FirstGroup secured investor backing for the $4.6bn sale of its US school bus business, fending off a bid to block the deal by activist shareholders who said the price was too low.
The sale to Swedish investment firm EQT Infrastructure was approved by 61% of votes at a virtual meeting. FirstGroup’s top investor, Coast Capital Management, led the opposition to the transaction with EQT. While the firm, with a near 14% stake, had sought the breakup, it called for the terms to be substantially improved. Some smaller shareholders backed the call for the disposal to be revisited.
EQT Partners is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. FirstGroup is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Rothschild & Co, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Brunswick Group.
Ali Group, an industrial conglomerate, offered to acquire Welbilt, a provider of foodservice equipment and solutions, for $3.3bn. Last month Middleby agreed to acquire Welbilt for $2.9bn.
In a regulatory filing, Welbilt said its board had met earlier in the day and decided the Ali Group offer constitutes or is reasonably likely to constitute a superior proposal.
Welbilt is advised by Morgan Stanley and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Morgan Stanley is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Ali Group is advised by Goldman Sachs, Alston & Bird and Joele Frank. Middleby is advised by Guggenheim Partners and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Wejo, a connected vehicle data company, agreed to go public via a merger with Virtuoso Acquisition, a SPAC, in a $800m deal, including debt. The deal is expected to deliver c. $330m of gross proceeds, including $230m cash contribution from Virtuoso and a $100m fully committed PIPE from Palantir Technologies, a software company, and General Motors.
“The team at Virtuoso champions our vision to transform connected vehicle data into data for good, and we are proud to establish the market standard for collecting and aggregating that data. Insights developed by our data will make mobility safer, smarter, and more sustainable. Driven by our marketplace solutions for customers and SaaS solutions for OEM and Tier 1 partners, we expect rapid growth in revenues over the next several years," Richard Barlow, Wejo CEO and Founder.
Wejo is advised by Citigroup, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Brunswick Group. Virtuoso Acquisition is advised by BTIG, Cohen & Company, Moelis & Co, The Growth Stage and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer.
Better Collective, sports betting media group, completed the acquisition of Action Network, a digital platform for sports betting, from The Chernin Group, a private equity firm, for $240m.
“With Better Collective’s experience and capabilities, we have the resources to continue growing our already leading sports betting product and media business, in order to ultimately enhance the betting and entertainment experience for sports fans in the US. I’m pleased that Action now officially joins the Better Collective Group and look very much forward to the journey ahead," Patrick Keane, Action Network CEO.
Action Network was advised by Moelis & Co and Venable. Better Collective was advised by Morgan Stanley, Bruun & Hjejle, Greenberg Traurig and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Debt financing was provided by Nordea Bank. The Chernin Group was advised byGibson Dunn & Crutcher
Odyssey Investment Partners-backed ProPharma Group, a provider of regulatory and compliance services, agreed to acquire a majority stake in The Planet Group, a diversified professional services organization, from MidOcean Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The complementary nature of this merger creates a dynamic platform with a truly global footprint and a complete line of service offerings to meet all of our clients’ needs. We are looking forward to the next phase of growth and our continued commitment to quality and excellence in everything we do," Michael Stomberg, The Planet Group CEO.
The Planet Group is advised by FocalPoint Partners, Houlihan Lokey, William Blair & Co, Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg, Clark Hill and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. MidOcean Partners is advised by Gasthalter & Co. Odyssey is advised by Latham & Watkins.
ISS, a proxy adviser has recommended shareholders of hotel operator Extended Stay America to vote against a joint $6bn takeover offer by two private-equity firms Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Starwood Capital Group, saying the current deal terms do not appear to be sufficiently compelling.
“Given the potential upside from the sector-wide recovery and company-specific catalysts, the current deal terms do not appear to offer a sufficiently compelling value relative to the standalone scenario,” ISS.
Extended Stay is advised by Goldman Sachs and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson. Starwood is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Abernathy MacGregor Group. Blackstone is advised by Citigroup, JP Morgan and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Northern Star Acquisition, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, announced that Northern Star's stockholders voted to approve its proposed $1.6bn merger with Barkbox.
The merger is scheduled to close on June 1, 2021 and the common stock and warrants of the combined company, which will be renamed "The Original BARK Company", are set to commence trading on the New York Stock Exchange on June 2, 2021 under the new ticker symbols BARK.
"BARK has delivered tremendous growth to date, including recently reported strong preliminary financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year. We look forward to further supporting the company as it transitions to the public markets and continues its exciting journey as the world's most dog-centric business," Joanna Coles, Northern Star Acquisition Chairperson and CEO.
Barkbox is advised by Canaccord Genuity, Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and ICR. North Star is advised by Citigroup, Graubard Miller and Gasthalter & Co.
Anima Holding, a provider of educational and training services, completed the acquisition of the Brazilian operations of Laureate Education, an educational company, for $801m. Anima's offer was picked over the bid made by SER Educacional.
"This strong outcome serves all of our stakeholders well. We are confident that our Brazilian institutions will thrive under Ânima’s ownership. We wish the institutions and Ânima well as they continue to deliver quality education with high employability and student satisfaction outcomes," Eilif Serck-Hanssen, Laureate President and CEO.
Laureate Education was advised by Goldman Sachs, DLA Piper, Demarest Advogados, Jones Day, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Veirano Advogados and Kekst CNC.
HEXO, a medical cannabis company, agreed to acquire Redecan, a Canadian cannabis company, for $766m.
“Redecan’s unwavering focus on the consumer, along with lean operating principles and highly efficient automated manufacturing technology, have allowed us to establish a significant presence in the Canadian market. We’ve now entered a phase where scale is key, and our complementary consumer bases, brand portfolios and distribution relationships can enhance financial performance," Will Montour, Redecan Co-Founder.
Redecan is advised by Adam Arviv and Bennett Jones. Hexo is advised by Alliance Global Partners, BMO Capital Markets, Eight Capital, DLA Piper and Norton Rose Fulbright.
Gryphon Investors, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in the ServiceNow division of Highmetric, a software developer, from Acacia Group, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This investment is a strong match with our past track record and we are looking forward to supporting management to rapidly scale the business organically and through additional strategic acquisitions," Alex Earls, Gryphon Partner and Head of Business Services.
Gryphon was advised by 7Mile Advisors, Guggenheim Partners and Kirkland & Ellis. Highmetric was advised by Jefferies & Company and Miles & Stockbridge.
Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Absorb Software, a provider of cloud-based learning management system software, from Silversmith Capital Partners, a Boston-based growth equity firm, for $500m.
“Over the past four years, Silversmith has been instrumental in helping our team transition from a founder-led company to a scaled, global enterprise. We are thankful to have had Silversmith as our partner. As the market demand and long-term outlook for best-of-breed eLearning solutions rapidly grows, we look to continue to accelerate our growth and fuel innovation by investing heavily in our world-class SaaS platform," Mike Owens, Absorb's CEO.
Absorb Software was advised by Shea & Co and Choate Hall & Stewart. Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe was advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Dollar Mutual, a mutual holding company, completed the acquisition of Standard AVB Financial, a holding company which through its subsidiaries, provides commercial banking services, for $158m.
"We are ecstatic to announce the completion of this merger and welcome Standard Bank into the Dollar family. This merger allows us to expand our footprint in the region and align with bankers who share our commitment to the customers and communities we serve," Jim McQuade, Dollar Mutual President and CEO.
Standard AVB was advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Kilpatrick Townsend. Dollar Mutual was advised by Raymond James and Luse Gorman.
Hartree Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Sprague Resources, a supplier of energy products and related services, from Axel Johnson, an industrial group, for $290m.
“This change in ownership marks a significant point in our history. Antonia Ax:son Johnson has been a supportive owner for 50 years and we’re forever grateful for her stewardship and commitment to our success. We now look forward to the opportunity to partner with Hartree in the next stage of our growth," David Glendon, Sprague President and CEO.
Hartree Partners was advised by Vinson & Elkins. Alex Johnson was advised by Intrepid Partners and Baker Botts.
Vertex Energy Operating, a refiner of alternative feedstocks and marketer of high purity petroleum products, agreed to acquire Mobile Chemical, an oil refinery, from Royal Dutch Shell, for $75m.
"We will acquire an exceptional refining and logistics asset of scale, one equipped with significant feedstock optionality, together with a high-value, distillate-weighted product slate. As part of this transaction, Vertex will assume ownership of more than 3m barrels of crude oil and product storage, together with other valuable logistics assets. Our vision for this site is that of diversification. We will seek to lead the southeast region in marketing next generation fuels and products that are not currently produced by the refinery today. Our entry into these new markets is expected to generate significant, long-term value for our shareholders, while adding new jobs and economic stimulus to the regional market," Benjamin P. Cowart, Vertex President and CEO.
Vertex Energy is advised by Donovan Ventures and Vallum Advisors.
Ungerboeck, an event management software provider, agreed to merge with EventBooking, an venue management software provider, in a deal backed by Cove Hill Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is the best way to come out the pandemic as the industry expects technology-driven efficiencies and new attendee experiences. We could not have found a better growth equity firm than Cove Hill Partners as they share our values and mission. Adding EventBooking to this group is the perfect trifecta to accelerate us into the future as the world's event software," Manish Chandak, Ungerboeck President and CEO.
Ungerboeck is advised by William Blair. Cove Hill Partners is advised by Raymond James.
Mercury Systems, a provider of mission-critical technologies for aerospace and defense, completed the acquisition of Pentek, a designer and manufacturer of ruggedized, high-performance, commercial off-the-shelf software-defined radio and data acquisition boards, for $65m, subject to net working capital and net debt adjustments.
“Their capabilities add scale and breadth to Mercury’s existing mixed-signal product portfolio and deepen our penetration into our core radar, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence markets. Like our previous acquisitions in the RF and microwave domain, the acquisition of Pentek doesn’t just provide important new capabilities for our customers; it also enables us to grow the size of our total addressable market,” Mark Aslett, Mercury President and CEO.
Arsenal-backed Fralock, a developer and manufacturer of engineered materials solutions for critical applications, completed the acquisition of Lenthor Engineering, a manufacturer of rigid-flex printed circuits. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Lenthor's advanced capabilities in flexible circuit design and manufacturing, and its leading position in high-value market segments make it a perfect complement to Fralock's core business. We believe that Lenthor's expertise and strong executive team, as well as its strong strategic customer relationships especially in our overlapping market segments, makes Lenthor an excellent addition to our expanding engineered materials solutions platform," Marc Haugen, Fralock CEO.
Scientific Games, a provider of gambling products and services, completed the acquisition of SportCast, a sports betting services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're excited to welcome Ryan Coombs and his incredible team of product experts, data scientists, statisticians and developers to the home of global sports technology. The team at SportCast shares our focus on performance-at-scale and fan engagement, and the integration of their impressive platform and innovative approach will set Scientific Games apart as we build on our market leadership," Jordan Levin, Scientific Games CEO.
Afya, a medical education group, agreed to acquire Universidade do Grande Rio Professor José de Souza Herdy, a post-secondary education institution, for $134m.
“This acquisition is a milestone for Afya. Considering the 308 seats from UNIGRANRIO, we have reached 1,159 seats acquired in less than 2 years, over-delivering our guidance released during IPO,” Virgilio Gibbon, Afya CEO.
Hanover Bancorp, a multi-family and commercial real estate loans provider, completed the merger with Savoy Bank, a commercial bank serving small businesses in New York, New Jersey and surrounding states. Savoy’s Rockefeller Center, New York main office has become a branch of Hanover Bank. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This acquisition strengthens our position in New York City, and allows us to offer a full line of SBA loan products to our customers, while allowing us to offer a full range of commercial and personal loan and deposit products to Savoy’s customers, as well as the convenience of banking at our seven existing locations,” Michael Puorro, Hanover Chairman and CEO.
Mattioli Woods, a provider of wealth management and employee benefit services, agreed to acquire private equity firms Maven Capital Partners and Ludlow Wealth Management. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisitions of Maven and Ludlow Wealth Management represent meaningful progress towards our ambitious medium-term goals. We have a strong track record of combining like-minded businesses that share the same culture and ethos of putting clients first. The teams at Maven and Ludlow Wealth Management share our passion for delivering exceptional client outcomes and going the extra mile," Ian Mattioli, Mattioli Woods CEO.
Bidvest Noonan, a provider for services such as security, cleaning, front-of-house and ancillary services, agreed to acquire Cordant Services, a facilities management services provider, from Twenty20 Capital, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is a landmark moment for Bidvest Noonan and Cordant Services, as together we will deliver even greater support and value to our clients and create more opportunities for our people. It cements Bidvest Noonan’s position as a leading provider of security, cleaning and support services in the UK, with a significantly enhanced footprint, capability and expertise to deliver the highest standards of services to clients across a wide range of sectors and industries," Declan Doyle, Bidvest Noonan CEO.
HIG Capital-backed Wastequip, a North American manufacturer of waste handling equipment, completed the acquisition of Wastebuilt Environmental Solutions, a provider of parts, equipment, and services for refuse and specialty fleet applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The addition of Wastebuilt aligns with our strategy of pairing the industry's top brands – like Galbreath, Amrep, Pioneer and Toter – with an expanded parts catalog and distribution network to provide a one-stop shop for the waste industry. Strengthening our parts offering, along with the continued expansion of our Wastequip WRX service network, provides customers with a single, convenient and reliable source from equipment to parts to service," Marty Bryant, Wastequip CEO.
Charles Thayne Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Lucidpress, a web-based desktop publishing software application developer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our platform has transformed the brand management landscape, and this partnership positions us to continue to lead in this space for years to come. The CTC team brings depth and expertise in the software arena, and together we are committed to helping our customers elevate their brands in groundbreaking ways," Owen Fuller, Lucidpress General Manager.
Accel-KKR-backed OrthoFi, a software and technology-enabled service platform, completed the acquisition of Comprehensive Finance, a financial technology company offering payment solutions for healthcare providers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our shared mission-led culture and strategic product vision will give our customers a far better alternative than what's currently available, especially in third-party financing. At the end of the day, we want to help make cosmetic and elective restorative dental procedures more accessible and affordable to individuals and families across the country. With OrthoFi, we will be able to scale up to do that," Michael D. Brown, CFI CEO.
Rivian could seek $70bn valuation in IPO. (FS)
Electric-truck startup Rivian Automotive could target a valuation of about $70bn in its potential public listing later this year, Bloombergreported.
Rivian is working with advisers including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley on an IPO.
SoftBank and WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann agree on divorce deal. (FS)
SoftBank has spelt out the full cost of its bitter divorce from WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann, detailing a settlement worth hundreds of millions of dollars, FTreported.
Neumann has received cash, stock awards and fees worth close to $450m in a settlement which has been the subject of fraught negotiations since he was forced to step down from the co-working company as chief executive in 2019, after a failed attempt at an IPO.
With WeWork targeting a second run at an IPO, this time via a merger with a blank-cheque company, the agreement is an attempt to break with the past. SoftBank regards the hefty cost as a reasonable price to pay to put the Neumann era behind them. SoftBank had struck a $1.6bn exit package with Neumann in 2019, but in April 2020 pulled out of a tender offer for WeWork stock which would have yielded almost $1bn of that sum. Neumann and two independent directors sued SoftBank in response, but the two sides settled the dispute this February.
CPPIB is close to a deal for Mobilitie. (FS)
CPPIB is nearing a deal to buy US wireless-solutions provider Mobilitie, bolstering its digital-infrastructure investing efforts, Bloombergreported.
The pension fund has so far outbid other suitors, including private equity firms, for Mobilitie, which bills itself as the largest closely held telecommunications-infrastructure company in the US. A transaction is expected to value Mobilitie at more than $1.3bn.
Mobilitie, based in Newport Beach, California, operates a network that enables wireless coverage, including 5G services and speeds, at locations including sports and entertainment venues, universities and airports.
Renesas to raise $2bn via new shares to fund Dialog purchase.
Japan's Renesas Electronics said it will raise $1.99bn through a new share issue to help the automotive semiconductors maker fund its planned $6bn purchase of Dialog Semiconductor, a provider of power management, charging, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth low energy technology, Reutersreported.
In February, Renesas announced the acquisition of the Anglo-German chip designer and Apple supplier in a bid to tap the growth in assisted driving technology and the roll out of broadband 5G networks that could spur connectivity across smart devices.
"The issuance of new shares and the acquisition will enable Renesas to maintain a strong financial base that will enable Renesas to execute its future growth strategy," Renesas.
Temasek-backed Flywire valued at $3.4bn in US market debut. (FS)
Temasek Holdings-backed payments firm Flywire was valued at $3.39bn in its Nasdaq debut, 239% higher from its valuation after a funding round in February last year. The company’s shares opened at $34 each, up from the IPO price of $24 apiece, Reutersreported.
The company adds to the buzz around fintech players, particularly high-growth companies such as Affirm and digital payments giant Stripe, both of which raised funds at sky-high valuations earlier this year. Billing and payments network Paymentus was valued at $3.34bn in its debut. The company has seen a jump in demand, buoyed by increased adoption of online payments.
Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Bank of America were the lead underwriters for the IPO.
Figs raises $581m in an upsized IPO.
Figs, a maker of apparel for health-care professionals, climbed in its trading debut after raising $581m in an IPO, Bloomberg reported.
Shares opened at $28.3 and went as high as $30.92 in trading in New York, climbing 41% above their IPO price. The stock was at $29.93, giving the company, which makes gear including medical scrubs and lab coats, a market valuation of about $4.8bn. Figs’ offering is the first to sell directly to retail investors through Robinhood Markets’s online brokerage platform. It had set aside up to 1% of the deal for Robinhood users. The roll out comes ahead of Robinhood’s own debut, which is expected on the Nasdaq in late June.
“For IPOs, usually the only people that have access are Wall Street insiders and for us to be able to bring this IPO to our health-care community through Robinhood was super cool,” Trina Spear, Figs Co-founder and Co-CEO.
dentalcorp closes IPO and concurrent private placement for gross proceeds of $700m.
dentalcorp, Canada's leading network of dental practices, announced today the closing of its IPO of 50m subordinate voting shares of the company at a price of $14 per share, for total gross proceeds of $700m.
The offering was made through a syndicate of underwriters led by CIBC Capital Markets, Jefferies Securities, BMO Capital Markets and TD Securities acting as joint active bookrunners, and includes RBC Capital Markets and Bank of America acting as passive bookrunners, and Canaccord Genuity and Scotia Capital.
HarbourVest seeks $3.5bn for private equity co-investing. (FS)
HarbourVest Partners is seeking $3.5bn for its sixth co-investment fund as institutional investors look to broaden their exposure to private equity deals.
The firm plans to make 40 to 55 investments in deals with alternative asset managers that focus primarily on North America and Europe, according to a meeting agenda for the Ventura County Employees’ Retirement Association. The investments will range from $55m to $75m.
Pension funds including Ventura County and the New Jersey State Investment Council are partnering with fund managers as they seek out pieces of private equity deals.
Blackstone’s $5bn-targeting Asia fund among $1.35bn of new Minnesota SBI commitments. (FS)
Private equity giant Blackstone‘s latest Asia fundraise was the big private equity winner amid $1.35bn of new alternative asset commitments from the Minnesota State Board of Investment,Zephyrnetreported.
Blackstone picked up a $300m commitment to BCP Asia II, which is believed to be targeting at least $5bn.
The firm closed its debut Asia private equity fund on $2.3bn in 2018, at the same time it hit the $7.1bn hard cap for its mammoth Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia II fund.
Frazier Healthcare Partners closes 10th fund on $1.4bn. (FS)
Frazier Healthcare Partners has closed Frazier Healthcare Growth Buyout Fund X, its 10th healthcare private equity fund focused on the middle market, a vehicle which was oversubscribed and hit its $1.4bn hardcap.
“Our three decades of focusing on the healthcare industry, breadth and depth of our ecosystem and team resonated with both new and existing investors,” Ben Magnano, Frazier Co-managing partner.
Värde Partners closes CRE CLO at $928m. (FS)
Värde Partners, a global alternative investment firm, has closed a commercial real estate collateralized loan obligation. This is the firm’s fourth and largest CRE CLO, and eighth securitization of commercial real estate collateral.
“The close of Värde’s latest CRE CLO demonstrates the strength of our origination platform and our position as a leading investor in US commercial real estate financing markets. We believe the quality of our underwriting is further supported by the fact that none of the pre-Covid collateral required modifications. We are pleased with the continued support from capital market investors for our firm. This transaction allows us to further expand our lending platform, providing borrowers with flexible solutions and reliable capital,” Brian Schmidt, Värde Partner and Head of Mortgages and North America Real Estate.
Asset manager Sanne Group said that it rejected an increased takeover proposal from Cinven, a private equity firm.
The provider of alternative asset and corporate services said Cinven proposed a possible all-cash offer-the fourth takeover offer the company has made-at a price of $12 a share, an increase from the early-May offer of $11.7.
The company said the board continues to believe the offer doesn't reflect its ability to deliver strong operating and financial performance as the macroeconomic environment continues to recover. As a result, the board of Sanne rejected the offer.
Sanne is advised by JP Morgan, Jefferies & Company and Tulchan Communications. Cinven is advised by Goldman Sachs and FTI Consulting.
Senior rejected a $1bn takeover proposal from private equity firm Lone Star Global as it fundamentally undervalued the aircraft and car parts supplier, it said. Lone Star has until June 25 to make a firm offer or walk away from the deal.
"The Board of Senior considered the proposal, together with its advisers, and concluded that it fundamentally undervalued Senior and its future prospects," Senior.
Senior is advised by Jefferies & Company, Credit Suisse and Lazard. Lone Star is advised by Goldman Sachs and Headland Consultancy.
Terra Firma, a European private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Kier Living, a home construction company, for £110m.
“Post-Covid, more and more people are thinking again about where they want to live, with a focus on having their own space, including more bedrooms and outdoor living areas. We believe the business, under a new, refreshed brand, has significant growth potential, and can play a critical role in delivering much-needed housing in communities across the UK,” Guy Hands, Terra Firma Chairman and Chief Investment Officer.
Kier Living was advised by Rothschild & Co. Kier Group was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ashurst, Linklaters and FTI Consulting.
Nordic Capital, a private equity firm, completed the disposal of the remaining stake in Nordnet, an online banking firm, for $421m.
“Under the private ownership of Nordic Capital and the Öhman Group, Nordnet has grown to become a driving force in the digital savings industry. Nordic Capital has supported us during this journey in a very professional way, with full focus on enhancing the customer experience. I want to thank Nordic Capital for their contribution to Nordnet’s development, and at the same time thank our close to 1.5m customers who trust us with their savings every day. Our promise to the Nordic savers remains the same – to build the best platform for savings and investments," Lars-Åke Norling, Nordnet CEO.
Nordic Capital was advised by Carnegie Investment Bank, Citigroup and JP Morgan.
Peek & Cloppenburg, a German fashion retailer, completed the acquisition of Magasin du Nord, a Danish fashion retailer, from Debenhams, an online retailer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Magasin du Nord, like Peek & Cloppenburg, is a retail company with a long tradition. Due to the current market dynamics, the opportunity has arisen to bring Magasin du Nord under our umbrella and we are convinced that both companies will benefit from this new partnership," Peek & Cloppenburg.
Peek & Cloppenburg was advised by Rothschild & Co and Hengeler Mueller.
Tempur Sealy, an American manufacturer of mattresses and bedding products, agreed to acquire Dreams, a specialty bed retailer in the United Kingdom, from private equity firm Sun Capital Partners for $475m.
"Dreams has created a strong retailer brand and business model, known for its outstanding products and customer service. We have worked with Dreams for many years and they are one of the most talented retailers we service. They have consistently demonstrated best-in-class web marketing, customer service and sales capabilities. This acquisition better positions both organizations to service customers and bring innovative products to market. We look forward to welcoming the entire Dreams organization to the Tempur Sealy family," Scott Thompson, Tempur Sealy Chairman and CEO.
Savills, an international real estate advisor, completed the acquisition of the remaining 75% stake in DRC Capital, the European real estate debt manager, for up to £65m ($92m).
"DRC continues to innovate in the real estate debt market and has rapidly built an enviable position in an increasingly competitive environment. We are very happy with the progress of the partnership since 2018 - the combination of Savills IM's and DRC's investment teams provides a compelling offering to our clients by providing investment opportunities across the entire real estate capital structure," Alex Jeffrey, Savills Investment CEO.
KK Wind Solutions, a dedicated greentech company, completed the acquisition of PCH Engineering, a developer of sensors, from Erhvervsinvest, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Together with KK Group, we expect to be focusing on further developing the product range as well as new and selected market segments based on our newly developed monitor platform. As the former owner, Erhvervsinvest consolidated PCH’s transition from owner-managed company and continued investments in the development and commercialization of the product portfolio," Sune Lilbaek, PCH Engineering CEO.
Erhvervsinvest was advised by SEB Corporate Finance.
RIU Group, a Spanish hotel and travel company, agreed to acquire a 49% stake in RIU Hotels, the hotel business of RUI Group, from TUI Group, a travel agency group, for $817m.
This operation comes in the context of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has profoundly affected the tourism industry. Furthermore, after confirmation that the ownership model has turned out to be an advantage in facing this crisis, taking 100% control of the ownership of these hotels provides additional agility in confronting possible paradigm changes in the near future.
Worldline, a global firm in the payments industry, agreed to acquire Cardlink, the network services provider in Greece for €155m ($189m).
“This development will strengthen our positioning in the Greek market as the leading player in the evolution of the payments business and give us access to products and services that will enhance our offering and deliver more value to our merchant and bank customers,“ George Drimiotis, Cardlink CEO.
Rea Stark's Lamborghini bid still stands.
Quantum Group’s $9.1bn bid for Volkswagen’s supercar brand Lamborghini still stands, the Swiss group’s founding partner said, days after the German carmaker said the unit was not up for sale, Reuters reported.
“Of course our offer is still valid. After all we have carefully weighed and thought through our decision for Lamborghini and the attached offer and concept. And if there is willingness to negotiate - whether that’s investments, guarantees or the purchase price - then of course we are still prepared,” Rea Stark.
Stark said that in addition to the $9.1bn bid, first submitted to Volkswagen in late February but only made public this week, Quantum has offered $1.2-$2.4bn to cover investments and guarantees for jobs and sites at Lamborghini.
Hyve in talks with Carlyle about $355m PIPE dream. (FS)
One of the London stock market’s largest exhibition groups is in talks about a big capital injection that would further underline an ongoing frenzy of private equity interest in UK, Sky News reported.
Hyve Group is in preliminary discussions with Carlyle about a PIPE deal. Hyve is understood to be holding the talks with Carlyle as one of several options for raising capital to finance growth opportunities as the global events industry rebounds from the pandemic.
Park Holidays owners mull PE sale. (FS)
The staycation frenzy gripping Britain's leisure industry is spurring another of the country's biggest holiday park operators to consider putting itself up for sale, Sky News reported.
Park Holidays, which is owned by the investment firm Intermediate Capital Group, has appointed bankers to oversee a strategic review that industry sources expect to trigger an auction later this year.
The company is the biggest operator of its type in the south of England, with 33 sites under its ownership, including at Dawlish in Devon, Felixstowe in Suffolk and Birchington in Kent.
AGIC Capital revives the sale of Fotona. (FS)
AGIC Capital, the private equity firm led by Chinese dealmaker Henry Cai, has restarted a sale of medical laser company Fotona after postponing it due to Covid-19, Bloomberg reported.
AGIC continues to work with Royal Bank of Canada as an adviser and has reached out to prospective suitors to gauge interest in the business. The buyout firm is seeking a value of at least $800m for Fotona in a deal.
The planned launch of the sale was delayed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In December 2019 that AGIC could start a formal sale process for Fotona the following year.
A consortium of investors eye the acquisition of Natura Gida. (FS)
A group of international investors including Davidson Kempner Capital Management is vying for control of Turkey’s ice-cream maker and the biggest competitor to Unilever’s products in the country, Bloombergreported.
The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development and Istanbul-based Afendis Capital Partners have teamed up with New York-based Davidson Kempner in making a bid to acquire 82% of Natura Gida. The group has offered to commit a total of $90m, which would include the acquisition price, and also go toward repaying its outstanding debt and investing for further growth.
Albaraka Türk Katılım, a unit of unit of Al Baraka Banking, owns the stake through one of its venture capital funds. The remaining 18% of the company is controlled by investors including Ergün Akkaya, its CEO and Chairman of the board.
COSCO hopes for Greek deal on Piraeus despite delay.
Chinese shipping group COSCO hopes to reach a deal with the Greek government to complete the purchase of an extra stake in Piraeus, despite running out of time to fulfil a key condition, Reutersreported.
Under a 2016 Greek privatisation agreement, COSCO Shipping bought a 51% holding in Piraeus Port Authority for $341m and committed to mandatory investments worth about €300m over five years to acquire an additional 16% stake.
COSCO has signed contracts for the majority of these but will not be able to conclude them by August when the deadline expires due to delays beyond its control.
Klarna seeks new funds at close to $50bn valuation. (FS)
Swedish payments firm Klarna is close to raising a new round of funding from a group of investors including SoftBank that could lift the company’s valuation close to $50bn, Reuters reported.
The latest fundraising is expected to be Klarna’s final private round before the fintech giant, Europe’s most valuable startup, sets the stage for a blockbuster stock market listing.
With such a valuation, Klarna would become Sweden’s biggest financial company and be worth more than some major European banks including Deutsche Bank.
GlobalFoundries taps Morgan Stanley for its jumbo IPO. (FS)
GlobalFoundries is working with Morgan Stanley on an IPO that could value the chipmaker at about $30bn. No final decision has been made and the company’s plans could change.
GlobalFoundries is backed by Abu Dhabi sovereign fund Mubadala Investment. Mubadala had started preparations for a US IPO of the company and is in discussions with potential advisers, Bloombergreported.
TA Associates-backed Eurowag plans a $2bn London IPO. (FS)
Private equity firm TA Associates is planning a $2bn London listing for Czech firm WAG payment solutions, also known as Eurowag, reaffirming the LSE’s ability to attract European companies post-Brexit, Reutersreported.
Citi, Jefferies and Morgan Stanley have been appointed as global coordinators to manage the transaction, which could be launched as soon as September.
About You seeks $732m in German IPO.
E-commerce fashion retailer About You is seeking at least $732m in a Frankfurt listing, betting demand for its party outfits will pick up as lockdowns ease across Europe, Bloombergreported.
The company is looking to list shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the second quarter. The IPO will include a sale of new and existing shares, and a greenshoe option provided by Michael Otto’s Otto Group.
“We were not a lockdown winner. Our offering is geared more toward going-out clothes – there was not much going out during the lockdowns, but we believe that there will be a big post-Covid pickup in that category. Investors clearly see us as a recovery play,” Tarek Mueller, About You Co-founder.
About You is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell, Milbank, Hengeler Mueller, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Carlyle starts work on the IPO of Nouryon. (FS)
Carlyle Group is starting preparations for an initial public offering of specialty chemicals producer Nouryon, Bloomberg reported.
The US private equity firm has begun internal work on a possible IPO of the business. A listing could come as soon as the second half of this year.
Carlyle has picked US advisory firm Solebury Capital to help with the listing plans and more banks could be added to the roster at a later date.
KLP to make $245m dark green investment. (FS)
Norway’s largest pension company KLP said it had teamed up with Macquarie Asset Management to invest $245m in a new fund targeting long-term loans in “dark green” infrastructure with zero or near-zero carbon emissions,Reutersreported.
The deal involves Macquarie identifying loans linked to solar, wind, hydro, sustainable energy storage and other projects aligned with the European Union’s sustainable finance taxonomy, which defines environmentally friendly activities.
Unlike other funds, however, the venture will target longer-term loans of up to 20 years and actively seek out “dark green” investments, with zero or near-zero carbon emissions.
Ashurst elects London corporate partner as first female chair. (People)
Partners at law firm Ashurst have elected London corporate heavyweight Karen Davies as their first female chair, FNreported.
Davies, the firm’s UK head of corporate, will take up her four-year term on 1 August, succeeding Ben Tidswell who is leaving the firm to chair the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Australia’s BetMakers Technology intensified a three-way bidding war for Tabcorp’s wagering and media business, offering A$4bn ($3.1bn) for the struggling division, Reutersreported.
The BetMakers proposal dwarfs separate A$3.5bn ($2.7bn) offers by British sports betting firm Entain and US-based investment manager Apollo Management for the Tabcorp unit hit hard by the halt to sporting events and closure of betting shops due to the pandemic.
Tabcorp shares gained as much as 4.2% and scaled a near 3-1/2 year peak. BetMakers, though, slumped nearly 17% on news of the proposal, that will involve A$3bn ($2.3bn) in shares and A$1bn ($772m) in cash, likely to be funded by debt.
Entain is advised by Macquarie Group, Morgan Stanley and Powerscourt.
Tata Group-backed Tata Digital completed the acquisition of a 64.3% stake in Supermarket Grocery Supplies, India's largest online grocer doing business under BigBasket name, in a c.$1.3bn deal.
“We are extremely excited about our future as a part of Tata Group. As a part of the Tata Ecosystem, we would be able to build stronger consumer connect and accelerate our journey," Hari Menon, BigBasket CEO.
BigBasket was advised by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
Finder weighs SPAC and other options to expand.
Australian fintech firm Finder, which helps clients invest and save money, is working with an adviser on strategic options, including a sale to a blank-check company, as it seeks to expand its global footprint, Bloomberg reported.
Co-founder Fred Schebesta said the company is in talks with a number of institutional and high net worth investors about buying into the business. Options include bringing in new investors to help fund an expansion in South East Asia and the US ahead of a potential listing, either via an initial public offering or a deal with a SPAC. Schebesta said the company received strong inbound interest from a range of investors and has appointed advisory firm Highbury Partnership to decide on which option to take as soon as July.
“There’s a lot of interest definitely from global funds, IPO funds and private investors as well, with high net worth individuals coming out of the woodwork looking for yield,” Fred Schebesta.
JD Logistics gains on debut after $3.2bn Hong Kong IPO.
JD Logistics rose as much as 18% on its first day of trading after raising $3.2bn in Hong Kong’s second-largest initial public offering this year, Bloombergreported.
Shares of the delivery arm of Chinese e-commerce giant JD climbed to as high as $6.1 in Hong Kong, before giving up some of their gains. The stock had been priced at $5.1, the lower end of its offered range, fueling concern that demand for new listings in the Asian financial center has cooled after the blockbuster coming-out party of Kuaishou Technology earlier this year.
Full Truck Alliance files for $1.5bn US IPO.
China's Full Truck Alliance - which styles itself as the country's 'Uber for Trucks' - has made public filings to list on the NYSE and aims to raise up to $1.5bn, Reuters reported.
At that amount it would be the second-largest US listing by a Chinese company so far in 2021. The exact size of the fund raising was not specified in SEC filings lodged overnight to begin the process for a US listing. However, Full Truck Alliance would look to raise up to $1.5bn, which would give it a valuation of $20bn.
China presses Ximalaya to drop US for Hong Kong as listing venue.
China is pressing the country's largest online audio platform Ximalaya to drop plans to list in the United States and go for Hong Kong instead, three people with knowledge of the matter said, showing how the authorities are seeking to further tighten their grip over private media and internet businesses, Reutersreported.
Ximalaya, the country's top podcast and audio app operator which aimed to go public in New York as soon as this month, has recently been pushed by China's regulators, including the Cyberspace Administration of China, to withdraw the listing plans and go public in Hong Kong instead.
The privately-owned company, backed by tech majors Tencent, Xiaomi, Baidu as well as Sony Music Entertainment, is still in talks with the CAC.
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