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HP, a developer and manufacturer of computing, data storage, and networking hardware, rejected Xerox’s raised takeover bid of about $35bn, saying that the offer still undervalued the personal computer maker. The US printer maker had increased its offer last month by $2 to $24 per share, following rejections of its previous buyout offers by the PC maker.
“The Xerox offer would leave our shareholders with an investment in a combined company that is burdened with an irresponsible level of debt and which would subsequently require unrealistic, unachievable synergies that would jeopardize the entire company,” Chip Bergh, HP Board Chair.
Enrique Lores, HP chief executive, said the $31bn printer and computer maker was evaluating other combinations as the company rejected an unsolicited offer from Xerox.
HP is advised by Goldman Sachs and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Xerox is advised by Citigroup, King & Spalding, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and Mizuho Securities.
Private equity firms Vitruvian Partners and Lead Edge Capital are set to acquire a majority stake in Azul Systems, a software services provider, for $340m.
“We’re extremely proud of the company we’ve built and the culture of excellence we’ve created. This partnership with Vitruvian will help fuel our growth initiatives and enable us to catapult Azul to a new level of presence in the community and the market overall,” Scott Sellers, Azul Systems co-founder, President and CEO.
Azul is advised by Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian. Vitruvian is advised by Shea & Co, Trigon, and Kirkland & Ellis.
General Atlantic-backed ProSieben, a European mass media company, based in Germany, agreed to acquire The Meet Group, a provider of interactive live-streaming solutions, for c. $500m.
“The acquisition of The Meet Group is one of ProSiebenSat.1’s largest transactions. It will significantly advance our ambition to create one of the leading global players in online dating and interactive live video. We believe the combination of these two successful and complementary businesses will also create synergies within the ProSiebenSat.1 universe and accelerate the growth of our market share in the German live video apps sector,” Max Conze, ProSiebenSat.1 CEO.
The Meet Group is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
Alignment Healthcare, a mission-based Medicare Advantage insurance company, raised $135m in a Series C funding round led by Fidelity Management & Research Company, T. Rowe Price and Durable Capital Partners.
"Caring for our nation’s seniors has been Alignment’s mission since our founding seven years ago when we launched a new model designed to reduce waste in the system by coordinating quality care around the patient, no matter where they are. The growth we’ve since experienced is a testament to the impact our model is having in improving outcomes for seniors every day, and we look forward to continuing to advance and transform the health care experience," John Kao, Alignment Healthcare founder and CEO.
Alignment Healthcare was advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and mPR.
Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Mubadala Investment Company led a $2.2bn investment round for Waymo, an American autonomous driving technology development company. Additional investors in this transaction include Magna International, Andreessen Horowitz, and AutoNation, as well as Alphabet.
"We have always approached our mission as a team sport, collaborating with our OEM and supplier partners, our operations partners, and the communities we serve to build and deploy the world's most experienced driver. Today, we are expanding that team, adding financial investors and important strategic partners who bring decades of experience investing in and supporting successful technology companies building transformative products. With this injection of capital and business acumen, alongside Alphabet, we will deepen our investment in our people, our technology, and our operations, all in support of the deployment of the Waymo Driver around the world," John Krafcik, Waymo CEO.
Silver Lake is advised by Ropes & Gray. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges.
Summit Partners, a global alternative investment firm, completed a $50m investment in Brooklinen, a direct-to-consumer accessible-luxury home essentials retailer.
"Brooklinen's profitability, customer repeat rate, and consistently smart and deliberate growth decisions make them a rare brand to partner with. Many brands focus on a growth-at-all-costs model that we believe isn't sustainable for longevity; we are thrilled to find a like-minded partner and to work together on the next stage of growth for Brooklinen," Chris Dean, Summit Partners Managing Director.
Integrated Beverage Group, a producer of alcoholic beverages, completed the acquisition of Ransom Wine & Distillery, an American craft distillery. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We’ve been waiting for the right wine and spirits partner that shares our stance on the importance of transparency, quality and overall purity in production. Furthermore, it was key for us to find a company that not only provided us an entry into the spirits category, but also expanded our wine offerings outside of the traditional Oregon varietals,” Ari Walker, Integrated Beverage Group CEO.
Ransom Distillery and Winery was advised by Zepponi & Company.
TechTarget, a data-driven marketing services provider, agreed to acquire Data Science Central, a digital publishing and media company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We’re excited to see TechTarget integrate and grow Data Science Central into its extensive network. Working together we can transform how organizations leverage AI-driven insights for competitive gain," Tim Matteson, Data Science Central Co-Founder.
Seven & i abandons $22bn US Speedway gas stations acquisition.
Japanese retail group Seven & i Holdings abandoned the bid for Marathon Petroleum's Speedway gas stations in the United States after balking at the price, which media reports had put at $22bn, Reuters reported.
The company considered the deal but decided against it because of worries about the price. The negotiations came after Marathon, under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management, said last year that it would launch a sweeping restructuring, including spinning off its Speedway retail business, which it said was worth as much as $18bn, including debt.
Boa Vista SCPC files for IPO.
Brazilian credit bureau Boa Vista SCPC filed for an IPO with the country’s securities industry regulator CVM.
Part of the proceeds will go to the company and part to shareholders willing to reduce their stakes, private equity fund TMG Capital and the Association of Retailers of Rio de Janeiro. Boa Vista had $144m in net revenue last year.
According to the preliminary prospectus, the IPO will be managed by JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley.
TCDRS sets aside $595m in latest fund commitments. (FS)
The Texas County & District Retirement System lined up $595m of commitments for a number of alternative asset funds. The retirement system allocated a $110m commitment to HIG Europe Middle Market LBO Fund.
Reverence Capital raised $1.2bn for its Reverence Capital Opportunities Fund II. (FS)
Reverence Capital Partners hit a $1.2bn hard cap for the final close of its latest investment vehicle, Reverence Capital Opportunities Fund II.
The New York-based firm was initially seeking $750m for Fund II, but was able to surpass this amount with the support of a global pool of institutional investors. Reverence typically invests in middle-market financial services businesses in sectors such as depositories, asset and wealth management, insurance, capital markets, fintech and payments.
Private equity firms Activa Capital and Arkea Capital, completed the acquisition of a minority stake in Ingeliance, a mechanical engineering services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
On the occasion of this primary MBO, Activa Capital becomes the reference shareholder of the company alongside its founder Jean-François Clédel, its CEO Marc Poullin and the management team. Arkéa Capital, the group's historical minority financial partner, reinvests on this occasion and retains a stake in the capital.
"We have just completed a new stage in the gradual handover of the company to management. The strengthening of financial investors in the capital is essential to support our ambitious growth project, in France and internationally. During these last months of preparation, in conjunction with the Arkéa Capital team, we became convinced that Activa Capital is better prepared than others to support us in this project: to improve our performance, pursue our organic development and achieve external growth. We expect very active support from our new financial partner." Marc Poullin, Ingeliance Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Ingeliance was advised by Clearwater, Deloitte, Hoche Societe D'Avocats, and Jeausserand Audouard. Activa Capital was advised by Adviso Partners, Hogan Lovells, Indefi, KPMG, Cornet Vincent Segurel, and Ernst & Young. Debt financing was provided by Arkea Banque and Banque Populaire Grand Ouest.
Sun European Partners, a private investment advisory firm, completed the acquisition of WesCom Signal and Rescue, a provider of visual signalling and safety products for the marine and defence markets, from private equity firm The Jordan Company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"WesCom is a trusted brand with a century long track record in visual signalling and safety products for the marine and defence markets. Its unparalleled reputation, high product quality and long-standing customer relationships has enabled it to maintain global leadership in a highly attractive niche market. We believe WesCom now has the potential to deliver a new phase of organic growth as well as the opportunity for add-on acquisitions for its marine and defence divisions,” Paul Daccus, Sun European Managing Director.
WesCom was advised by Evercore, Lazard, and Mayer Brown. Sun European was advised by Roland Berger, FTI Consulting, Investec, Rothschild & Co, and DLA Piper. Debt financing was provided by CVC Credit Partners.
Align Technology, a manufacturer of 3D digital scanners and clear aligners used in orthodontics, agreed to acquire exocad, a software company driving digital dentistry, from The Carlyle Group for €376m ($419m).
"Dentistry today is evolving digitally, with technology advances and consumer awareness driving new opportunities in ortho-restorative and comprehensive treatment. Align is in a unique position to lead the digital transformation of dentistry by reimagining comprehensive treatment planning and by reinventing the way orthodontists and GPs practice with our digital platform for transforming smiles. exocad allows us to broaden and deepen Align’s digital platform by addressing restorative needs in our end-to-end digital platform that facilitate ortho-restorative and comprehensive dentistry and accelerates adoption of Invisalign treatment among the more than 300m potential patients worldwide," Joe Hogan, Align Technology President and CEO.
Align Technology is advised by Goldman Sachs and Zeno Group. The Carlyle Group is advised by Raymond James, UBS and Latham & Watkins.
Fugro, a provider of geo-intelligence and asset integrity solutions, completed the acquisition of OREX, a provider of ground investigation and material testing. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This transaction positions Fugro well in central Europe by combining our strong consulting teams with increased advanced laboratory testing capabilities, thus securing a firm foundation for significant competitive advantage," Ray Wood, Fugro Global Director for Land Site Characterisation.
OREX was advised by Simont Braun. Fugro was advised by De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Vandelanotte.
FPE Capital-backed Optimity, a connectivity, IT, and managed services provider, completed the acquisition of Pebble IT, a software solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition will help Optimity to accelerate strong organic growth in managed services and in the provision of smart, secure and intelligent IT solutions for campus and workplace environments.
“We are delighted that Optimity is bringing the high quality team and customer base of Pebble IT into the business. This will strengthen the already strong growth the business is seeing in provision of managed services to central London businesses,” David Barbour, FPE Capital Managing Partner.
Optimity was advised by RS Corporate Finance and Stephenson Harwood.
Access agreed to acquire CoreHR, a developer and distributor of cloud-based human resource and payroll software. The deal will create a $128m arm of the Access Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The European HCM and Payroll market is worth $5.2bn with just under half of this market being served by pure SaaS solutions with an impressive growth rate of over 15%. CoreHR is a key player in this space and adds significant scope for Access to deliver even more solutions, to a broader range of organisations, across multiple markets, in particular allowing us to bring Access Workspace to the Irish market. The combined HCM offerings, Access can now deliver, will further strengthen our ability to take a bigger share of this growing market over the coming years, with our goal to double the current revenues by the end of our 2024 financial year,” Chris Bayne, Access CEO.
CoreHR is advised by Harris Communications. Access Group is advised by Tank PR.
DXC-backed Luxoft, a digital strategy and software engineering firm, agreed to acquire CMORE Automotive, a strategic autonomous drive development company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“CMORE Automotive’s highly competitive capabilities and services portfolio, along with their development toolchain for autonomous drive, will strengthen Luxoft’s capabilities in data-driven development and validation of AD/ADAS for Level 3 to Level 5 autonomous functions,” said Dmitry Loschinin, DXC Executive Vice President, and Luxoft President and CEO.
AS Equity Partners agreed to acquire QDQ Group, a provider of advertising on the Internet, printed directories, and mobile devices. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“AS Equity Partners are delighted to be investing in QDQ Group, a premier digital marketing platform that serves small and medium business all over Spain. In addition, QDQ Group has the local business web directory qdqcom, with more than 2m unique users and 8m pageviews. We look forward to working with QDQ Group to further grow its portfolio and network, and continue to build on its status as a recognized leader in the digital marketing in Spain,” Andreas Schulte, AS Equity Partner founder.
Turkish locomotive manufacturer Tulomsas, wagon builder Tudemsas and passenger rolling stock manufacturer Tuasas, are set to merge into a newly established company Turkiye Rayli Sistem Araclari Sanayii Anonim Sirketi, which will be owned and managed by the Ministry for Transport & Infrastructure.
This was followed by legislative changes in 2017 which allowed private freight companies to operate on the TCDD network. Similar reforms to allow private passenger services have long been discussed but are yet to be formally implemented.
H.W. Kaufman Group, a network of insurance companies, completed the acquisition of Barbican Protect, a provider of insurance services. Barbican Protect is to rebrand as Burns & Wilcox and join H.W. Kaufman Group London. Financial terms were not disclosed
“H.W. Kaufman Group is pleased to announce the closing of the acquisition of Barbican Protect. Barbican Protect, an MGA that specializes in commercial property, casualty, financial lines and marine across the United Kingdom, joins the Kaufman family of companies rebranded as Burns & Wilcox," Alan Jay Kaufman, H.W. Kaufman Chairman, President and CEO.
WPP, a multinational communication, advertising, public relations, technology, and commerce holding company, completed the acquisition of Sandtable, a data science company that specialises in behavioural analytics and advanced simulations. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Integrated into GroupM’s technology practice, the acquisition is in line with WPP’s strategy to deepen its technology offer by further strengthening its investment and innovation in data science. Sandtable will make GroupM the first media agency group to purposefully invest in ABM.
National Express, an intercity and Inter-regional coach operator, completed the acquisition of Lucketts Group, a coach hire and excursion company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This acquisition provides National Express with a platform for further growth in the private hire, coach tours and corporate shuttle markets, as well as strengthening its network operations in southern England.
"We are delighted that Lucketts Group is joining National Express with whom we have had a strong relationship for many years. We know we can trust them to look after what our family has built up and we are confident that they will be able to take the business to the next level," Ian Luckett, Lucketts Director.
Pipedrive, a customer relationship management company, completed an acquisition of Mailigen, a provider of a cost-effective, easy-to-use email marketing automation solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Joining the Pipedrive team is a great opportunity to create more value for both Pipedrive and Mailigen customers. By joining forces with Pipedrive, we are combining two strong purpose-built products, providing our customers' more focused and robust sales and marketing solutions," Janis Rozenblats, Mailigen CEO and Co-Founder.
Lacoste clothing brand owner seeks acquisitions.
The Swiss family behind apparel company Lacoste is scouting for acquisitions to add to its portfolio of sportswear and “affordable luxury” brands after enjoying a period of strong growth.
"Our brands have a lot of potential and the group wants to go on the offensive again. There is a desire to reinforce our portfolio of brands," Thierry Guibert, Maus Frères head of the international business and Lacoste CEO.
British Steel’s French factory received four takeover offers.
British Steel’s factory in France received four takeover offers, according to the country’s finance minister, a development that will complicate efforts by a Chinese investor to buy out the whole of the troubled company.
The bidders include industry giant ArcelorMittal, German steel producer Saarstahl and the UK-based industrial group Liberty House, FTreported. Another offer is from Ascoval, a French steelworks owned by the private investment firm Greybull Capital under whose ownership British Steel collapsed into liquidation almost a year ago.
Travelex considers options as NMC pain spreads.
Finablr, the owner of currency-exchange businesses including Travelex Holdings, is considering strategic options including bringing in new investors after its stock was battered because of its ties to troubled hospital operator NMC Health, Bloombergreported.
The board of Finablr plans to meet in the next few days to discuss alternatives for the London-listed company. Another possibility that could be considered is whether to pursue a take-private transaction.
Australia’s competition regulator said it would not appeal the Federal Court’s decision that the proposed merger between TPG Telecom and a unit of Britain’s Vodafone Group would not substantially lessen competition.
Last month, an Australian court approved the A$15bn ($10.1bn) merger between the Vodafone unit and internet provider TPG, overruling the competition regulator.
The Federal Court judge then said a tie-up between Vodafone’s joint venture with local telco Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) and TPG would not harm competition, rejecting the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s reason for blocking the deal last year.
Vodafone Australia is advised by Deutsche Bank, Allens, Norton Rose Fulbright, Bank Of America Merrill Lynch, and Linklaters. TPG is advised by Fti Consulting, Herbert Smith Freehills and Macquarie Group.
Wanhua Chemical Group, a chemical products developer and state-owned Fujian Petrochemical Industrial Group, a developer of petrochemical products, are set to form a joint venture called Wanhua Chemical (Fujian), at a $430m valuation.
Per the agreement, Wanhua will infuse $344m to own 80% stake in the JV while Fujian Petrochemical will invest assets worth $86m to hold 20% stake in it.
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