Yellen Was Wrong

Yellen admits she was wrong about inflation, crypto bounced back, US home prices keep accelerating, DeLorean revealed a new EV model, Hong Kong wants lighter Covid restrictions, and Forbes canceled its SPAC merger plans.

Litquidity Capital
June 01, 2022

Good Morning,

Welcome to June. Time flies by when the market is getting clapped.

Yellen admits she was wrong about inflation, crypto bounced back, US home prices keep accelerating, DeLorean revealed a new EV model, Hong Kong wants lighter Covid restrictions, and Forbes canceled its SPAC merger plans.

Reminder: let's get those new interns signed up to Exec Sum. Sign em up or refer them using your unique links (found at the bottom of the email)! Speaking of intern szn, the latest episode of the BSD podcast is out and focused entirely on advice to interns!

🚨 New feature dropping Saturday: Exec Sum is launching a weekly opinion piece covering the most important current events in finance and business. Stay tuned for our first edition 🤝

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 5/31/2022 market close.

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

Markets

  • After a roller-coaster day in the markets, the major US averages closed in the red yesterday amid continued inflation and recession fears
    • Eurozone inflation readings hit a record high for the seventh straight month, surging 8.1% in May
    • Oil prices also had a big day, initially jumping following the EU agreement to ban most crude imports from Russia, but fading after news of OPEC potentially suspending Russia from its oil-production deal

Earnings

  • Salesforce shares rose 8% AH after a beat-and-raise Q1 report as they plan to focus on ‘disciplined decision-making’ to improve longterm profitability (CNBC)
  • What we’re watching today: GameStop, Chewy
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Yellen says 'I was wrong' last year on the path of US inflation (BBG)
  • US home-price appreciation accelerates for fourth month (BBG)
  • Executives 'buy the dip' at rate not seen since start of pandemic (FT)
  • Passengers told Vueling flight took off ‘empty’ because of Gatwick delays (BBG)
  • South Africa extends fuel subsidy to offset soaring oil prices (BBG)
  • Norwegian Airlines agrees to buy 50 Boeing 737 Max jets (BBG)
  • Ex-Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman acquitted of lying to the FBI (WSJ)
  • Unilever to add activist investor Nelson Peltz to board (WSJ)
  • Hong Kong airline body wants three-day quarantine, no Covid test (BBG)
  • DeLorean shows off electric car, says it will arrive in 2024 (BBG)
  • Biden, Powell meet with inflation at highest rate in 40 years (WSJ)

A Message From Miso Robotics

Invest in the Robo-Chef Redefining The Restaurant Industry 

Move over, Roomba – these bots can cook perfectly crispy french fries.  

White Castle just announced plans to expand Flippy the burger-flipping, fryer-dipping robot chef into 100 additional locations across the U.S. The automated kitchen assistant from Miso Robotics does it all, including:

  • Boosting the traditionally ultra-low profit margins of restaurants by up to 300%
  • Lowering the $70.3 billion per year restaurants spend on labor
  • Filling some of the 800K open positions currently plaguing the industry

No wonder huge brands like Jack In The Box, Buffalo Wild Wings, and more are partnering with Miso to bring robo-talent into their restaurant kitchens. 

This is the final month to invest in Miso’s Series E (last day is June 23rd), so get in on the fun before the whole world discovers just how good of a chef Flippy is.

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Italian state lender Cassa Depositi and a group of international funds are in talks to buy Telecom Italia’s landline network for ~$21.5B (BBG)
  • Dutch chemicals company DSM agreed to merge with Swiss ingredients maker Firmenich, to form the largest maker of fragrances, in a $21B deal (BBG)
  • Semiconductor company Qualcomm is interested in buying a stake in chipmaker Arm ahead of their potential $60B+ IPO (BBG)
  • South African miner Gold Fields agreed to buy Canada-based precious metals miner Yamana Gold in a $6.7B deal (RT)
  • Blackstone is nearing a deal to buy drug-research services firm Advarra in a potential $5B deal (BBG)
  • Money manager Franklin Resources agreed to buy BNY Mellon’s European credit and debt subsidiary, Alcentra, which has $38B AUM (BBG)
  • Advent International and German chemicals company Lanxess agreed to buy Dutch bioscience and foods company DSM’s engineering materials subsidiary for $4.13B (RT)
  • Pharma company GSK agreed to buy vaccine maker Affinivax for up to $3.3B (BBG)
  • Redbird Capital Partners agreed to buy Italian football team AC Milan in a $1.3B deal (BBG)
  • Spanish fragrance company Puig agreed to buy Swedish gender-neutral perfume maker Byredo in a potential ~$1B deal (BF)
  • The Qatar Investment Authority is in talks to buy a 20% stake in Nusr-Et steakhouse owner D.ream Group for ~$300M, implying a $1.5B valuation (BBG)
  • CR Capital Management is weighing a bid to buy New-Zealand listed honey maker Comvita, which has a market value of ~$150M (BBG)
  • Dubai’s Damac Group agreed to buy De Grisogono, a Swiss luxury jeweler that filed for bankruptcy in 2020, as the firm expands into high-end fashion (BBG) 
  • Malaysian offshore oil and gas services firm Icon Offshore is advanced talks to buy an unnamed maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) business to ‘help diversify earnings and boost profitability’ (BBG)
  • Kazakh government-owned Financial holding company Baiterek is in talks to buy Russian lender Sberbank’s Kazakh subsidiary (RT)

VC

  • Fintech insurance broker Acrisure raised a $725M Series B-2 at a $23B valuation (31% increase since their March 2021 raise) led by ADIA (BW)
  • Ultima Genomics, which has been developing a way to sequence genes faster, cheaper, and at a bigger scale, is coming out of stealth after raising $600M from investors including a16z, Founders Fund, and Khosla Ventures (BBG)
  • E-commerce financing platform Onramp Funds raised a $42M equity / debt round led by Luther King Capital Management (TC)
  • London-based neobank Kroo raised a $33M Series B from undisclosed investors (TBC)
  • Seemplicity, a startup building a platform to consolidate security notifications and speed up responses, raised $32M: a $26M Series A led by Glilot Capital Partners and $6M seed round led by S Capital (TC)
  • FinditParts, an e-commerce marketplace for the commercial vehicle aftermarket, raised a $30M Series A from Crestline Investors (PRN)
  • Blockchain-based data sharing platform Vendia raised a $30M Series B led by NewView Capital (TC)
  • Synaptic, an alternative data insights startup, raised a $20M Series B led by Valor Equity Partners (PRN)
  • Railway, a software deployment platform tailored for engineers, raised a $20M Series A led by Redpoint Ventures and angel investors including Vercel CEO Guillermo Rauch and GitHub co-founder Tom Preston-Werner (TC)
  • Travel care startup Air Doctor raised a $20M round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners (BW)
  • Felt, a collaborative mapping platform, raised a $15M Series A led by Footwork (TC)
  • Cyber incident response startup Surefire Cyber raised a $10M Series A led by Forgepoint Capital (PRN)
  • Mintlify, a startup developing software to automate software documentation tasks, raised a $2.8M seed round led by Bain Capital Ventures (TC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • The UAE’s main oil company Borealis raised $2B in the IPO of their chemicals JV, drawing $83B of orders (BBG)

SPAC

  • Digital freight-booking services platform Freightos agreed to merge with Gesher I Acquisition Corp. in a $435M deal (BBG)
  • Forbes has reportedly canceled plans to raise funds via a SPAC merger (TBC)

Debt

  • KKR agreed to buy auto-parts supplier Marelli’s sponsor as it seeks to renegotiate its debt and restructure the business (BBG)

Fundraising

  • Bonfire Ventures, a VC firm that invests in seed-stage B2B firms, secured $230M in commitments: $168M for its third core seed fund and $63M for a second opportunity fund (TC)
  • Game developer Akatsuki announced a $20M web3 fund (TBC)

Crypto Corner

  • Prada becomes the latest fashion brand to launch NFTs (TBC)
  • Ethereum scaling solution Optimism airdrops tokens to 249k wallets (DC)
  • FTX says farmers don't need to worry about its US derivatives proposal (TBC)

Exec's Picks

  • A diversified portfolio is the best way to navigate volatile markets, but diversification is more than owning several different stocks. True diversification is across multiple asset classes. Franchises provide passive income from cash-flow positive businesses, and FranShares gives anyone access to this asset class. Invest in your first franchise here!
  • Earlier this week, satire site Hard Drive started a Twitter beef with Elon Musk. The argument culminated in one of the funniest pieces that we've read this year. Check out Hard Drive's "apology" to Musk.

Big Swinging Decks Podcast

🚨 Big Swinging Decks Is Back 🚨

And this week, it is officially intern szn. School is out for summer, and like moths to a flame, kids from all over the world are putting on their J. Crew suits and preparing to get screamed at by middle management.

It’s a tale as old as time. From horror stories to highlights, Lit and Mark share their experiences as interns on Wall Street and offers advice for all the shareholders about to experience their own summer of shenanigans.

As always, catch the latest episode of our Big Swinging Decks podcast, presented by CoinFLEX.US, on SpotifyApple, and YouTube 🤝 

Be sure to check out CoinFLEX US to start earning interest every 8 hours.

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.

Meme Cleanser

Catch the latest episode of our Big Swinging Decks podcast, presented by CoinFLEX.US, on SpotifyApple, and YouTube 🤝 

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