Microsoft, an American multinational technology company, completed the acquisition of Nuance Communications, an American multinational computer software technology corporation, for $19.7bn.
"Completion of this significant and strategic acquisition brings together Nuance's best-in-class conversational AI and ambient intelligence with Microsoft's secure and trusted industry cloud offerings. This powerful combination will help providers offer more affordable, effective and accessible healthcare, and help organizations in every industry create more personalized and meaningful customer experiences. I couldn't be more pleased to welcome the Nuance team to our Microsoft family," Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Executive Vice President.
Nuance was advised by Evercore, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & GarrisonKirkland & Ellis, Joele Frank, Kekst CNC and Waggener Edstrom. Microsoft was advised by Goldman Sachs, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and WE Communications.
Investors expressed concerns about TD Bank's planned $13.4bn acquisition of First Horizon, a bank holding company. Investors xpressed concerns about the deal's timing and the target's higher costs.
TD's biggest-ever acquisition, which would make it the sixth-biggest US lender by assets, found support from investors for the constructive use of its $17.4bn of excess capital, the highest among Canadian banks. But First Horizon's high total expenses compared to peers, TD's own underwhelming lending in the United States and a tougher regulatory environment may pose risks. First Horizon also has higher expenses than its typical peers, making it a questionable fit for TD, investors noted.
First Horizon is advised by Morgan Stanley and Sullivan & Cromwell. TD Bank is advised by JP Morgan, TD Securities, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Torys.
Highgate Capital, a real estate investment and hospitality management company, and Aurora Health Network, a healthcare-focused investment firm, completed the acquisition of the wellness infrastructure business of DigitalBridge, a global digital infrastructure REIT, for $3.2bn.
"We are pleased to close this complex transaction on our original timetable thanks to the hard work of Rich Welch and his team, who led this division through an unprecedented pandemic. This transaction marks the completion of our ‘diversified to digital’ transformation and further strengthens our corporate capitalization as we focus on continuing to build our industry-leading digital infrastructure platform," Jacky Wu, DigitalBridge CFO.
Highgate Capital was advised by Deutsche Bank and Latham & Watkins. DigitalBridge was advised by Barclays, Sullivan & Cromwell, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Joele Frank.
Authentic Brands Group, a brand management company, completed the acquisition of Reebok, a manufacturer, distributor and retailer of sports apparel, from Adidas, a multinational corporation which designs and manufactures footwear, apparel, and accessories, for $2.46bn. BlackRock, General Atlantic and Leonard Green & Partners also play an instrumental role in this partnership.
“The Reebok team has done an incredible job of cementing Reebok’s place in the minds and hearts of consumers. Through ABG’s operating model, Reebok will have the ability to evolve and embrace its iconic creativity, quality and innovation. It’s time to let Reebok be Reebok," Jamie Salter, ABG Founder, Chairman and CEO.
ABG was advised by KPMG, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Latham & Watkins. Adidas was advised by JP Morgan and Hengeler Mueller. JP Morgan was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Veritex Holdings, a bank holding company, agreed to acquire StoneCastle Cash Insured Sweep, a diversified financial company, from StoneCastle Partners, a financial services company, for $91m.
“We are excited at the opportunity to enhance our funding and liquidity profile with a modern, branchless distribution channel that provides sticky core deposits to fund several years of future growth. Meeting the needs of customers and communities is priority number one and interLINK enables us to do that with low-cost, flexible funding that will continue to scale with minimal overhead to generate positive operating leverage. On top of that, the financial benefits to shareholders are expected to be significant with low-risk given the capital-light nature of the business and our significant expertise buying and integrating businesses over that last 10 years," C. Malcolm Holland, Veritex Chairman and CEO.
Veritex Holdings is advised by Goldman Sachs and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. StoneCastle is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Dechert.
Zayo Group, a provider of fiber-based communications solutions, agreed to acquire Education Networks of America, a managed network connectivity and security services provider, from ZMC, a private equity firm. Financial terms are not disclosed.
“ENA is a leader in delivering comprehensive managed network and security solutions for educators, enhancing academic quality and productivity driven by digital transformation and the growing need for remote learning. As Zayo looks to expand its strong public sector capabilities and serve the critical connectivity needs of our nation’s education system, ENA brings the technology, geographic reach, and service delivery we need to help our customers thrive. We are committed to expanding this business, providing enhanced services to ENA customers and supporting the ENA team as we drive growth and innovation together," Andrés Irlando, Zayo President.
Zayo is advised by Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. ENA is advised by Evercore and Kirkland & Ellis.
E2open, a provider of a cloud-based supply chain management platform, completed the acquisition of Logistyx Technologies, a parcel and e-commerce shipping company, for $185m.
“We are excited to welcome Logistyx Technologies’ team, clients, and capabilities to E2open. The demand for e-commerce shipping capabilities continues to grow as companies look for more flexible and cost-effective ways to deliver products to consumers. This combination makes E2open the most comprehensive and integrated shipping solution provider, which covers all shipping modes including ocean, air, road, rail, and parcel, and is powered by a global network of carriers and logistics service providers. Logistyx is complementary to E2open’s existing platform, enabling E2open’s world-class clients to orchestrate their supply chains from demand to fulfillment, to supply," Michael Farlekas, E2open CEO.
E2open was advsied by Berenson & Co, Troutman Pepper and 5W Public Relations.
SoFi Technologies, a digital personal finance company, completed the acquisition of Technisys, a developer of digital banking software, for $1.1bn.
“Technisys has built an attractive, fast-growth business with a unique and critical strategic technology that all leading financial services companies will need in order to keep pace with digital innovation. The acquisition of Technisys is an essential building block in delivering on our member-centric, digital one-stop-shop experience for SoFi members and our partners through Galileo, our provider of fintech cloud services,” Anthony Noto, SoFi CEO.
SoFi was advised by Allen & Company and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Technisys was advised by Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian.
DataBank, a provider of enterprise-class colocation, interconnection, and managed cloud services, completed the acquisition of four data centers from CyrusOne, a provider of mission-critical data center facilities, for $670m.
"DataBank has deep roots in Texas, and we are excited to strengthen our partnership in the state even further with this expansion into the Houston market. We look forward to bringing our digital infrastructure to the fourth largest metro in the US. This acquisition underscores our commitment to this market and our belief in its continued prosperity," Raul K. Martynek, DataBank CEO.
DataBank was advised by Jones Day. Debt financing was provided by CIT Bank and TD Securities.
One Rock Capital Partners, a private equity investment management firm, agreed to acquire Therm-O-Disc, a sensors manufacturer, from Emerson, a technology and engineering company. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"Therm-O-Disc is well-positioned as a leading global manufacturer of branded, essential sensor and safety products. We are excited to collaborate with management to drive innovation, enhance strong operational capabilities and serve Therm-O-Disc's customers, building on the long history as an industry leader," R. Scott Spielvogel, One Rock Managing Partner.
Emerson is advised by Evercore and Davis Polk & Wardwell. One Rock is advised by Prosek Partners.
Macquarie, an asset manager, agreed to acquire Roadchef, a motorway service area operator, from Antin Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms are not disclosed.
“As a key part of the UK’s motorway infrastructure, we believe Roadchef has a major role to play in facilitating the transition to net zero. Its extensive network of locations across the country make it well positioned to support the fast-charging infrastructure that is key to the adoption of electric and low carbon vehicles. We look forward to working closely with the management team to develop Roadchef’s energy transition strategy and its offering for motorists," Gordon Parsons, Macquarie Asset Management Senior Managing Director.
Antin is advised by Citigroup, Macquarie Group and White & Case.
DECKED, a manufacturer of storage and organization products, completed the acquisition of CargoGlide, a designer of sliding bed platforms. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very excited to bring CargoGlide into the DECKED family. It's a natural acquisition as its ergonomic focus is a great complement to DECKED. We believe that by adding DECKED's manufacturing, engineering, and design knowledge as well as marketing and sales infrastructure, we can take CargoGlide to the next level. We were particularly impressed with the burliness of their products," Jake Peters, DECKED GM.
CargoGlide was advised by Dentons. DECKED was advised by Hawley Troxell.
Capstreet-backed TradePending, a provider of vehicle valuation, completed the acquisition of AutoAPR, a provider of website engagement tools. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We partnered with Capstreet last year to create a foundation for a new platform to fast track innovation in the automotive software industry, and our acquisition of AutoAPR is our first step towards that goal. TradePending and AutoAPR pair very well together. We both share the same end goal of arming both the dealership and end-consumer with better information about the car buying process, with a similar mission and vision to provide transparency and help dealerships grow their businesses," Brice Englert, TradePending CEO.
TradePending was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Lambert & Co.
Sony Pictures, a media company, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Industrial Media, an independent production group, from private equity firms BlackRock and Crestview Partners, for $350m.
“At SPT our focus is on leadership and quality in growing areas of television, and nonfiction content makes up a significant share of TV viewing. Acquiring Industrial Media gives us scale and expertise that nicely complements our current TV production businesses. Eli, Aaron and their talented group of producers have consistently succeeded with high-quality series and documentaries. We can’t wait to get to work with them," Ravi Ahuja, SPT Chairman.
Industrial Media is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell.
PagerDuty, a digital operations management company, agreed to acquire Catalytic, an automation platform. Financial terms are not disclosed.
“Adding Catalytic to PagerDuty extends our automation capabilities, and accelerates our product roadmap for flexible workflows, as we execute on our vision to become the Operations Cloud for modern enterprises. It will expand the value we deliver across the organization to any time-sensitive business workflow, while helping technical teams improve their responsiveness when seconds truly matter. More than 19k customers trust PagerDuty to help them anticipate the unexpected, and manage mission-critical work more effectively. As the complexity of digital operations grows exponentially, we empower teams with the time and efficiency to innovate for the future, and maintain continuous, seamless customer experiences," Jennifer Tejada, PagerDuty Chairperson and CEO.
Continental Resources, an American petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Summit Carbon Solutions, a renewable energy semiconductor manufacturing company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Continental has been actively engaged in limiting our carbon footprint for decades with our pioneering work in horizontal drilling, our invention of ECO-Pad technology and industry-leading gas capture initiatives. We look forward to working with Summit Carbon Solutions to become leaders in carbon capture and sequestration. We believe this project will become a model for the rest of the world. Carbon capture will play an integral role in helping reduce global emissions, and we believe Summit Carbon Solutions has the most capital efficient project to further this goal," Bill Berry, Continental Resources CEO.
Continental Resources is advised by Vinson & Elkins.
Coal producer Peabody, and private equity firms Riverstone and Summit Partners, completed a joint venture to form R3 Renewables, a renewable energy development company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to announce this new joint venture as part of Peabody's commitment to be the coal producer of choice, creating additional value from our existing assets, supporting our own and our customers' ESG ambitions and providing added economic benefits for the communities in which we work and live. Both Riverstone and Summit Partners have deep experience across energy and growth sectors, and we believe R3 will benefit from their collective perspective on renewable energy solutions," Jim Grech, Peabody President and CEO.
RiverStone was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
ZA Group, a brand development company, completed the acquisition of 60% stake in E-Roots Systems, a food materials manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to be involved in the sustainable food manufacturing space through E-Roots in the sustainable food space and we believe that through E-Roots, ZA Group will be able to help manufacture grow systems that will help bring quality food to places where fresh produce has been historically lacking in quality," ZA Group.
IDT-backed net2phone, a communications-as-a-service provider, completed the acquisition of Integra, an omnichannel CCaaS platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“As the CCaaS and UCaaS markets continue their exceptional growth trajectories, businesses are gravitating to providers who can support integrated communications-as-a-service offerings. With the Integra CCaaS platform, our powerful UCaaS solutions, and our industry-leading SIP trunking service, we can provide holistic solutions that deliver unbeatable value. Our channel partners in the US, Canada, Brazil and Mexico have begun to introduce these packages and are extremely enthusiastic about their potential," Jonah Fink, net2phone CEO.
Founders Fund raises $5bn for early to late stage deals. (FS)
Founders Fund said that it has closed more than $5bn in two new funds across both early and late-stage investing, increasing the assets under its management to $11bn.
The venture capital firm's investments have included some of tech's highest-profile startups. The new vehicles include a $1.9bn venture fund and a $3.4bn growth fund. The growth fund is almost twice the size of a $1.75bn predecessor raised in 2020.
Foresite Capital raises $173m to fund Foresite Labs Incubated life science companies. (FS)
Foresite Capital, a multi-stage healthcare and life sciences investment firm, announced it has raised a $173m fund to further invest in companies launched by Foresite Labs. Foresite Labs companies will also continue to be supported from Foresite Capital Fund V and its associated opportunities fund.
The fund comes on the heels of several major milestones for Foresite Capital including the announcement of its $969m Fund V and investments in Foresite Labs incubated companies Interline Therapeutics, Alumis and TenSixteen Bio.
“Technological breakthroughs in genomics and data science are creating opportunities to drive significant transformation of the healthcare industry. We believe the companies we’re creating can help solve many of the problems the industry faces, and this additional capital will help us do that," Vikram Bajaj, Foresite Labs CEO.
Britain's competition watchdog on Thursday approved Spanish mobile telephone infrastructure operator Cellnex's acquisition of Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison's British assets if it sells at least 1k mobile phone towers, Reuters reported.
The Competition and Markets Authority said the $11.8bn deal would harm competition and could lead to higher prices or lower quality services for mobile carriers. To address these concerns, Cellnex will have to dispose of 1k towers, it said.
Cellnex is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Arthur D Little, AZ Capital, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Clifford Chance, Kromann Reumert, McCann FitzGerald, Wolf Theiss, Brunswick Group and Roman y Asociados. Investor is advised by Roschier Attorneys and Weil Gotshal and Manges. CK Hutchinson is advised by Deutsche Bank, Moelis & Co, Morgan Stanley, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Linklaters.
Apollo and Oaktree-backed ABC Technologies, a manufacturer and supplier of custom technical plastics, completed the acquisition of Karl Etzel, a company specializing in molding plastics, for $95m.
“The acquisition of Etzel will provide ABC the opportunity to meaningfully expand our scale in Europe while entering the interior products space on the continent with a strong customer base of luxury OEMs. These OEMs have looked to Etzel to provide global solutions, which will be enabled with ABCs existing footprint,” Todd Sheppelman, ABC Technologies President and CEO.
Karl Etzel was advised by Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw and Bender Harrer Krevet. ABC Technologies was advised by Evercore, Ashurst and Blake Cassels & Graydon. Apollo was advised by Goodmans and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Oaktree was advised by Stikeman Elliott.
WP Partners, a private equity firm, led a $170m Series E round in Volocopter, an air mobility company, with participation from Atlantia and Honeywell.
“This funding round is a testament to Volocopter’s leading position in what is a highly attractive emerging market. We continue to make significant technical and commercial progress as we work toward bringing urban air mobility to life at scale in cities worldwide,” Florian Reuter, Volocopter CEO.
European deals worth $300bn left exposed by war in Ukraine.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has left dealmakers in Europe unsure about if and when roughly $300bn of mergers, acquisitions and listings will go ahead.
Fresh volatility in the market, rising energy prices and worries about a drawn-out war are pushing corporate boards and previously free-spending private equity firms into wait-and-watch mode. That’s raising questions about an M&A pipeline with some high-value transactions in the works.
They include Walgreens Boots Alliance’s sale of its international Boots drugstore unit, Novartis’ potential disposal of its Sandoz generics arm and National Grid’s efforts to offload a stake in its gas transmission business, Bloomberg reported
Victor Li nears a $20bn sale of UK Power Networks Holdings to private investors. (FS)
A consortium led by Macquarie Group and KKR is in advanced talks to buy the UK electricity distribution business controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Victor Li, in what could be one of the sector’s largest deals this year.
The bidder group also includes APG, China Investment, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and PSP Investments. A deal could value UK Power Networks Holdings at as much as $20bn and an agreement may be reached in the coming weeks.
The business could also still attract interest from other infrastructure investors and energy companies. UK Power Networks is jointly owned by the Li family’s CK Infrastructure Holdings and fellow group companies Power Assets Holdings and CK Asset Holdings, Bloomberg reported.
Roman Abramovich plans not to rush with the divestment of Chelsea FC.
Roman Abramovich will not rush his divestment of English football team Chelsea FC, even as Britain is considering sanctions against the Russian billionaire.
Chelsea FC tapped Joe Ravitch, the co-founder of investment bank Raine Group, to find a buyer after Abramovich decided this week to put the football club he has owned for 19 years up for sale. The move follows Russia's invasion of Ukraine that has triggered an international backlash against businessmen with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces mounting pressure from political opposition as well as members of his own party for Abramovich to be included in sanctions that his government has started rolling out against so-called Russian oligarchs. British officials have said they are considering the move but must build a solid legal case before proceeding, Reuters reported.
JTX to dispose of a 25% stake in Familia.
TJX Cos, an American multinational off-price department store chain said it would sell its 25% stake in Russian low-cost apparel retailer Familia.
The Familia stake was valued at $186m in January, lower than the $225m TJX paid for it in 2019, due to a decline in the Russian ruble. With the ruble hitting new record lows in recent days, the investment's value could have fallen further. TJX said it may take an impairment charge due to the sale, Reuters reported.
Blue Owl Capital plans $10bn IPO of Dyal Capital Partners. (FS)
Blue Owl Capital, a private equity firm, is planning to list assets from its Dyal Capital Partners business worth more than $10bn in a rare sizable initial public offering in the UK.
Deliberations are ongoing and the exact timing and structure could change, depending on the market and geopolitical environment, Bloomberg reported.
The investment firm is working with Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan on a listing in the first half of the year.
La Poste and Swiss Post-backed ESW weighs IPO at a $4bn valuation.
ESW, an e-commerce specialist backed by La Poste and Swiss Post, is weighing an initial public offering that could value it at about $4bn.
Deliberations are ongoing and any final decisions on the size or timing of an IPO will depend on investor demand and market conditions. The company is working with Lazard on plans for a possible listing in Amsterdam as soon as the second half of the year. Bank of America, Societe Generale and UBS have been appointed as global coordinators for the listing.
H.I.G. Capital closes H.I.G. Realty Partners IV fund at $838m. (FS)
H.I.G. Capital, a private equity firm, announced the closing of its fourth US Realty Partners fund, H.I.G. Realty Partners IV. The Fund closed with aggregate capital commitments of $838m.
“We are very proud of the continued success of the H.I.G. Realty team and their differentiated, value-add strategy focused on the mid-cap segment of the US real estate market. The support from our limited partners validates our conviction in the team’s ability to execute on the Fund’s investment strategy," Sami Mnaymneh and Tony Tamer, H.I.G. Co-Founders and Co-CEO.
Redmile Group, a healthcare investment organization, led a $125m round in Saluda Medical, a medical device company, with participation from Fidelity Management & Research Company and T. Rowe Price Associates.
"We are thrilled to partner with this group of leading healthcare investors who share our vision of elevating the standard of care in neuromodulation fields with large unmet patient needs. The full impact of our innovation can only be realized by enabling more patients to be treated with our evidence-based technologies designed to improve long-term outcomes while reducing the burden of care, and we wish to thank our new and existing investors for their partnership in our journey to achieve this mission," Jim Schuermann, aluda Medical President and CEO.
Vodafone New Zealand said to seek a $1bn towers sale.
Vodafone New Zealand is seeking prospective buyers for its wireless phone towers that provide coverage to about 98% of the country's population.
The Auckland-based telecommunications business is disposing of about 1.487k mobile cell sites that are expected to generate Ebitda of more than $34m in the financial year starting April 1.
A transaction, if successful, would follow a spate of towers auctions in neighboring Australia last year that capitalized on demand for such holdings. Pension funds and asset managers flush with cash find digital infrastructure appealing because of growth and assured long-term returns they offer, Bloomberg reported.
PLDT receives $1bn in bids for its tower assets.
Philippines PLDT has received offers from six foreign firms to buy thousands of its telecoms towers for up to $1bn, as the company aims to generate savings and cut debt.
PLDT put about half of its more than 11k telecoms towers up for sale last year to slash operating costs and focus on growing its broadband and mobile internet businesses.
PLDT, which had a gross debt of $5bn at the end of 2021, had anticipated bids of between $800m and $1bn for the sale, which is being facilitated by Swiss bank UBS, DealStreetAsia reported.
Carlyle plans to acquire a 10% stake in Yes Bank for $500m-$600m. (FS)
Private equity group Carlyle is considering a $500m-600m investment in Yes Bank, a commercial bank, along with peer Advent International.
The lender is in talks with the private equity investors to raise $1bn - $1.5bn of growth capital to further bolster its balance sheet two years after the regulator put it under stewardship of the State Bank of India to stave off a possible run on its deposits.
Both Advent and Carlyle are in advanced stages of their diligence and are looking at finalising terms by the end of this month. The exact quantum of investments would then be finalised, Economic Times reported.
AustralianSuper plans to sell remaining Russian assets. (FS)
AustralianSuper will wind down its remaining Russian exposure after the nation's government said it expected its pension funds to divest Russian-linked assets.
AustralianSuper said in a statement it is "deeply concerned" about the unfolding events in Ukraine and has been "actively managing" its Russian exposure to address the changing and emerging risks. The fund is in "full compliance" with all relevant sanctions, it said.
Australia's government told custodians of the nation's retirement savings, it expected they would divest their Russian holdings to complement sanctions imposed after President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, Bloomberg reported.
Chinese banks scramble for workarounds as Russia sanctions impinge.
Top Chinese banks are rushing to ensure they can maintain business ties with Russian clients without running afoul of a barrage of Western sanctions. Western nations are tightening an economic noose around Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, shutting its banks from the SWIFT global financial network and pushing global firms to dump billions in investment.
While the Chinese banking regulator said this week the country would not join the West's sanctions on Russia, some of its banks have stopped issuing dollar-denominated letters of credit for purchases of physical commodities.
And now, executives at some leading Chinese banks are exploring alternative payment systems as well as the possibility of passing some of their business to small domestically focused peers to avoid getting caught in secondary sanctions, Reuters reported.
LIC IPO poised to be delayed by a year.
The mega initial public offering of Life Insurance Corporation of India is set to be delayed into the next financial year amid market swings triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. LIC's IPO will be the biggest to be impacted by the war. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought to raise as much as ₹654bn ($8.7bn) from the deal.
Bankers and officials are preparing to shift the listing of the state-run insurer to after the current fiscal year, which ends in March. A formal announcement could be expected this week or next.
LIC's underwriters have seen muted interest during early meetings with potential anchor investors. Many fund managers have been wary of making major commitments amid the market volatility.
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