Avast, a provider of security software to the consumer market as measured by the number of users, agreed to merge with NortonLifeLock, a firm that sells cybersecurity and identity protection for individual consumers, in an $8.6bn deal.
“This transaction is a huge step forward for consumer Cyber Safety and will ultimately enable us to achieve our vision to protect and empower people to live their digital lives safely. With this combination, we can strengthen our Cyber Safety platform and make it available to more than 500m users. We will also have the ability to further accelerate innovation to transform Cyber Safety," Vincent Pilette, NortonLifeLock CEO.
Avast is advised by UBS, JP Morgan, White & Case and Finsbury Glover Hering. NortonLifeLock is advised by Deloitte, Evercore, Kirkland & Ellis, Macfarlanes and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Chesapeake Energy, an independent exploration and production company, agreed to acquire Blackstone-backed Vine Energy, an energy company focused on the development of natural gas properties in the over-pressured stacked Haynesville and Mid-Bossier shale plays in Northwest Louisiana, for $2.2bn. Upon closing, Chesapeake shareholders will own approximately 86% and Vine shareholders will own approximately 14% of the fully diluted shares of the combined company
"This transaction strengthens Chesapeake's competitive position, meaningfully increasing our free cash flow outlook and deepening our inventory of premium gas locations, while preserving the strength of our balance sheet. By consolidating the Haynesville, Chesapeake has the scale and operating expertise to quickly become the dominant supplier of responsibly sourced gas to premium markets in the Gulf Coast and abroad," Mike Wichterich, Chesapeake Board Chairman and Interim CEO.
Chesapeake is advised by JP Morgan, Latham & Watkins, Richards Layton and Finger and DrivePath. Vine Energy is advised by Citigroup, Houlihan Lokey and Kirkland & Ellis. Blackstone is advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges.
DigitalBridge Investment, an investment management firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Vertical Bridge, a provider of wireless communications infrastructure. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Vertical Bridge is the leading independent tower platform in the US, led by the preeminent tower management team in the industry. Significant acceleration in 5G infrastructure spending in the US has created a tremendous long-term growth opportunity for telecommunications infrastructure and demonstrated that investments to support the next generation of mobility continue to be a powerful thematic. By consolidating Vertical Bridge’s ownership via our fund management business, we will not only extend our long-standing relationship, but we will be even better positioned to support the Vertical Bridge team as they build on their market leadership and capitalize on exciting growth opportunities," Steven Sonnenstein, DigitalBridge Senior Managing Director.
DigitalBridge is advised by JP Morgan, Vinson & Elkins and Joele Frank. Vertical Bridge is advised by Goldman Sachs, Greenberg Traurig and Stanton PRM.
GreenLight Biosciences, an integrated life sciences company, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Environmental Impact Acquisition in a $1.2bn deal. Investors in PIPE include S2G Ventures, Cormorant Asset Management, Morningside Venture Investments, Hudson Bay Capital, BNP Paribas, The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, Continental Grain Company, Pura Vida Investments, Xeraya Capital, and MLS Fund II.
“We believe that GreenLight’s breakthrough platform can create advanced therapies, vaccines, and crop-protection products that address—quickly, directly, and specifically—some of the most significant problems facing the world today. Going public through this partnership will accelerate development and commercialization by enabling us to attract the talent, purchase the tools, scale our manufacturing infrastructure, advance regulatory approvals, and develop further the science necessary to address some of humanity’s most pressing challenges," Andrey Zarur, GreenLight Co-Founder and CEO.
GreenLight is advised by Credit Suisse, SVB Leerink and Foley Hoag. Environmental Impact is advised by Canaccord Genuity and Latham & Watkins.
Truist Financial, a banking organization, agreed to acquire Service Finance Company, an operator of a nationally licensed sales finance company intended to provide financing to homeowners and contractors for home improvement and solar projects, from ECN Capital, an independent finance company, for $2bn. Truist is targeting a late 2021 close for the acquisition, subject to standard licensing and regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
"The acquisition of Service Finance expands the scale and capabilities of our wholesale payments businesses, enabling Truist to deliver innovative financing solutions to Service Finance's nationwide network of dealers and serve homeowners across the country. This acquisition significantly strengthens Truist's leadership position in the rapidly growing POS industry, and we're excited to partner with Mark Berch and the entire Service Finance team," Mike Maguire, Truist Head of National Consumer Finance and Payments.
Truist is advised by Truist Securities and Davis Polk & Wardwell. ECN is advised by Cravath Swaine & Moore.
Dorman Products, a firm in the automotive aftermarket, completed the acquisition of Dayton Parts, an independent heavy-duty undercarriage aftermarket component supplier, for $338m.
"The combination of Dorman and Dayton is extremely exciting. Our two companies are highly complementary and when you add Dorman’s new product capabilities, the combination gives Dayton a significant opportunity to deliver new solutions to its customers and drive outsized sales growth. We look forward to a successful completion of the transaction and becoming a part of the Dorman family," Paul Anderson, Dayton President and CEO.
Dorman Products was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Dayton was advised by Jefferies & Company.
Exelon, the American producer of carbon-free energy, completed the acquisition of a 50% stake in Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, which generates and distributes nuclear energy, from EDF, a French electric utility company, for $885m.
"Since Exelon Generation took over operations, we have created value for both Exelon and EDF by integrating the three plants into the nation’s largest and best-run nuclear fleet. Leveraging the Exelon management model, we’ve improved overall fleet performance and efficiency while reducing costs in a challenging market environment. We have worked collaboratively with EDF leadership as co-owners of these three nuclear plants and look forward to partnering with them in a productive process to purchase their ownership stake,” Chris Crane, Exelon President, and CEO.
Coatue Management, a global investment manager, led a $220m Series C funding round in Reify Health, a developer of cloud-based healthcare software. Other investors include ICONIQ Growth and Adams Street Partners, as well as existing investors Sierra Ventures and Battery Ventures.
“Early on, we spent a number of years trying to understand this question: why is clinical research still such a devastating bottleneck on drug development? It was painfully obvious that slow, unpredictable patient enrollment was at the heart of the problem. If we want to consistently enroll trials in three to four months instead of 18 months, there are two key things we must achieve. First, we must be able to rapidly identify enough interested patients. Second, we have to make it feasible for those patients to participate in the relevant trial. We built the StudyTeam platform in 2015 to tackle the first part of that future state," Ralph Passarella, Reify Health CEO.
Pandeavor Ventures, a venture capital firm, and Arnhold, an investment management firm, led a funding round in Fabric, a startup that provides risk management software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“I have known Vikram Pandit and John Arnhold for many years and am delighted that Pandeavor Ventures and Arnhold LLC are leading this seed investment round. We all firmly believe that risk management is the most critical discipline on Wall Street and are committed to ensuring those capabilities are available to every investor. This investment will help fulfill our mission to level the playing field for individual investors by providing their advisors with the powerful tools to which banks and hedge funds have long had access,” Richard Bookstaber, Fabric Founder.
Cerberus Capital-backed Kellermeyer Bergensons Services, an operations and facility manager, agreed to acquire American Maintenance, a provider of facility maintenance solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As organizations continue to adapt to evolving health and safety conditions surrounding the pandemic, they need facility service partners with experience and scale to navigate the road ahead. This acquisition allows KBS to expand its partnerships into new markets and geographies during this critical time," Mark Minasian, KBS CEO and Co-Founder.
AccentCare, a provider of health care services, completed the acquisition of Southeastern Health Care at Home, a home health services provider, from Geneva Glen Capital, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are truly thankful to Rick and the entire Southeastern management team for the incredible effort and dedication that resulted in a huge win for all of us. While delivering on an aggressive growth plan, the team always maintained its focus on delivering the best possible patient care along with a rigorous emphasis on compliance. We are excited to see this management team take the next step in their growth as part of AccentCare," Adam Schecter and Jeff Gonyo, GGC Managing Directors.
Alkeon Capital, a privately owned registered investment adviser, and B Capital, a global firm specializing in equity investing, led a $240m Series E funding round OwnBackup, a developer of cloud data protection platform built to prevent and manage data loss and corruption crises. Additional investors include BlackRock, Tiger Global, Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, and Vertex Ventures.
“Our commitment to protecting our customers’ data and providing solutions that enable precise, rapid recovery continues to grow. While the cloud is crucial to doing business, the mass adoption of SaaS has resulted in a huge amount of data, and our work with Salesforce, Microsoft and other critical SaaS ecosystems enables companies to thrive in today’s digitally driven world. The story of every business is written with data, and this latest round of funding will support our ongoing vision to empower our customers to own and protect their data on any cloud platform," Sam Gutmann, OwnBackup CEO.
Lead Edge Capital, a software-focused venture firm, led a $200m Series D funding round in LaunchDarkly, a developer of a feature management platform. Additional investors include Top Tier Capital Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Redpoint, Threshold, Uncork Capital and Bloomberg Beta.
“Today’s funding round and recognition on the Forbes Cloud 100 List represent an exciting achievement for both our team at LaunchDarkly and the broader software development industry. From our founding as the first enterprise feature management platform in 2014, to serving peaks of 20 trillion feature flags daily, it's clear that feature management is a critical component in the future of software development. In today’s technology and experience-driven economy, every company is looking to software development teams to continuously innovate, and we’re excited to keep empowering those teams to build and deploy products and services for their customers," Edith Harbaugh, LaunchDarkly Co-Founder and CEO.
Insight Partners, a venture capital and private equity firm, led a $100m Series C funding round in Tulip Interfaces, an operator of a manufacturing development platform intended to digitally transform factories. Other investors include Pitango Growth, TIME Ventures, DMG MORI, NEA, and Vertex Ventures.
"About 1 in 5 global workers are frontline operators who are fundamentally deskless. Their work environments are highly complex with work cells, sensors, benches, conveyor belts, and back-end systems in what constitutes a physical and digital environment, and they need a platform that is just as dynamic to support all the moving pieces. Just like knowledge workers, frontline workers need access to the right tools to get the data they need to stay competitive and to future-proof their operations," Natan Linder, Tulip Co-Founder and CEO.
Argus Media, an independent provider of price information, consultancy services, conferences, market data and business intelligence, completed the acquisition of Oleochem Analytics, an independent data, analytics and market research agency that offers an impartial, robust data and analytics service covering the global oleochemical and pine chemical markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Oleochem Analytics is an excellent extension to our coverage of renewables and complements Argus' growth strategy. With its high-quality products and favorable market tailwinds, it has attracted an imposing customer base. We are pleased to add market experts with unparalleled sector expertise to our team and further expand our chemicals coverage," Adrian Binks, Argus Chairman and CEO.
ASSA ABLOY, a Swedish conglomerate whose offerings cover products and services ranging from locks, doors, gates and entrance automation, completed the acquisition of Capital Door Service, a complete repair and preventative maintenance for commercial and industrial automatic door applications provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Capital Door Service with its strong market position will further strengthen our geographic coverage in Western US I welcome the team to ASSA ABLOY and I am convinced that we will continue together our successful journey,” Markus Kast, ASSA ABLOY Head of Entrance Systems.
Exxon launches US shale gas sale.
Exxon Mobil has begun marketing US shale gas properties as it ramps up a long-stalled program that aims to raise billions of dollars to shed unwanted assets and reduce debt taken on last year, Reuters reported.
Three years ago, the top US oil producer set a goal of raising $15bn from sales by December 2021. More recently, it promised to accelerate lagging sales to whittle a record $70bn debt pile.
Oak Hill Capital hopes for $500m in MetroNet investment. (FS)
Oak Hill Capital Partners is pitching a single-asset secondary transaction involving fiber-optic network provider MetroNet that could raise $500m.
The firm set up the continuation fund to extend its investment in broadband service provider MetroNet. The firm priced the fiber-optic communications company earlier this year with the sale of a stake to KKR.
Westwing seeks buyer.
Westwing, a home decor e-commerce platform, is looking for a buyer for its operations. Westwingis constantly monitoring potential deal opportunities, but that it did not have any concrete agreement to announce,Reuters reported.
The retailer listed its shares on the Sao Paulo stock exchange B3 in February, when it priced its shares at R$13 ($2.51) each. On August 10, shares closed at R$9.89 ($1.9), with a market capitalization of R$1.08bn ($207m)
Healthwell Acquisition I closed its $250m IPO.
Healthwell Acquisition I, a blank check company, announced the closing of its IPO of 25m units at a price of $10 per unit. The Company also granted Jefferies a 45-day option to purchase up to 3.75m additional units at the IPO price, less underwriting discounts and commissions, to cover over-allotments, if any.
Healthwell Acquisition is advised by Edelman and Jefferies.
Pershing Square, a Guernsey-based investment holding company, completed the acquisition of a 7.1% stake in Universal Music Group, a global music corporation, from Vivendi, a French media conglomerate, for $2.8bn.
Mr. Ackman, Pershing Square CEO, has the right to acquire, by September 9, 2021, up to an additional 2.9% of UMG's share capital through funds, which he manages, based on the same valuation.
UMG was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Pershing Square was advised by Perella Weinberg Partners, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Stibbe, Sullivan & Cromwell and Camarco. Financial advisor was advised by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Vivendi was advised by Cabinet Bompoint and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
F2i, an Italian asset management company, agreed to acquire a 70% stake in ReLife, a provider of collection and transformation of differentiable waste. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We define the circular economy as a production and consumer model that involves the reuse, recycling, reconditioning and repair of raw materials and finished products in order to limit the use of virgin materials. F2i has decided to invest, through its fifth fund, in ReLife, a player that operates using this business model, in order to support its growth through the development of infrastructure spread across the territory and the adoption of advanced technologies that are indispensable to meet the growing demand from manufacturers and consumers for efficient solutions and services to protect the environment, the well-being of citizens and the beauty of our environment," Renato Ravanelli, F2i CEO.
F2i is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Aon Securities, Marsh, Fichtner, Lazard, McKinsey & Company and Chiomenti. ReLife is advised by Rothschild & Co.
Searchlight Capital, a private investment firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Flowbird, a developer of mobility software committed to making individual travel simpler, safer and faster, while collectively improving efficiency and harmonizing flows, from Astorg, an independent private equity group, and Mellby Gård, a provider of diversifid commercial services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are very excited at the prospect of partnering with Flowbird on this next stage of its journey. We look forward to leveraging our experience and expertise to help accelerate the many opportunities ahead, including the roll-out of their Platform-as-a-Service and Open Payment offerings as well as pursuing M&A," Francois Dekker, Searchlight Partner.
Searchlight is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Prosek Partners and Taddeo. Astorg is advised by Publicis Consultants.
Diligent, a developer of secure corporate governance and collaboration software, completed the acquisition of Accuvio, a developer of a sustainability software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“From our conversations across the more than 700k board members and leaders we serve, ESG is the most frequent topic in boardrooms and executive suites globally. As we empower clients to transform their organizations through impactful solutions, the core of our purpose is guiding and enabling their ESG journeys. That’s why we are so excited to welcome the Accuvio team to Diligent. Their advanced climate capabilities and deep expertise in sustainability reporting will be an incredible addition to our agile platform," Brian Stafford, Diligent CEO.
Diligent was advised by District Capital Partners, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Cognito. Accuvio was advised by ReganWall.
Waterland, a private equity firm, agreed to invest in Rotom, a provider of logistic load carriers for transport and storage. The transaction is still subject to merger clearance in the Netherlands and Poland. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With Waterland, we have found the right future business partner to realize our ambition to become the European market leader in sustainable bespoke load carriers and solutions. Rotom has deep knowledge of the European market for load carriers, whilst Waterland has a huge experience in facilitating the buy & build strategy, can provide ample financial resources and is able to provide solid strategic support, hence a perfect combination," Arjan Kuiper, Rotom CEO.
Waterland is advised by DLA Piper. Rotom is advised by NautaDutilh.
ChargePoint, an American electric vehicle infrastructure company, completed the acquisition of ViriCiti, an electrification solutions provider for eBus and commercial fleets, for €75m.
"The future of fleets is electric, and integrating charging solutions with the many business systems already in place in today's depots is essential to successful electrification. Adding ViriCiti's vehicle management capabilities to our fleet portfolio allows ChargePoint to deliver more functionality to eBus and commercial fleet operators, while remaining open to integration with existing telematics systems. The combined solution underscores the importance of software to EV charging and will ensure operational readiness at low cost as fleets of all types across North America and Europe continue to electrify," Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint President and CEO.
ChargePoint was advised by Goldman Sachs. ViriCiti was advised by Improved Corporate Finance.
General Atlantic, an American growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for global growth companies, led a €100m Series C funding round in Chrono24, a global digital marketplace for new and pre-owned luxury watches. Additional investors include Aglae Ventures, Insight Partners and Sprints Capital.
"Since its establishment in 2003, Karlsruhe-based Chrono24 has become a global pioneer in the creation of a cross-border online marketplace for luxury watches, with an innovative model underpinned by transparency and sustainability. We are pleased to support Chrono24 with our capital and expertise in its ongoing global expansion," Jörn Nikolay, General Atlantic Managing Director.
GumGum, a developer of artificial intelligence-based computer vision technology, agreed to acquire JustPremium, an operator of an online digital marketplace intended to provide access to advertising networks and products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Brands are looking for a strategic partner with value tested and accredited technology that drives campaign results, with no reliance on cookies, on a global scale. We believe this acquisition makes us that partner. It’s all about creative, context, and global scale. With those three elements, powered by sophisticated technology, we deliver what consumers want across all digital environments and, as a result, drive strong campaign ROAS for our brand partners," Phil Schraeder, GumGum CEO.
Palamon-backed FairConnect, a provider of connected insurance services, agreed to acquire G-Evolution, a telematics service provider that specialises in analysing automotive data using advanced AI algorithms, from Groupama, an insurance comapny. Financial term were not disclosed.
“G-Evolution is a best-in-class technology platform specialized in claims handling and settlement. The cutting-edge technologies of G-Evolution, combined with our deep industry experience, creates a unique pan-European Connected Insurance platform that will enable FairConnect to support Groupama in expanding, simplifying and digitalizing the product offering by leveraging our connected plug and play solutions that can increase customer loyalty and the company's technical profitability," Carmine Carella, FairConnect Chairman and CEO.
Auddy, a podcast publisher, completed the acquisition of Radio Wolfgang, a producer of branded podcasts. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Having commissioned a great production, “Make or Break” from Radio Wolfgang, we already knew the quality of their work was stunning. Given our own sales work in talking to brands and seeing their own sales initiatives we saw tremendous synergy and overlap between our respective interests in enterprise publishing,” Andrew Craissati, Auddy Founder & CEO.
Real Madrid will launch civil and criminal lawsuits against Javier Tebas, La Liga president, and Javier de Jaime Guijarro, CVC Capital Partners Managing Partner, over their proposed $3.2bn deal, Reuters reported.
Real Madrid would pursue legal action to block approval of the planned deal, which is to be voted on by La Liga members.
DV4 Properties Barwood sells a 1.6% stake in Tritax Big Box REIT.
DV4 Properties Barwood, a special purpose entity that offers other financial services, sold its 1.6% stake in Tritax Big Box REIT, a London-listed commercial property investor, for about £50.7m ($70.6m). After completion of the sale, DV4 will no longer hold any shares in Tritax.
DV4 was advised by Jones Day.
Carrefour to launch $1.9bn sale of Taiwan business.
Carrefour, a French multinational retail corporation, is planning to launch a sale of its Taiwan business, which is valued at around €1.6bn ($1.9bn) in the coming weeks, Reuters reported.
The grocery store chain operator employed Morgan Stanley to run the sale, which is anticipated to kick off after the summer season.
UniCredit set to take on Monte dei Paschi junior bonds.
A deal under discussion for UniCredit to buy parts of Monte dei Paschi involves the larger Italian bank assuming liability for its target’s so-called junior bonds, Reuters reported.
Investors in the subordinated bonds, which have lesser rights to repayment in the event of their issuer getting into problems, were concerned that they would lose out in a takeover of the Tuscan bank, which was bailed out by the state in 2017.
ReNew Power, a renewable energy independent power producer, agreed to acquire a Singoli-Bhatwari Hydroelectric Project from Larsen & Toubro, an Indian multinational engaged in EPC Projects, Hi-Tech Manufacturing and Services for ₹9.85bn ($132m). The transaction is subject to completion of customary closing conditions and closing is expected to take place beforeSeptember 30, 2021.
"This development is a significant step in our effort to unlock the value of some of our power development assets to streamline and allocate capital to create long-term value for our shareholders. It represents our strategic effort to increase focus on our core strengths and exit others to move towards becoming a more asset-light organization," D. K. Sen, Larsen & Toubro Director.
Beijing Enterprises weighs $2bn European unit sale.
Beijing Enterprises, a holding company, which engages in natural gas, beer, water-related services, water treatment and, other-related businesses, considered a sale of its overseas waste treatment unit EEW Energy from Waste for about $2bn, Bloomberg reported.
The state-owned conglomerate had earlier asked investment banks to submit proposals for managing a sale of the unit.
OYO shortlisted investment banks for its $1.2bn IPO.
SoftBank-backed OYO, a hotel chain, shortlisted investment banks JP Morgan, Kotak Mahindra Capital, and Citigroup for its $1.2bn IPO. A hospitality startup is expected to add more bankers as the IPO process matures.
The work on the IPO has begun, adding the company is leaning towards a debut in the domestic market but has kept its options open.
Fusion Microfinance files draft IPO papers with SEBI.
Warburg Pincus-backed Fusion Microfinance filed its draft IPO papers with the capital markets regulator SEBI. Fusion Microfinance is a financial services firm serving in rural and semi-rural India.
The company is looking to raise ₹6bn ($80m) from a fresh issue of equity and an offer for sale by existing shareholders including promoters Devesh Sachdev, Creation Investments Fusion, and Warburg Pincus-backed Honey Rose Investment. On listing the company could join listed peers such as Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, Suryoday Small Finance Bank, and Bandhan Bank among others.
Aptus Value Housing Finance opened its IPO.
Aptus Value Housing Finance raised ₹8.3bn ($112m) from anchor investors. The company allocated 23.6m equity shares at ₹353 ($4.7) apiece aggregating the transaction size to ₹8.3bn ($112m), DealStreetAsia reported.
Nomura, Copthall Mauritius Investment, Steadview Capital Mauritius, Elara India Opportunities Fund, Edelweiss Mutual Fund Axis MF and DSP MF, among others, have participated in the anchor book.
Krafton sinks on trading debut.
Shares in Tencent-backed Krafton, a company that develops and distributes video games, fell as much as 20% from their IPO price on their trading debut, DealStreetAsia reported.
Gaming companies are facing uncertain prospects in China where regulators have come down hard on a number of industries, upending norms with new guidance and regulations.
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