PE Week Wire: Wed., Nov. 7, 2007

No column today, as I’m in New York for a series of meetings (and there was a whole mess of news to sort through). Luckily I get a break in the action this afternoon, at which point I’ll do some blog posting at peHUB. So check there for your daily dose of wit/banality, wisdom/foolishness and information/d’uh, I already knew that…

*** Oh, and one more thing. I plan to launch the Annual Internship Drive sometime next week. More formal details to come, but the shorthand version goes like this:

Is your firm looking to hire interns for summe 2008 from the current crop of first-year MBAs? If so, we will post those listings for free in the MBA Forum section of peHUB. Your postings can be as long or short as you’d like, with or without your firm name attached. Please send me an email with the posting, which must include the type of firm (VC, LBO, I-bank, etc.), job location and an email address to which CVs should be sent (it can be a third-party Gmail, Hotmail, etc.).

Again, more info tomorrow (MBAs: Don’t email me yet — I’ll get to you once the firms have gotten to me.

Top Three

Navigenics Inc., a Redwood Shores, Calif.-based provider of personalized genomics, has announced that it has closed its Series B round. No specific amount was disclosed, except that the company has now raised over $25 million. Mohr Davidow Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital.

Agria Corp., a Chinese provider of upstream agricultural solutions like corn seeds, sheep breeding products and seedling products, has raised $282 million through its IPO. The company priced 17.15 million American depository shares at $16.50 per share ($14.50-$16.50 range), and will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol GRO. Credit Suisse served as lead underwriter. Shareholders include Brothers Capital Ltd. (84.6% pre-IPO position), TPG (8.4%) and Dubai Investment Group (6.4%).

Alan Muney has joined The Blackstone Group’s private equity team as an executive director who will oversee healthcare benefits at Blackstone portfolio companies. This is a new position. Muney previously was executive vice president and chief medical officer of Oxford Health Plans.

VC Deals

VeriSilicon Holdings Co. Ltd., a SoC platform-based integrated circuit design foundry, has raised $20 million in Series D funding led by China Investment Fund, a business alliance between IBM and Lehman Brothers. Other participants included VantagePoint Venture Partners and return backers Austin Ventures, Sierra Ventures and CID. VeriSilicon has now raised $58 million in total VC funding since its 2001 inception.

Azaleos Corp., a Seattle-based managed Microsoft Exchange and messaging company, has raised $10 million in Series C funding. Ignition Partners led the round, and was joined by return backer Second Avenue Partners.

MerchantCircle, a Los Altos, Calif.-based online network of local business owners, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. IAC and Square 1 Bank were joined by return backers like Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners and Steamboat Ventures.

Speakanet AS, a Copenhagen-based provider of mobile telephone switchboard solutions for businesses, has raised $10 million in new VC funding. Via Venture Partners was joined by return backers Northzone Ventures and Eqvitec Partners.

Celltick Technologies Ltd., a London-based provider of a media platform to promote content and brands over the idle screens on mobile phones, has raised $8.5 million in Series D funding. The round was co-led by return backers Amadeus Capital Partners and JVP. Celltick previously had raised nearly $25 million in VC funding. Get more info.

Wimba Inc., a New York-based provider of collaborative education software, has raised $8.4 million in Series B funding led by Ascend Venture Group.

Hypobaric Therapeutics Inc., a Carmel, Calif.-based developer of non-invasive dialysis solutions, has raised $7.5 million in first-round funding from management and individual angels, according to VentureWire.

Novomer Inc., an Ithaca, N.Y.-based developer of biodegradable plastics, polymers and other chemicals from renewable substances like carbon dioxide, has raised $6.6 million in Series A funding. Physic Ventures and Flagship Ventures co-led the round.

Aria Systems Inc., a Media, Penn.-based provider of on-demand billing and customer management services, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

Networked Insights, a Madison, Wis.-based customer interaction network, has raised $4 million in first-round funding from Kegonsa Capital.

Apaja Online Entertainment, a Finnish online gaming and community operator, has raised €1.75 million in VC funding from Martinson Trigon Venture Partners.

Plextronics Inc., a Pittsburgh-based developer of active-layer technology for printed electronic devices, has raised an undisclosed amount of new VC funding from Applied Ventures. The deal comes just months after Plextronics raised $20.6 million in Series B funding from The Solvay Group, Firelake Capital, Birchmere Ventures, Draper Triangle Ventures and Newlin Investment Company.

Buyout Deals

Audax Group has acquired Mini-Skool Early Learning Centers Inc., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based national operator of full and part-time early child care centers. No financial terms were disclosed. Ableco Finance provided senior debt, while RoyNat Capital provided mezzanine financing. Mini-Skool was advised by Renaissance Capital Group.

BB&T Capital Partners has sponsored a recapitalization of Unishippers Global Logistics, a Salt Lake City-based reseller of shipping services. No financial terms were disclosed. BB&T led the equity tranche, which also included participation from Roynat Capital and company management. Zions First National Bank and Roynat provided the debt financing.

Blue Point Capital Partners and BB&T Capital Partners have acquired Lion Brewery Inc. of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. for an undisclosed amount. Leveraged finance and an equity co-investment came from Golub Capital.

EnergySouth Midstream, a subsidiary of EnergySouth Inc. (NASDAQ: ENSI), and Fortress Investment Group have agreed to jointly acquire gas storage company Mississippi Hub LLC. The deal is valued at $140 million, with EnergySouth to own a 60% stake and Fortress to own 40 percent.

MountainView Capital Holdings LLC, a Denver-based lender in the secondary residential mortgage market, has raised $65 million in common equity. Backers include Union Square Partners, CLAC Industries and MountainView management.

PE-Backed IPOs

BioForm Medical Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based developer of an injectable dermal filler for aesthetic improvement, raised $80 million through its IPO. The company priced 10 million common shares at $8 per share ($9-$11 range), for an initial market cap of approximately $357 million. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol BFRM, while JPMorgan and Piper Jaffray served as co-lead underwriters. The company had raised nearly $65 million in total VC funding since 2000, from firms like Essex Woodlands Health Ventures (20.5% pre-IPO stake), PTV Sciences (18.3%), Vivo Ventures (15.4%), Veron International Ltd. (9.6%) and Teknoinvest (9.1%).

American Public Education Inc., a Charles Town, West Va.-based provider of online postsecondary education for the military and public service communities, has increased its IPO price range from $15-$17 per share to $18-$19 per share. It still plans to offer 4.69 million common shares and trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol APEI. William Blair & Co. and Piper Jaffray are serving as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders include ABS Capital Partners (41.4% pre-IPO stake) and Camden Partners (10.3%).

PE Exits

AOL has agreed to acquire Quigo Technologies Inc., a New York-based provider of contextual online advertising solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Quigo has raised over $11 million in venture funding from Highland Capital Partners, Institutional Venture Partners and Steamboat Ventures. Get more info.

D&B (NYSE: DNB) has acquired Purisma Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.–based provider of commercial data integration, for $48 million. Purisma had raised $12.6 million in VC funding from Granite Ventures, Worldview Technology Partners, Informatica and Oracle (via Hyperion).

ING has agreed to acquire ShareBuilder Corp., a Bellevue, Wash.-based online brokerage, for $220 million in cash. ShareBuilder has raised around $75 million in VC funding since 1999, from firms like Madrona Venture Group, Guide Ventures, Beranova Capital Co., WM Strategic Capital Fund, Lake Street Capital, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Kirlan Venture Capital.

The Providence Service Corp. (Nasdaq: PRSC) has agreed to acquire LogistiCare Inc., an Atlanta-based coordinator of non-emergency transportation services to Medicaid recipients, from Charterhouse Group, Summit Partners and AlpInvest Partners. The deal is valued at approximately $220 million in cash and converted employee stock options, which is around 9x estimated 2007 EBITDA. The sellers also could receive a $40 million earn-out in 2004. LogistiCare was acquired by the sellers in 2004 for approximately $155 million.

PE-Backed M&A

Inovis Inc., an Alpharetta, Ga.-based provider of software and services to support online B2B trading, has acquired BetweenMarkets Inc., an Austin, Texas–based provider of on-demand trading partner applications for supply chain hubs and suppliers. No financial terms were disclosed. Inovis is backed by Cerberus Capital Management and Golden Gate Capital, while BetweenMarkets recently had raised VC funding from such firms as Austin Ventures and Trellis Partners.

VWR International LLC, a West Chester, Pa.–based lab supply company owned by Madison Dearborn Partners, has acquired Dutch lab supply company Olnilabo International BV. No financial terms were disclosed.

Firms & Funds

KRG Capital Partners has closed its fourth fund with $1.96 billion in capital commitments. The Denver-based firm began fundraising in May with a $1.25 billion target, and will continue to acquire profitable middle-market companies that can benefit from a “buy and build” investment strategy.

The Carlyle Group has closed its first infrastructure fund with $1.15 billion in capital commitments. The fund will invest primarily in transportation and water infrastructure projects in the U.S. and Canada, generally ranging from $100 million to more than $1 billion in enterprise value.

The Blackstone Group has set a $20 billion target for its next private equity fund, according to LBO Wire.

CDC Group has made a pair of $10 million commitments to private equity funds focused on opportunities in South Africa. The first is to Medu Capital Fund II, while the other is to Horizon Equity III.

Human Resources

Matthew Bonner has joined DCM, an early-stage venture capital firm, as general counsel. He previously was a corporate and securities attorney with Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP.

Boston Ventures has promoted both Louis Bertocci and Justin Harrison to partner. Bertocci joined Boston Ventures in 1996, while Harrison joined in 1999.

John Shettle has joined Lightyear Capital as a fulltime senior advisor. He previously was president and CEO of insurance company The Schinnerer Group.

Krista Jones has joined Liquid Realty Partners as a fund controller She previously was a financial analyst with Credit Suisse.