Dan Primack
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Another buyout firm gets bought

British investment management company Schroders PLC has agreed to acquire Swiss private equity firm Adveq Management, which has around $7 billion in assets under management, for an undisclosed amount.

Market maker: Private equity has been one of the few missing strategies at Schroders, a FTSE 100 firm with a whopping $465 billion in AUM. So this helps it fill out the asset cupboard, while also helping Adveq expand well beyond its mostly Swiss and German client base (Adveq is expected to keep its entire team and global investment strategy).

Broader context: There is an accelerating trend of private equity firms becoming acquisition targets themselves, either for total control of minority stakes.

Featured

Blackstone is expanding into VC and infrastructure

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

The Blackstone Group is working to launch both venture capital and infrastructure investing programs, according to comments made during Thursday's Q1 earnings call. No specifics were disclosed.

Venture capital: The veteran firm has long avoided real venture, even while some of its peers got involved in the dotcom days. But it has been doing some growth equity investing out of its Tactical Opportunities platform, and recently added early Facebook backer Jim Breyer to its board of directors.

Infrastructure: This is a fairly obvious move, particularly given President Trump's ask for the private sector to match a $200 billion federal outlay on infrastructure by a 5:1 ratio over 10 years.

Blackstone (NYSE: BX) crushed Wall Street estimates, reporting 82 cents in economic net income vs. 68 cent consensus (via Thomson Reuters). This also is more than double Blackstone's 31 cent ENI in Q1 2016. Credit here goes to rising values and distributions. Total AUM was up 7% year-over-year while fee-earning AUM climbed 15%, while those numbers were 4% and 36%, respectively, in the private equity segment.

Two quotables from the earnings call:

  1. President Tony James: "I would say, in general, there's no pressure on fee structures."
  2. CEO Steve Schwarzman: "I've been racking my brain to make sense of this disconnect. If our shares were valued the same as the average S&P company based on dividend yield, the share price would be over $100 a share instead of the $30, where it now is. If we were valued using the average P multiple, the price would be over $50. That's just math. In any case, this disconnect remains a mystery to me. I leave it to you to figure it out."
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Pro Rata

Bleary-eyed greetings from the home office, after a series of canceled and delayed flights out of D.C. Some notes before naptime...

Top of the Morning

Source: Giphy

Blackstone Ventures? The Blackstone Group is working to launch both infrastructure and venture capital programs, according to comments made during yesterday's Q1 earnings call.

The former is a fairly obvious move, particularly given Trump's ask for the private sector to match a $200 billion federal outlay on infrastructure by a 5:1 ratio over 10 years. The latter is a bit more surprising, even though Blackstone has been doing some growth deals out of its Tactical Opportunities unit. No specifics yet, outside of CFO Michael Chae noting that Blackstone recently added veteran VC Jim Breyer to its board of directors, and that the firm has "what I think is an extremely exciting concept."

Two quotables from the Blackstone earnings call:

  1. President Tony James: "I would say, in general, there's no pressure on fee structures."
  2. CEO Steve Schwarzman: "I've been racking my brain to make sense of this disconnect. If our shares were valued the same as the average S&P company based on dividend yield, the share price would be over $100 a share instead of the $30, where it now is. If we were valued using the average P multiple, the price would be over $50. That's just math. In any case, this disconnect remains a mystery to me. I leave it to you to figure it out."

Never mind: Earlier this month, Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden told the following to a conference audience (video at 13:00):

"We found a startup at Carnegie Melon with some ex-CMU professors called Carnegie Robotics that had this great concentration of people who were just perfect for this and we bought the company."

Only trouble, as Kia reports, is that Uber never actually bought Carnegie Robotics (which remains an independent company, although its CTO did leave for Uber before returning to CR earlier this year). An Uber spokesman says that Holden "misspoke."

Speaking of Uber: The ride-hail company is extending its internal investigation into claims of sexual harassment and discrimination, which originally had been slated to end by the end of April. To be sure, getting this right is paramount. But it's bordering on bizarre that the delay is partially due, per Recode, to hired-gun investigator Eric Holder having "not gotten interviews with several key figures in the investigation, including top HR execs." Moreover, this means any culpable individual(s) ― particularly in the specific situations detailed by Susan Fowler, were Holder to validate her allegations ― get an extra month of salary, vesting and opportunity to make life miserable for female Uber employees.

Coming attractions: Expect a big pickup in U.S. IPOs next week, with eight offerings expected. Highlights include Cloudera and Carvana.

Coming concerns: It's not too early for the biz world to begin thinking about a Frexit.

Bag of chips: All indications on Toshiba's giant semiconductor unit sale are that Japanese geopolitical concerns will play a major role when it comes to picking a buyer, perhaps as much as price. Similar to what we're seeing in the U.S. when it comes to Toshiba's bankrupt Westinghouse unit.

Tax talk: Treasury Sec. Mnuchin yesterday backtracked on his prior backtrack when it comes to the White House timeline for releasing its tax plan.

Where in the World: I'll be at the Milken Conference in Los Angeles in a couple of weeks, moderating a session on Shaping Digital Finance.

Have a great weekend. Go Celts!

The BFD

Schroders PLC (LSE: SDR) has agreed to acquire Swiss private equity firm Adveq Management, which has around $7 billion in assets under management, for an undisclosed amount.

  • Why it's the BFD: Private equity has been one of the few missing strategies at Schroders, a FTSE 100 investment management company with a whopping $465 billion in AUM. So this helps it fill out the asset cupboard, while also helping Adveq expand well beyond its mostly Swiss and German client base (Adveq is expected to keep its entire team and global investment strategy). It's also the latest in an accelerating trend of private equity firms becoming acquisition targets themselves, either for total control of minority stakes.

Venture Capital Deals

• Microvast Power System, a Chinese developer of rapid-charging solutions for batteries and a subsidiary of Texas-based Microvast, has raised $400 million in new VC funding. CITIC Securities led the round, and was joined by CDH Investment and National Venture Capital. http://bit.ly/2o9Df1y

• Gladly, a San Francisco-based of cloud-based contact center solutions, has raised $36 million in Series C funding. GGV Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Greylock and NEA. http://tcrn.ch/2pHcnmT

• Yeecall, a Chinese mobile app for making free voice and video calls, has raised $12 million in new VC funding led by Addor Capital. http://bit.ly/2p15zSX

• Narrative Science, a Chicago-based provider of natural language generation for the enterprise, has raised $11 million in Series D funding. Jump Capital and Sapphire Ventures were joined by return backers like USAA. http://bit.ly/2pXcslJ

Groq, a stealth next-gen computing startup led by former members of Google's Tensor Processing Unit, have raised $10.3 million in VC funding from Social Capital, per CNBC. http://cnb.cx/2oskjHg

• Invertex, an Israeli fashion tech startup, has raised $2 million in seed funding from OurCrowd and Permoda. http://bit.ly/2pHCGcC

Private Equity Deals

American Securities has completed its previously-announced purchase of Colorado-based medical helicopter operator Air Methods for around $2.5 billion, or $43 per share.

• Insight Venture Partners has acquired Spanning Cloud Apps, an Austin, Texas-based provider of SaaS data protection, from Dell EMC for an undisclosed amount. http://bit.ly/2oPOZoJ

• Marketo, a portfolio company of Vista Equity Partners, has agreed to acquire ToutApp, a San Francisco-based email management and analytics platform for sales, according to Fortune. No financial terms were disclosed. ToutApp raised just over $20 million in VC funding from firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Jackson Square Ventures, Founder Collective and Launch Fund. http://for.tn/2pIU7cK

Public Offerings

Select Energy Services, a Texas-based provider of water services for hydraulic fracturing, raised $122 million in its IPO. The Crestview Capital-backed company priced 8.7 million shares at $14 per share (below $15-$18 range), and will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol WTTR. Credit Suisse was listed as left lead underwriter. www.selectenergyservices.com

Liquidity Events

• Creador said that it has fully exited its remaining stake in Somany Ceramics, a listed Indian ceramic tile-maker, adding that its total three year-old investment generated a 5.3x return and 77% IRR. http://bit.ly/2p2tHVh

• Insight Venture Partners has hired Evercore Partners to run a sale proves for SmartBear, a Somerville, Mass.-based software testing company that is expected to generate more than $30 million in 2017 EBITDA, according to a WSJ newsletter. http://on.wsj.com/2owThhn

• Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is in talks to acquire Israeli cloud storage analytics company Cloudyn for between $50 million and $70 million, according to a local media report. Cloudyn has raised over $20 million in VC fundiung from firms like Infosys, Carmel Ventures, Titanium Investment, RDseed and Rafael Development Corp. http://tcrn.ch/2ouoyBq

• Optimizely, a San Francisco-based experimentation platform for customer experience, has acquired Experiment Engine, a Buda, Texas-based conversion optimization platform. No financial terms were disclosed. Optimizely has raised over $150 million in VC funding, while Experiment Engine was seeded by Corsa Ventures, Founder Collective, Mercury Fund and Right Side Capital Management. http://tcrn.ch/2pB0NMU

• Unilever (LSE: ULVR) has agreed to acquire Sir Kensington's, a New York-based ketchup brand, for an undisclosed amount. Sellers include Verlinvest. http://nyti.ms/2oODT32

More M&A

• BP (LSE: BP) is thinking about selling its stakes in three Canadian oil sands projects, according to Reuters. http://bit.ly/2oR9aT0

• Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) is exploring a sale, according to Reuters. The Louisville, Ky.-based home health and hospice provider closed trading yesterday with a market cap of around $767 million. http://reut.rs/2owc5xe

• SNC-Lavalin Group (TSX: SNC) has agreed to acquire UK-based engineering and consulting firm WS Atkins (LSE: ATK) for US$2.67 billion. http://reut.rs/2pXgBG4

Fundraising

• Anacapa Partners, a San Mateo, Calif.-based lower middle-market private equity firm, is raising upwards of $100 million for its third fund, per an SEC filing. www.anacapapartners.com

• DFJ Growth has closed its third fund with $535 million in capital commitments. http://tcrn.ch/2pWk5Zm

• Growth Street Partners, an "early growth" venture firm led by ex-Mainsail Partners investors Stephen Wolfe and Nathan Grossman, has raised $70 million for its debut fund, per an SEC filing. www.growthstreetpartners.com

• Integral Group, a Japanese mid-market buyout firm, has closed on its third fund with around $670 million in capital commitments. http://bit.ly/2oQMoLk

• Top Tier Capital Partners is raising up to $200 million for its second "velocity" fund, which targets 2/3 venture secondaries and 1/3 co-investments, per an SEC filing. It already has closed on over $100 million. www.ttcp.com

It's Personnel

• Anthony Choe has stepped down as a general partner with consumer-focused PE firm Brentwood Associates, according to Buyouts newsletter. http://bit.ly/2otm3QA

• Alex Hay has joined UK-based Sovereign Capital as a partner. He previously was a partner with RJD Partners. www.sovereigncapital.co.uk

• Emily-Jane Finigan is stepping down as a VP at Landmark Partners, in order to focus on a role within the impact investing space.

• Chris Moody has joined VC firm Foundry Group as a partner. He previously was VP and GM of data and solutions at Twitter. www.foundrygroup.com

• Chris Neale has joined UK-based Phoenix Equity Partners as a partner. He previously was an investment director with LDC. http://bit.ly/2obgPgx

Seth Rosenberg has joined venture firm Greylock, before which he was a Facebook product manager focused on Messenger. www.greylock.com

Philip Yau has joined GI Partners as a senior advisor. He previously was a managing director in the private funds group of UBS.

Final Numbers

Source: PwC survey

Featured

German official: Euro survival rests with France

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble today told CNBC that the fate of Europe's common currency hangs in the balance of this weekend's French elections:

I think the French people will take a reasonable decision. That means a decision that allows so the euro can survive.

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has said that France leaving the euro would be non-negotiable were she to win, although she may be open to France remaining in the European Union.

Featured

What Arconic's (former) CEO wrote that got him fired

Earlier this week came the resignation of Klaus Kleinfeld as CEO of metal maker Arconic, which has been locked in a contentious proxy fight with activist investment firm Elliott Management. At issue was a letter he privately sent to Elliott boss Paul Singer, without permission from Arconic's board of directors.

Elliott today disclosed the letter, and it reads a bit like amateur extortion. Or Kleinfeld's inability to properly tell a good joke:

Quite a few people who accompanied you to Berlin in 2006 during and especially after the many matches you attended are still full of remarkable memories about this obviously remarkable time.

Kleinfeld seems to have thought that Singer might give up a big-dollar battle so as to keep such memories private. Apparently not.

Featured

Mnuchin backtracks again on his tax plan

Soeren Stache / AP

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin today said that the White House would unveil its comprehensive tax reform plan "very soon," just days after telling The Financial Times that releasing a plan by August's congressional recess would be "highly aggressive to not realistic."

What changed? President Trump gave a speech in between Mnuchin's conflicting statements, saying that the White House has "the concept of the plan" and that "we're going to be announcing it very soon."

Market reaction: U.S. markets jumped following Mnuchin's comments today. Then again, those same markets also rose after Mnuchin's prior statement, suggesting that the prospect of tax reform isn't really driving trades in the first place.

Featured

Oracle paying nearly $1 billion for Moat

Peter Kaminski / Flickr Creative Commons

Oracle yesterday announced that it will acquire digital analytics company Moat. No financial terms were disclosed, but multiple sources say the deal value is nearly $1 billion.

Skyscraper: This is a major success story for New York City tech, which has otherwise proven much better and raising capital than at returning it. Particularly notable is that Moat has largely flown under the media radar, whereas many of its neighbors actively court coverage.

Why sell to Oracle? Distribution, distribution, distribution.

Thought process: This is yet another large startup sale where the financial terms are being kept under wraps, per order of the acquirer. Apparently Oracle doesn't want to appear too generous to other potential targets, but the strategy seems short-sighted. Some initial stories about the deal seemed to imply that it was a low-priced acqui-hire, which only serves to devalue Moat in the eyes of potential customers. If enterprise software companies often go public, in part, to increase their perceived staying power, shouldn't the same apply in an M&A scenario?

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High-speed traders team up in $1.4 billion deal

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Virtu Financial (Nasdaq: VIRT) today announced an agreement to acquire rival high-speed trading firm KCG Holdings (NYSE: KCG) for approximately $1.4 billion in cash, or $20 per share (12.74% premium over yesterday's closing price).

Context: High-frequency traders might have lower concerns today about increased regulatory scrutiny (let alone a financial transaction tax, which was favored by Hillary Clinton), but it's still been a tough slog of late due primarily to low volatility in U.S. equities. So this is an attempt to make it up on volume, plus allows Virtu to move into the retail wholesaler market. Also worth noting that Virtu's executive chairman is Vincent Viola, who was nominated by President Trump to be U.S. Army Secretary, but later bailed after saying it would be too hard to disentangle his business interests.

Bottom line: "All this low volume and low volatility is having an impact on the stock trading business. It doesn't matter the markets are near new highs. If no one is trading, or everyone is moving to passive investing, well, that is a big problem." ― Bob Pisani

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Pro Rata

Greetings from Washington, D.C., where Axios staff from around the country has gathered for a couple days of strategizing. That reminds me to remind you to subscribe to our other newsletters, including new offerings Generate (energy) and Login (Tech). Get em all.

Top of the Morning

Drawbridge: Oracle yesterday announced that it will acquire Moat, a digital advertising analytics company that had raised nearly $70 million in VC funding since being founded in 2010. No financial terms were disclosed, but multiple sources say the deal value is nearly $1 billion.

  • Bump: Per PitchBook, Moat was valued at around $430 million post-money in a March 2016 round led by Insight Venture Partners. Other backers include Mayfield, First Round Capital, Lead Edge, Lerer Hippeau, Softbank, Bowery Capital, Vast Ventures and SV Angel.
  • Skyscraper: This is a major success story for New York City tech, which has otherwise proven much better and raising capital than at returning it. Particularly notable is that Moat has largely flown under the media radar, whereas many of its neighbors actively court coverage.
  • Why sell to Oracle? Distribution, distribution, distribution.
  • Strategy: This is yet another large startup sale where the financial terms are being kept under wraps, per order of the acquirer. I really don't understand the thought process (beyond Oracle not wanting to appear to generous to other potential targets). Some stories yesterday seemed to imply that the deal was a low-priced acqui-hire, which only serves to devalue Moat in the eyes of potential customers. If enterprise software companies often go public, in part, to increase their perceived staying power, shouldn't the same apply in an M&A scenario?

Update: Speaking of undisclosed deal details, we now have some additional info on PetSmart's purchase of Chewy:

  1. LevFin Insights says that the acquirer is expected to finance the deal via around $2 billion of new bond sales and $1 billion in equity. That would increase PetSmart leverage to 6.5X EBITDA, which is actually higher than the 6.4X leverage it had at the time of its original buyout by BC Partners.
  2. Early Chewy investor Volition Capital informed LPs that they would be paid in full at closing, and in cash. In other words, outside investors in Chewy aren't going to be tied into PetSmart stock. The retention packages (i.e., the golden handcuffs) remain unclear.

Earnings call: The Blackstone Group crushed Wall Street estimates this morning, reporting 82 cents in economic net income vs. 68 cent consensus (via Thomson Reuters). This also is more than double Blackstone's 31 cent ENI in Q1 2016. Credit here goes to rising values and distributions. Total AUM was up 7% y-o-y while fee-earning AUM climbed 15%, while those numbers were 4% and 36%, respectively, in the private equity segment.

Quiz time: Yesterday a pair of former Dropbox execs ― Adam Michela and Soleio Cuervo ― disclosed in an SEC filing that they have launched a new seed investing platform called Combine Fund ($11m committed so far). Can you name the current Dropbox exec who also is talking to prospective LPs about a fund, this time in partnership with a couple of folks from a unicorn that is even more highly valued? Hint: None of the three has an investing record.

Pen pal: Earlier this week came the resignation Klaud Kleinfeld as CEO of Arconic (NYSE: ARNC), which has been locked in a contentious proxy battle with activist investment firm Elliott Management. At issue was a letter he sent to Elliott boss Paul Singer, which was done without the authority of Arconic's board of directors.

Elliott today disclosed the letter, and it reads a bit like amateur extortion. Or reflects Kleinfeld's inability to properly tell a good joke. In short, the letter suggests that Singer did some embarrassing things while celebrating a soccer match in Berlin a decade ago (such as singing Singing in the Rain in a public fountain) and that Singer would give up a big-dollar battle so as to keep such things private. Apparently not.

The BFD

Source: Giphy

Virtu Financial (Nasdaq: VIRT) has agreed to acquire rival high-speed trading firm KCG Holdings (NYSE: KCG) for approximately $1.4 billion in cash, or $20 per share (12.74% premium over yesterday's closing price).

  • Why it's the BFD: High-frequency traders might have lower concerns today about increased regulatory scrutiny (let alone a financial transaction tax, which was favored by Hillary Clinton), but it's still been a tough slog of late due primarily to low volatility in U.S. equities. So this is an attempt to make it up on volume, plus allows Virtu to move into the retail wholesaler market. Also worth noting that Virtu's executive chairman is Vincent Viola, who was nominated by President Trump to be U.S. Army Secretary, but later bailed after saying it would be too hard to disentangle his business interests.
  • Bottom line: "All this low volume and low volatility is having an impact on the stock trading business. It doesn't matter the markets are near new highs. If no one is trading, or everyone is moving to passive investing, well, that is a big problem." ― Bob Pisani

Venture Capital Deals

SenseTime, a Beijing-based developer facial recognition technology, has raised $60 million in new VC funding led by Sailing Capital. Existing shareholders include CDH Investments, Dalian Wanda Group, IDG Capital and StarVC. http://bit.ly/2pFSs7H

Getaround, a San Francisco-based provider of P2P car sharing company, has raised $45 million in Series C funding. Braemar Energy Ventures led the round, and was joined by Toyota, SAIC Capital and return backers Menlo Ventures and Triangle Peak Partners. http://bit.ly/2oTxQJj

MakeSpace, a New York-based self-storage startup, has raised $30 million in new VC funding from 8VC, Upfront Ventures, Harmony Partners and Summit Action. http://tcrn.ch/2pG1rWp

ZappRx, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of prescription drug management solutions, has raised $25 million in new VC funding. Qiming Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by GV and SR One. http://bit.ly/2opQpnh

CyberGRX, a Denver-based third-party cyber risk management platform, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by Aetna Ventures, Allegis Capital, ClearSky, GV, MassMutual Ventures, Rally Ventures and TenEleven Ventures. http://for.tn/2opUt6Q

August Home, a San Francisco-based maker of smart doorlocks, has secured over $17 million of a new VC round that could total $25 million, per an SEC filing.

Onkos Surgical, a Parsippany, N.J.-based developer of surgical oncology technologies, has raised $17.6 million in Series B funding. Canaan Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers 1315 Capital and 3D Systems. http://bit.ly/2pFY0BW

BIMA, a Swedish insurance technology startup, has raised $16.8 million in new VC funding. Axiata Digital led the round, and was joined by Kinnevik, Milicom, LeapFrog Investments and Digicel. http://bit.ly/2oNPnE2

IceKredit, a Shanghai-based provider of credit assessment solutions to SMEs, has raised $16 million in Series A funding. China Creation Ventures led the round, and was joined by Lingfeng Capital. http://bit.ly/2pFZYm1

SafeGraph, a San Francisco-based machine learning startup initially focused on geospatial data, has raised $16 million in Series A funding from backers like IDG Ventures USA, Peter Thiel, Eric Cantor and Barry Sternlicht. www.safegraph.com

Sapho, a San Bruno, Calif.-based micro enterprise app development platform for older software, has raised $14 million in Series B funding. Existing shareholder Caffeinated Capital led the round, and was joined by new investor Felicis Ventures. Other return backers include Alsop Louie Partners, SoftTech VC, Morado Ventures, AME Cloud and Bloomberg Beta. http://tcrn.ch/2pB6LNt

Freebird, a Cambridge, Mass.-based, has raised $5 million in new VC funding from General Catalyst and Accomplice. http://bit.ly/2pGaABb

Jaanuu, a Los Angeles-based medical apparel company, has raised $5 million in new VC funding from Sipaden Capital, Innovation Global Capital and individual angels. Existing investors include BAM Ventures, Ron Burkle, Potenza Capital and M3 Ventures. http://bit.ly/2pFJs2x

Barnebys, a Sweden-based online services for comparing and buying items from auction houses, has raised $3.3 million in VC funding from Industrifonden and Howsat Venture Partners. http://bit.ly/2o75CNK

Private Equity Deals

Audax Private Equity has agreed to acquire Impact Facility Services, a Dallas-based provider of fire protection services, from Caltius Equity Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. www.academyfire.com

Brookfield Asset Management has agreed to acquire Loblaw's (TSX: L) network of Canadian gas stations for C$540 million. https://bloom.bg/2o39lvQ

Element Materials Technology Group, a portfolio company of Bridgepoint, has agreed to acquire British lab testing firm Exova (LSE: EXO) for £620.3 million. http://on.ft.com/2oYx6EE

Excelligence Learning, a Monterey, Calif.-based portfolio company of Brentwood Associates, has acquired Frog Street Press, a Dallas-based provider of early childhood education solutions for children up to 5 years-old. No financial terms were disclosed.
www.excelligence.com

Riverbed Technology, a San Francisco-based network management company owned by Thoma Bravo, HarbourVest and Teachers' Private Capital, has agreed to acquire Xirrus, a Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based provider of wireless access network solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Xirrus had raised over $100 million from firms like August Capital, Canaan Partners, InterWest Partners, QuestMark Partners and US Venture Partners. http://zd.net/2oYzmMd

Whitebridge Pet Brands, a portfolio company of Frontenac Co., has acquired Dogswell, a Los Angeles-based maker of dog and cat treats, from TSG Consumer Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. http://bit.ly/2outkPB

Public Offerings

Alpine Immune Sciences, a Seattle-based provider of protein-based immunotherapies targeting the immune synapse, has agreed to a reverse merger with Nivalis Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NVLS). Following the transaction, Alpine shareholders will hold 74% of the combined company, which will be led by current Alpine CEO (and former Dendreon head) Mitchell Gold. Alpine had raised around $48 million in VC funding from firms like Orbimed, Frazier Healthcare and Alpine BioVentures. http://bit.ly/2oStxOo

Liquidity Events

Medidata Solutions (Nasdaq: MDSO) has agreed to acquire Mytrus, a Davis, Calif.-based provider of electronic informed consent software. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include inVentiv Health and the BU Tech Development Fund. http://bit.ly/2pVtnFe

More M&A

Fifth Street Asset Management (Nasdaq: FSAM) has hired Morgan Stanley to explore sale opportunities, according to the WSJ. The Greenwich, Conn.-based firm has seen its stock drop around 30% so far in 2017, bringing its market cap down to just $242 million prior to the WSJ report. http://on.wsj.com/2pCgsLT

Macquarie Bank has agreed to acquire Green Investment Bank from the British government for £2.3 billion. http://bbc.in/2o70F7H

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has agreed to acquire Intentional Software, a Bellevue, Wash.-based productivity software company founded by former Microsoft Office exec Charles Simonyi. No financial terms were disclosed. http://bit.ly/2pvGIr3

Sawai Pharmaceutical (Tokyo: 4555) has agreed to acquire the generic drug business of Minnesota-based Upsher-Smith Labs for $1.05 billion. http://reut.rs/2pViWBA

Fundraising

Nauta Capital has closed its third early-stage VC fund with $170 million in capital commitments. http://tcrn.ch/2oLpS6B

It's Personnel

Stephen Harper, Canada's former prime minister, has joined San Francisco-based 8VC as an advisor. http://bit.ly/2pG7vyn

Final Numbers

Source: Pitchbook

Featured

Airline nightmare after Orlando monorail glitch

Thousands of travelers were delayed Wednesday at Orlando International Airport after a monorail carrying passengers to nearly 60 gates stopped working. None of the affected airlines ― including American Airlines and United ― had representatives available to speak with passengers on-site during the delay, and passengers reported waits as long as two hours to get from security to their gates.

Contingency plan: The initial decision to only deploy four shuttle buses vehicles caused a massive backup. This was exacerbated by buses being loaded next to active JetBlue gates, causing them to often remained parked. An airport employee told some frustrated passengers that it would be "illegal" to walk along the unused monorail ("it's an active construction zone") but, one hour later, that's exactly what happened.

Traveler rights: Some flights were delayed, including those that had crew stuck in the mess, and it appeared that the airlines were trying to accommodate many of those who missed flights. In general, the airlines were under little obligation to provide refunds or alternate routing, given that this was an airport operations error.