Today’s planned column didn’t quite come together in time, so just a couple very quick notes:
• Steve says: Blackstone boss Steve Schwarzman was interviewed at a CNBC conference yesterday by Becky Quick, and said four things of particular interest: (1) He believes much of the hedge fund industry will deviate from 2/20 due to performance troubles; (2) When asked what Blackstone’s stock price drop over the past year is a reflection of, he replied: “That’s a reflection that investors are wrong.” (3) The Fed will eventually raise rates (in part because the media is “daring” it to do so), but he believes the only real impact will be on financial markets, not on the real economy. (4) He declined to endorse either presidential candidate, and also seemed to accept the idea of changing the tax treatment of carried interest, as part of a more comprehensive tax reform package.
• Legislative update: The U.S. House of Reps last Friday passed that bill to weaken Dodd-Frank disclosure requirements on private equity firms, despite an uncertain fate in the Senate and a veto threat from President Obama. Leaving aside the politics, this effort has reflected remarkable chutzpah on the part of PE lobbyists, given the recent SEC actions against buyout firms that are, in large part, based on the types of information that it would no longer receive.
• That would have been interesting: The hot trend in private equity right now is selling minority management company stakes, nearly a decade after CalPERS and some Middle Eastern SWFs briefly made it fashionable. The big buyer today is Neuberger Berman unit Dyal Capital Partners, which last month struck such a deal for a piece of H.I.G. Capital. But Bloomberg reports that the Dyal deal only came about after H.I.G. first discussed a sale of its entire business to KKR (which doesn’t really have a dedicated middle-market business).
• Quiz Time: Can you name the VC firm that earlier this year announced a new $100 million+ fund, but doesn’t actually exist (yes, you read that correctly). Hint: Term Sheet didn’t blurb the bogus press release, but others did…
• Reminder: We still have a few roster spots left for our charity softball game at Fenway Park on the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 26. If interested, please drop me an email.
• Drop a dime: Remember that you always can send me an anonymous message (news tips, etc.) by going here.
THE BIG DEAL
• Bayer and Monsanto (NYSE: MON) have finally agreed to tie the knot, agreeing on a merger valued at $66 billion (including debt). Bayer will pay $128 per Monsanto share in cash, with a $2 billion antitrust termination fee. Read more.
The companies have agreed on an antitrust break fee of $2 billion and the deal is expected to be closed by the end of 2017, the German group said in a statement.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Relay Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of a drug discovery platform centered on protein motion, has raised $57 million in Series A funding. Third Rock Ventures led the round, and was joined by an affiliate of D. E. Shaw Research. Read more.
• Industrious, a New York-based operator of “hospitality-focused” co-working spaces, has raised $37 million in Series B funding led by Riverwood Capital. www.industriousoffice.com
• Delinia, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of “therapeutics that rebalance the immune system to treat serious and life-threatening autoimmune diseases,” has raised $35 million in Series A funding co-led by Sofinnova Partners and Atlas Venture. www.deliniabio.com
• CTERA Networks, an Israel-based enterprise file management platform, has raised $25 million in new VC funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by fellow return backer Cisco Systems and new investor Vintage Investment Partners. Prior backers Benchmark and Venrock were not mentioned in the announcement. www.ctera.com
• Canva, an online graphic design platform, has raised $15 million in new VC funding at a $345 million valuation from Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures. www.canva.com
• Tipalti, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based supplier payments automation platform, has raised $14 million in new VC funding led by SGVC. www.tipalti.com
• Inbenta, a San Mateo, Calif.-based developer of enterprise AI and chatbot solutions, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. Level Equity led the round, and was joined by Amasia and Scale Capital. www.inbenta.com
• Packet, a New York-based “bare metal cloud for developers,” has raised $9.4 million in Series A funding led by SoftBank Corp. Read more.
• Totango, a San Francisco-based customer success platform, has raised $8 million in Series C funding. Benhamou Global Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Pitango Venture Capital, Canvas Ventures and Interwest Partners. www.totango.com
• Ambra Health (f.k.a. DICOM Grid), a New York-based provider of cloud-based medical imaging management software, has raised $6 million in new VC funding led by Canaan Partners. www.dicomgrid.com
• BrightVolt Inc., a Redmond, Wash.-based maker of ultra-thin film, flexible batteries, has raised $5 million in Series B funding led by New Science Ventures. www.brightvolt.com
• SaladStop, a chain of salad bar quick-serve restaurants in Singapore, has raised S$5 million in new VC funding from Hera Capital and DSG Consumer Partners. www.saladstop.com/sg
• Big Cloud Analytics Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of predictive analytics software to the insurance and healthcare industries, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding led by Edison Partners. www.bigcloudanalytics.com
• Yello, a Chicago-based provider of talent acquisition software, has raised $4.2 million in Series B funding. Argentum led the round, and was joined by return backer First Analysis. www.yello.com
• Clubhouse Software Inc., a New York-based project management tool for software development teams, has raised $2 million in new VC funding. Resolute Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Lerer Hippeau Ventures, RRE Ventures, Neu Ventures and Flight Ventures. www.cloubhouse.io
• Akselos SA, a Swiss developer of engineering simulation technology, has raised $2.2 million in new funding led by Forticap. www.forticap.com
• Keit Ltd., a UK-based maker of a spectrometer for the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries, has raised £1.4 million in new VC funding. Longwall Ventures led the round, and was joined by Angel CoFund, Rainbow Seed Fund, Wren Capital and individual angels. www.keit.co.uk
• Sarcos Robotics, a developer of dexterous industrial robots for use in unstructured environments, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Caterpillar Ventures, GE Ventures, Microsoft Corp., Cottonwood Technology Fund and two undisclosed investment firms. The company has offices in both Bellevue, Wash. and Salt Lake City www.sarcos.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• ArcLight Capital Partners and The Blackstone Group have agreed to acquire four Midwestern power plants from American Electric Power Co. (NYSE: AEP) for approximately $2.17 billion. Read more.
• Choice Legal, a Tampa, Fla.-based provider of medical record retrieval services to insurance defense and plaintiff firms, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners. www.choicelegal.com
• Gravity Media Group, a British provider of broadcasting services and equipment, has secured an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from TowerBrook Capital Partners. www.gravitymedia.co.uk
• TA Associates has agreed to sponsor a management buyout of the Australian unit of Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s investment capabilities and fund platform. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more.
• AC Immune SA, a Swiss biopharma company focused on developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases associated with protein misfolding, has set its IPO terms to around 4.55 million shares being offered at between $11 and $13 per share It would have an initial market cap of around $647 million, were it to price in the middle of its range The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ACIU, with Credit Suisse, Jefferies and Leerink Partners serving as underwriters. Shareholders include Dievini Hopp BioTech (37.7% pre-IPO stake). Read more.
• Vantage Energy Inc., an Englewood, Colo.-based oil and gas company focused on the Appalachian Basin, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol VEI, with Goldman Sachs listed as left lead underwriter. Shareholders include Quantum Energy Partners, Riverstone Holdings LLC and Lime Rock Partners. www.vantageequity.com
• Luxoft Holding Inc. (NYSE: LXFT) has acquired Pelagicore AB, a Swedish provider of open-source software platforms and services for in-vehicle infotainment and human-machine interface development. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include state-owned VC group Fouriertransform AB. www.pelagicore.com
• SUMEC Textile Light Industry Co. has acquired Berkshire Blanket, a Ware, Mass.-based provider of blankets, throws and soft home goods, from CSW Private Equity. No financial terms were disclosed. TM Capital represented Berkshire Blanket on the deal. www.berkshireblanket.com
• China Resources Beer Holdings, whose brands include Snow, is considering a bid for SABMiller PLC’s (LSE: SAB) Central and European assets, which could be valued at around $6 billion, according to Bloomberg. Several other strategic and private equity suitors also may bid. Read more.
• Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) has agreed to acquire the wireless LAN business of Zebra Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq: ZBRA) for $55 million in cash. www.extremenetworks.com
• SS&C Technologies Holdings (Nasdaq: SSNC) has agreed to acquire Wells Fargo Global Fund Services, a provider of administration, middle-office, operations and cash/collateral management services to alternative investment managers. No financial terms were disclosed. www.ssctech.com
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Benhamou Global Ventures has held a first close on over half of the $75 million target for its third early-stage VC fund. www.benhamouglobalventures.com
• H.I.G. Capital has opened a new office on Colombia. www.higcapital.com
MOVING IN, ON & UP
• Tim Anglade has joined Scale Venture Partners as an executive-in-residence. He previously was VP of product for Scale portfolio company Realm. www.scalevp.com
• Lime Rock Partners has promoted James Wallis to managing director and Oliver Phillips to vice president. Both are based in the energy-focused private equity firm’s Houston office. www.lrpartners.com
• Monomoy Capital Partners promoted John Stewart to partner, and both Jaime McKenzie and Scot Duncan to director. Stewart joined the firm in 2007 to lead its operations team. www.mcpfunds.com
• Christopher Wofford has joined Baird as a managing director overseeing investment banking coverage in the transportation and logistics space. He previously was in a similar role with Macquarie Capital (USA). www.rwbaird.com
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