Cargill, an American privately held global food corporation, and Continental Grain Company, a privately owned global investor, owner and operator of companies, agreed to acquire Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry producer in the United States, for $4.5bn.
"At Cargill, we are committed to nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Expanding our poultry offerings to the US is a key enabler of our ability to meet customer and consumer demands. With these great businesses, and our strong partnership, we believe we will deliver a superior portfolio of products and services to our customers," David MacLennan, Cargill Chairman and CEO.
Sanderson Farms is advised by Centerview Partners, Fishman Haygood, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, MacKenzie Partners and Reevemark. Continental Grain is advised by Lazard and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Cargill is advised by Bank of America, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
Brookfield Asset Management agreed to acquire American National, a financial services company, which engages in the provision of life insurance, annuities, health insurance, credit insurance, pension products and property, and casualty insurance, for $5.1bn.
"This is an energizing moment in American National's history. Our two companies share a long-term view of building strong, enduring businesses. Brookfield Reinsurance has been very clear: they want us to continue to grow our business, together with our leadership team and our excellent team of employees and distribution partners. I would like to thank our board of directors, particularly our strategic opportunities committee of independent directors, which conducted a thorough review of a range of strategic alternatives and possible business opportunities to maximize value for our stockholders. The transaction provides clear and immediate value for our stockholders at an attractive premium," Jim Pozzi, American National President and CEO.
American National is advised by Citigroup, Greer Herz & Adams and Sidley Austin. Brookfield is advised by RBC Capital Markets and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Debt financing is provided by BMO Capital Markets and RBC Capital Markets. Debt providers are advised by Paul Hastings.
Leafly, the online cannabis discovery marketplace and resource for cannabis consumers, agreed to go public via a merger with Merida Merger, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, in a $385m deal.
"For the past decade, we have focused on building a unique, legally compliant marketplace with an equal emphasis on educating consumers and enabling them to reserve cannabis products from legal, reputable providers. With this transaction, we are looking forward to entering the next phase of our company's journey – creating more personalized consumer experiences, driving more value to our retail partners, amplifying brands on our platform, and further scaling our presence in local markets as legalization continues. Our consumers recognize Leafly as one of the most trusted brands in cannabis, and we do not take that trust for granted. We are excited to partner with Merida's deeply experienced team to create even more value for our consumers, partners and shareholders," Yoko Miyashita, Leafly CEO.
Leafly is advised by Oppenheimer & Co, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Kekst CNC. Merida Capital Partners is advised by Craig-Hallum Capital Group, EarlyBirdCapital, JMP Securities, The Benchmark Company and Graubard Miller.
DraftKings, a digital sports entertainment and gaming company, agreed to acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming, an online gaming company, for $1.56bn.
"Our acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming, a brand synonymous with iGaming and entertainment, will enhance our ability to instantly reach a broader consumer base, including Golden Nugget's loyal 'iGaming-first' customers. This deal creates meaningful synergies such as increased combined company revenues driven by additional cross-sell opportunities, loyalty integrations and tech-driven product expansion as well as technology optimization and greater marketing efficiencies. We look forward to Tilman being an active member of our Board and one of our largest shareholders," Jason Robins, DraftKings CEO and Chairman of the Board.
Golden Nugget Online Gaming is advised by Jefferies & Company, Spectrum Gaming Capital, White & Case, Dancie Perugini Ware and Solebury Trout. DraftKings is advised by The Raine Group and Sullivan & Cromwell.
Bank of Marin, a bank holding company, completed the merger with American River Bankshares, a community bank, in a $135m deal.
“This merger brings together two exceptional institutions that share complementary values and disciplined fundamentals. Bank of Marin will be able to expand its franchise by delivering the same legendary service that is the hallmark of a community bank on a regional scale," Russell A. Colombo, Bank of Marin President and Chief Executive Officer.
American River Bankshares was advised by Piper Sandler and Manatt Phelps & Phillips. Bank of Marin Bancorp was advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Stuart Moore Staub, Stifel and Latham & Watkins.
Bessemer Investors, a New York-based investment firm, completed the investment in Legacy Restoration, a provider of exterior restoration and remodeling services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to partner with Legacy and to continue building on their track record of growth. Led by an experienced management team, Legacy is an industry leader with a reputation for high quality service and conducting business with integrity. We see numerous growth avenues for Legacy, whether through geographic and end market expansion, or through strategic M&A opportunities, and look forward to supporting Scott and the management team through the next phase of growth," Andrew Mendelsohn, Bessemer Principal.
Legacy Restoration was advised by Waller Helms Advisors and Hellmuth & Johnson. Bessemer was advised by Capstone Headwaters, Piper Sandler, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Lambert & Co. Debt financing was provided by Tree Line Capital and Western Alliance Bank.
Blackstone agreed to acquire WPT Industrial REIT, a Canadian real estate investment trust that invests in institutional-quality distribution and logistics properties in top tier industrial markets, for $3.1bn.
“Logistics remains one of our highest conviction themes as the sector continues to benefit from strong tailwinds driven by e-commerce,” David Levine, Blackstone Senior Managing Director.
WPT Industrial REIT is advised by Blair Franklin Capital Partners, Desjardins, Morgan Stanley, Blake Cassels & Graydon, Vinson & Elkins and Wildeboer Dellelce.
Blackstone is advised by Eastdil Secured, Goodmans and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
EU antitrust regulators have extended the deadline for the decision on Facebook's acquisition of US customer service startup Kustomer by a week to Dec 15, Reutersreported.
The Commission said it had extended the deadline after Facebook asked for more time. Such extensions are common during the summer holiday season when it is more difficult to find customers and rivals able to respond to queries about the market.
Kustomer is advised by JP Morgan. Facebook is advised by Latham & Watkins and Brunswick Group.
Equifax, a global data, analytics, and technology company, agreed to acquire Health e(fx), an experienced provider of Affordable Care Act services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With our cloud-native technology architecture, it's easier than ever to integrate new partner capabilities and acquisitions quickly and securely to create leading-edge solutions. Our strong performance and balance sheet allow Equifax to reinvest our cash flow in this accretive and strategic acquisition that gives customers unique access to more capabilities, product suites, and services under a single roof," Mark W. Begor, Equifax CEO.
Health e(fx) is advised by Hennepin Partners and Barna Guzy Steffens.
Peak Rock Capital, a middle-market private investment firm, completed the acquisition of Amtech Software, a provider of manufacturing ERP software and technology services for the packaging and other manufacturing industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Over the past 40 years, the Amtech team and I have built and refined a differentiated software solution to optimize our customers' manufacturing operations. Our team is proud of the success it has achieved to date and believes that Peak Rock is the ideal partner for our business as we undertake the next stage of growth. I am thrilled to continue as a shareholder in the company and in my role as CEO," Cosmo DeNicola, Amtech Founder and CEO.
Peak Rock Capital was advised by DC Advisory and Kekst CNC.
Mainsail Partners, a growth equity firm with offices in San Francisco and Austin, agreed to invest in Boostlingo, a fast-growing technology provider of language interpretation management software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We believe Boostlingo has shown that they can be disruptive by using a modern technology stack, clean and beautiful software, and a very large wraparound network of interpreters to serve their customers. We're excited to help the management team any way that we can," Michael Anderson, Mainsail Partner.
Viking Energy, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company, agreed to acquire a 60% stake in Simson-Maxwell, a manufacturer and supplier of industrial engines, power generation products, services and custom energy solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very excited to be working with Remora and the entire Simson-Maxwell team, and look forward to further strengthening an already-established platform and recognizable brand to position the company for additional expansion throughout North America through the remainder of this year and beyond," James Doris, Viking President and CEO.
Aurora Solar, a software platform for solar sales and design, agreed to acquire Folsom Labs, a software solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Aurora Solar and Folsom Labs share a common mission to build a future of solar energy for all. We built our business to help the solar industry scale through technology, and adding the Folsom Labs team puts us in an even better position to drive the digital transformation of the solar industry," Christopher Hopper, Aurora Solar Co-Founder.
Hensel Phelps, one of the largest general contractors and construction managers in the United States, agreed to acquire Hydro Construction, which specializes in the construction of water and wastewater treatment facilities and related projects. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Hydro Construction has tremendous expertise in water and wastewater projects. We are thrilled to add this talented team to Hensel Phelps and excited by the opportunities we see in this market," Michael Choutka, Hensel Phelps President and CEO.
DeFi Technologies, a provider of financial services, agreed to acquire DeFi Yield Technologies, a private company with a proprietary automated yield engine which makes investing in decentralised finance simple and efficient, for $54m.
"We are extremely excited to be joining forces with the DeFi Technologies team. We believe that together we will be a global leader in the rapidly growing decentralized finance space. We are looking forward to leveraging DeFi Technologies' existing business and product offerings to accelerate the growth of our smart contracts and our other products. We believe that this merger expedites our common business objectives, among them being to provide wider access and additional on-ramps to simple, secure, risk-adjusted decentralized finance products," Philipp Kallerhoff, DeFi Yield Technologies CEO.
Meaningful Partners' debut fund closes at $175m. (FS)
Meaningful Partners, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles, California, specializing in the consumer sector, announced the final closing of its debut fund, Meaningful Partners Dedicated Capital Vehicle, with $175m of capital commitments.
The fund was oversubscribed and closed above its cap of $150m. Meaningful Partners secured commitments from a diversified investor group, comprising leading endowments, foundations, family offices and fund of funds.
The Blackstone Group completed the acquisition of St. Modwen Properties, a British-based property investment and development business, for $1.77bn.
"Our strong conviction in the UK, together with St. Modwen's high-quality asset base, its team, and its operational capabilities, give us confidence we can further build on the company's successes. We look forward to working with the talented team at St. Modwen in the years ahead," James Seppala, Blackstone Head of Real Estate Europe.
St. Modwen Properties was advised by JP Morgan, Lazard, Numis Securities, Slaughter & May and FTI Consulting. Blackstone was advised by Rothschild & Co, Kirkland & Ellis and Paternoster. Rothschild & Co was advised by Ashurst. Debt financing was provided by JP Morgan, RBC Capital Markets and United Overseas Bank.
Philip Morris, a Swiss-American multinational cigarette and tobacco manufacturing company, raised its offer to acquire Vectura, a British pharmaceuticals business, to $1.4bn.
The firm is competing against The Carlyle Group to buy Vectura. The new offer comes just days after Carlyle increased its own bid to $1.33bn.
Vectura is advised by JP Morgan, Numis Securities, Rothschild & Co, Clifford Chance, Consilium Strategic Communications and FTI Consulting. Philip Morris is advised by Bank of America, DLA Piper, Foxcroft Consulting and Sanctuary Counsel. Carlyle is advised by Morgan Stanley, RBC Capital Markets, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, Ropes & Gray and Greenbrook.
Ritchie Bros, a global asset management, disposition, and services company, agreed to acquire Euro Auctions, a plant and machinery auction house, for $1.1bn.
"Ritchie Bros. and Euro Auctions are an ideal fit with a united goal to make asset insights, service offerings and disposition solutions easier than ever. Euro Auctions has an incredibly talented team, with expertise in asset sourcing, auction operations, sales, and customer service. Their 'can do' attitude and entrepreneurial spirit combined with technology has helped them adapt and grow, in much the same way as we have. This acquisition significantly accelerates our strategy to drive revenue and earnings growth and add shareholder value by continuing to expand our capabilities in new channels, sectors, regions, and customer segments," Ann Fandozzi, Ritchie Bros CEO.
Euro Auctions is advised by Jefferies & Company and A&L Goodbody. Ritchie Bros is advised by KPMG, Goldman Sachs, Norton Rose Fulbright and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
FSN Capital, a Northern European private equity investment firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Adragos Pharma, a growing B2B contract developer and manufacturer for pharmaceuticals, from Prange Group, a family office with majority ownership in more than 60 companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The Group has an excellent market position based on well-established production sites that enjoyed double-digit growth rates in recent years, significantly above the general CDMO market. This is a result of a high level of service and care for our customers. Now we can take the next step and realize our vision of becoming a global leader," Andreas Raabe, Adragos CEO.
FSN Capital was advised by Ernst & Young, Bain & Co, Frank Partners, Alvarez & Marsal and White & Case.
Macquarie, an Australian multinational independent investment bank and financial services company, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Southern Water, the private utility company responsible for the public wastewater collection and treatment in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent, for £1bn ($1.4bn).
"We wholeheartedly welcome Macquarie Asset Management's investors as long-term shareholders of our business. A £1bn ($1.4bn) equity investment in Southern Water and its group strengthens our balance sheet to enable Southern Water to increase investment in our network and accelerate the transformation plans we have put in place," Keith Lough, Southern Water Chair.
Permira, the global private equity firm, agreed to invest in Engel & Völkers, an international property brokerage platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Christian, Sven and their team have built one of the most renowned brands and platforms in property brokerage with some of the world's best property agents having chosen to work with Engel & Völkers. We are excited to support Engel & Völkers together with Christian and the management team in this digital transformation journey and further accelerate growth through leveraging our proven expertise in digitizing successful businesses. The company has the opportunity to broaden its ecosystem significantly in a more direct and digital world," Jörg Rockenhäuser, Permira Managing Partner.
Arena Holdings and Altimeter Capital led a $450m Series D round in Hopin, a virtual events platform designed to connect distributed communities, with participation from Adam Street Partners, Untitled Investments, XN, Andreessen Horowitz, DFJ Growth, General Catalyst, GIC, IVP, Northzone, Salesforce Ventures, Slack Fund, Temasek, and Tiger Global.
"Hopin started with the goal of giving people more options for meaningful connection. We continue to uplevel with the priority to become accessible to all, and offer the optimal solution to seamlessly connect people to experiences for live events and beyond. Hopin plans to be wherever important conversations and connections happen. We are grateful for the ongoing support and confidence of our investors to actualize this," Johnny Boufarhat, Hopin CEO and Founder.
Maersk aims for a big land-based acquisition.
Maersk has both the means and the desire to do a large land-based acquisition to balance the dominance of the world's largest container shipping business, said the firm's CEO, Soren Skou.
Maersk lifted its full-year profit guidance by about 50% and said its results for the current third quarter were likely to be even better than bumper figures for the second three months of this year. Maersk is known as a bellwether for global trade, carrying one in five containers across the seas bearing goods from Asia to Europe and the US, FT reported.
Iliad agreed on the fibre broadband deal with Telecom Italia.
Iliad agreed to join in development of Telecom Italia's last-mile grid as the French telecoms group prepares to enter Italy's fixed broadband market, Reuters reported.
Iliad, which has captured 10% of Italy's mobile phone market since launching its low-cost offering three years ago, plans to enter the fixed-line market after the summer to tap post-pandemic demand for ultra-fast connectivity.
Delivery Hero builds a 5% stake in UK rival Deliveroo.
Delivery Hero, the Berlin-based food delivery group, built a 5% stake in Deliveroo, a British online food delivery company, driving shares in the UK-based rival to their highest point since March's initial public offering, FT reported.
The move comes at a time of consolidation in the online food delivery industry, as companies jostle for position in new sectors such as groceries and look to capitalize on the growth boost provided by the pandemic's lockdowns.
Virgin Atlantic prepares a surprise flotation on London stock market.
Virgin Atlantic, a British airline with its head office in Crawley, has been holding talks with institutional investors about making its public market debut just five months after landing a fresh £160m ($222m) capital injection, Sky News reported.
Institutions' response to management presentations led by the airline's executives had been positive, and that an autumn announcement of an intention to float now looked likely.
TAL Dai-ichi Life, a life insurance firm in Australia, agreed to acquire the Australian life insurance business of Westpac, an Australian bank and financial services provider headquartered in Sydney, for $662m.
"This transaction is another step in simplifying the bank while continuing to help customers with their life insurance needs by partnering with TAL," Jason Yetton, Westpac Group Chief Executive Specialist Businesses & Group Strategy.
Primavera, a private equity firm, offered to acquire LAIX, an artificial intelligence company, for $56m.
LAIX expects to form a special committee of the board, comprised solely of independent and disinterested directors, to consider the proposal letter and the proposed transaction. The company cautions that the board has just received the proposal letter and has not made any decisions with respect to the proposal letter and the proposed transaction.
National Australia Bank, one of the four largest financial institutions in Australia, agreed to acquire the Australian consumer banking business of Citigroup, an American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation, for $882m.
"This is a positive outcome for our clients, our colleagues and for Citi. As this transaction shows, we are moving forward with urgency as we refresh our strategy and execute the decisions we have already made as part of that effort. We are focusing our resources on businesses where we have scale and competitive advantages in order to deliver growth and improved returns over time," Jane Fraser, Citi CEO.
Temasek Holdings, an investment company headquartered in Singapore, IFC, an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries, and IIFL, an Indian diversified financial services company headquartered in Mumbai, led a $185m funding round in upGrad, an edtech platform for higher education.
“We are pleased with the investor interest ever since we opened up for a fundraise, and had our maiden raise from Temasek, followed by IFC and IIFL in the last 60 days. We will announce further updates on mergers and acquisitions, and unlocking value as they unfold," Ronnie Screwvala, upGrad Chairperson and Co-Founder.
Creador, a private equity firm, completed the $73m investment in Sapphire Foods India, a franchisee operators of YUM! Brands in the Indian sub-continent.
“The pandemic has spurred a transformative change in consumer buying patterns, with consumers migrating from the independent food sector to internationally recognised brands like KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, which provide great tasting food, a strong emphasis on food safety and hygiene, and omni-channel accessibility," Brahmal Vasudevan, Creador Founder and CEO.
The Sinarmas Group hopes to acquire DANA from the Emtek Group.
Indonesia's diversified conglomerate Sinar Mas Group is said to be in talks to acquire local digital wallet DANA from the largest shareholder Emtek Group, DealStreetAsia reported.
If this acquisition materializes, Sinarmas Group will partner with Ant Financial for the DANA business.
Temasek-backed ShopBack to raise Series E round. (FS)
ShopBack, a Singapore-based cashback and rewards platform, is raising capital in its Series E round from new investors, DealStreetAsia reported.
The funding will be deployed into enhancing ShopBack's technology infrastructure, expanding data capabilities to unlock new business insights, and driving growth in its existing markets.
China's antitrust regulator is planning to charge Meituan for $1bn.
China's antitrust regulator is preparing to impose a roughly $1bn, fine on food-delivery giant Meituan for allegedly abusing its dominant market position to the detriment of merchants and rivals, WSJ reported.
The penalty could be announced in the coming weeks, and Meituan would be required to revamp its operations and end a practice that has been dubbed "er xuan yi"—literally, "choose one out of two." Such exclusivity arrangements have forced many small businesses to pick sides in China's competitive retail industry.
Evergrande plans on the sale of EV and property stakes.
Chinese property developer Evergrande Group is in talks with state-owned and private companies to sell stakes in its electric vehicle and property management businesses.
The talks over the sale of stakes in China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group and Evergrande Property Services Group, both listed in Hong Kong, are reportedly advancing smoothly.
Morgan Stanley searching for buyer for CGE stake through Citi. (FS)
US investment bank Morgan Stanley has hired Citibank to find a buyer for its majority stake in India clean energy firm Continuum Green Energy.
The Continuum stake sale plans have been on for some time now. ReNew Power Ventures had evinced interest in buying Morgan Stanley's majority stake in Continuum Green Energy. Norway's state-run electricity firm Statkraft and US-based renewable energy producer SunEdison had previously tried to acquire Continuum.
Renault and Geely hope to form a hybrid vehicle joint venture.
France's Renault is looking to revive business in China by forming a hybrid vehicle joint venture with Geely Holding Group, a year after it ended its previous operation in the world's largest car market, DealStreetAsia reported.
The two companies have signed a framework agreement to set up the joint venture, which would make and sell Renault-branded petrol-electric hybrid cars in China using Geely's technologies, supply chains, and manufacturing facilities while Renault would focus on sales and marketing.
NetEase delays $1bn Hong Kong IPO of Cloud Village.
NetEase, a Chinese Internet technology company, delayed the $1bn Hong Kong initial public offering of its music streaming service Cloud Village because of volatile trading in China's major tech companies, Reuters reported.
The IPO was approved by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange's listing committee, according to filings lodged with the exchange, and preliminary meetings were held with potential investors last week.
ByteDance revives plans of Hong Kong IPO amid China tech crackdown.
TikTok owner ByteDance is reviving plans to list in Hong Kong by early next year even as Chinese authorities widen their crackdown on the country's technology companies, Bloomberg reported.
ByteDance has been working on addressing data security concerns raised by Chinese regulators. It is going through a review process and has submitted filings to Chinese authorities, and final guidance is expected from ByteDance by September. In July, Dow Jones reported that ByteDance put on hold indefinitely its intentions to list offshore earlier this year, after government officials told it to focus on addressing data-security risks.
Temasek, Warburg, others try to gain from CarTrade IPO wave. (FS)
CarTrade Tech, the multi-channel auto platform, is the latest to join the initial public offering bandwagon. It is a pure offer for sale issue, which means CarTrade would receive no proceeds from this share for business purposes, DealStreetAsia reported.
Warburg Pincus and JP Morgan will be selling roughly 51% and 40% of their holding in the firm, but will receive proceeds that are as high as 181% and 236% of their investment, respectively. On the other hand, March Capital is selling a little more than half its holding, but will garner funds that are 148% of its original investment. Temasek would receive 107% of its initial investment by selling about 40% of its holding.
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