20 hours ago

Axios Pro Rata

By Dan Primack
Dan Primack

🎧 Axios Re:Cap digs into the future of media with Substack CEO Chris Best. Listen via Apple, Spotify, or Axios.

📺 Tonight's episode of "Axios on HBO" includes interviews with Bob Woodward on his Trump coverage (preview clip) and Andre Perry on America's racial wealth gap. Plus what life might look like in a post-Roe v. Wade world. 11pm ET/PT on all HBO platforms.

Top of the Morning

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

TikTok still doesn't have a long-term deal to ensure its survival, but it does at least have a short-term stay of app store execution.

Driving the news: A federal judge last night granted TikTok's request for a temporary injunction against President Trump's executive order that would have banned new downloads of the app.

Between the lines: This wasn't surprising.

  • Not only because the EO was sloppy, but also because of the quasi-precedent set last week by a different federal judge on a similar temporary restraining order request from WeChat.
  • Plus, the judge could issue an injunction based on process without necessarily ruling on the underlying national security concerns.
  • That said, the judge's specific reasoning remains under seal.

What TikTok is saying: "We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees. At the same time, we will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the President gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement."

What the Commerce Department is saying: "The Government will comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps to do so, but intends to vigorously defend the E.O. and the Secretary’s implementation efforts from legal challenges."

The bottom line: The White House's decision to pursue yesterday's ban, rather than issue another extension, was about gaining leverage in the negotiations. It didn't work.

The BFD

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN) agreed to buy rival U.S. shale producer WPX Energy (NYSE: WPX) for nearly $2.6 billion in stock. That represents just a 2.5% premium to WPX's closing price on Friday, while the combined company would have an enterprise value of around $12 billion.

  • Why it's the BFD: This merger reflects how the strained economics of shale, combined with the pandemic, could lead to significant industry consolidation. Shares of both companies were down more than 65% year to date, as of Friday's market close.
  • Political angle: This deal would help Devon diversify a portfolio that's relatively heavy on federal lands, in light of Joe Biden's pledge to ban new fracking on federal lands.
  • The bottom line: "Deals at little or no premium are becoming the norm in the oil and gas industry." — Reuters
Also...

🎲 On Friday we discussed how Apollo Global Management had approached British bookmaker William Hill about an acquisition, just days after reports that William Hill was in talks for a joint venture agreement with Caesars Entertainment.

  • It seemed like an odd development, given that Apollo got cleaned out the last time it got into business with Caesars.
  • But it was only odd because I misread the situation: Apollo and Caesars are rival suitors for William Hill, with Reuters reporting that the bookmaker's board is expected to recommend a Caesars bid that would value the company at around £2.9 billion.
  • That price is well below expectations — and well below William Hill's late-week market cap — which gives Apollo plenty of room to counter.

📅 Coming attractions: Both Asana and Palantir are expected to go public this Wednesday via direct listings. Interesting calendar coincidence, given the rarity of such deals.

📧 Your turn: We're just one day away from the first presidential debate. What economic/business issue do you hope is addressed by one or both of the candidates? Let me know via email (dan@axios.com).

Venture Capital Deals

🚑 Biocytogen, a Chinese antibodies developer, raised $142 million in Series D funding. CMB International led, and was joined by PICC Capital, SDIC Ventures, China Life Equity, 3E Bioventures, Cowin Capital, and Baidu Capital. http://axios.link/NbPi

ShipBob, a Chicago-based e-commerce fulfillment startup, raised $68 million in Series D funding. SoftBank Vision Fund led, and was joined by return backers Menlo Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels, and YC. www.shipbob.com

🚑 Galecto, a Denmark-based biotech focused on cancer and fibrosis, raised $64 million. Soleus Capital and Eir Ventures co-led, and were joined by Cormorant Asset Management, Janus Handerson, Hadean Ventures, Sphera, Asymmetry Capital Management, Canica, and return backers OrbiMed, Ysios Capital, Novo Holdings, HBM Healthcare Investments, Sunstone Capital, Bristol Myers Squibb, Seventure, and Maverick Ventures. http://axios.link/Vxbr

Mosa Meat, a Dutch alt-beef startup, raised $55 million in Series B funding. Blue Horizon Ventures led and was joined by Bell Food Group and M Ventures. http://axios.link/dEFo

Humane, a stealthy consumer tech startup from a pair of former iPad developers, raised $30 million in Series A funding. Sam Altman and Lachy Groom co-led, and were joined by Marc Benioff, Valia Ventures, Plexo Capital, and Kindred Ventures. http://axios.link/OHxj

🚑 IONpath, a Menlo Park-based developer of spatial proteomics, raised $18 million in Series B funding. Samsara BioCapital led, and was joined by Bruker Corp. and return backers Genoa Ventures, ND Capital, Paladin Partners Investments, Norwich Ventures, and Vertical Venture Partners. http://axios.link/9KUA

🚑 Noyo, a San Francisco-based API platform for health insurance data exchange, raised $12.5 million in Series A funding. Costanoa Ventures and Spark Capital co-led, and were joined by Homebrew, Fika Ventures, Precursor Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, Garuda Ventures, and Webb Investment Network. www.noyo.com

Acin, a London-based risk and control data startup, raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Notion Capital. http://axios.link/SWw6

PayMongo, an online payment platform for businesses in the Philippines, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Stripe led, and was joined by Bedrock Capital and return backers Global Founders Capital and YC. http://axios.link/8bdh

Private Equity Deals

Altor and Stena Adactum offered to buy Swedish security software and products maker Gunnebo (STO: GUNN) for around $263 million. http://axios.link/yZRv

EQT agreed to buy the food coloring business of Denmark’s Chr. Hansen for €800 million. http://axios.link/ji79

HSBC (LSE: HSBA) received rival takeover offers for its French retail arm from Cerberus Capital Management and an undisclosed investor, per Reuters. The price would be just a symbolic, single euro. http://axios.link/g3hf

Ivanti, a South Jordan, Utah-based portfolio company of Clearlake Capital and TA Associates, agreed to acquire MobileIron (Nasdaq: MOBL), a Mountain View-based provider of mobile-centric unified endpoint management solutions, for $872 million ($7.05 per share, 27% premium to last Thursday’s closing price). Ivanti also agreed to buy Pulse Secure, a San Jose, Calif.-based mobile security company, from Siris Capital Group for an undisclosed amount. www.ivanti.com

🚑 Patricia Industries, an affiliate of Investor AB, agreed to buy Advanced Instruments, a Norwood, Mass.-based maker of lab products, from Windjammer Capital Investors for $780 million. http://axios.link/qSRJ

Veritas Technologies, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based enterprise data protection company owned by The Carlyle Group, acquired Globanet, a Los Angeles-based enterprise compliance and communications solutions. www.veritas.com

Walmart (NYSE: WMT) picked EG Group and TDR Capital as preferred bidders for British supermarket chain Asda, which would be valued north of £6.5 billion, per Sky News. http://axios.link/OESn

Trilantic North America acquired a minority stake in Rarebreed Veterinary Partners, a Portland, Maine-based vet clinic management services company that recently raised $42 million in Series B funding. www.rarebreedvet.com

Public Offerings

Adore Beauty, an Australian online cosmetics retailer owned by Quadrant Private Equity, is launching an IPO that Reuters reports could raise around A$250 million. It would be the country’s largest retail IPO since 2015. http://axios.link/QxVz

🚑 Aligos Therapeutics, a South San Francisco-based developer of oligonucleotide therapies for viral and liver diseases, filed for a $100 million IPO. The pre-revenue company plans to list on the Nasdaq (ALGS) and raised around $170 million in VC funding from firms like Roche (12.1% pre-IPO stake), Versant Ventures (12.1%), Baker Brokers (12.1%), Vivo Capital (11.8%), Novo Holdings (9.3%), and Wellington Management (5.7%). http://axios.link/EaJq

🚑 Eargo, a San Jose, Calif.-based hearing aids company, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to list on the Nasdaq (EAR) with JPM as lead underwriter, and reports an $18 million net loss on $28.6 million in revenue for the first half of 2020. It raised in VC funding from firms like NEA (21.6% pre-IPO stake), Gilde Healthcare (12.8%), Future Fund (12.9%), Longitude Venture Partners (12.8%), the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation (8.8%), and Maveron (5%). http://axios.link/GufI

Kioxia, the Bain Capital-owned flash memory chip company previously known as Toshiba Memory, has postponed what would have been Japan’s largest IPO of 2020. It had planned to raise more than $3 billion, with Reuters blaming the decision on “U.S.-China tensions.” http://axios.link/KjA8

Poshmark, a P2P used clothing marketplace, said it filed confidential IPO papers with the SEC. The company raised around $160 million in VC funding from firms like GGV Capital, Uncork Capital, Temasek, NFX, Menlo Ventures, Union Grove Ventures, and Mayfield. http://axios.link/zevn

🚑 Praxis Precision Medicines, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech focused on CNS disorders, filed for a $100 million IPO. The pre-revenue company plans to list on the Nasdaq (PRAX), and raised in VC funding from firms like Blackstone Life Sciences (31.8% pre-IPO stake), Eventide (12.9%), Vida Ventures (10.1%), and Novo Holdings (9.1%). http://axios.link/e6hp

🚑 Tarsus Pharma, an Irvine, Calif.-based developer of ophthalmic therapeutics, filed for an $86 million IPO. The pre-revenue company plans to list on the Nasdaq (TARS), and raised $64 million from firms like Vivo Capital (21.4% pre-IPO stake), Frazier Life Sciences (11.5%), RTW Investments (7.7%), and Cormorant Asset Management (5.1%). http://axios.link/KKtW

SPAC Stuff

10X Capital Venture Acquisition, a tech-focused SPAC sponsored by 10X Capital, filed for a $220 million IPO. http://axios.link/TRgc

Altitude Acquisition, a travel industry-focused SPAC, filed for a $300 million IPO. http://axios.link/9qv2

Genesis Park Acquisition, an aviation-focused SPAC led by David Siegel (Apollo advisor, airline exec) and Paul Hobby (private equity firm Genesis Park), filed for a $200 million IPO. http://axios.link/QGcY

Spring Valley Acquisition, a SPAC sponsored by Pearl Energy Investment Management, filed for a $250 million IPO. http://axios.link/XfIr

Supernova Partners Acquisition, a SPAC whose leaders include ex-Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, filed for a $300 million IPO. http://axios.link/MDpf

Tekkorp Digital Acquisition, a digital media and leisure-focused SPAC led by Las Vegas gaming execs, filed for a $300 million IPO. http://axios.link/ZyUq

More M&A

ArcelorMittal (AM: MT), a Luxembourg-based steelmaker, agreed to sell its U.S. business to Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE: CLF) for around $1.4 billion. http://axios.link/63ll

Sina Corp. (Nasdaq: SINA), the Chinese owner of social media platform Weibo, agreed to be taken private by CEO Charles Chao in a $2.6 billion deal. http://axios.link/kIA5

TMX Group (TSX: X) agreed to buy Canadian transfer agency and corporate trust business AST Investor Services for C$165 million. http://axios.link/qAXt

Fundraising

776, a new seed-stage VC firm led by Alexis Ohanian, is raising $150 million for its debut fund, per an SEC filing. http://axios.link/twxB

Highland Europe is targeting €600 million for its sixth tech VC fund, per a regulatory filing. http://axios.link/wKPJ

It's Personnel

John Knox, former CEO of Credit Suisse Australia, joined Ares Management as chairman of special situations in Australia and New Zealand. www.aresmgmt.com

Final Numbers
Data: McKinsey; Table: Axios Visuals

Go deeper: How COVID-19 reshapes the jobs market

Dan Primack

✔️ Thanks for reading Axios Pro Rata! Please ask your friends, colleagues, and tax spelunkers to sign up.