Presto, a provider of customer experience and labor productivity software, agreed to go public via a merger with Ventoux CCM Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $1bn deal. The transaction includes a fully committed PIPE totaling approximately $70m. In addition to institutional investors, the PIPE includes additional incremental capital from REMUS Capital investors, Presto Founder & CEO Rajat Suri, Sam Altman and Max Altman’s Apollo project, other existing investors, and certain other strategic groups including franchisees of Yum! Brands, Applebee’s, McDonald’s, and Outback Steakhouse.
"Presto is on a mission to transform physical industries with next-gen digital technologies like Touch, Vision and Voice. We are excited to invite public market investors to join us on this journey, and support us in our efforts to solve deep-rooted problems for our customers like the shortage of labor, slow guest experiences and lack of data to enable sophisticated decision-making," Rajat Suri, Presto Founder and CEO.
Presto is advised by Jefferies & Company, White & Case and ICR. Ventoux CCM is advised by Chardan, Truist Bank, William Blair & Co, Dentons and Woolery. Financial advisors are advised by Mayer Brown.
The American unit of Groupe Lactalis, a dairy group, received US antitrust approval to buy Kraft Heinz's US natural cheese business on condition the companies divest Kraft Heinz's feta and ricotta businesses, Reuters reported.
Kraft Heinz had announced in September 2020 it would sell its natural cheese business to the US unit of the French-based dairy products company for $3.2bn. It said it would retain Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Velveeta and Cheez Whiz in the United States.
The Justice Department said in a statement it would approve the deal on condition that the companies sell Kraft Heinz's Athenos and Polly-O businesses, which make feta and ricotta, respectively.
Lactalis is advised by Credit Agricole, Perella Weinberg Partners, Societe Generale, Dentons and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Kraft Heinz is advised by RBC Capital Markets, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Gladstone Place Partners.
Specialty pharmacy company ANI Pharmaceuticals won US antitrust approval to buy Novitium Pharma, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company with development, manufacturing, and commercialization capabilities, on condition it divest rights or assets related to two generic medicines, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.
Reuters reported that the companies, which announced their $210m deal in March, agreed to sell ANI's development rights to generic sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim oral suspension, a combination of antibiotics, and assets related to generic dexamethasone, used to treat inflammation and arthritis.
Novitium is advised by SVB Leerink and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. ANI is advised by Bourne Partners, Houlihan Lokey, Truist Bank, Hughes Hubbard & Reed and In-Site Communications. Financial advisors are advised by Alston & Bird.
Marlin Equity-backed Virgin Pulse, a global provider of tech-enabled wellbeing solutions, completed the acquisition of Welltok, a provider of data analytics-based targeting and multi-channel outreach solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This acquisition is the culmination of years of work to establish a game-changing approach to improving health and reducing costs for employers, health plans and health systems. Combining our organizations will allow us to optimize the health of millions by keeping them continually engaged and activated, which will ultimately reduce costs for clients, members, consumers, and patients," Chris Michalak, Virgin Pulse CEO.
Marlin Equity was advised by Evercore, Lazard and Kirkland & Ellis. Welltok was advised by UBS and Shearman & Sterling.
Bernhard Capital Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of RailWorks, a company that builds and maintains rail transportation infrastructure, from Wind Point Partners, a private equity investment firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited about the opportunities ahead with RailWorks and look forward to supporting the Company’s best-in-class rail infrastructure solutions. Our investment in RailWorks is an exciting opportunity for us to partner with the leading provider of maintenance and construction services in the rail space, and comes at a critical time given the recent passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs bill," Jim Bernhard, Bernhard Capital Partner.
Bernhard Capital was advised by Houlihan Lokey, Kirkland & Ellis and Sloane & Company. Debt financing was provided by JP Morgan and BMO Capital Partners.
Arlington Capital Partners-backed BlueHalo, a provider of advanced engineering solutions and technology to the national security community, completed the acquisition of Citadel Defense, a developer of advanced counter-unmanned aerial systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Citadel has established itself as a leader in the cUAS market and continues to innovate at a pace necessary to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving threat environment. We are incredibly excited to partner with the Citadel team as we continue to expand our cUAS capabilities and deliver transformative, market leading solutions to our customers," Jonathan Moneymaker, BlueHalo CEO.
Citadel Defense is advised by Duff & Phelps and Winston & Strawn. BlueHalo is advised by Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton.
Oak HC/FT led a $200m Series C round in ZenBusiness, a trusted partner for business owners who want to start, run, and grow a business, with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Cathay Innovation, GreatPoint Ventures and Greycroft.
"ZenBusiness has revolutionized the process of launching and running a successful business. Like Shopify® did for e-commerce, ZenBusiness is creating the category-defining solution for the service sector, providing an easy-to-use platform with embedded fintech solutions so entrepreneurs can turn their ideas into money-making realities. We handle the 'business stuff' so our customers can focus on their passion and build the life they want, stress-free and without sacrificing their well-being," Ross Buhrdorf, ZenBusiness Founder and CEO.
ZenBusiness was advised by M Booth and Latham & Watkins. GreatPoint Ventures was advised by Jones Day.
CooperCompanies, a global medical device company, agreed to acquire Generate Life Sciences, a life sciences platform that provides reproductive and newborn stem cell services, from GI Partners, a private investment firm, for $1.6bn.
"This acquisition is a strong strategic fit for CooperSurgical as it allows us to better serve fertility clinics and Ob/Gyns with a more extensive suite of products and services. As a leader in women's healthcare, this is an important addition to our existing offerings and allows us to leverage our infrastructure and expertise, including our sales forces' strong clinical reputation and educational capabilities," Al White, Cooper President and CEO.
Generate Life Sciences is advised by JP Morgan. GI Partners is advised by Chris Tofalli Public Relations.
BAE Systems, a company that designs, develops, and supports defense and aerospace systems, agreed to acquire Bohemia Interactive Simulations, a software developer, from Riverside, a private investor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With the successful completion of this acquisition, BAE Systems customers would have access to the company’s extensive and proven system integration experience complemented by BISim’s innovative training products and solutions to enhance military readiness for the US and our allies," BAE Systems.
Bohemia Interactive is advised by Raymond James and Jones Day. BAE Systems is advised by DLA Piper.
Verano, a multi-state cannabis company, agreed to acquire Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions, a cultivation and production company, from Tuatara Capital, a private equity firm, for $113m.
"We are excited about the continued expansion of both our national platform and our East Coast hub. Entering the Connecticut market ahead of its adult-use transition provides a clear runway for sustainable, long-term growth. These acquisitions are well-aligned with our broader growth strategy, and further strengthen our operational bandwidth by bringing management teams on board that have demonstrated multi-disciplinary savvy and a keen understanding of the Connecticut market in both the retail and wholesale channels," George Archos, Verano Founder and CEO.
Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions is advised by Winston & Strawn. Verano is advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Charlesbank Capital Partners, a middle-market private investment firm, completed the investment in Empire Today, the country’s largest shop-at-home, direct-to-consumer flooring company. H.I.G. Capital also made significant new investments into the business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We appreciate H.I.G.’s commitment to Empire Today over the last five years, adding significant value to our business and our leadership team while supporting investments across our business, all of which have strengthened our ability to deliver a quality experience to our customers and our team. We are excited about partnering with Charlesbank to support Empire Today’s next phase of growth. We are also thrilled to see H.I.G. remain as a minority investor, which speaks to our many exciting opportunities into the future," Keith Weinberger, Empire Today CEO.
Empire Today was advised by William Blair & Co. Charlesbank Capital was advised by Ropes & Gray. H.I.G. Capital was advised by McDermott Will & Emery.
Alpha Wave Ventures, a private equity and venture capital arm of the Alpha Bank, and Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, a provider of financial aid, led a $250m Series F round in Cerebras Systems, a developer of compute landscape by accelerating artificial intelligence. Additional investors included Altimeter Capital, Benchmark Capital, Coatue Management, Eclipse Ventures, Moore Strategic Ventures and VY Capital.
“The Cerebras team and our extraordinary customers have achieved incredible technological breakthroughs that are transforming AI, making possible what was previously unimaginable. This new funding allows us to extend our global leadership to new regions, democratizing AI, and ushering in the next era of high-performance AI compute to help solve today’s most urgent societal challenges – across drug discovery, climate change, and much more," Andrew Feldman, Cerebras Systems CEO and Co-Founder.
Cerebras Systems was advised by Zm Communications.
Battery Ventures, a venture capital firm, led a $200m Series E round in Workato, an enterprise automation platform. Additional investors included Insight Partners, Altimeter Capital, Tiger Global, Geodesic Capital and Redpoint Ventures.
"Businesses are still struggling to achieve true transformation because RPA and integration tools cannot scale to address the needs of enterprises today. Workato’s enterprise automation platform, a single platform for automation and integration that can be used by both Business and IT, addresses the challenges companies face when trying to automate at scale, enabling enterprises to achieve the speed and agility necessary for organisational transformation. We’re excited to put this new round of funding to work for our customers as they continue to push the boundaries of innovation," Vijay Tella, Workato CEO and Co-founder.
A group of investors including SIP Global Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, CRV, Muirwoods Ventures, Harpoon Ventures, StepStone Group, Gopher Asset Management, Walleye Capital and Aliya Capital Partners led a $125m Series B round in Kodiak Robotics, a self-driving trucking company.
"Our Series B drives us into hyper-growth so we can double our team, our fleet, and continue to scale our business. We have engineered our industry-leading technology, the Kodiak Driver, in half the time and a fraction of the cost of our competitors. The supply chain challenges we have seen over the last 18 months only underscore the importance of autonomous trucking to the future of America's economy. With the Series B, we will further accelerate towards launching our commercial self-driving service with our partners in the coming years to help address these critical challenges," Don Burnette, Kodiak Robotics Founder and CEO.
Bounteous, a digital innovation partner of brands, completed the acquisition of Hathway, a digital growth partner specializing in content. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our clients and staff are excited about the incremental value this union brings to the table. We’ve become the go-to partner for dining and convenience store brands seeking to drive customer loyalty, lifetime value and incremental sales, based in no small part on our expertise with many of the industry’s top technologies like Olo, Punchh, and Paytronix. Now, with Bounteous, we gain instant access to a global talent network, additional capabilities, and resources to help us make this an ever better place for our team to succeed in driving results for our clients. My co-founder Kevin Rice and I couldn’t be happier to be joining the Bounteous leadership team and helping accomplish its broader vision," Jesse Dundon, Hathway CEO.
Sourcepoint, a provider of outsourced mortgage services, agreed to acquire The StoneHill Group, a provider of loan quality control and mortgage process outsourcing. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"This acquisition is very complementary and provides us adjacent capabilities in the mortgage value chain. It enables us to scale the business by leveraging the strong demand for residential mortgage loan trading and securitization. We're particularly excited about integrating the offerings of our companies to provide the best-in-class, end-to-end mortgage solutions to both mid- and large market customers," Vipul Khanna, Firstsource Solutions CEO.
Resonetics, a provider of laser micromachining manufacturing services, completed the acquisition of FISO Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of fiber optic sensors and signal conditioners, from Nova Metrix, a provider of geotechnical, environmental, and materials testing instruments, sensors, software, and consumables. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to add FISO's innovative fiber optic capabilities to provide our customers with improved access to another novel technology that's already proven useful in several clinical applications. FISO serves market leaders in interventional cardiology, critical care and women's health and we believe the technology has broad application in other clinical area," Tom Burns, Resonetics President and CEO.
Nu Skin, an American multilevel marketing company, agreed to acquire Mavely, an emerging social commerce platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We believe that Mavely's social commerce technology will help simplify and supercharge social selling for hundreds of thousands of Nu Skin brand affiliates. The Mavely team has been an innovator in social commerce and shares our vision of empowering people to be passionate advocates for brands they love. We anticipate that Mavely's advanced technology platform will help fuel our growth as we aspire to be a leader in the dynamic social commerce market," Ryan Napierski, Nu Skin President and CEO.
Tiger Global, an investment firm, led a $100m Series B round in Wrapbook, a company that provides digital profiles. Additional Investors included Andreessen Horowitz, A*, WndrCo, Uncork Capital, and Equal Ventures.
“We are gratified by the confidence demonstrated by our returning investors and the addition of Tiger Global Management and A*. It is a reflection of our massive growth and product adoption by producers and cast and crew alike,” Ali Javid, Wrapbook Co-Founder and CEO.
IG4 Capital, a Brazilian asset manager, agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Adelco, a Chilean logistics operator, for $57m.
The transaction marks IG4 Capital's first direct investment in Chile, adding to another relevant milestone for IG4 Capital in the region in addition to its investment in the Peruvian infrastructure company Aenza this year.
JSR, a chemical industry company, completed the acquisition of Inpria, an innovator of metal oxide photoresist design, development and manufacturing for extreme ultraviolet lithography, for $514m.
"Inpria has a truly revolutionary approach to EUV lithography. Not only is their technology a great fit for us, but they also, like JSR, have a culture that is centered on R&D and moves with an innovation-driven mindset. Together, we will focus our shared passion in these areas to drive our industry forward," Eric Johnson, JSR CEO.
CoolSys, a refrigeration, engineering, and energy solutions company, completed the acquisition of Triangle Refrigeration, a provider of refrigeration, plumbing, and monitoring services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“As CoolSys continues to grow its market presence across the country, we’re excited to have Triangle Refrigeration join our other CoolSys companies in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. A market leader in its region, Triangle Refrigeration and its management team have developed a strong reputation built on industry expertise, operational efficiency, and excellent customer experience, which are values integral to us at CoolSys," Anesa Chaibi, CoolSys CEO.
City Electric Supply Company, a wholesale company providing electric supply distribution services, agreed to acquire Soligent, a company providing solar energy system modules. Financial terms are not disclosed.
“This agreement enables us to focus on delivering even more innovative solutions to the solar energy market. We appreciate the entrepreneurial culture of the CES team and we’re confident they’ll provide the right environment for our talented team to accelerate our vision to make a positive impact on the world through renewable energy," Jonathan Doochin, Soligent CEO.
Elon Musk sells $5bn of shares in Tesla.
Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, sold about $5bn in shares after he polled Twitter users about selling 10% of his stake.
Elon Musk's trust sold nearly 3.6m shares in Tesla, worth around $4bn, while he also sold 934k shares for $1.1bn after exercising options to acquire nearly 2.2m shares, Reuters reported.
Iveco sees spin-off from CNH as boost to both companies' M&A prospects.
Iveco Group, a global manufacturer of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, said that its planed spin-off from parent CNH Industrial, an American-Italian multinational corporation, would help the two groups actively take part in the industry’s ongoing consolidation, Reuters reported.
Each company would be better placed to exploit its full potential in terms of financial performance, value generation and sustainability commitments, said Iveco Group.
Expensify valued at $3.87bn in strong market debut.
Shares of Expensify, a software company that develops an expense management system for personal and business use, rose approximately 47% in its stock market debut, valuing it at $3.87bn.
Expensify's shares opened at $39.75. The company and selling shareholders sold 10m shares priced at $27 per share in IPO, raising $263m.
Backblaze announces pricing of IPO.
Backblaze, a storage cloud platform, announced the pricing of its IPO of 6.25m shares of its Class A common stock for $16 per share, for gross proceeds to Backblaze of $100m.
Class A common stock began trading on the Nasdaq on November 11, 2021 under the ticker symbol "BLZE" and offering is expected to close on November 15, 2021.
Backblaze is advised by Oppenheimer & Co, William Blair & Co, Raymond James, JMP Securities and B. Riley Securities.
Chain Bridge I announces pricing of $200m IPO.
Chain Bridge I, a SPAC, announced the pricing of its IPO of 20m units for $10 per unit. The offering is expected to close on November 15, 2021.
Each unit consists of one Class A ordinary share and one-half of one redeemable warrant, with each whole warrant entitling the holder thereof to purchase one Class A ordinary share.
Chain Bridge is advised by Cowen & Company and Wells Fargo Securities.
Sika, a Swiss multinational specialty chemical company that supplies to the building sector and motor vehicle industry agreed to acquire MBCC Group, the former BASF construction chemicals unit, from Lone Star Funds, a private equity firm, for $6bn.
"Two sustainability champions will join forces. Sika is first in class for sustainable solutions across the entire construction industry, and similarly, sustainability stands at the core of MBCC Group's business. Together we will reinforce our complementary range of products and services across the entire construction life cycle. With our combined portfolio, we will enable and accelerate the future of sustainable construction for the benefit of customers, employees, shareholders, and coming generations," Thomas Hasler, Sika CEO.
Lone Star Funds is advised by Citigroup and Kirkland & Ellis.
fuboTV, a sports-first live TV streaming platform, agreed to acquire Molotov, a live TV streaming company, for $190m.
"Molotov has set the benchmark for ad-supported and subscription streaming platforms in Europe. We believe this strategic asset will help accelerate our goal of achieving global scale and operating leverage as we continue to improve and innovate on our live, interactive streaming TV experience for sports fans and their families," David Gandler, fuboTV CEO.
ENGIE, a French multinational utility company, and Crédit Agricole, a French international banking group, agreed to acquire Eolia Renovables, one of the largest renewable power producers in Spain, from AIMCo, a Canadian institutional investment manager. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition of Eolia Renovables, one of the largest renewable players in Spain, is fully in line with our strategy which is to accelerate our investments in Renewables in our key markets while bringing our industrial and energy management expertise. The transaction will also allow the Group to support Spain in reaching its ambitious renewables and decarbonization goals," Catherine MacGregor, ENGIE CEO.
EQT, a global investment organization, agreed to acquire Life Sciences Partners, a European life sciences venture capital firm, for $516m.
"EQT has a long history of developing strong healthcare companies, and today we are one of the largest and most active private equity investors in the sector globally. Integrating LSP within EQT's Private Capital platform will bring compelling cross-pollination opportunities for our other strategies and complement our sector expertise – making EQT an even better and more innovative healthcare investor," Per Franzén, EQT Partner and Head of Private Capital.
Schroders, a British multinational asset management company, agreed to acquire Cairn Real Estate, a real estate fund and asset management business based in the Netherlands. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This new partnership is an excellent fit with our existing business. There is a strong cultural alignment with Cairn, sharing Schroders Capital's key focus on operational excellence, delivering long term sustainable outperformance for clients with a fully integrated approach to ESG into its investment process. Cairn's team has an excellent reputation with its clients and we are excited to welcome Cairn's team and our new clients on board," Sophie Van Oosterom, Schroders Global Head of Real Estate.
Pontegadea, the family office of Amancio Ortega, agreed to acquire a 49% stake in Delta wind farm from Repsol, a Spanish energy and petrochemical company based in Madrid, for $280m.
"This operation, with a solid and reliable partner such as Repsol, is part of Pontegadea's overall investment strategy and strengthens the environmental commitment that accompanies all the activities in our portfolio, whether in the energy sector, real estate asset management or textile distribution," Roberto Cibeira, Pontegadea CEO.
Organon, a healthcare company, agreed to acquire Forendo Pharma, a drug development company, for $954m.
“Organon is dedicated to delivering medically significant women’s healthcare interventions, prioritizing disease areas based on her unmet needs. Endometriosis is among our highest priority areas of focus. Our acquisition of Forendo further demonstrates our commitment to building a pipeline of impactful treatment options for women with unmet medical needs," Kevin Ali, Organon CEO.
Daimler sells a $362m stake in Renault.
Daimler, a German multinational automotive corporation, said it was set to sell the shares it holds in French partner Renault, unwinding cross-shareholdings, but added that its industrial collaboration remained intact.
The pension trust would sell about 9.2m ordinary shares in Renault via an accelerated bookbuild offering to institutional investors after the market close on Wednesday. The offering marks the end of cross-shareholdings that have tied Daimler to Renault and its partner, Japan's Nissan Motor for a decade.
BP and Aker sell stake in oil venture Aker BP.
Oil major BP and Norway's Aker jointly sold a 5% stake in Norwegian oil firm Aker BP, cutting their combined holding in the company to 65%, Reuters reported. The 18m shares were sold at a 10.2% discount to Wednesday's close, for a total of $655m.
"Consistent with our long-standing track-record of active portfolio management, these divestment proceeds will be expected to further strengthen (BP's) balance sheet and support our ongoing buyback commitment," Bernard Looney, BP CEO.
Enel eying controlling stake in Mooney. (FS)
Enel, an Italian multinational manufacturer and distributor of electricity and gas, eyes buying a controlling stake in Mooney, an electronic payments company, Reuters reported.
CVC and Intesa Sanpaolo-backed Mooney has also attracted interest from funds.
Johnson Matthey shares plunge as it exits the battery materials business.
Shares in Johnson Matthey, a British multinational speciality chemicals and sustainable technologies company, fell as much as 20% after the company said it would exit its battery materials business and that Robert MacLeod, Johnson Matthey CEO, would step down next year, Reuters reported.
Potential returns from the battery materials unit couldnt not justify investments anymore as it struggles to compete with more established large scale and low cost producers, Johnson Matthey said.
"This decision will allow us to accelerate our investment and focus on more attractive growth areas, especially where we have leadership positions such as in hydrogen technologies, circularity and the decarbonisation of the chemicals value chain," Robert MacLeod, Johnson Matthey CEO.
ADIA, a sovereign wealth fund owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, led a $1.3bn funding round in GoTo, a digital ecosystem in Indonesia. Additional investors included Avanda Investment Management, Fidelity International, Google, Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Primavera Capital Group, SeaTown Master Fund, Temasek, Tencent, and Ward Ferry.
"Indonesia and Southeast Asia are the two markets with the most promising growth prospects in the world, and the support we have received demonstrates the confidence investors have in the region's fast-growing digital economy and our position as a market leader," Andre Soelistyo, GoTo CEO.
GoTo was advised by Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Assegaf Hamzah & Partners.
Eneos Holdings, a Japanese petroleum and metals conglomerate, and Goldman Sachs, an American multinational investment bank and financial services company, are moving ahead with a tender offer to acquire 43% in Nippo, a construction services provider.
Nippo has agreed to the bid. Eneos and Goldman will start a tender for shares on November 12, 2021 that will run to December 24, 2021, Reuters reported.
Eneos is advised by Goldman Sachs and Sullivan & Cromwell.
Prosus Ventures, a venture investing arm of Prosus, and Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm, led a $150m Series D round in Good Glamm Group, an online beauty products marketplace. Additional investors included Alteria Capital, L’Occitane, Bessemer Venture Partners, Amazon, Ascent Capital, the Mankekar Family and Stride Ventures.
“Entering the Unicorn Club marks Day one for all of us at the Good Glamm Group. And we couldn’t be more excited and privileged to embark on the journey from 1 to 10, with Prosus and Warburg, who bring incredible strength and experience to our company," Darpan Sanghvi, Good Glamm Group Founder and CEO.
Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank agreed to acquire a 20% stake in bKash, one the largest mobile financial service providers in Bangladesh. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This latest investment round validates our dedication and relentless efforts over the last ten years and places its trust on the potential of a well-regulated fintech space," Kamal Quadir, bKash Founder and CEO.
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