PE Week Wire — Friday 2/20

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American Biophysics Corp., a North Kingston, R.I.-based developer of mosquito abatement technology, has secured $35 million in new private equity financing. DLJ Growth Capital Partners led the deal, while Fleet Capital provided an additional $35 million in the form of a credit facility.

 

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has held a first close on its latest fund, and has made minor changes to its general partnership. Read more at www.PrivateEquityWeek.com.  

 

Tailwind Capital Partners has agreed to acquire Trover Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: TROVER), a Louisville, Ky.-based provider of outsourced insurance subrogation and other claims recovery and cost containment services. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $60 million, with Tailwind paying $7 per share of outstanding Trover common stock. CapitalSource Finance has agreed to provide senior debt financing, while Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin advised Trover on the deal. Tailwind is the merchant banking affiliate of Thomas Weisel Partners. www.troversolutions.com

 

JBoss Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of Java application servers, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Matrix Partners led the deal, with Accel Partners also participating. David Skor, a general partner with Matrix and the former founder and CEO of SilverStream Software, will join the JBoss board of directors in conjunction with the financing. www.jboss.com

 

Digital Path Networks Inc., a Chico, Calif.-based provider of high-speed Internet access for both homes and offices, has raised $5.3 million in new VC funding. Investors include EarthLink Inc., Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ Frontier and certain angel investors. www.digitalpath.net

 

InSciTek Microsystems Inc., a Rochester, N.Y.-based provider of IT and telephony products for small- and mid-sized enterprises, has raised $6 million in Series C funding. Performance Technologies Inc. led the deal with a $3 million investment, and was joined by Cephas Capital Partners and individual investors. www.inscitek.com

 

ANDevices Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based optics company focused on communications and bio-photonics applications, has raised an undisclosed amount of first-round funding AsiaTech Management led the deal, and was joined by several Silicon Valley angel investors. www.andevices.com 

 

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that private equity firms like The Carlyle Group may submit bids on a possible sale of thousands of landlines by Verizon Communications.

 

Dow Jones & Co. has agreed to acquire Alternative Investor Group from Wicks Business Information LLC for approximately $85 million in cash. The purchase price could be increased by $5 million, depending on certain performance milestones.

 

Vulcan Capital has agreed to acquire Plains Resources Inc. (NYSE: PLX), in a deal valued at approximately $430 million, including the assumption of debt. Vulcan agreed to pay $16.75 per share of outstanding Plains Resource common stock.

 

Cherokee International Corp. , a Tustin, Calif.-based provider of power supplies for OEMs, will begin trading its common stock on the Nasdaq today under ticker symbol CHRK. Yesterday, the company priced million shares of common stock at $14.50 per share (over its $12-$14 per share offering range), for a total IPO take of $95.7 million. Oaktree Capital Management is Cherokee International’s controlling shareholder. www.cherokeellc.com

 

Dynavax Technologies Corp., a Berkeley, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company, began trading on the Nasdaq yesterday under ticker symbol DVAX. The company previously priced 6 million shares of common stock common stock at $7.50 per share (under its $12-$14 per share offering range), for a total IPO take of $45 million. It closed trading yesterday up at $9.40 per share. The company had raised over $90 million in VC funding from investors like Sanderling Ventures, Forward Ventures, Alta Partners, InterWest Partners and BA Ventures. www.dynavax.com

 

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) reported that its alternative investment portfolio posted 1.8% returns for the 12 months ending December 31, 2003. www.calpers.ca.gov

 

Carlion Health System, the Virginia Tech Foundation and Third Security LLC have jointly formed the Roanoke-New River Valley Investment Fund, which will invest approximately $55 million into companies that operate in the Roanoke and New River Valley regions. The fund will be governed by a local board of directors and will be managed by Third Security. 

 

The Deal is reporting that Oaktree Capital Management is nearing a final close of more than $1 billion for its latest private equity fund.  

 

Institutional Venture Partners has promoted Dennis Phelps to the position of managing director. He joined the Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm in October 2001 as a principal, after having spent time at both Battery Ventures and Internet Capital Group. www.ivp.com 

 

NEWS FROM THURSDAY 2/19

New Enterprise Associates has closed its 11th fund with $1.1 billion, which brings the firm’s total capital under management to $6 billion. As first reported in this space, NEA held a $994 million first close on the fund back in December. www.nea.com

 

Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) has agreed to acquire Catena Networks Inc., an Morrisville, N.C.-based provider of broadband access solutions. The all-stock deal is valued at approximately $486.7 million, based on the yesterday’s closing price of Ciena stock. Catena had raised around $192 million in VC funding since its 1999 inception, including a $73 million Series C deal in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $335 million, and a $75 million Series D round in 2002 at a post-money valuation of approximately $155 million. Company investors included Morgenthaler Ventures, BCE Capital, Berkeley International Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs, J&W Seligman & Co., JPMorgan Partners, Lee Munder Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, WestAM Private Equity and Worldview Technology Partners. www.catena.com

 

Morphotek Inc., an Exton, Pa.-based biotech company that uses gene evolution technology to develop protein and antibody products, has raised $26 million in Series C funding. Forward Ventures led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investors S.R. One Ltd., Morgenthaler Ventures, Rock Maple Ventures, China Development Industrial Bank and DSM Venturing. Return backers include Flagship Ventures, Burrill & Co., CB Health Ventures and Trieste Capital. Morphotek now has raised around $38 million in total VC funding since its 2000 inception, including a $10 million deal in 2001 at a post-money valuation of approximately $20 million. www.morphotek.com

 

Think3 Inc., a Cincinnati-based provider of product development solutions to mid-sized manufacturers in the lifecycle management industry, has raised $11 million in a new VC funding round led by DCM-Doll Capital Management. The company now has raised around $70 million in venture funding since its 1999 inception, including a $20 million deal in 2000 at a post-money valuation of $109 million, and an $11.42 million deal in 2002 at a post-money valuation of around $47.35 million. The most recent funding was sold with a post-money valuation north of $100 million. www.think3.com

 

Teravicta Technologies Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of RF MEMS switches and integrated solutions, has raised $6 million in new VC funding from Convergent Investors and Agave Capital. www.teravicta.com

 

Nimcat Networks Inc., an Ottawa-based provider of peer-to-peer call processing software, has received new Series A funding from Siemens Venture Capital. www.nimcatnetworks.com

 

Preventsys Inc., a Carlsbad, Calif.-based provider of network security audit and policy assurance systems, has raised $3 million in Series B funding from UV Partners. The company also has added Thomas Rowley as CEO. www.preventsys.com

 

Olympus Partners has completed its acquisition of Homax Products Inc., a Bellingham, Wash.-based supplier of specialty-application products to the home care and repair market. Olympus invested over $100 million of equity in the deal. Homax was sold by Harbour Group Ltd. www.homaxproducts.com

 

Newbridge Capital reportedly has expressed interest in acquiring two state-owned investment trust companies: Korea Investment & Securities and Daehan Investment & Securities Co. Newbridge will be just one of many bidders for each business.

 

Texas Pacific Group has been named as a potential bidder in the sale of Edison Mission Energy‘s Asia-Pacific power portfolio, according to Reuters. Most of the interest for the 14 power-generating projects is coming from inside Asia, although General Electric and UK-based International Power PLC also have been  mentioned as potential bidders. Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse First Boston are working together on the sale.

 

The Compass Group has acquired a majority interest in KB Socks Inc., an El Segundo, Calif-based maker and marketer of novelty hosiery products. No deal terms were disclosed.

 

Navis Capital Partners has paid $15 million to acquire Dome Coffees Australia Ltd., a specialty coffee and restaurant chain in the Australian and Asian markets. www.domecoffees.com

 

First Albany Companies Inc. (Nasdaq: FACT) has agreed to acquire Descap Securities Inc., a New York-based broker-dealer and I-bank specializing in mortgage-backed securities. The value of the transaction is approximately $32 million, plus future consideration based on financial performance.

 

Verity Inc. (Nasdaq: VRTY) has agreed to pay $3.8 million in cash to acquire Native Minds Inc., a San Francisco-based software company that has developed integrated self-service solutions called virtual representatives. Native Minds had raised over $30 million in VC funding since its 1996 inception, including a $27.5 million infusion in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $79 million. Company investors include Alliant Computer Systems Corp., Band of Angels, CIBC Bank, Horizon Ventures, Oracle Ventures and TA Associates. www.nativeminds.com

 

Linktone Ltd. , a Shanghai-based provider of entertainment-focused services to mobile phone users in China, has filed to raise $84.72 million via an IPO of 6.06 million American Depository Shares on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol LTON. The company has received VC backing from firms like Index Corp., Mitsubishi Corp. and Temasek Capital. www.linktone.com

 

Shinsei Bank, a portfolio company of Ripplewood Holdings, got off to a strong debut in its IPO, jumping to a 58% gain on its first trading session. The stock, originally priced at ¥525 per share, closed the day at ¥827. The IPO raised around $2.35 billion. 

 

Ivy Capital Partners has closed its debut investment fund with $30 million. The Montvale, N.J.-based private equity firm is focused solely on the musculoskeletal and orthopedic sectors of the healthcare industry. www.ivycapitalpartners.com

 

Putnam Lovell Capital Partners, the private equity group of Putnam Lovell NBF, has been reorganized into an independent company and renamed Lovell Minnick Partners. The firm manages $150 million in private equity capital and concentrates on the global financial services sector. Terms of the reorganization were not disclosed.

 

Manish Mittal has joined Kennet Venture Partners as a finance director. He spent his past three years with Advent International, and most recently served as that firm’s financial controller. www.kennetventures.com

 

Ross Sayers has decided to leave his chairman position with Associated British Ports reportedly to  head up a new €1 billion European VC fund being launched by Australia-based Macquarie Bank Ltd.

 

Gary Gertz has agreed to join Belvedere Capital Partners as president during the second quarter of 2004. He is currently president and CEO of the California Bankers Association. www.belvederecapital.com


Georges van Hoegaerden, president of The Venture Co., has joined Belgium-based Big Bang Ventures as a venture partner.
www.bbv.be

 

Owens-Illinois Inc. (NYSE: OI) has agreed to acquire BSN Glasspack SA, the second-largest glass container maker in Europe. The deal includes around $625 million in cash plus the assumption of $835 million in debt. BSN Glasspack is currently owned by funds controlled by CVC Capital Partners Europe. www.bsnglasspack.com

 

NEWS FROM WEDNESDAY 2/18

Inovys Corp., a Pleasanton, Calif.-based provider of semiconductor testing equipment, has raised $16.3 million in Series C funding. Storm Ventures led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investors HIG Ventures, Hotung Ventures and Revolution Ventures. Return backers CMEA Ventures, Palomar Ventures, TechFarm and Synopsys Inc. also participated. The company now has raised $38.8 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception, including a $17.7 million Series B deal in 2001 at a post-money valuation of just over $30 million. www.inovys.com

 

Dust Inc., a Berkeley, Calif.-based developer of wireless mesh sensor networks, has raised $7 million in Series A funding. Foundation Capital led the deal, and was joined by Institutional Venture Partners and In-Q-Tel. www.dust-inc.com

 

Kimotion Technologies Inc., a Geneva-based provider of EDA software for analog and mixed-signal ICs, has raised €3 million in Series A funding. Index Ventures led the deal, and was joined by Innovacom. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Belgian university
from which the technology was spun-off, has retained a minority ownership position. www.kimotion.com

 

Candera Inc., a Milipitas, Calif.-based provider of storage solutions for IT infrastructures, has raised $12 million in new venture capital funding. New investors Athenian Venture Partners and fort Washington Partners were joined by return backers AsiaTech Management, Dali Hook Partners, Hotung Group, New Enterprise Associates, Redpoint Ventures and Venture Strategy Partners. The company now has raised $59 million in total VC funding since its 2000 inception. www.candera.com

 

Starhome BV has received $20 million in private equity funding from Apax Partners. The company is a Netherlands-based subsidiary of Comverse Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: CMVT), and provides mobile roaming technology and solutions. www.starhome.com

 

Code Hennessy & Simmons has agreed to acquire The Hillman Cos.from Allied Capital Corp. The total transaction value is approximately $510 million, which includes repayment of outstanding debt and the value of the company’s outstanding trust preferred shares. Net cash proceeds to Allied Capital are expected to be $192 million. It also expects to be repaid $44 million in outstanding mezzanine debt, but to provide $47.5 million in new mezzanine finance to Hillman in conjunction with the acquisition. Hillman Cos. is a Cincinnati-based manufacturer of key-making equipment. www.hillmangroup.com

 

CVC Capital Partnershas agreed to acquire Verdugt BV, a Netherlands-based manufacturer and marketer of organic acid salts and blends, from Castle Harlan. ING Bank is providing debt facilities for the deal, although no financial terms were disclosed. Castle Harlan acquired the company in February 1999, along with Wachovia Capital Partners, Demetree Investment Group, the principals of US Salt Holdings and CVC. CVC will acquire the shares of all other investors and, subject to regulatory approval, will own 100% of Verdugt, along with company management.  

 

CINAR Corp. (OTC BB: CINRB) said yesterday that shareholders have voted more than 99% in favor of a proposed buyout of the company by an investor group that includes TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners.  

 

Saunders Karp & Megrue has agreed to sell Hat World Corp. to Genesco Inc. for $165 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of April.

 

Citigroup has worked out a deal to secure a 46.36% stake in Koram Bank, according to JoongAng Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper. The financial giant will buy the 36.6% stake of The Carlyle Group and J.P. Morgan Chase, plus the 9.76% stake of Standard Chartered Bank in a deal valued at 1.4 trillion won ($1.2 billion).

 

Reuters is reporting that Fortress Investment Group has been picked as the preferred bidder to acquire Boxclever, a U.K.-based television rental firm. Cerberus Capital Management, Terra Firma and a strategic buyer were all said to among the bidders.

 

Dow Jones is reporting that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Alpinvest Partners, Permira and Cinven Group have formed a consortium to put in a bid for Netherlands retailer Vendex KBB. The company has been approached with a number of offers since early this year, and is expected to fetch north of €2 billion.

 

Ark Therapeutics Inc., a London-based healthcare company focused on the vascular and circulatory systems, has announced its intentions to raise £55 million (approx. $70.5 million) via a float on the London Stock Exchange. The offering is expected to close by mid-March. Ark has raised over $58 million of VC funding since its 1997 inception, with investors including BankInvest Group, Merlin Biosciences, Nomura International, Northern Venture Managers and Techno Venture Management.

 

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., a Los Angeles-based provider of commercial real estate services, has filed to raise $150 million via an IPO of common stock on the NYSE under proposed ticker symbol CBG. The company was acquired in a 2001 buyout led by Blum Capital Partners, which owns a 67.2% ownership stake prior to the IPO. Other CB Richard Ellis shareholders include company management and Freeman Spogli & Co. www.cbre.com

 

Tercica Inc., a South San Francisco-based drug developer focused on growth biology, has decreased its IPO offering price range from $14-$16 per share to $11-$13 per share. It also has increased its number of shares offered from 5 million to 5.5 million, and made changes to its underwriter list. The company originally filed for an IPO last September, but in November postponed the offering due to poor market conditions. It has raised over $65 million in VC funding since its 1999 inception, with investors including MPM Capital, Prospect Ventures, Rho Ventures, Care Capital and MedImmune Ventures.   www.tercica.com

 

Xcyte Therapies Inc., a Seattle-based biotech company, yesterday set its IPO offering range between $13-$15 per share, and set its number of shares to 4 million. The company also removed UBS Investment Bank as an underwriter, and added RBC Capital Markets and JMP Securities. Xcyte has raised approximately $73 million in venture capital funding, with major investors including ARCH Venture Partners, MPM Capital, Sprout Group and Alta Partners. www.xcytetherapies.com

 

Michael Barr has been promoted to the position of vice president at Sterling Investment Partners, which he joined two years ago after an associate stint with Lehman Brothers. www.sterlinglp.com

 

NEWS FROM TUESDAY 2/17

Alibaba.com Corp., an e-commerce company based in Beijing, China, has raised $82 million in new venture capital funding. New investors Granite Global Ventures was joined on the deal by return backers Softbank Corp., Fidelity Ventures and Venture TDF Technology Group. The company now has raised around $107 million since its 1999 inception. www.alibaba.com

 

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has agreed to acquire Merck KGaA‘s lab distribution business for approximately $1.65 billion. The asset being sold is VWR International, a West Chester, Pa.-based provider of laboratory supplies to the industrial, pharmaceutical, educational and government markets. It has 5,880 worldwide employees and 2003 revenue of around $2.8 billion (two-thirds from North America, the rest from Europe). As part of the buyout agreement, VWR will continue to distribute Merck’s lab products. www.vwr.com

 

NIB Capital, a Dutch merchant bank owned jointly by Netherlands-based pension funds ABP and PGGM, has decided to spin off its private equity arm. The new group has been renamed AlpInvest Partners (which was the name of a Dutch private equity firm bought by ABP and PGGM in 2000), and its owners have provided €6 billion in additional investment capital. The firm previously had €14 billion under management, spread out over investments in funds-of-funds, secondaries, co-investments and direct investments. www.nibcapital.com

 

Acceleron Pharma, a Boston-based drug company focused on the treatment of musculoskeletal and metabolic disorders, has raised $25 million in Series A funding. Polaris Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by Advanced Technology Ventures, Flagship Ventures, Venrock Associates and Sutter Hill Ventures. 

 

Above All Software Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of point-and-click software for the rapid assembly of composite applications, has raised $11.5 million in Series B funding. Greylock led the deal, and was joined by return backers JPMorgan Partners, Granite Ventures, Adobe and SipplMacDonald Ventures. The company has now raised $18 million since its 2002 inception. www.aboveallsoftware.com

 

Catalytic Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of software designed to increase DSP application productivity, has raised $6 million in first-round funding at a post-money valuation of just over $12 million. New Enterprise Associates led the deal, and was joined by returning seed-stage backer ITU Ventures. www.catalyticinc.com.

 

Bridgestream Inc., an Oakland-based provider of authorization management software, has raised $3.5 million in Series A-1 funding. Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Outlook Ventures co-led the deal, and were joined by return backers Polestar Capital, WBCW and NewVista Capital. Bridgestream now has raised $7 million in VC funding since its 1999 inception. www.bridgestream.com

 

Intrepid Learning Solutions, a Seattle-based provider of managed training solutions, has raised $4.25 million in new venture funding. Rustic Canyon Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Madrona Venture Group, Buerk Dale Victor and Staenberg Venture Partners. www.intrepidLS.com

 

Enerpulse Inc., an Albuquerque-based maker of a new type of spark plug, has received $2.25 million in venture funding from Altira. www.directhits.com

 

RAG Coal International AG, an Essen, Germany-based energy company, is preparing to sell all of its foreign mining operations to an investment consortium made up of First Reserve Corp., The Blackstone Group and American Metals & Coal International. RAG already had agreed to sell off its remaining mining units in Australia, Venezuela and Colorado (to Peabody Energy), but now will unload its remaining U.S. fines for an undisclosed amount.  www.rag-coalinter.de

 

PAI Partners may have some reservations about its proposed buyout of Italian coffee machine maker Saeco Group. The France-based private equity firm in December agreed to acquire a 66.85% stake in Saeco for around 508 million, but now wants to evaluate Q4 financial statements before proceeding. 

 

The Yucaipa Cos. and Diversified Investment Management Group have received bankruptcy court approval for their buyout of Baton Rouge, La.-based Piccadilly Cafeterias Inc. No sale terms were disclosed.    

 

Terra Firma Capital Partners has made a £400 million bid for cinema chain UCI, according to The Times of London. UCI is owned by Vivendi Universal and Viacom, which have tapped Merrill Lynch to advise on the proposed sale. HgCapital also is rumored to be interested in making a bid.  

 

Medeus Pharma Inc. has completed its $120 million acquisition of Elan Corp.‘s European sales and marketing business. Medeus was formed by Apax Partners and Bryan Morton, and recently named former Glaxo Wellcome CEO Richard Sykes as its chairman.

 

WellCare Group Inc., a Tampa, Fla.-based provider of managed care services, has filed to raise $100 million via an IPO on the NYSE under proposed ticker symbol WCG. The company was formed in May 2002 by Soros Private Equity Investors, which invested just over $70 million.

 

Jafra SA (a.k.a. CDRJ North Atlantic), a Luxemburg-based cosmetics company, has filed to raise $100 million via an IPO on the NYSE under proposed ticker symbol JFA. The company was acquired from The Gillette Co. in April 1998 by buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc., which currently owns a 29.51% ownership stake. www.jafra.com

 

Kodiak Venture Partners has promoted John Abraham and Chris Greendale to the position of general partner, and promoted Subhash Roy to the position of principal. Abraham and Greendale previously served as venture partners, while Roy was the firm’s first entrepreneur-in-residence. All three joined Kodiak in the second quarter of last year. www.kodiakvp.com

 

Austin Ventures has promoted both Kevin Lalande and Krishna Srinvasan to the position of principal. Lalande joined the firm in 2001, and focuses on technology-enabled product and service companies, with a particular focus on nanotechnology. Srinivasan joined AV in 2000 and concentrates on the semiconductor, systems and EDA software companies. www.austinventures.com

 

David Lang, a managing director of TA Associates, has resigned from the board of Lawson Software Inc. (Nasdaq: LWSN). Lang has served on the Lawson board since March 2001, in conjunction with a TA Associates investment in the company. www.lawson.com

 

 

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