Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios; Photo: James Brickwood/Fairfax Media via Getty Images
Activist investor Elliott Management has acquired nearly a 5% stake in Twitter, and believes the key to unlocking value is to replace Jack Dorsey as CEO. Bloomberg first reported the news, which Axios has since confirmed with multiple sources.
Elliott's complaint appears to be twofold:
The top counterargument is that Twitter's financial performance under Dorsey has steadily improved, even if not to levels of Elliott's liking.
This could become very personal, very fast.
In terms of timing, it's unclear how long Elliott has been speaking with Twitter's board. But, for some context, its eBay campaign only lasted five weeks from beginning to end.
The bottom line: We can't know what canning Dorsey would mean for Twitter without knowing his replacement.
But it could have ripple effects in Silicon Valley, where CEOs have been under increasing pressure to abandon dual-class stock structures. Dorsey isn't the typical founding CEO, given Twitter's tortured leadership history, but he would be held up as a poster child for eschewing traditional corporate governance.
• Deal scoop: Dyal Capital, the Neuberger Berman-affiliated shop that buys GP stakes in other alternative investment firms, has hired PJT Partners to sell a strip of its Fund II assets (possibly including co-investments). Secondaries sources are buzzing over this one…
• Personnel scoop: Cyan Banister has stepped down as a partner with Founders Fund, which she joined in early 2016, in order to join Long Journey Ventures. No further details yet, except that she plans to maintain her FF board roles.
• Travel scoop: Masayoshi Son is in New York today, along with many other members of the SoftBank team, in order to meet both with SoftBank Group investors and prospective SoftBank Vision Fund 2 investors. Part of his agenda is a Goldman Sachs-hosted dinner.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Cole Haan and Warner Music Group are postponing their initial public offerings, which had been scheduled to launch this week, per Reuters.
🚑 Xilio Therapeutics (fka Akrevia Tx), a Waltham, Mass.-based developer of tumor-selective immuno-oncology therapies, raised $100.5 million in Series B funding. Takeda Ventures led, and was joined by SV Health Investors, MRL Ventures Fund, RiverVest Venture Partners, Bay City Capital, Solasta Ventures, M Ventures, Ipsen Ventures, and return backers F-Prime Capital and Atlas Venture. www.xiliotx.com
• Thought Machine, a London-based core banking platform, raised $83 million. Draper Esprit led, and was joined by return backers Lloyds Banking Group, IQ Capital, Backed, and Playfair Capital. http://axios.link/grVz
• Rigetti Computing, a Berkley, Calif.-based developer of quantum computing for AI and computational chemistry, secured $71 million of a round that could reach $84 million, per an SEC filing. Bessemer Venture Partners appears to be a new investor, while past backers are Vy Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, YC, DCVC, FF Science, AME Cloud Ventures, Morado Ventures, and WTI. www.rigetti.com
• mParticle, a New York-based consumer data platform, raised $45 million in Series D funding led by Arrowroot Capital. http://axios.link/MXLP
• Spinny, an Indian online used car marketplace, raised $43.7 million in Series B funding. Fundamentum Partnership led, and was joined by General Catalyst, KB Financial Group, and return backers Accel, SAIF Partners, and Alteira Capital. http://axios.link/Cr9f
• AudioTelligence, a UK-based startup focused on sound quality for voice assistants, raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. Octopus Ventures led, and was joined by seed backers Cambridge Innovation Capital, Cambridge Enterprise, and CEDAR Audio. http://axios.link/6wCP
• Apollo Global Management is in talks to buy Tutor Perini (NYSE: TPC), a Sylmar, Calif.-based general contractor, for around $1 billion, per Reuters. http://axios.link/h341
• BMC Software, a Houston-based portfolio company of KKR, agreed to Compuware, a Detroit-based mainframe software provider, from Thoma Bravo. No financial terms were disclosed, but earlier reports suggested a price-tag of around $2 billion (including debt). www.compuware.com
• Odyssey Investment Partners acquired NSi Industries, a Huntersville, N.C.-based provider electrical connectors and wire management products, from Blue Sea Capital LLC. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. www.nsiindustries.com
• Veritas Capital acquired higher education software companies Campus Management and Edcentric from Leeds Equity Partners. www.campusmanagement.com
☕ Westrock Coffee Co., a Little Rock, Ark.-based portfolio company of Stephens Group, completed its $405 million purchase of Concord, N.C.-based coffee distributor S&D Coffee & Tea from Cott (NYSE: COT). http://axios.link/Qb9g
• Genstar Capital and Insight Partners hired Lazard to find a buyer for Bullhorn, a Boston-based recruitment software company, per PE Hub. http://axios.link/2Zpw
🚑 Alphatec Holdings (Nasdaq: ATEC) agreed to buy EOS Imaging (Paris: EOSI), a French maker of medical scanners and 3D orthopedic procedure planning software, for $122 million in cash and stock. http://axios.link/9oRn
• Banco Santander Brasil agreed to sell to its digital wallet company Superdigital to Spain’s Banco Santander for $61.5 million. http://axios.link/8983
🚑 Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) agreed to buy Menlo Park-based cancer therapy company Forty Seven (Nasdaq: FTSV) for $4.7 billion in cash. http://axios.link/fVZZ
• Jeju Air of South Korea agreed to restructure its deal for a 51% stake in rival budget carrier Eastar Jet, lowering the price by around 21.5% to $45.5 million. http://axios.link/WVqo
• WillScot (Nasdaq: SWSC), a Baltimore-based provider of mobile office trailers, agreed to an all-stock merger with Phoenix-based portable storage company Mobile Mini (Nasdaq: MINI). http://axios.link/lDZC
• BV Investment Partners, a mid-market private equity firm focused on tech-enabled biz services, raised $1.1 billion for its tenth fund. www.bvlp.com
• Jason Greenblatt, a former Trump Organization lawyer who joined the White House as an assistant to President Trump, joined Israeli crowdfunding platform OurCrowd as a partner. http://axios.link/EFXR
• Emily Mendell joined CenterSquare Investment Management as head of marketing and communications. She previously led comms for the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA). www.centersquare.com
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