Deloitte’s advisory US advisory arm acquires restructuring specialist CRG Partners

US Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, a unit of accounting firm Deloitte LLP, on Monday announced it had taken over New York-based operational and financial restructuring services provider CRG Partners.

The company has acquired all of CRG’s assets so that it may improve its financial restructuring, turnaround management and bankruptcy reorganisation capabilities, it said, without disclosing the value of the transaction.

According to Deloitte Financial’s chief executive officer, David Williams, there are still firms that experience significant operational and financial issues even though the economy is improving.

The reorganisation services group of Deloitte will now immediately tie up with CRG and begin operating under the name Deloitte Corporate Restructuring Group, or Deloitte CRG. The practice will be co-led by William Snyder and Sheila Smith. The buyer also said that 18 professionals from CRG have become Deloitte principals or directors.

The acquisition unveils a significant growth opportunity for Deloitte, Smith commented. In turn, Snyder said that the combination of the two entities will allow them to establish a world-class restructuring practice.

Dubai Islamic Bank reports an 11% increase in first quarter net profit

Dubai Islamic Bank booked a net profit of AED245m (USD66.7m/EUR50.4m) in the first three months of the year, up 11% from the AED222m recorded in the same period in 2011, the Dubai-based lender said on Sunday.

The bank’s revenue eased to AED1.23bn in the first quarter from AED1.28bn in the first three months of 2011. The lender’s core business saw continued growth in the period, with income from financing and investing assets and investment sukuks rising by 2%. Dubai Islamic Bank booked additional provisions of AED299m in the period, continuing to boost its balance sheet.

Customers deposits at the bank amounted to AED68.1bn at the end of March, up from AED64.7bn at the end of 2011. Total assets added up to AED92.5bn as of 31 March.

The bank’s liquidity position remained strong, with its financing-to-deposit ratio stable at 77% at the end of March. The lender’s capital adequacy ratio under Basel II was 18.2% as of 31 March.

During the quarter to March, the bank opened three branches, which brought the total number of branches across the UAE to 74. The bank also launched its portal Al Islami Business Online, offering more than 75 services.

Terra Firma close to sealing a £825m deal to acquire Four Seasons Health Care

UPDATE: Terra Firma confirms media reports and reveals GBP825m deal to acquire Four Seasons Health Care Ltd. Previous version follows:

UK private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd is nearing an agreement for the acquisition of Four Seasons Health Care Ltd, the biggest UK care homes operator, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The transaction would give Four Seasons an enterprise value of GBP825m (USD1.3bn/EUR1bn) and the parties could announce an agreement this week, the newspaper said.

Four Seasons is faced with a September deadline to refinance net debts of GBP780m. The company confirmed earlier in April that it was holding talks with investors as part of its efforts to strike a refinancing deal.

According to a source familiar with the matter, Terra Firma will supply some GBP300m in equity and Four Seasons is likely to raise new debt of around GBP25m.

The care homes operator narrowly escaped a forced sale in 2009 as it struggled with a heavy debt burden. However, it managed to agree a debt-for-equity swap with its lenders, which put Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS) in control of the business, the FT went on to add. The deal reduced Four Seasons’ GBP1.6bn debt by half. In 2010, the company negotiated a two-year extension to the maturity date.

Four Seasons, which has appointed Rothschild and Gleacher Shacklock as advisers, wants to strike a deal with investors and creditors in May and finalise it by July.

For Terra Firma, it would be the second UK acquisition involving a company taken over by its lenders through the exchange of debt for equity. In March, the private equity group sealed a GBP276m deal for The Garden Centre Group.

UK private equity firm Permira in talks to acquire Nokia’s luxury handset brand Vertu

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) has reached the advanced stage of negotiations over the sale of its luxury handset subsidiary Vertu to UK-based private equity firm Permira, as the company looks to shed non-core assets in a bid to revive its devices unit.

The Financial Times reported that the disposal is expected to generate around EUR200m (USD265m) for Nokia, which was once considered the undisputed leader on the mobile phone market, but is now struggling to make inroads into the smartphone business. Efforts also include accelerating cost reductions at the division, the newspaper said.

For Permira, a successful outcome of the talks would mean another luxury brand in its portfolio, which includes fashion labels Hugo Boss and Valentino. According to the sources, there is no certainty yet that the parties would reach an agreement. Nokia has enlisted the advisory services of Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). None of the companies mentioned agreed to comment to the FT.

Swedish-based private equity group EQT Partners has also held talks with Nokia over acquiring Vertu but sources familiar with the matter report that there is currently no development on that front. The FT said that some luxury goods companies had also indicated interest in buying the brand.

Vertu was set up by Nokia in 1998 and has become known as the maker of the most expensive handsets in the world. The UK-based business makes devices whose price sometimes exceeds GBP200,000. The hand-made phones with precious metal components are sold in over 60 countries. Vertu’s annual revenues are estimated at between EUR200m and EUR300m, the FT added.

London-listed Globaltrans to acquire Russian rival Metalloinvesttrans for $540m

Russian freight rail company Globaltrans Investment Plc (LON:GLTR) on Friday said it would take over Metalloinvesttrans LLC (MIT), the captive freight rail transportation operator of Russian iron ore producer Metalloinvest, in a cash- and debt-free deal worth USD540m (EUR410m).

With this addition, Globaltrans will boost its fleet to around 60,000 rail cars by mid-2012 and enhance its position as a top private freight rail operator in Russia, the buyer said, adding it would use own funds and secured debt to finance the transaction.

Increased scale and resources will help maximise efficiency and profitability, Globaltrans’ CEO Sergey Maltsev said.

MIT is a high-quality firm, which together with the service contract with Metalloinvest, offers Globaltrans a low-risk opportunity to grow and strengthen its market position, the CEO added.

Under the agreement, Globaltrans and Metalloinvest have sealed a three-year service contract for Globaltrans to handle 100% of Metalloinvest’s rail transportation cargo volumes in the first year of the contract for an agreed price and 60% in the other two years.

MIT, which operated 9,202 railcars as at 31 December 2011, manages rail logistics of Metalloinvest cargo volumes.

Metalloinvest will free up capital through the divestment, its CEO, Eduard Potapov, said. The group’s subsidiaries will also be provided with solutions that would allow them to use Globaltrans’ railcar fleet, he added.

Globaltrans, which will buy MIT through its fully-owned unit OJSC New Forwarding Company, expects to wrap up the deal by the end of May, pending regulatory clearance.

Sensitech???s products receive IATA???s regulatory compliance approval

Sensitech Inc, a provider of cold chain visibility solutions, announced on Thursday that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has deemed Sensitech???s full range of temperature and humidity monitoring devices to be in compliance with the 53rd edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations Special Provision (SP) 188 published by the United Nations.

Sensitech Inc, a provider of cold chain visibility solutions, announced on Thursday that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has deemed Sensitech???s full range of temperature and humidity monitoring devices to be in compliance with the 53rd edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations Special Provision (SP) 188 published by the United Nations.

The company said that the size and lithium metal content of the cells and batteries contained in its monitoring devices meet the provisions set out in SP 188, therefore no additional packaging or labelling is required for air transport shipments that include Sensitech???s devices for monitoring temperature and humidity.

Information provided by Sensitech lead IATA to affirm that Sensitech???s monitoring devices meet the requirements set out in Section II of Packing Instruction (PI) 970, which applies to lithium metal cells and batteries when contained in equipment. Packages prepared in accordance with Section II of PI 970 may be transported on either passenger or cargo aircraft.

Sensitech products reviewed and confirmed for SP 188 compliance by IATA are TempTale4, TempTale4 Multi-Alarm, TemTale4 Multi-Alarm USB, TempTale4 Probe, TempTale4 Dual Sensor, TempTale4 Dry Ice Probe, TempTale4 Bio, TempTale4 Humidity, TempTale4 Probeless Dry Ice, TempTale4 USB, TempTale4 USB Dry Ice, TempTale RF, TagAlert, FreezeAlert, VaxAlert and ThermoAlert.

Sensitech Inc is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a division of United Technologies Corp (NYSE:UTX).

Sensitech???s products receive IATA???s regulatory compliance approval

Sensitech Inc, a provider of cold chain visibility solutions, announced on Thursday that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has deemed Sensitech’s full range of temperature and humidity monitoring devices to be in compliance with the 53rd edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations Special Provision (SP) 188 published by the United Nations.

Sensitech Inc, a provider of cold chain visibility solutions, announced on Thursday that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has deemed Sensitech’s full range of temperature and humidity monitoring devices to be in compliance with the 53rd edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations Special Provision (SP) 188 published by the United Nations.

The company said that the size and lithium metal content of the cells and batteries contained in its monitoring devices meet the provisions set out in SP 188, therefore no additional packaging or labelling is required for air transport shipments that include Sensitech’s devices for monitoring temperature and humidity.

Information provided by Sensitech lead IATA to affirm that Sensitech’s monitoring devices meet the requirements set out in Section II of Packing Instruction (PI) 970, which applies to lithium metal cells and batteries when contained in equipment. Packages prepared in accordance with Section II of PI 970 may be transported on either passenger or cargo aircraft.

Sensitech products reviewed and confirmed for SP 188 compliance by IATA are TempTale4, TempTale4 Multi-Alarm, TemTale4 Multi-Alarm USB, TempTale4 Probe, TempTale4 Dual Sensor, TempTale4 Dry Ice Probe, TempTale4 Bio, TempTale4 Humidity, TempTale4 Probeless Dry Ice, TempTale4 USB, TempTale4 USB Dry Ice, TempTale RF, TagAlert, FreezeAlert, VaxAlert and ThermoAlert.

Sensitech Inc is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a division of United Technologies Corp (NYSE:UTX).

AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan announces early retirement as first quarter profit falls 38%

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca plc (LSE:AZN) (STO:AZN) (NYSE:AZN) announced today that its chief executive, David Brennan, has decided to retire and step down from the board at the start of June.

Executive director and chief financial officer Simon Lowth will take over as interim chief executive officer from 1 June 2012 until a permanent successor is in place. At the same time Julie Brown, vice president Group Finance, will become interim chief financial officer

Louis Schweitzer will also retire as non-executive chairman on 1 June 2012, three months earlier than originally planned. He will be succeeded on that date by Leif Johansson, who will become chairman of the Nomination and Governance Committee after today’s annual general meeting, AstraZeneca said.

The departure of AstraZeneca’s top two executives was announced on the day the company published its first quarter financial results, revealing that pre-tax profit for the period fell 38% to USD2.05bn, from USD3.29bn a year earlier. Core earnings per share (EPS) amounted to USD1.81, a 19% decline at constant exchange rates compared with the first quarter last year. Excluding two one-off gains last year, core EPS would have increased by 2%.

Revenue for January-March totalled USD7.35bn, a decrease of 11% at constant exchange rates.

AstraZeneca blamed the disappointing results on a loss of exclusivity on several key brands, which it said accounted for eight percentage points of the revenue decline.

Meanwhile revenue from emerging markets increased by 1% at constant exchange rates, reflecting anticipated quarterly phasing. The company expects a rebound in the remaining three quarters, but said that achieving double-digit growth for the full year may be a challenge.

Looking ahead, AstraZeneca has lowered its core EPS target for the full year to the range of USD5.85 to USD6.15 and said that the decline in revenue for the full year is expected to be in the range of the low to mid-teens in constant currency terms.

France’s Dassault agrees to acquire Canadian Gemcom Software

French software and consulting services group Dassault Systemes SA (EPA:DSY) has revealed it will take over Canadian mining industry software provider Gemcom Software International Inc in a cash deal worth around USD360m (EUR272.3m).

Bernard Charles, Dassault Systemes’ president and CEO, said the combination of Gemcom with the group’s 3D Experience platform would help its goal to model and simulate the planet with the aim of improving predictability, efficiency, safety and sustainability within the natural resources sector.
As a step towards that ambition, Dassault Systemes has created the new GEOVIA brand, the CEO added.

In turn, Gemcom expects the combination to enable it to offer global support to its customers and address global issues for them as a real partner, said its president and CEO, Rick Moignard, who will head the new GEOVIA organisation as CEO after the deal.

The transaction will also boost the buyer’s geographic presence in Australia, Africa, Canada, South America, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Indonesia and Russia, it said.

Gemcom’s 360 staff and management will remain in place, with its managers to further develop Dassault Systemes’ strategy of modeling the natural world.

Completion, subject to regulatory clearance, among other conditions, is expected in July 2012.

Gemcom is currently owned by JMI Equity Fund VI LP, The Carlyle Group LP and Pala Investments Holdings Limited. Its solutions are used in 5,500 operating mines and around 15,000 mining projects by all major miners in the world.

Pentastar Aviation names new president and CEO

Pentastar Aviation on Tuesday announced that it has appointed a new president and chief executive officer, Robert H Lewis.

Pentastar Aviation on Tuesday announced that it has appointed a new president and chief executive officer, Robert H Lewis.

Effective from 25 April 2012, Lewis will succeed Rick Maloney, who retired from the company last month after serving in the aviation industry for four decades.

Prior to his appointment with Pentastar Lewis served as senior vice president, corporate development for an industrial services company and he was previously president of Everest Fuel Management, an aviation contract fuel provider.

Pentastar Aviation is a provider of business aviation services and it also provides aircraft maintenance, aircraft management services, aviation advisors, avionics design/installation/repair and aircraft charter through Pentastar Aviation Charter Inc.