Greetings from New York City, where later this morning I'll be interviewing Mark Cuban at a Lerer Hippeau event (send any last-minute questions my way). And if you're in town for TechCrunch Disrupt, be sure to check out Axios co-founder Mike Allen at 4:50pm. Okay, here we go...
Top of the Morning
GTCR has announced a "strategic investment" in Vivid Seats, a Chicago-based online secondary ticket marketplace, from Vista Equity Partners. Our understanding is that GTCR is purchasing a majority stake from Vista, which will retain a minority ownership position. No financial terms were disclosed, although reports from earlier this year said that Vista had hired Morgan Stanley to find a buyer for Vivid Seats at an enterprise value of around $1.5 billion.
- Why it's the BFD: 16 year-old Vivid has gained traction over the past year, by inking deals like one that made it the official ticketing partner of ESPN (replacing StubHub). A big question, however, has been the depths of its pockets, and adding a big new private equity backer like GTCR should help lighten some of those concerns. Plus, I really wanted to figure out some way to get Celtics/Cavs into today's Pro Rata.
- Bottom line: "Vivid Seats might not have the same name recognition as Ticketmaster or StubHub, but the Chicago-based firm has been a force in selling seats at concerts, theaters and sports events. Founded in 2001, the company had grown to become the third-largest secondary ticket seller in the U.S. by the time it received its strategic investment from Vista early last year." ― Katie Roof, TechCrunch
Venture Capital Deals
Private Equity Deals
• Apollo Global Management reportedly approached the board of Australia's Fairfax Media (ASX: FXJ), with interest in purchasing the regional newspapers that were not included in the original TPG-led bid. TPG subsequently offered to purchase all of Fairfax for A$2.76 billion. http://bit.ly/2qMHzEG
• Battery Ventures has acquired Concurrent Real-Time, a provider of server and embedded apps, from Concurrent Computer (Nasdaq: CCUR) for $35 million. http://reut.rs/2qlegIh
• L Squared Capital Partners and Longview Asset Management have recapitalized Oracle Elevator, a Dover Plains, N.Y.-based provider of elevator maintenance, repair, and modernization services. No financial terms were disclosed. www.oracleelevator.com
• Macquarie Group's infrastructure unit has hired Credit Suisse to advise on a possible bid for a A$3.5 billion Australian shopping center platform owned by The Blackstone Group, according to The Australian. http://bit.ly/2pOPtt5
• The Stephens Group has acquired Pearlman Enterprises, a Norcross, Ga.-based provider of supplies, tools, and equipment used in the fabrication and maintenance of hard surfaces. No financial terms were disclosed. www.stephensgroup.com
• TPG Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group jointly disclosed an 8% equity stake in Etsy (Nasdaq: ETSY), with TPG saying that it "has contacted representatives of Etsy to offer to engage in discussions regarding strategic alternatives." http://on.ft.com/2qM5FQg
• MBK Partners has sold a 5% stake in Coway, a listed South Korean water purifier maker and rental company, which lowers its ownership position to 26.5%.
• VMWare has acquired Apteligent, a San Francisco-based provider of mobile app development tools, for an undisclosed amount. Apteligent had raised over $55 million in VC funding from VMWare, InterWest Partners, Shasta Ventures, Scale Venture Partners and Accenture. http://tcrn.ch/2rlLENt
• ADM Capital Europe has held a $100 million first close on its first fund focused on agritech businesses in Europe, Australia and Asia, according to Private Equity International. The total fund size target is $500 million. http://bit.ly/2qnpaxf
• DMG Entertainment has launched a $300 million investment arm to focus on the entertainment, tech and media sectors. www.dmg-entertainment.com.
• MCH Private Equity, a Madrid-based mid-market private equity firm, is seeking to raise upwards of €350 million for its fourth fund, per an SEC filing. Eaton Partners is serving as placement agent. http://bit.ly/2pQqS7f
• Moonlake Capital has been formed as a London-based mid-market private equity firm focused on the industrials and consumer services sector, according to Dow Jones. It is led by Philip Wack (ex-KKR) and is targeting upwards of €300 million for its debut fund. http://bit.ly/2pQmK7b
• Notion Capital has closed its third early-stage flagship fund with $140 million in capital commitments. The London-based VC firm also is raising $80 million for a growth "opportunities" fund. http://tcrn.ch/2rbaMsS
• Rabobank has launched a food and agriculture-focused venture capital fund, via its Rabo Private Equity platform. www.rfaif.com