—— KKR plans to take a stake in a Hong Kong blockchain company; Microsoft plans to acquire a cybersecurity company; New York multi-family building transactions soar; American Dream applies for a repayment extension; New York State will cancel mandatory mask requirements; Siemens sells mail and parcel division.

1. KKR plans to invest Hong Kong blockchain firm

Private equity giant KKR & Co. plans to participate in the latest $500 million funding round of Hong Kong-based Metaverse startup Animoca Brands Corp., people familiar with the matter said.

The pre-money valuation of Animoca in this round of financing has exceeded $5 billion. The company also closed a $359 million funding round in January that included billionaire investors George Soros and brothers Winklevoss.

In just three months, Anomica has managed to double its valuation, benefiting from a wave of venture capital firms entering the cryptocurrency sector. Two people familiar with the matter also said that the company may raise another financing later this year, when the valuation may reach $ 10 billion.

Founded in 2014 by young tech entrepreneur Yat Siu, Anomica has developed a number of blockchain-based racing and tower defense games. The company also has a venture capital arm and has invested in more than 150 cryptocurrency projects in the past.

Other shareholders of Animoca include Ubisoft and Sequoia China


2. Microsoft plans to buy cybersecurity firm

Software giant Microsoft Corp. is in talks to buy cybersecurity research and emergency response firm Mandiant Inc., people familiar with the matter said.

Shares in Mandiant rose more than 18% this week, giving it a market value of $4.3 billion.

The acquisition of Mandiant could bolster Microsoft’s cybersecurity arsenal and provide customers with greater protection. Last year, Microsoft bought two small cybersecurity companies and said sales of security software would reach $15 billion in 2021, up 45 percent from a year earlier.

Anurag Rana, an analyst at “Bloomberg”, believes that the acquisition of Mandiant is a very smart decision, and the cloud service with the most complete security protection functions will be more competitive in the future.

Most of Microsoft’s business is cloud-based, so cybersecurity is a top priority


3. New York multifamily construction volumes soar

According to the latest report released by Ariel Property Advisors, the number of multifamily apartment building transactions in 2021 reached 386, which is 53% higher than in 2020. Meanwhile, the total value of deals reached $8 billion, 72% higher than in 2020.

Buying demand for rental apartment buildings has rebounded rapidly from its trough during the pandemic. As more citizens return to New York, vacancies in rental apartment buildings have fallen and investors have poured money into apartment buildings.

Shimon Shkury, president of Ariel, said in an interview that compared to 2020, the multifamily market in 2021 can be described as a 180-degree reversal, and investors expect asset prices to continue to rise in 2022.

In Manhattan, buildings priced between $5 million and $20 million accounted for the most sales, accounting for 57% of all transactions.

New York City-wide, the total value of multifamily construction transactions has yet to return to the record $11 billion in 2018.

Manhattan apartment rents up 24% year-over-year in 2021


4. American Dream applies for repayment deferral

Triple Five Group, the owner of American Dream, a New Jersey superstore, is applying for a four-year extension on a $1.7 billion construction loan, according to people familiar with the matter.

Triple Five Group is understood to be applying for a longer repayment period with a consortium of lenders led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. The $1.7 billion in debt issued in 2017 included a $1.2 billion senior loan and a $475 million subprime mezzanine loan.

On top of that, American Dream is saddled with $1.1 billion in municipal bonds.

People familiar with the matter said the extension was filed to avoid the mall going into bankruptcy and to give it more time to restructure its assets.

Last week, Triple Five revealed that paying $9.3 million in municipal bond interest nearly used up the mall’s entire cash savings.

Generally speaking, when applying for a debt extension, shareholders need to inject more equity, and the interest on the debt will also be increased. Interest rates on the mall’s $1.7 billion in debt are currently between 6.75% and 9.75%.

Affected by the lockdown during the epidemic, the American Dream hypermarket failed to gain any traffic and cash flow


5. New York State to lift mandatory mask requirements

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that starting Thursday, businesses will not be required to require customers to wear masks, but mandatory masks in schools, health care facilities, and nursing homes may be required on March 3. month will be canceled.

In a hearing in Manhattan on Wednesday, Casey said that two years later, New Yorkers have finally waited for the day when municipalities can formulate their own policies on masks and vaccines.

However, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Eric Adams (Eric Adams) revealed that New York City will continue to require the wearing of masks.

Recently, the number of new coronavirus infections in New York state fell from 90,000 in early January to 4,281 on Tuesday. At the same time, the test positivity rate also dropped to 4.36% from 20% a month ago.

The number of infections in New York State’s new museum has dropped very rapidly


6. Web3 firm Alchemy raises $200 million

Today, cryptocurrency software development company Alchemy announced in a statement that the company has closed a new round of $200 million in the financing, raising its valuation to $10.2 billion. Investors in this round of financing include private equity firm Silver Lake and venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Developing an application that can handle the high volume of cryptocurrency transactions has been one of the industry’s early challenges, and this transaction underscores the strong investor interest in cryptocurrency application development.

Alchemy said the company’s software has $105 billion in annual cryptocurrency transactions.

Alchemy co-founder Nikil Viswanathan said that many people are busy developing the infrastructure of Web3, this market is very large.

Web3, also known as Web 3.0, is a concept about the development of the World Wide Web, mainly related to blockchain-based decentralization, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

According to PitchBook statistics, unlisted cryptocurrency companies received a total of $31.6 billion in capital injections last year.

Alchemy can help develop application platforms that carry huge transaction volumes


7. Siemens sells mail and parcel division

German electronics engineering giant Siemens AG said today that it will sell the mail and parcel division of its logistics arm to supply chain technology company Koerber AG and gradually shift its core business to the software.

It is reported that the transaction will be concluded within this year, a transaction price of $ 1.31 billion.

Koerber operates supply chain technology and makes machines that automatically sort letters and packages.

During the epidemic, logistics demand has soared and supply chain manpower is insufficient. Logistics technology companies such as Koerber have invested heavily in related technologies to reduce their dependence on manpower and improve automation.

Siemens CEO Roland Busch said in a statement that the company will strengthen high-margin businesses and gradually reduce non-core businesses, eventually becoming a more cohesive technology company.

Siemens is selling non-core and less profitable business units and will focus on software


The content of this article comes from various financial news media such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg