PE Week Wire — Friday, January 16

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TRW Automotive Holding Corp., a Livonia, Mich.-based maker of automotive components, has amended the terms of its initial public offering. The company is now looking to sell over 24.13 million shares of common stock at between $28 and $30 per share. TRW Automotive expects net proceeds of approximately $659 million after deducting underwriting and estimated offering expenses, of which $331 million will be used to repurchase shares from The Blackstone Group, which bought TRW Automotive from TRW Inc. last March. Blackstone currently owns a 78.4% stake in TRW Automotive, and is expected to own between 53.9% and 56.7% of TRW Automotive after both the IPO and stock repurchase are completed.


Peninsula Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Alameda, Calif.-based drug company focused on anti-infective products, has raised $57.9 million in Series C stock at a post-money valuation of approximately $98.55 million. The deal occurred in December, just before the company filed for a $86.25 million IPO on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol PPRX. Investors on the new deal included Shionogi & Co Inc., plus return backers A.M. Pappas & Associates, Canaan Partners, Domain Associates, Montreux Equity Partners and OrbiMed Advisors.


The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) Board of Investments yesterday voted to increase pressure on Southern California supermarket chains in regards to the ongoing labor dispute. The LACERA staff wrote a letter to the CEOs of Safeway, Kroger and Albertson’s, and expressed concern over their “confrontational strategy.” LACERA also wrote a similar letter to private equity firm Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. (KKR), which controls four of nine Safeway board seats.


UIEvolution Inc., a Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless software company, has raised $6 million in new Series B funding. The company originally held a $7.7 million closing on its Series B deal back in late 2001, but now is looking for an additional $10 million (inclusive of the new $6 million infusion). Square Enix USA led the latest tranche, and was joined by return backer Ignition Partners.


Reflectent Software Inc., a Lowell, Mass.-based provider of end-user systems management software, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Globespan Capital Partners led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investor Velocity Equity Partners and return backers Greylock and Sigma Partners. The company had previously raised a $3.5 million Series A round in early 2003.


NemeriX SA, a Switzerland-based provider of global positioning system (GPS) semiconductor solutions, has raised CHF 8.3 million (approx. $6.62 million) in new venture funding. Atila Ventures led the deal, and was joined by Venture Incubator AG.


Protego Networks Inc., a Milipitas, Calif.-based provider of security threat mitigation solutions, has raised $6.3 million in Series A-2 financing. Miramar Venture Partners and Global Alliance Inc. co-led the deal, with Heiner Sussner of Miramar joining the Protego board of directors.


The European Union Commission has approved the Blackstone Group and Apax Partners’ proposed $500 million buyout of German waste management company Sulo Group.


The Jordan Co. has acquired The Techs, a Pennsylvania-based producer of hot-dipped galvanized flat-rolled steel. No deal terms were disclosed. 


CPK Media Holdings (owners of  El Diario/La Prensa) and the Lorenzo family (owners of La Opinion) have teamed up to form Impremedia LLC, a Los Angeles-based Spanish language newspaper company focused on the Hispanic market. CPK Media is a private investment platform led by Clarity Partners, BMO Hayward Partners, ACON Investments and Knight Paton Media. No deal terms were disclosed. 


Auxeris Therapeutics Inc., a St. Louis-based biopharma company focused on the treatment of bone diseases, has acquired all technology assets of Ceros Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Cambridge, UK-based developer of compounds to treat osteoporosis. No deal terms were disclosed. Auxeris has raised venture capital funding from Domain Associates and RiverVest Venture Partners, while Ceros had secured a small amount of funding from BCM Technologies Inc.


Austin Beutner, president and co-founder of Evercore Partners, has resigned from the board of directors at New Orleans-based Energy Partners Ltd. (NYSE: EPL). Evercore invested in Energy Partners in November 1999, but sold its position three months ago. 


Greg Prow, a manager director with Mobius Venture Capital, has been named board president of Montalvo, a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit arts organization. Prow has been on the organization’s board of trustees for three years, and will be board president through 2005.


Cutera Inc., a Brisbane, Calif.-based maker of aesthetic laser systems for dermatologists and plastic surgeons, has filed to raise $71.875 million via an IPO on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol CUTR. The company was formerly known as Altus Medical Inc., and had filed for a $60 million IPO in January 2002, before pulling its registration papers in June of that year. The company has raised over $7.3 million in venture capital funding from MedVenture Associates and Alta Partners.


Ultra Clean Holdings Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based provider of gas delivery modules for the semiconductor industry, has filed to raise $86.25 million via an IPO on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol UCTT. The company is majority owned by an affiliate of buyout firm Francisco Partners, which acquired Ultra Clean in November 2002 from Mitsubishi Corp. As part of the proposed IPO, Francisco Partners will receive a one-time advisory fee of $2 million.


Signator Investors Inc., a unit of John Hancock Financial Services Inc., has agreed to pay Massachusetts a $175,000 fine for the illicit activities of two Signator agents. The men – John D. Jeffries and Mark W. Sconti – had been accused of running an unauthorized venture capital fund. The bad deeds were initially discovered by John Hancock auditors, who subsequently turned the information over to Mass. Secretary of State William Galvin.




TargeGen Inc., which develops treatments for cardiovascular diseases and cancer, has raised $30 million in its second round of financing. Co-led by new investors William Blair Capital Partners and CDP Capital Technology Ventures, the deal also included existing investors Forward Ventures and Enterprise Partners, as well as China Development Industrial Bank and other investors. In conjunction with the deal, William Blair's Arda Minocherhomjee and CDP's Richard Meadows were named to the company board.

The Times is reporting that KKR and CVC Capital Partners have each submitted offers of up to £750 million for Four Seasons Health Care, currently owned by London’s Alchemy Partners. Goldman Sachs, which is representing Alchemy, is expected to formally open the auction by tomorrow. If a sale goes through, Alchemy will make a £200 million profit. Alchemy bought the company through a management buyout in 1999.


While it's too early to tell how the JP Morgan Chase's $58 billion acquisition of Bank One will affect the management, staff and investment strategy of the new bank's private equity effort, at the very least it adds to JP Morgan's already hefty portfolio. PWC/VE/NVCA Money Tree data show that Bank One will bring $500 million of assets to the marriage. (Look for more analysis and news about this in future issues of Private Equity Week and Buyouts.)


New York-based Appilog Inc., a business service management software company, has expanded its second round of funding to a total of $9 million. Led by Cedar Fund and initially closed in June 2002, the round was expanded to include new investor Genesis Partners and return backers Delta Ventures and Poalim Capital Markets.


Reston, Va.-based iLumin Software Services Inc., which provides compliance and email archiving solutions, has raised an $8.5 million round of financing. Led by new investor Boulder Ventures, the deal also included return backers MidOcean Partners, Rock Creek Capital, Softbank and Wachovia Strategic Ventures and new investor Blacksmith Capital.   


SiXtron Advanced Materials Inc., a new semiconductor materials company, has raised a seed round of $1 million. MSBi Capital and Société Innovatech du sud du Québec participated in the round for the Sherbrooke, Quebec-based company, a joint spinoff of Bishop’s University and the Université de Sherbrooke.  Pierre Myrand has joined the research team as President & CEO. For more info go to


Red Diamond Capital has begun building a new platform in the building supplies distribution space with its acquisition of Baltimore-based Morris Ginsberg & Co. for under $10 million. The equity invested in the deal came from the $150 million Red Diamond Capital Partners Fund, that is primarily funded by Mitsubishi Corp. The firm teamed up with Paul Haefcke, the former chief executive of Shelter Distribution, to form a platform called Hammerhead Distribution in October.  Hammerhead is the first of five to 10 platforms that will be pursued by the firm.


The New York Post is reporting that Maidenform Inc., whose labels include Maidenform, Oscar de la Renta and Lilyette lingerie, is shopping for a buyer. UBS has been retained to run an auction for a possible sale of the company, which could be worth between $100 million and $200 million, sources familiar with the situation said. The bank has already contacted potential suitors. Maidenform is majority-owned by Oaktree Capital Management.


The Post also reported that Tower Records, a storied music chain that has struggled to find a buyer, is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and needs a deal soon.  The company’s investment banker is Los Angeles-based Greif & Co. Sun Capital Partners is said to have considered buying Tower last year but couldn’t agree on a price, although Steven Liff, a principal with Sun Capital, told the Post he “still interested” in the Tower name.


3i Group has purchased MSC, a French production line systems group, in a 52 million Euro transaction, according to Los Echos. Management and staff will retain a 25% stake, while 3i will control the remaining 75 percent. 


Francisco Partners has named Keith Geeslin as a general partner. Geeslin comes to Francisco after spending 20 years at VC firm The Sprout Group. Geeslin currently serves on the boards of directors of GoBeam, CommVault Systems, Legerity, Paradyne, Synaptics and yIPes Communications.


The Carlyle Group today announced the promotions of 21 people-12 to managing director and nine to principal or director. Those promoted include Benoit Colas, a Paris-based managing director who will focus on European buyout opportunities in telecom and industrials; Robert Hodges, an MD whose responsibilities include United Kingdom acquisitions; Kuo Chuan Kung, a Singapore-based managing director who will focus on Southeast Asian and Australasian LBOs; John Kwun, a Seoul-based MD focused on North Asian buyouts; Adam Palmer, an MD focused on aerospace, defense and IT investments; Mark Frantz, a McLean, Va.-based principal focused on U.S. venture investments in technology and telecom; Jay Koh, a San Francisco-based principal focused on U.S. venture investments in early- to mid-stage technology companies; Yi Luo, a Hong Kong-based director focused primarily on Chinese buyouts; Eliot Merrill, a New York-based principal focused on telecom and media buyouts in the U.S.; Josh Ofstein, a San Francisco-based principal focused on venture investments in hardware and systems; and Kanwaljit Singh, a Bangalore-based director focused on venture investments in IT and IT-enabled services.


KB Toys, a portfolio company of Bain Capital, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The toy store missed a key payment in December and, like fellow bankrupt toy retailer FAO Schwarz, has been hurt by discounting at stores like Wal-Mart and Target. The company has secured a $350 million loan from Fleet Retail Group.  

Insight is reporting that venture-backed Illuminations, a candle company, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.



Venrock Associates has raised $550 million for its fourth fund, and has added Anders Hove and Michael Feinstein as new general partners. Hove is the former CEO of BB Biotech/Belleveue Asset Management of Switzerland, and will focus on biotech and medical device investments out of Venrock’s New York office. Feinstein will focus on IT investments out of Venrock’s Cambridge, Mass. office, and previously served as a general partner with Waltham, Mass.-based Atlas Venture. The pair partially replace the four Venrock pros who have left since the firm’s $656 million third fund was raised in 2000: Joe Casey, Tom Frederick, Terry Garnett and David Hathaway.

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp., a Lexington, Mass.-based biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology and immunology, has raised $50 million in Series C funding. Investors include Caxton Group, Gollust Management, Mountain Trail Investments, Duquesne Capital, Galleon Group and AIG SunAmerica. The company has now raised over $180 million since its 1997 inception, of which over $120 million has been received in the past 18 months.

The U.S. Small Business Administration today will resume the Section 7(A) business loan program that had been suspended last week due to budgetary constraints. The program’s revival is due to a Congressional decision to provide $470 million in new SBA lending authority. It is important to note, however, that the loan cap has been lowered to $750,000 from the $2 million mark featured just a few months ago.


Atsana Semiconductor Corp., an Ottawa-based provider of multimedia processors for mobile devices, has raised $10 million in new venture capital funding. Investors include Siemens Mobile Acceleration, GrowthWorks WV Funds, Covington Capital Corp. and Greenstone Venture Partners.


Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc., a South San Francisco-based drug company focused on the treatment of cancer, has raised $41 million in Series B funding. Morgenthaler Ventures led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investors Pequot Ventures and CHL Medical Partners. Also participating were return backers Three Arch Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and ProQuest Investments. The company now has raised nearly $50 million in venture funding since its 2001 inception.


Exagen Diagnostics Inc., an Albuquerque, N.M.-based molecular diagnostics company, has closed its Series A funding round with $5.4 million. Tullis-Dickerson & Co. led the deal, and was joined by vSpring Capital and Wasatch Venture Fund. Exagen was founded in 2002 as a spin-off of Quasar International Inc.


MicroDisplay Corp., a San Pablo, Calif.-based maker of liquid crystal-on-silicon (LCOS) components, has raised $18 in third-round venture funding. New investors Nokia Venture Partners and Mobius Venture Capital were joined on the deal by return backers August Capital and 2M Technology Ventures.


ETrials Worldwide Inc., a Morrisville, N.C.-based provider of software for the clinical trial process, has raised $2.5 million in new Series A funding. This brings the round total to $5 million, with Newlight Associates leading the secondary close.


Sana Security Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of host-based intrusion prevention software, has raised $10 million in Series D funding. Bay Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers El Dorado Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds and The entrepreneur’s Fund. The company now has raised over $22 million since its 2000 inception.


Ophthonix Inc., a San Diego-based vision care company, has raised $15.5 million in Series B funding. Gund Investment Corp. was joined by return backers Enterprise Partners and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufiled & Byers.


Carbon Design Systems Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of system validation solutions, has raised $10.1 million in Series B funding. New investor Matrix Partners was joined on the deal by return backers Commonwealth Capital and Flagship Ventures.


Actimize Inc., a New York-based provider of analytics and monitoring solutions for enterprise operational risk management, has raised $10 million third-round venture funding. FT Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Carmel Ventures, Giza Venture Capital and Vertex Venture Capital. 


ART Advanced Recognition Technologies Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of voice and handwriting recognition software, has raised $6 million in new funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners.


Enanta Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Watertown, Mass.-based biotech company, has raised $12 million in new venture funding. Return backers include Techno Venture Management, Oxford Bioscience Partners, Advent International, BioVentures Investors, NIB Capital, Global Biomedicine, Swiss Life Private Equity Partners, Wheatley MedTech Partners and Yasuda Enterprise Development. In related news, the company has named Jay Luly as its new President and CEO.


Concurrent Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Ft. Washington, Pa.-based biopharmaceutical company, announced that it has raised $15 million in Series B funding. The deal’s first $14 million had been secured during the second quarter of 2003. New investor Intel Capital was joined by return backers Prospect Venture Partners, Venrock Associates and New Enterprise Associates.


Wind Point Partners has agreed to sell portfolio company Pacific Cycle LLC to Dorel Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: DIIBF) for $310 million in cash. The deal is expected to close within the next three weeks. Pacific Cycle was founded in 1977, and produces such bicycle brands as Schwinn, Wongoose and GT. It was acquired by Wind Point Partners in a 1998 recapitalization.


Cerberus Capital Management and Oaktree Capital Management have received bankruptcy court approval to proceed with their acquisition of countertop manufacturer Formica Corp. The buyout shops agreed to invest $175 million into the company and will also assume $250.5 million of Formica debt.


NADAG AG and SiREEN AG, both Munich, Germany-based biotech companies, have agreed to merge. The new company will be named SIRENADE Pharmaceuticals AG, and will immediately look to raise €20 million in new venture capital funding. The round’s first €11 million already has been contributed by ABN Amro, Deutsche VC and Renaissance Ventures.


SIRVA Inc., a relocation services provider company, has acquired PRS Europe. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. SIRVA was formed in 1998 through Clayton, Dubilier & Rice‘s acquisition of North American Van Lines, and last year was floated on the NYSE in a $389 million IPO. CD&R still maintains a majority stake in the company.


E-Trade Financial Corp. is reportedly exploring the possibility of a merger with rival online brokerage TD Waterhouse. An Associated Press story puts the likely price tag at between $3.4 billion and $5.1 billion.


Neil Richardson has joined the UK office of Dallas-based buyout firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, which is in the midst of raising a new Europe-focused fund. Richardson most recently served as a London-based Managing Director with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.


Ralph Terkowitz, former CIO/CTO of the Washington Post Co., has joined ABS Capital Partners as a Special Partner. As part of his new role, Terkowitz will focus on investment opportunities in the media, technology and communications sectors.


TA Associates today announced the promotion of three members of its investment staff: David Lang has been promoted from Principal to Managing Director, Jonathan Meeks has been promoted from Associate to Principal and Ajit Nedungadi has been promoted from Vice President to Principal. Nedungadi will continue to serve as Director of TA’s London office.


Dorthy Langer has been named Executive VP of Business Development and Strategic Marketing with IntraLinks Inc., a New York-based provider of digital workspace solutions. Langer most recently founded Boston-based consultancy Langer & Co., and previously launched the Boston office of 3i Ventures.


Harlan Kleiman has joined C.E. Unterberg Towbin as a Senior Managing Director. He most recently served as founder of Shoreline Pacific LLC, an investment bank focusing on private financings and advisory services for growth companies in the healthcare industry. Also moving from Shoreline to C.E. Unterberg Towbin are Paresh Patel, Jose Haresco and Marie Jorajuria.


Gluon Networks Inc., a Petaluma, Calif.-based provider of switching and access systems for local telecom providers, has shut down operations and is searching for a buyer. The company had raised approximately $80 million in venture capital funding, from investors like JPMorgan Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Onset Ventures, Synektik Ventures, Texas Pacific Group, U.S. Venture Partners and Vanguard Ventures.




NewBay Software Ltd., a Dublin, Ireland-based developer of a mobile phone-based blogging system, has received 3.2 million (approx. $4.07 million) investment from the European office of Benchmark Capital. As part of the transaction, Barry Maloney of Benchmark Europe will join the NewBay board of directors.


Novacept Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of medical devices for the treatment of excessive menstrual bleeding, has filed to raise $86.25 million through an IPO on the Nasdaq under ticket symbol NVCT. The company has raised over $68 million in venture capital funding since its 1995 inception, including a $30 million infusion in early 2002 at a post-money valuation of approximately $95.5 million. Company shareholders include Brentwood Venture Capital, Hambrecht & Quist Capital, Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., New Enterprise Associates, Prospect Venture Partners, Three Arch Capital and Vector Fund Management.

Evenflo Company Inc., a Piqua, Ohio-based maker of infant and juvenile products, has retained investment bank Lazard to consider strategic alternatives that could include a possible sale. The company has featured Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) as its controlling shareholder since 1996.


DoOnGo Technologies Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of over-the-air mobile device software management, has raised $18 million in new venture funding. VantagePoint Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by Vertex Management, CDIB Ventures and Mitsui Venture Capital.


Enviance Inc., a Carlsbad, Calif.-based provider of Internet-based solutions to streamline the management of environmental, health and safety compliance activities, has raised $10 million in new venture capital funding. Enterprise Partners Venture Capital led the deal, and was joined by individual investors.


NSite Software Inc., a San Ramon, Calif.-based enterprise software company focused on integrating manual business processes with automated workflow, has held a $4 million initial close on its Series B round of venture capital funding. Worldview Technology Partners participated on the transaction, which is expected to net a total of $6 million.


Paratek Microwave Inc., a Columbia, Md.-based provider of radio frequency tunable components and electronically steered antennas, has raised $15 million in new venture capital funding. Polaris Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by ABS Ventures, Investor Growth Capital, Novak Biddle Venture Partners and Morgenthaler Ventures.

Backyard Broadcasting Holdings LLC has received $10 million in new private equity funding from PCG Corporate Partners Fund, plus a commitment to invest an additional $10 million. The Baltimore-based company was formed in July 2002 by Boston Ventures and media executive Barry Drake, in order to pursue the opportunity for consolidation in target radio markets. Since its inception Backyard has acquired twenty-two stations in five radio markets, and plans to use its new capital for future acquisitions.


Fennel Technologies AG, a Germany-based supplier of metal and plastic components to the automotive sector, has received a 14 million (approx. $17.81 million) investment from the Carlyle Group.


CVC Capital Partners and Bridgepoint reportedly have agreed to sell their stakes in Blagden Packaging Group NV, a Belgium-based maker of steel drums, pails and tin plate containers. The buyers are company management and Alchemy Partners, but no additional deal terms are available.


Hammerhead Distribution Inc., a holding company formed last October by Red Diamond Capital and veteran distribution industry executive Paul Haefcke, has acquired Morris Ginsberg & Sons Inc., a Baltimore-based distributor of roofing and building materials. No deal terms were disclosed.


TRW Automotive Inc. has completed the sale of certain North American business assets of its Kelsey-Hayes Co. subsidiary to Universal Automotive Inc. (Nasdaq: UVSL). No deals terms were disclosed. TRW Automotive is majority owned by The Blackstone Group.


Mark Deutsche has been promoted to the position of managing partner with Kenner & Co. He joined the New York-based private equity firm as a partner in 1994 after having spent eight years at Bankers Trust Co. and a related spin-off.


Jonathan Hsu has been promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer at 24/7 Real Media Inc. (Nasdaq: TFSM), after having previously served as the company’s Senior VP of Corporate Development and Strategic Planning. Prior to joining 24/7 Real Media in 2000, Hsu was a senior associate with the global M&A group of J.P. Morgan Securities, and a partner with American Lead Ventures.


David FitzGerald has joined The Carlyle Group as a managing director and co-head of the firm’s European venture capital team. FitzGerald comes to Carlyle from Apax, where he was responsible for later-stage telecom investments out of Apax’s European fund.


Oracle Corp. has decided to separate the responsibilities of its Chairman and CEO. This means that, going forward, Larry Ellison will only serve as Oracle CEO, while former company CFO Jeff Henley has been named Chairman. In addition, Safra Catz and Charles Phillips each have been promoted to the dual position of President at Oracle.


Egenera Inc., a Malborough, Mass.-based provider of utility computing solutions, has raised $30 million in Series D funding. New investor Technology Crossover Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Kodiak Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs, Austin Ventures, CSFB Private Equity, Spectrum Equity Investors and Lehman Brothers. Egenera now has raised $124 million in total venture funding since its 2000 inception, including a $44 million Series C round in 2002 at a post-money valuation of approximately $171 million.

DeNovis Inc., a Lexington, Mass.-based maker of enterprise transaction processing and information management solutions for healthcare benefits administrators, has raised $22 million in Series C funding. Return backers included 3i Group, Advanced Technology Ventures, Audax Group, Psilos Group and UV Partners. The company has raised over $100 million in venture funding since its 2000 founding.

The Kauffman Fellows Program today announced its expansion into Europe. It also announced that it has appointed Christiana Goh Bardon as its first European Kauffman Fellow. Bardon recently joined the Munich office of Boston-based MPM Capital, after having obtained a medical degree and MBA from Harvard University.

Metabolex Inc., a Hayward, Calif.-based pharmaceutical firm focused on metabolic diseases, has raised $4 million in new Series J funding. The company now has raised a total of $31 million in Series J funding, after having announced a $27 million first close back in August. Participants on the second close include Birchmere Ventures, Merlin Biomed Group and CIBC World Markets. CIBC World Markets also helped place the deal.

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) has agreed to acquire Hornell International AB, a Gagnef, Sweden-based provider of personal protective equipment for welding applications. The deal is worth SEK750 million (approx. $105 million), and is subject to standard regulatory approvals. For the past eight years, Hornell has been owned and managed by founder Ake Hornell and private equity firms Accent Equity Partners and Skandia Investment represented by Priveq Partners.

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) has sold its packaging equipment business for approximately $45 million in cash to American Industrial Partners, a New York-based private equity firm. The move is part of Alcoa’s previously announced divestiture program of non-core businesses, and proceeds from the sale will be used to pay down debt. The packaging equipment business has four North American facilities and approximately 250 employees.

Hydra Biosciences Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery of molecular regeneration medicines, has raised over $18.87 million in Series B funding. Lilly BioVentures led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investor BioVentures Investors and return backers Polaris Venture Partners, Abingworth, New Enterprise Associates, Advanced Technology Ventures, Abbott Laboratories and Boston Medical Investors. The company now has raised over $28 million in venture funding since its 2001 inception, including a $9.3 million Series A round at a post-money valuation of approximately $17.3 million.

iPhrase Technologies Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of Web site navigation and search platform software, has acquired Banter Systems Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of automatic classification software used to understand content and informal communications. Deal terms of the all-stock transaction were not disclosed. Banter had raised over $55 million in venture capital funding since its 1997 inception, with investors including FT Ventures, Lucent Ventures and Mayfield Fund. As part of the acquisition, James Hale of FT Ventures will join the iPhrase board of directors. Iphrase has raised over $35 million in venture funding, with support from Charles River Ventures, Greylock, RSA Capital, Reed Elsevier Ventures, Sequoia Capital and TD Capital Technology Ventures.

Abbey National PLC has agreed to sell its interests in 41 private equity funds, plus direct shareholdings in 16 private European companies, to Coller Capital. The deal involves cash plus a secured loan note with a £165 million (approx. $286 million) principal amount. Abbey’s original commitment to the funds involved was £748m (approx. $1.33 billion), of which £162m ($290 million) was not yet drawn-down as of December 31. The sale price represents a £59 million discount to the holding value of the funds as of Abbey’s September 30th balance sheet.

Narad Networks Inc., a Westford, Mass.-based provider of broadband access solutions, has raised $17.69 million in a Series A recapitalization. New investor Argo Global Capital led the deal, and was joined by return backers Polaris Venture Partners, Sofinnova Venture Partners, Vertical Group and General Catalyst. The company now has raised $108 million in venture funding since its 1997 inception. This includes a $41.6 million Series A deal in 1998 at a post-money valuation of over $124 million, and a $16.25 million infusion in late 2002 at a post-money valuation of approximately $126 million.

Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) has formed its third venture capital fund under the management of its Lilly Ventures investment arm. The latest effort is the $50 million Lilly MedTech Venture Fund, which will invest in companies that develop emerging and innovative technologies in the medical technology industry.

Tsunami Research Inc., a St. Louis-based software company focsed on hive computing, has raised $2.3 million in Series A funding. Investors included Kevin Harr, former senior vice president of field operations at Rational Software.

Electronic Data Systems Corp. ((NYSE: EDS) has acquired Dallas-based IT consultancy The Feld Group for $41 million in cash and an additional $48 million worth of restricted stock, warrants and options. As part of the deal, $37 million was paid to Mobius Venture Capital, which had held a 40% stake in Feld Group. Mobius also received warrants to purchase EDS common stock, while Feld employees received about $4 million in cash plus EDS common stock options.

Akustica Inc., a Pittsburgh-based provider of acoustic system-on-a-chip solutions, has raised $8 million in second-round venture funding. Return backers Rangos Investments and Chamberlain Investments co-led the deal, and were joined by Mobius Venture Capital. The company now has raised a total of $12.5 million in venture capital funding.

Robert Garland has joined New Enterprise Associates as a Menlo Park, Calif.-based principal focused on healthcare investments. He most recently worked in McKinsey & Co.’s global pharmaceutical and medical products practice. He is a board-certified internist and member of the clinical faculty at University of California, San Francisco.

VistaScape Security Systems, an Atlanta-based provider of automated policy-based video surveillance software solutions, has raised $10.5 million in Series D funding. Paladin Capital Group led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investor H.I.G. Capital and return backers CDP Capital and Visionaria Venture Capital.

Reuters is reporting that South Korea-based Hynix Semiconductor Inc. is discussing a $430 million deal to sell non-core operations to Citigroup Venture Capital.

Calient Networks Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of photonic switching systems and software, has raised $20 million in fourth-round funding. New investor Sofinnova Ventures co-led the round with existing investors Enterprise Partners and TeleSoft Partners. Other return backers included Storm Ventures and Van Wagoner Funds, while new investor SDL Ventures also participated. Calient now has raised around $270 million in venture funding, including a $195 million deal in 2001 at a post-money valuation of approximately $975 million.

RealPage Inc., a New York-based provider of residential real estate technology solutions, has raised $20 million today announced that it has secured $20 million in financing from Apax Partners.

Littlejohn & Co. has acquired General Electric Corp.‘s superabrasives business, which has been renamed Diamond Innovations. No deal terms were disclosed.

Burrill & Co., a San Francisco-based venture firm has closed its Burrill Life Sciences Capital Fund with $211 million in fund commitments.


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