Top of the Morning
China Unicom, a listed Chinese telecom, said that it is raising $11.7 billion from a group of investors that includes Alibaba Group, Tencent Holdings, DiDi Chuxing, Baidu and JD.com. The investors would hold a 35.2% stake and receive three board seats.
- Why it's the BFD: This would be the largest capital raise in Asia-Pacific since 2010, except that China Unicom's shares remain halted after one of the named investors — rail equipment maker CRRC Corp. — said it hadn't actually participated. China Unicom says it's all a big misunderstanding, but this comes at a time when Silicon Valley investors keep casting skepticism over some of the huge growth equity fundraises that keep getting reported by Chinese tech companies. Not apples-to-apples given the publicly-traded vs. privately-held, but it does play into a narrative (whether fair or not).
- Bottom line: "The Chinese government is seeking to rejuvenate state behemoths with private capital, with China Unicom among the first batch of state-owned enterprises slated for the mixed-ownership reforms, whose guidelines were issued in 2015." — Reuters
Venture Capital Deals
Private Equity Deals
• Youon Bike, a Chinese bike-rental company, raised around $87 million via an IPO in Shanghai. Shares climbed 44% in their first day of trading. Company backers include Ant Financial and Shenzhen Capital. http://axios.link/g84R
⛽ Berkshire Hathaway Energy said that it will not incrase its $18 billion bid for the bankrupt parent company of electric grid giant Oncor, despite pressure to do so from Oncor creditor Elliott Management. http://reut.rs/2w5d4Ms
• DRW Holdings of Chicago has agreed to acquire RGM Advisors, an Austin, Texas-based principal trading firm. No financial terms were disclosed. http://on.wsj.com/2fLABMh
• ShapeShift, a Swiss digital currency exchange platform, has acquired KeepKey, a Kirkland, Wash.-based hardware wallet for digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. No financial terms were disclosed. ShapeShift recently raised over $10 million in Series A funding led by Earlybird Venture Capital. http://axios.link/cmYG
• United Rentals (NYSE: URI) has agreed to acquire Neff Corp. (NYSE: NEFF), a Miami, Fla.-based equipment rental company, for around $1.3 billion — topping a $1.2 billion offer from H&E Equipment Services (Nasdaq: HEES). http://reut.rs/2v4NHpB