Ion group, a financial software and data business, into trading and cash management tools, data and analytics for capital markets, buys Acuris, a provider of business intelligence and research for fixed income, transactions, infrastructure, compliance and equities, for £1.35bn ($1.7bn).
As part of the Acuris deal, BC Partners will retain a minority stake of 25% while Singapore’s GIC, which bought 30% in 2017 is selling out. The deal will help boost BC Partners’ returns as it sets to raise a new flagship fund following troubled investments.
UBS Investment Bank acted as exclusive financial advisor to ION and J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisors to Acuris.
Euronext won approval from Norway’s Ministry of Finance to acquire up to 100% of Oslo Bors, a Norwegian stock exchange operator. For Euronext, the decision means a victory over Nasdaq, which also offered to buy Oslo Bors for $789m. Euronext announced its bid in December 2018. The firm has already secured a stake of more than 50% in Oslo Bors however, Nasdaq argued that no takeover should be allowed unless a two-thirds stake was obtained in order to ensure that a buyer would have complete control.
“Euronext welcomes the ministry’s clearance to acquire up to 100% of Oslo Bors VPS’s capital and looks forward to completing the next steps to close the transaction by the end of June,” Euronext's Chief Executive Stephane Boujnah said on Monday.
“The decision not to require a two-thirds majority of the shares to be obtained by any person seeking to acquire control of Oslo Bors VPS is disappointing,” Lauri Rosendahl, president of Nasdaq Nordic, said.
Arctic Securities, Carnegie, Advokatfirmaet Selmer and Advokatfirmaet Thommessen are advising Oslo Bors. Goldman Sachs and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom are advising Nasdaq. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Rothschild & Co, SEB, SpareBank 1 and Schjodt are advising Euronext.
Blackstone Group made a €175m ($196m) equity investment in Superbet, the largest omnichannel sports betting and gaming operator in Romania. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Andrea Valeri, Senior Managing Director of Blackstone, said: “We look forward to working with Sacha Dragic and the excellent management team he has assembled. The Company’s continued investment in world-class online and multi-channel operations, including the launch of a market-leading native app and proprietary online sports and gaming engine, is very exciting. We look forward to supporting Superbet’s impressive growth trajectory, through international expansion and continued investment in technology.”
Herzog Fox & Neeman advised Superbet. Stifel, Jones Day and UBS advised Blackstone.
Vitale Assistance, a specialist in disaster response services and a portfolio company of private equity firm Weinberg Capital Partners, acquired Groupe 3iD, a post-disaster cleaning services provider in Saint-Marcel-lès-Valence, France. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Competition Authority of Kenya approved the proposed merger between Commercial Bank of Africa and NIC Group, two major Kenyan commercial banks. The approval was on the condition that no employees would be made redundant in the merged unit within 12 months of the deal’s completion.
The merger was first announced in January 2019. The transaction will take place through a share swap between the two banks, with current NIC group shareholders owning 47% of the merged entity and CBA shareholders owning 53% of the merged entity.
BlackRock successfully completed its $1.3bn acquisition of eFront, the world’s leading end-to-end alternative investment management software and solutions provider, from private equity firm Bridgepoint and eFront employees. The all-cash deal was announced on March 22.
“Technology and illiquid alternatives are two pillars of BlackRock’s growth, and this transaction provides a unique opportunity to accelerate our positioning in both. We’re particularly excited about eFront’s global footprint, including its headquarters in Paris, which is a key market on the continent for BlackRock. As a global asset manager, we are increasingly focused on understanding the unique needs of clients in each community where we operate. eFront immediately deepens our presence and technology capabilities in France, Europe and across the globe.” Laurence D. Fink, BlackRock Chairman and CEO.
Latham & Watkins, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Natixis and CTCom advised Bridgepoint. Allens, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel and Finsbury advised BlackRock.
Non-Standard Finance expects to reach an agreement to address concerns raised by Britain’s competition watchdog during the first phase of the review process of its proposed hostile £1.3bn ($1.7bn) takeover of Provident Financial. The offer was first announced in February.
“We fully expect to reach an agreement in principle on an appropriate remedy with the CMA during the initial Phase I review process,” NSF said on Monday. “If the CMA’s approval has not been received by the date on which all other conditions to the offer are satisfied, NSF will have a decision as to whether or not to waive the CMA condition and proceed to completion."
Barclays, JP Morgan, Jefferies and Brunswick Group are advising Provident. Deutsche Bank, Ondra Partners, Shore Capital, Slaughter & May and Maitland are advising NSF.
Private equity firm KKR acquired a 28% minority stake in Telepizza, a global Spanish pizza restaurant chain, in a deal which values the company at €604m ($678m). The deal is part of KKR's takeover offer for Telepizza, which was announced in December 2018. With this acquisition, KKR reached a 56% holding in the pizza restaurant chain.
Barclays, Citigroup, Mizuho and Santander are providing financing to KKR and are being advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Baker McKenzie and Estudio de Comunicacion are advising Telepizza.
Citigroup, Kirkland & Ellis and Garrigues are advising KKR. Barclays, Citigroup, Mizuho and Santander are providing financing to KKR and are being advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Baker McKenzie and Estudio de Comunicacion are advising Telepizza.
Orange Polska, a Polish telecommunications provider, agreed to acquire BlueSoft, a computer consultant in Warsaw, for PLN200m ($52m). Out of this amount, around PLN149m ($39m) will be paid upon signing of the final agreement. The remaining part will be settled before the end of 2022.
“I am very excited that BlueSoft is joining the Orange Polska Group. This acquisition will make our business stronger: I am confident that, along with the other key pillars of our Orange.one strategy, convergence and fiber, it will make our company a better structural fit to explore future market opportunities and will strengthen us on our path to turnaround and sustainable growth.”– said Jean-Francois Fallacher, the CEO of Orange Polska.
SoftBank Vision fund, the world’s largest technology investment fund, a part of SoftBank Group, would invest in Greensill Capital, which specializes in supply chain finance, structured trade finance, working capital optimization, specialty financing and contract monetization. The deal amount is set to be £500m ($650m).
After the investment Greensill's value is projected to be £3bn ($3.9bn). Greensill estimates the largely untapped market for working capital finance at $55tn. The money from the Vision Fund will help it accelerate its expansion and develop new technologies to make more capital accessible to its clients. It will also speed up its recent entry into Brazil as it advances plans to enter other markets, including China and India.
Bayer, a global health care and nutrition enterprise, sold Coppertone to Beiersdorf, a leading provider of skin care products, for $550m. Coppertone provides sunscreen and skin care products. It will become the fifth brand in Beiersdorf’s skin care portfolio in North America, besides NIVEA, Eucerin, Aquaphor, and La Prairie.
“We believe that we have found the right partner in Beiersdorf to continue to invest in and grow the Coppertone™ brand,” said Heiko Schipper, member of Bayer’s Board of Management and President of Consumer Health. “Since Bayer took ownership of Coppertone™ in late 2014, we have made progress in revitalizing the brand and developing an exciting pipeline of innovative products thanks to the dedicated efforts of many employees, to whom we are grateful. We look forward to seeing the brand taken to the next level of success under Beiersdorf’s ownership.”
Citigroup, Sawaya Capital and Covington & Burling advised Bayer. Credit Suisse, Perella Weinberg Partners and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised Beiersdorf.
Private equity investment firms Arcus Capital and BE Beteiligungen Fonds acquired Sendmoments, an online greeting cards and gifts business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Arcus CEO Stefan Eishold said: “Sendmoments fits perfectly into our investment focus of medium-sized companies that are leaders in their market segment. We look forward to working with the management to further develop the existing product portfolio and provide significant impetus for the growth of the company.”
Tikehau Capital, a private equity company, agreed to invest £23m ($30m) in Medtrade, a medical devices provider.
This partnership will consolidate Medtrade’s leading market position, enabling its industry-leading management team to continue to develop a differentiated and innovative product portfolio and drive the next phase of growth.
“Tikehau Capital’s global presence and expertise will allow Medtrade to strengthen its position across its key markets. This private equity deal is fully in line with Tikehau Capital’s strategy to reinforce its activities in the United Kingdom.” Peter Cirenza, Head of the United Kingdom at Tikehau Capital.
Private equity firms turn away from the UK in face of Brexit. (FS)
Given the tax incentives available in some other countries, a number of executives have already left and others are seriously considering establishing their business in the UK in the midst of Brexit talks.
Many firms have been increasingly reluctant to do deals in the UK because of the uncertainty. Most private equity firms indicated it is very difficult to quantify the long-term impact of Brexit on targeted deals or the exit strategy for existing investments. But firms have felt the impact on their own operations. And the degree to which Brexit is incorporated into these firms’ due diligence process varies widely.
Deutsche Bank and UBS asset management deal talks come to a halt.
Talks between Deutsche Bank and UBS to tie up their asset management businesses have stalled. Differences over which bank would control the combined entity have been the main hurdle.
The idea of merging the businesses had mushroomed in recent months as Deutsche discussed a possible merger with smaller rival Commerzbank.But with the Commerzbank talks having ended in failure, the urgency to do a deal has fizzled.
Any deal to merge DWS with a peer and give it additional scale could also be presented as a strategic revamp of Deutsche after the failure of the Commerzbank talks.
China’s BAIC is looking forward to buying a stake of up to 5% in Daimler.
China’s BAIC Group is looking to buy a stake of up to 5% in Daimler AG to cement its investment in Beijing Benz Automotive. BAIC informed Daimler of its intention to buy a 4-5% stake in the German maker of Mercedes-Benz cars earlier this year.
Daimler has ruled out issuing new stock to help an outside party build a stake, forcing potential buyers to acquire shares on the market. It remains unclear whether BAIC Group can raise the nearly $3.3bn that a 5% stake in Daimler would cost.
A2A, EPH presented a joint expression of interest for Sorgenia.
Reuters reported that A2A, an Italian utility company, presented a joint expression of interest together with the Czech Republic’s EPH, a company currently investing mainly in the energy sector in Europe, for the whole of Italian energy company Sorgenia.
Speaking at the utility’s annual shareholder meeting, Valerio Camerano, CEO of A2A, said the banks owning Sorgenia would decide in a month which binding bids to admit.
Onex Corporation, a leading investor of capital in its private equity and credit platforms on behalf of investors from around the world, would acquire WestJet Airlines, a leading commercial airline based in Canada for a sum of $2.6bn.
The investment to buy WestJet will be led by Onex Partners, Onex’s private equity platform focused on larger investments. Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including court, regulatory and shareholder approvals.
“WestJet is one of Canada’s strongest brands and we have tremendous respect for the business that Clive Beddoe and all WestJetters have built over the years.”, Tawfiq Popatia, Onex Managing Director.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and CIBC are providing financial advice to WestJet, while Blake Cassels & Graydon and Norton Rose Fulbright serve as legal advisors.
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Goodmans serve as Legal advisors to Onex, while Barclays, Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets serve as debt providers.
According to a Reuters report, Chevron Corporation's withdrawal from its $50bn offer to acquire Anadarko Petroleum Corporation raised the bar for deals and dampened expectations that oil majors will drive a new wave of consolidation in the US shale industry. Chevron was outmatched by Occidental, which struck a deal to acquire Anadarko for $57bn last week. Chevron received a $1bn break-up fee that it will use toward share buybacks. Chevron CEO Michael Wirth said that the company will not rule out other acquisitions.
Anadarko was advised by Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Vinson & Elkins, and Wachtell Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Chevron was advised by Credit Suisse, Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Shearman & Sterling. Occidental was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
RLDatix, a leading provider of solutions that drive patient safety, quality improvement, and harm reduction in healthcare, would acquire iContracts, the pioneers in contract, policy, and revenue management. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition brings together the richness of the RLDatix patient safety platform with iContracts' leading policy management capabilities to allow organizations, for the first time, to take action on the root causes of incidents via the implementation of policies and procedures that are dynamic in nature.
"We are thrilled to be joining forces with iContracts.", Jeff Surges, RLDatix CEO.
Inflexion has agreed to sell Vivona Brands to specialist US branded consumer and healthcare services investor Webster Equity Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Vivona Brands was founded in 1992 and delivers on-trend beauty, wellbeing and lifestyle brands to global fast-fashion and beauty-savvy consumers. Vivona’s products are sold internationally through partnerships with major tier 1 retailers including Ulta Beauty, CVS, Walgreens and Target in the US and Sephora, Superdrug and Boots in EMEA.
"We are pleased that our hard work has led to the successful repositioning of Vivona. Our tenacity has resulted in a business that has expanded in the US and successfully launched new product lines. We are delighted to have found a strong new owner to support the continued growth of the business in a growing market, and we wish them all the best in the future." Simon Turner, Inflexion Managing Partner.
MiraMed Global Services(MiraMed), a leader in healthcare revenue cycle management (RCM) services and business process outsourcing solutions, announces it has completed its merger with Medac, a leading provider of anesthesia revenue cycle management.
The combination creates the leading revenue cycle management platform in the anesthesia market with expanded service offerings and capabilities.
"Both Medac and MiraMed realized that combining the strengths, resources and assets of ABC and Medac would be unique, and have the potential to unlock some enormous opportunities.", Bijon Memar, Medac CEO.
Citigroup, Citizens Bank, HSBC, Fifth Third Bank, Associated Bank, Bank of the West served as debt provider to Miramed. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher served as legal advisor and Reed Smith as Legal advisor to debt providers of MiraMed.
Fagron, a leading provides pharmaceutical compounding services to hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, and patients worldwide, acquires Cedrosa, a supplier of raw materials to compounding pharmacies and the pharmaceutical industry, for $18.5m.
The acquisition perfectly fits Fagron's buy-and-build strategy as it opens up the interesting Mexican market for personalized medicine. With its favorable demographics, a rapidly growing middle class and a focus on prevention and lifestyle, the Mexican market represents substantial growth potential for Fagron.
"The Mexican market for personalized medicine presents a very promising opportunity for Fagron to expand our existing footprint in Latin America.", Rafael Padilla, Fagron CEO.
Colfax to Sell Division to KPS Capital for $1.8bn. (FS)
Welding and valve maker Colfax is reportedly nearing a deal to sell its air and gas handling division to private-equity firm KPS Capital Partners for more than $1.8bn.
A sale of its air and gas unit to KPS would help pay down debt from the DJO Global purchase.
EQT to abandon plans to sell VFS. (FS)
Reuters reported that private equity firm EQT Partners is dropping plans to sell VFS, an outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. EQT's valuation of the business was reportedly too far away from the suitors' view.
EQT earlier this year launched an auction for VFS, formerly a part of travel group Kuoni, and had attracted offers from private equity investors such Partners Group, Cinven, CVC, Permira, PAI and Onex.
Slack to go public on June 20.
According to a Reuters report, Slack, the owner of a popular workplace instant messaging app, is looking to list on the New York Stock Exchange on June 20. The date could still be subject to change, Jesse Hulsing, Slack vice president of investor relations, said. The news came soon after Uber Technologies' disappointing debut on the public market.
Slack expects to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SK”.
WPP approached about a possible MBO of Finsbury.
Roland Rudd, the founder and chairman of corporate PR firm Finsbury, has approached WPP about a possible management buyout of the company, a British multinational advertising and public relations company. The approach comes as WPP, which acquired Finsbury 18 years ago, is reviewing its assets as part of an overhaul after last year’s departure of founder Martin Sorrell.
Finsbury is rumored to be valued at approximately £100m ($130m). The talks are reportedly at a very early stage and there is no certainty that a deal will be struck.
ElevateBio to launch a portfolio of biotechnology companies. (FS)
ElevateBio, a Cambridge-based biotechnology holding company, announced operations to create and build a broad portfolio of cell and gene therapy companies through partnerships with leading academic researchers, medical centers and entrepreneurs. The move will be funded by proceeds from recently completed Series A $150m financing round, led by MPM Capital and F2 Ventures.
“ElevateBio is uniquely structured and positioned to leverage our cell and gene therapy company-building capabilities to accelerate development, manufacturing, and delivery of highly innovative therapies across a growing number of portfolio companies,” said David Hallal, ElevateBio co-founder, CEO and Chairman. “A foundational element of our scientific, clinical and financial strategy is ElevateBio BaseCamp, which is our single R&D, process development and manufacturing company that supports our portfolio companies and a select group of strategic partners that will benefit from our expertise and facilities. We look forward to announcing our initial portfolio companies and strategic partners in the coming weeks.”
Impossible Foods raised $300m in a financing round. (FS)
Impossible Foods, a company that develops plant-based substitutes for meat and dairy products, raised $300m in a financing round ahead of a possible IPO. The round brought the firm's total capital raised to $750m. Investors included Khosla Ventures, Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital, and Open Philanthropy Project.
Shell Midstream Partners to acquire interests in Colonial Pipelines and Explorer for $800m.
Shell Midstream Partners signed an agreement with its mother company Royal Dutch Shell to acquire 26% equity interest in Explorer Pipeline Company and 10% equity interest in Colonial Pipeline Company for $800m. The acquisition will increase Shell Midstream Partners’ interest in Explorer to 39% and in Colonial to 16%.
“This acquisition is evidence of our strategy in action – we will continue to build scale with diversified assets that provide robust, ratable cash flows,” said Kevin Nichols, CEO of Shell Midstream Partners. “The Explorer and Colonial systems have the capacity to deliver some three million barrels per day of refined products, providing energy to key demand centers of the United States.”
Shell Midstream Partners was advised by Evercore and Hunton Andrews Kurth.
Vodafone Group, a British multinational telecommunications conglomerate, sold its New Zealand unit to Brookfield Asset Management and Infratil, a New Zealand-based infrastructure investment company, €2.1bn ($2.4bn). On completion, Vodafone and VFNZ will enter into a Partner Market agreement, which will include use of the Vodafone brand, preferential roaming arrangements, access to Vodafone’s global IoT platform and central procurement function, and a range of services for the business and consumer markets.
Nick Read, Chief Executive of Vodafone Group, said: “An important aspect of our strategy is the active management of our portfolio and deleveraging, which this transaction further demonstrates. We have always been proud of our Vodafone New Zealand business, which has a great team, and we look forward to a continued close relationship through our Partner Market agreement.”
Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Craigs and Bell Gully advised Vodafone.
Froneri, a fast-growth international business with a vision to build the world’s best ice cream company, acquired Tip Top Icecream Company from Fonterra for $380m.
Froneri has confirmed that the Tip Top business will continue to be led by the existing management team.
“We have always admired Tip Top, which is an iconic brand in New Zealand with a long proud history and we are looking forward to welcoming the team into Froneri.". Ibrahim Najafi, Froneri CEO.
Rothschild & Co advised Froneri.
Lone Star makes the first close of latest real estate fund at $3.6bn. (FS)
Lone Star Funds has raised more than $3.6bn for its latest fund, Lone Star Real Estate Fund IV. The fund launched last year with a $4.5bn target.
The fund will invest in debt secured by properties globally. Transactions targeted by Lone Star Real Estate Fund include investments in commercial real estate debt and private equity products in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.
JD’s healthcare unit to raise $1bn from Baring PE Asia. (FS)
Chinese e-commerce major JD is raising over $1bn for its healthcare subsidiary JD Health from investors including CPEChina Fund, CICC Capital and Baring Private Equity Asia.
JD will remain the majority shareholder of the healthcare unit upon completion of the transaction. It will issue $250m of Class A ordinary shares to Tencent during the three-year period.
“We will continue to invest in key technologies and top industry talent as we work to reach an even broader customer base through cutting edge innovation." Richard Liu, JD CEO.
MGI raised $200m in a financing round. (FS)
MGI, a subsidiary of BGI Group, a Chinese genome sequencing company, disclosed that its first round of fundraising exceeded $200m, the largest amount of capital raised in the genetic field in China in 2018. Investors included CITIC Goldstone Capital, Green Pine Capital Partners and Orient Securities Capital Investment.
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