PE Week Wire: Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The market may be horrible, but that’s no reason you can’t have a few drinks and commiserate with your peers. In fact, it’s even more of a reason to do so.

In that spirit, I’m pleased to announce the next installment of peHUB Across America, with return stops in Boston, New York and Washington DC. Each evening will be a chance to hobnob with local VCs, buyout pros, entrepreneurs, bankers and assorted hangers-on (including yours truly).

Each ticket costs just $10, with the proceeds going to a local charity that will be voted on by event attendees (you can nominate one upon sign up).

These are the final peHUB Shindigs of 2008, and they tend to sell out, so get ’em now:

Washington DC

Tuesday, Nov. 11

New York City

Wednesday, Nov. 12


Thursday, Nov. 13

Huge thanks to regional sponsors Dechert LLP and Square 1 Bank. We like them a whole bunch. Same goes for Boston local sponsor Polachi & Co.

Top Three

Acresso, a portfolio company of Thoma Bravo, has agreed to acquire Intraware Inc. (Nasdaq: ITRA), a provider of digital delivery and management services. The total deal is valued at approximately $27 million, or $4 per share (29% premium to last Friday’s closing price). Savvian managed the process for Intraware.

Ambow Education Co Ltd., a Chinese provider of education services to middle-school students, has raised $103 million in private equity funding. Actis led the deal, and was joined by return backers Avenue and Macquarie Group.

Cobalt Biofuels, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of biobutanol, has raised $25 million in Series C funding. New backer LSP and returnee Pinnacle Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by Harris & Harris Group and existing shareholders Vantage Point Venture Partners, The Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund and @Ventures.

VC Deals

Intransa Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of network-centric IP storage solutions, has raised $15 million in new VC funding. Rho Ventures was joined by return backers Entrepia Ventures, Guggenheim Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures and U.S. Venture Partners. The company has now raised over $110 million in total VC funding since 2001.

Trusteer, a New York-based provider of customer protection solutions for online businesses, has raised $6 million in Series B funding led by U.S. Venture Partners.

Texert Inc., a Dallas-based provider of enterprise risk management solutions, has raised $3 million in Series A funding from New Venture Partners.

Replay Solutions Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of testing automation solutions for software development, has raised $2 million in new Series B funding from UV Partners. It had held an $11 million first close in August from Sigma Partners, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Partech International.

amBX UK Ltd., a UK-based provider of “sensory surround” entertainment technology, has spun out from Philips Technology Incubator with an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Prime Technology Ventures., a New York–based online television network, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding led by Bain Capital Ventures.

Pervasis Therapeutics Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of regenerative cell-based therapies and devices, is seeking to raise $25 million in Series C funding, according to VentureWire. It previously raised nearly $30 million from firms like Flagship Venture Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, Highland Capital Partners, and Musket Research Associates.

Buyout Deals

Arbor Investments has acquired a majority stake in Bradshaw International Inc., a Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.–based wholesale distributor and market of kitchen and cleaning products. No financial terms were disclosed.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) may have “significant claims” against bankrupt Washington Mutual, according to court documents filed yesterday.

Legends Hospitality Management LLC, a Newark, N.J.-based provider of sports business services, has been formed by The New York Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys, Goldman Sachs and CIC Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. Legends will be led by Michael Rawlings, former president of Pizza Hut.

PetrolInvest, a publicly-traded oil exploration group, is in talks with private equity firms to sell up to $250 million worth of new shares. The capital would be used for drilling in Kazakhstan.

PE Exits

IDEX Corp. (NYSE: IEX) has acquired Semrock, a Rochester, N.Y.–based provider of optical filters for biotech and analytical instrumentation in the life sciences markets. The deal was valued at approximately $60 million in cash. Semrock had raised around $16 million in VC funding from firms like Bluestream Ventures.

PE-Backed M&A

NaviMedix, a Cambridge, Mass.–based provider of real-time healthcare communications, has acquired TopLine Solutions Inc., a provider of healthcare payment and collection solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. NaviMedix has raised around $57 million in VC funding from firms like Atlas Venture, GE Equity, Highmark Blue Cross, Coral Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, Firepond Partners, Hearst Corp. and Internet HealthCare Group.

Firms & Funds

Alchemy Partners may try to raise £1 billion for a new distressed fund, according to an FT interview with firm head Jon Moulton. It had raised a £300 million distressed fund in March 2007.

Beechbrook Capital has received a $75 million commitment for its debut mezzanine fund, from FRM Capital Advisors. London-based Beechbrook plans to hold a second close next year.

KCPII, a £500 million UK-based buyout fund backed by Icelandic bank Kaupthing, has been sized. Administrators Smith & Williamson have named centE Investors as the new fund manager.

Human Resources

Allan Bufferd, former treasurer of MIT, has joined Family Endowment Partners as executive chairman.

Mitchell Caplan has joined Aquiline Capital Partners as an executive advisor, focused on the retail financial services sector. He previously was CEO of E*Trade Financial Corp.

Hidetaka Fukuda has joined Silver Lake as a Tokyo-based special advisor. He spent 25 years in the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, before leaving in 2006 to form a consulting firm called E-conservo.

Jeffrey Greenip has joined Jefferies as a managing director in the firm’s financial sponsors group. He previously was with Bear Stearns.

Highland Capital Partners has promoted Dr. Bijan Salehizadeh has to general partner. He had joined the firm’s Menlo Park office in 2004 as a senior associate, and focuses on early-stage medical device and biotech opportunities. Highland also has added vascular biologist Dr. Elazer Edelman as a senior advisor.

Liu Lefei has been named chairman of CITIC Private Equity. He previously was chief investment officer of China Life.

Jon Westberg has joined Lake Capital as a vice president of leveraged finance. He previously worked in the syndicated and leveraged finance division of J.P. Morgan.