Quikrete Holdings, a privately owned family business, completed the acquisition of Forterra, a manufacturer of water and drainage pipe and products, for $2.7bn. Lone Star, which owns approximately 53% of the company’s outstanding shares of common stock, approved the transaction by written consent.
"Forterra and Quikrete are an ideal strategic fit, and this combination is a natural next step for our company, enabling us to better serve our customers across the company on their concrete projects from start to finish. We are excited to grow our capabilities in the potable water distribution market through Forterra’s well-respected US Pipe business. We are excited to welcome the Forterra team and bring our two great companies together," Will Magill, Quikrete Holdings CEO.
Forterra was advised by Citigroup, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Kirkland & Ellis and Joele Frank. Citigroup was advised by Shearman & Sterling. Quikrete was advised by Goldman Sachs, King & Spalding and Troutman Pepper. Debt financing was provided by Wells Fargo Securities.
Singapore Technologies Engineering, a technology, defense, and engineering group, completed the acquisition of the toling solutions providers TransCore and TLP Holdings from Roper Technologies, a diversified technology company, for $2.68bn.
“Our acquisition of TransCore marks a significant expansion to our world-class Smart Mobility portfolio. Together, underpinned by our complementary strengths in technology and innovation, we will be well-positioned to meet existing and new demands from customers and capture new opportunities to accelerate our Smart City growth,” Chew Men Leong, ST Engineering President.
Singapore Technologies was advised by JP Morgan, Latham & Watkins and Joele Frank. Roper Technologies was advised by Bank of America, Evercore and Jones Day.
JF Lehman-backed Inland Pipe Rehabilitation, an underground solutions provider, completed the acquisition of Inliner, a vertically integrated provider of trenchless pipe rehabilitation solutions, from Granite Construction, a heavy civil construction and transportation contractor, for $160m.
“We are thrilled to welcome Inliner employees into the IPR family. This is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for our combined company. The addition of Inliner enhances an already-robust suite of products and technologies, and positions us to deliver best-in-class services to our customers," Mick Fegan, IPR CEO.
IPR was advised by Houlihan Lokey and Jones Day. Debt financing was provided by Atlantic Park and Monroe Capital. Granite Construction was advised by Perella Weinberg Partners and Shearman & Sterling.
Fullscript, a delivery platform for integrative medicine, completed the acquisition of Emerson Ecologics, a health & wellness company that offers supplements, vitamins, and natural health products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This acquisition is a giant step toward bringing integrative medicine into the mainstream. It provides Fullscript with the scale and technology to arm practitioners with the tools they need to practice health promoting medicine. Both Fullscript and Emerson Ecologics have always been committed to supporting practitioners in the delivery of care, and we know that as one entity we can create tremendous value and growth for the entire ecosystem, from partners to practitioners to patients; we are going to help a lot of people get better," Kyle Braatz, Fullscript CEO.
Emerson Ecologics was advised by Jefferies & Company. Fullscript was advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Stanton PRM.
Cargill, a privately held American global food corporation, and Mitsui, a general trading company, agreed to acquire a 47.87% stake in Salmones Multiexport, a salmon producer in Chile, also known as Multi X. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"We welcome Cargill, with their 156-year track record of growth and success, as well as a purpose and values that align with ours. Together with Cargill and Mitsui, and our talented and passionate collaborators, we will combine capabilities and strengths for a sustainable development of Multi X and deepen our commitment to the southern regions of Chile," José Ramón Gutiérrez, Multiexport Chairman.
Salmones Multiexport is advised by LarrainVial. Cargill is advised by Baker McKenzie and Rabobank.
General Motors, an American multinational automotive manufacturing corporation, completed the acquisition of an additional stake in Cruise, an American self-driving car company, from SoftBank Vision Fund for $2.1bn. General Motors additionally will invest $1.35bn in Cruise.
"We are extremely pleased to announce GM is leveraging the strength of its balance sheet to capitalize on the opportunity to increase its equity investment in Cruise and advance our integrated autonomous vehicle strategy. We continue to believe our investment represents an extraordinary opportunity for creating long-term shareholder value," Mary Barra, GM Chair and CEO.
SoftBank Vision Fund was advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges. General Motors was advised by Moelis & Co.
Equinix, an American multinational company specialising in Internet connection and data centers, agreed to acquire 4 data centers of Entel for $705m.
"Latin America holds enormous potential, and our commitment to the region has exponentially grown since we entered back in 2011. Chilean, Peruvian and multinational companies are thirsting for the digital infrastructure required to thrive in today's economy; with today's expansion, we're broadening digital access and accelerating digital transformation across Latin America, while supporting growth in a responsible and sustainable manner," Charles Meyers, Equinix President and CEO.
Equinix is advised by Citigroup and Bank of America.
A consortium of investors including Switch Ventures, KKR, Norwest Venture Partners, Revolution Ventures, Brighthouse Financial, Global Atlantic Financial Group, iA Financial Group, Lincoln Financial, AXA Venture Partners, MassMutual Ventures, and Pacific Life, led a $125m Series E round in Policygenius, an insurance distribution platform.
"Over the past eight years, we've invested in the critical areas of technology, operations, and product development to deliver the best outcomes for our customers, carriers, and distribution partners. With the support of our new and existing investors, we're excited to expand our already-large reach across the trillion dollar insurance market," Jennifer Fitzgerald, Policygenius Co-Founder and CEO.
IA Financial Group was advised by McCarthy Tetrault. Policygenius was advised by JP Morgan.
NexPhase Capital-backed Brandt Information Services, an IT services provider, completed the acquisition of Terra Technology Group, a provider of next-generation outdoor licensing and recreational solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Brandt and TTG are two highly successful organizations in the outdoor recreational space, and we are excited to be able to offer both Go Outdoors and the Terra platform to our customers. With this acquisition, Brandt has expanded our ability to serve all agencies’ licensing and reservations needs, and we look forward to helping more customers deliver easy and reliable, web-based automated experiences for outdoor enthusiasts everywhere across licensing, permitting, reservations and other purchases," Richard Wise, Brandt President.
HIG Capital-backed Nadir Figueiredo, a glass tableware company, completed the acquisition of Cristar TableTop, a Colombian glass tableware company, from Cristaleria Peldar, a chemicals company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased with the acquisition of Cristar by Nadir. The two companies are highly complementary and together become a leading player in the global glass tableware market," Thiago Miskulin, HIG Brazil and Latin America Managing Director.
Nadir Figueiredo was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Clearlake Capital-backed Cornerstone OnDemand, a cloud-based people development software provider and learning technology company, agreed to acquire EdCast, a platform for end-to-end employee and talent experience journeys spanning learning, skilling and career mobility. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"We are thrilled at the prospect of bringing such an incredible team of learning experts together to revolutionize the learning market. Today's fragmented HR technology landscape is ripe for reinvention as organizations seek new ways to unify people and business in areas most critical to growth - workforce engagement, talent retention, skills transformation, and career mobility. Cornerstone and EdCast have the potential to deliver a next-generation learning and talent infrastructure, rapidly innovate a connected people growth experience, and create a new blueprint for the way organizations and their people grow and thrive, together," Himanshu Palsule, Cornerstone OnDemand CEO.
Construction Partners, a vertically integrated civil infrastructure company, completed the acquisition of asphalt, grading and sitework operational assets of GAC Contractors, a construction company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Today's transaction represents our third acquisition in the Florida panhandle in the past two years, reflecting our commitment to this dynamic and growing area of the Southeast. The addition of GAC's assets and crews meaningfully enhances our operational resources and capabilities in an existing growth market. At a time when attracting and retaining talent is paramount, we are pleased to welcome more than 200 former GAC employees to our team," Fred J. Smith, Construction Partners President and CEO.
Construction Partners were advised by Dennard Lascar.
The Peoples Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Peoples Financial, agreed to acquire corporate trust business of Trustmark, a diversified financial services company. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"This transition supports our focus on strategic initiatives that will help our company grow, become more efficient and serve our customers with new and innovative products and services as we move forward. We are pleased that our Corporate Trust customers will enjoy the same level of service from The Peoples Bank's team that they have come to expect from Trustmark," Duane Dewey, Trustmark President and CEO.
Imperial Dade, an independent distributor of foodservice packaging, chemicals, janitorial supplies, and equipment, agreed to acquire the Canadian business of Veritiv, a business-to-business provider of packaging, publishing, and hygiene products. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"We are extremely excited to be entering the Canadian marketplace with such a reputable organization. We look forward to partnering with the Veritiv Canada team and continuing to provide customers with a world-class value proposition and service offering under the Imperial Dade banner. This acquisition is an exciting next step in our ability to serve customers across all of North America," Jason Tillis, Imperial Dade President.
GIC-backed Grafana seeks funds at a $5bn valuation. (FS)
GIC-backed software maker Grafana Labs is in talks to raise new funding at a valuation of at least $5bn, a steep increase from the $3bn it reached 7 months ago.
The enterprise-technology business is in talks with existing investors including Sequoia Capital, Coatue Management, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital and GIC regarding the capital raise. GIC is in discussions to lead the round, which could total $250m to $275m.
Proceeds may be used toward mergers and acquisitions. Terms, including the company's valuation, aren't finalised and could still change.
Quantum Energy Partners-backed Rockcliff Energy weighs a $4bn sale. (FS)
Quantum Energy Partners-backed Rockcliff Energy, a natural gas explorer, has been speaking with advisers as it evaluates takeover interest from rival US shale drillers.
The Houston-based company could seek $4bn or more in a sale. Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty Rockcliff will conclude any transaction, Bloomberg reported.
KKR eyes raising $5bn to invest in mid-size companies. (FS)
KKR & Co plans to launch its first-ever fund to invest in mid-size companies and may raise as much as $5bn for the effort.
The fund, called Ascendant, will make investments in North America across sectors including financial services, health care, industrials, consumer, technology, and media and telecommunications. The plan is in the early stages.
KKR and its publicly-listed peers are expanding into new strategies as they seek to increase assets under management and bolster fee revenue. The firm has indicated that it will fundraise across at least 30 strategies this year, including various real estate products, a Europe private equity pool and a social good fund, Bloomberg reported.
France's antitrust watchdog launched an in-depth review of Bouygues-backed Television Francaise 1, a French media holding company, and RTL Group-backed M6, a multimedia services provider, a $782m merger deal.
The owners of the M6 and TF1 want to combine the broadcasters to fend off the rise of video platforms such as Netflix, Reuters reported.
M6 is advised by Lazard, Allen & Overy, Arsene Taxand, Bredin Prat and Deprez Guignot. Bouygues is advised by Rothschild & Co, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, Flichy Grange Avocats, Vogel & Vogel and Image Sept. RTL Group is advised by JP Morgan and White & Case.
Prudential Financial, an insurance, investment management, and other financial products and services provider, and LeapFrog, a private investment firm, agreed to acquire a minority stake in Alexander Forbes Group, a financial services group, from Mercer, an American asset management firm. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"We are excited to broaden our presence in Africa and enter South Africa with an investment in Alexander Forbes through our partnership with LeapFrog Investments. This transaction underscores Prudential's continued focus on Africa as a strategically important growth market and our vision to be a global leader in expanding access to investing, insurance, and retirement security. We identified Alexander Forbes as the market leader in South Africa best capable of advancing our vision and strategy," Pavan Dhamija, Prudential Financial Regional President.
Alexander Forbes is advised by Standard Bank of South Africa and Bowmans. LeapFrog Investments and Prudential Financial is advised by Deutsche Bank, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, Debevoise & Plimpton and ENSafrica. LeapFrog Investments is advised by Milk & Honey.
Nordea Bank, a bank holding company, agreed to acquire Topdanmark Life, the life and pension services division of Topdanmark Forsikring, an insurance services provider, for $298m.
“For many years we have had an advantage by running both non-life insurance and life insurance within the Topdanmark Group benefiting both customers and shareholders. Nordea has the right requisites and ambitions to operate and further develop Topdanmark Life. We will continue to sell life insurance solutions, with the difference that in the future they will be from Nordea. We are looking forward to strengthening the strategic partnership between Nordea and Topdanmark,” Peter Hermann, Topdanmark CEO.
Topdanmark is advised by Carnegie Investment Bank.
Private equity and banking firms BNP Paribas Securities Services and CACEIS, agreed to sign a joint venture intended to create a leading provider of services to share issuers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
We are delighted with this plan to join forces with CACEIS to create a leading service provider dedicated to share issuers. In a complex and constantly changing environment, securities issuers need evolving services. This ambitious project underlines our commitment to our issuer clients," Patrick Colle, BNP Paribas Securities Services General Manager.
CACEIS is advised by Credit Agricole.
Infra funds circle Vodafone for $16bn Vantage Towers deal. (FS)
Global infrastructure funds have approached Vodafone to invest in its $16bn mast company Vantage Towers but the telecoms giant's preference is for an industry merger.
The bidders, which include investment firms Brookfield Properties and Global Infrastructure Partners, have submitted unsolicited proposals in recent weeks valuing Vantage Towers at a premium to its current valuation of $16.57bn.
Vodafone faces pressure from Europe's largest activist fund Cevian Capital to simplify its portfolio, enhance its strategy in key markets and boost returns. If it goes ahead, a deal for its towers business would align Vodafone's strategy with Cevian's demands to look into strategic opportunities for its tower assets, Reuters reported.
EDF starts rights offering for more than $3.4bn.
Electricite de France kicked off a deeply discounted rights offering of more than $3.4bn, a stopgap measure as the state prepares to overhaul the ailing nuclear power giant.
A broader reform of the debt-laden utility is planned by President Emmanuel Macron, who said Thursday some EDF assets should be nationalized. The firm, already owned 84% by France, needs to bolster its battered finances as a combination of reactor shutdowns and government policies to cap power prices slash its earnings this year. Macron said the state needed to take back control of several “industrial players” in the energy sector and to decouple European electricity from gas prices as the country prepares for decades of growth in power demand amid a switch away from fossil fuels.
The proposal for EDF shows how record power costs, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are prompting governments to rewrite energy policies. From Germany’s abandonment of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to the UK’s push to revive North Sea oil, Europe’s quest to be less reliant on imports has newfound urgency, Bloomberg reported.
Sycamore weighs bid for fashion chain Ted Baker. (FS)
Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm, is weighing a takeover bid for the British fashion retailer Ted Baker.
Sycamore was considering making a formal approach adding that the equity firm has hired investment bank Numis to advise on the potential offer.
This comes after a Wall Street Journal report said that Sycamore and Canada's Hudson's Bay Company plan to bid in high $60s a share for Kohl's. Kohl's had previously rejected buyout offers in February, Reuters reported.
ARC switches to banks, shuns mining. (FS)
African Rainbow Capital, founded by South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, is switching to investing in digital banks and financial startups, while shunning mining stocks, saying the boom in commodity prices maybe overdone.
The firm, which manages assets valued at $935m, sold its stake in Afrimat, a supplier of construction materials, industrial minerals and bulk commodities such as iron ore. ARC is also cutting its exposure to stakes in property firms, citing saturation in high-end real estate markets in South Africa and the UK, Bloomberg reported.
“People are struggling to pay and we see lots of people defaulting on payments on houses, and homes are being repossessed by banks. Of all the businesses, we will probably put more money into financial services into the future, and will probably take a little bit off the table in mining, and property," Johan van Zyl, ARC Co-Chief Executive Officer.
UniCredit exits a 10% stake in Alfa Bank.
UniCredit is facing a delay in the long-planned sale of a stake in the owner of a Russian bank, in a sign of the complications in store for Chief Executive Officer Andrea Orcel as he considers a wholesale retreat from the country.
UniCredit in November exercised an option to sell its 10% in ABH Holdings, the owner of Alfa-Bank, expecting the deal to close by March. But the sale may not be finalized in time after the European Union and the US imposed sanctions on Alfa-Bank following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Milan-based lender was set to receive a net $137m from the sale because the disposal price of about $317m would be partly offset by liabilities. The bank said the deal won’t have any financial impact, Bloomberg reported.
Adani Group explores partnerships with Saudi Aramco. (FS)
Indian conglomerate Adani Group is exploring potential partnerships in Saudi Arabia, including the possibility of buying a stake in the world’s largest oil exporter.
The group, led by Indian tycoon Gautam Adani, has held preliminary talks on a range of potential cooperation and joint investment opportunities with Saudi Aramco and the country’s Public Investment Fund. It has discussed the idea of buying part of the PIF’s stake in Aramco.
While Adani is unlikely to shell out billions of dollars in cash for Aramco stock, at least in the short term, it could seek to link an investment to a broader tie-up or asset swap deal. Adani may also offer the PIF, which is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the opportunity to invest in infrastructure in India. Deliberations are at an early stage, and Adani hasn’t made a decision on which form any potential cooperation could take, Bloomberg reported.
CVC plans a $27bn Amsterdam listing. (FS)
CVC Capital Partners, Europe’s biggest private equity group, is planning to shun London and take its multi-billion-euro initial public offering to Amsterdam’s Euronext exchange.
The buyouts group has told potential investors that it is aiming to list on the Netherlands exchange, and to set a $27bn target for its next private equity fund. No final decisions have been made about the listing or its timing, and much will depend on developments in the war in Ukraine and its consequences for markets.
However, the choice of Amsterdam over London, by a company that has its roots in the UK capital where it has had a major presence since it spun out of a private equity division of Citigroup in 1993, would be a blow to the London Stock Exchange, FT reported.
Sanofi to list its pharma-ingredients unit in Paris.
French drugmaker Sanofi said it will press ahead with a listing of its pharmaceutical ingredients business in Paris before the summer, in spite of turbulent stock markets.
The company will distribute 58% of the unit, called Euroapi, to shareholders, it said in a statement. Sanofi plans to keep a 30% holding, while the French state intends to take a 12% stake for as much as $165m.
The French government buying into Euroapi reflects President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to bolster the country’s national sovereignty in areas ranging from pharmaceuticals and energy to retailers and food makers, Bloomberg reported.
PropertyGuru, a property technology company, went public via a SPAC merger with Pacific Century and Thiel Capital-backed Bridgetown 2 Holdings, a special purposes acquisition company, in a $1.35bn deal. Investors in PIPE include Baillie Gifford, Naya, REA Group, and Akaris Global Partners. An additional investment from KKR, TPG Group and REA Group.
"We are thrilled to have successfully completed our business combination with Bridgetown 2, which provides additional capital to pursue organic and strategic growth, and will accelerate our ability to access capital markets in pursuit of delivering world-class solutions for our customers," Hari V. Krishnan, PropertyGuru CEO and Managing Director.
PropertyGuru was advised by Bank of America, Allen & Gledhill, Latham & Watkins and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Bank of Americas was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. TPG Growth was advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. KKR was advised by WongPartnership. Bridgetown 2 was advised by Bank of America, Citigroup, KKR Credit, TPG Capital, Rajah & Tann and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
M1 Group, an investment holding company, has been informed that the Myanmar Investment Commission has approved application of Telenor, a mobile telecommunications company, to sell Telenor Myanmar to M1 Group.
"We are pleased with the outcome of the official decision. M1 Group is committed to support Investcom PTE in providing essential communications services and investing to develop the telecommunications infrastructure, even in the face of the most challenging circumstances. Investcom will conduct business in Myanmar purposefully to benefit the people of Myanmar, who rely on communication services as a vital function of their lives," Azmi T. Mikati, M1 Group CEO.
M1 is advised by Dechert. Telenor is advised by Citigroup and Allen & Overy.
Brookfield Business Partners, a global business services and industrials company focused on owning and operating high-quality businesses, agreed to acquire La Trobe, an Australian non-bank lender and asset manager, from Blackstone, a private equity firm, for $1.1bn.
"We are pleased to expand our presence in Australia with the acquisition of La Trobe Financial, one of Australia's leading mortgage originators and asset managers. We intend to invest in La Trobe Financial to support its growth and look forward to building on the business' foundation of continuous growth and profitability," Len Chersky, Brookfield Business Partners Managing Partner.
China to address market concerns about offshore listing rules.
Chinese authorities will address the concerns of international investors when finalising new rules for offshore listings.
Western banks have been rattled by proposed rules for overseas listings announced by the China Securities Regulatory Commission last December that they see as cumbersome. There is also no clarity on whether there will be a single point of regulatory contact for mainland companies wanting to list overseas or in Hong Kong, Reuters reported.
"Given concerns in the market, we definitely need a very clear direction of action," Shen Bin, CSRC's international department Director-General.
MaiCoin considers Nasdaq IPO.
MaiCoin Group, which operates Taiwan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is considering going public on the Nasdaq stock market within two years.
The company is completing a Series C funding round that could value it at about $400m. MaiCoin will use the proceeds to finance expansion into Southeast Asia. No final decision has been made on pursuing a Nasdaq listing, Bloomberg reported.
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