PE Week Wire: Tues., March 13, 2007

Welcome to that very special time of year, when corporate America turns its collective blind eye toward sports gambling. That’s right dear reader, our fifth annual March Madness Extravaganza has begun.

The contest is open to all PE Week Wire readers, with the top finisher to receive three prizes: (1) A complimentary Premium Membership to, which includes access to our entire editorial archive; (2) A complementary subscription to one of the following Thomson Financial publications: Buyouts, PE Week, Venture Capital Journal or European Venture Capital Journal; and (3) The opportunity to own this space for a day (i.e., the blue text), which could mean everything from an essay to a company advertisement to a plea for work. I’m also planning to figure out a parting gift for our runner up.

To Play:

1. You will need a Yahoo account, which you can get here if you don’t already have one. Once you’ve done so, sign in and then go to: !

2. Select “Join a Group” and then “Join Private.”

3. I have created ten groups, with each one capable of holding up to 50 people. If one is full, try another. If they all fill up, I’ll add more (only one entry per reader, please).

4. You will need the Group ID and Password to join the group. The group IDs are: 113234, 113284, 113343, 113721, 113806, 113795, 113783, 113742, 113612, 113632. The password to each group is: bubble.

5. Finally, I ask that each participant let me know your group name, real name and place of business. This can be done either sending an email to me here (special email address only for this purpose). You also might want to bookmark this peHUB page, since that is where I’ll be keeping a running tally of the leaderboard (although there also will be regular updates in this space).


In far more serious and sad news, Odyssey Investment Partners co-founder Muzzafar “Muzzi” Mirza passed away last Friday night at the age of 49, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. A memorial service is being planned for March 29 at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Muzzi began his private equity career in the early 1980s, as a member of Marine Midland Bank’s first leveraged buyout finance group. He later would run the merchant banking group at GE Capital Corp., before leaving in 1993 to join the private equity group of Odyssey Partners as a principal. Odyssey Partners was the predecessor firm to Odyssey Investment Partners, a New York-based middle-market firm with $1.5 billion in capital under management. At the time of his death, Muzzi served on the boards of Odyssey portfolio companies Dresser Inc., Neff Corp. and Norcross Safety Products.

He was a native of Pakistan, who graduated from Claremont McKenna College before receiving his MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management. He is survived by his wife Susan; his three children, Alexander, Christina and Sean; his mother Anis; and his brother Mustafa.

“Muzzi was our cherished friend and partner and we already miss him terribly,” says Odyssey chairman Stephen Berger. “But mostly our thoughts are with Susan and the children at this unbearable time. Muzzi leaves a great legacy from which we all benefit.”

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made to:

Pancreas Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital

c/o Dr. John Chabot

161 Fort Washington Avenue

New York, NY 10032

Top Three

Alliance Boots, a listed UK drugstore chain, has rejected a Gbp9.7 billion buyout offer from KKR and Italian billionaire Stefano Pessina.

Fidelity Ventures has increased the size of its fourth fund from $250 million to $400 million. It also has added Roger Hurwitz as a new Boston-based partner. Hurwitz previously was with Apax Partners.

Lehman Brothers has purchased a 20% interest in D.E. Shaw group. No financial terms were disclosed, except that the deal included an up-front payment and the possibility of future earn-outs.

VC Deals

Kyriba Corp., a San Diego-based provider of Web-based cash and treasury management solutions, has raised $14.4 million in new VC funding. BRED Banque Populaire led the deal, and was joined by return backers like GRP Partners.

IntelliDOT Corp., a San Diego–based provider of patient safety and workflow management solutions for the healthcare market, has raised $10 million in Series D funding. Psilos Group led the deal, and was joined by Menlo Ventures, American River Ventures, Integral Capital Partners, Shoreline Ventures, Shea Ventures and Dick Allen. The company has raised $33.5 million in total VC funding since its 2002 inception.

AgraQuest Inc., a Davis, Calif.-based biotech company focused on natural pest management products, has raised $10 million in new funding, according to VentureWire. Return backers include TPG Ventures, Otter Capital, Halcyon Capital and Swiss Re. The company has raised around $76 million in total VC funding since its 1995 inception.

Xcerion AB, a Linkoping, Sweden-based developer of a collaborative XML Internet operating system, has raised $10 million from Northzone Ventures in its first round of institutional funding.

SkyRecon Systems, a Paris, France-based vendor of endpoint security solutions, has raised $6.5 million in second-round funding co-led by Ventech and ACE Management.

Eurekster Inc., a San Francisco–based search company, has raised $5.5 million in its first round of institutional funding. Technology Venture Partners (Australia) led the deal, and was joined by Transcosmos Investments. The company previously had raised $1.5 million from individual angels.

LS9 Inc., a San Carlos, Calif.-based renewable petroleum startup, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Flagship Ventures and Khosla Ventures. The company says that it is pursuing industrial applications of synthetic biology to produce biofuels that are compatible with existing fuel distribution and consumer infrastructure.

StrikeIron, a Durham, N.C.-based provider of live data and business functionality over the Web, has raised $5 million in Series C funding. Ascent Venture Partners was joined by return backers Ascent Venture Partners and NC IDEA. The company has raised $9.3 million in total funding since its 2006 launch.

FoodShouldTasteGood Inc., a Hartford, Conn.-based maker of all-natural tortilla chips, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Sherbrooke Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed.

Fovea Pharmaceuticals SA, a Paris-based drug company focused on allergic conjunctivitis, is raising up to Euro 40 million in second-round funding, according to a speech given yesterday by company CFO Bernard Davitian at the Cowen & Co. Healthcare Conference. The news was first reported by VentureWire. The company raised first-round funding in 2005 from firms like Abingworth Management, Credit Agricole Private Equity, GIMV, Wellcome Trust and Sofinnova Partners.

TransMedics Inc., an Andover, Mass.–based medical device company focused on organ transplant technologies, is raising up to $25 million in Series D funding, according to a speech given yesterday by company CEO Waleed Hassanein at the Cowen & Co. Healthcare Conference. The news was first reported by VentureWire. Transmedics then would plan to go public. The company previously raised around $63 million in VC funding from firms like 3i Group, Alta Partners, CDP Capital, Flagship Ventures, JPMorgan Partners, Sherbrooke Capital Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners.

Buyout Deals

CCMP Capital has agreed to acquire vacuum and semiconductor equipment maker BOC Edwards from The Linde Group. The deal is valued at Euro 685 million, plus up to Euro 65 million in additional earn-out payments.

Montagu Private Equity has sold UK waste management company Cory Environmental Holdings Ltd. to a consortium made up of ABN Amro Infrastructure Capital Management, Finpro and Santander Private Equity. No financial terms were disclosed.

Wind Point Partners has acquired The Matrixx Group, an Evansville, Ind.-based compounder of thermoplastic resins. No financial terms were disclosed. Wind Point partnered on the deal with former Rohm & Hass president Mike Fitzpatrick, who will assume the role of chairman and CEO with Matrixx.

Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN) has agreed to sell 1,855 megawatts of gas-fired generation assets in Georgia to ArcLight Capital Partners for around $480 million. The assets consist of Effingham County Power (combined-cycle); Monroe Power Company Generating (combustion turbines); Walton County Power (combustion turbines); and Washington County Power (combustion turbines).

Telefonica SA said that it may sell all of part of its 75% ownership stake in Dutch television producer Endemol Entertainment Holding NV. The deal would be worth around Euro 3 billion, with a number of private equity firms reported to be interested.

Black Diamond Minerals LLC, a Denver-based oil and gas production startup, has raised $40 million in private equity funding from Natural Gas Partners.

PE-Backed IPOs

GSI Technology Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of static random access memory products for networking and telecom equipment, has set its proposed IPO terms to eight million common shares at between $6.50 and $8 per share. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol GSIT, with Needham & Co. and WR Hambrecht & Co. serving as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders include Monet Capital. GSI had filed for a $103.5 million IPO in 2004, but withdrew its registration later that year.

PE-Backed M&A

National Healing Corp., a Boca Raton, Fla.-based provider of management services and technology in wound care to hospitals, has acquired Medical Multiplex Inc., a Louisville, Ky.-based consulting and management firm specializing in the development of wound care and hyperbaric medicine programs. No pricing terms were disclosed for the deal, which was financed by existing national healing shareholders Morgan Stanley Venture Partners and Scale Venture Partners. BNY Mezzanine Partners and CapitalSource Finance also participated.

DTI Dental Technologies Inc., a Vancouver-based dental products company controlled by Healthpoint Capital, has acquired Dublin, Calif.-based cosmetic dentistry lab MicroDental Laboratories Inc. from Riverside Partners. No financial terms were disclosed.

Blaze DFM, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based electrical DFM company, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. The round was concurrent to the closing of Blaze’s acquisition of Aprio Technologies, with Aprio backers El Dorado Ventures and Mobius Venture Capital participating alongside existing Blaze shareholder Lightspeed Venture Partners. Blaze DFM provides software solutions to fabless semiconductor companies, integrated device manufacturers and silicon foundries.

Aragon Surgical Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based surgical device startup, has acquired VeriSure Inc., a developer of laparoscopic enabling products. No financial terms were disclosed. Aragon has raised VC funding from Onset Ventures and Delphi Ventures.

Canon Communications LLC of Los Angeles has acquired Appliance magazine from Dana Chase Publications. No financial terms were disclosed. Canon is controlled by Spectrum Equity Investors.

PE Exits

Xantrex Technology Inc. (TSX: XTX) has completed its $108 million cash acquisition of Elgar Electronics Corp. from J.F. Lehman & Co. Elgar is a San Diego-based provider of programmable power products and systems.

Zaio Corp. (TSX-V: ZAO) has agreed to acquire the assets of Realink Corp., a Tempe, Ariz.-based provider of services to the appraisal and mortgage banking industry. The deal is valued at $3.4 million in stock. Realink has raised VC funding from firms like Insight Venture Partners, True North Partners and Blackwater Capital.

Firms & Funds

Noble Investment Group of Atlanta has closed its third private equity fund focused on the lodging and hospitality market, with $310 million in capital commitments.

Standard & Poor’s has launched a Listed Private Equity Index, comprised of 25 private equity companies listed on exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia.

Human Resources

The Private Equity Council has named Steve Judge vice president for government affairs. He previously was with the Securities Industry Association (SIA) as senior vice president of government affairs and head of the group’s Washington DC office.

Wolfgang Kitza has joined 3i Group as a venture partner focused on venture capital opportunities in the media sector. He previously served as chairman and CEO of online hotel reservations company Worldpres and, before that, was managing director of the Bertelsmann Internet Group.

Mark Nydam has joined PCG Asset Management as a managing director focused on the cleantech sector. He previously was a principal with Booz Allen & Hamilton, where he oversaw the creation of a cleantech-focused private equity organization for Kuwait Petroleum Corp.

Cogent Partners has promoted Brian Mooney and Todd Miller to director, and Katita Palamar and William Farrell to vice president.

David Sylvester has joined Venture Philanthropy Partners as a partner. He is a longtime private equity attorney, who in 2000 established the Northern Virginia office of Hale & Dorr.

Tom Denison has joined Brown Gibbons Lang & Co. as senior managing director and co-head of the firm’s Chicago office. He previously was with Banc of America Securities, most recently as head of the firm’s mid-cap investment banking group.

David Kreilein and John Stewart have joined turnaround firm Monomoy Capital Partners as operating partners. Kreilein previously was a vice president and portfolio manager with Sun Capital Partners, while Stewart has spent the past 18 years as an executive with Toyota Motor Corp.