Illumina, a developer and manufacturer of integrated systems, defended the $8bn acquisition of Grail, a multi-cancer early detection company, as it gears up to battle formal objections raised by European antitrust regulators, which the company expects to be issued on November 17.
The deal was finalised in August, and Illumina has said it would hold Grail, which makes a non-invasive, early detection biopsy test to screen for many kinds of cancers using DNA sequencing, as a separate company while waiting for approval from the EU, Reuters reported.
The bloc's antitrust regulators will decide by February 4, 2022, here whether to clear it. The regulators have previously cautioned that the acquisition could curb innovation and competition here.
Illumina was advised by Goldman Sachs, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Joele Frank. Goldman Sachs was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Debt financing was provided by Goldman Sachs. Grail was advised by Morgan Stanley, Latham & Watkins, McDonald Hopkins, Proskauer Rose, Ropes & Gray and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
TA Associates, a private equity firm, and True Wind Capital, an investment company, agreed to invest in e-Emphasys Technologies, a software and solutions provider to dealers and rental companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"It is a pleasure to welcome TA and True Wind as institutional investors in e-Emphasys. This is an opportune time to partner with such deeply resourced investors as we seek to accelerate growth in existing and new regions, expanding our global footprint. With their experience investing in technology businesses, we believe TA and True Wind will be true partners in building meaningful additional value in e-Emphasys," Milind Bagade, e-Emphasys Co-Founder and CEO.
e-Emphasys is advised by Canaccord Genuity and Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton. TA Associates is advised by Portico Capital, Presidio Technology Partners, Kirkland & Ellis and BackBay Communications.
Semantix, a Latin America’s first fully integrated data software platform, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Innova Capital-backed Alpha Capital, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $693m deal. The transaction includes a $94m PIPE investment from Inovabra Ventures, Crescera, FJ Labs, Oxenford, and Steinhauser.
"Businesses need Semantix’s frictionless, end-to-end platform to capitalize on the power of data, and technologies like artificial intelligence that are transforming industries globally,” Leonardo Santos, Semantix Founder and CEO.
Semantix is advised by Credit Suisse, Pinheiro Neto and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Alpha Capital is advised by Citigroup, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados.
Oportun, a firm engaged in providing financial services, agreed to acquire Digit, a developer of a mobile application designed to help increase personal savings wisely, for $213m.
"This is a transformational deal that will expand our addressable market, accelerate and diversify revenue growth, and position Oportun for even more future success. In Digit, we are purchasing a proven and scalable neobanking solution that gets us to market 3-5 years earlier than if we were to build it on our own," Raul Vazquez, Oportun CEO.
Oportun is advised by JP Morgan and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Debt financing is provided by Jefferies & Company. Digit is advised by Financial Technology Partners and Goodwin Procter.
KKR-backed Atlantic Aviation, a firm that manages a network of fixed-based operations providing services for general aviation aircraft owners and pilots, is set to merge with KSL Capital-backed Ross Aviation, an operator of a portfolio of fixed base operators. KSL Capital Partners will join KKR as a significant minority investor in the combined company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Increased diversification will further position us as a leading operator of aviation infrastructure at a critical moment for our company as we invest in enhancements across our network to better serve our customers. Greater scale also enables us to accelerate our efforts on key priorities, including being at the forefront of technology and sustainability, and creates more opportunities for our employees," Louis T. Pepper, Atlantic Aviation CEO.
Ross Aviation is advised by Harris Williams & Co, Jefferies & Company and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Atlantic Aviation is advised by Kirkland & Ellis. KSL Capital is advised by River Communications.
BDT Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in MJH Life Sciences, a full-service medical media company in North America dedicated to delivering trusted health care news across multiple channels. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"In order to continue to enhance overall engagement between healthcare professionals and pharma, we've sought a long-term capital partner to continue to grow our audience reach, and ensure we will continue to provide best-in-class service to our clients well into the future. We have purposefully and diligently selected a partner in BDT who honors our values and competitive spirit, while also demonstrating the ability to support our vision and add meaningful strategic value," Mike Hennessy, MJH Life Sciences CEO.
MJH Life Sciences is advised by Bank of America and Day Pitney. BDT Capital is advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America and PNC Bank.
Aurora Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Westcoast Gate, a provider of access control systems, security gate installation and repair services, from Kian Capital, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Westcoast Gate has made tremendous strides with Kian Capital, and we are excited to partner with Aurora as we continue our evolution. Aurora has a long history of partnering with market leading businesses to accelerate growth, and we are grateful to have them as a partner as we continue to scale our platform. The business is primed for the next phase of growth, and our values and strategy are aligned," Bob Flecken, Westcoast Gate CEO.
Kian Capital was advised by Stifel. Aurora Capital was advised by Brown Gibbons Lang & Company, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and ASC Advisors. Debt financing was provided by BMO Capital Markets.
Partners Group, a global private markets investment manager, agreed to acquire DiversiTech, a supplier of critical heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration parts, supplies and accessories, from Permira, a global private equity firm, for $2.2bn.
“We are incredibly proud of and thankful for all that Andy and the nearly 1.25k strong DiversiTech employees have achieved, and I am excited that we will have the opportunity to continue to back them going forward. In its 50-year history, DiversiTech has never been stronger and better positioned to continue its track record of market leading growth, unrivalled customer experience and investment in people," John Coyle, Permira Partner.
Permira is advised by Barclays, Robert W Baird, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
nCino, a provider of cloud-based software for financial institutions, agreed to acquire SimpleNexus, a developer of homeownership platforms connecting loan officers, borrowers, real estate agents, and settlement agents, for $1.2bn.
"This is a truly exciting moment for SimpleNexus, and we are eager to be joining forces with the nCino team, with whom we share similar technology visions, strong cultural alignment and a commitment to taking care of our employees and customers. Our industry-leading, mobile-first homeownership platform will complement nCino's Bank Operating System to create even greater value for IMBs and financial institutions across multiple product lines and digital channels. Together, our best-in-class, cloud native platforms will significantly strengthen how we serve our customers," Cathleen Schreiner Gates, SimpleNexus CEO.
SimpleNexus is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. nCino is advised by Bank of America, Sidley Austin and MikeWorldWide.
CURO, a technology-enabled consumer finance company, agreed to acquire Heights Finance, a provider of installment loans and related products, from Milestone Partners, a private equity firm, for $360m.
“By adding Heights Finance’s established base of customers, seasoned loan portfolio and significant branch network, we will solidify our position as a full spectrum non-prime consumer lender in the US. The combination diversifies the product, revenue, customer and geographic mix for our US business and enhances our overall growth, profitability and risk profiles. The transaction brings together two complementary businesses that similarly prioritize credit, risk analytics and regulatory compliance," Don Gayhardt, CURO CEO.
CURO is advised by Jefferies & Company, King & Spalding and Financial Profiles. Heights Finance is advised by Troutman Pepper.
Centre Partners-backed Sabrosura Foods, a marketer and distributor of branded Hispanic food products, completed the acquisition of Pancho's, a producer of food products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Sabrosura Foods is thrilled to acquire Pancho's, further building our portfolio of Hispanic cheese products available in stores nationwide. A key pillar of Sabrosura Foods' growth strategy has always been focused on acquiring complementary product capabilities. We are proud to be able to continue Pancho's legacy and are eager to introduce Pancho's queso dip to even more consumers across the fast-growing snacking category," Jeff Caswell, Sabrosura Foods CEO.
Pancho's was advised by Cascadia Capital and Giannuzzi Lewendon. Centre Partners was advised by Dechert and Kekst CNC.
Ichor Holdings, a provider of the design, engineering, and manufacturing of critical fluid delivery subsystems and components for semiconductor capital equipment, agreed to acquire IMG Companies, a precision machining, welding, brazing, and surface treatment business serving the semiconductor, medical, and aerospace/defense industries, for $270m.
"IMG brings to Ichor additional precision machining capabilities and capacity, as well as advanced manufacturing capabilities such as e-beam and laser welding, precision vacuum and hydrogen brazing, ceramic metallization, and precious metal coating capability. This acquisition will also expand Ichor's customer base, with positions in rapidly-growing segments of the medical, aerospace and defense industries. Additionally, a significant portion of IMG's revenues are derived from recurring sources such as spares and consumables," Jeff Andreson, Ichor CEO.
Ichor is advised by Cowen & Company and Kirkland & Ellis.
Centre Partners, a middle market private equity firm, completed the acquisition of KNS International, a designer and manufacturer of branded footwear. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Centre Partners is very excited to partner with KNS' highly experienced leadership team. With its innovative design process, strong portfolio of brands, and industry leading drop ship fulfillment capabilities, KNS provides significant value to both retailers and end consumers. We look forward to building upon KNS' historical success and market position and partnering with Jeremy Pope and the KNS management team to accelerate the growth of the business going forward," Michael Schnabel, Centre Partners Senior Partner.
Centre Partners was advised by Dechert and Kekst CNC.
The Hilti Group, a multinational company that develops, manufactures, and markets products for the construction, building maintenance, energy and manufacturing industries, agreed to acquire Fieldwire, a developer of a web and mobile collaboration platform, for $300m.
“The acquisition of Fieldwire will accelerate Hilti’s capability to deliver productivity to our customers through software solutions. Since digitalization has become a major driver of productivity in construction, Hilti has been investing in digital solutions for construction professionals. This acquisition will strengthen our software portfolio and is a logical step towards our vision of becoming the leading digitalization partner for our customers. We intend to continue investing in the platform to create the next market leader in construction project management software," Christoph Loos, Hilti CEO.
Coatue Management, a global investment manager, and DST Global, an Internet investment firm, led a $280m Series F funding round in Upgrade, a fintech company that offers affordable and responsible credit and mobile banking. Additional investors include Dragoneer Investment, Gopher Asset Management, G-Squared, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Old Well Partners, Ribbit Capital, Sands Capital, Ventura Capital and Vy Capital.
“Upgrade is an exciting example of a credit-led neobank. Credit is a key component of banking and has been a major source of revenue for banks. We are excited by Upgrade’s innovative credit products that we believe can help the company capture a significant share of the mobile banking market," Philippe Laffont, Coatue Management Founder and CEO.
Upgrade was advised by Financial Technology Partners.
Permira, a global investment firm, completed a $150m investment in AllTrails, a developer of an online outdoor travel database. Spectrum Equity remains a majority owner.
"Alltrails has spent a decade building the necessary content to become the definitive platform for people seeking to explore the outdoors. We are thrilled to be backing Ron and partnering again with Spectrum Equity and Tim Sullivan," Bruce Chizen, Permira Senior Advisor.
Permira Advisers was advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Bregal Sagemount, a growth-focused private capital firm, completed a $150m investment in Conductor, a developer of SaaS-based search and content intelligence platform.
“This funding represents the growth in our category and how critical unpaid channels are for brands. It will enable us to continue to lead the organic marketing industry, accelerating our pace of innovation and delivering our enterprise technology to more companies worldwide," Seth Besmertnik, Conductor CEO and Co-Founder.
Cormorant Asset, an investment manager, led a $125m Series A funding round in Chroma Medicine, a developer of biotechnology. Additional investors include Atlas Venture, Newpath Partners, Sofinnova Partners, Casdin Capital, Janus Henderson Investors, Omega Funds, T. Rowe Price and Wellington Management.
"Epigenetic editing is the next frontier in genomic medicine with the potential to transform the treatment of genetically driven diseases. By harnessing nature's innate mechanism to modulate gene expression, we can durably and precisely control gene expression without fundamentally changing or cutting the underlying DNA sequence. Supported by world-class founders and investors, the Chroma team is committed to deliver on the promise of this exciting platform," Catherine Stehman-Breen, Chroma Medicine CEO.
Brookfield hopes to sell its hotel portfolio for $1.5bn. (FS, RE)
Brookfield Asset Management is exploring the sale of a portfolio of extended-stay hotels that could fetch as much as $1.5bn, Bloombergreported.
The Toronto-based firm is working with an adviser to solicit interest in WoodSpring Suites hotels.
Fairfax announces $1bn issuer bid and sale of a 9.99% stake in Odyssey Group. (FS)
Fairfax Financial, a holding company, engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, announced its intention to commence a substantial issuer bid, under which the company will offer to repurchase for cancellation up to $1bn of its subordinate voting shares from shareholders for cash.
Additionally, CPPIB Credit Investments, a subsidiary of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and OMERS, a Canadian investment private firm, to acquire a 4.99% stake in Odyssey Group, a provider of reinsurance and specialty insurance services, for $900m.
Fenway hopes to acquire Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fenway Sports Group, Boston Red Sox owner, is in talks to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins, an American professional ice hockey team, adding that the hockey team’s senior leadership is expected to remain unchanged.
The Wall Street Journal had first reported talks and believed a deal could be finalized later this week. The two sides are near an agreement and the FSG board will vote to approve the deal, per Sportico. If the two sides can come to an agreement, the NHL board of governors will need to approve the deal.
Evo Payments rejected Shift4 takeover offer.
Shift4 Payments, a payment processing company, recently made a takeover offer for Evo Payments, a payment technology and services provider, that was rebuffed. It’s unclear whether Shift4 Payments will make another bid, Bloomberg reported.
The approach coincides with heavy consolidation in the payments sector, which was already growing rapidly before the coronavirus pandemic accelerated a shift away from using cash.
Equip Outdoor considering potential sale.
Equip Outdoor Technologies, the parent company of specialist outdoor brands Rab and Lowe Alpine, has engaged KPMG to guide it in talks with investors for a potential sale.
The size of the stake to be offered in the auction of the UK-based business has not been decided yet and will depend on negotiations.
Braze's 8m share IPO raises $520m.
Braze, a customer engagement software maker, priced its IPO above a marketed range to raise $520m.The company and some of its investors sold 8m shares for $65 each after marketing them for $55 to $60, Bloombergreported.
The company will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares by selling stockholders.
Cartica Acquisition files for IPO, targets to raise $200m. (FS)
Cartica Acquisition, a blank check company backed by Cartica Management targeting India-focused tech businesses, filed with the SEC, plans to raise up to $200m in an initial public offering.
The Washington, DC-based company plans to raise by offering 20m units at $10. Each unit consists of one share of common stock and one-half of a warrant, exercisable at $11.50. At the proposed deal size, Cartica Acquisition would command a market value of $250m.
Oaktree closed Opportunities Fund XI at $16bn. (FS)
Oaktree Capital Management, an investment firm, announced the successful final close of Oaktree Opportunities Fund XI and its related vehicles with $15.9bn of total capital commitments, exceeding its original target of $15bn.
The fund has invested or committed to invest approximately 70% of its capital in an attractive mix of opportunities that are diversified across geographies, sectors and asset classes.
“Investing through many cycles requires the flexibility to transact in a variety of situations. Our strong deployment activity over the last 16 months demonstrates Oaktree’s ability to quickly execute and provide solutions across the capital structure in a diverse and swiftly evolving opportunity set," Robert O'Leary, Oaktree Co-Portfolio Manager and Head of North America.
SS&C Technologies, a firm that develops financial software solutions, offered to acquire Blue Prism, a British robotics software firm, for $1.6bn. The takeover approach to Blue Prism topps an agreed deal between the company and Vista Equity, a private equity and venture capital firm, and sparking speculation of a bidding war, Reuters reported.
Blue Prism, whose customers include automaker Daimler, e-commerce firm eBay and Britain’s National Health Service, agreed in September to be taken over by US private equity firm Vista Equity for $1.46bn.
Blue Prism Group is advised by Bank of America, Investec, Qatalyst Partners, CMS and Brunswick Group. Financial advisors are advised by White & Case. Vista Equity Partners is advised by Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Prosek Partners.
The Carlyle Group agreed to acquire AutoForm, a provider of software solutions for the die-making and sheet metal forming industries along the entire process chain, from Astorg, an independent private equity group, for $2bn.
“We have long been attracted to AutoForm’s highly differentiated solutions and continuous performance track record. We believe its deeply rooted culture of innovation through sustained R&D investments is a distinctive attribute that positions the Company very well for future growth. This acquisition underpins our strategic commitment to the European technology sector, and we look forward to partnering with Olivier and the AutoForm team, leveraging our significant expertise and global network,” Benjamin Deshayes, The Carlyle Group Managing Director.
The Carlyle Group is advised by Rothschild & Co, Latham & Watkins, Lenz & Staehelin and Linklaters. Astorg Partners is advised by Evercore, Jefferies & Company and Paul Hastings.
Romgaz, a natural gas producer in Romania, has estimated it will finalize the acquisition of a 50% stake in XIX neptun deep block from ExxonMobil, an American multinational oil and gas corporation, in the first quarter of next year, Reuters reported.
Romgaz will ask shareholders to approve the deal at a meeting on December 9, 2021. The company would pay up to $1.06bn to Exxon.
Rosneft, a company that produces and markets petroleum products, agreed to acquire a 37.5% stake in PCK Schwedt from Shell, an oil and chemical group. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
“Increasing the share of PCK refinery is testament to the strategic importance of the German market for Rosneft. The company builds long-term relationships with its German partners, provides timely and uninterrupted crude supplies, and modernizes key refinery units," Igor Sechin, Rosneft CEO.
Elliott acquires $1bn stake in Ahold Delhaize. (FS)
Elliott Advisors, a US-based activist investor, has revealed a 3% stake worth about $1bn in Ahold Delhaize, a European supermarket group, FT reported.
The hedge fund has pledged to support the carve-out of Amsterdam-listed Ahold’s online marketplace business Bol.com, an e-commerce company in Belgium and the Netherlands. The Dutch grocer revealed earlier its intention to explore floating Bol.com in Amsterdam, although it will retain a controlling interest.
SSE eyes network stake sale and renewable push.
SSE, a utility company, is considering selling a stake in its electricity-network assets as it grapples with pressure from activist investor Elliott Investment Management, Bloomberg reported.
The British utility is also weighing a move to increase capital expenditure in its renewables business. The Perth, Scotland-based company could announce some of its plans as part of a strategy update.
Sofinnova Partners raises $170m for its third environmental impact fund.
Sofinnova Partners, a European venture capitalist specializing in life sciences and based in Paris, London and Milan, announces that it has raised $170m for its fund early-stage with environmental impact. The amount of assets under management of the company reached $2.8bn through the different strategies of its investment platform.
Sofinnova Industrial Biotech II is deploying an investment strategy in sustainable solutions that was initiated more than ten years ago with the launch of the Sofinnova Green Seed Fund.
Evolution Mining, a local Australian company, agreed to acquire Ernest Henry Mining, a copper-gold mine in Queensland, Australia, from Glencore, a British–Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company, for $733m.
“The acquisition is consistent with our strategy, materially improves the quality of our portfolio and delivers both strong cashflow and mine life extension opportunities. The site management team have an outstanding track record of operational delivery and we are delighted they will be joining Evolution and look forward to working with them to make this an even better operation. We are also pleased to be continuing our strong relationship with Glencore and that the product will continue to be treated in the local region at its Mt Isa smelter and Townsville refinery," Jake Klein, Evolution Mining Executive Chairman.
Glencore International is advised by Fivemark Partners and King & Wood Mallesons.
Falcon Edge Capital, an asset management company, led a $135m Series B funding round in Mensa Brands, a developer of a brand-building platform. Additional investors include Prosus Ventures, Tiger Global, Norwest Venture Partners and Accel.
“Mensa demonstrates a tangible uplift through a combination of product and pricing optimization, technology-led process improvement, distribution and marketing augmentation and fine-tuning the supply chain. These levers meaningfully accelerate the growth and margin trajectory of the brands and make them well poised to become category leaders. We believe Mensa is well on track to cement its reputation as the partner of choice for well-performing e-commerce brands,” Navroz Udwadia, Falcon Edge Capital Co-Founder and Partner.
Alibaba-led consortium’s $8bn takeover deal might save Tsinghua Unigroup.
A consortium led by Alibaba, an online commerce company, has emerged as the frontrunner to take over Tsinghua Unigroup, a digital infrastructure and services enterprise, in a deal that could fetch more than $7.8bn to help keep China’s indebted chip champion afloat, Bloomberg reported.
The Chinese central government is leaning towards the Alibaba-led offer given the e-commerce giant’s financial heft and the potential synergies with its own cloud and semiconductor business. The consortium, which includes funds backed by the Zhejiang government, is edging out several competitors for Beijing-based Unigroup.
China Duty Free gets HKEX approval for $5bn share sale.
China tourism group Duty Free, the world’s largest travel retailer, has received permission from the Hong Kong stock exchange to proceed with a share sale in Asia’s financial hub, Bloomberg reported.
The offering by the state-owned operator of duty-free businesses across China, Hong Kong, Macau and some Southeast Asian cities could raise about $5bn.
Gaw Capital hits its $1.2bn first close and sets hardcap at $2.5bn. (FS)
Real estate private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners announced the first close of its seventh Asia Pacific real estate fund at $1.2bn, with a target to raise $2.5bn at the hard cap to make it the firm’s largest vehicle to date, DealStreetAsia reported.
The new fund will follow an investment strategy similar to its predecessor Gateway funds. It will target real estate assets with “favourable risk-return profiles” mainly in the Asia Pacific, with exposure to China, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
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