Plus, a self-driving truck technology company, is set to go public via a merger with Hennessy Capital Investment V, a SPAC, in a $3.3bn deal. The business combination is expected to deliver up to c. $500m in gross proceeds at closing from PIPE of $150m, led by BlackRock and D. E. Shaw, among other institutional investors, and $345m of cash held in HCIC V’s trust account. At closing, Plus shareholders will hold 80% of the combined company.
“This transaction enables Plus to continue growing our business globally, so that fleets and drivers can benefit from our revolutionary technology and usher in a new generation of innovation. At the same time, the transaction introduces a partner in HCIC V that shares our focus on sustainable technology and infrastructure, is aligned on our growth and value creation objectives, and recognizes the challenges trucking companies face today. We look forward to working closely with the HCIC V team as we move to commercial deployment and deliver value for drivers, customers and shareholders," David Liu, Plus CEO and Co-Founder.
Plus is advised by Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis, Linklaters and Joele Frank. HCIC V is advised by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Shearman & Sterling, Sidley Austin and Gateway Investor Relations.
Trulieve, a vertically integrated "seed-to-sale" company in the US, agreed to acquire Harvest Health & Recreation, a vertically integrated cannabis company, for $2.1bn.
"We are thrilled to be joining Trulieve, a company that has achieved unrivaled success and scale in its home state of Florida. As one of the oldest multi-state operators, we believe our track record of identifying and developing attractive market opportunities combined with our recent successful launch of adult use sales in Arizona will add tremendous value to the combined organization as it continues to expand and grow in the coming years," Steve White, Harvest CEO.
Harvest Health & Recreation is advised by Haywood Securities, Moelis & Co, Bennett Jones and Troutman Pepper. Trulieve is advised by Canaccord Genuity, DLA Piper and Fox Rothschild.
Laredo Petroleum, an American company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration, agreed to acquire the assets of Sabalo Energy, an exploration and production company, from EnCap Investments, a provider of growth capital to the independent sector of the US oil and gas industry, for $715m.
"This transaction complements Laredo's existing asset base and strategy and accelerates the Company's transformation to becoming a leading independent operator in the Midland Basin. Laredo is well-positioned to maximize value from the Sabalo assets and we view this transaction as compelling for Laredo shareholders, including EnCap, as part of this transaction," Doug Swanson, EnCap Managing Partner.
Sabalo Energy is advised by Jefferies & Company and Bracewell. Laredo Petroleum is advised by Citigroup, Houlihan Lokey, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Vector Capital and Abry Partners-backed Aspect Software, an American multinational call center technology and customer experience company, agreed to merge with Noble Systems, which develops call center technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are impressed with the transformation of Aspect under the leadership of Patrick and the Vector team. and Noble Systems will be an excellent merger partner, making Alvaria an even stronger competitor in the market," Tomer Yosef-Or, Abry Partner.
Noble Systems is advised by Eversheds Sutherland. Aspect Software is advised by Jefferies & Company and Paul Hastings. Abry Partners is advised by TD Securities and Kirkland & Ellis.
Bonanza Creek Energy, a Colorado-based exploration and production company, agreed to merge with Extraction Oil & Gas, a Denver-based independent energy company, in a $2.6bn deal.
"Successful E&P operators will be those who place a priority on disciplined capital deployment, deliver operational and cost excellence, maintain a relentless focus on shareholder value, and have governance standards that are aligned with the times. Bonanza Creek and Extraction each bring a demonstrated commitment to these principles, as well as shared organizational and community values. Together, as Civitas, we will embody an E&P business model ideally suited to deliver for all of our stakeholders," Eric Greager, Bonanza Creek President and CEO.
Extraction Oil & Gas is advised by Petrie Partners Securities and Kirkland & Ellis. Bonanza Creek Energy is advised by JP Morgan and Vinson & Elkins.
Benson Hill, a crop improvement company, is set to go public via a merger with Star Peak II, a SPAC, in a $1.35bn deal. Benson Hill is expected to receive cash proceeds of around $625m from SPAC cash and PIPE investment. The $225m PIPE investors include BlackRock, Van Eck Associates, Hedosophia, Lazard Asset Management and Post Holdings.
“This transaction will empower Benson Hill’s continued rapid growth and commercial expansion, providing access to resources to drive scale by strengthening our proprietary technology platform, growing partnerships across the supply chain, and expanding product commercialization efforts. We believe we are now poised to take Benson Hill to new levels with a partner in Star Peak that shares our commitment to sustainability. We look forward to working closely with the Star Peak team to create value for our shareholders, value chain partners, farmers, and consumers as we help shape the future of food,” Matt Crisp, Benson Hill CEO.
Benson is advised by Barclays, Winston & Strawn and Joele Frank. Star Peak is advised by Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis and ICR.
AgileThought, a pure play provider of agile-first software, end-to-end digital transformation and consulting services to Fortune 1000 customers, agreed to go public via a $482m merger with LIV Capital Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company.
"This announcement is another key milestone for AgileThought as we continue our mission to fundamentally change the way people, organizations and companies view, approach and deliver software projects to support their digital transformation initiatives," Manuel Senderos, AgileThought Chairman and CEO.
AgileThought is advised by William Blair & Co and Cooley. LIV Capital Acquisition is advised by EarlyBirdCapital and Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Harvest Partners, a non-control private equity investor, agreed to invest in HelpSystems, a software company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"HelpSystems has grown significantly in the 18 months since TA and Charlesbank invested, and we're thrilled to have attracted HP SCF as a partner as we continue to scale the business. We look forward to leveraging HP SCF's insights as we continue our long-standing tradition of listening to customers and adding high-value solutions to our portfolio," Kate Bolseth, HelpSystems CEO.
HelpSystems is advised by Lazard and Goodwin Procter. Harvest Partners is advised by William Blair & Co and Latham & Watkins.
CI Financial, an independent company offering global asset management and wealth management advisory services, agreed to acquire Dowling & Yahnke, a San Diego-based registered investment advisor firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Dowling & Yahnke is one of the top RIAs in the US and we're thrilled to welcome the team to CI. Dale Yahnke and his team have built an exceptional business distinguished by their dedication to clients, deep expertise in holistic wealth planning, and an enduring reputation for excellence," Kurt MacAlpine, CI CEO.
Dowling & Yahnke is advised by Raymond James and Alston & Bird. CI Financial is advised by Hogan Lovells and Gregory FCA.
Private equity firm The Jordan Company completed the acquisition of Spartech, a manufacturer of engineered thermoplastics and custom packaging solutions, from Nautic Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with the Spartech management team as the company builds on its recent success and enters its next phase of growth. We will continue to invest heavily in the business to support organic growth and strategic acquisitions," Dan Williams, The Jordan Company Partner.
The Jordan Company was advised by Houlihan Lokey, Winston & Strawn
and Spoke Marketing.
Pendal Group, an independent, global investment management business, agreed to acquire Thompson, Siegel & Walmsley, a Virginia-based value investment manager, from BrightSphere, a diversified, global asset management company, for $320m.
"This is a compelling opportunity to acquire a highly successful complementary business, which will create immediate value and facilitate our growth opportunities in the US market. This acquisition significantly broadens the range of product solutions we can offer clients via an expanded distribution network," Nick Good, Pendal Group CEO.
BrightSphere is advised by Morgan Stanley and Ropes & Gray.
News Corp, a media and information services company, completed the acquisition of the books and media segment of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a publisher of textbooks, instructional technology materials, assessments, reference works, and fiction and non-fiction for both young readers and adults, for $349m.
“With the addition of the compelling Books & Media backlist and frontlist, as well as its expertise and creativity in digital development, HarperCollins will be even better positioned to serve authors and audiences around the world,” Robert Thomson, News Corp Chief Executive.
Andreessen Horowitz led a $100m Series A round in Dyno Therapeutics, a biotechnology company applying artificial intelligence to gene therapy, with participation from Casdin Capital, GV, Obvious Ventures, Lux Capital, Polaris Partners, CRV and KdT Ventures.
"This Series A financing accelerates our AI-powered discovery of best-in-class capsids targeting all major organs and cell types, enabling Dyno to grow our business infrastructure and establish more partnerships to become the premier developer of gene therapy vectors," Eric Kelsic, Dyno Therapeutics Founder and CEO.
Dyno Therapeutics was advised by The Yates Network.
Arlington Capital Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of the composites business of Triumph Group, a manufacturer of aerospace and defense systems, components and structures. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to partner with Pete and his team to create a leading, independent composites supplier. These facilities have exceptional manufacturing capabilities and a storied history of providing the highest quality components and assemblies for a diversified portfolio of strategically important commercial aerospace and defense platforms. We intend to continue investing in qarbon aerospace, both through organic initiatives and additional acquisitions, to accelerate the company’s growth and better serve our customers," Henry Albers, Arlington Vice President.
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board agreed to acquire Evoltz, an electricity transmission platform in Brazil, from TPG Capital, a global alternative asset firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Evoltz is a highly attractive portfolio of power transmission concessions that provides reliable power to businesses and consumers across Brazil. Our strategy focuses on allocating significant capital to high-quality core infrastructure assets with lower risks and stable inflation-linked cash flows. Electricity transmission businesses are particularly attractive given their importance in facilitating a transition to a low-carbon economy," Dale Burgess, Ontario Teachers Senior Managing Director.
WorkWave, a provider of software solutions, agreed to acquire Slingshot, a provider of customer call center software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The need to grow their business—to attract, retain, and maximize each customer relationship—is what keeps every field service owner and executive awake at night. Slingshot is not just the market leader at helping its customers grow, it is the only organization of its kind in our industry that has a proven track record of using omni-channel communication software to close more deals for its customers," David F. Giannetto, WorkWave CEO.
Procore considers raising over $8bn in revived IPO plan.
Procore Technologies is targeting a valuation of over $8bn in its IPO in the United States, a year after the construction software startup delayed its listing plans due to pandemic-led choppy market conditions, Reuters reported. In its filing, the Santa Barbara, California-based company said it plans to sell about 9.5m shares priced between $60 and $65 each and raise about $615m.
The listing plans come as several technology startups, which have seen a boost in use and demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, have filed to go public. Tech-focused companies such as software storage startup VAST Data and cloud firm Redis Labs have also raised capital at attractive valuations in private funding rounds.
Silver Castle, an investment house, agreed to merge with Israel-China Biotechnology, a collaboration platform. As part of the transaction, Silver Castle shareholders will be allotted shares that will constitute 75% of the merged company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The move to join TASE is a significant milestone in the evolution of public awareness, as well as in the promotion and recognition of the field of digital assets in Israel. In view of the growth in the global digital currency market, we believe that the Israeli capital market is absolutely ready for digital investing. As the first dedicated crypto-investment house, we offer our clients a direct approach towards innovative investment opportunities, and can make crypto-investing accessible through our professional, experienced and valued team here in Israel," Eli Mizroch, Silver Castle CEO.
Silver Castle is advised by Cybele Holdings, Katzenell Dimant Law Offices and Zitvar Galor & Co Law Offices.
Alfa Laval, a provider of heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling, agreed to acquire StormGeo, a provider of solutions and services for weather-sensitive operations, primarily in the marine industry, off-shore and other weather-dependent industries, from EQT Partners, a private equity firm, for $445m.
"The acquisition of StormGeo will be a strong addition to our toolbox of solutions that help our customers address the decarbonization challenge in the industry. Furthermore, StormGeo fits excellently to our digital acceleration ambition, and we will use their digital and customer experience to level up our offerings and to get deeper experience in the digital space," Tom Erixon, Alfa Laval President and CEO.
EQT is advised by Houlihan Lokey, Wiersholm and Ernst & Young.
Advent International led a $220m Series D round in Shift Technology, a SaaS provider of artificial intelligence-driven decision automation and optimization solutions, with participation from Avenir, Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst and Iris Capital.
"Since its founding in 2014, Shift has made a name for itself in the complex world of insurance. Shift's advanced suite of SaaS products is helping insurers to reshape manual and often time-consuming claims processes in a safer and more automated way. We are proud to be part of this exciting company's next wave of growth," Thomas Weisman, Advent Director.
Mycronic, a Sweden-based company active in the electronics industry, agreed to acquire atg Luther & Maelzer, a global developer, manufacturer and supplier of advanced equipment for electrical testing of PCBs and substrate, from Cohu, a provider of semiconductor equipment and services, for $125m.
"The PCB manufacturing market is performing well and is expected to develop further over the next few years. The addition of atg broadens our offering and creates a platform for electrical testing. The acquisition strengthens Mycronic generally and underlines the Global Technologies division's focus on leading niche technologies, which have the potential to grow faster than the market as a whole," Anders Lindqvist, Mycronic President and CEO.
Temasek, Soros Fund, Northzone, Maersk Growth and Build Capital led a $110m Series B round in Einride, a developer and provider of electric and autonomous freight mobility technology, with participation from EQT, Plum Alley Investments, Norrsken VC, Ericsson and NordicNinja.
This most recent addition of financing will be used to scale up deployments with Einride's major customer base in Europe and the US.
Riyad Capital-backed Elm hires IPO adviser. (FS)
Elm, a digital security firm owned by Riyad Capital, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, hired Riyad Capital to advise on a planned IPO that could value the company at about $2bn, Bloomberg reported.
Elm is aiming to complete the sale of shares on the Saudi stock exchange by next year. The IPO could see the kingdom's Public Investment Fund selling off a stake of up to 30%. The PIF, as the wealth fund is known, and other government-controlled firms are pushing ahead with plans to raise money through selling stakes in a raft of companies over the next year.
Akdital Holding plans an IPO.
Akdital Holding, Morocco's biggest operator of non-state hospitals, is seeking a $170m financing to extend its business beyond North African nation's before considering an IPO "in the coming years".
The sector is also receiving a boost from King Mohammed VI's plan to extend social insurance to all 37m people in a country with one of the lowest ratios of hospital beds to a population in the Middle East and North Africa, Bloomberg reported.
"Seven to eight new private general hospitals will see the light of day within the next few months in several Moroccan cities," Rochdi Talib, Akdital CEO.
Star Entertainment, an Australian casino operator, offered to acquire larger rival Crown Resorts for $7bn in an all-stock deal, outbidding Blackstone by nearly 1bn. Star stated the takeover approach would create "one of the largest and most attractive integrated resort operators in the Asia Pacific region".
The interest in Crown increased after it got stripped of its gambling license, which attracted private equity bidders including Blackstone and Oaktree that offered to buy back Crown's founder's stake to deal with regulatory concerns.
Crown is advised UBS and Allens. Star is advised by Credit Suisse, Flagstaff Partners and King & Wood Mallesons. Debt financing is provided by Credit Suisse. Blackstone is advised by Morgan Stanley and Clayton Utz. CPH is advised by Moelis & Co.
Source Code Capital, a Chinese venture capital firm, led the $156m Series C round in Yuanbao, an insurtech company. Existing investors including Cathay, Qiming, and Susquehanna participated in the round.
The funds raised will be used to invest in the R&D of the main technology. The desire of Yuanbao is to develop an integrated "health plus insurance plus medical care" platform.
Venture capital firms Sequoia Capital China and GL Ventures led the $100m round in Access Medical Systems, a medical devices provider. Investors including Sinovation, Kaiser Permanente, Wisdomont and Qianlong Ventures also participated in the round.
The funds will be utilized to increase technological edge and to expand R&D, markets overseas and manufacturing capabilities.
Blackstone Real Estate completed the acquisition of Embassy Industrial Parks, an operator of warehouses, from Warburg Pincus and Embassy Group, a real estate conglomerate. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to announce this acquisition of a best-in-class logistics portfolio from Embassy Industrial Parks. Logistics is one of the firm’s highest global conviction themes, anchored by our belief that e-commerce trends will further fuel demand for logistics space especially near city centers," Asheesh Mohta, Blackstone Head of Real Estate India Acquisitions.
Bain and KKR bid for Reckitt Benckiser baby nutrition unit. (FS)
Private equity firms including Bain Capital, Carlyle Group, and KKR & Co are among the first-round bidders for Reckitt Benckiser Group's infant-nutrition business in China, Bloomberg reported.
Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group and New Hope Dairy also handed in preliminary bids. The UK firm aims to sell the infant nutrition unit for as much as $2bn. Sequoia China, an investor in Junlebao Dairy, a dairy product maker based in China's Hebei province, also submitted a bid.
LBC's owners to consider stake sale. (FS)
The owners of LBC Express Holdings are considering a stake sale in the Philippine delivery company amid interest from potential buyers, Bloombergreported.
LBC Express' owners, including the Araneta family and private equity firm Crescent Point, are in talks with investment banks to help find a buyer for as much as 40% of the business. A sale process could kick off later this year, and some logistics companies and investment funds have expressed initial interest.
Shares in LBC Express have risen about 13% in Manila in the past year. A 40% stake could be worth about $185m based on the logistics firm's market value on Monday.
Aurora Healthcare postpones IPO.
Aurora Healthcare Australia delayed its Sydney IPO after the private hospital operator could not generate enough investor demand, Bloomberg reported. The company halted its first-time share sale on lackluster investor response after launching the deal a week ago. The offering could have raised as much as A$415m ($327m) for the company and its shareholder Healthe Care Australia, a subsidiary of Luye Medical Group.
At A$415m ($327m), Aurora's IPO could have been the year's second-biggest in Australia, behind Pepper Money's A$500m ($392m) offering.
CR Capital joins with CCBD to launch a $7.8b industry fund. (FS)
Beijing-headquartered CR Capital Management tied up with state-backed China Council for Brand Development to launch an industry fund with a total capital commitment of CNY50bn ($7.8bn).
The fund, which will be launched with a corpus of CNY10bn ($155m), is set to invest in local brands in the consumer sector. Investments will flow into the fund in three tranches.
Founded by parent company China Resources Holdings in 2006, CR Capital invests in sectors spanning mass consumption, healthcare, green energy, technology innovation, and urban property, among others. As of February 2020, the Hong Kong-based firm managed over CNY100bn ($15.5bn) in assets.
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