Gone Baby Gone
The year’s biggest merger is over. As in done. Not happening.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable this morning confirmed yesterday afternoon’s reports that they have “mutually” called off their $45 billion mega-deal, following strong regulatory pushback. Also off the table were contingent agreements whereby Charter Communications would pay $10.4 billion to buy Bright House Communications, and even more to acquire 3.9 million Time Warner Cable subscribers.
We’ve got a lot of coverage of this debacle, so let’s do this as a link list:
The limits of lobbying: Tory Newmyer details Comcast’s gladhanding efforts in D.C., and why they didn’t succeed.
Apologies forthcoming? Speaking of lobbying efforts, what about all of those pundits who said the White House would push this through due to the personal relationship between President Obama and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts?
What happens next? Michael Lev-Ram says that TWC is now back on the block, but status quo is most likely for the time being.
Comcast buying spree? One possibility is that Comcast could start buying a bunch of smaller companies. Erin Griffith reports that it recently held talks to buy Vox Media, but negotiations fizzled, in part, due to the TWC merger uncertainty.
Could be worse: One silver lining for Comcast is that TWC didn’t insist on a breakup fee.
Deal data: This is the 9th largest failed M&A deal since 1980 (beating out Comcast’s failed 2004 pursuit for Disney), but Thomson Reuters had been counting it as a 2014 transaction. In other words, this year’s M&A tally isn’t really hurt, vis-a-vis last year’s number.
• Let’s make a deal: Kleiner Perkins yesterday put some pressure on Ellen Pao, who has not yet said whether or not she plans to appeal jury verdicts finding that the VC firm did not engage in gender discrimination and retaliation against her. Kleiner Perkins said in new court filings that it wants to recover $973,000 in trial costs (mostly expert witness fees), but that it will waive the request if Pao agrees not to appeal.
• Personnel scoop: Josh Seegopaul has left WL Ross & Co., where he has been a managing director for the past nine years (and a member of multiple investment committees). No word yet on his future plans.
• Have a great weekend…
THE BIG DEAL
• Institutional Venture Partners has closed its fifteenth fund with $1.4 billion in capital commitments. It is the largest fund that IVP has raised in its 35-year history. In related news, longtime IVP general partner Norm Fogelsong is transitioning into an advisory role. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Funding Circle, a London-based online lending platform, has raised $150 million in Series E funding at a valuation in excess of $1 billion. New investors include DST Capital, Baillie Gifford, Sands Capital Ventures, BlackRock and Temasek. Read more.
• Jimubox, a Beijing-based P2P lending platform, has raised $84 million in Series C funding. Investec Bank led the round, and was joined by Haitong Kaiyuan Investment Co. (a unit of Haitong Securities). www.jimubox.com
• SureCash, a Bangladesh-based mobile banking and payment startup, has raised $7 million in Series B funding from The Osiris Group. www.surecash.net
• MPRICA Health Inc., a Seattle-based “healthcare quality transparency startup,” has raised $1.6 million in Series A funding from the McQuinn Trust. www.mprica.com
• Waygum Inc., a Dublin, Calif.–based mobile app platform for the industrial Internet-of-Things, has raised an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from Hartford Steam Boiler, a unit of Munich Re. www.waygum.io
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Cortec Group has acquired Urnex Brands LLC, an Elmsford, N.Y.-based maker of coffee machine cleaning products for commercial and household use. No financial terms were disclosed. www.urnex.com
• Learning Seat, an Australian acquisition platform sponsored by The Riverside Company, has acquired C-Learning Pty Ltd., an Australia-based provider of e-learning courses that specialize in online content development and learning management. No financial terms were disclosed. www.learningseat.com
• Apigee Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based API management company, raised $87 million in its IPO. The company priced nearly 5.2 million shares at $17 per share (middle of offering range), for an initial market cap of approximately $495 million. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol APIC, with Morgan Stanley serving as left lead underwriter. It reports a $27 million net loss on $32.6 million in revenue for the six months ending January 31, 2015 (compared to a $32m net loss on $23m in revenue for the year-earlier period). Apigee had raised over $170 million in VC funding from firms like Norwest Venture Partners (26.2% pre-IPO stake), Bay Partners (18.6%), Third Point Partners (12%), Wellington Management (7.6%), Pine River Capital Management, SAP Ventures, BlackRock, Focus Ventures and Accenture. www.apigee.com
• Electrum Special Acquisition Corp., a blank check acquisition company focused on the metals and mining industry, has filed for a $150 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ELECU, with Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. serving as lead underwriter.
• Gelesis, a Boston-based developer of therapies for weight loss and glycemic control in overweight and obese patients, has set its IPO terms to 4 million shares being offered at between $12 and $14 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $179 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol GLSS, with Piper Jaffray, Stifel and Guggenheim Securities serving as lead underwriters. Shareholders include PureTech Ventures (28.59% pre-IPO stake), Invesco (12.4%) and Hercules Technology Ventures (6.91%). www.gelesis.com
• MultiVer Inc., a Houston, Texas-based biotech company focused on oncology, has set its IPO terms to 4.6 million shares being offered at between $12 and $14 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $193 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The pre-revenue company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol under ticker symbol MVIR, with RBC Capital Markets serving as lead underwriter. www.multivir.com
• National Storage Affiliates Trust, a Greenwood Village, Colo.-based REIT focused on self-storage properties, raised $260 million in its IPO. The company priced 20 million shares at $13 per share (below $15-$17 offering range), and will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol NSA. Jefferies was listed as left-lead underwriter.
• Classpass, a New York-based fitness class marketplace, has acquired San Francisco-based rival Fitmob for an undisclosed amount. Classpass recently raised $40 million in VC funding at a $200 million valuation, from firms like Slow Ventures, Thrive Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Box Group. Fitmob had raised at least $14.8 million from Mayfield Fund, Silicon Valley Bank, Queensbridge Venture Partners and Rocketship.vc. Read more.
• Interactive Brokers Group Inc. (Nasdaq: IBKR) has acquired Covestor, an online investment management platform with offices in Boston and London. No financial terms were disclosed. Covestor had raised around $24 million in VC funding from Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners and Bay Partners. www.covestor.com
• PhotoBucket Corp., a Denver-based online photo sharing and print community, has acquired Milyoni, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based provider of social videos and creator of the Madcards multimedia cards for mobile. No financial terms were disclosed. Milyoni had raised around $30 million in VC funding from ATA Ventures, Oak Investment Partners and Thomvest Ventures. www.photobucket.com
• Banco Santander (CATS: SAN) and UniCredit SpA (BIT: UCG) have agreed to merge their asset management units, with the combined business being valued at around $5.8 billion. Read more.
• Goldman Sachs Asset Management has agreed to acquire the Pacific Global Advisors business from Pacific Life Insurance Co. No financial terms were disclosed. PGA provides investment and risk management services to institutional investors, and has more than $18 billion in assets under supervision. www.pacificglobaladvisors.com
• Infosys (BSE: 500209) has acquired Kallidus, a San Francisco-based provider of mobile and social media solutions for retailers and brands, for around $120 million. Read more.
• Staples Inc. (NYSE: SPLS) has agreed to acquire Accolade Promotion Group, a Canadian distributor of promotional products, from Golf Town Canada Inc. No financial terms were disclosed. www.accoladepg.com
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman and former CEO, has acquired a 20% stake in $36 billion hedge fund manager D.E. Shaw. Read more.
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Brian Castleberry is rejoining Blue Point Capital Partners as a Charlotte-based principal. He previously was a VP with the firm, before leaving to join Red Ventures. Blue Point also said that it has promoted two Cleveland-based investment professionals – Jeff Robich and Ben Newman – to principal. www.bluepointcapital.com
• Ben Harris has joined ORIX USA as a New York-based director in its leveraged finance group. He previously was with Prospect Capital. www.orix.com
• Arthur Johnson has joined Twilio has VP of corporate and business development. He previously was an operating partner with Andreessen Horowitz. www.twilio.com
• Gregg Kaplan, founder and former CEO of Redbox, has joined Pritzker Group Private Capital as an operating partner focused on the services industry. www.pritzkergroup.com
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