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Stephen Smith, Centerbridge Partners, and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan-backed Duo Bank of Canada, a Toronto-based financial services provider, agreed to acquire Fairstone Financial Holdings, a provider of credit solutions, from private equity firms J.C. Flowers and Varde Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're very pleased to be joining forces with a Canadian financial services institution that shares our customer-focused commitment and community-driven approach to helping everyday Canadians access financial solutions that fit their needs. We look forward to enhancing the complementary growth potential of both businesses," Scott Wood, Fairstone President, and CEO.
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is advised by Osler Hoskin & Harcourt. Centerbridge Partners is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Duo Bank of Canada is advised by CIBC, RBC Capital Markets, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Torys.
Embracer, a Swedish video game group, agreed to acquire Saber Interactive, an American game developer, for $525m.
"Saber has been on our radar for a very long time because of their deep history of consistently high-quality work. Their ambitious moves towards self-funding projects in recent years have been particularly impressive, especially with World War Z, which sold more than three million units. While Saber will remain a standalone company within Embracer Group, we look forward to collaborating with them to elevate their ability to create and market premier titles,” Lars Wingefors, Embracer Founder and CEO.
Saber Interactive is advised by Alantra, Comiter Singer Baseman & Braun, and ELRO Law. Embracer is advised Carnegie Investment Bank, Ernst & Young, and Baker McKenzie.
FB Financial, which operates as a bank holding company, completed its acquisition of FNB Financial, the holding company for The First National Bank. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This is an outstanding combination of like-minded banks. Farmers National has been a pillar of Scottsville for almost 100 years, and we look forward to continuing to deliver the outstanding service and community involvement that Farmers National’s customers and communities have come to expect. We are thrilled to welcome Farmers National’s associates into the FirstBank family,” Chris Holmes, FB Financial President and CEO.
FB Financial is advised by Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. FNB Financial is advised by Mercer and Daniel W Small & Co.
Ally Financial, a bank holding company organized in Delaware and headquartered in Detroit, agreed to acquire CardWorks, a consumer finance lender and servicer, for $2.7bn.
"CardWorks represents an industry-leading credit card platform in the US, and this acquisition serves as an important milestone in Ally's evolution to be a full-service financial provider for our customers," Jeffrey J. Brown, Ally CEO.
Ally is advised by Goldman Sachs and Sullivan & Cromwell. CardWorks is advised by Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
LendingClub, America's largest online lending marketplace, agreed to acquire Radius Bank, an online-focused community bank based in Boston, Massachusetts, for $185m.
"This is a transformational transaction that allows us to reimagine banking in a way that is free from legacy practices and systems and where the success of LendingClub is aligned with the success of our customers. By combining with Radius, we will create a category-defining experience for our members that will dramatically enhance the resilience and earnings trajectory of our business," Scott Sanborn, LendingClub CEO.
Radius is advised by Broadhaven Capital Partners, Piper Sandler, Hogan Lovells and Matter Communications. LendingClub is advised by JP Morgan and Sullivan & Cromwell.
Private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners agreed to acquire TRAC Intermodal, an intermodal infrastructure provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to have Stonepeak as our new sponsor. We welcome the operational and capital support that Stonepeak will provide. Their deep experience and relationships in North America will help fuel our continued growth and reinforce our industry leadership position in providing the highest quality products, reliable equipment and best-in-class customer service to the marine intermodal and transportation industries," Jennifer Polli, TRAC President and CEO.
TRAC is advised by Citigroup, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and RCL Communications. Stonepeak is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Ferguson, a distributor of plumbing and heating products, agreed to acquire Columbia Pipe & Supply, an independent distributor headquartered in Chicago, Illinois specializing in PVF, commercial mechanical, commercial plumbing, industrial, valve automation, engineered products, and hydronics. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Chicago is the third-largest city in the US with a substantial commercial market. Columbia Pipe has a strong reputation and well-established vendor and customer relationships in this important region. This acquisition accelerates our Chicago market strategy and will allow us to rapidly expand our existing capabilities across the Mid-West," Kevin Murphy, Ferguson Chief Executive Officer.
Investment firms Cimarron Healthcare Capital, Monroe Capital and Veronis Suhler Stevenson completed the acquisition of Ascent Behavioral Health, a provider of behavioral health treatment to adolescents. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The investment will be used to support the expansion of Ascent's existing programs and potential acquisitions of complementary programs.
"Families from around the world have trusted the Ascent companies for decades to help their children lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. We are proud to provide resources and support for the team to continue this important work," Clay Andrus, CHC Vice President.
Qorvo, a provider of innovative RF solutions, completed its acquisition of Decawave, a pioneer in ultra-wideband technology and provider of UWB solutions for mobile, automotive and IoT applications, and Custom MMIC, a supplier of high-performance GaAs and GaN MMICs for defense and aerospace application. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Custom MMIC's best-in-class die and packaged components augment our power amplifiers to enable multi-chip modules for a broad range of defense, aerospace and commercial applications. We look forward to building on Custom MMIC's reputation as an outstanding strategic supplier to leading defense prime customers, as we expand our mmWave capabilities and product offerings for defense and commercial markets, including 5G," James Klein, Qorvo President of Infrastructure & Defense Products.
Affiliated Managers Group, a global asset management company, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Comvest Partners, a private investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our partnership with Comvest demonstrates the ongoing appeal of AMG’s innovative model, including our ability to provide growth capital and our proven distribution capabilities to both alternative and traditional firms. Against the backdrop of strong client demand for private equity and private credit, and increasing client allocations to this segment of the market in particular, Comvest has outstanding forward prospects. I am very pleased to welcome Michael Falk and his partners to our Affiliate group, and our teams look forward to working together on a variety of initiatives to enhance the firm’s future growth,” Jay C. Horgen, AMG President and Chief Executive Officer.
AMG is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Nokia, a Finnish multinational telecommunications, information technology, and consumer electronics company, agreed to acquire Elenion, a vertically integrated semiconductor company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Nokia is an industry leader in networking systems, including advanced coherent optical interfaces and hyperscale datacenter solutions. Elenion benefits by having its technology incorporated into an industry-leading portfolio and with a company offering solutions across a wide array of networking applications. Nokia’s strong optical industry leadership, size, scale, global reach, and ongoing commitment to investment in key technologies vastly accelerates the adoption of Elenion silicon photonics technology,” Larry Schwerin, Elenion Technologies CEO.
IQ-EQ, an investor services group, is set to acquire Blue River Partners, a provider of outsourced solutions to alternative asset managers, including fund administration for private equity funds. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“As we met with the management team of IQ-EQ, it quickly became apparent that our two firms take the same approach to business - hiring teams of very talented, experienced professionals and providing exceptional client service. We are excited to join forces with a firm that is like-minded when it comes to client service," Mark Fordyce, Blue River CEO and Founding Partner.
Orica, a provider of commercial explosives and innovation blasting systems, is set to acquire Exsa, a Peru-based manufacturer and distributor of industrial explosives for $202m.
“We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Exsa, which will immediately establish Orica as the number one player in Peru, Latin America’s highest growth market, and transform Orica’s entire Initiating System footprint," Alberto Calderon, Orica Managing Director and CEO.
A.P. Moller - Maersk, a Danish business conglomerate with activities in the transport, logistics and energy sectors, agreed to acquire Performance Team, a US-based warehousing, and distribution company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With this acquisition we invest in premium operational capabilities to significantly boost our existing Warehousing & Distribution offering. This will strengthen our ability to deliver products and solutions that meet our customers’ end-to-end supply chain needs. With its strong platform, Performance Team is a good match for A.P. Moller - Maersk as they complement our current Warehousing & Distribution proposition to customers in North America and will enable future growth,” Vincent Clerc, A.P. Moller - Maersk CEO of Ocean & Logistics.
Calima Energy to acquire Tommy Lakes infrastructure in Canada.
Calima Energy, a company within the energy sector, agreed to acquire compression facilities, associated pipelines and infrastructure in the Tommy Lakes field in British Columbia, Canada from Canada's independent oil and gas producer Enerplus. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is a significant strategic acquisition that gives the Company access to markets in a very cost-efficient manner. With gas prices showing consistent increases over the last six months development economics are showing steady improvement," Alan Stein, Calima managing director.
Pamlico Capital closes $1.4bn fund V. (FS)
Pamlico Capital, a lower middle-market private equity firm, held the first and final close of Pamlico Capital V at the fund's hard cap with total commitments of $1.4bn.
The fund was well oversubscribed with demand from existing and new investors, significantly exceeding the original $1.25bn target.
Pamlico was advised by Robinson Bradshaw.
Omers Private Equity appoints new head as Mark Redman steps down. (FS, People)
Omers Private Equity, the buyout arm of one of Canada's largest defined benefit pension plans, appointed Michael Graham as its new head, PE News reported.
Mr. Graham, previously head of the North American private equity business at Omers, will replace Mark Redman, who the firm said "made a personal decision to leave the organization" on March 31.
JP Morgan names Viswas Raghavan and James Casey to lead investment banking unit. (People)
JP Morgan is reshuffling senior management at the top of its investment bank, naming two new global co-heads and shifting some of its most senior dealmakers into new jobs focused purely on bringing in business, Reuters reported. The Wall Street bank named Viswas Raghavan and James Casey to jointly run its global investment banking unit.
The appointments are part of a sweeping reshuffle in which some senior executives will take on "rainmaker" roles. Global M&A co-heads Hernan Cristerna and Chris Ventresca are among those who will drop management responsibilities and instead join a new executive committee of 18 global chairs focused on winning business from clients.
Private equity firm Endless agreed to acquire BSW Group, the UK's largest integrated forestry and sawmilling business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to have acquired BSW, a business with strong heritage, fantastic prospects and one that we believe has a very exciting future. As the UK's largest timber producer, BSW plays a critical role in supporting the UK's commitment to using more local and sustainable raw materials and becoming carbon neutral by 2050," Aidan Robson, Endless Partner.
BSW is advised by Liberty Corporate Finance, MCF and Burges Salmon. Endless is advised by Poyry Consulting & Capital, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Walker Morris and KPMG.
Private equity firm Cornell Capital-backed Knowlton Development, a provider of custom formulation and manufacturing solutions for the beauty, personal care, and household brands, agreed to acquire Zobele Group, a manufacturer of home and air care products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to announce this transformative combination with KDC/ONE. We look forward to collaborating with KDC/ONE to provide best-in-class services and high-quality products to our customers. Together with KDC/ONE, we are confident that we will be able to advance our shared goal of creating cutting-edge products and technologies at scale while using the best of our combined industrial footprint," Roberto Schianchi, Zobele CEO.
Zobele is advised by Guggenheim Partners and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. KDC is advised by Jefferies & Company, Weil Gotshal and Manges, and AGO Communications. Cornell is advised by Joele Frank.
Hedge fund Odey Asset Management said it would oppose Anglo American’s $526m bid to acquire a huge fertilizer project from Sirius Minerals, saying the terms do not represent fair value.
“We recognize that the current offer does not represent the value that the board and shareholders had previously hoped for. However, given the situation the company finds itself in, we face a stark choice,” Odey Asset Management.
Sirius Minerals is advised by JP Morgan, Allen & Overy, and Edelman. Anglo American is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Centerview Partners, and Linklaters.
Livestock Improvement, a multinational farmer-owned co-operative, offered to acquire a 50% stake in Afimilk, a provider of advanced computerized systems for the modern dairy farm and for herd management, for $70m. Afimilk's current shareholders are Kibbutz Afikim and Fortissimo.
LIC Chair Murray King says the investment will help give LIC access to the data it needs to deliver superior herd improvement services and agri-tech for New Zealand farmers into the future and will improve access to on-farm technology solutions.
Verdane, the Northern European specialist growth equity investor, agreed to acquire Confirmit, a SaaS vendor for multi-channel Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, and Market Research solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is a huge exciting move not only for both businesses and their customers, but also for the wider market. As companies who share our goals and values, we're delighted we're working with both Verdane and Dapresy as we enter this new chapter," Ken Østreng, Confirmit CEO.
Accenture, a professional services company, completed the acquisition of VanBerlo Agency, a product design and innovation services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our multidisciplinary team is passionate about creating forward-looking solutions that meet humans’ needs and generate growth for clients. We are looking forward to joining Accenture Industry X.0 and driving innovation for global clients," Thomas Paulen, VanBerlo CEO.
Telecoms and technology firm Wavenet agreed to acquire Portal Voice and Data, a supplier of next-generation voice and data products and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As with previous acquisitions, this is a really exciting time for the employees and customers of both Portal and Wavenet. Our combined potential and expertise will improve our customer service and maintenance experience and will open Portal customers to Wavenet's advanced product portfolio, including TeamsLink, our newly launched Microsoft Teams calling and contact center platform," Bill Dawson, Wavenet CEO.
Citi, Deutsche to sell $9bn Dubai port company debt.
Reutersreported that Dubai is raising debt to take full control of DP World and refinance borrowings of Dubai World. Citi and Deutsche Bank have underwritten roughly $9bn of debt for the transaction and have started discussions with other lenders to decrease their exposure by distributing the debt.
Dubai announced this week one of its state companies, Port and Free Zone World, part of state investment vehicle Dubai World, aims to buy publicly listed shares of port operator DP World in a deal with a $13.9bn valuation which will end up adding billions of dollars of debt to DP World's books.
Carlyle explores sale of PA Consulting. (FS)
PE News reported that Carlyle Group is exploring exit options for PA Consulting, a consultancy specializing in management consulting, technology and innovation.
In a statement, PA Consulting said its board of directors had decided to "explore options" for the next investment cycle and initiated the initial stages of this process." The company said it prefers to seek investment from a "private equity type structure."
Krupa not interested in taking a stake in NMC Health. (FS)
Czech shareholder and activist investor Krupa Global Investments said it would not be taking a strategic stake in NMC Health, a UAE healthcare provider.
KGI said that following the resignation of founder and non-executive chairman B.R. Shetty and vice chairman Khalifa Butti Omeir Bin Yousef, "the current situation is not in line with its strategy to take a significant stake in NMC.
JP Morgan and UniCredit to handle SIA's $4bn Milan listing.
Reuters reported that Italian payments firm SIA is moving ahead with preparations for a share listing on the Milan bourse and is expected to pick JP Morgan and UniCredit in what would be one of southern Europe's largest this year.
SIA, which is being advised by Rothschild & Co, sent out requests for proposals to banks for potential roles in organizing the deal and is looking to fill them in the coming weeks.
Egypt set to resume IPOs of state-run firms by end of March.
According to a Bloombergreport, Egypt's government is set to resume its program to offer stakes in state-run firms by the end of March, with Banque du Caire's IPO expected to be second in a line-up of three companies on offer.
Officials launched the program about three years ago to either list anew or sell additional stakes in state companies, but moved ahead with only one before the initiative stalled amid a market downturn.
UniCredit CEO declined M&A activity after Intesa's UBI bid.
“Let me reconfirm we have NO intention to do any M&A and we will not be drawn into any transactions,” Jean Pierre Mustier, UniCredit CEO.
After shelving plan for a cross-border merger deal which he says is not possible given the sector’s depressed market valuations, Mustier has been focusing on boosting investor returns through a combination of dividends and share buybacks.
Qatar Airways spends $600m to lift stake in BA owner to 25%.
Qatar Airways bought a $600m stake in British Airways-owner IAG to increase its holding to 25%, strengthening its position ahead of a change in IAG management.
In an endorsement of the Anglo-Spanish group just weeks before its founder Willie Walsh steps down, Qatar said the move showed its support for IAG and its strategy.
Qatar previously held 21.4% of IAG, which also owns Spanish carriers Iberia and Vueling and Ireland’s Aer Lingus. IAG’s share price has risen by 52% in the last six months.
Aquila Capital confirms a $270m hydropower investment. (FS)
Real asset specialist Aquila Capital expanded its partnership with Dutch pension investor APG in European hydropower by $270m to $595m. With this new mandate, Aquila Capital’s assets under management increased to $11.6bn.
“We are delighted to expand our long-running and successful partnership with APG. As we increase the share of renewables in Europe, Norwegian hydropower will play a vital role,” Roman Rosslenbroich, Aquila Capital Co-Founder and CEO.
Greencoat Capital raised £277m for renewables fund. (FS)
Investment manager Greencoat Capital secured £277m ($360m) for its newly-launched private markets fund, Greencoat Renewable Income.
Greencoat Capital received commitments from US pension investors Brunel and SAUL.
The new fund will enable institutional investors to invest in a diversified portfolio of renewable assets, with a focus on solar, wind and bioenergy.
OTB Ventures launches $100m fund to invest in CEE tech startups. (FS)
OTB Ventures, a venture capital fund specialized in investments in technology companies in Central and Eastern Europe, announced the launch of its early growth technology fund, with $100m in commitments.
This fund is the largest venture capital fund in CEE and was backed by international institutional investors, including the European Investment Fund, and high-profile backers including Greg Jankilevitch.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission granted its approval to the proposed $12.3bn merger between Flutter Entertainment and The Stars Group. The proposed deal is subject to regulator and authority approval in several countries, including Australia.
Earlier this month, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority announced it was to investigate the proposed deal, and invited any parties interested in the merger to submit comments until February 18. If the deal gets all necessary approvals, Flutter and TSG hope to complete the merger during the second or third quarter of this year.
The Stars Group is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Barclays, Moelis & Co, A&L Goodbody, Blake Cassels & Graydon, Gilbert + Tobin, Jones Day, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, and Slaughter & May. Flutter Entertainment is advised by Goldman Sachs, Goodbody, PJT Partners, Arthur Cox, Blank Rome, Clayton Utz, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Stikeman Elliott, Drury Porter Novelli, and Finsbury.
Caltex Australia said that Britain’s EG Group offered to buy the convenience store, petrol station and refinery firm, rivaling Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard's twice-improved A$8.8bn ($5.9bn) bid.
EG Group offered A$3.9bn ($2.6bn) in cash for Caltex’s convenience store business and separate shares in a new, listed infrastructure and refinery company made up of Caltex’s remaining assets, the Australian firm said in a statement without disclosing the offer’s total valuation.
Caltex is advised by Grant Samuel, UBS and Herbert Smith Freehills. Alimentation is advised by Goldman Sachs, Allens and Domestique. EG Group is advised by Jefferies & Company and Allen & Overy.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group invests over $700m in Grab. (FS)
Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is set to invest more than $700m in Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab, gaining access to millions across the region that use the mobile app to book cars and meals.
The Japanese financial institution intends to market a range of financial services from insurance to loans to Grab’s millions of users.
Reliance, Aramco accelerate refinery stake sale talks.
Reliance Industries's discussions to divest a minority stake in its oil-to-chemical division to Saudi Aramco have been gathering pace in recent weeks, according to a Bloomberg report.
Aramco officials and bankers have been working at Reliance's offices in Mumbai for due diligence this month. Both parties are working on overcoming differences over the deal's structure, which had delayed the process last year.
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