Conyers Park II Acquisition, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, and Advantage Solutions, the provider of outsourced sales and marketing services to consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, provided an update on activities as they move forward with their planned combination, including the announcement of the refinancing process and preliminary results for Advantage for the third quarter of 2020.
Conyers Park management also confirmed that the special meeting of stockholders to approve the pending combination with Advantage will be held on October 27.
“Advantage Solutions has a long, successful track record in the consumer products industry. We believe that Advantage offers a strong path for future growth given its robust, diverse customer base, excellent management team and opportunities to serve brands and retailers in new ways. We are excited about both the organic and M&A growth prospects for this business and believe the transaction represents a highly attractive valuation for CPAA shareholders,” Jim Kilts, Conyers Park executive chairman.
Advantage is advised by Morgan Stanley, Latham & Watkins and Solebury Trout. Conyers Park II Acquisition is advised by Centerview Partners, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis and Shearman & Sterling. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley.
Bansk Group, a private investment group focused on growth companies, agreed to acquire Woodstream, a manufacturer and marketer of a broad portfolio of branded pest control, electronic animal containment, and lawn & garden products, from Vestar Capital Partners, a US middle-market private equity firm. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Woodstream has achieved double-digit growth in sales and has become a more strategic, consumer-driven organization over the last five years with Vestar's support, but there's still more to be done. Our strategy of investing behind product innovation has put the company on a strong growth trajectory, and I am grateful to the Woodstream management team, our Board of Directors and the Vestar partners for their dedication to the company. It's an exciting time at Woodstream, and we look forward to our next chapter under Bansk's ownership," Miguel Nistal, Woodstream CEO.
Woodstream is advised by William Blair & Co. Bansk Group is advised by Credit Suisse and Davis Polk & Wardwell. Vestar Capital Partners is advised by Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis and Lambert & Co. Debt financing is provided by Ares Management.
Pretium, a specialized alternative investment management firm, and Ares Management, a global alternative investment manager, agreed to acquire Front Yard Residential, a provider of single-family rental housing, for $2.4bn.
"This transaction further establishes Pretium as both a pioneer and a leader in the SFR space since 2012, having completed the industry's largest strategic recapitalization in 2019 and now leading the industry's first public-to-private transaction. We firmly believe that scale is paramount to outperformance and continuing to create meaningful liquidity for SFR investors is necessary to ensure robust valuations and the continued flow of institutional capital into the SFR asset class," Don Mullen, Pretium Chairman and CEO.
Front Yard is advised by Weil Gotshal & Manges. Ares is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Latham & Watkins, Mendel Communications and Prosek Partners. Pretium is advised by RBC Capital Markets, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, Sidley Austin, Prosek Partners and Hunton Andrews Kurth.
ConocoPhillips, an independent exploration and production company, agreed to acquire Concho Resources, an independent oil and natural gas company engaged in the acquisition, development and exploration of oil and natural gas properties, for $9.7bn.
“Together, ConocoPhillips and Concho will have unmatched scale and quality across the important value drivers in our business: an enviable low cost of supply asset base, a strong balance sheet, a disciplined capital allocation approach, ESG excellence and great people,” Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips Chief Executive.
Concho is advised by Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Joele Frank and Sullivan & Cromwell. ConocoPhillips is advised by Goldman Sachs and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
Endo Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company, agreed to acquire BioSpecifics, a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, for $658m.
"BioSpecifics Technologies pioneered the development of collagenase-based therapies, which has resulted in a robust injectable collagenase portfolio, consisting of XIAFLEX to treat the vast number of diseases and medical conditions caused by the excess accumulation of collagen and Qwo for the treatment of cellulite," Joseph Truitt, BioSpecifics Chief Executive Officer.
BioSpecifics is advised by Centerview Partners and Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Endo is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and PJT Partners.
South Mountain Merger, a special purpose acquisition company, agreed to merge with Billtrust, a provider of B2B order-to-cash solutions, in a $1.5bn deal. The transaction includes a $200m fully committed pipe at $10 per share from investors including Fidelity Management & Research, Franklin Templeton Investments, and Wellington Management.
"We are thrilled to partner with the South Mountain team and know we will benefit from their extensive industry experience. We believe AR is ripe for innovation, and together we will continue to invest in opportunities to scale the business, growing both organically and inorganically, as we seek to tackle the large total addressable market. As a leader in AR automation, we believe Billtrust is well-positioned to own a disproportionate share," Flint Lane, Billtrust Founder and CEO.
Billtrust is advised by JP Morgan and Cooley. South Mountain is advised by Citigroup and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Placement agents are advised by Mayer Brown.
Kainos Capital, a private equity firm focused exclusively on the food and consumer industry, agreed to acquire Nutrisystem, a direct-to-consumer nutrition and weight management brand, from Tivity Health, a provider of health improvement, nutrition, fitness and social engagement solutions, for $575m. The private capital group of MSD Partners is partnering with Kainos Capital in the form of a preferred and common equity investment.
"We are excited to reestablish Nutrisystem as an independent company that is well positioned to help the significant portion of the U.S. population that wants to be healthier, yet struggles with weight management. For the approximately 40% of adults who are considered overweight – and increasingly at risk for a range of serious conditions – Nutrisystem can play an important role in helping improve quality of life. Nutrisystem is a valuable partner to its customers, particularly during the Covid pandemic when it is more challenging for many people to access affordable, healthy meals," Andrew Rosen, Kainos Managing Partner.
Kainos is advised by Rabobank, Winston & Strawn and Kekst CNC. Debt financing is provided by Rabobank. Tivity is advised by Lazard and Bass Berry & Sims.
SiriusXM, an audio entertainment company, completed the acquisition of Stitcher, an on-demand Internet radio service that focuses on news and information radio and podcasts, from The E.W. Scripps, an American broadcasting company, for $325m.
"With Stitcher, we will expand our digital audio advertising presence and look to generate new ways for creators to find and connect with their audiences. Stitcher has a talented team with deep experience in the podcast space, and we look forward to working with them to better meet the needs of creators, advertisers, and listeners," Jim Meyer, SiriusXM CEO.
SiriusXM was advised by Guggenheim Partners, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Joele Frank. E.W. Scripps is advised by LionTree Advisors and BakerHostetler.
Private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice completed the acquisition of the White Cap unit, a distributor of specialty concrete and construction products and services, from HD Supply, an industrial distributor, for $2.9bn.
"Both businesses have incredible histories of exceptional customer service. As we join together, we will continue to build on our vast experiences and stronger future by investing in focused local growth initiatives with the support of our national platform," Alan Sollenberger, White Cap President.
HD Supply was advised by Goldman Sachs, Jones Day and Sullivan & Cromwell.
SMART Global, a designer and manufacturer of electronic products focused on memory, computing and storage technology, agreed to acquire the LED Business of Cree, a developer and manufacturer of lightning products, for c. $300m, including fixed upfront and deferred payments and contingent consideration.
“The addition of Cree LED significantly advances our growth and diversification strategy. We see a meaningful opportunity to expand our business into specialty lighting and continue to drive value for our customers, employees, and shareholders. We are excited about this transformational transaction and look forward to welcoming the Cree LED team to the SMART family,” Mark Adams, SMART Global President & CEO.
SMART Global is advised by Barclays and O'Melveny & Myers. Cree is advised by Morgan Stanley and Smith Anderson.
The Audet family, a major shareholder in a telecommunication holding company Cogeco, rejected revised $8.4bn bid for 100% stake in the company and its subsidiary Cogeco Communications, a communications corporation operating in the broadband services industry.
Previously, Audet family rejected a $7.8bn offer citing an unwillingness to sell their stake.
"As we did on September 2, 2020, following the announcement of their first unsolicited proposal, members of the Audet family unanimously reject this further proposal. We repeat today that this is not a negotiating strategy, but a definitive refusal. We are not interested in selling our shares," Louis Audet, Gestion Audem President.
Brookfield agreed to acquire a 20% stake in American Equity Investment Life, a retirement planning annuity provider. Brookfield will acquire a 19.9% ownership interest in the common shares of AEL in two stages: an initial purchase of a 9.9% interest at $37 per share promptly following required regulatory approval, and a second purchase of an incremental 10% interest, at the greater value of $37 per share or adjusted book value per share. Brookfield will reinsure up to $10bn in annuity liabilities, including an initial $5bn of existing liabilities and up to an incremental $5bn of future business when written.
"This transaction represents a meaningful investment for us in the attractive US insurance market and we believe our alternative asset strategies can deliver long-term value to the company. We look forward to supporting American Equity in advancing its AEL 2.0 strategy which is well-positioned to create value for all stakeholders," Sachin Shah, Brookfield Chief Investment Officer.
American Equity is advised by Ardea Partners, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom.
CriticalPoint Capital, a private investment firm, completed the acquisition of United E&C, a power construction division of AECOM, an American multinational engineering firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"United continues our 115-year heritage of providing end-to-end engineering and construction services to the power industry. In CriticalPoint Capital, we have found a partner with the industry knowledge and operational resources to support our vision. We are excited to work with CPC to build upon our legacy of providing critical infrastructure and services to our clients with a focus on safety, quality and integrity," Scott Reeder, United E&C Chief Executive Officer.
EQT hires Marc Brown to lead a new growth investment team. (FS)
EQT hired Microsoft's long-time dealmaker Marc Brown to lead a new growth investment team, adding to signs that private equity firms are seeking new strategies to diversify and boost returns.
The move will give Stockholm-based EQT a foothold in a lucrative pool of companies - ones that have gone beyond initial funding rounds and scale quickly but don't yet have the profile of mature firms with years of revenue and profitability.
"There's this whole space where we missed out on a number of opportunities that we could've gone after, and I think a lot of the LPs have the same feeling," Christian Sinding, EQT Chief Executive Officer.
Ventas Life Science and Healthcare Real Estate Fund to acquire Trophy Life Science portfolio for $1bn. (RE)
Ventas, through its Ventas Life Science and Healthcare Real Estate Fund, which is a perpetual life vehicle focused on investments in core and core-plus life science, medical office and senior housing real estate in North America, has acquired a trophy life science portfolio in the premier South San Francisco life science cluster for $1bn.
“We are pleased to further expand our growing research & innovation footprint into the premier South San Francisco life science cluster with the acquisition of this outstanding lab portfolio. Strong and growing capital flows into the life science sector are accelerating innovation and discovery. These flows support the demand for first-class lab space in dynamic markets like South San Francisco," Debra A. Cafaro, Ventas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Diploma, the international group supplying specialised technical products and services, completed the acquisition of Windy City Wire, a value-add distributor of premium quality, low voltage wire and cable in the US, for $465m.
"As a high-quality wire and cable distribution business with a strong management team and an impressive value-add customer proposition, WCW is a perfect fit with our business model. Furthermore, it accelerates our strategy of focussing our growth in our key markets in a product area we know well, providing a scalable platform for our Controls sector in the US. The business has an excellent performance track record and is positioned well in high structural growth end segments to deliver exciting growth in the future," Johnny Thomson, Diploma CEO.
Diploma was advised by Barclays, Numis Securities and Tulchan Communications. Barclays and Numis were advised by White & Case.
Thoma Bravo agreed to acquire AxiomSL, a provider of cloud-enabled risk management and regulatory solutions for banking, investment management, broker-dealers and commodity trading institutions. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Vlad and I are excited to partner with Thoma Bravo to take AxiomSL through the next phase of our growth journey. Thoma Bravo has a proven track record of accelerating innovation and growth at leading software companies, as well as a strong appreciation for our values of client success, integrity with accountability, excellence in innovation, diversity of perspectives and internal and external collaboration," Alex Tsigutkin, AxiomSL Founder and CEO.
AxiomSL is advised by Evercore and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Thoma Bravo is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust, the first UK-listed investment company of its kind to invest exclusively in the energy efficiency sector, agreed to acquire Värtan Gas Stockholm, the owner of the established, operational and regulated gas distribution network for Stockholm, for c.£100m ($129m).
"SEEIT is making an investment in an important infrastructure asset for the City of Stockholm. It provides an attractive opportunity for SEEIT to invest in an established energy network that helps with greenhouse gas emission reductions and for SEEIT to help make it greener. The operational investment offers the opportunity for an attractive level of income and for significant growth over the medium to long term. We are pleased to agree this investment immediately following our successful fund-raising," Jonathan Maxwell, Sustainable Development Capital CEO and Founder.
SDCL is advised by Jefferies & Company and TB Cardew.
Fidim, an Italian holding company, offered to acquire Athena Investments, which through its subsidiaries, focuses on the operation of renewable energy plants with the intention to expand its business platform through minority and majority investments. The offer price will be DKK3.7 ($0.5) per share.
Fidim will make the offer and publish an offer document containing all terms and conditions of the offer as soon as possible following the final approval of the offer document by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.
Fidim is advised by Mazanti Andersen Korsø Jensen.
Gulf Capital, an alternative asset manager, agreed to acquire a majority stake in the Cedar White Bradley Group, intellectual property services provider across the Middle East and North Africa. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our partnership with Gulf Capital is a major step towards reaching our goal of becoming the leading provider of IP services in emerging markets as we expand across new geographies, take on talented people, invest in new technologies and broaden our service offerings," Halim Shehadeh, CWB Group Chief Executive Officer and Founder.
UK and Brussels grapple over EU mergers oversight.
The UK competition watchdog is grappling with Brussels over control of some of the EU's biggest mergers as December deadline for Brexit trade deal creeps up.
Danone considers the biggest shakeup in years with portfolio review.
Danone Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Faber plans to cut underperforming businesses throughout the company's portfolio as shares of the French yogurt maker languish near a six-year low, Bloombergreported.
The company is studying a sale of the Vega protein powder brand as well as a unit in Argentina, potentially getting rid of assets with revenue of €500m ($585m). Faber said Monday some divisions could cut 20-30% of the products they make. The stock rose 1.4% in Paris until a market-wide trading disruption on Euronext.
Soltec seeks IPO.
Soltec, a Spanish solar equipment maker, has seen keen investor interest for a stock listing it hopes will benefit from global economic rebuilding after the coronavirus crisis, Reuters reported.
Soltec, which makes kits that help solar panels soak up more rays, said it had received enough non-binding orders, on a first day of meetings with investors on Friday, to fulfil a plan to raise up to €165m ($194m).
Land Securities to divest assets and focus on new development.
Land Securities Group, UK's real estate company, plans to sell about a third of its £12.8bn ($16.6bn) property holdings in the next few years and reinvest the money in new development.
The company will sell about £1.6bn ($2bn) of properties such as hotels and retail parks that don’t form part of a new strategy that focuses on developing offices and mixed-use projects. Land Securities will also sell some existing London offices it already owns.
"We are signalling our intention to become net sellers over the next few years. The company seeks to take advantage of “strong demand from investors for office buildings in the capital with major companies as long-term tenants," Mark Allan, Land Securities Chief Executive Officer.
Alibaba agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Sun Art, a hypermarket and supermarket operator in China for $3.6bn. Alibaba will raise its aggregate direct and indirect stake in Sun Art to approximately 72% through the acquisition of 71% stake in A-RT Retail Holdings that holds approximately 51% of the equity interest in Sun Art.
"Alibaba's strategic investment in Sun Art in 2017 was an important step in our New Retail strategy. The alliance we formed with Auchan Retail and Ruentex was instrumental in building a robust infrastructure to create opportunities and value in China's retail sector. Led by Chief Executive Officer Peter Huang, Sun Art has achieved impressive results in its digitalization, and pursued promising synergies with businesses across the Alibaba digital economy. As the Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating the digitalization of consumer lifestyles and enterprise operations, this commitment to Sun Art serves to strengthen our New Retail vision and serve more consumers with a fully integrated experience," Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO.
Elliott Advisors, an American investment management firm, agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Thiess, a mining company based in South Bank, Queensland, Australia, from CIMIC, an Australian multinational contractor, for c. $1.9bn.
"The sale agreement reflects Thiess' ongoing strategic importance as a core activity for CIMIC. It capitalises on the robust outlook for the mining sector and, together with Elliott, we will pursue market opportunities in line with Thiess' growth and diversification strategy," Marcelino Fernández Verdes, CIMIC Group Executive Chairman.
Andrew Forrest, the Australian mining billionaire, completed the acquisition of R.M. Williams, a footwear and clothing company, from L Catterton, an American private equity company. The transaction was carried out through Tattarang, a private equity group owned by Mr Forrest. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Andrew and I want to continue the legacy of this great company, and that means continuing to employ and support the Australians that have built and grown the brand. By bringing R.M. Williams back into Australian hands, we will ensure the Australian craftmanship continues to be loved and worn all around the world," Andrew Forest, Tattarang owner.
Ant Financial secures Hong Kong approval for $35bn dual listing. (FS)
Ant Group has won approval from the Hong Kong stock exchange for the offshore leg of its IPO, clearing the last key regulatory hurdle to launch a dual-listing expected to be worth about $35bn.
Backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, Ant passed the hearing with the exchange's Listing Committee, Reuters reported.
The fintech company plans to list simultaneously in Hong Kong and on Shanghai's STAR Market in the coming weeks, in what could be the world's largest IPO, surpassing the record set by oil giant Saudi Aramco's $29.4bn float last December.
Edelweiss closes its $900m structured credit fund. (FS)
Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors, part of Edelweiss Asset Management, said it has achieved the final close of its $900m alternative investment fund – ESOF III. The third in the Special Opportunities Series, ESOF III was launched with an investment mandate centered around the performing credit space with a focus on providing structured credit to Indian companies, DealStreetAsia reported.
The ESOF III strategy has received investments by the Canadian Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Florida’s State Board of Administration, Swedish Pension Fund – AP4 and a European Insurance Investor, among others.
"Banks and Mutual Funds have been receding from the structured credit space in line with global trends and the current dislocation has further accentuated the need for long-term flexible capital. This presents a huge opportunity for private debt players, and it's reassuring to note that the present market environment has not deterred investors who are keen to participate in India’s long term growth story," Rashesh Shah, Edelweiss Group chairman and chief executive officer.
Source Code Capital raised $567m for fourth RMB fund. (FS)
Source Code Capital, Chinese venture capital firm, has closed its fourth RMB-denominated fund at $567m, bringing the total assets under management of its four RMB funds to $1.3bn.
The VC also has $1.5bn in AUM under its five dollar-denominated funds. The latest RMB fund received capital commitments from Chinese financial institutions, funds of funds, large-scale listed industry groups, and government-led funds.
Beijing-based Source Code Capital said that over 70% of the pool of new capital came from its former limited partners, thanks to the track record of its RMB fund series. Seven of its portfolio companies have had IPOs so far, including, most recently, EV-maker Li Auto‘s $1.1bn offering on Nasdaq and a $2.12bn IPO of online real estate broker KE Holdings.
Brookfield, CPPIB and NIIF plan to acquire Mahindra's 600MW solar assets. (FS)
Brookfield, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and Edelweiss Yield Plus Infrastructure Fund are among half a dozen investors in discussions to acquire nearly 600MW of solar assets from Mahindra group's renewable energy business, Mahindra Susten, DealStreetAsiareported.
They have received offers from six financial investors, including Brookfield, Edelweiss, CPPIB and NIIF. They will be shortlisting three bidders for the final round of negotiations. The portfolio of assets on sale includes two large operating solar projects: a 250MW project in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, and another 250MW project that it won in Solar Energy of India and a few smaller projects.
Goldman Sachs-backed ReNew Power explores overseas listing.
Goldman Sachs-backed ReNew Power Ventures is exploring an overseas listing, DealStreetAsia reported.
This IPO plan comes in the backdrop of Thailand' PTT Group looking to acquire a stake from Goldman Sachs Group in ReNew Power, one of India's largest clean energy company, underpinning the rising interest of South East Asian oil and gas majors to back green ventures in India.
ReNew Power' overseas listing plans comes after its earlier plan for IPO in India was put on hold.
Tesla considers investing in a battery plant.
Tesla is in discussions with the Indonesian government to invest in a battery plant in the country. The industry minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita confirmed the news, saying the government is pitching a plant in the integrated industrial area at Batang, Central Java.
Tesla's interest in the country surfaced last month when the coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, revealed that Tesla had evinced interest in a battery plant.
“I would like to convey that many people are interested in investing in Indonesia. I received a call from Tesla. They are interested in building a lithium battery (factory) in Indonesia,” Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, Indonesian industry minister.
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