PPL, a utility holding company, completed the acquisition of Narragansett Electric, a retail distribution company that provides electric and gas services, from National Grid, an owner and operator of the electricity transmission network, for $3.8bn.
"We are pleased to welcome the Rhode Island Energy team into the PPL family of companies, and we consider it an absolute privilege to serve the energy needs of Rhode Islanders," Vincent Sorgi, PPL President and CEO.
PPL was advised by JP Morgan, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Kekst CNC. JP Morgan was advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell. National Grid was advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Robey Warshaw, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Herbert Smith Freehills, Brunswick Group and Teneo.
ROVENSA, an agricultural products and services provider, agreed to acquire COSMOCEL, a provider of biostimulants. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to welcome COSMOCEL to the group to strengthen our global presence as a reference provider of well-balanced solutions for agriculture. This strategic integration highlights our growth ambitions in the BioSolutions international market and our strong commitment to sustainable agriculture," Eric van Innis, ROVENSA CEO.
COSMOCEL is advised by Ernst & Young, Seale & Associates and Santamarina + Steta. ROVENSA is advised by Marsh, ERM Group, JP Morgan, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Uria Menendez.
Quidel, a manufacturer of diagnostic healthcare products, completed the acquisition of Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, an in vitro diagnostics company, for $8bn.
“We are very excited to bring together the talented and experienced teams of both Quidel and Ortho who share a commitment to the employees, customers, patients, and the communities we serve. We look forward to executing on our growth strategy as QuidelOrtho and enhancing care across the testing continuum while driving long-term value creation for our stockholders," Douglas Bryant, QuidelOrtho Chairman and CEO.
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics was advised by JP Morgan and Latham & Watkins. JP Morgan was advised by Cravath Swaine & Moore. Quidel was advised by Citigroup, Perella Weinberg Partners and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
Crestwood Equity Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Sendero Midstream Partners, an oil and gas company, for $600m.
The Sendero Midstream transaction provides a natural catalyst to execute Crestwood’s stated objective to consolidate First Reserve’s 50% equity interest of CPJV, which enhances scale and removes the structural complexity of the joint venture in Crestwood’s asset portfolio.
Sendero Midstream is advised by Morgan Stanley and Latham & Watkins. Crestwood is advised by Citigroup, RBC Capital Markets, Locke Lord and Vinson & Elkins.
United Gear & Assembly, a manufacturer of precision gears for electric vehicles, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Aesther Healthcare Acquisition, a special purposes acquisition vehicle. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We believe the combination of Aesther and United Gear will result in a profitable public company that provides a positive valuation with increasing revenue into a market category that has already demonstrated significant success with room for continued growth. United Gear’s long-standing customer relationships, supply chain expertise, history of quality and precision, and US headquarters and manufacturing facilities make it an attractive partner for our investors, and we look forward to collaborating to complete its entry into the public market. United Gear is a strategic US asset that is capitalizing on the trends towards US manufacturing restoring," Suren Ajjarapu, Aesther Chairman and CEO.
United Gear is advised by Colonnade Advisors and Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg. Aesther Healthcare Acquisition is advised by EF Hutton and Ellenoff Grossman & Schole.
Bakelite Synthetics, a producer of thermoset specialty resins, solutions and engineered thermoset molding compounds, completed the acquisition of the chemicals business of Georgia-Pacific, a pulp and paper company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited about the opportunities that will result from the combined strengths of the two companiess. This acquisition enables us to deliver greater value to our customers through a broader product offering and expanded geographic reach. It also enables us to deliver on significant organic growth with the strong tailwinds in U.S. residential construction. Lastly, we look forward to welcoming Georgia-Pacific Chemicals’ associates to Bakelite Synthetics as we bring both organizations together with a rich history of customized product development and customer service,” JP Aucoin, Bakelite Synthetic CEO.
Georgia-Pacific was advised by Jefferies & Company.
Blaster Holdings, a portfolio of brands, agreed to acquire Blumenthal Brands Integrated, a company that specialises at building innovative brands. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"I am proud of the work the BBI team has done over the last few years accelerating innovation and building out the pipeline of new products to complement the staples that tradesmen & women have sought by name for decades, and this deal will allow that work to be fully realized. Blaster has long been a respected player in our markets and has both the manufacturing and marketing capabilities to take these brands to the next level," Mike Guggenheimer, Blumenthal President & CEO.
Reckitt Benckiser's $7bn baby formula business draws muted interest. (FS)
Reckitt Benckiser, a British MNC, is struggling with the sale of its infant nutrition unit, with only a small number of private equity funds following through with bids. London-listed Reckitt asked for offers for the business, which could fetch about $7bn.
Clayton Dubilier & Rice is one of the few buyout firms that submitted a non-binding bid for the asset. Potential suitors have been spooked by the ongoing infant formula crisis in the US, the Reckitt unit’s largest market. Blackstone, The Carlyle Group, KKR and Bain Capital were among those studying the business, which sells brands including Enfamil.
Private equity firms explore a $2.5bn sale of Terra Energy Partners. (FS)
Private equity firms Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, and Warburg Pincus are considering selling Terra Energy Partners for approximately $2.5bn, including debt.
The buyout firms launched an auction process to sell their majority stake in Terra earlier this month with the help of an investment bank, Reuters reported.
US SEC considers reviewing Musk's discloser of stakes in Twitter.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk's disclosure of his stake in Twitter.
In the letter, now made public by the SEC, the regulator asks Musk why it appears he did not file required paperwork within 10 days of the acquisition, and also questions why, when Musk did disclose his stake, he used a form meant for passive investors while he was openly questioning Twitter's policies around free speech, Reutersreported.
Specifically, the SEC asked Musk to explain why he opted to initially file a "13G" disclosure form, which is meant for investors who plan to hold their shares passively instead of a "13D" form, which is for activist investors who intend influence management and policies of the company. He later amended the filing. Musk was offered a board seat shortly after his initial disclosure and has since gone on to attempt to buy the company outright ina $44bn deal to take it private.
3G Capital to distribute some of Kraft Heinz stake to investors. (FS)
3G Capital, a private equity firm, will distribute some of its stake in consumer goods group Kraft Heinz to investors in its fund, in a move that will allow the Brazilian-US investment firm to embark on new acquisitions.
Investors in the 3G fund, who include Colombia’s Santo Domingo family and the Swiss tennis star Roger Federer, will receive 88m shares in the group, equal to about 7% of Kraft Heinz.
The move will hand investors in 3G’s fund the chance to sell their Kraft Heinz shares. 3G’s co-founders and partners will retain an 8% stake in the consumer goods group. The decision by 3G, which mainly manages the money of its Brazilian founding partners and their wealthy friends, comes as Kraft Heinz shares have outperformed the broader stock market,FTreported.
Vista Equity Partners snags early $9bn for a new fund. (FS)
Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm, is almost halfway to raising the $20bn target it set for its flagship fund.
Led by billionaire Robert F. Smith, the eighth iteration of the private equity firm’s main fund has garnered more than $9bn in investor commitments. The early capital pledges for Vista Equity Partners Fund VIII since initial plans surfaced late last year underscores the cache Smith brings to tech dealmaking.
A final close for the fund could come at year end. The re-emergence of Vista comes at a bustling time for dealmaking, particularly given the stronghold private equity funds have because of a pullback in public equities,Bloomberg reported.
FFL Partners raises over $900m for its fifth fund. (FS)
FFL Partners, a private equity firm, announced the final closing of FFL Capital Partners V, and related vehicles, with over $900m in total capital commitments. FFL closed the oversubscribed Fund V well above its $750m target, raising the firm’s total AUM to $5.4bn.
“We are grateful for the positive response we received from our diverse group of existing and new investors, and we appreciate their confidence in our hyper-specialized, high-engagement strategy within Healthcare and Tech-Enabled Services,” Cas Schneller, FFL Partners Managing Partner.
FFL Partners is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Aviditi Advisors.
Bain Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a 55% stake in House of HR, an HR services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With Bain Capital’s investment in House of HR, we start a new chapter in our incredible story. We intend to continue our growth path, based on strong organic growth combined with targeted and specialized M&A in existing markets, DACH countries and the Nordics. All supported by continued focus on digitisation while maintaining a high standard when it comes to attention to people, both internal employees but also all our candidates,” Rika Coppens, House of HR CEO.
House of HR is advised by Finn Partners. Bain Capital is advised by Barclays and Camarco.
Credo Capital, a tech-enabled credit investor, and Fortress Investment Group, an investment management, firm lead a $376m Series A round in Bloom, a capital provider.
“We are not another revenue-based lender. We estimate that eCommerce merchants have incurred £125-£200m ($157-$251m) in excess fees based on the current pricing status quo. That’s money that could have been used for more stock, increased ad spend, or customer incentives. We saw an opportunity to innovate rather than simply join the herd. So we did," James Hickson, Bloom CEO.
AEQUITA, a family office investing in special situations, agreed to acquire Eckelt Glas and Glas Ziegler, a glass processing businesses, from Saint-Gobain, a manufacturer and distributor materials and solutions. Financial terms are not disclosed.
This transaction is a part of Saint-Gobain’s continued business profile optimization strategy, in line with the “Grow & Impact” plan objectives.
CALEOGLAS Group, a glass solutions provider, agreed to acquire Glaskontor Erfurt, a glass processing business, from Saint-Gobain, a manufacturer and distributor materials and solutions. Financial terms are not disclosed.
This transaction is a part of Saint-Gobain’s continued business profile optimization strategy, in line with the “Grow & Impact” plan objectives.
Inflexion, a mid-market private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a minority stake in Alcumus, a risk management solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our recent investment in Alcumus gives us great conviction in the business’s long-term potential driven by its ambitious management team and growing global demand. We are delighted to continue supporting the business achieve its growth ambitions," Simon Turner, Inflexion Managing Partner.
GIC in advanced talks to acquire a minority stake in The Access Group at an $11bn valuation. (FS)
GIC is in advanced talks to acquire a minority stake in The Access Group, a software manufacturer, at an $11bn valuation.
It will see the company's existing private equity backers, Hg and TA Associates, continuing to support the company by reinvesting in it. Meanwhile, Hg's stake will be transferred to its Saturn vehicle, which holds its stakes in large-cap software companies, Sky News reported.
FirstGroup evaluates PE offer valuing shares at up to £1.23bn. (FS)
FirstGroup, a British multi-national transport group, is evaluating a bid valuing its shares at up to £1.23bn ($1.5bn) after “a series of unsolicited, conditional proposals” from private equity group I Squared Capital.
FirstGroup said that the offer consisted of a cash component of $1.4 per share and a “contingent right” of “up to a further $0.5 per share” based on the outcome of payouts due to the company following the sale last year of its US transit business and on the net assets of the Greyhound bus business, which was also sold last year.
FirstGroup said it was “currently evaluating” the latest offer, noting that “the previous approaches were all unanimously rejected by the board”.
Pininfarina is considering M&A for future growth.
Italian design group Pininfarina is looking at M&A to give it skills in new sectors, mainly the digital one, and widen its customer base, Chief Executive Silvio Pietro Angori said.
The group, listed on the Milan market but controlled by India's Mahindra Group, is looking at companies in the so-called physical sector - combining physical design and digital tools - and those in the interaction design sector.
"So far we have grown organically, our ambition is to now grow externally. We have the ambition of simply becoming the largest design company (in the world). We are carrying out a very careful analysis. It depends on many factors, willingness must become reality," Pietro Angori, Pininfarina CEO.
Inbrew, a new-age beverage platform, agreed to acquire 30 liquor brands from United Spirits, an alcoholic beverages company, for $106m.
"The transaction reflects the continued evolution of the management of the popular portfolio since 2016, when the company moved to a franchise model in many states, to enable a sharpened focus on ‘Prestige & Above’. This is a significant move to reshape our portfolio in service of our publicly stated mission to deliver sustained double-digit profitable top-line growth," Hina Nagarajan, United Spirits CEO.
United Spirits is advised by Morgan Stanley.
Evergrande to sell project in eastern China for $200m.
Embattled property developer China Evergrande Group is selling the City Light Plaza project in the country’s eastern marine hub of Ningbo for $200m to shore up its finances.
Saddled with more than $300bn in liabilities, Evergrande has been struggling to repay suppliers, creditors and complete projects. State-owned enterprises have stepped in to help with the debt restructuring process and taken over some of its assets to quell market concerns about a disorderly collapse.
The sale announced will transfer the project, currently under construction, to Zhejiang Zhejian Real Estate Group and Zhejiang Construction Engineering Group, DealStreetAsia reported.
Didi is said to draw China FAW's interest in buying a stake.
State-owned automaker China FAW Group is considering acquiring a significant stake in the troubled ride-hailing giant Didi Global.
The Chinese carmaker has reached out to Didi’s top executives and expressed its interest in becoming a major shareholder in the firm. FAW pledged to help Didi resolve issues related to data security, paving the way for a Hong Kong listing. Discussions are at an early stage and might not lead to any transaction, Bloomberg reported.
JIP, Polaris said to be mulling bids for Toshiba. (FS)
Japanese buyout firms Japan Industrial Partners and Polaris Capital Group are each considering participating in bids for Toshiba, a technology company.
Toshiba, which has been bedevilled by accounting and governance crises since 2015, set up a special committee last month to explore strategic options, including potential deals to go private, after shareholders voted down a management-backed restructuring plan.
Both funds, far smaller than some global private equity firms, would need to team up with others. The participation of local funds is seen as critical as some of Toshiba‘s assets – including defence equipment and nuclear power – are seen as strategically important in Japan, DealStreetAsia reported.
Carlyle seeks $8.5bn for Its biggest Asian buyout fund. (FS)
The Carlyle Group is seeking to raise $8.5bn for its biggest-ever Asian buyout fund.
The Washington-based private equity firm has started meeting investors for its sixth buyout fund in the region. It’s aiming to bring in about 30% more capital than its last Asian offering, which closed at $6.55bn in 2018.
The Carlyle Group has been boosting its focus on consumer and health care as the sectors increasingly contribute to economic growth in the region. It’s also been accelerating investments in India as the market catches up with China, poaching a senior Blackstone dealmaker last year to co-head its operations in the country.
KKR expands in Asia, armed with a $1.1bn credit fund. (FS)
KKR has raised $1.1bn in its inaugural Asia credit fund that provides debt financing to companies, marking what the US private equity firm said was one of the largest such first-time fundraisings in Asia Pacific.
Private credit funds have gained traction in Asia in the last few years as companies tap into alternative sources of funding though banks still account for the bulk of financing. Investors are drawn to credit funds due to potentially higher returns.
KKR said the Asia Credit Opportunities Fund, which saw its final close, received strong support from investors including sovereign wealth funds, insurers and private investment groups, Reuters reported.
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