Stone-Goff Partners, a growth-oriented private equity firm, completed the investment in BigScoots, a value-added managed hosting service provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to become the first institutional partner of BigScoots and look forward to working with Scott and Justin as we admire their entrepreneurial instincts and industry expertise in the WordPress ecosystem. We can’t wait to support management to grow the Company’s team, client base and product offerings. This is an exciting time for all of us as we combine forces to accelerate their momentum through thoughtful organic initiatives and strategic M&A," Laurens Goff, Stone-Goff Co-Founder & Managing Partner.
BigScoots was advised by Leonis Partners and Hirschler. Stone-Goff Partners was advised by Layer7 Capital, Fredrikson & Byron and BackBay Communications (led by Sarah Bowes). Debt financing to Stone-Goff Partners was provided by Bell Capital Finance.
The Vistria Group, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in US Retirement & Benefits Partners, a financial services and retirement services provider, from Kohlberg & Company, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Combining the knowledge and track record of Kohlberg with The Vistria Group's strong relationships in the K-12 segment, we can leverage these connections to maximize impact in better-serving school districts and government entities. Our partnership with The Vistria Group brings substantial value to USRBP's growth strategy across the public, non-profit and private sectors," Megan Schneider, USRBP CEO.
BlackRock and GTCR-backed Transaction Data Systems, an independent pharmacy software solutions provider, completed the merger with the Outcomes business of Cardinal Health, an American multinational health care services company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“TDS and Outcomes have been dedicated to improving the health of communities through pharmacy excellence for over a combined 45 year. Together, we now have the ability to extend unique value-added solutions through our newly combined network and establish our reach as the largest provider in the pharmacy market bridging care connections with payers and pharma to improve health outcomes," Jude Dieterman, Transaction Data Systems CEO.
Angelo Gordon-backed AG Mortgage Investment Trust, a real estate investment trust, agreed to acquire Franklin Resources-backed Western Asset Mortgage Capital, an externally managed REIT that invests in, finances, and manages a portfolio of real estate-related securities, in a $300m deal.
"Combining WMC and MITT, two publicly traded REITs, presents a value-enhancing investment opportunity for WMC’s stockholders, which we believe is superior to the TPT transaction. We urge the WMC Board to consider its fiduciary duty and its contractual rights under the TPT merger agreement and enter into discussions with us to finalize the terms of our proposed superior transaction. We believe doing so would be in the best interests of WMC and all WMC stockholders," AG Mortgage Investment Trust.
AG Mortgage Investment Trust is advised by Piper Sandler, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Gasthalter & Co.
ExxonMobil, an American multinational oil and gas corporation, agreed to acquire Denbury, a hydrocarbon exploration company, for $4.9bn.
“Acquiring Denbury reflects our determination to profitably grow our Low Carbon Solutions business by serving a range of hard-to-decarbonize industries with a comprehensive carbon capture and sequestration offering. The breadth of Denbury’s network, when added to ExxonMobil’s decades of experience and capabilities in CCS, gives us the opportunity to play an even greater role in a thoughtful energy transition, as we continue to deliver on our commitment to provide the world with the vital energy and products it needs,” Darren Woods, ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO.
ExxonMobil is advised by Citigroup and Davis Polk.
Evergreen, an IT services company, completed the acquisition of Western Computer, a computer software company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Joining Evergreen Services Group opens new opportunities for Western Computer to further build our legacy. With their support, we plan to expand our offerings and scale our operations to further our growth. Our partnership ensures that we have the resources, guidance and backing necessary to attract top talent and maintain our position as a leader in the industry,” Tom Bardos, Western Computer CEO.
gWorks, a GovTech company, agreed to acquire BMSI, a financial management software provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to join with gWorks in working towards our mutual goal, that of providing the best technology and client support service possible to help small governments manage their communities. The resources and technology that gWorks provides will allow us to move more swiftly to our objective," Bruce Perlo, BMSI CEO.
Arthur J. Gallagher, a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm, completed the acquisition of Benchmark Commercial Insurance Services, a retail insurance agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Benchmark is a well-regarded, client-focused agency that enhances our growth opportunities in Southern California. I am very pleased to welcome Robert and his associates to our growing, global team," J. Patrick Gallagher, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, Chairman, President and CEO.
Global credit investment manager Marathon Asset Management has held the final close of the Marathon Secured Private Strategies Fund III, the third vintage of its closed-end asset-based lending strategy, at $1.7bn.
The fund attracted capital commitments from a global base of institutional and high-net-worth investors. As traditional lenders have downsized their lending programmes, Marathon says its ABL strategy is designed to create a diversified portfolio through sourcing, underwriting, and structuring private investments that exhibit principal protection, robust asset coverage and predictable cashflows.
RCP Secondary Opportunity Fund IV closes above target at $797m. (FS)
RCP Advisors, a sponsor of private equity funds-of-funds, secondary funds, and co-investment funds focused on North American lower middle market buyouts, has held the final close of the RCP Secondary Opportunity Fund IV with $797m in capital commitments, ahead of its $500m target.
The fund attracted a broad LP base of both new and existing investors, including family offices, high-net-worth individuals, foundations, public pension plans, and endowments. RCP SOF IV will generally continue the investment style and approach that was established with RCP’s predecessor secondary funds.
MPE Partners Closes Fund IV at $633m. (FS)
MPE Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm based in Cleveland and Boston, is pleased to announce that on June 30, 2023, the firm closed its oversubscribed fourth fund, MPE Partners IV at the hard cap of $633m, inclusive of the general partner capital commitment. The firm officially launched fundraising on February 28, 2023, and did not use a placement agent.
MPE expects to invest Fund IV in entrepreneur- and family-owned companies in the business-to-business manufacturing and services sectors, similar to MPE's prior funds.
May River Capital closes third fund with $500m in commitments. (FS)
May River Capital, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm, has raised its third fund, May River Capital Fund III. The fund closed on its hard cap of $500m in limited partner commitments, exceeding the Fund's original target size. The Fund will continue May River Capital's focus on investing in high quality, lower middle-market industrial businesses with excellent management teams and the potential for significant growth and value enhancement.
The Fund received commitments from a well-respected group of limited partners, including endowments and foundations, insurance companies, fund-of-funds, family offices, wealth managers, and high-net-worth individuals. In addition to commitments from its limited partners, May River Capital's investment team, along with the firm's operating partner network, made significant capital commitments to the Fund.
Cordillera raises $443m for Fund III. (FS)
Cordillera Investment Partners, an investment management firm focused on investments in niche, non-correlated assets, has closed Cordillera Investment Fund III with $443m of commitments from institutional allocators. The fund, which will be managed by the firm’s three co-managing partners Chris Heller, Ashley Marks and Agustin ‘Gus’ Araya, is the largest in Cordillera's near ten-year history.
Founded in 2014, Cordillera seeks to identify ‘alternative alternatives’ before they become overcapitalised within the institutional investment community. The firm says it "employs differentiated proprietary direct deal structuring to uncover non-traditional, untapped alpha that has the upside potential to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns, while also offering significant diversification benefits for investors".
CapVest Partners, an international private equity firm, agreed to acquire Kerridge Commercial Systems, an ERP and business management software provider, from Accel-KKR, a technology-focused private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Accel-KKR has been an exceptional partner to our team, as we have established KCS as the premier global ERP and business management software provider to the distributive trades. As we begin a new chapter with CapVest, we thank Accel-KKR for helping us accelerate our journey," Ian Bendelow, Kerridge Commercial Systems CEO.
Kerridge Commercial Systems is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Arma Partners, Ernst & Young, Stifel, Addleshaw Goddard and Kirkland & Ellis. CapVest Partners is advised by EY Parthenon, Marsh, Evercore, KPMG, Kirkland & Ellis, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and West Monroe Partners. Accel-KKR is advised by Kekst CNC (led by Todd Fogarty).
Britain's antitrust regulator announced an in-depth probe of Adobe's $20bn bid for cloud-based designer platform Figma, after the Photoshop owner said it would not offer any remedies to ease the regulator's concerns, Reutersreported.
The Competition and Markets Authority late last month it had found the deal could lead to less choice for designers of digital apps, websites and other products, and identified concerns in the supply of screen design software, where the companies compete. It had given Adobe five working days to submit proposals to address its concerns. But on July 7, the US company told the CMA it would not offer any remedies.
Figma is advised by Qatalyst Partners, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Fenwick & West. Adobe is advised by Allen & Company, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and FGS Global. Allen & Company is advised by White & Case.
Access Group, a British software company, completed the acquisition of Guestline, a mission critical software provider, from Riverside, a global investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The sale of Guestline marks the sixth exit achieved by the Riverside Europe team over the past 18 months, and again demonstrates our ability to support leading mid-market businesses through organic and inorganic growth initiatives. Despite the challenges of Brexit and Covid-19, Guestline’s revenue and earnings more than doubled during our investment period,” Karsten Langer, Riverside Managing Partner.
Guestline was advised by William Blair & Co and Jones Day. Riverside was advised by strategy&, BDO (led by Paul Barry Russell), KPMG, William Blair & Co and Jones Day.
Clarion Partners Europe, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of five German logistics properties from Blackstone, a private equity firm, for €264m ($292m).
“This German portfolio directly fits with our investment strategy of acquiring modern sustainable logistics assets in locations with barriers to new supply and strong existing tenant demand. We see core markets such as Germany as highly attractive due to the country’s strong underlying property fundamentals. We continue to actively look for further opportunities across Europe which align with this strategy," Rory Buck, Clarion Partners Managing Director.
Clarion Partners Europe was advised by Drees & Sommer, Deloitte and Goodwin Procter. Blackstone was advised by Eastdil Secured and Hengeler Mueller.
3D Systems has substantially sweetened its bid for rival 3D printer company Stratasys after its last two offers were rejected as too low. 3D Systems announced cash-and-stock bid that values Stratasys at about $24.07 a share. Its last two offers were worth about $20 and $19 a share, respectively, Bloomberg reported.
3D Systems is advised by Goldman Sachs, MacKenzie Partners, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (led by Ethan A. Klingsberg), Herzog Fox & Neeman, and FTI Consulting (led by Pat Tucker).
Gen II Fund Services, a private equity fund administrator, agreed to acquire Crestbridge, a private capital fund administration solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The Crestbridge team shares our commitment to strategic growth and personalized client service. We’re excited to join forces to provide clients with seamless, superior service across North America and Europe. Like Gen II, Crestbridge is known for its client-first approach and commitment to investing in the best people and technology,” Steven Millner, Gen II CEO.
Crestbridge is advised by Material Impact and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (led by Edward Cole, Andy Robinson and Holly Baker). Gen II Fund Services is advised by BackBay Communications.
Carmila, a retail property company, agreed to acquire a 93% stake in Galimmom, a real estate trading services company, in a €294m ($327m).
“The acquisition of Galimmo represents a major milestone for Carmila and marks a further advancement in our longstanding partnership with Carrefour. Building on our experience and success in transforming sites alongside Carrefour hypermarkets, our goal is to capitalize on the potential of the ecosystem across a broader and complementary geographical footprint. This project will create value for Carmila and strengthen our relationships with tenant retailers," Marie Cheval, Carmila Chairman and CEO.
Diploma, an international group of businesses supplying specialised technical products and services, agreed to acquire Distribuidora Internacional Carmen, a manufacturer of stainless steel fittings, for £170m ($220m).
"I am delighted to welcome Daniel and our new DICSA colleagues to the Group. They have created an exceptional value-add business with a very strong market reputation. We know and like the fluid power aftermarket model and DICSA satisfies a key strategic priority: accessing large European markets. The business is already generating strong performance and there are significant opportunities to enhance returns by working together across Europe, the UK and the US. This deal continues our strong track record of acquisitions that drive organic growth at great returns," Johnny Thomson, Diploma CEO.
Exponent Private Equity, a private equity firm, completed an investment in TestingCo, a software testing platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The software testing market is growing globally, supported by increasing complexity of software systems and applications, new technologies, and accelerated digital transformation, and the Dutch market stands out as one of the most mature and sophisticated. We are excited to be partnering with TestingCo and its management, whose reputation for being the thought leader in the industry and whose focus on putting the employee first is truly differentiated," Jeroen Regeur, Exponent Partner.
Carrefour, a French multinational retail and wholesaling corporation, agreed to acquire Cora and Match assets in France from Louis Delhaize group, a Belgian retail group, for €1bn ($1.1bn).
"With the acquisition of the Cora and Match banners, Carrefour is announcing its first major acquisition in France in more than twenty years and consolidates its leading position in food retail in its domestic market. This agreed transaction will allow Carrefour to continue the adventure started in France by the Bouriez family and the Louis Delhaize group, with which our Group shares a common culture, history and values," Alexandre Bompard, Carrefour Chairman and CEO.
HCLTech, a global technology company, agreed to acquire ASAP Group, an automotive engineering services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are delighted to align our growth journey with HCLTech’s purpose of bringing together the best of technology and people to supercharge progress for all stakeholders. We are confident that the combination of HCLTech and ASAP’s engineering and technology performance will bring best-in-class advantages to the automotive industry worldwide,” Michael Neisen, ASAP Group CEO.
Cinven eyes True Potential stake sale as soon as next year. (FS)
Buyout group Cinven is considering selling a stake in wealth manager True Potential as early as next year in what could be one of the largest recent deals in Britain's investment advisory sector. The plans, which are still in their infancy, could result in another investor such as a pension or sovereign wealth fund taking a minority holding in the company alongside Cinven, Reuters reported.
An initial public offering of shares is also on the cards, although the market for new listings has yet to recover from a prolonged drought prompted by rocketing interest rates. Private equity funds have been circling Britain's vast but fragmented wealth management market, looking to roll up some of the many independent financial advisers that help savers manage their money, as well as their technology suppliers. True Potential, one of the largest privately held providers of wealth management technology and services, sold a majority stake to Cinven in early 2022 at a valuation of around $2.58bn.
Saudi wealth fund weighs buying another top football club in Europe. (FS)
Newcastle United FC's Saudi Arabian owners are considering buying another top football club in Europe as the kingdom prepares for more big spending in sports. Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund has in recent days switched from only considering the addition of smaller teams to its football stable, to potentially buying another team from one of Europe's five big leagues, Bloomberg reported.
The strategy rethink comes less than a week after European football's governing body, UEFA, said it would allow a host of clubs with the same owner to compete across its elite competitions. UEFA cleared English Premier League clubs Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Aston Villa FC and France's Toulouse FC to play in its tournaments next season, despite their respective owners having interests in other clubs that will be competing. The decision was reached after the owners of these clubs agreed to take steps to ensure they were run independently of each other.
Trio of investors vie for £350m financial data provider With Intelligence. (FS)
Cinven, Flexpoint Ford, and Motive Partners are the remaining investment groups trying to secure a takeover of a provider of data to the asset management sector. Final bids are due to be submitted on Wednesday, SkyNews reported.
With Intelligence is owned by Intermediate Capital Group, and owns brands including Hedge Fund Alert, Eurekahedge and Pension Funds Online. It is said to be projecting an annual profit next year of about £25m ($31m). The company supplies data to the asset management industry, an increasingly lucrative niche which has spawned a string of major businesses in recent years. Earlier this year, With Intelligence was among the bidders for parts of MJ Hudson, the stricken asset management services group.
Chindata says largest shareholder Bain will not sell stake after rival bid. (FS)
Chindata Group said on July 13 that Bain Capital, its largest shareholder, did not intend to sell any of its shares in the Chinese data center operator after a rival bid from China Merchants Capital. The unit of state-owned conglomerate China Merchants Group offered to acquire Chindata Group for $9.2 per American Depositary share, representing a deal value of $3.4bn, Reuters reported.
Data centers and cloud services have seen increased demand due to the widespread adoption of AI technologies. Bain, which offered to buy Chindata Group for $8 per share or nearly $3bn in June, owns about 87% of total voting power and about 42% of outstanding shares in the company.
Indonesian shipping firm Meratus weighing $2bn sale.
Indonesian logistics and marine shipping business Meratus is exploring a sale of the business amid interest from prospective investors. Meratus is working with a financial adviser on the sale plans. The closely-held business is seeking a valuation of about $2bn, Bloombergreported.
Investment funds and other companies in the industry have shown preliminary interest in the business. Deliberations are at an early stage and no final decision has been made. Tracing its history to 1957, Meratus counts more than 60 strong vessels and over 500 trucks operating in over 45 routes. Based in Surabaya, Indonesia, the company expanded service to Papua New Guinea in February and launched its direct China Indonesia Express route last year.
Nirma, Sekhmet vie for $731m Glenmark Life stake. (FS)
Indian conglomerate Nirma and PAG-backed Sekhmet Pharmaventures are among the shortlisted bidders for a controlling stake in Glenmark Life Sciences. The suitors have entered the final round of bidding for a stake of about 83% in the Mumbai-listed company held by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Bloombergreported.
The controlling stake is valued at about $731m, based on the latest stock price. Glenmark Pharma has been working with advisers to seek buyers for its stake in the unit as it looks to raise cash and cut debt. Deliberations are ongoing and the bidders may not proceed with formal offers.
EQT Asia Fund plans to invest more than $3bn in India. (FS)
Swedish investment house EQT will deploy about $3.4bn in India through its Asia private equity arm as it steps up deal-making in the country. BPEA-EQT plans to commit nearly 30% of the $11.2bn Baring Private Equity Asia Fund VIII, according to Jimmy Mahtani, a partner at the firm who is responsible for investments in India.
The planned investment would be the biggest yet by one of the firm's funds in India. It deployed $2bn and $270m, respectively, into the world's most populous country with two earlier funds that had raised smaller amounts. Three of the five early deals from that fund were made in India. EQT acquired Baring Private Equity Asia last year to add scale in the region, Bloomberg reported.
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