M&A wrap: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Meg Whitman, Madrone Capital, WndrCo, NewTV, L.A. Rams
WndrCo has raised $1 billion of initial funding for NewTV, a pioneer in short-form video, headed by famed studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, the former CEO of HP. The funding round was led by Madrone Capital, an investment firm backed by heirs to the Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) fortune, and boasts a star-studded cast of A-list investors. NewTV is using Hollywood talent to produce original content of short duration, designed for mobile viewing by younger audiences accustomed to entertaining themselves with mobile apps, including Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. Katzenberg and Whitman, who were former colleagues at Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), say they are forging a new type of entertainment, one that provides high-end storytelling for brief moments of down time, with formats expected to be 5 to 10 minutes in length, some standalone and some episodic. Much about the service is still to be determined, including the mix of ad-supported and paid business models. Even the name NewTV is a working title. Nevertheless, major Hollywood studios have invested in the round including: 21st Century Fox, Disney, Entertainment One, ITV, Lionsgate, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom, and Warner Media. In addition to Madrone, investment firms backing the startup include: Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) and Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYA). “It is exciting to see Hollywood embracing this new technology distribution platform built for the way we watch today,” says Katzenberg, the former head of DreamWorks Animation, where he produced animated films such as Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs. Aliens and How to Train Your Dragon. “NewTV will access the best talent and intellectual property for this next era in entertainment. We are already seeing tremendous interest from Hollywood’s top talent.” Adds Whitman: “More so than ever, people want easy access to the highest quality entertainment that fits perfectly into their busy, on-the-go lifestyles." WndrCo, co-founded by Katzenberg, is a holding company that has made investments in digital media and software businesses. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP represented NewTV. Read the full story: Moguls raise $1 billion to make TV for your doctor's office.
Stan Kroenke, the real estate developer who owns the National Football League's Los Angeles Rams, has reached a deal to buy the remaining 30 percent stake that he does not already own in the Arsenal Football Club, which plays in England's Premier League soccer league. The deal values Arsenal F.C. at around $2.3 billion. Kroenke also owns the National Basketball Association's Denver Nuggets, the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche and Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids. Kroenke far from the first NFL team owner to invest in an English soccer team. Shad Khan, the owner of auto parts maker Flex-N-Gate, who owns the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, also owns the Fulham Football Club, and the family of Malcom Glazer, the CEO of shopping mall owner First Allied Corp., which owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also owns the Manchester United Football Club.
When the Kleins voted to sell their bank, it wasn’t liquefying just any asset — the institution had been in the family’s control for nearly a century. As a result, the owners went to great lengths to pick the right deal. The $2.2 billion-asset Klein Financial agreed to sell itself on June 21 to the $17.5 billion-asset Old National in Evansville, Ind. The all-stock deal, priced at $434 million, is the 11th-biggest bank deal announced this year and the largest involving a family-owned institution. Read the full story: The painstaking process to sell a family's century-old bank.
Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: DWK) is buying International Equipment Solutions Attachments Group from KPS Capital for $690 million. IES produces engineering equipment for the construction, demolition, recycling, mining, utilities and agriculture sectors. "The acquisition of IES Attachments further diversifies our presence in the industrial markets, creates an additional well-defined path for continued profitable growth and delivers compelling cash flow returns," says Stanley Black CEO James Loree. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP and Deutsche Bank are advising KPS and IES. Cleary Gottlieb is representing Stanley Black.
Auxo Investment Partners has acquired Midway Rotary Die Solutions. Midway designs, manufactures and sharpens dies for the automotive, packaging, medical, food processing, tag-and-label, and photo-cutting industries. NuVescor Group advised Midway.
Investcorp and Public Sector Pension Investment Board have acquired a minority stake in United Talent Agency. Moelis & Co. (NYSE: MC) and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advised United Talent. Credit Suisse, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, and Sidley Austin LLP advised Investcorp and PSP.
Millpond Equity Partners has made an investment in Pharmacy Development Services, a provider of consulting and data analytics to independent pharmacies. BMO Sponsor Finance, New Canaan Funding, RCP Advisors and Private Advisors provided financing.
Oncap, the mid-market private equity arm of Onex, has invested about $111 million in Precision Global. Peak Rock Capital is the seller, The target is a manufacturer of aerosol valves, actuators, pumps, caps and closures. Harris Williams & Co. and Kirkland & Ellis are advising Precision.
Wynnchurch Capital has acquired Logistik Unicorp Inc., a designer and supplier of uniforms to businesses and other organizations. The target's founder, Louis Bibeau, partnered with the PE firm on the deal.
Rafael Álvarez-Novoa was promoted from principal to partner at the Riverside Co. Álvarez-Novoa joined Riverside in 2008 and focuses on investments in Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Greg Roussel has joined Latham & Watkins as a partner. Most recently with Fenwick & West, Roussel focuses on M&A in technology.
Exponent, a new group of women dealmakers, brought together 200 women from private equity funds, investment banks, entrepreneurs and advisors for the Exponent Exchange, featuring Sallie Krawcheck as the keynote speaker. Previously the CEO of Wall Streetbanks, including Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Citi Private Bank, Krawcheck serves as the CEO of Ellevest, an online investing platform for women. Mergers & Acquisitions participated in the event as an in-kind sponsor, and editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn moderated Spotlight Panel, From Startups to Showtime: Investment Case Studies. Check out our slideshow, Exponent drew 200 women dealmakers to event featuring Sallie Krawcheck.
Mergers & Acquisitions has announced the Rising Stars of Private Equity. These 11 up-and-coming investors are expected to play significant leadership roles in the future. Congratulations to:
Daniel Hopkin, Partner, Kainos Capital
John Kos, Principal, GTCR
Erik Latterell, Director, Stone Arch Capital
Ethan Liebermann, Principal, TA Associates
Jaime McKenzie, Director, Monomoy Capital
Jennifer Roach, Vice President, Yellow Wood Partners
Joseph Rondinelli, Principal, Frontenac
David Shainberg, Vice President, Balmoral
Tom Smithburg, Vice President, Shore Capital Partners
Nicholas Stone, Managing Director, Cyprium Partners
Afaf Ibraheem Warren, Senior Associate, Siris Capital
For profiles of the emerging leaders, see Meet Mergers & Acquisitions' 11 Rising Stars of Private Equity.
Summer reading list: From stories of star athletes Arnold Palmer, Keith Hernandez and Tiger Woods to advice from entrepreneurs Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio, KPCB’s John Doerr, Nike’s Phil Knight and Brava Investments’ Nathalie Molina Niño, plus strategies to help business leaders in general, and female dealmakers in particular, the 15 books on Mergers & Acquisitions’ list entertain, instruct and inspire. Check out our listicle: Dealmaker’s guide to summer reading: 15 new books.