Situational awareness: The White House just sent a letter to North Korea, saying the June 12 summit won't happen. Stocks fell sharply on the news.
Ride-hail companies still aren't profitable, but they sure are good at raising money. The latest from the land of "noooooo.... why is the icon going in the opposite direction?"
• "Par is the new discount." That's the message of a new report on the private equity secondaries market from Credit Suisse, which says pricing hit record highs in 2017. Average prices for PE fund interests were 96% of NAV, while higher quality funds regularly went for 110% of NAV.
• North of the border: Canadian regulators have blocked China's CCC International from buying Toronto-listed construction and infrastructure development company Aecon Group. for C$1.5 billion (including debt), citing national security concerns.
• Intelligence: Cerberus Capital Management is seeking to sell U.S. defense contractor DynCorp, which could fetch more than $1.3 billion, per Reuters.
Spangler Candy, the Ohio-based maker of Dum Dums lollipops and those orange marshmallows shaped like circus peanuts, has agreed to buy New England Confectionary Co. out of bankruptcy for $18.8 million. Losing bidders were Gordon Brothers and Round Hill Investments.
🚑 Brii Biosciences, a startup aiming to “accelerate the development and delivery of breakthrough medicines in China,” raised $260 million in first-round funding from ARCH Venture Partners, 6 Dimensions Capital, Boyu Capital, Yunfeng Capital, Sequoia Capital and Blue Pool Capital. http://axios.link/0kr1
🚑 CareZone, a San Francisco-based mobile app for managing chronic health conditions, raised $50 million in Series D funding led by return backer NEA. http://axios.link/6LJ2
• Reltio, a Redwood Shores, Calif.-based “self-learning data platform,” raised $45 million in Series D funding. NEA led, and was joined by fellow insiders Crosslink Capital, .406 Ventures and Sapphire Ventures. http://axios.link/gnjs
🚑 Strata Oncology, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based precision oncology platform, raised $26 million in Series B funding. Pfizer Ventures, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Deerfield Management and Renaissance VC Fund were joined by return backers Arboretum Ventures and Baird Capital. http://axios.link/ZHyb
• Superpedestrian, a Cambridge, Mass.-based maker of hardware and software for e-bikes and e-scooters, raised $16.5 million in Series B-1 funding from Spark Capital, General Catalyst, Charles Kim and Tony Fadell’s Future Shape. http://axios.link/z1eU
• Abstract, a San Francisco-based design workflow system, raised $16 million in Series B funding. Scale Venture Partners led, and was joined by return backers Amplify Partners and Cowboy Ventures. www.goabstract.com
• Sentry, a San Francisco-based provider of application performance management solutions for developers, raised $16 million in Series B funding from insiders Accel and NEA. www.sentry.io
• Amuse, a Stockholm-based digital music label, raised $15.5 million in Series A funding co-led by Lakestar and Raine Ventures. http://axios.link/Enri
• Hugging Face, a New York-based chatbot startup, raised $4 million in seed funding led by A.Capital Ventures. http://axios.link/ck6L
👓 Wires Glasses, a London-based eyewear startup, raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from True Ventures. http://axios.link/str3
⛽ Actis has agreed to acquire an 88% stake in a 100-mw wind power project in Kenya. http://axios.link/xg81
• Electra Private Equity, a London-listed alternative investment trust, formally put itself up for sale and also said it has had discussions over selling parts of its portfolio. http://axios.link/1oY7
• Golden Gate Capital is considering a merger of portfolio companies Eddie Bauer and Pacific Sunwear, according to Reuters. http://axios.link/38Ti
• Patriot Erectors, a Dripping Springs, Texas-based steel fabrication and erector company, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Ranch Creek Partners and Hillstar Capital. www.patrioterectors.net
• Permira has agreed to acquire a majority stake in WeddingWire, a Chevy Chase, Md.-based wedding services marketplace, for $350 million. Sellers include Spectrum Equity, which will retain an ownership stake. http://axios.link/x4JR
• The Riverside Company has invested in Destiny Solutions, a Toronto-based provider of student lifecycle management SaaS. www.destinysolutions.com
• Adyen, a Dutch payments platform that has raised more than $250 million in VC funding, said that its upcoming IPO will be on the Euronext Amsterdam. It also confirmed that the expected valuation will be between €6 billion and €9 billion. http://axios.link/Nv6T
🚑 Aptinyx, an Evanston, Ill.-based developer of therapeutics for treating neurologic disorders, filed for an $80 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq (APTX), with J.P. Morgan as lead underwriter. The company has raised around $135 million in VC funding, from firms like Adams Street Partners (14.85% pre-IPO stake), New Leaf Ventures (11.63%), Longitude Venture Partners (11.63%), Frazier Life Sciences (11.63%), Bain Capital Life Sciences (6.98%) and LVP Life Science Ventures (5.71%). www.aptinyx.com
• Autodis, a French spare auto parts distributor owned by Bain Capital, has suspended a planned IPO that had been expected to value the company north of $1.5 billion. It blamed a “cautious” market for the move. http://axios.link/0ZjZ
• Evo Payments, an Atlanta-based payment solutions company owned by Madison Dearborn Partners, raised $224 million in its IPO. The company priced 14 million shares at $16 (high end of range), for a fully-diluted market value of around $1.9 billion. It began trading on the Nasdaq (EVOP) and closed its first day up at $19.02 per share. J.P. Morgan was lead underwriter. http://axios.link/7u1M
• GreenSky, an Atlanta-based digital lending platform, raised $874 million in its IPO. The company priced around 34 million shares at $23 per share (high end of range), and had raised over $600 million from firms like TPG Growth, Pimco, DST Global, ICONIQ Capital, QED Investors and Wellington Management.
🚑 Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, a Lexington, Mass.-based biotech company focused on inflammatory disease, raised $152 million in its IPO. The pre-revenue company priced 8.44 million shares at $18 (extra shares, middle of proposed range), for a fully-diluted market value of around $931 million. It will trade on the Nasdaq (KNSA) while Goldman Sachs was lead underwriter. Kiniksa had raised $320 in VC funding from firms like Baker Brothers and Arrowpoint Funds. www.kiniska.com
🚑 Scholar Rock, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of drugs that target suprecellular activation of growth factors, raised $75 million in its IPO. The company priced 5.36 million shares at $14 (middle of range), for an initial market cap of $342 million. It will trade on the Nasdaq (SRRK) while Jefferies was lead underwriter, and had raised around $100 million in VC funding from firms like Fidelity (14.94% pre-IPO stake), Polaris Partners (14.1%), Arch Venture Partners (13.82%), Astal International (10.2%) and EcoRI Capital (5.22%). www.scholarrock.com
• Kroger (NYSE: KR) has agreed to buy Home Chef, a Chicago-based meal-kit company. The deal is valued at upwards of $700 million, including $200 million upfront. For context, Blue Apron’s current market cap is around $570 million. Home Chef had raised around $52 million in VC funding, from firms like L Catterton, Shining Capital and Guild Capital. http://axios.link/VNQN
• Paddy Power Betfair (Ireland: PPB) has agreed to buy fantasy sports site FanDuel, by merging FanDuel with PPB's U.S. operations and contributing $158 million in cash. FanDuel had raised $435 million in venture capital funding from firms like KKR, NBC Sports, Shamrock Capital Group, Comcast Ventures and the NBA. http://axios.link/wssf
• Coinbase has agreed to acquire crypto trading relay platform Paradex. http://axios.link/NRtT
• Smurfit Kappa (Ireland: SKG) has agreed to acquire Dutch paper and recycling company Reparenco for around €460 million, as it seeks to stave off a takeover attempt by International Paper (NYSE: IP). http://axios.link/AAth
• Reliance Worldwide (ASX: RWC) agreed to buy British plumbing supplies business John Guest Holdings for around US$923 million. http://axios.link/c18S
• Vontobel (Swiss: VONN) has agreed to acquire Swiss private bank Notenstein La Roche from Raiffeisen for around $705 million. http://axios.link/AlwP
• VTB, Russia’s second-largest bank, has sold a 12% stake in listed Russian food retailer Magnit for around $1.02 billion to Marathon Group. VTB retains a 17.3% position. http://axios.link/j6wf
• MSouth Equity Partners of Atlanta has raised nearly $800 million for its fourth fund, per an SEC filing.
• Ken Gonzalez has joined NightDragon Security, a cybersecurity-focused VC firm led by Dave DeWalt, as a managing director. He previously was a managing director with Trident Capital Cybersecurity.
• Julia Kaufman and Elliott Parker have joined Indianapolis-based venture studio High Alpha as VP of HR and managing director of corporate innovation, respectively. Kaufman previously was with Salesforce, while Parker was with consulting firm Innosight. www.highalpha.com
• Probitas Partners, a San Francisco-based fund placement agent, has promoted three staffers to managing director: Caryn Feinberg, Haakon Gresvig and Ray Tsao. It also hired John Caley (ex-Grubb & Ellis) as a managing director on the real estate team. www.probitaspartners.com