The Federal Communications Commission stated that Charter Communications, an American telecommunications and mass media company, was abandoning its request to drop some merger conditions ahead of schedule as part of its 2016 tie-up with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, Reuters reported.
Last year, Charter sought approval by the FCC to end a prohibition on imposing data caps and usage-based pricing mechanisms as well as a requirement for Charter to offer to connect its Internet protocol network to any qualifying entity free of charge in what is known as interconnection agreements. The conditions will remain in effect until May 2023.
"In light of the ongoing severity of the global pandemic and its effects on our customers, we want to offer them the assurance that they will continue to benefit from unlimited access to broadband and the accompanying financial certainty it provides during these trying times, and therefore have withdrawn our petition," Charter Communications.
Bright House Networks was advised by UBS, Sabin Bermant & Gould and Sullivan & Cromwell. Time Warner Cable was advised by Allen & Company, Centerview Partners, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Latham & Watkins, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Charter Communications was advised by Goldman Sachs, LionTree Advisors, Kirkland & Ellis and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Collectors Universe, a provider of authentication and grading services, and the investor group led by Nat Turner, D1 Capital Partners and Cohen Private Ventures agreed to increase the offer price for Collectors Universe to $853m from $700m.
"This enhanced, 'best and final' offer recognizes the strong momentum in our business and provides certainty of value in an uncertain economic environment. While the Board has a high degree of confidence in management's plan, it also believes that there is a significant risk that the Company's recent growth rate will decline over time. For these reasons, the Board continues to believe that this transaction and the certainty it provides is in the best interest of shareholders," A.J. "Bert" Moyer, Collectors Universe Chairman.
Collectors Universe is advised by Houlihan Lokey, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Joele Frank and Shelton Group. Nat Turner, D1 Capital Partners and Cohen Private Ventures are advised by Allen & Company, Allen & Overy, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Sullivan & Cromwell and Gasthalter & Co.
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a private investment firm, agreed to acquire S&S Activewear, a wholesaler to the imprintable apparel and uniform market in the United States and Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to partner with a talented, entrepreneurial S&S team that shares our core values in a business we know and understand. We look forward to working together to achieve our vision for continued strong growth that creates exciting opportunities for employees, vendors and customers, as well as the local communities where they operate," Ken Giuriceo, CD&R Partner.
S&S Activewear is advised by Robert W Baird and McDermott Will & Emery. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Debevoise & Plimpton.
IG Group Holdings, the global online trading platform, agreed to acquire tastytrade, an online financial network, for $1bn.
"I am thrilled to welcome tastytrade to the IG Group family. This acquisition will materially expand and scale our business in the US and see us further diversify into the exciting high growth market of US retail options and futures, a market which is adjacent to IG's core retail trading skill set. The US market has more than 1.5m retail traders2 and is the largest derivatives market in the world," June Felix, IG
tastytrade is advised by Influence Consulting Group. IG Group is advised by Barclays, Fenchurch Advisory Partners, Jefferies & Company, Numis Securities and FTI Consulting.
AMCI Acquisition announced that the special meeting of its stockholders in connection with the business combination with Advent Technologies, an innovation-driven company in the fuel cell and hydrogen technology space, will be held on February 2, 2021.
The business combination will result in Advent Technologies becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMCI. Upon the closing of the transaction, the combined company will operate as Advent Technologies Holdings, and its common stock will be listed on the Nasdaq under new symbol "ADN." If the merger is approved by AMCI stockholders, AMCI anticipates closing the deal shortly after the special meeting.
Advent Technologies is advised by Cantor Fitzgerald and Ropes & Gray. AMCI is advised by Jefferies & Company, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole and Sloane & Company.
Vestar Capital Partners, a US middle-market private equity firm, completed the investment in Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods, a fast-growing brand specializing in plant-based frozen and refrigerated foods made from simple ingredients. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The US better-for-you market has never been stronger, and we are excited to partner with a company that has been at the forefront of this trend and knows the market intimately. Larry and Adam have done a tremendous job building the company and developing new products that speak to today's consumers – flexitarians, vegetarians, vegans and those who seek a healthier lifestyle. We look forward to partnering with the Praeger and Somberg families as well as the senior management team to strategically accelerate growth," Winston Song, Vestar Managing Director and Co-Head of Consumer.
Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods was advised by JP Morgan and Giannuzzi Lewendon. Vestar Capital Partners was advised by Piper Sandler, Kirkland & Ellis and Lambert & Co.
Eldorado, a gold and base metals producer, agreed to acquire QMX Gold, a Canadian based resource company, for $104m. The companies are working towards closing the transaction in late March / early April 2021.
"This transaction expands our position in the Abitibi camp and is consistent with our strategy of pursuing growth at Lamaque in Quebec, a high-quality jurisdiction. QMX's highly prospective land package is ideally located immediately adjacent to our current Lamaque operation and associated exploration projects in the heart of the Val d'Or gold district. Eldorado's growing financial flexibility will enable us to continue to identify and secure opportunities for prudent growth within our operating footprint," George Burns, Eldorado President and Chief Executive Officer.
QMX Gold is advised by Canaccord Genuity and Wildeboer Dellelce. Eldorado is advised by Trinity Advisors Corporation and Fasken.
Ridgemont Equity Partners, a middle-market private equity investor, agreed to invest in Softdocs, an enterprise content management software provider for the higher education and K-12 markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Today, educational institutions are interacting digitally at a level never before seen. These communities require the ability to seamlessly manage and share information with every stakeholder, whether on campus or online, prioritizing accessibility, security, and compliance," Anthony Cassano, Ridgemont Partner.
Softdocs is advised by Vista Point Advisors and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. Ridgemont Equity Partners is advised by Raymond James and Alston & Bird.
Integra LifeSciences, a global medical technology company, completed the acquisition of ACell, an innovative regenerative medicine company, for $400m.
"ACell expands our regenerative capabilities and is complementary to Integra's existing tissue technologies portfolio. The porcine UBM technology is a strong strategic fit with our human amniotic tissue and bovine-derived engineered collagen and acellular dermal matrices. The acquisition also supports our long-term growth and profitability strategy with a financial profile similar to Integra's tissue products," Peter Arduini, Integra LifeSciences President and CEO.
ACell was advised by Guggenheim Partners and Cooley. Integra LifeSciences was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.
Allied Universal, an American provider of security systems and services, agreed to acquire SecurAmerica, a security company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I have personally known Frank for over 20 years. He has accomplished so much in the security industry and to have an opportunity to bring SecurAmerica into Allied Universal is a huge personal achievement and a major strategic goal for the organization. SecurAmerica is a demonstrated leader in the security industry and their people and culture will fit perfectly into Allied Universal and our long-term organizational plans," Steve Jones, Allied Universal Chairman & CEO.
Allied Universal is advised by Vorticom Public Relations.
Boston Scientific, a global medical technology firm, agreed to acquire Preventice Solutions, a provider of mobile cardiac health solutions and services, for $1.2bn, comprising of an upfront cash payment of $925m, and an additional $300m in a potential commercial milestone payment. The acquisition is projected to close by mid-2021, subject to customary closing conditions.
"We are confident that by adding the broad technology portfolio and expertise of Preventice, our combined teams can continue to deliver rapid growth in these highly-attractive markets while also establishing an important adjacency to our core cardiac rhythm management and electrophysiology businesses," Scott Olson, Boston Scientific Senior Vice President and President of Rhythm Management.
National Convenience Distributors, a convenience store distributor, agreed to acquire Wustefeld Candy, a wholesale distributor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The past year was a challenging one for almost everyone in our industry. However, I am very pleased that our organization met those challenges and delivered on a record year for the company. Wustefeld is a great addition to NCD and we look forward to building upon what their management team has developed for generations," Ed Berro, National Convenience Distributors Chief Executive Officer.
DZS, a provider of telecommunications networking equipment, agreed to acquire Optelian, a provider of optical networking solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"After joining DZS in August of 2020, we established a playbook that began with the best talent, and quickly transitioned to technology, innovation and marquee customers around the world. The acquisition of Optelian will uniquely distinguish us from the traditional Edge Access Mobile and Broadband suppliers and accelerate our path forward with Tier 1 service providers in North America. I am pleased at the prospect of welcoming the Optelian employees to DZS, a team that will bring unique North America development and integration experience in the areas of ultra-high-speed coherent optics and environmentally hardened transport solutions," Charlie Vogt, DZS CEO.
Atos, a French multinational information technology service and consulting company, completed the acquisition of In Fidem, a Canada-based specialized cybersecurity consulting firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This strategic move will enable our customers to benefit from Atos' extensive expertise, global presence and its leading rankings in Managed Security Services. We're convinced that the combined capabilities of our portfolio and expertise with that of Atos' will bring added value to our clients. We look forward to the next steps in our journey together," Matthieu Chouinard, In Fidem CEO.
TopBuild, an installer and distributor of insulation and building material products in the United States, completed the acquisition of LCR Contractors, a fireproofing and insulation company serving the Texas markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to welcome LCR to our team including their almost 300-person installer base. This company is an excellent addition to TopBuild, enhancing our residential and heavy commercial presence and product offerings in the high growth states of Texas and Tennessee. LCR has strong relationships with general contractors and has worked on many major projects. Clay Spicer and his father Buddy, LCR's current owners, will remain with our company to focus on the continued growth of our business in this region," Robert Buck, TopBuild President and CEO.
Charter Next Generation weighs a $4bn sale. (FS)
The private equity owners of Charter Next Generation are considering a sale that could value the packaging company at more than $4bn.
CNG’s backers, Leonard Green & Partners and Oak Hill Capital Partners, are working with an adviser to explore strategic options for the company. The Milton, Wisconsin-based company generated about $300m in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization last year.
Payoneer in talks to go public via a SPAC merger. (FS)
Payoneer, an online payments specialist, is in talks to go public through a merger with FTAC Olympus Acquisition, a blank-check firm.
The special purpose acquisition company has begun talks to raise new equity to support a transaction that’s slated to value the combined entity at more than $2.5bn. As a deal isn’t finalized, it’s possible terms change or talks fall apart, Bloomberg reported.
CVC Capital weighs a $2bn sale of AOC. (FS)
CVC Capital Partners is in the early stage of evaluating options for AOC, a manufacturer of composite-resins, including a divestment for $2bn.
The buyout firm may seek a roughly 12x EBITDA multiple for the composite-resins business, which has an annual EBITDA of over $200m.
CSN Mineracao aims to raise $11.9bn in an IPO.
Brazilian miner CSN Mineracao aims to be valued at $11.9bn in an initial public offering to be launched this week, Reuters reported.
CSN Mineracao is controlled by steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional which plans to raise roughly $1bn by selling a stake in the miner.
Blackstone passes $2.8bn for its latest credit fund. (FS)
Blackstone Group closed on more than $2.8bn so far for a new vehicle that invests in mezzanine debt, an area of private credit that has boomed since the coronavirus pandemic struck, WSJ reported.
The firm disclosed its fundraising progress for Blackstone Capital Opportunities Fund IV in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The previous fund in the series, GSO Capital Opportunities Fund III, closed with $6.5bn in 2016.
Neuberger Berman launches a $208m closed-end fund. (FS)
Neuberger Berman Group introduced the NB Crossroads Private Markets Access Fund with an initial capital of $208m.
The closed-end fund, which received $34m from the firm's employees, will focus on direct equity investments in private companies and secondary investments in private equity funds. It also provides individual investors with access to co-investments.
Fort Point Capital closes fund II with $194m of committed capital. (FS)
Fort Point Capital, a private equity firm focused on investing in service-oriented companies in the lower middle market, completed fundraising for FPC Small Cap Fund II. FPC Small Cap Fund II, with $194m of commitments, exceeded its target of $175m.
The fund will enable Fort Point to continue its investment approach of partnering with management teams and entrepreneurs to build market-leading business-to-business services companies.
"We look forward to investing our new capital base in compelling risk-reward opportunities. We will continue our disciplined and systematic approach of investing in attractive sub-sectors and operationally focused post-investment value creation," Brooke Ablon, Fort Point Co-Founder and Partner.
The UK competition watchdog will investigate whether Virgin Media's proposed $38bn deal with telecoms operator O2 could lead to higher prices for mobile and broadband customers or poorer 5G connectivity for rival operators, FT reported.
The CMA highlighted two potential harm areas that could be triggered by the merger, including the impact on the market for "virtual" operators that use mobile networks such as O2's to offer services to consumers. Another area the CMA said it would examine was Virgin Media's supply of leased lines to mobile network operators. These connect mobile posts to the main telecoms grid and will become more important in the 5G era as huge amounts of mobile data are transported across the network.
Telefonica is advised by Deloitte, Citigroup, Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith Freehills. Liberty Global is advised by JP Morgan, LionTree Advisors, Allen & Overy, Ropes & Gray and Shearman & Sterling.
Outsourcing, a Japan-based company engaged in the provision of outsourcing services, completed the acquisition of CPL Resources, a human resources company based in Dublin, for $300m.
"We are pleased to be announcing this transaction today and believe it represents an excellent opportunity for both the company and its shareholders. The offer from Outsourcing acknowledges the quality of Cpl and the strength of its future prospects, both standalone and as part of Outsourcing. The terms of the proposed transaction represent an attractive premium in cash and crystallise the substantial long-term value potential of Cpl today," John Hennessy, CPL Chair.
CPL Resources was advised by Davy Corporate Finance, Rothschild & Co, Mason Hayes & Curran, William Fry and FTI Consulting. Outsourcing was advised by Nomura, McCann FitzGerald, Miura & Partners and Drury Porter Novelli.
Aker, a Norwegian holding company engaged in offshore fishing, construction and engineering, agreed to acquire a 75% stake in Mainstream Renewable Power, an independent renewable energy player, for €675m ($819m).
"We are delighted to have such a highly respected business as Aker Horizons on board, enabling Mainstream to materially accelerate its growth plans to deliver a global portfolio of wind and solar assets. We plan to bring 5.5 GW of renewable assets to financial close globally by 2023, which sets us firmly on track to becoming one of the world's first pure-play renewable energy majors," Mary Quaney, Mainstream Renewable Power CEO.
Aker is advised by DNB Bank, Green Giraffe, Nordea Bank, BAHR and Slaughter & May. Debt financing is provided by DNB Bank and Nordea Bank.
VINCI Immobilier, a concessions and contracting company, completed the acquisition of Urbat Promotion, a property developer that specializes in the construction of housing in the south of France. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Urbat Promotion is a successful operator in its area and, with its acquisition, VINCI Immobilier has attained a recognized brand in the affordable housing segment," VINCI Immobilier.
Brookfield, KKR bid for Aramco pipeline stake. (FS)
Brookfield Asset Management and KKR are among the top infrastructure investors weighing bids for a stake in Saudi Aramco's pipelines.
Apollo Global Management and China’s state-backed Silk Road Fund have also been studying whether to make offers. The stake sale could fetch Aramco around $10bn.
The world’s top oil producer has asked for expressions of interest and aims to receive non-binding offers next month. Aramco’s advisers are also gauging interest from other potential bidders including sovereign wealth fund China Investment.
Glovo CEO denies a sale to Delivery Hero.
Glovo, the Spanish food-delivery company, isn’t interested in combining with its acquisitive shareholder Delivery Hero and plans to work toward a public listing, Chief Executive Officer Oscar Pierre said.
“Delivery Hero is a super good partner. They know our dream is to stay independent, and they respect it. We still have a lot of work to do in terms of admin, finance and business, but it’s realistic to think we will do an IPO within the next three years," Oscar Pierre, Glovo CEO.
Investindustrial picked Morgan Stanley for $1.8bn Polynt-Reichhold sale. (FS)
Italian buyout fund Investindustrial picked Morgan Stanley to work on the sale of Polynt-Reichhold in a deal that could value the specialty chemicals firm at up to $1.8bn, Reuters reported.
Investindustrial, headed by Italian businessman and founder Andrea Bonomi, took indirect control of Polynt back in 2008 and then more than tripled its revenues with the Reichhold tie-up.
Triton prepares sale of Polygon. (FS)
Buyout group Triton is preparing the sale of its damage restoration services firm Polygon in a deal worth up to $1.2bn, Reuters reported.
The private equity group is working with Jefferies on the potential divestiture, which is expected to launch in the first half of 2021. Triton is one of a swathe of private equity assets coming to market as investors seek to take advantage of high equity valuations. In 2020, private equity deals accounted for a record 35% of all German mergers and acquisitions activity.
InPost shareholders seek up to $3.9bn in Amsterdam IPO. (FS)
InPost shareholders are seeking to raise as much as $3.9bn in an initial public offering in Amsterdam, as the Polish postal locker provider’s business is bolstered by an online shopping boom set off by coronavirus-induced lockdowns, Bloomberg reported.
InPost is marketing 175m existing shares at $11.5 to $13.2 apiece. The sale would value the company, which isn’t raising any money in the offering, at $5.7bn to $6.6bn. Underwriters gathered enough investor demand to cover the full deal throughout the price range soon after opening up the IPO order book.
Selling shareholders include Advent International, Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund and PZU Fundusz. The offer period is expected to run through January 28, with trading scheduled to begin on Euronext Amsterdam the following day.
TransferWise picks banks to spearhead its IPO.
TransferWise, the British-based payments group, picked two of Wall Street's biggest players to spearhead a bumper flotation that could be among the most prestigious in a bulging pipeline of London stock market debutants. TransferWise appointed Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as joint global co-ordinators for its long-awaited initial public offering.
The listing is expected to take place in London later this year, although details including its timing and venue have yet to be finalized. A float will cement TransferWise's status as one of the most valuable tech companies ever created in the UK, with analysts suggesting that it is likely to be worth well in excess of the $5bn valuation at which it sold a stake last summer.
Mytheresa raises $407m at a US IPO.
Munich-based luxury fashion platform Mytheresa raised $407m in its US initial public offering, valuing the e-commerce site at $2.2bn. The company said its offering of 15.6m American depositary shares is priced at $26 per ADS, up from its previously planned range of $16 to $18 apiece.
The company will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “MYTE” and will begin trading on today, Reuters reported.
Quaero Capital reaches $727m hardcap for its second PE infrastructure fund. (FS)
Quaero Capital completed fundraising for Quaero European Infrastructure Fund II (QEIF II) at its $727m hardcap, exceeding the initial target of $606m set at its launch in July 2019. The management company is also expecting additional investment capacity given the strong interest from investors for co-investment opportunities.
"This success recognizes the renewed trust from QEIF’s investors as well as the support of new investors, in particular in Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg. These investors were convinced by the quality of the first fund, the assets already in the QEIF II portfolio and more generally by the performance of the infrastructure asset class," Sébastien Bourget, Quaero Capital Managing Partner.
Ex-Greene King boss raises $273m from PE-firm to invest in struggling pub companies. (FS)
Former boss of Greene King raised $273m to invest in Britain’s ailing pubs industry, betting on the prospects of a post-pandemic recovery for the sector. Rooney Anand, who spent nearly 15 years as chief executive of one of Britain’s biggest pub operators, is to embark on a series of acquisitions in the coming months.
Mr Anand is unlikely to pursue large corporate takeovers in the near term, but would focus on smaller acquisitions with scope for improving operational performance, Sky News reported.
Indian stock exchanges have cleared Reliance Industries' $3.4bn acquisition of Future Group's retial assets.
Indian exchanges said they had no objection or adverse observation on the deal, saying they had reached the decision after communicating with India’s markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
SEBI has advised that Future should share various details of company’s ongoing litigation with Amazon when it approaches India’s National Company Law Tribunal, which also needs to sign off on the deal.
Reliance is advised by Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Citigroup, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Khaitan & Co, and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas.
Ocean Link and Sequoia Capital China, two private equity firms, offered to acquire Zhejiang New Century Hotel Management, a hotel management firm, for $670m. The offer is subject to approvals by shareholders and China's regulators.
The private equity firms will commit a total of $194m to the offer, with Sequoia China contributing 68% of the fund and the rest comes from Ocean Link.
Ocean Link and Sequoia are advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Logos Group, a logistics property group, agreed to acquire a 60% stake in Global Vision Logistics, a realty firm, from Aspen Group, an integrated design-build firm, for $73m.
"We are pleased to have Logos as a partner for the project. The logistics and warehousing industry is one of the fastest-growing industries due to the rise in demand from e-commerce business," Dato Murly, Aspen Group President and CEO.
BYD raises $3.9bn in an upsized sale.
BYD, a Chinese electric-vehicle manufacturer backed by Warren Buffett, raised $3.9bn from an upsized sale of its Hong Kong-listed shares, capitalizing on rising demand for new-energy vehicles and a blistering stock rally, Bloomberg reported.
The company agreed to sell 133m shares at $29 each, representing a discount of 7.8% to closing price of $31.5. The offering comes after BYD’s shares have surged more than 400% in the last 12 months in Hong Kong, part of a broader rally in EV maker stocks buoyed by strong investor expectations for the industry’s growth.
Dentsu considers a sale of Tokyo headquarters in a $3bn mega deal. (RE)
Dentsu Group is reportedly mulling the sale of its Tokyo headquarters worth approximately $3bn, which would mark one of the largest property sales ever in Japan.
The group joins a string of Japanese companies that are reevaluating what to do with their Tokyo headquarters, as the coronavirus outbreak forces them to embrace a new approach to the workplace. Dentsu in particular is looking to shift to a more decentralized corporate structure that relies heavily on teleworking.
Dentsu could extend preferential negotiation rights to a potential buyer and enter full-fledged negotiations as early as this month. Proceeds from the sale will go toward structural reforms and investments in future growth, Nikkei Asia reported.
TNG Digital to raise $150m. (FS)
TNG Digital, a Malaysian e-wallet operator owned by CIMB Group and China's Ant Group is in advanced talks with investors to raise at least $150m to fund expansion plans.
TNG Digital is negotiating with global banks, asset managers and others. The fundraising is expected to give TNG Digital a valuation of more than $700m and it could end up raising about $250m in total this year.
AirAsia Group to raise up to $113m via private placement.
AirAsia Group plans to undertake a private placement to raise up to $113m to address immediate and near-term cash flow requirements.
The struggling airline, which reported a fifth straight quarterly loss in November as the pandemic took its toll on travel, has been seeking to raise $2.5bn from loans and investors, Reuters reported.
Tencent-backed Huohua Siwei picks banks for US IPO.
Chinese online education firm Huohua Siwei, backed by Tencent Holdings and Kuaishou Technology, has picked banks to work on its US initial public offering, which could raise as much as $500m.
Huohua Siwei, or Spark Education in English, is working with Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs on the proposed listing. The share sale could take place as soon as this year, Bloomberg reported.
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