May 4, 2023 | Editor: Martin Wennerström
TotalEnergies sells Canadian oil sands operations to Suncor
TotalEnergies has announced that it will sell its Canadian operations to Suncor Energy, in an agreement worth up to CAD 6.1 billion (USD 4.47 billion). The French energy giant had originally planned to exit Canadian oil sands by spinning off TotalEnergies EP Canada, but later agreed to instead sell the operations after having received unsolicited offers from both Suncor and other parties. The deal includes TotalEnergies’ remaining working interest in the Fort Hills oil sands mining project, making Suncor the sole owner, and in the Surmount in situ oil sands asset. The acquisition is valued at around CAD 5.5 billion (USD 4.1 billion) and could include additional payments totaling approximately CAD 600 million (USD 450 million), subject to meeting specific conditions.
BP shareholders vote against activist climate proposal
BP shareholders rejected a resolution by activist investors demanding more aggressive carbon emission reduction targets at the company’s 2023 AGM. The motion, filed by shareholder group Follow This, secured 16.75 % in favour, despite BP urging voters to oppose it. This was up from the 14.9 % support it attracted last year but below the 20.6 % won in 2021. Additionally, BP shareholders re-elected the company’s Chair over the objection of several UK pension funds. The fossil fuel giant, which reported a record profit of USD 28 billion in 2022 on the back of rising energy costs, has recently cut back its target to reduce emissions by the end of the decade.
Silver Lake launches public
takeover offer for Software AG
Silver Lake has agreed to acquire German software developer Software AG for EUR 2.2 billion (USD 2.42 billion). The private equity firm had initially invested EUR 344 million in Software AG via convertible bonds in February 2022. The deal values the German company at EUR 30 per share, representing a premium of 53% to Software AG's pre-announcement closing share price. The takeover offer is subject to a 50% acceptance threshold plus one share. Other buyout firms are exploring the possibility of counterbids, including financial investor Bain Capital and US hedge fund Elliott Investment Management, which have reportedly built stakes in the Darmstadt-based company, setting the stage for a bidding battle.
Britain blocks Microsoft's USD 69 billion Activision deal
UK antitrust regulators have blocked Microsoft's USD 69 billion takeover of U.S. video game giant Activision Blizzard over fears that it would hinder competition in the emerging cloud gaming sector. The Competition and Markets Authority argued that Microsoft’s remedy proposal to give leading cloud gaming platforms access to Activision's Call of Duty franchise was not enough to alleviate its concerns. Both companies plan to appeal the decision. The deal, which was set to be the largest acquisition in gaming history, also faces scrutiny from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission.
Governance in Brief – June 8, 2023
European Parliament approves CSDDD The European Parliament has approved the “Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.” Under the new rules, companies will be required to identify and address the negative impact of their activities and value chains on human rights and the environment. Additionally, companies will need to implement climate transition plans, and, in the case of companies with more than 1,000 employees, tie directors' variable compensation to target achievement.
Governance in Brief – June 1, 2023
Citigroup to IPO Banamex after Mexican gov’t interventions hamper sales deal Citigroup has announced a plan to spin off its Mexican business, Banamex, after a failure to sell the unit to conglomerate Grupo Mexico. Citigroup had been in talks with German Larrea, CEO and Chairman of Grupo Mexico, for over a year in an attempt to orchestrate the sale of the bank, which was first announced at the start of 2022.
Governance in Brief – May 25, 2023
Activist investor pushes for leadership and strategy changes at NRG Energy Activist investor Elliott Investment Management has disclosed a 13% stake in the US-based NRG Energy and called for leadership and operational changes at the company to remedy its “meaningful underperformance.” The investor urged NRG to add independent directors with experience in the power and energy sector to its board, noting that it has already identified five executives to guide the operational and strategic changes.