Twitter shareholders approved billionaire Elon Musk’s proposed $44bn buyout, paving the way for a trial next month to determine the disputed deal’s fate.
A majority of Twitter shareholders voted in favor of accepting Musk’s $54.2-a-share offer to acquire the social-networking company, according to a preliminary vote count read. Musk made the bid in April and has since sought to rescind it. Twitter’s board - along with two prominent advisory firms - had encouraged investors to ratify the deal.
While shareholder approval was required to finalize the deal, its consummation is far from a sure thing. Musk in July said he was canceling the agreement, claiming that Twitter misled him about the size of the company’s user base and the number of bots and spam accounts. Twitter denies those accusations, and sued Musk in a Delaware court to force him to complete the acquisition. Musk then counter-sued the company, Bloomberg reported.
Twitter is advised by Allen & Company, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Joele Frank. Financial advisors to Twitter are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. Elon Musk is advised by Bank of America, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, McDermott Will & Emery, Quinn Emanuel, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Debt financing is provided by BNP Paribas, Bank of America, Barclays, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho Securities, Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale.
Searchlight Capital-backed Gato Investments, an asset manager, completed the acquisition of Hemisphere Media, a Spanish-language media company, for $144m.
"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Gato, which we believe is the right path forward for our organization and delivers immediate value and certainty to stockholders. We have worked tirelessly to create an extraordinary portfolio of assets, and this transaction is a direct reflection of the quality of our networks, growing audience, and premium news and entertainment outlets. As a private company, and with the support of Gato, we will have the ability to make long-term investments in content and innovation that will best serve Hemisphere's audiences," Alan Sokol, Hemisphere CEO.
Hemisphere Media was advised by Moelis & Co, PJT Partners, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Edelman. Financial advisors were advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Shearman & Sterling. Searchlight Capital was advised by Latham & Watkins. Gato Investments was advised by Covington & Burling.
AppLovin, a mobile technology company, terminated the $17.5bn acquisition of Unity, a video game software maker.
AppLovin believes by focusing on enhancements and making the right investments now, it will be poised to emerge from the current market volatility in an even stronger position.
"Following careful consideration, AppLovin concluded that its path as the independent market leader is better for its stockholders and other stakeholders. AppLovin will move forward with the intention of continuing to gain market share and expand its platform," AppLovin.
FTV Capital, a private equity firm, completed an $146m investment in Patra, a technology-enabled services company for the insurance industry.
"We are excited to partner with FTV Capital as we enter our next phase of growth. FTV's extensive knowledge of the insurance ecosystem and strong network of global relationships within the broader financial services space will complement our existing capabilities and help us drive additional value for our customers to further penetrate our target markets. FTV has proven itself to be a foremost leader in tech-enabled services with recent investments such as Lean Solutions Group, LogicSource and DataArt. Additionally, the FTV team's prior experience partnering with leading platforms like EXL, Globant and others provides a unique vantage from which to support our success going forward. We look forward to introducing new products and services for our customers, continuing our mission of bringing innovative and value-oriented services to the insurance marketplace," John Simpson, Patra Founder and CEO.
Patra was advised by Waller Helms Advisors and Locke Lord. FTV Capital was advised by Lincoln International, Oliver Wyman, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Prosek Partners and RSM International.
Audax Private Equity, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire DISA Global Solutions, tech-enabled provider of employee screening, compliance, and workplace health & safety solutions from Court Square Capital, an investment company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Audax as we enter an exciting new chapter in our history. This investment will help DISA accelerate growth and expand its employee screening, compliance, and workplace health & safety solutions offerings to customers. Partnering with Audax will enhance our ability to continue doing what we do best – providing trusted solutions to our clients,” John Peterson, DISA CEO.
Disa Global is advised by Piper Sandler, Stifel and Dechert. Audax Private Equity is advised by Harris Williams & Co, Ropes & Gray and FGS Global.
Waste Management National Services, a waste management services provider, agreed to acquire the US business of Avangard Innovative, an environmental services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"WM's controlling interest in Natura PCR positions us to grow and scale rapidly in the emerging PCR space. WM's core material supply capabilities, with the head start and knowledge provided by Avangard's U.S. business, will help Natura PCR quickly deliver circular options to WM's customers as an important component of our continued growth strategy in recycling," Jim Fish, WM President and CEO.
WM is advised by Goldman Sachs and Locke Lord. Avangard Innovative is advised by Seale & Associates and Vinson & Elkins.
Atlas Arteria, a global owner, operator and developer of toll roads, agreed to acquire Chicago Skyway, a toll road, from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, a private equity firm, and OMERS Infrastructure, an investment company, for $2bn.
“We have maintained OMERS stake in SCC for over five years, during which time the company has proved to be a strong and resilient asset that plays a key role in keeping Chicago connected and mobile. We would like to thank all the stakeholders we have worked with, and wish Skyway’s staff, management and new investors well as the company enters its next phase,” Gisele Everett, OMERS Infrastructure Senior Managing Director and Head of Americas.
Atlas Arteria is advised by UBS, Nightingale Communications and RBC Capital Markets.
Vision Ridge Partners, a private equity firm, led a $1bn funding round in TeraWatt, a company powering electrified fleets with the most reliable network of charging centers, with participation from Keyframe Capital and Cyrus Capital.
“Fleets are electrifying faster than ever, and we have been hard at work planning, building charging centers, and scaling up to make this transition easier for fleets. We are thrilled to receive this additional capital commitment from Keyframe Capital and Cyrus Capital, along with new support from Vision Ridge, which is well-recognized for its track record of investing in and growing EV charging platforms. We look forward to continuing to build on our market position, leveraging their collective investment to move even faster in providing solutions for the rapidly growing category of EV charging," Neha Palmer, TeraWatt Co-Founder and CEO.
TeraWatt was advised by Antenna Group. Keyframe was advised by Technica Communications. Vision Ridge was advised by Gasthalter & Co.
RTC Partners-backed Ardurra Group, a full-service engineering firm based in Boise, completed the acquisition of T-O Engineers, a civil engineering company specializing in planning, project design, and land surveying services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“T-O Engineers share a joint vision in helping our clients achieve success, improve our communities, and provide opportunities for our employees. We are thrilled to welcome them to Team Ardurra,” Ernesto Aguilar, Ardurra President & CEO.
T-O Engineers was advised by Morrissey Goodale. Ardurra Group was advised by Greenberg Traurig.
Fitch Group, a financial information services provider, agreed to acquire dv01, a data and analytics provider to the structured finance market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This acquisition marks a milestone for dv01 and signals a new era for the company. Fitch's resources will strengthen our position as a leading data intelligence company in structured finance, allowing us to deepen our footprint in current asset classes, develop new products and ultimately expand into new markets," Perry Rahbar, dv01 CEO.
dv01 is advised by Jefferies & Company and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian.
Avista Capital Partners-backed eMolecules, a chemistry search-and-fulfillment platform for early drug discovery research, completed the acquisition of specialty chemical manufacturers Frontier Scientific and Frontier Agricultural Sciences. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are truly excited to welcome the FSI and FAS teams into the eMolecules family. Our shared dedication to providing outstanding customer service and delivering specialized solutions that simplify the lives of chemistry researchers were the primary drivers behind this combination. We have worked with Frontier for many years and have been impressed and enthused by the talent that will now be joining and complementing our growing team," Niko Gubernator, eMolecules CEO and President.
The Riverside Company, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Assisted Living Locators, a franchisor of senior living advisory and placement services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to add Assisted Living Locators to the Executive Home Care platform. This combination extends the business into senior living advisory and placement services, which are highly complementary to in-home care services. Assisted Living Locators has a fantastic reputation and is positioned for strong growth, led by an exceptional management team," Loren Schlachet, Riverside Managing Partner.
New Story, a leading provider of special education services, completed the acquisition of K-12 special education schools Rebecca School and Aaron School. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The Rebecca School and Aaron School share New Story's core mission, vision, and values. I am thrilled to partner with the exceptional leadership at these leading academic institutions because of their track record and commitment to quality services," Jon Bicknell, New Story CEO.
Rebecca School and Aaron School were advised by DC Advisory.
The Riverside Company, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Jupiter Life Science Consulting, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Jupiter provides Red Nucleus with immediate quality, scale and deep expertise in one of the fastest growing verticals in pharma services and materially strengthens the platform by adding market access and end-to-end commercialization solutions. During our partnership, we will continue to scale the combined company for growth and invest further in commercialization-focused service and product offerings," Peter Tsang, Riverside Co-CIO.
Antero Midstream, a gas gathering company, to acquire Marcellus Shale gas gathering and compression assets from Crestwood Equity Partners, a private equity firm, for $205m.
"Today's bolt-on acquisition provides significant synergies that drive attractive economics and immediate Free Cash Flow accretion to Antero Midstream. The acquisition is consistent with Antero Midstream's strategy of investing in infrastructure in the Marcellus, the lowest cost shale play, for high visibility customers, particularly Antero Resources. Importantly, the assets include underutilized gathering and compression capacity for capital efficient development from both Antero Resources and other third parties," Paul Rady, Antero Midstream Chairman and CEO.
BP, an oil and gas giant, agreed to acquire EDF Energy Services, an energy distribution company, from Electricite de France, an energy company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to welcome the team to bp. This is exactly the type of high calibre business that will help drive bp's transformation, giving more customers the secure, affordable and lower carbon energy they want while creating value for our shareholders," Dave Lawler, BP America Chairman and President.
Volaris Group, a software holding company, completed the acquisition of Hitachi ID Systems, an identity and access management company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Over the past few years, as executives have broadened their security perimeters to global workforces, hackers and other malicious actors have intensified attacks. CISOs need a technology partner with a stable and long-term vision to help mitigate these threats. Volaris brings expertise and resources to Bravura Security to help position us for the next phase in our mission to make businesses more secure," Nick Brown, Hitachi ID Systems CEO.
Southfield Capital-backed Protos Security, a technology-enabled security services company, completed the acquisition of MG Security Services, a security services company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited for our new partnership with Protos. The combination of our tenured management team and extensive experience in law enforcement, including NYPD and FBI, will provide enhanced service offerings to clients. Protos shares our vision to create an industry-leading security services firm through a wide range of high-quality solutions. We look forward to this alignment and to better serving our customers," Manny Gomez, MG Security Services Founder and President.
KKR makes fund available to individual investors through blockchain. (FS)
KKR has made a major move in allowing individuals access to its private equity funds by making one of its vehicles available to backers through a public blockchain.
The buyout firm is partnering with digital-assets specialist Securitize, which will tokenize an interest in the second iteration of KKR’s Health Care Strategic Growth Fund and make it available on the Avalanche public blockchain.
A tokenized fund will allow individuals to invest smaller amounts than would be required of institutions and provide a smoother process for monitoring transactions and vetting investors through Securtize’s digitized onboarding process, as well as greater potential for liquidity.
Qualified purchasers - generally those with at least $5m in investible assets - who create a digital wallet and sign up with Securitize will be able to invest in the KKR fund via what will effectively be a tokenized feeder fund. After a year of holding the security, investors will be able to sell it to other qualified individuals on a secondary market managed by a unit of Securitize, WSJ reported.
Cove Communities nears a $1bn deal for Blair Group.
Cove Communities, an owner of RV resorts, manufactured-housing locations and mobile-home parks, is in talks to acquire Blair Group, a real estate developer based in Florida, Bloombergreported.
The companies are in discussions regarding a transaction that values Blair at $1bn or more.
Amancio Ortega bets $700m in move into US logistics.
Zara founder Amancio Ortega has spent over $700 million in recent weeks on a series of logistics acquisitions, in what’s shaping up to be one of the biggest bets yet by the Spanish textile tycoon, Bloombergreported.
Ortega family investment company Pontegadea bought five logistics centers in the US states of Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas from Realty Income for about $722m.
Bessemer Venture Partners closes $4.6bn across two new funds, expands to growth-focused private equity. (FS)
Venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners has closed $4.6bn in new capital across two funds to back growth stage startups in India and globally, CNBCreported.
The new capital across two funds — $3.85bn for its 12th flagship fund, BVP XII, and $780m for its fresh BVP Forge Fund — will allow the VC firm to back entrepreneurs and management teams across all stages of growth, regardless of maturity or structure.
Avance closes inaugural fund with more than $1bn in capital commitments. (FS)
Avance, a private equity firm that invests in founder-owned, middle market businesses in the Services, Technology and Consumer sectors, has held the final closing of its inaugural fund, Avance Investment Partners, and affiliated vehicles, with aggregate capital commitments of approximately $1.1bn, significantly above the original target of $500m.
The fund received strong support from a diverse range of high-quality institutional investors, including pension plans, insurance companies, foundations and fund of funds, as well as industry executives and the general partner.
SER Capital Partners closes debut fund, raises $475m.
SER Capital Partners, a private investment firm dedicated to sustainability, announced the final closing of its SER Capital Partners I, and affiliated vehicles.
SER raised a total of $475m in support of its strategy to meaningfully capitalize middle-market businesses and infrastructure assets. SER’s inaugural fundraise exceeded its stated target with the support of aligned and well-capitalized limited partners that include a diverse group of leading endowments, state pensions, insurers, health systems and family offices.
Lazard hires Evercore’s Saparamadu to boost industrials group. (People)
Lazard has hired a managing director from Evercore to bolster the publicly traded boutique financial advisory firm’s industrial group, Bloombergreported.
Shawn Saparamadu, who will be based in New York, will work to increase Lazard’s coverage within diversified industrials, advising corporate and financial sponsor clients on mergers and acquisitions and capital market transactions.
Parker-Hannifin, announced it has completed its acquisition of Meggitt, a British international company specialising in components and sub-systems for the aerospace industry, for c. $8.8bn.
“We are excited to have reached the closing of what is a very compelling strategic and cultural combination. Meggitt’s complementary product portfolio and geographic footprint, as well as its proprietary and differentiated technologies, will significantly enhance Parker’s capabilities, positioning us to provide a broader suite of solutions for aircraft and aeroengine components and systems. This acquisition continues the transformation of Parker’s portfolio with greater exposure to longer cycle, more resilient businesses that are well positioned for secular growth trends,” Tom Williams, Parker Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Meggitt was advised by Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Rothschild & Co, Slaughter & May and FTI Consulting. Parker Hannifin was advised by Citigroup, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Jones Day an Brunswick Group. Debt financing was provided by Citigroup. Citigroup was advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges.
AmerisourceBergen, a provider of drug distribution and consulting services provider, agreed to acquire PharmaLex, a provider of specialized services for the pharma, biotech and medtech industries, from AUCTUS Capital Partners, a private equity firm, for €1.28bn ($1.29bn).
“The strategic acquisition of PharmaLex will expand our global platform of biopharma services, further advancing the strategy we detailed at our recent Investor Day. AmerisourceBergen is committed to building on our leadership in specialty services through a continued focus on innovation and partnerships, and by acquiring PharmaLex, we will be able to further enhance our value proposition to pharmaceutical manufacturers, from emerging biotechs to global biopharmaceutical leaders. We look forward to welcoming the PharmaLex team to create healthier futures with AmerisourceBergen," Steven H. Collis, AmerisourceBergen Chairman, President & CEO.
PharmaLex is advised by Harris Williams & Co, Noerr and emnay Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Florian Aigner. AmerisourceBergen is advised by Evercore, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Sidley Austin.
Wise Equity, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in AlmaCrawler, a manufacturer for the innovative and unique range of tracked aerial platforms. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Thanks to a deep knowledge of the market, a growth strategy focused on product quality and innovation, and a strong, young team with exceptional qualities, our group has achieved important results in just a few years. Now it is the time to consolidate what has been achieved so far, strengthen the management structure and accelerate growth also by evaluating opportunities for future acquisitions. For this reason, we have joined forces with Wise Equity, a partner that has already gone through many successful acquisition projects in adjactent sectors, enabling their portfolio companies to achieve important growth targets,” Andrea Artoni, Almac Founder and CEO.
AlmaCrawler was advised by Banca Akros and Banco BPM. Wise Equity was advised by Deloitte, Simmons & Simmons, Close to Media and Studio Spada Partners.
Stratasys-backed MakerBot, a desktop 3D printing firm, completed the merger with Ultimaker, a 3D printer-manufacturing company based in the Netherlands. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"With the completion of the merger behind us, we can now focus on integrating the two businesses further and begin creating significant value for customers with leading 3D printing solutions. During the next few months, I look forward to helping the teams get started and take maximum advantage of the newly afforded opportunities," Jürgen von Hollen, Ultimaker CEO.
Ultimaker was advised by Allen & Overy. Stratasys was advised by Stifel, Cooley and Incus Media.
Ara Partners-backed Repeats Group, a pan-European plastics recycling platform, completed an investment in Polimero, a producer of recycled LDPE located in northern Italy. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Polimero has a great reputation in the industry as an important player in the LDPE recycling environment in northern Italy. We see significant opportunity for Polimero to further penetrate the Italian market by providing its clients with higher quality recycled resin. We are delighted that Simonetta and her team are joining Repeats and look forward to building on their success to date," Greg Rung, Repeats CEO.
Ara Partners was advised by Gasthalter & Co.
PIF to build a $412m stake in Almosafer Travel & Tourism. (FS)
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is seeking to build $412m stake in a local travel and tourism firm as part of efforts to diversify its investments,Bloomberg reported.
The Public Investment Fund signed a pact to acquire a 30% stake in Almosafer Travel & Tourism, a unit of Riyadh-listed Seera Group. The investment of $412m includes a $103m earn-out amount.
Greece sets a new bid deadline for Alexandroupolis port.
Greece has set September 22 as the new deadline for binding bids for a majority stake in the northern port of Alexandroupolis, Reutersreported.
Greece's privatisation agency had previously set a deadline of July 29 for bids to take a 67% stake in the port. The deadline was moved after one potential bidder requested more time.
Intel lowers target for Mobileye, aiming for a $30bn IPO.
Intel is scaling back expectations for its Mobileye initial public offering in the face of a broader stock slump and could delay the share sale until next year if conditions don’t improve, Bloomberg reported.
The company expects the IPO to value the self-driving technology business at as much as $30bn - less than initially hoped. The original plan was to offer the stock around the middle of 2022, and Reuters and others reported potential valuations of more than $50bn.
Alghanim Industries weighs $1bn IPO.
Alghanim Industries, one of the largest privately-owned firms in Kuwait, is seeking to raise about $1bn from a potential initial public offering, Bloombergreported.
The family-run conglomerate, which traces its roots back more than 100 years, is working with banks including Credit Suisse on the possible listing. Alghanim is in talks with other regional and international banks about roles on any IPO.
Salik’s $817m IPO covered within hours.
Investors snapped up all of the shares on offer in Dubai’s road-toll operator within hours of the IPO opening, indicating that demand for Middle Eastern listings remains strong, Bloombergreported.
Dubai is looking to raise $817m in the initial public offering of Salik, the third share sale in the emirate this year. The city’s government is selling 1.5bn shares, or a 20% stake, at $0.54 apiece, giving the company an implied market capitalization of $4.1bn.
EQT’s Marc Brown is looking for ‘IPO stars’ after closing €2.4bn growth fund. (FS)
EQT announces the final close of EQT Growth above its €2bn ($2,02bn) target, raising €2.2bn ($2,26bn) in fee-generating assets under management and total commitments of €2.4bn ($2,48bn). As the largest first-time growth fund based in Europe, the raise underlines the strong investor demand for EQT Growth’s thematic investment strategy and active approach to unleashing sustainable growth in Europe and Israel’s leading technology companies.
The strategy seeks to invest around $50m to $202m, backing strong management teams of companies supported by secular macro trends primarily within four tech sub-sectors: enterprise, con/prosumer, health, and climate.
Northzone raises €1bn. (FS)
Nordic venture capital firm Northzone said it had raised more than €1bn ($1,01bn), one of the largest such funding rounds in Europe this year.
The firm, which has funded companies such as Spotify, Klarna and Personio, plans to use money from its 10th fundraising to back startups from seed stage through to initial public offering, Reutersreported.
Energy Impact Partners launches in Europe with €390m to accelerate the push towards net zero. (FS)
Energy Impact Partners, a global venture capital firm supporting the transition to a sustainable future, announced its first global expansion with the launch of its European Fund, targeting mission-driven companies advancing the net zero carbon economy.
EIP has $395m to deploy in European investments to accelerate the growth of innovative technologies which have the potential to drive the transition towards net zero.
SWEN Capital Partners holds final close of Territoires Innovants 3 fund. (FS)
SWEN Capital Partners, a specialist in responsible private equity investments, has held the final close for the third vintage of its Innovative Territories fund range, dedicated to supporting growing French SME and mid-market firms.
Boasting $152m of investment capacity, this vehicle is consistent with prior vintages and will focus on financing in regional France, on innovation and on innovative management.
Bayer begins search for new CEO. (People)
Bayer has quietly started the search for a successor to Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann, raising the prospect of an early departure, Bloombergreported.
Chairman Norbert Winkeljohann is fielding internal and external contenders with the goal of presenting a new candidate by the next annual shareholder meeting in April.
Link Fund Solutions, which managed the collapsed LF Woodford Equity Income Fund, could be forced to pay up to $358m in redress, Britain's Financial Conduct Authority.
The FCA was responding to news that Dye and Durham is proposing to take over LFS and six other companies in the Australian share registry firm Link Group, all authorised by the UK financial watchdog.
Dye & Durham and Link last week received approval from the Australian competition regulator for the buyout, putting an end to a nine-month long acquisition saga that saw multiple offers and rival bidders vying for Link's stake in online property settlement firm PEXA Group, Reutersreported.
Link Group is advised by Macquarie Group, UBS, Herbert Smith Freehills and GRACosway. Dye & Durham is advised by Barrenjoey Capital Partners, Canaccord Genuity, Clayton Utz, DLA Piper, Dentons and LodeRock Advisors. Debt financing is provided by Ares Capital, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
KKR indicated that it won't be improving the terms of an alternative takeover proposal for the hospital chain operator Ramsay Health Care, Bloombergreported.
KKR has been in talks with Ramsay, which operates a network of private hospitals across Australia and Europe, since April to come up with a binding agreement following the indicative $21bn offer for the company.
Last month, Ramsay confirmed that the KKR consortium had withdrawn its all-cash bid for the hospital networks, while the board deemed an alternative cash-and-share proposal by the group inferior, effectively killing any deal unless the group put forward a higher cash-and-share proposal.
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