Early greetings from Carlsbad, where the second day of Fortune Brainstorm E will soon kick off. A few related notes:
• Emerging renewables: Yesterday I interviewed Afsaneh Bechloss, founder and CEO of hedge fund manager Rock Creek Group and former chief investment officer for The World Bank. We spent most of the time discussing her belief that renewable energy adoption in emerging markets will be even stronger than already-bullish projections from groups like the IMF, due to both falling prices and the fact that personal health concerns in many markets (e.g., China and India) are bigger drivers than politics (i.e., environmental concerns). Moreover, she said that the (now reversing) drop in oil prices didn’t have much negative impact on renewables adoption in emerging markets, because many consumers in those areas already have their energy costs subsidized.
I also asked hedge fund manager Bechloss, a known Democrat, about how her firm is “hedging” against the possibility of a President Trump. Her reply: “You can’t really hedge because you don’t know exactly what Trump’s positions will be… For example, he has the largest potential debt issuance program, given all the things he’s talked about, of everybody. At the same time he has said he might not pay back. So there is a dichotomy.” You can view video of our discussion by going here.
• Car talk: Ford Motor Co. executive chairman Bill Ford was interviewed on stage by my boss (Alan Murray), and you can view the video here.
I also got some time with him afterwards, during which he said that January media reports about a strategic partnership with Google (which was supposedly to be announced at the Consumer Electronics Show) were overblown. In short, he said the discussions never matured anywhere near the point of completion. Ford, a part-owner of the Detroit Lions, also declined to comment on a more pressing matter: Whether he believes Tom Brady deflated footballs. “I won’t say anything bad about a [University of Michigan] quarterback.”
• Unconventional wisdom: Jim Connaughton, the former director of the White House Office of Environmental Policy under George W. Bush, made a pragmatic case for why Republicans should pursue comprehensive climate change regulation (sans carbon tax), which you can find here. Backstage he added that another carrot to the GOP could be removing oversight of revised rules from the EPA to a different government agency, such as DoE or even Treasury.
• On tap: This morning I’ll be moderating a breakfast roundtable focused on clean energy investment, or the relative lack thereof. It’s a high-powered group that includes Teddy Roosevelt IV (Barclays), Chris Buddin (Goldman Sachs), Pete Davidson (Aligned Intermediary), Bob Perciasepe (C2ES) and Dave Danielson (U.S. Department of Energy). If you’ve got questions you think I should ask, or topics to raise, pleased shoot me an email ASAP (just hit reply to Term Sheet) and I’ll report back tomorrow.
I’ll also be interviewing Dan Doctoroff, the former Bloomberg exec who now leads Alphabet’s Sideewalk Labs, about how technology is changing city life. Go to Fortune.com to catch the livestream at 9.25am PT.
THE BIG DEAL
• Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has agreed to acquire High Ridge Brands, a personal care products platform whose brands include Zest and Alberto VO5, from Brynwood Partners for approximately $415 million. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Caribou Biosciences, a Berkeley, Calif.-based CRISPR technology company, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. Anterra Capital, Heritage Group, Maverick Capital Ventures, and Pontifax AgTech were joined by return backers F-Prime Capital Partners, Novartis, Mission Bay Capital and 5 Prime Ventures. www.cariboubio.com
• Q4 Inc., a Toronto-based provider of SaaS investor relations and capital market solutions, has raised $22 million in Series B funding. OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund, Information Venture Partners and HarbourVest Partners, Emerillon Capital and Kensington Capital Partners were joined by return backers Plaza Ventures and Accomplice. www.q4inc.com
• CircleCI, a San Francisco-based provider of continuous integration and continuous delivery solutions, has raised $18 million in Series B funding. Scale Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers DFJ, Baseline Ventures and Harrison Metal. www.circleci.com
• BioSight Ltd., an Israel-based developer of “chemotherapy pro-drugs with reduced toxicity,” has raised $13 million in new VC funding. Arkin Holdings and Primera Capital co-led the round, and were joined by return backer Michael Illan Management & Investments. www.biosight-pharma.com
• Kollective Technology (a.k.a. Kontiki), a Bend, Ore.-based enterprise video platform has raised $12.25 million in Series C funding, according to a regulatory filing. Existing investors include MK Capital, New World Ventures, Cross Creek Capital and Hatteras Funds. www.kontiki.com
• Embroker, a San Francisco-based cloud-based risk and insurance management platform, has raised $12.2 million in Series A funding. Canaan Partners led the round, and was joined by Nyca Partners and XL Innovate. The round also includes a new debt facility from Silicon Valley Bank. www.embroker.com
• Hundredrooms, a European vacation rental search engine, has raised €4.1 million in Series A funding. Seaya Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Inveready, Bankinter and Media Digital Ventures. Read more.
• Lucid Sight, a Los Angeles-based developer of virtual reality games, has raised $3 million in Series A funding from backers like Rana Capital Partners, Salem Partners and Jonathan Zweig (AdColony founder). Read more.
• Nift, a Boston-based invitation-only network for neighborhood businesses, has raised $3 million in VC funding co-led by Spark Capital and Accomplice. www.gonift.com
• Teckst, a New York-based service that enables two-way text messaging for customer service teams, has raised $2.5 million in new VC funding. Backers include Composite Capital, Gaingels, Kernel Capital and Zelkova Ventures. www.teckst.com
• Inotec AMD, a UK-based maker of mobile medical devices designed to heal chronic, hypoxic wounds, has raised an undisclosed amount of equity funding from Amadeus Capital Partners. www.inotecamd.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Electrical Components International Inc., a St. Louis-based portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, has agreed to acquire Whitepath Fab Tech Inc., an Ellijay, Ga.-based maker of control boxes, wire harnesses and assembly services to the HVAC industry. No financial terms were disclosed. www.ecintl.com
• Hall Capital Partners has acquired 4Knines, a Glendale, Ariz.-based maker of fabric-based protective liners and seat covers for cars and trucks. No financial terms were disclosed. www.4knines.com
• Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has acquired Pacific Handy Cutter Inc., a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based maker of specialized cutting tools and replacement blades, from American Capital. www.go-phc.com
• New MainStream Capital has acquired Constellation Behavioral Health, a Mill Valley, Calif.-based provider of treatment programs for addiction, mental health and co-occurring behavioral health disorders. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Alpine Investors. www.constellationbehavioralhealth.com
• REAN Cloud, an AWS managed service partner, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from TriCore Solutions and BV Investment Partners. www.reancloud.com
• Teal Natural Resources, a Dallas-based oil and gas exploration platform, has been formed via a $125 million in private equity commitments from Pearl Energy Investments and Natural Gas Partners. http://www.tealnr.com
• Basic-Fit, a Dutch fitness center chain owned by 3i Group, is prepping an Amsterdam IPO for later this year that could value the company at around $1.1 billion. Read more.
• Cotiviti Holdings Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of payment accuracy software for the healthcare and retail sectors, has set its IPO terms to 12.5 million shares being offered at between $17 and $19 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $1.62 billion, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol COTV, with Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan serving as lead underwriters. Cotiviti reports nearly $14 million of net income in 2015 on $541 million in revenue, compared to a $26 million loss on $441 million in revenue for 2014. It is owned by Advent International. www.cotiviti.com
• Gypsum Management and Supply Inc., a Tucker, Ga.-based distributor of drywall, acoustical and other specialty building materials, has set its IPO terms to 7 million shares being offered at between $21 and $23 per share. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol GMS, with Barclays and Credit Suisse serving as lead underwriters. AEA Investors holds a 54% pre-IPO equity stake in GMS. www.gms.com
• Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Irving, Texas-based developer of protein-based antioxidant inflammation modulators for serious or life-threatening diseases, has set its IPO terms to 4 million shares being offered at between $14 and $16 per share. It would have an initial market cap of around $300 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol RETA, with Citigroup, Cowen & Co. and Piper Jaffray serving as lead underwriters. Reata reports $296,000 in net income on $37.79 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2015. Shareholders include Abbott Labs, Cardinal Investment Company, CPMG Inc., Novo AS, StartTech Early Ventures and Kern Whalen Capital. www.reatapharm.com
• Madison Dearborn Partners has agreed to sell Quickplay Media Inc., a Toronto-based provider of over-the-top video solutions, to AT&T (NYSE: T). No financial terms were disclosed. www.quickplay.com
• Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) has acquired InterWrap, a Vancouver-based maker of synthetic roofing underlayment and packaging materials, from Quad-C Management for US$450 million. www.interwrap.com
• Barclays (LSE: BARC) has agreed to sell its precious metals storage business to ICBC Standard Bank for an undisclosed amount. Read more.
• Corvex Management disclosed a 9.9% stake in Pandora Media (NYSE: P), and is asking the Internet radio company to restart efforts to find a takeover partner. Read more.
• Office Depot (Nasdaq: ODP) said that it may sell some of its European operations, in the aftermath of its failed takeover by Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS). Read more.
• Range Resources (NYSE: RRC) has agreed to acquire rival gas producer Memorial Resource Development (Nasdaq: MRD) for around $4.4 billion in stock (including $1.1 billion of assumed debt). Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Breakout Labs, a Thiel Foundation project that calls itself a “funding and support mechanism for radical science companies,” is raising a venture capital fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.breakoutlabs.org
• Geodesic Capital, a new growth-state VC firm focused on consumer and enterprise tech companies, has closed its debut fund with $335 million in capital commitments. The firm focuses on U.S.-based companies that could benefit from expanding into Japan, and was founded by John Roos (former U.S. Ambassador to Japan) and Ashvin Bachireddy (ex-Andreessen Horowitz). Limited partners include Mitsubishi Corp., Sumitomo Mitsui, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., Nikon Corp., Development Bank of Japan Inc. and The Toho Bank. http://www.geodesiccap.com
• KKR has agreed to expand its Pillarstone platform to acquire bad loans in Greece, per an agreement with Greek banks Alpha Bank and Eurobank. The deal also may include co-investments from the European Bank for Reconstruction. Read more.
• Post Oak Energy Capital has raised $600 million for its third private equity fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.postoakenergy.com
• WI Harper Group, an early-stage VC firm focused on cross-border investing between the U.S. and Asia, has raised $175 million in capital commitments. http://www.wiharper.com
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Norm Liang has joined WI Harper as a venture partner. He previously was head of growth at Sungy Mobile (Nasdaq: GOMO). www.wiharper.com
• Bill Stout has joined Nuveen Investments, a unit of TIAA Global Asset Management, as a managing director and head of alternative investments business development. He previously was with Corsair Capital as a managing director of business development and investor relations. www.nuveen.com
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