Visa’s planned $5.3bn acquisition of Plaid, a firm that provides the technological infrastructure underpinning an array of next-generation financial apps, is in jeopardy because of antitrust concerns, WSJ reported.
The Justice Department could decide soon whether it will sue to block Visa’s acquisition of Plaid. The department is concerned it could limit nascent competition in the payments sector. The legal filing said the Justice Department is considering whether the Plaid acquisition will allow Visa to create or maintain a monopoly.
The department publicly signaled its concerns in a rare legal action that asks a Massachusetts federal judge to order that Bain, which has done consulting work for Visa, comply with a civil subpoena and hand over work material related to the Plaid deal.
Plaid is advised by Goldman Sachs and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Visa is advised by Lazard, DLA Piper, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Brunswick Group and Sloane & Company.
GTCR, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Consumer Cellular, a provider of postpaid wireless services with a focus on the 50+ demographic. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Through their exceptional service and strong customer value proposition, Consumer Cellular delivers a differentiated customer experience at a lower cost to a growing demographic. We are thrilled to be partnering with Consumer Cellular at this exciting time in the company's evolution," Stephen Jeschke, GTCR Managing Director.
GTCR is advised by Credit Suisse, Raymond James, Kirkland & Ellis and The Harbinger Group. Consumer Cellular is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Kell, Alterman & Runstein.
Property data and analytics firm CoreLogic has received multiple potential takeover bids that value the company at north of $80 a share. CoStar Group and a private equity consortium led by Warburg Pincus and GTCR are among the bidders seeking to acquire the US-based firm.
The interest in CoreLogic comes after investment firms Cannae Holdings and Senator Investment Group made a $7bn offer for the company and launched a campaign to take over its board of directors. Cannae and Senator, whose latest offer was for $66 per share in cash, are not being allowed to carry out due diligence on CoreLogic because the company considers their bid too low, Reutersreported.
“In light of recent market speculation, CoreLogic today confirmed it is engaging with third parties indicating preliminary interest based on public information in the potential acquisition of the company at a value at or above $80 per share,” CoreLogic.
CoreLogic is advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co. Senator Investment Group is advised by Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft. Cannae Holding is advised by Trasimene Capital, Weil Gotshal and Manges, and Sloane & Company.
Callaway, a company that designs, develops, and markets golf clubs, agreed to merge with Topgolf, a company that operates golf entertainment facilities, in a $2.55bn deal.
"We are excited to join the Callaway family and strengthen the experiences we create at the intersection of sports and tech-driven entertainment. Fueled by a tremendous team of associates and a diverse offering across our venues, Toptracer, and media platform, Topgolf is truly changing the landscape of the industry by making golf more inclusive and accessible to people of all ages, demographics and skill levels. As part of Callaway, we plan to grow our leadership position by leveraging Callaway's brand reputation, industry relationships and financial strength to connect more communities around the world to the Topgolf experience," Dolf Berle, Topgolf CEO.
Callaway is advised by Goldman Sachs and Latham & Watkins. Topgolf is advised by Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Palladium-backed Quirch Foods, a food distribution company, completed the merger with Altamont Capital-backed Colorado Boxed Beef, a protein supplier. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We could not be more excited to bring together our two organizations to increase our core domestic retail business and expand into new geographies and channels. This will allow us to deliver a broader and more diverse product offering that will help our customers differentiate and grow their businesses,” Frank Grande, Quirch Foods President and CEO.
Altamont Capital was advised by Ropes & Gray and Joele Frank. Colorado Boxed Beef was advised by Jefferies and Shuffield Lowman. Palladium was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Exact Sciences, a molecular diagnostics company, agreed to acquire Thrive Earlier Detection, a healthcare company dedicated to incorporating earlier cancer detection into routine medical care, for $2.15bn, of which $1.7bn would be payable at closing, comprised of 65% in Exact Sciences common stock and 35% in cash. An additional $450m would be payable based upon the achievement of certain milestones related to the development and commercialization of a blood-based, multi-cancer screening test.
“The acquisition of Thrive is a giant leap toward ensuring blood-based, multi-cancer screening becomes a reality and eventually, the standard of care. We couldn’t be more excited that Exact Sciences will be at the forefront of this incredible opportunity to serve patients. We have long respected the Thrive team for their rigorous scientific approach, having participated in both funding rounds as an investor. We are proud to take our partnership to the next level by leveraging Exact Sciences’ established R&D team and highly accurate testing platform to augment development of CancerSEEK and accelerate its commercialization. By combining the expertise of both organizations, we believe we can bring this powerful technology to patients faster,” Kevin Conroy, Exact Sciences Chairman and CEO.
Thrive is advised by Goldman Sachs and Goodwin Procter. Exact Sciences is advised by XMS Capital Partners and K&L Gates.
New Mountain Capital, a New York-based investment firm, agreed to acquire Natrol, a vitamins, minerals and supplements brand, from Aurobindo Pharma, which manufactures generic pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Throughout its history, Natrol has stood for the highest quality products designed to drive positive outcomes and enhance quality of life for its users. We thank Aurobindo for their stewardship of Natrol over the last six years, and we look forward to working closely with the management teams at Natrol and Jarrow Formulas to build upon Natrol’s strong momentum and drive continued growth and market-leading innovation,” Andre Moura, New Mountain Capital Managing Director.
New Mountain Capital is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Abernathy MacGregor Group. Aurobindo is advised by Jefferies & Company and Sullivan & Cromwell.
Stone Point Capital, a private equity company, agreed to invest in Lone Wolf Technologies, a company that offers real estate software products for agents. The deal marks an exit for global technology investor Vista Equity Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're excited to work with the team at Stone Point to continue our strategic growth. Stone Point's investment aligns with our vision to create a truly connected, fully digital real estate experience. We are thankful for the partnership and leadership of Vista Equity Partners over the last five years, and we remain committed to serving the real estate industry going forward," Jimmy Kelly, Lone Wolf CEO.
Lone Wolf is advised by Jefferies and GCA Advisors. Vista Equity is advised by Kirkland & Ellis. Stone Point is advised by Debevoise & Plimpton.
Twin River Worldwide, a holding company which owns and operates nine casinos across five states, agreed to acquire Tropicana Evansville, a casino hotel and entertainment complex in downtown Evansville, Indiana, from Caesars Entertainment, an American casino and hotel company, for $624m.
As part of the acquisition, Gaming and Leisure Properties, a publicly traded gaming-focused REIT, will acquire the Evansville casino real estate for $340m and lease it back to Twin River for $28m a year in rent, subject to escalation. GLPI will also acquire the real estate at Twin River’s Dover, Delaware, facility for $144m and lease it back to Twin River for $12m a year in rent, subject to escalation.
"This transaction is consistent with our core strategy of acquiring strategic gaming assets at attractive valuations and, importantly, represents the Company's entry into a 10th state. It also provides us with access to an attractive Indiana gaming market, in which we will look to significantly advance our mobile and online sports betting and iGaming initiatives. We believe this property is a great fit for our portfolio. We are acquiring the operations at a value accretive multiple, while also enhancing our interactive offerings," George Papanier, Twin River President and Chief Executive Officer.
Twin River is advised by Citizens Capital Markets, Jones Day and Kekst CNC.
Venerable, a holding company that provides retirement and personal finance, agreed to acquire Corporate Solutions Life Reinsurance, an insurance company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This transaction represents a significant milestone for Venerable as we further establish ourselves as the partner of choice for insurers in the variable annuity space. Our conservative investment approach, strong capitalization, focus on operating efficiency and deep expertise in managing risk has positioned us for this transaction while successfully handling increased volatility and challenging market conditions. As we work to close this transaction, our team remains focused on building on this momentum and capitalizing on opportunities for further growth," David Marcinek, Venerable Chairman.
Venerable is advised by Barclays, Sidley Austin and Joele Frank.
EQT, an integrated energy company with emphasis on Appalachian area natural-gas supply, agreed to acquire upstream and midstream assets of Chevron, an integrated energy company with operations in countries located around the world, for $735m.
"This acquisition is a natural bolt-on extension of EQT's dominant position in the core of the southwest Marcellus and supplements our already impressive asset base. With the purchase price underpinned by PDP value, the extensive work-in-progress well inventory, core undeveloped acreage and water assets provide material value upside. Our unique knowledge of these assets, coupled with our superior operating model, puts these assets in the right hands to maximize the embedded value," Toby Rice, EQT President and CEO.
EQT is advised by Jefferies. Chevron is advised by Barclays.
ePost Global, a tech-enabled global shipping solutions provider, agreed to acquire the International Logistics business of RR Donnelley & Sons, a global provider of multichannel business communications services and marketing solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to grow our global footprint. This acquisition will allow us to utilize our technology expertise to bring unique innovation to the international logistics industry and to enable US based companies to seamlessly expand their customer base to global markets,” Kapil Kalokhe, ePost Global Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy.
ePost Global is advised by Propllr. Debt financing is provided by First Midwest Bank.
Buzzi Unicem and BCPAR-backed Companhia Nacional de Cimento and Grupo Ricardo Brennand, an energy generation company, agreed to acquire CRH Group, a company that owns three full-cycle cement plants and two grinding plants, for $218m.
The acquisition will result in a significant strengthening of BCPAR, which is operating in the Southeastern Brazilian market.
Institutional Venture Partners, a US-based private equity investment firm, and SoftBank Vision Fund 2 completed a $100m investment in Whoop, a fitness tracker startup.
“We will continue to make WHOOP the best product experience for measuring and improving health. Human performance is a new category and WHOOP has emerged as both the pioneer and market leader. We’re proud to partner with IVP and other prominent investors who share our vision,” Will Ahmed, WHOOP Founder & CEO.
TELEO Capital, a private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Rand McNally, a provider of auto technology equipments and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are extremely excited to support the Rand McNally team through this next stage of growth. We fully intend to help grow Rand McNally through organic and acquisitive investment. Our focus will be on breakthrough products and solutions and first-class customer service," Joseph Roark, TELEO Capital Operating Partner.
Prime Energy Services, an industry provider of survey, construction management, and inspection services, completed the merger with Oso Development Partners, a professional services provider specializing in project development, owner’s representation, technology integration, and EPCM services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Joining the Prime team is an exciting new chapter for all of us at Oso. This move allows us to align with a deeper pool of resources and broader client base, along with maintaining our macro vision of implementing technology and forward-thinking solutions. The Oso team will continue to develop industry-specific solutions that help clients modernize and drive immediate results," Jason Holland, Oso Development Managing Partner.
Advent in talks to acquire Nielsen's Global Connect unit for $2.9bn. (FS)
Advent International is in talks to acquire Nielsen’s Global Connect unit, which tracks sales of consumer goods, in a deal that would value it at about $2.9bn.
Such a transaction would effectively break Nielsen into two. The company currently comprises two units, Global Connect and Global Media, which provides data on media consumption including television ratings. Advent’s interest is in the former, which sells data on consumer goods purchases to retailers and manufacturers, PE Insights reported.
Nielsen has been in private equity hands before. A group of buyout companies including Blackstone and Hellman & Friedman, alongside Carlyle, KKR and others, took it private in 2006 and listed it in 2011 with total debt of more than $8bn.
Airbnb looks at Nasdaq listing for a blockbuster market debut.
Home-rental startup Airbnb plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq, setting the stage for one of 2020’s most high-profile stock market debuts.
Airbnb had filed confidentially with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO. The company will seek to raise as much as $3bn in an IPO before the end of the year.
Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group are acting as the lead underwriters for the IPO.
Car insurance startup Root raises $724m in IPO.
Automobile insurance startup Root sold shares in its IPO at $27 apiece, above its target range, to raise $724m. Root, which has $200m in debt, sold 26.8m shares in its IPO. The company had set an initial target price range of $22-$25 per share for a sale of around 24.6m shares.
Root’s common stock began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on October 28, 2020, under the ticker symbol ROOT. The offering is expected to close on October 30, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank, Truist Bank, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Evercore, UBS, Cantor Fitzgerald, JMP Securities, Siebert Williams Shank and Huntington Capital Market are advising the IPO.
CubeSmart to acquire eight Self-Storage portfolios for $540m. (FS)
CubeSmart, a REIT, agreed to acquire a portfolio of eight self-storage properties in New York City from Storage Deluxe, Self-storage facility, for $540m. The portfolio, currently professionally managed by and branded CubeSmart, consists of 780k rentable sq ft located in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, NY.
Consideration for the acquisition will consist of approximately $202m payable in cash, approximately $184m payable in Class B Operating Partnership Units, and the assumption of approximately $155m of existing fixed-rate secured debt. The company expects to finance the cash portion of the purchase price at closing through cash on hand and borrowings under the unsecured revolving credit facility.
“This exciting transaction represents the culmination of our ten-year strategic plan to establish our leading market position in New York City. The acquisition of this portfolio expands our presence in attractive submarkets within each outer borough that have positive demographic trends and a strong growth outlook. The timing of this opportunity allows us to take advantage of strong fundamental trends for self-storage in the boroughs," Christopher P. Marr, CubeSmart President and CEO.
Haven ends $900m IPO plan.
Brazilian department store chain Havan, whose founder is being investigated as part of probes into disinformation campaigns, has ended plans for an initial public offering, Reuters reported.
The move is a setback for the company’s founder, Luciano Hang, who was also due to sell an undisclosed amount of shares. In the last few weeks, Brazilian media have reported that Hang was having difficulties with the planned IPO on Brazil’s B3 stock exchange, because investors did not share his valuation of the company at around $17.78bn.
Eucrates Biomedical Acquisition closes $100m IPO.
Eucrates Biomedical Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company announced the closing of its initial public offering of 10m units at an initial public offering price of $10 per unit. The units are listed on The Nasdaq Capital Market and commenced trading under the ticker symbol "EUCRU" beginning on October 23, 2020.
While the company may pursue an initial business combination target in any business or industry, it intends to focus on the biomedical and healthcare industry. The company intends to target North American and European healthcare companies with the potential to drive transformational change through the convergence of biomedicine and data science.
Stifel and H.C. Wainwright acted as joint book-running managers for the offering.
Opko investor pushes for privatization. (FS)
One of the largest investors in Opko Health is urging the diagnostic and pharmaceutical company to launch a strategic review and consider being taken private, arguing its assets are worth three times the current market value, Bloomberg reported.
Sian Capital, an asset management firm, believes Opko has several options to unlock that value, according to a presentation it delivered to the company this week. The New York-based asset management firm owns a 3% stake in Opko, and has met with the company’s leadership to express its views.
PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles agreed to change the terms of their planned $37bn merger to win regulatory approval, bringing them one step closer to forming the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker, Bloomberg reported.
The boards had agreed to modify the steps by which car-parts maker Faurecia would be distributed to shareholders of the combined company. Under the plan, Peugeot maker PSA will be allowed to sell as much as 7% of the French supplier before the deal is completed.
The move is designed to assuage regulator concerns, a sign that PSA and Fiat see approval from authorities as one of the final hurdles for the deal.
Fiat is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, d'Angelin & Co, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Legance,Loyens & Loeff, Sullivan & Cromwell, Community Group, Image Sept and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisors are advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Macfarlanes. PSA Group is advised by China International Capital, Mediobanca, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, BonelliErede, Bredin Prat, Cabinet Bompoint, Clifford Chance, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Linklaters, NautaDutilh and Stibbe. Peugeot is advised by Zaoui & Co. Exor is advised by Lazard. Bpifrace is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Nova Resources, an investment company, agreed to acquire Kaz Minerals, a copper company focused on a large scale, low-cost open-pit mining in Kazakhstan, for $3.9bn.
“We are pleased to announce this recommended cash offer for KAZ Minerals. Mr. Kim and I believe that KAZ Minerals has made notable progress as a public company since listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2005. However, driven by the current market uncertainty and the corporate circumstances of sequential development projects, we believe that KAZ Minerals’ long term interests would be best served as a private company. We remain confident that the execution of a higher risk, capital intensive strategy remains the optimal long term path for KAZ Minerals, but we recognise that our risk appetite may be misaligned with the preference of many investors in the mining sector. In taking this important step, we wanted to ensure that KAZ Minerals Shareholders were provided with the opportunity to crystallise the value of their investment at a premium valuation. We are confident that this recommended Acquisition delivers an attractive return to KAZ Minerals Shareholders,” Oleg Novachuk, Nova Resources Chairman.
Kaz Minerals is advised by Citigroup, UBS, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Brunswick Group. Nova Resources is advised by VTB Capital and Clifford Chance. VTB Capital is advised by Macfarlanes.
Exact Sciences, a molecular diagnostics company, completed the acquisition of Base Genomics, a provider of DNA methylation technology, from Oxford Sciences Innovation, an early-stage venture capital firm, for $410m.
“Our focus at OSI is to ensure Oxford’s world leading science moves out of the laboratory and onto the global stage. We back companies from their inception and strengthen teams with commercial and scientific expertise. Base Genomics’ success is a perfect example of our model working at its best. This is one of the largest diagnostic deals in UK history and will position Oxford as a centre for early stage cancer detection. OSI will reinvest the proceeds back into the Oxford ecosystem, creating more companies capable of tackling more of the world’s toughest problems,” Alexis Dormandy, OSI Chief Executive Officer.
Base Genomics was advised by William Blair & Co and Bristows. Exact Sciences was advised by XMS Capital Partners and K&L Gates.
Mercedes-Benz, a producer of luxury vehicles and commercial vehicles, agreed to acquire a 17.4% stake in Aston Martin, a British independent manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers, for $373m.
Shares in Aston Martin jumped as much as 12.8% after the announcement that Mercedes-Benz would lift its stake in the British carmaker to up to 20% by 2023.
“We already have a successful technology partnership in place with Aston Martin that has benefited both companies. With this new expanded partnership we will be able to provide Aston Martin with access to new cutting-edge technologies and components, including next generation hybrid and electric drive systems. The supply arrangements for these new technologies will be on agreed commercial terms. We look forward to continuing to work together with Aston Martin and we wish the company every success in its next stage of growth,” Wolf-Dieter Kurz, Mercedes-Benz Head of Product Strategy.
Aston Martin is advised by Barclays, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Tulchan Communications.
Marlowe, a specialist consulting services provider, agreed to acquire Ellis Whittam, a provider of outsourced employment law, HR and health & safety services, for $77m.
"The acquisition of Ellis Whittam transforms our scale and capabilities in Employment Law, HR Compliance and Health & Safety advisory and significantly advances our strategy to provide our clients with a comprehensive one-stop approach to their health & safety and regulatory compliance needs. The business, which delivers subscription-based consultancy services, supported by software, operates in an attractive and underserved market where we see significant growth opportunities. We are confident that this acquisition will generate attractive returns for Marlowe's shareholders," Alex Dacre, Marlowe CEO.
Marlowe is advised by Berenberg, Cenkos Securities, Stifel, and FTI Consulting.
Amber Infrastructure Group, a specialist international investment manager, focused on investment origination, asset management and fund management, and Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund, a dedicated commercial fund targeting infrastructure investment in the Three Seas Region, agreed to acquire Cargounit, an independent locomotive leasing company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are delighted to announce the signing of Cargounit. Cargounit’s existing asset base and customer relationships offer a strong platform for expansion both in Poland and surrounding countries. Increasing the interconnectivity of the Three Seas countries, reducing transportation costs and enhancing the infrastructure are all core objectives of the Fund," Joe Philipsz, Amber Senior Investment Director.
Amber is advised by FTI Consulting. 3SIIF is advised by DC Advisory and Clifford Chance.
Providence Strategic Growth, an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners, an American global private equity investment firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Signaturit Solutions, a provider of cloud-based Trust Services that offers eSignature, eDelivery and eID solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Signaturit’s scalable technology platform and understanding of their customers’ needs has led them to develop an innovative integrated solution that positions the company at the forefront of electronic digital security and identity verification,” Romain Railhac, PSG Director.
PSG is advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co. Signaturit Solutions is advised by Roman y Asociados.
Cellnex, an operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures, agreed to acquire a 60% stake in Play, a mobile operator in Poland, from Iliad, a French provider of telecommunication services, for $945m.
“Cellnex’s European network continues to grow in scope and geographic diversification, density and capillarity. This is most certainly a significant differentiating factor that represents an undoubted added value, allowing us to present ourselves as a natural partner of choice for European mobile operators with which we can work together in different markets, supporting them in their projects to complete the roll-outs of 4G and accelerate the spread of 5G," Franco Bernabè, Cellnex Chairman.
Barilla, a provider of manufacturing and distribution of flour products including pasta, sauces and bread, completed the acquisition of dry pasta business of Ebro Group, a multinational food group operating in the rice, pasta and sauces sectors, through its subsidiary Catelli Foods, a food processing company, and Riviana, a company that processes, markets, and distributes rice products, for $125m.
The Ebro Group will maintain its presence on the Canadian market through its brands Garofalo, Olivieri and rice focusing its resources in Canada on these brands.
Apple completed the acquisition of Vilynx, a Spain-based artificial intelligence video startup, for $50m.
Apple is intending to apply the technology to Siri and search. Apple's Photos could be improved with the technology to search stored video, and also, possibly for News and Apple TV apps for a recommendation engine.
Notonthehighstreet reportedly eyeing a $260m sale.
British e-tailer Notonthehighstreet is reportedly mulling a $260m sale following surging sales during the pandemic.
City stated investors were hoping to secure a price as high as $326m for the business and that a preferred bidder could be selected before Christmas. A number of trade bidders and private equity groups have expressed an interest in buying the company.
Notonthehighstreet is advised by Evercore.
Nordic Capital explores a $1bn sale of Itiviti trading platform. (FS)
Nordic Capital is exploring a potential sale of electronic trading platform Itiviti Group, which could fetch about $1bn. The private equity firm is in the early stages of considering strategic options for Itiviti.
Nordic Capital first invested in the company in 2012. Deliberations are at an early stage, and it could decide to keep Itiviti for longer, Bloomberg reported.
Brookfield closed $1.3bn European core-plus real estate fund. (FS)
Brookfield Asset Management announced the closing of its first European core-plus real estate fund, Brookfield European Real Estate Partnership, with total equity commitments of $1.3bn.
Reflecting strong investor demand, BEREP attracted total capital commitments exceeding the original $1.18bn fundraising target. The Fund’s investors include a mix of public and private pension plans, and insurance companies.
“We are grateful for the strong support we have received from our cornerstone investors. We continue to see an active pipeline of opportunities for high-quality European assets with long-term growth potential that can benefit from Brookfield’s local operating expertise," Zachary Vaughan, Brookfield Head of European Real Estate.
Schroder Adveq seeks $1bn for new Europe fund. (FS)
Schroder Adveq, the private equity arm of asset manager Schroders, has launched a new European strategy seeking to raise $1bn.
The new vehicle, Schroder Adveq Europe VIII, will focus on fund of funds investments in various sectors across Europe. Its main targets are small and mid-sized buyouts, including growth, turnaround and sector specialist opportunities.
The firm has several different strategies, either investing in other private equity funds or alongside them. In Europe, it is also in the market for its second co-investment vehicle – Schroder Adveq Europe Direct II – seeking up to $550m, Private Equity News reported.
EMH Partners raises $768m for second growth fund. (FS)
European firm EMH Partners has raised $768m for a new growth fund focused on midsize companies across the DACH region of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The Munich-based private equity firm’s second fund closed with nearly double the $414m it raised for a previous fund in 2017, despite some fundraising delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, PE Insights reported.
Chrystal Capital Partners launches $100m medical cannabis fund. (FS)
Chrystal Capital Partners, a London-based entrepreneurial corporate finance and investment house, has launched Verdite Capital Fund I, a medical cannabis and cannabinoid focused alternative investment fund regulated in Guernsey.
A first close of $100m is planned for the end of 2020, with $75m committed from a cornerstone investor, subject to final documentation.
“We are delighted to launch Verdite, a fund that will address the equity funding gap in the hugely exciting and growing medicinal cannabis market. Overseen by a team with decades of cannabis and private equity experience, we believe that Verdite presents the vehicle through which investors can profit from the significant value creation that is now unfolding globally across the legal cannabis healthcare space,” Kingsley Wilson, Investment Partner.
Oman plans Gulf Sultanate’s biggest property trust IPO.
Oman REIT Fund is planning an initial public offering that could raise about $100m, in what could be the biggest-ever listing of a property trust in the Gulf sultanate. The REIT’s portfolio will include residential, commercial, office and logistics properties contributed by local companies and pension funds, Bloomberg reported.
The REIT, managed by Shumookh Fund Management, plans to seek a valuation of $170m or more. It aims to offer an annual dividend yield of about 7%.
The potential deal could rank as the country’s largest REIT IPO since the Capital Markets Authority set up regulations for such listings in 2018. Aman Real Estate Investment Fund, which started trading on the Muscat bourse earlier this year, was the first to take advantage of the new rules.
Link Administration, a shareholder registry firm, agreed to open its books to Carlyle Group and Pacific Equity Partners after they raised their offer for the firm to $2.05bn. However, the shareholder registry firm said it did not see “compelling value” in the sweetened $2.05bn takeover offer, Reuters stated.
Link said it was providing the information in the hope that it would lead to a proposal it could recommend to shareholders. The private equity duo had bumped up its offer by nearly 4% after Link rejected a previous offer last week. The promise of due diligence information comes on the deadline date set by the consortium, failing which it had threatened to walk away from the deal.
Link Group is advised by Macquarie Group, UBS, Herbert Smith Freehills, and GRACosway.
Investment Corporation of Dubai, Investcorp, Ascent Capital, DFC, Allana Group and private investor Iron Pillar invested $121m in Series C funding round in FreshToHome, a fully integrated online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce.
"We are pleased to partner with FreshToHome and to support the vision of management and the growth of the company. FreshToHome is a leader in leveraging AI-based technology and business innovation to bring a superior value proposition to customers and suppliers in a large and important market. At ICD, we seek to partner with companies like FreshToHome that are able to break new ground for the greater good while also enjoying a large shareholder value creation opportunity. This successful fundraising is a strong recognition of the company's achievements and significant potential," Khalifa Al Daboos, Deputy CEO Investment Corporation of Dubai.
Autohome, an online destination for automobile consumers in China, to invest $168m in TTP Car, an auction platform for used cars in China.
"Over the past two years, we have witnessed the robust development of China's used car market. As a leading used car auction platform in China, TTP is well positioned to add significant synergetic value to Autohome's used car business. By working closely with TTP, Autohome will deeply integrate itself into upstream supply of used cars, leverage the transaction business to further develop its auto finance operations, and build a comprehensive C2B2C ecosystem for used car transactions, aiming to become China's largest used car platform," Min Lu, Autohome Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO.
YF Capital, a private equity firm, led a $315 Series E round in ZKH Industrial Supply, a Chinese e-commerce platform. Entities like state-owned China Structural Reform Fund, CIC Capital, GLP-C&D Equity Investment Fund, and Xiamen C&D also participated in the round. The fundraise also saw participation from existing investors Eastern Bell Capital, Genesis Capital, Tencent, Tiger Management, Matrix Partners China, Legend Capital, and Cowin Capital.
With the capital injection, the company will expand its presence, develop its services and products, as well as build its team.
New Orient seeks up to $1.54bn in Hong Kong IPO.
New Oriental Education & Technology Group, a Chinese tutoring, test preparation and private school operator, is looking to raise as much as $1.54bn in its second listing in Hong Kong.
New Oriental is selling 8.51m shares in its offering, according to a company statement. It has set a maximum price of $180.52 for the portion of the deal being marketed to Hong Kong’s retail investors, which represents a premium of almost 7% over Tuesday’s closing price of $168.81 for its American Depositary Shares. One ADS represents 1 ordinary share, Bloomberg reported.
New Oriental plans to price the Hong Kong shares on November 3, according to the statement. It intends to use the proceeds for purposes including investing in technologies to enhance students’ learning experience and for business expansion and acquisitions. Trading is slated to start on November 9.
Credit Suisse, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS are joint sponsors for the offering.
AES and PetroVietnam Gas consider signing a $2.8bn LNG deal.
AES, a company that sells electricity under long term contracts and serves customers under its regulated utility businesses, plans to sign a deal with PetroVietnam Gas, a company engaged in gathering, manufacturing, storing, distributing, and trading gas products, develop a $2.8bn liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and a power plant in Vietnam, Reuters reported.
"Vietnam has given the green light to AES, a company based in Virginia, to go forward with the project. American companies adhere to the rule of law and transparency and have very high standards of quality for their products,” Pompeo said. “I say that because that’s quite a contrast with the Chinese state-backed companies," Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State.
The deal will open the door for the import of billions of dollars worth of US LNG to Vietnam each year.
Jaya Grocer explores strategic opinion.
The owners of Jaya Grocer are weighing selling a controlling stake in a deal that would value Malaysia’s biggest high-end supermarket chain at more than $200m, Bloomberg reported.
The Teng family, who founded the supermarket, and the Asean Industrial Growth Fund, whose backers include Japan’s Mitsubishi, are working with an adviser on the potential stake sale. Non-binding bids are due as soon as next month.
Deliberations are ongoing and there is no certainty that a deal will proceed. The family could also decide to keep part of their stake.
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