Bill Murray, a director at Canadian private equity firm Regimen Partners, has been appointed an advisor to the board of directors of eQube Gaming Ltd (TSX-V: EQG), an Edmonton-based provider of community and charitable gaming solutions. Murray will formally join the board subject to regulatory approvals. Prior to joining Regimen in 2015, Murray had a 20-year career as an investment banker at several firms, including National Bank Financial. Regimen’s recent deals include its January investment in Central Technology Services Corp.
VersaCold Logistic Services has agreed to acquire Coastal Pacific Xpress, a Surrey, B.C.-based refrigerated carrier specializing in the shipping of perishable and ambient products across North America. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2016. The proposed acquisition follows VersaCold’s buy last month of Gary Heer Transport Ltd. Based in Vancouver, Versacold is a supply chain solutions company. It is backed by Canadian real estate private equity firm KingSett Capital and Ivanhoé Cambridge, an affiliate of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
OPTrust, the investor and manager of the OPSEU Pension Plan, has reported net investment income for 2015 of $1.4 billion, resulting in a net 8 percent return. This helped to increase the Toronto-based pension plan’s total net assets to $18.4 billion at the end of December, compared to $17.5 billion a year ago. Private equity investments accounted for 9.2 percent of total assets last year, and returned 14.4 percent, according to OPTrust’s 2015 financial statements. Infrastructure investments accounted for 12.8 percent of total assets, and returned 7 percent.
Birch Communications Inc has confirmed a previously announced agreement to acquire select assets and customers of Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc, a full-service telecommunications services provider. No financial terms were released. The deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, will help the Atlanta, GA-based Birch expand its services footprint to include all of the major cities in Canada, the company said. As reported by PE Hub Canada in January, Etobicoke, Ont.-based Primus obtained creditor protection earlier this year. The company was acquired by U.S. private equity firm York Capital Management in a US$129 million deal in mid-2013.
IAM Private Debt Group has announced the provision of a $28 million loan to Data Group Ltd (TSX: DGI), a Brampton, Ontario-based provider of managed business communications services. Data Group, which was recently rebranded as DATA Communications Management, plans to use the loan in the refinancing of its senior credit facilities. IAM Private Debt Group, an affiliate of Canadian alternative assets manager Integrated Asset Management Corp, raised $672 million in the final close of its fifth private corporate debt fund in November 2015.
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ has invested $5 million in Les Serres Lefort Inc, a Ste-Clotilde, Québec-based producer of organic vegetables sold across North America. Founded in 1984 by President Sylvain Lefort, Serres Lefort grows and markets greenhouse vegetables under its VÔG brand. It also accounts for about 65 percent of Québec vegetable transplants for outdoor farmers. The company plans to use the funds provided by the Fonds to help build additional greenhouse capacity. The Fonds said Serres Lefort will by the end of the year be Québec’s largest greenhouse producer on a single site.
Daisy Intelligence Corp, an artificial intelligence software-as-a-service company, has secured an investment from members of Spark Angel Network (SAN). No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Toronto, Daisy Intelligence helps retailers and insurance firms improve their operations using automated decision systems. Formerly known as Makeplain Corp, the company will use the proceeds of its investment to accelerate sales and marketing activity and build its team. SAN is an angel organization based in southeastern Ontario.
Distinct Infrastructure Group Inc (TSX-V: DUG) has acquired Mega Diesel Excavating Ltd, a provider of hydro vac, vacuum truck and excavating services in the Edmonton region. No financial terms were released. Distinct Infrastructure, a Toronto-based utility and telecom infrastructure contractor, said the deal supports it strategy to expand operations and the company’s presence in Western Canada. The acquisition is the first completed by Distinct Infrastructure since it received $20 million in subordinated debt funding from Canadian specialty finance firm Crown Capital Partners last November. The funding is also intended to support growth plans focused on Ontario.
Toronto-based maintenance software provider Maintenance Assistant Inc has raised $5 million in a Series A financing led by BuildGroup, a U.S. venture capital firm. Launched in 2012, Maintenance Assistant has developed a cloud-based software platform that helps businesses to handle corrective, preventative and condition-based maintenance for equipment and assets. It plans to use the proceeds of the Series A round to fuel growth in the mid-market and enterprise segments. It will do this by adding to its team, bringing more resources to sales and marketing, and advancing product development. Maintenance Assistant has also been backed by Canadian angel investors.
Swedish pharmaceutical development company Aprea AB has raised US$51 million (SEK 437 million) is a Series B financing. The round was co-led by U.S. venture capital firms Versant Ventures and 5AM Ventures, and was joined by Canadian healthcare investor Sectoral Asset Management, among others. Aprea will use the funds for clinical development of its anti-cancer compound, which targets tumor suppressor proteins. Aprea is a portfolio company of Swedish life sciences investment firm Karolinska Development AB. Last August, Sectoral and Knight Therapeutics Inc invested in U.S.-based biotechnology company Advaxis Inc.
D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) has agreed to a strategic financing partnership with Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo). Under the partnership, AIMCo will provide up to US$500 million to support the acquisition of long-term contracted renewable energy assets by DESRI. DESRI, an affiliate of New York-based investment and technology development firm D. E. Shaw Group, has a portfolio of North American projects with about 1,000 megawatts of capacity. Edmonton-based AIMCo manages $90 billion of pension plan and other fund assets.
PledgeMusic has agreed to acquire Set.fm, an Austin, Texas-based online platform and app suite that enables the sharing and selling of audio recordings of live performances in real-time. No financial terms were released. London-based PledgeMusic, which also agreed to buy NoiseTrade, said the combination of the companies will create “a unique platform” that supports the full life-cycle of recordings, tours and the “constantly-changing forms of artistic output.” Set.fm, which was founded in 2011, raised funding from several investors. Canadian venture capital firm Golden Venture Partners led its $1.2 million seed round in 2013.
France’s Airbus Group has completed its acquisition of 100 percent of the shares of Navtech Inc, a Waterloo, Ontario-based provider of flight operations solutions. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which was announced in December. Mike Hulley, Navtech’s current CEO, will continue to lead the business, Airbus said. Navtech, whose origins stretch back to the 1980s, has been backed by U.S. private equity firm ABRY Partners since 2005, the year the company bought European Aeronautical Group. It also received an investment from Veronis Suhler Stevenson in 2013.
Unito, a Canadian project management apps integrator, has secured $575,000 in financing, according to Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator Founder Institute. The investors were Canadian venture capital firm Real Ventures, U.S. investor Right Side Capital Management, and Yul Ventures, the seed fund of Pascal Pilon, CEO of Montréal startup Landr Audio. Unito will use the investment’s proceeds to double its employee base in the months ahead and increase its rate of growth, Founder Institute said. Launched last year by Marc Boscher, the company is a 2015 graduate of a cohort of Founder Institute’s Montréal chapter.
Spring Loaded Technology, a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based knee bracing technology startup, has obtained $1.9 million in seed-stage financing. The investment came from Canadian venture capital firm Build Ventures, and adds to the $1.8 million raised by the company in late 2014 from Innovacorp and other backers. Spring Loaded, which is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for its latest bionic knee brace product, LevitationTM, also said it has won a $1 million military contract with the Canadian Department of National Defence. Last June, the company’s co-founders, Chris Cowper-Smith and Bob Garrish, won the 2015 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award.
LifeRaft, a Halifax-based social media software provider to the public safety industry, has raised over $2 million in financing. Of that total, $1.4 million was a strategic investment from an undisclosed international partner. None of the other investors were disclosed. Founded in 2014, LifeRaft’s technology platform identifies potential threats to public safety by gathering actionable intelligence from all major social media channels. Led by Co-Founder and CEO John Gallinaugh, the company plans to use the funds to grow its North American market presence and add to sales, customer support and development teams.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) said it has agreed to participate in the initial development of Paradise Birmingham, a 1.8 million square-foot, mixed-use project located outside of London, United Kingdom. CPPIB will commit to a 50 percent share of the £150 million ($285 million) first phase of the £1 billion ($1.9 billion) project, which is jointly owned by Hermes Investment Management and Birmingham City Council. The investment by CPPIB will extend the pension fund manager’s regional joint venture with Hermes at Leeds’ Wellington Place, announced in 2014.
Anges Québec members have provided $200,000 in funding to ISIOS-PPM Inc, a Montréal-based software startup focused on integrated project portfolio management solutions for private and public organizations. Sebastien Massicotte, executive vice president of IN-RGY, was one of the investors. ISIOS, which was founded by Serge Diotte and François Diotte, will use the proceeds of the deal to increase marketing of the company’s product and further develop its technology platform. A network of 180 investors, Anges Québec has been responsible for investments in 59 early-stage companies.