Vista Equity in talks to sell Marketo to Adobe; number of take-privates plunges this year; Jay Haladay’s family office seeks early tech deals
It’s Thursday, Hubsters. It’s raining outside but not the downpour I expected. If you are in the path of Hurricane Florence, which is now a category 2, evacuate if you can.
Yesterday, I attended a conference on “Modernizing Financial Regulatory Reporting” at Thomson Reuters. There was lots of talk about data. Troy Paredes, a former SEC commissioner, discussed how investors are dealing with the information overload. When disclosures are more usable and more digestible, “investors are better able to assess business,” Paredes said.
One SEC investigator, who spoke about fraud, said boiler rooms have morphed into “fake online investment newsletters.” Parties, he said, collude to increase prices of a stock. “It’s organized crime,” the investigator said.
I also ran into Mike Phillips, CEO of Vigilant, at the Reuters data conference. It’s primary election day here in New York and he said compliance teams use Vigilant’s platform to check for pay-to-play violations of their employees’ political donations. During the last presidential election, the Clinton campaign used Vigilant to vet donors. “We help compliance teams monitor the political contributions of their staff and make sure they’re all approved,” he said.
More people are becoming politically active this year, getting involved in campaigns and making more contributions, Phillips said. “Firms are focusing more attention on this compliance area because there is a significant degree of risk if they get it wrong. There is so much more activity happening around this,” he said. (If you haven’t read it, here’s a linkto Kaitlyn Bartley’s story on why advisers and investors should heed the SEC pay-to-play rule.)
Take privates: In 2007, right before the financial crisis hit, investors across Europe, the U.S. and Canada completed 174 public to private transactions, PitchBook said. This year so far, we’ve had only 39 take-privates, the data provider said. This means that 2018 is on pace for the fewest number of take-private buyouts in more than 10 years, PitchBook said.
Deals: Vista Equity is in talks to sell Marketo to Adobe Systems, according to Reuters. Vista acquired Marketo, the marketing software giant, in 2016 for $1.8 billion. See the story here. Anyone know what Marketo is seeking? Email me at lbeltran@buyoutsinsider.
KKR is exiting Sedgwick, an insurance claims service provider. Carlyle said yesterday it agreed to buy a majority of Sedgwick in a deal valued at about $6.7 billion. See our brief here.
Swander Pace Capital has gobbled up Fine Choice Foods, which is known for its spring rolls and gyoza dumplings. Check out our brief here.
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