Franchise Group, an operator of franchised and franchisable businesses, completed the acquisition of Pet Supplies Plus, an omnichannel retail chain and franchisor of pet supplies and services, from Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm, for $700m.
“We are extremely pleased with PSP’s significant expansion and successful integration of new franchisees into its system. PSP is the #1 pet franchisor in the US in an attractive, growing market driven by loyal consumers passionate about pet ownership. We were honoured to work with PSP’s highly committed and talented management team who have superbly positioned the company for continued growth," Marc Buan, Sentinel Principal.
Pet Supplies was advised by Piper Sandler, Robert W Baird and Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel. Franchise Group was advised by B. Riley FBR and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Debt financing was provided by B. Riley FBR, Citizens Bank, Credit Suisse, and JP Morgan. Sentinel Capital was advised by Broadgate Consultants.
Opposition from minority shareholders to a restructuring effort by the Jardine Group, a holding company focusing on motor vehicles, property investment, and development, is growing. Some investors consider going to court over its buyout plan of a London and Singapore-listed unit for a $1bn discount, Bloomberg reported.
Some shareholders are considering asking Bermuda courts to assess its fair value.
Jardine Strategic is advised by Evercore. Jardine Matheson is advised by HSBC, JP Morgan, Simon Robertson Associates, Linklaters, and Brunswick Group.
Expro Group, a privately-held international energy services company, agreed to merge with Frank's International, a global oil services company that provides a broad range of highly engineered drilling and completions solutions and services.
Expro shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 7.272 shares of Frank's for each share of Expro owned, subject to adjustment in specified circumstances. Upon the closing of the transaction, Expro shareholders will own c. 65% of the merged entity, with Frank's shareholders owning c. 35%.
"This transaction unites two established industry players to create a leading service provider with an extensive portfolio of capabilities across the well lifecycle. Together, Expro and Frank's will be better positioned to support our customers around the world and navigate industry cyclicality. This business combination also allows us to rationalize facilities and other support costs, optimize business processes, capitalize on profitable growth opportunities and create value for shareholders of both companies, particularly as the environment for international projects continues to improve," Mike Jardon, Expro Chief Executive Officer.
Expro is advised by JP Morgan, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Joele Frank. Frank's is advised by Moelis & Co, Vinson & Elkins and Abernathy MacGregor Group.
Vista Equity Partners to invest in iN2L, a provider of person-centered digital engagement solutions for the senior living market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The need for bolstering social connection and purposeful engagement for a growing population with increased life expectancy has always been important, but Covid-19 brought the social isolation challenge in the senior living industry to the forefront, and iN2L is uniquely positioned to address these challenges through its industry leading engagement technology,” Rene Yang Stewart, Vista Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of Endeavor Fund.
iN2L is advised by Aeris Partners, Cooley and Sage Growth Partners. Vista is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Laurel Strategies.
Vista Equity Partners agreed to invest in AlertMedia, a provider of emergency communication software and threat intelligence solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Vista shares our belief that every business should ensure its employees are safe, informed, and connected—and that emergency communication software has the power to improve outcomes. We are thrilled to have the experience of the Vista team on our side, providing guidance and support as we continue to build AlertMedia into a best-in-class global enterprise,” Brian Cruver, AlertMedia CEO and Founder.
AlertMedia is advised by JP Morgan and Goodwin Procter. Vista is advised by Raymond James.
ION Crossover Partners, an investment company, led a $135m Series E round in Aqua Security, a pure-play cloud native security company, with participation from M12, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Insight Partners, TLV Partners, Greenspring Associates, and Acrew.
"Aqua has demonstrated that they have the strongest products, and a compelling vision for how to best secure the modern technology stacks being deployed across the world's largest enterprises. In speaking with Aqua's customers, it was clear that Aqua has the best platform for Kubernetes and cloud native security. Its ongoing innovative support for the wide range of multi-cloud environments, and superb customer success, have helped customers accelerate their move to cloud native platforms. We look forward to working with Aqua to further grow the business to drive global adoption and category dominance," Gili Iohan, ION Crossover Partners General Partner.
A consortium of investors led a $1.9bn investment in Lineage Logistics, a temperature-controlled industrial REIT and logistics solutions provider. Investors include BentallGreenOak, D1 Capital Partners, Oxford Properties, CenterSquare Investment Management, MS Tactical Value, Conversant Capital, OP Trust, and Cohen & Steers.
“We set out to raise capital to support Lineage’s investments in the world’s most state-of-the-art technology and automation, greenfield developments, facility expansions, and continued acquisitions, and we were met with overwhelming demand from some of the most well-respected global institutional investors. This is clear validation of our business model and our consistent, successful strategy to optimize our customers’ temperature-controlled supply chains, which is exactly how we intend to deploy the funds – to bolster our customers’ experiences from every angle and prove ourselves as their most valuable partner," Greg Lehmkuhl, Lineage President and CEO.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2, a fund with a goal to invest in AI-based technology, and Founders Fund, a venture capital firm, led a $225m Series D funding round in Forward Health, a clinical informatics company. Additional investors include Khosla Ventures, a venture capital firm, Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO, and The Weeknd, a Canadian pop singer.
“I had looked at dozens of what I call digital health or technology-enabled new healthcare companies and Foward really stood out, largely because of their underlying technology and long term vision,” Jeff Housenbold, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 Managing Partner.
DIVERSANT, a certified minority business enterprise, agreed to acquire Atrilogy Solutions Group, an information technology staffing services firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I am excited that Atrilogy will be part of the DIVERSANT family, an organization that is recognized for delivering excellence to their customers. By joining forces with DIVERSANT, we have the capability to provide additional services, resources, and opportunities to our clients, employees, and IT consultants," Dave Charest, Atrilogy CEO.
Adidas seeks strong interest in the sale of Reebok.
German sportswear maker Adidas sees strong interest in its underperforming Reebok brand, which it plans to sell or spin off, its finance chief said. Adidas said last month that it had decided to begin a formal process aimed at divesting Reebok, Reuters reported.
“We are going confidently into the process,” Harm Ohlmeyer, Adidas CFO.
BuzzFeed in talks to go public via 890 5th Avenue SPAC.
BuzzFeed, an online media outlet, is in talks to go public through a merger with 890 5th Avenue Partners, a special purpose acquisition company.
The deal talks follow a tumultuous year for BuzzFeed, which laid off employees during the pandemic and lost revenue from advertising and live events. 890 5th Avenue Partners raised $288m in a January initial public offering and has said it’s focused on technology, media and telecommunications.
Vector Acquisition II announces pricing of its $450m IPO.
Vector Acquisition II, a special purposes acquisition company, formed for the purpose of entering into a combination with one or more businesses, announced the pricing of its upsized initial public offering of 45m Class A ordinary shares at a price of $10 per share. The shares are listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market and trade under the ticker symbol “VAQC”.
The company offered 5m more shares than anticipated. Vector Acquisition II removed warrants from its offering earlier this month and will now be offering common shares only.
Vector Acquisition II is advised by Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Flutterwave eyes a US listing.
Africa-focused payments company Flutterwave could consider a New York listing, its chief executive said after it raised $170m from investors to expand its customer base, pushing its valuation up to more than $1bn, Reuters reported.
Flutterwave is one of several fintech groups aiming to facilitate and capitalise on a booming African payments market driven by increased mobile phone use and faster internet speeds.
“We may consider the possibility of listing in New York or a possible dual listing in New York and Nigeria,” Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave’s CEO and Co-Founder.
One Rock Capital Partners closes Fund III at a $2bn hard cap. (FS)
One Rock Capital Partners, a private equity firm, has successfully closed its third flagship private equity fund at its hard cap, with total capital commitments of $2bn. The fund marks One Rock’s largest fund to date, having surpassed its target of $1.5bn.
As of the final closing of Fund III, One Rock has raised approximately $5bn of cumulative capital commitments. Fund III’s institutional investor base consists of a diverse set of government and corporate pension plans, insurance companies, health organisations, endowments and foundations, and high net worth families.
"We are truly appreciative of the strong endorsement of the institutional investor community during this period of extraordinary uncertainty. We are grateful for the continued support of an exceptional group of existing investors, and we're delighted to have the opportunity to begin working with a select group of new limited partners in Fund III," Scott Spielvogel, One Rock Capital Managing Partner.
Veolia Environnement, a French transnational company, tweaked its hostile takeover offer for Suez, a waste management company, to make it more palatable for labor unions. However, acknowledged the new offer wouldn’t be enough to satisfy the utility’s managers, Bloomberg reported.
Suez is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Rothschild & Co, Societe Generale, Bredin Prat, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, Sullivan & Cromwell and Brunswick Group. Veolia is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Agricole, HSBC, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Flichy Grange Avocats, Gide Loyrette Nouel, Hogan Lovells, Patrice Gassenbach, Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associes, Xavier Boucobza, and Image Sept. Engie is advised by BNP Paribas, Centerview Partners, Credit Suisse, Lazard, d'Angelin & Co, Weil Gotshal and Manges, Estudio de Comunicacion, and Havas Paris.
Carlyle Group completed the acquisition of Flender, a supplier of mechanical and electrical drive systems, from Siemens, an industrial manufacturing company, for $2.38bn.
“By selling Flender, we’re successfully and rigorously continuing our strategy to become a new, focused Siemens AG. Our plan of fixing the businesses ourselves by introducing the structures used in small and midsized companies has proven effective. Now it’s time to position Flender as an independent company and give it the chance to realize future growth opportunities. This fast decision gives customers and employees clarity and a solid foundation for planning,” Joe Kaeser, Siemens President and CEO.
Carlyle was advised by Lazard, Morgan Stanley, Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira, Linklaters, Milbank, and Wissen mit System. Siemens was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Hengeler Mueller, and FTI Consulting. Financial advisors were advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Innovative Energy, a newly formed company to be jointly owned by ADES Investments, Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, and Zamil Group Investment, agreed to acquire a remaining 31.2% stake in ADES International, a provider of oil and gas drilling and production services, for $161m.
The takeover by Innovative Energy will enable the delisting of ADES International from the London Stock Exchange, where it has been trading since 2017.
"Our offer provides an attractive opportunity for the drilling company’s shareholders to get exposure to the oil and gas drilling and production services sector in the MENA region," Innovative Energy.
ADES International is advised by Canaccord Genuity, Investec, EFG Hermes, Ashurst and Hill Dickinson. Innovative Energy is advised by Moelis & Co and Allen & Overy.
Abry Partners, a private equity investment firm, and Aquiline, a provider of private capital to innovative leaders in financial services and technology, completed a $350m investment in Lloyd’s-backed ERS, a motor insurer.
“We have been very impressed with the ERS team and believe it is set to take advantage of the highly attractive market outlook. This is a unique opportunity to support a great company in its next chapter of growth and development and we are excited to make ERS our first investment at the world’s leading insurance market, Lloyd’s. We are equally as excited to be partnering with Aquiline, one of the pre-eminent investors in the insurance sector," Brent Stone, Abry Partner.
Abry Partners was advised by Deloitte, Kirkland & Ellis, and Chris Tofalli. ESR was advised by TigerRisk Capital Markets and Norton Rose Fulbright. Aquiline was advised by Prosek Partners.
CVC Capital Partners completed the acquisition of a 14.3% stake in Six Nations, an annual international men's rugby union competition between the teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales, for $509m.
"The CVC Fund VII investment into Six Nations Rugby will be paid to the six unions over a period of five years, reflecting the long-term nature of the partnership. This capital investment, combined with the expected growth of the tournaments, will help the unions to support the development of rugby at all levels in their respective territories over the years ahead," Six Nations.
Kempen European Private Equity Fund, a closed-end investment fund, agreed to acquire GSRI, a supplier of testing, inspection, and engineering services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"GSRI has a solid client base consisting of water supply companies, municipalities, (semi)government institutions, and utility companies. Yet another important group of clients are concessionaires, such as electricity companies, airports, railway companies, motorways, and toll road operators. In many European countries, the infrastructure is obsolete, presenting interesting opportunities for GSRI’s international growth. We see significant opportunities in granting our clients access to such a company," Bram Bikker, Kempen Director of Private Markets.
Platinum Equity launches £150m bid for Interserve-backed RMD Kwikform. (FS)
Platinum Equity, a US-based buyout firm, launches £150m ($208m) bid to acquire Interserve-backed RMD Kwikform, which provides engineering services to major infrastructure projects, Sky News reported.
A US-based buyout firm is leading a pack of bidders to snap up the construction firm from Interserve, a company engaged in the construction and provision of support services. The auction is the second time in five years that Interserve has examined the potential for a sale of the unit.
MasMovil in talks on a possible merger with Vodafone's Spanish unit. (FS)
MasMovil, a Spanish telecom operator, has started talks over a possible merger with the Spanish unit of UK-based telecom operator Vodafone.
MasMovil, which was taken over by three buyout funds including KKR last year, has set a first valuation of the Vodafone unit at $8.96bn.
BNP Paribas considers acquiring up to 100% of Exane.
BNP Paribas, a French international banking group, is looking to acquire up to 100% of Exane, an independent investment company, raising its stake from the 50% currently held.
The acquisition would further strengthen and widen the range of cash equity and derivatives services offered by BNP Paribas.
“The long-standing and effective partnership with Exane provided our clients with superior access to the equity capital markets. We look forward to further enhancing our equities franchise and most actively supporting our clients as we join forces in an ever more integrated manner,” Yann Gérardin, BNP Paribas Deputy COO and Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking.
Rallye is in exclusive talks to sell Go Sport.
Rallye Group, a supermarket company, has entered into exclusive talks to sell sports equipment unit Go Sport to French property group Financiere Immobiliere Bordelaise.
If the deal goes through, it will see Rallye sell Go Sport for a symbolic one euro, without giving any liability warranty. The sale could be completed before end-June.
Warburg Pincus-led consortium of investors led a $700m Series A funding round in JD Property, an infrastructure asset management firm. Additional investors include Hillhouse Capital, a global Asia-focused private equity firm.
“We have been deeply impressed by JD Property’s high-quality portfolio, unique capabilities and strong management team. This investment demonstrates our conviction in the tremendous growth opportunity in new economy real estate and infrastructure as well as our ongoing commitment to investing in these sectors. Given our global network and deep experience across sectors, we look forward to partnering closely with JD in the future," Ellen Ng, Warburg Pincus Managing Director and Head of China Real Estate.
SSG Capital, a Hong Kong-based asset management company, and Assets Care and Reconstruction Enterprise, an assets reconstruction company, completed the acquisition of Altico Capital, a real estate lender, for $380m.
“Our acquisition of Altico reflects Ares SSG’s strong commitment to supporting widespread efforts by policymakers, investors, and industry to alleviate the impact of non-performing assets on India’s banking and financial services sector. This investment also highlights our confidence in the prospects for India and the steps being taken to spur growth that has over the past year been held back by the global pandemic,” Shyam Maheshwari, SSG Partner.
SoftBank-Backed Grab plans US IPO via SPAC merger. (FS)
Grab Holdings is exploring going public in the US through a merger with a blank-check company as the Southeast Asian ride-hailing and delivery giant seeks to expedite its listing process, Bloomberg reported.
JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, which are already advising Grab on its IPO plans, are working with the startup to identify SPAC that it could combine with. Still, a US listing via a traditional IPO is not off the table.
Platinum Equity weighs a sale of PCI. (FS)
Platinum Equity is weighing exiting its investment in Singapore electronics manufacturing services provider PCI. Deliberations are at an early stage and Platinum Equity could decide not to proceed with the sale.
The private equity firm is working with financial advisers to gauge interest from potential buyers. A deal could value the manufacturing services provider at about $400m, Bloomberg reported.
Hydro Tasmania weighs a sale of Momentum Energy.
Hydro Tasmania, an Australian hydro-electric power utility company, is reviewing options for its mainland power retail business Momentum Energy, including a potential sale.
Divestment of the retailer would support its continued growth, while enabling the state-backed renewable energy utility to focus on its generation business. Hydro Tasmania has interviewed prospective advisers for the sale of the electricity and gas retailer.
SoftBank-backed Coupang raises $4.6bn in US IPO.
SoftBank-backed Coupang, an e-commerce company, raised $4.6bn in the biggest share offering in the United States this year after selling stocks in IPO above its deal target range. The company’s shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the symbol “CPNG.”
Coupang had priced 130m shares sold in the IPO at $35 per share, higher than the marketing range $32-$34 per share. Coupang’s successful share offering comes as the US IPO market is at its strongest in more than two decades and investors are flocking to buy shares in technology companies that have benefited during the Covid-19 pandemic, Reuters reported.
Coupang is advised by Goldman Sachs, Allen & Co, JP Morgan, and Citigroup.
Baidu to sell about 4% shares in HK listing.
Chinese search engine giant Baidu will launch its Hong Kong secondary listing on Friday and will sell around 4% of its shares, which at current price will raise at least $3bn, Reuters reported.
The deal has been ready to launch since at least Tuesday, but the New York-listed Baidu has waited for volatility in stock markets to ease, especially in tech shares, before going ahead with it. Baidu’s move is the latest in a steady march of US-listed Chinese companies which have carried out deals in the past year to list in Hong Kong.
KKR, Deutsche Bank, and Varde revive the $2.32bn IPO of Latitude Financial. (FS)
US private equity firm KKR and its partners have revived plans to list non-bank lender Latitude Financial this year at a valuation of over $2.32bn, after two failed attempts in the last three years.
The owners, who also includes Deutsche Bank and Varde Partners, signed a strategic alliance with Japan’s Shinsei Bank that values Latitude at $2.32bn. Shinsei, a Tokyo-based lender would buy 10% of Latitude for $231m.
Monde Nissin mulls a billion-dollar IPO.
Food maker Monde Nissin is aiming to list its shares in the first half of this year, in the Philippines’ first billion-dollar IPO. The company plans to use the IPO proceeds for purposes including loan repayment and general corporate use.
Monde Nissin filed for an initial public offering that could raise up to $1.3bn at the top end of an indicative price range, kicking off what is expected to be a record year of fundraising for local firms.
Monde Nissin is advised by UBS, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, BDO, BPI Capital, and First Metro.
Warburg Pincus-backed Kalyan Jewellers to raise $161m through an IPO. (FS)
Warburg Pincus-backed Kalyan Jewellers India will start an initial share sale next week in a bid to raise as much as $161m - largest among Indian jewelers - as the Indian economy recovers from the pandemic-induced recession.
The Kerala-based jewelry maker plans to sell shares worth $161m between March 16 and March 18. Existing shareholders, including founder T.S. Kalyanaraman and Warburg Pincus, will offer shares at about $1.18 to $1.19 apiece. The stock is expected to start trading on exchanges from March 26.
Kalyan Jewellers is advised Citigroup, Axis Capital, ICICI Securities, SBI Capital, and BOB Capital.
SIP Global Partners raises $75m first close of its $150m debut VC fund. (FS)
SIP Global Partners, a US-Japan headquartered VC firm, today announced the first close of $75m of commitments for its debut fund, targeting $150m in total commitments.
SIP invests in breakout early-stage US technology companies and supports their expansion across Asia. To date, SIP has made five investments for its debut fund.
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