EU antitrust regulators have resumed their scrutiny of US life sciences company Illumina’s bid for Grail after a two-month temporary halt and will decide by February 4 whether to clear the deal, Reuters reported.
The EU competition enforcer paused its investigation on August 11 while waiting for Illumina to provide requested data.
Grail is advised by Morgan Stanley, Latham & Watkins, McDonald Hopkins, Proskauer Rose, Ropes & Gray and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Illumina is advised by Goldman Sachs, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Joele Frank. Financial advisors are advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Johnson & Johnson is advised by Goodwin Procter.
Merck, a US pharmaceutical giant, commenced the cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of common stock of Acceleron Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of therapeutics to treat serious and rare diseases, for $11.5bn. On September 30, 2021, Merck announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Acceleron.
Upon the successful closing of the tender offer, stockholders of Acceleron will receive $180 in cash for each share of Acceleron common stock validly tendered and not validly withdrawn in the offer, without interest and less any required tax withholding. Following the purchase of shares in the tender offer, Acceleron will become a subsidiary of Merck.
Acceleron is advised by Centerview Partners, JP Morgan and Ropes & Gray. Financial advisors are advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Merck is advised by Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Covington & Burling, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Joele Frank.
Symphony Technology Group, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of security equipment manufacturer FireEye's products business, including the FireEye name, for $1.2bn.
"We are extremely impressed by the FireEye Products business and the mission critical role it plays for its customers. We believe that there is enormous untapped opportunity for the business that we are excited to crystallize by leveraging our significant security software sector experience and our market leading carve-out expertise," William Chisholm, STG Managing Partner.
FireEye was advised by Goldman Sachs and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. STG was advised by Jefferies & Company, UBS and Paul Hastings. Debt financing was provided by Jefferies & Company and UBS. Debt providers were advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
TradeZero, an online broker-dealer, agreed to go public via a merger with Dune Acquisition, a blank check company, in a $556m deal.
“Fundamentally, we are a trading platform designed for the rapidly evolving demands of the individual active trader. As traders’ sophistication has increased across the retail community, we have built a new age system focused on providing the flexible capabilities needed to equalize the playing field when transacting in US equities and equity options. We believe that we are in the early-innings of addressing an underserved end-market ripe for continued investment. As such, we are pleased to announce this milestone of a public listing and partnership with Dune, which we believe will accelerate our strategic direction to best capitalize on the expanding scope of active trading,” Daniel Pipitone, TradeZero Co-Founder and CEO.
TradeZero is advised by Appleby, Vinson & Elkins and Anreder & Co. Dune is advied by Cantor Fitzgerald, Needham & Co, PJT Partners, White & Case and Winston & Strawn.
Vroom, an online automotive retailer, agreed to acquire United Auto Credit, a company which provides automotive finance, for $300m.
“Competitive financing is a fundamental component of Vroom’s value proposition and adding proprietary lending capabilities unlocks significant value for our business and our customers. We were impressed with the UACC team’s depth of expertise, as well as their commitment to their customers, and are thrilled to have them as part of the team as we advance our lending offering and continue our asset-light approach to scaling our business. The transaction represents a meaningful strategic opportunity, with significant potential for enhancing aggregate gross profit and improving customer satisfaction,” Paul Hennessy, Vroom CEO.
Vroom is advised by Wells Fargo Securities, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Moxie Communications Group. UACC is advised by Raymond James and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Columbia Banking System, the parent company of Columbia State Bank, agreed to merge with Umpqua Holdings, the parent company of Umpqua Bank, in an $8.2bn deal.
"This is an exciting combination that brings together two well-respected organizations and talented teams, accelerating our shared strategic objectives to create the leading regional bank headquartered in the West. Together, with increased scale, we'll have the ability to provide expanded opportunities for associates and serve customers through an even more comprehensive suite of solutions. We'll also be able to strengthen our ongoing investment in our communities and deliver tremendous value for shareholders. I look forward to partnering with the Columbia team to expand our market share as a combined organization," Cort O'Haver, Umpqua President and CEO.
Umpqua Holdings is advised by JP Morgan, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Joele Frank. Columbia Banking System is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Sullivan & Cromwell.
Anser Advisory, a national firm specializing in capital program advisory and consulting services, agreed to merge with Markon Solutions, a professional services firm headquartered in Falls Church, VA. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The combination of our organizations is transformative. The Markon expertise within the federal market, particularly the intelligence community and civilian and defense agencies, coupled with their established presence within the Virginia/Maryland/DC area are perfectly complementary to the Anser expertise in aviation, transportation, water, education, and energy. Our combined organization will continue to deliver innovative solutions coupled with world-class people in support of our client’s critical missions across federal, civil, and social infrastructure. Markon’s President Matt Dean and I are thrilled to bring our organizations together," Bryan Carruthers, Anser CEO.
Markon Solutions is advised by KippsDeSanto & Co and Greenberg Traurig. Anser is advised by Houlihan Lokey, Dechert, Morrison & Foerster and Seyfarth Shaw.
Wellspring Capital Management, a private equity firm headquartered in New York, agreed to acquire Pentec Health, a provider of patient-specific sterile compounding. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I am delighted to announce our new investment partnership with Wellspring Capital. Wellspring has demonstrated its healthcare investment mastery for many years, and the confidence that Alex, Nash, and the team at Wellspring has placed in Pentec is both an affirmation of our strategy and an acknowledgment that we have one of the most dynamic national home infusion platforms, led by an extraordinarily talented management team," Joseph Cosgrove, Pentec Chairman, President, and CEO.
Pentec Health is advised by Houlihan Lokey and Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Wellspring is advised by McDermott Will & Emery. Debt financing is provided by Twinbrook Capital Partners.
PharmaCann, the largest privately held, vertically integrated cannabis company in the United States, agreed to acquire LivWell, a multi-state cannabis cultivation firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“It is a privilege to join teams with LivWell, one of the longest tenured cannabis operators in the industry, with a shared commitment to improving people’s lives through cannabis,” Brett Novey, PharmaCann CEO.
LivWell is advised by Gramercy Capital and Husch Blackwell. PharmaCann is advised by Canaccord Genuity and Perkins Coie.
Chatham Asset Management, a private investment firm, agreed to acquire the remaining shares in R.R. Donnelley, an American Fortune 500 integrated communications company that provides marketing and business communications, commercial printing, and related services, for $464m.
"Despite our efforts to engage with the Board on ways to position the business for long-term success, we no longer have confidence in RRD's ability to achieve full and fair value as a public company under the current Board and management team. As longstanding investors in RRD, we believe our offer presents the best path forward for the Company to unlock its intrinsic value, while also providing shareholders immediate and substantial cash," Chatham.
Chatham is advised by Jefferies & Company, Lowenstein Sandler and Olshan Frome Wolosky.
Forcepoint, an American multinational corporation software company headquartered in Austin, agreed to acquire Bitglass, a total data protection company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Complexity is the enemy of security. IT teams today are faced with the reality that securing a hybrid work environment is even more complex than the move to work-from-home was last year. With the acquisition of Bitglass, Forcepoint will be accelerating our ability to address customers' widespread need for enabling hybrid workforces to safely access and use information everywhere—in the web, cloud and data center—more easily than ever before," Manny Rivelo, Forcepoint CEO.
Bitglass is advised by Evercore and Cooley. Bitglass is advised by Paul Hastings.
Inverness Graham-backed Vista Apex, an endodontic and restorative dental products manufacturing platform, completed the acquisition of Palisades Dental, a manufacturer of specialized dental surgery handpieces. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to support Vista Apex in its strategic acquisition of Palisades. Palisades adds a complementary, market-leading product to Vista's endodontic portfolio, and we remain excited about the future growth of the platform," Ryan Geary, Inverness Graham Principal.
Palisades Dental was advised by Ascendiant Capital Markets. Inverness Graham was advised by Paul Hastings.
General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, led a $143m Series B round in CinCor Pharma, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, with participation from Perceptive Advisors, BVF Partners, venBio Partners, Adage Capital Management, Omega Funds, Rock Springs Capital, RTW Investments, Lilly Asia Ventures, Sixty Degree Capital, Sofinnova Investments, Sofinnova Partners, 5AM Ventures and CinRx.
"This financing will enable us to obtain the data that we hope will establish that aldosterone synthesis inhibition is a potent approach to lowering blood pressure in several patient groups, including individuals with hypertension demonstrated to be resistant to existing treatment options. In addition, it will enable us to continue to obtain data that may expand the potential utility of CIN-107 into other indications including primary aldosteronism and CKD. We welcome our new high-quality investors to CinCor and Jason to the Board," Marc de Garidel, CinCor CEO.
Warburg Pincus, a global growth investor, agreed to invest $170m in Bond Vet, a design-forward, tech-enabled brand of veterinary care clinics in New York.
The funding will be used to expand Bond Vet's footprint and invest in equipment, training, culture and technology to further improve the clinical experience for veterinarians, pets and pet parents alike.
Alkeon Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Balderton Capital led a $125m Series B funding round in Hubilo, a hybrid events platform company.
"We will be expanding our sales, partnerships, and business development divisions and setting up a complete Research and Development division that will conduct a series of experiments to ensure that Hubilo is building a completely future-proofed platform," Vaibhav Jain, Hubilo CEO and Co-Founder.
CGE Partners-backed Enhesa, a global compliance and sustainability business, completed the acquisition of Scivera, a provider of web-based software and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I am delighted to welcome the Scivera team to the Enhesa group. At Enhesa we are on a mission to help build a safer, more sustainable world, and Scivera fundamentally adds to that mission with scientific insight. Their team of sustainable chemistry experts and toxicologists adds unparalleled scientific, forward-thinking content to Enhesa's core global regulatory intelligence and Chemical Watch's independent, journalistic insights. This unique trilogy in the market will help our clients even more to stay ahead of the ever-changing curve," Peter Schramme, Enhesa CEO.
Bushel, an independently owned software company, agreed to acquire GrainBridge, a joint venture created by Cargill, an American privately held global food corporation, and Archer-Daniels-Midland, an American multinational food processing and commodities trading corporation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Because both Bushel and GrainBridge collaborate with a number of different partners throughout the grain supply chain, this acquisition will continue to maintain the standard of permission-based control within the sharing of data.
Libra Group, a privately held international conglomerate operating in a variety of industries, agreed to acquire a minority stake in LCI Helicopters, an aviation leasing company, from KKR & Co. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are proud of what LCI has achieved and look forward to being fully invested in LCI's future as the global market for helicopter deployment looks set to increase, and fixed-wing aviation is on the road to recovery," George Logothetis, Libra Group Chairman and CEO.
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, an American global insurance brokerage and risk management services firm, completed the acquisition of SeaCoast Underwriters, a wholesale specialist that serves as a managing general agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"SeaCoast Underwriters has a strong team of dedicated underwriting professionals who will bring additional products and programs to RPS's retail agent and broker clients. We are very pleased to welcome Shawn and his associates to our growing global team," J. Patrick Gallagher, Arthur J. Gallagher Chairman, President and CEO.
Crestone Services Group, a Denver-based communications and utility infrastructure services company, agreed to acquire Americom Technology, a provider of communications and utility services throughout the Mountain West. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Joining Crestone accomplishes two important goals for Americom, it ensures the continuation of our successful legacy, and provides us the additional resources to keep up with the increasing demand for our services. Crestone is a great strategic fit, and we are excited for the next 40 years," Pat Richter, Americom Technology President and Founder.
Signet Jewelers, a retailer of diamond jewelry, agreed to acquire Diamonds Direct, a direct-to-consumer destination jewelry retailer, for $490m.
"The accretive addition of Diamonds Direct to our portfolio will further drive shareholder value with its distinct bridal-focused shopping experience and add a new entry point as we build lifetime customer relationships and strive to reach our $9bn revenue goal over time. The Signet team continues to deliver strong business performance as part of our Inspiring Brilliance growth strategy. We are executing on our strategic priorities and investing in our business, while also returning cash to shareholders through our previously announced reinstated dividend and share buy-back program," Virginia C. Drosos, Signet CEO.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2, a venture capital fund, led a $300m funding round in Plume Design, a Software-as-a-Service company.
"The pandemic has dramatically accelerated the adoption of digital services, increasing our dependence on smart devices. Through its innovative cloud data platform, we believe Plume's consumer-first approach provides customers with reliable connectivity in their homes and beyond. We are pleased to partner with Fahri and the team to support their ambition of reinventing services for smart spaces globally," Nagraj Kashyap, SoftBank Investment Advisers Managing Partner.
Electrolux Professional, a provider of food service, beverage and laundry solutions, agreed to acquire Unified Brands, a food service equipment manufacturer, from Dover, an industrial products manufacturer, for $244m.
"Unified Brands has been a part of the Dover family for over fifty years. As we look to the future, we believe that this transaction is a good outcome for both Dover and Unified Brands. It will allow Dover to concentrate our time and capital on growing our core business platforms, while Unified Brands will benefit from Electrolux Professional's focus on the commercial foodservice market and its complementary customer base, product lines and channel partners," Richard J. Tobin, Dover President and CEO.
Daikin, an air conditioning manufacturing company, agreed to acquire Dynamic Controls, building systems integrator. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"HVAC is one critical piece of a larger ecosystem that needs to be managed. Dynamic Controls offers the skills and experience to combine our industry-leading equipment and controls into a customized and integrated building systems solution. A fully connected and optimized enterprise gives owners and operators the tools and insights to create more efficient, safe, healthy and comfortable spaces," Mike Schwartz, Daikin Applied President and CEO.
A consortium led by Aguila Energia has placed the highest bid for Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras’ Bahia onshore fields, offering over $1.5bn, Reuters reported.
The proposal by Aguila Energia, a company founded by former executives of PetroRio, beat proposals by PetroRecôncavo, 3R and Seacrest/Eneva.
Petrobras has been seeking to sell its stake in the Bahia onshore block, which is comprised of 28 onshore production concessions. It also includes access to infrastructure for processing, logistics, storage, transportation and offloading of oil and natural gas.
Booz Allen plans to spend big on acquisitions. (FS)
Booz Allen Hamilton Holding, a consulting firm, plans to step up its spending on acquisitions over the next few years, targeting companies that would expand its capabilities in areas such as healthcare technology and cybersecurity services, WSJ reported.
One of the largest security contractors in the US, with deep ties to the intelligence and defense communities is looking to strike more tuck-in deals than in previous years to accelerate its growth rate, Lloyd Howell, Booz Allen Hamilton CFO said.
Trump nears sale of Washington hotel to firm with a-rod ties. (RE)
The Trump Organization is in advanced talks to sell the rights to its Washington hotel in a deal that could bring more than $370m, Bloomberg reported.
CGI Merchant Group, a Miami-based investment firm, is in negotiations to buy the lease for the hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.
MoonPay set to raise $400m from Tiger Global and Coatue. (FS)
MoonPay, a financial technology company that builds payments infrastructure for crypto, is reportedly raising funds in a $400m funding round from investment firms Tiger Global and Coatue. The round would give the company a $3.4bn valuation.
MoonPay's software allows people to use credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies or other digital assets from marketplaces such as OpenSea and Bitcoin.
Crown Electrokinetics acquired ten patents from IBM.
Crown Electrokinetics, a smart glass technology company, acquired ten patents from IBM, an American multinational technology corporation, that complement its patent portfolio. Crown now has a patent portfolio of broad applicability in the smart glass technology area consisting of 34 patents and applications that offer coverage in key global markets.
"Crown has an excellent in-house research and development team dedicated to innovating in the smart glass space. We are also aware that key innovation is occurring outside of Crown, and we want to leverage these opportunities through a highly efficient platform like IPwe. The time for faster more efficient exchanges of IP is now made possible by the IPwe Platform and smart buyers and sellers will take advantage of this to dramatically improve their market positions," Douglas Croxall, Crown CEO.
Genesys looks for a valuation of $20bn in upcoming IPO. (FS)
The private equity owners of Genesys are considering an initial public offering for the call-center technology provider and aiming for a valuation as high as $20bn, Bloomberg reported.
Permira and Hellman & Friedman have held talks with advisers about a US listing of the company in the first half of 2022.
GitLab, a coding platform, is now targeting a valuation of $10bn in its US listing after raising the price range for its IPO, as demand for high-growth companies stays robust despite recent stock market gyrations, Reuters reported.
The company said it would look to sell its shares between $66 and $69 each, compared with an earlier range of $55 and $60 per share. The IPO will raise $717m at the top end of the new range.
GitLab’s move is the latest sign that the IPO market in the United States has not lost steam even as global equities suffer from wild swings due to concerns over inflation and debt-laden Chinese property developer Evergrande.
Blackstone eyes as much as $10bn for next big growth fund. (FS)
The Blackstone Group is setting out to raise one of the largest growth equity funds on record, Bloomberg reported.
The investing giant may seek as much as $10bn for a second fund targeting fast-growing companies, more than twice the size of its debut fund for that strategy. The firm has started sounding out market participants on how much it hopes to raise but has yet to set a precise target.
Blackstone alum Goodman seeks $2.5bn for stakes business. (FS)
Bennett Goodman is revving up the fundraising machine for his new investing venture two years after leaving Blackstone, Bloomberg reported.
Goodman’s Hunter Point Capital is looking to raise as much as $2.5bn for a fund that will buy minority stakes in private equity, credit and real estate-focused firms.
TDR Capital, a British private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Arrow Global, a company offering debt purchase and management solutions, for $741m.
"Arrow is a great company and, over the past two years, has taken significant and successful steps in its journey to becoming a fully integrated asset manager. In November 2020, in response to an increasingly attractive operating environment, the leadership team set out an accelerated strategy to enable Arrow to grow funds under management and increase capital-light earnings while at the same time deleveraging. This strategy was well received by our clients, customers and investors, and is fully supported by TDR Capital," Jonathan Bloomer, Arrow Chairman.
Arrow Global was advised by Panmure Gordon & Co, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Numis Securities, Slaughter & May and FTI Consulting. TDR was advised by Ashcombe Advisers, Barclays, Citigroup, Kirkland & Ellis and Powerscourt. Financial advisors were advised by Ashurst. Debt financing was provided by Bank of America, Barclays, DNB Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan and Lloyds Bank. Debt providers were advised by Shearman & Sterling.
Nvidia’s $40bn bid for British chip designer ARM is expected to face an extended EU antitrust investigation after concessions offered last week failed to address competition concerns, Reuters reported.
An EU investigation would be the second setback for Nvidia coming two months after Britain’s antitrust agency warned that the deal for the country’s most important technology company could damage competition and weaken rivals.
Arm Holdings is advised by Hogan Lovells. Nvidia is advised by Morgan Stanley, AZB & Partners, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Latham & Watkins and Brunswick Group. SoftBank is advised by Goldman Sachs, The Raine Group, Zaoui & Co, Morrison & Foerster, Kekst CNC and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisors are advised by White & Case.
SoftBank led a $200m funding round in Swile, a provider of electronic meal vouchers and other employee benefits to companies. Additional investors included Eurazeo Capital, Index Ventures and BPI France.
Through this capital increase, Swile, which provides electronic meal vouchers and other employee benefits to companies such as Carrefour, Spotify and Airbnb, joined the country's growing ranks of tech unicorns or startups valued at $1bn or more.
4iG and Antenna Hungaria-backed Hungaro DigiTel, a satellite communications operator, agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Spacecom, an Israeli communications satellite operator, for $68m.
“We look forward to working with Spacecom’s management, which will open up new business opportunities for both companies in the telecommunications and space industries. I am confident that the shareholders of Spacecom will also welcome us at the extraordinary general meeting of the Company. We want to be present in the company as a long-term professional investor, and we have a strong growth strategy in the field of telecommunications and space telecommunications.We will also dedicate an important role to Spacecom in the development and operation of the first Hungarian commercial satellite, to be launched by our subsidiary CarpathiaSat, in which we count on the company's decades of experience, as well as the expertise of the employees working there,” Gellért Jászai, 4iG President and CEO.
Netcompany, a Danish publicly traded IT consultancy, agreed to acquire Intrasoft International, a European IT solutions and services group with strong international presence and expertise, for $272m.
"We are facing an unprecedented and exciting time in Europe where all societies are now accelerating and understanding the value of digitalization. By digitizing Europe responsibly, we fundamentally change societies, businesses and the way we live our lives for the better. By acquiring Intrasoft, we become better positioned and strengthened to play a vital role in helping European governments, businesses, and institutions in their efforts to take the full advantage of digitalization. Intrasoft now becoming a part of Netcompany means that we together have more innovative platforms, more competences, and a wider presence throughout Europe. I am confident that we will play a prominent role in creating and shaping the necessary digital transition that Europe will have to go through in the coming decade," André Rogaczewski, Netcompany CEO.
TA Associates, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a 25% stake in Foncia, a provider of residential property management services in Europe, from Partners Group, a global private markets firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Foncia has grown significantly in recent years, both at home and internationally. A key focus for us now is to finalize the digital transformation of our operating model to improve customer service, cross-selling, and organic growth, while laying the groundwork for further expansion. Partners Group's entrepreneurial governance and platform-building experience has been crucial to our sustainable growth and we are delighted to continue working with them, whilst welcoming our growth-focused new partner TA Associates on board," Philippe Salle, Foncia CEO.
Cellebrite, a provider of digital intelligence solutions for the public and private sectors, agreed to acquire Digital Clues, an open-source intelligence firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition strengthens Cellebrite's market-leading Digital Intelligence platform, reinforces our position as the end-to-end technology partner capable of digitizing the entire investigative workflow, and is expected to aid in growing the company's footprint within law enforcement intelligence and investigation units across the globe," Cellebrite.
Priority Software, a global provider of business management solutions, agreed to acquire Ovdimnet, a provider of software for workforce management. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of Ovdimnet's activities will significantly enhance our solutions offering for Priority customers that need to support complex and geographically dispersed organizational structures, and workforces," Sagive Greenspan, Priority Software CEO.
PortfoLion Capital-backed Banking Software Company, a company which provides financial institutions' solutions, and W.UP, a digital banking company, completed the merger into Finshape. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"One of the main reasons why W.UP and BSC match up well is that our products and knowledge combined will offer banks a one-stop-shop in transforming into truly data- and experience-first businesses," József Nyíri, W.UP CEO.
Private equity firms circle GlaxoSmithKline’s $54bn consumer arm. (FS)
GlaxoSmithKline's consumer unit is drawing interest from private equity firms in what could lead to the biggest buyout of all time, Bloomberg reported.
The drugmaker’s advisers are informally fielding interest in the operations alongside preparations for a listing. Advent International, CVC Capital Partners and KKR & Co are among potential suitors evaluating the business.
Malone’s Liberty is said to mull $690m Belgian tower sale. (FS)
Liberty Global, the broadband provider backed by billionaire John Malone, is considering a sale of Belgian towers that could fetch at least $690m, Bloomberg reported.
The company’s Telenet unit is working with Goldman Sachs Group on the potential divestment. The portfolio consists of about 3k towers.
Wizz Air open to M&A approaches.
Jozsef Varadi, Wizz Air Holdings CEO, said he’s prepared to embrace acquisitions should a compelling deal emerge as travel rebounds from coronavirus lockdowns, Bloomberg reported.
Varadi declined to comment on the fast-growing discount carrier’s reported approach for EasyJet last month. While any takeover would need to maintain Wizz’s cost discipline, the Budapest-based company is “not resistant” to M&A, he said.
Blackstone, Hipgnosis partner to invest in music as online streaming booms. (FS)
The Blackstone Group said it would deploy around $1bn in partnership with an advisory firm owned by music executive Merck Mercuriadis to buy music rights and record songs as online streaming gains popularity and becomes more lucrative, Reuters reported.
As part of the partnership, Blackstone will take an ownership stake in Hipgnosis Song Management, an adviser to the London-listed music catalogues investor Hipgnosis Songs Fund.
Saudi Arabian Islamic finance firm Nayifat plans Riyadh float.
Saudi Arabia's Nayifat Finance Company said on Tuesday it plans an IPO on the Riyadh stock exchange with a free float of 35% of its shares, Reuters reported.
Nayifat, a consumer-focused Islamic finance firm, said in a statement that it plans a sale of 35m shares to institutional and retail investors. The sale of existing shares will be made by its current shareholders.
2150 closes flagship oversubscribed urban sustainability technology fund at $312m. (FS)
2150, the urban sustainability technology fund, held the final close of its oversubscribed flagship fund at $312m. Funding for the final close comes from new investors including Credit Suisse and a client advised by AIMS Imprint of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, the Norwegian sovereign climate investment company, Nysnø as well as the BMW Foundation and Woven Capital, the investment arm of Toyota's Woven Planet Group.
This final close comes six months after the first close of the fund, with the entire fundraise completed in just over twelve months. Since the first close in February 2021, the total footprint of real estate developed, built or managed by 2150's investor base has more than tripled to 430m sq ft, which corresponds to an area over 25 times the size of Canary Wharf.
MingZhu Logistics, a trucking service provider, agreed to acquire Feipeng Logistics, a services provider of slack coal transportation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We have a strong partner in Feipeng, with the local presence and expertise critical for a successful venture. The combination will increase our capacity by 5X, as we expand well beyond our pre-Covid level. We have spent a lot of time analyzing the transportation and logistics market to uncover growth opportunities that closely align with our business strategy and priorities. This latest collaboration will greatly strengthen our business capabilities in the road-railway intermodal market, and build upon the framework we have already established under our cooperation agreement with Sinotrans Logistics Limited's wholly-owned subsidiary, China Merchants Logistics Group Urumqi Limited," Yang Jinlong, MingZhu CEO.
CMG-SDIC Capital, a private equity firm, and Virtue Capital, an investment advisory services company, led a $101m funding round in NeuSAR, an automotive software company.
“Automative software will increasingly benefit automobile intelligence. In particular, the fundamental software products that connect hardware platforms and functional software, are critical for the safety of automative operation systems,” CMG-SDIC Capital.
Li-backed Hyphen in talks on $1bn Provident SPAC deal. (FS)
Hyphen Group, a financial technology firm backed by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, is in advanced talks to go public through a merger with blank-check company Provident Acquisition, Bloomberg reported.
A transaction could value the combined company at about $1bn. The deal may include a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, of about $100m anchored by institutional investors.
Trafigura’s Puma said to weigh sale of $1.5bn infra assets.
Puma Energy, the struggling fuel retailer and storage firm controlled by trading house Trafigura Group, is in talks to sell some infrastructure assets for as much as $1.5bn, Bloomberg reported.
The company is working with an adviser as it seeks buyers for marine storage terminals in more than 30 locations.
Malaysia Aviation weighs minority stake sale in cargo unit.
Malaysia Aviation Group is weighing the sale of a minority stake in its air cargo unit to a strategic partner, Bloomberg reported.
The parent of Malaysia Airlines has invited banks to submit proposals as it seeks ways to expand the business. A deal could value the unit, known as MASkargo, at more than $1bn.
Globetrotting SPAC bosses shun China deals amid regulatory chill.
The globetrotting dealmakers starting blank-check companies are increasingly telling investors they will not invest in China, Bloomberg reported.
At least four special purpose acquisition companies have revised their IPO filings in recent months to remove China from their areas of interest. The changes come as the US securities regulator demands volumes of disclosures on the risks of doing business in China, while Beijing authorities are scaring the market with their widening crackdown on corporate excesses.
BlackRock is no longer a substantial shareholder of Sydney airport. (FS)
Global investment firm BlackRock has ceased to be a substantial shareholder in Sydney Airport, DealStreetAsia reported.
CVC Capital Partners is set to acquire Try Group, a Tokyo-based online tutoring service, for about JPY110bn ($976m), according to Nikkei Asia.
CVC Capital plans to invest in turning Try Group more competitive as it focuses on developing and employing artificial intelligence in the tutoring service, with the view of taking it public in three to four years.
IFC is going to invest $50m in Chalet Hotels. (FS)
International Finance Corporation plans to make a debt investment of up to INR3.75bn ($50m) in Chalet Hotels, a K Raheja group company that operates Marriott hotels in India.
Mumbai-listed Chalet Hotels will use the senior loan to complete construction of a commercial building in Bengaluru, refurbish a hotel in Mumbai and for general liquidity needs at existing hotels, according to The Capital Quest.
Temasek-backed Indian unicorn Pine Labs may file for $1bn Nasdaq IPO this month. (FS)
Pine Labs, which is aiming for a $6bn Nasdaq listing, is likely to file paperwork for its IPO by the end of this month, DealStreetAsia reported.
The merchant commerce platform hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to manage the proposed initial share sale and is looking to raise as much as $1bn through a mix of primary and secondary stake sales.
China EV startup Leapmotor to mull $1bn Hong Kong IPO.
Leapmotor, a Chinese electric-vehicle maker, is considering an IPO in Hong Kong that could raise at least $1bn, Bloomberg reported.
The startup, whose backers include video surveillance company Zhejiang Dahua Technology and Sequoia Capital China, has held initial discussions with advisers about the IPO. A listing could come as soon as next year.
China's MicroTech Medical seeks to raise $254m in Hong Kong IPO. (FS)
MicroTech Medical, a Hangzhou-headquartered diabetes technology firm, is seeking to raise $254m in its IPO in Hong Kong, DealStreetAsia reported.
MicroTech, which counts Lilly Asia Ventures and Qiming Venture Partners among its investors, targets to sell up to 63.5m shares at price between $3.56 and $4 apiece. MicroTech expects to make the trading debut on October 19.
Indian hospitality startup Zostel has asked the market regulator to reject an application from SoftBank Group-backed rival Oyo Hotels and Rooms to go public due to a legal tussle between the firms over a deal that fell apart six years ago, Reuters reported.
Zostel said Oyo’s capital structure was not final and that its draft prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India was “replete with material omissions.”
Source Code closed Fund V at $1.1bn. (FS)
Source Code Capital has announced a final close on their latest fund, Source Code Venture RMB Fund V, with RMB7bn ($1.1bn) in total capital raised.
Capital raised for the vehicle will invest in early stage companies in the Chinese TMT sectors.
BPEA raised $1.2bn for Forest Logistics. (FS)
Hong Kong-based Baring Private Equity Asia Real Estate announced the closing of a capital raising for mainland warehouse platform Forest Logistics, bringing the total equity commitment to more than $1.2bn.
“China is the biggest Asian logistics market, and we have found excellent partners in Hank, Addy and the entire Forest Logistics team. With our private equity background and experience scaling companies in China, we will continue to support the Forest Logistics team in growing the company into one of China’s largest domestic logistics developers,” Alex Tse, BPEA Real Estate Managing Director.
Huaxing Growth Capital hits first close of latest USD fund at nearly $550m, targets $1.2bn. (FS)
Chinas Huaxing Growth Capital has successfully completed the first close of its USD fund in record time, receiving near $550m limited partnership commitment.
The fundraising, towards an expected total fund size of ca. $1.2bn, attracted commitments from reputable investors across Europe, Singapore, Japan, mainland China/Hong Kong and the United States.
Malaysian VC firm RHL Ventures eyes up to $100m final close of Hibiscus Fund. (FS)
RHL Ventures, a Malaysia-based venture capital firm, is looking at raising up to $100m for Hibiscus Fund, a venture vehicle it formed with South Korea's KB Investment, DealStreetAsia reported.
RHL Ventures managing partner Rachel Lau confirmed that the fund, which made its first close at $50m, is targeting a final close at $80m to $100m.
KB Investment and RHL Ventures initially launched the $55m co-general partner fund backed by Malaysia government-backed Penajana Kapital in August. The fund, however, will have a bigger close as there was strong interest in the vehicle over the past few months.
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