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Too Big to Fail: Hedge Fund Edition

Moody’s downgraded private credit funds, PE has its eyes on NFL, Blackstone warned of deal flow challenges, PwC will reverse its US tax split, pensions are pulling out of stocks, and some bond hedge funds may be "too big to fail."

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Good Morning,

Moody’s downgraded private credit funds, PE has its eyes on NFL, Blackstone warned of deal flow challenges, PwC will reverse its US tax split, pensions are pulling out of stocks, and some bond hedge funds may be "too big to fail."

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Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 04/18/2024 market close.


  • US stocks continued to fall yesterday on bearish sentiment driven by rate policy concerns and Middle East tensions 

    • The S&P fell for a fifth-straight day for its longest losing streak since October

    • This Nasdaq fell for a fifth-straight day for its longest losing streak since January

  • US 30Y mortgage rates climbed above 7% for the first time this year 


  • TSMC shares fell ~5% despite beating Q1 earnings due as it cut expectations for 2024 semiconductor market growth to ~10% (YF

  • Netflix shares fell ~5% despite beating Q1 estimates for revenue, earnings, and net subscriber additions due to a slightly lower-than-expected Q2 revenue forecast (WSJ

  • Blackstone reported 1% YoY growth in Q1 distributable earnings, slightly higher than estimates (RT)  

  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Today: American Express, P&G

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Private credit funds get Moody’s warning on problem loans (BBG)

  • Blackstone warns PE cannot return capital 'overnight' (FT)

  • Pension funds pull hundreds of billions from stocks (WSJ)

  • PE gears up for potential NFL investments (FT)

  • Some HFs too big to fail for bond market (BBG)

  • PwC to reverse controversial US tax split (FT)

  • Norway's $1.3T SWF posted a $110B Q1 profit as tech stocks surge (CNBC)

  • US financial firms facilitated investments into blacklisted Chinese companies (RT)

  • S&P and Moody’s in downgraded Israel (BBG)

  • TD investors meet as probe, CEO succession fuel frustration (BBG)

  • ANZ Bank is in talks with Australia pensions on India investments (BBG)

  • Google fired 28 employees for protesting company business with Israel (WSJ)

  • Tech workers are flocking to Austin and NYC (AX)

  • Israel retaliated against Iran (NBC)

  • Dubai is grappling with extraordinary flooding (NYT)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Bentley Systems, a $15.6B engineering software company, is exploring options including a sale after attracting takeover interest (RT

  • Nordstrom’s founding family is weighing taking the $3.1B department-store chain private (BBG

  • Music rights investor Concord agreed to acquire Hipgnosis Songs Fund in a deal that values the song catalog company at ~$1.4B (BBG)

  • French PE giant Ardian is nearing a deal to acquire over $1B of PE fund stakes from BCI (BBG

  • Saudi Arabian state-backed Manara Minerals Investment is moving closer to a potential $1B deal to acquire a minority stake in a Pakistan mine controlled by Barrick Gold (BBG

  • UK financial institution Coventry Building Society agreed to buy the Co-operative Bank for $970M (FT)

  • Swiss PE firm Partners Group is weighing a sale of Taiwan’s Formosa Solar Renewable Power and is targeting an equity value of up to $400M (BBG

  • Cloud security startup Lacework, which was once valued at $8.3B, is seeking to sell itself for $150M-$200M (TC)

  • Genetic testing company 23andMe’s co-founder & CEO Anne Wojcicki is considering making an offer to take the company private (RT)

  • Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management are discussing making a joint bid for Paramount Global (RT)

  • CVC Capital Partners approached EY to express interest in its Italian consulting arm (FT

  • Hedge fund Elliott Management is weighing a bid for the parent of oil refiner Citgo Petroleum under a US court-ordered auction (RT

  • Library services companies Baker & Taylor and Media Source held talks to combine and approached direct lenders about financing for the potential deal (BBG)

  • Crypto exchange Kraken acquired the cryptocurrency arm of online brokerage TradeStation to expand its business’ reach in the US (TB)


  • Magnus Metal, a startup building a metal casting technology that is as fast and energy efficient as 3D printing, raised a $74M Series B led by Entrée Capital and Target Global (TC)

  • Cape, a startup building a mobile service that doesn’t use personal data, raised $61M in funding led by a16z and A-Star (TC)

  • EV charging solutions provider SWTCH Energy raised a $27.2M Series B led by Blue Earth Capital (BW)

  • UK-based small launch developer Orbex raised a $20.7M Series D led by Octopus Ventures, BGF, and more (TC)

  • GA Drilling, a startup specializing in deep geothermal drilling, raised $15M in funding from a variety of backers (FN)

  • Allen Control Systems, a defense technology company focused on counter-drone robotic gun systems, raised a $12M seed round led by Craft Ventures (BW)

  • Dataplor, a data intelligence tool, raised a $10.6M Series A led by Spark Capital (TC)

  • Cybersecurity startup SilverSky raised a $9M round led by SQN Venture Partners (PRN)

  • Uniqus Consultech, a tech-enabled global platform that offers ESG and accounting & reporting consulting, raised a $10M Series B led by Nexus Ventures (BW)

  • SaaS sales platform Clazar raised a $10M Series A led by Ridge Ventures and Ensemble VC (BW)

  • Usual Labs, a protocol bridging the gap between TradFi and DeFi, raised a $7M round led by IOSG Ventures and Kraken Ventures (FN)

  • Carbon accounting startup Sumday raised a $5.3M seed round led by Planeteer Capital (FN)

  • Condoit, a platform for digitizing the electrical industry, raised a $4.3M seed round led by The Westly Group (VC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Fragrance and fashion company Puig is seeking to raise up to $3.2B at a $14.8B valuation in Spain's largest IPO in almost a decade (RT

  • Chinese automotive company Zhejiang Geely will sell the entirety of its Class B stock in Volvo, worth $1.3B (BBG

  • Shares of digital marketing company Ibotta rose as much as 34% after its $577M IPO, which was priced above a marketed range (BBG

  • Shares of Centuri Holdings, the infrastructure services business of power company Southwest Gas Holdings, rose 10% in its trading debut after its $315M IPO and and concurrent private placement (BBG

  • Premier Energy, one of Romania’s leading power distributors, is planning a $107M IPO on the Bucharest Stock Exchange to finance expansion (BBG


  • Serve Robotics, a sidewalk robot delivery startup, went public via a $30M reverse merger with Patricia Acquisition Corp. and raised a $40M financing round led by Uber, Nvidia, and Wavemaker Partners (TC)


  • Goldman Sachs is raising $5B through a two-part bond issuance, just two days after issuing perpetual note (BBG

  • Turkey state-run lender TC Ziraat Bankasi secured a one-year sustainability-linked syndicated loan of $1.7B (BBG

  • Cumulus Media is nearing a deal with creditors to extend maturities of over $650M of debt by three years (BBG


  • Vista Equity Partners is closing in on over $20B for its eighth flagship fund with plans to go big on AI (AX)

  • Oaktree Capital Management is seeking to raise $2.5B for its seventh Power Opportunities fund (BBG

  • Investment management firm Wellington Management raised $385M for its first private fund for climate investments (AX

Crypto Corner

  • Crypto trader Avi Eisenberg was convicted of fraud in $110M Mango Markets scheme (AX)

  • How the Bitcoin halving could impact ailing mining stocks (BW)

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