Brookfield Infrastructure Partners raised its hostile offer for Inter Pipeline for a second time to about $6.85bn as it battles a rival bid from Pembina Pipeline.
Brookfield said shareholders can now elect to receive either $16 per share in cash or 0.25 of a Brookfield share for each Inter share. It had previously offered about $15.59 in all-cash per Inter share, or 0.225 of Brookfield’s Class A share.
Inter Pipeline is advised by Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, TD Securities, Burnet Duckworth & Palmer and Dentons. Brookfield is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Barclays, McCarthy Tetrault and Laurel Hill. Pembina is advised by Scotia Capital and Blake Cassels & Graydon.
Empower, a special purpose acquisition company, announced that its shareholders voted to approve the merger with Holley Intermediate, a performance automotive parts manufacturer, in a $1.55bn deal.
“The performance automotive aftermarket is vibrant and continues to experience substantial enthusiast and engagement growth, and we look forward to the emerging opportunities ahead with Holley as a public company,” Matthew Rubel, Empower Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Holley is advised Jefferies & Company, Lazard, William Blair & Co, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and ICR. Empower is advised by JP Morgan, Jefferies & Company, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and ICR. Financial advisors are advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Blackstone agreed to acquire an affordable housing portfolio of American International Group, a global insurance organization, for $5.1bn.
“These communities provide critical affordable housing and we look forward to being long-term owners. We will make significant investments to improve the apartments while ensuring they remain affordable and in compliance with all rent regulations. We are committed to working with our partners in this sector to expand the supply of affordable housing,” Kathleen McCarthy, Blackstone Global Co-Head of Real Estate.
Blackstone is advised by Eastdil Secured, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Jones Day and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. AIG is advised by CBRE, Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside, Nixon Peabody and Sullivan & Cromwell.
Markforged, a creator of an integrated metal and carbon fiber additive manufacturing platform, went public via a SPAC merger with One, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $2.1bn deal. The PIPE was led by Baron Capital Group, BlackRock, Miller Value Partners, Wasatch Global Investors and Wellington Management, with additional commitments from M12, Porsche and existing Markforged shareholders.
“Today is a proud moment for the entire Markforged team and a significant milestone in our mission to reinvent manufacturing today so our customers can build anything they imagine tomorrow.As a publicly traded company, we will continue to focus on executing on our ambitious product roadmap and further accelerating innovation, expanding customer adoption, and capitalizing on the strong secular trends in additive manufacturing, allowing us to bring our platform to even more manufacturing floors around the world for mission-critical use cases," Shai Terem, Markforged President and CEO.
Markforged was advised by Citigroup, William Blair & Co, Goodwin Procter, ICR and Sard Verbinnen & Co. One was advised by Goldman Sachs, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Landcadia Holdings III, a special purpose acquisition company, completed the merger with The Hillman Group, a hardware and home improvement company, in a $2.6bn deal. Landcadia III commited $500m of cash in trust upon completion. In addition, investors led by Wells Capital Management and Columbia Threadneedle Investments invested $375m in the form of a PIPE. CCMP remains the biggest shareholder.
“Hillman has been building real, sustainable value for our shareholders, customers, suppliers, employees and communities in which we work for more than a half century. Today starts our next chapter and we believe the best is yet to come for all our stakeholders. Our merger with Landcadia, PIPE investment and public listing provide us with a much stronger capital position, which we will use to expand in existing and adjacent product categories and retail channels, organically and through sensible, accretive acquisitions. With this strengthened capital position and home improvement spending expected to remain strong, Hillman’s 1,100 field sales and service team remain laser focused on solving complex issues, including labor and logistics challenges for best in class retailers – from big box stores, to your local hardware store," Doug Cahill, Hillman Chairman and CEO.
The Hillman Group was advised by Barclays, Jefferies & Company, Ropes & Gray and ICR. Landcadia was advised by Jefferies & Company, McCarthy Tetrault and White & Case. CCMP was advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Blackstone agreed to acquire a 9.9% stake in a Life & Retirement business from American International Group, a global insurance organization, for $2.2bn.
“Today’s announcement is an important milestone for AIG. Establishing a cornerstone partnership on several fronts with such a highly regarded organization as Blackstone validates the strength of our market-leading Life & Retirement business and provides it with additional growth opportunities, provides AIG with flexibility as we continue to work to separate Life & Retirement from AIG, and results in significant new capital for AIG to deploy to support our capital management priorities,” Peter Zaffino, AIG President and Chief Executive Officer.
Blackstone is advised by Goldman Sachs, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. AIG is advised by Evercore, JP Morgan, Debevoise & Plimpton and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
United Community Banks, a banking, wealth management and mortgage services company, agreed to merge with Reliant Bancorp, the parent of Reliant Bank, in a $517m deal.
“By joining forces with United, we recognize an opportunity to align ourselves with a partner that shares our passion for providing high-quality customer service, and to leverage their larger balance sheet and a broader set of products and services for our customers. Becoming part of United’s team-oriented, high-performance culture presents a unique opportunity for Reliant, and we consider it a privilege,” DeVan Ard, Jr., Reliant Chairman and CEO.
Reliant is advised by Credit Suisse, Raymond James and K&L Gates. UBCI is advised by D.A. Davidson, Morgan Stanley, Piper Sandler and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.
Sandbridge Acquisition announced that its stockholders have approved all proposals related to the previously announced combination with Owlet Baby Care at a special meeting of stockholders held on July 14, 2021. Approximately 92% of the votes cast at the meeting on the proposal, representing approximately 79% of Sandbridge’s outstanding shares, voted to approve the business combination.
The closing of the business combination is anticipated to occur on or about July 15, 2021. Following the closing, the combined company will operate as Owlet and its shares of Class A common stock and warrants are expected to trade on the NYSE beginning July 16, 2021 under the symbols “OWLT” and “OWLT WS,” respectively.
Owlet is advised by Bank of America, ICR and Latham & Watkins. Sandbridge Acquisition is advised by Citigroup, UBS, Ropes & Gray and Konnect Agency.
HeartFlow, a precision heart care firm, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Glenview Capital Management-backed Longview Acquisition II, a SPAC, in a $2.4bn deal. The transaction is also supported by existing institutional shareholders, including Baillie Gifford, Blue Venture Fund, HealthCor Partners, and Wellington Management.
“We believe that our non-invasive, artificial intelligence-enabled, cloud-based enterprise software solution can transform cardiovascular care with risk assessment, diagnosis planning and treatment management. Importantly, we have brought together a talented group of individuals with deep expertise in technology, cardiovascular medicine, and the business of healthcare and a deep commitment to patients to deliver on this vision,” John H. Stevens, HeartFlow MD, President, CEO and Co-Founder.
HeartFlow is advised by Cowen & Company, JP Morgan and King & Spalding. Longview is advised by UBS, Finn Partners and Ropes & Gray.
MKS Instruments, a manufacturer and supplier of instruments and components used to control and analyze gases in semiconductor, completed the acquisition of Photon Control, a provider of fiber optic measurement solutions, for $387m.
“We anticipate the acquisition will further advance the MKS strategy to enhance our Surround the Chamber offering by adding optical sensors for temperature control for critical etch and deposition applications in semiconductor wafer fabrication," John T.C. Lee, MKS President and CEO.
Photon Control was advised by Echelon Wealth Partners and Blake Cassels & Graydon. MKS Instruments was advised by Greenhill & Co, Stikeman Elliott and Kekst CNC.
Bain Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a minority stake in Carson Group, a financial technology and services firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“In a very large and highly fragmented market, Carson Group stands out with a differentiated value proposition for advisors and clients, and we are excited to help accelerate the growth and further build out a strategic platform reshaping the future of financial advice,” Olof Bergqvist, Bain Managing Director.
Carson Group is advised by Moelis & Co and Quarles & Brady. Bain Capital is advised by KPMG, Ardea Partners and Kirkland & Ellis.
Blue Ridge Bankshares, the parent holding company of Blue Ridge Bank, agreed to merge with FVCBankcorp, the parent company of FVCbank. FVCB shareholders will own approximately 47.5% and Blue Ridge shareholders will own approximately 52.5% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This partnership creates a powerful and innovative financial services provider better able to serve its clients and communities of today and tomorrow. The team at FVCB has built and maintains a high quality banking franchise, and there is no better team with which to unite to capitalize on the opportunities presented by an evolving industry,” Brian K. Plum, Blue Ridge President and CEO.
FVCBankcorp is advised by Piper Sandler and Troutman Pepper. Blue Ridge Bankshares is advised by Raymond James and Williams Mullen.
Eli Lilly, a global health care provider, agreed to acquire Protomer Technologies, a private biotech company, for c. $1bn.
"Lilly has long strived to make life better for people living with diabetes and we have a continued determination to provide real solutions, including innovation in insulin therapy. Glucose-sensing insulin is the next frontier and has the potential to revolutionize the treatment and quality of life of people with diabetes by dramatically improving both therapeutic efficacy and safety of insulin therapy," Ruth Gimeno, Vice President, Lilly Diabetes Research and Clinical Investigation.
Protomer Technologies is advised by Aquilo Partners and Morrison & Foerster. Lilly is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Liberty Strategic Capital, an investment firm, led a $275m Series F round in Cybereason, an end-point detection and response platform. The round had participation from Irving Investors, Neuberger Berman Investment and Softbank Vision Fund 2.
"Unlike our prolific alert-generating competitors, Cybereason takes an approach that enables defenders to end malicious operations instantly, resulting in the most comprehensive prevention, detection and response solution on the market. This is how we are returning the high ground to the defenders – and we are just getting started," Lior Div, Cybereason Сo-founder and CEO.
Cybereason was advised by JP Morgan and Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft. Liberty Strategic Capital was advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.
EQT-backed Waystar, a healthcare payments software provider, agreed to acquire Patientco, a provider of omnichannel patient payments, communications and engagement software, from Accel-KKR and The Blue Venture Fund for c.$450m. The combination is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.
"Patients are more responsible for their healthcare expenses than ever before, and they expect modern, consumer-friendly interactions from healthcare providers and insurers. Together, we will further simplify how patients engage with healthcare providers and provide transparency, empowerment and ease of use that needed to plan and pay for healthcare. Providers will benefit from increased patient satisfaction and fuller reimbursement," Matthew Hawkins, Waystar CEO and Board Member.
Patientco is advised by Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. Waystar is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Travelers, an American insurance company, agreed to invest in Fidelis Insurance, an insurance and reinsurance company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Travelers and Fidelis are leaders in their fields, with proven track records in our respective markets. We believe that there will be opportunities to learn from each other and work together,” Hinal Patel, Fideli Group Chief Financial Officer.
Fidelis is advised by TigerRisk Capital Markets and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Patient Square Capital, a dedicated health care investment firm, led a $100m Series B round in Kriya Therapeutics, a fully integrated platform company pioneering novel technologies and therapeutics in gene therapy, with participation from new investors Woodline Partners, CAM Capital, Hongkou, Alumni Ventures and others. All existing institutional investors also participated in this round, including QVT, Dexcel Pharma, Foresite Capital, Bluebird, Transhuman Capital, Narya Capital, Amplo and JDRF.
“Kriya was formed with the mission of revolutionizing how gene therapies are designed, developed and produced by fully integrating advanced manufacturing technologies, computational tools and development capabilities within a single company. With the support of our new and existing investors, we believe that Kriya is well positioned to deliver transformative improvements in cost, scale and efficiency that will help the gene therapy field achieve its full potential across a range of therapeutic areas,” Shankar Ramaswamy, Kriya Therapeutics Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Kriya Therapeutics was advised by Canale Communications.
BlueIO, an investment firm, led a $100m Series C funding round in Virsec, a cybersecurity firm. Additional investors include John Chambers, Mike Ruettgers, Allen & Company, Arena Holdings, Intuitive Venture Partners, JC2 Ventures, Artiman Ventures, Quantum Valley Investments, and Marker Hill Capital.
“We are able to provide our customers a ‘golden image’ of their software, bugs and all, and therefore we instantaneously detect and stop attacks before they happen. This is the type of game-changing technology that the market immediately needs. We are extraordinarily grateful for the community of investors, advisors, and security practitioners that have assembled around the company to help us achieve our mission," Dave Furneaux, Virsec CEO.
Scientific Games, an entertainment company offering dynamic games, systems and services, offered to acquire the remaining 19% stake in SciPlay, a casino, casual and bingo mobile social games provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This proposed transaction is another important step forward on the strategy Scientific Games recently announced to become a content-led growth company with a particular focus on digital markets and unlock the value of the company's products and technologies. SciPlay fits perfectly into Scientific Games' focus on building engaging content and launching great games more fully cross-platform.
Superior Plus, a North American distributor and marketer of propane and distillates and related products and services, agreed to acquire Kamps, a propane gas company, for $240m.
"The acquisition of Kamps is our sixth acquisition in 2021 and moves us further towards the Superior Way Forward acquisition target of $1.9bn. The acquisition of Kamps also establishes a large operating platform in the Western US and California to continue making accretive acquisitions and generating synergies,” Luc Desjardins, Superior’s President and CEO.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led a $75m Series D round M1 Finance, a robo-advisory investment platform.
The financing, which also included participation from existing backers, propels the Chicago-based fintech to unicorn status with a valuation of $1.45bn. It also marks M1’s fourth funding round in just over a 13-month time frame, and brings its total raised since its mid-2015 inception to over $300m. Previous investors include Coatue Management, Left Lane Capital, Jump Capital and Clocktower Technology Ventures, among others.
Woven Planet, a subsidiary of the Toyota Motor, agreed to acquire CARMERA, a US-based spatial AI company, which specializes in bringing next-generation road intelligence to automated mobility at scale. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With CARMERA joining the team, we’ll be able to hit the accelerator. CARMERA’s software stack, which is focused on real-time HD map changes and proprietary hardware custom-tailored to crowdsourcing, is an ideal complement to AMP’s mapping efforts. In addition, their world-class experts will allow us to bring forward the execution of key strategic milestones and jumpstart operations in the United States,” Mandali Khalesi, Woven Planet Vice President of Automated Driving Strategy and Mapping.
Aurora in agreement with Reinvent SPAC. (FS)
Driverless technology startup Aurora Innovation has agreed to go public via a merger with Reinvent Technology Partners Y, a blank-check firm led by executives including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga founder Mark Pincus, Bloomberg reported.
Aurora and the Reinvent SPAC were in talks for a deal close to $12bn. Aurora’s technology relies on innovations in lidar, which uses lasers to build a three-dimensional image of the surrounding landscape and help plot routes around obstacles in the road.
BBQGuys in talks to go public via Velocity Acquisition in a $900m deal. (FS)
BBQGuys, an an online retailer of grills, outdoor kitchens and other accessories, is in talks to go public through a merger with Velocity Acquisition, a special purposes acquisition company.
The combined company is set to be valued at around $900m, including debt. Unlike some other SPAC transactions, it is believed the merger would not have an PIPE investment.
Existing investors are set to roll their equity into the deal. BBQGuys’ majority owner is Brand Velocity Partners, and minority investors include a family of National Football League veterans: Archie Manning and his sons Eli Manning and Peyton Manning, Bloomberg reported.
Veritas Capital-backed Cotiviti weighs an IPO at a $15bn valuation. (FS)
Veritas Capital, a private equity firm, is considering an initial public offering of Cotiviti that could value the private health-care information and analytics company at more than $15bn.
Veritas Capital is working Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley on a listing of Atlanta-based Cotiviti as soon as this year. A final decision on pursuing an IPO hasn’t been made and New York-based Veritas could decide to sell or keep the company, Bloomberg reported.
Stonepeak closes its inaugural global renewables fund at $2.75bn. (FS)
Stonepeak, a private equity firm, announced the final close of Stonepeak Global Renewables Fund, a $2.75bn fund focused on investing in a diversified portfolio of renewable energy assets in developed markets around the world.
GRF received commitments from a diverse group of more than 40 global investors from 15 different countries, reflecting the growing, broad-based interest in energy transition investment opportunities. With strong support from existing Stonepeak investors as well as new relationships, GRF surpassed its original US$1.25bn target in early 2021 and closed at its increased US$2.75bn hard cap several months later.
“We truly appreciate the trust placed in Stonepeak by our investors and are focused on achieving a great investing result for all of our stakeholders. Recently we have seen a marked step-up in recognition by governments and increasingly the private sector that the world needs to take more immediate and decisive action in dealing with climate change. This is creating huge demand for renewable projects around the world, and we are thrilled to play a role on behalf of our investors to help address this global challenge," Michael Dorrell, Stonepeak Co-Founder and CEO.
Stonepeak was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Campbell Lutyens.
Hellman & Friedman closes its $24.4bn private equity fund. (FS)
Hellman & Friedman, a leading private equity investment firm, announced the final closing of its tenth fund, Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners X, with commitments of $24.4bn.
The fund, H&F’s largest ever, will enable the firm to continue its strategy of targeting large-scale investments in outstanding growth businesses. H&F is making a $1.8bn GP commitment and is the largest investor in the fund. With strong limited partner support, HFCP X was significantly oversubscribed and reached its hard cap, bringing H&F’s combined assets under management and committed capital to over $80bn.
“We are pleased to announce the closing of HFCP X and are excited to continue with our highly focused and differentiated strategy that has underpinned more than three decades of success. We continue to focus on finding the highest-quality businesses where we can take a long-term perspective to help drive strategic insights and deliver industry-leading returns," Patrick Healy, Hellman & Friedman CEO.
Hellman & Friedman was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Unicaja, a Spanish savings bank, and Liberbank, a regional Spanish commercial bank, plan to complete their merger in the next few weeks as expected, Reuters reported.
Unicaja would have hired a law firm to analyze the possible repercussions of a recent inspection by the European Central Bank on Liberbank’s foreclose assets, which would result in a “relevant” provision deficit.
Liberbank is advised by Deloitte, Deutsche Bank and Ramon y Cajal. Unicaja is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Barclays, Mediobanca, Rothschild & Co and Uria Menendez.
JC Flowers & Co, a private investment firm dedicated to investing globally in the financial services industry, agreed to acquire 30% stake in LMAX Group, an independent operator of institutional execution venues for FX and crypto currency trading, for $300m.
"Not only have we identified a like-minded partner in JC Flowers who understands global capital markets and brings valuable connectivity to strengthen LMAX Group's presence in North America and Asia, but one that shares our vision of building the Company into the pre-eminent global FX and crypto currency exchange," David Mercer, LMAX Group CEO.
LMAX is advised by Morgan Stanley, Squire Patton Boggs and FTI Consulting. JC Flowers is advised by Jefferies, Sullivan & Cromwell and Lambert & Co.
Retailer Magnit’s purchase of rival Dixy was approved by Russia’s competition regulator on Thursday with the provision that 142 convenience stores be left out of the deal, Reuters reported. Magnit agreed in May to pay $1.2bn to add Dixy’s 2.6k stores and five distribution centres in Moscow, St Petersburg and other regions to its portfolio and has said it still has room to make other acquisitions.
Magnit said in a recent announcement that the total number of outlets included in the deal would be around 2.5k, in order for the company to comply with a 25% market share limit in certain locations. None of the 142 stores excluded from the deal are in the key markets of Moscow or St Petersburg, keeping the strategic rationale of the acquisition unchanged.
Magnit is advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Mercury Retail is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Nordic Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Duco Technology, a software developer, from private equity firms CME Ventures, Insight Partners and Eight Roads Ventures. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased to be partnering with Nordic Capital for the next part of Duco's journey. Together we will be able to take the business to its next level as they have a strong track record of scaling fast-growing businesses such as Duco. Nordic Capital's strategic expertise, focus on growth and execution best practice mean that we can accelerate from here and strengthen our strategy with both organic and acquisition growth in the future," Christian Nentwich, Duco CEO.
Appfire, a provider of apps that help teams solve modern challenges with digital solutions, agreed to acquire Spartez Software, an Atlassian platinum marketplace partner. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Joining Appfire allows us to focus on things that we are passionate about. We can now more easily reach a bigger customer base, extend our products with other complementary Appfire solutions, and look for even bigger growth opportunities. This is a dream group to work with for product people like us,” Wojciech Seliga, Spartez Co-Founder and CEO.
Appfire is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Wardynski & Partners.
Softbank Vision Fund 2 and Tiger Global Management, led a $800m series E funding round in Revolut, a fintech company.
“SoftBank and Tiger Global’s investments are an endorsement of our mission to create a global financial superapp that enables customers to manage all their financial needs through a single platform. This funding round makes Revolut the UK’s most valuable fintech, demonstrating investors’ confidence that we can deliver products that raise the bar for customers’ expectations across the whole financial services industry," Nikolay Storonsky, Revolut Founder & CEO.
IBM agreed to acquire Bluetab Solutions Group, a Madrid-based data services consulting firm. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory clearance and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The outside-in digital transformation of the past is giving way to the inside-out potential of using company-owned data with AI and automation to generate business value and create intelligent workflows. Our acquisition of Bluetab will fuel migration to the cloud and help our clients to realize even more value from their mission-critical data," Mark Foster, IBM Services and Global Business Services SVP.
One Equity Partners-backed Walterscheid Powertrain Group, a global provider of connected and smart powertrain solutions, agreed to merge with Comer Industries, a designer and manufacturer of advanced engineering systems and solutions for power transmissions. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to antitrust approval and other customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The strong rebound in the agriculture and construction equipment sectors, along with rising food production, a greater reliance on wind energy and increased outsourcing by OEMs will provide strong secular tailwinds to support the growth of the combined business for years to come," Joseph Huffsmith, OEP Managing Director.
HomeToGo, a marketplace for accommodations, became the first company to seal a deal to float on the German stock market by merging with a listed shell company, as it tied up with venture capitalist Klaus Hommels’ Lakestar SPAC I, Reutersreported.
The merger puts an equity value of $1.4bn on HomeToGo.
Avast in $8bn takeover talks with NortonLifeLock.
Cybersecurity company Avast says it is in “advanced discussions” about a merger with NortonLifeLock, signalling an appetite for consolidation in the fiercely competitive consumer cyber protection market, FT reported.
Norton has until August 11 to announce whether it intends to make an offer, according to Avast, which is Prague-based but floated in London in 2018 in one of the UK’s biggest tech listings at the time.
"A combination of NortonLifeLock and Avast would bring together two companies with aligned visions, highly complementary business profiles and a joint commitment to innovation that helps protect and empower people to live their digital lives safely. We would draw on the best of both companies to ensure that the combination would benefit our customers, reward our employees and maximise long term value for all shareholders," NortonLifeLock.
Borealis launches a sale of its nitrogen business.
Austrian plastics group Borealis has launched the sale of its nitrogen business in a potential $591m - 709m deal, as it seeks to streamline operations.
The company is working with Barclays on the sale of the Nitro business, which comprises its fertilizer, melamine and technical nitrogen operations and could attract suitors such as OCI, Eurochem, Acron, Agrofert and Fertiberia, Reutersreported.
First-round offers, which could value Borealis Nitro at 5-6 times its core earnings of about $100m, are due later this month.
UniCredit CEO tells his managers M&A is not a priority.
UniCredit’s chief executive has told top managers at the Italian bank that mergers and acquisitions are currently not a priority, Reuters reported.
Andrea Orcel took over as UniCredit CEO in mid-April after the bank’s board fell out over strategy with his predecessor, who had opted for a risk-averse “no M&A” policy, focused on repairing the lender’s balance sheet. Orcel, who has said he may look at mergers and acquisitions as a way to accelerate his strategy of boosting profits, is also due to present a new business plan later this year.
“We must concentrate on how to bring UniCredit back to the role it deserves, giving autonomy and decision-making power to the periphery, which until now has always carried out the instructions of the centre,” Andrea Orcel.
Former Bulgari chief Francesco Trapani launches SPAC for consumer products company.
Activist investor and former head of Italian jewellery brand Bulgari, Francesco Trapani, has launched a shell company to invest in a European consumer products company.
VAM Investments SPAC is offering shares worth up to $265m, including an over-allotment option, and intends to list on Euronext Amsterdam on July 19. Former private equity manager Marco Piana is chief executive of VAM Investments SPAC and Carlo di Biagio is chief financial officer.
Citigroup, JP Morgan, Societe Generale and UniCredit are organising the deal.
Ali Group hungry for a bigger slice of US fast-food market.
Italian family business Ali Group expects its planned takeover of US catering equipment rival Welbilt to boost sales as Americans' appetite for takeaways and meal delivery drives a resurgent US fast-food market.
Ali Group said it couldn't pass up the opportunity to acquire brands that include Frymaster fryers, Garland grills and Merrychef ovens, which quickly deliver fresh, hot food on demand in the United States, Reuters reported.
Pinault family joins European SPAC push. (FS)
France’s billionaire Pinault family is joining the growing line of sponsors of European SPACs, aiming to raise as much as €300m ($354m) for a blank-cheque company that will focus on the entertainment and leisure industries, FT reported.
The special purpose acquisition vehicle, named I2PO, is being launched in Paris. It is also backed by Centerview Partners banker Matthieu Pigasse and will be headed by former WarnerMedia executive Iris Knobloch.
Advocates say they are an easier and cheaper way for companies to go public, but they have recently drawn regulatory scrutiny in the US over their often dazzling financial projections. The vehicles’ sponsors often receive 20% of the SPAC’s shares for a nominal fee.
Membership Collective Group raises $420m in an IPO.
Membership Collective Group, the company behind the trendy Soho House members clubs, raised $420m in an initial public offering priced at the bottom of a marketed range.
The firm sold 30m shares for $14 each. Membership Collective had marketed the shares for $14 to $16. THe listing gives Membership Collective a market value of c. $2.8bn based on the outstanding shares listed in its filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
As of early April, the company had $826m in debt, which it plans to pay down using the IPO proceeds. The company set aside a portion of its IPO shares for its employees and members in the UK and the US in a program it’s calling the “Community Offer.”
The IPO was advised by JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America.
KKR completed the $625m investment in Vini Cosmetics, a branded personal care and beauty products company in India.
“KKR’s industry experience, deep expertise, and global network are invaluable resources to Vini and its long-term success as we continue to expand our business and capture strong consumer demand for high-quality personal care products in India and other fast-growing markets around the world,” Darshan Patel, Vini Cosmetics Chairman.
Vini Cosmetics was advised by Steer Advisorsand Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. KKR was advised by Ernst & Young, KPMG, AZB & Partners, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Adfactors PR.
Sydney Airport rejected a $16.7bn takeover proposal from a group of infrastructure funds, including IFM Investors, QSuper and GIP, the biggest of a frenzy of Australian deals fuelled by record-low interest rates.
Directors had unanimously concluded that the offer undervalued the airport and was not in the best interest of shareholders. If successful, it would have been one of Australia’s biggest buyouts.
Sydney Airport is advised by Barrenjoey Capital Partners, UBS and Allens.
Global Power Synergy, a Thailand-based energy company, agreed to acquire a 25% stake in a Taiwanese offshore wind farm from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, an investment firm, for $500m.
"The transaction underpins the significant potential of offshore wind in Taiwan and in other Asian countries and recognizes CIP’s value add to the project during the development phase and initial construction phase," Michael Hannibal, CIP Partner.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led a $1.7bn round in Yanolja, a South Korean travel unicorn.
"Powered by AI, we believe Yanolja is a leader in transforming the travel and leisure industry in South Korea through its Travel Super App approach. We are delighted to partner with Lee Su Jin and the Yanolja team in their quest to expand into new markets and drive further innovation in the travel and leisure industry," Greg Moon, SoftBank Investment Advisers Managing Partner.
BOCOM International, a subsidiary of Bank of Communications, and Cyberport Macro Fund, an investment fund, led a $100m investment round in GOGOX, a Hong Kong logistics platform.
“Intra-city logistics has entered a new era of user data protection and sustainable ecosystem development. The new funding will not only empower GOGOX’s stable and rapid business expansion as a leader in safety, user satisfaction and compliance, but also keep us on track to produce exceptional results through our outstanding capital efficiency,” Vincent Hu, GOGOX CFO.
Spark Infra rejects KKR's $3.7bn bid, but leaves door open for talks. (FS)
Australian poles and wires company Spark Infrastructure, has rejected a $3.7bn takeover bid by a consortium that includes private equity giant KKR, but kept its door open to further talks. The second bid from KKR and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board of $2.09-per-share was $0.07 more than the previous one.
Spark Infrastructure stated it is open to sharing limited information on its business and prospects subject to a confidentiality agreement, but said the offer did not merit access to its books.
Spark is being advised by Goldman Sachs on the buyout offer.
Japan gives a nod to future IPO of Tokyo Metro.
Japan’s Transport Ministry approved the idea of a share sale of Tokyo’s subway-system operator, setting the stage for one the country’s largest privatizations and exchange listings in recent years, Bloomberg reported.
A report supporting the government divesting part of its stake in Tokyo Metro, which operates nine subway lines in the world’s largest metropolitan area, did not specify any timeframe or offering size. Still, the recommendation paves the way for it to join sales of Japan Tobacco and Japan Post to help the government fund debt repayment.
“A listing of Tokyo Metro is the best way to maximize the effects of a privatization,” A ministry panel. Transport Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said his agency would proceed with the necessary steps to carry out the sale.
Creat Group draws interests of private equity firms for its $3bn blood plasma business. (FS)
Chinese pharmaceutical group Creat Group is drawing interest from a mix of private equity firms and strategic suitors as it explores a sale of its blood-plasma supply businesses in Germany and the UK, Bloomberg reported.
Advent International and Bain Capital have teamed up to bid for Creat’s stakes in Biotest and Bio Products Laboratory. Buyout firm Permira and German pharmaceuticals company Fresenius have separately also progressed to the latest round of bidding for the holdings. Italian plasma group Kedrion is also interested in BPL.
Creat is working with Bank of America.
Three Gorges nears a $2bn stake sale to CNIC and GIC. (FS)
A consortium that includes CNIC and GIC are nearing a deal with China Three Gorges for a 25% stake in its overseas asset portfolio that could be valued at as much as $2bn. The group could reach a deal to buy the stake in China Three Gorges’ international unit as soon as this week.
The hydropower company plans to use the funds raised in the potential deal to fund development of the overseas portfolio, including acquisitions.
Negotiations are ongoing and China Three Gorges could still decide not to sell the assets.
Zomato's $1.3bn IPO was fully subscribed on the first day of bidding.
The $1.3bn initial public offering of online food delivery platform Zomato got fully subscribed on the first day of bidding, on the back of overwhelming response from retail investors.
The issue received bids for 746.97m shares against an IPO size of 719.23m shares. The portion reserved for retail investors was subscribed 2.65 times.
The retail investors are at the forefront as the portion reserved for them is subscribed 4.73 times, while non-institutional investors have put in bids for 45% against their reserved portion. The portion set aside for employees is subscribed 36% and that of qualified institutional buyers subscribed 7.06 times.
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