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Rite Aid Bankers Punching the Air

NY is cracking down on certain vulture funds, Blackstone will grant equity to employees of firms it LBOs, asset managers are turning to finfluencers to boost ETFs, and Rite Aid creditors asked the firm's bankers to reduce advisory fees.

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Good Morning,

NY is cracking down on certain vulture funds, Blackstone will grant equity to employees of firms it LBOs, asset managers are turning to finfluencers to boost ETFs, and Rite Aid creditors asked the firm's bankers to reduce advisory fees.

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Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 05/21/2024 market close.


  • US stocks inched slightly higher as investors braced for today's blockbuster Nvidia earnings and Fed minutes

    • The S&P and Nasdaq closed at new ATHs

    • Traders are pricing in an 8.6%, ~$200B swing in Nvidia shares following earnings 

    • The VIX fell to its lowest level YTD to a pre-pandemic low

  • Swaps markets are now pricing in ~40 bps of rate cuts for 2024

  • Asian stocks snapped a seven-day win streak 

  • Ethereum posted its largest two-day gain in two years


  • Lowe's beat Q1 top and bottom line estimates despite a decline on DIY project spending they maintained their FY forecast (CNBC

  • Macy’s rose ~5% on a Q1 beat-and-raise showing early momentum in its turnaround strategy (CNBC

  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Today: Nvidia, Target

    • Thursday: Intuit, Workday, Ralph Lauren

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • NY seeks to limit hedge funds from pursuing defaulted sovereign bonds (FT)

  • Blackstone to grant equity to most employees in future US LBOs (WSJ)

  • Finfluencers loom large in world of ETFs (FT)

  • PIMCO Australia shifts focus to alternatives to lure pensions (BBG)

  • Eli Manning wants his own team as PE targets NFL (BBG)

  • Skadden’s top dealmaker and co-head of FIG was poached by Paul Weiss (FT)

  • RFK Jr. invested $24k in GameStop in solidarity with retail investors (CNBC)

  • JPMorgan and consumers have divided view on consumer health (WSJ)

  • Rite Aid creditors asked bankruptcy advisors to cut fees amid liquidity concerns (BBG)

  • Mastercard and Visa face crackdown over merchant fees in UK (FT)

  • Samsung fired its co-CEO / head of semiconductor (WSJ)

  • Google to bring ads in AI search results (RT)

  • Microsoft promotes new tools for making AI software (FT)

  • AI startup Anthropic hired Airbnb veteran Krishna Rao as first CFO (RT)

  • Adani suspected of fraud by selling low-grade coal as high-value fuel (FT)

  • Nestle will sell $5 protein foods for Ozempic and Wegovy users (RT)

  • Lululemon product chief to exit in restructuring (WSJ)

  • WEF founder Klaus Schwab to step down (FT)

  • Europeans at risk from tropical illnesses due to climate change (FT)

  • 96% of NYC rents are unaffordable for average NYC worker (BBG)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • ExxonMobil and Shell are among energy giants evaluating bids for a up to 40% stake in Galp Energia's major oil field offshore Namibia, which could be worth $20B (BBG

  • First Abu Dhabi Bank is in advanced talks to buy Turkish conglomerate Koc Group's 61.2% stake in Istanbul-based lender Yapi Kredi for ~$8B (RT)

  • Warburg Pincus and Singapore’s Temasek agreed to acquire independent insurance intermediary Specialist Risk Group in a $1.27B deal (BBG

  • Advanced Energy Industries expressed takeover interest in UK-based XP Power $595M (WSJ)

  • Cabinetry firm MasterBrand will acquire smaller peer Supreme Cabinetry Brands from GHK Capital Partners for $520M cash (BW

  • US businessman Ray Chambers is renewing efforts to sell a minority stake in the New York Yankees (BBG

  • Wearable AI startup Humane is exploring a potential sale (BBG)


  • AI data foundry Scale AI raised a $1B Series F at a $13.8B valuation led by Accel (BW)

  • H, a global foundation model and agentic AI company, raised a $220M seed round from backers including Accel and Amazon (FN)

  • Vitesse, a treasury and payment solutions provider for the insurance industry, raised a $93M Series C led by KKR (BW)

  • Drug discovery startup LabGenius raised a $43.8M Series B led by M Ventures (FN)

  • Reactive Technologies, a startup measuring grid stability, raised a $31.4M Series D led by M&G Catalyst (BW)

  • Expressable, a virtual speech therapy provider, raised a $26M Series B led by HarbourVest Partners (PRN)

  • Simr, a startup automating simulation processes, raised a $20M Series A led by Uncorrelated Ventures (BW)

  • Geothermal energy startup XGS Energy raised a $20M Series A extension led by Valo Ventures and VoLo Earth Ventures (BW)

  • Edge inference AI semiconductor IP startup Expedera raised a $20M Series B led by indie Semiconductor (VC)

  • Footprint, an identity verification startup, raised a $13M Series A led by QED Investors (BW)

  • Harbinger, an electric truck manufacturer, raised a $13M round led by Greycroft (FN)

  • Water intelligence company Ketos raised $10M in equity funding led by Tenfore Holdings (FN)

  • Aeromine Technologies, a startup developing rooftop wind energy solutions, raised a $9M Series A led by Veriten (VC)

  • Tenon, a marketing solution built on ServiceNow, raised an $8M Series A led by High Alpha and StepStone Group (BW)

  • Videra Health, an AI-powered mental health assessment platform, raised a $5.6M seed II round led by Peterson Ventures (FN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Tempus AI, a health tech platform for precision medicine, filed for a US IPO (BBG


  • Ares Management, HPS, Blackstone, and Blue Owl are among firms competing with banks to provide a $3B debt package for a potential LBO of education software provider PowerSchool (BBG)

  • UPS sold $2.6B of investment-grade bonds at an up to 105 bps premium (BBG

  • Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com raised $1.8B through a sale of convertible bonds due in five years (BBG

  • Coca-Cola Consolidated raised $1.2B through a two-part bond issuance at an up to 105 bps premium (BBG

  • China Vanke, one of the few Chinese real estate giants yet to default, received a fresh $166M loan from the Bank of China (BBG

  • Banks plan to kick off a WBS bond sale as soon as next week to help finance Roark Capital Group’s LBO of Subway (BBG

  • KKR joined overseas issuers in marketing yen bonds before yields climb further (BBG)

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • Zachry, the lead contractor building a $10B Texas LNG plant for QatarEnergy and ExxonMobil, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (RT


  • Carlyle raised $2.8B for its fifth Japan buyout fund, the largest Japan-focused buyout fund ever (BBG)  

  • Paceline Equity Partners raised $780M for its second opportunities fund (WSJ

  • Dubai-based private energy firm Alcazar Energy raised $490M for a second renewable energy fund (RT

  • Investment firm ETF Partners raised $310M for its fourth fund to invest in climate startups (TC

Crypto Corner

  • Trump’s campaign started accepting crypto donations (AP

  • Americans’ crypto use was down in 2023 (WSJ)

  • Share of Bitcoin volume during US market hours surged to a record high (BBG)

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