Netflix Closing Deal for ABQ Studios, Float Lady Gaga for Tesla Chairmanship and LendingTree Nabs QuoteWizard.com for $370 Million

Good Tuesday Morning,

Daylight – Two names being floated around as candidates for the SEC-induced, three-year Tesla chairmanship are former Vice President Al Gore and Alan Mulally of Ford. Musk shrugs. Lot better chance of it working with someone like Lady Gaga. You think I am kidding. Fascination.  

Buzzard’s Roost – Papa John’s shares surged 20 percentlast night because Founder John Schnatter did not take my advice to cash out and walk away.
 
He is making rounds in NY pitching private equity funds to do a hostile takeover. He has a little traction with Trian Fund – they are asking the company for more info. Flirting with Disaster. By the way, this movie does not turn out well.  
 
Style – Download on iTunes the documentary “Studio 54”which tells more about how the two Founders created and ran the nuts and bolts of the iconic nightclub (also known as the other Magic Kingdom) in New York City for 33 months rather than the usual story on sex, drugs and the disco movement.
 
Culture – First year with no liquor license, they went to city hall and had to apply every day for a single-day catering permit. The doc also reflects the Founders’ frenetic pace to make the party bigger and better than the previous night. But make no mistake, they were running a business, the pressure was on and a visceral customer connection was created – more than a vibe.  
 
M&A – Netflix is in final negotiations to purchase ABQ Studios, with eight sound stages in Albuquerque. Netflix already shoots the supernatural drama “Chambers’’ and the epic ‘‘Messiah’’ in New Mexico and previously shot its Emmy-winning series “Godless’’ there too.
 
Circle agreed to acquire SeedInvest, an equity crowdfunding platform.
 
LendingTree agreed to acquire QuoteWizard.com, an insurance comparison marketplace, for $370.2 million.
 
Bomgar acquired BeyondTrust, a cybersecurity solutions provider.
 
Spire Capital Partners made an investment in O2B Kids Early Education, a provider of early education services for children in the Southeast.
 
Perforce Software agreed to acquire Perfecto Mobile, a company focused on cloud-based automated mobile and web application test software solutions.

Live Rounds – Got your emails on the October 19 Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival. By the way, that’s fish and not hair. Laugh all you want – we have Montgomery Gentry singing and seven sponsors and the best part – the fishermen’s talk on the conditions of low and high tides, climate change and how well the mullet are running are serious and fun.
 
Economics – Straight from the fisherman’s mouth – climate change is not an opinion or ideology, but an empirical question like how many feet does it take to dig a deep well, or in this case, how much carbon can you put in the air?

Hot – October 18 – Loren Feldman’s Wharton SiriusXM “Mind Your Business” radio show will have in studio myself and special guest Founder and former AMPS CEO Mike Dendy. Topic – Flogging the Founder. Contact lfeldman@oxfordcenter.com with your questions.
 
Hope Hicks, President Trump’s former communications director, will become chief communications officer at Fox.
 
Investment Banking – Montage Partners made an investment in Puroflux Corporation, a manufacturer of commercial and industrial water filtration systems.

Hedge Funds – Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and a Canadian pension fund teamed up to acquire control of wealth-management services provider FNZ.
 
RLJ Equity Partners acquired a majority interest inCrossfuze, a provider of consulting, design, and implementation services, from Palladian Capital Partners.

IPO – Run-of-the-mill IPOs. 
 
Venture Capital – Front Range Biosciences, a cannabis biotech company, raised $10 million.
 
Lambda School, a computer science academy that trains students to become software engineers raised $14 million. Say goodbye to the Computer Science degree. What’s the catch? If you go to their school and make more than $50,000 per year, you must pay a percentage of your income to the school. If you don’t find a job or reach that level of income, you don’t pay a cent.
 
Fusion Coolant Systems, a provider of advanced coolant and lubrication systems, raised $8 million.
 
Deliverr, a company that helps businesses offer rapid delivery experiences to their customers, raised $7.1 million.
 
AlterG, a manufacturer of rehabilitation and therapy equipment, raised $6 million.
 
RankScience, a developer of an A/B testing platform for SEO, raised $1.8 million.
 
Stringr, a marketplace that allows media organizations to buy video footage from amateur and professional videographers, raised $1 million.
 
Spotlight – Every year I would tell our team – We are doing something right if NPI renews because the first year in 2014, Founder Jon Winsett was skeptical about any Entrepreneurial group. It wasn’t me who sold him – it was Mary Katherine who told him to try it. Now they are both renewed Members and married! I would try to get Oxford credit here, but I am sure Jon already has a story. He helped me out tremendously on the Cuba trip and has always been extremely nice to our people. Thank you both.  


Jon and Mary

And that’s what’s ahead, Cliff