Vista Equity Partners, an investment firm focused on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses, agreed to acquire Pluralsight, a technology workforce development company, for $3.5bn. Under the terms of the agreement Pluralsight shareholders will receive $20.26 in cash for each share of common stock they own. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.
“Through this partnership with Vista, we will be able to move faster and be more agile, accelerate our strategic vision and, ultimately, deliver deeper, more powerful solutions that help companies adapt and thrive in the digital age. We are relentlessly focused on helping enterprises improve and optimize their technology workforce and providing the most effective path to skills transformation for their technology teams. We’re thrilled that we will be able to leverage Vista’s expertise to further strengthen our market leading position,” Aaron Skonnard, Pluralsight Co-Founder and CEO.
Vista Equity Partners is advised by Morgan Stanley, Kirkland & Ellis and Laurel Strategies. Pluralsight is advised by Qatalyst Partners, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Joele Frank.
Huntington Bancshares, a regional bank holding company, to merge with TCF Financial, a Michigan-based financial holding company. Financial terms were not disclosed. The merger is expected to close in the 2Q of 2021, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of customary regulatory approvals and approval by the shareholders of each company.
"This merger combines the best of both companies and provides the scale and resources to drive increased long-term shareholder value. Huntington is focused on accelerating digital investments to further enhance our award-winning people-first, digitally powered customer experience. We look forward to welcoming the TCF Team Members. Together we will have a stronger company better able to support our customers and drive economic growth in the communities we serve," Stephen D. Steinour, Huntington Bancshares Chairman, President and CEO.
Huntington Bancshares is advised by Goldman Sachs and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. TCF Financial is advised by Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Stifel and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
PTC, a company that enables global manufacturers to realize double-digit impact with software solutions, agreed to acquire Arena Solutions, a SaaS PLM company for $715m. Subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to be completed in PTC's fiscal Q2 2021.
"This acquisition is the logical next step in PTC's strategy to be the industrial SaaS leader. A big first step was the acquisition of Onshape, the SaaS leader in CAD and collaborative design capabilities. Arena will enable us to round out the solution with full PLM capabilities and deliver the only complete CAD + PLM SaaS solution in the industry," Jim Heppelmann, PTC President and CEO.
PTC is advised by Centerview Partners and Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Arena Solutions is advised by Barclays, Goodwin Procter and JMI Equity.
Murphy USA, a retailer of gasoline and convenience merchandise, to acquire QuickChek, a chain of convenience stores, for $645m. The transaction is expected to close during the 1Q of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
QuickChek and Murphy USA both reflect a family heritage and a strong people culture. I am thrilled by Murphy USA’s commitment to honor our legacy and preserve our brand while learning from our business model. I am proud of what we have accomplished in making QuickChek what it is today and I am excited about the opportunities for continued growth and success in the next chapter in QuickChek’s journey. I know QuickChek’s dedicated employees and valued customers remain in good hands,” Dean Durling, QuickChek CEO and Chairman.
QuickChek is advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Weil Gotshal and Manges. Murphy USA is advised by RBC Capital Markets and Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Reddit, a social network, is set to acquire Dubsmash, a short-video platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Both Reddit and Dubsmash share a deep rooted respect for how communities come together. Dubsmash elevates under-represented creators, while Reddit fosters a sense of community and belonging across thousands of different topics and passions. It’s clear that our missions closely align and that our community-focused platforms can coexist and grow as we learn from each other,” Steve Huffman, Reddit CEO.
SafeToNet, a child online safety provider, agreed to acquire Net Nanny, a parental controls company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"It is probably the best known parental controls company in the world and is renowned for its use of deep tech and AI to filter harmful web content. By bringing our two products together, we will significantly enhance the safety of children online." Richard Pursey, SafeToNet Group CEO.
Algonquin Power and Utilities, a Canadian renewable energy and regulated utility conglomerate, agreed to acquire a 51% stake in RWE's Texas wind farm, an onshore wind farm, for $600m. The transaction is expected to close in the 1Q of 2021 and is subject to the commissioning of the projects under construction.
The disposal is part of RWE’s capital rotation programme and the proceeds will be used to finance further growth in the renewable energy business.
Elliott considers acquisition a stake in Public Storage. (FS)
Elliott Management, an activist investor, held “constructive discussions” with Public Storage in recent weeks and nominated six directors to the board, the real estate investment trust.
Elliott is seeking the board seats after buying a sizable stake in Public Storage, Bloomberg reported. It's unclear what Elliott’s plans are for the Glendale, California-based operator of storage facilities.
Electronic Arts, a digital interactive entertainment company, agreed to acquire Codemasters Group Holdings, a British video game developer, for $1.2bn. Take-Two also has bid for Codemasters.
Companies believe that the combination of Electronic Arts and Codemasters would bring together the world-class interactive entertainment portfolios and create amazing and innovative new racing games for fans. It can also bring benefits to Codemasters performance and will allow to grow companies' existing franchises and deliver more industry-defining racing experiences to a global fan base.
Electronic Arts is advised by UBS and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Codemasters id advised by Jefferies & Company, Liberum Capital, Gowling WLG, Reed Smith and Alma PR.
Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, agreed to acquire the polymethyl methacrylates and activated methyl methacrylates business of Arkema, a company in speciality chemicals, for $1.36bn.
“This acquisition will be a catalyst for portfolio transformation toward becoming a higher margin, less cyclical solutions provider. Arkema’s PMMA business has consistently delivered attractive margins with products serving many of Trinseo’s end markets. We believe this is an excellent first step in our portfolio transformation that is expected to ultimately include the separation of some of our commodity businesses. We look forward to the Arkema PMMA team joining Trinseo and we believe the complementary nature of the transaction should drive growth opportunities for the PMMA business globally,” Frank Bozich, Trinseo President and Chief Executive Officer.
Trinseo is advised Centerview Partners, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Kirkland & Ellis, Brunswick Group. Deutsche Bank and HSBC are providing debt financing.
EQT IX, a buyout group, is set to acquire Recipharm, a pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization, for $2.8bn. The shareholders of Recipharm are offered $26 in cash per class B share in Recipharm.
"Recipharm has generated strong growth over the past years through a number of acquisitions, and today holds a strong position in the global CDMO market. EQT wants to support Recipharm's continued development, which will require significant and long-term investments. We value Recipharm's management team and employees highly, and look forward to partnering with Lars Backsell and Thomas Eldered. We share many of the founders' values, including the importance of an entrepreneurial approach and a clear sustainability focus. As a very active investor in the global healthcare sector, EQT is well positioned to support Recipharm to futureproof its operations and accelerate its growth. We are convinced that we can add significant value, both in terms of expertise and capital," Erika Henriksson, EQT Partners Partner.
Recipharm is advised by Setterwalls Advokatbyra. EQT is advised by Goldman Sachs and Roschier Attorneys.
Montagu Private Equity-backed Tiger UK, a newly formed bid company, agreed to acquire Education Software Solutions business, a standalone provider of management information system, from Capita for c.£400m.
“We announced our intention to sell ESS earlier this year, as part of our strategy to simplify and strengthen Capita. The sale will help us simplify by disposing of a standalone business, while the proceeds will help strengthen Capita’s balance sheet, as we build towards a more focused, sustainable business for the long term. At the same time, our colleagues at ESS will benefit from a new owner with the focus and means to support further investment and growth, as the business transitions to its next-generation cloud-native software,” Jon Lewis, Capita Chief Executive Officer.
Montagu is advised by Greenbrook. Capita is advised by Barclays and Goldman Sachs.
Vestas Wind Systems, a Danish manufacturer, seller, installer, and servicer of wind turbines, completed the acquisition of the remaining stake in MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, its joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a Japanese multinational engineering, electrical equipment and electronics company, for €709m ($858m).
“The immediate priority for us will be to integrate offshore into our operating model, which together with a leading offshore product platform and continued focus on execution will enable us lead the industry overall and accelerate the energy transition,” Henrik Andersen, Vestas Group President and CEO.
Vestas Wind Systems was advised by Rothschild & Co.
BHG Group, a consumer e-commerce company, agreed to acquire a 97.6% stake in Nordic Nest, an online company within home furnishings, from Nordstjernan and a number of smaller shareholders for $212.5m.
”We are delighted and proud to continue our growth journey together with Nordic Nest and their strong leadership team. Nordic Nest is a fantastic, profitable and fast-growing company – and the strategic fit with BHG is perfect! The businesses complement each other nicely, both with regards to the customer offering and geographic footprint. In addition, the corporate cultures are based on the same values, with the customer and profitable growth at the centre,” Adam Schatz, BHG President and CEO.
Nordic Nest is advised by Carnegie Investment Bank.
EG Group, a British retailer which operates petrol stations and fast food outlets, is set to acquire filling station business of Österreichische Mineralölverwaltung, an oil and gas company, for $589m.
“We are delighted about the level of interest in our filling station business in Germany and to have reached an agreement with EG Group. This marks a further step in our previously announced $2.4bn divestment program and this transaction will reduce OMV’s debt by approximately half a billion euros at the time of closing”, Rainer Seele, OMV Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO.
Investcorp, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, completed the acquisition of Sanos Group, a provider of specialized clinical trial services to the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Sanos has established itself as the partner of choice for pharma and biotech companies looking to conduct clinical trials for osteoarthritis, a condition for which there is currently a very high unmet medical need given the large and growing population of people being affected by it and the fact that there is no cure for it at the moment. Leveraging its strong OA franchise, we believe that Sanos has significant potential for international expansion through new research clinics in the US -the largest market for clinical trials- and other European countries beyond Denmark. We look forward to partnering with Sanos’ experienced management team to realize the opportunities ahead,” Daniel Lopez-Cruz, Investcorp Head of Private Equity in Europe.
Equinor, a Norwegian oil major, completed the acquisition of a 49% stake in Krasgeonats, an East Siberian oil projects, from Rosneft, a Russian oil company, for c.$550m.
As per the arrangements agreed, all assets of Krasgeonats will be subject to the agreement on cooperation in industrial and fire safety, labour protection and environment signed by Rosneft and Equinor in 2018.
Saint-Gobain, a French multinational corporation producing a variety of construction materials, agreed to acquire El Volcan Soluciones Constructivas, a company specialized in the production and sale of plasterboard, from El Volcan Group, an exploitation company in Peru. This transaction is not subject to conditions and is expected to be finalized in January 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed.
After this new entity has been merged with SG Productos para la Construccion, which specializes in the production and sale of mortars and has been wholly owned by the Saint-Gobain Group since December 2019, Saint-Gobain will retain a 55% stake in the new consolidated group and will sell the remaining 45% to the El Volcan group.
Permira-backed Neuraxpharm, an European specialty pharmaceutical company, completed its acquisition of Medinutrix, an Irish pharma company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“When we founded Medinutrix, we dedicated ourselves to be a specialty pharmaceutical company delivering real value to patients and healthcare professionals. We are enthusiastic about our future as Neuraxpharm Ireland and the opportunity to work with such a dynamic and experienced team, to bring further innovative medicines to patients in Ireland,” Dave Shanahan, Medinutrix Founder.
Vantage seeks growth and is open to bigger deals.
Vantage, the telecoms infrastructure business spun out by Britain's Vodafone, is ready to join the dealmaking fray in Europe, but even with its existing asset base sees a decade of promising growth ahead, Reuters reported.
Vantage Towers, which owns 68k masts across nine European countries, is eyeing a spring listing in Frankfurt that would arm CEO Vivek Badrinath with the firepower to pay for takeovers with its own shares. Vodafone, Europe’s largest mobile player with 116m customers, is the first big operator to float a towerco and hopes that Vantage could fetch a market valuation of more than €18bn ($21.8bn).
"There is 10 years of growth ahead. So it's a good time to build, structure, strengthen and invest," Vivek Badrinath, Vantage Towers CEO.
Vivendi in talks to acquire Prisma Media from Bertelsmann.
Vivendi, a French media conglomerate, announced that it was in talks to buy Prisma Media, a French publishing house, from Germany's Bertelsmann.
Vivendi, whose main shareholder Vincent Bollore is vying with rival billionaire and LVMH boss Bernard Arnault for more influence at French media group Lagardere, said Prisma Media was France's number one press publishing group, with titles such as Femme Actuelle, Capital, Gala, and Tele-Loisirs.
Founded in 1835 as a publisher of theological texts, Bertelsmann is a private conglomerate spanning magazine, educational, and music publishing. The company also controls the European TV group RTL.
Mubadala reconsiders equities fund in investment shake-up. (FS)
Mubadala, Abu Dhabi state investor, is considering options including the spin-out of an internally managed $500m public equities fund after a weak performance, as the emirate shakes up state entities amid lower oil prices, Reuters reported.
Mubadala Investment, which manages more than $230bn in assets, plans to take a decision on what to do with its long-short public equities fund, part of investment arm Mubadala Capital, by early next year.
"While we are pleased with the overall portfolio performance within Mubadala Capital, we’re in the process of re-organizing its structure. As part of the re-organization, we have conducted reviews of our various Mubadala Capital businesses, including our public markets fund where the intention is to reduce our exposure over time," Mubadala spokesman.
China's regulators said they are reviewing Huya's proposal to acquire game-streaming rival DouYu International Holdings, part of a crackdown on anti-competitive behavior in the country’s technology industry that throws the $6bn transactions into question.
Guangzhou-based Huya offered to buy its domestic competitor in October, proposing an all-stock transaction that would have created a combined business valued at about $11bn at the time. Internet giant Tencent Holdings, a shareholder in both companies, would have had about 68% of the merged business’s voting shares.
Tencent is advised by Goldman Sachs, Latham & Watkins, Walkers and Zhong Lun Law Firm. Huya is advised by Citigroup, Haiwen & Partners, Maples Group and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Douyu is advised by Morgan Stanley, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Weil Gotshal and Manges.
Blackstone Real Estate, a real estate investing company, to acquire Soilbuild Business Space, a Singapore real estate investment trust, from Soilbuild Group, an integrated property group, for $525m. The proposed acquisition is to be effected by way of a trust scheme of arrangement.
The scheme consideration represents a premium of about 34.5%, 34.8%, 53.2$ and 29.1% over the volume-weighted average price per Soilbuild Business Space unit respectively for the one-month, three-month, six-month and 12-month period up to and including August 31.
"We believe that this proposal by Blackstone presents the best option for minority unitholders based on the offers received, representing the highest price received," Lim Chap Huat, Soilbuild Group Executive Chairman.
Soilbuild Business Space is advised by DBS Bank and KPMG. Soilbuild is advise by United Overseas Bank. Blackstone Real Estate is advised by Citigroup and Newgate Communications.
ManuLife, a Canadian insurance company, agreed to acquire Vietnamese business from Aviva, a British insurance company. Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to complete in the second half of 2021.
“We share an ambition to accelerate digital transformation to make lives better for millions of people across Vietnam. This partnership increases our market share leadership in Vietnam and capitalizes on our strong position as one of the leading international life insurers in Asia, further progressing our growth trajectory in the region,” Roy Gori, Manulife President and CEO.
Aviva is advised by Slaughter & May and Citigroup.
JD.com, a Chinese e-commerce company, agreed to invest $700m in Xingsheng Selected, a community group buying platform.
The investment, which is subject to unspecified customary closing conditions, is expected to create synergies between the businesses of JD.com and Xingsheng in low-tier cities through close collaboration in technology, supply chain, and logistics.
CICC and Tencent led consortium completed the $153m investment in Yonghui Superstores, a Chinese the department store operator. China Merchants Bank, Minsheng Securities' PE vehicle Minsheng Equity Investment Fund Management, and Shanghai-headquartered asset manager Greenwoods' investment arm Greenwoods Investment joined the latest round as new investors.
Existing investors including Yonghui Superstores - the parent company of Yonghui Fresh Food - Asia-focused PE firm Hillhouse Capital, and Sequoia Capital China re-upped in the round.
BRI Ventures, a corporate venture capital firm, led the Series A investment round in Brodo, an Indonesian shoemaker. Financial terms were not disclosed. PT Bank Rakyat also participated in the round through a subsidiary.
“With this funding, we will double down on our product innovation and strengthen our supply chain network to help deeper penetrate Indonesia’s market. We are also preparing for our second stage of growth to fulfill a specific mission of making Indonesian brands cool again. This will ignite the revolution of digital-first microbrands,” Yukka Harlanda, Brodo CEO.
Hyundai Mobis, a car parts company, is set to acquire semiconductor division of Hyundai Autron, an automotive supplier, for $122m.
With this acquisition, Hyundai Mobis plans to develop the capability of designing, developing and verifying semiconductors for vehicles and subsequently differentiate its integrated control technology in the future automotive field.
Chinese SAMR would fine Alibaba, Tencent-backed China Literature, and Shenzhen Hive Box.
China warned its Internet giants that it would not tolerate monopolistic practices and to brace for increased scrutiny, as it slapped fines and announced probes into deals involving Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings.
The State Administration of Market Regulation said it would fine Alibaba, Tencent-backed China Literature, and Shenzhen Hive Box CNY500k ($76.4k) each, the maximum under a 2008 anti-monopoly law, for not reporting past deals properly for anti-trust reviews.
"The fines of the three cases are a signal to society that anti-monopoly supervision in the Internet field will be strengthened. The Internet industry is not outside the oversight of anti-monopoly law" SAMR.
Air India received bids from Tatas and the employee group.
Air India has received early bids from the Tata Group and a cohort of its own employees as the government tries to rescue its loss-making flag carrier.
Tata Sons, the holding company of the conglomerate that controls Jaguar Land Rover and part-owns Air Asia's Indian unit, has submitted an expression of interest. A group of 219 Air India employees has also submitted a bid to purchase a majority stake. Tata Group is seeking to persuade its partner, Singapore Airlines, with whom it operates a joint venture, Vistara, to waive off a non compete clause in the agreement to bid for Air India and also partner the conglomerate in its bid.
The government has received multiple bids for Air India, Disinvestment Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said in New Delhi, the final day for bidding.
MTAR Tech plans to file for IPO.
MTAR Technologies, a Hyderabad-based precision engineering company, is planning to file its draft IPO papers soon, DealStreetAsia reported. The company, backed by Mathew Cyriac, the former India private equity co-head of Blackstone, develops and manufactures components and equipment for the defence, aerospace, and nuclear energy sectors. MTAR was incorporated in 1970.
They will file the draft red herring prospectus in the coming week. The plan is to raise around $215-233m through the IPO, through a mix of fresh issue of shares and an offer for sale by Cyriac’s investment firm. He holds a 33% stake, which he had acquired from his previous employer Blackstone for $89m.
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