Well. That was unexpected.
There already are a bunch of theories as to how Brexit might affect the private equity markets, including a pause on UK deal-making (and UK-focused fundraising), given all of the outstanding trade questions between Britain and the EU. There also could be renegotiation of existing deals for UK targets ― or even broader geographic renegotiation if today’s global markets mess is sustained (not to mention troubles for potential IPO issuers). And then there is the issue of AIFMD rules that will govern British firms for a while longer, but not necessarily once the UK turns off its EU lights in a couple years (i.e., uncertainty over what comes next, and also if more firms will move their European headquarters out of London for the sake of simplicity).
In short: There are a ton of questions and very little clarity ― as is appropriate just hours after the world’s fifth-largest economy just turned geopolitics on its head. I’d be irresponsible in asserting anything definitive at this point…
• Friday feedback: Planning a mailbag column for Monday, and am interested in how you believe Brexit will affect your business. Email me by hitting reply to this message (i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org).
• LP Land: Charles Froland is set to retire as CEO of Performance Equity Management at the end of June, the Connecticut-based firm confirmed to Fortune. He will not have a successor as CEO, although PEM did recently promote longtime managing directors John Clark to president and Jeffrey Barman to chief investment officer.
For the uninitiated, PEM was formed in 2005 as an independent spin-out by the private equity managers for General Motors Investment Management (who continued to manage PE assets for GM). Froland was in charge of that group, before which he spent eight years with Stanford Management Co.
• Divorce proceedings: Expansive Ventures, the early-stage VC shop co-founded in 2014 by Adeo Ressi (head of The Founder Institute and TheFunded.com) and Jon Soberg (ex-Blumberg Capital), is on what seems to be an indefinite hiatus. Its website has been offline for more than a month, with multiple sources saying that the two remain locked in protracted negotiations about how to break their partnership. Ressi and Soberg have both declined comment so far.
• TwilIPO: Yesterday we discussed the Twilio IPO in the context of Brexit. Few additional notes:
(1) My understanding is that the original plan was to price Thursday night and begin trading today, but the roadshow was cut short a day for fears of… well, what ended up happening. (2) Twilio priced at $15 per share, and closed its first day of trading at $28.79 per share. It was off around 6% from that figure at market open, and more than 7% as of this writing (but still well above IPO price). (3) My Fortune colleague Heather Clancy spoke with Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson yesterday about the IPO, and has posted a Q&A here. Also worth noting that Jeff will be at Fortune Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, which begins two weeks from Monday.
• Corrections: Yesterday’s issue mistakenly referred to Kobie Fuller, the VC who just left Accel to become a general partner with Upfront Ventures, by a different first name. Also, Wednesday’s issue mistakenly reported that Centerbridge Partners has organized a new blank-check acquisition company called Conyers Park Acquisition. The correct sponsor is Centerview Capital. Apologies on both.
• Have a great weekend…
THE BIG DEAL
• Vestar Capital Partners has agreed to sell The Sun Products Co., a Wilton, Conn.-based maker of laundry and household brands like Wisk and Snuggle, to Germany’s Henkel AG for $3.6 billion. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Annexon Biosciences, a South San Francisco-based developer of “classical complement pathway inhibitors to treat neurodegenerative disorders,” has raised $44 million in Series B funding. NEA led the round, and was joined by Correlation Ventures and return backers like Novartis Venture Fund and Satter Investment Management. www.annexonbio.com
• CRISPR Therapeutics, a Swiss developer of gene-editing technology, has raised $38 million in new Series B funding (bringing the round total to nearly $140 million). New investors include Franklin Templeton Investments, New Leaf Venture Partners, Clough Capital Partners and Wellington Capital Management. The Series B round’s initial tranche was co-led by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Global Investments, while existing shareholders include SR One, Celgene Corp., NEA and Abingworth. www.crisprtx.com
• Reflexion Health, a San Diego-based provider of personalized at-home rehabilitation healthcare solutions, has raised $18 million in Series B funding led by existing investors like West Partners. www.reflexionhealth.com
• Dapulse, an Israel-based team management platform, has raised $7.6 million in Series A funding. Genesis Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers like Entrée Capital. www.dapulse.com
• iZotope Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based maker of audio production tools, has raised $2.5 million in Series B funding led by return backer ABS Capital Partners. The company also secured a $5 million debt facility from Comerica Bank. www.izotope.com
• Alignable, a Boston-based online network for local business owners, has raised $1.5 million in new funding from Recruit Strategic Partners. It previously raised $12 million from Mayfield, Saturn Partners, NextView Ventures and Lead Edge Capital. www.alignable.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Qunar (Nasdaq: QUNR), a Chinese online travel company, said that it has received a takeover offer from Chinese private equity fund Ocean Imagination, at a 15% premium to Qunar’s closing stock price on Wednesday. Qunar’s market cap jumped from $3.8 billion to $4.2 billion on the news. Read more.
• Veritas Capital is the “leading bidder” to acquire Vector Aerospace Corp., an aircraft maintenance and repair unit of Airbus Group (Paris: AIR), according to Bloomberg. The deal could be worth upwards of $800 million, with Veritas planning to merge Vector with existing portfolio company StandardAero Aviation Holdings. Rival bidders like Onex Partners and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board remain in the process, which is being led by RBC and Moelis & Co. Read more.
• Bain Capital is planning an early 2017 IPO for Australian fresh juice chain operator Retail Zoo, according to The Australian. Read more. www.retailzoo.com.au
• Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCS) has agreed to acquire iControl Networks Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of residential IoT solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. iControl has raised around $120 million in VC funding (most recently in 2012), from firms like ClearSky Power & Technology, Dawn Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Cisco, CRV, Tyco Ventures, Rogers Venture Partners, Intel Capital and Comcast Ventures. Read more.
• EQT Partners has hired Deutsche Bank to find a buyer for German utility services provider SAG, which could be valued at around EUR 1 billion, according to Reuters. Read more.
• The Deutsche Börse said on Friday that it still plans to purchase The London Stock Exchange, despite last night’s Brexit vote. Read more.
• Noble Group (Swiss: N21) said that it plans to sell $500 million worth of “low returning assets,” which comes on top of previously-announced plans to sell its U.S. electrical supply business for more than $1 billion. Read more.
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• HCAP Partners (f.k.a. Huntington Capital) has promoted Frank Mora to partner. He joined the firm in 2013 from DBI Capital, and sits on the board of portfolio company Paragon Technology. www.hcapllc.com
• SK Capital Partners has promoted three investment professionals: Stephen d’Incelli to principal, Jared Kramer to senior associate and Jay Taunk to senior associate. www.skcapitalpartners.com
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