PE Week Wire — Friday 1/30

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EyeTech Pharmaceuticals Inc. will begin trading on the Nasdaq today under ticker symbol EYET, after pricing 6.5 million shares of common stock at $21 per shares (above its $18-$20 offering range). When the New York-based company filed its original S-1 last September, it was only looking to raise $100 million. In the end, however, Eyetech secured $136.5 million. Major Eyetech shareholders include J.P. Morgan Partners, BB Biotech AG, Schroder Ventures, Pfizer Inc. and MPM Capital. The company raised over $165 million in total VC funding. www.eyetk.com

 

Greenhill Capital Partners and Lime Rock Partners have completed their previously announced acquisition of U.S. Exploration Inc. (AMEX: UXP), a Denver-based oil and gas company. The official buyer on the $53.3 million deal was U.S. Exploration LLC, which was formed by former Ballard Petroleum CEO Steven Durrett for the purpose of acquiring United States Exploration. Green Hill and Lime Rock are the holding company’s principal shareholders.

 

Paradigm Genetics Inc. (Nasdaq: PDGM) has agreed to acquire TissueInformatics Inc., a Pittsburgh-based provider of pathology software for the quantitative analysis of tissue changes during drug discovery. The all-stock transaction includes the immediate issuance of 3.4 million shares of Paradigm Genetics stock (which closed trading yesterday at $1.28 per share) and approximately 2.7 million in additional shares based on the achievement of performance milestones. TissueInformatics has raised over $17 million in venture capital funding since its 1998 inception, including a $12.5 million infusion in early 2002 at a post-money valuation of approximately $28.5 million. Company investors include The aurora Funds, Birchmere Ventures, The Future Fund, Manufacturer’s Life Insurance Co., Motorola Ventures and Techno Venture Management. www.tissueinformatics.com

 

OpenReach Inc., an East Brunswick, N.J.-based provider of virtual private networking (VPN) software and services, has raised $7 million in Series A-1 recap funding. Investors included VantagePoint Venture Partners and Sofinnova Ventures. The company now has raised nearly $60 million in venture capital funding since its 1999 inception. www.openreach.com

 

Marathon Technologies Corp., a Boxborough, Mass.-based , has raised $8.8 million in new venture capital funding. Atlas Venture and Longworth Venture Partners co-led the deal, and were joined by Presidio Venture Partners. As part of the investment, Axel Bichara of Atlas Venture and Paul Margolis of Longworth Venture Partners will join the Marathon board of directors. www.marathontechnologies.com

 

Advent International has won Bulgarian government approval to acquire a 65% stake in state-run Bulgarian Telecommunications Co. for €280 million (approx $348 million). The deal is expected to be signed by February 20, and includes an agreement by Advent to lay off no more than 4,000 of the company’s 24,800 employees.

 

Quantum Value Partners has acquired the Monroe Engineering/Pro Motor Car subsidiary of Noble International Ltd. (Nasdaq: NOBL) for $5.5 million. www.nobleintl.com

 

Lightyear Capital LLC has agreed to acquire Ripon Cogeneration, the owner and operator of two electric generating facilities in California, from Tractebel Power Inc., a subsidiary of Suez SA. Other investors include Rockland Capital Energy Investments LLC and D. Milne Associates LLC. Deal terms were not disclosed.

 

The Financial Times is reporting that UK private equity firm Permira is in advanced talks to acquire German telecom group Debitel, which is currently owned by Swisscom. The report estimates the transactional value at €1.2 billion (approx. $1.49 billion). www.debitel.com

 

Lucinda Stewart has been promoted to the position of partner at OVP Venture Partners. She joined the Kirkland, Wash.-based firm three years ago as a principal, and has focused on investment opportunities in the software infrastructure and wireless technology sectors. Prior to joining OVP, Stewart worked for two years at VC firm Frazier & Co. and as an investment banker with Donaldson, Luftkin & Jenrette. www.ovp.com

 

Nkosana Moyo, the former industry and international trade minister for Zimbabwe, has been named head of Africa CDC Capital Partners. After resigning from his ministerial job in 2001, he spent two years working with the International Finance Corp. (IFC).

 

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP has named eight new partners, which is its largest partnership class since 1988. Among the new partners is Christopher Doyle, who represents a number of private equity funds.

 

Quest Software Inc. (Nasdaq: QSFT) has agreed to acquire Aelita Software Inc., a Dublin, Ohio-based provider of systems management solutions. The deal is valued at approximately $115 million, and could close by the end of March. Aelita has raised venture capital funding from Insight Venture Partners. www.aelita.com

 

Palatin Technologies Inc. (AMEX: PTN), a Cranbury, N.J.-based biopharmaceutical company focused on melanocortin-based therapeutics, has raised $22.7 million in PIPE financing. The company sold approximately seven million common stock shares at $3.25 per share to investors like Alexandra Investment Management, Lurie Investments Inc., Albert Fried & Co., Elliott Associates, Perry Partners International Inc., Deutsche Bank AG London, Clariden Biotechnology Equity Fund and Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Co. www.palatin.com

 

Micros-to-Mainframes Inc. (Nasdaq: MTMC) has received a $25 million PIPE investment from Pequot Ventures. The deal is tranched out, which the initial investment involving $7 million of preferred stock and warrants. Pequot is not obligated to purchase the additional tranches.

NEWS FROM THURSDAY 1/29

Waters Corp. (NYSE: WAT) has agreed to acquire NuGenesis Technologies Corp., a Westborough, Mass.-based provider of software for scientific data management systems. The deal is valued at approximately $43 million, and is expected to close by the end of March. NuGenesis has raised over $40 million in venture capital funding since its 1996 inception, including a $26 million mezzanine round in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $86 million. Company investors include BancBoston Ventures, Brentwood Venture Capital, Lighthouse Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners, St. Paul Venture Capital and TA Associates. www.nugenesis.com

 

Wilbur Ross and Philppe Hguyen today announced the formation of a joint venture named IPE Ross. Based in Paris, the new effort will sponsor a €250 million (approx. $310 million) French private equity fund – IPE Expansion Fund – that will invest in leveraged buyouts and build-ups across both the public and private sectors. Ross is CEO and chairman of WL Ross & Co., while Nguen founded Investors in Private Equity in 2002.

 

ITC Financial Services LLC, a West Point, Ga.-based financial services startup focused on the non-banking, teen and immigrant markets, has raised $54 million. Institutional investors included Bessemer Venture Partners, Noro-Mosley Partners, Ballast Point Ventures and The Burton Partnerships. The company began operations last July and acquired ECM Financial Services LLC last September. Next month it will begin offering “stored value cards” over  the  counter at retail outlets and through a direct sales force as a payroll product.  www.ecmfs.com/content/home.asp

 

Cyclacel Ltd., a Dundee, Scotland-based biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology, has raised $39 million in Series D funding. New investors included Societe Generale Asset Management Alternative Investments, Carnegie Fund, DC Thomson & Co., NIF Ventures, Quest for Growth and UOB Venture Technology Investments. Return backers included BankInvest Asset Management, Biomedical Sciences Investment Fund-EDB Investments, HBM Partners, INVESCO Private Capital, Lloyds Development Capital, GeneChem Management, Merifin Capital, Merlin Biosciences, Noble Grossart, Northern Ventures, Quester Capital Management, Scottish Equity Partners and Temasek Holdings. The company now has raised approximately $123 million since its January 1996 spinout from the University of Dundee. www.cyclacel.com

 

Eviant Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of supply chain management solutions, has raised $9.5 million in Series 3 funding. Company shareholders include Kleiner Perkins Caufiled & Byers, Altos Partners, Recovery Equity Investors, GRP Partners and Kline Hawkes Pacific.

 

BioTrove Inc., a Woburn, Mass.-based biotech company focused on the development of nano-fluidic drug discovery platforms, has raised $10.9 million in Series B funding. Investors include Catalyst Health and Technology Partners, CB Health Ventures, Zero Stage Capital and BioFrontier Partners. www.biotrove.com

 

Model N Inc., a South San Francisco-based developer of revenue execution software, has raised $11 million in new venture funding. Model N will use the new capital to expand into the life sciences market. Meritech Capital Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Accel Partners and Accel-KKR. www.modeln.com

 

Kyak Interactive Corp., a Princeton, N.J.-based software company focused on the mobile gaming market,  has raised $11.75 million in Series A funding. VantagePoint Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by TL Ventures and EnerTech Capital. www.kayakInteractive.com

 

Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst has agreed to acquire Persona Inc. (TSX: PSA), a Newfoundland, Canada-based cable operator, in a transaction valued at approximately Cdn406 million (US$305.15 million). Other participating private equity investors include TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners and CIBC Capital Partners. Upon completion of the transaction, Persona will cease to be a public company. www.personainc.ca

 

The New York Post is reporting that North Castle Partners is putting its Leiner Health Products Group Inc. portfolio company on the auction block. The deal could fetch between $650 million to $750 million.

 

KB Toys Inc., a Bain Capital portfolio company that declared bankruptcy late last year, said yesterday that it would close at least 375 of its stores and lay off up to 3,500 employees. The moves are part of a restructuring process designed to revamp KB toys before this year’s holiday shopping season. 

 

Dow Jones is reporting that Euroventures Capital Advisory has held a first €31 million closing on its Euroventures Hungary III fund, which will be structured to allow Hungarian pension systems to invest in private equity.

 

The Times of London is reporting that a quarter of former 3i Group investors have begun talks to raise a new £300 million fund. Among the new partnership are Tom Sweet-Escott and Chris Graham.

 

NEWS FROM WEDNESDAY 1/28

Castle Harlan has agreed to sell portfolio company American Achievement Corp., an Austin, Texas-based provider of high school and college class rings and yearbooks. The buyer is a new company organized and managed by Fenway Partners, and the total transaction value is approximately $416 million.

 

Chris Reilly has been namedColorado Public Employees’ Retirement System’s director of alternative investments, in charge of overseeing the pension fund’s $2.7 billion private equity portfolio. Reilly joined CoPERA’s alternative investments group in 2001 and most recently served as one of its portfolio managers. Prior to joining CoPERA, he held positions with Deutsche Bank Securities and Salomon Smith Barney in New York. Reilly replaces Kevin Kester, who left the organization in December. www.copera.org

 

Tak’asic Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based maker of dedicated imaging processors and solutions, has raised $16.25 million in Series C funding. JVP led the deal, and was joined fellow new investor Crossbridge Venture Partners of Japan. Return backers included Sofinnova Partners, Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, Ventech, SPEF Venture and Innovacom. www.takasic.com

 

Saegis Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Half Moon Bay, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company, has raised $2 million in new Series B funding from The Stanley Medical Research Institute. The new capital will be used to help launch human clinical trials of SGS518, a drug aimed at improving learning and memory. Saegis announced a $30 million initial close on its Series B funding round last fall. www.saegispharma.com

 

EnOcean GmbH, a Munich-based provider of battery-less radio frequency technology, has raised 4.4 million (approx. $5.35 million) in second-round funding. New investors 3i Group co-led the deal, and was joined by return backers Wellington Partners, Siemens Venture Capital, EnjoyVenture Management and BayTech Ventures. EnOcean was spun out of Siemens in 2001. www.enocean.com

 

D’Lisi Food Systems Inc., a Rochester, N.Y.-based provider of frozen foods, has raised $4.2 million in new private equity and term loan funding. Investors included Rand Capital, Stonehenge Capital and Enhanced Capital Partners.

 

PAI Partners has agreed to acquire French retailer Vivarte SA (f.k.a. Groupe Andre SA) for €40 per share (approx. $50.28 million per share) of Vivarte common stock, which trades on the Euronext. www.groupe-vivarte.com

 

Candover Investments reportedly has sold its stake in UK home heating company Baxi Group Ltd. to BC Partners. www.baxi.com

 

Paul Melnuk, former managing partner of FTL Capital Partners, has been named CEO of Thermadyne Holding Corp. He has served on the company’s board of directors since May 2003, and was elected board chairman last October. www.thermadyne.com

 

Comergent Technologies Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of demand chain management applications, has acquired Profile Systems Inc., a West Springfield, Mass.-based developer of product information and inventory management solutions for B2B e-businesses. No deal terms were disclosed. Comergent has raised over $58 million in venture capital funding, including a $53.7 million infusion in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $244 million. Investors include Amerindo Investment Advisors, Cisco Systems Inc., Crosspoint Venture Partners, Mobius Venture Capital, Morgan Stanley Venture Partners, Palantir Capital, Pivotal Asset Management and Van Wagoner Capital Management. Profile systems has raised over $7 million in venture funding from BCI Partners, Berkshires Capital Investors, Kestrel Venture Management, Long River Capital Partners, Massachusetts Technology Development Corp., Village Ventures and Worcester Capital Partners. www.comergent.com  www.profilesys.com

 

Cytokinetics Inc., a South San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the cytoskeleton, has filed to raise $86.25 million via an initial public offering on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol CYTK. The company has raised $134.3 million in venture capital funding since its 1997 inception, including a $40 million Series E round in early 2003 at a post-money valuation of over $200 million. Cytokinetics shareholders include Sevin Rosen Funds, CSFB Private Equity, Vulcan Ventures, Mayfield, GSK Ventures, Alta Partners, Duke University and HBM Partners. www.cytokinetics.com

 

Georgetown Venture Partners, a London-based investment firm, announced that it is raising expansion capital funds for companies specifically focused on voice-over-Internet protocol (VolP) technologies, software and services. www.georgetownventures.com

 

NEWS FROM TUESDAY 1/27

 

TransMedics Inc., a Woburn, Mass.-based medical device company focused on the treatment of end-stage organ failure, has raised $27.6 million in Series B funding. Flagship Ventures, 3i US and CB Health Ventures all co-led the deal, and were joined by fellow new investors Sherbrooke Capital, Posco BioVentures and Novel BioVentures. Return backers Alta Partners and CDP Capital Technology Ventures also participated.

 

JLL Partners has launched a new acquisition vehicle named Attentus Healthcare to buy up rural acute-care facilities. The New York-based buyout shop has allocated $75 million toward the effort, which will be managed by healthcare industry veterans Richard Gore and Robert Yeager. www.jllpartners.com

 

Commerce Health Ventures, a new VC fund focused on expansion and late-stage life sciences companies based in the Northeastern U.S., has been formed by the tandem of Commerce Bancorp Inc. (NYSE: CBH) and Barr Ventures, an investing subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: BRL). The fund also features a strategic relationship with GNYHA Ventures, a subsidiary of the Greater New York Hospital Association. www.chvcap.com

 

ServGate Technologies Inc., a Milipitas, Calif.-based provider of enterprise network security platforms, has raised $18 million in mezzanine funding. ComVentures led the deal, with general partner Perry Wu joining the ServGate board of directors. Existing ServGate investors ChinaVest and WI Harper Group also participated. www.servgate.com 

 

Cast Iron Systems Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of application integration appliances, has raised $12 million in Series C funding. INVESCO Private Capital led the deal, with general partner Alessandro Piol joining the Cast Iron board of directors. Returning company backers included Norwest Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. Cast Iron now has raised $20.3 million in venture funding since its 2001 inception. www.castironsys.com

 

Celequest Corp., a Redwood Shores, Calif.-based provider of software for business activity monitoring, has raised $9.1 million in Series B funding at a post-money valuation of approximately $18 million. Return backers included Lightspeed Venture Partners and Bay Partners. www.celequest.com

 

BridgePort Networks Inc., a Chicago-based provider of telecom software for mobile services, has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Polaris Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners. The company also named former Openwave Systems executive Mike Mulica as its new president and CEO. www.bridgeport-networks.com

 

Xceive Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of RF-to-baseband receiver Ics for consumer electronic devices, has raised $10.5 million in Series B funding. BA Venture Partners led the deal and was joined by fellow new investor The Ignite Group. Return backer Alliance Ventures also participated. www.xceive.com

 

Sourcefire Inc., a Columbia, Md.-based provider of network monitoring infrastructure, has raised $15 million in Series C funding. Sequoia Capital led the deal, and was joined by return backers Core Capital Partners, Inflection Point Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Sierra Ventures. www.sourcefire.com

 

The Cypress Group has completed its previously announced acquisition of Communications & Power Industries Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of vacuum electron devices. The deal is worth approximately $300 million, and included senior debt financing from UBS Investment Bank, Bear, Stearns & Co. and Wachovia Securities. www.cpii.com

 

The Riverside Co. has acquired American Hospice Management (AHM), a Jacksonville, Fla.-based hospice care provider. Deal terms were not disclosed, except that Capital Source provided senior debt and Mass Mutual Life Insurance provided subordinated debt. 

 

Techno Venture Management (TVM), a venture capital firm with offices in Boston and Munich, has promoted two of its principals. Stephen Hoffman has become a general partner, and Josef Moosholzer is now a venture partner. Before joining TVM a year ago, Hoffman served as president and CFO of Allos Therapeutics Inc. and also is the founder of Somatogen Inc. He currently sits on the board of CyDex Inc. and Precision Therapeutics. Moosholzer joined TVM in April 2001 and lead’s the firm’s accounting and controlling teams. Prior to joining TVM, he spent two years as a manager in Apple Computer’s credit and financial services and six years with Ernst & Young in Germany. www.tvmvc.com

 

Morton Bro Nielsen has joined CapMan as an investment director of the Finland-based firm’s life sciences investing team. He will focus on medical technology investments in Denmark, and joins CapMan from diagnostics company Radiometer AS, where he had been running the company’s corporate venture arm. www.capman.fi

 

Geoffrey Grant, director of the Arlington Technology Incubator at the University of Texas, has joined the board of directors at Winnipeg-based Kane Biotech Inc. www.kanebiotech.com

 

Phillip Larson, a former partner with Capital Z Partners, has been named VP of operations with USI Holdings Corp. www.usi.biz

 

William Crouse, a general partner with HealthCare Ventures, has joined the board of directors at ImClone Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: IMCL). www.imclone.com

 

Pierre Lamond, a partner at Sequoia Capital, has been elected chairman of the board of directors at Sequoia portfolio company Tera Systems Inc. www.terasystems.com

ARM Holdings PLC (Nasdaq: ARMHY) has agreed to acquire Triscend Corp., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of configurable system-on-a-chip (CsoC) devices and customized microcontrollers (MCUs). No deal terms were disclosed. Triscend is a 41-employee company that has raised over $65 million in venture capital funding since its 1997 inception. Shareholders include Berkeley International Capital, Thomas Weisel Partners, UMC Capital, United Venture Capital, Vulcan, WK Associates, Wasserstein Ventures and Wind River Ventures. www.triscend.com  www.arm.com

 

eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) has agreed to acquire mobile.de, a Germany-based provider of online classified advertisements for automobiles. The deal is worth approximately 121 million (approx. $152 million) and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2004.

 

Energy Investors Funds Group has closed its fifth fund with $250 million in capital commitments. The fund already has invested $100 million. www.eifgroup.com

 

NEWS FROM MONDAY 1/26

Hammerhead Systems Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of telecom data migration solutions, has raised $25 million in Series B funding. Pequot Ventures led the deal, with Pequot general partner Greg Rossman joining the Hammerhead board of directors. Returning investors include Mayfield, Foundation Capital and Enterprise Partners. The company now has raised $43 million since its 2002 inception, including an $18 million Series A deal at a post-money valuation of approximately $28 million. www.hammerheadsystems.com

 

J.W. Childs Associates is nearing a deal to acquire the Sunny Delight juice-drink brand from Proctor & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG), according to a report in the New York Post. The report puts a $300 million to $400 million price-tag on the deal, and says that other bidders have included AEA Investors and Cypress Partners. Goldman Sachs is said to be handling the auction. www.pg.com

 

James Kirby has joined Soros Fund Management as a managing director. He previously served for over seven years as a managing director with Madison Dearborn Capital Partners.

 

Orchestria Corp., a New York-based provider of real-time visibility and control solutions for email, has raised $10 million in Series C funding. Constellation Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Benchmark Capital, Doughty Hanson & Co. and Crossbridge Venture Partners. www.orchestria.com

 

Euclid Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of IT management software for the enterprise, has raised $4.5 million in additional Series C funding. New investor BlueStream Ventures was joined by return backers Raza Ventures and Redwood Ventures. Euclid had announced an $8 million Series C deal last fall with investments from Bay Partners and Pacesetter Capital, but now has added the new capital with similar deal terms. www.euclid.com

 

Eyeblaster Inc., a New York-based provider of rich media advertising delivery solutions, has raised $8 million in new venture capital funding from Insight Venture Partners. www.eyeblaster.com 

 

Tonic Software Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of e-commerce site performance analysis software, has raised $4.13 million in Series A-1 recap funding. Investors include Sevin Rosen Funds, Bank of America Venture Partners, Dell Ventures, Intel 64 Technology Fund and Austin Ventures. www.tonicsoftware.com

 

Central Garden & Pet Co. (Nasdaq: CENT) has agreed to acquire the assets of Heritage Partners portfolio company New England Pottery Inc., a Foxboro, Mass.-based seller of decorative pottery and seasonal Christmas products. The purchase price is approximately $69 million, with Lazard Freres & Co. advising Central Garden on the transaction. www.centralgardenandpet.com

The European Commission has approved a $175.3 million acquisition of Hays PLC’s logistics division by private equity firm Platinum Equity.

 

The Sunday Telegraph is reporting that 3i Group is looking to exit its investments in the Early Learning Centre Ltd. and Allsports, as part of a move to scale back its retail sector exposure.

 

The Associated Press is reporting that Gates Group has bought Vancouver-based Imperial Parking Corp. for $47.4 million in a deal that will take the company private. Imperial went public in March 2000, three years after it was sold by Onex Corp. of Toronto to U.S. interests. This week’s sale was necessary because the controlling U.S. shareholder, Gotham Partners of New York, is dissolving its partnership and wanted to sell its 31.1% stake as quickly as possible. Gates Group agreed to pay $26 a share for all 1.83 million Impark shares. The stock closed Friday at $25.50.

 

The Compass Group has sold portfolio company CPM Holdings Inc. to the CPM management team and an affiliate of Gilbert Global Equity Partners for approximately $115 million. Compass acquired CPM for approximately $50 million in May 2001, took a $23 million dividend in February 2003 and sold the company just before year-end 2003. CPM is a supplier of process machinery for the oilseed processing and animal feed industries.

 

Johan Brenner has joined Benchmark Capital Europe as a general partner. Brenner previously served as founder and chairman of TIME Vision. www.benchmarkcapital.com

Bonnie Dixon has joined the Tokyo law office of Dorsey & Whitney LLP as a partner, where part of her time will be spent with clients looking to invest in the Japanese private equity industry. She most recently practiced with Morgan, Lewis and Brokius. www.dorsey.com

Bill Bryant, a former partner with Atlas Venture, has been named an independent board director for Jabber Inc., a Denver-based provider of presence and messaging solutions for enterprises, operators and OEMs. www.jabber.com

 

Guidant Corp. (NYSE: GDT) has agreed to acquire AFx Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based medical device maker focused on microwave surgical cardiac ablation. The deal includes a $45 million up-front cash payment, plus subsequent payments dependant on the achievement of certain milestones. AFx has raised venture capital funding from Alta Partners and Invesco Private Capital. www.afx-inc.com

 

Standard Life Investments has closed a €1.1 billion (approx. $1.38 billion) private equity fund-of-funds, according to Reuters. The fund is named Standard Life European Strategic Partners II, and is 26% larger than its predecessor. www.slipe.com

 

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