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The sun is shining, economic growth is slowing and the Celtics caused me to spend much of last night yelling at my television set. In other words, it’s time for some Friday Feedback, plus a few more
Most emails this week concerned the Q1 VC figures, and reasons for both deal and disbursement declines from the previous quarter. Jens writes: “If you look at fund-raising data for 1998 onward, and take into account that most VCs have to disburse 60% of [that] money within four years in order to not have to return part of it, you will find an easy explanation for why 2004 disbursements were higher than this year’s. See it as the wave on the big ship. Unless there is no substantial upswing in fundraising this year, 2005 and 2006 will be lower than 2004. You were looking at the micro reasons, but the real reason is rather macro.”
Good point Jens, in that there were certainly some deals in late 2004 that smacked of VC firms just trying to quickly deploy large amounts of capital. By that theory, will the next major VC disbursement increase be in 2008-2009, considering how much fund capital was raised in late 2004, and how much is being raised right now (VantagePoint, Summit, Vesbridge, IDG Boston, IDS West Coast, Austin Ventures, Vanguard, Granite Ventures, etc.)?
Jon chimes in on the statistical influence (or lack thereof) of stealth deals: “Assume for a minute that there are a lot more stealth deals happening today than were happening a year ago. And also assume that there were more one year ago than one year before that. In the end, it doesn’t matter because it all comes out in the wash. Stealth companies, unless they fail quickly, eventually raise Series B or Series C rounds, and those get reported because they are larger and usually involve more investors. In other words, someone will spill the beans. Maybe stealth deals cause a reporting lag, but not an outright absence of reporting.
Asa, however, feels differently: “Why can’t you just admit that the data is flawed because it relies on voluntary reporting?”
A few AIG folks wrote in to say that Wednesday’s column on the firings at AIG Capital Partners was on the money, which is far better than if the opposite were true (for me, not for AIG). More importantly, the original info came via an anonymous reader tip, and I encourage you to keep them coming via the Top Secret button on the right-hand navigational bar. Also, a quick follow-up to yesterday’s news about restructuring at Pacific Corporate Group: Scott Vollmer has, indeed, left the partnership of PCG, and is no longer an employee. The two sides do, however, remain business associates, with Vollmer continuing to run the PCG-sponsored special situations fund-of-funds.
Finally, a few more Desperate Internship drive listings for first-year MBA candidates (with one exception, see below). Candidates should send CVs and cover letters to the Yahoo email addresses listed below, and not to me. Good luck to all…
Job: PE firm focused on direct secondaries
Job: Early-stage VC
Location: Albany/Boston (one spot in each)
Note: For pre-MBAs with some I-banking or consulting experience
Job: Middle market PE
Location: Saddle Brook. NJ
Job: Growth-oriented PE
Sun Capital Partners, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based leveraged buyout firm, has closed its fourth fund with $1.5 billion in limited partner commitments. www.suncappart.com
Pixelworks Inc. (Nasdaq: PXLW) has agreed to acquire Equator Technologies Inc., a Campbell, Calif.-based fabless semiconductor company focused on programmable digital video and audio encoding/decoding solutions. The deal is valued at $109 million in cash, and is expected to close later this quarter. Equator Technologies has raised over $150 million in total VC funding since its 1996 inception, from firms like Ironside Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Intel Capital, InveStar Capital, MMC Capital, Nomura, Polycom and i-Hatch Ventures. www.pixelworks.com www.equator.com
Receptor Biologix Inc., a South San Francisco-based drug company focused on cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, has raised $33.6 million in Series A funding. Backers include Skyline Ventures, Domain Associates, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, MedImmune Ventures, Takeda Research Inv*stment and Northwest Technology Ventures. Receptor Biologix received a post-money valuation of just under $40 million, and had received $40,000 of seed funding in 2003 from the
Resolution Health Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based healthcare data analytics company, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding from Trident Capital. www.resolutionhealth.com
Pacific Equity Partners has agreed to acquire the Worldwide Restaurant Concepts Inc. (NYSE: SZ), operator of hundreds of Sizzer and KFC restaurants, based primarily in
The Carlyle Group is in talks to acquire the car parts division of South Korea-based LG Chem Ltd., according to Reuters. The deal could be valued north of $100 million. www.carlylegroup.com
Verifone Holdings Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of electronic payment transaction services at the point-of-sale, has reduced its proposed IPO price from $12 to $14 per share, to just $10 per share. It still plans to offer 15.4 million common shares in the offering, which is being lead managed by JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers. Verifone originally went public in 1990, but was acquired and taken private by Hewlett-Packard Co. in 1997. Four years later, Hewlett-Packard sold the company to Gores Technology Group. In 2002, GTCR Golder-Rauner led a recapitalization, and became Verifone’s majority shareholder. www.verifone.com
Hoku Scientific Inc., a Honolulu, Hawaii-based developer of fuel cell technologies, has filed to raise $57.5 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol HOKU, with Piper Jaffray serving as lead underwriter. Significant shareholders include Lava Ventures and the Hawaiian Electric Co. www.hokuscientific.com
Advanced Life Sciences Inc., a
Citi Trends Inc., a Savannah, Ga.-based retailer of urban fashion apparel, has set its proposed IPO terms to 3.85 million common shares being offered at between $12 and $14 per share. The company was acquired in 1999 by Hampshire Equity Partners. www.cititrends.com
IDX Systems Corp. (Nasdaq: IDXC) has agreed to acquire the assets of RealTimeImage Ltd. for approximately $15.5 million. RealTimeImage has offices in Tel Aviv and
Huron Capital Partners, a Detroit-based private equity firm focused on the lower middle-markets, has closed its second fund with $185 million in aggregate commitments. Limited partners include the Dow Employees’ Pension Plan, Cigna Inv*stment Management and the DuPont Pension Trust. Huron’s first fund was capped at $72 million in 2000. www.huroncapital.com
Jack Gill and Bob Ulrich will not be involved in the management of Vanguard Ventures‘ next fund, according to PE Insider. Both men are currently general partners with the firm. www.vanguardventures.com
Correction: Harry Kraemer has joined Madison Dearborn Partners as an executive advisor. His name was misspelled in yesterday’s edition.
THURSDAY, APRIL 28
A handful of items to share, before I buckle down and tackle PE Week print deadlines (i.e., do my real job):
*** Pacific Corporate Group this morning announced a major organizational restructuring, which sees its advisory business separated from its direct investing business. Monte Brem will run the first group, named PCG Asset Management, while PCG founder/CEO Chris Bower will run the second group, called PCG Capital Partners. Both units will report to the PCG board, comprised of remaining partners Bower, Brem, Stephen Moseley, Tara Blackburn, Tim Kelleher and Philip Posner.
The official reorg rationale is that client needs have evolved over time, and that PCG is trying to keep pace in a way that will provide increased focus and dedication. I guess that’s as good a reason as any, but the move doesn’t seem to address PCG’s main problem: massive personnel turnover. I know that Chris Bower thinks I overstate this issue, but PCG has watched at least three pros – Craig White, Eric Becker and Rick Fratus – resign since the beginning of 2005, and also got locked in an employment dispute with special situations fund-of-funds manager Scott Vollmer (who, you might notice, was not listed in the above partnership roster). Moreover, the primary contact for major PCG clients like Washington and Oregon got passed over for the top post with PCG Asset Management, which could cause some concerns.
All in all, turmoil is bad for business, and PCG is likely competing to maintain its consultancy spot in Washington (RFPs due last month) and in a major municipality (RFP supposedly due any time). It’s managed to squeeze out of this hole – and off of at least one watch list – before, and perhaps the reorg is an attempt to do so again. If nothing else, it certainly warrants continued attention.
*** The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have approached some major buyout firms about the possibility of IPOs. Targets include Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, KKR and Texas Pacific Group. We’ve heard this song before (and its less popular BDC cousin), but the possibility seems a bit more likely today. First, you’ve had the successful Ripplewood Holdings’ IPO in Belgium. Second, it would give them even greater access to capital, and we all know that firms like Blackstone are very much into a “bigger is better” mentality.
A couple big questions left unanswered by the WSJ: (1) Carlyle Group just raised over $10 billion via 10-year private limited partnerships, and Blackstone is about to do the same. What happens to those agreements if either firm goes public? (2) The article claims that a big advantage would be that firms could spend more time doing deals, since they wouldn’t need to do fund-raising road-shows. OK, but how about all the extra reporting requirements associated with being a public entity? In fact, isn’t SarBox a major reason why big buyout firms say that it’s in certain public companies’ best interest to go private?
*** Interesting post by Sarah Lacy of Businessweek. She and I disagreed over the past few months about the intelligence of trying to price a VC-backed biotech IPO in 2005, given the lousy public market environment. She argued it was sheer lunacy, and that the number of postponed/withdrawn offerings and reduced-price offerings bore her out. I took the other side, arguing that biotech IPOs hadn’t underperformed the public markets as a whole (faint praise, to be sure), and that even a small IPO might be favorable to lowered private market valuations in the space.
I can happily say we were both right, although she was probably more right than me. The number of venture deal for life sciences companies was way down in Q1, which indicates (as Sarah said) that VCs are worried about potential exits, particularly for those big money, late-stage fundings. At the same time, I’d suggest that the drop also reflected life sciences companies holding out for valuation increases – as you saw certain IT companies do between 2001 and 2003 — or looking for other capital sources.
*** A few more internship listings will be coming tomorrow.
*** Finally, big dilemma tonight: Do I sit back and watch Game 3 of the Celtics vs. Pacers, or go to a big charity event that former President Clinton and lots of local PE bigwigs will attend? The irony is that the charity event will honor Bain Capital pro and Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, so I guess he has already made his decision. Still pondering, although I was so incensed at Doc Rivers during Game 2, that I might have a heart attack if he also messes up Game 3. Charity events rarely lead even to palpitations, let alone full-blown infarctions. Hard call… Note: My main beef isn’t that Doc kept AJ on the bench in favor of exhausted David/Pierce/Walker, so much as his numbing decision to replace LaFrenz with Delonte West with around 3 minutes left, which meant Walker was the tallest guy on the court. Hey Doc, doesn’t good defense also include rebounding?. Just maddening.
ChannelAdvisor Corp., a Morrisville, N.C.-based provider of channel management solutions, has raised $18 million in new VC funding. Advanced Technology Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Kodiak Venture Partners, Blue Sky Ventures, eBay, Tri-state Inv*stment Group and Southern Capitol Ventures. Series A backer Genesis Partners did not participate. www.channeladvisor.com
KRG Capital Partners, a Denver-based buyout firm focused on the middle-markets, has secured approximately $552 million for its third fund, according to a regulatory filing. The firm is looking to raise upwards of $690 million, and is using Probitas Partners as its placement agent. www.krgcapital.com
Hicks Muse (Europe) has changed its name to Lion Capital. The London-based group formally separated from Dallas-based Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst earlier this year, and is in the midst of raising a new fund. www.lioncapital.com
Actimis Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego-based drug company recently spun out of Bayer HealthCare AG, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Sanderling Ventures led the deal, and was joined by Mitsui & Co. www.actimis.com
BlueCar Partners, a Phoenix-based venture consulting firm, has committed $5 million to fund the operations and long-term expansion of the Amber Alert Web Portal, a next-generation Amber Alert system already deployed in five states. www.amberalert.com
Air Media Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of mobile entertainment applications, has raised approximately $3.32 million in Series A funding led by Sierra Ventures. www.airmedia.com
Allied Domecq PLC, a publicly-traded UK liquor company, has received a “preliminary approach” from a buyout consortium that includes Constellation Brands, Brown-Foreman Corp., Blackstone Group and Lion Capital (f.k.a. Hicks Muse Europe). No pricing terms have been disclosed, although the bid likely would need to be higher than a $14.2 billion offer that Allied Domecq accepted last week from France-based Pernod Ricard SA. www.allieddomecq.com
Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT) has agreed to acquire San Diego-based semiconductor distributor Memec Group Holdings Ltd. from private equity firm majority shareholder Permira. The deal is valued at approximately $676 million, including the assumption of around $194 million in net d*bt. Memec is currently is registration for a $100 million IPO. www.avnet.com www.memec.com
ShopKo Stores Inc. (NYSE: SKO) and its directors are being sued in six punitive shareholder class action lawsuits, related its proposed $715 million (excluding $330 million in outstanding d*bt) acquisition by private equity firm Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison. Goldner Hawn also is named as a defendant in two of the suits.
SkinMedica Inc., a Carlsbad, Calif.-based drug company focused on dermatological conditions, has filed to raise $86.25 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol SKMD, with SG Cowen & Co. serving as lead book manager. SkinMedica has raised over $95 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception, including a $15 million Series E round last month. Backers have included EuclidSR Partners, Apax Partners, Domain Associates, HealthCare Ventures, Montreux Equity Partners, Perseus-Soros BioPharmaceutical Fund and Split Rock Partners. www.skinmedica.com
International Coal Group Inc., an Ashland, Ky.-based coal producer, is planning to raise $250 million via an offering of common stock on the NYSE. Its shares currently are quoted on the Pink Sheets Electronic Quotation Service. The coal conglomerate recently agreed to acquire Anker Coal Group Inc. and CoalQuest Development LLC for a combined $275 million in stock ($173.25m for Anker, $101.75m for CoalQuest), and the assumption of $25 million in funded ind*btedness. That deal is expected to close later this quarter. W.L. Ross & Co. currently owns 9.2% of ICG, 43% of Anker and 51% of CoalQuest.
Abiomed Inc. (Nasdaq: ABMD) has agreed to acquire Impella CardioSystems AG, a Germany-based maker of micro blood pumps for use in interventional cardiology and heart surgery. The deal is valued at approximately $45 million, including $1.8 million in cash. Impella is a portfolio company of Accelerated Technologies Inc., a cardiovascular device accelerator backed by ABN Amro Capital, Giza Venture Capital and Oxford Bioscience Partners. Medica Venture Partners also is an Impella shareholder. www.impella.com
Skyline Ventures, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm focused on early-stage healthcare companies, has raised approximately $172 million for its fourth fund, according to a regulatory filing. The only limited partner listed in the California State Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). www.skylineventures.com
The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) yesterday approved the following commitments: $110 million to Summit Partners Private Equity Fund VII (follow-on); $25 million to Summit Partners Venture Capital Fund II (follow-on); $25 million to JMI Equity Fund V; $25 million to OCM/GFI Power Opportunities Fund II; $25 million to Audax Private Equity Fund II (follow-on); and $35 million to Morgenthaler Partners VIII (follow-on).
European Capital Financial Services Ltd., an affiliate of Bethesda, Md.-based American Capital Strategies Ltd., has opened an office in Paris, France. The team will be led by managing director Jean Eichenlaub and director Jacques Pancrazi. Both Eichenlaub and POancrazi previously worked Banque Lazard’s private equity subsidiary Fonds Partenaires-Gestion. www.americancapital.com
Austin Ventures is close to closing out its ninth fund at its $525 million target (all verbal commitments are in). The final close originally was slated for the end of Q1, but was postponed to accommodate certain LPs. Instead, the firm has been holdings rolling closes, and had around $416.5 million signed as of a recent regulatory filing. www.austinventures.com
Henry Kraemer, former chairman and CEO of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX), has joined Madison Dearborn Partners as an executive partner, according to The Chicago Tribune. www.madisondearborn.com
Jonathan Guerster, a onetime partner with Charles River Ventures, has resurfaced as president of OffshoreView, a Charlestown, Mass.-based corporate development consulting firm focused on offshore business process outsourcing. www.offshoreview.com
Kevin Shultz has joined Mosaic Capital as a managing director focused on mergers and acquisitions. www.mosaiccapital.com
Mark Hootnick has joined Greenhill & Co. Inc. (NYSE: GHL) as a managing director. He previously was a managing director with Miller Buckfire Young, where he focused on financial restructuring. www.greenhill-co.com
Joseph Marren has joined Sagent Advisors as a managing director. He previously served as a managing director with Citigroup, where he was global head of M&A business development. www.sagentadvisors.com
WEDNESDAY APRIL 27
AIG Capital Partners Loses Its Head
If you’ve been unable to reach people at AIG Capital Partners this week, there is a very good reason: The group is still in shock over Monday’s surprise firings of CEO Peter Yu and managing director Bill Jarosz.
AIG Capital Partners is one of many private equity-related groups within AIG, and is primarily focused on the emerging markets. Its initial fund — Global Emerging Markets (GEM) — was essentially a $1 billion-plus fund-of-funds that let third parties have access to a consortium of other, existing AIG emerging markets funds. More recently, the group closed on more than $800 million for GEM II, which permitted both direct and indirect deals within the emerging markets (AIG has other private equity groups focused on developed markets).
In general, AIG Capital Partners has been seen as something of an anomaly inside of AIG, in that it traditionally has operated as a quasi-independent organization. In fact, sources say that AIG Capital Partners had reached an agreement late last year whereby it would eventually spin out on its own, with AIG maintaining a limited partner position. Not only would this give Yu and company more freedom/flexibility, but it also would facilitate future fund-raising drives, since many prospective LPs steer clear of institution-sponsored funds. It’s important to note, however, that the spinout arrangement was approved by then-AIG chief Hank Greenberg, who was recently ousted after losing his battle with both the SEC and New York AG Elliot Spitzer. Moreover, the aforementioned quasi-independence was apparently a byproduct of Yu’s ability to cozy up to Greenberg (Yu is an old political hand, having once served as a major White House advisor on economic matters).
Post-Greenberg management disliked the spinout idea, and particularly disliked Yu and Jarosz’s protestations. The chasm apparently became so vast that both men were handed pink slips on Monday, and then were escorted out the door by building security, without even being allowed to retrieve personal items from their desks. Limited partners were informed of the terminations yesterday via a short memo, which said that existing AIG staffer David Yeung would move into the Capital Partners group to replace Yu (Yeung is currently based in Hong Kong, but will soon relocate to New York). AIG declined to comment on the firings, except to say that neither Yu nor Jarosz still worked at AIG, that Yeung was now in charge and that AIG maintains a strong interest in the emerging markets.
The dust hasn’t quite settled on this matter, but there already are some serious questions worth asking, including whether or not Yu and Jarosz will sue AIG for wrongful termination. Most important, however, is how limited partners will react to the news. Both Yu and Jarosz were key-men on GEM II (although I don’t know the exact structure, such as if Yu is a super key-man). As such, there could be the LPs that pull their essentially-unfunded commitments. After all, LPs always say that they invest in fund managers, not in funds.
Making this possibility more likely is the atrocious way in which AIG has handled the situation. General business practice here would have been to have reached an amicable settlement with both Yu and Jarosz (i.e., buy them off), after which each man would officially leave for “personal reasons,” and assure nervous LPs that the fund is in good hands. Instead, AIG basically marched the two guys out of the building (in view of many), which cannot engender much future cooperation from either of them. AIG also didn’t seek LP permission prior to the decision.
I’ve asked this before – and I’m sure I’ll ask it again – but how can such a large institution have such a boneheaded HR strategy? So, so short-sighted…
Whenu.com Inc., a New York-based provider of software-based contextual online advertising, has raised $20 million in Series A funding from ABS Capital Partners. www.whenu.com
Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) has agreed to acquire two companies: Peribit Networks Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of wide area network (WAN) optimization technology, and Redline Networks Inc., a Campbell, Calif.-based developer of application front end (AFE) technology. The Peribit deal is valued at approximately $337 million in cash, stock and assumed stock options, while the Redline deal is valued at approximately $132 million in cash and assumed stock options. Peribit has raised over $40 million in VC funding since its 2001 inception, including a $10 million Series D round in late 2003 at a post-money valuation of around $100 million. Participating VCs included Accel Partners, Foundation Capital, Mayfield and WK Associates. Redline has raised nearly $25 million since its 2000 inception, from firms like Advanced Technology Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Eschelon Ventures and OS Ventures. www.junipernetworks.com www.peribit.com www.redlinenetworks.com
InnerWireless Inc., a Richardson, Texas-based provider of a unified broadband distribution platform in hospitals and large commercial buildings, has raised $15 million in Series C funding. Centennial Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Sevin Rosen Funds, Rho Ventures, Massey Burch Capital Corp., Technology Associates Management Co. and Genesis Campus. This deal is inclusive of an $11 million first close reported in February. www.innerwireless.com
NanoString Technologies Inc., a Seattle-based nanotech company focused on single-molecule identification and digital quantification, has raised $3.8 million in second-round funding. Return backers included Draper Fisher Jurvetson and OVP Venture Partners. NanoString has raised $8.1 million in total VC funding. www.nanostring.com
Bridgestream Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of business roles automation software, has raised $5 million in additional Series A funding, bringing the round total to $8.5 million. Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Outlook Ventures participated. www.bridgestream.com
Gentris Corp., a Morrisville, N.C.-based provider of pharma-genomic services and diagnostic product solutions, has raised $5 million in private funding from Mitsui & Co. www.gentris.com
Mobitrac Inc., a Chicago-based supplier of transportation execution systems, has raised $8.3 million in new VC funding. BReturn ackers include U.S. Venture Partners, Frazier Technology Ventures, Arch Development Partners, Illinois Ventures, Illinois Finance Authority and Mentor Management. www.mobitrac.com
Polychromix Inc., a Wilmington, Mass.-based developer of modular optical subsystem solutions for optical networking and molecular spectroscopy, has raised $3 million in venture capital funding from Lighthouse Capital Partners. The company has raised more than $18 million in total funding, with existing shareholders including Siemens Venture Capital, Seed Capital Partners and Vanguard Ventures. www.polychromix.com
Brabeion Software, a McLean, Va.-based provider of IT security risk and compliance management software, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. TD Capital Ventures and Longworth Venture Partners co-led the deal. www.brabeion.com
Ikaria Inc., a Seattle-based biotech company focused on metabolic engineering, has raised $10 million in VC funding. Backers include Arch Venture Partners, 5AM Ventures and Venrock Associates.
PayCycle Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of online self-service payroll solutions for small businesses, has raised $8.5 million in Series D funding. DCM-Doll Capital Management led the deal, and was joined by return backers August Capital, Conning Capital Partners, Total Technology Ventures and Irwin Ventures. New CEO Jim Heeger also participated. The company has raised nearly $30 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception. www.paycycle.com
Defywire Inc., a Herndon, Va.-based provider of wireless middleware and mobile applications, has raised $3.6 million in Series B funding. Intersouth Partners led the deal, and was joined by fellow return backers Anthem Capital Management, The Washington Dinner Club, Paul Opalack (Noblestar chairman) and Jill Stelfox (Defywire chairwoman and CEO). In other Defywire news, the company filed a $5 million lawsuit against webMethods Inc. (Nasdaq: WEBM), alleging breach of contract, fraud and violation of the Virginia Uniform Trade Secrets Act. www.defywire.com
Freeman Spogli & Co. has agreed to acquire Santa Ana, Calif.-based Bright Now Dental Inc. for $340 million from Gryphon Inv*stors, according to multiple press reports. The deal is expected to close next month.
Allied Capital Corp. has sponsored a $39.8 million recapitalization of Service Champ Inc., a Chalfont, Pa.-based wholesale distributor of parts and equipment to the quick lube industry. www.servicechamp.com
Crown Media Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: CRWN) has completed the sale of its international business to Providence Equity Partners, 3i Group and UK television executive David Elstein. The deal was valued at $242 million, and includes the international versions of the Hallmark Channel, the international rights to over 580 titles in the Crown Media library and a Denver, Colo.-based broadcast facility.
Exel PLC has sold its Cory Environmental recycling and waste management unit to Montagu Private Equity. The involves an immediate cash payment of Gbp200 million, plus another Gbp5 million of deferred contingent compensation. www.exel.com
Website Pros Inc., a Jacksonville, Fla.-based, has filed to raise $70 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol WSPI, with Friedman Billings Ramsey serving as lead book manager. The company has raised over $80 million in VC funding since its 1999 inception, with significant shareholders including Insight Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Crosspoint Venture Partners. www.websitepros.com
China Techfaith Wireless Communication Technology Ltd., a Beijing, China-based handset design house and mobile terminal design group, plans to price its $148 million IPO around May 6, according to Reuters. The company is controlled by the family trusts of its four senior officers, but also has received VC funding from such firms as Intel Capital and Qualcomm.
Quest Software Inc. (Nasdaq: QSFT) has agreed to acquire Imceda Inc., a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of database administration and development products for SQL Server databases. The deal is valued at $61 million, or which 80% will be paid in cash, with the remainder coming in the form of Quest Software common stock. Imceda has raised $9 million in VC funding from Insight Venture Partners. www.imceda.com www.questsoftware.com
NetQoS Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of enterprise network performance analysis products and services, has acquired RedPoint Network Systems Inc., an Irving, Texas-based polling software company. No financial terms were disclosed. NetQoS is a portfolio company of Liberty Partners. www.netqos.com www.redpt.com
Aegis Group PLC has acquired Watertown, Mass.-based tech consultancy Molecular Inc. for up to $31.5 million. Molecular raised $20 million in 2000 from CMGI @Ventures. www.molecular.com
3i Group has closed two regional UK offices in Reading and Central Birmingham, according to various press reports. It also plans to close its other Birmingham office. Thirteen staffers will be relocated. www.3i.com
Stewart Gross has joined Lightyear Capital as a managing director and inv*stment committee member. He spent the past 17 years with Warburg Pincus, most recently as a managing director and member of the executive management group. www.lycap.com
Peter Wilson has joined Warburg Pincus as a London-based managing director focused on later-stage private equity and LBOs in Europe. He has spent the past nine years with Electra Partners. www.warburgpincus.com
Rick Fratus has resigned as an associate with Pacific Corporate Group, PE Week has learned. www.pcgfunds.com
Bain & Co. has named Tom Holland as the head of its San Francisco and Palo Alto, Calif. offices. He will continue to run the consulting firm’s global private equity practice, which he co-founded 10 years ago. www.bain.com
David Jones Jr., chairman and founder of Chrysalis Ventures, has been named chairman of Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), where he has served as vice chairman since 1996. Jones’ father co-founded the company in 1961, and retired as chairman yesterday. www.humana.com www.chrysalisventures.com
TUESDAY, APRIL 26
VC Data Takes A Dive
Q1 venture capital disbursement figures were released this morning by the MoneyTree Three of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Venture Economics (publisher of the PE Week Wire). The basic story is that VC activity was down from the preceding quarter, with just 674 U.S.-based companies raising approximately $4.63 billion. That represents a 14% deal volume and 15% inv*stment volume decrease from the $5.44 billion raised by 776 U.S.-based companies in Q4 2004. The number of deals was a bit higher than during the first quarter of 2004 (674 vs. 665), while disbursement volume was significantly lower ($4.63 billion vs. $5.03 billion).
The big question, of course, is why did disbursement activity drop, particularly when anecdotal evidence suggests that VCs are as busy as ever? The following are some popular explanations, including two that I don’t think hold much weight.
IPO market scaring life science-focused VCs:
The most noticeable drop in Q1 data is in the life sciences space (as broadly defined), where there were 31% fewer dollars disbursed than in Q4 2004. For example, life sciences disbursements accounted for 31.33% of all VC disbursements in Q4 2004, but just 25% in Q1 2005. This margin thins a bit when compared to all of 2004 (29% vs. 25%), but is still significant.
The data drop was prompted by a relative lack of massive, late-stage pharma deals. This, in turn, was likely caused by increasing concern over the current public exit environment in general, and for pharma in particular. Not too long ago, VCs felt it was best to buy into a clinical-stage company, because it could quickly be flipped via an IPO. No longer. Instead, many VCs seem to feel it’s better to get in a bit earlier, thereby giving themselves time to let the public markets loosen up (unrelated: All PE folks — not just life sciences ones — should be pretty worried about the IPO market — take a look at what happened to Accuride).
U.S.-based VCs doing more deals in Europe and Asia
The MoneyTree data only reflects deals for U.S.-based companies, which means that they do not include the apparent boost in activity overseas by U.S.-based VCs (not to mention in Canada). I don’t have statistics to back this up (as Q1 European/Asian figures not yet available), but it is almost certainly one reason why domestic data is dropping while domestic VCs seem so overwhelmed.
Q1 is usually slower than Q4
Generally true. Seven of the last nine first quarters have had lower disbursement totals than have their Q4 predecessors. The only exceptions were Q1 1999 and Q1 2000. Big part of the rationale here is that VCs feel more legal and accounting pressure to finish up deals before moving to a new calendar, while the Q1-Q2 wait isn’t as important.
VCs have been busier, but busier fund-raising
Nope. Sure there’s been a lot of fund work in Q1, but not nearly as much as in Q4 2004.
VCs are doing more deals, but keeping them in stealth mode (i.e., not reporting them)
This is the trendiest
excuse explanation, and it’s been trumpeted by some of the nation’s most successful, early-stage VCs. The last time we heard this was, conveniently, in Q3 2004, when data also was down. Of course, we didn’t here it when numbers increased in Q4 2004, which makes one want to ask Moritz, et. all if stealth deals took a quarter off.
The reality is that while there has been an actual increase in stealth deals, it isn’t enough to really move the data needle much one way or another. First of all, these deals are typically for very young companies, which means that they are for small dollar amounts. As such, it would take an enormous increase in deal completion to affect multi-billion figures. Moreover, many “stealth” deals are actually reported to MoneyTree by their VCs, but with the condition that they remain confidential (i.e., included for aggregate data purposes, but no further info publicly disclosed).
MoneyTree reports 16 such deals for Q1. This is, admittedly, not a great showing, and is down a bit from the norm. On the other hand, lots of so-called stealth deals actually are included, by name, in the quarterly data. The BusinessWeek Dealflow blog, for example last week “uncovered” six stealth deals, but half of them are included, by name, in the MoneyTree data (BA Systems, FilmLoop and Spatial Photonics). Again, the numbers may be a bit artificially low, but not nearly so much as to explain a 15% decrease.
The Q1 VC disbursement press release is available at www.nvca.com
Accuride Corp., an Evansville, Ind.-based maker of trailer and heavy-duty truck wheels, priced 11 million common shares at $9 per share, for a total IPO take of approximately $99 million. The company originally hoped to raise $290 million by pricing 13.9 million shares between $17 and $19, but later cut its share and pricing expectations to 10 million and $10-$12, respectively. Nonetheless, it still couldn’t hit its reduced goals. Accuride was majority-owned by Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. prior to the IPO, while other significant shareholders included Trimaran Capital Partners, RSTW Partners and Albion Alliance. www.accuridecorp.com
Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) has agreed to buy fellow oil refiner Premcor Inc. (NYSE: PCO) for $3.4 billion in cash, and another $3.5 billion worth of Valero stock. Once finished, the combined company will be the largest U.S. oil refiner, besting both Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips. The Blackstone Group currently maintains a 21% stake in Premcor.
Clearstone Venture Partners has raised more than $200 million for its third fund, which will focus on early-stage opportunities in the IT sector. Limited partners include CalPERS, CalSTRS, the State of Michigan, the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, J.P. Morgan Pooled VC Private Inv*stors and the University of California. Clearstone has offices in both Santa Monica, Calif. and Menlo Park, Calif. www.clearstone.com
Norwest Equity Partners is leading a $31 private equity deal for two farmer-backed ethanol plants: Frontier Ethanol LLC near Gowrie, Iowa, and Horizon Ethanol LLC near Jewell, Iowa. Also participating is ethanol producer the Broin Cos., and local farmers. www.nep.com www.broin.com
Novazone Inc., a Livermore, Calif.-based provider of ozone-based solutions to improve the safety and freshness of food and water, has raised $10.6 million in Series A funding. Foundation Capital led the deal, and was joined by Keiretsu Forum. www.novazone.net
Arena Solutions Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.–based provider of on-demand product lifecycle management software for mid-sized manufacturers, has raised $15 million in fourth-round funding. BA Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by Otter Capital, Arthur Rock and Warren Hellman. www.arenasolutions.com
Prospex Medical Inc., a Minn.-based medical technology incubator, has raised $1.5 million in Series A funding. Polaris Venture Partners and New Enterprise Associates co-led the deal, and were joined by Prospex co-founder Michael Berman. www.prospexmedical.com
Solace Systems Inc., an Ottawa-based provider of carrier-scale multi-service message routing solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding. EdgeStone Capital Partners led the deal, and was joined by Teachers’ Private Capital. www.solacesystems.com
Reconnex, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of enterprise network security solutions, has raised $3.5 million in additional Series B funding from Levensohn Venture Partners. The company has now raised $11.3 million in total VC funding, including earlier infusions from Norwest Venture Partners and Outlook Ventures. www.reconnex.net
Telarix Inc., a Vienna, Va.-based provider of interconnect business optimization software for global telecom carriers, has raised $3 million in VC funding from SpaceVest. www.telarix.com
ActivBiotics Canada Inc., a Toronto-based drug company focused on treating infections caused by the bacterium C.difficile, has raised US$5 million in funding from VenGrowth Private Equity Partners. ActivBiotics Canada is a newly-formed Canadian arm of Lexington, Mass.-based ActivBiotics Inc. www.activbiotics.com
Veronis Suhler Stevenson has acquired Facts On File Inc., a New York-based publisher of print and online reference materials for schools and libraries. No financial terms were disclosed. www.factsonfile.com
CVC Capital Partners formalized the withdrawal of its offering for Swiss flooring company Forbo Holdings AG, by rescinding its application from the European Commission.
Apollo Management is rolling up three chemical companies in its portfolio, and then hopes to raise $800 million via an IPO. The three companies are Borden Chemical Inc. (acquired last August), Resolution Specialty Materials LLC (acquired in 2000) and Bakelite AG (agreed to be acquired). The new company is named Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc., and is planning to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol HXN. www.bordenchem.com
Ruth’s Chris Steak House Inc., a Metairie, La.-based restaurant operator, has filed to raise $235 million via an IPO of common stock. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol RUTH, with Banc of America Securities and Wachovia Securities serving as lead underwriters. Ruth’s Chris is controlled by private equity firm Madison Dearborn (79.3% pre-IPO position), while other significant shareholders include Wachovia and Goldman Sachs. www.ruthschris.com
New Skies Satellites Holdings Ltd. has set its proposed IPO terms to 11.9 million common shares being offered at between $18 and $20 per share. The Bermuda-based communications satellite operator was acquired late last year by The Blackstone Group. www.newskies.com
VeriCenter Inc., a Houston, Texas-based provider of IT infrastructure and managed services, has acquired substantially all the assets of Agiliti Inc., a St. Paul, Minn.-based provider of managed hosting solutions. VeriCenter will retain Agiliti’s team to operate the managed hosting and data center operations, while Agiliti’s professional services team has spun off to form a new company focused on IT integration consulting. No financial terms of the acquisition were disclosed. VeriCenter has raised $12 million in VC funding from Intel Capital, Broadband Venture Partners and BMC Software, while Agiliti had raised over $60 million from Affinity Capital Management, American Express, Dell Ventures, Delphi Ventures, Norwest Equity Partners and the Rahn Group. www.vericenter.com www.agiliti.com
Beacon Power Corp. (Nasdaq: BCON), Wilmington, Mass.-based designer of products for electric power and grid voltage and frequency regulation, has agreed to acquire NxtPhase T&D Corp., a Vancouver-based supplier of digital and fiber optic products to the electric power and grid monitoring market. NxtPhase has raised approximately $60 million in VC funding from GrowthWorks, Perseus, GE Equity, Canadian Science and Technology Fund, Reliant Energy Ventures, Mitsubishi Corp., Hydro-Quebec CapiTech and Ventures West Management. The combined company has received a commitment for $4.4 million in PIPE funding from Perseus. www.nxtphase.com www.beaconpower.com
Tandem Health Care Inc., a Maitland, Fla.–based provider of long-term care services, has agreed to acquire 15 nursing care, assisted living and independent living facilities from Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries. The acquired facilities are in Pennsylvania and Delaware. No financial terms of the transaction were disclosed. Tandem is a portfolio company of Behrman Capital. www.tandemhealthcare.com
Pennfield Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of Cleveland-based Resilience Capital Partners, has acquired Midwest Scr*w Products, an Eastlake, Ohio-based manufacturer of machining solutions for the semiconductor, fluid power, aerospace and industrial markets. No financial terms were disclosed.
Levensohn Venture Partners of San Francisco has closed its third fund with $60 million in limited partner commitments. www.levp.com
Francesco Mainolfi has joined The Richcourt Group as chief inv*stment officer, a new position. He most recently served as principal inv*stment officer with the World Bank Pension Fund, where he oversaw the hedge fund team. Richcourt Group is an international hedge fund-of-funds management firm majority-owned by Hamilton Lane. www.richcourt.com www.hamiltonlane.com
Meridian Automotive Systems Inc., a Dearborn, Mich.-based auto-parts maker, is planning to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company was formed via a 2001 roll-up of three auto parts companies, which was sponsored by Winward Capital Partners, and which also involved Bank of America and CSFB. www.meridianautosystems.com
Venture capital disbursements by Dutch private equity firms increased by nearly 60% between 2003 and 2004 (1.1 billion euros to 1.7 billion euros), according to PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance, on behalf of the Dutch Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.
MONDAY, APRIL 25
Desperate Internship Drive Info
We have nearly 20 firms/companies participating in our Desperate Interns matching program. Some are looking for one intern, some are looking for multiple interns. Some of the positions are paid, some are not. Each position is only open to first-year MBA candidates looking for summer employment. Apologies to everyone else.
For those who qualify:
1. Scan the list of available internship opportunities below. If one interests you, please send a resume and cover letter to the appropriate email address. The poster is not required to respond or acknowledge receipt. If interested, they will contact you.
2. In order to help prospective employers wade through the flood of applicants, please include the following in the email subject header: “Full Name – Name of Person With Whom You’d Most Like to Have Dinner.” The person can be living or dead, and feel free to explain yourself in the cover letter.
3. Do not copy me on your emails. My inbox is full enough. Also, it is possible that these Yahoo accounts will fill up quickly. If your email bounces back, just wait a few hours, and hopefully the firm will clear out space.
Job: Fund-of-funds (prior private equity or due diligence experience required)
Job: Venture capital
Job: LBO, lower middle-markets
Job: VC deal prep, outsider round for existing portfolio company (Mandarin language ability required)
Job: VC-backed digital media company
Job: Venture capital, some small buyouts
Location: Dallas and/or Birmingham, Alabama
Job: PE firm portfolio company (2-3 spots)
Job: Special situations
Location: New York office of China-based merchant bank
Job: Family wealth management co. with VC activities
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
Location: New York
Job: Growth-oriented PE (only U.S. citizens with prior PE, banking or consulting experience)
Location: Los Angeles
Job: Venture capital
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Job: Private equity
Location: New York
Job: VC focused on clean tech
Location: San Francisco
Job: VC focused on IT
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Job: Fund-of-funds, small and middle market LBO
Job: Private equity advisory
Location: Hong Kong
Job: Late-stage private equity
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Job: Angel investment group
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, has agreed to acquire online advertising solutions provider DoubleClick Inc. (Nasdaq: DCLK) for approximately $1.1 billion. The deal will give DoubleClick shareholders $8.50 in cash per share, while the company’s $135 million of existing zero-coupon subordinated notes will remain outstanding. JMI Equity is joining Hellman & Friedman on the deal, which is expected to close during the third quarter. www.doubleclick.com www.hf.com
Advent International has closed its fifth global private equity fund with $3.3 billion in limited partner commitments. Backers included GIC Special Inv*stments, Canada Pension Plan Inv*stment Board, AlpInv*st Partners, State of Michigan Retirement Systems, Standard Life-managed funds, Pantheon Ventures clients, Partners Group clients and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. www.adventinternational.com
William Weld, former Massachusetts governor and current principal with private equity firm Leeds Weld & Co., has held discussions with New York Republican Party officials about running for Governor of New York, according to various press reports. www.leedsweld.com
TAK Imaging Inc. (f.k.a. Tak’asic Inc.), a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of imaging processors and solutions, has raised $10 million in additional Series C funding, brining the round total to $16.25 million. Return backers included JVP, Sofinnova Partners, Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, Ventech, SPEF Venture, Innovacom and CrossBridge Venture Partners. www.takimaging.com
NovaMin Technology Inc., an Alachua, Fla.-based developer of oral health active ingredients, has raised $4.4 million in Series B funding led by Intersouth Partners. www.novamin.com
Topio Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of enterprise software for data replication and recovery, has raised $8 million in third-round funding. Star Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Sequoia Capital and Sigma Partners. www.topio.com
Celerica Ltd., an Israel-based provider of capacity distribution solutions for nobile carriers, has raised $8 million in third-round funding. Return backers include Pitango Venture Capital, Charles River Ventures, Star Ventures and Platinum Ventures. www.celerica.com
Intrusic Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of internal network security solutions, has raised $8 million in Series A-2 funding. North Bridge Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Draper Fisher Jurvetson and DFJ New England. The company has raised over $10 million in total VC funding since its 2002 inception. www.intrusic.com
Tenebril Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of anti-sp*ware solutions, announced that it has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding from Sierra Ventures. The deal closed last November. www.tenebril.com
Global Market Insite Inc., a Seattle-based provider of integrated solutions for Internet-based market research, has raised $13.2 million in Series B funding co-led by Voyager Capital and FTVentures. www.gmi-mr.com
Organic Holding Company Inc., a Seattle-based retailer of natural and organic fast food, has raised $3 million in second-round funding from firms like Uplift Equity Partners. www.organictogo.com
The Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. has agreed to acquire Instinet Group Inc. (Nasdaq: INGP) from Reuters Group PLC (Nasdaq: RTRSY) for $5.44 per share. Once complete, Nasdaq will then sell Instinet’s institutional brokerage business to Silver Lake Partners for $207.5 million, and its Lynch Jones & Ryan commission-recapture unit to Bank of New York for $174 million. It will retain Instinet’s electronic trading platform, which is valued at approximately $925 million. www.instinet.com www.nasdaq.com
Barclays Private Equity France and Cobalt Capital have agreed to acquire an 81.5% interest in Medi-Partenaires from Universal Health Services Inc. (NYSE: UHS). The deal is valued at approximately $100 million, and is expected to close sometime next month. Medi-Partenaires operates acute-care and behavioral health hospitals in Puerto Rico and France. www.uhsinc.com
Charterhouse Group has acquired Amerifit Nutrition Inc., a Bloomfield, Conn.-based marketer of nutritional supplements like Estroven. No financial terms were disclosed. www.amerifit.com www.charterhousegroup.com
Cerberus Capital Management is considering a possible buyout offer for German insurer Gerling, according to various press reports.
DaimlerChrysler has sold its 45% stake in airplane leasing company Debis AirFrance to Cerberus Capital Management. No financial terms have been disclosed, although one newspaper report puts the price-tag at $490 million. Cerberus also is buying up smaller Debis stakes from German banks Bayerische Landesbank, Dresdner Bank, DZ Bank and HVB. www.daimlerchrysler.com
Brown Shoe Company Inc. (NYSE: BWS) has completed its acquisition of Bennett Footwear Group Inc., a Newton, Mass.-based designer and wholesaler of woman’s and children’s shoes that is majority-owned by Heritage Partners. The deal was valued at $205 million, with the sellers eligible to receive up to $42.5 million in earn-out considerations upon the achievement of certain financial milestones. www.brownshoe.com www.heritagepartners.com
Paetec Corp., a Fairport, N.Y.-based communications services provider, has filed to raise $175 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol PAET, with Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley serving as the offering’s lead underwriters. Significant shareholders include Madison Dearborn Partners, The Blackstone Group and Kline Hawkes & Co. www.paetec.com
Prestwick Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based drug company focused on CNS disorders, has filed $74.75 million to raise via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol PWCK, with UBS and Deutsche Bank serving as the offering’s lead underwriters. The company has raised over $62 million in VC funding since its 2002 inception, from firms like Vivo Ventures, Sofinnova Ventures, Atlas Ventures, BA Venture Partners and Pequot Capital Management. www.prestwickpharma.com
MWI Veterinary Supply Inc., a Meridian, Idaho-based distributor of animal health products, has filed to raise $74.75 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MWIV, with Banc of America Securities serving as the offering’s lead underwriter. The company was formed in June 2002, after private equity firm Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. bought out MWI Veterinary Supply CO. from Agri Beef Co. www.mwivet.com
Ki-Bi Mobile Technologies, an Israel-based provider of physical mobile content systems, plans to float its common stock on the London Stock Exchange. The company has received VC funding from Siemens Mobile. www.ki-bi.com
Archipelago Holdings Inc. (PCSE: AX), a portfolio company of General Atlantic, may have competition for The New York Stock Exchange. Last week, the electronic exchange operator agreed to pay $400 million for a 30% stake, but billionaire, and former NYSE director, Kenneth Langone reportedly is trying to mount a rival bid. He reportedly feels the deal undervalues the NYSE, and also could present a conflict of interest for Goldman Sachs, which both holds an NYSE seat and is a significant Archipelago shareholder.www.nyse.com www.archipelago.com
SkyTerra Communications Inc. (OTC BB: SKYT), a portfolio company of Apollo Management, has acquired a 50% interest in Hughes Network Systems Inc. from The DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV). The deal includes $246 million in cash, plus 300,000 shares of SkyTerra common stock (approx. $11.4 million). Hughes provides broadband satellite networks and services to enterprises. www.skyterracom.com
AppLabs Technologies, an India-based software testing and development services provider, has acquired KeyLabs, a Linden, Urah-based provider of software and hardware testing services. No financial terms were disclosed. AppLabs has raised VC funding from WestBridge Capital Partners. www.applabs.com www.keylabs.com
Linsalata Capital Partners, a Mayfield Heights, Ohio-based private equity firm, is looking to raise up to $410 million for its fifth fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.linsalatacapital.com
EdgeStone Capital Partners, a Toronto-based private equity firm, is looking to raise Cdn$600 million for a new fund, according to The Globe & Mail. www.edgestone.com
Roushan Ahmadi-Zenooz has joined BlueRun Ventures (f.k.a. Nokia Venture Partners) as a Washington, D.C.-based principal. He most recently was with Cisco Systems, where he worked on VC deals, corporate strategy and acquisitions like Dynamicsoft and Netsolve. Before Cisco, he was an I-banker with Morgan Stanley. www.brv.com
FRIDAY, APRIL 22
And The Answer Is…
I foolishly scheduled a 10:15 a.m. meeting this morning, so the trusty Pontiac and I have got to run (luckily it’s not too warm outside, as the AC recently broke). But I’d be remiss in leaving you with nothing of interest, so…
A bunch of you wrote in yesterday, asking about the identity of the life sciences-focused VC firm that might be splitting up. The answer is MPM Capital. Luke Evnin, a general partner with MPM, yesterday confirmed that changes will be made to the partnership structure before MPM raises another fund (it’s almost 75% through its current one, and has had some recent liquidity events), but declined to provide any specific details, or comment on the possibility of a split. Others familiar with the situation, however, have been a bit more vocal, with the consensus being that a group of MPM Partners will spin out to form their own firm focused on “traditional” VC deals in the healthcare space (read: pre-clinical and post-clinical), while Evnin, MPM founder Ansbert Gadicke and some others will remain with MPM and shift their focus even more strictly downstream (read: later-stage and some public deals). Anyway, the complete story is now up at www.pewnews.com.
Also, the Internship Drive listings will be posted in next Tuesday’s PE Week Wire. We could still use more firms, so I continue to ask for the participation of VC, LBO, mezzanine, banking and other relevant firms. Just send me an email with your firm-type and job location, and I promise you a bunch resumes from first-year MBA candidates, just looking to get a foot in the private equity door.
Have a great weekend…
Accuride Corp., an Evansville, Ind.-based maker of trailer and heavy-duty truck wheels, has reduced its proposed IPO terms. The company originally filed to price 13.9 million common shares between $17 and $19 per share, but now has cut the number of shares to 10 million, and the price range to between $10 and $12 per share. Another change is that all IPO shares will now be sold by the company, whereas an earlier filing has existing shareholders selling 8.3 million shares. Accuride is majority-owned by Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co., while other significant shareholders include Trimaran Capital Partners, RSTW Partners and Albion Alliance. www.accuridecorp.com
Infoblox Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of appliances for core network identity services, has raised approximately $30.52 million in Series E funding, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Sequoia Capital, Chess Ventures, Duchossois TECnology Ventures, Lehman Brothers Venture Partners and Open Prairie Ventures. www.infoblox.com
Frazier Healthcare Ventures has closed its fifth fund with approximately $454 million in limited partner commitments, according to a regulatory filing. It had been targeting $450 million, and had held an earlier close on $267 million. Backers include the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS). www.frazierhealthcare.com
Alphion Corp., a Princeton Junction, N.J.-based provider of integrated components for photonic regeneration, has raised $10.6 million in a first close on its third VC funding round. Tallwood Venture Capital led the deal, and was joined by Goldman Sachs, Axiom Venture Partners, ICCP Venture Partners, Narra Venture Capital and unnamed industry executives. Return backer Battery Ventures did not participate. www.alphion.com
Hamilton Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based drug company focused on CNS diseases, has raised $11 million in Series A funding. Index Ventures was joined on the deal by seed-stage backers Vivo Ventures and CNF Inv*stments.
TargetRx Inc., a Horsham, Penn.-based provider of marketing information services to the drug industry, has raised $15 million in Series D funding. Quaker bioVentures led the deal, and was joined by fellow new backers Montagu Newhall and Wasatch Advisors. Existing shareholders New Enterprise Associates, Domain Associates, and Acacia Venture Partners also participated. www.targetrx.com
Portable Internet Inc., a Park Ridge, N.J.-based provider of location-sensitive wireless applications for handheld mobile devices like cell phones, has raised $3.4 million in VC funding from Edison Venture Fund. www.portableinternet.com
Asylum Telecom LLC, a New York-based provider of turnkey Internet-based communications solutions, has received a convertible secured note financing from Motorola Ventures. No additional deal terms were disclosed. www.asylumtel.com
Kryptiq Corp., a Hillsboro, Ore.-based, has raised $7.1 million in Series B funding at a post-money valuation of approximately $28.2 million. Backers include SmartForest Ventures, Shelter Capital Partners and Voyager Capital. www.kryptiq.com
3i Group reportedly has agreed to acquire Carema Vard och Omsorg AB, a Sweden-based provider of primary care, elderly care and care housing. No financial terms were disclosed.
Classic Media Inc. will not make a bid for HIT Entertainment PLC, a UK-based provider of children’s television programming. That leaves just Apax Partners and Lions Gate Entertainment as remaining candidates. Classic Media recently agreed to a leveraged recap led by Spectrum Equity Inv*stors, and reportedly was considering an offer for HIT, in partnership with Spectrum and Thomas H. Lee Partners. www.classicmedia.com
Maidenform Brands Inc., a Bayonne, N.J.-based bra maker, has filed to raise $172.5 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol MFB, with UBS and CSFB serving as co-lead underwriters. Ares Management holds a majority position in Maidenform, due to a May 2004 buyout from Oaktree Capital Management, which still maintains a minority position. AIG also is listed as a minority shareholder www.maidenform.com
Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp., a Lexington, Mass.-based drug company focused on cancer, diabetes and inflammatory diseases, has set its proposed IPO terms to six million common shares being offered at between $14 and $16 per share. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under proposed ticker symbol SNTA, with Morgan Stanley serving as lead underwriter. Synta has raised over $196 million in venture capital funding from firms like Caxton Group, Galleon Group, AIG SunAmerica, Wyandanch Partners and Aperture Partners. www.syntapharma.com
Medex Inc., a Carlsbad, Calif.-based medical device company, has withdrawn registration papers for its proposed $345 million IPO. The move was expected, as Smiths Medical recently acquired Medex from One Equity Partners for $925 million. www.medex.com www.smiths-group.com
VCustomer Corp., a Kirkland, Wash.-based provider of business process outsourcing solutions, has agreed to acquire MCI’s call center operations in the U.S. and the Philippines, according to multiple press reports. VCustomer is backed by Warburg Pincus. www.vcustomer.com www.mci.com
Merit Capital Partners of Chicago has closed its fourth mezzanine fund with approximately $450 million (including a $50 million parallel fund), according to regulatory filings. www.meritcapital.com
Shenzhen Capital Group of China and PNV NC of Israel have teamed up to launch an $80 million venture capital fund called China Israel Venture Capital. The vehicle will focus on later-stage, China-based technology companies that leverage Israeli technologies. The two groups have committed to inv*st over 10% of the $80 million, and say that they already have secured $10 million in outside commitments, with a $20 million first close scheduled for sometime this quarter.
Randy Komisar has joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a partner. He was a founder of Claris Corp., CFO of GO Corp. and CEO and president of Lucas Arts Entertainment and Crystal Dynamics. www.kpcb.com
Merrill Lynch & Co. has hired Terutomo Mitsumasu away from Shinsei Bank, in order to launch a new Japanese buyout effort, according to the China Daily. Prior to joining Shinsei, he was a co-founder of ABN Amro’s Japan-based private equity group. www.ml.com
THURSDAY, APRIL 21
Upstream/Downstream with Healthcare VCs
Lots of news today, including word that private equity firms are planning to take minority ownership positions in both the New York Stock Exchange (General Atlantic, via Archipelago) and the New York Mercantile Exchange (Blackstone Group and Battery Ventures). Quite remarkable, considering it was just three days ago that Silver Lake Partners and the Nasdaq teamed up to bid $1.8 billion for Instinet Group Inc. Who said financial services deals were out of style?
Anyway, the result of all this activity is that it’s left me quite pressed for time. Before sending you down to the black news text, however, I wanted to highlight the news that Arthur Klausner this week agreed to join A.M. Pappas & Associates as a venture partner. Klausner, you might remember, left the general partnership of Domain Associates one year ago, after the firm kept rejecting his pre-clinical, or “science-stage,” deal suggestions. It was a relatively amicable split (Klausner kept using his Domain office for a while, and helped on board seat transitions), but underscored the perceived 2004 trend of life sciences-focused VC firms moving further and further downstream. The term “perceived” is important here, because the numbers don’t really bear out the trend. For example, while the percentage of seed-stage life sciences deals dropped from 11.05% in 2003 to $9.3% in 2004, the percentage of seed/early-stage deals actually increased from 40.1% in 2003 to around ! 43% in 2004. So far in 2005, the seed-stage figures look consistent with 2004, although the combined early/seed are actually a bit lower.
At the very least, however, the trend was valid at larger firms like Klausner’s Domain Associates, which had raised $500 million for its new fund. For example, the percentage of seed/early-stage life sciences deals at three of the biggest players – Domain, MPM Capital and New Enterprise Associates – dropped from 39.7% in 2002 to just 30% by 2004. So Klausner resigned and has resurfaced at A.M. Pappas, which is in the midst of raising a $120 million-targeted fund that will do both pre-clinical and post-clinical deals. His is obviously just one example, but there are many other healthcare VCs at large firms who are aching to do inv*st in a molecule and a dream. In fact, expect a major healthcare-focused VC firm to split apart later this year, with the late-stage team staying put, and the earlier-stage team raising its own fund (it won’t be quite that clean a break, but that’s apparently the gist of it).
Unrelated reiminder: If you are a VC/LBO/Mezzanine/Banking firm looking for a summer intern from the current crop of first-year MBA candidates, please email me ASAP, for our Internship Drive.
The New York Stock Exchange has agreed to merge with Chicago-based electronic trading platform operator Archipelago Holdings Inc. (PCSE: AX), resulting in the NYSE becoming a publicly-traded, for-profit organization. Current NYSE seat holders are expected to receive a combined $400 million in cash, and retain 70% of the combined company. Archipelago shareholders will hold the remaining 30%, including a stake of approximately 6% for private equity firm General Atlantic, which pumped $125 million into Archipelago in December 2003, and which still maintained a 22% position following Archipelago’s $126.5 million IPO last August. www.nyse.com www.archipelago.com!
T-RAM Semiconductor Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based fabless semiconductor company focused on memory technology, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. InterWest Partners led the deal, and was joined by CenterPoint Ventures and existing shareholders Mayfield, U.S. Venture Partners, Tallwood Venture Capital and New Enterprise Associates. T-RAM has raised $86 million in total VC funding, including a $35 million Series B round in 2002 at a post-money valuation of approximately $106 million. www.t-ram.com
Sentinel Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm focused on the lower middle-markets, has closed its third fund with $319 million. Limited partners include Abbott Capital Management, AlpInvest, Allstate, Avadis, Bank of New York, Bessemer Trust, Citigroup, Finama, Invesco Private Capital, Lehman Brothers Crossroads, Macquarie Bank, the Mayo Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oak Hill Capital Management, Pacific Corporate Group, Prudential, RCP Advisors, St. Paul Travelers, Siguler Guff, SterlingStamos, Veritable and Western Australia Public Sector Investors. www.sentinelpartners.com
Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of molecular imaging drugs and targeted radio-therapeutics, has raised $28 million in Series C funding. New backers included Siemens Venture Capital, Tudor Inv*stment Corp., MedCap Management & Research and Emigrant Capital, while existing shareholder Cerberus Capital Management also participated. The new funding is expected to help Molecular Insight move its lead compound – focused on the diagnosis of acute cardiac ischemia – into Phase III clinical trials. www.molecularinsight.com
NewsGator Technologies Inc., a Denver-based RSS software platform company, has raised approximately $5 million in third-round funding, bringing its overall venture capitalization to $10 million. Masthead Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backer Mobius Venture Capital. www.newsgator.com
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based drug company focused on autoimmune diseases and cancer, has raised $28.3 million in Series D funding. WT Inv*stment Advisors joined return backers Sorenson Development Inc., Unilever Technology Ventures and Wharton Biotechnology Partners. The company has raised over $78 million in total VC funding since its 2000 inception. In other Merrimack news, the company secured a $7 million venture loan from Hercules Technology Growth Capital. www.merrimackpharma.com
X1 Technologies Inc., a Pasadena, Calif.-based provider of desktop search solutions, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. U.S. Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backer Idealab. www.x1.com
The Blackstone Group and Battery Ventures have offered to buy a 20% stake in the New York Mercantile Exchange for $185 million, according to Dow Jones. This is the second time that Blackstone and Battery have teamed up to inv*st in a futures exchange. The first came in 2000, when they bought around 40% of the London International Financial Futures & Options Exchange for approximately $82 million. www.nymex.com www.battery.com www.blackstone.com
Veronis Suhler Stevenson has agreed to sell Canon Communications LLC to Apprise Media LLC, a New York-based niche media company controlled by Spectrum Equity Inv*stors. No financial terms were disclosed. Canon is a Los Angeles-based producer of print publications, trade shows and digital media for the medical device, allied packaging, plastics and electronics market.www.apprisemedia.com www.cancom.com
Apax Partners has agreed to acquire Molnlycke Health Care, Sweden-based provider of single-use products for wound care applications, from Nordic Capital. No financial terms were disclosed. www.molnlycke.com
Brockway Moran & Partners has agreed to acquire IBC Group Inc., a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based mattress producer. No financial terms were disclosed. www.ibcgroup.com
AtriCure Inc., a West Chester, Ohio-based developer of surgical devices to create precise lesions in soft tissues, has filed to raise $57.5 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ATRC, with UBS and Piper Jaffray lead managing the offering. The company has raised over $25 million in VC funding since its 1999 inception, from firms like Camden Partners, Charter Ventures, Foundation Medical Ventures and U.S. Venture Partners. www.atricure.com
China Techfaith Wireless Communication Technology Ltd., a Beijing, China-based handset design house and mobile terminal design group, has set its proposed IPO terms to approximately 8.73 million American depository shares (ADS) being offered at between $15 and $17 per ADS. It hopes to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol CNTF, and is using Merrill Lynch & Co. as its lead underwriter. The company is controlled by the family trusts of its four senior officers, but also has received VC funding from such firms as Intel Capital and Qualcomm. www.techfaithwireless.com
Zumiez Inc., an Everett, Wash.-based retailer of sports apparel, equipment, footwear and accessories, has set its proposed IPO terms to approximately 3.13 million common shares being offered at between $15 and $17 per share. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ZUMZ, with Wachovia Securities and Piper Jaffray co-lead managing the offering. In 2002, Brentwood Private Equity acquired an indirect minority interest in Zumiez (37.6% pre-IPO position). www.zumiez.com
United BioSource Corp., a Bethesda, Md.-based provider of evidence-based solutions to the life sciences industry, has acquired two companies: PharmaStar LLC, a Wayne, Pa.-based provider of investigator training and development services for the life sciences industry; and DynaRand Inc., a San Francisco-based developer of clinical research support technology. No financial terms were disclosed for either deal. In 2003, United BioSource raised $153 million in private equity funding from Whitney & Co., Oak Inv*stment Partners and Grotech Capital Group. www.unitedbiosource.com
Thomson SA (NYSE: TMS) has acquired Cirpack, a France-based provider of soft-switch platforms. No pricing terms were disclosed. Cirpack had received VC funding from Siparex Ventures, Iris Capital and Endeavour LP. www.cirpack.com
Haights Cross Communications LLC of White Plains, N.Y. has acquired Scott Publishing, an Edmonds, Wash.-based publisher of employee wellness newsletters, calendars, and web-based products. No financial terms were disclosed. Haights Cross has received private equity funding from Great Hill Partners, M/C Venture Partners and DLJ Merchant Banking. www.haightscross.com
Jastech International Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan-based Jastech Co. Ltd., has acquired LTU Technologies SA, a France-based provider of image mining software solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. LTU has received VC funding from Galileo Partners and Mars Capital. www.ltutech.com
Kayak Interactive Corp., a San Mateo, Calif.-based mobile entertainment publisher, has acquired the assets of Chasma Interactive Publishing, a Nashua, N.H.-based publisher of mobile games like Slingo and Poker Superstar Invitational Tournament. No financial terms were disclosed. Kayak has raised over $17 million in VC funding from such firms as EnerTech Capital Partners, TL Ventures and VantagePoint Venture Partners. Chasma was backed by Orchid Partners. www.kayakinteractive.com www.chasma.net
Merit Capital Partners of Chicago has closed its fourth mezzanine fund with approximately $450 million (including a $50 million parallel fund), according to regulatory filings. www.meritcapital.com
Shenzhen Capital Group of China and PNV NC of Israel have teamed up to launch an $80 million venture capital fund called China Israel Venture Capital. The vehicle will focus on later-stage, China-based technology companies that leverage Israeli technologies. The two groups have committed to inv*st over 10% of the $80 million, and say that they already have secured $10 million in outside commitments, with a $20 million first close scheduled for sometime this quarter.
Arthur Klausner has joined A.M. Pappas & Associates as a venture partner. Klausner spent 14 years with Domain Associates, including seven as a general partner, before leaving in early 2004. www.ampappas.com
Eric Becker has resigned from his vice president position with Pacific Corporate Group, PE Week has learned. A spokeswoman says that Becker has not yet determined any future plans, which could include a different position with PCG. www.pcgfunds.com
George Thanopoulos has joined KPS Special Situations Funds as an advisor on the automotive supply industry. He formerly held a number of senior executive positions at Metaldyne Corp., including his most recent role as president of Metaldyne’s Engine Group. www.kpsfund.com
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20
Random Ramblings: Desperate Interns, Boston Blogs and Stealth Sophistry
Late April is when certain first-year MBA candidates begin freaking out that they might have to spend the summer waiting tables, instead of waiting on partners of VC or LBO firms. For the second straight year, however, the PE Week Wire is riding to the rescue (at least for some of you) with our Second Annual Desperate Internship Drive.
This will work much like the regular Internship Drive from December, in which private equity firms are urged to contact me via email if you’re looking for a summer intern from the current crop of first-year MBA candidates. All types of firms need apply, and ditto for geography. In your emails, please include your firm name, job location and type of business (i.e., VC/LBO/etc.). Don’t worry, your firm name will be kept confidential, with the job listing looking like:
- Early-stage VC firm with healthcare focus, New York City
The listings will be posted in an upcoming edition of the PE Week Wire (assuming we get enough), and each respondent will be directed to a Yahoo email account that will be specially set up for each firm. So please get me your information as soon as possible. To date, over 40 firms have hired summer interns through a PE Week Wire Internship Drive, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t join them.
Note to b-schoolers: Please do not send me CVs, letters or other correspondence related to your potential candidacy. I’ll let you know where, and when, it can be sent. I apologize to all the second-years also looking for work, but this is a first-year-only sort of thing.
** Remember when KKR bailed on its business development company (BDC) plan last year in favor of an REIT? Well, the private equity giant has finally filed its REIT prospectus with the SEC, and is looking to raise over $835 million.
** I’m still not a huge fan of the VC blogger phenomenon (shouldn’t they be earning those management fees?), but it’s good to see someone from Boston join the increasingly-crowded club. Of course, it always strikes me as conveniently coincidential that so many VC blogs spring up just as the blogger’s firm is in fund-raising mode.
** First-quarter VC data is coming soon, and once again we have VCs arguing that the numbers will be artificially low due to an increased number of stealth deals. I’ll do some updated research, but my guess is that these arguments are no more valid today than they were five months ago.
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and AIG Highstar Capital have teamed up to purchase InterGen NV and ten of its power plants from Shell Generating (Holding) BV and Bechtel Enterprises Energy BV. The purchase price is approximately Cdn$2.2 billion (US$1.75 billion), and the transaction is expected to close in mid-2005, subject to certain conditions and regulatory approvals. Ontario Teachers’ and the AIG companies are equal partners in the joint venture. www.otpp.com
ABRY Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm focused on the media sector, is part of a group formed to acquire the Washington Nationals, a Major League Baseball club that formerly was known as the Montreal Expos (before moving to DC for the 2005 season). Named Big Train Holdco, the group also includes Washington businessman and serial sports franchise owner Jonathan Ledecky and New York-based real estate developer Marc Cohen. Citigroup Private Bank and Game Plan LLC are serving as advisors to Big Train. MLB currently is considering at least eight bids for the Nationals.
Knightsbridge Advisors has raised $500 million for its sixth set of private equity fund-of-funds vehicles. The first $300 million is dedicated to Series VC, which only will make commitments to venture capital funds. The next $175 million is for Series VXM, which will commit 60% to venture capital funds, and the other 40% to post-venture emerging technology companies. The final $25 million is for a co-inv*stment side fund. www.knightsbridgeusa.com
Nakina Systems Inc., an Ottawa, Canada-based provider of multi-vendor security and element management systems for large telecom and data network operators, has raised US$10 million in Series B funding. VIMAC Ventures led the deal, and was joined by EDC Equity and return backers VenGrowth Capital Partners and MMV Financial Inc. www.nakinasystems.com
Xelerated, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of network processing solutions, has raised $17 million in Series C funding. Accel Partners and Amadeus Capital Partners were joined on the deal by return backers Atlas Venture and Alta Partners. www.xelerated.com
X-Emi Inc., an Austin, Texas-based fabless semiconductor company focused on reducing electromagnetic interference in electronics systems, has raised $5 million in additional Series A funding, brining the round total to $10.4 million. Access Venture Partners, DFJ Mercury and MarkPoint Venture Partners participated in the tranche, while previous Series A backers included InterWest Partners, Novus Ventures and Wayport Ventures. www.x-emi.com
Silver Carrot Inc., a New York-based provider of sales lead generation solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding. Dolphin Equity Partners led the deal, and was joined by Wall Street Technology Partners, Newlight Associates and return backers Seed Capital and 1 to 1 Ventures. www.silvercarrot.com
WellDog Inc., a Laramie, Wyoming-based energy technology company, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding from EnerTech Capital. According to as recent regulatory filing, the company was looking to raise $1.5 million. www.welldog.com
TeraVicta Technologies Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of RF MEMS switches and integrated solutions, has raised $7.5 million in VC funding from existing shareholders Convergent Inv*stors and Agave Capital. TeraVicta also received $2.5 million in venture d*bt funding from Horizon Technology Finance. www.teravicta.com
SIPquest, an Ottawa, Canada-based developer of session initial protocol-based IP telephony software applications, has raised US$6 million in VC funding. Return backers included Covington Capital and Skypoint Capital. www.sipquest.com
Imerica Life and Health Insurance Co. of Tampa, Fla. has raised $3.5 million in Series B funding from return backer Bain Capital Ventures. It previously raised $10 million in Series A funding from Bain in early 2004. In other company news, Imerica named former Trustmark executive Rod Farmer as its new president and CEO. www.imerica.com
General Atlantic has agreed to acquire a majority ownership position in online marketing company Webloyalty.com Inc. The principal selling shareholders are Canaan Partners and BCI Partners. No financial terms have been disclosed for the sale, which is expected to close sometime next month.
Francisco Partners has agreed to acquire RedPrairie Corp., a Waukesha, Wis.-based provider of supply chain technology solutions that enable business process transformation. No financial terms were disclosed. RedPrairie received a significant minority inv*stment in 1998 from Advent International, Vestar Capital Partners and GE Capital. www.redprairie.com
BC Partners has agreed to sell Polyconcept to Inv*stcorp and company management for an undisclosed amount. Polyconcept is a European developer and distributor of promotional, lifestyle and gift products. BC Partners and company management originally acquired the company from Hagemeyer in July 2000. www.bcpartners.com
Nordic Capital has received European Commission approval for its proposed “re-acquisition” of a controlling interest in Danish drug company Nycomed AS The deal would be for a 51% stake that values Nycomed at 1.8 billion euros, with selling shareholders DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, Blackstone Group and AlpInvest retaining a combined minority position. Those backers originally acquired 100% of Nycomed from Nordic Capital in late 2002 for approximately 1.1 billion euros. www.nycomed.com www.nordiccapital.se
Coley Pharmaceutical Group Inc., a Wellesley, Mass.-based drug company focused on chronic diseases, has filed to raise $115 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol COLY, with Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan lead-managing the offering. Coley has raised over $130 million in total VC funding since its 1997 inception, from significant shareholders like Thomas McNerney & Partners, TVM-Techno Venture Management, Venrock Associates, AlpInv*st and The Global Life Science Ventures. www.coleypharma.com
Transmode Systems AB has completed its acquisition of fellow Sweden-based optical networking company Lumentis AB No financial terms were disclosed for the deal. The two companies have raised a combined $81 million in VC funding, with Transmode most recently securing $15 million last December, and Lumentis raising $9 million last June. Combined company backers include Amadeus Capital Partners, POD Holding, HarbourVest Partners, European Equity Partners, Chandaria and Santec. www.transmode.com www.lumentis.com
Mason Wells has closed on $155 million for its Mason Wells Buyout Fund II, which is being marketed with a $250 million target capitalization. Limited partners include BP America Inc., Bank of Scotland, Green Bay Packaging Inc., Invesco Private Capital, Key Capital Corp. and The School Employees’ Retirement System of Ohio. www.masonwells.com
Park Street Capital of Boston has closed on its sixth private equity fund-of-funds, with $213.05 million in limited partner commitments. www.parkstreetcapital.com
HarbourVest Partners is marketing its fifth international fund-of-funds with a 2 billion euros target, according to LBO Wire. It also is reportedly raising a 400 million euro direct inv*stment vehicle. www.harbourvest.com
WestAM, the asset management arm of WestLB AG, has named David Turner as head of its US-based private equity group. Turner has spent the past three years as a director and executive committee member of WestAM’s private equity group, before which he led alternative asset inv*stment activities for the State of Michigan. www.westam.com
Jim Huston has joined Blueprint Ventures as a Portland, Ore.-based venture partner. He previously served as director of IP acquisitions at Intel Capital. In other Blueprint news, the firm has promoted David Frankel to the position of technology partner. www.blueprintventures.com
Ian Shapiro, a founding principal of GFI Energy Ventures, has been named interim chairman of InfraSource Services Inc. (NYSE: IFS), following the resignation of John Marshall. Shapiro already was an InfraSource director. www.infrasourceinc.com
TUESDAY, APRIL 19
Last week in this space, I wrote about how former Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy had proposed the creation of a mirror fund to the $36 billion state pension fund (MassPRIM), which would be accessible to all Mass. residents (i.e., not just state employees). The idea basically got eviscerated in the local press, and doesn’t seem too popular with many of the people who’d likely be involved – at least tangentially – with its eventual implementation (one even called it “ridiculous”).
I’m going to write a print piece for PE Week about the mirror fund proposal, but figured you should know that I discussed the idea with Kennedy last Thursday. He’s clearly bothered by all the criticism, which he feels is a bit reactionary and, quite possibly, being driven by a strong local mutual fund industry that clearly would lose out if his proposal came to pass. More importantly, however, he believes that the proposal makes fiscal sense for Massachusetts residents (not to mention new residents who might move here to participate).
Why? Because his statistics show that PRIM’s diverse asset allocation model produces better returns than do most other readily-available inv*stment opportunities. Part of this is the system’s access to alternative asset opportunities in the private equity and real estate spaces, which Kennedy does not believe would be increased beyond 10% in a mirror fund. He acknowledges that certain pure index funds have sometimes produced better returns than has PRIM, but argues that PRIM has been a safer bet in downtimes. He adds that many of the specifics are up for debate, including the level of state government involvement (i.e., public, quasi-public, private) and ways to deal with various tax implications of transposing a defined benefit plan onto a mutual fund-like vehicle (in terms of its clientele).
It also is important to point out that Kennedy did not just throw this idea out haphazardly during a State Democratic Party dinner, as some people have suggested. Not every “t” is crossed, but he clearly has internalized the argument and its supporting data. If he really puts his muscle behind the proposal, it could be interesting to watch. Not just in Massachusetts, but in other state. I spoke with two alternative asset managers at Western state pension systems last week, and they both sounded intrigued, adding that they had never seen a similar idea brought up in their backyards.
Perhaps this is kind of like Bain Capital’s proposed buyout of the NHL. Everyone says it has no chance, but part of me thinks everyone is wrong. In fact, I hope everyone is wrong, because both ideas could be great for their respective constituencies, if done right. At the very least, they are both extremely creative, and worth further exploration.
Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), has agreed to acquire Peninsula Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Alameda, Calif.-based drug company focused on anti-infective products. The deal is valued at $245 million, and is expected to close sometime this quarter. Peninsula has twice postponed a proposed IPO, which presumably will now be canceled. Company backers include Domain Associates, Canaan Partners, A.M. Pappas & Associates, Montreux Equity Partners and OrbiMed Advisors. www.peninsulapharm.com www.jnj.com
The Blackstone Group has acquired a majority equity interest in Boca Raton, Fla.-based Global Tower Partners from Great Hill Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. GTP currently owns and operates 642 wireless communications towers and 1,800 rooftop antennae facilities, and was agreed to purchase an additional 563 wireless towers from Dobson Communications (Nasdaq: DCEL). www.global-towers.com
Worksoft Creative Software Technology Ltd., a Beijing-based provider of software development services, has received an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from DCM-Doll Capital Management and Legend Capital. The deal is part of a recent strategic partnership signed by Silicon Valley-based DCM and China-based Legend, whereby the firms will mutually seek out and participate in IT deals in the U.S. and China. As part of the partnership, DCM has become a limited partner in Legend’s $55 million second fund. Also, David Chao of DCM has joined Legend’s board of directors, while Zhu Linan has joined DCM’s advisory board. www.legendcapital.com.cn www.dcmvc.com www.worksoft.com.cn
Simpler Networks Corp., a Montreal-based developer of technology for the automation of copper distribution frames for local service providers, has raised US$25 million in Series B funding. Return backers include Highland Capital Partners, Kodiak Venture Partners, Solidarity Fund QFL, BCE Capital and Lothian Partners. www.simplernetworks.com
BDNA Corp., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of business intelligence solutions for IT governance, has raised $12.5 million in Series C funding. Newbury Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Crescendo Ventures and Motorola Ventures. www.bdna.com
VoIPshield Systems Inc., an Ottawa-based provider of VoIP security systems, has raised Cdn$2 million in seed funding from Brightspark Ventures. www.voipshield.com
Mimeo.com Inc., a New York-based provider of documents-on-demand, has raised $5.8 million in Series E equity funding. HarbourVest Partners led the deal, and was joined by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ Gotham and other, undisclosed, backers. The company also secured $3.2 million in d*bt financing from GE Commercial Finance Technology Lending. www.mimeo.com
Approva Corp., a Vienna, Va.-based provider of enterprise controls management software, has raised $15 million in Series C funding. Sierra Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Columbia Capital, New Enterprise Associates and Novak Biddle Venture Partners. The company has raised over $30 million in total VC funding since its 2002 inception. www.approva.com
Gryphon Inv*stors has sold portfolio company MSD Ignition to MSD management and ValueAct Capital. No financial terms were disclosed, except that Gryphon said the sale netted a 2.5x cash ROI and an IRR of approximately 175 percent. MSD is an El Paso, Texas-based provider of automotive ignition components to aftermarket suppliers. It was originally acquired by Gryphon in April 2004. www.msdignition.com
Bridgepoint has agreed to sell its 85% shareholding in Germany-based graphite and carbon product maker ErftCarbon GmbH to Tokai Carbon Co. of Japan. No financial terms were disclosed. Bridgepoint acquired ErftCarbon, a spin-off of the VAW Group, in September 1998. www.erftcarbon.com
New Mountain Capital has agreed to acquire a majority ownership position in Deltek Systems Inc., a Herndon, Va.-based provider of business software applications for project businesses like government contractors and construction companies. The deal is expected to close this week, with New Mountain taking a 75% stake, and the DeLaski family and management shareholders retaining the other 25 percent. No financial terms are being disclosed. www.deltek.com
Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe has agreed to sell Bellevue, Wash.-based software company Attachmate Corp. to Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners. The deal is expected to close sometime next month, with no financial terms being disclosed. Francisco, Golden Gate and Thoma Cressey acquired Attachmate competitor WRQ Inc. late last year, and are expected to merge the two companies. www.attachmate.com
Langholm Capital has sponsored a management “buy-in” of Dorset Cereal Ltd., a UK-based breakfast cereals company. No financial terms were disclosed. The new management team will be led by Peter Farquhar, formerly of Powwow Water (now owned by Nestle Waters). www.langholm.com
EpiCept Corp., an Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based drug company focused on pain management, has set its proposed IPO terms to 5.5 million common shares being offered at between $11 and $13 per share. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol EPCT, with Wachovia Securities serving as lead underwriter. EpiCept has raised over $32 million in VC funding since its 1993 inception, with significant shareholders including TVM Techno Venture Management, Merlin Biosciences and GZ Paul Partners. www.epicept.com
Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based drug company focused on neurological and psychiatric disorders, has agreed to acquire Orphan Medical Inc. (Nasdaq: ORPH), a Minnetonka, Minn.-based drug company focused on CNS disorders. Orphan shareholders will receive $10.75 per share in cash, which values the transaction as approximately $122.6 million. Jazz has raised $265 million in venture capital commitments, including a $250 million Series B round in early 2004, led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Other Jazz shareholders include Adams Street Partners, EGS Healthcare Capital Partners and Lehman Brothers Healthcare Fund, Beeken Petty O’Keefe & Co., Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, Prospect Venture Partners and Versant Venture Partners. www.jazzpharma.com www.orphan.com
Agfa-Gevaert NV has agreed to acquire Heartlab Inc., a Westerly, R.I.-based supplier or image and information networks for the practice of cardiology. The deal is valued at $132.5 million in cash. Heartlab raised VC funding in 2001 from JPMorgan Partners, MedEquity Inv*stors and Halpern, Denny & Co. www.heartlab.com
Heritage Partners has agreed to sell The Butler Co., a Dublin, Ohio-based provider of animal health products to veterinarians, to Oak Hill Capital Partners. Following the deal, Butler Co. will merge with fellow animal health products company Burns Veterinary Supply Inc., which is owned by the Darby Group of Cos. Once the merger is complete, Oak Hill and Darby will hold equal stakes in the combined company, to be named Butler Animal Health Supply LLC. www.accessbutler.com www.burnsvet.com
Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX) has acquired TriVascular Inc., a Santa Rosa, Calif.-based developer of less-invasive medical devices and procedures for the treatment of abdominal aneurysms. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which involved Boston Scientific exercising an exclusive acquisition option that it obtained in December 2002. TriVascular raised over $18 million in VC funding, including a $12.75 million infusion in 2001 at a post-money valuation of approximately $40 million. Backers included ABS Ventures, Asset Management Co. Venture Capital, Delphi Ventures and The Vertical Group. www.bostonscientific.com www.trivascular.com
Sandler Capital Management has formed Marketing Group International, an acquisition platform focused on the event marketing and experiential marketing sectors. Acquired company will retain their individual operations and brand identities within the MGI platform. Robert Gutrowski, former president of Madison Square Garden and founder of sports and entertainment marketing firm The Marquee Group, will serve as MGI’s CEO. No terms of either Sandler or Gutrowski’s financial commitments toward MGI have been disclosed. www.sandlercap.com
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has re-selected Wilshire Associates to be its primary pension consultant. CalPERS currently has approximately $182 billion under management. www.calpers.com
Polaris Venture Partners has promoted Jason Trevisan from associate to principal. He joined the firm in June 2003, after having served as director of analytics and client services with aQuantive (Nasdaq: AQNT). www.polarisventures.com
Rodney Cohen has joined private equity firm Behrman Capital as a partner. He previously served as a partner with Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer. www.behrmancap.com
Antonio Miranda and Michael Kaplan have joined Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm Littlejohn & Co. as senior associates. Miranda recently earned his MBA from Stanford, and previously was an associate with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Kaplan comes to Littlejohn from Ripplewood Holdings. www.littlejohnllc.com
Christiaan van der Kam and Soren Brondum Andersen have been named vice presidents with ATP Private Equity Partners. Kam joined ATP in February 2002, while Soren came aboard in September 2004. ATP is a Copenhagen-based private equity fund-of-funds manager. www.atp-pep.com
Correction: Yesterday’s Wire incorrectly spelled Caxton-Iseman Capital, and also incorrectly identified the business of Manchester Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MANC) subsidiary Electrograph Systems Inc. Electrograph does not produce plasma display monitors, it distributes them.
MONDAY, APRIL 18
The sun is shining, the public markets are tanking and the Boston Marathon is underway. In other words, it’s time for a very special Patriot’s Day edition of Monday Mouth-Off (if you live outside of Massachusetts, Patriot’s Day is a statewide holiday marked by beer, BBQs, mid-morning baseball and long-distance running. it also remains unrecognized by my corporate overlords).
First up is a VCIC email from the Medical Device Co. entrepreneur whose company was selected by the winning VCIC team, even though he declined to disclose any Device specifics: “I share your amazement that any team decided to inv*st VC money in us at this stage. I assumed that we fell outside the parameters of the “fund,” due to our stage of development. I can tell you that the experience was very valuable, because it was the first time that we presented the company and [were able] to take advantage of. 40 smart and accomplished business school students asking tough questions. The Q&A itself was worth the trip. We’ve been buried in the lab and office while building the company, so it’s good to get some objective opinions and feedback.. I can promise you that we do understand the need to develop an actual product (we’re pretty bright people), and that I don’t think I’m sharing any proprietary information when I say that it won’t be made of gold and/o! r encrusted with rare diamonds.”
A bunch of emails came in about last Wednesday’s discussion of certain mega-LBO firm attitudes that bigger will prove better in the long run, primarily because it has proven better over the last two or three years. For a quick refresher, I thought this was self-serving logic, which has not been born out by long-term fund performance analyses. I also cited a comment that today’s LBO mega-fundraising is reminiscent of what happened in 1999-2000 with VC firms.
Dmitri writes: “I wanted to comment on whether gigantic LBO funds are likely to cause the same types of problems as gigantic VC funds did in ’99-2000. I would argue that they are driven by different things. The rate-limiting factor for VC deals is the quality of entrepreneurial talent, which is rare. Therefore, valuations escalated in search of good ideas, and returns dropped. In the case of LBO funds, the rate-limiting factor is the number of poorly-run companies that can be acquired and repaired, and that’s a much less scarce commodity. I’d be more worried about the LBO shops’ decision to enter tech inv*sting, since that could be like early-stage funds doing mezzanine financing back in 2000.”
Jay, however, thinks the analogy is apt: “Today’s big LBO firms are wearing blinders, just like the big VC firms did during the bubble… The bad times are forgotten and the good times are forever. How can smart people be so dumb?” Ted adds: “We in the U.S. small buyout fund ranks (a.k.a. today’s alternative, alternative equity providers) deeply appreciate you continuing to call nonsense by its proper name.. I don’t think you’re winning any popularity contests at certain firms, but you are very much right.”
For those who disagree with Jay and Ted, two quick questions about SunGard (the first of which I lifted from someone else): First, there are no plans to change management, and tax issues basically preclude any significant divestitures. As such, are the participating PE firms basically betting that the public markets have simply undervalued the company by 15% or more? Actually, it might be closer to 20% given apparent return expectations and where SunGard stock was trading before the NY Post got wind of the pending deal?
Second, how on earth did Providence and Goldman Sachs agree to write enormous equity checks on less than 48 hours notice? Remember, there two firms were brought in to replace Tom Lee and Carlyle Group, which both bailed at the last minute due to pricing concerns. They may have seen some of Silver Lake’s due diligence ahead of time, but you’d think that the limited time frame alone would have generated an automatic “thanks, but no thanks.” Not to besmirch Silver Lake, but what if (for the sake of argument) it was wrong about something important? How would Providence or GS Capital Partners ever explain their haste to limited partners?
The last Mouth-Off email comes from Max, and quickly sums up dozens of similar emails: “When are you doing another internship drive for first-year MBA candidates?” The answer, Max, is that I will begin tomorrow, by asking firms to email me if they have interest in a free summer hire. More details to follow. If you are a current B-school student, please watch this space over the upcoming week, but do not send me letters of interest, CVs or your favorite recipes. When it’s time for such things, I’ll be sure to let you know.
Silver Lake Partners and the Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. reportedly are nearing a $1.8 billion deal to acquire electronic trading network and brokerage Instinet Group Inc. (Nasdaq: INGP). Instinet is currently controlled by Reuters (Nasdaq: RTRSY), and press reports suggest that a buyout announcement could be made as early as today. www.insstinet.com
Ingrian Networks Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of data piracy solutions, has raised $15.4 million in fourth-round funding. Menlo Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Prism Venture Partners, Globespan Capital Partners, HighBar Ventures and Partech International. The company has raised over $55 million in total VC funding since its 2000 inception. www.ingrian.com
Capella Education Co., a Minneapolis-based provider of online post-secondary education services via the Internet, has filed to raise $86.25 million through an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol CAPU, with Credit Suisse First Boston lead-managing the offering. Earlier this year, Forstmann Little & Co. sold part of its position in Capella to Technology Crossover Ventures, and existing shareholder Maveron. The current pre-IPO shareholding structure includes Forstmann Little (9.8%), TCV (16.5%), Maveron (9.3%), Cherry Tree Ventures (15.5%). www.capella.edu
InnerWorkings, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based provider of learning and performance solutions for software developers and their managers, has raised $8.8 million in Series A funding from Benchmark Capital Europe and Mohr, Davidow Ventures. www.innerworkings.com
SenSage Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of security management solutions, has raised $10 million in Series C funding. Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Canaan Partners, Sierra Ventures and Battery Ventures. The company has raised $26 million in total VC funding since its 2000 inception. www.sensage.com
RMD Networks Inc., a Houston-based provider of system communications solutions to the healthcare community, has raised $3 million in Series A funding. Sevin Rosen Funds led the deal, which was facilitated through a partnership with tele-medicine venture accelerator Vesalius Ventures. www.rmdnetworks.com
BeVocal Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of hosted call automation solutions to enterprises and service providers, has raised $10 million in Series E funding. ArrowPath Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Mayfield, Technology Crossover Ventures and U.S. Venture Partners. The company has raised approximately $70 million in total VC funding since its 1999 inception. www.bevocal.com
Morpho Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of digital dignal processors, has raised $10 million in Series C funding. The deal was co-led by existing shareholders Smart Technology Ventures and BridgeWest LLC. www.morphotech.com
Bivio Networks Inc., a Pleasanton, Calif.-based supplier of packet handling platforms, has raised $16.5 million in new funding from existing shareholders Goldman Sachs, InterWest Partners, Storm Ventures and Venrock Associates. www.bivio.net
Opinity Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based online and social reputation services provider, has raised $2.7 million in VC funding from SoftBank Korea Ventures, Solborn Inv*stment, Korea Inv*stment Corp., Valmore Partners and angel backers. www.opinity.com
Brookstone Inc. (Nasdaq: BKST), a Merrimack, N.H.-based specialty retailer, has agreed to be acquired for approximately $450 million by a consortium led by Singapore-based retailer OSIM International. Also participating are private equity firms J.W. Childs Associates and Temasek Holding Ltd. Existing Brookstone shareholders are expected to receive $20.50 per outstanding common share, while d*bt financing commitments have come from Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. A Reuters report puts the deal’s equity/leverage multiple at 1.2x. www.brookstone.com
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. (NYSE: RRD) has agreed to acquire UK-based business outsourcing company Astron Group from PPM Ventures for approximately Gbp520 million in cash. PPM originally paid just Gbp90 million for Astron Group in 2000.
Providence Equity Partners, 3i Group and UK television executive David Elstein have received European Commission approval for their proposed buyout of the international business of Crown Media Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: CRWN), owner and operator of Hallmark Channel. The deal is valued at $242 million, and includes the international versions of the Hallmark Channel, the international rights to over 580 titles in the Crown Media library and a Denver, Colo.-based broadcast facility.
Caxon-Iseman Capital has agreed to acquire display technology company Manchester Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MANC) for approximately $56 million, net of Manchester’s fees and expenses. Also included in the deal is Manchester subsidiary Electrograph Systems Inc., which produces plasma display monitors. www.emanchester.com
Hermes Private Equity has agreed to sell Merlin Entertainments Group to The Blackstone Group for approximately Gbp100 million, according to The Times of London. Merlin is a UK-based operator of European visitor attractions like the London Dungeon and the Sea Life Centres.
Arbor Private Inv*stment Co. has completed its acquisition of Center Meat Co., a Brea, Calif.-based purveyor of meats. No financial terms were disclosed. Steven Zoll, an operating partner with Arbor and former president of ConAgra Foods’ refrigerated foodservice unit, also participated on the deal, and will join Center Meat’s board of directors.
Pike Holdings Inc., a Mount Airy, N.C.-based provider of electricity distribution and transmission services, has filed to raise $230 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol PEC, with its offering being lead managed by Citigroup and JP Morgan. Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer holds an 88% pre-IPO position in Pike Holdings, due to its participation in a 2002 recapitalization transaction. www.pike.net
Warner Music Group Corp., a New York-based recording company, has set its proposed IPO terms to 32.6 million common shares being offered at between $22 and $24 per share. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol WMG. Warner Music was sold last year by Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) in a $2.6 billion buyout that included Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital, Providence Equity Partners and Edgar Bronfman‘s Music Capital Partners. www.wmg.com
Verifone Holdings Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of electronic payment transaction services at the point-of-sale, has set its proposed IPO terms to 15.4 million common shares being offered at between $12 and $14 per share. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol PAY. Verifone originally went public in 1990, but was acquired and taken private by Hewlett-Packard Co. in 1997. Four years later, Hewlett-Packard sold the company to Gores Technology Group. In 2002, GTCR Golder-Rauner led a recapitalization, and became Verifone’s majority shareholder. www.verifone.com
YES Bank, an India-based private bank, has filed to raise approximately $80 million via an IPO on an Indian stock exchange. The company has received VC funding from ChrysCapital Management, AIF Capital and Citicorp. www.yesbankltd.com
Hansen Medical Inc. of Mountain View, Calif. developer of catheter movement control solutions, has acquired the assets of EndoVia Medical Inc., a Norwood, Mass.-based medical device company focused on robotic systems for minimally-invasive surgical procedures. No financial terms were disclosed. EndoVia had raised over $16 million in venture funding since its 1996 inception, from groups like Seaflower Ventures, BancBoston Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., MTDC, Catalyst Health & Technology Partners and Kaelin Management. Hansen Medical has raised VC funding from De Novo Ventures, Thomas Weisel Healthcare Partners, Skyline Ventures and Prospect Venture Partners.
TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. (Nasdaq: TQNT) has agreed to sell its opto-electronics operation to CyOptics Inc., an Allentown, Penn.-based optical components manufacturer. No financial terms were disclosed. CyOptics has raised over $85 million in VC funding from groups like JVP, Sprout Group, Soros Fund Management, Eurofund, Corning Innovation Ventures, Innovacom, Intel Capital, Cisco Systems and Ventech. www.cyoptics.com
Private Equity Inv*stors, a New York-based secondaries firm, has held a $35.5 million first close on its fourth fund, according to a regulatory filing.
Thomson Venture Economics and the National Venture Capital Association have released Q1 venture fundraising data. It can be found at www.nvca.com
Norwest Venture Partners has promoted Matt Howard from principal to partner. He will continue to focus on seed-to-mid-stage opportunities in the communication and storage systems, embedded systems, semiconductors and security sectors. www.nvp.com
Daniel Castro has joined GSC Partners as a managing director. He spent the past 13 years heading up Merrill Lynch‘s structured finance research group. www.gscpartners.com
Get last week’s PE Week Wire here.