Exit watch, week of Oct. 22, 2007

Allergan buys Esprit for $370M

Allergan Inc.

(NYSE: AGN) has completed its $370 million cash acquisition of Esprit Pharma Inc., an East Brunswick, N.J.-based drug company focused on the genitourinary and women’s health care markets. Merrill Lynch advised Esprit, with Cowen & Co. serving as co-advisor. Esprit had raised more than $220 million in VC funding since 2002 from Domain Associates, New Enterprise Associates, Apax Partners, Montagu Newhall Global Partners, Oak Investment Partners and clients advised by Performance Equity Management.

DeVry buys Advanced Academics

DeVry Inc.

(NYSE: DV) has agreed to acquire Advanced Academics Inc., an Oklahoma City-based provider of online education, for $27.5 million in cash. Advanced Academics has raised about $19 million in VC funding from such firms as Chisholm Private Capital Partners and Chrysalis Ventures.

2Wire buys Kenati

2Wire Inc.

, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of broadband service delivery platforms, has acquired Kenati Technologies Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of home networking software and services. No financial terms were disclosed. Kenati had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Inc3 Ventures.

ATS to pay $36M for Number Six

ATS Corp.

(OTC BB: ATCT) has agreed to acquire Number Six Software Inc., a Vienna, Va.-based provider of application development and IT consulting to government and commercial customers. The deal is valued at about $36 million, including $30 million in common stock and $6 million of promissory notes and deferred payments. Number Six Software has raised about $3 million in VC funding from Blue Water Capital and individual investors.

Discovery to acquire HowStuffWorks

Discovery Communications

(Nasdaq: DISCA) has agreed to acquire HowStuffWorks, an online source of informational online content. No financial terms were disclosed, although The Wall Street Journal pegs the acquisition amount at about $250 million. HowStuffWorks has raised about $82 million in VC funding from such firms as Capital Research & Management, Chilton Investment Co., Centennial Ventures, Southeast Interactive Technology Funds, Internet.com and Chartwell Investments.

Motricity captures InfoSpace’s mobile services

InfoSpace Inc.

(Nasdaq: INSP) has agreed to sell its mobile services business to Motricity Inc., a Durham, N.C.-based provider of mobile marketplace management solutions. The deal is valued at $135 million in cash, and is expected to close within the next 90 days. Credit Suisse Securities is advising InfoSpace on the deal. Motricity has raised about $180 million in venture funding from Carl Icahn, Technology Crossover Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Massey-Burch Capital, Noro-Moseley Partners, Intel Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Sienna Ventures, TriState Investment Group, Wakefield Group and Advanced Equities.

Cubist, Illumigen Sign Agreement

Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: CBST) and Illumigen Biosciences Inc., a Seattle-based drug developer whose lead product treats hepatitis C infections, have inked an agreement under which Cubist has an exclusive option to acquire Illumigen. Cubist will pay $1 million for an investigative new drug-enabling study of Illumigen’s lead compound. If Cubist exercises its option to acquire Illumigen, it will pay Illumigen shareholders $9 million upfront and up to $75.5 million in development and regulatory milestones. If Cubist develops an Illumigen product for the treatment of viral infections other than hepatitis C virus, it would pay an additional $117 million. Illumigen has raised about $6 million in VC funding from Pacific Horizon Ventures and Ventures West.

Orexo buys drug company

Orexo AB

(STO: ORX) has agreed to acquire Biolipox AB, a Swedish drug company focused on therapies for inflammatory diseases, including pain management and respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The all-stock deal is valued at about $134 million, or 8.56 million Orexo shares. Biolipox has raised about $60 million in VC funding from such firms as HealthCap (which owned 24.4% prior to the acquisition), Apax Partners (21.2%), Sofinnova Partners (19.9%), Scandinavian Life Science Venture (9.8%), Credit Agricole Private Equity (8.4%) and Auriga (6%).

FreeLinc links up with Aura

FreeLinc, an Orem, Utah-based provider of wireless communication accessories for two-way radios, has acquired Aura Communications Technology, a Wilmington, Mass.-based company specializing in near-field magnetic induction communications. No financial terms were disclosed. Aura has raised more than $31 million in VC funding from such firms as Creative Technologies, Motorola Ventures, Duchossois Technology Partners, Entrepia Ventures and iSherpa Capital.

Sodexho buys Circles

Sodexho Alliance has acquired Circles Inc., a Boston-based loyalty services company. No financial terms were disclosed. Circles had raised about $25 million in VC funding from TL Ventures, GE Equity, Trident Capital, Hearst Corp. and Axxon Capital.

Computershare scoops up Restricted Stock Systems

Computershare Ltd. (ASX: CPU) has agreed to acquire Restricted Stock Systems Inc., a Princeton, N.J.-based provider of insider trading software and services to brokerage firms and publicly traded companies. RSS was founded in 2000, and raised a small amount of VC funding from Beehive Ventures, Gamma Investors and individual investors.