🎧 Over 164,000 people in the U.S. have now tested positive for the coronavirus. Among them is Axios co-founder and president Roy Schwartz, who joined the Pro Rata Podcast to discuss his unusual symptoms (no cough or fever), his hospital experience, and the complications of quarantining with a family. Listen here.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Global merger and acquisition activity fell sharply in the first quarter of 2020, with dollar volume dropping 28% to $698 billion and the number of deals off 14% to 9,616, according to preliminary data from Refinitiv.
The dollar drop was largely driven by the disappearance of megadeals valued at over $10 billion, which fell from $412 billion for the Jan. 1–March 28 period in 2019, to $179 billion that same period this year.
The deal number drop is a bit more complicated.
Bottom line: Last year the deal dollar and number drops were nearly on par with one another, which suggests that there has been a lot of downward renegotiation over deals that were almost at the finish line.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Easton Hospital, owned by a portfolio company of Cerberus Capital Management, secured $8 million from the State of Pennsylvania in a last-minute bailout to keep the facility's doors open. Through June, the state funding commitment would total $24 million.
Today's project is to create a brand-new superhero. On a single sheet of paper, please ask your kid(s) to draw their superhero, name their superhero and list three superpowers (the more unusual the better).
Yesterday I asked your kid(s) to create Henri Matisse-inspired collages. Here's some of what you sent in:
• Via, a New York-based ride hail and transit software company, raised $200 million in Series E funding at a $2.25 billion post-money valuation. Exor led, and was joined by Shell, Macquarie Capital, and Mori Building. http://axios.link/yuz9
🚑 Affinia Therapeutics, a Waltham, Mass.-based gene therapy startup, raised $60 million in Series A funding. F-Prime Capital and NEA co-led, and were joined by Atlas Venture, Alexandria Venture Investments, Lonza, and Partners Innovation Fund. www.affiniatx.com
• Axonius, a New York-based cybersecurity asset management company, raised $58 million in Series C funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led, and was joined by return backers OpenView, Bessemer Venture Partners, YL Ventures, Vertex, and WTI. http://axios.link/ePtG
• Strivr, a Palo Alto-based provider of VR training solutions , raised $30 million in Series B funding. Georgian Partners led, and was joined by Franklin Templeton, Prologis Ventures, and return backers GreatPoint Ventures and Alumni Ventures Group.
• Juspay, an Indian provider of mobile payment solutions for merchants, raised $21.6 million in Series B funding. Vostok Emerging Finance led, and was joined by Wellington Management and return backer Accel. http://axios.link/R4ou
• Anagog, an Israeli provider of on-device AI solutions, raised $10 million in Series C funding. IN Venture and MizMaa co-led, and were joined by auto supplier Continental. www.anagog.com
• Zon, a Dubai-based decentralized mobile e-commerce platform, raised $8 million in seed funding led by ASA Ventures. http://axios.link/752i
• Qarnot, a French developer of computer servers that also heat buildings, raised €6 million from Banque des Territoires, Caisse des Dépôts, Engie Rassembleur d'Énergies, A/O PropTech, and Groupe Casino. http://axios.link/vTRz
• Alchemist Capital Partners Korea and Credian Partners will pay $435 million to buy the foundry unit and a manufacturing facility from South Korean chipmaker MagnaChip (NYSE: MX). http://axios.link/N1iC
• Aurea Software, an Austin, Texas-based portfolio company of ESW Capital, agreed to buy Redwood City, Calif.-based document creation and collaboration software company BroadVision (Nasdaq: BVSN) out of bankruptcy. http://axios.link/Cro8
🎮 CVC Capital Partners and iDreamSky (HK: 1119) may lower their $1.3 billion offer to jointly acquire Chinese gaming company Leyou (HK: 1089), per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/X1P1
• Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners completed its $500 million-plus purchase of Seven Seas, the water treatment business of AquaVenture Holdings, from Culligan, an Advent International-backed company. www.culligan.com
• Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners completed its purchase of Trac Intermodal, a Princeton, N.J.-based transportation equipment company from Fortress Investment Group. http://axios.link/zy7u
• Thoma Bravo agreed to buy Command Alkon, a Birmingham, Ala.-based supplier collaboration platform for heavy construction, from Quilvest Capital.
• Palo Alto Networks (NYSE: PANW) agreed to buy CloudGenix, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of software-defined WAN, for $420 million in cash. CloudGenix had raised around $100 million in VC funding from Bain Capital Ventures, CRV, Mayfield, ClearSky, Wipro Ventures, and Intel Capital. www.cloudgenix.com
• Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) plans to buy at least a 10% stake in Chinese courier Yunda Holdings (SZ: 002120) for nearly $800 million, per Reuters. http://axios.link/FlLT
• Altice Europe said that its HOT subsidiary has ended talks to acquire Israel’s Partner Communications. http://axios.link/O4Bo
Newlat (Milan: NWLF) agreed to buy a 46% stake in Italian dairy group Centrale del Latte d’Italia (Milan: CLII). http://axios.link/qDkm
• Pinduoduo (Nasdaq: PPD), a Chinese e-commerce company, said it raised $1.1 billion via a private share placement. http://axios.link/642g
• Starboard Value disclosed a 9.3% stake in Commvault (Nasdaq: CVLT), a Tinton Falls, N.J.-based data management and protection software company with a market cap of around $1.8 billion. http://axios.link/Ngpf
• Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. is investing $384 million for a 4.9% stake in Ares Management (NYSE: ARES), a U.S.-based investment firm that focuses on lending to mid-sized businesses. http://axios.link/K29F
• ValueAct Capital acquired more than a 7% stake in Japanese chip and display materials maker JSR (Tokyo: 4185), a position valued at around $283 million. http://axios.link/eB5m
• Vivendi (Paris: VIV) completed its sale of a 10% stake in Universal Music Group to a Tencent-led consortium at a €30 billion enterprise value. http://axios.link/Kour
• Ardian raised a record $18 billion for its eighth private equity secondaries fund, which is expected to hold a final close next month, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/hWXK
• Gemspring Capital, a Westport, Conn.-based lower middle-market private equity firm, raised $750 million for its second fund. www.gemspring.com
• General Catalyst raised $600 million for its tenth early stage fund, plus $1 billion for a new growth fund and $700 million for an “endurance fund” that will back companies doing at least $100 million in sales. http://axios.link/tytD
• JPMorgan Asset Management is seeking to raise upwards of $10 billion for new investments — $3b for credit, $3b for real estate, and $4b for transportation/infrastructure — per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/II7M
• Rick Andlinger joined cybersecurity-focused Option3Ventures as a partner and chief investment officer. He previously led a family office investment firm. http://axios.link/MfL7
• Elisa Gruber joined wealth management firm Ballentine Partners as director of private investing. She previously helped lead Liberty Mutual’s private equity group. www.ballentinepartners.com
🙏 Thanks for reading Axios Pro Rata! Please ask your friends, colleagues and roadside zookeepers to sign up.
Also, a big thank you to Tribeca Venture Partners, which just did a per rider match from our Saturday Peloton fundraiser, bringing the grand total over $120,000.