Mosaic Acquisition, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company formed by Fortress, completed the merger with Vivint Smart Home, a smart home technology company, in a $4.1bn deal, including additional equity of $488m.
"Completing our merger with Mosaic and becoming a publicly traded company is an important milestone for Vivint. With the new capital from this transaction, we will strengthen our balance sheet and continue to invest to support our mission of helping families live more conveniently and intelligently with Vivint's smart home platform. As we begin our next chapter, Vivint is well positioned to achieve our goal of redefining the home experience," Todd Pedersen, Vivint's Founder and CEO.
Vivint Smart Home was advised by Blackstone Capital Markets, Evercore, JP Morgan and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Mosaic Acquisition was advised by Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, RBC Capital Markets, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Fortress Investment Group was advised by Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.
IG Design Group, a provider of celebrations, gifting, stationery and creative play products, agreed to acquire CSS Industries, a US-based designer and manufacturer of craft seasonal and gift products, for $117m.
"As well as doubling the scale of our US business, the combination of CSS and Design Group further strengthens our position as the global leader in consumer gift packaging and establishes us as a major supplier to the creative craft market. The acquisition significantly enhances the portfolio of products, brands and services that we offer to our global customer base of 'winning' retailers, as well as providing access to many new channels and markets. Through leveraging CSS' quality customer base, manufacturing capability and recognised brand portfolio together with the strength of our existing business in the US, this transaction delivers substantial opportunities for synergies across the Group and further accelerates the Group's positive momentum," Paul Fineman, IG Design Group Chief Executive Officer.
CSS Industries is advised by Guggenheim Partners, Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Pepper Hamilton. IG Design Group is advised by Canaccord Genuity, Seyfarth Shaw and Alma PR.
ISS and Glass Lewis recommended that shareholders of Leagold, a mid-tier gold producer with a focus on opportunities in Latin America, vote in favor of the $584m merger with Equinox Gold, a Canadian gold producer.
"This merger will create one of the world's largest gold companies operating entirely in the Americas. In addition to having strong financial and operating metrics, our large scale will provide improved liquidity, greater asset and country diversification and a lower risk profile for all shareholders. This is the kind of gold company investors want today and I'm very pleased we are combining forces to achieve it," Ross Beaty, Equinox Gold Chairman.
Leagold is advised by Scotia Capital and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin. Equinox Gold is advised by BMO Capital Markets and Blake Cassels & Graydon.
Private equity firm TPG Sixth Street Partners led a $260m financing for AvidXchange, a provider of accounts payable and payment automation solutions for the middle market.
"AvidXchange is poised to win with a complete offering of invoice automation, payment automation and supply chain finance all in one platform. Their comprehensive solutions, coupled with the power of the AvidPay Network, gives them all the right tools to lead the market, and we are proud to be their long-term partner," Bo Stanley, TPG Sixth Street Partners Partner and Co-Head of Capital Solutions.
AvidXchange was advised by and Financial Technology Partners.
Sprott, an alternative asset manager, completed the acquisition of Tocqueville's gold strategy asset management business for $50m.
"We are pleased to be acquiring Tocqueville's gold strategy asset management business. John Hathaway and his team are among the world's most respected gold equities managers and we have enjoyed an excellent working relationship during the planning and launch of our joint venture over the past year. This transaction is a natural extension of that partnership, through which John will become a Sprott shareholder. We look forward to working closely together to serve our clients," Whitney George, Sprott President.
Sprott was advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Gagnier Communications.
Brand Velocity Partners, Invision Capital and BPEA, three private equity firms focused on acquiring lower-middle market consumer businesses, and Pinnacle Financial Partners, a regional bank, completed the acquisition of Original Footwear, a provider of military and law enforcement footwear. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“There is a yawning gap in the marketplace for a PE firm to do more than financial engineering – great consumer companies are not built through spreadsheets, but rather through excellent products and superior marketing. My partners and I bring together the perfect blend of capital, investment acumen, and brand marketing expertise. We will be bringing the full weight of our capabilities to the fore with Original Footwear as well as other acquisitions that fit into our firm’s profile,” Steve Lebowitz, BVP Managing Partner.
BAE Systems, a British multinational defense, security and aerospace company, agreed to acquire the military Global Positioning System business of Collins Aerospace, a supplier of aerospace and defense products, and the Airborne Tactical Radios business of Raytheon, a US defense contractor, for $2.2bn.
"As militaries around the world increasingly operate in contested environments, the industry-leading, battle-tested products of these two businesses will complement and extend our existing portfolio of solutions we offer our customers. This unique opportunity to acquire critical radio and GPS capabilities strengthens our position as a leading provider of defense electronics and communications systems, and further supports our alignment with the modernization priorities of the US military and its partners," Jerry DeMuro, BAE Systems CEO.
Yount, Hyde and Barbour, a certified public accounting and consulting firm, agreed to acquire Woodcock & Associates, a municipal advisor registered with the US Security and Exchange Commission. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Both YHB and Woodcock have had a friendly relationship for many years. We knew the quality of work and relational approach they took to delivering client service. In addition, YHB has a large multi-regional presence with offices spread throughout, allowing us access to new markets. This provides our team with additional resources and specializations, which we see as a huge combined strength from the merger," Jeanette Woodcock, Woodcock & Associates Managing Partner and President.
JP Morgan completed its investment in Arcesium, an investment management technology and professional services firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We appreciate the additional vote of confidence demonstrated by this investment. JP Morgan has been an important client and partner to us for a number of years and we look forward to working together to bring joint solutions to market," Gaurav Suri, Arcesium CEO.
Verso receives regulatory approval for Stevens Point mills sale.
Verso, a North American producer of coated papers, received requisite regulatory approvals for the $282m Stevens Point paper mills sale to Pixelle Specialty Solutions, a North American paper manufacturer.
Verso is advised by Houlihan Lokey and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
Blackstone's third energy-focused fund passes $4bn mark. (FS)
The Blackstone Group secured approximately $4bn for its Blackstone Energy Partners fund, an energy-focused fund.
The firm raised $4.5bn for its second energy fund in 2015 and a little more than $2.5bn for its debut energy vehicle in 2012.
Dave & Buster's stock soars as KKR boosts stake to over 10%. (FS)
KKR disclosed in a filing that it now owns a 10.7% stake in US restaurant chain Dave & Busters, and plans to continue discussions with management as it pushes for changes to the business.
KKR, which previously reported a 2.65% stake in Dave & Buster’s last September, also disclosed that it may discuss “any extraordinary corporate transaction” with management and shareholders, including a merger or a change in the board.
Peninsula, a European private equity investment management firm, completed a minority investment in Zadig & Voltaire, a French brand in the modern luxury ready-to-wear market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are delighted to welcome Peninsula as our new partner. Their long-term investment horizon and retail expertise are fully aligned with Zadig & Voltaire’s entrepreneurial values and history. Our company continues to benefit from an exceptional development potential, particularly online, and in the US and Asia. We look forward to working with Peninsula to continue the strong growth of Zadig & Voltaire worldwide. I also want to thank TA Associates. With our shared values, this proved to be a successful partnership that helped the company double in size, enter the US market and professionalise the management team,” Thierry Gillier, Zadig & Voltaire Chairman.
Zadig & Voltaire was advised by Rothschild & Co, KPMG, PwC, Jeausserand Audouard, White & Case, Latham & Watkins and Letus. Peninsula was advised by Deloitte, Linklaters and Van Campen Liem.
Anglo American, a British multinational mining company, agreed to buy Sirius Minerals, a fertilizer development company, for $526m in an all-cash deal, marking the global miner's return to fertilizer and throwing a lifeline to the struggling Sirius. The consideration represents a 34.1% premium to the closing price on January 7.
Sirius has been battling to get bank financing to complete its North Yorkshire polyhalite mine, Britain's biggest mining project since it began fundraising with retail investors in 2017. It embarked on a review after scrapping a plan to raise $500m in a bond sale.
"We now face a stark choice. If the acquisition is not approved by shareholders and does not complete there is a high probability that the business could be placed into administration or liquidation within weeks thereafter," Russell Scrimshaw, Sirius Chairman.
Sirius Minerals is advised by JP Morgan, Allen & Overy, and Edelman. Anglo American is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Centerview Partners, and Linklaters.
DNA Payments, a fintech payments company, agreed to acquire Zash, a Swedish fintech company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"It is very rare that you can find a better business fit than between DNA Payments and Zash. Our company cultures, business segment and value propositions are extremely aligned and it is such a rare 1+1=3 scenario that is very hard to find in the Fintech space," Daniel Bessmert, Zash Founder and CEO.
CGI, an independent IT and business consulting services firm, completed the acquisition of Meti Logiciels et Services, a company that offers integrated business solutions and consulting services for the retail sector. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to join forces with Meti in helping retailers position themselves for the future through end-to-end services and digital technologies that drive efficiencies, innovation, customer satisfaction and value. Meti's capabilities, solutions and employees enable us to significantly strengthen our IP portfolio and services for the retail sector, and we warmly welcome its approximately 300 professionals to the CGI community," George D. Schindler, CGI President and Chief Executive Officer.
Comrod, an international manufacturer of antennas, control systems, masts and power supplies for the defense and commercial markets, agreed to acquire a 75% stake in Sorskar Mekaniske Verksted, a supplier of mechanical services including robotization. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Acquiring a highly efficient mechanical workshop as part of the company provides opportunities to both expand the Comrod product range, and to streamline production processes. This is an important strategic acquisition for Comrod," Ole Gunnar Fjelde, Comrod CEO.
Thyssenkrupp to shortlist three private equity consortia in the elevator business auction. (FS)
Thyssenkrupp shortlisted three private equity consortia in the auction of its elevator business, which is valued at $16.6bn.
A consortium of buyout groups Advent and Cinven and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority remain in the running. Also still in the race is a bidding team consisting of Blackstone, Carlyle and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The third group is led by Canada’s Brookfield.
Octopus Energy to acquire Engie's British residential energy supply customers.
British challenger energy supplier Octopus Energy will acquire Engie's 70k residential customers in the UK, Reuters reported. Octopus Energy already has around 1.4m British energy customers giving it around a 5% share of the market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our technology enables a lower cost transition and our rapid growth means we can bring the benefits of cheaper, greener, smarter energy to ever more customers," Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy CEO.
French billionaire Xavier Niel wins clearance to buy Nice Matin.
France's anti-trust regulatory body cleared a plan by French billionaire Xavier Niel to buy control of the Nice Matin newspaper group.
Niel's NJJ holding company already has stakes in Le Monde newspaper and L'Obs magazine, while Niel is also the founder and majority shareholder in telecoms and media group Iliad.
South Africa misses the deadline to bail out SAA.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government said it continues to work with South African Airways’ lenders and business-rescue practitioners, after failing to pay ZAR2bn ($138m) in funding to save the state-owned flag carrier of South Africa by the Sunday deadline.
Lenders agreed in December to provide ZAR2bn ($138m) to enable SAA to continue to operate, while the government committed an equal amount through the National Treasury. However, it has yet to pay the funds. The airline has been in a local form of bankruptcy protection since last month.
The deadline for funding was extended after the Department of Public Enterprises pledged to continue trying to persuade the Treasury to come up with the funding, Bloomberg reported.
KPMG mulls sale of UK advisory units.
KPMG is exploring the sale of some advisory units as the firm steps up its efforts to reduce conflicts of interest and refocuses on audit work. The potential sales come as the Big Four firm strives to improve its reputation following a bruising two years of criticism and fines linked to the quality of its auditing work, Financial News reported.
KPMG UK chair Bill Michael expects a shake-up of KPMG’s UK-based specialist advisory business lines — which include corporate finance, restructuring, tax advice, and public sector consulting — with a number potentially going up for sale.
“I think there’s a tremendous future for all those businesses, they may just not be under the same roof. I hope we have a market-induced outcome of simplifying our businesses, where we don’t have businesses that are not core to our purpose or impair our trust,” Bill Michael, KPMG UK Chairman.
Mubadala-backed Alcazar considers selling Egypt and Jordan assets. (FS)
Mubadala Investment-backed Alcazar Energy, an independent developer and power producer, is preparing the sale of some of their solar and wind assets in Egypt and Jordan, Bloomberg reported. The renewable-energy developer is in talks with banks on the sale, which may fetch at least $500m.
The sale is likely to draw interest from private equity firms and energy companies focused on the region. No final decisions have been made, and Alcazar could still decide to keep the assets.
CDPQ's European private equity team sees more departures. (FS, People)
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, one of Canada’s largest public pension funds, is trying to retain its European executives hired to build out its private equity strategy, Financial News reported.
Executives that have recently left the team include Elisabetta Ricci and Pierre Heinrichs, the two former co-heads of direct private equity in Europe. Heinrichs has joined his former Bain Capital colleagues at Brussels-based private equity firm Core Equity Holdings.
Centurium Capital led a $100m Series D round in Yunxuetang, a Chinese corporate training service provider. Existing shareholders, including YF Capital, backed by Alibaba's former executive chairman Jack Ma Yun, and Susquehanna International Group also participated in the investment.
"YF Capital values a growing trend of datafication, cloudification, and emphasis on the vertical application in the corporate service field. The corporate training market is worth around $14.6bn, while the employee training segment is one of the few verticals in the field that represents a rigid market demand," Xia Xiaoyan, YF Capital Managing Director.
China Electronics, an electronics and IT corporation, agreed to acquire Pactera Group, a provider of digital consulting, experience interaction, technology implementation, and operations services, from HNA Group for $750m.
"We firmly believe that Pactera will have broader room to grow and add values to our clients," Tiak Koon Loh, Pactera CEO.
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