PE Week Wire: Thurs., April 5, 2007

No column this morning, as I’ve got to tie up some loose ends before heading over to help judge the Ignite Clean Energy Biz Plan Competition.

Top Three

Xoft Microtube Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based maker of micro x-ray catheter for radiation therapy, has raised $33.2 million in Series D funding. Easton Capital, New Science Ventures and H&Q Quist Capital Management were joined by return backers Maverick Capital, MPM Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures, Mosaix Ventures, Frantz Medical Ventures and Frazier Healthcare Ventures. The company has raised around $105 million in total VC funding since its 1998 formation.

The Rexel Group, a France–based distribution network for electrical supplies, priced 61.5 million shares at €16.5 per share, for an IPO take of approximately €1.02 billion. It will trade in Paris. Rexel was acquired in 2005 by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Eurazeo and Merrill Lynch.

Harjit Bhatia has joined Credit Suisse as managing partner of the firm’s Asian private equity unit. He previously was chairman and CEO of Ritchie Capital Management’s Asia-Pacific operations, and will be joined at Credit Suisse by fellow Ritchie alums Hemang Raja, Rakesh Mital, Soma Ghosal Dhar, Isiah Zhang and Imelda Tham.

VC Deals

ExtendMedia Corp., a Newton, Mass.-based provider of online video distribution software and services, has raised $12 million in Series B funding, according to a regulatory filing. Venrock Associates and TVM were joined by return backer Atlas Venture.

ForeScout Technologies Inc., a Cupertino, Calif.-based provider of network access control solutions, has raised around $11.25 million in Series D funding. Return backers include Accel Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners, MeritechCapital Partners and Pintango Venture Capital. The company has raised over $43 million in total VC funding since its 2000 inception.

Cellfish Media LLC, a New York–based developer and distributor of content for mobile phones, has raised $10 million in VC funding from the Solidarity Fund QFL. It had raised a $50 million round last October from Trio Capital, Telecom Media Fund (Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec) and an affiliate of Desjardins Venture Capital. Cellfish is a subsidiary of France-based Lagardere group.

Extreme DA Corp., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of semiconductor design tools, has raised $7.38 million in Series B funding. Foundation Capital led the deal, which included new cash and the conversion of an existing bridge loan. Other participants included IT-Farm Corp. and Lanza techVentures.

Copanion Inc., a Plaistow, N.H.-based software startup, has raised $6 million in Series A funding, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Commonwealth Capital Ventures and Pilot House Ventures.

Proximetry Inc., a San Diego-based provider of real-time performance management solutions for wireless networks, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Munich Venture Partners and Rembrandt Venture Partners co-led the deal.

Meditrina Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based drug startup focused on women’s health, has raised $4.4 million in first-round funding from the 21st Century Jobs Fund and the Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center at Western Michigan. The company’s lead product candidate is an aromatase inhibitor that is being repurposed for the treatment of endometrial thinning prior to endometrial ablations in pre-menopausal women with abnormal uterine bleeding.

RIPL Corp., a Seattle-based provider of ad-supported music and photo sharing services, has raised $2 million in Series A funding, according to a regulatory filing.

HotPads Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based online apartment rental marketplace, has raised $2.3 million in Series A funding, according to a regulatory filing. No institutional backers were listed.

EctoPharma Ltd., a UK-based developer of a non-toxic pesticide for the treatment of head lice, has raised £2 million in VC funding led by Braveheart Investments.

PointOV Ltd., a UK-based ecommerce site that bills itself as an eco-friendly, fair-trade version of Amazon, has raised £800,000 in second-round funding from NorthStar Equity Investors and individual angels.

Ikano Communications Inc., a Salt Lake City-based provider of private-label Internet services, has raised $22.5 million in long-term venture debt funding from Hercules Technology Growth Capital. The capital will be used to support both organic growth and acquisitions. Ikano is backed by firms like Insight Capital Partners.

Molecular Imprints Inc., an Austin, Texas-based nano-imprint lithography company, has raised $8.5 million in venture debt financing from BlueCrest Capital Finance. The company previously raised around $50 million in VC funding from firms like Alloy Ventures, Asset Management Co., DFJ, Harris & Harris Group, KT Venture Group, Motorola Ventures, Lux Capital and Dai Nippon Printing Co.

Buyout Deals

AXA Private Equity has acquired a majority stake in Flex Group from GSO Capital Partners for an undisclosed amount. DZ Bank provided leverage, while company management will hold the remaining minority position. Flex is a Germany-based maker of hand-held power tools, which was bought by GSO from Black & Decker in late 2005.

KKR reportedly has dropped out of a bidding consortium for UK supermarket chain J Sainsbury, due to its simultaneous attempt to acquire UK pharmacy giant Alliance Boots.

Fortress Investment Group has agreed to acquire Bermuda-based reinsurer Alea Group Holdings Ltd. (LSE: ALEA) for £162 million. Sellers would include KKR, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, New York State Retirement Fund and Calpers/PCG Corporate Partners.

The Riverside Company has acquired Specialized Solutions, a Clearwater, Fla.–based provider of self-paced e-learning courses for IT professionals preparing for certification exams. No financial terms were disclosed.

American Industrial Partners has acquired the Quality Measurement division of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW). No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which included leveraged financing from GMAC Commercial Finance and Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending. The Quality Measurement division has been renamed Micro-Poise Measurement Systems LLC, and is an Akron, Ohio-based provider of process control and quality assurance for manufacturers of tires, wheels and powertrain components.

PE-Backed IPOs

Veraz Networks Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of VoIP products to wireline and wireless service providers, priced 9 million common shares at $8 per share (below $10-$12 range), for an IPO take of approximately $72 million. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol VRAZ, while Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse served as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders include ECI Telecom (27.6% post-IPO stake), Norwest Venture Partners (10.8%), Battery Ventures (9.1%), Argonaut Private Equity (8.8%), Liberty Mutual (6.4%) and Levensohn Venture Partners (5.9%). Of those firms, only ECI Telecom sold shares in the IPO (2.25 million shares).

Dice Holdings Inc., an Urbandale, Iowa–based provider of specialized career sites and career fairs, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE, with Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley serving as co-lead underwriters. Dice has been owned by General Atlantic and Quadrangle Group since August 2005.

PROS Holdings Inc., a Houston, Texas-based provider of pricing and revenue optimization software, has filed for a $90 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol PROZ, with JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank Securities serving as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders include TA Associates (35.6% pre-IPO stake) and JMI Equity (11.2%).

Edenor, the largest electricity distribution company in Argentina, has filed for a $180 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol EDN, with Citigroup and JPMorgan serving as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders include New Energy Ventures, which is affiliated with a private equity fund controlled by Grupo Dolphin.

Charterhouse reportedly has retained Close Brothers to explore “future ownership options” for portfolio company Saga Ltd., which could include an IPO. Other Saga shareholders include AlpInvest Partners, HarbourVest Partners, Standard Life Investments and company management. The UK-based company provides both insurance products and holiday packages for people over 50 year-old. An IPO would likely value Saga at over £2.5 billion.

PE-Backed M&A

Marlin Equity Partners is merging recently-acquired CMS Software Inc. with existing portfolio company XKO Software Ltd. CMS is an Ontario-based provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) software to small and medium-sized manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers in North America and Asia. XKO is a UK-based provider of mid-range ERP systems to manufacturers, distributors and merchants. No financial terms of the merger were disclosed.

PE Exits

ICICI Venture Capital has sold its 3.25% stake in listed Indian carrier Deccan Aviation to UBS Securities Asia for approximately $7.5 million.

Segulah has completed a recapitalization of portfolio company Dacke PMC, a provider of hydraulic equipment and engineering solutions to the Nordic market. No financial terms were disclosed.

Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill & Co. is planning a $145 million refinancing for portfolio company Il Fornaio (America) Corp., according to LBO Wire. The capital would be used to fund a dividend payout and refinance existing debt. Il Fornaio is a Corte Madera, Calif.-based Italian restaurant and bakery chain.

Firms & Funds

Oaktree Capital Management has set a $3.5 billion cap for its seventh special opportunities fund, according to a regulatory filing.

CapMan has closed its second Finnish real estate private equity fund with €150 million in capital commitments. This puts the vehicle’s total capacity at around €600 million, as it plans to finance around 75% of each transaction with leveraged financing.

Human Resources

John Koren has joined Hudson Partners. He previously was with Bear Stearns as a managing director in charge of private equity fund placements.

Don Nelson, former chief business officer of SV Life Sciences, has left to launch a new fund placement shop called NelCap Advisers.

Scott Gieselman has joined Natural Gas Partners as a managing director. He previously was a partner with Goldman Sachs, in the firm’s natural resources I-banking division.

Appian Ventures has promoted Chris Onan to managing director. He joined the firm in 2004 as a principal.

Steven Crane has been named chief financial officer of CMGI Inc. He previously was an executive with Interactive Data Corp. (NYSE: IDC).


Correction: Comfort Co., a portfolio company of Catterton Partners, has acquired the Prime Foam division of Leggett & Platt Inc. Yesterday’s issue incorrectly identified Catteron-owned Sleep Innovations as the buyer, based on an erroneous press release.