eBay, an American multinational e-commerce corporation, and Adevinta, a Norwegian marketplace specialist, secured final regulatory approval for the merger of their global classified ads businesses.
The final regulatory approval came from the Austrian competition watchdog after eBay agreed to reduce its ownership stake in Adevinta during the next 18 months.
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. Debt financing is provided by Barclays, Citigroup and DNB Bank. Financial advisors are advised by Shearman & Sterling. eBay is advised by Goldman Sachs, LionTree Advisors, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Quinn Emanuel, Thommessen, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Joele Frank. Financial advisors are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners revised its buyout offer for Inter Pipeline, a multinational petroleum transportation and infrastructure firm, to include an option for an all-cash consideration instead of a mix of cash and stock, Reuters reported.
Brookfield's revision comes as the investment firm tries to beat a rival bid from Pembina Pipeline, which has been recommended by Inter's board.
Inter Pipeline is advised by Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, TD Securities, Burnet Duckworth & Palmer and Dentons. Pembina is advised by Scotia Capital and Blake Cassels & Graydon. Brookfield is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Barclays, McCarthy Tetrault and Laurel Hill.
Acies Acquisition’s shareholders voted to approve its proposed $1.1bn merger with PLAYSTUDIOS, a developer of free-to-play casual mobile and social games that offer real-world rewards to loyal players.
“We are excited to support PLAYSTUDIOS as they embark on their journey as a publicly listed company. We believe the Company is well-positioned to capitalize on its strategic goals to accelerate growth through continuing to optimize the core portfolio, launch new games, and pursue value accretive acquisitions,” Dan Fetters, Acies Co-CEO.
PLAYSTUDIOS is advised by JP Morgan, LionTree Advisors, Davis Polk & Wardwell and ICR. Acies is advised by Houlihan Lokey, Morgan Stanley, Oppenheimer & Co, Alston & Bird and Latham & Watkins. Financial advisors are advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Local Bounti, an indoor agriculture company, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Leo Holdings III in a $1.1bn deal. Transaction to provide up to $400m of gross proceeds to the combined company, including $125m fully committed common stock PIPE at $10.00 per share anchored by existing and new investors, including institutional investors Fidelity Management & Research and BNP Paribas Asset Management Ecosystem Restoration Fund, and strategic partners Cargill and Sarath Ratanavadi of Gulf Energy Development Public.
“Combining Local Bounti’s emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and technology-driven approach with the institutional knowledge of the Leo Holdings team, we are confident in the company’s ability to expand in both reach and consumer offerings,” Lyndon Lea, Leo President and CEO.
Local Bounti is advised by Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. Leo is advised by Kirkland & Ellis, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Nomura. Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Nomura are advised by Debevoise & Plimpton.
CAS Investment Partners, which owns 17% of At Home's shares, is urging shareholders to join it in rejecting the home furnishing retailer’s proposed sale, arguing that even after this week’s price increase the offer remains far too low, Reuters reported.
CAS said private equity firm Hellman & Friedman's new offer to pay $37 a share, representing a $1 per share bump, is not nearly sufficient for a company valued at $2.4bn and growing strongly as low mortgage rates and strong housing demand fuel home decorating.
At Home Group is advised by Goldman Sachs, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Joele Frank. Hellman & Friedman is advised by Guggenheim Partners, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Finsbury Glover Hering. Goldman Sachs is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
23andMe, a consumer genetics and research company, went public via a merger with VG Acquisition, a SPAC sponsored by Virgin Group, in a $3.5bn deal.
"As a fellow industry disruptor as well as early investor in 23andMe, we are thrilled to partner with Sir Richard Branson and VG Acquisition as we approach the next phase of our business, which will create new opportunities to revolutionize personalized healthcare and medicine. We have always believed that healthcare needs to be driven by the consumer, and we have a huge opportunity to help personalize the entire experience at scale, allowing individuals to be more proactive about their health and wellness. Through a genetics-based approach, we fundamentally believe we can transform the continuum of healthcare," Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe CEO and Co-Founder.
23andMe was advised by Citigroup, Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Sard Verbinnen & Co. VG Acquisition was advised by Credit Suisse, LionTree Advisors, Davis Polk & Wardwell and FTI Consulting.
Fortuna Silver Mines and Roxgoldannounced that Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, two proxy advisory firms who provide independent voting recommendations to institutional investors, recommended that both Fortuna and Roxgold shareholders vote for the companies' respective resolutions in connection with the proposed business combination, between Fortuna and Roxgold announced on April 26, 2021.
"The merger brings together a highly complementary and diversified portfolio with organic growth potential with multiple brownfields and greenfields options across several jurisdictions," Glass Lewis.
Roxgold is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Canaccord Genuity and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg. Fortuna is advised by INFOR Financial, Scotiabank, Blake Cassels & Graydon and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.
Hydrofarm, an independent distributor and manufacturer of hydroponics equipment and supplies for controlled environment agriculture, agreed to acquire Aurora Innovations, a Eugene, Oregon-based manufacturer and supplier of organic hydroponic products, for $161m.
"We are pleased to welcome Aurora into our portfolio of quality brands, as our momentum continues to build on the acquisitions front. Aurora has blazed trails for earth-friendly growers, and their Roots Organics line is very popular – a standout for its focus on microbe stimulants. Aurora's pioneering R&D lab work in plant nutrition over the past 10-plus years has led to the development of innovative products that improve yields for growers, while simultaneously advancing science in a meaningful way," Bill Toler, Hydrofarm Chairman and CEO.
Aurora Innovations is advised by B\VAL CPAs & Advisors and Gleaves Swearingen. Hydrofarm is advised by Rothschild & Co, Perkins Coie, ICR and LAK Public Relations.
TA Associates, a global growth private equity firm, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Apex Group, a global financial services provider, from Genstar Capital, a private equity firm focused on investments in targeted segments of the financial services, healthcare, industrials, and software industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Apex was founded with clients at the heart of its strategy. Since 2003 we have been focused on evolving our business to deliver more and better services to clients, no matter where they are in the world. We are very proud of the progress we have achieved together with Genstar's support, building an unparalleled breadth of product and scaling our geographic footprint while maintaining exceptional levels of client service and retention. With TA Associates as a new partner, we look forward to continuing on our growth trajectory and further enhancing our capabilities, while driving innovation and progress in the industry," Peter Hughes, Apex Group Founder and CEO.
TA Associates is advised by Goodwin Procter. Genstar Capital is advised by Macquarie Group, Morgan Stanley, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Chris Tofalli Public Relations.
Auction Technology Group, a curated auction marketplace provider, agreed to acquire LiveAuctioneers, an auction platform for collectibles, antiques, jewelry and art, for $525m.
"We are excited to announce the proposed acquisition of LiveAuctioneers. It enables ATG to enter the large and fast-growing North American art & antiques segment, further diversifying our business and bringing a complementary network of auctioneers and bidders to our Group. It will strengthen our ability to invest in improving the buying experience, thereby making online auctions more attractive to bidders around the world and thereby helping auctioneers realize higher asset values for their consignors. Our mission is to keep this important industry competitive in an increasingly digital world and, in turn, accelerate the pace of sustainable commerce by making it easier and more attractive to buy, and sell secondary market items through auctions. We are delighted to welcome the strong LiveAuctioneers team, which has a similar culture to ATG, and look forward to working closely together in the future," John-Paul Savant, ATG CEO.
ATG is advised by JP Morgan, Numis Securities, Travers Smith and Tulchan Communications.
Mitsubishi HC Capital, a Japan-based company mainly engaged in the financial business, agreed to acquire CAI International, a transportation finance company, for $2.9bn.
"Over the past year, we have delivered on the commitment we made to our shareholders to return CAI's focus to its core container leasing business. Executing on that strategy put CAI in position to partner with MHC, a strong, quality, global financial organization. Going forward, the combination of CAI and MHC will allow MHC to leverage CAI's global marketing and operational expertise, and along with MHC's existing container investments will provide enhanced value to MHC's container leasing customers, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders. After the closing of the transaction, MHC expects to retain CAI's existing management team and employees. CAI's headquarters will remain in San Francisco," Timothy Page, CAI President and CEO.
CAI is advised by Centerview Partners and Perkins Coie. Mitsubishi HC Capital is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell.
PSG, a growth equity firm, led a $100m Series C funding round in Introhive, an AI-powered sales and relationship intelligence platform. Additional investors included Bank of America Securities, The Business Development Bank of Canada, Aegis Group, Evergreen Coast and Mavan Capital.
"We are extremely excited to be partnering with Introhive as they seek to continue to rapidly grow the CRM automation and relationship intelligence platform. Businesses of all sizes are looking for better ways to leverage relationships and drive revenue, and we believe Introhive has built a unique and innovative set of capabilities that allows them to do this more effectively. In our view, Jody and Stewart have built a world class product and management team, and the business is well positioned for its next phase of growth. We couldn't be happier to join them on their journey," Rick Essex, PSG Managing Director.
Introhive was advised by Philosophy PR+Marketing. PSG was advised by Prosek Partners.
WM Partners, a middle-market private equity firm specializing in buyout investments in the health and wellness sector, agreed to acquire Vega, a pioneer of the plant-based nutrition industry and a brand in plant-based protein powder in both the US and Canada, from Danone, a multinational food-products corporation based in Paris. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to work with Vega, the pioneers and leaders of the plant-based nutrition industry and look forward to implementing our operational playbook to create additional value" Jose Minski, WM Partners Co-Founder.
WM Partners is advised by King & Spalding. Danone is advised by Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
IBM, an American multinational technology company, completed the acquisition of Turbonomic, a software development company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition will provide businesses with full stack application observability and management to assure performance and minimize costs using AI to optimize resources – such as containers, VMs, servers, storage, networks, and databases.
Turbonomic was advised by JP Morgan. IBM was advised by Cravath Swaine & Moore.
Ford agreed to acquire Electriphi, a California-based provider of charging management and fleet monitoring software for electric vehicles. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With Electriphi’s existing advanced technology IP in the Ford Pro electric vehicles and services portfolio, we will enhance the experience for commercial customers and be a single-source solution for fleet-depot charging,” Ted Cannis, Ford Pro CEO.
Brady, a manufacturer of products for identifying components used in workplaces, agreed to acquire Code, which specializes in high-performance barcode readers and scanning software, for $173m.
“The addition of Code’s high-quality complementary product offering to Brady’s already existing leadership position in niche application industrial printers and materials will accelerate Brady’s expansion in the industrial track-and-trace market. Once integrated, our complete service offering in these faster-growing end markets should accelerate Brady’s overall growth profile. We also intend to increase investments in research and development and increase Code’s addressable market through Brady’s global footprint throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas,” J. Michael Nauman, Brady’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Bessemer Venture Partners, a fund specifically designed for growth-stage companies, and 40 North, an early-to-growth stage venture capital fund, led a $140m Series D funding round in Claroty, the industrial cybersecurity company. Additional strategic investors included LG, I Squared, Temasek, Team8, Rockwell Automation, Siemens and Schneider Electric.
"Our mission is to drive visibility, continuity, and resiliency in the industrial economy by delivering the most comprehensive solutions that secure all connected devices within the four walls of an industrial site, including all operational technology, Internet of Things, and industrial IoT assets. With this new investment from the most prestigious firms in the world, we have the financial runway to execute on our proven product strategy in a hyper-growth market, with a world-class leadership team and a strong ecosystem of partners to take us there," Yaniv Vardi, Claroty CEO.
Tiger Global Management, an investment firm, led a $120m Series C funding round in Nylas, a provider of productivity infrastructure solutions for modern software. Additional investors included Slack Fund, 8VC, Round13, Scale Asia, Owl Rock and Blue Cloud.
"The fundamental shift towards digital communications and connectivity has companies across all industries increasingly leaning on developers to solve critical business challenges and build engaging product experiences. APIs have become core to modern software development and digital transformation. Through our suite of powerful APIs, we give developers the tools needed to meet customer and market needs faster, create competitive differentiation through powerful and customized customer experiences, and generate huge operational savings through more productive, secure, and intelligently-automated development cycles. We're thrilled to advance our mission to make the world more productive and are honored to have the backing of distinguished world-class investors and entrepreneurs," Gleb Polyakov, Nylas Co-Founder and CEO.
Gopuff, a consumer goods and food delivery service, agreed to acquire rideOS, an enterprise start-up that builds cutting-edge proprietary technology for advanced routing, on-demand dispatch and fleet optimization for the fast-growing delivery and logistics industries, for $115m.
"Gopuff's mission and global ambition to be the world's go-to solution for immediate everyday needs is a natural extension of the rideOS' vision to build software that efficiently moves people and things throughout the world. We see this as a unique opportunity to scale our culture, values, team, products and technology, with a company at the forefront of defining the Instant Needs economy. Given Gopuff's exponential growth, we expect to significantly increase our headcount by the end of this year, expanding our presence in Silicon Valley, Pittsburgh, and Berlin," Justin Ho, rideOS CEO.
Enstructure, a terminal and logistics company, agreed to acquire Patriot Ports, an integrated ports logistics provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Enstructure's expertise in terminal and cold storage operations made the company a natural fit. Over 150 Patriot Ports employees, including all operating personnel and management will remain in place following the acquisition. We are confident that Enstructure's best-in-class service will ensure a seamless transition for Patriot Ports' customers and employees. This transaction will allow Patriot to focus on growth in our core rail business moving forward," John E. Fenton, Patriot Ports CEO.
Patriot Rail and Ports is advised by RBC Capital Markets.
Constellation Brands, a beverage alcohol company, completed the investment in Dos Hombres, an artesanal and hand-crafted mezcal brand created by Breaking Bad co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Aaron and Bryan have turned their shared passion for mezcal into a truly unique brand and have created an exceptional liquid that receives frequent praise from both the industry and its consumers," Jennifer Evans, Constellation Ventures Vice President.
Knox Lane-backed Fingerpaint, a full-service health and wellness marketing firm, completed the acquisition of Splice, a healthcare communications business based in Emeryville, California. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Splice has built a great company filled with top healthcare communications talent who we are looking forward to welcoming into the Fingerpaint family," Bill McEllen, Fingerpaint Partner.
Fifth Partners, a provider of human, financial, and intellectual capital to build enduring, profitable enterprises, completed the merger with DigitalReef, a provider of marketing and advertising technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"When we first encountered Imagination Unwired, we were initially attracted to the product and the market. However, we really fell in love with the founding team. Their leadership has been a driving force in IU's success to date, and we look forward to watching that team continue to drive outstanding results as key members of the DigitalReef leadership team," Jeff Brownlow, Fifth Partners Managing Director.
Elad Gil led a $450m Series D round in Anduril Industries, a defense technology company, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, 8VC, Founders Fund, General Catalyst, Lux Capital, Valor Equity Partners, and D1 Capital Partners.
"We are on a mission to transform the defense capabilities of the US and our allies with the technologies shaping today's battlefields, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, sensor fusion, and autonomous systems," Brian Schimpf, Anduril CEO.
Eurazeo led a $325m Series F round in Neo4j, a graph technology provider, with participation from GV, One Peak, Creandum, Greenbridge Partners, DTCP and Lightrock.
"Tom Hulme and I are excited to welcome the team to the portfolio, joining other database companies that are building the future of the enterprise. Neo4j has been steadfast in its vision, and I admire Emil's grit and tireless dedication over the years to build and evangelize graph databases," Erik Nordlander, GV General Partner.
BrightSpring Health Services, a provider of complementary home and community-based pharmacy and health services, completed the acquisition of Pate Rehabilitation, which provides evidence-based physical, occupational, speech/language and neurocognitive therapies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With our combined footprint, we are accelerating the ability to bring a comprehensive, customizable continuum of neuro therapy services to more communities across the country. Our clinically focused integrated rehabilitation services include home and community, outpatient, day treatment, transitional support, supported living, and independent living. Pate, Rehab Without Walls, and BrightSpring share strong values and a commitment to people, quality, and our customers and patients,” Jon Rousseau, BrightSpring President CEO.
Xait, a Norwegian proposal and CPQ software specialist, agreed to acquire Privia, a provider of capture and proposal management-specific solutions to the government contractor market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to welcome Privia and their team of experts to Xait, adding industry knowledge to our fully integrated co-authoring solution. Together we can provide both streamlined and optimized document production and calculations, maximizing customers' revenues from bids and proposals and other business-critical documents," Eirik Gudmundsen, Xait CEO.
Ohana Real Estate Investors, a vertically integrated investment firm focused exclusively on full-service hotels, completed the acquisition of Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa, a 491-key resort located near Austin, TX, from an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This acquisition reflects our strong conviction in well-located resort properties and the desirable Austin market, where Ohana intends to open an office this year. We very much appreciate Hyatt’s confidence in Ohana to be the next owner of this amazing property, and we look forward to a successful relationship with Hyatt for years to come,” Franco Famularo, Ohana Chief Investment Officer.
Salas O'Brien, a facility planning, design, construction management, and commissioning firm, completed the acquisition of BVH Integrated Services, a multi-disciplined consulting engineering firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"In every case, the leaders and team members are totally committed to our team success and realize that together we are a stronger team that creates more opportunities for our team members and clients. As I got to know Karl, Tom, and rest of the BVH team, I was so excited to realize how similar, yet complementary, we are—and I became totally confident that we will be successful together," Darin Anderson, Salas O'Brien Chairman and CEO.
Great Wall looking to buy Daimler auto plant in Brazil.
Great Wall Motor, a Chinese automaker, is considering acquiring one of Daimler's factories in Brazil as it looks to expand outside its home country.
The two companies are in talks about the potential deal, which could fetch several hundred million dollars, Bloomberg reported. Deliberations are ongoing and the companies could decide not to pursue a deal.
OTPP aims to double investment in infrastructure. (FS)
One of Canada's largest public-pension managers, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, aims to double its infrastructure investments within the next five years, according to a Bloomberg report.
The Toronto-based pension manager is especially interested in assets that have high barriers to entry, the so-called core infrastructure, which usually have inflation protection, and provide a stable cash flow profile to the fund. This category would involve airports, toll roads, regulatory utilities and renewable power.
"We are very much focused on the core infrastructure spectrum, but not exclusively," Dale Burgess, OTPP Senior Managing Director.
SoftBank-backed VTEX hires banks for US IPO.
Brazilian e-commerce software provider VTEX, which is backed by SoftBank Group, picked banks for a potential initial public offering, Bloomberg reported. The firm, founded in Rio de Janeiro, is working with banks including JP Morgan and Banco Itau BBA on a potential listing at Nasdaq. The size and timing of an IPO are still being discussed.
Representatives for VTEX said a decision to IPO depends on its shareholders and no plan to do so has been announced.
Leonard Green-backed Mister Car Wash aims for over $5bn valuation in US IPO. (FS)
Leonard Green-backed Mister Car Wash, the largest and fastest growing car wash chain in the United States, is looking for a $5bn valuation in its upcoming US IPO.
The Tucson, Arizona-based company is offering 37.5m shares priced between $15 and $17 per share. It has applied to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "MCW."
Mister Car Wash is advised by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Jefferies & Company.
ThoughtWorks files for US IPO. (FS)
GIC-backed ThoughtWorks, a privately owned, global technology company with 48 offices in 17 countries, confidentially filed for a US IPO.
The firm's plans for an IPO come as companies make a beeline for public listings to take advantage of sky-high valuations in the stock market and the Federal Reserve's loose monetary policy amid the pandemic.
Via working with Goldman Sachs on IPO.
Bloomberg reported that Via Transportation, a global public transport, logistics, and TransitTech company headquartered in New York, is planning to go public in the US.
The company is working with Goldman Sachs on the planned initial public offering. A listing could happen in six months to a year.
JAWS Juggernaut Acquisition announces a $240m IPO.
JAWS Juggernaut Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company formed for the purpose of entering into a combination with one or more businesses, announced the pricing of its upsized $240m initial public offering.
Led by Chairman Barry S. Sternlicht and CEO Paul E. Jacobs, JAWS Juggernaut Acquisition expects to focus on wireless communications and related technology/product/service businesses that have attractive growth-oriented characteristics and strong underlying demand drivers.
EIG-led consortium completed the acquisition of a 49% stake in the oil pipeline business of Saudi Aramco for $12.4bn. Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund Mubadala Investment was also a member of the consortium.
"This transaction aligns perfectly with EIG's philosophy of investing in high-quality assets with contracted cash flows in critical infrastructure. We look forward to a long-term partnership with Aramco and to delivering value for our investors through this landmark investment," R. Blair Thomas, EIG Chairman and CEO.
Saudi Aramco was advised by JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, White & Case and Brunswick Group. EIG was advised by HSBC, Latham & Watkins and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Debt financing was provided by BNP Paribas, Citigroup, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho Securities and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. Debt providers were advised by Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani (AS&H) and Clifford Chance.
Cerberus-backed My Money Group, an independent French banking group, agreed to acquire the retail banking business in France from HSBC. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“It is a unique opportunity to accelerate our expansion plans and to develop for our French customers differentiating wealth management solutions. My Money Group, with the backing of funds managed by Cerberus Capital Management, can support the growth of HBCE’s French retail network by applying our market knowledge and expertise in digital transformation. Together, we would build on CCF’s legacy and re-establish the brand as a leading franchise for wealth management customers in France,” Eric Shehadeh, My Money Group Chief Executive Officer.
My Money Group is advised by Goldman Sachs, Rothschild & Co, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Havas Paris. HSBC is advised by Lazard and HSBC.
Hologic, a women's health company, completed the acquisition of Mobidiag, a biotechnology company, for $795m.
"Acquiring Mobidiag will further strengthen our international and diagnostics businesses by enabling us to expand into the large, fast-growing acute care adjacency with a near-patient testing solution that offers ease of use, multiplex capability and rapid turnaround time. We believe that Mobidiag has developed a differentiated platform that addresses many of the historical challenges of multiplexed point-of-care molecular testing," Jan Verstreken, Hologic President.
Mobidiag was advised by JP Morgan, Roschier Attorneys and Consilium Strategic Communications. Hologic was advised by Avance, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Weil Gotshal and Manges.
JBS, a Brazilian meat processing company, completed the acquisition of Vivera, a plant-based food producer, for $408m.
"This acquisition adds a lot of strategic value as Vivera is the Europe's third-biggest plant-based food producer. The deal strengthens our position in the alternative meat segment, paving the way for our plans to be a big player," Gilberto Tomazoni, JBS CEO.
Vivera was advised by Houlihan Lokey. JBS was advised by Barclays and Jones Day.
Morrisons, a British supermarket group, rejected a $7.6bn acquisition offer from private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
“The board of Morrisons evaluated the conditional proposal together with its financial adviser, Rothschild & Co, and unanimously concluded that the conditional proposal significantly undervalued Morrisons and its future prospects,” Morrisons.
Morrisons is advised by Rothschild & Co. CD&R is advised by Goldman Sachs.
KKR-backed Roompot, a chain of holiday parks, resorts, and campsites, agreed to acquire Landal GreenParks, a fully integrated holiday parks owner, operator and exclusive franchisor in continental Europe, from Platinum Equity-backed Awaze, a managed vacation rentals group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I am very proud of how we have been able to strengthen Landal in the past three years as the business has distinguished itself in sustainability and guest service and has seen strong commercial growth. We have also accelerated international expansion with high-quality destinations. I thank Platinum and everyone working at Landal GreenParks and Awaze for their tremendous efforts over the past years, and what has been achieved," Dirk Anbeek, Landal GreenParks CEO.
Awaze is advised by Rothschild & Co and Latham & Watkins.
Learnosity, a provider of assessment infrastructure for the learning industry, agreed to acquire Questionmark, the end-to-end assessments, proctoring, badging, and reporting solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The partnership brings scale and deep expertise to Learnosity's capabilities for the corporate, government, and certification sectors.
Pilgrim's Pride, a global food company, agreed to acquire the consumer foods' meats and meals business of Kerry Group, a public food company headquartered in Ireland, for €819m ($990m).
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to position Pilgrim's as a leading prepared foods and branded products player through this acquisition. We look forward to welcoming Kerry Consumer Foods' Meats and Meals business' talented management team and other team members, led by Nick Robinson, to the Pilgrim's family, and we look forward to working together to drive growth and deliver value for all of our stakeholders," Fabio Sandri, Pilgrim's CEO.
Insight Partners, a global venture capital and private equity firm, led a $100m Series E funding round in Bringg, a data-led delivery and fulfillment cloud platform. Additional investors included Cambridge Capital, GLP, Harlap, Next 47, Pereg Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, and Viola Growth.
"It's clear to us that Bringg is building something special and we're excited to partner with them as they continue to introduce transformative change for retailers and logistics partners. With Guy's experience and leadership and a growing list of marquee customers, we're confident that Bringg will continue to pave the way as the clear leader in the space," Jeff Horing, Insight Partners Co-Founder.
Private equity firm Inflexion completed the acquisition of ANS, a provider of digital transformation and cloud managed services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"ANS has built itself into a UK leader for public cloud services, complementing our existing investment in UKFast. Together, the businesses are well poised to accelerate their growth as the market for cloud and digital services continues to benefit from strong demand," Simon Turner, Inflexion Managing Partner.
Wood Mackenzie, a natural resources consultancy, completed the acquisition of Roskill, a provider of trusted, expert analysis on global metals, minerals and end-use markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Combining Roskill’s capabilities with Wood Mackenzie reinforces our ability to provide comprehensive, integrated analysis across the energy, and metals and mining value chain. In particular, Roskill adds market-leading analysis, data, and insight on battery raw materials metals, which are an integral component of the energy transition,” Neal Anderson, Wood Mackenzie President.
Boxine in talks to go public via merger with 468 SPAC.
Boxine, which develops an audio system to make children listen to stories and music, entered negotiations to go public via the merger with 468 SPAC in a $1.2bn deal.
468 SPAC, which was set up by German tech entrepreneurs, has signed a letter of intent that includes raising $121m through private investment in public equity for Boxine, Reuters reported.
Antin looking to sell Almaviva for $1.2bn. (FS)
Antin Infrastructure Partners is considering a sale of its French private hospital provider Almaviva Sante amid increasing consolidation in the healthcare services industry, Bloomberg reported.
Antin is working with advisers to help gauge interest in the business, which could be valued at more than $1.2bn. A sale could draw interest from other private equity firms and hospital companies.
EQT-backed Fertin Pharma draws takeover interest. (FS)
EQT-backed Fertin Pharma, a maker of nicotine chewing gum, is drawing takeover interest from suitors including cigarette giant Philip Morris International. Fertin could be valued at about $716m including debt in a sale.
Philip Morris has been working to expand its non-tobacco offerings amid an increasing focus on health around the world. In January, it hired former Sanofi executive Jorge Insuasty as chief life sciences officer to help drive development of new products. It's also been a pioneer in cigarette alternatives with its IQOS heated-tobacco devices.
Quillot seeks King Street cash to save Bordeaux soccer team. (FS)
Bloomberg reported that French businessman Didier Quillot's bid to rescue FC Girondins de Bordeaux could rest on a fresh cash injection from King Street Capital, the US hedge fund that wants out of the historic soccer club.
Quillot wants King Street, which gained control of the club in 2018 and is now withdrawing its backing, to put up the money to help clear some of its debts.
Bunq gets a $194m private equity investment. (FS)
Reuters reported that Netherlands-based challenger bank Bunq agreed on the terms of $194m in investment by an undisclosed British private equity firm, valuing the Dutch business at $2bn.
Bunq was established nearly a decade ago by Ali Niknam, who has invested roughly $119m of his own capital in the venture and is also its only shareholder. Bunq, which offers online banking services in 30 markets, including the entire European Union, passed $1.2bn in user deposits this year.
Nippon Steel sells a 7.9% stake in Acerinox.
Nippon Steel, the world's third largest steel producer, sold a 7.9% stake in Spanish steelmaker Acerinox for $259m through a private placement.
The stake was sold at a price which represented a discount of 5.7% from Acerinox's Thursday closing price. After the placement, Nippon Steel still held a 7.9% stake in the company.
Total vies with Enel, RWE for French wind assets.
Bloomberg reported that Total, a French multinational integrated oil and gas company, is competing with utility Enel in the bidding for a large portfolio of French wind farm projects from Renewable Energy Systems. German utility RWE is also pursuing the assets. RES has asked the suitors to submit firm bids next month.
The portfolio could be valued at around $951m or more. Sale talks could still fall apart or another bidder may emerge.
Bridgepoint set to invest in Itsu. (FS)
Private equity firm Bridgepoint is finalizing a deal to invest in Itsu, a British chain of East Asian-inspired fast food shops and restaurants, at a £100m ($139m) valuation.
Bridgepoint's investment in Itsu will come less than a year after Itsu secured approval from creditors for a company voluntary arrangement – an insolvency mechanism which allows struggling companies to restructure and reduce their financial liabilities such as rents and bank debt.
True Potential mulls listing a $2bn US SPAC.
True Potential, a UK wealth management business, considers a listing through a potential $2bn special purpose acquisition company merger on Wall Street. The company works with close to 20% of Britain's financial advisers, providing products and technology to 1.4m private clients, and also has its own consumer investment platform.
The company is said to have been looking for buyers since last month but this week potential backers were shown marketing details for a US SPAC deal.
True Potential is advised by Credit Suisse.
Batelco plans a dual listing.
Batelco, Bahrain's biggest telecommunications firm, is planning to become the first company to have a dual listing of shares on Saudi Arabia's stock exchange.
Batelco hired the investment arm of Samba Financial Group as an adviser on the deal. No decision has been made and the company may decide against the dual listing.
FSN Capital raises €1.8bn for sixth mid-market fund. (FS)
FSN Capital, one of the first buyout investment advisors in the Nordic region, raised €1.8bn ($2.1bn) for sixth mid-market fund. The fund was oversubscribed and closed above its original hard cap.
"We are delighted with the strong support we have received from existing LPs and are privileged to welcome a number of leading, blue-chip investors from around the globe as new limited partners," Morten Welo, FSN Capital Partner and Head of Investor Relations.
Bentley Systems, an infrastructure engineering software company, completed the acquisition of Seequent, a geological and geophysical software development company, from Accel-KKR and Pencarrow, two private equity firms, for $1.05bn. Bentley Systems paid $900m in cash plus 3,141,342 BSY Class B shares.
Bentley Systems was advised by Bank of America, Bell Gully and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Seequent was advised by Goldman Sachs and DLA Piper. Pencarrow was advised by Chapman Tripp.
Shareholders of China Customer Relations Centers, an e-commerce and financial services business process outsourcing service provider in China, approved the acquisition by Taiying Group, a business company with limited liability incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and Taiying Internationa.
The parties currently expect to complete the merger as soon as practicable, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions set forth in the merger agreement. Upon completion of the merger, the company will become and continue its operation as a privately held company, and its ordinary shares will no longer be listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market.
China Customer Relations Centers is advised by Houlihan Lokey, Hogan Lovells and Weitian Group. Taiying Group is advised by Commerce & Finance Law Offices.
Two private equity companies NIO Capital and Joy Capital agreed to invest Uxin, a nationwide online used car dealer in China, in a $315m deal.
“The used car market has exponential growth potential in China. As one of the leading online used car dealers in China, Uxin relies on a one-stop business model to provide car buyers nationwide with high quality vehicles and comprehensive after-sales services. Uxin has effectively tackled critical problems that affect traditional dealers. We believe Uxin will continue to lead the development of the domestic used car market and help transform the industry to new heights of quality and reliability,” William Bin Li, NIO Capital Chairman and Managing Partner.
Verra Mobility, a provider of connected systems, completed the acquisition of Redflex, an intelligent traffic management products provider, for $112m.
"Bringing together these two companies will result in increased resources, scale, and enhanced technology capabilities. The combination will enable global delivery of leading road safety products and services, allowing us to compete internationally as a global leader in smart transportation," David Roberts, Verra Mobility Chief Executive Officer.
Centrum Group, a diversified financial services group, and BharatPe, an Indian fintech startup, are set to invest in PMC Bank, a multi-state co-operative bank, in a $300m deal.
"By Q4 of 2021, we are expecting PMC to be a fully functional and operating bank. But how different depositors will be able to withdraw their deposits is what we will disclose over the next few weeks... We hope to start providing our merchants with banking and account opening services with PMC Bank on the BharatPe app by January 1, 2022," Ashneer Grover, BharatPe Co-Founder.
Sequoia Capital, IDG Capital, 5Y Capital, HIKE Capital and Capital Today led a $100m Series D1 funding round in Doublefs, a cross-border fashion e-commerce platform.
Doublefs founder Jocey Zhang is the former Chief Technology Officer of SoftBank-supported auto retailer Chehaoduo and has positions at Microsoft, The Walt Disney's holding video platform Hulu and the Chinese financial and asset management company CreditEase.
Paytm asks shareholders for nod for $1.6bn sale of new stock.
Digital payments start-up Paytm will ask for shareholder permission to sell about $1.6bn in new stock as part of what's set to be India's largest-ever initial public offering.
Bloomberg reported that the company wants to sell $1.6bn in new shares plus a potential 1% for over-allotment. Paytm asked its workers to formally declare if they wanted to sell stock as part of the public offering. The declarations would be required before the company finalizes its prospectus, expected to be submitted to the regulator in early July.
Biel weighs up to $2bn Hong Kong IPO.
Biel Crystal Manufactory, a supplier of cover glass to Apple, is planning a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as $2bn, Bloomberg reported.
The company plans to submit a listing application soon. The IPO could raise $1bn to $2bn, although the final size has not been determined yet.
TA Associates-backed RateGain plans a $161m IPO. (FS)
TA Associates-backed travel and hospitality technology services provider RateGain Travel Technologies is planning a $161m initial public offering. With this, RateGain joins a list of companies headed for the capital markets in the coming quarters.
In 2015, private equity firm TA Associates invested $50m in the company, which provides software-as-a-service products. The firm, which was founded in 2004, claims its services are used by more than 25 out of the top 30 online travel agencies, airlines, hotel chains, and tour operators in India.
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