Synthomer, a United Kingdom-based specialty chemical company, received the European Commission's clearance for its acquisition of OMNOVA, a global manufacturer of emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals, and functional and decorative surfaces.
"We are pleased to have received European Commission clearance for the acquisition of OMNOVA but note the structural remedy required to divest our small VP Latex business in Germany. The acquisition of OMNOVA is strategically and financially compelling. It will materially expand our international business into North America, and grow our presence in Europe and Asia, as well as provide an attractive financial profile with significant expected synergy benefits. We are now working on the divestment as quickly as possible, which will enable us to conclude the OMNOVA acquisition and focus on taking the combined business to the next level," Calum MacLean, Synthomer Chief Executive.
OMNOVA is advised by Morgan Stanley and Jones Day. Synthomer is advised by Canaccord Genuity, Barclays, HSBC, Valence Group, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Herbert Smith Freehills and Teneo. Debt financing is provided by Citigroup.
Amynta Group, an insurance services company and provider of warranty protection products and services, completed the acquisition of American Auto Guardian, a provider of vehicle protection products and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"AAGI has built an outstanding company over 20 years, focused on consistently delivering performance to their distribution partners and dealers, with a successful track record of growth and profitability under the leadership of Tim Brugh. AAGI brings new distribution partners, OEM relationships, dealer networks and geographic reach, broadening our presence, particularly in the Midwest. AAGI expands our warranty offerings, providing incremental opportunities to drive growth across our business," Rob Giammarco, Amynta Chairman and CEO.
American Auto Guardian was advised by Houlihan Lokey and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. Amynta was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, MHT Partners and Kirkland & Ellis.
Rayonier, a timberland real estate investment trust, agreed to acquire Pope Resources, which owns or manages acres of timberland and development property, for $656m.
“The addition of these high-quality Pacific Northwest timberlands increases Rayonier’s ownership in the region to 504k acres, adds 57 MMBF to our sustainable yield, increases our proportion of Douglas-fir inventory and offers a complementary age-class fit. We look forward to completing this transaction by mid-year, which continues our strategy of adding high-quality timberlands in strong log markets and building long-term value for our shareholders through prudent capital allocation,” David Nunes, Rayonier President and CEO.
Pope Resources is advised by Centerview Partners, Davis Wright Tremaine, and Munger Tolles & Olson. Rayonier is advised by Credit Suisse and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
ProctorU, an online exam security and identity management company, and Yardstick Assessment Strategies, a specialist in psychometrics and computer-based exam administration for professional testing organizations, completed the merger and formed a new parent brand, Meazure Learning. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"By adding ProctorU's technology and a suite of secure proctoring solutions to the Yardstick platform, we are now able to bring enhanced security to physical test center delivery, as well as offering improved service and security for clients seeking and using remote testing. Meanwhile, ProctorU's capabilities and success in higher education have never been greater. The merger enables our two businesses to focus on our respective markets, each with our own brand and a dedicated team to ensure we stay at the forefront of both professional testing and higher education," Isabelle Gonthier, Yardstick President.
Equinix, the global interconnection and data center company, agreed to acquire Packet Host, a bare metal automation platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The incorporation of Packet into Equinix will accelerate the delivery of enhanced edge services to Equinix's growing customer base, while continuing to serve the developer community that has come to rely on Packet's unique offering," Zachary Smith, Packet CEO.
Huron Capital-backed Albireo Energy, a building automation and energy services platform, completed the acquisition of Advanced Automated Systems, a provider of building automation and energy management services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are incredibly pleased to add AAS to the Albireo family. This acquisition represents a strong start to the year, and we are motivated to continue this momentum and further develop our team of exceptionally talented industry leaders," Jim Mahoney, Huron Senior Partner.
Califia Farms, a plant-based beverage and food company, raised $225m in a Series D round led by the Qatar Investment Authority. Other investors in the financing include Singapore-headquartered investment company Temasek, Canada-based Claridge, Hong Kong-based Green Monday Ventures, and a Latin America based family with significant interests in coffee and consumer products.
"The more than $1tn global dairy and ready-to-drink coffee industry is ripe for continued disruption, with individuals all over the world seeking to transform their health & wellness through the adoption of minimally processed and nutrient-rich foods that are better for both the planet and the animals," Greg Steltenpohl, Califia Founder and CEO.
H.I.G. Capital-backed Whitney, Bradley & Brown, a provider of program management and consulting services, completed the acquisition of Decisive Analytics, a provider of technology-enabled solutions that support key programs for the US Department of Defense and US Intelligence Community. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition builds on WBB’s organic growth and allows domain expertise within critical capabilities including program management, systems engineering, vehicle integration and prototyping, cybersecurity, data analytics, and development. The integration of DAC begins the next phase of WBB’s life cycle and continues our journey for the delivery of high-quality products and services to our customers and opportunities for our now 1k employees,” Robert Olsen, WBB CEO.
Accel-KKR-backed Springbrook, a provider of fully integrated, cloud-based ERP and payments software for local governments, completed the acquisition of BIAS Software, a provider of cloud-based accounting software for local public agencies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Since becoming an independent company singularly focused on serving local governments, we continue to look for ways to add value to our customers. We see tremendous synergy in building on BIAS's expertise in OCBOA-compliant financial administration software and to deepen Springbrook's market leadership position in the US Pacific Northwest region in partnership with BIAS co-founders Mark Felchlin and Wes Hein," Max Schnoedl, Springbrook CEO.
Fellow Health Partners, a New York-based medical business solutions company, agreed to acquire Billing Services, a long-established medical billing company operating out of 3 New York locations. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We had been searching for the right partner for several years when we were introduced to Fellow Health Partners. Jack and I quickly recognized that it was a perfect fit. BSI was reaching a point where our doctor and hospital clients were asking for more advanced technology, especially for reporting and data that could help them better manage their practices. At the same time, our billing and support teams wanted more opportunities, including advanced training. We also liked the fact that Fellow Health Partners was committed to keeping jobs in the USA, especially in New York State,” Sue Emptage, Billing Services CEO.
HIG Capital-backed Circle Graphics, a producer of grand and large-format digital graphics, completed the acquisition of Metromedia Technologies, a provider of grand format visual solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to combine such an iconic company as MMT into our operations. We will benefit from MMT’s added capacity, expertise in areas such as wall graphics and transit, and an expanded roster of some of the best out-of-home customers in the world. We are in a competitive industry, and production volume is a key requirement that allows us to invest in continuous improvements in our factories, invest in product R&D, and bring our customers more sophisticated software solutions," Andrew Cousin, Circle Graphics CEO.
TRISTAR Insurance, an independent third-party claims administrator in the US, completed the acquisition of Aspen Risk Management, a provider of loss control and safety services to America’s premier insurance carriers, captives, and brokers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"For the past 15 years our team has worked hard to become exceptional at risk control and workplace safety. Joining TRISTAR gives us the chance to carry our primary purpose of saving lives, preventing injuries & illnesses, and protecting our clients from harm all across America,” Steve Thompson, Aspen CEO.
Lexington Capital Partners IX closes at $14bn. (FS)
Lexington Partners, one of the largest independent managers of secondary acquisition funds, announced the final close of Lexington Capital Partners IX and associated vehicles which together total $14bn of commitments.
The fund, which commenced investing in the fourth quarter of 2018, surpassed its $12bn fundraising target and significantly exceeded Lexington's prior secondary fund, LCP VIII, which closed on $10.1bn in 2015.
KKR raises $2.2bn for its second next-gen technology growth fund. (FS)
KKR closed its second Next Generation Technology Growth Fund at $2.2bn. The vehicle is dedicated to growth equity investment opportunities in the technology space in North America, Europe, and Israel, according to a PE News report.
Considerably bigger its predecessor, which closed at $711m in 2016, the fund will target assets valued above $50m in areas such as enterprise software, digital media, fintech, and tech-enabled and data services.
Blackstone and Apollo make a case for opening buyout funds to the masses. (FS)
Speaking at a Securities and Exchange Commission event, top executives from Blackstone and Apollo Global Management stopped short of urging the agency to dial back restrictions. But they came armed with data showing all the ways retail investors have been left behind, according to a Bloomberg report. Their arguments: private markets are here to stay, less-liquid investments like corporate debt perform much better than stocks and private equity produces bigger gains with less volatility than publicly traded shares.
"Private companies can now get ample funding and don't need to do the IPO route. This is a fundamental change that regulators and the industry will have to deal with," John Finley, Blackstone CLO.
PG&E nears deal with Pimco, Elliott on restructuring plan. (FS)
Bankrupt California power producer PG&E is nearing a deal with creditors that would entitle them to a mix of equity and new debt if they scrap their rival restructuring plan.
Under the deal being negotiated by creditors led by Elliott Management and Pacific Investment Management, the investment in the company would replace some of the exit financing that PG&E is proposing as part of its restructuring.
Fosun to reduce stakes in Guide Investimentos and Rio Bravo.
China’s Fosun International decided to cut stakes or even divest completely from Guide Investimentos and Rio Bravo, two financial firms it controls in Brazil.
Fosun decided to look for a partner so it will not need to fund alone the investments needed to expand both financial firms over the coming years, Reuters reported.
Goldman Says sold out of Uber stake after IPO lockup expired.
Goldman Sachs sold off its stake in Uber Technologies after the ride-hailing startup’s disappointing initial public offering in 2019, according to a Bloomberg report.
Goldman owned about 10m shares of Uber at the time of the IPO, turning a $5m wager using the firm’s own money back in 2011 into a major windfall. The bank recognized a gain in the second quarter but took a hit in the third quarter as Uber’s shares plunged. Like other investors, Goldman Sachs was restricted from selling shares until six months after the offering.
Africa Oil completed the acquisition of a 50% stake in a Dutch-based oil and gas division of Petrobras, a semi-public Brazilian multinational corporation in the petroleum industry, for $1.45bn.
"We are very pleased to have acquired an interest in these established, low unit cost, producing assets with additional appraisal and development upside, that are operated by some of the best companies in the industry. With the addition of production and cash flow, Africa Oil is transforming into a significant, Africa-focused independent E&P company. Combining these assets with our Kenya development project and exploration portfolio, we believe that Africa Oil has tremendous growth potential in a range of oil price scenarios," Keith Hill, Africa Oil CEO.
Africa Oil was advised by PillarFour Capital, Standard Bank, Mattos Filho, Torys, Vinson & Elkins, NAMDO. Petrobras was advised by Linklaters. BTG Pactual was advised by Herbert Smith Freehills.
Anglo American is likely to confirm a deal to buy fertilizer company Sirius Minerals for more than $507m, excluding debt, ahead of an early February deadline to finalize its bid. Anglo said on January 8 it was in advanced talks over the $0.71 cash offer for the venture that is Britain’s biggest mining project.
Sirius Minerals is advised by JP Morgan, Allen & Overy, and Edelman. Anglo American is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Centerview Partners, and Linklaters.
OVO Energy, a UK-based independent energy supplier, completed the acquisition of the UK household energy supply business of SSE, a supplier of household utility, for $621m.
"SSE and OVO are a great fit. They share our values on sustainability and serving customers. They’ve built an excellent team that I’m really looking forward to working with.” Stephen Fitzpatrick, OVO CEO and Founder.
OVO was advised by Barclays and Greentech Capital Advisors.
Heska, which manufactures, sells, and markets veterinary diagnostic and specialty products, agreed to acquire the scil animal care business of Covetrus, a global company in animal-health technology and services, for $125m.
“While we are still in the early stages of executing on our strategy, this transaction is an important initial step in that process,” Ben Wolin, Covetrus acting president, and chief executive officer.
Heska is advised by Piper Sandler. Covetrus is advised by Stifel.
Raisin, a wealth management fintech company, agreed to acquire Choice Financial Solutions, a provider of software solutions for banks and credit unions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Joining forces with Choice Financial Solutions lets Raisin begin offering cutting-edge services to banks and customers before we even launch our US platform. Retail consumers increasingly expect convenience in every area of life, and banks today want to meet that demand, not just in terms of online and mobile banking, but also their banks’ available range of products. As a leading innovator in the deposits space, Raisin sees Choice FS as a perfect fit for our mission in the US deposits market. The enthusiastic market feedback we have already received affirms how ripe the savings space is for just this type of personalization,” Paul Knodel, Raisin US CEO.
Crosby, a manufacturer of premium accessories used in lifting, rigging, and securement applications, completed the acquisition of Feubo, a provider of offshore mooring components for the oil and gas and wind energy markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This is an exciting new chapter for Feubo, its employees, and customers. With Crosby’s global presence we can increase our reach and increase the pace of innovation. We look forward to joining the Crosby team, who share the same values as us—safety, reliability, and innovation,” Oliver Feuerstein, Feubo CEO.
EQT sets a €14.75bn target for latest flagship fund. (FS)
EQT set a €14.75bn ($16.4bn) target for its latest flagship fund, just months after the Sweden-based private equity group listed on the stock exchange.
The firm pointed out that the actual size depends on the outcome of the fundraising process and may be higher or lower than the target. EQT closed its previous fund, EQT VIII, in February 2018, raising €10.75bn ($12bn), according to a PE News report.
Fujifilm vies with buyout firms in $3bn Curium sale. (FS)
Fujifilm Holdings is entering the race for Curium Pharma, challenging buyout firms bidding for the French maker of medical imaging supplies in a deal that could fetch at least $3bn.
An arm of the Japanese imaging company is among the parties pursuing a deal for Curium. Fujifilm is working with an adviser as it weighs a potential acquisition of the business, which is owned by CapVest.
Sun Capital drops takeover offer for Clipper Logistics. (FS)
Sun Capital Partners said it does not intend to make an offer for retail logistics firm Clipper Logistics. In November 2019, Clipper confirmed it had received a takeover approach from private equity firm Sun European Partners on behalf of Sun Capital.
The UK reaches deal to rescue regional airline Flybe.
Regional airline Flybe was rescued after the British government promised to review taxation of the industry and shareholders pledged more money to prevent its collapse. The agreement comes a day after the emergence of reports suggesting it needed to raise new funds to survive through its quieter winter months, according to a Reuters report.
"I welcome Flybe's confirmation that they will continue to operate as normal, safeguarding jobs in the UK and ensuring flights continue to serve communities across the whole of the UK," Sajid Javid, UK finance minister.
The British government defended the rescue deal, after the owner of rival British Airways filed a complaint with European Union regulators on Wednesday, calling it a “blatant misuse of public funds.”
Benetton's Edizione in contact with F2i for fund's interest in Atlantia. (FS)
The Benetton family's Edizione is in contact with F2i over the infrastructure fund's interest in taking a stake in Atlantia, an Italian holding company active in the infrastructure sector, Reuters reported.
The move comes amid a shake-up at Atlantia - controlled by the Benetton family with a stake of 30% - following last year's deadly collapse of a bridge in the port city of Genoa operated by the group's tollway unit Autostrade per l'Italia.
BW Offshore looking to spin off $800m oil unit.
Oslo-listed BW Offshore, a global owner and operator of floating production storage and offloading vessels, plans to float its BW Energy oil and gas business in the first quarter of 2020, with an expected valuation of between $700-800m, Reuters reported.
"Our business model is to acquire resources that have already been found by others and to develop those. We do not want to spend money on exploration in uncharted waters," Carl Arnet, BW Energy Chief Executive.
Russia considering secondary public offering of VTB shares.
Russia is considering making a secondary public offering of shares in VTB Bank, one of the largest universal banks of Russia, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said.
In recent years the government has reduced its stake in VTB, diamond miner Alrosa and some smaller companies but has fallen short of its initial privatization plan.
Mikhail Fridman looking to increase his investment in Holland & Barrett.
Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman is preparing to double down on his investment in UK health food chain Holland & Barrett.
His investment vehicle LetterOne obtained permission from H&B’s creditors to adjust terms governing its loans, making it easier to buy back the debt, according to a Bloomberg report.
FountainVest, an independent private equity firm in Asia, completed the acquisition of a minority stake in Maoyan Entertainment, a platform providing innovative, internet-empowered entertainment services in China. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Starting from its initial business in online entertainment ticketing, Maoyan has grown into a leading integrated entertainment service platform with multiple drivers for growth. We are delighted to become a shareholder, with co-investment from the company's CEO Mr. Zheng. We endeavor to leverage our experience and sector resources to help the company further expand its business, achieve long-term development, and ultimately provide better entertainment experiences to Chinese consumers," George Chuang, FountainVest Co-President.
Baird Capital completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Vega Global, a system integrator and managed service provider for audio-visual solutions, video conferencing, and collaboration technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are extremely excited to partner with Baird, a highly respected firm that is aligned with Vega’s vision of growth into the future and the strategic plan to get us there. Vega continues to distinguish itself as a leader in the Asia Pacific region in the rapidly growing professional audio-visual market. Together with Baird, our potential for accelerated growth to meet the needs of tomorrow’s enterprise clients is limitless," Laurie Chow, Vega CEO and Founder.
Vanadium signs agreement with HBIS Group Chengsteel for potential purchases and investment.
Australian mining company Vanadium said it penned a non-binding agreement with a unit of steelmaker HBIS Group Chengsteel that could see the Chinese firm buy Vanadium and invest in the Perth-based firm’s flagship project.
AVL signed a letter of intent with Hebei Yanshan Vanadium and Titanium Industry Technology Research that will allow both companies to negotiate a binding agreement for the sale of Vanadium products.
AVL added that the Chinese company has already started due diligence on its flagship Australian Vanadium Project in Western Australia and the company.
Advent International and Kedaara Capital looking to acquire Sequent Scientific. (FS)
Advent International and Kedaara Capital are looking to acquire Sequent Scientific, an Indian integrated pharmaceutical company.
The transaction, which is being pegged at about $350m, will see exit of promoters and an existing private equity investor. The founder promoters of Sequent, including Arun Kumar, KR Ravishankar and family, together hold about 56.5% stake in Sequent while Ascent Capital owns a 5% stake in the company.
Central Retail close to securing IPO cornerstone investors.
Thailand’s largest retailer, Central Retail, is close to securing cornerstone investors for an IPO worth up to $2.7bn, making it the country’s biggest ever listing. Controlled by the billionaire Chirathivat family’s Central Group, Central Retail’s IPO is attracting strong interest toward the lower half of the IPO’s indicative price range of $1.32-$1.59, Reuters reported.
The IPO, first announced in July, comes after Thailand took the top spot in Southeast Asia in 2019 with $4bn in fundraisings. A slew of large issues are in the pipeline for this year.
Connect the World of Dealmakers
Expand your network of fellow Dealmakers by inviting your colleagues and coworkers.