Today’s planned column didn’t quite come together in time, so just some quick notes to kick off your Friday…
• It’s official: There will not be any IPOs on U.S. markets in January 2016, making it the first January shutout since 2009. For context, there were 15 such offerings in January 2015, including Box, Shake Shack and Spark Therapeutics.
• Transition: USAA, the military-linked insurance and financial services giant, last year quietly experienced a massive turnover in its corporate venture capital program (deals have included TrueCar, Care.com, Prosper, Coinbase and Narrative Science). Out were the top three execs, and since then the program has completed just one follow-on transaction (a new deal is said to be in the pipeline). I dug into USAA Ventures’ history, troubles and future, and you can read it by going here.
• Today in Theranos: Walgreens has suspended Theranos lab services in its flagship Palo Alto wellness center, and also told the company to stop sending any blood collected by Walgreens wellness center to the controversial Newark, Calif. lab.
• Since some have asked: No, Staples still has not commented on its layoffs, nor even confirmed that they occurred. On the other hand, a Massachusetts Labor Dept. spokesperson emailed me the following: “Our team that helps people affected by layoffs spoke with company officials and plans to go out to the Framingham headquarters this week to offer assistance to workers. The company said they are not sure how many people will ultimately be affected.”
• Nothing to see here: I watched all two hours of Trump-less GOP debate last night, figuring that there might finally be some substantive discussion of economic policy. But I was wrong. And the blame belongs to the Fox News Channel moderators ― not the candidates ― who didn’t ask a single question about the economy, taxes or jobs.
In fact, “jobs” were only referenced three times in the entire debate: By John Kasich when touting his record in Ohio, by Ted Cruz in his litany of Obamacare consequences and by moderator Brett Baier in a question about climate change. I guess that’s better than “education,” which was said exactly once (by Jeb Bush, in his closing comments).
• Have a great weekend!
THE BIG DEAL
• Xerox (NYSE: XRX) said that it will split into two companies, one of which will house its hardware operations and the other which will house its services business. Carl Icahn will receive three board seats with the services company. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• RedMart, a Singapore-based grocery delivery service, is finalizing a $100 million Series C round that would led it expand its services across Asia, according to TechCrunch. The company had signaled plans for a Series C round last August, when it raised $26.7 million in bridge funding from FarEast Ventures, Garena, SoftBank Ventures Korea, Visionaire Ventures and Eduardo Saverin. Read more.
• BloomReach, a Mountain View, Calif.-based cloud personalization platform, has raised $56 million in Series D funding. Backers include Battery Ventures and Salesforce Ventures were joined by return backers Bain Capital Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures and New Enterprise Associates. www.bloomreach.com
• Adagene Inc., a Chinese antibody discovery and development startup, has raised $28 million in Series B funding. GP Healthcare Capital led the round, and was joined by New World TMT and return backers Eight Roads Ventures China, F-Prime Capital and WuXi Corporate Venture Fund. www.adagene.com
• BirdEye, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of business reputation and customer experience solutions, has raised $8 million in Series A funding. Trinity Ventures led the round, and was joined by individual angels like Marc Benioff, Jerry Yang, Kevin Weil, Ellen Levy and Semil Shah. www.birdeye.com
• CosmosID, a Rockville, Md.-based developer of pathogen identification software, has raised $6 million in Series B funding led by Applied Value Group. www.cosmosid.com
• NuTonomy Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of software for autonomous vehicles, has raised $3.6 million in seed funding from Signal Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Fontinalis Partners and Steven LaValle. www.nutonomy.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• EQT Partners is nearing an agreement to acquire Swiss travel services company Kuoni Reisen Holding AG (SWX: KUNN), according to Bloomberg. Other bidders had included Cinven and Permira. Read more.
• CDH Investments and Shanghai Goliath Investment Management have made a joint $287 million bid for a 32% stake in Zhaopin (NYSE: ZPIN), a Chinese recruitment platform that is majority owned by Australian rival SEEK (ASX: SEK). The offer, which represents a 22% premium, would be for the shares that SEEK does not hold. Read more.
• Kidd & Co. has sponsored a recapitalization of Colerain RV, a retailer of recreational vehicles in Ohio and Indiana. It also acquired Northside RVs (Kentucky). No financial terms were disclosed. www.colerainrv.com
• OmniVision Technologies Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based maker of smartphone and tablet camera chips, has been taken private for around $1.9 billion, or $29.75 per share, by a Chinese private equity group that includes Hua Caital Management, CITIC Capital Holdings and GoldStone Investment Co. The deal was originally announced in April 2015. www.ovt.com
• OTG EXP Inc., a New York-based airport restaurant operator with 220 locations across 10 airports, has set its IPO terms to 32.5 million shares being offered at between $16 and $18 per share. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol OPG, with Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse serving as lead underwriters. OTG EXP reports a $116 million net loss on $285 million in revenue for the 39 weeks ending on Sept. 27, 2015.
• AEA Investors and Teachers Private Capital are in preliminary talks with banks about a sale or IPO for Dematic Corp., an Atlanta-based logistics company that could be valued at upwards of $2 billion, according to Bloomberg. Read more.
• Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) reportedly has acquired LearnSprout, a San Francisco-based data analytics platform for K-12 educators to identify at-risk students. No financial terms were disclosed. The company had raised more than $4 million Formation8, Samsung Ventures and ex-Blackboard president Justin Tan. Read more.
• KKR has sold its remaining stake in Vietnamese food and beverage maker Masan Consumer Corp. to parent company Masan Group (HOSE: MSN). No financial terms were disclosed. Overall, KKR had invested $359 million into MCC. www.kkr.com
• Nordic Capital has hired Citigroup to help find a buyer for Luvata, a British maker of refrigeration technologies and metal components, according to Reuters. The company could be worth around €500 million, with both strategic and private equity suitors to be approached. Read more.
• TA Associates has hired William Blair to help fund a buyer for Israeli dental implants maker MIS Implants Technologies Ltd., according to Bloomberg. A deal could be valued at around $400 million, with both Dentsply International Inc. (Nasdaq: XRAY) and Straumann Holding (SWX: STMN) said to be considering offers. Read more.
• Mitsui & Co., Canon and Konica Minolta each have interest in acquiring a control stake in the healthcare device unit of Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo: 6502), according to the Nikkei daily. The business generated around $3.35 billion in 2014 revenue. www.toshiba.com
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Grupo BTG Pactual laid off 305 of its 1,653-person workforce in Brazil. Read more.
• Qiming Venture Partners, a China-focused VC firm, is raising up to $620 million for its fifth fund, according to its regulatory filing. www.qimingvc.com
• Spur Ventures is raising up to $150 million for its fourth venture capital fund-of-funds, according to a regulatory filing. www.spurcapital.com
• Susa Ventures is raising up to $50 million for its second fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.susaventures.com
• Correction: On Tuesday we reported that Scottish private equity firm Clyde Blowers Capital had postponed plans to raise a £500 million fourth fund due to a lack of deal flow, according to Private Equity International. The publication has since changed the story, to say it is actively fundraising and plans to hold a first close in Q3.
Moving In, On & Up
• Lindsay Schwallie has joined Bridge Bank as VP of life sciences portfolio management. She previously was with Horizon Technology Finance. www.bridgebank.com
• Christian Suess has joined TowerBrook Capital Partners as a London-based senior principal. He previously was a director with EQT Partners. www.towerbrook.com
• Stephanie Paré Sullivan has joined Charlesbank Capital Partners as general counsel and chief administrative officer. She previously was a managing director and general counsel with THL Credit. www.charlesbank.com
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