🍋 America Loves European Football

American investors keep buying European soccer clubs. Markets were closed yesterday in observance of Juneteenth, which also meant that stocks couldn't go down. Ernst & Young is planning to split its audit and consulting businesses. US home prices are likely to fall, as mortgage rates exceeding 6% put a dagger in affordability for the average buyer. Ruble has surged to a 7-year high.

Short Squeez
June 21, 2022

Together With

 "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe." — Albert Einstein

Good Morning! Markets were closed yesterday in observance of Juneteenth, which also meant that stocks couldn't go down. Ernst & Young is planning to split its audit and consulting businesses. That would give thousands of partners multimillion-dollar payouts, if their optimistic growth assumptions play out. US home prices on the other hand are likely to fall, as mortgage rates exceeding 6% put a dagger in affordability for the average buyer. Meanwhile, the Ruble has surged to a 7-year high of 55.44/dollar, which has caused Moscow to debate whether the central bank should target an "optimal" exchange rate.

Ansarada has dropped its latest 2022 M&A outlook report. Y'all can download for free here.

1. Story of the Day: America Loves European Football

John Textor, US digital entrepreneur who has three football (read: soccer) club investments, is in exclusive talks to take control of French Ligue 1 team, Lyon. The current owner of 66% of Olympique Lyonnais is a publicly-traded holding company, that Textor plans to buy out for €3/share.

Textor and Lyon are not the only instance of Americans getting into the other kind of football. Once Todd Boehly's purchase of Chelsea FC goes through, a majority of the English Premier League's top 20 teams will be owned by Americans.

RedBird Capital Partners is also nearing a deal for AC Milan, beating out Investcorp out of Bahrain, to buy the team from another American investment firm, Elliott Management.

Sixth Street Partners will be investing $380 million into Real Madrid for a 30% share of future stadium revenues (without season ticket sales), and the list goes on, featuring Oaktree Capital and Inter Milan, Ares Management and Atletico, and 777 Partners and Genoa.

Quite possibly more headline worthy than all of these financial firms and their huge transactions are actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, who bought Wrexham A.F.C. Half of that dynamic duo is Canadian, but we love our cousins to the north.

Short Squeez Takeaway: Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, so it only makes sense that American investors are seeking out ways to get involved. Sports that are more popular in America, like our football, and basketball, have more barriers to entry when it comes to ownership. So, if you've ever wanted to sit in an owner's box, maybe it's easier to take a look across the pond.

2. Markets Rundown

Stock markets were closed yesterday and crypto was able to avoid following stocks low for an extra day.

Movers & Shakers

Stock markets were closed in honor of Juneteenth. Learn more about the holiday here.

Private Dealmaking

  • Vendr, a Boston-based SaaS buying platform, raised $150m at a $1.3b valuation
  • HomeLight, an SF-based real estate marketplace, raised $60m in Series D extension funding led by Oren Zeev
  • Sana, an Austin, Texas-based health insurance startup, raised $60m in Series B funding
  • Upvest, a Berlin-based investment API provider, raised $42m in Series B funding
  • FanClash, an Indian esports fantasy startup, raised $40m in Series B funding

3. Top Reads

  • How long does it take for stocks to bottom in a bear market? (AWOC)
  • Rising interest rates are ending an era in which the rich got much richer (Atlantic)
  • Six lessons from the crypto rout (HumbleDollar)
  • Why Apple made a huge deal with the MLS? (FOS)
  • The economy is rolling over (Tker)
  • Why sports gambling advertising is everywhere (NPR)
  • Why this housing downturn is nothing like the last one (CNBC)
  • How Houston worked to solve its homeless problem (NYT)
  • Medical debt is becoming a huge problem for Americans (NPR)

A Message from Ansarada

Ansarada has launched a brand new forward-facing report: 2022 M&A Outlook: Q&A with the Top Global Dealmakers.

This report explores the key themes that will shape 2022 and beyond, according to a group of expert M&A dealmakers around the globe.

While the future remains unpredictable with ongoing global conflicts, momentum in the M&A market shows no signs of slowing. M&A activity surged in 2021—despite new COVID-19 variants—demonstrating dealmakers' appetite and resilience in the face of uncertainty.

Dealmakers have continued to take potential hurdles in stride and execute successful deals in a remote working environment.

4. Book of the Day: Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things That Last

As a journalist said of Pappy Van Winkle, "You could call it bourbon, or you could call it a $5,000 bottle of liquified, barrel-aged unobtanium." Julian Van Winkle, the third-generation head of his family's business, is now thought of as something like the Buddha of Bourbon - Booze Yoda, as Wright Thompson calls him. 

He is swarmed wherever he goes, and people stand in long lines to get him to sign their bottles of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve, the whiskey he created to honor his grandfather, the founder of the family concern. A bottle of the 23-year-old Pappy starts at $3000 on the internet. As Julian is the first to say, things have gone completely nuts.

Forty years ago, Julian would have laughed in astonishment if you'd told him what lay ahead. He'd just stepped in to try to save the business after his father had died, partly of heartbreak, having been forced to sell the old distillery in a brutal downturn in the market for whiskey. Julian's grandfather had presided over a magical kingdom of craft and connoisseurship, a genteel outfit whose family ethos generated good will throughout Kentucky and far beyond.

There's always a certain amount of romance to the marketing of spirits, but Pappy's mission statement captured something real: "We make fine bourbon - at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always fine bourbon." But now the business had hit the wilderness years, and Julian could only hang on for dear life, stubbornly committed to preserving his namesake's legacy or going down with the ship. 

Then something like a miracle happened: it turned out that hundreds of very special barrels of whiskey from the Van Winkle family distillery had been saved by the multinational conglomerate that bought it. 

With no idea what they had, they offered to sell it to Julian, who scrambled to beg and borrow the funds. Now he could bottle a whiskey whose taste captured his family's legacy. The result would immediately be hailed as the greatest whiskey in the world - and would soon be the hardest to find.

But now, those old barrels were used up, and Julian Van Winkle faced the challenge of his lifetime: how to preserve the taste of Pappy, the taste of his family's heritage, in a new age? The amazing Wright Thompson was invited to be his wingman as he set about to try. 

The result is an extraordinary testimony to the challenge of living up to your legacy and the rewards that come from knowing and honoring your people and your craft. 

Wright learned those lessons from Julian as they applied to the honest work of making a great bourbon whiskey in Kentucky, but he couldn't help applying them to his own craft, writing, and his upbringing in Mississippi, as he and his wife contemplated the birth of their first child. May we all be lucky enough to find some of ourselves, as Wright Thompson did, in Julian Van Winkle, and in Pappyland.

“I ordered us another, and we sat there, me and my father’s older brother and best friend, and we sipped this beautiful, rare, expensive whiskey and we didn’t need to say a thing.”

5. Short Squeez Picks

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Their free visual newsletter is packed with snackable charts and easy-to-remember insights on business, tech, entertainment and society – in less than a 5 minute read.

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6. Daily Visual: Podcasts, New Mass Medium?

Share of respondents who listened to any podcasts in the past month

Source: Statista

7. Daily Acumen: Accepting Right Now

“Most people want more money. A few want less. Some people wish money didn’t exist at all because they hate thinking about it.

But in all cases, those people are still in a fight with what their situation is in this moment and creating a war within themselves. 

They’re saying that where they are right now isn’t enough. They’re telling their bodies and nervous systems that something is wrong, and in that space of conflict within themselves, they cut themselves off from a feeling of wholeness and the infinite creativity that could be coming through. 

If you’ve experienced a feeling of needing your bank account to be different, realize that you’re cutting yourself off from everything you are right now by saying that this moment isn’t okay and living in a fantasy that the future can be better than this…except there is no better moment in the future. 

There is nothing but this moment, and it’s only your level of acceptance of it that can make it feel better or worse. 

The future is a concept that lives in our mind (like money) that cuts us off from tapping into the total abundance and joy that is available right now. 

The idea of later is a symptom of not accepting right now. The idea of more money is a symptom of not accepting right now. The idea of a better body, a better relationship, a better mood, and so on, is all a symptom of not completely accepting right now.“

Source: The Illusion of Money

8. Crypto Corner by Bonkalytics.com

For more crypto-focused content, sign-up here.

9. Memes of the Day

    

   

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