Mill Rock Capital, a growth and operations oriented private investment firm, and Intermediate Capital Group, a global alternative asset manager, completed the investment in The Execu|Search Group, a full-service recruitment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is an exciting development for TESG's clients and dedicated team members. We are eager to build upon our strong momentum and continue to grow as a leading specialty staffing firm. This transaction will facilitate the achievement of our growth objectives, continued geographic expansion and enhancement of our service capabilities with new and existing clients," Larry Dolinko and Kyle Mattice, TESG Chief Executive Officer and President.
TESG was advised by Citrin Cooperman, Houlihan Lokey, Kelley Drye & Warren, Latham & Watkins and Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman. Mill Rock was advised by Credit Suisse, Houlihan Lokey, William Blair & Co, Covington & Burling and Lambert & Co. ICG was advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges.
Vista Equity Partners completed the acquisition of Pluralsight, a technology workforce development company, from Insight Partners for $3.9bn.
“We are excited about the completion of this transaction and look forward to leveraging Vista’s resources and financial strength to continue to innovate across our product portfolio and deliver solutions that help companies strengthen technology skills, become more agile, and achieve their goals,” Aaron Skonnard, Pluralsight Co-Founder and CEO.
Pluralsight was advised by Qatalyst Partners, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Joele Frank. Qatalyst Partners was advised by Morrison & Foerster. Vista Equity was advised by Morgan Stanley, Kirkland & Ellis and Laurel Strategies. Insight Partners was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Sarcos Robotics, a developer of robotics and microelectromechanical systems, agreed to go public via SPAC merger with Rotor Acquisition in a $1.3bn deal. Upon closing, the combined company's common stock is expected to trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol STRC. The transaction is sponsored by BlackRock, Millennium Management, Palantir Technologies, Caterpillar Ventures, Schlumberger, Michael F. Price, JAWS Estates Capital and the management of Sarcos and Rotor.
"Our transaction with Rotor accelerates our access to resources that will facilitate our broad product launch and enable us to execute potential bolt-on acquisitions to fortify our platform and enhance our capabilities. Rotor brings significant experience in the industrial and consumer sectors and a shared vision for the future of robotics and the workforce," Ben Wolff, Sarcos Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Sarcos Robotics is advised by Jefferies & Company, PJT Partners, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Joele Frank. Rotor is advised by Credit Suisse, Houlihan Lokey, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Milbank.
Elbit Systems, a defense electronics company, completed the acquisition of Sparton, a provider of design, development and manufacturing services for complex electromechanical devices, from Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, for $380m.
"The growing importance of the maritime arena and the market position and technological strength of Sparton make this acquisition significant to our long-term growth strategy, with a particular focus on the US. We believe that the completion of this acquisition will be beneficial for both Elbit Systems' and Sparton's employees and customers," Bezhalel Machlis, Elbit Systems President & CEO.
Sparton was advised by Evercore, Moelis & Co and Kirkland & Ellis. Elbit Systems was advised by Covington & Burling and GK Investor.
HIG Capital completed the acquisition of SMTC, a global electronics manufacturing services provider, from Red Oak, a provider of joint venture financing and investment solutions, for $170m.
“This investment provides SMTC Corporation with a long-term partner with an extensive track record of supporting its portfolio companies with operational expertise, technology, financial management and M&A experience. Together, we believe we can capitalize on strategic growth opportunities, while continuing to meet the needs of our customers by delivering high-quality, innovative solutions and services,” Edward Smith, SMTC President and Chief Executive Officer.
SMTC was advised by Lincoln International, Perkins Coie and Darrow Associates. HIG Capital was advised by Guggenheim Partners and Ropes & Gray.
Apax Partners, a private equity firm, completed a $400m investment in Verint, a provider of analytic solutions.
The investment was made in the form of convertible preferred stock in two tranches of $200m each. Apax now holds securities that are convertible into approximately 12.5% of Verint's shares.
"Apax Partners has a proven track record of creating value by partnering with leading software companies around the world, including significant experience in both carve-outs and cloud transitions. The investment represents a strong vote of confidence in our strategy and future growth opportunities," Dan Bodner, Verint CEO.
Verint was advised by Jefferies & Company and Jones Day. Apax Partners was advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Kekst CNC.
Graham Holdings, a diversified American conglomerate holding company, agreed to acquire Leaf Group, an American content company, from $323m.
"Together, we look forward to continuing to build on the strong momentum Leaf Group generated over the past year, with the additional resources and expertise of Graham Holdings helping us further grow the reach of our young brands and innovate for our customers, creators and audiences,” Sean Moriarty, Leaf Group CEO.
Leaf Group is advised by Canaccord Genuity, Moorgate Securities and Goodwin Procter. Graham Holdings is advised by Covington & Burling.
Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based investment firm, agreed to acquire Comlinkdata, a provider of cloud-based data and insights for the telecommunications industry, from Alpine Investors, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Comlinkdata's mission is to drive the telecommunications industry forward by generating unique customer-centric insights that enable clients to make faster, smarter data-driven decisions. We look forward to working with our new partners at Berkshire to expand our platform and continue our strong growth," Dave Isenberg, Comlinkdata CEO.
Comlinkdata is advised by Raymond James and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Berkshire Partners is advised by Covington & Burling and Ropes & Gray.
SoftBank is set to invest $1.2bn in Invitae, a medical genetics company. Besides SoftBank, a small group of investors will participate. Under the terms of the investment, the participating investors will purchase a total aggregate principal amount of $1.2bn in Convertible Senior Notes due 2028.
"Invitae has a definitive head start in the rapidly expanding market for clinical genetic sequencing. Their comprehensive diagnostic products are well positioned to further grow the global understanding of how genomics predispose populations for certain diseases. These datasets will inform treatment and dramatically improve patient outcomes," Akshay Naheta, SB Management CEO.
Invitae is advised by J Wood Capital Advisors and Perella Weinberg Partners. SoftBank is advised by JP Morgan.
Carlson Capital, an alternative asset management firm, offered to acquire the loan and royalty assets from SWK Holdings, a specialized finance company, for $193m.
The Special Committee of the SWK's Board of Directors, in consultation with its advisors, will carefully review and consider Carlson's proposal and pursue the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of the company's stockholders.
SWK Holdings is advised by JMP Securities and Shearman & Sterling.
SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust, a UK-listed investment company that invests exclusively in the energy efficiency sector, agreed to acquire RED-Rochester, a district energy systems provider, from Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm, for $177m.
"SEEIT is acquiring an operational and established district energy system that provides a range of essential and efficient energy services and utilities to a diversified customer base on one of the largest business parks in the United States of America. We expect the project to make positive contributions to SEEIT's earnings and cash flow. At the same time, the project offers the potential for growth over the medium to long term through the addition of new customers and the implementation of accretive energy efficiency measures," Jonathan Maxwell, SEEIT CEO and Founder.
SEEIT is advised by Jefferies & Company and TB Cardew.
Velocity Global, a provider of global expansion solutions, completed the acquisition of iWorkGlobal, a global contingent workforce management and expansion solutions provider, from Gary D. Nelson and Associates, a recruiting services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This strategic acquisition combines scale and expertise in a single platform for companies to employ top talent in another state or another country, quickly and compliantly. We welcome the iWorkGlobal team, its clients, supported employees, and partners to the Velocity Global family at an inflection point for companies as we exit a pandemic that fundamentally removed the worker from the workplace,” Ben Wright, Velocity Global Founder and CEO.
Two investment firms Fidelity Management & Research and T. Rowe Price Group led a $150m Series E financing round in Inscripta, a life science technology company, with participation from D1 Capital Partners and Durable Capital Partners, as well as existing investors Foresite Capital, Counterpoint Global - Morgan Stanley and JS Capital.
“In addition to our excitement about the Onyx platform, we see further future potential with our innovation, which is captured by our IP portfolio of nearly 100 issued US patents. To this end, we are fortunate to have the support of some of the world’s most notable investors who share our enthusiasm for the long-term opportunity to build transformative technology and an impactful organization,” Sri Kosaraju, Inscripta President and CEO.
FFL Partners, a firm focused on growth investments in middle-market companies, completed a $100m investment in Velocity Global, a provider of global expansion solutions.
“We have all seen the nature of work evolve drastically over the past 12 months, and we are very excited to make this investment in Velocity Global, a pioneer in this space fast-tracking the future of work. Velocity Global achieved a 400% organic growth rate over the past three years while maintaining disciplined financials and delivering an exceptional customer experience. We are confident FFL’s deep business services experience can help accelerate this remarkable success,” Cas Schneller, FFL Managing Partner.
Heidrick & Struggles, an international executive search firm, completed the acquisition of Business Talent Group, a marketplace for high-end independent talent on demand. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Heidrick & Struggles was a forerunner of the executive search industry when the firm was founded more than 65 years ago. The seismic changes over the past year have accelerated the future of work and underscored the importance of agile leaders and workforces. We are excited to be the first global leadership advisory firm to enter the on-demand, independent talent space and partner with BTG," Krishnan Rajagopalan, Heidrick & Struggles President and CEO.
Heidrick & Struggles was advised by NK Communications.
Sorrento Therapeutics, a clinical stage, antibody-centric, biopharmaceutical company, agreed to merge with ACEA Therapeutics, a clinical-stage, fully-integrated, pharmaceutical company, in a $488m deal. ACEA’s equity holders will receive up to an aggregate of $38m in shares of Sorrento common stock. Sorrento will also pay the ACEA equity holders up to $450m in additional payments, subject to the receipt of certain regulatory approvals and achievement of certain net sales targets.
“The ACEA acquisition will bring us a step closer to developing into a major biopharmaceutical company and we look forward to welcoming the ACEA team into the Sorrento family,” Henry Ji, Sorrento Therapeutics Chairman and CEO.
ViacomCBS Networks International, an international division of ViacomCBS, agreed to acquire Chilevision, a television network, from WarnerMedia, a multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Latin America is one of the world's fastest-growing streaming markets, and Chilevisión will be a key driver of our accelerated streaming strategy in the region. Chilevisión is an extraordinary addition to our existing business in Latin America and will fortify ViacomCBS's position as a premier Spanish language content producer," Raffaele Annecchino, ViacomCBS Networks International President and CEO.
Kelly Services, an American office staffing company, completed the acquisition of Softworld, a direct hire and contract recruitment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Through the acquisition of Softworld, Kelly adds to its portfolio a business with a consistent track record of growth whose deep expertise in technology complements the company’s focus on fast-growing, high-margin specialties. Softworld's high-performance culture, underpinned by a talent-first mindset and an unwavering commitment to client satisfaction, make it a natural fit within Kelly,” Peter Quigley, Kelly President and CEO.
Enjoy Technology in talks to go public via SPAC. (FS)
Enjoy Technology, a startup that provides an e-commerce platform, is in talks to go public via a merger with Marquee Raine Acquisition, a SPAC, Bloomberg reported.
The special purpose acquisition company is in discussions to raise capital to support a transaction that is set to value the combined entity at about $1.6bn.
Marquee Raine Acquisition, backed by Raine Group, raised about $374m in a December IPO. Enjoy is backed by LCH Partners, Riverwood Capital, Stamos Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Highland Capital and Oak Capital Management.
SoftBank in talks to invest in Televisa-Univision venture.
SoftBank Group is in talks to invest in content assets of a new media company created through a combination of Grupo Televisa, a Spanish-language publisher, and Univision Communications, a media company.
Televisa and Univision discuss a deal to combine some content assets of the two Spanish-language broadcasters that could be valued at about $4bn, Bloombergreported.
KKR raises $15bn for the Asia-Pacific fund. (FS)
KKR raised $15bn for its fourth Asia-Pacific focused fund, marking the region's biggest private equity fund, Reutersreported.
KKR started marketing the new Asia fund towards the end of 2019, initially targeting $12.5bn. The company received strong support from new and existing global investors, including significant representation from Asia Pacific-based investors. KKR will invest about $1.3bn in the capital alongside fund investors through the firm and its employees' commitments.
"Companies across Asia Pacific are recognizing their potential to become not only national and regional champions but also global leaders in their industries," Ashish Shastry, KKR Co-Head of Asia Pacific.
Genstar raises over $10bn for the tenth midmarket fund. (FS)
Genstar Capital, a private equity firm that is focused on investments in financial services, healthcare, industrials, and software industries, raised more than $10bn for its tenth flagship fund.
Genstar primarily focuses on mid-market companies. Its portfolio includes proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services, Bullhorn, a software vendor, and Telestream, a digital video software provider.
Genstar was advised by Evercore and Weil Gotshal and Manges.
Apollo raised $1.8bn in a lending fund. (FS)
Apollo Global, an alternative investment, noticed an increasing opportunity to make significant corporate loans, a business long dominated by the biggest global banks, Bloomberg reported.
The firm raised $1.8bn for Apollo Origination Partnership, a new direct-lending fund that's seeking an internal rate of return of 8% to 10%, excluding leverage, and 12% to 14% with borrowed money.
The first investment will be a senior secured term loan facility to an insurance-broking platform based in the UK.
Ares Management closes oversubscribed third fund at $1.7bn. (FS)
Ares Management, a global alternative investment manager, announced the final closing of its Ares US Real Estate Opportunity Fund III. The Fund will be focused on distressed, repositioning, and selective development opportunities and was oversubscribed with approximately $1.7bn of commitments compared to its $1.5bn target.
“We are very pleased with the strong support from both new and existing investors in this fund series. Our investors recognize the importance of being aligned with a cycle-tested team that can effectively capitalize on the current market opportunity," Bill Benjamin, Ares Partner and Head of Real Estate.
CDPQ-backed Allied Universal, a provider of security products and services, agreed to acquire G4S, a British multinational security services company, for $5.3bn. This acquisition is now able to complete as Allied Universal has satisfied or waived all of the required offer conditions, including the required antitrust and regulatory approvals.
"This is truly a very significant moment in Allied Universal's history. Our vision is not only to be the best security company but to be the best corporate services partner in a world of evolving risk. I look forward to working with Ashley Almanza and G4S's senior management team through the integration process with the goal of establishing a global leader, equipped to lead the industry through the next phase of its development. Together, we will deliver the highest value proposition to customers in the security industry," Steve Jones, Allied Universal Chairman & CEO.
G4S is advised by Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Lazard, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters and Brunswick Group. Allied Universal is advised by Credit Suisse, Moelis & Co, Morgan Stanley, AZB & Partners, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Kirkland & Ellis, Sullivan & Cromwell and Teneo.
SK Capital Partners, a private investment firm, completed the acquisition of Ipackchem, a producer and distributor of plastic packaging products, from Sagard, a French private investment firm, for $138m.
"The transaction is a testament to SK’s ability to leverage our global platform to identify leading materials technologies businesses with immense commercial applications. We believe IPACKCHEM is a highly differentiated and sustainability-advantaged business with significant growth potential. We’ve been tremendously impressed by Jean-Philippe and the entire IPACKCHEM management team and we are excited to partner with them to execute our shared strategic objectives,” Stephen D’Incelli, SK Capital Managing Director.
Sagard was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, ERM Group, Natixis Partners, Mayer Brown and Publicis Consultants. SK Capital was advised by Rothschild & Co, Gide Loyrette Nouel, Kirkland & Ellis and BackBay Communications. Debt financing was provided by Alcentra.
Kelso, an American private equity firm, agreed to acquire Ferraro Foods, a specialty foodservice distributor, from Kainos Capital, a food and consumer-focused private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our interest in Ferraro Foods was driven by our thematic-based approach to investing in the food industry and our experience partnering with founder owned businesses. We believed Ferraro Foods could play a unique role as the consolidator in the highly fragmented Italian specialty distribution segment along the eastern seaboard and Michael, with the Ferraro management team that we helped assemble around him, executed brilliantly. We and the team sourced and integrated seven proprietary add-ons of other founder-owned specialty distributors which resulted in exceptional growth during our investment," Andrew Rosen, Kainos Managing Partner.
Ferraro Foods is advised by Piper Sandler, Wells Fargo Securities and Winston & Strawn. Kainos is advised by Kekst CNC.
SoftBank agreed to acquire a 40% stake in AutoStore, a global robotics and software company, from Thomas H. Lee Partners, an American private equity firm, and EQT, a global investment firm, for $2.8bn. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed this month, in April 2021.
"We are delighted for SoftBank to join the AutoStore team as we continue on our journey to automate all commerce and deliver best-in-class automation solutions to our customers. Our world-class investor group brings exceptional experience from multiple geographies, and we are thrilled to have SoftBank's leadership and support on a global scale, but particularly with our vision for growth in Asia-Pacific," Karl Johan Lier, AutoStore President & CEO.
AutoStore is advised by Brunswick Group.
Dolce & Gabbana denies talks with Kering over a possible merger.
Dolce & Gabbana, an Italian luxury fashion house, is not in talks with Kering, a French luxury group, over a possible tie-up, Reuters reported.
“I can absolutely deny it,” Alfonso Dolce, Dolce & Gabbana CEO. He added that the brand needed to focus on internal growth, brand positioning, and the development of new product categories but did not rule out the possibility of being part of a broader Italian project putting together several Italian brands.
Air France-KLM receives $4.7bn aid in first step for survival.
Air France-KLM, a company offering air transportation services, will receive as much as $4.7bn from a French rescue plan that may not be enough to see the embattled carrier through the still-raging pandemic, Bloomberg reported.
The package will see the French government reemerge as the biggest shareholder with a stake of 30%. The plan aims to give the carrier some breathing room as it confronts one of the worst crises of the airline industry. The French plan is aimed at easing the carrier's heavy debt load. France will convert its $3.5bn direct loan into hybrid instruments.
SABIC picks HSBC, Morgan Stanley for specialty unit IPO.
Saudi Basic Industries, a Saudi Arabian multinational chemical manufacturing company, has selected HSBC and Morgan Stanley to work on the planned IPO of its specialty chemicals business, Reuters reported.
SABIC hired NCB Capital, a Saudi investment bank, earlier this year to work on the public share sale, raising several hundred million dollars.
Turkcell seeks banks for the internet service unit's IPO.
Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri, a mobile operator in Turkey, has approached several investment banks for an advisory role on a possible share sale at its internet service unit, Bloomberg reported.
Turkcell has begun reaching out to local and international banks to gauge their interest in managing Superonline Iletisim Hizmetleri's IPO. Turkcell may delay the IPO if investor demand is deemed insufficient.
Cleanaway, an Australian waste management company, agreed to acquire the Australian recycling and recovery business from SUEZ, a French multinational electric utility company, for $1.93bn.
Until April 21, 2021, it is possible for any third party to submit a superior offer on the recycling and recovery business in Australia.
"Suez's Australian recycling and recovery business has a high-quality network of assets across Australia that will accelerate the implementation of our Footprint 2025 strategy. The acquisition will deliver superior scale and increased operating leverage. We look forward to more than 2k of Suez's Australian employees joining the Cleanaway team in due course," Mark Chellew, Cleanaway Executive Chairman.
Cleanaway is advised by Greenhill & Co, Macquarie Group and Gilbert + Tobin.
SK Group, a conglomerate in South Korea, agreed to acquire a 16.3% stake in VinCommerce, a retail company, for $410m.
"VinCommerce has succeeded in strengthening its sales network and improving sales efficiency through customer-centered management. SK's investment will be the starting point for VinCommercer to take another leap forward in the Vietnamese market," Truong Cong Thang, VinCommerce CEO.
A consortium of investors consisting of Falcon Edge Capital, Amansa Capital, Think Investments, Carmignac and Goldman Sachs lead an $800m Series J funding round in Swiggy, a foodtech startup, valuing the company at $4.9bn.
Existing investors Accel and Prosus will also take part in the fundraising round. Sovereign wealth funds GIC and Qatar Investment Authority are also expected to join the ongoing round at a later stage.
DST Global and Coatue Management, two private equity firms, led a $700m Series D funding round in Dingdong Maicai, a fresh vegetable e-commerce platform. The round was joined by existing shareholders, including Tiger Global Management, General Atlantic, CMC Capital Group, Capital Today, Sequoia Capital, Ocean Link and Hony Capital. New shareholders include Aspex Management, 3W Fund Management, Mass Ave Global, APlus Partners and Cygnus Equity.
The proceeds of the funding round will be used for market expansion, supply chain development and team building.
Falcon Edge and Coatue Management, two investment firms, led a $215m Series D funding round in CRED, a fintech startup, valuing the company at $2.2bn. The round was joined by Insight Partners, DST Global, RTP Global, Tiger Global, Greenoaks Capital, Dragoneer Investment Group and Sofina.
The proceeds from the funding round will be used for to scale its existing line of products, which it launched last year.
JS Capital Management, Soros Fund Management, Tybourne Capital Management and Wellington Management, four investment firms, led a $120m Series D funding round in Paidy, a "buy now, pay later" service provider.
"Having the support of a powerful lineup including our existing shareholder JS Capital and Soros Capital of the United States and Tybourne of Hong Kong, and Wellington Management, makes me feel very encouraged about the future growth potential of a born-in-Japan startup that offers new values to the world. We intend to continue expanding our horizons and raising our sights. As our payment volume increases and '3-Pay' is used by more and more customers, we are strengthening our financial base to secure our growth trajectory as a trusted brand and reliable business partner for our merchants," Russell Cummer, Paidy Founder and Executive Chairman.
AirAsia plans $300m funding round for AirAsia Digital. (FS)
AirAsia Group, a Malaysia-based investment holding company, plans to raise as much as $300m to expand its digital business arm AirAsia Digital, Bloomberg reported.
The company is in talks with prospective investors for what would be the first financing round for its digital arm and is working with at least one adviser on the potential deal. The fundraising would involve the issuance of new shares in the digital unit.
Walmart-backed Flipkart prepares for IPO in Q4.
Walmart-backed Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce company, is making progress towards an IPO as soon as the fourth quarter of this year, Bloomberg reported.
Flipkart had explored going public via SPAC to speed up the listing process. However, that route is not under consideration now. The company could be valued at $35bn.
JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are in discussions with the company about advising on the deal and are frontrunners to be formally selected, they added.
Flipkart is advised by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
Nirma and Kotak Investment-backed Nuvoco considers $800m IPO. (FS)
Nirma and Kotak Investment-backed Nuvoco Vistas, an Indian cement manufacturer, plans to file a draft prospectus as soon as this month for an $800m IPO, Bloomberg reported.
The company will sell new shares as well as secondary shares from shareholders.
Shriram Properties to file draft papers for $100m IPO. (FS)
Shriram Properties, an Indian realty developer, plans to file a draft prospectus in the next few weeks for a $100m IPO, DealStreetAsia reported.
The company plans to use the proceeds of the share sale to retire a part of its debt and offer partial exits to existing investors Walton Street Capital, Starwood Capital, Tata Capital, and TPG Capital.
Long Hill Capital closes third fund with over $300m commitments. (FS)
Long Hill Capital, a Chinese venture capital firm, successfully completed the three-phase fund's final raising with $300m commitments. Investors in the Changling Phase III Fund include many world-renowned retirement funds, endowments, foundations, financial institutions, family offices, and funds of funds, DealStreetAsia reported.
The fund will invest extensively in the areas of health and aging, focusing on early and growth investment opportunities.
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