DiaSorin, an Italian multinational biotechnology company, agreed to acquire Luminex, a biotechnology company which develops, manufactures and markets proprietary biological testing technologies with applications in life-sciences, for $1.8bn.
"With the merger into DiaSorin, we believe we can expand the value our customers receive through an expanded global product and service portfolio. The proposed transaction underscores the respected position Luminex has built in the marketplace and rewards our shareholders with attractive value for their shares," Nachum Shamir, Luminex Chairman, President and CEO.
Luminex is advised by Perella Weinberg Partners and DLA Piper. DiaSorin is advised by Citigroup, Mediobanca, Morgan Stanley, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Pedersoli Studio Legale, Slaughter & May and MKC Strategies. Debt financing is provided by BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Mediobanca and UniCredit. Debt providers are advised by Clifford Chance.
Private equity firm Platinum Equity agreed to acquire Club Car, a global manufacturer of golf cars, utility, personal transportation and other low-speed vehicles, from Ingersoll Rand, an American Irish-domiciled diversified industrial manufacturing company, for $1.7bn.
"Club Car is an attractive platform for strategic partnerships and prospective add-on acquisitions that can help further extend its reach into new geographies or adjacent markets. We have a lot of experience helping companies grow and will put our M&A resources to work on the company's behalf," Matt Louie, Platinum Equity Managing Director.
Platinum Equity is advised by Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America. Ingersoll Rand is advised by Goldman Sachs and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
BancorpSouth Bank, a regional bank headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi, agreed to merge with Cadence Bancorporation, the parent company of Cadence Bank, in a $6bn deal.
"Cadence has built an impressive commercial banking franchise that when combined with the strengths of our team at BancorpSouth seems to be a perfect fit. This strategic merger will allow us to expand our reach and offerings with minimal overlap in our existing branch network. Culturally speaking, our mission and values align really well together. Mergers are all about people, and what's important to note here is that our leadership teams are in sync. By joining forces, it's easy to see that we'll be able to make a significant impact on our customers and communities while driving long-term shareholder value," Dan Rollins, BancorpSouth Chairman and CEO.
Cadence Bancorporation is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Piper Sandler and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. BancorpSouth Bank is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Alston & Bird and Sullivan & Cromwell.
Microsoft, an American multinational technology company agreed to acquire Nuance Communications, an American multinational computer software technology corporation, for $19.7bn.
"Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI. AI is technology's most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application. Together, with our partner ecosystem, we will put advanced AI solutions into the hands of professionals everywhere to drive better decision-making and create more meaningful connections, as we accelerate growth of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and Nuance," Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO.
Nuance Communications is advised by Evercore and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Microsoft is advised by Goldman Sachs, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and WE Communications.
Shareholders of Jardine Strategic, a holding company, approved the $5.5bn deal with multinational conglomerate Jardine Matheson, under which Jardine Matheson is set to acquire the remaining 15% stake in the company. The acquisition will become effective on April 14, 2021.
"The simplification of our ownership structure is a natural step in the evolution of the Group and will create value for our shareholders. Taking full ownership of Jardine Strategic is consistent with our policy of investing further in the growth prospects of our existing businesses and highlights the benefits of consistently maintaining the group's financial strength," Ben Keswick, Jardine Executive Chairman.
Jardine Strategic is advised by Evercore. Jardine Matheson is advised by HSBC, JP Morgan, Simon Robertson Associates, Linklaters and Brunswick Group.
TZP Group, a multi-strategy private equity firm, completed the investment in Kindred Bravely, a provider of maternity and nursing basics apparel. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Kindred Bravely is an incredible brand with a loyal and growing customer base. We are excited to partner with the Akersons and the Kindred Bravely team as the Company continues its rapid growth trajectory," Dan Gaspar, TZP Partner.
Kindred Bravely was advised by Objective Capital Partners and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton. TZP was advised by Winston & Strawn.
Rocket Software, a global technology firm, agreed to acquire ASG Technologies, a global software company, from Evergreen Coast Capital, the technology-focused Menlo Park affiliate of Elliott Investment Management. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We know ASG well and are pleased to add their competencies and expertise in and around structured and unstructured data, content management, and systems management to our combined company. This is an important milestone in our journey of investing in global enterprise IT solutions and in our ongoing commitment to our customers. We will continue to enable our customers to evolve their core applications, take advantage of the power of their data, and operate their IT environments," Andy Youniss, Rocket Software CEO.
ASG Technologies is advised by Bank of America, Barclays and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm firm, completed the investment in Mielle Organics, a natural hair care company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to forge this historic partnership with Berkshire Partners. Their investment reinforces our mission for community development and growth of Mielle's vision of global expansion. We are also thrilled to continue this journey with New Voices. They believed in Mielle from the beginning and have truly been a great partner. These are the types of steps it takes to create generational wealth and jobs for people of color. We are truly grateful for their partnership," Monique Rodriguez, Mielle CEO and Co-Founder.
Mielle Organics was advised by William Blair & Co, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Whittley Agency.
Sanofi, a French multinational pharmaceutical company, completed the acquisition of Tidal Therapeutics, a privately owned, pre-clinical stage biotech company, for $310m.
"We anticipate that this next generation, off-the-shelf approach has the potential to bring CAR-T cell therapy to a much broader patient population. We believe that the underlying mRNA targeting platform will create disruptive therapeutic approaches across a variety of oncology and autoimmune conditions," Frank Nestle, Sanofi Global Head of Research and Chief Scientific Officer.
IHS Towers, one of the largest independent owners, operators and developers of shared telecommunications infrastructure in the world, agreed to acquire Brazilian and Colombian tower operations of Centennial Towers, an independent developer, owner and operator of wireless communications towers in Latin America. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Following our recent acquisition of Skysites in Brazil, I am delighted to announce the acquisition of a third Latin American tower operator. The addition of Centennial Towers' Brazilian and Colombian operations adds scale to our IHS Towers Latin American portfolio and will further strengthen the deep expertise and solutions we can offer to current and potential customers in these markets. Latin America remains a key region for us with its high growth potential and, through these transactions, we will continue to increase our market presence and build on the momentum sparked by our initial entry into the region last year with the acquisition of Cell Site Solutions," Sam Darwish, IHS Chairman and CEO.
LoneTree Capital-backed DocuPhase, a complete low-code/no-code browser-based platform, agreed to acquire Clearwater Payments, a cloud-based electronic billing and payment solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are extremely excited about our partnership with DocuPhase and LoneTree. When we founded Clearwater, our primary objective was to provide our clients with best-of-class electronic bill payment products and services. This partnership allows us to not only continue that objective, but also enhances and improves our client experience with the addition of DocuPhase's process automation and document management platform. This creates a payments hub, managing both receivables and payables. That is a powerful offering for our clients," David Kesler, Clearwater Payments CEO.
Property and casualty-focused insurers Starr and Liberty Mutual completed a $100m investment in NYDIG, a provider of technology and investment solutions for Bitcoin.
"We've been broadly and successfully investing with Ross and the Stone Ridge team across their various initiatives for years, including as a founding NYDIG investor in 2017. We are excited to continue our tradition of co-investment with them. We've also worked closely with Mike Sapnar for more than 25 years and congratulate Mike and NYDIG on his joining, and further propelling, the Stone Ridge ecosystem," Hank Greenberg, Starr Chairman and CEO.
D1 Capital Partners led a $115m Series B round in Ramp, a technology company that develops corporate cards designed to save money for businesses, with participation from Goldman Sachs, Founders Fund, Coatue Management, Thrive Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Box Group, Neo, and Contrary Capital.
"Ramp has quickly become a key player in the financial services ecosystem by challenging business practices and assumptions that have existed for nearly 50 years. The company attracts new customers by providing value and savings, and empowers CFOs and finance teams to operate at a higher level of efficiency. We look forward to supporting Ramp during its next phase of growth," Dan Sundheim, D1 Capital Partners Founder and CIO.
Vox Media, an independent modern media company, agreed to acquire Cafe Studios, a podcast-first publisher co-founded by Preet Bharara, former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Preet and his team at Cafe have built a successful podcast studio with a compelling perspective — and an equally impressive community of devoted listeners. Bringing Cafe into the Vox Media Podcast Network is aligned with our goal of delivering high-quality editorial content at scale and providing audiences highly relevant voices and insights," Jim Bankoff, Vox CEO and Co-Founder.
MasterClass looks for a $2.5bn valuation. (FS)
MasterClass, an American online education subscription platform, is reportedly raising capital from Fidelity at a $2.5bn valuation.
Previously, MasterClass raised $100m in a Series E funding round which Fidelity led. Other investors in the round included Owl Ventures, 01 Advisors, NEA, IVP and Atomico. In May, company's valuation was reported to be $800m.
KKR-backed KnowBe4 seeks a $3bn valuation in US IPO. (FS)
KKR-backed KnowBe4, a cybersecurity company, is aiming for a valuation of up to $3bn in its IPO in the United States.
Florida-headquartered KnowBe4 was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert Stu Sjouwerma. The company had 37k customers as of the end of last year, according to its filing. KnowBe4’s platform allows clients to simulate phising attacks on their employees and check how well they are safeguarded against such attacks.
Alkami raises the IPO price target range, seeking a $2.33bn valuation.
Alkami Technology, a provider of cloud-based digital banking solutions, raised the target price range for its US IPO, lifting the banking software provider's aimed valuation to about $2.33bn.
The Plano, a Texas-based firm, said in a regulatory filing that it planned to sell 6m shares, priced at between $26 and $28 apiece, to raise about $168m at the upper end of its price range. It had earlier planned to sell shares at a price range of $22 to $25 per share.
Veolia and Suez announced they agreed in principle on the price of $24.4 per Suez share, ending the takeover battle resource management company Veolia started against its smaller rival. The two groups have agreed to enter into definitive merger agreements by May 14. The deal represents the enterprise value of $26.3bn, including debt.
"This agreement in principle gives us every chance of obtaining a global solution that would offer the essential social guarantees for all employees and prospects. I would like to thank all the SUEZ teams for their tremendous mobilization in implementing the SUEZ 2030 strategic plan, of which everyone can be proud. I know that I can count on them to remain focused in the coming months to ensure the best quality of service for our customers," Bertrand Camus, Suez CEO.
Suez is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Rothschild & Co, Societe Generale, Bredin Prat, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, Sullivan & Cromwell and Brunswick Group. Ardian is advised by Linklaters and Headland Consultancy. Veolia is advised by Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Agricole, HSBC, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Flichy Grange Avocats, Gide Loyrette Nouel, Hogan Lovells, Patrice Gassenbach, Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associes, Xavier Boucobza, Image Sept. Engie is advised by BNP Paribas, Centerview Partners, Credit Suisse, Lazard, d'Angelin & Co, Weil Gotshal and Manges, Estudio de Comunicacion and Havas Paris.
EssilorLuxottica confirmed the Chilean market regulator Fiscalía Nacional Económica cleared the $6.5bn acquisition of GrandVision, an optical retailer, following the commitment to divest GrandVision’s Chilean operations under the banner Rotter Y Krauss to HAL, an international investment company.
The closing of the acquisition of GrandVision is still pending the sign off from the competition authority in Turkey and the decisions regarding ongoing arbitral proceedings.
GrandVision is advised by ING Bank, Bredin Prat and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. EssilorLuxottica is advised by BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, BonelliErede, Latham & Watkins, Stibbe, Sullivan & Cromwell, Brunswick Group and Community Group. Debt financing is provided by Credit Agricole and HSBC. Debt providers are advised by Hogan Lovells. HAL is advised by NautaDutilh.
Avantor, a global provider of mission-critical products and services to customers in the life sciences and advanced technologies & applied materials industries, agreed to acquire Ritter, a plastic fabrication company in Langerringen, Germany, for €890m ($1.1bn).
"The acquisition of Ritter marks the next step in the ongoing transformation of Avantor. The combination will significantly expand our proprietary offering to the biopharma and healthcare end markets and significantly enhance Avantor's offerings for critical lab automation workflows. Our combined businesses also share similar characteristics including a highly recurring, specification-driven revenue profile and a consumable-driven portfolio of products produced to exacting standards that enhances our unique customer value proposition," Michael Stubblefield, Avantor President and CEO.
Ritter is advised by Carlsquare, Goldman Sachs and Gleiss Lutz. Avantor is advised by Centerview Partners, Jefferies & Company and Schilling Zutt & Anschuetz. Debt financing is provided by Citigroup.
Denis Dumont, the second-largest shareholder owning 6.15% stake in Creval, an Italian bank based in Sondrio, rejected the $875m offer from Credit Agricole, a cooperative financial institution, claiming it is inadequate.
Dumont’s company DGFD joined other investors, including Melqart Asset Management, Alta Global, Hosking Partners and Petrus Advisers with its rejection.
Creval is advised by Intermonte and Mediobanca. Credit Agricole is advised by Credit Agricole, JP Morgan, BonelliErede and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Ameriprise Financial, a diversified financial services company, agreed to acquire the EMEA asset management business of BMO Financial, a Canadian multinational investment bank, for $845m.
“Adding BMO’s EMEA asset management business is an exceptional growth opportunity. The transaction advances our strategy and enhances our geographic and asset class diversification, enabling us to serve more clients and meet more of their needs. Critical to this opportunity is the strong alignment between our organizations. We share a client-centric culture, fundamental belief in active management, collaborative and research-based investment approach, and long-held commitment to responsible investment principles," Ted Truscott, Columbia Threadneedle Investments CEO.
Ameriprise is advised by Linklaters. BMO is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley and Norton Rose Fulbright.
Van Lanschot Kempen, a specialised, independent wealth manager, agreed to acquire a 75% stake in Mercier Vanderlinden, an independent wealth manager in Belgium. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our roots go back to 17th century Belgium; our partnership with Mercier Vanderlinden reflects that historical reality. This partnership fits perfectly into our strategy becoming a leading specialist wealth manager in our second home market. Mercier Vanderlinden's attractive client portfolio, presence in Brussels and growth potential under the ongoing leadership of their founders make for a very appealing partner. Given our similar values, work culture and a belief in a personalised approach to clients, we believe that we have laid the foundations to a common great future," Karl Guha, Van Lanschot Kempen Chairman.
Mercier Vanderlinden is advised by Rothschild & Co.
X5 Retail Group, a Russian food retailer, agreed to acquire Mnogo Lososya, a dark kitchen company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Capitalising on X5's investments, infrastructure and expertise, we are one step closer to our dream, which is to offer fast delivery of high-quality and diverse food to as many people as possible, thus maximizing the time they can spend on socializing and pastimes. To this end, we plan to build more kitchens, launch new brands and strive for higher speed and quality of our product offering," Alexander Mutovin, Mnogo Lososya Co-Founder.
Contemporary Amperex Technology, a Chinese battery maker, agreed to acquire a 25% stake in the Kisanfu copper-cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo from China Molybdenum, the largest molybdenum producer in Mainland China, for $137m.
A broad strategic partnership between the two companies will see them cooperate in nickel, including in Indonesia where they both have projects, as well as in global acquisitions, investments and development of lithium.
Hammerson in talks to sell retail parks to Brookfield. (FS, RE)
Hammerson confirmed that it was in talks for a possible sale of its retail parks portfolio to Brookfield Asset Management, a Canadian private equity player, as the shopping center operator tries to shore up its finances.
Last month, Hammerson reported a loss of £1.7bn ($2.33bn) for 2020 and issued a longer-term debt warning, as the coronavirus crisis knocked the value of its malls.
Retail parks have been relatively resilient during the Covid-19 pandemic, partly because essential retailers were allowed to operate during lockdowns from these parks that also provide for drive-in and open-air shopping experiences.
UK revises foreign takeover bill.
Bloomberg reported that the UK is planning to amend the proposed National Security and Investment law to ease the burden on foreign companies seeking to buy stakes in British assets, amid fears more onerous legislation might deter investors.
Under a proposed government amendment, prospective overseas buyers of UK assets must notify the government if they’re seeking a stake of 25% of more, compared with 15% in the existing draft bill. It will be discussed when the legislation returns to the House of Lords for its report stage, starting April 15.
PolyPeptide Group seeks Swiss IPO.
PolyPeptide Group, controlled by a foundation of Swedish billionaire adventurer Frederik Paulsen Jr., plans to list a 40% stake on the Swiss stock exchange to finance the contract drug maker's growth.
The company, which makes ingredients for US-based Novavax's Covid-19 vaccine candidate, plans to list in the second quarter. It intends to place existing shares and a primary offering, with some proceeds to go for potential acquisitions.
"There could be acquisitions within our business area as well as in some of the adjacent areas. It just gives us a lot more flexibility and opportunities to expand more rapidly," Salik, PolyPeptide Board Member.
Trustly CEO plans dual US listing after Stockholm IPO.
Trustly Group's plan to raise almost $1bn through an IPO in Stockholm may be followed by a second listing in New York, according to its chief executive.
Oscar Berglund, the CEO of the Swedish digital payment firm, says the US is turning into its biggest growth market. For that reason, Trustly may well target a dual listing that moves its investor base closer to where business is booming, Bloomberg reported.
Evolution Gaming, a live casino provider, agreed to acquire Big Time Gaming, a slot machine development company, for $535m.
“With the addition of Big Time Gaming to our portfolio of slot brands we strengthen our strategic position as the leading provider of digital casino games in the world. Big Time’s focus on innovation and creating unique playing experiences is a great fit with our culture and mind-set at Evolution. We look forward to continuing our journey together,” Jens von Bahr, Evolution Chairman.
BTG is advised by BDO, Oakvale Capital and Teacher Stern. Evolution is advised by Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Addisons, Gernandt & Danielsson and Wiggin and Dana.
SS&C Technologies, a global provider of services and software for the financial services and healthcare industries, agreed to acquire Mainstream Group, a specialist third party administrator for the financial services industry, for $225m.
"Mainstream Group's fund and superannuation services complement SS&C's extensive administration offerings in Australia and throughout the world and demonstrate great revenue growth potential," Bill Stone, SS&C Chairman and CEO.
Mainstream Group is advised by Miles Advisory and Maddocks. SS&C is advised by Citigroup and Gilbert + Tobin.
Farallon Capital Management, the third-largest shareholder of Toshiba, a producer of consumer and industrial electric and electronic products, holding a c. 6% stake, commented on the $20bn offer from CVC saying Toshiba should seek alternative bids to maximize shareholders' utility.
"Toshiba's board has a duty to maximize mid to long-term enterprise value by evaluating the privatization proposal in a sincere manner through a fair process that includes a proactive market check and formation of an independent special committee. We, as shareholders of Toshiba, expect Toshiba's board to fully fulfill such duty," Farallon.
Farallon is advised by ASC Advisors and Propeller Project Labo.
PINTEC, an independent technology platform enabling financial services in China, agreed to acquire Jishengtai, a securities technology firm based in Shenzhen, China, c. $51m.
"These acquisition of JST and RB will accelerate PINTEC's plan in transforming our business by broadening our wealth management services to include fully digitized securities brokerage, which is more critical than ever in today's environment as we see increasing appetite from corporate clients and investors for full service online securities platform," Steven Sim, PINTEC CFO.
Amazon considers tie-ups as a part of India's expansion plan.
Amazon is embarking on a massive India expansion plan, including a series of tie-ups with regional retail chains, to ensure that a legal setback in the case with Future Group does not upset its long-term plans for the country, DealStreetAsia reported.
Amazon's plans indicate that the US e-commerce giant will double down on its India investments and intensify pressure on rivals such as Walmart-run Flipkart and Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries.
SHK seeks to raise $300m for its real estate debt fund. (FS)
Sun Hung Kai & Co, a Hong Kong-based alternative investment firm, launched a real estate debt fund, targeting to raise $200-300m to invest in first and second mortgages for commercial and residential property in the Asia Pacific.
The five-year debt fund is managed by SHK's in-house real estate investment group, Multiple Capital Investment Partners. SHK has already committed $100m to the new vehicle. MCIP will invest in high-quality mortgage loans in developed markets, for development, repositioning, or refinancing of the properties. Its targeted markets include Australia and New Zealand, Greater China, South Korea, and Southeast Asia.
Kakao Entertainment eyes $18bn value from IPO.
Kakao Entertainment is considering New York as a venue for its planned float next year, the latest South Korean company to look into a US IPO after Coupang's listing in March.
Kakao Entertainment Chief Executive Lee Jinsoo said that while the focus is on a Korean listing, the company is also looking into New York where Coupang's $4.6bn float was the biggest US IPO since Uber's 2019 listing.
A float could value the digital comic and movie-making unit of South Korean mobile tech giant Kakao at more than $17.8bn, double its current worth, Bloombergreported.
Tencent-backed Waterdrop gets pushback on IPO from Chinese regulators.
Waterdrop, a Chinese online insurance technology firm, which is backed by internet giant Tencent, has been working with financial advisers since mid-last year ongoing public and had already made a confidential filing for the float, Reutersreported.
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, however, has questioned the company's business risks, which has slowed down the IPO process. CBIRC even told founder Shen Peng this month that it would not suggest that Waterdrop go public at this point.
The scrutiny on Waterdrop and its IPO comes as China's financial regulators have stepped up supervision over the country's financial technology companies after the halting of Ant Group's $37bn IPO in November due to financial risks.
Vingroup weighs $2bn US IPO of VinFast.
Vingroup, a Vietnamese conglomerate focusing on technology, industry, real estate development, retail, and services ranging from healthcare to hospitality, is considering a US initial public offering of its car unit VinFast that could raise about $2bn, according to a Bloomberg report.
The biggest carmaker in Vietnam is working with advisers on the potential offering that could take place as soon as this quarter.
GIC-backed Brii Bioscience files for Hong Kong IPO. (FS)
GIC-backed Brii Bioscience, a three-year-old Chinese biotech start-up that has so far raised approximately $415m in private funding, filed for a Hong Kong initial public offering.
The potential IPO could raise about $200m to $400m for the company. Goldman Sachs and UBS are set to lead the IPO.
S. Sundareswaran leaves Morgan Stanley for Alta Capital. (People)
S. Sundareswaran, Morgan Stanley’s head of mergers and acquisitions in India, is leaving the US bank as soon as the end of June to join Alta Capital, a boutique real estate firm, according to Bloomberg.
Sundareswaran’s new role will see him advising global investors who want to buy real estate assets directly in India.
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