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A US federal lawsuit to block JetBlue Airways's purchase of Spirit Airlines has raised hurdles for future airline deals, making it harder for companies to pursue growth and manage costs, Reuters
The US Justice Department's lawsuit comes at a time when US carriers are struggling to boost capacity because of shortages of pilots and aircraft. They are also facing higher costs following a run-up in fuel and labor bills.
Platinum Equity-backed Solenis an American manufacturer of specialty chemicals, agreed to acquire Diversey, an American provider of cleaning and hygiene products, for $4.6bn.
"The merger presents a unique opportunity to enhance value and create a more diversified business with increased scale, broader global reach, and superior customer service capabilities. It will enable the combined company to grow and provide a number of attractive cross-selling opportunities, including meeting increasing customer demand for water management, cleaning and hygiene solutions," Phil Wieland, Diversey CEO.
Sesen Bio, a late-stage clinical company, completed the merger with Carisma Therapeutics, a developer of gene-modified macrophage cell therapies, in a $457m deal.
"This transaction represents the result of a thoughtful and careful review of strategic alternatives over the past four months, during which Carisma's clinical programs, management team, and corporate strategy stood out amongst the 42 bids reviewed. Carisma is an exciting clinical-stage company with groundbreaking science and an impressive management team, which we believe makes them the optimal partner to provide value for our shareholders. Our mission at Sesen Bio has always been to save and improve the lives of patients with cancer, and we believe Carisma has the science and the unwavering patient focus required to make that mission a reality," Thomas Cannell, Sesen Bio President and CEO.
Carisma Therapeutics was advised by Bank of America, Evercore, WilmerHale and Real Chemistry (led by Julia Stern
). Financial advisors were advised by Shearman & Sterling and Sullivan & Cromwell (led by Stephen M. Kotran
). Sesen Bio was advised by SVB Securities and Hogan Lovells (led by Steven J. Abrams
). SVB Securities was advised by Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (led by Warren S. de Wied
Realty Income, a real estate investment trust, agreed to acquire 415 single-tenant convenience store properties from EG Group, an independent convenience retailer based in the United Kingdom, for $1.5bn.
"Our core investment philosophy is to partner with leading operators in industries that have demonstrated an ability to deliver favorable risk-adjusted returns over the long term. We believe this portfolio includes brands that are among the most recognizable convenience store brands on the east coast, and the convenience store industry has long been a well-performing staple in our real estate portfolio. We are pleased with the portfolio's attractive real estate quality, store-level cash flow coverage, and average property size," Sumit Roy, Realty Income President and CEO.
EG Group is advised by Ernst & Young, Barclays, Eastdil Secured, Rothschild & Co, Latham & Watkins, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by Vared Rabia
) and FGS Global (led by Rollo Head
HNI, one of the largest office furniture manufacturers, agreed to acquire Kimball International, an omnichannel commercial furnishings company, for $485m.
"We are excited about joining with Kimball International, a high-quality company we have long admired for its recognized brands, furnishings expertise built over 70 years, and established relationships across multiple sectors. The combined company will have a stronger platform for growth, delivering significant benefits for our shareholders, members, dealers, and customers. We look forward to welcoming the talented Kimball International employees to HNI," Jeff Lorenger, HNI Chairman, President and CEO.
Kimball International is advised by JP Morgan, ArentFox Schiff and Advisiry Partners (led by Lynn Morgen
). HNI is advised by Rothschild & Co, Davis Polk & Wardwell (led by James P. Dougherty)
and Gladstone Place Partners (led by Lauren Odell
ZeroNox, a provider of sustainable, off-highway vehicle electrification, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Growth for Good Acquisition, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, in a $306m deal.
“Having been raised in the Central Valley of California, Robert and I returned home to build a business that would first and foremost support our community. We are motivated to bring our neighbors – who use off-highway vehicles for work across ranches, farms, and construction sites – high performing, affordable and zero emissions equipment that can help grow their businesses. Simply put, that’s our mission, and we are thrilled to partner with Growth for Good, a SPAC with a social impact and sustainability mission that aligns with our own,” Vonn Christenson, ZeroNox CEO.
EagleTree Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of PRA, a business event management firm, from CI Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Since its founding over 40 years ago, PRA has become a leading business event management firm in the United States. After successfully navigating through the global pandemic, we continued to support our clients through a very challenging recovery in 2022, and ultimately delivered the most successful results in the company's history. We are excited to continue to build upon this momentum and thrilled to have the support and partnership of EagleTree Capital," Mike Fiber, PRA CEO.
Marathon Petroleum, an integrated, downstream energy company headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, agreed to acquire a 49.99% stake in LF Bioenergy, an emerging producer of renewable natural gas, in Cresta Fund Management, a value-added, middle market-focused firm investing in sustainable and conventional infrastructure projects, for $100m.
"This RNG transaction demonstrates our commitment to lower carbon investments. This platform will create the opportunity for further integration and advances MPC's goal to lower the carbon intensity of its operations and the products it offers," Dave Heppner, MPC Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development.
Marathon Petroleum is advised by Barclays and Jones Day (led by Jeff Schlegel
and Alex Wilde
). LF Bioenergy is advised by Guggenheim Partners and Weil Gotshal and Manges.
Ares, a global alternative investment manager, agreed to invest $375m in WHP Global, a global brand management firm.
"WHP Global has experienced record-setting growth since its founding in 2019, and this new significant investment from Ares gives us a powerful edge to capitalize on today's robust M&A market as we chart the course for our next phase of growth. We're thrilled for this partnership with Ares, and excited to advance our company alongside our existing shareholder base that includes Oaktree, Solus, Platform Founder Group and WHP employees," Yehuda Shmidman, WHP Global Chairman and CEO.
WHP Global is advised by Moelis & Co and Kirkland & Ellis.
Sumeru Equity Partners, a technology-focused growth capital firm, led a $110m funding round in Consensus, an intelligent demo automation platform.
"Consensus created a transformational product with a strong value proposition that is uniquely suited to modern sales processes post-Covid, enabling customers to grow faster via improved sales conversion rates while saving money by operating more efficiently. Despite challenging macroeconomic conditions, Consensus continues to maintain high growth, increasing revenue by 60% in 2022. We believe the company has just begun to scratch the surface and is ready to scale its product into a category leader," Jason Babcoke, Sumeru Managing Director.
Sumeru Equity Partners was advised by Blueshirt Group (led by Jeff Fox
Constellation Software, a technology company, agreed to acquire the loan origination system business of Black Knight, an integrated technology, work flow automation, data, and analytic solutions to the mortgage and real estate industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The deal has come under scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission amid concerns from some US lawmakers that the pricing power ICE would gain in the mortgage data market could lead to higher costs for consumers.
Black Knight is advised by Truist Securities.
Vonco, a risk-free plastic products and packaging manufacturer, completed the acquisition of Genesis Plastics Welding, a plastics contract manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We pride ourselves on staying on top of the latest industry trends and technologies to support and understand our clients’ business needs. We are assured to know that Vonco aligns with our passion to collaborate with current and future customers to manufacture life saving devices and provide solutions that enable innovation,” Tom Ryder, Genesis CEO.
Berkshire Hathaway acquired additional stake in Occidental Petroleum. (FS)
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has resumed its purchases of Occidental Petroleum shares after a five-month hiatus, increasing its stake in the oil company to about 22.2%, Reuters
Berkshire paid about $355m for 5.8m Occidental shares. The purchases were the first Berkshire has disclosed since late September. It ended last year with a 21.4% stake.
Carrier Energy Partners sells Eagle Ford assets.
Carrier Energy Partners, a private oil and gas company, closed on the sale of its oil and gas assets in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas.
Carrier sold its non-operated working interest in Karnes County to an undisclosed buyer across two transactions for total cash consideration of $145m, subject to customary terms and conditions, including closing adjustments.
Canada will not retrospectively target Chinese investments in Canadian mining companies.
Canada will not force Chinese state investors in three of its large mining companies to divest stakes, as such a move would create policy uncertainty, Reuters
Canada had asked three Chinese companies to sell their stakes in Toronto-listed lithium explorers following a national security review in November, drawing criticism from the mining industry and raising questions about the future of other Chinese investments in Canadian mining sector.
Dentsu, a Japanese international advertising and public relations joint stock company, agreed to acquire TAG Worldwide, the global omnichannel digital marketing production powerhouse, from Advent, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity firms. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition will support Dentsu's strategy of offering integrated client solutions at the convergence of marketing, technology and consulting, uniting the group's service offerings like never before.
Dentsu is advised by Lazard. Advent is advised by Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Evercore, UBS, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Tulchan Communications (led by Graeme Wilson
Sino Biopharmaceutical’s invoX Pharma unit has won approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to proceed with its $161m takeover of F-star Therapeutics.
The companies announced the agreement in a statement. The CFIUS clearance is the final regulatory approval required to complete the deal, which the companies now expect will happen promptly, Bloomberg
Stellex Capital Management, an investment company, completed acquisition of David Brown Santasalo, a global gear systems specialist, from N4 Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“On behalf of David Brown Santasalo, we are very pleased to have secured this investment by Stellex. They have experience investing in our sectors, have spent time working with us on our plans, and clearly see the potential of DBS to further develop our services for customers. I look forward to this new chapter in which we can continue to strengthen our position in the market,” David Armitt, DBS Chief Executive Officer.
ActiveFence, a provider of solution for Trust and Safety intelligence and management, completed the acquistion of Rewire, a startup that's building AI for online safety. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"AI is the key to powering our fight against online threat actors, but your defense is only as good as your AI models. Joining forces with Rewire will allow us to build even more accurate and trustworthy models more efficiently, bringing together Rewire's high-quality datasets with ActiveFence's assets and infrastructure to create a significant step forward in AI for online safety at scale," Noam Schwartz, ActiveFence CEO and Co-Founder.
RFMW, a specialized distributor of RF and microwave products, agreed to acquire MRC Gigacomp and MRC Components, two German distributors of electronic components. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited about this agreement with RFMW. RFMW's products directly align with our focus and customer base. We are particularly excited to become a part of the RFMW family and we look forward to working with our new global colleagues," Frank Lauber, MRC Gigacomp Managing Director.
Advent, CVC among firms eyeing stake in Lufthansa's Technik. (FS)
Advent International and CVC Capital Partners are among private equity firms weighing bids for a minority stake in Deutsche Lufthansa's aircraft maintenance and repair unit, Bloomberg
A stake in Lufthansa's Technik business is also attracting initial interest from Bain Capital and Blackstone. Technik could be valued at more than €6bn ($6.3bn) in any deal.
A consortium of investors sold £2bn worth of LSEG's stock. (FS)
Blackstone, Thomson Reuters and other investors disposed of about £2bn ($2.4bn) of stock in London Stock Exchange Group after a lockup period expired, Bloomberg
The offering saw 28m shares sold at £71.5 ($85.5) via York Holdings II. That's a discount of about 4% to LSEG's closing price on Tuesday.
Wood set to reject Apollo's $2bn acquisition proposal. (FS)
John Wood Group dismissed a proposal for a £1.6bn ($2bn) cash offer from private equity firm Apollo Global Management as too low, Bloomberg
The approach follows three earlier proposals from New York-based Apollo. A successful bid for the Scottish engineering firm by the private equity behemoth would further fuel fears over an exodus of UK-listed companies amid a yawning valuation gap to the US.
PIF set to start investor meetings for $1bn ADES IPO. (FS)
Saudi Arabia's wealth fund plans to kick off investor meetings for the initial public offering of oil and gas driller ADES International as soon as this month, Bloomberg
The Public Investment Fund is targeting a first-half listing for ADES and is likely to soon file with the Saudi regulator. The PIF has picked Lazard as a financial adviser to work on the IPO.
Volta Trucks seeks a $264m pre-IPO fund.
Volta Trucks, the electric-truck maker backed by billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, is in advanced discussions to raise as much as $264m, Reuters
The Swedish start-up, whose clients include DB Schenker and Petit Forestier, is working with advisers at Perella Weinberg Partners to secure the funds, in what it hopes will be its last equity raise before an initial public offering as soon as next year.
Abraj Energy sets IPO price at top of range.
Oman's Abraj Energy Services, the oil and gas drilling business of state energy company OQ, has set the price for its initial public offering at $0.65 per share, which would value the company at about $498m.
"Since announcing our intention to float on the MSX, we are extremely pleased to have received strong interest from investors. Amid robust sector fundamentals, a favorable market and with our diverse service offerings, including drilling, workover and well services, we believe that Abraj presents an attractive proposition for investors," Saif Al-Hamhami, Abraj CEO.
Investcorp weighs IPO of investment vehicle. (FS)
Investcorp, the Middle East's largest alternative asset manager, is considering listing an investment vehicle in Abu Dhabi, in what would be the region's first such initial public offering, Bloomberg
The Bahrain-based investor has started early preparations with advisers for an IPO of the vehicle that would include some stakes in its — mainly international — assets.
Permira closed a new fund at €16.7bn. (FS)
Permira has completed a €16.7bn ($17.7bn) fundraising for its latest flagship fund, giving the UK private equity firm fresh ammunition for deals, Bloomberg
London-based Permira recently hit the final close for its eighth buyout fund. The firm beat its initial €15bn ($16bn) target.
GIC, a sovereign wealth fund in Singapore, completed a $191m investment in Primaya Hospital, a globally recognized hospital group with 14 operating hospitals in Indonesia.
GIC said the deal was conducted for investment purposes.
Premji Invest, an investment company, led a $110m Series D round in Mintifi, a supply chain financing platform, with participation from Norwest Venture Partners, Elevation Capital and International Finance Corporation.
“Mintifi is addressing the whitespace in supply-chain financing in a highly differentiated manner through its distinctly modular platform and powerful anchor-led and tech-driven origination, underwriting and collection process. Its flexible supply-chain finance solutions create a win-win situation for anchors, distributors and retailers and have demonstrated great product market fit,” Saravanan Nattanmai, Premji Invest Principal.
Boeing is said to be nearing 737 Max deal with Japan Airlines.
Boeing is close to sealing an order from Japan Airlines for at least 20 of its 737 Max planes, beating out arch-rival Airbus and its competing A320neo aircraft family, Bloomberg
After holding discussions with both manufacturers, JAL is leaning toward Boeing. The order will likely be a combination of smaller Max 8 jets along with some of Boeing's larger Max 10 planes.
Ziroom plans $1bn Hong Kong IPO.
Chinese home rental platform Ziroom is considering a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise about $1bn as soon as this year, Bloomberg
The SoftBank Group-backed startup is working with Citic Securities, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley on the listing preparations. The company could file a preliminary prospectus with the Hong Kong stock exchange as soon as April.
BNP Paribas plans to move out of Central, Hong Kong to cut costs.
BNP Paribas plans to move the majority of its Hong Kong staff out of offices in the city's central business district as the lender looks to cut costs and adjust to the post-Covid era, Bloomberg
The French lender is weighing shifting nearly all of its staff in Two International Finance Centre, a prestigious complex in a coveted location, to offices in Taikoo Place on the east side of Hong Kong island. The move is set to happen as soon as next year, and some bankers may stay behind in the Central building.