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EIG, an institutional investor in the global energy and infrastructure sectors, completed the acquisition of a 25% stake in Repsol Upstream, a gas-weighted global E&P company that will own and operate Repsol’s globally diversified portfolio of upstream assets, delivering cash generative and resilient operations, for $4.8bn.
“Repsol is a leader in the energy transition, and we are pleased to have completed this transaction with a global company that shares our commitment to reducing emissions while meeting the world’s energy demands. The transaction sets Repsol Upstream on a path toward an accelerated decarbonization future, strong cash flow generation and potential market liquidity," R. Blair Thomas, EIG Chairman and CEO.
Saudi Aramco, a petroleum and natural gas company, completed the acquisition of the global products business from Valvoline, a distributor of automotive oil, additives, and lubricants, for $2.65bn.
"It is a historic day for our 157-year-old brand. With the sale of the global products business to Aramco, each business can now better focus on future growth. Today, Valvoline Inc. becomes a pure-play, automotive services company with a right-sized capital structure and enhanced capital allocation. Additionally, Valvoline Inc. expects to offer significant capital returns to our shareholders through equity buybacks over the next 18 months. All this combined allows us to focus our efforts on and further strengthen our brand as a premier auto after-market services provider," Sam Mitchell, Valvoline CEO.
Indivior, a global pharmaceutical company, completed the acquisition of Opiant Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for addiction and drug overdose, for $145m.
"We are pleased to close our combination with Opiant, which provides us with a comprehensive and relevant treatment platform to address the ongoing US opioid and overdose epidemic. We look forward to bringing on Opiant's talented team and undertaking our shared mission to change patients' lives through access to life-transforming treatment for substance use disorders," Mark Crossley, Indivior CEO.
Corteva, a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company, completed the acquisition of Stoller, an independent biological company, for $1.2bn.
"These acquisitions illustrate Corteva's commitment to providing farmers with sustainable solutions that bring value and productivity to the farm. We are pleased to officially welcome Symborg and Stoller employees to Corteva. We believe their knowledge and expertise, combined with Corteva's innovations capabilities, will come together to form a leading Biologicals Business ready to accelerate and grow with the rapidly expanding biologicals market," Chuck Magro, Corteva CEO.
Stoller Group was advised by JP Morgan, Piper Sandler, Baker Botts (led by Dan Mark
) and Latham & Watkins (led by Ryan Maierson
and John Greer
). Corteva was advised by Evercore and Kekst CNC.
Sakuu, a transformative additive manufacturing and solid-state battery company, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Plum Acquisition I, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $705m deal.
"The arrival of transformative additive manufacturing will have profound implications across global legacy manufacturing. Our high-volume Kavian solution for printing batteries can potentially leap-frog decades of manufacturing stagnation. We believe Kavian is the only known solution for producing heavily in-demand products, such as solid-state batteries, that can be custom-printed rapidly and cost-effectively—taking next-generation battery manufacturing to realms never imagined. Since 2016, our talented team, with deep and diverse industry expertise, has worked diligently to develop Kavian, along with our next-generation battery products. We are not a concept company—we have successfully and consistently printed high-performance batteries since December 2022 and, with this progress, we have entered the first stages of commercialization. With this proposed merger, the strong support of the exceptional leadership team at Plum, and our dedicated investors, we feel Sakuu is well-positioned to create a paradigm shift in complex manufacturing, starting first with batteries," Robert Bagheri, Sakuu Founder and CEO.
Sakuu is advised by Fenwick & West, Blueshirt Group (led by Monica Gould
) and Sterling Communications. Plum is advised by Cohen & Company Capital Markets and Lane & Waterman.
A US bankruptcy judge criticized the Securities and Exchange Commision for casting vague doubts about crypto lender Voyager Digital's proposed sale to Binance, saying the regulator had essentially asked to "stop everybody in their tracks" without explaining how to address its concerns.
US Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles made the remarks at a court hearing in New York to consider Voyager Digital's restructuring plan that would sell its assets and transfer its customers to crypto exchange Binance, Reuters
Binance is advised by Latham & Watkins (led by Robert Katz
and Daniel Mun
). Voyager Digital is advised by Berkeley Research Group, Moelis & Co and Kirkland & Ellis.
VillageMD, a healthcare services provider for individuals and communities, completed the acquisition of Starling Physicians, a primary care and multi-specialty group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Starling shares our vision of being a physician-led model and they provide care in a compassionate and exceptional way to all the patients they serve. By integrating primary care with specialty care, we are able to optimize access to high-quality care for our patients. This is a natural extension of our growth in the Northeast, including our recent acquisition of Summit Health-CityMD. Together, we are transforming the way healthcare is delivered in the United States," Tim Barry, VillageMD CEO and Chairman.
Starling Physicians was advised by Cain Brothers, River Pines Capital and DLA Piper. VillageMD was advised by McDermott Will & Emery.
IXL Learning, a developer of personalized learning products, completed the acquisition of Teachers Pay Teachers, a catalog of educator-created learning content and tools for interactive digital instruction. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are so happy to welcome Teachers Pay Teachers into the IXL Learning family. TPT is an iconic brand in education, and it offers a unique opportunity for teachers to learn from each other and become entrepreneurs. We look forward to redoubling TPT's efforts toward building a special home for educators centered around expertise, trust and a deep devotion to learners' success," Paul Mishkin, IXL Learning CEO.
TPT was advised by Choate Hall & Stewart. IXL Learning was advised by Evercore and Latham & Watkins.
The Riverside Company-backed PaleoWest, a cultural resource management firm, completed the acquisition of Stratified Environmental and Archaeological Services, an environmental consultancy firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“SEAS represents an attractive opportunity to expand PaleoWest’s services into the Four Corners region. M&A continues to be a top priority, and we plan to target investments that would complement PaleoWest’s existing service lines and expand its geographic footprint," Loren Schlachet, Riverside Managing Partner.
Cureatr, a medication management services company, completed the acquisition of SinfoníaRx, a medication therapy management service provider, from Tabula Rasa HealthCare, healthcare technology company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Cureatr continues its mission to bring a clinical pharmacist to the care team of every patient who needs one and provide the critical services patients need, at the moment they need it, to keep them healthy and reduce risk. The addition of the SinfoníaRx team and our ability to provide MTM services further advance our mission. We are thrilled to welcome this accomplished team to Cureatr, honored to provide measurable value to our new customers, and excited to realize the synergies of coming together," Richard Resnick, Cureatr CEO.
Hogan Lovells and Shearman & Sterling abandon merger talks.
Wall Street law firm Shearman & Sterling and rival Hogan Lovells have ended merger talks that would have created a legal powerhouse, saying that a deal was not in their interests, FT
Shearman, a 150-year-old firm that was once one of Wall Street’s most powerful advisers, boasting clients from Citibank to Henry Ford, had been in talks with larger competitor Hogan Lovells for months.
In a statement the firms said that “after careful consideration, we have mutually agreed that a combination at this time is not in the best interest of either firm”.
Goldman Sachs AM among bidders in a possible $10bn Subway sale. (FS)
Goldman Sachs' asset management arm is among the suitors for the US based sandwich chain Subway, which has been put up for sale with an estimated $10bn price tag.
Bain Capital, TPG and TDR Capital are also among the other suitors. The sandwich chain last month said it was exploring a possible sale of its business due to surging costs and mounting competition from deeper-pocketed rivals. The array of suitors for Subway has emerged weeks after the family-owned chain said it was exploring a sale.
Bankers at JP Morgan are overseeing the sale process, with a number of other bidders also said to have expressed an interest.
Leonard Green weighs $5b sale of Pro Mach. (FS)
Private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners is exploring a sale of Pro Mach Group, in a deal that could value the US packaging company at around $5bn.
Leonard Green is working with investment bank Goldman Sachs Group on an auction for Pro Mach, which has attracted interest from other buyout firms.
Leonard Green is also considering the sale of a minority stake in Pro Mach as an alternative to an outright sale. That would preserve Pro Mach‘s debt structure and would not require bidders to secure leveraged buyout financing, DealStreetAsia reported.
Montagu Private Equity and Astorg Partners explore the sale of Open GI and Acturis. (FS)
Private equity firms Montagu Private Equity and Astorg Partners are exploring the sale of InsurTech firms Open GI and Acturis.
The sponsors have been working with advisers on a strategic review of the business, in preparation for a formal sale as soon as the second quarter of the year. The sale may formally kick off in the latter part of 2023, Reuters
Schultze SPAC held talks with JLL Partners-backed Point Blank Enterprises. (FS)
Blank-check firm Schultze Special Purpose Acquisition II held talks to merge with JLL Partners-backed Point Blank Enterprises, a maker of body armor, holsters, shields and other ballistic protection products.
The proposed terms of the transaction that were discussed couldn’t be learned. No deal was finalized and talks fell apart.
The Schultze SPAC, sponsored by an affiliate of Schultze Asset Management. At the time, the vehicle said it would focus on combining with a target that may be experiencing liquidity constraints, is financially stressed or has experienced or emerged from a financial restructuring, Bloomberg
Oculis, a developer of novel and transformative topical treatments, went public via a SPAC merger with European Biotech Acquisition in a $220m deal. Investors in PIPE indue Earlybird, Novartis Venture Fund, Pivotal bioVenture Partners, Tekla Capital Management and VI Partners.
“EBAC and its investors are exceptionally pleased with the closing of this business combination with Oculis. We value the advanced-stage, diversity and novelty of Oculis’ assets and we are confident in the expertise and experience of Oculis’ leadership team, Board of Directors, Scientific Advisory Board and network of world-class industry collaborators to bring tremendous value to the advancement of treatment outcomes in ophthalmology. We are excited about the potential of Oculis’ differentiated pipeline to meet medical needs for patients," Eduardo Bravo, EBAC CEO.
Oculis was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bank of America, SVB Securities, Cooley (led by Michal Berkner
), Vischer and Consilium Strategic Communications (led by Amber Fennell
). EBAC was advised by Arctica Finance, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Kempen, SVB Securities, Davis Polk & Wardwell (led by Michael Davis
and Derek Dostal
), Maples Group and Stibbe. Credit Suisse was advised by Shearman & Sterling.
Zucchetti, a software developer, completed the acquisition of Piteco, a financial software maker, from Dedagroup, a SaaS company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our goal in acquisitions is always to enrich our offer with innovative solutions already known and appreciated by the market. Piteco’s applications for corporate treasury and financial planning, together with those of the subsidiary Myrios for risk management, they are complementary to Erp and other technological solutions that we develop within the group; they will give further added value to our customers thanks to features that are increasingly required to make the most appropriate choices in terms of business strategies," George Mini, Zucchetti Vice President.
Zucchetti was advised by Mediobanca and Giuseppe Spernicelli. Dedagroup was advised by JP Morgan, PricewaterhouseCoopers, UniCredit and Shearman & Sterling.
AIK Banka, a commercial bank, agreed to acquire Eurobank Direktna, a Serbian bank, from Eurobank, a financial services company, for €280m ($297m).
"The transaction is consistent with Eurobank’s strategy to direct capital to opportunities with more compelling RoTBV and to further enhance its presence in its core markets, namely Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus," Eurobank.
Eurobank is advised by BNP Paribas, UBS, Milbank and Zivkovic Samardzic Law Office. AIK Banka is advised by JP Morgan.
Media companies MultiChoice Group and Comcast-backed NBCUniversal agreed to form Showmax, a video on demand platform. The new Showmax group will be 70% owned by MultiChoice and 30% by NBCUniversal. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We launched Showmax as the first African streaming service in 2015 and are extremely proud of its success to date. This agreement represents a great opportunity for our Showmax team to scale even greater heights by working with a leading global player in Comcast and its subsidiaries. The new business venture deepens an already strong relationship and builds on the Sky Glass technology partnership that we announced in September last year. We believe we are extremely well positioned to create a winning platform going forward," Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice CEO.
MultiChoice Group is advised by Morgan Stanley.
GIC, a sovereign wealth fund, agreed to acquire a 5% stake in EDP Renováveis, a renewable energy company, for $1bn.
EDPR plans to use the new capital to fund the growth in renewables and energy transition. EDPR's parent company, EDP, is keen on maintaining a share of more than 70% in EDPR and has no intention of doing any additional share placements of this size.
Equinor, an energy company, agreed to acquire Suncor Energy UK, an oil and gas production firm for $850m.
"This transaction is in line with Equinor's strategy of optimizing our oil & gas portfolio and deepening in our core countries. We are building on our longstanding position as a broad energy partner to the UK, strengthening our position as a reliable energy provider in Europe, while continuing to deliveron our ambition of becoming a net-zero company," Philippe Mathieu, Equinor Executive Vice President.
Hewlett Packard a multinational information technology company, agreed to acquire Axis Security, a cloud security provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As we transition from a post-pandemic world, and a hybrid work environment has become the new normal, a new approach is needed for network edge security to protect critical SaaS applications. The convergence of Aruba and Axis Security solutions will transform edge-to-cloud connectivity with a comprehensive SASE solution that provides enterprises with the highest levels of security for both IoT devices and all users' access across geographically distributed locations. Today, we also accelerate our vision to help our customers expand their secure connectivity needs with SASE and private 5G solutions, building on our recently announced agreement to acquire private cellular technology provider, Athonet," Phil Mottram, HPE Executive Vice President.
PIF is in talk to acquire a stake in Rocco Forte Hotels at a $1.4bn valuation. (FS)
Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund is in talks to buy a stake in Rocco Forte Hotels that could value the luxury hotels group at about $1.4bn.
PIF may buy a significant minority in Rocco Forte Hotels, including a stake held by a fund linked to Italy's state-owned lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti. Other bidders could also emerge for the stake.
The hotel group's co-founder and chairman, the British-born businessman Rocco Forte, will retain control in any deal. Deliberations are ongoing and there's no certainty they'll result in a transaction, Bloomberg
Fajr in advanced talks to buy Aster’s Gulf business in a $500m valuation. (FS)
Dubai-based private equity firm Fajr Capital is part of a consortium seeking to buy a majority stake in Aster DM Healthcare’s Gulf business.
The firm, which operates hospitals, as well as hundreds of clinics and pharmacies across India and the Gulf region, has been working with advisers to hive off its Mideast business.
The group includes other Middle Eastern investors and talks are at an advanced stage. The potential deal may carry a value of about $500m, Bloomberg
Italy close to approve CDP, Macquarie bid for TIM's grid. (FS)
Italy is close to granting preliminary approval to a multibillion-euro offer by state lender CDP and Macquarie Group for Telecom Italia's landline network, Reuters
Top officials with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's government met to review the latest details of the bid. Acceptance of the bid by CDP and Australia's Macquarie could be announced this month.
Peninsula Real Estate is in talks with Yas Holding over Pre-IPO funding. (FS)
Peninsula Real Estate, an integrated real estate company, is in talks with Abu Dhabi investment group Yas Holding to secure funding ahead of a planned initial public offering.
The listing in Abu Dhabi is likely to be announced in the first half of the year and could raise about $550m. Peninsula was initially considering listing a real estate investment trust in London, in a deal that would have made it the first company with significant assets in the United Arab Emirates to do so since 2019.
The firm is working with Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC and Morgan Stanley on the share sale, Bloomberg
Bankers pitch Arm IPO at $30bn to $70bn valuation.
As Arm prepares for a highly-anticipated initial public offering this year, global investment banks are pitching a yawning range of valuations for the chip designer, from $30bn to $70bn.
The current range puts the median value of the deal at around $50bn, a target that's been touted by multiple bankers. Parent company SoftBank Group had been seeking a $60bn valuation last year.
SoftBank Group, which owns Arm, is poised to appoint banks to lead the transaction as soon as this month, and its choices include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Barclays. It seeks to price the IPO at the end of the summer and then complete the offering later this year, Bloomberg
EQT seeks up to €3bn from Galderma IPO. (FS)
EQT, a private equity firm, is reviving plans to take skincare business Galderma public in what's expected to be another key test for Europe's market for initial public offerings.
The Swedish investment firm is studying the feasibility of listing the business as soon as after the Easter break in early April. EQT could look to raise as much as €3bn ($3.2bn) from a listing.
Galderma could be valued at as much as 20bn Swiss francs ($21bn) in any deal. Deliberations are ongoing and final decisions on the size or timing of an IPO remain subject to market conditions, Bloomberg
ANDOC Gas raises $2.5bn in Year's biggest IPO.
ANDOC, main energy company raised $2.5bn from the initial public offering of its gas business, pulling off the year’s biggest listing and continuing a trend that saw the Middle East emerge as a bright spot for share sales in 2022. The IPO values ADNOC Gas at about $50bn.
Investors placed $124bn of orders for a 5% stake in ADNOC Gas, an oversubscription level of more than 50 times. Retail investors put in orders for $23bn, over 58 times the shares reserved for them, Bloomberg
Abu Dhabi says there's more to come after year's biggest IPO.
At least eight companies are expected to list in Abu Dhabi this year after the emirate's main energy company pulled off the world's biggest listing so far in 2023.
The IPO candidates span industries from technology and media, to asset management and a firm that operates in the regenerative medicine sector, according to Sameh Al Qubaisi, director general of economic affairs at Abu Dhabi's department of economic development.
Potential listings include family conglomerates, as well as local and international private sector companies. Many operate in sectors that haven't listed in Abu Dhabi before as the government seeks to diversify the local stock exchange, Bloomberg
Stability AI seeks to raise funds at a $4bn valuation. (FS)
Stability AI, an AI tool developer for making digital images, is seeking to raise money at a valuation of about $4bn. It isn’t clear how much capital Stability AI is seeking to raise in the potential round. A final decision hasn’t been made on whether to go ahead with the financing and the valuation could still change.
Stability, whose investors include Coatue Management and Lightspeed Venture Partners, last raised $101m at a valuation of about $1bn, Bloomberg
Pushpay Holdings said a shareholder vote to decide whether Sixth Street and BGH Capital would acquire the payment platform provider for $743m has not been passed.
The vote comes days after three shareholders, who together own 5.7% of Pushpay shares, made public statements against the deal. The deal requires 75% of shareholders not associated with either Sixth Street or BGH Capital to vote in favour, but only 55.54% did, DealStreetAsia
Pushpay is advised by Goldman Sachs, Harmos Horton Lusk and Shearman & Sterling (led by Michael Dorf
). BGH Capital is advised by Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Sixth Street Partners is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher (led by Jason Pearl
and Jonathan Kubek
Rockwell Automation, an industrial automation company, completed the acquisition of Knowledge Lens, a software developer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to join Rockwell and Kalypso and extend our collective ability to innovate and build a more sustainable, resilient, and human-centric society. With our combined experience, and Knowledge Lens’ pre-packaged cloud-native solutions for common use cases including smart factory, connected workers, IT/OT integration, data migration, and sustainability, we are well-positioned to extend our impact in the market," Sudheesh Narayanan, Knowledge Lens CEO.
Rockwell Automation was advised by Khaitan & Co.
GIC Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, two sovereign wealth funds, and Orix, a financial services group, agreed to invest $700m in Greenko Energy.
"This equity commitment from the existing shareholders reinforces their trust in our vision. Greenko is leading India's energy transition through implementation of large scale and long-term solutions, and it continues to deliver long-term value to all our stakeholders. CFE is helping accelerate industrial decarbonisation, enhancing green quotient of Indian grid and development of green molecules and chemicals at a competitive cost," Anil Kumar Chalamalasetty, Greenko CEO and Managing Director.
A South Korean court blocked SM Entertainment's planned share sale to internet giant Kakao, scuppering the company's favored plan and opening the door to a takeover of SM by BTS label Hybe, Bloomberg
The Seoul Eastern District Court ruled in favor of SM founder Lee Soo-man and barred Kakao's deal to buy 9% of SM. SM last month agreed to issue new shares and convertible bonds to Kakao in a move that would have made the messaging-app operator its second-largest shareholder, diluting Lee's hold over the company.
CVC weighs buying stake in KPJ Healthcare. (FS)
CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm, is considering buying a minority stake in Kuala Lumpur-listed KPJ Healthcare, a provider of private healthcare services.
The private equity firm is in talks with Malaysian state-owned investment company Johor and the country’s pension fund Employees Provident Fund about acquiring the stake, which would make it the single biggest shareholder of the hospital operator.
CVC has reached out to banks to arrange financing for the potential deal. Malaysian state-backed institutions currently own more than 65% of KPJ, including Johor’s 35% and EPF’s 13.2%. Even after any deal, government-linked funds and companies would together control more shares in the company than CVC, Bloomberg
Kingsoft, Xiaomi set up $1.4bn joint fund for chip investments.
Hong Kong-listed Kingsoft will form a joint fund with smartphone maker Xiaomi to back companies in the area of integrated circuits.
Kingsoft Wuhan, a subsidiary of Kingsoft, will be one of the limited partners contributing RMB 500m ($72m) to the fund, which has an overall target size of RMB 10bn ($1.4bn). Xiaomi Wuhan will contribute 3bn yuan ($435m) to the fund, making it the largest interest holder, while Xiaomi Beijing will be the general partner, contributing 30m yuan ($4m).
Other LPs participating in the fund include Kaitai Technology-owned Hainan Huaying Kaitai, Shanghai-listed Industrial Securities Investment, and Nano Star Ventures, the venture capital arm of Shanghai-listed chip maker NOVOSENSE Microelectronics. The fund also saw the participation of state-owned investors including Yizhuang International Investment, also known as E-town Capital, Tianjin Haichuang, and Beijing Guiding Fund, DealStreetAsia
Hywin mulls secondary listing in Hong Kong. (FS)
Hywin Holdings, a Nasdaq-listed Chinese wealth management service firm that has made commitments to funds managed by GGV Capital and Hillhouse Capital Group, is mulling a secondary listing in Hong Kong.
China-based Hywin, which raised $48m in its US initial public offering in March 2021, is having internal discussions about the possibility of a secondary listing in Hong Kong amid the city’s efforts in attracting global high-net-worth investors and family offices, DealStreetAsia