Good Monday Morning, and the New England Patriots are champs again, erasing a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in the first Super Bowl overtime game. A historic win for New England and a heartbreaking loss for the Falcons that could rip to pieces the culture of a rising team. F. Scott Fitzgerald – “Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist, but the ability to start over.” Falcons and fans, vitality will be tested starting tomorrow. This morning, I’m looking for a place to fall apart.
Daylight – Fourth quarters are heaven in New England – The New York Times’ slanted coverage against Trump is financially helping the paper. It added 276,000 net digital-only subscriptions in Q4 of 2016 – the best showing since it erected its paywall in 2011. CNN is enjoying the same anti-Trump success in cable. Highest ratings ever with inexpensive production, as it requires only five people sitting around in a studio, talking Trump rather than flying people to Afghanistan to cover a war – fair and balanced. If you like Trump, you will watch Fox News and push its ratings through the roof. Basic marketing – find out who your customer is and serve them – not everybody. Let it be.
M&A – With the Falcons blowing a whopping lead, you have to go all the way back to the company Curtis Mathes to match the heartbreaking loss in business. First, Curtis Mathes had a legendary TV commercial, where he appeared and said, “I have the most expensive TV set in America, and it’s darn well worth it.” Perfect positioning on the brand chart as a common, but expensive category, as his top of the line TV console with mocha panel doors would reside in every house from every double wide to every mansion with a circular drive.
Hot – Curtis Mathes started the company alone in his workshop in 1957 and by 1975, had taken the top off in fast growth, employing 5,000 people in Texas, making TVs.
Buzzards Roost – After turning down buyout offers left and right, the bottom fell out and kept declining until Curtis Mathes, in 1987 with only 50 employees left on the payroll, sold to Enhanced Electronics. Panasonic matched his quality and undercut his price by half when Curtis Mathes still had 5,000 people employed in seven Texas manufacturing facilities. They said “no” to Panasonic on a sale, but “yes” to let Panasonic build and market TVs under the Curtis Mathes brand. Glory Days.
Style – SoFi, a financial startup that refinances student loans, acquired Zenbanx, a mobile banking company.
Spotlight – Thanks to Powell Jones, founder of Secure Records, based in Tallahassee, Fla. for sending us this message that illustrates our magic carpet ride – Kurt Bonatz was in Chicago and did refer me to a contact of his that helps firms save money on back office functions. We met yesterday so I could share our role in doing just that on professional office records management. We are now looking at some opportunities together, where we could road test helping some of his clients with our services. It was thoughtful of Kurt to put us together. I did, by the way, share with him how Kurt and I met…through the Oxford Center, and I planted a seed with him about the organization…
Culture – Tickets went on sale Friday for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, but count me out. I’m not in a bad mood just for the Falcons’ loss. They won’t let in Steppenwolf, which sold over 25 million records worldwide, releasing eight gold albums and 12 Billboard Hot 100 singles, including “Born to Be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride.” The Hall of Fame is choosing its PR pets like, YES, not hardly anything to do with stats, who sold tickets and who changed the music industry.
Live Rounds – By the way, a cool innovative startup is inspiring the next generation of rockers. JamStack is the world’s first attachable guitar amplifier! This revolutionary design fits a 10-watt speaker to the bottom of an electric guitar – without any damage! Plug in a smartphone to layer effects like drum beats and back tracks. Or record a jam session and share it online! Designed for great sound at low volume, the JamStack is perfect for apartments and late night practice sessions.
Investment Banking – Reserve, a restaurant technology company, raised $10 million.
Hedge Funds – Hamilton Lane, a Bala Cynwyd, Pa.-based alternative asset manager, filed to raise up to $200 million in an initial public offering.
IPO – Snap has unveiled details of its long-anticipated initial public offering, but investors are already angry with its unconventional structure. Documents showed that the owner of the messaging app Snapchat is trying to raise $3 billion in what could be the largest U.S. tech IPO in years. Evan Spiegel, 26-year-old co-founder and chief executive, will own a stake worth up to $5.5 billion, if the company succeeds in its aim of going public with a valuation of up to $25 billion, with an additional $750 million bonus for a successful IPO. Bobby Murphy, 28-year-old fellow founder and chief technology officer, has the same stake. After a shortage of tech IPOs, you would expect the market to be excited, but investors have reacted with fury to Snap’s decision to deny them a say in the running of the company when it floats on the stock market. Several of the largest U.S. pensions funds plan to send a public letter of objection to the company, while one investment industry leader predicted Snap’s initial public offering could “open the floodgates” to similar governance arrangements at companies around the world. Snap says the IPO is the first to offer shares with no voting power. Other technology companies, including Google and Facebook, have concentrated control in the hands of their founders, creating different classes of stock, but none has gone public with a class that has no votes whatsoever.
Laureate Education’s stock price fell as much as 13.4 percent in the company’s first day of trading. The company raised $490 million by selling 35 million shares at $14 per share in its IPO.
Exits – Reckitt Benckiser Group is in discussions with Mead Johnson Nutrition to acquire the company for $16.7 billion.
OpenSky has acquired the assets of Dot & Bo, an online furniture retailer, for a few hundred thousand dollars.
SK Capital Partners acquired Niacet Corporation, a supplier of chemicals for the food and drug industries, from AEA Investors.
Sterling Partners sold Hoffman Southwest Corporation, a provider of inspection, cleaning, and rehabilitation services for pipelines, to ORIX Capital Partners.
Advantage Partners agreed to sell GTA TeleGuam, a provider of telecommunications services in Guam, to the Huntsman Family Investments.
HCAP Partners sold Vertical Management Systems, a provider of data, financial networking and account aggregation technology for financial institutions, to NewSpring.
The Riverside Company sold YourMembership, a member engagement platform for member-based organizations to engage their customer base.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquired Niara, a security analytics company.
The Carlyle Group acquired Golden Goose Deluxe Brand from Ergon Capital Partners.
Venture Capital – Aquilon Energy Services, a cloud-based platform that enables energy companies to settle financial energy transactions, raised $19 million.
GAN Integrity, a provider of compliance management software to businesses, raised $9 million.
SIM Partners, a location marketing company, raised $5 million.
Against Gravity, a virtual reality company that develops a social VR app, raised $5 million in seed funding.
Suplari, an enterprise data company, raised $3.1 million.
Text IQ, a platform that streamlines the document review process for attorneys, raised $3 million.
Xnor.ai, a company bringing AI computational frameworks to mobile devices, raised $2.6 million.
Taxfyle, an on-demand tax and accounting marketplace, raised $2 million.
NUVIZ, Inc., a manufacturer of head-up display devices for motorcycle helmets, raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Pierer Industrie AG.
Vividion Therapeutics, a biotech company using proteome-wide ligand and target discovery to develop therapeutics to treat disease, raised $50 million.
ApcinteX Limited, a spin-out of the University of Cambridge developing a new therapy for haemophilia, raised $17.6 million.
MapAnything, a provider of geo-analytics and mapping services for Salesforce users, raised $33.1 million.
Disruptor Beam, a gaming company, raised $8.5 million.
LogicHub, a cybersecurity company, raised $8.4 million.
SparkFund, a financial technology company, raised $7 million.
OptiRTC, a provider of platforms for stormwater management, raised $5.5 million.
Litify, a developer of software for law firms, raised $5 million.
Tarveda Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing cancer therapies, raised $30 million.
Ceres Nanosciences, a life sciences company developing a diagnostic test for Lyme disease, raised $3 million.
Private Equity – Sovos Brands acquired Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods, a producer of frozen Italian food.
Bluff Point Associates has made a two-stage $25 million investment in provider of IT-as-a-service to healthcare providers and other highly regulated industries.
Liberty Hall Capital Partners acquired Quatro Composites, a supplier of composite structures, components, and assemblies for the aerospace industry.
Homewood Holdings acquired Evergreen Lumber, a lumber and building materials company.
Providence Equity Partners has made a minority investment in EZLinks Golf, an online network for golf reservations and a subsidiary of PGA TOUR.
Pamlico Capital has recapitalized Winsight, a B2B provider of market intelligence to the retail, restaurant, and noncommercial foodservice industries.
Comvest Partners acquired Interamerican Medical Center Group, a provider of primary care and specialty services to Medicare, Medicaid and commercial members.
Ampersand Capital Partners has invested in and recapitalized Corpus Medical, a manufacturer of interventional medical devices, catheter-based delivery systems, and implants.
The Vistria Group, Apollo Global Management, and other investors have closed their previously announced purchase of Apollo Education Group, the owner of for-profit colleges including the University of Phoenix, for $1.1 billion.
Specialists On Call, a provider of emergency telemedicine consultation services, acquired NeuroCall, a company that provides the same services.
Sports Direct International is considering a bid for Eastern Outfitters, the parent company of retailers Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports.
And that’s what’s ahead, Cliff