US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a draft order that would grant approval to the $59bn tie-up of T-Mobile US and Sprint Corp.
"The evidence conclusively demonstrates that this transaction will bring fast 5G wireless service to many more Americans and help close the digital divide in rural areas," Ajit Pai said in a statement.
Morrison & Foerster is advising Softbank. Richards Layton and Finger, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Latham & Watkins, Hogan Lovells, DLA Piper, Allen & Overy, PJT Partners, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Evercore, Deutsche Bank are advising Deutsche Telekom. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett, Potter Anderson & Corroon, Morrison & Foerster, Goodwin Procter, The Raine Group, SMBC Nikko, Mizuho Securities, JP Morgan, Centerview Partners are advising Sprint.
Syncora Holdings, a Bermuda-domiciled holding company, sold Syncora Guarantee, an insurance company, to an entity organized by GoldenTree Asset Management for $392m.
Frederick Hnat, CEO and President of Syncora, remarked that “this agreement is the culmination of years of hard work and focus on our core strategies of risk reduction, asset monetization and enhancing value for our shareholders. We are very pleased with the terms of the agreement with Star Insurance, an entity organized by GoldenTree, one of the largest independent asset managers focused on credit, and believe that it helps accomplish our long-stated goal of optimizing shareholder value and returning capital to shareholders.”
Goldin Associates, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton and Sidley Austin are advising GoldenTree. Moelis & Co and Debevoise & Plimpton are advising Syncora.
Aterian Investment Partners, a private investment firm, acquired Bright International, the largest producer of hair bleach products in the United States for the industry's leading health & beauty and personal care brands. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Christopher H. Thomas, Co-Founder and Partner at Aterian, said, "As Bright's partner we look forward to bringing further innovation, capital and resources to the organization while maintaining the customer-centric approach and manufacturing expertise that made Bright the world-class operation it is today. The company will be a platform for further investments in the consumer, health & beauty and personal care industry."
GulfStar Group and Snell & Wilmer advised Bright. PwC and Kirkland & Ellis advised Aterian.
Private equity firm J.F. Lehman & Company acquired Lone Star Construction, a leading vertically-integrated provider of construction and demolition and municipal solid waste disposal and related environmental services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Lone Star represents an excellent addition to our portfolio of companies in the environmental services sector," said Glenn Shor, a Partner with JFLCO. "Lone Star's industry-leading reputation, vertically integrated service offering and strategically located asset base reflect core characteristics we seek in our investment portfolio. We are eager to continue Lone Star's history of excellence and look forward to supporting the continued growth of the business through organic development and complementary bolt-on acquisitions."
Stifel and Hunton Andrews Kurth advised Lone Star. Jones Day advised J.F. Lehman & Co. Monroe Capital provided debt financing.
Intact Financial, the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada, agreed to acquire The Guarantee Company of North America, a specialty lines insurer in Canada and the US, and Frank Cowan Company, a managing general agent focused on specialty insurance, for $753m in cash.
"The acquisition of The Guarantee Company of North America and Frank Cowan Company is strongly aligned with our strategic and financial objectives," said Charles Brindamour, Chief Executive Officer, Intact Financial Corporation. "We are delivering on our objectives to grow in Canada and build a leading North American specialty platform. I'm enthusiastic about what we will accomplish by leveraging the combined expertise of our teams and our expanded offering."
Reuters reported that an education group seeking to increase access to college textbooks and research materials asked the US government to block the proposed merger of textbook publishers McGraw-Hill Education and Cengage. The deal was announced in May 2019. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The proposed merger "will significantly decrease competition in a market already rife with anti-consumer behavior," the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition said in a filing with the Justice Department's Antitrust division.
REPAY, a leading provider of vertically-integrated payment solutions, acquired TriSource Solutions, which provides back-end transaction processing services to independent sales organizations, for $65m. The acquisition was financed with a combination of cash on hand and proceeds from borrowings under REPAY's existing credit facility.
"We are excited to join the REPAY team," said Deborah Brown, COO of TriSource Solutions. "We have partnered with REPAY for many years and believe they will help us to accelerate our processing business growth. We look forward to working alongside the REPAY team to drive long term growth at the combined company."
AskBio, the world's foremost clinical stage and gene therapy platform company, acquired Synpromics, the leader in gene control synthetic promoter technology, bioinformatics and intelligent data-driven design. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"By combining Synpromics's customized synthetic promoters with AskBio's capsids and Pro10™ manufacturing cell line, we have achieved technical leadership in each of the critical components for successful development of rAAV-based therapeutics," said Sheila Mikhail, CEO and co-founder of AskBio. "With the Synpromics acquisition, we have enhanced our collective ability to develop highly targeted and maximally expressed gene therapies. Today AskBio is better positioned to tackle larger pathway diseases, as we continue our efforts to bring curative therapies for rare disease to patients in need."
UPS, a global leader in logistics, acquires a minority stake in TuSimple, an autonomous driving company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are honored by UPS’s strategic investment and their vote of confidence in TuSimple, this proves their commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation,” Xiaodi Hou, TuSimple Founder, President & CTO.
Nexteligent Holdings, an aggregator of healthcare professional services and technology firms, acquired Revenue Maximization Group, a national provider of revenue cycle management solutions, for a combination of cash and stock. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome RMG's CEO, Stuart Miller, into the Nexteligent family. His talent as an industry leader and the suite of revenue cycle services that RMG brings to Nexteligent makes this transaction an important lever for accelerating business development and new product innovations," noted Nexteligent Chairman and CEO, Paul Cristiano. "With the addition of RMG, we achieve a major milestone toward fulfilling our vision to be the preeminent aggregator of specialized healthcare organizations with strong value propositions and established niche positions in their space."
Tufts Health Plan, a Massachusetts-based health insurance company, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a not-for-profit health services company based in the New England region, signed an agreement to merge. The new organization, yet to be named, will become one of the region’s largest nonprofit health services organizations, providing health coverage in all segments of the market regardless of a person’s age, income, life circumstance or health status. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Building upon our collective synergies and strengths – which includes being among the top-rated health plans in the country for quality – will unlock value that can be immediately reinvested in our members and the communities we have the privilege of serving,” said Greg Tranter, chair of the board for Tufts Health Plan. “I am excited about the future.”
Nuclear Networking, an area performance marketing agency, announced a merger deal with Stratex Digital Marketing, a Denver-based digital marketing agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Tyler Horsley, Founder, and CEO of Nuclear Networking stated: "We know one of our major competitive advantages in Digital Marketing is the superior level of qualified talent we employ and team within the market. Significant investment has been made to bring together the brightest minds under one roof. The merger with Stratex was another step in expanding Nuclear's competitive advantage while expanding our product offering without venturing too far from our core."
Data Facts, a nationwide provider of mortgage lending solutions and national and international background screening solutions, acquired Strategic Information Resources, a regional provider of credit information helping financial institutions evaluate loan applicants. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Data Facts' founder and CEO, Daphne Large, said. "We celebrate a new milestone today as the Data Facts family formally welcomes our highly regarded peer, SIR. Aligning with a firm that complements our approach provides an unparalleled depth of services to exceed client needs and expectations. Their team impresses me, with some of their team offering 20, 30, even 40 years of valuable industry experience. Every SIR and Data Facts employee, under the Data Facts umbrella, will be integral in pushing the boundaries of innovation and creating opportunities to increase client efficiencies."
SARORAS Private Capital lead a majority investment into InCrowd, a pioneer of real-time data market insights in the life sciences industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Diane and I are excited about the next phase of growth for InCrowd,” said Janet Kosloff, InCrowd CEO. “Our new investors have significant experience in building and growing businesses in our industry. We have great alignment of vision and strategy and look forward to working with them to build on the success we have had to date. Our team will thrive under their leadership, and our clients will continue to enjoy high-quality insights and service.”
Saama Technologies, the advanced clinical data and analytics company, acquired Comprehend Systems, which provides a suite of cloud applications and consulting services that dramatically improve the clinical trial process. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The Comprehend-Saama transaction creates a data analytics powerhouse with a singular vision of improving human health through the application of AI-powered solutions for actionable clinical trial insights,” said Rick Morrison, Founder and Chairman of Comprehend. “The combined 30-plus years of experience of these two companies as data analytics innovators provides exciting opportunities to speed biopharma’s development of new therapeutics and to have broader industry reach.”
Lodge Cast Iron acquired Portland-based Finex, a cast iron cookware manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We were not pursuing acquisitions but have been familiar with the Finex brand for years and the timing worked out perfectly as they were looking for a partner to invest in their continued growth,” Lodge President and CEO Mike Otterman said.
VMware in talks to acquire Pivotal for $4bn.
VMware, a leading provider of cloud computing and virtualization software and services, is in advanced talks to acquire Pivotal Software, a leading software developer and management tool, for $4bn according to a regulatory filing from Dell.
Dell Technologies is the controlling stockholder for both companies. Pivotal shares jumped 63% to $13.60, while shares of VMWare were down about 3% at $148.25 in extended trading.
Special board committees at both companies are negotiating an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Class A stock of Pivotal for cash at $15 a share. The offer price represents an 81% premium to Pivotal’s Wednesday close.
Koch Industries sold oil-sands properties to Paramount.
Koch Industries, an American multinational corporation based in Wichita, Kansas, sold its oil-sands assets to a unit of Paramount Resources, a Canadian petroleum company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The majority of Koch Oil Sands licenses have been transferred to Paramount Resources. All of the remaining licenses are for well sites and [they] have been abandoned, which means that they have been permanently sealed and taken out of service,” Alberta Energy Regulator spokesman Shawn Roth said.
Agri Tech Farms International obtained financing from an Asian wealth fund. (FS)
Agri Tech Farms International, a Vancouver-based early-stage life sciences company, received a commitment letter for up to $300m in investment through an undisclosed Asian wealth fund. The company is currently negotiating final terms of the financing with the Asian fund.
Pershing Square acquires a stake in Berkshire Hathaway. (FS)
Pershing Square, a leading hedge fund managed by Bill Ackman, acquires a stake in Berkshire Hathaway, thereby adding yet another activist investor to Warren Buffet's shareholder list.
Pershing’s stake in Berkshire was worth $688m based on its closing share price on Wednesday and represented roughly 0.25% of the outstanding class B common stock, FT reported.
The Pershing stake in Berkshire will be a passive investment and is unlikely to become aggressive. The stock purchase has made Pershing one of the 50 largest holders of class B Berkshire shares, alongside the California State Teachers Retirement System pension fund and asset manager Northern Trust Global Investments.
Lime to raise $500m in new funding round. (FS)
Electric scooter startup Lime is seeking to raise $500m in the next funding round, which is being led by SoftBank and is expecting investments from other backers.
Lime closed its last funding round with $310m, which valued the company at $2.4bn. The prominent backers of the funding round were GV, Andreessen Horowitz, and Bain Capital Partners.
Eaze to raise $75m. (FS)
Eaze, a California-based provider of cannabis home-delivery services, is aiming to rise from $50m to $75m in the upcoming funding round which would value the company at $400m.
The past investors of Eaze include Fresh VC, Winklevoss Capital, and Snoop Dogg.
Scoop raises $60m in series C funding. (FS)
Scoop, a San Francisco-based mobile carpooling service, raised $60m in the recent funding round which values the company at $250m.
The Series C funding round was led by Activate Capital and received participation from NGP Capital, BNP Paribas, and Total Ventures.
Landos Biopharma secures $60m in the recent funding round. (FS)
Landos Biopharma, a developer of treatments for patients with autoimmune diseases, raised $60m in the recent funding round led by RTW Investments and Perceptive Advisors.
The biotech company plans to use the funds in part to advance its lead drug candidate for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease to Phase II trials.
According to an FT report, German publishing group Axel Springer posted a 23% year on year decline in net earnings in the second quarter. The results will likely be among the last before the group is taken private with the help of US private equity fund KKR in a $7.6bn deal.
Mathias Döpfner, Springer chief executive, said in a statement: "We are focused on long-term growth. Therefore, even in a challenging economic environment, we invest in employees, brands, products and technology wherever we see potential for growth. The planned strategic partnership with KKR will give us additional freedom in this respect."
Allen & Company, Goldman Sachs, Lazard and Hengeler Mueller are advising Axel Springer. JP Morgan, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are advising KKR.
Osram Licht and AMS said that talks about a takeover of the German lighting group by the Austrian sensor maker were progressing. Earlier this week AMS offered to buy Osram for $4.8bn, outbidding the offer made by private equity firms Carlyle Group and Bain Capital.
"Osram and AMS have held constructive discussions on a business combination agreement and on other topics since Tuesday and will continue to do so," Osram said in a statement.
Lazard, Perella Weinberg Partners, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Gleiss Lutz are advising Osram. PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, UBS, Herbst Kinsky, Linklaters, Schellenberg Wittmer, and Brunswick Group are advising AMS. Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Macquarie Group, Kirkland & Ellis, Camarco and FTI are advising Bain and Carlyle.
Private equity firm NorthEdge Capital offered to acquire Catalis, a game testing company, for £90m ($108m). The price represents a premium of approximately 179.6% to the market capitalization of Catalis
Commenting on the Acquisition, Peter Biewald, Chairman of Catalis said: "Catalis has performed well and according to plan since its delisting from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2018, delivering organic growth, a publishing portfolio of increased depth and quality, and a strengthened Testronic business. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the employees of Catalis for all their hard work and support."
Zeus Capital, Squire Patton Boggs and Yellow Jersey are advising Catalis. GCA Altium and Eversheds are advising NorthEdge.
Graphite Capital, a leading UK mid-market private equity specialist, backed the MBO of Hanson Wade, the market-leading conference organizer and provider of information services, focused primarily on the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Hanson Wade CEO Tom Richardson said: ‘We have been impressed by Graphite’s track record of growing innovative businesses, its understanding of the industry and its partnership approach to working with management teams. Graphite shares our vision for the future and its expertise will be invaluable as we further expand the business internationally.’
Private equity firm Oakley Capital acquired a majority stake in Seven Miles, a leading consumer technology company in multi-brand gift cards, for £25m ($30m).
Peter Dubens, Managing Partner of Oakley Capital, commented: "We are delighted to be partnering with Tom and Valentin. Seven Miles exhibits many of the characteristics Oakley looks for in a deal - a founder-led, high growth business with a leading position in its niche market, and we look forward to the opportunity we have to build and develop the digital platform together."
Liberum Capital, Kirkland & Ellis and Greenbrook advised Oakley Capital.
SoftBank Vision Fund invested $110m in Energy Vault, the creator of renewable energy storage products. As part of the investment, Andreas Hansson, Partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers, will join the Energy Vault board of directors.
“Energy Vault solves a long-standing and complex problem of how to store renewable energy at scale,” said Akshay Naheta, Managing Partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers. “The company’s integration of proven technologies with 21st century material science and machine vision software provides a solution that reshapes the unit economics of renewable energy while being restorative to the environment. Energy Vault is highly complementary to SoftBank’s existing energy portfolio and we are pleased to further the company’s global development.”
Israel's social-economic cabinet approved the sale of UAV developer and manufacturer Aeronautics to government-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israeli businessman Avihai Stolero for $232m. The cabinet approval follows the agreement of the Government Companies Authority to the deal after checking out the details of the merger.
Following the acquisition, Aeronautics will delist from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Prior to the acquisition, Aeronautics was controlled by the KCPS, Beresheet, and Viola funds.
Small business management startup VCita agreed to acquire Wisestamp, an email signature company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With all the new means of communication in recent years, email is still the most meaningful tool for small businesses, and mail signatures still offer a great space for business promotion,” vCita co-founder and CEO Itzik Levy said.
Boylesports looking to buy more betting shop chains.
Boylesports, Ireland's largest independent bookmaker, is looking to buy more betting shop chains in Ireland and the UK. The Dundalk-based bookmaker recently agreed to snap up the final five Galway-based betting shops owned by local company Mulholland Bookmakers.
David Montgomery to acquire struggling newspapers.
Fleet Street veteran David Montgomery is set to reveal a new listed vehicle which will be used to target struggling newspaper publishers in a takeover spree. The company will be called National World and will debut on the stock market via the reverse takeover of an existing private company by a cash shell.
The Moscow Times reported that Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service proposed the privatization of budget airline Pobeda, part of the national air carrier Aeroflot Group.
The agency argues that Pobeda is cutting its domestic flights to avoid cannibalizing the flights of its group peers Aeroflot and Rossiya. At the same time, the presence of Pobeda on routes brings the price down for other carriers as well, as the prices of the budget operator are on average 10% lower, the watchdog estimates.
Government of Angola sells stakes in 195 companies.
The government of Angola announced a plan to sell 195 companies by 2022. The program states that 175 companies will be sold by public tender, 11 by public auction and 9 by IPO, with the government expected to launch public tenders this year for 80 companies and one IPO.
Among the most emblematic companies involved in this process are Angola's National Fuel Society, Angola's National Diamond Prospecting, Exploration, Lapping and Trading Company and Angola Air Transport.
Getin Noble Bank drops recapitalization plan. (FS)
Getin Noble Bank, a Polish banking and financial services company, announced that it abandoned its plans to recapitalize the company with the help of a financial investor. The bank said that its negotiations with several private equity firms were not successful.
VinaCapital invested in An Vui, a leading technology start-up that aims to make Vietnam’s ground passenger transport system more efficient. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Khanh Tran, Partner at VinaCapital Ventures, said, “Helping companies working to transform Vietnam’s logistics sector has been one of our key investment themes since we launched in 2018. The inefficiencies and lack of transparency in large parts of the sector play a key role in contributing to some of the highest logistics costs in the region. Many of these businesses are fairly small and family-owned, and solutions like those offered by An Vui can help them compete and optimize existing resources.”
Accenture, a leading global professional services company, agreed to acquire Australia-based Analytics8, a privately held big data and analytics consultancy that specializes in data management, reporting and visualization, data science and analytics services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Athina Kanioura, Accenture’s chief analytics officer and global applied intelligence lead, said, “Having the right talent is a critically important aspect of how we deliver value to clients. The Analytics8 team’s deep technical expertise and experience advising clients across a range of industries will complement our own — bolstering our growing Applied Intelligence business, particularly in the Australian market, and creating new opportunities to help clients accelerate their digital transformations.”
Shanghai and London-based private equity firm Jade Invest sold its stake in Latt Liv, a Chinese lifestyle retailer, to JD, a Chinese e-commerce company headquartered in Beijing. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are very pleased to add such a strong strategic partner to Lätt Liv’s shareholder base. This adds a further boost to an already fast-growing business, both in terms of online sales potential and overall branding,” Jade Invest managing partner Ludvig Nilsson said.
Cynata in negotiations with Sumitomo and Fujifilm.
Cynata, an Australian stem cell and regenerative medicine company, provided an update on its negotiations with Sumitomo and Fujifilm. The company confirmed that Sumitomo and Fujifilm offered to buy it for A$2 ($1.35) per share in cash. Final terms of the proposal are still being finalized.
Jefferies and Clarendon are advising Cynata.
Indiabulls Real Estate announced asset divestments.
Indiabulls Real Estate, one of the largest real estate companies in India, announced that it intends to divest several commercial real estate assets to cut its debt. The asset sale is expected to bring $644m to the company.
Temasek to sell Intouch stake for $506m.
Singapore’s state investment arm Temasek Holdings has launched an overnight block trade for THD15.6bn ($506m) or 8.02% of its stake in Thai-based InTouch Holdings (formerly known as Shin Corp), owned via Aspen Holdings and Anderton Investments.
InTouch Holdings owns 40.45% of Thai operator Advanced Info Service and satellite operator Thaicom.
SSG Capital to close new fund at $1.5bn+ valuation. (FS)
SSG Capital, a leading alternative asset management firm specializing in credit and special situations investing in the Asia Pacific Region, is set to to close its fifth flagship fund at an excess of $1.5bn. The closure is expected to be by the end of this quarter.
Connect the World of Dealmakers
Expand your network of fellow Dealmakers by inviting your colleagues and coworkers.