Greetings from the home office, which I’ve soon got to depart for some Super Returns-related meetings in Boston. So just time for some quick notes before hopping in the car (which just passed state inspection at 180k miles, proving that miracles are real).
• Counterintuitive: Coming out of the financial crisis, it seemed that limited partners were finally gaining some leverage on both VC and PE general partners, after decades of accepting onerous terms in exchange for allocation. And one would have expected that trend to persist, particularly given SEC scrutiny of buyout funds and a broad recognition that many VC tech portfolio company valuations inflated too much too fast.
But from what I can tell, it seems that the sea change has begun to recede. How else to explain Advent International closing its largest-ever fund without a preferred return? Or the current glut of successful VC fundraising, including among firms that were among the top breeders of questionable unicorns? Am I wrong?
• The original biz listicle: This morning is the launch of the latest Fortune 500, and you can view the entire list by going here. The top five are: Walmart, Exxon Mobil, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway and McKesson.
We’ve also got standalone stories about the Fortune 500 companies most loved by liberals, most loved by conservatives and hated by both. Plus companies returning the to Fortune 500, companies with the biggest rank jumps, companies joining for the first time, companies that fell off the list, Fortune 500 hiring situations and the list’s falling percentage of female CEOs.
• Update: We reported earlier this year about a $75 million debut fundraise attempt for Assemble VC, a Boston-based venture firm launched by Michael Skok (ex-North Bridge Venture Partners), C.A. Webb (ex-executive director of the New England Venture Capital Association) and John Pearce (former president and CEO of Demandware).
This morning the firm — which is focused on early-stage cloud intelligence companies — announced that it has rebranded to _Underscore.vc (no, you’ll never again see it written here like that, just as we don’t use Yahoo’s exclamation point) and disclosed its first investment, in open-source marketing automation software startup Mautic. My understanding is that the fund is well oversubscribed, but has not yet held a final close as it is still figuring out allocations (and final size).
THE BIG DEAL
• Constellis Holdings LLC (f.k.a. Blackwater), a Reston, Va.-based military security business owned by Forte Capital Advisors and Manhattan Strategic Ventures, has hired BDT & Co. to help it find a buyer, according to Reuters. The deal could be valued at upwards of $1 billion (including debt). Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Vendanta Biosciences, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of a “new class of therapies designed to modulate the human microbiome,” has raised $50 million in new VC funding. Backers include Rock Springs Capital, Invesco Asset Management, Health For Life Capital and PureTech. www.vendantabio.com
• GoPuff, a Philadelphia-based on-demand convenience store delivery service, has raised $5 million in new Series A funding led by return backers Anthos Capital (the round total is now $8.25m). www.gopuff.com
• Metamason, a healthcare-focused 3D scanning and 3D printing company, has raised $3 million in seed funding. 3P Equity Partners led the round, and was joined by Tsing Capital. www.metamason.com
• Recharge, a San Francisco-based app for booking hotel rooms by the minute or hour, has raised $2.3 million in seed funding. Binary Capital led the round, and was joined by Floodgate, Expansion VC, Eniac VC and individual angels. Read more.
• Valify, a Frisco, Texas-based provider of purchased services benchmarking and analytics, has raised $2 million in Series A funding co-led by Frist Cressey Ventures and Step 5 Capital. www.getvalify.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• The Abraaj Group has agreed to acquire a minority equity stake in Turkish bank Fibabanka. No financial terms were disclosed. www.abraaj.com
• Apollo Global Management remains in the auction process for Canadian drugmaker Concordia Healthcare Corp. (TSX: CXR), according to the WSJ. Reports last week were that The Blackstone Group and The Carlyle Group had left. Read more.
• Investcorp, Jadwa Investment and Swicorp are among those bidding for a minority stake in Saudi Arabia-based medical lab group Al Borg, according to Reuters. The deal could value Al Borg at upwards of $400 million. Read more.
• New MainStream Capital has acquired Avaap, an Edison, N.J.-based IT services and software development firm focused on Infor. No financial terms were disclosed. www.avaap.com
• Steele Compliance Solutions Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of management software and due diligence investigation services focused on the anti-bribery and anti-corruption compliance market, has secured an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from Bregal Sagemount. www.steelecis.com
• United Language Group Inc., a Minneapolis-based provider of translation and localization business services, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Northern Pacific Group and Yukon Partners. www.northernpacificgroup.com
• Syros Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of gene control therapies for cancer and other diseases, has filed for a $69 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol SYRS, with Cowen & Co. and Piper Jaffray serving as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders in the pre-revenue company include Flagship Ventures (23.8% pre-IPO stake), Arch Venture Partners (22.9%), Fidelity (11.4%), Deerfield Management (9.1%), Polaris Partners (6.4%) WuXi Healthcare Ventures (5.8%), Redmile Group, Aisling Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments. www.syros.com
• Two companies are expected to price IPOs on U.S. exchanges this week: Atkore International Group and China Online Education Group. Read more.
• Electra Partners has agreed to sell Elian Group, a Channel Islands-based financial trust administration firm, to Intertrust Group NV (Amsterdam: INTER) for £435 million. Read more.
• Industrial Growth Partners has completed its previouslhy-announced $210 million sale of Cambridge International Holdings Corp., a Cambridge, Md.-based provider of metal conveyor belts and related woven metal mesh solutions, to Rexnord Corp. (YSE: RXN). www.cambridge-intl.com
• Medium, the San Francisco-based blog platform founded by Ev Williams, has acquired Superfeedr, an API for improving management of RSS and other feeds. No financial terms were disclosed. Medum has raised over $130 million in VC funding from firms like Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz and Spark Capital. Superfeedr had been seeded by Betaworks and Mark Cuban. Read more.
• Mercury Capital has hired Moelis & Co. to find a buyer for Empire Today LLC, a Northlake, Ill.-based carpet and flooring retailer that it has owned for 17 years, according to Reuters. Empire reportedly generates around $50 million in annual EBITDA. Read more.
• Groupon (Nasdaq: GRPN) has agreed to sell its Indonesia business to KFit, an Indonesian fitness class membership startup (similar to ClassPass), for an undisclosed amount. KFit has raised around $12 million in VC funding from firms like InnoVen Capital. Read more.
• Lion Biotechnologies Inc. (Nasdaq: LBIO), a New York-based developer of cancer immunotherapies based on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, has raised $100 million in equity funding from Quogue Capital, OrbiMed Advisors, Frazier Healthcare Partners and Broadfin Capital. The company also named Maria Fardis, former COO of Acerta Pharma (acquired by AstraZeneca), as its new CEO, replacing Elma Hawkins. www.lionbio.com
• Rothschild & Co. has agreed to acquire French bank Compagnie Financière Martin Maurel (Paris: MLFMM) for around €240 million. Read more.
• SoftBank has agreed to sell most of its minority stake in games publisher GungHo (Tokyo: 3765) back to the company for around $685 million. Read more.
• Suning Commerce, a Chinese retail group, has acquired a control stake in Italian soccer club Inter Milan. Read more.
• Zonar Systems Inc., a Seattle-based provider of electronic fleet inspection, tracking, and operations solutions for public and private fleets, has hired William Blair to find a buyer, according to Dow Jones. www.zonarsystems.com
FIRMS & FUNDS
• AnaCap Financial Partners has closed its third credit opportunities fund with €595 million in capital commitments. www.anacapfp.com
• Greenspring Associates has closed its second venture capital secondaries fund with $200 million in capital commitments. www.greenspringassociates.com
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Michael Behringer has joined Warburg Pincus as a senior advisor to its TMT group, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is a former executive-in-residence with the firm, and most recently served as president and CEO of Liaison International. www.warburgpincus.com
• Richard Briault-Hutter and Roman Hegglin have joined European private equity firm Equistone Partners as an investment manager an associate, respectively. London-based Briault-Hutter previously was a director with Duff & Phelps, while Hegglin was an investment banker with Credit Suisse. www.equistonepe.com
• Jack Leventhal, former head of financial institutions at Nomura International, has joined corporate advisory Teneo Holdings to focus on financial institutions coverage, according to Bloomberg. Read more.
• Eric Zhang has joined General Atlantic as a managing director and head of China. He previously was with The Carlyle Group. www.generalatlantic.com
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