PE Week Wire — Friday 4/23

Get The Wire in your inbox each morning! Just send us an email.

Network Associates Inc. (NYSE: NET) has agreed to sell its Sniffer product line to Silver Lake Partners and Texas Pacific Group for $275 million in cash. The private equity firms will form a new entity named Network General Corp., which will continue to develop and sell Sniffer branded products. In unrelated news, Network Associates plans to change its name to McAfee Inc. www.networkassociates.com

 

RF Micro Devices Inc. (Nasdaq: RFMD) has agreed to acquire Silicon Wave Inc., a San Diego-based provider of integrated circuits for wireless personal area networks (WPANs). RF Micro Devices will pay around $10.8 million in cash for all outstanding Silicon Wave shares not already owned, plus additional cash in 2005 and 2006 if certain performance milestones are met. The deal is expected to close within the next 30 days. Silicon Wave has raised over $125 million in total VC funding since its 1997 inception, including a $56.7 million infusion in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $453 million. Investors on that deal included Velocity Capital Management, Signal Lake Management, 3Com Ventures, Ampersand Ventures, Benarova Capital, Intersil Corp., J&W Seligman & Co., JPMorgan Partners, Nexus Group and Mitsubishi Corp. www.siliconwave.com

 

Bain Capital is hoping to raise $3 billion for its eighth leveraged buyout fund, according to yesterday’s Boston Globe. The article says that the Boston-based firm sent fund-raising letters to existing limited partners this past Wednesday. www.baincap.com

 

InSilica Inc., a Bangalore, India-based provider of system-n-a-chip solutions, has raised $10 million in Series B funding from NewPath Ventures and Flextronics. www.insilica.com

 

Lighthouse Communications Inc., a Des Moines, Iowa-based provider of data communications services, has raised $5 million in new private equity funding. Return backers included the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Equity Dynamics and Principal Financial Group (NYSE: PFG). www.lh.net

 

The Gospel Music Channel has received an undisclosed amount of startup capital from Alpine Equity Partners and Constellation Ventures (an affiliate fund of Bear Stearns Asset Management). The nascent network is based in Atlanta, and expects to launch in the fourth quarter.

 

Crescent Capital Investments has agreed to acquire Loehmann’s Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LHMS), a Bronx, N.Y.-based specialty apparel retailer, for $23 cash per share of outstanding common stock. The total transaction is valued at $177 million, including $100 million in debt financing from Silver Point Finance and existing Loehmann’s lender CIT Group/Business Credit Inc. www.loehmanns.com

 

Lime Rock Partners has sold portfolio company New Patriot Drilling Corp. to Grey Wolf Inc. (AMEX: GW), for approximately $35 million in cash ($15.8 million) and Grey Wolf stock. New Patriot is a Casper, Wyoming-based drilling contractor, and represents the first exit for Lime Rock’s second fund, which closed in October 2002 with $320 million. www.gwdrilling.com

 

Willis Stein & Partners has completed its previously announced acquisition of Jays Foods LLC, a Chicago-based snack food company. No deal terms were disclosed. www.jaysfoods.com

 

Adelphia Communications Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002, is considering a sale of the company, with potential suitors including both private equity firms and rival cable companies.

  

NVIDIA Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) has acquired the assets of iReady Corp., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of TCP/IP and iSCSI offload solutions. No deal terms were disclosed. Iready has raised approximately $70 million in total VC funding since its 1996 inception, from investors like Canaan Partners, Crescendo Venture Management, Crown Advisors International, Globespan Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, National Semiconductor, RWI Group, Telos Venture Partners and Black Diamond Ventures. www.iready.com

 

Telitas US Inc., a newly formed subsidiary of Telitas AS, has acquired wireless application provider Proteus Inc., which has received VC funding from Lycos Ventures.

 

Total Safety Inc., a portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital, has acquired WellSafe Inc., a division of W-H Energy Services Inc. (NYSE: WHQ). Edgeview Partners advised W-H Energy on the deal.

  

Nanosys Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of nanotechnology-enabled products, has filed to raise $115 million via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol NNSY. The company has raised around $54.15 million in total VC funding since its 2001 inception, with significant shareholders including ARCH Venture Partners, CW Group, Polaris Venture Partners and Venrock Associates. www.nanosysinc.com

 

Xerium Technologies Inc., a Westborough, Mass.-based supplier of two categories of consumable products used in the production of paper, has filed to raise $700 million via an IPO of income deposit securities (IDS). No exchange or ticker symbol information has yet been disclosed. The company is an indirect, whole owned subsidiary of Xerium SA, which is majority-owned by Apax Partners. CIBC World Markets Corp. – which is lead managing the IPO – also holds a 5.6% interest in Xerium SA.

 

The Active Network Inc., a La Jolla, Calif.-based provider of application and marketing services for the active lifestyle industry, has filed to raise $46 million via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol ACTN. Significant shareholders include Canaan Partners, ABS Ventures, TicketMaster Online-CitySearch Inc., Austin Ventures, Charles River Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners and Enterprise Partners. www.theactivenetwork.com

 

SiFR Technology Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of semiconductor and software products, has begun trading on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol SIRF. Yesterday, the company priced 11 million shares of common stock at $12 per share (high end of its $10-$12 offering range), for a total IPO take of around $132 million. The company had raised around $80 million in VC funding since its 1995 inception, with significant shareholders including Conexant Systems Inc. and Tallwood Venture Capital. www.sirf.com

 

 

Ken Olisa, chairman and founder of UK-based technology merchant bank Interregnum PLC, has been named non-executive director of Reuters Group PLC.

 

Robert Baird & Co. has agreed to purchase Northwestern Mutual‘s 57% stake in Baird for an undisclosed amount. As part of the agreement, Northwestern Mutual will retain the option to acquire up to a 7% equity interest in Baird sometime in the future. www.rwbaird.com

 

The Yangtze Special Situations Fund LP, a special-situations fund focused on China, has held a $100 million first close. It is being marketed with a $500 million target capitalization by co-sponsors Colony Capital Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. and a unit of Shanghai Industrial Investment Corp. It plans to invest in China and, to a lesser extent, Hong Kong and Macau, targeting non-performing loans, distressed assets and distressed companies and financial institutions.

 

NEWS FROM THURSDAY 4/22

Ares Management LLC has filed to raise $450 million for an IPO of a newly-formed business development company (BDC) named Ares Capital Corp. Ares is a Los Angeles-based investment management firm that specializes in private equity and leveraged finance transactions. It is the seventh private equity shop to file for a BDC this month, following Apollo Management, KKR, Blackstone, Evercore Partners, Kelso & Co. and Prospect Street. www.aresmanagement.com

 

Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) reportedly is in talks to acquire venerable film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. for approximately $5 billion in cash. Sony is being supported on the deal by buyout firms Texas Pacific Group and Providence Equity Partners. www.merunetworks.com

 

Meru Networks Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of wireless communications services and solutions, has raised $17 million in Series B funding. BlueStream Ventures led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investor Sierra Ventures. Return backers included Clearstone Venture Partners, NeoCarta Ventures, Evercore Ventures, BrainHeart Capital, JumpStartUp Venture Fund, Monitor Ventures and Dot Edu Ventures. www.merunetworks.com

 

 

Scalix Corp., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of an enterprise messaging platform for Linux, has raised $6 million in new VC funding from Mohr Davidow Ventures. The company had previously raised $13.2 million from Mayfield and New Enterprise Associates. www.scalix.com

 

 

Solid Information Technology Corp., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of an autonomic data management platform, has raised $14 million in Series B funding. CapMan and Apax Partners co-led the deal. www.solidtech.com

 

The Guardian is reporting that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) recently held talks to acquire publicly traded UK drug company Alliance Unichem PLC. The article also says that Unichem CEO Stefano Pessina has broken off talks on what could have been a $4.42 billion deal. Pessina is the company’s largest shareholder with a 32% stake.

 

Accent Equity Partners has sold portfolio company Tribon Solutions AB to UK-based Aveva Group PLC (LSE: AVV). Tribon is a Sweden-based supplier of IT solutions for shipbuilding and marine supplies. The deal reportedly is worth over $33.6 million. www.tribon.com

 

 

Sybase Inc. (NYSE: SY) has agreed to acquire the assets of Dejima Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of mobile access solutions using natural language interface technology. No deal terms were disclosed. Dejima had raised over $27 million in VC funding from investors like CMGI @Ventures, InfoSpace.com, MC Capital, Mitsubishi and Sonera Venture Partners. www.dejima.com

 

Boyd Holdings LLC and Technology Funding have partnered to acquire the paper check repair division – CheckTech — of Wood Financial Products. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

  

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Norristown, Pa.-based drug company focused on urologic and sexual health disorders, has filed to raise $86.25 million via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol AUXL. The company has raised over $95 million in venture capital funding since its 1999 inception, with significant shareholders including Perseus-Soros BioPharmaceutical Fund, SCP Private Equity, Lehman Brothers, Schroder Ventures International Life Sciences, OrbiMed Advisors, Biotech Growth NV and Sprout Group. www.auxilium.com

 

Kindercare Learning Centers Inc., a Portland, Ore.-based provider of early childhood care and educational services, has filed to raise $625 million via an IPO of income deposit securities (IDS). No exchange or ticker symbol information has yet been disclosed. The company is majority-owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., which acquired the company in 1997. The company also lists Oaktree Capital Management (an affiliate of TCW Group) as a significant shareholder. www.kindercare.com

   

Bill Ford and Michael McHugh have joined MCG Capital Corp. as managing directors. Ford previously served as a managing director with private equity firm Perseus, while McHugh spent the past eight years with GE Corporate Financial Services Media & Communications group. www.mcgcapital.com

 

Kevin Kelley and Robert Kidder both have been named partners with Stonehenge Partners LLC. Kelley most recently served as executive vice president of Borden Inc., while Kidder served as Borden’s chairman and CEO. Kidder will maintain his non-executive chairman role with Borden Chemical Inc., and previously served as chairman and CEO of Duracell International Inc. www.StonehengeFinancial.com

 

Zero Stage Capital has promoted Matt Kelley to the position of managing director. He will continue to serve as the firm’s chief operating officer, after having originally joined the firm as a principal. www.zerostage.com

 

Robert Baird & Co. has agreed to purchase Northwestern Mutual‘s 57% stake in Baird for an undisclosed amount. As part of the agreement, Northwestern Mutual will retain the option to acquire up to a 7% equity interest in Baird sometime in the future. www.rwbaird.com

 

The Yangtze Special Situations Fund LP, a special-situations fund focused on China, has held a $100 million first close. It is being marketed with a $500 million target capitalization by co-sponsors Colony Capital Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. and a unit of Shanghai Industrial Investment Corp. It plans to invest in China and, to a lesser extent, Hong Kong and Macau, targeting non-performing loans, distressed assets and distressed companies and financial institutions.

 

NEWS FROM WEDNESDAY 4/21

Golden Gate Capital and North Castle Partners are co-sponsoring a $650 million leveraged recap of Leiner Health Products Inc., a Carson, Calif.-based manufacturer of vitamins, nutritional supplements and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. The deal includes around $265 million in equity from Golden Gate and North Castle (which previously served as Leiner’s majority shareholder with an 80% stake), plus another $385 million in senior note and junk bond offerings led by UBS. Leiner management also will retain significant ownership in the company. Evercore Partners had been reported to be interested in the deal, but ultimately opted not to participate.  

 

Steven Price has joined Spectrum Equity Partners as a general partner. He most recently served as president and chief executive of Spectrum portfolio company LiveWire Capital, a White Plains, N.Y.-based investment and management firm focused on the media, telecom and IT industries.

 

Shoebuy.com Inc., a Boston-based online retailer of footwear and accessories, has raised $9 million in Series B funding from Apex Venture Partners and Tudor Ventures. As part of the deal, Lon Chow of Apax and Carmen Scarpa of Tudor Ventures will join the Shoebuy.com board of directors.

 

RBN Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of optical transport solutions for metro and access networks, has raised $9.5 million in new VC funding. Return backers included Allen & Buckeridge, Macquarie Technology Fund, Paecal Ventures and Redfern Photonics. The round also included a $4.5 million AusIndustry Start Grant from the Australian government, to help fund development of RBN’s next product line at its R&D headquarters in Syndey, Australia.

 

New England Capital Partners of Newton, Mass. has acquired Brigham’s Inc., an Arlington, Mass.-based ice cream maker that has been privately-owned by a group of foreign investors since 1998. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. In related news, NECP will install Charles Green as Brigham’s new president and chief executive on April 28. He also will become an equity holder in Brigham’s. Green most recently served as vice president of strategy and distributor management with Unilever Ice Cream, and previously was senior director of North American sales and distribution for Ben & Jerry’s.

 

CVC Capital Partners has acquired Verdugt BV, a Tiel, Netherlands-based manufacturer of organic acid salts. No financial terms of the transaction were disclosed. CVC had originally been part of an investment consortium that bought Verdugt from BP Amoco in 1999. It now has bought out co-investors Castle Harlan, Wachovia Capital Partners, Demetree Investment Group and the principals of US Salt Holdings LLC.

 

 

Targa Resources Inc., an independent energy resource acquisition company formed last year by Warburg Pincus, has completed its previously-announced acquisitions of midstream assets in Texas and Louisiana from ConocoPhillips. No financial terms were disclosed.

  

Global Home Products LLC, an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, has acquired three businesses – Burnes Picture Frame, Anchor Glass & Mirror and Mirro Cookware — from Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE: NWL). The agreement is worth approximately $310 million, which includes $240 million in cash and another $70 million in the businesses’ accounts receivables. Baird Investment Banking advised Newell Rubbermaid on the dead.

  

Davco Acquisition Holding Inc., a Crofton, Md.-based franchisee of Wendy’s restaurants, has filed to raise $161 million via an IPO of enhanced income securities (EIS) on the NYSE under proposed ticker symbol DVC. The company opened its first Wendy’s restaurant in 1976, and operated as a public company until being bought out in April 1998 by existing backer Citicorp Venture Capital, in partnership with company management.

 

Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd., a Shanghai-based operator of online games in China, has set its IPO price range to $13-$15 per American Depository Share (ADS). The company has received VC backing from the Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund, and originally filed for its IPO on April 2.

 

SalesForce.com Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of customer relationship management (CRM) services, has set its IPO offering price range to $7.50-$8.50, and set its number of offered shares to 10 million. The company has raised around $64 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception, including a $46.91 million infusion in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $334 million. Company investors included Attractor Investment Management and W.R. Hambrecht & Co.

 

Lindows Inc. and Navteq Corp. both filed for IPOs. Neither has received significant private equity investment.

 

Gander Mountain Inc. and ProCentury Corp. priced $91.6 million and $93.45 million IPOs, respectively. Neither company has received significant private equity investment.

   

Capstone Partners, a Boston-based M&A firm focused on the middle-markets, has hired Timothy Harned as a managing director. From 2000 to 2002, Harned served as executive director for Morgan Stanley’s Boston office, and spent the previous four years with Banc of America Securities.

 

Pensions & Investments is reporting that Mark Yusko, chief investment officer for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will leave his post at the end of June. An internal search committee has been formed to find a replacement.

 

JPMorgan Partners reported first quarter earnings of $115 million, compared to a $223 million loss in Q1 2003. Net gains on direct investments were $304 million compared to net losses of $136 million. The group reported Q1 net losses of $8 million on its limited partner interests in third party funds.

 

NEWS FROM TUESDAY 4/20

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. has agreed to acquire PanAmSat Corp. (Nasdaq: SPOT), including an 80.5% ownership stake held by DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV). The total transaction is valued at approximately $4.3 billion, and includes $750 million of net debt. PanAmSat shareholders will receive $23.50 per share of outstanding common stock. CSFB advised DirecTV on the deal, while Evercore Partners advised PanAmSat.

 

Dynogen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Boston-based drug company focused on genitourinary and gastrointestinal disorders, has raised $50 million in Series B funding. Schroder Ventures Life Sciences led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investors Abingworth Management Limited, Atlas Venture, Medica Venture Partners and Wellcome Trust. Return participants – from a $13.25 million Series A round – included Oxford BioScience Partners, HealthCare Ventures and A.M. Pappas & Associates.

 

The Carlyle Group has opened an office in Shanghai, which represents its first full-time presence in mainland China. The firm is making new regional commitments out of both a $750 million buyout fund named Carlyle Asia Partners, and a $164 million VC fund named Carlyle Asia Venture Partners II. 

 

Firetide Inc., a Los Gatos, Calif.-based provider of mesh networking solutions, has raised $13.6 million in Series B funding. Return backer Menlo Ventures led the deal, and was joined by HMS Ventures and individual investors. The company had raised $3.2 million in Series A funding last May, at a post-money valuation of approximately $7 million.

 

Tacit Knowledge Systems Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of enterprise software that automates expertise sharing and relationship networking, has raised $7 million in Series A-2 recap funding. Woodside Fund and RBC Technology Capital co-led the deal, and were joined by return backers Alta Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. As part of the deal, John Occhipinti of Woodside Fund and Kevin Talbot of RBC will join the Tacit Knowledge board of directors.

 

Efficas Inc., a St. Louis-based biotech company that develops natural bio-actives from inclusion in foods and other products, has raised $4.72 million in Series A funding. Burrill & Co. led the deal, and was joined by Great Spirit Ventures and Prolog Capital.

 

ClearForest Corp., a New York-based provider of text analytics and business intelligence software, has raised an additional $2.5 million in third-round funding. The company held a $7.5 million first close on the deal six months ago at a post-money valuation of approximately $25 million, and received the additional capital from existing shareholders Greylock, DB Capital Partners, Pitango Venture Capital, Walden Israel, Booz, Allen & Hamilton, HabourVest Partners and JPMorgan Partners.

 

Xfire (f.k.a. Ultimate Arena), a Menlo Park, Calif.-based provider of an online gaming platform, has raised $5 million in Series C funding. New Enterprise Associates led the deal, and was joined by return backer Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

 

Intrusic Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of software security to cambat insider threats, has raised $2.1 million in second-round funding. Draper Fisher Jurvetson led the deal, and was joined by return backers DFJ New England and Yucatan Rock.

 

The NewsMarket Inc., a New York-based provider of a video archive and distribution platform that enables news media to access broadcast-standard video over the Internet, has received an undisclosed amount of VC in a Series B funding round. New investors included Apax Partners, The Hearst Corp. and Boldcap Ventures, while return backers included Ascend Ventures, New York Community Investment Co. and Coastal Ventures. Alan Patricof, co-founder of Apax, and Scott English, VP of Hearst’s interactive media division, will join the NewsMarket board of directors.

 

DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) is nearing a deal to sell its 81% stake in satellite group PanAmSat Corp. (Nasdaq: SPOT) to Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, according to today’s Wall Street Journal. The deal reportedly would value PanAmSat at around $3.53 billion, with KKR paying $23.50 per share.

 

Transition Capital Partners of Dallas has acquired Baskin’s Department Stores Inc., a Livingston, Texas-based retailer offering mid-priced, brand-name apparel, boots and shoes. No financial terms were disclosed. Frost Capital provided senior debt financing, while Sperry, Mitchell & Co. initiated the transaction and served as exclusive financial advisor to Baskin’s.

 

Digital River Inc. (Nasdaq: DRIV) has agreed to acquire Element 5 AG, a Germany-based provider of outsourced e-commerce solutions for software publishers. The deal is valued at $120 million in cash, and could include an additional $2.5 million in cash depending on element 5 meeting certain operating performance milestones. In conjunction with the acquisition, Digital River established a $45 million secured line of credit with Harris Trust & Savings Bank. Element 5 has received VC backing from 3i Group and Earlybird Venture Capital.

 

Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) has agreed to acquire Widcomm Inc., a San Diego-based provider of software solutions for Bluetooth wireless products. The deal is valued at around $49 million in the form of Broadcom common stock, plus up to $3 million in cash. The deal is expected to close by June 30. Widcomm had raised over $55 million in total VC funding since its 1998 inception, including a $12 million infusion in 2002 at a post-money valuation of approximately $70.4 million. Widcomm investors include Alcatel Ventures, Enterprise Partners, Mission Ventures and Sienna Ventures.

 

Hale & Dorr LLP of Boston and Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP of Washington D.C. have agreed to merge. The new law firm will be named Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, and will feature more than 1,000 attorneys.

 

NetLogic Microsystems Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based semiconductor company that develops processors for advanced networking systems, has filed to raise $86.25 million via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol NLMS. The company has raised over $100 million in total VC funding since its 1998inception, from investors like Sevin Rosen Funds, Global Link 1 Capital, Perham Ventures and the Huntington Technology Fund.

 

Bill Barrett Corp., a Denver-based oil and gas exploration company, has filed to raise $172.5 million via an IPO of common stock on the NYSE under proposed ticker symbol BBG. Significant company shareholders include Warburg Pincus, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Partners.

 

Mtone Wireless Corp., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of interactive entertainment and social networking services to mobile phone users in China, has filed to raise $55 million via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol MTWI. The company was founded in 1994 as General Wireless Communications Ltd., was renamed ByAir Corp. in 2002 and renamed Mtone last November. The company has raised over $85 million in VC funding from significant shareholders like Institutional Venture Partners, Alpine Technology Ventures and the iGlobe Partners Fund.

 

Blue Nile Inc., a Seattle based online retailer of diamonds and other fine jewelry, has set its IPO offering price range to $17.50-$19.50 per share, and its number of offered shares to 3.74 million. The company has raised around $53 million in VC funding since its 1996 inception from significant shareholders like Bessemer Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Vulcan Ventures and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.

  

Donna Romer has joined Celartem Technology Inc. as chief operating officer of global operations and as CEO of Celartem USA. She most recently founded an M&A advisory named Romer & Associates and, before that, served as an entrepreneur-in-residence with EastWest VentureGroup.

NEWS FROM MONDAY 4/19

Chad Schultz, managing director with CSFB and co-head of the firm’s Private Fund Group, passed away last Thursday at the age of 50. He joined CSFB in November 2000, when the firm merged with DLJ, where he had served as a managing director, founder and co-head of the Private Fund Group. He previously raised institutional private equity for Merrill Lynch and spent six years in the fixed income and financial services group of Morgan Stanley. Charles received a B.A. from Trinity College, and is survived by wife Noreen, daughters Claire and Elizabeth, parents Sigrid and Gerhard and sisters Dawn Bandolik and Beth Walsh. A memorial service will be held this morning at Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church, located at Michigan Ave. and Delaware Place. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to: Chad Schultz Cancer Research Fund, c/o the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, 1020 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202.

 

Kelso & Co. and Prospect Street are the latest private equity firms to file for business development corporation IPOs. Kelso’s proposed $750 million offering is named Blackrock Kelso Capital, and is being underwritten by CSFB and J.P. Morgan Chase. Prospect Street hopes to raise $207 million for its Prospect Street Energy Capital IPO, which is being underwritten by Ferris, Baker Watts.

 

 

Ubicom Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of wireless network processor and software platforms, has raised $21 million in Series II funding. August Capital and Levensohn Venture Partners co-led the deal, and were joined by Dado Banato (managing partner of Tallwood Venture Capital) and return backers Walden International, JatoTech Ventures and Mayfield.

 

Qovia Inc., a Frederick, Md.-based provider of VolIP monitoring and management solutions, has raised $10.6 million in second-round funding. Canaan Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Nokia Venture Partners, Anthem Capital and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Fund. The company previously had raised $5.5 million in Series A funding.

 

MetroFi Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of wireless broadband solutions, has raised $9 million in Series A funding. Investors included Sevin Rosen Funds, August Capital and Western Technology Investors.

 

Performix Technologies Inc., a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of employee performance management solutions for the contact center industry, has raised $10 million in fourth-round funding. Atlas Venture led the deal, and was joined by return backers Highland Capital Partners and ICC Software.

 

TelePacific Communications Corp., a Los Angeles-based provider of telecom services, has received a $12 million private equity investment from affiliates of Investcorp.

 

Entuity Inc., a New York-based provider of holistic network management solutions, has received a $3.2 million in new private equity funding. Majority shareholder London Merchant Securities (75% company stake) led the financing, and was joined by Saffron Hill. The company now has raised around $25 million in total VC funding since its 1997 inception.   

 

The Financial Times is reporting that the board of UK retailer WH Smith PLC will meet tomorrow to discuss a possible $1.7 billion million buyout bid from private equity firm Permira. No formal offer has been extended, but the two sides have met. In unrelated news, WH Smith said that it is planning to cut around 300 office jobs.

 

MG Technologies AG has agreed to sell four businesses of chemicals subsidiary Dynamit Nobel to Rockwood Specialties Group Inc., a Princeton, N.J.-based chemicals and advanced materials company. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is Rockwood’s majority shareholder, and CSFB Private Equity also holds a significant company stake. Financing for the deal will come from CSFB, Goldman Sachs and UBS. No specific financials were disclosed, although it was previously reported that MG Technologies was looking for approximately €2.5 billion.

 

Sentinel Capital Partners has sold portfolio company Cottman Transmission Holdings LLC to American Capital Strategies for $77.3 million. Cottman is a Ft. Washington, Pa.-based franchiser of automotive transmission centers, and was acquired by Sentinel in a $48 million recap deal in 1999.


 

Envest Holdings LLC of Virginia Beach, Va. has held a first close of over $30 million for its second private equity fund. The firm is hoping to raise a total of $40 million, and will close future commitments on a rolling basis. N related news, the firm has added Kevin Wilson as a managing director. He most recently served as senior managing director of Discovery Americas I, a $50 million private equity fund based in Mexico City.

 

 

Nextest Systems Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of automated testing equipment for the semiconductor industry, has filed to raise $90 million via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol NEXT. Significant shareholders include Needham Capital Partners and J&W Seligman & Co.

 

S.Pack & Print Public Co. Ltd., a Thailand-based paper packaging company, has completed its IPO by pricing 14 million shares on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at Baht 17 per share (approx. $0.43 per share). The company received a $4.11 million investment last December from The Thailand Equity Fund, a special purpose mutual fund co-sponsored by Lombard Investments Inc. and the International Finance Corp.

  

OVP Venture Partners has formed a new technology advisory board. Members include: Gordon Steele (CIO of Nike), Frank Gill (former executive VP with Intel), Rick LeFaivre (former CTO of Apple Computer) and Daniel Petrozzo (managing director and head of technology infrastructure serves with Morgan Stanley).

 

Ken Rizvi has joined ON Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: ONNN) as director of finance, with responsibility for investor relations and business development. He most recently worked as an associate with Technology Crossover Ventures.

 

Click here for news from last week.