Exit Watch, week of Aug. 4, 2008

Ribbit sale has Alsop Louie hopping with joy

British Telecom has acquired VC-backed telephone software maker Ribbit Corp. for $105 million in cash. Mountain View, Calif.-based Ribbit had raised $23 million in three rounds since late 2006 from Allegis Capital, Alsop Louie Partners, KPG Ventures and Peninsula Ventures. The deal returned 5.9x to Alsop Louie, which led Ribbit’s $3 million Series A in 2006, and about 5x for Allegis, which led the company’s $10 million Series B in September 2007, according to VentureWire.

DATAllegro is deal No. 9 for Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to acquire DATAllegro Inc., an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based maker of a data warehousing appliance. No financial terms were disclosed. DATAllegro had previously raised about $65 million over four rounds since 2004 from Adams Capital Management, Focus Ventures, Intel Capital, JAFCO Ventures, Palomar Ventures and Venrock. Valuation data were not available for any of the rounds.

The DATAllegro deal marks at least the ninth acquisition of a VC-backed company by Microsoft this year, according to PE Week research. Its other purchases were Calista Technologies Inc., which makes a virtual desktop software; Danger Inc., a provider of software and services for mobile handsets; Farecast Inc., a developer of data mining techniques to predict prices in the travel industry; Kidaro Ltd., a maker of virtual desktop software; Navic Networks, a provider of television advertising solutions; Powerset Inc., which makes a natural language search engine; Rapt Inc., a developer of profit optimization software for the supply chain; and YaData Ltd., which offers online advertising solutions. Purchase prices were undisclosed for all of the deals, although press reports pegged the Farecast deal at about $115 million and Powerset at around $100 million.

D2Audio hears call from IntersilIntersil Corp. (Nasdaq: ISIL) last week signed a definitive agreement to acquire D2Audio Corp., an Austin, Texas-based maker of digital audio power amplifiers. The sale price was not disclosed. D2Audio, founded in 2002, had previously raised about $50 million from Austin Ventures, CenterPoint Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sevin Rosen Funds, according to Thomson Reuters. The VCs gave the company a post-money valuation of $19.4 million December 2002 when it raised $6 million. More recent valuation data were not available.

AmeriCast sale boosts Castle Harlan

Private equity firm Castle Harlan last week agreed to sell steel castings maker AmeriCast Technologies Inc. Australia-based Bradken Ltd. The deal was valued at approximately $288 million. Castle Harlan bought AmeriCast in late 2006 from KPS Special Situations Fund for $110 million.

China IPO goes the distance

China Distance Education Ltd. (NYSE: DL), a Beijing-based provider of online education and test preparation courses, raised $61.25 million in an initial public offering last week. It had previously raised an undisclosed amount in one round of venture capital from Orchid Asia Group Management and Morningside Technologies in March 2007, according to Thomson Reuters. China Distance priced 8.75 million American Depository Shares at $7 per share, which was the low end of an already-reduced price range.