Today’s planned column didn’t quite come together in time, so just a few very quick hits to kick off your Monday:
• Trend shift? Private equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management today said that it would pay around $551 million to acquire RealD Inc. (NYSE: RLD), a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based visual technology company. What’s particularly interesting here is that activist investor Starboard Value last month announced its non-binding interest in acquiring all of RealD’s outstanding common stock it doesn’t already hold (it currently holds around a 9.72% stake).
In other words, this is a private equity deal that was essentially prompted by an activist. Such transactions have been relatively rare, with some PE bigs like TPG’s James Coulter suggesting that activists actually have been depressing LBO deal volume, by successfully effecting change from the inside without the need for new corporate control.
• See if it floats: Match Group, the parent company of online dating sites like Match.com and Tinder, this morning filed IPO terms. What that means is that, in this bizarrely slow year for tech IPOs, we’ll get two large offerings between now and Thanksgiving (Match plus Square). Moreover, I’m hearing that collaboration software unicorn Atlassian, which already had filed confidentially with the SEC, is planning to put out its S-1 in time to price its IPO before year-end.
• Deal data: Global announced M&A activity has reached $3.8 trillion, according to Thomson Reuters. That’s a 41% jump from last year-to-date, while the U.S. figure ($1.8 trillion) represents a 54% increase. Private equity-sponsored deals are up 39% globally, and a whopping 84% in the U.S.
• New firm alert: Spectrum 28 has launched as a new Silicon Valley-based venture firm focused on early-stage companies that “leverage data and computation to create and transform large industries.” That description comes from the LinkedIn profile of Lyon Wong, who previously was with Lightspeed Venture Partners. His fellow Spectrum 28 co-founders include Kent Ho (Harbor Pacific Capital) and Eddy Chan (co-founder of Leeo).
THE BIG DEAL
• Apollo Global Management and asset management firm AR Capital have mutually terminated a deal whereby Apollo would have purchased a majority stake in AR Capital for $378 million (plus possible earn-outs). No explanation was provided.
In related news, AR Capital is purchasing $25 million of preferred stock in RCS Capital Corp. (NYSE: RCAP) from Apollo for $25.6 million. Apollo also has amended its agreement to purchase the wholesale distribution business of RCS Capital, which originally was valued at $25 million and was contingent on the AR Capital deal closing. It’s now valued at $6 million in cash, and will move forward. www.agm.com
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• QD Vision, a Lexington, Mass.-based provider of quantum dot technology for QLED displays, has raised around $22 million in new VC funding co-led by Tsing Capital and BASF Venture Capital. www.coloriq.com
• H2O.ai, a Mountain View, Calif.-based open source machine learning platform “for building smarter applications,” has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Paxion Capital Partners led the round, and was joined by Capital One Growth Ventures and return backers Nexus Venture Partners and Transamerica Corp. www.h2o.ai
• Verisma Systems, a Pueblo, Colo.-based provider of “release of information” services to healthcare organizations, has raised $14.55 million in growth equity funding co-led by NewSpring Capital and Blue Heron Capital. www.verismasystems.com
• CB Insights, a New York-based private company research and data firm, has raised $10 million in Series A funding from RSTP. Read more.
• POP, an Irvine, Calif.-based “mobile enterprise grade crowdsolving platform,” has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Nexus Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by Greylock Partners. www.popinnow.com
• Sicoya, a German developer of silicon photonics-based microchips for optical interconnects, has raised €3.5 million in Series A funding led by Target Partners. www.sicoya.de
• Baby Bundle, a UK-based provider of parenting apps, has raised $1.8 million in angel funding. Backers include Jonnie Goodwin (co-founder of Founders Forum). www.babybundleapp.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Aclara Technologies LLC, a Hazelwood, Mo.-based portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners, has agreed to acquire the New Hampshire-based electricity meters business that operates within GE Energy Management’s grid solutions group. No financial terms were disclosed. www.aclaratech.com
• Genoa, a Pittsburgh-based portfolio company of Advent International, has acquired 1DocWay, a Chesterfield, Mo.-based outpatient telepsychiatry provider. No financial terms were disclosed. 1DocWay seed backers included iSeed Ventures, Waterline Ventures, Rock Health, Asset Management Ventures, DreamIt Ventures. www.qolmeds.com
• IGM Resins, a Dutch provider of specialty chemicals and technical services to the inks and coatings industries, has secured a €25 million unitranche loan arranged by the credit affiliate of H.I.G. Capital. IGM Resins is majority owned by Arsenal Capital Partners. www.igmresins.com
• PlayCore, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based portfolio company of Sentinel Capital Partners, has acquired Belson Outdoors, a North Aurora, Ill.-based provider of commercial outdoor furniture. No financial terms were disclosed. Headwaters MB managed the process. www.belson.com
• Rizvi Traverse Management has agreed to acquire RealD Inc. (NYSE: RLD), a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based visual technology company, for around $551 million (including net debt) in cash. The $11 per share price represents around a 19% stake to RealD’s closing price before activist investor Starboard Value announced its non-binding interest in acquiring all of RealD’s outstanding common stock. www.reald.com
• Sankaty Advisors, an affiliate of Bain Capital, has agreed to acquire General Electric’s (NYSE: GE) commercial lending and leasing portfolios in Australia and New Zealand. Read more.
• Nine companies are expected to raise a combined $1 billion in U.S. IPOs this week, according to Renaissance Capital. The largest proposed offering is from LoanDepot. Read more.
• Match Group, the online dating business whose properties include Match.com and Tinder, said that it plans to offer 33.33 million shares in its IPO at between $12 and $14 per share. It would have an initial market cap just north of $3.1 billion, were it to price in the middle of its range. Most of the company would continue to be owned by current parent IAC/InterActiveCorp, via a triple-class stock structure. Read more.
• Neustar Inc. (NYSE:NSR) has agreed to acquire MarketShare Partners LLC, a Los Angeles-based provider of marketing analytics technology to “major brands,” for $450 million. Sellers include Elevation Partners and FTV Capital. www.neustar.biz
• Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA), an $18 billion oil and gas company, has received and rejected an unsolicited takeover offer from an unidentified suitor, according to Bloomberg. Apache is now working with Goldman Sachs. Read more.
• Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (NYSE/TSX:CNQ) has agreed to sell most of its royalty assets to PrairieSky Royalty Ltd. (TSX:PSK) for around C$1.8 billion (including C$680m in cash). Read more.
• LabCorp (NYSE: LH) has acquired Safe Foods International Holdings LLC, a Chicago-based contract research organization for food, beverage and nutrition companies. No financial terms were disclosed. Matrix Capital Markets managed the process. www.labcorp.com
• Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. (SGX: N03), a Singapore-based shipping company worth nearly $2 billion, said that it is in talks to be acquired by either A.P. Møller-Mærsk or CMA CGM. Read more.
• Telkom, a listed fixed-line operator in South Africa, said that it is in talks to acquire smaller rival Cell C. Read more.
• Trelleborg (Olso: TREL), a Swedish industrial rubber maker, has agreed to acquire Czech CGS Holding, a maker of specialty tires and engineered polymer solutions that generates nearly $640 million in annual revenue. Read more.
• UniCredit SpA is considering the sale of its Italian leasing business, according to the WSJ. This would be part of a broader strategic plan by the listed Italian lender, which also is expected to include upwards of 12,000 layoffs (primarily in Germany and Austria). Read more.
• Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY) has agreed to acquire Plum Creek Timber (NYSE: PCL) for approximately $8.4 billion. The combined $23 billion company would use the Weyerhaeuser name, and become the nation’s largest corporate owner of timberland. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Affiliated Managers Group Inc. (NYSE: AMG) has agreed to acquire a majority of BlueCrest Capital Management’s equity stake in Systematica Investments LP, manager of around $8.8 billion in assets that separated from BlueCrest back in January. No financial terms were disclosed. Systematica will continue to hold a majority stake in the business. www.systematica.com
• Leonard Green & Partners is targeting $7.5 billion for its seventh fund, according to peHUB. Read more.
• Stifel Financial has agreed to acquire fund placement firm Eaton Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. In a press release, Stifel sais that Eaton will “continue to operate as an independent firm with all of its senior partners and employees remaining on board.” www.eatonpartnersllc.com
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Charles Andrez has joined Lazard as a Paris-based managing director in the firm’s middle-market advisory practice. He previously was with Canaccord Genuity. www.lazard.com
• Jenny Morton has joined Angelo, Gordon & Co. as a managing director and head of consultant relations (a new position at the firm). She previously held similar roles with Man Group in London. www.angelogordon.com
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