peHUB Wire: Monday, March 16, 2009

Today represents the beginning of that very special time of year, when corporate America turns its collective blind eye toward sports gambling. That’s right dear reader, it’s time for our seventh annual March Madness Extravaganza.

The contest is open to all of our readers, with the top finisher to receive three prizes: (1) A Premium Membership to peHUB, which includes one year of complimentary access to our entire editorial archive; (2) A complementary one-year subscription to the Thomson Reuters print publication of your choice: Buyouts, PE Week, Venture Capital Journal or European Venture Capital Journal (must be pub you’re not a current subscriber to); and (3) The opportunity to write a lead column for peHUB Wire (this blue part), which could mean anything from an essay to a company advertisement to a plea for work.

To Play:

1. You will need a Yahoo account, which you can get here if you don’t already have one. Once you’ve done so, sign in and then go to:

2. Select “Join a Group” (you may have to hit it twice)

3. I have created four groups. If one is full, try another. If they all fill up, I’ll add more (only one entry per reader, please).

4. You will need the Group ID and Password to join the group. The group IDs are: 111342, 110987, 112853 and 109535. The password to each group is: piktoggle

5. Just follow the instructions and pick your bracket. You also can choose to qualify for some big cash prizes Yahoo is offering.

Finally, I ask that each participant let me know your group name, real name and place of business. This is so I can identify leaders and winners. Please email me here (special email address only for this purpose), with the team name in the subject heading and your real name/job in the email body.

Good luck…

Top Three

Candover Investments PLC, the listed parent of UK-based private equity firm Candover, said on Friday that Friday it had received indicative expressions of interest for the business.

Satam Computer Services Ltd., a fraud-struck Indian IT outsourcer, said that private equity firms are among multiple parties that have bid for a controlling stake.

Robert Redmond has agreed to join Macquarie Capital Advisors as vice chairman in the U.S. He is the former chairman of global financial sponsor coverage for Lehman Brothers.

VC Deals

SFJ Pharmaceuticals Inc., a platform for bringing U.S. and European drugs to Japan, has raised $45 million in Series A funding, according to VentureWire.! Abingworth Management and Clarus Ventures co-led the round, which was designed to help the company acquire its first products. The company’s website is not yet active.

ScanSafe, a London-based provider of online security-as-a-service solutions, has raised $13.5 million in Series C funding, according to a regulatory filing. Montagu Newhall Associates was joined by return backers Balderton Capital and Scale Venture Partners. ScanSafe previously raised $30 million.

NKT Therapeutics Inc., a Newton, Mass.-based developer of therapeutics based on immune cells called natural killer T (NKT) cells, has raised $8 million in Series A funding co-led by SV Life Sciences and MedImmune Ventures.

Numerate Inc., a San Bruno, Calif.-based drug engineering company, has raised around $5.5 million in Series B funding, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Foundation Capital and Lanza TechVentures. Numerate previously raised $4 million.

Cloudera, a Burlingame, Calif.-based provider of services and support for open-source software Hadoop, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Accel Partners. Read more…

JaJah Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based Internet telephone company, has secured $2.75 million of a $5 million in fourth-round funding, according to a regulatory filing. The company previously raised $23 million from Globespan Capital Partners, Intel Capital, Deutsche Telekom and Sequoia Capital.

Columb Technologies Inc., a Campbell, Calif.-based developer of recharge solutions for electric cars, has raised $3.75 million in Series A funding led by Estag Capital AG.

Fisker Automotive Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based electric car maker, has raised $3.5 million in additional Series C funding, according to a regulatory filing. Thomas Lloyd Capital served as placement agent. This brings the round total to $68.5 million, and the company’s total VC funding to $94 million. Backers include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Palo Alto Investors and Al Ghaffara Investment Co. (Quatar).

Adspace Networks Inc., a New York-based operator of an in-mall digital video advertising network, has called down $3 million of a $5 million Series F round, according to a regulatory filing. The company previously raised around $63 million from AIG, Steelpoint Capital, DCM, GIC Investments, The Walnut Group and The Hauser, Davis & Tysoe Group.

Real Time Genomics Inc., a San Francisco-based developer of genomic dataset analysis software, has secured $3 million of a $4 million Series A round from Catamount Ventures, according to a regulatory filing. The company is a U.S. unit of New Zealand-based software maker NetValue.

33Across, a New York-based developer of technology to identify influential online users, has called down $750,000 of a $1.5 million VC round, according to a regulatory filing. Return backers include First Round Capital.

Good Data, an SAS cloud computing startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from General Catalyst and angel investor John Landry, according to Scott Kirsner’s Innovation Economy blog. The company was founded in Prague, but is moving its corporate headquarters to San Francisco.

PubMatic, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based ad revenue optimization company for online publishers, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding. Return backers include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Nexus India Capital, and Helion Ventures. The company had raised a $7 million Series A round in early 2008.

Buyout Deals

The Carlyle Group plans to raise its stake in Willcom Inc. from 60% to 65%, by acquiring shares in a private placement, according to a Japanese financial daily. Willcom makes personal handyphone systems.

Doughty Hanson and Goldman Sachs reportedly have written off their investment in Setanta, an Irish pay television broadcaster. Doughty Hanson holds around a 20% stake, while Goldman Sachs holds a 5% stake.

KPS Capital Partners has completed its acquisition of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Labatt USA unit. It also bought High Falls Brewing Co. and a perpetual license for the Seagram’s Cooler Escapes and Seagram’s Smooth brands from Pernod Ricard USA. No financial terms for any of the transactions were disclosed. !

PAI Partners has proposed a debt-for-equity swap to lenders of Saeco International Group, an Italian coffee machine maker. Saeco currently has a €562 million debt load.

Terra Firma has acquired Consolidated Pastoral Co., Australia’s second-largest beef producer, from gaming tycoon James Packer. The deal reportedly is valued at around A$425 million (US$278m).

PE Exits

Covance Inc. (NYSE: CVD) has acquired Swiss Pharma Contract, a 50-bed clinical research company based in Basel, Switzerland. No financial terms were disclosed. According to VentureWire, Swiss Pharma raised seed funding in 1998 from Novartis Venture Fund.

Enzo Biochem Inc. (NYSE: ENZ) has acquired the assets of Assay Designs Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based provider of immunoassay (ELISA) kits, luminescent reagents, antibodies and proteins for the life sciences research market. The deal was valued at approximately $12.2 million in cash. Assay Designs had raised around $5 million from Ampersand Ventures.

Roche has agreed to acquire Innovatis AG from Ventizz Capital Partners for €15 million. Innovatis is a Bielefeld, Germany-based provider of automated cell analysis solutions.

Firms & Funds

KKR has paid $211 million to buy stakes in five of its own portfolio companies, from its Amsterdam-listed affiliate (KPE). The stakes were in Biomet, Dollar General, First Data, HCA and The Nielson Co.

Thoma Bravo has closed its ninth private equity fund with $822.5 million in capital commitments. Its first investment from the fund came last April, when it acquired Acresso Software for $200 million.

Human Resources

Bill Clinton has severed his connections to Yucaipa Cos., according to The Wall Street Journal. He also will forgo a payment that had once been estimated to be worth up to $20 million.

Carlo Calabria has joined Bank of America as head of M&A outside of the Americas. He previously was Merrill Lynch’s top European M&A banker.

Xuan Changneng, a former managing director of J.C. Flowers in charge of its China operations, has agreed to join the People’s Bank of China as head of its Financial Stability Bureau.

Michael Hobbs has joined St. Charles Capital as a managing director in the firm’s financial services practice. He previously was with Keybanc as president of the Rocky Mountains Region.

UBS plans to cut up to 5,000 senior and management jobs in the next few weeks, according to Swiss weekly SonntagsZeitung.