Canada's antitrust regulator remains opposed to Rogers Communications' plan to purchase Shaw Communications, a telecommunications company, for $21bn, rejecting the companies' argument that benefits to the economy would offset the harm to competition. Proceedings to litigate the matter are due to start on June 23 and could continue until the end of the year.
The Competition Bureau has, however, not won a merger challenge before. Of eight that have gone before the competition tribunal, it lost or settled six, and two are pending. Canadian law allows for mergers that harm competition to be approved if the companies can prove the merger brings efficiency to the economy, Reuters reported.
Rogers is advised by Bank of America, Barclays, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Goodmans and Torys. Financial advisors are advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell, Latham & Watkins and McCarthy Tetrault. Shaw is advised by CIBC World Markets, TD Securities, Burnet Duckworth & Palmer, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Dentons and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Financial advisors are advised by Osler Hoskin & Harcourt.
Preferred Apartment Communities, a real estate investment trust, announced that, at the reconvened special meeting of stockholders, its stockholders approved a $5.8bn acquisition by Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust.
The transaction is expected to close on or about June 23, 2022, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions.
PAS is advised by Goldman Sachs, KeyBanc Capital Markets, King & Spalding, Vinson & Elkins and Longacre Square Partners. Blackstone is advised by Bank of America, JLL Corporate Finance, Lazard, Wells Fargo Securities, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Joele Frank.
Atairos, an independent strategic investment company, and NBCUniversal, an American multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate, completed the acquisition of a 30% stake in Opry Entertainment Group, which owns iconic and emerging country music brands, from Ryman Hospitality Properties, a hotel, resort, entertainment, and media company, for $296m.
"OEG’s dynamic collection of entertainment venues, digital content and iconic country music brands provide a strong foundation for continued growth as a fully-integrated country lifestyle platform. We are excited to partner with the RHP and OEG teams to explore new content distribution strategies and support their ambition of becoming the leading player in country lifestyle live entertainment and media content," Michael Angelakis, Atairos Chairman and CEO.
Ryman Hospitality Properties was advised by Morgan Stanley, Bass Berry & Sims, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Alpha IR. Atairos was advised by Barclays, Credit Suisse, Moelis & Co, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Debt financing was provided by JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. Debt providers were advised by Latham & Watkins.
Jonathan Litt, an activist investor, plans to vote against Healthcare Realty Trust’s proposed $17.6bn takeover of Healthcare Trust of America, a healthcare facility REIT, arguing that the process that led to the deal was flawed.
Jonathan Litt-backed Land & Buildings Investment Management owns a stake in Healthcare Realty, which is proposing to buy Healthcare Trust of America. Litt said in a new presentation that he believes Healthcare Realty would have fared better by accepting a buyout offer from a third REIT, Welltower, Bloomberg reported.
“We see little strategic rationale for Healthcare Realty’s acquisition of Healthcare Trust of America and find it puzzling that HR rejected Welltower’s all-cash offer to pursue a value-destructive transaction. We encourage the board of directors to seriously reconsider whether the path it has chosen is the right one for all shareholders," Jonathan Litt.
Healthcare Realty Trust is advised by Citigroup, Scotiabank, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Brunswick Group. Citigroup and Scotiabank are advised by Alston & Bird. Healthcare Trust of America is advised by JP Morgan, McDermott Will & Emery and Joele Frank. JP Morgan is advised by Cravath Swaine & Moore.
Grove Collaborative, a sustainable consumer products company, went public via a SPAC merger with Virgin Group Acquisition II in a $1.5bn deal. The investors included Lone Pine Capital, Sculptor Capital Management, General Atlantic and Paul Polman.
“In going public, we sought a partner that shares our passion for using business to answer the urgent environmental crisis, and that accelerates our vision to make consumer products a positive force in human and environmental health,” Stuart Landesberg, Grove Co-Founder and CEO.
Grove Collaborative was advised by Morgan Stanley, Sidley Austin and ICR. Virgin Group Acquisition II was advised by Credit Suisse, Houlihan Lokey, Morgan Stanley and Davis Polk & Wardwell. Credit Suisse, Houlihan Lokey and Morgan Stanley were advised by Alston & Bird and Latham & Watkins.
Targa Resources, a provider of midstream services, agreed to acquire Lucid Energy, a privately held natural gas processor in the Permian Basin, from Riverstone Holdings, a multinational private equity firm, and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, an investment manager, for $3.55bn.
“We are pleased to have partnered with Lucid and Riverstone over the last several years, as the company has continued its growth as a leading gas gathering and processing platform in the Delaware Basin. We believe Mike and the team have done a great job of expanding customer relationships with high quality producers in the basin while continuing their commitment to the environment, safety, and the communities they serve," Scott Lebovitz, Goldman Sachs Asset Management Partner and Co-Head of the Infrastructure Investing Business.
Targa Resources is advised by Evercore, Mizuho Securities and Vinson & Elkins. Riverstone Holdings and Goldman Sachs Asset Management is advised by Jefferies & Company, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Latham & Watkins. Riverstone is advised by Kekst CNC.
Swiss Life Asset Managers, an investment management firm, and EDF Invest, a private equity investment firm, agreed to acquire a 27% stake in DataBank, a colocation and interconnection data centre operator, for $1.2bn.
“We are delighted to have gained the trust of DataBank, its existing shareholders and its highly experienced management team and to be part of their onward journey. Due to the ongoing transformation of digital infrastructure networks, the widespread adoption of working from home, Internet of Things and 5G, the demand for cloud services as well as data storage will increase in the years to come. These are strong tailwinds for data centre platforms such as DataBank, presenting numerous growth opportunities both in the metro and mobile edge segment of the market," Gabriel Damiani, Swiss Life Asset Managers Executive Director.
Swiss Life Asset Managers is advised by DH Capital and Vinson & Elkins. DataBank is advised by Goldman Sachs and Proskauer Rose. DigitalBridge is advised by PJT Partners, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Joele Frank.
Apollo-backed Tony’s Fresh Market, a grocery chain operator, agreed to acquire Cardenas Markets, a grocery retailer focused on serving the Hispanic community, from KKR. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Since joining Cardenas, we have made great progress in growing and enhancing our operations with KKR’s support, and I am thrilled by the opportunity for our team to now partner with Frank and the Tony’s team, leveraging our collective strengths. Together, as two of the highest quality Hispanic and ethnic grocers, we can deliver even greater value to the communities we serve," Doug Sanders, Cardenas CEO.
Cardenas Markets is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Solomon Partners and Kirkland & Ellis. Apollo Global is advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Debt financing is provided by Credit Suisse, Rabobank and Wells Fargo Securities.
Audax Private Equity, a private equity firm, completed a $327m investment in The Harbourfront Group, a wealth management and financial planning advisory firm.
“The nine-figure equity investment by Audax in our company provides validation that Harbourfront’s business formula is disrupting the independent investment dealer space in Canada. The partnership with Audax will accelerate our company’s organic growth plus better position us to grow by acquisition. Over the past eight years, we’ve changed the lives of our clients and today, we’re rewarding the advisors who took the leap and joined us. Our strategic partnership with Audax will allow us to do more of the same but on an even bigger scale,” Danny Popescu, Harbourfront CEO.
Harbourfront is advised by Raymond James and Fasken. Audax is advised by Ardea Partners, Kirkland & Ellis, Stikeman Elliott and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Clearlake Capital-backed Wheel Pros, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of proprietary branded aftermarket vehicle enhancements, agreed to acquire Transamerican Auto Parts, a manufacturer and distributor parts and accessories, from Polaris, a firm that designs and manufactures off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles and side-by-side vehicles, for $50m.
"We are thrilled to combine with TAP and build a vertically integrated omnichannel platform for aftermarket automotive enhancements across a wide range of vehicles. TAP's extensive product portfolio, proprietary brands, manufacturing capabilities, and omnichannel platform have resulted in an automotive and off-roading enthusiast following that we have long admired. We look forward to working with the TAP team as we undertake new initiatives to accelerate the growth of the combined business and continue to drive value for our customers, suppliers, and partners," Randy White, and Brian Henderson Wheel Pros Co-Founder & CEO and Chief Strategy Officer.
Clearlake is advised by Lambert & Co. Wheel Pros is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Backbone Media. Polaris is advised by Robert W Baird and Jones Day.
American Tire Distributors, a supplier of tires to the replacement tire market, completed the acquisition of the wholesale tire distribution assets of Monro, an automotive service and tire provider, for $105m.
“With the addition of Tires Now, we are taking another important step in ATD’s transformation journey. We are adding volume and geographic reach that will make us an even stronger supply chain partner to our customers and the manufacturers with which we work. We also view this as a win for the tire supply chain network and a step forward for both ATD’s and Monro’s commitments to sustainability. This transaction will support ATD’s ESG and current emissions efficiency initiatives, and together with Tires Now, we will be able to better reduce overall emissions. This is a truly unique opportunity, and we look forward to working closely with Monro, as well as our other customers, to provide our full platform of ATD’s logistics services,” Stuart Schuette, ATD President and CEO.
American Tire Distributors was advised by Troutman Pepper and Joele Frank. Monro was advised by Harter Secrest & Emery.
Highlander Partners, a private investment firm, agreed to acquire McIntosh Group, a manufacturer of high-end audio products intended for businesses. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We have been evolving our investment strategy around consumer-focused brands and luxury goods over several years. The opportunity to acquire brands as strong as those within the McIntosh Group does not come often and we are very excited to be part of the Company's next chapter. We believe there is a unique opportunity to acquire other consumer luxury technology brands and intend to stay active in the category," Jeff L. Hull, Highlander Partners President and CEO.
Highlander Partners is advised by Katten Muchin Rosenman. McIntosh is advised by Lincoln International and Shearman & Sterling.
Kayne Anderson, an alternative investment firm, completed an investment in Streamline Innovations, a provider of treatment processes for natural gas and produced water in the oil & gas industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to partner with Kayne Anderson and strengthen our relationship with Riverstone with this growth capital financing. The new funds will be put to immediate use to expand our lease fleet. More Valkyrie units will help us meet growing demand for our environmental solutions for H2S and be more responsive to the market by substantially reducing delivery times for our units. Also, we will use this capital to further penetrate and aggressively grow our presence in the energy transition markets, including RNG, LNG, renewable fuels and CCUS," David Sisk, Streamline Innovations Co-Founder and CEO.
Streamline Innovations was advised by Citigroup and Vinson & Elkins.
Craft Ventures, a venture capital firm, and SoftBank Vision Fund 2, a fund with a goal to invest in AI-based technology, led a $150m Series B funding round in Vendr, a developer of a SaaS buying platform, with participation from Sozo Ventures, F-Prime Capital, Sound Ventures, Tiger Global and Y Combinator.
"Increasing capital efficiency is a priority, whether you're a startup founder or enterprise CFO. By helping to cut annual SaaS expenses, Vendr is one of the easiest ways a company can save money. As an early investor in Vendr, we've long understood the potential, but in the current economic climate the need for Vendr is stronger than ever," David Sacks, Craft Ventures Co-Founder and General Partner
Osceola Capital-backed Revelation Pharma, an operator of a network of compounding pharmacies, completed the acquisition of the human-health book business from Wedgewood Pharmacy, an operator of a compounding pharmacy. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Wedgewood Pharmacy’s book of business represents Revelation’s continued desire to acquire and grow a national partnership of 503A and 503B compounding pharmacies and Wedgewood Pharmacy’s strategy to focus on compounding exclusively for animal health in its compounding pharmacies. Compounded medications are created and prepared by specially trained pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in state-regulated pharmacies when mass-manufactured drugs are not, according to a prescriber, available or are not appropriate for a patient.
Osceola Capital was advised by Chris Tofalli Public Relations.
Quebecor, a provider of mobile and fixed-line telecom services, agreed to acquire Freedom Mobile, a provider of mobile and wireless mobile services, from Rogers, a Canadian communications and media company, and Shaw, a cable company, for $2.2bn.
"Our agreement with Quebecor to divest Freedom is a critical step towards completing our proposed merger with Shaw. We strongly believe the divestiture will meet the Government of Canada’s objective of a strong and sustainable fourth wireless services provider. This agreement between proven cable and wireless companies will ensure the continuation of a highly competitive market with robust future investments in Canada’s world class networks. We look forward to securing the outstanding regulatory approvals for our merger with Shaw so that we can deliver significant long-term benefits to Canadian consumers, businesses and the economy," Tony Staffieri, Rogers President and CEO.
Tug Hill, Quantum Energy explore $5bn sale of THQ Appalachia I. (FS)
The owners of THQ Appalachia I are exploring a sale of the US natural gas producer that could value it at more than $5bn, including debt.
An investment bank has been hired to run the sale process, which kicked off earlier this month, for the company backed by Tug Hill Operating and private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners.
THQ Appalachia is expected to fetch bids of more than $5bn due to the worth of its existing production and potential value of its undeveloped acreage. Potential bidders in the sale process also have the option of buying XcL Midstream, a pipeline firm that moves THQ Appalachia's gas to market and whose chief executive is also CEO at Tug Hill, Reuters reported.
Consolidated Edison hires Barclays for a $4bn green unit sale.
Consolidated Edison, an energy company, has hired an adviser to kick-off the sale of its renewable energy portfolio, which could be valued at as much as $4bn.
The US utility is working with Barclays to help identify potential buyers for the business. It may start a sales process in the coming weeks.
The business is likely to draw interest from both financial and strategic firms seeking to boost their clean-energy portfolios. Deliberations are ongoing, and plans for the auction may be delayed or falter, Bloomberg reported.
Champion Petfoods explores options including sale worth $2bn-plus.
Champion Petfoods, a pet food maker, is exploring options including a potential sale that could value the company at more than $2bn a few years after its last takeover talks.
Nestle approached Champion Petfoods as recently as 2018 to acquire a majority stake for $2bn, Bloomberg reported.
Riverbend Energy Group divests non-operated portfolios.
Riverbend Energy Group, an energy investment firm, on behalf of certain of its affiliates, announced today the execution of a definitive agreement with a private buyer for the sale of all of the equity interests in Riverbend Oil & Gas, Riverbend Oil & Gas VI-B, and Riverbend Oil & Gas VIII, for total consideration of $1.8bn. The transaction is subject to customary terms and conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, with an effective date of May 1, 2022.
The divested portfolios represent a substantial, diversified asset base of non-operated interests across the Bakken/Three Forks, Utica, Fayetteville and Haynesville. As of the effective date, these properties produced approximately 47k barrels of oil equivalent per day from over 11k wells. Of Riverbend’s five currently active traditional energy portfolios, this transaction represents a successful and complete monetization for Riverbend of three portfolios, Riverbend VI, VI-B and VIII.
Riverbend is advised by Barclays and Kirkland & Ellis.
Percussion Petroleum seeks buyers for Permian land worth up to $1.5bn.
Percussion Petroleum II, an oil and gas company, is looking to fetch up to $1.5bn by selling around 25k net acres in the Permian shale basin, betting on rising oil prices to pocket more than double what it paid in 2021.
Buyers have been keen to gain a toehold in the basin as oil prices surge to triple digits, while backers of private shale companies such as Percussion are seeing it as a chance to exit their investments with big profits, Reuters reported.
Reliance Industries considering buying out Revlon.
Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries is considering buying out Revlon in the United States, days after the cosmetics giant filed for bankruptcy.
The report comes as Revlon Inc. filed for bankruptcy earlier this week after global supply chain disruptions drove up raw material costs and prompted vendors to demand upfront payments.
Merck explores the purchase of Seagen.
Drugmaker Merck is considering buying cancer-focused biotech company Seagen, a move that would beef up the pharmaceutical giant’s cancer-drug portfolio.
Talks have been under way for a while, and a deal isn’t imminent. It is possible the companies could end up striking a marketing agreement instead, WSJ reported.
Paya Holdings is exploring a sale.
Paya Holdings, a payments technology company, is exploring a potential sale amid takeover interest.
Paya is working with an adviser to field interest. Large, publicly traded payments companies are circling the company as bidders. An agreement hasn’t been reached and talks could end without one, or the company could still decide to remain independent, Bloomberg reported.
HSBC AM creates new unit for alternatives business. (FS)
HSBC Asset Management is creating a new unit, the Capital Solutions Group, to sit within its alternatives business, HSBC Alternatives.
The CSG will raise funds and create bespoke offerings in private and sustainable assets delivering flexible capital solutions for both institutional and wealth clients of HSBC Asset Management.
The CSG will become a new horizontal within HSBC Alternatives, collaborating with the existing investment capabilities of indirect alternatives, private credit, venture capital and real assets, to develop and scale solutions for both issuer and investor clients.
Bausch Health suspends plan for IPO of Solta skin-care unit.
Bausch Health, has suspended plans for an initial public offering of its Solta Medical skin-care business, a month and half after the spinoff of another unit fell short of its fundraising goals.
With its own stock battered this year amid volatility and inflation fears, Bausch Health said that it decided to suspend its Solta plans “in light of challenging market conditions and other factors.” The company said the interests of its stakeholders are best served in the near term by focusing on driving Solta’s revenue, profits and cash flow.
“For now, Solta will remain as part of Bausch Health and continue to contribute to the deleveraging of the company’s balance sheet. The company will revisit alternative paths for Solta in the future," Bausch Health.
Ivanhoe Electric seeks as much as $180m in IPO.
Mining magnate Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe Electric is seeking to raise as much as $180m by selling shares in an initial public offering, tapping investor interest in critical minerals that are key to the global energy transition.
Ivanhoe Electric plans to sell about 14.4m shares for $11.75 to $12.5 each in the IPO. The investment banks managing the sale have an option to sell an additional 2.16m shares, which could lift proceeds to as much as $206m. The stock is expected to trade on NYSE America and on Canada’s Toronto Stock Exchange, both under the ticker symbol IE.
BMO Capital Markets and Jefferies are leading the IPO with a group of banks that includes JP Morgan, Raymond James, RBC Capital Markets and Bank of Nova Scotia, Bloomberg reported.
Sagard Credit Partners announces final close of Sagard Credit Partners II, at $1.17bn. (FS)
Sagard Credit Partners, an alternative asset management platform, announced the final close of Sagard Credit Partners II at approximately $1.17bn, surpassing its $1.1bn target. With new commitments by limited partners from the United States, Canada and Europe, this close marks another milestone for Sagard: SCP II is its largest fund raised to date and one of the largest Canadian-based private lending funds focused on the non-sponsor space.
"We are pleased with the strong interest in SCP II. Today's announcement builds on Sagard's track record in private debt, providing flexible financing solutions to non-sponsored middle-market companies whose needs cannot be accommodated by traditional banking products," Adam Vigna, Sagard CIO.
Power Sustainable announces intial $210m closing for Agri-food Focused Lios Fund I. (FS)
Power Sustainable, a global multi-platform alternative asset manager investing in sustainable strategies, today announced that it has closed an initial $210m of aggregate capital commitments for Lios Fund I, its inaugural agri-food private equity fund. The fund targets total capital commitments of $300m and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022.
"We are thrilled to welcome an initial group of limited partners who also see sustainability as a powerful driver of value creation. We will support the next generation of North American companies leading the transformation of the food system while addressing consumers' growing demand for more sustainable options, creating value for our clients, our portfolio companies and society," Olivier Desmarais, Power Sustainable Chairman and CEO.
Urban Catalyst surpasses $100m in fundraising for its Opportunity Zone Fund II. (FS)
Urban Catalyst, Silicon Valley’s premier Opportunity Zone Fund, announced that it has raised more than $100m for its Urban Catalyst Opportunity Zone Fund II to further the construction of new ground up projects in downtown San Jose. It follows the successful closing of Urban Catalyst’s OZ Fund I in December 2020 with $131m. Fund II is currently open to new investors.
“There are many reasons that Opportunity Zone funds are attractive to investors, including the potential to defer capital gains taxes, and, in our case, the chance to invest in one of the country’s most dynamic cities. We’ve seen the enthusiasm for this with our first fund, and it has continued with our Fund II," Erik Hayden, Urban Catalyst Founder.
NeoGames, a technology-driven provider of end-to-end iLottery solutions, completed the acquisition of Aspire Global, a B2B iGaming technology solutions provider, for $480m.
"We are thrilled to announce this highly strategic transaction. Our objective in combining our two companies is to create a leading global provider in interactive content, proprietary technology and operations across all elements of iLottery, online sports betting and iGaming verticals. By integrating our market-leading platform and scalable position within the rapidly expanding global iLottery market, with Aspire Global’s proprietary sports betting platform, BtoBet; its iGaming content and aggregation platform, Pariplay; and its proprietary content and turn-key B2B Gaming solutions, NeoGames will be positioned to significantly increase our addressable market opportunities," Moti Malul, NeoGames CEO.
Aspire Global was advised by Oakvale Capital and Baker McKenzie. NeoGames was advised by Goldman Sachs, Stifel, Allen & Overy, Hannes Snellman, Herzog Fox & Neeman, Jones Day and Latham & Watkins. Debt financing was provided by Blackstone.
M&C Saatchi, a British advertising group, withdrew its support for digital marketing company Next Fifteen's $381m takeover due to guidance from its advisers after the bidder's shares slumped, Reuters reported.
Caught in a bidding war involving its biggest shareholder, M&C said it still believed it could succeed on its own but if that was not possible it preferred the offer from Next Fifteen. It said it could no longer consider the Next Fifteen's terms to be fair and reasonable, based solely on the share price fall.
M&C Saatchi is advised by Liberum Capital, Numis Securities, CMS and Brunswick Group. Next Fifteen is advised by Berenberg, Numis Securities, Smith Square Partners, Ashurst and MHP Communications.
Zura Bio, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with JATT Acquisition in a $215m.
“This is an important milestone for Zura Bio as it accelerates our goal to become a leading global immunology company. We look forward to initiating our phase 2 clinical trial in alopecia areata and to exploring the potential of ZB-168 in other immune diseases. Through the combination with JATT, we will strengthen our leadership team and secure capital to rapidly advance ZB-168 through the clinic in order to bring potentially life-altering new medicines to patients in need,” Oliver Levy, Zura Bio CFO and Member of Board of Directors.
Zura Bio is advised by McDermott Will & Emery and Ogier. JATT Acquisition is advised by Raymond James, Loeb & Loeb, Maples Group, Simmons & Simmons, Stern IR and Triquartista Consulting. Raymond James is advised by Paul Hastings.
DNEG, a technology-enabled visual effects and animation company, and Sports Ventures Acquisition, a SPAC, terminated a $1.7bn merger. The deal included a fully committed $168m common stock PIPE from Sports Ventures, Novator Capital, Fairfax Financial and Arbor Financial.
“Due to current SPAC and equity market conditions, it was mutually determined that the best option for all parties at this time is to terminate the transaction. Namit and his team are leaders in the market, producing stunning and award-winning work that swept the awards this year. DNEG has a bright future and we wish everyone there much success," lan Kestenbaum, Sports Ventures CEO and Chairman.
UnitedHealth-backed Optum, a developer of a health care system, agreed to acquire EMIS, a provider of healthcare software and information technology services in the UK, for $1.5bn. The offe represents a 49% premium.
"Optum UK is focused on helping the NHS work better for clinicians and patients, and believes that this combination with EMIS will bring ever more advanced technology solutions and capabilities to the NHS and general practitioners to improve patient care," Rob Sergeant, Optum UK CEO.
Optum is advised by Robey Warshaw, Slaughter & May and Finsbury Glover Hering. EMIS is advised by Numis Securities, Travers Smith and MHP Communications.
Applied Materials, a provider of materials engineering solutions, completed the acquisition of Picosun, a semiconductor equipment company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Rapid growth in the number of connected devices is driving a tremendous need for innovation in the chips used to bridge the analog and digital worlds. Bringing Picosun’s talented team to Applied Materials will strengthen our ability to help customers add more intelligence and functionality to a wide variety of edge computing devices," Sundar Ramamurthy, Applied Materials Vice President and General Manager of the ICAPS Group.
Applied Materials was advised by Goldman Sachs and Hogan Lovells. Picosun was advised by Carnegie Investment Bank.
Sofina, a holding company, led a €220m ($231m) Series D funding round in Rohlik Group, a European e-grocer, with participation from Index Ventures and Tomáš Čupr.
"This investment fits with Sofina’s strategy in the Consumer and Retail sector of providing capital to support growth opportunities alongside partners sharing common values and a vision to bring efficiency, choice and convenience of food retail to new levels. We’re looking forward to working with Rohlik, leveraging on our decades of investments in the sector as we believe its focus on local supply and on assortment will put it in a good position to capture a significant share in e-grocery, given consumers’ shift towards sustainability," Harold Boël, Sofina CEO.
Ratos, a private equity conglomerate firm, agreed to acquire a 70% stake in Knightec, a provider of technology and digitalization consulting services, from Adelis Equity, a private equity firm, for $112m.
“I am impressed by Knightec’s development in recent years, and Ratos is proud to have been entrusted to enter into a partnership with CEO and co-founder Dimitris Gioulekas and thereby contribute to the company’s continued growth. Knightec currently holds a strong position in the market and is an excellent start to our focus on this sector, which will be an important area for Ratos going forward. Through this acquisition, we will gain exposure to the growing consultancy industry, where we already have solid experience,” Jonas Wiström, Ratos President and CEO.
TCV, a private equity firm, and Alpha Intelligence Capital, a Luxembourg-based venture capital fund, led a $110m Series D funding round in Aidoc, a developer of a decision support software, with participation from CDIB Capital.
"We are building the kind of breadth and depth in AI that is allowing hospitals to fundamentally change the way they do business and provide the solutions needed to successfully compete during these challenging times. Aidoc is already the leading imaging AI platform, but with this new round of investment, our aim is to massively ramp up our AI Care Platform to cover both the various hospital medical service lines and the depth of integration into the clinical workflows, empowering hospitals to activate cross-specialty care teams and deliver the best quality of care in a scalable, efficient way to patients," Elad Walach, Aidoc CEO.
Lukoil, an integrated oil company, and Gazprombank-Frezia, a closed combined mutual investment fund, agreed to acquire a 56.43% stake in Enel Russia, an international energy group, for $144m.
The transaction is in line with the strategic aim of the group to focus its activities mainly in countries where an integrated position along the value chain can drive growth and enhance value creation from the opportunities offered by the energy transition.
KKR, GIP jointly bid for $21b Deutsche Telekom unit. (FS)
KKR, Global Infrastructure Partners and Stonepeak Partners have jointly made a binding offer for a controlling stake in Deutsche Telekom’s $21bn towers unit.
They’re competing with a consortium of Canadian investment firm Brookfield Asset Management and Spain’s Cellnex Telecom, which made a confirmatory bid for part of the Deutsche Telekom business.
Deliberations are ongoing and other bidders may still emerge. Vodafone Group’s listed infrastructure unit, Vantage Towers, is keen on Deutsche Telekom’s towers assets and could make a bid on its own or with a partner. Investment firm DigitalBridge Group has also been evaluating the business, Bloomberg reported.
BNP Paribas approached Dutch state to buy ABN Amro.
France's biggest lender BNP Paribas signalled to the Dutch government an interest in taking over state-owned bank ABN Amro, adding that the Dutch finance ministry was not pursuing such a deal at this time.
A combination between BNP and ABN Amro would be the first major cross-border deal in a long-anticipated consolidation drive across Europe's banking sector.
The Dutch finance ministry said it had recently sought advice from NLFI, a body that holds assets for the government, on the further sale of shares in ABN Amro but would not comment on specific considerations of a sale, Reuters reported.
Viva China is close to buying a controlling stake in Clarks. (FS)
Viva China Holdings, a Chinese sports talent agency founded by gymnast-entrepreneur Li Ning, moved a step closer to taking control of British shoe brand Clarks.
The deal will help Viva China to further expand its global business presence. In late May, Viva China said it would set up a joint venture with Hong Kong-based private equity fund LionRock Capital, in which Viva China holds a 51% stake. The venture would acquire 51% of Clarks. The deal was pending approvals from Viva China’s shareholders and regulators.
Viva China showed interest in buying Clarks back in August 2020 when the British company approached LionRock Capital for a potential investment.
Tecom Group sets price for IPO of up to $454m.
Dubai business park operator Tecom Group set price guidance on Thursday for its initial public offering that showed it could raise up to $454m.
Tecom Group, owned by the investment vehicle of Dubai's ruler, plans to sell 625m shares, or 12.5% of issued share capital, at a price range of $0.66 and $0.72 per share.
That implies a market capitalisation of between $3.34bn and $3.64bn, said the group, which operates ten business parks and districts across the emirate of Dubai, Reuters reported.
Shiprocket, a developer of an e-commerce shipping and enablement platform, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Pickrr, a developer of an on-demand logistics platform, for $200m.
"Together, we will define the future of e-commerce enablement in India, creating the most comprehensive enablement software stack that every retailer can use to drive success in their digital journeys. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to define how retailers interact with logistics operators and consumers to create consumer delight. Shiprocket and Pickrr are uniquely positioned to capture this opportunity by laying the building blocks of this software infrastructure," Saahil Goel, Shiprocket Co-Founder and CEO.
Shiprocket is advised by Avendus. Pickrr is advised by DC Advisory.
Google, an American multinational technology company, and Times Group, an Indian media conglomerate, led a $255m funding round in ShareChat, an Indian homegrown social media company, with participation from Temasek.
"We are excited to announce the closing of our funding round and adding Google and The Times Group to our cap table. We are also happy and grateful to see Temasek reaffirming its faith in us for the third time in a year. Despite strong headwinds, it is reassuring to see investor confidence in ShareChat’s efforts and potential to grow further. Over a year ago, we turned unicorn, and since then, we have been scaling and innovating at an exhilarating pace, further refining our offerings and expanding our operations. The coming year will be about capitalizing on the scale and building robust revenue models," Ankush Sachdeva, ShareChat CEO & Co-Founder.
NTUC weighs $2.9bn mall sale.
NTUC, a commercial support services provider, is exploring a sale of its retail malls in Singapore for about $2.9bn.
NTUC is working with a financial adviser on the potential sale and had reached out to some prospective buyers to gauge interest. The properties are held by unit Mercatus, a real estate owner and investor that manages more than $7.2bn of assets, Bloomberg reported.
Kyowa Kirin weighing $1bn asset sale.
Kyowa Kirin Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharma company, could be eying the potential sale of $1bn worth of assets.
The company intends to explore the sale of some assets of its Kyowa Kirin International unit and has hired a financial adviser for the purpose. The potential sale has seen interest from certain financial investors.
The discussions are in a preliminary stage and the Japanese drugmaker could choose to back away, Bloomberg reported.
Sarna Menara Nusantara weighs in on $1bn stake sale.
Sarna Menara Nusantara is considering selling a minority stake in its telecom tower arm Professional Telekomunikasi Indonesia and is seeking more than $1bn.
Professional Telekomunikasi, or Protelindo, as it is known, is working with a financial advisor on a 15% to 20% stake sale.
"The discussions are underway and that Sarna Menara Nusantara may decide not to go ahead with a deal. The company is always on the lookout for alternative financing through debt and equity, and discussions on both types of financing are underway," Sarna Menara Nusantara.
Syngenta weighs $9.7bn Shanghai IPO before year-end.
Syngenta is considering a plan to launch its mega initial public offering in Shanghai before the end of this year, paving the way for one of the world’s biggest listings in 2022.
The seed and fertilizer giant owned by China National Chemical could seek a $9.7bn listing on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style Star Board that it has already announced.
The Switzerland-headquartered company could allocate about $4.4bn worth of the offering to strategic investors. It planned to sell as many as 2.79bn new shares in the IPO, equivalent to a 20% stake. Deliberations are ongoing and details of the IPO including size and timeline, could still change, Bloomberg reported.
HarbourVest Partners raises over $870m for new Asia fund of funds. (FS)
Global private markets investment firm HarbourVest Partners has raised more than $870m for its latest Asia-focused fund of funds and its sidecar vehicles.
The asset manager has raised $370m for HarbourVest Asia Pacific Fund 5, a multi-strategy FoF launched in 2021, according to its filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It has also racked up $325m for HarbourVest Asia Pacific 5 Feeder Fund, and $176m for HarbourVest Asia Pacific 5 AIF, DealStreetAsia reported.
Potentia Capital closes its second fund at $443m. (FS)
Potentia Capital, a technology-focused private equity firm in Australia and New Zealand, has closed its second fund at a $443m hard cap, including GP commitment.
The fund, Potentia Capital Fund II, which exceeded its target size of $349m, brings Potentia’s total assets under management to over $697m.
Potentia said it has attracted both new and existing institutional investors, including a mix of asset managers, consultants, insurance companies, family offices, foundations, fund of funds and superannuation schemes from the US, Europe, Australia and Asia, DealStreetAsia reported.
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