Hyperfine, a provider of technology solutions, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with HealthCor Catalio Acquisition, a blank check company, in a c.$580m deal. The transaction is supported by an oversubscribed $126m PIPE with participation from institutional investors including HealthCor Management, Catalio Capital Management, Perceptive Advisors, Avidity Partners, Eldridge, accounts managed by ARK Investment Management, Deerfield Management and Bain Capital Public Equity.
“The combination of Hyperfine, Liminal, and HealthCor Catalio presents an inspiring opportunity to transform the global MR imaging and brain sensing paradigm. This business combination will empower Hyperfine with the expanded resources, financing, and expert advisory team to substantially broaden MR imaging accessibility and ultimately build a transformational ecosystem across the care continuum,” Dave Scott, Hyperfine President and CEO.
HealthCor is advised by Evercore, Jefferies, Wells Fargo, Kirkland & Ellis and Paul Hastings. Hyperfine is advised by JP Morgan, Mintz Levin and Gilmartin Group.
Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe-backed GovernmentCIO, a provider of information technology and digital services, agreed to acquire Salient CRGT, a company that offers IT services, from Bridge Growth Partners and Frontenac, two private equity firms. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"SCRGT's highly differentiated ability to deliver innovative solutions and strong customer relationships have fueled its success to-date, positioning it as a clear market leader. Together, we are confident that we have the scale and additional capabilities to deliver even greater value to a broader set of federal customers. We are delighted to partner with SCRGT's leadership team and employees moving forward," Jim Brabston, GovernmentCIO CEO.
Salient CRGT is advised by Guggenheim Partners, Robert W Baird, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Kirkland & Ellis. GovernmentCIO and WCAS are advised by DC Advisory and Kirkland & Ellis. Bridge Growth Partners is advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co.
New Mountain Capital, a private equity firm, completed its acquisition of Ascensus Specialties, a provider of specialty materials for use in critical life sciences and specialties markets and applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“I want to thank my team and our board of directors for their hard work and support. This is an exciting time for the Ascensus family. Wind Point continues to be a great partner, and New Mountain brings proven success in life sciences, with companies like Avantor, Gelest, Aceto, and ILC Dover. With this new partnership, Ascensus will have tremendous access to capital and resources to further invest behind R&D and product innovation in a transformative way," Mike Huff, Ascensus Specialties CEO.
New Mountain Capital was advised by Jefferies & Company, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Abernathy MacGregor Group. Debt financing was provided by KeyBanc Capital Markets and Antares Capital.
Black Knight, a software, data and analytics provider, completed the acquisition of Top of Mind Networks, a developer of Surefire, a customer relationship management and marketing automation system, from private equity firm Primus Capital for $250m.
"Through its Surefire marketing automation and CRM platform, Top of Mind has brought incredible value to the sales and marketing side of the mortgage industry by helping lenders gain powerful competitive advantages for their loan officers," Anthony Jabbour, Black Knight CEO.
Top of Mind Networks was advised by Vaquero Capital and Goodwin Procter. Black Knight was advised by Trasimene Capital and Smith Hulsey & Busey.
Baupost Group, a Boston-based investment manager, completed the $200m investment Outbrain, a recommendation platform for the open web.
“We proudly lead the recommendation space we created. We have bold plans for the future to continue delivering critical innovation to our premium media partners worldwide and expanding our powerful open web global advertising platform,” Yaron Galai, Outbrain Co-Founder and Co-CEO.
Outbrain was advised by Citigroup, Jefferies & Company and Mayer Brown. Baupost Group was advised by Ropes & Gray.
Novo Holdings, an international investor in healthcare and life sciences, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Availity, a healthcare information technology company, from Francisco Partners, an American private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Novo Holdings brings new and exciting perspectives to our organization. Their deep experience in global healthcare and commitment to build a stronger, more sustainable healthcare system will help us take payer-provider collaboration, and the tangible benefits of that collaboration, to the next level," Russ Thomas, Availity CEO.
Availity is advised by Goldman Sachs, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Taft Stettinius & Hollister. Francisco Partners is advised by Sloane.
Hims & Hers Health, a multi-specialty telehealth platform focused on providing modern personalized health and wellness experiences to consumers, completed the acquisition of Apostrophe, a teledermatology specialist. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The future of dermatology is in providing highly personalized products that fit consumers’ needs. With this acquisition, Hims & Hers gains a trusted partner with expertise in charting this new future, as well as a leadership team that will help take our dermatology business to the next level. We are thrilled to be joining forces with the Apostrophe team and working together to help more people access high quality, personalized products to improve their skin through our platform,” Andrew Dudum, Hims & Hers Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder.
Hims & Hers Health was advised by LionTree Advisors and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian. Apostrophe was advised by Intrepid Advisors and Venable.
KKR agreed to acquire Neighborly, the provider and franchisor of home service brands, from Harvest Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“In a large and highly fragmented industry, Neighborly stands out for its differentiated strategy of bringing together adjacent services under a diversified and tech-enabled platform, and – most importantly – for its unrivaled dedication to customer service. We are thrilled to be investing in the Neighborly team as they continue to execute on their mission: enriching people’s lives by delivering amazing experiences,” Felix Gernburd, KKR Managing Director.
Neighborly is advised by Harris Williams & Co, White & Case and BizCom.
Affiliated Managers Group, a global asset management company, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Parnassus Investments, an investment management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Given our longstanding relationship with AMG, and its three-decade history of successful partnerships with independent active investment firms, we are excited about our new partnership. We believe it provides long-term certainty for our clients and enhances the competitive positioning of our business," Benjamin Allen, Parnassus Investments CEO.
Parnassus Investments is advised by Moelis & Co and Debevoise & Plimpton. AMG is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
FTV Capital, a private equity firm, completed the $100m Series A investment in LoanPro, a SaaS-based loan management, servicing and collections platform.
"As founders who started out as lenders, we understand the pain points that lenders experience. LoanPro was built by lenders for lenders—we use a modern tech stack to simplify the user experience of managing loans—we do the hard work on the back end to make the front end clean and simple to use. FTV Capital's investment, in addition to their extensive market knowledge and vast strategic network, will help us grow our platform and accelerate our ability to reach and successfully serve even more lenders," Rhett Roberts, LoanPro CEO.
LoanPro was advised by Prosek Partners. FTV Capital was advised by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
Lighthouse Technologies, a provider of technology-enabled ediscovery, compliance and information governance services, agreed to acquire H5, a provider of sensitive data classification, analytics and ediscovery solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Not only do we share similar cultures, but we also share a vision that finding the right information in the most efficient manner is best accomplished with technology and analytics expertise, and a conviction that our combination will reshape the future of review. H5’s technology and consulting capabilities fill a critical gap for Lighthouse clients and, when paired with our Prism AI technology, will allow us to address the document review segment of the market with a highly differentiated offering that will dramatically reduce the need for manual linear review,” Brian McManus, Lighthouse CEO.
Monte Nido, an established and premier eating disorder treatment provider, agreed to acquire Walden Behavioral Care, a provider of multilevel treatment services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"A recent survey in International Journal of Eating Disorders found 62% of people in the U.S. with anorexia nervosa experienced a worsening of symptoms as the pandemic hit. This speaks to the incredible, immediate need for treatment. For decades, Monte Nido & Affiliates has offered outcome-backed, eating disorder programming and we are excited to add Walden Behavioral Care to our family of trusted programs," Candy Henderson, Monte Nido & Affiliates Chief Executive Officer.
Monte Nido is advised by Makovsky. Walden Behavioral Care is advised by Slowey McManus.
Contango Oil & Gas Company, an independent oil and gas company, agreed to acquire Wind River Basin of Wyoming from ConocoPhillips, a provider of oil exploration and production services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of these Wind River Basin assets is yet another step in our consolidation strategy and an excellent fit to our asset profile. This is a huge, conventional gas field with low decline, purchased at an attractive valuation. We are intimately familiar with the area via assets acquired in the MCEP and Silvertip transactions, and we have the right team to maximize the value of these mature, low decline, and conventional properties. Our previously announced merger with Independence was designed to accelerate our acquisition pace rather than slow it down, and this transaction is a perfect example of that. We look forward to closing this transaction and continuing ConocoPhillips’ excellent stewardship of these assets," Wilkie Colyer, Contango CEO.
Contango Oil & Gas Company is advised by Lazard and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Lukoil, a Russian multinational energy company, agreed to acquire a 50% stake in the Area 4 project in Mexican shallow waters from Riverstone, a private markets asset management firm dedicated to real assets investing primarily in energy, power and infrastructure, for $435m.
"Lukoil considers Mexico a strategic region for the development of our international upstream operations. The new project, where we will be the operator, is notable due to its considerable explored reserves and significant production potential," Vagit Alekperov, Lukoil President.
Lovell Minnick-backed UniversalCIS, a technology-enabled provider of credit data and related origination solutions in the mortgage industry, agreed to acquire the Lending Solutions Divisions from Data Facts, a national and international consumer reporting company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Data Facts is a well-known, longstanding player in the market, and we are excited to leverage the Company’s expertise as we continue to enhance our technology offerings and bring value to current and future clients,” Perry Steiner, UniversalCIS Chairman.
Novolex, which develops and manufactures diverse packaging products, completed its acquisition of Flexo Converters USA, a manufacturer of stock, custom and recycled paper bags and sacks, from The Carlyle Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Flexo is an exciting addition to our company, and we welcome the skilled and committed team to the Novolex family. Flexo's strong reputation for high-quality products, on-time delivery and value-added services will support us in pursuing future growth opportunities for all of Novolex," Stan Bikulege, Novolex Chairman and CEO.
Flexo Converters USA was advised by The Peakstone Group.
Macquarie, an Australian multinational independent investment bank, and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, a provider of pension services for teachers, agreed to acquire a 32% stake in Puget Holdings, a holding company that distributes electricity and natural gas, from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, an investment management company. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Puget will play a key role in decarbonizing Washington State’s power generation and assisting local industries and consumers to lower their carbon footprints, which is aligned with our own net zero ambition and focus on helping our portfolio companies transition to and thrive in a low-carbon economy," Dale Burgess, Ontario Teachers Senior Managing Director of Infrastructure & Natural Resources.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is advised by JP Morgan.
PT Holdings, a wholesaler and distributor of equipment and supplies, completed the acquisition of General Parts, a provider of food service equipment and commercial appliances. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"General Parts has all of the attributes we look for in a business: high integrity, strong OEM parts distribution, great leadership, a fantastic brand, and deep manufacturer relationships. We have been huge fans of Gary, Linnea, and the General Parts team for a very long time. Bruce Hodge, previous President of General Parts, was a mentor to me, and we are thrilled to have General Parts join the PT Holdings family," Steve Snower, PT Holdings CEO.
PT Holdings is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Sole Source Capital-backed Supply Chain Services, a provider of automatic identification, completed the acquisition of ISG Technologies, a managed mobility services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very excited to welcome ISG Technologies to our team. This partnership broadens our product and service offerings and expands our geographic reach as we continue to strive to provide best-in-class service to our customers," Dave Green, Supply Chain Services CEO.
Sole Source Capital was advised by Mendel Communications.
Silver Lake, Ryan Smith, Qualtrics Founder, and Todd Pedersen, Vivint Smart Home Founder, led a $507m funding round in Entrata, a software development company. The round had participation from investors Dragoneer, Josh James and others.
"It's rare to find a company of this size and scale that has not taken institutional funding. Bootstrapping forces a company to build with the long-term view in mind which leads to better experiences for customers and employees. I've always believed in the 'nail it, then scale it' model and this new capital will help Entrata accelerate and scale in a way that positions them to become the unquestioned leader in global property management throughout the world," Ryan Smith.
SoftBank led a $100m Series B funding round in mmhmm, a souped-up video communications service. The round had participation from investors Sequoia Capital, Mubadala Capital, Human Capital, World Innovation Lab and others.
“Video has always been the most expressive way to communicate, but it hasn’t been the easiest. The growth of video communications tech is poised to create the foundation for a generation of new businesses," Phil Libin, mmhmm CEO.
MSP Recovery said in talks with Lionheart SPAC.
MSP Recovery, a company specializing in the recovery of secoundary payments, is in talks to go public via a merger with Lionheart Acquisition II, a blank check-firm.
Any transaction, if agreed, may be announced in coming weeks and could value the combined entity at more than $30bn. No terms have been finalized and it’s possible talks could collapse, Bloomberg reported.
Robinhood IPO faces pushback from retail investors.
Retail investors have shown their discontent regarding the $30bn IPO of Robinhood Markets. The IPO is facing pushback on social media forums against its initial public offering.
Many individual investors are planning to shun the stock market debut, and several posts in recent days urging users to not buy into the IPO have received thousands of upvotes, discussions in online forums on Reddit showed.
Last week, Robinhood filed for its widely anticipated market flotation that revealed massive user growth while also flagging a number of investigations by prosecutors and regulators, Reuters reported.
Ford and VW-backed Argo AI to go public this year.
Ford Motor and Volkswagen-backed Argo AI, a self-driving startup, is working with investment bankers as it prepares to go public as soon as this year with a valuation expected to top $7bn.
The five-year-old firm developing autonomous systems for two of the world’s largest automakers has chosen Citigroup and JP Morgan to guide its public offering. Argo and its bankers are looking at either an initial public offering or using a special purpose acquisition company, Bloomberg reported.
BuzzFeed founder promises to grow in sustainable way.
BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti pledged to adopt more financial discipline than he has in the past as he laid out plans to consolidate the digital media industry once he has taken his company public via a blank-cheque vehicle, FT reported.
With BuzzFeed set to become a public company, Peretti said he will have the cash to achieve his mission of rolling up the sector to build a digital media behemoth: "We now have a sustainable engine for growth. Especially if we can do quick M&A. It is a scalable business."
Traeger files for a $100m US IPO.
Traeger, a maker of fancy barbeque grilles, has filed for a $100m IPO. It is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol COOK.
Morgan Stanley, Jefferies, Robert W Baird and William Blair are leading the planned offering.
BlackRock raises $250m for emerging markets-focused climate fund. (FS)
BlackRock said it has raised over $250m for its climate finance fund to invest in select countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
BlackRock’s Climate Finance Partnership will focus on investing in areas like renewable power generation, energy storage solutions, electrified transportation services and is targeting to raise at least $500m.
The partnership’s consortium of ten investors included the governments of France, Germany, Japan, and other philanthropies and institutional investors.
Morrisons, a supermarket chain operator, has written to Britain’s business minister and other politicians seeking to head off any opposition to its agreed $8.7bn acquisition by Fortress Investment Group, a private equity firm.
Kwasi Kwarteng, a business minister, wants a meeting with Morrisons to seek reassurances over jobs, pensions and other matters, Reutersreported.
Morrison is advised by Jefferies & Company, Rothschild & Co, Shore Capital & Corporate, Ashurst and Citigate Dewe Rogerson. Fortress is advised by HSBC, RBC Capital Markets, Slaughter & May and TB Cardew.
Valmet, a developer and supplier of technologies, automation systems and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries, agreed to merge with Neles, a Finnish publicly-traded company offering flow control solutions for process industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The combination of Valmet and Neles will create a broad and competitive product offering for our customers and build on the excellent reputation of both of our businesses. The transaction creates a global industrial leader with a bright future beyond what we could achieve separately. Together our businesses are better positioned to drive innovation and leadership in sustainability," Mikael Mäkinen, Valmet Chairman.
Neles is advised by Access Partners, Morgan Stanley, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Roschier Attorneys. Valmet is advised by Bank of America, Nordea Bank, Hannes Snellman and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
ParkerGale Capital-backed IPRO, a provider of litigation software tools, agreed to acquire ZyLAB, a provider of eDiscovery based on Artificial Intelligence and data science. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is a truly exciting next step for IPRO and our customers. Joining forces with the incredible team of people at ZyLAB enables us to provide uniquely innovative product capabilities AND expand our geographic footprint in Europe and the UK. With this acquisition, we are even better positioned to deliver upstream solutions to help our clients and partners manage the risks and costs associated with the continued growth of their unstructured data and legal discovery costs," Dean Brown, IPRO CEO.
ZyLAB is advised by Marks Baughan and DLA Piper. IPRO is advised by De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Kirkland & Ellis. Debt financing is provided by Wells Fargo Securities. Wells Fargo is advised by Goldberg Kohn and NautaDutilh.
Circle, a global financial technology firm, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Concord Acquisition in a $4.5bn deal. The PIPE was supported by leading institutional investors including Marshall Wace, Fidelity Management & Research, Adage Capital Management, accounts advised by ARK Investment Management and Third Point.
"Circle is the true pioneer of trusted digital currencies, an increasingly critical part of the global financial system. The firm has earned its exceptionally strong reputation building highly innovative blockchain-enabled products and services within the regulatory perimeter. Circle's world-class leadership team, its track record of delivery, and extraordinary ambition help position the firm as one of the most exciting companies in the transformation of finance," Bob Diamond, Concord Acquisition Chairman.
Circle is advised by Goodwin Procter and Blueshirt Group. Concord is advised by Citigroup, Cowen & Company, Goldman Sachs and Greenberg Traurig.
Axalta Coating Systems, a global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, agreed to acquire U-POL, a manufacturer of repair and refinish products used primarily for automotive refinish and aftermarket protective applications, from Graphite Capital, a private equity firm, for £428m ($590m).
"The two companies' cultures of innovation, quality, and strong operating principles are exceptionally aligned. We look forward to serving customers with these additional capabilities and to welcoming U-POL's dedicated team members to the Axalta family," Troy Weaver, Axalta Senior Vice President.
Axalta is advised by Rothschild & Co and Morrison & Foerster. Graphite Capital is advised by Robert W Baird and Goodwin Procter.
L Catterton and DisruptAD, two investment firms, led a $105m Series B funding round in Aleph Farms, a provider of animal production and processing services. The round had participation from investors Thai Union, BRF, CJ CheilJedang, Strauss Group, Cargill. Skyviews Life Science, VisVires New Protein, Peregrine Ventures and CPT Capital.
“This additional capital from top-tier partners with unparalleled experience and expertise brings us significantly closer to our vision of providing secure and unconditional access to high-quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere," Didier Toubia, Aleph Farms CEO.
Aleph Farms was advised by NutriPR. L Catterton was advised by Joele Frank.
Britain’s national security advisor will examine the takeover of Nexperia's acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab, after lawmakers said it could threaten the country’s high-tech future.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament that National Security Advisor Stephen Lovegrove will “judge whether the stuff that they are making is of real intellectual property value and interest to China, whether there are real security implications.”
DP World, an Emirati multinational logistics company, offered to acquire Imperial Logistics, an integrated logistics and market access company with operations mainly across the African continent and in Europe, for $887m.
“The acquisition of Imperial will help DP World to build better and more efficient supply chains for the owners of cargo, especially in Africa. Imperial’s operations are complementary to our network of ports, terminals and logistics operations on the continent. Like DP World, Imperial’s biggest asset is its people, and we look forward to welcoming employees of Imperial into the DP World team on successful conclusion of the transaction,” Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO.
A consortium of investors led a $118m financing round in Enpal, a German photovoltaics leasing firm. Investors including HV Capital, SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive, HelloFresh co-founder Thomas Griesel and former Auto1 manager Christopher Muhr, as well as Heliad Equity, E.R. Capital and Friba Investment, participated in the financing.
The company seeks to rapidly expand its business and targets supplying 1m households with solar rooftop systems by the end of the decade.
Athos, the family office of the Struengmann family, completed the acquisition of a 15% stake in Blue Elephant Energy, a Hamburg-based independent operator of solar and wind power plants, for $89m.
"Blue Elephant Energy AG is very well positioned in the renewable energy markets and is set to further grow strongly. The team is one of the most experienced in the market and we see a great fit with the existing investors," Thomas Maier, Athos Managing Director.
Iron Mountain, a provider of innovative storage and information management services, agreed to acquire the Frankfurt data center of Calcium for $90m.
“This latest investment in one of the most sought-after European markets further solidifies our commitment to invest in the global markets where our customers need us. As a leading global data center provider, we are pleased to continue to meet the key growth milestones that this acquisition, and the recently announced expansion in London, represent,” Mark Kidd, Iron Mountain Executive Vice President and General Manager of Data Centers.
Goldman Sachs, an investment banking, securities and investment management firm, agreed to acquire a minority stake in InCommodities, a partner-owned energy trader with its headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As the installed capacity of weather-dependent renewables grows, electricity markets are becoming increasingly complex," Ed Emerson, Goldman Sachs Head of Global Commodities.
OHT, a provider of shipping services, agreed to acquire the renewables business unit of Subsea 7, a subsea engineering, construction and services company serving the offshore energy industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This transaction represents an important next step in Subsea 7’s Energy Transition journey that will accelerate and enhance value creation for our shareholders. As a listed company with a comprehensive fleet and experienced management team, Seaway 7 ASA is positioned to forge an enhanced growth trajectory as a global leader in offshore wind. Subsea 7 looks forward to working closely with Seaway 7 as it launches this next exciting chapter in its evolution," John Evans, Subsea 7 CEO.
BC Partners launches a sale of Ceramtec. (FS)
BC Partners, a private equity firm, has launched an auction process for Ceramtec in a deal that could value the German maker of industrial ceramics at roughly $4.1bn.
Peers such as Celanese and CoorsTek are expected to hand in offers as are private equity groups such as a consortium of CVC and Partners Group, Reuters reported.
BC Partners is working with Bank of America and Morgan Stanley on the sale and has asked for first round bids by the end of July.
Saudi Aramco to sell more assets in a multi-billion dollar push.
Saudi Aramco is planning to raise tens of billions of dollars by selling more stakes in its businesses. The Saudi Arabian state-controlled firm created a new team to review its assets last year, soon after the coronavirus pandemic triggered a plunge in energy prices and strained its balance sheet. Aramco raised $12.4bn by selling leasing rights over oil pipelines to a US-led group of investors in April, Bloomberg reported.
"They will happen irrespective of any market conditions and Aramco aims to generate double-digit billions of dollars. It’s a strategy meant to create value and create efficiency, it’s not about a specific capital target or financing the dividends of the company," Abdulaziz Al Gudaimi, Aramco Senior Vice President for corporate development.
Watches of Switzerland allocates cash for US and EU acquisitions.
Watches of Switzerland, a British luxury watches manufacturer, expects a strong growth in its British market and has allocated cash for acquisition in the United States and the European Union.
The group plans to spend $413m-$468m to expand, with up to $276m of that to be spent on acquisitions in the United States and European Union, a region the company expects to account for 5%-8% of group sales by 2026.
"We think the UK luxury watch market will increase between 8% and 10% per year over the next five years. We'll outperform that by a couple of points. We're very bullish on the US We think the market is obviously underinvested and underdeveloped," Brian Duffy, Watches of Switzerland CEO.
Thales shortlists bidders for signaling business sources.
Thales, a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems, shortlisted Japan's Hitachi Rail, Switzerland's Stadler Rail and Spain's CAF in the sale of its rail signaling business, Reuters reported.
The proceeds will help bolster the finances of the maker of equipment ranging from anti-jamming devices for fighter jets to airliner navigation beacons after the pandemic dented sales and profits last year.
Thales asked for binding bids to be submitted by the end of this week and if its price expectations are met it could select a buyer in late July or early August. Valuation estimates range from €1.5bn ($1.8bn) to €2.5bn ($3bn) due to the unclear stage of its restructuring and future growth prospects.
Prosus plays a long game to shrink the value gap.
Prosus, an investment firm, is betting that its long-term investments can fill a yawning valuation gap and give it the same name recognition as one of the world's most aggressive technology investors, Reuters reported.
In an indication of its ambition, Prosus last month hired Ervin Tu, a managing partner at Vision Fund and a former technology banker at Goldman Sachs, to head its group M&A.
One way of narrowing the gap is by gradually offloading the crown jewels, and Prosus raised $15bn by selling a 2% stake in WeChat owner Tencent in April. A third of that will go to share buybacks once a cross-holding structure with Naspers, has been set up. Prosus shareholders are set to approve the deal. Prosus says the real solution to the valuation gap is finding more new investments and improving profitability at the old ones until they rival or even eclipse the Tencent holding.
Knorr Bremse drops plan to acquire a majority of Hella.
Knorr Bremse, a German brakes maker, has dropped plans to acquire a 60% stake in Hella, a German automotive lighting group.
"We have always considered opportunities for value-enhancing transactions with leading international companies, which is why we looked at Hella. However, we did not see the necessary synergies in the potential transfer of competencies, particularly in the commercial vehicle sector," Jan Mrosik, Knorr Bremse CEO.
Wikifolio weighs a sale.
Wikifolio, a social trading platform, is exploring a sale amid strong demand for firms that help amateur investors put their money to work in the stock market.
The potential sale would come as novice investors flock to day-trading firms. Their easy-to-use services have seen activity soar during the pandemic, when people were confined to their homes and looking to place bets on stocks for the first time, Bloomberg reported.
Wikifolio is working with Rothschild & Co on a potential sale.
KKR prepares to join the UK pandemic plundering. (FS)
KKR is plotting a raid on the UK market in a move that would fuel concerns about the pandemic plundering. The Wall Street giant's European boss, Mattia Caprioli, said it was expanding operations in Britain to take advantage of the relatively cheap company valuations compared to rivals abroad.
KKR is bringing in five deal makers to hunt for bargains and move to a bigger London office in Mayfair’s Hanover Square. The planned land-grab will send tremors through the City, which is already facing an onslaught of private equity takeovers. KKR now believes the UK is a fertile hunting ground after Brexit and the pandemic depressed company valuations, Telegraf reported.
"KKR will have dedicated people covering the UK, including investment director Michaela Wood, who is moving from rival CVC Capital Partners. There’s more value at a high level in the UK than there is in other markets. KKR is not that focused on buying listed companies in the UK," Mattia Caprioli.
Na-Kd plans an IPO to lure ESG investors.
One of Sweden’s fastest growing online retailers is getting ready to raise funds on the stock market by convincing ethically-conscious investors that fast fashion can be sustainable.
That narrative is likely to appeal investors who remain hungry to load up on assets that meet environmental, social and governance goals. It’s a point that hasn’t gone unnoticed by one of the company’s main backers, Northzone, Bloomberg reported.
"Na-Kd is now preparing for all scenarios when it comes to funding, and while there is no set date for an initial public offering, we are looking at our cap table for sure," Jarno Vanhatapio, Nakdcom One World Founder and CEO.
Eurazeo closes its fourth secondary programme at $1.18bn. (FS)
Eurazeo, a private equity firm, has held the final closing of its fourth secondary programme at $1.18bn. The capital raised includes $826m Idinvest Secondary Fund IV, exceeding its initial target of $708m, and $354m of additional secondaries capital raised from private individuals.
This fourth secondary program received strong demand from institutional investors from around the world including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices and individuals.
“We believe the growth of our secondary activity reflects the increasing client demand of our niche positioning in the European mid-market and our recognised expertise in arranging sophisticated GP-led transactions, and the benefits brought by the unique sourcing and execution capabilities of the Eurazeo platform," Christophe Simon, Eurazeo Managing Partner and Head of Secondaries.
Macquarie Group agreed to acquire Global Equity and Fixed Income business of AMP Capital, a global investment manager, for $139m.
“This transaction represents another opportunity, following our recent acquisition of Waddell & Reed, to add scale and expand our public investment capabilities. It cements Macquarie’s position as the leading investment manager in Australia by AuM2, and provides new clients joining us from AMP Capital with access to Macquarie’s diversified investment offerings and global platform. Clients will be at the centre of our considerations as we work closely with AMP on a successful integration,” Ben Way, Macquarie Head of Asset Management.
CMC Capital, a public equity and venture capital firm, led a $124m Series E funding round in Hefu Noodle, a Chinese noodle restaurant chain operator. The round had participation from investors Zhongwei Capital, Tencent Investment and Longfor Capital.
“China’s catering market has great development potential given its massive market scale, yet a low penetration rate of restaurant chains. With the continued increase of shopping malls, improvement of supply chain infrastructures, and enhancement of digital store operations in China, we believe the external conditions for nurturing new-generation catering chain giants have matured," Alex Chen, CMC Capital CIO.
TPG Capital-backed TE Asia Healthcare Partners, a healthcare group, and Altrui, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire two medical projects in Indonesia for $50m. Altrui will take a 25% stake in the projects, while TE Asia and doctors in the two facilities will hold the remaining 75%.
“This comes at a time when public hospitals in Indonesia are struggling to cope with high patient load, especially amidst the continued expansion of universal health coverage and the ongoing pandemic,” Eng Aik Meng, TE Asia Group CEO.
Temasek-backed Nium, a global payments platform, agreed to acquire scam-hit operations in India of Wirecard, an international supplier of electronic payment and risk management services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We’re seeing an accelerated move to digital payments as companies modernize their infrastructure to capitalize on the post-COVID economic recovery. More companies are turning to our global payments stack to embed financial services quickly,” Prajit Nanu, Nium CEO.
EverCommerce, a service commerce platform, completed its acquisition of Timely, a provider of booking and business management software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Both EverCommerce and Timely focus on helping small and medium-sized business owners streamline their back- and front-office operations so they can offer a more personalized customer experience and grow their businesses. We’re impressed by the success Timely has achieved and we’re excited to support them in their next level of growth," Matt Feierstein, EverCommerce President.
Macquarie weighs a rival bid for Sydney Airport. (FS)
A consortium led by Macquarie Group is considering an offer for Sydney Airport Holdings, in a potential challenge to a $16.7bn bid already on the table.
Macquarie has been speaking with potential partners, including local pension funds, about making a joint offer for the airport, Reuters reported.
Novo Tellus Capital mulls joining Singapore SPAC race.
Novo Tellus Capital Partners, a private equity firm, is considering setting up a special purpose acquisition company to list in the city-state as regulators prepare to authorize the vehicles in the local market. Novo Tellus would join Vertex Holdings, a unit of Temasek Holdings, in seeking to be among the first to launch a blank-check company in the city-state, Bloomberg reported.
The technology and industrials-focused private equity firm has had preliminary discussions with banks. The company is awaiting official exchange guidelines before making a final decision.
Deliberations are ongoing and the firm may decide not to proceed with the vehicle.
AirAsia targets $300m raise via US listing of digital business.
Malaysia’s low-cost airline AirAsia Group is considering a listing of its digital arm via a special-purpose acquisition company in the United States to raise at least $300m, Reuters reported.
Group Chief Executive Tony Fernandes said that a few SPACs focused on technology have approached the group, and AirAsia has engaged auditors for a deal to list the unit, which comprises a travel and lifestyle services platform, logistics and fintech businesses.
Wanda Light Asset’s $3bn pre-IPO round draws PAG and Xinchen. (FS)
Private equity firms PAG and Xinchen Capital are among investors considering taking part in Wanda Light Asset Commercial Management funding round, which could raise about $3.1bn.
The local government of Zhuhai, a city in Guangdong province, is also weighing contributing more funds after making an earlier investment into the Dalian Wanda Group unit. Some other investors have been in further negotiations with the company, Bloomberg reported.
Deliberations are ongoing and the private equity firms and Zhuhai government could decide against any investment.
Mark Wahlberg-backed F45 targets over $1.5bn valuation in US IPO.
Mark Wahlberg-backed fitness chain F45 Training Holdings is eyeing a valuation of more than $1.5bn in a US initial public offering, months after terminating its merger with a blank-check company, Reuters reported.
The Austin, Texas-based company was founded in 2013 in Australia and now has more than 1.5k studios, with about 2.8k franchises in 63 countries.
Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are the lead underwriters for the offering.
Alibaba-backed LinkDoc said to halt US IPO after crackdown.
Alibaba-backed LinkDoc Technology, an oncology big data company, has halted plans for a US initial public offering, the first known company to pull out of a debut after China’s government cracked down on overseas listings, Bloomberg reported.
Market volatility has played a part in the postponement and the Beijing-based medical data company could revisit its listing plans when conditions improve. LinkDoc’s IPO delay also comes as regulators in Beijing are planning rule changes that would allow them to block a Chinese company from listing overseas even if the unit selling shares is incorporated outside China.
Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and China International Capital were arranging the deal.
Ant Group-backed Zomato eyes $1.3bn IPO. (FS)
Indian food delivery giant Zomato announced plans to raise $1.3bn via an initial public offering, the latest firm to take advantage of a strong rally in local equities, RFI reported.
Zomato and rival Swiggy - both of whose delivery riders are ubiquitous in Indian cities -- are the two biggest players in a food delivery market forecast to explode in the coming years.
But Zomato co-founder Gaurav Gupta said the Indian market was still "highly under-penetrated" with only 8-9% of food consumption from restaurants, compared with 40-50% in markets such as China and the United States.
TPG, Apollo, other PEs look to invest in Indian telco Vodaphone idea's assets. (FS)
TPG Capital, Apollo Global and Carlyle Group are among private equity giants in early talks with Vodafone Idea, an Indian telecom operator, to invest in the company's optic fibre and data centre assets worth around $1bn.
Since Vodafone Idea will continue to use the optic fibre infrastructure, the deals will likely happen on a sale-and-leaseback basis. Vodafone Idea, which is burdened by liabilities of $2.5tn, including immediately payable adjusted gross revenue dues, has so far failed to secure investments either as direct equity or hybrid debt.
Bianlifeng files for a US IPO.
Bianlifeng, a Chinese convinience store chain, has confidentially filed for an US IPO, that could raise about $500m.
The startup’s IPO filing comes even as China moves to rein in Chinese listings in offshore markets and vows to step up its regulatory oversight of companies trading overseas. Regulators in Beijing are planning rule changes that would allow them to block a Chinese company from listing overseas even if the unit selling shares is incorporated outside China, Bloomberg reported.
The Beijing-based company is working with advisers on the share sale. Deliberations are ongoing and details of the IPO including size and timeline could still change.
Tencent-backed Jiuxiaoer seeks to raise $200m.
Tencent-backed Jiuxiaoer, an alcoholic beverage delivery company, is seeking to raise about $200m in a new funding round that could elevate the startup to unicorn status. Guangxi Jiaojiu Network Technology, the firm behind Jiuxiaoer, could be valued at $1bn or more after the investment.
Deliberations for the fundraising are at an early stage and details such as size and timing may change.
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