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EQT, an investment firm, and Digital Colony, a global investment firm dedicated to strategic opportunities in digital infrastructure, completed the acquisition of Zayo Group, which provides mission-critical bandwidth to the world’s most impactful companies, for $14.3bn. Under the terms of the agreement shareholders received $35 in cash per share of Zayo's common stock. The offer price represented a 32% premium to the volume-weighted price average of the last six months of $26.44.
“We are excited to launch this new chapter of Zayo, as a private company under the ownership of a consortium led by two highly experienced infrastructure investors who have a deep understanding of our business and bring significant value to Zayo. This is a great outcome for the company, its former shareholders, our customers and employees, and our new ownership group. As a private company, we will have greater flexibility to pursue our long-term strategy and leverage our fiber to fuel global innovation for our customers,” Dan Caruso, Zayo CEO.
Zayo was advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Joele Frank and Longview Communications. Digital Colony was advised by Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Blake Cassels & Graydon, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Joele Frank and Stanton PRM. EQT Partners was advised by Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Vinge, Greenbrook and Kekst CNC. Goldman Sachs was advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Madison Dearborn Partners, an American private equity firm, and CoVant Management, a defense and space company, agreed to acquire AEVEX Aerospace, a provider of full-spectrum, mission-critical airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance technology solutions to US Department of Defense, Special Operations, and Intelligence Community customers worldwide, from Trive Capital, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to welcome the MDP and CoVant teams to AEVEX. They are the right partners to help us deepen and expand our AISR solutions and are fully aligned with our commitment to empowering people to make the world a safer place. Our new partnership with MDP and CoVant will enable us to accelerate our investment in innovation, attract and retain the very best talent, and provide our customers with the decision advantage they need in dynamic mission environments,” Brian Raduenz, AEVEX CEO.
MDP is advised by CSP Associates and Kirkland & Ellis. CoVant is advised by The Chertoff Group, Crowell & Moring and Abernathy MacGregor Group. AEVEX is advised by William Blair & Co and Haynes and Boone. Debt financing is provided by SO Capital Partners and Carlyle Global Credit.
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the joint application for the indirect transfer of control of EPE’s ownership interest in the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station to Infrastructure Investments Fund, an investment vehicle advised by JP Morgan Investment Management, on March 6, 2020.
"This approval marks another important milestone in connection with IIF’s proposed acquisition of El Paso Electric. In addition to approval from EPE shareholders, we have now received five out of the seven required governmental approvals. We expect to close the transaction in the first half of 2020, which we continue to believe will provide meaningful benefits to our customers, employees and the communities we serve," IFF.
El Paso Electric is advised by Lazard, Baker Botts and Sard Verbinnen & Co. JP Morgan is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Joele Frank. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell. Lazard is advised by Cravath Swaine & Moore. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Menlo Therapeutics, a late-stage biopharmaceutical company, completed its merger with Foamix Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage speciality pharmaceutical company. The transaction is structured as a stock-for-stock exchange. Under the terms of the merger agreement, each share of Foamix stock was exchanged for 0.5924 of a share of Menlo common stock and a contingent stock right.
"This is an exciting day as we take a significant step toward becoming a broad dermatology franchise. The combined company already has an approved, commercial-stage product, AMZEEQ™, and several late-stage product candidates with several meaningful near-term catalysts. I am excited about the opportunities ahead for the combined company as we work towards improving the lives of patients with a differentiated and innovative product pipeline," David Domzalski, Menlo CEO.
Foamix Pharmaceuticals was advised by Barclays, Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, LifeSci Public Relations and Zeno Group. Barlcays was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. Menlo was advised by Guggenheim Partners, Herzog Fox & Neeman and Latham & Watkins.
WPX Energy, an independent energy producer, completed the acquisition of Felix Energy, one of the Delaware Basin operators, from EnCap Investments, an American private equity firm, for $2.5bn.
“I want to thank the Felix team for working with us to complete the transaction a month ahead of schedule while still hitting our expectations for production at the time of closing. We remain absolutely convinced about the accretive nature of the transaction and the outstanding quality of these assets. They overlie a tremendous resource that clearly gives us the means for accelerating our ability to achieve our five-year targets for shareholders,” Rick Muncrief, WPX Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Felix Energy was advised by Jefferies & Company and Vinson & Elkins. WPX was advised by Barclays, Tudor Pickering Holt and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Debt financing was provided by Barclays. Barclays was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Novelis and the US Department of Justice completed the arbitration over the $2.6bn takeover of Aleris, a global supplier of rolled aluminium products. Justice Department said the arbitration decision in the antitrust lawsuit to block Novelis' deal for Aleris would be issued by March 13. If DoJ wins, Novelis will have to divest assets to proceed with the merger; if Novelis wins DoJ will dismiss its complaint.
Aleris is advised by Deutsche Bank, Moelis & Co and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson. Novelis is advised by Goldman Sachs and Latham & Watkins. Oaktree Capital is advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Nautic Partners completed the acquisition of Harrington Industrial Plastics, a distributor of corrosion-resistant fluid conveyance, control, and measurement products for industrial fluids and high purity applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to have found in Nautic a like-minded partner. Harrington has been growing at rates well above the market for several years based on our strategy of providing superior customer service, local product availability, and a level of product and application expertise that is unrivalled in the industry. We look forward to working in close partnership with Nautic to cement these advantages and to continue our strong growth," Eben Lenderking, Harrington CEO.
Harrington was advised by Jefferies & Company and Mayer Brown. Nautic Partners was advised by McDermott Will & Emery. Debt financing was provided by AEA Private Debt, Jefferies & Company and Varagon Capital Partners.
Basic Energy Services, a provider of wellsite services essential to maintaining production from the oil and gas wells within its operating areas, completed the acquisition of C&J Well Services, the production operations of NexTier, a provider of oilfield solutions, for $94m.
“This transaction solidifies Basic’s foundation to become the leading and most trusted production services provider in the country. With an expanded customer base in active basins, achievable synergies and an enhanced cash flow and credit profile, Basic will be well positioned to increase stockholder value. In addition, by combining these businesses, we believe we will leverage our premier assets and geographic positions to efficiently manage through market cycles. Importantly, we expect our increased operating scale, enhanced credit metrics and strong cash flow generation will enable the company to continue to de-lever while remaining a disciplined but active participant in the ongoing consolidation occurring in our industry,” Keith L. Schilling, Basic President and Chief Executive Officer.
Basic was advised by Lazard, Morgan Stanley and Weil Gotshal and Manges. NexTier was advised by King & Spaulding and Evercore.
Compass, an owner of middle market businesses, agreed to acquire Marucci Sports, an American manufacturer of products and apparel for baseball, for $200m.
"We are pleased to add Marucci Sports to our portfolio of niche market leading brands. With an unwavering commitment to quality craftsmanship and focus on addressing players’ evolving needs, Marucci has firmly established itself as a leader in baseball equipment, and we are confident that together we will further expand Marucci’s best-in-class product portfolio, penetrate new markets, and increase the brand’s presence internationally," Elias Sabo, Compass Group Diversified Holdings CEO.
Marucci Sports is advised by Jefferies & Company and Ropes & Gray. Compass is advised by Joele Frank and The IGB Group.
Colliers, a commercial real estate services and investment management firm, agreed to acquire Maser Consulting, a privately owned, multidiscipline engineering and consulting design firm, headquartered in Monmouth County, NJ. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our investment in Maser is another step forward in our strategy of adding more highly valued, essential services to our private and public real estate and infrastructure clients. The transaction establishes us as a major player in the engineering design and consulting sector in the US, providing us with another important engine for growth. We see tremendous potential in this segment of the market and expect to leverage our proven track record, acquisition expertise and global brand and platform to grow this business into new markets, as well as cross-sell services to our combined client base," Jay Hennick, Colliers International Global Chairman and CEO.
Colliers is advised by AEC Advisors and Sidley Austin.
Allied Motion, a designer and manufacturer that sells precision and speciality controlled motion products and solutions, completed the acquisition of Dynamic Controls Group, which offers high functionality electronic control systems, from Invacare, a designer and manufacturer of equipment for the medical mobility and rehabilitation markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition is a clear demonstration of executing the One Allied strategy to provide innovative, fully integrated controlled motion solutions for our customers. Dynamic Controls brings strong leadership and a very experienced electronics and software engineering design team that provides market-leading electronic control solutions for the medical mobility and rehabilitation markets. Their product suite and solutions will further strengthen our medical market position around patient mobility and rehabilitation, as well as enable us to further develop higher-level solutions with embedded electronics across our other major served markets. Importantly, the acquisition also expands Allied's Global Electronics Team and provides additional resources which can be leveraged across all our markets," Dick Warzala, Allied Motion Chairman and CEO.
Allied Motion was advised by Kei Advisors. Invacare was advised by Robert W Baird.
Pacific Equity Partners, Australia's biggest private equity firm, offered to acquire Zenith Energy, an oil and gas production and exploration company, for $100m.
"PEP has a strong history in backing management teams in the remote power sector and with the additional capital firepower PEP can bring to Zenith, we are highly optimistic about the company's future growth," Andrew Charlier, PEP Managing Director.
OpenText, a Canadian company that develops and sells enterprise information management software, completed the acquisition of XMedius, a provider of secure information exchange and unified communication solutions, for $75m.
"With more than 50k installations worldwide, the acquisition of XMedius further strengthens OpenText's leadership in secure information exchange, unified communications and digital fax. We welcome XMedius's customers, strong partner network and employees to OpenText. The acquisition reaffirms our commitment to Montreal, already a strategic hub for our analytics and AI development teams. Together, we will bring leading cloud and hybrid solutions to enterprises and small to mid-sized businesses," Mark J. Barrenechea, OpenText CEO & CTO.
NetApp, a provider of cloud data services, completed the acquisition of Talon Storage, a provider of software-defined storage solutions enabling global enterprises to centralize and consolidate IT storage infrastructure to the public clouds. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As we grow our cloud data services offerings with solutions like Cloud Volumes ONTAP®, Cloud Volumes Service, Azure NetApp Files and Cloud Insights, we are excited about the potential that lies in front of this new combined team to deliver complete solutions for primary workloads. We share the same vision as the team did at Talon - a unified footprint of unstructured data that all users access seamlessly, regardless of where in the world they are, as if all users and data were in the same physical location. And to do this without impacting workflow, user experience – and at a lower cost," Anthony Lye, NetApp Senior Vice President and General Manager.
Third Summit, which assembles a collective of agile companies that offer full-stack, enterprise-level digital media and advertising solutions to the mid-tier marketplace, agreed to acquire Blis, a digital platform where companies can find and hire freelance content creators. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Fundamentally, our companies’ business models and philosophies are very much aligned. Talking with the founders of Blis, we agreed that the future of work means empowering gig workers to thrive in a world where too many solutions feel like ad hoc afterthoughts. We want to help create jobs and reduce the stress for everyone working in the creative industry, which still relies on many analog processes today,” Matt Cimaglia, Third Summit Co-Founder and CEO.
Syneos Health explores a sale.
Syneos Health, a US contract research organization that serves the pharmaceutical industry, is exploring a sale, Reuters reported.
Syneos is working with investment bank Centerview Partners on soliciting acquisition offers from other companies and private equity firms.
Healthstat to acquire 20 health centers from SentryHealth.
Healthstat, a provider of onsite, nearsite and shared-site employer-sponsored health centers, agreed to acquire 20 health centers from SentryHealth, a medical group. With this acquisition the number of Healthstat-managed centers expands to 250 nationally.
“We are excited to expand Healthstat’s unparalleled quality and level of care to these newly acquired clinics, while helping our clients more cost-efficiently meet the healthcare needs of their employees. The implementation of Healthward will enable our clinicians to deliver improved chronic condition management across our national footprint,” Warren Hutton, Healthstat President.
Steven Cohen raising a new fund to invest in private companies. (FS)
Hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen started efforts to raise his first private markets fund, a venture that will test whether his decades of experience investing in public companies will translate to private markets, Bloomberg reported.
The fund—Cohen’s first client offering that is not a hedge fund—has been pitched to investors as a hybrid venture and private equity fund called Point72 Hyperscale. The fund would back early-stage technology companies focused on artificial intelligence.
Aon, a large global professional services firm that sells a range of financial risk-mitigation products, including insurance, pension administration, and health insurance plans, agreed to merge with Willis Towers Watson, an Irish-domiciled global multinational risk management, insurance brokerage and advisory company, at a combined equity value of approximately $80bn.
"This combination will create a more innovative platform capable of delivering better outcomes for all stakeholders, including clients, colleagues, partners and investors. Our world-class expertise across risk, retirement and health will accelerate the creation of new solutions that more efficiently match capital with unmet client needs in high-growth areas like cyber, delegated investments, intellectual property, climate risk and health solutions," Greg Case, Aon CEO.
Willis Towers Watson is advised by Goldman Sachs, Matheson, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Aon is advised by Credit Suisse, Arthur Cox, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Latham & Watkins.
Jacobs Engineering, an American international technical professional services firm, completed the acquisition of the Nuclear Business of John Wood Group, a multinational energy services company, for $305m.
"This acquisition further strengthens Jacobs' position in highly profitable and complementary sectors within nuclear and defence, enhancing our recognized program management skills with deep, technical expertise. We are excited to welcome these talented employees to the Jacobs' team. Given the compelling and synergistic fit of our two organizations, we believe this transaction will translate into significant value for Jacobs' shareholders, diverse opportunities for our employees and new, differentiated nuclear and defence solutions for our clients," Steve Demetriou, Jacobs Chair and CEO.
Jacobs was advised by Rothschild & Co and Paul Hastings. Jacobs was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Slaughter & May.
WatchGuard Technologies, a provider of network security and intelligence, secure Wi-Fi and multi-factor authentication, agreed to acquire Panda Security, a Spanish company that specializes in creating products for IT security. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Businesses today face an increasingly sophisticated and evolving threat landscape, scarcity of trained security professionals, and an increasingly porous perimeter. As a result, network security, advanced endpoint protection, multi-factor authentication, secure networking, and threat detection and response capabilities are consistently ranked as top security investment areas by IT decision-makers and IT solution providers who serve them. By bringing the companies together, we enable our current and future customers and partners to consolidate their fundamental security services under a single brand, backed by the innovation and quality that is a core part of both companies' DNA," Prakash Panjwani, WatchGuard CEO.
Panda Security is advised by Jefferies & Company. WatchGuard is advised by Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira, Paul Hastings and Peter Rennison Public Relations.
Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund and French ferry operator Brittany Ferries completed the acquisition of Condor Ferries, an operator of lifeline freight and passenger ferry services, from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of Condor Ferries together with Brittany Ferries is exciting news for Columbia Threadneedle as it marks the first investment by our new infrastructure fund," Nick Ring, Columbia Threadneedle CEO.
Euromoney, the international information services provider of essential information to global and specialist markets, agreed to acquire Census Commodity Data, primarily operating through its brand AgriCensus and serving as a Price Reporting Agency for the global agricultural commodity markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Rising population and the resulting increase in food demand is a trend that is expected to be in place for at least the next three decades. Our acquisition of AgriCensus provides us with exposure to this market and establishes an important strategic position for us in agriculture. Through its excellent team and leadership, AgriCensus has started the process to provide much-needed price discovery in these opaque markets. Fastmarkets can now develop this position further by leveraging our established reputation in pricing and providing access to our global PRA infrastructure," Raju Daswani, Fastmarkets CEO.
Bowmark Capital completed the acquisition of a minority stake in Focus Group, a UK provider of communications and IT solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We have been following the information and communications technology sector for a number of years, and have been impressed by Focus's outstanding track record of growth, its service excellence, and by the vision and ambition of its management team. We are delighted to have the opportunity to support Chris, Ralph and the team as they capitalize on the company's significant growth opportunities, both organically and through acquisition," Stephen Delaney, Bowmark Partner.
Priory Group to be sold for £1bn. (FS)
Britain's biggest mental healthcare provider, the Priory Group, is set to be sold for almost £1bn ($1.3bn) after Acadia Healthcare, its American owner, confirmed it had received "multiple" initial bids.
Acadia received bids from companies including the Australian hospital group Ramsay Health Care, which is backed by private equity firm CapVest, and German hospital provider, Schoen Clinic, in which Carlyle has a stake. Brookfield is understood to have looked at the Priory business but decided not to bid, according to FT.
Iberdrola to buy a stake in $2.7bn French offshore wind farm.
Iberdrola, a Spanish multinational electric utility company, agreed to buy the 30% stake it didn't already own in a wind farm project off the coast of France that will cost an estimated $2.7bn to build as the Spanish utility pursues its fast expansion in the clean power market, Bloomberg reported.
Iberdrola, which already had 70% in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc project, is buying the 30% interest held by UK-based developer Renewable Energy Systems and French state-owned financial institution Caisse des Depots et Consignations.
Petronas joins Exxon in searching exit from Chad project.
The Malaysian state-owned oil giant is working with an adviser on the potential disposal of its 35% stake in the project, which includes oil fields in southern Chad and a pipeline that transports crude oil to a marine terminal in Cameroon for export. Exxon has been working with another adviser to sell its 40% holdings in the project. Their combined holdings could be worth more than $1bn.
A deal could come as Petronas is shifting its focus to the Americas to beef up reserves and maintain production rates. The energy giant is preparing a dollar bond sale after a five-year hiatus.
Global City Theatres sells its stake in Cineworld. (FS)
Global City Theatres sold its 7.9% stake in Cineworld, the world's second-largest cinema chain. Global City Theatres is a proxy for CEO Moshe Greidinger and his brother deputy CEO Israel. The stake was sold at a small discount to Friday's closing share price to buyers including Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC.
The proceeds would be used to restructure GCT's debt into a loan facility with no connection to Cineworld's share price and the deal removed the threat that GCT would have to sell some or all of the shares on the market.
Neil Woodford weighs investor support for a comeback bid. (FS)
Neil Woodford is looking at creating a vehicle to buy stakes held by the Woodford Equity Income Fund in companies such as BenevolentAI, Rutherford Health and Immunocore, Bloomberg reported.
His offer could reach about $652m and values the stakes at a discount. Woodford also has considered the possibility of creating a fund to manage new holdings in London-listed companies.
Panmure Gordon names ex-Barclays investment bank boss Ricci CEO. (People)
Bob Diamond is reuniting with Rich Ricci, the race-horse owning former head of Barclays’ investment bank, by appointing him chief executive of Panmure Gordon — the UK stockbroker Diamond’s investment firm acquired nearly three years ago, Financial News reported.
Panmure has overhauled its senior ranks after a loss-making period for the City broker. It has put its losses down to a drive to create what it describes as a “21st century merchant bank”, expanding beyond its traditional broking roots.
CP Group, a Thai conglomerate based in Bangkok, agreed to acquire the Thailand and Malaysia units of Tesco, a British multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer, for $10.6bn.
"Following inbound interest and a detailed strategic review of all options, we are announcing today the proposed sale of Tesco Thailand and Tesco Malaysia. This sale releases material value and allows us to further simplify and focus the business, as well as to return significant value to shareholders," Dave Lewis, Tesco Chief Executive.
Tesco is advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Greenhill & Co, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Teneo.
Greensill, a provider of working capital finance for companies globally, completed the acquisition of Earnd, a Sydney-based fintech startup. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are attracted to like-minded companies with innovative technology and local expertise. In Earnd we have identified an outstanding young team led by an exceptional founder with proven technology. This acquisition will give us a springboard into Australia and the Asia Pacific region, allowing us to offer even more employees the opportunity to get paid sooner," Lex Greensill, Greensill Founder and CEO.
Greensill was advised by Edelman and Cato & Clive.
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