Apr 1, 2021

Axios Pro Rata

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🚨 Situational awareness: The S&P 500 just hit 4,000.

Top of the Morning

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sometimes the best deals are the ones that you don't make. Even if it's not your choice.

Driving the news: Razor maker Harry's announced $155 million in new funding, one year after the FTC blocked its agreement to be bought by Schick parent Edgewell for $1.37 billion in cash and stock.

  • The Series E round was co-led by Bain Capital Ventures and Macquarie Capital at a $1.7 billion valuation — a higher mark than the original Edgewell deal, even accounting for Edgewell's stock appreciation.

History: Edgewell agreed to buy Harry's in May 2019. The FTC sued the following February, just before the pandemic, arguing that the merger would strengthen a duopoly between Edgewell and market leader Procter & Gamble.

  • The FTC's case had flaws, but Edgewell quickly walked (maybe, in part, because it wasn't required to pay a termination fee).
  • "We apologized to employees," Harry's co-CEO Jeff Raider tells Axios. "We had always as founders delivered on promises we’d made to the company and that was a moment we didn’t, and we had to own that. It was on us."

Fast forward: The merger would have put Raider and fellow co-CEO Andy Katz-Mayfield in charge of Edgewell's entire North American business, including a skincare unit with brands like Hawaiian Tropic.

  • That caused the Harry's team to spend months planning to run and grow a broader CPG portfolio than just razors. When the deal collapsed, they decided not to let that work go to waste.
  • Raider explains: "We had expanded into other standalone brands on our own and were super excited about taking over their portfolio, but when the deal didn't go through we still thought we had come up with compelling ideas."

The current Harry's portfolio includes men's and women's shaving products, shampoos, deodorants, lotions and even fresh cat food.

  • Raider says the new money will be used for acquisitions, particularly smaller CPG brands that could leverage the Harry's distribution and production network.
  • He also acknowledges that his "phone is ringing off the hook" from SPAC sponsors seeking to take Harry's public, but that the company has plenty of cash (it was profitable last year) and is in no rush.

The bottom line: The FTC's decision might not have brought down razor prices, but it still might have resulted in a much more competitive personal care market.


Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Endeavor, the entertainment talent agency and live events operator led by Ari Emanuel, filed for an IPO. It also disclosed plans to purchase the 49.9% stake it doesn't already hold in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) from KKR and Silver Lake.

  • Why it's the BFD: This is Endeavor's second bite at the IPO apple, pulling its 2019 effort at the last minute due to weak investor demand.
  • Bonus: Endeavor nominated Elon Musk to a board that already includes Emanuel. I can only assume that means Endeavor plans to sell tickets.
  • Financials: Endeavor reports a $625 million net loss on $3.5 billion in revenue for 2020, when entertainment was crushed by the pandemic. It also lost money in 2019 on higher revenue, but turned a profit in 2018. Shareholders include Silver Lake, CPPIB and SoftBank.
  • The UFC buyout is contingent on the IPO coming together, and a concurrent $1.77 billion private placement from an investor group that includes Capital Research & Management, Coatue, Dragoneer, Elliott, Fertitta Capital, Fidelity, MSD Capital, Silver Lake, Tako Ventures, Tencent, Third Point and Zeke Capital.
  • Bottom line: "The pitch to investors emphasizes as it did in 2019 that the company consists of disparate media- and content-centric assets designed to help WME and IMG clients make the most of opportunities in an increasingly direct-to-consumer world." — Cynthia Littleton, Variety
Venture Capital Deals

Glovo, a Barcelona-based on-demand delivery company, raised €450 million in Series F funding. Lugard Road Capital and Luxor Capital Group co-led, and were joined by insiders Delivery Hero, Drake Enterprises and GP Bullhound.

  • It's the largest-ever VC round for a Spanish startup, and comes after rival Deliveroo had a tough day of post-IPO trading.

Pipe, a Miami-based B2B financing platform for SaaS companies, raised $150 million led by Greenspring Associates at a $2 billion valuation, per TechCrunch. http://axios.link/ClhU

Hotmart, an Brazil-based digital enablement platforms, raised $130 million in Series C funding. TCV led, and was joined by Alkeon Capital. http://axios.link/aiiD

Thrasio, a New York-based acquirer of Amazon third-party private-label businesses, raised $100 million in new Series B funding, bringing the round total to $175 million. Existing backers include Peak6, Upper90, WTI, and River Park Ventures. http://axios.link/I9CE

Auditoria.ai, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of automation solutions for corporate finance teams, raised $15.5 million in Series A funding. Venrock led, and was joined by Workday Ventures and insiders B Capital Group, Engineering Capital, Firebolt Ventures and Neotribe Ventures. www.auditoria.ai

Pair Eyewear, a New York-based provider of customizable eyewear for kids and adults, raised $12 million in Series A funding. Javelin Venture Partners led, and was joined by Norwest Venture Partners, Precursor Ventures and Gingerbread Capital. http://axios.link/NhVc

Zededa, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of distributed edge orchestration solutions, raised $12.5 million in new Series A funding from Rockwell Automation, Juniper Networks and EDF North America Ventures. www.zededa.com

Price.com, a San Francisco-based e-commerce price-savings platform, raised $10 million in seed funding. Ricky Caplin led, and was joined by backers like Founders Fund, Social Capital. www.price.com

BrightPlan, a San Jose, Calif.-based employee benefits startup, raised $9.5 million in Series A funding. Fremont Group and Cynosure Group co-led, and were joined by Still Capital Partners and Hawk Partners. www.brightplan.com

Craft Docs, a London-based app for collaborative documents, raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Creandum. http://axios.link/lePZ

StarStock, a sports cards marketplace, raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. www.starstock.com

Lowkey, a San Francisco-based provider of software for game streamers, raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. http://axios.link/oLM9

Hex, an enterprise data-sharing solution, raised $5.5 million in seed funding. Amplify Partners led, and was joined by Box Group, XYZ, Data Community Fund and Operator Collective. http://axios.link/ZdkN

Private Equity Deals

3i Infrastructure agreed to invest €182 million for a 60% stake in German telco DNS:NET from Deutsche Beteiligungs. http://axios.link/iDsm

Aurelius acquired AutoRestore, a British provider of mobile accident repair services, from Belron International. www.autorestore.co.uk

🚑 Aurora Capital Partners acquired Baltimore-based medical waste collection company Curtis Bay Medical Waste from Summer Street Capital Partners. www.curtisbaymws.com

Boru Energy, a London-based portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, is in talks to buy Occidental Petroleum’s (NYSE: OXY) Ghana oil and gas fields for around $500 million, per Reuters. http://axios.link/eBym

Ethos Capital agreed to buy a control stake in Donuts, a Seattle-based portfolio of website domains, from Abry Partners. Co-investors are The Baupost Group and Neuberger Berman. www.donuts.domains

Francisco Partners agreed to buy Dallas-based legal education company Barbri from Leeds Equity Partners. www.barbri.com

🚑 Friday Health Plans, a Denver-based health insurer, raised $100 million led by Vestar Capital Partners. It also secured $60 million in debt from Leadenhall Capital Partners. www.fridayhealthplans.com

KPS Capital Partners is in talks to buy the cans unit of Crown Holdings (NYSE: CCK) for more than $2 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/3cJn

Nestle completed the $4.3 billion sale of its North American bottled water brands, including Poland Springs and Pure Life, for $4.3 billion to One Rock Capital Partners and Metropoulos & Co. http://axios.link/go5c

RedBird Capital Partners completed its acquisition of around an 11% stake in Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C., at a $7.35 billion valuation.

Stellex agreed to buy the U.S. and Australian conveying business of Komatsu Mining Corp., a Milwaukee-based unit of Komatsu (Tokyo: 6301). www.mining.komatsu

Stonewall Kitchen, a York, Maine-based portfolio company of Audax Private Equity, acquired Vermont Coffee Co., an organic coffee brand sold in grocery stores. www.stonewallkitchen.com

Public Offerings

Compass, a New York-based real estate platform, raised $450 million in its IPO. The company priced 25 million shares at $18, versus original plans to offer 35 million shares at $24-$26, for an initial market cap of nearly $7 billion. Compass will list on the NYSE (COMP), reports a $270 million net loss on $3.72 billion in revenue for 2020 and had raised $1.6 billion in VC funding from firms like SoftBank Vision Fund, Dragoneer, CPPIB, Qatar Investment Authority, IVP, Thrive Capital, Founders Fund and .406 Ventures. http://axios.link/iDki

Frontier, a Denver-based budget airline backed by Indigo Partners, raised $570 million in its IPO. The company priced 30 million shares at $19 (low end of range), for a market cap of $4 billion, and will list on the Nasdaq (ULCC). http://axios.link/BuEs

Intermedia Cloud Communications, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based communications and collaboration platform owned by Madison Dearborn, postponed an IPO that had been slated to raise around $300 million, citing market conditions. http://axios.link/MUQG

Kaltura, a New York-based video SaaS company, postponed an IPO that had been expected to raise around $353 million. It’s raised over $160 million from firms like .406 Ventures (16.6% pre-IPO stake), Nexus India (15.2%), Avalon Ventures (8.5%), Intel Capital (7.6%) and Sapphire Ventures (7.6%). http://axios.link/UZRB

Smart Share Global (dba Energy Monster), a Chinese network of mobile device charging stations, raised $150 million in its IPO. It priced at $8.50 (below $10.50-$12.50 range), will list on the Nasdaq (EM) and reports $12 million of net income on $431 million in revenue for 2020. It had raised over $145 million from firms like SoftBank Ventures Asia, BOC International, Shunwei Capital, Hillhouse and Goldman Sachs. http://axios.link/Z6sI

SPAC Stuff

No, you're not imagining things. The number of new SPAC formations has slowed dramatically over the past week.

Zimmer Energy Transition Acquisition, a SPAC formed by Zimmer Partners, filed for a $350 million IPO. http://axios.link/C8Kp

Liquidity Events

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Micron Technology (Nasdaq: MU) and Western Digital (Nasdaq: WDC) each are considering takeover offers for Kioxia, the Japanese flash memory chipmaker owned by Bain Capital, per the WSJ. A deal could be valued at around $30 billion. http://axios.link/r84g

BC Partners is in talks to sell a majority stake in academic publisher Springer Nature to an investor group led by Neuberger Berman, after scrapping IPO plans, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/aJf8

🚑 Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe is considering a sale process for Springstone, a Louisville, Ky.-based behavioral health hospital chain that could fetch at least $1 billion, per PE Hub. http://axios.link/dJcf

More M&A

Bilibili (HK: 09626) agreed to invest around $123 million for a 4.72% stake in the parent company of Chinese game distribution platform TapTap (HK: 02400). http://axios.link/gYVZ

🚑 Bausch Health (TSX: BHC) agreed to sell Egyptian drug unit Amoun Pharmaceutical to ADQ, an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, for C$740 million. http://axios.link/qGck

🏈 Daniel Snyder paid $875 million to become sole owner of the Washington Football Team, buying out three minority owners. http://axios.link/vcdI

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) agreed to invest $100 million in the mobile money business of Airtel Africa. http://axios.link/1B4S

Utmost Group of London agreed to buy the international business of British wealth manager Quilter (LSE: QLT) for £483 million. http://axios.link/xfcj

Vinci (Paris: DG) agreed to buy the energy unit of ACS (Madrid: ACS) for €4.9 billion, down from the €5.2 billion nonbinding offer it made last fall. http://axios.link/xtzw


Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec agreed to invest up to US$125 million over three years in companies focused on the digital transformation of energy, as a co-investment partnership with Chicago-based Energize Ventures. www.energize.vc

Cendana Capital raised $30 million for a VC fund-of-funds focused on managers raising $100 million or less. http://axios.link/g3Kz

General Atlantic is targeting $5 billion for its fourth flagship growth equity fund, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/Ph3I

Immersive Artistry, a Venice, Calif.-based provider of location-based entertainment, today is launching a blockchain-based entertainment financing platform. The token will be called VERSE. http://strprt.com

Vision Ridge Partners of Colorado raised $1.25 billion for its third “sustainable asset fund.” www.vision-ridge.com

It's Personnel

Ed Albrigo joined Paladin Capital Group as COO. He previously led the Center for Innovative Technology. www.paladincapitalgroup.com

Daisy Cai is joining venture firm B Capital Group to lead a new China investing effort. She previously was a partner with SoftBank Vision Fund. http://axios.link/GXf0

Stuart Kovensky is stepping down as co-CEO and chief investment officer of Onex Credit. http://axios.link/9JCV

Morgan Livermore is joining Quiet Capital as a partner. He previously was a partner with Geodesic Capital. www.quiet.com

Zade Zalatimo joined Hunter Point Capital as an operating partner focused on fundraising and IR in the Middle East. He previously led The Carlyle Group’s fundraising in the MENA and Central Asia regions. www.hunterpointcapital.com

Final Numbers
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

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