Ever since oil prices began sinking, I’ve been hearing private equity executives talk about all of the exciting new investment opportunities in energy. Finally an asset class where prices are falling instead of rising.
Makes sense. Snap up all of those fringe properties from distressed sellers. But what about all of of private equity’s energy exploration and production deals that occurred when oil prices were much higher?
There was around $24 billion worth of such deal activity in 2012, for example, and another $27 billion in 2013. Does trouble within existing portfolios offset — or even trump — potential future gains, which would be predicated on an unfounded belief that oil prices will rise again? (note: unfounded is the sense that no one has a clue.)
This is the part of Term Sheet where I usually answer my rhetorical question, but that’s not happening this morning. Namely because I have no idea. For starters, it’s very difficult to get an accurate understanding of how much PE money has really gone into the energy E&P sector, despite the aforementioned stats. Most of these deals involve equity commitments to a management team, which can be called down as asset acquisition opportunities arise. Rarely, however, do we learn how much of that $200 million or $300 million equity commitment is tapped.
More importantly, we also don’t know which private equity firms are hedging their E&P investments, and which aren’t. On Friday I met with a senior PE exec who talked about how his firm had adequately hedged most of its E&P plays out by at least three years, so he wasn’t too concerned about potential losses. But yesterday I rang up a bunch of other PE firms to discuss their own hedging strategies — on background, without identifying their firm names — and hit a brick wall of “no comment.” Makes we wonder if they had substantive hedging strategies in the first place and, if not, how on earth they are going to get their heads above the red ink.
Private equity is often about the have’s and have-nots. Given how many energy-focused funds we’ve seen some to market in the past few years — from both dedicated sponsors and generalists — I’d have to think that gap is expanding a bit right now.
• Update: Last week we reported that WeWork was raising between $300 million and $400 million in new VC funding. Yesterday the company announced the news via a WSJ story, in which it says the final figure was $355 million at a nearly $5 billion valuation, from firms like T. Rowe Price, Wellington Management, Goldman Sachs and return backers JPMorgan, Harvard Management Co. and Benchmark.
The same sources who told me about the original deal now tell me that there is a small secondary tranche on top of the $355 million, likely adding another $25 million to $35 million. Not institutional sellers. Via a spokesman, the company says that my information is incorrect, but has declined to actually speak with me or elaborate. Given that my sources were on point last week, I still trust them this week.
• Speaking of secondaries: Today’s big deal is that global payment technology provider Adyen has raised $250 million in new VC funding at a $1.5 billion post-money valuation. Adyen has dual headquarters in Amsterdam and San Francisco, and it seems that the round causes some cash tax liabilities for certain Dutch employees. So some of the proceeds will be used to help those employees cover those obligations.
• PetSmart this morning filed docs with the SEC related to its proposed $8.7 billion takeover by BC Partners. Seems that the retailer’s termination fee would be $255 million, while the reverse termination fee for BC Partners would be $510 million. Haven’t had a chance to read more in-depth yet, but will do so later this morning…
THE BIG DEAL
• Adyen, a global payment infrastructure company with dual headquarters in Amsterdam and San Francisco, has raised $250 million in new private equity funding at a $1.5 billion post-money valuation. General Atlantic led the round, and was joined by Temasek Holding and return backers Index Ventures and Felicis Ventures. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Locon Solutions, operator of Indian property portal Housing.com, has raised $90 million in new VC funding led by SoftBank Corp. Other investors included Falcon Edge. Read more.
• Clever, as San Francisco-based educational app platform, has raised $30 million in third-round funding. Backers include Lightspeed Venture Partners, GSV Capital, Peter Thiel and return backer Sequoia Capital. www.clever.com
• OneLogin Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of identity management solutions, has raised $25 million in Series C funding. Scale Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers CRV and The Social+Capital. www.onelogin.com
• Playdots Inc., a New York-based mobile gaming company, has raised $10 million from backers like Tencent Holdings and Greycroft Partners. Read more.
• Boxbee, an on-demand valet storage solution in New York and San Francisco, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Metamorphic Ventures led the round, and was joined by Floodgate, Northgate and “a home improvement giant.” www.boxbee.com
• Voxel8, a Somerville, Mass.-based maker of a multi-material 3D electronics printer, has raised an undisclosed amount of new VC funding from Braemar Energy Ventures. www.voxel8.co
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Advent International has acquired Distribution International Inc., a Houston-based provider of thermal and acoustical insulation, from Audax Private Equity and The CapStreet Group. No financial terms were disclosed, although an earlier Dow Jones report suggested that the deal could be valued at around $600 million. www.distributionintl.com
• BGC Partners (Nasdaq: BGCP) has agreed to acquire the UK assets of brokerage RP Martin Group for an undisclosed amount. Read more.
• Blue Yonder, a Germany–based provider of big data analytics and predictive applications, has secured a $75 million private equity commitment from Warburg Pincus. www.blue-yonder.com
• Duff & Phelps Corp., a New York–based valuation and corporate finance advisor, has agreed to acquire Kinetic Partners, a London–based global professional services firm. No financial terms were disclosed. Duff & Phelps has been owned since 2012 by an investor group that includes The Carlyle Group, Stone Point Capital, Pictet & Cie and Edmond de Rothschild Group. www.duffandphelps.com
• HgCapital has agreed to acquire a majority stake in A-Plan Insurance, a UK-based independent insurance broker, from Equistone Partners Europe. No financial terms were disclosed, except that A-Plan generated around £73 million in revenue. www.aplan.co.uk
• MarketCast LLC, a Los Angeles-based provider of marketing research services for the entertainment industry, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Brookside Mezzanine Partners. www.mcast.com
• Orliman, a Spanish maker of orthopedic products. has acquired French orthopedic company Soft Medical Europe. No financial terms were disclosed. Orliman is owned by The Riverside Company. www.orliman.com
• PhyMed Healthcare Group, a Nashville, Tenn.-based anesthesia and pain management services organization, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from the Teachers’ Private Capital. www.phymed.com
• Thoma Bravo completed its previously-announced take-private acquisition of tech performance company Compuware Corp. for approximately $2.5 billion, or $10.92 per share. www.compuware.com
• WadeCo Specialties Inc., an Odessa, Texas–based developer of production chemicals and services for the oil and gas industry, has acquired Yorktown, Texas-based Select Chemicals Ltd. No financial terms were disclosed. WadeCo is a portfolio company of Hastings Equity Partners. www.wadecospecialities.com
• Electronic Cigarettes International Group, a Nunica, Mich.-based maker of e-cigarette products, has withdrawn registration for a $149.5 million IPO, citing “market conditions.” The company’s shares currently are traded on the OTC, and it had been hoping to list on the Nasdaq. www.victoryecigs.com
• Patriot National Inc., a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based provider of outsourcing solutions within the workers’ compensation marketplace, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol PN, with UBS, BMO Capital Markets and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey serving as lead underwriters. The company reports $12.8 million in net income on $77 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2014. www.pnigroup.com
• Clearview Capital has sold its control stake in Battenfeld Technologies Inc., a Columbia, Mo.-based maker of hunting and shooting accessories, to Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SWHC) for $130.5 million. www.battenfeldtechnologies.com
• FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) has agreed to acquire GENCO, a Pittsburgh–based third-party reverse logistics provider, from Greenbiar Equity Group. No financial terms were disclosed. www.genco.com
• HGST, a subsidiary of Western Digital (Nasdaq: WDC), has acquired Skyera, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of enterprise solid-state storage solutions. No pricing terms of the all-cash deal were disclosed. Skyera had raised more than $52 million in VC funding from backers like Western Digital and Dell Ventures. www.skyera.com
• InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (LSE: IHG) has agreed to acquire San Francisco-based boutique hotel operator Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for $430 million. Read more.
• Repsol SA (CATS: REP) of Spain has agreed to acquire Canadian oil and gas company Talisman Energy (TSX: TLM) for $13 billion, including the assumption of $4.7 billion of debt. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Carrick Capital Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm focused on tech-enabled business services companies, is raising upwards of $275 million for its second fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.carrickcapitalpartners.com
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• K.C. Moylan has joined private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners as an operating partner, with a focus on the restaurant industry. He most recently was president and COO of Pei Wei Asian Diner, which is owned by P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. www.altamontcapital.com
• Turnspire Capital Partners has named four new operating partners: Joseph Bondi (ex- Alvarez & Marsal), J. Mark Borseth (ex-CFO with Constar International), Neil Minihane (founder of Turn Works LLC) and Val Shtraks (co-founder and managing partner of DreamLine). www.turnspirecap.com
• Windjammer Capital Investors has promoted Matt Anderson to principal. He joined the private equity firm’s Newport Beach, Calif.-based office in 2005, and serves on the boards of portfolio companies JWC Environmental, Flinn Scientific and Infinite RF Holdings. www.windjammercapital.com
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