Greetings from Aspen, where Fortune Brainstorm Tech heads into its second day. A few very quick notes before I run over to moderate a venture capital breakfast with Jeff Fagnan (Accomplices), Roger Lee (Battery Ventures), Ann Miura-Ko (Floodgate), Megan Quinn (Spark Capital) and Scott Sandell (NEA). Per usual, send me any and all questions via email (and soon)…
• WeWork To Own: There have long been rumors that WeWork co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann has personal stakes in some of his company’s New York buildings, so yesterday I asked him about it. Neumann responded that he has sold off most of those positions to other building owners (his positions were always small), and currently has just two remaining. If he is unable to divest them before WeWork chooses to go public, Neumann says the arrangements would all be disclosed in SEC filings.
• Fight time: Yesterday we discussed the private equity-backed deal to buy mixed martial arts league UFC, for around $4 billion. Two things I neglected to mention, in terms of why the buyers were so interested: (1) It is the only U.S. pro sports league in which men’s and women’s events are on equal footing in terms of both timing and promotion. (2) UFC fights only go 25 minutes max (15 if it’s not a title fight), and most are far shorter. Moreover, these are broken up into mobile-digestible 5-minute rounds. When catering to millennials, consider this the anti-baseball.
• That’s So Mavens: I asked TPG’s David Trujillo on stage about his firm’s continuing interest in buying Yahoo, which of course he didn’t answer. That said, my understanding is that the final three suitors (TPG, Dan Gilbert and Verizon) are in the midst of preparing for a final round of bidding.
• Comeback: Yesterday on stage I asked Dropbox CEO Drew Houston about a comment from rival Aaron Levie (of Box), who once said: “Any time you ever want to see what Dropbox will do next, look for what we did 3-5 years ago.”
So what, I asked, has Dropbox done before Box?
“How about generating cash?” asked Houston, whose company reports being cash-flow positive in Q1 2016.
• Transport talk: Lyft president John Zimmer confirmed on stage that his ride-hailing company is losing $50 million per month, but said he prefers to view it as “investing” $50 million per month. He also suggested that his company would consider expanding internationally (despite its global partnership with Didi, etc.) and declined to comment on reports that Lyft has hired investment bank Qatalyst to possibly find a buyer.
Speaking of no comments on Lyft, I asked General Motors president Dan Ammann if the automaker had a right of first refusal on a Lyft sale, given its $500 million investment last year. Suffice to say, he didn’t answer.
• Today from Aspen: In addition to the VC breakfast, my roles today are to interview Dave Brandon, CEO of Toys R Us and former CEO of Domino’s, and then moderate a session on the intersection of sports and technology with Kevin Tsujihara (CEO of Warner Brothers), Maverick Carter (CEO of SpringHill) and Draymond Green (yes, we’ll talk about it).
We’ve also got other great mainstage interviews, with such folks as Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Magic Leap’s Rony Abovitz and Brian Wallace, Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani, Box CEO Aaron Levie with GE vice chair Beth Comstock, Amazon Alexa head David Limp, Airbnb’s Brian Chesky and Belinda Johnson and uber-investor Yuri Milner. Catch the livestream by going here.
THE BIG DEAL
• AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC) has agreed to acquire UK-based Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group. The deal is valued at £921 million, and makes AMC the world’s largest movie theater operator. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Codeacademy, a New York-based skills education company, has raised $30 million in Series C funding. Naspers Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Union Square Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, Index Ventures and Richard Branson. www.codeacademy.com
• Freshly, a New York-based healthy meal delivery service, has raised $21 million in Series A funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Highland Capital Partners and White Star Capital. Read more.
• Data.world, an Austin, Texas-based data collaboration startup, has raised $14 million in Series A funding. Shasta Ventures led the round, and was joined by Capital Factory, Chicago Ventures, Floodgate, FYRFLY Venture Partners, Homebrew, Lead Edge Capital, LiveOak Venture Partners and Rothenberg Ventures. www.data.world.com
• Avizia, a Reston, Va.-based telehealth provider, has raised $11 million in Series A funding. Blue Heron Capital led the round, and was joined by Lavrock Ventures, NextGen Venture Partners, Middleland Capital, Waterline Capital and Blu Ventures. www.avizia.com
• Paktor, a Singapore-based dating app, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. YJ Capital led the round, and was joined by Global Grand Leisure, Golden Equator Capital, Sebrina Holdings and return backers Vertex Ventures, MNC Media Group, Majuven and Convergence Ventures. Read more.
• Universal Avenue, a Stockholm-based local salesforce on-demand startup, has raised $10 million in new Series A funding (bringing the round total to $15m). Eight Roads led the round, and was joined by return backers Northzone and MOOR. Read more.
• Oversight Systems, an Atlanta-based provider of operational expense analysis solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Luminate Capital Partners. www.oversightsystems.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• AE Industrial Partners has acquired Moeller Manufacturing Company, a Wixom, Mich.-based precision machining company focused on hot- and cold-section turbine hardware. www.moeller-aerospace.com
• ESO Solutions Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of software to emergency medical services, fire departments and healthcare professionals, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from Accel-KKR. No financial terms were disclosed. www.esosolutions.com
• Protagonist Therapeutics Inc., a Milpitas, Calif.-based, has filed for a $75 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol PTGX, with Leerink Partners listed as left lead underwriter. The pre-revenue company has raised around $67 million in VC funding from firms like Canaan Partners (20.9% pre-IPO stake), Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. (20.8%), Lilly Ventures (16.9%), Adage Capital Partners (9.3%), Pharmstandard International (8.5%), Starfish Ventures (7.8%), RA Capital (7.7%) and Foresite Capital. www.protagonist-inc.com
• Astorg Partners has agreed to sell Metalor Technologies International SA, a Swiss precious metals refiner, to Japan’s Tanaka Holdings. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more.
• The Blackstone Group is in talks to sell a group of Chinese commercial real estate properties to China Vanke for $1.9 billion. Read more.
• The Deutsche Börse has lowered the percentage of outstanding shares that must be tendered in order for its acquisition of the London Stock Exchange to proceed, from 765% to just 60%. Read more.
• Imperva (NYSE: IMPV), a Redwood Shores, Calif.-based online security company currently valued at around $1.55 billion, has hired Qatalyst Partners to explore strategic options, according to Bloomberg. The move comes following pressure from activist investor Elliott Management. Read more.
• ThyssenKrupp AG of Germany confirmed that it has engaged in merger talks with India’s Tata Steel. Read more.
• Xerox (NYSE: XRX) is in talks to acquire R.R. Donnelley & Sons (Nasdaq: RRD), which has a current market cap of around $3.9 billion, according to Bloomberg. The discussions come amid Xerox’s plans to split into two companies, while R.R. Donnelley has announced plans to split into three companies. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Longwood Fund, a Boston-based life sciences VC firm, is raising up to $90 million for its fourth fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.longwoodfund.com
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Marc Adelson has joined Monroe Capital as a managing director of originations. He previously was chief credit officer for Medallion Financial, where he also was president of its asset-based lending business. www.monroecap.com
• Larry DeAngelo and Paul Simpson have joined Houlihan Lokey as managing directors in charge of the firm’s business services group. DeAngelo (Atlanta) previously was a managing director with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, while Simpson (Atlanta) was a managing director with Rothschild. www.hl.com
• Alok Gaur has joined LaSalle Investment Management as co-head of the firm’s client capital group. He previously was a managing director with The Carlyle Group, focused on capital fundraising for real estate. www.lasalle.com
• Christopher Machera has joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP as a New York-based partner in the law firm’s private equity practice. He worked at the firm between 2005 and 2011, and most recently was with Greenberg Traurig. www.weil.com
• Alison Miller has joined Wynnchurch Capital as a director. She previously was director of business development with Garden City Group and Donlin Recano & Company. www.wynnchurch.com
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