Kansas City Southern, a transportation holding company, announced that the company’s stockholders have voted to approve the previously announced $31bn combination with Canadian Pacific, a transportation services company. Of the 64.5m shares voting at the special meeting, approximately 99.6% were cast in favor of the adoption of the proposed merger agreement.
The transaction is expected to close on December 14, 2021. Canadian Pacific agreed to acquire Kansas City Southern for $31bn.
"This week, shareholders of both CP and KCS overwhelmingly supported this transformative proposal to create the first US-Mexico-Canada rail network. With strong shareholder support, we are excited to complete the steps required to close the CP-KCS transaction into the voting trust, a critical milestone in the journey to make Canadian Pacific Kansas City a reality," Keith Creel, CP President and CEO.
Kansas City 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 are advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. 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 are advised by Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.
Koch Equity-backed Getty Images, a preeminent global visual content creator and marketplace, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II in a $4.8bn deal. The SPAC deal is backed by CC Capital and Neuberger Berman.
"With a unique library and an exclusive network of content creators, deep customer loyalty and substantial recurring subscription revenues, Getty Images is well positioned for revenue growth acceleration through multiple exciting pathways, unlocking significant intrinsic value for all stakeholders. We look forward to working in partnership with its exceptional management team, the Getty family, and Koch Equity Development to generate long term value for Getty Images and its shareholders as a publicly traded company," Charles Kantor, Neuberger Berman Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager.
Getty Images is advised by Berenson & Co, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Solebury Trout. CC Neuberger is advised by Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Rothschild & Co, Solomon Partners, Kirkland & Ellis and Joele Frank. Koch Equity is advised by PJT Partners and Jones Day.
Fertitta Entertainment, a firm which operates in the gaming, restaurant, hospitality and entertainment industry, terminated an $8.6bn merger with FAST Acquisition, a SPAC.
"FEI is an incredible hospitality empire run by the one of the world's best operators that we have had a first-hand view into for many years now. We wish Tilman and his team the best of luck as they remain a private company. Through this settlement we ensured that we are sufficiently capitalized to seek a new target and that we could continue our efforts to maximize value for our shareholders," Doug Jacob, FAST Founder.
HitecVision, a private equity firm, NEO Energy, an independent full-cycle energy business, completed the acquisition of non-operated upstream assets of ExxonMobil, a publicly traded international oil and gas company, for $1bn.
"Our development plans that prioritise Guyana, the US Permian Basin, Brazil and LNG are focused on increasing earnings potential and generating strong cash flow to fund future capital investments, reduce debt and maintain a reliable dividend," Neil Chapman, ExxonMobil Senior Vice President.
NEO Energy was advised by Goldman Sachs, Jefferies & Company, BAHR, CMS and Hawthorn Advisors. Debt financing was provided by BNP Paribas, DNB Bank, ING Bank and Lloyds Bank. ExxonMobil was advised by Jefferies & Company and Linklaters.
RR Donnelley, an integrated communications company, has accepted a revised proposal from affiliates of Atlas, a private investment & equity firm, to increase the price per share to $10.35 in cash.
RRD stockholders will receive $10.35 in cash for each share of common stock of the company that they own, representing a premium of 21.5% over $8.52.
The same day Chatham Asset Management, a private investment firm, increased offer to acquire RR Donnelley to $10.85 per share in cash. Chatham's increased offer will expire on December 13, 2021, unless it receives a countersigned merger agreement from the company.
RRD is advised by Centerview Partners, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Joele Frank. Centerview Partners is advised by Debevoise & Plimpton. Atlas is advised by Macquarie Group and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Chatham is advised by Jefferies & Company, Lowenstein Sandler, Olshan Frome Wolosky and Gasthalter & Co.
Altus Power, a clean electrification company, went public via a SPAC merger with CBRE Acquisition in a $1.58bn deal. The deal includes a $275m PIPE from CBRE Group, Blackstone Credit, ValueAct Capital and Liberty Mutual Investments.
“This transaction will deliver the financial and strategic resources to accelerate Altus Power’s growth plan and drive long-term shareholder value creation. CBRE is excited to help Altus Power bring its clean energy solutions and expertise to support our clients in reducing their carbon footprint and meeting their other sustainability goals. This is an increasingly urgent imperative for real estate occupiers and investors alike,” Bill Concannon, CBRE Acquisition CEO.
Altus Power was advised by Citigroup, Fifth Third Bancorp, Ropes & Gray and ICR. CBRE Acquisition was advised by Duff & Phelps, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Potter Anderson & Corroon and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Financial advisors were advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
GHO Capital, a specialist healthcare investment firm, agreed to invest in Biocare Medical, a provider of oncology-focused diagnostic reagents and instrumentation. Excellere Partners, a US-based private equity firm, shall remain a significant partner in the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are very pleased to be working closely with GHO and Excellere to accelerate our focus and investment in R&D in order to deliver on our ambitious portfolio expansion targets. With GHO, we have found a strong specialist partner to complement our existing capital partner, both of whom truly understand our business, and are excited to support the next chapter of Biocare’s strategic vision and growth," Luis de Luzuriaga, Biocare CEO.
GHO Capital is advised by CRS Insurance, Oliver Wyman, ERM Group, Alvarez & Marsal, Deloitte and Ropes & Gray. Debt financing is provided by Varagon Capital Partners. Biocare Medical and Excellere Partners were advised by Houlihan Lokey, Jefferies & Company and Hogan Lovells.
Microsoft is set to secure unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $19.7bn bid for Nuance Communications, an artificial intelligence and speech technology company, Reuters reported.
The deal follows heightened regulatory scrutiny of "killer acquisitions" whereby tech giants buy and shut down nascent start-ups and potential rivals. The European Commission is scheduled to decide on Microsoft's proposed Nuance purchase by December 21.
Microsoft announced the Nuance deal, which would boost its presence in cloud services for healthcare, in April and it has already received regulatory approval in the United States and Australia, without remedies given.
Nuance is advised by Evercore, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Joele Frank and Waggener Edstrom. Evercore is advised by Kirkland & Ellis. Microsoft is advised by Goldman Sachs, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and WE Communications.
Corcentric, a provider of payments, accounts payable, and accounts receivable technology to enterprise and middle-market companies, agreed to po public via a SPAC merger with North Mountain Merger in a $1.2bn deal. PIPE investors include Wellington Management and Millais. Bregal Sagemount will continue as a shareholder of Corcentric.
"We are immensely proud of Corcentric's accomplishments since our founding 25 years ago, and we are excited to lead the next stage of development alongside the North Mountain team. We believe there is significant runway for growth opportunities within our existing customer base as well as through untapped opportunities such as new customer wins, new product innovation, international expansion, and strategic acquisitions," Douglas W. Clark, Corcentric Founder, Chairman and CEO.
Corcentric is advised by JP Morgan, William Blair & Co, Kirkland & Ellis and Solebury Trout. North Mountain Merger is advised by Citigroup, JP Morgan, William Blair & Co, Mayer Brown and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.
Solid Power, a developer of solid-state rechargeable batteries, went public via a SPAC merger with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition III, a blank check company, in a $1.2bn deal. The deal included a $165m fully committed PIPE transaction anchored by investors Koch Strategic Platforms, Riverstone Energy, Neuberger Berman funds and Van Eck Associates.
"Today marks an important milestone of commercializing Solid Power's next generation of all-solid-state batteries that can alleviate the two largest passenger EV pain points: range anxiety and cost. In addition to our existing partners, Ford and BMW, we are now excited to partner with the DCRC team that shares our vision of powering a cleaner, safer and cost-effective electric future," Doug Campbell, Solid Power Co-Founder and CEO.
Solid Power was advised by Stifel and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Koch was advised by Mayer Brown. Decarbonization Plus Acquisition III was advised by Citigroup, JP Morgan, Vinson & Elkins and Kekst CNC. Financial advisors were advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Sinch, a Swedish cloud computing services provider, completed the acquisition of Inteliquent, a communications enabler offering network-based voice and messaging services to communication service providers, from GTCR, a private equity firm, for $1.14bn.
"We're excited about the tremendous opportunities this combination unlocks, expanding the services we can provide to our customers. Combining our leading voice offering with Sinch's global messaging capabilities truly positions us for leadership in the rapidly developing market for cloud communications," Ed O'Hara, Inteliquent CEO.
Sinch was advised by Handelsbanken Capital Markets, Moelis & Co and K&L Gates. Debt financing was provided by Danske Bank and Handelsbanken Capital Markets. Inteliquent was advised by Rothschild & Co, Truist Bank and Latham & Watkins.
Gamut Capital, a New York-based middle market private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Davis-Standard, a supplier of extrusion and converting systems and related aftermarket products and services for the rigid packaging, flexible packaging and infrastructure end-markets, from ONEX, an investment manager, for $75m.
"We are excited to partner with the Gamut team during this next phase of Davis-Standard’s long history as a provider of highly engineered solutions to an extensive base of industry-leading customers. The resources Gamut brings to this investment will enable us to not only accelerate growth within our markets but also transform Davis-Standard into a leading, value-added global process solutions business," Jim Murphy, Davis-Standard CEO.
Davis-Standard was advised by Jefferies & Company and Robert W Baird. Gamut Capital was advised by BMO Capital Markets, Stifel, Kirkland & Ellis and Prosek Partners. Debt financing was provided by BMO Capital Markets and Stifel.
Madison Dearborn, an American private equity firm, agreed to acquire Zilliant, an intelligent B2B price optimization, price management and sales guidance software provider. The transaction is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 and is subject to certain closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The market for price optimization and management solutions has reached an inflection point, as the explosion of digital commerce and the acceleration of digital transformation are driving company leaders to seek out scalable, intelligent pricing and sales solutions. We are excited to partner with the MDP team who shares our commitment to further drive this next stage of innovation and growth in this increasingly important and rapidly evolving market worldwide," Greg Peters, Zilliant President and CEO.
Madison Dearborn is advised by Spurrier Capital Partners, Kirkland & Ellis and Abernathy MacGregor Group. Zilliant is advised by Union Square Advisors, Vinson & Elkins and Treble Public Relations.
Advent International, a private equity investor, completed the acquisition of cosmetics companies bareMinerals, BUXOM, and Laura Mercier from Shiseido, a cosmetic company. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to bring together three leaders in prestige beauty to build Orveon and are thankful toward Shiseido for being a supportive partner throughout this transaction. With Pascal as CEO, we believe this collective will accelerate the growth of its individual brands, showcasing its expertise to cater to a complete face care routine across a diverse set of consumers for a modern world," Tricia Glynn, Advent Managing Director.
Advent was advised by Jefferies & Company, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Finsbury Glover Hering. Shiseido was advised by Perella Weinberg Partners, Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Iron Mountain, an information management company, agreed to acquire an 80% stake in ITRenew, a data center lifecycle management solutions provider, from ZMC, a private equity firm, for $725m.
"We are excited to enter this agreement with Iron Mountain, as the combination will provide us with the scale and global footprint to achieve our vision and deliver long-term growth," Aidin Aghamiri, ITRenew CEO.
ITRenew is advised by Jefferies & Company and Sidley Austin. Iron Mountain is advised by Morgan Stanley, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Joele Frank.
Alcanna, a private liquor retailer, announces that proxy advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services, and Glass Lewis & Co, have recommended that Alcanna shareholders vote in favour to approve the proposed acquisition by Sundial Growers, a licensed producer of cannabis.
Under the terms of the arrangement agreement between Alcanna and Sundial dated October 7, 2021, Sundial will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares in the capital of Alcanna for $346m.
Alcanna is advised by Cormark Securities, Bennett Jones and Clark Wilson. Sundial Growers is advised by ATB Capital and McCarthy Tetrault.
Main Post Partners, a private equity firm, completed the investment in Guided Practice Solutions, an operator of a dental service organization. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are incredibly impressed with the growth and success of GPS. GPS aligns well with our strategy to back highly engaged management teams and multi-location consumer services platforms. As patient priorities related to healthcare are evolving to mirror those of consumers, we are excited to utilize our extensive experience in digital marketing and consumer experience to accelerate growth even further," Sean Honey, Main Post Partners Managing Partner.
Main Post was advised by Dykema, Morrison & Foerster and Chris Tofalli Public Relations. GPS Dental was advised by Professional Transition Strategies and Parsons Behle & Latimer.
Xometry, a marketplace for on-demand manufacturing, completed the acquisition of Thomas, a digital marketing solutions provider, for $300m.
“Xometry and Thomas share a common mission of championing the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry, one of the largest sectors of the global economy and the foundation for innovation everywhere. Thomas brings strong brand equity, trusted and extensive relationships, proprietary data and advanced full-funnel marketing services – assets that perfectly complement our digital marketplace. Together, we will introduce new services, cross-sell to our combined base and expand our suite of products, particularly in fintech and digital marketing," Randy Altschuler, Xometry CEO.
Thomas was advised by DC Advisory and Winston & Strawn. Xometry was advised by Goldman Sachs and BakerHostetler.
Bank7, a bank holding company, completed the acquisition of Cornerstone Bank, a provider of banking services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are happy to announce the completion of the Cornerstone acquisition and we look forward to working closely with our new team members and also serving our new customers. The Cornerstone customers will continue to work with their longtime bankers and benefit from their great service. We look forward to a successful integration and also achieving our financial goals to the benefit of all shareholders," Thomas L. Travis, Bank7 CEO.
Cornerstone Bank was advised by D.A. Davidson & Co and McAfee & Taft. Bank7 was advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Paul Foster Law Offices.
TA Associates and Insight Partners-backed PDI, a provider of enterprise management software, completed the acquisition of Koupon, a digital media management company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Koupon has built an incredible reputation within the convenience industry, bringing incremental value to both retailers and brands. Now, with PDI, we can further accelerate the growth of the industry, driving sales and unmatched insights for the convenience retail industry and the brands that serve it," Brad Van Otterloo, Koupon CEO.
Koupon was advised by Needham & Co. PDI was advised by Berenson & Co, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Media Frenzy Global.
TA Associates agreed to invest in Adcubum, a Swiss health and property & casualty insurance software provider, and tech11, an insurance software provider serving the P&C market in Germany and across Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Adcubum is widely considered the leader of its kind in the Swiss health insurance market and continues to demonstrate growth in P&C, a segment tech11 has built great momentum serving in Europe with its innovative platform. Given their complementary expertise and resources, Adcubum and tech11 offer a compelling opportunity for innovation and growth. We look forward to working with the management teams to create an industry-leading player in the health and P&C segments across Europe," Stefan Dandl, TA Principal.
TA Associates is advised by Alvarez & Marsal, Bar & Karrer, Latham & Watkins and BackBay Communications.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Enlightenment Capital, Crescent Cove Advisors, Henry Crown and Company, and Luminar Technologies led a $228m Series A funding round in Robotic Research, a developer of autonomy and robotic technology designed to advance the safety, security, and effectiveness of transportation and mission-critical operations.
“This investment reflects our success in developing autonomous solutions for our US government customers, and will provide the resources needed to meet our growing commercial customer demand and the expansion of our commercial efforts. Our long history and experience has enabled us to develop a proven solution that is not only rugged, safe, and reliable, but also versatile and ideal for operating across a variety of environments, weather conditions, and use cases," Alberto Lacaze, Robotic Research CEO.
Robotic Research was advised by UBS, Covington & Burling and Cravath Swaine & Moore.
GrowthCurve Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Mistplay, a game discovery platform of mobile games. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The hyper growth our team has been able to achieve in the last few years is a testament to our user-centric focus, strong partnerships with world-class gaming studios, and our deep expertise in machine learning. GrowthCurve is the ideal partner to support the next phase of the Company’s evolution, and their functional capabilities in AI and human capital, strong network, and expertise in scaling data-rich companies provide a strong foundation for our vision to be the best way to play mobile games for everyone, everywhere," Henri-Charles Machalani, Mistplay Founder and CEO.
Mistplay was advised by Norton Rose Fulbright. GrowthCurve Capital was advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell and Gagnier Communications.
Arbor Investments, a specialized private equity firm, agreed to invest in Carnivore Meat Company, a freeze-dried and frozen raw pet food manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This partnership will help us stay ahead of the ever-increasing demand for our 100% raw protein products. Carnivore and Arbor are a perfect fit and the timing couldn't be better. With our combined experience and expertise, along with Arbor's resources, we will continue scaling quickly to stay ahead of the incredible demand curve for our ultra-premium quality raw pet foods and treats," Lanny Viegut, Carnivore CEO.
Carnivore is advised by Houlihan Lokey and Godfrey & Kahn. Arbor is advised by Winston & Strawn.
Genstar Capital-backed Foreside Financial Group, a provider of governance, risk management, and compliance solutions and technology offerings, agreed to acquire Alaric Compliance Services, a provider of regulatory consulting services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Joining forces with Foreside provides a chance for our team to springboard into greater opportunities. Their offerings and expertise really expand upon our own nicely, and we’re glad to continue maintaining our close relationships with clients," Guy F. Talarico, Alaric Compliance Services Founder and CEO.
Foreside is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher and BackBay Communications.
Broadcom, a global technology firm that designs, develops and supplies a broad range of semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions, agreed to acquire AppNeta, a developer of end-user performance monitoring software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited about the new digital experience management capabilities AppNeta will add to our DX NetOps network monitoring solutions. Hybrid cloud deployments, work from home and prevalence of SaaS-based applications have made enterprises incredibly reliant on the Internet to deliver business-critical applications to employees and customers. With AppNeta, DX NetOps solutions by Broadcom Software have visibility into Internet connections and can monitor and manage digital experiences for any user across any cloud, mobile, SaaS or remote work scenario," Serge Lucio, Broadcom Vice President and General Manager.
Broadcom is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Serent Capital, a lower-middle market private equity firm, completed the investment in Raintree Systems, a provider of electronic health record and revenue cycle management software solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Raintree is the preeminent platform for enterprise and mid-sized therapy providers. The team has done a fantastic job of creating a robust, feature-rich product. Their passion for both their customers and their product showed up clearly in the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from customers. We look forward to partnering with them as they enter the next chapter of growth," Kevin Frick, Serent Capital Partner.
Raintree Systems was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Arsenal Capital Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Cyan Health, a healthcare consultancy services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to join this pioneering and fast-growing global organization. With our combined capabilities and complementary expertise, we are well-positioned to enable healthcare clients to effectively demonstrate and optimize patient access to important therapies and innovation. This is an exciting new chapter for Cyan, and we look forward to playing a valuable role in the future growth of the business," Amber Gilbert, Cyan Health Managing Director.
Arsenal Capital was advised by Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
Riverside Company-backed Clintar, a commercial outdoor services provider, agreed to acquire milliCare from Milliken & Company, an industrial manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We have a great opportunity to build Clintar into a multi-brand platform of B2B franchise concepts, and we’re excited to work with the milliCare team to do this. A multi-concept strategy is attractive given that a strong centralized franchisor infrastructure can accelerate growth across brands, and most importantly, franchisees would benefit from shared best practices and opportunities to cross-sell services and open multiple concepts in the same market," Loren Schlachet, Riverside Managing Partner.
Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Harvest Partners and HGGC-backed Integrity Marketing Group, an insurtech company, for $1.2bn.
"Integrity has experienced significant growth by expanding the ways we help Americans access life, health and wealth solutions. We've invested heavily in technology and are constantly working to develop transformative solutions that improve the insurance and wealth management experience for Americans. We are thrilled that Silver Lake has chosen to join us on our journey to innovate insurance and leverage our unique omnichannel distribution network," Bryan W. Adams, Integrity Marketing Co-Founder and CEO.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management, an investment manager, led a $245m Series F funding round in CloudBees, a software delivery platform for enterprises. Additional investors include Morgan Stanley Private Credit, Bridgepoint Credit, HSBC, Golub Capital, and Delta-v Capital.
“This investment round will help CloudBees achieve new levels of innovation, attract and grow talent, and expand globally. One thing, however, will remain the same: our hyper-focus on guiding enterprise customers – operating at immense scale in the most demanding, complex and multi-cloud environments – to reimagine the way they build their platforms for software delivery," Stephen DeWitt, CloudBees CEO.
Koch Industries, a business conglomerate, led a $200m investment round in Tradeshift, a cloud services provider. Additional investors include IDC Ventures, LUN Partners, Private Shares, and Fuel Capital.
“Embedding financial services directly into our product unclogs the flow of working capital across supply chains, eliminating a significant pressure point in the buyer-suppliers relationship. As one of the first companies to recognize the potential for embedded finance in SaaS, we have been betting on the convergence of Fintech and SaaS products for a while. We’ve built the technology and distribution channels to capitalize on what is now one of the defining trends in our industry," Christian Lanng, Tradeshift, Co-Founder and CEO.
Sony Interactive Entertainment, a provider of PlayStation video game systems, agreed to acquire Valkyrie Entertainment, a videogame developer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Valkyrie Entertainment is a highly adaptable and respected studio which has produced high-quality work on a range of platforms from console to PC; and a variety of styles from action to games-as-a-service titles. Valkyrie’s diverse capabilities will be welcomed by every team at PlayStation Studios as we continue to focus on delivering extraordinary gaming experiences," Hermen Hulst, Sony Head of PlayStation Studios.
High Street Capital, a middle-market private equity firm, agreed to acquire Koch Knight, a firm that designs, manufactures, installs, and repairs custom acid-resistant linings. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Knight Material Technologies is an ideal partner for High Street Capital—they are a world-class service provider with superior products and an outstanding reputation, and that only comes from having really great people throughout the company. We anticipate supporting management’s growth plan immediately by investing in new product technologies and infrastructure to capture opportunities in the market," Matt Laffey, High Street Capital Principal.
Advent and Carlyle are considering a bid for DuPont's $12bn unit. (FS)
Carlyle Group and Advent International are among several buyout firms considering a bid for DuPont's mobility and materials unit.
Apollo Global Management and CVC Capital Partners are also studying the business, which could be valued at as much as $12bn.
DuPont is working with Goldman Sachs to gauge interest in the unit.
Novartis's Sandoz attracts interest from potential buyers. (FS)
Novartis's potential sale of its Sandoz generic drug business is attracting interest from possible buyers.
The Swiss pharmaceuticals company raised the prospect of divesting Sandoz in October after years of revamping the business, as price pressures mount in the off-patent drug sector.
Investment group EQT and the Struengmann family, who are investors in BioNTech are considering a joint offer for Sandoz. Novartis would decide by the end of 2022 how to proceed with Sandoz, which achieved sales of $9.7bn last year, about 20% of the group's total.
Iberdrola to explore strategic options.
Power company Iberdrola's US unit Avangrid will evaluate its next steps after a New Mexico regulator blocked its planned takeover of rival PNM Resources.
"Avangrid and PNM are evaluating the statements by NMRC at the public hearing and the notification and are studying the next steps to take in this process," Iberdrola.
The New Mexico utility regulator rejected Avangrid's proposed $8bn acquisition of PNM Resources, saying the deal's risks outweighed its promised benefits to state ratepayers, Reuters reported.
Bottomline Technologies is working with Deutsche Bank on potential sale.
Bottomline Technologies, which manages payments and invoices for businesses, is exploring a sale.
Bottomline Technologies is working with Deutsche Bank as it considers options. Bottomline has attracted interest from private equity firms. No final decision has been made and Bottomline could opt to remain independent.
The sale deliberations come as private equity firms and large payments processors go hunting for deals in the sector, which has been consolidating heavily for years as businesses and individuals migrate away from cash, Bloomberg reported.
Arctos Sports Partners in talks to acquire NHL teams. (FS)
Arctos Sports Partners, a private equity firm, is in talks to acquire a stake in NHL teams Tampa Bay Lightning and the Minnesota Wild.
The move by the league to welcome private equity investors underscores a shift in how North American sports franchises are owned.
Craig Leipold, owner of the Minnesota Wild, said the league had approved the sale of up to 10 per cent of the franchise to Arctos. Arctos was also approved to buy a minority stake of undisclosed size in the Tampa Bay Lightning, FT reported.
Advent raises $4bn for its second technology fund. (FS)
Advent International has raised $4bn for its second global technology fund, double the size of its predecessor.
The fund will continue to be led by Bryan Taylor, managing partner and head of Advent’s technology team who also manages the firm’s technology investments from its flagship fund, Bloombergreported.
Bain Capital closes a $3bn fund for US real estate deals. (FS)
Bain Capital Real Estate has closed a $3bn fund, nearly double its initial target, as investors bet that US property deals will provide high yields and inflation protection.
With leverage, the fund has the potential to invest as much as $9bn in a mix of industrial, life science, entertainment and residential real estate, according to Dan Cummings, head of the Bain property unit.
It’s the second real estate fund for Bain, and twice the size of the first. About one-third of its capital has been deployed. Projects backed so far include construction of single-family rental houses in Texas, an entertainment-production campus at the site of an old Sears store in Los Angeles, and a life sciences complex south of San Francisco, Bloomberg reported.
Pollen Street Capital raises over $1.3bn in latest fundraise for private equity strategy. (FS)
Alternative investment management company Pollen Street Capital has closed PSC Fund IV, which will focus on growth investments in European financial and business services.
The close also includes over $245m committed in PSC Accelerator, a dedicated fund which will invest alongside other Pollen Street funds in high growth, digitally enabled companies and over $198m in committed capital for co-investment vehicles.
Capital commitments came from leading public and corporate pension funds, insurance companies, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Endowment and Foundations, asset managers, banks, and family offices from around the world.
CapRock Partners, an industrial investor, developer and asset manager in the Western US and Texas, has held the final closing of CapRock Logistics Venture at nearly $700m, significantly above its initial target of $450m.
The venture represents CapRock’s first development-focused vehicle, marking an expansion of its fund business, which has traditionally focused on value-add investments.
CapRock Logistics Venture is fully allocated to new large-scale industrial real estate projects and will fund nearly $2bn for Class A developments strategically located throughout the Western US. By the end of 2021, CapRock will be under construction on approximately 7m sq ft of the venture’s 15m sq ft pipeline.
Ascend Partners raises $570m for its debut healthcare fund. (FS)
Ascend Partners, a private equity firm, has collected $570m for its first fund, Ascend Capital Partners Fund I, which is focused on healthcare investments in companies that work with underserved and vulnerable communities.
The fund was oversubscribed and hit its hard cap. Ascend Fund I’s Limited Partners include public and private pension funds, foundations, financial institutions, and family offices with a shared mission of improving the access, affordability, and quality of healthcare for underserved and vulnerable communities.
Ascend Partners was advised by Credit Suisse and Kirkland & Ellis.
Kimmeridge Energy raises $376m for its second energy fund. (FS)
Kimmeridge Energy Management, a private equity firm, has reached the first close on a new activist energy fund, has raised $376m so far for Kimmeridge Energy Engagement Partners II. The goal is to raise a total of $500m sometime next year. The firm raised $159m for its first energy activist fund.
The firm’s initial activist energy fund has a net internal rate of return of about 154% since it started investing in June 2020. Kimmeridge is pitching investors on the idea that the oil and gas sector is poised for a re-rating once companies can demonstrate consistent outsize capital returns.
PennSERS to put up to $350m in various alternate funds. (FS)
Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System, a pension services provider, approved four new investment commitments totaling up to $350m.
PennSERS' board agreed to commit up to $100m each to TSG9, a buyout fund managed by TSG Consumer Partners that seeks investments in consumer-product companies; and Ares PA Opportunities Fund, a distressed debt fund managed by Ares Management.
The PennSERS board also agreed to commit up to $75m each to PSG Europe II, a private equity growth fund targeting software and tech-enabled service companies in Europe; and LEM Multifamily Fund VI, a real estate fund managed by LEM Capital.
Breakout Ventures announced the close of its $112m Fund II. (FS)
Breakout Ventures, a private equity firm, nnounced the close of its oversubscribed second fund with $112m in commitments. Fund II received strong support from existing limited partners including Dolby Family Ventures, Thiel Foundation, GRIDS Capital, S Cubed Capital and deep tech investors Chris & Crystal Sacca, Tony Fadell, Zack Bogue and Matt Ocko. The Fund welcomed new institutional investors including Cortes Capital, Cupola Funds managed by AMG National Trust, university and foundation endowments, and a leading bank.
“Cells are the engine of the next decade as humans can now partner with biology in surprising ways. With biology and chemistry being driven by computation, high-throughput science is enabling faster, stronger, smarter companies built by incredible talent," Lindy Fishburne, Breakout Ventures Managing Partner.
Siris Capital Group, a private equity firm focused on making control investments in data/telecommunications, technology and technology-enabled business, completed the acquisition of Equiniti Group, a British-based outsourcing business, for £673m ($952m).
"EQ is a leading technology-led services and payments specialist with strong market positions in the UK and the US. The EQ Board believes that the offer from Siris represents an attractive and certain value in cash today for EQ's shareholders, reflecting the strength of EQ's high quality business and its future prospects in a still uncertain environment," Philip Yea, Equiniti Group Chairman.
Siris Capital was advised by Goldman Sachs, Greenhill & Co, Macfarlanes, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Abernathy MacGregor Group. Equiniti was advised by Barclays, Citigroup, Rothschild & Co, Linklaters and Tulchan Communications.
Hg Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Bowmark Capital-backed Pirum Systems, a provider of post-trade market infrastructure technology for the global securities finance industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This is a significant milestone in our journey, and is welcome news for everyone at Pirum. Together with Bowmark, Hg will actively support Pirum’s global expansion and investment in additional innovations, helping us to deliver further efficiency and productivity gains for our customers and the broader industry eco-system.”Philip Morgan, Pirum CEO.
Pirum is advised by Jamieson and Ashurst. Hg Capital is advised by Linklaters and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Bowmark Capital is advised by Jefferies & Company, Stephenson Harwood and Caroline Cecil Associates.
Union Investment Institutional, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Cäcilium, an office building complex, from Blackstone. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Cäcilium is an architecturally timeless and flexible building in a very good downtown location in Cologne and is geared to the needs of quality-conscious tenants. The property’s corner location ensures exceptionally high visibility,” Wolfgang Kessler, Union Investment Senior Managing Director.
Union Investment was advised by Heuking Kuhn Luer Wojtek, Hogan Lovells, HPC and Lehmann Consult. Blackstone was advised by Hengeler Mueller.
The board of Telecom Italia, a telecommunication company, could next week reject a request by KKR & Co for a due diligence operation on the company prior to formalizing an offer to buy it, Bloomberg reported.
Some board members may argue that the procedure isn’t necessary, since the carrier is already under strict regulatory oversight. KKR could opt to pursue its $37bn offer even without due diligence, allowing the market to decide on the bid.
Telecom Italia is advised by Goldman Sachs and LionTree Advisors. KKR is advised by Citigroup. Debt financing is provided by JP Morgan.
La Liga, a top professional football division of the Spanish football league system, have approved a $3.2bn investment from CVC Capital Partners in the first deal of its kind in Europe, Reuters reported.
37 clubs voted in favour of the "LaLiga Boost" deal that buys CVC an 8.2% stake in a new company that will get revenues from LaLiga broadcasting and sponsorship rights.
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao and Ibiza voted against the deal. At least 32 of the 42 teams from the Spanish first and second divisions needed to back the plan. On top of the four objections, one other club abstained from voting.
LVMH, a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, agreed to acquire a 49% stake in Thelios, a manufacturer of eyewear, from Marcolin, a manufacturer and distributor of sunglasses and optical glasses, for $145m.
The move reflects interest in European luxury companies in bulking up and tightnening their grip on production capacity, as business bounces back strongly from pandemic disruptions following a resumption in social activities.
Hilton Food, a firm engaged in the specialist retail meat-packing business supplying international food retailers, agreed to acquire Dutch Seafood Company, a producer and distributor of smoked salmon and shrimp, for $102m.
"The acquisition of Foppen is an exceptional opportunity for Hilton and another step towards our goal of becoming the global protein partner of choice. More and more consumers around the world are seeking affordable, high quality, and sustainable protein, and this acquisition will help Hilton take our offer into new markets and to new global customers for the first time," Philip Heffer, Hilton CEO.
Kraft Heinz, a food products company, agreed to acquire an 85% stake in Just Spices, a manufacturer of spices and condiments. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“In the last few years, Just Spices has been further strengthening its successful omni-channel approach, with some of the best-in-class direct-to-consumer analytics in the food space. We are extremely excited by the potential for expansion that comes from combining Just Spices’ innovation and brand power with the Kraft Heinz team and the scale they bring to the table,” Florian Falk, Just Spices CEO.
SS&C Technologies, a firm that develops financial software solutions, agreed to acquire Hubwise Holdings, a regulated UK B2B investment platform. The transaction is expected to close in 2022, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to welcome the Hubwise team and customers to SS&C. This acquisition brings significant value to our customers engaged in delivering first-class investment and advisory services to their investors. Adding Hubwise is a natural step for our successful existing partnership. In addition, the combination of SS&C and Hubwise will create a unique solution for the adviser and distributor community to better address increasing competitive and regulatory pressures," Bill Stone, SS&C Chairman and CEO.
SS&C Technologies is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell.
LUKOIL, an integrated oil company, agreed to acquire a 10% stake in Shah Deniz, a gas condensate field is located in the Azerbaijan sector, from PETRONAS, a Malaysian oil and gas company, for $1.45bn. The deal is expected to be closed in January 2022.
The Shah Deniz gas condensate field is located in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea, 70km southeast of Baku. The project is implemented under a PSA; commercial production there began in 2006.
DoorDash, an American on-demand prepared food delivery service, led a $750m Series B funding round in Flink, a startup that sells food and other essentials at supermarket prices and aims to deliver them in less than 10 minutes. Additional investors include Mubadala Capital, REWE, Prosus, Bond, Target Global, Northzone, Cherry Ventures and TriplePoint Capital.
“I think what we bring and why could we win market leadership in such a short amount of time is because we are obsessed about how we do things… and we bring some experience to the table. We made so many mistakes elsewhere, and we hope we’ve learned from those,” Oliver Merkel, Flink CEO and Co-Founder.
Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, a sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi, led a $475m funding round in Monzo, a digital bank. Additional investors include Coatue, Alpha Wave Ventures, Accel and Goodwater.
“This round comes off the back of a fantastic year for Monzo. We’ve seen record revenues, launched new products and tools and continued to top the charts for our services. We’ve hired some incredible talent," TS Anil, Monzo CEO.
Bain Capital Credit, an investment company, led a $207m funding in Linus Digital Finance, a developer of a financial software.
The proceeds will be used to further accelerate LINUS’ financing operations in the UK and Germany, focusing on the mid-market real estate segment. There are significant deployment opportunities for LINUS and its investors as European construction activity continues to grow at a rate of about 7 per cent per annum.
PIF set to raise $3.2bn in Saudi Telecom stake sale. (FS)
The Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, is set to raise $3.2bn through the sale of a 6% stake in Saudi Telecom after it priced the deal in a secondary share offering.
PIF set the final price for the sale of 120m shares at $26.7 per share, at the lower end of an earlier price range of $26.7 to $30.9 per share.
The deal, which was marketed internationally, is the biggest equity capital market transaction in the Middle East this year, Reuters reported.
CVC and Bain Capital seek a $1.7bn stake in Ligue de Football Professionnel's media unit. (FS)
Buyout funds including CVC Capital Partners and Bain Capital are lining up preliminary bids for a stake worth some $1.7bn in the French football league's media rights business.
Advent, Apollo, Bridgepoint, EQT, KKR and Silver Lake are also looking to submit offers for a stake of up to 20% in a new media rights company that the Ligue de Football Professionnel plans to set up.
The Ligue has asked bidders to submit non-binding offers by a deadline of December 13. In November, a search for financial partners kicked off with the Ligue's advisers, Centerview, Lazard and law firm Darrois, approaching some 30 potential investors.
E.ON considers the sale of district heating business.
Energy firm E.ON is considering various options for its district heating division including a possible sale.
The division, which incorporates small thermal power stations and 5k km of pipes, is to be split off from the company into a separate entity, adding that E.ON was seeking a minority investor, Reuters reported.
Blackstone explores a $3.4bn IPO for Cirsa. (FS)
Blackstone is seeking to launch an initial public offering for Cirsa, a Spanish gambling company. The deal is reportedly estimated at up to $3.4bn and could be one of the most significant for the European and Spanish gambling industries.
The IPO should go ahead in April 2022, although Blackstone is yet to confirm, and the date may be subject to changes.
EOS holds second closing of EOS Energy Fund II at $136m. (FS)
EOS IM has held the second closing of the EOS ReNewable Infrastructure Fund II at over $136m.
The loose-end alternative investment fund is dedicated to developing new renewable energy projects without the requirement of public subsidies (grid parity) and with a greenfield approach.
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a global investment group, agreed to invest in QIMA, a provider of supply chain compliance solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As consumers' expectations surrounding quality, safety, and environmental impact continue to rise, widespread disruptions are simultaneously making global supply chain management more complex than ever. With the support of CDPQ, QIMA is in a unique position to help. By combining an industry-leading technology platform with our global experts' presence on the ground, we'll continue to bring more transparency and traceability to the products consumers are using every day," Sebastien Breteau, QIMA Founder and CEO.
CDPQ is advised by Boston Consulting Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Linklaters. QIMA is advised by Ernst & Young, Accuracy, Oloryn Partners, DLA Piper and Sekri Valentin Zerrouk.
Blackstone agreed to acquire a 49% stake in Dexus Australia Logistics Trust, an existing joint venture of 77 premium-grade logistics assets, from GIC. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to both acquire a portfolio of best-in-class logistics assets in Australia and partner with Dexus. The transaction significantly increases our Asian Core+ Real Estate exposure to the logistics space and is consistent with our strategy of overweighting high conviction sectors and locations," Frank Cohen, Blackstone Global Head of Core+ Real Estate.
Blackstone is advised by JLL Corporate Finance and Clayton Utz.
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board agreed to invest in KKR-backed GreenCollar, a natural resource project development and environmental markets platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to invest in a leading global environmental markets investor and project developer alongside KKR, the founders and management team of GreenCollar. GreenCollar's collaborative and scientific approach is driving the development of innovative environmental solutions, particularly within Australia's carbon market, and the business has great potential for international growth," Christopher Metrakos, OTPPB Managing Director of Natural Resources.
GreenCollar is advised by Keep Left. KKR is advised by Citadel Magnus.
A consortium of investors led a $2.36bn investment in Huadian Fuxin Energy, a Chinese electric utility company. Investors include China Life Insurance Group, China Reform Holdings, China Southern Power Grid Company and National Green Development Fund.
Fuxin Energy is an operator of clean and new energy solutions with focus on the areas of wind power, photovoltaic power, nuclear power, hydroelectricity, and renewables. The development follows CHD's completion of the privatisation of Fuxin Energy from the Hong Kong stock exchange last year.
Huadian Fuxin Energy was advised by China International Capital.
Blue Owl Capital, an alternative asset management firm, completed the acquisition of Ascentium Group, a provider of undisclosed products and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I'm delighted to lead Blue Owl's institutional sales efforts in the region. The firm has established great partnerships globally and we look forward to broadening our existing and building new relationships with Asian institutions throughout the region," James Lee, Ascentium Founder and CEO.
Proposed acquisition of Hyundai Heavy Industries, a shipbuilding group, of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering is set for an EU antitrust veto after the companies declined to offer remedies to allay competition concerns, Reuters reported.
Hyundai announced the $2bn deal in 2019 in part due to overcapacity in the sector and said it expected unconditional European Commission clearance for the deal. The Commission is concerned that the deal would create two large players from the current three.
The Longreach Group, an investment company, notes that shareholders of IBF Financial and EnTie Commercial Bank, a firm that provides commercial banking products and services, voted to approve the $1.2bn acquisition of EnTie.
The votes were executed with all due process and the shareholder approvals of the transaction were by decisive supermajorities. This creates the basis to seek formal regulatory approval of transaction.
Zomato, an Indian multinational restaurant aggregator, Temasek, an investment company, and Lightrock India, a global private equity partnership, led a $185 Series E funding round in Shiprocket, a developer of an e-commerce shipping and enablement platform. Additional investors include Moore Strategic Ventures, 9unicorns, InfoEdge Ventures and March Capital.
Shiprocket is on track to launch its hyperlocal delivery options which will guarantee low turnaround times. The company entered the international market last month by launching its services in Saudi Arabia. The startup also plans to actively explore mergers and acquisitions for growth.
Sequoia Capital China and Gaoraong Capital led a $100m Series B funding round in Chaowanzu, a Chinese online designer toy platform with social commerce. Additional investors include Bertelsmann Asia Investments, K2 Angel Partners, and Panda Capital.
The startup will use the new financing for user acquisition, talent recruitment, and business expansion. The business was founded in 2019 by Shanghai-born entrepreneur Shen Zhenyu.
Hitachi weighs options for its $1.6bn transportation unit.
Hitachi, IT service provider, is considering options to streamline its business including the potential sale of its minority stake in a transportation unit.
The Japanese conglomerate is working with a financial adviser to field interest for its 40% stake in Hitachi Transport System. Potential buyers for the stake, worth about $1.6bn at Hitachi Transport’s current market value, include private equity firms and industry players, Bloomberg reported.
China Evergrande chairman's stake drops to 59.8% on forced selling.
Chairman Hui Ka Yan's shareholding in embattled China Evergrande Group has dropped to 59.78% from 61.88%, Hong Kong stock exchange filings showed, in a forced selling by a third party with whom the shares were pledged.
The number of shares involved was 278m, worth roughly $63m based on the stock's closing price of $0.22, Reuters reported.
SenseTime discussing fate of $767m Hong Kong IPO.
Chinese artificial intelligence startup SenseTime Group is discussing the fate of its planned $767m Hong Kong initial public offering with the city's stock exchange.
The move comes after the Financial Times reported that the United States will put the company on an investment blacklist that would mean US-based investors could not buy shares in the company.
SenseTime had planned to sell 1.5bn shares within a price range of $0.49 to $0.51 each in the IPO. It was due to set the final price and allocate shares to institutional investors, Reuters reported.
CVC-backed QSR Brands picks banks for Malaysia IPO. (FS)
CVC-backed QSR Brands, which runs KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in Southeast Asia, has picked banks to arrange a potential initial public offering that could be Malaysia’s biggest first-time share sale in four years.
The Kuala Lumpur-based company chose CIMB Group and Citigroup to work on the planned offering. Credit Suisse and UBS have also been picked for the listing, which is expected to take place next year.
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