Cenovus Energy, a Canadian integrated oil and natural gas company, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Husky Energy, a Canadian-based energy company, has been amalgamated with Cenovus under the provisions of the Canada Business Corporations Act. The company will continue to operate as Cenovus Energy.
As a result of the amalgamation, Husky will no longer be required to file reports with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada or the United States.
Husky Energy was advised by CIBC World Markets, Goldman Sachs, Norton Rose Fulbright, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt and Joele Frank. Financial advisors were advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Cenovus was advised by RBC Capital Markets, TD Securities, Bennett Jones and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. CK Hutchinson was advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Stikeman Elliott.
Analog Devices, a US chipmaker, gained unconditional EU antitrust clearance for its $21bn acquisition of Maxim Integrated, a designer, rmanufacturer and distributor of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, Reuters reported.
ADI is seeking to boost its market share in automotive and 5G chipmaking with the deal, enabling it to compete with larger competitors, including Texas Instruments.
Analog Devices is advised by Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, and Teneo. Financial advisors are advised by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Sullivan & Cromwell. Maxim Integrated is advised by JP Morgan and Weil Gotshal and Manges. JP Morgan is advised by Latham & Watkins.
One Rock Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and Metropoulos & Co, a family-owned investment firm, completed the acquisition of Nestle Waters North America, a North American business unit of Nestle Waters, that produces and distributes numerous brands of bottled water, from Nestle, a Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate corporation, for $4.3bn.
"Nestlé Waters North America's iconic brands have earned the trust and preference of consumers everywhere due to an uncompromising commitment to quality. We are excited to further this commitment and build upon the market leadership of the business alongside the company's talented management team," Tony W. Lee, One Rock Managing Partner.
Nestle was advised by Mayer Brown. One Rock was advised by RBC Capital Markets, Latham & Watkins, Stikeman Elliott and Gasthalter & Co. Metropoulos was advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and LAK Public Relations.
Private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners completed the investment in Fenway Sports Group, a global sports, marketing, media, entertainment, and real estate platform, a $7.4bn valuation.
"Fenway Sports Group is unique not only for the quality of its sports properties and assets, but for the highly disciplined, results-oriented organization that John, Tom, Mike and the FSG team have built over the past 20 years. RedBird shares the same passion for performance-driven investing, business operations, fan experience and service to the community. We look forward to contributing our experience growing premier sports properties and working alongside this tremendous leadership team, including our fellow new owners LeBron, Maverick and Paul," Gerry Cardinale, RedBird Founder and Managing Partner.
FSG was advised by Bank of America and Shearman & Sterling. RedBird was advised by Goldman Sachs, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, Gagnier Communications and Principal Communications Group.
Earthstone Energy, a growth-oriented, independent energy company, agreed to acquire the Midland Basin assets of Tracker Resource Development, which explores and produces oil and gas, for $126m.
"This acquisition, on the heels of closing the IRM acquisition in early January, is a complementary next step in what we view as continued progress of our consolidation strategy. We paid an attractive price for this producing asset, and while the inventory may not fit into our capital plans this year, the 49 drilling locations represent low-risk and repeatable upside value not included in our purchase price valuation. These low-cost assets will continue our efforts to reduce overall per-unit cash costs and deliver high operating margins. We intend to continue seeking other value-enhancing transactions that increase our operational and corporate cost efficiencies while maintaining financial discipline, ultimately benefitting our shareholders via stock price appreciation," Robert J. Anderson, Earthstone President and CEO.
Earthstone is advised by Northland Capital Partners, Jones & Keller and Richards Layton and Finger. Tracker Resource Development is advised by Jefferies & Company, Davis Graham & Stubbs and Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley.
Francisco Partners, a global investment firm, agreed to acquire BARBRI, a bar review course provider, from Leeds Equity Partners, a New York-based private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"BARBRI's data-driven approach to legal education allows it to deliver mission-critical outcomes to students, universities, and legal professionals around the world. We have long admired the company that Steve Fredette and team have built, and we look forward to leveraging our expertise and track record investing in education technology to drive future growth at BARBRI," Jason Brein, Francisco Partner.
Francisco Partners is advised by Raymond James, Kirkland & Ellis and Sloane & Company. Leeds Equity Partners is advised by Centerview Partners, Robert W Baird and Latham & Watkins.
VyStar, a company offering deposit and loan services, investments, insurance, retirement planning and financial counseling, agreed to acquire Heritage Southeast Bank, a state chartered commercial bank. VyStar will pay HSBI $27 per share in cash.
“VyStar has made an ongoing strategic commitment to search for partnerships that help us bring the benefits of credit union membership to more people while reinforcing our position as a strong and reliable financial institution with better rates and lower fees for all our members. HSB has exceeded our expectations as the optimal partner to help us expand our footprint and ensure financial services are accessible to more Georgia residents," Brian Wolfburg, VyStar President and CEO.
VyStar is advised by Raymond James and McGuireWoods. Heritage Southeast Bank is advised by Hovde Group, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Latitude 34 PR, and The IR Group.
The $2.2bn acquisition of Seven Generations Energy, an energy producer, by ARC Resources, a Canadian oil and gas producer, has been approved by both companies' shareholders, creating an energy firm with a dominant presence in the country's premier Montney shale region.
More than 95% of votes cast by ARC Resources' shareholders at a special meeting supported the deal. Seven Generations' shareholders also voted in favor of the transaction.
Seven Generations is advised by CIBC World Markets, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Stikeman Elliott. ARC Resources is advised by RBC Capital Markets and Burnet Duckworth & Palmer.
Kaiser Aluminum, a producer of semi-fabricated specialty aluminum products, completed the acquisition of Alcoa Warrick, containing all the assets of the Warrick Rolling Mill, from Alcoa, an American industrial corporation, for $670m.
"With Warrick's solid market position, highly favorable market dynamics and a strong and culturally compatible management team, the acquisition provides us an opportunity to significantly enhance and diversify our portfolio," Keith A. Harvey, Kaiser Aluminum President and CEO.
Alcoa was advised by Credit Suisse and Jones Day. Kaiser Aluminum was advised by Deloitte, Jefferies & Company and McDermott Will & Emery.
Marriott Vacations Worldwide, a company operating hotels, completed the acquisition of Welk Resorts, a portfolio of vacation resorts, for $430m.
"It is bittersweet after 57 wonderful years of memories and accomplishments to be welcoming a new owner for Welk Resorts. We are confident in MVW and its shared commitment to excellence. Our board and family recognized that its vision, resources and globally-recognized brand ensure the best long-term future for our valued team members and Owners," Jon Fredricks, Welk Resorts President and CEO.
Marriott Vacations was advised by JP Morgan and BakerHostetler. Welk Resorts was advised by Baker Tilly, Bank of America, and Hogan Lovells.
Merck, a global healthcare company, completed the acquisition of Pandion Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics designed to address the unmet needs of patients living with autoimmune diseases, for $1.85bn.
“This acquisition builds upon Merck’s strategy to identify and secure candidates with differentiated and potentially foundational characteristics. Pandion has applied its TALON technology to develop a robust pipeline of candidates designed to re-balance the immune response with potential applications across a wide array of autoimmune diseases,” Dean Y. Li, Merck President of Research Laboratories.
Merck was advised by Credit Suisse and Covington & Burling. Pandion Therapeutics was advised by Centerview Partners and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
NextEra Energy, an energy company, completed the acquisition of GridLiance, an energy transmission company, from Blackstone, a private equity firm, for $600m.
"We are very excited to be joining NextEra Energy Transmission at a pivotal time in the company's development. Our unique capabilities, proven track record, and tremendous growth prospects, coupled with NextEra's experience as a leading transmission owner, make this a great fit for both companies. We are also grateful for the support of Blackstone in founding GridLiance and for working closely with management over several years to build the company into a leading business focused on improving transmission system reliability and partnering with public power entities," Calvin Crowder, GridLiance President and CEO.
GridLiance was advised by Goldman Sachs and Kirkland & Ellis. NextEra Energy was advised by Wells Fargo Securities and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.
CarMax, a retailer of used autos, agreed to acquire the remaining stake in Edmunds, an online guide for automotive information, for $354m.
With this acquisition, CarMax and Edmunds accelerate their respective capabilities to deliver an enhanced digital experience to their customers by leveraging Edmunds’ compelling content and technology, CarMax’s unparalleled national scale and infrastructure, and the combined talent of both companies.
Edmunds is advised by Evercore and Sullivan & Cromwell. CarMax is advised by Goldman Sachs and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
J.F. Lehman & Company, a middle-market private equity firm, completed the investment in Trillium Engineering, a designer and manufacturer of highly engineered camera gimbals for unmanned aerial systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"J.F. Lehman & Company represents strong alignment with our goal to partner with a firm possessing the experience and track record to support our continued technical and commercial evolution. We look forward to leveraging the firm's unique sector expertise as we continue to provide our customers with innovative solutions that meet and exceed their ever-evolving mission requirements," Rob Gilchrist, Trillium President.
Trillium was advised by Houlihan Lokey and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton. J.F. Lehman was advised by BakerHostetler and Jones Day.
Virginia National Bankshares, the parent holding company of Virginia National Bank, completed the merger with Fauquier Bankshares, the parent holding company of The Fauquier Bank. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The enhanced scale and complementary business lines resulting from this transaction provides the best opportunity for both banks to better serve our major constituencies: our clients, our employees, our shareholders and our communities. We are committed to using the best practices of both companies to increase our market share across Virginia," Marc J. Bogan, The Fauquier Bank President and CEO.
Virginia National Bankshares was advised by Performance Trust Capital Partners and Williams Mullen. Fauquier Bankshares was advised by Piper Sandler and Troutman Pepper.
InstarAGF Asset Management, an independent alternative asset management firm, completed the acquisition of LS Networks, a fibre-optic network operator. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"LS Networks is a premier essential digital infrastructure platform with an established operating history, deep, diverse customer relationships and attractive growth profile. We are delighted to partner with the leading provider of innovative solutions in the Pacific Northwest to help extend competitive fiber connectivity and advanced technologies to bridge the digital divide in our communities," Jack Bittan, InstarAGF Partner.
LS Networks was advised by Stifel and Davis Wright Tremaine. InstarAGF was advised by Wells Fargo Securities and DLA Piper.
United Kingdom referred Facebook's acquisition of Giphy, a web-based animated gif search engine and platform provider, for an in-depth probe after the US social media company told the country’s competition watchdog it would not be offering any undertakings to address its concerns, Reuters reported.
The regulator last week gave Facebook and Giphy five working days to offer proposals to address its concerns over their merger deal.
Facebook was advised by Latham & Watkins. Giphy was advised by JP Morgan and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian.
TriumphPay, a payment processing platform, agreed to acquire HubTran, a cloud-based provider of automation software for the transportation industry's back-office, for $97m.
"Combining TriumphPay and HubTran will allow us to create a fully integrated payments network for transportation servicing brokers and factors. The network will be open to all joining participants and will provide tools and services to create frictionless presentment, settlement and payment of invoices in transportation. The future of freight payments looks very different starting today, and we are excited to bring this transformational product to the industry for the benefit of all participants," Jordan Graft, TriumphPay CEO.
TriumphPay is advised by Bank of America and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
iHeartMedia, an American mass media corporation, completed the acquisition of Triton Digital, a digital audio technology and advertising company, from E.W. Scripps, a broadcasting company, for $230m.
"The sale of Triton creates significant value for Scripps' shareholders and employees, as we close a chapter on our growth of digital audio businesses through a series of successful transactions and a focus on prudent operations, including our core TV business. We believe iHeartMedia is a perfect fit for Triton Digital given their focus and position as the leader in audio solutions," Adam Symson, Scripps President and CEO.
iHeartMedia was advised by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
FountainVest Partners and ClearVue Partners led a $220m funding round in Plus, provider of self-driving truck technology, with participation from Quanta Computer, Phi Zoyi Capital, Millennium Technology Value Partners, Sequoia Capital China, SAIC Capital, and Full Truck Alliance.
"Plus is the only autonomous trucking company to start mass production of its autonomous driving system this year and this investment will help fuel plans to bring our automated trucks to market. We are grateful to our investors, partners, customers, and team for sharing in our vision to make trucking safer and greener," David Liu, Plus CEO and Co-founder.
Hamilton Lane, an alternative investment management firm, agreed to invest $90m in Russell Investments, an outsourced CIO provider and global investment solutions firm.
"Given increasing market complexities and rising needs around financial security, fiduciaries are looking for partners that can seamlessly provide tailored, differentiated investment solutions. This partnership demonstrates our 85-year fiduciary commitment to provide comprehensive, leading-edge investment solutions and risk management to our clients. The resulting one-stop access to extensive private and public markets capabilities is, I believe, unmatched in our industry today," Michelle Seitz, Russell Investments Chairman and CEO.
Hamilton Lane and Russell Investments are advised by Edelman.
KKR & Co agreed to acquire The Exchange, a 750,000-square-foot Class A office complex, from Kilroy Realty, a real estate investment trust, for $1bn.
"We are thrilled to be building on our deep commitment to the West Coast real estate market with the purchase of this premier property in Mission Bay, a highly attractive location serving as a world-class innovation center," Justin Pattner, KKR Partner and Head of Real Estate Equity in the Americas.
A consortium led by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, an infrastructure asset manager, agreed to acquire the US motorways business of Autogrill, an Italian multinational company, operates in various countries offering food and beverage and retail services, for $375m. Other bidders include Applegreen, an operator of service stations, and B&J Holdings.
The parties expect to close the transaction in the summer of 2021, subject to receipt of necessary governmental approvals as well as consent from landlords.
Dragoneer led a $250m Series E round in Tonal, a strength and personal training platform, with participation from Cobalt Capital, L Catterton and Sapphire Ventures.
"Our growth over the last year underscores the changing fitness landscape. People want smarter, more connected ways to work out. With this new capital, we will continue to demonstrate how intelligent fitness will fundamentally change the way people train and maintain their health. We plan to use this funding to further our investments in product and content and scale our operations so that we can get more Tonals to more people faster," Aly Orady, Tonal CEO.
Recticell, the Belgium-based specialist in polyurethane chemistry, completed the acquisition of FoamPartner, a global provider of technical foam solutions, from Conzzeta, a global holding company, for $281m.
"This transaction is a unique opportunity for Recticel to expand its product offering in technical and specialty foam solutions and to further increase our global reach in Asia and North-America. We look forward to welcoming our many new and highly skilled colleagues from FoamPartner. Looking ahead, this acquisition supports our ambition to become a global provider of engineered foam solutions and will create significant value for our customers, employees and all other stakeholders. In conjunction with today's announcement, Recticel has launched a strategic review to evaluate the future of the Bedding business segment within Recticel, which progressively becomes a Group primarily focused on Insulation and Engineered Foams," Olivier Chapelle, Recticel CEO.
Recticell was advised by Eight Advisory, Bain & Co, JP Morgan, Allen & Overy and Bar & Karrer. Debt financing was provided by BNP Paribas, Belfius Bank and KBC Securities. Conzzeta was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, ERM Group, McKinsey & Company, Lincoln International, Gleiss Lutz and Walder Wyss.
Private equity firm EQT Partners completed the acquisition of the natural colors business of Chr. Hansen, a global developer and manufacturer of natural coloring ingredients for food and beverages, for $930m.
"The completion of the acquisition marks an important milestone on this journey, and we are excited to welcome all of the Natural Colors employees and the new board to the wider EQT family. Together, we will accelerate the transition from artificial coloring components to more sustainable and natural ingredients," Mads Ditlevsen, EQT Partner.
EQT was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Boston Consulting Group, JP Morgan, Nordea Bank, Accura Advokatpartnerselskab, Winston & Strawn, Kekst CNC and Netlight. Chr. Hansen was advised by Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Baker McKenzie and Gorrissen Federspiel.
Ultra Clean Holdings, a developer and supplier of critical subsystems, ultra-high purity cleaning and analytical services primarily for the semiconductor industry, completed the acquisition of Ham-Let, a manufacturer of instrumentation and valves and fittings, subsea valves, large bore cryogenic valves and gas delivery systems, for $348m.
"This transaction represents a significant benefit to Ham-Let, its employees, its customers and its shareholders. By leveraging UCT's global footprint, we can deliver a broader range of solutions and increase the combined company's strategic relevance to its customers. We look forward to working closely with UCT to ensure a smooth transition," Amir Widmann, Ham-Let CEO.
Ham-Let was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Naschitz Brandes Amir. UCT was advised by Barclays, Needham & Co, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Meitar Law Offices. Debt financing was provided by Barclays.
Utmost Group, a provider life assurance, agreed to acquire Quilter International, an investment platform provider of cross-border investment solutions, for $665m.
"This is a highly attractive acquisition for Utmost and underscores the importance of our Utmost International business. Quilter International is highly complementary to our existing International business from both an operational, product and distribution perspective. I look forward to welcoming all the staff, customers and distribution partners to our Group. We are delighted to work with Quilter on this transaction and look forward to a productive partnership in the future," Paul Thompson, Utmost CEO.
Quilter is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Camarco, and Allen & Overy. Utmost Group is advised by Temple Bar Advisory.
Inspired Education, an international provider of private schools, agreed to acquire Wey Education, the AIM-listed holding company of an educational group providing services online worldwide, for £70m ($97m).
"We are pleased to receive the recommendation from the Board of Directors for the acquisition of Wey Education, a long-term leader in online education with a strong reputation in the UK and international markets. We believe this represents an exciting development for both Inspired and Wey Education, which will support the Combined Group's growth nationally and internationally. Wey Education, which is providing a British curriculum education through its online live teaching and learning platform, will now be able to benefit from the support of a global schools group with leading educational experts, strong brand recognition, and premium physical facilities across the globe," Nadim Nsouli, Inspired Founder, Chairman and CEO.
Wey Education is advised by WH Ireland, DAC Beachcroft and Alma PR. Inspired is advised by Rothschild & Co and Stephenson Harwood.
Enad Global 7, a Swedish video game holding company, completed the acquisition of Innova Intellectual Properties, a video game publisher, for €110m ($134m).
The acquisition rationale for EG7 is Innova's extensive and diversified portfolio of well-known titles with long-term cash-flows, its established presence in Asia and its expertise in said market, its valuable proprietary technology including its own game distribution platform, and a promising future pipeline.
Innova Intellectual Properties was advised by Agnitio Capital and DLA Piper. Enad Global 7 was advised by Baker McKenzie.
Vinci, a French concessions and construction company, agreed to acquire the energy business of ACS, a provider of construction and engineering services, for €4.8bn ($5.6bn).
"This acquisition is a unique opportunity for VINCI to create a global player in energy contracting and to develop renewables projects, remarkably fitting its strategy. The group is delighted to welcome an outstanding management team and a skilled workforce of around 45k people. Synergies derived from complementary geographies, technical expertise and integrated business model, will be a significant asset to win new projects and to seize greenfield renewables energy opportunities. We will capitalize on ACS IS recognized track record to enhance VINCI's contribution to the climate transition and pursue our environmental ambition together," Xavier Huillard, Vinci Chairman and CEO.
First Advantage, a global provider of technology solutions for background and employment screening, agreed to acquire the Employ and Comply business of GB Group, an identity verification, location intelligence and fraud prevention company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We recognize that employment screening services require specialist market capability. First Advantage has a global capability in background screening services and is a business that shares many of our values. We believe we've found a great home for our customers and our people who will bring great expertise, energy and capability to First Advantage in the UK," Chris Clark, GBG CEO.
GB Group is advised by Peel Hunt and Tulchan Communications.
Tritax EuroBox, a closed-ended investment company, agreed to acquire two logistics building assets in Germany for €291m ($341m).
These acquisitions align with the company's investment strategy, with a particular focus on achieving its near and long-term ESG targets in owning sustainable buildings, reducing energy and carbon emissions, enhancing biodiversity and creating quality workspaces for occupiers.
3i Infrastructure, a closed-ended investment company, agreed to acquire a 60% stake in DNS:NET, a provider of elecommunications, Internet and data-centre services, from Deutsche Beteiligungs, a private equity firm, for $213m.
"For businesses and consumers alike, fibre connectivity is increasingly a necessity as data and computing power moves to the cloud. Alexander has built a highly successful business over more than 20 years and we look forward to partnering with him and his management team as DNS:NET rolls out its fibre-to-the-home offering in Berlin and the surrounding area," Phil White, 3i Investments Managing Partner and Head of Infrastructure.
Deutsche Beteiligungs is advised by Rothschild & Co.
Private equity firm EQT Partners is set to invest in Cerba HealthCare, an international network of medical biology laboratories. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With this new partnership, Cerba HealthCare reinforces its capital structure with its existing shareholders -more than 400 long-time biologists and managers- and its long-term partner, PSP Investments, to sustain the Group's development strategy and current transformation.
Lugard Road Capital and the Luxor Capital Group led a $530m Series F round in Glovo, a multi-category delivery company, with participation from Delivery Hero, Drake Enterprises and GP Bullhound.
"We're thrilled to have the continued backing of Luxor Capital Group and all of our existing investors. Over the last few months, we've moved very, very quickly but our vision remains unchanged. This investment will allow us to double-down in our core markets, accelerate our leadership position in places where we are already very strong and continue to expand our excellent Q-Commerce division, as well as bring new innovations to our unique multi-category offering to extend more choice to our customers," Oscar Pierre, Glovo CEO.
Triple Point Investment Management, an investment management company, completed the acquisition of Aqua Comms, a platform owning and operating some 14,300km of the most reliable and resilient trans-Atlantic sub-sea fibre systems, for £160m ($221m).
"Digital 9 Infrastructure meets the combined needs of rapid deployment into the world's internet infrastructure, and investors' search for resilient, uncorrelated yield. By investing in operational businesses and projects, we believe DGI9 offers investors sector-leading income and target returns, backed from day one by operational revenues," James Crammer, Triple Point Managing Partner.
Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, an Italian state lender, together with co-investors Macquarie and Blackstone, finalized a sweeter offer to acquire an 88% stake in Autostrade per l’Italia, a motorway unit of Atlantia, Reuters reported.
The proposal is based on an unchanged valuation $10.7bn for the whole of Autostrade, but asks the infrastructure group to cover for much less than $1.68bn in potential legal risks. It also allows Atlantia to keep subsidies Rome is expected to grant Autostrade as part of support offered to companies in the wake of the pandemic.
Italy in talks to cut outlay for control of broadband JV Open Fiber. (FS)
Italy is considering a less expensive route to win control of broadband operator Open Fiber, as it looks to play a steering role to boost connectivity across the country. Open Fiber is jointly owned by Italy’s biggest utility, Enel, and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.
Enel has been in talks to sell up to 50% of the fiber infrastructure group to Australian fund Macquarie for $3.11bn since last year and a deal is expected to be clinched by June.
The original scheme envisaged CDP buying 10% of Open Fiber from Enel and negotiating governance rights with Macquarie to secure control. But disagreements over the value of Open Fiber have prompted the sides to discuss alternative routes. According to the new scheme under discussion, Enel would sell all or part of its 50% stake to Macquarie, after which CDP would raise its stake to 51% through a capital increase, Reuters reported.
Carlyle-backed Boru Energy in talks to acquire Occidental's Ghana oilfields. (FS)
Carlyle-backed Boru Energy, an oil and gas exploration and production business, is in talks with Occidental Petroleum to acquire its oil and gas fields in Ghana for over $500m, Reuters reported.
The acquisition of Occidental’s stakes in the offshore Jubilee and Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme fields would be the first investment for Boru Energy, led by former Tullow Oil CEO Aidan Heavey, which Carlyle’s international energy fund CIEP launched in 2019. Occidental holds a 24% stake in Jubilee and a 17% interest in TEN fields, which are both operated by London-listed Tullow Oil.
Italian coffee maker Lavazza continues to look for M&A opportunities while expecting revenue to rebound this year, reaching at least the $2.58bn it achieved in 2019.
“If we see M&A opportunities we will try to seize them, albeit with great attention to the economic and financial aspects. Lavazza does not have any concrete acquisition plans on the table at the moment," Antonio Baravalle, Lavazza CEO.
Mastercard to invest $100m in Airtel Africa's mobile money unit.
Mastercard, a payment network processor, will invest $100m in mobile money businees of Airtel Africa, a multinational company providing telecommunications and mobile money services, valuing the business at $2.65bn, Reuters reported.
Mastercard will hold a minority stake in Airtel Mobile Commerce, in line with Airtel Africa's plan to monetize the mobile money business by selling up to a 25% stake in the unit.
Thuja Capital mulls $176m sale of MILabs. (FS)
Thuja Capital Management, a health care-focused venture capital firm, is weighing a sale of MILabs, a Dutch medical imaging device manufacturer.
Thuja Capital is working with an adviser on the potential divestment and has reached out to prospective suitors, including medical device makers in Asia. Deliberations are at an early stage and Thuja Capital could decide to keep the business, Bloomberg reported.
James Smith prepares a London hedge fund startup. (FS)
James Smith, the former head of Elliott Management’s operations in Hong Kong, is preparing to start his own hedge fund as he stages a comeback into the industry.
Smith is setting up his multi-strategy investment firm Palliser Capital in London. Similar to Elliott, one of the most-feared activist investors in the world, Palliser will seek changes at companies, bet on mergers and acquisitions and also invest in distressed securities and market dislocation, Bloomberg reported.
Palliser is expected to start with about $750m in initial capital at launch. Smith is starting the firm with three other former Elliott colleagues, they are Paul Reid, who will head trading at the new fund, as well as Armenio Keusseyan and Jason Chang.
BC Partners draws Neuberger to Springer Nature after shelved IPO. (FS)
BC Partners is finalizing plans to introduce new investors to Springer Nature after scrapping a proposed initial public offering of the academic publisher, Bloomberg reported.
The buyout firm is preparing to sell Springer Nature to a special-purpose fund with new backers led by Neuberger Berman Group. The deal, which allows BC Partners to return money to investors in its ninth flagship fund, could be announced in the next few weeks.
BC Partners will keep a minority stake in Springer Nature, which is set to be valued at about $7bn in the transaction. It plans to continue expanding the publisher through acquisitions and operational changes before seeking a final exit in three to five years.
RoundShield raises $235m for Irish residential real estate fund. (FS)
RoundShield Partners, an investment firm, received commitments for more than $235m in a first close for its Irish residential real estate fund. The fund, which had a $235m target, is Roundshield’s first pure real estate private equity fund and will be invested in purpose-built and energy-efficient properties in partnership with an established Dublin-based joint venture partner. RoundShield plans to invest the fund over the next five years in residential projects across the major Irish cities.
“RoundShield has deep experience on the ground in Ireland with strong relationships, particularly in residential real estate. We are excited that our first private equity fund is focused on a market we feel very established in," Gareth Fowler, RoundShield Partner.
L Catterton, the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm, agreed to invest $181m in PHC Holdings, a premier global diversified healthcare company.
"We are excited to join such a renowned group of shareholders at PHCHD to help build an innovative, global healthcare solutions company. The healthcare industry, and medical devices in particular, are rapidly shifting from a scientific and engineering orientation towards greater consumer-centricity. This positions L Catterton to leverage our deep insights and play a valuable role in the development of PHCHD's future businesses, particularly in the US and Asia. We look forward to supporting and working closely with PHCHD's deeply experienced management team in these areas," Chinta Bhagat, L Catterton Managing Partner.
L Catterton is advised by Deutsche Bank, Morrison & Foerster and Joele Frank.
Sorenson Capital Partners led a $140m Series D round in Uniphore, a conversational AI technology company, with participation from Serena Capital, Sanabil Investments, Cisco Investments, March Capital Partners, National Grid Partners, Chiratae Ventures, Iron Pillar Fund, and Sistema Capital.
The new round of funding is Uniphore's largest to date. The funding will be used to extend Uniphore's technology and market leadership in AI, Automation and Machine learning across the enterprise.
Qianhai FOF, a fund of funds, led a $122m round in Soudian, a takeaway power bank rental startup for smartphones. Other investors include CITIC Securities, a provider of securities services, and Oriental Fortune Capital, a venture capital investment firm.
The company will use the proceeds to spruce up market development and product innovation. Soudian is looking to expand its power bank rental services beyond smartphones.
Orchid Asia, a private equity firm, led a $100m Series B funding round in Kaadas, a smart lock manufacturer. Additional investors include Shenzhen Qianhai Huxing Asset Management and Cowin Capital, a private equity firm.
The company will invest the majority of the proceeds in product R&D, manufacturing and sales, brand marketing and talent recruitment. The alliance with Orchid Asia will help it expand its presence in foreign markets.
Enphase Energy, a global energy management technology company, completed the acquisition of the Solar Design Services business of DIN Engineering Services, a provider of outsourced proposal drawings and permit plan sets for residential solar installers in North America. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to join forces with the Solar Design Services business to be acquired from DIN Engineering Services. We look forward to welcoming DIN’s current installers to Enphase upon close. We believe DIN’s proposal and permit plan services will benefit Enphase’s installers by enabling them to better utilize their limited resources to focus on other key areas of their business," Jeff McNeil, Enphase Energy COO.
Wipro, a company providing IT and computer related technologies, agreed to acquire Ampion, an Australian provider of cyber security, DevOps and quality engineering services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“I am excited to welcome Ampion to the Wipro family. Ampion has a successful track record and enjoys immense credibility with leading enterprises in the region, a collaborative work culture, and significant local subject matter expertise. We see Ampion as a complementary force that will help us expand our footprint and accelerate our journey in the Asia Pacific region,” N.S. Bala, Wipro CEO.
Micron and Western Digital explore a $30bn deal for Kioxia. (FS)
Data storage manufacturers Micron Technology and Western Digital are individually exploring a potential deal for Kioxia Holdings that could value the Japanese semiconductor firm at around $30bn, Reuters reported.
A deal for Kioxia, which is controlled by private-equity firm Bain Capital, isn't guaranteed, and it isn't clear how it might be structured. The deal could be finalized later this spring.
Micron and Western Digital’s move comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic and disputes over trade and technology between Washington and Beijing have cast a shadow over the global chip industry and affected companies across the supply chain.
Oyika plans to raise $100m.
Oyika, a Singapore-based developer of battery swapping technology for electric vehicles, is looking to raise $100m for its energy-sharing business in Southeast Asia.
Oyika says the funds raised will go mainly towards fulfilling its order book of 30k power subscription plans for the company’s battery-swap service for electric motorbikes in Indonesia. Part of the funds will also be used for expansion in Vietnam.
Richard Li's FWD Group leans towards US for its $3bn IPO.
FWD Group, the acquisitive Asian insurance firm backed by billionaire Richard Li, is leaning toward New York as its preferred venue for an initial public offering this year, Bloomberg reported. A US listing would allow Li to keep control of the company via his investment manager Pacific Century Group.
The company, whose business spans Southeast Asia, Japan and Hong Kong, is seeking to raise about $3bn through an IPO in the US as soon as the third quarter. A deal could value the insurer at more than $15bn.
J&T Express weighs a $1bn-pus US IPO.
J&T Express, an Indonesian courier company, is considering a US initial public offering that could raise more than $1bn. An offering could value J&T Express at about $5bn. If successful, J&T Express would also be the first Indonesian firm to list in New York since 2019.
J&T Express could potentially challenge telecommunications tower operator Indosat as the biggest US listing by an Indonesian company. Details of J&T Express’s IPO including size and timeline could still change as deliberations continue, Bloomberg reported.
Macrotech Developers to raise $341m in an IPO.
Macrotech Developers, a real estate developer, is mulling to raise $341m in a BSE IPO, scheduled for next week. The IPO will open on 7 April and close 9 April. The issue price has been fixed at $6.59- $6.63 per share.
“This will help reduce our outstanding indebtedness, assist us in maintaining a favourable debt-equity ratio and enable utilisation of some additional amount from our internal accruals for further investment in business growth and expansion. In addition, we believe that since our debt-equity ratio will improve significantly, it will enable us to raise further resources at competitive rates in the future to fund potential business development opportunities and plans to grow and expand our business in the future," Macrotech Developers.
BlackRock to close private fund business in China. (FS)
BlackRock is closing down its private fund business in China after just three years and instead will focus on mutual funds, in a move to meet regulatory requirements.
BlackRock’s wholly-owned unit in Shanghai, BlackRock Investment Management (Shanghai), on March 23 withdrew its private fund manager registration in China. The move comes as BlackRock in August won approval from China’s securities regulator to set up a wholly foreign-owned mutual fund management company, the first on the mainland, as part of the firm’s ambitions to expand the scale of its business.
Hosen Capital closes the US dollar Fund III at $800m. (FS)
Hosen Capital, a china-focused private equity firm, completed the final closing of its third USD-denominated fund, Hosen Private Equity III with a total commitment of $800m. Fund III was oversubscribed and received strong support from existing and new investors.
"We are extremely humbled and thankful for the long-term trust and support from our existing investors, and are excited to welcome a new group of investors into the Hosen Capital family," Chris Wang, Hosen Capital Co-founder and Partner.
B Capital launches a new $415m fund and expands to China. (FS)
B Capital Group closed a $415m fund for a new category called “Elevate” and will open a presence in China, where it appointed former Softbank Vision Fund partner Daisy Cai as country head, KrASIA reported.
The new fund will provide follow-on capital to later-stage companies within B Capital’s portfolio, according to the firm. It brings its total assets under management to $1.9bn. Through Elevate, B Capital says it aims to support companies “across their life cycles, from early stages to IPO."
China Everbright, AIot firm Terminus raise additional $305m for smart city fund. (FS)
CEL AI Economic Fund, jointly set up by financial conglomerate China Everbright and its technology platform Terminus Technologies, raised another $304m to launch its Fund III for smart city solutions investments.
CEL and Terminus had intoduced their plans to create a series of RMB-and USD-denominated funds under the name "CEL AI Economy Fund" in August 2020, targeting to garner a combined $1.5bn.
The series of funds mainly invests in smart city solutions powered by artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. They aim at developing the next-generation information and communication technology-enabled industry chain through equity investments around urban tech, digital solutions, intelligent manufacturing, autonomous driving, smart healthcare, IoT applications, and beyond, DealStreetAsia reported.
Z Venture Capital launches a new $271m fund. (FS)
Z Holdings-backed Z Venture Capital, a venture capital firm, launched a $271m ZVC 1 Investment Partnership fund, which it claims to be one of the largest corporate VC funds in Japan.
The fund will focus on investment opportunities in Japan across healthcare, cybersecurity, and B2B software and complement Z Holding’s three core business areas of commerce, media, and fintech.
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