*** Venture capital firm Union Square Ventures is suing private equity firm Union Square Partners (f.k.a. Capital Z Financial Services), for trademark infringement. Apparently more than a few LPs and other business contacts have confused the two.
Leaving legalities aside, the big question here is why the Cap Z team ever chose the Union Square moniker in the first place. Sure its offices are just a block or two away, but it’s also equidistant to Gramercy Park. And USV was around first, with a very high profile. I remember thinking it was strange at the time, and it’s still strange. Calls to USP at the time were never returned — probably because it was gearing up for fundraising.
peHUB has posted both the USV complaint and the USP response, for your perusal.
*** I was on New England Cable News last night, to discuss the recent market troubles and the Dow Jones deal. You can get the video here.
*** One issue related to that appearance, upon reflection, is that PE funds and hedge funds are getting painted with one broad brush. It’s a big mistake, and not just from a technical perspective. The collapses at hedge funds from Bear Stearns, Sowood, etc. will not happen to private equity funds. After all, it’s the hedge funds that scooped up all the questionable debt from private equity deals.
PE firms, on the other hand, will be just fine in the short-term. Maybe they have to work harder to close deals and find leverage for new ones (and in some cases find equity), but the real trouble comes in 2-5 years, when PE firms begin trying to exit the companies they bought at inflated valuations over the past 12 months. Consider it a case of delayed disaster.
*** A buyout pro describes the current lending environment thusly: It’s like a snake that just ate a large rodent. There is a backup at the beginning, where you’re not quite sure that the snake will be able to swallow its prey. Eventually it gets down, but it can take a while and it’s certainly not pretty.
*** 5 Questions with Steven Rattner, managing partner of Quadrangle Group and former Lazard honcho. Yesterday, Quadrangle announced new hires and new offices in Silicon Valley and Hong Kong.
*** Why you should — or perhaps shouldn’t — become one of my LinkedIn contacts.
*** Following the peHUB Shindig in Menlo Park last week, some readers have asked why I haven’t done something similar in Boston. Because it would have been too convenient? Ok, that’s a lousy answer – so expect some news next week. I’ve just got to find the right place (open to suggestions)…
New Mountain Capital has agreed to acquire Oakleaf Global Holdings Inc. from Charterhouse Group for $655 million. Oakleaf is an East Hartford, Conn.-based asset-light provider of outsourced waste logistics solutions. Charterhouse acquired the company four years ago, and helped finance six add-on acquisitions. Robert W. Baird advised Oakleaf on the deal, which is expected to close later this month. www.oakleafwaste.com
Tobira Therapeutics Inc., a Princeton, N.J.-based drug startup focused on HIV/AIDS therapies, has raised $31 million in Series A funding. Domain Associates and Frazier Healthcare Ventures co-led the deal, and were joined by Montreux Equity Partners and Canaan Partners. In other Tobira news, the company named James Sapirstein as CEO. He previously was with Serono Inc. as executive vice president of metabolic and endocrinology. www.tobiratherapeutics.com
Genpact Ltd. (f.k.a. Gecis Global), a global business process outsourcing company, raised around $494.11 million from its IPO. The company priced 35.29 million common shares at $14 per share ($16-$18 range), for an initial market cap of approximately $2.89 billion. Genpact will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol G, while Morgan Stanley, Citi and JPMorgan served as co-lead underwriters. General Atlantic and Oak Hill Capital Partners acquired a 62.63% stake in Gepact from General Electric in 2005, for approximately $500 million (including $375 million in equity). www.genpact.com
ONStor Inc., a Campbell, Calif.-based provider of clustered enterprise network attached storage solutions, has raised $27 million in Series E funding. Sand Hill Capital joined return backers Foundation Capital, Mayfield Fund, ComVentures, and Worldview Technology Partners. ONStor refers to the deal as mezzanine financing, and its “final round of funding.” The company has raised $114 million in total VC funding since its 2000 inception. www.onstor.com
EzRez Software Inc., a San Francisco-based B2B provider of online travel solutions, has raised $15 million in second-round funding. Canaan Partners led the deal, and was joined by Azure Capital Partners. www.ezrez.com
Aravo Solutions Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of on-demand supplier information management (SIM) software, has raised $10 million in Series C funding. Aravo has now raised $22 million in total funding, with almost all of its coming from individual angels. They include: Art Samberg (CEO, Pequot Capital), Peggy Taylor (former PeopleSoft EVP), Tony Mayer (former JPMorgan Capital CEO), Charlers Schwab Family/Big Sky Partners, Stephen Freidman (retired Goldman Sachs chairman) and Soren Kenner (LundKenner managing partner). www.aravo.com
Broadband National Inc., a Vero Beach, Fla.-based network of shopping websites focused on digital services and products, has raised $9.7 million in second-round funding. Safeguard Scientific led the deal with an $8 million infusion, and was joined by return backer Constellation Ventures. www.broadbandnational.com
Minekey, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of online content discovery and recommendation services, has raised $3 million in Series A funding led by NEA IndoUS Ventures. www.minekey.com
Group IV Semiconductor Inc., an Ontario-based developer of energy-efficient, solid-state lighting technologies, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding. Garage Technology Ventures Canada led the deal, and was joined by Applied Ventures and return backers Khosla Ventures and BDC Venture Capital. Group IV raised an $8.2 million first round last September. www.groupivsemi.com
Advanced Medical Optics has withdrawn its $4.2 billion bid for Bausch & Lomb Inc., thus clearing the way for Warburg Pincus to proceed with its $3.67 billion acquisition. AMO chief executive James Mazzo said that his company’s $75 per share offer was superior, but that Bausch & Lomb remains “intent on delivering Bausch & Lomb to Warburg Pincus at $65 per share.”
Behrman Capital has acquired a portfolio of 35 post-acute care facilities from a group of private investors for approximately $250 million. Merrill Lynch Capital arranged a senior term loan to help finance the deal. The 35 facilities, which collectively have more than 3,500 patient beds, will be owned by a newly created entity, Ark Holdings, which Behrman intends to use as a platform for a build-up strategy in the post-acute care sector. www.behrmancap.com
Belvedere Capital has agreed to acquire Spectrum Bank, an Irvine, Calif.-based community bank, for $37 million. It also intends to enter into a strategic alliance with Newport, Calif.-based commercial bank First Heritage Bank. Both moves are part of Belvedere’s plan to build a Southern California banking platform, following its planned acquisition of a majority interest in Professional Business Bank (OTC BB: PBBK). The combined institution would have over $650 million in assets. www.belvederecapital.com www.spectrumbank.com
The Carlyle Group has completed its acquisition of the Engineered Products division of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: GT) for $1.475 billion. Goodyear Engineered Products operates 32 facilities in 12 countries, has approximately 6,500 employees and manufactures engineered rubber products for industrial, military, consumer and transportation original equipment end-users. It had 2006 sales of approximately $1.5 billion. www.carlyle.com www.goodyear.com
Diamond Castle has agreed to acquire Managed Health Care Associates Inc., an alternate site group purchasing organization (GPO), from GTCR and Advent International. No financial terms were disclosed. Bear Stearns and Credit Suisse provided leveraged financing, while Credit Suisse also served as financial advisor to Diamond Castle. MHA was advised by Harris Williams & Company. MHA www.mhainc.com
GI Partners has acquired a majority stake in winemaker Duckhorn Wine Company. No financial terms were disclosed. Duckhorn is a collection of three wineries focused on the Napa and Anderson Valleys. www.duckhorn.com
J.C. Flowers & Co. has completed its $600 million acquisition of the Bisys Group retirement and insurance services division from Citi. The deal followed Citi’s acquisition of Bisys for $1.45 billion, through which Citi retained Bisys’ investment services division – including its fund services and alternative investment services businesses. www.citi.com www.bisys.com
RoundTable Healthcare Partners has acquired a majority interest in Vesta Inc., a Franklin, Wisc.–based supplier of silicone medical products to the OEM medical device industry. No terms were disclosed, except that Vesta management and founders will retain an ownership position. www.roundtablehp.com www.vestaweb.com
Thoma Cressey Bravo has completed its acquisition of Hyland Software Inc., a Cleveland-based provider of enterprise content management software. The deal is valued at around $265 million, including $150 million of equity. www.onbase.com
Veronis Suhler Stevenson has acquired a majority stake in SureSource LLC, a Shelton, Conn.–based provider of outsourced direct-to-consumer ecommerce services, according to LBO Wire. The deal was valued at around $75 million. www.vss.com www.suresource.com
Ziff Davis Media Inc. has completed the sale of its Enterprise Group assets to Insight Venture Partners. The deal was valued at approximately $150 million in cash, plus a potential earn-out of up to $10 million. The Enterprise Group produces online content, lead generation services, events and publications serving the tech industry. Its assets include, but are not limited to, eweek.com, microsoft-watch.com, channelinsider.com, eWEEK magazine, CIO magazine and a database of 3.5 million business and technology users. www.ziffdavis.com
CLSA Capital Partners has invested $20 million into listed Taiwanese company Unitech Printed Circuit Board Corporation.
Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTC BB: MHGU), a franchisee of Wendy’s and O’Charley’s restaurants, plans to engage a strategic advisor to consider options that could include a recap and/or the acquisition of additional Wendy’s units in Michigan.
Dolan Media Co., a Minneapolis-based provider of business information and professional services to the legal, financial and real estate markets, raised around $195.12 million from its IPO. The company priced 13.46 million common shares at $14.50 per share, which gives it a market cap of approximately $364 million. It will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol DM, while Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch served as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders include ABRY Partners, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and BG Media Investors. www.dolanmedia.com
Amedica Corp., a Salt Lake City-based maker of orthopedic implants, announced that it will withdraw its planned IPO, due to “market conditions.” The company had filed to price 4.65 million common shares being offered at between $13 and $15 per share, which could have given it a market cap of up to $230 million. Morgan Stanley was serving as lead underwriter. Amedica has raised over $44 million in total funding since November 2003, including a $13.2 million Series D round earlier this month. Shareholders include Vestal Venture Capital and Creation Capital. www.amedicacorp.com
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. has completed its acquisition of Vanguard Car Rental Group Inc., a Tulsa, Okla.-based vehicle rental company operating under the National Car Rental and Alamo Rent-A-Car brands. No financial terms were disclosed. Vanguard was sold by Cerberus Capital Management. www.vanguardcar.com
Avalign Technologies Inc., a medical device outsourcing platform backed by RoundTable Healthcare Partners, has acquired Nemcomed, a Hicksville, Ohio–based maker of precision-machined medical implants and instrumentation for orthopedic specialties.No financial terms were disclosed. Nemcomed is the third Avalign acquisition, following Instrumed International and Advantis Medical. www.roundtablehp.com www.nemcomed.com
Eckler Industries Inc., an aftermarket supplier of parts and accessories for Corvettes and Classic Chevys, has acquired Rick’s First Generation Camaro, an Atlanta-based . provider of restoration parts for “first generation” (1967-1969) Camaros. No financial terms were disclosed. Eckler is a portfolio company of Century Park Capital Partners. www.ecklers.com www.firstgen.com
EK Success Ltd., a Clifton N.J.-based scrapbooking company owned by GTCR, has acquired both Wilton Industries Inc. and Dimensions Holdings LLC. The combined companies will be named Wilton Products, with headquarters in Woodridge, Illinois. GTCR provided $126 million in equity to help finance the deals, while debt came from UBS and Deutsche Bank. Wilton is a Woodridge, Ill.-based food crafting company, while Dimensions is a Reading, Penn.-based maker of craft and hobby products for adults and children. www.eksuccess.com www.wilton.com
Hub International Ltd., a Chicago-based insurance brokerage, has agreed to acquire The Rigg Group Inc., a Texas-based insurance broker. No financial terms were disclosed. Hub was taken private earlier this year for $1.8 billion, by Apax Partners and Morgan Stanley Principal Investments. www.hubinternational.com
Marketwire, a newswire and communications workflow company owned by OMERS, has agreed to acquire Press Release News Network, a social and multimedia press release distribution and archival network. No financial terms were disclosed. www.marketwire.com
Metastorm Inc., a Columbia, Md.-based provider of business process management software, has acquired Proforma Corp., a provider of enterprise modeling solutions for enterprise architecture and business process analysis. No financial terms were disclosed, but VentureWire reports that Metastorm partially financed the deal through $30 million in Series C funding. Backers included ABS Capital Partners, Internet Capital Group, 3i Group and Wall Street Technology Partners. Metastorm has now raised $96 million in total VC funding, including a 2004 recap round. www.metastorm.com
SiCortex Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of Linux clusters for technical applications, has acquired thePathScale compiler business of QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC). No financial terms were disclosed. SiCortex has raised around $31 million in VC funding from Flagship Ventures, Polaris Venture Partners, JK&B Capital, Prism Venture Partners, ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures and MIPS Technologies. It also recently secured $10 million in venture debt from Hercules Technology Growth Capital. www.sicortex.com
Firms & Funds
GI Partners has closed its second middle-market buyout fund with $1.45 billion in capital commitments. The firm has offices in both London and Menlo Park. www.gipartners.com
Seventure Partners, a French venture capital firm, has sold all or part of its minority stakes in eight companies to Headway Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. Seventure was advised on the sale by Rainmaker Private Equity. The companies are: Deal Informatique, Delia Systems, FB Technologies, Kezia, Metabolic Explorer, Metod Localisation, Montecristo and Sefas Innovation. www.seventure.com
Edgeview Partners has promoted David Patterson to managing director. He leads Edgeview’s building products and construction practice, and previously was a director. www.edgeviewpartners.com
Lance Miller has joined the New York office of MorrisAnderson & Associates as a managing director. He previously was a managing director with KLB Partners. www.morris-anderson.com
Stephen Maxon has joined Liquid Realty Partners as an analyst. He has spent the past four years as a consultant with Accenture. www.liquidrealty.com
A July 15 brief on two partners leaving Roark Capital Group, and a July 13 brief on a new CEO at Herbal Magic – should have been credited to LBO Wire.
Associated Content is based in Denver.