peHUB Wire: Friday, November 6, 2009

No time for a column this morning, as The Blackstone Group’s media call begins at 9:30am (it posted a quarterly profit).You can follow (and participate) in my live-blog here.

Also, please remember that my tentative goal is to launch the Internship Rodeo next Wednesday, which means firms should send in their listings as soon as possible. We’re gotten about 15 participating firms so far, but would like to hit our traditional level of 50+. Go here for full details, or feel free to send me an email.

Top Three

Permira has entered into exclusive talks to buy UK-based survival equipment maker Survitec from Montagu Private Equity. The deal is expected to be worth around £300 million, with Permira besting rival bids from Warburg Pincus and The Carlyle Group.

Facet Solutions Inc., a Hopkinton, Mass.-based developer of surgical devices for the treatment of degenerative spinal disorders, has acquired the assets of Archus Orthopedics, a Redmond, Wash.-based company that closed its doors three months ago. Facet Solutions has raised over $20 million from firms like De Novo Ventures, FirstMark Capital and Spray Venture Partners. Archus had raised around $64 million from InterWest Partners, J&J Development Corp., Polaris Venture Partners and MPM Capital.

Lime Rock, an energy-focused private equity firm, has closed its second Lime Rock Resources fund with $410 million in capital commitments. It will seek to acquire, directly operate and improve lower-risk oil and gas properties in the United States.

VC Deals

TravelHorizon BV, a French operator of an online travel site, has raised €20 million in new VC funding. AGF Private Equity and CM-CIC Capital led the round, and were joined by return backer Wellington Partners. Hotel managementcompany HMC is no longer a shareholder. Part of the proceeds will be used to acquire Sportura BV, a Dutch online travel site focused on ski-related trips.

Metabolex Inc., a Hayward, Calif.-based drug company focused on diabetes and other metabolic disorders, has raised $8.6 million in fifth-round funding. Return backers include Alta Partners, Venrock, Versant Ventures, Bay City Capital, VantagePoint Venture Partners, Novo Ventures, Pictet, Next Chapter Holdings, Charter Ventures, Merlin Biome! d and Birchmere Ventures. The company previouslyraised around $196 million in total VC funding since 1996, including a 2003 financial restructuring.

Light Sciences Oncology Inc., a Snoqualmie, Wash.-based developer of light-activated treatments for solid tumors, has raised $35 million in debt and option financing, according to a regulatory filing. VentureWire refers to the round as “bridge financing” as it considers a second stab at the IPO market. LSO hadfiled for an IPO in early 2006, but pulled it in 2008 citing”unfavorable market conditions.” At the time, LSOhad raised nearly $99 million in VC funding since 2005, from firms like Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, Scandinavian Life Science Venture, Novo AS, New Science Ventures, China Industrial Development Bank and Johnson & Johnson Development Corp.

Mandelbrot Project Inc., a stealth-mode startup founded by former Daily Candy CEO Pete Sheinbaum, has raised $500,000 in first-round funding from Foundry Group, according to a regulatory filing.

Buyouts Deals

The Carlyle Group has agreed to sponsor a $230 million management buyout of Chimney Co. (Tokyo: 3362), a Japanese restaurant chain operator. Leveraged financing is being provided by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi JFJ, Mizuho Bank and Development Bank of Japan.

Lazy Days’ R.V. Center Inc., a Seffner, Fla.-based portfolio company of Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill & Co., has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, as part of a previously-announced financial restructuring. Wayzata Investment Partners will become majority shareholder, via a debt-for-equity swap.

Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. h! as agreed to buy a 65% stake in the Travel Channel from Cox Communications, in a deal that values Travel Channel at $975 million. Other interested suitors had included News Corp., KKR, THL Partners and Providence Equity Partners.

TPH Partners has formed Storm Peak Energy, a Midland, Texas-based acquisition platform focused on oil and gas properties in the Permian Basin. No financial terms were disclosed.

PE Exits

Lonza Group AG (VTX: LONN) has acquired AlgoNomics NV, a Ghent, Belgium-based provider of immunogenicity screening services and tools. No financial terms were disclosed. AlgoNomics had raised a small amount of VC funding fromBaekeland Fund II, Gemma Frisius Fund, TrustCapital, VIB and the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology.

Firms & Funds

Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co. (Tokyo: 8403) and Chuo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. (Tokyo: 8309) said they plan to merge, creating Japan’s largest trust bank.

WAMEX Private Equity Management has held a $55 million first close for its second fund, which will focus on mid-market opportunities in Mexico.

Human Resources

Steven Axel has joined private equity firm Southfield Capital Advisors as head of a new mezzanine fund, which is expected to be licensed as an SBIC and begin investing next year. He previously was a managing director with Calvert Street Capital Partners.

Max Burger-Calderon has retired as chairman of Apax Partners‘ Asia operations, according to Dow Jones. He will now serve as part-time non-executive chairman, and will not be succeeded in his fulltime role. Dow Jones also reports that Michael Prahl has left Apax, where he focused on retail and consumer investing out of the firm’s Hong Kong office.

Permira announced several changes to its Paris office: Benoit Vauchy will be promoted to head of the office, following Philippe Robert’s retirement at year-end. Jean-Marc Espalioux, chairman and CEO of chairman and CEO of Financière Agache Private Equity, will join as a senior advisor and Simon Marc, formerly of Candover and Apax Partners, will join as a principal.