Microsoft President Brad Smith will meet with UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt this week to voice his frustration over the shock decision by Britain’s competition regulator to block its $69bn takeover of Activision Blizzard.
Smith is set to hold talks with Hunt as well as officials from the Competition and Markets Authority, the agency that wielded the April 26 veto.
Activision Blizzard is advised by Allen & Company, Morgan Stanley, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by Kenton King), Brunswick Group (led by Jonathan Doorley) and FGS Global (led by Paul Verbinnen). Financial advisors are advised by White & Case (led by Denise Cerasani). Microsoft is advised by Goldman Sachs (led by Sam Britton), Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, Sidley Austin, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (led by Alan Klein and Anthony Vernace), Weil Gotshal and Manges and Assembly Media.
HNI, one of the largest office furniture manufacturers, completed the acquisition of Kimball International, an omnichannel commercial furnishings company, for $485m.
“The completion of the Kimball International acquisition represents a new chapter as we bring together two strong, successful companies with similar cultures and well-established families of brands. The combined companies will have an unmatched comprehensive product offering positioned to benefit from post-pandemic trends. I’m privileged to lead this talented team and look forward to the significant benefits we will deliver to our shareholders, members, dealers, and customers," Jeff Lorenger, HNI Chairman, President and CEO.
Kimball International was advised by JP Morgan, ArentFox Schiff and Advisiry Partners. JP Morgan was advised by Cravath Swaine & Moore. HNI was advised by Rothschild & Co (led by Eric Hirschfield and James Ben), Davis Polk & Wardwell (led by James P. Dougherty) and Gladstone Place Partners (led by Lauren Odell). Rothschild & Co was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
BMO, a financial services firm, completed the acquisition of AIR MILES reward program, Canada's most recognized loyalty program, from LoyaltyOne, a provider of loyalty marketing services, for $160m.
“The future is bright for AIR MILES, and this is a significant step forward for collectors and partners all across Canada. We look forward to bringing a heightened energy and excitement to the program with the introduction of new enhancements that will enrich collectors’ experience and strengthen the value our program brings to their lives," Shawn Stewart, AIR MILES President.
BMO was advised by BMO Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley, Sullivan & Cromwell and Torys. LoyaltyOne was advised by Alvarez & Marsal, PJT Partners, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Cassels Brock & Blackwell.
EU antitrust regulators will decide by July 6 whether to clear Amazon $1.7bn acquisition of the maker of robot vacuum cleaner iRobot, according to a European Commission filing.
US online retailer Amazon announced the takeover in August last year that will boost its portfolio of smart devices which include Alexa voice assistant, smart thermostats, security devices, wall mounted smart displays and a canine-like robot called Astro.
iRobot is advised by Qatalyst Partners (led by George Boutros), Cooley, Goodwin Procter and FGS Global (led by Frances Jeter). Amazon is advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Cigna-backed Evernorth Health Services, a healthcare services provider, completed an investment in Nautic Partners-backed CarepathRx Health System Solutions, a CarepathRx company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Through specialty and infusion pharmacy partnerships, CHSS has created a model for health systems to extend their reach to alternate sites of care and into the home. This partnership with Evernorth is truly unique and will accelerate CHSS' mission by creating payer-physician connections and leveraging Evernorth's specialty and care services," John Figueroa, CarepathRx Chairman and CEO.
Evernorth was advised by Greenhill & Co, Quarles & Brady and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Greenhill & Co was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. CarepathRx was advised by Cantor Fitzgerald, Centerview Partners and Kirkland & Ellis.
Symphony Technology Group-led consortium, completed the acquisition of Momentive, an experience management company that offers cloud-based software in brand insights, for $1.5bn.
"This new chapter will enable Momentive to advance our long-term strategy and mission. STG’s 20 years of investment experience in software, analytics, and data companies will provide us with invaluable expertise as we scale our customer base and product suite. Today’s volatile business climate necessitates that organizations consistently collect feedback from their stakeholders. That’s where we shine,” Zander Lurie, Momentive CEO.
Momentive was advised by Qatalyst Partners, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Joele Frank (led by Matthew Sherman). Symphony Technology Group was advised by JP Morgan and Paul Hastings (led by Jeffrey Wolf and Steve Camahort). Debt financing to Symphony Technology Group was provided by Silver Point Capital.
F-Secure, a provider of consumer security products and services, completed the acquisition of the consumer mobile security business of Lookout, an endpoint-to-cloud security company, for $223m.
“We are pleased to announce the successful divestiture of our mobile consumer security business, which represents a significant milestone in our strategic transformation to become a pure-play enterprise cybersecurity company. With this refined focus, we will continue to drive innovation, invest in the development of cutting-edge solutions and drive greater value for our customers,” Jim Dolce, Lookout CEO.
F-Secure was advised by Carnegie Investment Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers and White & Case. Lookout was advised by Jefferies & Company and WilmerHale.
Tecpetrol, an energy company, agreed to acquire Alpha Lithium, a Canada-based lithium exploration company, for $180m.
"Tecpetrol's intention, in line with its energy transition strategy, is to responsibly develop these premium lithium assets as part of the integrated Western battery supply chain. The proposal is aligned with Canada's critical minerals strategy, whose vision is to increase the supply of critical minerals and support the development of the domestic and global value chains for the green and digital economy," Tecpetrol.
Tecpetrol is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Crestview Strategy and Teneo (led by Alexandre Meterissian).
Calyxt, a plant-based synthetic biology company, completed the merger with Cibus, an agricultural technology company that develops, and licenses gene edited plant traits to seed companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to combine our joint wealth of experience that consolidates landmark intellectual property in agricultural gene editing including Transcription Activator-like Effector Nucleases and Oligonucleotide Directed Mutagenesis. The merger of two of the original pioneers in what has become the field of gene editing in agriculture, will enable new and expanded partnerships and opportunities to make farming more productive and to create a new generation of sustainable ingredients that are renewable and low-carbon," Greg Gocal, Cibus Co-Founder, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.
Cibus was advised by Jones Day and Bioscribe. Calyxt was advised by Canaccord Genuity and Sidley Austin.
Enlightenment Capital-backed iNovex, a provider of software development solutions, completed the acquisition of Secure Innovations, a cybersecurity services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Secure Innovations joining the team is significant. The cybersecurity expertise they bring to iNovex is unmatched and will strengthen our ability to meet the growing demand for innovative cybersecurity solutions our customers expect. The combined capabilities and solutions of both companies position us to extend our reach to new customers and markets," Gary Daigle, iNovex CEO.
Secure Innovations was advised by Raymond James and Miles & Stockbridge. iNovex was advised by Moore & Van Allen and Morrison & Foerster.
EagleTree Capital-backed PRA, an evenet management company, completed the acquisition of Weil & Associates, a destination management services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We welcome Debbie and her incredible team to the PRA family in anticipation of our next exciting chapter ahead. This expansion of our PRA Hawai'i team will serve our valued clients well in this key destination. Hawai'i is a highly competitive market and Weil & Associates has always been among the very best in our sector. Now working in conjunction with PRA's industry leading creative, production, and global sales team, the team will be able to deliver even stronger solutions in this important market and beyond," Mike Fiber, PRA CEO.
Weil & Associates was advised by Weil & Associates and Stubbs Alderton & Markiles. PRA was advised by Jones Day.
Trinity Hunt Partners, a growth-oriented private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Centricity Research, a clinical research services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are confident that Trinity Hunt's expertise in partnering with growing healthcare services companies and its shared commitment to providing an empowering team environment will help us drive innovation and make significant strides as we continue to expand," Jeff Kingsley, Centricity President.
Trinity Hunt Partners is advised by McGuireWoods and MiddleM Creative (led by Allie Gamble).
SellerX, a Berlin-based eCommerce company, agreed to acquire Elevate Brands, an eCommerce aggregator. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Elevate Brands and SellerX are a perfect match: a strong cultural fit, a shared vision, and complementary capabilities. This acquisition combines our know-how and diversified portfolios of strong brands with a market-leading technology platform and strong operational infrastructure. By leveraging our combined strengths, I am convinced we are well-positioned to drive further consolidation in the industry,” Philipp Triebel, SellerX Co-Founder.
SellerX is advised by Morrison & Foerster. Elevate Brands is advised by RBC Capital Markets.
Mavis Tire Express, an independent tire retailer and wholesaler, completed the acquisition of the NTB and Tire Kingdom businesses from TBC, a provider of mobility solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are grateful for the countless contributions our NTB and TK associates have made to our business and their customers. We look forward to their continued successes as part of Mavis. This transaction is an important step in the TBC strategic growth plan as a leader in the mobility and automotive industry. We are now well-positioned to drive sustained growth and innovation with more focused business strategies to enable the company to maximize value for its customers and partners," Sam Kato, TBC President and Chief Executive Officer.
Mavis Tire Express was advised by Jefferies & Company.
TPG-backed The Rise Fund, a private equity firm, completed the investment in Banyan Treatment Centers, a mental health services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“At Banyan, we treat addiction as a chronic disease that needs to be actively managed so that our patients can take back control of their lives. Our team delivers evidence-based treatment models with deep empathy for our patients. The Rise Funds’ focus on improving access to care for fragile populations, combined with their healthcare expertise, made them the mission-aligned partner of choice for Banyan,” Joe Tuttle, Banyan Treatment Centers President & CEO.
Banyan Treatment Centers was advised by Moelis & Co.
Cisco, a multinational digital communications technology conglomerate, agreed to acquire Armorblox, a cybersecurity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We see many exciting broad security use cases and possibilities to unlock. Leveraging Armorblox’s use of Predictive and Generative AI across our portfolio, we will change the way our customers understand and interact with their security control points. From enhanced attack prediction, to rapid threat detection, to efficient policy enforcement – there are near-limitless ways to improve today’s security experience," Cisco.
Brightflow AI, a financial data and intelligence platform, completed the acquisition of CircleUp, a fintech company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Brightflow AI provides equitable access to data and growth opportunities to the everyday business owner. By acquiring CircleUp, we're able to deepen our data, machine learning, and analytics capabilities, strengthen our own financial intelligence platform, and provide our customers with the most comprehensive solution available," Robbie Bhathal, Brightflow AI CEO and Co-Founder.
Citigroup CEO says Mexico IPO is best for shareholders.
Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser said an initial public offering of its Banamex unit is the best path for shareholders, following the bank’s abrupt decision to abandon a long-running sales process of the Mexican retail operations, Bloombergreported.
"The decision doesn’t impact its plans to fully exit the franchise nor will it impact the bank’s medium-term guidance. This is a franchise that is accretive to our returns, so from a shareholder perspective, one of the dynamics that will be different from a sale is we don’t have the CTA hit up front,” Jane Fraser.
SVB Securities management in talks to buy back investment bank.
SVB Securities management is in talks to buy back the investment bank from bankrupt SVB Financial Group.
SVB Securities Chief Executive Officer Jeff Leerink and his team are preparing to announce a deal for the firm in the coming days, pending approval from the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. No final decision has been made and talks could still fall apart, Bloombergreported.
KKR raises $400m for new HNW PE fund. (FS)
KKR's new international private equity fund for high net-worth investors has so far attracted $400m from clients.
KKR is also planning to launch a private equity fund for US retail investors in the current quarter, along with an infrastructure fund for US retail clients.
CDPQ appoints Yana Watson Kakar as Managing Director and Head of Americas. (FS, People)
Yana Watson Kakar has been appointed managing director and head of Americas at Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Montreal.
As Managing Director and Head of Americas, Ms. Kakar will be an integral member of the CDPQ Global Management team, contributing to the global strategy of CDPQ and its implementation, the development of key relationships across the public, private and civil sectors, and the deployment of constructive capital throughout the world.
“As a Canadian educated in Québec – yet living in New York and working globally for over two decades – I am very happy to be joining CDPQ as Managing Director and Head of Americas, working on behalf of Quebecers alongside the highest caliber of investment professionals known for their commitment to creating better outcomes for people and the planet,” Yana Watson Kakar.
Magna, a mobility technology company, completed the acquisition of the auto safety business of Veoneer from SSW Partners, a private equity firm, for $1.5bn.
"Adding experienced talent and complementary capabilities to our strong foundation in active safety is core to our strategy of bringing more horsepower to this growing market. This strategic move enables us to provide even more options and advanced solutions to a broader range of customers. We look forward to the opportunities ahead as we continue to innovate and advance mobility for everyone and everything," Swamy Kotagiri, Magna CEO.
Magna was advised by Ernst & Young, Citigroup and Sidley Austin. Veoneer was advised by Evercore, Morgan Stanley, Baker Botts, Davis Polk & Wardwell (led by William H. Aaronson, Lee Hochbaum and Darren M. Schweiger) and Eversheds Sutherland. SSW Partners was advised by Gladstone Place Partners (led by Steven Lipin).
EQT, a private equity company, and ADIA, a sovereign wealth fund, agreed to acquire Dechra Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company, for £4.5bn ($5.5bn).
"We plan to support Dechra's talented management team accelerating their business strategy and long-term growth in an increasingly competitive environment by providing, where needed, additional investment in its innovative pipeline and further supporting global expansion. We believe that private ownership will enable Dechra's management team to take a longer-term view as it focuses on accelerating growth," Anthony Santospirito, EQT Partner.
Dechra is advised by Investec, DLA Piper and TooleyStreet. ADIA is advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. EQT is advised by Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Kirkland & Ellis and FGS Global.
NatWest Group, a major retail and commercial bank, completed the acquisition of an 85% stake in Cushon, a fintech workplace savings and pension company, for £144m ($178m).
“This is the next exciting chapter for a great British fintech as we join forces with a great British bank. Together with NatWest Group, we can’t wait to drive more positive disruption and innovation in workplace savings and pensions, and help millions more people across the UK build a feel-good future. What a great success story for the UK fintech sector!” Ben Pollard, Cushon CEO and Co-Founder.
Cushon was advised by Perella Weinberg Partners and Torch Partners (led by Tom Roberts). NatWest Group was advised by CMS. Augmentum Fintech was advised by Peel Hunt, Singer Capital Markets and Quill PR.
Vienna Insurance Group, an international insurance group, completed the acquisition of the Central and Eastern European business of Aegon, a provider of life insurance, pensions and asset management, for €830m ($886m).
“We are very pleased that we have now finalized the full divestment of our Central and Eastern European businesses. As part of Aegon’s transformation and sharpened focus, the closing allows us to fully concentrate on the countries and business lines where we can add most value, while our former businesses will start their new chapter as part of VIG,” Lard Friese, Aegon CEO.
Capital One, a bank holding company, completed the acquisition of Velocity Black, a digital concierge services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Capital One is a unique company. Still founder-led, Capital One’s entrepreneurial spirit and customer-first, tech-led culture align beautifully with ours. Its decades of experience disrupting the status quo will be invaluable in further scaling the Velocity Black business. Together we will continue to pioneer best-in-class customer experiences for the digital age," Zia Yusuf, Velocity Black Co-Founder and CEO.
Velocity Black was advised by Lazard and Latham & Watkins. Capital One was advised by Morgan Stanley, Macfarlanes and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm, agreed to acquire Meopta Optika, a manufacturer of optical, opto-mechanical, and opto-electronic solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Carlyle will seek to support Meopta’s growth in partnership with its management team by capturing the opportunity in more advanced built-to-spec use cases through an increased focus on R&D, capitalizing on attractive opportunities in a diverse range of end markets, expanding its international presence through the creation of a direct sales network, and improving its operations.
Meopta Optika is advised by Deloitte, Goldman Sachs and Dentons.
Blue Pool Capital, a Hong Kong-based investment advisory firm, and UniCredit, an international banking group, led a $194m round in GetYourGuide, a Berlin-based online travel agency, with participation from KKR, Temasek, BNP Paribas, Citi and KfW.
“In the current market, we view this as a vote of confidence from our investors who believe passionately in unlocking unforgettable experiences for travelers around the globe. We are still early in the transformation of our category and the larger $300bn category and the even larger $1.5tn experiences market. And our technology is poised to help drive innovation and growth for our partners and customers alike,” Johannes Reck, GetYourGuide CEO and Co-Founder.
GetYourGuide was advised by JP Morgan. Blue Pool Capital was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Six Glazer siblings could retain Manchester United stakes under Ratcliffe offer.
The six Glazer siblings could retain stakes in Manchester United in a proposed phased takeover of the football club by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is seeking a way through the share structure and family dynamics which have complicated the deal.
The Glazer family started a strategic review more than six months ago but the process has dragged on with only two full takeover bids emerging for one of the biggest names in global sport.
The offer from Ratcliffe and his Ineos chemicals empire is complicated because, unlike a rival proposal from a Qatari bidder, he is not seeking to acquire 100% of United’s shares in one go.
United has a listing on the New York Stock Exchange but the Glazers control 95% of the voting rights thanks to a special class of B shares. The publicly traded A shares, which are largely held by minority shareholders, have minimal voting power, FTreported.
Geely explores raising $1.2bn for London taxi company.
Geely is considering raising funds for the maker of London’s iconic black cabs, as the Chinese automaker looks to bolster its electric fleet.
Geely may seek about £1bn ($1.2bn) from private investors for London Electric Vehicle Company. The Chinese owner may also explore other strategic options to bolster the production of electric taxis and boost LEVC’s growth. Considerations are preliminary and details such as the fundraising amount and timing could change.
ICD Brookfield considers stake sale in iconic Dubai tower.
Brookfield Asset Management and Investment Corp. of Dubai are exploring the possibility of selling a stake in the ICD Brookfield Place skyscraper amid a surge in demand for top-tier office space.
State-owned investment firm ICD and Brookfield have sent investment banks request for proposals in relation to a stake sale. The plan is in its early stages and could still change.
The sale talks come amid a rebound in the emirate’s property market, which has benefited from an influx of newcomers and sent real estate prices and rents soaring. Office rents in Dubai are rising faster than in New York and London since last year as banks and businesses expand into the financial hub, Bloombergreported.
Brookfield eyes a stake in SBB. (FS)
Swedish landlord SBB has attracted interest from investors including Brookfield Asset Management, as the property tycoon at the center of the country’s real estate crisis. The Canadian investment group is among investors involved in early stage talks with Samhallsbyggnadsbolaget i Norden to evaluate the real estate firm’s portfolio.
Signs of interest come after Ilija Batljan, SBB’s founder and chief executive, travelled to the City of London this week and spoke to a number of investors about selling individual assets as well as the whole company, Bloombergreported.
VTB Bank sets SPO price, could raise up to $2.1bn.
Russian state-owned lender VTB set the price for its secondary public offering at 0.018225 roubles per share, implying a maximum capital raising of $2.1bn.
A total of 9.3tn shares will be placed by public subscription. The bank expects to bounce back to profit this year after a huge net loss in 2022 as Western sanctions hit Russia's financial sector.
CEO Andrei Kostin has presented the SPO, as well as other additional share issues this year, as a means to help the bank resolve capital problems, Reutersreported.
Fidelidade seeks to raise over $330m in Lisbon IPO.
Fidelidade is set to raise at least $330m by selling a minority stake in its healthcare arm Luz Saude, in what could be Portugal's biggest initial public offering in a decade.
The insurer, backed by China's Fosun is pondering whether to sell any new shares as part of the offering to help expedite Luz Saude's growth. It aims to launch the IPO this year or in the first half of 2024, depending on market conditions, with Euronext Lisbon as the preferred listing venue.
A deal would help to heal Europe's bruised IPO market, although rising interest rates and economic uncertainty make the path to a listing uncertain. No final decisions have been made, and plans could yet be altered or dropped.
Fidelidade is advised by Citi, UBS, Caixa - Banco de Investimento, Evercore, Millennium and Hauck Aufhäuser Lampe, Reutersreported.
Philippine billionaire Ramon Ang will increase his stake to over a third in Top Frontier Investment, the parent company of food-to-power conglomerate San Miguel, where he is both president and CEO, Bloombergreported.
Far East Holdings, which Ang owns, will subscribe to 45m in Top Frontier at $4.32 a share. That price, more than double the stock’s closing price on Thursday, values the acquisition at $194m and will raise Ang’s interest to around 35%.
Cinema XXI operator eyes up to $300m in IPO.
Nusantara Sejahtera Raya, which owns the country’s largest cinema chain, Cinema XXI, is said to raise up to $300m in its initial public offering by early 2024.
The company is aiming to complete the IPO by early 2024 before the upcoming Indonesian general elections later in the year, DealStreetAsiareported.
Oceanpine Capital targets $600m for third USD Fund. (FS)
Chinese investment firm Oceanpine Capital plans to “kick off the marketing” for its third USD-denominated fund in September, aiming to raise $600m.
The firm plans to join the growing chorus of Chinese fund managers and entrepreneurs tapping into the Middle East’s deep capital pool to ringfence against geopolitical risks and macro uncertainty from the US, and Europe, DealStreetAsiareported.
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