FOXO Technologies, a technology company applying epigenetic science and AI to modernize the life insurance industry, agreed to go public via SPAC merger with Delwinds Insurance Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $369m deal.
“Our goal is to modernize life insurance by making advances in longevity science fundamental to the product itself. This transaction is transformative in our effort to support the industry’s effort to modernize in the face of accelerating advances in science and technology to reach more consumers at a time when interest in life insurance is at all-time highs,” Jon Sabes, FOXO Founder and CEO.
Foxo Technologies is advised by Deutsche Bank, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, Stinson and ASTRSK PR. Delwinds Insurance Acquisition is advised by Cantor Fitzgerald, Cohen & Company, Houlihan Lokey, RBC Capital Markets, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole and Lamson Dugan & Murray. Financial advisors are advised by Proskauer Rose.
Zendesk announced that it has terminated the agreement and plan of merger by and among Zendesk, Milky Way Acquisition, and Momentive Global, after it did not receive the approval of its stockholders to adopt the proposal to issue shares of Zendesk common stock in connection with the proposed transaction at the stockholder meeting held on February 25, 2022.
“While we were excited by the potential of this transaction to transform the customer experience and create stockholder value, we respect and appreciate the perspectives of our stockholders. Our Board and management team remain laser-focused on our strategy and execution. Zendesk’s business has never been stronger, with accelerated revenue growth of 30% to $1.34bn in revenue in 2021 and a clear path to generating $3.4bn in revenue by 2025,” Mikkel Svane, Zendesk CEO and Founder.
The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit challenging UnitedHealth Group's $13bn acquisition of health technology firm Change Healthcare, arguing the tie-up would unlawfully reduce competition in markets for commercial insurance and the processing of claims, WSJ reported.
The deal, announced in January 2021, sought to bring a major provider of healthcare clinical and financial services, including the handling of claims, under UnitedHealth's Optum health-services arm.
Change Healthcare is advised by Morrow Sodali Global, Barclays, Goldman Sachs Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Brunswick Group. UnitedHealth is advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Sullivan & Cromwell. Optum is advised by Bank of America and Hogan Lovells. Blackstone is advised by Ropes & Gray.
Aaron's, an American lease-to-own retailer, agreed to acquire BrandsMart USA, an electronics retailer, for $300m.
"I am proud to share the momentous news that BrandsMart is joining the Aaron's family of companies. BrandsMart has been part of my family for over 45 years, and I am incredibly proud of our team and the success of the company we have built together. I am confident that the combined organization will benefit from our complementary strengths and will deliver growth opportunities and even greater value to our customers, employees and suppliers," Michael Perlman, BrandsMart President and CEO.
BrandsMart USA is advised by Cassel Salpeter & Co and Cooley. Aaron's is advised by Bank of America, Truist Bank and Jones Day. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America, Citizens Bank, JP Morgan and Truist Bank.
Energy Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire a 30% stake in Boralex, an energy company, for $600m.
“We are grateful to the EIP team for the trust they’ve placed in us. We look forward to joining forces to fulfil our ambitions alongside a renowned player in our industry who knows the European renewable energy sector well and who shares our values of corporate social responsibility. In addition to creating significant value for our shareholders, this investment illustrates the quality of our team’s work in France and Canada and lets us showcase the leading platform we have been building for over 20 years,” Patrick Decostre, Boralex President and CEO.
Boralex is advised by Accuracy, KPMG, Lazard, EPILOGUE Avocats, Kaufhold & Reveillaud Avocats, Oxygen, Everoze and Mott MacDonald.
Chatham Asset Management, a private investment firm, completed the acquisition of RR Donnelley, an integrated communications company, for $2.3bn. Chatham Asset Management acquired all of the outstanding shares of RRD common stock for $10.85 per share in cash.
“We are excited about the next chapter in RRD’s journey, and I am personally thrilled to be leading the Company once again. Importantly, I am grateful to RRD’s employees, whose dedication and hard work have contributed to the Company’s success and momentum. Together with Chatham, we expect we will remain the industry leader in marketing and business communications and continue to meet the evolving needs of our clients," Thomas Quinlan, RRD President and CEO.
RRD is advised by Centerview Partners, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Joele Frank. Centerview Partners was advised by Debevoise & Plimpton. Chatham was advised by Jefferies & Company, Lowenstein Sandler, Olshan Frome Wolosky and Gasthalter & Co.
Liberty Strategic Capital, a private equity firm, led a $250m Series D round in BlueVoyant, a cyber defense platform, with participation from ISTARI, Eden Global Partners and 8VC.
"When we started BlueVoyant, we knew that cybersecurity was quickly becoming one of the most significant threats businesses and government agencies face, and something our team was uniquely prepared to address. The market demand we are seeing is tremendous and we see this trend accelerating as security professionals pivot to our outcomes-based cybersecurity solutions," Jim Rosenthal, BlueVoyant CEO.
BlueVoyant was advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell. Eden Global was advised by Abernathy MacGregor Group. ISTARI was advised by Allison+Partners. Liberty Strategic was advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.
Carvana, a company specializing in buying and selling cars online, agreed to acquire ADESA US, the second largest provider of wholesale vehicle auction solutions in the United States, from KAR Global, a used car dealers company, for $2.2bn.
"We are thrilled to welcome ADESA US to the Carvana family. Together with Carvana's existing operations, ADESA US's nationwide infrastructure network and robust, highly profitable business will accelerate Carvana's progress toward becoming the largest and most profitable automotive retailer," Ernie Garcia, Carvana Founder and CEO.
KAR Global is advised by Goldman Sachs and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Carvana is advised by Citigroup, JP Morgan and Kirkland & Ellis. Debt financing is provided by Citigroup and JP Morgan.
SmartStop Self Storage REIT, a self-managed and fully-integrated self storage company, agreed to acquire Strategic Storage Growth Trust II, a private REIT sponsored by an indirect subsidiary of SmartStop, for $280m.
"We are excited to announce this transaction and look forward to combining the high-quality assets in the SSGT II portfolio with SmartStop's existing portfolio. With this merger, the combined company will be better positioned to recognize expense efficiencies and aggregate size and scale for the future. Since all of the SSGT II portfolio is already branded as SmartStop® Self Storage, there will be total continuity of operations throughout the process," H. Michael Schwartz, SmartStop Chairman and CEO.
Strategic Storage Growth Trust II is advised by KeyBanc Capital Markets, Bass Berry & Sims and Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler. SmartStop is advised by Robert A. Stanger & Co, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and Venable.
AE Industrial Partners, a US-based private equity firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Firefly Aerospace, a provider of economical launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, from Noosphere Venture Partners, an international asset management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With the acquisition of Noosphere's stake in Firefly, AEI will further expand its robust space investment portfolio, which includes investments in Redwire Space and Sierra Space.
AE Industrial Partners is advised by Ernst & Young, Covington & Burling and Lambert & Co. Noosphere is advised by Jefferies & Company, DLA Piper and Kirkland & Ellis.
Electric-car manufacturer Lucid Group was hit with a shareholder suit over claims the comapny's management made inaccurate statements about production ahead of an $11bn merger with special purpose acquisition company in order to give management the upper hand in negotiations.
The suit was brought in California federal court by plaintiff Zsata Williams-Spinks, a current shareholder of Lucid.
Lucid Motors was advised by Citigroup, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Brunswick Group. Churchill Capital IV was advised by Bank of America, Guggenheim Partners, Weil Gotshal and Manges and Gladstone Place Partners. Financial advisors were advised by Shearman & Sterling.
Barings BDC, an investment company, completed the merger with Sierra Income, a non-traded business development company, in a $624m deal. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
"We are very excited to announce that we have entered into an agreement to purchase Sierra Income Corporation. This combination will create a scaled top-10 BDC with enhanced earnings profile, portfolio diversification, and best-in-class shareholder alignment," Eric Lloyd, Barings BDC Chairman and CEO.
Sierra Income was advised by Broadhaven Capital Partners, Sullivan & Worcester and Joele Frank. Barings BDC was advised by Wells Fargo Securities and Goodwin Procter. Financial advisors were advised by Cravath Swaine & Moore.
Nautic Partners, a middle-market private equity firm, agreed to acquire Vallen North America, a provider of indirect industrial supplies, from Sonepar Group, a provider of electrical products, solutions and related services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Vallen is led by CEO Chuck Delph and a deep management team. We are excited about Chuck and the team's ability to accelerate the business' growth trajectory in the coming years, and are thrilled to partner with them to support the company's future efforts. Additionally, we are excited to add another industrial distribution investment to our portfolio, as well as to lean on our prior experience with corporate carveouts to help Vallen successfully transition to a standalone organization," Chris Pierce, Nautic Managing Director.
Nautic Partners is advised by McDermott Will & Emery. Debt financing is provided by BMO Harris Bank, Capital One Financial Corporation and Wells Fargo Securities. Sonepar is advised by JP Morgan and Jones Day.
Churchill Downs, a racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company, agreed to acquire Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, an operator of gaming venues, for $2.48bn.
“This unique set of assets expands our geographic footprint and provides additional scale. P2E has done an exceptional job developing and managing this collection of assets, which we are very excited to acquire and plan to strategically grow in the years ahead," Bill Carstanjen, Churchill Downs CEO.
Churchill Downs is advised by Macquarie Group and Sidley Austin. PEP is advised by Credit Suisse.
Monarch Alternative Capital, a private equity firm, offered to acquire Paramount Group, a real estate manager, for $2.6bn.
"Consistent with its fiduciary duties and in consultation with its independent financial and legal advisors, the Paramount Board of Directors will carefully review the unsolicited proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the company and all Paramount stockholders," Paramount Group.
Paramount Group is advised by Bank of America, Goodwin Procter and Joele Frank.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management led a $175m Series E round in Bloomreach, a cloud e-commerce platform, with participation from Bain Capital Ventures and Sixth Street Partners.
"We're thrilled to partner with the Bloomreach team and join a group of high-caliber investors in supporting a category leader. The company's strong performance is a clear reflection of their innovative approach to the space and accelerating market tailwinds. We see tremendous opportunity ahead for Bloomreach as businesses evolve their commerce experiences for personalization and engagement," Stephen Kerns, Goldman Sachs AM Managing Director.
Thoma Bravo-backed Imprivata, a provider of access management solutions, agreed to acquire SecureLink, a remote access software designed for technology provider, from Cove Hill Partners, a private equity firm, and Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"While it is an exciting day for Imprivata, our North Star has been and continues to be our customers. This integration will further expand our strategic vision of digital identity in healthcare and beyond," Gus Malezis, Imprivata CEO.
First Student, a provider of school bus transportation in North America, agreed to acquire Apple Bus, a Missouri-based provider of student and charter transportation services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"At First Student, we see this as a logical step in our strategic commitment to grow our presence in North America. We are excited to have Apple Bus Company join our team. We look forward to introducing our industry-leading safety record, rigorous driver training programs and cutting-edge technologies to even more school districts, families and communities," Paul G. Osland, First Student President.
First Student is advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Universal Security Instruments, a US-based manufacturer and distributor of safety and security devices, agreed to merge with Infinite Reality, a new Metaverse innovation and entertainment company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Today is a big day for Infinite Reality's mission of establishing economic fairness for all content creators. Infinite Reality is leading the revolution of the new creator-focused economy and is building a world in which its users will have access to, and earn money in, the social Metaverse, which includes minting, selling, and trading NFTs, providing creators themselves the ability to directly monetize their own content. This merger is an exciting next step and gives the company broader access to the capital markets, and further supports our commitment to disrupting social media and social commerce through the democratization of the open Metaverse. Infinite Reality has already secured over $50m in financing, and we are in the process of finalizing terms on further investments that will come into place upon the merger. As we become a publicly traded entity, we look forward to accelerating our platform and growth," John Acunto, Infinite Reality CEO.
Infinite Reality is advised by Sheldon Strategy & Consulting.
Rede D’Or São Luiz, a healthcare network in Brazil, agreed to merge with Sul America, a healthcare and insurance services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The transaction encompasses two leaders in the Brazilian healthcare market, combining the largest hospital network with one of the major independent insurance companies in the country. The combination between the two companies is based on strategic pillars focused on the expansion and alignment of their health ecosystems, including the health, dental, life, pension, and investment businesses, to the benefit of all clients, beneficiaries, and business partners.
EVERTEC, a full-service transaction processing business, agreed to acquire BBR, a Chile-based payment solutions and business technology company with operations in Peru, for $60m.
"The acquisition of BBR complements our existing technology and product portfolio in Chile and opens the Peruvian market for Evertec. With this acquisition, we continue expanding our footprint and solidifying our position as a leading Latin American payment processing company," Mac Schuessler, Evertec President and CEO.
Hexagon, a provider of digital reality solutions combining sensor, software and autonomous technologies, agreed to acquire ETQ, a provider of SaaS-based quality management system, environment, health and safety and compliance management software. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Integrating data from our metrology systems with Reliance leads to increasing levels of autonomy that improve a customer's ability to put quality and process data to work. ETQ also enables connectivity of quality data and processes across supply chains, bringing suppliers and customers into one system," Ola Rollén, Hexagon President and CEO.
Abry Partners and Hoplon Capital-backed illumifin, an insurance third-party administration and software provider, agreed to acquire LTCG, a provider of administrative solutions and clinical services to the long-term care insurance industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The integration of illumifin and LTCG will deliver superior value to customers through our deep insurance knowledge, technology innovation and operational excellence. The combined company will be a true market innovator with unparalleled depth and capabilities to assist insurers as they continue their digital transformations," Phil Ratcliff, illumifin CEO.
BVK and Paramount joint venture to acquire flagship store of M&M from Sherwood Equities, a real estate investment company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“M&M’s World has long-served as an icon for global tourism, and its recent 15-year renewal and significant commitment to improve the space is a testament to the long-term value of this iconic Times Square retail location,” Albert Behler, Paramount Chairman, CEO and President.
Kimberly-Clark, a pioneer of menstrual hygiene products, completed the acquisition of Thinx, an industry disruptor and provider of reusable period and incontinence underwear. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The investment in Thinx paves the road for collaboration and allows us to work together to drive category growth with our retail partners while continuing to support Thinx in direct-to-consumer channels," Russ Torres, Kimberly-Clark Group President.
Chevron in talks for $3bn Renewable Energy Group deal.
Chevron is in advanced talks to buy Renewable Energy Group for about $3bn, as the oil major looks to make a big bet on green diesel.
Chevron is discussing paying $61.5 per share for Renewable Energy. A deal could be announced as soon as this week. No final decision has been made and the terms could change or talks could still fall through, Bloomberg reported.
Under Armour announces $300m share repurchase agreements.
Under Armour, an American sports equipment company, announced that it has entered an accelerated share repurchase agreements with each of JP Morgan, National Association, Bank of America and Citigroup, to repurchase $300m of its Class C common stock.
Under the ASRs, Under Armour will pre-pay the $300m purchase price to the dealers and will receive an initial delivery of approximately 16m shares of Under Armour's Class C common stock, with any remaining shares expected to be received in May 2022. The final number of shares to be repurchased will be based on the volume-weighted average price of Under Armour's Class C common stock during the term of the ASRs, less an agreed discount and subject to adjustments pursuant to the terms of the ASRs.
Churchill Downs to exit online casino, sports-betting business.
Churchill Downs said it would exit the online casino and sports betting business, while maintaining its Web-based horse wagering operation, known as TwinSpires.
Chief Executive Officer William Carstanjen announced the move on a conference call with investors. The divestiture will happen over the next six months. The company will continue to operate sportsbooks in its casinos.
“The online sports betting and online casino space is highly competitive with an ever-increasing number of participants that the states have licensed. Many are pursuing maximum market share in every state with limited regard for short-term or potentially even long-term profitability," William Carstanjen.
Blackstone Private-Credit BDC raised $32bn of cash in 2021. (FS)
Blackstone raised $32bn of cash last year for a new private-credit fund amid red-hot demand for the growing asset class that offers higher yields and interest payments that rise as inflation jumps.
The firm’s Blackstone Private Credit Fund, an unlisted business development company that launched in January 2021 and mainly invests in first-lien loans, delivered a 12.4% total net return last year. That far exceeds the market return for leveraged loans of 5.2% in the same period, though the BCRED fund generated additional returns in part by investing borrowed money alongside investors’ equity, Bloomberg reported.
Insight Partners raises $20bn for its twelfth flagship fund. (FS)
Insight Partners has raised $20bn for its twelfth flagship fund as the New York-based private equity and venture capital firm looks to ramp up investments in technology and software companies.
The sum is the firm's largest fundraise to date and is more than twice the size of its previous flagship fund, which closed at $9.5bn in April 2020. Insight Partners, which now has more than $90bn in regulatory assets under management, has also closed a co-invest fund that will participate in certain investments alongside the flagship fund.
Insight Partners is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Northlight Capital Partners holds the second closing of Fund III. (FS)
Northlight Capital Partners, a leading middle-market real estate credit fund manager, has announced the second closing of its third institutional fund, Northlight Real Estate Opportunity Fund III.
Together with Northlight’s co-investment separately managed accounts, total capital commitments now exceed $125m. Northlight expects to have the NREOFIII final closing at the beginning of the second quarter of 2022.
AIMCo appoints Sandra Lau and James Barber as Co-CIOs. (FS, People)
Alberta Investment Management, a private equity firm, has appointed Sandra Lau to the role of co-Chief Investment Officer, Head of Public Investments, and James Barber to the role of co-Chief Investment Officer, Head of Private Investments.
Lau and Barber succeed Dale MacMaster, who announced his retirement from AIMCo last October having served 23 years with the organisation, the last seven as Chief Investment Officer. The transition is effective March 1, 2022.
NortonLifeLock, a global leader in consumer Cyber Safety, today announced its recommended merger with Avast received antitrust clearance from Spain's National Markets and Competition Commission. The UK Competition and Markets Authority's antitrust review of the merger with Avast plc remains ongoing and is the final regulatory condition to close.
The Merger is proposed to be effected by means of a UK court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement under which Nitro Bidco, a wholly owned subsidiary of NortonLifeLock, will acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Avast, and remains subject to the terms and additional conditions to closing set out in the scheme document that was published on October 28, 2021.
NortonLifeLock is advised Deloitte, Evercore, Kirkland & Ellis, Macfarlanes and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Financial advisors are advised by Ashurst and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Debt financing is provided by Bank of America and Wells Fargo Securities. Avast Software is advised by JP Morgan, UBS, White & Case and Finsbury Glover Hering.
Nuveen-backed Glennmont Partners, a fund manager, completed the acquisition of a 50% stake in Borkum Riffgrund 3, a 900MW German offshore wind farm, from Ørsted, an offshore wind power provider, for $1.35bn.
“We’re delighted to extend our cooperation with Glennmont who are already partners in Gode Wind 1 and are focusing their entire portfolio on renewable energy infrastructure investments, thereby supporting the urgently needed shift from fossil-based energy sources to energy systems based on renewable energy sources," Martin Neubert, Ørsted Chief Commercial Officer and Deputy Group CEO.
The Kansai Electric Power was advised by CMS. Orsted was advised by Hengeler Mueller. Glennmont Partners was advised by Linklaters. Debt financing was provided by ABN Amro, Bank of China, Halaba Landesbank Hessen Thueringen Girozentrale, ING Bank, NatWest Markets, SEB Corporate Finance, Santander and Siemens Bank.
Integrity360, a cyber security specialists, agreed to acquire Caretower, an independent IT security specialist. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This is a very exciting transaction for us and we couldn’t be more delighted to welcome the team from Caretower to Integrity360. The enhanced group is now clearly positioned as the leading independent cyber security services specialist throughout the UK and Ireland. With over 300 employees including 200 cyber security engineers, analysts, consultants and specialists the group provides a one stop shop for business organisations for all their cyber security needs. In a world where security threats to businesses are increasing daily having a trusted cyber security partner has become a critical board room issue. Already providing services to over 1.5k customers the combination of Integrity360 and Caretower positions the group well to provide that partnership for both private and public sector organisations," Ian Brown, Integrity360 Executive Chairman.
Private equity groups line up for a $1.7bn French football deal. (FS)
Formal bids for a €1.5bn ($1.7bn) deal with France’s Ligue 1 are being prepared by private equity groups CVC Capital Partners, Hellman & Friedman, Silver Lake and Oaktree Capital, as the country’s top football league seeks to recover from a disastrous spell that has left many of its clubs with financial problems.
Ligue de Football Professionnel is selling a stake in a newly created company that will market its TV and online broadcast rights, in an auction that has drawn the attention of buyout groups at a time when many are increasingly keen to strike sport deals. More than 10 private equity groups submitted early-stage, non-binding expressions of interest in December.
The league could sell as much as 15% of the new company holding the media rights. The LFP’s move marks an attempt by its president Vincent Labrune to turn round the game’s fortunes after the pandemic. The league is seeking a €1.5bn ($1.7bn) cash injection, which would be used to funnel fresh funds into its clubs. It is asking bidders to specify how large a stake they are seeking in exchange for that sum, rather than to compete on price, FT reported.
Saudi National Bank eyes global acquisitions.
Saudi Arabia is working on an ambitious plan to give the kingdom’s biggest bank a global footprint through major overseas acquisitions.
The oil-rich country wants Saudi National Bank, the lender with a market value of $82bn created through a merger more than a year ago, to boost its presence outside the kingdom. The bank has been studying potential purchases of financial institutions in Europe and Asia.
Saudi National Bank executives have been brainstorming about potential targets and aim to present the contours of a dealmaking strategy to the board in the next few months. The lender could make major acquisitions with backing from its largest shareholder, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg reported.
Montefiore Investment mulls the sale of Isabel Marant. (FS)
Montefiore Investment, a private equity firm, is considering a sale of French fashion brand Isabel Marant.
Montefiore Investment is working with JP Morgan to study options to exit its investment in Isabel Marant. A deal could value the ready-to-wear brand at as much as $1.1bn.
Playtika announces exploration of strategic alternatives.
Playtika, a mobile gaming entertainment company, announced that its board of directors has initiated a process to evaluate Playtika's potential strategic alternatives to maximize value for stockholders. As part of the process, the board intends to consider a full range of strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company or other possible transactions.
"The goal of the strategic evaluation process we are announcing today is to ensure we are taking every step possible to maximize value for our stockholders. We have always been focused on growing our core business through our investments in people and technology. I am incredibly proud of our results as a leader in mobile gaming and entertainment," Robert Antokol, Playtika Chairperson and CEO.
Playtika is advised by The Raine Group and Latham & Watkins.
McColl’s Retail Group races to secure new funding. (FS)
McColl’s Retail Group, a British convenience shop and newsagent operator, is working with advisers in an attempt to find a buyer or secure new funding in order to prevent a collapse of the convenience store chain. The retail chain has a matter of weeks to raise fresh capital, or it will be forced into insolvency, Bloomberg reported.
The retailer had been in discussions with EG Group - the gas station chain owned by Britain’s billionaire Issa brothers and buyout firm TDR Capital - but EG Group decided against making an offer for the company. McColl’s lenders are being advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Stephens.
Volkswagen keeps Porsche IPO on the table amid market volatility.
Volkswagen will continue to explore an initial public offering of the German manufacturer’s Porsche sportscar brand as markets are roiled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A listing could happen at the earliest in the fourth quarter, VW Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz. The plan comes on the heels of the fighting in Ukraine, which has sparked volatility across world markets and concerns of higher energy prices.
Europe’s largest automaker and its majority shareholder Porsche Automobil Holding - the billionaire Porsche and Piech family’s main investment vehicle -- confirmed this week they’re in advanced talks about selling shares in the company’s most profitable division. The move would lift VW’s valuation and help fund its shift toward electric cars. An offering would grant Porsche greater entrepreneurial freedom and advance the group’s bid to transform into a vertically-integrated mobility company, Bloomberg reported.
Kioxia, a Japanese multinational computer memory manufacturer, agreed to acquire Chubu Toshiba Engineering, a semiconductor provider, from Toshiba, a Japanese multinational conglomerate. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Kioxia is cultivating a new era of memory with its world class solutions, as it strives towards the mission of "uplifting the world with memory". The company remains committed to developing initiatives to strengthen the competitiveness of its memory and SSD business.
India cabinet said to allow 20% FDI in LIC IPO.
India’s cabinet is said to have approved a proposal to allow overseas investors to own 20% of Life Insurance Corporation, a move which would facilitate foreign funds to participate in what’s expected to be the country’s biggest initial public offering.
The FDI will be under the so-called automatic route to expedite the capital raising process. Investors can pick up the stake without the government’s approval under the automatic route.
India is said to sell a 5% stake in the largest state-run insurer next month and may look to raise about ₹654bn ($8.7bn). Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is relying on money from the LIC’s IPO to meet its budget deficit target for the financial year through March 2022, Bloomberg reported.
FWD Group Holdings nears filing for a $1bn IPO.
FWD Group Holdings, the Asian insurer backed by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, is close to filing an application for an initial public offering in the city this year.
The IPO filing is set to be lodged with the Hong Kong stock exchange as early as today. The company could seek to raise about $1bn in a share sale. A listing may take place within the first half of the year, depending on market volatility and investor demand, Bloomberg reported.
Aquila Acquisition wins HKEX approval for IPO.
Aquila Acquisition, a blank-check company backed by China Merchants Bank’s overseas asset management arm has become the first to win approval for an initial public offering in Hong Kong.
The special purpose acquisition company will seek to raise about $300m in the offering. The funds will be used to buy a tech-enabled company in new economy sectors like green energy and life sciences, it said in a preliminary filing to the exchange website, Bloombergreported.
Morgan Stanley and CMB International Capital are joint sponsors of Aquila’s offering.
Fourth Paradigm renews Hong Kong IPO application after the initial deadline passes. (FS)
Fourth Paradigm, a Chinese artificial intelligence firm backed by Sequoia Capital China, has renewed its filing for an initial public offering in Hong Kong after an initial deadline to list on the bourse passed.
The firm had submitted an IPO prospectus on August 13, 2021, giving it up to six months (i.e. before February 13) to complete the listing on the main board of the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The heavily redacted filing did not indicate the pricing and offering size of the IPO. Goldman Sachs and China International Capital continued to serve as the co-sponsors of the deal, DealStreetAsia reported.
Shein shelves US IPO plans again citing market volatility.
Chinese fashion retailer Shein‘s plan to list in the United States has been put on hold due to volatile capital markets amid heightened geopolitical tensions.
The stock market debut plan has now been put on hold for the second time as a result of the sharp markets volatility over the past month that has been exacerbated in recent days by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, DealStreetAsia reported.
Amazon-backed Samara Capital plans a $500m fund. (FS)
Amazon-backed Samara Capital, a private equity firm, is planning to raise as much as $500m for a new fund targeting companies in Asia’s third-biggest economy.
The Mumbai-based company is looking to invest in businesses ranging from retail and health care to technology and finance, and plans to close the fund in the second half of 2022.
Samara is seeking to step up investments in a consumer market of a billion-plus people. Almost 120 companies, including online grocers to food delivery and beauty startups, raised about $18bn in initial public offerings last year, Bloomberg reported.
Fosun’s VC arm closes its third RMB fund at $317m. (FS)
Fosun RZ Capital, the venture capital arm of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International, has closed its third RMB-denominated fund at $317m. With this, its total assets under management have reached nearly $1.6bn.
Fosun RZ Capital joined hands with state-backed China SME Development Fund to launch the vehicle, Science and Technology Venture III RMB Fund. Shanghai’s Venture Capital Guiding Fund, as well as several Chinese state-owned and private-sector fund-of-funds, came in as new limited partners of the fund, in addition to existing LPs.
The fund will leverage Fosun’s industrial ecosystem to invest in and support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in China. It targets investment opportunities in early- and growth-stage startups in the tech and new consumer goods sectors with a focus on semiconductor, self-driving, Software-as-a-Service, new energy, robotics, cybersecurity, and cross-border businesses., DealStreetAsia reported.
UBS appoints Kelvin Barry and Richard Sleijpen as Australasia banking co-heads. (People)
UBS Group has appointed new co-heads of its advisory and deals business in Australasia as part of a raft of internal leadership promotions announced Friday.
The Swiss bank named Kelvin Barry and Richard Sleijpen joint heads of global banking, Australasia. Nick Alexander has also been appointed as head of coverage and advisory in Australasia. Additionally, the lender’s co-head of M&A for the region Jon Mant becomes head of its Melbourne office. Katie Klosterman and Andrew Buchanan are now joint heads of UBS’ coverage of financial institutions group for Australasia. The bank has also elevated Matthew Beggs to co-head of equity capital markets for the region alongside Alex Dignam.
The internal appointments come after the region was rocked by poaching and defections, with new rival investment banks hiring aggressively last year. Anthony Sweetman, co-chief executive officer of Australasia for UBS, said in March the bank would pay up for top talent to rebuild its team, Bloomberg reported.
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