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Shareholders of Ritchie Bros should vote against a takeover of IAA, dealing a huge blow to the planned $7bn deal, Bloomberg
Ritchie’s “strong standalone prospects, proven over a period of time through robust performance, offer a better understood and verified path to shareholder value creation,” said proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services. Glass Lewis & Co also said investors should turn down the cash-and-stock transaction, which goes to a vote on March 14.
IAA is advised by JP Morgan, Latham & Watkins (led by Bradley Faris
and Christopher Drewry
) Blake Cassels & Graydon, Cooley (led by Ian A. Nussbaum
and Jamie Leigh
) and ICR (led by Farah Soi).
JP Morgan is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (led by Caroline Gottschalk
and Jakob Rendtorff
). Ritchie is advised by Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Guggenheim Partners, RBC Capital Markets, Dorsey & Whitney (led by Michael R. Mills
and Christopher L. Doerksen
), Goodwin Procter (led by Stuart Cable
, Lisa Haddad
and Mark Opper
), McCarthy Tetrault (led by David Frost
and Shea T. Small
), Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (led by Gregg Noel
) and Joele Frank (led by Daniel Katcher
and Joele Frank
). Financial advisors are advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (led by Paul Tiger
Capitol Meridian Partners, a private investment firm, and The Sterling Group, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire PrimeFlight Aviation Services, a company provides air carriers and airports with a wide range of aircraft, passenger and security services, from Carlyle, a global investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to partner with the management team to lead the transformation of PrimeFlight. The PrimeFlight team expertly navigated an unprecedented time in the commercial aerospace industry to deliver substantial growth. Over the course of our partnership, we completed 20 acquisitions to build a global aviation services platform. PrimeFlight has an impressive runway for future growth, and we look forward to seeing the Company’s continued success," Doug Brandely, Carlyle Managing Director.
Red Tree and RA Capital, two investment firms, led a $108m Series B round in Bicara Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, with participation from F-Prime Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, Invus, Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital, Premji Invest, Omega Funds, Bioqube Ventures, Acorn Bioventures and Janus Henderson Investors.
“RA Capital Management is excited to co-lead this round to support Bicara’s efforts to develop a differentiated approach to treating cancer. Bicara has reported compelling clinical data demonstrating BCA101’s potential as a more efficacious treatment option for patients with several types of solid tumors and we are committed to supporting this exceptional team as they advance this program toward key data milestones," Jake Simson, RA Capital Management Partner.
Bicara was advised by Stern IR (led by Sarah McCabe
) and Ten Bridge Communications (led by Chris Railey
WeightWatchers, a human-centric technology company, agreed to acquire Sequence, a subscription telehealth platform offering access to healthcare providers specializing in chronic weight management, for $106m.
“As science advances rapidly, we know there is a significant opportunity to improve outcomes for those using medications. Clinical interventions require better education, access, care management, community and the integration of a complementary lifestyle program for best results. It is our responsibility, as the trusted leader in weight management, to support those interested in exploring if medications are right for them,” Sima Sistani, WeightWatchers CEO.
Third Rock, ARCH Venture, and Johnson & Johnson, three vebture capital firms, led $100m Series A round in Rapport Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and development of precision medicines for neurological disorders.
“Over the past decade, our founding team has investigated the potential power of receptor-associated proteins to enable precision targeting of disease-associated neural circuits and has developed a powerful platform to discover therapeutics for that purpose. RAPs create multiple opportunities to develop new and better options for patients because they enable us both to introduce precision against validated targets and to access currently undruggable receptor types," Reid Huber, Third Rock Ventures Partner.
Rapport was advised by Ten Bridge Communications (led by Kit Rodophele
Blue Sage Capital, an investment company, completed an investment in Clearly Clean Products, a manufacturer of sustainable food packaging trays. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We could not be more excited to partner with Jeff Maguire, Mill Wallace, and Peter Kolb at Clearly Clean as well as the Insight team, including Jeff Parent and TJ Stone, to support the Company in the next stage of its evolution. We are impressed with Clearly Clean’s disruptive history, compelling value proposition, and exciting opportunities for future growth. The Company stands out in its commitment to high-quality service and responsiveness in managing its customers’ sustainable packaging needs,” Jonathan Pearce, Blue Sage Partner.
Blue Sage was advised by Queen Saenz + Schutz.
PayPal Ventures, a venture capital firm, completed an investment in Deep Instinct, a cybersecurity company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Deep Instinct has developed an industry-leading threat prevention platform, allowing enterprises to get ahead of cybercriminals and malicious threats. We’re thrilled to invest in Deep Instinct and believe the company will help move the cybersecurity industry beyond its current detection and remediation focus to a prevention-first model,” Alan Du, PayPal Ventures Partner.
Deep Instinct was advised by Merritt Group.
MACOM, a supplier of semiconductor products, completed the acquisition of Linearizer Communications, a developer of industry products, for $49m .
“We are pleased to welcome Linearizer’s team into MACOM. This acquisition strengthens MACOM’s component and subsystem design expertise in our target markets, which is in line with our long-term growth strategy,” Stephen G. Daly, MACOM President and Chief Executive Officer.
HMT, an above-ground storage tanks solutions provider, completed the acquisition of Weld Spec, a company which provides inspection services to pipeline, refining, petrochemical, wind energy, manufacturing and other industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very excited to be joining the HMT team. The secret to our success has been our employees, so we are thrilled that the HMT culture mirrors ours and that our people will continue to benefit and thrive. We also look forward to being able to provide a full-service approach to our customers with inspection and repair services," Rick Hardy, Weld Spec CEO.
Core & Main, a specialized distributor of water, wastewater, storm drainage and fire protection products, and related services, completed the acquisition of Landscape & Construction Supplies, a full-service provider of geosynthetics products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to welcome the Landscape & Construction Supplies associates into the Core & Main family. Their team’s breadth of knowledge and strong local relationships will strengthen our ability to serve our combined customer base in the region," Brad Cowles, Core & Main President.
Coupons.com owner Quotient Technology explores a sale.
Quotient Technology, the parent of Coupons.com, is exploring options that include a sale of the company as it grapples with a collapse in advertising revenue, Reuters
The Salt Lake City, a Utah-based company, which has a market capitalization of about $320m, is working with investment bank Houlihan Lokey on a sale process that has been under way for several weeks.
Blackstone blocked investor withdrawals from $71bn REIT. (FS)
Blackstone said it had blocked investors from cashing out their investments at its $71bn real estate income trust as the private equity firm continues to grapple with a flurry of redemption requests.
BREIT said it fulfilled redemption requests of $1.4bn, which represents only 35% of the approximately $3.9bn in total withdrawal requests for the month. The total BREIT redemption requests were 26% lower than the approximately $5.3bn reached in January.
Oaktree Capital seeks to raise $10bn for new fund. (FS)
Oaktree Capital plans to raise $10bn for a new fund that will help finance large private equity takeovers, FT
The new fund, known as Oaktree Lending Partners, may tap into bank loans to ultimately invest $20bn in sponsor-backed debt. The fund’s launch comes at a time when global banks have been reluctant to lend amid rising fears of a recession.
Quantum Energy Partners is backing a new iteration of Bison Oil & Gas. (FS)
Private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners is backing a new iteration of Bison Oil & Gas to pursue deals in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, and the E&P has already acquired acreage and production through several deals.
“We look forward to building on the prior successes of the Bison franchise with Quantum Energy Partners at Bison IV. We at Bison believe the D-J Basin possesses some of the most economic development opportunities in North America, and we appreciate Quantum’s support to facilitate a consolidation of such an opportunity-rich basin,” Austin Akers, Bison IV CEO.
Dextra names ex-Blackstone VP as CFO. (FS, People)
Dextra Partners, a multi-strategy private equity firm focused on the middle market, which launched earlier this year with $2.5bn of investable capital, has appointed former Blackstone vice president Alisa Makhlis as Chief Financial Officer.
Makhlis spent the previous decade at Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager, most recently serving as vice president and head of investment operations in the Tactical Opportunities group.
Forbion, a venture capital firm, and Jeito Capital, an investment company, led a $112m Series B in Noema Pharma, a clinical-stage biotech company, with participation from UPMC Enterprises, Sofinnova Partners, Polaris Partners, Gilde Healthcare and Invus.
"We are excited to announce the successful completion of this oversubscribed Series B financing round and very pleased to have a world-class group of investors supporting our vision of bringing much-needed treatments to those living with debilitating central nervous system disorders. We welcome our new investors who bring extensive expertise and knowledge of drug development and company building and add further strength to our robust investor base. This financing comes at a key time for Noema Pharma as we look forward to extensive news flow," Luigi Costa, Noema Pharma CEO.
PAI Partners-backed Apleona, an integrated facility management company, agreed to merge with Gegenbauer Group, a facility management provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Large, international customers are increasingly looking to outsource integrated facility management services and to bundle ever-larger service packages, digital solutions and products for energy-saving and decarbonization of building stock. Apleona will enter a new phase of growth, continuing the strategy of professionalizing and digitalizing internal structures, processes and how services are delivered. We will manage the investments in personnel and expertise that this requires even more effectively with Gegenbauer’s help as part of a bigger and more capable Apleona," Dr. Jochen Keysberg, Apleona CEO.
K3 Ventures, GSR Ventures and Hambro Perks, three investment firms, led a $601m round in Abound, a consumer lending service.
“The lending industry is dominated by old practices, like traditional credit scoring, which ignore technological developments of the last decade. Abound is delivering a unique product and a differentiated approach which is already proving itself to work for thousands of customers. We are excited to see Abound’s offer grow in the years ahead," Kuok Meng Xiong, K3 Ventures CEO.
Abound was advised by Osborne Clarke (led by Tom Bussy
WPP, a multinational communications, advertising, public relations, technology, and commerce holding company, completed the acquisition of 3K Communication, a healthcare specialist PR agency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Amid today’s dynamic macroeconomic conditions we have seen great resilience and growth in the healthcare sector, as well as across our own PR businesses. Germany is our third largest market, and the addition of 3K to Hill+Knowlton’s growing portfolio further strengthens WPP’s global healthcare offer to clients,” Mark Read, WPP CEO.
Deutsche Bahn picks Goldman and Morgan Stanley for sale of €20bn logistics arm.
Deutsche Bahn has selected Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to advise on the potential sale of its DB Schenker logistics unit, which could be valued at as much as €20bn ($21.3bn), Bloomberg
The German railroad operator is set to formally hire the two banks after a weeks-long pitching process that was one of the most hotly contested in Europe
Picturehouse founder in talks to buy back chain from Cineworld.
Picturehouse founder Lyn Goleby has held talks with London-based Vue International, a reported bidder for Cineworld, about buying back the chain that was sold to the bankrupt cinema operator in 2012, Reuters
Cineworld, the world's second-largest cinema chain operator, is currently under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has failed to find a buyer for the whole company.
Wood Group spurns Apollo again. (FS)
Wood Group appears to be playing hard to get. The engineering company says it’s leaning towards rejecting a fourth proposal from Apollo because the proposal is still too low, Bloomberg
Time will tell whether Apollo comes back a fifth time, but given the spate of companies eyeing US exchanges for listings, a takeover of the FTSE 250 company would mark yet another loss for London’s markets.
Permira is studying Gruppo Florence's books for a possible buy. (FS)
Gruppo Florence, a hub of Italian clothing manufacturers that supply top luxury brands, has given private equity firm Permira access to its books to facilitate a potential sale, Reuters
Gruppo Florence is working with Bank of America and Citi to assess strategic options after drawing interest from investment firms including Carlyle and Permira.
Berlin clears sale of drinks company to Red Bull despite HK connection.
Germany's Economy Ministry has cleared the sale of drinks company Brandenburger Urstromquelle to Austria-based Red Bull despite the buyer's Hong Kong connection, Reuters
The Economy Ministry had been conducting a review of the deal because 49% of Red Bull is owned by Hong Kong-based holding company T.C. Agrotrading.
Germany’s sleepy savings banks play Wall Street with LBO bets.
Goldman Sachs Germany’s savings banks are emulating the titans of Wall Street to become an unconventional source of funding for private equity deals, Bloomberg
Lenders ranging from Kreissparkasse Biberach near Lake Constance to Sparkasse KölnBonn in the Rhineland are upping their bets on small and medium-sized leveraged buyouts, helping plug a financing gap left by the retreat of larger international peers.
L Catterton partners with A.P.C. to pursue global expansion. (FS)
Atelier de Production et de Création, a globally recognized French clothing brand, and L Catterton, a leading global consumer-focused investment firm, announced they signed binding agreements to form a strategic partnership to advance the brand’s international presence.
“We take great pride in having established A.P.C. as a timeless brand that resonates with consumers globally. After 36 years under our stewardship, we are thrilled to partner with L Catterton’s team, who share our vision for A.P.C. and bring a real know-how in international brand development. With L Catterton’s support and extensive knowledge of the fashion category, we are embarking with great enthusiasm and determination on an exciting and ambitious new chapter of growth,” Jean and Judith Touitou, A.P.C. Founder and Art Director.
Oman’s OQ gets $2bn in orders for $244m Abraj IPO.
One of Oman’s main energy firms raised $244m from the initial public offering of its oil-drilling unit, pulling off Muscat’s largest listing in more than a decade and drawing in Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund as an anchor investor, Bloomberg
“Since announcing our intention to float on the MSX, we are extremely pleased to have received strong interest from investors,” Saif Al-Hamhami, Abraj CEO.
Investors pulled $1.2bn from UK equity funds in February. (FS)
Investors pulled $1.2bn from UK-focused equity funds in February, the third-largest monthly outflow on record even as the FTSE 100 hit a record high, Reuters
UK equity funds have seen net selling for 21 months in a row. Investors have largely shifted towards bond funds, which saw $1bn of inflows last month.
TPG, a private equity company, agreed to acquire InvoCare, a funeral homes and funeral services company, for $1.22bn.
InvoCare said there were conditions attached to the unsolicited, non-binding buyout proposal, including a request by TPG for exclusive due diligence. The InvoCare board said it would assess the proposal, and cautioned there was no certainty that a transaction would proceed.
InvoCare is advised by Gresham and Clayton Utz.
Kakao, a South Korean internet company, agreed to acquire a 35% stake in SM Entertainment, a multinational entertainment agency, for $962m.
"Kakao decided it is inevitable to secure the largest shareholder position to protect the partnership with SM Entertainment," Kakao.
BPEA EQT is set to merge Tricor and Vistra in a $6.5bn deal. (FS)
BPEA EQT, an Asian private equity firm,
is set to merge two Hong Kong-based business services firms it owns, Tricor and Vistra, in a deal valuing the combined entity at about $6.5bn including debt, Bloomberg
A merger agreement has been signed and the deal could be announced after its completion as soon as in the third quarter. To give the combined business a valuation, BPEA EQT sold a minority stake in Vistra to Canadian public sector pension manager PSP Investments for a few hundred million dollars.
SM Investments offers $90m to delist 2GO. (FS)
Philippine conglomerate SM Investments is launching a $90m tender offer to buy out minority stockholders of logistics firm 2GO as part of efforts to take the company private, DealStreetAsia
SM Investments told the Philippine Stock Exchange that it would pay investors $0.26 for each of the 379m common shares in 2GO that they hold.
Tencent-backed Airwallex acquires China license via M&A Deal.
Payment platform startup Airwallex has acquired an online payment business license in China after completing a deal for information services and logistics firm Guangzhou Shang Wu Tong Network Technology, Bloomberg
The transaction has cleared all regulatory hurdles with Chinese authorities. Shang Wu Tong has a license for online payment services in the world’s second largest economy.
GQG founder Jain to meet Australian investors after $1.9bn Adani investment. (FS)
Investment firm GQG Partners founder Rajiv Jain will meet clients and investors in Australia this week and will explain its investment into embattled Indian conglomerate Adani Group, Reuters
India's Adani Group pre-pays over $900m worth of share-backed financing.
Embattled Indian conglomerate Adani Group said it prepaid share-backed financing of $900m, as it looks to allay fears over leverage and debt since a US short seller's critical report sparked a stock rout, Reuters
The billionaire Gautam Adani-led group will hold road shows in Hong Kong and Singapore, and is expect to hold another set of fixed income meetings in Dubai, London and the United States.