Good Friday greetings from the market holiday. Some quick notes for the 18 of you actually at your desks (because 18 is the number of Pro Rata readers who I imagine left their wallet or something else important in the office last night)...
Top of the Morning
Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) has reached a revised $5.3 billion agreement to purchase of Waltham, Mass.-based diagnostic test maker Alere Inc. (NYSE: ALR), as first reported by the FT.
- Why it's the BFD: Because a proooooloooonged legal battle is finally over, as Abbott had originally agreed to buy Alere back in February 2016. Abbott first said that Alere had made misrepresentations during due diligence, and offered to pay a deal termination fee. Alere later sued to push the merger forward, which resulted in a countersuit from Abbott. The revised deal values Alere stock at $51 per share, a 20.5% premium to yesterday's closing price, but well below the original $56 per share agreement. All lawsuits will be dropped.
- Bottom line: "Medical-device manufacturers have undergone consolidation as they come under pressure from hospitals and health systems to cut prices." ― Edward Robinson, Bloomberg.
Venture Capital Deals
• Sansoro Health, a Minneapolis-based developer of interoperability solutions for healthcare providers, has raised $5.2 million in new VC funding led by Bain Capital Ventures. http://bit.ly/2oGothI
• Fishbrain, a Sweden-based app and social network for anglers, has raised $3.7 million in new VC funding. FJ Labs was joined by return backers Northzone, Industrifonden, Active Venture Partner and Recruit Strategic Partners. http://bit.ly/2oeH4xC
• BestMile, developer of a fleet automation platform for autonomous vehicles, has raised $2 million in new VC funding from Partech Venture, Serena Capital and Airbus Venture. http://bit.ly/2obLh5U
Private Equity Deals
• The Blackstone Group is in advanced talks to acquire Ascend Learning, a Burlington, Mass.-based maker of educational software, from Providence Equity Partners for more than $2 billion, according to Reuters. http://reut.rs/2oeFko7
• Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Hillhouse Capital have agreed to acquire the digital equipment unit of Carestream Health, a portfolio company of Onex Corp. No financial terms were disclosed, although Bloomberg earlier reported that the deal could be worth around $1 billion. http://bit.ly/2pgDzIO
• Starwood Capital Group has agreed to acquire Forestar Group (NYSE: FOR), an Austin, Texas-based real estate company, at an equity value for $14.25 per share in cash (equity value of $605 million). www.forestargroup.com
• Sweeping Corp of America, a Nashville, Tenn.-based portfolio company of Soundcore Capital Partners, has acquired Sky Sweeping, a Louisville, Ohio-based provider of parking lot, street and industrial sweeping. No financial terms were disclosed. www.sweepingcorp.com
• Warren Equity Partners has acquired a majority stake in SSP Innovations, a Centennial, Colo.-based provider of geographic information systems and workforce management software. No financial terms were disclosed. www.sspinnovations.com
• G1 Therapeutics, a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based developer of small molecules for use in cancer therapy and biodefense applications, has filed for a $115 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol GTHX, with J.P. Morgan and Cowen & Co. serving as lead underwriters. Shareholders in the pre-revenue company include Hatteras Venture Partners (19.79% pre-IPO stake), MedImmune Ventures (16.7%), Ashelman Ventures (15.38%), RA Capital (10.66%), Lumira Capital (7%), Cormorant Asset Management, Aju IB Investment, Cowen Private Investments, Franklin Templeton Investments, Rock Springs Capital, Mountain Group Capital and Tavistock Life Sciences. www.g1therapeutics.com
• Guala Closures, an Italian packaging company backed by aPriori Capital Partners, is prepping a sale or stock listing that could value the company north of €1 billion (including debt), according to Reuters. https://yhoo.it/2otJsSO
• Lightower Fiber Networks, a Boxborough, Mass.-based based provider of high-speed broadband infrastructure solutions, has hired Evercore and Citigroup to explore a sale that could value the company at around $7.5 billion, according to Reuters. Lightower was originally formed by Berkshire Partners, while Palmico Capital and ABRY Partners have since acquired minority equity stakes. http://reut.rs/2otLHpa
• Chevron (NYSE: CVX) is considering the sale of its 20% stake in Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands project, which could be worth around $2.5 billion, according to Reuters. http://reut.rs/2nJ9m7Y
• Chiltern International, a British contract research org for the pharma market, has hired Jefferies to explore a sale that could value the company at around $1.3 billion (including debt), per Reuters. http://bit.ly/2pdUXAy
• ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) has agreed to sell its gas assets in the San Juan Basin to privately-held Hilcorp Energy Co. for around $3 billion. http://bit.ly/2oy7qy5
• Fosun International of China reportedly is leading a group that plans to purchase between 20% and 25% of Russia's largest gold producer, Polyus, for upwards of $2 billion. http://bit.ly/2nMdl3y
• SP Setia has agreed to acquire rival Malaysian property developer I&P Group for around $795 million. http://reut.rs/2otH1Qa
• Verizon is thinking about topping AT&T's $1.6 billion takeover bid for Straight Path Communications (NYSE MKT: STRP), a Glen Allen, Va.-based owner of nationwide rights to millimeter-wave spectrum, according to Reuters. http://reut.rs/2nLGwEf
• HCI Equity Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm focused on middle-market industrial services and product companies, is targeting $400 million for its fifth fund, per an SEC filing. UBS is serving as placement agent. www.hciequity.com