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Tough Start for Tech Stocks

Several high-profile individuals were named in new Epstein documents, Fed minutes suggest rate hikes are over, Apple’s stock decline led a tech rout, Zuck has sold half a billion in Meta stock in the last two months, TikTok has big plans for its shopping business, and GM’s 2023 US vehicle sales were its best since 2019.

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Good Morning,

Several high-profile individuals were named in new Epstein documents, Fed minutes suggest rate hikes are over, Apple’s stock decline led a tech rout, Zuck has sold half a billion in Meta stock in the last two months, TikTok has big plans for its shopping business, and GM’s 2023 US vehicle sales were its best since 2019.

Looking to upgrade your private equity chops in 2024? Wharton Online and Wall Street Prep just opened enrollment for their Winter Cohort for their Private Equity Certificate Program, and you can sign up here.

Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 1/3/2023 market close.


  • US stocks fell for the second session of 2024, as investors appear to be selling last year’s tech winners

    • The Nasdaq led indices with a 1.18% decline

  • European stocks fell as investors wait for more definitive signs from central banks on rate policy


  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Today: Walgreens Boots Alliance

    • Friday: Constellation Brands

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • What to know about list of unsealed names in Jeffrey Epstein case (AX)

  • Stocks’ bad start to 2024 has forecasters on edge (WSJ)

  • US bankruptcies surged 18% in 2023 and seen rising again in 2024 (RT)

  • Fed minutes suggest rate hikes are over, but offer no timetables on cuts (WSJ)

  • Apple leads $383B tech rout in reversal from group’s 2023 rally (BBG)

  • Labor board backs fired SpaceX employees (WSJ)

  • Zuckerberg sold nearly half a billion dollars of Meta stock in last two months (BBG)

  • BP, Equinor tear up contract for big New York offshore wind project (BBG)

  • Xerox to cut workforce 15% and overhaul operating model (WSJ)

  • TikTok eyes $17.5B shopping business on Amazon’s turf (BBG)

  • Japan leads losses in Asia as investors assess Fed meeting minutes (CNBC)

  • Pop-Tarts’ devoured mascot may live to be eaten again (WSJ)

  • Intel appoints outsider Hotard to head crucial data center unit (BBG)

  • Red Sea crisis boosts shipping costs, delays - and inflation worries (CNBC)

  • Disney wins backing of key investor in battle with Nelson Peltz (WSJ)

  • GM’s 2023 US vehicle sales were its best since 2019 (CNBC)

  • Amazon’s video ad push expected to generate an extra $5B in revenue (BBG)

  • Trump asked US Supreme Court to overturn Colorado ballot ban (BBG)

A Message From Wall Street Prep

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Wharton Online and Wall Street Prep are excited to announce that enrollment is now open for the upcoming Winter Cohort for the Private Equity Certificate Program

During this 8-week online program, students will learn the essentials of private equity through a theory-meets-practice methodology, taught by the top instructors at both Wharton Online and Wall Street Prep. Students will also be able to hear and gain insight from industry experts such as David Rubenstein and Martin Brand through our guest lecturer series.

In addition, students will have access to our exclusive graduate benefits, which include peer-to-peer networking events, invitation-only LinkedIn and Slack groups, and exclusive recruiting events with top private equity recruiting firms. 

Use code LITQUIDITY to save $300 when you register for the program. And if you apply by the early enrollment deadline on Jan 5th (tomorrow!), you can save an additional $200!

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Gold and copper miner Barrick Gold approached some of ~$7B copper producer First Quantum Minerals’ major investors late last year over a potential takeover after the sudden closure of its flagship mine wiped out over half its market value (BBG

  • Insurance company Health Care Service Corp is in exclusive talks to acquire health insurer Cigna Group’s Medicare Advantage business for $3B-$4B (RT

  • Airbus is working on an offer worth up to ~$2B for Atos’s big data and cyber security unit, BDS (FT

  • Bain Capital is exploring a sale of antibodies manufacturer Centrient Pharmaceuticals, which could be valued at as much as $1.1B (BBG

  • Swiss software and cloud solutions company SoftwareOne acquired Spanish SAP and cloud services provider Novis Euforia (RT

  • Fisher Investments and Advent International denied a WSJ report saying that Ken Fisher’s money management company was in talks to be acquired by the PE firm (RT & WSJ)


  • Travelport, a travel tech startup, raised $570M in funding from existing equity holders including Elliot Investment Management, Canyon Partners and more (FN)

  • Shield AI, a defense technology company building the best AI pilot for aircraft, raised a $100M Series F at a $1B+ funding round and $200M in debt from Hercules Capital (VC)

  • Nalu Medical, a neurostimulation company focused on neuropathic pain, raised a $65M equity round led by Novo Holdings (BW)

  • Aqua Security, an Israeli cloud-native cybersecurity startup, raised $60M led by Evolution Equity Partners (TC)

  • Remix Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on RNA processing, raised a $60M round led by The Column Group (PRN)

  • Radionetics Oncology, a clinical-stage radiopharmaceutical company, raised a $52.5M Series A led by Frazier Life Sciences, 5AM Ventures, and DCVC Bio (BW)

  • Vita Inclinata Technologies, a startup developing intelligent lifting hardware and software for rescue crews, raised $44M in funding from 3&1 Fund (PRN)

  • ENYO Pharma, a biotech company focused on the treatment of renal diseases, raised a ~$43.6M Series C led by OrbiMed and Morningside Ventures (BW)

  • AI-powered legal copilot Robin AI raised a $26M Series B led by Temasek (FN)

  • SolarDuck, a Dutch offshore solar development company, raised $16.3M in funding from Invest-NL, Katapult Ocean, Green Tower, and the Energy Transition Fund Rotterdam (FN)

  • Graviton Bioscience, a clinical-stage biotech company focused on therapies that inhibit Rho/Rho-associated coiled-coil containing protein kinase 2 (ROCK2), raised $7M in funding from Enavate Sciences (VC)

  • Vasa Therapeutics, a preclinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to treat cardiovascular aging, raised a $6M seed round led by Orphinic Scientific (PRN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Homebuilder Smith Douglas Homes is seeking a valuation of up to $1.1B in its US IPO (RT

  • China's leading bubble tea makers including Mixue Bingcheng and Guming submitted applications for a Hong Kong IPO (RT


  • Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s PacifiCorp raised $3.8B through a four-part bond sale to help fund settlement claims related to Oregon wildfires (BBG)

  • Vedanta Resources received support from enough bondholders to extend the maturities on $3.2B of debt maturing over the next 14 months (BBG

  • French bank Credit Agricole and automaker Hyundai each raised $2.5B through the sale of corporate bonds (RT

  • Insurance giant Allianz priced a new $1.1B junior note while proposing to buy its entire $1.6B perpetual note that is set to lose regulatory value at the end of 2025 (BBG)

  • Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, India's largest private port operator, will raise up to $601M through a sale of non-convertible debentures (RT

  • Data center provider AdaniConneX Private, an Adani Group joint venture with EdgeConneX, is in talks with a group of global lenders to raise as much as $400M through an offshore loan (BBG)

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • Radio broadcaster Audacy is preparing to file for bankruptcy within weeks due to declining advertising revenue and a ~$2B debt load (WSJ

  • A consortium led by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky will own and control 53.7% of French retailer Casino once a restructuring plan is complete (RT


  • Alternative investor Banner Ridge Partners raised $2.2B for a secondary fund that will buy stakes in existing distressed debt and special situation funds (BBG

  • Goldman Sachs Asset Management raised $650M for its West Street Life Sciences I, a debut fund dedicated to backing high-technology businesses in healthcare (WSJ

  • Consumer-focused PE firm Forward Consumer Partners raised $425M for its debut fund (AX

  • Investment firm Baird Capital, which is focused on B2B technology & services companies, closed its sixth US VC fund with $218M (FN

Crypto Corner

  • Nigeria’s central bank released inaugural guidelines for banks opening cryptocurrency accounts but retained its ban on them holding or trading crypto on their own behalf (BBG

  • Crypto investment services provider Matrixport expects the SEC to reject all applications to list a Bitcoin ETF (CD

  • Crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments is in talks with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs regarding its Bitcoin ETF role (BBG

Exec’s Picks

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