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When T-Mobile US and Sprint first announced their $26 billion merger in early 2018, the endgame was to reduce the country's number of major mobile carriers from four to three — thus letting the new partners better compete with AT&T and Verizon. But that ship appears to have sailed.
It's an elegant solution, but not without its own challenges.
The biggest obstacle may be Dish chairman and former CEO Charlie Ergen, who holds nearly a 37% stake in the company and is known to be a very tough negotiator. What Ergen wants may not ultimately be palatable to T-Mobile, and he appears to have most of the leverage.
The bottom line: When announced, this deal was presented as a much easier regulatory pass than was AT&T-Time Warner, even though it's a very vertical merger. It was wishful thinking.
• Growth: Private equity firm Permira this morning announced that it has raised $1.7 billion for its first-ever fund focused on non-control investments, with expectations that it will mostly buy into tech and tech-enabled services companies. So far the portfolio already includes Minted (graphic design and art marketplace) and Klarna (online payments platform).
🎧 Pro Rata Podcast: We dig into why so many political candidates, like Mayor Pete Buttigieg, are taking the risk of letting themselves become the subjects of documentary films. Listen here.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Broadcom (Nasdaq: AVGO) is in advanced talks to buy Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) for more than $15 billion, as first reported by Bloomberg.
• Cubyn, a Paris-based provider of outsourced logistics for ecommerce companies, raised €12 million. DN Capital led, and was joined by Partech Ventures, 360 Capital Partners, BNP Paribas Developpement and BPI France. http://axios.link/rkWe
• Georges, a French provider of accounting automation software for freelancers, raised €10 million in Series A funding. Alven led, and was joined by seed backers Kerala and Fast Forward. http://axios.link/E30J
🎧 Podomo, a Denmark-based podcast subscription network, raised €6 million in seed funding co-led by E.ventures and Heartcore. http://axios.link/MIiS
• Ironhack, a Miami-based coding bootcamp operator, raised $4 million. JME Capital led, and was joined by All Iron Ventures and Brighteye Ventures. http://axios.link/9sYY
• Klaus, an Estonian “conversation review and QA tool for support teams,” raised $1.9 million in seed funding led by Creandum. http://axios.link/8Kze
🚑 EyeSouth Partners, an Atlanta-based eyecare physician services group owned by Shore Capital Partners, acquired Alabama-based practice Montgomery Eye. www.eyesouthpartners.com
• Fortress Investment Group, owned by SoftBank, is in talks to buy a portfolio of 200 UK stores from Majestic Wine (AIM: WINE), per Sky News. http://axios.link/dlLA
• KKR completed its purchase of Corel, a Canadian virtualization software company, from Vector Capital. http://axios.link/D0OT
• Kohlberg & Co. acquired Nelipak, a Cranston, R.I.-based maker of rigid packaging for the medical device and pharma markets, from Mason Wells. http://axios.link/7u7M
🚑 Annovis Bio, a Berwyn, Penn.-based developer of drugs that treat neurodegeneration, filed for an $11.5 million IPO. The pre-revenue company plans to trade on the Nasdaq (ANVS) with ThinkEquity as sole underwriter. Shareholders include Ben Franklin Technology Partners. http://axios.link/UlRX
⛽ Vista Oil & Gas, a Mexico City-based oil and gas E&P backed by Riverstone Holdings, filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE (VIST) with Citi as lead underwriter. http://axios.link/8fE7
• The Blackstone Group is in exclusive talks to sell a portfolio of Center Parcs Europe resorts to German real estate firm Aroundtown for approximately $1.1 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/cNok
• AT&T (NYSE: T) is considering an auction for four of its regional sports networks, which could fetch nearly $1 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/QeJw
• CBRE Group (NYSE: CRBE) agreed to buy British residential real estate developer Telford Homes (LSE: TELF) for £267 million. http://axios.link/BzHH
• Deutsche Bank has discussed selling parts of its equities business with such rivals as Citigroup and BNP Paribas, per the WSJ. http://axios.link/jsOw
• Exabeam, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of security intelligence solutions, acquired Israeli cybersecurity startup SkyFormation. Exabeam last month raised $75 million in Series E funding co-led by Sapphire Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. http://axios.link/8wtc
• Keyfactor, an Independence, Ohio-based cybersecurity company backed by Insight Partners, acquired Redtrust, a Spain-based provider of centralized certificate and digital signature management software. http://axios.link/WFbR
• Synthomer (LSE: SYNTS) agreed to buy Ohio-based specialty chemicals company Omnova Solutions (NYSE: OM) for $824 million, or $10.15 per share in cash (58% premium to yesterday’s closing price). http://axios.link/U5nj
⛽ UGI (NYSE: UGI) agreed to buy some Columbia Midstream Group assets from pipeline operator TC Energy (TSC: TRP) for around US$1.28 billion. http://axios.link/zv3y
• Unite (LSE: UTG) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreed to buy Canadian student housing provider Liberty Living Group for £1.4 billion in cash. http://axios.link/0h2n
• Vocus Group (ASX: VOC), an Australian telecom company, plans to split into three groups after failing to find a buyer for the entire company. http://axios.link/W9Dy
• Woolworths Group (ASX: WOW), Australia’s largest supermarkets operator, will merge and then spin off its liquor store and pubs groups. The new company could be valued at around A$10 billion. http://axios.link/b8G8
• The University of Texas Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO) plans to cut its number of private equity relationships by 50%, but maintain its $3 billion annual investment target by reallocating to large buyout funds. http://axios.link/TCLq
• Upfront Ventures of Los Angeles is seeking $250 million for its third growth equity fund, per an SEC filing. http://axios.link/d9rP
• George Barsness joined mid-market private equity firm Gemspring Capital as a vice president. www.gemspring.com
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