The midterms are (mostly) over, with Democrats winning control of the House and Republicans increasing their edge in the Senate. Big story-lines include increasing demographic polarization and an unprecedented pink wave of successful women candidates.
Some lower-profile results of particular note:
Yesterday also presented two new opportunities for Silicon Valley: Fix polling and fix voting technology.
• On the docket: We now know the three judges who will hear the U.S. Justice Department's appeal of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, and two of them — Judith Rogers and David Sentelle — were involved in the old Microsoft antitrust case that left the company intact, but still ruled that it acted like a monopoly, thus curbing some momentum.
• Big buyout: Reuters reported yesterday that Thoma Bravo has approached Symantec, maker of the Norton antivirus software, about a takeover. It sent Symantec stock up 12.6%, giving it a market cap of $14.4 billion. If it were to sell even at that price, once the company's $5 billion of debt is added, it would be the largest leveraged buyout of 2018.
• Update: Last Wednesday's BFD was the possibility that Platinum Equity would buy Jostens, a Minneapolis-based maker of class rings and yearbooks, from Newell Brands (NYSE: NWL) for around $1.3 billion.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
SpaceX, the commercial space company led by Elon Musk, has launched a $750 million leveraged loan led by BofA Merrill Lynch. A meeting with prospective lenders is set for this morning, according to LevFin Insights.
• Grab, a ride-hail and financial services company focused on Southeast Asia, raised $250 million in equity funding from automakers Kia and Hyundai, as part of a broader strategic partnership around electric vehicles. http://axios.link/ezwq
🚑 Mirum Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based developer of a treatment for rare cholestatic liver diseases, raised $120 million in Series A funding. NEA led, and was joined by Deerfield Management, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Novo Holdings, Pappas Capital, RiverVest Venture Partners and Rock Springs Capital.
• Overwolf, an Israeli app store for PC gamers, raised $16 million led by Intel Capital. http://axios.link/pG4v
• Fraugster, a Berlin-based provider of anti-fraud software for online retailers, raised $14 million in Series B funding. CommerzVentures led, and was joined by return backers Earlybird, Speedinvest, Seedcamp and Rancilio Cube. http://axios.link/OMMC
• PressLogic, a Hong Kong-based provider of social media content and data analytics, raised $10 million in new Series A funding from Meitu. http://axios.link/bivi
• Partnerize, a San Francisco-based provider of partner marketing software for global brands, raised $9 million led by GP Bullhound at a $127 million valuation. www.partnerize.com
• Yotascale, a Menlo Park-based developer of autonomous cloud operations, raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Crosslink Capital. www.yotascale.com
• Photomath, an app for learning math, raised $6 million. Goodwater Capital led, and was joined by Learn Capital. http://axios.link/nL15
• Altice (Amsterdam: ATCA) has received four bids for between a 40% and 60% stake in its fiber business, which could fetch around $4 billion, per Reuters. Lead investors for the quartet are Allianz, KKR, Macquarie Group and I Squared Capital. http://axios.link/lVqp
• Anderson Metals, a Kansas City-based portfolio company of Wynnchurch Capital, acquired Midland Metal Mfg, a Kansas City-based distributor of fittings, valves, clamps and related products. www.midlandmetal.com
• C&D Technologies, a Blue Bell, Penn.-based portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, agreed to buy Trojan Battery Co., a Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based maker of deep-cycle batteries, from Charlesbank Capital Partners. http://axios.link/N5Xq
• Frontenac agreed to buy Motion Solutions, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based provider of linear motion, motion control and automation solutions. www.motionsolutions.com
• Jøtul, a Norwegian portfolio company of OpenGate Capital agreed to buy AICO, an Italian maker of residential stoves, fireplaces, boilers and cookers from European private equity firm Ambienta. www.jotul.com
• Messagepoint, a Toronto-based provider of customer communications management software and services, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from NewSpring. www.messagepoint.com
• Oaktree Capital Management acquired MWH Constructors, a Broomfield, Colo.-based construction firm focused on water and energy. www.mwhglobal.com
• Palladin Consumer Retail Partners acquired Splash Car Wash, an operator of 18 car wash locations in Connecticut and New York. www.splashcarwashes.com
• Arsenal Capital Partners agreed to sell Elite Comfort Solutions, a Newman, Ga.-based maker of bedding and furniture foam, to Leggett & Platt (NSYE: LEG) for $1.25 billion in cash. www.leggett.com
⛽ The Blackstone Group and LLOG Exploration Co. hired Barclays to find a buyer for their Gulf of Mexico exploration joint venture, which could fetch more than $2 billion, per Reuters. http://axios.link/v5TF
• Goldman Sachs and Rhone Capital are seeking a buyer for Neovia Logistics Services, an Irving, Texas-based supply chain manager they acquired in 2015 for over $1 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/Bn2M
• AXA Investment Managers agreed to buy a $9.4 billion U.S. commercial mortgage loan portfolio from Georgia-based Quadrant Real Estate Advisors, plus hire 24 Quadrant investment professionals. No financial terms were disclosed. http://axios.link/s7vk
• CommScope (Nasdaq: COMM) is nearing an agreement to buy Suwanee, Ga.-based telecom equipment provider Arris (Nasdaq:ARRS) for more than $5.6 billion in cash, per CNBC. http://axios.link/7QBh
☕ Illycaffe, an Italian coffee roaster and store chain, denied a local media report that its founding company was planning to sell a minority stake to financial investors. http://axios.link/EkBj
• Investors Bancorp (Nasdaq: ISBC), which has around 150 branches in New Jersey and New York, hired Keefe, Bruyette & Woods to find a buyer, per the WSJ. The company’s market cap rose to around $3.5 billion on the news. http://axios.link/5Ngw
• Kraft Heinz (Nasdaq: KHC) agreed to sell its Canadian natural cheese business to Italy’s Parmalat (Milan: PLT) for C$1.62 billion. http://axios.link/xusy
• Virtu Financial (Nasdaq: VIRT) agreed to buy New York-based independent brokerage Investment Technology Group (Nasdaq: ITG) for around $1 billion in cash, or $30.30 per share (9% premium to yesterday’s closing price). http://axios.link/TdaY
• Kelso & Co. held a $2 billion first close on its tenth buyout fund, which has a $2.95 billion hard cap, per PE International. http://axios.link/6gKc
• MassMutual Ventures launched a $50 million early-stage VC fund focused on Southeast Asia. http://axios.link/G5Hp
• Monashees raised $150 million for its eighth VC fund focused on Latin American startups. www.monashees.com.br
• Morgan Stanley raised around $400 million for its eighth growth equity fund, called North Haven Expansion Equity. http://axios.link/4Phx
• Anthony Kelly is stepping down as co-chief of the SEC’s asset management enforcement unit, after 18 years with the agency.
🛴 Joe Kraus is stepping down as a general partner at GV, in order to join e-scooter company Lime as its first chief operating officer. He led GV’s investment in Lime, and sits on his board of directors (GV will find a replacement). http://axios.link/AN6K
• Veronica Rodriguez joined AUA Equity Partners as VP of investor relations. She previously led U.S. IR for Markets Group. www.auaequity.com
Conventional wisdom is that a Democratic House could make it easier for President Trump to pass his desired $1 trillion infrastructure package.
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