Alstom, a French multinational company operating worldwide in rail transport markets, completed the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation, a specialist in global rail transportation, from Bombardier and CDPQ for $8.4bn. As part of the deal, CDPQ converted its current investment in Bombardier Transportation into shares of Alstom and additionally invest $830m in Alstom, with a total investment of around $3.1bn.
“With this transaction now complete, Bombardier begins an exciting new chapter focused exclusively on designing, building and servicing the world’s best business jets. With an unmatched product portfolio, a world-class customer services network and incredibly talented employees, we have a strong foundation to build upon as we use the proceeds from the transaction to begin addressing our balance sheet challenges through debt paydown,” Éric Martel, Bombardier President and Chief Executive Officer.
Alstom was advised by Mazars Corporate Finance, Rothschild & Co, Societe Generale, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Gilbert + Tobin, Lee and Li, and Havas Paris. Debt financing was provided by BNP Paribas, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bayerische Landesbank, Citigroup, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole, Credit Mutuel, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, NatWest Markets, Natixis Partners, Santander, Societe Generale, and UniCredit. Debt providers were advised by White & Case. CDPQ was advised by HSBC, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and McCarthy Tetrault. Bombardier was advised by Citigroup, National Bank Financial, Rockefeller Capital Management, UBS, AZB & Partners, Jones Day, Norton Rose Fulbright, and Joele Frank.
AVEVA Group, a British multinational information technology company, confirmed that it had received all the regulatory clearance required to complete the $5bn acquisition of e OSIsoft, a software company.
The parties to the acquisition will enter into a new period of up to 45 days to allow more time for review and discussion with CFIUS. During this period, the parties and CFIUS will continue to work to finalise an agreement related to the acquisition.
OSIsoft is advised by Morgan Stanley, Fenwick & West, Latham & Watkins, Slaughter & May and Sard Verbinnen & Co. AVEVA Group is advised by JP Morgan, Numis Securities, Lazard, Ashurst, Debevoise & Plimpton and FTI Consulting. Mitsui is advised by O'Melveny & Myers.
C-III Capital-backed Resource Real Estate Opportunity REIT II, an asset management company that specializes in real estate investments, completed the acquisition of Resource Real Estate Opportunity REIT and Resource Apartment REIT III. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This has been a long, difficult and unrelenting past year for the country and for those around the world. At Resource, our team has been laser focused on operating our assets expertly throughout the pandemic and simultaneously working towards the successful completion of the mergers. The combined $3bn company with 51 apartment communities, located in some of the strongest suburban markets in the country, is well-positioned to take advantage of multifamily investment opportunities in the coming years,” Alan Feldman, Resource Chairman and CEO.
Resource Apartment was advised by Truist Bank and Miles & Stockbridge. Resource Real Estate REIT was advised by Robert A. Stanger & Co, Baker McKenzie and Morris Manning & Martin. Resource Real Estate REIT II was advised by Eastdil Secured, Houlihan Lokey, DLA Piper and Morrison & Foerster.
TPG Capital-backed TPG Pace Tech Opportunities, a special purpose acquisition company, agreed to merge with Nerdy, an online education services provider, in a $1.7bn deal. The deal will provide as much as $750m in cash proceeds, including $150m in an oversubscribed private investment in public equity.
“TPG has a proven track record of helping high-growth, disruptive technology companies like Nerdy successfully transition to the public equity markets. Our experience identifying markets at inflection points and supporting disruptive high-growth companies, as well as our extensive public market experience, enables us to aid Nerdy in its growth journey. Nerdy is poised to breakout as it disrupts a large market where online adoption has lagged. We look forward to collaborating with Chuck and the talented Nerdy team in their transition to the public equity markets," Karl Peterson, TPG Pace Tech Opportunities Chairman.
Nerdy is advised by Goldman Sachs and Goodwin Procter. TPG Pace Tech Opportunities is advised by Barclays, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, TPG Capital, Vinson & Elkins, and Abernathy MacGregor Group.
GIC, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a 19.9% stake in Duke Energy Indiana from Duke Energy, an energy company, for $2.05bn.
“This agreement with GIC allows Duke Energy to not only partner with a highly respected global investor, it also strengthens our confidence as we increase our long-term adjusted EPS growth rate to 5% to 7%. With this agreement, Duke Energy is well positioned to effectively finance our robust investment plan in a clean energy future and continue delivering sustainable value to our investors," Lynn Good, Duke Energy Chairman, President, and CEO.
GIC is advised by Barclays, Ice Miller, Sidley Austin and Steptoe & Johnson. Duke Energy is advised by Centerview Partners, JP Morgan and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
A Tencent-led consortium completed the acquisition of a 10% stake in Universal Music Group, an American global music corporation, from Vivendi, a French mass media conglomerate headquartered in Paris, for $3.7bn. After the closing of the transaction, the consortium's equity ownership in UMG increased to 20%.
Vivendi believes the consortium will enable UMG to further develop its activities in Asia. With the support of Vivendi, Tencent and TME will deepen cooperation with UMG to expand opportunities for artists and bring innovative experiences to music fans, further promoting a vibrant global music entertainment industry.
Tencent Holdings was advised by Morgan Stanley and Davis Polk & Wardwell. Vivendi was advised by Banque Hottinguer, Credit Agricole, Rothschild & Co, and Societe Generale.
Sangoma Technologies, a cloud-based Communications-as-a-Service solutions provider, agreed to acquire Star2Star, a privately-held provider of full-spectrum, internally developed, cloud-native communications services, for c.$437m.
“This transaction ensures we can meet any customer’s preference, be it for purely cloud solutions, or for on-premise deployments, or a hybrid combination, all the way from small businesses to large enterprises. For many years, we have consciously pursued a strategy to transform Sangoma from a product business to one of the communications industry’s leading SaaS companies. This deal is incredibly exciting not only because it will generate scale in a growing, consolidating space, but also because by combining with Star2Star we will have completed our long-term evolution into a leading cloud services company, one with annual revenue approaching $250m,” Bill Wignall, Sangoma President and CEO.
Sangoma is advised by INFOR Financial, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Wildeboer Dellelce. Star2Star is advised by Q Advisors, Goodmans and Troutman Pepper.
Tailwater Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire integrated oil and gas companies Tall Oak Midstream II and Tall Oak Midstream III from EnCap Flatrock Midstream, a venture capital firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"These transactions are the next logical step in both Tailwater and Connect Midstream's long-term Arkoma STACK consolidation and growth strategy and will significantly expand our footprint and processing capacity in the liquids-rich Arkoma Basin. We look forward to working together to grow the Tall Oak businesses organically and through acquisitions, and providing customers with the most effective and versatile set of capabilities in their regions of operation," Jason Downie, Tailwater Capital Co-Founder and Managing Partner.
Tall Oak is advised by Winston & Strawn and Saxum. Tailwind Capital is advised by Tudor Pickering Holt, Thompson & Knight and Joele Frank. EnCap Flatrock is advised by Shearman & Sterling.
Murphy USA, a retailer of gasoline and convenience merchandise, completed the acquisition of QuickChek, a chain of convenience stores, for $645m. The transaction, expected to close during the first quarter of 2021, is projected to add to its earnings in 2022.
“The future remains bright for the combined organization as we kick off the first 100 days of our integration plan where best practices and unique capabilities across each company will contribute to a more compelling value proposition for our customers, our employees, and our stakeholders," Andrew Clyde, Murphy USA President and CEO.
QuickChek was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Murphy USA was advised by RBC Capital Markets and Davis Polk & Wardwell. Debt financing was provided by RBC Capital Markets.
TPG Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Centrify, a provider of modern privileged access management solutions, from Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“As a result of the many accelerating IT trends – including faster digital transformation, accelerated cloud adoption, and agile DevOps practices – enterprises need to manage and protect more privileged accounts than ever before. We believe PAM is one of the most important and strategic sub-sectors of security software, and Centrify is a clear market leader in this space – serving more than half of the Fortune 100. We want to thank Flint for all he has done to position the company for ongoing success, and look forward to building on this strong momentum in partnership with Art and the rest of the Centrify management team," Tim Millikin, TPG Capital Partner.
Centrify is advised by DBO Partners. TPG Capital is advised by Citigroup and Davis Polk & Wardwell. Thoma Bravo is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Finsbury Glover Hering.
Hypera, a pharmaceutical company, completed the acquisition of selected OTC assets of Takeda Pharmaceutical, a pharmaceutical company, for $825m.
The divested portfolio includes select over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceutical products sold in Brazil, Mexico, and other South American, Central American and Caribbean countries, which are part of Takeda’s Growth & Emerging Markets Business Unit. The products, while addressing key patient needs in these countries, are outside of the business areas Takeda has designated as core to its global long-term growth.
“This announcement marks the latest step in Takeda’s strategy of streamlining and optimizing our portfolio while accelerating our deleveraging. By continuing to focus on our key business areas and pipeline of innovative medicines, we will strengthen our position as a R&D driven global biopharmaceutical leader and deliver enhanced value for patients and Takeda shareholders,” Costa Saroukos, Takeda Chief Financial Officer.
Hypera was advised by Cescon Barrieu Flesch & Barreto. Takeda is advised by Lobo de Rizzo and White & Case.
HIG Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a minority stake in eHealth, a health insurance marketplace, for $225m.
"Today's announcement is an important validation from a blue-chip investor of our differentiated business model. We are excited to partner with HIG, as we grow scale and market share by helping millions of Americans shop, compare, and manage their health insurance. Today's announcement is an important validation from a blue-chip investor of our differentiated business model. We are excited to partner with HIG, as we grow scale and market share by helping millions of Americans shop, compare, and manage their health insurance," Scott Flanders, eHealth Chief Executive Officer.
eHealth is advised by Moelis & Co and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. HIG Capital is advised by Ropes & Gray.
Shutterstock, an American provider of stock photography, stock footage, stock music, and editing tools, agreed to acquire TurboSquid, a source for stock 3D models, for $75m.
"The visionary leadership and tech innovation make it the perfect place for TurboSquid and its employees to continue what we do best -- creating and building a 3D powerhouse and cloud-based digital asset management solution," Matt Wisdom, TurboSquid Chief Executive Officer.
TurboSquid is advised by Raymond James. Shutterstock is advised by CapM Advisors and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton.
Manulife-backed Hancock Natural Resource Group, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of David Del Curto, a fruit exporter. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"By joining the Manulife Investment Management and HNRG team, we are able to rely on their extensive agricultural experience to expand our operations and further the reach of the firm. We feel the acquisition will bring tremendous additional resources to our teams and partners," Fernando Cisternas, David Del Curto CEO.
Hancock Natural Resources Group was advised by Tully & Holland and Duff & Phelps.
OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq, the two venture capital firms, completed a $350m investment in Calendly, an Atlanta-based software startup.
The investment will be used to provide liquidity for early shareholders and employees as well as continue product innovation, according to the announcement. The software startup also added two new senior executives at the end of 2020 to grow its employees and revenue.
Victory Park Capital, a private equity firm, completed an investment of $100m from Dave, a banking application.
“We are excited about the flexibility this deal gives us as we continue to expand Dave Banking for the 180m Americans who live paycheck to paycheck and deserve access to high quality financial products. Through this expanded partnership with Victory Park we will be making a meaningful impact on communities in the United States and beyond," Jason Wilk, Dave CEO.
NexPhase Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to invest in Oliver Winery & Vineyards, a winery. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"NexPhase is committed to protecting and nurturing the exceptional company culture and brand that has made Oliver Winery a leader and innovator in the wine industry. We look forward to partnering with the Oliver team to support their industry leading growth and intend to continue to invest in their facility in Bloomington, Indiana," Jamie Kaufman, NexPhase Partner.
Scan Global Logistics, a company that offers air freight, sea freight, trucking, and logistics warehousing services, agreed to acquire Global Logistics unit from Werner Enterprises, a transportation and logistics firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"After working with the SGLT team and understanding their core values and capabilities, I am excited for WGL's international customers, associates and transportation partners worldwide. We are proud of the global operation WGL has built and are confident it will continue to succeed as part of the SGLT family," Derek Leathers, Werner Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Werner Enterprises is advised by BG Strategic Advisors.
Nexus Capital Management, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Natural Balance, a pet food manufacturer and supplier, from J.M. Smucker, a manufacturer of food products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are extremely excited by the opportunity to acquire the Natural Balance business. We believe in the brand's strong legacy and the ability to reinvigorate the business as an independent company in partnership with the strong management team we have assembled," Damian Giangiacomo, Nexus Capital Partner.
Private equity firms GIC, Whale Rock, and Invesco led a $400m Series G funding round in Nubank, a digital banking services provider. Current Nubank investors Sequoia, Tencent, Dragoneer, and Ribbit also participated in the round.
“It’s an honor for us to welcome such a renowned group of private and public equity investors, who have experience backing some of the most innovative and disruptive companies of our time. We are privileged to have their support and learn from their experience to continue growing our business," David Velez, Nubank CEO and Founder.
Addition Ventures, a private equity firm, led a $187m Series E funding round in Lyra Health, provider of comprehensive mental health care benefits. Additional investors included Durable Capital Partners, Fidelity Management & Research Company, and Baillie Gifford.
"The traditional mental health care system cannot address the critical needs people have today. Lyra is now able to directly support more than 2m members as we enable employers to offer their people easy, effective access to clinically proven mental health care. This latest financing round will allow Lyra to continue to develop new and innovative care solutions while reaching new customers and members," David Ebersman, Lyra Health CEO and Co-Founder.
Axon Enterprise lost an appeals court fight with the Federal Trade Commission, with the court ruling that the agency did not violate Axon’s constitutional rights when it sued the company to undo a merger, Reutersreported.
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that the FTC was within its right to challenge the acquisition before a judge in an internal, administrative enforcement process.
The FTC had sued Axon in January 2020 to require it to sell Vievu, saying the deal meant that police departments may pay more for body cameras. Later that month, Axon sued the FTC to demand that the case be heard in federal court rather than an internal FTC process. Axon has denied that the Vievu deal was anticompetitive.
Skydeck Capital, a private equity firm, completed an investment in Urban Elevator Service, an independent elevator company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to have Skydeck’s assistance in cementing our status as the largest union independent elevator contractor in the country, while maintaining and improving our already best in class customer service," Tim Cook, Urban Elevator Co-CEO.
Hamilton Lane, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire 361 Capital, a Denver-based boutique alternative asset management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our firms share an overarching commitment to delivering world-class client service, as well as award-winning cultures. We believe our 20 years of experience in the alternative private wealth space, together with Hamilton Lane’s investment platform, reach and deal flow, will be a powerful combination. We are happy to be joining a highly respected global leader in the private markets," Tom Florence, 361 Capital Chairman and CEO.
Stepan, a manufacturer of specialty and intermediate chemicals, completed the acquisition of the aromatic polyester polyol business of INVISTA, a chemical manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition expands our manufacturing capability in both the United States and Europe, enhances our business continuity capabilities for the market and supports the growth of our global rigid polyol business. We expect that INVISTA's available spare capacity, plus debottlenecking opportunities in both plants, will allow Stepan to support market growth in a capital efficient way," F. Quinn Stepan, Stepan Chairman and CEO.
EPCOR USA, a wastewater service provider, completed the acquisition of Johnson Utilities, a provider of water and wastewater services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We look forward to being an active community partner and bringing the kind of investment that is essential for job opportunities and the region’s strong long-term economic outlook,” Joe Gysel, EPCOR USA President.
SpaceX valuation to hit c.$60bn in the new funding round.
Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX could be valued at a minimum of $60bn as it finalizes a funding round expected to close in February, Reutersreported.
The latest round is expected to price each share between $325 and $350. While details of the deal are still being ironed out, it is possible that SpaceX’s valuation could reach as much as $92bn, up from a $46bn valuation in a funding round in August.
MoneyLion is in talks to go public via fusion SPAC.
MoneyLion, a mobile banking, lending and investment platform, is in talks to go public through a merger with Fusion Acquisition, a blank-check company, Bloombergreported.
Fusion, the special purpose acquisition company, has begun discussions to raise new equity from potential investors for a transaction that’s set to value the combined entity at more than $2bn. The SPAC is seeking to raise about $200m to fund the deal, an amount that may be increased.
WeWork in talks to go public through SPAC deal.
WeWork is in talks to go public through a merger with a SPAC and is also exploring raising funds from private investors, a little over a year after its botched IPO, Reutersreported.
The office-sharing startup's plans for its high-profile IPO imploded spectacularly in October 2019 due to widespread criticism here over the office-sharing startup's business model and its founder Adam Neumann's management style.
WeWork had held talks with at least three blank-check firms over the past two months, cautioning that current talks could fall apart.
Silver Lake cashes out on AMC for $713m after a Reddit-fueled rally. (FS)
Buyout firm Silver Lake disclosed that it sold its stake in AMC Entertainment for $713m last week, capitalizing on a 10-fold rise in the price of the shares as traders organizing on social media platforms such as Reddit snapped them up, Reutersreported.
Vinci Partners Investment will use proceeds from its $250m US IPO to expand in its home Brazilian market, Reutersreported.
The Rio de Janeiro-based firm intends to acquire rivals to expand its product suite, including in real estate, equities, and some credit strategies, Head of Private Equity Bruno Zaremba said.
The company sold 13.9m shares at $18 each in its IPO, valuing Vinci, which offers investments in private equity, real estate and other fund classes, at $1bn. The stock was down 3.3% on its first day of trading on Nasdaq.
Robinhood fallout sweeps market after $1bn lifeline. (FS)
The Reddit hordes were at it again, once again bidding up shares of GameStop and warring with hedge funds by seeking out targets such as Siebert Financial and Twinkie maker Hostess Brands, Bloombergreported.
Hours after Robinhood said it received a cash infusion of more than $1bn, having just angered legions of retail investors by imposing a raft of trading restrictions, the SEC said it would look to identify potential misconduct and review decisions by brokerages to curtail transactions on certain stocks.
SEC scrutiny delays Roblox stock market listing.
Roblox has postponed plans to go public because of the US SEC’s scrutiny of how the video game platform recognizes revenue in its finances, Reutersreported.
The delay is a setback for one of the most eagerly-anticipated US public market debuts of 2021. The company had said in a regulatory filing earlier this month that it was aiming to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange in February.
Roblox’s valuation skyrocketed to $29.5bn in a fundraising round earlier this month, more than seven times the $4bn the company was valued at 11 months earlier, amid a surge in the popularity of video games during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jessica Alba’s Honest files confidentially for an IPO. (FS)
The Honest, a baby and beauty products company co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, is preparing to go public, Bloombergreported.
The Los Angeles-based company backed by L Catterton is preparing to file confidentially for an initial public offering with the US SEC.
It could seek a valuation of about $2bn in an IPO. It had been exploring a sale earlier that could value it at about $1bn.
Clarim Acquisition announces pricing of $250m IPO.
Clarim Acquisition announced that it priced its IPO of 25m units at $10 per unit. The units will be listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market and will begin trading under the ticker symbol "CLRMU". Each unit consists of one share of the company's Class A common stock and one-third of one redeemable warrant, each whole warrant entitling the holder thereof to purchase one share of Class A common stock at a price of $11.5 per share. Only whole warrants are exercisable. Once the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, shares of the Class A common stock and warrants are expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the symbols "CLRM" and "CLRMW," respectively.
Jefferies and BTIG are acting as book running managers for the offering.
Robert Downey Jr launches FootPrint Coalition Ventures. (FS)
Producer, actor and investor Robert Downey Jr has launched ESG-focused FootPrint Coalition Ventures, a series of rolling venture capital funds focused on sustainable technology, while participating in World Economic Forum Digital Davos Agenda on a High Level Panel.
"Investment in sustainable technology is a critical pathway toward the discovery and scaling of better solutions for our planet. We need to mobilise more people and catalyse more capital. Thus - FootPrint Coalition Ventures, a group of investors, technologists, and storytellers committed to scaling enviro-tech solutions. We want to turn complex subjects into culture-defining content, and offer our audience an opportunity to invest with us,” Downey Jr.
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics tumbles in Nasdaq debut. (FS)
Shares of private equity firm Carlyle Group-backed Ortho Clinical Diagnostics fell 8.8% in their Nasdaq debut, giving the Raritan, New Jersey-based company a market capitalization of $3.36bn, Reutersreported.
Ortho Clinical’s shares opened at $15.5, below the IPO price of $17 per share, at which the company raised $1.29bn.
“The proceeds will help us pay down debt, accelerate our growth, focus on core product innovation, expand our field organization globally, and boost our operational efficiency,” Chris Smith, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics Chief Executive.
Southeastern Grocers pulls an IPO.
Southeastern Grocers, the operator of US supermarket chains Winn-Dixie and Harveys, decided on Thursday to cancel its initial public offering, the second time in recent years that it pulled an IPO.
Southeastern Grocers did not specify the reason for withdrawing the IPO. The company made the decision due to a lack of demand at the price range it was targeting, Reutersreported.
“The company will continue to evaluate the timing for the proposed offering as market conditions develop,” Southeastern Grocers.
KKR seeks $15bn for flagship North America buyout fund. (FS)
KKR & Co aims to attract at least $15bn for its flagship North America private equity fund, which would make it the second-largest amount raised for a fund managed by the US firm. Buyout firms are seeking to tap cheap and plentiful financing for acquisitions amid rising corporate valuations, as economies start recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, Reutersreported.
Several investors have committed to KKR’s new fund, North America XIII, adding that the target included money KKR employees would contribute.
SoftBank's COO-backed LDH Growth looks to raise $200m through IPO. (FS)
LDH Growth I, a blank-check company backed by SoftBank Group Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure, said it was looking to raise up to $200m in its initial public offering, Reutersreported.
The company, controlled by an affiliate of SoftBank, said it planned to sell 20m units of shares and warrants at $10 each.
LDH Growth said it would look to merge with businesses focused on Latin America and Hispanic populations.
London Stock Exchange Group completed the acquisition of Refinitiv, a global provider of financial market data and infrastructure, from Blackstone-led consortium and Thomson Reuters for $27bn.
"Completion of the acquisition of Refinitiv marks an important milestone in LSEG's history. I am delighted to welcome our new Board Directors, shareholders, executive management and all the new Refinitiv colleagues joining LSEG. This transformational transaction brings together two highly complementary global businesses with a shared commitment to an Open Access philosophy, working in partnership with customers. LSEG is focused on delivering the benefits of the transaction helping customers to access data, trading tools, analytics and risk management across the financial markets and at scale around the globe. LSEG is well positioned for long-term sustainable growth in a rapidly evolving landscape as a leading global financial markets infrastructure and data provider," David Schwimmer, LSEG Chief Executive Officer.
Refinitiv was advised by Canson Capital Partners, Evercore, Jefferies & Company, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Eterna Partners. LSEG was advised by RBC Capital Markets, Oliver Wyman, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Robey Warshaw, Blake Cassels & Graydon, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Teneo. Financial advisors were advised by Herbert Smith Freehills. CPPIB was advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges. Thomson Reuters was advised by Allen & Overy.
Alussa Energy Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, agreed to merge with FREYR, a Norway-based developer of clean, next-generation battery cell production capacity, in a $1.4bn deal.
“We believe the combination of foundational capital from committed investors with commercially available, advanced battery solutions is the fastest way to accelerate the energy transition. FREYR is dedicated to delivering one of the most sustainable and cost-effective clean battery cells based on 100% renewable energy and ethically sourced raw materials. We are truly excited to share our ambition with Alussa Energy and some of the leading international investors as we embark on our plan for the production of one of the most environmentally friendly battery cells in the world. We believe our partnership-based business model positions FREYR to accelerate long-term value creation," Tom Jensen, FREYR CEO.
FREYR is advised by BAHR, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Crux Advisers. Alussa Energy Acquisition is advised by Rystad Energy, Sustainable Governance Partners, BTIG, Credit Suisse, Pareto Securities, Appleby, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Wiersholm, and Kite Hill.
The board of directors of McCarthy & Stone and Lone Star have approved the $864m deal for the retirement home builder.
"McCarthy & Stone represents an attractive opportunity in a market underpinned by clear fundamentals: a rapidly ageing population and a structural undersupply of suitable housing options for older people. We look forward to partnering with McCarthy & Stone's management and employees to further support the company's ongoing transformation,” Donald Quintin, Lone Star President.
McCarthy & Stone is advised by Deutsche Bank, Peel Hunt, Rothschild & Co, Allen & Overy, and Powerscourt. Lone Star is advised by Knight Frank, Goldman Sachs, Moelis & Co, Weil Gotshal and Manges, and Headland Consultancy. Debt financing is provided by Goldman Sachs.
Dutch paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel confirmed its $1.7bn offer for Finland’s Tikkurila, after beating a US rival’s offer last week.
The Dulux paint maker stuck to the $37.88 per share non-binding proposal it made last week, topping Pittsburgh-based PPG’s earlier offer by 13%.
The completion of the tender offer, if announced, would be subject to customary conditions, such as reaching a 90% acceptance level, obtaining required regulatory approvals.
Tikkurila is advised by SEB Corporate Finance and Hannes Snellman. Akzo Nobel is advised by HSBC, JP Morgan, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Roschier Attorneys. PPG Industries is advised by PJT Partners, DLA Piper, and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
benpac holding, a machinery manufacturer, failed to acquire Gallus, an manufacturer of label printing and folding carton presses, from Heidelberg Druckmaschinen, a supplier to commercial, packaging and label printing companies for $142m.
“Benpac Holding did not make the purchase price payment of $142m agreed at today's closing, although all the necessary conditions were met. Heidelberg had to assume until the very end that the transaction would be completed successfully. Heidelberg will assert its rights. Heidelberg will continue to handle sales and service for the Gallus portfolio and their personal contacts will remain the same. Heidelberg will now be examining various options for the corporate future of Gallus,” Heidelberger Druckmaschinen.
Platinum Equity, a private equity firm, offered to acquire Marston’s, an independent brewing and pub retailing business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Marston’s board will evaluate the proposal with its advisers and a further announcement will be made in due course. There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made for the Company, nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made.
Marston’s is advised by Instinctif Partners and JP Morgan.
The UK competition watchdog has launched an investigation into Uber’s acquisition of the taxi technology company, Autocab, over fears the tie-up could limit competition in the market for ride-hailing software, FT reported.
The Competition and Markets Authority said it had launched a formal probe into the deal and would consider its “possible effect on competition, including in the supply of booking and dispatch software to taxi companies in the UK, and any potential impact upon consumers”.
The watchdog has until March 26 to decide whether it wants to clear the deal, demand actions from the companies, or enter into a more in-depth investigation. It is seeking feedback until February 12.
SAP, a multinational software company, agreed to acquire Signavio, a specialist in the enterprise business process intelligence and process management space, from private equity firms Apax, DTCP, and Summit Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to announce the sale of Signavio. When ADF invested, we backed an incredible management team, led by CEO and co-founder Gero Decker, in what we knew was a stand-out offering in an exciting space. The progress we’ve made together in partnership, against such a dynamic backdrop, is humbling to have witnessed,” Mark Beith, Apax Digital Partner.
Goldman Sachs completed the acquisition of a 7.23% stake in MONETA Money Bank, a provider of a full range of commercial banking services for retail and institutional customers from PPF Group, a financial and investment group, for $137m.
The increase makes Goldman MONETA’s biggest shareholder. A full takeover of Moneta is not on the agenda, but Goldman Sachs feels there is a chance to achieve very solid appreciation.
Unilever said to pick Credit Suisse for beauty brands sale.
Unilever is planning to sell a portfolio of non-core beauty brands in the US and Europe as it continues with its divestment program, Bloombergreported.
The company is working with Credit Suisse on a potential disposal of the assets, which have combined annual sales of around $600m.
Unilever is also working on a sale or spinoff of its tea business. That process could kick off in the coming months During a third-quarter results call in October, Unilever management said the separation of the tea business was expected to conclude by the end of 2021.
ASOS close to deal to buy Topshop, Miss Selfridge for $411m.
British online fashion retailer ASOS is on the verge of a deal to buy Topshop and Miss Selfridge from the administrators of British tycoon Philip Green’s Arcadia Group for almost $411m, Reutersreported.
Arcadia went into administration in November, putting more than 13k jobs at risk and becoming Britain’s biggest corporate casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Imperial Logistics said to explore sale of European business.
Imperial Logistics is exploring a sale of its European business, as it turns its focus to core markets in Africa,Bloombergreported.
The distributor of chemicals, pharmaceutical and consumer goods is working with Morgan Stanley on the potential disposal.
Fidelity in talks with Starling Bank over £100m stake. (FS)
Fund management firm Fidelity is said to be in talks to invest £100m ($136m) in British challenger Starling Bank, leading the charge as part of an upcoming £200m ($273m) funding round.
Fidelity Management & Research is in advanced negotiations to invest in the digital bank, though the deal has yet to be finalised.
The US investment giant would contribute half of a new cash injection, with other blue-chip investors said to be in talks over the fundraising. Starling last year kicked off its hunt for new capital when it hired advisors at Rothschild to explore interest among investors.
Boohoo in talks to buy remaining Arcadia brands.
Boohoo Group is in talks to buy part of Philip Green’s Arcadia Group just days after agreeing to acquire the Debenhams department store brand,Bloombergreported.
The fast-growing online fashion retailer confirmed it is in exclusive negotiations to take control of the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton labels.
The company is interested in the brands only and not the stores, meaning potentially more job losses for Britain’s troubled retail sector.
Bertelsmann explores the potential sale of M6.
Germany’s Bertelsmann has approached potential bidders including French media giant Vivendi and Altice Group about selling its controlling stake in French broadcast group M6, Reutersreported.
Bertelsmann is hoping for a deal potentially worth about $3.6bn for Metropole Television, commonly known as M6 Group and home to France’s biggest private radio station, RTL.
Otonomo nears a merger with a SPAC.
Otonomo, an Israeli startup that operates a data platform linked to millions of connected cars, is in talks to go public through a merger with Software Acquisition Group II, Bloombergreported.
The special purpose acquisition company is in talks to raise new equity to support a transaction that could be announced as soon as next week. The SPAC’s shares rose 18% in after-hours trading.
Otonomo, led by Chief Executive Officer and founder Ben Volkow, takes over 4bn data points per day from more than 22m connected vehicles.
LSE looks at blank cheque deals.
Britain should replicate New York’s blank cheque listings to boost London’s appeal as a global financial centre after Brexit, London Stock Exchange Chief Executive David Schwimmer said.
Classic boot brand Dr. Martens kicked off its London IPO in style, attracting bumper demand in a sale valuing the company at more than $5bn that is likely to spur other British companies to follow suit, Reutersreported.
Dr. Martens’ shares were up 16% in their market debut after the company priced the deal at the top of an indicative range at $0.5, raising nearly $1.78bn and giving it a market capitalisation of $5.07bn.
SPE Capital raises $250m for Africa-focused fund. (FS)
Boutique private equity firm, SPE Capital Partners, has raised $258m following the final close of its North African-focused fund. The SPE AIF I fund was oversubscribed and exceeded its initial target of $200m.
Launched in 2019, the fund has a mandate to invest in North African companies. Investments to date include four companies including two pharmaceutical firms in Egypt and Morocco, a Tunisian school operator, and a Moroccan consumer goods producer.
IDG Capital, a private equity firm, led a $300m funding round in Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride-hailing giant. CPE, the Russia-China Investment Fund, Guotai Junan International and CCB International also joined the investment round.
Didi raised the capital for its autonomous driving unit.
China Evergrande Group, a property services company, agreed to acquire Ningbo Yatai Hotel Property Services, a real estate company, for $233m.
The completion of the tender offer, if announced, would be subject to customary conditions. After the conditions precedent have been fulfilled and the first completion payment has been paid, the vendors will transfer 80% of the equity interests in Ningbo Yatai to China Evergrande, and the remaining 20% equity interests will be held by Mr. Zhang Bo, which will be transferred to the Purchaser two years after the completion date.
SSAB exits talks to buy Tata Steel unit.
Swedish steelmaker SSAB has called off talks with Tata Steel for a possible acquisition of the Indian company’s IJmuiden steel mill in the Netherlands.
SSAB said in a public statement that the synergies that we saw in the transaction would not fully justify the costs and investments.
On January 25, discussions between Tata Steel’s management and the SSAB team had hit a roadblock with two large SSAB shareholders expressing reservations. SSAB was concerned about the increased carbon footprint that would accompany the purchase of the Dutch plant.
China plans sale of HNA’s non-aviation assets via trust.
The Chinese government plans to dispose of HNA Group’s non-aviation assets through a trust, as the provincial authorities that took control of the once high-flying conglomerate last year move ahead with its restructuring, Bloombergreported.
The trust will manage the sale of HNA’s assets not in the aviation space, a process that will likely take some time. A state-backed entity will become a strategic investor in what’s left of HNA.
Under the plan, HNA’s creditors will be allowed to swap their debt into equity in the new, pared-back company or gain a stake in the trust managing the divestment of the other assets, depending on their lender status. The plan has been approved by Chinese regulators and is expected to be implemented soon.
Retail buyers flood Kuaishou HK IPO with $162bn offered.
China’s Kuaishou Technology raised $5.4bn from its IPO, the top of the range, with offers from retail investors reaching a mammoth $162bn, nearly half of it backed by margin loans, Reutersreported.
Combining retail and institutional demand, the offering saw total bids worth over $370bn, more than the gross domestic product of Hong Kong, for the 8.9% of the online video site on offer. The shares were priced at $14.83, making the company worth $60.9bn.
Lucky Me! weighs $1bn Philippines IPO.
Philippine food maker Monde Nissin is exploring a potential initial public offering in Manila that could raise as much as $1bn, Bloombergreported.
Monde Nissin, which makes the best-selling Lucky Me! instant noodles in the Philippines and meat alternative Quorn in the UK, has been discussing plans for a first-time share sale with potential advisers. The company is aiming for a listing as soon as this year.
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