December 6th, 2018

Why Trump Might Be Right About Interest Rates

The economists, Jing Cynthia Wu and Fan Dora Xia, used the yields on government bonds to calculate a shadow fed funds rate. Their intent was to estimate what that rate would have been if it could have fallen below zero.

In the years after the crisis, this shadow rate fell as low as minus 3 percent in May 2014.

Why does this matter today? The Fed has taken the fed funds rate at from zero in 2015 to 2.25 percent today. But using the shadow rate, the Fed has effectively taken that rate from minus 3 percent in mid-2014 up to 2.25 percent today, a much greater increase, and one that might now be pressuring the economy. The shadow rate stopped being calculated once the Fed began raising rates from near zero in December 2015 because it was less useful.

Recent big moves in stock and bond prices suggest investors are taking more seriously the possibility of a slowdown in the American economy. Among their fears: The stimulus from the tax cuts enacted at the end of last year may be losing some of its oomph; other countries’ economies are not growing as fast as they were; the trade tensions may also have weighed on some economic activity.

Still, there are reasons to be skeptical of the argument that monetary policy is more stringent than it looks. A large effective tightening does not appear to be reflected in the economy or the markets. Gross domestic product is expected to grow a healthy 2.65 percent in the fourth quarter, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. Bank loans grew at around 4 percent in the third quarter. And some assets have been sold off, but markets aren’t clamming up.

“Bond yields have risen a bit but are still pretty low, the dollar has appreciated only modestly and equities are just about flat for the year,” Eric Winograd, senior United States economist at Alliance Bernstein, said in an email, “all of which is consistent with only a modest tightening of financial conditions.”

If the United States economy does keep growing at a solid pace, and markets shake off the funk of the past few weeks, it will be clear that the Fed’s monetary policy was not too constricting. But the strong G.D.P. numbers this year may turn out to be short-lived and the economy may now be adjusting back to the lower growth of the post-crisis years. If that’s the case, Mr. Trump, in his own way, may prove prescient.

December 6th, 2018

DealBook Briefing: Inside the Emails Facebook Never Thought You’d Read

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A cache of emails and other internal Facebook documents made public by a British parliamentary committee on Wednesday revealed how the social media giant used people’s personal data to favor some of its partners and to punish rivals.

The 250 pages of material, from 2012 to 2015, had been sealed by a U.S. judge as part of a lawsuit filed against Facebook by an app developer, but they were obtained by British lawmakers as part of a parliamentary investigation into the company’s practices.

Some highlights:

Facebook engineered ways to collect data without telling users. In one exchange, employees discussed a possible app update that would log users’ phone calls. “This is a pretty high risk thing to do from a P.R. perspective but it appears that the growth team will charge ahead and do it,” Michael LeBeau, an employee, said in one email.

Mark Zuckerberg approved cutting off a competitor’s data access. In 2013, after Twitter released the video app Vine, Facebook ended Twitter’s access to friends data. “Unless anyone raises objections, we will shut down their friends API access today,” Justin Osofsky, a Facebook executive, said in an email at the time. The response from Mr. Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive: “Yup, go for it.”

Data was prized above almost everything else. “Sometimes the best way to enable people to share something is to have a developer build a special purpose app or network for that type of content and to make that app social by having Facebook plug into it,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote in a 2012 email. “That may be good for the world, but it’s not good for us unless people also share back to Facebook and that content increases the value of our network.”

Facebook said the documents had been cherry-picked to show the company in an unfavorable light.

“Like any business, we had many internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform,” the company said. “But the facts are clear: We’ve never sold people’s data.”

More Facebook news: The company’s board said it was “entirely appropriate” for Sheryl Sandberg to investigate whether George Soros had shorted the company’s stock. And internal tensions at the social network are reportedly becoming far more intense.

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Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin in New York and Jamie Condliffe in London.

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Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the Chinese tech giant Huawei and the daughter of the company’s founder, was arrested in Canada on Saturday at the request of the U.S.

Context: The U.S. government, which views Huawei as a national security threat, has taken steps to restrict the use of the company’s technology and has been lobbying other countries to do the same. Just this week, a major British telecommunications company announced it would strip Huawei hardware from its core 4G network.

Why it matters: Given that Huawei is one of China’s corporate jewels, Ms. Meng’s detention would most likely increase tensions between Beijing and Washington as they start new trade negotiations.

What happens next in this high-stakes game? “The U.S. Department of Justice and the Trump administration have an important question to answer,” Tim Culpan of Bloomberg Opinion writes. “What do we want out of this?” The wrong decision could escalate the trade war at a time both nations are hoping for peace.

A travel note for U.S. executives: “They will retaliate and China will take hostages,” James Lewis, director of technology policy at the think tank CSIS told Axios. “If I was an American tech executive, I wouldn’t travel to China this week.”

President Trump said yesterday that the Chinese government was sending “very strong signals” about what might emerge from the trade truce he and President Xi Jinping reached last weekend in Buenos Aires. The comment was apparently a reference to remarks of Beijing being “confident” a comprehensive deal can be reached before a tariff freeze expires in 90 days.

Plenty of people are unconvinced. More from Alan Rappeport and Jim Tankersley of the NYT:

• “Mr. Trump and his advisers have been touting the trade truce reached in Buenos Aires as a victory, saying that China had agreed to buy $1.2 trillion worth of American products.”

• “But trade experts and industry insiders remain perplexed, anxiously awaiting information about the timing and composition of the $1.2 trillion, a number that dwarfs the $130 billion in goods that the United States exported to China last year.”

• “If China doubled the amount of goods it bought from the United States starting next year, it would take nearly a decade to reach the $1.2 trillion goal.”

OPEC officials are meeting in Vienna today, and it’s a tricky time for the oil industry, writes Stanley Reed of the NYT.

Why it matters: Oil prices have swung wildly in recent months, with crude tumbling 35 percent to less than $50 a barrel before rebounding slightly this week. The industry would like to lift prices by restricting production, but Mr. Trump has been explicit about wanting to keep prices low.

What to expect: “Most analysts say that the oil producers have little choice but to announce a substantial cut in production of at least one million barrels a day, or around 1 percent of world oil supplies,” Mr. Reed writes. “Otherwise, prices could slide into the $40-a-barrel range or lower, squeezing the oil-dependent economies of member countries.”

What can go wrong: The future of Russian oil production and the amount of Iranian oil that U.S. sanctions will take off the market could still sway prices.

There’s a huge business opportunity in climate change. Exploiting it is the hard part.

In a climate change report published yesterday, scientists likened the quickening growth rate of carbon dioxide emissions to a “speeding freight train,” and warned that the world may face some of global warming’s most severe consequences sooner than expected.

Greg Ip of the WSJ outlines what that means for businesses:

“Worries don’t translate into solutions unless businesses devise products that emit dramatically less planet-warming greenhouse gases. The innovation is the easy part; getting people to buy it is the hard part. That requires incentives, which depend heavily on governments. Without their intervention, solar and wind power, and electric and hybrid cars would have no foothold against their fossil fuel competitors.”

But he also notes that many government interventions aren’t sufficiently informed by long-term thinking. Tom Linebarger, the chief executive of the engine maker Cummins, tells Mr. Ip that there’s an obvious path forward. “If we want rules that are more effective, decide the end result we want and let technology compete for the best solution,” he said. “Carbon taxes are much better than all the other choices.”

The U.S. markets were closed yesterday in honor of former President George Bush. When they reopen today, there could be bad news.

Global markets have slumped. After dropping yesterday, they did so again today. The Nikkei in Japan fell about 2 percent, and the pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell over 2 percent in morning trading.

Futures tracking U.S. stocks aren’t encouraging. The S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow all appear set to open with losses of more than 1.5 percent today.

What’s driving the malaise? Trade concerns are playing a big role, and the arrest of Meng Wanzhou of Huawei added to unease about the prospects for the U.S.-China trade truce. The flattening yield curve, which is seen as an early indicator of a looming recession, is also having an impact. Add to that more general fears of a slowing global economy, Brexit and a troubled tech sector.

A new study by UBS suggests worldwide unemployment was 5.2 percent in September. That’s down from 8 percent in 2010, and the lowest level since 1980.

More on the numbers from the FT:

Arend Kapteyn, UBS chief economist, said that greater labor market flexibility since the financial crisis — due to factors such as lower wages and the advent of the gig economy — had helped lower the natural rate of unemployment in many countries.

The change has been particularly pronounced in Eastern Europe: Polish unemployment has fallen to 6.2 percent from 20 percent in 2002, for instance, and Croatia and Slovakia have similar stories. But unemployment has dropped in many of the largest economies too, including the U.S., Britain, Germany and Japan.

Robert Dickey, C.E.O. of the newspaper publisher Gannett, plans to retire by May.

Martin Anstice, C.E.O. of Lam Research, has resigned amid allegations of misconduct in the workplace.

Deals

• SoftBank reportedly sold all of the shares for the $23 billion I.P.O. for its telecom unit. (Bloomberg)

• The activist hedge fund Engaged Capital has pushed for the restaurant chain Del Frisco’s to sell itself. Del Frisco’s introduced a “poison pill” clause in its shareholder rights plan to prevent that from happening.

• Blackstone is said to be preparing an I.P.O. of the benefits management company Alight. (Reuters)

• Chinese start-ups raised more cash than their Silicon Valley counterparts did in the first half of 2018. That’s unlikely to last, and a downturn could produce casualties. (Breakingviews)

Politics and policy

• Here are the most important moments from the funeral of former President George Bush. (NYT)

• Senators introduced a resolution stating that Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, was “complicit” in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. (Hill)

• A House Democrat has called for an emergency hearing on suspected election fraud in North Carolina. (WaPo)

• President Vladimir Putin of Russia threatened an arms race with the U.S. (WSJ)

• Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain is said to be considering making concessions in her Brexit deal to win over skeptics in Parliament. Here’s how the E.U. could, grudgingly, renegotiate the agreement.

Trade

• Tariffs have done little to diminish American imports of foreign steel. (WSJ)

• The Federal Reserve said price rises stemming from tariffs have spread more broadly through the U.S. economy. (Reuters)

Tech

• Google workers have asked their C.E.O. to provide better working conditions for contractors. (The company also accidentally published dummy ads online during a training exercise, a mistake that could cost it $10 million.)

• Tesla hopes to start building cars in a new Chinese factory before the end of 2019. (FT)

• Australia’s anti-encryption bill is edging closer to passage. (TechCrunch)

• Waymo has introduced its first (modest) commercial autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix. (Uber, meanwhile, is cautiously planning to restart its own autonomous-vehicle testing program.)

• C.E.O.s from Google, Microsoft, IBM and other tech companies are set to discuss innovation at the White House today. (Bloomberg)

Best of the rest

• MoviePass announced plans for a reboot. Will it work? (NYT)

• U.S.A. Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body, has filed for bankruptcy. (NYT)

• Mary Barra, G.M.’s C.E.O., said she would keep an “open mind” about plant closings, but stopped short of saying she would backtrack on those already announced. (Reuters)

• Brexit uncertainty is making it tough to trade the British pound. (FT)

• James Dyson rose to fame by selling vacuums. Now he’s backing Brexit, and making antiquated comments on “racial differences.” (NYT)

Thanks for reading! We’ll see you tomorrow.

You can find live updates throughout the day at nytimes.com/dealbook.

We’d love your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to business@nytimes.com.

December 5th, 2018 December 5th, 2018

M&A wrap: Luminate, Hollie Moore Haynes, ParkerGale, Pizza Hut, QuikOrder, Yum!, KFC, Taco Bell


Photo credit: Luminate Capital

Luminate Capital Partners has raised its second fund at $425 million. The PE firm, founded by Hollie Moore Haynes, focuses on the software sector. In 2018, Luminate invested in AutoQuotes, a technology provider for the foodservice equipment industry. “We are very pleased with the investor response to Fund II which exceeded our expectations,” says Haynes, who is a former managing director at Silver Lake Partners. “As we have demonstrated our ability to generate attractive returns, we have continued to build additional institutional support from investors who understand our emphasis on the software sector.” PE fundraising is benefiting from a boost in M&A in the tech sector, and young PE firms, including those that focus on tech and software, are raising second funds. ParkerGale, co-founded by Kristina Heinze, Devin Mathews, Jim Milbery and Ryan Milligan, has recently raised its second fund at $375 million. Moelis & Co. (NYSE: MC) served as Luminate’s placement agent and Kirkland & Ellis provided legal advice.

Deal news
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), is buying online restaurant ordering and delivery company QuikOrder. Pizza Hut says with QuikOrder, the company “will improve its ability to deliver an easy and personalized online ordering experience.” “We’re doubling down on our commitment to digital and this deal positions Pizza Hut perfectly for the future,” says Pizza Hut U.S. president Artie Starrs. In Addition to Pizza Hut, Yum! owns the KFC and Taco Bell restaurant chains.

Omers and Leonard Green & Partners-backed Caliber Collison is merging with Abra Auto Repair of America. The combined company will become one of the largest collision services providers in the U.S. Abra is backed by Hellman & Friedman, which will be a majority shareholder in the combined company. Omers and Leonard Green are keeping stakes as well. Jefferies is advising Omers and Leonard Green. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is representing Omers. Latham & Watkins is representing Leonard & Green. BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are advising Hellman & Friedman.

MJ Hudson has acquired data and analytics firm Amaces. The target offers tools and consulting services to help institutional investors monitor the cost and quality of the investor services they receive from their custodian banks.

Curavi Health Inc. has bought TripleCare, a provider of telemedicine services to healthcare facilities. Ziegler advised TripleCare.

Wynnchurch Capital has purchased Buchanan Rubber Ltd., a distributor of valves, fittings, and hoses.

People moves
Derrick Lott, Roger Morscheiser and Cody Wright were promoted from associate to partner to Shearman & Sterling. All three focus on M&A.

Robert Lin and Marissa Short have joined Churchill Asset Management as members of the firm’s finance and operations team. Lin was previously with Ivy Hill Asset Management and Short was most recently with Ernst and Young.

Featured content
Private equity firms are giving back – organizing groceries at food pantries, mentoring students in schools, running races for cancer cures and pitching in at animal shelters. In time for the holidays, Mergers & Acquisitions highlights the philanthropic and volunteering initiatives of 5 PE firms: the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG), Frontier Capital, Huron Capital, the Riverside Co. and Star Mountain Capital. At Carlyle, charity starts at the top, with CEO David Rubenstein’s signing of The Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Community involvement is more important than ever to today’s work force. Millennials, defined as people born between 1981 and 1996 by the Pew Research Center, are “for sustainability, diversity, inclusion and giving back to the community,” says Carlyle managing director Christopher Ullman. “We are finding this more and more. Yes, we are here to make money, secure retirement for pensioners, but the firm wants to support people’s efforts to make the world a better place.” Frontier Capital supports several causes, including The Miracle League, a baseball organization for people who are mentally and physically challenged. “There’s more to life than work and material things, and our people understand that,” says Frontier managing partner Andrew Lindner. At Detroit-based Huron Capital, the firm’s philanthropic efforts are focused on local groups. “We want to leave our footprint in this community where we live and work while being as helpful as possible,” says partner Gretchen Perkins. “The charitable activities we do as a group, the ability for each employee to influence where Huron’s donations go, and the ability to perform community service during work hours, or receive matching funds for an employee’s personal non-profit passion, all contribute to a portion of an employee’s sense of purpose and contributing to the greater good.” Read the full story, The Big Give.

We asked dealmakers at ACG Philadelphia’s M&A East to share their thoughts on Giving Back. Check out our video interview with Baker Tilly Capital’s Judit Nagy-Eichelber: Volunteer work brings teams together. Also watch our conversation with Reed Smith’s Jonathan Moyer: For millennial dealmakers, giving back is part of who they are.

Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the the pressure on retailers is more intense than ever. Consumers are choosing retailers that match their values. For example, Canadian retail giant Empire Company Ltd. (TSE: EMP.A) has agreed to buy fast-growing farm-to-table grocer Farm Boy for $800 million from Boston private equity firm Berkshire Partners LLC. Farm Boy offers fresh, ready-to-eat and private label offerings are particularly appealing to urban and suburban consumers. Technology is driving many of the transactions. Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY) recently agreed to spend $800 million to buy GreatCall, a provider of emergency response services for seniors, from Chicago private equity firm GTCR. Meanwhile, GreatCall announced a partnership with on-demand transportation provider Lyft to make it easier for seniors to get car service. “Many of the challenges that retailers are currently facing are due more to a lack of innovation and investment in technology, and that they are not able to compete with Amazon,” said Alex Monahan, a consumer products senior analyst at tax and consulting firm RSM US LLP. “Investors want to see that retailers are adjusting to consumer’s changing preferences and striving to provide seamless multi-channel experiences, while also investing in technology to address the tight labor markets.” Amazon, Walmart, Ikea, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Farm Boy are among the retailers turning to M&A. For more, see 5 trends driving retail M&A.

The Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Tennessee Titans Thursday night. Off the field, many players build companies. Off the field, many football players invest in companies. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently teamed with former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who is the co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America, to launch a sports media startup called Religion of Sports Media, which has raised $3 million in venture capital funding from CourtsideVC and Advancit Capital. Muhsin Muhammad, who played wide receiver for the Carolina Panthersand the Chicago Bears, is a managing director of private equity firm Axum Capital Partners. Steve Young, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is a co-founder of private equity firm HGGC. View our slideshow, NFL stars Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, Steve Young go PE.

Events
ACG New York Women of Leadership Summit brings together women in the middle-market dealmaking community for a day focused on networking and knowledge sharing on Jan. 17 at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel. Alexa Von Tobel, chief innovation officer of Northwestern Mutual, keynotes.

Exponent Women kicks off the new year with an evening of networking on Jan. 24 at The Campbell, at New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Jazz Age financier John W. Campbellconverted the space to his private office and reception hall in 1923, and it has recently been restored by design firm Ingrao Inc.

ACG Boston, ACG Connecticut, ACG New Jersey, ACG New York & ACG Philadelphia host ACG Northeast Dealmaking at the Mountain at Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vermont Jan. 27-29. The event provides a chance for middle-market M&A professionals from across the northeast to come together for two days of close knit networking, shared conversations and valuable time spent to deepen your relationships within the deal community.


Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis joined SourceMedia in 2015 and serves as Managing Editor of Mergers & Acquisitions. He covers all aspects of middle-market dealmaking, with a focus on strategic buyers and the consumer and retail sectors, and writes The Buyside column.


Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn joined SourceMedia in 2011, serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Mergers & Acquisitions. MK oversees the brand’s content on all media platforms, including website, e-newsletters, video, slideshows, podcasts and print.

December 5th, 2018

China’s 2018 Venture Capital Binge Could Turn Into a Hangover

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China’s venture capital party may be about to get quieter.

This year, for the first time, Chinese start-ups raised more cash than their Silicon Valley counterparts, notching up $56 billion in six months. But the excitement may be cooling as the year ends, thanks to tougher regulation and a slowing economy. A shakeout could easily follow.

It has been a blowout 2018. For the first half of the year, a study released this week by the data provider Preqin and Insead business school suggests that China beat the $42 billion raised in the United States by some way. That’s largely thanks to a huge funding round for Alibaba’s financial affiliate, Ant Financial, as well as some other chunky efforts. But it’s a high-water mark regardless. As is, perhaps, SoftBank’s mooted move to place a team in China to help spend its giant Vision Fund, after years of investing remotely.

The coming months look less exuberant. The likes of SoftBank and Singapore’s Temasek still have plenty of money to plow into splashy names like the news and video-sharing app ByteDance. Others are less enthusiastic, if figures for China-focused venture funds are anything to go by. In the 11 months to mid-November, around 70 such funds raised just over $15 billion, Preqin estimates; that compares to $40 billion or so raised by 330 funds in all of 2016.

All of this suggests increased nerves. The vast majority of Chinese unicorns that listed this year, including the takeaways-to-taxis app Meituan Dianping and the smartphone-maker Xiaomi, are now underwater. Just a small fraction of those $1 billion-plus companies, including video-streaming companies Huya, Bilibili and iQiyi, have risen above their initial public offering prices. Rocky starts like that of the Alibaba-backed parenting site Babytree, which debuted last month at a valuation below its last funding round, won’t help.

What most of this year’s debutantes have in common is that they bet on local consumers, one way or another. But those shoppers look more fretful. Changes to rules on education, fintech and gaming have only added to the strain. Weaker companies may fall by the wayside.

December 5th, 2018

DealBook Briefing: Even During a Trade Truce, Trump Is a ‘Tariff Man’

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It’s a bird … It’s a plane … It’s “Tariff Man,” as President Trump dubbed himself in one of several provocative tweets he posted on Tuesday. And it seems that this superhero’s special power may be an uncanny ability to get in his own way.

Uncertainty hangs over the U.S.-China trade deal. Other than the 90-day postponement of further tariffs, it’s unclear what was agreed to by Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China at the Group of 20 meeting in Buenos Aires on Saturday. Bloomberg compared the diverging claims from Beijing and Washington, and it seems there’s little agreement between the two sides.

Mr. Trump may have overstated China’s concessions. Michael Pillsbury, the former Pentagon official Mr. Trump has called “probably the leading authority on China,” told Axios that there was concern in China about American reports of concessions that Beijing never agreed to. They include the Chinese “immediately” addressing intellectual property theft, resuming purchases of American agricultural products and cutting car tariffs.

And he continues to be bullish on the prospects for a pact. “The negotiations with China have already started,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter, and those leading the talks will see “whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible.” His conclusion: “If it is, we will get it done,” he added. “But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man.”

But China may be starting to make moves. Beijing offered its first acknowledgment of the 90-day deadline, saying it was “confident in implementing” trade commitments to the U.S. “as soon as possible.” Bloomberg notes that China is preparing to import U.S. soybeans and liquefied natural gas. Reuters reports that the Chinese oil trader Unipec plans to resume U.S. crude shipments to China in March. And China announced new punishments for intellectual property theft.

That was fast. A day after stocks rallied after the announcement of a truce in the U.S.-China trade war, they bombed again: The S&P 500 lost more than 3 percent on Tuesday. But don’t believe anyone who points to a single reason for the rout.

Trade issues have a lot to do with it. Investors worry that the trade war is far from over, and that an extended dispute would undermine global growth and hurt American companies. As Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said yesterday, the markets are in a “wait and see” period while investors try to determine whether an actual trade deal can be struck.

You can also blame the inverting yield curve. Part of the curve, which shows the difference between interest rates on short- and long-term government bonds, went negative on Monday, which is often considered a sign of a looming recession. That helped drive S&P 500 bank shares down 4.4 percent, making Tuesday their worst day since February.

And there’s more. Bloomberg points out that worries about the housing market, continuing volatility in the tech sector, the uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the European Union and numerous other issues also weighed on the markets yesterday.

But things might brighten. While global markets followed the U.S. sell-off overnight, futures tracking U.S. stocks are all ticking up this morning, most likely because of positive comments on trade by the Chinese government. (The U.S. markets are closed today in honor of former President George Bush, whose funeral will be held at Washington National Cathedral at 11 a.m. Eastern; they reopen on Thursday.)

The draft of a report prepared for the board of CBS by lawyers for the company, and seen by the NYT, contains a series of new allegations against Mr. Moonves, CBS’s former chief executive. The report says the company has justification to deny him $120 million in severance.

Among the revelations in the document:

• Mr. Moonves “engaged in multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace, both before and after he came to CBS in 1995.” Some of those allegations had not been previously disclosed.

• Lawyers involved in the inquiry spoke with Mr. Moonves four times and found him to be “evasive and untruthful at times, and to have deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct.”

• Investigators determined that Mr. Moonves had “received oral sex from at least 4 CBS employees under circumstances that sound transactional and improper to the extent that there was no hint of any relationship, romance or reciprocity.”

The report also explains what the CBS board and management knew about Mr. Moonves’s conduct. More on what that means from the NYT columnist James B. Stewart:

Many of the company’s employees, including high-ranking executives and even members of its board, were aware of the former chief executive Leslie Moonves’s alleged sexual misconduct and subsequent efforts to conceal it. Yet no one acted to stop him — and the repercussions for that failure are likely to reverberate at CBS for years.

President Trump repeatedly accused Amazon in the spring of engaging in a “scam” against the United States Postal Service. On Tuesday, his administration delivered its verdict: not really.

More on that from Jim Tankersley of the NYT:

The task force created by Mr. Trump to investigate the Postal Service’s finances did conclude that the mail system is losing money. But a report issued on Tuesday said that commercial package delivery for Amazon and other e-commerce retailers was actually profitable for the Postal Service and was not costing the United States “massive amounts of money,” as Mr. Trump has suggested in his tweets.

Commercial package delivery is not profitable enough to offset the revenue losses the Postal Service is suffering, however, as Americans mail fewer and fewer first-class letters.

The report did recommend some changes: that the Postal Service change the price of package delivery to maximize profit instead of maximizing delivery volume, and that it create separate accounting books for letters and for packages, among other things. Such changes could increase delivery prices, making online retailers nervous.

It’s been two weeks since Mr. Ghosn, who led an alliance comprising Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, was arrested in Japan, and there hasn’t been much clarity on how he might have sneaked $70 million of salary and benefits past the company that pays him, as he is suspected of doing.

Now Jason Clenfield and Yuki Hagiwara of Bloomberg explain how he might have done that:

What is certain is that Nissan Motor Co.’s own corporate governance rules gave unusual powers to its former chairman, a business celebrity who was given extraordinary deference for having once rescued the automaker from financial ruin. Those powers included near-total say over how much — and how — he was paid, according to Nissan’s own internal rules.

Several people familiar with the prosecutors’ investigation now say the probe appears to hinge on a relatively arcane point of accounting — whether retirement payments were properly booked.

The Bloomberg report also points to questionable governance at Nissan, with a concentration of power at the top and independent board members, including an “ex-race-car driver and former model,” who may not have been qualified to ask searching questions of the leadership team.

The golden years of leisure after decades of toil are beginning to look very different, depending on where in the world you live and, increasingly, which generation you belong to. That’s according to Katie Robertson of the NYT, writing in a special section of the newspaper about the future of retirement.

Things look bleak. “Nearly half of those surveyed in a recent report by the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement say future generations would be worse off than those now in retirement, partly because people are living longer. According to the United Nations, the number of those over 60 worldwide is expected to double by 2050 to 2.1 billion.”

What needs to change? “A new global retirement model would need to include universal access to a retirement savings system for workers, greater financial literacy and affordable health care, among other solutions.”

Read more: Here’s the entire special section on the future of retirement.

Katy Knox, president of U.S. Trust, and Andy Sieg, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, will join Bank of America’s executive management team. (WSJ)

NPR’s chief executive, Jarl Mohn, will step down in June. (WSJ)

Uber hired Aaron Crowell, a longtime health consultant, to lead its health business. Dan Trigub, currently on Lyft’s health care team, will also join the division. (CNBC)

Yang Weidong, the chief of Alibaba’s video-streaming platform, Youku, has stepped down amid “alleged acceptance of improper payments.” (WSJ)

Thomson Reuters will cut 3,200 jobs over the next two years. (WSJ)

Deals

• Takeda won shareholder approval to finance its $60 billion buyout of the pharmaceutical company Shire. (Reuters)

• Goldman Sachs will reportedly buy a $200 million stake in the venture-capital firm General Catalyst. (WSJ)

• The German oil and gas producer DEA will reportedly announce plans today to buy the Mexican company Sierra Oil and Gas. (FT)

• The Martin Sorrell venture S4 Capital has acquired the California-based digital advertising business MightyHive for $150 million. [FT]

Politics and policy

• The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said that Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, had provided substantial help with the investigation into Russian interference and should receive little to no prison time for lying to federal investigators. (NYT)

• The U.S. plans to suspend its nuclear treaty with Russia in 60 days. (WSJ)

• The campaign committee for House Republicans says its computer systems were hacked this year. (NYT)

• A C.I.A. briefing on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi solidified the view among U.S. senators that Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, had ordered the act. (NYT)

• Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain has been forced to publish secret government legal advice on her Brexit deal. (FT)

Trade

• President Trump offered German automakers a reprieve from car tariffs, at least for now. (NYT)

• The electronics manufacturer Foxconn is reportedly considering a new plant in Vietnam to avoid tariffs. (Reuters)

Tech

• Alibaba plans to take on Amazon in Europe’s cloud computing market. (WSJ)

• The U.S. Secret Service wants to test facial recognition around the White House. (ACLU)

• The first “real world” demonstration of 5G has gone badly. (Verge)

• Apple is resorting to discount promotions to help bolster its iPhone sales. (Bloomberg)

• The digital divide might be wider than we thought. (NYT)

Best of the rest

• Fifty companies, including UPS, Dow DuPont and Boston Consulting Group, that pledged to increase the number of women in their ranks now collectively have a larger representation of women in leadership positions at every level than their global peers do. (Catalyst)

• Federal prosecutors issued the first charges brought in the U.S. in connection with the so-called Panama Papers leaks. (NYT)

• Retailers are using Big Tech-style user tracking to try to keep up with Amazon. (Bloomberg)

• Palladium could steal gold’s crown as the world’s most expensive metal. (WSJ)

• Here are the best U.S. companies to work for, according to their employees. (Spoiler: Facebook is no longer #1). (WaPo)

Thanks for reading! We’ll see you tomorrow.

We’d love your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to business@nytimes.com.

December 4th, 2018

Les Moonves Obstructed Investigation Into Misconduct Claims, Report Says

Because of his run of successes, Mr. Moonves became one of the industry’s highest paid and most respected executives. He has drawn an annual pay package worth $69.3 million. From 2006 to 2017, Mr. Moonves’s total compensation, including salary and stock awards, totaled more than $1 billion, according to Equilar, a research firm that gathers data on executive pay.

But his fall from Hollywood’s highest echelon was all but sealed after the board found out about his attempts to appease Ms. Phillips.

In September, shortly after The New Yorker published an article in which six women accused Mr. Moonves of misconduct, the CBS board negotiated a settlement with Mr. Moonves, including a $20 million donation to one or more organizations that support equality for women in the workplace. The company hired a consulting firm to help choose which organizations should receive the money, but Mr. Moonves also has to agree on the recipients. That amount has already been set aside and is considered a deduction from Mr. Moonves’s total settlement of $140 million.

The CBS board had already enlisted the two law firms to lead an inquiry into the claims against Mr. Moonves and the wider workplace culture at the network in August, after six women accused Mr. Moonves of misconduct in an earlier article by The New Yorker.

The board hired Nancy Kestenbaum of Covington & Burling and Mary Jo White of Debevoise & Plimpton to conduct the inquiry. Ms. White led the Securities and Exchange Commission during the Obama administration and was previously the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Kestenbaum was also a federal prosecutor with the same district.

Even before the misconduct allegations emerged, Mr. Moonves had been under intense pressure. He waged an audacious legal battle against CBS’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, to prevent a pending merger with its sister company Viacom, which she also controls.

Mr. Moonves is the latest high-powered entertainment figure to be ousted from his perch in the #MeToo era. The movie producer Harvey Weinstein has been accused by scores of women of sexual assault. Matt Lauer stepped down as the anchor of NBC’s most valuable news program, “Today,” after several women alleged sexual harassment. Charlie Rose of CBS and PBS left the airwaves after multiple women implicated him. And Fox News saw the departures of the founding executive Roger E. Ailes and its top-rated host, Bill O’Reilly. All of those men have denied any nonconsensual sexual activity.

Many of the men who have been toppled spent years determining what TV shows, movies and news programs millions of Americans watched daily. The allegations go back years — in some cases even decades. And the wave of scandals is a stark reminder of how male-dominated the entertainment and news industries remain, especially in their upper ranks.

December 4th, 2018

Bank Stocks Were Bruised the Worst in the Sell-Off. Here’s Why.

Financial stocks have just had their worst day since the February sell-off.

Shares of banks in the S&P 500 were down 4.4 percent Tuesday, helping pull the S&P 500 down 3.2 percent. Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup were each down more than 4 percent, while Goldman Sachs was off 3.8 percent.

Behind the slide was the fall in the yields on Treasury securities as bond prices have risen. Investors have been buying Treasuries in recent days as they increasingly wager that the Federal Reserve will slow its pace of rate increases in the new year.

Banks borrow at lower short-term rates and lend at higher longer-term rates, and the bigger the difference between the two rates, the more profitable the banks are. Longer-term interest rates being set in the market have declined recently, which could signal that banks will earn less interest on their loans in the future.

The fate of financial stocks has largely been tied to the direction of interest rates in recent years.

At least for a time, bank stocks can do well in a rising-rate environment. After years of the Fed holding rates down, shares of banks took off at the end of 2015 as the central bank began to lift rates. From then through the end of 2017, financial stocks were the best performing sector in the S&P 500, rising 44 percent and beating the broader index’s 24 percent increase.

Those gains were expected to continue into this year. The tax cut signed into law late last year raised the bottom lines of banks and the Trump administration was moving forward with cutting regulations on the industry.

But bank stocks have lagged the broader market since this spring. Investors have grown increasingly concerned about trade and economic growth, and that anxiety has increased the allure of safe, long-term bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note — a bellwether for long-term rates — has spent much of that period stuck below 3 percent.

December 4th, 2018

M&A wrap: Fat Brands, Yalla, Fatburger, Hurricane Grill Wings, Nasdaq


Photo credit: Yalla

Fat Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: FAT) has acquired Yalla Mediterranean, a restaurant chain that offers authentic, healthful Mediterranean cuisine that is served in “environmentally-friendly operations.” The target’s menu features Greek wraps, power greens salads, and basmati rice platters, and has around seven locations mainly in California. Yalla joins Fat Brands’ portfolio of brands, including: Fatburger, Buffalo’s Café, Buffalo’s Express, Hurricane Grill Wings, Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses. “Yalla Mediterranean’s commitment to authentic, healthy and responsibly-sourced products aligns strongly with Fat Brands’ commitment to providing guests with high-quality, made-to-order meals,” says Fat Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn. “By bringing Yalla Mediterranean into the Fat Brands family, we’ll be able to help the brand grow its footprint in its existing markets and expand to new markets through our extensive network of franchise partners.” Fat Brands franchises more than 300 restaurants worldwide and has over 300 additional restaurants under development in 32 countries. Demand for authentic, healthy cuisine is one of the drivers in restaurant M&A. Read the full story: What’s attracting hungry buyers to restaurants? Here are 7 trends.

Deal news
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) has acquired Quandl Inc., a financial data company. The move is part of Nasdaq’s strategy to to maximize opportunities as a technology and analytics provider to capital markets, as well as its capital deployment and return on investment capital objectives.

Irving Place Capital has purchased the Coker Group, a manufacturer and supplier of automotive tires.

Spire Capital-backed Dynamic Quest has bought network services provider Enroute Services.

Featured content
Private equity firms are giving back – organizing groceries at food pantries, mentoring students in schools, running races for cancer cures and pitching in at animal shelters. In time for the holidays, Mergers & Acquisitions highlights the philanthropic and volunteering initiatives of 5 PE firms: the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG), Frontier Capital, Huron Capital, the Riverside Co. and Star Mountain Capital. At Carlyle, charity starts at the top, with CEO David Rubenstein’s signing of The Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Community involvement is more important than ever to today’s work force. Millennials, defined as people born between 1981 and 1996 by the Pew Research Center, are “for sustainability, diversity, inclusion and giving back to the community,” says Carlyle managing director Christopher Ullman. “We are finding this more and more. Yes, we are here to make money, secure retirement for pensioners, but the firm wants to support people’s efforts to make the world a better place.” Frontier Capital supports several causes, including The Miracle League, a baseball organization for people who are mentally and physically challenged. “There’s more to life than work and material things, and our people understand that,” says Frontier managing partner Andrew Lindner. At Detroit-based Huron Capital, the firm’s philanthropic efforts are focused on local groups. “We want to leave our footprint in this community where we live and work while being as helpful as possible,” says partner Gretchen Perkins. “The charitable activities we do as a group, the ability for each employee to influence where Huron’s donations go, and the ability to perform community service during work hours, or receive matching funds for an employee’s personal non-profit passion, all contribute to a portion of an employee’s sense of purpose and contributing to the greater good.” Read the full story, The Big Give.

We asked dealmakers at ACG Philadelphia’s M&A East to share their thoughts on Giving Back. Check out our video interview with Baker Tilly Capital’s Judit Nagy-Eichelber: Volunteer work brings teams together. Also watch our conversation with Reed Smith’s Jonathan Moyer: For millennial dealmakers, giving back is part of who they are.

Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the the pressure on retailers is more intense than ever. Consumers are choosing retailers that match their values. For example, Canadian retail giant Empire Company Ltd. (TSE: EMP.A) has agreed to buy fast-growing farm-to-table grocer Farm Boy for $800 million from Boston private equity firm Berkshire Partners LLC. Farm Boy offers fresh, ready-to-eat and private label offerings are particularly appealing to urban and suburban consumers. Technology is driving many of the transactions. Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY) recently agreed to spend $800 million to buy GreatCall, a provider of emergency response services for seniors, from Chicago private equity firm GTCR. Meanwhile, GreatCall announced a partnership with on-demand transportation provider Lyft to make it easier for seniors to get car service. “Many of the challenges that retailers are currently facing are due more to a lack of innovation and investment in technology, and that they are not able to compete with Amazon,” said Alex Monahan, a consumer products senior analyst at tax and consulting firm RSM US LLP. “Investors want to see that retailers are adjusting to consumer’s changing preferences and striving to provide seamless multi-channel experiences, while also investing in technology to address the tight labor markets.” Amazon, Walmart, Ikea, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Farm Boy are among the retailers turning to M&A. For more, see 5 trends driving retail M&A.

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Washington Redskins 28-13 on Monday night. Off the field, many football players invest in companies. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently teamed with former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who is the co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America, to launch a sports media startup called Religion of Sports Media, which has raised $3 million in venture capital funding from CourtsideVC and Advancit Capital. Muhsin Muhammad, who played wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears, is a managing director of private equity firm Axum Capital Partners. Steve Young, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is a co-founder of private equity firm HGGC. View our slideshow, NFL stars Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, Steve Young go PE.

Events
ACG New York Women of Leadership Summit brings together women in the middle-market dealmaking community for a day focused on networking and knowledge sharing on Jan. 17 at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel. Alexa Von Tobel, chief innovation officer of Northwestern Mutual, keynotes.

Exponent Women kicks off the new year with an evening of networking on Jan. 24 at The Campbell, at New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Jazz Age financier John W. Campbellconverted the space to his private office and reception hall in 1923, and it has recently been restored by design firm Ingrao Inc.


Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis joined SourceMedia in 2015 and serves as Managing Editor of Mergers & Acquisitions. He covers all aspects of middle-market dealmaking, with a focus on strategic buyers and the consumer and retail sectors, and writes The Buyside column.


Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn joined SourceMedia in 2011, serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Mergers & Acquisitions. MK oversees the brand’s content on all media platforms, including website, e-newsletters, video, slideshows, podcasts and print.

December 4th, 2018

The Weed Industry May Be Better Off Without the Support of Big Tobacco

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Big ambitions require investment, but not all infusions of capital are equal. Cronos, the Canadian pot producer, is in early talks with the tobacco giant Altria, Reuters reported on Monday. An association with a huge tobacco company isn’t exactly what this nascent industry needs.

To say that Cronos has expansion plans is an understatement. It wants to grow its production of weed to more than 258,000 pounds a year — equivalent to just less than $900 million a year in revenue terms, based on its latest realized price per ounce.

In the last quarter it sold just 1,133 pounds. That’s not to say that the Cronos chief executive Michael Gorenstein can’t hit that target — but anyone buying his company’s shares, or those of equally driven rivals, is effectively getting some greenhouses and nurseries, supply agreements and a lot of hope.

Altria can take that risk. With a stock market capitalization of over $100 billion, it could swallow the $1.8 billion Cronos with virtually no financial impact. (Never mind that Cronos trades at more than 20 times its projected revenue for 2019, according to estimates from the data provider Refinitiv.) And for the tobacco industry, which has more enemies than friends, diversification makes sense — much like Altria’s potential investment in the vaping company Juul Labs, reported by The Wall Street Journal last week.

The trouble is, cannabis isn’t quite like tobacco, nor should it want to be seen that way.

Producers aspire for their product to be seen as medicinal rather than lethal, for one. In the future a lot of cannabis won’t be smoked but eaten, taken as oils or even applied as cosmetics. Moreover, pot growers would prefer not to be regulated in the same draconian way as tobacco. Canada has already imposed strict curbs on how weed companies present logos and branding. In most U.S. states where usage is legal, a more liberal approach so far prevails.

In some cases, weed producers can be selective. Canopy Growth in August announced a $4 billion investment from the brewer Constellation Brands, targeting a North American infused-beverage market that analysts from Berenberg Bank think could be worth $13.2 billion. Others might turn to pharmaceuticals companies, or even personal-goods makers.

Tobacco companies have cash and urgency, but their unmistakable aroma is something that Big Weed can do without.

December 4th, 2018

Message service Clickatell considers IPO to fund expansion -CEO

* Expects 2018 revenue growth of more than 30 pct

* Company rolling out mobile banking via WhatsApp in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Clickatell, which helps companies communicate with customers via mobile messaging platforms, is considering a public offering next year as it seeks to fund a rapid expansion of its services, founder and CEO Pieter de Villiers said on Tuesday.

Clickatell, which was founded in South Africa but is now based in California, could seek to list on a U.S. exchange, he said.

The company initially used mobile phone SMS messaging to enable its clients to communicate directly with their customers. It is now partnered with Facebook’s WhatsApp Business platform to provide services ranging from online customer service to distribution of real-time flight information to mobile banking.

“The markets around us are growing fast. It makes sense for us to do capital raising in 2019, maybe in (the first and second quarters),” de Villiers told Reuters in a telephone interview.

He said the company – which also has offices in South Africa, Canada and Nigeria – had not yet taken a final decision on whether to go public or fundraise via a private placement.

“We could certainly list in the U.S. provided we felt that the company would get enough attention given market cap and size,” he said. “I think private equity is also still very much an option for the business given the momentum we’ve got.”

As a private company, Clickatell does not publish financial results, but de Villiers said it has turned a profit every year since 2009 and is on track for year-on-year revenue growth of more than 30 percent this year.

“We’ve had double-digit growth for quite some time. This year in particular is a good year,” he said.

De Villiers said he saw growth opportunities in large emerging markets, including in Africa, where expanding mobile internet access has led to the rapid adoption of messaging services.

“There are billions of consumers on these channels and brands need to reach their customers on those channels where they operate and interact today,” he said.

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in Africa, home to over a billion people. Clickatell is working with four of Africa’s biggest banks – Absa Bank, GTBank , First Bank of Nigeria and United Bank of Africa – to roll out mobile banking via WhatsApp across the continent.

The service is aimed at helping the banks expand mobile banking to customers who use WhatsApp but might be reluctant to download a separate banking app.

“Many brands that rely on mobile applications just cannot get beyond 15 to 20 percent penetration,” de Villiers said. “So if you can take technology that exists today and offer an app-like experience but on a WeChat or WhatsApp channel, then you open up the market.”

(Reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by Susan Fenton)

December 4th, 2018

DealBook Briefing: Trump’s Trade Truce Is Mired in Confusion

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It’s been only two days since President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China announced a truce in the trade war, but exactly what promises were made remains far from clear — and the calm may not last long.

The U.S. and China got what they wanted. Briefly. News of the pact helped China’s struggling renminbi climb to a two-month high. In the U.S., stocks rose, with the S&P 500 index up 1.1 percent. But Asian shares slid overnight, and futures tracking U.S. stocks suggest markets will be down when they open today, hinting that the restorative effects of the reconciliation may be short-lived.

Confusion appears to reign. Mr. Trump’s top advisers struggled to explain what the deal between the two leaders delivers, particularly with respect to plans for reduced tariffs on U.S. cars shipped to China. Larry Kudlow, Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser, dialed down expectations, saying “I’ll call them ‘commitments’ at this point.” (The White House also corrected Mr. Kudlow, who stumbled over the start date for the truce. The real date is Dec. 1.)

Mr. Trump clearly plans to keep playing hardball. He has selected Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, to take over from Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, for the next round of negotiations with China. Mr. Lighthizer, Alan Rappeport of the NYT writes, is “a longtime critic of China’s trade practices and has repeatedly cautioned Mr. Trump not to accept vague promises that fail to materialize.”

But there is some reason to be optimistic. As president of China, Mr. Xi is bound by few rules. But Jamil Anderlini of the FT notes that the Chinese leader has agreed to many concessions, and Andrew Browne of Bloomberg Opinion argues that could continue.

The yield curve is essentially the difference between interest rates on short-term government bonds and long-term government bonds. Every time since 1960 the yield curve has inverted — when long-term rates were lower than short-term rates — a recession followed.

Part of it just inverted.

More on what happened from Bloomberg:

The spread between 3- and 5-year yields fell to negative 1.4 basis points Monday, dropping below zero for the first time since 2007, and the 2- to 5-year gap soon followed.

Don’t hyperventilate. The 2- to 10-year yield, usually thought to be the better indicator of coming recessions, remains positive — even if it is at its narrowest level since 2007. And Brian Chappatta of Bloomberg Opinion puts the switcheroo into perspective:

It’s important to keep in mind the timeline between inversion and economic slowdowns — it’s not instantaneous. The yield curve from three to five years dipped below zero during the last cycle for the first time in August 2005, some 28 months before the recession began.

Even so, the news could signal to the Fed that, somewhere in the not-too-distant future, interest rates will need to be held steady, or even to be cut again.

The #MeToo movement could have helped Wall Street embrace diversity. But so far, it risks having the opposite effect, according to more than 30 senior executives interviewed by Gillian Tan and Katia Porzecanski of Bloomberg.

Many men on Wall Street are limiting their interactions with women. “No more dinners with female colleagues. Don’t sit next to them on flights. Book hotel rooms on different floors. Avoid one-on-one meetings. In fact, as a wealth adviser put it, just hiring a woman these days is ‘an unknown risk.’ What if she took something he said the wrong way?”

Some of the interviewees say they’re channeling Mike Pence. The vice president apparently avoids dining alone with any woman other than his wife.

This could end badly. Ms. Tan and Ms. Porzecanski note that the effect on Wall Street could be “in essence, gender segregation.” And Stephen Zweig, an employment lawyer with FordHarrison, told the pair that “if men avoid working or traveling with women alone, or stop mentoring women for fear of being accused of sexual harassment,” then they will “back out of a sexual harassment complaint and right into a sex discrimination complaint.”

The question-and-answer site announced late Monday that account information and private messages of around 100 million users may have been exposed.

What happened: Quora says its systems were compromised by “a malicious third party.” It claims to have discovered the data breach on Friday, and is still investigating what happened.

What’s affected: The company says names, email addresses, user IDs, encrypted passwords, user account settings and messages may have been stolen. The site does not collect credit card or social security numbers.

Why it matters: The breach comes on the heels of the hotel chain Marriott losing data from as many as 500 million guests to hackers. The Quora episode is smaller and less troubling — the Marriott hacking may even leave your passport at risk — but the pair serve as a reminder of how vulnerable our digital lives are, and why corporations must do more to keep them secure.

Oath, the owner of AOL and Yahoo, agreed to pay about $5 million to settle charges from the New York attorney general, which claimed that the media company’s online advertising business violated federal law on children’s privacy.

The penalty is the largest a company has paid for a case tied to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, known as Coppa. It’s also the latest evidence of increased scrutiny of internet giants, writes the NYT’s Sapna Maheshwari:

In an age when online privacy has become a significant public concern, Coppa is one of the few federal regulations in place. It requires companies to obtain explicit, verifiable permission from parents before collecting, using or disclosing personal information from children under 13 or targeting them with ads tied to their online behavior.

There is strong bipartisan support in Congress for tougher privacy regulation on tech companies. If that materializes, we might see far more of these kinds of settlements.

A judge is considering halting CVS’s $69 billion acquisition of Aetna.

Things were going smoothly. CVS closed the deal to acquire the health insurer on Wednesday, after the Justice Department approved the merger in October. The two companies have already started their integration process, and the only major condition was that Aetna sell off its private Medicare drug plans.

Such Justice Department decisions need to be signed off by a judge. But on Thursday, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia objected to being treated as a “rubber stamp.”

And now he’s playing hardball. At a hearing on Monday, he said he would issue an order asking the two sides to explain why he shouldn’t require them to postpone their integration plans until he decided whether to approve the agreement. Here’s what he can and can’t do.

Deal trivia: If Judge Leon’s name sounds familiar, here’s why: He presided over the Justice Department’s lawsuit to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.

Michael Dell, Will Smith & Shaquille O’Neal want to put a ring on it. A sleep-tracking ring, that is.

The news: Oura Health, a small Finnish technology company that developed a smart ring to track sleep, has raised $20 million from a group of investors led by Michael Dell. That’s not huge, but the list of names backing the company is: Will Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, Lance Armstrong, the YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, the Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin and the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, among others.

Why they’re excited: The technology in the ring tracks sleep similar to the way the Apple Watch does, but it is packaged in a considerably smaller form that can be worn on your finger. Andrew has been experimenting with the company’s device — he’s obsessed with sleep — and says: “It has captured the imagination of some high profile investors and athletes because it is infinitely better than any sleep tracking device I’ve ever tried. And I’ve tried them all.”

Aristotelis Mistakidis, the director of Glencore’s copper business, will leave the company at the end of the year amid legal pressure over assets he once ran in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Deals

• Altria reportedly held early-stage talks to acquire the marijuana company Cronos. (FT)

• GlaxoSmithKline lost about $7.25 billion in market value after agreeing to buy the pharmaceutical company Tesaro for $5.1 billion. (Bloomberg)

• Brazil’s antitrust regulator has raised concerns about Walt Disney’s plan to buy Twenty-First Century Fox’s entertainment assets. (Reuters)

• Tencent Music’s I.P.O. is back on, with the company having embarked on a roadshow to sell shares to investors. (WSJ)

• SoftBank is said to be planning to invest in the parking start-up ParkJockey. (Axios)

Politics and policy

• The coffin of former president George Bush arrived at the Capitol, where he will lie in state until a funeral service at Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday. (NYT)

• In mid-May 2017, Paul Manafort tried to broker a deal with Ecuador to have Julian Assange handed over to the U.S. (NYT)

• Why Michael Cohen confessed to it all. (NYT)

• The legal adviser to the European Union’s top court said that Britain could unilaterally reverse its decision to leave the bloc. (CNBC)

Trade

• President Trump says China will curtail the flow into the U.S. of the powerful opioid fentanyl — but the Chinese have made, and broken, similar promises in the past. (NYT)

• C.E.O.s of German automakers will meet with U.S. officials in Washington today, and European politicians aren’t happy about it. (WSJ)

• Smaller movie firms are having a hard time trying to crack the Chinese market. (WSJ)

Tech

• France and Germany abandoned a push to impose an E.U.-wide digital tax on tech companies. (FT)

• Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s chief economic adviser, said that the administration was looking to eliminate subsidies on electric cars. (WSJ)

• The race is on to protect data from an actual quantum leap in computing — and China is winning. (NYT)

• Four former employees at Uber’s security team accused the company in court of trying to block them from disclosing “deeply troubling practices.” (Bloomberg)

• The head of Britain’s MI6 secret service said there were security concerns with the Chinese telecoms company Huawei. (FT)

Best of the rest

• Next year is set to be filled with more economic uncertainty. Stock exchanges and trading firms can’t wait.

• Ray Kelvin, the chief executive of the British fashion chain Ted Baker, has been accused of inappropriate behavior, including a “forced hugging” policy. (NYT)

• Oil prices climbed more than 1 percent, bolstered by supply cuts led by OPEC. (Reuters)

• Americans value equality at work more than at home. (NYT)

• The Walt Disney chief executive, Bob Iger, must meet higher benchmarks if he wants to collect a $100 million equity grant in 2021. (WSJ)

• Millennials have been accused of killing the canned fish industry. They deny the accusations (and say that they do, in fact, own can openers). (NYT)

Thanks for reading! We’ll see you tomorrow.

We’d love your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to business@nytimes.com.

December 4th, 2018

State of European Tech 2018: Record year for start-ups

Europe’s tech start-up scene is giving Silicon Valley a run for its money.

Europe is home to more than twice as many tech initial public offerings (IPOs) as the U.S. so far this year, while newly-listed European companies are outperforming their American counterparts, according to a report by venture capital firm Atomico.

The research, released Tuesday at the Slush tech conference in Helsinki, Finland, suggests investors could reap big returns from Europe’s technology start-ups. Citing data from the London Stock Exchange, it found 69 tech companies have gone public in Europe so far this year, compared to 28 in the U.S.

European tech companies that went public in 2018 saw their share price increase by an average of 222 percent. By contrast, U.S. tech IPOs had average gains of 42 percent.

“This year has been an incredible year for the European tech ecosystem,” Tom Wehmeier, partner and head of research at Atomico who authored the report, told CNBC.

The fourth annual report surveyed 5,000 respondents across Europe. It said one reason the continent outpaces the U.S. in the tech IPO market is that European exchanges are more supportive of smaller companies that want to go public. Sixty-two out of Europe’s 69 tech IPOs had a market cap below $1 billion.

December 3rd, 2018 December 3rd, 2018

Trade Truce Helps Lift Wynn’s Stock

Some of the hardest-hit stocks of the past two months — Amazon, Apple and Advanced Micro Devices — were rebounding Monday, as investors reacted to news that the United States and China had agreed not to escalate their trade war for now.

One of biggest beneficiaries Monday was Wynn Resorts, which was the second best-performing stock in the S&P 500 for the day.

Investors in Wynn were reacting to good news over the weekend. First, Macau’s Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau said that gaming revenue for the Chinese gambling center had increased more than expected in November.

Then, President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China said they had agreed to pause the trade war between their countries, the world’s two largest economies, for 90 days and work to resolve several areas of tension.

Wynn could gain because of the thaw. Wynn generated nearly three-quarters of its revenue this year from its casinos in Macau, a special administrative region of China and a gambling haven for Chinese high rollers.

Tariffs between China and the United States were unlikely to affect Wynn’s revenue directly, but investors worried it could be hit by any retaliatory measures China took in response to the Trump administration’s policies. Those could include potential restrictions on travel to Macau as well as license renewals.

Wynn’s exposure to China also meant that it was susceptible to a slowdown in China’s economy and the impact that might have on wealthy Chinese gamblers. Wynn’s shares tumbled 13 percent in early November after Wynn’s chief executive, Matt Maddox, warned on the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call that it had experienced a recent slowdown in its Macau business.

Wynn’s shares slid through the spring and summer as trade tensions between the two countries continued to escalate. The stock was down 44 percent from the end of May through Friday’s close, making it the fourth worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 over that period.

December 3rd, 2018

M&A wrap: Caryle, Nexstar, Tribune. GSK, Liberty Hall, LLR, Luminate


Photo credit: Bloomberg News

The Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG), led by co-founder David Rubenstein, has raised its second BDC, or business development company fund, TCG BDC II Inc., at $1.9 billion. BDC is part of Carlyle’s U.S. direct lending platform and lends to companies that are backed by U.S. middle-market private equity firms. Since raising its first BDC fund in 2013, Carlyle’s direct lending arm has invested more than $6.9 billion in approximately 250 transactions across 30 industries. The firm’s direct lending division is part of Carlyle’s global credit segment, which has more than $37 billion in assets as of September 30, and includes funds in loans and structured credit, direct lending, opportunistic credit, energy credit and distressed and special situations. Carlyle has been raising funds for several of its divisions including an $18.5 billion buyout fund.

Deal news
Nexstar Media Group Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) is buying Tribune Media Co. (NYSE: TRCO) for $6.4 billion. “The transaction offers synergies related to the enhanced scale of the combined broadcast and digital media operations, and increases our audience reach by approximately 50 percent,” says Nexstar CEO Perry Sook. Debevoise is advising Tribune.

GlaxoSmithKline plc is buying Tesaro (Nasdaq: TSRO), an oncology-focused company, for $5.1 billion. Hogan Lovells is advising Tesaro.

LLR Partners has formed Celero Commerce to concentrate on investments in the payments sector. Former Anovia Payments CEO Kevin Jones is serving as Celero’s chief executive. Celero has invested in UMS Banking, a full-service merchant acquirer. LLR earned Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2017 Mid-Market M&A Award for Private Equity Firm of the Year.

Liberty Hall Capital Partners has acquired Aircraft Performance Group, a flight operations software company. CapitalValue Advisors and Rumler Tarbox Lyden advised the target. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher represented Liberty Hall. BMO Sponsor Finance and Stellus Capital provided financing.

Luminate Capital Partners has invested in AutoQuotes, a technology provider for the foodservice equipment industry. Hollie Moore Haynes, formerly of Silver Lake, is the founder and CEO of Luminate.

Union Capital Associates in Albie’s Foods Products, a food manufacturer for the education market.

People moves
Michael Belfatti was hired by Searchlight Capital Partners as a senior advisor. Belfatti was most recently the chief operating officer of Greenlight Re, a property and casualty reinsurance company.

Steven Cramer has joined Houlihan Lokey (NYSE: HLI) as a managing director where he is concentrating on M&A in the gaming sector. He was previously with Imperial Capital.

People moves: Gregg Byers joins Baird. Former DOJ attorney Katherine Forrestmoves to Cravath. Jennifer Zhao joins Genstar Capital. Check out our slideshow: 12 top dealmakers take on new jobs.

M&A trends
Valuations for North American middle-market private equity businesses is expected to remain robust heading into 2019, according to Quarton International. This is mainly thanks to the abundance of capital and the growing number of PE-backed businesses. According to Pitchbook and Quarton, there are 8,283 PE-backed companies as of September, 30, compared to 7,988 for all of 2017.

Recruiting women has become a priority at private equity firms. Within the past decade, 83 percent of private equity managers based in North America, Asia and Europe said they focused on increasing gender diversity in their front-office roles, according to new research from EY. Sixty-three percent of the firms say they want more women in middle- and back-office roles as well. Check back next month when Mergers & Acquisitions will announce the 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. For last year’s list, click here. And read the full story on EY’s data from Bloomberg: Private equity firms say recruiting women is a top priority.

Featured content
Private equity firms are giving back – organizing groceries at food pantries, mentoring students in schools, running races for cancer cures and pitching in at animal shelters. In time for the holidays, Mergers & Acquisitions highlights the philanthropic and volunteering initiatives of 5 PE firms: the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG), Frontier Capital, Huron Capital, the Riverside Co. and Star Mountain Capital. At Carlyle, charity starts at the top, with CEO David Rubenstein’s signing of The Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Community involvement is more important than ever to today’s work force. Millennials, defined as people born between 1981 and 1996 by the Pew Research Center, are “for sustainability, diversity, inclusion and giving back to the community,” says Carlyle managing director Christopher Ullman. “We are finding this more and more. Yes, we are here to make money, secure retirement for pensioners, but the firm wants to support people’s efforts to make the world a better place.” Frontier Capital supports several causes, including The Miracle League, a baseball organization for people who are mentally and physically challenged. “There’s more to life than work and material things, and our people understand that,” says Frontier managing partner Andrew Lindner. At Detroit-based Huron Capital, the firm’s philanthropic efforts are focused on local groups. “We want to leave our footprint in this community where we live and work while being as helpful as possible,” says partner Gretchen Perkins. “The charitable activities we do as a group, the ability for each employee to influence where Huron’s donations go, and the ability to perform community service during work hours, or receive matching funds for an employee’s personal non-profit passion, all contribute to a portion of an employee’s sense of purpose and contributing to the greater good.” Read the full story, The Big Give.

We asked dealmakers at ACG Philadelphia’s M&A East to share their thoughts on Giving Back. Check out our video interview with Baker Tilly Capital’s Judit Nagy-Eichelber: Volunteer work brings teams together. Also watch our conversation with Reed Smith’s Jonathan Moyer: For millennial dealmakers, giving back is part of who they are.

Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the the pressure on retailers is more intense than ever. Consumers are choosing retailers that match their values. For example, Canadian retail giant Empire Company Ltd. (TSE: EMP.A) has agreed to buy fast-growing farm-to-table grocer Farm Boy for $800 million from Boston private equity firm Berkshire Partners LLC. Farm Boy offers fresh, ready-to-eat and private label offerings are particularly appealing to urban and suburban consumers. Technology is driving many of the transactions. Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY) recently agreed to spend $800 million to buy GreatCall, a provider of emergency response services for seniors, from Chicago private equity firm GTCR. Meanwhile, GreatCall announced a partnership with on-demand transportation provider Lyft to make it easier for seniors to get car service. “Many of the challenges that retailers are currently facing are due more to a lack of innovation and investment in technology, and that they are not able to compete with Amazon,” said Alex Monahan, a consumer products senior analyst at tax and consulting firm RSM US LLP. “Investors want to see that retailers are adjusting to consumer’s changing preferences and striving to provide seamless multi-channel experiences, while also investing in technology to address the tight labor markets.” Amazon, Walmart, Ikea, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Farm Boy are among the retailers turning to M&A. For more, see 5 trends driving retail M&A.

The Washington Redskins face the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night. The Green Bay Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy after Sunday’s loss. Off the field, many football players invest in companies. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently teamed with former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who is the co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America, to launch a sports media startup called Religion of Sports Media, which has raised $3 million in venture capital funding from CourtsideVC and Advancit Capital. Muhsin Muhammad, who played wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears, is a managing director of private equity firm Axum Capital Partners. Steve Young, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is a co-founder of private equity firm HGGC. View our slideshow, NFL stars Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, Steve Young go PE.

Events
ACG New York Women of Leadership Summitbrings together women in the middle-market dealmaking community for a day focused on networking and knowledge sharing on Jan. 17 at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel. Alexa Von Tobel, chief innovation officer of Northwestern Mutual, keynotes.

Exponent Women kicks off the new year with an evening of networking on Jan. 24 at The Campbell, at New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Jazz Age financier John W. Campbell converted the space to his private office and reception hall in 1923, and it has recently been restored by design firm Ingrao Inc.


Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis joined SourceMedia in 2015 and serves as Managing Editor of Mergers & Acquisitions. He covers all aspects of middle-market dealmaking, with a focus on strategic buyers and the consumer and retail sectors, and writes The Buyside column.


Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn joined SourceMedia in 2011, serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Mergers & Acquisitions. MK oversees the brand’s content on all media platforms, including website, e-newsletters, video, slideshows, podcasts and print.

December 3rd, 2018

Tencent Music presses play on $1.2 billion U.S. IPO

HONG KONG/NEW YORK, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Tencent Music Entertainment launched its hotly-anticipated U.S. initial public offering (IPO) of up to $1.2 billion on Monday after global stock markets were boosted by a truce brokered by U.S. and Chinese leaders in their trade conflict.

The music arm of tech giant Tencent Holdings is looking to raise between $1.07 billion and $1.23 billion in a New York Stock Exchange IPO, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company originally planned to launch its offering in mid-October, Reuters previously reported.

But it then decided to delay the IPO over worries the steep global stock market sell-off in the past few months would affect the pricing.

The decision by China and the United States to call a 90-day hiatus on their trade war over the weekend sent Asian shares soaring on Monday as markets breathed a sign of relief that tensions would ease, at least temporarily.

The music streaming giant is selling 82 million American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) in a range of between $13 and $15 each, according to the filing.

Tencent Music could sell an additional 12.3 million shares if an over-allotment option is exercised.

The $1.23 billion figure is smaller than the $2 billion that was earlier mooted as a fundraising target, though the company never confirmed such a number.

A source close to the deal said Tencent Music was keen to get itself listed this year because it was worried U.S.-China trade tensions would worsen, not because it desperately needed fresh money.

Its not worth waiting any longer for a potentially higher valuation if they have to deal with so many uncertainties, said the source.

At $1.23 billion, the IPO would still be one of the largest by a Chinese company in the United States this year, behind the $2.4 billion raised by video streaming company iQiyi in March and the $1.6 billion garnered by online group discounter Pinduoduo in July.

In total, Chinese companies have raised $7.8 billion from U.S. IPOs so far this year – the biggest amount since 2014 – according to Refinitiv data.

Tencent Music owns streaming apps QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo as well as karaoke app WeSing, and claims more than 800 million monthly active users.

The company is targeting a valuation of up to $25 billion, according to a source close to the deal, roughly on par with that of its Swedish music streaming counterpart Spotify Technology, which went public in New York in April and has a market value of $24.3 billion.

Tencent Music, which has a cross shareholding deal with Spotify, offers more in the way of socially interactive services that makes it profitable.

It reported a 244 percent jump in profit in the first nine months of this year to $394 million from $114 million in the same period in 2017. By comparison, its Swedish peer posted a net loss of $520 million over the first nine months of the year.

The company will price its IPO on Dec. 4 and shares will begin trading on Dec. 12.

Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are the lead sponsors of the deal.

($1 = 6.8901 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Julia Fioretti and Julie Zhu; Editing by Mark Potter)

December 3rd, 2018

DealBook Briefing: The Trade War Isn’t Over. It’s Just on Hold.

The risk it poses: “If he follows through on his threat, congressional leaders will have six months to pass the new trade measure,” Glenn Thrush of the NYT writes. “If no deal can be reached, both versions of the treaty would be void, which would result in far more restrictive trade that could have a severe impact on industry and agriculture in all three nations.”

Late last week, Andrew sat down with the S.E.C. chairman, Jay Clayton, at a TimesTalk event in New York to discuss the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency. (You can watch the discussion here.) Some highlights:

Mr. Clayton reaffirmed a need for caution. On the topic of initial coin offerings, he said, “We tried to get the word out that although the trading looks like the trading you would see on Nasdaq or on the New York Stock Exchange, these markets do not have the same kinds of safeguards for you.”

But he sees no need to modernize for modernity’s sake. “My view is that our rules have stood the test of time,” he said. “I’m not going to change rules just to fit a technology.” Any regulation that it does impose on crypto, he said, is “not picking winners and losers” but “protecting investors.”

Cryptocurrencies are still struggling. Bitcoin remains under $4,000, down about 80 percent from its high last December. It’s hurting in part because of regulatory scrutiny, and many people in the community would like some support from the establishment.

The bottom line: For a while, it looked as if laws might have to be changed to work with crypto. Mr. Clayton’s comments hinted that crypto might be the one to change, to meet the law.

Officials from around the globe are meeting in Katowice, Poland, today at the United Nations’s annual climate talks.

Big decisions are on the agenda. Bloomberg explains that delegates “will seek to transform pledges made in Paris three years ago into an international rule book aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.” We’re now in the hard part, where goals must be turned into functioning policy.

December 3rd, 2018 November 30th, 2018

PE fundraising scorecard: Carlyle Credit and Thoma Bravo

Name of Issuer Date of First Sale Total Offering Amount iCapital-OrbiMed Royalty & Credit III Access Fund, L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Innovation X Holdings II, LLC – Series 2018-5 First Sale Yet to Occur $25,000,000 HH-Halo LP 11/16/2018 $2,585,000 IAA Fund II, L.P. 11/16/2018 $10,000,000 New Mountain Net Lease Delaware Feeder, L.P. 11/14/2018 Indefinite TSG8 L.P. 11/16/2018 Indefinite TSG8 Parallel L.P. 11/16/2018 Indefinite Trinity Capital Fund IV, L.P. 11/21/2018 $200,000,000 Lingfeng Capital Partners Fund I, LP 9/28/2018 $150,000,000 ITC (PHS) Parallel Fund, LP First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Clearfund II LP First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Pacific Equity Partners Secure Assets Fund, L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Carlyle Credit Opportunities Fund Note Issuer, L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Thoma Bravo Credit Fund I Feeder LP First Sale Yet to Occur $750,000,000 Bench Walk 18c, L.P. 11/13/2018 $3,175,000 Offshore Sao Paulo Preferred Hotel Enterprises LP 11/16/2018 Indefinite Midwest Growth Partners II, L.P. 11/14/2018 $110,000,000 Oaktree Ports America Fund, L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Oaktree Ports America Fund Feeder, L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite H.I.G. BioHealth Partners III, L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur $300,000,000 EquityZen Growth Technology Fund LLC – Series 310 11/20/2018 $1,050,000 EquityZen Growth Technology Fund LLC – Series 303 11/21/2018 $134,024 EquityZen Growth Technology Fund LLC – Series 293 11/21/2018 $782,890 EquityZen Growth Technology Fund LLC – Series 292 11/26/2018 $370,400 EquityZen Growth Technology Fund LLC – Series 259 11/26/2018 $348,663 EquityZen Growth Technology Fund LLC – Series 285 11/23/2018 $1,194,025 MVP ES FUND XLVII LLC First Sale Yet to Occur $2,000,000 RRA-CS Atlanta Hospitality Lender, LLC 11/14/2018 $930,000 WP Growth Private Investors Offshore, L.P. 11/16/2018 Indefinite G2G Holdings LP 11/16/2018 Indefinite Alvarez & Marsal Partners Fund II LP First Sale Yet to Occur $999,000 Alvarez & Marsal Partners Buyout Fund II LP First Sale Yet to Occur $16,650,000 WP Growth Private Investors, LLC 11/16/2018 Indefinite Alvarez & Marsal Capital (Cayman) LP First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Alvarez & Marsal Partners Buyout Fund Europe SCSP First Sale Yet to Occur $18,115,600 Alvarez & Marsal Partners Fund Europe LP First Sale Yet to Occur $2,355,028 Burford Opportunity Fund LP First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Burford Opportunity Fund B LP First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Burford Opportunity Employee Feeder Fund LP First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Burford Opportunity Feeder Fund LP First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Aquinas Capital III, LLC 9/26/2018 $500,000 Treaty Oak HVAC Holdings LP 11/13/2018 $8,250,000 Miner Partners Crescent Point II LP 10/31/2018 Indefinite Oaktree European Capital Solutions Fund II Feeder (USD), L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Oaktree European Capital Solutions Fund II Feeder (USDH), L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Oaktree European Capital Solutions Fund II, L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite MVP LS Fund LXXXVII LLC First Sale Yet to Occur $2,000,000 New Rhein Healthcare 18 LP First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite New Rhein Healthcare 18 (Parallel) SCSp First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Falko Regional Aircraft Opportunities Fund II L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur $650,000,000 Asia Realty Fund IV (SO), L.P. 11/16/2018 Indefinite BH3 Debt Opportunity Fund I, L.P. 11/16/2018 $100,000,000 GHO Capital Fund II LP First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite iCapital-BREP IX Access Fund, L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Asia Alternatives Ivory Partners III, L.P. 11/19/2018 Indefinite FRP Student Housing B, LP 11/13/2018 $24,470,000 HCPE IV, L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Green Truck X Limited Partnership First Sale Yet to Occur $5,500,000 Atlantic American Fortune Fund III, LP 11/12/2018 $50,000,000 EQT Real Estate II (No.1) SCSp First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Springs CO Investors I LP 11/13/2018 Indefinite EQT Real Estate II (No.2) SCSp First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Clearwater Capital Yield Fund I, L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite KCP Methodist, LLC First Sale Yet to Occur $4,000,000 LCH Partners L.P. First Sale Yet to Occur Indefinite Private Equity Regulation D Filings (New Notices) November 23 to 29, 2018 Source: SEC Filings