Get The Wire in your inbox each morning! Just send us an email.
Intercell AG, a Vienna, Austria-based developer of vaccines for infectious diseases and cancer, has raised $16 million in additional Series C round funding. The company had previously announced a $34 million first close on the round (July 2003) that had been led by Global Life Science Ventures. The new tranche is led by MPM Capital, and brings the round total to $50 million. Intercell now has raised over $113 million in venture capital funding, including a $38 million Series B round in 2001 at a post-money valuation of approximately $94 million.
Protein Forest Inc., a Watertown, Mass.-based biotech company that develops protein separation products for the study of proteomics and biomarkers, has secured $19 million in Series A financing. S.R. One Ltd. led the round, and was joined by Boston Millennia Partners, IDG Ventures, Novo A/S and private investors.
Solidcore Systems Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based enterprise software company that assures the availability and integrity of computer systems and business data in the event of security failures, has raised $5.35 million in Series A funding. Sevin Rosen Funds and Matrix Partners co-led the round the equal investments. Solidcore was founded by Rosen Sharma, who previously served as an entrepreneur-in-residence with Sevin Rosen Funds.
Zeevo Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of Bluetooth System-on-a-Chip (SOC) and module solutions for short-range wireless communications, has raised $20 million in Series E funding. Taiwan-based semiconductor company Winbond Electronics and China Industrial Bank co-led the deal, and were joined by return backers Sequoia Capital, Raza Ventures and WK Technology Fund, Focus Ventures and Capital Research. Zeevo now has raised over $85 million in venture funding since its 1999 inception, including a $25 million Series C round in mid-2001 with a post-money valuation of approximately $90 million.
CoreOptics Inc., Nuremberg, Germany-based maker of optical networking solutions, has raised $15 million in Series C funding. Return backers included Crescendo Ventures, Techno Venture Management, High Tech Private Equity and Atila Ventures/ETV.
Saunders Karp & Megrue has sold over 1.94 million shares of portfolio company The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCE). The price per share was $27.11, for a total take-home of $52.76 million. Saunders Karp purchased $20.5 million of Children’s Place stock in July 1996 at a price of $2.68 per share through a private company recapitalization. The private equity firm continues to own approximately 4.8 million shares of The Children’s Place stock.
AMVESCAP PLC (NYSE: AVZ) has agreed to acquire Stein Roe Investment Counsel LLC (SRIC) from senior management and Putnam Lovell Equity Partners. SRIC will become a part of the Atlantic Wealth Management Group, the private wealth management division of AMVESCAP, which includes Atlantic Trust. The purchase price includes a payment of $117.5 million – 60% of which is in cash and 40% of which is in AMVESCAP stock, plus additional payments of up to $43.0 million that are contingent upon meeting certain client retention and revenue growth goals.
Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., a Minneapolis-based restaurant chain operator, will begin trading on the Nasdaq today under ticker symbol BWLD. The company yesterday priced three million shares of stock at $17 per share, for a total IPO take of $51 million ($46.53 million net take after expenses). The company had received venture capital backing from GMN Investors, Regent Capital Partners and Carefree Capital Partners.
Talaris Corp., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of electronic commerce solutions for buyers and suppliers of employee business services, has raised $11.5 million in new venture funding from Foundation Capital and Charter Venture Capital.
The Irish Independent is reporting that Kevin Fielding as joined Alta Berkeley Venture Partners. Fielding resigned as president and CEO of ParthusCeva Inc. earlier this year after the firm merged with DSP Group and moved its operations to the United States.
The Birmingham Post & Mail is reporting that 3i Group and Kroll Corporate Finance have paid just under £15 million to acquire European truck lighting specialist Vignal, from parent company Valeo.
Bay Microsystems Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of packet processing and traffic management solutions, announced that it has raised $10 million in Series C funding. New investor In-Q-Tel participated on the deal, as did return backers Selby Venture Partners, Needham Capital, Thomas Weisel Venture Partners and Alliance Venture Management. Bay Microsystems now has raised over $30 million in venture funding since its 19098 inception.
The Deal is reporting that Paris-based PAI Partners has made a bid for a controlling stake in publicly traded French retailer Vivarte.
NEWS FROM THURSDAY 11/20
Sionex Corp., a Waltham, Mass.-based company focused on chemical sensor chips, has raised $12.8 million in Series B funding. Morgenthaler Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Rho Ventures and Navigator Technology Ventures. The company previously raised a $3.6 million Series A round in early 2002.
The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System (ATRS) is in some hot water, after a legislative audit revealed that the system understated the cost of its private equity investments by $12.2 million. The report issued by the auditors discovered that of the 23 ATRS-managed private equity accounts, 13 had errors. It also suggested that the system had an unqualified staff and inadequate training and supervision. David Malone, executive director of ATRS said that the findings indicate a need for a more professional staff, which would require the payment of higher salaries than the system currently is permitted to pay. The system’s chief investment officer makes less than $60,000 per year, compared to a national average of well over $100,000.
Callidus Software Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of enterprise incentive management software, will begin trading on the Nasdaq today under ticker symbol CALD. The company yesterday priced five million shares of its common stock at $14 per share, for a total IPO take of $70 million. Callidus had previously raised over $110 million in venture capital funding, including a $10.9 million down-round in late 2001 at a post-money valuation of approximately $34 million. Company investors include Crosspoint Venture Partners, Onset Ventures, INVESCO Private Capital, Goldman Sachs and Crescendo Ventures.
Enbridge Energy Partners has agreed to acquire natural gas gathering and processing assets in North Texas from Cantera Resources Inc., an affiliate of Morgan Stanley Capital Partners. Enbridge will pay $247 million in cash for the assets, which would be renamed the North Texas System. The deal is expected to close before year end.
Chutney Technologies Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of enterprise-scale software object execution technologies, has raised $4.5 million in new venture funding. Clearstone Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by Sevin Rosen Funds and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.
Atchison Casting Corp. (OTC BB: AHNCQ), an Atchison, Kansas-based maker of metal casings, has agreed to sell its remaining operating assets out of bankruptcy to KPS Special Situations Fund. KPS will form a new company to purchase five business units of Atchison for a total consideration of $40 million. The proposed transaction is expected to close by year end.
Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) has agreed to acquire Waveset Technologies Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of software that automates the processes that govern access to enterprise systems and data while reducing the cost and complexity of identity management. No deal terms were disclosed. Waveset has raised over $30 million in venture capital funding since its 2000 inception, including a $7.3 million Series A deal in 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $22.29 million. Company investors include AV Labs, Austin Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Origin Partners and Silverton Partners. www.Waveset.com
Thermo Capital Partners has agreed to pay up to $43 million in cash to acquire an 81.25% stake in bankrupt satellite phone company Globalstar Corp. The remaining 18.75% of equity interests will be available to Globalstar for distribution to its creditors. Additionally, Globalstar’s creditors will have the right to purchase additional equity interests in the new company for an aggregate ownership interest of up to 33.87%.
MicroSeismic Inc., a Houston, Texas-based company focused on 3-D imaging of target geology and reservoir dynamics, has raised first-round funding led by Altira.
Sphera Corp., a Newton, Mass.-based provider of Web hosting automation and management software, has raised $4 million in Series D funding. Investors included JVP, TLCom Capital Partners, Vision Capital, Gemini Israel Funds and Banc of America Capital Partners. The company now has raised around $40 million in venture funding since its 199 inception.
Delta Capital Management, a Memphis, Tenn.-based venture capital firm, said this week that it plans to open a satellite office in Chattanooga early next year.
Cherington Capital has acquired Pacific Consolidated Industries, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based maker of on-site liquid and gaseous oxygen and nitrogen generating systems. Bank of America was tapped to provide the senior debt and Key Principal Partners contributed to the financing with a mezzanine tranche. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCH) has agreed to acquire SoundView Technology Group Inc. (Nasdaq: SNDV) for approximately $345 million in cash. The deal includes Schwab paying $15.50 per outstanding share of SoundView common stock.
Reuters is reporting that U.S.-based investment firm Lone Star will purchase Olympus Capital‘s private equity stake in Korea-based KEB Credit Service Co. The deal is said to be for 79.3 billion won (approx. $67.37 million), which represents 15.76 million KEB shares at 5,030 won per share.
The Denver Post is reporting that Centennial, Colo.-based ToolWatch Corp. has raised $1.2 million in venture capital funding.
The Associated Press is reporting that seating leather maker GST AutoLeather Inc. will lay off up to 315 workers in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and move those jobs to Mexico. GST is a portfolio company of Citigroup Venture Capital.
NEWS FROM WEDNESDAY 11/19
Texas Pacific Group has agreed to acquire 100% of Portland General Electric (PGE) from Enron Corp., via a newly created entity named Oregon Electric Utility Co. LLC. The transaction is valued at approximately $2.35 billion, including the assumption of debt, with the final amount to be determined on the basis of PGE’s financial performance between January 1, 2003 and closing (expected to be in the second half of 2004).
Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst has agreed to acquire UK breakfast cereal maker Weetabix Ltd., in a transaction valued at approximately £642 million (approx. $1.09 billion) in cash.
RedSiren Inc., a Pittsburgh-based provider of IT security management solutions, has raised $17.7 million in new venture funding. Return backer Redleaf led the transaction, and was joined by first-time investors Safeguard Scientifics and SEA Ventures. RedSiren (f.k.a. RedSiren Technologies Inc.) now has raised $32.5 million in total venture capital funding, with an additional $2 million expected by the end of November.
Bear Stearns Merchant Banking has acquired a “significant minority equity stake” in Cavalry Investments LLC, a Hawthorne, N.Y.-based company that acquires and then collects distressed consumer loan portfolios. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Blue Ridge Networks Inc., a Chantilly, Va.-based provider of network security solutions, has raised $5 million in Series C funding. Rock Maple Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers SpaceVest, North Atlantic Capital Corp. and The Hodson Trust.
Acorn Capital has terminated its proposed acquisition of Asanté Technologies Inc. (OTC BB: ASNTE), a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of networking solutions for homes and home offices. In a statement, Asanté Technologies says that the termination of the proposed acquisition is a breach of the existing letter of intent, and intends to evaluate all available legal remedies. In addition, the management of Asanté Technologies is currently in discussions with alternative financing sources for a possible investment in the company.
Eastman Kodak Co. (NYSE: EK) has agreed to acquire Algotec Systems Ltd., an Israel-based developer of picture archiving and communications systems (PACS). The deal is worth $42.5 million in cash, and is expected to close by year-end. Kodak said that the acquisition would improve Kodak’s competitive position in the growing market for PACS, which enable radiology departments worldwide to digitally manage and store medical images and information. Algotec had raised venture capital funding from STAR Ventures and Jafco Ventures. According to The Deal, the company received a post-money valuation of $25 million following a $6 million infusion in 1998, which also is when it formally ended its relationship with former parent company Elscint Ltd.
Symbion Inc., a Nashville, Tenn.-based owner and operator of surgery centers in 18 states, has filed to raise $115 million via an initial public offering on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol SMBI. The company had originally filed for a $115 million IPO in May 2002, but withdrew its request this past April. Symbion has raised around $55 million in venture funding since its 1996 inception, including a $16.17 million round in 1999 at a post-money valuation of $85 million. Company investors include Pacific Venture Group, ABS Capital Partners, Richland Ventures, South Atlantic Private Equity Fund and Whitney & Co.
EyeTech Pharmaceuticals Inc. has released new details about its planned IPO. The offering is now set to raise up to $145.5 million via the sale of 7.47 million shares at up to $20 per share.
Art Marks is stepping down from his director post at Talk America Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: TALK), so that he can devote all his energies to venture capital firm Valhalla Partners. Prior to forming Valhalla, Marks was a general partner with New Enterprise Associates.
Genome Therapeutics Corp. (Nasdaq: GENE) has agreed to acquire Genesoft Pharmaceuticals Inc., a South San Francisco-based pharmaceutical company that develops small molecules to block cancer genes. As part of the transaction, Genome Therapeutics will issue approximately 28 million shares of its common stock to the existing security holders of Genesoft (worth approximately $86 million as of yesterday’s market close), and assume debt of $24 million. Consummation of this transaction is subject to approval by both parties’ shareholders and raising additional capital of approximately $30 million to fund the merged company. Selected stockholders of Genome Therapeutics and Genesoft have agreed to vote in favor of the merger, which is expected to close during the first quarter of 2004. Genesoft has raised around $24 million in venture capital funding from investors like MPM Capital, HBM Partners, JPMorgan Partners and Sectoral Asset Management.
BenefitPoint Inc., a San Francisco-based operator of an online clearinghouse for employee benefits, has raised $13 million in new venture capital funding. New investors included HLM Venture Partners and Trident Capital, while return backers included HarbourVest Partners, Sequoia Capital and Institutional Venture Partners.
Amino Communications Ltd., a UK-based set-top box vendor, has raised £5 million in fourth-round funding.
Betsy Atkins, president and CEO of venture firm Baja LLC and co-founder of Ascend Communications, has joined the board of directors at Laurel Networks Inc.
European Venture Capital Journal is reporting that Russ Cummings has been hired by Scottish Equity Partners to aid in UK expansion efforts. Cummings was formerly a senior director with 3i Group. The monthly magazine also reports that Bart Elema has joined Waterland Private Equity Investments as finance manager. Prior to joining Waterland, he worked for ATC Trustees in Amsterdam as senior manager and account manager.
NEWS FROM TUESDAY 11/18
Brix Networks Inc., a Chelmsford, Mass.-based provider of service assurance solutions to operators of service-centric networks, has raised $8.1 million in Series A-1 recap funding. Return backers included Charles River Ventures, ComVentures, Fidelity Ventures, Partech International and STAR Ventures. The company now has raised around $55 million since its July 1999 founding, including a $17 million Series B infusion in early 2000 at a post-money valuation of approximately $102 million. The company’s original Series A deal was worth $8.25 million at a post-money valuation of $16 million.
Gores Technology Group LLC, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, has closed its inaugural third-party fund with capital commitments of $400 million. Named Gores Capital Partners LP, the new vehicle will focus on control-oriented buyouts of technology and telecom companies.
CastBridge Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based enterprise software company focused on data sharing, has closed its Series A funding round co-led by Mobius Venture Capital and Clearstone Venture Partners. No financial terms were disclosed, although an SEC filing indicates that CastBridge was looking to raise upwards of $2.15 million. As part of the transaction, Heidi Roizen of Mobius and Eric Lassila of Clearstone have joined the CastBridge board of directors.
DaimlerChrysler AG (NYSE: DCX) has agreed to sell its MTU Aero Engines subsidiary to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. for approximately €1.5 billion (approx. $1.76 billion), according to Dow Jones. The article adds that the deal still must be approved by DaimlerChrysler’s board of directors.
Robin Badavas has been named executive vice president and chief financial officer of TAC Worldwide Corp., a Dedham, Mass.-based technical staffing company. Badvas previously served as a senior principal and chief operating officer of Atlas Venture, which he joined in 2001 after several high-tech operating roles.
Spoke Software Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of professional relationship applications, has raised $11.7 million in Series C funding. DCM-Doll Capital Management led the deal, and was joined by return investors U.S. Venture Partners, Sierra Ventures and Partech International. A portion of this funding, beyond the terms of this announcement, has been set aside for unannounced strategic investors. Spoke now has raised $20.9 million in venture funding since its July 2002 inception.
Prepared Response Inc., a Seattle-based provider of software used by emergency response personnel, has raised $1.2 million in Series A funding. Benaroya Capital led the round and was joined by returning angel investors.
Doug Gooding has been named president of Regado BioSciences Inc., a Morrisville, N.C.-based drug discovery company. Gooding previously served as a principal with The Aurora Funds, and will retain a venture partner role with the firm going forward. Aurora Funds is a Regado BioSciences investor.
Jack Spencer, a former Ernst & Young partner and co-founder of the Atlanta Venture Forum, has joined the board of directors at Firstwave Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: FSTW).
D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI), an Arlington, Texas-based home builder, announced that six board members are resigning, in order to create a more independent board. Among the sextet is Rick Beckwitt, who serves as a partner with Encore Venture Partners, the virtually defunct venture capital firm that was solely funded by D.R. Horton.
Conrad Black has agreed to repay an unauthorized $7 million bonus to Hollinger International, one day after resigning as the media conglomerate’s CEO. The moves come amidst debt-laden Hollinger’s attempt to salvage itself, perhaps via a private equity buyout.
Corizon, a UK-based enterprise software vendor formerly known as Genient Ltd., annouinced today that it has raised $3 million in new funding from Atlas Venture, LMS Capital, Reuters Venture Fund and other private investors. The deal occurred in Q1 of this year at a post-money valuation of over $15 million.
The National Post is reporting that former Bombardier Inc. chief Robert Brown has become involved with a venture capital effort called Canadian Public Venture Equities I Inc. The Business Standard of India is reporting that APIDC Venture Capital‘s Biotech Venture Fund has received new capital commitments from Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank.
The News & Observer is reporting that drug giant GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE: GSK) has unexpectedly terminated a development deal with privately-held Nobex Corp. that could have been worth upwards of $238 million. The agreement had been to develop an insulin pill, but now Nobex will have to scramble to find another backer. Research Triangle Park-based Nobex has raised approximately $80 million in venture funding from investors like A.M. Pappas & Associates, American Express, The Aurora Funds and Crescendo Venture Management.
Saegis Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Half Moon Bay, Calif.-based biopharma company focused on human mind functions, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. Versant Ventures led the deal, and was joined by fellow new investor Technology Partners. Return backers included Sofinnova Ventures, Sofinnova Partners, Polaris Venture Partners and NeuroVentures. The company now has raised $44 million in venture capital since its 1999 inception.
ASIP Inc. and ThreeFive Photonics BV, two venture-backed providers of photonic integrated circuits, have merged. The combined company will be known as ASIP Inc., with ThreeFive Photonics BV operating in the Netherlands as a wholly owned subsidiary. Simultaneous with the merger, ThreeFive’s existing investors — Atlas Venture and Gilde IT Fund — have made a combined $7.5 million investment in Somerset, N.J.-based ASIP. The new investment completes ASIP’s previously announced Series C round of financing, bringing the completed round to $23.5 million. ASIP’s total funding to date amounts to $31 million. Existing ASIP investors include Finaventures, Intel Capital, Multilink Technology Corp., Nokia Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures.
Lorantis Ltd., a Cambridge, UK-based immunology drug discovery and development company, has raised £25 million (approx. $42 million) in Series C funding. Apax Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Abingworth Management, JPMorgan Partners, Quester Capital Management, Schroder Ventures, The Wellcome Trust and funds managed by Fleming Family and Partners.
Fred Festa has been named president of chief operating officer of troubled chemical producer W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA). He most recently served as a partner with Morgenthaler Private Equity.
Q1 Labs, a St. John, Canada-based provider of network security intelligence solutions, has raised $14.4 million in Series B funding. Polaris Venture Partners and Menlo Venture co-led the round, and was joined by return backers BDC Venture Capital and New Brunswick Investment Management Corp.
AAT Communications Corp., a St. Louis-based provider of wireless tower sites, has raised $180 million in new private equity funding. Investors include Charterhouse Group, Sandler Capital Management, The Oklahoma Publishing Co. and WallerSutton 2000 LP.
Joy Weiss has joined San Francisco-based Blueprint Ventures as an executive-in-residence. Weiss has held the CEO positions at Inviso and Esker, plus executive positions with Nortel.
Paul Vabakos has left his general partner post with Trinity Ventures, according to the latest print edition of Private Equity Week.
Voltage Security Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of secure multi-channel business communication solutions, has raised $11.6 million in Series B funding. Menlo Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Morgenthaler Ventures. Mark Siegel, a managing director of Menlo Ventures, will join the Voltage board of directors.
Donald Hawthorne has been named president and CEO of Ardais Corp., a Lexington, Mass.-based clinical genomics company. Since 1999, Hawthorne has been a contract operating partner to the health-care venture capital community, providing general management and strategic advisory services. Formerly, he was a partner and CFO at Ampersand Ventures.
LastMinuteTravel.com Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of just-released travel and entertainment offers, has raised $3.38 million in new funding. Investors included principals of Libra Securities.
Jaroslav Horak, a partner with DBG Eastern Europe, has named the new chairman of the Czech Venture Capital Association.
Sylantro Systems Corp., a Campbell, Calif.-based provider of IP Centrex and hosted communications applications, has received a $4.5 million Series D investment from Argo Global Capital. This brings the total Series D round up to $19 million.
T-cellic AS, a Denmark-based developer of tumor localization and therapy systems, has raised DKK 40 million (approx. $6.34 million) in second-round funding. Investors included LDPensions, Scandinavian Life Science Venture and the Danish Investment Fund.
Sistina Software Inc., a Minneapolis-based provider of Linux storage management software, has received an undisclosed investment from SAP Ventures.
Global Finance, a Greek private equity firm, has agreed to acquire an undisclosed stake in local meat processing company Nikas for €6 per share.
Parker Rush has been named president and CEO of The Republic Group of Insurance Cos., which was acquired from Winterthur on August 29 by a group of private investors including Banc of America Capital Investors, Greenhill Capital Partners, Brazos Private Equity Partners, 21st Century Group, LLC and Norwest Equity Partners. Rush has worked for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies since 1982, and most recently served as senior vice president, managing director and manager of southern U.S. business. His appointment follows a search for a permanent successor to Republic CEO Bruce Milligan, who died unexpectedly on August 30. Bruce W. Schnitzer, who has been serving as CEO on an interim basis since that date, will continue in his role as Chairman of Republic. Schnitzer also serves as chairman of Wand Partners, which organized the buyout.
Procuri Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of sourcing solutions, has acquired SupplierInsight Inc., a Cleveland-based supplier management software and services company. No deal terms were disclosed. Procuri has raised $10 million in venture funding from Insight Capital Partners, while SupplierInsight has raised $2 million in venture funding from Early Stage Partners, Forest City Enterprises Inc., SYMARK LLC, Glengary Ventures, Jumpstart, LLC and the Marcus Partnerships.
The Financial Times is reporting that PPM Ventures has agreed to lead a management buyout of discount department store chain TJ Hughes from UK-based sports retailer JJB Sports. The deal includes £49 million (approx. $82.74 million) in cash plus the repayment of a £6.8 million (approx. $11.48 million) term loan.
Click here for last week’s complete Wire
|This is a free sample of content available to paid subscribers of Private Equity Week.
Click here for more information.