Sunrise greetings from Los Angeles, where I'm in town for the Milken Global Conference. Here we go...
Merger Monday is back with a vengeance, even if some of it was actually announced on Sunday. Here's the rundown:
• Cryptography: SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson this morning on CNBC concurred with SEC chair Jay Clayton, in saying he has yet to see an initial coin offering (ICO) that isn't a security.
• On the docket: Closing arguments kick off today in the AT&T-Time Warner case.
• Trade wars: President Trump has less than 24 hours to make a big decision on steel and aluminum tariffs for countries that got temporary exemptions, and Axios' Jonathan Swan reports that senior WH officials haven't reached consensus.
• Tumblr founder David Karp has a new job. Well, at least a part-time one. He's become a board advisor to Future Now, a left-leaning political advocacy group focused on midterm elections in state legislatures.
• Today's big number is 408. That's what the Dow would need to gain by market close for it to be break-even through the first four months of 2018 (it was up over 1,100 points for the first four months of 2017).
Let's do a bit more on T-Mobile and Sprint, albeit in a different format than usual. Three quick thoughts:
1. This is being called a merger, but it's really an acquisition. T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom gets more of the combined company than Sprint owner SoftBank, with DT being able to further consolidate its stake as time goes on. Plus, T-Mobile CEO John Legere will run the combined company which will be called... T-Mobile.
2. SoftBank didn't strike an earlier deal because it wanted more control, but waiting actually cost it more in that very area. Per a tweet from the FT's Sujeet Indap: "Painful consequence of Sprint waiting to sell now instead of in 2017: exchange ratio today of 0.10256x is 20% to 40% worse which is pure loss of Softbank ownership in NewCo."
3. If federal regulators (FCC, DoJ and CFIUS) don't challenge this deal, the AT&T braintrust is going to have a collective aneurysm. Either the competitive landscape has changed in terms of non-traditional entrants (i.e., DoJ shouldn't be suing on Time Warner) or it hasn't (i.e., FCC's concerns over AT&T-T-Mobile should stand).
• Knowbox, a Chinese homework help platform for K-12, raised $100 million in Series C funding. Yunfeng Capital led and was joined by return backer TAL Education Group. http://axios.link/lcnH
🚑 Datavant, a Cleveland-based healthcare data company, raised $40.5 million in new funding co-led by Roivant Sciences and Travis May. It also acquired Universal Patient Key, a provider of HIPAA-compliant de-identification services for healthcare data. www.datavant.com
• Minim, a Boston-based IoT platform for in-home cybersecurity, raised $2.5 million in seed funding co-led by Flybridge Capital Partners and Founder Collective. www.minim.co
• Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) has spun off its financial services arm via a $1.9 billion financing led by TPG Capital. Other participants included The Carlyle Group and Taikang Group. http://axios.link/WQxX
• CVC Capital Partners has expressed interest in buying Kanta, the data and market research unit of WPP (LSE: WPP) that could be valued at £3.5 billion, per the FT. http://axios.link/yiXY
• H.I.G. Capital has agreed to acquire Elekeiroz, a listed Brazilian chemicals manufacturer, from Itaúsa.
• Littlejohn & Co. has invested in Motion Recruitment Partners, a Boston-based recruitment firm. www.motionrp.com
• Patricia Industries, owned by Investor AB, has acquired Swedish industrial automation company Piab Group for $802 million from EQT Partners. http://axios.link/px1F
• 8 companies are expected to price IPOs on U.S. exchanges this week: Carbon Black, Construction Partners, PermRock Royalty Trust, Aslan Pharmaceuticals, Inspire Medical Systems, Unity Biotechnology, Baycom and Spirit of Texas Bancshares. http://axios.link/gUBS
🚑 Alzheon, a Framingham, Mass.-based developer of small-molecule therapies for Alzheimer's disease, withdrew registration for an $81 million IPO. The pre-revenue company raised around $27 million in VC funding from firms like Ally Bridge Group. http://axios.link/JydT
• GreenSky, an Atlanta-based digital lending platform, filed for a $100 million IPO that Renaissance Capital estimates could ultimately raise $1 billion. It plans to trade under ticker GSKY, with Goldman Sachs leading. The company reports $139 million of net income on $326 million in revenue for 2017, and has raised over $600 million from firms like TPG Growth, Pimco, DST Global, ICONIQ Capital, QED Invewstors and Wellington Management. www.greenskycredit.com
🚑 Kiniksa Pharmaceutical, a Lexington, Mass.-based biotech company focused on inflammatory disease, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker KNSA, with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. The pre-revenue company has raised $320 in VC funding from firms like Baker Brothers and Arrowpoint Funds. www.kiniska.com
🚑 Scholar Rock, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of drugs that target suprecellular activation of growth factors, filed for a $75 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker SRRK, with Jefferies as lead underwriter. The company has raised around $100 million in VC funding from firms like Fidelity (14.94% pre-IPO stake), Polaris Partners (14.1%), Arch Venture Partners (13.82%), Astal International (10.2%) and EcoRI Capital (5.22%). www.scholarrock.com
• AccorHotels (Paris: ACCP) is buying Movenpick Hotels and Resorts from Kingdom Holdings for $567 million. http://axios.link/z4Qj
• Amer Sports (Helsinki: AMEAS) has agreed to acquire Swedish sports apparel company Peak Performance from IC Group (Copenhagen: IC) for around €255 million. http://axios.link/NqIk
• BlaBlaCar, a French carpooling platform, has agreed to acquire Less, a smaller rival that focuses on in-city rides. http://axios.link/JrQA
• Boeing (NYSE: B) reportedly is in advanced talks to to acquire KLX (Nasdaq: KLXI), a Florida-based aerospace parts and services company valued north of $4 billion. http://axios.link/mwk5
⛽ ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) has agreed to acquire PT Federal Karyatama, an Indonesian motorcycle lubricant maker for $436 million from PT Mitra Pinasthika Mustika (KK: MPMX). http://axios.link/JbTP
• Mothercare (LSE: MTC), a troubled British retailer focused on new mothers, has hired Rothschild to help it find outside financing, per The Telegraph. http://axios.link/W87q
• Jonathan Faerber has quietly stepped down as CFO at Google Ventures, in order to take the same position with Section32 (the firm founded by ex-GV CEO Bill Maris).
• Joel Holsinger has stepped down as a managing director with Fortress Investment Group, Axios has learned.