Hostess Brands, an American bakery company, agreed to acquire Voortman Cookies, a manufacturer of premium, branded wafers as well as sugar-free and specialty cookies, from private equity firm Swander Pace Capital for $320m.
"Voortman is a leading brand with a well-defined consumer position that complements and extends the growing Hostess portfolio into the growing cookie and better-for-you sweet snacking categories with meaningful runway for future growth," Andy Callahan, Hostess President and Chief Executive Officer.
Voortman Cookies is advised by Houlihan Lokey and Stikeman Elliott. Hostess Brands is advised by Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, ICR and LAK Public Relations.
The UK's competition watchdog launched an investigation into Google's $2.6bn acquisition of Looker, a big-data analytics company. The Competition and Markets Authority said that it was considering whether the e-commerce giant's investment might constitute a merger, and whether there could be "a substantial lessening of competition" within the United Kingdom as a result.
Looker Data Sciences is advised by Qatalyst Partners and Cooley. Google is advised by Lazard and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Lazard is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Zijin Mining Group, a mining company specializing in gold, copper, zinc, and other mineral resource exploration and development, is set to acquire Continental Gold, a large scale gold mining company in Colombia, for $1bn. The transaction is subject to shareholder approval and the receipt of certain regulatory, court and stock exchange approvals and other closing conditions customary in transactions of this nature.
"We have been greatly impressed by Continental’s focus on safe, efficient and sustainable mining practices which closely align with Zijin’s approach to mining and development operations. We look forward to working closely with stakeholders and local communities in Colombia to deliver a world-class operation that will benefit the regional economy," Chen Jinghe, Zijin Chairman.
Continental Gold is advised by Cormark Securities, Maxit Capital, Cassels Brock & Blackwell and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin. Zijin is advised by Credit Suisse and McCarthy Tetrault.
Valley National Bancorp, a regional bank with approximately $32.5bn in assets, completed its acquisition of Oritani Financial, the holding company for Oritani Bank, a New Jersey state-chartered bank, for $740m.
"We are thrilled about this combination with Valley. The infrastructure that has been assembled at Valley over the past few years will enable our customers to access a substantial product offering while still receiving the local decision making and the exceptional service they have become accustomed to at Oritani," Kevin Lynch, Oritani Chairman, President & CEO.
Oritani was advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Luse Gorman. Valley National was advised by JP Morgan and Day Pitney. JP Morgan was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
SS&C Technologies, a global provider of investment and financial services and software for the financial services and healthcare industries, completed the acquisition of Algorithmics assets from IBM, an American multinational information technology company. Algorithmics' solutions deliver the risk analytics clients need to address the impact of business and regulatory changes. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The companies we serve face a rapid pace of regulatory change and increasing need for integrated real-time and predictive analytics. The addition of Algorithmics enables us to empower clients in the global financial services industry with innovative, cloud-based solutions and premium services to help them navigate enterprise risk successfully," Bill Stone, SS&C Technologies Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
HomeServe USA, a provider of home repair solutions, agreed to acquire Sunbelt Group’s ServLine business division, a National Rural Water Association affinity partner, that provides water and sewer service line protection programs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“ServLine’s unique business model will enhance what HomeServe can offer to our 700 municipal and utility water partners and their customers. By acquiring ServLine and its strong partnership with the National Rural Water Association, HomeServe will be able to provide even more customers a wider variety of solutions for their homes. The acquisition strengthens HomeServe’s position in the market as the leading provider of home repair solutions,” John Kitzie, HomeServe USA CEO.
Tech Data, an end-to-end technology distributor, completed the acquisition of DLT Solutions, a value-added reseller of software and hardware and professional services providers to the federal, state, and local governments as well as educational institutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This transaction represents an opportunity for DLT to expand its value proposition by aligning with a Fortune 100 company that brings broader vendor and partner relationships, financial strength, and a strong commitment to solutions aggregation. Government customers continue to look to new cloud and as-a-service delivery models requiring access to more technologies and partners to deliver them. The addition of DLT enables Tech Data to proactively develop opportunities, accelerate growth and simplify complexity for its channel partners serving the US public sector space," Art Richer, DLT CEO.
Textainer Group, one of the world's largest lessors of intermodal containers, agreed to acquire Leased Assets Pool Company, which owns a fleet of approximately 163k twenty-foot equivalent units of intermodal containers, for $192m.
"We are very pleased with this acquisition which is in line with our strategy of focusing on our core container leasing business and bottom line. This acquisition of a large and seasoned portfolio of containers we already manage allows us to allocate Capex which will generate immediate contribution to our bottom line while minimizing risks normally associated with external fleet purchases," Olivier Ghesquiere, Textainer Group President and Chief Executive Officer.
CVS Health, an American healthcare company, agreed to acquire IlliniCare Health Plan, a Medicaid health plans provider, from Centene, a diversified, multinational healthcare enterprise. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Expanding our Medicaid and Medicare Advantage presence in Illinois will allow us to serve more members with our proven holistic approach that addresses physical, behavioral and social determinants of care. We look forward to working with Centene on a seamless transition and developing a deeper relationship with the state and local providers," Karen S. Lynch, CVS Health Executive Vice President.
Ryan, a global tax services and software provider, agreed to acquire SALT Payroll Consultants, a state and federal payroll tax recovery firm, from Pinpoint Recovery Solutions, a provider of tax recovery service. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Payroll tax represents a significant expense for businesses worldwide. The experienced specialists of SALT Payroll Consultants will deliver Ryan clients added value and increased tax savings through a comprehensive suite of payroll tax recovery services. This acquisition represents another milestone in our strategic growth strategy to add and integrate additional tax talent and services that support our goal of becoming the leading global brand in tax,” G. Brint Ryan, Ryan Chairman and CEO.
Dyal raised $9bn to buy stakes in alternative asset managers. (FS)
New York-based Dyal Capital Partners, which owns stakes in private equity firms including Robert Smith's Vista Equity Partners, closed its latest fund on more than $9bn.
The fund is the largest ever raised for the investment strategy, surpassing the $5.3bn Dyal, a unit of Neuberger Berman Group, raised for its predecessor in 2016.
Silver Lake names Egon Durban and Greg Mondre as new Co-CEOs. (FS, People)
Private equity firm Silver Lake Partners elected Egon Durban and Greg Mondre as new Co-CEOs. The firm, which manages over $43bn in combined assets, said Durban and Mondre, who previously were Managing Partners, will assume their new positions immediately.
Just Eat shareholder Cat Rock Capital urged investors to back an all-share merger with Takeaway, unless Prosus lifts its offer from $6.3bn to $8.2bn.
Cat Rock, which has been vocal in its support of the Takeaway deal, said in a letter to other shareholders on Monday that Prosus had exaggerated the challenges facing Just Eat to justify its low price.
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. Prosus is advised by JP Morgan, Allen & Overy, and Finsbury Hering Schuppener. Debt financing to Prosus is offered by Investec.
Telia, a Swedish multinational telephone company, completed the acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting from Bonnier, a privately held Swedish media group, for $954m.
"We are convinced that this is a really good deal for Bonnier and for our companies. As a family-owned business, Bonnier has a clear long-term perspective and this divestment gives our remaining businesses a stronger financial foundation with the best possible conditions for the future," Carl-Johan Bonnier, Bonnier Chairman of the Board.
Bonnier was advised by Deloitte, SEB Corporate Finance and Roschier Attorneys. Telia was advised by Lazard, Stella, Castren & Snellman, Mannheimer Swartling and Brunswick Group.
Searchlight and TNR Investments completed the acquisition of a minority stake in B Communications, a publicly-traded holding company, headquartered in Israel, whose sole asset is a controlling interest in Israeli telecommunications provider Bezeq, from Internet Gold, a telecommunications-oriented holding company, for $183m.
"As an investment firm with significant experience in global communications, we are excited to partner with the existing stakeholders in both Bcom and Bezeq and to serve as a value-added and strategically-oriented investor that will enhance value for the companies and their customers over the long term. We have confidence in the management teams of both Bcom and Bezeq, and we look forward to lending our support to Bezeq's ongoing efforts to raise the quality of communications infrastructure and services in Israel, particularly around fiber and 5G, for the collective benefit of consumers and businesses, the Israeli communications market, the Israeli economy and the State of Israel," Darren Glatt, Searchlight Partner.
B Communications was advised by Radhan and Gissin & Co. Furher family was advised by Herzog Fox & Neeman. Searchlight was advised by Citigroup, RBC Capital Markets, Latham & Watkins, Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal, Shibolet & Co and Scherf Communications.
Boubyan Bank, a Kuwait Islamic bank, is in advanced talks to acquire Bank of London and The Middle East, an independent UK wholesale Sharia'a compliant bank and the largest Islamic bank in Europe, for $158m.
"We would like to note that no firm or binding offer has been made and therefore there can be no certainty at this stage that an offer will ultimately be made for BLME," Boubyan Bank.
BLME is advised by Peel Hunt and Travers Smith. Boubyan Bank is advised by Ernst & Young and Clifford Chance.
Arch Capital Group, a provider of insurance, reinsurance and mortgage insurance, completed its acquisition of Barbican Group Holdings, an insurance company, from funds managed by Carlson Capital, a multi-strategy, alternative asset management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of Barbican deepens Arch’s commitment to both Lloyd’s and the London market and provides our broker partners with a more comprehensive array of products and expertise. The Barbican team has built an innovative platform and valuable specialty businesses with excellent long-term prospects. We look forward to building an even more compelling combined value proposition in the near future,” Hugh Sturgess, Arch Insurance International President and CEO.
Arch Capital was advised by RBC Capital Markets and Womble Bond Dickinson. Barbican was advised by TigerRisk Capital Markets. Carlson was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
GTT Communications, a provider of cloud networking services and applications, completed $56m acquisition of KPN International, a telecommunications and IT provider.
“The great client base contributed by this acquisition, combined with a talented group of employees, strengthens GTT’s presence in Europe. We are pleased to welcome this blue-chip roster of clients from KPN International who can now access GTT’s expansive global network and comprehensive service portfolio, as we deliver on our purpose of connecting people across organizations, around the world and to every application in the cloud,” Rick Calder, GTT President and CEO.
GTT was advised by RooneyPartners and Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates. KPN was advised by Rothschild & Co.
Prometheus Group, a global provider of asset management operations and optimization software, agreed to acquire Roser ConSys, a provider of innovative plant shutdown, turnaround, and outages software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I'm thrilled to bring such an incredibly talented team into our company. Roser ConSys’ dedicated shutdown, turnaround, and outages expertise enable us to provide customers with an integrated suite of software and applications dedicated to ensuring that these critical events are handled safely and efficiently with minimal downtime," Eric Huang, Prometheus Group CEO.
Prometheus is advised by District Capital Partners and ClearComms Consultancy. Roser ConSys is advised by Rembrandt.
Voith Group, a global technology company, completed the acquisition of BTG Group, a multinational provider of integrated, highly specialized process solutions for the global pulp and paper industry, from Spectris, a supplier of precision instrumentation and controls, for €319m ($353m).
"BTG and Voith together have 250 years of technological experience in the global paper industry. This strategic step will bring many advantages for the entire industry. With BTG, we found an ideal match to complement our portfolio and get the chance to add a high-performing company with widely recognized expertise in the pulp and paper market. This helps us to expand our competitive position as a full-line supplier for the paper industry in the areas of consumables, instruments, services and software," Toralf Haag, Voith Group President and CEO.
Spectris was advised by Slaughter & May and FTI Consulting.
Frans Bonhomme, which distributes plastic pipes and fittings for building companies and public works departments in France, completed its acquisition of DMTP, a provider of concrete products, from Saint-Gobain, a French multinational corporation, for €70m ($79m).
Through this divestment, Saint-Gobain optimizes its portfolio of distribution businesses in France in order to focus on its strongest brands.
Baxter International, a global medical products company, agreed to acquire Seprafilm Adhesion Barrier, a medical device for adhesion prevention, and related assets from Sanofi, a French multinational pharmaceutical company, for $350m. The transaction is expected to close no later than the first quarter of 2020.
“Seprafilm will be a strong complement to our leading hemostat and sealant portfolio, helping us continue to advance the art of healing with optimized patient care in the operating room. While Seprafilm is clinically recognized among surgeons globally, we plan to provide commercial support for the product through our dedicated surgery salesforce and pursue opportunities for expansion in certain countries,” Wil Boren, Baxter’s Advanced Surgery General Manager.
STADA Arzneimittel, a global manufacturer of generic drugs and consumer healthcare products, agreed to acquire the pharmaceuticals unit of Horizon Capital-backed Biopharma, a Ukrainian pharmaceutical company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"STADA's acquisition of the pharmaceutical business of Biopharma is a logical step within STADA's European growth strategy. We will integrate Ukraine as soon as possible into our European organization," Steffen Wagner, STADA Head of European Markets.
Arlington Capital Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Firth Rixson Forgings, a provider of complex closed die forgings and forged discs and proprietary forward-and-backward extrusion produced shafts and cylinders, from Arconic, a company specializing in lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Going forward, the business will operate as part of Forged Solutions Group, which was formed in November 2019 by Arlington Capital as its aerospace forging platform.
“We are excited to partner with a veteran aerospace investor in Arlington Capital and the management team at Blaenavon to embark on the Company’s next chapter of growth. The combination of the two businesses and the creation of Forged Solutions Group creates a supplier with the available capacity of five manufacturing facilities, complementary and fully integrated manufacturing and testing capabilities, a broader product portfolio, and strong managerial expertise to better serve our customers,” Ben McIvor, Firth Rixson Forgings General Manager.
Clarivate Analytics, a provider of insights and analytics, agreed to acquire Darts-ip, a provider of case law data and analytics for intellectual property professionals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We continue to enhance our offerings and reinforce our position as a trusted global partner by delivering critical data and deep domain expertise to innovators everywhere. The acquisition of Darts-ip helps us deliver on that promise by giving customers access to a much wider range of IP solutions and analytics that help solve their most difficult challenges. This is the third recent IP acquisition by Clarivate, demonstrating our commitment to making significant investments in our data, analytics and platform,” Jeff Roy, Clarivate Analytics President, IP Group.
LVMH Moet Hennessy, a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, agreed to acquire Chateau d'Esclans, a wine producer in Provence, specializing in full-bodied, dry rosé wines. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Alix AM, Sacha Lichine's partner since 2008, cedes the entirety of its 50% ownership to Mort Hennessy while Sacha Lichine cedes 5% of his shares.
"I am thrilled by the alliance with Moët Hennessy and the ability, through the backing of this great group, to continue to develop the Château d'Esclans estate. Indeed, we will continue to please and delight our clients across the globe with our excellent Rosé de Provence wines. When I purchased Château d'Esclans in 2006, my aim was to produce a rosé wine in the spirit of the finest wines. Hence, together with the Château d'Esclans team, I created a portfolio of wine brands which are today well known in France and internationally and which are poised to continue growing strongly over the next several years," Sacha Lichine, Chateau d'Esclans President.
Saudi stock exchange limits Aramco index weighting with cap.
Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia's Tadawul introduced an equity index cap of 15%, which is set to address concerns over the weighting oil giant Saudi Aramco will have when it lists on the exchange. Aramco is expected to list 1.5% of its shares this month in a deal which could raise more than $25bn.
Aramco is expected to have an initial weight of close to 10% in the Tadawul all-share index. The cap would limit the risk of any security representing a large percentage of the index and becoming a major risk for the market, as well as limiting the index's correlation to the oil price.
"Any constituent whose index weight reaches or exceeds the threshold will be capped in accordance with the set limit," Tadawul.
David Montgomery leads race to buy JPI Media titles.
FT reported that David Montgomery emerged as the unexpected frontrunner in the race to buy The Scotsman, Yorkshire Post and other JPI Media titles.
Mr. Montgomery, formerly an editor of the defunct News of the World newspaper, announced plans in August to take a stake in British news with his takeover vehicle National World.
Branson to scrap plans of Virgin Atlantic's acquisition by Air France.
UK billionaire Richard Branson is closing in on an agreement to abandon the disposal of parts of Virgin Atlantic Airways to Air France-KLM Group. Branson will instead retain the control of the airlines as it resumes its expansion.
Branson currently holds a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways and an overall 51% holdings in the airlines. This move comes in the wake of the expansion of operations and the addition of new routes and aircraft by the Virgin Atlantic.
Pekao's new CEO set to analyze MBank deal.
Bank Pekao, a Polish state-controlled lender, pledged to stick to its strategy through next year after an upheaval in management, with the acting chief executive officer expressing "great interest" in considering a bid for MBank, Bloomberg reported.
ProSieben sees no value in merger with Mediaset.
ProSiebenSat.1, a European mass media company, sees no merit in a potential merger with top shareholder Mediaset, an Italian-based mass media company.
"I'm very skeptical with regard to a structural merger of our companies. It wouldn't be impossible but the modest synergies would not justify a merger, because implementation would be complex, lengthy and expensive," Max Conze, ProSieben Chief Executive.
Boursa Kuwait IPO oversubscribed more than 8.5 times.
Kuwait Stock Exchange's IPO was more than 8.5 times oversubscribed in the last stage of the company's privatization process. The Capital Market Authority confirmed that the capital wouldn't be increased, and the excess funds would be returned to the investors by December 29. The stake sale comes ahead of the potential inclusion in 2020 of Kuwaiti equities into the MSCI main emerging markets index, a move that could trigger billions of dollars of inflows from passive funds.
“The CMA has now completed the privatization of Boursa Kuwait. The 50% public offering was preceded by the successful sale of 44% of the company to strategic investors in February 2019. The remaining 6% is owned by Kuwait’s Public Institution for Social Security," CMA.
Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust, a Singapore-listed real estate investment trust, agreed to merge with Frasers Commercial Trust, also a real estate investment trust under the Frasers Property Group, for $1.1bn.
"The Enlarged REIT will have a broadened investment mandate to invest in a wider spectrum of asset classes across logistics, industrial, office, business park and commercial properties," joint announcement.
Frasers Commercial Trust is advised by Evercore and DBS Bank. Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deloitte and Newgate Communications.
Private equity firms Primavera Capital Group and FountainVest Partners completed the acquisition of a 25% stake in LBX Pharmacy, a discount pharmacy superstore chain in China, from EQT Partners for $517m.
"During EQT Greater China's joint ownership, LBX has captured the fast growth of the retail pharmacy sector in China through successful store openings and upgrades, margin improvement and acquisitions. We are grateful for Mr. XIE's leadership, the insightful contribution of the board members, and the management team's hard work," Martin Mok, EQT Partner.
Primavera Capital Group and FountainVest Partners were advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Accenture, a global professional services company, agreed to acquire Apis Group, a privately held Australian consultancy providing strategic advisory, digital design and delivery services to government organizations. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Apis Group’s extensive experience working with public service organisations complements Accenture’s established credentials across government. Apis Group’s talented team of professionals brings in-demand industry expertise and consulting skills that align with our offerings to government clients. This acquisition will bolster our position as partner of choice for government and health organisations, who will benefit from the deep specialist expertise of Apis combined with Accenture’s world-class digital transformation capabilities,” Louise May, Accenture’s Leade of Health & Public Service practice in Australia and New Zealand.
Carlyle Group to exit SBI Cards. (FS)
Carlyle Group is set to dispose of its stakes in SBI Cards and Payment Services, the credit card unit of India's biggest lender SBI bank. The deal is set to become the largest exit of a PE firm through an IPO in India.
SBI Cards filed for its IPO on November 27. The IPO is expected to be around $1.3bn and would see both SBI and Carlyle dump 4% to 6% stakes respectively in the entity. SBI holds a 74% stake in SBI Cards, while Carlyle owns 26%.
Pacific Energy raised $265m for the second solar fund. (FS)
Pacific Energy, a utility-scale renewable energy developer, completed the launch of its second solar investment fund, Fund II. The Fund II raised JPY29bn ($265m) in commitments from institutional investors.
Fund II will be comprised of five Japanese solar power plants totaling over 216 MWdc. Concurrent with the initial closing, Fund II completed the acquisition of its first solar plant, a 35MW project located in Tochigi Prefecture, and will acquire the remaining four solar plants next year.
"We are pleased to launch our second solar fund and with the opportunity to partner again with Japanese institutional investors. We truly believe in the asset class and look forward to forming additional investment vehicles to provide investors access to stable returns through an eco-friendly clean energy platform," Nate Franklin, Pacifico Chairman.
Pacifico is advised by Nomura Securities, Goldman Sachs Japan, and Baker McKenzie.
MBK Partners looking to raise $6.5bn for its fifth fund. (FS)
MBK Partners, a buyout firm led by a former Asia deal maker for Carlyle Group, is aiming to raise its largest fund ever. The Seoul-based firm set a $6.5bn hard cap for MBK Partners Fund V, according to a WSJ report.
India's Multiples raised $560m for the third India-dedicated PE fund. (FS)
Multiples Alternate Asset Management, an investment firm led by former ICICI Venture veteran Renuka Ramnath, raised $560m for its third India-focused PE fund. The fund would invest in financial services, consumer healthcare, and IT services.
The PE firm expects a hard cap of $750m to $800m at the closure, which is due in the next 4 to 5 months. The investors include India's sovereign wealth fund, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, CPPIB, and IFC, a member of the World Bank group.
J-STAR closes the fourth buyout fund at $433m. (FS)
J-STAR, a mid-market focused Japanese private equity firm held the closure of its fourth buyout fund at the hard cap of JPY48.5bn ($433m). The fund was launched in June, and followed its predecessor that raised $200m in 2016, tapping strong domestic demand among Japanese banks, insurance firms, fund of funds, and other corporations.
Since its founding in 2006, the firm has invested and/or supported more than 46 transactions in various industries such as consumer durables, services, healthcare, media, and manufacturing, Deal Street Asia reported.
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