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Greetings from Boston, where our skies are cloudy, our tunnels are leaky and our Wall-Marts are overrun with unsold Elmo dolls. In other words, it’s time for Friday Feedback. No real theme this morning, just a bit of sweet-smelling potpourri:
First up are the legions of PR reps who strongly disagree with yesterday’s derision of press releases. Joan suggests that I actually “harbor a secret adoration for press releases, or else [I] would have never started the PE Week Wire.” Brian adds: “Corporate press releases are like poetry; more people write them than read them.”
Delving into the more substantive part of yesterday’s column was regular respondent Tony, who writes: “Regarding the Metabolex piece, [Alta Partners’ Ed] Penhoet has the money, so he gets the chairman position. So what? You make it sound like he has some sort of Midas touch. He doesn’t know more than you or I, he just has the money. If something good comes to Metabolex, it is because the product has finally been shown to work, not because of Penhoet. You give these guys way too much credit.” Perhaps you’re right, Tony, but there are two things worth pointing out here: (1) Penhoet somehow convinced Metabolex to take money today at a relatively low valuation, whereas it could have gotten a far better deal in two months, assuming the Phase II trials go well. If they don’t go well, the whole company will be virtually worthless anyway, so it’s a wash. (2) I don’t think the issue is Midas touch, so much as it is experience. Penhoet recently was intimately involved in the year’s most successful public exit for a biotech IPO, and lessons learned there could prove invaluable to Metabolex. No, it’s not everything, but it is a significant something.
Finally, Jeff asks a question in regard to a column from last week: “Please explain why you think mega-LBO funds will not perform well in the future. I read what you are writing, but you do not explain it. I would argue that large buyout deals are much better investments in that you can at least get out of them through dividends and IPOs as they are real companies with products, customers and cash flow [as opposed to VC investments].”
This probably deserves an entire column, Jeff, but the short answer is as follows: The typical argument here is that historical returns for mega-buyouts – defined as deals greater than $1 billion – are lower than those of early-stage VC, mid-market buyouts or any other comparable private equity transaction class (based on Thomson Venture Economics benchmarks). This certainly is relevant, but let’s look forward instead of backward. The mega-buyout market I see right now is severely overcapitalized, and getting more so.
Thomas H. Lee Partners has agreed to sell Eye Care Centers of America Inc. (ECCA) to Golden Gate Capital, Moulin International Holdings Ltd. and company management. The deal is valued at $450 million, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2005. JP Morgan served as financial advisor to Moulin on the deal, and has committed up to $340 million in financing. TH Lee originally acquired ECCA, a San Antonio, Texas-based vision care retailer, in 1998 for $300 million. www.ecca.com
SnoCap Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of licensing and copyright management services for the digital music industry, has raised $10.75 million in Series B funding led by Morgenthaler Ventures and WaldenVC. In related news, the company is expected to announce a catalog registry agreement with Universal Music, which once sued SnoCap executive Shawn Fanning‘s previous venture: Napster Inc. www.snocap.com
AXA Private Equity, the private equity arm of French insurance giant AXA, closed its third dedicated secondary fund with $1.04 billion. www.axaprivateequity.com
Propel Software Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of Internet accelerations solutions, has raised $10.12 million in recap funding. In related news, the company has named former SBC and Exodus Communications executive David Fannin as its new president and CEO. www.propel.com
Gotuit Media Corp., an Andover, Mass.-based provider of video-on-demand products, has raised $10 million in third-round funding. Atlas Venture led the deal, and was joined by Highland Capital Partners. The company now has raised over $20 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception. www.gotuit.com
Radianse Inc., a Lawrence, Mass.-based provider of indoor RFID positioning solutions for the healthcare industry, has closed out its Series A funding round with $11 million. The company had held a $9 million first close in July, and more recently secured $2 million from Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Inc./The Permanente Federation LLC and Partners Healthcare System. The initial backing was provided by HLM Venture Partners, Partech International and Ascension Health Ventures. www.radianse.com
PVelocity Inc., a Toronto-based provider of profit optimization software, has raised Cdn$4 million in first-round funding from Edgestone Capital Partners. In other company news, PVelocity has named Paula Hucko as its new CEO. She previously worked with GE Healthcare, following its acquisition of Triple G Systems Group. www.pvelocity.com
Amperion Inc., a Chelmsford, Mass.-based provider of broadband-over-power lines, has held a million first close of over $10 million on a new VC funding round. Investors include Aspen Ventures, Argo Capital, Global Internet Ventures, Pennsylvania Power & Light, Redleaf Group and Telkonet. www.amperion.com
DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) will partner with Apollo Management to operate DirecTV subsidiary Hughes Network Systems, according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal would value the satellite services provider at more than $350 million, with DirecTV and Apollo each holding a 50% position.
Propex Fabrics Inc. has closed its acquisition of BP‘s Amoco Fabrics & Fibers subsidiary and associated assets. The deal was sponsored by an investor consortium comprised of The Sterling Group, Genstar Capital and Laminar Direct Capital. No financial terms were disclosed.
Capital Z Partners has acquired Nashville, Tenn.-based insurance business Permanent General Cos. from Ingram Industries Inc. No financial terms were disclosed. www.pgac.com
Opsware Inc. (Nasdaq: OPSW) has agreed to acquire Rendition Networks Inc., a Redmond, Wash.-based developer of network device automation technology. The deal is valued at $33 million, including $15 million in cash and 2.68 million shares of Opsware stock. In addition, Rednition’s remaining cash – not expected to exceed $7 million — will be distributed to existing shareholders in the form of a dividend. Rendition has raised approximately $46 million in total VC funding since its 1997 inception, including a $20 million Series B round in mid-2000 at a post-money valuation of $80 million. Company investors include Bertelsman Capital Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, Norwest Venture Partners, Go2Net, Vulcan Capital and Ignition Partners. www.opsware.com www.renditionnetworks.com
Viewpoint Corp. (Nasdaq: VWPT) has agreed to acquire Unicast Communications Corp., a New York-based provider of Internet advertising solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Unicast has raised approximately $15 million in VC funding since its 1997 inception, from GTE Corp., Grace Venture Capital and Intel Capital. www.unicast.com
Virsa Systems Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based provider of security and controls software for SAP systems, has acquired the rights and related assets of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP‘s SAFE internal controls compliance software. No financial terms were disclosed. Virsa has raised VC funding from Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Lightspeed Venture Partners and SAP Ventures. www.virsasystems.com www.pwc.com
MTM Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MTM) has agreed to acquire Vector ESP Inc., a Houston, Texas-based provider of systems integration solutions. The deal includes $16.8 million in cash, $700,000 in promissory notes and $2 million worth of MTM common stock. In addition, Vector ESP shareholders will retain company cash on hand, and up to $3 million in milestone considerations. Vector ESP has raised over $54 million in VC funding since its 2000 inception, from investors like Centennial Ventures, Nassau Capital, Global Capital Investors and PG & Co. www.vector.com
Cineworld UK Ltd., a UK-based cinema chain controlled by The Blackstone Group, has acquired the UK and Ireland operations of rival UGC SA. Barclays Capital provided debt financing for the transaction. No pricing information was disclosed. www.cineworld.co.uk
Ninetowns Digital World Trade Holdings Ltd., a Beijing, China-based provider of software that enables the import/export business in China, will begin trading on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol NINE. The company priced 9.6 million American depository shares (ADS) at $11 per ADS (middle of its $10-$12 offering range), for a total IPO take of approximately $105.6 million. Significant company shareholders include AIG Opportunity Fund, Titan Venture Capital, China Equity Associates, Huitung Investments, MMFI CAPI Venture Investments, UOB Venture and CFM Investments. www.ninestown.com
Toby Boyle has left his position as head of European private equity for Henderson Private Capital, according to PrivateEquityOnline. He joined the firm in 2001 from Morgan Grenfell Private Equity. No decision has been made on a successor. www.henderson.com/home/private_capital
Roger Holmes has agreed to become a partner with UK-based private equity firm Change Capital Partners, according to The Financial Times. He recently was ousted as CEO of Marks & Spencer, and will rejoin his former chairman Luc Vandevelde, founder of Change Capital who left Marks & Spencer after accusations that he was neglecting his directorial duties. www.changecapitalpartners.com
Marcus Schenck has been promoted to co-lead of Goldman Sachs‘ investment banking efforts in Germany and Austria. He replaces Wayne Moore, who is moving to Chicago, where he will focus on mergers and acquisitions. www.gs.com
Katy Fialkowski has been named president of the Pinova Division of Hercules Inc. (NYSE: HPC), effective January 1. She joined Hercules in 2003, after having served as vice president of international business development for venture capital firm Partech International. www.hercules.com
Steven Collins, a principal with Advent International, has joined the board of Kirkland’s Inc. (Nasdaq: KIRK). Advent is Kirkland’s largest shareholder. www.kirklands.com
HSBC Private Equity (Asia) of Hong Kong has closed its third fund (HPEF3) with $700 million in limited partner commitments. The firm had held a $350 million first close just over one month ago, and had been targeting $500 million, although it did register for a $750 million ceiling. HPF3, incorporated in the Cayman Islands, will provide expansion capital to middle-market Asian companies, and also will sponsor management buyouts. HPEF2 was capped at $250 million, while HPEF3 already has made approximately $110 million in total commitments. www.cibm.hsbc.com/privateequity
Kendall Court Capital Partners, a mezzanine firm focused on the Asian market, reportedly has held a $35 million first close on its inaugural fund. The firm is looking to hold a final close on $75 million in the second quarter of 2005.
Thursday, December 2
Predictions and Penhoet
An unfortunate byproduct of this job is that I have become an insatiable reader of corporate press releases, which rank just below literary criticism as the least engaging collection of written words ever produced. Most of this is simply to fill the Wire’s news section, but every now and then I run into what I refer to as a “predictor press release,” which basically means that something bigger and more interesting is just around the corner. For example, when Fidelity Ventures recently announced the hiring of a new venture partner, I immediately suspected that the firm also had raised its new fund. It had, this space reported the scoop, and a press release quickly followed. Similar situation with North Bridge Venture Partners, which announced a new general partner last week. No fund close yet, but it likely will come next quarter, even though sources say it will be one of those “insider-only” affairs due to anticipated oversubscription from existing limited partners.
Anyway, all of this brings us to the predictor press release I completely failed to pick up on: the announcement in early October that Ed Penhoet, a director with Alta Partners, was stepping down from his chairman position on the board of Eyetech Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: EYET). My take was that this was a typical case of late-stage VC makes an investment, gets on the company’s board, helps execute a wildly successful IPO and aftermarket performance, and then steps down from the board in order to refocus on private companies. All of that was accurate, but I put absolutely no effort into figuring out which private company would replace Eyetech on Penhoet’s to-do list. All apologies, dear readers.
The answer is Metabolex Inc., a Hayward, Calif.-based company that focuses on the Type II diabetes market. Specifically, it is developing a drug that increases insulin sensitivity in both fat and muscle tissue, but supposedly without the nasty side effects (such as weight gain and occasional congestive heart failure) that can come with already-commercialized “insulin sensitizers” like Actos and Avandia. Like EyeTech’s compound that focuses on macular degeneration (i.e., a form of vision impairment/blindness), the Metabolex drug could be a billion-dollar story, and the sole basis for a successful public company.
It’s important to note, however, that Metabolex has been working on this drug for over 12 years. It was seeded in 1992 by Charter Ventures, and raised $80 million through 2002. What it didn’t do, however, was secure a decent development partnership with a big pharma company, so it essentially became a discovery and development company, without ever really laying the proper groundwork. By late 2002, it became clear that the company needed to be restructured and recapped. The CEO got canned, all of the existing VC rounds got collapsed into a single “Series A” deal and the Phase II clinical trials were suspended indefinitely, in order to preserve existing financial resources. Eight months later, it launched a three-part Series B round, which culminated in a $44 million infusion last week led by Alta and Penhoet, who is the company’s new chairman.
Former chairman Barr Dolan of Charter Ventures stepped down, as the funds that originally invested in Metabolex are essentially out of cash (due to their age). He says, however, that Charter still believes in the company, and that he is among those betting that Penhoet can help do for Metabolex what he helped do for Eyetech. He also points out that Alta made a very savvy move by insisting on making its investment last week, just about two months before Metabolex finishes its Phase II clinical trials. If the results are as strong as expected, Alta – not to mention fellow new investors Venrock, Versant and Novo AS – will have gotten one heck of a bargain, as the company’s valuation would skyrocket. Metabolex probably should have secured some interim bridge financing and waited for its results, but Dolan says that Metabolex felt unable to turn down money on the table. Likely good for Alta, probably bad for di! luted company management.
Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst has completed its $405 million acquisition of Regency Gas Services LLC, Dallas-based midstream gas gathering, processing and transmission company. Regency was formed in May 2003 by Charlesbank Capital Partners, which paid $120 million for certain assets of El Paso Corp. Charlesbank later incorporated additional assets from companies like Duke Energy Field Services ($62 million deal) and Cardinal Gas Services ($3.4 million). In related news, James Hunt and Michael Williams have joined Regency as president and CEO, and chief operating officer, respectively. www.regencygas.com
Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe has acquired Ruesch International Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based provider of foreign exchange and international payment services. No financial terms were disclosed. As part of the deal, Thomas Staudt, an executive-in-residence with Welsh Carson, has been appointed president and CEO of Ruesch International. He replaces company founder and CEO Otto Reusch, who passed away this past October. www.ruesch.com
Sean Harrigan has been ousted as president of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). A grocery union officer and noted corporate reformer, Harrigan lost a 3-2 vote for re-election by the California State Personnel Panel. He issues a statement expressing extreme disappointment. www.calpers.com
Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based drug company focused on metabolic diseases, has raised $13 million in Series A funding. The Wellcome Trust led the deal, and was joined by return backers Polaris Venture Partners, Techno Venture Management, Cardinal Partners and Skyline Ventures. Sirtis raised a $5 million seed round this past August.
ProGene Biomedical Inc. (aka IBT Reference Laboratory), Lenexa, Kansas-based clinical reference laboratory specializing in clinical immunology and allergy testing, has received $5 million in venture funding from Ampersand Ventures. As part of the deal, David Parker and Herbert Hooper, both general partners with Ampersand, have joined the ProGene board of directors. wwww.ibtreflab.com
NewsGator Technologies Inc., a Highlands Ranch, Colo.-based provider of RSS aggregation platform solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of second-round VC funding from return backer Mobius Venture Capital. The company had received $1 million in Series A funding this past summer. www.newsgator.com
Tsunami Research Inc., a St. Louis-based software company focused on hive computing, has raised $2.7 million in additional Series A funding, bringing the round total to $5.5 million. Bush O’Donnell & Co. joined existing angel investors as part of the deal. www.tsunamiresearch.com
Toys “R” Us Inc. of Wayne, N.J. has received buyout bids from private equity firms, according to The Deal. The reported players include Bain Capital teamed with Vornado Realty Trust and Cerberus Capital Management teamed with Kimco Realty Corp. A third group could include Apollo Management partnered with Toys “R” Us chairman Michael Goldstein and merchant bank Tri-Artisan Partners. It is unclear if the bids include the entire company – reported to be worth between $3 billion and $4 billion, or just certain units. www.toysrus.com
Genstar Capital has acquired Quincy, Mass.-based Colfax Power Transmission Group from Colfax Corp. No financial terms were disclosed. As part of the deal, Colfax Transmission Group will be merged with another recently-acquired Genstar portfolio company, Kilian Manufacturing Corp., to form a new entity, Altra Industrial Motion Inc. Company management of both Colfax Transmission Group and Kilian Manufacturing will have an ownership position in Altra, alongside Genstar and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec. www.gencap.com
ECI Partners has acquired LateRooms.com Inc., a Manchester, UK-based provider of an online distribution channel to hotel owners. No pricing details were disclosed. ECI transacted the deal in concert with company management, while Barclays PLC provided debt financing. www.ecipartners.com
Duke Street Capital has sold its majority interest in Blue Green European Holdings, a France-based golf course owner and operator, to Dutch golf course operator Burggolf Investment Holdings NV. Duke Street originally acquired its position in 19997, alongside company management, Kleinwort Benson European Mezzanine Fund II, LBO Croissance and Initiative et Finance Investissement. www.bluegreen.com
American Capital Strategies has sponsored a buyout of Hospitality Mints LLC, a Boone, N.C.-based maker of custom-imprinted and individually-wrapped mints and candies. ACS will invest $46 million, which takes the form of equity, senior-term debt, senior debt, junior debt and subordinated debt with warrants. Company management also is investing equity, while Texas Capital Bank will provide a revolving credit facility and a term loan. www.hospitalitymints.com
Levine Leichtman Capital Partners is acquiring a majority stake in InterDent Service Corp. from DDJ Capital Management, according to The Deal. No purchase price was reported. InterDent is an El Segundo, Calif.-based provider of dental practice management services. www.interdent.com
SiVault Systems Inc. (OTC BB: SVTL) has acquired ViaQuo Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of computer security technology, in exchange for three million unregistered shares of SiVault common stock. ViaQuo has raised approximately $12 million in total Vc funding from investors like Sienna Ventures, VenGlobal Capital and Hsieh Investment. www.sivault.com www.viaquo.com
Sorrent Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based publisher of mobile entertainment, has agreed to acquire Macrospace, a London-based mobile entertainment publisher. No financial terms were disclosed. Sorrent has raised over $28 million in VC funding since its 2001 inception, from investors like New Enterprise Associates, Globespan Capital Partners, Sienna Ventures and BA Venture Partners. www.sorrent.com www.macrospace.com
Warren Resources Inc., a New York-based oil and natural gas exploration company, has set its IPO terms to six million common shares being offered at between $7 and $9 per share. The company has raised $20 million in private equity funding from a group of institutional investors managed by Wellington Management Co.
Deborah Gallegos has been appointed chief investment officer for the $80 billion New York City Retirement Systems, effective January 3, 2005. She most recently served as deputy investment officer for the New Mexico State Investment Council, and before that was a vice president at J.P. Morgan Fleming Asset Management, focused on emerging markets. www.osc.state.ny.us
Daniel Kohl has been named president and CEO of Pediatric Services of America Inc. (Nasdaq: PSAI), effective December 15. He most recently served as a healthcare industry advisor to private equity firm Warburg Pincus and, before that, as president and CEO of Sonus Corp. (AMEX: SSN). www.psakids.com
Chris Lutes has been named chief financial officer of Andigilog Corp., a Tempe, Ariz.-based fables analog and mixed-signal semiconductor company. He previously served as executive vice president and CFO of Silicon Valley Bank. www.andigilog.com
Rho Ventures has raised $316.35 million for its fifth fund, according to a regulatory filing with the SEC. The document shows that the New York-based firm could take as much as $425 million. www.rhoventures.com
Wednesday, December 1
With the Buyouts Symposium just over three months away, we are accepting submissions for our fifth annual Deals of the Year awards. Winners will be selected in 13 categories (listed below), and will receive a nifty statuette/paperweight at the Symposium on March 10 at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Each submission must meet three basic criteria: (1) The deal must be a majority-stake purchase that involves full, or partial, equity sponsorship. (2) The target company must either remain private or go private as a result of the buyout (i.e. no PIPE deals or public company mergers). (3) The deal must be completed in 2004. Winners are selected by the editorial staff of Buyouts, including yours truly. In general, we look for deals that have interesting back-stories, and pay close attention to how the deal evolved, how it’s financed (we like innovation) and, of course, execution.
The same deal may be submitted for multiple awards, and there is no penalty for nominating multiple deals in the same category. All submissions must be received by Friday, December 31, via email to Danielle.Fugazy@thomson.com, or by snail mail to: Danielle Fugazy, c/o Buyouts-Awards, 395 Hudson Street, Third Floor, New York, NY 10014. Please don’t call her, because then she’ll be grumpy. The categories are:
- Small-Market Deal of the Year: Deal size of $200 million or less
- Middle-Market Deal of the Year: $200M-$600M
- Large-Market Deal of the Year: Larger than $600 million
- European Deal of the Year: Target company must be based in Europe
- Emerging Market Deal of the Year: Target company must be based in an emerging market (liberally-defined)
- Public-to-Private Deal of the Year
- Turnaround Deal of the Year: LBO sponsor acquires struggling company, and has made significant improvements.
- Exit of the Year
- Buyout Firm of the Year: Everything from deals, exits, personnel changes, fundraising, etc.
- Small Lender of the Year: Volume is important, but service is deciding factor
- Large Lender of the Year: Ditto
- Investment Bank of the Year: Ditto
- Buyout Pro of the Year
Deal of the Year: This usually is chosen from among the winners of the preceding categories.
Intarcia Therapeutics Inc., an Emeryville, Calif.-based drug company, has raised $50 million in Series E funding. Investors include Alta Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Venrock Associates and Granite Global Ventures. The company has raised over $140 million in total VC funding since its 1997 inception, including a $43 million Series D round in 2003 at a post-money valuation of $73 million. www.intarcia.com
CVC Capital Partners yesterday completed part of its buyout of the printing inks and printing plates operations of BASF. So far, CVC has acquired BASF Drucksysteme GmbH and the production of alkali blue at the BASF Corp. plant in Huntington, W.V. Its acquisition of pigment production at the BASF Colorants & Chemicals Co. Ltd. in Shanghai is expected to close in 2005. No financial terms have been disclosed, although an earlier Financial Times article puts the total price tag – for all three assets – at between 600 million euros and 700 million euros. www.basf-printingsystems.com
Institutional Venture Partners has closed its eleventh venture capital fund with $300 million in limited partner commitments. Its previous fund, raised in 2000, was capped at $225 million. www.ivp.com
Metabolex Inc., a Hayward, Calif.-based drug company focused on Type II diabetes, has raised $44 million in new Series B funding. The round was launched following a corporate restructuring in the summer of 2003, and now totals $75 million. Prior to the restructuring, Metabolex had raised approximately $80 million. Alta Partners led the latest tranche, and was joined by fellow new investors Venrock Associates, Versant Ventures and Novo AS. Return backers include Bay City Capital, KBC Bank & Insurance Group and Birchmere Ventures. As part of the deal, Edward Penhoet of Alta was elected chairman of the Metabolex board, while Barr Dolan of Charter Ventures and Jan Drayer of the Biotechnology Turnaround Fund BV are leaving the board. www.metabolex.com
XDx Inc., a South San Francisco-based molecular diagnostics company, has raised $20 million in Series D funding. Sprout Group led the deal with a $7 million commitment, and was joined by fellow new investors Integral Capital Partners, Burrill & Co. and JP Morgan’s Bay Area Equity Fund. Return backers Integral Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also participated. www.XDx.com
Wild Brain Inc., a San Francisco-based producer of animated entertainment, has raised $30 million in new venture capital funding. Valence Capital Management led the deal, and was joined by return backers like Syntek Capital AG. The company has raised over $56 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception. www.wildbrain.com
Solazyme Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based biotech company, has received a $310,000 investment from Harris & Harris Group Inc. www.solazyme.com
Topigen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Montreal-based drug company focused on respiratory disease research, has raised Cdn$22.6 million in new venture capital funding. Investors included Desjardins Venture Capital (Cdn$6 million), Fonds de Solidarite FTQ (Cdn$5 million), Societe en Commandite T2C2/Bio 2000 (Cdn$5 million), Business Development Bank of Canada (Cdn$4 million) and Innovatech Montreal (Cdn$2.6 million). www.topigen.com
ResponseTek Networks Corp., a Vancouver-based supplier of customer experience management (CEM) solutions, has raised Cdn$1.8 million in second-round funding. Return backers included the Business Development Bank of Canada and the Working Opportunity Fund managed by GrowthWorks Capital. www.ResponseTek.com
Purely Proteins Ltd., a Cambridge, UK-based provider of human proteins for medical research, has raised $3.6 million in second-round funding. Avlar BioVentures led the deal, and was joined by British Smaller Technology Cos. VCT2 PLC and Bioscience VCT PLC. www.purelyproteins.com
RE3W World Wide Ltd., a Santa Ana, Calif.-based provider of commercial real estate software, has received a $1 million investment from return backer The First American Corp. www.re3w.com
Apax Partners has acquired a 49% interest in LR-International Cosmetic & Marketing GmbH, a Germany-based provider of cosmetics and nutritional supplements. Helmut Spikker, principle shareholder and company founder, will retain a 51% share, while founding partner Joachim Hickmann will sell his entire 33% shareholding. Details regarding the purchase price are not being disclosed. No financial terms were disclosed. Deb financing was arranged by Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. www.lr-international.com
The Carlyle Group has acquired Rhythm Corp., a Japan-based automotive component manufacturer, from JPMorgan Partners and company management. The sellers originally acquired Rhythm from Nissan Motor Corp. via a management buyout in August 2002. No financial terms have been disclosed.
Duales System Deutschland AG, a German waste management company, has approved a 260 million euro buyout offer by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Huron Capital Partners has teamed up with chemicals industry veterans Frederick Quinn and Gerard Loftus to launch Quest Specialty Chemicals LLC, a Seabrook, N.H.-based acquisition platform. The group’s first deal is an acquisition of Menomonee Falls, Wisc.-based Raabe Corp., which was partially financed via senior debt from M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank and subordinated debt from Harris Nesbitt Capital. www.questsc.com www.huroncapital.com
Dana Corp. (NYSE: DCN) has completed the sale of its automotive aftermarket business to The Cypress Group. The deal was valued at approximately $1 billion, including $950 million in cash and a $74.5 million seller’s note. www.dana.com
Harvest Partners has completed its acquisition of personal care products provider Levlad Inc., and its Arbonne International Inc. subsidiary. No financial terms were disclosed. www.harvpart.com
PetroPlus International NV, a Dutch oil refinery operator, has received a buyout offer from The Carlyle Group. Talk of the deal – which values PetroPlus at approximately 247 million euros — first surfaced this past spring, but the actual offer got delayed due, in part, to pricing concerns from shareholders. www.petroplus.com
Segulah, a Stockholm-based private equity firm, has sold its position in Education & Entertainment Nordic AB (EEN), a mail-order distributor of compilation music CDs and children’s educational CD ROMs. The buyer is a consortium of existing EEN management. Segulah originally invested in the company as part of a 1999 management buyout, which also included Duke Street Capital. www.mrmusic.se
Ripplewood Holdings has completed its previously-announced acquisition of Honsel International Technologies SARL from The Carlyle Group. Honsel is a Luxembourg-based supplier of light-metal products to the automotive industry. No financial terms were disclosed. Debt financing for the transaction, including senior loans and mezzanine debt, was provided by Citigroup, CIBC World Markets and Lehman Brothers. www.hit.lu
Concord Records Inc. has completed its acquisition of Fantasy Inc., resulting in a combined recording company named Concord Music Group Inc. As part of the transaction, Tailwind Capital Partners provided an undisclosed amount of equity to Concord, although existing owners Norman Lear and Hal Graba retain substantial positions. www.concordrecords.com
Dame Broadcasting LLC, a portfolio company of Great Hill Partners, reportedly has sold nine stations in State College, Pa. and Johnstown, Pa. to Pittsburgh-based attorney Nick Galli for $8 million.
Veri-Tek International Corp., a Wixom, Mich.-based provider of automotive testing equipment, has set its proposed IPO terms to 2.5 million common shares being offered at between $5 and $7 per share. The company is majority-owned by Quantum Value Management, which will hold a 44.74% position following the IPO. www.veri-tek.com
GFI Group Inc.