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Rogers Communications' $15.5bn acquisition of rival Shaw Communications has been delayed long enough and must be allowed to proceed despite the competition bureau's opposition, Rogers said in a legal filing on Tuesday.
Canada's antitrust tribunal approved the transaction on December 30 that would create the country's second-largest telecom firm but the competition bureau later appealed the tribunal's ruling, Reuters reported.
Shaw called the appeal an "unmeritorious challenge" by the competition bureau to do a "once-in-a-generation" transaction in a separate court document filed later on Tuesday.
BMO Financial Group received all regulatory approvals required to complete its $16.3bn acquisition of regional financial services company Bank of the West from BNP Paribas. BMO anticipates the acquisition will close on February 1, 2023.
"We are excited to be bringing BMO and Bank of the West together to continue building a leading North American bank with a shared focus on progress for our customers, employees, communities and the planet," Darryl White, BMO Financial Group CEO.
BMO is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz (led by Edward D. Herlihy and Nicholas G. Demmo). BNP Paribas is advised by JP Morgan and Sullivan & Cromwell (led by H. Rodgin Cohen).
Shell USA, an energy and petrochemicals company, agreed to acquire Volta, an electric vehicle charging and media company, for $169m.
"The shift to e-mobility is unstoppable, and Shell recognizes Volta's industry-leading dual charging and media model delivers a public charging offering that is affordable, reliable, and accessible. While the EV infrastructure market opportunity is potentially enormous, Volta's ability to capture it independently, in challenging market conditions and with ongoing capital constraints, was limited. This transaction creates value for our shareholders and provides our exceptional employees and other stakeholders a clear path forward. Both Volta and Shell have a demonstrated ability to meet the changing needs of customers, and this acquisition will bring that experience together to provide the options that are needed as more drivers choose electric," Vince Cubbage, Volta Interim CEO.
Volta is advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Raymond James and Shearman & Sterling (led by Michael Dorf). Shell USA is advised by UBS and Norton Rose Fulbright.
APRINOIA Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on neurodegenerative diseases, agreed to go public via merger with Ross Acquisition II, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $280m deal.
"After seven years of dedicated R&D on neurodegeneration to realize precision neuroscience, we are excited to take our company to the next level of finance and corporate development. Our R&D and collaboration successes are a demonstration of the quality of our products, our team, and the support of our research and commercial partners. We will continue to grow our company and our pipeline to develop innovative products for our physicians and patients with critical medical needs," Ming-Kuei Jang, APRINOIA CEO.
APRINOIA Therapeutics is advised by Allele Capital Partners, BTIG and Cooley. Ross Acquisition II is advised by Jones Day and White & Case.
KKR, an American global investment company, agreed to acquire the engineering solutions business of S&P Global, a provider of credit ratings, benchmarks, analytics and workflow solutions in the global capital, commodity and automotive markets, for $975m.
"We see significant opportunities for Engineering Solutions to accelerate growth, expand its footprint and continue to innovate as an independent company. Engineering Solutions is trusted by engineers and standards organizations around the world and we look forward to deepening these relationships by making long-term investments in enhanced product coverage, improved workflow solutions and expanded distribution capabilities," Webster Chua, KKR Partner.
KKR is advised by RBC Capital Markets and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (led by Marni Lerner and Naveed Anwar). S&P Global is advised by Goldman Sachs and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by Jeffrey Brill).
Trilantic-backed Taymax, one of the largest Planet Fitness franchisees, agreed to acquire Saber Fitness, an operator of Planet Fitness clubs with 27 locations and significant future development rights throughout California. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Saber has established an impressive business that is trusted by customers and employees across California, and we are confident this addition to our platform will further solidify our commitment to offering members a non-intimidating, high-value, affordable fitness experience. This partnership presents a significant growth opportunity for Taymax in attractive markets with favorable demographic trends. We are excited to expand Planet Fitness' well-respected services to more communities across North America," Tim Kelleher, Taymax CEO.
Saber Fitness is advised by North Point Advisors and Lathrop GPM. Trilantic is advised by Prosek Partners. Taymax is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Lathrop GPM.
Silversmith Capital Partners, a Boston-based growth equity firm, led a $104m funding round in Impel, a provider of digital engagement software, with participation from Wavecrest Growth Partners.
"The past few years have brought massive change to the auto industry as traditional operating models have been fundamentally transformed with digital technology. With the heightened focus on Electric Vehicles and the growing demand for ecommerce functionality, the digital disruption that is currently underway shows no signs of slowing. We're thrilled to have found a partner who shares our vision for the future, and we are excited to have Silversmith join our team as we embark on the next chapter of our company's growth. This investment will significantly strengthen our ability to introduce new products and innovations that generate meaningful business impact for manufacturers and dealers alike, while enhancing the customer experience at every touchpoint," Devin Daly, Impel Co-Founder and CEO.
Impel is advised by Cowen & Company and Mintz Levin. Silversmith Capital Partners is advised by Kirkland & Ellis (led by Dave Gusella and Christian A. Atwood).
Bausch + Lomb, an eye health products company, completed the acquisition of AcuFocus, an ophthalmic medical device company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Cataracts are the largest contributor to global blindness in adults aged 50 years and older, with more than 15m individuals, or approximately 45% of the more than 33m cases of global blindness. We believe that the IC-8 Apthera EDOF IOL will bolster our surgical portfolio by enhancing our IOL offerings, which is a strategic area of focus for Bausch + Lomb. We will continue to focus on areas of unmet medical need that we believe will help drive long-term growth in our core segments, and importantly, help us achieve our mission of helping people see better to live better," Joseph C. Papa, Bausch + Lomb CEO.
AcuFocus was advised by Bank of America and Latham & Watkins (led by Charles Ruck). Bausch + Lomb was advised by Norton Rose Fulbright.
Cambrex, a global contract development and manufacturing organization, completed the acquisition of Snapdragon Chemistry, a US-based provider of chemical process development services to a broad range of emerging and established biopharma customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to be joining Cambrex, a company with over 40 years of drug substance development and manufacturing expertise. Partnering our best-in-class process development capabilities with Cambrex's larger scale manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe is a natural fit, both for our employees and our customers," Matt Bio, Snapdragon CEO.
Sortis, an ecosystem of innovative, experiential hospitality brands, agreed to acquire Ace Hotel Group, a chain of hotels headquartered in Los Angeles and New York City, for $85m.
"The Sortis platform is rooted in innovation, purpose, and impact, and aims to foster consumer brands that are at the forefront of culture. Our acquisition of the storied Ace Hotel brand, long known for embodying and celebrating the unique culture of each of its destinations worldwide provides us with an opportunity to advance this vision by scaling the legacy brand in a thoughtful way," Paul Brenneke, Sortis Executive Chairman.
Sortis is advised by Gateway Investor Relations.
Saudi Aramco, a Saudi Arabian public petroleum and natural gas company, agreed to acquire the trading unit of Motiva, which refines, distributes and markets petroleum products throughout the United States. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of Motiva Trading and the establishment of Aramco Trading Americas are a giant step towards executing our ambitious global growth strategy, which aims to expand our geographical reach and scale of operations, while further strengthening our product flexibility and optionality," Mohammed K. Al-Mulhim, Saudi Aramco Head of Trading.
Discord, a messaging platform, agreed to acquire Gas, an app that's popular among teens for its positive spin on social media. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"At this time, Gas will continue as its own standalone app and the Gas team will be joining Discord to help our efforts to continue to grow across new and core audiences. We're always working to create an inclusive world where no one feels like an outsider and we're excited to welcome Gas to the Discord community as our next step to fulfilling that vision," Discord.
Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm, agreed to acquire Salo, a provider of finance, accounting and HR interim talent. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Salo will be a great fit, with highly relevant interim professional offerings and expertise that speak to today's world of work – a new work scape in which more than one-third of the US workforce alone considers themselves to be independent. The Salo acquisition reflects our continued focus on high-demand areas emerging in this environment, as we scale our solutions at the intersection of talent and strategy," Gary D. Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO.
PSEG to sell its 25% equity stake in Ocean Wind 1 to Ørsted.
Public Service Enterprise Group has agreed to sell Ørsted its 25% equity stake in the Ocean Wind 1 offshore wind energy project, providing Ørsted with 100% ownership of the project. Ørsted, America's largest offshore wind energy company, will proceed with development of the project with PSEG supporting onshore infrastructure construction.
"PSEG has been a valuable partner as we have advanced Ocean Wind 1 to this point and as we've successfully advanced our offshore wind vision in the United States. With a well-established presence in the US, we're confident in our ability to drive the project forward with commercial operations beginning as planned," David Hardy, Ørsted Group Executive Vice President and CEO.
Permian Resources announces portfolio optimization transactions.
Oil and natural gas company Permian Resources announced that it has entered into a series of portfolio management transactions, comprising of a bolt-on acquisition, a divestiture of non-operated production and acreage and a divestiture of a portion of its water infrastructure assets in Reeves County, Texas.
"At Permian Resources, we believe our focus on portfolio management will continue to drive value for our shareholders. The combined transactions high-grade our portfolio, adding 45 top-quartile locations, 4k net acres with significant development potential and 3k net royalty acres while generating approximately $100m in net cash proceeds," James Walter, Permian Resources Co-CEO.
Washington court paves way for Albertsons' $4bn dividend, declines to review case.
Washington state's highest court will allow Albertsons Companies to pay a $4bn dividend ahead of its proposed deal with Kroger, by declining to take up a claim that the payout would be uncompetitive, Reuters reported.
The Washington Supreme Court made the decision after a lower court judge refused last month to issue a preliminary injunction against the dividend. The Washington attorney general's office in November sued to block the dividend, arguing that it would weaken Albertsons before Kroger's $25bn purchase.
Ecuador fires 12 CEOs amid graft accusations at state firms. (People)
Ecuador's government fired the CEOs of several major state-owned companies, including oil driller Petroecuador, in response to graft allegations published by a local media outlet.
The heads of key oil, mining and electricity producers were ordered to step down in a letter signed by Joaquin Ponce, who heads EMCO, the holding company that controls the nation's state-owned enterprises, Bloomberg reported.
Bain Capital co-chairman to retire. (FS, People)
Steve Pagliuca, co-chairman of Bain Capital is retiring after 34 years with the private equity firm. Pagliuca will remain a senior adviser at the firm, and will continue to be involved in the portfolio companies in which he holds a board seat.
Pagliuca will also continue to be a significant investor in Bain's funds, with co-managing partners John Connaughton and Jonathan Lavine, who took up their roles in 2016, continuing to lead the firm.
Morellato Group, an Italian corporate group that designs and manufactures design jewellery and watches, agreed to acquire Christ Group, an omnichannel player in the jewelery and watch sector in Europe, from 3i Group, a British multinational private equity and venture capital company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The transaction is part of a precise industrial integration project undertaken by the Group. Project that aims to combine the tradition and expertise of the Morellato Group in manufacturing with the excellent CHRIST e-commerce platform, to accelerate the digital development of the Morellato Group at an international level," Morellato.
Morellato Group is advised by Deloitte, Corporate Hangar, Masimmo della Ragione, Credit Suisse, Hengeler Mueller (led by Daniel Wiegand and Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain), Orsingher Ortu and Ernst & Young. Debt financing is provided by BNP Paribas, Cassa depositi e Prestiti, Intesa SanPaolo and UniCredit. Debt providers are advised by DLA Piper. 3i is advised by Rothschild & Co.
KKR & Co completed the acquisition of Clinisupplies, a manufacturer of medical supplies and nursing services, from Apax-backed Healthium, a manufacturer of medical devices and consumable products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to form this strategic partnership with KKR, and to be welcoming Claus, Douglas and now also Oliver to our Board. With KKR's global network and market knowledge, and with this strong suite of industry advisors, we will be able to expand into new products and geographies, helping to support more and more people and bringing us one step closer to our goal of becoming an international leader in the chronic care market," Paul Cook, Clinisupplies CEO.
The Competition and Markets Authority, Britain's competition regulator, said it has begun investigating British supermarket group Asda Stores' purchase of Co-Operative Group's petrol forecourt estate. The CMA has until March 14 to make its phase 1 decision on whether the deal will reduce competition in the UK, Reuters reported.
Asda is planning to open 300 convenience stores by the end of 2026, aiming to become a player in the smaller shop market to help drive growth, and creating thousands of new jobs in the process.
Asda is advised by Barclays and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by George Knighton). Co-Operative Group is advised by Rothschild & Co (led by Majid Ishaq) and Addleshaw Goddard (led by Andrew Green).
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, an investment company, and SBB, a Sweden-based company, which owns community properties in the Nordic region, announced the first closing of their $1bn transaction under which Brookfield is set to acquire an education infrastructure portfolio.
The parties' ambition is to complete stage two on February 28, 2023, but no later than during the second quarter 2023.
Bayer, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, completed the acquisition of Blackford Analysis, a strategic imaging AI platform and solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Adding Blackford and its AI technology to our radiology portfolio secures Bayer an excellent position in the fastest growing segment within the overall global radiology industry. This acquisition complements our comprehensive radiology portfolio and nourishes our engagement to drive innovation in digital health. We are pleased to join forces with Blackford and their exceptional team to optimally utilize our combined expertise in healthcare technology with the aim to deliver true value to radiologists and their teams for the benefit of their patients," Stefan Oelrich, Bayer President of Pharmaceutical Division.
Bain's Stephen Pagliuca eyes more football deals in England after missing out on Chelsea FC. (FS)
Bain Capital senior adviser Stephen Pagliuca remains on the lookout for investments in football, having missed out on England's Chelsea FC last year.
The US investor is looking at many clubs but is wary of overpaying at a time when the price of deals in the sport is rising, he said in the interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Bloomberg reported.
Air France says it won't bid for Italy's ITA Airways.
Air France-KLM said it had informed the Italian government it would not bid for an equity stake in its flag carrier ITA Airways, Reuters reported.
"Air France will continue to closely monitor the privatisation process and hereby reasserts its strong interest to maintain its commercial relationship with ITA, which is a SkyTeam member," Air France-KLM.
New Olympique Lyonnais owners plan SPAC listing.
The new owners of French football team Olympique Lyonnais plan to float their multi-club business in the US this year via a blank cheque company, targeting a $1.2bn valuation in what would be a first for the football industry.
Eagle Football Holdings, a London-based company controlled by US businessman John Textor, completed the purchase of Lyon on December 19 in a deal valuing the Ligue 1 club at $847m. The group also owns Brazilian club Botafogo, Belgian second tier club RWD Molenbeek, and a 40% stake in Premier League club Crystal Palace, FT reported.
Deutsche Bahn considers reviving sale of Arriva unit.
Deutsche Bahn is considering reviving a sale of its Arriva transport business as it seeks to focus on its core German railway operations amid a broader overhaul, Bloomberg reported.
The German state-owned railroad operator is working with advisers to informally gauge interest from potential buyers including investment funds and rival transport companies. It may seek a valuation of €1 bn ($1.1bn) to €2bn ($2.2bn) in any deal.
Top Nigerian bank looks to deals to drive geographic expansion.
Access Bank, Nigeria's biggest lender by assets, is considering acquisitions as it looks to expand operations to 26 countries over the next five years, up from 16 currently.
The Lagos-based lender plans to enter new markets including the US, France, Hong Kong and Malta, as well as African countries such as Namibia, Angola, Ethiopia and Egypt it said in five-year strategy presentation posted on the website of the Nigerian Exchange, Bloomberg reported.
CVC considering Polish retailer IPO. (FS)
Private equity firm CVC Partners is considering a stock market listing for Zabka, one of Poland's biggest convenience store chains.
The report cites one of the firm's partners, Krzysztof Krawczyk, as telling Polish state-run news agency PAP in an interview that the "company is made to be listed".
Greece plans IPO for 30% stake in Athens International Airport. (FS)
Greece's state asset development fund plans to proceed with an initial public offering for its 30% stake in Athens International Airport, with the company's largest shareholder ready to buy 10% of those shares.
The selling shareholder, Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, and the largest shareholders and operators, AviAlliance and AviAlliance Capital, both controlled by Canadian insurance fund PSP Investments, have reached an agreement on the way forward for the airport, Dimitrios Politis, Chief Executive Officer of the fund said in an interview in Athens, Bloomberg reported.
Legend Capital, an investment firm based in Beijing, led a $224m funding round in GenScript ProBio, a pharmaceutical research and manufacturing service provider, with participation from HighLight Capital and Xiamen C&D.
The capital raising will help build up manufacturing capacity, further research and development capabilities and opportunistically acquire assets to develop its Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization business GenScript Biotech said.
Microsoft, an American multinational technology corporation, completed the investment in Darwinbox, a provider of cloud-based Human Resources Management Software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The companies will jointly develop tools that will aid organizations in the future of work. This includes having deeper integrations between their product systems as well as co-creating solutions that enhance employees' experiences.
Indonesia close to EV deals with BYD Group and Tesla.
Indonesia is finalising agreements with China's automaker BYD Group and US carmaker Tesla to invest in electric vehicle production facilities in the Southeast Asian country, a senior cabinet minister said.
Indonesia is aggressively promoting investment into batteries and EVs at home to take advantage of its rich nickel resources. Once a major nickel ore exporter, it has banned exports to ensure enough raw materials for investors, DealStreetAsia reported.
Big C said to choose banks for $1bn IPO.
Big C Supercenter has picked Bank of America and UBS Group to help with a Bangkok initial public offering of about $1bn, Bloomberg reported.
The supermarket and convenience store company, owned by Thailand's richest person, has also chosen four local banks for the potential first-time share sale. The IPO could happen as soon as this year.
Black Sesame considers $200m Hong Kong IPO.
Black Sesame Technologies, a developer of artificial intelligence chips and systems for cars, is considering a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise about $200m, Bloomberg reported.
The Xiaomi-backed firm is working with China International Capital and Huatai International on preparations for the share sale. The IPO could take place as soon as the second half of this year.
CVC Capital Partners secures $3.5bn first close of sixth Asia fund. (FS)
CVC Capital Partners reportedly secured a $3.5bn first close for its sixth Asia fund in end-2022. The fund is also said to have set a hard cap of $6.5bn, DealStreetAsia reported.
CVC Capital Partners is a Luxembourg-based French private equity and investment advisory firm with approximately $133bn of assets under management across American, European and Asian private equity, secondaries and credit funds.
Mitsui JV eyes up to $1bn for new APAC infrastructure fund. (FS)
PATRIZIA, a Germany-headquartered investment manager, has partnered with one of Japan's largest trading companies, Mitsui & Co, to set up an Asia Pacific-focused sustainable infrastructure fund with a $110m equity investment in the first close.
The APAC Sustainable Infrastructure Fund will deploy in mid-market brownfield infrastructure in developed markets across the region, including Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, DealStreetAsia reported.
TR Capital hits $350m first close of fifth fund. (FS)
Asian secondary private equity firm TR Capital has secured the first close of its fifth fund at $350m, representing 70% of the target size of target size of the vehicle, DealStreetAsia reported.
TR Capital raised the capital from financial institutions in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Nomura cuts 18 Asia banking jobs as dealmaking slows. (People)
Nomura Holdings has cut 18 Asian banking jobs, most of them China-focused investment roles, after a sharp slowdown in dealmaking activity.
Japan's top brokerage and investment bank last week laid off bankers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, DealStreetAsia reported.
Sequoia-backed GoMechanic fires 70% staff, admits to 'grave errors in financial reporting. (FS, People)
Sequoia and Tiger Global-backed GoMechanic has laid off 70% of its employees, as the automotive repair firm struggles to raise funds and admitted to making "grave errors in financial reporting".
The firm has asked the remaining employees to work without pay for three months, DealStreetAsia reported.