Construction tech and a V-shaped VC recovery
In many ways, the pandemic is turning into a test of how well investors and companies can adapt. That’s true across venture capital as a whole. And a microcosm of the trend can be found in construction tech.
Venture capital reporter Priyamvada Mathur joins the latest episode of the “In Visible Capital” podcast to discuss a pair of recent stories examining how these uncertain times are shifting attitudes among VCs in general and construction startups in particular, including:
- How has COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation in the construction industry?
- Why have VC firms and startups struggled to adapt to a new economic reality?
- Do investors think we’re headed for a V-shaped recovery?
—Adam Lewis, 10:51 a.m. PDT
Chevron to shell out $5B in pandemic oil deal
Chevron has agreed to acquire oil and gas exploration and production company Noble Energy in an all-stock deal valued at $5 billion, or $10.38 per share, a rare merger in an energy sector that’s been brutalized by the coronavirus crisis. Including debt, the value of the transaction is some $13 billion. The move will increase Chevron’s holdings in the Permian Basin and the DJ Basin in the US.
—Kevin Dowd, 10:47 a.m. PDT
Coronavirus effects on private equity
Ailing restaurant owner Azzurri finds a buyer
TowerBrook Capital Partners has acquired Bridgepoint-backed Azzurri Group, the owner of floundering restaurant chains Zizzi, Ask Italian and Coco di Mama. The deal, which came via a pre-pack administration process, will see the company close 75 outlets across its portfolio, incurring the loss of up to 1,200 jobs; fast-food chain Pod will become delivery only. The restaurant operator is one of many struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
—Andrew Woodman, 8:05 a.m. PDT, July 20
European soccer assets draw investor interest
RedBird Capital Partners has agreed to buy an 85% stake in French soccer team Toulouse FC, while UK firm Bridgepoint has approached England’s Football Association for a stake in the Women’s Super League, according to Sky News.
Meanwhile, Bridgepoint is seeking a significant minority stake in a new company that will own the WSL’s commercial rights. The league’s 12 member clubs, which include Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City, are expected to own shares in the new business alongside the FA. The WSL and Toulouse FC are two of several sports assets to attract bids from PE investors in recent weeks following mounting losses for leagues sidelined by the pandemic.
—Andrew Woodman, 12:30 p.m. PDT, July 20
Hard-hit sports world finds new fans: private equity firms
CVC Capital Partners, Bain Capital, and Cinven are among the private equity investors circling Serie A, Italy’s top-flight soccer league, for a possible stake. Should a deal close, an influx of new capital couldn’t arrive at a better time. Serie A, like other sports leagues around the world, has canceled months worth of matches during the pandemic and is now feeling the pinch. It’s just one of the world’s many pandemic-plagued sports leagues that are forging new links to private equity backers. After playing out most noticeably in Europe, the trend has also taken hold globally as the coronavirus ravages finances of teams and leagues everywhere.
— Andrew Woodman, 5:00 a.m. PDT, July 20
Economic impacts of the coronavirus
CureVac sells stake to GlaxoSmithKline
Pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to buy a 10% stake in German biotech company CureVac for £130 million. CureVac previously had backing from Germany’s state-owned bank KfW. The two companies will combine R&D for a range of vaccines, but CureVac’s existing COVID-19 and rabies research programs aren’t included in the collaboration.
—Andrew Woodman, 10:40 a.m. PDT, July 20
Coronavirus impact on private markets
Dealmaking, exit activity both slumped for European PE in Q2
After an early onslaught of cases, the coronavirus crisis appears to be receding in many European countries. That’s welcome news for the region’s private equity industry. The pandemic helped drive private equity deal volume in Europe to a seven-year low during the second quarter of the year, and exit value is on pace for its lowest annual total in six years.
PitchBook’s Q2 2020 European PE Breakdown examines the data behind those trends and many more, offering a full picture of how the pandemic has shaped the region’s dealmaking scene. Other key takeaways include:
- Private equity deal flow declined 31.5% in Q2 on a year-over-year basis
- Firms are raising fewer European private equity funds in 2020 than ever before
—Dominick Mondesir and Masaun Nelson, 4:13 p.m. PDT, July 16