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SoftBank has agreed to acquire the robotics company Boston Dynamics from Google parent Alphabet, around one year after a possible sale was first reported. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which is being done via a SoftBank subsidiary rather than through its new $93 billion private equity fund. We also don't know how much Alphabet (then still Google) paid for its original purchase of Boston Dynamics in late 2013.
- Why it's the BFD: Depending on your point of view, Boston Dynamics robots are either the coolest thing in the world ― or the most terrifying, due to their Terminator-like ability to both run and get back up after falling down. Possible applications range from military to industrial to consumer, with Amazon originally having been said to have interest as a warehouse tool. Plus, I really wanted to use that GIF.
- Must watch TV: To fully appreciate Boston Dynamics robots, check out this video. And this one too.
- Bottom line: "From a business perspective, there was intractable tension between Boston Dynamics engineers who wanted to do super-creative stuff for street cred and Alphabet executives who wanted commercial product on the market." ― Steve LeVine, Axios
Venture Capital Deals
Private Equity Deals
• Plymouth Industrial REIT, a Boston-based REIT that owns industrial buildings, raised $55 million in its IPO. The company priced 2.9 million shares at $19 per share (low end of $19-$21 range), and will trade on the NYSE MKT under ticker symbol PLYM. http://bit.ly/2r9ikgM
• Paul Best reportedly has stepped down as a London-based managing director with Warburg Pincus, in order to join Elliott Management to lead a new European private equity unit. http://bit.ly/2r8HEmS
• Carter Cast, former CEO of e-commerce company Hayneedle and current venture partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital, has been named to the board of Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K). www.kelloggcompany.com
• Sam Green is stepping down as a private equity investment officer at the $73 billion Oregon State Treasury, which has a 19.5% allocation to the asset class. http://bit.ly/2t1P8ol
• Steven Peikin and Stephanie Avakian have been named co-directors of the SEC's Enforcement Division. Peikin is a former federal prosecutor who last worked with new SEC chair Jay Clayton at Sullivan & Cromwell, while Avakian was the unit's acting director. https://bloom.bg/2s1MBxb
President Trump is expected to name Anthony Scaramucci, founder of hedge fund SkyBridge Capital, as ambassador to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to Bloomberg. https://bloom.bg/2rIf8XL
Matt Zames is stepping down as chief operating officer of J.P. Morgan Chase. No word yet on future plans for Zames, who was viewed as a possible successor to CEO Jamie Dimon. http://on.mktw.net/2rGc7HF