EU antitrust regulators will decide by December 7 whether to clear US medical device company Thermo Fisher Scientific’s $20.9bn bid to acquire PPD, a contract research firm, from Hellman & Friedman, an American private equity firm, Reuters reported.
The deal, announced April 15, 2021, can be cleared by the European Commission with or without concessions at the end of its preliminary review. It can open a four-month-long investigation if it has serious concerns.
PPD is advised by JP Morgan and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Thermo Fisher is advised by Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Cravath Swaine & Moore and Joele Frank. Financial advisors are advised by Ropes & Gray and Debevoise & Plimpton.
BHP Group, a global diversified miner supplying iron ore, copper, oil, gas, and metallurgical, has started talks with Wyloo Metals, a mining company, regarding the takeover of Noront Resources, a Canadian-based mining company, as both the companies try to acquire the nickel producer.
In October, BHP increased its all-cash offer for Noront to $0.6 per share, surpassing Wyloo’s $0.56 proposal. BHP also extended the tender expiry for its takeover from November 9 to November 16, 2021, Reuters reported.
“BHP and Wyloo Metals have engaged in initial conversations and are considering a mutually beneficial arrangement regarding the acquisition of Noront by BHP,” BHP.
BHP is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Blake Cassels & Graydon and Kingsdale Advisors. Wyloo is advised by McCarthy Tetrault. Noront is advised by Stifel, TD Securities, Bennett Jones and Longview Communications.
The US Justice Department filed a lawsuit to stop Bertelsmann-backed Penguin Random House, a company that prints and publishes books, from buying Simon & Schuster, a company specialising in publishing and printing books and pamphlets, from ViacomCBS, an American diversified multinational mass media conglomerate, for $2.2bn, Reuters reported.
The deal would give "outsized influence over who and what is published, and how much authors are paid for their work", said the Justice Department.
Bertelsmann is advised by JP Morgan, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer and Davis Polk & Wardwell. ViacomCBS is advised by LionTree Advisors, Shearman & Sterling and Finsbury Glover Hering.
Clearlake Capital and TA Associates-backed Confluence, a software firm, agreed to acquire Investment Metrics, a global provider of investment data, performance, analytics and research software solutions, for $500m.
"As we continue to advance on our growth strategy, Confluence is excited to welcome Investment Metrics to the team. There is a growing need in the market for solutions that streamline operational efficiencies and drive scale. By combining our capabilities with those of Investment Metrics, we will be optimally positioned to deliver a comprehensive analytics solution to our clients, while streamlining analysis and providing fiduciary oversight across the wider ecosystem. Together we are committed to fostering a culture of innovation," Mark Evans, Confluence CEO.
Clearlake Capital is advised by Lambert & Co. Confluence is advised by Sidley Austin and Forefront Communications. Investment Metrics is advised by Centerview Partners and DLA Piper.
Cinven and Bain Capital-backed Arxada, a global specialty chemicals business, agreed to merge with Troy, a global provider of microbial control solutions and performance additives. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The combination of Arxada and Troy will reinforce our position as a leading global provider of microbial control solutions. Our decision to merge with Troy just four months after our launch as an independent company highlights our ambition and commitment to creating the broadest and most innovative solutions for our customers in this sector. The combination also fits with our strategy of expanding our geographic footprint and the scale and depth of our capabilities by bolstering our manufacturing capacity in MCS beyond North America into Europe and Asia," Marc Doyle, Arxada CEO.
Arxada is advised by Piper Sandler, Kirkland & Ellis and FTI Consulting. Troy is advised by JP Morgan and Norton Rose Fulbright.
Atlas, a private investment & equity firm, agreed to acquire RR Donnelley, an integrated communications company, for $2.1bn. Atlas will acquire all of the outstanding shares of RRD common stock for $8.52 per share in cash. The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 29.1%.
"The RRD board regularly reviews the Company’s strategic priorities, and today’s announcement is a culmination of a thorough, multi-year process to maximize value for RRD stockholders. After a careful and thorough analysis, the RRD board believes that this transaction, which delivers an immediate premium and certain cash value, is in the best interest of RRD and our stockholders," John Pope, RRD Chairman of the Board of Directors.
RR Donnelley is advised by Centerview Partners, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Joele Frank. Atlas is advised by Macquarie Capital and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
CMA CGM, a provider of marine transportation and logistics services, agreed to acquire the remaining 90% stake in Fenix Marine Services, an operator of a container terminal, from EQT for $2.07bn.
“Fenix Marine Services plays an integral role in the complex North American supply chain. We have been proud to support its mission of operational excellence and capacity growth to best meet consumer needs both before and during a pandemic that has highlighted the importance of Port of Los Angeles as a critical trade gateway. It has been a pleasure to partner with Sean and the current management team, each of whom have done a fantastic job implementing our full potential plan, including an ambitious digitalization program and an industry-leading sustainability agenda. Today, Fenix Marine Services is one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly terminals in North America," Alex Darden, EQT Partner and Head of Infrastructure’s US Advisory Team.
EQT is advised by Rothschild & Co and Allen & Overy.
Macquarie Capital, an investment capital provider, agreed to invest in Procentrix, a developer of IT modernization software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Partnering with Macquarie Capital, a premier principal investor with extensive capabilities will help us continue to drive the growth and success of the company while retaining the agility and entrepreneurial culture that our employees and customers have grown accustomed to for over 15 years. This partnership will help Procentrix significantly expand its capabilities, customer base and enable us to pursue new growth avenues," Mike Hughes, Procentrix President and CEO.
Macquarie Capital is advised by Prosek Partners. Procentrix is advised by Houlihan Lokey.
Arsenal, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of AvCarb, a producer of gas diffusion layer and specialty engineered carbon fiber products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As AvCarb's customers accelerate the deployment of decarbonization technologies such as fuel cells, their needs for production capacity, development support, and customer service are increasing rapidly. Arsenal brings scale, resources, and experience that will ensure AvCarb continues to support customer success across product lines and around the world," Guy Ebbrell, AvCarb President.
Arsenal was advised by Prosek Partners. AvCarb was advised by Houlihan Lokey.
PT Holdings, a distributor of original equipment manufacturer repair and maintenance parts, completed the acquisition of two providers of repair services K&D Factory Service and Pine Tree Food Equipment. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"K&D Factory Service and Pine Tree Food Equipment have everything we look for in a business: strong OEM parts distribution, manufacturer relationships, a great brand and innovative leadership. We have been working with Dan and the K&D Factory Service and Pine Tree Food Equipment teams for a very long time and are excited to support the continued efforts of these great local brands,” Dave Wenger, PT Holdings President.
PT Holdings was advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Finn Partners.
CACI, an information solutions and services provider, agreed to acquire SA Photonics, a developer of photonic systems, for $275m.
"Our innovative space-based photonics technology delivers enhanced capability for missions ranging from national security to human spaceflight. With SA Photonics, our combined technology enables us to deliver immediate FSO communications across all-domains," John Mengucci, CACI President and CEO.
TPG led a $202m Series D funding round in Everlaw, a developer of a cloud-based litigation platform. Additional investors include HIG, CapitalG, Menlo Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and K9 Ventures.
"The legal industry has undergone a decade's worth of technological change in just 18 months. Legal professionals need tools that can keep up with the pace of change without sacrificing security. We're proud of what we've accomplished, but we're not resting on our laurels. This investment is part of a thoughtful and well-paced strategy for global growth, enabling us to support our customers, people and programs, including go-to-market efforts, channel partnerships and product innovation," AJ Shankar, Everlaw CEO and Founder.
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, a provider of investment advisory services, completed the acquisition of SpecialtyCare, a provider of intraoperative neuromonitoring, perfusion and surgical services, from Kohlberg & Company, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We believe that SpecialtyCare provides an essential solution to its partners in an industry with considerable tailwinds through a contracted business model. We look forward to building upon the Company’s successful track record and further supporting their growth trajectory,” Chris Ortega, MSIP Managing Director and Head of the Americas.
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners was advised by Barclays.
Gellert Global-backed Atalanta, a food importer specializing in cheese, charcuterie, deli meat, grocery and seafood products, completed the acquisition of Mitsui Foods, a firm engaged in the wholesale distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"After extensive evaluation and review, Mitsui felt Atalanta and Camerican International were best suited to continue Mitsui Foods' mission to be a leader in the food import and distribution industry. Antarctica Advisors' expertise was instrumental in aiding us in this review and facilitating the successful transaction for Mitsui," Shuichi Matsuzawa, Mitsui SVP & DOO of Foods & Retail Division.
Frontenac, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of EFC International, a distributor of value-added specialty fasteners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We have enjoyed strong growth over the past several years as we executed on a number of key initiatives that have expanded our global reach as well as our customer and supplier base. With Frontenac as our new partner, we are excited to leverage their industrial distribution expertise to continue our expansion plans, both organic and inorganic, and continue to increase market share both domestically and abroad," Matt Dudenhoeffer, EFC International CEO.
Cross River Bank, a bank operator, agreed to acquire Betterfin, an operator of a financing management platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“For over a decade, Cross River has redefined financial services for fintech partners, communities and individuals around the globe. With the addition of Betterfin, its team of professionals led by Eric Griego, its technology stack and market intelligence, the combination of our core infrastructure and small business offerings will become another powerful tool of our growth engine," Gilles Gade, Cross River Founder, President and CEO.
Americanas, an e-commerce provider in Brazil, agreed to merge with Lojas Americanas, a Brazilian retailer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Brazilian billionaires Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira currently control Lojas Americanas and will hold a 29.2% stake in the combined company Americanas. Shares issued by Americanas held by Lojas Americanas will be canceled and each shareholder of Lojas Americanas will receive 0.186 common share issued by Americanas.
Azul considers a bid for LATAM Airlines.
Azul, a Brazilian airline, is interested in buying the whole of Chile’s bankrupt LATAM Airlines Group and is ready to make an offer if creditors fail to agree on a restructuring plan, Reuters reported.
“We know exactly what we will offer. We would buy the whole asset. I believe that the group has a lot of value and we’re not thinking of splitting or selling divisions,” John Rodgerson, Azul CEO, adding that Azul would likely have to wait until November 23 when a statutory limit on reaching a restructuring plan runs out.
Kevin Durant launches a $200m SPAC.
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets player, has become the latest celebrity to endorse a blank-check firm after his Infinite Acquisition filed for an IPO offering of up to $200m, Reuters reported.
The filing comes amid a chill in the SPAC market, due to tightening accounting guidance and regulatory scrutiny from the US Securities And Exchange Commission.
Allbirds tops IPO goal to raise $303m.
Shoemaker Allbirds expanded an IPO and priced the shares above a marketed range to raise $303m.
The San Francisco-based company and its existing shareholders sold more than 20m shares for $15 each after marketing 19m of them for $12 to $14, Bloomberg reported.
Allbirds has a market value of about $2.16bn based on the outstanding shares listed in its filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Accounting for employee stock options and similar holdings, the company would have a fully diluted value of more than $2.4bn.
Ardian agreed to invest in Strategie Media Conseil, a French digital real estate classifieds platform offering luxury and high-quality properties. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our investment in Strategie Media Conseil is a perfect example of our approach of backing ambitious entrepreneurs with solid expertise who are looking to take their companies to the next level. The group is a strongly performing digital real estate classifieds platform with a clear strategic focus and an impressive track record. We look forward to working closely together with Jean-Pierre and its team, to expand the platform and ensure that SMC’s exceptional offer is more widely available across France," Alexis Saada and Léa Chaplain, Ardian Managing Director and Analyst.
Strategie Media Conseil is advised by Alvarez & Marsal, Edmond de Rothschild Corporate Finance and Bosio Evrard. Ardian is advised by Eight Advisory, Fidal and McDermott Will & Emery. Debt financing is provided by BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale. Debt providers are advised by Simmons & Simmons.
BPP Education, a provider of educational services, completed the acquisition of Estio Training, a provider of information technology apprenticeships and training services, from Palatine, a private equity company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Estio has been an excellent investment for the Palatine Impact Fund and we are delighted to deliver such a strong result with our first exit. The objective of the Impact Fund is to deliver returns with purpose and Estio is the perfect example of this. With our support, the team have made significant progress in terms of quality and learner outcomes to make a positive difference which has now been combined with a strong financial return and exit to a like-minded, high quality training provider in BPP," James Gregson, Palatine Senior Investment Director.
Palatine was advised by Clearwater International and Addleshaw Goddard. BPP was advised by Houlihan Lokey.
RTB House, a global marketing technology company, agreed to invest in NapoleonCat, a provider of a social media marketing and analytics platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The partnership with RTB House will not only provide us with additional capital, but more importantly – will give us access to their network of industry experts across the globe. We believe that those two elements combined will help us accelerate NapoleonCat’s further product development in the space of social customer service and engagement, as well as reaching new markets more effectively. RTB House is one of the fastest-growing technology companies and has been a benchmark for us for a long time. This makes us all the more excited about the future," Grzegorz Berezowski, NapoleonCat CEO.
NapoleonCat is advised by Kancelaria Blumski and Rymarz Zdort. RTB House is advised by Clifford Chance.
IBM, a provider of computer solutions, agreed to acquire ReaQta, a developer of detection and response platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With our expanded capabilities via QRadar XDR and the planned addition of ReaQta, IBM is helping clients get ahead of attackers with the first XDR solution that reduces vendor lock-in via the use of open standards," Mary O'Brien, IBM General Manager.
Aptean, a developer of application software, agreed to acquire Objective, a provider of innovative manufacturing execution systems, warehouse management systems and workforce management solutions, from Alpina Capital Partners, an independent technology investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are delighted to join Aptean to accelerate our growth as we continue to provide innovative solutions for customers across Europe. This transaction expands our offerings and enables both our customers and Objective to benefit from Aptean’s significant resources, technological expertise and global reach," Peter-Robin Mijderwijk, Objective CEO.
Bouygues, a diversified services group operating, offered to acquire Equans, a customized solutions provider to improve technical equipments and processes, from Engie, a French multinational utility company. Financial terms are not disclosed.
The proposed acquisition of Equans forms part of Bouygues’ strategy to create a major player in multi-technical services within the Group.
Italy seeks 'long' extension to Monte dei Paschi deadline.
The extension of the deadline to return Italy’s Monte dei Paschi to private hands will be “sufficiently long” to ensure the bank can relaunch and attract new investors, Reuters reported.
Italy’s Treasury Director General Alessandro Rivera told a parliamentary hearing that Rome would eventually offload its stake in the bank it rescued in 2017. Italy is in talks with the European Union over the deadline for the reprivatisation of MPS.
Qiagen and BioMerieux said to explore tie-up.
Qiagen, a molecular testing firm, and French rival BioMerieux are exploring a potential combination that would unite two of Europe’s biggest medical diagnostics providers, Bloomberg reported.
The two companies have been studying the merits of a merger. The company became the subject of takeover interest in February, when Quidel Corporation, a US diagnostics firm and fellow coronavirus testmaker, explored a combination.
Vitruvian Partners to sell 11m shares in Darktrace. (FS)
Vitruvian Partners, a London-based private-equity firm, is looking to sell about 11m ordinary shares in British cybersecurity firm Darktrace, Reuters reported.
Vitruvian Partners, the fifth biggest shareholder in Darktrace, holds 4.56% stake in the London-listed company.
Spanish firms seeking to sell stake in South African solar plant.
Spanish Grupo Cobra, a firm engaged in the industrial and energy infrastructures industry, and SENER, a private engineering and technology group, are seeking to exit their stake in the 100MW Ilanga solar power plant, which supplies electricity to South Africa's national grid, Reuters reported.
Grupo Solar and SENER have hired bankers for the transaction in line with their strategies to exit minority stakes in up and running assets.
Veteran south african dealmaker in talks to sell Long4Life. (FS)
Old Mutual’s private equity arm is in talks to buy Long4Life, the South African investment company founded by entrepreneur Brian Joffe, Bloomberg reported.
The buyout firm has funds available that could go toward an acquisition of the Johannesburg-based group. A final agreement hasn’t been reached and a deal may not be finalized.
Saudi wealth fund weighs deal to form mobile towers company.
The Public Investment Fund is weighing a deal to combine the mobile phone infrastructure of Saudi Telecom and Zain Saudi Arabia in a merger that would form the kingdom’s largest cellular towers company, Bloomberg reported.
If completed, the deal would create a firm with 23k towers, which the Saudi wealth fund could potentially list on the local bourse. A merger would cut overlap in places where both firms have towers, making it more efficient to invest in upgrading coverage and mobile internet speeds.
Mercury Retail seeks up to $1.3bn in IPO.
Mercury Retail Holding, which controls Russia’s biggest chains of alcohol retailers, seeks to raise as much as $1.3bn in what would be the largest IPO in Moscow since 2013, Bloomberg reported.
The holding, which operates more than 14k convenience stores that sell alcohol, cigarettes and food under the Krasnoe & Beloe and Bristol brands, the price range has been set at between $6 and $6.5 per global depositary receipt. That would value the company at as much as $13bn.
Saudi bourse Tadawul ends IPO wait, lans to list 30% stake.
Saudi Arabia’s bourse Tadawul won approval for its long-awaited IPO in what could be one of the biggest in the exchange sector since Euronext's $1.2bn listing, Bloomberg reported.
The kingdom’s markets regulator has signed off on the exchange’s offering of 36m of shares. The planned issue represents 30% of the share capital of Saudi Tadawul Group Holding.
Advent-backed Rubix scraps London IPO plan. (FS)
Advent-backed Rubix Group Holdings, a provider of maintenance and repair for industrial firms that was looking to raise $984m, has decided not to proceed with a London listing, becoming the latest in a string of failed IPOs across Europe, Bloomberg reported.
The Advent International-backed company cited “difficult ongoing conditions for IPOs” for the pulled deal, while noting “strong backing for its business model and strategy” from institutional investors. Formed in a 2017 merger of Brammer and IPH, Rubix’s operations span 22 European countries.
EDP Renewables, a renewable energy company, completed the acquisition of an 87.4% in Sunseap, a clean solutions provider which specialises in the retail sale of commercial solar energy, for $882m.
"We are delighted to partner up with Sunseap for the Asian Pacific markets, creating a new regional platform and making EDPR a truly global renewables energy player. The strategy and vision of Sunseap is a perfect fit to EDP´s leading role within the ongoing energy transition and its local knowledge and track-record in the Asia Pacific region, together with EDPR's scale and technological expertise, will enable us to fully tap the potential of such markets," Miguel Stilwell d'Andrade, EDP Renewables CEO.
EDP Renewables was advised by Credit Suisse and Baker McKenzie.
Resolution Life, a global life insurance group, agreed to acquire a 19% stake in Resolution Life Australasia from AMP, an Australian public listed company that derives its revenue from the provision of wealth management, investment management, banking and superannuation services, for $391m.
“This divestment brings to a close our long and proud involvement in life insurance in Australia and New Zealand. It enables us to realise capital to further strengthen our balance sheet ahead of our demerger and continue supporting our businesses. The separation of our businesses is progressing well and will continue until mid-next year as planned. We will continue to provide transitional services to RLA, as agreed, and will have a shared customer and adviser connection into the future," Alexis George, AMP CEO.
Resolution Life is advised by SEC Newgate and Temple Bar Advisory.
Warburg Pincus led a $300m funding round in Mynt, a digital financial solutions provider. Additional investors include Insight Partners, Bow Wave Capital, Itai Tsiddon, Amplo Ventures, Globe and Ayala.
"This is further proof that our growth and achievements have not gone unnoticed. We have been able to continuously expand by introducing game-changing innovations while improving our profitability profile. We are excited about our new partnership with Warburg, Insight, Itai Tsiddon and Amplo, as they each bring strategic value to our team in the pursuit of our vision towards finance for all," Martha Sazon, Mynt President and CEO.
Birla Group Chairman may infuse at least $150m into Vodafone Idea.
Kumar Mangalam Birla, Aditya Birla Group chairman, is close to investing at least $150m in Vodafone Idea in his personal capacity, as an immediate measure to keep the group's chash-strapped telecom business afloat, DealStreetAsia reported.
"An issue of fresh convertibles or equities is being considered. Birla is likely to invest from his personal assets as this month."
China’s Soul keep eye shifting US IPOs to Hong Kong.
Soul, a social networking platform, and Keep, a home workout trainer, are the latest to join a slew of companies weighing Hong Kong IPOs after suspending plans for US listings, Bloomberg reported.
The maker of Kujiale, an interior design software application, also joins the list of firms that were once New York-bound but are now considering a first-time share sale in the Asian financial hub.
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