Advent International agreed to acquire the global connect business of Nielsen, American information, data and market measurement firm, for $2.7bn. Nielsen will also receive warrants in the new company exercisable in certain circumstances. Advent will carry out the transaction in partnership with James Peck, former CEO of TransUnion, an American consumer credit reporting agency.
"The sale of this business to Advent will deliver substantial value sooner than was anticipated through the planned spin-off and creates certainty for all stakeholders. The proceeds from the sale will allow Nielsen to significantly reduce debt, which will provide greater financial flexibility to execute our growth strategy and expand our role in the global media marketplace," David Kenny, Nielsen CEO.
Advent is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, RBC Capital Markets, UBS, Ropes & Gray, and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, RBC Capital Markets, UBS and Wells Fargo Securities. Nielsen is advised by Guggenheim Partners, JP Morgan, Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm specializing in infrastructure investing, agreed to acquire Astound Broadband, a cable operator in the United States that operates regional providers, from investors TPG Capital and Patriot Media Management for $8.1bn.
"As we continue to grow our platform, our core objectives remain the same: to deliver exceptional service to our customers and communities, a best-in-class experience for our employees, and outstanding results for our investors. Our mission and management vision are aligned with Stonepeak and we very much look forward to our partnership with them," Steve Simmons, Patriot Media Chairman.
Astound is advised by JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Seyfarth Shaw and Matter Communications. Stonepeak is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lazard and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Yamana Gold, a Canadian-based precious metals producer, agreed to acquire Monarch Gold, a Canadian gold company, for $114m.
"A project the size of Wasamac needed a strategic alliance with a good developer and operator with a track record of success in similar styled mineralization and we believe this transaction is in the best interests of the shareholders. The exploration potential offered in the 200 km² eastern Abitibi region will continue to grow for the shareholders in the well-funded newly formed corporation. Finally, the cash component of the offer will permit the long-time shareholders to reduce their initial cost," Jean-Marc Lacoste, Monarch President and CEO.
Monarch is advised by Stifel and Stein Monast. Yamana is advised by Canaccord Genuity, Berenberg, Peel Hunt, Tavistock Communications and Cassels Brock & Blackwell.
KPS-backed Lufkin Industries, an American manufacturing company, completed the acquisition of rod lift business of Schlumberger, an oilfield services company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to combine Lufkin and Schlumberger's Rod Lift Business, which together have an unparalleled reputation for reliability, superior technology, innovation, customer service and global footprint. KPS Partner Ryan Baker, leveraging KPS' significant capital resources and global platform, is successfully leading a team that is building Lufkin through the acquisition of complementary businesses, technologies and products that serve the upstream sector of the energy business. KPS is committed to expanding the Lufkin platform despite unprecedented volatility in the energy business, which will benefit customers of Lufkin and Schlumberger's Rod Lift Business," Michael Psaros, KPS Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner.
Lufkin is advised by Simmons Energy, Dentons and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Schlumberger is advised by PPHB Energy Investment Banking and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a holding company which comprises regulated energy businesses that generate, transmit, store, distribute, and supply electricity and natural gas, completed the acquisition of Gas Transmission & Storage assets of Dominion Energy, an American power and energy company, for $9.7bn.
"This narrowing of focus will also allow us to increase our long-term earnings growth rate guidance by around 30%. Our rebased dividend policy better reflects our revised operating and financial strengths, aligns with our best-in-class industry peers and allows us to grow our dividend much more rapidly than before," Thomas F. Farrell, II, Dominion Energy Chairman, President, and CEO.
Berkshire Hathaway was advised by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Dominion was advised by Barclays, Morgan Stanley and McGuireWoods.
AE Industrial Partners-backed Belcan, a global supplier of engineering, supply chain, technical recruiting, and information technology services, completed the acquisition of Telesis, a technology services and solutions firm serving defence and civilian federal government customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of Telesis is transformational for Belcan's Government IT Solutions business, immediately adding complementary capabilities and greater scale. Telesis not only has close, long-term relationships with leading federal customers, but its solutions and services are well-aligned with future federal spending priorities in the US," Lance Kwasniewski, Belcan CEO.
Telesis was advised by G Squared Capital Partners and Morrison & Foerster. Belcan was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kirkland & Ellis and Lambert & Co.
Dana, an American supplier of axles, driveshafts and transmissions, agreed to acquire the majority stake in automotive business of Modine Manufacturing, a diversified thermal management technology and solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This transaction accelerates Modine's transformation to become a diversified industrial company with higher operating margins, lower capital intensity and greater free cash flow generation. The enhanced operating profile resulting from this transaction is a critical component of our strategic objectives and will allow us to provide additional capital and resources to accelerate the growth of our commercial HVAC and data center businesses. We are pleased to have completed this phase of the process and are excited to take the next steps in our strategic growth plan," Michael B. Lucareli, Modine Interim CEO.
Dana is advised by Citigroup, Hogan Lovells and Hunton Andrews Kurth. Modine is advised by JP Morgan and Latham & Watkins.
Ericsson, a Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company, completed the acquisition of Cradlepoint, a provider of 4G and 5G enterprise solutions, from Mercato Partners, a private equity firm, for $1.1bn.
"Together, we will power solutions to the customer edge that help improve productivity and deliver real-time services, enabling us to drive faster adoption of 5G in enterprise segments. This is good news for our customers as it helps them to accelerate their returns on 5G investments," Åsa Tamsons, Ericsson Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Technologies & New Businesses.
Cradlepoint was advised Latham & Watkins and Highwire PR. Ericsson was advised by Paul Hastings.
Construction Partners, a vertically integrated civil infrastructure company specializing in the construction and maintenance of roadways across five southeastern states, completed the acquisition of Rose Brothers Paving, an asphalt and paving contractor based in Ahoskie, North Carolina. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are bullish on the North Carolina market and believe that long-term demographic trends and recent transportation funding initiatives are creating tailwinds for infrastructure and economic development in the state. As a result of the Rose Brothers transaction and our previously announced acquisition of Riley Paving, Inc. in October, we now have 15 hot-mix asphalt plants strategically located throughout North Carolina and 45 hot-mix asphalt plants company-wide," Fred J. Smith, III, Construction Partners COO.
Construction Partners was advised by Dennard Lascar
OpenGate Capital, a global private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Aurotech, a provider of digital services and business solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"OpenGate Capital is a great partner for Aurotech and through this investment we have a unique opportunity to continue building on the brand and the legacy we have created. We plan to accelerate our efforts to grow through our people, technology, systems, and service offerings to ultimately increase the value we deliver to our customers," Hetal Patel, Aurotech President and CEO.
Global Infrastructure Solutions, a construction company, completed the merger with The LiRo Group, an architecture, engineering and construction firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"LiRo represents our initial building block in GISI's new Global Engineering and Consulting Platform and complements what we have achieved in Construction Services with STO Building Group which merged with us in January 2017," John M. Dionisio, GISI Vice Chairman and Co-Founder.
BWC Terminals to acquire Texas terminals from NuStar Energy for $100m.
BWC Terminals, a provider of bulk liquid storage and logistics services to refiners, agreed to acquire Texas terminals from NuStar Energy, an independent liquids terminal and pipeline operator.
"While the Texas City terminals are great assets with outstanding operations and employees, the location and unique configuration of these terminals are no longer synergistic with NuStar's strategies for our other Gulf Coast assets. For this reason, we determined that the best path forward for the continued success of these facilities and NuStar is to allow them to be acquired by an entity that can take advantage of the terminals' niche petrochemical and petroleum capabilities. We are pleased that BWC Terminals has just such a business model," Brad Barron, NuStar President and CEO.
NuStar is advised by Barclays.
Starwood REIT acquires multifamily affordable housing portfolio in Mid-Atlantic and Sun Belt markets. (RE)
Starwood Real Estate Income Trust, a non-traded REIT managed by Starwood REIT Advisors, a subsidiary of Starwood Capital Group, acquired two affordable housing portfolios with a combined 4618 units located in 32 communities. With this acquisition, controlled affiliates of Starwood Capital own or are under contract to purchase more than 34k affordable housing units across the country, making the Starwood entities collectively a top-three owner of such units. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"These transactions are an extension of SREIT's successful investments in the affordable multifamily housing sector, providing us with a unique opportunity to acquire high-quality, well-located assets in scale. These investments have good downside protection provided by highly occupied properties with in-place rents that are 26% below comparable market-rate apartment rents, thus generating strong and dependable cash flow," Mark Keatley, Starwood Capital Managing Director.
StorageVault to acquire 14 storage locations for $220m. (RE)
StorageVault has agreed to acquire 13 stores and 1 piece of vacant land from six vendor groups for an aggregate purchase price of $220m subject to customary adjustments.
Nine of the assets are located in Ontario, two in Quebec, two in Alberta and one in Nova Scotia. Two of the stores are in lease-up, and two of the stores are scheduled to open shortly. The acquisitions will result in StorageVault owning 168 stores and owning and managing 209 across Canada.
AMS, an Austrian electronics company, offered shareholders who did not sell their shares in Osram, a German multinational lighting manufacturer, a 2% cash compensation increase.
AMS currently has 71% interest in Osram. The target company will host an extraordinary general meeting on Tuesday at which shareholders could approve a domination agreement with AMS.
Osram is advised by Lazard, Perella Weinberg Partners, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gleiss Lutz, Hengeler Mueller and Finsbury Glover Hering. Financial advisors of Osram are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. AMS is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, UBS, Herbst Kinsky, Linklaters, Schellenberg Wittmer and Brunswick Group. Financial advisors of AMS are advised by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
Sanofi, a a global biopharmaceutical company, offered to acquire Kiadis, a clinical-stage company developing cell-based immunotherapy products, for $358m. Companies entered into an agreement pursuant to which Sanofi will make a public offer (subject to satisfaction of certain customary conditions) to acquire the entire share capital of Kiadis.
"We believe the Kiadis' off the shelf' K-NK cell technology platform will have broad application against liquid and solid tumors, and create synergies with Sanofi's emerging immuno-oncology pipeline, providing opportunities for us to pursue potential best-in-disease approaches," John Reed, Sanofi Global Head of Research & Development.
Kiadis is advised by Moelis & Co, Allen & Overy, LifeSpring Life Sciences Communication and Optimum Strategic Communications. Sanofi is advised by PJT Partners and NautaDutilh.
The Competition and Markets Authority is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.
Tronox is advised by Credit Suisse, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Wikborg Rein. Eramet is advised by Clifford Chance.
Bandwidth, an enterprise cloud communications company, completed the acquisition of Voxbone, a Belgian a communication as a service company, from Vitruvian Partners, a European private equity firm, for €446m ($527m).
"We are bringing together leading domestic and international enterprise cloud communications platforms to supercharge global cloud communications for our customers. Bandwidth's deep US presence and Voxbone's world-wide platform across 60+ countries will serve enterprises in countries representing 93% of global GDP. Today's announcement accelerates our international strategy by several years. Our current and future customers will benefit from using a unified software platform, network and team to serve people around the world," David Morken, Bandwidth Co-founder, Chairman and CEO.
Voxbone was advised by Goldman Sachs and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Bandwidth was advised by Morgan Stanley and Latham & Watkins.
Liontrust Asset Management, a specialist fund management company, completed the acquisition of Architas UK investment business from AXA for $92m.
"This is an important strategic acquisition for Liontrust. Completing the purchase expands our distribution among financial advisers through the scale of the combined multi-asset businesses, the strength of the merged investment team, the broad range of multi-asset multi-manager portfolios and funds and enhanced client service," John Ions, Liontrust Chief Executive.
AXA was advised by Fenchurch Advisory Partners and Linklaters. Liontrust was advised by N+1 Singer, Simmons & Simmons and Panmure Gordon & Co.
APG Group, a Dutch pension fund, completed the acquisition of the remaining 50% stake in VIa Outlets, an operator of shopping centres, from Hammerson, a property development and investment company, for $357m.
The transaction is based on a gross asset value for Hammerson's share of the VIA portfolio of $750m and represents a net initial yield of 6.5% and an 18.3% discount to gross asset value as at 30 June 2020.
Hammerson was advised by Stibbe and FTI Consulting.
Commerzbank, a international commercial bank, completed the acquisition of comdirect bank, by published the offer document relating to the voluntary public acquisition offer for all the outstanding shares for £9.75 ($12.6) per share in cash representing £258m ($334m).
Following the merger, Commerzbank and comdirect will initially continue to operate their service offering as before. However, the aim is to merge and expand the offerings of the two banks. The new joint business model still needs to be defined and negotiated with the employee representatives.
Commerzbank was advised by Hengeler Mueller and FTI Consulting.
Statkraft, a company in the hydropower industry, agreed to acquire Solarcentury, a global solar power company, for $152m.
"This acquisition is in line with our strategy to ramp up as a wind and solar developer and become one of the leading renewable energy companies globally. Just like hydropower and solar power complement each other, Statkraft and Solarcentury are an excellent fit in terms of purpose and people. Joining forces will accelerate our growth and continue to drive the energy transition forward," Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, Statkraft CEO.
IFS, which develops and delivers enterprise software for customers around the world, completed the acquisition of Clevest Solutions, the provider of mobile workforce management and advanced network deployment solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Clevest demonstrates a clear commitment to delivering value for its customers in a key industry vertical for us. Clevest is already leveraging technology that brings unique business value to its customers, including Smart Metering, Smart Networks, Mobile Workforce Management and additional capabilities around optimization of scheduling dispatch-all with the ability to digitize core processes across the use cases that matter most to utilities," Darren Roos, IFS CEO.
Alcazar Energy considers sale. (FS)
Dubai-based Alcazar Energy has resumed a strategic review that could culminate in a sale of the company at an enterprise value of about $1bn, Bloomberg reported.
The renewable-energy developer has been working with Standard Chartered and hopes to complete the process during the first half of 2021.
The company had begun reviewing its options at the start of the year, but those plans were put on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Alcazar had then attracted interest from local, regional and international players, both trade and private equity firms.
Rolls-Royce plans divestment of Bergen engines unit.
Rolls-Royce Holdings has hired Deloitte to conduct the sale of its diesel and gas engine division Bergen, which could fetch up to £100m ($129m), Bloombergreported.
Germany's MAN and Finland's Wartsila could be potential buyers, and a sale is expected early next year. The Bergen unit, which produces engines that generate electricity to power ships, posted an underlying operating loss of £18m ($23m) on sales of £239m ($310m), and took a £58m ($75m) impairment last year.
Ares Management offered to acquire AMP, a financial services company in Australia and New Zealand, for $4.5bn.
Ares' proposal is at an implied value of $1.35 per AMP share. AMP emphasises the preliminary nature of the proposal and discussions between itself and Ares, and that there is no guarantee that a transaction will eventuate and no certainty with regards to price.
Loyal Valley Capital, a thematic, research-driven private equity firm, led a $186m Series C round for CARsgen Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on innovation and development of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapeutics. LVC was joined by investors Lilly Asia Ventures, Shiyu Capital, and Summer Capital and South China Venture Capital.
"I am pleased that CARsgen has repeatedly received recognition and support from leading financial institutes and professional investors. This Series C funding will accelerate CARsgen's ongoing clinical trials in China, the United States, and Europe, and will support expanding our commercial manufacturing facilities. It advances the company's global development activities as we work to launch CARsgen's leading products for the benefit of cancer patients worldwide," Dr. Zonghai Li, CARsgen Founder, President, CEO, and CSO.
Shell acquired the remaining 51% stake in Chongqing Doyen for $149m.
Royal Dutch Shell, an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company, acquired remaining 51% stake in Chongqing Doyen, one of its gas station joint ventures in China, for $149m, according to Bloomberg.
Royal Dutch Shel now possesses the full control of the joint venture in an attempt to increase its presence in the Chinese economy.
India's National Investment and Infrastructure Fund invests $4.3bn in road assets. (FS)
India's National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, backed by the federal government and others, including Canadian pension firms and sovereign wealth funds, has purchased its first road assets.
NIIF, which has a corpus of $4.3bn, acquired Essel Devanahalli Tollway in the southern state of Karnataka and Essel Dichpally Tollway in Telangana through its NIIF Master Fund. The projects will be managed by NIIF's proprietary platform Athaang Infrastructure.
"Over the next few years, we aspire to invest approximately $1bn of equity capital into road assets, along with our co-investors. The Indian roads sector offers a strong pipeline for investments through acquisition of operating road assets including annuity/hybrid annuity projects by Indian developers and asset monetization plan of the government," Vinod Giri, NIIF managing partner.
Watchdogs held talks with Ant as China releases draft online lending rules.
The People's Bank of China, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, as well as the country's banking and insurance regulator and forex regulator held the talks with Ant's controlling shareholder Ma, its executive chairman Eric Jing and chief executive Simon Hu, a CSRC statement as Beijing published new draft rules for online micro-lending.
Ant, backed by Alibaba Group, is China's dominant mobile payments firm, offering loans, payments, insurance and asset management, and is set to raise about $34.4bn in the world's largest IPO.
The draft micro-lending rules, which were published separately by the central bank and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, set a CNY5bn ($748m) registered capital threshold for micro-lenders that offer loans online across different regions.
Tencent-backed Laobaixing considers merging with Yixintang.
Laobaixing and Yixintang Pharmaceutical Group are in advanced talks to create the China's biggest drugstore chain via a share swap. Laobaixing's founders, Xie Zilong and Chen Xiulan, are expected to have a bigger stake in the merged firm than Yixintang's founder Ruan Hongxian, DealStreetAsia reported.
Shanghai-listed Laobaixing, formally known as LBX Pharmacy Chain Joint Stock Company and which boasts Tencent Holdings as a backer, has a market value of around $4.4bn, while Shenzhen-listed Yixintang is valued at about $3.5bn.
The talks have been ongoing for more than three months. The firms are aiming to finalize and announce the deal in the coming days, adding that Laobaixing would remain the listed entity.
CICC surges 33% in its Shanghai debut.
China International Capital surged 33% in its debut on the Shanghai stock exchange as investors bet the country's fifth-biggest securities firm will benefit from a government push to accelerate capital market reforms.
One of the lead underwriters for the world's biggest IPO from Ant Group, CICC raised roughly $2bn in its own share offering to fund expansion plans.
Its shares rose as much as 44%, the limit allowed for debuts on Shanghai's main board, although they later pared gains to stand at CNY37.7 ($5.61). Even so, its Shanghai shares are currently trading at a premium of 144% to its Hong Kong-listed shares.
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