BP, a British multinational oil and gas company, agreed to sell its Alaska operations to Hilcorp, the largest private operator in Alaska, specializing in managing and optimizing mature oil and gas assets, for $5.6bn.
Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, said: "Alaska has been instrumental in BP's growth and success for well over half a century and our work there has helped shape the careers of many throughout the company. We are extraordinarily proud of the world-class business we have built, working alongside our partners and the State of Alaska, and the significant contributions it has made to Alaska's economy and America's energy security. However, we are steadily reshaping BP and today we have other opportunities, both in the US and around the world, that are more closely aligned with our long-term strategy and more competitive for our investment. This transaction also underpins our two-year $10bn divestment programme, further strengthening our balance sheet and enabling us to pursue new advantaged opportunities for BP's portfolio within our disciplined financial framework."
Baker Botts is advising BP. Kirkland & Ellis is advising Hilcorp
First State Investments, a leading private equity firm, acquires Patriot Rail and Ports, a portfolio of 12 short line freight railroads with more than 585 track miles across 14 states in the US, from SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"More than ever, short-line rail is a key player in the efficient movement of freight in this country," John Fenton, CEO of Patriot, said. "We look forward to working with First State Investments on growing Patriot's business over the long-term, with a continued focus on delivering value, service, and safety to our customers through the dedicated effort of our employees."
RBC Capital Markets and Mayer Brown are advising First State Investments. Barclays and Winston & Strawn are advising SteelRIver.
Osceola Capital, a lower middle-market private equity focused on services businesses, recapitalized Top Gun Pressure Washing, a leading provider of pressure washing and exterior facilities services to commercial businesses and local governments in the Rocky Mountain region. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Ben Moe, Managing Partner at Osceola Capital, commented, "We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Top Gun's founders and management team in this investment. We look forward to working with senior management while they continue to grow their geographic footprint and suite of services through acquisitions and new facility locations."
Forbes M&A and Minor & Brown advised Top Gun. DLA Piper advised Osceola. Saratoga Investment Corporation provided debt financing.
Zogenix, a global pharmaceutical company developing rare disease therapies, agreed to acquire Modis Therapeutics, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapies for rare genetic diseases, for $250m.
“Zogenix shares our deep commitment to improving treatment options for patients with rare diseases,” said Joshua Grass, CEO of Modis Therapeutics. “This transaction reflects the strategic value of Modis and the results we have achieved with MT1621 to date, and we are confident that Zogenix is ideally positioned to complete development and bring MT1621 to patients in need as expeditiously as possible.”
Fenwick & West is advising Modis. SVB Leerink and Latham & Watkins are advising Zogenix.
Heartland Express, a leading truckload transportation company, agreed to acquire Millis Transfer, a dry van truckload carrier firm, for $150m.
“We are very pleased to welcome everyone at Millis to Heartland Express. We are impressed with the high quality of the driving professionals and the organization’s safety profile. Millis has an outstanding fleet of equipment and we look forward to utilizing their fleet and professional drivers to serve our combined group of customers.” Michael Gerdin, Heartland President and CEO.
Fox Rothschild is advising Millis. Scudder Law Firm is advising Heartland.
Allied Universal, a leading security and facility services company in North America, acquired Michigan-based Midstate Security, a fully integrated electronic security and monitoring systems company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Allied Universal aligns perfectly with Midstate’s mission and overall customer service philosophy,” said David Nemmers, CEO of Midstate Security. “I am extremely proud of our employees and what we have built, and I am excited about the future growth potential offered by Allied Universal for them and our customers.”
Vertex Capital Corp and Rhoades McKee advised Midstate Security.
Agilent Technologies, a global leader in life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets, closed its $1.2bn acquisition of BioTek, a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of innovative life science instrumentation.
"BioTek represents a strong strategic fit with Agilent," said Mike McMullen, Agilent president, and CEO. "The combination of these two companies will accelerate our multi-year growth strategy to expand our position in cell analysis.
Knack Systems, an SAP consulting partner, completes the acquisition of Bridge-X Technologies, a provider of e-commerce and sales solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This is a historic moment for Bridge-X Technologies. Both Bridge-X Technologies and Knack Systems share the same mission and vision. We look forward to collaborating with Knack Systems to reach new common goals and developing exciting solutions and services for our customers.” Krishna Moorthy, Bridge-X co-founder.
Knoll, a design firm that produces office systems, seating, files and storage, tables and desks, textiles, and accessories for the office, home, and higher education settings, acquired Oregon-based Fully, an e-commerce furniture brand, for $35m.
Andrew Cogan, Knoll Chairman and CEO, stated, “We are pleased to welcome the Fully team to the Knoll constellation of brands. This acquisition aligns with our strategy to reach clients wherever and however they work. Fully’s design-driven products and unparalleled commitment to customer service reflect our goal to reach new consumers and small businesses while broadening our range of products and price points as well.”
NXTsoft, a data-centric solutions firm, acquires CCMC, a provider of data integration and connectivity solutions to financial institutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The addition of CCMC to the NXTsoft portfolio strengthens NXTsoft’s secure data-centric offerings that include data security, data analytics, data management & migration and now secure data connectivity solutions.
“The acquisition of CCMC complements our previous acquisition strategy and allows us to expand NXTsoft’s secure data-centric focus to encompass data connectivity for companies and financial institutions,” David Brasfield, NXTsoft CEO.
Sound Seal, a portfolio company of The Stephens Group and leading manufacturer of noise control products, acquired Acoustical & Tackable Surfaces, a leading manufacturer and installer of acoustical wall and ceiling panels. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The ATS product and service portfolio is a perfect addition to our thriving architectural business," said Joe Lupone, CEO of Sound Seal. "Our lean practices support a culture of continuous improvement, unmatched product quality and customer service. Furthermore, Sound Seal will extend sophisticated marketing and commercial resources that support rapid growth and scale. This acquisition is a prime example of Sound Seal taking another positive step toward strengthening our overall position in noise control."
NetWise, the industry-leading data and information services company that makes data useful for marketers, acquired WhoToo, a data and marketing platform provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We had been the core data engine behind the products from dozens of companies since our inception more than eight years ago," said Dwight Gorall, CEO of NetWise. "This acquisition is part of a larger strategy to expand our reach, directly interface with our clients, and ensure we're known as the B2B data pioneers and display advertising experts behind the best programmatic marketing," he added. "The great thing about this acquisition is that it allows us to reach a new audience of enterprise clients and deliver them instant value. With no change in their process, WhoToo clients will get better data almost immediately. It's like a free and instant upgrade to top-shelf spirits at the same bar you already frequent."
Everyday Health Group, a division of J2 Global, acquired BabyCenter, the leading global digital pregnancy and parenting resource, from Johnson & Johnson. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“BabyCenter is delighted to join Everyday Health Group’s Pregnancy and Parenting division. Our vision has long been to create a world of healthy pregnancies, thriving children, and confident parents. Together with Everyday Health Group, we have the capacity to build the future of pregnancy and parenting services for generations to come,” says Linda Murray, Senior Vice President of Consumer Experience for BabyCenter.
Customer engagement company Airship acquired Apptimize, the most adopted solution for testing and innovating user experiences across mobile apps and other digital channels. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Today’s most impactful companies are constantly reinventing customer experience, and a culture of experimentation is a critical part of driving that innovation,” said Brett Caine, CEO and president, Airship. “By combining Apptimize mobile app and web testing with Airship’s deep insight into customer engagement across channels, marketers and developers can focus innovation on the most critical areas while creating the seamless end-to-end experiences customers really want.”
Cisco Investments and Honeywell Ventures invested in Theatro, a pioneer of the world's first voice-controlled mobile platform connecting hourly employees to enterprise resources. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are proud to have Cisco Investments and Honeywell Ventures join us in our journey as investors,” said Chris Todd, CEO, Theatro. “Companies across a wide variety of industries recognize the significant customer experience and productivity benefits of a connected and engaged workforce. Our collaborations with Cisco and Honeywell ensure that Theatro will remain at the cutting edge of both networking and mobile standards and help us bring these benefits to more organizations, in a seamless and comprehensive manner.”
Private equity firms Water Street Healthcare Partners and JLL Partners acquired THREAD, a provider of technology that enables virtual research approaches to modernize clinical studies and registries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Water Street and JLL are the ideal partners for THREAD to accelerate our strategic expansion and solutions to our customers. Their life science expertise and resources will enable us to grow in a thoughtful way that will benefit all of our customers,” Jeff Frazier, THREAD Founder and CEO.
Sentinel Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, invests in SSJA Bariatric Management, a leading provider of administrative support services to bariatric surgery offices in New York. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to partner with Sentinel in our next phase of growth, Sentinel will help us expand our business geographically and extend our service offering into other markets." Shawn Garber, SSJA CEO.
Satori Capital, a Texas-based private equity firm, invests $30m in Cicero Capital Partners, a commercial mortgage-backed securities firm.
“Satori’s principals have firsthand experience launching, managing, and growing investment funds, they can offer us practical guidance on operational issues, capital raising, fund structuring, and more, and we’re thrilled to have a partner that will work with us as we grow.” Bob Neighoff, Cicero Portfolio Manager.
Warburg Pincus invested in Battery Ventures-backed WebPT, a comprehensive rehab-therapy software platform for enhancing patient care and fueling business growth. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“WebPT’s growth and success over the past several years is a testament to both the company’s long-term vision and the management team’s skill in methodically executing on its growth plans,” said Battery’s Chelsea Stoner. “The company has helped thousands of clinicians in the rehab-therapy field run more efficient practices, which in turn has improved patient care. We are extremely proud to have partnered with the company to empower so many individuals and clinics in the physical therapy industry by bringing innovation, technology, and automation to their care settings.”
LCH Partners, L Catterton's new consumer technology platform, invested in California-based Enjoy, a company that is changing the way premiere companies serve their customers in a digitally-driven world. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"By extending the retail experience to the customer's home with a team of on-the-go, full time employee experts, Enjoy has a tremendous opportunity within the evolving, connected, and increasingly personalized retail landscape," said Michael Chu, Global Co-CEO of L Catterton. "Ron and the Enjoy team have built an incredible next generation retail format, positioned to capture the generational shift in purchases toward digital orders and home delivery. We look forward to supporting Enjoy as they build on their vision to bring more products to life on-demand for more consumers around the world."
Philip Morris in talks to merge with Altria.
Reuters reported that Philip Morris, an American multinational cigarette and tobacco manufacturing company, and Altria Group, an American corporation and one of the world's largest producers and marketers of tobacco, cigarettes and related products, are in talks for an all-stock merger, potentially reuniting the tobacco giants after more than a decade. At current prices, a merger of the two would create a company with market value of more than $200bn. The talks were confirmed by Philip Morris in a statement.
In 2008, Altria spun off the Philip Morris International unit in a move aimed at unlocking the value of the fast-growing unit.
PetroChina and Saudi Aramco interested in buying Petrobras' refineries.
Reuters reported that Brazil's planned privatization of eight Petroleo Brasileiro refineries lured several of the world's largest trading and oil companies as prospective bidders. Around 20 companies have signed non-disclosure agreements granting them access to the refineries' data and signaling that they are considering a bid.
The interested parties include PetroChina Co and Sinopec, which already has a Brazilian joint venture with Spain's Repsol. Oil behemoth Saudi Aramco, which is planning one of the world's largest initial public offerings, is also looking at the refining units' numbers.
JP Morgan looking to sell $1bn AARP credit-card portfolio.
JP Morgan is looking to sell the credit-card portfolio it built through a partnership with the nonprofit AARP for approximately $1bn. Alliance Data Systems Corp, a publicly traded provider of loyalty and marketing services, is among those interested in the portfolio.
Nuvectra is exploring strategic options, including a sale.
Nuvectra Corporation, a neurostimulation medical device company, is exploring the potential strategic possibilities to finance the expected growth and shareholder value. The company does not exclude the possibility of a sale.
"The Board continues to support the Company’s ongoing efforts to execute initiatives put in place to reinvigorate growth; however, the Board believes that it is also in the best interest of the Company and its shareholders to actively seek strategic alternatives, including a sale or merger of the Company in order to best assure future innovation, product commercialization, and growth." Anthony Bihl, Nuvectra Chairman of the Board.
Fair received a $100m debt facility and equity investment from Ally Financial.
Vehicle subscription app Fair received a $100m debt facility and equity investment from Ally Financial, a bank holding company organized in Delaware and headquartered in Detroit. The debt facility, provided by Ally Bank to a subsidiary of Fair, is designed to help the fintech startup secure vehicles for entry-level car customers who might not otherwise qualify for a traditional loan or lease.
"Ally is an important strategic partner to Fair, and deepening the relationship represents the type of strategic alliances that are at the cornerstone of building a hyper-growth company like Fair," said Scott Painter, Fair Founder and CEO. "Through this partnership, Ally provides us with a foundational strategic building block and gives us access to an important source of capital to scale our solution and meet the ever-changing needs of the modern car shopper."
Liberty Global stated it would not change the terms of the $6.3bn planned disposal of UPC Switzerland business to Sunrise Communications, despite the opposition by Sunrise's biggest shareholder Freenet.
Freenet suggested that the all-cash deal would be quite unfavorable for Sunrise shareholders, and asked for the price to be lowered. Most shareholders of Sunrise back the UPC deal despite the opposition by Freenet.
PwC, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Latham & Watkins, Lenz & Staehelin, Meyerlustenberger Lachenal, NautaDutilh, Slaughter & May, and Deloitte are advising Sunrise. Credit Suisse, LionTree Advisors, JP Morgan, and Shearman & Sterling are advising Liberty Global.
Shagang Group, the largest privately owned steelmaker in China, acquired a 24% stake in Global Switch, a British data center provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
John Corcoran, Chief Executive Officer of Global Switch, said: “We are delighted that the Shagang Group, one of China’s leading private companies, with a track record for investment acumen, manufacturing and service excellence, has acquired a further 24.01% stake in Global Switch and we welcome the new Board director representatives. This further investment is a continued testament to the quality of the company, strong track record of financial performance and super prime locations."
Ineos, a multinational chemical company, acquires OGC Nice, a professional football club participating in French Ligue 1. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Club will become part of ‘INEOS Football’ which is led by CEO Bob Ratcliffe. The deal has received all required approvals including French Competition Authority.
"We are absolutely delighted about acquiring OGC Nice. It has been quite a long journey getting here, but it is unique, and we were determined to complete the purchase of the club," Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos Chairman.
Festicket, a leading platform for music festival experiences, acquires Event Genius, a leader in online event ticketing, and Ticket Arena, the leading online ticketing system. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The new offering, known as Event Genius by Festicket, will create an end-to-end platform for organisers and fans alike, providing the most complete offering in the live entertainment industry. The acquisition will help deliver on Festicket’s mission to become the world's largest two-sided platform for live events.
“The acquisition transforms Festicket’s product set. In Event Genius, we have found a company that shares our mission to be a disruptive force in the live entertainment market. Reshad and the team have built a great product they have good reason to be proud of, and I look forward to welcoming them to the Festicket family.” Zack Sabban, Festicket CEO.
Maximeyes Group, one of the UK's most innovative energy companies, acquired a significant stake in Puredrive Energy, a leading battery storage company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Shamir Jiwa, CEO and founder of The Maximeyes Group, comments, “Puredrive Energy really is at the forefront of innovation in energy. The team have and continue to create the smartest storage system in the market, regardless of where and how energy is generated, we know that it will need to be stored. Just look at how battery technology has revolutionized the telecoms industry by enabling mobile phones, we are now at the genesis of the next generation storage revolution for households. It is our belief that smart battery systems will be as prevalent as double glazing in the next ten years, and we are positioning ourselves in a sector where we can build a leading global brand starting in the UK.”
Raisin, the well-capitalized fintech startup that offers a pan-European marketplace for savings and investment products, acquired German pension specialist fairr. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Through this strategic acquisition, Raisin will get access to the European pension and retirement savings market and become the only platform worldwide to offer its customers access to savings, investments and pension products — all on one online marketplace with one simple registration. This is the second takeover for Raisin this year, following the fintech’s addition of its service bank MHB-Bank to its portfolio.
Canadian General-Tower, a supplier of coated fabric and film products, acquired AlkorDraka Industries and Alkor Medical Tubing, two French plastic filmmakers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This new development is an important strategic opportunity and comes with great excitement for the future of CGT as we continue to fulfill our global growth endeavors,” CGT CEO Craig Richardson said. “The initial reaction we have received from our stakeholders has been extremely positive as CGT moves toward investing both personnel and capital into the European markets to grow these newly acquired businesses.”
Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom form partnership for industrial 5G services in Germany.
Reuters reported that telecom companies Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom would team up to tap rising demand for mobile technology at industrial sites in Germany, as communications providers seek local uses for 5G with national deployment still years away. Next-generation 5G technology, which can provide data speeds at least 20 times faster than 4G, will underpin the great advances of the next era, from self-driving cars and augmented reality to smart cities and artificial intelligence.
The two companies said in separate statements on Tuesday that they aimed to work together on sites such as factory floors, airports, and harbors.
Nestle reluctant to expand through acquisitions.
Nestle is taking a cautious approach to growth-driving acquisitions, the company's finance chief Francois-Xavier Roger said, putting the expected volume for portfolio adjustments this year at around $12.3bn.
"We have to be very careful because asset prices are very expensive. By having a very disciplined M&A policy, we managed to improve our return on invested capital over the last four years," Mr. Roger said.
Arcadia resolved legal objections to its restructuring plan.
Philip Green's Arcadia Group, a British multinational retailing company, said it could now push ahead with its restructuring plan after two US landlords dropped their opposition to the planned Company Voluntary Arrangement. CVAs have been carried out by several British retailers, enabling them to close stores and reduce their rent burden, prompting retail property landlords to start to fight back.
"With these legal challenges now withdrawn all the components of the CVAs can now be implemented," Chief Executive Ian Grabiner said. "We can now look forward to implementing our strategy and delivering our growth plan for the group."
IFC considers a $100m loan for Egypt's Middle East Glass Manufacturing.
International Finance Corporation, an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries, is looking to provide a $100m loan to Egypt's Middle East Glass Manufacturing Co, a manufacturer of glass containers, to refinance its project. The project includes three major furnace rebuilds, resource efficiency improvements and the operational streamlining of the cullet processing operation.
"IFC anticipates that the Project will have a strong effect on the competitiveness of the regional glass market mainly across North and East Africa, which is facing competition from global players, by improving efficiency and quality standards, and introducing product diversity," IFC said in the disclosure.
Warimpex nears the sale of Paris hotels.
Warimpex Finanz- und Beteiligungs is in advanced talks to sell its Vienna House Dream Castle and Vienna House Magic Circus hotels. The closing is expected to take place before the end of the year.
The Vienna House Dream Castle and Vienna House Magic Circus hotels were jointly developed by Warimpex and UBM Development. Both firms posses a 50% stake in each of the hotels.
Lion Capital considers the sale of Grenade. (FS)
Private equity firm Lion Capital, which invests in foods and beverages brands, is considering the sale of sports nutrition company Grenade. Lion Capital acquired a majority stake just over two years ago from Grovepoint Capital and Grenade co-founders Alan and Juliet Barratt.
Inflexion to bid for £200m KPMG pensions arm. (FS)
Inflexion-backed Lane Clack & Peacock is rumored to have joined the handful of bidders participating in the second round of the auction for the £200m ($245m) KPMG pensions arm.
Northern Star, a global-scale Australian gold producer, offered to acquire Echo Resources, an ASX listed gold company, for $164m. The purchase price represents a premium of 39.4% to Echo’s Volume Weighted Average Price on 19 August 2019.
Victor Rajasooriar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Echo, said: “The Offer reflects the strategic nature of Echo’s Yandal Gold Project which has a unique combination of mineralization, untested exploration upside, established processing infrastructure at Bronzewing and a detailed Feasibility Study.”
Sternship Advisers and DLA Piper are advising Echo. Canaccord Genuity and Gilbert + Tobin are advising Northern Star.
Integral Diagnostics, an Australian healthcare services company, agreed to acquire Imaging Queensland, a scale provider of comprehensive diagnostic imaging services primarily operating in major centers along the Queensland coast, for $70m.
Siavash Es’haghi, Founder and Managing Director of IQ, commented: “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with IDX whom we consider to be a leading provider of specialist radiology services in Australia and New Zealand. Together we will be able to realize multiple synergies across our practices and release benefits for our patients and referrers.”
TA Associates invested in Gong Cha Group, a leading global provider of premium quality bubble and milk tea. The founders of Gong Cha Korea will participate in the investment alongside TA. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased to invest in Gong Cha, a high-growth business that is among the world's most recognized tea brands," said Edward Sippel, a Managing Director at TA Associates and Co-head of Asia operations of TA Associates Asia Pacific. "We are incredibly impressed with how successfully the management team has grown Gong Cha into such a profitable, global business. We will work closely with management in supporting the company's franchise partners to further Gong Cha's strong business model. We are looking forward to this partnership and helping to grow the Gong Cha brand in new and existing markets."
Qatar Airways looking to increase its stake in Cathay Pacific.
Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker, said that the company has full confidence in Cathay Pacific Airways, the flag carrier of Hong Kong, and will increase its 10% stake in the airline if it has an opportunity to do so.
"Cathay Pacific is there to stay, and to expand and to serve the people of both Hong Kong and China, as Hong Kong is an integral part of mainland China," Qatar Airways' Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said. "We have no concern about the brand, we have no concern on the viability of the airline."
Rapido raised $55m in WestBridge-led funding round. (FS)
Rapido, an India-based bike taxi startup, raised $55m in a WestBridge-led funding round. New investors that have participated in this round include Alibaba's BAce Capital and Shunwei Capital, along with existing investor Nexus.
RHB Bank close to completing transfer of insurance unit to Tokio Marine.
RHB Bank, Malaysia's fourth-largest lender, is close to completing negotiations on the transfer of 94.7% stake in its general insurance unit, RHB Insurance, to Tokio Marine Asia, a unit of Japan's Tokio Marine Holdings.
Khairussaleh Ramli, RHB Bank Group Managing Director said the bank hoped to complete discussions by the end of October and seek regulatory approval in November.
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