PE Week Wire — Friday 5/23

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CiraNova Inc., a Campbell, Calif.-based provider of electronic design automation (EDA), has raised $9 million in Series B funding. U.S. Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backer Alloy Ventures. As part of the financing, Winston Fu of USVP will take a CiraNova board seat.

Accelerator Corp. has been formed by a $15 million investment from MPM Capital, ARCH Venture Partners, Versant Ventures, Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. and the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB). The Seattle-based collaborative effort will identify, finance and develop life sciences-related ideas and technologies that either emerge from ISB or, if developed elsewhere, would benefit from affiliation with the ISB’s faculty, staff, infrastructure and core facilities.

Premier Jean Charest of Quebec has fired two executives who oversaw the province’s government-backed venture capital programs. First to go is Claude Blanchet, who has served as CEO of Société Générale de Financement since 1997. Also gone is Maurice Prud’homme, who ran Investissement Québec.

Internet World, a magazine published by Penton Media will discontinue its print edition following its July issue. It will continue to provide content via electronic channels.

Indigenous Global Development Corp. (OTCBB:IGDC), a San Francisco-based provider of financial self-sufficiency services for Native Americans, has received $5 million in funding from Native America FLC.

Fleet Capital Corp. has underwritten a $171.2 million senior secured credit facility for Bumble Bee Seafoods. The asset-based loan will be used to finance the acquisition of Bumble Bee by Centre Partners Management. Bumble Bee is currently owned by ConAgra Foods Inc.

Newbridge Capital has filed suit against Chinatrust Commercial Bank for allegedly blocking a Newbridge bid to purchase a majority stake in China’s Shenzhen Development Bank.

 

Sirna Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: RNAI ) has been informed that its stock will continued to be listed of the Nasdaq National Market. The Boulder, Colo.-based company recently received $48 million of PIPE funding from Sprout Group, Venrock Associates, Oxford Bioscience Partners, Techno Venture Management and Granite Global Ventures.

Hotsip AB, a Swedish company focused on session initial protocol (SIP), has raised €3 million from Bell Net Corp.

Frederick Terrell, managing partner and CEO of private equity firm Provender Capital Group, has been elected to the board of New York Life Insurance Co.

James Rogers, president of private equity firm SCI Investors, has been named to the board of Ethyl Corp. (NYSE: EY).

The Interfax Hungary News Service is reporting that Advent International has purchased Hungary-based Danubius Radio for €30 million from UK-based GWR Group PLC.

The Associated Press is reporting that venture firm Acadia Partners has hired former Mass. Governor Jane Swift as a special general partner.
NEWS FROM THURSDAY 5/22
Santarus Inc., a San Diego-based drug development company focused on gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, has raised $51.4 million in Series D funding. New investor S.R. One Ltd. led the round, and was joined by fellow first-time backers Life Sciences Partners, HamiltonApex Technology Ventures, China Development Industrial Bank and New England Partners. Returning investors included St. Paul Venture Capital, Advent Venture Partners, Domain Associates, JPMorgan Partners, Windamere and Fog City Fund. Rockport Venture Partners assisted Santarus with the private placement. The company has now raised over $122 million since being founded in 1999.

The San Francisco City & County Employees’ Retirement System (SFERS) made a surprise decision by selecting Darien, Conn.-based Portfolio Advisors to be its new alternative investment consultant. The 6-to-1 vote of the SFERS board ends a 14-year relationship with Cambridge Associates, and also means that SFERS will not align itself with rumored frontrunner Pacific Corporate Group, which had drawn some local protest due to its past suggestions (which were followed) to have CalPERS invest upwards of $750 million into Enron.

Legacy Venture of Palo Alto, Calif. has raised over $60 million for its second fund-of-funds. This brings Legacy’s total capital under management to $100 million, with most of that money coming from individual investors. The four-year-old firm operates a fund-of-funds with all distributions being directed to philanthropic causes as selected by each investor.

CurtCo Media Group, a Malibu, Calif.-based media acquisition platform operated by CurtCo Media Labs, has raised $100 million from Weston Presidio Capital Management and TD Capital Communications Partners. The transaction is designed to facilitate acquisitions and launches of consumer and business-to-business publications, as well as related products, serving the luxury market.

Sean Warren has joined H&Q Asia Pacific as COO and managing director. Warren was most recently the president and COO of Robertson Stephens Asset Management in San Francisco. Before that, he spent over eight years working for George Soros and Soros Fund Management, initially as general counsel and then as a managing director involved with the firm’s operations and administration.

Skill Tool & Die Corp., a Cleveland-based metal stamping company, has been acquired by Morgenthaler Partners for an undisclosed amount. PNC Bank provided the senior debt and Golub Associates provided the sub debt. Skill Tool was represented in the auction by Gibbons, Brown, Lang & Co.

GlycoMimetics Inc., a Rockville, Md.-based developer of small molecule drugs that mimic the actions of carbohydrates, has raised $4.3 million in Series A funding. New Enterprise Associates led deal, and was joined by Alliance Technology Ventures, Anthem Capital and the Novartis Venture Fund.

DHL Airways, a Miami-based air cargo provider, has reached an agreement to sell all of its outstanding shares for $57 million to an investor group led by company chairman and CEO John Dasburg. The other members of the investment group are Richard Blum, chairman of private equity firm Blum Capital Partners, and Michael Klein, a Washington business executive and lawyer who is co-founder and chairman CoStar Group Inc.

One Equity Partners has made an equity investment in critical care provider Medex Inc., enabling Medex to purchase the worldwide Vascular Access business of Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company. Terms were not disclosed. In recapitalizing Medex with its equity investment, One Equity Partners will become the company’s majority shareholder while Medex management and shareholders will retain significant stakes.

Evolution Benefits Inc., an Avon, Conn.-based provider of employee benefits solutions, has raised $5.5 million in new venture capital. The deal was led by The Sprout Group, with Sprout’s Janet Hickey taking a seat on the Evolution Benefits board of directors.

Medi-Hut Co. (OTC: MHUT) has added three new directors in Salvatore Badalamenti, John Moore and Richard Otto. Badalamenti is former CFO of Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co., Moore is the president of Edson Moore Healthcare Ventures and Otto is CEO of Corautus Genetics Inc. (AMEX: CAQ). Medi-Hut shares were trading at $0.70 at close of business yesterday.

Matt Blunt, the Missouri Secretary of State, has issued a cease-and-desist order against Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Eagle Venture Capital. He accused the investment firm of pitching home test kits for HIV and mad cow disease via unsolicited home phone calls to Missourians.

Reuters is reporting that Mark Chiba will soon step down from his post as chief executive and president of UBS Warburg Japan. His plan is to launch a new Asia-Pacific private equity firm called The Longreach Group.

Correction: Tuesday’s PE Week Wire incorrectly stated that Jasper Design Automation Inc. had raised $4.5 million in second round funding. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company actually raised $5.5 million.
NEWS FROM WEDNESDAY 5/21

Momenta Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass.-based drug development and discovery company focused on understanding complex sugars, has raised $19 million in Series B funding. Atlas Venture and MVM Life Science Partners co-led the financing, which included prior investors Polaris Venture Partners and Cardinal Partners. The company has now raised over $25 million since its 1999 founding, when it was still known as Mimeon Inc.

Acopia Networks Inc., a Chelmsford, Mass.-based switching company, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. New investors included STAR Ventures and St. Paul Venture Capital, while return backers included Charles River Ventures, Accel Partners and company chairman Cheng Wu. New Acopia board members include Rami Kasterstein of STAR Ventures and Zenas Hutcheson of St. Paul Venture Capital. Acopia now has raised over $40 million since being founded in late 2001, including a $10.4 million Series A deal at a post-money valuation of around $21 million.

Dave Power has left Charles River Ventures for a partnership position with Fidelity Ventures. Power originally joined CRV in 2000 as a venture partner, before which he served as CEO of web application integration provider Novera Software Inc.

Golden Gate Capital and Oak Investment Partners have completed their acquisition of Divine Inc.‘s Customer Interaction Management assets. The newly formed private company will be renamed Melita International Inc. and will be headquartered in Norcross, Ga.

Michael Pell and Kathleen O’Donnellof Advent International have joined the board of directors at Demantra, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of consumer demand-driven enterprise solutions. Advent had co-led a recent $16.6 million Series B funding round for Demantra.

Alphamosaic, a Cambridge, UK-based provider of mobile video solutions, has raised , $12 million in a Series B funding led by new investor Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures. Existing investors Prelude, ACT and TTP Ventures also participated.

SpectraSensors Inc., a Pasadena, Calif.-based technology spin-off of the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Lab, has raised $2 million in new funding from Blueprint Ventures and Forrest Binkley Brown. Coincident with the deal, SpectraSensors acquired the intellectual property of Tunable Photonics Corp., a manufacturer of fiber optic components for wavelength management. Tunable Photonics was acquired last year by Fibersense.

The Rockies Venture Club (RVC), a Colorado-based entrepreneur networking organization, has merged with Colorado Women Entrepreneurs (CWE). Three CWE founders and current board members, Kathy Simon, Lauren Sigman and Kim Rosengren Pope, will move to the RVC board. CWE members will automatically transfer membership to the Rockies Venture Club.

4SC AG, a German drug discovery and development company, has raised €9 million in third round funding. Return backers included 3i Group, Deutsche Venture Capital, Mulligan Biocapital, Beteiligungsgesellschaft fur die Deutsche Wirtschaft and BioM. Moreover all members of 4SC’s management board participated in this round.

Richard Kroon, former chief at venture firm The Sprout Group, has been named an independent director on the board of jewelry retailer Finlay Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: FNLY ).

Alan Baratz, a onetime managing director with Warburg Pincus, has joined the board of directors at Versata Inc. (Nasdaq: VATA). Until late last year, Baratz served as CEO of Zaplet Inc.

Greka Energy Corp. (Nasdaq: GRKA), a New York-based oil and asphalt company, may soon be taken private by CEO Randeep Grewal. The plan – revealed yesterday in an SEC filing – would include Grewal buying up all remaining issued and outstanding shares of Greka.

Betsy Akins, president and CEO of early-stage venture firm Baja LLC has been named an independent board director with Polycom Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM). Atkins was co-founder of Ascend Communications.

The Deal is reporting that UK-based Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity has sold greeting card retailer Card Warehouse Ltd. to Cardfair Ltd. for around $74 million.

Danish News Digest is reporting that Danske Bank has abandoned its plans to raise a 150 million venture capital fund focused on life sciences opportunities in the Nordic regions. The reason given was poor biotech market conditions. It is possible that the fund managers may still try to launch the fund with a new lead investor.

The Washington Post is reporting that Rockville, Md.-based NFR Security Inc. will announce today that it’s raised $7.5 million in new funding led by Lazard Technology Partners. The company also will name former Apple marketing director Neil Selvin as CEO.

PrivateEquityCentral.net is reporting that Darby Overseas Investments has named Denis Jungerman as a senior advisor charged with helping the Washington-based firm expand into Brazil and launch a local currency mezzanine fund. Jungerman previously served as a Brazil-based head of investment for Bank of America.
NEWS FROM TUESDAY 5/20

Catalytic Solutions Inc., an Oxnard, Calif.-based developer and manufacturer of advanced catalytic coating solutions, has raised $32.4 million in Series D funding. Rockport Capital Partners led the deal, and was joined by BASF Venture Capital, Advent International, Enertech Capital Partners, JPMorgan Partners, Cinergy Ventures, Cycad Group LLC and NGEN Enabling Technologies Fund. The company now has raised $72 million since being founded in early 1996. The latest round was placed by Morgan Stanley.

TradeBeam Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of global trade management software, has raised $9.85 million in Series C funding at a post-money valuation of $16.4 million. The down round was led by new investor Sigma Partners, which participated alongside return backers Enterprise Partners Venture Capital and Silicon Valley BancVentures.

Biz360 Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of media analytics for the enterprise, has raised $10.5 million in Series C funding at a post-money valuation of just under $30 million. BA Venture Partners led the round with existing investors Adobe Ventures, Granite Ventures and Foundation Capital also participating. Sharon Wienbar, director of BA Venture Partners, will join Biz360’s board of directors. In related news, Biz360 has named Bud Michael as CEO. He most recently served as executive vice president of products and marketing at KANA Software.

Nexaweb Technologies Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of standards-based client infrastructure software, has raised $4.3 million in first round funding. Investors included Egan-Managed Capital, Masthead Venture Partners and Velocity Partners.

NetQoS Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of network performance products and services, has closed $5 million in new equity funding from sole company investor Liberty Partners. NetQoS has now raised $21 million since being founded at the beginning of 1999.

Cemaphore Systems Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of email messaging technology, has raised $8 million in first round funding from Mayfield, Worldview Technology Partners and vSpring Capital. As part of the transaction, Kevin Fong of Mayfield and Michael Orsak from Worldview have joined the company’s board of directors.

ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG ) has sold its Bumble Bee canned seafood business and other seafood assets to a group that includes Bumble Bee operating management and affiliates of Centre Partners Management LLC. Bumble Bee has annual revenue of $500 million. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ARIA) has entered into definitive agreements with two institutional investors for the purchase of 4 million shares of its common stock at $2.50 per share in a direct equity placement for gross proceeds of $10 million. The investors are The Riverview Group (private equity investment arm of Millennium Partners) and Merlin Biomed Group. The share price represents the average closing price of ARAID’s common stock for the past ten trading days. The offering is expected to close within two business days. Rodman & Renshaw Inc. served as placement agent for the offering.

Matt Ridenour has been named CEO of PowerFile Inc., a Los Gatos, Calif.-based developer of optical storage libraries. Ridenour previously served as CEO, and subsequently, executive chairman of UNX Inc. Prior to this, Ridenour was the founder and a managing director of venture capital firm Gazelle TechVentures.

Netilla Networks Inc., a Somerset, N.J.-based provider of virtual private network (VPN) appliances, has closed $6 million in Series C financing. Return backers include Ascend Venture Group; Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds; Early Stage Enterprises, LP; NJTC Venture Fund and the Telecommunications Development Fund. Netilla has raised a total of more than $17 million since being founded in 1999.

Jasper Design Automation Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based electronic design automation (EDA) company, has raised $4.5 million in second round funding from Foundation Capital. The company, which was formerly known as Tempus Fugit, also named Mike Schuh of Foundation Capital to its board of directors, and Kathryn Kranen as president and CEO. Kranen was formerly the president and CEO of Verisity Design Inc.(Nasdaq:VRST).

Terry Van Der Tuuk, founder and president of Midwestern venture firm VanKan Inc., has been named to the board of directors at HemaCare Corp. (OTCBB: HEMA).

Veronis Suhler Stevenson has agreed to sell convention and trade show planner ExpoExchange LLC to Conferon, an independent meeting planning firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Formerly known as Galaxy Information Services, ExpoExchange was acquired in 1997 as part of the purchase of The Official Information Co., a diversified business information company owned and controlled by VS&A Communications Partners II, the private equity affiliate of Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Ercole Biotech Inc. have initiated a multi-year collaboration to discover antisense drugs that regulate alternative RNA splicing. Under the agreement, Isis will take an equity ownership position in Ercole. The equity funding will be initially in the form of convertible debt, which the companies anticipate will convert into the securities Ercole issues at the time of the company’s next venture capital financing. Isis also has the option to make an additional equity investment in Ercole.

Robert Badavas, chief operating officer of Atlas Venture, has been named chairman of the board at the Learning Center for Deaf Children in Framingham, Mass.

Rue21 Inc., a Warrendale, Pa.-based apparel retailer, announced its emergence from a voluntary reorganization under Chapter 11. The company selected LaSalle Retail Finance as the lead financial institution for its banking relationship, which will provide the Rue21 with the working capital for its growth plans. Rue21’s majority shareholder is private equity firm Saunders Karp & Megrue.

Financial Express is reporting that Raj Dugar has quit WestBridge Capital Partners, the $140 million US-India focused venture firm he co-founded and served as managing director of. The report also says that WestBridge has shuttered its Mumbai office, and will focus on business in Silicon Valley and Bangalore.
NEWS FROM MONDAY 5/19
SPS Commerce, a St. Paul, Minn.-based provider of supply chain integration services, has raised $18 million in new venture capital funding. The deal included new investor River Cities Capital Funds, plus return backers St. Paul Venture Capital, CID Equity Partners, Adams Street Partners, Granite Private Equity, Svoboda Collins & Co., Pacific Capital Ventures and Axiom Venture Partners.

NetBotz Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of IP-based intelligent physical security solutions, has closed a $7 million mezzanine funding round with Austin Ventures. The company now has raised $27 million in venture capital since being founded in early 1999.

Rosum Corp., a Redwood City, Calif.-based maker of positioning technology, has raised $16 million in Series A funding. Charles River Ventures led the deal, and was joined by Allegis Capital, Motorola Inc., Korean Technology Bank, Microtune and Steamboat Ventures.

Todd Boyd has left his role as executive director in charge of marketing for SunTX Capital Partners. He and colleague Christine Murphy have launched a new alternative investment placement firm named Boyd & Co., which is based in Dallas, Texas. Boyd will continue to act as a fund-raising advisor to SunTX.

Meiosys, a France-based provider of mission-critical software solutions, has raised €5.5 million in new venture capital. Wellington Partners led the deal, and was joined by Cisco Systems and Partech International.

Avesair Inc., a Research Triangle Park-based mobile marketing and media services company, has been acquired by InPhonic Inc., a Washington-based wireless voice and data solutions provider. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Aversair has received over $17 million of venture capital from investors Nokia Venture Capital, Intersouth Partners and New Things LLC.

Alcatel (NYSE: ALA) has agreed to acquire TiMetra Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based company specializing in IP/MPLS service routing at the network edge. The deal is worth $150 million in Alcatel stock. TiMetra investors include Accel Partners and Redpoint Ventures.

Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: ENDP) has filed an SEC registration to sell 15 million shares of common stock in a secondary offering. Endo Pharma LLC is an affiliate of private equity firm Kelso & Co., in which certain members of management have an ownership interest. In this proposed offering, it is expected that senior management will sell less than 5% of its aggregate ownership in the company.

The British Venture Capital Association released data today showing that UK private equity investments have outperformed UK pension funds and all FTSE indices in 2002, and over three-, five- and 10-year periods.

John Kwun has been hired as a Seoul-based executive director and head of Asian M&A by The Carlyle Group. He was previously in charge of North Asian M&A for Goldman Sachs.

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