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Beginning of a Bitcoin Monopoly

JPMorgan set up a sports IB team, Wall Street and Europe IB bonuses declined, Texas schools pulled $8.5B from BlackRock, bond traders are upping short bets, CalPERS will invest over $30B in private markets, and MicroStrategy now owns ~1% of all Bitcoin.

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Good Morning,

JPMorgan set up a sports IB team, Wall Street and Europe IB bonuses declined, Texas schools pulled $8.5B from BlackRock, bond traders are upping short bets, CalPERS will invest over $30B in private markets, and MicroStrategy now owns ~1% of all Bitcoin.

With summer around the corner, Hampton Racquet is excited to announce their 12th season of Rising Stars Tennis Camp - an unparalleled tennis opportunity for your child in the heart of the Hamptons. Check ‘em out!

Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 03/19/2024 market close.

Markets

  • US stocks rose as the Fed kicked off its two-day rate policy meeting 

  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 index ended slightly higher after the BOJ ended its historic 17-year negative rate regime 

  • The Yen slid to a four-month low 

Earnings

  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Today: Micron, General Mills, Chewy

    • Thursday: FedEx, Nike, Lululemon, Accenture

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • JPMorgan to set up a dedicated sports IB team (RT)

  • Wall Street bonuses fell 2% to a ~$176k average in 2023 (RT)

  • European investment banks cut bonuses in second-straight year (FT)

  • Bond traders up short bets on fear Fed will dash rate-cut hopes (BBG)

  • Hedge funds are piling into euro zone's $10T sovereign bond market (RT)

  • CalPERS will invest over $30B more in private markets (FT)

  • China's bonds boom as investors face 'asset famine' (RT)

  • Citigroup has sold most non-US consumer businesses in restructuring progress (RT)

  • UK pension funds snap up real estate at steep discounts (FT)

  • PIMCO says BOJ rate hike puts Japanese bonds back on the map (BBG)

  • Small banks demand RTO more than bigger peers (BBG)

  • Texas schools fund pulled $8.5 from BlackRock over ESG (RT)

  • PepsiCo to replace Coca-Cola at Subway’s US locations (BBG)

  • Gucci-owner issues rare luxury sector profit warning after Asia slowdown (FT)

  • Microsoft hired DeepMind's co-founder to lead consumer AI unit (WSJ)

  • George Lucas endorsed Disney CEO Bob Iger in proxy fight (WSJ)

  • Unilever to spin off ice cream unit and cut 7.5k jobs (RT)

A Message From Bond Life Club

The fun and excitement of the Rising Stars summer camp continues into its 12th season! 

Hampton Racquet Club, located in East Hampton, is thrilled to continue the legacy of training and skill-building while providing a summer filled with fun for its youth. As a premier tennis destination for the past decade, Hampton Racquet is renowned for their world-class instructors dedicated to the development and training for children aged 4-18. 

This is an unparalleled opportunity for your child to experience coaching in a top-tier facility, right in the heart of the Hamptons. 

Don't miss the chance to elevate their tennis skills and passion for the sport. 

Join Hampton Racquet for another incredible summer!

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Gildan Activewear, the $6.3B Canadian clothing manufacturer that owns American Apparel, is exploring potential bids from PE firms including Sycamore Partners (BBG

  • Macy's will open its books to Arkhouse and Brigade Capital in a breakthrough for the investment firms' $6.6B bid to take Macy's private (RT)

  • Nordstrom's founding family is seeking take-private deals for the $3B US department store six years after a similar attempt failed (RT

  • French plant-based ingredients maker Roquette will acquire International Flavors & Fragrances’ pharma solutions business in a $2.9B deal (RT

  • AstraZeneca will acquire Canadian drug developer Fusion Pharmaceuticals in a $2B cash deal (RT

  • Butterfly Equity, the PE owner of Chosen Foods, is exploring a sale that could value the avocado-based food company at over $600M (RT

  • Building products company Carlisle will acquire commercial roofing company MTL in a $410M cash deal from PE firm GreyLion Partners (WSJ

  • Boeing is exploring the sale of at least two of its defense businesses (BBG

  • UAE clean-energy firm Masdar agreed to acquire a 50% stake in US renewable electricity producer Terra-Gen Power Holdings II (BBG

  • UK broker TP ICAP will acquire New Zealand-based gas, power and carbon brokerage firm Aotearea Energy (RT)

VC

  • Engrail Therapeutics, a precision neuroscience company, raised a $157M Series B led by F-Prime Capital, Forbion, and Norwest Venture Partners (BW)

  • African mobility fintech app Moove raised a $100M Series B led by Uber (TC)

  • Banking-as-a-Service platform Solarisbank raised a $100M Series F led by SBI Group and others (EU)

  • Hippocratic AI, a startup building a safety-focused LLM for healthcare, raised a $53M Series A at a $500M valuation led by Premji Invest and General Catalyst (FN)

  • Coterie, an insurtech MGA simplifying small business insurance, raised $27M in funding led by Hiscox (PRN)

  • Delivery startup Ingrid raised a $23M round led by Verdane and Schibsted Ventures (TC)

  • Wearable medical ultrasound startup Flosonics Medical raised a $20M Series C led by New Leaf Venture Partners (BW)

  • NeuReality, an AI inference and data center infrastructure startup, raised $20M in funding from the EIC Fund, Varana Capital, Cleveland Avenue, XT Hi-Tech, and OurCrowd (BW)

  • Innatera, a startup building ultra-low power neuromorphic processors, raised a $16.2M Series A led by Invest-NL Deep Tech Fund, EIC Fund, MIG Capital, and more (PRN)

  • Marco, a trade finance platform for LatAm SMEs, raised a $12M Series A led by IDC Ventures (PRN)

  • D2X, a Dutch crypto derivatives exchange for institutions, raised a $10M Series A led by Point72 Ventures (FN)

  • G2 Reverse Logistics, an end-to-end reverse logistics platform, raised a $9.6M seed round led by Dell Technologies Capital (BW)

  • Indie game studio Cathedral Studios raised a $6.6M seed round led by Arca (FN)

  • Financial portability solutions startup Ascent raised a $5.3M round led by Foundation Capital, TruStage Ventures Discovery Fund, Alloy Labs, and more (PRN)

  • Portal Biotechnologies, a cell engineering platform, raised a $5M pre-seed round led by Pear VC (BW)

  • Enapi, a German provider of a connectivity platform for EV charging collaboration, raised a $2.7M pre-seed round led by Project A Ventures (FN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Pfizer reduced its stake UK consumer healthcare firm Haleon by $3.5B to 22.6% (RT

  • Skincare company Galderma is expected to price its $2.6B IPO at the top of its range (BBG)  

  • Borse Dubai reduced its stake in Nasdaq by $1.6B from 15.5% to 10.8% as part of a Nasdaq secondary share offering (RT)

  • CVC-backed German perfume retailer Douglas priced its IPO at $967M, the bottom of a marketed range (BBG)

Debt

  • BAE Systems is raising $4.8B through a five-part bond sale to help fund its $5.6B purchase of Ball Aerospace; their 30Y note was priced at a 118 bps premium (BBG

  • Indian infrastructure bank NaBFID is considering raising ~$4.8B in a local bond sale (BBG)

  • Campbell Soup is selling bonds to repay a $2B delayed draw term loan used to finance the acquisition of Sovos Brands and other corporate purposes; their 10Y trance was priced at a 115 bps premium  (BBG

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • Scandinavian airline SAS won court approval for a $1.2B debt restructuring anchored by Air France-KLM and PE firm Castlelake (BBG

  • UK fashion brand Ted Baker is preparing to appoint administrators (FT)

Fundraising

  • Apollo is seeking to raise over $6B for its third hybrid value fund that provides financing that sits between debt and equity (BBG

  • Eduardo Saverin's B Capital closed its second Opportunities Fund with $750M (RT

Crypto Corner

  • Goldman Sachs said the crypto rally was driven by retail investors (RT)

  • MicroStrategy now owns over 1% of all Bitcoin (BBG) 

Exec’s Picks

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