Atlantic Power, an independent power producer, received shareholder approval for its $961m deal with private equity firm I Squared Capital.
The transaction was approved by approximately 87% of the votes cast by common shareholders and approximately 74% of the votes cast by preferred shareholders.
Atlantic Power is advised by Blair Franklin Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs, Kingsdale Advisors, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Goodmans. Financial advisors are advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. I Squared is advised by RBC Capital Markets, Sidley Austin, Stikeman Elliott and Brunswick Group.
Ares Management-backed Aria Energy, a provider of renewable energy, and Archaea Energy, a company engaged in developing renewable natural gas, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with Rice Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $1.15bn deal. Rice Acquisition’s heavily oversubscribed and upsized PIPE obtained $300m in commitments led by institutional investors including The Baupost Group, BNP Paribas, CIBC, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and Wellington Management.
"We are on a mission to transform the role of RNG in empowering organizations to decarbonize and achieve their sustainability goals. In Aria, we found an irreplicable asset base and a team who shares our vision to harness the power of RNG and help both landfill owners/operators and investment-grade buyers of RNG meet their sustainability targets. The new capital raised will accelerate the combined Company's growth and solidify its leadership in the industry," Nicholas Stork, Archaea Co-Founder and CEO.
Aria Energy is advised by Barclays and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. Archaea is advised by Citigroup, Jefferies & Company, ROTH Capital Partners and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Rice Acquisition is advised by Moelis & Co, Kirkland & Ellis, Richards Layton and Finger, and Montieth.
Zurich Insurance-backed insurance services providers Farmers Group and Farmers Exchanges, a provider of insurance products and services, completed the acquisition of MetLife Auto & Home, the property and casualty business of MetLife, for $3.94bn.
"The acquisition significantly increases the potential for growth at the Farmers Exchanges and will further boost the share of Zurich's profits linked to stable fee-based earnings. Together with the continued increase in rates in commercial insurance, this transaction will strengthen our ability to achieve our 2022 targets," Mario Greco, Zurich Insurance CEO.
Farmers was advised by Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Sidley Austin. Financial advisors were advised by White & Case. Zurich was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Community Group. MetLife was advised by Rothschild & Co and Debevoise & Plimpton.
Western Alliance, a bank holding company, completed the acquisition of AmeriHome, a US residential mortgage acquirer and servicer, for $1bn.
"Acquiring this differentiated, high-performing mortgage platform provides a powerful growth engine and expands mortgage offerings to existing clients that give us flexible levers to drive consistent returns throughout market cycles. AmeriHome's effective business model and exceptional leadership team will leverage Western Alliance's liquidity and capital strength, market reach, complementary businesses and commercial customers. This move meaningfully enhances our EPS baseline and growth, diversifies our revenue mix, and mitigates business cycle volatility with a firm that augments our commercial-focused portfolio," Ken Vecchione, Western Alliance President and CEO.
AmeriHome was advised by Houlihan Lokey, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo Securities and Sidley Austin. Western Alliance was advised by Evercore, Guggenheim Partners, Troutman Pepper and Prosek Partners.
Amphenol, a global provider of high-technology interconnect, antenna and sensor solutions, completed the acquisition of MTS Systems, a global supplier of advanced test systems, motion simulators and precision sensors, for $1.7bn.
"We are excited to have completed our acquisition of MTS and to welcome the talented MTS team to the Amphenol family. The combined strength and breadth of our companies' highly complementary sensor product portfolios will allow us to offer our customers an expanded array of innovative technologies across multiple end markets. We look forward to the new opportunities created by the collective strengths of Amphenol and MTS Sensors as we further capitalize on the long-term growth potential of the electronics revolution," R. Adam Norwitt, Amphenol President and CEO.
MTS Systems was advised by Evercore, JP Morgan, Sidley Austin and Edelman. Amphenol was advised by Centerview Partners, Latham & Watkins and Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Gridiron Capital, an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Class Valuation, a technology-enabled appraisal management company, from Narrow Gauge Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Class Valuation has experienced substantial growth over the last several years as a result of providing clients with industry-leading appraisal turnaround times and consistently strong customer service. With Gridiron's partnership, we look forward to building on this momentum. We plan to leverage Gridiron's extensive experience investing in technology-enabled business services to remain at the forefront of the home valuation industry," John Fraas, Class Valuation CEO.
Class Valuation was advised by Berkery Noyes, Jefferies & Company and Winston & Strawn. Gridiron Capital was advised by William Blair & Co, Finn Dixon & Herling and Joele Frank.
CDPQ and Fonds de solidarité FTQ-backed Solmax, a provider of polyethylene geomembranes for industrial and environmental applications, agreed to acquire TenCate Geosynthetics, a global provider of geosynthetics and industrial fabrics, from TenCate, a geotextiles provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I am highly pleased to position our company alongside Solmax. We both are among the leaders in our respective segments and now we will join together to create a stronger global leader in geosynthetics. The long-term vision of Solmax around sustainability aligns very well with that of TenCate Geosynthetics, and I am energized to lead my team confidently into this new business environment where we can contribute even more value together," Wally Moore, TenCate Geosynthetics CEO.
Solmax is advised by Barclays and Jones Day. Debt financing is provided by Barclays and TD Securities. TenCate is advised by William Blair & Co and Clifford Chance.
Eastern Bankshares, a provider of commercial, retail, lending, deposits, and wealth management services, agreed to merge with Century Bancorp, a state-chartered bank holding company, in a $643m deal.
"We've admired Century's success since its founding by Marshall Sloane in 1969 and today they are New England's largest family-run bank. Under the leadership of Barry R. Sloane and Linda Sloane Kay, the Century Bank brand has continued to rise in prominence and it was a proud moment for us when they communicated they wanted to partner with Eastern. We are excited for the opportunities this agreement creates and believe our combination will deepen our reach in providing banking services and other support to communities across Greater Boston and southern New Hampshire," Bob Rivers, Eastern Bankshares CEO and Chair of the Board.
Eastern Bankshares is advised by JP Morgan and Nutter McClennen & Fish. Century Bancorp is advised by Piper Sandler and Goodwin Procter.
PAR Technology, a global provider of restaurant software, agreed to acquire Punchh, a provider of loyalty and guest engagement solutions, for $500m.
"Today there is a conflict between restaurants and technology. The quantity of new software applications is making it difficult for restaurants to navigate complex integration networks and taking away from focusing on their guests. Meanwhile, online marketplaces are becoming intermediaries between restaurants and their guests. With the Punchh acquisition, we are building a platform that enables restaurants to scale quickly, own their path to innovation, and take back their guest relationship," Savneet Singh, PAR Technology President and CEO.
Punchh is advised by JP Morgan and Fenwick & West. ParTech is advised by Goldman Sachs and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
Equinox Gold, a Canadian mining company, completed the acquisition of Premier Gold Mines, a Canada-based mineral exploration company, for $480m.
"With Mercedes and Greenstone in our portfolio, Equinox Gold now has eight operating mines and one of the largest gold reserves in our peer group, all in the mining-friendly jurisdictions of Ontario, California, Mexico and Brazil. We also have a strong, near-term growth profile with construction of our Santa Luz mine underway, Greenstone construction targeted to start in 2021, and significant expansion projects at Los Filos and Castle Mountain. We look forward to developing Greenstone with Orion as our partner, integrating Mercedes into our portfolio of producing mines and being a substantial and supportive shareholder of i-80 Gold," Christian Milau, Equinox Gold CEO.
Premier Gold Mines was advised by CIBC World Markets, RBC Capital Markets and Bennett Jones. Equinox Gold was advised by Blake Cassels & Graydon.
Canopy Growth, a cannabis company based in Smiths Falls, Ontario, agreed to acquire The Supreme Cannabis Company, a global diversified portfolio of distinct cannabis companies, products and brands, for $345m.
"As we continue to expand our leading brand portfolio, we're excited to reach more consumers through Supreme's premium brands and high-quality products, further solidifying Canopy's market leadership. Supreme's deep commitment to superior genetics, top-tier cultivation and strict quality control, paired with Canopy's leading consumer insights, advanced R&D and innovation capabilities, is expected to create a powerful combination that aligns with our strategic focus to generate growth with premium quality products across key categories," David Klein, Canopy CEO.
The Supreme Cannabis Company is advised by BMO Capital Markets, Hyperion Capital and Borden Ladner Gervais. Canopy Growth is advised by Cassels Brock & Blackwell.
BancorpSouth, an American bank, received regulatory approval for its $115m merger with National United Bancshares, the parent company of National United bank.
"We're pleased to receive regulatory approval for our mergers with National United and FNS. Both companies are trusted financial institutions that have been serving their respective communities for more than 100 years and have cultures and missions similar to ours. I am looking forward to welcoming their teammates and customers to the BancorpSouth family," Dan Rollins, BancorpSouth Chairman and CEO.
National United Bancshares is advised by Stephens and Fenimore Kay Harrison & Ford. BancorpSouth is advised by Alston & Bird and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis.
KKR, a global investment firm, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Therapy Brands, a practice management and electronic health record software platform for mental, behavioral, substance use recovery, applied behavior analysis and physical rehabilitation healthcare providers, from private equity firms Lightyear Capital, Oak HC/FT and Greater Sum Ventures. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Existing investor PSG will participate in the transaction alongside KKR and continue to be a minority shareholder in Therapy Brands.
"We are excited to welcome KKR as our new investor, which brings a deep understanding of the healthcare sector and extensive experience in scaling technology-enabled platforms. This support will help us accelerate our mission of making it easier for providers to navigate an increasingly complex administrative landscape so they can spend more time and focus on delivering improved outcomes for their clients," Kimberly O'Loughlin, Therapy Brands CEO.
Therapy Brands is advised by TripleTree, William Blair & Co and Davis Polk & Wardwell. KKR is advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
KKR, a global investment firm, agreed to invest $500m in Box, a provider of enterprise content management platform.
"The investment from KKR is a strong vote of confidence in our vision, strategy, and continued efforts to increase growth and profitability. KKR is one of the world's leading technology investors with a deep understanding of our market and a proven track record of partnering successfully with companies to create value and drive growth. With their support, we will be even better positioned to build on Box's leadership in cloud content management as we continue to deliver value for our customers around the world," Aaron Levie, Box Co-Founder and CEO.
Box is advised by Morgan Stanley, Sidley Austin, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Joele Frank.
CommScope, a provider of connectivity solutions for communications networks, is set to spin-off its Home Networks business into an independent publicly traded company.
"With today's announcements, our CommScope NEXT strategy is well underway, and, as we move forward, growth, cost control and portfolio optimization will continue to be our priorities. We remain excited about CommScope's potential, and with the core elements of our strategy intact, we are confident in our ability to deliver innovative solutions for network convergence for customers around the world," Chuck Treadway, CommScope President and CEO.
CommScope is advised by JP Morgan, Alston & Bird and Joele Frank.
Private equity firm D1 Capital Partners led a $200m Series B round in OneStream Software, a provider of corporate performance management solutions, with participation from Tiger Global and Investment Group of Santa Barbara.
The financing will be used to accelerate OneStream's global expansion and innovation across its intelligent finance platform and solutions marketplace as the company capitalizes on record market demand.
OneStream Software was advised by PAN Communications.
Tiger Global Management led a $155m Series F round in Patreon, a platform for creators and their most passionate fans, with participation from Woodline Partners, Wellington Management, Lone Pine Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Glade Brook Capital, and DFJ Growth.
Patreon plans to use the additional funds to accelerate its progress on the initiatives identified in its Series E announcement, including enhanced creator and fan experiences on both desktop and mobile; International expansion, and new content consumption tools. The financing also allows Patreon to explore potential acquisitions to further expand its talent and product capabilities.
Buckeye Partners, an independent pipeline common carrier of refined petroleum products, and Nala Renewables, an operator of an energy investment company, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Swift Current Energy, a partner-owned renewable energy company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This strategic partnership offers an exciting opportunity to further advance critical renewable energy generation and storage development projects across the United States while growing this platform. Through this investment and other renewable developments that align our business with the ongoing energy transition, we are positioning Buckeye to better serve our customers' needs while improving the business's long-term resiliency. We look forward to leveraging Buckeye's resources to further strengthen and build the Swift Current platform to scale, "Clark C. Smith, Buckeye President and CEO.
Investment firm Altimeter Capital led a $255m funding round in StockX, an online marketplace, facilitating auctions between sellers and buyers, then collecting transaction and payment fees, with participation from Dragoneer.
"StockX has quickly become one of the largest and fastest-growing consumer marketplaces - serving an accelerating global audience thirsting for authenticity and relevant products. The visionary leaders and team have built a new platform for trading and ownership that starts with trust and supports a growing list of products from sneakers to electronics to collectibles. Altimeter is excited to partner for the long haul as StockX becomes one of the most important e-commerce destinations in the world," Brad Gerstner, Altimeter Capital Founder and CEO.
Tiger Global led a $110m funding round in Redis Labs, a private computer software company based in Mountain View, California, with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and TCV.
"Companies are increasingly looking for ways to leverage the efficiency and flexibility of the cloud to drive their business forward and Redis Labs is the best partner for them in this journey. Redis Labs has developed a real-time data platform to solve for low-latency requirements of business-critical applications and the go-to-market strategy to succeed alongside the cloud hyperscalers," John Curtius, Tiger Global Management Partner.
Sumeru Equity Partners, a technology-focused private equity firm, completed a $100m investment in Tasktop, a provider of enterprise software solutions. Additional investors include Elsewhere Partners and Yaletown Partners.
"What this investment means is that you can expect even more market-leading and customer-centric innovation coming from Tasktop. To give you a sense of what's to come, we are also announcing some amazing new features for turning the two-year journey of the manufacturing company into an even faster and more visible journey at your organization. Today marks the release of a whole new set of analytics for technology leaders that we are releasing for Tasktop Viz called VSM Portfolio Insights," Mik Kersten, Tasktop Founder.
Twitter stalls talks of $4bn takeover of Clubhouse.
Bloomberg reported that Twitter has stalled the talks of a $4bn takeover of audio-based social network Clubhouse. While the talks occurred over the past several months, they’re no longer taking place, though the reason they ended isn’t known.
Clubhouse is in talks to raise funding from investors in a round valuing the business at about $4bn. After the talks with Twitter failed to proceed, Clubhouse began to explore whether it made sense to raise financing at that valuation instead.
Exxon Mobil explores a $800m sale of Advanced Elastomer Systems.
Exxon Mobil is exploring a sale of its Advanced Elastomer Systems division, potentially valuing the elastic polymer maker at around $800m including debt, Reuters reported.
The deal would allow the oil major to nibble at its debt pile, which totaled $45.5bn at the end of December. Exxon has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to solicit interest in AES from potential buyers, including private equity firms.
Ridgemont Equity-backed Worldwide Express explores a sale. (FS)
Ridgemont Equity-backed Worldwide Express, a logistics provider of parcel and freight services, is exploring a sale, Bloomberg reported.
Worldwide Express is expected to fetch $1.5bn or more in a deal, including debt, and is working with an adviser to solicit interest from potential suitors.
KKR-backed AppLovin seeks a $30bn valuation in upcoming IPO. (FS)
KKR-backed AppLovin, a mobile technology company headquartered in Palo Alto, priced its upcoming IPO at $75-85 per share, valuing the entire company at $30bn.
The company plans to raise up to $2.1bn by placing 25m shares. It seeks a Nasdaq listing.
Agilon targets over $9bn valuation in an US IPO.
Agilon Health, a healthcare platform, is aiming for a valuation of up to $9bn in its initial public offering. The company will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “AGL.”
The company said it planned to raise more than $1bn in its IPO by selling 46m shares at a price range of $20 and $23 per share.
Agilon Health is advised by JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America.
TuSimple targets over $8bn valuation in an US IPO.
TuSimple Holdings, a self-driving truck startup, said it is targeting a valuation of more than $8bn in its US IPO. TuSimple will list on Nasdaq under the symbol “TSP.”
The company said it aims to raise about $1.3bn by selling about 34m shares between $35 and $39 apiece.
TuSimple is advised by Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and JP Morgan.
BlackRock reaches $4.8bn final close for its renewable power fund. (FS)
BlackRock closed its Global Renewable Power Fund III at $4.8bn, with over 100 commitments and far above the asset manager’s target level.
This fund, which is run through BlackRock Real Assets, is the third vintage of BlackRock’s Global Renewable Power fund series and the fifth fund overall, which invests in global climate infrastructure assets. The fund targets the evolving renewable energy market as well as investors’ growing interest in investments that support the transition to a low carbon economy.
Peak Rock Capital closes Fund III at $2bn. (FS)
Peak Rock Capital, a private equity firm, announced the final closing of Peak Rock Capital Fund III and its parallel funds. Fund III substantially exceeded its target of $1.3bn and was over-subscribed, closing at its hard cap on $2bn of limited partner commitments.
Fund III will continue Peak Rock's successful strategy of focusing on making investments in middle-market companies where Peak Rock can support senior management to drive rapid growth and profit improvement through operational and strategic initiatives.
D. E. Shaw Group raises $1bn for its fifth private credit fund. (FS)
D. E. Shaw, a private equity firm, raised $1bn in commitments for D. E. Shaw Alkali Fund V, a private vehicle that is expected to primarily target stressed and distressed assets, financings, and special situations opportunities, generally with investment horizons of up to five years. The firm's entities, principals, and employees contributed more than $100m of the total, while external investors that had invested in a previous Alkali vintage contributed more than $450m.
With its first fund launched in 2012, the Alkali series is a family of closed-end capital-call funds established to extend the reach of the firm's credit-oriented activities by pursuing investments in attractive, longer-horizon opportunities. This closing brings aggregate commitments across the Alkali series to approximately $2.9bn.
Cellebrite, a digital intelligence solutions provider, agreed to go public via a SPAC merger with TWC Tech Holdings II, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $2.4bn deal. The PIPE was led by Light Street Capital, Makena Capital, and Axon Enterprise.
"At True Wind Capital we are focused on investing in leading technology companies, and the Cellebrite opportunity ticks all the boxes on our wish list for a long-term investment in a public company. Cellebrite empowers public and private sector customers to drive digital transformation of the investigative workflow through its advanced technology. Importantly, Cellebrite's technology helps bring justice to victims of crimes, including cases of child exploitation, violent crimes such as homicide and sexual assault, drug and human trafficking, fraud and financial crime. We are proud to be partnering with a company that is having a real impact on these issues," Adam Clammer, TWC Tech Holdings CEO.
Cellebrite is advised by JP Morgan, Bank of America, Meitar Law Offices and White & Case. TWC Tech Holdings II is advised by Bank of America, JP Morgan, Herzog Fox & Neeman, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Gasthalter & Co. JP Morgan and Bank of America are advised by Shearman & Sterling.
Amundi, a French asset management company, is set to acquire Lyxor Asset Management, a European asset management specialist, from Societe Generale, a French multinational investment bank, for €825m ($980m).
This agreement is in line with Societe Generale's strategy with regards to savings, which is to operate in open architecture and to propose to its clients investment and asset management solutions through partnerships with external asset managers.
John Laing, a British investor, developer, and operator of privately financed, public sectors infrastructure projects, and Macquarie Capital, an Australian multinational independent investment bank, are set to form Brigid Investments, a UK-based platform to invest in retirement accommodation, in a $276m deal. Additional investor include McCarthy & Stone, a developer, and manager of retirement communities.
"This investment is in-line with our strategy of investing in platforms which are asset-backed, scalable and offer long-term, resilient cash flows. Importantly, this investment brings inflation-linked revenues and strong cash yield from the outset. There is potential for significant value creation both through scaling the platform, and as the sector matures and attracts further institutional capital into core infrastructure assets," Ben Loomes, John Laing CEO.
John Laing Group is advised by Tulchan Communications.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2, a fund with a goal to invest in AI-based technology, and Prosus, a provider of internet-based services, led a $265m financing round in Oda, a Norwegian e-grocery business. Additional investors include Kinnevik and REMA.
"In Oda, we believe we have cracked the e-grocery logistics code to become the most affordable, the freshest and the greenest e-grocer in the world. We are thrilled to finally share the news of our funding and international expansion. This comes at a time when demand for our services, not just within our native Norway, but also internationally, is incredibly strong. Our proprietary technology and automation, creates an extremely effective value chain from farm to fork, allowing us to compete profitably with discounters on price. This puts us in a unique position to win the global e-grocery race. We look forward to bringing our service to customers in Finland later this year, and Germany in 2022," Karl Munthe-Kaas, Oda CEO and Co-Founder.
AG2R La Mondiale, a French multinational insurance firm, agreed to acquire an additional 45% stake in Ægide-Domitys, a real estate holding, from Nexity, a French company that focuses on real estate development, for €169m ($200).
"As we announced last December, Nexity intends to confirm its leadership position in the serviced residences market. AG2R LA MONDIALE's plan to become the majority shareholder of Ægide-Domitys fully meets Nexity's expectations: it is a very solid partner, focused on the long term, and as such able to support Ægide-Domitys' ambitious development plan and ensure the operational excellence of its 'personal care services' residences, while allowing Nexity to focus on the development of senior residences through a strategic partnership," Alain Dinin, Nexity Chairman and CEO.
Stonepeak and EQT looking to bid for KPN. (FS)
Private equity firms Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and EQT are looking to make a bid for KPN, a Dutch landline and mobile telecommunications company, which would value the company at more than $15bn.
The funds are preparing to conduct due diligence with the goal of submitting a formal bid this spring. It is possible that they could take on another partner and that they will face competition.
Allfunds targets an $8.3bn valuation in Amsterdam IPO. (FS)
Madrid-based fund distribution firm Allfunds is targeting a valuation of over $8.3bn from a planned Amsterdam initial public offering. The company launched its bid to list on Euronext Amsterdam on Wednesday, saying it aims to list 25% of its shares on the Dutch bourse, Reuters reported.
Funds affiliated with private-equity owner Hellman & Friedman, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and lenders Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas are among shareholders who are selling shares as part of the deal.
Allfunds is advised by Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley.
Vaccitech files for an US IPO.
Vaccitech, a biotech startup which owns the technology behind the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca, has confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the United States. The startup could price its offering as early as this month.
Vaccitech’s call to go with the US market as the venue for its listing over the UK could further undermine London’s attempts to become a major financial hub, particularly after Brexit, Reuters reported.
General Atlantic-backed Hemnet plans Stockholm IPO. (FS)
General Atlantic-backed Hemnet, a Swedish real estate web portal, plans to list its shares on Nasdaq Stockholm. Hemnet said that the listing was expected to take place during the second quarter.
"We're not looking for new money, so it's the current shareholders who are selling in this IPO. We are very early in our commercial journey and so much more to do in Sweden, so our focus is on expanding our business within Sweden," Cecilia Beck-Friis, Hemnet CEO.
Morgan Stanley hires Emilio Greco to lead Italy financial services M&A. (People)
Morgan Stanley hired Emilio Greco from UBS to head financial services M&A in Italy, as the country’s banking sector braces for a new round of mergers to improve efficiency and boost profitability, Reuters reported.
Greco, who spent almost nine years at UBS covering major financial services transactions in Italy and payments deals across Europe, will start at Morgan Stanley at the end of June and will be based in London.
At Morgan Stanley, Greco will work closely with Massimiliano Ruggieri - who heads investment banking for Italy - and former finance minister Domenico Siniscalco, who serves as Italy country head and leads Morgan Stanley’s government coverage across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and BlackRock led a $640m Series E round in Trax, a technology company headquartered in Singapore, with participation from OMERS and Sony Innovation Fund.
"Through its innovative AI platform and image recognition technologies, we believe Trax is optimizing retail stores by enabling CPG brands and retailers to execute better inventory strategies using data and analytics. We are excited to partner with the Trax team to help expand their product offerings and enter new markets," Chris Lee, SoftBank Director.
Prosus Ventures, a venture capital firm, and TPG Growth, a private equity investment firm, led a $350m Series E funding round in PharmEasy, an Indian pharmacy e-commerce app. Additional investors include Temasek, CDPQ, LGT Lightrock, Eight Roads and Think Investments.
"I am particularly proud that we have been able to not only provide consumers with much faster and easier access to the healthcare products and services they need but that we have been able to do so by empowering and digitizing 60k small pharmacy stores that provide such an essential service to the Indian public. Finding a solution that means we can work together, and all parties can benefit from the improvements in the system continues to be a driving force for the entire team," Siddharth Shah, API Holdings Co-Founder and CEO.
API Holdings and Prosus Ventures were abvised by Six Degrees. TPG Growth was advised by Adfactors PR.
Lightspeed, a venture capital firm, and Tiger Global, an investment firm, led a $502m Series E funding round in ShareChat, an Indian social media and social networking service. Additional investors include Twitter, an American microblogging and social networking service, and Snap, a camera company.
"With this infusion of capital we would continue to aggressively grow our user base. We are at a significant inflection point in our company’s journey — as the internet penetration further deepens in India we are well-positioned to expand our ecosystem of products to 1bn+ MAUs cumulatively. We have seen how large the short-video market is in China — with around 80% of the entire Internet population using one of the short-video products daily," Ankush Sachdeva, ShareChat Co-Founder and CEO.
Falcon Edge Capital, an asset management company, led a $110m Series D2 funding round in OfBusiness, a provider of financing services. Additional investors include Matrix Partners India, Creation Investments, and Norwest Venture Partners.
“In our mission of serving businesses who are core to nation-building, we have attained strong growth with profitability even through these uncertain periods. We have an unwavering belief in the potential of commerce and financing in the B2B landscape and our vision is to just keep doing more of what we have done so far," Asish Mohapatra, OfBusiness Co-Founder and CEO.
Bain Capital nears an $8bn deal for Hitachi Metals. (FS)
Bain Capital is closing in on an $8bn deal to acquire Hitachi Metals after a consortium led by the US private equity group was granted exclusive negotiating rights for the Tokyo-listed materials group, FT reported.
The expected deal, which has been under discussion since last August, will involve Hitachi selling its approximately 53% stake in Hitachi Metals, which has historically been one of the Japanese conglomerate’s most important subsidiaries. The sale of its majority shareholding in Hitachi Metals would take the parent company one step closer to clearing its books of stakes in its listed subsidiaries.
The Bain-led consortium includes Japan Industrial Partners and Japan Industrial Solutions. JIP was set up almost 20 years ago with investments from lender Mizuho and Bain. JIS is a private equity asset manager set up in 2010 with capital from Japan’s largest megabanks.
China revives the $3bn sale of Dajia.
China is reviving a sale of Dajia Insurance Group, the company that took over most of the operations of troubled Anbang Insurance Group, as the government seeks to turn the firm over to private investors, Bloomberg reported. This would be at least the second attempt to sell the business following an effort last year.
Advisers are working on a sale of Dajia that could value the state-owned company at about $3bn. The Beijing-based insurer has drawn preliminary interest from bidders including other insurers and investment funds, and non-binding offers are set to be received as soon as this month.
PCCW weighs a $1bn sale of its IT solutions unit.
PCCW, a Hong Kong telecommunications, media and technology conglomerate controlled by billionaire Richard Li, is exploring a sale of its information technology and data centers unit. PCCW is working with a financial adviser as it evaluates a possible transaction that could value PCCW Solutions at more than $1bn, Bloomberg reported.
Prospective suitors including other telecom companies and private equity firms have expressed interest in acquiring all or part of the business. Considerations are preliminary and PCCW could decide to retain the assets.
Bilibili in talks to acquire a 24% stake in Yoozoo Games in a $765m deal.
Bilibili, a Chinese video-sharing website, is in talks to acquire a 24% stake in Yoozoo Games, a video game developer, in a $765m deal, as the online video site aims to tap its legion of young users to grow in the world’s top gaming market.
The move comes after Bilibili, which is backed by Chinese technology giants Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding, raised about $2.6bn in a secondary listing in Hong Kong last month, Reuters reported.
In addition to the stake purchase, Bilibili and Chen are looking to acquire Yoozoo’s headquarters building in Shanghai and take on debt of nearly $107m.
Axiata and Telenor in talks to combine Malaysian mobile operations.
Malaysian telecoms company Axiata Group and Norway’s Telenor are nearing a deal to combine their Malaysian mobile operations to create the country’s top player in the highly competitive sector.
The companies said they were in advanced talks to merge Celcom Axiata and DiGi.Com, in which the parties would each own about 33.1%, Reuters reported.
“It is no secret that the telecommunications industry continues to face long-term structural headwinds of slower growth, increased operating costs and lower profits. As a commercially stronger and more resilient entity, Celcom Digi, the merged company, will help restore long-term growth and capacity to the industry, especially in terms of improved profitability,” Izzaddin Idris, Axiata CEO.
Santos seeks to sell Dorado, Bedout oil project stakes.
Santos, an Australian gas producer, hired Goldman Sachs to sell a 20%-30% stake in its Dorado oil project and Bedout exploration portfolio offshore western Australia, Reuters reported.
Dorado, of which Carnarvon owns 20%, contains 150m barrels of contingent, so-called 2C oil resources. A final investment decision on its development is expected in the first half of 2022.
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