PE Week Wire — Friday 2/28

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Daniel Akerson, former chairman of XO Communications and a former partner with Forstmann Little & Co., will join The Carlyle Group on March 3 as a Washington DC-based managing director. He will focus on venture and buyout deals in North America. Prior to joining XO in 1999, Akerson served as chief executive officer of Nextel Communications Inc. (1996-1999).

Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda-based property and casualty reinsurance company created post-9/11, raised $220.8 million in an initial public offering yesterday. The company priced 9.6 million shares at $23 each, below the estimated offering range of $25 to $27 per share. The company was formed in December of 2001 by a $1.2 billion private equity investment from Aon Corp., CSFB Private Equity, Capital Z Investment Partners, GIC Special Investments, General Motors Investment Management, Golden Gate Capital, Lightyear Capital, Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association College Retirement, Reservoir Capital Group, Texas Pacific Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The IPO was lead-managed by Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.

Twinstrand Therapeutics Inc., a Vancouver-based biopharmaceutical company focused on cancer, has raised CA$10 million in venture capital funding. MDS Capital led the deal, and was joined by Ensis Growth Fund and return backers Growthworks and the Western Technology Seed Investment Fund.

Andrew Schoenthal has been named a senior associate for the private equity team at Charlesbank Capital Partners. He will be based in the firm’s New York office, and comes to Charlesbank after a stint with Whitney & Co.

Northland Cranberries Inc. last Friday made an offer to purchase Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.‘s juice business, including the Ocean Spray brand. The equity and debt financing for the $800 million-plus deal would by arranged by Sun Capital Partners, which is Northland’s controlling shareholder.

Select Comfort Corp. (Nasdaq:SCSS) has filed a registration statement in connection with a proposed underwritten secondary public offering of 4.4 million shares of its common stock, plus an over-allotment option of 660,000 shares. The shares are being sold by St. Paul Venture Capital and other selling shareholders. At the completion of the offering, St. Paul Venture Capital will continue to own approximately 70 percent of its stake in the company.

NuTech Solutions Inc., a Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of predictive analytics and profit optimization software, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of the software development and consulting operations of BiosGroup Inc. Since 1996, BiosGroup has raised more than $20 million in venture capital financing from Ernst & Young, Procter & Gamble Co. and Ford Motor Co.

Joe Mandato has been named a director at Menlo Park, Calif.-based De Novo Ventures. Mandato has served in senior management positions at a number of life sciences companies, including Ioptex Research, Origin MedSystems, A Company Orthodontics and Heart Rhythm Technologies. Mandato was also a co-founder and CEO of Gynecare. He serves or has served on the boards of Align Technology, Confer Software, EM3 Software, Novasys Medical and The Madrone Group.

CSX Corp. and The Carlyle Group have completed the conveyance of CSX Lines LLC, from CSX to a venture formed with The Carlyle Group. CSX received $300 million, consisting of $240 million in cash and $60 million of securities issued by the venture. As part of the transaction, originally announced last December, former CSX Lines president and CEO Charles G. (Chuck) Raymond and his management team will lead the Charlotte, N.C.-based ocean carrier, now named Horizon Lines LLC. Raymond will also chair the board of directors of the company.

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Phil Wickham has been named a Silicon Valley-based managing director of global venture firm Copan. He has previously worked at Profile Ventures and Jafco.

The Deal is reporting that Red Herring is on the block, and that controlling shareholder Broadview Capital has hired investment bank DeSilva & Phillips to help find buyers. The article implies that the bank is essentially just pitching the brand name and subscriber lists (for a paltry $2 million!), which seems to mean that the magazine itself may be running out of shelf-life.


HealthPoint LLC, a private equity firm exclusively focused on the orthopedic device industry, is nearing a final close on its $200 million inaugural fund. In preparation of the big day, the New York-based shop recently hired Carl McCall as vice chairman and managing director. McCall is the former comptroller of the State of New York (where he oversaw state pension fund investments), and most recently made news by losing the state’s gubernatorial race to incumbent George Pataki.

Convio, an Austin, Texas-based developer of software for the nonprofit sector, has raised $5.6 million in third round funding. Investors include Granite Ventures, Austin Ventures, Silverton Partners and Neil Webber, co-founder and former CTO of Vignette Corp. The company has now raised $22.2 million since being founded in early 1999.

AppIQ, a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of storage management software, today announced that it raised $12 million in its second round of venture capital financing. The deal was led by Series A backers Matrix Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners, and brings the company’s total venture capitalization to $20 million.

CRC Health Corp. has acquired Comprehensive Addiction Programs Inc., an operator of 16 residential and outpatient addition treatment facilities. North Castle Partners led the deal’s $40 million equity syndicate, which also included Credit Suisse First Boston. The $70 million senior debt tranche was led by BNP Paribas and Madison Capital.

Open Text Corp. (Nasdaq: OTEX) has agreed to acquire enterprise software developer Corechange Inc. for approximately $3.6 million in cash. Boston-based Corechange has raised over $68 million since its 1996 founding from such investors as ABN AMRO Private Equity, Exelon Capital Partners, HarbourVest Partners, Nortel Networks Corp., SG Cowen Private Equity, Samsung Securities Co., Sterling Partners and UBS Capital Corp. Following a $25 million Series C round in May 2001, the company was valued at approximately $75 million.

Siemens Mobile Acceleration has opened its first office in the United States and is planning to close its first two U.S. deals within the next six months. Siemens Mobile Acceleration was founded in July 2001 and has offices in Oberhaching, Germany, Beijing, Stockholm, Shanghai and now San Jose, Calif. The wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens AG supports start-up companies developing innovative mobile voice and data applications, services and technologies.

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