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Luxury Watches = Inflation Hedge

MoM PPI was higher-than-expected in January, the SEC charged Do Kwon with fraud, luxury Swiss watches outperformed stocks and crypto last year, investors U-turned on 2023 rate cut bets, WallStreetBets' founder is suing Reddit, Stripe expects to turn a profit this year, YouTube CEO Wojcicki is stepping down, and streaming surpassed TV as the US's leading form of media entertainment.

Together with

Good Morning,

MoM PPI was higher-than-expected in January, the SEC charged Do Kwon with fraud, luxury Swiss watches outperformed stocks and crypto last year, investors U-turned on 2023 rate cut bets, WallStreetBets' founder is suing Reddit, Stripe expects to turn a profit this year, YouTube CEO Wojcicki is stepping down, and streaming surpassed TV as the US's leading form of media entertainment.

Looking to get your hands on a new Rolex or Patek? Check out Bezel, the most trusted marketplace for buying & selling luxury watches!

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 2/16/2023 market close.

Markets

  • US stocks fell yesterday after wholesale inflation data came in hotter than expected

    • The PPI index had its biggest MoM gain since June

    • Two Fed officials already expressed need for more rate hikes to ease inflation, with another open to a 50 bps hike in March

  • France’s CAC 40 index hit an all-time high

  • Bitcoin touched a six-month high yesterday

  • The dollar hit a six-week high against the yen, euro and Australian dollar

Earnings

  • WeWork posted a Q4 loss and forecast poor Q1 revenue as it feels the heat of mass tech layoffs; the firm nonetheless posted its first ever positive adjusted EBITDA in December (RT)

  • DraftKings posted a smaller than expected Q4 loss and beat on revenue on growth driven by increased sports gambling legalization; shares jumped 6.7% AH (YH)

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • PPI index rose by a higher-than-expected 0.7% MoM in January (CNBC)

  • Luxury Swiss watches still beat stocks and crypto despite price drops (BBG)

  • US household debt hit a record $16.9T in Q4 2022 in largest quarterly increase in 20 years (RT)

  • US single-family home building fell 27.3% YoY January (RT)

  • Investors are reducing bets on 2023 rate cuts (FT)

  • 40% of converted ETFs have suffered net outflows (FT)

  • Ex-Barclays CEO Jes Staley exchanged perverted emails with Jeffrey Epstein (WSJ)

  • WallStreetBets’ founder Jaime Rogozinski is suing Reddit (WSJ)

  • Stripe expects to turn a profit this year (BBG)

  • Bank of America is planning cuts in IB division (BBG)

  • State Street and Invesco are eyeing active ETF listings in Japan (FT)

  • China sanctioned Lockheed Martin and Raytheon over Taiwan arms sales (RT)

  • Fidelity will hire 4k staff in H1 2023, defying industry trend (BRN)

  • DocuSign will lay off 10% from workforce (CNBC)

  • YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki will step down (TV)

  • Tesla recalled ~363k cars over self-driving flaws (AX)

  • Streaming surpassed TV as US's preferred form of entertainment (YH)

A Message From Bezel

Find The Perfect Watch for You

The investment banker rite of passage: your holiday bonus hits, it’s time to make a big purchase, and you decide to treat yourself to a new watch.

But what do you want? A Rolex? Patek? Audemars Piguet? What size? What dial color?

Figuring out your perfect watch is hard, but Bezel makes it easy.

Bezel is the most trusted marketplace for buying and selling luxury watches, with experts standing by ready to help you find your perfect watch. You can shop, search, and filter by brand, price, case size, material, and dial color, and if Bezel doesn’t have the specific model that you’re looking for, they will source it for you in 3-5 days.

But don’t take my word for it, check out this customer review:

“You can tell these guys just love watches and really know their stuff. The Concierge Team took a lot of time with me asking the right questions that helped me discover the route I wanted to go.”

Buying the perfect watch doesn’t have to be hard, get your next time piece on Bezel, available both here and in Apple’s App Store!

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • PE firm Stone Point Capital agreed to buy a 20% stake in bank Truist Financial’s insurance brokerage unit at a $14.75B valuation (RT)

  • Aerospace firm Airbus offered to buy a 29.9% stake in Evidian, a unit that will spin off IT company Atos’s cybersecurity activities; Atos is seeking a valuation of $7.5B+ for the unit (BBG)

  • Qatari investors, including former PM and ex-head of Qatar Investment Authority Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, are planning for a ~$6B opening bid for English soccer team Manchester United (BBG)

  • Saudi Arabia also submitted a bid for Manchester United (RT)

  • Oil company BP agreed to buy truck fueling provider TravelCenters of America for ~$1.3B (RT)

  • Canadian miner Teck Resources is planning to separate its ‘multibillion-dollar’ steelmaking coal business to focus more on industrial metals (BBG)

  • Indian utilities company Adani Power called off its $850M purchase of a coal plant project in central India (BBG)

  • The Van Damme and Van der Straten Ponthoz families (founders of beer giant AB InBev) will invest $427M in equity in French asset manager Tikehau Capital (FT)

  • Kazakhstan-based brokerage Freedom Holding agreed to buy US financial services firm Maxim Group in a ~$400M deal (BBG)

  • US PE firm TPG is in advanced talks to buy Malaysian private education assets owned by regional buyout firm KV Asia Capital in a potential $300M+ deal (RT)

  • Saudi’s Public Investment Fund agreed to buy a $265M stake in Chinese esports company VSPO (RT)

  • Portuguese energy company Galp Energia mandated Bank of America to prepare a sale of 10% of its stake in a multibillion-dollar natural gas project in Mozambique’s Rovuma basin (RT)

  • An Italian PE fund agreed to buy a 7.2% stake in asset management group Anima (RT)

  • Swiss cement maker Holcim agreed to buy thermoplastic roofs manufacturer FDT Flachdach Technologie (RT)

  • BlackRock Alternatives agreed to buy a majority stake in Canadian waste management company Environmental 360 Solutions (BBG)

  • UK housing provider Home REIT received an unsolicited takeover approach from an investment firm (RT)

VC

  • Genetic medicine delivery platform Aera Therapeutics raised a $193M combined Series A and B led by ARCH Venture Partners, GV and Lux Capital (BW)

  • Brigad, a freelance marketplace for hospitality and care workers, raised a $30M round ($25M in equity / $5M in debt) led by Balderton Capital (TC)

  • Women’s pelvic health startup Axena Health raised a $25M Series A from AXA IM Alts (BW)

  • Vuv Analytics, a startup providing vacuum ultraviolet detector technology, raised a $20M round led by S3 Ventures and New Science Ventures (FN)

  • China-based commercial service robotics manufacturer Pudo Robotics raised a $15M+ Series C-3 led by Puhua Capital (FN)

  • In-office food services startup Zerocator raised a $15M Series C led by Cleveland Avenue (TC)

  • Avilar Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the extracellular protein degradation space, raised a $15M seed extension round from Medical Excellence Capital, Sanofi Ventures, and Astellas Venture Management, bringing the total seed round to $75M (BW)

  • Micro-EV subscription startup Dance raised a $12.8M debt / equity round led by HV Capital, Eurazeo, and BlueYard (TC)

  • Sending Labs, a web3 communications stack startup, raised a $12.5M seed round led by Insignia Venture Partners, MindWorks Capital, and Signum Capital (FN)

  • Dutch hemodialysis startup Nextkidney raised an $11.9M Series B from Dutch / French investors and a crowdfunding campaign (PRN)

  • Stuf, a New York-based tech-enabled self storage startup, raised an $11M Series A led by Allegion Ventures and Altos Ventures (FN)

  • IncludeHealth, a provider of musculoskeletal tech solutions, raised $11M in funding led by CincyTech (FN)

  • Rhaeos, a clinical-stage medical device startup focused on hydrocephalus, raised a $10.5M Series A led by the Steele Foundation for Hope (PRN)

  • QiO Technologies, a startup helping businesses lower emissions, raised a $10M Series B from WAVE Equity Partners (BW)

  • SendOwl, a startup providing infrastructure for the sale of digital products, raised a $9M Series A led by TheGP (PRN)

  • No-code payments startup Ledge raised a $9M seed round led by NEA (FN)

  • UK-based transport tech startup VivaCity raised an $8.4M round led by ENV, Foresight Group, and Gresham House Ventures (FN)

  • Mexican neobank Vexi raised an $8M Series A led by Magma Partners (TC)

  • Axion Ray, an AI product integrity intelligence platform, raised a $7.5M seed round led by Amplo and Tinicum Venture Partners (FN)

  • Pakistan-based digital lending infrastructure provider AdalFi raised $7.5M in funding from Cotu Ventures, Chimera Ventures, and others (FN)

  • Plant-based protein startup Planetarians raised a $6M seed II round led by Mindrock (TC)

  • Web3 security startup Stelo Labs raised a $6M seed round led by a16z (TC)

  • SaaS management platform Zylo raised a $5M Series C extension led by MassMutual Ventures (PRN)

  • Pydantic Services, the creators of Pydantic (a popular data-validation Python library), raised a $4.7M seed round led by Sequoia (TC)

  • Canadian insurtech startup Goose raised a $4M Series A led by Axis Insurance Managers (FN)

  • Vietnam-based NFT ecosystem Aura Network raised a $4M pre-Series A led by Hashed and Coin98 (FN)

  • BlueTrace, a provider of traceability solutions for the seafood industry, raised a $3.2M seed round led by York IE, Maine Venture Fund, and Coastal Enterprise Ventures (FN)

  • Cybersecurity startup CommandK raised a $3M seed round led by Lightspeed (FN)

  • Data centric NLP startup Kern AI raised a $2.9M seed round led by Seedcamp and Faber (TC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) plans to float 4% of its gas business in an IPO at a $50B+ valuation (RT)

  • Northvolt, a Swedish lithium-ion battery producer, is close to hiring banks for an IPO that could fetch the firm a $20B+ valuation (RT)

  • Mexican bottling and retail conglomerate FEMSA will offer a total of $3.7B in common shares and unsecured notes in Dutch beer giant Heineken in move to sell ~6% of its 14.8% stake (RT)

  • Sexual health product maker Lifestyles Healthcare is considering a Hong Kong IPO of its China business that could raise ~$300M (BBG)

  • Oldenburgische Landesbank, a PE-backed German bank, picked Barclays, BNP Paribas and HSBC among others to advise on its IPO (BBG)

Debt

  • Apollo Global Management, HPS Investment Partners and Blackstone are among lenders providing a $5.5B loan supporting Carlyle's $15B buyout of healthcare technology firm Cotivit, in potentially the largest private credit buyout financing ever (BBG)

  • India's Housing Development Finance Corp. (HDFC) raised $3.03B in India's largest privately placed corporate bond issue (ET)

  • Credit Suisse is selling a euro-denominated 3.5 year senior unsecured bond, at more than double the average spread of similar deals, to raise ~$533M (MS)

  • HF King Street Capital Management bought into discounted debt of flexible office provider WeWork (BN)

Fundraising

  • French asset manager Amundi is seeking to raise $640M for a second commercial real estate debt fund to invest in Eurozone senior mortgage debt (IPE)

  • Rainier Partners, a PE firm focused on lower middle-market services businesses, raised a $300M fund (BW)

  • Distressed debt investment firm Hyland Hill raised $250M for its first private debt fund (GC)

  • Minority-owned investment firm LO3 Capital launched a private debt fund with $220M+ of deployable capital (PRN)

  • Counteract, a VC fund focused on carbon removal, raised ~$42M (CH)

  • Estonia-based seed accelerator Startup Wise Guys raised $27M to invest in ‘overlooked markets’ from southern Europe to Africa (SFT)

Crypto Corner

  • SEC charged Terra founder Do Kwon with fraud over its $40B crypto crash; Kwon is currently in hiding (TV)

  • Binance.US moved $400M to Merit Peak, a trading firm managed by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, in Q1 2021 (RT)

  • ECB is considering a digital currency in response to US / China tech dominance (CNBC)

  • Banks are backing away from crypto firms amid regulatory crackdown (WSJ)

Exec's Picks

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