Above Food, a food company leveraging its vertically integrated supply chain, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Bite Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $319m deal.
“We started Above Food with the intent to drive positive change across the entire food chain. More recently, as food insecurity escalates and the global food supply chain becomes more fragile and subject to disruption, we believe Above Food is well-positioned to ensure communities and consumers around the globe have access to nutritious ingredients that are grown and harvested according to sustainable farming methods," Lionel Kambeitz, Above Food Chair, President and CEO.
Bite Acquisition is advised by ATB Capital, BMO Capital Markets, EarlyBirdCapital, Gravitas Finance, Haywood Securities, Greenberg Traurig and MLT Aikins. BMO is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell. Above Food is advised by Gowling WLG (led by Peter Simeon and Sharagim Habibi), Latham & Watkins (led by Ryan Maierson and Ryan J. Lynch) and Gasthalter & Co (led by Nathaniel Garnick).
KKR, an American global investment company, completed the acquisition of the engineering solutions business from S&P Global, a provider of credit ratings, benchmarks, analytics and workflow solutions in the global capital, commodity and automotive markets, for $975m.
"We see significant opportunities for Engineering Solutions to accelerate growth, expand its footprint and continue to innovate as an independent company. Engineering Solutions is trusted by engineers and standards organizations around the world and we look forward to deepening these relationships by making long-term investments in enhanced product coverage, improved workflow solutions and expanded distribution capabilities," Webster Chua, KKR Partner.
KKR was advised by RBC Capital Markets, Dentons (led by Stephen Levy), Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (led by Marni Lerner and Naveed Anwar). S&P Global was advised by Goldman Sachs, CastleOak Securities, RBC Capital Markets and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by Jeffrey Brill).
Crestview Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a 45% stake in The Gersh Agency, a talent agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"For over seven decades, we have maintained our independence as an agency because we felt this allowed us to be the firmest advocates for our clients. We knew we found the right partners in Crestview, as it was clear they were completely aligned with our agency ethos, and that they would bring to bear meaningful experience and infrastructure to support our continued growth as a client-first agency," Bob Gersh, Gersh Agency Co-President.
The Gersh Agency was advised by Houlihan Lokey and Sidley Austin. Crestview was advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell (led by Michael Davis) and Kekst CNC (led by Jeffrey Z. Taufield). Debt financing was provided by MUFG Bank.
DuPont, a company with technology-based materials and solution, agreed to acquire Spectrum Plastics Group, a company in advanced manufacturing of specialty medical devices and components, from AEA Investors, a private equity firm, for $1.75bn.
"We have been focused on Spectrum for a long time and our team is extremely excited for this opportunity. Spectrum is a compelling strategic complement to our existing healthcare portfolio, which already includes businesses with best-in-class innovation, deep customer relationships and with strong growth and profitability. With this combination, we'll be able to offer customers additional innovation and manufacturing capabilities with a broader and more integrated solution set," Ed Breen, DuPont Executive Chairman and CEO.
Spectrum Plastics Group is advised by Piper Sandler and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson. DuPont is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by Brandon Van Dyke and Kyle J. Hatton).
Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi sovereign investor, and Apollo, a global private equity firm, agreed to invest $500m in Brightspeed, a broadband and telecommunications services company.
"Digital infrastructure is driving growth and development across all sectors of society, enabling people and economies to reach their full potential. As a responsible global investor, Mubadala sees huge opportunity in supporting Brightspeed's growth strategy in transitioning large swathes of the US to fiber connectivity and promoting digital equity and inclusion," Khaled Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Mubadala CEO.
Winnebago Industries, an outdoor lifestyle product manufacturer, completed the acquisition of Lithionics Battery, a lithium-ion battery solutions provider to recreational equipment and specialty vehicle markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The addition of Lithionics accelerates our innovation in diverse battery solutions and advances our overall electrical ecosystem, creating more opportunities for our RV and marine products to capitalize on consumer preferences for fully immersive, off-the-grid outdoor experiences, while enhancing our enterprise margin profile. Following years of close partnership, we are pleased to welcome the talented Lithionics team to the Winnebago Industries family," Michael Happe, Winnebago Industries President and CEO.
Winnebago was advised by JP Morgan, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath and FGS Global (led by Bryan Locke).
Bernhard Capital, a private equity management firm, agreed to acquire federal and defense segment from VSE, a provider of aftermarket distribution and maintenance, repair and overhaul services, for $100m.
“Today’s announcement represents a significant milestone in VSE’s transformation to a premier aftermarket product and services company. The sale of our Federal and Defense segment transforms VSE’s portfolio by simplifying our operations and focusing our resources on high-growth, high-margin business opportunities, while improving our growth and profitability profile. In addition to simplifying our operations, the divestiture of the business segment will increase our exposure to the attractive aviation and fleet aftermarkets and provide additional opportunities for VSE to invest and grow in areas of strategic focus," John Cuomo, VSE Corporation President and CEO.
Marriott International, an American multinational diversified hospitality company, completed the acquisition of the brand portfolio from Hotels City Express, a firm engaged in the ownership, operation, and management of hotels, for $100m.
"We are thrilled to expand our portfolio into the fast-growing affordable midscale segment. Our goal is to be everywhere our guests want us to be, with the right property in the right location at the right price point. The City Express brand acquisition is an important first step as we enter this attractive segment, allowing us to provide a wider range of choices to our guests, as well as more growth opportunities for our owners and franchisees," Leeny Oberg, Marriott International Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President.
Hotels City Express was advised by Morgan Stanley.
GCP Capital Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Kurtzman Carson Consultants, a legal services provider specializing in corporate restructuring from Computershare, a company that provides corporate trust, stock transfer, and employee share plan services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is an exciting day for KCC's employees and clients. The expertise and strategic positioning KCC will receive from GCP will help us accelerate our growth goals while maintaining and raising our high standard of service to our clients," Bryan Butvick, KCC CEO.
Vantem, a modular technology company, completed the acquisition of Affinity Building Systems, a modular home manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to welcome Affinity into the Vantem family. It is a wonderful company with a great team making top-quality, beautiful housing. We look forward to building on the Affinity team’s success, integrating Vantem’s technology for higher energy efficiency and climate resiliency at competitive costs. We are especially looking forward to adding Net-Zero home options to the Affinity portfolio,” Chris Anderson, Vantem CEO.
Ridgewood Infrastructure, an investor in essential infrastructure in the US lower middle market, and Savage, a provider of supply chain infrastructure and solutions, completed the acquisition of The Dupuy Group, a provider of near-port logistics infrastructure and services for customers in the food and agriculture sector. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We’re delighted to join the Transportation Infrastructure Partners’ family of companies. With the benefit of our shared resources and expertise, Dupuy will continue to provide best-in-class service and grow with our customers," Allan Colley, The Dupuy Group President.
Kaufman Hall, a healthcare and higher education management consulting and advisory services firm, completed the acquisition of Ponder & Co, a financial and strategic advisory firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I'm delighted to announce that our organizations are bringing together complementary, unparalleled advisory services and experience in treasury and capital markets and partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions. Importantly, this combination will provide healthcare leaders with access to some of the most comprehensive TCM and PM&A services—and some of the deepest expertise—in the entire healthcare industry," R. Wesley Champion, Kaufman Hall Managing Director and CEO.
MarketStar, a company in outsourced sales and revenue acceleration solutions, completed the acquisition of Regalix, a global marketing and revenue operations company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"MarketStar's acquisition of Regalix provides a focused and differentiated option in the market for how B2B companies grow and scale revenue. The combination of our respective sales and revenue solutions, world class teams, and the Nytro.ai platform will provide transformative capabilities for our current and future clients," Keith Titus, MarketStar President and CEO.
Kian Capital closes oversubscribed third fund at $400m. (FS)
Kian Capital Partners, a lower-middle-market-focused private investment firm, has held the final closing on its latest fund, Kian Growth Partners III, which was oversubscribed at $400m.
KGP III's LP base includes a diverse group of investors, including university endowments, fund of funds, financial institutions, family offices, and, notably, several founders of former Kian investments. Investor demand was well above the fund's hard cap.
Kian was advised by Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson and Winston & Straw.
Sound Ventures closed the oversubscribed AI fund at $240m. (FS)
Sound Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on investing in transformative technologies and exceptional founders, announced that it has closed Sound Ventures AI Fund, oversubscribed at nearly $240m. The fund seeks to invest in category-defining artificial intelligence businesses at the foundation model layer.
"We believe this is potentially the most significant technology we will experience since the advent of the internet. The foundation model layer companies are defining the category, and, in our view, they have the power to transform businesses and everyday life. That is a conversation we want to be in," Ashton Kutcher, Sound Ventures General Partner.
Italian Design Brands, a hub of Italian furniture and lighting companies, is carrying on with plans to list on the Milan bourse as Tamburi investment acquired a majority stake in its parent company, Reuters reported.
The deal, which is contingent on a successful IPO, values IDB's equity at $241m and includes an option for Tamburi to acquire an additional 20% stake.
Aramco in talks With Sinopec and Total on a $10bn Saudi gas deal.
Sinopec and TotalEnergies are among companies holding talks to invest in the Jafurah development in Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom seeks to exploit one of the world's largest untapped gas fields, Bloomberg reported.
The Chinese and French energy giants are in separate discussions with Saudi Aramco about the plans that may include the construction of facilities to export the fuel as liquefied natural gas. Aramco is seeking to raise a total of around $10bn for the projects.
Space rivals join up to bid for EU's $6.6bn satellite plan.
Europe's top satellite and aerospace companies have teamed up to bid for the European Union's €6bn ($6.6bn) satellite project known as IRIS², aimed at beaming internet across the continent and giving the bloc its own fleet to keep up with constellations deployed by governments and businesses around the world, Bloomberg reported.
The consortium will be run by aerospace manufacturers Airbus and Thales Alenia Space along with satellite operators Eutelsat Communications, SES, and Hispasat.
TIER Mobility explores possible M&A deals.
Berlin-based e-scooter operator TIER Mobility is working with bankers at Qatalyst Partners for a potential merger or sale with a rival, SkyNews reported.
The talks come months after TIER was said to be working with Rothschild to raise hundreds of millions of pounds of additional funding. The talks, however, did not produce satisfactory terms for TIER.
Electrolux jumps as China's Midea said to make takeover approach.
Electrolux rose as much as 10% in early trading on May 2, 2023, as news reported that the Swedish luxury home appliance maker had drawn a takeover approach from China's Midea Group.
The company's B shares were up 3.2% in Stockholm, giving it a market value of roughly $4.4bn, Bloomberg reported.
Germany air taxi firm Lilium plans to raise $250m.
Germany's Lilium would raise up to $250m, including from its largest shareholder Tencent, to fund the development of its electric vertical take-off and landing jet, Reuters reported.
Lilium's US-listed shares surged 43.24% to $0.55 in premarket trading after the air taxi developer said the funds will enable cover "most of the estimated capital" for its first manned flight.
I Squared Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Rentco, a transport equipment leasing company in Australia providing flexible equipment rental options. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Rentco is part of I Squared Capital’s strategy of expanding its presence in Australia and complements its other portfolio companies: Clean Energy Fuels Australia, a West Australia-based industrial decarbonization platform supporting off-grid miners and remote communities in reducing their carbon footprints, and Soilco, an organic waste processor generating high quality soil health products and supporting the circular economy along Australia’s east coast.
I Squared Capital is advised by Brunswick Group (led by Clare Pickett).
Indian miner Hindustan Zinc's proposal to buy certain zinc assets from natural resource company Vedanta Group for $2.98bn in cash has lapsed as Hindustan Zinc did not get shareholders' approval within the stipulated time limit, Reuters reported.
The deal was announced in mid-January, after which Hindustan Zinc had three months to call an extraordinary general meeting to seek approval from its minority shareholders.
HDFC kick-starts a $1bn Credila sale.
Housing Development Finance, India's largest mortgage financier, has picked Jefferies Financial to manage the sale of a unit that offers student loans, Bloomberg reported.
HDFC could seek a value of as much as $1bn for HDFC Credila Financial Services in a sale, which is part of the lender's moves to comply with regulators' requirements for its merger with HDFC Bank. Jefferies has started initial talks with interested bidders, and a formal process for the sale may be launched soon.
Mekong Capital eyes $150 debut impact fund. (FS)
Vietnam-based private equity firm Mekong Capital is seeking to raise at least $150m for its debut impact investment fund that will target companies helping to combat climate change, DealStreetAsia reported.
Mekong Capital is a Vietnam-focused private equity firm, specializing in consumer-driven businesses. The fund is planned a hard cap of $20m.
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