Lawyers for Elon Musk and Twitter are set to debate several pending requests for information in their continuing legal fight, with less than three weeks to go before a scheduled trial over Mr. Musk’s soured $44bn takeover, WSJ
Among the issues set to be discussed are whether Mr. Musk’s team should have access to certain documents that Twitter has claimed are protected by attorney-client privilege and the proposed terms around allowing Mr. Musk to incorporate details about a Twitter whistleblower’s severance payment into his argument for terminating the deal.
NioCorp Developments, a mineral exploration company, agreed to become listed on Nasdaq via merger with GX Acquisition II, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $313m deal.
"This business combination with GXII, and the two additional financing packages, have the potential to significantly accelerate our efforts to obtain the required project financing and to ultimately bring the Elk Creek Project to construction and eventual commercial operation. Our goal is to rapidly build secure and reliable US supply chains of the critical minerals that multiple industries need to help us build a more sustainable and less carbon-intensive future and for other critical domestic uses. Once completed, these transactions have the potential to put NioCorp on the fast track to obtain the required project financing to deliver on that promise, and to do so in an environmentally smart manner," Mark A. Smith, NioCorp CEO and Executive Chairman.
NioCorp is advised by GenCap Mining Advisory, SWI Partners, Blake Cassels & Graydon and Jones Day (led by Joel May
and Ann M. Bomberger
). GXII is advised by BTIG, Cantor Fitzgerald, Scalar, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by C. Michael Chitwood
), Stikeman Elliott and Lambert & Co (led by Lisa Baker
). Cantor Fitzgerald is advised by DLA Piper (led by Stephen P. Alicanti
Direct Biologics, a biotechnology company, agreed to go public via a merger with Good Works II Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $675m deal.
“The Good Works II team has a long-standing history of working with life sciences companies. We were attracted to Direct Biologics because we believe their technology holds substantial potential as a platform to treat numerous conditions that involve inflammation or that would benefit from the regenerative properties of their proprietary EV technology. We were also impressed that Direct Biologics’ product candidate is in advanced clinical development in an underserved patient population, and was generally well-tolerated and demonstrated clinical activity in multiple investigator-initiated trials for various indications and in a company-sponsored Phase 2 trial in Covid-19 patients with moderate-to-severe ARDS," Cary Grossman Good Works II’s CEO.
Direct Biologics is advised by Raymond James, Goodwin Procter and LHA Investor Relations. Good Works is advised by I-Bankers, IB Capital and Arent Fox. IB Capital is advised by Ellenoff Grossman & Schole. Debt financing is provided by I-Bankers.
Element Materials Technology, a provider of testing, inspection, and certification services, completed the acquisition of National Technical Systems, a provider of qualification testing, inspection, and certification services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to have successfully acquired NTS, a company we have long respected for their talented colleagues and extensive expertise across multiple end-markets. NTS is a strategic acquisition for Element, bringing greater scale and complementary sector knowledge in North America and globally. Together, we will be able to further extend our portfolio of services across some of our most important end markets, bringing improved support for our customers all around the world," Jo Wetz, Element CEO.
Element was advised by Rothschild & Co, Allen & Overy, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and FGS Global (led by Charles O’Brien
). National Technical Systems
was advised by Houlihan Lokey, DLA Piper and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
FTX US, a crypto exchange company, agreed to acquire Voyager Digital, a crypto-asset broker, for $1.42bn.
FTX US's bid maximizes value and minimizes the remaining duration of the company's restructuring by providing a clear path forward for the debtors to consummate a chapter 11 plan and return value to their customers and other creditors. FTX US's market-leading, secure trading platform will enable customers to trade and store cryptocurrency after the conclusion of the company's chapter 11 cases.
FTX US is advised by FTI Consulting, McDermott Will & Emery and Sullivan & Cromwell. Voyager is advised by Berkeley Research Group, Moelis & Co and Kirkland & Ellis.
Berkshire Partners, a multi-sector specialist investment firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in AHEAD, a provider of enterprise cloud services, from Centerbridge, a private investment management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're grateful for the support of both firms over the last two years, as we made material improvements to the business to not just deliver exceptional near-term results but set the stage for future scale and growth. The expanded investment by our colleagues at Berkshire, along with the continued support of Centerbridge, will help us further innovate and mature a services portfolio that helps our clients fundamentally transform how they run their businesses and serve their own customers," Daniel Adamany, AHEAD CEO.
AHEAD is advised by Barclays, SVB Securities, Kirkland & Ellis and Walker Sands Communications. Berkshire Partners is advised by Guggenheim Partners and Ropes & Gray (led by Christian Westra
Provident Financial Services, the parent company of Provident Bank, agreed to merge with Lakeland Bancorp, the parent company of Lakeland Bank, in a $1.3bn deal.
"We are excited to announce this transformational combination of two amazing organizations. The scale and profitability of the combined organization will enable us to invest in the future, better compete for market share, and better serve our customers and communities. We bring together a diverse group of employees who are committed to delivering exceptional service to our customers and the communities we serve. It is particularly gratifying to embark on this journey with our colleagues on the Lakeland team and Tom Shara, whom we have held in high regard for many years," Anthony Labozzetta, Provident President and CEO.
Lakeland Bancorp is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Luse Gorman. Provident is advised by Piper Sandler and Sullivan & Cromwell (led by Mark J. Menting
and H. Rodgin Cohen)
One Equity Partners, a middle market private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Prime Time Healthcare, a healthcare staffing services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to partner with Prime Time’s founders and management who have built an impressive, nationwide platform for healthcare staffing, and a company viewed as a leader in the space. We look forward to helping Prime Time grow through complementary acquisitions that will broaden its service offerings and better position Prime Time to serve both its clinicians and customers," Charlie Cole, One Equity PartnersPrincipal.
One Equity was advised by Stanton PRM. Prime Time was advised by Coker Capital.
The Riverside Company, a global private investor focused on the smaller end of the middle market, completed the investment in Commonwealth Heritage Group, a Michigan-based cultural resource management consulting firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is the first add-on for PaleoWest since our acquisition of the business at the end of 2021. We are excited by the additional scale CHG brings to the group. The two businesses' geographic footprints are highly complementary, giving the combined platform a nationwide footprint and making it better suited for projects that span multiple geographies," Loren Schlachet, Riverside Managing Partner.
L2 Point, a San Francisco-based investment firm providing innovative capital solutions for growth companies, led a $125m Series D round in Wasabi Technologies, the hot cloud storage company, with participation from Cerberus Capital Management, Fidelity Management & Research Company and Forestay Capital.
"Closing a large up round in this environment speaks to the spectacular growth of Wasabi, the magnitude of the cloud storage opportunity, and our leadership as the industry's largest pure-play cloud storage vendor. At Wasabi, we focus on just one thing: cloud storage. We do it better than anyone else in the industry. Because of this singular focus, our team has achieved best-in-class performance and security at the lowest prices in the industry," David Friend, Wasabi Technologies CEO.
Wasabi Technologies was advised by InkHouse.
MAI Capital Management, an investment adviser, completed the acquisition of Prime Investment Advisors, a financial planning company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The continued growth of MAI’s Mid-Atlantic region is a testament to the diligent work of the MAI teams throughout our various locations. The addition of the Prime team will expand MAI’s vast industry knowledge, benefitting both existing and future clients. Stephen Polan brings over 30 years of industry knowledge and experience that will be a great asset to MAI. Additionally, his extensive knowledge in tax-planning will strengthen our tax practice," Rick Buoncore, MAI Managing Partner.
MAI Capital was advised by Gregory FCA.
Quad-C Management, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Synoptek, a digital transformation advisory and consulting firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“As customers move to cloud platforms, Synoptek has grown its capabilities to deliver more value and Quad-C’s investment will be instrumental in our continued organizational expansion. This investment will enable us to grow and extend our service offerings for clients as well as create new and strategic career opportunities for our team. The partnership is a strong fit for us both," Tim Britt, Synoptek CEO.
Synoptek was advised by Beyond Fifteen Communications (led by Leslie Licano
True North-backed Indium VI, a private equity fund, completed the acquisition of a minority stake in Accion Labs, a technology services firm, from TA Associates, a private equity company, for $93m.
"We are excited about Accion's deep digital expertise, customer centricity, and its approach to doing business. Most of all, we have strong confidence in the firm's management team to build Accion Labs into a respected global leader," Prasad Thrikutam, True North Partner.
Wellable, an award-winning employee wellness technology and services provider, completed the acquisition of Sweat Factor, a fitness streaming platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to provide Wellable users with a comprehensive library of exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness classes. This product has been recognized as a leading application in the consumer market, and we are looking forward to offering access to Wellable's employer, health plan, and property clients," Geoff Geredien, Wellable Chief Growth Officer.
Chinese company aims to sell 3 US resorts for $1.3bn.
A Chinese company is looking to sell three major US resort hotels at a combined price tag of $1.3bn, seeking to cash out these holdings during a powerful surge in leisure travel and resort business, WSJ
Dajia Insurance Group is putting up for sale the Montage in Laguna Beach, California, the Four Seasons resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, Arizona BofA Securities and real estate banking and brokerage firm Eastdil Secured are marketing the hotels on behalf of the seller.
Kinder Morgan sells half its stake in LNG facility in Georgia for $565m.
US pipeline operator Kinder Morgan had sold half its stake in a liquefied natural gas facility in Georgia to an undisclosed buyer for about $565m, and would use the funds to pay short-term debt and buy back shares. The stake sale in the Elba Liquefaction Company comes at a time when demand for US LNG exports is booming as Europe loses access to Russian fuel, Reuters
"Recent geopolitical events have proven how critical infrastructure is to meeting global energy demand," Kimberly Watson, Kinder Morgan's Interstate Natural Gas President.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay sees Seattle Seahawks as next NFL team for sale.
Professional sports teams have traditionally been seen as coveted assets, and bids for them remain increasingly competitive as their availability remains scarce, Bloomberg
“There’s going to be a few. Seattle with Paul Allen my friend unfortunately passing away and that team is in a trust is going to become available I’d imagine in the 2024 range,” Jim Irsay, Colts CEO.
Maryland pension scheme includes Thoma Bravo, Apollo, Silver Lake in $1.1bn of new commitments. (FS)
The Maryland State Retirement & Pension System has included private equity firms Thoma Bravo, Apollo, Silver Lake in its latest $1.1bn of investment commitments.
The $64.6bn pension fund has allocated $125m to Thoma Bravo’s new software-focused private equity fund, which secured a $600m commitment from CalPERS, while Apollo’s Fund X, which has a target size of $25bn, also secured a $125m commitment, as did Silver Lake Partners VII, which is aiming to surpass the $20bn raised for the firm's Fund VI.
Onex Partners aims for $8bn target with sixth flagship fund. (FS)
Canadian GP Onex Partners is looking to raise around $8bn for its sixth fund, with a first close expected before the end of 2023, London-based senior managing director Nigel Wright said, Unquote
Onex Partners VI, which was registered in Luxembourg in February, is expected to continue its fundraising efforts next year. Around $1.5bn is expected to come from Onex’s balance sheet.
Goldman Sachs closes $9.7bn private equity fund largest since 2007. (FS)
Goldman Sachs Group has closed a $9.7bn private equity fund, its largest since 2007, that seeks to invest in companies with an enterprise value of about $750m to $2bn.
“This fundraise builds on our 30-year history in private equity as we continue to scale the business and make our alternatives offerings available to a wider range of investors,” Julian Salisbury, Goldman Sachs Asset Management global co-head.
GSAM, as the business is known, oversees $2.5tn in assets, with private equity accounting for $176bn.
Vertex Ventures US raises $200m third fund to double-down on high-conviction approach to venture capital. (FS)
Vertex Ventures US has raised its third and largest fund with $200m in capital to lead or co-lead Seed and Series A investments in SaaS and infrastructure software startups. Initial investments range from $500k to $10m. The firm invests in only a few new companies each year, allowing it to concentrate time and capital on a small portfolio.
“VVUS was founded as a stage and sector focused firm. We believe that our concentrated strategy - devoting time, energy and capital towards a few new investments each fund - is best aligned for founders and investors. With Funds 1 and 2, we have proven that this strategy is great for generating returns and supporting founders alike. With our slightly larger Fund 3, we are doubling down on our point of view for early-stage VC," Jonathan Heiliger, Vertex Ventures General Partner.
Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Biffa, a waste management company, for £1.3bn ($1.39bn).
"Since IPO in October 2016, the successful pursuit of our growth strategy has seen Biffa expand its leadership position in its I&C collections business and oversee a significant investment programme across UK green economy infrastructure, strengthening its capabilities as one of the leading sustainable waste managers in the UK. ECP is an experienced investor in environmental infrastructure and sustainability assets and offers a supportive environment to accelerate the Group's further development and growth as a leading enabler of the circular economy," Ken Lever, Biffa Chair.
Private equity firms CVC and Nordic Capital completed the acquisition of Cary Group, a vehicle glass repair and replacement provider, for $585m.
"We have followed the company and its progress in the industry for some time and have great respect for the management team and their strategy, including the geographical expansion that Cary Group has undertaken in recent years. Further, we see potential for the Company to accelerate its active role in the industry's consolidation. Together with Nordic Capital, we can provide the right funding conditions, business know-how, and geographical reach required for Cary Group to strengthen its role as a challenger on the European market. We are convinced that a private setting currently provides the most appropriate platform for this journey and are looking forward to cooperating closely with Cary Group and Nordic Capital to help the Company achieve its full potential," Gustaf Martin-Löf, CVC Partner.
Cary Group was advised by Jefferies & Company and White & Case. CVC and Nordic Capital were advised by Carnegie Investment Bank, Cederquist (led by Martin Ulfson
and Pontus Röckert
), Roschier Attorneys (led by Jens Bengtsson
) and Fogel & Partners.
Kingspan Group, a building materials company, completed the acquisition of Ondura, a roofing and waterproofing solutions specialist, for $625m.
The acquisition of Ondura is expected to increase Kingspan Group EBITDA by approximately 7% on a full-year basis. The acquisition is fully aligned with Kingspan's long stated strategy to develop multiple technologies in roofing applications and will serve as our global platform for advancing these solutions.
DCC, an international sales, marketing, and support services group, agreed to acquire PVO International, a distributor of solar panels, invertors, batteries and accessories used in the commercial, industrial and domestic energy sectors across continental Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"A key part of DCC Energy's strategy in accelerating the net zero journey of our customers is to build a strong position in the sales, marketing and distribution of renewable energy products and services. We have already made good progress in recent years and PVO provides an excellent platform to build a pan-European business in the distribution of solar PV and associated products, such as energy storage and EV chargers. We are delighted to welcome the PVO team into the DCC Group and look forward to supporting their continued growth and development into the future," Donal Murphy, DCC CEO.
DAZN Group, a sports entertainment platform, agreed to acquire sports media businesses from ELEVEN Sports, a sports media destination delivering world-class entertainment to fans. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition adds scale to our business. It is a big step forward in our mission to be the leading global sports platform. I have a great deal of respect for what Andrea, Marc and the team have achieved and look forward to working with them as we further expand our ambitions. Together we form the strongest and most credible management team in the sector. DAZN has invested in building a revolutionary digital sports platform, where fans can enjoy the full range of interactive sport entertainment. We are looking forward to expanding these capabilities to new markets as well as leveraging ELEVEN's capabilities in DAZN," Shay Segev, DAZN Group CEO.
ELEVEN is advised by Guggenheim Partners.
Lendlease, a property developer, completed the acquisition of 21 Moorfields, a premium 568 sq ft London office, from Landsec, a commercial property development and investment company, for £809m ($865m).
"21 Moorfields is a fantastic example of Landsec's development expertise in delivering a high-quality project at one of the most complex construction sites in London. We are particularly proud to have achieved a number of engineering firsts associated with the development of such a significant building which sits directly above both Moorgate Underground Station and the new Crossrail line to Liverpool Street," Marcus Geddes, Landsec Managing Director.
A group of investors, including Maximum Effort Holdings, Creator Partners, Banco BPM and Intesa Sanpaolo, led a $340m funding round in Bending Spoons, Italy's largest mobile app developer.
"Our mission at Bending Spoons is to make an enduring positive impact on our customers, on our teammates, and on society at large. And building tools to help creators develop wonderful content that reaches billions of people each month is an important step in this direction," Luca Ferrari, Bending Spoons CEO.
Awaze put up for sale at $2bn by private equity owner Platinum. (FS)
The owner of European vacation-rentals business Awaze is looking for a sale.
Sika to launch sale of MBCC assets after regulator pushback. (FS)
The Swiss construction chemicals company has sent initial marketing documents to potential buyers and expects first-round bids in October. Private equity bidders as well as some rival strategic bidders are set to look at the assets.
Shares in French TV company M6 soar on takeover offers.
Shares in M6, the French television unit German media giant Bertelsmann has put up for sale, after reports that initial offers by bidders had been filed, Reuters
Shares in M6 opened around 10% higher on the Paris stock market and were up 6.4%, at around €15 ($14.45). French media mogul Stephane Courbit and his investor partners are said to have offered €20 ($19) a share.
Theta Capital raises $500m to invest in early stage blockchain ventures. (FS)
Theta Capital Management, an Amsterdam-based fund manager with a focus on blockchain venture capital, has raised a total of $500m in 2021 to invest in crypto-native venture capital funds. The investment is through its Theta Blockchain Ventures fund-of-funds programme.
Theta Blockchain Ventures seeks diverse exposure to the most promising Web 3.0 projects globally at their earliest private round valuations, with a focus on the core infrastructure of this new technological paradigm.
ADQ backs a $200m fund for tech startups. (FS)
ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, is setting up a $200m fund to invest in early-stage startups. The funding comes in line with the Emirate's objective to boost its presence in the technology sector.
Backed by the UAE-based fund, Further Ventures will focus on investments in digital assets, fintech, and supply chain.
Horizon Capital attracts $125m at first closing of $250m target Ukraine-focused fund. (FS)
Horizon Capital has raised $250m at the first close of its Ukraine-focused Horizon Capital Growth Fund IV, 50% of its $250m target.
The fund's first closing, which is a record high for Horizon Capital, was held in person. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy virtually attended, and gave a welcome address, at the fund's signing ceremony, which took place in London.
PlayUp, a global online betting operator, agreed to go public via merger with IG Acquisition, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, in a $350m deal.
"Currently, there is no platform that allows consumers to access every type of betting product through one single sign on. Generally, industry competitors have chosen to focus on one product or another. IGAC and PlayUp have the same shared vision: to bring the global online betting industry the most comprehensive suite of traditional and innovative betting products from all over the globe together into one app. The transaction is expected to provide PlayUp with access to fresh capital to continue expanding its vision of a true single destination for the future of online betting," Christian Goode, IGAC CEO.
PlayUp is advised by Innovation Capital (led by Matt Sodl
) and DLA Piper. IGAC is advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison (led by Ian Hazlett
and Adam M. Givertz
) and Richards Layton and Finger.
Kumul Petroleum, Papua New Guinea's national oil and gas company, offered to acquire an additional 5% stake in PNG LNG project from Santos, an Australian oil and gas exploration and production company, for $1.4bn.
The potential sale would increase the equity interest of the State to approximately 22% supporting the PNG government objectives for the people of PNG to have a greater equity interest in the development of their natural resources.
Santos is advised by JB North & Co and Allens.
Phil-Tower, a telecommunications contractor in Taguig, Philippines, agreed to acquire 1.35k towers from Globe Telecom, a major provider of telecommunications services in the Philippines, for $340m.
In a disclosure, Globe said it will sell 1.35k towers located in central and southern Philippines, and will lease them back from Phil-Tower Consortium. Globe has so far sold a total of 7k towers, raising $1.5bn as it unloads passive assets.
Torrent Pharma, an Indian multinational pharmaceutical company, agreed to acquire Curatio Health, a dermatology company, from Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm, for $245m.
"We are delighted to enter into this deal with Curatio. The acquisition offers Torrent the opportunity to enhance its presence in dermatology with a differentiated portfolio and is a strong strategic fit. Curatio has built a commendable set of high market share brands in cosmetic and pediatric dermatology that we look forward to adding to our product offerings," Aman Mehta, Torrent Pharmaceuticals Director.
Kotak Realty Fund, one of India's largest private equity real estate funds, completed the acquisition of an 8% stake in Embassy REIT, a REIT company, from Blackstone, an American alternative investment management company, for $200m.
With this, Kotak Investment Advisors had achieved closure of its 12th real estate fund and has raised, managed or advised more than $2.8bn under its real estate fund series.
China Three Gorges, China-US Green Fund, Oceanpine Capital and IDG Capital led a $307m Series B round in Lihao Semiconductor Materials, a Chinese photovoltaic materials startup.
The proceeds will be used to build the second phase of Lihao's high-purity crystalline silicon project.
Temasek, a Singapore-based investment firm, completed the $85m investment in Molbio Diagnostics, a healthcare solutions provider.
"These funds from the minority stake investment will be used for domestic and external business development, overseas market expansion, and research and development," Sriram Natarajan, Molbio Diagnostics Director and CEO.
Mitsubishi Electric, an electronics and electrical equipment manufacturing company, completed the acquisition of a minority stake in FTV Labs, a SaaS company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With rising demand for essential technical services and talent shortage, KEGMIL aims to empower millions of deskless professionals with workflow automation and mobile-first technologies to drive operational efficiency, service performance, and knowledge retention," Kelvin Ong, FTV Labs Co-founder and CEO.
India's Avendus Capital looks to raise $300m for third Future Leaders Fund. (FS)
Financial services group Avendus Capital is planning to raise money for its third Future Leaders Fund as it looks to ramp up investments in India’s booming startup ecosystem.
Even as the exact corpus the Mumbai-headquartered firm is targeting to raise could not be ascertained, it could be upwards of $300m, Ritesh Chandra, managing partner of Avendus Future Leaders Fund said, DealStreetAsia
ERS of Texas commits $100m to LOGOS Asia logistics fund. (FS)
The $35.5bn Employees Retirement System of Texas has made a $100m commitment to the latest Asia logistics fund of LOGOS Group, one of Asia-Pacific’s logistics property groups, DealStreetAsia
ERS of Texas made the commitment to LOGOS Asia Core Plus Logistics Venture in August under its private real estate asset class allocation. It also committed $10m to a private equity co-investment fund during the month.
Taiwanese insurer Cathay Life commits $80m to Clayton Dubilier & Rice fund. (FS)
Cathay Life Insurance, the insurance subsidiary of Taiwanese conglomerate Cathay Financial, has agreed to commit $80m to the latest fund of New York private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice.
According to the insurance company’s regulatory filing, the commitment is for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund XII, a $20bn PE fund that has so far raised $10bn in just about four months since its launch, DealStreetAsia
Brokerage CLSA vice-chairman Charles Lin steps down. (FS, People)
CLSA, the international unit of China’s largest broker China’s Citic Securities, said its vice-chairman Charles Lin has stepped down from his role, DealStreetAsia
Charles Lin, who was hired in April 2020 to the top role at CLSA, resigned from the Hong Kong-headquartered investment bank earlier, but will serve as the vice chairman of its board until this month-end, a company spokesman said.