The Committee on Foreign Investment, a US regulator, has cleared SK Hynix's $9bn acquisition of Intel NAND memory and storage business, one step toward completing a deal that would strengthen the Asian chipmaker’s position in the memory market.
FIUS, signed off on the deal, following approval from the Federal Trade Commission. Icheon, South Korea-based Hynix, which announced the deal in October, is trying to win approval from the remaining countries this year.
SK Hynix is advised by Deloitte, Citigroup, Fangda Partners and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Intel is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bae Kim & Lee, Galicia Abogados, Linklaters, Munger Tolles & Olson, WilmerHale, Brunswick Group and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
II-VI, an engineered materials and optoelectronic components company, agreed to increase its offer to acquire Coherent to $6.8bn. II-VI’s revised proposal includes $4.8bn of fully committed debt financing from JP Morgan and a $1.5bn equity investment from Bain Capital. II-VI continues to expect the transaction will be accretive to non-GAAP EPS in the second year following closing.
“II-VI has a demonstrated track record of successfully executing and integrating acquisitions of this scale, and together with Coherent, we would have the resources to continue to invest in a broad range of opportunities and deliver sustained growth for all shareholders. We also believe in the complementary fit, not only of our technology platforms and business models, but also of our people and company cultures. Therefore, it is with great enthusiasm that I look forward to the prospect of the Coherent team joining us as we continue to share our passion for the endless ways in which photonics will continue to transform the world," Vincent D. Mattera, II-VI CEO.
Coherent is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Brunswick Group. II-VI is advised by Allen & Company, JP Morgan, K&L Gates, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Sard Verbinnen & Co. MKS Instruments is advised by Barclays, Lazard and WilmerHale. Debt financing is provided by Barclays.
Bonanza Creek Energy and HighPoint Resources announced the voting results of the Bonanza Creek and HighPoint special stockholder meetings in connection with the transactions pursuant to the agreement and plan of merger, dated as of November 9, 2020.
At the special meeting of Bonanza Creek stockholders, 99.8% of the shares of Bonanza Creek common stock voting at the special meeting were cast in favor of the issuance of Bonanza Creek common stock in connection with the transaction.
HighPoint Resources is advised by AlixPartners, JP Morgan, Perella Weinberg Partners, Tudor Pickering Holt, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Kirkland & Ellis. Tudor Pickering Holt is adivsed by Baker Botts. Bonanza Creek Energy is advised by Evercore, Vinson & Elkins. Evercore is advised by Sidley Austin.
Empower, a special purpose acquisition company, agreed to merge with Holley Performace Products, a performance automotive parts manufacturer, in a $1.55bn deal.
"Today’s announcement marks the beginning of the next chapter of Holley’s journey to fuel our customers’ automotive passion. We’re excited to team up with Empower to deliver on our mission to bring innovation and inspiration to automotive enthusiasts. With our flexible capital structure, we expect to accelerate growth across existing products and channels, as well as continue to pursue attractive opportunities in adjacent categories, both organically through developing innovative new products and making strategic acquisitions,” Tom Tomlinson, Holley President and CEO.
Holley is advised by Jefferies & Company, Lazard, William Blair & Co and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Empower is advised by JP Morgan, Jefferies & Company, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and ICR. JP Morgan and Jefferies & Company are advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Cerberus Telecom Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, agreed to merge with KORE Wireless Group, a wireless services provider, in a $1.01bn deal. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company expects to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “KORE”.
“This is a rare opportunity to partner with a proven business supported by a strong and diversified customer base. KORE is playing a critical role in the rapidly growing IoT market with meaningful organic and inorganic opportunities. We look forward to working closely with Romil and his talented team to provide strategic and operational counsel, as well as industry relationships, as KORE capitalizes on the global expansion of 5G," Tim Donahue, CTAC CEO.
KORE is advised by Cowen & Company and Kirkland & Ellis. Cerberus Telecom Acquisition is advised by Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Milbank, Ropes & Gray, and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
InterPrivate Acquisition, a special-purpose acquisition company, completed the merger with Aeva, a provider of comprehensive perception solutions developed on Silicon Photonics for mass-scale applications in automotive, consumer electronics, consumer health, industrial and security markets, in a $2.1bn deal.
"We founded Aeva with the vision to bring a new wave of perception technology to market and advance the capabilities of automated driving. This key milestone marks the next stage of our growth, as we look forward to accelerating our ability to bring our unique 4D LiDAR on chip technology to not just automotive, but consumer, industrial and beyond," Mina Rezk, Aeva Co-Founder, President, CTO and Chairman.
Aeva was advised by Credit Suisse and Latham & Watkins. InterPrivate Acquisition was advised by Credit Suisse, EarlyBirdCapital, Morgan Stanley and Greenberg Traurig. Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley are advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Anglo Pacific Group, a global listed natural resources royalty company, completed the acquisition of Voisey's Bay mine from Vale Canada, a subsidiary of Vale, one of the world's largest mining companies, for $205m.
“It will provide a significant long-life income source for Anglo Pacific and materially progresses our ambition to focus on 21st century commodities that support a more sustainable world. Along with the recent additional investment in Brazilian Nickel, the Group’s net asset profile will consist of 61% base metals on a pro-forma basis and we continue to have the option to invest a further $70m into its Piaui nickel royalty,“ Julian Treger, Anglo Pacific Group Chief Executive Officer.
Anglo Pacific Group was advised by Berenberg, Peel Hunt, RBC Capital Markets and Camarco. Debt financing is provided by CIBC World Markets, RBC Capital Markets and Scotiabank.
Lindsay Goldberg, a private investment firm, agreed to acquire North American bakery business of ARYZTA, a global food business, for $850m. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
“Lindsay Goldberg is renowned for its collaborative approach in partnering with management teams to build great businesses. The firm’s extensive industry experience, network of relationships, and broad operational expertise position us to maintain the highest standards for food safety and sustainability and accelerate our innovation and future growth trajectory,” Tyson Yu, ARYZTA NA Chief Executive Officer.
Lindsay Goldberg is advised by Gasthalter & Co. ARYZTA is advised by Alantra, Houlihan Lokey, Goodwin Procter, Homburger and KPMG.
Thomas H. Lee Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire AbacusNext, a vertical SaaS provider for legal, accounting and compliance-focused professionals, from Providence Strategic Growth. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This partnership with THL will enable us to accelerate our investment in innovative SaaS products with integrated payment processing, allowing us to continue to offer a market-leading software suite. Thank you to PSG for their support as we grew to become a leader in the legal and accounting markets,” Scott Johnson, AbacusNext CEO.
AbacusNext is advised by William Blair & Co, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Edge Marketing. THL is advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Edelman. PSG is advised by Prosek Partners.
British American Tobacco, a British multinational company, agreed to acquire a 19.9% stake in Organigram, a medical marijuana company, for $176m.
“We have been extremely selective about aligning with a strategic partner and, in BAT, we’ve found a leading consumer goods business with innovative product platforms, an impressive dedication to research and development, deep consumer insights, regulatory expertise and a commitment to responsible stewardship and consumer safety," Greg Engel, Organigram CEO.
Organigram is advised by BMO Capital Markets, DLA Piper and Goodmans. BAT is advised by Herbert Smith Freehills and Stikeman Elliott.
Silver Lake-backed Vacasa, a vacation rental management platform, agreed to acquire TurnKey Vacation Rentals, a vacation rental manager. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is an incredibly exciting day as we plan to welcome TurnKey employees, homeowners and guests into the Vacasa family upon closing of the transaction. Our companies have a similar focus on delivering exceptional service to our homeowners and guests, and we are excited to do that together at a key juncture for the highly competitive vacation rental industry," Matt Roberts, Vacasa CEO.
TurnKey is advised by GCA Altium, Kastner Gravelle and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Vacasa is advised by PJT Partners and Latham & Watkins.
American Securities, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Conair, a retailer of kitchenware equipments and personal care equipments. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The partnership with American Securities will allow us to continue our evolution with a focus on new product development and an acceleration of our M&A activities while continuing to bring efficiencies to our operations," Ron Diamond, Conair President and CEO.
Conair is advised by PJ Solomon, Sawaya Capital and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. American Securities is advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges.
Bain Capital, DST Global, Pomp Investments, and Tiger Global led a $350m Series D funding round in BlockFi, a financial services company dedicated to building a bridge between cryptocurrencies and traditional financial and wealth management products. Additional investors include participation from Susquehanna Government Products, Bracket Capital, Paradigm, Valar Ventures, Morgan Creek Digital, Akuna Capital, Hudson River Trading, ParaFi Capital, Jump Capital, Pacific Century Group, Gaingels, Third Prime, Kenetic, CMS Holdings, Breyer Capital, The Venture Collective and Castle Island Ventures.
“BlockFi has solidified itself as a category winner built on superior products, a world-class team, and a brand of trust and reliability for investors and borrowers. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with the company to accelerate its growth globally and seize one of the most important opportunities of our time in shaping the future of finance," Stefan Cohen, Bain Capital Partner.
BlockFi was advised by Dukas Linden Public Relations.
GIC, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a 47% stake in Altium Packaging, a plastic and resin company, from Loews, a diversified company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Having Loews and GIC – two world-class institutions – as our partners will be invaluable as we continue to pursue our growth strategy and seek accretive acquisitions that add further scale and end-market diversification," Sean Fallmann, Altium Packaging President & CEO.
Raydiant, a digital experience platform provider, completed the acquisition of Hoopla, a performance management and motivation platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"After listening to our customers and hearing about their challenges as they plan to reopen offices, we came to the conclusion that joining forces with Raydiant was the best way for us to deliver the best solutions to address those challenges and achieve our aggressive growth objectives," Mike Smalls, Hoopla CEO.
CVC Capital Partners plans $1.5bn sale of AR Packaging. (FS)
CVC Capital Partners is planning a sale of AR Packaging in a potential deal that could value the Swedish company at more than €1.3bn ($1.5bn), Bloombergreported.
The buyout firm is working with an adviser to gauge interest in AR and has received non-binding offers. Any sale would be one of the largest global packaging deals this year, adding to the $2bn of transactions already announced in the sector.
CVC is reviving attempts to exit the business after previously exploring a potential sale or initial public offering of the business in the past few years.
Airtable eyes $5bn valuation in a new funding round. (FS)
Airtable, the US cloud collaboration start-up whose backers include actor Ashton Kutcher and venture capital firm Benchmark, is in talks with investors to raise more than $200m at a roughly $5bn value, Reuters reported.
Such a valuation would almost double the $2.6bn the San Francisco-based company was worth in a funding round announced in September, underscoring the growth in its business during a period of widespread work-from-home during the pandemic.
Carl Icahn to cut Occidental stake while staying on its board.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, the third-largest shareholder in Occidental Petroleum $850m in the transaction, which could be announced as soon as this week, Bloombergreported.
As part of the combination, RumbleOn, advised by B. Riley Financial., has secured a $280m commitment from Oaktree Capital that could be increased. The company will use that funding to provide clients with vehicle financing and to make smaller acquisitions.
“While we still believe in Occidental, our investment has become somewhat of an outsized position in our investment portfolio, and as a result, we believe it is prudent to reduce the size of our position to rebalance our portfolio,” Icahn Capital.
Boxed is in merger talks with Seven Oaks SPAC. (FS)
Boxed, an online retailer of products in bulk, is in talks to go public through a merger with Seven Oaks Acquisition, a blank-check firm, Bloomberg reported.
A transaction is set to value the combined company at more than $1bn. Terms aren’t finalized and it’s possible talks could collapse.
BCC Investment Management aims for $300m IPO. (FS)
A blank-check firm backed by BCC Investment Management, an affiliate of Bain Capital, is looking to raise up to $300m through an initial public offering, Reutersreported.
BCC Investment, a SPAC, plans to sell 30m units composed of shares and warrants on the NYSE, priced at $10 per unit.
Another entity tied to Massachusetts-based Bain Capital last year raised $125m through an IPO for healthcare-focused SPAC BCLS Acquisition.
KKR aims to raise $12bn for the latest infrastructure fund. (FS)
KKR, a global asset management firm, is seeking about $12bn for its fourth global infrastructure fund, Bloomberg reported.
The private equity firm raised $3.9bn for its first Asia-Pacific infrastructure fund in January, amassing the largest pool of cash in the region for investments including waste management, renewable energy and communication towers.
Blackstone seeks $4bn for tactical opportunities fund. (FS)
Blackstone Group, the world’s largest manager of alternative assets such as private equity and real estate, is seeking to raise $4bn for a fund to invest in various asset classes, Reutersreported.
It is the fourth such fund to be raised by the New York-based firm. Dubbed Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Fund IV, it will have a mandate to invest in assets that typically fall outside the scope of Blackstone’s other funds, from timber and mines to oil tankers and satellites.
Blackstone has marketed its predecessor funds in this category as offering well-protected downside and low correlation to public markets. The fund could finalize its first commitments from investors by June.
Clessidra, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Casa Vinicola Botter, a wine producer and distributor in Italy, from DeA Capital Alternative Funds, an independent alternative asset management platform, for $353m.
“The growth of Botter will be fostered, other than by the natural development capacity in foreign markets, also by the fact that the company is a perfect platform for a strategy of targeted acquisitions with the aim of promoting the creation of an Italian leader in the sector. The strategic objective shared with the Botter family and the CEO Massimo Romani relies on a new distribution model of the product, based not only on affordable prices but also on quality and the ability to better understand consumer tastes and consumption trends,” Andrea Ottaviano, Clessidra Private Equity CEO.
Botter was advised by Belluzzo International Partners, Faldini e Rossi, Gattai Minoli Agostinelli & Partners and Van Berings. Clessidra was advised by Alonzo Committeri, MN Tax & Legal, Mediobanca and Bain & Co. Debt financing was provided by BNP Paribas, Banca IFIS, Banco BPM, Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, Intesa SanPaolo, Muzinich & Co, UBI Banca, UniCredit and illimity Bank. Debt providers were advised by White & Case. DeA Capital was advised by NCTM and Barabino & Partners.
Allied Universal Security said its offer to acquire security firm G4S has been given an imminent deadline. G4S shareholders have until March 16, to accept Allied Universal’s $5.3bn takeover bid, after which time the current offer will lapse. The deadline comes nine months after the battle for G4S began when Garda World of Canada first approached the board with a takeover proposal.
On March 8, Allied Universal announced it was lowering the acceptance condition for its offer to buy the London-based security services provider from 75% to 50% plus one share.
G4S is advised by Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Lazard, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters, and Brunswick Group. Allied Universal is advised by Credit Suisse, Moelis & Co, Morgan Stanley, AZB & Partners, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Kirkland & Ellis, Sullivan & Cromwell and Teneo.
S&P Global announced that its shareholders overwhelmingly voted to approve the company's proposed transaction with IHS Markit at a special meeting of the company's shareholders.
"Today's shareholder approval is an important milestone in the process of bringing together our two world-class organizations to continue building on our respective strengths in information, data science, research and benchmarks," Douglas Peterson, S&P Global President and CEO.
IHS Markit is advised by Barclays, JP Morgan, Jefferies, Morgan Stanley and Davis Polk & Wardwell. Morgan Stanley is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. S&P Global is advised by HSBC, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Joele Frank and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Community Group. Goldman Sachs is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
CVC Capital agreed to acquire Cooper Consumer Health, a Paris-based healthcare provider, from Charterhouse Capital Partners, an European private equity firm, for $2.6bn. As part of the transaction, Charterhouse would make a significant reinvestment in Cooper and continue to support the growth and international expansion of the business alongside CVC, which has partnered with Vemedia founder Yvan Vindevogel and specialised healthcare fund Avista Capital Partners, and the management team.
“It has been a pleasure working with Cooper’s world-class management team to create the leading independent OTC platform in Europe. The company has built an excellent position in a growing, highly attractive market and we look forward to continuing to support its expansion,” Vincent Pautet, Charterhouse Partner.
Cooper is advised by Callisto and Scotto Partners. CVC Capital is advised by BNP Paribas and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Charterhouse is advised by Boston Consulting Group, Eight Advisory, HSBC, Rothschild & Co, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Mayer Brown.
Bridgepoint Development Capital, a private equity firm, completed an investment in IDHL Group, a connected agency group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"In partnering with BDC, we can achieve this quicker, and further scale our business at home and abroad, and deepen our expertise with the support of one of the world’s leading Private Equity brands. There will be great opportunities for both staff and clients as a result of this. In everything we do, team dynamics are crucial and notwithstanding that BDC were the partner of choice, we couldn’t wish to be dealing with a nicer group people. We’re very much looking forward to the future," Dennis Engel, IDHL CEO and Founder.
IDHL Group was advised by Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Squire Patton Boggs. Bridgepoint was advised by Deloitte, JEGI | CLARITY and Ropes & Gray. Debt financing was provided by Muzinich & Co.
Hellman & Friedman agreed to acquire Cordis, a medical device business of Cardinal Health, a healthcare services and products company, for $1bn. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of Cardinal Health's fiscal year 2022, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances.
"Cardinal Health and H&F have a shared passion for delivering high-quality medical products to customers and we are excited about the future for the Cordis business under H&F's ownership," Mike Kaufmann, Cardinal Health CEO.
Hellman & Friedman is advised by UBS and Kirkland & Ellis. Debt financing is provided by Deutsche Bank and UBS. Cardinal Health is advised by JP Morgan and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
The Polish Competition Authority has approved Salling Group's $227m acquisition of the Polish business of Tesco.
"I would like to thank all our colleagues in Poland for their hard work and dedication to our customers over 25 years. As part of a combined business with Salling Group, our stores and colleagues will be well set up for continued success, with opportunities for further growth in Poland. The sale of Tesco Polska allows us to focus on growing our businesses in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia," Ken Murphy, Tesco Group CEO.
Salling Group is advised by Gorrissen Federspiel and Wardynski & Partners. Tesco is advised by Barclays, Allen & Overy and Teneo.
Private equity firms EQT and Blackstone led a $450m funding round in Epidemic Sound, a music licensing company, in a $1.4bn deal.
The raise will fuel international expansion to reach new creators in both existing territories like North America, whilst also expanding and localizing its digital offering and investing in music for new markets across the world.
“We’re thrilled to partner with EQT Growth and BXG to continue scaling how we use this data to grow our global network of creators and empower them all to thrive through new products, new music and new insights," Oscar Höglund, Epidemic Sound Co-Founder and CEO.
Epidemic Sound is advised by Goldman Sachs, SEB Corporate Finance and White & Case. EQT is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers and DLA Piper.
Kistos, a closed-ended investment company, agreed to acquire Tulip Oil Netherlands, an oil and gas exploration company, for $263m.
"The team at Tulip have done a fantastic job to date in getting this low carbon production operation up and running and we are looking forward to working with them and our partners at EBN in replicating this success and being a model for future low impact developments," Andrew Austin, Kistos Chairman.
Kistos is advised by Panmure Gordon & Co and Camarco. Tulip Oil is advised by Jefferies & Company and Stibbe.
Questel, an IT services provider, agreed to acquire NovumIP, a group comprised of PAVIS and Novagraaf, from Paragon Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Through the acquisitions of Brandstock and RenewalsDesk, in 2019 and 2020 respectively, Questel successfully expanded its operations into the areas of trademark management and patent annuities. These new acquisitions aim to accelerate this strategy by relying on Questel’s IT DNA,” Charles Besson, Questel CEO.
Questel is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Debt financing is provided by Eurazeo PME. Paragon Partners is advised by Baker McKenzie.
Partners Group, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Baltic district heating business of Fortum, an energy company, for $957m.
“The divestment is in line with our portfolio optimisation and follows our successful divestments in Finland in 2020. The assets raised large interest among buyers as the business transformation to lower carbon intensity for these assets has largely been done,” Per Langer, Fortum Executive Vice President.
Fortum is advised by Rothschild & Co and Sorainen.
TMK, a pipe producer, agreed to acquire 87% stake in ChelPipe, an operator of steel products facilities and companies, for $1.13bn.
“The acquired company is a strong, recognized player in the pipe market with modern production facilities, a highly professional team, its own scientific developments and its own established sales channels. Combining these advantages with all TMK competencies will give a powerful synergistic effect both for our business and for the industry as a whole, ensure Russia’s energy security and solve strategic problems of import substitution," Dmitry Pumpyanskiy, TMK Chairman.
JD Sports Fashion, a clothing and apparel retailer, agreed to acquire a 60% stake in Marketing Investment Group, a sports fashion clothing and accessories retailer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This is an exciting acquisition for JD that will further build on the success of our international development strategy, expanding our operations into Central and Eastern Europe. We have observed and admired the development of MIG over a number of years and we are confident that the combination of their highly experienced and knowledgeable management team, together with the expertise of the JD leadership team, will provide the group with strong foundations from which to successfully optimise the opportunities in the region," Peter Cowgill, JD Sports Executive Chairman.
Triton, a funds manager, agreed to acquire ACRE, a global firm in the delivery of security solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our industry expertise and international network will further strengthen ACRE’s position as a leading global provider of intelligent electronic security solutions,” Peder Prahl, Triton Director of the General Partner.
Scholle IPN, a flexible packaging solutions provider, completed the acquisition of Bossar Packaging, a designer and manufacturer of horizontal form-fill-seal equipment for production of flexible packaging formats. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The goal of Scholle IPN has always been to create lightweight, environmentally-conscious flexible packaging solutions for the circular economy. By combining Bossar and Scholle IPN, we are able to truly focus our development activity to provide leading-edge technologies that enable us to manufacture a complete range of sustainable packaging solutions for our customers," Jeroen van der Meer, Bossar CEO.
Fortum’s $3bn Stockholm heat business stake draws interest.
Interest among investors to buy Fortum’s stake in one of Europe’s biggest heating networks is increasing. The 50% stake in Stockholm Exergi was put up for sale last summer and could command as much as $3bn, Bloombergreported.
“Interest has intensified, even in these tricky times,” Markus Rauramo, Fortum CEO.
His comments came after the announcement of the sale of Fortum’s Baltic heating business for €800m ($953m). Exergi is jointly owned with the City of Stockholm.
Renault disposes of a $1.4bn Daimler stake.
Renault has sold its entire stake of 1.5% holding in Daimler for $1.4bn, to secure funds for its turnaround efforts after a record annual loss. Renault divested its shares via a placement at $83.1 a piece, Bloombergreported.
Proceeds from the sale will allow Renault to “accelerate the financial de-leveraging of its automotive activity". Renault and Daimler have said their industrial partnership that dates back more than a decade will continue. Cashing in its stake in Daimler allows Renault to pay down debt and protect credit ratings that have been assigned a negative outlook by Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and others.
Telefonica may keep hold of its subsea cable unit in an overhaul.
Telefonica may defy expectations for an outright sale of its submarine cables and bring in investors to share ownership of the business instead.
The Spanish phone company has been working with advisers to gauge interest from potential buyers. It was hoping to offload the business for about €2bn ($2.4bn), Bloombergreported.
Instead, the carrier could carry out a partial sale, then fold the asset into a standalone infrastructure division it created in 2019.
Babcock in talks to sell offshore helicopter business to CHC Group.
Babcock International is in talks to sell its oil and gas aviation division which provides helicopter transport for offshore workers, as new chief executive David Lockwood moves to reshape Britain’s second-largest defence contractor, FTreported.
The FTSE 250 company said it had conditionally agreed to sell the business, which has annual revenues of about £150m ($209m), to US-based CHC Group, the helicopter services company, for an undisclosed sum.
Headquartered in Aberdeen, the business employs 500 people and operates a fleet of about 30 helicopters that ferry workers in the UK, Denmark and Australia.
BC Partners talks on Inter Milan investment stall. (FS)
BC Partners’s negotiations on a potential investment in Italian soccer team FC Internazionale Milano have stalled, Bloombergreported.
The private equity firm has paused discussions due to disagreements about Inter Milan’s valuation and uncertainty over the size of the stake on offer. BC Partners was seeking control in any deal.
Inter Milan is leading Italy’s top soccer league, Serie A, ahead of cross-town rival AC Milan and third-ranked Juventus Football Club. The team’s owner, Chinese conglomerate Suning Holdings Group, has been considering options to improve its financial situation, including selling part or all of its roughly 70% stake in Inter Milan.
VW-backed Ionity to sell a minority stake.
Electric vehicle charging group Ionity, whose owners include Volkswagen and Daimler, is looking to sell a minority stake to rake in €400-500m ($479-597m), Reutersreported.
The firm, which is installing ultra-high speed charging stations across Europe, has hired BNP Paribas to help with the process, with non-binding bids due after Easter.
Interested parties include Macquarie, EQT, Meridiam, OMERS and IFM. Preliminary talks have already been held with some of them. The investors could receive a 20-25% stake in the company.
Apollo ends talks with Greensill Capital's administrators. (FS)
US private equity company Apollo Global Management has ended talks with the administrators of British financing company Greensill after a JP Morgan investment in Greensill’s technology partner, Reutersreported.
Greensill, which filed for insolvency earlier this week after losing the support of its main backers, employed around 1k people in the UK.
Apollo was negotiating a $60m acquisition of Greensill’s operating assets via its insurance arm Athene, the company said in its insolvency filing in a UK court earlier this week.
Babbel targets a €1bn Frankfurt IPO.
Lesson Nine, the company behind language-learning app Babbel, is preparing to list on the Frankfurt stock in a deal expected to value it at more than €1bn ($1.19bn), Reutersreported.
The company has tasked investment banks with organising the initial public offering, which could take place in the third quarter.
Berlin-based Lesson Nine said it is looking at various ways of financing its growth. But there is neither a decision for a particular (financing) option nor a timeline.
Social Capital Hedosophia seeks a $1bn UK listing.
Social Capital Hedosophia, the partnership between serial dealmakers Chamath Palihapitiya and Ian Osborne, is planning to seek at least $1bn listing a company in London focused on climate change solutions, Bloombergreported.
The investment firm is preparing an initial public offering of a vehicle that will pursue multiple acquisitions. The company will also build out its own operations tackling environmental issues.
Social Capital Hedosophia is working with Barclays and Credit Suisse on the proposed deal, which is code named “Project Impact,”. It’s targeting a listing later this year for the vehicle, which isn’t structured as a special purpose acquisition company.
Flutter is considering a small listing for FanDuel.
Betting group Flutter Entertainment, the owner of Paddy Power, Betfair and PokerStars, said it is considering listing a small shareholding of its US FanDuel business, Reutersreported.
Flutter, the world’s largest online betting group, has identified the United States as its next big growth market after a ban on sports betting was lifted in 2018. In December it increased its stake in FanDuel to 95% in a $4.2bn deal. The Irish company said it was making the disclosure in response to media speculation about a possible FanDuel IPO. Flutter was considering spinning out the business.
“Options including the listing in the US of a small shareholding in FanDuel are being considered but no decision has been made at this time,” Flutter.
PAI Partners raises c.$1.1bn for its inaugural mid-market fund. (FS)
PAI Partners has closed its inaugural PAI Mid-Market Fund with a total of circa c.$1.1bn of commitments. The Fund was raised entirely virtually and is above its $837m target and original $957m hard cap, which was increased following significant investor interest.
“I would like to thank all our investors for their continued support, which is a testament to their confidence in our investment strategy, the team’s ability to identify industry themes, and our long-standing, on-the-ground presence in local markets,” Richard Howell, PAI Head of the Investor Team and Managing Partner.
Virgin Atlantic in discussions about a £160m injection. (FS)
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways is in talks with shareholders and creditors about a further £160m ($223m) support package just six months after securing a £1.2bn ($1.67bn) rescue deal, SkyNewsreported.
The billionaire tycoon's flagship company is this weekend close to finalising the new funding, which will include a £100m ($140m) loan from his Virgin Group, the airline's majority owner.
The deal, which is expected to be wrapped up in the coming days, will underline the parlous state of the British aviation sector after the government ruled out a return to international travel in time for the crucial Easter holiday period.
Bentley Systems, an infrastructure engineering software company, agreed to acquire Seequent, a geological and geophysical software development company, from Accel-KKR, a private equity firm, for $1.05bn.
“By ‘leapfrogging ahead’ with Bentley to align geosciences with infrastructure engineering through deeper digital twins, Seequent underscores our conviction that better understanding of the earth creates a better world for all. Users and accounts of Seequent, as a Bentley Company, can expect business as usual, with many product and commercial synergies eventually forthcoming," Shaun Maloney, Seequent CEO.
Seequent is advised by Goldman Sachs and DLA Piper. Bentley Systems is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bell Gully and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Lightspeed POS, a provider of cloud-based, omnichannel commerce platforms, agreed to acquire Vend, a cloud-based retail management software company, for $350m.
"By joining forces, we will power the global transformation of retail and pour our unparalleled collective efforts into the success of our retailers at this pivotal moment in our industry. As a New Zealand-based company, we're proud to be globally recognized for the product and company we have built and are excited about this next step in our journey," Ana Wight, Vend CEO.
Private equity firms Shenzhen Capital Group and Shenzhen Qianhai Wanrong Hongtu led a $100m Series B round in Shanghai Longcheer Technology, a telecommunication equipment manufacturer. Accurate Capital, Jintaifu Capital Management, Forebright Capital Management, FutureX Capital, and Huaxu Industrial Investment Fund Management also participated in the round.
With the capital injection, the company will develop its 5G technology and accelerate its development of mobile intelligent terminals powered by artificial intelligence of things.
Grab in talks for US listing via $40bn SPAC merger. (FS)
Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing and food delivery firm Grab is in talks to go public through a merger with a US special purpose acquisition company that could value it at nearly $40bn, Reutersreported.
Grab was in talks with Silicon Valley-based technology-focused investment firm Altimeter Capital but had also held discussions with other so-called SPACs.
Singapore-based Grab, which has expanded rapidly from its beginnings as a ride-hailing firm in 2012 to become Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup worth more than $16bn, had not finalised any deal. Reuters first reported in January, that Grab was exploring a listing in the US and its IPO could raise at least $2bn.
Tencent and Baidu fined by the Chinese antitrust regulator for previous deals.
China’s antitrust regulator fined some of its largest tech giants including Tencent Holdings, Baidu, ByteDance and Didi Chuxing for past acquisitions and investments as it stepped up its crackdown on the sector, Bloombergreported.
Pony Ma’s Tencent is being fined $77k for its 2018 investment in online education app Yuanfudao. Baidu was fined the same amount for its 2014 takeover of Ainemo, a maker of consumer electronics including voice-controlled speakers. The firms are being censured for not seeking prior approvals for the deals - a violation of country’s anti-monopoly laws - though the regulator had determined the deals themselves are not anti-competitive.
Tencent and Baidu join fellow behemoth Alibaba Group in coming under fire from the country’s powerful antitrust regulator, as Beijing steps up efforts to rein in its once free-wheeling technology industry. The regulator had last year issued fines against Alibaba as well as Tencent unit China Literature for similar violations.
JD.com in talks to purchase a stake in Sinolink Securities worth $1.5bn.
JD.com is in talks to buy part or all of a stake in brokerage Sinolink Securities worth at least $1.5bn, as the e-commerce major aims to bolster its financial services operations, Reutersreported.
A deal to buy the stake from Sinolink’s largest shareholder, Yongjin Group, would be the biggest bet in acquisition value terms by Beijing-based JD.com in China’s $45trn financial market.
Tata proposes to take a majority stake in Alibaba-backed BigBasket.
Indian conglomerate TATA SONS plans to buy a majority stake in Alibaba-backed online grocery seller Bigbasket, Reutersreported.
The deal, if approved, would put Tata Group - a more than 150-year-old group with interests in everything from luxury cars to software - in direct competition with Amazon, Walmart’s Flipkart and an upstart grocery service from Reliance Industries, backed by billionaire Mukesh Ambani.
In the filing with the Competition Commission of India, Tata Digital, a wholly owned unit of TATA SONS, proposed to buy 64.3% of an entity that runs business-to-business sales for BigBasket.
BHP's acquisitions unlikely near-term given high commodity prices.
BHP Group is unlikely to make any major acquisitions in the near-term given rocketing commodity prices, and will instead focus on exploration and wringing more value out of existing assets, Reutersreported.
The world’s biggest listed miner is looking to grow its exposure to future facing commodities or those expected to be cornerstones of the world’s transition towards cleaner energy.
That includes copper, whose conductive properties efficiently transport power, and nickel used in batteries for electric vehicles - for which BHP expects prices to go higher still.
Bilibili wins nod for $3bn Hong Kong second listing.
Chinese video streaming platform Bilibili has received the green light from the Hong Kong stock exchange for its proposed second listing, Bloombergreported.
The US-listed technology firm could raise about $3bn from the share sale. Details of the offering are not final and could change.
Bilibili would join a rapidly expanding group of Chinese companies seeking a trading foothold in Hong Kong, pressured by tensions between China and the US and beckoned by the Asian financial center’s increasingly hot market for new listings.
Alibaba-backed Megvii files for IPO in Shanghai.
Megvii Technology is poised to become the first major Chinese artificial intelligence startup to go public, Bloombergreported.
The startup, backed by Alibaba Group Holding, plans to issue up to 253m Class B shares as the underlying stock for the CDR offering. The offering may raise at least $922m after fees, which will be used to fund research and development in robotics and visual Internet of Things as well as to replenish capital.
The eight-year-old firm gained fame in part because of China’s obsession with security, which in turn drove a nationwide video-surveillance boom. It registered a loss of $158m, excluding one-time items, in the first nine months of 2020.
New Frontier Group in talks to raise second SPAC IPO.
Hong Kong’s New Frontier Group is in talks with investment banks about an IPO via a SPAC, Reuters reported.
The China-focused investment firm, co-founded by property developer Nan Fung Group’s chairman Anthony Leung, aims to raise $300m from the SPAC IPO.
New Frontier is tapping the SPAC market a second time after raising $250m via a SPAC IPO in June 2018. It was not immediately clear what sector the second SPAC would target, but New Frontier on its website said it has interests in healthcare, internet, artificial intelligence, big data, education and financial services.
Edgar Sia gears up to deliver another Philippine IPO.
Edgar ‘Injap’ Sia’s grocer MerryMart Consumer defied a market slump when it jumped 50% in its June debut amid the global pandemic, matching the gain of his DoubleDragon Properties in 2014. His DDMP REIT’s IPO of up to $303m will take the spotlight on March 23 when the shares become the first of 2021 to list on the nation’s bourse,Bloombergreported.
DDMP’s IPO comes as the Southeast Asian economy reels from a virus-induced recession and a battered stock market under siege from a foreign investor exodus. It is the nation’s second real estate investment trust to go public. AREIT, the first, slid 7.8% on its debut in August.
Ant Group CEO said to resign. (People)
Simon Hu has unexpectedly resigned as chief executive officer of Ant Group, adding fresh turmoil to the financial technology giant as it grapples with Chinese government demands to overhaul its business, Bloomberg reported.
Hu resigned for personal reasons, also stepping down from his role as an executive director on the company’s board. Eric Jing, already Ant’s chairman, will become CEO as well effective immediately. A spokesperson for Ant, founded by billionaire Jack Ma, confirmed Hu’s resignation.
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