No Fun Without Leverage

Lenders sued 777 Partners for fraud, VC deal flow is still stagnant, the job market is rapidly cooling, Taiwan’s ETF frenzy is raising eyebrows, SEC shut down Trump Media’s auditor, and retail investors are hungry for triple-leveraged ETFs…classic.

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Lenders sued 777 Partners for fraud, VC deal flow is still stagnant, the job market is rapidly cooling, Taiwan’s ETF frenzy is raising eyebrows, SEC shut down Trump Media’s auditor, and retail investors are hungry for triple-leveraged ETFs…classic.

Seeking access to private market investments alongside a decorated group of Wall Street veterans? Check out today’s sponsor, 10 East.

Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 05/03/2024 market close.


  • Stocks rallied on Friday after a softer-than-expected April jobs report boosted the case for Fed rate cuts

  • US cattle futures fell 6% amid a bird flu outbreak 


  • Berkshire Hathaway reported a 39% YoY increase in Q1 operating earnings to $11.2B thanks to gains in its insurance underwriting, while its cash hoard swelled to $189B (CNBC)  

  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Today: JLL, Spirit Airlines, Lucid

    • Tuesday: Walt Disney, Rivian, Reddit

    • Wednesday: Uber, Toyota, Airbnb, Shopify, Robinhood

    • Thursday: Warner Bros Discovery

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Lenders accused PE firm 777 Partners of fraud (BBG)

  • Nomura and Mizuho face $100M in losses over counterparty shorts (BBG)

  • VC deal flow remains stagnant in Q1 (WSJ)

  • HF's options bets hand green investors path to predicting returns (BBG)

  • US added fewest jobs in six months as unemployment rose (BBG)

  • BoE rate-cut plan is set to differ from Fed's (BBG)

  • Worsening climate is igniting $25B weather derivatives market (BBG)

  • Global HFs are growing increasingly bullish on China/Hong Kong (RT)

  • Retail investors snap up triple-leveraged US equity ETFs (FT)

  • Investor frenzy for Taiwan ETFs is raising caution (RT)

  • US equity funds see fifth-straight week of outflows (RT)

  • Reddit co-founder/CEO Steve Huffman owns 61.5% of Class A shares (RT)

  • Consumers ditch big brands over inflation (WSJ)

  • BlueCrest Capital prepares to expand trading teams (FT)

  • Shell sold millions of ‘phantom’ carbon credits (FT)

  • SEC shut down Trump Media's auditor over ‘massive fraud’ (FT)

  • McLaren's Norris clinched his maiden F1 victory in a dramatic Miami GP (F1)

A Message From 10 East

Where Sophisticated Investors Access Private Markets

10 East is a co-investment platform where sophisticated investors access private market investments alongside a veteran team with a 12+ year track record of strong performance across over 350 transactions. The firm is led by Michael Leffell, former Deputy Executive Managing Member of Davidson Kempner.

Members have the flexibility to participate on a deal-by-deal basis across private equity, credit, real estate, and venture capital.

Benefits of 10 East membership include:  

  • Flexibility – members have full discretion over whether to invest on an offering-by-offering basis.  

  • Alignment – principals commit material personal capital to every offering. 

  • Institutional resources – a dedicated investment team that sources and diligences each offering.

There are no upfront costs or commitments associated with joining 10 East.

Exec Sum readers can join 10 East with complimentary access here.

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • ExxonMobil completed its $60B acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources (RT

  • Apollo Global and Sony Pictures Entertainment are in formal negotiations with Paramount Global over a $26B takeover bid (NYT)

  • Tower operator Uniti Group will re-merge with telecom services provider Windstream in a $13.4B cash-and-stock deal (RT)

  • Occidental Petroleum is exploring a sale of a part of its Permian Basin operations that could fetch over $1B (RT

  • A group including commodity giant Glencore and Indonesian chemicals business PT Chandra Asri Pacific is in advanced talks to buy Shell’s Singapore assets for ~$1B (BBG

  • Johnson Controls International is considering the sale of its ADT alarms business, which could fetch a sub-$1B valuation in a sale (RT

  • Eutelsat is exploring options including a sale for its ground station network that could value the portfolio at over $850M (BBG

  • Pinegrove Capital Partners will acquire bankrupt SVB's VC arm SVB Capital for $340M in cash (AX

  • Activist TOMS Capital took a 'significant' stake in food giant Kellanova (RT)


  • Allozymes, an AI startup testing millions of bio-based chemical reactions, raised a $15M Series A led by Seventure Partners, NUS Technology and more (TC)

  • EYWA, a consensus bridge service to secure transactions across multiple protocols, raised a $7M seed round led by Curve Finance founder Michael Egorov (FN)

  •, a startup using computer vision to improve warehouse processes, raised a $4.8M seed round led by Cavalry Ventures (FN)

  • Volta Circuit, a multi-signature non-custodial platform, raised a $4.1M seed round led by Fika Ventures and Haven Ventures (BW)

  • SoBet, a sports betting creator platform, raised a $3.7M round led by Third Kind Venture Capital (FN)

  • Hona, a medical records startup, raised a $3M seed round from General Catalyst, Samsung, and more (TC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Chinese EV maker Zeekr is seeking to raise up to $368M at a $5.1B valuation in its US IPO (RT

  • Pakistan’s Fast Cables plans to raise $11M in one of Pakistan's biggest-ever IPOs (BBG)

  • Saudi Arabian fintech Rasan intends to sell a 30% stake in a local IPO (BBG


  • Altice USA hired Moelis to advise on options for its $25B debt load (BBG

  • Restaurant chain TGI Fridays paid back half of its ~$300M existing asset backed bonds after selling a licensing business to Kraft Heinz (BBG

Bankruptcy / Restructuring / Distressed

  • Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky and distressed debt fund Attestor teamed up to bid for struggling French tech giant Atos (BBG

  • Musical-instruments retailer Sam Ash Music is shutting down all 45 stores and is seeking a buyer (WSJ

  • Clothing retailer Rue21 filed for its third bankruptcy, with plans to close all stores and sell its brand (WSJ

  • Rite Aid will close 25% of stores as part of bankruptcy plan (BBG)


  • Tech-focused investor ICONIQ Growth raised $5.8B for its seventh flagship fund (TC

Crypto Corner

  • aims to expand sports sponsorships after Miami GP success (BBG)

Exec’s Picks

  • WSJ published an intriguing take on how TikTok is giving Gen Z a case of ‘money dysmorphia.’

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