Governments around the world are taking a much closer look at proposed mergers, often on antitrust grounds, with bankers telling Axios that they've changed their approach with clients.
Some headlines from just the past week:
The bottom line is that regulatory uncertainty is the new normal.
🎬 Casting call: Nicholas Braun (a.k.a. Cousin Greg) has been tapped to star in a limited series about the rise and fall of WeWork, based on an upcoming book from WSJ reporters Maureen Farrell and Eliot Brown. Yes, it's an inspired choice.
• More WeWork: The company has sold SEO and content marketing company Conductor back to management, less than two years after buying it.
• Proxy Fight: Monday's BFD was Institutional Shareholder Services' recommendation that Hudson's Bay Co. shareholders vote against a C$1.9 billion takeover offer from company chairman Richard Baker, Rhone Capital, and WeWork Industrial Trust.
🎧 Pro Rata Podcast digs into the business and political fight over surprise medical bills, in which private equity plays a central role. Listen here.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Nestlé agreed to sell its U.S. ice cream business for $4 billion to Froneri, a joint venture Nestlé formed in 2016 with private equity firm PAI Partners.
• LeanTaaS, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of SaaS for managing operating room and infusion center operations, raised $40 million in Series C funding led by Goldman Sachs. http://axios.link/sOEI
• PrecisionHawk, a Raleigh, N.C.-based developer of drones for the enterprise, raised $32 million from Millennium Technology Value Partners, Third Point Ventures, Eastward Capital Partners, and others. http://axios.link/uzc0
⛽ Viridi Parente, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based maker of renewable power systems for heavy machinery and storage applications, raised $29 million in Series B funding led by Grand Oaks Capital. http://axios.link/7MOU
• Notal Vision, a Manassas, Va.-based provider of ophthalmic diagnostic services, raised $25 million from backers like Ganot Capital. http://axios.link/lNRf
• LeanDNA, an Austin, Texas-based analytics platform for factory management, raised $15 million in Series B funding. S3 Ventures led, and was joined by return backer Next Coast Ventures. http://axios.link/s4d3
• Yubo, a French social media app for teens and young adults, raised $12.3 million. Iris Capital and Idinvest Partners co-led, and were joined by return backers Alven, Sweet Capital, and Village Global. http://axios.link/wrhj
• Augury, a New York-based industrial IoT startup focused on mechanical diagnostics, raised $8 million from Qualcomm Ventures. www.augury.com
• Camino Financial, a Los Angeles-based online lending platform for small Latinx businesses, raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Crédito Real. http://axios.link/bLyx
🚑 Laudio, a Boston-based personalized management platform for healthcare organizations, raised $7.3 million in Series A funding. InHealth Ventures and .406 Ventures co-led, and were joined by MemorialCare Innovation Fund. http://axios.link/qwwR
• Portify, a London-based fintech startup focused on gig economy workers, raised £7 million in Series A funding. Redalpine led, and was joined by return backers Kindred and Entrepreneur First. http://axios.link/MPkP
🚑 Zero Card, a healthcare services marketplace for self-funded employers, raised $7 million in Series A funding. George Kaiser Family Foundation led, and was joined by Rise of the Rest. http://axios.link/SL2J
• Bridge Connector, a Nashville-based workflow automation startup focused on health IT interoperability, raised $5 million. Jeff Vinik led, and was joined by return backer Axioma Ventures. http://axios.link/rxiM
• The Renewal Workshop, a Cascade Locks, Ore.-based textile renewal startup, raised $5.5 million in Series A funding co-led by Social Impact Ventures, SHIFT Invest, and Quadia. http://axios.link/UV2v
• Paragraf, a UK-based graphene electronics startup, raised £3.4 million in Series A funding led by Parkwalk. http://axios.link/JyfB
• Arthur, a startup that monitors machine learning model performance, raised $3.3 million in seed funding. Work-Bench and Index Ventures co-led, and were joined by Homebrew and AME Ventures. http://axios.link/MVOK
• Kinside, a childcare benefits startup, raised $3 million led by Initialized Capital. http://axios.link/CC0m
• Acquia, a Boston-based portfolio company of Vista Equity Partners, acquired AgilOne, a customer behavior data platform that had raised $41 million in VC funding from Sequoia Capital, Mayfield, Next World Capital, Tenaya Capital, and Four Rivers Group. http://axios.link/emzZ
• CVC Capital Partners agreed to buy a majority stake in WebPros, a Swiss webhosting software company, from Oakley Capital (which retains a minority stake). Earlier reports were that a deal could be valued at between $1.2-$1.5 billion. http://axios.link/VVcV
• FineLine Technologies, a Norcross, Ga.-based portfolio company of Summit Partners, acquired Consolidated Printing, a commercial printer of tickers for sporting events and major entertainment venues. www.teamcpi.com
• Francisco Partners and Elliott Management are in talks to buy Boston-based workplace software company LogMeIn (Nasdaq: LOGM) for more than $4 billion, per Bloomberg. http://axios.link/3wXl
• Growth Street Partners acquired a minority stake in HR Acuity, a Florham Park, N.J.-based provider of software to manage, track, and investigate employee issues. www.hracuity.com
• KKR completed its $794 million purchase of a 70% stake in the China lighting business of NVC International (HK: 2222). www.kkr.com
• One Equity Partners acquired a minority stake in Nexion, an Italian auto aftermarket solutions company.
🚑 VirTrial, an Essex, Va.-based portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, acquired SnapMD Healthcare, a Glendale, Calif.-based provider of telemedicine tools and services. www.virtrial.com
• Bill.com, a Palo Alto-based provider of payment processing software for SMEs, raised $216 million in its IPO. The company pieced 8.8 million shares at $22 (above upsized range), for an initial market cap of $1.55 billion. It will trade on the NYSE (BILL) with Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter, and previously raised $320 million in VC funding from DCM, August Capita, Ossa Investments, Emergence Capital, Financial Partners, Scale Venture Partners, and Icon Ventures.
• eHang, a Chinese drone-maker, raised $40 million in its IPO. The company priced 4.2 million shares at $12.50 (low end of range), for a fully-diluted market cap of $687 million. It will trade on the Nasdaq (EH) and used Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter. Backers include GGV Capital and Zhen Partners.
• Triple Flag Precious Metals, a Toronto-based mine financier backed by Elliott Management, scrapped a planned Toronto IPO that could have raised $360 million, citing low investor demand. http://axios.link/Qa71
• Aurubis (DE: NAFG), Europe’s largest copper producer, said it’s in talks to sell its flat-rolled products unit. http://axios.link/8orh
• Haier, the world’s largest household appliance maker, is planning a restructure that would lists its main unit in Hong Kong (it’s already listed in Shanghai) and then take its electronics group private for around $7.7 billion, per Reuters. http://axios.link/8IuC
• Nomura agreed to acquire Greentech Capital Advisors, a boutique investment bank focused on sustainable tech and infrastructure. www.greentechcapital.com
🚑 Petrobras of Brazil has begun a sale process for its remaining 10% stake in natural gas pipeline operator TAG, after selling a 90% stake to France’s Engie and Canada’s CDPQ for $8.6 billion. Engie is expected to bid on the position. http://axios.link/OdiT
⛽ Piva, a San Francisco-based VC firm focused on industrial and energy tech, raised $250 million for its debut fund from Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Berhad. http://axios.link/jhZN
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