Quisitive Technology Solutions, a digital technology consulting firm, agreed to acquire BankCard USA Merchant Services, a provider of end-to-end electronic payment products and services, for $120m.
“The addition of BankCard USA to the Quisitive Payments Solutions family will bring our vision to life by combining a high-powered sales organization, robust risk management, and quality customer service with our innovative fintech platform, LedgerPay. It is partnerships like these that elevate a great product to industry-wide transformation. I am proud to say that with the addition of BankCard USA, Quisitive Payments Solutions will have the team, the technology, and the strategic vision in place to redefine modern payments at scale,” Mike Reinhart, Quisitive CEO.
BankCard USA is advised by Elmcore Securities, Roxborough Pomerance Nye & Adreani and Stikeman Elliott. Quisitive is advised by Scotiabank, Canaccord Genuity, Eight Capital, Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss and Gateway Investor Relations. Financial advisors are advised by Wildeboer Dellelce. Debt providers are advised by Gardiner Roberts.
Continental General Holdings, an entity controlled by Michael Gorzynski, agreed to acquire continental insurance business from HC2 Holdings, a public financial services company, for $90m.
“This transaction can help HC2 achieve key strategic objectives pertaining to portfolio optimization and balance sheet strength, while enabling Continental to accelerate the execution of its strategy. Continental is focused on developing an industry-leading servicing platform, diversifying into new lines of business and further capitalizing on market consolidation. I look forward to continuing to help build a Continental that is a valued true partner to all policyholders and stakeholders,” Michael Gorzynski, Continental General Holdings Owner.
HC2 is advised by Duff & Phelps, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, FNK IR and Reevemark. Continental General Holdings is advised by Olshan Frome Wolosky and Profile Advisors.
Thoma Bravo completed the investment in Applitools, a provider of visual test automation software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As digital transformation accelerates, more and more software developers are turning to Applitools' cross-environment testing solutions to build and verify high quality software applications users can trust. At this moment of dynamic change, businesses are looking for peace of mind and reliable, AI-augmented toolkits to maintain continuity across digital touchpoints. We look forward to partnering with Thoma Bravo to double down on our significant business momentum, drive continued product innovation and take our unique technology to new heights," Gil Sever, Applitools CEO.
Applitools was advised by William Blair & Co, Meitar Law Offices and Sidley Austin. Thoma Bravo was advised by Robert W Baird and Kirkland & Ellis.
D1 Capital, a global investment firm, and Tiger Global, an American investment firm, led a $300m Series C funding round in HighRadius, a fintech enterprise software-as-a-service company. The round was joined by ICONIQ, Susquehanna Growth Equity, Frank Slootman, Michael Scarpelli, Tooey Courtemanche and Howie Liu.
"We are excited to have D1 Capital Partners and Tiger Global join our existing investors, Susquehanna Growth Equity and ICONIQ Growth. Our goal has always been to build a long-lasting business that outlasts all of us. I look forward to working with such high-quality long-term investors who share a common vision of transforming the Office of the CFO using a combination of Artificial Intelligence built on top of connected finance workspaces and embedded analytics," Sashi Narahari, HighRadius Founder and CEO.
HighRadius was advised by Atlas Technology Group and Treble Public Relations.
Ayr Wellness, a vertically-integrated cannabis multi-state operator, agreed to acquire Garden State Dispensary, a cannabis store, for $101m.
“With its recent adoption of adult-use, New Jersey will be a leading force in the Northeast cannabis market. We look forward to serving the Garden State’s medical cannabis patients and working with the regulators to ensure a safe and robust roll-out of the adult-use program. We see an incredible opportunity to drive growth at retail with the introduction of our quality cannabis brands, expanded product offerings and exceptional in-store experience. Additionally, we see an excellent opportunity for wholesale growth given our planned cultivation expansion and past success at driving wholesale penetration in supply-constrained markets,” Jonathan Sandelman, Ayr Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Ayr Wellness is advised by Gateway Investor Relations.
Arix Bioscience, a global venture capital company, led a $152m Series B funding round in Pyxis Oncology, a biotechnology company. The round was joined by RTW Investments, Perceptive Advisors, RA Capital Management, Pfizer Ventures, BVF Partners, Janus Henderson Investors, Cormorant Asset Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, Tekla Capital, Acuta Capital Partners, Ridgeback Capital Investments, Surveyor Capital, Laurion Capital Management, Logos Capital, LifeSci Venture Partners, Leaps by Bayer, Longwood Fund, Agent Capital and Ipsen.
"We are grateful for the support of these highly sophisticated investors as we strive to improve the lives of patients with difficult-to-treat cancers by progressing a diverse portfolio of potentially groundbreaking ADCs and immunotherapies. This financing strengthens our ability to build a differentiated portfolio of biologics and allows us to accelerate our efforts to advance multiple promising programs into Phase 1 clinical trials," Lara Sullivan, Pyxis CEO.
Steadfast Capital Ventures-led consortium completed a $145m investment in Cohesity, a privately held information technology company, valuing the company at $3.7bn. The consortium consisted of SoftBank Vision Fund, DFJ Growth, Foundation Capital, Wing Venture Capital and Premji Invest.
“We are pleased to enable this liquidity opportunity for our employees. We believe the oversubscribed, non-dilutive tender offer based upon this increased company valuation speaks volumes about Cohesity’s performance and future outlook as the leading, modern data management company,” Mohit Aron, Cohesity CEO and Founder.
Organon, a pharmaceutical company, agreed to acquire Alydia Health, a commercial-stage medical device company, for $240m, including $215m upfront plus a $25m contingent milestone payment. The transaction is expected to close after Organon has spun off from Merck as a standalone publicly traded company.
"The acquisition aligns with Organon's strategy to become a global leader in women's health by focusing our product development on her unmet medical needs. We believe that Organon's strong global commercial footprint in reproductive health, in conjunction with Alydia's rapidly growing commercial capabilities in the US, will help enable growth of the Jada® System, including potential expansion into Europe and other developed countries, as well as in the world's least developed markets where Organon has significant experience creating affordable access," Kevin Ali, Organon CEO.
The Rise Fund, a global impact investing platform managed by TPG, led a $335m funding round in LIVEKINDLY, a collective of plant-based food brands. The round was joined by Rabo Private Equity and S2G Ventures.
"Our mission is to make plant-based living the new norm, creating a healthier, more sustainable global food system through our international portfolio that meets local tastes. With the close of this funding round, we are ideally positioned to rapidly scale our model and lead the global consumer shift toward healthy, delicious and sustainable plant-based alternatives," David Knopf, LIVEKINDLY CFO.
FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm, agreed to acquire The Rhodes Group, a construction consulting firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Construction & Environmental Solutions is one of our strongest and fastest-growing practices globally, and the opportunity to add the industry-leading team from The Rhodes Group supports our ambition of serving leading law firms, contractors and owners as they navigate the most challenging construction-related disruption and disputes,” Steven H. Gunby, FTI Consulting President and Chief Executive Officer.
e.ventures, a global investment firm, led a $100m Series C funding round in Cameo, a platform which allows users to create personalized video shoutouts from favorite people, valuing the company at $1bn. The round was joined by GV, Amazon Alexa Fund, UTA, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Valor Equity Partners, Morgan Stanley, Tony Hawk, Lightspeed, Kleiner Perkins, Spark Capital, The Chernin Group and Origin Ventures.
"Cameo is creating a new category and fundamentally changing the relationship between talent and fans. We are at an early stage, but the opportunity is massive. We're excited to use our international expertise to help Cameo become a global phenomenon," Jonathan Turner, e.ventures Partner.
Raizen appoints banks for IPO in Brazil.
Raizen, a Brazilian energy firm and a joint venture between Cosan, a producer of bioethanol, sugar and energy, and Royal Dutch Shell, a company that explores, produces, and refines petroleum, has chosen four investment banks to manage its IPO raising up to $2.25bn with a $17.4bn valuation, Reuters reported.
Raizen has picked Banco BTG Pactual, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse to be the main banks in the transaction, and is expected to add more to the syndicate this week.
Knock hires Goldman Sachs to advise on a bid to go public.
Knock, a property tech startup, has hired Goldman Sachs to advise on an offer to go public, as the company seeks cash to rewrite the playbook for buying a home, Bloomberg reported.
Knock is examining a plan to raise $400m to $500m through an IPO. It is also weighing a merger with a SPAC or direct listing. The company expects to be valued at $2bn.
“We think we are at the beginning of a tectonic shift. Our priority is to raise a war chest on the theory that whoever raises the war chest wins the war," Sean Black, Knock CEO.
Ascend Wellness files for IPO.
Ascend Wellness, a US-based cannabis operator, filed for an IPO of up to $125m. The company applied to list its Class A common stock on the Canadian Securities Exchange and for US over-the-counter trading, Reuters reported.
The company, whose businesses involve harvesting and selling marijuana, cannot currently list on the Nasdaq or NYSE as weed remains illegal at the federal level.
Canaccord Genuity is acting as a representative of the underwriters.
Atlas Holdings closes the fourth fund at $3.1bn. (FS)
Atlas Holdings, a private investment & equity firm operating in the automotive, energy, industrial, logistics, and distribution segments, closed Atlas Capital Resources IV, the fourth private equity investment fund, at its hard cap of $3.1bn.
“Atlas has established a well-defined and highly differentiated approach to both investing capital and supporting our existing businesses. That approach has remained constant for decades and has enabled our private equity funds to systematically deliver value to our investors. We are extremely grateful for the continued strong support from our long-standing institutional partners as well as the tremendous demand from a large group of new partners from across the globe,” Andrew Bursky, Atlas Co-Founder and Managing Partner.
Atlas was advised by Capstone Partners and Proskauer Rose.
Cerberus raises $2.8bn for the global opportunistic real estate strategy fund. (FS)
Cerberus Capital, a private equity firm, announced the closing of approximately $2.8bn of commitments for the global opportunistic real estate strategy fund. Cerberus Institutional Real Estate Partners V closed with more than $2.5bn in commitments with an additional $300m committed to a dedicated investor fund for the strategy.
CIREP V received support from existing and new limited partners and will invest in direct assets, real estate companies, and real estate-related debt, including non-performing loan portfolios.
“The investment landscape plays to the strengths of our global real estate franchise. There are market dislocations and macrotrends that are driving compelling opportunities across our broad platform. Our team will continue our disciplined approach to investing opportunistically, establishing innovative partnerships, and applying our operating capabilities and experience to solve complex problems," Lee Millstein, Cerberus President and Global Head of Real Estate.
Warburg Pincus-backed New Ease allies with QuadReal to launch a $1bn fund. (FS)
Warburg Pincus-backed New Ease, a Chinese logistics infrastructure services operator, announced a tie-up with QuadReal Property Group, a Canadian global real estate manager, to launch a logistics development fund, DealStreetAsia reported.
New Ease Gold Development has a total equity commitment of up to $1bn. The fund will allocate capital in China’s logistics sector, especially in top-tier cities.
“The partnership with QuadReal is a recognition of New Ease’s capabilities and strong track record. We will continue to execute on the identified pipelines, and expand the portfolio with more quality assets, providing a platform for investors to access institutional-quality opportunities in top tier markets in China,” Sun Dongping, New Ease Co-Founder and Chairman.
Cellnex, a Spanish mobile phone mast operator, launched an $8.23bn capital increase valued at $42.78 per share to fund the acquisition of Hivory, a French telecoms company, Reuters reported.
The offer price represents a 22% discount from Monday's closing share price. The company said it will use proceeds to fund the acquisition of Hivory, which operates around 10.5k masts in France, as well as to investment in its existing network and further acquisitions.
Cellnex is advised by PMP Conseil, AZ Capital, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Herbert Smith Freehills and Brunswick Group. KKR is advised by Credit Suisse, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier and KPMG. Altice is advised by De Pardieu Brocas Maffei and Mayer Brown.
Lilium, an aviation company, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Qell Acquisition in a $3.3bn deal. The combined company is expected to receive approximately $830m of gross proceeds from a fully committed common stock PIPE offering of $450m, along with approximately $380m cash held in trust. The PIPE includes participation from Baillie Gifford, BlackRock, Tencent, Ferrovial, LGT, Palantir, Atomico, FII Institute and PIMCO.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Lilium to together build the leader in regional electric air mobility. Qell set out to find an exceptional and ambitious technology company, with significant growth potential — and in Lilium we have found that. Lilium has unique technology and one of the most accomplished engineering and commercial teams in electric aviation. The 7-Seater Lilium Jet is a game-changer for transportation," Barry Engle, Qell Founder and CEO.
Lilium is advised by Citigroup, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Ropes & Gray and Milltown Partners. Qell Acquisition is advised by Barclays, JP Morgan, Goodwin Procter and Robar PR.
Innovations in Nutrition + Wellness, a provider of custom R&D, manufacturing and marketing support solutions for global brands that serve the fast-growing nutrition and wellness industry, completed the acquisition of Bee Health, a developer and manufacturer of nutritional supplements. Financial terms were not disclosed.
INW and Bee Health's highly complementary product capabilities and geographic scope will further enhance the services provided to brand partners. Together, INW and Bee Health will expand their manufacturing and solution capabilities, adding new product forms and geographies while creating significant cross-selling opportunities.
INW was advised by Guggenheim Partners and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Bee Health was advised by Alantra and Addleshaw Goddard.
Medical Properties Trust, a real estate investment trust, completed the acquisition of a 10% stake in Swiss Medical Network, a private clinic group, from AEVIS VICTORIA, a Switzerland-based holding company engaged in the investment services sector, for $182m.
“MPT is proud to make this investment in Swiss Medical Network. The network of private hospitals created by Antoine Hubert’s company has provided top quality healthcare to its patients in Switzerland. MPT is looking forward to providing our capital and sharing our experiences from our more than 400 hospitals in 9 countries around the world to allow Swiss Medical Network to continue to provide some of the best healthcare available,” Ed K. Aldag, MPT Chairman, President and CEO.
MPT was advised by Homburger. AEVIS VICTORIA was advised by Dynamics Group.
Investcorp, a global manager of alternative investment products, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Investis Digital, a global digital communications company, from ECI Partners, a growth focused private equity group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are so grateful to ECI for their partnership and for helping us power our digital communications strategy with our Connected Content approach and for investing in our proprietary enterprise grade technology platforms over the past six years. As we look to our longer-term vision for the future, we are excited and optimistic for the support and breadth of experience Investcorp will bring in the next phase of our evolution and the enhancements to the services we will be able to offer our clients," Don Scales, Investis Digital Global CEO.
Investis Digital and ECI Partners are advised by Raymond James and Osborne Clarke.
Astorg, a global private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Opus 2, a provider of integrated software and services used in legal disputes, from Five Arrows Principal Investments, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very excited about Astorg investing in Opus 2 and look forward to working closely with their team as we continue to grow the business. We remain fully committed to maintaining excellence in customer service and innovation as we scale to meet increasing demand for our legal technology and services enabling digitally connected practice. Astorg understands this mission and are the perfect partner to help us continue to build the business in the coming years," Martin Coen, Opus 2 CEO.
Opus 2 is advised by Plat4orm. Astorg is advised by Publicis Consultants.
Aventicum Real Estate, a global asset management firm, agreed to acquire a portfolio of eight properties from Unite Students, an owner, manager and developer of student accommodation, for $183m.
"This disposal forms part of our target to dispose of £200-300m of assets in 2021. The sale is consistent with our strategy of increasing our exposure to high and mid-ranked Universities where demand is strongest, while delivering operational efficiencies that contribute towards our target for an improvement in our EBIT margin to 74% by the end of 2023," Richard Smith, Unite Students Chief Executive.
Waterland Private Equity, a private equity firm, completed the investment in Celestia, a group of high-tech space technology companies across Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"When celebrating our 25th anniversary, I faced the decision to keep the growth at the same pace, as usual, or alternatively try to become a much larger and stronger player. In companies with key strategic R&D developments, ambitious M&A agenda and robust organic growth, capital is always in short supply to run faster. The possibility to join forces with Waterland, with its buy & build track record, give us the chance to achieve our audacious goal of €500m turnover before the end of this decade," Jose Alonso, Celestia Owner.
Eurazeo Capital agreed to acquire a majority stake in Ultra Premium Direct, a pet food specialist, for €68m.
"The pet food category benefits from very attractive underlying trends towards pet humanisation, premiumisation and search for quality and transparency. We are convinced that Ultra Premium Direct is a modern and differentiated brand as a result of its direct approach to consumers, without intermediaries, and high quality product offering distributed at a fair price point. We are eager to work alongside Sophie and Matthieu Wincker – co-founders of Ultra Premium Direct – and their team to support the future growth of the company by accelerating momentum in France and expanding internationally, penetrating new geographies," Laurent Droin, Eurazeo Managing Director.
Verlinvest, a family-owned investment holding company, led a $100m Series C round in Everli, a marketplace for online grocery shopping, with participation from Luxor, DN Capital, C4 Ventures, Convivialite Ventures, Fondo Italiano d’Investimento, 360 Capital, Innogest and DIP.
"We are proud to be rewriting the rules of the grocery industry together with Everli. Everli combines its tech and data excellence with the grocery retail experience of its partners and this combination provides it with the perfect position to cement itself as the European eGrocery market leader, delivering the best experience to consumers, value to retail partners, and digital activation to brands,” Simone Sallustio, Verlinvest Executive Director.
Coca-Cola examines options for its $6bn Africa unit.
Coca-Cola, a beverage retailer and manufacturer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates, weighs options for its bottling business in Africa, including a sale or initial public offering. The African business could be valued at $6bn, Bloomberg reported.
The company holds 66.5% of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa and speaks with potential advisers about its exit options.
The Coca-Cola Beverages Africa business serves 13 countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ghana. It accounts for about 40% of the Atlanta-based company’s drinks sold on the continent.
EQT nears $5.3bn acquisition of Cerba HealthCare. (FS)
EQT, a private equity firm, nears an agreement to acquire Cerba HealthCare, a network of medical biology laboratories, from Partners Group and PSPIB in a deal valuing the firm at about $5.3bn, including debt, Bloomberg reported.
EQT beat out rival bidders, including other investment funds. Partners Group, a Swiss buyout firm, and Public Sector Pension Investment Board, a pension investment manager, has been exploring options for the business, including a sale.
IP Group-backed Oxford Nanopore considers listing on LSE. (FS)
IP Group-backed Oxford Nanopore Technologies, a DNA sequencing firm, intends to list on the London Stock Exchange in the second half of the year. The company can be valued at $3.2bn, Bloomberg reported.
A listing will give the company access to “deeper, international pools of capital” for its growth plans.
Ripple, a provider of enterprise blockchain solutions for global payments, agreed to acquire a 40% stake in Tranglo, a cross-border payments specialist. Completion of this transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Tranglo has always prided itself on making cross-border transactions faster, cheaper and more secure. By partnering closely with Ripple and introducing On-Demand Liquidity to new markets, we aim to further that ambition to provide accessible and equitable financial services to the masses," Jacky Lee, Tranglo Chief Executive Officer.
Digital Colony, a digital infrastructure investment firm, agreed to acquire 4200 telecom towers from Indosat, Ooredoo's Indonesian unit, for $750m. The deal, which will require Indosat to lease the towers for 10 years, is expected to close in the second quarter.
The proceeds from the sale will fund Indosat's network expansion.
MC Global Edtech Investment Holdings led a $460m Series F funding round in Byju's, an Indian multinational educational technology and online tutoring firm. The round was joined by B Capital, Baron, XN Exponent, Arison and TCDS India.
The amount raised in this round will be used for working capital requirements and business expansion.
Tencent and Jingwei China led a $190m Series E funding round in Yunxuetang, an online corporate training platform. The round was joined by Sequoia China and Hongzhuo Capital.
The round of financing funds of Yunxuetang will be mainly used in AI technology and software product innovation, data middle and IT middle platform construction, content product ecological ability improvement, customer delivery and service ability improvement, and customer success ability improvement.
Hong Kong is set to launch the first SPAC listing by the end of the year.
Hong Kong is supposed to have its own blank check company listing framework ready in June, allowing deals to start by the end of this year, Bloomberg reported.
Paul Chan, Hong Kong's Financial Chief, directed the regulator and the stock exchange to develop a framework that fits its market. The city is looking at tighter rules for sponsors of SPACs listings and their buy-out targets than those enforced in the US.
Purchases by SPACs will have to meet the existing standards for IPOs. The rules also envision a set of conditions for sponsors to meet, including having a track record of managing money.
ProLogium considers SPAC deal.
ProLogium Technology, a Taiwanese solid-state battery maker, is considering going public through a merger with a SPAC, Bloomberg reported.
The company is holding talks with potential advisers about options including listing via SPAC deal. While discussions are at an early stage, any deal could give ProLogium a multibillion-dollar valuation.
China FAW Group, a state-owned automaker, and an arm of Bank of China invested in ProLogium last year.
SKIET to launch IPO to raise at least $1bn.
SK Innovation-backed SK IE Technology, a South Korean material solution provider that offers lithium-ion battery separators, will begin its IPO process as it aims to raise at least $1bn, DealStreetAsia reported.
The company received preliminary approval on March 30 for the IPO from the Korea Exchange. The price at which the company will offer shares, and therefore its value, will be decided once the IPO process is finalized.
GogoX weighs $400m IPO.
GogoX, a Hong Kong-based logistics unicorn, is considering an IPO that could raise $400m to $500m this year, Bloomberg reported.
The company is in preliminary discussions with investment banks about its proposed share sale in Hong Kong, which could value the startup at about $2bn. GogoX is also examining going public by merging with a SPAC in the US.
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