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Calpine $CPN to Acquire Noble Americas Energy Solutions for $900M

Calpine $CPN to Acquire Noble Americas Energy Solutions for $900M

Calpine Corp. (NYSE: CPN) said it agreed to acquire San Diego-based Noble Americas Energy Solutions, one of the top energy retailers in the US, from Hong Kong-based Noble Group (SGX: N21), one of the top three independent global LNG traders, for $900 million, consisting of a purchase price of $800 million plus an estimated $100 million of net working capital at closing. Calpine is America’s largest generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources. Its fleet of 84 power plants in operation or under construction represents more than 27,000 megawatts of generation capacity, serving customers in 20 states and Canada. The move comes after the resignation of Noble Group’s CEO Yusuf Alireza, and his replacement by William Randall and Jeff Frase, who were appointed as Co-CEOs, in late May, at which time Noble Americas was put up for sale, as previously reported by ExitHub. Alireza, the former co-president of Goldman Sachs in Asia, had joined Noble in 2012. Noble Group was accused last year, during his tenure, of overstating its assets by billions of dollars, seeing its market value drop by nearly 75%, and its debt downgraded to junk status. “The sale of Noble Americas substantially completes the $2 billion capital raising initiative that we announced in June,” said Frase and Randall. “With this divestiture, Noble will continue to reduce debt while also funding growth opportunities in our high return businesses.” “We are excited to be acquiring the best commercial and industrial direct energy sales platform in the U.S. The acquisition of this well-regarded organization known for providing sophisticated customers with highly customized products is a natural fit with Calpine’s customer-centric culture and will allow us to build upon the success we have experienced since our entry into retail last year through the Champion Energy platform,” said Thad Hill, Calpine’s president and chief executive. “In addition to expanding our retail customer sales channels and product offerings, we will more than double the volume of retail load we are capable of serving across the country from our complementary wholesale power generation fleet.” “Financially, this transaction is highly cash flow and credit accretive, given a rapidly amortizing bridge loan, the achievement of collateral synergies and the ongoing generation of stable and substantial cash flows,” concluded Hill. The deal is expected to close in December 2016, subject to approval by Noble shareholders, regulatory approvals, and customary closing conditions. The organization will remain headquartered in San Diego and will continue to operate under the leadership of Jim Wood, president of Noble Americas. Operating cash flows from Noble Americas will continue to accrue to Noble until closing. The divestiture also releases approximately $275 million in letters of credit and surety bonds representing additional working capital which will become available to Noble. Calpine expects to fund the acquisition with a combination of cash on hand and temporary bridge loan financing of up to $550 million. Calpine expects to recover approximately $200 million through collateral synergies and the runoff of acquired legacy hedges, substantially within the first year, resulting in expected net cash deployed of approximately $700 million, including working capital, or approximately five times Noble Americas’ recent and expected run-rate adjusted EBITDA. In March 2016, Noble Group completed the sale of its remaining 49% stake in Noble Agri to COFCO International Ltd. for US$750 million in cash, with the additional retention of upside participation in the future growth of Noble Agri, worth up to US$200 million. Noble is using the entire proceeds of the disposal to pay down debt. Noble Group manages a portfolio of global supply chains covering a range of industrial and energy products. Operating from over 60 locations, Noble facilitates the marketing, processing, financing and transportation of essential raw materials. Sourcing bulk commodities from low cost regions such as South America, South Africa, Australia and Indonesia, the group supplies high growth demand markets, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. The company is ranked No. 77 in the 2015 Fortune Global 500. Noble Americas is a leading power marketer focused on offering supply and risk management services to commercial and industrial customers. Strategically, the company acts as a conduit for customers to manage their price and energy risk exposure. It buys energy wholesale and repackages that energy into retail products. It continually develops products and risk management tools that change the manner in which customers think about, and manage, their energy expenditure. The company has grown its gross margin and EBIT nine of the last ten years and its retention rates are among the highest in the industry. Noble Americas has been recognized for changing the face of US deregulated power by providing an industry leading web-enabled risk management solution, PowerFolio3D. This platform provides customers with the ability to analyze their potential risk to produce strategies, and to mitigate that risk and enhance the value in their portfolios. It currently operates out of six locations – its headquarters are in San Diego, with regional offices in Boston, Michigan, Chicago, New Jersey and Houston. The company has 210 employees and is currently the fifth largest commercial and industrial retail marketer in the US according to DNV-GL, formerly Kema. It has approximately 1,300 consumer clients and over 100,000 meters with demand requirements of approximately 8,000 MW per year. Noble Americas provides retail electricity in all 19 deregulated states in the US and natural gas in the Western US, primarily California and Nevada. During 2015, on average, the company invoiced 85,500 accounts per month with a 99.95% accuracy rate. It was also awarded an extension to ISO 9001:2008 certification, which is a robust process and procedure audit.]]>

Ross Perot Jr Sells $1.1B Hillwood Logistics RE Portfolio to Singapore's GLP

Ross Perot Jr Sells $1.1B Hillwood Logistics RE Portfolio to Singapore's GLP

GLP (SGX: MC0/GLPL), a leading global provider of modern logistics facilities, said it has agreed to acquire a US$1.1 billion US logistics real estate portfolio from Dallas/Fort Worth-based Hillwood Development Company LLC, controlled by Ross Perot Jr. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, is the controlling shareholder and largest investor in GLP. The 15 million sq ft portfolio has a strong concentration in desirable locations expected to benefit strongly from the growth of e-commerce in the US, as online retail logistic space is said to comprise over 40% of the portfolio’s leased area. Major warehouse logistics tenants are said to include FedEx, UPS, and Amazon. “The portfolio being acquired from Hillwood is one of the highest quality logistics real estate portfolios in the US,” said Chuck Sullivan, president and chief operating officer of GLP US. The portfolio reportedly includes industrial buildings in Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Hillwood’s AllianceTexas, the company’s flagship project, envelops the world’s first industrial airport, Fort Worth Alliance Airport, and includes the Alliance Global Logistics Hub, the nation’s largest inland port. Recognized as one of the most successful public-private partnerships in the nation, the 18,000-acre AllianceTexas development has generated approximately 60 billion in economic impact, created over 45,000 jobs and dramatically transformed north Fort Worth and surrounding communities. alliance_global_logistics_hubThis transaction enlarges GLP’s US footprint to 187 million sq ft, with the US representing 8% of GLP’s net asset value. GLP is the second largest logistics property owner and operator in the US, after San Francisco-based REIT Prologis (NYSE: PLD), and the largest in China, Japan and Brazil. A US$700 million portfolio is in the process of being acquired in December 2016, with the remaining US$400 million development portfolio to be acquired in phases upon completion and full lease-up. The deal is expected to be funded through US$470 million in equity and US$635 million in debt, which GLP expects to syndicate to a group of investors by initial closing. GLP will act as the asset manager and expects to retain a stake of approximately 10% post-syndication, the company said. GLP expects to fund its equity commitment with cash on hand and existing credit facilities. GLP is a fund manager, developer and owner-operator of modern logistics facilities in China, Japan, Brazil and the United States, with US$38 billion in assets under management. As of 30 June 2016, GLP owns and operates a global portfolio of 52 million square meters (560 million square feet), comprising 2,515 completed properties across 118 cities. GLP’s 4,000 customers include some of the world’s most dynamic manufacturers, retailers and third party logistics companies. GLP was listed on the Singapore Securities Exchange in 2010, in one the world’s largest real estate IPOs globally. As of August 31, 2016, GLP had a market capitalization of US$6 billion. Hillwood is a full service real estate developer, investor and advisor of high quality real estate properties, with more than 114-million square feet of industrial development and acquisitions to date. The company is actively involved in development, acquisitions, construction, leasing, property management and asset management of high quality, well located, flexible and functional industrial properties located throughout North America and Europe. Hillwood is ranked among the top ten real estate developers in the United States. Henry Ross Perot Jr., the elder son of billionaire businessman and former United States presidential candidate, Ross Perot. Perot Jr. serves as the chairman of multiple companies, including Hillwood, which he founded in 1988, and the Perot Group, which manages the various Perot family interests, including real estate, oil and gas, and financial investments.]]>

@Temasek to Buy Out Singapore SMRT Mass Transit in Deal Valued at $1.89B

@Temasek to Buy Out Singapore SMRT Mass Transit in Deal Valued at $1.89B

Temasek led a $105 million Series F funding round for New York City-based enterprise social media management startup platform Sprinklr, at a $1.8 billion valuation. Privatization will provide SMRT with greater flexibility to focus on its primary role of delivering safe and high quality rail service, without short term pressures of being a listed company, in the midst of its transition to a new regulatory framework under the New Rail Financing Framework. SMRT is expected to face challenges, even under the new framework, with costs and uncertainties associated with an ageing and expanded network. SMRT will also need to focus on delivering on existing and new multi-year programs to support an ageing and expanded network, including the need to deliver a higher order of rail reliability and service in line with the heightened Maintenance Performance Standards to be determined by the LTA. “Taking the company private will allow SMRT to better fulfill its role as a public transport operator without the pressure of short-term market expectations. It will also allow SMRT to be better supported as it retools and reinforces its core skillsets in engineering and maintenance,” said SMRT chairman Koh Yong Guan. “We are proposing to move SMRT to private ownership so we can more closely collaborate with the Company on system level transformation, including its transition to the new regulatory environment without the distraction of being a listed company. We will have greater flexibility to work with SMRT as a private entity to seek sustainable long term solutions as part of its transition,” said Temasek International president Chia Song Hwee. Merrill Lynch is acting as financial advisor to SMRT, and Credit Suisse is advising Temasek. Temasek Holdings isn’t a traditional company but a sovereign wealth fund — a government-owned holding company — with investments in the financial services, telecommunications, media, transportation, real estate, and energy sectors. Temasek Holdings controls some S$184 billion (US$136 billion) in investments, more than a third of which are in the financial services industry. The company has offices in China, India, Vietnam, Brazil, and Mexico. Temasek Holdings, which was founded in 1974, is set up as a corporation whose primary shareholder is Singapore’s Ministry of Finance.]]>

Calpine $CPN to Acquire Noble Americas Energy Solutions for $900M

Noble Americas Put Up For Sale, Group CEO Alireza Replaced, $N21 Down 8%

Noble Group (SGX: N21), one of the top three independent global LNG traders, said it will shortly start the sale process for Noble Americas Energy Solutions. Since energy markets in the United States began deregulating more than 10 years ago, Noble Americas has emerged as one of the leading retail energy suppliers. The company also announced the resignation of CEO Yusuf Alireza, and his replacement by William Randall and Jeff Frase, who were appointed as Co-CEOs. Noble Group shares closed down 8.20% at S$0.28 on the Singapore Stock Exchange, giving the company a market value of S$1.83 billion ($1.32 billion). “I am delighted that Will and Jeff will be leading Noble Group’s operations as we embark on the Company’s next chapter. Their complementary commodities expertise and geographical focus will be hugely valuable as we position ourselves for the future,” said Richard Elman, who is continuing in his role as chairman and executive director. Randall, based in Hong Kong, is currently president of Noble Group and an executive director, and will retain his board seat. Frase, based in Stamford, Connecticut is currently president, Noble Americas and head of Oil Liquids, and will be invited to join the board. “The year 2015 must surely go down as one of the most challenging that the commodity markets have had to endure for many decades,” Alireza recently stated. “Supply flooded many sectors, from bulk shipping through to oil and gas, as exporter currencies fell and production costs were often reducing in line with selling prices. These cyclical factors, which surely must balance themselves at some stage, have been further compounded by structural changes in markets, principally caused by a moderation of the strong infrastructure spend in China.” Noble Group was accused last year of overstating its assets by billions of dollars, seeing its market value drop by nearly 75%, and its debt downgraded to junk status. “As a result of this difficult environment, our focus – ahead of all other considerations – has been and will continue to be on maintaining adequate liquidity and generating cash. With that in mind, we have been forced to make some difficult decisions, closing certain businesses and selling assets. We feel this continues to be the right focus, and those actions, although tough, were the right decisions for the current environment,” he added. Alireza, the former co-president of Goldman Sachs in Asia, had joined Noble in 2012. “Mr. Alireza has helped guide Noble through a very challenging period, moving the company to an asset light, merchant focused model; he played a pivotal role in the successful sale of Noble Agri to a group of investors led by COFCO, and has also been instrumental in securing the recently announced re-financing, a crucial element in the process of giving the group a stable base from which to develop,” the company said in a statement. “With this transformation process now largely complete, Mr. Alireza considered that the time was right for him to move on. In March 2016, Noble Group completed the sale of its remaining 49% stake in Noble Agri to COFCO International Ltd. for US$750 million in cash, with the additional retention of upside participation in the future growth of Noble Agri, worth up to US$200 million. Noble is using the entire proceeds of the disposal to pay down debt. Noble Group manages a portfolio of global supply chains covering a range of industrial and energy products. Operating from over 60 locations, Noble facilitates the marketing, processing, financing and transportation of essential raw materials. Sourcing bulk commodities from low cost regions such as South America, South Africa, Australia and Indonesia, the group supplies high growth demand markets, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. The company is ranked No. 77 in the 2015 Fortune Global 500. Noble Americas is a leading power marketer focused on offering supply and risk management services to commercial and industrial customers. Strategically, the company acts as a conduit for customers to manage their price and energy risk exposure. It buys energy wholesale and repackages that energy into retail products. It continually develops products and risk management tools that change the manner in which customers think about, and manage, their energy expenditure. The company has grown its gross margin and EBIT nine of the last ten years and its retention rates are among the highest in the industry. Noble Americas has been recognized for changing the face of US deregulated power by providing an industry leading web-enabled risk management solution, PowerFolio3D. This platform provides customers with the ability to analyze their potential risk to produce strategies, and to mitigate that risk and enhance the value in their portfolios. It currently operates out of six locations – its headquarters are in San Diego, with regional offices in Boston, Michigan, Chicago, New Jersey and Houston. The company has 210 employees and is currently the fifth largest commercial and industrial retail marketer in the US according to DNV-GL, formerly Kema. It has approximately 1,300 consumer clients and over 100,000 meters with demand requirements of approximately 8,000 MW per year. Noble Americas provides retail electricity in all 19 deregulated states in the US and natural gas in the Western US, primarily California and Nevada. During 2015, on average, the company invoiced 85,500 accounts per month with a 99.95% accuracy rate. It was also awarded an extension to ISO 9001:2008 certification, which is a robust process and procedure audit.]]>