Shares of Univar Inc (NYSE:UNVR) have received a consensus rating of “Hold” from the nine research firms that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $28.25.
Several research firms recently commented on UNVR. Berenberg Bank downgraded shares of Univar from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $27.00 to $25.00 in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Univar in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. Wells Fargo & Co set a $27.00 price objective on shares of Univar and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, April 8th. Barclays reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $26.00 price objective on shares of Univar in a research report on Wednesday, March 6th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Univar from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of UNVR. Baupost Group LLC MA lifted its position in Univar by 436.4% during the fourth quarter. Baupost Group LLC MA now owns 9,500,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $168,530,000 after purchasing an additional 7,728,900 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Univar during the fourth quarter worth about $71,288,000. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT lifted its position in Univar by 29.8% during the fourth quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 10,971,291 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $194,631,000 after purchasing an additional 2,520,455 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its position in Univar by 25,396.7% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,587,933 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $35,189,000 after purchasing an additional 1,581,705 shares during the period. Finally, Alpine Associates Management Inc. bought a new stake in Univar during the first quarter worth about $19,036,000. 88.75% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.Shares of UNVR stock traded up $0.73 on Thursday, hitting $22.07. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,131,534 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,687,908. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.97, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.64. Univar has a fifty-two week low of $16.33 and a fifty-two week high of $31.23. The company has a market capitalization of $3.79 billion, a PE ratio of 13.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 1.55.
Univar (NYSE:UNVR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 9th. The basic materials company reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.10. Univar had a net margin of 2.00% and a return on equity of 19.35%. The business had revenue of $2.16 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.28 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.42 earnings per share. Univar’s revenue was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Univar will post 1.48 EPS for the current year.
Univar Company Profile
Univar Inc distributes commodity and specialty chemical products, and related services worldwide. It offers herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, seeds, micro and macro nutrients, horticultural products, and fertilizers; storage, packaging, and logistics services for crop protection companies; and pest control products and equipment.
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Another private equity firm is crowding into the independent broker-dealer sector — paying more than $2 billion to buy Advisor Group. The acquisition is poised to be the largest M&A deal of the year across wealth management so far, according to data analyzed by Financial Planning.
Reverence Capital Partners’ affiliated funds will purchase a 75% stake in the four-IBD, 6,500-advisor network from fellow PE firm Lightyear Capital and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada, the parties announced May 9. The selling firms bought Advisor Group from AIG in 2016 for an undisclosed amount.
The sellers and all other current shareholders will retain up to a 25% position in the IBD network under the deal, expected to close in the third quarter, according to the firms. They didn’t disclose financial terms of the deal, but a person familiar with the discussions said the price tag amounted to between $2.1 billion and $2.4 billion.
Goldman Sachs alums Milton Berlinski, Peter Aberg and Alex Chulack launched Reverence in 2013 with a focus on financial services. While Advisor Group would be its first IBD investment, its past and current portfolio firms include Russell Investments, Victory Capital and First Republic.
“Advisor Group is one of the premier wealth management platforms in the U.S. and together with Reverence Capital’s investment, wealth management expertise and industry relationships, the company is uniquely positioned to identify and tackle growth opportunities across the business,” Berlinski said in a statement.
Advisor Group Executive Chairwoman Valerie Brown will remain an investor but retire from the executive role under the deal, according to the company’s news release. CEO Jamie Price will continue serving in his current position.
The parties also plan to set up an advisor recognition and retention program. The firm will reveal more details about the program between the signing of the definitive agreement and the deal’s close.
“Winning in our book is our ability to continue to make significant investments in our business to give our advisors the technology, service and products they need to serve their clients in this fiduciary era and position their businesses for long-term success and growth,” Price said in a statement. “This transaction, which aligns Advisor Group with well-resourced financial partners, accomplishes just that, to the benefit of the financial advisors we’re privileged to serve.”
Private equity firms have helped fuel a record number of M&A transactions across wealth management for six straight years. The IBD sector in particular is gaining several new PE firm entrants willing to pay impressive sums for their footholds.
Global PE firm Warburg Pincus agreed earlier this year to buy a majority stake in Kestra Financial, with the deal reportedly valued at as much as $800 million. Genstar Capital paid $1.7 billion to buy its majority position in Cetera Financial Group in 2018, Bloomberg reported at the time.
Centerbridge Partners — another PE firm — came close to purchasing Advisor Group, according to a Bloomberg report last month. Earlier reports near the beginning of the year had also named Cetera Financial Group parent Genstar Capital as a potential suitor.
The ultimate winning bidder, Reverence’s website describes the firm as specializing in “thematic investing in leading global, middle-market financial services businesses through control and influence oriented investments.”
The firm also identifies several sectors as its main target for investments: bank and non-bank finance, insurance, capital markets, asset management, wealth management, financial technology and services and payments.
Advisor Group boosted its revenue by 21% to $1.7 billion in 2018 on the strength of three M&A deals, including the tuck-in purchase of John Hancock’s Signator Investors into Royal Alliance Associates. FSC Securities, SagePoint Financial and Woodbury Financial Services are its other IBD subsidiaries.
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Goldman Sachs’ millionaire clients are teed up to be among the biggest winners in Uber’s initial public offering this week.
About four years ago, the bank’s private-wealth customers were offered what are known as convertible bonds. In this case, the Uber corporate bonds turn into discounted stock when the ride-hailing company goes public, according to a person familiar with the fundraising.
Uber raked in $1.6 billion in those debt sales to Goldman’s clients, who will now get a 40% discount on Uber stock as it debuts on the New York Stock Exchange, the person told CNBC. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news and financial figures.
Collectively, those clients’ investments will amount to a 3.4% stake in Uber, the person said. That percentage is worth $2.7 billion if Uber prices its shares in the middle of its expected price range, which a source told CNBC this week is likely to happen. The stake results in a $1 billion profit on paper for the Goldman clients in just a matter of years, the person said.
The San Francisco-based start-up is expected to price shares on Thursday and start trading Friday under the symbol “UBER.” On a fully diluted basis, the company’s valuation could come in at $91.51 billion on the high end. At the midpoint of that range, Uber’s valuation would be about $86 billion.
The convertible bond deal let Goldman Sachs clients get a deeper discount on the stock the longer Uber stayed private, the person said. Luckily for certain Goldman clients, Uber remained private for a decade. During that time, the interest on Uber debt also increased. The bonds started out by kicking back 2.5% for investors in the early years and rose to as high as 12.5% this year, the person said.
The Goldman Sachs shareholders are subject to the same lockup rules as the investment bank, which has a separate $500 million investment in Uber, according to The Wall Street Journal report. The bank is barred from selling shares for 6 months, and both Goldman and its clients are not allowed to enter into hedges or any other transactions such as shorting before that lockup period is over, according to the Journal.
Shares of rival Lyft have fallen 30% since its March stock market debut. Some have blamed a hedge related to a trade between billionaire investors Carl Icahn and George Soros for the stock’s underperformance. According to the Journal, Uber’s lawyers combed through Lyft’s lockup agreement for any loopholes that permitted the hedge, looking to close them for Uber ahead of its own IPO.
There are plenty of other winners in Uber’s highly anticipated debut. Softbank Vision Fund is Uber’s largest shareholder. The world’s largest technology investor announced an additional $1 billion investment in Uber’s self-driving vehicle unit just weeks before its initial public offering. Venture capital firm Benchmark is its second-largest shareholder with 8.5% of total shares on the private market, followed by founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick, who was replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi in 2017.
Photo Credit: Built Technologies
Built Technologies, a Nashville, Tennessee-based construction lending software company, announced it has raised $31 million in Series B funding led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners. Index Ventures and Nyca Partners also participated in this round along with Regions Bank, Canapi Ventures, and Nine Four Ventures. Including this round, Built has raised a total of $55 million.
Launched in 2014 by CEO Chase Gilbert and Director of Enterprise Accounts Andrew Sohr, Built Technologies has been growing at a rapid pace. And since 2017, Built has tripled its customer base — which includes a number of leading banks and other key non-bank construction lenders. So far, Built’s platform has helped lenders service over $24 billion of construction loans since launching in 2015.
“We started Built with the desire to bring modern technology and risk management to an area of lending that has been underserved for too long,” said Gilbert. “Our platform is now used by thousands of stakeholders in the construction ecosystem to help ensure money moves into projects with less risk, maximum efficiency, and unrivaled borrower and builder experience.”
With this round of funding, Built is planning to accelerate the development of its platform and better serve the entirety of the construction lending ecosystem. And Built is also planning to continue to expand its client success organization to help push the entire construction finance industry forward.
“Built’s technology platform has demonstrated a strong value proposition to borrowers and lenders alike by streamlining the overall construction loan process, while at the same time increasing transparency,” added Goldman Sachs Investment Partners Venture Capital and Growth Equity co-head Christopher Dawe. “We are excited to partner with Built and help the company maintain its leadership position within the industry.”
Regions’ Head of Corporate Financial Strategy Jamie Gregory pointed out that Built’s technology delivers an enhanced customer experience for borrowers. And Gregory also said that Built provides a more efficient and effective process for lenders that have historically relied on manual processes for construction lending. Regions has seen positive results in early pilots integrating Built’s technology and they are planning to expand it to other areas of construction lending within the company.