News briefs, week of Dec. 17, 2007

VC investments hit 6-year high

Venture capital investments in the United States, Europe, China and Israel this year have passed the $30 billion mark and the industry is on course to post its highest investment total since 2001, according to a new report by Dow Jones VentureOne and Ernst & Young.

The report said the final total could be more than $40 billion, while deal volume could top the record 3,884 deals of 2003.

Cleantech and medical device companies were popular targets, according to the survey.

Worldwide investment in medical device companies has exceeded $3.4 billion so far this year, a record. For clean technology the total was $1.1 billion, a 44 percent rise from the $764 million invested in the same period last year.

Time calls Blackstone IPO worst business deal of year
Time magazine is out with a list of the year’s 10 worst business deals, and has selected The Blackstone Group’s IPO for its most dubious honors.

Private equity-related deals actually dominate the 10 Worst list, including:

#3. DaimlerChrysler pays to unload Chrysler;

#4. Microsoft overpays for Facebook;

#5. Cerberus abandons United Rentals;

#6. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Goldman Sachs break up with Harman;

#7. J.C. Flowers reneges on Sallie Mae; and

#10. Virgin money bids for Northern Rock. —Dan Primack