KC Southern adjourned a special stockholders meeting and announced that it will reconvene on September 3. The delay in the vote will give shareholders and the board a chance to consider a forthcoming decision by the Surface Transportation Board on a key element of the proposed deal.
The regulator has said it will rule by the end of August on a request by Canadian National to use an independent voting trust to control KC Southern between the time shareholders vote and when the Surface Transportation Board rules on whether to allow the railroads to combine. That would let KC Southern shareholders be paid relatively soon after a vote instead of waiting the year or more it will take for regulators to consider the first big merger of Class I railroads in 20 years.
KC Southern is advised by Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Baker & Miller, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, White & Case, WilmerHale, Joele Frank and MacKenzie Partners. Financial advisors to KC Southern are advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Canadian National is advised by Centerview Partners, JP Morgan, RBC Capital Markets, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Norton Rose Fulbright, Sidley Austin, Stikeman Elliott, Torys, Brunswick Group and Longview Communications. Canadian Pacific is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Bennett Jones, Blake Cassels & Graydon, Creel Garcia-Cuellar Aiza y Enriquez, David L Meyer, Sullivan & Cromwell and Edelman. Financial advisors to Canadian Pacific are advised by Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.
Illumina, a life sciences company, could face a hefty fine for jumping the gun by completing its $8bn cash-and-stock takeover of Grail, a multi-cancer early detection company, without first securing EU antitrust approval. Violations can lead to fines of as much as 10% of the aggregate turnover of the companies.
Illumina closed the Grail takeover and said it would hold the company separate while waiting for the European Commission to clear or block the deal, Reuters reported.
"We deeply regret Illumina's decision to complete its acquisition of Grail while our investigation into the transaction is still ongoing. This obligation, that we call standstill obligation, is at the heart of our merger control system and we take its possible breaches very seriously," Margrethe Vestager, Commission Vice President.
Illumina was advised by Goldman Sachs, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Joele Frank. Goldman Sachs was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Debt financing was provided by Goldman Sachs. GRAIL was advised by Morgan Stanley, Latham & Watkins, McDonald Hopkins, Proskauer Rose, Ropes & Gray and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Shareholders of Vector Acquisition, a SPAC, voted to approve its proposed $4.1bn merger with Rocket Lab, a private American aerospace manufacturer and small satellite launch service provider. The merger is scheduled to close on August 25, 2021.
Group of top-tier institutional investors have committed to participate in the transaction through a significantly oversubscribed PIPE of approximately $470m, with 39 total investors including Vector Capital, BlackRock and Neuberger Berman.
“Rocket Lab has created a sustainable, affordable and innovative path to space, a feat once considered nearly impossible. We look forward to further supporting the Company, which is poised to lead the fast-growing space launch, systems and applications markets. This is an important milestone for Vector and Rocket Lab, and we are grateful for our shareholders’ overwhelming support as Rocket Lab continues its journey to becoming a public company," Alex Slusky, Vector CEO.
Rocket Lab is advised by Morgan Stanley, Goodwin Procter and FTI Consulting. Vector Acquisition is advised by Deutsche Bank, Kirkland & Ellis and Gasthalter & Co. Neuberger Berman is advised by Squire Patton Boggs.
The Supreme Court of British Columbia has approved the $2.1bn acquisition of Harvest Health & Recreation, a vertically integrated cannabis company, by Trulieve, a vertically integrated "seed-to-sale" company.
"We are pleased to have reached another milestone as we work toward closing the Trulieve transaction. We have and will continue to work collaboratively with the entire Trulieve team until we obtain all of required regulatory approvals needed to close," Steve White, Harvest Health CEO.
Harvest Health & Recreation is advised by Haywood Securities, Moelis & Co, Bennett Jones and Troutman Pepper. Trulieve is advised by Canaccord Genuity, DLA Piper and Fox Rothschild.
Huntington Ingalls Industries, a military shipbuilding company, completed the acquisition of Alion Science and Technology, a provider of engineering science and technology solutions, from Veritas Capital, a private equity firm, for $1.65bn.
"We established the Technical Solutions division in 2016 with a vision and strategy focused on partnering with our customers to solve their most pressing challenges. Today's announcement, coupled with our previous investments in leading edge technologies, such as cybersecurity and autonomous systems, reflects our commitment to stay on the cutting edge of critical, high-growth national security solutions and generate significant long-term value for our shareholders," Mike Petters, Huntington Ingalls Industries President and CEO.
Huntington Ingalls was advised by Arena Strategic Advisors, Renaissance Strategic Advisors, Credit Suisse and Jones Day. Credit Suisse was advised by Alston & Bird. Alion Science was advised by Macquarie Capital and Milbank.
Topps, an American company that manufactures chewing gum, candy, and collectibles, and Mudrick Capital Acquisition II, a special purposes acquisition company, mutually terminate the $1.3bn SPAC merger. The transaction included a PIPE of $250m at $10.15 per share led by Mudrick Capital and leading institutional investors, including GAMCO Investors and Wells Capital Management.
The merger was terminated by mutual agreement after notification from Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association that they would not be renewing their respective agreements with Topps.
Canadian mining company Noront Resources supports the $258m acquisition of BHP Group, a global diversified miner supplying iron ore, and clarifies the bidding statements by Wyloo Metals.
"If Wyloo remains interested in engaging with Noront, the support agreement entered into between Noront and BHP contains customary terms that permit the company to engage with, and provide confidential information to, a party that makes a proposal to the company that is superior to the offer or would reasonably be expected to lead to a superior proposal. To date, the company has received no such proposals," Noront Resources.
Noront Resources is advised by Stifel, TD Securities, Bennett Jones and Longview Communications. BHP Group is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Blake Cassels & Graydon and Kingsdale Advisors.
Kohlberg & Company, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Myers EPS, a designer & manufacturer of highly engineered emergency lighting backup power technology, from Graham Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Over the past several years, we have experienced strong growth as the market leader in the backup emergency lighting market. The Myers EPS team is highly enthusiastic to partner with Kohlberg for our next phase of growth as we look to expand our capabilities and enhance our ability to meet our customers’ needs," John Daly, Myers EPS CEO.
Myers EPS was advised by Harris Williams & Co and Dechert. Kohlberg & Company was advised by William Blair & Co, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Finsbury Glover Hering.
Kinder Morgan, an energy infrastructure company, completed the acquisition of Kinetrex Energy, a provider of environmentally friendly renewable natural gas and liquid natural gas, from Parallel49 Equity, a private equity firm, for $310m.
“We are very pleased to be adding Kinetrex Energy’s business to the full suite of energy solutions and services that Kinder Morgan has to offer customers. We’re confident that additional RNG opportunities will continue to emerge in the near term and deliver attractive returns to our shareholders," Jesse Arenivas, Kinder Morgan ETV President.
Kinetrex Energy is advised by JP Morgan and Holsapple Communications.
Cannae Holdings, a holding company, led a $270m funding round in Sightline Payments, a sports betting and casino gaming market's digital payments provider. Other investors include Genting Group, Point Break Capital Management, and founding investor Walter Kortschak.
"Sightline has continuously risen to meet the changing needs of the casino gaming industry. As we strive to help lead the digital transformation of the patron experience in our vertical, we are humbled to become Nevada's first FinTech unicorn. Financial Services has historically not embraced the legal, regulated gaming industry, but thanks to the innovations Sightline has fostered in the market, gaming is clearly poised for an omni-channel cashless revolution," Omer Sattar, Sightline Co-Founder.
Sightline Payments was advised by Latham & Watkins. Cannae Holdings was advised by Solebury Trout.
Cornerstone Building Brands, a manufacturer of exterior building products in North America, completed the acquisition of Cascade Windows, an independent manufacturer of energy-efficient vinyl windows and doors, from CenterOak Partners, a Dallas-based private equity firm, for $245m.
"Cascade is an excellent strategic fit for our Company and advances our strategy to grow in the large, deep residential windows market. Additionally, the acquisition expands our manufacturing presence across the rapidly growing west coast region and enhances our tailored solutions offering for our customers. I look forward to welcoming our new teammates from Cascade to the Cornerstone Building Brands family," James S. Metcalf, Cornerstone Building Brands Chairman and CEO.
CenterOak was advised by BackBay Communications. Cornerstone was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
GPI Capital, an alternative investment firm, led a $175m Series G funding round in Hopper, a company developing a mobile app for booking flights and hotels. Other investors include Glade Brook Capital, WestCap, Goldman Sachs Growth and Accomplice.
“The success of our fintech offerings demonstrate that travelers are willing to pay for flexibility and assurance as they resume traveling again. We feel strongly that our fintech offerings through Hopper Cloud can help supercharge the travel industry’s recovery by introducing a totally unique revenue stream for other brands. In fact, if all travel distribution channels offered our fintech, it could increase the total consumer spend for the sector by $200bn annually. We are excited to be partnering with GPI and their distinguished track record of supporting iconic consumer internet companies. We welcome Khai to the board as we execute on a roadmap for sustained growth over the long term," Frederic Lalonde, Hopper CEO and Co-Founder.
GPI Capital was advised by Kirkland & Ellis and McCarthy Tetrault.
Nexstar, a television station owner and operator, completed the acquisition of The Hill, a political news provider, from HRS Management, a private investment office, for $130m.
“The accretive acquisition of The Hill’s independent, political digital media platform marks continued progress with Nexstar’s ‘content-first strategy’ and reflects our organization-wide commitment to deliver trusted, unbiased, fact-based journalism that engages and informs our audiences across all screens and devices. The Hill has a nationally recognized brand known for delivering balanced political reporting, as well as authentic opinions and perspectives, and is highly complementary to Nexstar’s national cable news network, NewsNation," Tom Carter, Nexstar President and Chief Operating Officer.
Nexstar was advised by JCIR. The Hill was advised by High10 Media.
Clearlake-backed Janus International, a building products producer, completed the acquisition of DBCI, a manufacturer of steel roll-up doors and building products for both the commercial and self-storage industries, from Cornerstone Building Brands, a manufacturer of insulated metal panels, metal roofing and wall systems and metal accessories. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This synergistic combination advances Janus's strategy of focusing on a niche value proposition and enhances our ability to better serve the needs of our customers by broadening our platform's range of solutions. Given our complementary business lines, the acquisition presents appealing cost savings and scale/procurement benefits, along with the ability to integrate operations, cross-sell existing products and services, and expand our pool of talent and personnel," Ramey Jackson, Janus CEO.
Janus International was advised by ICR. Cornerstone Building was advised by Debevoise & Plimpton.
Private equity firms Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Charlesbank Capital Partners, agreed to acquire a majority stake in MDVIP, a personalized membership-based healthcare services provider, from private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners and Summit Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"For 21 years, MDVIP has built and scaled its physician practice model to meet this consumer demand, and the market for our services will continue its momentum. This investment by Goldman Sachs and Charlesbank speaks to the strength and resiliency of our business model, and we are excited to partner with them as we embark on our next phase of growth," Bret Jorgensen, MDVIP Chairman and CEO.
MDVIP is advised by Jefferies & Company. Goldman Sachs Asset Management is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Adobe, a firm that develops, markets, and supports computer software products and technologies, agreed to acquire Frame.io, a developer of a video review and collaboration platform, for $1.3bn. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of Adobe's 2021 fiscal year and is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.
"We've entered a new era of connected creativity that is deeply collaborative, and we imagine a world where everyone can participate in the creative process. With this acquisition, we're welcoming an incredible customer-oriented team and adding Frame.io's cloud-native workflow capabilities to make the creative process more collaborative, productive, and efficient to further unleash creativity for all," Scott Belsky, Adobe Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President.
Landmark Properties, a fully integrated real estate firm, and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, a perpetual-life, institutional quality real estate investment platform, agreed to form $784m joint venture.
The join venture plans to recapitalize eight student housing assets totaling 5.4k beds across the US. With this transaction, Landmark's portfolio includes 79 student housing communities.
"We are thrilled to partner with Landmark, one of the top student housing developers in the US, to acquire this portfolio of well-located assets concentrated at leading US universities with growing enrollments. Student housing has a history of being resilient while generating strong cash flows and this transaction is consistent with BREIT's strategy of acquiring high-quality, income generating properties that have attractive long-term growth potential. We look forward to growing our presence in this asset class and working together on future transactions," Jacob Werner, Blackstone Real Estate Senior Managing Director.
Landmark Properties and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust are advised by TSB Capital.
Putman Investments, a Canadian-based, family-owned company, agreed to acquire toys stores Toys'R'Us and Babies'R'Us Canada from Fairfax Financial Holdings, a financial holding company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Toys'R'Us and Babies'R'Us are extremely strong brands that have been in great hands over the past three years. Since its split from the US, we've watched the way in which the company has grown and focused on the Canadian customer. Much has been achieved and we're excited to help to drive the business forward," Doug Putman, Putman Investments Founder.
Putman Investments is advised by Putman Investments.
Marathon Petroleum, a firm that operates as a crude oil refining company, and ADM, an American multinational food processing and commodities trading corporation, agreed to form a joint venture. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The joint venture will own and operate ADM’s previously announced soybean processing complex in Spiritwood, North Dakota, with ADM owning 75% of the joint venture and MPC owning 25%.
“This joint venture marks another step in advancing our ability to optimize and source logistically advantaged feedstock for our nearby Dickinson facility, and also creates a platform for further collaboration with a world-class partner as we continue to invest in a sustainable, energy-diverse future," Dave Heppner, MPC Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development.
Insight Partners and Accel led a $450m Series D funding round in DriveWealth, a developer of financial technology systems. Other investors include Greyhound Capital, Softbank Vision Fund, Point72 Ventures, Fidelity International, Base 10, FTX, and FlightDeck.
DriveWealth will use the Series D investment to execute its strategic vision of becoming the category leader of embedded investing across digital wallets and brokerage apps on every continent. This raise will fund continued product and service expansion, talent acquisition, and technology innovation to build the most modern, industrial-strength infrastructure in brokerage to support the firm's and its partners' future growth. The funding will also be used to launch self-clearing and accelerate execution via strategic acquisitions and partnerships.
Moore Strategic Ventures, a private equity firm, led a $160m Series C funding round in Ample, a developer of technology that quickly swaps depleted electric vehicle batteries for fully charged ones. Additional investors include ENEOS, Shell Ventures, SMRT Ventures, PTT, Rose Park Advisors and Disruptive Innovation Fund.
"This round will allow us to accelerate the next phase of deployment within the US and internationally and will help us deliver EV technology around the globe empowering our car manufacturer and fleet partners with new battery and energy delivery technologies. Today’s announcement is an exciting continuation of our momentum thus far. More importantly, it demonstrates the global market’s interest in energy solutions that will improve our planet and the impact we have on it now, and for generations to come," Ample.
Private equity firms Dragoneer Investment Group and Lux Capital led a $110m Series D funding round in Maven Clinic, an operator of virtual clinic for women's and family health. Additional investors include BOND Capital, Sequoia, Oak HC/FT, Icon Ventures and Oprah Winfrey.
"With the support of our new and existing investors, Maven will be able to deliver on the promise of digital health for women and families everywhere, offering personalized care that meets them where they are," Kate Ryder, Maven Founder and CEO.
ValueAct builds a $1.2bn position in Fiserv with 6.2m shares. (FS)
Activist investor ValueAct Capital Management has built a $1.2bn position in the financial technology and payments firm Fiserv, and believes its Clover credit-card processing business could be worth $185bn by 2024, Bloomberg reported.
ValueAct said it believed Clover could be valued at $30bn to $45bn including debt on a standalone basis, approaching nearly half of Fiserv’s $96bn enterprise value.
“At this point in the cycle, we believe there is more money to be made investing behind incumbents transforming themselves than there is betting on disruptors. Fiserv checks all our boxes as a digital transformation candidate," ValueAct.
Google considered approaching Tencent for its attempted buy out of Epic Games.
Google considered approaching Tencent, which holds a 40% stake in Epic Games, to discuss how to take control of Epic Games, newly unredacted court filings in the case Epic Games v. Google presented by Epic Games reveal, after the judge presiding over the case ordered the filings released in unredacted form earlier this week.
Epic Games says Google went as far as to explore buying Tencent Holdings’ stake in the game maker to stop it from launching its Fortnite game app on Android by bypassing the Google Play store.
Epic is battling Google and Apple over fees the companies charge developers in their mobile-app stores. A trial in the Epic-Apple case took place in May, and the companies are awaiting a ruling from the judge. The fight with Google is just heating up, Bloomberg reported.
City Office REIT to sell life science portfolio for $576m.
City Office REIT, a real estate company, announced today that it has entered into definitive agreements to sell all of its holdings in the Sorrento Mesa submarket of San Diego for $576m. The transactions are expected to generate net proceeds, after estimated closing and transaction costs, of approximately $546m, which equates to $12.38 per common share. The properties to be sold are unencumbered by debt.
The sales will be completed pursuant to two separate agreements. The northern portion of the portfolio is scheduled to close in December 2021 for $395m. The southern portion of the portfolio is scheduled to close in February 2023 for $181m. City Office has the ability to accelerate either closing date to align with redeployment opportunities. Both sales are subject to customary closing conditions.
"We are pleased to announce the agreements to sell our Sorrento Mesa life science portfolio. Since our initial acquisition of properties in Sorrento Mesa in 2017, we have re-positioned, re-tenanted, renovated and strategically enhanced our portfolio. The resulting aggregation of life science assets and over 1m Sq ft of zoned life science development potential created an extremely valuable portfolio," James Farrar, City Office REIT CEO.
Voyager Space picks JP Morgan to raise funds ahead of IPO.
Voyager Space Holdings, a space exploration is working with JP Morgan on raising capital, its last such effort before a potential initial public offering.
"The company hopes to close the so-called crossover round, featuring institutional blue-chip investors, in the third quarter. Voyager is working to file paperwork for an IPO in the fourth quarter ahead of a public markets debut in early 2022. Terms of the funding round are yet to be finalized," Dylan Taylor, Voyager CEO.
Ares Management seeks $4bn for distressed investing.
Private equity firm Ares Management is seeking to raise $4bn for its second fund that is focused on investing in the debt and equity of companies in financial distress.
The Los Angeles-based firm raised its first such fund, Ares Special Opportunities Fund, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, seeking to capitalize on the woes of companies hitting hard times. It amassed $3.5bn from investors, significantly above its $2bn target, Reuters reported.
The launch of Ares Special Opportunities Fund II with a higher target shows the firm believes that there is still rich pickings in this space. It will be a key test of investors’ perception of the firm after it fired its Chief Financial Officer Michael McFerran earlier this month following a probe into allegations of “inappropriate” conduct with certain employees.
Binance.US to close funding round with Reputable Investors.
Binance.US, a cryptocurrency exchange serving US investors, is expecting to close a funding round shortly. Binance is looking to raise at least $100m from investors, Bloomberg reported.
“There is significant interest from top-level investors, and they expect they will close a round shortly. Binance will have a diverse cap table with reputable investors and an independent board with proper governance, including the addition of new outside investors and independent members. Binance also aims to IPO in the not too distant future," Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO.
Siemens-backed Thoughtworks files for US IPO.
Siemens-backed Thoughtworks, a software consultancy company has filed for an initial public offering, to cash in on the country’s red-hot capital markets.
It did not reveal the number of shares it plans to sell or its target price range in its regulatory filing. It intends to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “TWKS.”
Thoughtworks is advised by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
FinTech Collective raises $250m across 2 funds. (FS)
FinTech Collective, a venture capital firm, announced fundraises for its existing early-stage strategy and for its new strategy focused on decentralized finance. FinTech Collective raised a combined $250m in capital across the two strategies, bringing the firm’s total assets under management to over $500m.
The firm raised $200m to focus on early-stage investments as well as $50m focused on open-source, composable financial protocols and applications being built on smart-contracting platforms such as Ethereum. The DeFi strategy will invest across the breadth of opportunities emerging in the decentralized finance space – including both equity and liquid tokens.
Fontinalis Partners raises $104m for its third fund. (FS)
Fontinalis Partners, a venture capital firm, raises $104m for its third fund, Fontinalis III, to continue focusing on mobility opportunities ranging from seed to Series B funding.
This fund will focus on a new frontier of indirect mobility themes that can create great value in optimizing the way that people and goods are moved. With these new funds, the company is looking forward to investing in mobility applications like these including other themes like demand planning and forecasting, e-commerce technology, additive manufacturing, clean mobility and fintech.
Morrisons, a British supermarket chain, agreed a takeover offer worth $9.54bn from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, dropping its recommendation of a lower bid from a consortium led by Fortress Investment Group.
CD&R's agreed bid represents a 60% premium to Morrisons' share price before takeover interest emerged in mid-June. CD&R's offer gives the supermarket chain an enterprise value of $13.3bn once the debt is included, Reuters reported.
Morrisons is advised by Jefferies & Company, Rothschild & Co, Shore Capital & Corporate, Ashurst and Citigate Dewe Rogerson. CD&R is advised by BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Teneo. Fortress is advised by HSBC, RBC Capital Markets, Slaughter & May and TB Cardew.
LumiraDx, a point of care diagnostics testing company, and CA Healthcare Acquisition, a SPAC, revised the valuation of their previously announced $5bn merger based on various considerations, including the recent market environment for publicly traded diagnostic companies, general market declines in Covid-19 testing volumes, and feedback from CA Healthcare advisors and shareholders.
The new transaction terms adjust the pro forma enterprise value of LumiraDx from $5bn to $3bn, excluding any cash held in trust. The transaction is currently expected to close in the fall of this year, subject to approval by the security holders of each of CAHC and LumiraDx and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
LumiraDx is advised by Evercore, Raymond James, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Goodwin Procter. CA Healthcare is advised by BTIG, Sidley Austin and APCO Worldwide. Debt financing is provided by BioPharma Credit, Capital One Financial Corporation and National Association.
Transocean, a form that commands deep-water and ultra-deep-water fleets, and Dolphin Drilling, a provider of exploration and development services, offered to acquire Seadrill, a provider of drilling and well services to the offshore industry, for $1.7bn.
"This has the support of almost two-thirds of our creditors, who not only support our plan but our long-term business strategy and plans to emerge, with expediency, from Chapter 11," Iain Cracknell, Seadrill Spokesperson.
Sherwin-Williams, a provider of architectural paint, agreed to acquire European industrial coatings business of Sika, a firm that manufactures and sells specialty chemical-based products, for $82m. The transaction is expected to close in the beginning of 2022.
"This transaction fits our strategy of acquiring complementary, high-quality, differentiated businesses that add to our profitable growth momentum. The business brings us scale, unique technology, a strong sales and marketing team, technical service capabilities, strategically located manufacturing, and leading specification and approval positions, all of which we can leverage further throughout Europe and other regions across the world. Additionally, synergy opportunities give us great confidence in accelerating the already strong financial performance of the business. We look forward to officially welcoming Sika's industrial coating employees to Sherwin-Williams upon the close of the transaction at the beginning of next year," John G. Morikis, Sherwin-Williams Chairman, President and CEO.
Mitsubishi Electric, an electronics and electrical equipment manufacturing company, completed the acquisition of Smarter Grid Solutions, a provider of distributed energy resources management software. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"We are very excited to bring SGS into Mitsubishi Electric. They are committed to the mission of decarbonizing electric power production and have spent the last decade developing world-class products and processes. We look forward to marrying their products with our suite of grid control products to help our customers respond to changes and still get the best performance from their electric grids," Brian Heery, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products President and CEO.
Blue Owl Capital in talks to acquire a minority stake in CVC Capital at $15bn Valuation. (FS)
Blue Owl Capital, a private equity firm, is nearing a deal to acquire approximately 10% stake in CVC Capital, that will value the European private equity firm at about $15bn.
A fresh investor and the acquisition add to growing signs that CVC could be paving the way for a future initial public offering. The buyout firm has been informally discussing the idea after the successful listings of Bridgepoint Group and EQT, though no decision has been made, Bloomberg reported.
UEFA is discussing a $7.2bn deal with Centricus to halt Super League. (FS)
UEFA is in discussions with Centricus Asset Management over a $7.2bn financing package to overhaul its flagship soccer tournament and stop plans for a new breakaway Super League.
The Switzerland-based sporting body is working with Centricus on a plan to fund a new-look UEFA Champions League tournament. Negotiations are ongoing and there’s no certainty UEFA and London-based Centricus will reach an agreement, Al Jazeera reported.
It comes as UEFA prepares to battle with a new Super League that could mark the biggest upheaval of European soccer since the 1950s and end the Champions League’s decades-long reign as the world’s premier club contest.
PAI Partners weighs options for $6bn Refresco. (FS)
PAI Partners, a private equity firm, is considering options for Refresco, including a possible initial public offering that could value the bottling business at about $6bn.
The French buyout firm has been holding preliminary discussions with potential advisers as it studies a US listing of Refresco. It could start formal preparations in the next few months, Bloomberg reported.
Refresco may also attract interest from blank-check companies or other private equity firms. Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction.
Italy weighs rights offer of up to $3.5bn for Paschi.
Italy is considering a rights offer of as much as $3.5bn for bailed out lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, to strengthen the bank’s finances and make it more attractive for a takeover by UniCredit.
The Finance Ministry’s favored solution to meet UniCredit’s demand of a capital neutral deal is the sale of shares with pre-emptive rights that help protect the stakes of current investors. The discount applied to the offer wouldn’t be highly dilutive for investors.
Various amounts are still in discussion and the final size of the rights offer would depend on the outcome of UniCredit’s review of Monte Paschi’s books, on which assets are sold and on the ratio of shares swapped between UniCredit and Monte Paschi, Bloomberg reported.
Greystar Real Estate Partners in talks to acquire Metropolitan Thames Valley and Fizzy Living. (FS)
Greystar Real Estate Partners, a private equity firm, is in talks to acquire Metropolitan Thames Valley, a housing association.
Greystar is also in talks to buy Metropolitan Thames Valley’s minority stake in housing operator Fizzy Living’s real estate portfolio of nearly 1k homes across London, which is separate from the operational business. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority owns the rest of the firm’s properties, Bloomberg reported.
China Three Gorges nears a deal for Alcazar Energy Partners.
China Three Gorges, a provider of clean energy, is nearing a deal to acquire Alcazar Energy Partners, a wind and solar developer.
A consortium led by Three Gorges is in advanced talks to buy Alcazar Energy for about $500m. An announcement could come as soon as the next few days. Including debt, a deal could value Alcazar at about $1bn, Bloomberg reported.
The deal could serve as a springboard for China to increase clean energy investments in the Middle East. Chinese companies have put their money into oil and gas in the likes of Iraq and the United Arab Emirates for years, but have only recently taken an interest in renewables in the region.
China Three Gorges is advised by Standard Chartered.
Metalloinvest eyes a $20bn IPO.
Metalloinvest, an iron ore producer, part owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, is weighing an initial public offering that could value the company at $20bn.
Metalloinvest has already started talks with banks as it weighs an IPO. Metalloinvest pushing its green steelmaking credentials ahead of the IPO.
Goldman’s Petershill mulls listing $4bn London vehicle. (FS)
Goldman Sachs Group’s Petershill unit, which specializes in buying stakes in alternative asset managers, is considering listing a permanent capital vehicle in London as soon as this year.
Petershill is working with advisers on the potential initial public offering. Having a listed entity would offer a way for public market investors to gain exposure to Petershill’s funds while providing liquidity for some of their existing backers, Bloomberg reported.
It could seek a valuation of around $4.1bn for the London vehicle, though details of the potential deal haven’t been finalized. Petershill’s deliberations are ongoing, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction.
Baring Private Equity Asia, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire SPi Global, a provider of specialized business process outsourcing services, from Partners Group, a global private markets investment manager. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Straive has been on an incredible growth journey under Partners Group's value-added ownership. SPi's recent rebranding to Straive marks our more advanced offering and increased focus on technology-driven solutions. We have started to see the fruits of investing behind and expanding our addressable markets. We thank Partners Group for their value creation approach, platform building contributions, and financial resources, which have been crucial in transforming our business. We now look forward to working with BPEA on our exciting next chapter," Ratan Datta, Straive CEO.
Partners Group is advised by Ernst & Young, JP Morgan and Latham & Watkins.
BlackRock agreed to invest $100m in Brite Energy Partners, a developer and operator of renewable energy power generation facilities.
The investment will be used to fund BEP’s acquisition and construction of small-scale solar assets in South Korea, totalling more than 350MW. All the projects developed and acquired by BEP are planned to be fully contracted under 20-year agreements with subsidiaries of the state-owned Korean Electric Power.
Guotai Junan, a firm engaged in the internationalization of Chinese securities companies, and China Industrial International Trust, an investment company, led a $100m Series B funding round in DeepEXI, a provider of digital services for enterprises.
After this round of financing, DeepEXI will continue to accelerate the commercialization process and serve more industry scenarios.
Uber, a provider of ride hailing services, completed the acquisition of HKTaxi, a developer of a taxi-hailing application for citizens of Hong Kong, from Beyond Ventures, a venture capital firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are proud of our hard work in bringing innovation and better service to taxi drivers and riders across Hong Kong. Today’s deal allows us to continue that mission with even greater impact. Combining our local know-how and startup spirit with Uber’s global experience will build a better taxi industry for all drivers, riders and industry participants," Kay Lui, HKTaxi Co-founder.
Andrew Forrest picks up a 5.3% stake in Western Areas.
Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has picked up a 5.3% stake in Western Areas, a day after IGO confirmed it was in early talks to buy the Australian nickel producer.
Forrest and his vehicles started buying shares in March 2021 when the company was trading at $2.06 and continued accumulating shares, topping up his position to get himself above the 5% disclosure mark.
Forrest’s move follows a takeover attempt by his Wyloo Metals for Canadian nickel-copper miner Noront Resources where he’s up against mining giant BHP Group.
Ansteel and Ben Gang start merger.
Ansteel Group, a steel manufacturing company, and Ben Gang, a Chinese steel firm, began the process of merging their operations.
State-owned Ansteel is taking a 51% stake in Ben Gang from the regional state assets regulator, with no money changing hands in a government-backed restructuring that is part of a drive to consolidate production in China's bloated steel sector, Reuters reported.
The merged entity, which will retain the Ansteel name, will have annual production capacity of 63m tonnes of crude steel.
Botanee picks banks for its $1bn Hong Kong Second listing.
Yunnan Botanee Bio-Technology Group, a Chinese cosmetics manufacturer, has picked has picked Huatai Securities and JP Morgan for its second listing in Hong Kong.
The Shenzhen-listed company could raise about $1bn in the Hong Kong share sale as soon as this year. Deliberations for its second listing are ongoing and details such as fundraising size and timing could change, Bloomberg reported.
Botanee has authorized management to prepare for its Hong Kong offering, and didn’t give other details of the listing plan. Its initial public offering took place in Shenzhen in March, $426m.
SEBI puts Adani Wilmar IPO on hold.
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, in its latest observations on the recently filed initial public offering papers by Adani Wilmar, has kept the $605m issue in "abeyance". The SEBI website shows the Adani Wilmar IPO has been "kept in abeyance". Adani Wilmar, a 50:50 joint venture between the Adani Group and the Singapore-based Wilmar Group, had filed its draft red herring prospectus with SEBI on August 2.
The proposed IPO offer worth $605m will comprise a fresh issue of equity shares by the fast-moving consumer goods major and there will not be any secondary offering. Though SEBI has not cited a reason behind the hold, media reports suggest the Adani Wilmar IPO was put on hold due to an ongoing investigation into the group's flagship company, Adani Enterprises. Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises holds 50% stake in Adani Wilmar, which owns the popular edible oil brand ‘Fortune’.
As per the SEBI rules, if one of the departments of the regulator is investing in a company, its related entity may not receive the regulator's approval for 90 days, which can further extend by 45 days. Adani Wilmar's biggest business is edible oil, which is a high-volume but low-margin segment. The company's flagship Fortune brand is among the largest oil brands and the company enjoys a unique advantage with its own refineries located close to its port and hence it can import oil and process it at a lower cost, BusinessToday reported.
China eyes pushing US-IPO bound firms to had over data control.
Chinese regulators are considering pressing data-rich companies to hand over management and supervision of their data to third-party firms if they want US stock listings as part of Beijing’s unprecedented scrutiny of private sector firms.
The regulators believe bringing in third-party information security firms, ideally state-backed, to manage and monitor IPO hopefuls’ data could effectively limit their ability to transfer Chinese onshore data overseas. That would help ease Beijing’s growing concerns that a foreign listing might force such Chinese companies to hand over some of their data to foreign entities and undermine national security.
The plan is one of several proposals under consideration by Chinese regulators as Beijing has tightened its grip on the country’s internet platforms in recent months, including looking to sharpen scrutiny of overseas listings. A final decision on the IPO-bound companies’ data handover plan is yet to be made, Reuters reported.
GoTo set to wrap up $2bn funding round, eyes IPO in 2022.
GoTo, an internet firm created through the merger of ride-hailing giant Gojek and e-commerce provider Tokopedia, is set to complete a pre-IPO funding exercise to raise up to $2bn in the next few weeks, but regulatory delays threaten to push its listing plans to early next year.
The delay comes as the southeast Asian nation's Financial Services Authority weighs new listing guidelines for tech firms to offer dual-class shares that confer different voting rights, Reuters reported.
Alibaba Group, Softbank Vision Fund and GIC-backed GoTo is targeting to list in Indonesia by year-end, followed by a US listing, with a potential valuation of about $40bn.
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