PE Week Wire — 7/26/06

HCA (NYSE: HCA) has agreed to be sold in what would be the largest leveraged buyout in history. The deal is valued at approximately $33 billion, including the assumption or repayment of around $11.7 billion in debt. Equity sponsors include Bain Capital, KKR, Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity and HCA founder Thomas F. Frist Jr. Under terms of the agreement, HCA may solicit superior proposals from third parties during the next 50 days.www.hcahealthcare.com

Prestwick Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based drug company focused on CNS disorders like chorea associated with Huntington’s disease, has raised $60 million in Series C funding. Warburg Pincus led the deal, and was joined by return backers Atlas Venture, BA Venture Partners, CNF Investments, Pequot Ventures, Sofinnova Ventures and Vivo Ventures. The deal is tranched-out with an initial $30 million payment and the remaining $30 million based on certain undisclosed milestones. www.prestwickpharma.com

Amvescap PLC has agreed to acquire WL Ross & Co., a $3.5 billion financial restructuring company run by Wilbur Ross. The initial purchase price is $100 million, with five annual earn-outs each capped at $55 million. www.wlross.com

    VC Deals

U.S.FXall, a London-based online foreign exchange platform, has agreed to sell a minority ownership stake to Technology Crossover Ventures for $77.5 million. www.fxall.com

Sequans Communications, a Paris, France?based provider of fixed and mobile WiMAX chips, has raised $24 million in third-round funding. Kennet Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Add Partners, Cap Decisif, T-Source, SG Asset Management and Vision Capital. www.sequans.com

Russian Logistic Service, a Moscow-based provider of regional logistics in Russia and Kazakhstan, has raised $20 million from Great Circle Capital. www.greatcirclecapital.com

NextMedium Inc., a Los Angeles-based operator of a brand integration advertising platform, has raised $6 million in Series B funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Ascend Venture Group and Globespan Capital Partners. www.nextmedium.com

Relievant Medsystems Inc., a Hayward, Calif.-based developer of a medical device to address chronic back pain, has raised $5.05 million in Series B funding at a post-money valuation of approximately $11.06 million. Backers include BCM Technologies, Canaan Partners and Onset Ventures.

Xceedium Inc., a Jersey City, N.J.-based provider of secure IT operations management solutions, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. ArrowPath Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by Nationwide Mutual Capital. www.xceedium.com

CellFor Inc., a Vancouver-based provider of tree seedlings for reforestation, has raised Cnd$6.3 million in new VC funding. This brings its overall venture capitalization to more than Cnd$38 million, from firms like ATP Capital, CSFB Private Equity, GrowthWorks Capital and BDC Venture Capital. www.cellfor.com

CebaTech Inc., an Eatontown, N.J.-based provider of ESL tools and intellectual property modules, has raised $4 million in Series C funding. 2M Technology Ventures led the deal, and was joined by fellow return backers SAS Investors and NJTC Venture Fund. www.cebatech.com

Rajant Corp., a Malvern, Pa.-based provider of non-fixed WLAN products, has raised $3.25 million in Series B funding from Battelle Ventures and its affiliate Innovation Valley Partners. www.rajant.com

Panraven Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of a services that lets travelers share their stories online, has secured $1.75 million of a $2.5 million Series B round. Shareholders include Draper Associates. www.panraven.com

GateRocket Inc., a Bedford, Mass.-based developer of electrical engineering tools, has secured $606,500 of a $1 million Series A round, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Common Angels and Echelon Ventures. www.gaterocket.com

Aggregate Knowledge Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of online content ranking solutions, has raised $230,000 in Series A funding led by First Round Capital, according to a regulatory filing. www.aggregateknowledge.com

 

 

France Telecom has entered into exclusive negotiations to sell its 54% stake in directories subsidiary PagesJaunes to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. for ?3.312 billion.

Royal Philips Electronics NV (NYSE: PHG) shares jumped this morning on a report that private equity firms may pay up to ?8 billion for the company’s semiconductor unit. The Wall Street Journal reports that the three bidding groups are: KKR and Silver Lake Partners; Permira, TPG and Blackstone Group; and Bain Capital, Apax Partners and Francisco Partners. www.philips.com

One Equity Partners has agreed to sponsor a public-to-private management buyout of BPO provider NCO Group Inc. (Nasdaq: NCOG) for $1.27 billion, or $27.50 per share. www.ncogroup.com

Diamond Castle Holdings has completed its acquisition of NES Rentals Holdings Inc., a Chicago-based provider of aerial and general equipment rental and traffic safety services. The deal is valued at approximately $850 million, including $18.75 per outstanding share in cash. www.nesrentals.com

Apax Partners has acquired Mobile Satellite Communications SpA from France Telecom for ?60 million. www.apax.com www.francetelecom.com

Texas Pacific Group is among those interested in acquiring BOC Edwards from UK industrial gasses company BOC, according to The Financial Times Deutschland. BOC Edwards provides gas and services to the semiconductor market, and also is being courted by Applied Materials and Switzerland’s Unaxis.

Wafra Partners has bought two cabinet makers from Dyad Partners: Custom Wood Products of Roanoke, Va. and Rich Maid Kabinetry of Myerstown, Pennsylvania. No financial terms were disclosed. www.wafrapartners.com

    PE-Backed IPOs

GateHouse Media Inc., a Fairport, N.Y.-based community newspaper publisher, has filed to raise $200 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the NYSE, with Goldman Sachs and Wachovia Securities serving as co-lead underwriters. Fortress Investment Holdings has a 95.8% pre-IPO ownership stake. www.gatehousemedia.com

North American Energy Partners Inc., an Alberta, Canada?based provider of resource services to oil and natural gas companies, has filed to raise $250 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the NYSE, with Credit Suisse, UBS and Jefferies & Co. serving as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders include The Sterling Group, Genstar Capital, Perry Strategic Capital and Stephens Group. www.naepi.ca

    PE Exits

CVC Capital Partners has agreed to sell Danish building materials company DT Group to Wolseley PLC for approximately ?1.5 billion (including the assumption of ?484 million in debt). www.dtgroup.dk

Verizon Directories Corp., a subsidiary of Verizon (NYSE: VZ), has acquired the assets of Inceptor Inc., a Maynard, Mass.-based provider of search marketing technology. No financial terms were disclosed. Inceptor has raised around $20 million in VC funding since its 1999 inception, from firms like SI Ventures, CrossBow Ventures, Mesco Ltd., Wexford Capital and InCentive Capital Group. www.verizonyellowpages.com www.inceptor.com

Wireless Matrix Corp. (TSX: WRX) has agreed to pay approximately $11 million to acquire MobileAria Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of mobile resource management and mobile workforce connectivity solutions. Delphi Automotive held a 71% stake in MobileAria, with the sale being approved by the bankruptcy court currently overseeing Delphi. Other MobileAria shareholders included Mayfield and Palm Ventures. @Road had originally won the bankruptcy auction for MobileAria, but could not close the deal because of capability concerns voiced by major MobileAria customer Verizon. www.mobilearia.com

 

Woosh Wireless, an Auckland, Australia-based provider of wireless voice and data services, has acquired New Zealand ISP QuickSilver for an undisclosed amount. Woosh has raised VC funding from firms like Clarity Partners, I-Cap Partners and the Kuwait Finance House. www.woosh.com

Neiman Marcus Group has, at least temporarily, pulled Kate Spade from the auction block due to flagging sales, according to the NY Post. Neiman Marcus was acquired last year in a $5.1 billion public-to-private buyout by Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus. www.neimanmarcusgroup.com

AutoTradeCenter Inc., a Mesa, Ariz.-based provider of B2B automotive remarketing services, has agreed to merge with rival Onlane Inc. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which is expected to close within the next month. AutoTradeCenter shareholders include August Capital, Madison Dearborn Partners and Sciens Capital Partners. www.autotradecenter.com www.onlane.com

 

PODH Private Equity Ltd. of Switzerland has closed its third fund-of-fund with ?296 million in capital commitments. The vehicle will primarily back European middle-market buyout funds, and also make some direct investments. www.lodh.com

Tate & Lyle PLC has formally launched its corporate venture capital arm with a $45 million inaugural fund commitment. The vehicle will be led by managing partner Simon Barnes (previously with GIMV VC) and David Atkinson (former head of the Laboratory of Cotton Biotech in Signapore), and will focus on next-generation food ingredients, industrial ingredients, biomaterials and biofuels. www.tateandlyle.co.uk

Doughty Hanson & Co. has closed its second European real estate private equity fund with ?560 million in capital commitments. www.doughtyhanson.com

Nate Davis has joined XM Satellite Radio as president and chief operating officer. He most recently served as an executive-in-residence with Columbia Capital. www.xmradio.com

Bart Busby has joined SunTrust Robinson Humphrey as an Atlanta-based vice president of I-banking. He previously was with Wachovia Securities. www.rhco.com

Carl Liederman has joined the Geneva office of Winston & Strawn LLP as a partner. He previously ran the European M&A practice for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. www.winston.com

 

of Switzerland has closed its third fund-of-fund with ?296 million in capital commitments. The vehicle will primarily back European middle-market buyout funds, and also make some direct investments. www.lodh.com

, an Auckland, Australia-based provider of wireless voice and data services, has acquired New Zealand ISP QuickSilver for an undisclosed amount. Woosh has raised VC funding from firms like Clarity Partners, I-Cap Partners and the Kuwait Finance House. www.woosh.com

has agreed to sell Danish building materials company DT Group to Wolseley PLC for approximately ?1.5 billion (including the assumption of ?484 million in debt). www.dtgroup.dk

, a Fairport, N.Y.-based community newspaper publisher, has filed to raise $200 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the NYSE, with Goldman Sachs and Wachovia Securities serving as co-lead underwriters. Fortress Investment Holdings has a 95.8% pre-IPO ownership stake. www.gatehousemedia.com

venture capital firms disbursed $6.73 billion into 619 deals during Q2 2006, according to data released today by Ernst & Young and VentureOne. This is the highest quarterly total since Q1 2001. www.ey.com