PE Week Wire: Mon., April 2, 2007

Welcome to the beginning of Q2, which thousands of American workers will celebrate by calling in sick (and then by praying that the TV camera doesn’t catch them at the ballpark). For the rest of you, I’ve posted a ton of Q1 data from Thomson Financial at Included is a global M&A review, debt markets review, equity markets review, syndicated loans review and VC-backed exits review (both IPOs and M&A). Get it all here.

Full data on Q1 leveraged buyouts and LBO fundraising is available to subscribers at, and I’ll try to get a summary up at peHUB shortly. Venture capital data is still being compiled, but a quick look behind the curtain indicates that Southern California has beefed up its lead on New England. It’s worth noting that MoneyTree data uses some odd accounting whereby Connecticut gets lumped into New York Tri-State instead of with New England, but the rankings hold even once Connecticut is added into NE totals (this anomaly will hopefully be fixed before the final data is released).

*** Blue Water Capital is winding down. The McLean, Va.-based venture capital firm had been considering a fourth fund, but ultimately decided to punt. Firm co-founder Henry Barratt and directors Mark Costanzo and James Loving will instead join Square 1 Bank – which will give up its Tyson Corner office space in order to move into Blue Water’s digs. No word yet on the future plans of fellow Blue Water co-founders Michael Acheson and Henry Barratt.

*** You’ll notice in the news section that Battery Ventures has agreed to acquire enterprise software company Quovadx Inc. (Nasdaq: QVDX) for approximately $136.7 million. I’m told that the deal will come out of Battery’s current $450 million fund (closed in 2004), rather than from the $750 million-targeted vehicle it just began marketing.

*** Speaking of fund-raising, San Francisco-based venture firm Bay City Capital is pre-marketing its fifth fund with a $425 million target. Bay City Capital Fund IV closed in 2004 with $350 million.

*** Gametime Part 1: Just one NCAA game left, and our leader remains David McCoy, a principal with National City Equity Partners. David has 143 points, with Ohio State beating Florida in the finale. There are three players currently tied for second place with 140 points, but each of them also has Ohio State as national champs. So who David really has to fear are the dozens of folks who will leapfrog him if Florida wins. All will be settled tonight…

*** Gametime Part 2: Today is Opening Day, but this is a reminder that I’m keeping registration for our Fantasy Baseball League open until end of day Thursday. Go here for more details.

*** I never again thought that I’d write about The Industry Standard, but there has been some interesting back and forth on why the bubble-era magazine didn’t sell when it had the chance. Fred Wilson is the latest to chime in with both details and lessons learned.

*** There has been some snickering that The Carlyle Group is being disingenuous when it tells LPs that it’s raising only $15 billion for its next general buyout fund. After all, it’s got to be aiming at $20 billion to keep up with Blackstone and Goldman Sachs. It very well may end up accepting oversubscription, but I’m not sold on the disingenuous part. Blackstone and Goldman make most of their buyout disbursements out of a single fund, no matter where the target is located. Carlyle, on the other hand, has geographically-targeted funds all over the place – including dedicated vehicles for Europe, Asia, Mexico and (coming soon) Middle East/Africa. In other words, Carlyle can stick to its $15 billion target and still have as much private equity fund capital as Blackstone or Goldman…

*** Huge kudos to, for standing up to the arrogant hedgerati at Solengo Capital. Go to their site, if only to help defray their pending legal bills. If Solengo wanted its docs to stay confidential, it shouldn’t have sent them around to so many people who don’t seem to like them. That’s the given explanation for the two brochures I received in my inbox before Dealbreaker published it (sorry, I don’t so hedge funds).

*** Calera Capital and TPG on Friday completed their $630 million buyout of Direct General Corp., a Nashville, Tenn.-based provider of insurance products via a network of retail storefronts. As part of the deal, former Cendant executive Dan Tarantin is taking over as Direct General’s new CEO. I asked Dan 5 Questions, including how he plans to help turn around a company whose stock had been tanking prior to the buyout announcement.

Top Three

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. has agreed to acquire First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) for approximately $29 billion. Under terms of the agreement, First Data shareholders would receive $34 per share, which is around a 26% premium over last Friday’s closing price of $26.90 per share. Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch have committed to provide debt financing for the transaction. First Data is being advised by Morgan Stanley, and is permitted to solicit proposals from third parties during the next 50 days.

FX Solutions, a Saddle River, N.J.-based operator of an online currency trading platform, has raised $100 million from Francisco Partners, as part of a company recapitalization. FX Solutions was advised by Giuliani Capital Advisors.

The Carlyle Group has agreed to sell Landmark Aviation and Standard Aero to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise. The transaction is valued at $1.8 billion, with around $1.03 billion being used for the Standard Aero acquisition. Tempe, Ariz.-based Landmark provides aircraft maintenance services, while Winnipeg-based Standard Aero provides repair services at airport terminals. Doughty Hanson is also a Standard Aero shareholder.

VC Deals

Egalet AS, a Danish drug company focused on the development of oral controlled-release products, has raised $27.6 million in Series B funding. Atlas Venture and Index Ventures co-led the deal, and were joined by return backers Bio Fund, Dansk Kapitalanlæg, Danske Bank and QueQuin Holdings.

Mimosa Systems Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based email archiving company, has raised $17 million in Series C funding. Mayfield led the deal, and was joined by return backers August Capital, Clearstone Venture Partners and Jafco Ventures. The company previously had raised over $17 million since 2004.

Sana Security Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of early detection of network security breaches, has raised $12 million in Series E funding. El Dorado Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Bay Partners and Don Listwin. In related news, Sana named Listwin, a onetime Cisco exec who joined the Sana board in 2004, as its new CEO.

nLight Photonics Corp., a Vancouver, Wash.-based manufacturer of semiconductor lasers, has called down $13.25 million of a $15.6 million Series D round, according to a regulatory filing. Return backers include Oak Investment Partners, Menlo Ventures and Mohr, Davidow Ventures.

Vyatta Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based maker of open-source routers, has raised $11 million in Series B funding. Comcast Interactive Capital led the deal, and was joined by return backers ArrowPath Venture Partners, ComVentures and JPMorgan Partners. The company had raised a $7.5 million Series A round last September.

Netuitive Inc., a Reston, Va.-based provider of real-time analysis software for business service management, has raised $8 million in Series D funding. MK Capital led the deal, which was first reported by the Washington Business Journal. Other participants included Cross Creek Capital and return backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, Flagship Ventures, Noro-Moseley Partner and Thomas Weisel Venture Partners.

iUpload Inc., an Burlington, Ontario-based provider of online communications solutions for businesses (blogs, wikis, etc.), has raised $7 million in Series A funding, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Greylock Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.

CartaSite Inc., a Denver-based provider of GPS-based vehicle tracking, has raised $4.35 million in Series A funding, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Canterbury Partners and Acadia Partners.

United Villages Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of wireless network services for rural areas, has raised around $2 million in Series A funding, according to a regulatory filing. Shareholders include Omidyar Network, Cambridge Light & Power Corp. and Gray Matters Capital Foundation.

Advanced Chip Express Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based semiconductor startup, has raised around $1.9 million in Series A funding, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Itochu Technology Ventures.

Scrapblog, a Miami, Fla.-based provider of an online service for creating and sharing multimedia scrapbooks, said that it has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by Longworth Venture Partners. A regulatory filing had indicated that the company was seeking $2.5 million.

Buyout Deals

J.H. Whitney & Co. has withdrawn its $38 per share buyout offer for Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF), after the company’s board rejected the bid for being too low. In a letter to the board, Whitney said it was “surprised and disappointed that the committee chose not to discuss the proposal with us or include the company’s distributors in its strategic review process.” Whitney holds approximately 27% of Herbalife’s outstanding stock.

Battery Ventures has agreed to acquire Quovadx Inc. (Nasdaq: QVDX) for $3.15 per share, for a total transaction value of approximately $136.7 million. The deal includes: Quovadx’s ISD division, which provides enterprise solutions for hospitals, government entities and health plans; and its Rogue Software group, which provides reusable software components and services to professional developers application development. It will not include Quovadx’s CareScience division, which was sold in a separate transaction to Premier Inc. for $34.9 million. !

Highland Capital Management has acquired Nex-Tech Aerospace (f.k.a. Thayer Aerospace), a Wichita, Kansas-based manufacturer of structural airframe components and assemblies for the aerospace, defense and space industries. No financial terms were disclosed.

The Wicks Group of Cos., has acquired correspondence education company Education Direct Inc. from The Thomson Corp. (NYSE: TOC). No financial terms were disclosed. (Note: Thomson Corp. is the parent company of PE Week Wire publisher Thomson Financial)

Veda Advantage Ltd. (f.k.a. Baycorp Advantage), a listed credit-checking giant in Australia and New Zealand, has accepted an Au$3.61 per share buyout offer from Pacific Equity Partners and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity. The offer gives Veda an enterprise value of approximately Au$963 million, including Au$149.2 million in net debt.

Image Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: DISK), a Chatsworth, Calif.-based independent licensee, producer and distributor of home entertainment programming in North America, has agreed to be acquired by David Bergstein and hedge fund D.B. Zwirn & Co. The total transaction is valued at around $132 million, with Image stockholders to receive $4.40 per share in cash. Lazard is advising Image on the sale.

Apollo Management has received shareholder approval to acquire real estate franchisor Realogy Corp. (NYSE: H) for $30 per share. The entire deal is valued at approximately $9 billion, including around $1.6 billion in assumed debt and approximately $750 million of other liabilities. Apollo is committing $2 billion of equity, and has secured leveraged financing commitments from JPMorgan, Credit Suisse and Bear Stearns. Evercore Partners served as financial advisor to Realogy.

JonesTrading Institutional Services LLC, a Los Angeles-based agency brokerage focused on block trading of U.S. and Canadian securities, has raised $50 million in private equity funding from Friedman Fleischer & Lowe. The deal provides FFL with a significant minority ownership position, and representation on the JonesTrading board of directors.

PE-Backed IPOs

Data Domain Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of storage appliances for disk-based backup and network-based disaster recovery, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol DDUP, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley serving as co-lead underwriters. Data Domain has raised around $41 million in VC funding since 2002, from firms like Greylock Partners (30.3% pre-IPO stake), New Enterprise Associates (28.9%), Sutter Hill Ventures (16.8%) and HRJ Capital.

Amicus Therapeutics Inc., a Cranbury, N.J.-based drug company focused on genetic diseases like Fabry disease, has filed for an $86.25 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol FOLD, with Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch serving as co-lead underwriters. The company has raised around $146 million in total VC funding, including a $60 million Series D infusion late last year. Backers include New Enterprise Associates (26.3% pre-IPO stake), Frazier Healthcare Ventures (15.2%), Prospect Venture Partners (13.2%), CHL Medical Partners (12.4%), Canaan Partners (12.1%), Quaker BioVentures (8.3%), Och-Ziff Capital Management, Palo Alto Investors and Radius Ventures.

Comscore Inc., a Reston, Va.-based provider of online consumer behavior analysis, has filed for an $86.25 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol SCOR, with Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank Securities serving as co-lead underwriters. ComScore has raised over $92 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception, from firms like Accel Partners (27.3% pre-IPO stake), JPMorgan Partners (11.6%), Institutional Venture Partners (10.1%), Lehman Brothers (8.1%), Adams Street Partners (7.9%), Topspin Partners (5.4%), Flatiron Partners, vSpring Capital, Devine InterVentures and Rembrandt Venture Partners.

Merrion Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a Dublin, Ireland-based developer of oral dosage forms of drugs with poor bioavailability, has filed for a $46 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MERR, with Punk Ziegel & Co. serving as lead underwriter. Shareholders include European Bioscience Fund, Growcorp Group and Elan Corp.

PE Exits

Culligan Ltd., a Northbrook, Ill.-based manufacturer and distributor of water treatment products and bottled water, has announced plans for a $900 million recapitalization. The company will distribute approximately $360 million of the proceeds to its equity holders, including Clayton, Dubiler & Rice. CDR currently holds an 83% ownership position, following a $610 million buyout of the company from France-based Veolia Environnement SA in 2004.

RJD Partners has sold its 56% interest in Academy Music Holdings Ltd. (AMG) to Live National Inc. and Gaiety Investments. The deal valued AMG at $114 million, including the assumption of $56.9 million of bank notes and third-party shareholder loans. AMG is an owner and operator of music clubs in the UK, including Carling Academy Brixton.

Firms & Funds

The Industrial Bank of Taiwan (IBT) has acquired City of Industry, Calif.-based EverTrust Bank for $65 million in cash.

Human Resources

Anthony Salewski has joined Genstar Capital as a senior associate. He previously was a principal with Alpine Investors.


Last Thursday’s issue reported that CCMP Capital had secured $1.47 billion for its first independent fund since spinning out of JPMorgan, according to a regulatory filing. The information was accurate, but very dated. The regulatory filing was actually from last November, and I hear that CCMP has since secured many more commitments.