BLPA’s Rearview Mirror: The Week Ending June 1, 2014
The Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Placements
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We kicked off the 2014 biking season with the annual Bloomin’Metric out of the Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Connecticut. The ride is one of our favorites, as it goes along Long Island Sound in Southport, into the hills of Fairfield County and then back to the Finish Line festivities on Sherwood Island. The flowers were out in full force, along with the smell of freshly cut grass.
There was no meaningful news this week—in the market, or in finance. Enjoy the peace. Also, no news on the missing Malaysian jetliner or the 267 missing Nigerian school girls. In this day and age, when the NSA knows everything about us, the existence of these holes are incomprehensible.
On another note, JP Morgan has published its 15th annual summer reading list:
- Art & Place: Site-Specific Art of the Americas, by Editors of Phaidon
- Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, by Arianna Huffington
- Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, by Carmine Gallo
- The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy, by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley.
- The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
- Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind, by Biz Stone
- The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind, by Michio Kaku
- Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking, by Rawia Bishara
- An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything, by Col. Chris Hadfield
- The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed Up to Win Sailing’s Greatest Race, the America’s Cup.
For my part, I would add Hatching Twitter, by Nick Bilton. It strips the mystery and romance from startups, and would have you believe that Ev Williams, Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Noah Glass stumbled into it. Bilton characterizes startups as chaotic and turbulent—which is an apt description. Fake it till you make it.
This week, the big economic news was the contraction of the U.S. economy in the first quarter by one percent. So if you thought things were slow, they were. The weather was dreadful, with more snow, and then more rain than I would care to remember. Even our roof has moss growth. Time to get out the ladder and RoundUp.
Yes there were a smattering of earnings—but nothing of huge interest. Michael Kors, Ann, Big Lots, Guess, and AutoZone.
Of note, Toll Brothers handily beat expectations coming in at $0.35 per share and $65m vs the anticipated $0.26 per share or the $0.14 per share and $25m a year ago. Sales rose 67 percent to $867m. The housing rebound is hopefully upon us. On the Bloomin’Metric, the mega mansions building wave has started anew, and For Sale signs are everywhere. Not just on our block in New Hampshire.
GE has decided that power generation equipment is the way to go, and has put in a bid for France’s Alstom Group, a diversified energy equipment and services company. The Alstom Group installed the equipment for the Three Gorges Dam in China as well as huge wind farms around the world. However, it appears that the French are not eager to see this company go to a foreign buyer.
The banks are whining because low stock market volatility is translating to low trading desk earnings. While the markets may be hitting new highs, Main Street is loath to jump back in to stocks. The memories of the 2000 bubble and crash and the 2008 collapse due to the banking and housing crises continues to be embedded in near term memory.
Click on the Company Name for the S-1 filing and the Company Symbol for the stock chart.
It was a short week, with no IPOs. There is still an IPO Calendar, so stay tuned.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Click on the highlighted text for more deal information.
Paris-based Capptain, which provides app developers with analytics and the ability to send push notifications to their users, is being acquired by Microsoft.
HelloWallet, which helps provide financial guidance to the individual, is being acquired by Morningstar for $5.2m.
Datalogix raised a $45m Series C round. The Company states, on their website that “We made it our mission to leverage the power of purchase-based audience targeting to drive measurable online and offline sales.”
Trifacta, which helps you with data cleansing and transforming data, raised a $25m Series C round.
Swipely, which helps restaurants and bars grow their businesses through payments, analytics and maketing tools, raised a $20m Series C round.
ExtraHop Networks, the global leader in “real time wire analytics” for IT environments, raised a $41m Series C round.
Hipmunk, which compares all of the top travel sites to find users the best price, raised a $20m Series C round.
App Annie, a tool for app ranking, analytics and market intelligence, raised a $17m Series D round.
GrabTaxi, the “safest and fastest taxi booking app,” raised a $15m Series B round.
South Korea’s Coupang, which is an Amazon look-alike, raised $100m.
And that’s it for now.
All the best,
Founder & Chairman
SiVal Advisors, LLC
Stevens Capital Advisors
Susan Woods and Vlad Harris
Margaret Johns is the Founder and Chairman of BlueLake Partners, a boutique M&A investment bank based in the Greater Boston Area. Prior to founding BlueLake she was an employee founder and Managing Director at Needham & Company where she worked in Corporate Finance in New York City and headed up its Boston office. She now lives in Londonderry, New Hampshire with her husband, 16 year old step-daughter and three pugs. When she’s not working with clients, FINRA or writing blogs she competes on the Granite State Penguins Masters Swim Team, skis, rides her bike or is out walking her pugs.
Content researched, edited and reviewed on a best efforts basis.
We make no claim to being comprehensive in our review, as the contents are companies and topics we, ourselves, find of interest.
This week’s newsletter was graciously proofed by Carla Haugen, a Harvard classmate.
 WSJ Morning Moneybeat, May 29, 2014
 WSJ Moneybeat May 27 – 30, 2014
 TechCrunch, WSJ, Company websites
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