News briefs, Aug. 20, 2007

Oracle to buy Bridgestream

Oracle Corp. late last week agreed to buy San Francisco-based enterprise software company Bridgestream for between $33 million and $36 million, PE Week learned. Bridgestream spokesman Ed Zou declined to comment, but an official announcement was expected to come after the PE Week deadline.

Bridgestream was founded in 2000 to develop a self-service HR management platform, but later refocused on the employee identity market, with a role automation product that maps the business relationships that exist within a department or extend enterprise. The company had raised about $14 million in total VC funding from such firms as Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Outlook Ventures, ArrowPath Ventures and Polestar Capital.

For more exit news, see Exit Watch on page 7.

Home Depot changes terms
The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) will postpone closing a deal to sell its HD Supply division to a private-equity investment group. In an SEC filing, Home Depot said that it will change the proposed closing date on the purchase agreement to Aug. 23 from Aug. 16. Home Depot is in the process of restructuring its agreement to sell its HD Supply business to Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for $10.3 billion. The deal was first announced in June.

Multiple nuggets from Blackstone holds earnings call
The Blackstone Group last week held its inaugural earnings call. Among its announcements, Blackstone says that it’s just months away from beginning to raise its next private equity fund. It’s been less than two weeks since Blackstone sewed up its $21.7 billion fifth fund, but that record-breaking vehicle is already 70% committed, and Blackstone typically begins fund-raising once its dry powder runs down to about 25 percent. No word on the target of fund VI.

Meanwhile, Blackstone already has closed on $10 billion for its new real estate private equity fund, which is being capped at $10.2 billion. It’s already 40% committed.

Blackstone COO Tony James thinks that future tax changes have already been baked into the Blackstone share price. He also tried to link private equity taxes with VC taxes, a tactic employed by the buyout lobbyists and fought against by VC lobbyists.

Also, CEO Steve Schwarzman is spending the week in China, and Blackstone already has a couple of Chinese investment transactions in the works.

There were over 500 people on the call. No official count is available, but it was probably the most crowded non-Google/non-GM call in a while.

TPG-Northwest wins Midwest bid
Midwest Air Group Inc.’s board late last week approved a sweetened $450 million buyout offer from TPG Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp., ending an eight-month takeover campaign by AirTran Holdings Inc.

TPG and Northwest, the fifth-largest U.S. airline, early last week raised its bid for Oak Creek, Wis.-based Midwest to $17 a share in cash. AirTran had offered $16.27 a share.