PE Week Wire: Fri., March 30, 2007

*** The final Q1 VC-backed IPO and Buyout-backed IPO charts are now available at peHUB, in downloadable Excel format. Turns out I was a bit premature in calling SenoRx the final VC-backed IPO of the year, as GSI Tech priced a small offering yesterday. Egg on my face., and apologies to you…

*** Also on peHUB, Alex reports on Goldman Sachs MD Michael Koester said yesterday at the Thunderbird conference in Arizona, and Alexis with details on doings at Tesla Motors.

Top Three

TPG is considering a €3.4 billion buyout bid for Spanish airline carrier Iberia. The deal would value Iberia shares at €3.6 a piece, which is below yesterday’s closing price of €4 per share. Iberia confirmed the approach, and said that TPG has requested more detailed financial information.

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) has rejected a $38 per share buyout offer from J.H. Whitney & Co., calling the price too low. Whitney’s unsolicited bid had put a 15% premium on Herbalife stock, which since has risen to $40.27 as of market close yesterday.

Charles River Ventures has quietly closed its 12th fund with around $280 million, and hired Silicon Valley angel investor Garr Sur as a principal. More details at

VC Deals

Optovue Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based ophthalmic device maker, has raised $10.5 million in Series B funding. Trevi Health Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers like Acorn Campus Ventures, H&Q Asia Pacific, iD SoftCapital and Harbinger Venture Management.

Penguin Computing, a San Francisco-based provider of Linux cluster virtualization, has raised $9 million in Series 2 funding. vSpring Capital led the deal, and was joined by return backers San Francisco Equity Partners, Weber Capital and Convergence Partners.

Games2Win India, a Mumbai-based online gaming company, has raised around $5 million in Series A funding. Clearstone Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by SVB Financial Group.

Akermin Inc., a St. Louis-based developer of enzyme biofuel cells, has raised $3.5 million in second-round funding, according to The St. Louis Dispatch. Backers include Prolog Ventures, Chrysalix Energy and OnPoint Technologies.

IlluminOss Medical Inc., a Tiverton, R.I.-based medical device startup, raised $2.6 million in Series A funding led by Foundation Medical Partners. The company is run by former OmniSonics president and CEO Robert Rabiner. PE Week Wire first reported this news last week, when a regulatory filing indicated that $925,000 of the round had been called down.

DotMobi, a Dublin, Ireland-based provider of Internet domain addresses for mobile phones, has raised an undisclosed amount of venture funding from Visa International.

Buyout Deals

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Italian billionaire Stefano Pessina have upped their buyout proposal for UK drugstore chain Alliance Boots, from 10 stg per share to 10.4 stg per share. The revised deal would value Boots at approximately Gbp10 billion, although no formal offer will be made until KKR and Pessina complete their due diligence.

Broadcasting Media Partners has completed its $12.3 billion acquisition of Spanish-language broadcaster Univison Communications Inc. (NYSE: UVN). BMP consists of Haim Saban, Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The deal received FCC clearance earlier this week.

Marisco Capital Management said that it plans to vote against a proposed $82 per share buyout of Four Seasons Hotels Inc. (NYSE: FS). It is one of the company’s largest shareholders with nearly a 19% position. The buyout consortium includes Cascade Investment (backed by Bill Gates), Kingdom Hotels International (backed by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud) and Four Seasons chairman and CEO Isadore Sharp.

Gen Cap America has acquired Metro Boiler Tube Co. and Myco Trailers Inc. No financial terms for either transaction were disclosed. Metro Boiler Tube is a Ringgold, Ga.-based company that distributes, fabricates and cuts tubing used in boilers. Myco Trailers is a Bradenton, Fla.-based provider of custom designed boat trailers marketed exclusively to the high-performance boating industry.

The Carlyle Group has received shareholder approval for its proposed $5.76 per share buyout of organic residuals recycler Synagro Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: SYGR). The total deal is valued at $772 million, including the assumption of $310 million in debt. Lehman Brothers managed the auction.

Visteon Corp. (NYSE: VC) has agreed to sell certain chassis businesses in Europe and Brazil to a special situations fund advised by Orlando Management. No financial terms were disclosed.

GS Capital Partners has received shareholder approval for its proposed $17 per share buyout of insurance broker USI Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: USIH). The total transaction is valued at approximately $1.4 billion.

Insituform Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: INSU), a Chesterfield, Mo.-based underground piping company, has announced plans to sell its tunneling business for around $20 million.

Hyde Park Holdings of New York has acquired Environmental Reclamation Services Inc., according to LBO Wire. No financial terms were disclosed. ERS is an Erie, Pa.-based recycler of printer cartridges and wireless devices.

PE-Backed IPOs

GSI Technology Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of static random access memory products for networking and telecom equipment, priced around 6.13 million common shares at $5.50 per share, for an IPO take of approximately $33.72 million. It had originally filed to price eight million shares at between $6.50 and $8 per share. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol GSIT, while Needham & Co. and WR Hambrecht & Co. served as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders include Monet Capital. GSI had filed for a $103.5 million IPO in 2004, but withdrew its registration later that year.

EnergySolutions Inc., a Salt Lake City-based provider of low-level radioactive waste disposal services, has filed for a $500 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol ES, with Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley serving as co-lead underwriters. The company is owned by a private equity consortium of Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer, Peterson Partners, and Creamer Investments.

NovaCardia Inc., a San Diego-based drug company focused on cardiovascular disease, has filed for an $86.25 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol NCAR, with JPMorgan and Credit Suisse serving as co-lead underwriters. The company has raised nearly $70 million in VC funding since its 2001 formation, from firms like Domain Associates (24.9% pre-IPO stake), Forward Ventures (15.6%), InterWest Partners (10.4%), Skyline Venture Partners (15.3%), Versant Ventures (13.6%) and Montreaux Equity Partners (12.5%).

PE-Backed M&A

Network Communications Inc., a publisher of printed and online real estate information and advertising in North America, has acquired New England Home magazine. No financial terms were disclosed. Network Communications was acquired in January 2005 by Citigroup Venture Capital.

PE Exits

Innova Capital and GTECH have agreed to sell PolCard SA, a Polish merchant acquirer and card issuer processor, to a unit of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC). The deal is valued at $325 million in cash.

NTelos Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: NTLS), a Waynesboro, Va.-based provider of wireless and wireline communication services in Virginia and West Virginia, has priced a secondary offering of common stock being offered by Citigroup Venture Capital Equity Partners and Quadrangle Capital Partners. Eleven million shares priced at $18.25 per share, for a total take of $200.75 million. The firms also have granted underwriters Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers an option to purchase up to an additional 1.65 million shares

Evotec AG has acquired Neuro3d SA, a France-based drug company focused on CNS disorders. Neuro3d shareholders will receive approximately 6 million newly-issued shared of Evotec stock, while Evotec will receive €22 million in Neuro3d net cash. Neuro3d had raised over $95 million in total VC funding since its 2000 inception, from firms like AXA Private Equity, Apax Partners, GIMV, Gilde Investment Management, Odlander Fredrikson, Sofinnova Partners and TVM Capital.

Firms & Funds

TCW of Los Angeles is raising up to €400 million for a new fund that will provide private equity and mezzanine capital to clean energy projects or companies developing such projects in Europe. A regulatory filing dated March 10 indicates that TCCW already has secured over €321 million in capital commitments.

The Carlyle Group plans to list a $1 billion fixed-income fund on the Euronext in Amsterdam, according to Dow Jones.

Bessemer Venture Partners is considering an India-focused fund that would be open to third-party limited partners, according to VentureWire.

Emerald Technology Ventures (f.k.a. SAM Private Equity) of Montreal has closed its second cleantech-focused venture fund with Euro 135 million in capital commitments. Limited partners include Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, GIMV, Rabobank, Axpo Holding, Springbridge, Credit Suisse, Deere & Co., DSM Venturing, Dow Chemical Co., KPC Energy Ventures, Piper Jaffray Private Capital, Suncor Energy, Unilever Technology Ventures and Volvo Technology Transfer AB.

Human Resources

Tim Chang has joined Norwest Venture Partners as a principal. He previously was a principal with Gabriel Venture Partners.

Michael Mackiewicz has joined Alvarez & Marsal as a Los Angeles-based managing director in the firm’s transaction advisory group. He previously was in the transaction advisory services practice of Ernst & Young. Joining Mackiewicz in Los Angeles will be fellow E&Y alum Jimmy Suruki, who has been named a director. A&M also announced the San Francisco-based additions of Greg Cibuzar (manager) and Kacey Coles (senior associate).

Richard Brand and Jeff Treut have joined Yorkville Advisors as a managing director and senior vice president, respectively. Brand previously was a managing director and head of origination at Prospect Capital Management, while Treut was executive director of GettingHired.

Steve Skoczylas has joined Glocap Search as a managing director in charge of the executive search firm’s accounting and operations practice, which serves hedge funds, private equity funds, I-banks, commercial banks, family offices and operating companies. He previously was a managing director in the finance and private equity divisions of JPMorgan Chase.


Dr. Lara Sullivan’s name was misspelled in yesterday’s issue. She has joined the healthcare team of Paul Capital Partners as a New York-based principal, effective April 23.