AT&T announced that its board of directors has determined to spin-off AT&T's interest in WarnerMedia in connection with the previously announced $43bn transaction with Discovery. The transaction, which will spin off 100% of AT&T's interest in WarnerMedia to AT&T's existing shareholders in a pro rata distribution, followed by the merger of WarnerMedia with Discovery, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.
"In evaluating the form of distribution, we were guided by one objective — executing the transaction in the most seamless manner possible to support long-term value generation. We are confident the spin-off achieves that objective because it's simple, efficient and results in AT&T shareholders owning shares of both companies, each of which will have the ability to drive better returns in a manner consistent with their respective market opportunities," John Stankey, AT&T CEO.
Discovery is advised by Allen & Company, JP Morgan, Perella Weinberg Partners, RBC Capital Markets, Debevoise & Plimpton, Perez Llorca, Sherman & Howard and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Financial advisors are advised by White & Case. AT&T is advised by Goldman Sachs, LionTree Advisors, Fasken and Sullivan & Cromwell. Financial advisors are advised by Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Advance is advised by RBC Capital Markets and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Financial advisors are advised by Alston & Bird.
MariaDB, an open source database software company, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Angel Pond, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $672m deal.
“MariaDB is the data backbone of services used by millions of people every day. Our mission is to build the database for all, providing a perfect balance of simplicity and raw power, including unified transactional and analytical processing for everyday applications. Whether customers move to open source or into the cloud, with MariaDB they are saving up to 90% of their total cost for databases. I am excited that a public investor base and enhanced capital access will allow us to accelerate the go-to-market for our technology that has already been battle-tested and proven its market fit,” Michael Howard, MariaDB CEO.
MariaDB is advised by Angel Pond Capital, JP Morgan, Conyers Dill & Pearman, Fondia, Matheson and Perkins Coie. Angel Pond is advised by JP Morgan, Arthur Cox, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Hannes Snellman and Maples Group.
Apollo Global Management, an American global alternative investment management firm, agreed to invest $760m in Legendary Entertainment, an American film production and mass media company based in Burbank, California.
"We are excited to welcome Apollo as a new shareholder in Legendary and equally important as a thought partner in our business. This fund investment from Apollo validates our success to-date and invigorates our growth plans with a strategic capital partner who shares our goal to grow the business. The creative leadership of Mary Parent combined with our commitment to make culturally relevant, entertaining content allows us to continue to build on this success now with the support of Apollo as well as our partners at Wanda," Joshua Grode, Legendary CEO.
Legendary Entertainment is advised by Centerview Partners, Moelis & Co, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Principal Communications Group. Apollo is advised by LionTree Advisors and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Wanda is advised by Han Kun Law Offices and K&L Gates.
The US antitrust review of Microsoft's $68.7bn proposed acquisition of "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard will be handled by the Federal Trade Commission, Reuters reported.
The FTC, instead of the Justice Department, will investigate whether the takeover will harm competition.
In a bid to toughen merger guidelines, the FTC and the Justice Department had last month jointly said that industries had become increasingly concentrated and a surge in merger filings in 2020 and 2021 signaled the situation will worsen.
Activision Blizzard is advised by Allen & Company, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Allen & Company is advised by White & Case. Microsoft is advised by Goldman Sachs, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Assembly Media.
First Interstate BancSystem, a financial holding company, completed the merger with Great Western Bancorp, a regional bank, in a $2bn deal.
“We’re excited to join forces, and confident that both companies’ stakeholders will benefit from this partnership. We’ll be able to offer customers access to additional branch locations and new products and services, provide new growth and professional development opportunities to our employees, deliver additional returns to our shareholders, and have an even greater impact on our communities," Mark Borrecco, GWB President and CEO.
Great Western Bancorp was advised by Piper Sandler and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. First Interstate BancSystem was advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Latham & Watkins.
GuideWell, a health solutions company, completed the acquisition of Triple-S Management, a health care services company in Puerto Rico, for $900m.
"The transaction expands GuideWell's core insurance operations and positions Florida Blue and Triple-S Management for significant growth and meaningful value creation for the customers and communities we serve," Pat Geraghty, GuideWell President and CEO.
Triple-S Management was advised by Goldman Sachs, Davis Polk & Wardwell and ICR. GuideWell was advised by JP Morgan, Cravath Swaine & Moore and Joele Frank.
SVPGlobal, a global investment firm with over $18bn of assets under management, agreed to acquire Associated Materials, a vertically integrated building products company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Despite the extraordinary macroeconomic challenges faced over the past 24 months, we have successfully managed this business to achieve strong financial results by continuing to serve our customers, support our employees, and partner with our suppliers. We look forward to working with our soon to be new equity holders SVPGLOBAL and will remain focused on continued growth, adding to our legacy of providing the building materials industry with market-leading innovation, products, and services," Brian C. Strauss, Associated Materials President and CEO.
Associated Materials is advised by Moelis & Co and Schulte Roth & Zabel. SVPGlobal is advised by Rothschild & Co, Milbank and Kekst CNC.
SIG Combibloc, a system and solutions provider for aseptic packaging, agreed to acquire Scholle IPN, an innovator of sustainable packaging systems and solutions for liquids, for €1.36bn ($1.5bn).
"The acquisition of Scholle IPN cements SIG's position as a global leader in innovative and sustainable packaging for food and beverages. It is consistent with our strategy of geographic and category expansion accompanied by share gains in key markets. By delivering clear benefits for customers, consumers, and the environment, we will drive value for shareholders," Samuel Sigrist, SIG CEO.
SIG Combibloc is advised by UBS, Advestra, Latham & Watkins, Brunswick Group and Lemongrass Communication.
H.I.G. Capital, a global alternative investment firm, agreed to invest in Mobileum, a global provider of telecom analytics solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to welcome H.I.G. Capital as a partner as we continue to build the leading global analytics platform for communications service providers. H.I.G. has deep and relevant expertise in the sector with a strong track record. Working together, we intend to further Mobileum's mission to support telecom partners with market leading solutions and capitalize on the growth in the broader telco software sector, including the significant opportunities presented by 5G and private networks," Bobby Srinivasan, Mobileum CEO.
Mobileum is advised by Jefferies & Company and Kirkland & Ellis. H.I.G. Capital is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
K1 Investment Management, an investment firm focused on high-growth enterprise software companies, completed a $350m investment in Cyara, a provider of automated customer experience assurance solutions.
"Cyara was founded with a vision to improve customer experience, and we're delighted to have found a partner in K1 that is committed to the same values and wants to accelerate our growth aspirations. Organizations can succeed or fail based on their customer experience. More companies are realizing the business-critical nature of the work we do and we're excited to have the firepower to grow and continue to attract the best people globally. We're at the beginning of a very exciting new chapter," Alok Kulkarni, Cyara CEO.
Cyara is advised by Cowen & Company, Morgan Stanley and 10Fold Communications.
Sony Interactive Entertainment, a multinational video game and digital entertainment company, agreed to acquire Bungie, a video game studio based in Bellevue, Washington, for $3.6bn.
"We've had a strong partnership with Bungie since the inception of the Destiny franchise, and I couldn't be more thrilled to officially welcome the studio to the PlayStation family. This is an important step in our strategy to expand the reach of PlayStation to a much wider audience. We understand how vital Bungie's community is to the studio and look forward to supporting them as they remain independent and continue to grow. Like Bungie, our community is core to PlayStation's DNA, and our shared passion for the gamer and building the best place to play will now evolve even further," Jim Ryan, SIE President and CEO.
Bungie is advised by Lazard. Lazard is advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
A group of investors including Temasek, Paradigm, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, NEA, IVP, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Steadview Capital, Tiger Global and Insight Partners, led a $400m Series C round in FTX Trading, a crypto exchange where you can buy, sell, and store Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies and digital assets such as NFTs.
"Our Series C financing round represents a milestone achievement for FTX, as we raised close to $2bn in six months. This round will support our continued mission of delivering innovative products and services to the marketplace as well as expanding our global reach with additional licenses around the world. With the ongoing support from our dedicated investors and userbase, FTX will look to continue interacting with regulators to facilitate access to digital assets in a safe and compliant manner. We look forward to working alongside our investors to achieve our mission and continue our tremendous growth throughout 2022 and beyond," Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX CEO.
FTX was advised by M Group Strategic Communications.
Cengage Group, a global education technology company, agreed to acquire Infosec, a cybersecurity education provider, for $191m.
"The cybersecurity industry is at a critical inflection point where the skilled labor shortage could have far-reaching and lasting effects on business and personal safety. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for un- or under-employed workers who can upskill or reskill for career advancement. With our scale and resources, more cybersecurity professionals will have access to an affordable and faster option to develop the skills they need," Michael E. Hansen, Cengage Group CEO.
BlackRock, an American global investment management corporation, and Fidelity, an American multinational financial services corporation, led a $119m Series D financing round in MNTN, an adtech company specializing in Connected TV with participation from Baroda Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Mercato Partners, Qualcomm, and Rincon Venture Partners.
“MNTN’s mission is to bring unrivaled simplicity and performance to TV advertising. We are so proud to add BlackRock and Fidelity as partners in this pursuit. You could not ask for a bigger vote of confidence than to have two of the world’s largest investors back you in such a big way. And we’re just warming up,” Mark Douglas, MNTN CEO.
Generational Group, a middle market investment bank and advisory services firm, completed the acquisition of Precocity, a tech consulting firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This is a significant day for Generational and our clients. As a growing professional services and advisory firm, our reputation is built on meeting the needs of our clients. Whether they are looking to grow or eventually exit, we recognize the major role technology plays in building a successful business. That is why we are excited to partner with the experienced team at Precocity, whom we look forward to working with for years to come. Together, we are confident that we will build the leading middle market technology consulting practice,” Ryan Binkley, Generational Group President and CEO.
New York Times, an American mass media company that publishes The New York Times newspaper, agreed to acquire Wordle, a web-based word game. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"If you're like me, you probably wake up every morning thinking about Wordle, and savoring those precious moments of discovery, surprise and accomplishment. The game has done what so few games have done: It has captured our collective imagination, and brought us all a little closer together. We could not be more thrilled to become the new home and proud stewards of this magical game, and are honored to help bring Josh Wardle's cherished creation to more solvers in the months ahead," Jonathan Knight, The New York Times Games General Manager.
Tiger Global, an investment firm that focuses on private and public companies in the global Internet, software, consumer, and payments industries, and Sequoia Capital, an American venture capital firm, led a $250m funding round in Chargebee, an enterprise software startup.
"We belive every company will be a subscription company in the future. The predictability of a subscription business model is extremely attractive," Tejeshwi Sharma, Sequoia India Managing Director.
SoftBank-backed Cybereason confidentially files for US IPO. (FS)
SoftBank-backed Cybereason, a cybersecurity technology company, has confidentially filed for a US initial public offering that could value it at more than $5bn, Reuters reported.
Cybereason, which also counts investment firm Liberty Strategic Capital among its investors, has finalized underwriters for its IPO, which could come in the second half of the year.
Mercer closes Mercer Private Investment Partners VI with over $4.8bn. (FS)
Mercer, a business of Marsh McLennan, a professional services firm, successfully raised Mercer Private Investment Partners VI with over $4.8bn in total commitments. The global investor base includes corporate pension funds, public pension funds, insurance companies, and endowments and foundations from Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and Africa.
"In a lower expected return environment, asset owners and fiduciaries are likely to have a much tougher time achieving their financial objectives going forward unless they think differently about private market investments. Investors are increasingly turning to private markets because they potentially offer enhanced return prospects compared to public markets, as well as diversification opportunities. Alternative investments may also bring new ideas and innovation to portfolios and, in some instances, they can help investors support mission-based issues, such as DE&I and sustainability," Raelan Lambert, Mercer Global Head of Alternatives.
Nonantum Capital Partners raises $575m for its new fund. (FS)
Nonantum Capital Partners, a Boston-based middle-market private equity firm, announced the recent closing of its second private equity fund at its hard cap of $575m in limited partner capital commitments, concluding a fundraising process that launched in the fourth quarter of 2021.
"We are grateful for the continued support from our founding investors, and we welcome a select group of new investors that share our enthusiasm for the middle market," Jon Biotti, Nonantum Managing Partner.
TCV launches a new $460m fund. (FS)
Technology Crossover Ventures, an American investment firm based in Menlo Park, California, announced the launch of Velocity, a $460m fund geared towards expansion-stage investment opportunities.
"We believe that Velocity is ideally placed to take advantage of a growing investment segment and will complement our parallel investment activity with ambitious tech companies at later stages of development," TCV.
Apollo-backed HarbourView taps ex-Blackstone executive as CFO. (FS, People)
HarbourView Equity Partners hired a chief financial officer, further building out its executive team as the firm has embarked on a quest to acquire some of the most sought-after music catalogs around.
Michael Agyilirah joins the private equity firm this month to head its financial strategy. He joins most recently from the New York-based family office Radianx Capital, where he was head of finance, compliance and operations. Agyilirah previously served as an assistant vice president at Blackstone. He also worked at Select Equity Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Arvedi, a manufacturer of steel products, completed the acquisition of Acciai Speciali Terni, a steel mill, from thyssenkrupp, a conglomerate with a focus on industrial engineering and steel production. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"This fourth transaction shows once again clearly that we are working through our priorities and making decisive progress in the transformation of thyssenkrupp. Speed in focusing the portfolio is crucial for a successful change process. At the same time, improving performance remains our most urgent task. Here too we are well on track and will not let up," Martina Merz, thyssenkrupp CEO.
Arvedi was advised by BNP Paribas, Ciftci Law, Clifford Chance and Studio Zoppini e Associati. thyssenkrupp was advised by Ernst & Young, JP Morgan and Chiomenti. Financial advisors were advised by White & Case.
GlobalWafers' planned $4.89bn takeover of German chip supplier Siltronic collapsed after Germany could not complete a review of the deal ahead of a end-January deadline, Reuters reported.
The failed acquisition by Taiwan's GlobalWafers comes at a time when a global shortage of semiconductors has laid bare Europe's dependence on Asian suppliers, which has triggered recent efforts to boost production across the continent.
FSI, an asset management company, agreed to acquire a 60% stake in electronic payments unit of Iccrea Bank, a central institution of Italian credit unions and rural saving banks, for $560m.
"We believe the payment sector can grow fast. The new company has no debt, so if opportunities arise, BCC Pay will be able to acquire companies in the banking sector to diversify its customer base and increase its size," Maurizio Tamagnini, FSI CEO.
FSI is advised by KPMG, Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners, Studio Biscozzi Nobili and Community Group. Iccrea Banca is advised by Prometeia and Legance.
CordenPharma, the global pharmaceutical service and manufacturing platform of International Chemical Investors Group, completed the acquisition of three manufacturing facilities from Vifor Pharma, a global specialty pharmaceuticals company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We welcome the three sites and their employees as new members to the CordenPharma Group and look forward to working with Vifor in the future to supply Vifor Pharma's finished drug products, including to their already existing customers. The acquired pharma sites have a well-trained workforce with great cultural fit, state-of-the art infrastructure, and a strong compliance track record. This excellent opportunity aligns well with our strategy to broaden our CDMO capabilities," Michael Quirmbach, CordenPharma President and CEO.
Zone & Co, a Boston-based software company, completed the acquisition of Fast Four, a software company in Schiphol, Netherlands. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Over the next twelve months, Zone and Fast Four's plan, like our mission, is simple. We'll be doing everything we can to accelerate SuiteApp and feature development, so that our existing product suite becomes faster, better, and stronger for our global customers, while identifying use cases and customer needs to continuously add to our growing product pipeline," Derek Zanga, Zone & Co-President.
Elkem, a provider of advanced material solutions shaping a better and more sustainable future, completed the acquisition of a 50% stake in Elkem Salten energy recovery plant. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Elkem aims to be part of the solution to combat climate change - and to be one of the winners in the green transition. The new energy recovery plant at Elkem Salten, developed together with our partners in Kvitebjørn Energi and with financial support from Enova, further strengthens our efforts to ensure environmentally friendly silicon and ferrosilicon production with the lowest possible emissions and lowest possible use of resources," Helge Aasen, Elkem CEO.
SocGen and ING in talks to use SocGen's Boursorama for ING customers.
Societe Generale, an investment bank, and ING, a banking and financial services corporation, are discussing the possibility of serving ING's online banking customers in France via SocGen's Boursorama, after ING's decision to quit the French market.
"Following ING's decision to exit the French retail banking market, Societe Generale announces that Boursorama has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ING to offer ING's online banking customers in France the best alternative banking solution," SocGen and Boursorama.
Meta is close to acquiring Accusonus and Vimodji.
Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook, is close to buying Accusonus, a Greek startup company that develops software for music production, performance and audio repair, and Vimodji, which has developed innovative applications for emoji videos using artificial intelligence, and could announce a deal in the next few days. Discussions are at an advanced stage for the acquisition, Reuters reported.
Meta has been hiring engineers and shopping for up gaming studios because it expands its digital actuality actions and builds up the structure that can underpin its metaverse venture, a web based surroundings utilizing recreation and media know-how to create areas for communication and different actions.
More equity deals will be agreed across Europe. (FS)
"We are the first but won't be the only one. Many leagues are calling us to ask if we can help them on how to structure their deal. France is in the verge of doing so and already have the support of their government, Portugal and Italy are also close. It won't take long to see similar deals being signed," Oscar Mayo, LaLiga Executive Director.
The UK wants pension funds to put money in pre-IPO tech firms. (FS)
The UK is trying to encourage more of its pension funds to plow money into tech companies before they go public, as part of a broader effort to make London a hub for fast-growing innovative firms.
Bloomberg reported that British funds are lagging behind their US counterparts in investing in tech start-ups, a fact that crimps their returns, according to Chris Philp, Britain’s minister for technology and the digital economy.
Idera, the parent company of global B2B software productivity brands, completed the acquisition of Yellowfin International, a next-generation embedded data analytics and business intelligence platform for augmented business users and developers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Yellowfin delivers a critical component of application development that aligns with Idera's pillars of product excellence: ease of use, quality, and scalability. It expands our portfolio in a new growth area with tremendous potential for cross-sell within our existing ecosystem of customers, partners, and ISVs. We are excited to welcome an incredibly talented team that will enable our continued focus on delivering customer value," Atanas Popov, Idera General Manager of Developer Tools Business.
CVC Capital Partners, a British private equity and investment advisory firm, agreed to invest $358m in Affin Hwang Asset Management, a Malaysian asset management ﬁrm.
"We are excited to work with CVC, together with our longstanding partner, Nikko AM, to chart the course for Affin Hwang AM's next phase of growth and to advance the development of the Malaysian capital markets," Dato' Teng Chee Wai, Affin Hwang AM Managing Director.
Seven & I to sell department store unit.
Reuters reported that Japanese retailer Seven & I is in final negotiations to sell its department store unit, Sogo & Seibu, amid investor pressure to focus on its core convenience store business.
Investment funds and companies are expected to be among the potential bidders with negotiations on price to begin this month. Seven & I said that while it is considering changes to its business portfolio, including selling shares of Sogo & Seibu, nothing has been decided yet. The company's shares surged as much as 8.8% in early Tokyo trading.
India aims to file a draft prospectus for LIC IPO next week.
India aims to seek final regulatory approval for the initial public offering of its state-run insurer Life Insurance Corporation of India next week.
The draft prospectus for Life Insurance Corporation of India is in the final stages and is awaiting approval from the insurance regulator, said Tuhin Kanta Pandey, the top government official in charge of asset sales. The prospectus is expected to be submitted to the capital markets regulator in 7-10 days and will indicate the approximate size of the sale, Bloombergreported.
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