Holocene Advisors, an investment management firm, said it will not back Merck & Co’s offer to buy Acceleron Pharma for $180 per share, saying it significantly undervalues the drugmaker, Reuters reported.
Avoro Capital, which owns 7% of Acceleron stock, had also shared that view on Merck’s $11.5bn bid for the company.
“A transaction now, at this price, is not compelling ... (the offer) does not compensate XLRN shareholders adequately, given Acceleron’s strong pipeline and attractive long-term business prospects,” Holocene Advisors.
Acceleron Pharma is advised by Centerview Partners, JP Morgan and Ropes & Gray. Financial Advisors are advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Merck & Co is advised by Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Covington & Burling, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Joele Frank.
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board agreed to invest in Vantage Elevator Solutions, a North American designer, manufacturer and distributor of elevator components and systems. Vantage's current owner, Golden Gate Capital, will retain a significant minority ownership stake in the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to acquire a majority stake in Vantage. The company has a strong portfolio of brands and solid market position among elevator components manufacturers. We are attracted to the strong resilience of the sector, as well as the growth potential in this segment. We look forward to partnering with CEO Ron Cauchi, the Vantage management team and Golden Gate Capital to support the business as it enters its next stage of growth," Karen Frank, Ontario Teachers' Senior Managing Director, Equities.
Vantage Elevator Solutions is advised by Harris Williams & Co, Robert W Baird, Nob Hill and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. OTPP is advised by RBC Capital Markets and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Golden Gate Capital is advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co.
GTCR, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a stake in Lexipol, a provider of policy, training and wellness support software for first responders and public servants, from The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm focused on the smaller end of the middle market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We have been fortunate to work with The Riverside Company, which has enabled Lexipol to grow exponentially over the last seven years. Now we look forward to building on this foundation with GTCR as we expand our offerings to best support public servants as they work to protect and enhance our communities," Chuck Corbin, Lexipol CEO.
Lexipol is advised by Robert W Baird, Shea & Co, Vaquero Capital and Jones Day. GTCR is advised by Berenson & Co, Kirkland & Ellis and The Harbinger Group.
AeroFarms, a vertical farming firm, terminated the $1.9bn SPAC merger with Spring Valley Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company.
Neither party will be required to pay the other a termination fee as a result of the mutual decision to terminate the business combination agreement. Spring Valley intends to continue to pursue the consummation of an initial business combination prior to the dissolution deadline of May 27, 2022 (unless such date is extended in accordance with Spring Valley’s governing documents).
PCI Pharma Services, a pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical global integrated solutions provider, agreed to acquire Lyophilization Services of New England, a premier contract manufacturing organization, from Permira, the global private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Permira's partnership has been instrumental to helping us achieve our strategic goals. Permira's industry expertise in pharma services, global relationships and operational resources were invaluable as we entered new markets, pursued capacity expansion and broadened our capabilities. We are grateful for their partnership, and we look forward to beginning the new journey as part of PCI," Matt Halvorsen, LSNE Founder and CEO.
PCI Pharma Services is advised by Jefferies & Company and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Permira is advised by RBC Capital Markets, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Arcline Investment Management, a growth-oriented private equity firm, agreed to acquire Onboard Systems, a designer, manufacturer, and servicer of external cargo equipment for military and civil helicopter applications, from Liberty Hall Capital Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We could not be more excited to partner with Arcline in our company's next phase. Arcline shares our vision to deliver the most advanced and highest-quality external cargo solutions to our customers. We are confident that our partnership with Arcline and its portfolio of aerospace and defense-focused businesses will enable us to better serve both our OEM and aftermarket partners," Cory VanBuskirk, Onboard Systems President.
Arcline Investment Management is advised by Joele Frank. Liberty Hall Capital Partners is advised by Houlihan Lokey, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and FTI Consulting.
Quanta Services, a provider of infrastructure services for electric power, pipeline, industrial and communications industries, completed the acquisition of Blattner, a renewable energy infrastructure solutions provider in North America, for $2.7bn.
"We believe what Quanta is to the electric power solutions industry, Blattner is to the utility-scale renewable energy solutions industry. Together, we will be focused on what we believe are the most attractive areas of the electric infrastructure complex. Blattner will bring an exceptional management team that we believe will enhance our ability to collaborate with our customers to shape North America's energy transition to a carbon-neutral economy. Blattner has a strong and visible project backlog, and we believe their financial contribution will be accretive to Quanta's growth, margins, cash flow conversion and earnings per share," Duke Austin, Quanta President and CEO.
Blattner was advised by JP Morgan. Quanta Services was advised by Lazard, Latham & Watkins and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Canopy Growth, a cannabis company based in Smiths Falls, agreed to acquire Wana Brands, a pharmaceutical cannabis provider, for $298m.
"As we establish Canopy Growth as the world's leading cannabis company, acquiring the #1 cannabis edibles brand in North America will serve to strengthen our market position in both Canada and the United States. The right to acquire Wana secures another major, direct pathway into the US THC market upon federal permissibility, and in Canada we'll be adding the top-ranked cannabinoid gummies to our industry-leading house of brands. We're confident in the future growth of the edibles category and the tremendous opportunities with Wana," David Klein, Canopy Growth CEO.
Wana Brands is advised by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. Canopy Growth is advised by Cassels Brock & Blackwell and Paul Hastings.
Mubadala Investment, a sovereign investor managing a global portfolio, completed the acquisition of K-Mac Holdings, operator of 300 fast-food Taco Bell outlets, from Lee Equity Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The deal reflects Mubadala Capital’s foray into the food and beverage sector, where it invested about $1.8bn in the past seven years alone. It also underlines the buyout division’s US focus, a destination for about 80% of its capital," Adib Martin Mattar, Mubadala Capital Head of Private Equity.
Mubadala Investment was advised by Goldman Sachs. Lee Equity Partners was advised by Bank of America and North Point Advisors.
Valvoline, an American manufacturer and distributor of Valvoline-brand automotive oil, additives, and lubricants, is set to demerge its Retail Services and Global Products businesses. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Following a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives by the Valvoline Board of Directors and executive management, we believe that a separation of our business segments will create significant and sustainable value for our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders, and will best position the Retail Services and Global Products businesses for continued long-term success," Stephen F. Kirk, Valvoline Chairman of the Board.
Valvoline is advised by Goldman Sachs and Cravath Swaine & Moore.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2, a fund with a goal to invest in AI-based technology, completed the $400m investment in Vuori, the California-based maker of leggings and sports bras.
“With its strong consumer engagement, sustainability focus, and sheer growth, we believe Vuori is a leading brand in the attractive activewear market. We are delighted to partner with Joe and the Vuori team as they introduce new products to consumers and expand globally,” Nagraj Kashyap, SoftBank Managing Partner.
Infinite Computer Solutions, a global technology company, agreed to acquire IBM Talent Acquisition Suite from IBM, an American multinational technology corporation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With the recovery from Covid-19, our clients have had unprecedented needs for hiring and, we saw an opportunity to provide a proven SaaS-based platform to optimize the end-to-end hiring process, from sourcing and attracting top talent to employee retention. Our platform-led approach for solving digital transformation challenges across industries is working well, and we continue to adopt this strategy for accelerating the transformation for our customers," Sanjay Govil, Infinite Computer Solutions Founder and Chairman.
FactSet, a global provider of integrated financial information, analytical applications, and industry-leading service, completed the acquisition of Cobalt Software, a portfolio monitoring solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"FactSet and Cobalt share an unparalleled commitment to public service and we are delighted to be joining forces. There is a large and growing opportunity to offer integrated workflow, data and analytics to the PE/VC industry. By combining our capabilities, we will be optimally positioned to capitalize on the increasing demand for these solutions and deliver even more value to clients," Jason Weinstein, Cobalt CEO.
Berkshire Partners-backed 3Phase Elevator, an independent elevator and escalator services provider, completed the merger with Advanced Elevator, a provider of elevator and escalator services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The combined company adds to 3Phase's geographic expansion and allows Advanced to leverage 3Phase's key digital capabilities and automation.
Advanced Elevator was advised by Lift Business Advisors.
RelaDyne, a provider of lubricants, fuel, diesel exhaust fluid and industrial reliability services, agreed to acquire Enterprise Oil Company, a family-owned industrial and automotive lubricants blender, packager, and distributor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of Enterprise Oil Co. is a continuation of not only our expansion strategy in the Midwest region but our continued focus on diversification and investment into long-term, sustainable growth markets," David Schumacher, RelaDyne VP of Business Development.
Mindbody, a provider of management software, agreed to acquire ClassPass, a gym-hopping app, from Vista Equity Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm. As part of the deal Sixth Street, a private equity firm, agreed to invest $500m in ClassPass.
“The ClassPass network includes many businesses already working with Mindbody. By combining our respective operations, we will create more seamless integrations and unlock new revenue opportunities for business owners using both services, while continuing to support all fitness, salon and spa businesses who choose to work with Mindbody or ClassPass,” Fritz Lanman, ClassPass CEO.
Poshmark, a social marketplace for new and secondhand style for women, men, kids, pets, home and more, completed the acquisition of Suede One, a platform that combines machine learning. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Suede One has built impressive capabilities in virtual authentication that will allow us to deliver tangible benefits to our community, scale our authentication services in a meaningful way, and accelerate our momentum in sneakers as well as luxury goods, two of the fastest-growing categories in the resale space. We are thrilled to welcome the Suede One team to Poshmark and look forward to what we can build together," Manish Chandra, Poshmark Founder and CEO.
Greenoaks, a global internet investment firm based in San Francisco, led a $275m Series F round in TripActions, the fastest-growing travel and spend management platform, with participation from Elad Gil and Base Partners.
"TripActions is experiencing massive growth as companies recognize the imperative for consumer-grade tech tools and efficiency that comes from real-time, contextual data. Just as TripActions continues to disrupt the corporate travel market, TripActions Liquid is set to replace traditional spend management solutions. No other company is able to provide a single, unified T&E solution for enterprise companies on a global scale," Ariel Cohen, TripActions CEO.
General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, led a $150m Series C round in Hibob, the company behind 'bob', a HR platform, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Eight Roads and Entrée Capital.
This round brings the company's total investment to $274m since Hibob was founded in late 2015. This new funding will be used to drive continued global expansion and develop innovative work tech modules that are designed to support customers' growth.
Lightspeed Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins led a $140m Series B round in Dexterity, the creators of intelligent robotic systems for logistics, warehouses, and supply chain, with participation from Obvious Ventures, B37 Ventures and Presidio Ventures.
Dexterity will use the new capital to support the growth of the company as its first thousand robots are deployed into production.
Tiger Global led a $110m Series C round in Karat, a technical interviewing firm.
"Just like the public cloud moved everyone from private computing to shared infrastructure, Karat's Interviewing Cloud is upending the old way of do-it-yourself interviewing that eats into valuable engineering time and fails to delight candidates. By professionalizing interviewing and developing purpose-built interviewing technology, Karat enables companies to innovate faster and candidates to showcase their strengths in a comfortable environment," Mohit Bhende, Karat CEO.
Lone Pine Capital, an American-based hedge fund, led a $110m Series B round in GRIN, a provider of creator management platform for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands. Additional investors included BOND.
"Authenticity is critical in the creator economy, and that's why we built GRIN, a SaaS platform built for creator management that is trusted by thousands of the world's leading brands. GRIN provides the best overall solution for brands and creators seeking direct, authentic partnerships that will resonate," Brandon Brown, GRIN CEO and Co-Founder.
Telstra and Australian government finalising bid for Digicel's Pacific assets.
Telstra is close to completing a deal to buy the Pacific operations of telecommunications firm Digicel Group in partnership with the Australian government, Reuters reported.
Telstra said it was in talks to buy the Pacific business in a deal that would see Australia contribute the bulk of the funding - a plan widely viewed as a political move to block China's influence in the region.
Olympus Partners is said to weigh sale of Vaco. (FS)
Olympus Partners, a private equity firm, is considering a sale of Vaco, a recruiting and consulting firm, which is expected to fetch more than $1.5bn.
Olympus is working with an adviser to look at strategic options for the company. Vaco generates about $140m in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. No final decision has been made and Olympus could elect to keep the business, Bloombergreported.
Goldman Sachs is "doubling down" on technology investing. (FS)
Goldman Sachs Group investment banking co-head Dan Dees said the firm’s dealmakers are looking for opportunities in all areas of technology as companies emerge from the pandemic era, Bloombergreported.
"Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, quantum computing and synthetic biology are among areas for investment," Dan Dees, Goldman Sachs co-head.
Lulu's Fashion Lounge files for IPO.
Lulu's Fashion Lounge, an online shopping website, filed for an initial public offering, the latest retailer seeking to tap equity markets to fuel its growth.
The company, based in Chico, California, is seeking to sell $100m worth of shares, although that figure is often a placeholder used to calculate filing fees.
Ford Motor exits Rivian board as it prepares IPO.
Ford Motor has vacated its seat on the board of Rivian Automotive as the electric-truck startup prepares to go public with an expected valuation of $80bn.
Doug Power, Ford’s newly hired vice president of corporate development, stepped down from Rivian’s board last month. He had taken the spot held by Alexandra Ford English, great-great granddaughter of founder Henry Ford, who left Rivian in May when she became a director at her namesake company.
Mastercard-backed AvidXchange slips in debut after upsized IPO. (FS)
Mastercard-backed AvidXchange Holdings, a financial technology company, ended its trading debut below the price in an initial public offering it had expanded to raise $660m.
Shares of the company fell as much as 6.6% on October 13 and closed down 0.2% to $25 in New York, giving AvidXchange a market value of about $4.9bn. Accounting for employee stock options and restricted stock units, Axios Charlotte, a news media company, has a fully diluted value closer to $5.1bn.
D2L aims for Canada unicorn status in IPO.
D2L, a Canadian online learning services provider, is seeking to raise $120m or more in an initial public offering that would value the company at about $790m.
Those targets are not final and could change as the company sews up the details of the offering in the days ahead. D2L disclosed its plans for an IPO on the Toronto Stock Exchange without providing financial details, Bloomberg reported.
Gitlab exceeds IPO target price to raise $801m.
Gitlab, a software development platform, priced an initial public offering above a marketed range to raise $801m.
The company sold 10m shares on October 13 for $77 each after marketing them for $66 to $69. Gitlab elevated the price target from an earlier range of $55 to $60.
Gen Z Texas oil scion raises $125m for Latin America SPAC.
The young scion of a storied Texas oil dynasty and his fraternity brother have raised $125m for a SPAC focused on Latin America, Bloombergreported.
Rose Hill Acquisition, started by 23-year-old Cornell alumni Albert G. Hill IV and Juan Jose Rosas, sold 12.5m units at $10 apiece in its US IPO, the blank-check firm said in a statement. Each unit represents one common share and half a redeemable warrant.
Sole Source Capital raises $555m for the second fund. (FS)
Sole Source Capital, an industrial-focused private equity firm, announced the final closing of its second fund, SSC Partners II, with aggregate total commitments of $555m.
Fund II was significantly oversubscribed with an initial target of $400m and reached its hard cap. With the closing of Fund II, Sole Source Capital now manages in excess of $1bn just three years after the launch of Fund I.
Sole Source Capital was advised by Gibson Dunn and Eaton Partners.
Ghana National Petroleum, the state agency responsible for the exploration, licensing, and distribution of petroleum-related activities in Ghana, and Kosmos Energy, an American upstream oil company, agreed to acquire Ghana assets of Occidental, an American company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration, for $750m.
"With this transaction, we have achieved our post-Colombia divestiture target. Proceeds from the Ghana asset sale will be applied to debt reduction. Combined, our divestiture program and free cash flow generation have enhanced our ability to reduce debt, as evidenced by the $4.5bn we have repaid year to date. We remain committed to creating value for our shareholders through our deleveraging efforts," Vicki Hollub, Occidental President and CEO.
Investment firms Advent International and Viking Global Investors agreed to invest $300m in Global Processing Services, a global payment technology platform.
"GPS provides key payments technology infrastructure, enabling the global fintech revolution. Their agile, resilient and modern cloud platform drives some of the most innovative use cases and allows fintechs to globalise through a single API," Peter James, Advent International Director.
Exor, a holding company incorporated in the Netherlands, agreed to invest $80m in TVS Supply Chain Solutions, a firm that supplies spare parts and components to customers in the automotive, defense and utility sectors.
TVS SCS will use the fund to grow its business, further strengthen its technology capability, and for other transformational initiatives. Earlier this year, Exor, through another fund managed by them, had invested in Ki Mobility Solutions – a subsidiary of TVS Automobile Solutions.
TVS Supply Chain Solutions is advised by Rothschild & Co.
Candid, a media agency, agreed to acquire De Media Maatschap, a media company in Amsterdam. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With M2Media, BBK and STROOM we already had a strong and growing position for media strategy, planning and buying. The addition of De Media Maatschap and the merger with STROOM is a strategically important step for us as it further accelerates our growth. As a result we are moving to an even stronger position in the Dutch market in terms of our market share in media investment management," Rudiger Wanck, Candid CEO.
Fimatix, a digital technology services consultancy, completed the acquisition of Testing Performance, a provider of comprehensive testing services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to have finalized our acquisition of Testing Performance. The company has a strong record providing testing and assurance across government and industry, and the expertise their team brings will enable us to build upon our existing capabilities and is a great string to our bow. We are becoming increasingly active in the digital services market right now, with further announcements in the pipeline for 2021," Tim Howarth, Fimatix CEO.
InMobi, a provider of content, monetization and marketing technologies, agreed to acquire Appsumer, a performance insights platform for mobile app advertisers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Appsumer brings a next-generation approach for advertisers to better understand the efficacy of their marketing efforts across multiple channels that growth marketing teams employ daily," said Abhay Singhal, InMobi Co-Founder.
Adenia Partners, a private equity firm investing in Africa, completed the investment in Red Lands Roses, a grower of premium fresh-cut roses in Kenya. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to partner with Red Lands Roses to help grow this exceptional company whose niche business model was pioneered by one of the few women in this male-dominated sector. We look forward to working closely with the leadership to build on the company's strong foundation," Martha Osier, Adenia Partner.
Carlyle-ARA JV acquires UK logistics portfolio for $139m. (FS, RE)
The Carlyle Group and ARA Dunedin, a unit of Singapore's ARA Asset Management, announced that their joing venture has acquired 11 logistics assets in the UK for $139m, DealStreetAsia reported.
The JV, established in March 2021, purchased the portfolio of logistics assets from Moorfield Real Estate Fund IV, the fourth real estate fund of PE investor Moorfield Group.
Pure Gym is close to shelving $2bn London float. (FS)
Leonard Green & Partners-backed Pure Gym, a health and fitness club chain, is close to abandoning a $2bn stock market listing amid growing signs of jitters among investors.
Pure Gym could decide as soon as this week to shelve its proposed initial public offering. If confirmed, the move would underline the unease which has gripped the London IPO market in recent weeks, Sky News reported.
Pure Gym is advised by Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Berenberg, Jefferies and Royal Bank of Canada.
Advent plans London listing for Rubix. (FS)
Rubix, a supplier of industrial maintenance, repair and overhaul products and services, said on October 14 it was planning a stockmarket listing, trying to join the London market just as investor appetite for initial public offerings wanes.
Advent-backed Rubix Group said it was planning to sell €850m ($986m) in new shares and potentially some existing stock. A listing would give it a free float of at least 25%, with potentially another 15% available in an over-allotment option.
BioAgilytix, a global contract research organization focused on supporting pharmaceutical and biotech partners in all phases of drug development, completed the acquisition of 360biolabs, a contract service organisation providing specialist expertise and laboratory services for the development of new therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics in a quality-assured environment. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"360biolabs' leadership position in virology and immunology, plus their small molecule capabilities and locations in Melbourne and Brisbane, help make BioAgilytix an end-to-end bioanalytical force dedicated to helping generate new innovations and life-changing therapeutics for patients around the world," Jim Datin, BioAgilytix President and CEO.
360biolabs was advised by Lazard and Allens. BioAgilytix was advised by White & Case.
VerSe Innovation, the parent of local language news aggregators Dailyhunt and short-form video app Josh, agreed to acquire GolBol, an Indian social networking app. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The GolBol team will be focussing their efforts on enhancing Josh Cam, a mobile video editing app designed exclusively for users and creators of the short-video ecosystem. The app with its editing interface, allows short-video users to impart a professional touch to their content.
Invesco facilitated tie-up talks between Reliance and Zee.
Invesco said it facilitated talks between Reliance Industries and Zee Entertainment earlier this year on a possible merger.
The US funding agency rejected allegations from Zee that it was utilizing double requirements in objecting to a merger of Zee and Sony Group’s India unit.
GLP-Backed Zongteng Group weighing IPO. (FS)
GLP-Backed Zongteng Group, a logistics service provider, is weighing an initial public offering as early as next year.
The Shenzhen-headquartered company has held discussions with banks about a potential IPO on the mainland or Hong Kong that could raise at least $500m. Zongteng Group could pursue a private funding round before an IPO, Bloomberg reported.
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