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Force Pressure Control, a surface pressure control solutions provider, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Stratim Cloud Acquisition, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, in a $240m deal.
“Today marks an incredible milestone for our Company and is the beginning of a true partnership with SCAC. As we embark on our journey towards becoming a public company, we believe SCAC’s vast capital markets expertise will provide critical insights as we execute and scale, increasing our competitive advantages and enabling us to further capture market share through continued expansion,” Jacob Startz, Force Pressure Control CEO.
Force Pressure Control is advised by Egan Nelson. Stratim Cloud Acquisition is advised by EF Hutton, Johnson Rice & Company and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by Michael Mies
GordonMD, an investment company, and Pfizer Ventures, a corporate venture capital firm, led a $123m Series B round in Flare Therapeutics, with participation from Boxer Capital, Casdin Capital, Eventide Asset Management, Invus Financial Advisors, Nextech Invest, Third Rock Ventures, Agent Capital, Eli Lilly, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Novartis, Pavilion Capital and ShangBay Capital.
"Flare has taken on one of the most formidable challenges in drug discovery – drugging transcription factors. The company is making impressive strides enabled by its platform, which to date has successfully identified more than 150 switch sites across the majority of transcription factor families, providing opportunities to treat a broad range of diseases," Craig D. Gordon, GordonMD CEO and CIO.
Flare Therapeutics was advised by Stern IR (led by Sarah McCabe
) and Verge Scientific Communications (led by Peg Rusconi
Pearson, a British multinational publishing and education company, completed the acquisition of Personnel Decisions Research Institutes, a provider of workforce assessment services, for $190m.
"We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of PDRI, which provides an excellent opportunity to expand our reach in this strategically important market for Pearson and our assessments business. Pearson and PDRI share a culture and commitment of serving trusted, secure, and innovative assessment solutions to major employers and millions of people looking to establish and grow their careers. We look forward to welcoming the PDRI team to Pearson and together we will be fully focused on executing against the growth opportunity ahead," Andy Bird, Pearson CEO.
Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm, led a $150m Series A round in Character.AI, a conversational artificial intelligence platform, with participation from Nat Friedman, Elad Gil, SV Angel and A Capital.
“Daniel and I are pleased that a world class group of investors, led by the amazing team at a16z, believes in the remarkable advancements we’re making in AI, the company we’re building, and the value we can deliver to society and investors. We are gratified they recognize our ability to revolutionize AI and improve the way people live. Character.AI’s power is our highly-sophisticated language model, which rapidly analyzes and contextualizes large volumes of information to produce useful intelligence tailored to each individual, making it a personalized superintelligence companion that enhances productivity, offers advice, educates, and entertains. The potential use cases are infinite," Noam Shazeer, Character.AI Founder.
Ares Management, a global alternative investment manager, and Mubadala, a global sovereign investor, agreed to form a $1bn joint venture, to invest in global credit secondaries opportunities.
“We are pleased to announce this joint venture with Mubadala, which underscores our view that private credit secondaries offer a compelling opportunity for investors seeking diversified exposure to the attractive return profile of private credit assets. Building on our position as a leading global direct lender and a secondaries market pioneer, we believe the expansion of the Credit Secondaries strategy alongside Mubadala helps to further differentiate Ares in the market as a comprehensive solutions provider,” Michael Arougheti, Ares Management CEO and President.
FDIC delays bid deadline for Silicon Valley Private Bank.
The Federal Deposit Insurance has moved the bid deadline to 24 March for the failed Silicon Valley Bank's wealth-management bank, Bloomberg
The FDIC had said that it's not clear why the regulator moved the deadline. Bids are also still due 24 March for the so-called bridge bank that the FDIC set up this month to seize the assets and liabilities of Silicon Valley Bank.
Extra Space Storage weighs offer for Rival Life Storage.
Extra Space Storage, a real estate investment trust, is weighing making an offer for Life Storage, the real estate company that rejected a takeover proposal from Public Storage earlier this year, Bloomberg
The overtures to buy Life Storage, which has a market value $10bn, comes as demand for self-storage properties diminishes after a COVID-induced surge, as people have started returning to big cities.
Retail Investors are helping small IPOs defy market turmoil.
Retail investors are piling into stock offerings, fueling a jump in new listings by micro-cap companies in the face of a banking crisis that is sidelining bigger deals, Bloomberg
This month, 80% of the US deal flow is from initial public offerings that raised less than $50m. And those offerings are attracting small investors, not the big institutional buyers.
SoftBank siad Rappi IPO could happen as soon as year end. (FS)
SoftBank Group sees Colombian delivery app Rappi going public as soon as the end of this year or early next if global markets stabilize, Bloomberg
"Companies in a mature stage like Rappi were on a path to becoming public," Juan Franck, SoftBank Latin America Fund Managing Partner.
STG closes the seventh fund at $4.2bn. (FS)
STG, a private equity firm focused on investing in software and software-enabled technology services businesses, announced the final closing of STG VII with total capital commitments of $4.2bn.
"We are incredibly grateful to our existing and new investors for their support, especially given the context of the challenging fundraising environment and uncertain macro backdrop. We have made meaningful investments in our people and platform in recent years, and we believe Fund VII is very well positioned to be a leading partner to growing software companies," William Chisholm, STG Managing Partner and CIO.
STG was advised by Evercore and Kirkland & Ellis.
Ethos Capital appoints Jim Miller as executive partner. (FS, People)
Ethos Capital has appointed Jim Miller, who previously served in senior executive roles at Amazon, Cisco, Google, and Wayfair, as the firm's newest Executive Partner.
Miller's appointment takes the number of executive partners who work exclusively with Ethos to provide portfolio companies with sector-specific expertise to enhance operations and accelerate growth, to 17.
Serica Energy, a mid-tier independents producer of natural gas, completed the acquisition of Tailwind Energy, a privately owned, next generation oil and gas company, for £644m ($789m).
"The transaction achieves our strategic objective of materially increasing the scale and diversity of our UKCS portfolio of assets. The Tailwind portfolio also brings multiple organic investment opportunities for further material near-term growth in reserves and production. Following this Transaction, Serica will retain its competitive strengths of a strong balance sheet, positive cash flow and low decommissioning cost obligations. Moreover, through the introduction of Mercuria as a new strategic investor, we will be differentially positioned to take advantage of the opportunities we expect to arise through industry consolidation, the North Sea Transition Deal and potentially overseas," Mitch Flegg, Serica CEO.
JERA, a global energy firm, agreed to acquire Parkwind, a wind energy company, from Virya Energy, a renewable energy company, for €1.5bn ($1.6bn).
“I am very enthusiastic about our announcement today. As we communicated last summer, Virya had initiated an assessment of possible strategic development options for our offshore wind energy activities, operated through our subsidiary Parkwind, to ensure that it would have the best possible conditions to execute its ambitious growth plan in a rapidly changing industry," Paul Tummers, Virya Energy CEO.
JERA is advised by Morgan Stanley and Allen & Overy. Virya Energy is advised by UBS and Linklaters.
Playtika, a mobile gaming company and monetization platform, failed to acquire Rovio, a games developer, for €683m.
"The board of directors of Rovio continues its strategic review, including preliminary non-binding discussions with certain other parties, in order to reach the best possible outcome for Rovio and its shareholders. There can be no assurance that the strategic review and the preliminary non-binding discussions will result in any cash or other tender offer or any other transaction, or the pricing of any such possible transaction," Rovio.
EQT, a private equity company, completed a $108m investment in IntegrityNext, a software platform dedicated to enabling supply chain transparency and regulatory compliance.
"The critical importance of ESG is not a new concept to modern businesses. However, as a raft of regulatory frameworks – like Germany's LkSG or the EU's CSRD – begin to take effect, supply chain transparency and sustainability is evolving from a nice-to-have to a must-have. As more clients entrust us and we embark on our next stage of growth, we're excited to be partnering with an experienced and hands-on investor with European roots and global scale like EQT Growth," Martin Berr-Sorokin, IntegrityNext CEO and Co-Founder.
The deadline for bids on Manchester United has been extended as the top two contenders prepare to submit their offers, Sky News
Qatar's Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad and rival bidder, British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, had both submitted requests for more time to fine-tune their submissions for Manchester United ahead of the original deadline.
Ardian explores taking Italian tower operator INWIT private. (FS)
French investment firm Ardian is in the early stages of exploring a bid for Italy's INWIT, the country's top telecommunications tower operator with a market value of $12bn, Reuters
Ardian, which is the second largest shareholder in INWIT behind European tower company Vantage Towers, wants to take INWIT private and is working with advisers at JP Morgan on a potential offer.
BlackRock, KKR eye new backers for Adnoc oil pipeline investment. (FS)
BlackRock and KKR are exploring bringing in new backers for their investment in Abu Dhabi National Oil's oil pipeline network, Bloomberg
The asset managers are considering moving their combined 40% holding in Adnoc Oil Pipelines into a new fund structure that would allow additional investors to gain exposure to the asset. The stake was worth about $4bn including debt at the time of their initial investment, and is likely to fetch a valuation well above that in any deal.
UBS's share rise back to pre-SVB level.
UBS Group shares have erased almost all of the losses made during the past week's banking rout, with a bond buyback adding to confidence that the historic takeover of Credit Suisse will be a net positive for the firm, Bloomberg
The Swiss lender is leading gains among European banks this week, as fears around the stability of the finance sector eased after the $3bn emergency takeover. Shares gained as much as 3.6% to $21.72, while the company's bonds recovered some of the losses taken in recent days.
Credit Suisse losses turn Gulf investors cautious on bank deals.
Middle Eastern investors are becoming more cautious of making fresh investments in global banks after emerging as some of the hardest hit by the Credit Suisse crisis, Bloomberg
Sovereign wealth funds and other investors in the region have been spooked by the market turmoil that wiped $1bn from Saudi National Bank's stake in the Swiss lender and are likely to be more wary on deals involving foreign financial firms. The crisis is accelerating a pivot toward other sectors such as healthcare and technology.
Neptune Energy pushes on with $5bn sale as Eni talks cool. (FS)
Neptune Energy Group is moving ahead with plans for a sale after talks about a takeover by Italian energy group Eni stalled, Bloomberg
The oil and gas explorer, which is backed by private equity firms Carlyle and CVC Capital Partners, is working with advisers to gauge interest from other potential buyers. It's attracting interest from other firms in the energy industry.
Japan Industrial Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Toshiba, a multinational conglomerate corporation, for $15.2bn.
JIP belives that by privatizing the Toshiba shares from the public market, JIP would be able to support the establishment and management of a stable management structure to create a stable shareholder base that supports the new growth of Toshiba and to execute a business strategy that realizes the growth potential of the Target, thereby greatly improving the enterprise value of Toshiba.
Toshiba is advised by JP Morgan, Mizuho Securities, Nomura, UBS, Morrison & Foerster, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu and Nishimura & Asahi. Japan Industrial Partners is advised by Crosspoint Advisors and TMI Associates.
Tata Group injects $2bn into super-app venture.
Tata Group is considering injecting another $2bn of fresh capital into its super app venture as the salt-to-software conglomerate seeks to bolster its digital business, Bloomberg
Tata Digital will receive the additional funding over two years should a deal proceed. The fresh capital could help the online platform Tata Neu, which went live last April, to strengthen its digital offerings, fix technical glitches and meet any new spending needs.
India, UAE mull options to curb FX rate risks on Rupee trade.
India is looking to work out a mechanism to hedge exchange rate risks in the proposed rupee-based trade with the United Arab Emirates to limit losses for exporters, Bloomberg
India and the UAE representatives are likely to meet in May to review the progress on their Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and discuss settling payments for trade in rupees, which is yet to take off.
Harita Nickel plans top-range IPO pricing.
Indonesian metal and mining firm PT Trimegah Bangun Persada is considering pricing its initial public offering at the top of a marketed price range, Bloomberg
The company, also known as Harita Nickel, is leaning toward pricing the shares at $0.08 apiece. Such consideration comes as the order book is well over-subscribed.
PAG raised at least $2.2bn for the Asia fund. (FS)
Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG has raised at least $2.2bn for its latest Asia-focused buyout fund, DealStreetAsia
The PE firm disclosed that PAG Asia IV LP has so far received commitments from 28 investors since its launch in March last year.