Axios Pro Rata
February 14, 2022
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Top of the Morning
The U.S. IPO market is in hibernation, thanks to a combination of macro volatility and nearly a year of poor performance.
- This is particularly true of large offerings. Just five U.S. IPOs in 2022 have raised at least $100 million, of which only one scored $1 billion. The forward-looking calendar is vacant.
- But there is big-money IPO activity elsewhere.
Driving the news: Life Insurance Corp. of India has filed to raise the equivalent of nearly $8 billion. This would smash the Indian IPO record set last year by Paytm, which brought in around $2.5 billion.
- Paytm has seen its shares lose over half their value since going public, so expect state-run LIC to be much more conservative on pricing.
- Particularly given that other state-run Indian companies — including two other insurers — have mirrored the Paytm experience since their own floats.
What to watch: If it works.
- There’s an IPO market maxim that select private companies can successfully list regardless of what’s going on around them.
- LIC should be one of those standouts, as it’s a stable, 65 year-old insurer that’s already scaled back the amount it’s seeking to raise. Failure would cause other big pre-IPO companies around the world, and their investors, to take note.
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) terminated its $4.4 billion agreement to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE: AJRD), following opposition from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Why it's the BFD: FTC chair Lina Khan is now two-for-two in merger block attempts, following Nvidia bailing on Arm, without having to make her case in court. It's also a win for commercial space upstarts like SpaceX, as the deal was designed to help thwart upstart defense contracting competition.
The bottom line: "The unraveling merger complicates Lockheed's efforts to develop hypersonic weapons, a critical U.S. defense imperative, after the company had planned to bring Aerojet's propulsion systems in-house. It also raises questions for Aerojet, which now faces a proxy battle as its leaders spar over the defense supplier's future." — Julie Johnsson, Bloomberg
Venture Capital Deals
• Tripledot, a London-based casual mobile gaming startup, raised $116m at a $1.4b valuation. 20VC led, and was joined by Access Industries, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Eldridge Industries. http://axios.link/Me73
• Papier, a London-based online retailer of stationary products, raised $50m. Singular led, and was joined by Lansdowne Partners, Kathaka and insiders Felix Capital and Beringea. http://axios.link/zehX
• Stitch, a South African-embedded finance startup, raised $21m in Series A funding. Spruce House led, and was joined by PayPal Ventures, TrueLayer, Firstminute Capital, Raba Partnership, CRE VC and Village Global. http://axios.link/oYa5
• Banked, a British non-card payments startup, raised $20m in Series A funding. BofA and Edenred Capital Partners co-led, and were joined by Sidekick, 9yards and insiders Acrew Capital, Force Over Mass, Firestartr, OM2, Love Ventures and Kuvi Capital. http://axios.link/48go
🚑 Gaia, a British IVF treatment financing startup, raised $20m in Series A funding. Atomico led, and was joined by insiders Kindred Capital, Seedcamp Clocktower Technology Ventures. http://axios.link/9kxT
• BUD, a Chinese 3D social network, raised $15m in Series A funding. Qiming Ventures Partners led, and was joined by Source Code Capital, GGV Capital and Sky9 Capital. http://axios.link/WhEt
• Highline, a Dallas-based payroll-linked bill payment startup, raised $4.5m in seed funding co-led by Foundation Capital and Costanoa Ventures. www.highline.co
Private Equity Deals
• Apax Partners agreed to buy Alcumus, a British provider of supply chain and risk management software to SMBs, from Inflexion for more than £600m. http://axios.link/amDw
• Apollo Global Management is in advanced talks to buy the POS terminal business of Worldline (Paris: WLN) for nearly $2.3b, per the WSJ. http://axios.link/q9Qj
• Apollo Global Management agreed to invest $1.4b for a minority stake in Abu Dhabi real estate firm Aldar Properties PJSC. http://axios.link/8Yob
🎲 The Blackstone Group agreed to buy Australian casino operator Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) for A$8.9b, after nearly a year of pursuit. http://axios.link/30u2
🚑 The Carlyle Group agreed to buy a stake in Orsini Specialty Pharmacy, an Illinois-based rare disease pharmacy, making it around a co-equal investor with Consonance Capital, per Axios Pro Health Tech.
⚡ Exponent agreed to buy a majority stake in H&MV Engineering, an Irish provider of high voltage electrical engineering solutions. www.hmv-engineers.com
• H.I.G. Capital bought Titan Storage Solutions, a British self-storage facility operator. www.titanstorate.co.uk
• Essentium, a College Station, Texas-based provider of 3D printing for industrial additive manufacturing, mutually terminated its merger agreement with Atlantic Coastal Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: ACAH). http://axios.link/nATv
• Safe Harbor, a provider of financial services to the cannabis sector, agreed to go public at an implied $327m valuation via Northern Lights Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: NLIT). The deal also includes Safe Harbor being purchased from Partner Colorado Credit Union. www.shfinancial.org
🚑 DePuy Synthes, a medical device unit of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), acquired CrossRoads Extremity Systems, a Memphis, Tenn.-based maker of foot and ankle implants, from HealthpointCapital. http://axios.link/8vZr
• Harkness Capital Partners agreed to sell Scranton, Pa.-based Kane Logistics to ID Logistics (Paris: IDL). www.kanelogistics.com
• Allianz of Germany agreed to buy Greek insurer European Reliance for around €207m. http://axios.link/SALS
• Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) are considering takeover bids for British podcasting firm Audioboom (LSE: BOOM), which has a £278m market cap, per Sky News. http://axios.link/wn4Y
• Centerbridge Partners amassed more than a 5% stake in theme park operator Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN), which recently received a takeover offer from SeaWorld (NYSE: SEAS), per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/7q0K
• Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) offered to buy Splunk (Nasdaq: SPLK) for more than $20b, per the WSJ. http://axios.link/rQXY
• Citigroup (NYSE: C) is in talks to sell its India retail banking unit to Axis Bank for around $2.5b, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/HbVw
• MetLife (NYSE: MET) is seeking a buyer for its U.S. variable annuity book, which had around $58b at year-end 2021, per Reuters. http://axios.link/6JTq
• SoFi (Nasdaq: SOFI) completed its purchase of Sacramento-based community bank Golden Pacific Bancorp.
• Soros Fund Management bought nearly 20m shares in EV maker Rivian (Nasdaq: RIVN), valued at around $2b, making it the company's eighth-largest outside investor. http://axios.link/uKvB
⚡ Waldorf Production is in talks to pay more than $1b for British and Dutch North Sea oil and gas assets from ONE-Dyas, per Reuters. http://axios.link/Ly1f
• Zendesk (NYSE: ZEN) has a new challenge in its efforts to buy SurveyMonkey parent Momentive (Nasdaq: MNTV), as proxy advisers ISS and Glass Lewis both came out against the deal. http://axios.link/tJUC
• Ardian is targeting $15b for its ninth PE secondaries fund, per Secondaries Investor. http://axios.link/QmTq
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