US Department of Justice is reviewing Zoom's proposed $15bn deal to buy Five9, a cloud-based call center operator, Financial Times reported.
An inter-agency committee to assess "foreign participation" in the US telecoms sector should examine whether Zoom's purchase "poses a risk to the national security or law enforcement interests of the US, said department's national security division in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission.
Five9 is advised by Qatalyst Partners, Blueshirt Group and Latham & Watkins. Zoom is advised by Goldman Sachs and Cooley. Financial advisor is advised by Morrison & Foerster.
Amalgamated Financial, a holding company for Amalgamated Bank, an America’s socially responsible bank, agreed to acquire Amalgamated Investments, the holding company for Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, for $98m.
“This acquisition aligns with our disciplined strategy of pursuing accretive opportunities that allow us to expand geographically, strengthen our financial resources and increase our customer base while leveraging our unique expertise in operating as an ESG-driven bank. We have long admired Amalgamated Bank of Chicago and are excited about this reunion of our once-related banks. Together, we have identified key areas of growth and opportunity that we’re ready to start collaborating on,” Priscilla Sims Brown, Amalgamated Financial President and CEO.
Amalgamated Investments Company is advised by Piper Sandler and Hinshaw & Culbertson. Amalgamated Financial is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and Solebury Trout.
Barings BDC, an investment company, agreed to merge with Sierra Income, a non-traded business development company, in a $624m deal. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
"We are very excited to announce that we have entered into an agreement to purchase Sierra Income Corporation. This combination will create a scaled top-10 BDC with enhanced earnings profile, portfolio diversification, and best-in-class shareholder alignment," Eric Lloyd, Barings BDC Chairman and CEO.
Barings is advised by Wells Fargo Securities and Goodwin Procter. Sierra is advised by Broadhaven Capital Partners, Sullivan & Worcester and Joele Frank.
Palladium Equity, a private equity firm, completed the investment in Envoy Global, a developer of an immigration case management platform. Existing shareholders Catalyst Investors and General Catalyst also participated in the investment.
"We are excited to partner with Palladium as we continue on our mission to make it easier for people to work anywhere in the world. Over the past 23 years, companies have relied on Envoy to simplify the sponsorship and management of work visas and green cards globally. We believe there is a substantial opportunity to continue to introduce new customers to our offering as well as expand our solutions for companies and employees. Palladium will be a close strategic partner to us as we move forward," Dick Burke, Envoy President and CEO.
Palladium Equity was advised by Robert W Baird, O'Melveny & Myers and Kekst CNC. Envoy Global was advised by Raymond James and Latham & Watkins.
Inotiv, a contract research organization, agreed to acquire Envigo, a global provider of research models and services, for $545m.
“The complementary nature of Inotiv and Envigo is expected to accelerate the movement of innovative drugs and medical devices through the discovery and preclinical phases of development. Supported by deep, in-house expertise and scientific capabilities, we’re building a comprehensive contract pharmaceutical research solutions provider with a full spectrum of discovery and nonclinical services and research models into a unique, one-stop-shop, discovery-to-approval solution for drug developers," Robert Leasure, Inotiv President and CEO.
Inotiv is advised by Jefferies & Company, Ice Miller and The Equity Group. Envigo is advised by Cahill Gordon & Reindel.
Columbia Banking, a holding company for Columbia State Bank, and Bank of Commerce, a holding company for Merchants Bank of Commerce, announced approval by Bank of Commerce shareholders for their proposed $266m merger. The transaction is expected to be completed on or about October 1, 2021.
The 98% of the Bank of Commerce Holdings common shares voting at Bank of Commerce's special meeting voted in favor of the merger, representing more than 63% of all outstanding Bank of Commerce Holdings common shares.
"We are pleased to see the smooth and quick completion of all customary approvals required to welcome Merchants Bank of Commerce into the Columbia Bank family. Teams from both banks have partnered well to prepare for a seamless close to the merger," Clint Stein, Columbia Banking President and CEO.
Columbia Banking is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Sullivan & Cromwell. Bank of Commerce is advised by Raymond James and Miller Nash Graham & Dunn.
Advent, a private equity firm, led an investment in Assembly, an e-commerce software and data platform, at $1bn valuation. PSG also participated in the round.
"What aggregators have done for brands, we have been doing for software. We are singularly focused on helping e-commerce merchants grow better by bringing together software tools and combining them with valuable content. Our mission is to meet our customers' needs at every stage of their growth," Sandeep Kella, Assembly Co-Founder and CEO.
Advent was advised by Finsbury Glover Hering. PSG was advised by Prosek Partners. Assembly was advised by SHIFT Communications.
Veritas-backed Peraton, a satellite and terrestrial communication, network optimization, and managed security services, completed the acquisition of as-a-service business from ViON, a longstanding technology investor with a focus on companies operating at the intersection of technology and government. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"ViON's aaS business leads the industry in providing an on-prem, cloud-like experience with a platform that enables scale and governance. With its existing solutions and presence in the government market, Peraton is well positioned to capitalize on this while ViON will focus on growing its analytics and artificial intelligence solutions business," Tom Frana, ViON Chairman and CEO.
Peraton was advised by Macquarie Capital, Covington & Burling and Milbank.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led a $155m Series B funding round in Blockdaemon, a developer of a node management platform. Additional investors include Matrix Capital Management, Sapphire Ventures, Morgan Creek Digital, Boldstart Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Greenspring Associates, CoinFund, Kenetic, Kraken Ventures, Borderless Capital, and Lerer Hippeau.
"This latest large infusion of capital is another major milestone for Blockdaemon and will ensure that we continue to revitalize existing financial infrastructure around the globe. We are committed to a future of decentralized financial infrastructure and accelerating the ease of integration to bridge traditional banking to the crypto ecosystem. As regulations get further defined, a backer of the caliber of SoftBank and Masa’s experience is crucial," Konstantin Richter, Blockdaemon CEO and Founder.
HPS Investment Partners, an investment firm, and PNC Bank, a provider of banking services, led a $130m investment in Saviynt, a provider of intelligent identity and access governance solutions.
“Demand for our cloud identity solutions has never been higher as companies continue prioritizing business transformation with a focus on an identity-defined security perimeter to reduce hybrid workforce risks, meet evolving regulations, and protect multi-cloud environments. With our additional funding, we can meet that demand head-on by doubling down on product innovation, continuing our rapid global growth, and bringing Saviynt’s platform to new industries and regions," Amit Saha, Saviynt CEO.
Pharos Capital, a middle-market private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Vantage Outsourcing, a cataract surgical service provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Pharos has identified surgical support services for ophthalmology and other surgical specialties as a key area of interest for investment, with attractive demographic trends and a growing opportunity to improve outcomes for both patients and providers. There is a marked need for such services in rural areas, where long travel distances are an obstacle and access to care is often insufficient. We are excited to work with Vantage, which supports providers and offers vital services in areas that would otherwise go unserved," Joel Goldberg, Pharos Capital Partner.
project44, a provider of real-time supply chain visibility solutions, completed the acquisition of Convey, a developer of a supply chain management software, for $255m.
"project44 is solving today’s most critical business challenge - how to deliver on continuously evolving customer expectations while remaining operationally efficient during unprecedented uncertainty and growing complexity. Our acquisition of Convey brings project44 all the way to the front doorstep and helps our partners become more proactive and efficient so they can get people the products they want and need this holiday and beyond," Jett McCandless, project44 CEO and Founder.
Velocity, an integrated site organization for clinical trials, completed the acquisition of the medical facilities providers Vitalink Research and National Research Institute. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Velocity has moved into the next phase of its development. We have accelerated the pace of site acquisitions this year, bringing VitaLink and National Research Institute's experience into our fully integrated site network," Dr G. Paul Evans, Velocity CEO and President.
Mphasis, an information technology solutions provider, to acquire Blink UX, a research and design firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of Blink, consistent with our M&A focus, is in the forefront of providing well researched design and high impact digital experiences to our clients and their end customers. There is significantly increased focus on customer/ user centered design in the current environment. The synergy opportunity set will revolve around product, experience & service design, as well as the end-to-end implementation services across the spectrum of clients & industries we service together," Nitin Rakesh, Mphasis CEO and Executive Director.
JP Morgan, a financial holding company, completed the acquisition of Frank, a college financial planning platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We want to build lifelong relationships with our customers. Frank offers a unique opportunity for deeper engagement with students. Together, we’ll be able to expand our capabilities for students and their families, helping them financially prepare for college and other major moments in their future," Jennifer Piepszak, JP Morgan Co-CEO.
Broadside Enterprises, a media acquisition, and development company, cancelled its merger with MonteCristo International Entertainment, a media distribution company, due to undisclosed litigation against MCI.
Under the documents for the transaction, a party has the right to cancel the transaction for up to twelve months from the effective date if any of the other parties were the subject of a legal action. Broadside has become aware of three lawsuits and an arbitration action brought against MCI or its principals.
Netflix nears deal to buy 'Willy Wonka' creator's catalog.
Netflix is in talks to purchase the works of the late British novelist Roald Dahl, potentially snaring a catalog that has sold more than 200m copies worldwide, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Bloomberg reported.
Netflix already had a three-year-old agreement with the Roald Dahl Story to make animated shows based on his material. Now it plans to buy the whole business.
DOJ sues to stop American Airlines and JetBlue alliance.
The US Department of Justice and several state-level enforcers filed suit to block an alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue, contending the agreement eliminates competition and further consolidates an already concentrated industry.
A Jet Blue planee txis near an American Airlines jet parked at its gate at Boston's Logan International Airport. The DOJ filed suit in Massachusetts federal court, alongside attorneys general from six states and the District of Columbia, over a series of agreements between the airlines called the "Northeast Alliance" that enforces said will combine their operations in Boston and New York City.
Freshworks raises $1.03bn in US IPO, valued at $10.1bn. (FS)
Freshworks, a business software firm, had priced its US IPO well above the target range to raise $1.03bn, valuing the Salesforce.com rival at $10.13bn as hybrid work fuels demand for its products, Reuters reported.
Sequoia Capital and Accel-backed Freshworks priced 28.5m shares at $36 per share. It had earlier expected to raise $969m at the top end of its increased price range of $32 to $34 per share.
Inflection Point Acquisition announces pricing of $300m IPO.
Inflection Point Acquisition, a SPAC, announced the pricing of its IPO of 30m units at a price of $10 per unit.
The units will be listed on Nasdaq, and trade under the ticker symbol “IPAXU” beginning September 22, 2021. Each unit consists of one Class A ordinary share and one-half of one redeemable warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one Class A ordinary share at a price of $11.5 per share. Once the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, the Class A ordinary shares and warrants are expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the symbols “IPAX” and “IPAXW,” .
SOAR Technology Acquisition announces closing of $230m IPO.
SOAR Technology Acquisition, a SPAC, announced today the closing of its IPO of 23m units at a price of $10 per unit, which included 3m units issued pursuant to the full exercise by the underwriters of their over-allotment option.
SOAR Technology Acquisition was advised by JP Morgan, RBC Capital Markets and BTIG.
Ardian-backed Syclef, a firm engaged in the installation and maintenance of refrigeration systems, agreed to acquire GEA Réfrigération, a French refrigeration installation and maintenance business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“I am convinced that our complementarities and synergies will enable us to enrich each other's technical expertise, to develop and to better serve our customers. Once the negotiations are successful, we look forward to the arrival of all GEA Refrigeration France employees among us," Hervé Lohéac, Syclef Chairman.
Ardian is advised by Finaxy, Indefi, KPMG and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. GEA is advised by Mediobanca.
DraftKings, an American daily fantasy sports contest and sports betting operator, offered to acquire Entain, an international sports betting and gambling company, for $22.4bn.
The Board of Entain strongly believes in the future prospects of the company underpinned by its leading market positions, world class management team and industry-leading technology and will carefully consider the proposal and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate. Shareholders are urged to take no action at this time.
Entain is advised by Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Powerscourt.
Five Arrows and TA Associates-backed RLDatix, a global provider of patient safety and risk management software, completed the acquisition of Allocate Software, a provider of healthcare workforce deployment software, from private equity firms Vista Equity and Hg Capital for $1.35bn.
"We are very excited to join forces with RLDatix. The link between patient safety, the welfare of staff and workforce technology is absolute. Over the coming years, providers of healthcare face ongoing workforce shortages alongside increasing demand for care. Together, we will positively impact how the workforce is planned, supported and deployed in a way that for the first time means it will be truly underpinned by patient safety and quality," Nick Wilson, Allocate Software CEO.
Allocate Software was advised by Arma Partners and William Blair & Co. Hg Capital was advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
iMedia, an interactive media company, agreed to acquire 123tv, an auction-driven TV retailer, from private equity firms ARCUS Capital, IRIS Capital and BE Beteiligungen for $145m.
“We believe gamification of consumers’ emotion-based shopping experience is the ultimate disruption to the status quo. 123tv’s entrepreneurial team with their proprietary technologies are experts in this shopping disruption and iMedia is humbled by the trust of 123tv’s primary shareholder, Stefan Eishold of ARCUS Capital AG, that enables iMedia to help 123tv accelerate its growth plan, which we believe can include disrupting digital shopping marketplaces here in the United States,” Tim Peterman, CEO of iMedia.
iMedia is advised by Gateway Investor Relations. ARCUS is advised by GCA Altium.
Iliad-backed Play, a mobile operator, agreed to acquire UPC Poland, a provider of telecommunications operations, from Liberty Global, an international telecommunications company, for $1.8bn.
“We are highly supportive of the rationale behind this combination and are excited to watch this converged national champion deliver high-quality connectivity across the Polish market. The cash proceeds, net of debt repayment, from this asset sale of approximately $600m will boost Liberty Global’s already substantial cash balance, which stood at $4.1bn as of June 30, 2021. As ever, we remain squarely focused on value creation and are pleased with the premium valuation we received for our Polish business, providing a strong return for Liberty Global shareholders," Mike Fries, Liberty Global CEO.
Silver Lake, a private equity firm, led a $555m Series E funding round in Mirakl, a provider of internet and e-commerce services. Additional investors include 83North, Elaia Partners, Felix Capital, and Permira.
“Mirakl has clearly proven that it offers the most advanced, flexible and scalable platform for businesses to win against competitors and profit from the growth afforded by the marketplace economy. This investment will enable us to pursue new growth opportunities as we work to bring our enterprise marketplace vision to new customers, regions, and industries," Adrien Nussenbaum, Mirakl Co-CEO and Co-Founder.
Paradigm, a crypto-focused investment firm, led a $431m funding round in Genesis Digital Assets, a bitcoin mining company. Additional investors include NYDIG, FTX, Ribbit Capital, Electric Capital and Kingsway Capital.
"As we work towards our goal of bringing 1.4 gigawatts online by 2023, the capital raised from this round will be used to expand our bitcoin mining operations in locations where clean energy is easily accessible. We're excited to have strategic investors on board and look forward to executing on our mission together," Marco Streng, Genesis Digital Assets CEO and Co-Founder.
Genesis Digital Assets was advised by Front Lines Media.
Cawood, a provider of analytical services to businesses in the food and environment sectors, agreed to acquire Innovative Environmental Services, a contract research organisation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition is another important step towards our vision of becoming the global partner of choice for value-added analytical testing, monitoring, research and insight. With the recent addition of i2L research and now IES alongside our existing Mambo-Tox business, our research business unit is able to meet a wider proportion of our customers’ needs for regulatory studies and contract research," Simon Parrington, Cawood CEO.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2, a fund with a goal to invest in AI-based technology, led a $209m funding round in Vestiaire Collective, an apparels retailer. Additional investors include Generation Investment Management, Bpifrance, Condé Nast, Eurazeo and Korelya Capital.
“We need to make sure that we're ready for Asia, not the other way around. Asian consumers are today the most sophisticated e-commerce shoppers in the world," Maximilian Bittner, Vestiaire Collective Chairman and CEO.
EDF in exploratory talks to buy GE’s nuclear turbines unit.
Electricite de France, a multinational electric utility company, is in preliminary talks to buy the General Electric unit that makes and maintains turbines for atomic power stations, as the French utility ponders ways to preserve a key supplier while the country shrinks its reliance on nuclear energy, Bloomberg reported.
“GE being one of EDF’s key partners in the nuclear business, EDF is currently analyzing conditions under which the interests of the EDF Group would be best served. There is no certainty regarding the outcome of this work and of these exploratory discussions,” EDF.
Icade Sante sets IPO price giving it a value of up to $7.5bn.
Icade Sante, the healthcare property business of French real estate firm Icade, has set a $134 to $159 per share price range for its upcoming IPO, giving it a value of up to €6.4bn ($7.50bn), Reuters reported.
The company aimed to raise $938m via this share listing, part of a plan to finance a $3.5bn expansion across Europe and into medicalised care.
ADNOC boosts size of drilling unit IPO to $1.1bn.
Abu Dhabi National Oil, a state oil giant, has increased to 11% of share capital the size of the IPO of its drilling unit, ADNOC Drilling, because of oversubscription, Reuters reported.
ADNOC had previously targeted a minimum stake of 7.5% in the IPO of ADNOC Drilling, at AED2.3 ($0.63) per share.
Price has not not changed but the number of ordinary shares offered was raised to 1.76bn from 1.2bn, which will correspond to a $1.1bn transaction.
Antin and Exclusive Networks priced at top valuations in Paris.
Two of the latest stock market newcomers in Paris set their IPOs at the top of the share price range, extending a strong run of listings in France, Reuters reported.
Antin Infrastructure Partners , an investment firm, will float its shares at $28, valuing it at $4.8bn after the IPO. It follows British private equity group Bridgepoint in going public this year, and its shares are due to start trading on September 24.
Exclusive Networks, a technology firm, which helps cybersecurity companies connect to businesses, also priced its listing at $28 per share, valuing the company at around $2.4bn. Its shares are due to start trading on September 23.
Saudi Telecom's tech business locks in $966m from IPO.
Saudi Telecom Company has completed the retail and institutional subscription to the IPO of Arabian Internet and Communications Services, raising $966m, Reuters reported.
The telecoms company last week priced the IPO at the top of an indicative range for its technology business, also known as Solutions by STC.
Babbel postpones its Frankfurt IPO.
Babbel, a language-learning app, has decided to postpone its contemplated IPO due to present market conditions, Reuters reported.
The initial listing of the shares of Babbel on the Frankfurt stock exchange was planned for September 24, 2021. Babbel remain committed to the listing on exchange in the mid-term.
Babbel will sell its shares at $28 to $33 to give the business, founded in Berlin in 2007, an equity value of up to €1.26bn ($1.5bn).
Saudi wealth fund PIF plans to issue green debt soon. (FS)
Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia-based sovereign wealth fund, plans to announce soon its first green debt deal, with borrowing linked to sustainability, DealStreetAsiareported.
"We will be the first sovereign wealth fund in the world to announce this green issuance. PIF is working with BlackRock on the ESG framework," Yasir al-Rumayyan, Governor.
Zee Entertainment, a media & entertainment powerhouse offering entertainment content to diverse audiences, agreed to merge with Sony Pictures Networks India.
The merger of ZEEL and SPNI would bring together two Indian media network businesses, benefitting consumers throughout India across content genres, from film to sports. The combined company is expected to benefit all stakeholders given strong synergies between ZEEL and SPNI.
Singapore IPO market's prospects brighten, but no quick fix in sight.
Singapore’s move to launch new funds to support startups will help companies seeking IPOs, though it could take years before Singapore Exchange might become a centre for regional tech listings, Reuters reported.
Despite shaping up as one of Asia’s leading finance hubs, Singapore has seen a decline in listings over the past decade and failed to attract large IPO.
India likely to block Chinese investors from LIC's IPO.
New Delhi wants to block Chinese investors from buying shares in Life Insurance, an Indian insurance giant, which is due to go public, DealStreetAsia reported.
State-owned LIC is considered a strategic asset, commanding more than 60% of India's life insurance market with assets of more than $500bn. While the government is planning to allow foreign investors to participate in what is likely to be the country's biggest-ever IPO worth a potential $12.2bn, it is leery of Chinese ownership.
GLP hits first close of GLP China Logistics Fund III at $1.75bn. (FS)
GLP, a Singapore-based, a warehouse operator, announced the first close of GLP China Logistics Fund III at $1.75bn, DealStreetAsia reported.
The total amount that it plans to raise is $2bn. Investments from the fund will help develop the next generation of modern and environmentally-friendly logistics facilities in China.
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