to the report, Eric Martel told shareholders the news during Bombardier's annual general meeting, which took place Thursday. The deal, worth up to €6.2 billion ($6.7 billion), was announced in February and is expected to close during the first half of next year.

Debt Package Being Prepared for €17.2B PE Takeover of Elevator Biz 

The elevator business of Thyssenkrupp AG is looking to secure a multibillion-dollar debt package to help fund its massive go-private deal, which was inked just before the coronavirus pandemic caused major cities to shut down, according to a Thursday report from Reuters. According to the report, the companies still expect to clinch the deal in July, with help from a planned debt package that will involve bonds and loans. Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS AG are leading the process, the report said. The deal, announced in February, will see a group led by Advent International, Cinven and RAG-Stiftung buying the elevator division from Thyssenkrupp for €17.2 billion ($18.9 billion).

German Drugmaker Developing COVID-19 Vaccine Plans US IPO For July

German-based drugmaker CureVac AG, which is developing a potential COVID-19 vaccine, intends to launch an initial public offering in the U.S. as soon as next month, Reuters reported on June 15, citing a "finance ministry document" the outlet was able to view. The report stated that the IPO is expected to take place in July, though no terms were disclosed. The report came on the same day that CureVac announced it would receive a €300 million ($336.8 million) investment from the German government, according to a statement. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, CureVac revealed that German health authority Paul Ehrlich Institute and Belgium's Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products have approved a phase one clinical trial for its coronavirus vaccine program, according to a statement.

Alpha Bank Aims to Rake in €500M Through Sale of Loan Portfolio

Greece's Alpha Bank is hoping to sell a portfolio of bad debt valued at upward of €10 billion ($11.3 billion), and the list of potential buyers includes at least five U.S. investment firms, according to a Wednesday report from Reuters. According to the report, the portfolio is called Galaxy, and features retail loans totaling €7.6 billion and loans to medium-sized and corporate clients worth €3 billion. A deal could net Alpha up to €500 million, the report noted. The prospective suitors include Cerberus Capital Management, PIMCO, Bain Capital Credit, Apollo Global Management and Centerbridge, the report said. The sale process began earlier in the year, but was put on pause in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the report said. Alpha hopes to ink a transaction before the end of this year, the report added.

Lagardere Aims to Divest Live Entertainment Assets in €70M Deal

French media conglomerate Lagardere Group hopes to sell its live entertainment assets for around €70 million ($79 million), Reuters reported on June 15. According to the report, which cited French outlet Les Echos, the assets Lagardere is putting up for grabs include the Les Folies Bergeres cabaret, the Bataclan and Casino de Paris venues, and other arenas. Lagardere reached out to potential suitors including Fimalac, Vivendi SA and Live Nation Entertainment, but all of them determined the asking price was too high, especially considering that the coronavirus pandemic has significantly hampered live events, the report noted.

Palantir Technologies Readies IPO

Palantir Technologies Inc. is gearing up for an initial public offering that could take place around the end of the summer, with a Bloomberg report from Friday, June 12 saying the company "could be trading as early as this fall." The company reportedly has been considering an IPO for a while, including last year, when there were rumors that a flotation was around the corner. Reports in September of last year, however, said that the software company, founded by Peter Thiel, was delaying IPO plans and was instead in talks to nab private funding.

--Editing by Alanna Weissman.

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