Wednesday greetings for the 34 of you not already stuck in traffic. Here we go...
Top of the Morning
Dutch paints maker AkzoNobel and Philadelphia-based rival Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA) said that they have ended talks for a merger that would have created a paints and coatings company worth around $30 billion. According to the WSJ, Axalta bailed after receiving an all-cash takeover offer from Japan's Nippon Paint, although the two sides have not yet agreed on terms.
- Why it's the BFD: AkzoNobel was hoping to buy Axalta as a way to defend itself from takeover attempts by Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries, believing that $30 billion (plus a premium) would be too large for PPG to swallow. That unsolicited pursuit now could be revived.
- Bottom line: "As in other industries in Japan, paint makers are seeking overseas expansion as they try to escape shrinking domestic markets, boost growth and take advantage of ultra-low borrowing rates. Nippon Paint and smaller rival Kansai Paint have both stated a desire to secure a stronger place in the global coatings business." — Financial Times
Venture Capital Deals
Private Equity Deals
• Cirsa, a Spanish operator of gaming halls, has hired Lazard to explore a possible IPO, per Reuters. http://axios.link/mTIB
⛽ Gulf Energy Development, a Thai power generation company, is planning to raise up to $733 million in its IPO. If successful, it would be the largest corporate listing in Thailand this year. http://axios.link/E0JI
• Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) has acquired Canadian VR headset maker Vrvana for about $30 million, according to TechCrunch. Vrvana had been seeded by Real Ventures. http://axios.link/8x5o
• Ion Investment Group has agreed to acquire a control stake in Dealogic, a UK-based provider of financial content and analytics, from Euromoney Institutional Investor (LSE: ERM) and The Carlyle Group (which will retain a minority stake). http://axios.link/Z2Zm
• Seedcamp has closed its latest pan-European seed fund with £41 million in capital commitments. http://axios.link/JmvT
A giant note of thanks to you for opening these missives each morning, as Pro Rata fast approaches its 1-year anniversary. Have a delicious break, and we'll chat again on Monday.