General Mills Buys Blue Buffalo, Don Jr. Goes To India, Epic Russian Skating Showdown and Upcoming Oxford Event

Good Friday Morning,

Daylight – General Mills to buy healthy pet food maker Blue Buffalo for $8 billion. Clean deal, all in cash and General Mills said the deal is accretive, fancy finance word where a deal allegedly adds to the net operating margin and at least neutral on cash flow in 2019.

Jim Dandy would be proud. By the way, founders of Blue Buffalo started out selling door-to-door to vet shops – dug a channel and box stores came begging to sell it.

M&A – Ryan Reynolds bought a majority stake in Aviation Gin, a spirit company, from Davos.

Solium acquired Advanced-HR, a San Francisco-based provider of compensation data.

Hot – In 2017, demand for cobalt to be used in batteries for electric vehicles and other lithium-ion batteries was at 55,400 tons. By 2030 that’s projected to rise to 324,300 tons. Apple sees this, and is moving to buy long-term supplies of cobalt directly from those who mine it rather than the companies that make their batteries as they do now.

Economics – Thumbs up on The Young Karl Marx, but fair warning this movie review is in economics section so fair warning a little geeky.  Marx (played by August Diehl) and his sidekick Friedrich Engels (Stefan Konarske), a renegade rich kid, meet in Cologne, Germany and bond  over their mutual contempt for the Young Hegelians who happen to be the lamest group in European history. They end up writing the minor hit “Critique of Critical Criticism” and by 1848, revolutions are primed to happen, making them the Beatles of the European Left.

Live Rounds – Marx understood PR and got  all the credit, when it was Engels who funded their Manifesto project and crunched the communist economic numbers to make them work on paper.  

The Chinese government said today that it had seized control of Anbang Insurance Group, the troubled company that owns the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York and other marquee properties.

Companies are hearing a call to action when it comes to the NRA. Several rental car companies are severing ties with the NRA today and cancelling promotions for NRA members. Bank of Omaha, our country’s largest privately held bank, cancelled credit card promotions for NRA members as well.

Buzzard’s Roost – Donald Trump Jr. has spent the week in India, pitching Trump branded high-rise condos. Controversy over the trip’s potential to blur the lines between commerce and government swirling but this cuts both ways. Investors will wine and dine with Don, Jr. but fold to avoid the scrutiny.  

Culture – Gold for a Russian, if not for Russia. The figure skater Alina Zagitova today became the first Russian athlete to win a gold medal at this year’s Winter Olympics. Russia has been barred from the Games because of the Putin’s evil genius doping scheme.

Style – Worth watching was last last night’s gold medal face-off between Zagitova and her Russian teammate Yvgenia Medvedova, one of the best athletic performances of our time where you see both compete so fiercely  that they take the whole category to a new level. The best combination performance of arts and athleticism of our time. Odell Beckham, Jr. would have to make 100 one-handed catches in one game to even come close.

Investment Banking – Robert Bosch acquired Splitting Fares, a ride services company.

IPO – Nothing New.

Venture Capital – PROCEPT BioRobotics, a surgical robotics company, raised $118 million.

Cota, a healthcare real-world evidence and data analytics company, has raised $40 million.

Greenlight Financial Technology, an Atlanta-based producer of a smart debit card, raised $16 million.

Zagster, a bike-sharing platform provider, raised $15 million in funding.

Mabl, an automated testing service that fixes broken tests and identifies regressions using machine learning, raised $10 million.

Kallyope, a biotechnology company focused on identifying therapeutic opportunities involving the gut-brain axis, raised $66 million.

Spotlight –

Live Business Launch OVME – Mindset of a Maniacal, Anal Entrepreneur

February 28 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Dr. Mark McKenna

Flagship Studio’s HQ

3167 Peachtree Rd, NE, Suite G

Atlanta, GA

Click here to register.

Angels in America:

A Play by Tony Kushner, Directed by Marianne Elliott

Starring Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane

Neil Simon Theatre 250 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

Previews Begin February 23

Contact for tickets.

Deal Stream>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Exits – Antin Infrastructure Partners agreed to acquire FirstLight, a fiber-optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider, from Oak Hill Capital Partners.

Venture Capital – Meritize, an educational lender, raised $6.8 million.

Dover Microsystems, a developer of security software solutions, raised $6 million.

Teampay, a workflow software, raised $4 million.

Beauty By Design, a personalized platform that offers customized skincare solutions based on a customer’s skin data, raised $2.2 million.

Serial Box, a provider of serialized entertainment for readers and listeners, raised $1.65 million.

Lindora, a provider of weight loss and weight management programs, raised funding of an undisclosed amount.

Private Equity – Strattam Capital agreed to make an investment in SSB, a data management and analytics platform provider for the sports and entertainment, education and healthcare sectors.

Leeds Equity Partners will invest in Endeavor Schools, an owner and operator of 37 private schools.

Marlin Equity Partners acquired Propelics, a mobile strategy and app development provider.

Gauge Capital completed a majority recapitalization of Comprehensive EyeCare Partners, a vision care management services organization.

RAB Ventures acquired a majority stake in HouseWorks, a provider of home care, elder care and senior home care services.

And that’s what’s ahead, Cliff