Mask Off, JPMorgan Edition

Boomer stocks were the only green index yesterday, China locked down 51M people due to Covid breakout, Russia threatens western companies with arrests and asset seizures, Ford is building a massive EV battery plant in Turkey, JPMorgan rolls back Covid precautions, the inverse ARK ETF passed ARK, and UK airlines remove mask mandates.

Litquidity Capital
March 15, 2022

Together with

Good Morning,

Boomer stocks were the only green index yesterday, China locked down 51M people due to Covid breakout, Russia threatens western companies with arrests and asset seizures, Ford is building a massive EV battery plant in Turkey, JPMorgan rolls back Covid precautions, the inverse ARK ETF passed ARK, and UK airlines remove mask mandates.

Mark your calendars for this Friday at 8 PM EST, as we cohost a Twitter spaces event with CoinFLEX, our sponsor for the BSD podcast! We'll discuss our partnership with CoinFLEX, their US launch, and will be giving out prizes. Follow @CoinFLEX_US on Twitter so you don't miss this event. 🤝

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 3/14/2022 market close.

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

Markets

  • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed red to kick off the week as investors continued to monitor both the developments in the Ukraine-Russia war and the anticipated first rate hike by the Fed later this week
    • Meanwhile, the Dow finished up ~1 point after initially climbing 450 points earlier in the day
    • Commodity prices (especially oil) have cooled off from last week’s peak prices
  • The Fed is expected to raise its target fed funds rate by a quarter-percentage at the end of its two-day meeting Wednesday
  • Rising US Treasury yields gave financial stocks a lift to start the week

Earnings

  • What we’re watching this week:
    • Wed: Williams Sonoma
    • Thurs: Accenture, GameStop, FedEx, Warby Parker  
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • US says Russia sought Chinese military aid for war on Ukraine (BBG)
  • China locks down world’s second-tallest building in Covid outbreak (BBG)
  • Tencent faces record fine over WeChat payments (BBG)
  • Electricite de France (EDF) sees $28.6B hit from regulatory steps, output cut (BBG)
  • Russian prosecutors warn western companies of potential arrests, asset seizures (WSJ)
  • UK explores housing Ukraine refugees in oligarch mansions (BBG)
  • Ford plans giant EV battery plant in Turkey with SK, Koc (BBG)
  • Citi faces $1.5B earnings hit in Russia retreat (BBG)
  • Anti-ARK ETF trades above Cathie Wood’s flagship fund for first time (BBG)
  • Heathrow, Virgin, British Airways to ease mask rules as UK ends curbs (BBG)
  • Apple supplier Foxconn is in talks to build a $9B factory in Saudi Arabia (WSJ)
  • Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will knock 30 years of progress off the Russian economy  (CNBC)
  • JPMorgan rolls back Covid precautions including masking and mandatory testing as US cases drop (CNBC)
  • Electric Last Mile shares plummet to $1 after company confirms SEC probe (CNBC)

A Message From Public Rec

The Only Pants You’ll Want to Wear

St. Patrick’s Day is this Thursday which means you’ll be conveniently logging off work to hit the local watering hole. St. Patrick’s Day is festive, and you need clothes that give you room to move. Public Rec has you covered.

Public Rec has engineered a more stylish alternative to sweatpants that are way more comfortable than jeans.

These pants give you the flexibility you need while looking the best in the room. Plus, PR offers nine different colors, including olive (so you don’t have to worry about getting pinched).

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Canada’s Rogers Communications has opened a data room and begun talks with potential buyers of the wireless assets of Shaw Communications as it tries to gain approval for the $16B takeover (BBG)
  • A consortium of PE firms including Elliott Management is in advanced talks to buy TV-ratings company Nielsen in a potential ~$15B deal (WSJ)
  • Telecom Italia to explore terms of potential $11.8B KKR bid (RT)
  • Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto proposed to buy the 49% of Canada’s Turquoise Hill it does not already own for ~$2.7B (RT)
  • Commercial broadcaster MFE-MediaForEurope is considering a bid to buy full control of its listed Spanish unit, Mediaset España, which has a market value of $1.8B (BBG)
  • SoftBank Vision Fund was revealed to be the seller behind a $1B block trade that resulted in the plunge of e-commerce giant Coupang’s shares last week (BBG)
  • Pipeline operator Williams agreed to buy natural gas gathering and processing assets from Trace Midstream for $950M (BBG)
  • Australian nickel and lithium miner IGO announced its purchase of Western Areas would be delayed due to recent volatility in nickel prices (RT)
  • Sixth Street Partners agreed to buy a 49% stake in Italian energy group Eni in a $548M+ deal (RT)
  • Canadian oil and gas producer Strathcona agreed to buy rival Caltex in an estimated ~$519M deal (RT)
  • Pancrete Bank agreed to buy HSBC's 15 Greek bank branches (BBG)
  • Digital asset investment firm CoinShares increased its stake in Swiss-based online bank FlowBank to 29.3% in a $26.5M deal (BBG)
  • Crypto exchange Binance has signed an MOU to potentially acquire Brazilian securities brokerage Sim;paul Investimentos (TBC)

VC

  • KKR closed a $17B global infrastructure fund (BW)
  • Global energy focused PE firm Lime Rock Resources closed its fifth fund at $538M (PRN)
  • Nutcracker Therapeutics, a biotech company developing RNA therapeutics, raised a $167M Series C led by ARCH Venture Partners (BW)
  • Moove, a startup providing vehicle financing for gig workers, raised a $105M Series A2 from Speedinvest, Left Lane Capital and thelatest.ventures (TC)
  • Encina, a producer of circular chemicals from waste materials, raised $55M in financing from IMM Global and SW Recycle Fund (BW)
  • Encompass, a provider of KYC solutions, raised a $33M round led by Perennial Partners (PRN)
  • House Rx, a platform improving the specialty pharmacy experience, raised $30M: a $25M Series A led by Bessemer Venture Partners and a $5M seed round led by First Round Capital  (PRN)
  • Solana-based NFT marketplace Magic Eden raised a $27M Series A led by Paradigm (TBC)
  • Crypto startup Gauntlet raised a $23.8M funding round led by Ribbit Capital (TBC)
  • Network discovery and asset inventory startup Rumble raised a $15M Series A led by Decibel (BW)
  • Palladius, a vertically integrated real estate investment company, raised a $15M Series A led by Charlesbank Capital Partners, Timothy Dunn, Robert Yallen, and others (BW)
  • Customer engagement SaaS platform Conveyer raised a $14M round led by HearstLab (PRN)
  • Vira Health, a startup offering personalized digital therapeutics for women going through menopause, raised a $12M round led by Octopus Ventures (TC)
  • Stellar, a startup providing access to credit building financial tools for underserved communities, raised a $7M round led by Acrew Capital, Trust Ventures, and Accomplice Ventures (PRN)
  • J2 Health, a B2B healthcare SaaS company, raised a $4.5M seed round led by Primary Ventures, Tiger Global, and BoxGroup (PRN)

SPAC

  • FinAccel, the parent of BNPL platform Kredivo, and VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings II mutually agreed to terminate their $2.5B merger due to adverse market conditions (RT)

Crypto Corner

  • El Salvador could launch its bitcoin bond next week, but some key details remain unclear (TBC)
  • EU votes 32-23 against ‘de facto Bitcoin mining ban’ (DC)
  • Ukraine has launched a crypto donations website with the help of FTX (TBC)
  • Former Disney CEO Bob Iger joins board for metaverse firm Genies (TBC)

Exec's Picks

  • In case you missed it - we published a deep dive on FTX yesterday. While it's already a crypto trading juggernaut, the company is expanding globally and into other business verticals, including stocks, payments, NFTs, gaming, venture capital, and so much more. Check out our write up here. And if you want to check out their US platform, you can download it here and use referral code 'litquidity' at sign up.
  • Last Friday, Jack Raines wrote a piece breaking down short-term and long-term risks in both our finances and our lives. Check out Risk. 

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.
  • William Hood & Co is hiring for an experienced investment banking analyst / first year associate role located in New York City. The ideal candidate will have 1-2 years of investment banking, business development, or operational finance experience. Experience in Consumer is a plus. Also worth noting the months of August and December are also fully remote. Click here to apply.

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