Schultze Special Purpose Acquisition, a blank check company, completed the merger with Clever Leaves International, a multi-national cannabis operator, in a $255m deal.
“We are very pleased to have completed our merger with Clever Leaves, which delivers attractive value to our stockholders. We believe that Clever Leaves is now among the best-capitalized companies in the cannabis industry and is well-positioned for substantial growth and profitability based upon its disruptive, low-cost and vertically integrated operating model. We look forward to working with its outstanding and highly accomplished management team to create significant value over time,” George J. Schultze, SAMA Chairman and CEO.
Schultze Special Purpose Acquisition was advised by Canaccord Genuity, EarlyBirdCapital, Greenberg Traurig, Posse Herrera & Ruiz, Stikeman Elliott, Gateway Investor Relations, ICR, and KCSA Strategic Communications. Clever Leaves was advised by Cowen & Company, Brigard & Urrutia, Dentons, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company, completed the merger with Opendoor Labs, a real estate company, in a $4.8bn deal. Opendoor started trading on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the new ticker symbol “OPEN.”
“Today marks an important step on our path towards making buying and selling a home simple and instant, and unlocking homeownership for millions of people every year. All of us at Opendoor are humbled to reach this significant milestone in our journey of building a generational company, and we are grateful for the countless individuals who have contributed to advancing our mission of empowering everyone with the freedom to move,” Eric Wu, Opendoor Founder and CEO.
Opendoor was advised by Citigroup, Cooley, Latham & Watkins, Blueshirt Group, and Joele Frank. Social Capital was advised by Morrow Sodali Global, Connaught, Credit Suisse, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Finsbury Glover Hering, and Gasthalter & Co.
Private equity firm Deerfield Management and Richard Barasch-backed Deerfield Healthcare Technology Acquisitions, a special purposes acquisition company, agreed to merge with healthcare services providers CareMax and IMCMedical Group Holdings, in a $364m deal.
"We believe that CareMax operates a best-in-class delivery model supported by a highly scalable technology backbone. We believe this business combination will create a well-capitalized platform, well-positioned to expand organically, through accretive M&A activity and through strategic partnerships with payors," Richard Barasch.
IMC Health is advised by Piper Sandler and McDermott Will & Emery. CareMax is advised by Morgan Stanley and DLA Piper. DHTA is advised by Deutsche Bank, UBS, Polsinelli PC, White & Case, and The Equity Group. Deerfield is advised by Katten Muchin Rosenman.
Liberty Broadband, an Internet service provider company, completed the merger with GCI Liberty, the largest Alaska-based communications provider, in an $8.7bn deal.
“We are pleased to have closed Liberty Broadband’s acquisition of GCI Liberty. This process was driven by independent special committees of each company, and we are confident that the transaction will unlock value and benefit the shareholders of both companies,” Greg Maffei, Liberty Broadband and GCI Liberty President and CEO.
GCI Liberty was advised by Evercore, Baker Botts, Morris Nichols, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, and Steptoe & Johnson. Liberty Broadband was advised by Perella Weinberg Partners, Debevoise & Plimpton, and Potter Anderson & Corroon. Perella Weinberg Partners was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Merck, a multinational science and technology company, completed the acquisition of VelosBio, a privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, from Pappas Capital, a venture capital firm, and Arix Bioscience, a global healthcare and life science company, for $2.75bn.
“Merck is a recognized leader in oncology, and this acquisition reflects the hard work and commitment of all the employees at VelosBio in advancing the science of ROR1. We are very pleased that Merck has recognized the value of our first-in-class ROR1-directed investigational therapeutics. As part of Merck’s oncology pipeline, our lead product candidate, VLS-101, is now well positioned to achieve its maximum potential to benefit appropriate cancer patients in need,” Dave Johnson, VelosBio Founder and CEO.
VelosBio was advised by Centerview Partners, Cooley, and KKH Advisors. Merck was advised by JP Morgan and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. JP Morgan is advised by Cravath Swaine & Moore. Arix was advised by Optimum Strategic Communications. Pappas Capital was advised by Gasthalter & Co.
FinServ Acquisition, a special purposes acquisition company, agreed to merge with Katapult, an e-commerce focused financial technology company, in a $1bn deal.
“After a comprehensive search process, in which we examined numerous business combination opportunities, Katapult emerged as the most impressive partner, exceeding all of our criteria for a successful transaction. Katapult has a differentiated and best-in-class technology platform, with significant opportunities to continue its growth trajectory by expanding its merchant and consumer base. We are pleased to help facilitate Katapult’s listing on Nasdaq, and excited to be partnering with their entire management team as they continue to lead Katapult’s expansion as a publicly listed company," Lee Einbinder, FinServ CEO.
Katapult is advised by PJT Partners, DLA Piper, and ICR. FinServ is advised by Barclays, Cantor Fitzgerald, Kirkland & Ellis, and Paul Hastings.
Ares-backed Aspida, an insurance firm, completed the acquisition of F&G Reinsurance, a Bermuda-domiciled life & annuity reinsurer, from FGL Holdings, annuities and life insurance company, from insurance providers Fidelity National Financial and FGL Holdings. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We remain committed to leveraging the expansive capabilities across the Ares and AIS platforms to support Aspida’s strategic objectives. With our market leading credit platform, we believe we are ideally suited to enable Aspida to consolidate market share in this strong growth sector,” Michael Arougheti, Ares CEO and President.
F&G was advised by RBC Capital Markets. Ares Management was advised by Lazard, DLA Piper, and Brunswick Group. FGL Holdings was advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Solebury Trout.
Gryphon Investors, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Physical Rehabilitation Network, a physical therapy services provider, from Silver Oak Services Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We look forward to this next chapter of growth with the Gryphon and Silver Oak teams to broaden our service offerings in the communities we serve, attract more patients, and further hone our partnership model. We have built our business by supporting our clinicians through focused efforts on training, compliance, strict quality of care standards, and patient-centered service, and we expect to continue to see our success measured by patient outcomes and overall satisfaction," Ajay Gupta, PRN CEO.
PRN completed the acquisition of Houlihan Lokey, Kirkland & Ellis, and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. Gryphon Investors completed the acquisition of Jefferies & Company, Kirkland & Ellis, and Lambert & Co.
Corsair Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Oakbridge Insurance Agency, an insurance brokerage firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Four superb agencies are combining to form Oakbridge and together will be able to deliver a greater range of innovative solutions to meet their clients’ needs. We are excited to support the Oakbridge team as they embark on this journey and capitalize on substantial growth opportunities ahead," Tony Ling, Corsair Capital Principal.
Oakbridge Insurance is advised by Marsh and Maynard Cooper & Gale. Corsair Capital is advised by Dowling Hales, Chapman and Cutler, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Francisco Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of MyFitnessPal, a fitness and wellness software platform, from Under Armour, an American sports equipment company, for $345m.
"MyFitnessPal supports over 200m users in their ongoing health and fitness journeys and we are excited to partner with the business for its next stage as a standalone company to continue a strong history of recurring revenue growth, organic user acquisition and a unique consumer proposition," Christine Wang, Francisco Partners Principal.
Francisco Partners was advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Paul Hastings. Debt financing was provided by MidCap Financial Services. Under Armour was advised by PJ Solomon and King & Spalding.
Odyssey Investment Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Protective Industrial Products, a supplier of personal protective equipment, from Audax Private Equity, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of PIP builds on Odyssey's history of investing in the PPE and industrial safety sectors. PIP, over many years, has a proven track record of product innovation and differentiated service to its customers across multiple segments and channels. We are delighted to partner with Joe and the entire PIP team to execute on our shared growth vision in the years to come," Craig Staub, Odyssey Senior Managing Principal.
Odyssey Investment Partners is advised by KPMG, Latham & Watkins, and Kekst CNC.
Gas South, a provider of natural gas in competitive markets throughout the southeastern US, completed the acquisition of Infinite Energy, which provides retail natural gas service in Georgia, Florida, Ohio and New Jersey. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are grateful for their diligent work to ensure we got this deal across the finish line and wish them tremendous success in their future endeavors. I know that their leadership DNA will continue to be an important part of Gas South for many years to come," Kevin Greiner, Gas South President and CEO.
Gas South was advised by The Wilbert Group. Debt financing was provided by JP Morgan and Truist Bank.
FreeWheel, a subsidiary of Comcast, a media, entertainment, and communications company, agreed to acquire BeeswaxIO, a cloud based software developer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Together, FreeWheel and Beeswax can further enhance how television operates. As the ecosystem becomes increasingly complex, sellers and buyers of media want similar capabilities: great automation, simplicity, and the ability to manage data-driven campaigns across hundreds of endpoints. By incorporating Beeswax’s technology into FreeWheel’s offering, we can deliver even more value to clients of both companies, helping them better navigate and succeed in this new landscape,” Dave Clark, FreeWheel General Manager.
BeeswaxIO is advised by LUMA Partners. FreeWheel is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Securitas, a security company, completed the acquisition of FE Moran Security Solutions, an alarm monitoring and electronic security systems integration company, for $82m.
"This acquisition supports Securitas' strategy, strengthens our position as a leader in protective services and our ambition to double the size of our security solutions and electronic security business by 2023. This acquisition complements our North American electronic security business model and will further strengthen our position as the leader in protective services," Magnus Ahlqvist, Securitas President and CEO.
FE Moran Security Solutions was advised by Raymond James.
Miami International Holdings, the parent holding company of the MIAX Exchange Group, completed the acquisition of Bermuda Stock Exchange, a diversified financial company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We have long held that the Bermuda government's commitment to fintech regulation and the country's established (re)insurance market make the BSX and Bermuda key components of MIH's global ambitions. We are thrilled to complete this acquisition and have the BSX as a wholly owned subsidiary. BSX CEO Greg Wojciechowski and his team have done a tremendous job of helping to expand Bermuda's domestic capital market and positioning the BSX for future growth. We look forward to MIH and the BSX jointly pursuing various initiatives, especially in the digital asset and (re)insurance sectors," Thomas P. Gallagher, MIH Chairman and CEO.
BBGI Global, a large publicly listed investment company dedicated to infrastructure investments, completed the acquisition of a 25% stake in Signature on the Saint-Lawrence Group, the operator of the Samuel De Champlain Bridge Corridor in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to complete this high-quality investment into Signature on the Saint-Lawrence Group. Our strategy is to remain disciplined and selective in our approach to acquisition opportunities by only investing in availability-based assets and not in higher risk infrastructure asset classes," Duncan Ball, BBGI Co-CEO.
A Tencent-led consortium agreed to acquire a 10% stake in Universal Music Group, an American global music corporation, from Vivendi, a French mass media conglomerate headquartered in Paris, for $3.7bn. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals. Upon the closing of the transaction, the consortium's equity ownership in UMG will increase to 20%.
Vivendi believes the consortium will enable UMG to further develop its activities in Asia. With the support of Vivendi, Tencent and TME will deepen cooperation with UMG to expand opportunities for artists and bring innovative experiences to music fans, further promoting a vibrant global music entertainment industry.
Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, an institutional investor, agreed to invest $1bn in Invenergy Renewables, an owner and operator of wind and solar projects in North America.
"This new investment by CDPQ is the largest since we began our successful partnership with Invenergy in 2013. CDPQ is thrilled to put its constructive capital behind the men and women at Invenergy who passionately develop new renewable projects and thereby contribute to the climate transition," Emmanuel Jaclot, CDPQ Executive Vice-President and Head of Infrastructure.
Alphabet, a holding company, and private equity firms Silver Lake Partners, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board and Temasek Holdings, led a $700m funding round in Verily Life Sciences, a developer of tools and devices to collect and analyze health data to research and manage diseases.
The capital will be used to support rapid expansion of some of Verily’s leading commercial businesses. The company will also progress several of its life sciences programs across surgery, pathology and immunology.
"We’re humbled and excited about the opportunity to expand the scope and rapidly scale our products and services. With this new round of funding from our largest investors, they are strengthening their commitment to help expedite our original vision,” Andrew Conrad, Verily CEO and Founder.
Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division completed the acquisition of Insight Partners-backed Inhabit IQ, a software solutions provider to the real estate market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Inhabit IQ is a leader in the fast-growing property management software market, and we have been very impressed with the platform that Lisa and the Inhabit IQ management team have built. We look forward to supporting the management team in the next phase of their evolution," Anthony Arnold, Goldman Sachs Managing Director.
Innova Medical Group, a developer of rapid antigen test kits, completed the acquisition of Biological Laboratory, a clinical laboratory. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Today's acquisition of BIOLAB not only expands our R&D and clinical study management capability in the US but also our ability to supply diagnostic services at large-scale to both corporate and government clients. With BIOLAB, we increase our robust ability to provide diagnostic tests and to manufacture in-house diagnostic services. As Innova continues to grow our portfolio, BIOLAB will also assist to validate our partner products," Daniel Elliott, Innova Medical Group President and CEO.
New Mountain Capital is said to mull $3bn Zep exit in 2021. (FS)
New Mountain Capital is considering a sale or initial public offering of Zep in 2021 that could value the cleaning products firm at about $3bn, Bloombergreported.
The New York-based buyout firm is working with an adviser to explore strategic options for the company. A final decision hasn’t been made and New Mountain could decide to keep the business.
The decision to look at a sale comes as sales of cleaning products have surged during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Blackstone in talks to merge Alight with blank-check acquisition firm. (FS)
Private equity firm Blackstone Group is in talks to merge US benefits services provider Alight Solutions with a blank-check acquisition firm backed by veteran investor Bill Foley, Reutersreported.
The merger with Foley Trasimene Acquisition would result in Alight becoming a publicly-listed company at a valuation of more than $8bn, including debt.
The deal talks come more than a year after Blackstone canceled an initial public offering of Alight as it was about to raise up to $800m, amid concerns that it would not fetch the terms it was seeking. A deal with Foley’s blank-check acquisition firm would underscore the growing popularity of these vehicles as an alternative route to the stock market.
Billionaire Westons could seek food unit deals.
Canada’s billionaire Weston family may look for deals in its namesake food business after restoring its profitability, Bloombergreported.
George Weston, the Toronto-listed holding company that controls supermarket chain Loblaw Companies, could either bulk up or sell Weston Foods, its smallest business unit.
Weston Foods, which makes bread, doughnuts and other baked goods under a variety of brands, contributes an estimated 4% of George Weston’s revenue and “the company has stated that this business would eventually become larger via M&A or could possibly be divested,” Baker wrote after hosting a call with Richard Dufresne, George Weston’s President and CFO.
SymphonyAI looks for additions to portfolio.
SymphonyAI is looking to grow its portfolio to a dozen companies or more in the next several years as it eyes expansion into new sectors with the help of its own proprietary artificial intelligence platform, Crunchbasereported.
The firm’s operating model is somewhat unique, as it looks to buy or invest in companies—as well as incubating some of its own—and then leverages its own AI/machine-learning platform to help those companies grow their markets by building out their applications.
SPAC Hamilton Lane Alliance files for a $200m IPO. (FS)
Hamilton Lane Alliance I, a blank check company formed by Hamilton Lane, filed with the SEC to raise up to $200m in an initial public offering.
The Bala Cynwyd, PA-based company plans to raise $200m by offering 20m units at $10. Each unit will consist of one share of common stock and one-third of a warrant, exercisable at $11.50. At the proposed deal size, Hamilton Lane Alliance I will command a market value of $222m.
Poshmark files for IPO.
Poshmark, an online resale marketplace for second-hand clothing, filed for an initial public offering, disclosing revenue gains and a profit during the coronavirus pandemic, Bloombergreported.
The Redwood City, California-based company in its filing Thursday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission listed the size of the offering as $100m, a placeholder that will likely change. More than 70m Poshmark users have sold more than 130m items with a combined value exceeding $4bn.
For the nine months ended September 30, Poshmark said it had net income of $21m on revenue of $193m, compared with a net loss of $34m on revenue of $150m during the same period in 2019.
Coinbase Global filed to go public.
Coinbase Global, a cryptocurrency exchange services provider, has filed confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public it what is anticipated to be a break-through moment for the industry, Bloombergreported.
The San Francisco-based company said in a statement that it expects its draft registration filing to become effective after the SEC completes its review process.
Coinbase was valued at more than $8bn in 2018 after a $300m funding round led by Tiger Global Management.
Bumble is said to file confidentially for February IPO.
Bumble, the dating app where women make the first move, has filed confidentially for an initial public offering, Bloombergreported.
The company is planning to IPO in February. A listing could come around Valentine’s Day, though not on that exact day because it falls on a weekend.
Bumble, backed by the Blackstone, could seek a valuation of $6bn to $8bn in an IPO. The firm is working with advisers including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley.
Skillz lets 2.7m players a month compete with others on their mobile phones for points or prizes in games such as Solitaire Cube and Blackout Bingo. The mobile tournaments provider runs about 1,7k tournaments a second, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Paradise said in an interview.
“If you think about Skillz, we are the only meaningful endeavor in mobile esports in the world. If you are looking for exposure in mobile esports, Skillz is really the best investment that you can find,” Andrew Paradise.
Playtika files for an IPO.
Playtika Holding filed for an initial public offering, disclosing shrinking profit on increased revenue this year.
The Israel-based company in its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission listed the size of the offering as $100m, a placeholder that will likely change.
The company had net income of $16m on revenue of $1.8bn for the nine months ended September 30, according to the filing. That compared with net income of $259m on revenue of $1.4bn in revenue during the same period last year.
PGIM Private Capital raises $2.23bn for its sixth mezzanine fund. (FS)
PGIM Private Capital has completed fundraising for PGIM Capital Partners VI, surpassing its fundraising target with capital commitments of $2.23bn. PGIM Capital Partners VI is more than 20% larger than Fund V, which closed in 2016. PGIM Private Capital is a source of private debt for public and private companies and is the private capital arm of PGIM, the $1.4trn global investment management businesses of Prudential Financial.
“Throughout the global pandemic and resulting market volatility, we have continued to deploy flexible junior capital to the middle-market. Our long-term, patient approach to investing has served us, our borrowers and our investors well during this time of uncertainty. We appreciate the continued confidence of our investor base, and believe this successful fundraising effort is a testament to the strategy and value proposition of PGIM Private Capital in the middle-market,” Jeff Dickson, PGIM Private Capital Executive Managing Director and Head of Alternatives.
Gridiron Capital closes the fourth fund at $1.35bn. (FS)
Gridiron Capital, an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, has closed Gridiron Capital Fund IV and its affiliated Funds at its hard cap of $1.35bn.
"With the closing of Gridiron IV, we are grateful to our investors for their partnership and support. Despite navigating a unique and challenging year, we are excited to celebrate the closing of our largest flagship fund to date as well as our 15-year anniversary, and look forward to strategically deploying this fund," Tom Burger, Gridiron Co-Founder and Managing Partner.
Blackstone to acquire $3.45bn premier lab office portfolio from Brookfield fund. (FS, RE)
Blackstone Property Partners Life Sciences announced acquisition of a 2.3m square foot portfolio of lab office buildings from a Brookfield Asset Management real estate fund for $3.45bn. BPPLS is Blackstone Real Estate’s long-term, perpetual capital, core+ return life sciences strategy that owns BioMed Realty, Blackstone’s life science real estate portfolio company. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.
Approximately 90% of the portfolio being acquired is concentrated in
Cambridge, Massachusetts. Following the completion of the transaction,
Blackstone will become the largest life science office owner in Cambridge, and BioMed Realty, which will have an enterprise value of approximately $20bn, will have two-thirds of its platform concentrated in the Boston/Cambridge market.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group are pressing to complete their merger ahead of schedule as disruptions to the auto industry add urgency to their efforts to realize synergies from joining forces.
European antitrust approval is expected by the end of the year, and if that timeline slips, the companies still expect to hold meetings January 4 to get sign-off from shareholders, Bloombergreported.
Fiat Chrysler and PSA are eager to sew up the merger and get on with the work of squeezing the roughly €5bn ($6.1bn) of annual savings from cooperating as one company called Stellantis.
Fiat Chrysler is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, d'Angelin & Co, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Legance, Loyens & Loeff, Sullivan & Cromwell, Community Group, Image Sept and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisors are advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Macfarlanes. PSA Group is advised by China International Capital, Mediobanca, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, BonelliErede, Bredin Prat, Cabinet Bompoint, Clifford Chance, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Linklaters, NautaDutilh and Stibbe. Peugeot is advised by Zaoui & Co. Exor is advised by Lazard. Bpifrace is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Ardian, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in AD Education, a service platform dedicated to higher education institutions specialized in creative training. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted with this ambitious partnership with Kevin Guenegan and his management team, which also allows us to invest in a growth project in education, an attractive investment sector with a real social and societal impact.” Philippe Poletti, Ardian Chairman.
AD Education was advised by Boston Consulting Group, Eurvad Finance, Alvarez & Marsal, Lazard, Oloryn Partners, Gowling WLG, Jeausserand Audouard, and Arsene Taxand. Ardian was advised by Centerview Partners, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Chassany Watrelot & Associés, Latham & Watkins, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, and Headland Consultancy.
PPG Industries, a supplier of paints, coatings, and speciality materials, agreed to acquire Tikkurila, a manufacturer of paints and lacquers, for $1.3bn.
“During the past three years, we have made a clear turnaround and significant progress with our strategy. Joining forces with PPG can help us further accelerate our development with access to new technologies and resources. We look forward to working together with PPG for an even more colourful tomorrow,” Elisa Markula, Tikkurila CEO.
Tikkurila is advised by SEB and Hannes Snellman. PPG is advised by PJT Partners, DLA Piper, and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Investment firms Eurazeo Capital, IK Investment Partners and RAISE Investissement completed the acquisition of Questel, a provider of intellectual property and innovation management, for $1.12bn.
"IK and Raise have supported and trusted us entirely to develop Questel. The goup has tripled its size in less than three years and continued to enrich its software and services offering. We are delighted to welcome Eurazeo as a new shareholder for this new chapter," Charles Besson, Questel CEO.
IK Investment was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher, CTCom, and Maitland. Eurazeo was advised by Allen & Overy, Eight Advisory, and Maitland.
SEGRO, an owner, manager and developer of modern warehouses and industrial property, completed the acquisition of a 74.9% stake in Sofibus Patrimoine, which specializes in commercial real estate, for $217m.
“This is a rare opportunity to significantly increase our exposure to urban warehousing in Paris which has long been a core market for SEGRO. We have got to know Sofibus well as a shareholder and member of the Board of Directors over the past two years and look forward to the next stage of growth for the Parc d’Activités des Petits Carreaux," David Sleath, SEGRO Chief Executive.
SEGRO was advised by Lazard, Archers-AARPI, and FTI Consulting.
Philips agreed to acquire BioTelemetry, the remote medical technology company, for $2.8bn.
“The acquisition of BioTelemetry fits perfectly with our strategy to be a leading provider of patient care management solutions for the hospital and the home. BioTelemetry’s leadership in the large and fast growing ambulatory cardiac diagnostics and monitoring market complements our leading position in the hospital. Leveraging our collective expertise, we will be in an optimal position to improve patient care across care settings for multiple diseases and medical conditions,” Frans van Houten, Philips CEO.
Philips is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell and Greenberg Traurig.
GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical company, and Ahren Innovation Capital, an institutional investor, agreed to led a $1.15bn Series A round in Adrestia Therapeutics, a biotechnology company using cutting edge molecular biology to develop precision medicines.
In addition, GSK is entering into a multi-year agreement with Adrestia on up to five strategic, collaborative projects. Adrestia will be eligible to receive up to $230m (£172m) from each project in post-option milestone payments, plus royalties, subject to development and commercialisation progress, across multiple arising products.
“Adrestia’s technology has the potential to improve the lives of many patients through identifying the next generation of precision medicines. Steve is a world leading proven commercial scientist, and over the last two years the team has demonstrated the power of Adrestia’s platform. GSK is a strong partner for the next stage of Adrestia’s journey and we look forward to working together to achieve the Company’s full potential," Alice Newcombe-Ellis, Ahren Managing Partner.
Government of Egypt agreed to acquire Misr Fertilizers Production, an Egypt-based company that is engaged in the production, marketing, wholesaling and distributing of fertilizers and petrochemical products, from Nutrien, a provider of crop inputs and services, for $540m. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, which are expected to be received in full upon close before the end of December 2020.
Under the agreement, Nutrien said it would settle all arbitration claims it had made against the government of Egypt and MOPCO’s affiliate, the Egyptian Nitrogen Products, after the deal closes.
Raymond James Financial, a diversified financial services firm, agreed to acquire Financo, a consumer-focused boutique investment bank. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With our strong capital position and the growing demand for effective investment banking expertise among consumer and retail companies, this deal allows us to strategically grow our capabilities with an industry-leading team that has a similar culture and desire to deliver meaningful outcomes for clients,” Paul Reilly, Raymond James Financial Chairman and CEO.
Atos, an IT services and consultancy services provider, completed the acquisition of SEC Consult, a cybersecurity services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition will enable Atos to expand into new areas of cybersecurity expertise, such as new specific security testing domains, SAP penetration testing, red teaming and incident response capabilities, as well as into additional regions.
“We are delighted to officially become part of the Atos group today and join forces with a market leader in Managed Cyber Security Services. We’re excited about the projects that lie ahead, not only for our customers but our employees too,” Wolfgang Baumgartner, SEC Consult CEO.
Ineos, a UK petrochemicals giant, agreed to acquire a stake in Mercedes Formula One team from Daimler, a producer of premium cars and the manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“It is a sign of the strength of the organization in Brackley that we have been able to attract prestigious investors in INEOS, who see real potential for the future growth and development of the team. We remain firmly committed to Formula One, and the forthcoming cost cap along with the new shareholding structure put us in an even stronger position for continued success. With an even closer alignment to our Mercedes-AMG performance division beginning in 2021, and Toto’s continued leadership in the coming years, the future is bright for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One,” Ola Källenius, Daimler Chairman of the Board of Management.
Buyout firms said to bid for $4bn Philips appliances unit. (FS)
Buyout firms including PAI Partners and China’s CDH Investments are among suitors preparing first-round bids for Royal Philips’ home appliance unit.
Apollo Global Management has also been considering a non-binding offer ahead of this week’s deadline. Advent International and CVC Capital Partners have separately been studying the business.
The unit could be valued at more than €3bn ($3.6bn) including debt. Philips shares have risen about 5% in Amsterdam trading this year, giving the company a market value of €40.8bn ($50bn).
Aryzta rejects bid approach from Elliott. (FS)
Swiss baked goods maker Aryzta rejected $904m takeover approach from Elliott Advisors, saying it preferred to go it alone, Reuters reported.
“Aryzta announces that after careful review of the Elliott proposal, including the envisaged refinancing for Aryzta, the Board has decided unanimously to reject the proposal and not enter into a transaction agreement with Elliott,” Aryzta.
Aviva, UniCredit expects non-binding bids for insurance joint venture.
Aviva and UniCredit expect non-binding bids for their insurance joint-venture next week as the British insurer moves to divest its Italian operations, Reuters reported.
UniCredit plans to sell its 49% stake in the joint-venture along with Aviva.
The joint-venture could be worth around €600m ($734m). Aviva will also receive non-binding bids for its remaining Italian businesses, comprising fully-owned life insurer Aviva Life and general insurer Aviva Italia.
Siemens explores a fresh attempt to sell its logistics unit.
Siemens, Europe’s largest engineering company, is exploring a fresh attempt to sell its postal and airport logistics unit, Bloombergreported.
The Munich-based company is discussing options for Siemens Logistics with potential advisers. It could start gauging interest in the unit, which makes equipment to sort baggage and parcels, as soon as the first half of next year.
Siemens is reviving the sale at a time when companies are increasing logistics spending to cope with the sudden surge in online shopping during the pandemic. It came close to selling control of the business in 2014 to a consortium led by US investor Wilbur Ross.
Unicaja, Liberbank aim to agree on a merger this week.
Unicaja Banco and Liberbank aim to agree on a proposed merger to create Spain’s fifth-biggest lender as soon as this week.
European banks are under pressure to join forces to deal with rising bad loans, low-interest rates and the Covid-19 pandemic, and the combined Spanish entity would have almost €109bn ($129.5bn) in assets and a combined market value of €1.95bn ($2,38bn), Reutersreported.
BA owner IAG is rumoured to land a $613m Air Europa deal.
British Airways and Iberia owner IAG has agreed to buy Spain’s Air Europa for €500m ($613m) with payment deferred until 2026, Reutersreported.
After originally agreeing to buy Air Europa for $1.2bn in November 2019, IAG but has been pushing to cut the price as the coronavirus pandemic threw the airline industry into crisis.
BeIN to pay $500m in renewed Premier League deal.
Qatar’s BeIN Sports has agreed to pay about $500m for the right to broadcast live Premier League soccer games across the Middle East, Bloombergreported.
BeIN and the Premier League announced a new three-year contract running until 2025 in a joint statement Thursday, without disclosing financial details. It renews an existing agreement and allows BeIN to show matches in 24 markets spanning the Middle East and North Africa. At $500m, the value of the new deal is similar to the previous one.
Italy budget committee set to keep sweetener key to Paschi sale.
Italy’s budget commission is expected not to accept a proposal to cap a sweetener for large M&A deals, removing a key hurdle to the sale of struggling lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena to UniCredit, Bloombergreported.
Lawmakers within Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s governing coalition had tried to limit a tax break in the draft budget, which would apply to mergers done next year. Such a cap would make Paschi less attractive to buyers and stall plans by Italy’s finance ministry to sell it quickly to UniCredit.
American investors hope to buy Burnley before the transfer window.
American investors ALK Capital are aiming to complete their purchase of Premier League club Burnley in time to strengthen the Lancashire club’s squad during the January transfer window, Reutersreported.
Talks between the US group, led by former Wall Street banker Alan Pace and Burnley’s board, headed by majority shareholder Mike Garlick have intensified in recent weeks with just a few details remaining to be settled before a full submission to the Premier League for authorisation of the takeover.
The Americans are hoping to get the deal wrapped up before Christmas but are ultimately keen to be in place at Turf Moor in order to invest in the squad in the one month long transfer period.
Kerry Group weighs options for its consumer food unit.
Kerry Group is considering strategic options for its consumer food business, home of the Richmond sausages brand, in a move that could free up money for acquisitions, Bloombergreported.
The Irish company is reviewing its ownership of Kerry Foods, which sells chilled meat and dairy products. It could pursue a sale or spinoff of part or all of the business next year if it decides to proceed.
The non-dairy consumer food assets, which include Rollover hot dogs and Naked Glory meat substitutes, are seen as easier to divest and could attract interest from private equity firms. Kerry Foods also sells Dairygold brand spreads, Charleville cheese and Cheestrings snacks.
Next weighs bid for Topshop.
Next Retail is considering a bid for Philip Green’s TOPSHOP and TOPMAN fashion chains that entered administration at the end of November, most likely in conjunction with a financing partner, FTreported.
People briefed on the process stressed that no final decision on a bid had been made, and that while Davidson Kempner was the likely choice to act as a negotiating and financing partner, it was not the only option.
Davidson was also recently linked to Peacocks, the discount UK fashion chain owned by Philip Day, which went into administration shortly before Arcadia Group, the group that owns Topshop.
Capvest beats Cranswick to collar IPN for $368m. (FS)
A former owner of the Findus brand has beaten Cranswick, the listed food company, in the race to buy one of Britain's best-known pet food manufacturers, SkyNewsreported.
Capvest, the private equity firm, is close to striking a deal to buy Inspired Pet Nutrition, which makes Wagg dog food and the upmarket brand Harrington's.
Capvest was expected to pay between £250m ($340m) and £300m ($407m) for IPN - a price that would reflect the rapid growth of the category in a coronavirus-hit Britain.
Uzbekistan invites bids for the stake in its joint venture with Coca-Cola.
The government of Uzbekistan invited potential investors to express interest in its stake in a joint venture with Coca-Cola, Reutersreported.
The Tashkent government holds a 57.1% stake in Coca-Cola Ichimligi Uzbekiston, which controls almost a half of the soft drinks market in the Central Asian nation of 34m people.
The company reported a revenue of about $160m last year, a 46% jump year-on-year, the government said in a statement. It said it would accept letters from would-be bidders by December 31 and pick the participants of the first stage of the sale process by January 14.
Rothschild is the exclusive advisor for the planned deal.
Nordea will exit Russia after years of cuts targeting risk.
Nordea Bank is winding down what’s left of its operations in Russia, after years spent cutting back its business there as part of a plan to minimize its risks, Bloombergreported.
The Helsinki-based bank had already axed its Russian retail business, but previously indicated it would keep some services open for corporate clients. It said its decision to focus on the Nordics entails the “closure and liquidation of Nordea Bank Russia.”
The biggest Nordic bank has spent the past half decade cutting thousands of jobs and shrinking its international presence in an effort to become a leaner, more profitable business. Its former chief executive officer, Casper von Koskull, had identified Russia as a market from which to retreat as part of a plan to “de-risk” the whole bank.
France extends tougher screening on foreign investments through 2021.
The French government will extend through 2021 a lower threshold for screening non-EU investments in listed French companies that was put in place during the coronavirus crisis and was due to expire at year end, Reutersreported.
“In this time of economic crisis, we must guarantee the protection of our strategic companies. We will therefore maintain the 10% threshold for screening foreign investments in France,” Bruno Le Maire, Finance Minister.
The government has rarely used its authority to block deals, although US conglomerate Teledyne dropped plans this year to buy French night vision firm Photonis in the face of French government opposition.
Ex-Barclays banker boosts SPAC IPO size to $300m.
Makram Azar, a former senior banker at Barclays, and dealmaker Scott Freidheim raised $300m after boosting the size of their blank-check company’s US initial public offering, Bloombergreported.
Golden Falcon Acquisition sold 30m units at $10 apiece in the oversubscribed deal, it said in an emailed statement. The special purpose acquisition company was initially offering 25m units at that price.
The SPAC will primarily look for targets in the European technology, media and telecommunications industry as well as the region’s financial technology sector. Golden Falcon will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “GFX.U.”
TransferWise to hire banks for an IPO.
TransferWise has begun drawing up secret plans for a blockbuster stock market flotation that would crystallise its status as one of the most valuable technology companies ever established in Britain.
TransferWise, which has become an international payments giant less than a decade after it was founded, has asked investment banks to pitch in the new year for roles on an impending initial public offering, SkyNewsreported.
IHC to list three of its units this week.
The fourth-biggest company by market capitalization in the United Arab Emirates will list three of its units on the stock exchange in its home market, Blombergreported.
International Holdings, which has a value of about $20bn, will list Palms Sports, Zee Stores and Ease Lease on the second market of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange this week.
IHC expanded its portfolio rapidly in the past few years through a flurry of mergers and acquisitions, currently holding majority stakes in companies ranging from real estate to utilities and health care to food services. Its shares have soared more than 550% in 2020.
UiPath filed confidentially for an IPO.
UiPath, an automation software maker that could be valued at more than $20bn, said it has filed confidentially for an initial public offering, Bloombergreported.
The IPO could come in the first half of 2021. The New York-based software maker that helps companies automate routine processes was working with JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Credit Suisse Group.
AllianzGI holds second close for European Private Credit II fund. (FS)
Allianz Global Investors’ second corporate private debt fund open to third party investors, EPC II attracted commitments from German, French, Austrian and Italian insurers and corporate pension funds alongside Allianz group entities, having raised €290m ($355m) of commitments in 2020.
“The Covid-19 crisis will result in banks’ balance sheets becoming increasingly stretched, leaving more space for alternative lenders. EPC II is ideally positioned to accompany borrowers in their growth plans whilst providing an attractive risk -return proposition to institutional investors " Damien Guichard, AllianzGI Head of European Private Credit.
Nordea Private Equity Secondary Fund I reaches €150m target size ahead of final close. (FS)
Nordea Asset Management has reached the €150m ($184m) target for its first secondary-investments focused fund, Nordea Private Equity Secondary Fund I, ahead of its final close on January 12, 2021.
“This new product—and indeed our whole product range—offers smaller and medium-sized investors access to Private Equity investments, thanks to a lower threshold for commitments and shorter deployment periods, leading to a rapid scaling of private equity exposure combined with a typically shorter duration. We are making illiquids more liquid for our clients,” Christen Estrup, Nordea Private Equity Head.
KKR sells 2 student accommodation assets in the Netherlands for €190m. (FS, RE)
KKR announces it has sold two major student housing developments in the Netherlands for €190m ($232m). Xior Student Housing acquired the Zernike Tower, c.700 units in Groningen, and Greystar Real Estate Partners acquired c.680 student accommodation units in Utrecht.
“With these investments, we have helped address the growing demand for quality and well-located affordable accommodation in the Netherlands that also contribute to the local community and economy. We see the Netherlands as an important real estate market and will continue to look for opportunities to invest in delivering quality assets to benefit from the continued pipeline of demand. We wish Xior Housing and Greystar every success with the acquisitions in Groningen and Utrecht,” Seb D'Avanzo, KKR Managing Director in European Real Estate.
CP Group, a Thai conglomerate based in Bangkok, completed the acquisition of the Thailand and Malaysia units of Tesco, a British multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer, for $10.6bn.
"Following inbound interest and a detailed strategic review of all options, we are announcing today the proposed sale of Tesco Thailand and Tesco Malaysia. This sale releases material value and allows us to further simplify and focus the business, as well as to return significant value to shareholders," Dave Lewis, Tesco Chief Executive.
CP Group is advised by JP Morgan, The Quant Group, UBS, Linklaters, and Brunswick Group. Financial advisors were advised by Clifford Chance. Debt financing was provided by JP Morgan, The Siam Commercial Bank, and UBS. Sime Darby was advised by HSBC. Tesco was advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Greenhill & Co, Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Teneo. Financial advisors were advised by Herbert Smith Freehills.
IDG Capital, a Beijing-based global investment and asset manager, led a $122m series C investment round in Rootcloud, a Chinese IoT platform.
A slew of new investors participated in the latest round - Chinese tech giant Tencent, manufacturing-focussed Haitong Investment, KY Private Equity Fund, which targets technology innovation, clean energy, smart manufacturing and smart cities, China Cinda Asset Management and Existing backer ZWC Partners.
“Going forward, Rootcloud will continue to focus on IoT platform services and solutions driven by technology innovations, as well as to establish an emerging IoT ecosystem in partnerships with counterparts,” Dongdong He, Rootcloud co-founder and CEO.
Debt financing was provided by Lighthouse Capital.
Gojek buys slice PT Bank Jago for c.$160m.
Indonesian internet giant Gojek paid about $160m to increase its stake in PT Bank Jago, making its biggest investment in financial services to date, Bloomberg reported.
GoPay, Gojek’s payments and financial services arm, bought almost 1.96bn shares at $15 apiece. The internet firm used call options to acquire its stake, completing the deal at a steep discount to Friday’s close of $53 and paying about $159.5m in total. Combined with an existing stake of 4.14%, the additional investment takes Gojek’s holding in Bank Jago to 22.16%.
The move reflects the company’s ambition of accelerating its forays into financial technology. Gojek aims to let users open bank accounts with Jago and then manage their finances through its app.
Toshiba seeks acquisitions again.
Toshiba, chastened by a string of disastrous overseas acquisitions, is once again looking to buy. This time more cautiously and closer to home in Japan, Bloombergreported.
The Tokyo-based industrial giant is looking at small and mid-size firms, especially those in areas adjacent to its own infrastructure services and digital technology businesses, Chief Executive Officer Nobuaki Kurumatani said in an interview.
Toshiba’s compiling a list of targets and is considering borrowing to bankroll the deals, but the former banker pledged to tread cautiously to avoid past mistakes. It is still trying to raise capital by unloading its 40% slice of KIOXIA Group though Kurumatani would not be drawn on when its chip spinoff might revive its delayed initial public offering.
FountainVest reaches first-close in new private equity fund. (FS)
Chinese private equity firm FountainVest Partners has raised $1.6bn to reach the first-close of its new private equity fund, Reutersreported.
The firm is targeting to raise $2.8bn in its fourth dollar-denominated fund with a hard cap set at $3.2bn. Many existing investors re-upped their commitments in the new fund and the firm aims to complete the fundraising in the first half next year.
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