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MariaDB, an open source database software company, went public via a SPAC merger with Angel Pond, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $672m deal.
“Today is an exciting day that marks a new chapter for MariaDB and an important milestone in the cloud industry. Our customers increasingly come to us because they are struggling with the scalability and availability offered by the hyperscalers. With MariaDB SkySQL, we deliver better price and performance while freeing businesses from vendor lock-in with a multicloud offering. I am incredibly proud to work with our talented team and our investors as we continue to build success in the cloud for companies around the world," Michael Howard, MariaDB CEO.
MariaDB was advised by Angel Pond Capital, Houlihan Lokey, JP Morgan, Conyers Dill & Pearman, Fondia, Matheson (led by Patrick Spicer
), and Perkins Coie (led by Gina Eiben
and Edward Wes
). Angel Pond was advised by JP Morgan, Arthur Cox (led by Connor Manning
, Cian McCourt
and Ailish Finnerty
), Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (led by Paul Shim
and Adam Brenneman
), Hannes Snellman (led by Tuire Kuronen
) and Maples Group.
TSG Consumer Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Radiance, a platform representing a collection of premier brands in the beauty, wellness, and self-care sectors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“TSG has an impressive track record of building and scaling world-class beauty and franchising brands, and we are thrilled to work with them. We couldn’t be more excited to leverage TSG’s resources and expertise as we look to expand our platform and enhance our value proposition for franchisees, beauty care professionals, and consumers across our portfolio. As we build on our momentum and the powerful growth opportunities ahead, it’s critical that we collaborate with a partner that understands our business and has been down a similar road many times with brands that we admire," Christina Russell, Radiance CEO.
Radiance was advised by Harris Williams & Co, North Point Advisors, and Konnect Agency (led by Sabina Gault
). TSG Consumer Partners was advised by Jefferies & Company, Lazard, Ropes & Gray, and FGS Global (led by Brandon Pinto
and Kevin Siegel
L3Harris, an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, agreed to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne, an American manufacturer of rocket, hypersonic, and electric propulsive systems for space, defense, civil and commercial applications, for $4.7bn.
"We've heard the DoD leadership loud and clear: they want high-quality, innovative and cost-effective solutions to meet both current and emerging threats, and they're relying upon a strong, competitive industrial base to deliver those solutions. With this acquisition, we will use the combined talents of more than 50k employees to drive continuous process improvement, enhance business operations and elevate the performance of this crucial national asset," Christopher E. Kubasik, L3Harris CEO and Chair.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is advised by Citigroup, Evercore and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz (led by David A. Katz
and Trevor S. Norwitz
). L3Harris is advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago, agreed to acquire the Wilmington Trust CIT business of M&T Bank, a financial holding company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to work with Wilmington Trust's leading CIT team and leverage our industry expertise to support the business's next chapter in the large and growing CIT market. As clients increasingly demand innovative and tailored retirement fund solutions, the Wilmington Trust CIT business will be well-positioned as an independent company to expand new and existing relationships with a focus on helping plan sponsors navigate complex retirement and regulatory challenges. We look forward to working with the Wilmington Trust CIT team to execute a growth strategy that strengthens the business's leadership position in the competitive market for third-party trustee and administrative services," Vahe Dombalagian, MDP Managing Director and Co-Head of Financial and Transaction Services.
Madison Dearborn Partners is advised by JP Morgan, UBS, Eversheds Sutherland, Latham & Watkins and Abernathy MacGregor Group (led by Chuck Dohrenwend
). M&T Bank is advised by Raymond James and Debevoise & Plimpton.
Yumanity Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, completed the acquisition of Kineta, a private immuno-oncology company, for $69m.
“Closing the reverse merger with Yumanity and the PIPE financing round provides Kineta with the capital necessary to advance our lead program, KVA12123, into clinical development in cancer patients. We remain on track to report interim safety and efficacy data for KVA12123 in patients with advanced solid tumors in late 2023. We greatly appreciate the support of our investors as we continue to deliver on our mission of developing next-generation immunotherapies that transform patients’ lives," Shawn Iadonato, Kineta CEO.
Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange which is the largest exchange in the world in terms of daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies, agreed to acquire the crypto assets and customer deposits of Voyager Digital, a cryptocurrency brokerage, for $1bn.
The Binance.US bid aims to return crypto to customers in kind, in accordance with court-approved disbursements and platform capabilities.
Binance is advised by Latham & Watkins (led by Robert Katz
and Daniel Mun
). Voyager Digital is advised by Berkeley Research Group, Moelis & Co and Kirkland & Ellis.
Avista Capital, a private equity firm focused exclusively on healthcare, completed the acquisition of Spear Education, a tech-enabled provider of digital and in-person clinical training. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Spear has achieved robust growth over the last several years, with increases in membership and the expansion of our digital content. We are well positioned to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities ahead, against the backdrop of an accelerating industry. We are thrilled to have Avista as a partner as we pursue a multi-lever expansion strategy that will result in compelling benefits for our customers, employees and the entire dental industry," Kaleim Manji, Spear Education CEO.
Avista was advised by William Blair & Co, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Kekst CNC (led by Daniel Yunger
Foodtastic, a franchisor of multiple restaurant concepts, agreed to acquire Freshii, a restaurant franchise, for $74m.
“This all-cash transaction delivers immediate and certain liquidity to Freshii’s shareholders at a price that represents a significant premium to the market price of Freshii’s shares. We believe it represents a compelling opportunity for Freshii’s shareholders,” Stephen Smith, Freshii Chair of the Special Committee.
Freshii is advised by CIBC World Markets, Fort Capital Partners and Osler Hoskin & Harcourt. Foodtastic is advised by Fasken.
Pearson, a British multinational publishing and education company, agreed to acquire PDRI, a provider of workforce assessment services, for $190m.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to expand this important market for Pearson and our assessments business. Pearson and PDRI share a culture and commitment of serving trusted, secure, and innovative assessment solutions to major employers and millions of people looking to establish and grow their careers. Together, we will have a stronger proposition and a larger platform from which to drive future growth," Andy Bird, Pearson CEO.
Hexagon, an information technology company, agreed to acquire Qognify, a provider of physical-security and incident-management software, from Battery Ventures, a technology-focused investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Qognify is a great example of our buyout strategy in action — identifying best-in-class technologies and then driving growth through product leadership and R&D as well as strategic acquisitions. We are proud this industry-leadership was recognized and valued by Hexagon, as it acquires Qognify," Jesse Feldman, Battery General Partner.
Qognify was advised by Raymond James.
Risk Strategies, a national specialty insurance brokerage and risk management firm, agreed to acquire Statewide Condominium Insurance, a retail broker focused on the condominium and apartment complex risk sectors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Complex risks and difficult markets require specialty expertise. It's why Risk Strategies has flourished and why Statewide is such a great addition to our capabilities in Florida. We're excited to add this team's expertise," Scott Popilek, Risk Strategies Atlantic Region Leader.
Risk Strategies is advised by Matter Communications.
Sixth Street, a global investment firm, led a $150m Series A round in Master Control, a provider of quality and manufacturing software solutions for the life sciences.
"For nearly three decades, we've been laser-focused on our mission to make life-changing products available to more people sooner. This commitment has led us to attack inefficiencies in quality and manufacturing that were extending product research and delivery cycles. We see an urgent need to help our customers to deliver their breakthrough technologies to the market faster and at a lower cost. Our goal is to add a strategic partner with resources and expertise to help us to meet the significant need for our solutions. We're fortunate to have the experienced investment team at Sixth Street Growth to help make that a reality," Jon Beckstrand, MasterControl CEO.
Magnetar Capital, a hedge fund based in Evanston, Illinois, led a $125m funding round in Arcadia, the technology company enabling the global energy transition, with participation from Keyframe Capital and Green Investment Group.
"Our platform is unlocking the big grid worldwide, providing simple APIs and software solutions for hundreds of the leading companies across electrification. Our customers are driving residential and commercial decarbonization through personalized energy solutions that couldn't exist without easy access to utility data, tariffs, and payments," Kiran Bhatraju, Arcadia Founder and CEO.
Arthur J. Gallagher, a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm, completed the acquisition of NEK Insurance, a retail insurance agency specializing in property/casualty coverages for daycare centers and k-8 schools, residential care facilities and small remodeling contractors, with underwriting authority in these three segments. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"NEK is a well-established Bay Area agency with a focus that is highly complementary to our existing San Francisco-based specialist business, offering us terrific cross-selling opportunities. I am delighted to welcome Kevin, Jennifer, Kyle and their associates to Gallagher," J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO.
Unique Logistics, a logistics and freight forwarding company, agreed to go public via a merger with Edify Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Edify, which we are confident will position Unique to quickly complete our planned acquisitions in Hong Kong, China, India, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom," Sunandan Ray, Unique CEO.
Wynnchurch Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Industrial Service Solutions, an MRO services provider, from Edgewater Funds and JZ Capital Partners, two private equity firms. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Since our inception, we have built a strong reputation for providing customers with unparalleled service for all their maintenance and expansionary project needs. Wynnchurch shares our values and focus on putting the customer first. We are excited to partner with them during our next phase of growth,” Wade Stockstill, ISS CEO.
iM Global Partner, an asset management network, completed the acquisition of a minority stake in Berkshire Asset Management, a financial planner. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are extremely excited to be part of iM Global Partner's world class network of leading asset and wealth management firms. The partnership with iM Global Partner brings a wealth of expertise to existing and future Berkshire clients. It solidifies and increases the longevity, consistency and structure of the Berkshire team, and enhances what we can achieve for our clients. Their investment is an incredible vote of confidence in our team, our investment process and importantly our future," Kenneth J. Krogulski, Berkshire Managing Partner and CIO.
Meta hit with EU antitrust charges over marketplace service.
Meta Platforms was hit with a formal complaint from European Union antitrust watchdogs for allegedly squeezing out classified ad rivals by tying the Facebook Marketplace to its own social network, Bloomberg
The European Commission said it issued a so-called statement of objections to Meta, paving the way for potential fines or changes to the firm’s business model.
Linse Capital raises $700m. (FS)
Linse Capital, a San Juan, Puerto Rico-headquartered growth equity firm, announced the successful close of $700m in capital raised. The capital will be allocated across the firm’s flagship fund – Linse Capital Fund I – alongside two co-investment vehicles for portfolio companies Skydio and Verkada.
“We are grateful for the support of the large LP network we have assembled. Most of all, it’s exciting to back the founders and change-makers building the companies that are at the forefront of this new paradigm,” Bastiaan Janmaat, Linse Capital Managing Director.
German natural gas trader Uniper expects the European Commission to decide in the coming days on whether Germany's planned bailout of the company violates state aid rules, Reuters
Berlin's rescue of Uniper, which has so far cost more than $53bn and will essentially lead to full nationalisation, won clearance from EU competition regulators on Friday but still requires state aid approval from the EU executive.
The French government’s $10.3bn tender offer to take Electricite de France back into full state ownership overcame one of several legal hurdles after a Paris court rejected a challenge from the utility’s employee shareholders, Bloomberg
The Paris commercial court on Friday rejected a demand from the FCPE Actions EDF fund and the Energie en Actions association of shareholders to cancel EDF’s board’s decision to back the government offer, according to Martine Faure, President of the FCPE fund that manages EDF shares of employees.
Electricite de France is advised by Barclays, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. French Republic is advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (led by Pierre-Yves Chabert
Velvet Cichlid, a company controlled by a consortium consisting of GLA Invest, MCGA, h265 and Petter Wallin, offered to acquire the remaining 32% stake in Sleep Cycle, a Swedish provider of software solutions, for SEK862m ($83m).
"I founded Sleep Cycle in 2009 with the purpose of empowering people to improve their health through better sleeping habits. Since then, Sleep Cycle has grown fast, and today we have over 2m active users in more than 150 countries. This journey has been a great source of professional and personal pride for me, and the journey reached a pitstop when the company went public in 2021, which was an important step in the company's development. Today, the world is radically different, and we now live in a turbulent environment with great economic uncertainty that will impact the company's ability to grow. In order to achieve the growth and profitability targets that the company has set, and to maintain Sleep Cycle's leading market position in a highly fragmented market, long-term investments will need to be made in product development and market expansion. Our assessment is therefore that these investments are better made in a private environment," Maciej Drejak, Sleep Cycle Founder.
Sleep Cycle is advised by Fogel & Partners. Velvet Cichlid is advised by Carnegie Investment Bank and Vinge (led by Jesper Schönbeck
Vertu Motors, an automotive retailer in the United Kingdom, completed the acquisition of Helston Garages, a predominantly premium manufacturer automotive retail group, for £120m ($146m).
"We are delighted that Vertu Motors has agreed to acquire Helston and 28 dealerships, further evidence of the execution of our long-term strategy to build scale, geographic coverage and deepen our relationships with our key automotive Manufacturers. We are particularly pleased that we have received strong support for the acquisition from our Manufacturer Partners and our lending banks to support the deal. Volvo and Ferrari are introduced to our portfolio, which is a very proud moment for the group," Robert Forrester, Vertu Motors CEO.
KLAR Partners-backed Nimlas, a Nordic technical installation services platform, agreed to acquire Konstel, an electrical installation company in Norway. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We see great potential in joining Nimlas Group. We have a similar decentralized and entrepreneurial business model and joining Nimlas to form a pan-Nordic player will serve as an even greater environment for Konstel to accelerate its growth and development," Terje Myhre, Konstel CEO.
Konstel is advised by SEB Corporate Finance (led by Hans Kvernmo
Unigestion, the independent specialist asset manager, completed the acquisition of Babington, a UK apprenticeship provider, from RJD Partners, an independent lower mid-market private equity investor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to be entering this exciting new chapter with Unigestion. We are committed to advancing the breadth, depth, and sophistication of our services to support customers in a holistic way. Our mission is to help organisations join the dots across their talent strategies whilst supporting individuals to build meaningful careers, and in turn developing better futures for all. In Unigestion we have found a partner that is fully aligned with our values to deliver a positive impact for our clients and to grow sustainably and responsibly," David Marsh, Babington CEO.
Inflexion mulls sale of Chambers & Partners. (FS)
Buyout group Inflexion is weighing a sale of Chambers & Partners, the global provider of legal rankings.
The mid-market investor has appointed advisers at Harris Williams to gauge interest in Chambers with a view to launching a formal sale process next year.
United Internet web hosting arm Ionos eyes $5.3bn IPO value. (FS)
United Internet is eyeing a potential market value of as much as $5.3bn in the planned listing of its web hosting arm Ionos Group, in what’s set to be a litmus test for Europe’s moribund IPO market, Bloomberg
Ionos’s owners, United Internet and Warburg Pincus, have been holding preliminary meetings with fund managers in recent weeks to gauge investor appetite for the float. They plan to push ahead with the share sale by February based on investor feedback though timing and valuation are fluid.
Capricorn shareholder Palliser calls for board overhaul meeting. (FS)
Capricorn Energy's third-biggest shareholder, Palliser Capital, has called for a general meeting to set a vote on removing seven Capricorn directors from supervisory roles, including the CEO, Reuters
Palliser is one of a chorus of Capricorn investors opposed to a planned merger with NewMed Energy that would create a gas producer focused on Israel and Egypt at a time when Europe is looking for non-Russian gas, arguing that it undervalues Capricorn.
Goldman lures former Bank of England chief Fried as next international chair. (People)
The former head of the Bank of England's governing body is to chair the bulk of Goldman Sachs' operations outside the US - one of the most influential jobs at the Wall Street titan.
Sir Bradley Fried, who stepped down as chair of the Court of the Bank of England only six months ago, will be announced next week as the new chairman of Goldman Sachs International, SkyNews
Shapps picks Cardell to be first female competition chief. (People)
The business secretary, Grant Shapps, picked one of the UK's competition regulator’s top executives to become its first permanent female boss.
Sarah Cardell, the Competition and Markets Authority's interim chief executive, will be appointed to the post, SkyNews
Ms Cardell, a former partner at Slaughter & May, the magic circle law firm, and executive at Ofgem, the energy regulator, joined the CMA in 2013.
Neusynergy Capital Management agreed to acquire Money Square, a Japanese investment solutions and fintech provider focused on foreign exchange trading services, from Carlyle, a global investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Carlyle believes Money Square's customer-centric approach to serving its customers' anticipated medium- and long-term FX investment management needs closely aligns with Nojima's strategic focus on developing its personal financial services business, and will support continued growth at the Company as it enters its next stage of development.
Anchorage Capital Partners, an Australian private equity fund, agreed to acquire David Jones, an Australian upmarket department store, from Woolworths, an Australian trans-Tasman retailer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is a major milestone in the repositioning of WHL for growth, while simultaneously improving return on capital for our shareholders. The strategic rationale at the time of the acquisition did not materialise to the extent originally envisaged. While David Jones has successfully executed on its turnaround, notwithstanding the Covid-19 disruptions, now is the right time for the business to operate under new ownership, while WHL refocuses on its core South African and Australian Country Road Group businesses," Roy Bagattini, Woolworths CFO.
India's Yes Bank completes transfer of $5.8bn worth bad loans to J.C. Flowers. (FS)
Indian private lender Yes Bank said it completed the transfer of bad loans worth $5.8bn to private equity firm J.C. Flowers, in a deal aimed at cleaning up its balance sheet.
The deal, the largest sale of bad loans in the Indian banking sector yet, comes more than two years after the central bank stepped in to take control of the lender after a dramatic rise in toxic assets alarmed investors and depositors, Reuters reported.
China South City sells 70% stake in Xian projects for $717m. (RE)
Chinese logistics and commercial developer China South City Holdings agreed to sell a nearly 70% shareholding in a business that holds its projects in the central city of Xian to a state-owned shareholder for $717m, DealStreetAsia reported.
The developer said it is expected to record a gain of $1m from the sale, and the proceeds will be used by the business – China South City Xi’an – for working capital and repayment of $410m of shareholders’ loans it provided.
China Evergrande's stake in services unit falls to 51.7% due to forced selling.
China Evergrande Group’s shareholding in its property services unit has fallen to 51.71% from 58.18% after forced selling of pledged shares by a third party, a Hong Kong stock exchange filing showed.
The number of Evergrande Property Services Group shares involved was 700m, and the drop was the result of steps taken on December 14 to enforce rights to the shares held as security against the embattled property developer.
KKR acquired 39 Tokyo multifamily properties. (FS, RE)
Global investment firm KKR has acquired 39 Tokyo multifamily properties through its real estate fund.
“Tokyo’s residential sector is prized by investors for its exceptional strength and stability, which makes this multi-family portfolio a suitable fit for KREST’s focus on stabilised income-producing real estate with long-term asset appreciation potential,” Kensuke Kudo, KKR Japan Real Estate Director.
Keppel agreed to buy an office building in Seoul. (RE)
Keppel, a company that consists of several affiliated businesses that specialises in offshore & marine, property and infrastructure, agreed to acquire Samhwan Building, a 15-storey office tower in Seoul, South Korea, for $169m.
“Keppel Land is excited to expand into South Korea through the acquisition of Samhwan Building in partnership with the private funds under Keppel Capital. This joint investment not only harnesses the group’s complementary strengths across real estate solutions and asset management but also reinforces Keppel’s asset-light business model which leverages third-party funds for growth," Louis Lim, Keppel Land CEO.
Toshiba falls on report preferred bidder may lower valuation. (FS)
Toshiba dropped on a report that the company’s preferred bidder may lower its valuation for the iconic Japanese conglomerate, Bloomberg reported.
Shares fell as much as 7.1% in Tokyo after the Nikkei newspaper reported late Saturday that a group led by Japan Industrial Partners is weighing an offer of about $14.7bn, down from the $16bn JIP had expected in early November.
NZ Super Fund commits $100m to Wellington Management's climate-focused vehicle. (FS)
NZ Super Fund, New Zealand’s sovereign wealth fund, announced that it has committed $100m to an investment vehicle that focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation, DealStreetAsia reported.
The commitment is for Wellington Management’s Climate Innovation Fund I, which will invest in companies developing products and solutions in sectors such as energy transformation, sustainable buildings and cities, transportation and mobility, industrial and enterprise efficiency, and food and agriculture.
VIAM appoints Apex Group for private credit fund admin. (FS)
Apex Group has been appointed to provide fund administration services to VIAM’s VI Asia Private Credit Fund, which provides financing solutions to Asian SMEs that are underserved by traditional financing channels and require capital to move to the next stage of growth and increased sustainable mode of operation going forward.
VIAM is an established asset management group with over $11bn of AUM across multiple asset classes and key business centres in Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea.