A Stone Point Capital-led consortium completed the acquisition of Duff & Phelps, a financial services firm, from private equity firm Permira for $4.2bn.
“This marks an exciting next chapter for Duff & Phelps and underscores the versatility and resilience of our business in any economic environment. I am grateful to Stone Point Capital, Further Global, Permira and the full investor consortium for their confidence in Duff & Phelps and our ability to continue our growth trajectory. I also thank the Duff & Phelps colleagues who have worked so hard to help us achieve this milestone, as well as our clients who trust us every day to help address their most pressing challenges,” Noah Gottdiener, Duff & Phelps CEO.
Duff & Phelps was advised by Evercore, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Kirkland & Ellis and Dukas Linden Public Relations. Further Global and Stone Point were advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, White & Case. Permira was advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Debt financing was provided by Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs was advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges.
The CMA announced the launch of its inquiry into the $4bn acquisition of StubHub, an online ticket exchange company, by viagogo, an online marketplace for ticket resale, on April 14, 2020. The CMA has a deadline of June 11, 2020 for its phase 1 decision.
eBay was advised by Goldman Sachs, Quinn Emanuel, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, and Sloane & Company. viagogo was advised by JP Morgan, Kirkland & Ellis, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Mercury, and Tusk Strategies. Debt financing was provided by JP Morgan and Madrone Capital Partners.
Novelis, a provider of aluminium rolling and recycling, completed the acquisition of Aleris, a global supplier of rolled aluminium products, for $2.8bn, including the assumption of debt.
"Today is a transformational moment in our company's history, and I've never been more confident in our ability to deliver even more value to our customers, colleagues and the communities where we live and work. With a world-class workforce, a presence in the most competitive and technically demanding end-markets, and the ability to deliver rapid, adaptive and sustainable solutions, Novelis will be able to even better serve our customers," Steve Fisher, Novelis President and CEO.
Aleris was advised by Deutsche Bank, Moelis & Co and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson. Novelis was advised by Goldman Sachs and Latham & Watkins. Oaktree Capital was advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Simplicity, a financial products distribution firm, completed the acquisition of Fidelity Financial Group, an independent insurance distribution company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to have Terry, Reid and their team as part of the growing Simplicity platform. FFG has been a leader in providing financial professionals with top-tier products and business support in the independent wholesaling space," Bruce Donaldson, Simplicity President and Chief Executive Officer.
Autodesk, a software services provider, is set to acquire a minority stake in Aurigo Software, a software services provider for planning and building infrastructure projects. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The present climate of uncertainty and risk further increases the need for owners and contractors to leverage modern cloud software to plan, construct and maintain infrastructure assets that are considered absolutely essential to the nation. Autodesk and Aurigo have very synergistic products, and our strategic alliance will allow us to deliver a full digital lifecycle experience for owners and contractors," Balaji Sreenivasan, Aurigo Software CEO and Founder.
BlackRock raises more than $5bn for energy infrastructure fund. (FS)
BlackRock raised $5.1bn for a new fund focused on power plants, pipelines and other energy infrastructure assets and businesses, FN reported
BlackRock’s Global Energy & Power Infrastructure Fund III surpassed its initial $3.5bn target and planned $4.5bn hard cap, the world’s largest asset manager said about the fund’s closing.
Lightspeed raises $4.22b for early funds. (FS)
Lightspeed Venture Partners, the Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, announced raising $4.22bn in total commitments for its three funds that focus on early- and growth-stage opportunities, DealStreetAsia reported.
Fund XIII raised $890m in total limited partner commitments, while Select Fund IV secured $1.83bn. The predecessors of the two funds raised a combined $2.1bn in 2019. Opportunity Fund, the firm’s newest vehicle that seeks to back breakout companies in the markets Lightspeed operates in, closed at $1.5bn.
Mirae seeks time to close luxury hotel deal. (FS, RE)
South Korea’s Mirae Asset Global Investments asked Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese holding company whose subsidiaries mainly deal with insurance, banking, and financial services, for more time to close its $5.8bn acquisition of a US luxury hotel portfolio as the Covid-19 pandemic roils financial markets, Bloomberg reported.
The two parties had been working toward finalizing a deal by the end of this week, but Mirae is seeking an extension until the second half of this year because the required debt financing isn’t immediately available.
TA Associates-backed MRI Software, a real estate software solutions provider, is set to acquire Castleton Technology, a provider of specialist software and services to the social housing sector, for $104m.
MRI expects that the acquisition will extend its residential market offering and accelerate the development of Castleton’s cloud-based technologies to serve the needs of social housing providers.
“The acquisition of Castleton is a significant development for our business, delivering us scale in the UK real estate market and social housing sector in particular - providing a platform to further accelerate our growth globally. We are excited to work with the management team and employees of Castleton, to build upon their strong position in the social housing sector, utilising MRI's complementary experience, capabilities, network and resources,” Patrick Ghilani, MRI Software CEO.
Castleton is advised by finnCap, DAC Beachcroft, and Alma PR. MRI Software is advised by Raymond James, Kirkland & Ellis, and Platform Communications.
A Bain Capital-led consortium completed the $145m investment in BioCatch, a Tel Aviv-based biometrics company. Also joining the round are new investors including Industry Ventures as well as existing shareholders American Express Ventures, CreditEase, Maverick Ventures and OurCrowd, among others.
“BioCatch has quickly established itself as a pioneer in the digital identity space by developing next-generation behavioral biometrics technology that integrates fraud detection and authentication capabilities to protect end-users and their most sensitive transactions. Their technology is highly applicable to other verticals beyond financial services that have the same need to balance fraud and the user experience,” Dewey Awad, Bain Capital Tech Opportunities Managing Director.
Bain Capital was advised by Stanton. BioCatch was advised by Lansons Intermarket.
Axcel, a Nordic private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in SuperOffice, a provider of cloud-based CRM software to B2B-oriented companies in Europe, from Visma, a provider of business software and IT-related development and consultancy for $95m.
“Gisle and his team have done a great job in transitioning SuperOffice to a cloud-based SaaS provider and is therefore in a strong position to accelerate growth going forward. SuperOffice’s high-quality customer base and its attractive subscription-based business model with stable recurring revenues and high cash conversion have proven resilient during past business cycles. For this reason, we at Axcel consider SuperOffice to be a robust and attractive investment opportunity, and I'm delighted to be able to announce that this is not only our first investment in our new fund, Axcel VI, but also our first platform investment in Norway,” Christian Bamberger Bro, Axcel Partner.
Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund is close to striking a deal to acquire UK Premier League soccer team Newcastle United, from UK retail tycoon Mike Ashley, for $377m. The completion of the deal is subject to approval from the Premier League, which may take as long as several weeks.
The deal is being structured through a vehicle created by Amanda Staveley, the British financier. Her PCP Capital Partners will put in 20% of the consideration for Newcastle, with 10% of the funds coming from Ms Staveley personally, and the remainder from David and Simon Reuben, the wealthy British property investors, FT reported.
The investor group has been in discussions with Mr Ashley for months, with news of the talks first being disclosed in January. At the time, discussions put a price tag of $455m on the club.
SAP explores sale of digital interconnect business.
Business software company SAP is exploring the sale of a subsidiary that helps telecommunications operators route calls and text messages, Reuters reported.
SAP is working with an adviser to gauge interest in its digital interconnect business and has been speaking to potential buyers.
Sohu Group, a Chinese internet company, agreed to merge with Changyou, an online game operator for $579m. If completed at the effective time, the Changyou merger will result in Changyou becoming a privately‑owned company wholly owned directly and indirectly by Sohu, Changyou ADSs no longer being listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, and Changyou's ADS program being terminated.
Changyou is advised by Houlihan Lokey and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Sohu Group is advised by China Renaissance Securities, Conyers Dill & Pearman, Goulston & Storrs, Han Kun Law Offices, PRC Legal Counsel, and Christensen IR. Debt financing is provided by Bank of China.
Sharing Economy International, which designs, manufactures and distributes a line of proprietary high and low-temperature dyeing and finishing machinery through its affiliated companies, agreed to acquire OOB HK, a marketing agency focused on serving brand customers in China with an integrated solution, both online and offline, for $142m.
"We are excited about the acquisition of OOBHK and the synergies that it presents. OOB's strength and experience in China, with the largest internet population in the world, will help EC Rent further expand its reach in this market. SEII and OOBHK will continue to look for acquisition targets in the resource sharing space and are already evaluating some projects in the pipeline," Parkson Yip, SEII Vice President.
Dongfeng Motor agreed to acquire the remaining stake in Dongfeng Renault Automotive, a joint venture set up by Renault and Dongfeng Motor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
DRAC will stop its Renault brand-related activities. Renault will continue to provide aftersales service for its 300k customers through Renault dealers.
"We are opening a new chapter in China. We will concentrate on electric vehicles and light commercial vehicles, the two main drivers for future clean mobility and more efficiently leverage our relationship with Nissan," Francois Provost, Renault Senior Vice President.
AMMB and Insurance Australia restart the sale of AmGeneral Insurance.
AMMB, one of the largest banking groups in Malaysia, and Insurance Australia Group, a multinational insurance company, restarted the sale of AmGeneral Insurance, Malaysia’s second-biggest auto insurer. Vendors are seeking as much as $1bn for the company, Bloomberg reported.
The companies invited potential suitors to submit non-binding bids for the Malaysian insurer by the end of April. AMMB controls 51% of AmGeneral, while IAG owns the remaining balance.
China’s Tianqi Lithium eyes stake sales.
Tianqi Lithium, one of the world’s top producers of the commodity used in batteries for electric vehicles, expects to post a net loss in the first quarter of 2020, exacerbating a grim financial situation that may force it to sell off assets.
Tianqi is contemplating the sale of some of its 51% stake in its Australian joint venture Talison Lithium. Tianqi said in a filing that it expected to lose $64m-$72m, blaming low lithium prices, coronavirus-related disruption that hit sales, and foreign exchange factors.
Bizzy, Mbiz see fundraising plans pushed to the second half of the year.
Indonesian procurement and supply chain platforms Mbiz and Bizzy, both backed by local conglomerates, pushed their fundraising plans to the second half of the year as the coronavirus pandemic weighs heavily on dealmaking.
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