Wheels Up Partners Plans IPO

Wheels Up Partners said on Monday it had agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check firm Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp, valuing the private jet charter company at $2.1 billion.

Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) led by LVMH executive and veteran private equity investor Ravi Thakran, raised $225 million in an initial public offering (IPO) last year.

The New York-based company is set to receive $790 million in gross proceeds on the transaction, including $550 million from investors such as T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Investments, and Franklin Advisors.

InPost Plans IPO on Euronext

Polish parcel locker firm InPost plans an initial public offering in Amsterdam and aims to debut on Euronext as early as February, it said, as it seeks to expand abroad to capitalize on a surge in online shopping.

Reuters reported in December that private equity firm Advent International was preparing an Amsterdam IPO for InPost that would value its equity at 7-8 billion euros ($8.5-$9.85 billion)

The business, widely used in Poland by sellers on online commerce platform Allegro, with equity owners Cinven, Permira among its owners, has benefited from an online boom as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps shoppers in their homes.

The Carlyle Group acquires three German logistics assets

Global investment firm The Carlyle Group today announced that it has acquired a portfolio of three distribution logistics assets in Germany from Nuveen Real Estate Income Fund and Palmira Capital Partners.

Equity for the transaction came from Carlyle Europe Realty (CER), a €540 million pan-European real estate fund. In October 2020, CER acquired a portfolio of 27 distribution logistics assets in France and Germany.

The European logistics space has been a key focus for CER since 2016. While the sector has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this with higher delivery volumes resulting from the continued shift towards e-commerce.

H.I.G. Capital Affiliate invests in Makios Logistics S.A.

H.I.G. Capital, a leading global alternative investment firm with $43 billion of equity capital under management, announced that one of its affiliates has invested in Makios Logistics S.A. a leading provider of integrated logistics services and a market leader in temperature-controlled warehousing in Greece.

Founded in 1927, the Company is strategically located next to the port of Thessaloniki. Makios currently owns and operates two state of the art logistics assets in Thessaloniki and also owns logistics assets and land north of Athens with significant expansion potential.

Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 300 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion.

Blackstone gains support of Bill Gates in bid for Signature Aviation plc

Blackstone secured the support of Bill Gates, the biggest shareholder in Signature Aviation plc, bolstering its bid to buy the private-jet servicing company in the face of a rival approach from The Carlyle Group.

Blackstone’s agreement with Gates’ Cascade Investment Group, Inc. for its $4.29 billion offer comes just hours after Signature confirmed Carlyle’s takeover approach.

Shares in the company formerly known as BBA Aviation saw a 65% gain in the three weeks since Signature Aviation confirmed talks with Blackstone. Signature Aviation disclosed last month when it also rebuffed another proposal from Global Infrastructure Partners.

EQT Group joins the race to win FirstGroup Plc US Business

An infrastructure fund run by private equity firm EQT Group has joined the race for the £2.5bn US operations of FirstGroup plc, the London-listed transport operator.

EQT tabled an offer worth roughly $3.7bn just days before Christmas. KKR & Co. Inc., the New York-listed investment giant, is among the other contenders to buy the vast US business.

Last month FirstGroup America added that it was “in discussions with a number of credible potential buyers who have a long-term perspective”.

Lufthansa uses aircraft in security in latest finance raising round

Lufthansa has used eight of its aircraft as security in a range of financing transactions which have raised €500 million ($614 million) since last July.

Private equity funds and corporate investors, “particularly from Europe and Asia”, participated in the financing, notes Lufthansa, adding that it was able to agree “attractive terms”. The €500 million raised is in addition to the €1.6 billion raised through a convertible and a corporate bond.

The German carrier says five of its Airbus A350s and three A320-family aircraft were used as collateral to raise funds through sale-and-leaseback financing, secured loans, and secured promissory notes.

FlashParking to merge with Arrive to improve driver parking experience

U.S. parking management software maker FlashParking said on Tuesday it would merge with Arrive, an online platform that allows drivers to find and book parking spaces.

FlashParking’s software helps manage parking at airports, malls, hotels and stadiums, among other busy locations. The Austin-based company counts private equity investment firm L Catterton among its investors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred demand for fully digitized and touchless alternatives to traditional parking, allowing people to find, book and pay for parking without touching a keypad.