Harborside, a California-focused, vertically integrated cannabis enterprise, agreed to acquire Urbn Leaf, a top California cannabis retailer with a dominant position in Southern California, and Loudpack, a manufacturer, cultivator and distributor of award-winning cannabis brands, for c. $100m.
"The cannabis industry in California has reached an important tipping point, and with the collective strengths of these three companies and the benefits of integration, we have the right combination of assets and skills to set a new standard, offering consumers the widest variety of products with best-in-class customer service," Ed Schmults, Urbn Leaf CEO.
Urbn Leaf is advised by PGP Capital Advisors and Burns & Levinson. Loudpack is advised by Beacon Securities, Ducera Partners and Feuerstein Kulick. Harborside is advised by ATB Capital, PI Financial, Stoic Advisory, Cassels Brock & Blackwell and Duane Morris.
Innovid, a marketing and advertising company, went public via a SPAC merger with ION Acquisition 2, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $1.3bn deal. Innovid also secured approximately $150m of PIPE financing anchored by top-tier institutional investors including Fidelity Management and Research Company, Baron Capital Group and others including funds affiliated with ION and Phoenix Group.
"Innovid is entering an exciting new chapter of growth as a public company, a major milestone that corresponds with rising adoption and demands for streaming television. As a public company, we expect that we will be able to build on our leading market position, accelerate the growth of our business, and remain the independent platform trusted by the world's largest TV advertisers," Zvika Netter, Innovid Co-Founder and CEO.
Innovid was advised by Evercore, FWMK Law Offices, Latham & Watkins and Crenshaw Communications. ION was advised by Ernst & Young, Morgan Stanley, Debevoise & Plimpton, Goldfarb Seligman & Co and White & Case.
Exor, the holding company of Italy's Agnelli family, will have about $10.2bn available for investments next year once it completes the sale of reinsurer PartnerRe, Reuters reported.
The company will also make available another $560m to spend on a share buyback between 2022 and 2024 and $560m to reduce debt next year to $4.5bn. The company will remain open to other industries and geographies.
Covea Mutual Insurance Group is advised by Barclays, JP Morgan, Rothschild & Co, Bredin Prat, Debevoise & Plimpton and Pedersoli Studio Legale. Exor is advised by Goldman Sachs, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Sullivan & Cromwell.
CNH Industrial, a company operating in the capital goods sector, completed the acquisition of Raven Industries, a precision agriculture technology company, for $2.1bn.
"Raven has been a pioneer in precision agriculture for decades, and their deep product experience, customer-driven software expertise and engineering acumen offer a significant boost to our capabilities. This acquisition emphasizes our commitment to enhance our precision farming portfolio and aligns with our digital transformation strategy. The combination of Raven's technologies and CNH Industrial's strong current and new product portfolio will provide our customers with novel, connected technologies, allowing them to be more productive and efficient," Scott Wine, CNH Industrial CEO.
Raven Industries was advised by JP Morgan, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Joele Frank. JP Morgan was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. CNH Industrial was advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Mayer Brown and Sullivan & Cromwell.
Trilantic and Cornell Capital-backed Ingenovis Health, a tech-enabled platform for healthcare staffing, agreed to acquire HealthCare Support, a national healthcare staffing platform providing a full range of customized hiring solutions across the United States. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Since its founding, HealthCare Support has been a true differentiator, with national reach, diversified offerings across a wide range of healthcare settings, and a long track record of growth. We are excited to add such a high-performing business to the Ingenovis platform along with HSS management, who have decades of industry experience and a demonstrated ability to execute and scale. We share a commitment to providing much-needed staffing services across the healthcare industry, and we look forward to adding HSS employees' knowledge and passion to the Ingenovis team as we accelerate our growth plans," Bart Valdez, Ingenovis Health CEO.
HealthCare Support is advised by Wells Fargo Securities and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. Ingenovis Health is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell. Cornell Capital is advised by Joele Frank. Debt financing is provided by Citizens Bank and UBS.
Edgewell Personal Care, an American consumer products corporation, agreed to acquire Billie, a US-based consumer brand company that offers a broad portfolio of personal care products for women, for $310m.
"We are thrilled to add Billie to our portfolio of brands. We are focused on our stated goal of building on our leading position in the women's shave category and executing on our M&A strategy with discipline and precision, both of which this acquisition accomplishes. Edgewell has been a strategic supplier to Billie since its inception, and we view this acquisition as a natural evolution of the partnership between our two companies. This acquisition immediately enhances the consumer-centric, digital capabilities of our organization and elevates our presence in the important mid-tier value segment of women's shaving in the US, while bolstering Billie's ability to capitalize on significant growth opportunities by leveraging our retail distribution platform and marketing channels. Additionally, the acquisition provides us with a unique opportunity to further broaden Billie's reach beyond razors and blades," Rod Little, Edgewell President and CEO.
Billie is advised by Goldman Sachs, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer and Fenwick & West. Edgewell is advised by Perella Weinberg Partners and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Athene, a retirement services company, and Apollo Global Management, an investment firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Aqua Finance, a fast-growing consumer lending platform, from The Blackstone Group at a $1bn valuation.
"Aqua Finance is an exciting opportunity for Athene to invest in a leading consumer finance platform, to provide capital and expertise to continue to grow the business, and to execute on our strategy with Apollo to invest in high-quality origination platforms," Jim Belardi, Athene CEO.
Aqua Finance is advised by Goldman Sachs, Lazard and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Apollo is advised by Sidley Austin.
Fenway Sports Group, a global sports, marketing, media, entertainment, and real estate company, agreed to invest in Pittsburgh Penguins, a professional ice hockey team based in Pittsburgh. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The Pittsburgh Penguins are a premier National Hockey League franchise with a very strong organization, a terrific history and a vibrant, passionate fan base. We will work diligently to continue building on the remarkable Penguins' tradition of championships and exciting play," Tom Werner, FSG Chairman.
Pittsburgh Penguins is advised by Citigroup and Reed Smith. FSG is advised by Bank of America and Shearman & Sterling.
Chatham Asset Management, a private investment firm, increased its offer for the remaining stake in RR Donnelley, an American Fortune 500 integrated communications company that provides marketing and business communications, commercial printing, and related services, to $632m.
"Despite our efforts to engage with the Board on ways to position the business for long-term success, we no longer have confidence in RRD's ability to achieve full and fair value as a public company under the current Board and management team. As longstanding investors in RRD, we believe our offer presents the best path forward for the Company to unlock its intrinsic value, while also providing shareholders immediate and substantial cash," Chatham.
Chatam Asset Management is advised by Jefferies & Company, Lowenstein Sandler, Olshan Frome Wolosky and Gasthalter & Co.
Monomoy Capital Partners, a middle-market private investment firm focused on operational value creation, agreed to acquire Thetford, a provider of sanitation and care products for the RV, marine, camping and truck markets, from The Dyson-Kissner-Moran, a privately-owned, international holding company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to partner with Stéphane Cordeille and the rest of the Thetford management team. Thetford’s management team has built a global brand within the RV market that has a long-standing, enthusiast customer base. It has developed strong customer relationships driven by its focus on product quality and customer service. We look forward to growing the business organically as well as through M&A and believe Thetford is uniquely positioned to benefit from strong RV demand and an increasing RV installed base that will provide the opportunity to grow its aftermarket business for years to come,” Justin Hillenbrand, Monomoy Co-CEO.
Thetford is advised by Greenhill & Co and Torys. Monomoy Capital Partners is advised by Ropes & Gray and MiddleM Creative.
Britain's competition regulator told Facebook owner Meta Platforms to sell animated images platform Giphy after finding that the acquisition could harm social media users and UK advertisers, Reuters reported.
The Competition and Markers Authority said the decision was in line with provisional findings that Facebook's acquisition of Giphy in May last year would reduce competition between social media platforms and in the display advertising market.
Giphy was advised by JP Morgan and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian. Facebook was advised by Latham & Watkins.
GB Group, a digital location, identity, and identity fraud software manufacturer, completed the acquisition of Acuant, an identity verification and KYC/AML compliance provider, for $736m.
"This is an exciting day for Acuant. We are very proud of everything that Acuant has achieved to date – building a world-class technology portfolio and a strong market position across multiple sectors. There is still significant opportunity ahead and joining the GBG family is the best way for us to capitalize on those opportunities. Our customer, technology and geographical mix are complementary and culturally we are aligned in our mission, vision, and how we invest in our people and look after our customers. We are very much looking forward to working together in the years ahead," Yossi Zekri, Acuant CEO.
GB Group was advised by Jefferies & Company, Peel Hunt and Tulchan Communications.
Ardian and MidOcean-backed Florida Food Products, an international agribusiness, agreed to acquire Comax Flavors, a provider of clean label flavor solutions focused on the beverage and nutrition markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to welcome Comax to the FFP family, and to partner with the Calabretta family. Comax has built an impressive portfolio of natural flavors, which we intend to augment with FFP's industry-leading extraction, drying, and fermentation capabilities. Our acquisition of Comax represents our first major investment of the Ardian and MidOcean partnership and accelerates our objective of becoming the industry's largest independent provider of natural ingredients," Jim Holdrieth, FFP CEO.
Florida Food Products is advised by Houlihan Lokey and Weil Gotshal and Manges.
Pivotal bioVenture Partners led a $100m Series C round in HotSpot Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, with participation from LSP, B Capital Group, Monashee Investment Management, CaaS Capital Management, Revelation Partners, Pavilion Capital, Atlas Venture, Sofinnova Partners, SR One Capital Management, Tekla Capital Management and MRL Ventures Fund.
"With the support of top-tier healthcare and technology investors, we will expand on the significant productivity of the Smart Allostery™ platform to enable a treasure trove of sought-after disease targets and thereby develop medicines that broadly benefit patients," Jonathan Montagu, HotSpot Therapeutics CEO.
HotSpot Therapeutics was advised by Verge Scientific Communications.
Concentric Equity Partners-backed Riverbend Sandler Pools, a residential pool construction, service, and maintenance provider, agreed to acquire Pulliam Pools, a provider of pool construction, remodeling, and repair services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Pulliam has flourished under Debra's leadership and grown to become one of the largest pool builders in DFW. Debra has built an impressive company with a trusted and recognized brand name, and we're honored to carry her legacy forward," Charles Barnes, Riverbend Sandler Founder and Chairman.
First Onsite Property Restoration, a disaster recovery and restoration provider, completed the acquisition of Kauai Restoration & Cleaning, a water restoration, mitigation and reconstruction service provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is a unique and exciting acquisition for First Onsite. Gabe's industry leadership combined with Kauai Restoration & Cleaning's competitive momentum fits perfectly with the First Onsite culture," Stacy Mazur, First Onsite CEO.
DNA Capital, an investment partnership, agreed to acquire a 25% stake in Inspirali, a medical education provider, from Anima Holding, a Brazilian education holding company, for $179m.
"We always think that this integrates very well with other investments, we believe it was a complement to a move to participate in the training of the doctor of the future, influencing medical training from the beginning to impact the health system in Brazil," Luiz Felipe Costa, DNA Capital Partner.
Microsoft’s Satya Nadella sells half of his shares in the company.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sold half of his stake in the company in a series of transactions last week, divesting about 840k shares for a sum of more than $285m, GeekWire reported.
Nadella sold the shares for personal financial planning and diversification reasons. He is committed to the continued success of the company and his holdings significantly exceed the holding requirements set by the Microsoft Board of Directors, the Redmond-based company said in a statement Monday afternoon.
It comes in advance of Washington state implementing a controversial new capital gains tax. Passed by lawmakers in April, it primarily targets stock and business ownership sales with a 7% tax on long-term capital gains of more than $250k.
Hertz hopes to buy back $2bn shares.
Hertz Global Holdings unveiled a plan to buy back as much as $2bn of its stock, a move that would return more capital to investors who stood by the car-rental company through its bankruptcy filing last year, WSJ repoted.
Hertz shares rose 6% on Monday. The stock has declined since relisting on Nasdaq earlier this month, but is still well above the low levels where it was trading earlier in the pandemic, when Hertz warned shareholders their holdings might go to zero.
Ackman SPAC needs new law to fight lawsuit. (FS)
Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Tontine Holdings will need to make a new law to defeat investors' claims that it's operating illegally, said George Assad, who sued the SPAC. Assad asked the judge to deny Ackman's request that the suit be thrown out, Bloomberg reported.
"Defendants cannot cite any authority in which the SEC or the courts have knowingly authorized any issuer to offer redemption rights in a pool of securities comprising 100% of its assets with no operating business for two and a half years without becoming an investment company," Assad.
Thoma Bravo might sell Kofax. (FS)
Thoma Bravo, the private equity firm led by Orlando Bravo, is exploring a sale of automation software provider Kofax, Bloomberg reported.
Thoma Bravo is working with an adviser to solicit potential interest in the Irvine, California-based company, which could fetch about $3bn including debt. No final decisions have been made and Thoma Bravo could opt to keep Kofax.
HashiCorp seeks $13bn valuation in IPO. (FS)
Software company HashiCorp is targeting a valuation of up to $13bn in its initial public offering in the United States, as the company seeks to take advantage of the high investor interest around enterprise software firms, Reuters reported.
HashiCorp's investors include venture capital firms Mayfield and GGV Capital. The company will list its shares on Nasdaq under the symbol "HCP".
HashiCorp is advised by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
Nubank reduces IPO valuation.
Brazilian online lender Nubank is considering cutting the potential valuation of its initial public offering by nearly $10bn to up to $41.5bn, following a slump in technology stocks globally, Reuters reported.
Earlier this month, the Sao Paulo-based company aimed to raise nearly $3bn at a valuation of more than $50bn.
Twitter tech chief Agrawal replaces CEO Dorsey as the lead. (People)
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey is stepping down from his role and Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal will now lead the company, Reuters reported.
Twitter shares surged nearly 10% after the announcement and close down 2.7%.
Utmost Group, a provider life assurance, completed the acquisition of Quilter International, the investment platform provider of cross-border investment solutions unit of Quilter, for $665m.
"This is a highly attractive acquisition for Utmost and underscores the importance of our Utmost International business. Quilter International is highly complementary to our existing International business from both an operational, product and distribution perspective," Paul Thompson, Utmost CEO.
Utmost was advised by Temple Bar Advisory. Quilter was advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Allen & Overy and Camarco.
One Equity Partners, a middle-market private equity firm, led a $300m funding round in Armis, a unified asset visibility and security platform provider.
"Armis is the industry leader when it comes to asset visibility and security. We see a growing need for enterprises in a unified offering, and we are excited to work together with our partners to further accelerate the growth trajectory of the company and safeguard assets around the world," Ori Birnboim, OEP Managing Director.
Chegg, a student-first connected learning platform, agreed to acquire Busuu, a language learning platform, for $436m.
"The addition of Busuu gives Chegg the unique opportunity to expand our business while also adding tremendous value to our existing users. It will allow us to drive further into international markets, as well as accelerate Busuu's growth in the US market. Busuu's team, who we have known for many years, are a great cultural fit. They have built an incredible learning service for the serious language learner, and we are excited to have them as part of Chegg," Dan Rosensweig, Chegg President and CEO.
Bolt, a checkout and shopper network company, completed the acquisition of Tipser, the Swedish-based tech company enabling commerce on any digital surface.
"Tipser and Bolt share the same goal of enabling checkout to take place anywhere. Our acquisition of Tipser couldn't be more synergistic for the future of remote checkout. Tipser has proven success in giving shoppers the opportunity to directly check out through inspirational content. By joining forces with Tipser, the sky's the limit when it comes to unlocking the power of shopper identities to check out everywhere," Ryan Breslow, Bolt Founder and CEO.
Equistone Partners-backed GSCM Group, a modular construction specialist, completed the acquisition of Deltamod, a specialist in the manufacture of mobile living facilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Deltamod's acquisition is a strong signal of our ambitions in the reuse segment and, overall, in sustainable development for the years to come," Eric Aurenche, GSCM Group President.
OptimizeApp, a platform that helps marketers intuitively launch, manage and track all their social media campaigns in one app, agreed to acquire Panda Media, a Kuwait-based online education company focused on entrepreneurs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"It's challenging for local businesses, especially those in the MENA region, to find locally relevant and accessible expertise to leverage the power of digital and social media marketing. We believe adding Panda Media's unique and locally-relevant content-creation model and capabilities to our existing offering creates a solution that overcomes this challenge and enables businesses to grow faster and retain that knowledge within their markets. We welcome Panda Media to our family and look forward to our people working together as one team to help local entrepreneurs realize their dreams," Bader Alkazemi, OptimizeApp Founder and CEO.
WPP, a British multinational advertising and public relations company, completed the acquisition of Cloud Commerce Group, a UK-based technology company that helps brands to market, sell and deliver their products across ecommerce platforms and marketplaces globally. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Clients look to WPP to help them market, sell and fulfil across multiple ecommerce channels and marketplaces. With over £1bn ($1.3bn) revenue transacting through its platform, Cloud Commerce Group already has demonstrable scale and success in managing the complex omnichannel commerce needs of global brands. I’m excited about how CCG’s expertise will further strengthen the breadth and depth of our commerce offering to deliver growth for our clients,” Mark Read, WPP CEO.
Index Ventures and ICONIQ led a $190m Series C round in Motorway, the UK's fastest-growing used car marketplace, with participation from Latitude, Unbound and BMW I Ventures.
"In 2017, we set out to reinvent how people sell their cars, transforming a broken offline process by introducing a superior online experience. Our team has dedicated themselves to this mission through unprecedented times – enabling us to turn a traditionally lose-lose market into a win-win for our customers and dealer partners," Tom Leathes, Motorway CEO.
Lundin Energy considers possible sale or merge.
Swedish oil and gas company Lundin Energy, which has a market value of about $10bn, is considering a potential sale, with strategic alternatives such as a merger or asset disposals, Reuters reported.
In response to market rumours, Lundin said it "continuously engages" in opportunities and discussions that could be of value to its owners.
Novartis maintain an open attitude towards the future of Sandoz.
Healthcare company Novartis is keeping all options open for the future of its generics division Sandoz. Novartis could merge Sandoz with either Israel's Teva or US-based Viatris or divest it.
"All options are open for us," Joerg Reinhardt, Novartis Chairman.
Reinhardt said listing Sandoz on the Swiss stock exchange, a merger or keeping the business are all possible. The decision should be made within the next 12 months.
Bluebell asked Glencore to separate its coal business. (FS)
Activist hedge fund Bluebell Capital Partners asked Glencore, an Anglo-Swiss commodity trading and mining company, to separate its thermal coal business because it has become a barrier to investment, Bloomberg reported.
The hedge fund firm said that the commodities giant could realize more value for shareholders if it separates that business, simplifies its asset base, disposes of non-core asset Viterra, and tackles governance issues.
Saudi Tadawul's IPO price is at the top end of the range.
Saudi Tadawul Group Holding set the final price of its initial public offering at the top end of the range, giving the Riyadh-based stock exchange a valuation of SAR12.6bn ($3.4bn), Bloomberg repoted.
Tadawul set the price at SAR105 ($28) per share after an institutional book-building process. The IPO was 121 times oversubscribed and the orderbook amounted to SAR458bn ($122bn).
Temasek led a $100m financing round in Carro, a Singapore-based automotive marketplace, with participation from Emtek Group, Shinhan Financial Group, Greater Honour International, Sime Singapore and Mirae Asset.
The latest investment comes amid a growing interest among consumers in the Asia-Pacific region to optimize their purchases by buying used products. The region’s car rental market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of about 6.7% between 2020 and 2025.
SC Capital Partners acquires real estate NPL portfolio in Japan. (FS)
Singapore-headquartered SC Capital Partners acquired a portfolio of real estate non-performing loans in Japan. The acquisition was conducted through SC Capital's latest closed-end opportunistic fund - Real Estate Capital Asia Partners V, DealStreetAsia reported.
The portfolio, which was acquired from a regional bank, is collateralised mainly by residential assets, largely located in and around Osaka. SC Capital Partners added that the new acquisition will help RECAP V take advantage of the strong residential market in Japan that has experienced large capital inflows from both domestic and foreign investors.
Syn Mun Kong's shareholders weigh majority stake sell.
The controlling shareholders of Thai insurer Syn Mun Kong Insurance are exploring the sale of a majority stake in the firm and have picked several strategic players to advance into the next round of bidding, Bloomberg reported.
Assicurazioni Generali and Liberty Mutual Group are among those selected to advance. Syn Mun Kong is working with an adviser on the deal, which could be valued at about $200m. The sale could include a fresh investment of about $100m.
Nippon Steel plans to buy steel mill in Southeast Asia.
Japan's steelmaker Nippon Steel is in talks to buy a steel mill in Southeast Asia to secure iron-making resources in the growing market and step up its overseas expansion, Reuters reported.
"The discussions are under way to secure iron sources in ASEAN," Takahiro Mori, Nippon Steel Executive Vice President.
Warburg Pincus and Apax help to push India IPO market. (FS)
A clutch of Indian companies are pushing to raise more than $1bn combined from initial public offerings in December, in what will be one of the first major tests of the market since Paytm's tumultuous listing, Bloomberg reported.
Warburg Pincus-backed pharmacy chain MedPlus Health Services and Healthium Medtech, a maker of surgical instruments controlled by buyout firm Apax Partners, are among listing hopefuls aiming to sell shares next month.
Snapdeal targets $250m IPO in 2022. (FS)
Snapdeal, the Indian online retailer backed by SoftBank Group and Alibaba Group Holding, plans to file preliminary documents for an initial public offering of as much as $250m in the next few weeks, Bloomberg reported.
The e-commerce giant aims to go public in early 2022 after filing the draft red herring prospectus, or DRHP. Snapdeal, once considered the fiercest rival to Amazon.com and Walmart's Flipkart plans to raise at least $200m at a $1.5bn valuation.
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