Richard Leon is the U.S. District Court judge last in this space for approving AT&T's purchase of Time Warner, over the objections of U.S. antitrust regulators. Now he's threatening to scuttle another mega-deal that not only received regulatory approval, but which actually closed last week: CVS Health's $69 billion purchase of health insurer Aetna.
Yes, Leon could effectively order the egg to be unscrambled, assuming he disagrees with the incoming legal briefs. But it would be extremely complicated, as the companies already have begun integrating — something he recently warned should be slowed down — and his actual ruling might not ultimately come until the middle of next year.
🏒 David Bonderman yesterday became the latest PE big to majority-own a professional sports team, when his Seattle Hockey Partners was picked for the NHL's next expansion.
• Heidi Zak, co-founder and CEO of bra startup ThirdLove, suggested yesterday that her company may finally be ready to raise the sort of capital needed to "take down" Victoria's Secret.
Some backstory and notes from my on-stage conversation with Zak:
🎧 Podcast: Our new episode focuses on the idea of Universal Basic Income, and I'm joined by entrepreneur and 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Listen here.
Pindrop Security, an Atlanta-based voice fraud prevention company, raised $90 million in Series D funding.
• Vagaro, a Dublin, Calif.-based provider of business management software to the salon, spa and fitness markets, raised $63 million in growth equity led by FTV Capital. www.vagaro.com
🚑 Alto, a San Francisco-based digital pharmacy platform, raised $50 million in Series C funding. Zola Global and Greenoaks Capital co-led, and were joined by Jackson Square Ventures and Olive Tree Capital. www.alto.com
• Aceable, an Austin, Texas-based mobile education platform that began with driver’s ed, raised $47 million in Series B funding led by Sageview Capital. http://axios.link/U6G3
• Freelitics, a maker of fitness apps, raised $45 million in Series A funding co-led by FitLab, Causeway Media Partners and Jazz Venture Partners. Others backers include Courtside Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures, Ward Venture and Tony Robbins. http://axios.link/QczC
• Contentful, a provider of content infrastructure solutions for digital teams, raised $33.5 million in Series D funding. Sapphire Ventures led, and was joined by OMERS Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and return backers General Catalyst, Balderton Capital and Hercules. www.contentful.com
• Lumeon, a Boston-based care pathway management company, raised $28 million. LSP led, and was joined by MTIP and return backers MTIP Gilde, Amadeus Capital Partners and IPF Partners. http://axios.link/6qrq
• ErisX, a Chicago-based cryptocurrency exchange, raised $27.5 million from backers like Fidelity and Nasdaq. http://axios.link/cIbG
• Fivetran, an Oakland, Calif.-based developer of automated data pipelines, raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners. http://axios.link/LGLe
• FortressIQ, a San Francisco-based startup focused on imitation learning for process automation, raised $12 million in Series A funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners. http://axios.link/v6tb
• Jirnexu, a Kuala Lumpur-based provider of financial comparison services in Malaysia and Indoensia, raised $10 million led by Experian. http://axios.link/jRw7
• Eclypsium, a Beaverton, Ore.-based firmware security startup, raised $8.75 million. Madrona Venture Group led, and was joined by seed backers Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital, and Ubiquity Ventures. http://axios.link/EWBc
• Facilio, an Atlanta-based provider of facility management software, raised $6.4 million in Series A funding. Tiger Global led, and was joined by return backer Accel. http://axios.link/Xedf
• Hellman & Friedman offered to buy listed New Zealand e-commerce company Trade Me Group for NZ$6.45 per share, or around US$1.77 billion, which is a 6.6% premium to a prior bid from Apax Partners. http://axios.link/wuxn
• Race Winning Brands, a Mentor, Ohio-based portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, acquired Giannone Performance Products, a maker of aluminum connecting rods. www.kinderhook.com
• Tech Air, a Danbury, Conn.-based portfolio company of CI Capital Partners, acquired Scully, a Collingdale, Penn.-based distributor of propane, industrial gasses and welding supplies. www.scullywelding.com
🚑 Ardent Health Partners, a Nashville, Tenn.-based operator of 31 acute care hospitals, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE (ARDT) with Barclays as lead underwriter. Shareholders include Ventas (NYSE: VTR).
🚑 Unison Capital hired J.P. Morgan to explore a sale of Ayumi Pharmaceutical Corp., a Japanese maker of drugs for rheumatic and orthopedic disorders that could fetch around $1 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/DyAx
• Gymboree Group, a San Francisco-based kids clothing retailer that emerged from bankruptcy last year, launched a strategic review that could result in the sale of certain brands and some store closures. http://axios.link/0gIX
• Aberdeen Asset Management is raising $150 million for its latest VC fund-of-funds, per an SEC filing. www.aberdeenprivateequity.com
• Abry Partners is raising $1.2 billion for its ninth buyout fund, per an SEC filing. www.abry.com
• Activant Capital is raising $250 million for its third growth equity fund, per an SEC filing. www.activantcapital.com
• Arrive, the venture arm of Roc Nation, is forming a $40 million opportunities fund, per an SEC filing. www.rocnation.com
• Harlem Capital, an early-stage firm focused on minority and women founders, is raising $25 million for its debut fund, per an SEC filing. www.harlem.capital
• Luminate Capital Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm focused on mid-market software and software-enabled companies, raised $425 million for its second fund. www.luminatecapital.com
• Mike Duboe joined VC firm Greylock as a principal on the consumer investing team. He previously led growth at StitchFix. www.greylock.com
• General Atlantic promoted Chris Caulkin, Roni Elchahal, Andrew Ferrer and Peter Munzig to managing director. It also promoted Preston McKenzie to operating partner and Rodrigo Catunda and Luiz Ribeiro to principal. www.generaltatlantic.com
• Salesforce Ventures formed a $100 million fund dedicated to Japanese tech startups.
• SoftBank Vision Fund is seeking to hire a China-based investment team, per Reuters. http://axios.link/Nxck
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