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Term Sheet — Monday, September 24


Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

Fortune published our 21st annual Most Powerful Women in Business list this morning — and we have a new No. 1 for the first time since 2015. The 2018 ranking is composed of seven newcomers, two returnees, and CEOs controlling just under $1 trillion in market cap.

As Alan Murray noted in this morning’s CEO Daily, it’s been a not-so-remarkable year for women leading Fortune 500 companies — their ranks fell from 32 to 24. Yet one sector is defying this trend: the defense industry. Four of the five top U.S. defense companies are now headed by female CEOs.

In a feature titled ‘Commanders in Chief,’ my colleague Jen Wieczner explains the trend of women CEOs who lead some of the biggest defense contractors in America. She writes:

“The last man standing.” That’s what some on Wall Street have recently nicknamed Tom Kennedy, the chairman and CEO of Raytheon. After all, he’s the only leader of a top five U.S. defense business who isn’t on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list—and for that fact, says Kennedy, “I couldn’t be prouder of our industry.”

She goes on to explain:

In the S&P 1500, women account for nearly 19% of the CEOs in aerospace and defense, according to the Pew Research Center, compared with just 5% across all companies. No sector works more closely with the government and military than defense, which may be one reason it’s closer to gender equality. With the armed forces making deliberate efforts to expand women’s roles and the emergence of a generation of female generals as well as Air Force and Navy secretaries beginning in the ’90s, “the defense industry has realized they need to mirror their customers,” says Patrick Gray, the aerospace, defense, and aviation practice leader at executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. A decade ago, the companies redoubled their efforts. “It’s not an accident … that they’ve become C-suite or a CEO,” says Lareina Yee, a senior partner at McKinsey.

Read the full story here, and see the list here.

…LET’S MEET: On a related note, I will be attending this year’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna. If you’ll be there, let’s meet.

WOW DEAL: SiriusXM will acquire music discovery platform Pandora (NYSE:P) for $3.5 billion in stock, or $10.14 per share. Pandora would continue to exist as an independent service. This offer represents a 13.8% premium for Pandora shareholders over the volume-weighted average share price of the past 30 days. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, but Pandora can still evaluate other options.

Do a quick Twitter scan, and you’ll see people asking, “Pandora’s still a thing?” Pandora has been troubled for quite some time and found itself in a difficult position in the streaming market as alternatives like Apple Music and Spotify continue to attract more members. And despite growing revenue, Pandora still loses tens of millions of dollars each quarter. Read more at Fortune.


• Aramco Was Supposed to Be the Biggest IPO Ever. Now Even the CEO Can’t Say When It Will Happen (by Grace Dobush)

• Why Oprah Winfrey Is on Fortune’s 2018 List of the Most Powerful Women (by Emma Hinchliffe)

• Craig Newmark Is Funding a Major New Media Venture to Investigate the Tech Sector (by Hallie Detrick)

• Uber and Grab Fined Millions Over Merger That Broke Antitrust Rules (by David Meyer)


Airbnb wants to give its hosts equity in its business. Walmart, Patagonia and Lyft make push to increase voter turnout. Monzo is taking off in Europe. China’s best driverless tech is found in Silicon Valley. Can Boston Dynamics’ anthropomorphic robots be turned into a business?


CareStack, a Florida and India-based technology platform for the dental industry, raised $16 million in funding. Accel, F-Prime Capital Partners and Eight Roads Ventures led the round.

F/ELD, a Los Angeles-based cannabis brand, raised $6 million in funding. Investors include Navy Capital and Serruya Private Equity.

Jones, a New York-based insurance platform, raised $2.8 million in seed funding. Hetz Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including JLL Spark, MetaProp Ventures, GroundUp Ventures and 500 Startups.

GJS, a China-based consumer robotics company, raised Series B funding of an undisclosed amount. Guangkong Zhongying Capital led the round.


Silverback Therapeutics Inc, a Seattle-based biotech company, extended its Series A financing round, bringing in the total to $47.5 million. OrbiMed led the round, and was joined by investors including Celgene Corporation and Alexandria Venture Investments.

Tvardi Therapeutics, a Houston, Texas-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing STAT3 inhibitors, raised $9 million in Series A funding. The investors were not named.


NEO Global Capital made an investment in Muzika, a South Korea-based blockchain project. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Cordental Group, a portfolio company of NMS Capital, acquired Sirkin & Kruger, a Blue Ash, Ohio-based dental practice. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Crane 1 Services, a Pfingsten portfolio company, acquired Mt. Clemens Crane & Service Co, a Harrison Township, Mich.-based provider of overhead crane services and equipment. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Victory Capital (NASDAQ:VCTR) agreed to acquire Harvest Volatility Management, a New York-based firm with approximately $12 billion in assets under management. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

NCK Capital acquired Tricoci University, a provider of cosmetology, esthetics and barbering education in the Midwest. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Barrick Gold Corp. agreed to buy Randgold Resources Ltd, a developer of gold deposits in Sub-Saharan Africa, for $6 billion in an all-share merger that will solidify Barrick as the world’s largest gold company by production, with a dominant position in Africa. Barrick shareholders will own 67% of the combined company, and Randgold investors will own 33%, the companies said. Read more.


Dell Technologies, the IT giant, is exploring an IPO rather than going public through an acquisition, the Wall Street Journal reports citing sources. Read more.

Cornado Global Resources, a coal producer, plans to raise A$1.4 billion (US$1 billion) in an IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange. Read more.

SolarWinds, an Austin, Texas-based IT infrastructure management software, maker filed for a $500 million IPO. It posted revenue of $728 million in 2017 and loss of $351.8 million. Thoma Bravo Funds and Silver Lake back the firm. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Evercore ISI, Jefferies, Macquarie Capital, Nomura Securities and RBC Capital Markets are the underwriters. It plans to list on the NYSE as “SWI.” Read more.

Elastic, Mountain View, Calif.-based search software firm, plans to raise $192.5 million in an IPO of 7 million shares priced between $26 to $29. The firm posted revenue of $159.9 million in the year ending April 2018 and loss of $52.7 million. Benchmark (17% pre-offering), Index Ventures (10.5%) and New Enterprise Associates (10.2%) back the firm. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Barclays, RBC Capital Markets, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi, Jefferies, and Canaccord Genuity are underwriters. It plans to list on the NYSE as “ESTC.” Read more.

Guardant Health, a Redwood City, Calif.-based company creating blood-based cancer diagnostic tests, said it plans to raise $200 million in an IPO of 12.5 million shares priced between $15 ro $17. The firm posted revenue of $49.8 million and loss of $89 million in 2017. Softbank (39% pre-offering , Sequoia (11%) and Khosla Ventures (10%) back the firm. J.P. Morgan and BofA Merrill Lynch are underwriters. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “GH.” Read more.

SI-BONE Inc, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based medical device company, has filed for a $97.8 million IPO. It posted revenue of $48 million in 2017 and loss of $23.1 million. Redline Capital Management, Orbimed, Novo A/S, Skyline Ventures, and Montreux Equity Partners back the firm. Morgan Stanley and BofA Merrill Lynch are underwriters. It plans to list on the NASDAQ as “SIBN.”Read more.

PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, a Malvern, Penn.-based early-stage biotech developing orphan diseases treatments, filed for an $86 million IPO. It has yet to post a revenue, and posted loss of $10.2 million in 2017. New Enterprise Associates, Zeneca, and Hatteras Venture Partners back the firm. Citi, Cowen and Stifel are bookrunners. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “PHAS.” Read more.


Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. is close to a deal to buy Gianni Versace SpA, an Italy-based fashion house, for around €2 billion ($2.35 billion), according to The Wall Street Journal. Blackstone Group, which owns 20% of Versace, is selling its stake in the business as part of the deal. Read more.


TPG, a Forth Worth, Texas-based private equity and venture capital, firm plans to raise $3 billion for its second social impact fund, according to Bloomberg. Read more.

Altor Equity Partners, a Sweden-based private equity firm, plans to raise 2.5 billion euros ($2.9 billion) for its latest flagship fund.

Tailwind Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, raised $1.8 billion for its latest fund, Tailwind Capital Partners III LP.

Newfund, a Paris-based venture capital raised $130 million for its latest fund, Newfund2.

Soleus Capital Management, a Greenwich, Conn.-based raised $39.55 million for its debut private equity fund, according to an SEC filing. The target is $125 million.


Elliot Lynch joined Yukon Partners as a vice president. Previously, Lynch was at Shoreview Industries.

Thoma Bravo LLC promoted Chip Virnig to partner.

Ethan Zweig joined Qatalyst Group as a partner.


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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.