The Uber situation has somehow devolved even further since last Friday morning, when we already knew that Benchmark had sued former CEO Travis Kalanick for fraud.
Axios scooped just hours later that a group of small outside investors (led by Shervin Pishevar) asked Benchmark to both leave the board and divest enough shares so as to no longer have board appointment rights (including a claim that it had enough investor interest to buy Benchmark's stock at the latest valuation, which would value the bucket north of $6 billion).
Uber's board — minus Kalanick and Benchmark — later issued a "can't we all just get along" statement, while the NY Times reported yesterday that the board also is proceeding with preliminary secondary offer talks. Not only from SoftBank, but also the Pishevar group and a third bid from Dragoneer and General Atlantic (the latter of which may have the best chance of reconciling the warring factions). This is all still very fluid, but some thoughts:
• Secondary stuff: We reported last month that Lexington Partners had agreed to what could have been a massive stapled secondary with British buyout shop BC Partners, including the purchase of up to €1.2 billion in LP stakes and up to a €600 million commitment for BC's new fund (BC Partners X). Lexington formally announced the secondary piece this morning, but it only came out to around €850 million – suggesting that fewer existing BC limited partners were interested in selling than had been anticipated (particularly given the secondary offer's 114% premium on NAV).
• M&A protectionism: The European Commission next month is expected to announce tougher screening for foreign takeovers of European companies, per the FT, "as it seeks to address mounting concerns about a surge of Chinese investment into the bloc's high-tech manufacturing, energy and infrastructure sectors." The move comes as China itself is taking a tougher regulatory look at domestic purchases of foreign assets and seemingly increased scrutiny by CFIUS in the U.S.
Protocol Labs has raised around $193 million via an initial coin offering, for a pre-launch distributed computer memory storage project called "Filecoin Network." This comes on top of a pre-ICO raise of around $52 million from venture firms — Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Union Square Ventures and Winklevoss Capital — while the ICO itself had to be temporarily suspended due to overwhelming volume in its initial hour.
• Zuoyebang, a Chinese online K-12 homework help company spun out of Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU), has raised $150 million in Series C funding. H Capital led the round, and was joined by Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital, Legend Capital, GGV Capital and Xianghe Capital. http://bit.ly/2vBpVn0
• IMS New Media Group, a Chinese social media marketing company, has raised around $90 million in Series C funding from Sina Weibo, Morgan Stanley, China Merchants Bank, CSC Financial and SAIF Partners. http://bit.ly/2wItND2
• Er Geng, a Chinese provider of short-form video content, has raised around $14 million in Series A funding. Yunfeng Capital led the round, and was joined by Source Code Capital. http://bit.ly/2w5Fupy
• Dragos, a Fulton, Md.-based provider of cybersecurity solutions for industrial control system networks, has raised $9 million in new VC funding led by Allegis Capital. http://wapo.st/2uUDagE
• FilmTrack, a Studio City, Calif.-based provider of end-to-end media and entertainment rights management solutions, has raised $5.5 million in Series C funding from Insight Venture Partners. www.filmtrack.net
• Losant IoT, a Cincinnati-based enterprise Internet of Things platform, has raised around $4.5 million in new VC funding from backers like CincyTech, per an SEC filing. www.losant.com
• Ardian has acquired Dynamic Technologies, an Italian manufacturer of tubing for the automotive industry. No financial terms were disclosed. Lincoln International managed the process.
🚑 SK Capital has agreed to acquire Perrigo API, the active pharma ingredients business of Perrigo Co. (NYSE: PRGO) for $110 million in cash. http://bit.ly/2uGwNOX
• TPG Capital has agreed to acquire Transplace, a Frisco, Texas-based provider of transportation management services, from Greenbriar Equity Group. No financial terms were disclosed. www.transplace.com
• Yellow Wood Partners has acquired Freeman Beauty, a Los Angeles-based beauty products company, from Champlain Capital. No financial terms were disclosed. http://bit.ly/2w3a1oA
• Only one company, a blank-check acquisition issuer called Capitol Investment Corp. IV, is slated to price an IPO on U.S. exchanges this week. http://bit.ly/2wWXDmi
🚑 Fosun Pharmaceutical Group and Shanghai Pharmaceuticals reportedly are among those that submitted non-binding bids for between a 20% and 30% stake in Arbor Pharmaceuticals, an Atlanta-based specialty drugmaker backed by KKR. The deal could value Arbor at around $3 billion. https://bloom.bg/2wWAhNX
⛽ Oaktree Capital Group is exploring a sale for Spanish wind power company Eolia Renovables de Inversiones, which could be valued north of €1 billion, according to Bloomberg. https://bloom.bg/2w5JExG
⛽ Andeavor Logistics (NYSE: ANDX) has agreed to acquire rival Western Refining Logistics (NYSE: WNRL) for $1.5 billion in stock, or $22.28 per share (6.4% premium on Friday's closing price). http://reut.rs/2vAT9T7
• Danone (Paris: DANO) stock rose on Monday, following a NY Post report that the company could soon get a takeover offer from a rival food company like Kraft or Coca-Cola. Danone has a current market cap of around €41 billion, and an enterprise value approaching €60 billion. http://nyp.st/2vxjSjj
• DX Group (AIM: DX) has ended talks to acquire the newspaper distribution unit of Scotland's John Menzies (LSE: MNZS), after failing to agree on terms. http://on.ft.com/2w395Rb
🚑 Google has acquired Seattle-based health monitoring startup Senosis Health, according to GeekWire. http://bit.ly/2uSW9ID
• Quest Venture Partners is raising up to $40 million for its third fund, per an SEC filing. www.questvp.com
• Stephanie Hannon, former CTO for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and a former Google and Facebook product manager, has joined Greylock Partners as an executive-in-residence. www.greylock.com
• David Leeney has joined private equity firm LightBay Capital as a managing director and head of business development. He previously was head of global origination with Gores Group. www.lightbaycapital.com