Some assorted notes to kick off your Wednesday:
• Bad bet: A court-ordered bankruptcy examiner slammed Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital in a report released yesterday, for their actions related to Ceasars Entertainment (background on the deal here).
In short, Richard Davis accused the company and its private equity backers with moving their best properties beyond the reach of Caesars creditors, ultimately leaving the company with a massive debt load that could not be repaid. Moreover, it suggests that the firms did so, in part, to protect themselves in what they had reason to believe was a likely bankruptcy.
“Aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty claims, again of varying strength, exist against the Sponsors and certain of CEC’s directors,” Davis wrote in his report, which could pave the way for upwards of $5.1 billion in damages.
• Love letter: On Monday we discussed how Intel Capital is exploring the sale of its positions in around one-quarter of its 430 portfolio companies. Now we’ve obtained a memo sent to all Intel Capital portfolio companies by group head Wendell Brooks, in an apparently attempt to soothe nerves. You can read it by going here.
• Today in Theranos: Chelsea Clinton will be at the beleaguered biotech company’s Palo Alto headquarters next week, as part of a fundraiser for her mother’s presidential campaign. As to why anyone in the Clinton campaign thought this was a good idea, you’d have to ask them (I mean that literally, as I asked and got no real response). Also no word yet on if there will be a future fundraiser in the Zenefits stairwell…
• Stamp stuff: The notary who stamped the 2014 settlement agreement between Michael Goguen and Amber Baptiste also is listed on various Sequoia Capital documents over the years, per multiple sources. There is not, however, any evidence that this connection means that other Sequoia partners had knowledge of the settlement, particularly given that the individual would have been required to keep its contents confidential. That said, it’s pretty strange that Goguen would have chosen a notary with even minor ties to Sequoia, rather than find one of the thousands who have none…
• Speaking of lawsuits: CVC Capital Partners still has not yet responded to a complaint against it from former investor relations exec Lisa Lee, which alleges, among other things, inappropriate “fondling” by a senior executive, violations of the Family Leave Act and retaliation for reporting such behaviors. Last week, both sides agreed to dismiss (without prejudice) one of the defendants ― a CVC-related vehicle ― but the overall case remains active. CVC has until next Tuesday to issue its formal response (per an approved waiver that extended its time from 30 to 60 days).
• Personnel scoop: Nick Tomaino is joining Russia-based VC firm Runa Capital as a principal in San Francisco (mostly focused on early-stage deals). He previously led business development for Coinbase.
• Game time: More than 650 readers yesterday signed up to participate in our annual March Madness contest, with the winner getting to write an upcoming Term Sheet column. A quick reminder on how to play (you will need an ESPN account, which is easy to create):
1. Follow this link, or copy/paste the following into your browser: http://games.espn.go.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/2016/en/group?groupID=1324342
2. Hit “Join Group,” enter our password (carriedinterest), create a bracket and then fill it out.
3. If for some reason you have troubles with the above link, just go to the main ESPN homepage and hit on its Tourney Challenge. Our group name is “Term Sheet 2016” and the password is “carriedinterest” (without the quote marks).
THE BIG DEAL
• The London Stock Exchange has agreed to a $30 billion merger with Germany’s Deutsche Borse. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Ring, the maker of a connected video doorbell, has raised $61.2 million in Series C funding. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the round, and was joined by Richard Branson. Read more.
• Usermind, a Seattle-based “orchestration hub” for business operations teams, has raised $14.5 million in Series B funding. Menlo Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Andreessen Horowitz and CRV. www.usermind.com
• Prenetics, a Hong Kong-based developer of genetic testing solutions that aid in medicine prescriptions, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Ping An Ventures led the round, and was joined by Venturra Capital, Capital Union Investments and return backers 500 Startups and Coent Venture. Read more.
• Striim, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based real-time data integration and intelligence platform, has raised $10 million in new Series B funding from Atlantic Bridge Capital. This brings the round total to $30 million. www.striim.com
• InstaRem, a Singapore-based remittance payments startup, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Vertex Ventures led the round, and was joined by Fullerton Financial Holdings and seed backer Global Founders Capital. Read more.
• CrowdStreet, a Portland, Ore.-based real estate investor acquisition and management platform, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding. Rally Ventures led the round, and was joined by seed backers Green Visor Capital, Seven Peaks Ventures and Portland Seed Fund. www.crowdstreet.com
• Credly, a New York-based, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding. University Ventures and New Markets Venture Partners co-led the round, and were joined by the Lumina Foundation Venture Fund, City & Guilds Group and Lion Brothers Company. www.credly.com
• Shoppimon Ltd., an Israel-based app performance management startup focused on the e-commerce sector, has raised $2.3 million in seed funding. Backers include AOL, StageOne Ventures, Explore and 2B-Angels. www.shoppimon.com
• PosiGen, a provider of solar photovoltaic and energy efficiency services to low-to-moderate income homeowners, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from NewWork Capital Group and Constellation Technology Ventures (VC arm of Exelon Corp.). PosiGen currently operates in Louisiana, Connecticut, Florida and New York. www.posigen.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Digital Marine Solutions, a portfolio company of private equity firm Altor, has agreed to acquire the marine division of Jeppesen, which operates as a subsidiary of The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA). No financial terms were disclosed. c-map.jeppesen.com
• Eurazeo has agreed to acquire two Swiss hospitality management schools ― the Glion Institute of High Education and Les Roches International School of Hotel Management ― from Laureate Education Inc., a Baltimore-based for-profit education company owned by KKR. The deal is valued at approximately $384 million. www.eurazeo.com
• Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has acquired Brass Smith Innovations LLC, a Denver-based maker of food guards, cold pans and other products for the institutional food services sector. No financial terms were disclosed. www.brasssmith.com
• MOD Pizza, a Seattle-based fast casual pizza chain, has raised around $32 million in new equity funding from existing shareholder PWP Growth Equity (which previously had invested $74 million). Read more.
• Spring & Sprout Dental Holdings, a dental practice acquisition platform sponsored by Huron Capital Partners, has acquired Dan German Orthodontics (Beaverton, Ohio). No financial terms were disclosed. www.springandsprout.com
• Jose Cuervo, a Mexico City-based tequila maker that was founded more than two centuries ago, has begun talking to investment banks about an IPO that could come later this year, according to Bloomberg. Read more.
• Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has acquired Volicon, a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of video capture and monitoring tools for TV broadcasters. No financial terms were disclosed. Volicon had raised VC funding from firms like Brookline Capital Partners and Naftali Investments. www.volicon.com
• CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) said that it is seeking a buyer for its radio business, which comprises 117 stations in 26 markets. Read more.
• Clayton Williams Energy Inc. (NYSE:CWEI) has closed its previously-announced $340 million term loan from Ares Management. Around $160 million of the proceeds will be used to repay existing indebtedness. www.aresmgmt.com
• FleetCor Technologies Inc. (NYSE: FLT) has agreed to acquire Serviços e Tecnologia de Pagamentos SA, a Brazilian electronic toll payments company, from a shareholder group that includes CCR SA, Arteris SA and Raizen Combustiveis SA (a joint venture between Shell and Cosan). The deal is valued at approximately $1.05 billion. www.fleetcor.com
• Mitel Networks (TSX: MNW) and Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM) are in merger talks, according to Reuters. Activist investor Elliott Management has been pushing for the two telecom equipment makers to combine. Read more.
• Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU), the largest U.S. coal producer, said that it may seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Read more.
• Sanofi has agreed to a partnership with Menlo Park, Calif.-based DiCE Molecules that could be valued at upwards of $2.3 billion. The deal, which focuses on finding new oral medicines to replace injections for certain diseases, also includes Sanofi acquiring an equity stake in DiCE. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• The Abraaj Group has launched a dedicated project development arm focused on the energy infrastructure space. It will be led by new partner Tas Anvaripour, who previously was CEO of Africa 50, and new managing director Marc Mandaba, a former private infrastructure investment officer with the Africa Development Bank. www.abraaj.com
• Anterra Capital, a growth equity firm focused on the global food and agriculture tech market, has closed its debut fund with $125 million in capital commitments. The Amsterdam-based firm also announced that it will open a Boston office. Read more.
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Bank of America Merrill Lynch has promoted global leveraged finance chief A.J. Murphy to head of global capital markets. She succeeds the retiring Jim Probert. Read more.
• Charlie Burckmyer has joined JMC Capital Partners as a principal. He previously co-founded Knob Hill Partners. www.jmccp.com
• Michael McHugh has joined FBR & Co. as a managing director of investment banking, covering media and telecom. He previously was head of the media and communications group at Matrix Capital Markets Group. www.fbr.com
• Fredrik Reinfeldt, the former prime minister of Sweden, has joined Bank of America as a senior advisor focused on Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Read more.
• Wafra Partners, a New York-based middle-market private equity firm, has promoted Jeff Gerson and Andrew Thompson to managing director. It also has promoted Alex Blair to assistant vice president. www.wafra.com
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