Private Equity Week Wire for Thursday 1/31

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Hostopia, an industry leader in outsourced private-label web hosting for businesses, has secured funding of US $5 million from TELUS Corporation, one of Canada’s leading telecommunications companies, and private investors. The funds raised will enable Hostopia to sustain its high rate of growth, eliminate its borrowings and achieve positive cash flow from operations in fiscal 2002.



CHICAGO — William Blair Capital Partners (“WBCP”), the private equity group of William Blair & Company, a leading Chicago-based investment firm, announced today that Ian Larkin has been named Managing Director of Business Development. Mr. Larkin’s new role represents a dedicated, focused effort by WBCP to source and develop new investment relationships. Mr. Larkin joined William Blair & Company’s investment banking group in 1991, and has been at WBCP since 1992. He has been involved in the critical growth years for WBCP, participating in portfolio investment activities and fund raising. Larkin’s transition to a fully dedicated business development role demonstrates the firm’s continuing commitment to investing in high-quality growth companies.

EL SEGUNDO, CA — TelASIC Communications, a
fabless semiconductor company that will deliver high performance cost-
effective RF and analog mixed signal solutions for advanced wireless
applications, has just completed a $22.5 million initial round of financing.
The company’s products will enable highly integrated system level solutions
that will substantially reduce costs for their customers. ComVentures led the round of financing.

LOS ANGELES — Chanin Capital Partners, a specialty investment bank, announced today the formation of the Telecommunications and Technology Group, a division of Chanin Capital Partners. The group is lead by Sanjay Jindal, Director, Chanin Capital Partners.
Chanin Capital Partners has formed this group to address a rapidly growing need for investment banking and restructuring services in this sector. Chanin Capital Partners has experienced a significant increase over the past year in assignments involving bank and bond debt restructuring, recapitalizations, merger and acquisition advisory work, and financings and strategic advisory assignments from a growing list of companies and private equity firms within the telecommunications and technology sectors. The group aims to concentrate the knowledge and industry expertise in this area in order to provide companies of all sizes financial restructuring and strategic alternatives advisory services.




NEW YORK — Jonathan Newcomb, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Simon & Schuster, Viacom’s publishing operation, announced today that he will be leaving the post, effective immediately, and will join the New York-based private equity firm of Leeds Weld & Co.

MILPITAS, CA — GRIC Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: GRIC), a leading provider of Internet-based mobile office communications solutions, today announced that it has secured a minimum of $15 million and up to $17 million in equity financing from H&Q Asia Pacific and Vertex Management. This financing significantly enhances GRIC’s cash position as the company continues on its path to profitability, which is anticipated to occur in the second half of 2002.

Palo Alto-based H&Q Asia Pacific and Singapore-based Vertex Management will invest $10 million and between $5 million and $7 million, respectively, to purchase GRIC convertible preferred stock and will be issued common stock warrants for approximately 1.5 million and between approximately 750,000 and 1.1 million shares, respectively. At closing, H&Q Asia Pacific and Vertex will each hold two seats on the GRIC Board of Directors. This financing is subject to stockholder approval. Certain shareholders holding approximately 27% of voting stock have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the transaction.



LOS ANGELES — Convergent Ventures announced today that it has agreed to provide seed funding and an initial management team for Neurion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Neurion is a development-stage pharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover and optimize novel small molecule drugs for the treatment of diseases of the central nervous system. Convergent’s investment and provision of early management expertise is evidence of its goal to identify, fund and develop new life science companies emerging from the labs of top research institutions in Southern California. Neurion is based upon research performed by top scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), in Pasadena.


SAN FRANCISCO — MeVC Draper Fisher Jurvetson Fund I (NYSE: MVC), an information technology venture capital fund providing individual investors access to venture capital investments, today announced a $1 million Series B investment in Phosistor Technologies, Inc., a designer and developer of high-quality photonic integrated circuits (PICs). Other investors in the round, which totaled $10.5 million, included Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Draper Fisher Jurvetson affiliates ePlanet Ventures and Wasatch Venture Fund.


MENLO PARK, CA — The law firm of Perkins Coie LLP announced today that Riaz Karamali has joined the Menlo Park office as a partner. Mr. Karamali’s practice will emphasize corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital transactions for technology companies and investors in such companies. Before joining Perkins Coie, he was a partner with General Counsel Associates LLP in Mountain View, California, from January 1997 to January 2002. Prior to joining General Counsel Associates, he was an associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP from 1988 to 1997 in its San Francisco, London and Silicon Valley offices.


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