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Britain will block Microsoft's $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard over its concerns it would hinder competition in cloud gaming, dealing an unexpected blow to the biggest-ever deal in gaming.
The country's antitrust regulator said that Microsoft's commitment to offer access to Activision's multi-billion dollar "Call of Duty" franchise to leading cloud gaming platforms would not effectively remedy its concerns. Microsoft's president Brad Smith said in a statement the company remained fully committed to the acquisition and would appeal the decision, while Activision said it would "work aggressively" with Microsoft to reverse it, Reuters
Activision Blizzard is advised by Allen & Company, Morgan Stanley, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by Kenton King
), Brunswick Group (led by Jonathan Doorley
) and FGS Global (led by Paul Verbinnen
). Financial advisors are advised by White & Case (led by Denise Cerasani
). Microsoft is advised by Goldman Sachs (led by Sam Britton
), Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, Sidley Austin, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (led by Alan Klein
and Anthony Vernace
), Weil Gotshal and Manges and Assembly Media.
F-Secure, a provider of consumer security products and services, agreed to acquire the consumer mobile security business of Lookout, an endpoint-to-cloud security company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"In today's complex cybersecurity landscape, consumers want consolidated solutions that secure every aspect of their digital lives in a seamless experience. Early discussions with F-Secure led both parties to the realization that we'd be better together. The combination creates a holistic, integrated consumer experience while building on a shared partner-centric go-to-market model. The impact on customers is a genuine example of when one plus one equals three," Jim Dolce, Lookout CEO.
F-Secure is advised by Carnegie Investment Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers and White & Case. Lookout is advised by Jefferies & Company and WilmerHale.
Atlas, a global asset management company, agreed to acquire US Farathane, a manufacturer and supplier of functional black plastic, from The Gores Group, a global investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"USF has built a strong reputation as a leading automotive supplier and we are looking forward to working alongside Andy Greenlee and his highly capable team to support the next phase of USF's growth and development," Jacob Hudson, Atlas Managing Partner.
US Farathane is advised by Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. Atlas is advised by Houlihan Lokey and Shearman & Sterling (led by Christopher Zochowski
and Nathan Meredith
). The Gores Group is advised by FGS Global.
Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange which is the largest exchange in the world in terms of daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies, terminated the acquisition a $1bn acquisition of the crypto assets and customer deposits of Voyager Digital, a cryptocurrency brokerage.
"The hostile and uncertain regulatory climate in the United States has introduced an unpredictable operating environment impacting the entire American business community. We are focused on creating a safe platform where our customers can participate in the digital asset economy," Binance.
TPG Rise Climate, the dedicated climate investing strategy of TPG, led a $250m Series C funding round in Ohmium, a green hydrogen company, with participation from Hanover Technology Investment Management, Energy Transition Ventures and Fenice Investment Group.
"Ohmium's cutting-edge PEM electrolyzer systems are crucial to enabling the green hydrogen industry, satisfying a wide range of commercial applications and delivering superior value in terms of current density, scalability, ramp rate, and safety. At a time when the market lacks sufficient reliable supply of electrolyzers, we are pleased to lead the company's latest funding round and partner with the team to scale its delivery capability," Ed Beckley, TPG Partner.
Ohmium was advised by Bank of America, Barclays and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. TPG was advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Great Hill Partners, a growth-oriented private equity firm, completed the investment in Fusion Risk Management, a provider of cloud-based operational resilience, business continuity, and risk management software and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Fusion is a clear leader in the risk management space, driving unparalleled value for its customers by providing them with the comprehensive tools they need to become more aware, prepared, and resilient. The company fits the exact profile of the type of business we aim to invest in: high-growth companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Leveraging our significant software and growth-investment experience, Fusion has tremendous potential to capitalize on opportunities ahead amid significant compliance and regulatory tailwinds and to continue deepening its strong, longstanding customer relationships. We're excited to partner with Michael, the entire management team, and Vista to strengthen Fusion's position at the forefront of operational resilience and risk management software," Chris Busby, Great Hill Managing Director.
Fusion was advised by William Blair & Co and Kirkland & Ellis. Great Hill was advised by FGS Global (led by Zachary Tramonti
ARCH Venture Partners, a venture capital firm, led a $270m Series A funding round in Orbital Therapeutics, a company focused on enhancing global health by unleashing the full potential of RNA medicines to treat human disease, with participation from a16z Bio + Health and Newpath Partners, and new investors Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, Redmile Group, Exor, Invus, Moore Strategic Ventures, iGlobe Platinum Fund Group, Casdin Capital, Agent Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Rellim Capital Management, Heritage Medical Systems.
"Few companies can possess the know-how, technology and biologic insights to deliver on the full breadth of opportunity that RNA medicines could provide for patients. Orbital was founded and has been built to be that special company. We are pleased to partner with Orbital's team of industry leaders and visionaries in drug development to help them achieve a bold mission of bringing forward the next generation of RNA-based medicines," Kristina Burow, ARCH Venture Partners Managing Partner.
American Pacific Group, a private equity fund, completed the investment in XLR8, an electronic assembly solution provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Jason and the XLR8 team are partners to some of the world's leading and emerging aerospace and defense, medical, consumer and industrial companies for a reason. The team has a proven track-record for executing a differentiated business model, and we see a compelling opportunity to bring XLR8 and Concisys together, and to leverage our value creation framework, the "Q Process," to further catalyze XLR8's trajectorym," Fraser Preston, APG Managing Partner.
APG was advised by Jones Day (led by Joseph Hatina
) and brands2life.
JLL Income Property Trust, an institutionally managed daily NAV REIT, completed the acquisition of Louisville Logistics Center, an industrial property strategically located in the top-tier industrial submarket of South Louisville, for $82m.
"Louisville's central geographic location, irreplaceable transportation infrastructure, and strong interstate highway access make it a desirable and strategic location for both regional and national logistic. The property's new construction, significant improvements by the tenant, and a 10-year lease to an investment-grade Fortune 100 company, make this an attractive addition to our carefully constructed warehouse portfolio. Further, pricing on this quality of property is nearly 150 basis points improved over market pricing eighteen months ago. For investors like us with access to capital, these market conditions should present some exceptional investing opportunities," Allan Swaringen, JLL Income Property Trust President and CEO.
JLL was advised by Dukas Linden Public Relations.
Granite, a diversified construction and construction materials company, completed the acquisition of Coast Mountain Resources, a quarry and barge loading facility. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Supporting and strengthening our vertically integrated home markets, which we have done through the acquisition of CMR and the previously announced acquisition of Brunswick Canyon in Nevada, is at the core of our strategic plan. We’re happy to have CMR in our portfolio and we will continue to be opportunistic in future investments to support the growth of our home markets," Kyle Larkin, Granite President and CEO.
Granite was advised by Shearman & Sterling.
Graybar, a distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products, agreed to acquire Valin, a distributor of automation, filtration, fluid handling, heating and process control products and systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to welcome the Valin team to Graybar. As Graybar expands its industrial automation platform, Valin's portfolio of products, solutions and technical resources complements our existing capabilities and provides a foundation for growth into new markets. We look forward to achieving long-term success, as we work together to serve our customers today and innovate for tomorrow," Kathleen M. Mazzarella, Graybar Chairman, President and CEO.
Robert Bosch, an engineering and technology company, agreed to acquire TSI Semiconductors, a semiconductor technology development and volume production company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With the acquisition of TSI Semiconductors, we are establishing manufacturing capacity for SiC chips in an important sales market while also increasing our semiconductor manufacturing, globally. The existing clean-room facilities and expert personnel in Roseville will allow us to manufacture SiC chips for electromobility on an even larger scale," Stefan Hartung, Bosch Chairman.
First Republic Bank to weigh up to $100bn in asset sales.
First Republic Bank is exploring divesting $50bn to $100bn of assets as the beleaguered lender attempts to rescue itself from the turmoil that engulfed the industry, Bloomberg
The sales, which include long-dated mortgages and securities, are aimed at reducing the mismatch between the bank’s assets and liabilities — one of the factors that has left First Republic teetering after a run on deposits in March.
TPG closes TPG Tech Adjacencies II and Related Vehicles above at $3.4bn. (FS)
TPG secured $3.4bn of equity commitments for TTAD II and related vehicles, surpassing the fund’s target and more than doubling the capital raised for the inaugural TTAD fund in 2018.
“We’re grateful for the strong support from our new and existing investors, who have shown their trust in the impact and success of our strategy, as well as our broader tech franchise. This strategy reflects the best of TPG – our thematic approach, expertise across deal types, and commitment to bringing differentiated solutions to the market that can generate unique value for our investors,” David Trujillo, TPG Co-Managing Partner.
Providence Equity Partners, a specialist private equity investment firm, increases its offer for Hyve Group, an exhibitions and conferences organizer, to £524m ($652m).
"The increased acquisition price is final and will not be further increased, except that Bidco reserves the right to increase the acquisition price and/or otherwise to improve the terms of the acquisition if there is an announcement on or after the date of this announcement of an offer or a possible offer for Hyve by a third party offeror or potential offeror," Providence Equity Partners.
Teleperformance, a digital business services provider, offered to acquire Majorel, an international service company, specializing in customer experience and business process outsourcing services, for €3bn ($3.3bn).
"Becoming part of the TP family is the next natural step in our journey. These are exciting prospects for our clients and team members to join forces with the Teleperformance team that has paved the way in global digital services in the last four decades. We share the same core values and believe that this new combination will provide many opportunities for all stakeholders," Thomas Mackenbrock, Majorel CEO.
Teleperformance is advised by BNP Paribas, Berenberg, Credit Agricole, Societe Generale, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek (led by Gaby Smeenk
), Elvinger Hoss Prussen, Ginestie Magellan Paley-Vincent, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, Sullivan & Cromwell, White & Case and Image Sept.
Carrier, a multinational heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, refrigeration, and fire and security equipment corporation, agreed to acquire Viessmann Climate Solutions from Viessmann, a manufacturer of heating and refrigeration systems, for €12bn ($13bn).
"Our purpose is to create living spaces for generations to come. Carrier's global reach, broad product portfolio, financial strength and shared commitment to sustainability will enable our Climate Solutions business to fully capitalize on our innovative, integrated solution offering and maximize our impact on Europe's independent energy transition. Following the closing of the transaction, the Viessmann Group will remain committed as a significant, long-term shareowner of Carrier, reflecting our family's high confidence in the superior value to be created by this combination. Joining Carrier's Board of Directors will enable me to work directly with Dave, my fellow directors and the Carrier team to realize the substantial potential of the combination of two iconic and market-leading companies," Max Viessmann, Viessmann CEO.
Carrier is advised by JP Morgan, Linklaters and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Viessmann is advised by Goldman Sachs, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Hengeler Mueller.
OpSec, a provider of anti-counterfeiting technology service, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Investcorp Europe Acquisition I, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $426m deal.
"OpSec Group was founded with the mission to become a leader in brand protection and enhancement. Our aim is to bring innovation to the way in which enterprises create and safeguard the significant intangible value that is embodied in their brands and products. With the global value of counterfeiting and piracy estimated at $2.8tn in 2022, the threat posed by the imitators, content pirates, and fraudsters is profound, and looks set to increase further given continued growth in e-commerce, online content, and social media. Creating, nurturing, and protecting intellectual property and brand identities in this environment has unquestionably become one of the defining priorities for leading enterprises. We are thrilled to partner with Investcorp Europe to expand our presence in this arena and take advantage of the growth opportunity ahead," Selva Selvaratnam, OpSec CEO.
OpSec is advised by Proskauer Rose and ICR (led by Ryan Flanagan
). Investcorp Europe is advised by Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Shearman & Sterling. Financial advisors are advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Apollo, a global private equity firm, agreed to acquire a 30% stake in the Südewo portfolio of Vonovia, a European multinational real estate company, for €1bn ($1.1bn).
"We are pleased to provide a long-term, cost effective capital solution to one of Europe's leading real estate companies. This transaction will help Vonovia execute on its strategy through a highly attractive investment. At Apollo, we continue to demonstrate how we can serve as a solutions provider to investment grade issuers and provide attractive risk-adjusted investment opportunities to our affiliated and third-party insurance clients, funds and other institutional clients," Jamshid Ehsani, Apollo Partner.
Apollo is advised by Latham & Watkins and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Vonovia is advised by JP Morgan and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
True Green Capital Management, a private equity firm, completed an investment in Faradae, a solar energy company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Faradae shares our fundamental belief that distributed solar generation is the most attractive segment of our industry. Our collaboration paves the way for our rapid development in the distributed solar market in France," Panos Ninios, TGC Managing Partner and Co-Founder.
Faradae was advised by Edwards & Praly. TGC was advised by Jones Day.
Columbus McKinnon, a designer, manufacturer and marketer of intelligent motion solutions for material handling, agreed to acquire montratec, an automation solutions company, for $110m.
"montratec is an ideal complement to our precision conveyance platform adding asynchronous technology for material transport solutions that accelerates our growth in very attractive markets with strong secular tailwinds. montratec's solutions are at the heart of process automation in manufacturing, enhancing our precision conveying platform. Their technology advances our intelligent motion offering, expands market access and increases our value proposition. We plan to realize significant sales synergies as we leverage their conveying technology through our existing channels in the US and their solid foundation in Europe to expand our global precision conveyance market share," David J. Wilson, Columbus McKinnon President and CEO.
Avtodom, an automotive holding in Russia, completed the acquisition of the Russian assets of Mercedes-Benz, a luxury and commercial vehicle automotive brand. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to announce the completion of the acquisition of the Russian assets of Mercedes-Benz. It was a long and difficult process of transferring foreign assets to a local investor. We are pleased to announce the speedy resumption of the service of Mercedes-Benz cars in Russia and the work of other companies. Now that the deal is closed, everyone is concerned about the question of what will happen to the plant. We will be able to name our technology partner and share plans to resume production soon. The preservation of employees' jobs is the most important factor for us," Andrey Olkhovsky, Avtodom General Director.
TA Associates, a global private equity firm, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Diatech Pharmacogenetics, a pharmacogenetics and cancer precision medicine diagnostics company, from Alto Partners, a multi-family office. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Diatech's comprehensive, market-leading product portfolio highlights the company's commitment to a rigorous and differentiated R&D process that consistently drives value creation. We look forward to partnering with Fabio, Oliva, and the entire management team to support Diatech's international and domestic growth journey," Lovisa Lander, TA Associates Director.
Point72 alum scores in bidding war for £2bn payments firm. (FS)
Former Point72 Asset Management trader David Rosen has emerged as one of the biggest winners from the bidding war for Middle East credit card processor Network International Holdings.
Rosen’s hedge fund Rubric Capital Management revealed in mid-March it was one of Network’s top holders with a 5% interest. News of takeover approaches came out weeks later, driving the London-listed firm’s market value up to £2.1bn ($2.6bn) as a buyout consortium backed by CVC Capital Partners started battling it out with Canadian giant Brookfield Asset Management.
Prosus’s stake in Tencent falls below 26% as selloff continues.
Prosus NV continued its selloff of Tencent Holdings, bringing its stake in the Chinese internet giant to under 26%.
The Amsterdam-listed tech investor sold 789.6k ordinary shares of Tencent, lowering its holding to 25.99%, it said in a regulatory filing. Prosus bought its own shares worth €185m ($203m) between April 17 and April 21 as part of a repurchase program, Bloomberg
Iliad and Vodafone revive talks on European asset sale.
French billionaire Xavier Niel’s Iliad has revived talks on a potential deal for some of Vodafone Group’s European operations.
A transaction involving Vodafone’s Italian business is one of several possible scenarios under discussion. The two companies restarted discussions after Niel acquired a 2.5% stake in the UK telecom giant in September, Bloomberg
PEXA Group in advanced talks to acquire Smoove.
Marketing automation platform Smoove has confirmed that it is in early-stage takeover talks with Australian-founded fintech provider PEXA Group about a possible cash offer.
The online property platform stressed that discussions with PEXA remain at an early stage and that there can be no certainty that an offer will be made for the company, nor as to the terms on which an offer may be made, Mortgage Introducer
Pexa Group is advised by Numis, Cato & Clive, MHP Communications and Automic Markets.
Burj Khalifa supplier weighs Thyssenkrupp steel deal.
Emirates Steel Arkan is pursuing a potential investment in Thyssenkrupp’s massive steel unit, with negotiations set to enter crunch time just as the German conglomerate’s incoming boss takes the reins, Bloomberg
The Abu Dhabi state-backed group is emerging as the most serious contender to buy a stake in the Thyssenkrupp business and could make a formal bid in the coming months.
Steinhoff shareholders get second chance in retailer’s bid to avoid bankruptcy.
Steinhoff International Holdings offered a fresh deal for shareholders to own 20% of the company after a backlash last month.
The latest plan has two notable differences to its initial debt-relief proposal. Creditors, who will own 80% of the company, will now receive contingent value rights instead of depositary receipts. Equity holders will have the same entitlements, which helps even out the risk, Bloomberg
Russia seizes foreign-owned utilities after EU asset moves.
Russia took control of utilities owned by Finland’s Fortum and Germany’s Uniper, the first such move from the Kremlin in retaliation for asset freezes by European countries over its invasion of Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that allows the government to introduce “temporary” state control over the assets of companies or individuals from “unfriendly” states - which include the US and its allies - in response to similar moves, or the threat of them, by those countries, Bloomberg
Stonepeak, an alternative investment firm specializing in infrastructure and real assets, and Spirit Super, an Australian industry super fund, completed the acquisition of GeelongPort, Victoria's second largest port located approximately 75km southwest of Melbourne. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Closing this transaction marks another exciting milestone in the history of GeelongPort as it continues to serve its customers and the greater community of Victoria while playing an integral role in global trade. We believe GeelongPort has access to a meaningful set of opportunities for long-term growth, and we look forward to working with the GeelongPort team as we help them realize those opportunities while continuing to invest in existing objectives and supporting continued growth in the region," Darren Keogh, Stonepeak Senior Managing Director.
Spirit Super was advised by Citadel Magnus (led by James Strong
) and Mountain Media. Stonepeak was advised by Gresham, Clayton Utz and King & Wood Mallesons.
VinFast to get $2.5bn infusion from Vingroup.
Vietnam’s richest man Pham Nhat Vuong and Vingroup will provide an additional $2.5bn into the company’s electric-car unit VinFast ahead of its planned US initial public offering, Bloomberg
Vuong, Vingroup’s founder who in 2019 said he would commit $2bn of his wealth to VinFast, will personally give $1bn to VinFast within the next year. The company will provide VinFast a loan of up to five years for $1bn. Vingroup will also give VinFast $500m. VinFast is considering launching its US IPO as soon as the second quarter this year.
“The additional $2.5bn in funding and loans will create more resources to promote and facilitate VinFast to accelerate development so that it can quickly achieve its growth goals on a global scale,” Vingroup.
Serum Institute to double investment in Biocon Biologics to $300m.
Vaccine-maker Serum Institute of India’s subsidiary Serum Institute Life Sciences and biotechnological company Biocon Biologics, a subsidiary of Biocon, have restructured their equity investment. Serum Institute will now double its investment in the company from $150m that was announced earlier in 2021 to $300m.
Biocon Biologics said that companies reached an agreement to withdraw from the original equity structure that was announced in September 2021. It said that Biocon Biologics had received National Company Law Tribunal Karnataka’s approval for the deal, but Serum was still awaiting the approval from NCLT Maharashtra to complete the merger. This would have provided Serum Institute Life Sciences an equity stake in Biocon Biologics. Biocon Biologics will have access to 100m doses of vaccines annually together with the distribution rights to Serum’s vaccine portfolio that will add to Biocon Biologics’ product portfolio for the global markets, Business Today
“The new terms will serve the objectives of both the companies, as it provides SILS an aggregated equity investment in BBL amounting to $300m and provides BBL additional product offerings for global markets,” Biocon.
Fosun drops plan to sell stake in India's Gland Pharma.
China’s Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co has withdrawn plans to sell a stake in Indian drugmaker Gland Pharma.
Fosun Pharma holds a 57.86% stake in the Indian company. Both Fosun Pharma and Gland Pharma did not immediately respond to requests for comment, DealStreetAsia
Future Fund aims to raise another $300m by Q3 to invest in VCs and startups. (FS)
The UAE’s Dubai Future Fund is on track to close an additional $300m in funding by Q3 this year to invest in the region’s VCs and startup, DealStreetAsia
The funds will be raised from Emirati government entities and government-backed corporates and represents the first out of three tranches of capital injections aimed at bringing DF2’s total assets under management to $1bn by 2024.
Hopu raises $141m so far for Mongolia-focused buyout fund. (FS)
Hopu Investment Management, a Chinese private equity firm, has so far raised about $141m for the Hopu Magnolia Fund, a buyout fund that invests across Mongolia, according to the firm’s filing with the US SEC.
The filing showed that the fund, launched in 2021 has already received commitments from at least 18 investors. SEC filings typically reflect funds raised from US investors, DealStreetAsia