Fund news, May 14, 2007

Tudor nears close of fund III

Tudor Ventures, the private equity arm of Tudor Investment Corp., is nearing the close of $265 million for its third fund, according to a regulatory filing.

The fund size is above the $250 million target that the firm announced when it began fund-raising in December 2005. It has closed on $262.3 million so far.

The new fund is substantially smaller than the $410 million second fund that the firm raised in 2000. Previous limited partners include the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the private equity firm Auda Group, according to CapitalIQ.

Tudor Ventures typically invests between $7 million and $15 million in late stage technology and growth companies. It has already begun investing from fund III, according to its website.

Tudor has seen two of its portfolio companies go public already this year. Switch and Data (Nasdaq: SDXC) raised $5 million from Tudor in 2003, the last leg of its equity and debt fund-raising that netted $237 million, before it went public with an $198 million offering in February. Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: MIPI) raised a $20 million bridge loan from Tudor, Cerberus Capital and others in September, before it went public with a $70 million offering in February.

Managing Partner Bob Forlenza heads the Tudor investment team, with Partners Rick Ganong and Carmen Scarpa. —Alexander Haislip

Mason Wells spins off VC unit

Milwaukee, Wis.-based private equity firm Mason Wells last week announced the spin off of its venture capital business as an independent firm called Broadwell Ventures.

Broadwell Ventures will focus on biomedical investments throughout the Midwest, particularly in Wisconsin. As part of the spinoff, Dan Broderick will step down as managing director of Mason Wells Biomedical Fund I, a Mason Wells venture fund, to lead the new firm as managing director.

Trevor D’Souza, another managing director, will remain at Mason Wells to manage the biomedical fund.

Nearly all of the $45 million Mason Wells Biomedical Fund I has gone to Wisconsin companies. The fund will not make any new investments. —Alastair Goldfisher

PTV wraps up second life sciences fund

PTV Sciences

has closed its second venture fund with about $175 million in capital commitments, according to a regulatory filing. The Houston, Texas-based firm focuses on seed and early stage opportunities in the life sciences and materials science sectors. Limited partners include The University of Texas Investment Management Co.

The firm raised $66 million for its inaugural fund in 2003.

Doughty Hanson closes fund V

London-based private equity firm Doughty Hanson & Co. has closed its fifth fund with $4.2 billion in capital commitments, including $169 million from the general partners. Limited partners includ Allianz Private Equity, HarbourVest Partners, Ilmarinen Insurance, JP Morgan Asset Management, Morley Fund Management, Partners Group, Pantheon Ventures, the State of Michigan public employee pension fund, the University of Texas Investment Management Co. and Verizon Investment Management.

Doughty Hanson has also announced two acquisitions from fund V. They are Avanza, a bus operator in Spain; and Norit, a supplier of purification technologies, based in The Netherlands.

Velocity speeds to first fund

Velocity Financial Group Inc.

has launched as a specialty finance company focused on middle-market and venture-backed technology companies. Its initial capitalization is about $400 million, with American Capital Strategies serving as lead sponsor and investor.

Chicago-based Velocity, which will maintain offices in Silicon Valley and Boston, was co-founded by former Comdisco executives Frank Cirone and Jan Haas.