Pension Fund sues Cloudera targeting a $5.3bn deal. (FS)
A pension fund sued Cloudera, an enterprise data cloud company, attempting to investigate its $5.3bn take-private sale to private equity firms KKR and Clayton Dubilier & Rice. The fund concerns that Carl Icahn, a billionaire activist investor, pushed the cloud computing company into a bad deal.
The lawsuit was filed in Delaware Chancery Court by the Local 464A United Food and Commercial Workers Union Pension Fund, which claims Carl Icahn and Cloudera's managers will both get individual benefits from the buyout at the expense of public investors.
Cloudera is advised by Morgan Stanley and Latham & Watkins. Morgan Stanley is advised by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. KKR is advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co. CD&R is advised by Bank of America, Citigroup, Cowen & Company, GCA Altium, JP Morgan, Perella Weinberg Partners, William Blair & Co, Debevoise & Plimpton and Kirkland & Ellis. Financial advisors are advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America, JP Morgan and KKR Capital Markets.
FTC urges judge to unwind an $8bn Illumina-Grail deal.
The US Federal Trade Commission seeks to unwind $8bn acquisition of Grail, a multi-cancer early detection company, by Illumina, a developer and manufacturer of integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological functions, alleging it would harm innovation and boost prices.
Susan Musser, FTC senior counsel, said that cancer test-detection company Grail and its competitors rely on San Diego, California-based Illumina’s DNA sequencing technology. She argued that Illumina’s purchase of Grail would give the company the incentive and ability to foreclose downstream rivals, Reuters reported.
Illumina was advised by Goldman Sachs, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Joele Frank. Goldman Sachs was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Debt financing was provided by Goldman Sachs. Grail was advised by Morgan Stanley, Latham & Watkins, McDonald Hopkins, Proskauer Rose, Ropes & Gray and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
SmartRent went public via a SPAC merger with Fifth Wall Acquisition I in a $2.2bn deal. (FS)
SmartRent, a provider of smart home operating systems, went public via a SPAC merger with Fifth Wall Acquisition I in a $2.2bn deal. The merger includes a $155m PIPE anchored by Starwood Capital, Lennar, Invitation Homes, Koch Real Estate Investments, Baron Capital Group, D1 Capital Partners, Long Pond Capital and Conversant Capital.
"We started this business as frustrated real estate operators looking for a comprehensive smart home solution. We understood the deficiencies of the enterprise smart home industry and knew that if we could build a fully integrated platform that met the needs of operators and their communities, we would have an impact not just on their business, but on society at large. Today we offer the most robust and deeply integrated platform on the market, validated by its rapid adoption and 100% customer retention," Lucas Haldeman, SmartRent Founder and CEO.
SmartRent was advised by JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, DLA Piper and FTI Consulting. Financial advisors were advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Fifth Wall Acquisition I was advised by Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Moelis & Co and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
Rocket Lab went public via a SPAC merger with Vector Capital-backed Vector Acquisition in a $4.1bn deal. (FS)
Rocket Lab, a private American aerospace manufacturer and small satellite launch service provider, went public via a SPAC merger with Vector Capital-backed Vector Acquisition in a $4.1bn deal.
Group of top-tier institutional investors have committed to participate in the transaction through a significantly oversubscribed PIPE of approximately $470m, with 39 total investors including Vector Capital, BlackRock and Neuberger Berman.
“Rocket Lab has created a sustainable, affordable and innovative path to space, a feat once considered nearly impossible. We look forward to further supporting the Company, which is poised to lead the fast-growing space launch, systems and applications markets. This is an important milestone for Vector and Rocket Lab, and we are grateful for our shareholders’ overwhelming support as Rocket Lab continues its journey to becoming a public company," Alex Slusky, Vector CEO.
Rocket Lab was advised by Morgan Stanley, Goodwin Procter and FTI Consulting. Neuberger Berman was advised by Squire Patton Boggs. Vector Capital was advised by Deutsche Bank, Kirkland & Ellis, Gasthalter & Co, Canaccord Genuity, Cowen and Stifel.
Oak Hill Advisors completed a $327m investment in Workspace Property Trust. (FS)
Oak Hill Advisors, an alternative investment firm, completed a $327m investment in Workspace Property Trust, an operator of a privately held, vertically integrated, full service commercial real estate company.
“This investment in Workspace is exactly the type of opportunity OHA is focused on: partnering with a great management team with an excellent operating history and strong performance in a sector with strong secular tailwinds. We are looking forward to exploring additional investments together," Matt Borstein, OHA Partner.
Workspace was advised by Moelis & Co, Rockefeller Capital Management and ThroughCo Communications. Rockefeller Capital was advised by Seyfarth Shaw. Oak Hill was advised by Eastdil Secured and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
TZP Group completed the investment in Krystal Growth-backed SAXX Underwear. (FS)
TZP Group, a private equity firm, completed the investment in Krystal Growth-backed SAXX Underwear, a manufacturer of undergarments. As part of the transaction, Brentwood Associates will exit their investment. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We know that there is a significant opportunity for our business, beyond what we have accomplished to-date and beyond our borders, and we are excited to be partnering with TZP on this next chapter of growth. This transaction supports the significant opportunity we see to strengthen our leadership position as the best in solving male discomfort and to further expand the SAXX brand globally. TZP’s expertise in brand expansion and digital transformation, as well as their track record of driving omnichannel growth for leading consumer brands, make them the ideal partner to bring our coveted, patented technology to the world," Wendy Bennison, SAXX CEO.
SAXX was advised by Raymond James, DLA Piper and ICR. TZP Group was advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Stikeman Elliott. Brentwood was advised by Perkins Coie.
Liftoff to merge with Vungle. (FS)
Liftoff, a complete mobile app marketing platform, agreed to merge with Vungle, an ad network providing a technology platform. The transaction follows prior majority investments from Blackstone. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"When we launched Liftoff nine years ago, it was our vision to offer leading solutions for mobile marketers, in a world where few independent and unbiased alternatives existed. In joining forces with Vungle, we offer not only the industry's most complete and scaled platform, but also maintain our focus on serving our mobile customers without any conflicts or competing offerings. I am excited about our next phase of growth and innovation as we create the go-to mobile growth platform of the future," Mark Ellis, Liftoff Co-Founder and CEO.
Liftoff and Vungle are advised by Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Blackstone is advised by VSC.
Apollo Global completed a $150m investment in FlexGen Power Systems, a provider of energy storage technology solutions. Apollo's investment will be made in partnership with existing investors, Altira Group and the founding investment group led by Jerry Miller and Mark Dreyfus.
"Our work with Apollo will accelerate FlexGen's growth, and the capabilities we can offer going forward while establishing the bankability that the market values when making energy storage investments. We are well-positioned at the most critical intersection of the clean energy transition—energy storage. We have spent the past decade building the most advanced integration solutions in the market—and now that market is ready to take-off. I'm excited to have Olivia and the rest of the Apollo team's support in building on FlexGen's mission to deliver utility-scale storage that drives forward the clean energy transition," Kelcy Pegler, FlexGen CEO.
Apollo was advised by Vinson & Elkins and Joele Frank. FlexGen was advised by Citigroup and DLA Piper.
NexPhase Capital, a thematic and operationally-focused private equity firm, agreed to invest in Selerix Systems, a provider of cloud-based benefits administration and employee engagement software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited about Selerix's numerous growth prospects, and this investment underscores our confidence both in Selerix's highly scalable technology platform as well as the growing market for its industry-trusted software. We look forward to working closely with Selerix's leadership team to enhance and execute the company's strategy to grow through continued product innovation and expansion into adjacent functional areas that will enable Selerix to better serve its constituents,"
Joel Killion, NexPhase Partner.
NexPhase is advised by Lowenstein Sandler and Joele Frank. Selerix is advised by First Analysis Securities Corporation and Haynes and Boone.
GCM Grosvenor to acquire a majority stake in Horizon Telecom. (FS)
GCM Grosvenor, a global investment and advisory firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Horizon Telecom, a provider of advanced broadband services intended to serve the residents and businesses. GCM Grosvenor will invest through its Labor Impact Strategy and joins the existing investor group led by Novacap. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"GCM Grosvenor is excited to announce this investment in Horizon, a growing and well-positioned communications infrastructure provider with what we consider a significant competitive advantage in its region from both a cost and time-to-market perspective," Matthew Rinklin, GCM Grosvenor Managing Director.
Horizon and Novacap are advised by Paul Hastings and Abernathy MacGregor. GCM is advised by Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
Lineage Logistics, Stonepeak and D1 Capital to invest $450m in Emergent Cold Latin America. (FS)
Lineage Logistics, a REIT and logistics solutions provider, Stonepeak, an alternative investment firm, and D1 Capital, an investment fund, agreed to invest $450m in Emergent Cold Latin America, a provider of logistics services.
The company plans to deploy over $450m of equity capital toward greenfield projects and acquisitions in Latin America over the next two to three years. The company also plans to buy net-leased cold-storage real estate in key markets and to offer customers the opportunity to monetize cold storage assets within their supply chain portfolios.
“We are thrilled to announce the launch of Emergent Cold Latin America and provide customers in the region with significant technological and modernization opportunities within their cold chains to match those that are leading the industry in the U.S. and Europe. We’re working towards transforming the temperature-controlled supply chain in Latin America and becoming a one-stop-shop solution for customers to support their growth journeys," Neal Rider, Emergent LatAm Founder.
Emergent Cold Latin America is advised by Credit Suisse and Latham & Watkins.
Centre-backed Vision Innovation Partners, a platform for ophthalmology service providers, completed the acquisition of Northeastern Eye Institute, a comprehensive eye care center. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Northeastern Eye Institute has been a pioneer in comprehensive eye care in Northeastern Pennsylvania since its founding. Their tradition of service and excellence, and their approach to cutting edge eye care technology makes them a perfect partner for our growing platform," Michael Dunn, Vision Innovation Partners CEO.
Centre Partners was advised by Kekst CNC.
Founders Fund, a venture capital firm, led a $300m Series C funding round in Ramp, a producer of entertainment software products. Other investors include Redpoint, Thrive Capital, D1 Capital Partners, Coatue, Spark Capital, Stripe, Box Group, Conversion Capital, Lux Capital, Iconiq Capital, Altimeter Capital, Vista Public Strategies, A* Partners, Definition Capital, Honeycomb, Flexport, Lachy Groom Fund, Olive Tree, and Kinetic.
"Soon Ramp will be able to go beyond simply identifying savings opportunities and actively secure those savings for you. Up to now, we’ve provided savings insights based on your past transactions but now we’ll be able to proactively save you money before you spend. We’ll help you get the best price on everything from travel to software, using benchmark data derived from the millions of transactions on Ramp while sparing you from the tedious back-and-forth with vendors. In doing so, we’ll bring greater transparency and efficiency to B2B purchasing," Eric Glyman, Ramp Co-Founder and CEO.
Investment firms Sequoia Capital and Coatue led a $220m Series C funding round in Grafana Labs, a developer of a performance monitoring platform. Other investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital, and GIC.
“It’s been an incredible year at Grafana Labs, highlighted by the rapid adoption of Grafana Cloud, the growth of our Loki logs and Prometheus metrics offerings, the introduction of Tempo 1.0 for tracing, and the continued development of the Grafana frontend. This new investment of capital, as well as the addition of two highly experienced technology executives to our board, will focus us on accelerating product development to support our community’s and customers' success," Raj Dutt, Grafana Labs Co-Founder and CEO.
Baillie Gifford and iFinex led a $210m Series B funding round in Blockstream. (FS)
Baillie Gifford, an investment management firm, and iFinex, an IEO platform, led a $210m Series B funding round in Blockstream, a developer of a blockchain technology.
The funding will advance Blockstream’s other innovative mining products and services, including the recently announced Blockstream Energy product, which maximises renewable energy investment returns at power production sites. This new mining infrastructure will be used in many partnerships around the world, including Blockstream’s collaboration with Square to develop an open-source, solar-powered mining facility in the United States.
Norwest Venture led a $207m Series B funding round in ICON. (FS)
Norwest Venture, an American venture and growth equity investment firm, led a $207m Series B funding round in ICON, a developer of advanced construction technologies including robotics, software and building materials. Other investors include 8VC, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, BOND, Citi, Crosstimbers, Ensemble, Fifth Wall, LENx, Moderne Ventures and Oakhouse Partners.
"ICON's groundbreaking technology has created a new paradigm for homebuilding that fundamentally changes how housing is constructed. The company is already building everything from single family homes for the homeless all the way to structures for habitation on the moon and Mars. But we are particularly excited about the opportunity for ICON to collaborate with home builders and massively impact the housing shortage currently plaguing the US We're thrilled to add ICON to our portfolio of innovative prop tech leaders and look forward to partnering with the team in the years ahead," Jeff Crowe, Norwest Venture Managing Partner.
Greenoaks led a $114m Series B funding round in Cora. (FS)
Greenoaks, a global investment firm, led a $114m Series B funding round in Cora, a Brazilian digital lender to small-and-medium-sized businesses. Additional investors include Tiger Global, Tencent, Kaszek, QED and Ribbit Capital.
"Looking ahead, the startup plans to use new capital toward product development, growth, operations and building out a credit offering. We are using the data it is generating “to provide way better credit” for the customers," Igor Senra, Cora CEO and Co-Founder.
Lone Wolf, a company that offers real estate software products for agents, completed the acquisition of Propertybase, a global real estate and mortgage software provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Joining forces with Lone Wolf is an exciting milestone for Propertybase and its customers. Combining the power of Propertybase's innovative website, CRM, and marketing solutions with the unequaled capabilities of Lone Wolf's offerings will further allow real estate professionals to thrive using technology in a rapidly evolving industry," Vance Loiselle, Propertybase CEO.
Headspace to merge with Ginger.
Headspace, a provider of mindfulness and meditation services, agreed to merge with Ginger, a provider of on-demand mental healthcare services. This transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the last quarter of 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are witnessing a mental health crisis unlike anything we’ve experienced in our lifetimes, yet the majority of mental healthcare today is neither broadly accessible nor affordable. Together, as Headspace Health, we will address the systemic challenges of access and affordability in a fundamentally different way by creating the world’s most holistic, scalable, and effective mental health and wellbeing company," CeCe Morken, Headspace CEO.
Dragoneer is expected to lead Discord round at $15bn value. (FS)
Dragoneer Investment Group is expected to lead an investment that would value Discord, a popular video game chat platform, at around $15bn.
The round is expected to include participation by several existing investors. The financing is set to raise at least $500m, Bloomberg
ARK Investment stake in $17.5bn Harry Sloan SPAC hits 11%. (FS)
Cathie Wood's ARK Investment Management, an American investment management firm, now has a nearly 11% stake in Harry Sloan-backed Ginkgo Bioworks, a biotech company.
Ackman committed to finding a deal for PSTH.
William Ackman, a billionaire investor, who last year launched the biggest-ever special-purpose acquisition company, said he remains committed to finding a merger partner for his blank-check company Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, Reuters
“Our plan to return cash to shareholders once Spark is approved does not mean that we are moving away from PSTH and giving up on completing a deal,” William Ackman.
Warby Parker to go public via direct listing on NYSE. (FS)
Tiger Global and General Catalyst-backed Warby Parker, an eyewear company, filed paperwork with US regulators for a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, revealing a 53% surge in revenue for the first half of 2021.
Warby Parker was valued at $3bn after a $245m funding round in 2020, Reuters
TPG is working with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs on IPO plan. (FS)
TPG, an investment company, is working with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs on plans for an IPO.
TPG hasn’t made any final decisions on an IPO and its plans could still change. TPG could be valued at about $10bn in a listing and had also been considering going public through a merger with a blank-check company.
A.k.a Brands files for IPO. (FS)
A.k.a. Brands, a global platform of direct-to-consumer, digitally native fashion brands, filed with the US SEC for an IPO and planning to raise $100m.
Summit Partners-backed company said it plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AKA.
A.k.a Brands is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Davis Polk & Wardwell, Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Jeffries.
Waverley Capital announces closing of $200m IPO.
Waverley Capital, a special purpose acquisition company, announced the closing of its IPO of 20m units at a price of $10 per unit.
The units were listed on the New York Stock Exchange and began trading on August 20, 2021. Each unit consisted of one Class A ordinary share of the Company and one-third of one redeemable warrant.
Apollo seeks $500m fund to invest in SPACs. (FS)
Apollo Global Management, an alternative investment manager firm, is raising $500m for a fund to invest in special purpose acquisition companies, the buyout firm’s latest move to capitalize on the investment trend, Reuters
Apollo’s fund, one of the first of its kind, will buy stakes in the IPO and private placements of SPACs, as well as provide liquidity to SPAC managers by acquiring their founder shares.