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Macquarie-backed Aligned Data Centers, a technology infrastructure company offering innovative, sustainable, and adaptive scale data centers and build-to-scale solutions for global hyperscale and enterprise customers, completed the acquisition of ODATA, a data center service provider that offers scalable, reliable, and flexible IT infrastructure, from Patria Investments, an asset management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Driven largely by the needs of hyperscale companies, cloud service providers, and government customers, the demand for energy-efficient and scalable infrastructure continues its upward trajectory across Latin America. Joining forces with an incumbent data center provider whose focus on strategic scale, thoughtful innovation, and sustainable design could not be better timed," Andrew Schaap, Aligned Data Centers CEO.
Aligned Data Centers was advised by Guggenheim Partners, JP Morgan, Vinson & Elkins (led by Gabriel Silva and Eamon Nolan) and 180 Marketing Communications (led by Jennifer Handshew). Financial advisors were advised by Paul Hastings. CyrusOne was advised by CMS. SDC Capital was advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by Thomas Greenberg). Patria Investments was advised by DH Capital, Evercore, Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira (led by Antonio Baena and Dèlcia Capocasale), Pinheiro Neto, Proskauer Rose and Hill+Knowlton Strategies.
Chevron, one of the world's largest integrated energy companies, agreed to acquire PDC Energy, an independent exploration and production company, for $7.6bn.
"PDC's attractive and complementary assets strengthen Chevron's position in key US production basins. This transaction is accretive to all important financial measures and enhances Chevron's objective to safely deliver higher returns and lower carbon. We look forward to welcoming PDC's team and shareholders to Chevron and continuing both companies' focus on safe and reliable operations," Mike Wirth, Chevron Chairman and CEO.
Fortress, a global investment manager, and Mubadala, a sovereign wealth fund, agreed to acquire the remaining 90.01% stake in Fortress Investment from SoftBank, an investment holding company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Fortress is a world-leading investment manager with a proven track record of delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to its investors throughout business cycles. Over the last 20 years, they have built an incredible franchise and established themselves as a premier credit and asset investor while simultaneously growing investment strategies across a wide range of asset classes. We have a strong existing relationship with Fortress' exceptional management team, and are excited to deepen the relationship further in the years ahead based on a strong alignment of vision, while delivering even greater value to our investors," Hani Barhoush, Mubadala CEO and Managing Director.
Mizuho, a banking holding company, agreed to acquire Greenhill & Co, an independent investment bank entirely focused on providing financial advice, for $550m.
"Greenhill is a proven industry leader, and its team has led many of the largest and most complex transactions for clients globally across a wide range of sectors. Mizuho is committed to the expansion of its investment banking platform, and we are excited for the Greenhill team and brand to become a core pillar of this strategy," Jerry Rizzieri, Mizuho Securities USA President and CEO.
Allen & Overy, an international law firm, agreed to merge with Shearman & Sterling, a multinational law firm headquartered in New York City. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This combination of two great firms is such an exciting step for us. Both firms have a history of excellence, and together we think A&O Shearman will be a firm unlike any other in the world. We have listened to our clients and their requests for the highest quality advice to help navigate the demands they face, and to do so in an integrated and globally consistent way. We, A&O Shearman, will do this by accelerating our ability to bring the best of both firms, regardless of geography," Wim Dejonghe, Allen & Overy Senior Partner.
Shearman & Sterling is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell (led by William H. Aaronson and Lee Hochbaum). Allen & Overy is advised by Lazard, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Brunswick Group.
Chord Energy, an exploration and production company, agreed to acquire the Williston Basin assets of XTO Energy, an energy company, for $375m.
"The acquired assets are an excellent strategic and operational fit to Chord's premier Williston Basin acreage position. These low-cost, tier-one assets are highly competitive with our existing portfolio and further extend our inventory runway. Consolidation in the core of the basin supports longer laterals, higher capital and operating efficiencies, strong financial returns and sustainable free cash flow generation. The transaction creates significant accretion for shareholders across all metrics, while maintaining pro forma leverage below our target. I'm thankful for the hard work of all those involved in this transaction and look forward to Chord operating this asset in a manner consistent with our values: maintaining our commitment to our communities and the environment while operating in a safe and sustainable manner," Danny Brown, Chord President and CEO.
Armada Hoffler, a vertically integrated, self-managed real estate investment trust, completed the acquisition of The Interlock, a Class A mixed-use asset in Atlanta's West Midtown, for $215m.
"We are thrilled to complete this transaction, which is immediately accretive, reinforcing our core focus on prime mixed-use real estate. From the inception of the project, Georgia Tech has spearheaded the economic development of the West Midtown neighborhood and we look forward to a long-term partnership with this great institution," Louis Haddad, Armada Hoffler President and CEO.
Onfido, an automated identity verification company, completed the acquisition of Airside Mobile, a private, digital identity sharing technology provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Until now identity verification has digitized physical processes, but those processes haven't changed. We're still handing our identity over to be checked every time we access a new service. This partnership will change that — giving users control and organizations greater confidence in who their customers are. We plan to take Airside's proven approach to the airline industry and apply it to other sectors requiring high customer assurance, such as financial services — providing a single, trusted view of each customer's identity," Mike Tuchen, Onfido CEO.
PacWest to sell $2.6bn real estate loans at discount.
PacWest Bancorp, one of the US lenders engulfed in the regional banking turmoil, agreed to sell a $2.6bn portfolio of real estate construction loans amid efforts to shore up liquidity, Bloomberg reported.
Kennedy-Wilson Holdings will purchase the group of 74 loans at discounted price of about $2.4bn. The buyer will also assume all future funding obligations under the loans of about $2.7bn.
KKR names head of global private credit. (FS, People)
Global investment firm KKR has appointed Dan Pietrzak as global head of private credit. Most recently, Pietrzak served as co-head of private credit alongside Matthieu Boulanger, who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.
KKR’s private credit business includes direct lending, junior debt and asset-based-finance strategies and has grown from $8bn at the start of 2017 to $76bn today. KKR’s broader credit business manages over $200bn of assets with a global team of approximately 190 investment professionals, including 110 dedicated to private credit.
I Squared Capital appoints global CIO. (FS, People)
I Squared Capital, a global infrastructure investment manager, has appointed Gautam Bhandari, co-founder and managing partner, has been appointed as global chief investment officer, responsible for leading the firm’s investment strategy in close collaboration with founder, chairman and managing partner Sadek Wahba.
This new appointment is part of additional changes to the firm's management and governance structure, with Mohamed Adel El-Gazzar and Harsh Agrawal also being named as senior partners and members of the Executive Committee of the firm. The newly formed Executive Committee will lead the strategic development of the firm.
UBS Group's planned acquisition of Credit Suisse violates Chinese regulation.
If Swiss financial giant UBS Group's planned acquisition of collapsed bank Credit Suisse were completed today, the combined company would be in violation of Chinese regulations governing the ownership of securities firms, DealStreetAsia reported.
The situation, along with a similar potential violation involving a UBS application to set up a wholly-owned mutual fund manager, will likely force the two banks to recalibrate their plans to expand their presence in China's securities and mutual fund industries before the expected completion of the acquisition later this year.
Credit Suisse is advised by Centerview Partners (led by Blair Effron), Rothschild & Co (led by Cyril de Mont-Marin), Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (led by David Lopez), Homburger (led by Claude Lambert, Benjamin Leisinger and Daniel Daeniker), Sullivan & Cromwell (led by Mitchell S. Eitel) and Community Group (led by Auro Palomba). UBS is advised by JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Bar & Karrer (led by Rolf Watter), Davis Polk & Wardwell (led by Evan Rosen, Luigi L. De Ghenghi and Marc O. Williams), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (led by Michael Raffan and Jennifer Bethlehem) and Community Group (led by Marco Rubino).
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, a GI-focused healthcare company, agreed to acquire VectivBio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering novel, transformational treatments for severe rare gastrointestinal conditions, for $1bn.
"The acquisition of VectivBio, including its compelling asset, apraglutide, is an ideal strategic fit with Ironwood. With the success of our blockbuster product, LINZESS, we have built a strong GI commercial function, healthy cash flow generation, and meaningful EBITDA. We are confident that with our GI expertise, commercial capabilities, and robust balance sheet, we are well-positioned to continue developing apraglutide, with the goal of getting it into the hands of the patients who need it the most and potentially generate significant and sustainable value for shareholders," Tom McCourt, Ironwood CEO.
VectivBio is advised by Bank of America, Centerview Partners, Cooley and Homburger (led by Andreas Müller). Ironwood is advised by Citigroup, JP Morgan, RBC Capital Markets, Wells Fargo Securities, Advestra and Latham & Watkins. Debt financing is provided by Citigroup, Citizens M&A, JP Morgan, RBC Capital Markets and Wells Fargo Securities.
Bridgepoint, a British private investment company, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Windar Renovables, a global manufacturer of towers and foundations for onshore and offshore wind turbines. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Bridgepoint has followed Windar Renovables' outstanding journey closely over the last five years and we are delighted to partner with Orlando Alonso and his exceptional team. Windar is a company that is at the forefront of renewable energy development, with a leading position in the manufacture of wind towers and foundations, and ideally positioned for the increasing demand for wind energy, both offshore and onshore. We are very pleased to support the company in its next expansion phase," Héctor Pérez, Bridgepoint Partner.
Windar Renovables is advised by Ernst & Young, Rothschild & Co and Garrigues. Bridgepoint is advised by KPMG, Boston Consulting Group, Citigroup and Uria Menendez. Siemens Gamesa is advised by Gomez-Acebo & Pombo.
Blackstone, an American alternative investment management company, agreed to acquire International Gemological Institute, a diamond, colored stone and jewelry certification organization, from Fosun, a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"IGI has spearheaded the certification of natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, and colored stones, becoming a global market leader and providing confidence to manufacturers, retailers, and consumers around the world. We are bringing the best of Blackstone to the business – our operational expertise, capabilities in technology, and global track record in building successful businesses to help the company expand its global footprint," Mukesh Mehta, Blackstone Senior Managing Director.
International Gemological Institute is advised by Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Deutsche Bank and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Blackstone is advised by KPMG, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
The hostile takeover of Finnish plumbing-equipment maker Uponor heated up after Aliaxis increased its offer to €1.9bn ($2.1bn), Bloomberg reported.
The development comes after Uponor rejected a €1.8bn ($1.9bn) bid from Brussels-based Aliaxis in April, saying the €25 ($27) per-share cash offer was too low. Despite the rejection, Aliaxis has continued to increase its stake in Uponor, quadrupling its holding in a month, while reiterating its long-term interest in the Finnish company.
Aliaxis is advised by Morgan Stanley, Avance (led by Ulf-Henrik Kull), Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, FGS Global (led by Xavier Mas) and Miltton.
Banca Ifis, an Italian finance company, agreed to acquire Revalea, an non-performing loans holding company, from Mediobanca, an investment bank, for €100m ($108m).
"This deal seals a long-term strategic partnership with Mediobanca, and strengthens our position in a core sector for the Group. The acquisition of Revalea testifies to Banca Ifis's capability as a credible and high-quality partner for the Italian and European banking system," Ernesto Fürstenberg Fassio, Banca Ifis Chairman.
KKR, InfraVia vie for €3bn renewable firm Akuo. (FS)
KKR and InfraVia Capital Partners are among suitors competing to buy French renewable project developer Akuo Energy, Bloomberg reported.
Antin Infrastructure Partners has also been pursuing the Paris-based company. Akuo is now asking shortlisted bidders to prepare second-round offers.
NatWest to buy £1.3bn shares as UK continues sell-down.
NatWest has agreed to buy back £1.26bn ($1.6bn) of its shares from the UK government as the Treasury continues to sell down its stake after a bailout during the financial crisis over a decade ago.
The off-market purchase of 469m shares will be made at Friday's closing price of £2.68 ($3.34). The deal will see the Treasury's voting rights in the lender drop to about 38.6% from about 41.4% previously.
The UK remains NatWest's biggest shareholder about 15 years after the government rescued what was then Royal Bank of Scotland in a £45.5bn ($56.62bn) bailout.
Adnoc boosts size of logistics unit IPO to $769m amid strong demand.
Abu Dhabi’s main energy company boosted the size of its maritime logistics unit’s initial public offering by more than a quarter to as much as $769m, indicating appetite for Gulf listings remains healthy despite weaker market conditions, Bloomberg reported.
Abu Dhabi National Oil will now sell 1.41bn shares in Adnoc Logistics & Services, or a 19% stake, up from 1.11bn previously. Order books for the IPO were covered minutes after the sale opened last week.
Perwyn appoints partner and head of capital formation. (FS, People)
European private equity investor Perwyn has appointed Andrew Harrison as partner and its new head of capital formation. Harrison has over 20 years of experience, having previously served as managing director and head of EMEA private capital advisory at Greenhill & Co.
Prior to his tenure at Greenhill & Co, Harrison served as head of investor relations at Silverfleet Capital Partners, where he helped develop and oversee the firm's investor base while serving as a member of the investment, portfolio monitoring, and the ESG and valuation committees.
ThinkMarkets, an online and leveraged trading multi-asset brokerage, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with FG Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition corporation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This business combination closely aligns with the long-term strategy of FG Financial's growing merchant banking platform. ThinkMarkets has grown its revenue from $35m in 2019 to over $62m in 2022, and they have established global partnerships and a scalable business model positioned to capitalize on increasing market volatility and the evolving global trading landscape. The company has purchased multiple new licenses, continue to grow their product offerings, and their recent entry into Japan provides a platform to serve one of the largest FX trading hubs globally. FG Financial Group looks forward to being a shareholder and sharing in the company's success," Larry Swets, Jr., FG Acquisition Chairman.
FG is advised by IMS Investor Relations (led by John Nesbett).
General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, completed a $100m investment in PhonePe, an Indian digital payments and financial services company headquartered in Bengaluru.
The investment reaffirms General Atlantic's conviction in PhonePe's business and growth potential.
Keystone, a hardware wallet developer, completed the merger with UniPass, a smart contract wallet provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are on the cusp of a Web3 Account Abstraction revolution. Together, we'll drive rapid transformation, making the transition from Web2 to Web3 effortless for users. Our goal is to ensure everyone can securely and smoothly manage a decentralized account. We welcome partners to join us in advancing the Web3 account domain," Liu Lixin, Keystone Founder.
Malaysian tycoon weighs selling a stake in $2.7bn port business.
Malaysian tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary is looking at bringing in an investor into MMC Port - a deal that could value the country's biggest port operator at more than RM12bn ($2.7bn).
His conglomerate MMC may sell a stake of up to 30% in MMC Ports. Financial investors and companies have approached MMC Corp about their interest in the ports business. A sale could be a precursor to a potential MMC Ports listing on the Malaysian stock exchange in a few years.
Warburg-backed Princeton Digital pours $450m into first Malaysian data centre project. (FS)
Princeton Digital Group, a Singapore-based data centre operator, is making its first investment in Malaysia as foreign capital inflow continues to bolster the market, DealStreetAsia reported.
The Warburg Pincus-backed digital infrastructure company has agreed to acquire a 31-acre plot from JLand Group, Johor’s real estate and infrastructure arm.
Potentia walks away from offer to buy Australia's Tyro Payments. (FS)
Australia's Tyro Payments has ended deal discussions with suitor Potentia Capital, after the private equity firm said it does not intend to proceed with a proposal to acquire the company. Potentia had first offered to buy Tyro for $0.84 per share in September, then improved its offer to $1.06 in December, DealStreetAsia reported.
Tyro rejected both offers, saying they undervalued the company. The company said on Monday it was disappointed that Potentia was ultimately unable to deliver a revised offer, adding that the company prospects remain strong.
IDG Capital, HK's Towngas reach first close of zero-carbon fund at $713m. (FS)
A zero-carbon technology investment fund, jointly launched by IDG Capital and Hong Kong sole piped-gas supplier, Hong Kong and China Gas Company (Towngas), has raised $713m as China ramps up efforts to meet its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, DealStreetAsia reported.
The Zero-Carbon Fund, first revealed in January 2022, had a target of raising $1.4bn in total, with $713m expected for its first close. Limited partners of the fund include sovereign wealth funds, China regional governments, and government guidance funds, as well as local and international insurance companies, IDG Capital said in a Friday statement. The fund will be based in Changzhou City in eastern China Jiangsu Province to help promote local new energy growth and net-zero progress. It will connect portfolio companies with the Changzhou government for policy support. The fund invests in technological innovations that address pain points in achieving net-zero carbon emissions across various industries.
BEENEXT in the market to raise fifth early-stage vehicle and third accelerate fund. (FS)
Singapore-based venture capital firm BEENEXT is in the market looking to raise two new vehicles, its fifth early-stage fund and third accelerate fund. The vehicles will have a target size of around $100m each, adding that half of the investments from each fund will be earmarked for India and the rest for Southeast Asia, DealStreetAsia reported.
BEENEXT plans to rope in a diverse set of limited partners for the new funds like Japan- or US-based conglomerates. Some of the sectors it is looking at are e-commerce, fintech, healthtech, agritech, edutech and AI- and data-driven technology domains.
A.P. Moller Capital and VinaCapital to launch a Vietnam-focused transportation and logistics infrastructure platform. (FS)
A.P. Moller Capital, a global fund manager focused on high-growth markets, and VinaCapital, Vietnam's most diversified asset manager, have established a joint platform to grow and scale investments in transportation and logistics infrastructure in Vietnam.
The partnership, which will be majority-owned by a fund managed by A.P. Moller Capital, brings together this sector expertise with the regional knowledge and expertise of VinaCapital, both leaders in their respective spheres, to build and scale a portfolio of assets that target top quartile returns in a private capital structure. Investment and other major decisions will be made jointly.