PE Week Wire — Friday 6/13


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Border Media Partners LLC, a Houston, Texas-based broadcasting company, has received $15 million in equity and mezzanine debt financing from the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and Darby-BBVA Latin America Private Equity Fund. The new capital will help in Border’s recent acquisition of two Spanish-language Texas radio stations from Sendero Multimedia.

The U.S. Army has selected MILCOM Technologies Inc. of Maitland, Fla. to manage a $25 million venture capital program aimed at developing mobile power and energy technologies for the Army and Dept. of Defense. The new investment effort is named OnPoint Technologies.

Gevity HR Inc. (Nasdaq: GVHR), a Bradenton, Fla.-based provider of outsourced human resources services, has received $30 million in a private placement of newly-created convertible preferred stock. Chicago-based private equity firm Frontenac Co. led the deal, and firm partners David Katz and James Cowie will take Gevity board seats.

Dr. William New has joined The Aurora Funds as a venture partner. New currently serves as an associate dean at the Oregon Health & Sciences University, and as founder and chairman of Natus Medical Inc. (Nasdaq: BABY). He is the third venture partner added to the Aurora team since the Research Triangle Park-based firm closed its fourth fund earlier this year.

Edgar Bronfman Jr. keeps adding investors in his attempt to regain the entertainment assets his family sold to Vivendi Universal in 2000. New players now include private equity firms Blackstone Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners, with Providence Equity Partners said to be mulling participation. Other already known investors include Cablevision, Merrill Lynch and Wachovia Securities.

Oracle Corp. has paid an undisclosed amount to acquire substantially all the assets of FileFish Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of mobile software and services. FileFish received a $4.6 million Series A round of funding in late 2000 at a post-money valuation of $12.6 million from Innovacom and Mobius Venture Capital (then known as Softbank Venture Capital).

SoundView Technology Group Inc. (Nasdaq: SNDV) concluded its annual shareholders meeting by receiving approval for a one-for-five reverse stock split of common stock, par value $0.01 per share.

Q-RNA Inc., a New York-based biotech company focused on RNA ligands, has raised $2.6 million in Series B funding. Investors included Durand Venture Associates, Wheatley Partners and Double D Venture Fund. Half of the capital was received last Dec. 13, while the rest came on June 2 after the company filed a specified U.S. patent application.

The Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine — a consortium of Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Athersys Inc. and other research partners – received a grant of around $10.9 million from Ohio’s Wright Capital Fund and $8.6 million from the state’s Biomedical Research and Technology Transfer Fund.

The New York Times is reporting that financier Carl Icahn has teamed with power plant developer Panda Energy International Inc. on a new private equity platform to acquire electricity generators and other domestic energy assets.

NEWS FROM THURSDAY 6/12

FormFactor Inc., a Livermore, Calif.-based maker of wafer probe cards that test semiconductor circuits, will break the recent venture-backed IPO jinx today when it begins trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol FORM. The company raised $84 million by pricing 6 million shares at $14 per share, which is a significant increase from the original plan to sell 5.5 million shares at between $9 and $11 per share. The company had raised nearly $50 million in venture capital since its 1994 founding, including a $10 million round late last year at a post-money valuation of over $150 million. FormFactor investors include Infineon Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, Intel Capital, JPMorgan Partners, Mohr Davidow Ventures and Morgan Stanley Venture Partners.

Pragmatech Software Inc., an Amherst, N.H.-based developer of web-based sales software, has raised $12 million in Series A funding from Commonwealth Capital, Kodiak Venture Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Brockway Moran & Partners has acquired Woodstream Corp. in partnership with Woodstream management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Woodstream is a Lititrz, Pa.-based maker of animal control products, insecticides and fungicides.

Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego-based drug discovery and development company, has added around $3 million in new capital to its previously announced Series F deal. The follow-on cash came from Coastview Capital, and brings the round total up to $28 million. Investors on the primary tranche included Oxford Bioscience Partners, OrbiMed Advisors LLC, Federated Kaufmann Fund, LD Pensions, Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management, ABN AMRO Ventures, Carnegie Fund II Biotechbridge and Dansk Kapitalanlaeg Aktieselskab. Acadia has now raised over $70 million in venture capital since its 1993 founding, including a $22 million fifth round deal in 2000 at a post-money valuation of over $80 million.

Quadstone Ltd., a Boston- and UK-based provider of customer analytics software, has secured $5 million in new venture funding from existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Standard Life Investments and Scottish Equity Partners.

Cycle Country Accessories Corp. (OTCBB: CYCY), a Milford, Iowa-based maker of accessories for all-terrain vehicles, has raised $2 million in private equity capital from the Laurus Master Fund.

Mosaic Group Inc. has agreed to sell its Mosaic Performance Solutions (MPS USA) unit to Halyard Capital Fund and company management for an undisclosed amount. The new entity will be renamed Tranzact, and focus on transaction management solutions.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Watertown, Mass.-based Oxgine Inc. (Nasdaq: OXGN) raised $10 million via a private placement to three unnamed investors.

NEWS FROM WEDNESDAY 6/11

Mercury Interactive Corp. (Nasdaq: MERQ) has agreed  to acquire Kintana Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of IT governance software. The total transaction value is estimated at approximately $225 million, consisting of $100 million of Mercury Interactive stock and $125 million in cash. In addition, Mercury Interactive will assume all of Kintana’s outstanding unvested options. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2003 and is subject to antitrust clearance, Kintana stockholder approval and other customary closing conditions. Kintana has raised over $40 million of venture funding, including a $12.5 million round in June 2001 at a post-money valuation of around $258 million. Investors included Camelot Ventures, Granite Global  Ventures and TA Associates.

Trapeze Networks Inc., a Pleasanton, Calif.-based provider of mobile solutions for the enterprise, has raised $34 million in Series B funding. Oak Investment Partners led the deal with a $12 million investment, and was joined by  Accel Partners, Duff Ackerman & Goodrich, Castile Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Trautman Wasserman & Co. and C.E. Unterberg Towbin.

Telecom Italia has agreed to sell off a 61% stake in its Seat Pagine Gialle directories unit for approximately $3.5 billion to BC Partners, CVC Capital Partners, Investitori Associati and Permira.

Sarvega Inc., a Burr Ridge, Ill.-based provider of intelligent XML appliances, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Participants included new investor InterWest Partners and return backers Bessemer Venture Partners, ComVentures and KB Partners. The company has now raised approximately $20 million since its 2000 founding.

Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd., an Israel-based developer of treatments for cancer and inflammatory diseases, has closed out a $12 million financing round launched last summer with a $500,000 investment from BPW Israel Ventures LLD. Investors providing the original $11.5 million included Giza Venture Capital, The Yozma Group, Ascend Technology Ventures, Vitaife and some senior physicians.

Broadbus Technologies Inc., a Boxborough, Mass.-based developer of video-on-demand technologies, has received an undisclosed investment from Infineon Ventures.

Carol Langendorfer has joined Atlanta-based mezzanine finance firm Chatham Capital as a partner. She previously served as senior vice president of Heller Corporate Finance.

ESS Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: ESS) has paid $27 million to acquire Pictos Technology Inc., a Newport Beach, Calif.-based maker of digital imaging semiconductor products. Pictos Technologies was created in July 2002 when Conexant Systems Inc. spun off its digital imaging semiconductor business and merged it with Zing Networks. The spin-out included a $17 million infusion from Conexant, Alloy Ventures and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.

Procuri Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of sourcing software applications and services, has received $10 million in venture capital funding from Insight Venture Partners.

Kyma Technologies Inc., a Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based supplier of GaN substrates for the optoelectronics, communications and microelectronics industries, has raised $4 million in Series B funding. Digital Power Capital and Siemens Venture Capital co-led the funding.

Susan Mayer has resigned as treasurer of WorldCom. As part of her job, she had overseen the troubled telecom company’s strategic venture capital fund.

SightSpeed, a Berkley, Calif.-based developer of desktop videoconferencing software, has raised over $1 million in Series A funding. The roda Group led the deal, and was joined b y Cornell University’s BR Ventures fund.   

NEWS FROM TUESDAY 6/10
QuatRx Pharmaceuticals Co., an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based biopharma company focused on endocrine, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, has raised $28 million in Series C funding. MPM Capital led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investor InterWest Partners, plus return backers Frazier Healthcare Ventures and TL Ventures. QuatRx (fka Pegasus Pharmaceuticals) now has raised over $38 million since its Dec. 2000 founding, including a $10 million second round deal in late 2001 at a post-money valuation of just over $14 million.

EpiGenesis Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Princeton, N.J.-based developer of inhaled medicines for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, has raised $23 million in Series A funding. Care Capital led the deal, and was joined by Investor Growth Capital, Boston Millennia Partners, Merrill Lynch Ventures, Technology Partners and NJTC Venture Fund. This essentially represents a new start for Epigenesis, which had raised $2.5 million in seed funding back in 1997 before laying off almost all its employees last November as part of a corporate restructuring. More recently, Epigenesis came to a mutual decision to terminate its asthma drug co-development deal with Japanese drug maker Taisho Pharmaceutical Co.

Lumigent Technologies Inc., an Acton, Mass.-based developer of data integrity solutions, has raised $7 million in third round funding. Investors include North Bridge Venture Partners, Greylock, Solstice Capital and individual investor Allan Wallack.

Corixa Corp. (Nasdaq:CRXA), a Seattle-based developer of immunotherapeutics, has priced a $30 million equity private placement with Sprout Group. Most of the capital will come from 3.72 million newly issued shares of Corixa common stock being sold to Sprout at $8.044 per share, which represents a premium over yesterday’s closing price of $7.34 per share. The deal is expected to close on Thursday. In related news, Corixa also sold $85 million of 4.25% convertible subordinated notes in a Rulr 144A offering to qualified institutional buyers.

Frank Biondi, managing director of media-focused private equity fund WaterView Advisors, has taken a board seat with Overture Services Inc. (Nasdaq: OVER), a provider of online commercial searching solutions.

MVC Capital (NYSE: MVC) said yesterday that its board has unanimously approved a new long-term strategy, subject to shareholder approval. Under the plan, MVC would be managed as a more traditional, mezzanine and buyout focused business development company with an increased dividend yield. Additionally, the fund would conduct a tender offer for 25% of MVC’s outstanding shares at a price of 95% of the fund’s net asset value. As part of the plan, the Board is proposing the appointment of Michael Tokarz, a former general partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., as board chairman and portfolio manager.

TransPharma Medical Ltd., an Israeli developer of transdermal drug injection technologies, has raised $9 million in second round funding. Evergreen Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Pitango Venture Capital, VitaLife and Biomedical Investments. The company previously raised a $6.5 million Series A round in mid-2000 at a post-money valuation of $14 million.

Zymark Corp., a Hopkinton, Mass.-based developer of laboratory robotics systems, will be acquired by Caliper Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq: CALP) for around $72.7 million. Caliper will provide $57 million in cash, plus another 3.15 million in common stock to Berwind Co., which bought Zymark from its venture backers in 1996.

SIRVA Inc., a Ft. Wayne, Ind.-based moving services company, has acquired Scanvan, a century-old moving services company based in Scandinavia. SIRVA is a portfolio company of private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, while Scanvan has been owned by a Procuritas managed fund.

The National Post is reporting that Vancouver-based supercomputer developer D-Wave Systems Inc. has raised $10 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, GrowthWorks Capital, Business Development Bank of Canada and several individual investors.
NEWS FROM MONDAY 6/9
IPO.com has ceased operations after over six years of providing online information about new public entrants, according to its website.

Anchor Bay Technologies Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of digital video and audio components and systems, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Storm Ventures and Venrock Associates. PE Week subscribers can read more on this story – including valuation info – in today’s print edition.

Warburg Pincus has emerged as the winning bidder for TransDigm Holding Co., a Richmond Heights, Ohio-based aerospace parts maker currently owned for the past five years by private equity firm Odyssey Investment Partners. No terms were disclosed, although today’s Wall Street Journal is reporting a total sale price of approximately $1.1 billion.

Intransa Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of IP-based storage area networks (SAN), has raised $7 million in fourth round venture funding from return backers Advanced Technology Ventures, Sofinnova, US Venture Partners and an unnamed pension plan. The company has now raised approximately $40 million since its Sept. 2000 founding, including a $10.7 million Series B deal early last year at a post-money valuation of just over $41.5 million. In related news, the company has hired Avi Katz as its new CEO. Katz was previously president and CEO of fabless semiconductor developer Equator Technologies Inc..

Preventsys Inc., a San Diego-based provider of automated network security auditing, has raised $9.2 million in Series B funding. Apax Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backer Enterprise Partners. The company had raised a $3.1 million Series A round last year at a post-money valuation of $6.3 million.

HR Technologies Inc., a Purchase, N.Y.-based provider of human capital management software, has raised $2.75 million in new Series B funding led by Zon Capital Partners.

Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), a Foster City, Calif.-based provider of network-neutral data centers and Internet exchange services, has closed a previously announced $10 million investment from Crosslink Capital, thus reaching its $40 million funding goal. As a part of the transaction, Gary Hromadko of Crosslink will join the Equinix board of directors.

Bitfone Corp., a Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based provider of mobile telephone technologies, has raised new funding from Korea-based KTB Ventures. Bitfone has now raised more than $32.5 million in venture capital that it has secured funding from KTB Ventures, bringing the company’s total investment to more than $32.5 million. KTB is the largest private equity firm with headquarters in Korea, whose shareholders and limited partners include the leading handset manufacturers and wireless carriers in Korea.

Litestream Technologies LLC, a Tampa, Fla.-based telecom services provider, has raised $10 million in equity capital from American Capital Corp. Hyde Park Capital Advisors helped place the deal.

Tableware Holding International, which is majority owned by private equity group JPMorgan Partners, has acquired 100% of Grupo Convermex, a Pebla, Mexico-based maker of expanded polystyrene. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Grupo Convermex had previously been owned by its founding Mexican family.

Liu Tai-Ying, chairman of Taiwan-based China Development Financial Holding Corp., was released from jail Saturday after paying a record bail amount. He had been charged Friday with a variety of fiscal misdeeds, including embezzlement, breach of trust, forgery, money laundering and insider trading. No word yet on if he’ll be able to keep his job.

Stuart Lodge has been named a partner and CFO with Koch Ventures. He previously served as CFO of The Structure Group, a software products and consulting services provider.

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