Batman Box Office is Boomin'

Robert Pattinson's Batman is still bringing in millions, Russia used hypersonic weapons, Shanghai Disney is temporarily closing due to Covid, Germany will buy Qatari gas, Blackstone is planning a fund for millionaires (not billionaires), and Bloomberg is now trying to educate Americans earning less than $300k on how to adapt to inflation.

Litquidity Capital
March 21, 2022

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Good Morning,

Robert Pattinson's Batman is still bringing in millions, Russia used hypersonic weapons, Shanghai Disney is temporarily closing due to Covid, Germany will buy Qatari gas, Blackstone is planning a fund for millionaires (not billionaires), and Bloomberg is now trying to educate Americans earning less than $300k on how to adapt to inflation.

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Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 3/18/2022 market close.

If you want to learn more about crypto trading strategies and the world of DeFi, check out our Foot Guns newsletter.

Markets

  • Last week saw the three major US indexes post their best weeks since November 2020, largely aided by growth stocks
    • The S&P, Dow, and Nasdaq gained 6.1%, 5.5%, and 8.1%, respectively
  • The biggest driver of the current market has been recent Fed news that the central bank will raise rates at its remaining six meetings this year
    • These will be the first interest rate hikes since 2018
  • Investors will also continue watching the Russia Ukraine war as well as another emerging Covid variant in Europe 

Earnings

  • What we’re watching this week: 
    • Mon: Nike
    • Tues: Adobe
    • Wed: General Mills
    • Thurs: Nio, Darden Restaurants
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Russia uses hypersonic weapons as war enters bloodier phase (BBG)
  • The world's biggest oilfield contractors are quitting future Russia work (BBG)
  • Aramco profit hits $110B as Saudis seek to expand investments (WSJ)
  • ‘The Batman,’ still #1, crosses $300M in box office earnings (BBG)
  • Shanghai Disney to close temporarily as Covid cases reach record (BBG)
  • US Covid-19 infections likely to rise again, Fauci says (BBG)
  • Germany reaches deal to buy Qatari gas in pivot from Russia (BBG)
  • Blackstone plans fund for people with millions not billions (BBG)
  • Norway sovereign wealth fund backs call for Toshiba to solicit buyout offers (RT)
  • The king of block trades is entangled in a US probe of Morgan Stanley (BBG)
  • As Tiger Global’s VC arm borrows billions, JPMorgan calls in more banks (BBG)
  • MBA’s latest pitch to investors: "skip the startup, invest in me" (WSJ)
  • Ukraine tech startups pivot from software code to rescue plans (WSJ)
  • Hysterically tone-deaf opinion piece from Bloomberg: "Inflation stings most if you earn less than $300k. Here's how to deal." - not linking the original piece, check out this article making fun of it though (FN)

A Message From FranShares

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Thoma Bravo agreed to purchase Anaplan, a software company which helps businesses plan by modeling for different forecasting outcomes, for $10.7B (WSJ)
  • Nielsen rejects roughly $9B takeover offer from private-equity consortium (WSJ)
  • Natural gas explorer Rockcliff Energy is evaluating takeover interest from rival US shale drillers in a potential $4B+ deal (BBG)
  • French utilities provider Electricite de France starts rights offering for $3.4B+ (BBG)
  • General Motors agreed to buy the SoftBank Vision Fund 1’s stake in self-driving startup Cruise for $2.1B, giving the automaker 80% ownership (BBG)
  • Kaiser Permanente runs $1.5B PE secondary sale as it looks to expand strategy (BOI)
  • Brookfield Asset Management agreed to buy Australian non-bank lender La Trobe Financial in a $1.1B deal (BBG)
  • Digital infrastructure company Equinix agreed to buy four data centers from Chilean telecom provider Entel for ~$705M (Equinix)
  • US investor John Textor is looking to increase his 40% stake in south London’s Crystal Palace Football Club (BBG)
  • Sycamore Partners announced that it is considering making an offer for UK fashion brand Ted Baker, which is currently worth ~$293M; shares in the fashion brand are up as much as 23% as a result (BBG)
  • Colorado’s State Pension Fund will divest a $42M investment in Unilever after their Ben and Jerry’s subsidiary took economic action against Israel (BBG)

VC

  • Software maker Grafana Labs is in talks to raise new funding at a potential $5B valuation; GIC is in discussions to lead the round (BBG)
  • UK banking and payments startup ClearBank raised a $230M round at a $590M valuation from Apax Partners (TC)
  • C2X, a gaming platform built on the Terra blockchain, raised a $25M round led by FTX Ventures, Jump Crypto, and Animoca Brands (PRN)
  • Genomics startup Volta Labs raised a $20M Series A led by Maverick Ventures (TC)
  • Trailblazer Games, a game studio building a web3-native fantasy universe, raised an $8.2M seed round led by Makers Fund (PRN)
  • Meaningful Gigs, a startup linking designers in Africa with jobs at US companies, raised a $6M seed round led by Stage 2 Capital (TC)
  • Chinese driverless delivery startup Whale Dynamic raised a $2.5M seed round led by Qianchuang Capital (TC)
  • Rabot, a startup optimizing e-commerce warehouse operations with computer vision, raised a $2M pre-seed round from Newfund Capital, BootstrapLabs, and more (PRN)
  • Legal services sourcing startup Hence Technologies raised a $1.8M seed round from Daybreak PartnersBroad Creek Capital, and more (TC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • CVC Capital Partners is planning an IPO in Amsterdam (BBG)
  • Abu Dhabi National Oil and Borealis are drawing strong investor interest in an IPO of their plastics JV Borouge that could be valued at $20B+ (BBG)
  • French drugmaker Sanofi plans to list its pharmaceutical ingredients business in Paris before summer (BBG)

SPAC

  • Benuvia, a drug developer focused on pharmaceutical cannabinoids, agreed to merge with Pono Capital Corp in a $440M deal (GNW)

Fundraising

  • Hellman & Friedman targets more than $30B for record fund (BBG)
  • KKR eyes raising $5B to invest in mid-size companies (BBG)

Crypto Corner

  • Crypto firms warn customers after Hubspot employee account compromise (TBC)
  • Australia's consumer watchdog sues Meta for allegedly misleading users with crypto scam ads (TBC)
  • Crypto phishing groups solicit phony aid donations amid Ukraine conflict (DC)
  • What is ApeCoin and who is behind it? (CD)
  • If you missed it last week, we published a deep dive into FTX's business model, as the company expands beyond a crypto exchange and into venture capital, stock trading, NFTs, gaming, payments, and more. Read it here

Exec's Picks

  • Heading down to Miami next month for "Miami Tech Week", with events spanning the tech, finance, media, fashion, and crypto industries. More info about it here.

The Hiring Block

If you're looking to break into finance, lateral, or move out, check out our job board on Pallet, where we curate highly relevant roles for you. We've got 40+ jobs spanning IB, S&T, VC, tech, private equity, DeFi, crypto, CorpDev and more. We sift through all the noise on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, etc. so you don't have to.

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