Top of the Morning
Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce giant, reportedly has agreed to buy smaller rival Snapdeal for upwards of $950 million, after a cheaper offer was rejected earlier this month. The only trouble is that Flipkart's co-founders reportedly oppose the deal, so the Snapdeal board (which includes reps from SoftBank and Nexus Venture Partners) are kicking the final decision to the company's broader investor group, which includes BlackRock, eBay and Bessemer Venture Partners.
- Why it's the BFD: If accepted, this would be a massive haircut for Snapdeal, which was valued at $6.5 billion by private investors just last summer. Even if Flipkart benefits from Indian e-commerce consolidation, it's hard to see how those rolled-over Snapdeal shareholders ever recover the difference. And, remember, Flipkart has seen its own private valuation fall from $15 billion to below $12 billion.
- Bottom line: "Snapdeal and Flipkart have a history of animosity born from years of competing as the two largest local players in India's expanding e-commerce market. SoftBank, which has nearly a third of Snapdeal shares, and Tiger Global Management, which holds a substantial stake in Flipkart, have been pushing the two competitors to merge so they can create a stronger local company to find off Amazon.com Inc." — Saritha Rai, Bloomberg
Venture Capital Deals
Private Equity Deals
• Platte River Equity has completed its sale of ACT Independent Turbo Services, a Houston-based gas and steam turbine repair company, to South Korea's Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction. No financial terms were disclosed. http://bit.ly/2uwzrcc
• Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) reportedly is in talks to pay around $200 million for a 20% stake in Indian online grocery Bigbasket. http://bit.ly/2eNgj48
• BNP Paribas has agreed to acquire the 50% stake it doesn't already hold in Italian non-life insurance company Cargeas Assicurazioni from Belgium's Ageas. No financial terms were disclosed. http://reut.rs/2tCJmu1
• Ceconomy of Germany has agreed to acquire a 24.33% stake in listed French electronics retailer Fnac Darty from a holding company owned by Francois Henri Pinault, for around €452 million. http://reut.rs/2uAAwhI
• Global Eagle Entertainment (Nasdaq: ENT), a Los Angeles-based provider of content for the travel industry, has canceled a proposed $416 million investment from China's HNA Group, after the deal did not receive CFIUS approval by an agreed-upon date. http://reut.rs/2uwBXPH
• Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) is seeking a buyer for magazine brands Coastal Living, Sunset and Golf, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, the WSJ reports that the company is in early talks to sell its UK unit, which includes Horse & Hound and Marie Claire UK. All of this comes one day after a report that Time also is hoping to unload Essence. https://bloom.bg/2h0TmLG
• ZF Friedrichshafen, a German auto parts maker, recently held "advanced takeover talks" with $7.5 billion Belgian rival Wabco (NYSE: WBC), but the negotiations ultimately collapsed, per the WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2uxS9P8
• Jessica Cohen has rejoined TA Associates as a Boston-based vice president. She is a onetime associate with the firm, who later was an investment banking analyst at Sagent Advisors. TA Associates also announced that both Stefan Dandl and Jérémy Dréan were promoted to vice president in London. www.ta.com
• Jonathan Knauss has joined Raymond James as a Chicago-based managing director of financial services investment banking. He previously was with Hovde Group. www.raymondjames.com
• Philip Yau has joined GI Partners as a managing director and head of investor relations and co-investments. He previously was with UBS Private Funds Group. www.gipartners.com