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Term Sheet — Monday, February 5

February 5, 2018, 2:37 PM UTC


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

PE MEGA-DEAL: PE firms are sitting on $545.5 billion of dry powder, and it looks like they’re about to start deploying it. Many large PE groups are looking to buy a considerable stake in Netherlands-based paint maker Akzo Nobel. The deal could be worth as much as €10 billion ($12.4 billion). Bidders include Carlyle; a collaboration between Advent and Bain; another collaboration between Apollo and Lanxess; and Hal Investments, according to The Financial Times.

The transaction comes at a time when PE firms are under growing pressure to deploy the record amount of capital they have raised in recent months. There were very few mega-deals last year, so let’s see if this trend reverses in 2018.

CHINA’S DEALMAKERS UNITE: Alibaba strikes again. During my tenure at Term Sheet, there’s one clear trend: Alibaba and Tencent have emerged as star players. Dalian Wanda Group, a property-to-entertainment firm, is selling 13% (a $1.24 billion stake) in its listed film business to a pair of investors led by Alibaba Group.

Here’s where it gets interesting & complicated: It was only a week ago that Dalian Wanda’s commercial property arm received a $5.3 billion cash infusion from Tencent and, among others. Rivals Alibaba and Tencent usually pump money into competitive companies within the same sector. In a rare instance, they have invested in the same business. This is one to pay attention to.

FINAL CHAPTER: Bon-Ton Stores, one of the largest regional department-store chains in the country, has sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As Bon-Ton grapples with crushing debt and declining sales, it will also explore strategic alternatives including a sale of the company or certain assets. My colleague Phil Wahba reports that its problems are deeper than those of its peers:

The challenges the chain now faces are how cluttered its stores have become, how much overlap there is with other retailers, and how discount-driven its business is. As GlobalData Retail Managing Director Neil Saunders put it in a research note, Bon-Ton must fix its problem that its offerings are “undifferentiated, unclear and have become increasingly irrelevant to consumers.”


Former Intel President Renee James Is Back With A New Chip Company (by Jonathan Vanian)

Another Bank Says Its Credit Cards Can't Be Used to Buy Bitcoin (by David Meyer)

Tesla Strikes Deal to Give 50,000 Australian Homes Solar Power (by David Z. Morris)

Early Tesla Semi Buyers Will Build Their Own Charging Stations (by David Z. Morris)


Broadcom raises offer for Qualcomm to over $121 billion. Sequoia is joining the frothy fund club. Making a crypto utopia in Puerto Rico.


Bustle, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based blog for millennial women, is reportedly raising $30 million in funding, according to TechCrunch. The investors were not named. Read more.

Harmless Harvest, a San Francisco-based producer of organic coconut water, raised $30 million in funding. Danone Manifesto Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Mousse Partners and AccelFoods.

Medopad, a U.K.-based health tech AI company, raised $28 million in funding. Investors include NWS Holdings.

Figma, a San Francisco-based open design platform, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the round.

Infarm, a Germany-based startup that has developed vertical farming tech for grocery stores, raised $25 million in Series A funding. Balderton Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including TriplePoint Capital, Mons Investments, Cherry Ventures, QUADIA, and LocalGlobe. Read more.

Wildmoka, a France-based live clipping, editing and publishing platform for broadcasters, raised $8 million in Series A funding. Alven led the round, and was joined by investors including Apicap.

Indio Technologies, a San Francisco-based developer of a platform which provides tools for traditional commercial insurance brokers, raised $6 million in Series A funding. 8VC led the round and was joined by 500 startups, Merus Capital and Compound.

Zebra Fuel, a U.K.-based on-demand energy startup which delivers fuel directly to vehicles, raised $2.5 million (£1.8 million) in seed funding. LocalGlobe led the round.

Lightful, a U.K.-based social media and campaign management platform for charities and social enterprises, raised £4 million ($5.6 million) in Series A funding. Investors include Nick Mason and Dario Franchitti.


Bain Capital Private Equity agreed to acquire Bugaboo, a Netherlands-based maker of mobility products. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Audax Private Equity recapitalized Protective Industrial Products Global Holdings Inc, a Latham, New York-based provider of hand protection products and other consumable personal protective equipment. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Cairngorm Capital Partners acquired MJ Wilson Group Limited, U.K.-based distributor of process instrumentation and control products. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Ridge Runner Resources, an oil and gas exploration and production company, raised up to $300 million in funding from Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing.


Central Puerto, a Buenos Aires, Argentina-based power company, said it plans to raise $330 in an IPO of 20 million shares priced at $16.50. The company previously said it planned to price between $17.50 to $21.50 a piece. BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are joint bookrunners in the deal. The company plans to list on the NYSE as “CEPU.”


ION Investment Group agreed to acquire Openlink Financial, a New York-based transaction lifecycle management software provider, from Hellman & Friedman. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Oak Hill Capital Partners acquired Safe Fleet Holdings LLC, a Belton, Mo.-based provider of safety and productivity solutions, from Sterling Group. Financial terms weren't disclosed.


8VC, a San Francisco-based venture firm, has set out to raise $640 million for its second venture capital fund, according to an SEC filing.

New MainStream Capital, a New York City and Dallas-based based private equity firm, raised $241.4 million for its third fund, according to an SEC filing.

Quantum Capital Partners, a Germany-based investment firm, raised 77.5 million euros ($96.6 million) for its second fund.


Zachary Kaplan is joining Cove Hill Partners as a managing director. Previously, he was at General Atlantic.


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Polina Marinova produces Term Sheet, and Lucinda Shen compiles the IPO news. Send deal announcements to Polina here and IPO news to Lucinda here.