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Omicron variant, J Pow, Ghislaine Maxwell, Jack Dorsey, Markets Rebound, Art Basel Miami, and more

By Litquidity Capital Nov 30, 2021

Together with

Good morning,

Reporting live from Miami this week with Art Basel around the corner. Be on the lookout for Exec Sum stickers plastered throughout South Beach, Brickell, Wynwood, etc. Anyone know if printed memes could be hung up / sold at a pop up? Asking for a friend. 

Markets rebounded from Friday's sharp sell off. Goes to show how quick sentiment can shift as data from an emerging virus variant emerges in real time... Though J Pow's remarks around the variant's impact on the Fed's employment and inflation mandates damped the rebound. 

In other news, Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO of Twitter, Ghislaine Maxwell's trial kicked off (preserve her at all cost!!!), and more news from the Cuomos came out. 

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

To see the LitCap Yolo Fund's portfolio holdings, download the Iris Social Stock app here and give Litquidity a follow. If you want to learn more about crypto trading strategies and the world of DeFi, check out our Foot Guns newsletter.

Markets

  • The markets rebounded after Black Friday’s sell off after investors assessed risks of the new omicron Covid variant
  • All three major US averages closed in the green thanks to a boost driven by Biden’s reassurance that economic lockdowns are “currently off the table” and that there will be no new travel restrictions. The new variant, first detected in South Africa, has now been found in more than a dozen countries, causing many to restrict travel
  • J Pow commented on the new variant, saying that it poses a threat to the central bank’s mandate to achieve stable prices and maximum employment (could this mean we see the printer fired up again??? 👀)
  • This week we’ll be watching to see if investors choose a buy-the-dip style rally or a more significant pullback based on the news

Earnings

  • What we’re watching today: Salesforce
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Jack Dorsey steps down as Twitter CEO, CTO Parag Agrawal to take over (CNBC)
  • Pfizer CEO has ‘very high level of confidence’ that Covid pill will be effective against Omicron (CNBC)
  • Amazon building out network to speed up delivery during holiday rush (WSJ)
  • Pentagon looking to improve Guam and Australia bases to confront China (WSJ)
  • Telecom Italia CEO Gubitosi resigns amid KKR offer (BBG)
  • France extends stricter controls on foreign ownership of key firms (1RT)
  • Nissan to spend $17.6B on battery-powered vehicles over five years (WSJ)
  • Walmart plans search for new CFO (WSJ)
  • Biden says he will direct FDA, CDC to use ‘fastest process available’ to clear Covid vaccines targeting omicron (CNBC)
  • CDC says all vaccinated adults should get booster shots (BBG)
  • Goldman Sachs adds new employee benefits to fight burnout (BBG)
  • MicroStrategy buys more Bitcoin, with the company’s stake now worth ~$7B (BBG)
  • FTC asks Amazon, Walmart, for information about supply chain issues (WSJ)
  • Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial opens, with Epstein at its center (NYT)

A Message From Capital Allocators

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Today I want to tell you about Capital Allocators University – a live, online cohort for senior investment professionals. CAU is an opportunity for like-minded peers in institutional investing to learn from subject matter experts and connect to compound relationships.

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Registration for the April 2022 cohort will open in January. Space is limited, so join the waitlist today.

Deal Flow

M&A

  • Nordic oil producer Lundin Energy is exploring a potential sale (the company has a  current market cap of ~$10.6B)  (BBG)
  • Thoma Bravo is exploring a sale of automation software provider Kofax that could fetch ~$3B (BBG)
  • Miner Implats has revived a pursuit of South African miner RBPlat with a ~$2.7B bid (BBG)
  • Insurer Athene agreed to buy a controlling stake in consumer lender Aqua Finance at a $1B valuation (BBG)
  • Red Sox owners Fenway Sports Group agreed to buy a controlling interest in the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins (BBG)
  • Chemicals company Johnson Matthey is in talks to buy Tata Chemicals’ battery materials business in a potential $500-700M deal (BBG)
  • Student media learning platform Chegg agreed to buy online language learning startup Busuu for $436M (TC)
  • Personal care company Edgewell agreed to buy D2C razor brand Billie in a $310M deal (BBG)
  • Dermody Properties agreed to buy the majority of Allstate’s headquarters campus for $232M (BBG)
  • Canadian mining company B2Gold is in talks to buy gold assets in Zimbabwe (BBG)
  • Japan’s biggest steel maker Nippon Steel is in talks to buy a steel mill in Southeast Asia to secure iron-making resources (RT)
  • Checkout technology company Bolt agreed to buy Tipser, a Swedish technology company enabling direct checkout on any digital surface (TC)
  • 777 Partners offered $9.3M to buy a 45% stake in the British Basketball League (BBG)

VC

  • Sports tech startup Dream Sports raised an $840M round at an $8B valuation led by Tiger Global, RedBird Capital, Falcon Edge, DST Global, and D1 Capital (FOS)
  • Data center operator Princeton Digital is considering raising ~$400M at a $2B valuation in a round likely led by Mubadala (BBG)
  • Enterprise visibility and security platform Armis raised a $300M round at a $3.4B valuation from One Equity Partners and existing investors (VB)
  • Thought Machine, a cloud-based B2B banking startup, raised a $200M Series C at a $1B+ valuation led by Nyca Partners (TC)
  • Quell Therapeutics, a startup focusing on the development of Treg cell therapies, raised a $156M Series B led by Jeito Capital, Ridgeback Capital Investments, SV Health Investors, and Fidelity Management & Research (FINSMES)
  • Dublin-based renewable energy startup Mainstream Renewable Power raised a ~$101M round from existing investors (PRN)
  • Global flex office provider Mindspace raised a $72M round led by Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd (PRN)
  • Robotics startup FJDynamics raised a $70M Series B from a sole investor - an unnamed major internet firm in China (TC)
  • Mr Yum, a Melbourne-based mobile ordering platform, raised a $65M Series A led by Tiger Global (TC)
  • Upbound, a startup building an open source Crossplane multi-cloud management tool, raised a $60M Series B led by Altimeter Capital (TC)
  • iMile Delivery, a courier startup building a logistics chain to China, raised $40M Series A at a $350M valuation led by ByteDance (the TikTok parent company) (BBG)
  • Algerian super app Yassir raised a $30M Series A from WndrCo, DN Capital, and more (TC)
  • Pakistani e-commerce courier and financing provider PostEx raised an $8.6M seed round led by Global Founders Capital (BBG)
  • Metal casting startup Foundry Labs raised an $8M Series A led by Blackbird (TC)
  • Particular Audience, a Sydney-based startup looking to give smaller e-commerce retailers a chance to gather similar customer data to bigger retailers, raised a $7.5M Series A led by Equity Venture Partners (TC)
  • Blockchain video game studio Blockade Games raised a $5M seed extension at a $23M valuation led by Digital and Animoca Brands (MS)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Brazilian digital bank Nu is planning an IPO next month at a $25B valuation (BBG)
  • Cloud software vendor HashiCorp is planning for a $13B valuation in its upcoming IPO (CNBC)
  • Indian crypto unicorn CoinDCX plans to pursue an IPO whenever government regulations allow it (BBG)
  • Saudi stock exchange Tadawul set the final price of its IPO at the top end of the range, planning to raise up to $1B at a $3.4B valuation (BBG)
  • China Evergrande Group chairman Hui Ka Yan agreed to sell ~10% of his stake in the company for ~$344M as the developer continues to try to prevent a default (BBG)
  • Creative Biosciences, a developer of DNA testing kits for colorectal cancer, is considering an IPO in Hong Kong as soon as next year (BBG)
  • Cloud data service provider PC DCI Indonesia has jumped 10,000% since its IPO in January, making it the world’s best performing IPO in 2021 (BBG)
  • Industrie De Nora, an Italian maker of components for green hydrogen production is planning a 2022 Milan IPO (BBG)
  • Pakistani software company Coeus Solutions plan to raise $5M in an IPO on the country’s exchange (BBG)

Exec's Picks

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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 100+ 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.

Featured job of the day:

  • BitGo, a provider of capital markets infrastructure for cryptocurrencies, is looking to hire an Institutional Sales Associate in New York City. They're backed by the most prominent investment banks, prop trading firms, Silicon Valley VCs, and digital asset investors. Apply here

If you're looking to hire candidates and want to post a job, all you have to do is hit "+ Hire Talent" on the top right of the job board.

To Candidates: We've also partnered up with Portal Jobs for a more hands-on approach to matching talent with relevant jobs. Fill out the form here and we'll get to work on placing you in a relevant gig 🤝

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