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It is too early to know if we're in the midst of a public equities correction, or if the bears have finally arrived. Either way, private markets tend to follow the public lead.
For private equity that likely means a decrease in traditional fundraising, but also new deal-making opportunities and newfound interest in special situations and distressed debt funds.
For venture capital, it means that many firms will go "back to basics" and face a lot of very hard choices when it comes to existing portfolio companies. Also, don't be surprised to see corporate VC pullbacks.
But, but, but: I must reiterate that no one knows what's around the corner, and even consensus projections of slowed economic growth are just that — projections. It's impossible to guarantee the end to something that has been unprecedented.
Airbnb this morning announced the hiring of Dave Stephenson as its new CFO, thus setting the stage for a 2019 IPO. He spent the past 17 years with Amazon, most recently as CFO of its global consumer business.
• End of an era: DH Private Equity Partners, the British buyout firm previously known as Doughty Hanson, will wind down. The decision comes six years after the death of co-founder Nigel Doughty, and was based on fellow co-founder Richard Hanson deciding that he didn't want to commit for another decade. Per an LP letter from Hanson, obtained by PE News:
“I have decided it would be disingenuous of me to push for a first close and to raise DH VI while I am feeling uncomfortable about the extent of this personal long-term commitment.”
• Last week we noted how Taylor Swift's new mega-deal with Universal Music Group seemed to include an agreement whereby UMG will distribute any proceeds from future sales of its shares in Spotify to artists, on a non-recoupable basis. Two follow-ups:
• Podcast: Last Wednesday's episode focused on Trump punting on Saudi sanctions. When I asked guest Jonathan Swan is Trump doesn't believe the reported CIA conclusions, or if he just doesn't care, Swan quickly replied: "Doesn't care." Listen here.
Logitech International (Swiss: LOGN) has ended talks to buy Plantronics (NYSE: PLT), a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based maker of Bluetooth earpieces and headsets.
• Property Finder, a Dubai-based real estate listings site, raised $120 million at around a $500 million valuation, led by General Atlantic. http://axios.link/k223
🚑 Fluidic Analytics, a British maker of equipment for characterizing proteins and their behaviors, raised $31 million. Draper Esprit led, and was joined by Delin Ventures, BGF, IQ Capital and Amadeus Capital Partners. www.fluidic.com
• BotKeeper, a Boston-based provider of bookkeeping workflow automation, raised $18 million in Series A funding from backers like Greycroft, Gradient Ventures, Sorenson Capital, Ignition Partners and Halfcourt Ventures. http://axios.link/qB20
• Charlie, a San Francisco-based personal finance chatbot, raised $9 million in Series A funding led by Propel Venture Partners. www.hicharlie.co
🚑 Altus Capital Partners acquired ChoiceSpine, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based maker of specialized spinal implants. http://axios.link/isEL
• Ardian is in exclusive talks to buy a stake in France-based tech consulting firm Technology & Strategy from Dzeta Group.
• Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan acquired Fleet Complete, a Toronto-based provider of connected vehicle technology. Sellers include Madison Dearborn Partners, which will retain a stake. www.fleetcomplete.com
• Pacific Equity Partners received multiple bids for Australian bakery business Allied Pinnacle, which it’s seeking to sell for around A$1 billion, per The Australian. Suitors include PAG, Nisshin Foods and a joint offer from China’s Kemen Noodle Manufacturing and Macquarie Capital. www.alliedpinnacle.com
• Silver Oak Services Partners has acquired North American Roofing, a Tampa, Fla.-based provider of commercial reroofing and maintenance services. www.naroofing.com
• Wind Point Partners agreed to buy The Kleinfelder Group, a San Diego-based provider of engineering, construction management, design and environmental professional services. www.kleinfelder.com
• MOGU, a Chinese online fashion marketplace, set IPO terms to 4.75 million shares at $14-$16. It would have a fully-diluted market value of $1.7 billion, were it to price in the middle, ands plans to trade on the NYSE (MOGU) with Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter. Shareholders include Tencent (18% pre-IPO stake) and Hillhouse Capital (10.2%).
• A10 Networks (NYSE: ATEN), a San Jose, Calif.-based data center hardware and software maker with a market cap of around $450 million, is exploring a possible sale, per Reuters. http://axios.link/w562
• Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) is nearing a deal with activist investor Dan Loeb to add two directors nominated by Loeb to its board and give him input on picking the company's new CEO, four days before a key shareholder vote on a board shakeup, per the WSJ. http://axios.link/cliS
• GameStop (NYSE: GME) agreed to sell Spring Mobile, owner and operator of nearly 1,300 AT&T wireless stores, to Prime Communications for $700 million. http://axios.link/IBx5
• Teddy Sagi sold his remaining 4.8% stake in Playtech (LSE: PTEC), the British gambling software company he founded 19 years ago, for around $87 million. http://axios.link/q0Bp
• Union National Bank of Abu Dhabi hired J.P. Morgan to advise on merger talks with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Al Hilal Bank, per Reuters. http://axios.link/JNJy
• Virgin Atlantic Airways is in talks to buy British regional airline carrier Flybe Group (LSE: FLYB). http://axios.link/Fk3r
• BlackRock named Geraldine Buckingham as head of Asia Pacific. She previously led global corporate strategy. http://axios.link/DQOg
• Charlie Johnstone left British private equity firm ECI Partners after a 14 year run. No word yet on future plans. http://axios.link/yr6c
• Mike Lempres stepped down as Coinbase’s chief policy officer, in order to join VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. http://axios.link/bKNX
• Laetitia Das Wermes joined placement agent FirstAvenue as global head of HR and talent development. She previously was with Bain Capital. www.firstavenue.com
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