Prologis, a leading logistics real estate firm, acquires Industrial Property Trust, a leading owner of warehouses across USA, from Black Creek for $4bn in an all-cash transaction.
The cash deal, which includes the assumption and repayment of the debt, will probably close late this year or early next. The 37.5m sq ft operating portfolio comprises 236 properties, 96% of which are in existing Prologis markets. Specifically, the transaction expands the company's position in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle and New Jersey.
CBRE, Eastdil Secured, Morgan Stanley and Hogan Lovells are advising IPT.
People's United Financial, the holding company for People's United Bank, agreed to acquire United Financial Bancorp, the holding company for United Bank, for $759m.
"We are excited to welcome United Bank to People's United," said Jack Barnes, Chairman and CEO, People's United Financial. "With the fourth largest deposit market share in the combined Hartford and Springfield market, a complementary array of commercial and retail capabilities and a shared legacy of community giving, United will solidify our presence in the Central Connecticut market and strengthen our franchise in Western Massachusetts."
Sandler O'Neill + Partners and Sullivan & Cromwell are advising United Financial. Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are advising People's United.
Mobeus, a leading provider of finance to SMEs, completed the management buy-in of Star Brands, a laundry and cleaning product manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This is a really exciting time for the whole team at Star Brands who have grown the business over the past few years by listening to what our customers and consumers need and acting accordingly." said Tim North, Star Brands MD.
Freeths and Dow Schofield Watts advised Star Brands. Pragma Consulting, Dow Schofield Watts, Highwire Consulting, RSM, Squire Patton Boggs and BDO advised Mobeus.
Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking acquired Boyd Corporation, a leading global provider of highly-engineered thermal management and environmental sealing solutions, from private equity firm Gemstar Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We look forward to partnering with Boyd’s world class management team to further strengthen the Company’s leading market position and continue to deliver for Boyd’s customers.” said Leonard Seevers, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs.
In house advisors and Davis Polk & Wardwel are advising Goldman Sachs. Baird and Weil Gotshal and Manges are advising Boyd.
ThinkHR and Mammoth HR, two leading companies providing technology-enabled HR solutions to employers, announced a merger deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Mammoth CEO, Nathan Christensen, commented, “HR is increasing as both a pain point and a strategic opportunity for employers. As demand for solutions to address today’s HR challenges accelerates, we have an exciting opportunity to bring together the two market leaders to transform the HR experience for employers. We’re committed to working with our industry-leading partners to deliver innovative solutions and an unparalleled customer experience to help HR teams more effectively manage their compliance responsibilities and build great workplaces.”
Stone Point Capital-backed Portfolio Financial Servicing Company, a third-party private label servicer of commercial and consumer leases, loans and annuity type transactions, acquires a majority stake in First Associates Loan Servicing, a leading loan servicing firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
As a key part of this transaction, First Associates and PFSC will combine operations to form an industry leader. The combined organization will continue to specialize in loan and lease servicing, capital markets and customer service support with an exceptional focus on technology and compliance.
“Bringing together two industry leaders is always a game-changer,” said John Enyart, PFSC President. “Being able to combine all the knowledge, assets and leadership that PFSC and First Associates have together is an impressive prospect for the broader industry.”
Gryphon Investors-backed CORA Health Services, operating under the name CORA Physical Therapy, a national operator of outpatient physical therapy services, acquires Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Institute, a provider of general physical therapy and specialty programs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to welcome the team at OSTI to the CORA fold and excited to broaden our footprint in the Midwest. Our partnership provides the means for further growth as we deliver personalized care with respect and consideration for our patients' needs." Dennis Smith, CORA CEO.
Clerio Vision, a developer of laser-based vision correction solutions, acquired Hydrogel Vision Corporation. HVC, founded in 2002, is best known for its Extreme H2O product line and its multiple differentiated offerings that personalize the contact lens wearing experience. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As Clerio began preparations for its first contact lens offering, we quickly identified HVC as a best-in-class manufacturing partner," said Alex Zapesochny, Co-CEO of Clerio Vision. "We are thrilled to have now fully joined forces with HVC and to further build on its history of offering innovative products of the highest quality."
Energy Transfer Partners ponders selling Rover Pipeline stake. (FS)
Energy Transfer Partners, a company engaged in natural gas and propane pipeline transport, is weighing the sale of its 33% stake in a conduit that carries Appalachian natural gas to customers across the Midwest. The stake could fetch as much as $2.5bn. The remaining 67% of the 713 mile pipeline is held by Blackstone Group and Traverse Midstream.
No decision has been made and Energy Transfer could opt not to sell. The firm reportedly hired advisors to help evaluate its options.
Ilfryn Carstairs appointed as co-CEO at Värde Partners. (FS) (People)
Värde Partners, a leading global alternative investment firm, announced that Ilfryn Carstairs will join George Hicks, co-founder and chief executive officer, as co-CEO, effective January 1, 2020. Mr. Hicks co-founded Värde Partners 25 years ago and intends to transition to an executive chair role in 2022. Mr. Carstairs will retain his role as Chief Investment Officer.
The UK antitrust regulator asked the government to test whether the $5.5bn takeover of satellite operator Inmarsat raises public interest concerns or could endanger national security. Private equity firms Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus, OTTPB and CPPIB offered to buy Inmarsat in March 2019.
The regulators set a deadline at September 10 to determine wherer to deal poses a risk to public safety and competition.
Inmarsat is advised by Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, PJT Partners, Clifford Chance and Headland Consultancy. The buyers are advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, UBS, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Kirkland & Ellis, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Kekst & Company.
Austria’s AMS, which designs and manufactures advanced sensor solutions, said that it did not see “sufficient basis” for continuing its discussions with Osram Licht, a multinational lighting manufacturer, regarding a potential bid for the company. AMS was interested in starting a bidding war against Bain Capital and Carlyle, which recently struck a deal to buy Osram for $4.5bn.
“AMS requires opportunities to be strategically compelling and demonstrably value enhancing in order to consider pursuing a M&A transaction,” AMS said in a statement. “However, following an evaluation of recent developments AMS does not see a sufficient basis for continuing these discussions with Osram.”
Perella Weinberg Partners, Lazard, Gleiss Lutz and Freshfields advised Osram. Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Macquarie Group, Camarco, FTI and Kirkland & Ellis advised Bain Capital and Carlyle Group.
CRH, the global building materials group, sold its Europe Distribution business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone for €1.64bn ($1.8bn).
Commenting on this development, Albert Manifold, CRH Chief Executive, said: "The transaction announced today demonstrates the continued execution of CRH's strategy of creating value for our shareholders through active portfolio management, the efficient allocation of capital and creating a simpler and more focused Group going forward. We wish our colleagues in Europe Distribution every success as they enter this new phase of their development."
Utico, a leading provider of water management and treatment solutions, is to acquire an 88% stake of Hyflux, a leading municipal waste management firm in UAE, for $535m.
Prior to this offer Hyflux turned down SM Investor's $530m takeover bid.
"The aim is to save time and move expeditiously as both Utico and Hyflux, investors and creditors are aware of the fact that time is of essence in preserving the value of the Singaporean company and arrest further slide." Richard Menezes, Utico CEO.
Private equity firm Nazca Capital acquired Madrid-based Cinelux, a lighting rental business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Cinelux meets all the requirements we seek in an investment, has a unique position in the lighting sector and an excellent team in a market with strong growth potential," said the CEO of Nazca Capital, Carlos Carbó.
Santander advised Cinelux. PwC and Perez Llorca acquired Nazca Capital.
Private equity firm AGIC Capital acquired a majority stake in Farsound, a supply chain technology supplier, at a £115m ($144m) valuation. The stake was sold by Rubicon Partners.
Kevin Sargent, executive chairman of Farsound Aviation, commented: “I am very excited by this new phase in our development. Farsound has come a very long way in the past five years and I am very confident that with the support and backing of the AGIC team, we will continue that rapid growth. I very much look forward to working with the AGIC team to further enhance Farsound’s position in the market.”
Mutares, a leading German private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Kirchhof, a leading automotive components manufacturer and supplier. Financial terms were not disclosed.
As a part of the transaction, Mutares acquires the complete business of Kirchhoff (KICO) with its subsidiaries in Germany, Poland, and Mexico from the owner family. As a new platform investment, KICO will strengthen the Automotive & Mobility portfolio segment alongside STS Group, Elastomer Solutions and Plati.
"With the takeover of KICO, we have gained a family business rich in tradition for our Automotive & Mobility segment. The company is an excellently positioned automotive supplier with significant value potential based on its innovative strength and long-standing relationships with automotive manufacturers and major suppliers. We are convinced that our expertise and our network in the automotive sector will promote KICO's sustained profitable growth and are very pleased to have gained a promising platform," Robin Laik, Mutares CEO.
Spectrum Global Solutions, a provider of the next-generation communications network and professional services to telecommunications and enterprise markets, acquires WaveTech, a German-based company with a technology platform that provides efficient and reliable energy infrastructure for telecommunication networks and data centers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This new agreement enables Spectrum to combine directly with WaveTech and take advantage of that company’s extensive platform of patented products that makes energy supply more cost-efficient, reliable and eco-friendly.
"We saw great interest in our products over the last few months from major telecommunications operators all over the globe and the transaction with Spectrum will help us to accelerate our growth. Spectrum has great expertise in this field and a very talented team. We are looking forward to this new chapter in our company and are excited about our common future." Silas Poel, WaveTech COO.
MJ Hudson, the asset management consultancy, acquires Spring Associates, an environmental, social and governance consultancy and reporting business, based in Amsterdam. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Matthew Hudson, CEO, MJ Hudson, commented: "From our first contact, we were immediately impressed with the quality of Spring’s analysis framework and outputs, and are excited to welcome the team’s blend of deep research capability and management consultancy skills into our business. We believe that the combination of the Spring team’s impact and ESG expertise with MJ Hudson’s global asset management network is an extremely compelling proposition.”
Two Norwegian financial technology companies Hudya Group and Payr announced a merger deal to build a new Nordic fintech giant. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Børge Leknes, Hudya CEO, said that the firm follows a systematic growth strategy in its efforts to simplify customers' everyday lives, and that they are well under way to gather consumer-oriented services and products on their platform. The merger with Payr is an important part of this strategy.
LVMH, a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, invested in Stella McCartney House, a fashion brand created by English fashion designer Stella McCartney. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, declared: “I am extremely happy with this partnership with Stella. It is the beginning of a beautiful story together, and we are convinced of the great long-term potential of her House. A decisive factor was that she was the first to put sustainability and ethical issues on the front stage, very early on, and built her House around these issues. It emphasizes LVMH Groups’ commitment to sustainability."
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund acquired a 40% stake in Jasara Program Management Co, a joint venture created by Saudi ARAMCO and Jacobs Engineering Group. The venture was created in 2017 to provide management services for social infrastructure projects in the kingdom and across the Middle East and North Africa. Financial terms were not disclosed.
PMM Group appointed a new COO. (FS) (People)
PMM Group, an alternative asset manager specialising in real estate & real estate debt, appointed Richard Collins as Chief Operating Officer, a newly created position. Mr. Collins, who joins the firm as its seventh equity partner, will also be a director of PMM’s mortgage servicing business, Hampton Mortgage Servicing.
Matthew Northover, founding Partner of PMM, says: “We are very excited that we have recruited someone of Richard’s calibre and experience. Since PMM was founded in 2006, we have continued to grow and identify attractive opportunities in real estate and real estate debt and I am confident we will benefit from Richard’s expertise as we continue to expand our business.”
Blackstone Group agreed to acquire Vungle, a leading performance marketing platform for in-app video advertisements on mobile devices. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Sachin Bavishi, Principal at Blackstone, said, “As a best-in-class performance marketing platform, Vungle represents a key growth engine for the mobile app ecosystem. Our investment will help deliver on the company’s tremendous growth potential and we look forward to partnering with management to extend Vungle’s strength across mobile gaming and other performance brands.”
Goldman Sachs and DLA Piper are advising Vungle. Guggenheim Securities and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are advising Blackstone.
Aditya Birla Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate, acquired a 51% stake in Finesse International Design, a company primarily engaged in the business of bespoke occasion and ceremonial contemporary apparel for men and women under the brand name ‘Shantanu & Nikhil’. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Ashish Dikshit, Managing Director, Aditya Birla said: “Indian consumers are increasingly seeking contemporary India inspired designer wear in their wardrobes which combines the best of modern fashion with Indian traditions. Brand ‘Shantanu & Nikhil’ is the finest representation of this design philosophy. We are delighted to work with Shantanu & Nikhil to not just grow the existing couture business but also launch new prêt lines to extend the appeal and reach of this fashion across more consumer and market segments.
Kiwicare, a manufacturer and supplier of commercial and residential pest and garden products, acquired AHM Outdoor Holdings, an importer and distributor of outdoor lifestyle, gardening and hardware brands throughout New Zealand and Australia. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Kiwicare Chief Executive Matthew O’Brien said, “The purchase of AHM will strengthen and bring together two companies with shared values and products that are naturally aligned and will complement each other in the marketplace.”
China Merchants Shekou prepares for $800m Hong Kong IPO.
China Merchants Shekou, a Chinese public company based in Shenzhen, is planning an initial public offering of a real estate investment trust in Hong Kong, the city’s first REIT listing in five years. The share sale could raise about $800m. China Merchants Shekou’s offering would be the first REIT listing in Hong Kong since Spring Real Estate Investment Trust raised $216m in 2013.
India considers spinning off gas pipeline business.
Bloomberg reported that India's government is weighing a spin-off of the gas transmission business of GAIL India, the nation’s largest gas utility. GAIL has appointed an international consultant to determine tax implications after the restructuring. The plan to carve the pipelines business into a fully-owned unit will bring greater transparency between the two businesses and may allow the government to sell shares at a later date.
The government is seeking to keep the pipeline business separate for GAIL to help the company focus on expansion of its network and, at the same time, be transparent in offering the infrastructure to all.
SoftBank-backed CloudMind looking to raise $500m in US IPO.
CloudMinds, a Chinese intelligent cloud robot developer backed by SoftBank Vision Fund, filed to raise up to $500m in an IPO in the US, joining a throng of China-based firms seeking to list away from home. The IPO application comes as the four-year-old robotics firm raised $300m in a SoftBank Vision Fund-backed funding in March, giving the Masayoshi Son-led fund a 34.6% pre-IPO stake in the company.
DHFL in need of $434m equity infusion to sustain. (FS)
Dewan Housing Finance Corp, a deposit-taking housing finance company headquartered in Mumbai, said that it needed to raise approximately $434m of fresh equity investments to sustain lending operations. The mortgage lender has been struggling with financial loses and liquidity problems recently.
PE firms Oaktree Capital, Cerberus Capital and AION Capital have already submitted non-binding offers to buy a stake in DHFL.
Byju’s valuation soars by $2bn in latest funding round. (FS)
The valuation of Byju’s, a Bangalore-based educational technology and online tutoring firm, surged by $2bn to $5.5bn in its ongoing Series F funding round. The company so far raised $460m in the round, which is led by South Africa’s Naspers, private equity firm General Atlantic, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
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