Jan 26, 2017

Axios Pro Rata

Greetings from the home office, on an unexpectedly busy day for deals. Let's get to it...

Top of the Morning

• Trumpland: For a tiny industry, private equity is sure having a large place at the Trump table. In the past 24 hours, two more private equity execs have been added to the Administration: Kenneth Juster, a managing director with Warburg Pincus, as deputy assistant to the president for international economic affairs; and Philip Bilden, formerly a partner with HarbourVest, as Secretary of the Navy.

Here is the full rundown:

  • Wilbur Ross; Commerce Secretary; WL Ross & Co.
  • Jay Clayton; SEC chairman; Sullivan & Cromwell
  • William Hagerty; Ambassador to Japan; Haggerty Peterson
  • Vincent Viola; Army Secretary; Virtu Financial (PE-backed)
  • Andy Puzder; Labor Secretary; CEO of CKE Restaurants (PE-backed)
  • Steve Schwarzman; Chairman of President's Strategic and Policy Forum; Blackstone Group

And that doesn't even include people like inauguration chairman Tom Barrack (Colony Capital) or hedge fund managers like Steve Mnuchin and Anthony Scaramucci. There has been lots of talk about how the Trump White House is doubling as an exclusive billionaire's club, but it's arguably a step beyond that: It's becoming a club for rich folks who made their fortunes in very similar ways...

• Unconventional wisdom: Yesterday I received two separate calls from Silicon Valley types, taking me (and my media peers) to task for expecting Snap's IPO to be "successful." In short, they don't believe the numbers add up.

To be clear, "successful" is a tricky term when it comes to IPOs, particularly since different companies list for different purposes (capital raising, employee liquidity, market cachet, etc.). But these folks were essentially saying that if Snap does manage to price at around a $20 billion valuation (fully diluted), it will have a very difficult time maintaining that past the lock-up period (at least for a couple of years). Basically it's a math question. If Snap is unprofitable and generated around $600 million in 2016 revenue (the latter of which is the very high end of speculation, not fact), then it would have to trade at more than a 33 multiple of revenue.

For a comp, Facebook went public at around a 23x revenue multiple, and that company already was generating $1 billion in annual profit. Today, Facebook is at only 12.9x revenue. And if you look at an even "altier" comp in Match Group, the hill gets steeper.... Obviously the argument here will be growth curve, but how long will public equity investors be willing to value eyeballs over dollars? Particularly without voting rights?

• Today in Theranos: Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos turns out to be an investor in Theranos, according to her disclosure documents. She doesn't break out how much stock she holds, except to say it's valued north of $1 million. That makes her the second Trump nominee to have ties to the troubled blood-testing company, following confirmed Defense Secretary James Mattis (who actually served on the Theranos board). It does not appear that DeVos plans to divest the Theranos stake, if confirmed, although she does plan to sell off her positions in dozens of private equity funds (including those managed by Vista Equity, AEA and Spectrum Equity).

• Don't be a stranger: Feed me news and views by hitting reply to this email, or using: http://axios.com/tips (those go straight to me).

• Quote of the Day: "Debt, even if it's not deductible, is still cheaper than equity." -- Blackstone Group president Tony James, during a media call this morning.


• The Deal: Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has agreed to acquire Swiss biopharma company Actelion (SWX: ATLN) for approximately $30 billion in cash, or $280 per share (23% premium).

• Why it's the BFD: This one finally came together after several fits and starts, with J&J starting and later suspending negotiations ― a situation that Sanofi tried, but failed, to take advantage of. It's also worth noting that this is a way for New Jersey-based J&J to "untrap" some of its overseas cash, perhaps signaling that it isn't expecting a repatriation plan any time soon (in fact, Axios reported earlier today that tax reform may be kicked into next year).

• Bottom line: "The biggest European drugs takeover in 13 years gives J&J access to the Swiss group's range of high-price, high-margin medicines for rare diseases, helping it diversify its drug portfolio as its biggest product, Remicade for arthritis, faces cheaper competition." -- John Miller & Paul Arnold

Venture Capital Deals

• Vestiaire Collective, a French ecommerce platform for clothes and fashion accessories, has raised $62 million in new VC funding. Vitruvian Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Eurazeo and Idinvest. http://tcrn.ch/2jtZ9WJ

• Doctolib, a French online booking platform for medical appointments, has raised €26 million in new VC funding. Bpifrance led the round, and was joined by individual investors and return backer Accel. http://tcrn.ch/2jghO7u

• Reflektive, an employee performance feedback platform, has raised $25 million in Series B funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by fellow return backer Andreessen Horowitz. http://tcrn.ch/2jiH1yu

• Credible, a San Francisco-based multi-lender marketplace for student and personal loans, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Regal Funds Management led the round, and was joined by return backers Ron Suber (president of Prosper Marketplace) and Carthona Capital. http://bloom.bg/2jM7xBQ

• OZY Media, a Mountain View, Calif.-based digital content company, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. GSV Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Axel Springer and Emerson Collective. http://bit.ly/2kn7hcD

• KenSci, a Seattle-based machine learning startup focused on medical predictions and preventative treatments, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. Ignition Partners led the round, and was joined by Osage Partners and Mindset Ventures. http://bit.ly/2k5WplW

• Teachable (f.k.a. Fedora), a New York-based platform for creating and selling online courses, has raised $4 million in Series A funding. Backers include Accomplice, Learn Capital, Maiden Lane Ventures and Winklevoss Capital. http://tcrn.ch/2k64I1f

Incredible Foods, a food company focused on allergen-friendly products, has secured an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from Winona Capital and return backers Flagship Pioneering and Polaris Partners. http://bit.ly/2kwulcr

Private Equity Deals

• Court Square Capital Partners is nearing an agreement to purchase Infogroup, a Papillon, Neb.-based business marketing company, from CCMP Capital Advisors for around $600 million (including debt), according to Reuters. http://reut.rs/2kwwVuM

• Kopari Beauty, a San Diego-based e-commerce provider of coconut oil-based beauty products, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from L Catterton. The round also included celebrity backers like Karlie Kloss, Shay Mitchell, Hilary Duff, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher. http://lat.ms/2jt4kIZ

• Nexera Holding, an Emeryville, Calif.-based residential mortgage lender, has secured an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from Warburg Pincus. www.nexeraholding.com

• OfferPad, a Gilbert, Ariz.-based online platform for home-sellers, has secured $260 million in private equity and debt from LL Funds. http://bit.ly/2jt0r6U

• PSI Services, a portfolio company of Waud Capital Partners, has acquired Performance Assessment Network, a Carmel, Ind.-based provider of talent management software, from Spire Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. www.panpowered.com

• Sun Capital Partners has acquired Arrow Tru-Line, an Archbold, Ohio-based manufacturer and distributor of garage door hardware and fittings. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Long Point Capital.

• Thomas H. Lee Partners has agreed to acquire Art Van Furniture, a Warren, Mich.-based furniture and mattress retailer, from founder Art Van Elsander. No financial terms were disclosed. http://detne.ws/2kwneg3

• Verily Life Sciences, an Alphabet company, has secured an $800 million investment commitment from Temasek. http://bit.ly/2jiRgTh

Public Offerings

• AnaptysBio, a San Diego-based developer of antibodies for severe inflammatory conditions, raised $75 million in its IPO. The company priced 5 million shares at $15 per share (middle of its range), and will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ANAB. Credit Suisse and Stifel served as lead underwriters. The company raised over $100 million in VC funding from firms like Frazier Healthcare, Novo AS, Avalon Ventures, Alloy Ventures and HBM. www.anaptysbio.com

• ObsEva, a Swiss developer of drugs that address "serious conditions compromising pregnancy from conception to birth," raised $97 million in its IPO. The company priced 6.5 million shares at $15 per share (middle of range), and will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol OBSV. The company has raised over $90 million in VC funding from firms like Healthcare Investments, New Enterprise Associates, OrbiMed and Rock Springs Capital were joined by return backers , Sofinnova Ventures, Novo Ventures and MS Ventures. www.obseva.com

Liquidity Events

• Francisco Partners has agreed to sell CoverMyMeds, a Highland Hills, Ohio-based provider of electronic prior authorization solutions for phycicians and pharmacists, to McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK) for upwards of $1.4 billion in cash ($1.1 billion up-front). http://bit.ly/2j7TMkd

• Kik, a Canada-based chat app, has acquired Israeli video chat app Rounds. No financial terms were disclosed, but reports put the sale price at between $60 million and $80 million. Kik has raised around $120 million in VC funding, from firms like Tencent, Valiant Capital Partners, Millennium Technology Value Partners, SV Angel, Foundation Capital, RRE Ventures, Spark Capital, MicroVentures, Laconia Capital Group and Union Square Ventures. Rounds had raised around $22 million from Sequoia Capital, Samsung Ventures Investment, Verizon Ventures, Rhodium and Tim Draper. http://tcrn.ch/2jUSWEF

• Onex Corp. has hired Bank of America to find a buyer for Emerald Expositions, a San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based B2B trade show operator that could be worth nearly $2 billion, according to Reuters. http://reut.rs/2jUFxfz

• SK Capital is seeking a buyer for Swiss chemicals company Archroma, which could be valued at upwards of $1.5 billion, according to Reuters. http://reut.rs/2jAyjMP

More M&A

• Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) received EU antitrust approval for its proposed $5.8 billion purchase of Waltham, Mass.-based diagnostic test maker Alere Inc. (NYSE: ALR), subject to certain divestitures. http://reut.rs/2knjoqe

• Alphabet is in "advanced discussions" to sell its Terra Bella satellite business to VC-backed Planet Labs for around $300 million. Alphabet (then still called Google) purchased the company as Skybox Imaging in 2014 for nearly $480 million, and also held talks about selling the company to Monsanto-owned Climate Corp. http://tcrn.ch/2ktCFFu

• Keysight Technologies (NYSE: KEYS) is in talks to acquire Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA), a Calabasas, Calif.-based provider of app performance and security resilience solutions, according to Reuters. Ixia is currently trading at around a $1.4 billion market cap. http://reut.rs/2knlaHJ

• Nan Hai Corp. (HK: 680) has agreed to acquire Chinese cinema chain Orange Sky Golden Harvest Entertainment for approximately $480 million. http://bit.ly/2k7gY1p

• Textron (NYSE: TXT) has agreed to acquire Arctic Cat (Nasdaq: ACAT), a Minneapolis-based maker of snowmobiles and ATVs, for around $247 million, or $18.5 per share (40.7% premium). http://strib.mn/2k6YXQV

It's Personnel

• Sarah Larson has joined Third Rock Ventures as a partner and head of HR. She previously was SVP of human resources for Foundation Medicine (Nasdaq: FMI).

Final Numbers: Road to Dow 20K