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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

SmileDirectClub, a provider of at-home teeth straightening systems, raised $1.3 billion in its IPO. It priced 58.54 million shares at $23, above $21-$23 range, for an initial market cap of $8.9 billion, and will trade on the Nasdaq (SDC). J.P. Morgan was lead underwriter.

Why it matters: It shows that rule-muddying isn't just for transportation and housing unicorns. SDC has been the subject of numerous safety complaints to state dental boards from orthodontist organizations, which the company pushes back on as more about profits than patients.

ROI: SDC had raised nearly $400 million in private funding from firms like Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Spark Capital, Kleiner Perkins Digital Growth and 3L Capital.

The bottom line: This is bad news all over for incumbent Align Technology. First, rival SDC now has a giant war chest and capital markets access. Second, Align is effectively out more than $1 billion, after being forced by an arbiter to sell its 19% stake in SDC back to the company at a way below-market rate, after being found to have violated a non-compete agreement.

Go deeper

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.

9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.

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