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Printing specialist Xerox has cancelled its hostile takeover bid for rival HP Inc., citing the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing market turmoil.
It marks the end to a bumpy multi-month saga, during which Xerox argued a combination would create cost savings in a declining print market—and HP countered repeatedly, arguing such a deal undervalued itself and would result in an overly risky merged company.
After all, Xerox, valued at $8 billion when its plans were first made public, had offered to finance a $34 billion cash-and-stock acquisition while in debt—about $24 billion of it. HP was valued at $31 billion.
Though I say it’s the end … it’s more of an extreme turn in the story. The trends that sparked talks of a merger, namely the falling demand for print, will persist with or without coronavirus. And even as he rebuffed Xerox, HP CEO Enrique Lores told the Financial Times in early March that he was “constantly analyzing” potential M&A deals.
And with a global recession underway, HP looks to be in a somewhat better position than its smaller peer. HP’s market cap has fallen roughly a fifth to $25 billion amid the market rout. Xerox’s? By about a half, to $4 billion. And if that’s the case—then could coronavirus set a stage for HP to become the acquirer?
An HP acquisition could result in a company that is far less debt laden and significantly more cash rich.
Still, turning a tense relationship into a friendly one is no easy task.
For an in-depth read on the takeover and its twists, read my colleague Shawn Tully’s feature here.
Tinder during coronavirus: In a bid to get information from the coronavirus centers, including censor-covered China, people are using Tinder.
“We heard from some users that they were Passporting into regions hardest hit by the pandemic to get insights about the on-the-ground situation first-hand, to listen, and to offer emotional support,” Match.com CEO Shar Dubey wrote in a letter.
While messaging volume has risen on the platform however, new user signups especially in coronavirus-hit areas have fallen. The group is predicting first quarter revenue to come in at the “low-end” of its previously predicted range.
- Akouos, Inc., a Boston, Mass.-based precision genetic medicine company seeking to restore or preserve hearing, raised $105 million in Series B funding. Pivotal bioVenture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Cormorant Asset Management, Cowen Healthcare Investments, EcoR1 Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Polaris Founders Fund, Pagsgroup, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Wu Capital and others.
- Axonius, a New York-based cybersecurity asset management company, raised $58 in Series C funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including existing investors OpenView, Bessemer Venture Partners, YL Ventures, Vertex, and WTI.
- Seegrid, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based maker of vision-guided, self-driving vehicles for industrial purposes, raised $25 million in funding from G2VP.
- Juspay, an Indian payments company, raised $21.6 million in Series B funding. Vostok Emerging Finance led the round, and was joined by investors including Wellington Management and Accel.
- Vericool, a Livermore, Calif.-based manufacturer of environmentally-friendly packaging solutions, raised $19.1 million in Series A funding. Radicle Impact Partners, The Ecosystem Integrity Fund, ID8 Investments, and AiiM Partners were the investors.
- AristaMD, a San Diego, Calif.-based emedicine company, raised $18 million in Series B funding. Cigna Ventures and MemorialCare Innovation Fund led the round, and was joined by investors including Avalon Ventures, CU Healthcare Innovation Fund and Stanford Health Care.
- Slync.io, a San Francisco-based operating system for global logistics, raised $11 million in Series A funding. Blumberg Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Correlation Ventures and existing investors including 235 Capital Partners.
- Anagog, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based provider of AI solutions, has raised $10 million in Series C funding. IN Venture and MizMaa. Continental also participated.
- PatientPay, a Raleigh-Durham, N.C.-based patient payments solution, raised $6.2 million in funding. Mosaik Partners led the round along with an unnamed existing investor.
- Lingumi, a London-based learning platform for toddlers, raised £4million ($5 million). North Summit Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including LocalGlobe, ADV, and Entrepreneur First.
- Upcounsel, a San Francisco-based lawyer marketplace, was acquired by Enduring Ventures. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Bain Capital and Boyu Capital are reportedly bidding for SML Group, a Hong Kong-based garment label, per Bloomberg citing sources. Read more.
- The Bakery Companies, backed by Arbor Investments, acquired Steck Wholesale Foods, a North Sioux City, S.D.-based maker or baked goods.
- New Capital Partners invested in TeleHealth Solution, a Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of virtual medical support for patients in hospitals and senior living facilities.
- Charlesbank Capital Partners agreed to acquire New Corp's News America Marketing business for about $235 million in cash.
- Bridgepoint acquired a 28% stake in Cyrus, a Paris-based asset manager, read more.
- Apple acquired Dark Sky, a Boston-based weather app. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Read more.
- Dean Foods will sell $433 million worth of assets including assets, rights, interests, and properties, to Dairy Farmers of America as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. Read more.
- Palo Alto Networks (NYSE: PANW) agreed to acquire CloudGenix, Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based cloud-delivered SD-WAN provider, for about $420 million in cash. Read more.
- MRI Software acquired Orchard Information Systems, a London-based provider of software solutions for the U.K. housing sector. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- SendBird, acquired the core technology and key engineering talent of Roundee.io, a Seoul, South Korea-based enterprise video conferencing platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Acuant acquired IdentityMind, a Palo Alto-based KYC-AML platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Tencent Music Entertainment Group (NYSE: TME) via a consortium led by Tencent Holdings Limited (00700.HK) acquired a 10% equity stake in Universal Music Group from Vivendi SE (VIV.PA). The deal assumed an enterprise value of EUR30 billion ($33.1 billion) for 100% of UMG’s share capital.
-Farasis Energy, a Chinese electric vehicles battery maker, has received regulatory approval to raise around 3.4 billion yuan ($479 million) in an IPO on the Shanghai STAR board. Read more.
- Keros Therapeutics, a Lexington, Mass.-based biotech developing treatments for hematological and musculoskeletal disorders, plans to raise $75 million in an IPO on 5 million shares priced between $14 to $16 apiece. Pontifax (32.6% pre-offering), Arkin Bio Ventures (14.4%), and Foresite Capital Fund (9.9%) back the firm. It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “KROS.” Read more.
- The Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) acquired Solovis, a Dallas-based multi-asset class portfolio management platform, from Edison Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Thoma Bravo agreed to acquire Command Alkon, a Birmingham, Ala.-based collaboration platform for construction, from Quilvest Capital Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Kudu Investment Management made a strategic investment in Creation Investments Capital Management, a Chicago-based private equity firm specializing in impact investments.
- EQT is deferring the sale of IFS, a portfolio company and software maker, Bloomberg reports citing sources. Initial bids valued the firm at 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion). Read more.
- Bridgepoint is deferring the sale of Rovensa, an Iberian agrochemical business, Bloomberg reports citing sources. The deal was expected to fetch 1.2 billion euros. Read more.
F + FS
- Seidler Equity Partners raised $800 million for its seventh fund. Read more.
- Gemspring Capital raised $750 million for its second fund, Gemspring Capital Fund II.
- Ampersand Capital Partners raised $690 million for Ampersand 2020.
- Baird Capital raised $215 million for Fund V. Read more.
- SoftBank promoted Raisel Rehman to Managing Partner. The firm also promoted Carolina Brochado and Ramzi Ramsey to partners.
- Ardian named Daniel Graf von der Schulenburg as a managing director and head of infrastructure Germany.