PE Week Wire: Wed., Jan. 2, 2008

Lots of Q4 and year-end 2007 data coming out today, so here’s a quick roundup:

U.S. Buyout Deals

Announced deal value of 2007 was $468.7 billion, which topped $436.2 billion from 2006.

Source: Thomson Financial

U.S. VC Deals

Official data won’t be released until later this month, but preliminary figures show that more venture dollars were disbursed in 2007 than in any other year since 2001. As of right now, the figure stands at around $26.59 billion – and typically grows as additional information is compiled via surveys and other methods (oh, and Motricity hasn’t yet been added).

Buyout-Backed IPOs

I spent many columns and TV appearances over the past year bemoaning the lack of buyout-backed IPOs, and now we’ve got some final numbers. Only 32 such offerings priced last year, raising $7.8 billion. This compares very unfavorably to the $14.8 billion raised by 59 buyout-backed IPOs in 2006.

Source: Thomson Financial

VC-Backed IPOs

Thirty-one VC-backed companies went public on U.S. exchanges in Q4, which was the highest quarterly total in seven years. They raised $3 billion, and pushed the year-end numbers to $10.3 billion raised by 86 offerings. Only 57 such offerings occurred in 2006, raising $5.12 billion.

Source: Thomson Financial & NVCA

VC-Backed M&A

Only 45 VC-backed companies were acquired last quarter, which is the lowest number since Q1 1998. For the year, there were 304 such exits with an aggregate disclosed value of $23.7 billion – which represents a seven-year high.

Source: Thomson Financial & NVCA

Debt & Equity Underwriters

Citigroup retained its title of top underwriter for the eighth straight year, in terms of volume. Merrill Lynch, however, secured more in fees. Get all the league tables from Thomson Financial here.

I’ll be posting a bunch of downloadable 2007 tables and charts at peHUB over the next few hours, including the year’s top deals…

Top Three

The Blackstone Group and General Electric have called off their planned $1.69 billion acquisition of PHH Corp. (NYSE: PHH), after being unable to secure the requisite debt financing. PHH has requested payment of a $50 million termination fee. The deal had been structured as a buy and split, with Blackstone to own PHH Mortgage, which originates private-label mortgages to firms like Morgan Stanley, and GE acquiring PHH Arval, which provides fleet management services.

Alma Lasers Ltd., a Caesarea, Israel-based developer of non-invasive aesthetic treatment systems, has filed for an $86.3 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ALMA, with Citi and UBS serving as co-lead underwriters. TA Associates is the company’s majority shareholder, based on a $55 million investment in 2005.

Martin Tobias has stepped down as chairman and CEO of Imperium Renewables, a Seattle-based biodiesel producer that is in registration for a $345 million IPO. No reason was given. Tobias founded the company in 2005, after leaving his job as a venture partner with Ignition Partners. It has since raised funding from firms like Nth Power, Technology Partners, Blackrock Private Equity, Attractor Investment Management, Robeco Private Equity, Silver Point Capital and Capricorn Management. Imperium said that current president John Plaza would take over as interim CEO, while Nth Power’s Nancy Floyd will become chairwoman. Tobias will remain on the board of directors.

VC Deals

AgaMatrix Inc., a Salem, N.H.-based maker of WaveSense blood glucose monitoring products, has raised $23.66 million in Series C funding, according to a regulatory filing. Return backers include Notable International Ltd. and Collaborative Seed & Growth Partners, while VentureWire reports that the round was led by new investor Ferrer Freeman & Co.

HiWired, a Needham, Mass.-based provider of IT support services, has raised $9 million in Series B funding. North Hill Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Kodiak Venture Partners and Sigma Partners. The company previously had raised around $3.6 million.

APRU Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based operator of a cross-selling platform for online services, has raised $8.73 million in Series C funding, according to a regulatory filing. Grotech Capital Group was joined by return backers Polaris Venture Partners and New Atlantic Ventures.

UBMatrix Inc., a Kirkland, Wash.-based provider of software for business reporting process and workflow, has secured just over $8 million of a $10.2 million Series B round, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Draper Fisher Jurvetson and The Meteor Group.

ForeScout Technologies Inc., a Cupertino, Calif.-based provider of network access control solutions, has secured $4 million of a $6.49 million Series E round, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Accel Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners, MeritechCapital Partners and Pintango Venture Capital.The company has now raised over $40 million in total VC funding., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based online marketplace and community for the kitchen, has raised $7 million in venture debt from Orix Venture Finance.

Buyout Deals

3i Group has agreed to buy Ultralase Ltd., the UK unit of Spanish plastic surgery provider Corporacion Dermoestetica SA, for Gbp174.5 million ($349m).

The Beekman Group has sponsored a recapitalization of Northwestern Management Services LLC, operator of dental practices branded as Gentle Dental. No financial terms were disclosed, except that Patriot Capital Funding provided $11 million in leveraged financing and a $500,000 equity co-investment.

PE-Backed IPOs

Ellora Energy Inc., a Boulder, Colo.-based oil and gas company, has raised its IPO terms to 11.37 million common shares being offered at between $12 and $14 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $745 million, were it to price at the high end of its range. Ellora plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol LORA, with AG Edwards and Friedman Billings Ramsey serving as co-lead underwriters. Ellora is a portfolio company of Yorktown Energy Partners.

DLI Holding Corp., a Uniondale, N.Y.-based maker of cosmetics and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, has withdrawn registration for a $200 million IPO. The move comes three weeks after DLI agreed to be acquired by Coty Inc. DLI is currently owned by private equity firm Kelso & Company.

PE-Backed M&A

Remington Arms Company Inc. of Madison, N.C. has agreed to acquire Marlin Firearms Co. of North Haven, Connecticut. No financial terms were disclosed. Remington was acquired last year by Cerberus Capital Management for $370 million from CD&R and Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill & Co.

Human Resources

Cinven has made five promotions: Caspar Berendsen to partner, Matthew Sabben-Clare to partner, Xavier Geismar to partner, Alexis Le Marie to principal and Christoph Hobo to principal.

Steve Price has been promoted to senior investment officer for private equity at the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio.