PE Week Wire — Friday, February 18


Get The Wire in your inbox each morning! Just send us an email.

 

 

It Just Got Messy

As my plane pulled into the gate last night, I got a call from Steve Barrett, chief marketing officer for liquidating law firm Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault. We chatted briefly, with Steve declining much comment, as the firm hadn’t yet even been served with the involuntary bankruptcy petition filed by eight of its former partners (filing occurred at 1:30 yesterday afternoon in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Massachusetts). As I walked off the plane, two fellow passengers approached (both had been sitting one row in front of me). One was a former THT attorney who had left several years back, while the other was a CFO. They asked for some details about the filing, and shook their heads. “Something just doesn’t make sense about this,” said the lawyer. “They [the ex-partners] already are the junior creditors at the back of the line, and this is almost like moving even farther back. They might have just guaranteed that they wind up with absolutely nothing.”

To understand exactly what’s happened, one needs to know a little bit about the eight plaintiffs. They are: Tom Beaudoin, David Davenport, Leslie Davis, Eric Deutsch, Gordon Hayes, John Hession, Edwin Miller and Richard Sanders. All of them left THT before the Big 10 defections last December, which snowballed into January’s mass exodus and the consequential decision to dissolve. Leslie Davis, for example, went to Heller Ehrman back in February 2001, while John Hession joined McDermott Will & Emery in July 2003. The last of the group to leave was Beaudoin, whose last day with THT was October 6, 2004 (he now is with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr).

Each partner left with a significant amount of money remaining in his or her capital account –hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases — which was to be disbursed via deferred payments over a period of several years (such a system was used with all departing THT partners, not just the plaintiffs in this case). Once THT agreed to take down its shingle, however, some folks began to worry that the firm might not have enough money to pay off both creditors and ex-partners, despite public assurances that there was plenty of loot to go around.

One such person was Edwin Miller, who left THT for Sullivan & Worcester last November. He began recruiting other former partners who might be interested in filing a preemptive claim, and also retained John Monaghan of Holland & Knight as counsel. Seven others signed on.

“They basically were asking who was going to get what, and when,” says a former partner who declined to join the group. “I felt that we should just line up behind George Thibeault – who is in charge of the liquidation – because he is a fair and capable person… who is focused on maximizing returns.”

Miller and company disagreed, however, and pressed on with their recruitment drive. They also opted against engaging in arbitration with THT, which would have been the mandatory first step, according to their ex-partnership agreements. Instead, they filed yesterday’s petition, which basically asks that THT be involuntarily put into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. If a judge agrees, THT’s liquidation will be done out in the open, with its ledgers on display for all to see.

The ex-partners obviously believe that this is their best chance of getting theirs, but two bankruptcy specialists I’ve spoken with are dubious. They say that the motion likely will cause THT creditors – particularly its landlord – to accelerate payment demands, for fear of a bankruptcy filing. In doing so, the ex-partners – as my fellow passenger said – get moved even farther back in line. Moreover, THT may have been negotiating reduced restitution deals with certain creditors, but those probably are now out the window. As one source said: “Anything that disrupts the process isn’t good for the process.”

There also is a matter of propriety here, and it is one that the ex-partners seem to have missed. Everyone associated with THT is suffering in some way from the dissolution, but ex-partners are suffering the least. Each of them – the plaintiffs and most others – has found new employment at a salary that would make the average person blush. By filing the petition, however, they basically are saying: “Pay us, and pay us now.”

I don’t begrudge anyone’s efforts to secure what they feel is owned them, but would it have been so bad to wait until some of the vendors get paid? Or how about until some more of the hundreds of back-office staff find new jobs, given that they will receive no severance once formal layoffs occur early next month? I genuinely like some of the ex-partners in this suit, but today have far more respect for those who opted not to join it.

Publishing note: The PE Week Wire will not be published Monday 2/21, in observance of the President’s Day holiday. It will return on Tuesday, in observance of my birthday.

Email [email protected]

AEA Investors, a New York-based private equity firm, has agreed to merge with hedge fund-of-funds and real estate private equity firm Aetos Capital. The combined company reportedly would be worth approximately $7 billion, although specific terms have not been disclosed.

Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. has upped its offer for Toronto-based building products company Masonite International Corp. (NYSE: MHM). Various shareholder groups had indicated that they would not accept the original Cdn$40.20 per share bid, so KKR yesterday raised the amount to Cdn$42.25 per share. The company’s board is unanimously recommending the deal, and has rescheduled its shareholders meeting to March 31. In related news, the deal received EU approval. www.masonite.com

Thomas Stemberg, founder and former CEO of Staples Inc., has joined Highland Capital Partners as a venture partner. www.hcp.com

S5 Wireless Inc., a Draper, Utah-based developer of wireless technologies, has raised over $2.5 million in Series A funding led by vSpring Capital, according to a regulatory filing. www.s5w.com

Intercity, an Istanbul, Turkey-based vehicle rental company, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth capital from Advent International and Turkven Private Equity, according to Dow Jones.

Technology Crossover Ventures and Summit Partners have agreed to acquire a significant minority position in Liquidnet Inc., a New York-based operator of an electronic institutional trading platform. The transaction was first reported by The Deal, and is worth between $200 million and $300 million, which would partially buy out company founders and initial backer TH Lee Putnam Ventures. A formal press release announcing the deal is expected to come later today. Liquidnet last raised venture capital in 2000, when it raised $10 million in Series C funding at a post-money valuation of approximately $200 million. www.liquidnet.com

Zumiez Inc., an Everett, Wash.-based retailer of sports apparel, equipment, footwear and accessories, has filed to raise $57.5 million via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq, under proposed ticker symbol ZUMZ. In 2002, private equity firm Brentwood Private Equity acquired an indirect minority interest in the company via a vehicle called Zumiez Holdings. www.zumiez.com

Millimed Inc., a Swedish maker of minimally-invasive vascular devices, has agreed to acquire Blue Medical Devices BV, a Dutch maker of cardiovascular devices like diamond-coated coronary stents and PTCA catheter systems. No financial terms were disclosed. Millimed has received venture capital funding from such firms as Advent International, Bio Fund Management Oy, Scandinavian Life Science Venture and The Danish Growth Fund (Vaekstfonden). www.millimed.com

YankeeTek Ventures has decided to close its doors, after being unable to raise its second fund. The Cambridge, Mass.-based firm plans to retain most of its board seats, and has enough dry powder for follow-on financings of existing portfolio companies. It raised $60 million for its inaugural fund in 2000, and had been looking to secure an additional $150 million. www.yankeetek.com

NIF Ventures and SMBC Capital — the venture capital arms of Daiwa Securities Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, respectively — have agreed to merge, effective October 1. The combined group will have approximately $1.06 billion under management. In addition, the two parent companies plan to discuss details of reorganizing and reinforcing their buyout businesses. www.nifventures.com

General Atlantic LLC (f.k.a. General Atlantic Partners) has put a succession plan in place. Firm co-founder Steven Denning has transitioned from a managing partner role to that of chairman, while managing director William Ford has assumed the title of president. www.gapartners.com

Michael Hunkapiller, founder of both Applied Biosystems and Celera Genomics, has joined Alloy Ventures as a general partner. He will focus on early-stage opportunities in the life sciences industry. www.alloyventures.com

Thomas Budd has joined the London office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, as a partner and co-chair of the firm’s global finance practice. He previously served as a partner in the UK finance practice of Jones Day. www.gibsondunn.com

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17

Naval Gazing in Misery. Oh, and Songbird

Ever have a well-planned trip that goes horribly wrong at every turn? If so, we should grab a beer and commiserate. My plan yesterday was to grab the 2pm US Air shuttle from Boston to New York, check into the Hudson Hotel, work for a while and then head over to the Buyouts Magazine re-launch party at 6pm. So I filled the trusty Pontiac’s tires (at the second gas station, since the first one had covered its air machine with mountains of grimy snow), and headed to Logan Airport. Once there, however, I learned that an international airport can actually run out of parking. The result was a ride to some outsourced parking lot in Chelsea, and a shuttle bus back to Logan (so much for the 2pm shuttle). The flight, of course, was delayed by an unexpected rainstorm in NY, so I bailed on the hotel and went straight to the party.

For a few hours, everything once again felt right with the world. I got to meet a number of PE Week Wire readers, get some good dish and have a few drinks on my corporate overlord’s dime. Then over to the Hudson, which didn’t have the Internet access it promised (they only have wireless, and my laptop simply is not that advanced). So I left, wandered the streets for 30 minutes and ended up at a Holiday Inn which also didn’t have wired high-speed access (despite saying they did on the phone). New plan: Don’t write the Wire from my hotel room. Just hope that I can get into my office the next morning without proper ID (only good decision I made all day). After putting out a small fire in my room (unsteady plastic lampshade on an exposed bulb), I settled in for nearly six hours of sleep.

The upshot of all this whining is that the info promised yesterday has been delayed (I simply didn’t get enough time to work). In the meantime, there is an update to the Songbird Hearing saga, as first reported here a couple of weeks back. It seems that the company recently received a minority investment from Procter & Gamble, which has some in-house technology that could enhance Songbird’s disposable hearing aid product. It also, of course, has a massive marketing machine. Now we Bostonians aren’t big fans of P&G right now (lots of Gillette layoffs coming), but it’s heartening to see that Songbird is being salvaged instead of scrapped. It’s taken some serious valuation haircuts along the way – from $140M post-money in late 2000 to just $45M post-money in 2002 – but still has a worthy “big idea” at its core. More on this in Monday’s print edition of PE Week.

Finally, are you a VC-backed entrepreneur who wants to know how your compensation matches up to your peer down Sand Hill Road (or any other such stretch of asphalt)? If so, participate in a compensation study being conducted by an HBS professor, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr and Ernst & Young. All participants get a copy of the results.

FibroGen Inc., a South San Francisco-based drug discovery company with a specific interest in tissue fibrosis and hypoxia-inducible factor biology, has raised $100 million in Series F funding. Adage Capital Management led the deal, with other participants including Apothecary Capital, Brookside Capital Partners (an affiliate of Bain Capital), Corriente Biotechnology Partners, Duquesne Capital Management, Goldman Sachs, Janus Capital Group, Merlin BioMed Group, Och-Ziff Capital Management, The Rosewood Corp., Sigma Capital Management, T. Rowe Price, Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., SMBC Capital and Bio Fund Management. www.fibrogen.com

Inverness Medical Innovations Inc. (Amex: IMA) has agreed to acquire Ischemia Technologies Inc., a Denver-based provider of diagnostic tests for cardiovascular and acute care medicines. The deal is structured as a reverse triangular merger, which involves approximately $22.4 million of Inverness common stock. Ischemia has raised over $26 million in VC funding since its 1997 inception, from firms like Advantage Capital Partners, Sequel Venture Partners, Wolf Ventures, Murphree Venture Partners, Piedmont Venture Partners, Roser Ventures, Quest Capital Partners, White Pines Management and KB Partners. www.ischemia.com

VC disbursements by Canadian firms increased by 5.88% in 2004, according to figures compiled by the Canadian Venture Capital Association and MacDonald & Associates. The same report finds that fundraising for Canadian firms decreased by approximately 15 percent. www.canadavc.com

Art.com Inc. of Raleigh, N.C. has raised $30 million in a VC funding round led by Polaris Venture Partners.

Vativ Technologies Inc., a San Diego provider of DSP-based silicon solution for high-bandwidth transport over copper, has raised $11 million in Series B funding. InnoCal Venture Capital led the deal, and was joined by return backers Redpoint Venture Capital, Mission Ventures and Qualcomm co-founder Andrew Viterbi. www.vativ.com

TA Associates has taken a minority position in Microban International Ltd., a New York-based provider of built-in antimicrobial product protection. No financial terms were disclosed. www.microban.com www.ta.com

IM2 Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of e-commerce search solutions, has raised $8 million in Series A funding. Participants included Redpoint Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Cambrian Ventures. www.fatlens.com

Gilde Investment Management has received EU approval for its 118 million euro acquisition of Bekaert SA‘s wire-fencing unit. www.gilde.nl

Apax Partners is one of several parties interested in acquiring Telecom Italia‘s 81% ownership position in Greek mobile telecom company TIM Hellas, according to Dow Jones. The stake could be worth upwards of 1.1 billion euros.

EQT Partners has received EU approval for its 450 million euros buyout of Sweden-based Munksjo Specialty Paper from Jefferson Smurfit Group.

Bouygues SA reportedly has completed the sale of its Saur water treatment business to French private equity firm PAI Partners for approximately 1.04 billion euros. The deal allows Bouygues to retain a 15% ownership stake, and excludes Saur’s Italian and African businesses. www.bouygues.fr

Aberdare Ventures has closed on over $113 million in capital commitments for its third fund, according to a regulatory filing. Limited partners include CalPERS, Princeton University and the DuPont Pension Trust. The filing indicates that Aberdare is looking for upwards of $150 million. www.aberdare.com

The Gulf Venture Capital Association (GVCA) announced its formation, with hopes of supporting the growth of the VC and private equity industries within the Arabian Gulf. www.gulfvca.org

Karl Probst has joined Techno Venture Management as head of the firm’s business software group. He most recently served as managing director of T-Systems GEI and T-Systems Nova, where he was responsible for public markets and the company’s telecom business. www.tvmvc.com

Ashmeet Sidana and Dave Stevens have been named venture partners with Foundation Capital. They both joined the firm last year as entrepreneurs-in-residence. www.foundationcapital.com

Rob Feckner has been elected president of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). He is a glazing specialist for the Napa Valley Unified School District, and was first elected to the CalPERS board in 1998. Robert Carlson, retired chief counsel for the California Department of Transportation, was elected vice president. www.calpers.com

Michael Christenson has joined Computer Associates International Inc. (NYSE: CA) as executive vice president, strategy and business development. He retired last year from Citigroup Global Markets, where he oversaw the firm’s global private equity I-banking, North American Regional I-Banking and Latin American I-Banking. www.ca.com

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16

Gotta Fly…

No time for a column this morning, as I have to catch a plane to New York (plus find some clean clothes and fill two of the trusty Pontiac’s leaky tires). All apologies, but I promise that tomorrow’s edition will contain some news you didn’t already know. Until then, visit our advertisers and register for the Buyouts Symposium.

Leonard Green & Partners has agreed to sell portfolio company Phoenix Scientific Inc. to IVAX Corp.(Amex: IVC) for approximately $271.85 million. The deal includes $196.85 million in cash and $75 million in IVAX common stock, and is expected to close in the second quarter. Phoenix Scientific is a St. Joseph, Mo.-based developer and manufacturer of drugs for the animal health market, and was acquired by Leonard Green in 2002 for approximately $300 million. www.psiqv.com

Cendant Corp. (NYSE: JCD) spin-off Wright Express Corp. has raised $720 million via an IPO, formally ending speculation that it would instead be sold to private equity firms. www.wrightexpress.com

Battery Ventures has lost one investment professional, but added another. The defection was senior associate Larry Cheng, who just joined Fidelity Ventures as a principal. The newbie is venture partner Jason Matlof, who previously served as vice president of marketing and business development for onetime Battery portfolio company Neoteris (acquired by NetScreen in late 2003). www.battery.com www.fidelityventures.com

Andigilog, a Tempe, Ariz.-based flabless semiconductor company, has raised $6.2 million in additional Series A funding, closing out the round with $11 million. Participants in the final tranche included Valley Ventures, Mission Ventures and Palisades Ventures. www.andigilog.com

CommPartners, a Las Vegas-based VoIP facilitator, has raised $15 million in Series A funding from undisclosed backers. www.commpartners.com

Padcom Inc., a Bethlehem, Pa.-based provider of wireless connectivity solutions, has raised $10 million in venture capital funding from return backer Liberty Partners. www.padcomusa.com

SugarCRM Inc., a Cupertino, Calif.-based developer of an open source CRM platform, has raised $5.75 million in Series B funding. Walden International led the round, and was joined by Series A backer Draper Fisher Jurvetson. www.sugarcrm.com

The Blackstone Group has entered the bidding for Enel SpA’s 62.5% stake in Italy-based telecom company Wnd SpA, according to Italian news reports. The offer is worth 7.9 billion euros (including the assumption of 4.9 billion euros in debt), which would value Wind SpA at approximately12.7 billion euros.

Hanover Direct has agreed to sell San Francisco retailer Gump’s to WaldenVC, Stone Canyon Ventures and Sand Spring Holdings, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which would include Gump’s 135 Post Stree store and its catalog and website businesses. www.gumps.com

Veri-Tek International Corp., a Wixom, Mich.-based provider of automotive testing equipment, priced 2.5 million common shares at $6 per share (middle of $5-$7 range), for an IPO take of approximately $15 million. It plans to list on the Amex under ticker symbol VCC. Former majority-owner Quantum Value Management holds a 37.3% post-IPO position. www.veri-tek.com

St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE: STJ) has agreed to acquire Velocimed LLC, a Maple Grove, Minn.-based maker of interventional cardiology devices. The deal is valued $74 million in cash ($84.5M minus $8.5M in Velocimed cash on hand), plus potential milestone payments. It is expected to close in the second quarter. Velocimed has raised over $34 million in venture funding from firms like Warburg Pincus, RiverVest Venture Partners and The Vertical Group. www.velocimed.com www.sjm.com

STI Knowledge Inc., an Atlanta-based business process outsourcing company, has acquired India-based BPO Symphony Data. No financial terms were disclosed. STI Knowledge has raised around $35 million in total venture funding since its 1995 inception, from firms like Mellon Ventures, Petra Capital Partners, BV-Cornerstone Ventures and WestBridge Capital Partners. www.stiknowledge.com www.symphonydata.com

U.S. Wireless Online Inc. (OTC BB: UWRL) has agreed to acquire Air2LAN Inc., a Jackson, Miss.-based provider of wireless broadband solutions. No pricing terms of the all-preferred stock deal were disclosed. A final close is expected to occur by the end of February. Air2LAN has raised approximately $20 million in venture funding from firms like Delta Capital Management, Advantage Capital Partners, EDC Investments and the Louisiana Economic Development Corp. www.uswirelessonline.com www.air2lan.com

TH Lee Putnam Ventures has promoted both Sasha Grutman and Todd Miller to the position of partner. Grutman concentrates on financial and marketing services opportunities, while Miller focuses on deals in the business process outsourcing, offshore services and marketing services sectors. www.thlpv.com

Ted Schlein, a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has joined the board of KP portfolio company Endforce Inc. www.endforce.com

GMT Communications Partners has promoted associates Rupert Shaw and Kerim Turkman to the position of principal. They both joined GMT in 2000, with Shaw previously working in DLJ’s Financial Institutions Group, and Turkman working for Merrill Lynch’s I-banking division. www.gmtpartners.com

David Young has joined real est*te private equity firm NDC Capital Partners as a principal. He previously served as a principal with Greenstreet/Niosi Capital Partners. www.ndccp.com

David Thayer has been named CEO of I-trax Inc. (Amex: DMX), where he previously had served as a board member. Thayer most recently served as founder and senior partner of ab3 Resources, a strategic consulting and private equity inve*tment company. www.i-trax.com

Phil Schlein, a venture partner with U.S. Venture Partners, has joined the board of Oakville Grocery Co., an Oakville, Calif.-based purveyor of fine food and wines. www.oakvillegrocery.com

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15

CalPERS Clarification

Mark Anson of CalPERS still isn’t clarifying the “private equity bubble” argument put forth in Geneva last week, but one of his deputies is picking up the slack. Leon Shahinian, senior investment officer for alternative investments at CalPERS, sent the following email: “My understanding is that Mark’s comments were not part of his prepared speech, rather they were provided to a [Reuters] reporter during, or after, the conference. He cautioned about the overhang in the market and growing competition for private equity deals with new entrants like hedge funds creeping in. I don’t think these remarks are entirely out of the ordinary. We keep a close eye on these trends and will continue to back the best managers who have good results in a variety of market environments. By the way, our year-end numbers looked pretty solid. At 12/31/04, market value of the private equity portfolio was approximately $8.7 billion. For the one-year period, we received $2.8 billion in distributions and outperformed the public markets (Wilshire 2500 Index) by 700 basis points.”

Leon is right that Anson’s remarks aren’t unique – after all, I think they’ve been made in this space a few million times. But while great that CalPERS has made money off its private equity portfolio in the past year, such success is kind of equivalent to CalPERS losing money on its private equity portfolio following the tech market crash a few years back. In other words, almost every private equity LP did well last year, just like almost every private equity LP did poorly in 2001-2002. The real issue regards funds currently receiving commitments from CalPERS, since Anson’s bubble is in the future, not in the rear-view mirror (note: almost all of this discussion has involved late-stage PE and LBO funds, with VC funds playing second-fiddle).

So the real question is what CalPERS – and other LPs — should do going forward, short of significant asset allocation reductions. One solution I’m hearing more and more is to follow a barbell philosophy, whereby LPs focus most of their commitments on mega-funds and micro-funds. There is a growing feeling that the middle-markets are overcrowded right now, and that LPs would prefer a multi-billion-dollar LBO fund that can do what it pleases, rather than a $400 million fund that has to fight, scrape and overpay at auction. This sentiment was most recently expressed by new Blackstone Group president Tony James during an interview with Bloomberg, although he obviously isn’t the most objective person to comment on such matters. It will be interesting to see mid-market LBO fundraising numbers at the end of Q1, and if there is any bite behind all of this bark.

2. Can’t make it to the Demo conference? Well, they’ve brought it to you.

3. Boston continues to lose its homegrown corporations, including Gillette and John Hancock. Negative or positive? Depends which elected official you ask.

Highfields Capital Management, a Boston-based hedge fund manager, has proposed a $3.24 billion leveraged buyout of Circuit City Stores Inc. (NYSE: CC). The public-to-private deal would value Circuit City at $17 per share, which is a 19.47% premium over yesterday’s closing price of $14.23. Highfields currently is Circuit city’s second-largest shareholder, with around a 7% ownership position. Circuit City has retained Goldman Sachs as an advisor.

Solidcore Systems Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of control solutions for embedded systems, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Menlo Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Matrix Partners and Sevin Rosen Funds. www.solidcore.com

AXA Private Equity has closed its third mid-cap LBO fund with 500 million euros in LP commitments. www.axaprivateequity.com

Kapow Technologies AS, a Denmark-based developer of a Web integration software platform, has raised 5.1 million euros in venture funding from Kennet Venture Partners. www.kapowtech.com

TriCipher Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based developer of authentication technology, has spun out of NSD Japan, with $10.1 million in venture capital funding. Backers included ArrowPath Venture Capital, Trident Capital, Intel Capital and Wasatch Venture Capital. www.tricipher.com

Brand New Brands Inc., a Mill Valley, Calif.-based provider of food and beverage products that have clinically-proven health benefits, has raised $15 million in first-round funding. Backers include Burrill & Co., Great Spirit Ventures, Unilever Ventures and Prolog Ventures. www.brandnewbrandsinc.com

Jerini AG, a Berlin, Germany-based drug discovery and development company, has raised 15.5 million euros in additional venture capital, as a follow-on to the 31 million euro round closed last June. NGN Capital and The Bioscience Investment Trust co-led the deal, and were joined by return backers HealthCap, TVM, 3i Group and funds managed by IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft. www.jerini.com

Similarity Systems, a Dublin, Ireland-based provider of data quality management software, has raised $7 million in Series B funding. Trinity Venture Capital led the deal, and was joined by return backers like Delta Partners. www.similaritysystems.com

Aesthera Corp., a Livermore, Calif.-based, has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding. MedVenture Associates led the deal, and was joined by fellow new backer Adams Street Partners. The company has raised $8.5 million in total VC funding.

Palamida Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of software component license management solutions, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and WaldenVC. www.palamida.com

Norstel AB, a Swedish maker of silicon carbide crystals, wafers and epitaxial layers. Backers include Northzone Ventures, Eqvitec Partners and Creandum. In addition, the company has received 6 million euros from the Swedish government. It is a spinout from Finnish semiconductor materials company Okmetic Oyj. www.norstel.com

SentitO Networks Inc., a Rockville, Md.-based provider of VoIP switching equipment and service delivery solutions, has received an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from Columbus Nova Investments. The infusion is part of SentitO’s previously-announced Series D round, and was made in conjunction with a strategic reseller deal made with Columbus Nova subsidiary Nova Telecom. www.sentito.com

Banta Corp. (NYSE: BN) has agreed to sell its single-use healthcare products subsidiary to an affiliate of Fidelity Capital Investors Inc. The deal is valued at $67 million in cash, and is expected to close later this quarter. Banta Healthcare Group Ltd. is based in Neenah, Wisconsin. www.banta.com

Brockway Moran & Partners has completed a $121 million recapitalization of portfolio company Woodstream Corp., a Lititz, Pa.-based maker of pest control products. The deal included $31 million in financing from Allied Capital, and returns more than 60% of Brockway Moran’s original invested capital, with the firm still retaining 100% ownership. It also facilitated Woodstream’s acquisition of Knoxville, Tenn.-based animal containment company Fi-Shock Inc. www.woodstreamcorp.com

Crescent Capital Investments Inc. has purchased Tender Loving Care Health Care Services (TLC) out of bankruptcy. No pricing terms were disclosed for the deal, which included a senior credit facility arranged by Wells Fargo Foothill. An affiliate of D.B. Zwirn Finance, LLC also provided senior note financing. TLC is a Lake Success-based provider of Medicare home health care services with 66 locations in 20 states and the District of Columbia. In conjunction with the financing, TLC has renamed Wes Perry as president and CEO, a position he had held until joining Crescent Capital as a consultant in 2003. www.tlcathome.com www.crescentcapital.com

Jinro Corp., a South Korean liquor company, report

Take your pick!

  • Buyouts delivers exclusive news and analysis about private equity deals, fundraising, top-quartile managers and more. Get your FREE trial or subscribe now.
  • VC Journal provides exclusive news and analysis about venture capital deals, fundraising, top-quartile investors and more. Get your FREE trial or subscribe now.