Vista Equity Partners, an American investment firm, completed the acquisition of KnowBe4, the provider of the world's largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, from KKR, an investment company, and Elephant Partners, a venture capital firm, for $4.6bn.
"Today's announcement is a testament to the success of our strategy and the strength of our incredible team. This acquisition by Vista represents the next phase of our journey. KnowBe4 has a strong record of performance, as evidenced by our market-leading platform and global customer base. Under Vista's ownership, we will have access to additional resources and support, which will help us achieve our goals and deliver enhanced value to our customers," Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 Founder, Chairman and CEO.
BMO Financial Group, a Canadian multinational investment bank and financial services company, completed the acquisition of Bank of the West, a regional financial services company, from BNP Paribas, a French international banking group, for $16.3bn.
"With the strength of our performance and our integrated North American foundation, we have never been better positioned to take this next step in our growth strategy and to deliver for the new customers and colleagues we look forward to welcoming to BMO. This acquisition will add meaningful scale, expansion in attractive markets, and capabilities that will enable us to drive greater growth, returns and efficiencies," Darryl White, BMO Financial Group CEO.
Thoma Bravo-backed QAD, a company delivering next-generation manufacturing and supply chain solutions in the cloud to enable the Adaptive Enterprise, completed the acquisition of Redzone, a workforce solution for manufacturing. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Since acquiring QAD in 2021, we have remained committed to supporting the Company in its mission to enable its customers to rapidly adapt to disruption and effectively innovate for competitive advantage. The acquisition of Redzone, with its impressive growth trajectory in a large, unpenetrated $40bn market, demonstrates our commitment to advancing QAD's vision and to further building its leadership position in the broader industrial software universe," Peter Stefanski, Thoma Bravo Partner.
Redzone was advised by Barclays, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and InkHouse. QAD and Thoma Bravo were advised by Kirkland & Ellis and FGS Global.
Cox Communications, an American digital cable television provider, completed the acquisition of Logicworks, a professional and managed cloud services company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With Logicworks in our commercial services portfolio, we can help customers better migrate and manage systems in the cloud while they focus on business priorities. This acquisition is part of our larger plan to offer a comprehensive suite of innovative IT solutions," Mark Greatrex, Cox Communications President.
Logicworks was advised by Jefferies & Company and Cooley. Cox Communications was advised by King & Spalding.
Platte River Equity, a Denver-based private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Womack Machine Supply, an industrial equipment supplier. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Platte River is honored to carry on the legacy that the Rowlett family has established over the past 17 years. Womack is a premier solution provider representing global manufacturers and related components used in the fluid power and automation industry. We are thrilled to partner with the management team of Womack as we seek to expand the company's strong market position," Mark Brown, Platte River Managing Director.
Womack Machine Supply was advised by William Blair & Co and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. Platte River Equity was advised by Bartlit Beck.
McGrath Rentcorp, a diversified business-to-business rental company, agreed to acquire VESTA Modular, a modular construction services and modular buildings company, from Kinderhook, an American private equity firm, for $400m.
"Kinderhook is thrilled with this outcome for VESTA, its employees, and our limited partners. Our investment in VESTA highlights the key tenets of Kinderhook's investment strategy – partnering with world class management teams to create industry leading companies. We thank the VESTA team for their hard work over the past two years and look forward to the great accomplishments to come from the combined VESTA and McGrath teams," Rob Michalik, Kinderhook Managing Director.
Kinderhook and VESTA are advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Oppenheimer & Co.
Edgewater Capital Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of NeoGraf Solutions, a carbon and graphite products manufacturer, from Aterian Investment Partners, a private investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This transaction completes a highly successful partnership between NeoGraf and Aterian. We are grateful for Aterian's confidence and support in our Company, team and strategy as we worked together to transform NeoGraf. We look forward to continuing executing on our strategy with Edgewater and drive continued industry-leading solutions for our customers," Drew Walker, NeoGraf CEO.
NeoGraf Solutions was advised by BDA Partners and Kirkland & Ellis.
Penguin Random House, the world's largest trade publisher, completed the acquisition of Playaway Products, a provider of pre-loaded physical devices delivering digital content to the educational and institutional markets, from Spotify, a proprietary Swedish audio streaming and media services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Penguin Random House is the right strategic partner for Playaway Products. It was immediately apparent from the first conversations with the audio team that our cultures and vision align perfectly. We are committed to bridging the digital divide and providing access to top-quality audiobooks, children's books, and apps via our devices. I'm eager to enter this new chapter together with our whole team, along with our customers and partners," Gene LaMarca, Playaway Products CEO.
First American, a provider of title, settlement and risk solutions for real estate transactions and the leader in the digital transformation of its industry, completed the acquisition of 1031 Solutions, a full-service 1031 exchange company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to welcome 1031 Solutions and its deep expertise to the First American family. The addition of 1031 Solutions will augment our ongoing efforts to offer customers in the Rocky Mountain region and surrounding markets superior service, and we're looking forward to pursuing new opportunities for growth," Julie Baird, First American Exchange Company President.
Fifth Wall and Franklin Templeton led a $300m Series B round in Our Next Energy, a Michigan-based energy storage technology company, with participation from Temasek, Riverstone Holdings and Coatue.
"Batteries are a fundamental component of the global energy transition economy. ONE is firmly at the forefront of driving this systemic shift. We believe ONE's next-generation mobility and stationary storage applications are a game changer and are set to transform the $100bn+ battery market. We're thrilled to be a part of the company's category-defining growth," Peter Gajdoš, Fifth Wall Partner & Co-Head of The Climate Technology Investment Team.
Blackstone REIT blocks investor withdrawals from its $69bn REIT in January. (FS)
Blackstone had blocked withdrawals from its $69bn real estate income trust in January, as the private equity firm faced a surge in redemption requests from investors looking to cash out, Reutersreported.
BREIT fulfilled redemption requests of about $1.3bn in January, representing 25% of the approximately $5.3bn of the total withdrawal requests it had received during the month. The fulfilled withdrawal requests also represents 2% of the net asset value of fund. Blackstone began exercising its right to block investor withdrawals from BREIT from November last year after it received a deluge of requests that exceeded a preset 5% of the net asset value of the fund.
Grupo Mexico lines up debt for over $7bn Banamex offer.
Grupo Mexico is close to lining up financing to back a more-than $7bn bid for Citigroup’s Mexican retail bank Banamex, Bloombergreported.
Grupo Mexico, the conglomerate run by mining magnate German Larrea, is in talks with banks including Barclays and HSBC. At one point in the talks the amount of financing reached around $5bn, but the size and price of the offer were still in discussion.
Blackstone to acquire event software firm. (FS)
Blackstone is one of a number of private equity firms considering making a bid to acquire Cvent Holding, a US-based provider of software for the events management sector, in a deal that could value the business at up to $4bn.
News of a potential sale of the firm, which offers a range of products for automating the event management process, pushed the company’s shares 23% higher on 31 January, up roughly 1% in trading.
Silver Lake considers Qualtrics takeover. (FS)
Private equity firm Silver Lake Management is considering a takeover of SAP-backed customer-survey software maker Qualtrics International.
Silver Lake, which currently owns 4.2% of Qualtrics, plans to submit a proposal to buy the firm’s remaining shares and delist the stock, it said on a filing. Software maker SAP last week announced plans to cut 3k jobs, or 2.5% of its global workforce, and explore the sale of its remaining 71% stake in Qualtrics, Reutersreported.
Solar energy firm Nextracker seeks up to $535m in US IPO.
Solar energy technology provider Nextracker is seeking to raise as much as $535m in what could be one of the first major US initial public offerings of the year.
The company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it planned to sell more than 23m shares for $20 to $23 each, Bloombergreported.
Shamrock Capital raises $600m for Fund III. (FS)
Shamrock Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment firm specialising in media, entertainment, communications and related sectors has held the final closing of Shamrock Capital Content Fund III, which is to acquire a diverse and global portfolio of content and media rights, with over $600m in commitments, exceeding its target of $500m.
SCCF III, the third equity fund for Shamrock's Content Strategy, will follow the same mandate as its two predecessor funds and partner with content creators and owners while targeting the acquisition of premium, cash-flowing portfolios across film, television, music, video games, sports rights and other forms of content.
Firebolt Ventures in the market to raise $100m new VC fund. (FS)
Seed and early-stage focused venture investor Firebolt Ventures has filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $100m for its latest venture capital vehicle.
The filing for Firebolt Ventures V comes less than two years after the US-headquartered VC firm, which counts more than a dozen Silicon Valley unicorn founders as backers, raised $25m for the predecessor fund, DealStreetAsiareported.
Veritas Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Wood Mackenzie, a global research and consultancy group, from Verisk Analytics, an American multinational data analytics and risk assessment firm, for $3.1bn.
"We are pleased to announce this transaction, which both represents value creation for our shareholders and will allow us to focus on businesses more closely aligned with our strategy, distinctives, and global ambitions. We are glad to have found strong ownership for our healthcare services business. The sale will enhance our focus on proprietary data analytics in our key vertical markets," Scott Stephenson, Verisk Analytics Chairman, President and CEO.
Uniphore, a conversational AI and automation company, completed the acquisition of Red Box, a voice and data recording solutions provider, from Livingbridge, a mid-market private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“During these dynamic economic times, enterprises are realizing the importance of working with integrated platforms that can scale to offer stellar customer experience and proven ROI, versus point solutions and data silos. Today, I am excited to welcome the Red Box team to bring even more value to our combined global customer base through innovative technology, and a talented team that will help maximize the value of conversations,” Umesh Sachdev, Uniphore CEO and Co-Founder.
TotalEnergies, Iraq see further delays to $27bn energy deal.
French oil major TotalEnergies and Iraq are taking further time to hammer out key sticking points in a long-delayed $27bn energy deal which Baghdad hopes will revive foreign investment in the country.
The deal was signed in 2021 for TotalEnergies to build four oil, gas and renewables projects with an initial investment of $10bn in southern Iraq over 25 years. It has seen several setbacks amid disputes between Iraqi politicians over its terms, Reutersreported.
KKR bids for Telecom Italia network. (FS)
Telecom Italia received a multi-billion euro bid for a controlling stake in its fixed-line network from US fund KKR, Italy's biggest phone group said, adding its board would meet on Thursday to discuss the matter. Telecom Italia said the size of the stake that KKR was seeking was yet to be defined, but the move would result in the US firm taking control of a newly created company comprising TIM's domestic landline network as well as a stake in submarine cable unit Sparkle.
KKR, which is already an investor in TIM's network, made a non-binding takeover offer for the group as a whole late in 2021 which TIM eventually rejected, Reutersreported.
Santander is not interested in potential acquisition of Orange Bank. (FS)
Spain's Santander is not interested in the potential acquisition of Orange Bank, the mobile banking unit of Orange, chairman Ana Botin said.
Reutersreported that French banks BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale were mulling a bid for Orange Bank. Spanish bank Santander and US private equity fund Cerberus were also considering a bid.
Greybull eyes distress deal for battery-maker Britishvolt. (FS)
Greybull Capital, a PE firm with a track record of backing struggling British companies, could be a potential savior for failed battery startup Britishvolt, Pitchbookreported.
The London-based firm met with Britishvolt's management on Monday to discuss the proposal. The company launched bankruptcy proceedings in January following repeated emergency funding rounds. Staff costs, which ate most of the cash raised, ultimately forced the company's creditors to call time.
One Rock to open London office. (FS, People)
One Rock Capital Partners, a value-oriented, operationally focused private equity firm, has opened a new office in London, to focus on European investment opportunities. Industry veteran Telmo Valido has been appointed as a partner to co-lead and grow the London-based team alongside Kurt Beyer, a partner formerly based in New York who is relocating to the London office.
Jeremy Xia, a principal from the New York office, has also relocated to London along with Beyer, while Lukas Zeitlberger, formerly of Metric Capital, has been appointed as a London-based principal. Over the years, One Rock has grown its presence and deal activity in European markets, completing several corporate carve-outs of North American assets from Europe-based parent companies, as well as multiple European add-on acquisitions.
Bank of America’s veteran mining head Omar Davis to retire. (People)
Bank of America's global mining head Omar Davis, one of the most senior bankers covering the sector, is retiring, Bloombergreported.
London-based Davis will remain with the Wall Street bank over the coming month as he hands over the reins to Ben Davies, who’s most recently run the same business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
DigitalBridge Investments, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of the global infrastructure equity investment management business of AMP Capital, a private equity firm, for $498m.
"This transaction represents a unique opportunity to extend our leadership in digital investment management. In addition to accelerating and scaling the growth of our platform, we are empowering a team of high-caliber investment professionals who share our commitment to delivering strong long-term returns for investors and have significant experience investing in the value-added mid-market infrastructure segment directly adjacent to our flagship equity business," Marc Ganzi, DigitalBridge CEO.
Epiroc, a productivity and sustainability partner for the mining and infrastructure industries, completed the acquisition of CR, a manufacturer of mining wear parts and consumables. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition will expand our offering of innovative and high-quality consumables and digital solutions that strengthen customers' productivity and safety. We look forward to welcome the strong team at CR to Epiroc," Helena Hedblom, Epiroc President and CEO.
CR was advised by Jefferies & Company. Epiroc was advised by Borden Ladner Gervais (led by Stefan Timms).
Axa Investment Management, a global investment management firm, completed the acquisition of a 33-asset multifamily portfolio in Japan for $460m.
The newly acquired portfolio is made up of residential buildings with predominantly one-bed apartments in Tokyo, Greater Osaka and Nagoya. Axa IM Alts' exposure to Japanese residential assets currently totals around 7.8k units.
Mitsui, one of the largest sogo shosha in Japan, agreed to acquire the remaining 50% stake in AIM Services, a joint venture established to provide food services to clients across a variety of business sectors in Japan, from Aramark, an American food service, facilities, and uniform services provider, for $535m.
"As part of our strategy to deliver profitable growth, we regularly review the company's portfolio to identify opportunities to create value for shareholders. Monetizing this non-controlling interest will enhance operating focus, strengthen our balance sheet through accelerated debt repayment, and will be accretive to earnings per share," John Zillmer, Aramark CEO.
Adani's market losses top $100bn as shelved share sale spooks investors.
Adani Group's market losses swelled to more than $100bn, sparking worries about their potential systemic impact, a day after its flagship company abandoned a $2.5bn stock offering, Reutersreported.
The withdrawal of Adani Enterprises' share sale marks a dramatic setback for founder Gautam Adani, the school dropout-turned-billionaire whose fortunes rose rapidly in recent years but have plunged in just a week after US-based short-seller Hindenburg published a critical research report.
HK-based New World weighs sale of majority stake in $1.4bn premium office tower. (RE)
Hong Kong’s New World Development is talking to investors about the sale of a majority stake in an office tower under its premium K11 brand as it disposes of non-core assets to fund its rapid expansion.
The Grade-A K11 Atelier King’s Road tower in eastern Hong Kong island from the city’s fourth-biggest developer is valued in its entirety at HKD11bn ($1.4bn), DealStreetAsia reported.
Ingka Investments signs agreement to invest in Australia’s biggest permitted wind farm. (FS)
Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group, the world's largest IKEA retailer, has made its first renewable energy investment in Australia, taking a 15% stake in the $1.4bn stage one of TagEnergy’s Golden Plains Wind Farm near Geelong.
“Sustainability investments are a growth sector, where doing good business and being a good business comes together, and therefore are also a core strategic priority for Ingka Group. It is about making the necessary investments to meet sustainability goals and support the IKEA transition to become climate positive and transition to a circular business model, through offering affordable solutions enabling people to live within the planetary boundaries. The investment also increases our ability to support value chain partners with renewable energy,” Peter van der Poel, Ingka Investments Managing Director.
Chinese lidar firm Hesai sets terms for $171m IPO.
Hesai Group, a Chinese developer of sensor technologies used in self-driving cars, has set terms for a US initial public offering that could raise as much as $171m.
The Shanghai-based startup plans to offer 9m American depositary shares at $17 to $19 apiece. It aims to announce the price range as soon as this week, Bloomberg reported.
Australian real estate investor Dexus raises $300m for two property funds. (FS)
Australia-listed real estate group Dexus has announced raising an aggregate of AUD420m ($300m) for its two property funds — Dexus Real Estate Partnership 1 and Dexus Healthcare Property Fund.
DREP1 is a close-ended fund seeded by Dexus with three assets: a Melbourne office development, an industrial project in Sydney, and a construction loan, DealStreetAsia reported.
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