Visa and financial technology company Plaid would terminate their $5.3bn merger agreement following a US government lawsuit aimed at stopping the proposed transaction on antitrust grounds, Reuters reported.
The US Justice Department had sued to stop the deal in November, saying that Visa was a a monopolist in online debit transactions and that the proposed acquisition would eliminate a nascent competitive threat to that monopoly.
"The deal, which was proposed in January 2020, was scrapped to avoid protracted litigation," Al Kelly, Visa Chairman and CEO.
40 North raised its bid for W.R. Grace to $4.3bn in an effort to break the US chemical company’s resistance to a takeover and end what the investment firm sees as lackluster returns, Bloomberg reported.
40 North, a shareholder-turned-suitor, increased its bid to $65 a share in cash from $60. The new offer is 16% higher than Friday’s close. It represents a 62% premium to Grace’s closing price on October 13, the day before news of the departure of a 40 North executive from Grace’s board stoked takeover speculation.
“Grace’s failure to even engage with us demonstrates a casual willingness to deprive shareholders of their most credible opportunity to realize immediate value. Grace’s shareholders demand, and deserve, far better than this,” David Winter and David Millstone, 40 North Principals.
40 North is advised by Citigroup and Sullivan & Cromwell. W.R. Grace is advised by Goldman Sachs, Moelis & Co, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Joele Frank.
STERIS, a medical equipment maker, agreed to acquire Cantel Medical, a global company dedicated to delivering infection prevention products and services, for $3.6bn.
“We have long appreciated Cantel, which is a natural complement and extension to STERIS’s product and service offerings, global reach and Customers. Our companies share a similar focus on infection prevention across a range of healthcare Customers. Combined, we will offer a broader set of Customers a more diversified selection of infection prevention and procedural products and services. We welcome the people of Cantel to the STERIS team and firmly believe we will create greater value for our Customers and shareholders together,” Walt Rosebrough, STERIS President and Chief Executive Officer.
Cantel Medical is advised by Centerview Partners, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Joele Frank. STERIS is advised by Guggenheim Partners and Jones Day. Debt financing is provided by JP Morgan.
Wilton Re, a US life reinsurance company, and Stone Point, a private equity firm, completed the $100m investment in Golden Gate Capital-backed Nassau, an insurance, reinsurance, distribution and asset management firm.
Nassau intends to use the new capital to execute on its organic growth plans across its insurance and asset management businesses as well as to support strategic acquisitions.
Nassau was advised by RBC Capital Markets, Debevoise & Plimpton and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Wilton Re was advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Sysnet Global Solutions, a provider of payment card industry, cyber security and compliance solutions, completed the acquisition of NuArx, anetwork security and business continuity solutions provider, from One Equity Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of NuArx by Sysnet is part of Sysnet’s growth strategy and helps position Sysnet at the forefront of security and compliance. As organizations continue to strain under the ever-increasing onslaught of cyber-attacks, scalable cyber security platforms are needed so merchants of all sizes and locations can address emerging threats, while also achieving and meeting critical compliance mandates. NuArx bolsters Sysnet’s cyber security and compliance solutions and plays a critical role in helping our customers meet ever-increasing threats,” Gabe Moynagh, Sysnet Chief Executive Officer.
NuArx was advised by Truist Bank and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian. Sysnet Global Solutions was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Growth Catalyst Partners, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Equine Network, a provider of proprietary sports content, information, and tech-enabled services, from Active Interest Media, a producer of consumer and trade events, websites, magazines, and films. There will be a period of transition over the next several months as Equine Network transitions out of Active Interest Media and establishes standalone operations. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“On behalf of the whole Equine Network team, we are truly excited to be partnering with GCP to continue on our path to becoming the premier sports, information, and services business serving the global equine industry. We are looking forward to GCP’s support and collaboration as we enter this next chapter for our business,” Tom Winsor, The Equine Network President and CEO.
GCP was advised by Seward & Kissel. AIM was advised by Lazard. Debt financing was provided by Monroe Capital.
Permira Funds-backed Alter Domus, a fully integrated provider of fund administration, debt capital markets and corporate services, agreed to acquire Strata Fund Solutions, a fund administrator serving US private equity and venture capital funds, from private equity firms FTV Capital and StepStone Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our respective founders, leadership and teams share a culture of excellence devoted to the investment funds and corporate services industry. Our shared high-touch service model and advanced technology platforms align perfectly to offer our clients a trusted solution on day one," Doug Hart, Alter Domus Chief Executive Officer.
Strata Fund Solutions is advised by Macquarie Group and Kirkland & Ellis.
The Rise Fund, a global impact investing platform managed by alternative asset firm TPG, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Element Markets, the independent marketer of renewable natural gas and environmental commodities in North America. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The Rise Fund’s mission to deliver positive social and environmental impact alongside competitive financial returns is perfectly aligned with Element Markets’ value proposition. We are excited to partner with The Rise Fund to expand into new environmental markets and continue to deliver a best-in-class solution for our partners and clients,” Angela Schwarz, Element Markets Chief Executive Officer and Co-President.
Element Markets was advised by Eversheds Sutherland. The Rise Fund was advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Clearhaven Partners-backed TimeTrade Systems, the category creator in enterprise appointment scheduling software, completed the acquisition of SilverCloud, a provider of customer and knowledge management software for financial institutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"TimeTrade's acquisition of SilverCloud reflects Clearhaven's continued belief in the importance of technology solutions to reduce friction in the interaction between a business and its constituents and to enable seamless customer experience. SilverCloud is a high-quality SaaS business with a loyal customer base and a complementary solution set that optimizes customer and employee experience. The acquisition is an ideal strategic fit for TimeTrade," Michelle Noon, Clearhaven Partners Managing Partner and Co-Founder and TimeTrade Chairman of the Board.
Clearhaven Partners was advised by RSM International and Kirkland & Ellis.
Resurgens Technology Partners-backed Investment Metrics, a provider of analytics, reporting, data, and benchmarking solutions for the institutional investment market, agreed to acquire Style Analytics, a cloud-based SaaS platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We believe our complementary solutions will bring significant value to our clients as they increasingly rely on analytics solutions to support their portfolio allocation decisions and as ESG exposure has become an important portfolio metric. Both companies share the same approach: we serve our clients by simplifying complex challenges associated with investment decisions, and together we will bring meaningful benefits on a global scale to our collective clients, partners, and other industry stakeholders,” Brent Burns, Investment Metrics Chief Executive Officer.
Investment Metrics is advised by MiddleM Creative. Style Analytics is advised by Lazard.
A&M Capital Partners-backed BrightPet Nutrition Group, a provider of premium and super-premium pet food and treats, completed the acquisition of MiracleCorp, a Dayton, Ohio-based pet food provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Over the past few years, we have been working hard to evolve the business that my family founded in 1978. Following our recent purchase of pet treat manufacturer Phoebe Pet Products in Kiel, Wisconsin, BrightPet has seen tremendous growth – and we are excited to continue building on our momentum with the MiracleCorp team. Importantly, we believe that the addition of MiracleCorp will create a leader in kibble and freeze dried pet food and treats, allowing us to offer our customers with a robust product offering of kibble, kibble with inclusions, freeze dried treats, baked treats and toppers as well as other pet wellness products,” Matthew Golladay, BrightPet Nutrition Group CEO.
BrightPet Nutrition Group was advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
Francisco Partners led a $115m Series C Funding round in News Break, a local news app operator. News Break has previously raised more than $36m from investors including IDG Capital, who have also participated in this latest round. The investment makes News Break one of the first new unicorns of 2021.
“News Break’s breakout multi-year successes in the local news space is what first brought them to our attention. We are inspired by their mission and extremely impressed by the work they have done to bring local-news distribution into the 21st Century through cutting-edge machine learning and media savvy. We are thrilled to be partnering with News Break’s talented leadership team as they continue to drive local news innovations while also rapidly expanding their business into adjacent local verticals beyond news,” Alan Ni, Francisco Partners Principal.
Francisco Partners was advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
GS Foods Group, a family of specialized food distribution companies owned by Highview Capital and A&M Capital Partners, agreed to acquire Hayes Distributing, a provider of a wide range of products to schools and vending companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Operating for over three decades, Hayes Distributing has local experience and credibility few companies can match. That is why it was so important that we combined with a partner who shares our commitment to school nutrition and top-notch customer service. We are proud to integrate with GS Foods today, who I know will carry these values forward to continue serving our community,” Jamie Edman, Hayes Distributing Owner.
GS Foods Group is advised by Fiona Hutton & Associates.
Windermere Real Estate, a regional real estate company in the Western US, completed the acquisition of Lyon Real Estate, an independent residential real estate company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This new chapter for Lyon Real Estate is a perfect fit when taking into account our mutual values of superior customer satisfaction, and long-term relationships with our clients, agents, and community. The Jacobi-Wood family brings a new and highly engaged second generation of family leadership that is committed to growth and giving back,” Laura Lyon, Lyon Real Estate former Chair of the Board.
Windermere was advised by Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn.
ICONIQ Growth, a tech-focused direct investment effort that is affiliated with ICONIQ Capital, completed the $150m investment in Enfusion, a global company in investment management technology solutions and services.
“Our job is to empower and support investment managers wherever they are in their operational journey. As we continue to better position ourselves to meet the needs of our clients, we have worked to remove the silos traditionally associated with portfolio management, order management, trading, operations, accounting, IR, and many other services. ICONIQ shares this vision and we are humbled to have their support in this journey, advancing our commitment to help our clients transform their businesses and grow,” Thomas Kim, Enfusion CEO.
IBM completed the acquisition of 7Summits, a Salesforce digital solutions consultancy, from Sverica Capital Management, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"7Summits is a special organization – one with a clear mission, a rich culture, and tremendous momentum. The company’s success is not only a tribute to Paul’s compelling vision and boundless energy, but also the deep expertise and tireless dedication of the entire 7Summits team. Partnering with Paul and 7Summits has been a delight, and with both bittersweetness and excitement I wish them a happy journey with IBM,” Ryan Harstad, Sverica Partner.
Workato, the company active in integration-led automation, announced $110m in Series D funding led by Altimeter Capital alongside Insight Partners, a global investment firm. Existing investors, Redpoint Ventures, and Battery Ventures, also participated in the round. This investment brings the total capital raised by the company to over $221m and values Workato at $1.7bn.
"There's been explosive growth in business apps and cloud technologies, but their potential remains largely untapped. This explosion has created tech chaos with siloed data, fragmented business processes, and broken UX. Workato addresses this with a single platform built for business and IT that easily, reliably, and securely connects their apps, data, and business processes so teams can work smarter and faster," Vijay Tella, Workato CEO, and Co-Founder.
Affirm boosts IPO price range to raise up to $1.1bn.
Affirm Holdings, which provides installment loans to online shoppers, increased the price range for its IPO, seeking to raise as much as $1.1bn when it goes public this week.
The San Francisco-based company plans to sell 24.6m shares for $41-44 apiece, up from a previous price range of $33-38 each. Affirm was founded in 2012 by Max Levchin, who also co-founded PayPal. Levchin is the company's single biggest shareholder.
At $44 per share, at the top end of the revised range, Affirm will have a market capitalization of $10.7bn, based on the number of shares outstanding listed in its filing. Its fully diluted value could be as much as $13bn, including options and restricted stock units.
The company expects to make its trading debut on January 13. The offering is being led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Allen & Co. Affirm plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol AFRM.
Lucid Motor in talks to list via Michael Klein SPAC. (FS)
Lucid Motors, an electric vehicle maker, is in talks to go public through a merger with one of Michael Klein's SPAC, Bloomberg reported.
A transaction could be valued at up to $15bn. Lucid, which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is working with financial advisers.
Motorsport Games sued by investors prior to IPO.
Motorsport Games' top executive was accused in a lawsuit of wrongfully shortchanging investors when he acquired a discounted minority stake in a unit that is part of the company's planned IPO.
Dmitry Kozko, Motorsport's chairman and chief executive officer, improperly usurped a "corporate opportunity" when the company acquired an additional 28% stake in 704Games, making Nascar racing games, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in state court in Miami. Motorsport already owned more than 53%, and the 704Games unit generates almost all the parent company's revenue.
Miami-based Motorsport is scheduled to sell shares to the public on Tuesday. The company announced Monday it increased the IPO's shares to 3m and at a price of $19-20 each. That’s up from 2.35m shares at $16-18 the company originally offered.
Silver Lake considers acquiring a stake in All Blacks. (FS)
Silver Lake, US private equity, is in advanced talks to acquire a minority stake in the commercial activities of the New Zealand Rugby All Blacks team, Reutersreported.
The potential transaction was for a stake of "up to 15%" of the three-times winners of the Rugby World Cup. The deal with Silver Lake for a 15% stake would value the team at about $2bn.
An investment in one of the most famous brands in world sport would expand the buyout giant’s $75bn portfolio of companies, most of which are technology and sports venues and teams.
Sixth Street nears deal to acquire Legends Hospitality. (FS)
Sixth Street Partners, the private investment group, is nearing a deal to take a majority stake in Legends Hospitality, the sports and entertainment company co-owned by New York Yankees, and the Dallas Cowboys valuing the group at $1.35bn, FT reported.
The deal would give Sixth Street majority ownership of the company, which offers services including stadium concessions, naming rights, and merchandise sales for a variety of professional and college sports teams. Baseball team Yankees and American football's Cowboys would continue their involvement in the company.
Ex-Credit Suisse executive Tidjane Thiam to launch a $250m SPAC. (FS)
Tidjane Thiam, a former Credit Suisse chief executive, is raising a $250m special purpose acquisition vehicle to invest in financial services businesses in the developed and developing world, FT reported.
JP Morgan is helping to raise the money after pitching the idea to Mr. Thiam, with chief executive Jamie Dimon personally involved. Mr. Thiam will be the latest high-profile banker to raise money via a SPAC amid a boom in the blank cheque vehicles that have seen the likes of former Citigroup dealmaker Michael Klein and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman raise billions of dollars.
Adit EdTech Acquisition announced pricing a $240m IPO.
Adit EdTech Acquisition priced its upsized IPO of 24m units at a price of $10 per unit. The units will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange beginning January 12, 2021. Each unit consists of one share of the company's common stock and one-half of one warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one share of the company's common stock at a price of $11.5 per share.
The company is a blank check company focused on searching for a business that would benefit from the founders' and management team's experience and ability to identify, acquire and manage a business in the education, training, and education technology sectors.
Premier Oil shareholders voted in favor of a reverse takeover of private equity-backed Chrysaor to create the British North Sea's biggest oil and gas producer in which Premier shareholders will hold about 5.5%.
"Shareholder approval for the transaction has now been received. As previously announced, the requisite level of Premier’s creditors have irrevocably undertaken to vote in favor of the restructuring plans," Premier.
Creditors of Premier, which has net debt of $1.9bn, will receive $1.2bn in cash under the merger and debt restructuring plan from a new debt facility and existing cash from both groups.
Chrysaor was advised by BMO Capital Markets, Barclays, Clifford Chance, Brunswick Group, and Sard Verbinnen. Premier Oil is advised by Jefferies, RBC Capital Markets, Lazard, Akin Gump, Slaughter & May, Weil, Gotshal and Manges, White & Case, and Camarco.
Neinor Homes, a real estate promoter, agreed to merge with Quabit Inmobiliaria, a residential real estate developer in Spain, for €62m ($75m).
"With Quabit's absorption, Neinor reinforces its leading housebuilder position in Spain. Our increased scale and robust financial position following this transaction allows us to face in a better position the existing market challenges and strengthens our commitment to offer the best product possible to our clients," Borja García-Egotxeaga, Neinor Homes CEO.
Quabit is advised by Arcano Partners and Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira. Neinor Homes is advised by Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Uria Menendez, Powerscourt.
Pritzker Private Capital-backed ProAmpac, a flexible packaging provider, completed the acquisition of Rapid Action Packaging, the UK-based manufacturer of cellulose-based packaging products, from Ludgate Investments, an investment management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“RAP is an excellent addition to the ProAmpac family. We are excited to add RAP’s focus on research and development for fresh prepared food packaging to our portfolio. Together with RAP, we are extending our product reach in food service to now include a ready-to-eat portfolio, and we will continue to bring innovative ideas and products to a growing customer base,” Greg Tucker, ProAmpac CEO.
Banco BPM's merging options do not include Monte dei Paschi.
Banco BPM has not changed its stance in relation to Monte dei Paschi, and it does not include the Tuscan rival among possible merger options being considered, Reutersreported.
Monte dei Paschi is looking to give access to confidential data to potential partners. Treasury wanted to sound out whether Banco BPM could be interested in Monte dei Paschi.
The source close to Banco BPM said the bank had had no formal contacts with either the Treasury or Monte dei Paschi, adding advisers Lazard and Citi would monitor the situation as necessary.
Appian Capital raised $775m for the second mining fund. (FS)
Appian Capital has hit a $775m hard cap close for its oversubscribed second fund targeting the global mining industry. Fund II will continue Appian's strategy of targeting medium-sized metals and mining assets, prioritizing profitability over a scale.
Fund II will invest on a global basis, targeting assets in jurisdictions with proven geology, supportive governments, and a robust legal framework, the firm said, including Brazil, Australia, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Canada.
"Fund II is well-positioned to benefit from its exposure to high growth segments of the global economy, through commodities that will enable the transition to a low carbon economy and infrastructure development to generate strong, risk-adjusted returns," Michael Scherb, Appian Founder and CEO.
Volpi Capital raises €323m for its second tech fund. (FS)
Volpi Capital, the European tech investor, has reached the final close of its second fund, at €323m ($396m). The vehicle, launched at the end of 2019, surpassed its initial €300m ($378m) target and is considerably larger than its predecessor, a €185m ($227m) 2018 vintage.
The fund will focus on lower mid-market companies in northern Europe with enterprise values between €50m ($61m) and €200m ($245m). The idea is investing between €25m ($31m) and €75m ($92m) into tech-enabled businesses that disrupt B2B value chains, its strategy states.
LSP to launch a new €150m fund. (FS)
LSP, a European life sciences investor, launched the LSP Dementia Fund, a fund dedicated to fight neurodegenerative diseases. The fund will be managed by Professor Philip Scheltens, a world-renowned dementia scientist and thought leader. LSP believes the fund will ultimately reach at least €150m ($184m).
A staggering 50m patients suffer from dementia worldwide and predicted to triple to 150m before the year 2050. The burden to the healthcare system is equally large, with global costs currently estimated to amount to over $800bn, or 1.1% of global GDP.
"LSP is very honoured that Philip has joined our firm to lead this new and unique fund. In the past two decades, venture capital has proven to play an essential role in advancing biotech companies, but dementia opportunities remained largely unfunded," Dr. René Kuijten, LSP Managing Partner and LSP Dementia Fund Founder.
SoftBank divests $2bn in Uber stock. (FS)
SoftBank Group's Vision Fund sold about $2bn in Uber Technologies stock after a rally in the ride-hailing giant's shares, signaling it may cash in more gains from the sector in the future.
An affiliate of the investment fund called SB Cayman 2 sold 38m shares on Jan. 7 at an average price of $53.46, according to a filing with the US SEC. SoftBank still holds about 184m shares, according to the filing, worth about $10bn at current prices.
SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son was an aggressive investor in the ride-hailing sector, taking major stakes in Uber, China's Didi Chuxing, India's Ola, and Southeast Asia's Grab. Those wagers looked in jeopardy when Uber stumbled after its 2019 IPO, and the coronavirus pandemic slammed demand.
Byju's in talks to acquire Aakash Educational Services for $1bn. (FS)
Byju's, India's biggest online-education startup, has signed a deal to acquire Aakash Educational Services, brick & mortar test prep leader, for $1bn, Bloomberg reported.
The deal for what will be one of the largest edtech acquisitions in the world should close in the next two or three months. Bangalore-headquartered Byju's is valued at $12bn and has been on a fund-raising spree as the pandemic has sent a demand for its online lessons soaring.
Blackstone Group-backed Aakash Educational Services runs Aakash Institute, which has over 200 brick and mortar centers and tutors students to gain entry into the country’s elite engineering and medical schools. Its student count is over 250k.
SilkRoad Property closed second Asia fund at $549m. (FS, RE)
SilkRoad Property Partners, a Singapore-based real estate investment firm, has reached the final closing of its second pan-Asia value-add real estate fund at $549m, DealStreetAsiareported.
The fund, SilkRoad Asia Value Partners II, exceeded the firm’s $500m target. The fund had been in the market since October 2018, but capital raising was extended due to the Covid-19 crisis. The fund has already made six investments primarily in industrial and neighbourhood retail, assets that are considered pandemic-resistant.
Blackstone-backed Aadhar to file for $1bn IPO. (FS)
Aadhar, one of India's largest mortgage providers to low-income earners, plans to raise as much as $1bn from the share sale. The Mumbai-based company is looking to launch the offering as soon as the first half of this year.
Founded in 2010, Aadhar has more than 294 branches across the South Asian country, providing financing solutions to customers whose monthly income ranges between $76 to $765. The company had about $1.6bn of assets under management in the latest financial year, about 14% higher than the previous year.
GIC invests $200m in SPAC-backed View's PIPE plan. (FS)
GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, has committed to contribute $200m to a PIPE issuance of US-based View. View is a company that was formed following the merger of SPAC CF Finance Acquisition II and View, a Silicon Valley-based smart window company.
View said the additional investment from GIC increases the company’s fully committed PIPE investment from $300-500m. A PIPE deal involves the selling of publicly traded common shares to private investors at a discounted price.
View will continue to operate as a technology company that creates smart and connected buildings that consume lesser energy. The company's chairman and CEO, Rao Mulpuri, said View had built manufacturing operations in the US with products covered by over 1k patents.
Blackstone looks to buy Lucasfilm Singapore facility for $132m. (FS, RE)
Blackstone Group is looking to purchase Lucasfilm’s building in Singapore for about $132m, Bloombergreported.
The company has started the process of buying the building known as The Sandcrawler, pending regulatory approval. The move signals Singapore’s property assets continue to be attractive to foreign investors, who see the city’s political, financial and legal stability as an advantage.
Tata Chemicals in talks to acquire Archean's industrial salt unit for at least $61m.
Tata Chemicals is in advanced talks to acquire the industrial salt unit of Archean Group that could value the business at INR4.5bn ($61m) at a minimum, Bloomberg reported.
The board of Tata Chemicals is set to discuss the potential offer as soon as this month. Negotiations are ongoing and could still fall apart. A possible deal could offer a reprieve to Archean, struggling to service its debt obligations for the past two years.
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