DigitalBridge Investment, an investment management firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Vertical Bridge, a provider of wireless communications infrastructure, from Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Vertical Bridge is the leading independent tower platform in the US, led by the preeminent tower management team in the industry. Significant acceleration in 5G infrastructure spending in the US has created a tremendous long-term growth opportunity for telecommunications infrastructure and demonstrated that investments to support the next generation of mobility continue to be a powerful thematic. By consolidating Vertical Bridge’s ownership via our fund management business, we will not only extend our long-standing relationship, but we will be even better positioned to support the Vertical Bridge team as they build on their market leadership and capitalize on exciting growth opportunities," Steven Sonnenstein, DigitalBridge Senior Managing Director.
DigitalBridge was advised by JP Morgan, Sullivan & Cromwell, Vinson & Elkins and Joele Frank. Goldman Sachs Infrastructure was advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges. Vertical Bridge was advised by Goldman Sachs, Greenberg Traurig and Stanton PRM.
Warburg Pincus agreed to invest $200m in Tiptree-backed The Fortegra Group, a provider of insurance products and third-party administration services.
“This investment accomplishes many of our strategic goals including raising capital to accelerate Fortegra’s growth and recapitalizing both companies balance sheets through the repayment of indebtedness. We are excited to continue working with Rick and the Fortegra team as they execute on their long-term objectives, and we look forward to a strong partnership with Dan Zilberman and the Warburg Pincus team. They bring significant expertise across many sectors, including insurance, and will be great partners in support of Fortegra’s continued success," Michael Barnes, Tiptree Executive Chairman.
Warburg Pincus is advised by Bank of America and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Tiptree is advised by Barclays, Ropes & Gray and Sidley Austin.
Howden, a global provider of mission critical air and gas handling products and services, agreed to acquire Compressor Products International, a designer and manufacturer of sealing components, from EnPro, an industrial technology company, for $195m.
"We would like to thank the CPI team for their countless contributions to Enpro over the last 15 years and wish them continued success with Howden. This transaction bolsters our already strong balance sheet as we continue to invest in our growth priorities to drive sustainable long-term value for the benefit of our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders," Eric Vaillancourt, Enpro Interim President and CEO.
Howden is advised by Pagoda PR. Enpro is advised by Robert W Baird, Bird & Bird, Robinson Bradshaw and Joele Frank.
Laborie Medical, a firm that manufactures medical testing equipment, completed the acquisition of Pelvalon, a medical device company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Laborie's mission every day is to operate as a world-class specialist medical company making and advancing technologies that preserve and restore human dignity. Our mission is well served by the addition of Eclipse™ to help patients who suffer from this difficult condition," Michael Frazzette, Laborie President & CEO.
Laborie was advised by Piper Sandler and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Pelvalon was advised by JP Morgan and Dorsey & Whitney.
West Fraser, a diversified wood products company, agreed to acquire the lumber mill from Angelina Forest Products, a state‐of‐the‐art sawmill, for $300m.
“With this acquisition, we will be able to quickly capitalize on a fully-invested and high-quality manufacturing facility. This includes a trained labour force and the local community and logistics infrastructure to support the mill’s supply chain, distribution and outlet for residuals. Further, we are able to immediately reap the cash flow benefits of our investment while significantly reducing the associated risks of greenfield construction, execution and start-up," Ray Ferris, West Fraser President and CEO.
Angelina Forest is advised by Jefferies & Company.
Owl Capital, a venture capital firm, led a $100m Series C funding round in Halo Investing, a developer of a financial technology platform. Additional investors include Mubadala-backed Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, Allianz Life Ventures and William Blair.
"We are building a one-of-a-kind technology platform to level the playing field for investors. Individuals are living longer and continue to struggle with saving enough for retirement. Our platform provides easy and transparent access to investment solutions that can help solve this savings crisis. The future of investing is outcome-based. We are proud of the impact we are making in helping individuals secure their financial futures," Biju Kulathakal, Halo Co-Founder & CEO.
Clearlake and Charlesbank-backed symplr, enterprise healthcare operations including governance, risk management, and compliance SaaS solutions provider, completed the acquisition of Halo Health. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are honored to welcome Halo Health to the symplr team and look forward to working together to advance our mission to provide healthcare organizations with the tools and resources they need to optimize operations," BJ Schaknowski, symplr CEO.
WPP-backed Finsbury Glover Hering, a global strategic communications advisory firm, agreed to merge with Golden Gate-backed Sard Verbinnen & Co, a global transaction communications advisor. The merger is expected to be completed in Q4 2021 and the combined company will operate under a new name starting in 2022. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This is a combination of two successful, growing firms with strong track records, complementary leadership positions, deep entrepreneurial spirits, cultures of collaboration and integrity and a heritage of delivering for our clients at their most high-pressure moments. Our success has been driven by our teams’ tireless commitment to supporting our clients and one another and upholding high standards of excellence in all that we do. We are particularly excited that the combination will enable us to provide additional professional development opportunities and establish a new generation of employee owners in the combined company," George Sard and Paul Verbinnen, SVC Co-Founders.
Ares, a private equity group, agreed to invest in The Lockwood Group, a firm that communicates clinical and therapeutic advances to every type of medical expert, healthcare practitioner, and decision maker. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to find in Ares a partner that appreciates our differentiated culture, deep scientific expertise, and close-knit community of teammates. Ares brings a wealth of resources and experience that we believe will help Lockwood accelerate growth by investing in our people, customers, and capabilities. Our team is energized by the opportunity ahead of us," Matthew Schecter, Lockwood President and CEO.
WestCap, a growth equity firm, and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a global investment group, led a $400m investment in Celsius, a developer of an online financial platform designed to facilitate secure digital trading of assets.
"WestCap and CDPQ believe Celsius is a world-class business in size and scope, and will continue to be the leader at the forefront of the industry in regard to innovation and regulatory acceptance. Celsius is committed to working constructively with regulators to better understand the dynamic crypto space, protect retail customers from fraud and undue risk, and create general consumer knowledge to allow for thoughtful investment decisions," Laurence A. Tosi, WestCap Founder and Managing Partner.
Francisco Partners, an investment firm, agree to invest in Paradigm, a legal software platform, at $400m valuation. Alpine Investors exits the investment.
New York-based Paradigm, formerly known as ASG LegalTech, offers a wide range of technology tools including PracticePanther, Bill4Time, MerusCase, and Headnote to law firms. Its practice management software and integrated payments solutions are used by 11k law firms.
Genting Malaysia, a firm engaged in the leisure and hospitality business, agreed to invest $150m in Empire Resorts, a casino operator.
"The proposed equity injection will also allow GenM to reinforce its position and grow its market presence in the New York State gaming market by leveraging synergies between RWNYC and RWC to achieve cost savings and grow business volumes and revenues as well as capitalise on the prospects and future growth of Empire," Empire Resorts.
WM Tech shelves $1bn Hong Kong IPO Plan.
WM Tech, a technology and software infrastructure provider, controlled by founder and chairman Zhang Wenzhong, has shelved its Hong Kong initial public offering after letting the application lapse, Bloomberg reported.
The Beijing-based company behind the Wumart supermarket chain and Metro AG’s outlets in China is no longer actively pursuing a listing.
Berkshire Partners-backed Portillo's seeks $400m in IPO. (FS)
Berkshire Partners-backed Portillo’s, the hot dog restaurant chain, is seeking as much as $400m in a US initial public offering.
The Oak Brook plans to sell 20m shares at $17 to $20 apiece, according to a prospectus filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on October 12. At the top end of the range, Portillo’s would have a market capitalization of over $1.4bn, according to the number of shares outstanding listed in the filing, Bloomberg reported.
Francisco Partners closed a $2.2bn second credit fund. (FS)
Francisco Partners, a technology investment firm, announced the final closing of FP Credit Partners II, a $2.2bn opportunistic credit fund focused on the broad and increasingly diverse technology market. The Fund’s total capital commitments reached its hard cap and exceeded its original $1.25bn target.
“We are seeing growing demand for capital from companies that are seeking partners who are able to provide customized and scalable solutions, often as an alternative to dilutive or restrictive minority equity,” Scott Eisenberg, Francisco Partners Head of Credit and Structured Solutions.
S&P Global, a provider of credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics in the global capital and commodity markets, is set to secure EU antitrust approval for its $44bn takeover of IHS Markit, a provider of critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets, Reuters reported.
The EU competition enforcer is scheduled to end its preliminary review of the IHS deal by October 22, 2021.
IHS Markit is advised by Barclays, JP Morgan, Jefferies, Morgan Stanley and Davis Polk & Wardwell. S&P Global is advised by Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Community Group and Joele Frank. Financial advisors are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Navitas Semiconductor, a manufacturer of GaN Power ICs, and Live Oak Acquisition II, a SPAC, announced that Live Oak II shareholders voted to approve the previously proposed $1.4bn business combination with Navitas. Approximately 98.4% of the votes cast at the special meeting voted to approve the merger.
The deal is expected to close on October 19, 2021, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain other customary closing conditions.
Live Oak II is advised by Morrow Sodali Global, Bank of America, Jefferies & Company, Nomura, Arthur Cox, DLA Piper, Vinson & Elkins, Winston & Strawn and Blueshirt Group. Navitas is advised by Blueshirt Group, Deutsche Bank, Jefferies & Company and Grand Bridges.
Howden, an international insurance broking group, agreed to acquire Aston Lark, an independent insurance brokers specializing in complex commercial and private client insurance and employee benefit advice, from Goldman Sachs, an investment manager, and Bowmark Capital, a private equity firm, for $1.5bn.
"The completion of our UK Broking platform is a deal a decade in the making and I’m thrilled that Aston Lark’s highly respected and experienced management team has chosen Howden as its final home," David Howden, Howden Group CEO.
Aston Lark is advised by Jamieson and DLA Piper. Howden is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Norton Rose Fulbright and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Goldman Sachs Asset Management is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Goldman Sachs, Macquarie Capital, Eversheds Sutherland and Latham & Watkins.
Graphic Packaging, a provider of container packaging solutions, announced that all required regulatory approvals to complete the proposed $1.45bn acquisition of AR Packaging, a provider of sustainable packaging solutions, from CVC have been received.
The transaction is expected to be completed in early November 2021, subject to the satisfaction of the remaining customary closing conditions set forth in the acquisition agreement.
Graphic Packaging is advised by Bank of America, DLA Piper and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Bank of America is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. CVC is advised by Vinge. AR Packaging is advised by Credit Suisse and Roschier Attorneys.
Alchemy Partners, a British private equity firm, agreed to invest $90m in Apollo Group, an insurance company.
“We are delighted to be forming this new partnership with Alchemy. It reinforces our belief in the continued opportunity provided in the Lloyd’s market. The investment by Alchemy underscores the benefits to our clients and partners of our experienced and talented team, recently bolstered by the appointment of James Slaughter as CUO in April and Hayley Spink as COO in May, combined with the backing of well-respected and informed investors," David Ibeson, Apollo CEO.
Alchemy is advised by Deloitte, Guy Carpenter, Clyde & Co and Macfarlanes. Apollo is advised by TigerRisk Capital Markets, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Haggie Partners.
Greenoaks Capital, an investment company, led a $270m Series E funding round in Personio, a firm that automates and simplifies your HR tasks. Additional investors include Altimeter Capital, Alkeon, Index Ventures, Accel, Meritech, Lightspeed, Northzone and Global Founders Capital.
“This investment highlights the continued fast growth of the business and the immense market potential, but also the belief in our vision for the future of HR tech. While I consider this funding a major milestone, we are still at the very beginning of our journey. Now we want to help HR teams go beyond HR. Launching the People Workflow Automation category is a big step forward along this path, serving the most important asset of any business, its people. We are excited to see Europe’s SMEs thrive as they make use of this technology," Hanno Renner, Personio Co-Founder and CEO.
AFINUM, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire GS Swiss, a manufacturer of miniaturized flexible and rigid flex printed circuit boards, from exceet, a firm engaged in intelligent electronics and security technology, for $113m.
The completion of the transaction is not subject to any conditions and is expected to occur until 31 December 2021. GS Swiss PCB AG generated revenues of $42m and an operating profit of $11m in the financial year 2021.
Yandex, a Russian multinational corporation providing over 70 Internet-related products and services, agreed to acquire the Israeli operations of Wind, a provider of e-scooters rental services intended to facilitate affordable and eco-friendly mobility. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Acquiring Wind will expand this ecosystem by providing a broad variety of last-mile and transportation solutions. Included in the acquisition is Wind’s fleet of more than 10k made-for-sharing scooters, scooter infrastructure and operation system in Israel, as well as R&D around travel route optimization.
Citi advising CDC on logistic investments in Africa with DP World.
CDC Group, a development finance agency, hired Citi to advise it on up to $1.72bn in logistics infrastructure investments it plans to deploy in Africa jointly with Dubai ports giant DP World. A CDC spokesperson confirmed via email that it worked with Citi on the transaction, Reuters reported.
State-owned DP Word has committed to investing $1bn over the next several years, while CDC has committed $320m and could potentially invest up to a further $400m.
Coolblue postpones IPO due to market conditions.
Coolblue, a dutch online store, has decided to postpone its IPO of shares planned for this month because of uncertain market conditions, Reuters reported.
"The current market conditions create uncertainty among investors towards IPOs, in particular in the ecommerce space," Pieter Zwart, Coolblue Founder and CEO.
Binance unit launches $1bn fund to encourage mass crypto adoption. (FS)
Binance Smart Chain, a unit of Biance, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, launched a $1bn Crypto Mass Adoption Fund to accelerate the use of digital assets and blockchain technology.
“BSC’s growth has attracted over 100m users with its initial funding of $100m. With the additional contribution of $1bn, BSC will be better equipped to disrupt traditional finance and accelerate global mass adoption of digital assets to become the first-ever blockchains ecosystem with 1bn users,” Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO.
Two investment firms TPG Capital and Abu Dhabi Development agreed to invest $1bn in the passenger electric vehicle business of Tata Motors, a company offering a broad product line of motor vehicles including compact passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, luxury passenger vehicles and large semi trucks.
“I am delighted to have TPG Rise Climate join us in our journey to create a market-shaping electric passenger mobility business in India. We will continue to proactively invest in exciting products that delights customers while meticulously creating a synergistic ecosystem. We are excited and committed to play a leading role in the covernment’s vision to have 30% electric vehicles penetration rate by 2030," N Chandrasekaran, Tata Motors Chairman.
TPG Capital is advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Tata Motors is advised by Khaitan & Co.
CapitaLand, a Singaporean multinational alternative asset management company, to acquire four properties in Shanghai, Kunshan, Wuhan and Chengdu for $260m.
"We are pleased to mark CLCT's entry into China's burgeoning logistics sector with a quality portfolio of logistics assets, in an investment that is aligned with China's plans for a domestic consumption-driven, higher-value and service-led economy. The acquisition will enable CLCT to tap China's strong demand for logistics properties, which is supported by conducive government policies and boosted by an accelerated growth in e-commerce. The continuing favourable supply-demand dynamics in China's logistics properties market with robust net absorption are expected to sustain rental growth for prime logistics assets," Tan Tze Wooi, CLCTML CEO.
LeapFrog Investments, a private investment firm, led a $250m Series E funding round in CarDekho, a provider of software and web development services. Additional investors include Canyon Partners, Mirae Asset, Harbor Spring Capital, Sequoia Capital India and Sunley House.
“CarDekho, from being a car research portal, has evolved to become a complete ecosystem for car buying, lifecycle management and selling. We are committed to empowering our customers and providing them with a convenient and hassle-free experience. The new fundraise will help us expand our used sar transactions and Financial services businesses. The trust and conviction of our investors will help us to accelerate our growth plans whilst we provide our customers with an experience that will continue to re-define car buying and selling," Amit Jain, CarDekho Co-Founder and CEO.
Temasek led a $100m Series C funding round in Open, a developer of a digital banking platform designed to offer efficient and secure banking services and automate business payments. Other investors include Google, SBI Investment, Tiger Global and 3one4 Capital.
The startup provides its neobanking technology to banks in a white-label licensing arrangement, who then sell it to their customers. The startup is eyeing strategic merger and acquisitions opportunities in India and other markets and is looking to hire more talent.
Syngenta Group’s plan for an initial public offering on the Shanghai Stock Exchange appears to be back on track after the bourse resumed a review of the application.
The exchange on October 12 updated the status of the IPO plan on its website. Earlier it had posted a notice that proceedings had been halted pending an update to information about its earnings, Bloomberg reported.
Fertiglobe IPO price range implies equity value of up to $6bn.
Fertiglobe, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Oil, a group of energy companies, and OCI, a chemical producer, on October 13 set the price range for its initial public offering, implying an equity valuation for the company of $5.5bn to $6bn.
The maker of fertilisers and clean ammonia products also said in a statement it secured Inclusive Capital Partners, Abu Dhabi Pension Fund and GIC as cornerstone investors, Reuters reported.
Manner Coffee is weighing a Hong Kong IPO.
ByteDance-backed Manner Coffee, a Shanghai-based cafe chain, is considering an initial public offering in Hong Kong that could raise at least $300m.
The Chinese company has been in discussions with investment banks to explore a listing that could take place as soon as 2022, Bloomberg reported.
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