PE Week Wire — Thursday 12/4

HealthSouth Corp. (OTC BB: HLSH) has agreed to replace five members of its board of directors, as part of a settlement reached with the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana. Among the soon-to-be-departed from HealthSouth are Charles Newhall, a general partner and co-founder of New Enterprise Associates, and Sage Givens, a managing director with Acacia Venture Partners.

KAI Pharmaceuticals Inc., a South San Francisco-based drug development company, has raised $17 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Skyline Ventures, and also included InterWest Partners, Intersouth Partners and Delphi Ventures. Kai Pharmaceutical focuses on the development of therapeutics that selectively modulate protein kinase C (PKC) enzymes without simultaneous activation or inhibition of closely related enzymes.

Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda-based insurance provider, today will begin trading its common shares on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol AHL. The company yesterday priced 10.524 million of its shares at $22.50 per share, which was slightly higher than its initial offering range of $20 per share to $22 per share. Aspen’s total IPO take was $236.79 million. Principal investors include The Blackstone Group, Candover Partners Limited, Wellington Underwriting and Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity.

Barr Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: BRL) has agreed to acquire Endeavor Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Wilmington, N.C.-based producer of hormone replacement therapy pharmaceuticals. The transaction is worth approximately $35 million. Endeavor has raised over $62 million in venture capital funding, including a $46 million infusion in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $74 million. Investors on that deal included Alta Partners, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Partners, MPM Capital, Noro-Moseley Partners, Schering Berlin Venture Corp., Sutro Partners and the Wakefield Group.

Telegraph Hill Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, has agreed to acquire certain instrumentation assets of Aurora Instruments LLC, a subsidiary of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: VRTX). Vertex Pharmaceuticals acquired the assets as part of its July 2001 acquisition of Aurora Biosciences Corp. No deal terms on the latest transaction have been disclosed.

JAMDAT Mobile, a Los Angeles-based provider of wireless entertainment services, has raised $11 million in Series D funding. New investor Benchmark Capital was joined by return backers Apax Partners, Qualcomm, Intel and Sun Microsystems. JAMDAT now has raised $33 million in venture capital funding since its 2000 inception.

Veritas Capital has agreed to acquire The Wornick Co., a Cincinnati-based provider of military food rations. The cash transaction is valued at approximately $155 million, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2004. Wornick features with 840 employees and expects 2003 sales of approximately $305 million. Veritas does not anticipate changes in management or employment as a result of the acquisition.

Robert Fleming, a co-founder and general partner of Prism Venture Partners, has been appointed chairman of the board of directors at Prism portfolio company SiGe Semiconductor Inc..

GlobalView Software Inc., a Chicago-based provider of data management solutions for global energy markets, has raised $5.52 million in Series B funding. Conning Capital Partners led the deal with a $5 million investment, and was joined by return backers Dodi Ventures and Prosperitas Investment Partners. As part of the financing, George Doherty and David Young of Conning Capital will join the GlobalView board of directors. Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking has agreed to acquire Hunter Fan Co., a Memphis-based maker of ceiling fans, thermostats and lighting fixtures. No deal terms were disclosed. Hunter Fan had raised over $5.5 million in venture capital funding from investors Weston Presidio Capital, Alliance Capital and Stonebridge Partners.

Lehman Brothers Holdings’ (LEH.N) merchant banking division said it purchased a controlling stake in the Hunter Fan Co., a leading maker of home fans, adding to its portfolio of operating companies. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. Hunter makes Casablanca and Hunter brand ceiling fans, lamps and fixtures and other products. Motorola Ventures has made an undisclosed investment into Shanghai NewMargin Venture Capital Co., a China-based venture capital management fund.

Core Value Partners, a Miami-based private equity firm, has won bankruptcy court approval to acquire 127 Burger King restaurants located in the Midwest from AmeriKing, one of the nation’s largest Burger King franchisees. The purchase price was $13.2 million in cash and included no debt. The closing of the sale is scheduled for December 18.

Dycom Industries Inc. (NYSE: DY) has closed its previously announced acquisition of UtiliQuest Holdings Corp., which provides underground utility locating services. Utiliquest was purchased from GFI Energy Ventures for approximately $120 million in cash.

Jan Bouten has joined The Aurora Funds as an associate. Bouten joins the Research Triangle Park-based venture firm after earning his MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He has spent the past year working as an intern at Aurora.

Confirma Inc., a Kirkland, Wash.-based provider of computer-aided-detection for medical imaging applications, has raised $3 million in venture funding from existing investors Versant Ventures, Prism Venture Partners and Northwest Ventures Associates.

Dometic AB, a Sweden-based appliance maker, withdrew its initial public offering just one hour before it was scheduled to begin trading in Stockholm. The company, which counts EQT Partners AB as an investor, cited a lack of demand as the reason for its withdrawal.

The Associated Press is reporting that Michigan’s House Commerce Committee yesterday passed bills that would create a new venture capital fund, and which also would allow investors to get tax credits to make up any losses from their investments in Michigan-based company. The Michigan Senate is now considering its own version of the bills.

Onyx Software Corp. has dropped out of the bidding process for Pivotal Corp.. That leaves CDC Software Corp. and Oak Investment Partners as the only remaining bidders.

Adherex Technologies Inc. (TSX:AHX), an Ottawa-based biopharmaceutical company, has received $1.9 million in convertible bridge note financing led by a $750,000 investment from HBM BioVentures (Cayman) Ltd.

The Financial Times is reporting that Lastminute.com has agreed to acquire Internet travel agency Med Hotels for £16.1 million. Med Hotels was partially owned by Barclays Ventures.