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(LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) has acquired Newsle)

July 15, 2014
Abdicated Responsibility

 Greetings from Aspen, where Fortune Brainstorm Tech is heading into its second day. No column this morning, as there was lots of news to blurb and breakfast sessions begin very shortly.In the meantime, be sure to check out the video (and Erin Griffith’s write-up) of my session yesterday with Jimmy Lee, Jim Breyer and Josh Kopelman. It’s all available here.

Lots of interesting stuff coming out of here — plus I’m leading an M&A panel later today and interview with Box CEO Aaron Levie — so expect a lengthy notes column tomorrow










Erin GriffithsA return to hieroglyphics
Video: Walter Isaacson interviews Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Phil Elmer-DeWitt: What if Apple’s ‘iWatch’ isn’t a watch at all?
Claire Zillman: Pregnancy discrimination at work is still a huge problem
Stephen Gandel: Citigroup is terrible at negotiating with the government


Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE:RAI) has agreed to acquire smaller rival Lorillard (NYSE: LO) for $27.4 billion, or $68.88 per share. As part of the deal, the combined company also would divest several brands – including Blu e-cigarettes, Kool and Salem cigarettes – to UK-based Imperial Tobacco(LSE: IMT) for $78.1 billion. Read more.


NetDocuments, a Lehi, Utah-based provider of cloud-based document and email management, has raised $25 million in VC funding from Frontier Capitalwww.netdocuments.comSecret, the anonymous social message app, has raised $25 million in Series B funding co-led byIndex Ventures and Redpoint Ventureswww.secret.ly

, a Berkeley, Calif.-based service for digitizing paper documents, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Atlas Venturewww.captricity.com

 a San Francisco-based online doctor search service, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round, and was joined by return backers SoftTechVC and Lifeline Ventures. www.betterdoctor.com
Bay Dynamics, a San Francisco-based provider of information risk intelligence, has raised $8 million in Series A funding from Comcast Ventureswww.baydynamics.com

Neon Labs Inc., a Pittsburgh-based provider of user-relevant online video thumbnails, has raised $4.1 million in new Series A, according to Dow Jones. Mohr Davidow Ventures led the round, and was joined by seed backers True Ventures and Steve Blank. www.neonlabs.com


Abraaj Group is considering an offer for a majority stake in Egyptian drugmaker Amoun Pharmaceutical Co. at an enterprise value of between $700 million and $800 million, according to Bloomberg. Jefferies Group is managing the process. Amoun Pharmaceutical is currently owned by an affiliate of Capital Group Inc., Concord International Investments and the Rohatyn Group.www.amoun.com

Antelope Oil Tool & Manufacturing Co.
, a portfolio company of Intervale Capital, has acquiredAdvanced Composites, an Italy–based manufacturer of composite centralizers and other composite products used primarily in downhole oilfield applications. No financial terms were disclosed.www.advancedcomps.com

AUA Private Equity Partners
 has acquired Blue Star Media, an Irving, Texas–based producer of traveling family entertainment show Discover the Dinosaurs. No financial terms were disclosed. Quazar Capital Corp. managed the process. www.auaequity.comGlobal Infrastructure Partners has agreed to acquire a 25% stake in Freeport LNG Development LP, a holding company for an LNG import/export hub in Texas, for $850 million, according to the WSJ. Existing Freeport LNG Development shareholders include ConocoPhillips. www.freeportlng.com
Rank Group (Australia) has received significant private equity interest for subsidiary SIG Combibloc Group AG, a Swiss manufacturer of drinks cartons, according to Bloomberg. The deal could be valued at around $5 billion, with suitors including The Blackstone Group, CVC Capital Partners, Clayton Dubilier & Rice and KKR. www.sig.biz


El Pollo Loco, a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based quick-serve restaurant chain owned by Trimaran Capital, has set its IPO terms to 7.14 million shares at between $13 and $15 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $502 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol LOCO, with Jefferies, Morgan Stanley and Baird serving as lead underwriters. www.elpolloloco.com

., a Japanese messaging app operator owned by Naver Corp. (South Korea), has filed for a Tokyo IPO that could value the company at nearly $10 billion, according to Reuters. www.linecorp.comOrion Engineered Carbons, a Germany-based producer of carbon black, has set its IPO terms to 18 million shares being offered at between $21 and $24 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $1.27 billion, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol OEC, with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs serving as lead underwriters. Orion Engineered Carbons reports a net loss on less than $1 million on around $455 million in revenue for Q1 2014. Controlling shareholders are Rhone Capital and Triton Private Equity.www.orioncarbons.com

MOL Global Inc.
, a Malaysian online payments company, has filed for a $300 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq with Citigroup serving as left lead underwriter. www.global.mol


KKR is considering a sale process for German telecom company Versatel, according to the WSJ. KKR acquired the company for around €240 million in 2011, and could attract interest from strategics like Vodafone or Telefónica, www.versatel.de

 (NYSE: LNKD) has acquired Newsle, a San Francisco-based app for discovering news about social contacts. No financial terms were disclosed, although word is that it was in the “tens of millions.” Newsle had raised around $3 million in VC funding from Advance Publications, Transmedia Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Maveron Capital. www.newsle.comMatch Group, a unit of IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI), has acquired Brooklyn-based online dating and dating advice company HowAboutWe, according to the NY Times. No financial terms were disclosed. HowAboutWe raised over $18 million in VC funding from such VC firms as Founder Collective, ff Venture Capital, Khosla Ventures, MHS Capital, NYC Seed and RRE Ventures.www.howaboutwe.com


Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) has agreed to acquire rival specialty chemicals company Rockwood Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ROC) in a cash and stock transaction valued at $6.2 billion. Read more.

CVS Caremark
 (NYSE: CVS) has agreed to acquire Navarro Discount Pharmacy, a Miami, Fla.-based drugstore chain, from MBF Healthcare Partners. No financial terms were disclosed.www.navarro.comVistaJet, a privately-held Swiss provider of luxury private aviation services, is planning to hire a bank to advise on a possible sale that could value the business at upwards of $900 million, according to Reuters. www.vistajet.com


The Carlyle Group and Ireland’s Cardinal Capital Group have closed their first joint fund focused on Irish private equity opportunities, with €292 million in capital commitments. www.carlyle.comLittlejohn & Co. has closed its fifth private equity fund with $2 billion in capital commitments.www.littlejohnllc.com



David Rosenthal and Todd Davis have joined Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group as a principal and “senior talent professionals,” respectively. Rosenthal joined Madrona in 2010 as an associate before leaving in 2012 to get his MBA at Stanford. David most recently was a technology recruiter with ADP. www.madrona.com

Enrique Salem
, the former president and CEO of Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC), has joined Bain Capital Ventures as a Palo Alto-based managing director. www.baincapitalventures.comJerome Shapiro has joined Black Diamond Capital Management as a managing director and structured product portfolio manager. He previously was a senior VP with One William Street.www.bdcm.com

Timothy Clayton has joined Z Capital Partners as a managing director and operating partner. He previously was CFO of Tile Shop Holdings. www.zcap.net