PE Week Wire — Monday 8/4


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Franklin Templeton Investments (NYSE: BEN) has agreed to acquire the remaining portion of Darby Overseas Investments Ltd. and Darby Overseas Partners which it does not already own, for $75.88 million in cash. Franklin currently owns 12.66% of Darby, which managed approximately $700 million in private equity and mezzanine funds and managed and sub-advised approximately $300 million in emerging markets fixed-income products as of June 30. The transaction, which is subject to certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close no later than October 10, 2003. Nicholas Brady and Richard Frank will stay on as chairman and CEO, respectively. Brady is former U.S. Treasury Secretary and CEO of Dillon, Read & Co. (plus architect of the “Brady Plan”), while Frank is a former managing director of the World Bank and former CFO of the International Finance Corp.

Infinera Corp., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of optical networking solutions, has raised $53 million in Series D funding. Mobius Venture Capital led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investors Argonaut Private Equity, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and RWI Group. Return backers Agilent Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also participated.

Citadel Broadcasting Corp., a Las Vegas-based radio station operator, last Friday raised $418 million through an initial public offering on the NYSE. The company priced 22 million shares at $19 a piece, and finished Friday trading at $20.75 per share. This is the second public markets effort for Citadel, which was taken private by Forstmann Little & Co. via a $2 billion leveraged buyout in the summer of 2001. Forstmann owned 98.5% of the company prior to its IPO, and continues to own around 80 percent.

General Electric Co. has agreed to sell its Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. business for around $2.15 billion, according to various press reports. The purchasing consortium is made up of PMI Group, Blackstone Group, Cypress Group and Bank of America.

Perfect Commerce and eScout LLC today announced the closing of their previously announced merger. The combined company will operate under the name Perfect Commerce Inc., and has received $9.5 million in new equity funding. The investment was led by SoundView Ventures, and also included existing Perfect Commerce and/or eScout backers Mobius Venture Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Mayfield Fund and Wand Partners.

Audible Inc. (OTC BB: ADBL), a Wayne, N.J.-based provider of digitally-delivered spoken word audio, has received $6 million in private equity funding from Apax Partners and Bertelsmann. In conjunction with this investment, Apax Partners has acquired the Series A preferred stock of Audible from Microsoft Corp., and has agreed to revise the terms of those shares.

George Bayly, a principal with Whitehall Investors LLC, has been named to the board of directors at U.S. Can Corp.

The Australian Associated Press is reporting that Sabre Group Ltd. shareholders have approved an AU$66 million (approx. $43 million) takeover bid made by Henderson Private Capital. Sabre is a Sydney-based hair products producer.

PrivateEquityCentral.net is reporting that France-based LCF Rothschild Capital Partners, has held an €87 million first close on its inaugural fund. The final target is at €200 million, and a final close is expected to occur early next year.

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