Cision, a PR software company owned by GTCR, yesterday closed its purchase of PR Newswire Association from UBM PLC (LSE: UBM).
The deal was originally announced as being worth $841 million (mostly cash), with UBM to recognize GBP 498 million after adjustments. Upon close, however, that proceeds figure dropped a bit to GBP 490 million, likely because the U.S. Department of Justice required that the deal effectively not include a media database called Agility.
Cision CEO Peter Granat tells me that the Agility hiccup was unexpected, but that the unit only generated around $5 million in revenue, compared to PR Newswire’s overall haul of $315 million. He also says that PR Newswire has been a target ever since GTCR first formed the Cision platform in early 2014, via the purchase of Vocus (then Cision, then Gorkana).
“It had been rumored to be coming to market for a couple of years, but we had to wait a little bit for UBM to work through some things,” says Granat, who adds that he never looked at smaller rival Business Wire, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
Granat also insists that while corporate PR storytelling has been changed by social media and platforms like Medium, he believes PR Newswire’s distribution capabilities make it viable for the long-term. “The way we distribute needs to change, since people now track stories in social and micro moments, but PR Newswire is well-equipped to do that.”
• Stump stuff: Hillary Clinton said in a USA Today interview this week that she would “ask the Treasury Department to use its regulatory authority” to change the tax treatment of carried interest, if Congress does not act to do so. Some readers have asked my thoughts on this, given my longtime support for treating carried interest as ordinary income (as opposed to a capital gain, as it is currently treated).
In short: My gut reaction was negative, because I would prefer that Congress address this as part of much-needed corporate tax reform. Moreover, Republicans should be able to use this as a bargaining chip in such negotiations, when trying to extract concessions from Sanders-side Democrats.
However, the current tax treatment of carried interest is more about IRS interpretation of the rules than the rules themselves. And since the IRS is housed in Treasury, Clinton’s pledge does seem kosher from a separation of powers standpoint. Finally, it is worth noting that Donald Trump also supports a change to carried interest tax treatment, but has not suggested that he would do so unilaterally.
• Speaking of Trump: Some private equity bigs are officially coming out in favor of the presumptive GOP nominee. They include Wilbur Ross and Cerberus Capital Management honcho Steve Feinberg. Still no word on Henry Kravis (yes, I’ve asked), whose name was floated early on by Trump as a possible Treasury Secretary.
• Coming attractions: I’d expect Kleiner Perkins to announce its new fundraise next week (both early-stage and digital growth, the latter of which should hit $1 billion), as it’s spent the past few days finalizing allocations.
• Have a great Father’s Day weekend… Thanks for everything WAP. Seriously. I don’t think any of us recognize the sacrifices a parent makes until you become a parent yourself.
THE BIG DEAL
• Common, a series of group living developments in Brooklyn (soon expanding to SF and Washington, D.C.), has raised $16 million in Series B funding, according to Fortune.
8VC led the round, and was joined by Circle Ventures, LeFrak, Solon Mack Capital, Ron Burkle’s Inevitable Ventures, Wolfswood Partners and return backers like Maveron, Lowercase Capital, Slow Ventures and Pierre Lamond. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Collective, a New York-based programmatic ad tech company, has raised $34 million in growth equity funding. Columbia Partners led the round, and was joined by Accel, Greycroft Partners and iNovia Capital. www.collective.com
• Andela, a New York-based tech staffing platform focused on training and connecting African developers with U.S. companies, has raised $24 million. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative led the round, in its first-ever VC investment. Other backers include Google Ventures, Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital and CRE Ventures. Read more.
• Rescale, a San Francisco-based cloud platform for simulation software and high performance computing solutions, has raised $14 million in Series A funding. TransLink Capital led the round, and was joined by Microsoft Ventures, Jump Capital, ITOCHU Technology Ventures, Two Roads Group and Data Collective. The company previously raised more than $6 million in seed funding. www.rescale.com
• Tigera Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of “cloud-native” enterprise networking solutions, has raised $13 million in Series A funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round, and was joined by Wing Venture Capital. www.tigera.io
• ClearTax, an Indian online tax filing platform, has raised $12 million in Series A funding. Backers include Founders Fund and Sequoia Capital. Read more.
• Mark One, maker of a “cup that automatically tracks your consumption to help you make healthier choices,” has raised $4 million in new VC funding from return backers like Intel Capital. Read more.
• Beamery (f.k.a. Seed.Jobs), a London-based provider of employee recruitment software, has raised $2 million in seed funding from Edenred Capital Partners and HR tech company Grupa Pracuj. Read more.
• MindLytiX, a France-based provider of real-time consumer knowledge and targeting solutions, has raised EUR 1.25 million in VC funding from Iris Capital. www.mindlytix.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Alpha Sintered Metals, a Ridgway, Penn.-based portfolio company of O2 Investment Partners, has acquired Precision Made Products, a Brunswick, Ohio-based metal injection molding and CNC machining company. No financial terms were disclosed. www.pmp-tech.com
• The Carlyle Group is in “advanced talks” to acquire between a 30% and 40% stake in Portuguese plastics packaging firm Logoplaste, according to Reuters. The deal would value Logoplaste at around EUR 660 million, or 8.5x expected 2016 EBITDA. Read more.
• Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, a Burbank, Calif.-based film and TV staffing company owned by Silver Lake, has agreed to acquire Caps Payroll, a Culver City, Calif.-based payroll provider for entertainment end markets. No financial terms were disclosed.
• Tesco PLC (LSE: TSCO) has sold Dobbies Garden Centres, a British operator of 35 garden supply stores, for GBP 217 million in cash to a private equity group that included Midlothian Capital and Hattington Capital. Read more.
• AppDynamics, a San Francisco-based provider of application performance management software, has hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to lead an IPO that could come later this year, according to Reuters. The company has raised over $330 million in VC funding from firms like Adage Capital, Industry Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Cross Creek Advisors, Institutional Venture Partners, Greylock Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Read more.
• Orthopediatrics Inc., a Warsaw, Ind.-based maker of pediatric orthopedics, has filed for a $75 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol KIDS, with Piper Jaffray and Stifel serving as lead underwriters. The company reports an $8 million loss on $31 million in net revenue for 2015. Shareholders include Squadron Capital. www.orthopediatrics.com
• PSAV, a Schiller Park, Ill.-based event technology and audiovisual company, has postponed an IPO that already had been downsized to 14.2 million shares being offered at between $12 and $13 per share. The company planned to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol PSAV, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley serving as lead underwriters. Goldman Sachs and Olympus Partners acquired PSAV two years ago from Kelso & Co. www.psav.com
• Apax Partners is exploring a sale of Trader Corp., a Canadian provider of auto dealer advertising solutions, for more than C$1.5 billion (including debt), according to Reuters. Read more.
• Aterian Investment Partners has sold Burner Systems International Inc., a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based supplier of parts for gas-fueled cooking and heating appliances, to Robertshaw US Holding Corp. No financial terms were disclosed. www.burnersystems.com
• Ethos Private Equity has agreed to sell Brandcorp Holdings, s South Africa-based provider of industrial and consumer products like garden tools, to Bidvest (JSE: BVT) for an undisclosed amount. www.brandcorp.co.za
• Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has acquired Wand Labs, a Redwood City, Calif.-based maker of messaging technology for apps. No financial terms were disclosed. Wand Labs had raised seed funding from firms like Interwest Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Khosla Ventures. Read more.
• Pfingsten Partners has sold Technibus Inc., a Canton, Ohio-based maker of custom-engineered, metal-enclosed bus duct solutions, to IES Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: IESC) for around $45 million. www.technibus.com
• Enel SpA (BIT: ENEL) is in talks to sell the largest coal-fired power station in Russia to Russian tycoon Andrei Melnichenko. Read more.
• Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS) is in talks to acquire the fertilizer unit of Brazil-listed Vale SA, according to Reuters. The deal could be valued at upwards of $3 billion. Read more.
• Petrobras, the Brazilian state-run oil company, said that it has received takeover offers for its fuel retailing unit (BR Distribuidora SA). Read more.
• Revlon Inc. (NYSE: REV) has agreed to acquire skincare company Elizabeth Arden Inc. (Nasdaq: RDEN) for $870 million (including debt), or $14 per share. Read more.
• Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) confirmed that it seriously considered making a takeover bid for LinkedIn (Nasdaq: LNKD) but bailed after it became clear that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was willing to offer more cash. Read more.
• Siemens AG of German and Gamesa of Spain have agreed to merge their windfarm businesses. According to Bloomberg, Siemens will pay Gamesa around $1 billion as part of the deal, and will hold 59% of the combined company. Read more.
• Suncor Energy (TSX: SU) is seeking a buyer for its Petro-Canada lubricants division, which could be worth around C$800 million, according to Reuters. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• No firm or fund news this morning.
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Pacific Investment Management Co., a California-based bond giant, is planning to cut 3% of its workforce. Read more.
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