Yoshiaki Murakami plans bid for Japan Asia Group Ltd

A Japanese fund backed by veteran investor Yoshiaki Murakami plans to make a $173 million bid for energy and environment firm Japan Asia Group Ltd. (JAG), topping a management buyout offer backed by The Carlyle Group.

City Index Eleventh said on Thursday it would offer 840 yen per share for JAG, a 40% premium to Carlyle’s offer of 600 yen.

JAG is the latest company to become a battleground between Murakami’s fund and a global private equity firm, following Bain Capital’s failed bid for the printing firm KOSAIDO Co Ltd in 2019.

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.

New Fortress Energy acquires Hydo Energy Transition for $2.18 Billion USD

Energy infrastructure company New Fortress Energy said on Wednesday it would buy Hygo Energy Transition for $2.18 billion to expand its presence in Brazil, as South America’s largest market opens its natural gas industry to private investors.

Hygo is a 50-50% joint venture between Golar LNG and U.S. private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners. The company transports liquefied natural gas (LNG) and has become a key player in the Brazilian industry as the local state-controlled company Petrobras sells assets to end what five years ago was a near monopoly in natural gas.

New Fortress also agreed to buy Golar LNG Partners LP for about $251 million, or $3.55 per common unit, in cash. The company has also agreed to acquire Golar LNG Partners’ general partner, with a total enterprise value of $1.9 billion.

MX raised $300 Million valuing the business at $1.9 Billion USD

Utah-based fintech startup MX said on Wednesday it raised $300 million in a funding round led by private equity firm TPG, giving it a valuation of $1.9 billion, as companies and investors seek to bet on the fast-growing e-commerce sector.

The boom in e-commerce and other contactless payment technology during the pandemic resulted in a record year for venture capital investments in U.S. fintech companies with $20.6 billion invested.

Other investors in the fund-raising round include CapitalG, Geodesic Capital, Greycroft, Canapi Ventures, and Digital Garage.

The EU Clears acquisition of Refinitiv by the London Stock Exchange

The European Commission said on Wednesday it approved the $27bn (£22bn) acquisition of Refinitiv by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).

The all-share deal will see the stock exchange group acquire Refinitiv from private equity giant Blackstone, which owns 55% of the company, and Thomson Reuters, which owns 45%.

The commission wanted to ensure that the markets will remain open and competitive and the acquisition will not lead to higher prices. In October last year, LSE agreed to sell Borsa Italiana to French rival Euronext, expecting the sale of the Italian stock exchange to help it overcome the EU regulatory obstacle of its Refinitiv buy.

Capital Constellation acquires minority state in Avista

Capital Constellation has purchased a minority stake in private equity manager Avista Capital Partners. Terms of the deal and the amount of the stake were not disclosed.

Capital Constellation was launched in 2018 and is a joint venture of five sovereign wealth funds that intend to invest a total of $1.5 billion in new private equity and alternative investment funds by 2023.

Along with the Wafra Group, owned by the more than $100 billion Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait, the four sovereign wealth funds are the $550 billion Kuwait Investment Authority; $67.9 billion Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation., Juneau; $46.8 billion AP3, Tredje AP-fonden/Third Swedish National Pension Fund; and RPMI, the manager of the $40.7 billion Railways Pension Scheme.

Cole-Parmer acquires ZeptoMetrix

GTCR LLC, a leading private equity firm, announced that its Cole-Parmer portfolio company has acquired life sciences developer ZeptoMetrix Corporation.

The acquisition of ZeptoMetrix expands CP’s quality controls and reference standards portfolio and further establishes CP as a leading manufacturer of specialty chemistries and reagents for life sciences research and diagnostic testing. The acquisition represents CP’s second acquisition in the past year and 12th since 2014.

Dean Mihas, Managing Director at GTCR, added: “Cole-Parmer’s acquisition of ZeptoMetrix represents another great example of GTCR’s Leaders Strategy at work. The CP team has completed 12 strategic add-on acquisitions since we carved the business out of Thermo Fisher Scientific and built a unique platform within the life sciences sector.”

CVC Agrees to sell Kount to Equifax

CVC Capital Partners announced that the CVC Growth Fund has signed a definitive agreement to sell Kount, a provider of Artificial Intelligence-driven fraud prevention and digital identity solutions, to global data and analytics company Equifax in a deal valued at $640 million.

“Kount was an industry leader when the CVC Growth Fund invested, and since then the company has gone from strength to strength under CEO Brad Wiskirchen’s leadership, more than tripling revenue during the investment period,” said Jason Glass, Partner at CVC Growth Partners.

Formed in 2007, Kount’s best-in-class fraud prevention solutions protect the customer journey and digital innovations for over 9,000 brands globally. The Company has earned recognition as a leader in digital fraud prevention, with over 13 years of data informing its advanced Machine Learning (ML) and AI-based models.

Alter Domus Acquires Strata Fund Solutions

Alter Domus, a fully integrated provider of fund administration, debt capital markets and corporate services backed by the Permira funds, today announced the acquisition of Strata Fund Solutions LLC, a leading fund administrator serving US private equity and venture capital funds.

In joining forces with Strata, Alter Domus North America leaps to top three largest private asset servicers for US alternative asset managers. This transaction also drives Alter Domus’ global assets under management over $1 trillion, making it one of the largest private asset servicers for alternative assets investors globally and an undisputed leader in the private equity and venture capital servicing space.

In December 2020, Alter Domus acquired IPS Fund Services LLC, a Boston-Based fund administrator serving private equity and venture capital funds. In the same month, Alter Domus also announced the acquisition of UK-based technology platform Credit-Vision, portfolio management and financial analysis provider for private debt investors and debt capital markets participants.

Indian Prestige Group plans to build more office space

Real estate developer Prestige Group plans to build more than 40 million sq. ft of office space across multiple cities, after selling some of its office, retail and hotel assets to Blackstone.

The New York-based private equity giant received approval in December from the Competition Commission Of India to buy five office parks, nine shopping malls, two hotels and four under-construction office complexes totaling 21 million sq. ft for $1.5 billion from Prestige.

Money is flowing towards India. Another Bengaluru-based real estate firm RMZ Corp recently sold around 12.8 million sq ft of its 67 million sq ft portfolio to a fund managed by Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management for an investment value of $2 billion.