Good morning again from Guangzhou, China.
Another interesting day of speakers. First, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke at Fortune’s Global Forum where he continued to emphasize that openness and free trade can combat the rising tide of protectionism.
“The backlash against globalization happens because many people feel left behind,” he said. “Closing our doors will only hurt our businesses and our citizens.”
Trudeau was in China on a four-day tour to kick off free trade negotiations between the two countries. He left the country today without securing any formal agreements with the Chinese government, but he characterized the talks as “positive and productive.”
Bottom line: Trudeau is trying to diversify Canada’s trade relationships amid tough NAFTA negotiations with the U.S. after President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from the pact.
GLOBAL M&A: My colleague Geoffrey Colvin led an eye-opening discussion this morning about companies hoping to take their domestic business international. Midea’s CEO Paul Fang was on the panel, and he said that the Chinese appliance manufacturer decided to take the M&A route in order to jumpstart the company’s global expansion. (You might remember when Midea acquired Kuka, a Germany-based robot maker, for about 3.7 billion euros in cash last year.)
The panelists discussed expansion challenges including cultural clashes, governance changes, and poor execution in a new market. Yousef Al-Benyan, the vice chairman and CEO of SABIC, said he always reminds colleagues to “think global, but act local.” In other words, the business needs to have a strong local strategy once acquiring a company in a foreign country. To do that, he established an executive exchange program where leaders from the company spend several years in another region to better understand the new market.
I’m curious — what are some of the ways your own companies approach global expansion?
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE...
• What China’s Leading Tech Investor Saw In a Traditional Shoe Company (by Debbie Yong)
• Exclusive: Obama Adviser Valerie Jarrett Joins Board of Tech Company 2U (by Valentina Zarya)
• Here’s What You Can Learn From BlackRock’s 2018 Strategy (by Matt Heimer)
• Inside Elliott Management: How Paul Singer’s Hedge Fund Always Wins (by Jen Wieczner)
• JPMorgan and AFL-CIO CEOs: Finding a Job Is Still Too Hard. Here’s How We Can Fix That. (Richard Trumka and Jamie Dimon)
An accused harasser “applauded” the #MeToo movement. It did not end well. Wikipedia co-founder joins blockchain-using competitor, Everipedia. California blames Wells Fargo for 1,500 fake insurance policies. What happens when bitcoin’s market cap overtakes world GDP? Exclusive: Uber paid 20-year-old Florida man to keep data breach secret. Down Boy! Service dog causes chaos at ‘Cats’ performance.
• Moda Operandi, a New York-based luxury retailer providing straight from the runway collections, raised $165 million in funding led by C Ventures and K11 Investment and was joined by investors including Apax Digital.
• Obsidian Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotechnology developing next-generation cell and gene therapies, raised $49.5 million in Series A funding led by GV, and was joined by investors including Atlas Venture, Takeda Ventures Inc., Vertex Ventures HC, Amgen Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, and ShangPharma Investment Group.
• WorldRemit, a London-based digital money transfer service, raised $40 million in Series C funding led by LeapFrog Investments and was joined by investors including Accel and Technology Crossover Ventures.
• BitPay, an Atlanta-based blockchain payments firm, raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Aquiline Technology Growth (ATG).
• Modsy, a San Francisco, Calif.-based home decor firm, raised $23 million in Series B funding led by Advance Venture Partners (AVP), Comcast Ventures, NBCUniversal and Norwest Venture Partners.
• Cedar, a New York-based patient payments firm, raised $13 million in Series A funding from investors including Founders Fund, Thrive Capital, Martin Ventures and SV Angel.
• Prevoty, a Los Angeles-based autonomous application protection firm, raised $13 million of Series B funding led by Trident Capital Cybersecurity and was joined by investors including USVP.
• Graduway, a Philadelphia-based provider of alumni software, raised $12.7 million in funding from Susquehanna Growth Equity.
• ForceManager, a Barcelona-based mobile CRM platform, raised $12 million in Series B funding led by AXA Strategic Ventures.
• PerceptIn, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based full-stack visual intelligence company, raised $11 million in funding from Samsung Ventures, Matrix Partners and Walden International.
• Neumentum, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of non-opioid pain products, raised $6 million in Series A funding. The backers were not named.
• Maxwell Financial Labs, a Denver-based B2B digital mortgage cloud software maker, raised $3 million in funding led by Anthemis Group and was joined by investors including Route66 Ventures and Assurant Inc.
• AVORA, a London-based machine learning firm, raised £1.5 million ($2 million) led by Crane Venture Partners, and was joined by investors including Peter Simon, founder of retailer Monsoon, and Steve Garnett, former chairman of Salesforce EMEA.
• Sanctuary, a Los Angeles-based digital media company that will focus on astrology and tarot for millennial audiences, raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by Advancit Capital and was joined by investors including Broadway Video Ventures, Greycroft Partners, KEC Ventures and Blue Collective.
• 18Birdies, an Oakland, Calif.-based mobile golf technology startup, announced an investment round led by Peter Gotcher and Milwaukee Bucks’ Head Coach Jason Kidd. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Baring Private Equity Asia nears deal to acquire Prometric, a Baltimore-based test administration firm, for roughly $1 billion, including debt, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Read more.
Rhône Capital closed its $500 million investment in Hudson Bay Company, a Toronto-based retailer.
• Wealth Enhancement Group, a portfolio company of Lightyear Capital,acquired CPA Retirement Planning, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based financial adviser. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• New Harbor Capital acquired LGM Pharma, a Nashville-based API company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Auxo Investment Partners acquired MG, a New Orleans-based dry barge transportation and logistics company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Sedgwick Claims Management, a portfolio company of KKR, acquired Cunningham Lindsey, a Tampa-based global loss adjusting, claims management and risk solutions firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Alexandria Moulding, a portfolio company of Industrial Opportunity Partners, acquired House of Fara, a LaPorte, Ind.-based maker of hardwood mouldings. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• H.I.G. Growth Partners invested in Carlton Group, a Toronto-based tech firm specializing in SaaS based solutions. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Federated Investors is considering a bid for Britain’s Hermes Investment Management, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. Read more. • Western Thermal acquired Henderson Site Services, an U.K.-based engineering company that fabricates, installs and modulates all types of pipework systems, vessels and structures. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Smith & Nephew agreed to acquire Rotation Medical, a Plymouth, Minn.-based developer of treatments for rotator cuff disease, from Pappas Capital for $125 million.
• An unnamed buyer agreed to acquire Crew Clothing Company, a British “smart casual lifestyle” brand, from Livingbridge. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Ardian has received binding bids for its stake in Fives, a French engineering firm, people close to the matter told Reuters. Read more.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Hopu Investments, a Chinese private equity firm, is hoping to raise $2.5 billion for consumer industries fund, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Read more.
• Apax Partners, a New York and London-based private equity advisory firm, closed its $1 billion Apax Digital fund exceeding the initial $800 million target.
• Kimmeridge Energy Management, a New York-based private equity firm, closed its fourth fund with $400 million, raising a total of $650 million.
• Sama Fund, a Philadelphia-based firm, plans to raise a $150 million venture fund, according to an SEC filing.
• Anzu Partners, a Washington-based venture capital and private equity firm, raised $128.4 million in its inaugural fund.
• AmorChem, a Montreal-based life sciences venture firm, has raised $44.2 million for its second fund.
• Mark Emrich has joined Murray Devine as a Managing Director. Previously, he managing director at Anagenesis Capital Partners.
• Peter Curley was appointed director of technology platforms at NextWave Ventures. Previously, Curley was director and adviser for Imprimatur Capital.
• Corey M. Campbell was promoted to chief financial officer at Northern Pacific Group.
• Cathy Beaudoin, joins General Atlantic as a special advisor to support the firm’s Retail & Consumer sector team. Previously, she was president of Amazon Fashion.