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Got to Run…
No time to chat this morning, due to an unfortunate confluence of car troubles (trusty Pontiac to the rescue of wife’s Volkswagon), in-law airport pickups and last-minute holiday shopping. Why oh why can’t Christmas come more than once a year? I’d feel remiss if I didn’t give you at least one piece of information, however, so: Buyout-backed companies raised more money via IPOs on
Anyway, I’m taking tomorrow off, but will be rested, relaxed and back in your inboxes on Monday morning. Have a great weekend.
FastClick Inc., a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based provider of online advertising solutions, has filed to raise $92 million via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol FSTC. The company raised the year’s largest Series A funding round in September, when it secured $75 million from Highland Capital Partners, Oak Investment Partners and Disney corporate VC arm Steamboat Ventures. www.fastclick.com
Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. has agreed to acquire Masonite International Corp. (NYSE: MHM), a Toronto-based building products company. Under terms of the deal, Masonite shareholders will receive Cdn$40.20 per share, for a total transaction value of approximately Cdn$3.1 billion (US$2.5 billion). Masonite management will be required to invest in approximately 5% of the equity when the deal closes in late February 2005, while The Bank of Nova Scotia has committed to provide debt financing. No equity-to-debt ratios were disclosed. www.masonite.com
AEP Systems, an Ireland-based provider of high-speed network security solutions, has merged with Netilla Networks Inc., a Somerset, N.J.-based provider of secure application access solutions. The combined company also received $5 million in new funding from existing AEP investors ACT Venture Capital and B-Business Partners, and existing Netilla backers Ascend Venture Group, Early Stage Enterprises, Masthead Venture Partners, Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds and NJTC Venture Fund. www.netilla.com
Anthology Solutions Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of network storage appliances for small businesses, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Nokia Venture Partners. www.anthologysolutions.com
Pacific Equity Partners and GS Private Equity reportedly have agreed to acquire Emeco Pty Ltd., an Australia-based earthmoving equipment group, from parent company Darr Equipment Co. of
Jefferson Smurfit Group PLC has agreed to sell its Munksjo Specialty paper business to EQT Partners for approximately 450 million euros ($605 million). www.smurfit-group.com
Bain Capital has agreed to buy TeamSystem SpA from Palamon Capital Partners for an undisclosed amount, with company management also participating. Palamon originally had intended to float TeamSystem on the Milan Stock Exchange, but canceled those plans in November. TeamSystem is an Italy-based provider of accounting, tax and payroll management software. www.teamsystem.it
The Carlyle Group has agreed to sell portfolio company Tecnoforge, an Italy-based provider of pipe-fittings to the oil and gas industries, to Valvitalia SpA. No financial terms were disclosed. www.carlyle.com
Close Brothers Private Equity has completed its sale of caravan park operator Park Resorts to ABN AMRO Capital for GBP 165 million (approx. $316 million). Close Brothers will reinvest GBP 10 million of the proceeds for a minority equity position ion the combined business.
AB Segulah, a Swedish private equity firm, has agreed to sell body care and eye care product producer Clean Chemical Sweden AB to Lynchburg, Va.-based C.B. Fleet Co. The deal is expected to close on January 7. No financial terms have been disclosed. www.ccs-se.com www.cbfleet.com
United GlobalCom Inc. has agreed to acquire Slovenian broadband communications provider Telemach d.o.o. from an investor group led by private equity firm EMP Europe. UGC will pay approximately 71 million euros in cash in the transaction, which still is subject to review by the Slovenian competition authority.
Brentwood Associates has sponsored a management buyout of Theo H. Davies & Co. Ltd. from Jardine Matheson Ltd. No financial terms were disclosed. Theo H. Davies, now renamed TD Food Group Inc., is a franchiser of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and A&W/Long John Silver’s restaurants in
ServiceWare Technologies Inc. (OTC BB: SVCW), a Pittsburgh-based provider of knowledge management solutions, has agreed to merge with Kanisa Inc., a Cupertino, Calif.-based provider of service resolution management software applications. Once the all-stock deal is complete in Q1 2005, existing Kanisa shareholders will own approximately 40% of the combined company, and also will have warrants to purchase additional stock. Kanisa has raised over $85 million in total VC funding since its 1997 inception, from groups like Ernst & Young, Sierra Ventures, Worldview Technology Partners, NIF Ventures and Meritech Capital Partners. www.kanisa.com www.serviceware.com
Advanced Power Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: APTI) has agreed to acquire PowerSicel Inc., a Boulder, Colo.-based RF power company. The deal is valued at $5.4 million in cash, plus APT stock options for the retention of key employees. PowerSicel raised $2.5 million in Series A funding in late 2003 from Digital Power Capital and ITU Ventures. www.advancedpower.com www.powersicel.com
Birdstep Technology ASA (
Mill Services Corp., a portfolio company of Wellspring Capital Management, has completed its acquisition of Tube City LLC, a Glassport, Pa.-based provider of specialty services to the global steel industry.
Fidelity National Information Services Inc., a Jacksonville, Fla.-based information services subsidiary of title insurer Fidelity National Financial Inc., has withdrawn registration papers for its proposed $500 million IPO. Earlier this month, the company agreed to sell a 25% ownership position to Thomas H. Lee Partners and Texas Pacific Group for $500 million, as part of a recap that also included the issuance of $2.8 billion in senior secured credit facilities. www.fnf.com
Watchdata Technologies Ltd., a
Wednesday, December 22
Another Corporate VC Group Fades Away
Want to see a ghost? Then go to www.dellventures.com, before the content is removed and the URL is auctioned off to 1990s nostalgia geeks. Dell recently sold nearly all of its direct investment portfolio on the secondary market, which means that Dell Ventures, as a brand, is officially past-tense. The deal was done in two parts, with a set of under-performing portfolio companies being dumped in January, and a group of slightly-better-performing portfolio companies (like 2Wire Inc.) being sold in November. Both transactions were snatched up by San Francisco-based Lake Street Capital, which is among a growing number of firms doing brisk business in the relatively-young world of direct secondary investing.
Dell spokesman Mike Maher confirmed the sale during a phone conversation last night, but stressed that Dell was not completely out of the private investment business. He said that the computer giant will continue to make occasional strategic investments in companies that complement Dell’s core business, although he did not know why companies like 2Wire no longer fell within that bailiwick. He also didn’t have specific information as to the destination of Dell Ventures team members, except to say that some of them (and there weren’t many left) had been transitioned into the Dell Business Development Group, which is the division from which future investments would originate.
Much thanks to the reader who tipped me off to this deal. you folks really are the lifeblood of this column. One more Wire coming tomorrow, and then it will return next Monday.
EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) has agreed to acquire System Management ARTS Inc. (a.k.a. Smarts), a White Plains, N.Y.-based provider of event automation and real-time network systems management software, for approximately $260 million in cash. Smarts has raised approximately $24 million in total VC funding from firms like Bessemer Venture Partners and Soros Fund Management. www.emc.com www.smarts.com
Wilton Re Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda-based parent company of reinsurance company Wilton Re U.S. Holdings Inc., has raised more than $600 million in capital commitments via a private placement of common stock. Sponsoring investors include MMC Capital and Wilton Re chairman Chris Stroup, while other investors include Vestar Capital Partners and Friedman Fleischer & Lowe. Wilton Re U.S. Holdings expects to purchase a licensed U.S. insurance company shortly, at which point it will begin conducting business.
The Blackstone Group will sell its remaining 21.4% position in Old Greenwich, Conn.-based oil refiner Premcor Inc. (NYSE: PCO), according to a regulatory filing. The deal will be done via a secondary public offering, with Blackstone offering over 19.1 million common shares at a maximum price of $43.93 per share. www.premcor.com
NeuroBionics Corp., a Seattle-based biotech company focused on neurological disorders, has raised $6 million in Series A funding co-led by Sprout Group and Three Arch Partners. In connection with the deal, Andrew Firlik of Sprout and Bill Harrington of Three Arch have joined the NeuroBionics board of directors.
Cyota, a New York-based provider of anti-fraud and network security solutions for financial institutions, has raised $7.25 million in a new VC funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. The company has raised over $33 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception. www.cyota.com
IntercontinentalExchange Inc., an operator of Internet-based global OTC marketplaces for commodities trading, has received a minority investment from TA Associates. No additional financial information was disclosed. IntercontinentalExchange is based in Atlanta, and features a European energy futures and options exchange subsidiary named the International Petroleum Exchange of London. www.theinterchange.com www.ta.com
Sun Capital Partners has completed its previously-announced acquisition of the Performance Fibers business of Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON). No financial terms were disclosed. www.performancefibers.com
Travelex PLC, a UK-based foreign currency exchange company owned by Lloyd Dorfman (63%) and 3i Group (33%) is entertaining buyout offers that could value the company at upwards of GBP 1 billion (approx. $1.9 billion). www.travelex.com
PhotoWorks Inc. (OTC BB: FOTO), a Seattle-based provider of online photography services, has negotiated a $6.5 million recapitalization plan that includes participation by Sunra Capital Holdings, Orca Bay Partners and Madrona Venture Group. The deal still must be approved by shareholders. www.photoworks.com
Highwave Optical Technologies, a publicly-traded French company, has agreed to acquire Northlight Optronics AB, a Sweden-based developer of optical transmitters and receivers. The deal is valued at 16 million euros, and will be transacted in Highwave stock. Northlight Optronics shareholders include CapMan, Ericsson and European Digital Partners. www.highwave-tech.com www.northlightoptronics.com
Workstream Inc. (Nasdaq: WSTM) has agreed to acquire ProAct Technologies Corp., a White Plains, N.Y.-based provider of HR software solutions for large employers and business process outsourcers. The deal is valued at approximately $10 million. ProAct has raised over $140 million in VC funding, from firms like GE Equity, J&W Seligman & Co., JPMorgan Partners, Wachovia Corp. and XL Ventures. It also has acquired several other companies since its 1996 inception. www.proactcorp.com www.workstreaminc.com
Wellington Partners, a Munich-based venture capital firm, has held an 85 million euros first close on its third fund, and is expecting a final close on at least 120 million euros in 2005. Limited partners include Access Capital, AlpInvest, Lexington Partners, Swiss Re, the European Investment Fund (EIF), VCM and von Braun & Schreiber. Wellington has been advised during its fund-raising by MVision of London and SJ Berwin of Munich. www.wellington.de
Charles Sinclair, CEO of Daily Mail and General Trust PLC, has been elected to the board of SVG Capital PLC as an independent non-executive director. Anthony Habgood, an SVG director since 1996, was named a senior independent director. www.svgcapital.com
Tuesday, December 21
For Those Not On Vacation…
A huge amount of VC funding news today, including a $110 million Series B round for online dating company EHarmony.com. That’s right, venture capitalists have plugged back into www.koolaid.com just in time for the holidays.
Rather than ruining LP mornings by delving into that frightful situation, let’s do a brief follow-up to a pair of matters discussed in this space last week: Greg Prow’s departure from Mobius Venture Capital and that unnamed private equity firm that had severely cut its proposed fund target. Prow, you might remember, was Mobius’ administrative partner, but left because Mobius no longer plans to raise another billion dollar-plus fund. No animosity, just a realization that the firm will secure almost all of its next $300 million or so from existing LPs, and no longer needs so much in-house administrative help, particularly since it also has a full-time controller. That unnamed firm (better known as Spectrum Equity Investors) had raised $1.95 billion for its fourth fund in 2000, and sent out Fund V books a few months back with a $2 billion cover price, although it was interested in raising upwards of $2.5 billion. Recently, the target was cut to $1.5 billion, with a handful of tranched-out closes expected to begin shortly.
Why combine two seemingly unrelated events? Because folks close to Spectrum argue that its fund-raising difficulties have been caused, in large part, by its lack of an in-house fundraiser/marketer. The firm does employ some full-time financial folks — and hired Lazard to pitch its book — but hasn’t had someone beating the LP drums for the past year, like some of its peers have had. That has proven problematic, given that Spectrum is looking for well over $1 billion, which was the magic number for Prow. In fact, I’m told that Spectrum would likely hire an in-house fundraiser were it to raise a sixth fund (assuming it can get this one done).
I believe the preceding argument to have some strains of legitimacy, but do not believe that it provides a full accounting of Spectrum’s fund-raising dilemma. Instead, two other factors also seem to be in play: (A) Spectrum launched its effort within the same general time period as did new funds from Providence Equity Partners and ABRY Partners, two firms that share Spectrum’s New England roots and media/communications investment focus. Providence also shares the occasional deal with Spectrum, which would cause many smart LPs to shy away from investing in both.
(B) Spectrum also has fallen a bit into what I refer to as the JPMorgan Partners trap, in that it often appears like it’s trying to be all things to all people. JPMorgan Partners was a particularly egregious case of this, thanks to its generalized industry focus and yo-yo approach toward investment stage (“We’re a VC firm that does LBO deals. no ,we’re an LBO firm that does VC deals. no, we’re the world’s largest producer of multi-colored confetti.”). Most LPs today seem to want specificity (as opposed to generality), which Spectrum has in terms of industry focus, but not in terms of industry stage (i.e., half the JPMorgan Partners trap). It’s not that Spectrum has changed its strategy — some expansion capital, some late-stage VC, some LBO – but rather that its strategy is currently out of favor. Not Spectrum’s fault, but it is Spectrum’s problem.
EHarmony.com, a Pasadena, Calif.-based operator of an online dating portal, has raised $110 million in Series B funding, according to a regulatory filing. Investors include Sequoia Capital and Fayez Sarofim Investment Partnership. The deal closed back in November. www.eharmony.com
PanAmSat Holding Corp., a Wilton, Conn.-based, has filed to raise $1.12 billion via an IPO of common stock on the Nasdaq or NYSE. The company is controlled by KKR, The Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners, which teamed up earlier this year to acquire PanAmSat for approximately $4.4 billion, including $2.6 billion of equity. www.panamsat.com
Centric Software Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based, has raised $4.5 million in additional Series A recap funding from Oak Investment Partners and Bank of America, bringing the round total to $23.5 million. . The company had held a $19 million first close in October, led by Oak, and also including Masthead Venture Partners and return backer Boston Capital Ventures. The company now has raised over $70 million in total VC funding since its 1989 inception, including a $30 million Series D round in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $96 million.
In other Centric Software news, the company has acquired Framework Technologies Inc., a Burlington, Mass.-based developer of project collaboration, product innovation and portfolio management solutions. No deal terms were disclosed. Framework had raised approximately $60 million in total VC funding since its 1995 inception, from firms like Bessemer Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, JPMorgan Partners, Granite Ventures, Intel Capital, Mason Wells Private Equity, Norwest Venture Partners and Thomas Weisel Venture Partners. www.centricsoftware.com www.frametech.com
Myocor Inc., a Minneapolis-based medical device company, has raised $24 million in Series D funding. Prism Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by Affinity Capital Management, Alta Partners, Coral Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, Investor growth Capital, St. Paul Venture Capital and Tullis-Dickerson. The company has raised over $50 million in total VC funding since its December 2000 inception, including an $18.75 million Series C round in 2001 at a post-money valuation of approximately $55 million. www.myocor.com
MFormation Technologies Inc., an Edison, N.J.-based provider of wireless device management solutions for the mobile industry, has raised $9 million in Series D funding. Intel Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Battery Ventures, Carmel Ventures, Kingdon Capital and North Bridge Venture Partners. MFormation has raised $34.5 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception, including a $9 million Series C infusion last year at a post-money valuation of approximately $17 million. www.mformation.com
Kayak Software Corp., a Norwalk, Conn.-based operator of a travel information website, has raised $7 million in Series B funding. Sequoia Capital led the deal, and was joined by return backers General Catalyst Partners and America Online. The company has raised $15.5 million in total VC funding since its January 2004 inception. www.kayak.com
TechTarget, a Needham, Mass.-based IT media company, has raised $15 million in Series C funding from return backers Technology Crossover Ventures and Polaris Venture Partners. The company has raised $127 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception, including a $70 million Series B round earlier this year. www.techtarget.com
Motion Computing Inc., an Austin, Texas.-based, has raised $25 million in third-round VC funding. Institutional Venture Partners led the deal with a $15 million infusion, and was joined by return backers New Enterprise Associates, SVB Capital and G-51 Capital. www.motioncomputing.com
Travel Holdings Inc., an Orlando, Fla.-based company formed earlier this year by the merger of Tourico Holiday Tours, LastMinuteTravel.com and Travel Global Systems, has raised $15 million in first-round funding. Investors included Pharos Capital, Massey Birch, New Media Holdings, Everest Capital, BEV Capital, Maariv Publishing and Greenberg Ventures. www.travelholdings.com
ELynx Ltd., a Cincinnati-based provider of secure electronic document delivery solutions, has received an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from American Capital Strategies. www.elynx.com
Cymbet Corp., an Elk River, Minn.-based, has raised $16.5 million in Series B funding. The Ignite Group and Bekart co-led the deal, and were joined by fellow new investors Dow Venture Capital and Intel Capital. Return backers included The Millennium Materials Technologies Fund and Helmet Business Mentors Oy. www.cymbet.com
Enpirion Inc., a Bloomsbury, N.J.-based provider of integrated power solutions, has raised $17 million in Series B funding. RRE Ventures and Columbia Capital co-led the round along with fellow new investor Intel Capital. Return backers Canaan Partners and SAS Investors also participated. www.empirion.com
Bridgepoint Capital has completed its sale of UK-based insurance broker and group benefits consultancy Opus Holdings Ltd. to Willis Group Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: WSH). No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which originally was announced last month. www.opuscompany.com
Nordic Capital has agreed to acquire a majority position in Swedish car parts company Plastal AB from an ownership group led by Gilde Investment Management. No financial terms were disclosed.
Cinven and French cable company Altice have agreed to purchase part of the cable business of France Telecom and Canal Plus for 528 million euros.
Sterling Commerce, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), has agreed to acquire Yantra Corp., a Tewksbury, Mass.-based provider of distributed order management and supply chain fulfillment solutions. The deal is valued at approximately $170 million in cash, and is expected to close by the end of Q1 2005. Yantra has raised around $80 million in total VC funding since its 1995 inception, from investors like Charles River Ventures, Infosys, Boston Millennia Ventures, Flagship Ventures, Accenture Technology Ventures, JPMorgan Partners, Rho Ventures and Morgan Stanley Venture Partners. www.sterlingcommerce.com www.yantra.com
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has agreed to acquire Protego Networks Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of security monitoring and threat management appliances for small-to-medium sized enterprise networks. The deal is valued at $65 million in cash, and is expected to close within the next six weeks. Protego Networks has raised over $8 million in total VC funding since its 2002 inception, from firms like Miramar Venture Partners and Global Alliance Ltd. www.cisco.com www.protegonetworks.com
Bell Sports Holding Corp., a portfolio company of Fenway Partners, has acquired Sports Instruments, an Augora Hills, Calif.-based provider of electronic performance enhancing devices for athletes, such as heart rate monitors and cycle computers. No financial terms were disclosed. www.bellsports.com www.sportsinstruments.com
A4 Health Systems, a Cary, N.C.-based provider of electronic health record solutions, has agreed to acquire Canopy Systems Inc., a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based provider of Web-enabled solutions for healthcare management, from The Mutual Medical Group of North Carolina. No financial terms were disclosed. A4 Health has raised over $30 million in VC funding from the Wakefield Group, Wachovia Corp., McConnell Venture Partners and the Spangler family. www.a4healthsys.com
FriedbergMilstein LLC, a New York-based alternative investment management firm, has closed its FriedbergMilstein Private Capital Fund I with $584 million. The vehicle is structured as a collateralized debt obligation, and will provide first-lien senior loans, second-lien loans and mezzanine financing for middle-market companies. www.friedbergmilstein.com
Bisys Group Inc. (NYSE: BSG) , has agreed to acquire RK Consulting, a Roseland, N.J.-based provider of investment fund administration services to the hedge fund and private equity markets. No financial terms were disclosed. www.bisys.com
Adams Harkness Inc. announced yesterday that president and CEO Timothy McMahon is resigning, effective January 3, 2005. He will be replaced by Kevin Dunn, who joined the firm’s I-banking division in 2002 as a managing director focused on middle-market M&A. www.adamsharkness.com
Monday, December 20
Flipping Through The Files…
A surprising amount of news for a snowy pre-Christmas Monday, including lots of M&A activity and word that the corporate venture capital market has a new entrant (Xilinx) to replace the recently-departed (Applied Materials). So just a few very brief notes, as I really have quite little to say:
* The most-accessed file on my desktop is one titled StoryBoard, which contains bits and pieces of various things I’ve worked on, but haven’t quite finished. Leading the list right now? Two pieces of legal wrangling between private equity firms. The first is the “Fiddle Faddle” suit between Willis Stein & Partners and Brynwood Partners, related to the former’s acquisition of Lincoln Snacks Holding Co. from the latter. Seems that Willis Stein feels Brynwood cooked the Lincoln Snacks books (i.e. artificially inflated the price), although Brynwood says it did no such thing. Legitimate beef or buyer’s remorse? Don’t yet know, but the case is interesting because: (A) Private equity firms usually try keeping such disagreements under wraps and (B) Brynwood is currently trying to raise a fund, which cannot be aided by such unfavorable attention.
The second wrangle actually was resolved late last year, but is deserving of a second look. Why? Because the company both firms were fighting so hard over (“It’s mine.” “No, it’s mine.”) is beginning to tank in a most spectacular, and predictable, way. So the “losing” firm essentially got a cash payment up-front, and now gets to sit back and watch its rival try to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. More on this soon, for those of you not lucky enough to be on vacation.
* Since your holiday plans are likely finalized, it’s time to start thinking about next spring. Specifically, it’s time to register for the 17th Annual Buyouts Symposium at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Early-bird specials now available, but not for long.
*The Wire will be published through Thursday of this week.
* Happy 60th WAP.
Ebay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) has agreed to acquire Viva Group Inc. (a.k.a. Rent.com), a Santa Monica, Calif.-based operator of an online marketplace for apartment rental listings. The deal is valued at $415 million, including $385 million in eBay common stock and $30 million in cash. It is expected to close next quarter. Viva Group has raised around $30 million in VC funding since its 2000 inception, including a $17.3 million Series C round in late 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $61 million. Company investors included Allegis Capital, Banc of America Capital Investors, Kline Hawkes & Co., Rosewood Capital and Thomas Weisel Partners.
Ounce Labs Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of software vulnerability risk management software, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. BlueStream Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Greylock and Commonwealth Ventures. www.ouncelabs.com
PanAmSat Corp. is considering a $1 billion IPO, according to the New York Post. The company is controlled by KKR, Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners, which teamed up earlier this year to acquire an 80.4% ownership stake from The DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) for approximately $2.6 billion. PanAmSat did not provide comment for the NY Post story. www.panamsat.com
WiQuest Communications Inc., an Allen, Texas-based provider of wireless communications semiconductor and systems technologies, has raised $13 million in Series A funding. Menlo Ventures and Palomar Ventures co-led the deal. www.WiQuest.com
Teradici Corp., a Burnaby, British Columbia-based fables semiconductor company, has raised US$8.3 million in venture capital funding. GrowthWorks Capital led the deal, and was joined by Skypoint Capital Corp. and the Business Development Bank of Canada. www.teradici.com
Warburg Pincus and CITIC Capital Markets Holdings Ltd. reportedly will pay $200 million for a 45% stake in Chinese drug company Harbin Pharmaceutical Group. The infusion is part of a larger $450 million transaction.
Roper Industries Inc. (NYSE: ROP) has completed its previously-announced acquisition of TransCore Holdings Inc. from an investor group led by KRG Capital Partners for approximately $600 million. TransCore is a Hummelstown, Pa.-based provider of transportation technology services, and was advised on the deal by Lehman Brothers. www.transcore.com
The European Union Commission has approved Permira‘s proposed buyout of Italian ceramic tile manufacturer Marazzi Gruppo Ceramiche SpA.
The European Union Commission has approved The Carlyle Group’s sale of its 37.1% stake in German automotive supplier Beru AG to BorgWarner Inc. for approximately Euro 218 million. www.beru.com
Tandberg Television (OSLO: TAT) has agreed to acquire N2 Broadband Inc., a Duluth, Ga.-based provider of open-platform solutions for on-demand entertainment. The deal is valued at between $110 million and $130 million, has a breakup fee of $3 million and is expected to close next quarter. N2 Broadband has raised over $20 million in VC funding from firms like AOL Time Warner Ventures, Broadband Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Tudor Ventures. www.n2broadband.com
Schawk Inc. (NYSE: SGK) has agreed to acquire Seven Worldwide Inc. (f.k.a. Applied Graphics Technologies Inc.) from controlling shareholder Kohlberg & Co. The deal is valued at approximately $191 million, including $122.4 million in cash and $68.6 million in Schawk stock. Seven Worldwide is a New York-based provider of marketing execution and publishing solutions to the consumer goods, advertising, retail, entertainment and publishing markets. It was acquired via a recap and buyout by Kohlberg & Co. in 2003. www.sevenww.com
The Fitch Group, a subsidiary of Fimalac SA, has agreed to acquire Algorithmics Inc., a Toronto-based provider of enterprise risk management solutions. The deal is valued at $175 million, and is expected to close next month. Algorithmics has raised approximately $85 million in private equity funding from American International Group, CIBC Wood Gundy Capital, Commerzbank, Morgan Stanley Private Equity and Royal Bank Private Equity. www.algorithmics.com
Witness Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: WITS) has agreed to acquire Blue Pumpkin Software Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of enterprise workforce management solutions. The deal is valued at approximately $75 million, including $40 million in cash and the remainder in Witness Systems common stock. Blue Pumpkin has raised nearly $80 million in total VC funding since its 1997 inception, and received a post-money valuation of approximately $219 million in 2000 before a pair of subsequent down-rounds. Investors include Brentwood Venture Capita, CE Unterberg Towbin, Lucent Venture Partners, Selby Venture Partners, Siemens Venture Capital, Needham Asset Management, J&W Seligman, Van Wagoner Capital Management and e-Scotia Acquisition Inc. www.bluepumpkin.com
TOM Online Inc. (Nasdaq: TOMO) has agreed to acquire an 80.6% ownership position in IndiaGames Ltd., a Mumbai, India-based wireless games developer. The deal is valued at approximately $17.73 million, with selling shareholders including Infinity Ventures, IL&FS Investment Managers and company management. www.tomonline.com www.indiagames.com
Wyle Laboratories Inc., an El Segundo, Calif.-based portfolio company of Littlejohn & Co., has agreed to acquire the Aeronautics Services business of General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD). No financial terms were disclosed. www.wylelabs.com
Powermill Service Group AB, a portfolio company of Swedish private equity firm Segulah, has acquired Servex AB, Philips Electronics’ authorized central workshop in Seden and Grundig’s specialist workshop for LCD and plasma television screens. No financial terms were disclosed. www.powermill.fi
Reuters PLC (Nasdaq: RTRSY) has agreed to acquire MoneyLine Telerate, a New York-based provider of benchmark content for the capital markets. The deal is valued at up to $175 million, including $100 million in cash and Reuters’ 14% holding in Savvis Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: SVVS). Moneyline Telerate has raised over $50 million in total VC funding since its 1997 inception, from firms like Accel Partners, Allegra Partners, Global Crossing Ventures, Comdisco Ventures, Bank of America SBIC and Merrill Lynch Capital Partners. www.moneyline.com
Warren Resources Inc., a New York-based oil and natural gas exploration company, has priced 9.5 million common shares at $7.50 per share, for a total IPO take of approximately $71.25 million. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol WRES. Warren Resources lists Wellington Management Co. among its significant shareholders. www.warrenresourcesinc.com
Williams Harris Investors Inc. has formed WHI Capital Partners, with the expectations of investing $100 million over the next three-to-five years in buyout or expansion capital deals for manufacturing, industrial, distribution and specialty service companies with annual revenue of between $10 million and $75 million. The group will be run by WHICP managing partners Adam Schecter and Eric Cohen. Schecter most recently was a senior team member with The Pritzker Group, while Cohen served as general manager of Midwest Air Technologies Inc. www.whicapital.com
The Carlyle Group has launched a growth capital investment effort in Japan. The team will be part of the existing Carlyle Asia Venture group, and be run by current Carlyle Japan buyout managing director Haruyasu Asakura. The firm plans to round out the team’s staff early next year. www.carlyle.com
Xilinx Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) has launched a $100 million corporate venture capital fund, focused on programmable system design technologies. It will be named the Xilinx Ecosystem Venture Fund. www.xilinx.com
New Enterprise Associates has promoted Forest Baskett, Ryan Drant and Chip Linehan to the position of general partner. It also has promoted Ravi Viswanathan to the position of partner. Baskett joined NEA as a venture partner in 1999, and focuses on IT investments out of the firm’s Menlo Park, Calif. office. Drant joined as a principal in 1996 (promoted to partner in 2002) and focuses on medical device and specialty pharma deals out of NEA’s Baltimore office. Linehan joined NEA as an associate in 1992 (promoted to partner in 1997), and works on IT deals from Menlo Park. Viswanathan joined NEA earlier this year as a principal, and works on healthcare deals from the firm’s Reston, Va. office. www.nea.com
3i Group announced that Jo Taylor will succeed the retiring Rod Perry as head of the firm’s global venture capital business, effective at the conclusion of 3i Group’s annual meeting in July 2005. Taylor has served as head of 3i Group’s UK venture capital team since 1999, and is chairman of the British Venture Capital Association’s high-tech committee. www.3i.com