Apollo Scheming

HSBC’s CEO unexpectedly resigned, PE firms are halting stake sales amid boycotts, US is cracking down on PE ownership of homes, energy and mining M&A is ripe for a boom, Tesla short-sellers got crushed, and Apollo was accused of a massive insurance fraud.

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Good Morning,

HSBC’s CEO unexpectedly resigned, PE firms are halting stake sales amid boycotts, US is cracking down on PE ownership of homes, energy and mining M&A is ripe for a boom, Tesla short-sellers got crushed, and Apollo was accused of a massive insurance fraud.

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Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 04/29/2024 market close.


  • US stocks closed higher yesterday as investors prepared for major earnings and the Fed's policy meeting

    • Money markets are pricing in ~35 bps of rate cuts this year

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 2% to become April's best-performing major index globally 

  • Oil dropped on progress in Gaza cease-fire talks

  • Yen recovered 2%+ versus the dollar after BOJ intervened in FX markets


  • Domino’s shares jumped ~6% after Q1 growth in US same-store sales exceeded analyst estimates (YF)

  • Sofi shares plummeted ~10% despite reporting better-than-expected Q1 earnings and revenue due to Q2 forecasts that missed analyst estimates (WSJ

  • Paramount posted a Q1 revenue miss but earnings beat driven by a streaming and advertising boost, but all attention was on their CEO departure related to a prospective Skydance merger (CNBC)

  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Today: Amazon, PayPal, AMD, Starbucks, Eli Lilly, McDonald’s, 3M, Coca-Cola

    • Wednesday: Mastercard, Qualcomm, Pfizer, CVS, KKR

    • Thursday: Apple, Coinbase, DraftKings, Apollo Global Management

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Apollo allegedly acquired $20B in illegal life insurance policies on strangers (BBG)

  • General Atlantic and CVC halt SEA deals as Gaza war boycotts intensify (FT)

  • US is cracking down on PE ownership of homes (WSJ)

  • HSBC CEO Noel Quinn unexpectedly resigned (BBG)

  • Brokerages shift Fed rate cut expectations to September (RT)

  • Global upstream expected to see $150B worth of M&A by year-end (RT)

  • Mining M&A spree is just getting started (WSJ)

  • German inflation curbs investors’ ECB rate cut expectations (FT)

  • Tesla short sellers have lost over $5B in post-earnings rally (YH)

  • Korean investors near $4B losses on China-linked exotic notes (BBG)

  • PBOC is concerned about bond market bubbles and economic gloom (BBG)

  • US lifts Q2 borrowing above forecasts to $243B (BBG)

  • Proxy advisors recommend against BlackRock CEO pay proposal (RT)

  • Major proxy advisor recommends against Morgan Stanley executive pay proposal (RT)

  • NYCB delayed its annual shareholders meeting by two weeks (RT)

  • California to cut medicine prices with deal on opioid overdose drugs (FT)

  • FCC fined major telecoms ~$200M for sharing customer data (WSJ)

  • Musk wins China’s backing for Tesla FSD (WSJ)

  • Turkish grocery delivery firm Getir pulls out of US and Europe (RT)

  • Oracle has more employees in California than Texas despite moving HQ (BBG)

  • Humza Yousaf resigned as Scotland’s first minister (FT)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Skydance Media, which is in talks to merge with $8.6B Paramount Global, offered a $3B cash infusion to the combined entity to assuage investors against the merger (NYT)

  • Reinold Geiger, the billionaire owner of L’Occitane International, offered to take the skincare company private for $6.4B (BBG

  • Japan's Ono Pharmaceutic will acquire cancer drugmaker Deciphera Pharmaceuticals for $2.4B (RT

  • UMB Financial agreed to acquire rival Heartland Financial USA for ~$2B in an all-stock deal poised to be this year’s largest regional bank deal (BBG

  • Fulton Financial plans to sell a $2B investment securities portfolio held by Republic First, the failed lender it acquired days ago (BBG

  • Blackstone agreed to acquire Hipgnosis Songs Fund in a $1.6B cash deal, beating out Apollo-backed music investor Concord in a bidding war (FT)

  • TotalEnergies emerged as one of the contenders for $1.1B AES Brasil Energia competing against China Three Gorges and Sao Paulo-based Auren Energia; AES is seeking ~$1.4B for its Brazilian assets (BBG

  • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is in talks to sell its $200M stake in Canadian oil and gas producer Aspenleaf Energy, which is valued at $800M (BBG

  • SES and Intelsat revived discussions on a potential merger to create a satellite giant after a previous attempt failed last year (BBG

  • Fitness chain Barry’s Bootcamp is exploring options including a sale and may seek a $700M+ valuation (BBG

  • Crypto firm Tether acquired a $200M majority stake at a $350M valuation in US brain implant company Blackrock Neurotech (RT)

  • MM Warburg, a bank at the center of Germany’s tax scandal, is reviewing options including a sale (BBG)


  • Blaize, an AI computing developer providing edge computing solutions, raised $106M in funding led by Bess Ventures, Franklin Templeton, and others (FN)

  • Thintronics, an electronic materials startup, raised a $23M Series A led by Maverick Capital and Translink Capital (FN)

  • Proptech startup Backflip raised a $15M Series A led by FirstMark Capital (TC)

  • Turnkey, a provider of wallet infrastructure for crypto developers, raised a $15M Series A led by Lightspeed Faction and Galaxy Ventures (FN)

  • Electric boat startup X Shore raised an $9.1M round from major existing shareholders (EU)

  • Log10, a platform allowing developers to build and scale LLM-powered applications, raised a $7.2M seed round led by TQ Ventures and Quiet Capital (FN)

  • Indigitall, a Spanish SaaS solutions for personalized digital communications between brands and customers, raised a $6.6M Series A led by Data Point Capital, GoHub Ventures, and Adara Ventures (FN)

  • BioIntelligence Technologies, a startup reducing waste in industrial bioprocesses, raised a $5M round led by Amplify Capital (FN)

  • Klineo, a French digital health startup, raised a $2.2M seed round led by BPI (EU)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Spanish beauty/cosmetics firm Puig is aiming for a top-of-the-range $15B valuation in its IPO due Friday (FT)

  • Cruise operator Viking is seeking to raise up to $1.33B at a $10.8B valuation in an upsized US IPO (RT)

  • Carlyle is working with JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley for a potential IPO or sale of aircraft maintenance services provider StandardAero at a ~$10B valuation, including debt (BBG

  • Coca-Cola is preparing a potential dual IPO of its African bottling business as soon as next year in Amsterdam and Johannesburg at an $8B+ valuation (BBG

  • High-end supermarket chain Spinneys' Dubai IPO is expected to price at the top of the range to raise $375M (BBG

  • Vegan food brand Impossible Foods is planning a listing, capital raise or sale by 2027 (RT)


  • Boeing raised $10B through a six-part bond sale that attracted $77B of orders (BBG

  • KKR is in talks with private credit funds including Blackstone for a ~$525M debt package to support its bid for Perpetual’s custody and wealth management units (BBG

  • Abu Dhabi SWF ADQ is planning a debut dollar bond sale (BBG

  • Hospital staffing firm Sound Inpatient Physicians is in advanced talks with a group of creditors to extend maturities of certain debt (BBG)

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • Chinese distressed developer CIFI reached an agreement with a key creditor group on some terms of a restructuring plan that could reduce debt by up to 85% or $3.3B-$4B (BBG

  • WeWork and major financial backers including SoftBank agreed to a new restructuring deal to exit bankruptcy, spurning a competing financing proposal from co-founder Adam Neumann (BBG)

Crypto Corner

  • Crypto investment products saw a third consecutive week of outflows (BBG

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