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UK antitrust regulators said the proposed $69bn acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard by Microsoft would further consolidate what it called Microsoft's strong position in cloud gaming and said a combination would hurt UK gamers, delivering another regulatory hurdle to the deal in a big global gaming marketplace, WSJ
The country's Competition and Markets Authority said it would ask both companies to propose ways to ease its concerns and set a final decision about whether to let the deal proceed for late April.
Apollo Global-backed LifePoint Health, a healthcare provider that serves patients, clinicians, communities and partner organizations across the healthcare continuum, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Springstone, a behavioral health provider, from Medical Properties Trust, a real estate investment trust that invests in healthcare facilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The need for greater access to behavioral health services continues to grow and is fundamental to our objective of providing diversified healthcare delivery services to communities and partners across the country. Adding the talented team at Springstone's depth of experience and platform for providing high-quality behavioral healthcare will accelerate our ability to broaden these crucial services for communities that need them," David Dill, LifePoint Health Chairman and CEO.
Springstone was advised by Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Goodwin Procter and US Behavioral Partners (led by Kelly Sorice
). LifePoint was advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Sidley Austin (led by Jon Zucker
, Ryan Scofield
and Tony Feuerstein
). MPT was advised by Guggenheim Partners.
CVS Health, a health solutions company, agreed to acquire Oak Street Health, a network of value-based primary care centers for adults, from investment firms Newlight Partners and General Atlantic for $10.6bn.
"Oak Street Health is a premier value-based primary care platform. We believe that in partnership with CVS Health, Oak Street Health can accelerate its growth and provide an attractive return to our shareholders over time. The pending acquisitions of Oak Street Health and Signify Health will also meaningfully advance our goal of adding 200 basis points of long-term adjusted operating income growth, a key commitment we made to shareholders at our December 2021 Investor Day," Shawn M. Guertin, CVS Health Chief Financial Officer.
Rovensa, an agricultural products and services provider, completed the acquisition of Cosmocel, a provider of biostimulants. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to welcome Cosmocel to the group to strengthen our global presence as a reference provider of well-balanced solutions for agriculture. This strategic integration highlights our growth ambitions in the BioSolutions international market and our strong commitment to sustainable agriculture," Eric van Innis, Rovensa CEO.
Penske Media, an American digital media, publishing, and information services company, completed a $100m investment in Vox Media, an American mass media company.
"I have long admired Vox Media's world-class editorial teams and brands. We deeply respect the track record of both Jim Bankoff and the senior leadership team at Vox Media, and the company's remarkable growth over the last decade. The Penske Media and Vox Media alliance will further cement both companies as leaders in modern media and take advantage of new opportunities at scale. Our two companies share a similar history of organic and acquisitive growth over time, and it made sense to invest for the future," Jay Penske, Penske Media CEO and Founder.
Vox Media was advised by LionTree Advisors and White & Case. Penske Media was advised by Panarae Group and Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
First Brands, a manufacturer and distributor of windshield wiper products, completed the acquisition of Horizon Global, a firm that designs, manufactures and distributes towing, trailering, cargo management and related products, for $408m.
“The transaction represents the culmination of a thorough review of strategic alternatives announced in August and represents what we believe is the best outcome for our customers, suppliers, shareholders and employees. After consideration of a number of different alternatives, the Board believes this transaction is the best path forward for shareholders to address Horizon Global’s capital needs while supporting the long-term growth and sustainability of Horizon Global’s business. Our management team and employees of Horizon Global are committed to delivering innovative, high-quality towing and trailering products, and this transaction provides the resources needed to deliver on that commitment," John C. Kennedy, Horizon Global’s Interim CEO and Board Chair.
Brookfield Reinsurance, a financial services business providing capital-based solutions to the insurance industry, agreed to acquire Argo, a focused underwriter of specialty insurance products, for $1.1bn.
"The acquisition of Argo represents another milestone in the continued expansion of our insurance solutions business. Argo’s leading US specialty platform adds a foundational piece to our expanding US P&C operations. We look forward to partnering with the Argo team to support the growth of its core businesses, build on its strong franchise, and deliver value for policyholders,” Sachin Shah, Brookfield Reinsurance Chief Executive Officer.
Mountaingate Capital-backed BioDerm, a manufacturer of proprietary hydrocolloid products, completed the acquisition of Argentum Medical, a provider of infection prevention solutions and wound care products, from Shore Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Shore Capital is immensely proud of what Raul and the management team built. We are excited for Argentum to continue providing significant value to the healthcare system as an international industry leader in infection prevention management," Don Pierce, Shore Partner.
Argentum Medical was advised by Moelis & Co and Winston & Strawn. Shore Capital was advised by Edelman.
Thompson Street Capital Partners-backed PestCo Holdings, a holding company of residential and commercial pest prevention and control services, completed the acquisition of Pointe Pest Control, a residential and commercial pest control services provider. Financial term were not disclosed.
“Pointe Pacific Northwest is a well-known brand in the industry with an excellent track record of growth and expertise in residential pest control. We are thrilled to partner with Jacob Borg and Gabe Chariton as we continue to grow PestCo and enter the Northwest United States,” Jay Keating, CEO PestCo.
Pointe Pest was advised by Potomac (led by Paul Giannamore
). TSCP was advised by BackBay Communications.
Royal Bank of Canada, a Canadian multinational financial services company, completed the acquisition of OJO Canada, the Canadian operations of US-based real estate technology company, OJO. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Canadians have aspirations to fulfill their home ownership ambitions, yet they are up against an incredibly challenging housing market. Now more than ever, consumers need a trusted ally to guide them through the home buying and selling journey. We see ourselves as that ally. Over the past few years, OJO Canada has grown to become a valuable resource for Canadian home buyers and sellers. We're thrilled to join RBC and accelerate our efforts to help more Canadians realize their home ownership goals," Karen Starns, OJO Canada CEO.
Nestlé Purina PetCare, a pet food company, agreed to acquire the Miami, Oklahoma pet treats factory of Red Collar Pet Foods from Arbor Investments, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The addition of the Miami factory to Purina's North American production footprint will mark the 22nd Purina-owned and operated facility nationwide and expand in-house capabilities for dog and cat treats innovation and production.
Arbor Investments is advised by Centerview Partners.
MetLife Investment Management, the institutional asset management business of MetLife, agreed to acquire Raven Capital Management, a privately-owned alternative investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"A distinguishing feature of MIM is our ability to originate differentiated private investment opportunities for our clients. The addition of Raven Capital Management will broaden and further distinguish our offerings in higher-yielding private credit and alternative investments. MIM will be able to deliver more for our clients and continue to expand our range of capabilities and complementary investment strategies," Steven J. Goulart, MIM President.
MetLife is advised by Dukas Linden Public Relations.
Wealth Enhancement Group, a national independent wealth management firm, agreed to acquire Washington Wealth Advisors, an independent RIA based in Falls Church, VA. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to welcome Maura, Todd and the trusted team at Washington Wealth Advisors to Wealth Enhancement Group. Our two firms have remarkably similar cultures, wealth management philosophies and company values, all of which focus on delivering financial advice in the best interest of our clients. We are proud to partner with this team and eager to bring them onboard," Jeff Dekko, Wealth Enhancement Group CEO.
Wealth Enhancement Group is advised by Prosek Partners.
Univar Solutions, a global solutions provider to users of specialty ingredients and chemicals, completed the acquisition of ChemSol Group, an ingredients and specialty chemicals distributor operating in Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, and Honduras. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition of ChemSol will enhance the company's geographic footprint in the growing Central American region, as well as its formulation and commercial offering across a wide array of key growth markets.
General Atlantic, a global growth equity investor, led a $100m Series D round in Jobber, a provider of operations management software for home service businesses, with participation from Summit Partners, Version One Ventures, and Tech Pioneers Fund.
"While this is an important milestone for Jobber, what we care about most is the success of the small businesses we serve," Sam Pillar, Jobber CEO.
Jobber was advised PAN Communications.
Blue Wolf Capital, an investment company, completed the acquisition of Sterling Site Access Solutions, a site access contractor providing ground protection products and turnkey access solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Blue Wolf to build on Sterling’s long history of innovative solutions and outstanding customer service. Since my family started this business more than 70 years ago, we have grown into an industry leader that provides safe, efficient, environmentally friendly jobsite solutions to our customers. As we enter this next phase of our journey, Sterling will benefit from Blue Wolf’s deep bench of investment and operating professionals and significant industry experience,” Carter Sterling, Sterling CEO.
Blue Wolf was advised by Joele Frank (led by Arielle Rothstein
UniFirst, a supply and servicing of custom business uniform and workwear provider, agreed to acquire Clean Uniform, a provider of supplies uniform services, work apparel, mats, mops, restroom products. for $300m.
“Clean has built a highly respected business that provides quality service with a strong customer focus. The addition of Clean into the UniFirst family will provide a foundation for us to deliver an enhanced service experience for our customers in the markets that they serve,” Steven Sintros, UniFirst CEO.
Carlyle weighs Cotiviti's $15bn acquisition. (FS)
Private equity firm Carlyle Group is in talks to buy health-care technology firm Cotiviti for close to $15bn, including debt, from Veritas Capital, Bloomberg
Carlyle is working with private credit firms to gather around $5.5bn of financing for the potential deal. That would be one of the largest ever direct loans or non-bank buyout loans arranged in the private credit market.
General Motors competes for stake in Vale's base metals unit.
General Motors is competing for a stake in Brazilian mining giant Vale's base metals unit, underscoring automakers' desire for easy access to the materials needed for electric vehicle batteries, Bloomberg
Detroit-based General Motors has advanced to the next round of bidding for a minority stake in the business. Vale could raise more than $2bn from a deal.
Illumina fights EU order to divest Grail.
US life science company Illumina took its case to senior EU and national antitrust officials at a closed hearing to argue against an EU antitrust order that it divests cancer detection test maker Grail, Reuters
Illumina had completed a takeover of Grail
in August 2021, without securing European Union regulatory approval. The European Commission ordered Illumina in December to unwind the deal, three months after it had blocked the merger on concerns the deal would stifle innovation.
Ancora secures Ritchie Bros stake. (FS)
Ancora Group Holdings, a key shareholder in US auto retailer IAA, has accumulated a 0.5% stake in Canada's Ritchie Bros Auctioneers and is publicly challenging investors who oppose their planned merger, Reuters
Activist investor Ancora last month threw its weight behind the tie-up after Ritchie Bros amended the terms. Ritchie Bros recut the deal, valued at nearly $6bn,
to include more cash for IAA shareholders and reduced the dilution for Ritchie Bros shareholders.
Greenbriar Equity closes sixth fund at $3.5bn. (FS)
Greenbriar Equity Group announced the final closing of Greenbriar Equity Fund VI, with total capital commitments of $3.5bn, inclusive of $225m in commitments from the general partner and its network of operating executives.
Fund VI represents the firm's largest fund to date, receiving strong support from both existing investors as well as an expanded base of new investors globally. Fund VI was significantly oversubscribed at its hard cap, successfully completing the fundraise above its $2.75bn target after launching in the third quarter last year.
Altor Equity, a private equity firm focused on leveraged buyout and growth capital investments, agreed to invest in Kommunalkredit Austria, a specialized bank for infrastructure and energy financing. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are proud and excited to partner with management and current owners of Kommunalkredit. Kommunalkredit has a unique position as financing partner to some of the most prominent green transition ventures and we believe that we jointly can build the European champion within sustainable infrastructure financing. Altor will support Kommunalkredit with capital and resources to strengthen its capabilities, building on our experiences from investing in other leading financial institutions and green transition champions. Altor with our long-term perspective shares a common view with the company and current owners on how to scale the business and pursue quality-led growth opportunities," Paal Weberg, Altor Co-Managing Partner.
TP ICAP terminates $1.8bn Parameta sale talk.
TP ICAP, the world's largest inter-dealer broker, terminated talks to sell its data division Parameta for about $1.8bn, Reuters
The company, which had not publicly disclosed the deal, was in discussions with a number of potential buyers.
Epiris hires JP Morgan to sell Bonhams. (FS)
Private equity firm Epiris is moving forward with a potential sale of Bonhams, the 230-year-old British auction house, Bloomberg
The firm is working with advisers at JP Morgan as it prepares to gauge interest in the London-based auctioneer. Epiris is seeking to value Bonhams at about $1bn in any deal.
Criteo tries to attract potential buyers.
French advertising technology provider Criteo is making a new attempt to sell itself after discussions with potential acquirers in previous years proved unsuccessful, Reuters
The Paris-based company, which is listed in New York, kicked off a sale process last week that could attract other companies and private equity firms. Investment bank Evercore is advising Criteo on the process.
KfW in advanced talks to take stake in EnBW's power grid.
German state lender KfW is in advanced talks to take a minority stake in the high-voltage power grid owned by EnBW, in a sign that Berlin is tightening its grip on energy assets, Reuters
KfW intends to exercise its pre-emptive right to take one of two 24.95% stakes in TransnetBW that EnBW has put up for sale and thereby squeeze out the bidder that has made the lowest offer in an official ongoing auction.
Manchester United surges after potential Qatari acquisition.
Manchester United shares surged on growing M&A speculation following a rumour that Qatari investors are planning to make a bid for the English Premier League club in the coming days.
Shares in the football club jumped as much as 16%, their biggest gain since late November. A bid would come from separate, individual Qatari investors who want a full takeover, Bloomberg
Ionos' debut disappoints the market.
Shares in United Internet's web hosting arm Ionos dropped following the company's debut on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the first test of the German exchange this year, Bloomberg
Ionos fell to €18.1 ($21.76). That compared with a 0.9% gain in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Kakao, a South Korean internet company, agreed to acquire a 9% stake in SM Entertainment, a multinational entertainment agency, for $173m.
“We hope to work together in competing in the heavily contested global music and content market through this investment,” Bae Jae-hyun, Kakao Chief Investment Officer.
Northstar weighs Innovalues' sale for at least $377m. (FS)
Private equity firm Northstar Group is considering the sale of Singapore's Innovalues in a deal that could value the precision machine parts maker at over $377m, Reuters
The Singapore headquartered firm is talking with at least one advisor to explore the potential sale and gauge interest.
India looks for LIC, pension fund's investment in green projects. (FS)
The Indian government is considering mandating the Life Insurance Corp of India and sovereign pension fund to invest 1% of their assets under management in bonds issued by state-run power lending firms to finance green projects, Reuters
The federal power ministry has written to the finance ministry asking that the LIC and Employees' Provident Fund Organisation be mandated to invest in such bonds issued by Power Finance, REC and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency.
ONGC Videsh eyes deals in Africa and Latin America.
ONGC Videsh, the overseas exploration arm of India's Oil and Natural Gas, is looking for exploration and production investment opportunities in Africa and Latin America, such as in Ghana and Surinam, Reuters
"It's better to invest in bigger hot spots where you can get larger discoveries... Africa and Latin America still hold a lot of potential. Ghana is there, Suriname is there, all of the continental shelf. Brazil is also an interesting proposition," Rajarshi Gupta, ONGC Videsh Managing Director.
Metlife's Vietnam partner considers reviving JV stake sale.
Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam is considering reviving the sale of its stake in a life insurance joint venture with Metlife, Bloomberg
The lender is in talks with potential advisers on the planned divestment which includes an insurance partnership. A stake sale could value BIDV Metlife Life Insurance including the so-called bancassurance pact at $300m to $400m.
Guizhou Guotai Liquor plans a $500m HK IPO.
Guizhou Guotai Liquor Group, a Chinese white liquor brand, is considering a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise more than $500m, Bloomberg
The company is working with advisers on the potential first-time share sale. A listing could happen as soon as this year.
Bounty Agro Ventures seeks $500m Manila IPO.
Bounty Agro Ventures, a Philippine poultry firm, is exploring an initial public offering in Manila that could raise $400m to $500m, Bloomberg
The company is having discussions with potential advisers on the planned listing. A first-time share sale could take place as early as the end of this year.
GoTo Group announces key executives' changes after the selloff. (People)
Indonesian ride-hailing and delivery giant GoTo Group is sidelining several key executives and switching up its board, undertaking its biggest management reshuffle after a steep market selloff over the past year, Bloomberg
The country's biggest tech company announced that group president Patrick Cao is relinquishing his post to run a company endowment fund, while Tokopedia chief William Tanuwijaya will no longer lead the local e-commerce pioneer he founded in 2009. Tanuwijaya will however remain a commissioner and co-chairman of GoTo.