Better Therapeutics, a prescription digital therapeutics company, agreed to go public via SPAC merger with Mountain Crest Acquisition in a $187m deal. The PIPE was led by Farallon Capital Management, RS Investments, Sectoral Asset Management, and Monashee Investment Management, with participation from other undisclosed investors.
“This is a unique time to build a company like Better Therapeutics. Patients, doctors and insurers have grown increasingly comfortable with digitally delivered solutions, including prescription digital therapeutics, and we are uniquely positioned to change the way some of the most prevalent and costly diseases are treated,” Kevin Appelbaum, Better Therapeutics Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Better Therapeutics is advised by Cowen & Company, Lake Street, Goodwin Procter and Canale Communications. Cowen & Company is advised by Shearman & Sterling. Mountain Crest is advised by Chardan and Loeb & Loeb.
Topps, an American company that manufactures chewing gum, candy, and collectibles, agreed to go public via SPAC merger with Mudrick Capital Acquisition II in a $1.3bn deal. Transaction includes a PIPE of $250m at $10.15 per share led by Mudrick Capital and leading institutional investors including GAMCO Investors and Wells Capital Management.
“We believe Topps’ culture of innovation, strong management team, expanding margins, robust cash flow and conservative balance sheet set it apart from other consumer growth companies. It also is well situated with a universally recognized brand to capitalize on the fast emerging market for collectible NFTs. We are excited to partner with this exceptional organization to help write the next chapter in the long history of its truly iconic brand,” Jason Mudrick, Mudrick Capital Founder and Chief Investment Officer.
Topps is advised by Deutsche Bank, Kirkland & Ellis and ICR. Mudrick Capital is advised by Craig-Hallum Capital Group, Jefferies & Company, ROTH Capital Partners and Weil Gotshal and Manges.
Oak Hill Capital, a New York-based middle-market private equity firm, completed the acquisition of American Veterinary Group, which owns and manages a network of veterinary hospitals, from investment firms Latticework Capital Management and Thrive Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The collective efforts of the AVG management team, Latticework and Trive have resulted in a truly differentiated veterinary services platform positioned to capitalize on meaningful organic and inorganic growth opportunities. Trive has enjoyed the successful partnership with the AVG management team and Latticework and is excited to see AVG continue its success and growth under the ownership of Oak Hill," Conner Searcy, Trive Capital Managing Partner.
AVG was advised by Harris Williams & Co and McGuireWoods. Oak Hill was advised by William Blair & Co, Latham & Watkins, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Kekst CNC.
Diligent, a provider of award-winning, cloud-based security, risk management, compliance, and audit software, completed the acquisition of Galvanize, a provider of SaaS governance, risk, and compliance software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are enabling visionary leaders to keep pace with the rising tide of stakeholder capitalism and make progress on ESG commitments. Clients can look forward to a completely integrated platform that covers risk, compliance, audit and governance, and drives enhanced visibility across the entire organization,” Brian Stafford, Diligent CEO.
Galvanize was advised by Evercore and Fasken. Diligent was advised by Credit Suisse, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and 5W Public Relations.
Ripple Industries, a provider of complex engineering solutions, agreed to acquire Aftermarket Performance Group, a vertically integrated direct-to-consumer, eCommerce-retailer, private-label manufacturer, and distributor of performance automotive aftermarket parts and accessories, from Heartwood Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Under Heartwood Partners’ guidance, APG has grown into a leading aftermarket accessories business. The company has been a strong platform for growth while simultaneously improving the customer experience. We have a great future ahead of us with new investment from Ripple and are excited for the next chapter. We will continue to execute our mission of delivering enthusiast passion at enterprise scale,” Mike Sinoway, APG CEO.
APG is advised by Jefferies, Finn Dixon & Herling and King & Spalding. Ripple Industries is advised by Latham & Watkins.
Altice USA, an American cable television provider with headquarters in New York, completed the acquisition of Morris Broadband, an Internet service provider in Hendersonville, North Carolina, for $310m.
“As a company, we take great pride in contributing to the communities where our employees and customers live and work and, as we expand our presence in North Carolina, we will invest in the technology and infrastructure needed to ensure customers have the reliable connectivity services they need to live their lives connected," Dexter Goei, Altice USA CEO.
Altice USA was advised by Mayer Brown. Morris Broadband was advised by Moorgate Securities.
Banco BTG Pactual, a Brazilian financial company, agreed to acquire a remaining stake in Banco Pan, a Brazilian midsize commercial bank, from Caixa Economica Federal, a state-owned Brazilian financial services company, for $653m.
BTG Pactual has been the co-controlling shareholder in Banco Pan, a mid-sized lender, since 2011. Now it is acquiring Caixa’s 49.2% voting stake, equivalent to 26.8% of Pan’s capital.
insightsoftware, a global provider of enterprise software solutions for the Office of the CFO, agreed to acquire Logi Analytics, the provider of embedded analytics solutions for software providers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With Logi Analytics's robust operational reporting solution paired with our market-leading financial reporting, we can provide our customers the ability to report on every area of their business," Jim Triandiflou, insightsoftware CEO.
An investment consortium led a $425m Series D financing round in Plaid, a financial software services company based in San Francisco, California. New investors Altimeter Capital, Silver Lake, and Ribbit Capital joined existing investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, New Enterprise Associates, Spark Capital, and Thrive Capital in this round.
“In founding Plaid nearly a decade ago, we dreamt of a financial system that was built to empower consumers and unlock financial freedom for everyone. We are humbled to watch as FinTech continues to expand and improve the financial lives of billions of people worldwide,” Zach Perret, Plaid Co-founder and CEO.
Brink’s, a provider of total cash management, route-based secure logistics and payment solutions, agreed to acquire Payment Alliance International, an American privately-owned provider of ATM services, from Further Global Capital, a private equity firm, for $213m.
“Strategy 2.3 is all about delivering digital solutions that make full-service ATM management and outsourcing easier and more efficient for retailers, financial institutions and consumers. PAI brings a strong management team led by David Dove, robust technology and a scalable, asset-light business model that complements our existing capabilities," Doug Pertz, Brink’s President and CEO.
Convergint Technologies, a global, service-based systems integrator, agreed to acquire Custom Vault, which designs and installs complex, high-security modular vault solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As we continue to execute on our strategic growth strategy, one essential ingredient we seek before determining our interest is their investment and commitment to foster an inclusive, supportive culture—and Custom Vault Corporation embodies just that. This combination will further strengthen our ability to provide our customers in the financial industry with an unparalleled customer service experience," Ken Lochiatto, Convergint Technologies CEO.
Sverica Capital Management, a private equity investment firm, completed the investment in WinWire Technologies, a data-driven digital engineering company specializing in Microsoft Azure and other Microsoft cloud platforms. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“As part of Sverica’s dedicated focus on cloud services, our team actively sought to invest with a proven leader in Microsoft Azure services. With deep technical expertise and significant momentum, WinWire is an exciting company that we enthusiastically welcome to the Sverica family. The “People First” foundation upon which Ashu has built WinWire resonates closely with Sverica’s partnership-driven approach, and we’re eager to get started in collaborating with him and his great team to drive the company’s continued growth,” Ryan Harstad, Sverica Partner.
Accenture, a global professional services company, completed the acquisition of Core Compete, a cloud analytics services firm headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Over the past year we’ve seen cloud adoption increase, enabling organizations to unlock the enterprise value from data and AI strategy at speed. Core Compete’s approach to cloud analytics transformation helps us further accelerate time to value for our clients, giving them the right tools, strategy and talent to reap the full benefits of being data-driven,” Sanjeev Vohra, Accenture Applied Intelligence Global Lead.
Fox sues Flutter over FanDuel stake.
Fox, the Murdoch-owned media corporation, has filed an arbitration claim against Flutter, one of the largest gambling companies in the world, in a dispute over the value of its stake in the fast-growing sports betting platform FanDuel, FT reported.
Flutter is attempting to press for a higher price, saying in a statement on Wednesday that the December valuation would represent a windfall to Fox compared to the fair market valuation as of July 2021 and that Fox’s filing to the contrary was without merit.
The valuations of US sports betting companies have rocketed as the popularity of the activity increases and more states legalise such gambling to bolster tax receipts in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Enjoy in talks to go public via SPAC merger with Marquee Raine Acquisition. (FS)
Enjoy Technology, a startup that has operated mobile retail stores for companies including Apple, AT&T, BT Group and Rogers Communications, is in talks to go public through a merger with Marquee Raine Acquisition, Bloomberg reported.
The SPAC is in discussions to raise equity to support a transaction that is set to value the combined entity at about $1.6bn.
Enjoy is led by Ron Johnson, a former Apple executive best known for creating its retail arm. It counts L Catterton’s LCH Partners, Riverwood Capital, Stamos Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Highland Capital and Oak Capital Management among its investors.
Charlesbank Capital seeks to raise $3.75bn for the tenth flagship fund. (FS)
Charlesbank Capital Partners is already back in the fundraising market eyeing its biggest ever vehicle, just a couple of years after beginning to invest its $3bn ninth flagship fund.
The firm is targeting $3.25bn for Fund X with a $3.75bn hard cap, according to an investor presentation made to the Rhode Island State Investment Commission.
SkyKnight Capital raised $600m for Fund III hard cap. (FS)
SkyKnight Capital, a private investment firm, has held the final closing of SkyKnight Capital Fund III, with $600m in commitments from family offices, foundations, endowments, pensions, and institutional investors.
With an initial target of $500m, Fund III exceeded its target and was oversubscribed, reaching its hard cap of $600m in five months. SkyKnight now manages over $2bn of capital across its funds and co-investment vehicles.
"At SkyKnight, we are executing on a long-term, genuine approach to private equity partnership. SkyKnight brings both financial investment and strategic human capital to exceptional management teams to drive business growth and build value for all stakeholders. With Fund III, SkyKnight aims to continue to develop meaningful partnerships and contribute to the success of sector-defining, best-in-class companies," Matt Ebbel, SkyKnight Founder and Managing Partner.
Dorfman launches BroadLight Capital. (FS, People)
David Dorfman, a former Macquarie Group senior banker, has founded a growth-focused private equity firm, Bloomberg reported. BroadLight Capital, a venture between Dorfman, talent manager Rick Yorn, and entertainment lawyer Kevin Yorn, seeks to raise $300m or more for its debut fund.
The vehicle will seek to make bets on fast-growing companies in sectors including consumer, entertainment, and technology. Athletes and artists such as singers, actors, and social media stars are expected to back the fund and co-invest in specific deals.
Panacea Acquisition II prices $150m IPO.
Panacea Acquisition II announced the pricing of its $150m IPO, and its shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol "PANA."
The new company aims to combine with an innovative biotechnology business that is domiciled in North America or Europe. Panacea II is led by CEO and Chairman Oleg Nodelman, CFO Scott Perlen, COO Scott Platshon, CIO Caroline Stout, and Secretary Sarah Marriott.
Pressure is mounting on Italy’s government to delay the acquisition of Borsa Italiana by Euronext unless the Milan-based exchange is assured more autonomy and decision-making power, Bloomberg reported.
The deal would create Europe’s largest listing venue, which Euronext has long maintained could become the backbone of a future European capital markets union.
LSEG in October agreed to sell Borsa to Euronext and two Italian lenders for more than €4.3bn ($5.1bn). Borsa has since developed concerns over the agreement because it would concentrate power in Paris instead of creating a pan-European market.
Those concerns have now reached Italy’s parliament, where a related motion drawn up by parties from the ruling coalition will be debated. A draft document seen by Bloomberg calls for enhanced security for the country’s strategic assets and a more central role for Italy within Euronext.
LSE is advised by Barclays, RBC Capital Markets, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Robey Warshaw, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Teneo. Financial advisors of LSEG are advised by Herbert Smith Freehills. CDP is advised by Lazard. Euronext is advised by Credit Agricole, HSBC, Intesa SanPaolo, JP Morgan, Lazard, Mediobanca, Rothschild & Co, BonelliErede, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Clifford Chance, Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Community Group. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Agricole, HSBC and JP Morgan.
Spectacles maker EssilorLuxottica lost an appeal in its court battle with takeover target GrandVision, removing a possible hurdle for the €7.2bn ($8.5bn) deal, Reuters reported.
EssilorLuxottica in August last year lost a Dutch court case in which it had said that GrandVision’s decisions to suspend payments to store owners and suppliers and to apply for state aid could give grounds for ending its proposed takeover.
The Rotterdam district court at the time said EssiLux had failed to prove its claim that the Dutch operator of eyewear stores had breached the takeover agreement by not asking permission for the actions it took as lockdowns to combat Covid-19 spread throughout Europe.
GrandVision and its owner HAL Trust accused EssiLux of seeking opportunities to end the deal or bargain for a lower price.
GrandVision is advised by ING Bank, Bredin Prat and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. EssilorLuxottica is advised by BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, BonelliErede, Latham & Watkins, Stibbe, Sullivan & Cromwell, Brunswick Group and Community Group. Debt financing is provided by Credit Agricole and HSBC. Debt providers are advised by Hogan Lovells. HAL is advised by NautaDutilh.
LumiraDx, a point of care diagnostics testing company, agreed to go public via SPAC merger with CA Healthcare Acquisition in a $5bn deal.
"Ron and his management team have decades of entrepreneurial success in innovative diagnostics businesses and the LumiraDx Platform and testing menu offer healthcare providers and other customers major advantages over traditional central labs. LumiraDx has a clear strategy for addressing the large and underpenetrated testing market to increase next-generation POC market share. In the near-term, demand for fast, low-cost Covid-19 tests is driving strong and transformational growth for LumiraDx's solutions," Larry Neiterman, CAHC Chairman and CEO.
LumiraDx is advised by Evercore, Raymond James, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Goodwin Procter. CA Healthcare Acquisition is advised by BTIG, Sidley Austin and APCO Worldwide. Debt financing is provided by BioPharma Credit, Capital One Financial Corporation and National Association.
Virgin Media’s boss, Lutz Schuler, will be appointed chief executive of the British broadband company’s proposed joint venture with the Telefonica’s UK mobile network O2. O2’s Patricia Cobian will be appointed CFO of the combined company, Reuters reported
Virgin Media, owned by Liberty Global, is awaiting approval from British regulator CMA for its £31bn ($42.86bn) tie-up with O2. The CMA has a statutory deadline of late May for making a judgment on the deal.
Telefonica is advised by Deloitte, Citigroup, Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith Freehills. Liberty Global is advised by JP Morgan, LionTree Advisors, Allen & Overy, Ropes & Gray and Shearman & Sterling.
EU antitrust regulators are set to approve with conditions Schwarz's proposed acquisition of the recycling and recovery business of Suez, a waste management company, in four EU countries, Reuters reported.
Last month, Schwarz, whose PreZero environmental division is making the acquisition, offered to sell assets to address the European Commission’s competition concerns.
PreZero is advised by KPMG, Noerr and Vinge. Suez is advised by JP Morgan, Rothschild & Co and Baker McKenzie.
Intermediate Capital Group, a global alternative asset manager, agreed to acquire Kee Safety Group, a global supplier of fall protection equipment, safety railing systems and working at height solutions, from Lloyds Development Capital, a mid-market private equity firm, and Investcorp, a provider and manager of alternative investment products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
”LDC has played a significant role in supporting our international growth strategy, investing time and resources since they first invested back in 2011. Their partnership with us has been crucial to the on-going success of our business and has provided us with the perfect platform to enhance our global market-leading position,” Chris Milburn, Kee Safety Chairman.
ICG is advised by Grant Thornton, PricewaterhouseCoopers, DC Advisory, Dickson Minto and Thinking Legal. Investcorp is advised by Gateley.
Thoma Bravo-backed IDS Group, a provider of enterprise mission-critical solutions for secured finance, agreed to acquire White Clarke Group, a provider of retail, fleet, wholesale and asset finance solutions for the automotive and equipment finance markets, from Five Arrows Principal Investments, a private equity firm. The transaction is expected to close before the end of Q2 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With a comprehensive and flexible technology foundation, these finance providers will be able to support new funding models accelerating the move to digital, servitization, and mobility. Supporting this fast-changing market need is the motivation for bringing our two great companies together creating an unmatched range of secured finance solutions and the ability to support customers globally,” David Hamilton, IDS CEO.
Thoma Bravo is advised by Kirkland & Ellis. Five Arrows is advised by Robert W Baird and Shoosmiths.
Providence Strategic Growth-backed Imaweb, an independent developer and provider of automotive and dealership software solutions in Europe, agreed to acquire Stieger Software, a dealership software solutions provider in Switzerland and Austria. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We believe that the company’s innovative technology will bring an added edge to our existing offering to OEMs and dealerships across Europe,” Patrick Prajs, Imaweb CEO.
PSG is advised by Prosek Partners. Imaweb is advised by Bar & Karrer.
EML Payments, an innovative payment solutions platform, agreed to acquire Sentenial, a cloud-native, API-first, full-stack enterprise-grade payments company, and its open banking brand Nuapay, for €110m.
"The acquisition of Sentenial will be the next evolution for EML, as we transition into a broader payments business by adding instant account-to-account (open banking) payments into our suite of solutions for current and prospective customers," Tom Cregan, EML's Managing Director & Group CEO.
Sentenial is advised by Cavendish Corporate Finance.
Two private equity companies Wavecrest Partners and Abry Partners completed the investment in Pole Star Space Applications, a provider of cloud-based compliance software solutions to the maritime sector. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The maritime industry is the critical conduit for $20tn of annual global trade, and it is an exciting time in the industry given the several opportunities for cloud software – compliance, surveillance, payments, and other areas. We believe Pole Star is incredibly well-positioned to capitalise on these trends and are excited to partner with them,” Deepak Sindwani, Wavecrest Growth Partners Managing Partner.
Schur Flexibles Group, an international provider of sustainable packaging solutions, completed the acquisition of Sidac, an Italian manufacturer of flexible packaging, from Orienta Partners, an investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Italy is a significant growth market for us as a European player. Due to the acquisition of Sidac, we have gained an established partner for our regional expansion in Italy. In this case we can perfectly complement our competencies in the field of flexible packaging solutions in the food industry,” Michael Schernthaner, Schur Flexibles CEO.
Orienta Partners is advised by Brera Financial Advisory.
Norges Bank Investment Management, a Norway’s oil fund, agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Borssele 1 & 2, an offshore wind farm located in the Netherlands, from Orsted, a Danish multinational power company, for €1.38bn ($1.6bn). Transaction completion expected in the second or third quarter of 2021.
"Borssele 1 & 2 is a high-quality offshore wind asset, and the acquisition is in line with our strategy to build a high-quality portfolio of wind and solar power generation assets. The unlisted renewable energy infrastructure strategy supplements our existing unlisted real estate portfolio well, and we draw on our long experience with direct investments," Mie Holstad, Norges Bank Investment Management Chief Real Assets Officer.
Iliad, a French telecom operator, completed the acquisition of a 12% stake in Unieuro, an Italian consumer electronics retailer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Iliad and Unieuro are two Italian companies in strong growth, appreciated by Italians and have supported millions of people in the last year by offering them a quality service to stay connected during the health crisis. Unieuro is the Italian leader. in its sector, and recently announced a new revenue record for the fifth consecutive year since its launch on the stock exchange," Iliad.
Amundi in exclusive talks to acquire Lyxor from Societe Generale for $979m. (FS)
Societe Generale is in exclusive negotiation with Amundi, a French asset management company, with a view to disposing of the asset management activities operated by Lyxor in a $979m deal.
"This transaction with Amundi, Europe's leading asset manager, which Societe Generale helped to create, will enable Lyxor's teams to play an active role in building the undisputed leader in passive management in Europe in a consolidating market. It is fully in line with Societe Generale's strategy in terms of savings products, which is to operate in open architecture and team up with the best asset management experts to build the most suitable offers for our clients. Societe Generale and Amundi will remain key partners, each participating mutually in the value proposition implemented for their clients. In addition, this transaction would successfully close the refocusing program launched in 2018 by Societe Generale," Frederic Oudea, Societe Generale Chief Executive Officer.
Amundi is advised by JP Morgan.
Tencent's top shareholder, Prosus to divest a stake worth $14.6bn.
Prosus plans to raise as much as $14.6bn from the sale of shares in Tencent Holdings, a Chinese internet giant, further growing its war chest for new e-commerce deals, Bloombergreported.
The Amsterdam-listed firm will sell a 2% stake in Tencent, reducing its holding to just under 29% while remaining the biggest shareholder. The price range was set at $73.9-76.5, a discount to the last trading price of $80.9.
The sale helps to boost Prosus's coffers at a time when e-commerce is booming, with the coronavirus pandemic increasing online demand for everything from shopping and food delivery to education. The company already has assets in those sectors alongside the likes of payment services and has long been on the hunt for further acquisitions.
Brookfield and BlackRock are no longer in a run for a $10bn Aramco pipeline stake. (FS)
BlackRock, a US asset manager, and Canada's Brookfield Asset Management are no longer in the race to buy a stake in Aramco's, Saudi oil giant, pipeline business, Reuters reported.
Apollo Global Management and New York-based Global Infrastructure Partners are among the bidders still in the race for the deal, which could fetch Aramco over $10bn.
EIG Global Energy Partners is also in the race for pipeline assets. Washington DC-based EIG provides institutional capital to the global energy industry.
Bell Group looks for further growth following MBO.
Bell Group, the Scottish commercial decorating contractor, has completed a management buy-out and will embark on acquisitions to grow the most prominent UK firm in its sector. It will also continue to diversify its services and improve business operations as part of an organic growth strategy over the next five years.
"We have seen a real step change in the work we’ve completed over the last six months, and we're very excited about the future. The pandemic understandably slowed our growth over the last year, but our forecasts for this year are very strong. As new owners we're excited to continue to build on the legacy of our predecessors over the past 37 years," Craig Bell, Bell Group CEO and shareholder.
Otkritie Bank seeking IPO in 2022 with state firms.
Otkritie Bank, a Russian bank, which was bailed out by the central bank four years ago, has cleaned up the toxic assets on its balance sheet and is on track for an IPO in May 2022, Reuters reported.
Otkritie, the biggest of three private banking groups bailed out in 2017, may also consider a sale to a strategic investor, he said, but state firms and former owners will not be allowed to take part in either an IPO or a sale.
"State banks and state companies should not participate - this is a clear stance of the central bank and the government. The same concerns ex-shareholders of Otkritie and B&N bank," Mikhail Zadornov, Otkritie Bank President.
ACS considers buying ASPI, looking to create a European highway group.
ACS, a Spanish infrastructure group, will seek to create a pan-European group of road operators with its Italian partner Atlantia, which is selling its ASPI unit, Reuters reported.
"We hope to create a large group of highway concessionaires and would be delighted to do so with our Italian partners - and if not, will seek alternatives. We have a partner of many years in Abertis, and as they also have the sale of ASPI ongoing, we will consider the options with enthusiasm," Florentino Perez, ACS chairman.
Softbank Vision Fund 2 led a $150m financing round in EDDA Technology, a provider and developer of intelligent robotic solutions for precision surgery. The round also had participation from OrbiMed and 3wVentures and existing investors including Morningside Ventures, Matrix Partners China, SBCVC, BOCGI, Trust Bridge and Draper Dragon.
"This round of investment from Softbank Vision Fund 2, OrbiMed and 3W with their vision and market insight, will further accelerate the company's strategic growth, and further support the company to continuously lead technological innovation in precision surgery, capture the untapped market of intelligent surgical robots including hospitals in second- and third-tier cities, and utilize technologies to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of major diseases such as cancer," Dr. Jianzhong Qian, EDDA Technology President and CEO.
WeCommerce, a Canadian e-commerce technology holding company, completed the acquisition of Stamped, an AI-powered e-commerce marketing platform, for $110m.
"WeCommerce is the perfect partner to help grow Stamped into a leading provider of customer engagement solutions for online merchants globally," Tommy Ong, Stamped Founder.
CVC considers the acquisition of Toshiba for $21bn. (FS)
Reuters reported that CVC Capital Partners has offered a deal to privatize Toshiba through a tender offer that is expected to be worth more than $21bn, as the Japanese industrial conglomerate faces pressure from activist shareholders to improve governance.
The proposed deal, which comes three weeks after shareholders approved an independent probe into the scandal-hit company, could shield management, particularly Chief Executive Nobuaki Kurumatani, from that scrutiny. It would, however, invite regulatory review given its government work.
Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said he would closely monitor a deal involving Toshiba as the company is involved in a number of infrastructure projects.
Vedanta’s sweetened offer gets 58% of investor bids. (FS)
Anil Agarwal is inching closer to taking his Indian unit private as a sweetened offer to buy back 17.5% of the shares in Vedanta drew in bids from more than half the holders, Bloomberg reported.
Minority investors offered about 58% of the 651m shares Vedanta Resources is seeking to buyback. Vedanta Resources, which owns a little more than half of the Mumbai-listed company, is seeking to buy the shares from investors to take its holding closer to the 90% it requires before it can delist the stock.
Agarwal is looking to take full control of the company by buying back shares after investors thwarted an attempt to delist Vedanta last year. He sweetened the offer price by about 47% last month to entice more public shareholders to sell their stock.
Grab seeks US listing through a merger with Altimeter SPAC at a $35bn valuation. (FS)
Grab, south-east Asia's most valuable start-up, is set for the largest merger between a private business and a SPAC in a deal that will value the SoftBank-backed technology group at about $35bn.
Singapore-based Grab, whose offerings include ride-hailing and financial services, could finalize an agreement to list in New York via one of Altimeter Capital's SPAC as soon as this week, FT reported.
Grab will raise about $2.5bn through what is called a private investment in public equity. Of that, close to $1.2bn will be funded by Altimeter for a total valuation of close to $35bn.
SoftBank-backed Policybazaar considers Mumbai IPO next month. (FS)
Policybazaar, an Indian online insurance platform, is planning to file a draft prospectus as soon as next month for its Mumbai IPO that could raise about $500m, Bloomberg reported.
The SoftBank Group-backed startup is seeking a listing before the end of this year. An offering, which could value Policybazaar at more than $3.5bn, would involve new stocks and secondary shares from existing shareholders.
Policybazaar, founded in 2008, offers a platform that allows customers to compare auto, health, life, and personal insurance policies. The portal hosts more than 100m visitors a year and sells 400k insurance policies each month.
Trip.com looks for $1.4bn in Hong Kong second listing.
Trip.com Group, an online travel platform, seeks to raise as much as $1.4bn in a Hong Kong second listing, adding to the growing cohort of US-traded Chinese companies selling shares in the Asian financial hub.
Nasdaq-listed Trip.com is offering 31.6m shares. The price translates into more than a 6% premium to the company's last closing price in New York.
Trip.com is the fourth US-listed Chinese firm to seek a trading foothold in Hong Kong this year. Search giant Baidu, video streaming service Bilibili, and car sales website Autohome raised a combined $6.4bn in the first quarter.
Tencent-backed MissFresh weighs $500m US IPO.
Beijing MissFresh Ecommerce, an online grocery delivery startup, is considering a US IPO that could raise at least $500m, Bloomberg reported.
The Tencent Holdings-backed company is working with advisers on the preparations for the offering, which could take place as soon as this year. MissFresh could look to raise as much as $1bn in the share sale though deliberations are still at an early stage.
JD Digits seeks to ground a finance holding company.
JD Digits Technology Holding is planning to set up a financial holding company to comply with regulatory rules in China's fintech sector, Bloomberg reported.
The holding unit, which will be regulated more like a bank, is expected to be separate from JD Digit's other technology business. As part of the restructuring, JD Digits, an affiliate of JDcom, an e-commerce giant, has let go of some staff and is weighing divesting some of its stakes from past investments.
The plans coincide with the lapse of its IPO last week, with the company shifting its focus to technology by adding artificial intelligence and cloud computing services. China's fintech companies are navigating a rapidly changing regulatory landscape that has already required them to shore up capital and comply with tougher restrictions. The rules forced industry behemoth Ant Group to pull its $35bn IPO in Shanghai and Hong Kong days before its debut.
Trifecta starts a $200m equity fund to invest in late-stage startups.
Trifecta Capital, known for its venture debt investment funds, is making a significant expansion in its business. The firm is launching its first equity fund, Trifecta Leaders Fund-I, which will target late-stage equity investments in Indian startups. For this fund, the firm aims to raise as much as $200m, including a greenshoe option of $40m, DealStreetAsia reported.
Trifecta pioneered the venture debt fund model in India when it launched its first fund in 2014, at a time when the concept of venture debt was hardly known in the Indian startup ecosystem. The firm has, through its two venture debt funds, invested more than $240m in over 70 companies, including nine unicorns and 11 that are on their way to becoming one.
"We know that there are a lot of companies that are in the back end of their journey, which means that they are 12-36 months away from a liquidity event. Generally, that is a series D, E, F type of situation and is a structural gap in the ecosystem. Founders were telling us that they need help with secondary transactions to clean up their cap table, but there is no structured, predictable and easy way to do this. There is enough critical mass of opportunity to merit more late-stage VC activity," Rahul Khanna, Trifecta Managing Partner.
Play Ventures raises $135m for the second fund. (FS)
Play Ventures, Singapore's gaming-focused venture capital firm, has raised $135m for its second fund to invest in global game makers and entrepreneurs. With this, Play Ventures has $175m in total assets under management across both funds. Its debut fund closed in 2019 at $40m.
Play Ventures's debut fund was backed by several gaming industry heavyweights, including Rovio, Modern Times Group, and Anton Gauffin, CEO of social gaming giant Huuuge Games. Other LPs include VCs and family offices from Asia, the US, and Europe.
"With Fund II, we continue to believe that gaming will be the most impactful and dominant form of entertainment in the 21st century. We have a strong conviction that the best gaming teams can be founded and built anywhere in the world," Play Ventures.
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