The $6.6bn merger of Frontier Group, an American ultra low-cost carrier, and Spirit Airlines, an American ultra-low-cost carrier headquartered in Miramar, Florida, which aims to create the fifth-largest US airline will face close scrutiny from the Justice Department, lawyers said Monday.
The Biden administration has made injecting more competition into US industries a key priority. Frontier and Spirit pledged to avoid any job losses and add 10k direct jobs by 2026. They also promised the merger would deliver $1bn in annual consumer savings.
Spirit is advised by Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Debevoise & Plimpton and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisors are advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Sullivan & Cromwell. Frontier is advised by Citigroup, Latham & Watkins and Joele Frank. Indigo Partners is advised by Lambert & Co.
Jacobs, an American international technical professional services firm, completed the acquisition of StreetLight Data, a pioneer of mobility analytics who uses its vast data and machine learning resources to shed light on mobility. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The addition of StreetLight accelerates Jacobs' strategy in growing its end-to-end digital solutions portfolio and focus on ESG, while adding high growth, highly recurring revenue software businesses that offer tremendous value for its clients and the communities they serve.
StreetLight Data was advised by Raymond James and DLA Piper. Jacobs was advised by Centerview Partners and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.
Alteryx, an analytics automation company, completed the acquisition of Trifacta, a cloud company, for $400m.
"Together, Trifacta and Alteryx expand our total addressable market with additional opportunities to target new data and cloud transformation initiatives for Global 2000 customers. With Trifacta, our combined cloud platform will serve the needs of entire enterprises from data analytics teams and IT/technology teams to line of business users," Mark Anderson, Alteryx CEO.
Trifacta was advised by JP Morgan and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian. Alteryx was advised by Goldman Sachs and Fenwick & West.
CooperCompanies, a medical device company, agreed to acquire the reproductive health business of Cook Medical, a healthcare company, for $875m.
“Our history with reproductive health has been full of innovations to help patients fulfill their dreams of having a family. This agreement represents more than a simple transaction; it is a commitment to offer a more complete range of solutions to customers and patients around the world. CooperSurgical is uniquely positioned to combine Cook’s reproductive health portfolio with their resources and plans to significantly invest in this product portfolio," D.J. Sirota, Cook Medical Senior Vice President.
Carlyle, an alternative asset management corporation, and Hellman & Freidman, a private equity firm, completed a $200m investment in Vantage Group, an insurance partner.
“We are thrilled that our two majority shareholders have affirmed their commitment and belief in Vantage with their additional capital investment. Furthermore, our acquisition of an admitted lines carrier serves to complete the build-out of our insurance platform. We will have capabilities to assume risk on US admitted and non-admitted paper, as well as in our Bermuda entity. We are also pleased to be entering our second full year of reinsurance underwriting in Bermuda, having successfully launched that business in 2021. We look forward to continuing to expand the ways we are helping our clients and brokers solve their most pressing (re)insurance challenges with this complete platform in place," Greg Hendrick, Vantage CEO.
Ally Bridge Group and Avidity Partners led a $101m Series B round in Endeavor BioMedicines, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, with participation from Perceptive Advisors, Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital, Revelation Partners, Tekla Capital Management, T. Rowe Price Associates, Omega Funds and Longitude Capital.
"Endeavor BioMedicines is developing precision medicines targeting the genetic culprits of cancer and fibrosis. Researchers have investigated Hedgehog and ULK1 signaling pathways over the last decade, but now we have the understanding and capability to identify the patients who will benefit most from them. The capital raised from a committed, top-tier investor syndicate enables us to deliver the right drug to the right patients in order to get the best clinical outcome," John Hood, Endeavor BioMedicines CEO and Chairman.
Endeavor BioMedicines was advised by Canale Communications.
Cathay Bank, a California state-chartered bank, completed the acquisition of 10 retail branches in California from HSBC, a British multinational investment bank and financial services holding company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This acquisition complements and strengthens our existing footprint. The combined client base will benefit from a broadened suite of Cathay products and services and an extended branch network in the West,” Chang Liu, Cathay Bank President and CEO.
Cathay Bank was advised by Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Andreessen Horowitz and MSD Partners led a $935m Series E round in Flexport, a freight forwarding and customs brokerage company, with participation from Shopify, DST Global, Founders Fund, Softbank Vision Fund and Kevin Kwok.
"Global trade is facing historic challenges which demand innovative approaches that address both the current difficulties and more systemic issues. Flexport's platform, business model and data-driven insights uniquely position the company to continue making a substantial impact on this multi-trillion dollar industry," David George, Andreessen Horowitz General Partner.
Kora Management and SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led a $200m Series B round in Aleo, a platform for building private blockchain-based applications, with participation from Tiger Global, Sea Capital, Slow Ventures, Samsung Next and Andreessen Horowitz.
"Our goal at Aleo is to build the foundations for the next generation of decentralized web applications. We want to use technologies, such as zero-knowledge proofs and blockchains, to create an ecosystem for developers that enriches and empowers users' capabilities on the web," Howard Wu, Aleo CEO and CTO.
Newmont, the world's largest gold mining company, agreed to acquire a 43.65% stake in Minera Yanacocha, a gold mine, from Compañia de Minas Buenaventura, a Peruvian precious metals company, for $400m.
"Newmont has successfully operated in Peru for more than 30 years and has deep knowledge of the asset and the value it brings to Newmont stakeholders. Buenaventura has been an exceptional partner and we look forward to continuing a strong relationship," Tom Palmer, Newmont President and CEO.
HIG Capital-backed Concord, a technology consulting and digital transformation firm, completed the acquisition of SwiftWIN, a digital consulting firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“SwiftWIN has a strong reputation with enterprise customers for delivering with quality, consistency, and a high-touch approach. Their expertise with customer-focused applications, especially within the e-commerce space, complements our existing capabilities and expands our ability to guide clients. By joining forces, we can provide comprehensive solutions and create successful outcomes for our consumer-focused clients and beyond," Florin Ibrani, Concord CEO.
Fourth Wave Energy, a provider of renewable energy project development services, completed the acquisition of EdgeMode, a cryptocurrency mining firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With the fast pace and demand for the industry, I anticipate moving toward a full uplisting to NASDAQ or equivalent exchange within the year. We will move forward with that goal in mind," Joseph Isaacs, Fourth Wave Energy CEO.
Element Nutritional Sciences to acquire patent exclusivity for Sports Nutrition Market.
Element Nutritional Sciences, a nutraceutical company, acquired exclusive North America rights for the sports nutrition market to the same plant-based amino acid formulation used in its flagship Rejuvenate™ muscle health products. Element plans to develop its line of sports nutrition products called Promino™ under the JAKTRX™ Performance Supplement line of products.
“Securing North American rights to the sport nutrition market is a major milestone for Element, as it provides a key differentiating factor in our go to market strategy. As we commercialize Promino™, we are targeting both athletes and the broader sports nutrition market as our proprietary amino acid formulation is demonstrated to have a superior impact on maintaining muscle health, increasing strength, expediting recovery and preventing muscle loss. Additionally, our formulation is plant-based, which aligns well with changing consumer preferences. We believe that Promino™ and Rejuvenate™ has the potential to disrupt existing markets given its clinical results and our team’s proven track record at scaling nutraceutical operations,” Stuart Lowther, Element Nutritional Sciences CEO.
Velodyne issues warrant for 40m shares to Amazon subsidiary.
A subsidiary of Amazon.com has secured a warrant to acquire 40m shares in Velodyne Lidar, more than doubling its share price in after-market trade, Reuters reported.
Shares were up 88% at $7, as of 16:35 ET, after gaining as much as 127%. Velodyne had lost about 80% in value in 2021 amid internal conflict with management as well as the resignation of its former chief executive Anand Gopalan in July.
KKR bought a music catalog from Kobalt for $1.1bn, now it’s turning it into bonds. (FS)
In the second half of October, KKR – via its new Chord Music venture – acquired a large portfolio of rights from Kobalt for $1.1bn. KKR Credit Advisors is now using the catalog of 65k songs – including hits from The Weeknd, Stevie Nicks, and Childish Gambino – to sell more than $732m of asset-backed securities supported by publishing and sound recording royalties.
That’s according to a presale report from Kroll Bond Rating Agency, which also reveals that Kroll expects to give the deal a grade of ‘A’, the sixth-highest possible rating.
Rogan gets $100m offer from Trump-affiliated site Rumble.
Rumble, a YouTube-style website popular among US conservatives, offered Joe Rogan $100m over four years for all his shows, days after the podcaster apologized for using racial slurs in his content, Reuters reported.
Rogan is also facing backlash for Covid-19 misinformation in his program hosted on Spotify, after singer-songwriters including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their content from the streaming platform.
UBS hires Bank of Montreal’s head fintech banker Dubroff. (People)
UBS Group hired Bank of Montreal’s head of fintech investment banking Jonathan Dubroff, Bloomberg reported. New York-based Dubroff will join UBS’s investment banking arm as head of payments. He’ll join after a period of gardening leave.
Dubroff has worked at BMO since 2009. He’s advised companies including Paysafe Group.
NVIDIA, an American multinational technology company, terminated the deal to acquire Arm Holdings, a British semiconductor and software design company, from SoftBank for $40bn.
"Arm has a bright future, and we'll continue to support them as a proud licensee for decades to come. Arm is at the center of the important dynamics in computing. Though we won't be one company, we will partner closely with Arm. The significant investments that Masa has made have positioned Arm to expand the reach of the Arm CPU beyond client computing to supercomputing, cloud, AI and robotics. I expect Arm to be the most important CPU architecture of the next decade," Jensen Huang, NVIDIA Founder and CEO.
Permira, an investment firm, led a $312m Series G round in GoCardless, a fintech in direct bank payment solutions, with participation from BlackRock, an investment management corporation.
“The rise of open banking presents a once-in-a-generation shift, one that will change the way payments happen all over the world. I am delighted to have partners like Permira and BlackRock Private Equity Partners on board, with their global footprint and strong expertise in tech, to support us in building a direct bank payment network that lets payments flow freely, without cards, expiration dates or extra costs. I look forward to working with them and our new board members to accelerate the future development of GoCardless," Hiroki Takeuchi, GoCardless Co-Founder and CEO.
GoCardless was advised by JP Morgan and Nelson Bostock. Permira was advised by Goldman Sachs and Montfort Communications.
F24, a provider of secure alerting and crisis management solutions, agreed to acquire SMSup, a fast-growing business messaging startup. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to welcome SMSup to the F24 family. This step does not only significantly enhance our business messaging product portfolio but also our regional footprint in Switzerland. Our aim is to provide businesses in and beyond Switzerland with excellent messaging services – and with this step we can offer our customers greater user experience with additional use cases," Yves Pierre Grepper, F24 Managing Director and Vice President Business Messaging.
Sartorius Stedim Biotech, a international partner of the biopharmaceutical industry, completed the acquisition of chromatography process equipment division from Novasep, a provider of services in the field of molecule production and purification for the life science industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The Novasep portfolio will perfectly complement our existing chromatography offering and allow us to provide customers with more options for their manufacturing processes. Efficient downstream processing has remained a challenge in our industry for years, and Sartorius Stedim Biotech is committed to helping accelerate and simplify this crucial step so that new drugs can be manufactured much more efficiently," René Fáber, Sartorius Stedim Biotech Member of the Board of Directors.
Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital led a $450m funding round in Polygon, a layer-2 scaling solution, with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Galaxy Digital, Tiger Global and Republic Capital.
Polygon will use the funding to expand its scaling solutions, which includes Polygon PoS, Polygon Edge and Polygon Avail, and support mainstream adoption of Web3 applications. The team will also continue to invest in zero-knowledge technology after committing over $1bn to such initiatives in November 2021.
Aker Solutions, an engineering company based in Oslo, agreed to acquire Unitech Power Systems, an electrical power systems consultant. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very excited to join Aker Solutions and look forward to contributing to the company's exciting transition journey moving forward. We are confident that our unique capabilities and well-established market position will bring key contributions to Aker Solutions' growth strategy in the years to come," Inge Bent Kindem, Unitech Power Systems Managing Director.
EQT readies $3.4bn sale of French water services firm Saur. (FS)
European buyout firm EQT is working with advisers to prepare the sale of French water management firm Saur in a deal that could value France's third-biggest water firm at about $3.43bn, Reuters reported.
EQT has hired Rothschild & Co to sound out interest for its 70% stake in Saur ahead of an auction process that is expected to kick off later this year. The company has already drawn interest from Munich-based family office Reimann Investors which operates on behalf of Germany's billionaire Reimann family.
Billionaire Niel’s Iliad makes bid for Vodafone's italian unit.
Iliad, the French carrier backed by telecom billionaire Xavier Niel, has made an offer for Vodafone's Italian unit, Bloomberg reported. The French company submitted a bid to Vodafone’s board last week.
Vodafone is currently looking for merger opportunities in the UK, Spain, Italy and Portugal, CEO Nick Read said. England-based Vodafone and is agitating for change, including selling some operations or pursuing stock buybacks.
LV and Royal London confirm merger talks.
Liverpool Victoria, one of the United Kingdom's largest insurance companies, and Royal London, the largest mutual insurer in the United Kingdom, confirmed they are discussing a possible deal, following the failed acquisition of LV by Bain Capital, a US private equity firm.
"We share a common interest with Royal London in a healthy and vibrant mutual sector so that we can both compete fairly with shareholder-owned firms," Seamus Creedon, LV Interim Chairman.
Orange in talks to merge its Spanish unit with rival MasMovil. (FS)
French telecom operator Orange is exploring merging its Spanish unit, the country's second largest, with local rival MasMovil, Reuters reported.
The merger plan considers granting 50% in the new company to Orange on one hand and MasMovil's shareholders -buyout funds KKR, Cinven and Providence- on the other.
The resulting company, between the second and fourth largest operators, would approach in size historic operator Telefonica and leave behind Vodafone, currently the third one.
Blackstone, CVC weigh forming European building materials giant. (FS)
Blackstone is in talks about a potential merger of its European building materials retailer with a similar business owned by CVC Capital Partners. New York-based Blackstone is discussing a possible combination of the business, known as Building Materials Europe, with CVC’s Stark Group. It has also been studying other potential partners alongside concurrent preparations for a listing of BME.
Exploratory talks on a potential merger have taken on increased importance, as the recent market turmoil makes it more difficult for BME to pursue an IPO. Blackstone is seeking to value the business at about $6.9bn in any deal.
Spanish oil major Repsol looking to sell parts of its Canadian assets.
Spanish oil major Repsol is considering putting some of its Canadian assets for sale later this year as it looks to reap the benefits of higher oil and gas prices, Reuters reported.
Repsol is seeking buyers for its holdings in the Duvernay basin, in western Canada, which are still in early development stages. The company's 170k acres in the Duvernay could fetch about $590m.
Coast Capital takes a stake in Vodafone. (FS)
Coast Capital, a fund that takes a private equity approach to investing in public markets, built up a stake in Vodafone Group, becoming at least the second activist investor to bet on the British telecommunications carrier in recent months.
The investment firm has amassed a holding in Vodafone and is still adding to its position, Coast Capital founding partner James Rasteh said. Coast Capital backs the strategy of Vodafone's top executives but is critical of regulatory moves that have crimped the company's profits in some areas, he said.
Spanish fashion retailer Tendam seeks €2bn valuation in IPO. (FS)
Spanish fashion retailer Tendam is considering launching an IPO in Madrid in a deal that would value the company at €2bn ($2.28bn), Reuters reported. Tendam's shareholders, buyout funds PAI and CVC, also evaluate selling the company.
The company, formerly known as Cortefiel, was listed on the Madrid stock exchange until 2005, when it was taken over by buyout funds.
WOOD & Co to launch CEE's first blank-check firm on Prague bourse.
Czech investment banking group WOOD & Company plans to raise up to $47m in what would be central Europe's first blank cheque firm, or SPAC, Reuters reported.
The company received regulatory approval for the issue prospect and subscription for WOOD SPAC One, which would run from February 10 to April 1. The listing on the Prague Stock Exchange is set for April 11.
"We will be looking for a financially healthy and growing company operating in the central and east European region, competent management and strong will for further development and regional expansion," Oliver Polyak, WOOD Investment Banking Manager.
KKR, an investment firm, led a $180m Series F round in Livspace, a home interior and renovation platform, with participation from Ingka Group, Jungle Ventures, Venturi Partners and Peugeot Investments.
“We are honored to collaborate with KKR in our next phase of growth and for the trust expressed by our existing shareholders. Their deep understanding of global markets, strong brand name and proven expertise in partnering with new age digital brands will help us scale our business 10x in the coming duration. Our business is growing exponentially in both India and Singapore and we aim to replicate this playbook, launch new solutions and accelerate our launches across new markets with operations across APAC, MENA and Australia," Anuj Srivastava, Livspace Co-Founder and CEO.
Dubai and India's financial regulators seek closer cooperation. (FS)
Dubai's financial regulator and India's International Financial Services Centre Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding to increase supervision, enforcement and oversight on companies with presence in both jurisdictions.
The agreement between the Dubai Financial Services Authority and IFSCA will help in the exchange of information relating to financial crime such as money laundering, terrorism financing, arms proliferation financing or targeted financial sanctions, Reuters reported.
CPE-backed Hotwon seeking funds at $1.5bn valuation. (FS)
Hotwon Group, a closely held Chinese data-center developer, is looking to raise about $300m in fresh funding to help fuel expansion across the country, Bloomberg reported.
The private round may help boost Hotwon’s valuation to about $1.5bn. The company is working with financial advisers to sound out prospective investors. Considerations are still ongoing, no final decision has been made and details such as the fundraising size could change.
Connect the World of Dealmakers
Expand your network of fellow Dealmakers by inviting your colleagues and coworkers.