SK Hynix, a South Korean memory semiconductor supplier of dynamic random-access memory chips and flash memory chips, received merger clearances from the Chinese antitrust authority for the acquisition of NAND memory chip business of Intel, an American multinational corporation and technology company, for $9bn.
"SK Hynix sincerely welcomes and appreciates the State Administration for Market Regulation's merger clearance for the deal. SK Hynix will enhance its competitiveness of NAND Flash and SSD business by continuing the remaining post-merger integration process," SK Hynix.
SK Hynix is advised by Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Fangda Partners and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Intel is advised by Bank of America, Bae Kim & Lee, Galicia Abogados, Linklaters, Munger Tolles & Olson, WilmerHale, Brunswick Group and Sard Verbinnen.
The European Commission granted Microsoft an unconditional antitrust approval for its $19.7bn bid for Nuance Communications, an American multinational computer software technology corporation. The deal would boost its presence in cloud services for healthcare.
It has already regulatory approval in the United States and Australia. The Commission said its investigation into the deal had concluded that it would not significantly reduce competition in markets for transcription software, cloud services, enterprise communication services, PC operating systems and other products, Reuters reported.
Nuance is advised by Evercore, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Joele Frank and Waggener Edstrom. Evercore is advised by Kirkland & Ellis. Microsoft is advised by Goldman Sachs, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and WE Communications.
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, an investment fund, agreed to acquire a 10% stake in Sempra Infrastructure Partners, an energy infrastructure company, from Sempra, a North American energy infrastructure, company for $1.79bn.
"We are excited to add ADIA to the partnership at Sempra Infrastructure. As an investor with a global footprint, we expect ADIA will help our team build out a growth platform with an increasingly global capability. The timing of the transaction is attractive because it allows us to efficiently rotate capital into a growing set of investment opportunities at our utilities and return capital to our owners in the form of share repurchases. This transaction allows us to do both, while also supporting our balance sheet," Jeffrey W. Martin, Sempra Chairman and CEO.
Sempra is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell and White & Case. ADIA is advised by Gonzalez Calvillo and Milbank.
Envista, a dental products company, agreed to acquire the intra-oral scanner business from Carestream Dental, a provider of intraoral and extraoral imaging equipment, for $600m. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and expected to close in Q2 2022.
"Intra-oral scans are often the first step in the digital workflow and critical to many high value dental procedures including implants, prosthetics, and aligners. We are excited to add a suite of world-class intra-oral scanners and software to our portfolio. This acquisition further enables our purpose of partnering with dental professionals to improve patients' lives by digitizing, personalizing, and democratizing dental care," Amir Aghdaei, Envista CEO.
Envista is advised by JP Morgan and Kirkland & Ellis. Carestream Dental is advised by Jefferies & Company and Debevoise & Plimpton.
Skillsoft, a provider of corporate digital learning, to acquire Codecademy, a provider of online learning platform for technical skills, for $525m.
“Codecademy will significantly expand Skillsoft’s capabilities in the high-growth Tech & Dev segment. Strategic acquisitions are an important part of our growth strategy. We acquired virtual instructor-led training capabilities with Global Knowledge and coaching with Pluma earlier this year. With the addition of Codecademy’s innovative capabilities, we will create an even more immersive online learning experience. When we combine Skillsoft’s enterprise customer base of more than 12k corporate customers and over 46m learners with Codecademy’s 40m learners, sophisticated digital marketing capability and influential brand, we expect to unlock significant revenue synergies," Jeffrey R. Tarr, Skillsoft CEO.
Skillsoft is advised by Barclays, Citigroup and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Barclays is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn's investment firm cannot stop the board of Southwest Gas, a utility company, from potentially selling $1bn worth of shares at a discounted price to fund the acquisition, a Delaware state judge said.
Kathaleen McCormick, Delaware Chancery Court Chancellor, denied during a phone hearing Icahn's request to block a considered sale. She said the challenged deal had not happened yet, and it was hard to imagine the harm a hypothetical transaction might cause, Reuters reported.
Southwest Gas is advised by Lazard, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Morrison & Foerster and Joele Frank.
Embracer, an operator of businesses developing and publishing PC, console, and mobile games for the global games market, agreed to acquire Dark Horse, an entertainment company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The synergies that exist with the Embracer network of companies promises exciting new opportunities not only for Dark Horse, but also for the creators and companies we work with. I've had a number of compelling conversations with Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors and I'm very impressed with him and what he and his team have built. I have to say, the future for our company has never looked brighter," Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Founder and CEO.
Embracer is advised by Ernst & Young and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Dark Horse is advised by Lazard and White & Case.
Triller, a first-of-its-kind company consolidating technology and content platforms, agreed to go public via merger with SeaChange, a video streaming, linear TV, and video advertising technology provider, in a $5bn deal.
"We are thrilled to announce this important milestone of TrillerVerz's plans to enter the public market. In our short history, we have evolved from a disruptive social media platform and creator of content to one of the world's most successful platforms where creators, commerce, and culture meet," Mahi de Silva, Triller CEO.
Triller is advised by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. SeaChange is advised by K&L Gates and Gateway Investor Relations.
New State Capital, a private investment firm, agreed to acquire AVEX, a provider of sales and maintenance for the Daher TBM turboprop aircraft. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"AVEX has been my life's work, so selecting the next owner of the business was not a task I took lightly. From our first interaction, New State clearly stood out as the best partner for AVEX. They were absolute professionals, acting with integrity at every step. I am truly excited for them, as well as for our customers and the team at AVEX. I am quite confident of their future success," Terry Winson, AVEX Founder.
New State Capital is advised by Jefferies & Company and Lambert & Co. AVEX is advised by JANAS Associates.
A pair of New York businessmen filed a lawsuit in a US court seeking to block a $596m sale of Deer Park Refining, a Texas-based refinery, to Petroleos Mexicanos, a petroleum company, claiming the sale would raise US gasoline prices.
The lawsuit alleges a sale would lead to substantially less competition in gasoline and significantly increase the plaintiffs' energy costs. They asked the court to block the sale permanently or force Pemex to divest its holdings, Reuters reported.
Beiersdorf, a firm that develops and markets skin care products and self-adhesive product solutions, agreed to acquire the prestige skin care business from Chantecaille, a provider of skin care and cosmetics products, for $690m. The completion of the transaction is subject to merger control clearance and further customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
Through the acquisition of Chantecaille, Beiersdorf will complement its position in the premium skin care segment and seeks to enhance growth in particular in North America and the Asian markets.
General Catalyst, a venture capital firm, led a $125m Series A funding round in Veho, a technology company that enables personalized next-day package delivery. Additional investors include Construct Capital, Bling Capital, Industry Ventures, Fontinalis Partners, and Origin Ventures.
"We avoid many of the traditional pitfalls of logistics and shipping through advanced proprietary technology, a culture that places the customer experience at the center of everything we do and our partnership with professional and qualified crowdsourced drivers. We're in 14 US cities today and expect to be serving brand partners and consumers in every major market by the end of 2022, including introducing and scaling our doorstep returns program," Itamar Zur, Veho CEO and Co-Founder.
Investment firms Coatue and Andreessen Horowitz led a $100m Series C funding round in Tackle.io, a software company dedicated to helping software providers generate revenue through the clouds. Bessemer Venture Partners also participated.
"This has been a tremendous year for Tackle, as we've tripled the size of our team and more than doubled our customer count. Our customers today are primarily hypergrowth startups and we are excited to leverage this investment to broaden our platform in support of startups looking to build a Marketplace-native go-to-market as well as enterprises that are retrofitting their product portfolios to align to the cloud buyer. Tackle's mission is to provide a global enterprise grade platform focused on bringing a Marketplace Cloud GTM to the masses," John Jahnke, Tackle CEO.
EVERSANA, a commercial services provider, completed the acquisition of Intouch Group, a full-service global agency network serving the pharmaceutical industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Today marks a milestone day for not only our employees and clients, but for an industry desperately in need of a better way to bring innovations to market, create long-term value, and improve patient lives. With the added power of Intouch and millions more invested in data, analytics and digital transformation, we are reinventing commercial approaches for the benefit of our clients and their patients," Jim Lang, EVERSANA CEO.
Huron, a global professional services firm, agreed to acquire Healthcare Predictive, a healthcare predictive analytics company focused on bringing data sources together. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The healthcare industry is under immense pressure to deliver high-quality, individualized care. This acquisition allows Huron to offer providers, payors and research institutions data insights across the care continuum to make better decisions and proactively impact patient care and clinical outcomes," James H. Roth, Huron CEO.
Huron is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Rio Tinto, a mining and metals company, agreed to acquire the lithium project from Rincon Mining, a company owned by funds managed by the private equity group Sentient Equity, for $825m.
“This acquisition is strongly aligned with our strategy to prioritise growth capital in commodities that support decarbonisation and to continue to deliver attractive returns to shareholders. The Rincon project holds the potential to deliver a significant new supply of battery-grade lithium carbonate, to capture the opportunity offered by the rising demand driven by the global energy transition. It is expected to be a long life, low-cost asset that will continue to build the strength of our Battery Materials portfolio, with our combined lithium assets spanning the US, Europe and South America," Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto CEO.
TTEC, a provider of customer engagement management tools and services, agreed to acquire the tolling and transportation and health benefit exchange verticals from ALJ Regional-backed Faneuil, a provider of business process outsourcing for public and private sector organizations, for $140m.
"This acquisition stands as a testament to the strength of the Faneuil business and brings together two management teams with extensive CX expertise to better serve our customers. We look forward to working with the TTEC team to complete the transaction and ensure that we continue to deliver the highest quality service to our customers. Both Faneuil and TTEC anticipate a seamless transition for customers and employees, and a quick enhancement to our existing customers in the new year," Anna Van Buren, Faneuil President and CEO.
Elon Musk says he sold enough stock and slams California for overtaxation.
Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, said he had sold "enough stock" to reach his plan to sell 10% of his shares in the world's most valuable car company, Reuters reported.
The billionaire, who moved the company's headquarters from California to Texas this month after his personal move last year, also slammed California for "overtaxation."
Warburg raises $2.8bn for its first Asia real estate fund. (FS)
Warburg Pincus raised $2.8bn for its first fund dedicated to real estate in Asia, far exceeding its initial target as the firm taps interest from investors in technology-linked assets such as logistics and data centers, Bloomberg reported.
Launched in November last year with a $1.5bn target, The Warburg Pincus Asia Real Estate Fund raised 60% of its capital from leading institutional investors in Asia. It's the second-biggest pool of such capital raised in the region after Blackstone Group $7.1bn real estate fund in 2018.
KSL Capital Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Eden Hotels, a company that owns and operates 14 hotels. The Dijkstra family retains a significant minority stake in the group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very excited to team up with KSL. This is a great new chapter for Eden Hotels. We are looking forward to further grow our company into Europe. We strongly believe that our company Eden Hotels shall benefit from the international expertise and experience of the KSL team while maintaining at the same time our core business values and DNA," Leon Dijkstra, Eden Hotels CEO.
Eden Hotels was advised by BDO, Ajes Advisory, CMS and USP Marketing. KSL Capital was advised by Deloitte, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Latham & Watkins and River Communications.
Pennon Group, a UK-focused water infrastructure group, will offer undertakings to the UK's competition regulator by December 31, 2021, as part of a review of its $1.1bn acquisition of Bristol Water, a water supply company, from iCON Infrastructure, an investment group, and ITOCHU, a Japanese corporation based in Umeda.
The deal was likely to affect the water regulator Ofwat's ability to make comparisons between water companies, said Competition and Markets Authority of Britain on December 22, 2021.
Pennon is advised by Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Allen & Overy and Finsbury Glover Hering. Itochu is advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
LondonMetric Property, a real estate company that is engaged in property investment and development, completed the acquisition of Savills IM UK Income and Growth Fund, an investment manager, for $162m.
“Following our equity placing last month, we are pleased to have quickly invested a substantial proportion of the proceeds into this high quality portfolio. Reflecting their London & South East weighting, we expect these assets will continue to perform strongly as high occupier demand and diminishing warehouse supply drive rental growth higher," Andrew Jones, LondonMetric CEO.
LondonMetric was advised by Knight Frank, Springer Nicolas, Jones Day and FTI Consulting. Savills IM is advised by Citigate Dewe Rogerson.
Global Infrastructure Partners, an infrastructure investment fund, agreed to acquire a 25% stake in Scotia Gas Networks, a British gas distribution company, from OMERS Infrastructure, an investor and asset manager. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, pending regulatory review and approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"GIP has deep experience and a strong track record of investing in and driving value from core utilities and natural gas infrastructure. We regard SGN as the premier gas DNO in the UK and a key player in the energy transition. The conversion of gas distribution networks into hydrogen ready infrastructure represents a unique opportunity to significantly grow the company while supporting the UK's net zero goals through the adoption of green hydrogen. We look forward to working with management and the company's other shareholders to help deliver on these growth ambitions and support its net zero strategy," Adebayo Ogunlesi, GIP Chairman and Managing Partner.
OMERS is advised by Bank of America, Latham & Watkins and Finsbury Glover Hering.
Novartis, a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company, agreed to acquire Gyroscope Therapeutics, an ocular gene therapy company, for $1.5bn.
"With our own pioneering research in ocular gene therapies and our experience gained from bringing Luxturna to inherited retinal dystrophy patients outside of the US, Novartis has a well-established expertise in ocular gene therapies that will position us well to continue developing this promising one-time treatment. This acquisition is one more step forward in our commitment to delivering innovation in ophthalmology to treat and prevent blindness worldwide," Marie-France Tschudin, Novartis President.
Gyroscope Therapeutics is advised by Centerview Partners.
AS Equity Partners, a London based investment firm with offices in London and Zürich, agreed to acquire Swiss Post Solutions, the business process outsourcing solutions unit of Swiss Post, the national postal service of Switzerland, for $406m.
"We didn’t take this decision lightly. SPS is a well established and successful company. However, it does not fit in with the consistent implementation of our strategy, which focuses on investment and growth that clearly prioritizes our core businesses of logistics and communication. Here, we are systematically pursuing the goal of financing and developing the public service in Switzerland from our own resources. SPS does not provide any universal services and is increasingly growing overseas. This also requires investment. This is why we firmly believe that AS Equity Partners is a more suitable partner to ensure that SPS will enjoy a successful future, while allowing us to focus on our services in our core business," Roberto Cirillo, Swiss Post CEO.
Jindal-backed Vulcan Minerals, a Canada based mineral exploration company, agreed to acquire the Moatize coal mine and the Nacala logistics corridor from Vale, a Brazilian multinational corporation engaged in metals and mining, for $270m.
"I am pleased to announce this important step for the responsible divestment of Moatize and NLC, in a transaction that benefits the communities and governments where those operations are located and offering a sustainable future for the operations. This is another accomplishment on our commitment to reshape our company, focusing on our core businesses," Eduardo Bartolomeo, Vale CEO.
Self-Portrait, a wholesale company, completed the acquisition of Roland Mouret, a designer and manufacturer of garments and related accessories. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I am very honored to have the chance to take this luxury brand on the next stage of its journey. As part of SP Collection, Roland Mouret will benefit from the infrastructure and resources necessary to ensure it can flourish in the coming years. The Roland Mouret brand already has a powerful and respected legacy, and I'm excited to see how we can develop it for luxury customers around the world," Han Chong, Self-Portrait Founder.
Cargill, an American privately held global food corporation, agreed to acquire majority of performance technologies and industrial chemicals business of Croda, a British speciality chemicals company, for $1bn.
"The bioindustrial space is a priority for Cargill, as we strive to support our customers with innovative, nature-based solutions that deliver real-world benefits. Combining our diverse, global supply chain and deep operational expertise with Croda's extensive industrial business capabilities and broad bio-based portfolio will spark a new wave of innovation and create tremendous value for our customers," Colleen May, Cargill President of Bioindustrial business.
Central Group to close $5.3bn deal for Selfridges in days.
Central Group, a Thailand-based department store owner, is just days away from closing a $5.3bn acquisition of Selfridges stores in the United Kingdom, Reuters reported.
An official announcement could be made as early as this week. The current owners of Selfridges, Canada's Weston family, agreed terms with Central around the end of November.
Delivery Hero to shrink Foodpanda Germany and sell Foodpanda Japan.
Delivery Hero, a German food delivery group, would scale down its Foodpanda operations in Germany and sell the subsidiary's Japan unit, citing increased competition and labour shortages, Reuters reported.
Delivery Hero said Foodpanda would exit Cologne, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart, though it had only introduced the brand in Cologne, Duesseldorf and Stuttgart a month earlier as part of a broader expansion programme in Germany.
Leonardo sees KNDS proposal as interesting.
Leonardo CEO, which is considering the sale of two units, said he saw a proposal from Franco-German consortium KMW+Nexter Defence Systems as interesting, but added nothing had been decided over the sale, Reuters reported.
KNDS and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri have both expressed their interest in buying Leonardo's OTO Melara and Wass units.
Signa sees $836m wiped off value since listing.
Signa Sports United, a group of specialist sports webshops, has been one of the worst performers on the New York Stock Exchange since its listing last week, with almost $836m already wiped off the value of the German online retailer, Bloomberg reported.
Dye & Durham, a provider of cloud-based software and technology solutions, agreed to acquire Link Group, a provider of record keeping technology and information solutions, for $2.48bn. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Dye & Durham will acquire Link Group for $3.91 per common share, representing a 15% premium.
"This transaction will enable us to expand our proven model into adjacent markets, where Link Group's products share the same attributes of our existing offering: digital infrastructure-like assets that provide essential services to clients and their customers and generate stable and sustainable cash flows. Link Group has achieved critical mass across multiple product categories in Australia and the United Kingdom – two of our key markets – and this acquisition both diversifies and strengthens our position in these geographies," Matthew Proud, Dye & Durham CEO.
Link Group is advised by Macquarie Group, UBS, Herbert Smith Freehills and GRACosway. Dye & Durham is advised by Barrenjoey Capital Partners, Canaccord Genuity, Clayton Utz, DLA Piper, Dentons and LodeRock Advisors. Debt financing is provided by Ares Capital, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
Sony Pictures Networks India, an Indian indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, to merge with Zee Entertainment, an Indian media conglomerate, in a $1.5bn deal.
"This merger will create a company that's best in class and will redefine the contours of the media and entertainment industry. As a representative of SPE on the Board of the new merged company, it will be my endeavour to provide strategic guidance and support to the company's operating team in achieving our vision. I am also excited at the opportunity of being appointed, Chairman, Sony Pictures India, to oversee SPE's investments and craft a wider footprint for Sony in India," N.P. Singh, SPNI Managing Director and CEO.
SPNI is advised by KPMG, Morgan Stanley and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Zee Entertainment is advised by Boston Consulting Group, JP Morgan, KPMG and Trilegal.
AP Moller - Maersk, an integrated transport and logistics company, agreed to acquire LF Logistics, a contract logistics company, from Temasek, an investment company, and Li & Fung, a provider of supply chain management, for $3.6bn.
"The acquisition of LF Logistics is an important and truly strategic milestone on our journey to become the global integrator of container logistics; a global logistics company that provide digitally enabled end-to-end logistics solutions based on control of critical assets. With the acquisition of LF Logistics, we add critical capabilities in Asia Pacific to support our customers long term growth in Asia Pacific as well as capabilities and technology we can scale in our contract logistics business globally," Soren Skou, Maersk CEO.
YC Continuity Fund, an investment fund dedicated to supporting founders as they scale their companies, led a $100m Series C funding round in Zepto, a developer of a grocery delivery application. Additional investors include Glade Brook, Nexus, Breyer Capital, Lachy Groom, Global Founders Capital and Contrary Capital.
Zepto is growing quickly and its core unit economics are strong. The new capital will allow the Mumbai-based startup to grow its team and expand to more cities.
Sumitomo Mitsui CEO to weigh targets after year of acquisitions. (FS)
After spending more than $3.3bn on deals in Asia this year, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group CEO Jun Ohta said he's far from completing his ambitions in the region and will weigh more transactions in the future, Bloomberg reported.
"We will consider if there are good targets. Our ultimate goal is to create a second and third SMBC Group. We just lack everything," Jun Ohta, Mitsui Financial Group CEO, using its preferred name for the banking conglomerate.
SBI eyes option to take Shinsei Bank private. (FS)
The CEO of SBI Holdings, a Japanese online financial conglomerate, is exploring the possibility of taking its listed subsidiary Shinsei Bank private to return $3bn in public funds, Reuters reported.
A delisting would be a key milestone for Shinsei, which has been unable to repay the public money its predecessor bank received two decades ago as its shares have long underperformed over years of low interest rates in Japan.
China developers' rally loses steam after some companies flag risks.
A recent rally in Chinese property stocks lost steam, after developers including Tahoe Group, a China-based company engaged in the development and distribution of real estates, and Sichuan Languang Development, a real estate development company, flagged investment risks, Reuters reported.
China's CSI300 Real Estate Index lost 1%, after hitting a two-month high in the previous session. The gauge had rebounded almost 20% from its November low on signs Beijing is marginally easing real estate curbs to prevent a hard-landing.
Apollo to lend $4bn to SoftBank in private credit deal. (FS)
Apollo Global Management is planning to lend about $4bn to SoftBank Group, marking the biggest ever loan of its kind in the private credit market, Bloomberg reported.
The financing will be backed by holdings of SoftBank Vision Fund 2, which has made a range of equity investments in technology startups. Terms are not yet final, but the $4bn in borrowings would compare to the fund's holdings of about $40bn.
Jinchuan International mulling going private.
The state-owned parent of Chinese metals miner Jinchuan Group International Resources is planning to take the Hong Kong-listed company private, Bloomberg reported.
Majority shareholder Jinchuan Group, controlled by the government of Gansu province, aims to relist the assets on one of the mainland bourses.
Jinchuan Group is negotiating with other government-backed shareholders and with lenders to help finance the prospective buyout. Deliberations are ongoing and there's no certainty they will result in a deal.
Finatext has worst Tokyo debut in two decades. (FS)
Finatext Holdings, a Japanese fintech startup that provides stock trading apps and brokerage infrastructure, slumped on its first day of trading in Tokyo, with shares falling 35% below the issue price, Bloomberg reported.
Having raised nearly $175m in an offering that was priced at the top of its advertised range, got off to a bad start - the biggest first-day decline in more than two decades for a company that raised at least $150m.
Finatext was advised by Daiwa Securities, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Morgan Stanley.
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