Private equity firms General Atlantic and Hg Capital agreed to invest in Gen II Fund Services, an independent private equity fund administrator. IHS Markit, a global investor in software and services, also made a minority investment in the company. Cobepa, a privately-held investment company, continued to hold a minority position. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to partner with General Atlantic, Hg and IHS Markit to make Gen II even stronger. Our new investors each bring game-changing expertise to our Firm and our clients. General Atlantic brings 40 years of global growth equity investing and will be superb advisors as we expand our capabilities and reach. Hg, the largest software investor in Europe, brings deep software and service business intelligence that we will leverage to help refine our products. And IHS Markit, developers of WSO Software and iLEVEL, brings technology, analytics and product expertise that will help us transform the features and performance of our platform. This is a powerhouse combination,” Steven Millner, Steven Alecia and Norman Leben, Gen II co-founders.
Gen II Fund is advised by Alvarez & Marsal, Robert W Baird, Kirkland & Ellis, and Alvarez & Marsal. Cobepa is advised by White & Case. Bidders are advised by Ernst & Young, Ernst & Young, Validus, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Brunswick Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Raymond James.
British industrial software provider Aveva Group it intends to raise $3.7bn through a rights issue to partly fund the acquisition of SoftBank-backed peer OSIsoft, Reuters reported.
Under the terms of the rights issue, investors can buy seven new shares for every nine shares they own at $29.6 each, a discount of 32.2% to the theoretical ex-rights price.
OSIsoft is advised by Morgan Stanley, Fenwick & West, Latham & Watkins, Slaughter & May, and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Aveva is advised JP Morgan, Numis Securities, Lazard, Ashurst, Debevoise & Plimpton, and FTI Consulting. Debt Financing is provided by BNP Paribas, Barclays, and JP Morgan.
Volkswagen's truck unit Traton has agreed to pay about $3.7bn for the outstanding shares of US truck maker Navistar International.
Finalisation of the deal comes after Traton said on October 16, it had agreed to raise its bid for Navistar to $44.5 per share, up from $43, as it closed in on an acquisition that would create a global manufacturer.
Navistar is advised by JP Morgan, PJT Partners, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Brunswick Group. Traton is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Rothschild & Co, and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
EQT Infrastructure IV fund of EQT Partners completed the acquisition of EdgeConneX, an operator of data centers for cloud, content, network and other service providers, from Providence Equity Partners, a private equity firm, for c. $3bn.
"EQT brings significant financial resources and digital infrastructure industry experience which EdgeConneX will use to accelerate growth and invest in new data centers around the world. I look forward to continuing to lead EdgeConneX and we are very pleased to have EQT as our new owner and partner in this exciting growth phase. On behalf of EdgeConneX, I thank our outstanding customers and partners, dedicated employees and long-term shareholders that gave us the latitude to succeed and create lasting value," Randy Brouckman, EdgeConneX CEO.
EdgeConneX was advised by Evercore, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Jaymie Scotto & Associates. EQT Infrastructure was advised by Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis, Kekst CNC and Sard Verbinnen.
CF Finance Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial services firm, completed the merger with GCM Grosvenor, a global alternative asset management firm, in a $2bn deal.
As of closing, the combined company received a $225m investment from institutional investors ($195m) and Cantor Fitzgerald ($30m). GCM Grosvenor management own over 70% of the combined company.
"We believe that becoming a publicly listed company will benefit our clients, our team members and all of our stakeholders. We have long valued having external shareholders and we wanted to preserve the accountability and focus that comes with that. We thank the H&F team for their partnership and support over the years and look forward to welcoming our public shareholders in this next chapter of our 50-year corporate history," Michael J. Sacks, GCM CEO and Chairman.
GCM Grosvenor was advised by JP Morgan, Abernathy MacGregor Group, and Latham & Watkins. CF Finance Acquisition was advised by Cantor Fitzgerald, The Klein Group, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole and Hughes Hubbard & Reed.
Novo Nordisk, a Danish multinational pharmaceutical company, agreed to acquire Emisphere Technologies, a provider of drug delivery technology, for $1.4bn.
“After a thorough analysis of strategic alternatives, the Emisphere Board and the Special Committee unanimously determined that a combination with Novo Nordisk is the best way to maximize value for our stockholders,” Timothy G. Rothwell, Emisphere Chairman.
Emisphere is advised by Jefferies & Company, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, WilmerHale, and Argot Partners. Novo Nordisk is advised by Evercore and Davis Polk & Wardwell.
The Carlyle Group, an American multinational private equity, alternative asset management, and financial services corporation, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Manna Pro Products, a company that manufactures and markets animal feed products, from investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to be working again with the team at Carlyle as we build on the substantial growth we’ve experienced in partnership with MSCP. Our business has evolved significantly over the past three years with the expansion of our high quality product offering, increased investment in brand building, improved operations, and intense focus on growth and sustainability. With increasing demand for products that help pet parents care for and nurture their pets, we appreciate MSCP’s support in achieving our leadership position and look forward to working with Carlyle again as we continue our mission," John Howe, Manna Pro CEO.
The Carlyle Group is advised by Kirkland & Ellis. Manna Pro is advised by Lincoln International and William Blair & Co. Morgan Stanley Capital Partners is advised by Debevoise & Plimpton.
goPuff, a digital delivery service operator, agreed to acquire BevMo!, a distributor of alcoholic beverages, for $350m.
"We’re proud to bring goPuff’s operations to California and look forward to investing in talent and real estate across the state. Partnering with BevMo! quickly advances our strategic objectives of providing more customers in new geographies with a seamless solution for their instant needs. Through this acquisition, goPuff will operate coast-to-coast, solidifying our presence as a leading, national consumer business," Rafael Ilishayev, goPuff Co-Founder and Co-CEO.
BevMo! is advised by JP Morgan and Kirkland & Ellis. goPuff is advised by Evercore and Cooley.
American Tower, a REIT, agreed to acquire InSite Wireless Group, an owner and operator of communication facilities, for $3.5bn.
“This transaction augments our foundational US business through the addition of a well-run, high-quality, complementary, macro-tower focused portfolio, while also marking our entry into Canada. We believe that these assets are positioned to enhance our organic growth and cash flow trajectory in the future as 5G deployments accelerate and densification initiatives progress,” Tom Bartlett, American Tower CEO.
InSite Wireless Group is advised by Evercore and Lowenstein Sandler. American Tower is advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
PowerSchool, a provider of educational software, completed the acquisition of Hoonuit, a provider of software solutions, from Renovus Capital Partners, a Philadelphia-area private equity firm focused on investing in the education and technology services sectors. Financial terms were not dislcosed.
"With the acquisition of Hoonuit PowerSchool can now offer a fully comprehensive education technology system for K-12 educators with advanced analytics woven throughout. The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in schools, while also increasing challenges in equity, enrollment and learning outcomes, and we are dedicated to ensuring the tools educators are using to bridge enrollment and learning gaps today will also enhance student outcomes into the future," Hardeep Gulati, PowerSchool CEO.
PowerSchool was advised by Ernst & Young and Kirkland & Ellis. Hoonuit was advised by Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath.
CI Financial, an asset manager, agreed to acquire Doyle Wealth Management, an investment advisory firm, for $1.1bn.
“We’re thrilled to have the backing of a company like CI, with its deep expertise in both asset and wealth management and long-term commitment to the wealth business and to our firm. This partnership will allow us to expand the depth of our service offering and improve all aspects of our operations – leading to an enhanced experience for our clients. Joining with CI will advance the development of our firm, benefiting our clients and providing new opportunities for our employees,” Robert Doyle, DWM President and Chief Investment Officer.
Doyle Wealth Management is advised by Cambridge International Partners. CI Financial is advised by Gregory FCA.
Blackhawk Network, a provider of prepaid and financial payments products for consumers and businesses, competed the acquisition of NGC, a company providing management consulting services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Blackhawk has long been a leader in the gift card and incentives industry and has been a long-standing partner of NGC. Together, we drove almost $3bn in gift cards and prepaid products for loyalty, rewards, and employee recognition programs in 2019 alone. Now, as an official part of the Blackhawk team, we can expand upon the continued growth of NGC, Blackhawk and the prepaid industry overall and are excited to drive further value for both NGC's and Blackhawk's clients," Adam Van Witzenburg, NGC CEO.
Blackhawk Network was advised by Sica Fletcher. NGC was advised by Lincoln International.
TELUS, a digital customer experience innovator, agreed to acquire Lionbridge AI, a provider of crowd-based training data and annotation platform solutions, for $935m.
“We are excited to be welcoming the entire Lionbridge AI team to our TELUS International family. The addition of its industry-leading data annotation capabilities to our suite of next-generation digital solutions will support the expansion of our global service offerings and our penetration into the fast-growing new economy services market as we continue to advance our digital transformation strategy,” Jeff Puritt, TELUS President and CEO.
Ping An Capital, a private equity firm, led a $124m Series funding round C round in Apollomics, a biopharmaceutical company.
“Apollomics is focused on a precision medicine approach that targets specific mutations, amplifications and resistance mechanisms to bring transformative therapies to cancer patients. We appreciate the profound level of support and interest we received during this financing and welcome several new investors to our shareholder base. With this infusion of capital, we will continue our ambitious plans to progress our current pipeline and expand our programs globally," Guo-Liang Yu, Apollomics Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO.
Private equity firms RA Capital and Hillhouse Capital led a $120m Series D funding round in Cytek Biosciences, a biotechnology company. OrbiMed and LYFE Capital also joined the funding round.
The investment will be used to expand Cytek’s global infrastructure, sustain its growing momentum and enable the company to deliver on its robust technology platform.
“This most recent investment speaks to our significant contributions to the field of flow cytometry, and to our proven ability to push important, emerging fields of research forward through our innovative technology. We are committed to advancing the scope, reach and capabilities of flow cytometry – and to providing researchers and clinicians around the globe with the tools they need to improve patient treatments," Wenbin Jiang, Cytek Biosciences CEO.
Cytek Biosciences was advised by Lages & Associates.
Grupo de Narváez, a supermarket chain operator, agreed to acquire Walmart Argentina, the Argentinian unit of Walmart, an American multinational retail corporation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are very proud of our Argentina business and associates as they’ve led and shown resilience throughout this year serving customers when they needed them most. We are excited by the local retail expertise the new owners bring to this already strong business, and we believe this deal creates the right structure to help it truly flourish for many years,” Judith McKenna, Walmart International President and Chief Executive Officer.
ProPhase Labs, a manufacturer of zinc gluconate glycine lozenges and homeopathic gum, completed the acquisition of a New Jersey laboratory from Confucius Plaza Medical Laboratory, a medical laboratory. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We spent six months evaluating the medical test lab business and searching for the right acquisition candidates to lead our entry into this industry. In Confucius Labs, we found the ideal opportunity for an East Coast-based CLIA accredited lab for Covid-19 and other medical testing capabilities," Ted Karkus, ProPhase CEO.
Private equity firm Altas Partners and Ares Management, an American publicly traded, a global alternative asset manager focused on alternative strategies, are set to invest in Unified Women's Healthcare, a practice management platform in women's healthcare. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Altas and Ares both understand and support our core mission, which is to continue to support outstanding physicians as they improve women's health. This investment will allow Unified to continue to support our affiliated practices as they attract great physicians, provide best-in-class capabilities, and further out investments in value-based care," Bob LaGalia, Unified CEO and President.
Unified Women's Healthcare is advised by Barclays.
Private equity firm Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan led a $267m Series C funding round in Pony.ai, an autonomous driving company, at a $5.3bn valuation. The round saw participation from Fidelity China Special Situations, Morningside Venture Capital, Clearvue Partners, and Eight Roads.
"Pony.ai is approaching its mission of delivering autonomous mobility everywhere by building technology that allows vehicles to drive safely on public roads. With new investments that support our growth and deepened partnerships with our existing investors, we are quickly advancing toward future mobility and bringing autonomous vehicle technology to the global market," James Peng, Pony.ai CEO.
Private equity firms GIC and Thrive led a $150m private equity round in Vimeo, a video hosting platform.
"Our goal is to radically simplify how businesses create and share video, with tools that are far more intuitive and cost-effective than they've been historical. We're energized to access additional capital to pursue this enormous opportunity with the full focus and scale of the Vimeo platform," Anjali Sud, Vimeo CEO.
Apollo Global Management targets William Hill's betting shops in a $4.27bn deal. (FS)
The private equity firm Apollo Global Management is drawing up a bid for betting shops and other non-US assets of William Hill once the bookmaker’s takeover by Caesars Entertainment, a Las Vegas-based casino operator, goes through. The William Hill operations that Caesars wants to sell include 1.4k UK betting shops, online operations and other European operations.
The Las Vegas-based casino operator has since made a recommended bid for William Hill worth $4.27bn including debt, but has made clear that it only wants the group’s American betting operations and will sell the rest of the assets.
Although Apollo is known to be keen to mount a bid for the assets Caesars does not want, it cannot join forces with management or enter negotiations until the takeover of the company has secured shareholder approval.
Dealmakers see divided US government supporting M&A.
Joe Biden’s projected win of the US presidency and the Republican Party potentially retaining control of the US Senate could drive a pickup in M&A, Reutersreported.
Bankers and lawyers who advise companies on M&A said the outcome was the best possible for providing the stable economic and regulatory environment that dealmaking needs.
They expect that Biden, the Democratic Party candidate, would be more predictable in governing than Republican President Donald Trump, and that a Republican-controlled US Senate would restrain Biden’s most interventionist policies. Scrutiny of Chinese takeovers of US companies, which intensified under Trump, is expected to continue.
Berkshire Hathaway increases profit to $30bn on back of investment portfolio. (FS)
Berkshire Hathaway reported a soar in income for the third quarter as Warren Buffett’s enterprise began to deploy the billions of dollars it has amassed over the previous many years, FTreported.
The improve in income was pushed by Berkshire’s investment portfolio, which incorporates large stakes in Apple, American Express and Bank of America.
Berkshire Hathaway spent the third quarter buying back about $9bn of its own stock, more than it had repurchased in any full year in its history. The firm additionally invested within the preliminary public providing of cloud database firm Snowflake.
Private equity firms have been circling US sports outfitter Reebok, FT reported. The interest in the brand comes as Adidas continues to evaluate its options for Reebok, which the German sportswear maker acquired more than a decade ago but which has since failed to boost the group’s overall sales.
Permira and Triton have considered a move for Reebok though they warned that any plans were in the early, exploratory stages and there was no certainty that an offer from either firm would materialise.
“Overall as a company, we are not happy with the 2% sales growth in 2019. That is not according to our ambitions,” Harm Ohlmeyer, Adidas CFO.
Apple and Sony in talks to acquire Wondery.
Apple and Sony Music Entertainment held talks about potentially acquiring Wondery, the producer of “Dirty John” and “Dr. Death”, Bloomberg reported. Wondery is seeking $300m to $400m in a possible sale.
Apple and Sony are two of at least four companies that have discussed a deal with Wondery. A price tag of as much as $400m would surpass what Spotify paid for the Ringer and Gimlet Media, as well as what Sirius XM Holdings paid for Stitcher.
CoreLogic investor TIG Advisors calls for a formal sales process.
TIG Advisors is calling on CoreLogic, a real estate software company, to run a formal sales process to secure the highest price possible, while also supporting three director candidates nominated by dissident investors, Bloomberg reported.
TIG Advisors, which owns 2.3m shares of CoreLogic, said that it should have run a formal auction after getting indications of interest at $80 a share or more.
“CoreLogic’s hesitation to immediately capitalize on this opportunity is puzzling. It is imperative to construct a board that gives potential bidders confidence that the company is dedicated to running a fair process. An independent board committee should be established by the board of directors to run the auction process,” Drew Figdor, TIG Advisors Portfolio Manager.
AIG plans IPO or stake sale of its life and retirement unit.
American International Group, an international insurance organization serving commercial, institutional and individual customers, plans to separate its life and retirement business from the rest of the company. It was considering options for the business, including an IPO or a stake sale of nearly 20%, Reutersreported.
“We currently contemplate either an IPO or a private sale of up to 19.9% of Life and Retirement, followed by one or more dispositions of our remaining ownership interest over time. AIG has no plans to break up the unit and sell it in pieces, and is aiming to finish the separation of the business in 2021,” Peter Zaffino, AIG CEO.
Bill Foley SPAC is in advanced talks to merge with PE-backed Paysafe Group. (FS)
A blank-check company set up by Bill Foley is in talks to merge with Paysafe Group, an online payments firm, which is backed by Blackstone Group and CVC Capital Partners, Bloombergreported.
Foley Trasimene Acquisition II has begun talks with investors to raise more than $1bn in new equity to support the merger, which would create a company valued at more than $10bn.
Lone Star considers sale options for Stark Group. (FS)
Lone Star Funds, a private equity firm, is exploring options for Stark Group, a building-materials retailer, which could fetch about $3bn, Bloomberg reported.
Stark sells and distributes building materials to tradespeople in northern Europe. The company employs 10k people in more than 400 branches. Lone Star bought Stark three years ago for $1.3bn from Ferguson, a UK-listed plumbing and heating group.
Lone Star is working with Lazard to consider a potential sale or IPO of Stark.
Intercontinental Exchange announces the pricing of secondary offering by Ellie Mae. (FS)
Intercontinental Exchange, an operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of mortgage technology, data and listings services, announced the pricing of an underwritten secondary offering by Ellie Mae, an entity controlled by Thoma Bravo, of 9.1m shares of ICE’s common stock at a price to the public of $98 per share.
The offering is expected to close on or about November 9 and is subjected to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
Morgan Stanley served as the sole underwriter for the offering.
Petco filed for US IPO.
Petco Animal Supplies, a San Diego-based retail chain, has confidentially filed for an IPO, Bloomberg reported.
The IPO would be held after the US Securities and Exchange Commission completes a review. It has not determined the number of shares to be offered or the price range.
Petco’s owners, CVC Capital Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, had been exploring an IPO that would value the company at $6bn, including debt.
Graham Partners raised $937m for its fund. (FS)
Graham Partners, a lower middle-market private equity firm, announced the final closing of its fifth buyout fund focused on technology-driven manufacturing companies totalling $937m in commitments.
Through Graham V, Graham Partners seeks to continue its history of partnering with technology-driven advanced manufacturing-related companies that are spurring innovation across a broad array of end markets including food, medical, advanced building products, intelligent transportation systems, and packaging, among others.
Graham Partners was advised by Latham & Watkins.
Peltz Dusts to take a seat in Invesco board. (People)
Nelson Peltz takes board seat at Invesco, an investment management company, Bloomberg reported.
Just months after Franklin Resources takeover of Legg Mason, a deal he helped engineer, the billionaire activist investor joined Invesco’s board alongside fellow Ed Garden, Trian Fund Management Co-Founder.
Peltz has been zeroing in on money managers for more than a decade, as seismic changes reshape the industry. He has said that successful companies need to have scale to compete with BlackRock, which oversees about $7.8tn.
Brazilian antitrust authorities have approved the planned $50bn merger of automotive giants Fiat Chrysler and PSA automobiles, without any restrictions. In confirming the ruling, FCA and PSA said it was now expected to become final within 15 days under Brazilian law.
The two companies are set to win the European Union's approval for their merger, removing a major potential hurdle towards the closing of the deal and the creation of Stellantis, the world's fourth-largest carmaker. The tie-up plan has already been cleared by several antitrust authorities around the world, including in the United States, China, Japan and Russia.
Fiat Chrysler is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, d'Angelin & Co, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Legance, Loyens & Loeff, Sullivan & Cromwell, Community Group, Image Sept, and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisors are advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Macfarlanes. Bpifrance is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Peugeot Family is advised by Zaoui & Co. PSA Group is advised by China International Capital, Mediobanca, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, BonelliErede, Bredin Prat, Cabinet Bompoint, Clifford Chance, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Linklaters, NautaDutilh, and Stibbe. Exor is advised by Lazard.
Wellcome Trust, a non-profit organization that offers medical and health facilities, agreed to acquire Urban&Civic, a property investment, allied services, and commercial property development company, for $660m.
"The acquisition provides a persuasive outcome for all stakeholders. The proposal rests on comprehensive industrial logic. Wellcome is steeped in property experience and has a strong record of alternative asset class investment," Alan Dickinson, U&C Chairman.
Urban & Civic is advised by JP Morgan, CMS, and FTI Consulting. Wellcome Trust is advised by UBS, Slaughter & May, and Brunswick Group.
Alibaba Group Holding, and Swiss group Richemont, agreed to invest $1.1bn in Farfetch, an inline luxury fashion retailer.
As part of the global partnership, Alibaba and Richemont will invest $600m in private convertible notes issued by Farfetch. Alibaba and Richemont will also invest $500m in Farfetch China, taking a combined 25% stake in a new joint venture that will include Farfetch's marketplace operations in the China region. In addition, Alibaba and Richemont have an option to purchase a further combined 24% of Farfetch China after the third year of the joint venture's formation. Alibaba and Richemont will also explore additional opportunities to work closely with Farfetch to provide services to luxury brands.
"This announcement is a major step in our mission to connect the curators, creators and consumers of the luxury fashion industry. The $1.1bn investment in Farfetch from Alibaba Group, Richemont, and Artemis is a strong validation of our position as the global platform for luxury. The new initiatives with Alibaba Group and Richemont extend Farfetch's strategy to power the digital transformation occurring across the luxury industry, which has been accelerated by the unprecedented challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic," Jose Neves, Farfetch Founder, Chairman and CEO.
Farfetch is advised by Allen & Company, Goldman Sachs, and Brunswick Group. Richemont is advised by Teneo. Alibaba is advised by Ropes & Gray.
Private equity firm Endless completed the acquisition of Hovis, a 134-year-old bakery brand, from Premier Foods, a British food manufacturer, and The Gores Group, a global private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Hovis is the instantly recognisable British bread brand with a strong and established heritage. We were extremely impressed by the management team and have great confidence in supporting and investing in its future as Hovis looks to achieve further expansion within the bakery category,” Francesco Santinon, Endless Partner.
Endless is advised by Houlihan Lokey, Robert W Baird, Dechert and KPMG. Premier Foods is advised by Headland Consultancy.
Take-Two Interactive Software, an American video game holding company, agreed to acquire Codemasters Group Holdings, a British video game developer, for $973m.
Take-Two believes that the combination of Take-Two and Codemasters would bring together two world-class interactive entertainment portfolios, with a highly complementary fit between 2K and Codemasters in the racing genre. Take-Two believes that it can bring benefits to Codemasters performance by leveraging Take-Two global distribution and 2K's core operating expertise in publishing, including, live operations, analytics, product development, and brand and performance marketing.
Codemasters is advised by Jefferies & Company, Liberum Capital, and Alma PR. Take-Two is advised by Goldman Sachs.
Apse Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire TerraQuest Solutions, a digital services provider, from Mears Group, a housing and social care provider, for $95m.
“We are impressed by TerraQuest’s outstanding growth to date and its talented management team, who have successfully positioned the business at the heart of the UK planning sector. We look forward to working together to embark on the next step of the company’s growth journey and help it further digitise the land referencing and planning process,” Tim Green, Apse Capital Managing Partner.
MERMEC, a group that develops technological solutions for the management of safety and improvement of railway networks, agreed to acquire transportation business unit of Sirti, a telecommunications networks and systems developer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This agreement strengthens Sirti's financial and strategic positioning for the benefit of the digital transformation of networks and services in the telecommunications, energy and every economic sector. This will allow further growth of Sirti's business, also in the Digital Solutions Business Unit, which this year includes the company WellComm Engineering, operating in cyber security and acquired by Sirti in the recent past.
Sirti is advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Lazard.
Mill Point-backed Kemp, a provider of powering always-on application experience, completed the acquisition of Flowmon, a global network intelligence company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We have focused on helping NetSecOps teams protect and better understand their networks, and we are thrilled to be teaming up with Kemp to put our network intelligence capabilities in the hands of more customers globally. With more distributed users and applications, and the increasing use of public and private clouds, we look forward to pairing our solutions to help more customers uncover the unknown threats to their enterprise and ensure the continuous availability of business-critical services," Jiří Tobola, Flowmon Networks CEO and Co-Founder.
RSA is in $9.4bn takeover talks with Intact and Tryg.
RSA, a provider of insurance services, is in talks with a consortium of Canadian insurer Intact Financial and Danish insurer Tryg about a possible break-up deal that values the British firm at about $9.46bn, Reuters reported.
If successful, the deal would allow Intact to boost its presence in the competitive Canadian property and casualty industry while Tryg would create the largest listed P&C insurer in Scandinavia.
Under terms of the deal, Intact and Tryg would split up the business with the Canadian firm keeping RSA’s Canada and UK and international operations, while Tryg would take control of RSA’s Sweden and Norway business. The pair would also co-own RSA’s Danish unit. Tryg would take on the highest bill, paying RSA about $5.5bn and launching a rights issue in 2021 to finance the deal. Intact would contribute $3bn to the transaction which it plans to fund through an equity private placement.
Tryg is advised by Morgan Stanley. Intact is advised by Barclays. RSA has hired Robey Warshaw, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
EQT to plan $5.6bn IPO of SUSE. (FS)
EQT is planning an initial public offering of German enterprise software developer SUSE. The private equity firm is speaking to potential advisers about the possibility of listing SUSE as soon as next year. It could seek a valuation of about $5.9bn for the open-source software firm, Bloombergreported.
The timing of any deal will depend on market conditions, and EQT could still opt to hold onto the business for longer or pursue other exit strategies.
Airtel Africa Plans plans sale of telecommunication towers to reduce debt.
Airtel Africa, a provider of telecommunication services, plans to sell about 4.5k telecommunication towers across five countries including Tanzania and Madagascar to help reduce $3.5bn of debt and prepare for looming bond repayments, Bloomberg reported.
“We are constantly seeking to bring down our debt, and we prefer to bring it down even faster with the tower deals,” Raghunath Mandava, Airtel CEO.
Airtel has a repayment of $890m due in May, while an installment of $505m is due in March 2023.
Deloitte in talks with bidders for restructuring unit.
Deloitte, one of the big four audit firms, is starting talks with potential buyers of its British restructuring business amid expectations of a surge in activity triggered by swathes of coronavirus-inspired insolvencies, Sky News reported.
Daniel Butters, who heads the big four audit firm's UK restructuring operations, advised hundreds of staff this week that he had been given the green light to begin discussions with private equity bidders.
The global firm had ordered a strategic review of the UK restructuring arm, which culminated in the decision this week to allow talks about a sale to get underway.
Bilfinger considers sale after getting takeover bids. (FS)
Bilfinger, a German industrial services provider, has decided to explore a sale after receiving takeover interest from buyout firms, Bloomberg reported.
Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Triton Partners are among several private equity firms that have expressed interest in acquiring Bilfinger. Bilfinger is now working with an adviser to formally solicit interest in the company.
ENA Investment Capital, Bilfinger’s second-largest shareholder, had urged the firm earlier this year to hire an adviser to review whether its the best owner for the business.
Thyssenkrupp-SSAB deal's cost savings could surpass $590m.
Germany's Thyssenkrupp and Sweden's SSAB could receive more than $593m in annual cost savings if they agree on a steel merger, Reuters reported.
That would surpass the level of savings Thyssenkrupp and India's Tata Steel aimed for in an attempt to merge their European steel divisions, a deal that was blocked by Brussels last year on concerns it would push up prices and reduce competition.
Thyssenkrupp is prepared to become a minority partner in a combined steel entity, SSAB is still cautious about the size of the pension liabilities and has not yet decided whether to pursue a deal.
Rishi Sunak considers listings reform to attract tech giants.
Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, is planning an overhaul of the UK's public company listings regime in a bid to lure more technology unicorns to London, Sky News reported.
Mr Sunak is preparing to announce a review aimed at helping the City compete more robustly with New York's vast capital markets in a post-Brexit era.
Lord Hill, Britain's former commissioner to the EU and Treasury non-executive director, was lined up to lead the review. Among the proposals that Lord Hill is likely to consider are reducing the minimum "free float" requirement for a premium main market listing.
A group of Championship clubs are pushing the EFL to sell a stake in their three divisions to private equity in an attempt to safeguard their future.
Alliance of six clubs are working with American investment bank JP Morgan to rise interest in a sale, with the clubs’ valuation of the EFL at around $2.6bn.
That figure is $657m higher than the only concrete offer the EFL have received to date from TPG Capital.
ING's Polish unit CEO says taking over other banks would be risky.
ING’s Polish unit CEO said it would be risky to take over banks in current market conditions, as Poland faces rising coronavirus infections and new government restrictions, Reutersreported.
Brunon Bartkiewicz CEO said his bank was not working to change its statutes to allow the bank to buy back its shares.
ProSieben confident to curb debt without speeding up an IPO.
ProSiebenSat.1 Media is making a recovery that will enable to reduce its debt burden without having to speed up an IPO of its online dating business planned for 2022, Reutersreported.
Rainer Beaujean, ProSieben CEO, plans to refinance most of ProSieben’s loan book but will repay $788m in senior notes from financial reserves. ProSieben would retain its majority stake in ParshipMeet while co-investor General Atlantic is expected to exit following the IPO.
Beaujean has sold off a couple of smaller units to strengthen ProSieben’s finances. He has carved out the group’s recently-expanded dating franchise into a separate division, called ParshipMeet Group, positioning it as a growth play that would command a premium to beaten-down entertainment stocks.
UniCredit suspends split plan.
UniCredit, an Italian global banking and financial services company, has put plans to split its domestic and foreign operations on hold, as heavy bond-buying by the European Central Bank kept its sovereign risk profile in check, Reuters reported.
UniCredit had been looking to create a sub-holding company for operations in Germany, Austria and eastern Europe to improve its funding costs.
Italy’s bank faces higher sovereign risks in its home market as a result of Rome’s fragile public finances, to which UniCredit has been reducing exposure by cutting its holdings of domestic government bonds.
Conduit Insurance to issue shares worth $1.1bn on LSE.
Conduit Holdings, a reinsurance underwriting business, plans to issue new shares worth $1.1bn as it gears up for a London Stock Exchange listing. Conduit, led by its founders Neil Eckert and Trevor Carvey, expects to use the money raised to write reinsurance in property, casualty and specialty classes, Reutersreported.
“We believe these are exceptional times by any standards and a really opportunistic time to launch a new reinsurance company,” Neil Eckert, Conduit CEO.
Jefferies and Panmure Gordon are acting as joint global co-ordinators and joint book-runners, while Kinmont and GC Securities will be joint financial advisers for the listing.
Goldman Sachs plans moving up to $60bn in assets from the UK to Frankfurt.
Goldman Sachs is set to shift as much as $60bn of assets to Germany, as the banking giant to beef up EU operations ahead of Brexit.
With fewer than two months to go before the Brexit transition period deadline, City giants are looking to boost their presence on the continent to ensure smooth operations in the new year.
Graphcore close to raising funds at $2bn value. (FS)
Graphcore, a company that designs chips and is used to run artificial intelligence programs, nears closing new funds, benefiting from investor interest in companies that focus on cutting-edge semiconductors.
The exact amount of the fund raise is unclear, but is understood to be about $200m.The current fundraising will boost its valuation to more than $2bn.
Graphcore has more than $200m from the previous fundraising, but decided to seek extra capital due to the interest of investors. Current investors include Baillie Gifford, Mayfair Equity Partners, and M&G Investments.
Office of Trade Competition Commission, the competition authorities of Thailand have approved Thai conglomerate CP Group's $10.6bn acquisition of supermarket chain operator Tesco's Thailand operations, with some conditions.
Billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont’s CP Group is barred from other modern-retailing mergers for three years, excluding e-commerce, and the merged entity is barred from sharing any trade secrets with manufacturers or distributors of goods or raw materials, Thailand’s Office of Trade Competition Commission said.
CP Group is advised by JP Morgan, The Quant Group, UBS, Linklaters, and Brunswick Group. Financial advisors are advised by Clifford Chance. Debt Financing is provided by JP Morgan, The Siam Commercial Bank, and UBS. Sime Darby is advised by HSBC. Tesco is advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Greenhill & Co, Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Teneo. Financial advisors are advised by Herbert Smith Freehills.
Logicalis, a provider of information technology solutions and managed services, agreed to acquire iZeno, a digital transformation and IT services firm in South-East Asia. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"There is strong alignment between Logicalis and iZeno, in terms of vision, opportunities for joint value creation and mutual focus on customer-centricity. The skills and innovation that iZeno brings to the group strengthen our core value proposition as we fulfil our mission of helping customers unlock value through digital transformation," Lee Chong-Win , Logicalis Asia CEO.
Goldman Sachs agreed to invest $150m in Biocon Biologics, a biopharmaceutical company, at a $3.9bn valuation.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome a capital injection by Goldman Sachs at this inflection point of Biocon Biologics’ journey in its quest for global leadership in providing affordable access through Biosimilar drugs. This transaction is a part of the overall strategic plan of value creation for our shareholders through Biocon Biologics,” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon Executive Chairman.
Ant investors expressed discontent over regulatory risks issue.
Some professional investors who bought Ant Group stock in its $37bn IPO are fuming that regulatory risks were not better flagged, especially given they had to jump through hoops to participate in the fintech giant’s IPO, Reuters reported. Some fund managers who bought stock in the IPO say Ant did not do enough, and they wonder how it could not have known that tighter regulations were in the offing.
China’s suspension of the world’s biggest float came after authorities published a consultation paper that recommended tighter rules for online micro-lending companies - which if implemented will require changes to Ant’s business model and hit its growth prospects.
Ant said it was not aware of the details of the draft on online micro-lending rules until it was published.
Amazon Web Services to invest $2.8bn in India. (FS)
Amazon will invest about $2.8bn in Telangana to set up a new AWS Cloud region in the southern state of India, DealStreetAsia reported.
The investment will allow Amazon to launch an AWS Cloud region in Hyderabad by mid-2022. The new AWS Asia Region will be Amazon’s second infrastructure region in India.
“The new AWS Asia Pacific Region will enable even more developers, startups, and enterprises as well as government, education, and non-profit organizations to run their applications and serve end users from data centers located in India,” Amazon.
Kuaishou Technology files for $5bn Hong Kong IPO.
Kuaishou Technology, a provider of internet media services, has filed an application for a Hong Kong IPO, heading toward a listing that could raise as much as $5bn and beat larger rival ByteDance, a provider of online information and contents, to market, Bloomberg reported. Tencent has a 21.6% stake in Kuaishou, and other backers include venture capital firms DCM, DST Global and Sequoia Capital China.
Kuaishou’s impending debut raises hopes the city will continue to attract listings from prominent internet companies. ByteDance is said to be in discussions to raise $2bn before listing some of its businesses in Hong Kong, potentially as early as next year.
Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and China Renaissance Holdings are joint sponsors of Kuaishou’s proposed IPO.
Evergrande Service Unit seeks approval for $2bn Hong Kong IPO.
Evergrande Property Services Group is planning to seek listing approval as soon as next week for its Hong Kong IPO, which could raise at least $2bn, Bloomberg reported.
The property management arm of China Evergrande Group could even raise as much as $3bn depending on market conditions.
Huatai International, UBS, ABC International, CCB International, Citic Securities and Haitong International are joint sponsors of the offering.
JW Therapeutics raised $300m in Hong Kong IPO.
JW Therapeutics, a Chinese cell therapy developer, has raised $300m in an IPO in Hong Kong to finance the firm’s efforts to obtain China’s first CAR-T product approval, DealStreetAsia reported.
Shanghai-based JW Therapeutics sold 97.7m shares at $3.07 apiece, the upper end of the proposed range. The retail tranche of the share sale was oversubscribed 450 times.
The IPO was supported by ten cornerstone investors, who subscribed to over 48.8m shares, or about 50% of the offered shares, and paid about $150m. These investors included Rock Springs Capital, Hillhouse Capital, Loyal Valley Capital, and Temasek.
Goldman Sachs and UBS were joint sponsors of the deal.
Zomato hires bankers and lawyers for IPO.
Zomato, Indian food delivery company, which is gearing up to go public in 2021, is in the process of hiring bankers and has appointed Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Indus Law as legal advisors, DealStreetAsia reported.
Zomato is in the process of hiring merchant bankers for the IPO. It may go for a domestic IPO but it is yet to be finalized.
Zomato has appointed Kotak Mahindra Bank as the lead merchant bank for the proposed IPO.
Japan Airlines plans to raise $1.6bn in a share sale. (FS)
Japan Airlines would raise up to $1.62bn by selling new shares to shore up its finances as the Covid-19 pandemic hits air travel, DealStreetAsia reported.
“We intend to use the net proceeds from the issuance of new shares to restructure the JAL Group’s business structure in the post-Covid-19 era,” Japan Airlines.
JAL would sell up as many as 91m new shares to domestic and international investors, and additional 9.1m shares in a third-party allotment to its Japanese underwriter.
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