PE Week Wire — Friday, May 21

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

Airpax Corp., a Cambridge, Md.-based manufacturer of circuit protection and thermal sensing products, has completed a $78.5 million recapitalization. William Blair Capital Partners led the deal with a $24.5 million investment, and was joined by company management and Norwest Equity Partners. Antares Capital Corp. served as administrative agent and lead arranger for a senior credit facility that supported the recap. www.airpax.net

Giza Venture Capital is in the midst of raising its fourth fund, according to an SEC filing. The Tel Aviv, Israel-based firm already has secured $30 million of its $275 million target, from investors like AlpInvest Partners NV and The Mohawk River Fund III. Searle & Co. is acting as a placement agent on the fund. www.giza.co.il

The Comptroller of the City of New York has issued an RFP for new private equity investment consultants. www.comptroller.nyc.gov/bureaus/bam/rfps.shtm

 

 

Earthstone International LLC, a Santa Fe, N.M.-based provider of technology that turns recycled glass into household cleaning and sanding products, has raised $9 million in VC funding from the New Mexico State Investment Council. The company already has called down the initial $5 million, and will receive the remainder once it reaches a certain sales milestone. www.earthstoneintl.com

HouseValues Inc., a Bellevue, Wash.-based provider of online solutions for real estate agents, has raised $14.5 million in new VC funding, according to The Seattle Times. William Blair Capital Partners led the deal. www.housevalues.com 

Hollinger International has received multiple bids – in the range of £550 million to £650 million — for its Daily Telegraph newspaper, according to various press reports. Bidders are said to include 3i Group PLC, a joint bid from Apax Partners and Candover Investments, the Daily Mail & General Trust PLC and newspaper publishers the Barclay brothers.

Ampersand Ventures has acquired ESA Inc., a Chelmsford, Mass.-based provider of analytical instruments and kits for biomedical research, drug discovery and clinical diagnostics. No deal terms were disclosed, except that Ampersand was joined by the Boston Community Venture Fund. www.esainc.com

 

The New York Post is reporting that clothing retailer Eddie Bauer has received buyout interest from KKR, Apollo Management, Bain Capital, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Texas Pacific Group.

 

C-COR.net Corp. (Nasdaq: CCBL) has agreed to acquire Lantern Communications Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of metro-area networking solutions. The deal is worth $20 million in cash, and is expected to close later this year. Lantern Communications has raised over $81 million in VC funding since its 1999 inception, including a $65 million infusion in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $240 million. Investors in that deal included Goldman Sachs, Integral Capital Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners, Menlo Ventures, Mohr, Davidow Ventures and Tyco Capital. www.lanterncom.com

 

Corrpro Companies Inc. (AMEX: CO), a Medina, Ohio-based provider of corrosion protection systems, has received $13 million in PIPE financing led by Wingate Partners. The company also has received $14 million in senior unsubordinated debt from American Capital Strategies, and a $40.5 million financing package from CapitalSource Finance LLC. The CapitalSource investment includes a $19.5 million revolving credit facility, a $20.5 million term loan and a $500,000 equity co-investment. www.corrpro.com 

   

Raymond Sharpe has agreed to join Texas Pacific Group, according to The Financial Times. The move means that Sharpe has resigned his post as chief executive of electronics at Cookson Group PLC, where he has worked for the past twenty years.

Thomas Foley, founder and chairman of private equity firm The NTC Group, has been named co-chair of President Bush’s reelection campaign in Connecticut. He is a longtime supporter of the President, and had previously been put in charge of private-sector development in Iraq, under the Coalition Provisional Authority. Foley replaces Connecticut Gov. John Rowland, who is a subject of criminal and legislative investigations due to his alleged receipt of illegal gifts and related state contract violations. Rowland, who faces possible impeachment, says that he stepped down voluntarily, and also that he would not serve as the head of the Connecticut delegation at this summer’s Republican National Convention.

John Lancaster, a managing director with Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy & Power Fund, has joined the board of Magellan Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: MMP). www.magellanlp.com

 

 

Leadis Technology Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of mixed-signal semiconductors, has set its IPO offering price to $12-$14 per share. The company has raised nearly $16 million in VC funding, with significant shareholders including U.S. Venture Partners and Walden International. www.leadis.com

Zentiva BV, a Prague-based drug company, is planning to raise approximately $100 million via an IPO on the Prague Stock Exchange. The company is 100% owned by company management and Warburg Pincus, with the private equity firm expected to retain a controlling stake following the IPO. www.leciva.cz

 

 News from Thursday 5/20

Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) has agreed to acquire Brightmail Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of anti-spam solutions. The deal values Brightmail at $370 million, which includes a $300 million cash payment, and is expected to close by early July. Brightmail is currently in registration for an $80 million IPO, and lists significant shareholders as Accel Partners (19.54%), Symantec (13.30%) and Technology Crossover Ventures (12.76%). It is expected that Brightmail will withdraw its IPO registration papers. www.brightmail.com

Christian Rochat has agreed to join Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc. as a London-based partner, effective in mid-June. He most recently served as a managing director with Morgan Stanley Capital Partners. www.cdr-inc.com

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has accused Springboard Enterprises and two of its executives of violating contract rules, violating travel rules and providing cash grants without authorization, according to a report in today’s Washington Post. Springboard is an independent non-profit group aimed at improving women’s access to the private equity markets, and was originally launched with federal funds. Amy Millman, former Springboard executive director, denied the charges to the Post, while Debra Filtzer, Springboard’s program manager, could not be reached for comment.

 

Xanoptix Inc., a Merrimack, N.H.-based provider of 3-D semiconductor integration and high-density parallel optics, has raised $15.2 million in Series C funding. Return backers included William Blair Capital Partners, Euclid SR Partners, Envest Ventures and Optical Partners. The company now has raised over $85 million since its 2000 inception. www.xanoptix.com

Last Mile Connections Inc., a New York-based provider of last-mile transport solutions for telecom carriers, has raised $28 million in third-round private equity funding from return backer One Equity Partners. The company now has raised $41 million since its November 2001 inception. www.lastmileconnections.com

 

Thomsa Cressey Equity Partners and Apax Partners have completed their acquisition of Web Clients Inc., a Harrisburg, Pa.-based online marketing company. CapitalSource Finance LLC provided senior debt financing for the deal, and also co-invested on the equity tranche. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. www.websponsors.com

Lagardere Groupe SCA has agreed to sell two-thirds of publishing group Editis to Wendel Investissement. Published reports put the price tag at €660 million, which will garner Wendel two-thirds ownership of the company. Lagardere bought the unit last year from Vivendi Universal SA, but the European Commission only approved the deal after Lagarde agreed that it would sell 60% of the company, due to competition concerns. 

 

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) released investment performance data for the one-year period ending March 31, 2004. The entire system experienced a 29.6% return, which puts its standing assets at $165.8 billion. The system’s alternative investment management program – which includes venture capital, buyouts and other private equity investments – grew by 3.8 percent. www.calpers.ca.gov

Trillium Group has launched a new venture capital fund – named The Trillium Lakefront Partners III Fund – that will invest in Upstate New York-based companies. The Rump Group is serving as lead limited partner, while the New York State Common Retirement Fund has committed a minimum of $25 million in matching funds. The fund now has over $50 million in LP commitments, and hopes to eventually close with at least $75 million. www.trillium-group.com

BioVista Capital, a Durham, N.C.-based VC firm focused on life sciences investing, has changed its name to Hattaras BioCapital, according to The News and Observer. www.biovistacapital.com

 

Robert Pierce has joined Gladstone Capital Corp. as a managing director, and head of the McLean, Va.-based firm’s new Chicago office. He most recently served as a senior vice president and team leader on GE Capital‘s global sponsor finance group. www.gladstonecapital.com

Jeri Harman has joined Allied Capital Corp. as a managing director, and head of the New York-based firm’s new Los Angeles office. She most recently worked with American Capital Strategies as a managing director and head of that firm’s L.A. office. www.alliedcapital.com

Thomas Berglund has joined First Atlantic Capital as a managing director. He most recently served as a partner with Jupiter Partners. www.firstatlanticcapital.com

  

Lumera Inc., a Bothell, Wash.-based developer of polymer materials, has filed to raise $34.5 million via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq SmallCap under proposed ticker symbol LMRA. The company was founded in early 2000 as a majority-owned subsidiary of Microvision Inc. (Nasdaq: MVIS), and later raised $29.5 million in VC funding from such firms as Cisco Systems Inc., The Barksdale Group, Acorn Ventures and WRF Capital. www.lumera.com

Domino’s Pizza Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based pizza delivery company, has set its IPO offering price range to $15-$17 per share, and its number of offered shares to 24.1 million. The company’s largest shareholder is Bain Capital, which in 1998 bought a controlling stake from Domino’s co-founder Tom Monaghan. www.dominos.com

CoTherix Inc., a Belmont, Calif.-based drug development company, has set its IPO offering price range to $12-$12 per share, and its number of offered shares to 5 million. The company has raised over $65 million in VC funding since its 2000 inception, with significant shareholders including MPM Capital, Alta Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, Sofinnova Capital, Spray Venture Partners and Frazier Healthcare. The company originally was known as Exhale Therapeutics Inc. www.cotherix.com

TriMas Corp., a Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based company controlled by Heartland Partners, has set its proposed ticker symbol to TRS.

Blue Nile Inc., a Seattle-based online diamond retailer, will begin trading on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol NILE. The company priced 3.74 million shares of common stock at $20.50 per share (above its $17.50-$19.50 offering price range), for a total IPO take of approximately $76.67 million. The company had raised around $51 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. www.bluenile.com

Animas Corp., a Frazier, Pa.-based provider of external insulin pumps for diabetics, will begin trading on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol PUMP. The company yesterday priced 4.25 million shares of common stock at $15 per share (the high end of its $13-$15 offering price range), for a total IPO take of approximately $63.75 million. The company had raised over $60 million in VC funding, from significant shareholders like HLM Management Co., Liberty Ventures and Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. www.animascorp.com

ZipRealty Inc., an Emeryville, Calif.-based provider of residential services over the Internet, has filed to raise $69 million via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol ZIPR. The company has raised over $50 million in VC funding, from significant shareholders like Benchmark Capital, Pyramid Technology Ventures, Vanguard Ventures, Venture Strategy Partners, Iverson Financial Corp. and Barrington Partners. www.ziprealty.com

 

News From Wednesday 5/19

 

 

Vueling Airlines SA, a Barcelona, Spain-based green-field airline, has been formed via a €30 million investment from Apax Partners, Invesiones Hemisferio (Grupo Planeta), company management and private investors like David Barger (founder and president of JetBlue Airways) and Tom Karsotis (founder and president of Fossil Watches). Apax will hold a 39% ownership stake, Invesiones will hold a 30% stake, company management gets 23% and private investors receive the remaining 7 percent. The company will operate routes that connect Barcelona with main Spanish and European destinations. Its fleet will be comprised of new Airbus 320 aircrafts, with capacity for 180 passengers per plane. www.vueling.com

PathScale Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of Linux technologies, has raised $15 million in Series C funding. Adams Street Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Charles River Ventures, Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, CMEA Ventures, ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures and the Dow Employees Pension Plan. The company now has raised $29 million in total VC funding since its 2001 inception, including a $12.5 million Series B deal in 2003 at a post-money valuation of approximately $17 million. www.pathscale.com

Global Cash Access LLC, a Las Vegas-based supplier of cash access, transaction processing and CRM services to the gaming industry, has completed a $316 million recapitalization of its holding company’s ownership. Summit Partners led the deal, and was joined by Tudor Ventures and other unnamed private equity investors. www.globalcashaccess.com

 

Zebra Imaging Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of holographic imaging for industrial and government applications, has raised $10.1 million in new VC funding. Sierra Ventures led the deal, and was joined by Voyager Capital, Stanford University, Nuevo Private Equities, Spaulding Investment and some unnamed individual investors. Existing investors in the company – which has raised around $24 million in total VC funding since its 1996 inception – include Ford Motor Co., Dupont and Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab. www.zebraimaging.com

Berkana Wireless Inc., a Campbell, Calif.-based provider of wireless connectivity solutions, has raised $9 million in additional Series B funding. The company originally raised $12.8 million in Series B funding back in December 2002. New investor Hotung Capital Management was joined on the deal by unnamed return backers. www.berkanawireless.com

EMIDA Technologies, a Miami, Fla.-based provider of electronic transactional networks for prepaid services, money transfer and stored value card processing, has raised $5 million in VC funding from new investors GRP Partners and Richard L. Scott Investments.  www.emida.net

Cyclics Corp., a Schenectady, N.Y.-based plastics maker, has raised $4 million in private equity funding from unnamed angel investors. The company now has raised over $33 million in equity and loans from angel investors since its 1999 inception. www.cyclics.com

TrustWave Corp., a Phoenix-based provider of security assessment and compliance solutions, has received $10 million in Series A funding from FTVentures. www.trustwave.com

Ingate Systems, a Stockholm, Sweden-based provider of enterprise firewalls, has raised $5.8 million in new VC funding from return backer Bell Net Corp. www.ingate.com

Silverlink Communications Inc., a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of voice applications for the healthcare industry, has raised $5.6 million in Series B funding. HLM Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backer Sigma Partners and company management. www.silverlink.com

The European Union Commission has approved a previously-announced acquisition of Spanish delivery company Seur Madrid by JPMorgan Partners and Bridgepoint Capital. Spanish press reports, however, suggest that the private equity firms will not actually be able to complete the deal due to a clause that permitted intervening bids from third parties. In this case, shareholders last Friday agreed to let French company La Poste acquire a 60% stake in Seur Madrid, and a 12.8% stake in its parent company Seur SA. La Poste will pay €90 million. 

Charterhouse has agreed to acquire UK-based vending machine company Autobar Group Ltd. for more than €800 million from the Kuwait Investment Office, according to various press reports.

Freedom Communications Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based media conglomerate, has completed its previously announced recapitalization led by the Blackstone Group and Providence Equity Partners. The deal was estimated to be worth $2 billion, with Blackstone and Providence Equity receiving a 40% ownership stake. The remainder will be held by members of the Hoiles family, whose patriarch R.C. Hoiles started the company in 1935 by acquiring The Orange County Register. Certain Hoiles family members sold their stakes as part of the recap. Alan Bell, president and CEO of Freedom Communications, will remain in his role, as will the rest of his senior management team.  www.freedom.com

 

JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU) has acquired E2O Communications Inc., a Calabasas, Calif.-based provider of optical subsystems for computer storage and transceivers, for approximately $60 million in cash. E2O had raised over $80 million in VC funding since its 1998 inception, and once had been valued as high as $163 million. Company investors included New Enterprise Associates, Fortune Venture Investment Group, SunAmerica Ventures, Smart Technology Ventures, Lehman Brothers, Winward Ventures, Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. and the Economic Development Board of Singapore. www.e2oinc.com. 

Michael Berman has joined Israel Seed Partners as a venture partner and industry advisor. He currently serves as chairman of ISP portfolio company TopSpin Medical, and is the former president of Boston Scientific Corp.’s cardiovascular division. www.israelseed.com

Paul Cejas, chief executive officer of PLC Investments Inc., and Ted Kelly, chairman of Liberty Mutual Group, have been elected to the board of directors at Mellon Financial Corp. (NYSE: MEL).

Ronnie Jung has been named executive director of the Teachers Retirement System of Texas. He had served as the group’s chief financial officer and deputy director, before being named interim chief in September 2003.

 

The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) has added Polly Smith as membership development manager, promoted Mary Richardson to the position of associate director – legal and regulatory and promoted Alanda Board to the position of data and systems manager. www.aima.org

 

Volterra Semiconductor Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based provider of power management semiconductors, has filed to raise $50 million via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol VLTR. The company has raised over $40 million in VC funding from significant shareholders like Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, INVESCO Private Capital, Morgenthaler Ventures and Integral Capital Partners. www.volterra.com 

Halfords Ltd., a Redditch, UK-based car partners and bicycle retailer reportedly is planning a June floatation that would value the firm at approximately $1.6 billion. www.halfords.com.

 

 News from Tuesday 5/18

 

W Capital Partners has held a $250 million final closing for its new secondaries fund, which will acquire portfolios of direct venture capital and private equity investments from corporations, financial institutions and other institutional investors. The New York-based firm held a $172 million close on the fund earlier this year, and far surpassed its initial $150 million target capitalization. www.wcapgroup.com

Ivivity Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of storage networking system technology, has raised $26 million in Series C funding. Grotech Capital Group and JK&B Capital co-led the deal, and were joined by fellow new investor Mellon Ventures. Return backers included H.I.G. Ventures, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, Kinetic Ventures, Cordova Ventures, Yamacraw and Bergman & Associates. The company now has raised over $50 million in total VC funding since its 2000 inception. www.ivivity.com

PetroPlus International NV (OTC BB: PETROPLUS) reportedly has received a takeover bid from two company founders and private equity firm The Carlyle Group. The €8 per share offer would value the Dutch oil refinery at €247 million. www.petroplus.com

 

Panacos Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Gaithersburg, Md.-based drug company focused on HIV and other major human viral diseases, has raised $18.3 million in Series C funding. Ampersand Ventures and A.M. Pappas co-led the round, and were joined by fellow return backer The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. New investors included Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners, Novo A/S, New England Partners Capital, William Harris Investors and Lakeview Capital Management. www.panacos.com

NetCell Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based fables semiconductor company, has raised $13.7 million in new VC funding. Allegis Capital and Granite Ventures co-led the deal, and were joined by return backers August Capital and APV Technology Partners. As part of the deal, Bob Ackerman of Allegis Capital and Len Rand of Granite Ventures will join the NetCell board of directors.

Broadband National Inc., a Vero Beach, Fla.-based provider of broadband services to business and consumers, has raised $1.35 million in Series A funding. No additional information was disclosed. www.broadbandnational.com

RLX Technologies Inc., a The Woodlands, Texas-based provider of blade and dense servers, has raised $12 million in Series D funding. ABS Capital Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Austin Ventures, GM Capital Partners, Soros Private Equity Investors, Sternhill Partners, Ignition LLC, ComVentures, Erwin Investments and Cockrell Investment Partners. The company now has raised approximately $90 million in VC funding since its 2001 inception. www.rlx.com

Upstream Technologies LLC, a Boston-based provider of investment management technology to asset managers, has received an additional investment from Lava Trading Inc., which was the lead backer in Upstream’s Series A deal last year. No deal terms on the more recent funding were disclosed.

Astaro AG, a Karlsruhe, Germany-based provider of Linux-based network security solutions, has raised €5.6 million in new venture capital funding from return backers Wellington Partners and Insight Venture Partners. www.astaro.com

Systinet Corp., a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of software for creating service-oriented architectures, has raised $10.5 million in new private equity funding led by Warburg Pincus. The company also named Thomas Erickson as its new CEO. Erickson most recently served as executive vice president of webMethods. www.systinet.com

Sirific Wireless Corp., a Santa Rosa, Calif.- and Ontario, Canada-based developer of RF transceivers, has raised $17 million in third-round funding. TD Capital Ventures led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investor Intel Communications Fund. Return backers included Agilent Technologies, Celtic House, BDC Venture Capital and GrowthWorks WV Funds. www.sirific.com

IMlogic Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of instant messaging software, has raised $16 million in new VC funding. Crosslink Capital led the deal and was joined by return backers Venrock Associates, Goldman Sachs, General Catalyst Partners and Kodiak Venture Partners. As part of the transaction, Vladimir Jacimovic of Crosslink Capital will join the IMlogic board of directors. www.imlogic.com

Mobile Satellite Ventures GP Inc., a Reston, Va.-based provider of mobile satellite communications services, has raised $21.3 in new private equity funding from an original investor group that includes Telcom Ventures and Columbia Capital. www.msvlp.com

Teleflex Inc. (NYSE: TFX) has agreed to acquire Hudson Respiratory Care Inc. and all of its product lines for a reported $460 million in cash. Hudson is a Temecula, Calif.-based medical device company controlled by private equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co. www.hudsonrci.com

 

One Equity Partners has agreed to sell non-nuclear sub maker Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG to ThyssenKrupp AG for €240 million. www.thyssenkrupp.com

 

Teleperformance USA, a subsidiary of SR.Teleperformance, has acquired an 85% stake of CallTech Communications LLC from Summit Partners and individual shareholders. CallTech founders will continue to manage the company and retain a 15% ownership position. CallTech is a Columbus, Ohio-based provider of outsourced contact center services. No deal terms were disclosed, except that the acquisition was done with cash.

 

DoubleClick Inc. (Nasdaq: DCLK) has agreed to acquire Performics Inc., a Chicago-based provider of search engine marketing and affiliate marketing solutions. The all-cash deal is valued at $58 million, plus an earn-out of up to $7 million. The deal is expected to close by mid-June, pending regulatory approvals. Performics has raised around $10 million in VC funding since its 1998 inception, from investors like KB Partners, Nelson Capital Corp., Portage Venture Partners and Tribune Ventures. www.performics.com

DeveloGen AG, a German drug company focused on metabolic diseases, has received shareholder approval for a previously-announced merger with Peptor Ltd., an Israeli drug company focused