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Spotify stock continues to search for stability, after a rough Wednesday (closing down 3.2% to $149.01 after trading as low as $136.20) and an early spike on Thursday (+5.45% to $152.07 as of this writing).
• Broadcom Blue Hens: Broadcom is now officially a U.S. company, redomiciling from Singapore to Delaware. No, it still isn't allowed to buy Qualcomm — but the move could help expedite other U.S. purchases.
• Facebook fly-around: Sara Fischer and David McCabe write that the company's recent media blitz is "creating a highlight reel of privacy and accountability improvements for Zuckerberg to play for lawmakers next week."
• Busted: The SEC this week charged entrepreneur Michael Liberty with defrauding investors in Mozido, a mobile payments and marketing startup. In short, the SEC alleges that he pocketed monies meant for the company.
J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM) will pay $1.9 billion in cash to acquire Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, a Pennsylvania pet food maker whose brands include Rachel Ray Dog Food, from shareholders like Catterton Partners.
🚑 ITBMed, a Stockholm-based developer of a drug to improve organ transplant outcomes, has raised up to $67 million in new funding led by Pablo Legorreta (CEO of Royalty Pharma). http://axios.link/ThGH
• BetterCloud, a New York-based SaaS operations management platform, raised $60 million in Series E funding. Bain Capital Ventures led, and was joined by return backers Accel, Greycroft Partners (through Greycroft Growth), Flybridge Capital Partners, Tribeca Venture Partners and New Amsterdam Growth Capital. www.bettercloud.com
• Zlingo, an e-commerce fashion marketplace for Southeast Asia, has raised $54 million in Series C funding. Sofina led, and was joined by return backers Burda, Sequoia India, SIG, Venturra, Beenext and Tim Draper. http://axios.link/v3Mo
🚑 Virta Health, a San Francisco-based digital health startup that wants to "reverse Type 2 diabetes," has raised $45 million in Series B funding. Founders Fund and Playground Global were joined by return backers Venrock, Obvious Ventures, Creandum, Caffeinated Capital and SciFi VC. http://axios.link/jPnS
• Suplari, a Seattle-based procurement insights platform, has raised $10.3 million in Series A funding. Shasta Ventures led, and was joined by Two Sigma Ventures, Workday Ventures and return backers Madrona Venture Group and Amplify Partners. www.suplari.com
• CoinList, a San Francisco-based platform for connecting accredited investors to blockchain projects, has raised $9.2 million from Polychain Capital, Digital Currency Group, FBG Capital, Libertus Capital, Blockchain Capital and CoinFund. http://axios.link/hJY4
🚲 Yellow, a Brazilian dockless bike-share startup, has raised $9 million in seed funding. http://axios.link/xx3p
• ShopShops, a platform that connects brick and mortar stores in the U.S. with consumers in China, has raised $6.1 million in seed funding from Forerunner Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Founder Collective, SV Angel, GGV Capital, Third Kind Venture Capital and XRC Labs. www.shopshops.com.cn
• Arkera, a London-based AI platform for wealth managers, has raised £4 million co-led by XTX Markets and Alan Howard. www.arkera.ai
• GATE, a New York-based e-wallet acceptance startup, has raised $3.2 million in seed funding led by Orco Investments. www.poweredbygate.com
🚑 Sigilon Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech startup backed by Flagship Pioneering, has signed a collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) to develop encapsulated cell therapies for the potential treatment of Type 1 diabetes. It includes an undisclosed equity investment, $63 million of upfront payments and up to $410 million in earn-outs. http://axios.link/F9kR
• Accel-KKR has acquired ITC, a Carrollton, Texas-based provider of website, marketing, rating and management software to the insurance market. www.getitc.com
• The Blackstone Group is offering to buy Spanish hotel group Hispania (Madrid: HIS) at an enterprise value of around €1.9 billion. http://axios.link/dVam
• Blue Wolf Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in The State Group, a Canadian multi-trade contracting company. Yellow Point Equity Partners also participated. www.stategroup.com
• The Carlyle Group has agreed to buy Australian winemaker Accolade Wines for A$1 billion from Champ Private Equity. http://axios.link/PvuS
• Palm Beach Capital has invested in Mears Transportation, an Orlando, Fla.-based private transportation company. www.mearstransportation.com
• Race Winning Brand, a Mentor, Ohio-based company of Kinderhook Industries, has acquired Rekluse, a Boise, Idaho-based manufacturer of clutches and clutch products for the powersports market. www.rekluse.com
• Ship Supply, a Miami, Fla.-based portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital, has acquired port logistics company Universal Maritime. www.shipsup.com
• Stone Point Capital has acquired a majority stake in American Mortgage Consultants, a New York-based provider of outsourced services to the residential and consumer loan mortgage market. www.amcfirst.com
• Sunlight Financial, a Teaneck, N.J.-based provider of residential solar system financing solutions, has raised $225 million to fund over 9,000 loans. This includes a $180 million senior finance facility from Global Atlantic Financial Group, while Hudson Clean Energy Partners also participated. www.sunlightfinancial.com
• Vrio, an AT&T-owned provider of digital entertainment services in South America, set its IPO terms to 29.68 million shares at $19-$22. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker VRIO, with Goldman Sachs listed as lead underwriter. The company reports $48 million of net income on over $5.5 billion in revenue for 2017.
• Ardian has hired Natixis to find a buyer for its 25.5% stake in Luxembourg utility Encevo, which could fetch around €300 million, according to Reuters. http://axios.link/iUmV
• Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. has hired Harris Williams to find a buyer for Simpson Performance Products, a Texas-based maker of motorsports racing equipment, according to Dow Jones. www.simpsonraceproducts.com
• MoviePass, a unit of Helios & Matheson Analytics (Nasdaq: HMNY), has agreed to buy Moviefone from Oath, a unit of Verizon Communications. No pricing terms of the cash and stock deal were disclosed. http://axios.link/loLL
• C&C (Ireland: GCC), maker of Magners cider, has purchased the wholesale arm of Conviviality (LSE: CVRC). http://axios.link/2xJL
• Dolce & Gabbana said that it has rejected multiple acquisition offers and its founders have formed a trust to maintain the brand. http://axios.link/leit
⛽ Edison, a listed Italian energy group owned by France’s EDF, is seeking a buyer for its oil and gas unit, which could fetch between $2 billion and $3 billion, per Reuters. http://axios.link/UiL0
• HyperBlock Technologies of Toronto has agreed to acquire -based cryptocurrency mining group CryptoGlobal for C$106 million in stock. http://axios.link/A8IO
• SS&C Technologies (Nasdaq: SSNC) is considering a rival takeover offer for British trading technology firm Fidessa (LSE: FDSA), which has agreed to be acquired for £1.4 billion by Temenos (Sweiss: TEMN), per the FT. http://axios.link/shaX
• Blackbird Ventures of Australia has closed its third fund with A$225 million. http://axios.link/zcfg
• Makers Fund, a new VC firm focused on the interactive entertainment sector, has raised $180 million for its debut fund. http://axios.link/DlHp
🚑 Sofinnova Partners has raised its first later-stage healthcare VC fund with €275 million in capital commitments. http://axios.link/Sr0o
• Matthew Cowan (ex- Breezeworks, ex-Bridgescale Partners) and T.J. Rylander (ex-Bowman Capital) have joined Next47, a $1.2 billion venture fund backed by Siemens, as partners. Ching-Yu Hu (co-founder Skybox Imaging, ex-Area 120) has joined as principal. www.next47.com
• Rick Gibbs, co-founder of Dealer.com, has joined Silversmith Capital Partners as a senior advisor. www.silversmithcapital.com
• Ryan Levitt has joined Drum Capital Management as a managing director, per his LinkedIn page. He previously was a partner with Pomona Capital. www.drumcapital.com
Breaking: The U.S. trade deficit climbed 1.6% to $57.6 billion in February, based on new data from the U.S. Commerce Department. That's the highest dollar figure since October 2008, and 24% higher than February 2017.
Go deeper on the political impact of Chinese tariff retaliation, via Axios' Erica Pandey:
"In 2017, soybeans comprised 12% of U.S. exports to China, and American farmers ramped up production of soybeans in part because the Chinese were buying in such massive quantities. Now, that source of revenue is in jeopardy."