The sun is shining, the beloved BoSox are drowning and Potash is digging a tunnel to China for rival bidders. In other words, it’s time for some Friday Feedback.
*** First up are a bunch of replies to Tuesday’s column about Steve Schwarzman’s Washington/Poland comments.
Kicking us off is James: “I don’t disagree with you on your characterization of Schwarzman’s comments as hyperbole and nothing like 1939.However, for the record, our president does loathe private equity and its Wall Street brethren, and while a CEO atop Commerce may or not be a good idea, having a few people in the administration who actually had to meet a payroll or who once operated in the private sector might be a good idea since the private sector, for the moment, is still the largest part of our economy (although government is coming on fast).”
Alan: “If the CEO of any other public company had said something like this, there would be calls for his resignation.”
Hank: “Yes, the comment was over the top. But you obviously have no idea what it feels like right now to be a private equity investor. Not only does tax uncertainty make it impossible for us to predict future take-home, but overall regulatory uncertainty is causing forecasting problems at almost all of our portfolio companies. We feel powerless.”
Peter: “For everyone who keeps talking about DC-borne uncertainty: When is the last time you had ‘certainty’ about future taxes, regulations or anything else? Were you ‘certain’ Enron wouldn’t collapse? Were you ‘certain’ that 9/11 would be like any other Tuesday? Were you ‘certain’ that Obama would win? Or that McCain would? Were you ‘certain’ that Friendster would revolutionize our social interactions? Were you ‘certain’ that there would never be federal healthcare reform, or that the current bill won’t be altered in upcoming years? Our job is based on making educated guesses. If there was ‘certainty,’ the! n market efficiency would wipe out almost all of our return potential. ”
*** John: “I found a reference for Altamont Capital Partners at the CA Sec. of State website. Assuming it’s the Jesse Rogers firm, and it’s listed as filing on May 18, 2010. That’s just about a month after you reported on his ‘retirement.’ Sounds like you got snookered.”
*** Chris on the ILPA principles: “I’m just not seeing most top-tier managers moving to 100% fee-sharing. Is it possible that you pension fund manager has only made a few commitments in that time, so it’s not a representative sample?” Yes Chris, it is possible (not an endorsement – just don’t know). More data on this general issue to come…
*** Sandra on LaGuardia: “I like to think that the LaGuardia tarmac waits are part of a long-term psychological study, and that there are cameras in all of the planes stuck out there. In 20 years a landmark report will be released, and we can feel that we were serving a greater cause.”
*** Have a great weekend…
Complete Genomics Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based human genome sequencing company, has raised $39 million in Series E funding. Sands Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Essex Woodlands, OVP Venture Partners, Prospect Venture Partners, OrbiMed Advisors, Highland Capital Management and Enterprise Partners. The company previously raised around $90 million, and recently filed for an $86.25 million IPO.
Sterling Financial Corp. (N! asdaq: STSA) today announced new terms of its recapitalization, including amendments to existing financing agreements from Warburg Pincus and THL Partners. The bank holding company now plans to raise a total of $730 million, including $171 million from each of the two private equity firms. THL originally agreed to invest $175 million, but then lowered that to $138 million — in order to match a subsequent commitment from Warburg Pincus.
John Hadl has joined U.S. Venture Partners as a venture partner, focused on consumer Internet and business services opportunities. He is the co-founder of USVP portfolio company Total Beauty, and will continue to serve as CEO of mobile advertising company Brand-in-Hand. USVP also announced that former BeVocal CEO Mikael Berner is joining as an entrepreneur-in-residence.
MindBody Inc., a spa software provider, has secured $11 million of a $14 million funding round, according to a regulatory filing. The company last year raised $5.6 million from Catalyst Investors, and earlier this year bought ClientMagic Software. www.mindbody.com
Anchor Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of pepducin drug candidates, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Return backers include TVM Capital, HealthCare Ventures and the Novartis Option Fund. The company also said it is in talks with other investors for additional Series B financing.
Oggifinogi, a rich media company with offices in New York and Seattle, has raised $2 million in Series A funding. Greycroft Partners led the round, and was joined by iNovia Capital, Contour Venture Partners and individual angel investors. Read more…
Barclays Private Equity has acquired a majority stake in British bottle-maker Allied Glass from CBPE Capital, for £75 million. BPE invested nearly £30 million, with company management co-investing on the equity and senior debt provided by Lloyds TSB and HSBC. www.bpe.com
Klesh & Co., a UK private equity firm, has agreed to acquire the Heide oil refinery in Germany from Royal Dutch Shell. No financial terms were disclosed.
Tonka Bay Equity Partners and Silver Peak Partners have acquired Freshpack Produce LLC, a Denver-based distributor and repackager of fresh fruits and vegetables. No financial terms were disclosed.
Wise Partners, a Japane! se private equity firm, has agreed to acquire Teibow Co., a local maker of felt pen nibs, from Goldman Sachs. The deal reportedly is valued at around $176 million, with Wise Partners beating out rival bidders Advantage Partners, Polaris Capital Group and CITIC Capital.
Dubai International Capital reportedly may put UK-based Alliance Medical up for sale if talks over an emergency cash infusion fail. The new money is required before September 16, which is when a standstill agreement with lenders expires.
Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has agreed to acquire Motally, a San Francisco-based developer of a mobile analytics platform. Motally had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from BlueRun Ventures and Ron Conway.
Pacific Equity Partners has hired Morgan Stanley and Greenhill Caliburn to advise on strategic options for New Zealand poultry producer Tegal Foods. A sale could be worth more than $530 million.
The Riverside Company! has sold Commonwealth Laminating & Coating Inc. to an “undisclosed group of investors.” No financial terms were disclosed, although Riverside said the deal produced a 10x cash-on-cash return. CLC is a Virginia-based maker and distributor of window film used for solar protection, aesthetics and security.
Chegg, an online textbook rental company, has acquired CourseRank, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of an online platform for college students to create and share their course schedule and write reviews of professors. No financial terms were disclosed. Chegg has raised around $144 million in private equity and debt, from groups that include Kleiner Perkins, Foundation Capital and Insight Venture Partners.
Total Beauty Media Inc., a digital beauty publisher, has acquired Limelife, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based developer of mobile games and lifestyle applications targeted at women. no financial terms were disclosed. Total Beauty is backed by U.S. Venture Partners, while LimeLife had raised over $33 million from USVP, Rustic Canyon, Monitor Ventures, i-Hatch Ventures and Core Capital Partners.
Jonathan Bayer has joined Sagent Advisors as general counsel and chief compliance officer. He previously was with Willis Group as chief counsel for the firm’s capital markets and advisory unit.
Wulf Bernotat has joined Permira as a senior advisor. He previously was CEO of E.On Group, and is a board member at Metro, Allianz, Deutsche Telekom and Bertelsmann. www.permira.com