Sunrun, a United States-based provider of residential solar electricity, agreed to acquire Vivint Solar, an American solar energy company, from Blackstone and Tiger Global, two private equity firms, for $3.2bn. Vivint Solar common stock will be exchanged for 0.55 shares of Sunrun common stock.
The acquisition of Vivint Solar is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to approval by Vivint Solar and Sunrun stockholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
"Vivint Solar and Sunrun have long shared a common goal of bringing clean, affordable, resilient energy to homeowners. Joining forces with Sunrun will allow us to reach a broader set of customers and accelerate the pace of clean energy adoption and grid modernization. We believe this transaction will create value for our customers, our shareholders, and our partners," David Bywater, Vivint Solar Chief Executive Officer.
Vivint Solar is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Blackstone is advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges. Sunrun is advised by Credit Suisse, Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider and Cooley. Credit Suisse is advised by Cravath Swaine & Moore.
Unum Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies for solid tumours, completed the acquisition of Kiq, a privately held, biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of precision kinase inhibitors. The acquisition of Kiq was structured as a stock-for-stock transaction whereby all of Kiq's outstanding equity interests were exchanged for a combination of shares of Unum common stock and shares Series A preferred stock.
"Unum has explored a range of strategic alternatives through an orderly process to maximize shareholder value, and we believe this acquisition represents the highest-potential value creation opportunity for Unum stockholders. We are excited by Kiq's lead clinical program and the potential to build a pipeline of novel kinase inhibitors while continuing to explore strategic opportunities for our cell-based therapy programs. As the science develops, we will continue to drive forward our mission of developing novel, best-in-class therapeutics for patients with the greatest need, and we thank our Board members, past and present, along with our investors for their support and commitment," Chuck Wilson, Unum President and CEO.
Kiq was advised by Wedbush PacGrow and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Unum was advised by Jefferies & Company, Ladenburg Thalmann and Goodwin Procter. Jefferies & Company was advised by Latham & Watkins.
Thoma Bravo completed the acquisition of Exostar, a business collaboration cloud platform for the aerospace and defence, life sciences and healthcare industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This transaction reflects the logical next step in our company's evolution. We can leverage Thoma Bravo's deep technology and security experience to take full advantage of our unique market position. Together, we plan to accelerate time-to-market for the Exostar suite of solutions that enable global enterprises to execute their mission-critical supply chain and drug development initiatives," Richard Addi, Exostar President and CEO.
Exostar was advised by AGC Partners and Latham & Watkins. Thoma Bravo was advised by Kirkland & Ellis and Finsbury.
Norwood Financial, the holding company for Wayne Bank, completed the acquisition of UpState New York Bancorp, the holding company for USNY Bank, a New York chartered bank, for $80m.
"We are pleased to announce the completion of the merger and to welcome Upstate's shareholders to Norwood and the employees to Wayne Bank. We also look forward to serving the customers of Bank of the Finger Lakes and Bank of Cooperstown," Lewis J. Critelli, Norwood President and CEO.
UpState New York Bancorp was advised by Boenning & Scattergood and Stevens & Lee. Norwood Financial was advised by The Kafafian Group and Jones Walker.
Private equity firm Abry Partners completed the acquisition of a majority stake in HealthEZ, an independent third-party administrator of self-funded medical plans. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're incredibly impressed by the business Nazie and the HealthEZ team have built and we are proud to become her partner in the next phase of HealthEZ's growth. The HealthEZ team has done a tremendous job of helping small businesses navigate the complex self-insured landscape and we look forward to driving future growth through continued investment in technology and people," T.J. Rose, Abry Partner.
HealthEZ was advised by Lincoln International and Norton Rose Fulbright. Abry Partners was advised by DLA Piper and Chris Tofalli.
Angeles Equity Partners- and Clearlake Capital Group-backed American Construction Source, a building materials distribution platform, agreed to acquire Weaver Lumber, a provider of household tools and supplies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to join the ACS platform. ACS brings a deep level of operating expertise and a successful track record of integration and growth. Angeles and Clearlake have significant investment experience creating value and helping businesses achieve their full potential. ACS is the ideal partner to enable us to best serve our customers and accelerate growth of the business," Brent Weaver, Weaver Lumber CEO.
American Construction Source is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Global strategic communications companies Finsbury, The Glover Park Group and Hering Schuppener agreed to merge into Finsbury Glover Hering. The combination formalizes the strategic partnership between the three companies, which was formed by Finsbury and Hering Schuppener in 2016 and which GPG joined in 2017. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Each of our firms is best in class and together create a new global standard for strategic advice and communications - we'd like to thank our clients for the trust they have placed in us as individual firms over the last decades," Roland Rudd, Finsbury Co-Chairman and Founder.
Specialty Program Group, an operator of speciality insurance brokerages and underwriting facilities, completed the acquisition of Avant, a provider of insurance solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"SPG has a track record of partnering with best in class firms and Avant is no different. Their outside-the-box thinking in solving unmet needs for their clients is unparalleled. Their excitement and innovative culture will bring a new dynamic to SPG's transportation platform and together we will continue to create products and services with our clients' needs front of mind," Chris Treanor, SPG President and CEO.
T. Rowe Price, a Maryland-based investment management firm dedicated to funding technology startups, completed a $100m investment in Instacart, an American company that operates a grocery delivery and pick-up service in the United States and Canada.
This funding comes at what could be an inflexion point for Instacart, as customers it acquired during coronavirus lockdowns decide whether they want to continue with the service or resume in-person grocery shopping.
Aura, a digital security company, agreed to acquire Pango, a privacy and security company, FigLeaf, a digital privacy company, and PrivacyMate, a proactive digital subscription solution provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The momentum Aura is building with the acquisition of Pango uniquely positions our business to continue scaling as we integrate exceptional products that provide a digital halo of protection for consumers. Privacy and security are more important than ever, and Aura aims to be the simple holistic solution. The combined global business is profitable with well over $200m revenue and a talented team of more than 450 all-stars committed to ensuring that our millions of subscribers have the most advanced technology to protect themselves and their loved ones," Hari Ravichandran, Aura Founder and CEO.
Microsoft considers acquiring the Warner Bros' gaming unit.
Microsoft has expressed interest in acquiring the gaming division of Warner Bros, the publisher behind popular game franchises based on Batman, Harry Potter and other characters, The Information reported.
AT&T is weighing the possibility as it looks at ways of paying down its $154bn in debt, which stems partly from its 2018 acquisition of Time Warner, now known as WarnerMedia. AT&T was discussing a sale of its Interactive Entertainment gaming division that owns popular videogame “Mortal Kombat” for a deal that could be worth about $4bn.
The new Covid-19 reality for investment banks.
The coronavirus outbreak stopped a seven-year mergers and acquisition boom and left boutique investment banks with a challenge: proving they are more than just “deal shops”, FT reported.
Fees from M&A are falling sharply as cautious corporate clients focus on overcoming the recession. That leaves boutiques unprotected, as they lack the significant trading and capital markets businesses that work well for diversified rivals such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase.
Nowadays, the independent investment banks depend more than ever on whether they can mitigate the drop in M&A revenues by helping companies to restructure and giving them strategic advice on how to navigate the crisis. Houlihan, which has the largest restructuring practice of any investment bank, arguably is one of the best-positioned for this environment.
Palantir files to go public.
WSJ reported that Palantir Technologies, an American software company that specializes in big data analytics, confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public, ending an extended wait that made the data analytics company one of Silicon Valley's oldest private startups.
The company said it had submitted draft registration papers with the SEC. The statement did not layout financial information or indicate what valuation executives hope to achieve. Palantir has been valued privately at as much as $20bn.
Blackstone-backed GSO Capital Partners seeks to raise $7.5bn. (FS)
Blackstone Group's credit arm GSO Capital Partners is seeking $7.5bn for its fourth subordinated debt vehicle, according to investor notes from the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana.
The New York-based asset manager has launched its GSO Capital Opportunities Fund IV, which is looking to surpass $6.5bn raised by its predecessor Fund III.
Fund IV will invest $100m to $450m in mezzanine debt for North American and Western European businesses that have enterprise values between $500m and $5bn.
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners agreed to acquire a 14.5% stake in Six Nations, an annual international men's rugby union competition between the teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales, for $508m.
"The sum invested by CVC will be distributed among the six shareholder federations in proportion to the number of licensees in each country. In the first discussion, there was talk of $89m over five years. With the renegotiation, we will be closer to $85m, but this represents a substantial sum which will allow us to continue the redistribution to the clubs and to carry out new projects," Bernard Laporte, French Rugby Federation President.
Retailability, a South African based group of retail brands, agreed to acquire a stake in Edgars, a South African clothing retailer, from Edcon, a non-food retailer. The transaction will be subject to various conditions precedent and regulatory approvals, including the Competition Authorities. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This significant step will not only save a significant number of jobs, but importantly, will lead to the sustainability of a proudly South African iconic brand, whose continuity would serve the greater economy. The details of the transaction will be finalized on the signing of definitive agreements and the fulfilment of the various conditions precedent," Edcon.
Carlyle seeks bidders for Nationwide Accident. (FS)
Carlyle Group looks for a new owner for Nationwide Accident, one of Britain's biggest networks of car repair workshops. Carlyle had hired Stephens Europe, a corporate finance adviser, to oversee a sale process, Sky News reported.
A number of potential buyers, including turnaround funds, have been approached about possible bids for NARS.
CDC Group invests $100m in Helios IV. (FS)
CDC Group, a UK development finance institution, has committed $100m to Helios Investors IV, the fourth private equity fund raised by Helios Investment Partners, an Africa-focused private equity firm. The pan-African generalist fund will invest in and build companies across the continent.
Helios has a strong record in African private equity across its three predecessor funds, having invested more than $3bn and created over 9k new jobs in diverse sectors ranging from financial services to education and telecommunications since 2008.
New FDI norms and rising tensions between India and China may delay food tech aggregator Zomato's plans to tap into the $100m equity capital that it had raised in a recent round from Ant Financial.
In January, Zomato had raised $150m from existing investor Ant Financial, a subsidiary of Chinese internet giant Alibaba, which valued the startup at $3bn. The first tranche of this investment worth $50m came in January.
Facebook-backed Unacademy, an online learning platform, agreed to acquire PrepLadder, an ed-tech startup, for $50m.
"We are extremely happy to be a part of the largest learning platform in India. Unacademy and PrepLadder are working towards the common goal of making quality education accessible to all. We believe that the synergies between both products will truly create a mark in the industry," Deepanshu Goyal, PrepLadder Co-Founder.
Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm, led a $100m Series C funding round in Kuaidian, a Chinese reading interactive community platform. DCM, GGV Capital, Morningside Venture Capital also participated in the round.
"Kuaidian has a very distinctive style in both form and content from the beginning. We are also pleased to find that in the past two years, Kuaidian's product form has been evolving, and the community is also prospering. We are full of confidence and expectation for the company's prospects," Zeng Zhenyu, DCM Managing Partner.
SMIC prepares for a share sale.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International is preparing to raise as much as $7.5bn via mainland China’s largest stock sale in a decade, a big cash infusion for the chipmaker, as Beijing is counting on reducing reliance on American technology, Bloomberg reported.
In May, analysts estimated a Shanghai listing could fetch somewhere in the $3bn range. The offering would be the largest since Agricultural Bank of China’s IPO in 2010.
CPPIB and Mubadala consider acquiring SoftBank-backed SBG Cleantech. (FS)
SoftBank Group wants to sell its entire stake in SBG Cleantech, a provider of solar energy generation services, and is in separate talks with CPPIB, Mubadala Investment, Abu Dhabi government’s sovereign wealth fund, and Brookfield Asset Management, DealStreetAsia reported.
SBG Cleantech also plans to shortly raise around $500m through a dollar bond, with Bank of America and Barclays being appointed for running the stake sale and bond raise process.
KKR and Actis consider acquiring solar assets from Azure. (FS)
KKR and Actis, two private equity investors, are in talks to acquire a solar portfolio of 435MW from CDPQ-backed Azure Power Global, an independent power producer, DealStreetAsiareported. The transaction is likely to happen at a value of around $200-250m.
Azure is advised by Avendus.
GIC-backed DALT to acquire two Australian industrial assets for $120m. (FS)
Dexus Australian Logistics Trust has agreed to acquire two industrial properties in Australia for $120m. GIC, Singapore state-owned investment company, which invests in city-state's reserves, holds a 49% stake in DALT, while Dexus, an Australian real estate group, holds the remainder.
The first property, located at Greenacre in New South Wales, is a 19.9k sq m modern cold store and ambient facility currently leased to Real Dairy Australia and Tomkin. The location is also developing another nearly 6k sq m space for Real Dairy Australia. The second property is the Ford Facility at Merrifield Business Park in Victoria state, which is 51.6k sq m logistics facility under development.
Sequoia secures $1.35bn for new India, Southeast Asia funds. (FS)
Sequoia India raised $1.35bn for two new funds as the venture capital firm looks to continue focusing on investments in India and Southeast Asia.
The two vehicles - a $525m venture fund and an $825m growth fund - are the firm's latest since it closed a seed fund in late 2019.
Efort considers $118m in STAR Market IPO.
Efort Intelligent Equipment, a Chinese industrial robot provider, is targetting to raise $118m in its STAR Market outing.
Set up in 2007, Efort was born out of the equipment division of Chery Automobile and makes 10k industrial robots and pieces of intelligent equipment a year. In addition to a production base in China, Efort has 13 subsidiaries in Italy, Germany, Poland, France and Brazil.
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