AT&T-backed WarnerMedia, a multinational mass media company, completed the merger with Discovery, a mass media factual television company, in a $43bn deal. AT&T's shareholders received 71% of the new company and Discovery shareholders own 29% of the new company.
"We are at the dawn of a new age of connectivity, and today marks the beginning of a new era for AT&T. With the close of this transaction, we expect to invest at record levels in our growth areas of 5G and fiber, where we have strong momentum, while we work to become America's best broadband company. At the same time, we'll sharpen our focus on returns to shareholders. We expect to invest for growth, strengthen our balance sheet and reduce our debt, all while continuing to pay an attractive dividend that puts us among the top dividend paying stocks in America," John Stankey, AT&T CEO.
Discovery was advised by Allen & Company, JP Morgan, Perella Weinberg Partners, Debevoise & Plimpton, Perez Llorca, Sherman & Howard and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. AT&T was advised by Goldman Sachs, LionTree Advisors, Fasken and Sullivan & Cromwell. Advance was advised by RBC Capital Markets and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Financial advisors were advised by White & Case, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Alston & Bird.
Spirit Airlines would start talks with JetBlue on its $7.3bn offer, the budget carrier said as it could likely lead to a "superior proposal" to the one from Frontier Group Holdings.
The moves towards consolidation come at a time when the pandemic battered airlines industry is working through higher fuel and labor costs to keep up the demand from travelers.
"We look forward to engaging with the Spirit Board to finalize our combination, to create a national low-fare challenger to the four large dominant US carriers that will result in lower fares and better service for customers," Robin Hayes, JetBlue CEO.
Spirit Airlines is advised by Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Debevoise & Plimpton and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisors are advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Sullivan & Cromwell. Jet Blue is advised by Goldman Sachs and Shearman & Sterling. Debt financing to Jet Blue is provided by Goldman Sachs. Indigo Partners is advised by Lambert & Co. Frontier Airlines is advised by Citigroup, Latham & Watkins and Joele Frank.
Wyloo Metals, a mining company, completed the acquisition of Noront Resources, a Canadian-based mining company, for $485m.
"Wyloo Metals was founded to ensure a successful transition to a lower carbon future by supplying the necessary critical metals to the world. Today, we take an important step in our long-term strategy to become a producer of metals needed for a cleaner future," Luca Giacovazzi, Wyloo Metals CEO.
Wyloo was advised by Maxit Capital, McCarthy Tetrault and Tattarang. Noront was advised by Stifel, TD Securities, Bennett Jones, Longview Communications and String Communications.
Ascensus, an American financial services company, completed the merger with Newport Group, a California-based retirement services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With today's announcement, Ascensus and Newport have taken an important step in our journey towards a stronger, unified company. Clients across our lines of business will benefit from our expanded capabilities—accelerated investments in technology, data analytics, and user experiences—and broadened expertise. And both Ascensus and Newport associates can look forward to new opportunities for personal growth and enhanced career development," David Musto, Ascensus President and CEO.
Ascensus was advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Debt financing was provided by KKR Capital Markets, SPC Financing Company and Goldman Sachs. Newport was advised by Evercore and Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
TransUnion, a global information and insights company, completed the acquisition of the financial services unit of Verisk, a data analytics provider serving customers in insurance, energy and specialized markets, and financial services, for $515m.
"We're thrilled to officially welcome Verisk Financial and look forward to a smooth integration process. Providing efficient online solutions for the financial needs of today's digital-savvy consumer is critical, and the combined capabilities of TransUnion and Verisk Financial will help our customers by allowing them to make better and faster decisions," Chris Cartwright, TransUnion President and CEO.
TransUnion was advised by PJT Partners, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Brunswick Group. Verisk was advised by Goldman Sachs, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Joele Frank.
Gryphon Investors, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Vision Innovation Partners, an ophthalmology service provider, from Centre Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Vision Innovation Partners was founded on the core principle of expanding patient access to high-quality care. Centre Partners provided substantial resources which helped us to quickly achieve that goal while assembling a large group of highly productive and experienced clinical providers. From this well-established base, I believe Vision Innovation Partners is positioned for future success," Maria Scott, Vision Innovation Partners Founder.
Centre Partners was advised by Coker Capital, Moelis & Co, Arent Fox, Dechert and Kekst CNC.
Betterware de Mexico, a direct-to-consumer company, completed the acquisition of JAFRA Mexico and the US operations from Vorwerk group, a diversified corporate group, for $155m.
"We are very pleased to complete the acquisition of JAFRA's operations in Mexico and the United States. This acquisition increases our categories served to include beauty and personal care products, accelerates our entry into new geographies and leverages our infrastructure to elevate JAFRA's distribution model. We are delighted to welcome all JAFRA employees, leaders and consultants to our company and are excited to begin this next chapter of growth more powerfully positioned. Overall, we remain confident in our ability to deliver long term profitable growth and increase value for all Betterware stakeholders," Luis G. Campos, Betterware Chairman.
Vorwerk was advised by Santander and DLA Piper. Betterware de Mexico was advised by Baker McKenzie and Greenberg Traurig.
BV Investment Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition Source Advisors, a specialized tax consulting firm, from Gainline Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests in US based middle market companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Gainline was an outstanding partner to Source Advisors. The Gainline team's support and guidance was instrumental in helping us refine our strategic vision and execute various organic and inorganic growth initiatives. The Source team is proud of what we've accomplished over the course of our partnership with Gainline, and we look forward to continuing to build off this tremendous foundation and working to expand our solutions and better serve our clients," Chris Henderson, Source Advisors President.
Source Advisors was advised by Lincoln International, Morrison Cohen and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Littelfuse, an American electronic manufacturing company, agreed to acquire C&K Switches, manufacturer of high-quality electromechanical switches, for $540m.
"We are excited to welcome C&K Switches employees to the Littelfuse team. With its strong brand reputation, a long history of design excellence and high-performing products, the addition of C&K Switches will enhance our presence and growth in our target markets. Our complementary go-to-market models — through a combination of direct sales and channel distribution — and expanded product portfolio will serve as a platform for future growth," Deepak Nayar, Littelfuse Senior Vice President and General Manager.
Littelfuse is advised by Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Macfarlanes.
Dialyze Direct, a kidney care innovation company, completed the acquisition of Walnut Court Capital-backed Compass Home Dialysis, an end stage renal disease dialysis organization. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to welcome Compass and its highly skilled staff to the Dialyze Direct team, and to be able to extend our cutting-edge services to their already exceptional level of patient care. Our combined patient-first mentality made the decision to enter into an acquisition a very easy one. We are looking forward to continuing to expand the offering of our innovative, geriatric treatment plans to better the dialysis experience and outcomes for patients in SNFs across the nation," Josh Rothenberg, Dialyze Direct President and Co-Founder.
Dialyze Direct was advised by Zumado Public Relations.
Bentley Systems, an infrastructure engineering software company, completed the acquisition of ADINA, a developer of finite element analysis software applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“My colleagues and I are proud to be joining Bentley Systems’ broad and deep simulation team. Our aim in the development of ADINA has always been to provide a most reliable and efficient analysis tool to scientists and engineers, and it is wonderful that with Bentley, ADINA will now be used and further developed with great potential for solving the varied and interrelated challenges of infrastructure resilience," K.J. Bathe, ADINA Founder.
MacPherson's, a provider of art and creative materials and services, completed the acquisition of FREDRIX, a manufacturer of canvas products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"FREDRIX is an undisputed pioneer in providing premium canvas for all types of creative endeavors. We are extremely excited to add FREDRIX to our portfolio of world class exclusive brands, continuing our strategy to provide the best and broadest array of products to the industry. We look forward to continuing the brand's legacy as a leader in our industry while ensuring it continues to evolve to meet the demands of our customers – and most importantly their customers – for decades to come," Dave Schofield, MacPherson's President and CEO.
I Squared Capital closes $15bn third global fund. (FS)
US-based infrastructure investment manager I Squared Capital, an active investor in Asia, has closed its third global fund at $15bn, exceeding an initial target of $12bn.
Including commitments from I Squared Capital and a dedicated co-investment vehicle, ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund III has $15.5bn in total investable capital. ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund III is more than twice the size of its predecessor fund, which was closed at $7bn in 2018. The first vehicle was a 2015-vintage $3bn fund.
The fund has attracted commitments from over 200 institutional investors, including public and private pensions, sovereign funds, insurance companies, asset managers and family offices in 27 countries.
Sun Communities, a REIT, completed the acquisition of Park Holidays UK, the second largest owner and operator of holiday communities in the UK, for $1.3bn.
“Park Holidays is thrilled to be joining the Sun Communities team. The similarities in our product offerings, operations, and culture will help us enhance our best-in-class holiday park experience for homeowners and guests. By joining the Sun platform, we can continue to scale and optimize the UK holiday park opportunity for all stakeholders,” Jeff Sills, Park Holidays CEO.
Park Holidays was advised by HSBC, RBC Capital Markets and Proskauer Rose. Sun Communities was advised by Citigroup, Lazard, Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss and Jones Day. Financial advisors were advised by Shearman & Sterling. Debt financing was provided by Citigroup.
EagleTree Capital-backed media companies Arc and The Channel Company to acquire Incisive Media, a business-to-business digital media and events business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Following a very successful period of growth over the last few years, Incisive Media is now ready for its next stage of development. The global platforms of Arc and The Channel Company offer natural homes for Incisive Media’s brands and people. Our audience and customer centric approach to growing and supporting the end markets that we serve fits squarely with the philosophies of both Arc and The Channel Company. This split allows us to support that growth in a relevant and focused way. I am excited about the future and look forward to working with Simon and his team at Arc to take Incisive Media into this next and exciting chapter," Jonathon Whiteley, Incisive Media CEO.
Incisive Media is advised by Cardean Bell and Macfarlanes. Arc is advised by Plural Strategy Group, Canson Capital Partners and Jones Day.
Allfunds, a WealthTech platform, agreed to acquire Web Financial Group, a software solutions provider, for €145m ($158m).
“At Allfunds, we are fully customer-centric and, with this in mind, we are always looking for growth opportunities that complement and broaden our offering. We wish not only to fulfill our clients’ needs, but to anticipate them; the synergies, technology and talented WebFG team will, no doubt, strengthen our value proposition and help us deliver the world-class service we, at Allfunds, strive to provide," Juan Alcaraz, Allfunds Founder and CEO.
CF Group, a manufacturing and distribution group of swimming pool equipment, completed the acquisition of Starline, a manufacturer and distributor of polypropylene and composite swimming pools. FInancial terms were not disclosed.
"This merger is a very positive story for Starline. It will leverage the strong business synergies that exist with CF Group, especially in the German-speaking markets," Victor de Vries, Starline CEO.
Ithaca Energy, an oil and gas operator, agreed to acquire Siccar Point Energy, an oil and gas company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are proud of what Siccar Point Energy has achieved as a result of the dedication of our team and support of our sponsors, Blackstone and Bluewater, and combining our business with Ithaca Energy is a natural step to take the portfolio through the next stage of organic growth. Ithaca is extremely well placed, given its material production base, to pick up the baton and unlock the significant growth opportunities in the Siccar Point portfolio. This will ensure the UK continues to deliver reliable UK oil and gas production for powering homes and businesses and manufacturing essential products and maintaining energy security during the planned energy transition. We look forward to working with the Ithaca Energy team to support the integration of the businesses," Jonathan Roger, Siccar Point Energy CEO.
Siccar Point Energy is advised by Jefferies & Company.
TSG Consumer Partners, an investment company, agreed to acquire Cadogan Tate, a moving and storage company. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"Now is the perfect time to bring on a new growth partner and we couldn't have found a better fit than TSG – a firm with an exceptional track record of growing consumer brands while supporting company values. We are eager to leverage their digital capabilities and expertise in developing brands internationally as we continue to grow our customer engagement. We thank H2 for their support and look forward to our future with TSG," Duncan Orange, Cadogan Tate CEO.
HIG Capital-backed Highbourne Group, a distributor of plumbing, heating, and bathroom products, completed the acquisition of Plumbworld, an e-commerce specialists for bathroom. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The integration of Plumbworld into the Highbourne Group is an exciting new chapter for our business. Dave and the team at Highbourne are creating real momentum in the market and I see enormous potential for Plumbworld as part of that growth plan," James Hickman, Plumbworld Founder and CEO.
CMA CGM, a French container transportation and shipping company, agreed to acquire GEFCO, an automotive logistics company and international expert in multimodal supply chain. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"The acquisition of GEFCO represents a further step in our development strategy and strengthens our position as a global player in transport and logistics. With GEFCO, our subsidiary CEVA will become the world leader in automotive logistics, having recently enhanced its capabilities in e-commerce logistics with the acquisition of Ingram Micro CLS. We are creating a French leader to serve our customers around the world," Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Chairman and CEO.
Indotek, a European investment fund based in Hungary, agreed to acquire a 43% stake in Fortenova Group, a retail and wholesale, food and agriculture company, from Sberbank, a Russian majority state-owned banking and financial services company. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"We welcome the entry of Indotek, which we recognize as a long-term strategic partner, into the co-owenrship of the Fortenova Group and we hope and expect that in the next few months all the approvals required to complete the sale and purchase of shares will be obtained. Regardless of a possible change in co-ownership, the Fortenova Group continues with regular business operations. Our operating companies are successfully managing market disruptions caused by rising operating costs and disruptions in some supply chains, that our many customers do not feel, and we are fully focused on preparing for this year's tourist season from which we have significant expectations," Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group CEO and Member of the Board of Directors.
Fresenius picks Bank of America and JP Morgan for sale of Helios stake.
Fresenius has selected banks to help with the sale of a minority stake in Helios, Europe’s largest operator of private hospitals.
The German medical-care company is working with Bank of America and JP Morgan to gauge interest from potential buyers. A sale of about 20% could value Helios at more than $16.3bn, including debt.
The asset is likely to attract private equity and infrastructure funds. Deliberations are in the early stages and no final decisions on the size or timing of any deal have been made, Bloomberg reported.
Gautam Adani’s empire gets $2bn from International Holding Company. (FS)
International Holding Company, a full services management and investment firm, has invested almost $2bn in three companies owned by Gautam Adani, Indian billionaire.
Adani Group, a commodity trading business, is raising $1bn by issuing preferential shares to IHC while Adani Green Energy and Adani Transmission will receive via the same equity instrument, Bloomberg reported.
Ascential plots £1.5bn transatlantic break-up.
Ascential, the London-listed events and analytics company is exploring a radical split that would see its digital operations demerged and listed in New York.
Ascential, which has a market capitalisation of £1.5bn ($1.9bn), is working with investment bankers on plans to demerge its digital operations and list them separately in the US.
Under the plans, which have yet to be given formal board approval, the remaining events operations - which include the Cannes Lions and World Retail Congress - would remain listed in London, Sky News reported.
London & Country and Habito explore a merger.
London & Country Mortgages is in talks with Habito about a possible combination to create one of the UK’s largest mortgage brokers.
Both firms are working with advisers on a deal that could be announced in the coming months. Discussions between the two companies are ongoing and could still be delayed or fall apart, Bloomberg reported.
TalkTalk reviews options after Vodafone approach
TalkTalk, a low-cost internet service provider, has asked investment bank Lazard to review its options after several groups, including Vodafone, approached the UK broadband company about potential deals.
Vodafone, the fifth-largest player in the UK broadband market, has looked at the possibility of doing a deal with TalkTalk multiple times in the past but has tripped up over questions around the value of the busines.
Nick Read, the company’s chief executive, has said that he is looking to pursue deals in countries including the UK, Spain and Italy.
GIP and Brookfield waiting on Atlantia as Benettons study rival bid. (FS)
Investment funds Global Infrastructure Partners and Brookfield are not contemplating any hostile move on Italy's road and airport operator Atlantia as a rival bid takes shape.
The two funds said last week they had pitched a possible takeover of Atlantia to its main shareholder Edizione, a holding company controlled by the Benetton family. GIP and Brookfield are in wait-and-see mode ... but there are no plans at present to launch any hostile bid.
But Edizione, which owns 33% of Atlantia, said it had no interest in the funds' project. It added that talks were under way with Blackstone Group on a deal of their own to strengthen its grip on the infrastructure group, Reuters reported.
Woodside Petroleum, an Australian petroleum exploration and production company, agreed merger with the oil and gas business of BHP Group, a resources company, in a $28bn deal is in the best interest of its shareholders.
In a nil-premium deal, BHP agreed to hive off its petroleum business to Woodside last year, which will give BHP shareholders a 48% stake in the combined group and turn Woodside into a top 10 global independent oil and gas producer, Reuters reported.
Woodside is advised by Gresham, Morgan Stanley, King & Wood Mallesons and Vinson & Elkins. BHP Group is advised by Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Herbert Smith Freehills.
Toshiba said it would scrap plans to split the company in two and set up a committee to consider “strategic alternatives,” including bids to take the company private.
The embattled company said the new committee will comprise Toshiba’s independent directors. It will begin discussions with potential investors and sponsors as soon as practical.
Toshiba initially planned to split into three companies, then revised the plan to divide into two companies. But shareholders rejected that new plan in a vote in March, Bloomberg reported.
Toshiba is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Kekst CNC and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Ruipu Energy seeks funding at $4.7bn.
Ruipu Energy, a Chinese maker of batteries for electric vehicles backed by the world’s largest nickel producer, is considering raising funds ahead of a potential listing in Hong Kong as early as this year.
REPT, as the business is known, is seeking to raise funds at a valuation of nearly $4.7bn. The deal may be followed by an initial public offering that could help the firm raise about $1bn or more in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported.
Tiket weighs Blibli merger before $1bn IPO.
Tiket.com, an Indonesian online travel booking company, is considering a merger with e-commerce platform Blibli after talks with a blank-check company fell through.
The travel firm could join with PT Global Digital Niaga, as Blibli is formally known, ahead of a planned initial public offering in Jakarta. A first-time share sale for the combined firm could raise about $1bn. Both companies count Indonesian conglomerate Djarum Group as a backer.
Tiket was considering going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. The startup’s discussions with COVA Acquisition have ended. Along with the option of a potential SPAC merger, Tiket was also exploring a traditional IPO as well as possibly combining with one of the Southeast Asian super apps, Bloomberg reported.
KKR to list Kokusai Electric at a $5.7bn valuation. (FS)
KKR plans to take apanese chip equipment maker Kokusai Electric Corp public in an IPO as early as June, in what is likely to be Tokyo’s biggest listing in more than three years. KKR plans to sell part of its stake to domestic and overseas investors.
While the size of the initial public offering was not immediately clear, Kokusai Electric would likely list with a market value of around $5.7bn.
Lead underwriters include SMBC Nikko Securities, a unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, and Goldman Sachs, DealStreetAsia reported.
Tencent Holdings-backed G7 weighs $500m Hong Kong IPO.
Tencent Holdings-backed G7, a fleet management company, is weighing an initial public offering in Hong Kong that could raise about $500m as soon as this year.
The Chinese firm is working with China International Capital, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley on the proposed share sale. Deliberations are ongoing and details of the fundraising such as size and timing could change.
ALI Technologies is preparing for an IPO in Japan.
ALI Technologies, a drone manufacturer, is preparing for an IPO in Japan.
The company has selected lead underwriters for an initial public offering on Tokyo’s Mothers market for startups in what will be the country’s first debut of its kind. It’s presently engaged in discussions with the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Bloomberg reported.
Elevation Capital raises $670m, India-focused fund. (FS)
Elevation Capital, which has backed the likes of Paytm and Makemytrip, has announced a $670m, India-focused fund, to continue funding early-stage companies in the country, DealStreetAsia reported.
“We will continue to focus on the Seed and Series A stage. Early-stage investing is where we have found our ikigai,” Elevation Capital.
XVC closes third USD fund at $274m. (FS)
XVC, a venture capital firm, has closed its third USD-dominated fund at $274m. The fund will focus on technology sectors such as cloud computing, intelligence, supply chain, consumer, and retail.
The fund secured commitments from university endowment funds, non-profit foundations, family offices, and sovereign wealth funds. Almost all existing LPs have backed the third USD vehicle.
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