G4S, a British multinational security services company, agreed to be bought out by Warburg Pincus and CDPQ-backed Allied Universal, an American facility services company, for $5.1bn, picking the US company over BC Partners-backed Canadian rival GardaWorld and potentially ending a tense, months-long bidding war. Allied’s offer for London-listed G4S is $0.13 per share higher than GardaWorld’s sweetened bid from last week.
G4S said it considers the terms of Allied Universal’s latest offer to be fair and reasonable and that it intended to unanimously recommend that shareholders accept it. GardaWorld is considering its options and will make a further announcement when appropriate.
"The G4S Board is confident in the long-term prospects of the business and believes this (agreed) offer represents an excellent opportunity to create a leading global security company," John Connolly, G4S Chairman.
Allied Universal is advised by Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Moelis & Company, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Teneo and Kirkland & Ellis. G4S is advised by Citigroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Lazard, Brunswick Group and Linklaters. GardaWorld is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Jefferies & Company, UBS, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Montfort Communications. Financial advisors are advised by Ashurst. BC Partners is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Platinum Equity, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Ingram Micro, a company that distributes information technology products, from HNA Technology, a company offering marine shipping services for $7.2bn. The sale is expected to be completed by the first half of 2021, subject to HNA Technology shareholder and customary regulatory approvals.
"Teaming with Platinum provides an opportunity to further strengthen our competitive advantage in the cloud, speed our digital transformation and accelerate the expansion of our solutions and services portfolio, particularly for high value markets. We will also be able to broaden our geographic reach even faster, while penetrating new industries and verticals. We will maintain a strong balance sheet and will gain additional flexibility and resources to execute on our long-term strategic objectives. HNA has been a good partner for Ingram Micro, enabling us to continue to innovate and expand our global businesses. We look forward to the opportunity to accelerate this trajectory with Platinum," Alain Monié, Ingram Micro CEO.
Platinum Equity is advised by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Financial advisors are advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. HNA Technology is advised by JP Morgan and Davis Polk & Wardwell.
L Catterton-led consortium agreed to acquire a majority stake in Truck Hero, which provides consumers a full range of branded automotive accessories for trucks, from private equity firm CCMP Capital. The consortium includes a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, as well as Mubadala Investment Company and StepStone Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to acquire Truck Hero and partner with Bill and CCMP at this exciting moment in the Company's history of market leadership, innovation, and growth. We are especially excited about the potential for RealTruck.com, Truck Hero's direct to customer online marketplace that has become the go-to online retailer for truck enthusiasts across the country. We look forward to working with Bill and his proven team to build upon Truck Hero's position as the trusted authority in truck and Jeep personalization and utility," Marc Magliacano, L Catterton Managing Partner.
Truck Hero is advised by Jefferies & Company, Robert W Baird and Ropes & Gray. L Catterton is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Kirkland & Ellis and Joele Frank. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jefferies & Company. CCMP Capital is advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Amphenol, a global provider of high-technology interconnect, antenna and sensor solutions, agreed to acquire MTS Systems, a global supplier of advanced test systems, motion simulators and precision sensors, for $1.7bn.
“Amphenol is a leader in interconnect and sensor technologies with a proven management team and a strong track record of successfully acquiring companies across its platform. MTS brings to Amphenol its high-quality technology solutions, a diversified customer base of blue-chip companies and a strong financial profile. We could not be more pleased to join forces with Amphenol, which will allow us to continue to deliver exceptional customer experience through high-quality and innovative solutions," Randy J. Martinez, MTS Interim President and CEO.
Amphenol is advised by Centerview Partners, Latham & Watkins and Sard Verbinnen & Co. MTS Systems is advised by Evercore, JP Morgan, Sidley Austin and Edelman.
Vesper Healthcare Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, agreed to merge with The HydraFacial Company, a category-creating beauty health company, in a $1.1bn deal. HydraFacial's private equity owners, Linden Capital Partners and DW Healthcare Partners, will retain a combined 25% stake in the business following the merger.
"This is a significant day for Vesper Healthcare and HydraFacial as we team up with a category-creating company in the emerging area of beauty health. Our goal is to build a premier company in beauty health, focused on providers such as estheticians and nurse practitioners, consumers, and partners and we believe that HydraFacial is the perfect platform to achieve this goal. HydraFacial possesses industry-leading consumer satisfaction scores and has presence in two high-growth categories within personal care – skincare and, more recently, hair care. We look forward to working with the HydraFacial team to create a valuable, industry-leading, global company in beauty health," Brent Saunders, Vesper Healthcare CEO and Co-Founder.
The HydraFacial Company is advised by Jefferies & Company, Piper Sandler, Kirkland & Ellis and ICR. Vesper Healthcare is advised by Goldman Sachs and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
United States Steel, an American integrated steel producer, agreed to acquire the remaining 50% stake in Big River Steel, a manufacturer of steel product, for $774m. Closing of the transaction is anticipated in the first quarter of 2021, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including antitrust approval.
“We are acquiring now to expand the benefits of this powerful partnership. This is aligned with the strong strategic execution and meaningful progress we’ve demonstrated in 2020 toward our goal of $1bn in capital and operational cash improvements. By completing our top strategic priority, Big River Steel, we expect to strengthen our order book, increase our competitiveness and accelerate further product innovation for our customers. Longer term, the lower, variable cost structure will increase our efficiency, profitability and cash flow across the business cycle," David B. Burritt, US Steel President & CEO.
United States Steel is advised by Barclays, PJT Partners, Rothschild & Co and Milbank. Big River Steel is advised by BakerHostetler.
Bregal, a New-York based private equity firm focused on investing in middle-market companies, completed the investment in Lakeview Capital-backed The Mochi Ice Cream Company, the largest branded manufacturer of mochi ice cream in North America. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We have built strong support and conviction behind our thesis of investing in companies producing internationally inspired foods and snacks in the US. As part of this thesis, we have followed My/Mo Mochi's impressive growth story over the last several years and are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the company, its experienced management team and its owners and help continue the momentum behind this unique and innovative snack business," Charles Yoon, Bregal Partners Managing Partner.
Lakeview Capital was advised by Ancoris Capital Partners, Lincoln International and Ropes & Gray. Bregal Partners was advised by Winston & Strawn and BackBay Communications.
Paine Schwartz Partners, a private equity firm focused exclusively on investment opportunities in the fast-growing, dynamic global food and agribusiness sectors, completed the investment in Urban Farmer, a plant-based specialty dough contract manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to establish a new investment platform with Urban Farmer, a pioneer in the fast-growing better-for-you specialty dough category. With its highly on-trend, versatile product offering, state-of-the-art facilities and impressive customer base, Urban Farmer has a strong foundation from which to build on its leading segment share. Together with John and the rest of the Urban Farmer team, we look forward to driving further growth and scale by delivering innovative products and capitalizing on opportunities created by macro New Food Economy trends, as consumers increasingly eat at home and focus on health and wellness," Kevin Schwartz, Paine Schwartz CEO.
Urban Farmer was advised by Stifel and Reed Smith. Paine Schwartz was advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Joele Frank.
Kimball International, a furnishings designer, completed the acquisition of Poppin, a tech-enabled, B2B commercial furniture design company, for $180m.
"The addition of Poppin to the Kimball International family provides us with a meaningful growth engine that aligns with our recently-launched 2.0 Connect Strategy and with our longer-term vision to create a leading omnichannel commercial furnishings design powerhouse supported by a robust manufacturing and sourcing infrastructure. The acquisition greatly accelerates the development of our eBusiness platform, and we have identified multiple levers to drive significant revenue synergies," Kristie Juster, Kimball International CEO.
Poppin was advised by Cooley. Kimball International was advised by JP Morgan, Schiff Hardin and Advisiry Partners.
Thoma Bravo completed the acquisition of AxiomSL, a provider of cloud-enabled risk management and regulatory solutions for banking, investment management, broker-dealers and commodity trading institutions, from TCV, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Vlad and I are excited to partner with Thoma Bravo to take AxiomSL through the next phase of our growth journey. Thoma Bravo has a proven track record of accelerating innovation and growth at leading software companies, as well as a strong appreciation for our values of client success, integrity with accountability, excellence in innovation, diversity of perspectives and internal and external collaboration," Alex Tsigutkin, AxiomSL Founder and CEO.
AxiomSL was advised by Evercore and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Thoma Bravo was advised by Kirkland & Ellis. TCV was advised by Latham & Watkins.
Whitecap Resources, a company that explores for oil and natural gas, agreed to acquire TORC Oil & Gas, a company engaged in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, for $703m.
The strategic business combination of Whitecap and TORC creates a leading oil weighted producer in Western Canada with a focused asset base exhibiting lower production declines, high operating netbacks and strong capital efficiencies.
"We are combining two strong Canadian energy producers to form a leading large-cap, light oil company geared towards generating sustainable long-term returns for shareholders while prioritizing responsible Canadian energy development. We would like to thank our employees for their continued exemplary efforts and our shareholders for their ongoing support. We look forward to advancing returns to our shareholders into the future," Grant Fagerheim, Whitecap's President & CEO.
TORC Oil is advised by RBC Capital Markets and McCarthy Tetrault. Whitecap Resources is advised by National Bank Financial and Burnet Duckworth & Palmer.
Providence Strategic Growth, a growth equity firm partnering with lower middle-market software and technology-enabled service companies, completed the investment in NoFraud, a provider of full-service fraud prevention software to e-commerce merchants. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"NoFraud is delivering essential services to e-commerce merchants at a time when their businesses are experiencing exponential growth, giving small-to-medium sized businesses a full-service tool that is not only meant to protect but boost their bottom line. We're excited to work with the team at NoFraud through their next phase of growth and support their continuing innovation as they look to expand their capabilities," Adam Marcus, PSG Managing Director.
NoFraud was advised by Meitar Law Offices. PSG was advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges and Prosek Partners.
Shareholders of Perceptron, a global provider of 3D automated metrology solutions and coordinate measuring machines, approved the previously announced agreement and plan of merger with Atlas Copco, a provider of sustainable productivity solutions headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.
The transaction is expected to close during the calendar fourth quarter 2020, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of clearance from CFIUS. Following the closing, Perceptron's common stock will no longer be publicly traded and will be delisted from Nasdaq Global Market.
Perceptron is advised by Vallum Advisors, XMS Capital Partners and Dykema.
BRP Group, an independent insurance distribution firm, agreed to acquire Burnham Benefits Insurance Services, a full-service provider of employee benefits consulting, retirement consulting, wealth management and insurance brokerage services, for $177m.
"Partnering with BRP Group is a clear, cultural match; the innovative platform of capabilities, client-first approach and opportunities available to our team, particularly in the areas of commercial risk management, made combining our firms the obvious choice. We could not be more excited to take Burnham to the next level for our clients and colleagues who will be the ultimate beneficiaries of our combined scale and capabilities," Kristen Allison, Burnham President and CEO.
Burnham is advised by MarshBerry. BRP Group is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Reuters reported, that the US Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint aimed at stopping Procter & Gamble, an American multinational consumer goods corporation, from buying Billie, a growing female body care company committed to better serving women's beauty and grooming needs.
The agency, which works with the Justice Department to enforce antitrust law, said P&G was the top seller of razors for both men and women, including the Gillette and Venus brands.
"Billie saw an opportunity to challenge P&G's position as the market leader by finding underserved, price and quality conscious customers. As its sales grew, Billie was likely to expand into brick-and-mortar stores, posing a serious threat to P&G," Ian Conner, FTC Bureau of Competition Director.
Billie is advised by Fenwick & West. P&G is advised by Jones Day.
Post Holdings, a consumer packaged goods holding company, agreed to acquire Peter Pan, a peanut butter brand, from Conagra Brands, a branded food company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the agreement, Conagra Brands will provide transitional services to facilitate transitioning the business. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first calendar quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of any applicable regulatory approvals.
Conagra Brands is advised by Goldman Sachs. Post Holdings is advised by Barclays.
TZP Group, a multi-strategy private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Awareness Technologies, a provider of security, monitoring, productivity and analytics software solutions for businesses and consumers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Awareness Technologies sits at the intersection of two strong trends that we have been tracking. We believe that trends toward increased remote work and work-from-home will continue even after the Pandemic resolves and that businesses will seek solutions to help monitor productivity and ensure security amongst a remote workforce. On the consumer front, as the number of devices in the home continues to rise, ATI's products offer a one-stop solution for parents to monitor their kids across multiple platforms," Dan Gaspar, TZP Partner.
Awareness Technologies was advised by Robinson+Cole. TZP was advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
The Halifax Group, a private equity firm that partners with managers and entrepreneurs to recapitalize and grow lower middle-market businesses, completed the investment in PJ United, the largest franchisee of Papa John's Pizza, and a former portfolio company of TPG Growth. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are honored to be chosen again by the PJ United management team as their partner, and to rejoin the Papa John's family. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the business that Doug and his team have built over the last three decades and continue to believe that Papa John's is the premier national brand in delivery pizza," Scott Plumridge, Halifax Managing Partner.
TA Associates and Insight Partners-backed PDI, a software company, agreed to acquire the Managed Security Services unit of Thompson Street-backed ControlScan, a provider of managed security and compliance solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our customers are facing increasing complexity as they adopt new technologies and leverage data to deliver better customer experiences. We look forward to bringing together the solutions and expertise from Cybera and ControlScan MSS to provide trusted security solutions to our customers," Jimmy Frangis, PDI CEO.
A federal judge rejected a bid by the Federal Trade Commission and the Pennsylvania Attorney General to temporarily block Thomas Jefferson University's $599m acquisition of the Einstein Healthcare Network, a private non-profit healthcare organization based in Philadelphia.
US District Judge Gerald J. Pappert concluded that the FTC's case failed to mesh with the reality of the Philadelphia-area health care market and relied on testimony from health insurers that was not credible.
Joby Aviation, a company developing an electric air taxi, agreed to acquire Uber Elevate, an electric passenger aircraft developer. Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in early Q1 2021, subject to regulatory review and customary closing conditions.
"Advanced air mobility has the potential to be exponentially positive for the environment and future generations. This deal allows us to deepen our partnership with Joby, the clear leader in this field, to accelerate the path to market for these technologies. We're excited for their transformational mobility solution to become available to the millions of customers who rely on our platform," Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO.
Private equity firms Provender Partners and Cerberus Capital Management agreed to form a joint venture to focus on building a multibillion-dollar portfolio of cold storage processing facilities in the United States, while bringing vital supply chain solutions to market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We’re excited to partner with Cerberus and leverage their expertise and financial horsepower to further drive our market-leading position. Beyond expanding our portfolio, the partnership will broaden our ability to help farmers and distributers as global conditions continue to impact the food supply chain. As processors and warehousers seek efficiency and geographic diversity, we look forward to delivering innovative, quality food supply chain solutions," Neil A. Johnson, Provender Founder and CEO.
Arlington Capital Partners, a Washington, DC-based private equity firm, completed the investment in Everest Clinical Research, a contract research organization. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to embark upon this new partnership with the impressive Everest team. Everest has built an exceptional organization predicated on continuous innovation, technical excellence, and unwavering quality and customer support. Everest's expertise in biostatistics and clinical data management together with the Company's extensive track record of supporting many of the world's most successful pharmaceutical companies across a diverse array of therapeutic areas and clinical phases provides a strong platform for further growth," Malcolm Little, Arlington Partner.
National Grid and Koch Industries led a $110m Series C round in Dragos, a provider of cybersecurity for industrial controls systems, with participation from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Allegis Cyber, Canaan, DataTribe, Energy Impact Partners, and Schweitzer Engineering Labs.
"This is a decisive moment in the ICS/OT cybersecurity market, with many powerful drivers coalescing to generate an unprecedented level of market interest and customer demand. Our Series C funding is an investment by industry, for industry, and will enable us to fully meet this moment for our customers by advancing the innovative technology at the center of our Dragos Platform, expanding our global footprint, and continuing to recruit the world's most elite team of ICS/OT cybersecurity experts," Robert M. Lee, Dragos CEO and Co-Founder.
AT&T fields DirecTV offers above $15bn. (FS)
Telecommunications company AT&T received bids for its DirecTV unit valuing the satellite-TV service at more than $15bn including debt, as the widely watched auction winds toward a resolution, WSJ reported.
Among those submitting bids above that level was Churchill Capital IV, a blank-check company run by former banker Michael Klein. Apollo Global Management, long seen by many as the front-runner to buy DirecTV, submitted a bid valuing the business at less than $15bn. Private equity firm TPG also put in a bid for DirecTV. The auction is in a late stage and should the company reach a deal with one of the suitors, it could be completed by early next year.
Baxter launches $5bn bid for Omnicell.
Baxter International, a medical supplies provider, approached medication management software vendor Omnicell with an offer to acquire it for more than $5bn, Reuters reported.
There is no certainty that Omnicell will engage in negotiations or that any deal will be reached. Baxter’s offer is over $120 per share. Omnicell’s shares ended trading on December 9 at $110, an all-time closing high.
Lowe's announces new $15bn buyback plan.
Lowe’s board authorized a new $15bn share repurchase program, as the home improvement chain benefited from strong sales of tools and building materials due to people upgrading their homes during the Covid-19 pandemic, Reuters reported.
The buyback program has no expiration date and adds to the previous program’s balance, which was $4.7bn as of December 8.
Spectrum Brands partners with CVC in bid for Conair. (FS)
Consumer products company Spectrum Brands Holdings partnered with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners in a bid to buy Conair in a deal which could value the hair-care appliance maker around $2bn.
Spectrum Brands and CVC’s consortium is one of a number of interested bidders for Conair. Family-owned Conair has been working with financial advisers to explore a sale, Reuters reported.
JP Morgan's Highbridge Capital seeks $1bn to bet on SPACs.
JP Morgan's Highbridge Capital Management is in talks to raise $1bn or more for a strategy dedicated to investing in special purpose acquisition companies and related financial instruments, Bloomberg reported.
The New York-based firm has begun discussions with prospective institutional investors such as pension funds and endowments, and with retail investors through wealth-management platforms.
Highbridge, which has made wagers on blank-check firms through its flagship investment fund, plans to spend much of its new vehicle on SPAC-related instruments including private investments in public equity, or PIPEs, convertible debt and warrants. PIPEs represent new equity that’s issued to support a merger with a target company once a deal has been agreed.
Monarch Capital raises $3bn for its fifth fund. (FS)
Monarch Alternative Capital, a distressed and opportunistic credit investment firm, announced the final close of Monarch Capital Partners V. Monarch raised approximately $3bn of capital for its oversubscribed fifth closed-end fund, which is poised to capitalize on the vast amount of distressed opportunities in the current market.
"Covid-19 created clear disruption across the global economy, which has translated into an unprecedented amount of opportunities in our space. While we don't know how this all ends, the ongoing uncertainty around the new 'normal' will keep us quite busy for a long time," Michael Weinstock, Monarch Alternative Capital CEO.
Monarch Alternative Capital was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher
and Kekst CNC.
GIP raises $2.8bn in two infrastructure credit funds. (FS)
Global Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm, raised $2.8bn in its two credit funds. GIP Capital Solutions Fund II closed on aggregate limited partner commitments of $1.4bn, and GIP Spectrum Fund has closed on aggregate limited partner commitments of $1.4bn.
The funds' diversified investor base includes public and private pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, asset managers, endowments, and high net worth individuals located across North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The funds garnered significant support from GIP's existing investor base, while also attracting new investors with a specific interest in infrastructure credit.
"We are extremely gratified by the confidence that our investors in GIP Credit have placed in us. In a market environment characterized by low interest rates, we believe our ability to provide customized financing solutions to issuers will give each fund a distinct and unique competitive angle. This will enable us to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for our investors, with a focus on enhanced downside protection and capital preservation," Jennifer Powers, GIP Partner and Chair of GIP Credit.
Wellington Management announces the close of Wellington Hadley Harbor III at $1.8bn. (FS)
Wellington Management, a private equity firm, announced the final close of its private equity strategy Wellington Hadley Harbor III with $1.8bn in commitments and up to $400m from co-investors to invest alongside the fund.
The fund seeks capital appreciation by investing in private late-stage companies that need capital to sustain or accelerate growth prior to a potential IPO or sale. The fund’s global investor base includes public and private pension plans, insurance companies, corporations, and family offices.
“Wellington Hadley Harbor III is designed to take advantage of the greater value creation and capture opportunities available in today’s private space as companies stay private for longer and raise more capital prior to a liquidity event like an IPO. We believe our ability to invest across sectors leveraging our proprietary deal-sourcing processes and public markets expertise, coupled with the shortened fund life cycle relative to early-stage VC and growth equity, made the Fund an attractive vehicle for investors and makes Wellington attractive to entrepreneurs,” Michael Carmen, Wellington Senior Managing Director.
Turner Impact Capital closes $1.25bn housing fund. (FS)
Turner Impact Capital, a private equity real estate firm, closed its second affordable workforce housing fund with more than $350m of committed capital and $1.25bn of investment potential.
Turner Multifamily Impact Fund II will enable the firm to acquire and manage up to 10k additional housing units and keep them at rent levels that are affordable to residents earning less than the area median income. Turner’s social impact mission goes far beyond simply preserving this housing stock.
Crossplane Capital closes inaugural fund at its $275m hard cap. (FS)
Crossplane Capital, a private equity firm, announced the final closing of its inaugural fund at its $275m hard cap.
“We are very appreciative of our top-notch and diverse investor base. Our highly respected early investors, seeded portfolio, hands-on and collaborative approach and experienced, cross-functional team led to significant investor interest above our $250m target for our debut fund," Brian Hegi, Crossplane Partner and Co-Founder.
Eaton Partners acted as the exclusive placement agent and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld acted as fund counsel for Crossplane.
DoorDash doubles valuation to raise about $3.4bn.
DoorDash sold shares in its initial public offering at $102 apiece, above its upwardly revised target range, to raise $3.4bn in what will be one of the biggest US stock market debuts of 2020, Reuters reported.
The IPO gives the US food delivery startup a fully diluted valuation of around $38bn, more than double its $16bn valuation during a private fundraising round in June.
DoorDash joins other big Silicon Valley companies, including Palantir Technologies and Snowflake, that have had blockbuster IPOs, riding on a stock market rally in the second half of the year fueled by stimulus money and hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are the lead underwriters for DoorDash’s offering.
Carlyle-backed Rede D’Or raises $2.2bn in IPO. (FS)
Carlyle-backed Rede D’Or Sao Luiz’s initial public offering raised $2.3bn, making it one of the biggest in Brazil’s history. The hospital operator sold 145m voting shares at $11.35 apiece, according to Brazilian regulator CVM. The proposed price range was $9.6-$12.6.
Strong demand for the offer, which for years had been anticipated by Brazil investors, allowed for the full placement of the so-called green shoe and hot issue. That added about $588m to the initial amount sold, taking the total to $2.2bn, Bloomberg reported.
Siebel-led C3 to raise $651m in IPO.
C3.ai, the software maker founded by former Oracle executive Tom Siebel, priced its initial public offering above the marketed range to raise $651m, Bloomberg reported.
C3 sold 15.5m shares Tuesday for $42 apiece after marketing them for $36 to $38. Spring Creek Capital, an affiliate of Koch Industries, planned to buy $100m in common stock while Microsoft would buy $50m of them at the IPO price.
C3.ai’s offering is being led by Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Bank of America Merril Lynch.
Robinhood hires Goldman Sachs to lead IPO. (FS)
Robinhood Markets, an American financial services company, hired Goldman Sachs to leads its preparations for an IPO, which could come as early as next year, and value it more than $20bn.
Robinhood’s IPO plans come amid a slew of red-hot listings by technology companies in 2020. The appetite for new stocks has been fueled by a combination of low-interest rates, the printing of money by the US Federal Reserve, and acceleration of tech trends due to the pandemic, Reuters reported.
The backers of Robinhood include venture capital investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, D1 Capital, DST Global, and Ribbit Capital, as well as celebrities including rapper Snoop Dogg and actor Jared Leto.
Polygon Global Partners, GoCo shareholder which owns 5% of the company, plans to vote against the takeover of the price-comparison company by Future, a magazine publisher, Bloomberg reported.
“We believe that GoCo is being sold for significantly below its intrinsic value and that the current terms favor disproportionally Future shareholders,” Bechara Nasr, Polygon portfolio manager.
Polygon likes the rationale of the deal, but thinks the combined group could exceed the roughly $13m in announced cost synergies and that revenue synergies could be greater by a fair margin.
The deal requires the support of 75% of voting GoCo shareholders and already has the backing of Peter Wood, GoCO chairman and largest shareholder. The independent directors of GoCo consider the terms of the deal to be “fair and reasonable”.
GoCo is advised by Peel Hunt, Morgan Stanley, Herbert Smith Freehills, Slaughter & May and Citigate Dewe Rogerson. Future is advised by Goldman Sachs, Numis Securities, Simmons & Simmons and Headland Consultancy.
Mid Europa Partners, an independent private equity player in Central and Eastern Europe, agreed to acquire the Polish unit of The Sage Group, a British multinational enterprise software company, for £66m ($88m).
"We are delighted to be backing Symfonia, a leading provider of business-critical software to SMEs. The company already enjoys exceptional brand recognition in Poland while its market-leading product portfolio offers highly functional, reliable and modular software solutions. We are excited to support the Symfonia team in the execution of future strategic initiatives, including new product development and the expansion of its cloud offering. The Symfonia acquisition builds on Mid Europa's proven track record of investing in CEE-rooted champions in the growth sectors of digital, technology, online and B2B software. It adds to our existing investments in intive, and Allegro as well as the recent acquisition of Displate," Kerim Turkmen, Mid Europa Partner.
Mid Europa Partners is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Boston Consulting Group, Arma Partners, Vienna Capital Partners and White & Case. The Sage Group is advised by FTI Consulting.
SBB, a Swedish real estate firm, withdrew its $3.4bn bid for Entra, a Norwegian real estate company, citing due diligence concerns after the Norwegian company reported a higher valuation for its assets, Reuters reported.
“SBB regrets to inform that the due diligence condition to the offer will not be satisfied or waived and the offer will thus lapse. The updated valuation is not in line with past practice and, in SBB’s view, not in line with the Norwegian market development in general,” SBB.
SBB was advised by Arctic Securities, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Thommessen, Vinge and Wiersholm.
KKR & Co agreed to invest in Velero, a residential asset manager, that is focused on residential units at affordable rents. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to set the foundation for the creation of a high-quality, diversified housing company that will benefit from the dynamics in the German real estate sector. We now look forward to expanding the platform together and further improving the quality of living for tenants and the environmental footprint of the portfolio," Jan Baumgart, KKR Head of Real Estate Germany.
Velero is advised by Feldhoff & Cie. KKR is advised by Hengeler Mueller and Finsbury Glover Hering.
Apse Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of TerraQuest Solutions, a digital services provider, from Mears Group, a housing and social care provider, for $95m.
"We are impressed by TerraQuest's outstanding growth to date and its talented management team, who have successfully positioned the business at the heart of the UK planning sector. We look forward to working together to embark on the next step of the company's growth journey and help it further digitize the land referencing and planning process," Tim Green, Apse Capital Managing Partner.
Mears Group was advised by Peel Hunt and Investec.
CANDRIAM, an investment management firm, and New York Life Investments Alternatives agreed to acquire a 33% stake in Kartesia Management, an independent and privately-owned European specialist financing small and middle-market companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are enthusiastic to create a partnership that will strengthen the Kartesia platform and bring further growth opportunities to our team and our clients. CANDRIAM’s distinction in ESG investing and strong European distribution platform combined with New York Life Investments Alternatives’ reputation in the US and Asia as a focused player in the middle market make this an ideal partnership for us as we continue to strategically grow and evolve our business," Jaime Prieto and Damien Scaillierez, Kartesia Management Managing Partners.
IKB Deutsche Industriebank, a bank headquartered in Düsseldorf, agreed to acquire a 30% stake in fundingport, a financial services firm, from Hypoport, a network of technology companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Joining forces with IKB means gaining a partner with strong links to the German MidCap sector, decades of experience and an excellent network. IKB's expertise in the field of public program loans is also very beneficial for the further technological enhancement of our platform. Our affiliated bank partners will benefit from the lending deals offered by IKB, which provide them with opportunities for additional high-quality business," Maria Starke, fundingport CEO.
IKB Deutsche Industriebank is advised by Hengeler Mueller.
Global investment firm The Carlyle Group agreed to acquire the Acrotec Group, an independent supplier of high precision industrial applications to the watchmaking and MedTech industries, from private equity firm Castik Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"In Carlyle, I am delighted that we have found a partner that understands and appreciates the core values of the Group. This partnership, which represents an important milestone in Acrotec's history, will significantly accelerate our growth and diversification plan while remaining loyal to our core business in high precision applications. Castik has been a valuable partner over the past four years, supporting the business to consolidate its leading position in mechanical watch making, and overseeing a key phase of its development, while respecting the values of the Group," François Billig, Acrotec Group Founder and CEO.
The Carlyle Group agreed to invest in iC Consult Group, a vendor-independent systems integrator for Identity and Access Management in the German-speaking market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to partner with Carlyle who bring a vast international network and a deep understanding of our industry. Carlyle's investment represents a major step in taking the company forward into the next phase of its development and growth. In partnering with Carlyle, we will look to take advantage of opportunities particularly in new markets, but also in existing ones, as we continue to expand our growth and innovation plans. I am convinced that this is the right step at the right time," Jürgen Biermann, iC Consult Group Founder and CEO.
Alcentra closes its second European strategic credit fund at $675m. (FS)
Alcentra, an asset management group, closed its second European strategic credit fund at $675m.
This capital will be used to continue Alcentra’s strategic credit strategy investing in stressed and distressed debt opportunities, with assets under management for its European strategic credit platform rising to over $1.8bn.
Alcentra was advised by Macfarlanes.
Forbion raises $558m to back EU biotech firms. (FS)
Forbion Capital raised a $558m early-stage venture capital fund. The fund hit its hard cap weeks after opening, adding further evidence of the willingness of investors to back experienced European VC shops.
Forbion will start investing the fund next year. In doing so, Forbion will follow the broad strategy that has served it well in the past. The fund will support around 15 companies. Forbion will create around one-third of the companies itself, building the businesses around either proven management teams or assets sourced from pharma or academia. European life sciences startups will receive around 80% of the investments, with the rest going to North America.
Tesco's shareholders can look forward to a $6.7bn windfall in the new year after the group said it would complete the $10.6bn sale of its Asian businesses to Thailand’s CP Group, a Thai conglomerate based in Bangkok focuses on packaged food, marketing, and distribution, property development, automotive, finance and insurance, next week.
Approval from the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs in Malaysia means there are no further conditions outstanding and the disposal is expected to complete on or around December 18, 2020, Reuters reported.
CP Group is advised by JP Morgan, The Quant Group, UBS, Brunswick Group and Linklaters. Financial advisors are advised by Clifford Chance. Debt financing is provided by JP Morgan, The Siam Commercial Bank and UBS. Tesco is advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Greenhill & Co, Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Teneo. Financial advisors are advised by Herbert Smith Freehills.
IGO, an exploration company, is set to invest $1.4bn in Tianqi Lithium Energy, giving it 25% stake in Greenbushes, a lithium mine, and a 49% stake in Kwinana, a lithium processing plant.
“This is a genuinely transformational transaction for IGO and one that delivers on our strategy to become a global leader in the supply of metals critical for enabling a clean energy future. We see Tianqi, a leader in the global lithium industry and with strong alignment to our strategy, as the ideal partner for IGO. Both Greenbushes and Kwinana are world-class assets with attractive growth profiles that together provide the platform for building a global lithium business. We look forward to working with Tianqi to build a leading global lithium business that will play an important role in supporting the global transition to clean energy technologies, while generating substantial value for IGO shareholders for many years to come," Peter Bradford, IGO Managing Director and CEO.
IGO is advised by Citigroup, Macquarie Group, Standard Chartered Bank, and Herbert Smith Freehills. Debt financing is provided by BurnVoir Corporate, Citigroup, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, and Westpac Banking.
Infratil, an infrastructure investment company, rejected a $3.8bn offer from AustralianSuper, a pension fund, terming the bid as too low and triggering an over 20% jump in shares of the New Zealand-based energy and transport infrastructure investor, Reuters reported.
“Both proposals were unsolicited and materially undervalue our significant renewable energy and digital infrastructure platforms,” Marko Bogoievski, Infratil CEO.
Infratil is advised by Goldman Sachs and MinterEllison.
Brookfield Asset Management, an alternative asset management company, agreed to acquire Everise, a Singapore-headquartered, next-generation customer experience solutions and technology company, from private equity firm Everstone. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"In Everise, we see a high-quality customer experience solutions provider with deep domain capabilities in attractive healthcare and tech verticals, serving a diverse set of global marquee customers. Its strong management team and differentiated business model positions the company well for further global growth," Aditya Joshi, Brookfield Senior Vice President.
SoftBank is discussing a buyout to go private.
SoftBank Group is debating a new strategy to go private by gradually buying back outstanding shares until founder Masayoshi Son has a big enough stake he can squeeze out the remaining investors, Bloomberg reported.
The approach would likely take more than a year and would mean the Japanese company continues to sell assets to fund successive buybacks. Son wouldn’t buy more shares himself, but his ownership stake, now about 27%, would increase as other investors sell stock. Under Japanese regulations, Son could compel other shareholders to sell when he gets to 66% ownership, perhaps without paying a premium.
One advantage of the plan, which insiders have called a “slow-burn” buyout, is that it gives SoftBank flexibility to purchase its own stock when it dips.
Blackstone and Brookfield bet on India office REITs. (FS, RE)
Some of the world’s biggest investors are snapping up office space in India with plans to turn them into real estate investment trusts, betting that demand will sustain and provide attractive yields in coming decades.
Brookfield Asset Management in October agreed to pay $2bn for 12.5m sq ft of rent-yielding offices and co-working spaces in India. That’s the biggest real estate deal ever for India. Blackstone Group bought $1.2bn of malls and other commercial properties from a local developer, set to further expand its 9.6m sq ft of fully-owned real estate assets in India.
These assets will probably be folded into existing REITs or listed as new ones. Blackstone is the backer of Embassy Office Parks REIT, which raised $689m in the country’s first such listing in April 2019. That was followed by another REIT that’s also backed by Blackstone in August, while Brookfield is looking to list one in Mumbai before the end of this year, Bloomberg reported.
Meesho close to raising $150m funding. (FS)
Meesho, a social commerce platform, is in advanced discussion to raise up to $150m in a fresh funding round, which is likely to be led by existing investor Naspers.
Other existing investors, including Facebook, RPS, SAIF Partners, and Venture Highway, are likely to join the financing round that will value Meesho in the range of $1.3-$1.5bn, DealStreetAsia reported.
Hillhouse Capital-backed Blue Moon raises $1.27bn in Hong Kong IPO. (FS)
Hillhouse Capital-backed Chinese detergent maker Blue Moon Group Holdings has become the latest in a record number of companies to raise at least $1bn in a Hong Kong IPO in 2020 after pricing its shares at $1.69.
Blue Moon sold 747m shares in the deal which gives the company a market capitalization of almost $10bn. Hillhouse will exercise some of its anti-dilution subscription option to maintain its stake at 9.3%.
Six cornerstone investors led by Veritas Asset Management, the British investment fund, have taken a $235m stake in the Blue Moon deal that accounts for nearly 21% of the IPO.
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