A group of private lenders led by Blue Owl Capital has agreed to provide a $2.5bn loan to finance Vista Equity Partners’ acquisition of Avalara, Bloomberg reported.
Apollo Global Management and HPS Investment Partners are also part of the financing, which was structured as a recurring-revenue loan.
Avalara is advised by Goldman Sachs, Perkins Coie and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Vista Equity Partners is advised by Kirkland & Ellis. Debt financing is provided by Apollo Global Management, Blue Owl and HPS Investment Partners.
Truist, an American bank holding company headquartered in Charlotte, agreed to acquire BenefitMall, the nation's largest benefits wholesale general agency, from The Carlyle Group, an American multinational private equity, alternative asset management and financial services corporation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As Truist Insurance Holdings celebrates its centennial year, investing in our insurance capabilities and offerings continues to be a top priority. This acquisition of BenefitMall enables us to further diversify the solutions we offer to our clients and create an enhanced client experience, which is at the core of our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities," Bill Rogers, Truist Chairman and CEO.
BenefitMall is advised by Jones Day. Truist is advised by RBC Capital Markets, Truist Bank and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Carlyle is advised by Waller Helms Advisors, Barclays and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Fairfax Financial Holdings, a financial holding company based in Toronto, agreed to acquire Recipe Unlimited, a Canadian company that operates several restaurant chains, from Cara Holdings, a restaurant chain operator, for $933m.
Toronto-based Fairfax agreed to pay $16.1 a share in cash for the company, which owns fast-casual and fast-food brands such as East Side Mario’s, Kelseys and Swiss Chalet. The price is a 53% premium to the share price's last close.
Recipe Unlimited is advised by Greenhill & Co, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg and Stikeman Elliott. Fairfax Financial Holdings is advised by Scotia Capital and Torys. Cara Holdings is advised by McCarthy Tetrault.
SK Capital Partners-backed Archroma, a global specialty chemicals company committed to innovation, quality, service, cost-efficiency and sustainability, agreed to acquire Textile Effects division from Huntsman, a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals, for $718m.
"Over the past seven months, we have conducted a comprehensive strategic review of our Textile Effects division, including detailed discussions with a wide range of relevant parties. After evaluating several different options and thoroughly reviewing prospective offers for the business, our Board of Directors decided that SK Capital would be a better owner of the business over the long-term than Huntsman and that the value they offered was in the best interests of our shareholders. After closing, Textile Effects will combine with SK Capital's Archroma business to create a world leader in textile chemicals and dyes, with a leadership in sustainability and innovation," Peter Huntsman, Huntsman Chairman, President, and CEO.
Huntsman is advised by Bank of America and Kirkland & Ellis. Archroma is advised by Citigroup, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins and EMG.
Denison Mines, a Canadian uranium exploration, development, and production company, made a new offer to acquire UEX, a US-based uranium mining and exploration company, which recently agreed to a $210m acquistion by Uranium Energy.
Denison's proposal represents a 7% premium to the price implied by the amended arrangement agreement between UEX and Uranium Energy.
"Following the expiration of our previous acquisition proposal, which equated to a premium over the Amended UEC Agreement on a 10- and 20-day volume weighted average price basis, and after internal discussions, including with our legal and financial advisors, Denison decided to make a further premium acquisition proposal to UEX," David Cates, Denison President and CEO.
UEX is advised by Sprott Capital Partners, TD Securities and Koffman Kalef. Uranium Energy is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Rothschild & Co and McMillan.
TruArc Partners, a private equity firm focused on the middle-market, completed the acquisition of Molded Devices, a provider of high-precision, value-added plastic and rubber component manufacturing solutions for medical and non-medical applications, from PNC Mezzanine Capital, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Within our specialty manufacturing strategy, we have been looking for opportunities with significant exposure to the growing healthcare market. We believe Molded Devices, with its unique capabilities and robust customer relationships, is well-positioned to continue the momentum it has across the business, with a focus on deepening its capabilities across the medical market," John Pless, TruArc Partners Co-Managing Partner.
Molded Devices was advised by Piper Sandler and Dentons. TruArc Partners was advised by William Blair & Co, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Greentarget.
Igneo-backed Patriot Rail, a transportation company managing over 630 miles of short line railroads, agreed to acquire Pioneer Lines, a railroad holding company operating 15 short line railroads across 12 states, from private equity firms US InfraVest, Stephens and Brookhaven. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Pioneer Lines is a diverse rail company with talented professionals and deep customer relationships. Pioneer Lines' safety culture and focus on operational excellence aligns directly with Patriot Rail's vision and mission. These synergies position us to continue to exceed customer expectations as a best-in-class rail partner to meet their freight shipment and logistics needs," John E. Fenton, Patriot Rail CEO.
Pioneer Lines is advised by Northborne Partners, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson. Patriot Rail is advised by RBC Capital Markets and Winston & Strawn.
MarineMax, the world's largest recreational boat and yacht retailer, agreed to acquire Island Global Yachting, which owns and operates a collection of iconic marina assets and a yacht management platform in key global yachting destinations, for $580m.
"We are excited to join the MarineMax Family and its experienced management team. MarineMax brings significant resources, synergies, and competitive advantages to our business amplifying our potential for both organic and inorganic growth. With IGY's irreplaceable destination portfolio, demonstrated track record of successful acquisitions and a robust pipeline, we are confident in our collective ability to strengthen and build on our position as the global leader in superyacht and luxury marina destinations and related services," Tom Mukamal, IGY Marinas CEO.
Island Global Yachting is advised by Moelis & Co. MarineMax is advised by Raymond James and ICR.
Evergy, an electric services company, agreed to acquire 199 MW Persimmon Creek Wind Farm from Scout Clean Energy, a renewable energy developer, owner-operator, and Elawan Energy, a global operator in the renewable energy industry, for $250m.
“Evergy continues to tap into the Midwest’s affordable renewable energy resources to serve our customers. Expanding our portfolio of renewable generation positions us to ensure customers receive the long-term benefits of these assets,” David Campbell, Evergy President and CEO.
Evergy is advised by Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Scout Clean Energy and Elawan Energy are advised by McDermott Will & Emery.
Devon Energy, an energy company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration, agreed to acquire Validus Energy, an advanced power solutions and lifecycle management company, for $1.8bn.
“The Validus acquisition captures a top-tier oil resource with a meaningful runway of highly economic inventory that is complementary to our existing footprint in the Eagle Ford. This accretive transaction also enhances our financially-driven strategy that is designed to deliver per-share financial growth and accelerate the return of capital to our shareholders,” Rick Muncrief, Devon President and CEO.
Investcorp-backed S&S Truck Parts, a distributor of private label and branded aftermarket truck parts, completed the merger with Midwest Truck & Auto Parts, a provider of aftermarket drivetrain components. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are extremely excited to bring the S&S Truck and Midwest teams together, two companies with similar values and a commitment to superior customer service. Our combination increases the breadth of our offerings for our customers, fortifies the depth of our workforce and trade partnerships, and ultimately accelerates our ability to grow and deliver a more thorough, modern and effective customer experience. We look forward to working closely with the Midwest team and together becoming an even stronger business as we continue serving our customers," DJ Hoffman, S&S Truck CEO.
Midwest Truck & Auto Parts was advised by Jefferies & Company.
SageView Advisory, an employee-owned and independent SEC-registered investment advisor, completed the acquisition of Summit Financial Consultants of Westlake Village, a provider of retirement planning and comprehensive financial planning services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to take the first step in bringing this outstanding group of financial advisors to SageView and the ever-expanding wealth management arm of this fast-growing company. Summit Financial Consultants, with its more than 30 years of serving clients, will amplify SageView's mission of delivering holistic financial planning at the intersection of retirement and wealth management. We look forward to working with the team," Randy Long, SageView Founder and Managing Principal.
Summit Financial Consultants was advised by SkyView.
Cox Enterprises, a family-owned conglomerate, agreed to acquire Axios, a media company, for $525m.
"A big part of this investment is to expand the number of local markets we serve. Local watchdog journalism is so important to the health of any community, and no one is more focused on building that out nationally than Axios," Alex Taylor Cox chairman and CEO.
BRP, a Canadian manufacturer of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, and personal watercraft, agreed to acquire powersports business from Kongsberg Automotive, a provider of technology to the global vehicle industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Over the years, we have built a strong relationship based on trust and shared values with KA Shawinigan. We are very enthusiastic about this acquisition, which is in line with our future product strategy, particularly our electrification plan. It will enable us to gain further expertise in mechatronics and bolster our innovation capabilities. We look forward to welcoming over 300 highly trained and skilled employees who are already specialized in developing and manufacturing key components for many of the BRP product lines," José Boisjoli, BRP President and CEO.
Mirion Technologies, a provider of detection, measurement, analysis and monitoring solutions to the nuclear, defense, medical and research end markets, completed the acquisition of Critical Infrastructure Business from Collins Aerospace, a supplier of aerospace and defense products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We look forward to welcoming the employees of the CI business to the Mirion team. They have built a leading position in the commercial nuclear power security software market, which should enhance our ability to offer broader digital solutions to our industrial customers,” Thomas Logan, Mirion Technologies CEO.
Apple slows pace of dealmaking even as its tech peers plow ahead.
Apple, which used to acquire a company every three or four weeks, has dramatically slowed its dealmaking in the past two years, a sign the tech giant is being more choosy in the face of a shaky economy and heightened government scrutiny, Bloomberg reported.
The company spent just $33m on payments connected to acquisitions in its last fiscal year and $169m in the first nine months of the current year, according to regulatory filings. That's down from $1.5bn in fiscal 2020.
AIG sets tentative september date for delayed life unit IPO.
American International Group said September is the next window for an initial public offering of life and retirement business Corebridge Financial after deferring the listing due to market volatility, Bloomberg reported.
“While completing the IPO is a significant priority for us and something we are laser-focused on, we believe this is an attractive business and did not want to execute a transaction that would be detrimental to stakeholders in the long run,” Peter Zaffino, AIG CEO.
Capricorn Energy, a British oil and gas exploration and development company, should ditch its proposed merger with Tullow Oil, investor Palliser has said, describing it as "one-sided" and short of "meaningful strategic rationale."
"The Proposed Merger appears to us to be a poorly disguised nil-premium takeover of Capricorn by Tullow," said the letter which was dated August 9 and signed by Palliser Capital (UK) Chief Investment Officer James Smith.
It also said the deal would damage Capricorn's ESG profile by increasing its oil-gas output ratio, Reuters reported.
Tullow Oil is advised by Barclays, KPMG, PJT Partners, Herbert Smith Freehills and Camarco. Capricorn Energy is advised by Morgan Stanley, Rothschild & Co, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Shepherd & Wedderburn, Slaughter & May and Brunswick Group.
Thoma Bravo, one of the largest private equity firms in the world, completed the acquisition of Mercell, a platform for public e-tendering and services, for $490m.
"Mercell has built an outstanding SaaS network of buyers and suppliers in the Nordic region for public tendering. As a private company, we believe Mercell will benefit from our knowledge, network and resources to better achieve its long-term potential and continued growth trajectory. We are truly thrilled to work in partnership with Terje and his team to continue to expand globally, to further invest in product development, and to continue to make strategic acquisitions," George Jaber, Thoma Bravo Senior Vice President.
Mercell was advised by ABG Sundal Collier, JP Morgan and Thommessen. Thoma Bravo was advised by SEB Corporate Finance, Kirkland & Ellis, Schjodt and Fogel & Partners.
WSP Global, an engineering services company, agreed to acquire RPS Group, a global professional services firm of consultants and service providers, for $714m.
"Combining the capabilities of the RPS Group and the WSP Group is strategically compelling and will allow us to leverage our collective know-how and provide a broader range of complementary services to our clients while building a world-class ESG advisory business. We are looking forward to welcoming the RPS Group's talented employees and believe they will benefit from the expanded career and development opportunities this acquisition will bring the employees of both firms," Alexandre J. L'Heureux, WSP Global President and CEO.
RPS Group is advised by AEC Advisors, Gleacher Shacklock and DLA Piper. WSP Global is advised by HSBC, Linklaters and Stikeman Elliott.
Azenta, a provider of automation, vacuum and instrumentation equipment for multiple markets, agreed to acquire B Medical Systems, a provider of temperature-controlled storage and transportation solutions that enables the delivery of life-saving treatments across the globe, for €460m ($469m).
"We are excited to add B Medical into our growing portfolio of offerings. B Medical has done an outstanding job carving out a strong market position in the vaccine cold chain, and we see a breadth of opportunities to drive even further value from the portfolio by leveraging the Azenta platform," Steve Schwartz, Azenta President and CEO.
Azenta is advised by Jefferies & Company and Taylor Wessing.
IHG launches $500m buyback and raises dividend as travel demand rebounds.
InterContinental Hotels Group, the owner of Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, is launching a $500m share buyback and increasing its interim dividend to reward shareholders as leisure and business travel demand recovers to near pre-pandemic levels, FT reported.
“The Americas is strong into the recovery, Europe is entering into the recovery very aggressively over summer, and now borders in Asia are opening up and China will come too, which gives us confidence that we’ll see an extended recovery,” Keith Barr, IHG CEO.
Russia may give up a majority stake in Eurasian Development Bank.
Russia plans to give up its majority stake in Eurasian Development Bank, formed by six former Soviet states to promote economic integration, to reduce the risk the lender will be targeted by sanctions, Bloomberg reported.
Russia, which holds 65.97% in the lender, wants to reduce its combined stake with Belarus to less than half of the development institution. Many state-backed entities in the two countries have been hit by US and European Union sanctions, including measures related to the war in Ukraine, although Eurasian Development Bank hasn't been targeted.
Heathrow owner Ferrovial studies options for a stake in Britain's biggest airport. (FS)
Spain's Ferrovial is looking at options for its 25% stake in London's Heathrow and has held preliminary talks with external advisers on the future of its holding in Britain's biggest airport, Reuters reported.
The early stage discussions come amid interest in Ferrovial's stake from private equity firm Ardian, which has held talks with its own advisers on a possible joint proposal with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.
Dubai road-toll operator to raise about $1bn in IPO.
Dubai is seeking to raise about $1bn by selling shares in the city’s road-toll collection system Salik as soon as next month, Bloomberg reported.
Ahead of the share sale, Salik has taken out a $1.1bn loan from Emirates NBD Bank to pay a special dividend to the government.
BHP Group, an Australian multinational mining, metals and petroleum public company, will likely raise its $5.8bn offer to buy Australia's OZ Minerals, after the global miner was rebuffed in its pursuit of the nickel-copper miner on Monday, Reuters reported.
BHP plans to zero in on battery metals like nickel and copper to align itself with a global push towards electrification and decarbonisation, as firms race to capitalize on burgeoning interest in clean energy and electric vehicles.
OZ Mineral is advised by Greenhill & Co, Macquarie Group and Gilbert + Tobin.
Qualitest, an AI-powered quality engineering company, agreed to acquire ZenQ, an India-based software testing company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Becoming a part of Qualitest means becoming a part of something bigger. Qualitest and ZenQ share a common vision to provide the most advanced and customer-centric quality engineering capabilities available in the world. By joining forces, we will leverage our varied expertise to assure the quality of our clients' deployments and their overall operational readiness," Murali Bollu, ZenQ CEO.
Investment firms Intel Capital, Vertex Growth, and Qingyue Capital Investment led a $100m Series E round in Geek+, a provider of autonomous mobile robot technologies.
"Thanks to the successful implementation of our global business strategy, the transformative value of our products, and the surge of the smart logistics market, Geek+ is well-positioned to further capture the outsized growth opportunities. Geek+ has passed the stage of simply pursuing scale and is now moving towards the stage of commercial success with profitability and positive cash flow," Yong Zheng, Geek+ Founder and CEO.
China is said to be conducting an audit of the $3tn trust industry.
China’s top auditor is conducting a review of the $3tn trust industry.
China’s trust industry has been a vital part of the country’s shadow banking business, which helps channel deposits into risky investments via products often designed to dodge capital or investment regulations.
SoftBank plans to sell stake in SoFi.
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group plans to sell its stake in digital personal finance company SoFi Technologies, Reuters reported. SoFi shares fell 3% in extended trading.
On Monday, SoftBank sold 6.7m shares in SoFi at a weighted average price of $8.17 per share, three days after it sold 5.4m shares at a price of $7.99.
China watchdog investigates three more execs linked to chip-focused Big Fund. (FS)
China's corruption watchdog said regulators were investigating three former and current executives linked to a firm that manages the country's largest state-backed chip investment fund, widening a probe that has rattled the sector, Reuters reported.
Du Yang, a former director of investment firm Sino IC Capital and Yang Zhengfan, a current deputy manager, are suspected of committing serious violations of discipline and law and are being probed by teams from the Commission for Discipline Inspection and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
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