British Columbia Investment, an institutional investor, agreed to invest in Authority Brands, a residential services franchising platform in North America. Apax Partners will retain majority ownership. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are proud to have partnered with the Authority Brands team to help build, both organically and through strategic acquisitions, a leading residential services franchising platform. We continue to see significant room for growth by Authority Brands and are pleased to join with BCI and members of the leadership team in the next phase of the company's journey as they extend their platform through M&A, and strategic initiatives including franchise development, technology transformation and international expansion," Ashish Karandikar, Apax Partner.
Apax Partners is advised by Boxwood Partners, Ernst & Young, Harris Williams & Co, Moelis & Co, William Blair & Co, DLA Piper, Kirkland & Ellis, Lathrop GPM, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Ernst & Young.
Sesen Bio, a late-stage clinical company, agreed to merge with Carisma Therapeutics, a developer of gene-modified macrophage cell therapies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This transaction represents the result of a thoughtful and careful review of strategic alternatives over the past four months, during which Carisma’s clinical programs, management team, and corporate strategy stood out amongst the 42 bids reviewed. Carisma is an exciting clinical-stage company with groundbreaking science and an impressive management team, which we believe makes them the optimal partner to provide value for our shareholders. Our mission at Sesen Bio has always been to save and improve the lives of patients with cancer, and we believe Carisma has the science and the unwavering patient focus required to make that mission a reality," Thomas Cannell, Sesen Bio President and CEO.
Sesen Bio is advised by SVB Securities and Hogan Lovells. Carisma is advised by Bank of America, Evercore, WilmerHale and Real Chemistry. Financial advisors are advised by Shearman & Sterling.
Oxford Industries, an apparel manufacturing company, completed the acquisition of Johnny Was, an operator of a fashion brand intended to serve women, from Endeavour Capital, a private equity firm, for $270m.
"We are delighted to be joining Oxford and their amazing portfolio of lifestyle brands. We believe Oxford is the perfect home for Johnny Was as our missions are aligned and they have a proven track record of successfully partnering with brand leadership to optimize investment, performance, and long term brand management to fuel growth. I am incredibly grateful to the dedicated team of people at Johnny Was for helping the brand achieve incredible milestones and look forward to our continued success together as we work with Oxford going forward," Rob Trauber, Johnny Was CEO.
Oxford Industries was advised by Kilpatrick Townsend, King & Spalding and Smith Gambrell & Russell. Johnny Was was advised by Raymond James (led by Lee Helman) and Buchalter.
Southern Missouri Bancorp, a provider of banking services, agreed to acquire Citizens Bancshares, an operator of a commercial bank, for $140m.
"Southern Missouri Bancorp is very pleased to announce this partnership with Citizens. Citizens' franchise covers excellent communities, including the Kansas City metropolitan area. They have developed a strong deposit base and have a long history of serving their customers, which will be a great addition to our continued growth. Additionally, a presence in Kansas City helps transform Southern Missouri into a more significant statewide player in Missouri as we continue to build long-term shareholder value," Greg Steffens, Southern Missouri Chairman and CEO.
Southern Missouri is advised by Piper Sandler and Silver Freedman Taff & Tiernan. Citizens Bancshares is advised by D.A. Davidson & Co and Stinson.
Littlejohn & Co, a private equity firm, completed the investment in The Hiller Companies, a provider of fire and life safety services. Pon Holdings continues to be a large investor in the business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Littlejohn has a demonstrated track record of scaling businesses in the facility services sector, and I am excited to partner with them as we seek to expand our capabilities while continuing to deliver for our customers. We look forward to leveraging the firm's resources to accelerate our growth trajectory and execute on the meaningful organic and inorganic growth initiatives available to our company," Jeff Birch, The Hiller Companies CEO.
Littlejohn & Co was advised by Gasthalter & Co (led by Nathaniel Garnick). Hiller was advised by Robert W Baird. Pon was advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell (led by Michael Davis) and Morgan Lewis & Bockius (led by Sameer Mohan).
Vector Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to invest $100m in Malwarebytes, an operator of a network security platform.
“Vector Capital’s investment is a testament to the transformational work our team has done to evolve our best-in-class endpoint protection to comprehensive offerings for both individuals and organizations, while driving profitable growth. Importantly, Vector Capital shares our mission to protect those most vulnerable to cyberattacks through cutting-edge technologies and the power of community. We believe Vector Capital’s collaborative approach and proven ability to help build global software businesses make them ideal partners in our ongoing efforts to build a safer digital world," Marcin Kleczynski, Malwarebytes Co-Founder and CEO.
Malwarebytes is advised by Jefferies & Company and Fenwick & West. Vector Capital is advised by Paul Hastings.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment, an operator of a sports and entertainment company, and Comcast, a global media and technology company, completed the acquisition of the remaining 67% stake in NBC Sports Washington, a local television rightsholder, from NBCUniversal, an owner of entertainment television network. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We at Monumental Sports & Entertainment are incredibly excited to have reached an agreement to acquire NBC Sports Washington, an important business for our current and future core business operations. Comcast NBCUniversal has built a strong regional sports network in NBC Sports Washington. We look forward to further enhancing and innovating on the already best-in-class experience that our fanbase enjoys of watching live sports, for years to come," Zach Leonsis, MSE President of Media & New Enterprises.
BV Investment-backed StraighterLine, an education technology company, agreed to acquire ChildCare Education Institute, a provider of online training and certificates, child care registry development, and administrative services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As the pace of change in the labor market continues to accelerate, employers in fast-growing fields – from early childhood education to healthcare – are in search of new approaches to talent development that bridge the gap between learning and work. This acquisition is about helping to further the promise of flexible, affordable education to both meet the needs of employers and help more people chart a path to rewarding careers," Heather Combs, StraighterLine CEO.
StraighterLine is advised by District Capital Partners and Ropes & Gray. CCEI is advised by Tyton Partners.
Clover, a developer of a dating application designed to help users find a dating partner, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with FoxWayne Enterprises Acquisition in a $157m deal.
"We are deeply committed to advancing Clover's exciting live streaming platform. This transaction is expected to accelerate the development of our lead offerings for over 9m and growing users," Isaac Raichyk, Clover CEO.
Clover is advised by JP Galda & Co. FoxWayne Enterprises is advised by Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton.
Dwyer Workforce Development, a nonprofit workforce development program, agreed to acquire the nursing facilities portfolio from Regency, an operator of skilled nursing facilities, for $590m.
"Most people can't say that they are truly doing what they feel they were born to do. I have always been passionate about helping people and serving the underserved; not only by giving them a voice, but also helping them reach their full potential. I am thrilled to lead this innovative not-for-profit and work with Jack Dwyer to transform lives. This partnership demonstrates the impact we can make on the lives of others and on the healthcare community by working together on a shared mission. This is just the beginning of many partnerships across the country that will make a monumental impact," Barb Clapp, Dwyer Workforce Development CEO.
CrowdStrike, a provider of cloud-delivered protection of endpoints, cloud workloads, identity and data services, agreed to acquire Reposify, a provider of an external attack surface management platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Combined with CrowdStrike's industry-leading threat intelligence and ITSecOps offerings, this acquisition will provide customers an adversarial view of their external-facing risk and vulnerabilities so they can be more proactive in managing their security posture and more resilient to attacks," George Kurtz, CrowdStrike Co-Founder and CEO.
CrowdStrike is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell (led by Emily Roberts).
NexPhase Capital-backed KnowFully Learning, an end-to-end professional education platform, agreed to acquire EMT & Fire Training, a national provider of high-quality emergency medical services and firefighting educational programs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"EMT & Fire Training, together with IA MED, positions KnowFully as a leading provider of quality training for emergency medical professionals – both in flight and on the ground – seeking to gain and maintain a variety of certifications. Both brands are committed to delivering best-in-class instruction in a flexible and accessible way and supporting learners' continued success in the field, which aligns perfectly with our overall healthcare education mission," Amy Burmeister, Knowfully Executive Vice President.
International Holding Company, a full services management and investment firm, offered to acquire a 31.25% stake in Nutresa, a food-processing conglomerate, for $2.15bn. IHC said it has filed a request to tender for 25% to 31.25% of the firm at $15 per share.
IHC, whose market capitalization has rocketed to $170bn within a matter of months, is controlled by the Royal Group -- a conglomerate that had backed Gilinski’s bid for Nutresa and lists Sheikh Tahnoon as its chairman.
Spreetail, an operator of online retail and e-commerce firm, agreed to acquire Buy Box Experts, a provider of marketing agency services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“More than ever, brands are challenged with efficiently getting products from manufacturing to customer’s doors. As eCommerce continues to change and consumer demands shift, we are committed to ensuring we’re providing value to our brand partners through our team's extensive capabilities. We’re excited to bring Buy Box Experts on to continue to build upon that value with their deep knowledge and experience on Amazon and suite of performance marketing services," Brett Thome, Spreetail Global CEO.
WPP-backed Hill+Knowlton, a global communications company, agreed to acquire JeffreyGroup, a communications agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The success of JeffreyGroup over the past 30 years in Latin America has been due in large part to our ability to evolve and adapt in a dynamic region of the world with diverse conditions, customs, and cultures. Joining forces with WPP and Hill+Knowlton is an exciting step forward in this evolution and opens up a world of resources for our clients and opportunities for our hundreds of employees," Jeffrey Sharlach, JeffreyGroup Founder and Chairman.
SmartStop Self Storage-backed Strategic Storage Trust, a publicly registered real estate investment trust, completed the acquisition of 890-unit self storage facility in Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We’re excited about this strategic acquisition that will expand our presence in the Greater Toronto Area and provide top-of-the-line storage solutions to Burlington’s growing residential population. Our strong competitive positioning and unique operational capabilities in this highly attractive market will continue to drive stockholder value," H. Michael Schwartz, SST VI CEO and President.
Genstar Capital mulls $6bn exit of Prometheus. (FS)
Private equity firm Genstar Capital is considering strategic options for software maker Prometheus Group that could include a sale.
Genstar has held talks with potential advisers over exploring a sales process that could value Raleigh, North Carolina-based Prometheus at about $6bn, Bloomberg reported.
Prometheus, which makes plant maintenance operations and optimization software, is likely to attract interest from potential corporate buyers. A final decision hasn’t been made, and Genstar could still decide to keep the business.
Unipro has book value of up to $2.2bn.
Unipro, the Russian utility that majority owner Uniper is seeking to sell, still has a book value of between $1.7-2.2bn, Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach said.
This is much higher than Unipro's current market value, which is at $1.37bn, Reuters reported.
Uniper, which on Friday struck an amended nationalisation deal with the German government, earlier this year took impairment charges on Unipro, in which it owns a 83.7% stake.
Exxon boosts Guyana oil output, undecided on future auction bid.
Exxon Mobil is uncertain whether it will bid for new offshore areas Guyana wants to explore, as the oil major ramps up production faster than expected and the South American country wrestles with fixing terms of new oil leases.
An Exxon-led consortium discovered oil in the deep waters off Guyana's coast, launched its first production in 2019, and now controls all output in the tiny nation. Those finds have turned Guyana into an emerging oil power with an estimated 11bn barrels of recoverable oil discovered so far, Reutersreported.
But Guyana, which lacks the financial power to develop its natural resources by itself, has struggled to decide how to distribute oil properties outside of Exxon's blocks. It has postponed a possible auction initially targeted for this month to late this year.
Wall Street Banks are set to lose about $600m on Citrix debt. (FS)
Wall Street banks are poised to realize roughly $600m of losses after offloading financing commitments for the buyout of Citrix Systems to investors, the culmination of months of work to try and mitigate the damage from underwriting pledges made early in the year before a sharp repricing of risk assets.
While a group of underwriters led by Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs ultimately found enough demand to sell $8.55bn of the total $15bn debt package via the bond and loan markets, investors required significantly higher yields than those the banks promised to private equity firms Vista Equity and Elliott Investment Management back in January, forcing the banks to absorb the losses, Bloomberg reported.
The damage could have been even worse had they tried to sell the entire financing package to money managers, with losses likely exceeding $1bn in such a scenario. Yet that means banks are also keeping a significant portion of the risk on their balance sheets for what’s likely to be an extended period.
Chamath Palihapitiya shutters two SPACs as deal hunt fails. (FS)
“SPAC King” Chamath Palihapitiya is winding down two blank check firms after a hunt to find targets to take public came up empty as the industry fizzles.
Social Capital Hedosophia VI, his largest ever special purpose acquisition company, which raised $1.15bn, and Social Capital IV, which pulled in $460m from investors, will be shut down and give cash back to investors. Last month, the two SPACs launched by Palihapitiya said they needed to push back the October deadlines they had set to make acquisitions, Bloombergreported.
Share prices for companies he took public in earlier deals like space-tourism venture Virgin Galactic and personal-finance app SoFi Technologies, are down more than 60%, causing big losses for his followers. With that track record, it wasn’t clear investors would support his deals, making his SPACs less attractive to startups they might try to acquire. SPAC investors have been pulling money out of nearly all deals lately, making it difficult to complete mergers.
Clearlake Capital closes Clearlake Opportunities Partners III with over $2.5bn in capital commitments. (FS)
Clearlake Capital Group, an investment firm founded in 2006 and operating integrated businesses across private equity, credit, and other related strategies, has completed fundraising for Clearlake Opportunities Partners III with more than $2.5bnin capital commitments.
COP III was oversubscribed and exceeded its $1.5bn target with support from existing and new limited partners.
COP III will continue Clearlake’s flexible investment strategy of investing in non-control special situations investments, utilizing the Firm’s sector-focused approach targeting investments in technology, industrial, and consumer businesses.
TA announces $1.1bn close of fifth debt fund. (FS)
TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, announced the completion of its fundraising for TA Debt Fund V with total commitments of more than $1.1bn. Launched in 2022, TA Debt Fund V quickly exceeded its initial target of $600m, and is significantly larger than its predecessor fund, TA Subordinated Debt Fund IV, which closed at $542m.
“TA Debt Fund V is an exciting milestone in the continued evolution of our debt investing strategy. TA’s proven industry expertise, deep understanding of market trends, and highly experienced Capital Markets Group are integral to our continued success with this strategy going forward. We are enormously grateful for our investors’ continued confidence in the team and our ability to deliver value to our partners and portfolio companies," Ajit Nedungadi, TA Associates CEO.
TA Debt Fund V will continue the legacy of its predecessor funds with the increased flexibility to invest in the most attractive credits of both new and existing TA portfolio companies. The Fund’s broader mandate offers an expanded opportunity set to include senior secured debt while also continuing to invest in more traditional TA subordinated debt investments. The Fund will have exposure across the debt capital structure, with the option to invest across multiple tranches of credit in the same company. TA Debt Fund V’s strategy, while designed for flexibility, is informed by TA’s disciplined due diligence and decision-making process, and benefits from proprietary access to high-quality portfolio companies across TA’s five target sectors – technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and business services.
Union Capital Associates closes $309m Fund III. (FS)
Union Capital Associates, a lower middle-market private investment firm, has closed its newest fund, Union Capital Equity Partners III, oversubscribed at its hard cap of $309m.
As with its predecessor, Fund III will invest in US founder-owned businesses where Union Capital is typically the first institutional investor. Union Capital has a long history of successfully partnering with business owners, entrepreneurs, and management teams. The firm’s Managing Partners have worked together for more than 15 years and are supported by several of the firm’s former portfolio company CEOs, who provide operations expertise to assist management teams as well as provide deep industry knowledge in the areas of Union Capital’s focus: food manufacturing, business process outsourcing, franchised restaurants, and specialty manufacturing.
Fund III received strong support from a globally diverse group of investors, including endowments, foundations, pension funds, financial institutions, and family offices.
Goldman Sachs energy pipeline banker Michael Casey leaving firm. (People)
Michael Casey, an energy pipeline banker at Goldman Sachs Group, is leaving the firm. Casey has been a managing director and head of midstream at the New York-based bank. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2017 after more than 18 years at Citigroup, Bloombergreported.
Goldman Sachs has been an active adviser to pipeline companies, which have been busy consolidating in recent years as oil and gas infrastructure players pair up to cut costs and add scale. In June, the firm advised Lucid Energy on its $3.6bn sale to Targa Resources.
WSP Global, a Canadian company with American and British roots, providing management and consultancy services to the built and natural environment, completed the acquisition of environment consulting division of Jonathan Wood Group, a British energy services provider, for $1.9bn.
“The addition of the Built Environment Consulting business will allow us to expand our Earth and Environment leadership across our key markets and geographies. We share a common purpose of making the world a better place and our united forces will only further our expertise to create a more sustainable and resilient world," Alexandre L’Heureux, WSP President and CEO.
Investindustrial, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a 52% stake in Eataly, an operator of an e-commerce platform providing food products and beverages, for €200m.
"This partnership will allow us to strengthen our unique format worldwide, promote innovative projects related to innovation and enhance our capabilities. We are happy to take this new path together with such a reputable partner as Investindustrial, who shares Eataly's values and vision, and has chosen to support us in achieving our goal to be the Italian ambassador for "Made in Italy" around the world. The know-how and resources that Investindustrial will bring to the Eataly model represent an extraordinary lever to look to the future with greater confidence and momentum, strengthened by our history and in continuity with the results achieved to date thanks to the work of all of Eataly's global team members," Nicola Farinetti, Eataly CEO.
Eataly is advised by Danow McMullan & Panoff, Fivelex, Olshan Frome Wolosky, Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, Brunswick Group (led by Alessandro Iozzia), Rubenstein Associates (led by Chris Giglio) and Studio Biscozzi Nobili. Investindustrial is advised by Deloitte, Boston Consulting Group, Willis Towers Watson, Ramboll, UniCredit, Chiomenti, Kirkland & Ellis, Edelman and Maitland.
Gilead Sciences, an American biopharmaceutical company, completed the acquisition of MiroBio, a biotechnology company focused on restoring immune balance with agonists targeting immune inhibitory receptors, from Monograph, a fund manager for $405m.
"We are excited to be joining Gilead. MiroBio has a deep understanding of checkpoint receptor signaling and a proprietary approach to select and generate superior agonist antibodies. Combining this with Gilead's drug development and therapeutic area expertise will allow us to fully explore the potential of checkpoint agonist antibodies for patients with autoimmune disease," Eliot Charles, MiroBio Chairman.
Gilead Sciences was advised by Cowen & Company, Davis Polk & Wardwell (led by Paul S. Scrivano, Will Pearceand Cheryl Chan), Mayer Brown and Mishcon de Reya. MiroBio was advised by Centerview Partners (led byE. Eric Tokat), Goodwin Procter, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Ten Bridge Communications.
Schneider Electric, a manufacturer of electrical power products, agreed to acquire the remaining 40% stake in AVEVA, a British software company, for $4.73bn.
"By taking 100% ownership of AVEVA, we will be able to grow the business faster by simplifying decision-making, enabling seamless interactions between teams, accelerating our investments in R&D and enabling a more coordinated sales strategy, while respecting the companies' particular strengths, and accelerating the transition to a subscription business model under private ownership," Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric CEO.
Ares Management is considering financing US entrepreneur John Textor’s proposed offer for Olympique Lyonnais, the French Ligue 1 football team.
The alternative asset manager is in talks about potentially backing Textor’s bid for the French club’s owner Olympique Lyonnais. Textor has been seeking additional capital after US investor Bill Foley indicated he might significantly scale back his funding commitment to the deal, Bloombergreported.
Olympique Lyonnais is advsied by Ernst & Young, and Gide Loyrette Nouel. Eagle Football Holdings is advised by DLA Piper. Holners is advsied by Delsol Avocats. Pathe is advsied by Allen & Overy. IDG Capital is advsied by The Raine Group, and Allen & Overy (led by Marc Castagnede, and Frederic Moreau).
French utility Suez is poised to buy back its former UK waste-treatment business from Veolia Environnement for about $2.3bn, trumping Macquarie Group's agreement to purchase the unit, Bloomberg reported.
Suez got the green light from its owners, which include Global Infrastructure Partners and Meridiam, to use its preemption rights to acquire the British assets, matching the offer made last month by the Australian financial firm Macquarie.
Harris Family agreed to acquire Butlin's, an operator of seaside resorts across the United Kingdom, from Blackstone-backed Bourne Leisure, a provider of holidays and holiday home ownership, for £300m.
"Staying true to our high-conviction investment approach, we believe we are well positioned to drive the continued success of both the Haven and Warner businesses. Proceeds from the Butlin's sale will enable us to continue delivering our ambitious investment programmes across both brands, supporting upgrades to the existing estates and adding new sites to the portfolio, to the benefit of millions of customers," Lionel Assant, Blackstone European Head of Private Equity.
Bourne Leisure is advised by Rothschild & Co, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (led by Geoffrey Bailhache) and Portland Communications.
Intermediate Capital Group, an asset management and private equity firm, completed a $240m investment in ZEPLUG, a provider of electric vehicle charging services.
"The transaction will strengthen ZEPLUG's position in France while providing us with the financial means to fuel our growth in the US and expand our presence in other parts of Europe. It will also enable us to grow our Tech platform, with additional features for smart charging, energy optimisation and streamlining of the overall infrastructure cost at a global scale," Frederic Renaudeau, Nicolas Banchet and Gilles Gomis, ZEPLUG Founder & President, CEO and Deputy-CEO.
ICG was advised by Euros / Agency. ZEPLUG was advised by Credit Suisse and Latham & Watkins (led by Mike Turner).
Veranex, a provider of tech-enabled services, completed the acquisition of Medidee, a provider of clinical compliance services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our acquisition of Medidee significantly expands our European footprint while also materially expanding the scale and scope of the clinical studies we can manage. The combined organization offers offices and expertise across Europe, the US, and Asia, augmenting our ability to help MedTech innovators achieve FDA and CE Mark approvals and uninterrupted market access for new as well as proven medical technologies that advance patient care," David Dockhorn, Veranex CEO.
Veranex was advised by SCORR Marketing. Medidee was advised by Raymond James.
Federal Republic of Germany agreed to acquire Uniper, a Germany-based energy generation and energy trading company, from Fortum, an energy company focusing on production of electricity, district heating, district cooling and electricity sales, for $8bn.
“Today's agreement provides clarity on the ownership structure, allows us to continue our business and to fulfil our role as a system-critical energy supplier. This secures the energy supply for companies, municipal utilities, and consumers. The amendment of the stabilization package announced in July was necessary against the backdrop of the further intensification of the energy crisis. At Uniper, we are aware of our responsibility for Germany and Europe. We are committed to overcoming this crisis and restructuring the energy supply in this country," Klaus-Dieter Maubach, Uniper CEO.
Qatar Investment Authority, a private equity firm, led a $250m Series D round in Innovafeed, a privder of of insects for animal and plant nutrition, with participation from Creadev, Temasek, ADM, Cargill, Future French Champions, ABC Impact, IDIA Capital Investissement and Grow Forward.
"The confidence demonstrated in us by our partners through a new round of fundraising confirms the insect industry is a key solution for our planet’s food production needs. Their support will allow us to accelerate our deployment in service of an ever healthier, natural and sustainable food system," Clément Ray, Innovafeed Co-founder & CEO.
Lendlease, a property developer, agreed to acquire 21 Moorfields, a premium 568 sq ft London office, from Landsec, a commercial property development and investment company, for £809m ($923m).
"21 Moorfields is a fantastic example of Landsec’s development expertise in delivering a high-quality project at one of the most complex construction sites in London. We are particularly proud to have achieved a number of engineering firsts associated with the development of such a significant building which sits directly above both Moorgate Underground Station and the new Crossrail line to Liverpool Street," Marcus Geddes, Landsec Managing Director.
UK's Sainsbury is in talks to sell stores. (RE)
British supermarket group Sainsbury's is in talks to sell 18 stores in southern England to property investor LXi REIT for about $568m, Reutersreported.
LXi REIT said it would seek to fund the deal through a mix of new equity and debt. It said it would discuss with potential investors the possibility of an equity raising.
Sainsbury's, Britain's second largest grocer after Tesco, also said it had reached an agreement on the price it will pay to buy 21 stores from the Highbury and Dragon investment vehicles. It did not disclose the price but said the deal would complete in the first half of its fiscal year to March 2024.
French tycoon's Vodafone stake adds to pressure on management.
Xavier Niel's move on Vodafone may add to pressure on the British telecom group's management to deliver on its promises after the French billionaire acquired a 2.5% stake in the company.
Vodafone's boss Nick Read has been under pressure to test Europe's appetite for telecom takeovers after saying he believed competition regulators had eased their opposition to such deals, Reutersreported.
The CEO created expectations by saying his group was pursuing mergers with rivals in multiple European markets, prospects that have not yet materialised.
UAE’s Adnoc considers bid for oil trader Gunvor.
Abu Dhabi National Oil is considering a deal to buy all or part of commodity trading house Gunvor Group, in what would be one of the industry’s biggest deals in years.
The United Arab Emirates’s biggest oil producer has held early-stage talks about a deal that would combine Gunvor with the Middle Eastern company’s own trading arm. Any deal could still take months to put together, and the two companies may ultimately decide not to pursue any transaction, Bloombergreported.
Gunvor, which is controlled by CEO Torbjorn Tornqvist, is one of a handful of mostly privately-held companies that dominate the trade in physical commodities, making them crucial players in a world struggling with runaway inflation.
Glennmont Partners launches a new renewable energy infrastructure fund. (FS)
Fund manager Glennmont Partners had launched a new renewable energy infrastructure fund to invest in brownfield clean energy projects across Europe.
Glennmont Partners was acquired last year by Nuveen, which manages $1.1tn in assets on behalf of institutions and individuals around the world, Reutersreported.
The new fund, called Nuveen European Core Renewable Infrastructure, is in partnership with MN, one of the largest pension investors in the Netherlands.
Viva Energy, an Australian energy company, agreed to acquire Coles Express, a fuel and convenience network in Australia, for $300m.
"This is an exciting step for Viva Energy that will enable us to further extend our network, invest in new and innovative convenience offers across our stores, and enhance our loyalty and digital programs to simplify the way our customers transact with us," Scott Wyatt, Viva Energy CEO.
IDP, a provider of student placement services, agreed to acquire Intake Education, an international education organisation. The agreement is expected to be completed in November. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Intake’s geographic footprint complements IDP’s global network. In some markets such as the Philippines and Thailand, IDP and Intake are the two clear market leaders, whereas in other areas, such as West Africa and Taiwan, IDP can learn from Intake’s market presence,” Murray Walton, IDP Interim CEO.
Amara Capital, a fund management company, completed the investment in Thalias Hospitality Group, a restaurant and hotel group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We have a high conviction in the growth in demand for high-end cuisine in Cambodia along with the economic growth of the nation and post-Covid tourism recovery. Thalias has been and will be the choice for the growing high-end segment,” Taihei Yamada, Amara Capital Chairman.
CVC Capital to sell its 25% stake in toll road arm of Road King. (FS)
CVC Capital Partners a private equity firm, decided to sell its 25% stake in the toll road arm of China’s Road King Infrastructure, an investment holding company, as part of a deal that aims to value the unit at up to $3bn, DealStreetAsiareported.
The private equity firm’s exit from Road King Expressway International Holdings will come alongside a partial sale by the Chinese parent of its 75% stake. RKE operates five expressways in China and three in Indonesia.
Macquarie is nearing Philippine-based towers deal with Globe Telecom.
An arm of Macquarie Group is in advanced talks to buy a portfolio of about 1.35k phone towers from Globe Telecom, a provider of integrated telecommunication services. Bloomberg reported that the telecommunications firm and the Australian financial giant are in the final stages of hammering out a deal that could be worth about $400m.
Macquarie is poised to buy the assets after outbidding other rivals, including local players and global funds. Negotiations are ongoing and could still fall apart.
Globe, which counts Singapore Telecommunications and Filipino conglomerate Ayala among its largest shareholders, said in August that it was in advanced talks with another tower company for the sale and leaseback of an additional portfolio of about 1.35k towers in Visayas and Mindanao, and expected to conclude negotiations in the third quarter.
Insurer giant AIA in talks to buy Philippine firm MediCard.
AIA Group is in advanced talks to acquire MediCard Philippines, as the insurance giant seeks to boost its presence in Southeast Asia.
AIA and MediCard are finalizing the details of a transaction and could reach an agreement in the coming weeks after the Hong Kong-based insurance company outbid other insurers and investment funds. A deal could value the Philippine company at more than $350m, Bloombergreported.
The closely held healthcare company has been working with a financial adviser on the potential sale that could value the business at $300m to $400m.
McLeod Russel India gets $157m takeover bid.
Debt-laden McLeod Russel India, one of the country’s largest tea producers, has received a $157m takeover offer after an electrode-paste maker picked up about a 5% stake even as its lenders try to hammer out a debt-resolution plan.
In the letter of intent sent to creditors handling McLeod Russel’s insolvency proceedings, the potential acquirer Carbon Resources offered to pay off the tea-grower’s lenders, Bloombergreported.
"The stake that we have picked up now is only to show an intent that we are interested in the company. As per our offer, secured lenders will be paid in full along with interest, while unsecured lenders will be paid 55% of their dues," Abinav Jalan, Carbon Resources director.
HDFC Bank signs a multi-year deal with Refinitiv.
HDFC Bank, a banking and financial services provider, signed a multi-year data and technology agreement with Refinitiv, a provider of financial markets data and infrastructure, as the Mumbai-based lender looks to reach more customers and cut costs.
HDFC Bank will get comprehensive access to Refinitiv's data and products under the agreement, enabling cost savings across several bank divisions, the companies said in a joint statement, Reutersreported.
HDFC Bank will also access Refinitiv Workspace, which provides access to tools including real-time market data, news, and fundamentals data. The lender will use Workspace to provide data analysis to its treasury customers.
Singapore’s SATS confirms talks to buy Cerberus-backed WFS. (FS)
Catering and gateway services provider Sats is in talks to acquire air cargo handler Worldwide Flight Services, the company confirmed Wednesday.
The Singapore-listed company has sounded out financing for the potential purchase. An announcement could come as soon as in the coming weeks should the parties reach an agreement, Bloombergreported.
Rakuten will pick Goldman, Daiwa for banking unit IPO.
Rakuten Group has selected Goldman Sachs and Daiwa Securities as lead managers for its banking unit’s initial public offering as the online retailer tries to counter the growing pursues of fintech development for Harm.
Rakuten is preparing to list its banking entity in an IPO in early December with a valuation of about $2.1bn to $2.7bn. The discussions are ongoing, and the details of Rakuten Bank offering, including bank manager lineup and size, may still change, Bloombergreported.
The bank’s planned listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange is part of a push by Rakuten to expand into financial services. Amazon Tough competition from the Japanese is limiting the company’s core e-commerce revenue, while aggressive promotions for its mobile unit are driving the company into losses.
Tencent Music rises in Hong Kong after debut without fresh funds.
Tencent Music Entertainment Group traded higher in Hong Kong’s exchange on Wednesday after a listing that didn’t involve selling new shares or raising funds.
The stock closed at $2.32 on Wednesday, having started at $2.29. Two class A shares in Hong Kong are equivalent to one American depository receipt in New York. The ADRs closed at $4.58 on Tuesday, Bloombergreported.
The Shenzhen-based company chose to debut in the Asian financial hub by way of introduction, a quicker and easier route for firms already listed elsewhere. The firm controlled by tech giant Tencent is part of a growing group of Chinese firms choosing the method to list closer to home as escalating Sino-US tensions fuel delisting risks stateside.
HappyFresh wins funding, revamps board as business resumes. (FS)
HappyFresh has secured funding from investors to resume online grocery operations in Indonesia, staving off a potential cash crunch fomented by the regional economic slowdown.
The Instacart-style grocery delivery service said it’s restarting operations in its home market on Wednesday, after a strategic review. It will work with venture debt funds Genesis, Innoven and Mars on restructuring the business, Bloombergreported.
As part of a reshuffle, representatives of US firm Kroll will replace three former directors on its board, including Naver's Lee Jung An. Jason Kardachi, who leads Kroll’s restructuring practice in Southeast Asia, will work with HappyFresh on its overhaul. The startup, which didn’t disclose the amount of new funding, said it will now focus on Indonesia while considering options for its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia.
Vietnam’s Trungnam weighs $500m bond sale to fund renewable plans.
Conglomerate Trung Nam Construction Investment plans to sell about $500m in bonds in the next three years, while considering a listing on the Vietnam stock exchange to help fund its various energy and infrastructure projects, its CEO said, Bloombergreported.
The company, more popularly known as Trungnam Group, will require huge funding for its projects through 2030, CEO Nguyen Tam Tien said. These include onshore and near-shore wind power projects that will almost triple its renewable energy capacity by 2026 from the current 1.6 GW of mostly wind and solar energy, according to Deputy CEO Do Tu Anh.
Trungnam will also join the bidding for a 1.5k megawatt LNG power project in the southern-central province of Ninh Thuan next year and may partner with a foreign investor, Tu Anh said. The company is now in talks with LNG suppliers overseas.
C Capital is raising $500m to invest in crypto, PE. (FS)
C Capital, a firm started by Hong Kong real estate tycoon Adrian Cheng, plans to raise $500m to invest in blockchain assets, credit and private-equity over the next 18 months, betting prices of private companies and digital assets are bottoming out.
Also co-founded by ex-Bank of America banker Ben Cheng, the firm is marketing a $200m blockchain fund and plans to gather about $300m to invest in private-equity and private credit strategies next year, Bloombergreported.
“When people are on defense, we’re on the offense,” Ben Cheng, the firm’s CEO and president, said in an interview. This type of environment historically “will yield the best result. After another 6 to 9 months, it will come back."
China Evergrande mulls asset transfer to property unit for debt payment.
China Evergrande Group said on Wednesday it was considering transferring some assets to its property unit to settle some of the unit's debt payments.
In July, the company revealed that loans secured by Evergrande Property Services had been diverted to the parent group, which led to Evergrande Group's chief executive and finance head stepping down, Reutersreported.
Deposits worth $1.9bn held by the property unit had been used as collateral for pledge guarantees and seized by banks.
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