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LongRiver Partners Revised Takeover of Severn Trent PLC Rejected

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waterrunsHow bad do mega public investors want to own a U.K. water utility? According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute’s sovereign wealth fund transaction database (SWFTD), direct investments in European utilities have experienced steady growth over the past few years. Inflation-linked cash flows are in high demand by foreign institutional investors.

A consortium dubbed LongRiver Partners which includes Borealis Infrastructure, Kuwait Investment Office and U.K.-based Universities Superannuation Scheme put in another bid to buy the second-largest publicly traded U.K. water company Severn Trent PLC. Severn Trent rejected the revised takeover offer. The water company supplies water and other services to more than 4.2 million households in the UK, mostly in the Midlands region.

In a statement by Andrew Duff, Chairman of the company, “The board unanimously believes that LongRiver’s revised conditional proposal at 2,079.49 pence per share, excluding the final dividend which we have already announced, fails to value the attractions to Severn Trent’s shareholders of Severn Trent’s increasingly rare combination of yield, inflation-linked business model and potential.”

Mergermarket Gets Ready to be Sold

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Private equity firm BC Partners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on the sales of Acuris. Acuris is a collection of financial news and data sites, which includes Mergermarket, Dealreporter, and Debtwire. In 2017, BC Partners sold around a 30% stake in GIC Private Limited.

Before the rebranding to Acuris, Mergermarket was part of The Financial Times Group until 2013 when it was sold off to BC Partners.

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Why Japan Post Sees Promise in Aflac

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Aflac Inc. is an American insurance company founded in 1955. The company is the biggest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States. Aflac also has major operations in Japan.

In December 2018, Japan Post Holdings (JPHLF) signaled it was spending US$ 2.64 billion for a 7-8 % stake in Aflac. The goal is that, in four years time, Aflac will become an affiliate of Japan Post. Japan Post hopes to accomplish this by becoming the largest voting shareholder of the company. The world’s 13th largest company, with 400,000 employees, Japan Post needs to expand to chase further growth, mainly because Japan Post expects the postal business to decline. Diversification is seen as the optimal route to long term stability for the holding company. Japan’s economy is worrying. Japan’s aging population means that many insurance companies are facing a shrinking customer base, Japan Post settled on a plan to expand overseas.

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RDIF and Development Agency of Serbia Agree to Explore Joint Investments

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Development Agency of Serbia, also known as Razvojna agencija Srbije, reached an agreement to work together to identify attractive investment projects to strengthen bilateral economic ties and increase investment flows between Russia and Serbia. Russian capital and businesses are keen on investing in Serbia.

In addition, the two countries signed an agreement to cooperate on civil nuclear energy, according to state-owned Russian reactor builder Rosatom (Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation). Rosatom continues to expand it business of nuclear cooperation deals in a wide number of countries.

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