Canadian Pacific Railway welcomed a favorable regulatory decision related to its proposed merger with Kansas City Southern, on the same day that Kansas City said its board has determined that a competing offer from Canadian National Railway could be expected to lead to a superior proposal, Reutersreported.
Kansas City Southern said the board made its determination unanimously and said it would open negotiations with Canadian National, although it remains bound by the terms of the CP merger agreement. Canadian Pacific’s $25bn cash-and-stock offer, at the time the deal was announced in March, values Kansas City Southern at $275 per share. Canadian National's rival cash-and-stock offer, made earlier this week, values Kansas City Southern at $325 a share.
Canadian Pacific touted a ruling by the US Surface Transportation Board, which oversees freight rail, that a waiver of stricter rules governing mergers granted to Kansas City Southern in 2001 would be applicable to a merger of Kansas City and Canadian Pacific. Both companies expect the STB's review to be completed by the middle of 2022.
Kansas City is advised by Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Baker & Miller, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, White & Case, WilmerHale and Joele Frank. Bank of America and Morgan Stanley is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Canadian National is advised by JP Morgan, RBC Capital Markets, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Norton Rose Fulbright, Sidley Austin, Stikeman Elliott, Torys, Brunswick Group and Longview Communications. Canadian Pacific is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Bennett Jones, Blake Cassels & Graydon, Creel Garcia-Cuellar Aiza y Enriquez, David L Meyer, Sullivan & Cromwell and Edelman. Financial advisors to CP is advised by Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.
Well Health, an omni-channel digital health company, completed the acquisition of CRH Medical, a North American company focused on providing gastroenterologists throughout the United States, for $369m.
"CRH is our largest acquisition to date and it is a fantastic opportunity to apply WELL's expertise in digitization and modernization of healthcare assets as well as its best-in-breed data security services to GI practices in the United States," Hamed Shahbazi, Well Health Chairman and CEO.
CRH Medical was advised by Canaccord Genuity, Citigroup, Blake Cassels & Graydon and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. WELL Health was advised by CIBC World Markets, Eight Capital, HSBC, Stifel, Clark Wilson and Torys.
EQT, agreed to acquire bus operators First Student and First Transit from FirstGroup, a British multi-national transport group, for $4.6bn.
"First Student and First Transit play critical roles in North America's transportation infrastructure; both businesses are market leaders, offering best-in-class safety, reliability, and service. EQT is excited to partner with the management teams of these businesses and invest in operational technology and fleet decarbonization to provide even safer and more environmentally friendly transportation services to students and communities across the continent," Crosby Cook, EQT Partner.
EQT is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Firstgroup is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Rothschild & Co, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Brunswick Group.
Northern Genesis Acquisition, a publicly traded SPAC, announced that its shareholders have approved the $1.9bn merger with The Lion Electric Company, a manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles.
Following the closing of the business combination transaction, the common shares of Lion will trade on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the new symbol "LEV", and the warrants of Lion will trade on the NYSE under the new symbol "LEV WS" and on the TSX under the new symbol "LEV.WT."
The Lion Electric is advised by BMO Capital Markets, National Bank Financial, ROTH Capital Partners, Stikeman Elliott, Vinson & Elkins and ICR. Northern Genesis is advised by Barclays, Borden Ladner Gervais and Husch Blackwell.
Thoma Bravo completed the acquisition of RealPage, a global provider of software and data analytics to the real estate industry, for $10.2bn, including net debt.
“The closing of this transaction represents a new chapter in the RealPage journey. RealPage technology has revolutionized digital transformation in the real estate industry, and we believe the best is yet to come. Thoma Bravo brings significant expertise from its deep experience with software companies, and together we are committed to helping our customers innovate, grow and serve the next generation of multifamily operators and residents,” Steve Winn, RealPage Chairman of the Board and CEO.
RealPage was advised by Bank of America and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Bank of America was advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Thoma Bravo was advised by Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis and Finsbury Glover Hering.
Skyworks Solutions, an American semiconductor company, agreed to acquire the infrastructure and automotive business of Silicon Labs, a provider of silicon, software and solutions, for $2.75bn.
“With our companies’ shared cultures of design excellence and customer collaboration, I am confident that the Infrastructure & Automotive team will continue their decades-long history of delivering industry-leading innovations. Silicon Labs and Skyworks will partner to ensure a seamless transition for customers, suppliers and employees," Tyson Tuttle, Silicon Labs CEO.
Skyworks Solutions is advised by JP Morgan, Jones Day and Steptoe & Johnson. Silicon Labs is advised by Matthews South, Qatalyst Partners and DLA Piper.
Roche, a pharmaceuticals and diagnostics company, completed the acquisition of an 83% stake in GenMark, a provider of multiplex molecular diagnostic solutions, for $1.8bn.
“The addition of GenMark Diagnostics’ proprietary multiplex technology, which is designed to detect multiple pathogens from a single patient sample, will broaden our best-in-class molecular diagnostics portfolio to help make lifesaving information available to healthcare providers quickly to improve patient outcomes," Thomas Schinecker, Roche Diagnostics CEO.
GenMark was advised by JP Morgan and DLA Piper. JP Morgan is advised by Cravath Swaine & Moore. Roche was advised by Citigroup and Sidley Austin.
Independent Bank-backed Rockland Trust, a full service community bank, agreed to acquire East Boston Savings Bank, a chartered stock savings bank, from Meridian Bank, a community bank, for $1.15bn. The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, priced Meridian at 150% of its tangible book value.
“This merger is consistent with our strategy of acquiring banks in overlapping and adjacent markets who share our relationship-focused style of banking. East Boston Savings Bank has been committed to building meaningful connections with their customers since 1848 and we are excited to work alongside them to deepen those relationships with expanded products, services, and technology. At the same time, we look forward to increasing our presence in and around the city and reinforcing our position as the Boston area’s premier community-focused commercial bank," Christopher Oddleifson, Independent Bank President and CEO.
Independent Bank is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Stifel and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Meridian Bank is advised by Raymond James and Luse Gorman.
Accolade, an innovative healthcare company, agreed to acquire PlushCare, a provider of virtual primary care and mental health treatment, from GGV Capital, a private equity firm, for $450m. The transaction is expected to close in early June, subject to customary closing conditions.
“Our mission is to reinvent healthcare, and this acquisition represents another important step towards realizing that goal. By expanding our clinical team of physician medical directors, nurses, specialists, and benefits experts to include primary care doctors and mental health experts, we are responding to customers who are asking Accolade to expand our capacity to serve their employees at every step of their care journey. Equally important, we extend our capacity to deliver measurable value for employers seeking coordinated, longitudinal care at scale for their workforce," Rajeev Singh, Accolade CEO.
PlushCare is advised by Jefferies & Company and Fenwick & West. Accolade is advised by Goldman Sachs, Piper Sandler and Cooley.
Colony Bankcorp, a bank holding company, agreed to acquire SouthCrest Financial Group, the holding company for SouthCrest Bank, for $84m.
"The transaction provides an increased competitive advantage in the banking arena, not only from the standpoint of products and services, but also those related to customer service. I am excited to once again be working with Heath who I have known for many years, as well as his management team. We are pleased that both institutions share commonalities of enhanced service and value," Brian D. Schmitt, SouthCrest Financial CEO.
SouthCrest Financial is advised by Janney Montgomery Scott and Alston & Bird. Colony Bankcorp is advised by Hovde Group and Fenimore Kay Harrison & Ford.
First Bancorp of Taylorville, a bank holding company, agreed to acquire Mackinaw Valley Financial Services, a commercial bank. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our companies share similar values and our partnership will reinforce the foundation for an extraordinary community bank that puts our customers, employees, and communities first. We look forward to entering attractive new markets that are a logical extension of our existing operations," Linda Crawford, First Bancorp of Taylorville President & Director.
Mackinaw Valley Financial is advised by Olsen Palmer and Godfrey & Kahn. First Bancorp of Taylorville is advised by Clifton Larson Allen and Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz.
Sun Life, an international financial services organization, agreed to acquire PinnacleCare, a US medical intelligence and health-care navigation provider, for $85m.
"We are beyond excited to join Sun Life and work with their talented, insightful team to help drive better patient outcomes and reach more people with our advisory services. Our team's empathetic and compassionate approach helps guide people through a very difficult time in their lives. It's always an honor and privilege to help people when they need it most. We're also very pleased to start offering our health advisory services in May to our new Sun Life family in the US," Miles J. Varn, PinnacleCare CEO.
PinnacleCare is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Venable. Sun Life is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Steward Partners, a full-service independent investment adviser, completed the acquisition of Umpqua Investments, a wealth management business, from Umpqua Holdings. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Building out our presence on the West Coast has always been key to our growth plans and our goal of a national presence. The acquisition of Umpqua Investments' wealth management business is an important step in this direction and as we welcome our new partners to the Steward Partners family, we will continue to build our momentum on the West Coast well into the future," James Gold, Steward Partners Global Advisory CEO.
Steward Partners was advised by Goodwin Procter. Umpqua Holdings was advised by Raymond James, Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff and JConnelly.
Alpine Investors, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Aspira, an outdoor recreation software provider, from Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Aspira has certainly benefitted from these market tailwinds, and we are delighted to partner with this dynamic Company—a true leader in an industry that brings so much joy to people by leveraging technology to connect them with nature. We are committed to investing not just in the growth of the business, but also in the hardworking people who make it thrive,” Billy Maguy, Alpine Partner.
Vista was advised by LionTree Advisors and Kirkland & Ellis. Alpine Investors was advised by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management agreed to acquire a stake in Incline Equity Partners, a Pittsburgh-based private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This transaction marks the next phase in Incline’s growth. With additional capital and a world-class partner, we look forward to accelerating the execution of our strategy, while continuing to develop the culture and team that have contributed to our success,” Jack Glover, Incline Managing Partner.
Incline is advised by Berkshire Global Advisors and Kirkland & Ellis. Goldman Sachs AM is advised by Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.
Alinda Capital Partners, an infrastructure fund manager, completed the acquisition of ACL Airshop, a global company in air cargo Unit Load Device logistics solutions. The transaction successfully concluded in April 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Alinda also has a successful track record of investment in pooled and leased equipment, and is experienced in backing growth-oriented companies. They are committed to ACL Airshop's strategy of growing with its customers and share our vision for continued expansion in the coming years," Steve Townes, ACL Airshop President and CEO.
Gemspring Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Outform, a global retail innovation agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"At Outform, we have been on a mission to lead the retail marketing industry and deliver for our customers globally. This merger allows us to help shape the future of retail with our customers at the forefront. I have long admired Rapid Displays' capabilities, and I am excited to be joining forces. Our respective clients will benefit from the expanded range of our combined in-house services, which will be available on a global scale," Ariel Haroush, Outform Founder & CEO.
Betway parent nears $5.1bn deal to go public.
Super Group, the parent company of online bookmaker Betway, is nearing a deal to go public through a merger with blank-check acquisition firm Sports Entertainment Acquisition at a valuation of about $5.1bn, Reuters reported.
The deal comes as Betway, which has its roots in Europe, expands in the United States. Betway has agreed to acquire Digital Gaming, tapping the online sports betting and gaming market in 10 US states.
Shareholders accounting for more than two-thirds of Super Group’s equity will maintain their stakes under the deal. Sports Entertainment’s Executive Chairman, Eric Grubman, a former NFL executive, will become Chairman of Super Group, and Sports Entertainment CEO John Collins, a former National Hockey League COO, will join Super Group’s board.
Brookfield explores the sale of a stake in Westinghouse. (FS)
Brookfield is exploring options, including the sale of a minority stake in Westinghouse Electric that could value the US nuclear power developer and servicer at as much as $10bn including debt, Reuters reported.
The sale plans come as the nuclear power sector may benefit from President Joe Biden's push to tackle climate change. Biden unveiled a target to slash America's carbon emissions by the end of the decade to 50% of what they were in 2005, and included nuclear power in the potential energy mix to achieve this goal.
While critics argue it is more expensive than renewable power sources and poses heightened safety risks, Westinghouse is among the companies seeking to develop smaller nuclear reactors, which are billed as cheaper and easier to deploy.
Charterhouse revives $2bn Mirion Technologies sale. (FS)
Charterhouse Capital Partners is reviving a sale of nuclear measurement and analytics company Mirion Technologies, which could fetch more than $2bn, Bloomberg reported.
The buyout firm has hired Lazard to manage the deal, after halting a previous attempt run by Citigroup and Morgan Stanley in 2019. It plans to kick off a sale process in the coming weeks after receiving interest in Mirion from potential suitors.
Discussions are at an early stage, and Charterhouse may decide to keep Mirion if bids come in too low. Private equity firms, strategic bidders and SPACs, are likely to consider offers.
SoftBank-backed SVF Investment 3 is in talks to take Mapbox public in a $2bn SPAC deal. (FS)
SoftBank-backed SVF Investment 3, a special purposes acquisition vehicle, is in talks to take Mapbox, a location data services provider, public in a $2bn deal, Reutersreported.
SoftBank has invested in Mapbox through its tech-focused Vision Fund, which led a $164m funding round for the company in 2017. Mapbox, whose website showed it has raised a total $226m so far, was valued at $1.2bn as of April 2020.
Investment banks including Cantor Fitzgerald, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and UBS could be involved in the deal.
Nestle in talks to buy Bountiful.
Nestle is in talks to buy nutritional supplements maker Bountiful for a price in the mid-single-digit billions. The deal could be finalized as soon as next week though it is not guaranteed an agreement would be reached, Reuters reported.
Bountiful, which is majority-owned by private equity firm KKR, makes Nature’s Bounty vitamins, Osteo Bi-Flex joint-care supplements and Puritan’s Pride vitamins and supplements.
Golden West Food Group is said to weigh options including a sale.
Golden West Food is exploring strategic options including a sale that could value the food processor and distributor at more than $1bn, Bloomberg reported.
The Vernon, California-based company is working with an adviser on the effort. Early meetings with potential buyers have been held. The move would follow a year in which food processors and retailers have benefited from stay-at-home dining. Potato-chip maker Utz Brands went public last year in a reverse merger, while Carrefour agreed last month to buy Walmart’s former Brazil unit.
Bridgestone nearing US deal and narrows a list to a few candidates.
Bridgestone is on track to restore quarterly sales close to pre-pandemic levels in despite a global chip shortage, paving the way for a merger or acquisition this year, Bloombergreported.
Demand is strong in the US, where Japanese tiremaker has narrowed its list of potential acquisition targets to a few information-technology firms. Asked whether Bridgestone would upgrade its outlook, the CEO said that while he is not supposed to comment ahead of an earnings announcement in May, it is clear that the company is on a recovery path.
Bridgestone, which is pushing into fleet management and connected car services, paid $1.1bn for the telematics unit of Dutch navigation company TomTom in 2019. The next acquisition will probably be smaller than that. Asked about companies in North America with a business similar to TomTom, Ishibashi mentioned Geotab, a Canadian provider of fleet-management software, but did not indicate whether they were in discussions.
AT&T explores a sale of Rooster Teeth unit.
AT&T is seeking buyers for Rooster Teeth, a piece of its WarnerMedia division, as part of an ongoing winnowing of non-core assets by the phone giant, Bloomberg reported.
The pandemic has complicated efforts to sell the business, Rooster Teeth canceled its annual RTX convention last year in Austin, Texas. And in June, co-founder Burnie Burns, who served as CEO, left the company. It was not clear how much money AT&T is seeking for the business.
The phone company has been paring assets to focus on a key areas, including its new 5G wireless business, which requires billions of dollars of investment. AT&T also is expanding its fiber-optic footprint and boosting movie and TV production to attract subscribers to HBO Max, the new streaming service run by WarnerMedia.
As AT&T discovered with its DIRECTV satellite television division, declining businesses are not an easy sell. After seeking a buyer for that division for months, the company decided to spin it off into a joint venture with the private equity firm TPG.
J&J revives sale plan for breast implant unit Mentor.
Johnson & Johnson is reviving plans for a sale of its breast implant unit. The company is working with an adviser on a sales process for its Mentor Worldwide unit. The business is expected to draw interest from private equity firms, Bloomberg reported.
New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J had started a sales process for Mentor last year but plans were shelved as market turmoil in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic crimped dealmaking. The business is on track to generate $140m a year in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
Pandemic lockdowns brought cosmetic and other elective medical procedures to a standstill. A few months later, patients stuck at home and spending less on travel and entertainment were calling medical offices as they re-opened.
Victoria’s Secret received a higher valuation in new sale talks.
After strong recent sales, the company could now target a valuation of at least $2bn to $3bn in a potential sale, Bloomberg reported.
Confluent files confidentially for US IPO.
Confluent, an event streaming platform, has filed confidentially to go public in the US. The company submitted a draft registration statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and will offer shares after the regulator review process is completed, Bloombergreported.
California-based Confluent was valued at $4.5bn in its latest funding round announced a year ago when it raised $250m in a financing led by Coatue Management, Altimeter Capital, Franklin Templeton, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital.
GPS and its shareholders raise $422m in IPO.
Brazilian facilities company GPS and its shareholders raised at least $422.46m in an IPO priced, Reutersreported. The company priced its shares at $2.1.
GPS, which has private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Gavea Investimentos as investors, was forced to cut its price range earlier this week due to low demand from investors to between $2 and $2.3 from between $2.3 and $2.8.
The company plans to use the proceeds raised for acquisitions, dividend payments and to increase its cash.
Latham rises 43% in debut after a $380m IPO.
Residential pool company Latham Group rose 43% in its trading debut after raising $380m in an IPO priced at the bottom of a marketed range, Bloombergreported.
The company’s shares, which sold for $19 in Thursday’s IPO, closed at $27.25 in New York trading, giving the company a market value of about $3.3bn. Latham had marketed the shares for $19 to $21 each. Latham’s profit and revenue grew during the Covid pandemic, with property owners focusing on home improvements, including pools. CEO Scott Rajeski said that he believes Latham can outpace the market, which he expects to grow by 10% a year.
“We felt this was a really good time to get our story out there into the public markets and continue to drive with brand awareness of our company,” Scott Rajeski.
Rain Therapeutics raises $125m in an IPO
Rain Therapeutics, a developer of precision oncology therapeutics, raises $125m in an IPO after pricing 7.3m shares at $17 per share.
Rain's pre-IPO backers included Boxer Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Samsara BioCapital, Janus Henderson, Logos Capital and Perceptive.
Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Piper Sandler and Guggenheim Securities are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.
ZipRecruiter filed for an IPO.
ZipRecruiter filed for a direct listing on the heels of four other companies that have chosen the alternative route to going public in the past year, Bloomberg reported.
The job search and recruiting company became profitable in 2020, even as its revenue declined slightly, according to its filing with the US SEC. Since its founding in 2010, more than 2.8m businesses and 110m job seekers have used ZipRecruiter.
Apollo lending arm raises $800m. (FS)
Apollo Global Management's lending arm, MidCap Financial, raised more than $800m this year from a group of global investors as demand for private credit surged, Bloombergreported.
The money - from pensions, sovereign wealth funds and Apollo clients - will be used to expand MidCap’s business. The unit, which oversees or provides services for about $30bn of commitments, focuses on financing real estate, middle-market companies and corporate takeovers led by small private-equity firms.
Private-credit firms are in the market seeking to raise a record $301.4bn. And with global interest rates near historic lows, a hunt for higher-yielding investments is helping to kick-start fundraising.
Archean Capital closes Fund II at over $425m. (FS)
Archean Capital Partners, a private equity firm that provides strategic anchor capital to newly formed private equity firms, announced the close of Archean Capital Fund II at over $425m. Archean was established in 2017 by Veritable and Moelis Asset Management to provide initial limited partner capital and value-added support to emerging managers.
“We recognized a unique market opportunity to invest in first-time private equity funds and our success would not be possible without the shared vision of our investors and managers,” Rob Lazaroff, Archean Partner and Co-Portfolio Manager.
Tikehau Capital launches a PE decarbonization fund with $300m in capital commitment. (FS)
Tikehau Capital, the global alternative asset management group, announced its intention to launch a North American Private Equity strategy dedicated to transitioning to a low-carbon economy, with $300m of capital already committed.
"We are establishing ourselves as leaders in the impact and energy transition space through our successful strategies including the T2 Energy Transition Fund, our fund focused on impact lending and our recent €500m ($605m) inaugural sustainable bond issuance. We are pleased today to further expand our offering with the launch of the decarbonization fund focused on North America, which will help accelerate progress towards reaching net carbon neutrality as the Unites States recommit to the Paris Climate Agreement,” Mathieu Chabran, Tikehau Capital Co-founder.
GW Pharmaceuticals and Jazz Pharmaceuticals announced that GW’s shareholders voted to approve the acquisition of GW by a subsidiary of Jazz at the GW shareholder meetings. The proposals required to be approved by GW’s shareholders in order to complete the acquisition were each approved. In addition, the non-binding, advisory proposal to approve certain compensation arrangements for GW’s named executive officers was approved. Detailed information regarding the results will be made available by GW in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
All shareholder and regulatory approvals required for the acquisition have now been obtained. Completion of the acquisition remains subject to the sanction by the High Court of Justice of England and Wales and other customary closing conditions.
GW Pharmaceuticals is advised by Centerview Partners, Goldman Sachs, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Slaughter & May and FTI Consulting. Centerview Partners and Goldman Sachs are advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Jazz Pharmaceuticals is advised by Bank of America, Evercore, Guggenheim Partners, JP Morgan, Arthur Cox, Macfarlanes, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Joele Frank. Financial advisors to Jazz are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
KKR-backed AppLovin, a global technology platform, completed the acquisition of Adjust, a global mobile app measurement and marketing company, for $1bn.
With the acquisition, Adjust provides AppLovin with a set of strategic SaaS mobile marketing solutions that expands the suite of innovative software tools for mobile app developers to grow their businesses and helps further enhance AppLovin’s ability to address its large market opportunity.
“The acquisition of Adjust is another major milestone for AppLovin. We are focused on continuing to build and innovate our software set for developers and execute on our strategy to grow our business on multiple levels. Adjust’s real-time app solutions align with our growth strategy, while their large and diversified client base and globally distributed sales infrastructure will help us continue to grow rapidly," Adam Foroughi, AppLovin Co-Founder and CEO.
Adjust was advised by Noerr, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Reed Smith and WTS Steuerberatungsgesellschaft. AppLovin is advised by Citigroup, Fenwick & West and Gleiss Lutz. Highland Europe is advised by Osborne Clarke.
Credit Agricole sealed its $1bn takeover bid for Creval, in a move that strengthens its foothold in Italy’s consolidating banking sector - its biggest market outside France, Reutersreported.
The acquisition of the regional lender allows the Italian arm of France’s no.2 bank to double its market share in the country’s wealthiest areas at a time when competition is intensifying. After overcoming opposition from Creval and its leading investors by raising the initial price by 19%, Credit Agricole Italia secured 91.2% of its target’s capital.
Creval is advised by Intermonte and Mediobanca. Credit Agricole is advised by Credit Agricole, JP Morgan, BonelliErede and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Subversive Real Estate Acquisition REIT, a special purposes acquisition company, completed the acquisition of InterCure, the Israeli cannabis producer, for $300m. Common shares of InterCure are now listed for trading on the TSX under the symbol "INCR.U" and will continue to be listed on the TASE under the symbol "INCR."
“We are proud to announce the closing of this transaction which marks an important milestone for InterCure. With a comprehensive vertically integrated platform, brand portfolio, and the healthiest balance sheet, we are positioned to reshape the cannabis industry in Israel and across Europe," Alex Rabinovitch, InterCure CEO.
InterCure was advised by DTK G&G. Subversive Acquisition was advised by Canaccord Genuity, Cowen & Company, Balter Guth Aloni, Goodmans and Paul Hastings.
Egeria, an independent Dutch investment company, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Netherlands-based Fletcher Hotels, a hotel chain, from NIBC Investment Partners, the partner for management and shareholders of mid-sized companies, and Xead Group, a private equity investment firm based in Luxembourg. The transaction is subject to approval by ACM. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With Egeria we will have an entrepeneurial shareholder on our side who will help us to continue fulfilling our growth ambitions. Even last year Fletcher achieved growth, adding a further four hotels. Together with Egeria I’m looking forward to making our business even larger, healthier and more successful,” Rob Hermans, Fletcher Hotels CEO.
Egeria is advised by De Brauw Blackstone, Houthoff, CMS, Ernst & Young, NautaDutilh and Simmons & Simmons.
The Hut Group, a British e-commerce company, agreed to acquire Brighter Foods, a manufacturer of snack bars, from Real Good Food, a diversified food business, for £43m.
"Brighter highly complements our developed vertical integration strategy and strengthens our capabilities in the growing convenience and snack bar market. The Brighter team bring a wealth of bar manufacturing and product development expertise, and in line with the Claremont and Berryman's acquisitions, enables THG to significantly accelerate the launch of further product innovation into global markets, while increasing the proportion of THG Nutrition products wholly manufactured in-house," Matthew Moulding, THG Chairman and CEO.
THC is advised by Powerscourt. Real Good Food is advised by finnCap, Spayne Lindsay & Co and MHP Communications.
Leonardo, an Italian aerospace and defense group, agreed to acquire a 25% stake in HENSOLDT, a German military sensor maker, from KKR, a private equity firm, for $730m.
With the investment in HENSOLDT, Leonardo will establish a strategic long-term presence in the fast-growing German defence market.
"We very much welcome LEONARDO's investment in HENSOLDT. With this transaction, we will have a second long-term anchor shareholder in our company and a strong potential strategic partner with whom we are already successfully working together on a number of programs. As a leading provider of sensor solutions for defence and security applications, we see multiple opportunities of working together with LEONARDO to further support our successful strategy and to be able to strengthen HENSOLDT's long-term growth," Thomas Müller, HENSOLDT CEO.
Leonardo is advised by Deutsche Bank, UBS and Clifford Chance.
Spanish banking group Asesores y Gestores Financieros's management team, agreed to acquire a 40.5% stake in Asesores y Gestores Financieros, from EFG International, a private banking group based in Zurich. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The management buy-out ensures continuity for A&G’s clients and will enable us to focus fully on our core international private banking and asset management business, driving further profitable growth in our core markets," Giorgio Pradelli, EFG International CEO.
EFG International is advised by Rothschild & Co and COMCO.
LVMH, a luxury goods manufacturer, agreed to acquire a 6.8% stake in Tod’s, a luxury leather manufacturer, from its chairman Diego Della Valle, for $104m.
“I am delighted by this transaction which consolidates the friendship between myself, my family, Bernard and his family, that lasts longer than 20 years now. We share the values of luxury, quality and products appeal. This may represent an excellent reason to consider further opportunities to be taken in the future ahead," Diego Della Valle, Tod’s Chairman.
Sibur, a petrochemicals company, agreed to acquire a majority stake in the petrochemical unit of TAIF, an oil and gas refiner. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal will be closed subject to completion of the relevant corporate procedures and receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.
“Creating a larger and more diversified company is timely as the global competition is harsh and will get harsher. Synergy is a big part of this deal. We are combining gas and oil. Gas is more expensive, oil is cheaper. Adding new feedstock to our portfolio is strategically right. It makes a better quality company with various resource flows. It offers greater opportunities,” Dmitry Konov, Sibur CEO.
Wendel, a Europe's listed investment firm, agreed to acquire a 30% stake in Tarkett, a global firm in innovative flooring and sports surface solutions. The Deconinck family will maintain a controlling stake in the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Tarkett is a prime example of entrepreneurship, and we are pleased to support the company over the long term, alongside members of the family. The transaction illustrates the Wendel team’s ability to identify investment opportunities which fit our long-term investor profile,” André François-Poncet, Wendel Group CEO.
National Grid is said to pick banks for $7bn gas asset sale.
National Grid has hired banks for the sale of a majority stake in its gas grid business, turning to the advisers that last month helped seal its biggest-ever acquisition, Bloomberg reported.
Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Robey Warshaw will assist the London-listed utility on the sale of a stake that could be valued at as much as £5bn ($6.9bn).
The banks are helping with internal preparations for the sale, with a formal process yet to begin. A stake in the gas asset could attract large infrastructure funds and financial investors seeking steady and stable returns.
Davidson Kempner and Pioneer Point to invest $4.2bn in a Portuguese data center. (FS)
US investment fund Davidson Kempner and British investment firm Pioneer Point Partners will jointly invest up to $4.2bn by 2025 in a large-scale data centre in Portugal to tap demand from global tech firms,Reuters reported.
The two companies said in a joint statement, the campus in the city of Sines, 150km south of the capital Lisbon, will include five buildings with a useful capacity to supply up to 450MW of cheap energy from renewable sources to the servers.
The two firms said the centre, dubbed Sines 4.0, "will be one of the largest data centre campus projects in Europe and will address the exploding demand of large international technology companies".
SNCF about to sell Ermewa for over €3bn.
France’s state-owned railway company SNCF has entered into talks about selling its railcar subsidiary Ermewa for more than €3bn ($3.62bn),Reuters reported.
Following a competitive auction process, the group’s board of directors approved plans to start exclusive negotiations with a consortium consisting of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and a fund managed by DWS Group for the sale of Ermewa.
The Paris-based subsidiary - which provides industrial rail cars and tank container leasing services - posted core earnings of €271m ($325m) on revenues of €489m ($589m) in 2020.
Rolls-Royce is in constructive talks with Spain over ITP Aero sale.
British engineering company Rolls-Royce said it was in constructive talks with Spain over the sale of its Spanish unit ITP Aero, after a media report said Madrid could block the deal, Reutersreported.
Rolls-Royce is hoping to secure up to £1.5bn ($1.8bn) from the sale of turbine blade-maker ITP Aero, which it has put on the block as part of a £2bn ($2.8bn) asset sale to help repair its balance sheet after the pandemic. The disposal could be blocked by Spain unless the buyer could offer reassurances about ITP’s future.
Citigroup's retail unit disposal could fetch $6bn.
Citi could fetch as much as $6bn from the sale of retail banking assets in 13 markets across the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East as the lender forges ahead with plans to fine-tune its global branch network, Bloombergreported.
The sale process for Australia is the furthest along and the preliminary interest for many of the assets has come mainly from local players. Exits from other markets, such as Southeast Asia and Poland, are at an earlier stage.
Citi ultimately plans to exit retail-banking operations in Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, though the lender will continue to serve corporations and private-banking clients in markets it’s otherwise leaving. The moves are part of a bigger refresh of Citi’s strategy under Fraser, who took the helm in March.
Aramco said to review upstream assets for potential stake sales.
Saudi Aramco is conducting a strategic review of its upstream business, in a move that could potentially see the state-owned firm bring in external investors to some of its oil and gas assets.
Aramco may study possibilities including selling stakes in the operations at certain fields or entering joint ventures with other large energy producers. It could also form partnerships to develop new gas resources, Bloombergreported.
Aramco is unlikely to open up its most important oil assets, though it could bring in investors to less sensitive operations. Deliberations are at an early stage, and the structure of any potential deal hasn’t been decided.
FA chiefs hire bankers to kick off talks on WSL future.
Football bosses are kicking off talks about the future of the Women's Super League that could trigger a bidding war between private equity investors, Sky News reported.
The Football Association has appointed Rothschild, the investment bank, to advise it on financing options for the WSL. The process, which is at an early stage, would examine whether to create a newco which held the commercial rights to the WSL.
Allfunds Group surges after $2.3bn IPO.
Allfunds Group shares soared after the mutual-fund distributor’s $2.3bn IPO in Amsterdam, bolstering the Dutch capital in its race with London to become Europe’s top listing venue. The shares climbed 8.7% to $15 from the IPO price of $13.83. The deal values Allfunds at $8.7bn.
The decision to list in Amsterdam is a sign of the city’s increased clout, having surpassed London as Europe’s main share-trading center in January in the wake of Brexit, Bloomberg reported.
HSBC names new European investment bank chief. (People)
HSBC has hired the former head of Wells Fargo's international business to lead its European investment banking unit as 32-year veteran Philippe Henry steps down, FNreported.
Lisa McGeough is joining the UK lender as head of global banking for Europe. The appointment ends an external search for Henry, who announced his intention to retire from the bank in February.
Citigroup hires Tasnim Ghiawadwala as the head of commercial banking unit. (People)
Citigroup has hired Barclays UK corporate banking head to lead its commercial banking unit, FN reported.
The US bank has appointed Tasnim Ghiawadwala as head of its commercial bank, it said in a memo from Paco Ybarra, head of Citi's institutional clients group.
Ghiawadwala spent more than 21 years at Citi before moving to Barclays in 2018, where she was head of its corporate bank in the United Kingdom. At Citi, Ghiawadwala previously ran the CCB in EMEA for nearly eight years. She was also a member of the bank's EMEA operating committee.
Panasonic, a Japanese multinational consumer electronics corporation, agreed to acquire a remaining 80% stake in Blue Yonder, an American software and consultancy company, from private equity firms Blackstone and New Mountain Capital, for $5.6bn.
This acquisition builds on the Panasonic/Blue Yonder strategic relationship, established in January 2019 with a partnership, followed by the creation of a joint venture company in Japan in November 2019. In July 2020, Panasonic took a 20% minority ownership stake and one seat on the Board of Directors of Blue Yonder. This acquisition brings the strategic relationship full circle.
"This association came about as a result of three years of working together, first with Panasonic as a Blue Yonder customer and thereafter as joint venture partner. We have developed mutual trust and have a shared vision for an Autonomous Supply Chain that delivers a better life and a better world. As the essential platform for essential times, we are relentlessly focused in fulfilling our customers’ potential," Girish Rishi, Blue Yonder CEO.
Blue Yonder is advised by Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson. Panasonic is advised by White & Case.
AMP, a diversified financial services company, decided to terminate the $1bn acquisition of a 60% stake in private markets businesses of AMP by Ares Management, a private equity firm. The targeted timeline is for the demerger to be completed in 1H 22.
The demerger puts AMP’s retail arm at the centre of its business, and could be seen as an indication of its intent to retain and support its wealth management division under new AMP Capital chief executive Scott Hartley, who has been active in addressing AMP’s future business model with advisers.
“The proposed demerger would unlock further value in the Private Markets business by simplifying its structure, providing operational independence and enabling it to establish a new brand. Private Markets will also put in place a new management equity plan, to attract and retain talented investment professionals and management," AMP.
Ares Management is advised by Brunswick Group and Citadel Magnus.
Fosun International-backed Hainan Mining, a China-based company principally engaged in the mining, mineral processing and sales of iron ores, agreed to acquire Chinese natural gas assets of EOG Resources, a US oil and gas developer, for $140m.
Although no reasons were given for the sale, the price of oil and gas has plummeted in the last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Houston-based EOG, which has run the Sichuan province gas field since 2008, posted losses of $604.6m last year on revenue of $11bn.
Shandong Yulong Gold, a manufacturer of welded steel pipes, mulls terminating the $190m deal to acquire Barto Industry, an Australian gold miner, due to the recent developments in the global economy and macro environment.
The Chinese miner said that it is cancelling the deal to protect its interests and also that of its shareholders. The deal would have been subject to receipt of several approvals, including a clearance from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.
PAG plans a $10bn merger of Yingde Gases and Shanghai Baosteel Gases. (FS)
Private equity firm PAG plans to merge its two Chinese industrial gases portfolio companies and seek an offshore listing for the combined entity estimated to be worth more than $10bn, Reutersreported.
Hong Kong-based PAG is discussing with banks a plan to combine Yingde Gases Group with Shanghai Baosteel Gases Group, both Shanghai-headquartered, and then list the merged entity in what could be a billion dollar float. It would mark the biggest exit so far for PAG, which is led by seasoned Chinese dealmaker Weijian Shan and manages $40bn in assets worldwide.
A company with a $10bn or more valuation would typically sell 10%-15% of its shares in an IPO, meaning it could raise at least $1bn in a float. That would make it China’s largest offshore listing this year by a traditional sector company.
Xiaomi mulls investing in Black Sesame.
Mobile phone giant Xiaomi Technology is among investors considering joining a funding round of at least $231m for Black Sesame Technologies, Bloomberg reported.
The fundraising would value the Shanghai-headquartered artificial intelligence and autonomous driving chipmaker at as much as $1.5bn. Black Sesame’s backers in its previous funding round included Tencent.
Black Sesame is considering an IPO on China’s technology-focused Shanghai Star board as soon as next year. At least one more round of investment is planned before any potential IPO.
Carlyle weighs stake sale in AsiaSat.
The Carlyle Group is considering selling its stake in Asia Satellite Telecommunications as the US private equity firm seeks to rotate its investment portfolio, Bloomberg reported.
Carlyle is working with a financial adviser to help find a buyer for its 50% stake in the Hong Kong-based satellite business, also known as AsiaSat. The sale, which has drawn preliminary interest from buyers including other global satellite companies, could value the stake at several hundred million dollars.
ByteDance says it has no immediate listing plans.
ByteDance last month hired former Xiaomi executive Shou Zi Chew for a newly-created role as chief finance officer, suggesting the tech company was moving a step closer to a much-anticipated IPO, Reutersreported.
“There has been recent media speculation about our IPO plans. We would like to clarify that we’re not ready at this stage and do not have IPO plans yet,” TikTok.
ByteDance has been exploring possibilities to list Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, in New York or Hong Kong, or obtain a public listing for some of its Chinese businesses including Douyin and news aggregator Toutiao.
PowerGrid InvIT IPO likely to open next week.
PowerGrid Infrastructure Investment Trust, a collective investment scheme, akin to a mutual fund, is likely to launch its IPO at the end of April, Livemintreported.
This will be the first time a state owned entity is monetizing its infrastructure assets through the InvIT route. This will also be only the third InvIT to be listed in the Indian markets, after IRB InvIT and India Grid Trust both of which went public in 2017.
In January Mint reported that the IPO will see the InvIT raise up to c.$662m by selling new units of the trust, while its sponsor Power Grid also plans to sell units worth up to c.$400m through the IPO, taking the total size of the share sale to almost $1bn.
Bain Capital hits the final close of its debut Japan buyout fund at $1bn. (FS)
Bain Capital, an asset manager, has closed its first Japan buyout fund at $1bn. The fund hit the final close by the end-March with institutional commitments accounting for $925m and GP commitment contributing the rest.
The US-based private equity firm launched Bain Capital Japan Middle Market Fund in September 2020 without disclosing the target. The vehicle was said to be Bain Capital’s first Japan buyout fund focused on mid-sized companies in the country. Bain Capital first entered Japan in 2006 with an office in Tokyo. Since then, it has invested in around 20 companies.
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