Apergy, an oilfield equipment provider, completed the acquisition of the upstream energy unit of Ecolab, a global provider of water, hygiene, and energy technologies, for $4.4bn.
The closing of the merger followed the expiration of the exchange offer and the satisfaction of certain other conditions. The combined company formed by uniting Apergy with ChampionX will be named ChampionX Corporation and will be traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CHX.
Apergy was advised by Centerview Partners, Lazard and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Ecolab was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Pharmaceutical manufacturer Abacus Health Products announced that its shareholders approved the $69m acquisition by Charlotte's Web Holdings, a provider of hemp-based, cannabinoid wellness products.
Approximately 99.98% of the votes cast by the holders of subordinate voting shares and proportionate voting shares of Abacus were in favour of the arrangement. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.
Abacus is advised by Greenhill & Co and Osler Hoskin & Harcourt. Charlotte's Web is advised by Canaccord Genuity and DLA Piper.
Gallatin Point Capital and The Rise Fund led a $241m Series D round for Varo Money, an American mobile only neobank based in San Francisco. Other new investors joining the round include HarbourVest Partners and Progressive Insurance.
"Varo was founded first and foremost to make a powerful impact on systemic financial inequality in communities across this country. As the first fully digital national bank, Varo will bring our mission of financial inclusion to life and create more financially resilient - and thus healthier and stronger - communities. This new investment will enable us to complete the chartering process and leverage our modern banking technology to build on our track record of innovation and inclusion," Colin Walsh, Varo Founder and CEO.
The Rise Fund was advised by Ropes & Gray. Varo Money was advised by JP Morgan and Consort Partners.
One Equity Partners-backed Orion Innovation, a global business and technology services firm that provides digital transformation and product development services, completed the acquisition of Zodiac Systems, a New York-based video service delivery software company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Zodiac is a pioneer in the video service delivery space, with unique proprietary IP and deep engineering expertise to meet the increasing demand for next-generation telecommunications and media services around the world. Video is at the leading edge of the largest digital transformation opportunity. Zodiac gives us a true advantage in delivering exciting solutions to our rapidly growing telecommunications and media client base. We're thrilled to welcome Derek Harrar and the talented Zodiac team to Orion," Raj Patil, Orion CEO.
Orion was advised by LoBello Communications. One Equity Partners was advised by Stanton PRM.
Arsenal Capital Partners-backed Fralock, an engineering and manufacturing provider of speciality material solutions, completed the acquisition of Career Technologies USA, a provider of engineering and manufacturing solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our strategic customers will benefit from the combined capabilities of Fralock and Career Technologies. We continue to build our platform for delivering engineered solutions of speciality materials for applications in technically challenging and severe environments, which our customers depend on. The addition of Career Technologies gives us significant additional capabilities as well as increases our strong position in our core markets," Marc Haugen, Fralock CEO.
Fralock and Arsenal were advised by Prosek Partners.
The Bulldog-Ancora Group, an entity formed by Bulldog Investors and Ancora Advisors, announced that it is amending its tender offer to acquire up to $70m worth of shares of Adams Natural Resources Fund, for cash at a price per share not less than 83% of net asset value per share. The offer and withdrawal rights will now expire at midnight, New York City Time, on June 12, 2020, unless it is extended.
"PEO's stock price closed yesterday at 84.7% of NAV compared to the upper limit of 88% of NAV we are offering to pay for shares. We urge shareholders not to be swayed by management's self-serving recommendation not to tender their shares and to make up their own minds," Phillip Goldstein, Bulldog Managing Member.
Nelson Global Products, which manufactures and markets auto parts, terminated the acquisition of the Exhaust and Emissions business of Donaldson, a provider of innovative filtration products and solutions.
"While we are disappointed the acquisition of our E&E business by Nelson will not be completed, we remain focused on our employees, customers and suppliers. Our E&E business is defined by an incredibly talented team, robust engineering capabilities and strong customer relationships. We remain committed to delivering quality emissions products in parallel with ongoing optimization efforts to ensure our business portfolio creates long-term value for our stakeholders," Tod Carpenter, Donaldson Chairman, President and CEO.
eResonate Media, which focuses on music, musicians, independent music and live entertainment, agreed to acquire the technology and other assets from Livit Media, a six-year-old live-streaming technology company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The eResonate transaction afforded us an opportunity to join an amazing team of highly credentialed and experienced professionals who are building an exciting new platform to better serve the large community of previously ignored music fans. Leveraging our streaming capture, production and distribution technology to tens of thousands of locations will be the culmination of a decade of hard work. It's intensely satisfying to provide unique, compelling content to millions of music fans who, especially now, find themselves searching for a new professional form of compelling live music entertainment," Adam Blazer, Livit Founder.
Arthur J. Gallagher, a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm, completed the acquisition of CRES Insurance Services, which designs, markets and services comprehensive errors and omissions insurance and risk management services to real estate firms and professionals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"CRES's specialized expertise and product offerings to real estate agents complement and expand our strengths in that market. I am very pleased to welcome Steve Sargenti and his associates to our growing global team," J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr., Arthur J. Gallagher Chairman, President and CEO.
AstraZeneca approaches Gilead about potential merger.
AstraZeneca made a preliminary approach to rival drugmaker Gilead Sciences about a potential merger in what would be the biggest health-care deal on record. The UK-based firm informally contacted Gilead last month to gauge its interest in a possible tie-up. AstraZeneca didn't specify terms for any transaction. While Gilead has discussed the idea with advisers, no decisions have been made on how to proceed and the companies aren't in formal talks.
AstraZeneca, valued at $140bn, is the UK's biggest drugmaker by market capitalization and has developed treatments for conditions from cancer to cardiovascular disease. Gilead, worth $96bn, is the creator of a drug that's received US approval for use with coronavirus patients.
Just Eat Takeaway and Delivery Hero consider making offers for Grubhub.
Europe's Delivery Hero and Just Eat expressed interest in exploring a deal to buy Grubhub, an American online and mobile prepared food ordering and delivery marketplace.
Grubhub, with a market valuation of about $5.4bn, has been in talks with Uber on a sale. Those discussions are ongoing and may still result in a deal. Uber and Grubhub have been haggling over a breakup fee given the deal's antitrust risk.
Hub International completed the acquisition of assets from The Clements Agency and Flagstaff Insurance.
Hub International, a global insurance brokerage, completed the acquisition of assets from an insurance and bonds companies The Clements Agency, and its wholly-owned subsidiary Flagstaff Insurance. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very excited about our continued growth in the region. Clements and Flagstaff team provides leadership and an added dimension to our growing capabilities in Arizona. We will be well-positioned to best serve our clients and expand our footprint in the market," Randall Perkins, Hub Southwest President.
Atlas Venture announces new $400m fund. (FS)
Atlas Venture, an early-stage venture capital firm, announced the closing of its twelfth fund, raising $400m in a highly oversubscribed fundraise.
"The importance of advancing innovations in biotechnology has rarely felt more critical. We continue to be humbled by the support of the LP community, whose partnership has enabled us to continue our early-stage seed-led venture creation model backed by strategic and disciplined fund sizes. Since 2017, Atlas has raised $1bn across three funds to advance new medicines for patients," Bruce Booth, Atlas Venture Partner.
Atlas was advised by Proskauer Rose.
Alinda Capital will not pursue energy deals with its new $2bn fund. (FS)
Alinda Capital Partners, an investor in infrastructure, will diversify its portfolio with its new fund by excluding energy investments. The firm plans to gather $2bn for the fund with 8% preferred annual return for investors, according to Bloomberg.
Oil and gas purchases did not bring the anticipated return to investors and the current situation with the fluctuation in oil prices could further affect yields.
Fiat Chrysler and PSA deal is under question after EU regulators expressed concerns over the companies' market share in small vans sector and indicated that concessions may be needed.
If the two companies fail to dispel those concerns in the next two days and then decline to offer concessions by Wednesday, the deadline for doing so, the deal would face a four-month investigation once the preliminary review ends.
FCA is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, d'Angelin & Co, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Legance, Loyens & Loeff, Sullivan & Cromwell, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Macfarlanes, Community Group, Image Sept, and Sard Verbinnen & Co. BPIFrance is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Peugeot family is advised by Zaoui & Co. PSA Group is advised by Mediobanca, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, Bredin Prat, Cabinet Bompoint, Linklaters, Stibbe. Exor is advised by Lazard.
TA Associates-backed MRI Software, a real estate software solutions provider, completed the acquisition of Castleton Technology, a provider of specialist software and services to the social housing sector, for $104m.
"The acquisition of Castleton is an important step in our drive to deliver greater scale and broaden our offering in the UK housing sector. The combination of Castleton and Orchard also extends our comprehensive residential market proposition, MRI Living, and brings together invaluable industry experience and expertise to drive further innovation and accelerate the delivery of new advancements to social/affordable housing operators and residential property managers in multiple regions across the globe," Patrick Ghilani, MRI Software CEO.
MRI Software was advised by Raymond James, Kirkland & Ellis, Platform Communications and Saygency. Castleton was advised by finnCap, DAC Beachcroft and Alma PR.
Ardian completed an investment in ProduceShop, a Swiss e-commerce platform specialized in the production and sale of indoor and outdoor furniture in Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With ProduceShop, we have identified a radically innovative approach to online sales thanks to their data-driven strategy. This confirms our willingness to support the development of ProduceShop towards international and exponential growth, all alongside an extremely talented team," Romain Chiudini, Ardian Growth Director.
ProduceShop was advised by Blue Circle Capital and Bernasconi, Martinelli, Alippi & Partners. Ardian was advised by Digital Value, New Deal Advisors, Giovannelli e Associati and Vischer.
Materion, a multinational company specializing in high-performance engineered materials, agreed to acquire Optics Balzers, a provider of thin-film optical coatings, for $160m.
“We have long held a deep amount of respect and appreciation for the Optics Balzers business. Their technical capabilities, product portfolio, end market, and geographic mix, combined with their talented leadership team, make them the ideal partner to accelerate our global growth. The combination creates a global industry leader in optical thin film coating solutions,” Jugal Vijayvargiya, Materion President and CEO.
Optics Balzers is advised by Credit Suisse and Bar & Karrer. Materion is advised by Wells Fargo Securities, Baker McKenzie and Jones Day.
Investment company Deutsche Mittelstandsholding agreed to acquire Pluradent, which provides wholesale distribution of dental medical instruments and supplies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted that Deutsche Mittelstandsholding supports the restructuring and further development of Pluradent and wants to further advance our company in the market. This will enable our group to restart on a solid basis and implement our concept of a new Pluradent," Michael Herdt, Pluradent Managing Director.
PE News reported that Blackstone lowered its bid for Dutch bank NIBC by more than a quarter following ongoing uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic. The firms announced that the bid price would be reduced to €7 ($7.78) per share, lowering the total value of the deal to €1bn ($1.1bn), from the €1.4bn ($1.5bn) previously offered.
Under the terms of the new deal, Blackstone would be required to pay €46m ($51m) in damages if regulators do not approve the transaction or if it's scrapped for certain other reasons. NIBC and Blackstone said there is no certainty whether the agreement would be reached on the amendment.
Vexve, a European valve supplier, agreed to acquire ZMK Technologies, a designer and supplier of the most critical valves to the petrochemical industry, from Advanced Holdings, a Singaporean listed company focusing on engineering services and clean technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We feel honoured to have the opportunity to combine forces with ZMK and its highly experienced team that has built the leading company supplying the most demanding valve solutions for the petrochemical sector. Both Vexve Armatury and ZMK are known for the superior quality of their products as well as the desire to deliver their customers the best service in the industry. We are excited of the opportunities the new combination provides," Jussi Vanhanen, Vexve CEO.
Poland postpones the merger of PKN Orlen and PGNiG.
The merger between PKN Orlen and PGNiG has been put on hold by Poland due to conflicts inside the government and concerns caused by PKN's attempt to acquire rival Lotos, according to Reuters.
The deal outcome depends on the results of the power struggles within the ruling party and competition uncertainties regarding the PKN and Lotos transaction.
Amigo ends sale process after potential buyer pulls out.
Financial Times reported that Amigo Loans ended its sale process after a potential buyer pulled out of discussions to take over the UK subprime lender.
An unnamed potential acquirer that offered £100m ($127m) for Amigo had withdrawn from the process, the company said, adding that it had no other potential suitors lined up. The lender's share price, which has dropped 75% this year, lost a further 14% on Monday morning.
Danske Bank sells loan portfolio to LHV.
Reuters reported that Danske Bank agreed to sell its remaining Estonian portfolio to local bank LHV, marking an end to a unit that was at the centre of one of Europe's biggest-ever money laundering scandals. In February last year Estonia's financial regulator ordered Denmark's biggest bank to leave the country after the lender admitted that $226bn in suspicious payments had been made via its Tallinn branch.
"According to LHV's assessment, this is a strong credit portfolio with relatively low capital requirements for the loans involved with local governments," LHV.
BinDawood Holding prepares for an IPO.
Saudi's BinDawood, an operator of 73 stores across the BinDawood and Danube supermarket chains, is pushing for floatation by the end of June. It could be the first middle east IPO since the global shutdown.
The company may capitalize on the increasing demand for its delivery business which took off due to more-than-ever people at home, Bloomberg reported.
BinDawood is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and GIB Capital.
Sweden steps up the defence against foreign takeovers.
The government of Sweden is trying to protect essential businesses from foreign takeovers brought by the economic downturn. The proposals include analysis of areas where FDIs may negatively affect national security and presenting the right to inspect the foreign bidder before the approval of the transaction.
"These are important pieces of the puzzle in the works to give Swedish authorities the prerequisites to work against foreign direct investments that may put our national security at risk," Mikael Damberg, Interior Minister.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority agreed to acquire a 1.16% stake in Jio Platforms, an Indian telecoms and digital services group, for $752m, joining the consortium of investors consisting of Mubadala Investment Authority, Silver Lake, KKR, General Atlantic and Vista Equity Partners.
"Jio Platforms is at the forefront of India's digital revolution. The rapid growth of the business, which has established itself as a market leader in just four years, has been built on a strong track record of strategic execution," Hamad Shawan Aldhaheri, ADIA Executive Director of the Private Equities Department.
Reliance is advised by Morgan Stanley, AZB & Partners and Davis Polk & Wardwell. Mubadala is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Silver Lake is advised by Latham & Watkins, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. KKR is advised by Deloitte, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. General Atlantic is advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Vista Equity Partners is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
360 Finance, a digital consumer finance platform, agreed to acquire a 30% stake in Kincheng Bank of Tianjin, a Chinese bank. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As a long-term and important strategic partner, we are excited to deepen our collaboration with Kincheng Bank. We believe this deal will allow us to generate greater operating synergies and further expand our financial ecosystem. It also showcases our determination to become the most respected fintech company in China in terms of planning for and staying ahead of regulatory compliance," Haisheng Wu, 360 Finance CEO and Director.
CVC Capital Partners offered to acquire a minority stake in HealthCare Global Enterprises, the largest provider of cancer care in India, for $138m.
As part of the transaction, HCG will issue 29m equity shares and 22m convertible warrants to CVC. The deal comes a month after the private equity firm raised its fifth Asia fund.
Chinese liquor producers apply for IPOs.
Two Chinese liquor producers, Sichuan Langjiu and Guizhou Guotai Liquor, recently applied for IPOs that could bring them $1bn and $354m respectively. Sichuan Langjiu registered for floatation over the weekend while Guizhou filed in May.
Both firms will use proceeds to fund the production and working capital. The move to float comes from investors interest in the liquor-making firms.
"Those companies could enjoy premiums in valuations if they go public at the time when the whole sector is favoured by investors. Currently, liquor makers have the best and most stable earnings among all sectors in the A-share market," Song Zhenyu, Beijing Jiayi Asset Management Company Fund Manager.
Jinke Properties selected banks for its $500m Hong Kong IPO.
Jinke Properties, an operator of real estate businesses, picked banks for its supervision during Hong Kong IPO, which could raise $500m, according to Bloomberg.
The company reportedly chose CLSA and Huatai International Financial Holdings to advise. In April Jinke sought its property management arm listing with no further details disclosed.
Dada Nexus raised $320m in the US IPO despite political tensions.
Dada Nexus, a Chinese grocery firm, gathered $320m in an upsized IPO despite the political tensions involving Chinese companies going public in the US.
The company offered 20m American Depository Shares for $16 each, valuing the company at $3.5bn. The flotation was upsized since previously Dada Nexus sought to sell 16.5m shares for $15-$17 each.
Malaysia plans to start a $281m National Stimulation Fund. (FS)
The government of Malaysia wants to set up a $281m National Stimulation Fund to assist with the digitalization of regional businesses. 50% will be funded by the government, while foreign and domestic investors will deliver the other half.
The ambition comes from the economic recovery plan. The fund will start in July and will target start-ups and local venture capital funds in the private sector.
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