Friday the 13th greetings from the home office. Thanks for reading this week, and please drop me feedback or tips via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), our anonymous service (http://axios.com/tips) or encrypted apps like Confide, Signal or Telegram (DanPrimack/857-472-3072). Here we go...
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead. Long live the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
That's the boomerang message emanating from the White House, where Larry Kudlow and Robert Lighthizer have been directed by President Trump to explore reentering a heavily-negotiated agreement that Trump abandoned just days into his term.
• Over-leveraged: S&P is warning that the U.S. leveraged loan market is overheating, with analyst Paul Draffin telling the FT: "History shows us that the worst debt transactions are done at the best of time."
• Realty reality: Zillow yesterday announced that it will become a cash buyer of homes in the Phoenix and Las Vegas markets, and a source says that it expects to hold between 300 and 1,000 residences on its balance sheet by the end of 2018.
• Script flipped: Reuters reports that Walmart is in advanced talks to buy Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, just a week or so after it reported that Amazon was circling. The new story suggests that Flipkart thinks an Amazon buy could run into antitrust issues, but also says that Flipkart minority owner SoftBank is unlikely to sell into the Walmart deal, believing the price is too low.
• Cryptography: Kia reports that crypto hedge fund Blocktower Capital is raising between $25 million and $30 million for a VC fund, which means it could take traditional equity in startups.
Livongo Health, a Mountain View, Calif.-based digital health startup focused on managing chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, raised $105 million in fifth-round funding co-led by return backers General Catalyst and Kinnevik.
🚑 Biocytogen, a Beijing-based contract research org focused on gene-targeted animal models, raised around $65 million in Series C funding. An affiliate of China Merchant Bank led, and was joined by SDIC VC Management, 3E Bioventures, Cowin Capital and Oriza Holdings. http://axios.link/CgKY
• Sensors Data, a Beijing-based provider of user behavior analytics, raised $44 million in Series C funding. Warburg Pincus led, and was joined by Sequoia Capital China, DCM Ventures, Xiang He Capital, Morningside Venture Capital, Linear Venture and Future Capital. www.sensorsdata.cn
• Aetion, a New York-based drugperformance analytics platform, raised $36.4 million in Series B funding. NEA led, and was joined by Amgen Ventures and return backers Flare Capital Partners, Lakestar and Oxeon Ventures. http://axios.link/zfTf
• Onapsis, a Boston-based provider of business-critical application cybersecurity and compliance solutions, raised $31 million in Series C funding. LLR Partners led, and was joined by return backers .406 Ventures, Evolution Equity Partners and Arsenal Venture Partners. www.onapsis.com
• Punchh, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based online loyalty card service for restaurant chains, raised $20 million in Series B funding. Sapphire Ventures led, and was joined by return backer Cervin Ventures. http://axios.link/K3uU
• East Meets East, a New York-based matchmaking service focused on connecting people in Asia with people in North America, raised $4 million in Series A funding led by return backer 500 Startups. http://axios.link/q5d4
• Local Crate, a Minneapolis-based meal kit startup, raised $1.4 million in seed funding from The Syndicate Fund, Matchstick Ventures, M25 Group and Router Ventures. www.localcrate.com
• Accel-KKR has acquired Salsa Labs, a Bethesda, Md.-based provider of fundraising and marketing software for nonprofits. Salsa Labs had raised around $16 million in VC funding from firms like Edison Partners and Maryland Venture Fund. www.salsalabs.com
• HCL Technologies of India and Sumeru Equity Partners have agreed to acquire Actian Corp., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of hybrid data management solutions, for $330 million in cash. http://axios.link/C80c
• Linde (DB: LIN) and Praxair (NYSE: PX) have picked second-round bidders for a group of U.S. and European divestitures related to their planned $79 billion merger, according to Reuters. Numerous private equity firms are involved on the buyside, including CVC Capital Partners (working with Messer), Carlyle Group, Onex and Blackstone Group. http://axios.link/FhW2
• Marcquarie has short-listed three bidders for German metering group Techem, which could fetch around €4 billion, per Reuters: Silver Lake, OTPP/CDPQ/Partners Group and CVC/CPPIB/GIC. http://axios.link/sOjr
• Novolex, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, is among the bidders for Waddington Group, a Kentucky-based plastic utensils business being sold by Newell Brands (NYSE: NWL) for an expected $2.2 billion, per Bloomberg. Other expected bidders could include Faerch Plast (owned by Advent International) and Hoffmaster (owned by Wellington Capital Management). http://axios.link/3HNx
• Permira has acquired a majority stake in Exclusive Group, a French “value-added services and technologies” firm. www.exclusive-group.com
• Xeeva, a Madison Heights, Mich.-based provider of procurement and sourcing software, raised more than $40 million in a round led by PeakEquity Partners. www.xeeva.com
🚑 Abpro, a Woburn, Mass.-based developer of antibodies for cancer and vascular eye disease, filed for a $69 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker ABP, with UBS as lead underwriter. It has raised nearly $30 million in VC funding from firms like Orion Investments (18.1% pre-IPO stake) and Apex Partners (7.1%). http://axios.link/KO78
• Ceridian HCM Holding, a Minneapolis-based provider of HR software (Dayforce), set its IPO terms to 21 million shares at $19-$21. It would have a fully-diluted market value of around $2.8 billion, were it to price in the middle. The company, backed by Thomas H. Lee Partners, plans to trade on the NYSE and TSX, with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter. http://axios.link/ie19
• General Electric (NYSE: GE) is considering a public offering of its GE transportation unit, per the WSJ. http://axios.link/fuzi
• Techcombank, a Vietnamese private sector bank, has launched an IPO that seeks to raise upwards of $922 million (which would the largest-ever IPO in Vietnam). http://axios.link/bdcV
• Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) has completed its previously-announced purchase of Los Angeles-based video doorbell startup Ring for more than $1.2 billion. http://axios.link/5nQV
🐄 Terra Firma is seeking to fetch more than A$1 billion for Australian cattle farms business Consolidated Pastoral Co., per Reuters. http://axios.link/09aU
🏀 Joe Tsai, co-founder of Alibaba, has closed his purchase of a 49% stake in the Brooklyn Nets basketball franchise from Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire and Boston Celtics patron. http://axios.link/Yya8
• Klepierre (Paris: LOIM) has abandoned an unsolicited £5 billion bid for British shopping center operator Hammerson (LSE: HMSO). http://axios.link/XYzb
🚑 Mylan (Nasdaq: MYL) is in talks to acquire German Merck’s consumer health business for between $4.3 billion and $4.9 billion, per Reuters. http://axios.link/31Un
• Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) has acquired San Francisco-based music licensing platform Loudr. http://axios.link/uRCO
• Volkswagen will consider asset sales, according to comments made by CEO Herbert Diess during his first day on the job. http://axios.link/vHCp
• Elan Growth Partners has been launched as a Carlsbad, Calif.-based small-cap private equity firm, led by Solis Capital Partners veteran Craig Dupper. www.elangrowth.com
• Evelyn Dravis has quietly stepped down as a managing director with ICONIQ Capital, where she's worked since 2012, Axios has learned. No word yet on future plans.
• Matthias Osthoff has joined Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board as a London-based private equity director. He previously was a principal with Bain Capital. http://axios.link/RyV0
• David Schwimmer (no, not that one) has been named CEO of the London Stock Exchange. He previously spent two decades with Goldman Sachs.