Deals of the day: Merck selling consumer biz for $14 billion

May 6, 2014, 5:38 PM UTC

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Venture Capital Deals

VSCO, a mobile photography platform, has raised $40 million in Series A funding from Accel 

Flux, a San Francisco-based developer of collaborative design software for the building construction industry, has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by

Pear Sports
, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of interactive real-time audio coaching technology, has raised $5 million in second-round funding. Return backers include Innovate Partners and Nordic

, a provider of workforce scheduling SaaS solutions, has raised $3.75 million in new VC funding from 

Cirro, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based on-demand data analysis, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from GE Ventures. The company previously raised Series A funding from Toba Capital, Frost Data Capital and Miramar Venture Partners.

Private Equity Deals

American Securities has acquired Learning Care Group Inc., the second-largest child care center operator in North America with more than 900 locations, from Morgan Stanley Private Equity. No financial terms were disclosed.


Avista Capital Partners has formed a new company to fund a portion of the equity required to design and build three 50,000 deadweight ton product carriers, which Seacor Holdings (NYSE: CKH) has contracted to build at General Dynamic’s National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. shipyard in San Diego. No financial terms were disclosed.

Bain Capital
 is in talks to buy Australian fruit juice bar operator Boost Juice from Retail Zoo, a portfolio company of The Riverside Company, for approximately $185 million, according to the Australian Financial Review.

BelHealth Investment Partners
 has acquired Precision Toxicilogy, a San Diego-based clinical lab focused on quantitative drug testing. No financial terms were disclosed.

Pamplona Capital Management has acquired British locomotive leasing company Beacon Rail Leasing from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial for approximately $450 million.

Park Place International LLC, a Marlborough, Mass.–based cloud services provider and systems integrator for medical IT software, has secured a minority growth investment from WestView Capital

Prospira PainCare Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of pain management and rehabilitation services, has acquired Advanced Interventional Pain Clinic, a provider of pain management services in the Orlando, Fla. market. No financial terms were disclosed. Prospira shareholders include Enhanced Equity, Webster Capital and Pulse Equity.



Markit Ltd., a London-based provider of financial information services, has filed for a $750 million IPO. BofA Merrill Lynch is listed as left lead underwriter, while 13 other banks also are listed. The company reports $948 million in 2013 revenue, compared to $861 million in revenue for 2012. Shareholders include Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Esta Investments, General Atlantic, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase.

Zhaopin Ltd., an online career and recruitment platform in China, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol ZPIN, with Credit Suisse and UBS serving as lead underwriters. The company reports $14.5 million in net income on nearly $83 million in revenue for the last six months of 2013. An affiliate of SEEK Ltd. (ASX: SEK) controls a 79%


Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) has agreed to sell its consumer business to Germany’s Bayer AG (DB: BAYN) for approximately $14.2 billion. The deal includes such brands as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl’s.

Adidas AG, a listed German shoe and sportswear company, is considering a sale of its Rockport shoe brand, according to a statement by Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer.

Axel Springer Digital Classifieds
 has acquired Israeli classifieds website Yad2 from Walla Communications, a unit of Bezeq Israel Telecom, for approximately $228 million.

Extreme Reach Inc., a Needham, Mass.-based provider of integrated TV, online and mobile advertising solutions, has agreed to acquire BrandAds, an Emeryville, Calif.-based video ad intelligence company. No financial terms were disclosed. Extreme Reach backers include Spectrum Equity Investors, Long River Ventures, Greycroft Partners and Village 

IC Power, a unit of Israel Corp. (TASE: ILCO), has agreed to sell its 21% indirect interest in Edegel, owner of 1,540 MW capacity in Peru, to Eneris SA. No financial terms were

Lexmark International (NYSE: LXK) has offered to acquire ReadSoft, a listed Swedish provider of invoicing and sales processing software, for approximately $182 million in cash.

Tencent has agreed to acquire an 11.3% stake in listed Chinese mapping company NavInfo for approximately $187 million.

Apax Partners has hired Jefferies to find a buyer for Epicor Software, an Austin, Texas-based provider of sales and supply chain management software, according to the WSJ. The deal could be worth around $3.5 billion. Apax bought Epicor from a private equity consortium in early 2011 for around $890 million.

Austin Ventures has hired Evercore Partners to find a buyer for Asset International, a New York-based provider of data and technology to financial firms, according to

B&G Foods Inc.
 (NYSE: BGS) has completed its previously-announced acquisition of SpecialtyBrands of America Inc., a Parsippany, N.J.-based maker of shelf-stable foods under such brands as Bear Creek Country Kitchens, from American Capital Ltd. The deal is valued was approximately $155 million in cash, with Evercore managing the process.

National CineMedia Inc.
 (Nasdaq: NCMI) has agreed to acquire Screenvision, a New York-based provider of in-cinema advertising, from Shamrock Capital for $375 million of cash and

Recall Holdings Ltd.
 (ASX: REC) has acquired CitiStorage LLC, a New York-based records management company, for $47.2 million. Sellers include Ares 

The Riverside Company is seeking a buyer for Precision Wire Components LLC, a Tualatin, Ore.-based maker of custom medical wire components, according to LBOWire.

WalmartLabs has acquired Adchemy, a Redwood City, Calif.–based provider of online ad targeting solutions. No financial terms were disclosed, although TechCrunch reports that the deal was largely a “talent acquisition.” Adchemy had raised more than $120 million in VC funding from August Capital, Mayfield Fund, Hellman & Friedman and Microsoft.

Warburg Pincus is considering a sale of New Breed, a High Point, N.C.-based provider of third-party logistics services, according to Reuters. The deal could be valued at more than $1 billion. No bank has been picked yet to manage the process.

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