M&A; Activity Around The Globe: RLRN, Plato Learning, BAC, BRK-A, QGEP, RDS-A
Thursday, August 25, 2021 11:02 AM

As U.S. stocks trade lower after Warren Buffet’s Bank of America Corp. deal, several M&A activities took place around the world. Some notable M&A activities are discussed here.

Renaissance Learning Receives Acquisition Bid from Plato Learning

Learning software company Renaissance Learning Inc. (Nasdaq: RLRN) has received a new acquisition offer, more than a week after saying it would sell itself to a private equity firm for $440 million. The Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., company said late Wednesday that Plato Learning Inc. made an unsolicited offer of $15.50 per share in cash. The bid is valued at about $454 million, based on Renaissance Learning's more than 29 million outstanding shares as of June 30. The new offer is expected to be financed with equity from Thoma Bravo HarbourVest Partners and JP Morgan. Renaissance Learning, which makes student-assessment and monitoring products for schools from kindergarten through 12th grade, said its board expects to start negotiations on the recent offer. On Aug. 16, Renaissance Learning said its board had approved a deal with Permira Funds in which Permira would pay $14.85 per share for the company. That represented a premium of 25.5 percent over its closing stock price the day before. Renaissance's board advised shareholders to approve the deal. The company said Wednesday its board still recommends the Permira offer, but the Plato offer may lead to a better deal. RLRN was up 6.27 percent to $15.43 on Thursday.

Berkshire Hathaway to Invest $5 Billion in BofA

Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) announced today that it reached an agreement to sell 50,000 shares of cumulative perpetual preferred stock with a liquidation value of $100,000 per share to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) in a private offering. The preferred stock has a dividend of 6 percent per annum, payable in equal quarterly installments, and is redeemable by the company at any time at a 5 percent premium. In conjunction with this agreement, Berkshire Hathaway will also receive warrants to purchase 700 million shares of Bank of America common stock at an exercise price of $7.142857 per share. The warrants may be exercised in whole or in part at any time, and from time to time, during the 10-year period following the closing date of the transaction. The aggregate purchase price to be received by Bank of America for the preferred stock and warrants is $5 billion in cash. Shares of BofA surged 19.31 percent to $8.34 after the announcement. BRK-A was trading higher by 0.84 percent to $107,243 on Thursday.

Brazil’s Oil & Gas Company Buys Shell Stake in Offshore Block

Braziliian Oil & Gas company QGEP said Wednesday that it bought a 30 percent stake in the offshore BS-4 block from Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A), advancing its efforts to expand in the country's fast-growing oil industry. QGEP, controlled by Brazilian construction giant Queiroz Galvao, purchased the stake in the block located in the Santos Basin. Shell owned a 40 percent stake. The purchase price was not disclosed. A Shell official last year said the block likely held 2 billion barrels of oil. Other partners in the block include Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras. The sale will require approval from Brazil's ANP oil regulator. QGEP in July purchased half of Shell's 20 percent stake in BM-S-8, another Santos Basin block. Shell had previously announced a plan to exit four offshore blocks to focus development efforts on other Brazilian assets. RDS-A was trading lower by 1.79 percent to $63.73 on Thursday.