SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son yesterday promised institutional investors that he'll do a better job of listening to their concerns, but stopped well short of saying that they'll change his mind.
Son didn't commit to following any of Elliott's proposals, but he did express some past fondness for buybacks and a willingness to add more independent directors, per sources in the room.
The bottom line: Son appears bowed but not broken. Likely because he's one of the few investors who rode the dot-com train from boom to bust and back again. He plans to keep doing things his way, buttressed by a few cosmetic concessions.
🚑 Personnel scoop: Dave Mott has quietly stepped down as head of health care investing at New Enterprise Associates, the venture capital giant he joined in 2008 after having served as CEO of MedImmune.
• Elliott blowback: Some Twitter employees are expressing their support for embattled CEO Jack Dorsey by ... using Twitter.
🚨 Viral materialism: Morgan Stanley's $13 billion agreement to buy E*Trade includes an explicit carve-out for coronavirus in its definition of "material adverse effects" that could trigger a deal termination.
🎧 Pro Rata Podcast preps for Super Tuesday, with a discussion of the controversial monetary theory that could "pay for" Bernie Sanders' campaign promises. Listen here.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Waymo, the self-driving unit of Alphabet, raised $2.25 billion in its first round of outside funding.
🚑 Immunocore, a U.K.-based developer of immuno-oncology drugs, raised $130 million in Series B funding. General Atlantic led, and was joined by CCB International, JDRF T1D Fund, Rock Springs Capital, Terra Magnum Capital Partners and WuXi AppTec, and return backers Eli Lilly, RTW Investments, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. http://axios.link/GABn
🚑 Pliant Therapeutics, a South San Francisco-based developer of fibrosis treatments, raised $100 million in Series C funding. Novartis led, and was joined by Redmile Group, Farallon Capital Management, Cormorant Asset Management, Surveyor Capital, Logos Capital, and return backers Eventide Asset Management, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Schroder Adveq, Menlo Ventures, SCubed Capital, and Agent Capital. www.pliantrx.com
• MWM, a French music app publisher, raised €50 million. Blisce led, and was joined by Idinvest Partners, Bpifrance, Aglaé Venturesm and Xavier Niel. http://axios.link/pYI6
• Brooklinen, a Brooklyn-based e-commerce company for bedding and home goods, raised $50 million from Summit Partners. http://axios.link/Zscd
🛴 Bolt Mobility, a Miami Beach-based electric scooter company co-founded by Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, raised $30 million in Series A funding led by Rokk3r Fuel at a $100 million valuation. http://axios.link/rhan
• PredaSAR, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based developer of a synthetic aperture radar satellite constellation, raised $25 million in seed funding led by Rokk3r Fuel. www.predesar.com
• Sourcegraph, a San Francisco-based provider of universal code search for companies, raised $23 million in Series B funding. Craft Ventures led, and was joined by return backers Redpoint Ventures and Goldcrest Capital. www.sourcegraph.com
• Sensel, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of pressure-sensitive touchpad devices, raised $22 million in Series A funding from Susquehanna International Group, Morningside Group, SMiT, Palm Commerce Holdings Co., Chariot Gold, SV Tech Ventures and Innolinks Ventures. http://axios.link/HTb4
🌴 C16 Biosciences, a New York-based developer of synthetic palm oil, raised $20 million in new funding led by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures. http://axios.link/rvp1
• Le Wagon, a French coding bootcamp, raised €17 million. Cathay Capital led, and was joined by AfricInvest. http://axios.link/q6JZ
• iPrice, a Malaysia-based comparison shopping platform, raised $10 million in Series B funding. ACA Investments led, and was joined by Daiwa PI Partners and return backers Line Ventures and Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund. http://axios.link/cCfm
• Welcome Technologies, a Los Angeles-based provider of digital services for immigrant communities, raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Crosscut Ventures. http://axios.link/lkej
🚑 Primmune Therapeutics, a San Diego-based developer of immunotherapies for cancer and viral diseases, raised $7 million in seed funding from CAM Capital, Charlie McDermott, BioBrit, and BioRock Ventures. http://axios.link/2PAb
• FairShake, an Oakland-based legal startup for individuals in legal disputes with large companies, raised $3 million in seed funding. First Round Capital led, and was joined by Founder Collective and BoxGroup. http://axios.link/CHkW
• Sonantic, a British developer of artificial voice tech for games and entertainment, raised €2.3 million. EQT Ventures led, and was joined by seed backers Entrepreneur First and AME Cloud Ventures. http://axios.link/T0B5
• Boutiqaat, a Kuwait-based beauty products e-commerce company, is raising between $100 million and $150 million in new VC funding, per Reuters. http://axios.link/BPSM
• Charlesbank Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in Tinton Falls, N.J.-based insurance brokerage World Insurance Associates. www.worldins.net
• Clayton, Dubilier & Rice agreed to buy U.K.-based medical advertising and marketing firm Huntsworth (LSE: HNT) for around £400 million. http://axios.link/ZR3T
🚑 Francisco Partners agreed to acquire Smith Technologies, a Spartanburg, S.C.-based developer of community pharmacy and long-term care technology, from J M Smith Corp. http://axios.link/KlXf
• Highview Capital and Firstlight Media agreed to buy Quickplay, a provider of managed solutions for distributing video content to IP-connected devices, from AT&T (NYSE: T).
• Nautic Partners acquired Harrington Industrial Plastics, a Chino, Calif.-based distributor of industrial plastic piping, from Belgium’s Aliaxis. www.harringtonplastics.com
• Prospect Hill Growth Partners acquired a majority stake in Fitness Ventures, an Orlando, Fla.-based franchisee of Crunch Fitness gyms.
🚑 RevSpring, a Livonia, Mich.-based portfolio company of GTCR, acquired Loyale Healthcare, a Lafayette, Calif.-based provider of patient financial engagement software. www.revspringinc.com
• GFL Environmental, a Canadian waste management firm backed by BC Partners, raised $1.4 billion in a U.S. IPO that originally sought to raise much more before postponing the offering last October. http://axios.link/WuTT
🚑 Imara, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of therapeutics for chronic treatment of sickle cell disease, set IPO terms to 4.45 million shares at $16–$18. It would have an initial market cap of $278 million, were it to price in the middle, and plans to trade on the Nasdaq (IMRA) with Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter. Imara raised $97 million in VC funding from NEA (29.8% pre-IPO stake), OrbiMed (13.4%), Arix Bioscience (11.5%), Lundbeckfond (10.5%), Pfizer Ventures (10.5%), RA Capital (7%), Bay City Capital (5.9%), and Alexandria Venture Investments. http://axios.link/0RIP
👖 J. Crew, a portfolio company of Leonard Green & Partners and TPG Capital, reached an agreement with lenders to delay the proposed spinoff and IPO for its Madewell jeans unit. http://axios.link/2jUA
• Springer Nature, the German publisher of science magazines Nature
and Scientific American, plans to launch its IPO next week, per Reuters. The company is owned by BC Partners and publisher Holtzbrinck. http://axios.link/XLpP
• Graycliff Partners sold NAL Group, an Edison ,N.J.-based provider of last mile logistics and on-premise installation services, to Iowa-based CRST International. www.nalgroup.com
🚑 Quadrant Private Equity is seeking a buyer for Qscan, an Australian diagnostic imaging company that generates around A$65 million in annual EBITDA, per The Australian. http://axios.link/dRUJ
🚑 Stone-Goff Partners sold Cleveland-based HR services firm NAS Recruitment to health care-focused marketing company M3 USA.
🚑 Clarivate Analytics (NYSE: CCC) acquired Burlington, Mass.-based health care insights and analytics firm Decision Resources from India’s Piramal Enterprises for $950 million. http://axios.link/gFFZ
• Masmovil (BME: MAS), a Spanish mobile network operator, acquired Spanish mobile communications company Lycamobile from Lyca Group for €372m. http://axios.link/c19r
🚑 Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) offered to buy German genetic testing company Qiagen (DE: QIA) for €10.4 billion. http://axios.link/jV2o
• Xerox (NYSE: XRX) yesterday took its $35 billion hostile takeover bid for HP (NYSE: HPQ) to shareholders, via a formal tender offer. http://axios.link/vMSP
• Laura Anderson late last year stepped down as head of communications at Silver Lake, which she joined in May 2019 after nearly 19 years with Intel. www.silverlake.com
• Christopher Austin, a tech-focused finance attorney, joined Paul Hastings as a partner, after nearly six years with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. www.paulhastings.com
• Andrew Junkin is stepping down as president of Wilshire Consulting. http://axios.link/vAgd
• Andrew Newington is stepping down as chief investment officer at emerging markets-focused private equity firm Actis, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/VTkw
• Elisabetta Ricci and Pierre Heinrichs have left Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, where they co-led European direct private equity investments, per the WSJ. http://axios.link/kYHF
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