Bowlero, a bowling centers operator, went public via a merger with ISOS Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $2.6bn deal. The transaction included a $450m PIPE anchored investors Apollo Global, Brigade Capital, Soros Fund Management, The Donerail Group, and Wells Fargo Asset Management. Atairos, an investment company, divested its $105m equity stake.
"We view this business combination as highly strategic with committed capital that gives Bowlero even more financial flexibility to execute on organic and inorganic growth plans. We look forward to joining the Bowlero Board and driving shareholder value with the combined experience and network of our two teams," George Barrios and Michelle Wilson, ISOS Acquisition Co-CEOs.
Bowlero was advised by JP Morgan, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Proskauer Rose and ICR. ISOS was advised by JP Morgan, LionTree Advisors and Hughes Hubbard & Reed. Financial advisors were advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Atairos was advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Aspiration, a fintech company, and InterPrivate III Financial Partners, a special purpose acquisition company, secured an additional $315m investment from Oaktree Capital, a global alternative investment management firm, and businessman and investor Steve Ballmer.
"Aspiration is a category creator at the intersection of the growing fintech and sustainability industries. We're delighted to partner with the Aspiration team as they continue to scale their growth and impact," Brian Laibow, Oaktree Managing Director and Co-Head of North America for Global Opportunities Strategy.
Aspiration is advised by Citigroup, Union Square Advisors and Latham & Watkins. InterPrivate is advised by EarlyBirdCapital, InterPrivate, Morgan Stanley, PJT Partners, Sidley Austin and White & Case. Oaktree Capital is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Rubicon Technologies, a software platform that provides smart waste and recycling solutions for businesses and governments worldwide, is set to go public via merger with Founder SPAC, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, in a $1.7bn deal.
"Historically, waste has been an overlooked issue but in Rubicon we have built a different kind of company, one that has sought to address the entrenched shortcomings of the industry and bring the issue of waste into the public consciousness. As a Lexington, Kentucky-based company, our proven track record of environmental innovation shows that transformational ideas can come from anywhere, and demonstrates the power of forward-thinking businesses to drive positive change in our world. This transaction reflects a transformative step in our company's long, successful track record. While the waste and recycling category is highly resilient, it is ripe for improvements in efficiency and sustainability, and the successful execution of our growth strategy will help propel the industry into the current age of digitization while facilitating the broader sustainability goals of customers and communities around the world. In doing so, we are creating a new standard for the waste and recycling category," Nate Morris, Rubicon CEO.
Rubicon Technologies is advised by Cohen & Company, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and ICR. Founder SPAC is advised by Jefferies & Company, Moelis & Co, Winston & Strawn and Gateway Investor Relations.
Earthstone Energy, a growth-oriented, independent energy company, agreed to acquire northern Delaware Basin assets of Warburg Pincus-backed Chisholm Energy, a privately held oil and gas company headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, for $604m.
"The Chisholm acquisition caps off a series of highly-accretive and value-adding transactions that have dramatically transformed Earthstone during 2021 and further establishes Earthstone as a Permian Basin-focused company with increasing scale. When this acquisition is combined with the previous four acquisitions completed in 2021, we will have increased our Permian Basin net acreage footprint by approximately 400%, almost tripled our daily production rate and meaningfully increased Free Cash Flow generation capacity," Robert J. Anderson, Earthstone President and CEO.
Earthstone Energy is advised by Wells Fargo Securities, Haynes and Boone and Jones & Keller. Chisholm Energy is advised by Jefferies & Company and Kirkland & Ellis.
Stem, a provider of artificial intelligence-driven energy storage software and services, agreed to acquire AlsoEnergy, a provider of solar asset management software, for $695m.
The transaction will combine Stem’s unique storage optimization capabilities with AlsoEnergy’s market-leading solar asset performance monitoring and control software to deliver a compelling one-stop-shop solution for renewable energy projects. In addition, Stem will offer its smart energy storage solutions to AlsoEnergy’s existing front-of-meter and commercial & industrial customers, who generally have limited storage attachment to their solar assets today. AlsoEnergy will gain earlier visibility into solar plus storage projects through Stem’s extensive customer and partner network.
AlsoEnergy is advised by William Blair & Co and Goodmans. Stem is advised by Nomura, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and ICR.
United Talent Agency, a global talent, entertainment and sports company, completed the acquisition of MediaLink, a media and marketing firm, from Ascential, the specialist information, analytics and eCommerce optimisation company, for $125m.
"We are pleased that MediaLink has found an excellent home, in UTA, that will leverage its uniquely talented team while further developing its specialist advisory services in the media and marketing ecosystem. For Ascential, this transaction will enable accelerated investment in data driven, subscription revenue streams, while also continuing to simplify the focus of the Group overall," Duncan Painter, Ascential CEO.
MediaLink was advised by Michelman & Robinson. UTA is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Ascential was advised by FTI Consulting.
Genuine Parts Company, a distributor of automotive and industrial replacement parts, agreed to acquire Kaman Distribution Group, a national distributor of highly engineered products and provider of related services, from Littlejohn, a private investment firm, for $1.3bn.
"We are excited to announce this strategic investment in our Industrial business. Motion's highly synergistic acquisition of KDG significantly enhances our scale and further strengthens our market-leading position. In addition, this combination creates opportunities for accelerated long-term growth, profitability and cash flow. Our Motion team, led by Randy Breaux, is eager to bring together the world-class talent and industrial expertise of these two organizations to build an even stronger business. We look forward to extending our leadership position and creating significant shareholder value together as a premier leader in industrial solutions," Paul Donahue, GPC Chairman and CEO.
Kaman Distribution Group is advised by Robert W Baird and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Genuine Parts is advised by Greenhill & Co and King & Spalding.
Callodine Group, an asset management firm focused on yield-oriented investment strategies, agreed to acquire Thorofare Capital, a real estate investment firm, managing over $1bn in assets under management. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"When choosing a strategic partner, our focus was to identify a company that possesses a strong corporate culture, credit discipline, and an investor-centric approach to position Thorofare for accelerated, long-term growth as we enter the next chapter of our business. We found all of those attributes and more in the Callodine team. The opportunity set we see before us at Thorofare is significant, and we are excited to enter the next phase of our firm's growth with a partner like Callodine that will work alongside us to achieve our shared goals for the future," Kevin Miller, Thorofare Capital Founder and CEO.
Thorofare Capital is advised by Berkshire Global Advisors and Kirkland & Ellis. Callodine is advised by Aviditi Advisors and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Citizens Financial Group, an American bank headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, agreed to acquire DH Capital, a private investment banking firm serving companies in the Internet infrastructure, software and next-generation IT services, and communications sectors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Clients view Citizens as a trusted strategic and financial partner committed to delivering complete solutions, quality execution and excellent service throughout their business life cycle. The DH Capital team brings us deep expertise in the digital infrastructure sector, a key and ongoing area of opportunity in today's highly dynamic commercial market," Donald McCree, Citizens Vice Chairman and Head of Commercial Banking.
DH Capital is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Mayer Brown. Citizens is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Facebook is set to gain EU antitrust approval for its acquisition of Kustomer after offering remedies that allow rival products to function with those of the US customer service startup, Reuters reported.
A buying spree of startups by big companies has triggered concerns on both sides of the Atlantic, with regulators worried about so-called killer acquisitions aimed at shutting down potential rivals before they are big enough to be a threat.
Kustomer is advised by JP Morgan. Facebook is advised by Latham & Watkins and Brunswick Group.
Charlesbank Capital Partners, a middle-market private investment firm, completed the acquisition of BOX Partners, a technology-enabled supplier of packaging, shipping, industrial supplies and related products for the e-commerce and distribution markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"BOX is a well-respected brand in the packaging industry with a strong competitive position and a firm commitment to excellent quality and service. We are excited to partner again with Neil, who brings strong leadership skills and an impressive track record in building value across multiple brands and businesses," Brandon White, Charlesbank Managing Director.
BOX Partners was advised by Mesirow Financial. Charlesbank was advised by Ropes & Gray.
Crossroads Systems, a holding company focused on investing in businesses that promote economic vitality and community development, agreed to acquire Fountainhead, a national, non-bank, direct commercial lender specializing in business financing for small to midsize businesses. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This combination, when added to our existing partnerships with Enhanced Capital Group and Rise Line Business Credit, two other leading nationwide lending firms, will enable us to capture additional SBA loan business which fit perfectly within our growing pipeline of small business opportunities. On behalf of our entire organization, I'd like to formally welcome Fountainhead to the Crossroads family," Eric Donnelly, Crossroads CEO.
Crossroads Systems is advised by Gateway Investor Relations and dovetail solutions.
Perfect Day, a food technology startup company based in Berkeley, California, agreed to acquire Coolhaus, an ice cream brand. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We created Coolhaus to make better products for everybody. Our ability to lead with purpose and move the dial for consumers becomes even stronger by joining The Urgent Company. For us, this is about the long game. The integration of Perfect Day protein into our line of beloved dairy ice cream and novelties is going to elevate our product into the next generation of foods making a difference for our families and our planet," Natasha Case, Coolhaus Founder.
Arcline Investment Management-backed Dwyer Instruments, a provider of precision instruments and controls, agreed to acquire Universal Flow Monitors, a provider of flow meters and controls in industrial applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"UFM has a broad portfolio of ruggedized products that customers rely on for critical industrial applications. This has led UFM to a successful, entrenched position in niche industrial markets. We are very excited to welcome UFM to the Dwyer family," Mark Fisher, Dwyer President.
Arcline Investment Management is advised by Joele Frank.
PSG, a growth equity firm partnering with middle-market software and technology-enabled services companies, agreed to acquire Traction Guest, a provider of cloud-based visitor management and workforce security software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Visitor management and workforce security represents a $12bn addressable market worldwide, bolstered by increasing demand for simple, clear and compelling tools. With that, we believe Traction Guest and Sign In App have the potential to forge the future of the industry. With the backing of PSG V, we're excited to offer visitor management solutions to small, mid and large-scale organizations around the world," Jeff Gordon, PSG Senior Advisor.
Georgian and Lightspeed led a $135m Series C round in Noname Security, an API security company, with participation from Insight Partners, Cyberstarts, Next47, Forgepoint, and The Syndicate Group.
"Enterprises across all industries are experiencing widespread digitization, accelerating the adoption of thousands of new APIs and the critical need to secure them for businesses on a global scale. With the backing of Georgian, along with our existing investors, we will continue to expand our industry leading technology to help our customers mitigate the risk of deploying APIs," Oz Golan, Noname Security CEO.
KKR led a $350m funding round in Anchorage Digital, a digital asset financial platform, with participation from Goldman Sachs, Andreessen Horowitz, Apollo Global Management, Alameda Research, Andreessen Horowitz, BlackRock, Blockchain Capital, Delta Blockchain Fund, Elad Gil, GIC, GoldenTree Asset Management, Innovius Capital, Kraken, Lux Capital, PayPal Ventures, Senator Investment Group, Standard Investments, Thoma Bravo, and Wellington Management.
"We wanted to make sure that all these big investment names are in our corner because Anchorage is expanding really heavily toward larger financial institutions," Diogo Monica, Anchorage President and Co-Founder.
Tarsadia Investments and 3L Capital led a $160m Series B round in AvantStay, a premier next-generation hospitality platform, which participation from Bullpen Capital, Convivialite, Capital One, Saluda Grade, Greenhawk, Stephen Pagliuca, Fred Tuomi, Jerry Coleman, Jay McKee, Plus Capital, Paul George, Shawn Mendes, and others.
"It's become clear that consumer preferences are changing and that the hospitality industry is going through a paradigm shift. AvantStay's blistering growth happens when market pull, a culture of innovation, and relentless execution collide. We are incredibly excited to partner with Sean and the team as they continue to scale a vertically integrated hospitality brand of the future centered around best in class talent, technology and operations," Rishi Reddy, Tarsadia Managing Director.
Mubadala led a $150m Series E round in Innovaccer, a San Francisco-based healthcare technology company, with participation from B Capital Group, M12, OMERS Growth Equity, Dragoneer, Steadview Capital, Tiger Global Management, Whale Rock Capital Management, Avidity Partners and Schonfeld Strategic Advisors.
"We've reached a turning point in healthcare, where the world of fragmented, fee-for-service 'sick care' is giving way to a new world of integrated, value-based, preventive care. The electronic health record brought healthcare into the digital world, but in many ways it has become an impediment to digital transformation due to its rigid architecture and lack of interoperability. Providers, payers, and life sciences companies recognize the urgent need for a new, open platform that brings all healthcare data together to provide a singular view of the patient, and enables friction-free care across the entire patient journey. This is the future of health everyone wants, and this is exactly what we are building with the Innovaccer Health Cloud," Abhinav Shashank, Innovaccer CEO.
Madison Dearborn approaches MoneyGram with an acquisition bid. (FS)
Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm, approached MoneyGram International, an American cross-border P2P payments and money transfer company, with an acquisition offer, Reuters reported.
MoneyGram has become an acquisition target as intense competition in the sector from Remitly Global, a digital financial services provider, and Revolut, a British financial technology company, has entertained its ability to capitalize on the growing payment market and remittances.
Reddit jumps on IPO bandwagon with confidential filing.
Reddit, an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website, confidentially filed for an IPO with US securities regulators.
Reddit's value was doubled to $6bn in February, 2021, from a year earlier. The company was valued at $10bn in a fundraising round in August, 2021.
Embracer, a designer and developer of leisure products, agreed to acquire Asmodee, a French board games publisher, from PAI Partners, a private equity firm, for $3bn.
If the transaction is completed, Asmodee would become the ninth operating group of Embracer, moving Embracer towards becoming a leading independent global gaming eco-system and becoming Europe’s largest gaming group. Strong strategic and cultural fit between the companies. The combined new group would on pro forma basis have more than 11k employees and contracted employees across more than 50 countries. The new group would have 108 own game development studios and more than 560 owned IPs and brands.
Asmodee Editions is advised by Cicommunication. Embracer Group is advised by HSBC, Baker McKenzie and Ernst & Young. Debt financing is provided by SEB Corporate Finance, Nordea Bank and Swedbank. PAI Partners is advised by Bain & Co, Goldman Sachs, Natixis Partners, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Arsene Taxand, DGM Conseil and Greenbrook.
SIGNA Sports United, a global sports e-commerce and tech platform, went public via a merger with Yucaipa Acquisition, a blank check company, in a $3.2bn deal.
"SSU is a global leader in the fastest-growing sports categories and is well-positioned for continued success as a public company. With its technology platform - and a combination of scale, international growth and profitability – we expect SSU to grow its leadership positions and accelerate its global expansion. We look forward to becoming shareholders and partnering closely with the talented SSU team on this exciting journey," Ron Burkle, Yucaipa Chairman and President.
SIGNA Sports United was advised by Citigroup, Gleiss Lutz, McDermott Will & Emery, NautaDutilh, Seitz, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Allison+Partners. Yucaipa was advised by Morrow Sodali Global, Jefferies & Company, Moelis & Co, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, Loyens & Loeff and Schweibert Leßmann & Partner.
Asahi Kasei-backed ZOLL Medical, a provider of medical devices and related software solutions, completed the acquisition of Itamar Medical, a medical device and digital health company, for $538m.
"ZOLL Medical is committed to improving outcomes for underserved patients suffering from serious cardiopulmonary conditions. It is currently estimated that 60% of cardiovascular patients suffer from some form of sleep apnea, and the majority of these patients go undiagnosed. The combination of ZOLL Medical and Itamar Medical will help more patients receive diagnosis and treatment for sleep-disordered breathing. We look forward to helping strengthen the collaboration between the worlds of cardiology and sleep medicine," Jon Rennert, ZOLL Medical CEO.
Itamar Medical was advised by Piper Sandler, Goldfarb Seligman & Co, Latham & Watkins and Gilmartin Group. ZOLL was advised by Goldman Sachs, Cooley and Gornitzky & Co.
Ermenegildo Zegna, a world-renowned Italian luxury house, will debut on the New York Stock Exchange on December 20 as a result of its SPAC merger with Investindustrial Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition corporation sponsored by investment subsidiaries of Investindustrial.
"Over 111 years ago, my grandfather and namesake founded Zegna with the belief that caring for both the natural environment and for people was the bedrock for creating the finest textiles and a successful brand. Since then, we have proudly followed in his footsteps to become one of Italy's true luxury houses. Today's announcement underscores the success of our strategy of continuously focusing on the Group's brand equity while also continuing to build upon our heritage, our ethos of sustainability, and the unique craftsmanship that has made our name synonymous with quality and luxury around the world. The Zegna family will remain at the Company's helm following the transaction's completion, and we will continue to invest in creativity, innovation, talent, and technology in order to sustain Zegna's leadership position in the global luxury market," Ermenegildo Zegna, Zegna Group CEO.
Ermenegildo Zegna is advised by UBS, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Sullivan & Cromwell and Brunswick Group. Investindustrial is advised by Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Mediobanca, UniCredit, Chiomenti, Kirkland & Ellis and Maitland. Financial advisors are advised by Shearman & Sterling.
IAG-backed Iberia, an airline group, and Air Europa, a provider of airline services, terminated their $600m merger deal after European regulators indicated they would not allow it to go through without further concessions.
"It is very disappointing that we have had to terminate the current agreement to acquire Air Europa but the decision makes sense due to the market conditions, the deep crisis resulting from Covid-19 and taking into account our desire to maintain a disciplined approach to capital allocation," Luis Gallego, IAG CEO.
Fortress Investment Group, an American investment management firm based in New York, agreed to acquire Punch Pubs, a pub and bar operator in the United Kingdom, from Patron Capital, a European private equity real estate fund. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to team with Clive and the Punch management, which has done an exceptional job of navigating the challenges of the Covid crisis while positioning the business for long-term growth and value creation. We believe in providing strong management teams with the flexibility and support to execute their long-term strategic plans. The UK is an extremely attractive investment environment, and we will continue to explore other opportunities in this sector and across the UK, Ireland and Europe," Cyril Courbage, Fortress Investment Group Managing Director.
Fortress Investment Group is advised by HSBC, Rothschild & Co, Sidley Austin and TB Cardew. Patron Capital is advised by Barclays, Hogan Lovells and SEC Newgate.
TPG Capital led a $170m funding round in UBQ Materials, a developer of climate-positive thermoplastic materials, with participation from Battery Ventures and M&G.
"In addition to converting municipal waste into functional thermal plastics, UBQ's material solution is energy efficient, uses no water and produces no effluents. UBQ can be utilized in a broad array of industrial and consumer applications. We're excited to be partnering with management to scale the business globally," Steve Ellis, The Rise Fund Co-Managing Partner.
UBQ Materials was advised by JP Morgan, Yigal Arnon & Co and Finn Partners.
Altair Engineering, an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Troy, Michigan, agreed to acquire World Programming, a UK-based technology company specializing in data analytics software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to integrate World Programming's exceptional team and technology into Altair and see this acquisition as a significant opportunity to help companies transition to hybrid architectures using modern, open technologies and languages while preserving, protecting, and leveraging the best elements of existing technology such as the SAS language," James R. Scapa, Altair Founder and CEO.
World Programming is advised by Centerview Partners. Altair is advised by Blueshirt Group.
ICA Gruppen's main owner ICA-handlarnas Forbund and pension fund AMF have decided to complete their offer for the retailer, Reuters reported.
Murgrona said in a statement it was extending the acceptance period to January 7, and that it would own around 89% of shares in ICA Gruppen upon completion.
ICA Gruppen is advised by Carnegie Investment Bank. AMF Pensionforsakring is advised by Setterwalls Advokatbyra. Forbund is advised by Handelsbanken Capital Markets, SEB Corporate Finance and Gernandt & Danielsson.
Cerba Healthcare, a medical diagnosis provider, agreed to acquire Viroclinics-DDL, a fast-growing global virology and immunology contract research organization, from Summit Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With Cerba Research, we have a new foundation for further global expansion to North America, Asia, and Africa with unrivalled expertise, capacity and capabilities. Together, we will be able to offer integrated solutions to the life science industry, accelerating antiviral, vaccine, and other R&D programs, while offering unmatched logistics solutions securing the integrity of fragile samples. Our 390+ scientists and experts look forward to joining Cerba Research in our continuous quest to provide the best possible science and service to our customers," Davide Molho, Viroclinics-DDL CEO.
Viroclinics-DDL is advised by Jefferies & Company. Summit Partners is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Julius Baer, a Swiss wealth management group, SBI, a Japanese financial conglomerate, and Tencent, a technology company, led a $120m Series A round in First Digital Bank, an artificial intelligence based Israeli digital bank aspiring to democratize access to private banking.
"FDB is now joining forces with highly reputable and financially strong global investors. Our new investors will enhance FDB's resilience, enabling us to offer consumers a true alternative to the traditional banks in the market. We are excited about the immense impact this could have on Israeli households and are looking forward to working with our new investors to reach additional markets," Gal Bar Dea, FDB CEO.
First Digital Bank was advised by Rothschild & Co.
ID Logistics, an international contract logistics group, completed the acquisition of GVT Transport & Logistics, a specialist in transport and distribution in the Benelux, for $90m.
"We are very happy to finalize this agreement for the acquisition of GVT Transport & Logistics, which concludes several years of fruitful cooperation and development. Thanks to this acquisition, ID Logistics Benelux will become a key player in the Benelux market, especially in the Netherlands, and will propose a full scope of services to our existing or future customers. I am sure that the GVT team and employees will have a bright future in ID Logistics Group and will be able to develop their know-how on a large scale," Eric Hémar, ID Logistics CEO.
Lenta, a multi-format retail chains in Russia, agreed to acquire Utkonos, an online-retailer, from Severgroup, a private investment company, for $349m.
"The acquisition of Utkonos enables Lenta to significantly enhance our online competitiveness in Moscow with an additional delivery platform featuring a loyal customer base, unique competencies, such as ultra-wide unique assortment, strong fulfillment infrastructure and high client satisfaction rates. Together, Lenta Online and Utkonos will create a comprehensive online offering covering all key shopping missions and market segments," Vladimir Sorokin, Lenta CEO.
Vontobel, a holding company that operates as an investment bank, agreed to acquire Swiss Financial Advisers business of UBS, a multinational investment bank and financial services company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This is a major step toward making Vontobel a global name that serves sophisticated clients around the world and builds toward our goal of increasing US client revenue and overall assets under management,” Georg Schubiger, Vontobel Global Head Wealth Management.
Thomas H. Lee-backed CSafe Global, a pharmaceutical company in Moraine, Ohio, completed the acquisition of Softbox Systems, a provider of passive temperature-controlled packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical, life science and cold chain logistics industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Through this combination, we will be the partner of choice for cold chain delivery of high value, temperature sensitive pharmaceutical therapies. Both CSafe and Softbox have proven to be reliable partners for customers seeking a secure way to deliver their life-enhancing products around the world. We're thrilled to now offer our customers a platform that provides everything from the highest quality packaging to AI-enabled thermal and kinetic monitoring and logistics management," Patrick Schafer, CSafe CEO.
Schroders in talks to buy a majority stake in Greencoat. (FS)
Schroders, a British multinational asset management company, is in advanced talks to buy a majority stake in Greencoat Capital, a renewables investment firm.
Schroders is close to taking a 75% stake in Greencoat Capital for about £360m ($478m), with an option to buy the rest of the firm.
Aviva extends share buyback to $1.3bn.
Aviva, a British multinational insurance company, will increase its share buyback programme from £750m ($994m) to a maximum of £1bn ($1.3bn).
"We are increasing our share buyback as part of our commitment to return at least £4bn ($5.2bn) to ordinary shareholders," Amanda Blanc, Aviva CEO.
Italy backs Fincantieri involvement in sale of Leonardo units. (FS)
The Italian government backed the involvement of Fincantieri, an Italian shipbuilding company, in the sale of Leonardo's OTO Melara and Wass units, Reuters reported.
KMW+Nexter Defence Systems consortium is conducting due diligence on the two units and could soon submit a $732m offer to strengthen its land defense sector.
Italian banks meet over BPER's rescue deal for Carige.
On December 16, 2021, Italian banks met to discuss whether to fork out $1.1bn to sell ailing peer Carige, an Italian bank based in Genoa, to BPER Banca, an Italian banking group, Reuters reported.
Carige was rescued by peers in 2019 after being placed under extraordinary administration by the European Central Bank. The $676m bailout handed 80% of Genoa-based Carige to the FITD depositor protection fund.
Henderson Park acquired Silverburn shopping center for $185m. (FS, RE)
Henderson Park, a private equity firm, acquired Silverburn, a shopping center based in Pollok, Glasgow, for £140m ($185m). Silverburn was originally bought by Hammerson, a major British property development and investment company, for around £300m ($489m) in 2009.
"Silverburn is a top 20 UK shopping centre located in Pollok, a wealthy suburb of the UK’s fifth largest city, Glasgow. As the city’s newest and highest quality shopping centre, Silverburn has a wide and affluent catchment area of circa 1.9m people, 80% of which are within a 21-minute drive. The centre also benefits from strong transport links, with a major bus terminal located on site, and has historically generated consistently high footfall of 15m," Henderson Park.
Vodafone seeks 'active role' in Spain consolidation.
Vodafone, a British multinational telecommunications company, aims to play an active role in consolidating Spain's telecoms industry, where lower competition would give operators the financial muscle to pay for the 5G rollout, said Colman Deegan, Vodafone Spain CEO.
The current state of the market reduced profitability and left providers without the financial capacity to pay for the infrastructure needed to develop 5G technology. Together with Telefonica and Orange, Vodafone have pressured the European Commission to soften anti-trust rules to reduce competition.
Australia's competition regulator approved Woodside Petroleum's agreed $28bn merger with BHP Group's petroleum arm, saying it would not reduce competition in the domestic gas market, Reuters reported.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it found Woodside would continue to face competition from several suppliers after the deal that will create a global top 10 independent oil and gas producer.
Woodside Petroleum is advised by Gresham, Morgan Stanley, King & Wood Mallesons and Vinson & Elkins. BHP Group is advised by Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Herbert Smith Freehills.
IGO, an ASX-listed diversified mining and exploration company, agreed to acquire Western Areas, a nickel-focused, base metal miner, for $701m.
"IGO's acquisition of WSA is a logical consolidation within the Western Australian nickel landscape and further positions us on our journey to become a globally relevant supplier of metals critical for enabling a clean energy future. Both Forrestania and Cosmos are high-grade, low-cost nickel sulphide operations and this acquisition, together with our existing world class Nova nickel-copper-cobalt operation, will consolidate our position as Australia's leading independent nickel producer. The unique synergies that will be unlocked across a combined Western Australian nickel hub, combined with the potential downstream optionality that this transaction brings, is expected to generate substantial value for IGO shareholders over the long term," Peter Bradford, IGO Managing Director and CEO.
Western Areas is advised by Goldman Sachs, Rothschild & Co, Ashurst and FTI Consulting. IGO is advised by Macquarie Group, Herbert Smith Freehills and Citadel Magnus.
Oceanpine Capital, a professional investment management firm, led a $1bn Series E financing round in Chipone Technology, a Chinese chip designing firm, with participation from CCB International, an investment services provider, GGV Capital, a global venture capital firm, and Prosperity Investment, a firm with the specific aim of managing the wealth of individuals.
"The proceeds from this new round will be used to increase our continued investment in R&D, team expansion, and new technology development. It will help the company build long-term partnerships with key suppliers and provide a stable, secure , and sustainable chip supply chain to the global display industry," Zhang Jinfang, Chipone Chairman and CEO.
Alkeon Capital, a privately owned registered investment adviser, led a $266m financing round in ShareChat, an Indian social media and social networking service, with participation from Temasek, an investment company, and Moore Strategic Ventures, a venture capital firm.
"This fresh funding will further strengthen our position and help us deliver immersive social experiences," Ankush Sachdeva, ShareChat CEO.
Blackstone and ADIA to buy a stake in Indiabulls Housing. (FS)
Blackstone Group and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority are in talks to acquire a stake in Indiabulls Housing, a mortgage lender. Indiabulls Housing's founder is selling about half his stake in the shadow lender, Bloomberg reported.
Sameer Gehlaut, founder of the company, will sell roughly 11% to the firms. The deal could be valued at about $184m based on Indiabulls Housing's market value as of December 15, 2021.
Byju's in talks to go public via SPAC merger. (FS)
Byju's, an Indian multinational educational technology company, is in talks to go public through one of Churchill Capital's SPACs, Bloomberg reported.
Byju's will raise a total of about $4bn and seek a valuation of about $48bn. The company has held talks with several potential SPAC partners and was working out an agreement with Churchill Capital.
Tsinghua Unigroup's major shareholder to reject rescue.
A major shareholder of Tsinghua Unigroup, a Chinese semiconductor manufacturer that also supplies digital infrastructure and services to domestic and global markets, has pushed back against a prominent government-backed fund's takeover bid.
Jiankun, a holding company, which owns 49% of Unigroup, sent a memo to domestic executives and creditors decrying a takeover bid led by JAC Capital as undervaluing his company, Bloomberg reported.
SC Malaysia revises SPAC framework to bolster local listings.
The Securities Commission of Malaysia has revised its SPAC framework. It was done to create more flexibility for successful SPAC listings and de-SPAC mergers.
“The SC re-evaluated the SPAC framework to ensure that it remains relevant and capable of spurring interest in listings and deals involving SPACs, thereby providing issuers with greater access to the capital market,” said Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, SC Chairman.
SenseTime plans Hong Kong IPO relaunch.
SenseTime Group, a Hong Kong-headquartered artificial intelligence company, plans to keep its Hong Kong IPO at $767m as it considers relaunching the withdrawn deal, Reuters reported.
SenseTime had planned to sell 1.5bn shares in a price range of $0.49 to $0.51 per share.
BeiGene slides in Shanghai debut after $3.5bn STAR Market IPO.
BeiGene, a biotechnology company that specializes in the development of drugs for cancer treatment, plunged 16.4% on its Shanghai debut on December 15, 2021, after raising $3.5bn.
BeiGene launched the biggest STAR Market float this year. Shares in BeiGene closed 16.4% lower than its offer price of $30.26 in Shanghai. The company plans to use the majority of the proceeds to fund clinical trials.
Linear Capital raises $500m for two new funds in just five weeks. (FS)
Linear Capital, a Chinese investment firm that focuses on data and frontier technology startups, closed two new funds with $500m in total capital commitments.
"We share high bars with our LPs for mutual selection and we don't have a large LP base. So, we understand it's not easy for such a big commitment [to be raised] in such a short time," Harry Wang, Linear Capital CEO and Founder.
Connect the World of Dealmakers
Expand your network of fellow Dealmakers by inviting your colleagues and coworkers.