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United Technologies and Raytheon offered concessions to address EU antitrust concerns about their plan to create a $121bn US aerospace and defense company.
The companies submitted their concessions on February 21, 2020. The European Commission extended its deadline for a decision to March 13 from February 28.
Raytheon is advised by Citigroup, RBC Capital Markets, Shearman & Sterling, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Joele Frank. United Technologies is advised by Evercore, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Sullivan & Cromwell and Maitland.
Xperi, a San Jose, California-based firm that licenses technology and intellectual property, received a $1.2bn all-cash buyout offer from Metis Ventures, a Delaware limited liability company.
The board of Xperi said it is unable to conclude that Metis' proposal is likely to lead to a superior proposal based on the current terms and conditions, reiterating its support for the pending all-stock deal with TiVo. Therefore Xperi announced that it would not be engaging in discussions with Metis Ventures.
Xperi is advised by Centerview Partners, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Sullivan & Cromwell and Sard Verbinnen & Co. TiVo is advised by LionTree Advisors and Cooley. Metis is advised by Maplewood Capital and Morrison & Foerster. Debt financing is provided by Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Perrigo, a manufacturer of private label over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, and Tengram Capital Partners, a private equity firm formed to invest in companies in the branded consumer products and retail space, agreed to acquire High Ridge Brands, a branded personal care company, for $121m.
An affiliate of Perrigo will acquire the company's oral care business and an affiliate of Tengram Capital Partners will acquire the company's hair care and skin cleansing business.
"This outcome maximizes the value of our strong brands and supports the interests of all of our stakeholders. The buyers bring significant resources and experience and have long track records helping acquired brands build on their strong foundations and continue to grow. The transaction will be seamless for both our customers and consumers. As we finalize the sale, we remain focused on continuing the on-time, in-full deliveries of all our hair care, skin cleansing and oral product lines," Patricia Lopez, High Ridge Brands' Chief Executive Officer and President.
High Ridge Brands is advised by Ankura Consulting, PJT Partners, Debevoise & Plimpton and Joele Frank. Perrigo is advised by Sawaya Capital and Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
Energy Capital Partners, a private equity and credit investor specializing in energy infrastructure projects, agreed to acquire the services business of CenterPoint Energy, an energy delivery company, for $400m. The sale is anticipated to be completed in the second quarter 2020.
"The sale of our gas retail business further positions CenterPoint Energy to focus on the long-term performance of our core electric and natural gas utility businesses. At the same time, this sale will strengthen our balance sheet and improve our business risk profile," John W. Somerhalder II, CenterPoint Energy Interim President and CEO.
CenterPoint Energy is advised by Goldman Sachs and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Energy Capital is advised by Latham & Watkins. Debt financing is provided by BNP Paribas.
Pritzker-backed Valicor Environmental Services, a provider of non-hazardous wastewater treatment services, completed the acquisition of Affiliated Wastewater Environmental Services, which operates a premier centralized wastewater treatment facility in Denver. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to expand Valicor’s leading network into Denver. Valicor continues to expand into new geographies in order to better serve both new and existing customers. AWES will play a key role as we serve customers out West and we are thrilled to welcome the AWES team to the Valicor family,” Bill Hinton, Valicor Chief Commercial Officer.
Santander Group agreed to acquire Elavon Mexico, a merchant payment solutions company, from Elavon, a processor of credit card transactions, for $86m. The company will be 49% owned by Santander Mexico and 51% by Santander Merchant Platform Solutions, which belongs to Santander Group.
“We have been pleased with the performance of our business in Mexico. This agreement is a mutually-beneficial opportunity that will allow Santander to operate the business holistically and allow Elavon to focus investments in higher growth opportunities in other markets in the United States, Canada and Europe. Recently, we announced the acquisition of Sage Pay in our European market, focused on growth in eCommerce product and distribution,” Jamie Walker, Elavon CEO.
Nelson Global Products, which manufactures and markets auto parts, agreed to acquire the Exhaust and Emissions business of Donaldson, a provider of innovative filtration products and solutions. Due to the receipt of this offer, Donaldson will engage in a consultation with its employee representative committees in Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We have a disciplined approach to managing our portfolio of filtration businesses, and the potential divestiture of Exhaust and Emissions reflects our commitment to pursuing opportunities where we believe we offer a distinct competitive advantage. In recent years, the technical and manufacturing competencies required to support the E&E business have evolved. We believe that Nelson, a global leader in the design and manufacture of thermal management, acoustic, air and fluid mechanics, and structural solutions, will provide E&E customers and employees a greater level of support,” Tod Carpenter, Donaldson Chairman, President and CEO.
DP World, a logistics company based in Dubai, completed the acquisition of Fraser Surrey Docks, a large, multi-purpose marine terminal located in the greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada, from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Fraser Surrey Docks, which complements our footprint on the west coast of Canada. We are seeing increasing demand from our customers for multi-purpose facilities in the region and we believe Fraser Surrey Docks has the relevant infrastructure and is in the right location to service this demand. We look forward to bringing DP World's best-in-class terminal operations to Fraser Surrey Docks," Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Chairman and CEO.
Private equity firm Industrial Opportunity Partners agreed to acquire PolyVision, a manufacturer of ceramic-coated steel used in whiteboards, chalkboards, and architectural cladding, from Steelcase, a United States-based furniture company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited to partner with the PolyVision team. We believe that PolyVision has a strong position in the market and an excellent reputation with its customers," Chris Willis, Industrial Opportunity Partners Director.
biproxi, an end-to-end commercial real estate platform, agreed to acquire OfficeSpace.com, an online commercial real estate marketplace that connects tenants and buyers with brokers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're excited to add OfficeSpace.com to the suite of products and services available from biproxi and to expand their offerings more broadly to the commercial real estate community. This acquisition will allow us to aggressively build on the success that OfficeSpace.com has seen as a listing site, while also continuing to develop a robust set of solutions for brokers under the biproxi brand," Gordon Smith, biproxi CEO.
SoftBank looking to invest $100m in Behavox. (FS)
SoftBank Group's Vision Fund 2 is set to invest $100m in compliance and employee-monitoring software company Behavox, according to a Bloomberg report.
The investment, which is in the form of preferred shares, values Behavox at about $500m. The investment group will also be represented on the company's board.
Former CEO abandons Mack-Cali takeover. (FS)
Former Mack-Cali Realty's Chief Executive Officer Tom Rizkabandoned efforts to take over the real estate investment trust.
“We do so reluctantly, but we have no choice as it has become abundantly clear that the company is refusing to engage with us in any substantive way,” Tom Rizk wrote in a February 23 letter to Mack-Cali’s board, citing “good-faith attempts” by his Rizk Ventures to negotiate a deal.
M33 Growth closes $260m fund. (FS)
M33 Growth, a venture and growth stage investment firm, closed its second fund, M3 Growth II, with $260m in limited partner commitments from endowments, foundations and institutional investors, as well as founders and CEOs.
“Our team brings a differentiated set of skills to our companies, most notably a one-two punch of extensive B2B software sales and marketing execution experience and a powerful sourcing engine to drive strategic acquisitions. This has proven to be the perfect match for the gritty and ambitious spirit of the founders we seek to collaborate with. Our approach to investing in a very limited number of teams allows us, as the founding partners of M33 Growth, to roll up our sleeves and dive deep with our companies,” Michael Anello, M33 Growth Co-Founder and Managing Director.
Next Glass to acquire assets of BeerAdvocate.
Next Glass, the company building software tools for beer enthusiasts, breweries and bars, agreed to acquire certain assets of BeerAdvocate, an independent online community of beer enthusiasts and professionals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Communities like BeerAdvocate and Untappd are important pillars of the brewing industry and deserve good stewardship. We have demonstrated an appreciation for the integrity of these platforms and the importance of the vision of founders. We have worked hand-in-hand with Untappd Founder Greg Avola over the last five years to improve the Untappd user experience, and we willl do the same with BeerAdvocate to ensure the brand remains true to its long-held central tenet – Respect Beer," Trace Smith, Next Glass President.
Akiem, a European locomotive lessor, agreed to acquire the rolling stock leasing business of Macquarie Europe Rail. The transaction includes 137 locomotives serving 21 freight and passenger operators across Continental Europe and the United Kingdom, 30 electric multiple units trains leased to the Greater Anglia franchise in the UK, 16 diesel multiple-unit trains that are operated under a Dutch franchise and 110 wagons. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of Macquarie European Rail's rolling stock leasing portfolio is another key milestone in Akiem Group's European expansion. It was made possible as part of the implementation of our efficient new funding platform, which closed last September. We are pleased to welcome MER teams into our organization. Our main goal is to better serve our customers with a wider geographical scope and a comprehensive portfolio of rolling stock and services. In addition, the acquisition of this first passenger train portfolio constitutes an opportunity to accelerate our market positioning with regards to passenger train financing in Europe and in the context of French market liberalization," Fabien Rochefort, Akiem CEO.
Akiem is advised by Nomura, Credit Agricole, Hogan Lovells and Sonia Rehill.
Private equity firm Mayfair Equity Partners completed the acquisition of atHome, an online classifieds and mortgage broking business in Luxembourg, from Oakley Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to count Mayfair as our newest partner to assist us as we explore new and exciting opportunities to take our business to the next level," Soufiane Saadi, atHome COO.
Mayfair Equity Partners was advised by Edelman. Oakley Capital was advised by Liberum Capital and Greenbrook.
Victory Park Capital Advisors, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a 17% stake in VPC Specialty Lending Investments, an investment trust that invests in opportunities in the alternative lending market through specialty lending platforms. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to welcome SVS as a new significant shareholder in VSL. This investment is clear evidence of their confidence in VSL's management, long-term strategy and growth prospects. Building on the performance announced in January 2020, VSL is well-positioned to achieve its near- and medium-term objectives. We look forward to continuing to generate an attractive total return for all shareholders, built on a consistent distributable income and capital growth strategy, through asset-backed lending," Kevin Ingram, VSL Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Board.
Victory Capital is advised by Jefferies & Company, Winterflood Investment Trusts and Edelman.
RTP Global, Novator and Mubadala Capital led a $100m Series B funding round for TIER Mobility, a European provider of micro-mobility solutions.
"Since launching in 2018, TIER has consistently driven innovation in the sector. With further scale, new fleet and the exciting pipeline of investments planned for 2020, TIER is set to further cement its position as the European leader in the space, and we are excited about contributing to the journey ahead," Birgir Már Ragnarsson, Novator Partner.
TIER Mobility is advised by JP Morgan.
Third Point calls on Britain's Prudential to break up. (FS)
Hedge fund Third Point amassed a more than $2bn stake in Prudential and called on the British insurer on Monday to split into two companies, Reuters reported.
Third Point's demands could lead to a major shake-up at Prudential, only a few months after it spun out its European insurance and asset management businesses into a new company called M&G.
Countrywide confirms talks with LSL.
Struggling UK real-estate broker Countrywide is in talks on a tie-up with rival LSL Property Services. The two companies said in statements that discussions on an all-share deal are ongoing. A combination would create Britain’s largest property group, with more than 14k employees.
Shares in Countrywide initially rose in London trading on Monday before erasing gains. Its shares are down about 39% over the past year, while LSL is up 37.5% during that period.
Stada to acquire 15 healthcare brands from GlaxoSmithKline for $325m. (FS)
Stada, a private equity-backed generic drugmaker, agreed to acquire 15 consumer healthcare products from GlaxoSmithKline, a British drugmaker, for $325m, Reuters reported.
The brands - venous treatment Venoruton, Coldrex cold remedy, Cetebe vitamin C supplements, Mebucaine for sore throats and Tavegyl allergy relief, among others - are marketed in more than 40 countries including Germany, Russia, Poland and Spain.
Actis acquires a Sheraton hotel in Casablanca. (FS, RE)
Emerging market investor Actis and Westmont Hospitality Group acquired the Sheraton Casablanca hotel in Morocco. Actis and Westmont will implement a comprehensive business plan which includes a full refurbishment.
"The acquisition of the Sheraton Casablanca marks the next step of our joint venture platform. Current hotel supply in Casablanca is not sufficient to meet the greater demand for higher-end products," Funke Okubadejo, Actis Director.
European buyout firms seek more than $80bn. (FS)
PE News reported that some of Europe's best-known private equity firms are preparing to raise new funds in what could be a record-breaking year for the region.
Charterhouse Capital Partners and Nordic Capital are both expected to raise their latest flagship funds this year, seeking a record of more than $80bn for new buyout funds.
Barclays to appoint headhunters in search for next CEO. (People)
Barclays is preparing to begin the search for its next chief executive, raising the prospect of yet more change at the top of one of Europe's largest banking groups this year.
Jes Staley, the bank's incumbent CEO, has told colleagues he expects to have left his role by the end of 2021. The Barclays board is close to appointing headhunters to search for Staley's successor.
Blackstone Group raised its offer to acquire Unizo Holdings, a Japanese hotel chain, to $53.78 from $50.18 per share, valuing the company at $1.8bn.
“Blackstone believes that the revised Blackstone offer offers the best option, not only for Unizo’s shareholders, who will be allowed to maximise the value of their shares, but also for all Unizo employees,” Blackstone.
Unizo is advised by Benedi Consulting, KPMG, ZECOO Partners, Daiwa Securities, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Nishimura & Asahi, TMI Associates, Horwath HTL Asia Pacific, Hospitality Capital Management, and Ernst & Young. Fortress is advised by Kekst CNC.
PepsiCo agreed to acquire Be & Cheery, an online snacks companies in China, from Haoxiangni Health Food, which develops, produces and sells snack products, for $705m. The transaction is subject to a Haoxiangni shareholder vote, certain regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.
“Be & Cheery is highly complementary to our existing China business with its broad product portfolio, asset-light model, and focus on e-commerce. As we look to accelerate growth in key markets around the world and further grow ‘in China, for China, with China’, Be & Cheery adds direct-to-consumer capability, positioning us to capitalize on continued growth in e-commerce, and a local brand that is able to stretch across a broad portfolio of products, through both online and offline channels. We also expect to leverage Be & Cheery’s innovation and consumer insights capabilities to drive innovation in other key PepsiCo growth markets,” Ram Krishnan, PepsiCo Greater China CEO.
Northland Power, a global developer, owner and operator of sustainable infrastructure assets, agreed to acquire Dado Ocean, a development company with multiple early stage offshore wind development sites near Chodo Island, off the south coast of South Korea. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This agreement builds on Northland’s strategy to pursue opportunities in South Korea. We are excited to be part of Korea’s energy transformation as it looks to the future with the government’s Renewable Energy 3020 Program, that aims to achieve 12.0 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030," Mike Crawley, Northland President and Chief Executive Officer.
Bain Capital and Boyu Capital consider bidding for SML Group. (FS)
Private equity firms Bain Capital and Boyu Capital are among bidders for SML Group, a closely held garment label maker for fashion brands and retailers globally, Bloomberg reported.
MBK Partners also lodged an initial offer for the business. Hong Kong-based SML is working with Citigroup to seek a buyer for the business. A sale could fetch about $400m to $500m.
Krakatau Steel intends to list two subsidiaries on IDX.
Indonesia’s state-owned, listed manufacturing company Krakatau Steel is preparing to undertake the initial public offering of two of its subsidiaries Krakatau Bandar Samudera and Krakatau Industrial Estate Cilegon, its president director Silmy Karim said.
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