Pluralsight, a provider of technology skill development solutions, said that Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm, will acquire the company for $3.9bn. Vista Equity increased its bid to acquire Pluralsight from $20.26 to $22.5 per share.
“The Pluralsight Board and management team are committed to acting in the best interests of the company and all of our shareholders, and appreciate the input that we have received from shareholders throughout this process. We worked with Vista to reach a revised agreement that provides an enhanced cash premium for Pluralsight shareholders. To that end, the directors who are parties to the TRA in their individual capacities, including me, have waived our rights to receive any TRA payments in connection with the acquisition by Vista, with those amounts being added to the additional consideration being offered by Vista to achieve the $22.50 per share price. Importantly, the revised transaction maintains a structure that preserves the ability of shareholders who are not officers and who are not receiving benefits under the TRA to determine the ultimate outcome of the transaction," Aaron Skonnard, Pluralsight Co-Founder and CEO.
Pluralsight is advised by Qatalyst Partners, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Joele Frank. Qatalyst Partners is advised by Morrison & Foerster. Vista Equity is advised by Morgan Stanley, Kirkland & Ellis and Laurel Strategies. Insight Partners is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Glazer Capital, one of the shareholders of QEP Resources, an energy producer, plans to vote against its pending acquisition by Diamondback Energy, an independent oil and natural gas company, saying a recent oil price rally makes the firm more valuable than the deal.
Diamondback is advised by Goldman Sachs, Moelis & Co, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Financial advisors are advised by Sullivan & Cromwell. QEP Resources is advised by Evercore, and Latham & Watkins. Evercore is advised by Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.
ImmunityBio, a privately-held immunotherapy company, completed the merger with NantKwest, a clinical-stage, natural killer cell-based therapeutics company.
"With the integration of ImmunityBio's pipeline, cutting-edge R&D capabilities, talented employees and clinical expertise, we expect to accelerate the delivery of new treatments for patients with unmet needs. Together we can unlock the combined potential of our assets, and look forward to building on our continued success as one company," Rich Adcock, NantKwest CEO.
NantKwest was advised by Barclays, Goodwin Procter, Joele Frank and LifeSci Public Relations. ImmunityBio was advised by Goldman Sachs, Lazard and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson. Financial advisors were advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Callaway, a company that designs, develops, and markets golf clubs, completed the merger with Topgolf, a company that operates golf entertainment facilities, in a $2.55bn deal.
"Callaway and Topgolf are just better together. Callaway's leadership in the global golf equipment market and geographic diversity, combined with Topgolf's revolutionary technology platform and access to golfers of all abilities, will allow both companies to accelerate growth and create competitive advantages. This transformational merger has already created and will continue to create meaningful shareholder value. We are very excited to begin this next chapter and I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together," Chip Brewer, Callaway President and CEO.
Topgolf was advised by JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Callaway was advised by Goldman Sachs and Latham & Watkins. Providence Equity Partners was advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Ambulnz, a provider of mobile medical services and patient transportation, agreed to go public via $1.1bn merger with Motion Acquisition, a SPAC.
“We’re excited to invest further in our TeleHealth Plus business, which has grown tremendously in the past year. The SPAC transaction arms the company with cash to further expand its national footprint and with public currency to pursue acquisitions in related fields such as personal emergency response systems," Stan Vashovsky, Ambulnz CEO.
Ambulnz is advised by Deutsche Bank, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Blueshirt Group, and Joele Frank. Motion Acquisition is advised by Barclays, Canaccord Genuity, and Graubard Miller.
SECURE Energy, an energy services company that focuses on providing specialized services to upstream oil and natural gas companies, agreed to acquire Tervita, a provider of waste management and environmental services, for $380m. The combined company will have an implied total enterprise value of approximately $1.8bn.
"We are pleased to announce the combination of these two great companies, resulting in the creation of a larger scale midstream infrastructure and environmental solutions business. Together, our highly talented teams will be better positioned to serve our customers, optimize existing infrastructure assets and operations and to drive greater discretionary free cash flow to the bottom line. We look forward to working with the Tervita Board of Directors and team, and we are excited about the value creation opportunities of this Transaction for all stakeholders," Rene Amirault, SECURE Chairman, President, and CEO.
SECURE Energy is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Peters & Co, Bennett Jones and Blake Cassels & Graydon. Tervita is advised by CIBC, TD Securities and Norton Rose Fulbright.
Pharmaceutical company ANI Pharmaceuticals agreed to acquire Novitium Pharma, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company with development, manufacturing, and commercialization capabilities, for up to $200m.
"Strengthening our well-established Generics business with enhanced development capabilities and increased focus on niche opportunities is a key pillar of ANI's growth strategy. The acquisition of Novitium aligns with this strategy, adding a best-in-class R&D engine that delivers sustainable growth through new product launches and offering upside through niche 505(b)(2) opportunities," Nikhil Lalwani, ANI Pharmaceuticals President and CEO.
Novitium Pharma is advised by SVB Leerink and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. ANI Pharmaceuticals was advised by Bourne Partners, Houlihan Lokey, Truist Bank, Hughes Hubbard & Reed and In-Site Communications.
Private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners agreed to invest in Ivanti, a company which automates IT and Security Operations to discover, manage, secure and service from cloud to edge. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Ivanti is extraordinarily well-positioned to provide solutions that enable organizations to collaborate and innovate freely. We were attracted to the company's leadership track record, vision and growth, as well as the value that has been created through recent acquisitions and strategic operational initiatives. We look forward to partnering with Clearlake, TA and the talented management team at Ivanti on the next chapter for this exciting company," Hiren Mankodi and Ryan Carroll, Charlesbank Managing Directors.
Ivanti is advised by Citigroup, UBS and Sidley Austin. Charlesbank is advised by Ropes & Gray. Clearlake is advised by Lambert & Co. TA Associates is advised by BackBay Communications.
Takeda, a Japanese multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company, agreed to acquire Maverick Therapeutics, a private biopharmaceutical company pioneering conditionally active bispecific T-cell targeted immunotherapies, for $525m.
"Takeda's exercise of their purchase option is a tribute to the Maverick team's singular focus on improving outcomes for patients with solid tumor cancers. Through the acquisition, patients will benefit from the expansion of resources and experience Takeda brings to accelerate development of our COBRA-derived therapies. Takeda has been an excellent partner since Maverick's inception, venerating our independence through a period marked by rapid innovation, providing actionable consultation, and providing direct cell line development and manufacturing support through the Covid-19 pandemic to keep us on our aggressive schedule," James Scibetta, Maverick Therapeutics CEO.
Maverick Therapeutics is advised by Verge Scientific Communications.
Stone Ridge, Morgan Stanley, New York Life, MassMutual, Soros Fund Management and FS Investments led a $200m funding round in NYDIG, a provider of technology and investment solutions for Bitcoin, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners and FinTech Collective.
"The firms participating in this round are more than investors – they are partners, each well known to us for years. NYDIG will be working with these firms on Bitcoin-related strategic initiatives spanning investment management, insurance, banking, clean energy, and philanthropy. These partnerships leave no doubt that institutional adoption of Bitcoin has arrived and, further, that NYDIG is the partner of choice for serious financial services firms with the highest fiduciary and diligence standards. In the months and quarters ahead, look out for an explosion of innovation in Bitcoin products and services delivered by NYDIG, in partnership with our new investors," Robert Gutmann, NYDIG CEO.
Tiger Global, an investment firm, led a $200m funding round in Cedar, a patient payment and engagement platform for hospitals, health systems and medical groups. Additional investors included Andreessen Horowitz, Concord Health Partners and Thrive Capital.
"The coronavirus pandemic has motivated health-care businesses to become more efficient and use products such as Cedar’s. The crisis has shown how important it is to invest in the digital experience,” lorian Otto, Cedar Co-Founder and CEO.
Diageo, a British multinational alcoholic beverages company, completed the acquisition of Far West Spirits, owner of the Lone River Ranch Water brand, and a hard seltzer company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to bring this vibrant young hard seltzer brand into our growing ready to drink portfolio. Lone River captures the magic of Americans’ love for agave flavoured beverages combined with their desire for light, convenient refreshment. This acquisition is very much in keeping with our strategy to acquire high growth brands in fast growing categories and we look forward to working with Katie and her team to drive Lone River’s continued momentum," Debra Crew, Diageo President.
Verdane Capital and Vitruvian Partners-backed EasyPark, a European provider of digital parking services, agreed to acquire ParkMobile, a provider of mobile parking solutions, from BMW and Daimler. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Over the past 12 years, ParkMobile has emerged as the technology leader in North America for contactless parking and mobility payments. Joining forces with EasyPark Group will enable us to continue this momentum into the future and opens up an array of new global growth opportunities," Jon Ziglar, ParkMobile CEO.
Panasonic considers acquiring Blue Yonder for $6.5bn. (FS)
Panasonic, a Japanese multinational consumer electronics corporation, plans to buy Blue Yonder, a US-based supply-chain software firm, for $6.5bn, in the Japanese electronics firm’s biggest acquisition since 2011, Reuters reported.
Panasonic, which bought a 20% stake in Blue Yonder for $5.5bn last year, is in the final stages of acquiring the rest of the stock from Blackstone. The acquisition would bolster Panasonic’s supply chain management services as the Covid-19 pandemic focuses on companies' attention on their resilience to disruption.
Eric Yuan transferred 40% of his stake in Zoom.
Founder of Zoom Video Communications, Eric Yuan, transferred roughly 40% of his stake, which is valued at about $6bn, in the company he runs. The transaction was recorded as two gifts of nearly 9m shares apiece, to unspecified recipients from two trusts for which Mr. Yuan and his wife are co-trustees.
"The distributions were made in accordance with the terms of Eric Yuan and his wife's trusts, and are consistent with the Yuans's typical estate planning practices," Zoom.
CPPIB plans to sell a stake in Puget Energy. (FS)
Bloomberg reported that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is considering selling a stake in Puget Energy, a US-based energy utility.
The investment group is working with an adviser to reduce its 31.6% stake by about 10 percentage points. The sale is expected to fetch $700m, valuing Puget Energy at up to $7bn, including debt.
Fortress in talks to acquire assets from Colony Capital. (FS)
Fortress Investment Group, an American investment management firm, is in talks to acquire assets from Colony Capital, an international investment firm, as the real estate investment trust accelerates its pivot toward digital infrastructure holdings, Bloomberg reported.
The companies discuss a transaction that includes Colony's wellness infrastructure portfolio, which it previously referred to as health care. The wellness real estate was valued at about $3.3bn at December, 31, 2020, and the unit has $2.7bn of net debt.
The talks also revolve around some of Colony's holdings in a segment it calls 'other equity and debt,' where the firm houses its stake in credit manager Colony Credit Real Estate. Discussions are ongoing, terms are not finalized and there is no certainty a transaction will be reached.
Coinbase to be valued at $90bn in a private auction.
Coinbase Global shares changed hands at a roughly $90bn value last week, in what could be the final chance for investors to trade its private stock before the digital currency exchange goes public, Bloomberg reported.
That valuation is based on $350 a share, the price the stock was trading at on the Nasdaq Private Market auction that ended last Thursday. The auction was the last time shares are being sold on the Nasdaq Private Market before Coinbase goes public in late March.
Frontier files paperwork for US IPO.
Frontier Group, a United States-based airline holding company, filed paperwork for an initial public offering. The filing did not disclose the number of shares or the price range at which Frontier expects to sell them on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
Citigroup, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Evercore are the lead underwriters for Frontier's offering.
TPG-backed SPACs to raise more than $1bn via IPOs. (FS)
TPG Capital-backed three blank-check companies are planning to raise over $1bn via initial public offerings, Reuters reported.
The firms, TPG Pace Tech Opportunities II, TPG Pace Beneficial II and TPG Pace Solutions, have filed to raise $450m, $350m and $250m, respectively, by selling ordinary shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
HIG Capital closes $1.4bn HIG Bayside Loan Opportunity Fund. (FS)
HIG Bayside Capital, a special situations and distressed debt affiliate of HIG Capital, announced the final closing of HIG Bayside Loan Opportunity Fund VI, with capital commitments of $1.4bn, exceeding its target.
“The Fund will continue HIG’s successful investment strategy of focusing on investments in US small and midcap special situation credit opportunities. We are thrilled with the strong response by our limited partners, which reflects their confidence in the capabilities of our team and our differentiated approach,” Sami Mnaymneh and Tony Tamer, HIG Capital Co-CEOs.
VMG Partners closes Growth Fund V at its $850m target and hard cap. (FS)
VMG Partners, a private equity firm focused on partnering with entrepreneurs and managers to support the growth and strategic development of leading branded consumer product and technology companies through its Growth and Catalyst funds, closed its VMG Partners V, at its target and hard cap of $850m. With the closing of VMG Growth Fund V, VMG's assets under management increases to c. $2.6bn.
"Our passion at VMG is to support the broader consumer ecosystem of entrepreneurs, retailers, and global CPG strategics regarding where the consumer is going versus where they've been historically. Through our genuine and consistent efforts to support the broader consumer ecosystem, we'll have the opportunity to partner with best-in-class founders and teams to build leading brands," Wayne Wu, VMG Partners General Partner.
Shares of Suez, a waste management company, rose above the $21 buyout price offered by Veolia Environnement, a French transnational company, suggesting some investors expect an improved bid.
For the first time since Veolia unveiled its acquisition plan, Suez has topped the price proposed by the French water utility. Tuesday’s advance followed comments from Philippe Varin, Suez Chairman, that Veolia must make an offer “well above” $21 before negotiations can begin.
Suez is advised by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Rothschild & Co, Societe Generale, Bredin Prat, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, Sullivan & Cromwell and Brunswick Group. Veolia is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Agricole, HSBC, Messier Maris & Associes, Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Flichy Grange Avocats, Gide Loyrette Nouel, Hogan Lovells, Patrice Gassenbach, Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associes, Xavier Boucobza, and Image Sept. Engie is advised by BNP Paribas, Centerview Partners, Credit Suisse, Lazard, d'Angelin & Co, Weil Gotshal and Manges, Estudio de Comunicacion, and Havas Paris.
The European Commission gave unconditional authorization to the $9.2bn merger between Nexi, an Italy-based financial technology company, and Nets, a Danish payments company. The merger will create Europe’s largest payments group.
Nets is advised by Ernst & Young, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bruun & Hjejle, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Advent International is advised by Weil Gotshal and Manges. Mercury is advised by Barclays and Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati. Nexi is advised by KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, AlixPartners, Bain & Co, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Centerview Partners, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Lazard, Mediobanca, Accura Advokatpartnerselskab, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Galbiati Sacchi e Associati, Legance, Linklaters, Barabino & Partners and KPMG. Financial advisors are advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Latham & Watkins.
According to a Bloomberg report, EssilorLuxottica's bid for eyewear retailer GrandVision is on track for European Union regulatory approval as soon as this month, clearing one hurdle for the deal even as talks on the future combination continue.
The companies are in the final stages of an EU merger review that will pave the way for approval before an April 12 deadline. The duo have received positive feedback for concessions to sell off stores across Europe to eliminate overlaps between their businesses.
GrandVision is advised by ING Bank, Bredin Prat and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. EssilorLuxottica is advised by BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, BonelliErede, Latham & Watkins, Stibbe, Sullivan & Cromwell, Brunswick Group and Community Group. Debt financing is provided by Credit Agricole and HSBC. Debt providers are advised by Hogan Lovells. HAL is advised by NautaDutilh.
Entain, a sports-betting and gaming group, received necessary regulatory approvals regarding the recommended $433m public cash offer to the shareholders of Enlabs, a gaming company.
Entain is pleased to confirm that it has now received all the necessary approvals from relevant competition and gaming authorities. Consequently, the condition for the completion of the offer regarding the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals has been fulfilled.
Enlabs is advised by Carnegie Investment Bank, Mangold Fondkommission and Gernandt & Danielsson. Enlabs is advised by Lazard, Cobalt, Mannheimer Swartling, Fogel & Partners and Powerscourt.
TowerBrook Capital and Warburg Pincus, American private equity firms, completed the acquisition of AA, a provider of road services for commercial customers for £218m ($289m).
"The board, having considered carefully the viability of a range of alternative potential debt and equity refinancing options together with its financial advisers, has indicated to the consortium that it would be willing to recommend a cash offer on the terms of the proposal. Accordingly, the company is engaged in advanced discussions with the consortium in relation to the possible offer," AA.
AA was advised by Citigroup, Evercore, JP Morgan, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and FTI Consulting. TowerBrook Capital and Warburg Pincus were advised by Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters and Brunswick Group.
ION Investment, an Ireland-based provider of software to financial institutions and corporations, and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, offered to acquire Cerved Group, an Italian financial services firm, for $2.2bn.
The offer of $11.3 per share represents a premium of about 36% over Cerved’s March 5, 2021 closing share price. The takeover of Cerved will proceed only if at least 90% of shareholders accept.
GIC and ION Investment are advised by Banca IMI, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Sociedad De Valores, Chiomenti, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, a global private equity firm, completed the acquisition of Creditinfo Group, a provider of credit information and risk management solutions worldwide. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to support Creditinfo's expansion and growth through this investment. LLCP's significant experience investing in companies around the world will enable Creditinfo to further establish its leadership in the credit risk and fintech industry and support to its international client base," Erik Nobel, LLCP Managing Director.
Creditinfo was advised by Alantra and DLA Piper. LLCP was advised by Roland Berger, Castlegreen, RSM International, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Kekst CNC and Deloitte.
Primonial Group, an independent wealth and asset management group, agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Union Générale des Placements, a French financial consultant.
Through this strategic equity investment, the Primonial group consolidates its offering by focusing on investment solutions that are relevant in the current market environment but also in the longer term because of their adaptability.
Union Générale des Placements is advised by Rothschild & Co and Delsol. Primonial Group is advised by Deloitte, CMS and Gide Loyrette Nouel.
NEO Energy, an independent full-cycle energy business, agreed to acquire Zennor Petroleum, an oil and gas company, from private equity firm Kerogen Capital for $625m.
"We are pleased to be able to deliver an attractive return for our shareholders and we would like to thank Kerogen for their support over the last 5 years. Our relationship with Kerogen has been very collaborative and their support in strategic, financial and technical matters has been instrumental in growing Zennor's business. We are excited to see our joint efforts culminating in a successful monetization of Zennor's portfolio in a transaction with one of the leading players in the UK North Sea," Martin Rowe, Zennor Petroleum Managing Director.
Zennor Petroleum is advised by Citigroup and CMS. NEO Energy is advised by Hawthorn Advisors.
Cairn Energy, an independent oil and gas exploration and development company, agreed to acquire the Egyptian upstream assets of Shell, a British-Dutch multinational oil and gas company, for $926m.
"The proposed acquisition of Shell's Western Desert assets in Egypt is an important step in our strategic ambition to expand and diversify our producing asset base, bringing material reserve and production additions and offering significant exploration potential," Simon Thomson, Cairn CEO.
Cairn is advised by Rothschild & Co and Brunswick Group. Shell is advised by Citigroup.
Waldorf Production, a private oil and gas company based in Manchester, agreed to acquire the Catcher and Kraken fields from Cairn Energy, an independent oil and gas exploration and development company, for $460m.
"The divestment of our UK producing assets as they move into decline phase, will further strengthen our ability to pursue Cairn's strategic goals and position the company robustly for the decade ahead," Simon Thomson, Cairn CEO.
Cairn is advised by Rothschild & Co and Brunswick Group.
Fidelity Management & Research, an American multinational financial services corporation, led a $376m Series D funding round in Starling Bank. Additional investors included Qatar Investment Authority, RPMI Railpen, and Millennium Management.
“Digital banking has reached a tipping point. Customers now expect a fairer, smarter and more human alternative to the banks of the past and that is what we are giving them at Starling as we continue to grow and add new products and services. Our new investors will bring a wealth of experience as we enter the next stage of growth, while the continued support of our existing backers represents a huge vote of confidence," Anne Boden, Starling Bank Founder and CEO.
Starling Bank was advised by Rothschild & Co and Norton Rose Fulbright.
Prime International Oil&Gas Company, a newly established company formed by former Eni's local employees team and Hub Power Company, agreed to acquire Pakistan assets of Eni, an Italian multinational oil and gas company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This agreement aligns to Eni's wider strategy of reshaping and simplifying the company's portfolio, extracting additional value from its strategic assets and disposing non-core businesses as per its Strategic Plan 2021-2024.
Triton Partners, an investment firm, agreed to acquire a stake in Bergman Clinics, a chain of independent clinics in the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia, from NPM Capital, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to support the management and employees of Bergman Clinics by investing in and supporting the growth and European expansion of the clinics network," Peder Prahl, Triton General Partner.
NPM Capital is advised by JP Morgan.
CVC Capital Partners nears a $2.6bn acquisition of Cooper Pharma. (FS)
CVC Capital Partners is nearing a deal to acquire Cooper Pharma, a pharmaceutical company, for about $2.6bn, Bloomberg reported.
The private equity firm is discussing detailed terms of an agreement with Cooper’s owner, Charterhouse Capital Partners. CVC beat out rival suitors including a consortium led by PAI Partners. No final agreements have been signed yet, and talks could still fall apart.
Piaggio Aerospace receives four non-binding offers.
Piaggio Aerospace, a multinational aerospace manufacturing company that filed for protection from creditors in late 2018, received four non-binding offers for the group's aircraft and engine businesses.
On February 24, 2021, Piaggio Aerospace had formally invited five bidders to make an acquisition offer for the group.
Desktop Metal considers the acquisition of SLM Solutions.
Desktop Metal, a technology company that designs and markets 3D printing systems, recently approached rival SLM Solutions Group about a potential acquisition before putting the plans on ice, Bloomberg reported.
Desktop Metal signaled its interest in making an all-stock bid valuing the German company at around €600m ($715m). The two firms held some informal talks about the potential offer of roughly €30 ($36) per share before Desktop Metal decided not to proceed.
Vodafone seeks $2.4bn from Vantage Towers IPO.
Vodafone Group seeks to raise $2.4bn from an initial public offering of its European mobile-phone towers unit in Frankfurt, in what will be one of the region's biggest stock market listings this year, Bloomberg reported.
The company intends to sell shares in Vantage Towers at $26.8 to $35 apiece. Vodafone aims maximum proceeds of $3.3bn from the offering, which would include an option to increase the deal size and an over-allotment. The final number of shares sold will depend on where the IPO prices.
Investcorp raises about $1bn for its first private equity fund. (FS)
Investcorp, a global manager of alternative investment products, raised about $1bn for its first private equity fund focused on North American assets, PE Insights reported.
The company is set to complete the first close on the fund soon, and aims to eventually raise about $2bn. The fund will focus on investing in areas including technology and data companies, along with supply chain and industrial services.
Agilitas closes €565m Europe fund. (FS)
European mid-market private equity company, Agilitas, closed its Europe fund on a €565m ($671m) hard cap.
The new fund, Agilitas 2020 Private Equity, will focus on mid-market companies across Western Europe in sectors including healthcare, environmental technologies and services, education and essential infrastructure.
Source Code Capital and Starnach Capital led a $460m Series C round in Zhongneng, a domestic one-stop engineering equipment leasing platform, with participation from Shanghai North High-tech, Yimei Capital, Fuyu Venture Capital, Ruixiang Capital and Yibo Finance.
"Zhongneng United is a leader in the field of industrial Internet and a representative enterprise of intelligent construction machinery industry. After continuous innovation and iteration, the company reconstructed the new ecology of the leasing industry," Cao Yi, Source Code Capital Founding Partner.
Ganfeng Lithium, a China-based company principally engaged in the research, development, production and sales of deeply processed lithium products, agreed to acquire a 49% stake in a lithium salt lake project from China Minmetals, a company engaged in the production and trading of metals and minerals, for $225m.
The project uses the salt lake’s brines to make battery chemical lithium carbonate, as well as potassium chloride. The transaction would require regulatory approvals and that state-owned Minmetals would retain the mining rights.
FountainVest Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in global brand investment, led a $100m funding round in USHOPAL, a new luxury beauty and new retail group in China, with participation from Cathay Capital, Zhongyuan Capital, Hengxu Capital and Dazhong Zhongsong Fund.
"With this round of financing, the already cash-flexible USHOPAL will be even more equipped to invest in its portfolio, and Bonnie & Clyde experience centers. The USHOPAL leadership team has many years of brand-building and omnichannel-building experience, making it uniquely positioned to fuse story-telling and know-how to build up superbly differentiated niche luxury beauty brands into category leaders in China. We will continue to co-invest and reinforce USHOPAL's brand matrix to become a retail group bold and respected globally," Lu Guo, USHOPAL CEO.
LinkAja, an Indonesian state-backed digital wallet, secured investment from Gojek, a ride-hailing and payments platform, as part of its ongoing Series B round, which has now exceeded $100m, DealStreetAsia reported. In November last year, LinkAja secured funding from Grab, Telkomsel, BRI Ventures, and Mandiri Capital.
“This strategic investment is a further validation of our growth and progress as a startup founded by the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises in delivering our mission to accelerate financial inclusion in Indonesia, particularly for the underbanked and unbanked, and micro, small and medium enterprise segments,” Haryati Lawidjaja, LinkAja CEO.
Goldman Sachs puts JRE up for sale. (FS)
Japan Renewable Energy, a renewable energy project development company, has been put up for sale by its owners, including Goldman Sachs and GIC, Reuters reported.
A deal is expected to draw interest from large European energy players eager to enter Japan's green power market, including the continent's renewable firm RWE as well as oil major Shell, which plans to aggressively expand in solar and wind.
Tokopedia and Gojek ink conditional sales agreement.
Indonesian tech unicorns Tokopedia and Gojek signed a conditional sales and purchase agreement as they inch closer towards sealing a merger deal, DealStreetAsia reported. Gojek shareholders are expected to hold 60% in the merged entity, while Tokopedia will hold the rest
Following the merger, the combined entity is expected to command a valuation of $35-40bn. At that valuation, it will be the third most valued company in Indonesia after PT Bank Central Asia and PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia in terms of market capitalization on IDX.
China Telecom intends Shanghai's second listing.
China Telecom, a Chinese state-owned telecommunication company, is considering a new listing in Shanghai as it looks for a new financing channel months after it was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange under an executive order from former US President Donald Trump.
The company will issue as many as 12bn shares on the mainland China bourse. The company did not reveal pricing for the new shares. The second listing will help China Telecom tap diversified financing channels in both domestic and overseas capital markets.
Abbisko Therapeutics plans Hong Kong IPO. (FS)
Warburg Pincus and Carlyle Group-backed Abbisko Therapeutics, a Chinese biotech company, is considering a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise about $250m, Bloomberg reported.
Abbisko is working with advisers on the offering. The company intends to list as soon as this year. Deliberations are at an early stage and details such as size and timing could change.
Edelweiss sets up third Crossover Opportunities Fund. (FS)
Edelweiss Wealth Management, an Indian financial services company, set up the third series of Edelweiss Crossover Opportunities Fund with a targeted corpus of about $700m. Crossover III will see the largest fundraise after earlier series funds.
The latest fund, which is a Category II alternative investment fund, will focus on late-stage private equity and pre-IPO investments. The late-stage PE space has gained momentum in India expanding to a new level of scale and opening up larger opportunities.
"The phase of 2-3 years pre IPO and 2-3 years post IPO represents one of the best phases of growth and makes for a very attractive investment strategy. Crossover III will focus on this phase of high growth of future-ready businesses and partner with them as they transform into lasting publicly-listed franchises," Pranav Parikh, Edelweiss Managing Partner & Head of Private Equity.
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