The Federal Trade Commission has sought to block Illumina’s planned $8bn acquisition of Grail, the cancer screening start-up backed by Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, citing concerns that it will harm competition in the US market,FTreported.
The agency filed a lawsuit to stop the deal, a rare move for two companies that are not direct competitors, saying it would slow innovations for novel tests designed to detect cancer early.
“Vertical mergers in the healthcare sector can choke off competition, kill off new discoveries, and jack up prices for patients,” Rohit Chopra, FTC Commissioner.
Grail is advised by Morgan Stanley, Latham & Watkins, McDonald Hopkins, Proskauer Rose, Ropes & Gray and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Illumina is advised by Goldman Sachs, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Joele Frank. Debt financing is provided by Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs is advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Johnson & Johnson is advised by Goodwin Procter.
Canadian Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne raises concerns over Rogers Communications' acquisition of Shaw Communications, a Canadian telecommunications company, stating that the $21bn deal would raise very serious competitive issues, Bloombergreported.
"The $21bn merger results in very serious issues and very important issues when it comes to maintaining that level of competition. It would reduce the number of wireless providers to three from four in about two-thirds of Canada, including the Toronto and Vancouver markets. Affordability, competition and innovation are key when it comes to the telecoms sector, obviously that proposed transaction will be reviewed with these lenses to make sure that Canadians will have access to affordable and competitive prices when it comes to telecoms, and that we also foster innovation in that sector," Francois-Philippe Champagne.
Shaw Communications is advised by CIBC World Markets, TD Securities, Burnet Duckworth & Palmer, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Dentons and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Rogers Communications is advised by Bank of America, Barclays, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Goodmans and Torys. Bank of America and Barclays is advised by Latham & Watkins.
Blackstone and CVC-backed Paysafe Group, an integrated payments platform, went public via a merger with Foley Trasimene Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, at a $9bn valuation.
“The closing of this transaction and our listing on the New York Stock Exchange is a huge milestone for Paysafe and getting to this point today is testament to the hard work and dedication of our team around the world,” Philip McHugh, Paysafe CEO.
Paysafe was advised by Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Proton Partners, Latham & Watkins, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and ICR. Foley Trasimene Acquisition II was advised by Bank of America, JP Morgan, RBC Capital Markets, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Solebury Trout.
Cubic’s board of directors has agreed to an increased offer from private equity firm Veritas Capital and activist hedge fund Elliott Management that ends a bidding war for the former. Veritas and Elliott’s own private equity arm Evergreen Coast Capital will now acquire Cubic for approximately $2.38bn in cash, or $75 per share.
That new agreement represents an approximately 7.7% increase from the original Veritas-Elliott bid Cubic accepted in February at $2.21bn in cash, or $70 per share.
Cubic is advised by JP Morgan, Raymond James, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, Sidley Austin, Morrow Sodali Global and Sloane & Company. Veritas and Evergreen are advised by Barclays, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Greenlane, a seller of cannabis accessories, child-resistant packaging, and specialty vaporization products, agreed to merge with KushCo, a provider of ancillary products and services to the legal cannabis and CBD industries. The completion of the transaction is subject to applicable regulatory approvals, including by Nasdaq, in addition to certain customary closing conditions, as well as approval by holders of a majority of the shares held by the existing Greenlane stockholders. It is also subject to approval by a majority of KushCo shareholders. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Now, we have reached a critical time in our industry where the leading operators are increasingly looking to partner with companies in the ancillary space who can reliably support their rapid expansion for years to come. We greatly admire the product portfolio that the Greenlane team has built, and we are excited to work with them to cross-sell to our complementary customer bases and execute on the attractive growth opportunities ahead,” Nick Kovacevich, KushCo Co-founder, Chairman and CEO.
KushCo is advised by Jefferies & Company, Reed Smith and Caldwell Strategic Consulting. Greenlane is advised by Canaccord Genuity, Cowen, Morrison & Foerster, Potter Anderson & Corroon and Mattio Communications.
Adam Neumann, WeWork's co-founder and ousted chief executive, met in November with the head of the special purpose acquisition company BowX, which recently agreed to merge with WeWork in a $9bn deal. Neumann was locked in a fierce legal battle at the time with SoftBank over a $3bn deal for a portion of his and other investors' stake in the office space-sharing company, Reutersreported,
The introduction between Neumann and BowX Acquisition Co-CEO Vivek Ranadivé over a Zoom call was facilitated by a senior UBS Group capital markets banker. It preceded discussions the SPAC chief had with WeWork. Neumann played up WeWork's prospects on the call and the conversation reportedly piqued Ranadivé's interest.
WeWork is advised by PJT Partners, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Gladstone Place Partners. Insight Partners is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. BowX Acquisition is advised by UBS, Cooley and Paul Hastings.
Ares Management agreed to acquire Landmark Partners, an SEC registered advisor, a participant in the private equity secondary market for private equity and real estate investments from BrightSphere Investment Group, an asset manager, from c.$1.08bn. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
”We have known Landmark’s leadership team for many years and hold them in high regard for their approach to partnership and demonstrated ability to develop creative, win-win solutions. We look forward to welcoming Frank Borges, Tim Haviland and their colleagues and we expect significant benefits for our investors, employees and other stakeholders from this combination,” Michael Arougheti, Chief Executive Officer and President of Ares.
Landmark Partners is advised by Goldman Sachs. Ares is advised by Credit Suisse, RBC Capital Markets, Kirkland & Ellis and Brunswick Group. BrightSphere is advised by Morgan Stanley and Ropes & Gray.
Procaps Group, a pharmaceutical company, to go public via a SPAC merger with Union Acquisition II, a special purposes acquisition company, in a $1.1bn deal.
“We are very pleased to have support from top-tier investors, and access to the US capital markets following the closing of this proposed transaction, which we believe will leave Procaps well-capitalized to provide our innovative pharmaceutical solutions to our global customers and drive our growth initiatives. Moreover, a key milestone was achieved in the transaction as it represents the first LatAm SPAC to have an over-subscribed PIPE in place from very sophisticated South American healthcare investors and US-based funds," Ruben Minski, Procaps Founder, Chairman and CEO.
Procaps is advised by Greenhill & Co, Greenberg Traurig and MZ Group North America. Union Acquisition II is advised by BTG Pactual, Cantor Fitzgerald and Linklaters.
SK Capital, a private investment firm focused on the specialty materials, chemicals and pharmaceuticals sectors, completed the acquisition of the Blow-Fill-Seal Sterile CDMO business of Catalent, a pharmaceutical company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
”Paul is a CDMO industry veteran who brings sterile production experience and contemporary leadership skills to ensure an environment committed to operational excellence, customer delight, innovation and a partnership-driven approach for Woodstock’s customers, suppliers and employees,” Aaron Davenport, SK Capital Managing Director.
SK Capital was advised by Mizuho Securities, Kirkland & Ellis and BackBay Communications. Catalent was advised by RBC Capital Markets and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Debt financing was provided by Cerberus Business Finance.
International Seaways, one of the largest tanker companies worldwide, agreed to merge with Diamond S Shipping, an owner and operator of crude oil and product tankers, in a $918m deal.
"We are excited to enter into this transformational transaction and create an industry bellwether. By bringing together two leading US-based diversified tanker owners, we expect to deliver a number of compelling strategic and financial benefits to the stakeholders and customers of both companies," Lois Zabrocky, INSW President and CEO.
Diamond S Shipping is advised by Moelis & Co, Seward & Kissel and White & Case. International Seaways is advised by Jefferies & Company, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Holland & Knight.
Hitachi, a Japanese multinational conglomerate, agreed to acquire GlobalLogic, a digital product engineering services company, from private equity firms Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Partners Group, for $9.5bn.
"The acquisition of GlobalLogic creates an exciting new opportunity for Hitachi to expand our offerings of Lumada solutions and services, provide value to customers in their digital transformation journey, and grow our Lumada business globally. The synergy of GlobalLogic's leading experience design and innovation with Hitachi's expertise in IT, operational technology, and products, will help us realize our goal to be the leading digital transformation innovator in social infrastructure worldwide. Together, we will create new social, environmental and economic value for our globally expanding client companies and elevate QoL for people through contributions to realize sustainable society," Toshiaki Higashihara, Hitachi President & CEO.
GlobalLogic is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Kirkland & Ellis. Hitachi is advised by Credit Suisse and Shearman & Sterling.
Athene Holding, a financial services company, completed the acquisition of Donlen, an American fleet leasing and management company, from Hertz Global Holdings, an American car rental company, for $891m.
"We are confident that pairing Donlen's expertise in fleet management with Athene's strategic investment will result in a positive outcome for all parties involved. With our support, Donlen will be able to enhance their client experience and continue to grow their presence as a fleet management leader. This investment is squarely in line with our strategy of sourcing attractive, differentiated long-term investments that deliver strong and consistent returns for our growing portfolio," Jim Belardi, Athene Chairman and CEO.
Athene was advised by Houlihan Lokey and Sidley Austin. Hertz was advised by Moelis & Co, White & Case and FTI Consulting.
SOC Telemed, a provider of acute telemedicine technology and solutions, completed the acquisition of Access Physicians, a multi-specialty acute telemedicine provider, for c.$194m.
"Access Physicians and SOC Telemed's technology-enabled, multi-specialty clinical solutions and customer base are complementary and serve to capitalize on the growth opportunities in acute care telemedicine. As we work to address health inequities, our combined organization creates a single partner for customers to optimize care delivery," John Kalix, SOC Telemed CEO.
Access Physicians is advised by Jackson Walker. SOC Telemed is advised by Armentum Partners, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Trevelino/Keller and Westwicke.
Brighton Park Capital, an investment firm, completed the $125m investment in OPSWAT, a provider of critical infrastructure protection cybersecurity solutions.
"With a strong foundation and global organization in place, today's announcement marks a new era at OPSWAT, and wouldn't have been possible without the dedication and hard work by our exceptional and growing team. We are excited to partner with the Brighton Park team as we capitalize on the substantial opportunities ahead," Benny Czarny, OPSWAT Founder and CEO.
OPSWAT was advised by Cowen & Company and Goodwin Procter. Brighton Park was advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Office supplies retailer Staples said on Wednesday it would evaluate “all alternatives” to acquire ODP, weeks after the Office Depot and OfficeMax owner turned down the bigger rival’s proposal to buy some of its assets, Reuters reported.
ODP earlier this month rejected the offer, saying it lacked basic deal terms including a purchase price. Staples, owned by buyout firm Sycamore Partners, said its options may include ODP’s retail and consumer-facing business, its operations in Canada and certain other assets.
Staples is advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Kirkland & Ellis and Gladstone Place Partners.
Autodesk, an American multinational software corporation, completed the acquisition of Innovyze, a provider of water infrastructure software, from EQT Partners for $1bn.
"Water is life, and safely and sustainably managing water from cloud to ocean has been Innovyze's mission for more than thirty years. Autodesk and Innovyze's technologies could not be more complementary, which will accelerate our shared vision for improving our resilience to climate change and quality of life for all communities," Colby Manwaring, Innovyze CEO.
EQT was advised by UBS and Sidley Austin. Autodesk was advised by Hogan Lovells.
Amgen, a biotechnology firm, agreed to acquire Rodeo Therapeutics, a developer of small-molecule therapies, from Accelerator Life Science Partners, a venture capital firm, for c.$720m.
"With decades of experience in developing, manufacturing and commercializing innovative therapies for patients suffering from a broad range of immunologic diseases and conditions, Amgen is ideally positioned to rapidly advance our program into the clinic," Thong Q. Le, Rodeo President and CEO.
Rodeo is advised by Cooley. Amgen is advised by Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian.
Blue Point-backed VRC Engineered Solutions, an engineering and polymer technology company, agreed to acquire Cascadia Custom Molding, a thermoplastic components provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Uniting the respective company visions and leveraging their combined capabilities, services, technologies and expertise across all locations will offer significant benefit to our customers. The geographic and end market expansion, along with the potential for cross-selling opportunities, makes the combined company well-positioned for growth,” Jonathan Pressnell, Blue Point Partner.
Cascadia is advised by P&M Corporate Finance. Blue Point is advised by MiddleM Creative.
Coatue Management, an asset manager, led a $305m funding round in Dapper Labs, an NFT-focused startup. Other strategics participating include The Chernin Group, USV, Version One and Venrock. Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant and more than 30 other NBA and NFL players and VCs participated in the round.
"NBA Top Shot is successful because it taps into basketball fandom – it's a new and more exciting way for people to connect with their favorite teams and players. We want to bring the same magic to other sports leagues as well as help other entertainment studios and independent creators find their own approaches in exploring open platforms. NFTs unlock a new model for media that benefits the fans much more than advertising or sponsorships," Roham Gharegozlou, Dapper Labs CEO.
Flagship Pioneering led a $126m Series C round in Omega Therapeutics, a development-stage biotechnology company, with participation from Invus, Fidelity Management & Research Company, BlackRock, Cowen, Point72, Logos Capital and Mirae Asset Capital.
"We are grateful to our new and existing investors for the commitment to our bold vision of creating the industry's first fully programmable epigenetic medicines," Mahesh Karande, Omega Therapeutics President and CEO.
D1 Capital Partners led a $125m Series D round in 6sense, an account engagement platform, with participation from Sapphire Ventures, Tiger Global and Insight Partners.
"Customer conversations are a critical part of our due diligence process, and the feedback from 6sense customers is among the best we've heard. Improving revenue results is a goal for every business, but it's easier said than done. The way 6sense consistently creates value for customers made it clear that they deliver a unique, must-have solution for B2B revenue teams," Dan Sundheim, D1 Capital Partners Founder and CIO.
General Catalyst, an American venture capital firm, led a $101m Series C round in BrightInsight, a global regulated digital health platform, with participation from Insight Partners, New Leaf Venture and Eclipse Ventures.
This latest round of financing enables BrightInsight to further invest in productizing the platform with robust, turnkey software modules that reduce customization for its customers. BrightInsight also plans to continue to grow its team across all departments, invest in customer success and expand the global availability of its platform across the Americas, China and other Asian markets.
BrightInsight was advised by Shik Communications.
Spotify, a music streaming service company, agreed to acquire Betty Labs, the creator of Locker Room. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This acquisition builds on Spotify’s work to create the “future formats of audio” and will accelerate Spotify’s entry into the live audio space.
“We are excited to join forces with Spotify and contribute to building the future of audio—we’ll invest more in our product, open the experience to Spotify’s audience, diversify our content offerings, and continue expanding the community we’ve built. With Spotify, we’ll continue to offer the best home for sports fans and use the lessons we’ve learned along the way to create the ultimate destination for live conversation around music and culture," Howard Akumiah, Betty Labs Founder and CEO.
Spotify is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
DraftKings, an American daily fantasy sports contest and sports betting operator, completed the acquisition of Vegas Sports Information Network, a multi-platform broadcast and content company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"VSiN creates authentic and credible content that resonates with sports bettors at every level, whether they're experienced or new to sports betting. In addition to its brand equity among sports bettors and engaging talent roster, VSiN also has an established infrastructure that DraftKings can immediately help expand, in the hopes of adding value to consumers who are looking to become more knowledgeable about sports betting," Jason Robins, DraftKings Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman.
Oasis Midstream Partners, a provider crude oil, natural gas, and water-related midstream services, completed the acquisition of the remaining interest in Bobcat DevCo and Beartooth DevCo from Oasis Petroleum, an independent exploration and petroleum company, for $512.5m.
"This accretive transaction enhances our scale and strengthens OMP's attractive position in the core of the Williston Basin. OMP is uniquely positioned to benefit from Oasis's development program and capture additional third party business. Volumes from both Oasis and third parties provide a solid foundation through 2021 and beyond. This transaction is extremely attractive for our investors by allowing OMP to increase its scale in an accretive manner, while improving its competitive position to capitalize on future opportunities," Taylor Reid, OMP CEO.
XN Capital led a $100m Series C financing round in Manticore Games, the developer and operator behind an arcade of online games. The round had participation from other strategic and institutional investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and LVP, as well as returning investors Benchmark, Bitkraft, Correlation Ventures and Epic Games.
“This financing underscores confidence in Manticore’s vision of a Creator-built Multiverse. Core puts the power in Creators’ hands to build an endless arcade of free games for players and they’ve delivered. We are thrilled to have more resources to invest in our Creators, who we see as the engine of our growth, to ultimately build the games Multiverse and the best playground for players. Our Early Access launch on Epic Games Store next month is just the beginning,” Frederic Descamps, Manticore Games CEO and Co-founder.
Odyssey Investment-backed Service Champions, a provider of essential home services specializing in heating, air conditioning, and plumbing services, agreed to acquire Sierra Air, a home services company in Reno, Nevada. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Sierra is a natural complement to Jet Plumbing, and we are thrilled to extend market share by combining our businesses and leveraging our collective operational and marketing expertise. This transaction represents a natural fit for our long-term growth plan to be the largest residential HVAC and plumbing services company in the Western United States," Leland A. Smith, Service Champions Founder and CEO.
Endeavor is looking to buy full control of UFC from KKR and Silver Lake. (FS)
Endeavor, an entertainment and media agency, is looking to buy full control of UFC, an American mixed martial arts promotion company, from shareholders KKR and Silver Lake.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel is seeking to obtain the 49.9% of shares his company doesn't own of the UFC in hopes of taking his company public after a failed IPO bid in 2019. The majority of that 49.9% is owned by investment firms KKR and Silver Lake, with a group of 23 celebrities owning the rest of the small shares in the promotion.
XP in talks to buy a stake in Azimut's Brazil asset manager.
XP, a Brazilian investment management company, is in talks to buy a minority stake in asset manager AZ Quest Investimentos.
AZ Quest is based in Sao Paulo and has about $2.9bn under management. It's majority-owned by Italy's Azimut, which has a stake of about 81%, while the rest is owned by executives at the Brazilian firm.
BlackRock raises $3bn for first dedicated secondary strategy. (FS)
BlackRock Private Equity Partners announced that it has successfully closed on over $3bn in total capital commitments for its debut Secondaries & Liquidity Solutions strategy.
"Private markets growth is driving further secondaries supply, and we believe that the secondary market is poised for strong future growth as limited partners and general partners alike seek more creative ways to access liquidity and realize value," Veena Isaac, BlackRock Secondaries & Liquidity Solutions Managing Director.
Canvas Ventures closes third fund at $350m. (FS)
Canvas Ventures, a boutique early-stage firm leading Series A and Series B investments in fintech, digital health, enterprise, data economy, and marketplaces, raised a $350m fund to lead early-stage B2B and B2C investments in fintech, digital health, marketplaces, and logistics.
This new fund, which hit its hard cap and is double the size of its inaugural fund, CV1, brings the total raised to $835m since Canvas was founded in 2013.
Vinci Partners raises $173m for new fund. (FS)
Vinci Partners Investments, the controlling company of an alternative investment platform in Brazil, held the final closing of Vinci Impacto e Retorno IV, the impact family of funds managed by the Vinci Partners' Private Equity segment, at $173m.
This fundraise represents additional long-term capital with formal lockups of at least ten years, raised through local and offshore institutional clients, high net-worth individuals, and retail investors.
Bloombergreported that Veolia Chief Executive Officer Antoine Frerot blamed Suez for the continuing stalemate over his takeover proposal.
The French water and waste utility is offering “a very good price,” and the counterproposal from Suez, which involves two private-equity firms, was only aimed at thwarting Veolia.
Suez on March 21 put forward a solution that would involve Veolia paying $23.5 per share for the utility - $2.3 more than it has offered - and selling on more than half of the company to Ardian and Global Infrastructure Partners.
Suez Group is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Rothschild & Co, Societe Generale, Bredin Prat, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, Sullivan & Cromwell and Brunswick Group. Ardian is advised by Linklaters and Headland Consultancy. Veolia is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Agricole, HSBC, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Flichy Grange Avocats, Gide Loyrette Nouel, Hogan Lovells, Patrice Gassenbach, Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associes, Xavier Boucobza and Image Sept. Engie is advised by BNP Paribas, Centerview Partners, Credit Suisse, Lazard, d'Angelin & Co, Weil Gotshal and Manges, Estudio de Comunicacion and Havas Paris.
Chrysaor, a holding company that focuses on exploration and production of oil and gas resources, completed the acquisition of Premier Oil, an independent UK oil company with gas and oil interests in the UK, Asia, Africa and Mexico, for $3.93bn.
"Through this deal we will become the UK's largest London-listed independent E&P, by all key metrics. With our combined organization and operatorship of a large part of our now international portfolio, we will have the ability to deliver value safely, and play our part in the energy transition," Phil Kirk, Chrysaor CEO.
Premier Oil was advised by Jefferies & Company, RBC Capital Markets, Lazard, Moelis & Co, PJT Partners, Slaughter & May and Camarco. Financial advisors were advised by White & Case. Debt financing was provided by Asia Research & Capital Management. Debt providers were advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Harbour Energy was advised by Goldman Sachs. Chrysaor was advised by BMO Capital Markets, Barclays, Clifford Chance, Brunswick Group and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Arrow Global, an asset management firm, agreed to a sweetened cash offer from private equity firm TDR Capital that valued it at $774m.
Arrow Global shareholders will get $4.22 in cash for each share they hold, as per the recommended bid, which follows TDR’s fourth proposal for a $4.19 per share bid last month.
Arrow Global is advised by Panmure Gordon & Co, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Numis Securities, Slaughter & May and FTI Consulting. TDR Capital is advised by Ashcombe Advisers, Barclays, Citigroup, Kirkland & Ellis and Powerscourt.
Orifarm Group, a Danish pharmaceutical company, completed the acquisition of the OTC and non-core assets of Takeda Pharmaceutical, a global biopharmaceutical company, for $670m.
"These divestments will enable us to further prioritize and reinforce efforts in our core business areas. Throughout the robust sale process we conducted for these assets, we focused on finding the right partner to maximize the value of these trusted products and maintain continuity of supply for the patients and customers who depend on them. We are confident that Orifarm is the right partner for these regions," Giles Platford, Takeda President, Europe & Canada Business Unit.
Orifarm was advised by Ernst & Young, Danske Bank, Kromann Reumert and Wardynski & Partners. Takeda was advised by JP Morgan, White & Case and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Klövern, a real estate company, offered to acquire Corem Property Group, a Sweden-based company engaged in the acquisition, management, development and renewal of industrial, storage, logistical and commercial real estate, for $826m.
"By combining Corem's strong logistics property portfolio with Klövern's concentration of office properties, we are creating one of the Nordic region's largest real estate companies with a broadened product and customer offering," Patrik Essehorn, Corem Chairman of the Board.
Corem is advised by Nordea Bank, Swedbank, Linklaters and Walthon Advokater. Klövern is advised by Carnegie Investment Bank and Vinge.
eStruxture, the Canadian-owned cloud and carrier-neutral data center provider, agreed to acquire eight Canadian data centers from Aptum Technologies, a global hybrid multi-cloud managed service provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition allows us to significantly scale our platform, further expand our reach and customer base in the Vancouver and Montreal areas, and enter the Toronto market in a meaningful way. eStruxture is proud of its Canadian roots and is committed to continuing to invest in our economy, create more jobs for Canadians, and offer a data center platform that is ideal for companies that want to grow or establish their footprint in Canada," Todd Coleman, eStruxture President and CEO.
eStruxture is advised by Scotiabank and Fasken. Aptum Technologies is advised by DH Capital and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg.
ADQ, one of the UAE's largest holding companies, agreed to acquire Amoun Pharmaceutical Company, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, from Bausch Health, a multinational specialty pharmaceutical company, for $740m.
"The sale of Amoun marks significant progress in our efforts to reduce overall Bausch Health debt as we continue to pursue all opportunities to drive value for our shareholders, including preparing for the spinoff of Bausch + Lomb," Joseph C. Papa, Bausch Health Chairman and CEO.
Bausch Health is advised by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Panoro Energy, an independent E&P company, completed the acquisition of Equatorial Guinea assets of Tullow Oil, a major supplier of oil, operating across Africa and South America, for $180m.
"These are important, value-accretive deals for Tullow that will have a positive effect on our financial position as we look to further reduce our net debt and continue constructive discussions with our creditors. These transactions are also in line with our strategy of investing our capital on cash-generative, high return investment opportunities in our core portfolio," Rahul Dhir, Tullow Oil CEO.
Panoro was advised by JP Morgan and Centurion Law. Tullow Oil was advised by Norton Rose Fulbright and Murray Consultants.
Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investments, a provider of premier diversified mining investments and operations, completed the acquisition of a 90% stake in Mopani Copper Mines, a Zambian copper mine company, from Glencore-backed Carlisa Investments for $1.5bn.
Glencore continues to retain offtake rights in respect of Mopani's production. Glencore was looking to offload its Mopani assets in part due to its repeated confrontations with the Government of Zambia.
Mopani was advised by Corpus. Glencore was advised by Linklaters.
Valtech, a global digital agency focused on business transformation, agreed to acquire codeflair, a turnkey software and business solution provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Working alongside codeflair we recognized their proven success record in delivering high-end business solutions to global clients. Their expertise, particularly in the Adobe and MACH space, alongside their energetic and skilled team, culminates in a strong sense of dedication and purpose. We are very excited to combine our knowledge and capabilities to deliver exceptional solutions for our clients," Olivier Padiou, Valtech COO.
General Atlantic led a $145m Series D round in Staffbase, a provider of digital solutions for internal communications, with participation from Insight Partners and e.ventures.
"Our vision is to unite all of a company's employees through strong internal communications and a shared mission. To bring this about, we provide managers and communications specialists at enterprise companies with the leading digital platform for successful employee communications – a platform that we are expanding very rapidly. The partnership with General Atlantic will further help us achieve this and accelerate our growth, especially in North America. The strong local team and the expertise it provides are decisive for us," Martin Böhringer, Staffbase CEO.
General Atlantic is advised by MilBank.
Bayer to kick-off sale of $2.4bn pest control unit.
According to a Reutersreport, German chemicals group Bayer is set to kick off the sale of pest control unit Bayer Environmental Science this summer with a price tag potentially topping $2.4bn. The agrichemicals giant, looking to reduce debt in the wake of its $63bn purchase of US peer Monsanto in 2016.
While introductory meetings with prospective buyers are already taking place, an auction will officially start just before or after the summer break, with the view of signing a deal by the end of the year.
Bayer is advised by Bank of America.
CD Projekt to seek M&A targets.
Reutersreported that CD Projekt, a Polish video game developer, publisher and distributor based in Warsaw, will actively look for merger and acquisition targets in its bid to become one of the top three video game makers in the world.
The maker of Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most anticipated and derided games of 2020, also announced plans to transform its studio and change the way it develops new products, so that it can start its next high-budget AAA games production in 2022.
Swiss regulator lifts ban on large scale M&A for Julius Baer.
Julius Baer, a small to medium-sized generalist private banking corporation, can again consider large acquisitions after the Swiss regulator lifted a ban imposed a little over a year ago to punish it for failings in money-laundering controls, Bloombergreported.
The Zurich-based bank has been informed by FINMA that it is formally lifting the ban imposed in February 2020 on the execution of acquisitions that lead to a significant increase in operating risks and in organizational complexity.
Bertelsmann aims for new national TV champion in France.
German media group Bertelsmann is pushing to create a national television champion in France, seeking to convince regulators to allow a potential combination of its M6 station with the broadcaster's main commercial rival TF1, FTreported.
Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann CEO and chair, said he was "primarily interested" in using France as a testing ground for national media consolidation as he reviewed options for its 48% stake in M6, held through broadcasting business RTL.
Credit Suisse seen halting $1.6bn buyback and kicking off restructuring amid Archegos fallout. (FS)
FNreported that the fallout from the Archegos Capital Management fire sale could force Credit Suisse to suspend its planned $1.6bn share buyback program and push through a fresh round of restructuring.
The Swiss bank says it sees "highly significant and material" losses from the sale of around $20bn worth of stocks by the family office of hedge fund manager Bill Hwang. The blow comes on the heels of its ties with collapsed supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital and a $450m hit from the closure of hedge fund York Capital.
Petropavlovsk's new CEO emphasizes growth over merger with UGC.
Petropavlovsk's new CEO Denis Alexandrov said the gold miner will focus on expanding output from existing assets before considering mergers.
Last year, Petropavlovsk's biggest shareholder, Uzhuralzoloto Group of Companies, joined forces with other investors to oust the company's founders Pavel Maslovskiy and Peter Hambro. The changes driven by UGC, a Russian gold miner controlled by billionaire Konstantin Strukov, ended the latest round of feuding at London-listed Petropavlovsk, Bloomberg reported.
UK regulator ponders changing rules for SPACs.
The Financial Conduct Authority, Britain's financial regulator, is looking to consult on changes to its listing rules for Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, following a recommendation from a review commissioned by UK finance minister Rishi Sunak. The regulators will consider introducing a minimum market capitalization and a redemption option for investors as the UK tries to attract some of these so-called "blank cheque" companies to list in London.
"Our proposals will help to ensure that SPACs operate within a framework of high regulatory standards and oversight," FCA.
Geely weighs reviving $20bn IPO of Volvo Cars.
Geely, a Chinese multinational automotive company headquartered in Hangzhou, is considering reviving plans for an IPO of its Volvo Cars unit that could value the business at around $20bn.
Geely has reportedly been speaking with potential advisers about selling shares in Volvo Cars as soon as this year. The company is considering potential listing venues including Stockholm and Amsterdam.
Polestar, the electric-carmaker controlled by Volvo Car and Geely, is also exploring options for going public as soon as this year.
Deliveroo sinks 31% in setback to London effort to lure IPOs.
Bloombergreported that the shares of online food delivery company Deliveroo plunged as much as 31%, the worst performance in decades for a big UK initial public offering, as fund managers shunned the food-delivery startup over its employment practices and markets soured on the fast-growing companies that fared well during the pandemic.
Trading was halted twice for several minutes due to volatility. The first-day plunge deals a blow to London's efforts to establish itself as a hub for technology listings in the wake of Brexit.
London vies for Poundland parent's listing after pandemic delay.
SkyNewsreported that Pepco, the owner of Poundland, is reviving plans for a multibillion-pound flotation that could swell the ranks of listed retailers on the London stock market.
Pepco has reportedly begun holding preliminary talks with institutional investors about an initial public offering in the UK or Poland. London had re-emerged as a serious contender to stage the listing after Warsaw had previously become the likeliest destination for the company.
Oxford Nanopore looking to list on LSE.
DNA sequencing firm Oxford Nanopore Technologies plans to list on the London Stock Exchange in the second half of the year, delivering a major win for the City in its effort to position itself as an attractive venue for initial public offerings in a post-Brexit world, Bloomberg reported.
A listing will give the company access to "deeper, international pools of capital" for its growth plans, Oxford Nanopore said in a statement on its website.
Bregal Unternehmerkapital closes oversubscribed Fund III at €1.9bn. (FS)
Bregal Unternehmerkapital closed its third fund Bregal Unternehmerkapital III with total capital commitments of €1.9bn ($2.3bn). The fund was oversubscribed and closed at its hard cap, exceeding its initial target, five months after launch.
"The Fund was able to attract a high-quality group of renowned investors, who provided BU III their tremendous trust and support," Florian Schick, BU Managing Partner and Co-Founder.
Kartesia raised a €1bn senior debt fund. (FS)
Kartesia, a European specialist provider of capital solutions for small and mid-sized companies, held the final closing of its inaugural senior debt fund, Kartesia Senior Opportunities I, at €1bn ($1.2bn).
"This is an important milestone for Kartesia as we continue to expand our footprint in European credit markets and develop our position as one of the go-to lenders for small and mid-sized companies across the continent," Jaime Prieto, Kartesia Founding Partner.
KPMG audit head Jon Holt set to replace Bill Michael. (People)
KPMG's board nominated audit head Jon Holt as its preferred candidate for chief executive following the exit of former boss Bill Michael, FNreported.
Michael left the firm in February after staff objected to comments he made on the topic of "unconscious bias" in an online town hall meeting.
JP Morgan promoted Cecil Peters to head of Advancing Black Pathways in EMEA. (People)
JP Morgan promoted Cecil Peters to head of Advancing Black Pathways in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to a FNreport.
The aim is to keep the program — launched two years ago in the US — locally relevant as large investment banks aim to increase the proportion of Black professionals in their workforce following the Black Lives Matter movement that started last year.
Deutsche Bank overhauls compliance as risk officer Stuart Lewis prepares to leave. (People)
FN reported that Deutsche Bank is restructuring its compliance function as its long-time chief risk officer prepares to depart after 25 years at the German lender.
Stuart Lewis, who joined Deutsche Bank in 1996, announced his plan to leave the bank by the annual general meeting in May of next year. Deutsche Bank will restructure its chief risk office to create a seamless transition, CEO Christian Sewing said, transferring responsibility for the compliance and anti-financial crime functions to its chief administrative officer, Stefan Simon.
C Hoare & Co names first female chief in 350-year history. (People).
C Hoare & Co, Britain's oldest privately owned lender, is set to appoint Diana Brightmore-Armour, a former Lloyds Banking Group executive, as the first female boss in its 349-year history.
Ms Brightmore-Armour, whose previous roles also include running the European branches of Australia's ANZ Bank, is to replace Steven Cooper. Her formal appointment is understood to be awaiting regulatory approval, SkyNewsreported.
Blackstone completed the acquisition of Takeda Consumer Healthcare, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda focused on the consumer health care market primarily in Japan, for $2.3bn.
"Today’s transaction will provide TCHC with the ownership, resources and strategic focus to continue to thrive and meet the needs of customers, while further sharpening Takeda’s strategic focus and commitment to financial discipline and transforming science into life-changing medicines. We are confident that under Blackstone, TCHC will be well-positioned to continue growing and developing its product offerings in the years to come to address the evolving needs of consumers," Christophe Weber, Takeda President and CEO.
Blackstone was advised by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Morgan Stanley, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Takeda was advised by NOMURA, Nishimura & Asahi and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Piramal Pharma, an Indian pharmaceutical giant, agreed to acquire Hemmo Pharmaceuticals, a synthetic peptide API manufacturer, for $105m.
“Hemmo has demonstrated excellence and a great quality track record with a differentiated and hard to replicate capability. Once welcomed into the PPL family, it will be another example of a distinctive offering to attract and delight customers. This is the third Pharma acquisition this fiscal year, and yet another example of the implementation of our profitable growth strategy," Nandini Piramal, Piramal Pharma Chairperson.
Hemmo is advised by Torreya Capital and Desai & Diwanji. Piramal Pharma is advised by Kotak Mahindra Capital and Economic Laws Practice.
Fujifilm, a Japanese multinational conglomerate, completed the acquisition of the Diagnostic Imaging-related business of Hitachi, a multinational conglomerate company, for $1.6bn.
By applying its proprietary image processing and AI technologies to Hitachi's extensive product lineup, Fujifilm will further expand its Medical Systems business and create new values to contribute to improve the quality of medical care. In addition, the company will provide new values and solutions to the global market by leveraging its strong global sales network.
Fujifilm was advised by JP Morgan and NERA Economic Consulting.
a.k.a. Brands, a fashion clothing and accessories retailer, completed the acquisition of Culture Kings, an Australian streetwear brand. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Through this partnership, we will provide Culture Kings the support and expertise on the business end, allowing them to focus on the art of fashion and the brand vision that customers have come to know and love. We are thrilled to have them join our portfolio of high-growth brands," Jill Ramsey, a.k.a. Brands CEO.
Alibaba and DST Global, a private equity firm, led a $750m funding round in Nice Tuan, a Chinese grocery application. Other investors in the round include GGV Capital, DE Shaw, Anatole Investment, Jeneration Capital, Dragoneer, CDH Investments, Kunlun Capital, Franchise Capital, and Cygnus Equity.
Nice Tuan will use the funding to bolster its supply chain and increase fresh produce offerings.
China approved a merger of Sinochem Group and ChemChina Group's agricultural assets into Syngenta Group, two companies that have long been the target of merger speculation.
The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission announced the approval in a one-line statement that didn’t provide additional detail. Both Sinochem and ChemChina are state-owned companies regulated by SASAC.
A deal to combine the two companies, and create a globally competitive powerhouse across a swathe of basic industries, has been in the works since at least 2016. China’s formal blessing on a restructuring is likely to hasten its completion, although the deal has run into complications before, Bloombergreported.
Owners of STP revive a $1bn sale. (FS)
The owners of PT Solusi Tunas Pratama, an Indonesian-based company engaged in telecommunication infrastructure, are set to revive the sale of a majority stake in the company that could give it a valuation of at least $1bn.
Buyout firms Carlyle Group and Southern Capital Group are working with an adviser on a potential offer.
China Strategic in talks to buy Hong Kong Life. (FS)
China Strategic Holdings, an investment firm backed by billionaire Henry Cheng, is in talks to buy insurance company Hong Kong Life Insurance. The deal is set be valued at between $400m and $500m.
This would mark at least the third attempt by the owners to exit the business. A previous agreement to sell the operations to investment fund First Origin International for $914m was terminated in 2018.
Vipshop announces a $500m share buyback program.
Vipshop, an online discount retailer for brands in China, announced that its board of directors authorized a share repurchase program under which the company may repurchase up to $500m of its Class A ordinary shares over the 24-month period upon the establishment of share repurchase program.
The company's proposed repurchases may be made from time to time in the open market at prevailing market prices, in privately negotiated transactions, in block trades and/or through other legally permissible means, depending on market conditions and in accordance with applicable rules and regulations.
Singapore Exchange is proposing introducing regulations this year to allow the listing of special purpose acquisition companies.
SGX said it would impose various safeguards to rein in risks such as excessive dilution by sponsors and shareholders of SPACs and a rush by shell firms to merge with targets. Singapore Exchange's regulatory arm is proposing a minimum $225m market capitalization for listing special purpose acquisition companies. The Southeast Asian trading venue is also proposing stricter criteria for warrants and share redemption.
China considers new bourse to attract overseas-listed firms.
China is considering establishing a stock exchange to attract overseas-listed firms and bolster the global status of its onshore share markets, according to a Reutersreport.
The country's State Council has asked the top securities regulator to lead studies on how to design the exchange that would target Chinese firms listed in offshore markets such as Hong Kong and the United States. The government hopes the initiative would also lure global marquee firms such as Apple and Tesla, which would have the option of carving out local businesses and listing them on the new bourse.
InMobi looks for a $15bn valuation IPO.
InMobi, an Indian multinational mobile advertising technology company, based in Bangalore, is planning to list in the US by the end of the year, at a $15bn valuation. The offering size could be as large as $1bn.
A successful debut could make InMobi the first of India's unicorns to directly list in a US stock exchange.
Qiandama weighs Hong Kong IPO.
Qiandama, a Chinese fresh food chain operator, is considering an initial public offering in Hong Kong as soon as this year. The company is looking to raise between $400m and $500m.
Qiandama is also planning to raise about $305m in a pre-IPO funding round that could value the firm at as much as $2.8bn.
Bairong falls 16% in worst Hong Kong debut since 2018.
Bairong, a Chinese fintech firm, slumped on its debut in Hong Kong, the second listing in the financial hub this week to disappoint following a global selloff in China's technology sector.
Bloombergreported that shares of the artificial intelligence-powered technology platform closed 16% lower on Wednesday, making it the worst debut among IPOs exceeding $500m in Hong Kong in three years.
SK IE Technology set to raise $1.5bn in its upcoming IPO.
SK Innovation's its unit SK IE Technology's planned initial public offering is expected to be worth at least $1.5 at the low end of an indicative range, Reutersreported. The unit being listed develops separators, a key component in lithium-ion batteries.
SKIET is expected to price the IPO in late April and list sometime in May, SK Innovation said.
Lodha Developers is set to launch a $340m IPO.
Lodha Developers, an Indian real estate company with its headquarters in Mumbai, is set to launch a $340m IPO in April.
The IPO will close on April 9. The issue has already received final approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
Asia Partners announced DFC and DEG as limited partners in its debt fund. (FS)
Asia Partners, a Singapore-based growth equity investment firm, announced that the US International Development Finance and the German development finance institution DEG invested in Asia Partners I as limited partners, underscoring its commitment to socially responsible investing.
The fund is the largest debut technology fund in history, specifically focused on Southeast Asia, and one of the region's largest debut funds across all industries.
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