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Grab, a ride-sharing company focused on Southeast Asia, is in talks to raise more than $1.5 billion in new funding led by existing shareholder SoftBank, per Bloomberg. This would basically double the Indonesia-based company's total VC haul to date, which included a $750 million Series F round last fall at a post-money valuation just north of $3 billion.
Why it's the BFD: For starters, this is just another headache for Uber, which already is experiencing persistent migraines. More broadly, however, it's yet another case of SoftBank stepping into a pre-IPO breach that was created by the partial departure of mutual funds and other venture tourists. It's also worth beginning to question is SoftBank itself is slowing down the tech IPO market, acting as a sort of JOBS Act counterweight.
Bottom line: "Grab, which this week announced plans to expand to its seventh country in the region, is racing against Uber and Go-Jek Indonesia PT to cast its net across more cities and drum up business for its nascent payments platform... It's hiring more than 800 new research and development staff in six centers over the next two years, including new facilities in Bangalore and Ho Chi Minh City." ― Bloomberg
• The Blackstone Group has agreed to sell its remaining 21% stake in theme park operator SeaWorld (NYSE: SEAS) to China's Zhonghong Zhuoye Group for $449 million, or $23 per share (3% premium over Thursday's closing price). http://nyti.ms/2nfUiew
• Madison Dearborn Partners has hired Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan to explore a sale of Evo Payments International, an Atlanta-based payments processor that could be valued at around $2 billion, according to Bloomberg. http://bloom.bg/2nNZIjE
• AccorHotels and Edmond de Rothschild are in talks to acquire Groupe Potel & Chabot, a French operator of conference centers and hospitality events, for around €100 million, according to Reuters. http://reut.rs/2nmUnxn
• HNA Group of China has agreed to buy a 25% stake in OM Asset Management, the U.S. asset management unit of Old Mutual (LSE: OML) for around $446 million. http://bloom.bg/2noVuy3
• Motherson Sumi Systems, an Indian auto parts maker, has completed its $620 million acquisition of Finland's PKC Group. http://bit.ly/2n8LipR
• Rio Tinto is asking Credit Suisse to find a buyer for its Kestrel mine in Australia, according to The Australian. http://bit.ly/2mHyoUB
• Michelle Gill has agreed to join TPG Special Situations Partners, according to the WSJ. She previously was with Goldman Sachs, where she "oversaw the bank's business of packaging mortgages and other consumer loans for sale to investors." http://on.wsj.com/2mHyUCd
• William Hagerty has been formally nominated by President Trump to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Japan, in a move that had been widely expected since January. Hagerty has spent the past 20 years at the private equity firm he co-founded, Hagerty Peterson, before which he spent a couple of years with VC firm Trident Capital. http://s.nikkei.com/2mHHh0n
• Andrew Lawson has agreed to join Permira Debt Managers as head of capital markets, effective in June. He previously was with Citi. http://reut.rs/2nZVE0h