PE Week Wire — Friday 9/20

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Sightward, a predictive analytics software and services provider, today announced it has appointed Will Hodgman as President and Chief Executive Officer and secured an additional $2.5 million in funding from Northwest Venture Associates. The funding will enable Sightward to focus operations on its most profitable offering, Sightward Hosted Services, which is in use today by retailers including Sur La Table and Illuminations.

The Globe & Mail is reporting that Montreal-based Teleglobe Inc. has agreed to sell most of its assets to two American turnaround experts for $155.3-million in cash. The sale is subject to court approval in Canada and the United States. Under the terms of the deal, Montreal-based Teleglobe will sell its voice and data business to a company controlled by Cerberus Capital Management LP of New York and TenX Capital Partners LLC of Philadelphia.

Encelle Inc. has closed a $4 million round of venture financing and has begun a research collaboration with Smith & Nephew plc (S&N), a U.K.-based advanced medical devices company. S&N’s medical device business holds leading global market positions in wound care, orthopedics and endoscopy. It develops, manufactures and markets a wide variety of innovative tissue repair products for bone, joints, skin and other soft tissue. Encelle is developing new products for use in human tissue regeneration based on its patented biopolymer technology.

Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc. (“HMTF”) and Booth Creek Management Corp. today announced that they have completed their previously announced $1.4 billion acquisition of the fresh beef and pork processing business of ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG). The acquired operations, which have been named Swift & Company, include the third-largest processor of both beef and pork in the United States, and the leading Australian beef processor. ConAgra Foods has retained a significant minority stake in Swift & Co.

News From Thursday 9/19
CombinatoRx, a Boston-based biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has raised over $40 million in its second venture capital round. The financing, led by Flagship Ventures, includes new investments from existing investors Canaan Partners, TL Ventures, BioVentures Investors and Foundation Medical Partners in addition to new investors Adams Street Partners, Novartis BioVentures Ltd., Global Life Science Ventures, POSCO BioVentures Limited, Private Life Biomed AG, CDIB BioScience Ventures Inc. and China Development Industrial Bank. Douglas G. Cole, senior principal of Flagship Ventures, joins the CombinatoRx Board of Directors.

The Shansby Group, a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm specializing in acquiring consumer branded products and companies, announced today the successful closing of its $500 million TSG4 L.P. investor partnership. The Shansby Group originally sought $400 million when it started marketing the fund late last year. Credit Suisse First Boston was the private placement agent for the limited partnership interests. Beginning with its first investment in 1988, The Shansby Group has generated a gross compound annual internal rate of return on branded consumer investments in excess of 60%. Founded by J. Gary Shansby and Mr. Esserman, The Shansby Group over the years has invested in such brands as Famous Amos Cookies, Arrowhead Mills natural foods, La Victoria Mexican foods, MET-Rx Nutrition, Cutex nail care products, Mauna Loa macadamia nuts, Comet and Spic and Span.

The Washington Post is reporting that the Mid-Atlantic Venture Capital Association (MAVA) has finally reached a settlement with former executive director Mary Ann Gray whereby Gray will pay MAVA $175,000. Earlier this year, an internal audit at MAVA discovered that a significant amount of money was missing.

ISTA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ISTA) announced today that it has secured a commitment to provide $40 million in equity capital from investors led by The Sprout Group, Sanderling Venture Partners and Investor Growth Capital. ISTA has also secured a bridge loan of $4 million. Subject to ISTA shareholder approval, the bridge will be convertible into common stock at the option of the investors.

Cedron BV, an Amsterdam-based provider of product information management solutions, and the European venture capital company B-business partners (b-bp) today announced the completion of a €10 million funding round. b-business partners will become the lead investor of the Dutch software company. Other investors in this funding round are existing shareholders DVC Deutsche Venture Capital and Innotech.

Fred R. Buenrostro, Jr., currently Chief Deputy Director of the state Department of Personnel Administration and long-time representative on the CalPERS Board, was today appointed to the Chief Executive Officer post of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) by the CalPERS Board of Administration. Buenrostro, 52, becomes the seventh CEO to lead the 70-year old institution, the nation’s largest public pension fund. He replaces James E. Burton who left in August. Buenrostro was selected from a field of 14 candidates in a search process run by Heidrick & Struggles, of San Francisco, a leading global retained executive search firm.

Arlington Capital Partners, a Washington, DC-based private equity firm focused on the media and communications, business services and outsourcing industries today announced the formation of New Vision Group LLC, in partnership with management. New Vision was formed to pursue a build-up of network affiliated TV stations, with the goal of assembling a strong portfolio of leading middle market stations. The acquisition of KSBY, the NBC affiliate serving the Santa Barbara, California market, represents the inaugural acquisition for New Vision.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan announced today that its Merchant Bank is the primary capital sponsor of a new U.S.-based mezzanine debt fund – York Street Mezzanine Partners LP. Headquartered in New Jersey, York Street Mezzanine Partners, a US$250 million fund, will focus on partnering with private equity sponsors by providing mezzanine debt for middle-market U.S. companies. York Street’s managing partners are Rob Golding and Chris Layden, both formerly of CIT’s Corporate Finance Group. In addition to providing mezzanine debt, York Street can also invest a portion of its capital in the equity of the companies that it finances. As York Street’s primary capital sponsor, Teachers’ Merchant Bank will have the opportunity to invest directly in the fund’s larger transactions.

PharMetrics Inc., a Watertown, Mass.-based provider of healthcare market intelligence, today announced that the Company had completed its third round of venture funding. The financing by current investors was co-led by North Bridge Venture Partners and 3i US with participation from Mediphase Venture Partners. Proceeds from this financing are expected to be used for expanding the company’s proprietary database asset; accelerating product development; investing in new technologies and growing the sales force.

Evive Corp., a Bethesda, Md.-based provider of biometric access security solutions, announced today that it has successfully secured capital funding from its existing Pacific Rim private investors, the Company’s second successful round of capital raised in as many years. New funding will be used to support the Company’s acquisition and growth strategy, which capitalizes on the fragmented but rapidly emerging biometric physical security industry.

SAVVIS Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: SVVS) today announced that it has closed on a $22.6 million investment from Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. This is in addition to two earlier investments this year, where, in March, SAVVIS received $158 million from investors that included Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, and in June secured a $20 million investment from Constellation Ventures, a Bear Stearns asset management fund. In total, SAVVIS has raised over $200 million in funding this year.

Governor John G. Rowland