Michael Rubin & SBF’s Bahamas bromance


One word to start out: This is the ultimate DD of 2022. We’ll be again on Tuesday, January tenth after some R&R — however you’ll want to look out for a particular version of the publication in early January.

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Thanks for studying, and pleased holidays!

Francesca Friday

Due Diligence reporter/producer

Welcome to Due Diligence, your briefing on dealmaking, personal equity and company finance. This article is an on-site model of the publication. Sign up here to get the publication despatched to your inbox each Tuesday to Friday. Get in contact with us anytime: Due.Diligence@ft.com

In at present’s publication:

Michael Rubin is now not an FTX fanatic

Michael Rubin is the last word networker. The man behind the Fanatics sports activities merchandise empire has fairly the jet-setting life, as chronicled on this New York Times profile.

Rubin additionally hung out final 12 months with the island nation’s most notorious resident, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. A disclosure from the fallen crypto trade’s chapter counsel on Wednesday night time revealed that FTX is an investor in Fanatics, an organization that Sullivan & Cromwell represents.

DD has realized some element in regards to the relationship between the 2. According to an individual aware of the state of affairs, Rubin and SBF met in late 2021 whereas Rubin was constructing a trip home on the Albany Resort, the luxurious neighborhood the place FTX had arrange store.

Michael Rubin put $10mn into FTX © Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Fanatics

Rubin put $10mn into FTX, a determine that has since been worn out. FTX, nonetheless, put in a reciprocal $10mn into Fanatics, based on this individual. The latter funding has labored out significantly better.

FTX’s $10mn was invested in an early 2022 fundraising that valued Fanatics at $27bn. Just weeks in the past, that valuation rose to $31bn in one other spherical that included the likes of Clearlake Capital, LionTree, SoftBank and Silver Lake Partners.

The crypto group’s Fanatics funding is now a part of the FTX chapter property that the corporate’s new boss John Ray III, Sullivan & Cromwell and bankers at Perella Weinberg Partners need to monetise in an effort to repay account holders.

Fanatics declined to touch upon its relationship with FTX.

Rubin could also be spending extra time within the Bahamas, however SBF gained’t be. After arriving in New York and being taken into federal custody on Thursday, a choose set a $250mn bond for him that requires his presence at his mother and father’ house in Palo Alto, California.

Two of his closest associates, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, additionally gained’t be returning anytime quickly. The pair have pleaded responsible to fraud expenses and agreed to co-operate with US authorities.

How Adidas dropped the ball

The 12 months is 2016. Kanye West’s Fade is dominating the airwaves and drops of the rapper-turned-designer’s Yeezy sneaker collaboration with Adidas are promoting so quick that retailers estimate solely 0.25 per cent of hopeful clients will get their palms on a pair.

How the mighty have fallen. The rapper, who now goes by Ye, has come out as a Hitler apologist on an anti-Semitic tirade that has impressed different hateful language and acts. That prompted Adidas to chop ties with its most worthwhile enterprise companion.

The finish of the partnership has contributed to a 54 per cent drop in Adidas’ share worth up to now 12 months. But the retailer had been confronting deep-seated issues inside its organisation lengthy earlier than its most up-to-date disaster, the FT’s Eleanor Olcott and Olaf Storbeck report.

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In interviews with 17 present and former executives, lots of whom have left the corporate, who mentioned outgoing chief Kasper Rørsted and its board had positioned Adidas poorly to climate the West storm, firing key personnel and changing into over-reliant on the Yeezy collaboration.

They additionally claimed the outgoing chief’s “management by fear” had traumatised workers and led to an exodus of expertise.

Rørsted’s successor, longstanding Puma boss Björn Gulden, has now been tasked with confronting the widening hole between Adidas and its rivals.

The debacle has made clear the dangers of changing into too depending on a single companion. As Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet put it final month: “A whole Adidas brand reset is probably needed.”

Job strikes

  • Dan Berkovitz, basic counsel of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, will go away the company on the finish of January. Megan Barbero, presently SEC principal deputy basic counsel, will take his place.

  • Stephanie Bruce, the chief monetary officer of Abrdn, is planning to leave the asset supervisor within the coming months, based on Bloomberg, after what has been a difficult interval for the group.

  • Tesla has despatched its China boss Tom Zhu to the US to assist tackle manufacturing engineering challenges within the area, fuelling speculation that he’s being primed for an even bigger function as the electrical carmaker’s CEO Elon Musk has been distracted with Twitter, per Reuters.

Smart reads

The ER elite A particular room in New York University’s busy Manhattan emergency division is devoted to 2 sorts of sufferers: these whose lives are on the road, and VIPs. The New York Times investigates allegations that the hospital gives preferential treatment to donors, trustees and their households.

India or bust As China’s as soon as red-hot wealth market cools within the face of geopolitical tensions, a brand new gold rush has kicked off international personal banks rush to hire advisers for India’s wealthy, Bloomberg reviews.

People of curiosity From Sam Bankman-Fried to the crypto conwoman who glided by the rap title “RAZZLEKAHN”, our colleagues at Alphaville look again on a 12 months of fascinating characters.

And one FT movie: the simple money period is over. FT journalists break down the subsequent massive threats to the worldwide monetary system.

News round-up

Guggenheim Partners financier Scott Minerd dies aged 63 (FT)

Former Crédit Agricole trader alleges racial bias at bank (Bloomberg)

Deloitte fined by UK watchdog over SIG audit work (FT)

JPMorgan’s credit-trading loss hinged on internal valuations (Bloomberg)

Toshiba’s preferred bidder to seal $10.6bn loan deal (Reuters/Yomiuri)

German regulator rebukes Standard Chartered over European operations 

TikTok admits monitoring FT journalist in leaks investigation (FT)

US banks: thoughts the $690bn bond valuation hole (Lex)

Porsche and the decline of the German stock market (FT Opinion)

Cryptofinance — Scott Chipolina filters out the noise of the worldwide cryptocurrency business. Sign up here

The Lex Newsletter — Catch up with a letter from Lex’s centres around the globe every Wednesday, and a evaluation of the week’s finest commentary each Friday. Sign up here

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