🚨Dow 40k🚨

European PE is struggling to exit, London is the leading European city for finance investments, investors are eyeing cheap UK stocks, OpenAI disbanded its risk team, and the Dow closed above 40k for the first time ever.

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Good Morning,

European PE is struggling to exit, London is the leading European city for finance investments, investors are eyeing cheap UK stocks, OpenAI disbanded its risk team, and the Dow closed above 40k for the first time ever…

…A major milestone for the US stock market and we have the perfect way to commemorate the occasion…check out our legendary Dow 40k dad hat 🧢 and get yours from the Litquidity merch store today🫡

Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 05/17/2024 market close.

Markets

  • US stocks continued their upward trajectory as investors attuned to data suggesting room for rate cuts

    • The S&P and Nasdaq rose for a fourth straight week

    • The Dow rose for a fifth straight week and closed above 40,000 for the first time

  • Traders are pricing a 68% chance of a Fed rate cut in September

  • Nickel futures jumped 7% to its highest in nine months amid political violence in New Caledonia

  • US dollar is up 9.4% against the yen YTD

  • Bitcoin broke a six-week losing streak

Earnings

  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Today: Palo Alto Networks, Zoom 

    • Tuesday: Macy's, Lowe's

    • Wednesday: Nvidia, Target

    • Thursday: Intuit, Workday, Ralph Lauren

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Goldman to expand PE credit lines as dealmaking picks up (RT)

  • US companies find borrowing conditions improving as markets rally (FT)

  • European PE firms are being forced to hold assets longer (FT)

  • Global investors wake up to cheap UK stocks as takeover activity rises (FT)

  • London remains top Europe pick for investors followed by Paris (BBG)

  • US equity funds draw largest weekly inflow in eight weeks (RT)

  • US regulators reconsider capital hike for big banks (WSJ)

  • Russia froze Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and UniCredit assets (BBG)

  • BlackRock in talks with governments about investments to power AI (RT)

  • Bain Capital to boost Japan real estate team as prospects grow (BBG)

  • Asking prices for UK homes hit record high (RT)

  • OpenAI disbanded its risk team (WR)

  • Meta’s plan to win AI race is to give tech away for free (WSJ)

  • Microsoft offers cloud customers AMD alternative to Nvidia AI processors (RT)

  • Media giants lean on sports as Hollywood strikes still loom (CNBC)

  • Snapchat shifts focus to AI after reviving ad business (BBG)

  • European utilities cut renewable targets as costs and low prices bite (FT)

  • London insurance market jobs hit highest level in decade (FT)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • General Atlantic and Canada's' CPPIB are readying a $3.3B offer to buy Spain's largest online real estate company Idealista (RT)

  • Thoma Bravo is exploring a sale of $3B US education software provider Instructure (RT

  • Spanish utility Iberdrola agreed to acquire the remaining 18.4% stake in US subsidiary Avangrid it doesn’t already own in an all-cash $2.6B deal (RT

  • EQT Group is in advanced talks to buy Keywords Studios in a deal that would value the video game services company at over $2.5B (BBG)

  • Brazilian oil junior 3R Petroleum Oleo e Gas agreed to acquire Enauta Participacoes in a $1.2B all-stock deal (BBG

  • Snowflake is in talks to acquire AI/LLM startup Reka AI for over $1B (BBG

  • $860M Australian casino operator The Star Entertainment received interest for potential deals (WSJ)

  • Telefonica and H.I.G. Capital are among the suitors weighing bids for Avatel Telecom, which could be valued at up to $761M, including debt (BBG

  • Quadrant Private Equity is preparing a sale of Australian chocolate and liquorice maker Darrell Lea in H2 2024 (BBG

  • A consortium bidding for Pakistan International Airlines include leader Pak Ethanol, Switzerland’s Swiss Aviation, Austria’s Airport Competence, Australia’s Pearl Asset Management, and others.

VC

  • Codesphere, a startup for developers to customize existing cloud services, raised an $18M Series A led by Creandum (EU)

  • Kudos, an AI-powered smart wallet service, raised a $10.2M Series A led by QED Investors (FN)

  • Accounting startup Ember raised a $6.5M round led by Valar Ventures, Viola Fintech, and Shapers (EU)

  • Hyble, a marketing technology provider for the global drinks and hospitality sector, raised $3.7M in funding led by BGF (FN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Activist investor Elliott built a $1B+ stake in Johnson Controls (BBG)

  • Shares of Chinese restaurant operator Super Hi closed ~14% higher in its US trading debut (RT

  • J&J-backed biopharma company Rapport Therapeutics filed for a US IPO (RT)

  • Dubai picked banks including Emirates NBD Capital and JPMorgan for an IPO of construction firm ALEC (BBG)

Debt

  • AI cloud computing startup Coreweave raised $7.5B from investors including BlackRock, Blackstone, and Carlyle in one of the largest-ever private debt financings (WSJ

  • Bank of America agreed to buy a portfolio of commercial real estate loans from Seattle-based bank WaFd with an unpaid principal balance of $3.2B for ~$2.9B (BBG

  • Suning Holdings is nearing a deadline to repay $436M in debt for Inter Milan due to Oaktree or risk ceding control (BBG)

  • H.I.G. Capital-backed Pixelle Specialty Solutions is in talks with lenders for fresh funding to ease the paper company’s liquidity strain (BBG

Bankruptcy / Restructuring / Distressed

  • Crypto lender Genesis will return $3B to customers in bankruptcy liquidation (RT)

  • Cano Health won support from lower-ranking creditors for a plan to slash ~$1B in debt and exit bankruptcy under new owners (BBG

  • Bondholders of troubled French IT firm Atos rejected a buyout offer from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky (RT

Fundraising

  • PE firm RedBird Capital Partners raised $4.7B to invest in more sports, media and financial services businesses (WSJ

  • Indian PE firm Kedaara Capital raised a record $1.7B for a fund to invest in health, consumer and finance sectors (BBG

  • Swedish impact investor Norrsken VC raised $345M for its second fund (ESG)

Crypto Corner

  • Venezuela banned crypto mining to protect power grid (CT)

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