May 5, 2017

Goldman Sachs buys into another private equity firm

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Goldman Sachs has agreed to acquire around a 12% stake in energy-focused private equity firm Riverstone for around $500 million. This comes just one day after Goldman also purchased less than a 10% stake in tech-focused growth equity firm Accel-KKR.

Why it's a big deal: There once was an expectation that lots of private equity firms would file for IPOs, both for expansion capital and so that management could cash in on brand equity. But that worm has turned and been backed over by a truck. Now we have an accelerating trend of PE firms selling minority stakes to shops like Goldman Sachs, which is raising a $2 billion fund for this purpose (out of a group called Petershill that was originally formed a decade ago to buy into hedge funds). On this particular case, it also reflects how Riverstone's late aughts pay-to-play scandal ― which prompted The Carlyle Group to cut ties with the firm ― is no longer a reputational risk.

Energy angle: "The deal represents a vote of confidence in Riverstone, which suffered when oil prices collapsed in late 2014 but has recovered as energy prices stabilized, according to securities filings. While some of its big investments, such as oil explorers EP Energy and Fieldwood Energy, remain underwater or flat, Riverstone has had big profits in others, particularly companies that drill in the Permian Basin in West Texas." ― Ryan Dezember, WSJ

Go deeper

Warren sees bump in national poll following Nevada debate

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren surged to 19% and second place in a CBS News/YouGov national poll released Sunday, trailing front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders (28%) but edging out Joe Biden (17%) and Michael Bloomberg (13%).

Why it matters: The poll notes that only 42% of Democratic primary voters have made up their minds. While Warren underperformed in the first three states, her strong debate performance in Nevada last week may have given her campaign new life.

Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.