Greetings from 30,000 feet, as I head back out for a couple of days on the West Coast. Some notes to kick off your Monday:
• SEC Chair Mary Jo White on Friday gave a speech to the MFA Outlook 2015 conference, in which she reflected on the regulation of private fund advisors after Dodd-Frank. Most of her comments related to hedge fund managers, but there were a few takeaways for private equity.
Most importantly, White is using the recent settlements with Blackstone Group and KKR as legitimization of the Dodd-Frank rules that required private equity fund registration — something that many industry players (particularly smaller ones) decried and have held out some hope of reversing. Even though the actual penalties were small — at least in relation to the management company sizes — they likely will become the glue that keeps the regulations in place going forward.
“These cases underscore the value of our oversight and exam program, which identifies practices that would have been difficult for investors to discover by themselves,” White explained. “Investors, regardless of their sophistication level, must have, and deserve to have, the information necessary about their adviser and funds to make an informed investment decision – including their adviser’s actual or potential conflicts of interests.”
White also said that the SEC’s review of fee and expense conflicts has expanded to private fund real estate advisors, saying that “staff is concerned that disclosure about these arrangements may be non-existent or potentially misleading, particularly with regard to whether or not the related parties charge market rates.”
Finally, White spoke at length about the lack of transition plans when a general partner begins to wind down. This is primarily a hedge fund issue, but also has arisen from time to time in the private equity space. She advocated for a “clear, well-defined transition plan” for “crisis scenarios.”
• Data dump: The SEC also released a variety of private fund statistics compiled via registration documents. Nothing too interesting in there, except perhaps that private equity’s average ratio of PIK or zero-coupon borrowing to total borrowing rose between Q4 2013 and Q4 2014.
• More numbers: Venture capitalists invested $16.3 billion into 1,070 deals for U.S.-based companies in Q3, according to the MoneyTree three of PwC, the NVCA and Thomson Reuters.
That’s a drop on both figures from Q2, but the YTD 2015 disbursement total of $47.2 is higher than the full-year totals for 17 of the past 20 years. 2014 is one of those exceptions, although its $50.7 billion will soon be surpassed. That means 2015 is almost certain to be the biggest year for VC activity in the U.S. since 2000 (when $105 billion was disbursed).
[ts_bullet_primary] Talking heads: We’ve posted a video of yours truly chatting about the recent daily fantasy sports scandals, alongside my Fortune colleague Daniel Roberts (who penned our recent cover story of DraftKings CEO Jason Robins). You can view it here.
• 55k and counting: Every time I add another thousand Twitter followers, I like to ask you to join the others so we can chat/debate/joke throughout the day. Follow me @danprimack
THE BIG DEAL
• IBM (NYSE: IBM) is in “advanced talks” to acquire the digital assets of The Weather Channel, according to Re/Code. The Weather Channel was purchased for $3.5 billion in 2008 by The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and NBC Universal (which reportedly is not bidding). Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Ensighten, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of data and tag management solutions, has raised $53 million in private equity and debt financing. Insight Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital, Mack Capital and Volition Capital provided the equity, while Silicon Valley Bank provided the debt. www.ensighten.com
• UserZoom Technologies, a San Jose, Calif.-based UX research and testing SaaS platform, has raised $34 million in new VC funding. TC Growth Partners led the round, and was joined by Trident Capital and StepStone Group. www.userzoom.com
• TinderBox, an Indianapolis-based provider of cloud-based sales productivity software, has raised $7 million in VC funding. Greycroft Partners and Allos Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by High Alpha. www.gettinderbox.com
• StreetHub, a UK-based startup that helps independent retailers be discovered and sell online, has raised $2.6 million in new VC funding. Existing backer Octopus Ventures led the round, and was joined by Index Ventures and Playfair Capital. Read more.
• AppSheet, a Seattle-based “code free” platform to create and deploy mobile business apps, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from New Enterprise Associates. www.appsheet.com
• HealthiPASS, a Chicago-based patient check-in and payments company, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding. OCA Ventures led the round, and was joined by Beverly Capital and MPG Equity Partners. www.healthipass.com
• Printivo, a Nigerian digital printing, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from EchoVC Partners. Read more.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Apollo Global Management is prepping a takeover bid for Fresh Market Inc. (Nasdaq: TFM), a Greensboro, N.C.-based grocery retailer, according to Reuters. Apollo is working with Fresh Market founder and chairman Ray Berry, who holds a 4.1% stake in the company. Read more.
• Emeram Capital Partners has acquired Matrix42, a German provider of workplace IT management solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. www.matrix42.com
• Harrison Street Real Estate Capital has agreed to acquire Campus Crest Communities Inc. (NYSE: CCG), an owner and manager of housing properties located near college campuses. The deal is valued at around $1.9 billion, with CCG stockholders to receive $7.03 per share. www.campuscrest.com
• Morgenthaler Private Equity has acquired Trachte Inc., an Oregon, Wis.-based manufacturer of preassembled and modularized control buildings. No financial terms were disclosed. www.trachteusa.com
• Shore Capital Partners has sponsored a recapitalization of Shippert Medical Technologies, a Centennial, Colo.-based maker of disposable medical and surgical products for ear, nose, and throat and cosmetic/plastic surgery applications. No financial terms were disclosed. www.shippertmedical.com
• Vision Radiology, a Pittsburgh-based provider of remote radiology services to emergency rooms, has secured an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Acacia Partners. www.visionradiology.com
• Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd., a Swiss developer of drugs for resistant fungal infections, has filed for a $189.52 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol BSLN, which is the same symbol that its stock currently trades on via the SIX Swiss Exchange. Cowen & Co. and Guggenheim Securities are serving as lead underwriters. Shareholders include Franklin Resources (8.74% pre-IPO stake) and HBM Healthcare Investors (7.82%). www.basileapharma.com
• BeiGene Ltd., a Beijing-based developer of immune-oncology therapeutics, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol BGNE, with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Cowen & Co. serving as lead underwriters. The company reports a $15.8 million net loss on $2.8 million in revenue for the first six months of 2015. It has raised over $170 million in VC funding from Baker Brothers Life Sciences (25.8% pre-IPO stake), Hillhouse Capital (9.9%), Merck Sharp & Dohme Research (7.7%) and CTIC Capital Partners (6.4%). www.beigene.com
• Bombardier Inc. (TSX: BBDb) has postponed plans to sell a minority stake in its rail unit via a German IPO, according to Reuters. The float now could occur in Q2 2016, although the company is running a dual-track process that could result in a sale to strategic or financial suitors. Read more.
• Ellipse Technologies Inc., an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based developer of devices for orthopedic implant systems, has filed for a $75 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MGEC, with Piper Jaffray and William Blair serving as lead underwriters. Shareholders include HBM Healthcare Investors (29.9% pre-IPO stake), Wexford Capital (18%) and HBM-MedFocus (12.9%). www.ellipse-tech.com
• Match Group, the online dating unit of IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI), has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MTCH, with J.P. Morgan, Allen & Co. and BofA Merrill Lynch serving as lead underwriters. The company, whose brands include Match.com and Tinder, reports $49 million of net income on nearly $484 million in revenue for the first six months of 2015. Read more.
• Mimecast Ltd., a London-based provider of cloud security and risk management services for corporate information and email, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MIME, with Goldman Sachs serving as left lead underwriter. The company reports $285k in net income on $116 million in revenue, for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015. Shareholders include Insight Venture Partners (19.8% pre-IPO stake), Index Ventures (17%) and Dawn Capital (14.5%). www.mimecast.com
• TransFirst, a Hauppauge, N.Y.-based payment processing company owned by Vista Equity Partners, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol TF, with Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse serving as lead underwriters. The company reports a $1.9 million net loss on $742.6 million in revenue for the first six months of 2015. www.transfirst.com
• Truck Hero Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based maker of branded consumer accessories for pickup trucks, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol TRUK, with J.P. Morgan, Baird and BofA Merrill Lynch serving as lead underwriters. The company reports $7.4 million of net income on $189 million in revenue for the first six months of 2015. Shareholders include TA Associates. www.truck-hero.com
• CVC Capital Partners has sold its remaining 9% stake in U.S. truck stop operator Pilot Flying J to the family of company CEO Jimmy Haslem. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more.
• Deluxe Corp. (NYSE: DLX) has acquired Datamyx LLC, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based provider of automated marketing solutions, from Halyard Capital. No financial terms were disclosed. www.datamyx.com
• Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) has acquired Hello Giggles Inc., a Los Angeles-based pop culture and lifestyle content site that had raised seed funding from Pritzker Group Venture Capital and Third Wave Digital. No financial terms were disclosed, but the WSJ reports a purchase price of around $20 million. Read more.
• Diebold Inc. (NYSE: DBD), a North Canton, Ohio-based maker of automated teller machines, has offered to buy listed German rival Wincor Nixdorf AG for €1.7 billion. The €52.50 per share bid represents a 35% premium to Wincor’s closing price last Friday. Read more.
• Japan Tobacco has acquired Iranian cigarette maker Arian Tobacco Industry for an undisclosed amount. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Ardian has acquired a “tail-end private equity portfolio” from Nordic fund-of-funds manager Nordea, according to Dow Jones. The deal was valued at just under €100 million. Read more.
• C&B Capital, an Atlanta-based VC and growth equity group, is raising upwards of $50 million for its third fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.croft-bender.com
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• The Carlyle Group has named Singapore-based Sunil Kaul as head of Southeast Asia private equity, just days after firing Indonesia-based Rajiv Louis over insider trading charges. Read more.
• Shelley Chu has joined Abingworth, a life sciences-focused VC firm, as a partner. She previously was with Gilead Sciences, where she led business development in oncology, immunotherapy and Hepatitis B. Before that, she was a principal with Frazier Healthcare Ventures. www.abingworth.com
• Yujin Chung has joined Signal Fire, a seed fund focused on helping portfolio companies hire, as a managing director and head of platform. He previously was a partner with Andreessen Horowitz. Read more.
• Adam Levine, the former TPG Capital public affairs chief who sued the firm earlier this year (and was counter-sued) after being dismissed, has joined public affairs firm Mercury to launch a San Francisco office. Read more.
• Parthenon Capital Partners has promoted Zach Sadek to partner. He has been with the firm for 12 years. www.parthenoncapitalpartners.com
• Jacqueline Reses has stepped down as chief development officer and head of M&A at Yahoo in order to join Square as head of the firm’s business lending group (Square Capital). Square also made two additional hires for Square Capital: Henry Domenici (ex-Morgan Stanley) to lead financing activities, and Ted Kosey (ex-Amazon) to lead product management and operations.
• Kathy Wanner is stepping down as a partner and member of the primary investment committee with Adams Street Partners, according to Women’s PE Briefs. www.adamstreetpartners.com
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