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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Carl Icahn gambled again. And won again.
Icahn first disclosed a 9.8% stake in Caesar's in mid-February, and began pushing the company to sell. Caesar's quickly folded, giving Icahn three board seats and a say in picking its next CEO.
Today's deal the second time in less than a year that Icahn has cashed in chips at the Eldorado window, having previously sold it Tropicana Entertainment for $1.85 billion.
Icahn also took the rare step of publicly praising the Caesar's board for "acting responsibly and decisively in negotiating and approving this transformational transaction."
PE angle: Apollo and TPG, which bought Caesar's in a pre-crisis deal that ended in bankruptcy, sold their remaining stakes by in early March — which is a bit like losing all day on a slot machine, getting up for just a moment, and then learning your successor got three cherries in a row.
Next up: All eyes are now on MGM Resorts, which in January gave a board seat to former Icahn lieutenant Keith Meister (Corvex Management) and launched a strategic review. MGM shares are up more than 1% in early trading.
🌲 ICYMI: On Saturday we published a deep dive on the cannabis industry, including on how 2019 already has seen a record amount of venture capital funding for cannabis-related startups.
L Catterton agreed to buy Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group (Nasdaq: DFRG) for approximately $650 million in cash, or $8 per share.
• Blend, a San Francisco-based digital lending platform, raised $130 million in Series E funding. Temasek and General Atlantic co-led, and were joined by return backers 8VC, Founders Fund, Greylock Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. www.blend.com
🚑 Acutus Medical, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based provider of electrophysiology solutions, raised $100 million in Series D funding. 8VC, Opaleye Management and Pura Vida Investments were joined by return backers OrbiMed, Deerfield Management, Advent Venture Partners, Xeraya Capital and GE Ventures. The company also secured a $70 million credit facility from Deerfield and OrbiMed. http://axios.link/0cP4
• Procurify, a Vancouver-based spend management platform, raised around $20 million in Series B funding. Information Venture Partners led, and was joined by Runa Capital, HarbourVest Partners, Manulife and BC Tech Fund. http://axios.link/JNS0
🚑 Corinth MedTech, a Cupertino, Calif.-based medical device startup focused on urology, raised $12 million in Series D funding co-led by ShangBay Capital and Aethan Capital. http://axios.link/cW0h
🚑 Alma, a New York-based mental health platform, raised $8 million in Series A funding. Tusk Venture Partners led, and was joined by Sound Ventures, First Round Capital, Primary Ventures, Box Group and Able Partners.
⛽ Align Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in E Source, a Boulder, Colo.-based provider of research, data and consulting for utilities. www.esource.com
⛽ Aurora Capital Partners acquired Petroleum Service Corp., a Baton Rouge, La.-based provider of product handling and site logistics services, from Switzerland’s SGS.
• Equistone agreed to buy Vulcain Ingénierie, a French engineering consultancy for the energy and pharma sectors, from NiXEN Partners and Initiative & Finance. http://axios.link/t5iR
• METIS Solutions, an Arlington, Va.-based portfolio company of Blue Delta Capital Partners, acquired Pluribus, a Springfield, Va.-based provider of specialized intelligence services to the U.S. intelligence community. www.metissolutions.com
• Pamlico Capital invested in Digitech Computer, a Chappaqua, N.Y.-based provider of revenue cycle management software for emergency medical services transport companies. http://axios.link/HdEw
• TPG acquired a non-control stake in early-stage VC firm Harlem Capital Partners. http://axios.link/xlWv
• Nine companies plan to price IPOs on U.S. exchanges this week: Change Healthcare, TheRealReal, Linx, BridgeBio Pharma, Adaptive Biotech, Cambium Networks, Morphic Holding, Priam Properties and Karuna Therapeutics. http://axios.link/9PAm
• ConversionPoint, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based SaaS platform for marketing and e-commerce, formally withdrew its $40 million IPO registration. It had postponed the offering last month.
🚑 Fulcrum Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of rare disease therapies based on gene regulation, filed for an $86 million IPO. The pre-revenue company plans to trade on the Nasdaq (FULC) with Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter, and raised around $140 million from Third Rock Ventures (43.2% pre-IPO stake), GlaxoSmithKline (9.5%) and Foresite Capital (8%). http://axios.link/hc3Y
• Medallia, a San Francisco-based customer experience feedback platform, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE (MDLA) with BAML as lead underwriter. It reports a $2.6 million net loss on $94 million in revenue for Q1 2019, and raised over $330 million from firms like Sequoia Capital (41% pre-IPO stake). http://axios.link/PHF6
🚑 Mirum Pharma, a Foster City, Calif.-based developer of treatments for cholestatic liver diseases, filed for an $86 million IPO. The pre-revenue company plans to trade on the Nasdaq (MIRM) with Citigroup as lead underwriter, and raised $120 million from NEA (20.8% pre-IPO stake), Deerfield Management (17.3%), Frazier Life Sciences (17.3%), Novo (10.4%), Shire (10.3%) and RiverVest (9%). http://axios.link/I9V5
🚑 Phressia, a New York-based provider of patient-intake software, filed for a $125 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE (PHR) with JPMorgan as lead underwriter, and reports a $7 million net loss on $28 million in revenue for Q1 2019. The company raised around $119 million in VC funding from LLR Equity (23.85% pre-IPO stake), HLM Venture Partners (17.33%), Polaris Partners (14.52%), Ascension Ventures (10.77%), Echo Health Venture (9.01%), Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Partners (7.8%) and VantagePoint Venture Partners (7.08%). http://axios.link/8hu7
• Genesis Park hired Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for Texas Monthly, a publication it bought for around $25 million in 2016, per the FT. http://axios.link/LqyU
• Carrefour (Paris: CA), the French retailing giant, agreed to sell an 80% stake in its China business for nearly $700 million in cash to Chinese retailer Suning.com. http://axios.link/nsLB
• EP Global Commerce offered to buy German wholesaler Metro at an enterprise value of around €5.8 billion, but Metro’s board said the bid is too low. http://axios.link/aKJs
• Bedrock Capital raised $350 million for its second fund. www.bedrockcap.com
• Hamilton Lane raised $1.7 billion for its fourth private equity co-investment fund. www.hamiltonalane.com
• NewSpring Capital is raising $350 million for its fifth growth equity fund, per an SEC filing. http://axios.link/kN6t
• Jared Gordon joined AngelList as director of Canada. He previously was head of financial services for TribalScale.
• Julie Lydon joined Fifth Wall, a VC firm focused on real estate tech, as head of communications. www.fifthwall.vc
• Russell Yue joined the VC and growth equity team at H.I.G. Capital, after previously spending two years with Greycroft. www.higcapital.com
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