PE Week Wire — Friday, October 7

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Reducing The Appearance of Impropriety

Ever since President Bush nominated Harriet Miers to be a Supreme Court justice, pundits and politicians have been debating her qualifications for the job (others are questioning if she’s conservative enough, but we’ll leave that reverse litmus test alone for today). Specifically, the issue has been crystallized into whether she is a brilliant legal mind who happens to be close to the President, or if she’s an average legal mind who was nominated because she is close to the President (i.e., cronyism). None of us can currently know the answer, but most can agree that, at the very least, it looks bad.

This issue of appearances is extremely important, which is why there has been a lot of private equity industry buzz over Franklin Park’s recent hiring of Tony Johnson as a managing director. Johnson previously served as the chief investment officer for the $4 billion City of Philadelphia Public Employees’ Retirement System, which once used Hamilton Lane as its private equity advisor. In 2002, however, Philly put the job up for bids, with the requirement that bidders must have been around for three years. Almost simultaneously, six members of Hamilton Lane left to form Franklin Park, including Hamilton Lane research chief Bradley Atkins. Franklin Park bid on the job, got the thr! ee-year requirement waived and had an anchor customer on which to build. Hamilton Lane, if you’re wondering, is still smarting from the decision.

Which brings us to today, with Johnson joining Franklin Park in a move that simply looks bad. I’m not saying that it actually is bad or that there was any sort of quid pro quo, but just that the book’s cover is soiled. A source within the Philly system says there was no pre-existing employment agreement, and a representative for Philly Mayor John Street does not believe that Johnson’s move constitutes a conflict of interest. He will be prevented from working on the Philly account for one year (typical public pension system rule), after which he’s free to do what he wants.

Johnson is not the first public pension employee to go work for his system’s private equity consultant. Barry Gonder left CalPERS for Grove Street Advisors in 2001, while Frank Fernandez left the Florida State Board of Administration in 2004 to take a job with Alignment Capital. Those situations are a bit different in that both Gonder and Fernandez began employment conversations in the midst of RFP discussions, and immediately recused themselves (Grove St. got CalPERS, Alignment did not get Florida). In general, however, both men said at the time that the most important issue was disclosure, and leaving a long paper trail. This is in line with what Massachusetts pension system chief Mike Travaglini told me about how an employee must inform the system once any such negotiations begin. Johnson may also have a pape! r trail, but neither he nor Atkins have returned repeated requests for comment, and the rep for Mayor Street said he was not aware of any such disclosure requirements in Philly (although he did admit that he hadn’t discussed the matter with his legal department).

All of this brings me to the question of how public pension systems should handle situations like Johnson’s. There is the public trust to think about here, and anything that looks bad can insult that trust, whether or not it actually is bad.

My solution would be to substantially extend the one-year prohibition to five years. This would further reduce potential conflicts-of-interest, and possible quid pro quo arrangements. I recognize that this could make public pension jobs even less appealing than they already are (given the relatively low pay), but feel it would be a worthwhile trade-off. At the very least, it would look better.

    Top Three


Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP) has agreed to acquire Sourcefire Inc., a Columbia, Md.-based provider of intrusion prevention and real-time network awareness solutions. The deal is valued at $225 million, including cash and the assumption of Sourcefire’s stock option plan. It is expected to close by Q1 2006. Sourcefire has raised around $33 million in VC funding since its 2001 inception, from firms like Core Capital Partners, Inflection Point Ventures, Sierra Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Maryland DBED and Sequoia Capital. www.checkpoint.com www.sourcefire.com

Ntelos Holding Corp., a Waynesboro, Va.-based provider of wireless and wireline communication services in Virginia and West Virginia, has filed to raise $175 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol NTLS, with Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns serving as lead underwriters. The company wqas acquired earlier this year for around $750 million by Citigroup Venture Capital and Quadrangle Capital Partners. www.ntelos.com

Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus have completed their $5.1 billion public-to-private buyout of retailer The Neiman Marcus Group Inc. Neiman Marcus shareholders each received $100 per outstanding share. www.neimanmarcusgroup.com

    VC Deals

 

Optiscan Biomedical Corp., an Alameda, Calif.-based developer of a continuous glucose monitoring device for hospital use, has raised $36 million in new VC funding, according to a regulatory filing. Participants included Morgenthaler Ventures, Ascension Health Ventures, Mitsui & Co. and Oakwood Medical Investors, Prism Venture Partners, JPMorgan Partners, EGS Healthcare, MedVenture Associates and The Wellcome Trust. It now has raised nearly $70 million in total VC funding since its 1994 inception. www.farir.com

Topigen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Montreal-based drug company focused on respiratory disease research, has raised Cdn$6 million in additional Series B funding from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. This brings the round total to Cdn$28.5 million, with first tranche backers Desjardins Venture Capital (Cdn$6 million), Fonds de Solidarite FTQ (Cdn$5 million), Societe en Commandite T2C2/Bio 2000 (Cdn$5 million), Business Development Bank of Canada (Cdn$4 million) and Innovatech Montreal (Cdn$2.6 million). www.topigen.com

Heartscape Technologies Inc., a New York-based cardiac medical device maker, has raised around $1.4 million in startup funding from Radius Venture Partners, according to a regulatory filing. www.radiusventures.com

    Buyout Deals

The Carlyle Group has completed its sale of Panolam Industries International Inc. to Genstar Capital, The Sterling Group and company management. The deal was valued at approximately $345 million. Panolam is a Shelton, Conn.-based maker of laminate panels for commercial and residential uses, and was bought by Carlyle in November 1999. www.carlyle.com www.panolam.com

Hannover Compressor Co. (NYSE: HC) has sold its gas processing assets and associated gathering system to JPMorgan Partners and the principals of Bear Cub Energy LLC, Thomas Edelman and Robert Clark. The deal is valued at $50 million, with the buyers expected to inject additional growth capital to expand the gas processing capacity. This is JPMP’s third investment with the principals of Bear Cub, following Bear Paw and Patina Oil & Gas. www.hanover-co.com www.jpmorganchase.com

Invitrogen Corp. (Nasdaq: IVGN) has completed its $12.50 per share acquisition of BioSource International Inc. (Nasdaq:BIOI). The deal represents an exit for Genstar Capital, which still held a 31% beneficial stake in BioSource, www.gencap.com

Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) has sold a 19.9% ownership interest in Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corp. to Ares Management for $58.7 million. The deal also includes a three-year option for Ares to purchase an additional 30.2% stake for $126.8 million. In conjunction with the deal, Orchard Supply will issue approximately $405 million in debt. Orchard Supply is a San Jose, Calif.-based operator of 84 hardware and garden retail stores. www.osh.com

CDP Capital-Financing Inc., a subsidiary of Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, has agreed to acquire commercial mortgage company CRIIMI MAE Inc. (NYSE: CMM) for approximately Cdn$328 million, or Cdn$20 per share. www.criimimae.com

NTL and fellow UK cable television company Telewest recently agreed to a $6 billion merger, and the combined company now may be pursued by private equity firms, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report suggests that the purchase price could be higher than $11 billion, with a prospective buying group to likely include Blackstone Group, Cinven, BC Partners and Permira.

    PE-Backed IPOs

Somaxon Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego-based drug company focused on insomnia and other neuro-psychiatric disorders, has filed to raise $86.25 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol SOMX, with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan serving as lead underwriters. The company has raised around $90 million in total VC funding, including a $65 million Series C funding this past summer. Significant shareholders include MPM Capital (27% pre-IPO stake), Domain Associates (22.4%), BA Venture Partners (15.1%), Montreaux Equity Partners (9.6%) and Prospect Venture Partners (9%). www.somaxon.com

    PE-Backed M&A

Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) has agreed to acquire Athena Semiconductors Inc., a Freemont, Calif.–based fabless semiconductor company focused on mobile digital television tuner and low-power WiFi technology. The deal is valued at $21.6 million in cash, and is expected to close by year-end. Athena has raised $20 million in private funding since its 2001 inception, from Samsung Electronics Co., Alliance Venture Management and NeedhamCapital Partners.

Invitrogen Corp. (Nasdaq:IVGN) has acquired both Quantum Dot Corp., a Hayward, Calif.-based biotech company that has raised around $39 million in VC funding from Abingworth Management, CMEA Ventures, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, SV Life Sciences and MPM Capital. www.invitrogen.com www.qdots.com

    Firm & Fund News

HLM Venture Partners is raising up to $200 million for its next fund, according to a regulatory filing. The filing indicates that the Boston-based firm already has over $83 million in LP commitments. www.hlmventurepartners.com

Halyard Capital, a wholly-owned affiliate of BMO Financial Group (TSX/NYSE: BMO), is raising its second private equity fund focused on middle-market companies in the media, communications and business services industries. The fund already has received a $150 million anchor LP commitment from BMO, and has retained Park Hill Group for outside fundraising. www.halyardcapital.com

    Human Resources

Oliver Goldstein has left his managing director post with Warburg Pincus, in order to join New York-based hedge fund management company Eton Park.

Carol Meyrowitz has been named president of The TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX), effective October 17. She is the former senior executive vice president of TJX and since January 2005 has served in an advisory role to both TJX and private equity firm Berkshire Partners. www.tjx.com

Amin Ladak has joined Waltham, Mass.-based Seaflower Ventures as a principal, after previously having been worked for FoldRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. According to VentureWire, Seaflower is about to begin raising its fourth fund with a target capitalization of “more than $100 million.” www.seaflower.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6

Random Ramblings

As predicted in this space last week, VSP Capital has been hit with a countersuit by one of its former general partners. Also as predicted, the countersuit contains some allegations that will do nothing to help Joanna Rees-Gallanter or John Hamm regain their once-lofty reputations.

Ever since this saga began in May, readers have asked the following question: “You keep telling us that people have left and that LPs have disbanded funds, but you never tell us why it happened.” This is a valid criticism of both me and my colleague Constance Loizos (who originally broke the story, and who has written about the countersuit here) – particularly given that we’ve known the reason.

Our only excuse is that neither we – nor our editors – have felt comfortable reporting “the reason” without first having someone state it on the record (i.e., for attribution). It’s one thing to use background sources to discuss management fee disputes or fund-raising efforts, but this is quite another animal. Now that the countersuit has been filed in San Francisco Superior Court, however, it’s time to provide you, dear readers, with the explanation to which you’re entitled.

According to the countersuit filed yesterday by former VSP general partner Vince Vannelli, Joanna Rees-Gallanter and John Hamm were engaged in an intimate, extramarital affair. Vannelli alleges that the affair began before Hamm was brought into VSP last year, but that Rees-Gallanter did not disclose it (to either VSP GPs or LPs) when asking other VSP partners to admit Hamm into the partnership. Had Vannelli known, he says, he would not have voted to admit Hamm. In addition, Vannelli’s suit argues that “several institutional investors had investment practices and policies prohibiting them from investing in venture capital funds that are managed by members having personal relationships, such as spouses or siblings.”

Moreover, several sources have said that the denials continued after Hamm was hired. This is supported by an email I received from Rees-Gallanter back in May, denying that she and Hamm were anything more than “good friends.” Last week, I asked Rees-Gallanter three separate times to confirm or re-deny the affair and subsequent denials, particularly in light of the expected countersuit (ex-GP Matt Crisp likely will file his own countersuit shortly). She declined to respond, instead saying that “personal relationships are not relevant to the situation.” Hamm also declined to confirm or deny the affair or subsequent obfuscation.

Again, read Constance’s story for additional countersuit details, including Vannelli’s take on the portfolio auction process. In short, however, the downfall of VSP began not with an alleged affair, but with an alleged failure to disclose it.

*** Yesterday I promised you some additional details on TA Associates and Madison Dearborn (and their LPs) investing $738 million for a minority stake in MetroPCS Communications Inc. So here goes: First, the company is based in Dallas, not Denver (thanks to the more than two dozen emailed corrections). Second, the deal values MetroPCS at $3 billion, and its equity at $2.2 billion. Therefore, the deal is for around one-third of the company. Finally, Series C shareholders like Battery Ventures, Accel Partners, Primus Venture Partners and One Liberty Partners received around a 10x return on their investment (for the shares sold via the tender), while Series D shareholders like M/C Venture Partners, Columbia Capital and Whitney & Co. nabbed around 3x.

*** Franklin Park/Tony Johnson column pushed off one more day, but is still definitely coming. For what it’s worth, Franklin Park sent out a press release yesterday formally announcing the hire.

Serenex Inc., a Durham, N.C.-based drug discovery and development company focused on oncology, has raised $30 million in Series C funding. Ritchie Capital led the deal, and was joined by return backers Intersouth Partners, Lilly Ventures, Mediphase Venture Partners, Takeda Research Investment and Seaflower Ventures. In other Serenex news, the company announced that it has in-licensed worldwide rights from Mucosal Therapeutics to commercialize SNX-1012, a drug for chemotherapy and radiation-induced oral mucositis. www.serenex.com

US Renewables Group, a Los Angeles-based acquirer, developer and operator of renewable energy and clean fuel assets, has raised $80 million in first-round funding led by Rustic Canyon Partners. The deal represents a first close on a round designed to raise $250 million. USRG currently owns and operates two landfill methane facilities in California, and is building another facility in Texas. It also is negotiating to acquire an additional 100 MWs of biomass power and to acquire more than 300 million gallons per year of ethanol capacity. www.usregroup.com

PrimaCom AG of Germany has agreed to sell Dutch cable company Multikabel to Warburg Pincus for 515 million euros.

    VC Deals

 

SugarCRM Inc., a Cupertino, Calif.-based commercial open-source customer relationship management application provider, has raised $18.77 million in Series C funding, according to a regulatory filing. New Enterprise Associates was joined on the deal by return backers Walden International and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. www.sugarcrm.com

eASIC Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of programmable ASIC products, has raised $17 million in third-round funding. Crescendo Ventures led the deal, and was joined by Evergreen Venture Partners and return backers Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Vinod Khosla. It now has raised $29.5 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception. www.easic.com

CenterStone Software Inc., a Hopkinton, Mass.-based provider of integrated workplace management solutions, has raised $5.5 million in Series D funding. Egan-Managed Capital led the deal, and was joined by fellow return backers Trans-National Group, Velocity Equity Partners and the Massachusetts Technology Development Corp. CenterStone has raised a total of $15.4 million in total VC funding. www.centerstonesoft.com

Redline Communications, a Markham, Ontario-based provider of broadband wireless equipment, has raised US$15 million in fourth-round funding. GF Private Equity Group led the deal, and was joined by return backers Matrix Partners and US Venture Partners. The company has raised $57 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception. www.redlinecommunications.com

NewCross Technologies .Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of hosted IP telephony services for service providers, has raised $5.2 million in Series B funding. Columbia Ventures led the deal, and was joined by fellow return backers Consor Capital and Sterling Payot Capital. www.newxt.com

Evolve Corp. PLC, a UK-based provider of cash management products and services to retailers, has raised Gbp250,000 in venture funding from the South East Growth Fund. Evolve is majority-held by company management, while Global Payment Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: GPTX) holds a 12.5% stake.

The Corporate Marketplace Inc., a North Kingston, R.I.-based procurement hub, has raised an undisclosed amount of private funding from Ascent Venture Partners. www.tcmpi.com

    Buyout Deals

 

Golden Gate Capital has acquired Symon Communications Inc., a Plano, Texas–based provider of software and hardware for real-time data display and enterprise communications. No financial terms were disclosed. Symon raised $7.5 million in VC funding from Summit Partners in 1997. www.goldengatecap.com www.symon.com

Siemens Power Generation has acquired Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control Inc. from Acquilex Corp., a Norcross, Ga.-based company majority-owned by First Reserve Corp. No financial terms were disclosed. Wheelabrator is a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based supplier of air pollution reduction products and solutions for the coal-fired power and industrial markets. It has year-to-date sales of $116.4 million. www.wapc.com www.siemens.com/powergeneration

RoundTable Healthcare Partners has agreed to acquire a 65% stake in Bioniche Pharma Group Ltd. from Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: BNC) and Bioniche Life Sciences shareholder ICC Private Equity. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which is expected to close in November. Pharma Group, has agreed terms for the sale of its stake to RoundTable Healthcare Partners. Bioniche Pharma Group is a Galway, Ireland-based business unit of Bioniche Life Sciences that manufactures and markets sterile injectable pharmaceutical products. www.roundtablehp.com www.bioniche.com

    PE-Backed IPOs

Acorda Therapeutics Inc., a Hawthorne, N.Y.-based biotech company focused on spinal cord injuries, has filed to raise $86.25 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ACOR, with Banc of America Securities serving as lead underwriter. This is the second IPO attempt for Acorda, which filed for a $75 million offering in September 2003, but withdrew it in early 2004. The company has raised around $140 million in total VC funding since its 1995 inception, from firms like MPM Capital, Elan Corp., Forward Ventures, Easton Hunt Ventures, Crosds Atlantic Partners, TVM and MDS Health Ventures. www.acorda.com

    PE-Backed M&A

Metastorm Inc., a Columbia, Md.-based provider of business process management software, has merged with CommerceQuest Inc., a Tampa, Fla.–based provider of scalable integration and business process management solutions. The combined company will operate under the Metastorm name. No financial terms of the merger were disclosed. Metastorm has raised around $65 million in VC funding since its 1996 inception, from firms like 3i Group, Ironside Ventures, Sandler Capital Management, UBS Capital, Axiom Venture Partners and Allianz Private Equity. CommerceQuest raised $27.4 million of funding in 1999 from Internet Capital Group and SCP Private Equity Partners, at a post-money valuation of approximately $90 million. www.metastorm.com www.commercequest.com

Oxford Semiconductor Ltd. of Milpitas, Calif. has acquired TransDimension Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of USB connectivity solutions for embedded applications. No financial terms were disclosed.TransDimension has raised over $30 million in VC funding from firms like GKM Ventures, Alcatel Ventures, Shelter Capital Partners, Rolling Oaks Capital, iSherpa Capital and VantagePoint Venture Partners. www.oxsemi.com www.transdimension.com

    Firm & Fund News

Calvert Street Capital Partners has closed its third fund with $225 million in capital commitments. The Baltimore-based firm will use the fund to make control-oriented deals for lower middle-market manufacturing and services companies located inside the United States. Probitas Partners served as Calvert’s fund placement agent. www.cscp.com

    Human Resources

David Ramsey has joined Kleinwort Capital Ltd. as an investment manager. He previously was an associate director with KPMG Private Equity Group. Kleinwort Capital is a UK-based private equity firm focused on the lower middle-markets. www.kleinwortcapital.com

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5

$350m for a Communications Company in 2000 = Success?

Busiest news day in months, which unfortunately coincided with a power outage at the home office. So we’ll have to postpone today’s planned column, which was going to discuss Tony Johnson leaving his Chief Investment Officer post with the City of Philadelphia, in order to work fulltime with private equity consultancy Franklin Park Associates. There is, indeed, a reason why this move is of particular interest but, again, we’ll get to it tomorrow.

I would be derelict, however, if I didn’t spend a bit of time on MetroPCS Corp., the Denver-based wireless communications services provider that today announced $739 million in private equity funding. What follows are a bunch of notes on this deal – including some you haven’t yet seen:

Basics The $739 million includes $300 million from TA Associates, $300 million from Madison Dearborn Partners and $139 million from common limited partners of the two firms. It buys approximately 30% of MetroPCS, and technically is the company’s third round of institutional funding. MetroPCS was founded in 1994 with a handful of founder rounds, raised “Series C” funding in 1994 from Accel Partners, Battery Ventures and One Liberty Partners (now Flagship Ventures) about one year later, and then secured a $350 million Series D round in late 2000, from firms like M/C Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, Whitney & Co. and JPMorgan Partners. The Series D round was tranched-out, with the final call-down coming in 2004.

Is It VC? Only $50 million of the $739 million is considered “new equity”, with the remainder being a formalized tender offer to buy stakes from existing shareholders (most did not sell out entirely). Therefore, only a small part of this deal should be considered venture capital, thus thwarting any attempts to call this the year’s biggest VC funding round. Instead, it’s more like the largest venture buyout ever transacted.

The deal technically should be considered in Q4 numbers instead of in Q3. TA Associates called down its commitments in September, but put it in escrow. Madison Dearborn called down its capital yesterday, with the tender agent (Mellon) expected to transfer everything within the next week or so.

ROI Try out this hypothetical: A bunch of private equity firms invest $350 million into a communications services company in late 2000. Now tell me, in general, how they made out.

The obvious answer is they got horribly, disfiguringly burned. We all know that overpriced communications deals were the bane of private equity and VC firms in 1999-2001, with potential customers disappearing after the bubble burst. MetroPCS, however, is an exception, despite having well-publicized legal wrangling and an unsuccessful IPO attempt. Not only did the original VC backers — Accel, Battery and One Liberty – end up receiving true VC-level returns, but the Series D investors also did quite well for themselves. Much lower multiple, of course, but the very existence of any positive multiple deserves milk and cookies.

I have the Series C and Series D ROI multiples in front of me, but not everyone agrees on the exact price paid per share – Series C was common stock, Series D was preferred – so you’ll have to wait a bit until I get it nailed down. Suffice to say, however, that all involved cashed in.

MetroPCS Communications Inc., a Dallas, Texas-based wireless communications services provider, has raised $739 million in Series E funding from Madison Dearborn Partners and TA Associates. Each firm provided $300 million, while some of their common limited partners will provide the remainder. Approximately $689 million of the capital will be used to buy shares from existing shareholders, while $50 million will be new equity. MetroPCS has raised VC funding from such firms as Accel Partners, Battery Ventures, One Liberty Partners, Flagship Ventures and Columbia Capital. www.metropcs.com

Mforma Group Inc., a San Francisco-based publisher and distributor of mobile entertainment, has raised $30 million in third-round funding. Institutional Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and General Catalyst Partners. The company now has raised $94 million in VC funding since its 2001 inception. www.mforma.com

TA Associates has agreed to acquire the Information Technology Solutions unit of Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) for $200 million. The deal is expected to close within the next 90 days. www.ta.com

    VC Deals

 

Newron Pharmaceuticals SpA, a Bresso, Italy-based drug discovery and development company focused on CNS therapies, has raised 7 million euros in additional Series B funding from TVM. The round is now closed with a total of 30 million euros. Backers on the initial tranche included deal lead HBM, and Series A backers 3i Group, Apax Partners and Atlas Venture. www.newron.com

Kilopass Technology Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of embedded non-volatile memory IP, has raised $8.8 million in second-round funding. U.S. Venture Partners was joined on the deal by return backers BlueRun Ventures and iGlobe Partners. www.kilopass.com

Rejuvenon Corp., a Texas-based drug developer, has called down the second tranche of its $37.8 million Series B funding round. It also has changed its name to Sapphire Therapeutics Inc. The company originally raised the money in July 2004, but it was tranched out with half being called down immediately, and half to be called down when it reached certain performance milestones. SV Life Sciences led the deal, and was joined by Boston Millennia Partners, Cogene BioTech Ventures, OrbiMed Advisors, Prospect Venture Partners, Burrill & Co., BCM Technologies and Novo Nordisk. www.sapphirethera.com

    Buyout Deals

 

Autodesk Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) has agreed to buy Toronto-based 3D graphics technology company Alias Inc. from Accel-KKR and Teachers’ Private Capital. The deal is valued at $182 million in cash, and is expected to close within the next four to six months. Accel-KKR and Teachers’ Private Capital acquired Alias in June 2004 for $57.5 million, with Accel-KKR serving as majority shareholder. www.autodesk.com www.alias.com

Bridgepoint has sold its 55% stake in UK-based health and fitness company Virgin Active to Virgin Group for Gbp134.5 million. Bridgepoint originally acquired the position in February 2002, when it agreed to invest Gbp110 million to help Virgin Group expand the Virgin Active chain, including expansion into the Italian and Spanish markets. www.bridgepoint-capital.com www.virginactive.co.uk

Arsenal Capital Partners has acquired a controlling interest in Reilly Industries Inc., an Indianapolis-based specialty chemicals manufacturer. The deal is valued at approximately $250 million, with leverage provided by Silver Point Capital, D.B. Zwirn & co. and Wells Fargo Foothill. www.arsenalcapital.com www.reillyind.com

The Compass Group International has sponsored a management buyout of Advanced Circuits Inc., an Aurora, Colo.-based manufacturer of rigid printed circuit boards (PCBs). The seller was company founder Ron Huston, while Madison Capital Funding and Allied Capital Corp. also participated on the equity tranche. Leverage was provided by a lending syndicate led by Madison Capital Funding. No pricing terms were disclosed. www.compassequity.com www.4pcb.com

Permira has completed its acquisition of Jet Aviation Group, a Zurich, Switzerland-based business aviation services company. No financial terms were disclosed. www.permira.com www.jetaviation.com

Brookstone Inc. (Nasdaq: BKST) has completed its $20 per share going-private acquisition by a consortium led by Singapore-based retailer OSIM International. Also participating are private equity firms J.W. Childs Associates and Temasek Holding Ltd. Leverage was provided by Goldman Sachs, UBS Loan Finance and UBS Securities. www.brookstone.com

Starwood Capital Group has agreed to acquire a majority interest in Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. The deal values Mammoth Mountain at $365 million, with Intrawest Corp. (NYSE: IDR) retaining a minority position. www.mammothmountain.com

Reservoir Capital Group has sold 80% of its 100% interest in Sithe Global Power LLC to The Blackstone Group and company management (led by CEO Bruce Wrobel). No financial terms were disclosed. Sithe Global Power is an international independent power development company which focuses on certain target markets in North America, Mexico,