European Commission approved unconditionally the proposed $8.5bn acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, an entertainment company that produces and distributes motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, and music, by Amazon, an American multinational technology company, from a consortium of investors that includes Anchorage Capital Group, Highland Capital Partners, Davidson Kempner Capital Management, Solus Alternative Asset Management and Owl Creek Asset Management.
The Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns in the European Economic Area. The Commission found that the transaction would not significantly reduce competition in the markets for the production and supply of AV content, the wholesale supply of TV channels, the retail supply of AV services, the production and licensing of distribution rights to third-party distributors of films for theatrical release and the provision of marketplace services.
MGM is advised by LionTree Advisors, Morgan Stanley, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Latham & Watkins, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Sidley Austin and Finsbury Glover Hering. Amazon is advised by Bank of America, Bennett Jones, Clifford Chance, Cravath Swaine & Moore and FTI Consulting. Financial advisors are advised by Paul Hastings and White & Case.
Forge Global, a private securities marketplace, went public via a SPAC merger with Motive Capital, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $2bn deal. Investors in PIPE included ION Group, Temasek and Adit Ventures.
"We are thrilled to complete this important milestone in the process of our business combination with Motive Capital Corp and becoming a publicly-traded company with vast opportunities to expand our business and offerings creating private company liquidity markets available to and inclusive of a diverse investor base. We appreciate the strong support and confidence indicated by MOTV's shareholders' approval of the business combination and look forward to the opportunities ahead for Forge as a public company," Kelly Rodriques, Forge CEO.
Forge Global was advised by Financial Technology Partners, JMP Securities, Oppenheimer & Co, Piper Sandler, William Blair & Co, Goodwin Procter and Blueshirt Group. Motive Capital was advised by Oliver Wyman, Houlihan Lokey, JP Morgan, UBS and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Financial advisors were advised by Alston & Bird and Mayer Brown.
NortonLifeLock, a firm that sells cybersecurity and identity protection for individual consumers, released the statement related to the status of the final remaining regulatory approval for NortonLifeLock's merger with Avast, a provider of security software to the consumer market as measured by the number of users, in $8.6bn deal.
UK Competition and Markets Authority intends to refer the Merger to a Phase 2 investigation if the company does not offer Phase 1 remedies. NortonLifeLock remains confident that the transaction should be approved and does not intend to propose any Phase 1 remedies.
Avast is advised by JP Morgan, UBS, White & Case, Finsbury Glover Hering. NortonLifeLock is advised by Deloitte, Evercore, Kirkland & Ellis, Macfarlanes and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Evercore are advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Ashurst. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America and Wells Fargo Securities.
Allego, a developer of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and services, went public via a merger with Spartan Acquisition III in a $3.1bn deal. The deal included a PIPE investment from ECP, Fisker, Landis+Gyr, Hedosophia, Apollo Global Management and Meridiam.
"Strategic partnership with Spartan, which will provide capital to accelerate our leadership position within the European charging market, all while maintaining a strong financial position throughout the growth phase. Europe has one of the largest populations of EVs in the world, which is continuing to grow at a greater pace than many other major growth markets, including the United States. Supported by these tailwinds and bolstered by the capital we are raising, we are well-positioned to expand our footprint as EVs increasingly replace traditional internal combustion engines," Mathieu Bonnet, Allego CEO.
Allego was advised by Apollo Global Management, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, NautaDutilh and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Financial advisors were advised by Latham & Watkins. Spartan was advised by Barclays and Vinson & Elkins. Fisker was advised by ICR.
Shareholders of Lawson Products, a specialty products distributor to the industrial, commercial, institutional and government maintenance, repair and operations market, approved the merger with TestEquity, a distributor focused on providing quality selection of test and measurement equipment and solutions, electronic production supplies, and tool kits, and Gexpro Services, a global supply chain solutions provider.
The consummation of the mergers remains subject to certain other closing conditions, including, among others, receipt of proceeds of debt financing in an amount sufficient for the payment of certain payoff indebtedness, transaction expenses and other fees and expenses in connection with the mergers. Lawson expects to complete the mergers in the second quarter of 2022.
TestEquity and Gexpro Services are advised by Piper Sandler and Mayer Brown. Lawson Products is advised by Cowen & Company, Jenner & Block and Three Part Advisors. Financial advisors are advised by White & Case. LKCM is advised by Robert W Baird.
Vestiaire Collective, a global online marketplace for desirable pre-loved fashion, agreed to acquire Tradesy, the US pioneer in the fashion resale industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Today's transaction is a key milestone for the luxury fashion resale industry. By joining forces with Tracy and her team, we continue to empower our customers to drive change by making second-hand fashion a first choice. With this transaction, we confirm Vestiaire Collective's ambition to be a truly global player, promoting circularity in Europe, the US and Asia-Pacific," Maximilian Bittner, Vestiaire Collective CEO.
Tradesy is advised by Cowen & Company and Latham & Watkins. Vestiaire Collective is advised by Morgan Stanley, Dechert, Abernathy MacGregor Group and Havas Paris.
Loblaw Companies, a Canadian retailer encompassing corporate and franchise supermarkets, agreed to acquire Lifemark Health Group, a provider of outpatient physiotherapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, mental health, and other ancillary rehabilitation services, from Audax, a private equity firm, for $845m.
"We are excited for this new chapter in Lifemark's success story. Shoppers Drug Mart is a well-trusted, iconic Canadian brand, with an extensive local and virtual presence. By joining Shoppers, Lifemark will continue to grow as a national health and wellness network, reaching more Canadians who need access to care and advancing our shared vision to enrich the health of Canadians," Peter Stymiest, Lifemark Health Group CEO.
Lifemark Health Group is advised by Harris Williams & Co, Blake Cassels & Graydon and Kirkland & Ellis. Loblaw is advised by CIBC World Markets and Borden Ladner Gervais.
Booz Allen Hamilton, an American management and information technology consulting firm, agreed to acquire EverWatch, a provider of advanced solutions to the defense and intelligence communities, from Enlightenment Capital, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"EverWatch is an excellent strategic and cultural fit and this acquisition is a strategic accelerator well aligned with Booz Allen's VoLT strategy, our investment thesis, and our expanding National Cyber platform capabilities. Our combined capabilities will deliver exceptional value for our clients, employees, and shareholders," Matt Calderone, Booz Allen Chief Strategy Officer.
EverWatch is advised by Robert W Baird and Moore & Van Allen. Booz Allen Hamilton is advised by The Avascent Group, Jefferies & Company and King & Spalding.
Zebra Technologies, an American mobile computing company specializing in technology used to sense, analyze, and act in real-time, agreed to acquire Matrox Imaging, the machine vision components and systems division of Matrox, a producer of video card components and equipment for personal computers and workstations. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Customers are increasingly deploying automated solutions to augment their frontline workers, enabling them to focus on more complex, higher-value workflows, and machine vision is a key technology to help them get there. This acquisition enables us to meet our customers' evolving needs, regardless of where they are on their automation journey—from capturing and analyzing data to facilitate decision-making to deploying physical automation solutions to accelerate the production and movement of goods and materials. We are excited to welcome the Matrox Imaging team to the Zebra family," Anders Gustafsson, Zebra Technologies CEO.
Matrox is advised by Evercore, Stikeman Elliott and NATIONAL Public Relations. Zebra Technologies is advised by UBS and Osler Hoskin & Harcourt.
PointClickCare, a cloud-based healthcare software provider, completed the acquisition of Audacious Inquiry, a health information technology and policy company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition enables PointClickCare to broaden and deepen our networks, enhance innovative solutions, and more broadly serve health plan, provider, state agency, federal and public health partners," Dave Wessinger, PointClickCare CEO.
PointClickCare was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, JP Morgan and Goodwin Procter. Audacious Inquiry was advised by Deutsche Bank.
Odyssey Investment Partners, a middle-market private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Pexco, a North American engineered plastic component supplier, from AEA Investors, an American middle-market private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very familiar with Pexco and are thrilled to partner again with its proven and experienced management team. Pexco has evolved into a company focused on a diverse range of industrial businesses with deep industry relationships and stable demand across attractive end markets. Pexco has the ability to continue scaling its business by applying its unique operational capabilities to address customers' most challenging applications. As Pexco continues to expand to new end markets and high-performance polymers, we look forward to leveraging our resources to support the company's long-term growth and continued industry leadership," Craig Staub, Odyssey Senior Managing Principal.
Odyssey is advised by KPMG, Latham & Watkins and Gasthalter & Co.
KPS Capital Partners, a family of investment funds with approximately $13.1bn of assets under management, agreed to acquire the porcelain enamel, glass coatings, forehearth colorants and frit-based metallurgical products businesses of American Securities-backed Prince International, a world-class producer of engineered minerals and specialty chemicals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"PEMCO presents a tremendous investment opportunity for KPS. PEMCO is a leading global manufacturer of porcelain enamels and specialized glass enamels with long-standing customer relationships and a strong reputation for product quality, customer service and product innovation. We look forward to working with Jonathan, PEMCO's talented management team and its dedicated employees to build upon this great platform. PEMCO's strong brand, portfolio of intellectual property and commitment to quality, combined with KPS' strategic, operational and financial resources, provide an ideal foundation for future growth," Pierre de Villeméjane, KPS Partner.
KPS Capital Partners is advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Prince is advised by Barclays and Kirkland & Ellis.
ParaFi Capital led a $450m Series D round in ConsenSys, a blockchain software technology company, with participation from Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Microsoft, Anthos Capital, Sound Ventures, C Ventures, Third Point, Marshall Wace, TRUE Capital Management and UTA VC.
"ConsenSys has emerged as one of the most important companies in the blockchain space. In particular, MetaMask is the gateway for over 30m users to access web3 and DeFi applications every month, making it one of the most widely used blockchain products in the world for consumers and businesses. As a long-time power user of ConsenSys' products and services, ParaFi is thrilled to be an investor and thought partner as the company continues to operate at the forefront of decentralized infrastructure," Ben Forman, ParaFi Capital Founder and Managing Partner.
ConsenSys was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. ParaFi was advised by Latham & Watkins.
Private equity firms IMB Partners and Gemspring Capital completed the investment in Carr & Duff, a southeastern Pennsylvania-based corporation providing specialty electrical construction services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Gemspring is excited to support the next phases of growth at Carr & Duff. We look forward to working in a true partnership with the IMB team and the Duff family to continue to build on the company's great heritage of safety, quality and customer service," Brad Liff, Gemspring Managing Director.
IMB Partners was advised by Finsbury Glover Hering. Debt financing was provided by Apollo Global Management.
Summit Partners, a global growth equity investor, led a $135m Series D round in Akeneo, a provider of product experience management and product information management, with participation from Alven and Partech.
"The customer journey changed in the blink of an eye, and we believe the most nimble and effective way to manage these ever-evolving dynamics is to invest in creating product experiences that resonate no matter where the customer is browsing or buying," Fred de Gombert, Akeneo CEO.
Brookfield to partner with Elliott for Nielsen take-private bid. (FS)
Brookfield Asset Management is part of a consortium that’s in talks to take information services company Nielsen Holdings private, Bloomberg reported.
Brookfield is working with Elliott Investment Management on the potential leveraged buyout. A transaction could come together within the next week.
Hudson's Bay considers bid for Kohl's.
Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay, the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, is considering a bid for US department store operator Kohl's, Reuters reported.
Shares of the company, which is facing pressure from activist investors to sell itself, rose about 7% to $57.5, valuing the company at about $8bn.
Kohl's rejected two separate takeover bids earlier this year, but said this month that it was in touch with more than 20 parties and has provided some of them access to more financial data.
Furniture brand Serena & Lily is said to plan US IPO This year. (FS)
Serena & Lily, a maker of luxury furniture, bedding and other home accessories, is planning an IPO as soon as this year, Bloomberg reported.
The Sausalito, California-based company could be valued at more than $1bn in a US IPO. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group, Bank of America and Jefferies Financial Group are working as active bookrunners on the proposed listing.
SS&C Technologies, a financial technology company, completed the acquisition of Blue Prism, a UK-based software company, for $1.65bn.
"Central to SS&C's value proposition is driving efficiencies for our customers. Blue Prism is another lever for our customers to gain those efficiencies. In conjunction with Chorus, SS&C's intelligent automation platform, Blue Prism will accelerate value delivery by automating increasingly complex tasks. Blue Prism will also further optimize our operating models behind our core services and corporate functions to deliver more value to our customers and shareholders. SS&C has a long history of acquiring high-quality businesses and improving their revenue growth profile and cost structure. With SS&C's management focus, global salesforce, talented development organization, and significant capital resources, Blue Prism can reach new heights with its intelligent digital workforce. The combination of Blue Prism's market-leading RPA solutions, and SS&C's top position in the financial services and healthcare industries, we believe, will yield significantly improved results," Bill Stone, SS&C Chairman and CEO.
Blue Prism was advised by Bank of America, Investec, Qatalyst Partners, CMS and Brunswick Group. Financial advisors were advised by White & Case. SS&C was advised by RBC Capital Markets and Davis Polk & Wardwell. Debt financing was provided by RBC Capital Markets. RBC Capital Markets was advised by Shearman & Sterling.
Euronet Worldwide, a global financial technology solutions and payments provider, completed the acquisition of the merchant acquiring unit of Piraeus Bank, a Greece banking corporation, for €300m ($360m).
"This acquisition from a trusted partner was a logical fit to our overall growth strategy. Because of our prior relationship, we understand the technology, which will ensure a smooth transition from the bank's systems to ours. We are also eager to apply our expertise to the digital payments side of this transaction. In addition to the fundamental growth in digital payments, we believe we can aggressively grow the online merchant transactions through the use of the payments technologies in our REN® Ecosystem," Michael J. Brown, Euronet Chairman and CEO.
Piraeus Bank was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, UBS, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Lambadarios.
Marlin Equity Partners, a global investment firm, agreed to invest in Marcura, a vertical software, data intelligence and payments platform for the maritime industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to partner with Marlin to further invest in our existing platform and accelerate our product expansion. We are uniquely positioned to support leading shipping companies with their digital transformation journeys and allow them to recognize the importance and effectiveness of our solutions. Marlin has a deep appreciation for our value proposition and adds critical financial, strategic and operational support to our business, and we look forward to our future partnership," Christian Haunsø, Marcura Founder & Non-Executive Chairman.
Marcura is advised by Stifel. Marlin Equity Partners is advised by Nomura.
National Pension Service, a public pension fund in South Korea, completed the acquisition of 5 Broadgate building in London from CK Asset Holding, a real estate development, leasing, marketing, property management, and hotel serviced suite services provider, for $1.6bn.
The property comprises various commercial and office properties and car parking spaces situated at the building known as “5 Broadgate” in the City of London, the United Kingdom.
General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, led a $115m Series E round in Staffbase, a provider of employee communications management solutions, with participation from Insight Partners.
"We founded this company in 2014 believing that internal communications deserve purpose-built solutions. Whether employees are frontline or work behind a desk, the last two years have shown that clear and authentic communication that reaches all employees across an organization has become mission critical. We thank our investors for their continued support of our mission and values as we continue to drive innovation in employee communications solutions," Martin Böhringer, Staffbase Co-Founder and CEO.
Italy’s Deda Group said to seek IPO at $1.1bn valuation.
Deda Group, an application solutions and IT services provider, is exploring an IPO that could value the Italian technology firm at more than $1.1bn, Bloomberg reported.
The company is in the early stages of preparing for a listing later this year or in early 2023.
Kuwait’s Ali Alghanim plans rare family-owned local listing.
Ali Alghanim & Sons filed to list on Boursa Kuwait in what will be the first share sale by a family-owned business in seven years, Bloomberg reported.
The company will sell a 45% stake in the listing, the first by an auto retailer on the local market. The IPO may come as soon as early June and the company will target a high dividend yield.
Shareholders approved the merger of PropertyGuru, a property technology company, and Bridgetown 2 Holdings in a $1.35bn deal.
The proposal passed at a special shareholder meeting of Bridgetown 2. The combined entity will start trading at March 18, 2022, on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker PGRU.
PropertyGuru is advised by Bank of America, Allen & Gledhill, Latham & Watkins and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Bank of America is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. TPG is advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. KKR is advised by WongPartnership. Bridgetown 2 is advised by Bank of America, Citigroup, KKR Credit, TPG Capital, Rajah & Tann and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
EQT Partners, a purpose-driven global investment organization, agreed to acquire Baring Private Equity Asia, a private markets investment firm in Asia, for $7.4bn.
"We are very excited to join forces with BPEA, which represents a step-change in our global reach with immediate Pan-Asian presence at scale. Expanding our footprint in Asia is part of the strategic objectives we set out at the time of our IPO, and BPEA represents a unique opportunity, as a well-established and top-performing firm in the region, to enhance our global platform and position us to capitalize on the structural growth opportunity in Asian private markets. With its thematic sector-based approach, strong track record in value creation, and most importantly, a learning culture and long-term partnership approach, we feel deeply aligned with BPEA. We are truly impressed by what Jean and the BPEA team have built over the past 25 years. A perfect cultural and ideological fit with EQT, and a unique opportunity to establish EQT as a world-leading private markets platform with a scaled Asian platform and truly global reach," Christian Sinding, EQT CEO and Managing Partner.
Baring Private Equity Asia is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Mannheimer Swartling, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. EQT Partners is advised by Morgan Stanley, Kirkland & Ellis, Vinge and Greenbrook.
Shell vies with Adani and Greenko for Actis’s Sprng Energy.
Shell is among the final bidders competing to acquire Indian renewable power producer Sprng Energy, Bloomberg reported.
Indian conglomerate Adani Group and renewable energy firm Greenko also submitted binding offers by this week’s deadline. Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries and some financial investors have also expressed interest in Sprng.
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