Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Bernardo Hees is out as CEO of Kraft Heinz, with news this morning that he'll be succeeded by former Anheuser-Busch InBev chief marketing officer Miguel Patricio.
The official story: Slumping sales, a floundering stock price, dividend reductions, massive write-downs and an SEC investigation into accounting and procurement activities.
The unofficial story: Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital and Warren Buffett paid nearly $24 billion to buy the food giant in 2013, after which 3G embarked on the sort of truculent cost-cutting for which Buffett criticizes other private equity firms.
The bottom line is that 3G is making at least a mild concession, as Hees has been a partner with the firm since 2010. But it still has one of its own as chairman, and Patricio is a veteran of a brewing conglomerate that 3G helped create (first by creating InBev, and later by merging it with Anheuser-Busch). So change is coming, but slowly... kind of like waiting for ketchup to pour from a glass bottle.
• Puffed up: Pax Labs, the San Francisco-based marijuana vaporizer company that spun out Juul in 2017, raised $420 million at what TechCrunch reports is a $1.7 billion post-money valuation.
• Lyft is facing a pair of investor lawsuits, alleging that it misrepresented its market share and that the company should have alerted investors to its e-bike recall plans.
📅 Coming attractions: No companies expect to price IPOs on U.S. exchanges this week, but we do plan to see a slew of IPO road-show launches. Expect packed hotel ballrooms for Beyond Meat, iHeartMedia, Yunji and more.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Sinclair Broadcasting (Nasdaq: SBGI) is the front-runner to buy a package of regional sports networks being sold by Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), following a bid of around $10 billion, per Fox Business Network. A deal could be announced as early as this week.
🚑 Poseida Therapeutics, a San Diego-based developer of CAR-T product candidates, raised $142 million in Series C funding. Novartis led with a $75 million investment, and was joined by Aisling Capital Management, Pentwater Capital Management, Perceptive Advisors and return backers Malin Corp., Longitude Capital, Vivo Capital and Boxer Capital. www.poseida.com
• HappyFresh, a grocery delivery service in Southeast Asia, raised $20 million in Series C funding. Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund led, and was joined by Line Ventures, Singha Ventures, Grab Ventures, Samena Capital, Vertex Ventures, SMDV, 500 Startups and BeeNext. http://axios.link/8Vhq
🚑 Avidity Biosciences, a La Jolla, Calif.-based developer of precision medicines for cancer treatment, raised $15 million from Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), as part of a global licensing and research deal that also includes a $20 million upfront payment and upwards of $405 million in earn-outs. It previously raised $30 million in VC funding. www.aviditybiosciences.com
🚑 The Well, a New York-based upscale wellness club chain, raised $14 million in Series A funding led by NEA. http://axios.link/MkpL
• The Blackstone Group agreed to buy a majority stake in listed Indian packaging firm Essel Propack, at an enterprise value of up to $462 million. http://axios.link/GRqk
• Montage Partners acquired MetalFx, a Willits, Calif.-based provider of precision sheet metal fabrications, enclosures, assemblies and wood products. The seller is Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA), which will retain a minority equity stake. www.metalfx.com
🍔 Beyond Meat, an El Segundo, Calif.-based maker of vegan meats, set IPO terms to 8.75 million shares at $19-$21. It would have an initial market cap of $1.15 billion (double its last private round), were it to price in the middle, and plans to trade on the Nasdaq (BYND) with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. The company reports a $30 million net loss on $88 million in revenue for 2018, and raised $142 million in VC funding from Kleiner Perkins (16.1% stake), Obvious Ventures (10.4%), Tyson Foods (6.6%), Cleveland Avenue (5.4%), Union Grove Partners, Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio and ex-McDonald's CEO Don Thompson.
• SciPlay, an Las Vegas-based social gaming company being spun out of Scientific Games (Nasdaq: SGMS), set IPO terms to 22 million shares at $14-$16. It would have an initial market cap of $1.9 billion (double its last private round), were it to price in the middle, and plans to trade on the Nasdaq (SCPL) with BAML as lead underwriter. The company reports $73 million of net income on $416 million in revenue for 2018.
🚑 TransMedics, an Andover, Mass.-based developer of organ preservation technology, set IPO terms to 4.7 million shares at $15-$17. It would have an initial market cap of around $308 million, were it to price in the middle, and plans to trade on the Nasdaq (TMDX) with Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan as co-lead underwriters. The company reports a $24 million net loss on $13 million in revenue for 2018, while shareholders include Flagship Pioneering (13.1% pre-IPO stake) and Kleiner Perkins (6.8%). www.transmedics.com
🍦 Arbor Investments sold Fieldbrook Foods, a Dunkirk, N.Y.-based private-label ice cream manufacturer, to Wells Enterprises. http://axios.link/oZZB
• Charoen Pokphand Foods, a Thai agricultural conglomerate, agreed to buy Canadian pork producer HyLife Investments for C$498 million. http://axios.link/6hYZ
• Engie (Paris: ENGI) is considering a takeover offer for Emcor Group (NYSE: EME), a Norwalk, Conn.-based provider of electrical and mechanical construction and facilities services, per Bloomberg. Emcor has a market cap of nearly $4.5 billion. http://axios.link/ENCB
⛽ Saudi Aramco agreed to buy Royal Dutch Shell’s (LSE: RDS) 50% stake in their Saudi refining joint venture SASREF for $631 million. http://axios.link/9c6i
⛽ Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) plans to sell its Saudi drilling business to Arabian Drilling Co., per Al Maaal. http://axios.link/mRn0
• Thomas Cook (LSE: TCG) has been approached about a takeover, per Sky News. The London-based travel services company has a market cap of around £376 million. http://axios.link/jP9J
• Drive Capital, a Columbus, Ohio-based VC firm, raised $307 million for its third flagship fund and $250 million for a $400 million-targeted later-stage fund, per SEC filings. www.drivecapital.com
• North Castle Partners raised $400 million for its seventh buyout fund focused on consumer businesses in the healthy, active and sustainable living space. www.northcastlepartners.com
• Rich Friedman is stepping back from running day-to-day operations of private equity investing for Goldman Sachs, per the WSJ. He’ll be succeeded by Sumit Rajpal and Andrew Wolf Sumit Rajpal, who currently oversees corporate-buyouts funds, and Andrew Wolff, based in London, the people said. http://axios.link/8hbF
🚑 Maha Katabi joined Sofinnova Investments, a biopharma-focused VC firm, as a partner. She previously was a partner with Sectoral Asset Management. www.sofinnova.com