eBay and Adevinta, a Norwegian marketplace specialist, offered to divest part of their classified ads business in the UK to gain CMA's approval. eBay offered to divest its UK Gumtree business, as well as its Motors site. Adevinta is pledging to sell off its Shpock app. The companies' UK operations are relatively small and would account for just 5% of the combined businesses' revenue.
The UK's Competition and Markets Authority will decide on whether those asset sales are enough to secure its approval by April 29, with the potential to postpone the decision until June 28.
Adevinta is advised by Ernst & Young, Barclays, Citigroup, Advokatfirmaet BA-HR, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Stibbe and Edelman. Financial advisors of Adevinta are advised by Shearman & Sterling. Debt financing is provided by Barclays, Citigroup and DNB Bank. EBay is advised by Goldman Sachs, LionTree Advisors, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Quinn Emanuel, Thommessen, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Joele Frank. Financial advisors of eBay are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Ascendant Digital Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, agreed to merge with Beacon Street Group, a multi-brand digital subscription services platform, in a $3bn deal.
"Today's business combination is a tremendous milestone for Beacon Street. While we have grown significantly over the past few years, we see a significant opportunity to continue to grow organically and pursue attractive acquisitions given our long history of highly accretive M&A. Going public by combining with Ascendant is the natural evolution of our company and will position us for our next chapter as we take the necessary steps to further grow Beacon Street's industry-leading brands and offerings," Mark Arnold, Beacon Street CEO.
Beacon Street is advised by Odeon Capital Group, Oppenheimer & Co, Latham & Watkins and Solebury Trout. Ascendant Digital is advised by UBS, Ropes & Gray, White & Case and Gateway Investor Relations.
Tailwind Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, agreed to merge with Cannae Holdings-backed QOMPLX, a SaaS-based solutions provider, in a $1.4bn deal.
"Reaching public markets via our partnership with Tailwind expedites QOMPLX's ability to reach more customers globally and supports our continued development of the core technology platform for mission critical customer applications. With the exceptional Sentar and Tyche domain experts joining QOMPLX, we are poised for growth fueled by extraordinary people, defensible technology, and a strong balance sheet," Jason Crabtree, QOMPLX Co-Founder & CEO.
QOMPLX is advised by Barclays, Mizuho Securities, William Blair & Co, King & Spalding and Moxie Communications Group. Tailwind Acquisition is advised by Jefferies & Company, Piper Sandler and Kirkland & Ellis.
Baker Hughes, an American international industrial service company, and Akastor, an oil-services investment company, agreed to form a joint venture that will deliver global full-service offshore drilling equipment. The company will be owned 50-50 by Baker Hughes and Akastor, and following the closing of the transaction, the company's operations will be managed from current offices in Houston, Texas, and Kristiansand, Norway.
"I would like to express sincere gratitude to the good work and dedication shown by the respective teams of Baker Hughes and Akastor for making this happen despite the current challenges caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic. I strongly believe that this company will give a solid basis for both organizations to meet the current challenges in today's market and to continue as a leader in developing advanced and efficient drilling solutions that support the industry's transition towards more sustainable operations," Karl Erik Kjelstad, Akastor CEO.
Baker Hughes is advised by Ernst & Young, Morgan Stanley, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Thommessen. Akastor is advised by Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, BAHR and Sidley Austin.
Columbus McKinnon, a global designer, manufacturer and marketer of hoists, actuators, cranes, rigging tools, digital power control systems, and other material handling products, agreed to acquire Dorner, a global provider of high precision conveyor solutions, from private equity firm EQT Partners for $485m.
"Dorner operates at the forefront of the automation revolution and is supporting industries undergoing rapid growth and transformation, such as e-commerce and life sciences. The company exemplifies EQT's thematic approach to investments within the Industrial Technology sector and is a market leader in the highly attractive automation subsector. We are very thankful to the Dorner management team, led by Terry Schadeberg, for its strategic vision and strong execution, and look forward to following Dorner's journey with Columbus McKinnon," Kasper Knokgaard, EQT Partner and Investment Advisor.
Dorner is advised by Robert W Baird, William Blair & Co and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Columbus McKinnon is advised by JP Morgan, DLA Piper and Kei Advisors.
Vector Capital-backed Vector Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, agreed to merge with Rocket Lab, a private American aerospace manufacturer and small satellite launch service provider, in a $4.1bn deal.
"Rocket Lab is a once-in-a-generation company that is democratizing access to space through its constant innovation, leading technology and proven execution. Peter is a true visionary who has built a world-class company with discipline and grit. Rocket Lab is ideally positioned to continue to capture market share in the rapidly expanding space launch, systems and applications markets. Vector Capital has a nearly 25-year track record of identifying and building high-growth technology businesses and we are thrilled to partner with Peter and Rocket Lab's talented team to support the company's next-generation platforms and capabilities. Vector is thrilled to partner with Rocket Lab as it seeks to capitalize on unprecedented commercial and government spending in the bourgeoning space economy," Alex Slusky, Vector Capital Founder and CIO.
Rocket Lab is advised by Morgan Stanley, Goodwin Procter and FTI Consulting. Vector Capital is advised by Deutsche Bank, Kirkland & Ellis and Gasthalter & Co.
Private equity firm Tailwind Capital completed the acquisition of the International Sports Sciences Association, an organization that operates as an education and certification company for fitness trainers, personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists, nutrition coaches, aerobic instructors, and medical professionals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This partnership with Tailwind helps us to execute on our mission to connect passionate fitness professionals around the world to the meaningful work of helping others achieve their goals. Tailwind is an ideal partner who shares our vision of becoming the leading platform in the industry through continued innovation, investments in content and strategic acquisitions. This is a great step for ISSA, our members and their clients," Andrew Wyant, ISSA CEO.
ISSA was advised by Harris Williams & Co and Spencer Fane. Tailwind Capital was advised by Houlihan Lokey, Kirkland & Ellis and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
TELUS, a digital customer experience innovator, completed the acquisition of Lionbridge AI, a provider of crowd-based training data and annotation platform solutions, for $935m.
"We are excited to be welcoming the entire Lionbridge AI team to our TELUS International family. The addition of its industry-leading data annotation capabilities to our suite of next-generation digital solutions will support the expansion of our global service offerings and our penetration into the fast-growing new economy services market as we continue to advance our digital transformation strategy," Jeff Puritt, TELUS President and CEO.
TELUS was advised by Rothschild & Co and Osler Hoskin & Harcourt. Lionbridge was advised by Morgan Stanley and Kirkland & Ellis.
Knighthead Capital Management, an investment advisory firm, and Certares, an investment management company, agreed to acquire Hertz Global Holdings, a car rental company, for $4.2bn. This proposed investment, if consummated, will provide the basis for the proposed plan and the funding needed for Hertz to complete its financial restructuring and emerge from Chapter 11 in early to mid summer.
"We are excited to reach this important milestone in our restructuring process. Our plan of reorganization provides us a clear path forward to completing our financial restructuring and emerging from Chapter 11 by early to mid summer. The support of the plan sponsors demonstrates their confidence in Hertz's growth potential; moreover, they bring valuable experience in the travel and leisure industry," Paul Stone, Hertz President and CEO.
Hertz is advised by FTI Consulting, Moelis & Co and White & Case.
RENK, a German industrial company headquartered in Augsburg, agreed to acquire the Combat Propulsion Systems business of L3Harris, an American technology company, defense contractor and information technology services provider, for $400m.
"With today's announcement, we have now completed or announced divestitures of businesses with a combined $1.4bn of revenue for $2.5bn in expected proceeds, and our portfolio shaping process is ongoing. These agreements place our Military Training and Combat Propulsion Systems and related businesses with well-suited buyers, while positioning L3Harris to further focus on its core technologies and execute its strategic priorities," William M. Brown, L3Harris Chairman and CEO.
L3Harris is advised by Moelis & Co and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Investment company Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners led a $120m Series B round in Artiva Biotherapeutics, an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, with participation from Acuta Capital Partners, Cormorant Asset Management, EcoR1 Capital, Franklin Templeton, Janus Henderson Investors, Logos Capital, RTW Investments, Surveyor Capital, Wellington Management Company, 5AM Ventures, RA Capital Management, and venBio Partners.
"The quality and support of the investor groups participating in this financing further validates the promise of our manufacturing first strategy, the potential of our NK cell platform, and our goal to provide safe, effective, and truly off-the-shelf cell therapy treatments that are immediately accessible to cancer patients. I would also like to welcome Bong Koh to our board of directors and look forward to drawing upon his expertise as we continue to advance our clinical and other development activities," Fred Aslan, Artiva CEO.
Artiva Biotherapeutics was advised by Little Dog Communications and Westwicke.
Atlantica, the sustainable infrastructure company that owns a diversified portfolio of contracted assets in the energy and environment sectors, agreed to acquire Coso Geothermal Power Holdings, a 135MW geothermal power plant, from Bardin Hill, Avenue, Corre Partners and Voya Financial for $170m.
"We are thrilled to announce an investment in a contracted renewable energy asset that fits perfectly in our portfolio, increases our presence in the renewable sector in North America and reaffirms our goal to transition towards a more sustainable world" Santiago Seage, Atlantica CEO.
Coso Geothermal Power Holdings is advised by Houlihan Lokey.
CMC Materials, a global supplier of critical materials to semiconductor manufacturers and pipeline operators, agreed to acquire International Test Solutions, a manufacturing and technical consulting services company, for $125m.
"We are excited about accelerating ITS' growth by leveraging our world-class quality systems and operations, global footprint and technical resources. We look forward to welcoming ITS' employees to our team and our future together," David Li, CMC Materials President and CEO.
CMC Materials is advised by Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
StoneX Group, a financial services organization, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Tigress Financial Partners, an investment bank and brokerage firm. Financial terms were not disclosed. The closing of this transaction is subject to limited conditions, including regulatory approval.
"This transaction opens up a host of new doors for our legacy client base and allows Tigress to leap into new markets and products faster than we previously could have imagined. Of key importance to us, was that StoneX has demonstrated a strong corporate culture. They are committed to accelerating progress in both equality of opportunity and women's empowerment, which are central to StoneX's business growth and their social impact; as such they are the ideal partner to propel the Tigress business and mission," Cynthia DiBartolo, Tigress Financial Partners CEO.
StoneX is advised by M Group Strategic Communications.
Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm, led a $170m Series D funding round in Skydio, a drone manufacturer. The round was joined by Linse Capital, Next47, IVP and UP.Partners.
"The initial wave of hype around enterprise drones passed many years ago, but we're now seeing these markets really mature. Autonomy is the key for drones to reach scale, and Skydio has established themselves as the defining company in this category. We're excited to continue to invest in this magical combination of breakthrough technology, rapid growth, and an incredible team in a market that's going through an inflection point," David Ulevitch, Andreessen Horowitz General Partner.
The Sterling Group-backed Fencing Supply Group, a group of independent fencing distributors, completed the acquisition of Merchants Metals, a distributor of fence supplies in the US, from Atlas Holdings, a private investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Fencing Supply Group is a platform that will promote and enable growth for independent distributors of fencing materials nationwide. I look forward to being a part of the leading network of fencing distributors led by industry experts and entrepreneurs who come together to create value for customers, employees, and suppliers" Andrea Hogan, Merchants CEO.
Private equity firm LLR Partners completed the investment in Azalea Health, a provider of cloud-based electronic health record and patient engagement solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"LLR brings 20 years of experience helping healthcare technology businesses grow. The LLR team's support through capital, industry expertise and value creation resources will help us continue to transform the continuum of care with a 'one patient, one record' approach that drives better outcomes for patients and providers alike," Baha Zeidan, Azalea Health Co-founder and CEO.
Azalea Health was advised by Scratch Marketing + Media.
Roku, an operator of a TV streaming platform, agreed to acquire the advanced video advertising business from Nielsen, a data and market measurement firm. Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.
"Combining Nielsen's AVA technology with Roku's innovative ad tech and scale will enable us to deliver the benefits of TV streaming advertising to traditional TV. Roku will bring the promise of DAI to the market for the first time ever at scale — providing better targeting and measurement for advertisers, creating easy integration and additional revenue opportunities for programmers' ad sales teams, and improving the TV experience for viewers. We're also excited to become a key strategic partner for Nielsen in their new cross-media measurement products, and jointly drive towards greater transparency and accuracy in TV streaming measurement," Louqman Parampath, Roku Vice President of Product Management.
ATSG, a tech-enabled managed services and solutions company, agreed to acquire the infrastructure management business unit from DatAvail, a technology and managed services company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our acquisition of DatAvail's Infrastructure Management Business Unit enhances our overall infrastructure services and solutions, allowing ATSG to bring an elevated level of service innovation and digital transformation to our clients. The acquisition also expands on ATSG's growing global delivery capacity and enterprise market presence," Anthony J. D'Ambrosi, ATSG CEO.
One Equity Partners and The Silverfern Group-backed American Medical Technologies, an independent provider of wound care, ostomy, urology and tracheostomy supplies and services, agreed to merge with RestorixHealth, a wound care management company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This merger extends RestorixHealth's reach further across the care continuum to include skilled nursing facilities, assisted living and hospice. We believe this will be a benefit to our hospital partners as it allows for greater care coordination and referral connectivity outside the hospital-based wound center," Steve McLaughlin, RestorixHealth CEO.
Wix, a global SaaS platform, agreed to acquire SpeedETab, an ordering technology provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to join the Wix Restaurants team and provide an amazing solution for restaurants around the world. Since inception, SpeedETab has been focused on empowering restaurants to increase revenue, engage with their customers, and provide a superior guest experience. As part of Wix Restaurants, we look forward to making it easier than ever for any restaurant to have all the digital tools they need to succeed in one place," Adam Garfield, SpeedETab CEO.
Stripes, a New York-based growth equity firm, led a $100m Series D round in Axonius, the cybersecurity asset management company, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, OpenView, Lightspeed, and Vertex.
"At BVP, we always look to quantify and measure how quickly the world's most innovative companies go from founding to $100m in annual recurring revenue and eventual IPO. Axonius is among the fastest-growing companies in BVP history, as it took the company less than 15 months to grow from $1m ARR to $10m ARR," Amit Karp, BVP Partner.
AgeX Therapeutics and LyGenesis negotiate a merger agreement.
AgeX Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing therapeutics for human aging and cell regeneration, and LyGenesis, a privately held biotechnology company developing cell therapies that enable organ regeneration, are negotiating a merger agreement.
LyGenesis received the US food and drug administration clearance for new drug application to conduct a phase 2a clinical trial on the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of its lead cell therapy for patients with end-stage liver disease. The combined company would also include thymus, pancreas, and kidney regeneration, in addition to the existing AgeX assets.
Alphabet-backed Oscar Health seeks $8bn IPO valuation.
Alphabet-backed Oscar Health, a startup health insurance company, raised the price range for its IPO, potentially seeking an almost $8bn valuation, Reuters reported.
The company, which plans to sell 31m shares in its IPO, raised the price range to between $36 and $38 a piece from an earlier target of $32 to $34. At the upper end of the new range, Oscar intends to raise as much as $1.2bn.
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Allen & Company are underwriters for the offering.
Three Atlas Crest Investment's SPACs aim to raise $1.2bn through IPOs. (FS)
Three blank-check companies backed by Ken Moelis, a billionaire investment banker and Moelis & Co CEO, are looking to raise as much as $1.2bn through IPOs, Reuters reported.
Atlas Crest Investment III, IV and V aim to raise $600m, $400m and $200m, respectively, by selling shares and warrants on the New York Stock Exchange.
Cantor is the sole book-running manager for all the offerings.
SoftBank-backed Compass files for IPO. (FS)
SoftBank-backed Compass, a real estate technology company, filed for an IPO, disclosing growing revenue and shrinking losses. The company listed the size of the offering as $500m, Bloomberg reported.
SoftBank Vision Fund owns about 35% of the class A shares of Compass, while Reffkin, who has 2.4% of the Class A shares, currently owns all of the Class C shares. As much as 5% of the Class A shares in the IPO will be reserved for licensed real estate agents affiliated with Compass and certain individuals.
The offering is led by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Barclays.
Bill Foley looks for carveouts with a SPAC.
A Bill Foley-owned SPAC is on the lookout for public company assets that it could take public as a separate business, Bloomberg reported. Instead of focusing solely on technology or fintech businesses, the SPAC will also look at carveouts from publicly traded consumer companies such as Revlon, a manufacturer and distributor of beauty and personal care products.
“We are going to start looking at large public companies that have divisions to dispose,” Bill Foley.
Avista Capital Partners closed $1.2bn Fund V. (FS)
Avista Capital Partners, a company investing in healthcare companies, soared past its Fund V target to strike a $1.2bn hard cap close for the healthcare-focused investment vehicle.
Avista Capital received commitments from its Fund IV investors and attracted Capital Constellation, a private equity firm that provides growth capital to private alternative asset management firms.
Avista Capital was advised by UBS and Kirkland & Ellis.
IPI Partners, a private equity firm that invests in data centers and other technology and connectivity-related real assets, agreed to acquire a majority stake in SUPERNAP Italia, which provides comprehensive data center services, from private equity firm Accelero Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are proud of the great progress that we have made in establishing our market presence and demonstrating our ability to meet the capacity needs of some the world's leading technology companies. IPI is an ideal partner to help us advance our hyperscale deployments, in Italy and throughout Europe, and to accelerate our growth plans" Sherif Rizkalla, SUPERNAP CEO.
SUPERNAP Italia is advised by Giliberti Triscornia e Associati, NautaDutilh and White & Case. IPI Partners is advised by Arendt & Medernach, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Legance, Barabino & Partners and TGPR.
Francisco Partners-backed Keyloop, a global supplier of technology solutions to the automotive industry, agreed to acquire RAPID RTC, a provider of Digital Communication and Lead Management Solutions, and enquiryMAX, which provides showroom management solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted today to welcome RAPID RTC and enquiryMAX, two leading automotive technology providers, to the Keyloop family. We are very excited to include their outstanding lead management and showroom products in our customer offering. The combination of these products, together withKeyloop'ss leading DMS, will enable us to develop new solutions for our customers around lead measurement and attribution" Tom Kilroy, Keyloop CEO.
enquiryMAX is advised by RSM International. RAPID RTC is advised by UBS and Pitblado Law. Francisco Partners is advised by Alvarez & Marsal, Kirkland & Ellis, Paul Hastings and Stikeman Elliott.
Private equity firm Flexpoint Ford increased its offer for AFH Financial, an independent financial advice services provider, from $307m to $327m. The offer was made a day after AFH postponed the shareholder vote on the first offer, which was reportedly rejected by shareholders.
The independent directors of AFH said they consider the terms of the increased offer to be fair and reasonable.
AFH Financial is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Shore Capital & Corporate, Eversheds Sutherland and Yellow Jersey. Flexpoint Ford is advised by Raymond James and Kirkland & Ellis.
Mid Europa Partners, an independent private equity player in Central and Eastern Europe, completed the acquisition of the Polish unit of The Sage Group, a British multinational enterprise software company, for £66m ($88m).
"We are delighted to be backing Symfonia, a leading provider of business-critical software to SMEs. The company already enjoys exceptional brand recognition in Poland while its market-leading product portfolio offers highly functional, reliable and modular software solutions. We are excited to support the Symfonia team in the execution of future strategic initiatives, including new product development and the expansion of its cloud offering. The Symfonia acquisition builds on MidEuropa'ss proven track record of investing in CEE-rooted champions in the growth sectors of digital, technology, online and B2B software. It adds to our existing investments in intive, and Allegro as well as the recent acquisition of Displate" Kerim Turkmen, Mid Europa Partner.
Mid Europa Partners was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Boston Consulting Group, Arma Partners, Vienna Capital Partners and White & Case. Sage Group was advised by FTI Consulting.
OpenGate Capital, a global private equity firm, agreed to acquire TREALITY, which develops and manufactures advanced visualization solutions primarily for the global defense, air traffic control, and security end markets, from TransDigm Group, a publicly-traded aerospace manufacturing company, for $200m.
"We are very excited to have reached this agreement with TransDigm. ScioTeq and TREALITY are both well-established businesses and represent the type of investment where we can utilize our global operations team to build upon the success of these businesses and guide them toward a new chapter of growth" Andrew Nikou, OpenGate Capital Founder and CEO.
OpenGate Capital is advised by Lazard, Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Prosek Partners. Debt financing is provided by Deutsche Bank.
Partech led a €190m ($230m) funding round in Rohlik Group, an online grocery business, with participation from Index Ventures, EBRD, J&T Banka, Quadrille Capital, R2G and Enern.
"At Rohlik, we want people to''eat well and live wel." We offer a broad selection of awesome food to our customers and provide them with a service that makes life easier. With this funding round, we will be able to accelerate our growth and continue to invest in our market-leading technology and operating capabilities" Tomáš Čupr, Rohlik Group CEO.
Rohlik Group was advised by Deloitte, Arma Partners and White & Case.
Kering and Tiger Global led a $216m funding round in Vestiaire Collective, a global platform for desirable second-hand fashion, with participation from Bpifrance, Condé Nast, Eurazeo, Fidelity, Korelya Capital, Luxury Tech Fund and Vitruvian Partners.
"This latest round of investment confirms the incredible trajectory of Vestiaire Collective, founded during the 2008 crisis, the model has clearly demonstrated its ability to continue to thrive during challenging conditions. The resale sector as a whole is experiencing rapid growth, especially amongst Millennial and Gen Z consumers, which will come to shape the retail landscape of the future. We are incredibly excited to welcome Kering and Tiger Global Management, both of which will be instrumental in our mission to build a more sustainable fashion industry and further grow our incredible global community," Maximilian Bittner, Vestiaire Collective CEO.
AIB Group, a financial services group operating predominantly in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, agreed to acquire Goodbody, an Irish provider of wealth management, corporate finance and capital markets services, for €82m ($99m).
"With AIB, Goodbody is aligning with the market leader and could not be better positioned to compete in the financial services sector over time. This is now the beginning of an exciting new phase of the company's development as this partnership has the potential to offer our business, our clients and our staff many opportunities for growth as we start the next chapter of Goodbody's history," Roy Barrett, Goodbody Managing Director.
BC Partners considers sale of Pharmathen for $1.8bn. (FS)
BC Partners, a private equity investment provider, is weighing a sale of Pharmathen, a European generic drugmaker, which could be valued at as much as $1.8bn. Bloomberg reported that the private equity firm is speaking with potential advisers as it considers options for the business.
Pharmathen develops and manufactures generic drugs that can be administered via tablets, drops, and injections. BC Partners acquired Pharmathen from its founding family for $573m in 2015.
Kingswood Acquisition and Apollo among suitors for Blackstone-backed Lombard. (FS)
Kingswood Acquisition, a blank cheque company, is weighing a merger with Blackstone-backed Lombard International, a UK-based wealth management group. The merger would be among the first examples of a UK-based financial services business listing in the US via a SPAC. The company could fetch around €700m ($844m).
Apollo Global Management is also among the other likely bidders for Lombard.
Blackstone is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Kingswood is advised by Oppenheimer.
Klarna raises $1bn from undisclosed investors. (FS)
Klarna, a global retail bank, payments and shopping service, raised $1bn from undisclosed investors in an equity funding round to accelerate international expansion and further capture global retail growth.
The 4x oversubscribed round included a combination of new and existing investors and closed at a post-money valuation of $31bn, making Klarna the highest-valued private fintech in Europe and the second-highest worldwide.
UniCredit to partner with CNP in Italian insurance business.
CNP Assurances, a French insurer, agreed to acquire a majority stake in an Italian life-insurance partnership with UniCredit, a commercial bank with a fully plugged in corporate and investment banking, Bloomberg reported.
CNP is set to take over a 51% stake of Aviva, a UK-based company providing international savings, retirement, insurance products, and services, in the joint venture with UniCredit for $463m. The UK insurer also sells a separate Italian life business to CNP for $193m and its non-life Italian business to Allianz.
EC Assets to list a $250m SPAC. (FS)
EC Assets, an investment firm, is preparing to list a SPAC in New York. The company aims to issue a total of 25m units exclusively to institutional investors at a price of $10 per unit, representing a placement volume of $250m. The team intends to acquire a late-stage, IPO-ready tech company with primary operations in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the US.
"The European technology sector offers extremely attractive opportunities. Compared to other sectors, investments in the technology sector have historically delivered excellent returns. We believe EC Assets SPAC is an excellent partner for a late-stage tech company looking to continue its growth story as a publicly traded company. Through our investment, a new European tech champion will emerge," Ludwig Klatzka, EC Assets CEO.
Cain International considers raising $250m for a SPAC. (FS)
Cain International, a real estate investment firm, is exploring raising about $250m for a SPAC. The investment firm, led by Jonathan Goldstein, is set to pursue a New York listing for the blank-check company, Bloomberg reported.
Cain focuses on investments in the real estate, hospitality, life publicly-traded sectors and is backed by Eldridge Industries, an investment management company.
Nordic Real Estate Partners closed RE fund with $2.3bn commitments. (FS)
Nordic Real Estate Partners, a private equity firm, followed its $2.3bn raise of real estate private equity fund by hauling in $1.1bn for a new semi-open-ended vehicle. The fund would target middle-income residentials, modern logistics facilities and social infrastructure such as care homes.
The fund is backed by Novo Holdings, a Danish private limited liability company, and Bouwinvest, a Dutch pension investor.
“Supported by enduring consumer trends and demographic developments, we can now extend our long-term approach even further to generate more income-orientated value. The new fund reflects a demand from many of our investors and it matches the investment opportunities we meet in the market," Claush Mathisen, NREP CEO.
FD7 Ventures launches a $250m micro fund. (FS)
FD7 Ventures, a Dubai-based crypto investment fund, launched a micro-fund focusing on investments in teams building out the Polkadot and Cardano projects. The fund is looking to raise $250m, DealStreetAsia reported.
FD7’s new fund intends to invest approximately $1m-5m across 50 companies yearly, with roughly 30% of those Polkadot and Cardano ecosystem-based companies receiving secondary investments of $5m-20m, depending on their growth metrics.
“The India Institute of Technology is churning out top talent who are already working on Polkadot and Cardano projects at the university level. Positioning our new location where we have in Bangalore gives us a home-field advantage to tap into some of the world’s best future talent in blockchain and cryptocurrency development,” Prakash Chand, FD7 Ventures Global Managing Director.
Hong Kong investigating whether to allow SPAC listings.
Hong Kong is investigating whether to allow SPACs to list in the Asian financial hub, showing that a largely US phenomenon could be going global, DealStreetAsia reported.
Most SPACs so far have been listed in the United States and raised $60bn in the first two months of 2021. The Securities and Futures Commission and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing briefed a forum of top financial leaders to explore suitable listing regimes to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong as an international financial center, while safeguarding the interests of the investing public.
Jindal explores acquiring Reliance Naval.
Jindal Steel & Power, an Indian manufacturer of sponge iron, mild steel, and cement, and two other groups were the latest to express interest in bidding for Reliance Naval & Engineering, a company designing and constructing warships and submarine, Bloomberg reported.
For Jindal Steel Reliance Naval can be a captive client for the company’s shipbuilding plates. GMS, a Dubai-based shipping firm, and Kotak Special Situations Fund were among the others registered to bid.
A successful sale of Reliance Naval will help creditors including IDBI Bank and State Bank of India recoup part of the $1.5bn company debt.
Microsoft-backed Bukalapak explores US listing via SPAC merger.
Microsoft-backed Bukalapak.com, an Indonesian e-commerce company, is considering a US listing via merging with a SPAC. Bloomberg reported that the company could be valued at $4bn to $5bn in a potential SPAC deal.
The company is working with investment banks on the plan and is in preliminary talks with several blank-check companies. The startup could consider listing a small part of Jakarta's business before doing a US SPAC merger.
Other investors in Bukalapak include Ant Group, GIC, a Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, Naver, an Internet site provider with web portal services, and Standard Chartered.
KKR & Co and TPG Capital-backed PropertyGuru weighs US listing via SPAC merger. (FS)
KKR & Co and TPG Capital-backed PropertyGuru, a Singaporean online real estate firm, is considering a US listing via a SPAC deal. A merger with a blank-check company could value the combined firm at about $1bn, Bloomberg reported.
The company is working with a financial adviser on the potential deal and aim to strike a deal as early as this year.
Groww in talks to raise $100m. (FS)
Groww, a Bengaluru-based platform offering stockbroking and direct mutual funds to its consumers, is in talks to raise a $100m round from new and existing investors, including Ribbit Capital and Tiger Global. Sequoia Capital may also participate in the funding round, DealStreetAsia reported.
The financing round is likely to value the company in the range of $850m to $1bn.
SoftBank-backed Coupang plans US IPO at $50bn valuation. (FS)
SoftBank-backed Coupang, an electronic commerce company, is targeting a blockbuster stock market debut that would value the company at over $50bn and make it the largest US IPO, Reuters reported.
Coupang would price its offering between $27 and $30 a share. At the upper end of that range, Coupang will raise as much as $3.6bn. Apart from SoftBank, other major investors include BlackRock, Sequoia Capital and billionaire investor Bill Ackman.
Goldman Sachs, Allen & Company, JP Morgan, and Citigroup are the lead underwriters for the offering.
Ting Hsin plans $800m IPO of restaurant business.
Ting Hsin International, a Taiwanese food company, is weighing a Hong Kong IPO of its restaurant business in mainland China that could raise about $800m, Bloomberg reported.
The firm appointed banks to pitch for a role on the listing. The company may include Dicos, a restaurant chain of prominent fried chicken, and Master Kong Chef’s Table, a brand specializing in Taiwan-style beef noodles, in the Hong Kong listing.
BlackRock Real Estate closes fifth fund at $1.2bn. (FS)
BlackRock Real Estate, a realty investment management firm, closed its fifth Asia-focused fund with capital commitments amounting to $1.2bn, DealStreetAsia reported.
BlackRock Asia Property Fund V was oversubscribed and surpassed its $1bn target. The fifth fund aims to generate returns from repositioning, rebuilding, re-leasing, and recapitalizing real estate assets, focusing on Japan, Australia, Singapore, China, and Hong Kong.
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