Bad Day to Bribe

Commodities chiefs say era of bribes is over, OpenAI’s new AI will be capable of reasoning, Costco gold bars are selling like hot cakes, Salt Lake City was the hottest job market last year, and US bond markets are perilously leveraged ahead of today’s CPI drop.

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Commodities chiefs say era of bribes is over, OpenAI’s new AI will be capable of reasoning, Costco gold bars are selling like hot cakes, Salt Lake City was the hottest job market last year, and US bond markets are perilously leveraged ahead of today’s CPI drop.

Early enrollment ends soon! Save up to $500 in tuition by enrolling in the Wharton Online and Wall Street Prep Private Equity Certificate Program by April 15th.

Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 04/09/2024 market close.


  • US stocks ended mostly flat yesterday as investors awaited today’s CPI report

    • Extent of short US Treasuries bets may leave traders squeezed

  • Europe's Stoxx 600 fell 0.6% dragged down by defense stocks 

  • Canada's TSX index extended its record run on surging gold prices and mining stocks

  • Short bets on Canadian dollar are at highest in a year


  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Today: Delta Air Lines

    • Thursday: Constellation Brands

    • Friday: JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, BlackRock, Citigroup, Progressive

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • OpenAI and Meta ready new AI models capable of ‘reasoning’ (FT)

  • Commodities CEOs say era of bribes is over (FT)

  • Global VC funding dropped 30% in Q1 (BBG)

  • Trader places biggest-ever bet on SOFR futures (BBG)

  • Australia sets mandatory notification rule in M&A shakeup (RT)

  • Citadel moved data and algorithm testing to Google Cloud (FT)

  • Exotic corporate debt products lure yield-hungry Indian savers (BBG)

  • Falling loan demand builds rate cut pressure at ECB (FT)

  • US small-business sentiment slid to lowest level in over 11 years (RT)

  • Global firms with China units switch from dollar to yen for borrowing (RT)

  • Fidelity clawback of free ETF trading costs to hit investors (FT)

  • BOJ leaves door open for future rate hikes (WSJ)

  • HSBC to accelerate China wealth expansion (RT)

  • JPMorgan, BlackRock among BLS economist’s CPI ‘super users’ (BBG)

  • Goldman see European defense stocks as overvalued (BBG

  • Gold bars are 'a cash cow' for Costco (CNBC)

  • Traders grow increasingly bullish on oil (BBG)

  • Global steel demand is expected to return to growth this year (RT)

  • Google is expanding in-house chip efforts (WSJ)

  • Intel unveiled latest AI chip as Nvidia competition heats up (CNBC)

  • European ports turn into ‘car parks’ as vehicle imports pile up (FT)

  • Comcast sold $1.2B in ads for Paris Olympics (BBG)

  • Carnival puts Miami HQ for sale as Florida real estate soars (BBG)

  • Salt Lake City was the hottest job market in 2023 (WSJ)

A Message From Wall Street Prep

Early Enrollment Deadline is almost here!

There are only 5 days left to save $200 off tuition by enrolling by April 15th into the upcoming cohort for the Private Equity Certificate Program.

The 8-week online program teaches students the essentials of private equity through a theory-meets-practice methodology. Students will have the opportunity to learn from Wharton Online faculty and gain practical insight from top industry experts including David Rubenstein and Martin Brand.

In addition, students will have access to our exclusive graduate benefits, which include peer-to-peer networking events, invitation-only LinkedIn and Slack groups, and exclusive recruiting events with top private equity recruiting firms.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to join a growing network of private equity professionals.

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • German generic-drugmaker Stada Arzneimittel is in talks with potential buyers including CD&R, CVC Capital, and KKR on a potential sale that could fetch an ~$8.7B valuation (BBG

  • Austrian billionaire and controlling shareholder Reinold Geiger is nearing a deal to take ~$5.6B skincare company L'Occitane International private (BBG

  • One Hotels & Resorts, the majority shareholder of Motel One Group, purchased RE PE group Proprium Capital Partners’ 35% stake in the budget hotel chain for $1.35B at a $4.45B valuation, including debt (FT

  • German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media is considering a potential sale of its price-comparison website Verivox and online perfume retailer Flaconi, which may be worth $879M (BBG

  • Argentinian financial services company Grupo Financiero Galicia will acquire HSBC’s Argentine business for $550M (BBG

  • Alternative asset manager Blue Owl Capital will buy Prima Capital Advisors for $170M to expand into real estate financing (RT

  • Highmount Capital invested $100M in Dude Perfect (AX)

  • Five Arrows, the alternative assets arm of Rothschild & Co., agreed to acquire data management company Rimes Technologies from EQT (BBG

  • Malaysian tycoon Vincent Tan is considering taking Starbucks Malaysia-owner Berjaya Food private (BBG

  • MLS team Philadelphia Union is considering backing a takeover of Danish football club Aalborg (BBG

  • Retail company Esprit is in talks with an international PE firm regarding prospective investments as it struggles with its European business (WSJ)


  • AI data security startup Cyera raised a $300M Series C at a $1.4B valuation led by Coatue (TC)

  • Monad Labs, a blockchain startup building the Monad Blockchain, raised a $225M Series A led by Paradigm (FN)

  • Neuropsychiatric medicines startup Seaport Therapeutics raised a $100M Series A led by ARCH Venture Partners, Sofinnova Investments, and Third Rock Ventures (BW)

  • Basemark, a Finnish provider of automotive AR software, raised a $24M Series B led by ETF Partners (FN)

  • Thesis, a venture studio building brands on Bitcoin, raised a $21M round led by Pantera Capital (PRN)

  • Sprinto, a security compliance and risk platform, raised a $20M Series B led by Accel (TC)

  • Cariloop, a comprehensive caregiver support platform, raised a $20M Series C led by ABS Capital (BW)

  • ID5, a startup providing an identity provider for digital advertising, raised a $20M Series B led by TransUnion and S4S Ventures (BW)

  • Reshape, an AI and robotics-powered imaging and analysis platform, raised a $20M Series A led by Astanor Ventures, YC, and more (FN)

  • StrikeReady, a cybersecurity platform for SOC teams, raised $12M in funding led by 33N Ventures (FN)

  • TransferGo, a fintech/consumer platform for global remittances, raised a $10M growth round from Taiwania Capital (TC)

  • Procurement Sciences AI, a next-generation bidding-intelligence platform for government contractors, raised a $10M Series A led by Battery Ventures (BW)

  • Bite, a provider of intelligent kiosk solutions for fast-casual and quick-service restaurants, raised a $9M Series A led by Staley Capital (BW)

  • Waymap, a startup offering accessibility-first indoor navigation, raised a $9.4M round led by TELUS (PRN)

  • Rally, a UXR CRM, raised an $8.8M seed round led by Stage 2 Capital (PRN)

  • Extended reality company Quintar raised an $8.2M series A led by SeventySix Capital and Cowles Company (PRN)

  • Kiki World, a beauty brand that uses web3 for customer co-creation, raised a $7M seed round from a16z (TC)

  • Carrar, a startup providing EV battery modules and thermal management systems, raised a $5.3M Series A led by Salida B.V., OurCrowd, and NextGear (BW)

  • Juicer, a startup specializing in restaurant revenue management and pricing solutions, raised a $5.3M seed round led by York IE (FN)

  • Ostra Cybersecurity, a holistic security as a service platform provider, raised a $4M Series A led by Rally Ventures (FN)

  • Libretto, a startup building tools to help developers improve LLM prompts, raised a $3.7M seed round led by XYZ VC and The General Partnership (FN)

  • Space software tech provider Bright Ascension raised a $2.9M seed round from Scottish Enterprise, C4C, and others (FN)

  • Food sourcing platform Torg raised a ~$3M seed round led by Connect Ventures (EU)

  • AI edtech startup PETE raised a $2M seed round led by Cofounders Capital (PRN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • China's ICBC plans to issue ~$5.5B of TLAC bonds (RT)

  • Israeli cyber security startup Claroty is preparing a 20225 US IPO at a $3.5B valuation (RT

  • Oaktree Capital Management halted the IPO of Italian lender Banca Progetto after receiving interest from a prospective suitor (BBG

  • Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart’s mining firm Hancock Prospecting took a 5.3% stake in US rare earths miner MP Materials (RT

  • American-Japanese retail holding company Seven & i is planning to list its supermarket unit Ito-Yokado (BBG)


  • Investment platform Linqto will merge with Blockchain Coinvestors Acquisition in a $700M deal (RT


  • Blackstone may provide debt financing for controlling shareholder Reinold Geiger’s buyout of ~$5.6B skincare company L'Occitane International (BBG

  • Diamondback Energy sold $5.5B in investment-grade bonds to help finance its $26B acquisition of Endeavor Energy Resources (BBG

  • Ares Management is seeking to buy out a stake in a $1.3B project loan backing luxury-property development The Corniche in Hong Kong (BBG

  • Blackstone intends to borrow over $1B through a NAV loan backed by deals in its $18B flagship PE fund (BBG

  • Adani Green Energy is in talks to raise ~$400M through an offshore loan from lenders including Mitsubishi, Standard Chartered and Sumitomo for an upcoming renewables project (BBG

  • Italian toy maker Giochi Preziosi is considering options to tackle $271M in maturing debt (BBG)

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • A consortium led by investment firm NRDC and German businessman Bernd Beetz will takeover insolvent German retailer Galeria (RT)


  • Supermarket chains including Tesco, Woolworths Group, and Africa's Shoprite teamed up to launch a $125M VC fund to accelerate retail innovation (RT

Crypto Corner

  • One-third of consumers believe Bitcoin will fall below $20k by year-end (BBG)

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