California's Public Utilities Commission voted to approve the merger of wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint, marking the final approval for the $53bn deal which closed on April 1, Reuters reported.
The deal had closed without a final decision from the California PUC, which gave that on Thursday with a unanimous vote. The CPUC had issued a proposed decision in March to approve the merger with conditions. T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to abide by those conditions.
Sprint was advised by Centerview Partners, JP Morgan, Mizuho, SMBC, The Raine Group, Morrison & Foerster, Potter Anderson & Corroon, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. SoftBank was advised by Morrison & Foerster and Potter Anderson & Corroon. Deutsche Telecom was advised by Deutsche Bank, Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, PJT Partners, Allen & Overy, Hogan Lovells, DLA Piper, Latham & Watkins, Richards Layton and Finger, and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Occidental Petroleum shareholders will get their first say on the oil company's troubled acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum when they vote on issuing shares and warrants to Berkshire Hathaway for helping finance the $38bn deal, Reuters reported.
Shareholders, who did not get to vote on the Anadarko deal last year, will vote at Occidental's May 29 annual meeting to authorize the warrants and to issue 400m new shares, some of which could pay the Berkshire dividend.
Berkshire Hathaway's $10bn investment provided it with warrants for 80m common shares in addition to an 8% dividend on preferred shares received for its support for the Anadarko Petroleum acquisition.
Anadarko was advised by Innisfree M&A, Evercore, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Jefferies & Company, Vinson & Elkins, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Joele Frank and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Occidental was advised by Moriah Real Estate, MacKenzie Partners, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, CBRE, Citigroup, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Weil Gotshal and Manges, and Brunswick Group.
The Blackstone Group, together with GIC, Enagas, NPS and USS, completed the acquisition of the remaining stake in Tallgrass Energy, a growth-oriented midstream energy infrastructure company, for $7bn.
The Blackstone group previously acquired a 44% stake in Tallgrass and in August offered $19.50 apiece for the remaining shares. Four months later, it sweetened the bid to $22.45 a share after big holders criticized the original offer.
Tallgrass was advised by Evercore, Baker Botts, and Bracewell. GIC was advised by Sidley Austin. Enagas was advised by Rothschild & Co and Latham & Watkins. Blackstone was advised by Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and Vinson & Elkins.
Private equity firms TPG Capital, Summit Partners and Silversmith Capital Partners agreed to invest in LifeStance Health Partners, a provider of outpatient behavioral health services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We believe this is the time, now more than ever, to create more access for patients and to grow opportunities for our clinicians and staff. Our partnership with TPG, Summit, and Silversmith will help drive the next phase of growth for LifeStance, as we look to expand our geographic and online digital health footprint, and ultimately serve more patients nationwide seeking mental health services," Michael Lester, LifeStance CEO.
TPG Capital is advised by BMO Capital Markets, UBS, Kirkland & Ellis, Mintz Levin and Global External Affairs. Silversmith Capital and Summit Partners are advised by Jefferies and Ropes & Gray.
Eros International, an Indian motion picture production and distribution company, is set to merge with STX Entertainment, an American entertainment and media company, in an all-stock deal. The combined company, with $125m of incremental equity, will boast a strong and revamped capital structure and superior liquidity position at close with $264m of pro forma net debt, $195m of pro forma cash balance and $120m of available revolver capacity as of December 31, 2019.
"The combination of our two companies creates the first truly independent media company that deeply integrates the expertise and creative cultures of Hollywood and Bollywood. Kishore is a legend in the Indian entertainment industry and a pioneer in OTT content development and distribution in India. Together we will have the relationships, management expertise and resources to create new content and grow rapidly in the largest and most attractive global markets," Robert Simonds, STX CEO.
STX is advised by JP Morgan, PJT Partners, Kirkland & Ellis, and Abernathy MacGregor Group. Eros is advised by Citigroup and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority started a formal investigation into whether KKR's proposed acquisition of e-books distributor OverDrive from Rakuten may hurt competition in the UK, Financial News reported.
The regulator set a deadline of June 16 to make a ruling on the deal. It had previously invited comments on the transaction from interested parties to assist it with its preliminary assessment, a deadline which closed on April 16.
KKR is advised by Goldman Sachs, LionTree Advisors, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Verizon Communications, an American multinational telecommunications conglomerate, agreed to acquire BlueJeans Network, a cloud-based video conferencing service provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The combination of BlueJeans' world class enterprise video collaboration platform and trusted brand with Verizon Business' next generation edge computing innovation will deliver highly differentiated and compelling solutions to our joint customers. We are very excited about joining the Verizon team and we truly believe the future of business communications starts today!" Quentin Gallivan, BlueJeans CEO.
BlueJeans Network is advised by Evercore and Goodwin Procter. Verizon is advised by Debevoise & Plimpton.
Mill Creek, a multifamily developer and operator, and QuadReal, a global real estate investment firm, agreed to form a joint venture. The venture will invest up to $421m to develop and operate multifamily communities in targeted US markets over the next two to three years. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"QuadReal is a well-respected firm with a depth of experience in the multifamily sector. We are looking forward to working with this world-class organization to grow our portfolio of high-quality, award-winning communities in some of the most desirable markets in the country. This venture serves as an important step in further developing our investment management business," William C. MacDonald, Mill Creek CEO, President and CIO.
Mill Creek is advised by Hodes Weill Securities and LinnellTaylor Marketing.
RefleXion Medical, a therapeutic oncology company, raised $100m in a PSP Investments-led Series D funding round. RefleXion's existing investors, TPG's The Rise Fund, KCK Group, Sofinnova Partners, Venrock, T. Rowe Price, Pfizer Ventures and Johnson & Johnson Innovation all participated in the round.
"This new influx of capital continues our momentum initiated first by FDA clearance of the RefleXion™ X1 platform last month, then quickly followed by the close of our first system order at one of the world's leading cancer centers. The support of this top-tier investment syndicate enables us to further scale operations around commercializing the X1 platform," Todd Powell, RefleXion President and CEO.
RefleXion was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.
VAST Data, a storage company, raised $100m in a Next47-led Series C funding round, valuing the company at $1.2bn. Other private equity and venture capital firms that participated in the funding round include Siemens, 83North, Commonfund Capital, Dell Technologies Capital, Goldman Sachs, Greenfield Partners, Mellanox Capital and Norwest Venture Partners.
"We started VAST Data with a single mission, to simplify the data center and to enable insights that were never before possible. In 2019, VAST's early customer adoption and financial performance surpassed all historic benchmarks – validating that the technology and product-market fit were right for customers who are struggling under tiered storage architectures and the limitations of the hard drive," Renen Hallak, VAST Data Founder & CEO.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan completed the acquisition of a 40% stake in IDEAL, which invests in infrastructure projects throughout Mexico, for $2.2bn.
CPP Investments now owns a 23.7% in IDEAL alongside a 16.3% stake owned by Ontario Teachers'. The current majority owners of IDEAL's outstanding shares continue to hold a majority shareholding in the company.
"This investment in IDEAL provides CPPIB with the valued opportunity to access a diversified portfolio of assets with stable cash flows, while also providing the opportunity for future growth through development opportunities in Mexico's infrastructure sector," Scott Lawrence, CPPIB's Managing Director and Head of Infrastructure.
FOG Software Group, a division of Constellation Software, completed the acquisition of Optitex, a software solutions provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Optitex will operate as an independent company within FOG. With Constellation Software’s long-term strategy to acquire, build and retain companies, Optitex will benefit from Constellation's additional strategic support.
"This acquisition provides significant added value to Optitex, its customers and partners. While retaining the independence of business operations, we reinforce our strong commitment to innovative product development. Optitex expects to achieve lasting business stability supported by Constellation's long-term vision and to further benefit from Constellation’s financial support, networking opportunities, and well-honed management best practices,” Amir Lehr, Optitex CEO.
Stripe, a builder of economic infrastructure for the internet, raised $600m in a Series G funding round from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, GV, and Sequoia.
"People who never dreamt of using the internet to see the doctor or buy groceries are now doing so out of necessity. And businesses that deferred moving online or had no reason to operate online have made the leap practically overnight. We believe now is not the time to pull back, but to invest even more heavily in Stripe's platform," John Collison, Stripe President and Co-Founder.
Robinhood is raising funds at an $8bn valuation. (FS)
Robinhood, the online brokerage that underwent repeated outages during recent market turmoil, is close to raising new funding at a valuation of c. $8bn, Bloomberg reported.
The Menlo Park, California-based startup is raising about $250m from investors led by Sequoia Capital. The company was most recently pegged to be worth $7.6bn after a round of funding that closed in July. The new $8bn figure is a pre-money valuation, meaning it refers to the value assigned to the company before the latest round of funds is received. A final deal hasn't been reached and might not be.
Arbour Lane Capital Management closes Fund II at $1.2bn. (FS)
Arbour Lane Capital Management, an investment advisory firm, closed the Arbour Lane Credit Opportunity Fund II at its hard cap of $1.2bn in capital commitments, exceeding its initial target of $750m.
The fund focuses on secured bank loans in mid-size structures and out of favor investments at the top of the capital structure, primarily senior secured debt and other first-lien securities.
Apollo readies IPO of cloud company Rackspace. (FS)
Apollo Global Management registered Rackspace Holding, a cloud computing company, for an IPO that could value the cloud services firm at c. $10bn, including debt, Reuters reported.
Apollo has been encouraged by the rally in the shares of Rackspace peers such as Fastly and Datadog in recent weeks, as the novel coronavirus outbreak drives more businesses to operate digitally and rely on cloud computing for more of their workflow.
EssilorLuxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses, is set to pay a roughly $87m penalty as the coronavirus shutdown threatens to push it past a deadline for regulatory approval of its $7.8bn GrandVision acquisition.
European Commission suspended its competition investigation since April 7, leading to a real threat that the transaction will not win the approval of regulators in Brussels on time. EssilorLuxottica will have to pay the forfeit regardless of it being due to coronavirus, and merger advisers say other deals face similar potential penalties.
GrandVision is advised by ING Bank, Bredin Prat, and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. EssilorLuxottica is advised by BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, BonelliErede, Latham & Watkins, Stibbe, Sullivan & Cromwell, Brunswick Group, and Community Group. HAL Holding is advised by NautaDutilh. Debt financing is provided by Credit Agricole and HSBC. Debt Providers are advised by Hogan Lovells.
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority decided Dutch online food ordering company Takeaway.com can proceed with its integration of Just Eat, although an investigation into the combination continues, Reuters reported.
Takeaway bought Just Eat for $7.8bn in January after a bidding war. The CMA is investigating whether Takeaway might not have re-entered the British market, which it quit in 2016, had it not bought Just Eat. The companies had been banned from integrating while the investigation continues, with a first conclusion expected by May 19.
"The revocation of the (CMA’s) initial enforcement order means that these restrictions no longer apply, and that Just Eat Takeaway.com is now free to integrate the two businesses. The CMA’s investigation remains ongoing,” Takeaway.
Just Eat is advised by Goldman Sachs, UBS, Oakley Advisory, Linklaters, and Brunswick Group. Takeaway is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Gleacher Shacklock, Lazard, Cravath Swaine & Moore, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, NautaDutilh, and Slaughter & May.
Hellman & Friedman completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Checkmarx, a provider of software security solutions for DevOps, from Insight Partners for $1.2bn. TPG partnered with H&F and will hold a minority interest in the Checkmarx together with Insight Partners.
“Now, more than ever, security must be top-of-mind for us all. We are relentless in our mission to empower organizations to deliver secure software at scale. The team at Checkmarx is looking forward to this next phase of growth and to further advancing our leadership position in the software security market,” Emmanuel Benzaquen, Checkmarx CEO.
Checkmarx was advised by Evercore, Herzog Fox & Neeman, and InkHouse. TPG was advised by Ropes & Gray. Hellman & Friedman was advised by RBC Capital Markets, Stifel, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Insight Partners was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Nvidia's $6.9bn buyout of Israel's Mellanox was approved by China's competition and mergers watchdog, clearing the all-cash deal to go ahead over a year after it was first announced on March 11, 2019. The deal is expected to be closed on April 27, 2020.
The Chinese authority stated that "the conditions only require the companies to not add bundles or other 'unreasonable' requirements when selling devices in China."
Mellanox is advised by Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Herzog Fox & Neeman, and Latham & Watkins. Nvidia is advised by Goldman Sachs, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Jones Day, Yigal Arnon & Co, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Brunswick Group.
Building materials company Low & Bonar said its $134m acquisition by German firm Freudenberg was approved by the European Commission. A formal application for competitions clearance of the deal was made in March, with a final decision received on April 17.
"The commission has granted unconditional Phase 1 competition clearance, which fulfils the key outstanding condition to the completion of the acquisition. The company will now move to complete the final stages of the Acquisition process as soon as possible, in cooperation with Freudenberg. Low & Bonar is delighted with this outcome. To the extent allowed by regulation, the company will also cooperate closely with Freudenberg in the coming weeks to ensure as smooth a transition as possible once all conditions to the acquisition are fulfilled," Low & Bonar.
Low & Bonar is advised by Rothschild & Co, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Instinctif Partners. Freudenberg is advised by Barclays and Jones Day.
The Competition and Markets Authority cleared British media company Future's acquisition of TI Media, a consumer magazine and digital publisher. The acquisition is, therefore cleared to proceed and is expected to complete shortly.
Future is advised by N+1 Singer, Numis Securities and Instinctif Partners.
Amazon's acquisition of a stake in Deliveroo, an online food delivery group, was provisionally cleared by Britain's competition regulator in view of a potentially fatal deterioration in the company's finances because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The CMA launched a detailed investigation in December, saying the deal could damage competition by discouraging Amazon from re-entering the online restaurant food market and further developing its presence within the online convenience grocery delivery market.
"Without additional investment, which we currently think is only realistically available from Amazon, it's clear that Deliveroo would not be able to meet its financial commitments and would have to exit the market," Stuart McIntosh, CMA Chair of the independent inquiry group.
Campari Group, a provider of beverages, entered exclusive negotiations to acquire an 80% stake in Champagne Lallier, a manufacturer of alcoholic beverages, from Ficoma, a family holding of Francis Tribaut. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The projected transaction scope includes the brands, related stocks, real estate assets including owned and operated vineyards, and production facilities.
If successful, the acquisition would mark the first entry of an Italian player into the Champagne category and allow Campari Group to build further critical mass in the French market.
Onex, an investment company, agreed to acquire Independent Clinical Services Group, a healthcare staffing provider, from TowerBrook Capital Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"ICS is committed to being a true partner to its clients in delivering both capacity and care at the highest standard, and that is a commitment we want to continue and build on. We are pleased to be partnering with the ICS management team and look forward to supporting their growth for years to come," Nigel Wright, Onex Managing Director.
Thyssenkrupp seeks strategic options for its shipbuilding unit.
German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp is in advanced talks about possibly merging its subsidiary Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems with domestic rivals German Naval Yards and Luerssen, Reuters reported.
Thyssenkrupp said that Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems could be sold as part of a wider restructuring of the steel and engineering group, which is struggling with underperforming or loss-making units including plant building, car parts, steel and materials trading, exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis.
UBS and HSBC sell AMS stake left after rights issue.
Lenders UBS and HSBC cut their combined stake in AMS to below 1% from the 15% they were forced to take after weak demand for the sensor maker's capital increase, Reuters reported.
Ernesto Bertarelli takes stake in ailing Aston Martin.
Ernesto Bertarelli, whose family's $18.1bn fortune mostly derives from pharmaceuticals, acquired a 3.4% stake in Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings, Bloomberg reported.
The UK car manufacturer struggled with cash flow and unsold dealer inventories since going public in 2018. The firm stated last month that it might need additional funding even after a $670m capital infusion from a group led by Canadian investor Lawrence Stroll.
KKR considers divesting its stake in Ramky Enviro Engineer. (FS)
KKR & Co is considering the divestment of its controlling stake in Ramky Enviro Engineers a year after it completed the acquisition of the Indian environmental services provider. The buyout firm held initial talks with prospective suitors, including a Chinese company.
Credit Suisse gets approval to take a majority stake in China JV.
Credit Suisse received regulatory approval to take a majority stake in its Chinese investment banking joint venture, Reuters reported. It is the latest international investment bank to receive approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission after the rules limiting foreign banks to 49% ownership of their China operations were eased in 2018.
"We believe the securities entity will enable us to develop our onshore capabilities. We intend to continue to invest in this important market," Helman Sitohang, Credit Suisse Asia Pacific CEO.
AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines merger an option as Covid-19 hits industry.
Merging money-losing state carrier Malaysia Airlines with budget airline AirAsia Group is one of the options to "save" them as the Covid-19 crisis batters the industry, Reuters reported. Mohamed Azmin Ali, Malaysia's minister of international trade and industry and the government's designated second-in-command, said deliberations would soon take place on various options to help out the country's airline industry.
"We need to see how best we can save those airlines, and it's not going to be a very simple answer. Things are very bad, the aircraft are not flying. We need to sit down and discuss how to address these issues," Mohamed Azmin Ali, Malaysia's minister of international trade.
Two private groups consider bidding for Virgin Australia. (FS)
Two private groups are considering making approaches for Australia's second-biggest airline Virgin Australia, Reuters reported. A private equity investor partnered with a "strategic airline investor" to make an offer for the cash-strapped airline, and the second potential buyer could be an investment bank allied with an Australian infrastructure investor.
Virgin is advised by UBS, Morgan Stanley, Houlihan Lokey and Deloitte.
India tightens foreign investment policies to restrict Chinese corporate takeovers.
India tightened its foreign investment rules to block "opportunistic takeovers" by its neighbours, acting on concerns that Chinese buyers could use the coronavirus pandemic to acquire weakened Indian companies, FT reported.
The Ministry of Commerce stated that any entity based in or tied to a country "which shares a land border with India" would require government approval before investing in an Indian company.
The move most significantly affects Chinese organizations because restrictions are already applied to investors from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Carlyle to divest a 13% stake in Metropolis Healthcare for c. $99m. (FS)
The Carlyle Group launched a block deal to divest 13% stake or 7m shares of Metropolis Healthcare, an Indian diagnostics chain, for c. $99m. Carlyle is pressing ahead to sell its shares in the firm through its subsidiary firm CA Lotus Investments.
Pehchaolin considers stake sale. (FS)
Shanghai Pehchaolin Daily Chemical, a Chinese skincare company that owns the 89-year-old premium beauty brand Pechoin, is in talks with potential investors for a minority stake sale, Bloomberg reported.
Shanghai Pehchaolin received interest from prospective investors, including some private equity firms. The company is considering other options to raise capital.
Lightspeed China Partners closes new opportunity fund at $1.5bn. (FS)
Lightspeed China Partners, a China-focused venture capital firm, closed a new fund at $1.5bn. Lightspeed Opportunity Fund will be established as a new fund vehicle to back companies in every region where the fund has a presence.
The fund will invest in breakout companies across the markets that the multi-stage venture capital firm operates in, including China, India, Israel, Europe and Southeast Asia.
Keppel Capital's Asia Infrastructure Fund hits the second close at $570m. (FS)
Keppel Capital's Keppel Asia Infrastructure Fund achieved its second close with a total of $570m in commitments, including planned investments from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
"The momentum of the Keppel Asia Infrastructure Fund and its ability to attract quality investors are testament to the strength of value propositions. The fund is uniquely positioned to invest in critical infrastructure assets which provide essential services in good and bad times," Christina Tan, Keppel Capital CEO.
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