Salesforce, a designer and developer of enterprise software, agreed to acquire Slack, an innovative enterprise communications platform, for $27.7bn. The transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter of Salesforce’s fiscal year 2022.
“Stewart and his team have built one of the most beloved platforms in enterprise software history, with an incredible ecosystem around it. This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. I’m thrilled to welcome Slack to the Salesforce Ohana once the transaction closes," Marc Benioff, Salesforce Chair and CEO.
Salesforce is advised by Bank of America Securities, Joele Frank, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Morrison & Foerster. Slack is advised by Qatalyst Partners, Goldman Sachs, Latham & Watkins and Goodwin Procter. Debt financing is provided by Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan.
Novacap, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Logibec, a Montreal-based healthcare software company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are grateful for the enthusiastic support of Novacap and its partners in this transaction, which not only brings our company back to Canadian ownership, but also positions us for expansion outside of North America," Marc Brunet, Logibec CEO.
Novacap was advised by Ernst & Young, Crosslake Technologies, Tectonic Advisory Services, National Bank Financial and Fasken.
Gryphon Investors-backed Smile Brands, a provider of support services to general and multi-specialty dental groups, completed the acquisition of Midwest Dental, a provider of dental care services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our combination with Midwest Dental is a game changer for Smile Brands, and highly impactful to our industry, increasing Smile Brands' scale and footprint by over 50% while furthering our mission of delivering 'Smiles for Everyone.' Midwest Dental is a top-10 DSO nationwide and a long-standing market leader. We believe the combined company will continue to deliver best-in-class support to dental practices, and thereby patient care to individuals and families nationwide, and be ideally positioned for future growth," Steve Bilt, Smile Brands CEO.
Midwest Dental was advised by Harris Williams and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Smile Brands was advised by Kirkland & Ellis. Gryphon was advised by Lambert & Co.
Sysnet Global Solutions, a provider of cyber security and compliance solutions for SMBs, completed the acquisition of Managed Compliance Solutions division of Thompson Street-backed ControlScan, a provider of payment card industry compliance solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Sysnet and ControlScan MCS have consistently demonstrated market leadership and innovation in helping SMBs protect their business with strong payment security. Incorporating ControlScan MCS into Sysnet will deliver high-impact results to merchant service providers and their SMBs, as well as to the payments industry as a whole. Our team is excited to join forces with Sysnet and maximise our innovative spirit. Together, we will be well-positioned to drive growth as the global leader in compliance and security," Matt Loos, ControlScan Executive Vice President.
Sysnet was advised by Alvarez & Marsal, SkyParlour and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Controlscan was advised by Raymond James and Sidley Austin.
B&G Foods, an American holding company for branded foods, completed the acquisition of Crisco, an oils and shortening business of JM Smucker, a manufacturer and marketer of food and beverage products, for $550m.
"This acquisition is consistent with our longstanding acquisition strategy of targeting well-established brands with defensible market positions and strong cash flow at reasonable purchase price multiples. Crisco has a strong heritage, as the original all‑vegetable shortening that transformed the way people bake and cook over 100 years ago. Crisco is the number one brand of shortening, the number one brand of vegetable oil and also holds a leadership position in other cooking oils and cooking sprays," Kenneth G. Romanzi, B&G Foods President and CEO.
B&G Foods was advised by Dechert and ICR. JM Smucker was advised by Goldman Sachs and Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff.
Assurant, a global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions, completed the acquisition of HYLA Mobile, a provider of smartphone software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to join Assurant, a global leader in device lifecycle management, with a proven track record and ongoing commitment of innovation to support the evolving needs of its clients and their end consumers. We share the same philosophy of continuously finding ways to make the mobile device experience better for consumers and more efficient for our partners. We look forward to working together to bring more customer-centric innovations to the market, especially as our customers are deploying 5G," Biju Nair, HYLA Mobile President and CEO.
HYLA Mobile was advised by OpenAir Equity Partners and Robert W Baird. Assurant was advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Private equity firm Audax completed the acquisition of a majority stake in 48forty Solutions, a provider of end-to-end pallet management services, from Grey Mountain Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Audax as we embark on an exciting new chapter in our history. This investment will help 48forty continue to consistently deliver high-quality pallets to both national and local accounts, expand our product and service offerings, and explore strategic acquisitions to further accelerate our growth," Norm Plotkin, 48forty CEO.
48forty and Grey Mountain Partners were advised by Piper Sandler. Audax was advised by BlackArch Partners and Ropes & Gray.
Lightspeed POS, a provider of cloud-based, omnichannel commerce platforms, completed the acquisition of Upserve, a restaurant management cloud-software company based in Rhode Island, from private equity firm Vista Equity Partners for $430m.
"Combining forces with Upserve is a strategic next-step in Lightspeed's vision of providing the most advanced commerce platform to high-performing businesses around the world. We believe this acquisition will accelerate the product innovation that has enabled Lightspeed customers to tackle the greatest challenge to their industry in decades and will add exceptional leadership to our teams in anticipation of the economic recovery of the global hospitality industry," Dax Dasilva, Lightspeed Founder and CEO.
Upserve was advised by William Blair. Lightspeed POS was advised by RBC Capital Markets.
BRP Group, an independent insurance distribution firm, completed the acquisition of Armfield, Harrison & Thomas, a brokerage and consulting firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Partnering with AHT is exciting for BRP Group and dovetails with our long-term strategy of both rapid organic and Partnership growth. We expect the addition of AHT – one of the top independent middle-market firms in the country with an amazing roster of talent – to further accelerate our growth trajectory and provide us with immediate scale in new geographies. AHT's depth of expertise and industry focus are clear complements to our ongoing specialization efforts in middle-market, and the leadership team at AHT is aligned with our culture and ensuring that our clients always come first. We're thrilled to welcome the AHT team to the BRP family, and with their addition, we have taken a major step toward further growing our platform across the US," Trevor Baldwin, BRP Group CEO.
Armfield, Harrison & Thomas was advised by Reagan Consulting. BRP Group was advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell.
NexPhase Capital-backed KnowFully Learning Group, a provider of continuing professional education, exam preparation courses, and digital learning solutions, agreed to acquire The Income Tax School, a provider of training programs, continuing education courses, and certificate programs for individuals seeking to start or accelerate careers in tax preparation. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"ITS is a strong complement to Surgent's expansive portfolio of educational solutions for accounting, tax, and finance professionals. They've developed a stellar reputation within their target market and we are confident that together we will be able to build upon ITS' strong foundation to expand and diversify our learning solutions for tax professionals," Eric Cantor, KnowFully CEO.
ASGN, a provider of IT and professional services in the technology, digital, creative, engineering and life sciences fields, agreed to acquire Integrated Solutions Management, a business management consultant. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased to welcome the ISM team to ASGN. Their talented professionals complement our rapidly growing ECS segment. ISM's proprietary IP provides a competitive edge to ServiceNow customer engagements. I am confident that this acquisition will position us to successfully deliver on some of the most complex digital transformations today," Ted Hanson, ASGN President and CEO.
Nautic Partners-backed CarepathRx, a pharmacy solutions provider, agreed to acquire the Chartwell subsidiary of UPMC, a health care provider and insurer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Our partnership with UPMC and Chartwell is an important step for CarepathRx. We set out to create a new approach to pharmacy care in the market—one that is centered on the patient and that works collaboratively with both the provider and the payor of health care. We welcome the team at Chartwell to the CarepathRx family and are thrilled to partner with UPMC to help us achieve our mission," John Figueroa, CarepathRx CEO.
ACON Investments, an international private equity firm, agreed to acquire Novipax, a provider of food packaging. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Novipax's national presence, exceptional product quality and focus on customer service have made it a leader in its category. We are excited to partner with Keith and team to help drive the next chapter of Novipax's growth," Suma Kulkarni, ACON Partner.
Imprivata, a digital identity company for healthcare, agreed to acquire FairWarning Technologies, a provider of patient privacy intelligence. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Like Imprivata, FairWarning is focused on delivering a world-class experience that ensures customers benefit from the full value of the investment in their solutions. I'm thrilled about the similarities we share in culture and in our commitment to our customers. We're excited to make FairWarning a key component of our go-forward analytics and Digital Identity strategy, and to be able to offer our customers a broader set of solutions from a single vendor that is committed to delivering innovative products and a signature customer experience," Gus Malezis, Imprivata CEO.
Investment firm Tiger Global led a $115m Series D round in Scale AI, a data labeling startup.
"Four years ago, we recognized this problem and sought to unlock the bottlenecks holding back AI development. We started by building a platform that solves the necessary, foundational layer that fuels all machine learning models: large annotated datasets. Our solution gives developers the ability to send data to our platform through the Scale API and receive high-quality training data that's ready for building production-grade AI algorithms," Scale AI.
SoftBank through SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led a $114m Series C round in Flock Freight, a US logistics tech firm, with participation from SignalFire, GLP Capital Partners, Google Ventures and Volvo Group Venture Capital.
"In that way, carriers can avoid logistic hubs where often goods are sorted and reloaded for delivery – a process prone to delays and damage.
The new funds raised would be used to hire experts in operations research and applied mathematics," Oren Zaslansky, Flock Freight CEO and Founder.
BMO to exit its US oil and gas investment banking.
Bank of Montreal is exiting its oil and gas investment banking business in the US and will focus on assets in Canada going forward, becoming the latest financial institution to cut relations with America's beleaguered shale industry, Bloomberg reported.
The company is eliminating about 50 positions in its investment banking group as part of the exit that was announced to staff on Monday. A handful of corporate bankers will manage BMO's US oil and gas loan book.
Hudson Pacific Properties and CPP Investments to acquire an office tower in Seattle for $625m. (FS, RE)
Hudson Pacific Properties, a real estate investment trust, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board signed an agreement to acquire through a joint venture a 668k-square-foot trophy office tower in Seattle for $625m.
CPP Investments will own a 45% interest in the joint venture and Hudson Pacific will own 55% and act as general partner and as property, leasing and construction manager. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.
"With its prime location, modern amenities and tenants backed by superior long-term credit, this investment will build upon our success in downtown Seattle and the Cascadian Innovation Corridor more broadly. We are also pleased to significantly expand our relationship with Amazon, which now becomes one of the largest tenants within our office portfolio," Victor Coleman, Hudson Pacific Chairman and CEO.
CPP Investments is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Crum & Forster to acquire renewal rights of Aspen's US food and beverage product recall insurance portfolio.
Crum & Forster, a national property and casualty insurer, acquired the renewal rights of Aspen's US food and beverage product recall insurance portfolio written primarily through the excess and surplus lines market. In addition, the underwriting team servicing this portfolio has joined C&F.
"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Crum & Forster, and as we transition away from the product recall space, we will continue to concentrate on our core Crisis Management offerings from our UK entities. Our product recall business, led by Nicky Alexandru, has contributed to positive underwriting results since the Crisis Management team entered the product recall space in 2016. As we continue to review our portfolio to create efficiency through simplification, this agreement will enable both parties to benefit from a partnership that delivers creative solutions combined with first class underwriting and crisis consulting services. We wish Nicky and his team much continued success with Crum & Forster," Henry MacHale, Aspen Portfolio Director for First Party & Specialty.
Tailored Brands emerges from bankruptcy protection.
Tailored Brands, an American retail holding company for various men's apparel stores, emerged from bankruptcy protection following a financial restructuring process, Reuters reported.
Tailored Brands now operates with a capital structure that includes an exit term loan of $365m, which it expects will support its ongoing operations and strategic initiatives.
Transfix in talks to go public via SPAC.
Transfix, a logistics startup that operates a freight marketplace, is in talks to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm, Tuscan Holdings, Bloomberg reported.
Transfix and Tuscan are in exclusive negotiations, with terms yet to be finalized. No deal has been reached and it is possible that talks could fall apart.
BC Partners-backed GardaWorld, a Canadian provider of security and patrolling services, raised its offer for G4S, a British multinational security services company, to £3.6bn ($4.9bn), Reuters reported. GardaWorld increased its offer for G4S to £2.35 ($3.14) per share from £1.9 ($2.54).
G4S said it was currently evaluating the revised offer along with its financial and legal advisers, adding that shareholders were strongly advised to take no action.
G4S is advised by Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Lazard, Linklaters and Brunswick Group. GardaWorld is advised by Bank of America, Barclays, Jefferies & Company, UBS, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Montfort Communications. Financial advisors are advised by Ashurst. BC Partners is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Cinven, an international private equity firm, and British Columbia Investment Management, one of Canada's largest institutional investors, agreed to acquire Compre, a specialist global consolidator of closed books of non-life insurance policies, from private equity firm CBPE Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Cinven is delighted to be investing in Compre alongside BCI. Over the last 30 years Compre has built a proven platform in the highly specialized insurance and reinsurance run-off market, and a reputation amongst its clients for consistently creating and realizing value. Compre is extremely well placed to access new growth markets, such as the US and Lloyd's, and to broaden its client offering further. We look forward to working with Compre's management team to deliver these growth opportunities, drawing on the deep expertise of the Cinven team in the insurance sector," Luigi Sbrozzi, Cinven Partner.
Compre is advised by Liberty Corporate Finance and DLA Piper. Cinven and BCI is advised by Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Marsh, Macquarie Group, Allen & Overy, Latham & Watkins and FTI Consulting.
Shareholders of Bankia, a Spain state-owned lender, approved the merger with rival Caixabank to create the country’s biggest domestic lender with more than $720m in total assets. In September, Caixabank agreed to buy Bankia for $5.1bn in an all-share deal.
“The combination of both lenders will lead to a generation of synergies that will allow a much higher profitability than what could be achieved by both entities separately,” Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri, Bankia Chairman.
Caixabank will hold its own shareholders’ meeting on December 3, 2020 to vote on the transaction. The deal needs to be authorised by the Economy Ministry, after being reviewed by Spanish and European supervisors.
Bankia is advised by Rothschild & Co and Garrigues. Caixabank is advised by Morgan Stanley and Uria Menendez. FROB is advised by Nomura. Criteriacaixa Group is advised by Barclays, Citigroup and Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira.
Investment company LDC agreed to invest in SP Foundation, a digital solutions and services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This deal marks a key next step in Foundation SP's growth journey. I'm extremely proud of all of our employees who have enabled us to build such strong customer relationships and an incredibly successful model. We know that partnering with LDC will help us to scale while remaining true to our culture and ethos," Simon Grosse, SP Foundation CEO.
SP Foundation is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Frazer Hall and Gateley. LDC is advised by James Cowper Kreston, Armstrong Transaction Services, BDO and Shoosmiths.
Markerstudy, an insurance company, completed the acquisition of the underwriting business of Co-op, a one of the world's largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance, legal services and an online electrical store for £185m ($239m).
"From the outset we've been very clear that we intend to enhance our insurance offer for Co-op members and this agreement provides the means for us to do this in an effective way. Markerstudy have shown a clear willingness to partner with us, and to develop a compelling range of products which will increase our insurance footprint and extend our Co-op difference," Pippa Wicks, Co-op Deputy CEO.
Markerstudy was advised by HFW and Kirkland & Ellis. Co-op was advised by Fenchurch Advisory Partners and Allen & Overy.
Marlowe, a specialist consulting services provider, completed the acquisition of Ellis Whittam, a provider of outsourced employment law, HR and health & safety services, for $77m.
"The acquisition of Ellis Whittam transforms our scale and capabilities in Employment Law, HR Compliance and Health & Safety advisory and significantly advances our strategy to provide our clients with a comprehensive one-stop approach to their health & safety and regulatory compliance needs. The business, which delivers subscription-based consultancy services, supported by software, operates in an attractive and underserved market where we see significant growth opportunities. We are confident that this acquisition will generate attractive returns for Marlowe's shareholders," Alex Dacre, Marlowe CEO.
Marlowe was advised by Berenberg, Cenkos Securities, Stifel and FTI Consulting.
Aberdeen Standard Investments, an investment company, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Airband, a provider of rural connectivity services, from Amber Infrastructure, a fund and asset manager of infrastructure, real estate and sustainable energy projects. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We’re excited to welcome ASI to Airband and are genuinely looking forward to working with them and Amber to continue rolling out full fibre broadband to our rural communities. Their support and expertise means that we as a business are able to invest in and grow our teams to significantly scale up operations, bringing better connectivity to towns and villages that really need it and creating hundreds of jobs in the South West," Redmond Peel , Airband CEO and Founder.
ASI was advised by DC Advisory and Ashurst. Airband was advised by Norton Rose Fulbright and PwC.
OMERS-backed Alexander Mann Solutions, a talent solutions provider, agreed to acquire The Up Group, an executive search firm in London, from private equity firm Livingbridge. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Livingbridge's strategic guidance and financial support have proved invaluable in taking us to the next level, and I am proud to say that The Up Group is now in a stronger position than ever. We look forward to starting our partnership with Alexander Mann Solutions. Having already worked closely with its founder Rosaleen Blair, for several years, we have every confidence in our ability to continue our growth journey," Clare Johnston, The Up Group CEO and Founder.
Livingbridge is advised by Arrowpoint Advisory, Shoosmiths and Citigate Dewe Rogerson.
Volvo to resume negotiations to combine with Geely.
Volvo, a Swedish manufacturing company, and Geely, a Chinese automotive company, will likely resume talks on a merger or alliance next year.
"Quarter one is more realistic next year. We have said we are looking at a combination and it could be done in different ways—platform sharing and so on. Volvo is of course very proud..and Geely is very proud of their brand and they of course also don't want to be part of a more European constellation. It is an opportunity to form some sort of an alliance," Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo Chief Executive.
Nucleus Financial in takeover talks with Epiris and Integrafin. (FS)
Nucleus Financial Group, an online wrap platform, confirmed that it received takeover approaches from financial-platform provider Integrafin and private equity firm Epiris. Aquiline Capital Partners and wealth-tech company Allfunds are also interested in making offers.
There can be no certainty that any offer for Nucleus will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made. The company is currently valued at $178m.
Nucleus is advised by Shore Capital, Craven Street Capital and Camarco.
Access Bank in talks to acquire Atlas Mara assets.
Access Bank, a Nigerian multinational commercial bank, is in talks about a potential acquisition of assets from Atlas Mara, a financial services holding company, as the company to expand its reach in the rest of Africa, Bloomberg reported.
Access Bank is interested in Atlas Mara's businesses in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Deliberations are in preliminary stages, and no final decision has been made. If successful, Atlas Mara will be left with its largest investment, a 49.97% stake in Union Bank of Nigeria, which gives it a footprint in Africa's largest economy.
Ex-Barclays banker to raise $250m for a SPAC.
Makram Azar, formerly Barclays' senior banker, and Scott Freidheim, an American dealmaker, are setting up a blank-check company to chase deals in the telecommunication, media and technology sectors.
Golden Falcon Acquisition filed on Tuesday to raise $250m through an initial public offering. The SPAC will target companies headquartered in Europe, Israel, the Middle East or North America.
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, a Japanese telecommunications company, is considering bond offerings of up to $19bn in Japan and overseas to refinance loans for the $40bn acquisition of its mobile unit NTT Docomo, Reuters reported.
The company funded the acquisition through bridge loans totalling $41.2bn from Japan’s biggest three banks and others, and said it would refinance part of the loans with long-term bonds.
Docomo is advised by Nomura and Nakamura, Tsunoda & Matsumoto. NTT is advised by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Morgan Stanley, Hibiya Sogo and Mori Hamada & Matsumoto.
Allianz, a multinational financial services company, agreed to acquire the general insurance business from Westpac, a financial institution, for $535m.
“Westpac has been a long-term business partner for Allianz and we are very pleased to enter into this new agreement. Both companies share aligned values, particularly in relation to a customer -first approach to design and distribution, and using innovation and tech nology as key enablers to delivering customer satisfaction, so we see this as a fantastic opportunity," Richard Feledy Allianz Australia Managing Director.
JD, SF, Carlyle bid for CJ Group's China logistics business in a $1bn deal. (FS)
Chinese online retailer JD, delivery company SF Group and The Carlyle Group are bidding for CJ Rokin Logistics Supply Chain, a China logistics business of CJ Group, in a deal that could value the company at over $1bn, Reuters reported.
First-round bidders also include real estate and technology companies as well as other financial sponsors and industry peers.
CJ Group is advised by Morgan Stanley.
Grab and Gojek near the close of merger terms.
Grab, a provider of trucking transportation services, and Gojek, an app for ordering food, commuting, digital payments, shopping, hyper-local delivery, and a dozen other products, made progress in working out a deal to combine their businesses, in what would be the biggest internet merger in Southeast Asia, Bloomberg reported.
The region’s two most valuable startups have narrowed their differences of opinion. The final details are being worked out among the most senior leaders of each company with the participation of SoftBank Group's Masayoshi Son, a major Grab investor.
JD Health raises $3.5bn in Hong Kong IPO.
JD Health International, a Chines e-commerce platform for pharmaceutical products, raised $3.5bn in Hong Kong's largest initial public offering this year, taking proceeds from new listings in the city to a 10-year high.
The company priced its share offering at the top end of an indicative range, after strong demand for its shares from investors.
China Resources Mixc raises $1.6bn in Hong Kong IPO.
China Resources Mixc Lifestyle Services, a provider of property management services, raised $1.6bn after pricing its Hong Kong initial public offering at $2.88 per share, the top of a marketed range, Bloomberg reported. The company sold 550m new shares in the IPO.
China Resources Mixc had set a price range of $2.4 to $2.88 per share for the IPO and brought in seven cornerstone investors, including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Hillhouse Capital.
Axiom closes its latest fund-of-funds at $1.8bn hard cap. (FS)
Private equity firm Axiom Asia Private Capital closed its sixth fund-of-funds at the hard cap of $1.8bn, claiming that the economic fallout from Covis-19 has created more investment opportunities.
Axiom's sixth FoF will invest between $40m and $60m per underlying fund and primarily target China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Additionally, the FoF will also back funds operating in Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.
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