Mastercard said the US Department of Justice has allowed it to move forward with its $825m deal to buy fintech firm Finicity. The deal was first announced in June by the payment processing company, Reutersreported.
Finicity is expected to help Mastercard strengthen its open banking services, which allow customers to determine how and where third parties such as fintechs or other banks can access information to initiate payments on their behalf or provide money management services.
Finicity is advised by Majmudar & Partners, Financial Technology Partners and Cooley. Mastercard is advised by Barclays, Sidley Austin and Joele Frank.
Duravant, a provider of global engineering equipment and automation solutions to the food processing, packaging and material handling sectors, agreed to acquire Cloud Packaging Solutions, a manufacturer of high-speed horizontal flexible packaging equipment, from Hearthside Food Solutions, a manufacturer of grain-based food and snack products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The Cloud equipment portfolio perfectly aligns with Mespack’s product solutions. Cloud’s highly regarded service team coupled with our SupportPro technicians means more feet on the street servicing Duravant flexible pouch equipment. Companies ranging from a multinational CPG to a regional contract packager have a fit-for-purpose, best-in-class solution available to them through Duravant,” Mike Kachmer, Duravant President and CEO.
Ferguson, an Anglo-American multinational plumbing and heating products distributor, completed the acquisition of Old Dominion Supply, a provider of HVAC products, and Atlantic Construction Fabrics, a geotextile company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of Old Dominion continues our expansion within the HVAC market, giving us greater vendor and product synergies in the Washington DC metro area, Maryland and Northern Virginia. ACF adds a large geographic footprint along the East Coast and additional geotextile capabilities which will further diversify our Waterworks business and complement our existing customer offering in geosynthetics, erosion control and stormwater management," Kevin Murphy, Ferguson CEO.
Alpine Investors-ASG, a software business that buys, builds, and operates vertical SaaS companies, completed the acquisition of ProfitSword, a hotel property operations software that provides business intelligence and data management software for the hospitality industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are incredibly excited and honored that ProfitSword chose ASG for their next chapter of growth. Tili, Mike and the entire ProfitSword team deeply understand their customer and have built an exceptional product that has proven mission critical to hotel properties during Covid. We look forward to further investing in ProfitSword and remain bullish about the future of hotel operations," Steve Reardon, ASG President.
ProfitSword was advised by Wells Fargo Securities.
Lithia & Driveway, which retails, finances, and services new and used vehicles, completed the acquisition of Sterling Luxury Group, a provider of a platform to the retail sale of new and used automobiles, for $210m.
“Entering our seventh top 10 market in the country further enables LAD to conveniently and affordably serve our customers throughout their complete ownership lifecycle. This acquisition accelerates our unique omni-channel strategy and takes us one large step closer to achieving the year one network growth aspiration of our five-year 50/50 plan,” Bryan DeBoer, Lithia & Driveway President and CEO.
Fortune Brands Home & Security, a home and security products company, agreed to acquire LARSON Manufacturing, a brand of storm, screen and security doors, for $660m.
“The acquisition of LARSON is aligned with our strategic focus on the fast-growing outdoor living space. The LARSON suite of products creates a bridge from the inside to the outside of the home, and further strengthens Fortune Brands’ offerings in Doors and Decking,” Nicholas Fink, Fortune Brands CEO.
STG raised $2bn for STG VI fund. (FS)
STG Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in the software, data analytics and software-enabled technology services sectors, closed STG VI fund on $2bn of committed capital, including limited partner commitments of $1.8bn.
The fund exceeded its $1.5bn target and was oversubscribed at its limited partner hard cap in approximately four months from the formal launch of the fundraising, which was executed as an entirely virtual process.
STG was advised by Kirkland & Ellis. Evercore Private Funds acted as the exclusive global placement agent for the fundraise.
Berkshire Hathaway to sell another stake in Wells Fargo.
Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett's multinational conglomerate holding company, is selling a stake in Wells Fargo, an American multinational financial services company. Warren Buffett aims the exit on his long-running investment.
Berkshire Hathaway pared its stake in the lender to about 127m shares at the end of September. That’s roughly 10m fewer than in mid-August.
DataRobot to reach $2.5bn value in funding round. (FS)
DataRobot, a machine learning startup, is in advanced discussions to raise roughly $300m in a funding round led by Altimeter Capital Management that values the company at more than $2.5bn, Bloombergreported.
T. Rowe Price Group and Silver Lake Waterman, a growth fund that’s part of private equity firm Silver Lake, are set to participate in the funding round. The company is already backed by investors including New Enterprise Associates, Sapphire Ventures, Meritech Capital Partners, DFJ Growth, Intel Capital and AllianceBernstein Holding.
Airbnb files for IPO. (FS)
Airbnb is filing for an IPO, outlined widening losses and plunging revenue while projecting optimism for a rebound in demand for home-sharing when the economy eventually recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported.
The San Francisco-based home rental platform listed the size of the offering as $1bn, a placeholder that will change as its bankers test demand for the shares. Airbnb’s investors included the venture capital firm Sequoia, Founders Fund and DST Global.
Airbnb’s offering will be led by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Allen & Co, Bank of America, Barclays and Citigroup are also listed as underwriters.
Thomas H. Lee Partners raised $900m for an automation-focused private equity fund. (FS)
Thomas H. Lee Partners, a private equity firm investing in middle-market growth companies, closed THL Automation fund at $900m. The fund will back automation companies, including technology product, software and services businesses, that enhance productivity across a range of end markets and use cases.
“We created the fund to invest in companies driving step-function change through automation and to support management teams in accelerating growth with both capital and with a 20-member integrated team of automation experts," Jim Carlisle, THL Automation Fund Managing Director.
Thomas H. Lee Partners was advised by Ropes & Gray.
Pine Island Acquisition announces pricing of $200m IPO.
Pine Island Acquisition, a blank check company, announced the pricing of its IPO of 20m units at a price of $10 per unit. The units are expected to be listed for trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Each unit consists of one share of the company’s Class A common stock and one-third of one redeemable warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one share of Class A common stock at a price of $11.5 per share.
Citigroup is acting as a sole book-running manager.
Zanite Acquisition announces pricing of IPO.
Zanite Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, priced its IPO of 20m units at $10 per unit. Each unit consists of one share of the company’s Class A common stock and one-half of one redeemable warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one share of Class A common stock at $11.5 per share. No fractional warrants will be issued upon separation of the units, and only whole warrants will trade.
The company intends to focus on companies in the aviation, aerospace and defense, urban mobility and emerging technologies industries. BTIG is acting as the sole book-running manager for the offering. I-Bankers Securities is acting as co-manager of the offering.
OTR Acquisition announces pricing of $100m IPO.
OTR Acquisition, a blank check company, announced the pricing of its IPO of 10m units at $10 per unit. The units are expected to be listed on The Nasdaq Capital Market.
Each unit consists of one share of Class A common stock and one half of one redeemable warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one share of Class A common stock at a price of $11.5 per share. Only whole warrants will trade. No fractional warrants will be issued upon separation of the units, and only whole warrants will trade.
Maxim Group is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering.
Goldman’s top dealmaker is leaving to become MSD Partners CEO. (FS, People)
Gregg Lemkau, Goldman Sachs deal makers, is leaving to run the investment firm started by technology financier Michael Dell, WSJreported. He will be MSD Partners CEO, which manages about $15bn including some of Mr Dell’s fortune and has plans to grow.
Mr Lemkau ran one of Goldman’s most profitable divisions after a long career putting together technology, media and health-care mergers. He was seen as a potential contender to be chief executive of the firm.
Scooter Braun to sell Taylor Swift’s catalogue for $300m.
Music manager Scooter Braun sold Taylor Swift’s first six albums to an investment firm in a deal that values the assets at around $300m, Bloombergreported.
Scooter Braun acquired Swift’s catalogue last year as part of a purchase of Big Machine, a record label. Braun, who manages Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, partnered with the Carlyle Group, 23 Capital and George Soros to buy Big Machine for about $300m.
“This is the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge. Scooter Braun had required that they make no contact with me or my team, or the deal would be off," Taylor Swift.
Investment funds KKR, Cinven and Providence Equity Partners completed the acquisition of Masmovil, the fourth largest telecommunications operator in Spain, for $3.5bn.
“We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of such a major European business which has become the leading challenger in Spain. The experienced management team has demonstrated its ability to consistently deliver excellent results, even in fast changing environments. MASMOVIL has a highly successful track record and has achieved revenue and double-digit EBITDA growth both organically and through acquisitions and, more recently, through the actions they have taken since Covid-19. We strongly believe MASMOVIL is well positioned in the market for further exciting growth opportunities,” Jorge Quemada and Thomas Railhac, Cinven Partners.
Masmovil was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, BNP Paribas, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Clifford Chance and Kreab. Financial advisors were advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell. Consortium was advised by Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Uria Menendez, Sard Verbinnen & Co, Analysys Mason, McKinsey & Company, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Debt financing was provided by BNP Paribas, Barclays and Morgan Stanley.
EQT Partners agreed to acquire a majority stake in thinkproject, an European SaaS provider for construction and engineering projects, from TA Associates, a private equity firm. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Since our investment four years ago, the thinkproject management team has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the company’s strategic growth initiatives and customers. We believe that these efforts have helped thinkproject transform into Europe’s leading SaaS provider of construction intelligence solutions for the AECO industry. We are thrilled to welcome EQT as our new partner, and we look forward to working with them alongside thinkproject’s management team during the company’s next phase of growth,” Morgan Seigler, TA Associates Managing Director.
TA Associates is advised by Hengeler Mueller and Travers Smith. EQT is advised by Milbank. thinkproject is advised by Arma Partners and Havana Orange.
GAN, a business-to-business supplier of internet gambling software-as-a-service solutions, agreed to acquire Vincent Group, an owner of the Coolbet sports focused brand, for €149m ($176m). The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory review and the satisfaction of certain closing conditions.
“From the onset of our IPO we have continued to enhance and perfect our internet gaming software-as-a-service solutions for the US market. As a part of that growth strategy, we have been clear that we needed to add a best-in-class sportsbook engine to round out our real money iGaming platform, and we believe Coolbet is the perfect fit for both GAN and our customers. Coolbet launched in early 2016 in a hypercompetitive online market in Northern Europe and subsequently expanded into Latin America and Canada over the last two years," Dermot S. Smurfit, GAN CEO.
GAN is advised by B. Riley FBR, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton and Alpha IR.
LOVISA, an Australian fashion jewellery retail group, agreed to acquire the retail business of beeline group, a privately held company based in Cologne that offers fashion jewellery and accessories. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The sale of our retail division to LOVISA allows us to focus on our role as a trusted and reliable partner for our clients while maintaining competitiveness and agility in the market. This is the best way to strengthen our Concessions and eCommerce division in the future. At the same time, we are happy to provide jobs for our employees,” Hinrich Tode, beeline CEO.
LOVISA is advised by Hengeler Mueller. beeline is advised by Petra Rulsch.
Omers considers $2.5bn sale of ERM Consultancy. (FS)
Omers Private Equity is weighing options for ERM Group, including a potential sale that could value the sustainability consultancy at as much as $2.5bn, Bloomberg reported.
The unit of Canada’s Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System is speaking with potential advisers about strategic alternatives for the business.
Omers could start a sale process early next year. It acquired ERM for $1.7bn including debt in 2015 from Charterhouse Capital Partners.
ERM advises companies in industries from mining to manufacturing on the environmental and social impact of their operations. The potential sale of ERM comes at a time when the business world is paying ever-closer attention to sustainability issues amid pressure from investors.
Sainsbury's Bank and Co-op Bank receive preliminary takeover approaches.
Sainsbury's Bank had received a number of "very preliminary" enquiries - weeks after it was revealed that the retail giant was exploring a sale of its banking arm despite public commitments to a five-year plan for the bank started last year, SkyNewsreported.
"We are on track to deliver that plan despite the impact of Covid-19 and expect to deliver a profit in the second half of this financial year," Sainsbury.
BBVA in merger talks with Sabadell.
BBVA, a Spanish bank offering retail, wholesale, and investment services, is in talks with smaller rival Banco Sabadell over a possible tie-up that could create the country's largest lender, FT reported.
"The entities have initiated a reciprocal due diligence review process as is customary in this type of transactions and have appointed external advisors," BBVA.
BBVA hires JP Morgan to advise on a potential purchase of Sabadell. In September Spanish lender Sabadell had hired Goldman Sachs to explore strategic options, including a potential M&A deal.
Banco Santander to acquire Wirecard's tech assets and platform for $118m.
Wirecard's payment system provider's technology platform had been sold to Spain's Banco Santander for $118m, Reuters reported.
“Banco Santander will acquire the technology platform of the payment service provider in Europe as well as all highly specialized technological assets,” Michael Jaffe, Wirecard Insolvency Administrator.
The acquisition does not include Wirecard companies and Santander will not assume any legal liability relating to Wirecard and Wirecard Bank or its past actions. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year and is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Sopra Steria in talks to acquire Fidor Solutions.
Sopra Steria, a European provider of digital transformation, is in talks with Fidor Bank to acquire Fidor Solutions, a software subsidiary and digital banking specialist of Fidor Bank, via its subsidiary, Sopra Banking Software.
This acquisition would significantly accelerate the pace of development and marketing of Sopra Banking Software’s digital solutions, in particular by augmenting the user features offered to banks through its DBEP solutions. The proposed acquisition could be completed in Q4 2020 and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Thyssenkrupp's Heavy Plate to close after the buyer drops out.
Thyssenkrupp’s Heavy Plate plant is facing closure after a potential buyer dropped out of a sales process, Reutersreported. Heavy Plate was earmarked for sale or closure under an ongoing asset review by the company.
A company spokesman said a sales process for the unit was ongoing and that no decision had been made on whether or not to shut it. However, no buyer has been found so far which increases the risk of closure.
Permira appoints senior adviser. (FS, People)
Permira, a global private equity firm, has appointed Bruno Strigini as a senior adviser, focusing on healthcare.
Mr. Strigini brings over 30 years of experience in healthcare with a successful track record in international executive leadership as President and CEO of Novartis Oncology. He was previously President of Europe/Canada at Merck & Co.
Mr. Strigini currently serves as Chairman of the board of Owkin, an AI and machine learning company specialising in healthcare and is a partner at OneHealth Partners, an advisory firm focused on capital raising and strategic transactions in the healthcare sector.
“I’m delighted to be joining Permira as a Senior Adviser. The team has a strong track record of investing across the healthcare sector and I look forward to helping source and develop interesting proprietary investment opportunities globally," Bruno Strigini.
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, a Japanese telecommunications company headquartered in Tokyo, completed the acquisition and privatization of its mobile unit NTT Docomo for $40bn.
NTT Docomo was advised by Nomura and Nakamura, Tsunoda & Matsumoto. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone was advised by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Morgan Stanley, Hibiya Sogo and Mori Hamada & Matsumoto.
Embassy REIT, an Indian publicly listed REIT, agreed to acquire Embassy TechVillage assets for $1.3bn. The transaction is subject to unitholder and regulatory approvals.
“The proposed accretive acquisition of Embassy TechVillage will mark the addition of another trophy asset to our existing office portfolio, while reinforcing our stable cash flows. ETV is a unique large scale business park, in the leading Outer Ring Road sub-market of Bengaluru, with a diversified blue-chip and predominantly multinational occupier base, including JP Morgan, Cisco, Sony and Flipkart. The acquisition further deepens our presence in Bengaluru, which remains India’s strongest office market, and significantly enhances our scale and ability to deliver embedded growth. We are delighted to purchase an asset of the quality and scale of ETV at a 4.6% discount to the average of the two independent valuations. This acquisition aligns perfectly with our overall strategy to maximize total returns for our Unitholders,” Mike Holland, Embassy REIT Chief Executive Officer.
Embassy REIT is advised by Ernst & Young, HSBC, Kotak Mahindra Capital, Morgan Stanley, Clifford Chance, S&R Associates and Ernst & Young.
Baidu, a Chinese search engine company, agreed to acquire video-based entertainment live streaming business of JOYY, a social media firm, for c. $3.6bn. The closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions and is currently expected to occur in the first half of 2021.
“As a pioneer in China’s live streaming industry, JOYY has been deeply engaged in the live streaming business for many years. YY Live is a leading pan-entertainment live streaming platform in China and thus possesses a comprehensive system of operational procedures as well as a full range of domain expertise related to the development of live streaming ecosystems, innovation of live streaming technologies, content operations, monetization features, and systems for host incubation and host development," David Xueling Li, JOYY Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Telkomsel, an Indonesian telecom network, completed the investment in Gojek, an Indonesian on-demand multi-service platform and digital payment technology group, in a $150m deal.
“This is a great day for Gojek and for Indonesia, as we strengthen our collaboration with Telkomsel, one of Indonesia’s most forward-looking telecommunication companies. By working together, we hope to help Indonesia become a true digital powerhouse in Southeast Asia, and bring the benefits of the digital economy to millions more consumers, driver-partners and small businesses,” Andre Soelistyo, Gojek Co-Chief Executive.
"The rapidly deteriorating financial position of Lakshmi Vilas Bank relating to liquidity, capital and other critical parameters, and the absence of any credible plan for infusion of capital has necessitated Reserve Bank of India to take immediate action in public interest and particularly in the interest of the depositors," Reserve Bank of India.
Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology, an agent-dealer consortium, agreed to acquire budget brand smartphone unit Honor from Huawei, a Chinese multinational technology company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Once the sale is complete, Huawei will not hold any shares or be involved in any business management or decision-making activities in the new Honor company. This move has been made by Honor's industry chain to ensure its own survival. Over 30 agents and dealers of the Honor brand first proposed this acquisition.
CN Innovations considers $1bn unit sale. (FS)
CN Innovations Group, a supplier to Apple, is weighing a sale of its cover glass business that could fetch as much as $1bn, Bloomberg reported.
The Hong Kong-based company is working with an adviser to find a buyer for the unit. The business, which manufactures glass for portable electronic devices and consumer electronics products, could draw interest from buyout firms and other companies in the industry.
Private equity firm AIF Capital holds a small stake in CN Innovations and is looking to exit its investment in the transaction.
SF Express considers share sale in Hong Kong.
SF Holding, a Chinese express delivery company, is considering raising funds through a share sale in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported.
The firm has been considering options including a second listing in Hong Kong, which could raise about $5bn, or a Hong Kong IPO of its main courier business.
Deliberations of any Hong Kong share sale are at a preliminary stage and SF Express could still decide not to proceed.
Supcon raises $267m ahead of STAR Market IPO. (FS)
Zhejiang Supcon Technology, a Chinese automation and information technology player, has raised $267m ahead of an IPO on STAR Market, DealStreetAsia reported.
The company has sold 49m common shares at $5.4 apiece to its IPO subscribers before the listing, per a company filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Supcon's majority shareholders include state-owned Sinopec Capital, Intel, China National Nuclear’s investment arm CNNC Industry Fund Management Corporation, Lenovo Holdings, Wanxiang Group, Loyal Valley Capital and Hangzhou Puyang Investment Management.
Shenwan Hongyuan Financing Services is the principal underwriter for the deal, while CITIC Securities serves as the joint underwriter.
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