The chief executive of life sciences company Illumina argued that the deal to buy back GRAIL would lead to cheaper cancer tests rather than potentially pushing up prices as the government alleged in seeking to block the $8bn deal.
The potential lack of access would potentially prevent other companies than GRAIL from developing a rival test, the FTC argued. The lawsuit was filed at a time when concerns over health care costs, including prices of medicines like insulin that have been off patent for years, have risen sharply, in some cases forcing patients to make painful decisions.
GRAIL is advised by Morgan Stanley, Latham & Watkins, McDonald Hopkins, Proskauer Rose, Ropes & Gray and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Illumina is advised by Goldman Sachs, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Joele Frank. Goldman Sachs is advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Debt financing is provided by Goldman Sachs. Johnson & Johnson is advised by Goodwin Proctor.
GI Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire ORBCOMM, a network gear manufacturer, for $1.1bn, including net debt. ORBCOMM stockholders will receive $11.50 in cash per outstanding share of common stock at a premium of approximately 52% to ORBCOMM’s closing share price on April 7.
“This transaction will provide immediate and substantial value to ORBCOMM stockholders, reflecting the tremendous commitment and work of our employees and stakeholders. The partnership with GI Partners will provide us the opportunity to rapidly advance our long-term strategy. GI Partners has an established track record of working with companies to accelerate growth, and we look forward to continuing to drive innovation, providing world-class service to our global customers and expanding our market share in the industrial IoT as a privately held company," Marc Eisenberg, ORBCOMM CEO.
ORBCOMM is advised by PJT Partners, Raymond James and Milbank. GI Partners is advised by Evercore, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Chris Tofalli.
GHO Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Velocity Clinical Research, a pharmaceutical and vaccine research company, from NaviMed Capital, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Today's announcement signals the future for the clinical trials industry. NaviMed has been a great partner for us, working with us on the direction for the company while giving our senior management team the freedom to execute on strategic decisions. Our experienced team knows how to run sites and we feel that GHO is the right partner to back Velocity, as we move into our next phase of growth thanks to their experience in pharmaceutical services," G. Paul Evans, Velocity President and CEO.
Velocity Clinical is advised by Harris Williams & Co and Bass Berry & Sims. GHO Capital is advised by Atlantic Global Risk, Hays Companies, Health Advances, Deloitte and Ropes & Gray.
Riot Blockchain, a bitcoin mining company, agreed to acquire Whinstone, a Bitcoin hosting facility operator, from Northern Data, an information technology company, for $651m.
"The acquisition of Whinstone is the most significant achievement in Riot’s growth to-date and positions Riot as an industry leader in Bitcoin mining. After the consummation of this transaction, we will have created a very clear path for the Company’s future growth. Riot will wholly own the largest Bitcoin mining facility in North America, with very low power costs, and one of the most talented development teams in the industry. Whinstone will serve as the foundation of Riot’s Bitcoin mining operations, upon which we will drive our goal of increasing the American footprint in the global Bitcoin mining landscape," Jason Les, Riot CEO.
Riot Blockchain is advised by XMS Capital Partners and Sidley Austin. Northern data is advised by Greenhill & Co and Sullivan & Cromwell.
HealthEquity, an independent health savings account custodian, agreed to acquire Further, a provider of HSA and consumer-directed benefit administration services, from Stella Health, a family of healthcare companies, for $500m.
“By putting HealthEquity’s Total Solution inside of network partner applications and private-label brand environments, Further’s technology will align us more closely than ever before and enable new partnerships to introduce more consumers to HSAs,” Jon Kessler, HealthEquity President and CEO.
HealthEquity is advised by Perella Weinberg Partners and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Stella Health is advised by Wells Fargo Securities and Taft Stettinius & Hollister.
CBRE Global Investors, a real asset investment manager, agreed to acquire WANRack, a fiber operator and developer providing broadband connectivity services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"WANRack has established itself as a vital player in the US fiber space by building and owning dedicated fiber networks, which connect K-12 schools in underserved communities with private, high-speed broadband connectivity. We are delighted to partner with an experienced management team to support the continued growth in E-Rate and build out the company’s commercial fiber strategy," Noi Spyratos, CBRE Partner.
CBRE is advised by ACM Atlantic, RBC Capital Markets, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, and Broadband Success Partners.
Sole Source Capital, an industrial-focused private equity firm, agreed to acquire Peak-Ryzex from Keystone Capita and Optical Phusion, two providers of automatic identification, data capture and factory automation solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“These two acquisitions are a natural fit with our investment thesis, as we are a thematically-driven firm and automation is a strong area of focus. The AIDC market is both highly fragmented and has strong industry tailwinds,” David Fredston, Sole Source Capital Founder and Managing Partner.
Optical Phusion is advised by Charter Capital Partners. Peak-Ryzex is advised by Stifel. Sole Source Capital is advised by Mendel Communications.
Nio Advisors and McNally Capital, two asset managers, agreed to acquire Orbis Operations, a provider of intelligence and national security advisory. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Orbis has unparalleled knowledge within the intelligence community and significant national security experience, and we are excited to partner with them as they continue their growth. Our partnership with the Orbis team aligns with our internal expertise in the Aerospace & Defense industry and our investment thesis in intelligence and national security," Ravi P. Shah, McNally Capital Principal.
Orbis is advised by William Blair and DLA Piper. McNally is advised by Ropes & Gray.
Hyland, a content services provider, completed the acquisition of Nuxeo, a software company, from Kennet Partners, a private equity investment firm, and Goldman Sachs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're thrilled to welcome our new colleagues, customers and partners to the Hyland community. With the addition of Nuxeo's cloud-native, open-source, low-code platform, Hyland is now the largest open-source content services provider in the market. The expertise the Nuxeo team brings, along with the innovative capabilities of the Nuxeo platform, strengthen Hyland's position as the leader in cloud-based content services platforms and present tremendous opportunities for the organizations we serve,” Bill Priemer, Hyland President and CEO.
Kennet Partners was advised by William Blair & Co and SEC Newgate. Nuxeo is advised by Proskauer Rose.
Glass House Group, a vertically integrated cannabis and hemp company, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Mercer Park Brand Acquisition in a $567m deal. It is a condition of closing the business combination that the resulting company’s shares will be listed on the NEO Exchange (under the ticker symbol GLAS.U). Subject to the satisfaction of all required conditions, the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2021.
“When we formed Mercer Park BRND, we aimed to create a platform that could launch the first national cannabis brands in the United States. This took us to California with its ideal growing climate and community of talented and experienced growers, and ultimately to Glass House Group and this incredible portfolio of assets and talent. Glass House Group is poised to become the largest, vertically integrated brand-building platform in California, the world’s largest cannabis market," Jonathan Sandelman, BRND Chairman.
Mercer Park Brand Acquisition is advised by Gateway Investor Relations and Mattio Communications.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Franklin Templeton, a private equity firm, led a $210 extension to the Series C funding round in OneTrust, a software developer.
"As more data is created and shared over the internet, consumer privacy and trust have become critical issues for companies globally. We believe OneTrust is the leading enterprise platform leader that is providing data privacy and compliance needs for organizations of all sizes. We are pleased to partner with Kabir and the OneTrust team to support their mission to operationalize trust and expand into new markets," Ramzi Ramsey, SoftBank Investment Advisers Partner.
SoftBank was advised by Morrison & Foerster and Kilpatrick Townsend.
Hood Container, an integrated paperboard and specialty paper manufacturer, agreed to acquire the display and packaging business from Sonoco, a global packaging company, for $80m.
“Our US display and packaging business has been an industry pioneer with a legacy of providing innovative solutions for complex supply chain challenges. However, Sonoco is focused on growing our core consumer and industrial packaging businesses around the world, and by divesting this business we expect to apply proceeds to further invest in ourselves while returning value to our shareholders,” Howard Coker, Sonoco President and CEO.
Sonoco is advised by Rothschild & Co and Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd.
Greencoat Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a 55% stake in the US wind portfolio of EDP Renewables, a renewable energy harvester, for $396m.
This transaction is within the context of the $9.5bn asset rotation program announced in EDPR Capital Markets Day, allowing EDPR to accelerate value creation while recycling capital to reinvest in accretive growth.
Atria Wealth Solutions, a multi-channel wealth management solutions holding company, completed the acquisition of SCF Securities, an independent wealth management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Both companies believe in the criticality of the advisor-client relationship and making it easier for financial professionals to create deeper and more meaningful interactions with clients and prospects by delivering the best-in-class tools, technology, investment solutions, resources and services," Doug Ketterer, Atria CEO and Founding Partner.
Johnson Controls agreed to acquire Silent-Aire, a global firm in hyperscale data center cooling and modular critical infrastructure solutions, for c.$870m. Subject to the receipt of regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in the fiscal third quarter of 2021.
"With Silent-Aire, Johnson Controls has a significant opportunity to increase our focus on the data center vertical and accelerate growth in this attractive end market by combining the strengths of our global scale in manufacturing and service, with leading-edge innovation and a broad portfolio of technologies dedicated to serving hyperscale providers," George Oliver, Johnson Controls Chairman and CEO.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 completed a $160m investment in Iyuno-SDI Group, a provider of localization services to the media and entertainment industry.
The investment will provide Iyuno-SDI with the necessary resources to support its mission of transforming the localization industry.
"SoftBank Vision Fund 2 joining Iyuno-SDI's impressive group of investors is a significant milestone in the evolution of our company. SoftBank Vision Fund 2's portfolio companies are each transformative in their respective industries and Iyuno-SDI is proud to join this network of businesses innovating and advancing the state of the art," David Lee, Iyuno-SDI Group CEO.
Tiger Global, a private equity firm, led a $100m funding round in Gupshup, a chat bot building platform. This funding will be followed by a second close with significant additional funds raised from more investors, to be announced later.
“The growth in business use of messaging and conversational experiences, transforming virtually every customer touchpoint, is an exciting secular trend. Gupshup is uniquely positioned to win in this market with a differentiated product, a clear and sustainable moat, and an experienced team with a proven track record. In addition to its market leadership, Gupshup’s unique combination of scale, growth and profitability attracted us,” John Curtius, Tiger Global Management Partner.
Mission Peak Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in the US operations of Mount Street, a third-party loan servicer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our investment in Mount Street is a direct result of our recognition that commercial real estate is evolving and continues to be deeply impacted by changing global trends. This partnership will not only benefit investors with more customized solutions--lenders and borrowers will all gain advantage from a servicing provider that truly understands real estate from an asset level to ensure success," Wit Solberg, Mission Peak Principal and Founder.
RiverGlade Capital, a Chicago-based growth-oriented private equity firm that invests solely in healthcare companies, completed the acquisition of H.H. Franchising Systems, a Cincinnati-based company that operates Home Helpers Home Care, from Linsalata Capital, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Home Helpers Home Care has realized 15% compound annual growth rate over the last five years and our new partners at RiverGlade will provide experience and resources to support us to continue on that upward path and at an accelerated pace," said Dickison. "This is an investment in Home Helpers Home Care that enables us to provide exceptional in-home care for more families and seniors across the country," Emma Dickison, Home Helpers Home Care CEO and President.
Tigre, a Brazilian multinational construction and water care solutions firm, agreed to acquire Dura Plastic Products, a family-owned American company based in California. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This business transforms the US operation into a second global hub for the production of connections and enables the acceleration of the future growth of the group," Vivianne Valente, Grupo Tigre Executive Director of Finance and IT.
Medline Industries explores a $30bn sale. (FS)
Medline Industries is exploring a sale that could value the big medical-supply company at as much as $30bn and mark the latest in a recent string of large leveraged-buyout bids, WSJreported.
The family-owned company has hired Goldman Sachs to run the process. The process is at an early stage and an IPO or minority investment is also a possibility. Medline is likely to attract private-equity bidders, partly because industry players could struggle to swallow such a big rival. Blackstone Group, KKR and Carlyle Group are among those expected to consider bids, and they could ultimately partner up given the size of the deal.
The possible deal is the latest sign of a renaissance under way for large leveraged buyouts, which largely disappeared in the wake of the financial crisis as firms eschewed pairing up and taking on the mountains of debt such deals require.
Ginkgo in talks with Harry Sloan-led SPAC for over $20bn deal. (FS)
Biotech startup Ginkgo Bioworks is in talks to go public through a merger with a SPAC backed by former Hollywood executives Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky, in a deal valued at about $20bn. The company is in exclusive talks with Soaring Eagle Acquisition for a potential business combination and a deal could be announced as soon as this month, Reutersreported.
Boston-based Ginkgo is backed by Bill Gates’ private investment firm, Cascade Investment, and hedge fund Viking Global. It received a $1.1bn loan from the US government in November for Covid-19 testing and production of raw materials for therapies that may help address future pandemics.
Mubadala discusses GlobalFoundries IPO at $20bn value. (FS)
Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment has started preparations for a US IPO of chipmaker GlobalFoundries, Bloombergreported. The sovereign wealth fund has been having initial discussions with potential advisers about a listing of GlobalFoundries that could value the business at about $20bn.
Thomas Caulfield, GlobalFoundries CEO, said the company always reviews strategic alternatives, and the timetable for an IPO has always been sometime in 2022. The chip shortage has been accelerated by the rising demand for technology adoption during the Covid-19 pandemic. Technology companies have already raised $20bn in US IPOs this year.
SIGNA Sports United in talks to go public through SPAC deal.
Sporting goods retailer SIGNA Sports United, owned by Austrian investor Rene Benko, is in talks to go public through a merger with a blank check company in a deal that could value the firm at up to $4bn, Reutersreported.
SIGNA Sports United is working with several banks, including Citigroup, on a potential transaction and is in preliminary talks with SPAC, including Yucaipa Acquisition.
SIGNA Sports United is also nearing a deal to buy Britain-based online sporting goods store Wiggle, which is owned by private equity firm Bridgepoint.
Syncreon is said to weigh a $1.5bn sale.
The owners of supply-chain services company Syncreon are exploring a sale of the company that could value it at as much as $1.5bn, including debt. Syncreon’s owners are working with an adviser to assist in the process. It is expected to attract interest from private equity firms and other logistics companies, Bloombergreported.
Syncreon underwent a financial restructuring during 2019 in which lenders, including the credit arms of CVC Capital and Carlyle Group, took ownership of the company. Previous backers GenNx360 Capital and Centerbridge Partners surrendered control of the company.
Alex Rodriguez, Marc Lore explore a $1.5bn bid for Minnesota Timberwolves.
Former Major League Baseball player Alex Rodriguez and Jet founder Marc Lore are buying the Minnesota Timberwolves, the basketball team said. The deal may be valued at about $1.5bn, Bloombergreported.
Rodriguez said about two months ago that he’s looking for deals after Slam, his SPAC, started trading. Last year, the former Yankees all-star lost a bid for the New York Mets baseball team to billionaire Steve Cohen.
Lore, a former Walmart executive and founder of Jet, is a special adviser to Slam. The architect of Walmart’s digital operations, Lore joined the retailer after it bought his startup for $3.3bn in 2016, before retiring in January.
Lou Malnati’s backers explore a sale. (FS)
The backers of Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria are exploring options including a sale of the Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza chain, Bloombergreported.
The company could be valued at as much as $700m, including debt, in a sale. Shareholders, which include the Malnati family and BDT Capital Partners, are working with an adviser. The group could sell out completely, add a new shareholder or keep its existing structure.
Expectations of a post-pandemic rebound are driving deal-making in the restaurant space. Texas-based chain Torchy’s Tacos is working with advisers on an initial public offering this year while Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta agreed in February to merge his casino and restaurant empire with blank-check company Fast Acquisition.
SoftBank to invest $500m in Better. (FS)
SoftBank Group is investing $500m in mortgage lender Better as the Japanese investing giant seeks to ride a wave of swelling startup valuations, WSJreported.
The investment values parent Better Holdco at about $6bn. SoftBank is buying shares from the company’s existing investors at a sharp jump from the $4bn at which it raised money in November. Better is expected to go public later this year.
SoftBank has been in discussions with Better over the potential investment since late last year, drawn in part by the startup’s rapid growth. SoftBank founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son has been telling employees to hunt for fast-growing pre-IPO companies in which the investing giant can deploy capital quickly given his expectation that valuations. There is an expectation that the valuation of such companies, which have benefited from factors including a buoyant IPO market, will continue rising in the near- to medium-term.
Novonor resumes the sale of Braskem.
Brazilian engineering company Novonor, formerly known as Odebrecht, said it had resumed contacts with bidders to sell its controlling stake in petrochemical producer Braskem, Reutersreported.
Proceeds of the sale will pay the conglomerate’s creditors, mainly the largest banks, as set forth in agreements with creditors within the bankruptcy protection process.
Novonor paused discussions with Lyondell Basell Industries over the Braskem sale two years ago, when Braskem was under fire over environmental problems related to its mining activities in the northeastern city of Maceio. Braskem was also involved in discussions of its corruption plea agreement and delayed publication of its 20-F form with the US SEC.
As US business aviation traffic rebounds to pre-pandemic levels, a niche, fragmented industry providing services ranging from hangars to fueling is drawing interest from private equity funds and infrastructure investors, Reutersreported.
Fixed base operators play a key role in keeping private jets flying, offering services like hangars and fueling, and some buyers are betting the revival in flights could spill over into allied industries.
While business jet orders and deliveries dropped in 2020, private flights, which carry smaller groups and promise wealthy passengers less risk of exposure to the coronavirus, have generally fared better than commercial. That is underpinning investor interest in FBOs.
Impossible Foods in talks to list on the stock market.
Impossible Foods is preparing for a public listing which could value the US plant-based burger maker at around $10bn or more, Reutersreported.
This would be substantially more than the $4bn the company was worth in a private funding round in 2020. It would highlight growing demand for plant-based meat products, driven by environmental and ethical concerns among consumers.
Impossible Foods is exploring going public through an IPO in the next 12 months or a merger with a SPAC. The Redwood City, California-based company has worked with a financial adviser to help manage discussions with SPACs after receiving offers at a lucrative valuation. Going public through a SPAC could dilute existing Impossible Foods shareholders, however, by a greater extent than an IPO.
Soho House strides towards $3bn float with US filing.
Soho House, one of the world's biggest networks of private members' clubs, has taken a big step towards a stock exchange listing after kicking off a formal registration process in the US, Sky News reported.
Soho House this week submitted a confidential filing for an IPO in New York that will value it at more than $3bn (£2.1bn).
The flotation, which will crystallize a big paper windfall for the company's founder, Nick Jones, could reach a valuation of as much as $4bn (£2.9bn). The filing with the US SEC is the first formal step towards Soho House making a long-awaited public markets debut on the NYSE.
HIG-backed Kora files for $300m IPO in Brazil. (FS)
Brazilian hospital chain Kora Saude Participacoes, backed by US private equity firm HIG Capital, plans an IPO to raise roughly $300m, Nasdaqreported.
This amount reflects the mid-point of its price range, which was set between $2 and $2.7. It does not consider overallotments. The price will be set on April 28 and shares will debut on the Sao Paulo stock exchange on April 30.
Both the company and its shareholders, which include HIG, plan to sell shares in the offering. Kora plans to use the proceeds to acquire competitors, launch new hospitals and enter new segments, such as oncology.
Elo picks banks for IPO.
Brazilian payments firm Elo has chosen six banks to manage its initial public offering, in the first concrete sign it is proceeding with a move first proposed by shareholders in August, Reuters reported.
The payments network - launched a decade ago to compete with Visa and Mastercard - is planning an IPO on Nasdaq, following recent successful listings by Brazilian financial services firms such as XP and StoneCo.
Elo has picked Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan as the main underwriters, along with the investment banking units of its owners Banco Bradesco, Banco do Brasil and Caixa Economica Federal. Elo is pursuing a valuation of around $7bn through the flotation, which another source said is likely to happen in the second half of the year.
Jessica Alba's Honest files for US IPO.
Honest, a consumer goods company founded by actress Jessica Alba, filed for a US IPO following a strong year that was driven by a pandemic-driven surge in demand for baby products, lotions and sanitizers, Reutersreported.
The company, which plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol “HNST”, said its revenue jumped about 28% to $300m for the year ended December 31, with diapers and wipes accounting for about two-thirds of its sales.
Net loss for the period also narrowed to $14.5mn from $31.1m a year earlier, it said in a filing with the US SEC. The company’s move to list its shares comes as it plans to strengthen its online business, while bolstering its presence at third-party sellers and in international markets, including the lucrative Asian region.
Kaz Minerals will go private after the third buyout offer was enough to gain over 75% shareholder support. Nova Resources reported 82% shareholder acceptance, two weeks after an improved offer.
Kaz Minerals CEO Oleg Novachuk, declares its final increased offer unconditional as to acceptances. The takeover offer was raised at the end of March to $11.6 per share, plus a $0.27 special dividend, valuing Kaz at more than $5.5bn.
Kaz Minerals is advised by Citigroup, UBS, Linklaters and Brunswick Group. Nova Resources is advised by Hudson Sandler, VTB Capital and Clifford Chance. Debt financing is provided by VTB Capital. VTB Capital is advised by Latham & Watkins, Macfarlanes and Walkers.
KPS Capital Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire an 80% stake in the European tinplate business of Crown Holdings, a supplier of rigid packaging products, for $2.7bn.
“We are very pleased that the European Tinplate business will have a strong owner in KPS Capital Partners to support future profitable growth and innovation initiatives. European customers and consumers alike have long embraced metal packaging, valuing the premium product protection and flavor preservation that it offers. We are excited to retain a minority stake in the business alongside KPS as Crown shareholders will benefit from the KPS team and its track record of owning manufacturing companies and creating tremendous value," Timothy Donahue, Crown CEO.
KPS Capital is advised by Barclays, Rothschild & Co, UBS, and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Debt financing is provided by BNP Paribas, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and UBS. Crown Holding is advised by Evercore and Dechert.
Innova Capital, a global investor with a focus on disruptive innovations, completed the acquisition of the Romanian business of PayPoint, a British business offering a system for paying bills, for $61m.
“Consistent with the step-change in our UK-focused strategy, we are pleased to have completed the sale of PayPoint Romania. I would like to thank the Romanian management team and employees for their contribution to PayPoint over the last 13 years. We believe that Innova Capital is the right owner to take the business forward and we wish PayPoint Romania and Innova well for the future,” Nick Wiles, PayPoint CEO.
PayPoint was advised by Ernst & Young, Mills & Reeve, Vernon David, Radu Taracila Padurari Retevoescu and Finsbury Glover Hering.
Hologic, a women's health company, agreed to acquire Mobidiag, a biotechnology company, for $795m. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to receipt of certain required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
“Acquiring Mobidiag will further strengthen our international and diagnostics businesses by enabling us to expand into the large, fast-growing acute care adjacency with a near-patient testing solution that offers ease of use, multiplex capability and rapid turnaround time. We believe that Mobidiag has developed a differentiated platform that addresses many of the historical challenges of multiplexed point-of-care molecular testing," Jan Verstreken, Hologic President.
Mobidiag is advised by JP Morgan, Roschier Attorneys and Consilium Strategic Communications. Hologic is advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges.
EIG-led consortium to acquire a 49% stale in the oil pipeline business of Saudi Aramco for $12.4bn. Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund Mubadala Investment is also a member of the consortium. The transaction is expected to close as soon as practicable, subject to customary closing conditions, including any required merger control and related regulatory approvals.
“This transaction aligns perfectly with EIG’s philosophy of investing in high-quality assets with contracted cash flows in critical infrastructure. We look forward to a long-term partnership with Aramco and to delivering value for our investors through this landmark investment,” R. Blair Thomas, EIG Chairman and CEO.
EIG is advised by HSBC, Latham & Watkins and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Jordanes, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Umoe Restaurants, an operator of restaurant chains, from Umoe, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I have owned Umoe Restaurants since 2002 and have strong feelings for the company. I am convinced that Umoe Restaurants and Scandza, which are joint owners, will be able to use synergies, develop the group̵," Jens Ulltveit-Moe, Umoe Restaurants Owner.
Spanish construction group ACS has approached Italy’s Atlantia to buy the country’s largest motorway network for up to $11.9bn, offering to outbid a consortium of investors including CDP Equity, Blackstone, and Macquarie Group.
The approach is a fresh twist in a multiyear saga over the future of Autostrade per l’Italia, Italy’s main toll road operator. Atlantia has been under pressure to relinquish control following the lethal collapse of the Morandi bridge in Genoa in 2018.
"Given the close relationship between our groups following the successful joint acquisition of Abertis, ACS has been following the ASPI situation during the last months and we believe ASPI is a very interesting asset that perfectly fits ACS’s long-term strategy,” Florentino Pérez Rodríguez, ACS Group Chairman and CEO.
An investment consortium offered to acquire a 70% stake in Abenewco1, the holding company of Spanish engineering and energy group Abengoa, for €200m (c.$240m). The offer, led by Caabsa, a Mexican infrastructure group, and EPI/Ultramar oil and gas firm, consists of an injection of €135m ($160m) in loans and €65m ($77m) in financial instruments in the subsidiary Abenewco 1.
Abenewco1, which holds most of its parent company’s assets and liabilities and employs most of the group’s 13.5k workers, was not part of the insolvency proceedings, Reutersreported.
KKR, Bain said among bidders to advance on Rolls-Royce ITP sale. (FS)
Rolls-Royce has whittled down the list of potential buyers for its ITP Aero division to suitors including KKR and Bain Capital, Bloombergreported.
The two private-equity suitors are among those who have advanced to the next round while bidders including Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners have dropped out. Buyout firm TowerBrook Capital, which owns Spanish aircraft supplier Aernnova, and its bidding partner Onex are also still interested in ITP. Spanish manufacturer Aciturri Aerostructures may team up with one of the other bidders.
Rolls said last month the planned disposal of ITP Aero is progressing well, reporting ongoing conversations with a number of potential buyers. The unit could fetch about €1.5bn ($1.8bn) and next bids are due in May. The London-based manufacturer is seeking to divest the Spanish aircraft equipment supplier as part of a plan to raise more than £2bn ($2.8bn) from asset disposals.
MTN targets a valuation of at least $5bn for mobile money arm.
South Africa’s MTN, the continent’s biggest mobile phone company by subscribers, is looking to value its mobile money arm at more than $5bn as it prepares to sell or list a minority stake to draw global investors enticed by fast-growing fintech assets, FTreported.
Chief executive Ralph Mupita told the Financial Times that the unit, which added almost 12m new users to a total of more than 46m last year, should be worth at least $5bn to $6bn and that the group would spin it out within the next year.
Johannesburg-listed MTN, which has 280m global subscribers, unveiled the separation plan last month as part of a strategy shift to refocus its business and cut R43bn ($3bn) of net debt.
BlackRock and Jean-Pierre Mustier’s blank-check firm are among investors expressing interest in Credit Suisse’s asset management arm, as the Swiss lender explores options for the unit after a run of costly scandals, Reuters reported.
US investment firm State Street is also eyeing a rival bid for all or part of the Swiss bank’s fund management business, while European asset managers including Germany’s DWS are waiting in the wings.
Former UniCredit boss Mustier’s blank-check firm Pegasus Europe, which focuses on financial services investments, is due to list in Amsterdam between the end of April and early May.
Hugh Osmond plans £300m bid for Homebase. (FS)
One of Britain's wealthiest businessmen is assembling a £300m ($412m) takeover bid for Homebase, the DIY chain revived from the brink of collapse just three years ago, Sky News reported.
Hugh Osmond, who is spearheading a legal challenge to the government's coronavirus restrictions on the hospitality sector, is among a number of parties vying to buy the retailer.
The entrepreneur's investment vehicle, Osmond Capital, had emerged as a serious bidder for Homebase, which is owned by Hilco Capital. Mr Osmond is not thought to be in exclusive talks to buy the chain, although the identity of other bidders was unclear this weekend.
EDF restructuring talks are not abandoned.
Talks with the European Commission on restructuring EDF are not stuck and the French firm remains on track to start operating its next-generation nuclear reactor at Flamanville next year, Reutersreported.
France hopes to place state-run EDF’s debt-laden and capital hungry nuclear business in a holding company that would be fully state owned. It would control a separate entity housing the more lucrative parts of the business and free of its liabilities.
With more nuclear reactors than any country other than the United States, France is keen to ensure a profitable EDF has the money it needs to replace ageing reactors, develop new technology and compete globally.
“The negotiations are not at all bogged down,” Jean-Bernard Levy CEO. He said talks between Paris and the Commission were being held almost daily.
Arcadia asset sale proceeds top $822m.
Administrators to Philip Green’s collapsed Arcadia Group said on Friday proceeds from asset sales had topped £600m ($822m) after they agreed the disposal of a warehouse in central England,Reutersreported.
Prologis has reached a separate agreement with online fashion retailer Boohoo to take a long-term lease on the site, and more than 330 Arcadia employees based there will transfer to Boohoo.
Irwin Mitchell plots £500m London IPO.
Irwin Mitchell, the legal services provider, is laying the ground for a public share sale that would instantly turn it into the most valuable law firm on the London stock market, Sky Newsreported.
The 109-year-old full-service firm is working with investment bankers at Rothschild on plans for a potential IPO that could take place as soon as this year.
Irwin Mitchell, which is the official legal partner of England Rugby, had aspirations of securing a £500m ($692m) valuation.
At that level, it would easily eclipse the handful of rival law firms listed in London, which include DWF, Keystone Law and Knights Group.
AMG raises €100m through an accelerated bookbuild offering.
AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group, a global critical materials company at the forefront of CO2 reduction trends, successfully raised proceeds of approximately €100m ($119m) through an accelerated book-building offering of new shares, priced at an offer price of €32.5 ($38) per share.
The net proceeds of the offering will be utilized to fund and expedite AMG’s projects in the lithium value chain in its Clean Energy Materials reporting segment.
“The CEM segment is at the center of AMG’s growth investments, each of which fit within AMG’s core strategy to enable C02 reduction utilizing advanced material technologies. Energy storage materials add a new dimension to this strategy as batteries enable higher efficiency in the intermittent renewable energy sector. We are very pleased with the investor reception to AMG’s capital increase, which was more than 2 times oversubscribed, and is indicative of the market’s appreciation for our growth strategy,” Heinz Schimmelbusch, AMG CEO.
Citigroup, ABN Amro, De Brauw Blackstone, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Clifford Chance advised on the transaction.
China’s antitrust regulator is ready to clear tech giant Tencent Holdings' plan to take the country’s no.3 search engine Sogou private, a move that signals the watchdog is willing to wave some deals through even as it ratchets up sector scrutiny, Reutersreported.
The regulator, State Administration of Market Regulation, has no objection to the $3.5bn deal for the 60% of US-listed Sogou that Tencent doesn’t already own, as long as Tencent is willing to set up a special mechanism to ensure data security - a first for SAMR deal approvals.
The move highlights Chinese regulators are still looking to approve merger and acquisition deals in the tech sector, but now with strict conditions after years of a laissez-faire approach. The green light for the closely watched deal will come as a relief for China’s tech sector, reeling from Beijing’s antimonopoly crackdown on home-grown internet giants that culminated weeks after the shelving of fintech firm Ant Group’s $37bn IPO in November.
Sogou is advised by Duff & Phelps, Conyers Dill & Pearman, Goulston & Storrs and Brunswick Group. Tencent is advised by Goldman Sachs, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Walkers. Goldman Sachs is advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Baring Private Equity Asia, a private equity firm, completed a $100m investment in Hutchison China MediTech, a biopharmaceutical company.
“With this strategic investment, BPEA is demonstrating our long-term commitment to HUTCHMED, an emerging biopharma leader in Asia. The healthcare sector in China is a core area of investment focus for BPEA. HUTCHMED is developing and delivering highly differentiated oncology therapies to patients around the world and we look forward to working with the CEO and management team to support the company’s innovation and global growth aspirations," Jean Eric Salata, BPEA CEO and Founding Partner.
Hutchison is advised by Panmure Gordon & Co, Brunswick Group, FTI Consulting and Solebury Trout.
Kansai Electric Power, a Japanese energy generation and distribution company, and Medco Power, Indonesia’s largest listed energy company, formed a joint venture. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The alliance with Kansai Electric will further strengthen our capabilities and allow us to continue developing our Gas IPP and O&M businesses in Indonesia, through the application of advanced technology and best international practices," Eka Satria, Medco Power President Director.
Medco was advised by JP Morgan. Kansai Electric was advised by Herbert Smith Freehills and Prolegis.
State-backed Japan Investment and the Development Bank of Japan are joining CVC Capital Partners' $20bn bid to acquire Toshiba.
In a separate announcement, the chairman of Toshiba’s board issued a statement on CVC Capital Partners’ recent offer to take the company private, saying it was unsolicited and that a deal would require various antitrust approvals and financing.
“This initial proposal by CVC was completely unsolicited and not initiated by Toshiba. We expect that such financing process would require a substantial amount of time and involve complexity for consideration,” Osamu Nagayama, Toshiba Board Chairman.
Arm battle with China CEO escalates, complicating SoftBank sale. (FS)
The dispute erupted almost a year ago in June after the board voted to oust Arm China CEO Allen Wu for conflicts of interest, but he refused to leave. Now the Chinese unit, which remains under Wu’s control, has filed lawsuits against three senior executives the board designated to replace him. The previously unreported suits could take years to resolve, suggesting Wu may remain entrenched.
Wu fired the three men - including co-CEO Phil Tang - but they were subsequently reinstated by the board. In the new lawsuits, Arm China is suing the trio, demanding they return company property.
Gojek and Tokopedia nears the $18bn merger.
Indonesian ride-hailing and payments company Gojek and the country’s leading e-commerce business Tokopedia are close to sealing their proposed merger as they prepare to seek formal shareholder approval, Reutersreported.
A deal that sources have previously pegged at $18bn would create a technology powerhouse offering online shopping, courier services, ride-hailing, food delivery and other services in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
Alibaba Group and SoftBank are among Tokopedia’s investors, while Gojek’s include Warburg Pincus and Tencent. Gojek and Tokopedia were in advanced merger talks in January ahead of a potential dual listing in Jakarta and the United States.
China fines Alibaba record $2.8bn after monopoly probe.
China slapped a record $2.8bn fine on Alibaba Group after an anti-monopoly probe found it abused its market dominance, as Beijing clamps down on its internet giants, Bloombergreported.
The penalty is triple the previous high of almost $1bn that US chipmaker Qualcomm had to pay in 2015, and was based on 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 domestic revenue. The company will also have to initiate comprehensive rectifications, from protecting merchants and customers to strengthening internal controls. The fine - about 12% of Alibaba’s fiscal 2020 net income - helps remove some of the uncertainty that’s hung over China’s second-largest corporation. But Beijing remains intent on reining in its internet and fintech giants and is said to be scrutinizing other parts of billionaire founder Jack Ma’s empire, including Ant Group’s consumer-lending businesses and Alibaba’s extensive media holdings.
Alibaba used its platform rules and technical methods like data and algorithms to maintain and strengthen its own market power and obtain improper competitive advantage, the State Administration for Market Regulation concluded in its investigation. The company will likely have to change a raft of practices, like merchant exclusivity, which critics say helped it become China’s largest e-commerce operation.
Embassy group in talks with Blackstone to sell warehouse bisiness for $240m. (FS)
Realty firm Embassy group is in the advance stage of talks with global investment firm Blackstone to sell its warehousing and industrial parks business at an enterprise value of around $240m, Economic Times reported.
In 2015, the Bengaluru-based Embassy group had formed a joint venture with private equity firm Warburg Pincus to build industrial parks. Warburg Pincus has a 70% stake while the Embassy group has a 30% shareholding in the joint venture firm — Embassy Industrial Parks.
Embassy group is in discussion with the Blackstone group for the complete divestment of the JV firm. The deal is likely to be completed during this month.
Softbank-backed Grab draws T. Rowe, Temasek backing for its SPAC deal. (FS)
Grab, the Southeast Asian ride-hailing and delivery giant, has attracted backing from T. Rowe Price and Temasek for its planned merger with a blank-check company, Bloombergreported.
The firms have expressed interest in joining a private investment in PIPE to support Grab’s combination with Altimeter Growth. BlackRock is also in talks to participate in the PIPE, which could raise about $4bn.
Singapore-based Grab aims to announce the SPAC merger as soon as next week. The deal could value Grab at more than $34bn. The terms being discussed would give Grab an enterprise value equivalent to roughly 8.5 times its revenue. The deal could become the biggest SPAC merger ever and would see the startup become one of the first Southeast Asian unicorns to go public through a blank-check company.
Traveloka in talks to list via Thiel’s Bridgetown SPAC. (FS)
Indonesia’s Traveloka is in advanced talks to go public through merging with Bridgetown, a blank-check firm backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel, Bloombergreported.
A deal could value Southeast Asia’s online travel leader at about $5bn. The potential transaction could also involve raising between $500m and $750m through a private investment in public equity, or PIPE. Details including the amount to be raised could change as the companies start discussions with potential investors.
The deal would make Jakarta-based Traveloka one of the first Southeast Asian unicorns to go public through a SPAC. Grab is in advanced talks to go that route through Altimeter Capital’s first SPAC, which may value the company at about $40bn.
JLL weighing sale of China property management business. (FS)
Jones Lang LaSalle, the Chicago-based real estate services provider, is weighing a plan to sell its property management business in China for at least $500m, Bloombergreported.
The firm is working with an adviser on a potential sale that has drawn interest from other property management firms and financial investors, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The firm’s real estate brokerage and valuation business in China are not part of the possible sale. Deliberations are ongoing and JLL could decide to keep its property management business in China. JLL might also seek to hold onto a stake in the business.
Didi Chuxing raises $1.5bn in debt ahead of IPO. (FS)
Didi Chuxing is raising $1.5bn of debt financing from banks as the Chinese ride-hailing giant seeks to expand its firepower ahead of a potential US IPO, Bloomberg reported.
Didi, backed by SoftBank Group, has signed a revolving loan facility with JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Barclays and Citigroup. A debt deal would serve as a stepping stone as Didi continues to evaluate a potential listing that could value the firm at about $100bn.
Didi is advised by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
Connect the World of Dealmakers
Expand your network of fellow Dealmakers by inviting your colleagues and coworkers.