The chief executives behind Microsoft's planned $75bn acquisition of Activision made a last-ditch attempt to save the deal in a courtroom on Wednesday in the face of US government objections that could result in its annulment as early as next week, FT reported.
Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella used his 40-minute appearance in federal court to underline his company's claim that larger gaming rival Sony was seeking to have the deal blocked for competitive reasons, rather than because it was genuinely worried about losing access to Activision's titles.
Bobby Kotick, chief executive of Activision, said in court that subscription-based streaming of games services, which give players access to a library of games for a flat price, "degrade the economics" of games.
Silver Lake, a private equity firm, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, an investment management company, completed the acquisition of Qualtrics, an experience management company, from SAP, a software company, for $12.5bn.
“Qualtrics has cemented its position as the leader in experience management, and our AI-powered platform is helping more than 19,000 organizations deliver exceptional experiences and build deep relationships with their customers and employees at scale. Silver Lake’s deep understanding of our business and vision for Experience Management, combined with their strategic and operational expertise and the support of our other investors, creates an incredible opportunity for Qualtrics to accelerate our innovation and category leadership,” Zig Serafin, Qualtrics CEO.
Centerbridge Partners, a multi-strategy private investment firm, and GIC Real Estate, a real-estate arm of Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, completed the acquisition of the remaining 85.2% stake in INDUS Realty Trust, a US-based industrial and logistics REIT, for $868m.
“After conducting an extensive process to explore the Company’s strategic alternatives, we are pleased to have reached an agreement with Centerbridge and GIC. The transaction delivers immediate and significant value to our stockholders, and we believe it validates the quality of the platform and portfolio we have built over INDUS’ long history. I would like to extend my thanks to the entire Board and management team for their hard work during this process, and for their unwavering commitment to act in the best interests of our stockholders,” Michael Gamzon, INDUS President and CEO.
INDUS Realty Trust was advised by Morgan Stanley, Latham & Watkins (led by Julian Kleindorfer and Charles Ruck) and H/Advisors Abernathy (led by Tom Johnson and Jeremy Jacobs). Centerbridge was advised by Bank of America, JP Morgan, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (led by Atif Azher and Fred de Albuquerque). GIC Real Estate was advised by Bank of America, JP Morgan, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by Blair Thetford) and Joele Frank. Debt financing was provided by Standard Chartered Bank.
Terra Property Trust, an externally managed real estate investment trust, agreed to merge with Western Asset Mortgage Capital, an externally managed REIT that invests in, finances, and manages a portfolio of real estate-related securities, in a $436m deal.
"This transaction provides for a valuation of WMC's equity based on its adjusted book value per share, which is significantly greater than WMC's market capitalization based on recent trading levels. It will also enable WMC shareholders to benefit from increased operational scale and cost synergies and represents an attractive long-term investment opportunity in a diversified, credit-oriented platform positioned for growth," Bonnie Wongtrakool, WMC Chief Executive Officer.
Terra Property is advised by Raymond James, Alston & Bird and Joele Frank (led by Jonathan Keehner). WMC is advised by Financial Profiles (led by Larry Clark), JMP Securities and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by Thomas Greenberg).
Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company, agreed to acquire Sigilon Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company that seeks to develop functional cures for patients with a broad range of acute and chronic diseases, for $310m.
"Despite significant advancement in treatment for people living with type 1 diabetes, many continue to live with a high disease burden every day. By combining Sigilon's talent and expertise in cell therapy with the knowledge and skills of Lilly's research and development teams, we will enhance opportunities to create innovative islet cell therapy solutions to improve the care of people living with diabetes," Ruth Gimeno, Eli Lilly Vice President.
Sigilon is advised by Canaccord Genuity, Lazard, Ropes & Gray and Solebury Trout (led by Amy Bonanno). Eli Lilly is advised by Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
Inframark, a provider of water and wastewater operations and maintenance services, completed the acquisition of Treatment Technologies, a provider of process water and wastewater O&M services, from Shelton Associates, a custom engineered and integrated process wastewater treatment systems provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We have admired the rapid evolution of TTI in recent years. The acquisition of TTI meaningfully scales our operations in commercial and industrial markets by a factor of 2x and is a demonstration of our stated strategy to grow our core water and wastewater O&M business," James Irwin, Inframark EVP of Corporate Development.
Shelton Associates was advised by Raymond James (led by Sidarth Balaji and Brendan Tierney) and Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld. Inframark was advised by Blank Rome.
LLR Partners-backed 3SI Security Systems, an advanced security solutions provider, completed the merger with Wren Solutions, a retail asset protection company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“3SI and Wren are both long-time security industry leaders with similar cultures focused on people, innovation and collaborative customer partnerships. We are excited to extend our complementary market-leading technologies to our respective customers, enhancing their ability to protect their assets and their people,” Todd Leggett, 3SI CEO.
LLR Partners and 3SI Security were advised by Raymond James. Wren Solutions was advised by Imperial Capital.
Visa, a digital payments company, agreed to acquire Pismo, an issuer processing and core banking platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Through the acquisition of Pismo, Visa can better serve our financial institution and fintech clients with more differentiated core banking and issuer solutions they can offer their customers,” Jack Forestell, Visa Chief Product and Strategy Officer.
General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, led a $115m round in Author Health, a comprehensive care and treatment company, with participation from Flare Capital Partners, a venture capital firm.
“Our nation is clearly struggling to meet the health and social needs of people with behavioral health conditions, and those needs are only increasing within our aging population. Author Health was born out of the necessity to fundamentally shift how our health system prioritizes behavioral health and preventive services. By aligning Medicare Advantage health plans and clinicians to improve health, and using a combination of technology and community relationship-building to open access for hard-to-reach populations, Author Health is primed to meet the growing demand for psychiatric care on a national scale,” Katherine Hobbs, Author Health CEO.
Author Health was advised by Quarter Horse PR (led by Cathy Corwin).
Google, NVIDIA and Salesforce Ventures led a $141m Series C round extension in Runway, an applied AI research company.
“We’re rebuilding the creative stack from the ground up and developing impactful research that will be a major force of change across industries. The next phase of storytelling will be highly democratized, and our ultimate goal is to create a more equitable, diverse and creative world through our products and research outputs. We are thrilled to have continued support from investors, partners, and customers who believe in this vision,” Cristóbal Valenzuela, Runway CEO and Co-Founder.
Pan Management, an energy investment firm, agreed to acquire Northwoods Management, a firm that owns highly productive assets located in the Powder River Basin. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We consider this acquisition to be a pivotal move for OneRock, solidifying our position with a robust presence in resource-rich unconventional plays. It represents a crucial component of our growth strategy into the E&P business, while concurrently expanding our commodity optionality and seamlessly aligning with Pan Management’s overarching investment strategy. We anticipate leveraging the OneRock platform to acquire further assets and strategically expand our footprint," Daniel Fan, Pan Management Partner and Head of North American E&P Investments.
General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, led a $500m investment in Authentic Brands, a brand owner, marketing and entertainment platform.
“General Atlantic’s increased investment in Authentic is a testament to the strength of our proprietary brand platform, business model and team. General Atlantic takes an innovative investment approach and shares our vision for building brand value for the long term. We are proud to be part of General Atlantic’s selective portfolio of first-movers and established companies and look forward to continuing to partner with them to evolve and scale our model worldwide," Jamie Salter, Authentic Founder, Chairman and CEO.
Socure, a provider of digital identity verification solutions, completed the acquisition of Berbix, a startup that developed a high-accuracy document verification solution, for $70m.
“There’s a perception among users that all document verification solutions perform the same, but after testing several offerings in the market, we found this to be categorically false. In fact, we found endless examples of other vendors in the market providing inaccurate stats that just couldn’t be validated. I don’t blame users for their lack of faith here,” Johnny Ayers, Socure Founder and CEO.
PG&E seeks roughly $7bn federal loan.
Utility company PG&E has applied for a roughly $7bn federal loan to fund its ambitious plans to reduce California wildfire risk by burying power lines and upgrading the electric grid, WSJreported.
This substantial financial injection is intended to support their ambitious electric grid investments, primarily focused on mitigating the threat of wildfires in California.
New York Teachers' Pension looks to sell $6bn of private assets.
New York State Teachers' Retirement System is looking to unload $6nn of private assets on the secondary market, making it one of the year's largest sales, Bloombergreported.
The pension is seeking buyers for investments it has made in various funds.
THL explores the sale of Nextech. (FS)
Private equity firm THL Partners is exploring a sale of Nextech Systems that could value the provider of healthcare software at around $1.5bn, Reutersreported.
THL is working with investment bank William Blair on a sale process for Nextech that has attracted other private equity firms and is at an advanced stage. THL may choose to retain a minority stake in any deal.
TRP explores $1.5bn Permian asset sale. (FS)
TRP Energy is exploring a possible sale of its oil and gas operations in the Permian basin that could fetch more than $1.5bn, the latest company to do so at a time of high demand for acreage in the heart of US shale country, Reutersreported.
TRP, in which Greenbelt Capital Partners owns a controlling stake, holds around 15k net acres in the Midland portion of the Permian and produces about 25k barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Tiger Global rejects hundreds of offers for its Stakes in private companies. (FS)
Tiger Global Management turned down hundreds of bids for its private assets in recent months because it felt the offers were too low, Bloombergreported.
The firm had explored selling hundreds of millions of dollars in stakes in mid- and late-stage startups to provide cash distributions to investors in some of its older funds — at a time when other exit opportunities such as initial public offerings are scarce. Some assets it looked to unload were bought in recent years at significantly higher valuations.
Lina Khan is coming for Amazon, armed with an FTC antitrust suit.
Lina Khan's Federal Trade Commission has already filed three cases against Amazon.com. Now she's gearing up for the big one, Bloombergreported.
In the coming weeks, the agency plans to file a far-reaching antitrust suit focused on Amazon's core online marketplace. The main allegation is expected to be that Amazon leverages its power to reward online merchants that use its logistics services and punish those who don't.
Savers Value, Kodiak, and Fidelis fail to hit $1bn in IPOs.
Three initial public offerings failed to deliver what would have been only the fifth $1bn week for US listings in more than a year, with two pricing well below the bottom of their marketed ranges, Bloombergreported.
Savers Value Village, the first of the three IPOs to price on June 28, increased the size of its offering and exceeded its price target to raise $401m. The thrift retailer said it and its private equity backer sold about 22m shares for $18 each, after marketing 19m shares for $15 to $17.
RTP Global launches $1b fund. (FS)
RTP Global, a global venture capital firm, has launched a new fund with a corpus of $1bn to invest in startups across North America, Europe, India, and Southeast Asia, DealStreetAsiareported.
The firm said it will deploy funds across sectors including AI/ML, enterprise software, fintech, e-commerce, and edtech. Out of the $1bn, $660m will be used to fund RTP Global's early-stage investment strategy and $340m to provide follow-up capital to its existing portfolio companies. The $1bn fund represents an increase of more than 50% over RTP Global's previous fund – RTP III – which closed in 2020 at $650m.
New Mountain Capital reaches $825m summit. (FS)
Alternative investment firm New Mountain Capital closed its second net lease real estate fund, New Mountain Net Lease Partners II. The investment vehicle raised $825m in equity capital commitments.
The total amount raised exceeded New Mountain's initial fundraising goal of $750m. Investors in the fund included several new participants, as well as veterans of past New Mountain fundraises.
Accel-KKR, a technology-focused investment firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in MidEuropa-backed Symfonia, an accounting, payroll and ERP software solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I am incredibly proud of what our Symfonia team has accomplished with the support of MidEuropa in establishing our independence and cementing our market leadership. I believe the success that we achieved in just two years is a phenomenon in the Polish technology market. We're just getting started: we have ambitious plans, and with the global experience, software domain expertise and M&A depth that Accel-KKR brings to the table, we believe we can expand our leadership in and beyond Poland even more quickly and effectively," Piotr Ciski, Symfonia CEO.
Affiliated Managers, a partner to independent investment management firms globally, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Forbion, a venture capital and growth equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are very pleased to partner with Forbion, a leader in life sciences investing – a sector with robust client demand trends and meaningful societal impact. AMG’s partnership approach continues to attract outstanding firms seeking to preserve their independence and entrepreneurial cultures, and to benefit from collaboration with a strategic partner that can magnify their success. Our partnership with Forbion broadens our participation in both private markets and the life sciences sector, further diversifying our business and enhancing our long-term growth prospects," Jay C. Horgen, AMG President and CEO.
Huaxin Cement, a building materials company, agreed to acquire Africa business from InterCement, a producer of construction materials, for $265m.
"The sale of Africa Business positively contributes to the group's ongoing liability management plans and the acceleration of the InterCement's broader strategic review to return focus to its core markets in South America," InterCement.
H.I.G. Capital, a global alternative investment firm, completed the acquisition of CLC Group, a property and asset refurbishment company, from Armitage Family Trust, an investment company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The property refurbishment market is set for significant investment in the coming decade. We are excited to partner with CLC’s highly experienced management team to build on their success to date through further service and geographic expansion, as well as add-on acquisitions,” John Harper, H.I.G. Capital Managing Director.
UK regulator quizzes platforms on offering Odey funds to retail investors. (FS)
UK's Financial Conduct Authority is pressing investment platforms including AJ Bell, Hargreaves Lansdown and Halifax for continuing to offer funds from Odey Asset Management to investors, Reutersreported.
The FCA contacted investment platforms about their continued offering of funds branded under Odey's name, or under Brook, the name given to funds managed by other partners of Odey Asset Management.
Romanian leu poised to gain on inflows from $1.9bn IPO.
Hundreds of millions of euros heading into Romania during a major share offering are set to add pressure in the coming weeks to the local currency market, where any sharp moves in the leu have been tightly controlled by the central bank, Bloombergreported.
The leu will probably see inflows when foreign investors exchange funds to buy local shares in power producer Hidroelectrica, whose offering is estimated at as much as $1.9bn and is expected to close on July 4.
Renault buys time on electric unit IPO amid outlook raise.
Renault pushed out the likely timing for a listing of its electric-vehicle arm following investor feedback while sweetening the wait upgrading its earnings outlook for the year, Bloombergreported
The carmaker will hold the initial public offering of the Ampere unit in the "most favorable window," which will most likely be the first half of next year.
Arkema, a manufacturer of specialty materials, agreed to acquire a 54% stake in PI Advanced Materials, a business of producing plastic films, from Glenwood Private Equity, an alternative investment firm, for €728m ($796m).
“PIAM is an outstanding company with a unique technological positioning, state of the art manufacturing facilities and invaluable customer relationships. This acquisition is fully aligned with our strategy to be at the forefront of high performance materials for high growth end markets supported by megatrends such as electric vehicles and advanced electronics,” Thierry Le Hénaff, Arkem Chairman and CEO.
Meituan, a Chinese shopping platform, agreed to acquire Light Year, an artificial intelligence company, for $285m.
The deal allows Meituan, in which online advertising giant Tencent holds an 18.7% stake, to strengthen its position in the AI landscape of China.
Wanda asked to pause bond application amid unit's IPO plans.
Dalian Wanda Group told investors that one of its key units suspended a bond-sale application after receiving guidance from a Chinese regulator, Bloombergreported.
Dalian Wanda Commercial Management Group filed to retract the request this month following regulatory guidance.
Warburg Pincus bullish on early-stage investments in China's real estate. (FS)
US private equity titan Warburg Pincus continues to be bullish on early-stage investments in China's property sector as it targets new economy assets or "tech-enabled businesses" in the country, DealStreetAsiareported.
"Our approach is to start earlier in the game so that we have more time to navigate the landscape and spend more time with potential partners or pick the best entrepreneurs before the space becomes more competitive," Ellen Ng, Warburg Pincus Head of China Real Estate.
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