US chipmaker Broadcom secured EU antitrust approval for its $69bn proposed acquisition of cloud computing firm VMware after offering remedies to help rival Marvell Technology.
The deal, Broadcom's largest ever, will help the chipmaker diversify into enterprise software. Broadcom offered Marvell and other rivals interoperability commitments related to its Fibre Channel Host-Bus Adapters, a kind of storage adapters, Reuters reported.
Microsoft cleared major hurdles to its plan to buy videogame maker Activision Blizzard, after a US judge gave a thumbs-up to the $69bn deal and a British regulator suggested it could reconsider its opposition, Reuters reported.
Activision shares surged 10% on the day, as the US and Britain have been the two countries opposed to what would be Microsoft's biggest deal ever and the largest transaction in the videogame industry's history. Microsoft shares rose 64% to $332.47.
US genetic testing company Illumina was fined a record €432m ($476m) by the EU for closing its takeover of cancer test maker Grail before securing EU antitrust approval.
Illumina has been fighting the EU competition watchdog on several fronts since it was forced to seek its approval in 2021 despite the deal falling short of the EU turnover threshold for scrutiny, Reuters reported.
Vector Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Riverbed Technology, an IT solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Dave is a proven leader who brings to Riverbed deep knowledge and experience driving growth at scaled technology businesses. He is a purposeful changemaker with a customer-first approach and is the ideal person to lead the company forward as it pursues continued growth and scale. We are excited that John Theler, a highly skilled and proven finance executive, will be joining as CFO and welcome him to the team. We would also like to thank Dan Smoot for his contributions to the company and his support navigating the transition, and wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” Andy Fishman, Vector Capital Managing Director.
Astellas Pharma, a pharmaceutical company, completed the acquisition of Iveric Bio, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel treatments for retinal diseases with significant unmet medical needs, for $5.9bn.
"We are pleased to reach an agreement with Iveric Bio, a company with exceptional expertise in the R&D of innovative therapeutics in the ophthalmology field. Iveric Bio has promising programs including Avacincaptad Pegol, an important program for Geographic Atrophy secondary to Age-Related Macular Degeneration, and capabilities across the entire value chain in the ophthalmology field. We believe that this acquisition will enable us to deliver greater VALUE to patients with ocular diseases at high risk of blindness," Naoki Okamura, Astellas President and CEO.
RedBird Capital Partners, a private investment firm that builds high-growth companies and provides strategic capital solutions to founders and entrepreneurs, completed the investment in Go Rentals, the premier luxury car rental provider in the United States. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is a very exciting day for Go Rentals as we partner with RedBird and embark on our next stage of growth and take our business to the next level. RedBird is a world-class private equity investor with an exceptional record of building industry-leading businesses and creating opportunities for access and expansion to adjacent luxury markets," Kaye Gitibin, Go Rentals Co-Founder and CEO.
Go Rentals was advised by JP Morgan and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton. RedBird was advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Gagnier Communications (led by Dan Gagnier).
Gemspring, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Bradford Soap, a manufacturer and developer of beauty and personal care products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are extremely proud of the legacy we have built as a quality and trusted partner to our customers. We're pleased to have found an engaged and knowledgeable partner like Gemspring who shares our vision and has a proven track record of partnering with entrepreneurial teams to build high-growth companies. In this next phase of growth, we look forward to broadening both our capabilities and product portfolio while further establishing our position as the manufacturing and development partner of choice to leading beauty and personal care brands," Stuart R. Benton, Bradford President and CEO.
Gemspring was advised by Guggenheim Partners and McDermott Will & Emery.
Hexagon, a provider of digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software and autonomous technologies, agreed to acquire HARD-LINE, a provider of mine automation, remote-control technology and mine production optimization. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition will enhance Hexagon's life-of-mine technology stack and complement its latest product offerings, including HxGN Underground Mining, HxGN Autonomous Mining, and the award-winning HxGN MineProtect platform.
ExoCoBio, a provider of exosome-based regenerative aesthetics, completed the acquisition of BENEV, a global medical aesthetic company based in the US. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are truly grateful and pleased to announce ExoCoBio's acquisition of BENEV. We have been on a journey together as a strategic and financial partner for the last six years since the US launch of Exosome Regenerative Complex. With this acquisition, we are confident that our expertise, standing in the industry and brand, paired with ExoCoBio's science, technology, funding and pipeline products will generate a strong synergy for our strategic growth in the global medical aesthetic market," Ethan Min, BENEV CEO.
Pharos Capital Group-backed Vantage Surgical Solutions, a provider of mobilized surgical solutions, completed the acquisition of Ophthalmic Surgical Solutions, a Kansas-based company specializing in ophthalmic surgical equipment and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to welcome Duane and his highly successful organization, Ophthalmic Surgical Solutions, into the Vantage family and are excited about the geographical expansion this represents," Bradley Hill, Vantage Surgical Solutions CEO.
Laurentian Bank says it is reviewing strategic options.
Laurentian Bank of Canada, the country's ninth largest bank, said it is conducting a review of strategic options. The bank's board of directors recently hired financial and legal advisers to pursue a potential sale, Reuters reported.
The Montreal-based lender said no further developments will be disclosed until the review is concluded. The Canadian financial sector has been consolidating following the nation's biggest lender Royal Bank of Canada's proposal to buy HSBC's Canadian business. Laurentian laid out a three-year turnaround plan in late 2021 to streamline operations and boost profits. The bank, in its statement, said it was "exceeding" its financial targets in an increasingly challenging macroeconomic environment and market volatility.
Bonderman's Wildcat seeks to thwart $2.9bn Consolidated Communications deal. (FS)
Wildcat Capital Management, which manages the wealth of buyout firm TPG co-founder David Bonderman, has asked Consolidated Communications to reject an offer to take the company private for $2.9bn, including debt. A non-binding $4-per-share all-cash offer for the broadband services provider undervalues it by 3.5 times, Wildcat wrote to Consolidated Communications' board in a July 12 letter, Reuters reported.
The offer was made on April 12 by a consortium led by private equity firm Searchlight Capital, which owns 34% of Consolidated Communications. Consolidated Communications formed a special committee to consider the offer later that month but has not provided an update since. The offer represented a 45% premium over Consolidated Communications' closing price for the previous day and was equivalent to 8.4 times the company's projected 2023 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
AI startup Alphasense raising funds at $2.5bn valuation. (FS)
Alphasense, a market-research and data firm powered by artificial intelligence, is in the process of raising funding at a $2.5bn valuation. The New York-based company is in talks to collect about $150m, which would be used to fund growth opportunities, including potential acquisitions. The round, which hasn't closed yet, could be announced within weeks, Bloomberg reported.
In the most recent quarter, VCs spent less on crypto and digital asset companies than at any point since 2020. At the same time, the total global value of investments in AI for the April-June period was higher than crypto even at its peak. The numbers reflect the recent tendency of many tech investors — even those who once backed crypto — to move away from the scandal-plagued digital asset industry toward the latest advances in AI.
World's top meat packer JBS seeks long-awaited NYC listing.
JBS, the world's largest meat supplier, is moving ahead with a long-delayed plan to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. JBS filed a registration request to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and will seek shareholder approval for a planned direct listing, Bloomberg reported.
Depositary receipts backed by JBS stock will trade on Sao Paulo's stock exchange, where the company is currently listed. Meat giant plans to proceed with long-discussed listing on New York Stock Exchange by the end of 2023.
Antares Capital closes $6bn Senior Loan Fund II. (FS)
Antares Capital announced the closing of its second Senior Loan Fund, with approximately $6bn of asset purchasing power across all Fund related vehicles, including a dedicated co-investment vehicle.
As one of the longest tenured providers of private debt financing in North America, the Fund will leverage Antares' existing private credit platform and sponsor relationships to build a diverse portfolio of sponsor-backed senior secured loans to US and Canadian borrowers. Investors in SLF II primarily include public and private pensions, insurance companies, asset managers and banks across over 50 institutions globally. Over 75 percent of the SLF II asset purchasing power came from institutions that have previously invested with Antares, signaling that investors continue to turn to Antares for a strong pipeline of attractive investment opportunities.
Sapphire Ventures commits $1bn+ to invest in the next generation of AI-powered enterprise technology startups. (FS)
Sapphire Ventures, a global software venture capital firm backing companies of consequence, announced that it is deepening its commitment to AI by investing more than $1bn in AI-powered enterprise technology startups, including those specializing in generative AI. The commitment builds on Sapphire's history of investing in and scaling enterprise AI startups, and will focus on all areas of the emerging AI tech stack including foundation models, enablers and middleware, and next-gen AI applications.
"We believe companies are only beginning to see the benefits of AI and GenAI, specifically. Soon, we expect there to be a massive, AI-driven productivity boom that will benefit workers at every level and create value throughout the global economy. We're eager to back the next wave of enterprise innovators driving this evolution," Nino Marakovic, Sapphire CEO, Partner and co-Founder.
AIMPERA Capital Partners closes its second institutional fund with over $475m of related capital commitments. (FS)
AIMPERA Capital Partners announces the final close for its real assets fund AIMPERA Fund III. AIMPERA is a private investment firm with a distinctive approach to scaling growth in pre-institutional operating businesses that provide essential services in the North American lower middle market. AIMPERA raised total capital commitments of more than $475m for the Fund and related co-investment vehicles. This brings the Firm's total assets under management to over $600m, inclusive of AIMPERA Cold Storage Fund which was closed in October 2020 at its hard cap.
AIMPERA was launched in 2018 by Managing Partners and Co-Founders Matt Carbone, Ryan Barnes, and Ed Leung. The co-founders have been investing together in these types of businesses since 2007. The Firm focuses on partnership with pre-institutional, often family-owned, infrastructure operating businesses that are asset rich.
Ex-Citadel manager Vince Aita launches hedge fund with $275m. (FS)
Former Citadel portfolio manager Vince Aita's new Cutter Capital Management, backed by two institutional investors, has begun trading with $275m. The cash, invested in the health care-focused hedge fund through separately managed accounts, will be leveraged up to $550m, Bloomberg reported.
Cutter is looking to raise an additional $200m for its flagship fund, offering a founders' share class with cheaper fees that will open to investors October 1.
AURELIUS, a globally active alternative investment firm, agreed to acquire TM Group, a provider of property search aggregation services, from Dye & Durham, one of the world's largest providers of cloud-based legal practice management software, for £91m ($117m).
"This is a great opportunity for AURELIUS to invest in the UK property services space, in a strong platform for steady growth. TM Group's services are essential to the UK conveyancing process, providing the business with a good level of demand within a market with high barriers to entry. We see a number of compelling opportunities to build on TM Group's well-established market position and look forward to bringing our operational expertise to partner with the incumbent management team. This corporate carve-out transaction from Dye & Durham is further evidence of our deliverability in a challenging M&A market," Tristan Nagler, AURELIUS Partner.
AURELIUS is advised by CIL Management Consultants, KPMG, Rothschild & Co and Travers Smith. Dye & Durham is advised by LodeRock Advisors.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, a global investment management organization, completed the investment in Power2X, a hydrogen project developer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Investing in Power2X is fully aligned with our ambition to play a leading role in the energy transition. The need for industrial decarbonization is increasing rapidly, and green molecules have a vital role to play in meeting these demands, whether to create alternative fuels, hydrogen, or renewable feedstocks such as green ammonia. With Power2X's development capabilities and CPP Investments' flexible capital and sustainable energies expertise, this partnership enables us to invest in next-generation energy assets at an industrial scale with long-term business partners," Bruce Hogg, CPP Investments Managing Director, Head of Sustainable Energies.
RWS, a company that offers patent translation and search services, agreed to acquire Propylon, a provider of content creation, management and publishing solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The acquisition is an exciting milestone for both of our businesses and for our global clients. Not only does it extend the geographical opportunity for growth for both companies, but clients will benefit from our complementary technology and services and our ability to help them reach global audiences with our language expertise,” Thomas Labarthe, RWS President of Language Services and Technology Division.
Thales in talks to buy Cobham Aerospace Communications for $1.1bn.
French defense and technology group Thales is in exclusive talks to buy aerospace supplier Cobham Aerospace Communications for up to $1.1bn, pushing Thales shares up more than 3% as it bets on connected cockpits, Reuters reported.
The world's third-largest producer of avionics for civil jetliners said the all-cash acquisition would boost its sales growth and operating profitability and put it in a position to take advantage of steady demand for secured connectivity.
UK digital bank Monzo weighs deal for Nordic rival Lunar. (FS)
Monzo Bank, the UK mobile bank, is exploring a potential combination with Nordic peer Lunar Group as it looks for ways to expand in Europe. London-based Monzo has been holding preliminary discussions with the Danish company about the structure of a possible deal, Bloomberg reported.
Lunar last raised funds in 2022 at a valuation of about $2.2bn. Its investors include Kinnevik, Tencent, Greyhound Capital, and Socii Capital. Many fintech companies have been seeking investment partners from more prominent bank institutions to expand their territorial reach and scale of operations.
AXA weighs offloading $2bn reinsurance arm to cut disaster risk.
One of the world's top insurers is mulling offloading its property reinsurance business in a bid to cut its exposure to natural disasters like hurricanes. French insurer AXA has been discussing strategic options for its XL Re unit, including a possible private sale or stock market listing, Reuters reported.
The discussions, preliminary in nature, which may not ultimately lead to a transaction, come two years after the business was reported to have attracted interest from French mutual insurer Covea. Reinsurers take on some of the risks that primary insurers underwrite in exchange for compensation. The rewards for providing cover for natural catastrophes can be high, but so can the losses. Events such as Hurricane Ian last year - the third costliest storm in US history - have prompted some reinsurers to stop this line of business, particularly as climate change makes it harder to evaluate risks.
German logistics firm sennder renews $2.5bn joint venture with Poste Italiane.
German digital freight forwarder sennder is renewing its joint venture with Poste Italiane with the aim of generating $2.5bn in revenue over the next 10 years, sennder CEO David Nothacker said. The venture, known as sennder Italia, achieved earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation of $4.8m in 2022, cutting costs for Poste Italiane with its technology that reduces manual operations and unnecessary mileage for freight, Reuters reported.
The business ensures parcel and mail trucks are fully loaded between sorting and distribution hubs in Italy. The partnership illustrates the need for carriers and technology companies to club together to cut costs as the sector comes under increasing pressure to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. As part of the renewal agreement, sennder will increase its holding in the joint venture to a majority 75% stake, while Poste Italiane will hold 25%. In addition, Poste Italiane will increase its ownership in Berlin-based sennder to around 10%.
Privatisation of Portugal's TAP delayed, expected 'before October'.
The privatisation of Portugal's state-owned airline TAP will take place before October instead of starting in July as the government had originally planned, Infrastructure Minister Joao Galamba said. In April, the government said that the sale would start in July after two independent advisers established the airline's value, but state holding company Parpublica only hired Ernst & Young and Portuguese bank Banco Finantia to value it last week, Reuters reported.
The government has said it intends to keep a strategic stake in the state carrier, which is currently being restructured under an EU-approved $3.53bn rescue plan. At least three major global carriers - IAG, Lufthansa, and Air France-KLM - have so far shown an interest in the airline.
Abu Dhabi in talks to attract 30 global hedge funds. (FS)
The Middle East is continuing to court big names in the hedge fund world. Abu Dhabi's financial centre is in talks with more than 30 hedge funds to help them set up in the Middle East, Financial News reported.
"We are increasingly seeing more hedge funds setting up or exploring setting up a presence in Abu Dhabi Global Market. The pipeline of potential new hedge funds that Abu Dhabi Global Market has been engaging with is more than 30," Arvind Ramamurthy, Abu Dhabi Chief of Market Development.
Swiss Re nominates new chairman after Ermotti goes to UBS. (People)
The insurer Swiss Re said that it planned to promote its deputy chairman Jacques de Vaucleroy to the role of permanent chairman of the board after his predecessor Sergio Ermotti resigned to lead UBS. The reshuffle is part of the continuing fallout from Swiss authorities' rescue of Credit Suisse in a shotgun merger with UBS and new management at the helm, Reuters reported.
De Vaucleroy, a Belgian previously with management roles at the French insurer AXA and the Dutch bank ING, has been acting as chairman since Ermotti left the chairmanship in April. The board of directors conducted a search for a replacement that included external candidates, Swiss Re said, but in the end decided de Vaucleroy was its choice for the role. Following the board's nomination, de Vaucleroy will stand for election as chairman in April at the company's annual general meeting.
Alvarez & Marsal hires from KPMG for new UK corporate finance team. (People)
The US consultancy firm is launching a UK corporate finance team targeting the mid-market. Alvarez & Marsal has added two directors from KPMG as part of a push to grow a new corporate finance team in the UK targeting the mid-market, Financial News reported.
The US consultancy firm had already hired KPMG's former UK corporate finance head Jonathan Boyers to lead the team. Boyers resigned from KPMG in January and has been held to 12 months' gardening leave. More employees are expected to follow.
Thomson Medical Group, an SGX Mainboard-listed healthcare group, agreed to acquire Far East Medical Vietnam, which operates a range of healthcare facilities in Vietnam, including the multi-disciplinary tertiary FV Hospital and a network of primary and specialist clinics, from Quadria Capital, a private equity firm, for $381m.
"The acquisition of FV Hospital deepens our commitment to the Southeast Asian healthcare sector, expanding our Group's presence across three of the region's most important geographies in healthcare. FV Hospital provides a strategic foothold for us in Vietnam and a gateway to grow and focus on future investments in this fast-growing market," Kiat Lim, TMG Executive Vice-Chairman.
Thomson Medical Group is advised by Motley Crew Media (led by Michelle Tham). Quadria Capital is advised by Citigroup.
OSR Holdings, a global healthcare company, agreed to go public via a merger with Bellevue Life Sciences Acquisition, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company. Financial terms were not disclosed,
BLAC and OSR Holdings expect to finalize their definitive agreement with respect to the proposed business combination in the coming weeks and plan to announce additional details at that time. Upon completion of the business combination, the surviving company will be renamed as OSR Biosciences.
Quadria Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to invest $75m in Maxivision Super Speciality Eye Hospitals, an eye care provider.
"Quadria's investment in Maxivision underscores our ambition to invest in regional leaders of Asian healthcare who offer full service offerings within a single speciality to the wider population," Sunil Thakur, Quadria Capital Partner and Head of South Asia.
India's SpiceJet says top shareholder to inject $61m in airline.
Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet top shareholder Ajay Singh will infuse INR5bn ($61m) into the company to strengthen the airline's financial position, Reuters reported.
Ajay Singh, also SpiceJet's managing director, holds a 50.6% stake in the company, as per exchange data. The fundraise comes as SpiceJet looks to quell fears of the airline going insolvent after rival GoFirst filed for voluntary bankruptcy.
Disney weighs options for struggling India TV business.
Walt Disney is weighing options for its television business in India that include either an outright sale or setting up a joint venture with partners as it faces intensifying competition from local rivals in the world's most populous nation, Bloomberg reported.
The US entertainment giant is mulling a sale of its stakes in its TV network Disney Star after the Indian unit last year lost its streaming right to the Indian Premier League to Viacom18 Media, a joint venture between Paramount Global and Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries. Disney will likely retain control over their content business in the country.
Temasek's PSA shelves $4bn Hutchison Ports stake sale.
PSA International has shelved plans to sell its minority stake in the ports business of Hong Kong's CK Hutchison amid economic headwinds. Temasek-owned PSA put the stake sale on hold after potential valuations were lower than expected, as shipping activity globally has slowed. PSA had sought about $4bn for its 20% share of CK Hutchison's ports assets, Bloomberg reported.
Chinese state-owned conglomerates China Merchants Group and China Cosco Shipping had been among the firms expressing interest in acquiring the stake.
Audi in talks to buy Chinese automaker SAIC's EV platform.
Germany's Audi is in talks with SAIC Motor to buy an electric vehicle platform from the Chinese state-owned automaker, an unprecedented effort to shore up market share. The move, coming as sales of Audi's EV products fall sharply behind those of Tesla and domestic competitors such as Nio, spotlights the pressure on all legacy and Western brands in the world's largest auto market, as they battle over EVs, Reuters reported.
The premium car brand of Volkswagen seeks to take over the EV platform owned by SAIC's EV unit, IM Motors. Talks are at an advanced stage. Chinese media outlet Mingjing Pro reported Audi's potential takeover of the platform on July 11. Earlier, Automobilwoche said Audi was in discussion with several manufacturers to acquire an EV platform, but did not identify them. Audi has not bought a platform from another manufacturer before and until now, has used Volkswagen's EV-dedicated MEB platform for models on offer in China, while concurrently developing a new EV platform with Porsche.
India's Vedanta to enter the chip market this year after Foxconn split.
India's Vedanta will enter the market for the manufacturing of chips and displays this year, group chairman Anil Agarwal said on July 12, days after its joint-venture partner Foxconn pulled out of the $19.5bn chipmaking project. Foxconn separately intends to apply for incentives under India's semiconductor production plan, Reuters reported.
In an address to the shareholders, Agarwal said Vedanta will "this year, subject to government approval" begin its foray to setup its semiconductor and display units. After Foxconn pulled out, Vedanta said it has lined up partners for the venture, without giving any further details. Volcan Investments, Vedanta's holding company and Foxconn had signed a pact last year to set up semiconductor and display production plants in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat in western India.
Majority owners of offshore holding seek direct stake in Pakistan's K-Electric. (FS)
The majority shareholders of an offshore holding company that owns most of Pakistani power company K-Electric said they have initiated legal proceedings to seek direct ownership of a stake in the utility. The power utility's holding structure has widely been considered an impediment to its acquisition by China's state-owned Shanghai Electric, a deal that has lingered for years due to regulatory and legal hurdles in Pakistan, Reuters reported.
Infrastructure and Growth Capital Fund SPV21, which has a 53.8% shareholding in Cayman Island-registered KES Power, which in turn owns 66.4% of K-Electric, had filed for a Just & Equitable Winding Up of KESP in the Grand Court of Cayman Islands. "By this action SPV 21 IGCF simply seeks to own its shares in KE directly instead of through a holding company in the form of KESP which has unfortunately outlived its original purpose due to the continued negative actions of KESP's minority shareholders," IGCF said in a statement.
Malaysian art studio behind The Last of Us, Spider-Man games plans IPO.
Lemon Sky Studios, the Malaysian art and animation company involved in videogames such as Square Enix's "Final Fantasy XVI" and Marvel's Spider-Man game titles, is planning to list on the local stock exchange as early as 2023-end or 2024, Reuters reported.
Australia-listed game developer iCandy Interactive bought Lemon Sky for $30m in 2021. Founded in 2006, Lemon Sky has grown to now employ over 500 artists and counts major global game titles such as Blizzard Entertainment's "Diablo II: Resurrected" and "Warcraft 3: Reforged" among its portfolio. Its clients and partners include EA Entertainment, Microsoft Studios, Disney, Nickelodeon, and Bandai Namco.
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