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Centerview's Conyers Park $CPAAU Near $1.5B Buyout of @FerraraCandy from @L_Catterton

Centerview's Conyers Park $CPAAU Near $1.5B Buyout of @FerraraCandy from @L_Catterton

L Catterton started exploring an exit for Ferrara Candy Co., which has 16 brands and annual revenue of $1.1 billion, as reported by ExitHub in July, and was said to have hired Rothschild & Co. and Morgan Stanley to explore options for Ferrara, including a sale or IPO at a $1 billion valuation. Conyers Park’s interest in acquiring Ferrara in a deal valued roughly at $1.5 billion was earlier reported by the New York Post. The move would seem to emulate Gores Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ CM: GRSHU, GRSH, GRSHW), a blank check company sponsored by Beverly Hills-based private equity firm Gores Group LLC, which agreed to acquire Hostess Brands from private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) and Metropoulos and Co., in a reverse merger deal valued at $2.3 billion or 10.4x EBITDA. The Gores-Hostess deal was announced in July, two weeks before Conyers Park’s IPO. Ferrara, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, makes yummy gummies, better-for-you fruit snacks and other confectionary delectables. The platform was formed through the combination of Farley’s & Sathers and Ferrara Pan Candy Co. in 2012, and includes iconic brands such as Trolli, Lemonheads, Now & Later, Atomic Fireball and Brach’s. Many of these brands have endured and prospered for the better part of a hundred years, since Ferrara Pan Candy Co. was founded by Salvatore Ferrara in 1908 as a manufacturer of Italian pastries and sugar coated candy almonds from his bakery in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood. “As America’s number one maker of non-chocolate confections, we’ve been delivering little bites of goodness for more than a century. And we’re only getting started,” says Ferrara Candy Co. “Sure we’ve got a sweet history — but we’ve got an even richer opportunity for future growth and success.” L Catterton, formed in January 2016 through the partnership of Catterton, LVMH and Groupe Arnault, is the largest consumer-focused private equity firm in the world, operating multiple funds out of seventeen offices across five continents. Since its founding in 1989, Catterton has leveraged its category insight, strategic and operating skills, and network of industry contacts to establish one of the strongest private equity investment track records in the middle market. L Catterton builds on this heritage and the strong track record of LVMH and Groupe Arnault’s existing European and Asian private equity and real estate operations, conducted under the L Capital and L Real Estate franchises. L Catterton invests in all major consumer segments, including: Food and Beverage, Retail and Restaurants, Beauty and Wellness, Fashion and Accessories, Consumer Products and Services, Consumer Health, and Media and Marketing Services, as well as real estate projects anchored by luxury retail. L Catterton’s investments include: Peloton, Restoration Hardware, CorePower Yoga, Sweaty Betty, Outback Steakhouse, Plum Organics, CHOPT Creative Salad Company, Mendocino Farms, Noodles & Company, PIADA, Hopdoddy, Vroom, Snap Kitchen, Frederic Fekkai, PIRCH, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Wellness pet food, Nature’s Variety pet food, Kettle Foods, Odwalla, P.F. Chang’s, Ba&sh, Sandro and Maje, CellularLine, Vicini / Zanotti, Cigierre, Gant, Nutrition and Sante, Pepe Jeans & Hackett, 2XU, Charles & Keith, Marubi, Bateel, Sasseur, Emperor Watch and Jewelry, Miami Design District and G6 in Ginza – Tokyo, to name a few.]]>

Hydra $HDRA to Acquire Inspired Gaming From Vitruvian Partners for £200M

Hydra $HDRA to Acquire Inspired Gaming From Vitruvian Partners for £200M

Playtech (LSE: PTEC), controlled by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, acquired rival Austrian Best Gaming Technology GmbH for €138 million, in a further sign of industry consolidation. The cash component of the transaction will be funded by a $20 million private placement from Macquarie Capital in addition to Hydra’s $80 million in cash in trust. The balance of the acquisition price will be paid in Hydra common shares to be issued at a price of $10.00 per share. Assuming none of Hydra’s shares are redeemed for cash in trust, the sellers would retain 35% ownership at closing. Certain liabilities of Inspired, including existing credit facilities, are expected to remain in place at closing. Vitruvian acquired Inspired Gaming (formerly Bass Leisure Machine Services) for £134 million and took the company private in July 2010. Inspired is a global games technology company, supplying virtual sports, mobile gaming and server-based gaming systems with associated terminals and digital content to regulated betting and gaming operators around the world. Inspired currently operates more than 25,000 digital gaming terminals and supplies its virtual sports products in more than 30,000 venues and on over 200 websites in 30 countries. Inspired employs over 800 employees in the UK and elsewhere, developing and operating digital games and networks. Inspired’s fiscal year end September 2016 revenue and EBITDA are estimated at $110 million and $38 million, respectively, with the potential to grow meaningfully, driven by a backlog of recurring revenue contracts, Hydra said. Hydra was founded by gaming industry veteran Lorne Weil, the company’s CEO, and raised $80 million on October 29, 2014 in its IPO. Upon closing of the acquisition, Weil will become executive chairman, while Inspired’s founder and CEO Luke Alvarez will continue in his role, in addition to becoming a board member. “We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Luke and his team as we work together to grow the digital business through increased focus and the deployment of new technology and content,” Weil said. “We are excited to be partnering with Lorne Weil and Hydra, while continuing our strong relationship with Vitruvian, ” said Alvarez. “Lorne’s history in the gaming industry and Hydra’s access to the public capital markets are the perfect combination to take Inspired to the next level.” “We have enjoyed a strong and productive partnership with the management team at Inspired and are delighted to support this transaction, which will facilitate access to capital markets and support the Company in the continued build-out of its market-leading positions,” said Vitruvian partner Philip Russmeyer. The proposed transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Hydra and Inspired, and is expected to close in October 2016, subject to approval by Hydra’s shareholders, required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Immediately after the closing, Hydra intends to change its name to Inspired Entertainment, Inc. and will continue to trade on NASDAQ under the ticker INSE. Macquarie Capital acted as M&A Advisor to Hydra. Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and Mishcon de Reya LLP acted as legal counsel to Hydra. Morgan Stanley acted as M&A Advisor to Inspired. Dickson Minto W.S. and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal counsel to Inspired. Management was advised by Pinsent Masons LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP. Vitruvian is an independent European private equity firm that invests in companies characterized by rapid growth and change, including buyouts and growth capital investments. Vitruvian is currently deploying VIP II, a £1 billion fund, and has offices in London, Munich and Stockholm, as well as a presence on the U.S. West Coast and in China. Target sectors include technology and internet, financial and business services, life sciences and healthcare, media and telecoms.]]>

Cohens' Blank Check Firm FinTech Acquisition to Buy CardConnect for $350M

Cohens' Blank Check Firm FinTech Acquisition to Buy CardConnect for $350M

FinTech Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: FNTC) will acquire CardConnect for $180 million in cash and $170 million in FNTC common stock. CardConnect is currently majority owned by San Francisco and New York-based growth equity firm FTV Capital. CardConnect offers unique, full service payments platforms for both small and midsize business and enterprises through a comprehensive product portfolio. The merged company will be renamed CardConnect Corp. and will apply to continue the listing of its common stock on NASDAQ under the symbol CCN. The cash portion of the deal will be funded by a combination of cash held in trust by FNTC, borrowings under a new $100 million first lien credit facility and a $40 million second lien secured credit facility, and $30 million in equity financing. FNTC will also repay approximately $62 million in debt outstanding under CardConnect’s existing credit facility upon closing of the merger. “CardConnect is a profitable, growing business that has attracted an impressive blue chip customer base,” said FNTC chairman and matriarch of her Philadelphia-based family’s business empire, Betsy Z. Cohen. “CEO Jeff Shanahan and his proven team have continued to leverage technology to deliver innovative, state-of-the-art payments capabilities featuring advanced transaction security and outstanding customer service. With numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as over 60,000 small and mid-sized merchants already on its platform, CardConnect is well positioned to continue its growth by consistently meeting the demanding challenges of today’s rapidly evolving payments industry,” she added “We are very excited to be partnering with Betsy and FNTC in a transaction that provides an efficient path for a successful transformation to a public company,” said CardConnect president and CEO Jeff Shanahan. “We have been consistently impressed with the way Jeff and his team have executed within the complex payments landscape to build one of the most successful payments platforms in the U.S. We look forward to our continuing role with CardConnect as the company enters this exciting next phase of growth,” said FTV Capital partner Chris Winship. Along with Betsy Cohen, FTV managing partner Richard Garman, and partner Chris Winship, will serve on the CardConnect board of directors. Garman and Winship have been serving on CardConnect’s board since 2010 when FTV initially invested in the company. The merger is expected to close in June 2016, pending FNTC stockholder approval, the receipt of proceeds from the proposed financing activities and other customary closing conditions. Post transaction, the CardConnect management team will continue to lead the company. Piper Jaffray & Co. acted as M&A Advisor to FNTC; Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. acted as Capital Markets Advisor to FNTC; and Ledgewood acted as legal counsel to FNTC. Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities LLC served as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to CardConnect in this transaction. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal counsel to CardConnect. FinTech Acquisition Corp. is a blank check company formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination. In February 2015, FNTC consummated a $100 million NASDAQ IPO. Simultaneously, FNTC raised $3 million in a private placement. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in New York, N.Y. Daniel Gideon Cohen, the older son of FNTC chairman Betsy Cohen, is FNTC’s CEO and president since 2014. When she was 32, Ms. Cohen founded Jefferson Bank, and built it into the largest bank headquartered in Philadelphia. She sold the bank in 2000 for $350 million and founded The Bancorp Inc. in nearby Wilmington, Del. Daniel G. Cohen is also vice chairman, president and CEO of Institutional Financial Markets, Inc. since 2013, and chairman of The Bancorp Inc. since its inception. He also served as the CEO of IFMI, LLC and its subsidiary, Cohen & Company Securities, LLC, a securities brokerage firm, from 2001 until 2006. He previously served as CEO of RAIT Financial Trust (NYSE: RAS), a real estate finance company focused on the commercial real estate industry, from December 2006 when it merged with Taberna Realty Finance Trust. to February 2009.

“They grew up in business families, where finding customers and getting paid was dinner-table talk – Edward E. Cohen, son of a North Philadelphia paperhanging contractor, and Betsy Zubrow, daughter of a West Philly neighborhood doctor. They were Penn Law students when they married in 1965,” wrote the Philadelphia Inquirer. “So it’s not surprising the couple and sons Daniel and Jonathan have built a collection of companies. Or that they’ve listed more than a dozen firms on stock exchanges. What’s unusual is the scope of the enterprises – the mix of energy (the Atlas group of companies), real estate (the Resource companies), and finance (fast-growing Bancorp Bank, the former Jefferson Bank, a string of small investment banks) – that have helped the Cohens finance projects as diverse as Walnut Street restaurants, Wall Street mortgage bonds, and Marcellus Shale natural gas wells.”
FTV Capital is a growth equity investment firm that has raised over $1.8 billion since inception to invest in high-growth companies offering a range of innovative solutions across three sectors: enterprise technology and services, financial services, and payments and transaction processing. FTV’s experienced team leverages its domain expertise and proven track record in each of these sectors to help motivated management teams accelerate growth. FTV also provides companies with access to its Global Partner Network, a group of the world’s leading enterprises and executives who have helped FTV portfolio companies for more than a decade. Founded in 1998, FTV Capital has invested in 90 portfolio companies, including payments companies such as CardConnect, CashStar, Clearent, WePay, FleetOne (acquired by Wright Express), Verus (acquired by Sage), and MedSynergies (acquired by Optum, part of United HealthGroup). FTV has offices in San Francisco and New York. Photo credit: Two generations of Cohen family entrepreneurs: (from left) Daniel Cohen, mother Betsy Z. Cohen, Jonathan Cohen, and father Edward E. Cohen in their Rittenhouse Square offices (Feb. 2014). (philly.com; Ed Hille / Staff Photographer)]]>