PE Week Wire — Friday 12/5

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Progress Software Corp. (Nasdaq: PRGS) has agreed to acquire DataDirect Technologies Ltd., a Rockville, Md.-based provider of standards-based data access components for software developers. The purchase price is approximately $88 million in cash, and the deal is expected to close within 60 days. DataDirect is a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital, which bought the company out from Merant Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNT) in 2001 for $29.3 million. www.datadirect.com

 

Credit Suisse First Boston has raised over $1.9 billion for secondary market investments. Most of the capital ($1.625 billion) is going into CSFB Strategic Partners Fund II, which focused on the purchase of buyout and mezzanine portfolios. The fund had held an initial close on approximately $112 million back in April. An additional $300 million is going into CSFB Strategic Partners RE, which focuses on real estate acquisitions. www.csfb.com

 

MidOcean Partners has sold holiday-park operator Center Parcs UK for £285 million (approx. $491 million) to Arbor PLC, newly formed vehicle funded through the placement of shares to cleints of UK broker Collins Stewart Ltd. Arbor now plans to change its name to Center Parcs UK Group PLC, and has applied for listing on the UK Alternative Investment Market (AIM). www.centerparcs.com

 

Volume Services America Holdings Inc. today will begin trading on the AMEX under ticker symbol “CVP”, and on the TSX under ticker symbol “CVP.un”. The company raised $251.37 million through its initial public offering (IPO), and counts Blackstone Group and GE Capital among its principal owners.

 

L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL) has completed its previously announced acquisition of Vertex Aerospace LLC from Veritas Capital for $650 million in cash. The new business unit, now renamed L-3 Communications AeroTech LLC (L-3 AeroTech), will operate as a subsidiary of L-3 Communications’ Integrated Systems subsidiary and is expected to contribute approximately $800 million of sales and $0.12 per diluted share to L-3’s results in 2004. www.vertexaerospace.com

 

Oak Investment Partners does not plan to counter the CDC Software offer to acquire Pivotal Corp. (Nasdaq: PVTL). Fredric Harman, General Partner, Oak Investment Partners said in a prepared statement that “after reviewing the current situation, including issues related to the extended process, Oak has concluded that there is no financial justification for increasing the price of its proposed acquisition of Pivotal at this time.”

 

Pinnacle CEO Recruiters Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based executive recruitment firm, has formed a private equity fund to make co-investments in business services companies it places CEOs in. The vehicle currently features $500,000 in committed capital, and is called Pinnacle Equity Capital I. The fund already has made an investment in Encore Legal Services, a company whose CEO Lynn Graham was recruited by Pinnacle. www.ceo-recruiters.com

 

The Times of London is reporting that UK-based private equity firm Candover is preparing a bid for Hollinger International’s Telegraph Group, which could be worth upwards of £500 million (approx. $861 million).

NEWS FROM THURSDAY 12/4

KAI Pharmaceuticals Inc., a South San Francisco-based drug development company, has raised $17 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Skyline Ventures, and also included InterWest Partners, Intersouth Partners and Delphi Ventures. Kai Pharmaceutical focuses on the development of therapeutics that selectively modulate protein kinase C (PKC) enzymes without simultaneous activation or inhibition of closely related enzymes.www.kaipharmaceuticals.com

Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda-based insurance provider, today will begin trading its common shares on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol AHL. The company yesterday priced 10.524 million of its shares at $22.50 per share, which was slightly higher than its initial offering range of $20 per share to $22 per share. Aspen’s total IPO take was $236.79 million. Principal investors include The Blackstone Group, Candover Partners Limited, Wellington Underwriting and Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity.www.aspen.bm

Barr Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: BRL) has agreed to acquire Endeavor Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Wilmington, N.C.-based producer of hormone replacement therapy pharmaceuticals. The transaction is worth approximately $35 million. Endeavor has raised over $62 million in venture capital funding, including a $46 million infusion in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $74 million. Investors on that deal included Alta Partners, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Partners, MPM Capital, Noro-Moseley Partners, Schering Berlin Venture Corp., Sutro Partners and the Wakefield Group.www.barrlabs.com

Telegraph Hill Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, has agreed to acquire certain instrumentation assets of Aurora Instruments LLC, a subsidiary of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: VRTX). Vertex Pharmaceuticals acquired the assets as part of its July 2001 acquisition of Aurora Biosciences Corp. No deal terms on the latest transaction have been disclosed.www.aurora-instr.com

JAMDAT Mobile, a Los Angeles-based provider of wireless entertainment services, has raised $11 million in Series D funding. New investor Benchmark Capital was joined by return backers Apax Partners, Qualcomm, Intel and Sun Microsystems. JAMDAT now has raised $33 million in venture capital funding since its 2000 inception.www.jamdatgames.com

Veritas Capital has agreed to acquire The Wornick Co., a Cincinnati-based provider of military food rations. The cash transaction is valued at approximately $155 million, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2004. Wornick features with 840 employees and expects 2003 sales of approximately $305 million. Veritas does not anticipate changes in management or employment as a result of the acquisition.   www.wornick.com

Robert Fleming, a co-founder and general partner of Prism Venture Partners, has been appointed chairman of the board of directors at Prism portfolio company SiGe Semiconductor Inc..

GlobalView Software Inc., a Chicago-based provider of data management solutions for global energy markets, has raised $5.52 million in Series B funding. Conning Capital Partners led the deal with a $5 million investment, and was joined by return backers Dodi Ventures and Prosperitas Investment Partners. As part of the financing, George Doherty and David Young of Conning Capital will join the GlobalView board of directors.  www.gvsi.com

 

Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking has agreed to acquire Hunter Fan Co., a Memphis-based maker of ceiling fans, thermostats and lighting fixtures. No deal terms were disclosed. Hunter Fan had raised over $5.5 million in venture capital funding from investors Weston Presidio Capital, Alliance Capital and Stonebridge Partners.
 

Motorola Ventures has made an undisclosed investment into Shanghai NewMargin Venture Capital Co., a China-based venture capital management fund.

Core Value Partners, a Miami-based private equity firm, has won bankruptcy court approval to acquire 127 Burger King restaurants located in the Midwest from AmeriKing, one of the nation’s largest Burger King franchisees. The purchase price was $13.2 million in cash and included no debt. The closing of the sale is scheduled for December 18.

Dycom Industries Inc. (NYSE: DY) has closed its previously announced acquisition of UtiliQuest Holdings Corp., which provides underground utility locating services. Utiliquest was purchased from GFI Energy Ventures for approximately $120 million in cash.

Jan Bouten has joined The Aurora Funds as an associate. Bouten joins the Research Triangle Park-based venture firm after earning his MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.  www.aurorafunds.com

Confirma Inc., a Kirkland, Wash.-based provider of computer-aided-detection for medical imaging applications, has raised $3 million in venture funding from existing investors Versant Ventures, Prism Venture Partners and Northwest Ventures Associates.

Dometic AB, a Sweden-based appliance maker, withdrew its initial public offering just one hour before it was scheduled to begin trading in Stockholm. The company, which counts EQT Partners AB as an investor, cited a lack of demand as the reason for its withdrawal.

The Associated Press is reporting that Michigan’s House Commerce Committee yesterday passed bills that would create a new venture capital fund, and which also would allow investors to get tax credits to make up any losses from their investments in Michigan-based company. The Michigan Senate is now considering its own version of the bills.

Onyx Software Corp. has dropped out of the bidding process for Pivotal Corp.. That leaves CDC Software Corp. and Oak Investment Partners as the only remaining bidders.

Adherex Technologies Inc. (TSX:AHX), an Ottawa-based biopharmaceutical company, has received $1.9 million in convertible bridge note financing led by a $750,000 investment from HBM BioVentures (Cayman) Ltd.

The Financial Times is reporting that Lastminute.com has agreed to acquire Internet travel agency Med Hotels for £16.1 million. Med Hotels was partially owned by Barclays Ventures.

 

 

NEWS FROM WEDNESDAY 12/3

DW Healthcare Partners, a Salt Lake City-based private equity firm focused on the healthcare industry, has held a $30 million first close on its inaugural fund. Berchwood Partners is marketing the vehicle, which comes with a $125 million target capitalization and a $150 million maximum cap. Limited partners on the initial close include The Wellcome Trust, SK Capital, JB Capital and the Cheyne Walk Trust.   www.dwhp.com

 

Molecular Imprints Inc., an Austin, Texas-based developer of nano-imprint lithography technology, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. New investors include Carl Zeiss SMT of Germany and Hakuto Co. Ltd. of Tokyo, both of which also struck strategic partnership deals with Molecular Imprints. Return backers included Alloy Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The company has raised a $9.2 million Series A funding round in early 2002 at a post-money valuation of approximately $17.33 million.www.molecularimprints.com

 

Clarus Systems Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of Internet Protocol (IP) communications management software, has raised $8.85 million in Series A funding co-led by Trinity Ventures and Mobius Venture Capital. As part of the transaction, Fred Wang, a general partner with Trinity, and Robin Bordoli, a principal with Mobius, will join the Clarus Systems board of directors.www.clarussystems.com

 

Frontenac Co., a Chicago-based private equity firm, has led a $70 million capital commitment to form Encore Legal Solutions, a provider of legal information management services. Frontenac has partnered with Lynn Graham, who previously served as CEO of the $850 million document services division of IKON Office Solutions. Frontenac is providing the majority of the equity, with Baird Capital Partners and Primus Venture Partners also participating. Patriot Capital Funding will provide senior and subordinated debt financing. Encore is being formed through the acquisition and merger of a number of successful LIM firms, including: Lex Solutio, Partners Legal Copy Services, Global Legal Copy and Litigation Document Services. www.encorelegal.com

 

Michael Child, a managing director of TA Associates, has resigned from the board of directors at Fargo Electronics Inc. (Nasdaq: FRGO). He has been replaced by David Murphy, president and chief operating officer of Red Wing Show Co.

 

Nexidia Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of audio/video searching and intelligent data mining solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of third-round funding. The company, which recently changed its name from Fast-Talk Communications Inc., had previously raised a $2 million first round deal in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $6 million, and an $8.5 million second round in late 2001 at a post-money valuation of just around $9 million. Paladin Capital participated in the latest round as a new investor, with Lt. General Ken Minihan, a Paladin principal and former director of the National Security Agency (NSA), joining the Nexidia board of directors. Return backers H.I.G. Ventures, Boston Millennia Partners, Cordova Ventures and ATA also participated. www.nexidia.com

 

AthenaHealth Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of practice automation, billing and collection services to the healthcare industry, has received a $6 million enterprise loan from ORIX Venture Finance and Silicon Valley Bank. The deal is designed to help AthenaHealth avoid an additional round of venture capital fundraising. www.athenahealth.com

 

PanGo Networks Inc., a Pittsburgh-based provider of systems for enterprise wireless LANs, has raised $4.4 million in new Series A funding. This brings the total Series A round total to $6 million. New investors IDG Ventures and Columbia Capital co-led the latest tranche, and were joined by existing backer Innovation Works. As part of the funding, Jeff Bussgang, a general partner with IDG Ventures, and Arun Gupta, a partner with Columbia Capital, will join the PanGo Networks board of directors.www.pangonetworks.com

 

BelAir Networks Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based wireless infrastructure supplier, has raised $15 million in Series B funding. JPMorgan Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers VenGrowth Capital Partners, BDC Venture Capital and Dr. Adam Chowaniec, chairman of Tundra Semiconductor Corp. The company now has raised $22 million in venture funding.

 

Visiogen Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based biotech company focused on age-related vision loss, has raised $16.5 million in new venture funding. Prospect Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Sprout Group and Three Arch Partners.

 

Observer AB of Sweden has agreed to acquire MediaMap Inc., a Watertown, Mass.-based provider of communications management systems. The $23 million deal represents a bit of a loss for chief seller Warburg Pincus, which had invested approximately $37 million into MediaMap since 2000.

 

SWECO AB has agreed to acquire PIC Engineering, a Finland-based technical consulting company. The sellers are PIC management (16%) and venture capital firm CapMan (84%). No deal terms were disclosed.

 

Siemens has agreed to acquire IndX Software Corp., an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based provider of enterprise IT solutions. No deal terms were disclosed. IndX Software has raised around $24 million in venture funding since its 1996 inception, from investors like Cargill Ventures, Excalibur Partners, First Analysis Corp., Marwit Capital, SAP AG, Sanders Morris Harris and Siemens Venture Capital.www.indxhq.com

 

Harvey Seegers has resigned as president and CEO of GE Global Exchange Services Inc., which was acquired last year by Francisco Partners.

 

The New York Times is reporting that Thomas Scully, a federal official who essentially runs Medicare, is considering a move to the private sector. Among those reported to have inquired about his services are private equity firms Texas Pacific Group and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe.

 

Martin Currie, a UK-based investment firm, is reportedly raising a £139 million private equity fund-of-funds.

 

Ventures West has made a first-round investment into Maestro CMS Corp., a Vancouver-based provider of online content management solutions. No deal terms were disclosed.

NEWS FROM TUESDAY 12/2

United BioSource Corp., a Washington-based provider of science and evidence-based services and information to the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, has raised $153 million in private equity funding. Investors included Whitney & Co., Oak Investment Partners and Grotech Capital Group. The new monies will be used to acquire companies with proven track records of providing value-added services in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. United BioSource also expects to make significant investments into the acquired entities. The company is co-founded by Ethan Leder (onetime co-founder of Healthcare Financial Partners) and Mark Clein (onetime investor with Sprout Group). www.unitedbiosource.com

 

Kevin Kester has resigned as director of alternative investments for the $27 billion Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (CoPERA), according to PrivateEquityOnline. The report says that he has taken a job as vice president of capital markets with Denver-based The Broe Cos. www.copera.org

 

Pivotal Corp. has changed its mind about a takeover offer from CDC Software Corp. The Vancouver-based software company now views the CDC offer to be a “superior transaction” to a standing offer from Oak Investment Partners. Pivotal originally deemed the Oak offer to be superior, but now must wait until Thursday for Oak to either bail out of the process or amend its own offer. www.pivotal.com

 

Viacom Inc. (NYSE: RBV) is nearing a decision to sell its 82% stake in video-rental company Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BLOCKBUSTER), according to The Wall Street Journal. The likely buyer is a private equity consortium made up of Thomas H. Lee Partners, Blackstone Group and Quadrangle Group. The report added that Blockbuster could be valued at nearly $2.5 billion.  

 

Mark Weisdorf has resigned as vice president of private market investments of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The move becomes effective this Friday, December 5. In a brief statement, CPP said that the decision was made due to “differences in management philosophy.” www.cppib.ca

 

Applied Genetic Technologies Corp., a Gainesville, Fla.-based drug development company, has raised $15.25 million in Series A-1 funding. InterWest Partners led the deal, and was joined by InterSouth Partners, MedImmune Ventures and Skyline Ventures. The new capital will be used by AGTC to complete Phase I Human Clinical Trials and Phase II/III manufacturing for its gene therapy treatment for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, a form of emphysema.

 

Archipelago Holdings LLC, a Chicago-based electronic stock exchange operator, has announced its intentions to conduct an initial public offering (IPO). A registration statement is expected to be filed within the next several months, with the actual sale occurring sometime next year. No offering terms were disclosed. Earlier this month, Archipelago received a $125 million private equity investment from General Atlantic Partners. www.archipelago.com

 

Peter Brooke, chairman of Advent International and founder of TA Associates, has been named to the investment committee of the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (MassPRIM), according to The Boston Globe. Brooke and former MIT treasurer Glenn Strehle, are being added to replace Harvard endowment chief Jack Meyer and current MIT treasurer Allan Bufferd, who both resigned earlier this year over the dismissal of MassPRIM executive director James Hearty. www.mapension.com

 

 

Santur Corp., a Fremont, Calif.-based maker of source laser components for the telecom industry, has raised $10.19 million in Series C funding. VantagePoint Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Menlo Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Thomas Weisel Venture Partners and Lighthouse Capital Partners. www.santurcorp.com

 

DataMirror Corp. (Nasdaq: DMCX, TSX: DMC) has agreed to acquire PointBase Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of embedded Java database technologies. The deal is expected to close within 30 days, and includes $3.5 million in cash paid by DataMirror to PointBase shareholders. PointBase has raised over $37 million of venture funding since its 1997 inception, including a $25 million infusion in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $105 million. PointBase investors included Aspen Ventures, DataMirror, Goldman Sachs and JK&B Capital. www.datamirror.com

 

The European Commission has approved the purchase of Sweden-based real estate investment company Tornet Fastighets AB by Lehman Brothers and Swedish private equity firm Ratos AB. The offer is worth approximately $653 million, plus another $1.7 billion in assumed debt. www.tornet.se

 

Saperion AG, a Berlin-based provider of enterprise content management system software, has raised 6.7 million (approx. $8.01 million) in second-round funding. Investors included ViewPoint Capital Partners, 3i Group and Berlin Capital Fund. www.saperion.de

 

Skypoint Capital and Venture Coaches, both Canada-based venture capital firms, have agreed to merge. The new company will operate under the Skypoint Capital name, and will have $185 million in capital under management. www.skypointcorp.com

 

Colony Capital has agreed to acquire a baseball stadium and hotel from troubled Japanese retail firm Daiei. The deal is said to involve relatively little equity, but Colony will assume over $700 million in debt. Both the hotel and stadium are based in Fukuoka, Japan. 

 

Cherington Capital completed its deal to buy Pacific Consolidated Industries. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, although in a press release, Cherington said Bank of America will provide the senior bank financing.

 

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and Credit Suisse First Boston are considering a joint bid for chemicals business Dynamit Nobel, according to Bloomberg. The acquisition target, which was founded by Alfred Nobel in 1865, is currently owned by Frankfurt-based MG Technologies, and could fetch nearly $3 billion. A competing bid may come from Permira Advisors and Bain Capital.

NEWS FROM MONDAY 12/1

Onex Corp. has made a $400 million cornerstone commitment to a new fund being raised by its Onex Partners private equity group. The Canada-based fund recently held a $1 billion first close (including the $400 million), and is targeting $1.6 billion in total commitments. A final close is expected to occur during the first quarter of 2004. www.onex.com

 

DAFCA Inc., a Framingham, Mass.-based provider of electronic design automation (EDA) software tools, has raised $8 million in Series A funding. Kodiak Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by 3i US, Bay Partners, New Venture Partners and Vista Ventures. www.dafca.com

 

Legra Systems Inc., a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of wireless LAN switching solutions, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. New investor Duchossois TECnology Partners led an up-round which included participation from all Series A investors, including Kodiak Venture Partners and Genesis Partners. PE Week subscribers can read more on this news in today’s print edition, or in the protected Weekly Headlines section of www.PrivateEquityWeek.com.

 

Stockbyte, an Ireland-based provider of global stock photography solutions, has bought out shareholder ACT Venture Capital‘s 30% ownership stake for an undisclosed sum.  ACT bought a 25% stake in Stockbyte in 1997 and a further 5% in 2000. www.stockbyte.com

 

Big Bear Networks Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based maker of subsystems for fiber optic networking applications, has raised $18 million in third-round venture funding. Menlo Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Accel Partners, Austin Ventures, Oak Investment Partners and Sequoia Capital. www.bigbearnetworks.com

 

Hughes Supply Inc. has agreed to acquire Century Maintenance Supply Inc., a distributor of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products serving the multi-family apartment market. No deal terms were disclosed. Century is majority owned by private equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co., which acquired a 57% stake in Century back in 1998. www.centurysupply.com

 

Glycart Biotechnology, a Switzerland-based life sciences company focused on cancer and autoimmune diseases, has raised CHF 18 million (approx. $13.6 million) in Series A venture funding. Global Life Sciences Ventures and Gilde Investment Management co-ed the deal, and were joined by DCV Deutsche Venture Capital, ABN AMRO Capital, Questor Capital Management, BioMedinvest and return backer Novartis Venture Fund. www.glycart.com

 

Trinity Mirror PLC, a UK-based newspaper publishing group, has agreed to sell its regional newspaper business in Ireland for £46.3 million (approx. $79 million) in cash to 3i Group. The specific assets being sold are Century Press, Publishing Ltd. and The Derry Journal.

 

MarketXS, an Amsterdam-based provider of real-time market data technology, has raised €7.5 million ($9 million) in new private equity funding from One Equity Partners. It also secured a €5 million ($6 million) bank facility from Hollandsche Bank-Unie. The financing was closed in conjunction with a strategic partnership agreement with New York-based Moneyline Telerate, which is majority owned by One Equity Partners. www.moneyline.com

 

Pivotal Private Equity has completed its acquisition of Web domain name registrar Network Solutions Inc. from VerSign Inc. (Nasdaq: VERISIGN) Under previously announced terms of the agreement, VeriSign will receive approximately $100 million, consisting of $60 million in cash and a $40 million senior subordinated note. VeriSign, which acquired Network Solutions in 2000, also will retain a 15% equity stake in the company.

 

Triformix Inc., a Santa Rosa, Calif.-based provider of molded optical components, has raised $5.2 million in new venture funding. American River Ventures led deal, and was joined by fellow new investors Pacifica Fund and Selby Venture Partners, plus return backer SBV Venture Partners.

 

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Wine.com has raised $5 million in venture funding from investor Chris Kitze and Rosasi Venture Group. The new cash will be used to acquire Oakland-based gift basket provider A.K.A. Gourmet. www.wine.com

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