Silicon Slopes' Top 10 Business Stories of the First Half of 2021
NOTE: Normally, this type of story would get published within the first 30 days after the end of a quarterly period ... but things have been a bit busy in my life the past few weeks (and here at Silicon Slopes, the organization, as well).
So without further ado, here is our breakdown (in reverse order) of the Top 10 Business Stories of the First Half of 2021 for Silicon Slopes.
Utah's No. 10 Business Story for H1 2021: HealthEquity's $400 Million Public Offering
In the second half of February, Draper, Utah-based HealthEquity (NASDAQ:HQY) announced it had raised $400 million in a secondary public offering. (See HealthEquity Public Offering Raises $400 Million.)
By way of background, HealthEquity is the largest non-bank Health Savings Account custodian in the country, with over $14.3 billion in HSA assets under management.
And at a $400MM, this public offering "scrapes by" as the 10th biggest business news story in Utah for the first half of the year.
Utah's No. 9 Business Story for H1 2021: Recursion IPO Raises Over $500 Million
In late April we reported on the fact that Salt Lake City-based Recursion Pharmaceuticals had "gone public," raising over $500 million in the process.
This qualifies as the No. 9 most important business news story in Utah for the first half of the year.
If you don't know Recursion (NasdaqGS:RXRX), you gotta check 'em out.
A combo drug discovery / artificial intelligence mash-up, Recursion already has four drug targets in Phase 1 Clinical Trials, with another 30+ disease states/conditions in drug discovery and/or development mode.
As of market close on Friday, Recursion's market cap was close to $4.8 billion, down roughly 10% since it became a public company.
But from my perspective, Recursion looks like a real winner in the pharma space.
For more info, I invite you to visit our write-up via the link at the top of this section.
Utah's No. 8 Business Story for H1 2021: Lucid Raises Over $500 Million and Hits Triple-Unicorn Status in the Process
The fundraise valued Lucid at $3 billion, a 3X increase from its last round of closing back in April 2020.
Yup, just 14 months later.
As explained in the writeup noted above, Lucid provides online design tools to help “… teams (and individuals) to see and build the future from idea to reality.”
Based upon the amount of money raised and its triple-unicorn status, Lucid lands the slot as having the eighth most important business news story in Utah for the first half of 2021.
Utah's No. 7 Business Story for H1 2021: Altabancorp Gets Bought for over $930 Million
Proxy battles on Wall Street rarely end in a draw.
But in the case of Altabancorp announcing in mid-May that it had agreed to be purchased by Glacier Bancorp, I suspect that all parties can call this outcome a win.
As reported in "Gunther Family Wins as Altabank Sells," Altabancorp (NasdaqCM:ALTA) had been involved in a battle since early 2021 with its largest group of shareholders ... the Gunther Family Trust ... to determine how best to lead the regional community bank.
And my research and experience suggested that the end result was going to be ALTA being acquired by another firm before the end of 2021.
In this case (at least), I was correct, with Altabancorp agreeing to be purchased by Glacier (NasdaqGS:GBCI) in an all-stock transaction for $933.5 million.
For this reason, the Altabancorp sale ranks as the No. 7 most important business news story in Utah for the first half of 2021.
To get a better understanding of how this Altabancorp vs. Gunther Family Trust proxy battle led to the ALTA acquisition, please check out the article noted above in this section.
Utah's No. 6 Business Story for H1 2021: LHM Real Estate Purchases the Daybreak Community
In mid-April Salt Lake Valley-ites were shocked to learn that Daybreak, the South Jordan, Utah-based planned community had been purchased by LHM Real Estate.
Although financial terms were not disclosed by either party, my back-of-the-napkin noodling placed the purchase price at somewhere north of $1 billion.
For this reason, along with the potential impact on South Jordan, the citizens of Daybreak, and the entire southwest corner of Salt Lake County, this story ranks as the No. 6 most important business news story throughout all of Silicon Slopes for the first half of the year.
To get more details on this story, please visit "LHM Real Estate Buys Daybreak Planned Community from Värde Partners."
Utah's No. 5 Business Story for H1 2021: Micron is Leaving Utah with $1.5 Billion in its Pockets
I don't think it qualifies as a Fire Sale, but Micron Technology announced on the last day of the 1st half of the year that it had agreed to sell its Lehi, Utah-based semiconductor fabrication plant to Texas Instruments (NasdaqGS:TXN) for $900 million.
In addition, Micron announced on the same day it had found an unnamed buyer that had agreed to purchase $600 million of equipment from its Lehi plant.
Yup ... $1.5 billion in total, with the deals expected to be closed before the start of 2022.
At $1.5 billion in total, these Micron transactions qualify as the No. 5 most important business news story throughout all of Utah for the first half of 2021.
To get the skinny on this particular story, please visit "Micron Announces Sales of its Lehi Plant and Assets for $1.5 Billion in Total."
Utah's No. 4 Business Story for H1 2021: Qualtrics IPO's, Raising $1.55 Billion in the Process
On January 28, Provo, Utah-based Qualtrics finally became a publicly traded company, raising $1.55 billion in the process and closing the day at a market valuation of more than $28 billion.
More info on this story that places the Qualtrics IPO as the No. 4 most important business news story in Utah for the first half of the year can be found here: "Qualtrics Raises $1.55 Billion in its IPO and Closes the Day Worth over $28 Billion."
Utah's No. 3 Business Story for H1 2021: Divvy Gets Bought for $2.5 Billion by Bill.com
From early January to early May (just four short months), Lehi, Utah-based Divvy saw its valuation jump over 56% to $2.5 billion.
That's the amount that Bill.com announced it would pay in cash and stock for Divvy in what is ranked as the third most important business story of the first half of 2021 across the entire Silicon Slopes universe.
For the complete details on the Divvy acquisition, please check out "Divvy is Getting Bought for $2.5 Billion by Bill.com."
Utah's No. 2 Business Story for H1 2021: Pluralsight Becomes a Private Company as it's Purchased by Vista Equity Partners for $3.8 Billion
The initial news came in the latter half of December 2020 when Draper, Utah-based Pluralsight announced it had reached an agreement to be purchased by Vista Equity Partners (one of the largest investment firms in the United States) for $3.5 billion.
Before the deal closed on April 6, 2021, the deal had been sweetened by $300 million, making the transaction worth $3.8 billion to Pluralsight shareholders.
This purchase ranks as Silicon Slopes' No. 2 most important business news story for the first 180-ish days of 2021.
To get a summary of the transaction, please read "For a Price of $3.8 Billion, Pluralsight is Private. Again."
Utah's No. 1 Business Story for H1 2021: Over $15.78 Billion in Deals in Utah in the First Half of 2021
If you merely add-up the totals noted above in this ranking of the top business stories in the State of Deseret for the first half of 2021, the numbers are staggering ... at least by the standards previously set within Utah: $12.68 billion.
In half a year!
THAT doesn't happen in Utah. At least not until now.
Except the funny thing is that $12.68 billion doesn't tell the whole story.
In fact when I go back and examine all of the business news reports I've been tracking since early January 2021, I come up with an even bigger number:
$15.78 billion in transactions ... that we know of ... for the first half of the year.
Yup ... at $15.78 billion, that number puts Utah, the "state" of Silicon Slopes, on track for over $31.5 billion in known deals for one year. And the top amount in financial transactions in Utah (at least according the MountainWest Capital Network) sits at $26.4 billion in 2020.
So if Utah's business community continues on its current pace, it's on track to surpass last year's total by close to 25%. And that's insane.
Hence, the No. 1 most important business news story in Utah is over $15.75 billion in deals within Utah's business community within the first six months of the year.
Congrats, Utah! It's been a crazy first half of the year.
May we have more of the same from July through December.
NOTE: The first nine items mentioned within this ranking were first published by Deseret Business Watch, each of which have now been republished in some form by Silicon Slopes.