• Coming attractions: Bain Capital is now oversubscribed for its twelfth flagship buyout fund, according to multiple sources. It is expected to be capped a bit higher than the $7.3 billion vehicle closed in early 2014, with a final close slated for the end of July. Like in the past couple of Bain Capital funds, limited partners will have several choices in terms of fee structures.
• Play ball: Ryan Howard, the former Major League Baseball MVP who led the Phillies to a World Series in 2008, made sports headlines yesterday by announcing a comeback attempt that will begin in the minors. Less noticed was that Howard also signed on as a partner with SeventySix Capital, a venture firm based in the Philadelphia suburbs.
"Hopefully I'll play for another two or three years, but I'm also looking toward the future," Howard tells me. "One of the things about being a top-tier athlete is that you get to be around owners and pick their brain about business. I've always been interested in investing and entrepreneurs, and my agent made me an introduction to [SeventySix Capital co-founder Wayne Kimmel]."
Kimmel says that his firm, which is in the midst of raising a new fund, believes the sports world is integral to much of the convergence between the digital and physical worlds.
• Deal data: Global M&A is up 10% year-to-date over 2016, in terms of deal value, while the U.S. figure is 2%, according to Thomson Reuters. Global private equity deal value is up 44%, and the U.S. bump is 71%.
• Awaiting specifics: Apple announced this week that it is launching a $1 billion investment fund focused on the advanced manufacturing space, but the company is not yet disclosing any details about structure, strategy nor staffing.
• 1-star rating: Uber's legal troubles may be expanding from civil to civil and criminal.
• Crypto-keeper: Bitcoin Investment Trust yesterday doubled its proposed IPO size from $500 million to $1 billion. As we're written before, this is an attempt to mainstream bitcoin exposure, basically acting as an ETF that would reflect the cryptocurrency's value. By doubling the target to a whopping $1 billion, BIT managers are signaling their belief in widespread demand. Also voicing confidence are established financial firms Credit Suisse, KCG Americas and Wedbush Securities, which signed on as authorized participants (i.e., liquidity providers).
The real question now is what the SEC does, given that just two months ago it shot down a proposed bitcoin ETF that would have been managed by the Winklevoss twins, arguing that major bitcoin markets are particularly prone to price manipulation due to a lack of overseas regulation. BIT is structured a bit different and already is publicly-traded on the OTC, but its capital target remains theoretical until the SEC gives its blessing.
• Have a great weekend...