Lee Enterprises, a major subscription and advertising platform and a provider of local news and information, said its board has approved a shareholder rights plan, also known as a poison pill, that would prevent hedge fund Alden Global Capital from acquiring more than 10% of the company as it considers Alden's $141m hostile bid for the newspaper publisher.
The plan will be in effect for a year, WSJ reported. Lee Enterprises Chairman Mary Junck said the plan would give the company's board and its shareholders time to assess the acquisition proposal without undue pressure.
Lee Enterprises is advised by Sard Verbinnen & Co. Alden Global is advised by Moelis & Co, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Olshan Frome Wolosky and Goldin Solutions.
Emergent Cold Latin America, a warehousing and logistics provider, completed the acquisition of Friopacifico, a cold storage business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are proud to welcome the Friopacífico team to our growing Latin American network. Our company’s vision is to bring together the leading cold storage and logistics businesses across the region’s most essential global trading markets, which makes Friopacífico a perfect fit for our organization. I wish to thank Blumar and Inversiones Galletue for their trust as we move forward and support this important marketplace," Neal Rider, Emergent LatAm CEO.
Emergent Cold was advised by 44 Capital, NLD Abogados and RAM Communications. Debt financing was provided by Scotiabank.
CVB Financial, the holding company for Citizens Business Bank, announced that Citizens has received regulatory approvals from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation to complete its announced merger with Suncrest Bank.
“We are pleased to have obtained all required regulatory approvals or non-objections for our anticipated merger with Suncrest Bank. This acquisition is an exciting opportunity for Citizens Business Bank to expand our presence northward to the Sacramento area and to bolster our already strong position in the important Central Valley region of California. We are excited to build on the strong customer and community relationships established by Suncrest Bank, and we are looking forward to a successful closing and smooth integration," David Brager, CVBF President and CEO.
Suncrest Bank is advised by MJC Partners and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton. Citizens Business Bank is advised by Piper Sandler and Manatt Phelps & Phillips.
eCombustible Energy, an innovator and provider of customizable hydrogen-based fuel for thermal industrial applications, agreed to go public via merger with Benessere Capital Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, in an $805m deal.
"We believe a carbon-free future will best be achieved on a win-win basis, with fossil fuel-reliant industries being empowered to transition to clean and renewable energy solutions without crippling investments. This business combination is intended to fuel the acceleration and adoption of eCombustible, and we are confident that we can help many of the world's largest industrial companies' transition to our carbon-free fuel and advance ESG objectives in a seamless, viable, and impactful way," Jorge Arevalo, eCombustible Energy CEO.
GGV Capital, a venture capital firm, led a $150m Series D round in Vercel, a platform to develop, preview and ship websites. Additional investors included Accel, Bedrock Capital, CRV, Geodesic Capital, Greenoaks Capital, GV, 8VC, Flex Capital, Latacora, Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Global, and SV Angel.
“The speed with which both the use of our platform and this market have expanded is simply astounding, and the strong support we have seen from our investors has been a major contributor to that growth. With the web increasingly becoming the go-to platform for major app development and deployment and Next.js at the core of that movement, Vercel’s relevance and criticality only continues to grow. We look forward to using these funds to put even stronger capabilities into the hands of developers, faster. By working closely together we can continue to create the next big things," Guillermo Rauch, Vercel CEO.
Hg Capital-backed smartTrade, a provider of multi-asset electronic trading solutions, agreed to acquire TickTrade, a Toronto-based technology firm providing next-generation FX trading and payments SaaS solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"For both smartTrade and TickTrade customers, the combination is extremely compelling. It brings two industry-leading technologies together – one complementing the other, creating a unique breadth and depth of product capabilities," David Vincent, smartTrade Group CEO and Co-Founder.
smartTrade is advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Symphony Technology Group in talks to acquire a unit of FIS. (FS)
Symphony Technology Group, an American private equity firm, is in talks to acquire parts of the capital markets business of Fidelity National Information Services, an American company which offers a wide range of financial products and services, in a deal that could be valued at about $2bn, Bloomberg reported.
The technology-focused private equity firm could announce a purchase of the assets as soon as next week. They include FIS's treasury management, alternative-trading and algorithm-based trading platforms.
Definity targets top property and casualty insurers place after IPO.
Definity Financial will rely on both organic growth and acquisitions to become one of the top five property and casualty insurers in Canada, with $1.7bn initial public offering paving the way for it to advance its growth plans, Reuters reported.
"As a mutual company, we were limited in our access to capital. Now, following the IPO, we've finally placed ourselves in a position to compete and continue to grow," Rowan Saunders, Definity CEO.
Infinite closed its IPO at $276m.
Blank check company Infinite Acquisition closed its initial public offering of 27.6m units at a price of $10 per unit, which includes 3.6m units that the underwriter purchased pursuant to the full exercise of its over-allotment option.
The offering resulted in gross proceeds to the company of $276m.
Everest priced its IPO at $150m.
Blank check company Everest Consolidator Acquisition announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 15m units at a price of $10 per unit, to raise $150m in total. The offering is expected to close on November 29, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.
The company has granted the underwriter a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 2m units at the initial public offering price to cover over-allotments, if any.
Bain targets $1.5bn in second tech fund. (FS)
Private investment firm Bain Capital is pitching investors on its second technology-focused fund with a goal of raising $1.5bn barely a year after wrapping up the strategy’s debut fund with $1.25bn.
The new Bain Capital vehicle will focus on buyouts and late-stage growth investments in midsize North American companies, involving control and minority investments.
HighPost hope to raise $500m. (FS)
Private equity firm HighPost Capital, co-founded by Jeff Bezos‘s younger brother, is hoping to raise at least $500m from wealthy families and individuals to invest in consumer companies globally.
Raising funds would give HighPost more firepower to make acquisitions and further build up the company as it targets investments in areas including sports, media and leisure. The firm had $186m of assets at the end of March.
Vitol Group, a Dutch energy and commodity trading company, agreed to acquire Vivo Energy, a British downstream petroleum company with its headquarters in London, for $2.3bn.
"Since Vivo Energy was established 10 years ago, the company has had a clear growth strategy and looked to deliver sustainable value for all its stakeholders. The Independent Vivo Directors believe that Vivo's leading position in Africa means that it is well positioned to continue to capitalise on the opportunities that will arise from the fundamental growth drivers on the continent. Vivo also demonstrated the strength of its business model through the impacts of the pandemic, with a rapid recovery in operational and financial performance, supported by committed leadership and employees who embody the unique Vivo culture. This performance and strong financial position has enabled the business to deliver on its growth plans and allows the Independent Vivo Directors to consider its future and evaluate Vitol's offer from a position of strength," John Daly, Vivo Chair.
Vivo Energy is advised by Numis Securities, JP Morgan, Rothschild & Co, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Tulchan Communications. Vitol is advised by HSBC, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Brunswick Group.
TA Associates, a global growth private equity firm, agreed to invest in Nactarome, a group of companies specialising in the development and manufacturing of natural flavours, colours, functional ingredients and clean labels for the food and beverage industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Natural flavours and colours are a large market with a high-quality revenue model, which we believe has the potential for long-term structural growth. We are delighted to partner with Udo and Luigi on the next phase of organic and external growth of Nactarome while continuing to prioritise its customer-centric approach and commitment to sustainability," Patrick Sader, TA Associates Managing Director and Co-Head of EMEA Services Group.
Nactarome is advised by Ernst & Young, Ramboll, Fides Partners, Lazard, Facchini Rossi Michelutti and Pedersoli Studio Legale. TA Associates is advised by Ernst & Young, AlixPartners, Golder Associates, Labs Corporate Finance, Nomura, Latham & Watkins and BackBay Communications. Ambienta is advised by Tancredi.
DIF Capital Partners, a global independent infrastructure investment manager, agreed to invest in Plugit, an EV charging infrastructure company in Finland. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited about this unique opportunity to accelerate, our already fast and profitable growth, even further in the area of e-mobility. Partnering with DIF will enable us to meet our strategic objective of ten folding our business by 2025. DIF will provide us, not only the growth equity, but substantial financial resources enlarging and scaling up our CaaS services in Finland and other markets," Tommi Saarela, Plugit CEO.
Plugit is advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Krogerus. DIF is advised by Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, Improved Corporate Finance, Avance and DNV.
Generali, a financial services company, is set to acquire La Médicale, a health insurance provider, from Credit Agricole Assurances, an insurance services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
For Generali, this acquisition represents a key strategic opportunity for growth, enabled also by good ties with Credit Agricole. The transaction is fully in line with the 'Generali 2021' strategy and it confirms the group's commitment to deliver profitable growth whilst creating value for customers, consistent with Generali's Lifetime Partner ambition.
Telecom Italia's auditors meet before key board meeting.
A financial audit and risk committee of Telecom Italia examined its financial situation on November 25 ahead of a board meeting if there are no indications of the future of the biggest mobile phone company and its chief executive, Reuters reported.
Vivendi is pushing for a new change at the helm of TIM after two profit warnings since July partly due to the expensive deal with DAZN to screen Italy's most matches, which failed to boost its revenue. The Italian newspaper reported that a third-person auditor will examine the TIM's earnings and examine if it's possible that an extra-rent warning is necessary.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced that it will not oppose the $882m acquisition of the Australian consumer banking business of Citigroup, an American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation, by National Australia Bank, one of the four largest financial institutions in Australia.
"The ACCC's review focused on competition in the supply of credit cards, as Citi is a substantial provider of credit cards and credit card services. Evidence showed that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to raise competition concerns in any other areas of overlap, given Citi's minimal market share in these markets," ACCC.
NAB is advised by Bank of America and Herbert Smith Freehills. Citigroup is advised by Citigroup and King & Wood Mallesons.
Apollo-backed Showa Aluminum, an aluminum beverage packaging provider, agreed to acquire the aluminum rolled & extruded products business from Mitsubishi Materials, a manufacturer of cement products, copper and aluminum products. Financial terms are not disclosed.
“This transaction will bring together two highly complementary businesses, each with a proud heritage of providing high-quality aluminum products to a variety of end-markets and customers. We are also pleased to have worked with Mitsubishi Materials to structure a carve-out that meets their business portfolio transformation needs," Tetsuji Okamoto, Apollo Partner.
Apollo is advised by Bank of America, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.
KKR & Co agreed to invest in Taylor's Education Group, a Southeast Asian private educator. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Over the years, Taylor's Schools has grown in significance as a provider of top-class international school education in Malaysia and Singapore. With the intention to expand our portfolio of international schools in the ASEAN region, we are honoured that KKR has decided to collaborate with us in the next phase of our growth. We view their choice as a firm endorsement of the strategy of our K-12 schools platform. We believe that their commitment to building and sustaining long-term strategic partnerships suits us. They will complement our strength in education operations with their regional network, expertise in mergers & acquisitions as well as their access to capital," Dato' Loy Teik Ngan, Taylor's Executive Chairman.
Taylor's Education Group is advised by Rothschild & Co.
Shanghai Guosheng Group, 5Y Capital and Bohai Zhongsheng led a $313m Series A round in Moore Threads. Additional investors included CCB International, China Merchants Securities and Hubei Hongtai High-Quality Development Fund.
“Metaverse, automated driving, robots and bio-computing are inseparable from the empowerment of GPU, so the demand for GPU chips may very well explode," Wang Lixin, Bohai Zhongsheng Chairman.
Tiger Global and ADQ led a $248m Series E round in Spinny, a full-stack used car retailing platform, with participation from Avenir and Arena.
Spinny is expected to use the capital to invest in developing tech and product capabilities, for branding and to expand geographical reach.
BlackRock and CPPIB increase Paytm stakes. (FS)
Several of the biggest investors in Paytm’s record-breaking initial public offering added to their stakes in the Indian fintech giant after shares plunged by as much as 41%, Bloomberg reported.
BlackRock and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board were among so-called anchor investors in the IPO that bought more Paytm shares on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Actions hopes to raise $205m IPO.
Chinese fabless integrated circuit design company Actions Technology plans to raise about $205m through the IPO route on the Nasdaq-style STAR Market of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, DealStreetAsia reported.
Upon the completion of the IPO, Actions plans to allocate the majority of proceeds for the development of bluetooth audio chips, ultra-low power microcontroller unit applications, and construction of its research centre, among others.
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