peHUB Wire: Monday, May 11, 2009

Last week I moderated an ACG Boston panel discussion for younger private equity pros, titled “Managing Your Career in a Recession.” Near the end, panelist Jay Jester of Audax Group noted the importance of “building your brand.” He was referring to behavior within a firm — things like leading by example, not worrying about getting credit and being helpful to others when possible.

All good advice, but I began thinking about it in a more external sense. Namely, why don’t more young PE professionals take a page from the VC world, and begin blogging?

It’s great to be highly-regarded inside your organization, but the deal business is also about how you’re viewed beyond your walls. Not only who you know, but who knows you. What better way to make a name for yourself than by becoming a visible thought leader? The primary subject could be private equity, a specific industry sector, financing restructuring, etc. Whatever you’d like to be known for, with just enough of your own personality thrown in to distinguish yourself from a reference book.

Sure it may be a bit scary, but amateur bloggers aren’t expected to be literary stars. Hell, I’ve worked with “professional” writers who didn’t deserve to pass 5th grade English. All you need to know is what you’re talking about (and if you don’t, then perhaps you’re in the wrong line of work).

It makes sense that VCs were the first investment pros to embrace blogging, given their general tech knowledge and desire to be known to other first adopters. But it is fairly senseless that other types of investors haven’t followed suit — particularly younger ones who are tech-savvy and expected to be even more job-transient than their elders.

So go build your brand. Literally.

*** This afternoon, a group of peHUB readers (and yours truly) will take the field at Fenway Park, to do softball battle with TD BankNorth (they’re going down). It’s all part of the Field of Dreams event to benefit ABCD’s SummerWorks program, which helps provide summer jobs for at-risk teens in Boston. peHUB readers donated a total of $10,725, and the corporate overlords provided us with som! e nifty peHUB shirts to wear. I’ll post photos later in the day…

*** Last month, this space was taken over for a morning by Dan Doman, who had won our March Madness Extravaganza. As a brief follow-up, Dan recently joined Austin Ventures.

*** LP Congress: A reminder that the inaugural LP Congress is less than one month away. Our attendee list is looking great, with registrants from endowments, public pensions, funds-of-funds, private foundations, etc. Remember, it’s invite-only (no service providers allowed — sorry), but you can request an invite by emailing me with your name, place of work and job title.

Big thanks to LP Congress sponsors Coller Capital and Parish Capital.

*** In Memoriam: Very sad news out of New York, where Stuart Gruskin of Valuation Research Corp. has passed away, following a pedestrian accident. Just tragic.

I met Stuart countless times at events in New York – including at our Shindigs – and remember him as gregarious and kind. He will be missed. If you would like additional information, including how to contact the family, please visit the VRC website.

Top Three

Advent International has acquired a 30% stake in CETIP SA-Balcão Organizado de Ativos e Derivativos, a central depository for private fixed-income securities and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives in Latin America. The deal is v alued at approximately R$360 million (US$170.6 million), subject to an earn-out achievement and other conditions.

Barclays PLC said yesterday that it has received new interest in its iShares asset management business, which Barclays last month agreed to sell to CVC Capital Partners for £3 billion. Both private equ! ity and trade buyers are said to have inquired, with one local media r eport identifying BC Partners as a likely suitor.

EveryZing Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based multimedia search and advertising platform, has raised $8.25! million in Series C funding. Peacock Equity Fund led the round, as part of a larger strategic agreement between EveryZing and NBC Universal. Return backers included Fairhaven Capital, General Catalyst Partners, Accel Partners and BBN Technologies.

VC Deals

ZettaCore Inc., a Denver-based developer of molecular memory solutions, has raised $21 million in Series C funding. New backers included Globis Capital Partners, Itochu Technology Ventures, Yasuda Enterprise Development, Epic Ventures and Panasonic Ventures. Return backers included Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Radius Ventures, Oxford Biosciences, Access Ventures, Garrett Capital and Stanford University.

P21 GmbH, a German provider of energy solutions for mobile operators to cut fuel costs and increase the use of renewable energy, has raised €10 million in new VC funding. Yellow&Blue Investment Management led the round, and was joined by company management and return backers Target Partners and Conduit Ventures. P21 was formed in 2001 via a management buyout from Vodafone.

Teikoku Pharma USA Inc. has acquired Travanti Pharma Inc., a Mendota Hights, Minn.-based developer of drug delivery platforms. No financial terms were disclosed. Travanti had raised over $8 million in VC funding from firms like Prolog Ventures.

TimeBridge, a San Francisco-based provider of a personal scheduling tool, has raised $5 million in Series B funding co-led by Mayfield Fund and Norwest Venture Partners.

Buyout Deals

Asciano Group Ltd., a debt-laden Australian ports operator, said it has engaged in buyout talks with four parties. A local press report suggests that the two most serious bidders are The Carlyle Group and TPG Capital.

AT&T has agreed to buy the bulk of Alltel Wireless assets being divested by Verizon Wireless, and will sell some Centennial Communications assets to Verizon Wireless for $240 million. Dow Jones reports that Verizon also received bids from KKR and a pairing of Apollo Management and Blackstone Group.

Best Prospect Overseas Ltd., a Chinese investor group, has withdrawn its offer to buy a 51% stake in U.S. ringtone provider Hurray Holding Co. Ltd.

Dubai World said that a “regional private equity firm” has inquired about purchasing a stake in port operator DP World.

Guaranty Bancorp (Nasdaq: GBNK) has agreed to sell $50 million in convertible noncumulative preferred stock to three firms: Castle Creek Capital Partners, Patriot Financial Partners and Relational Investors.

Halcyon Investment Corp. of Singapore reportedly will bid for 3i Group’s stake in oil services firm Franklin Offshore International.

White Energy Inc., a Dallas, Texas-based ethanol maker controlled by Columbus Nova, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


GEN CAP America, a Nashville, Tenn.-based private equity firm focused on the middle-markets, has closed its sixth fund with approximately $165 million in capital commitments.

Rockley Group, a tech-focused venture group led by UK angel investors Andrew and Robert Rickman, is raising $100 million for a fund focused on the Shandong province, china. Rockley will provide 10% of the capital, with the Shandong High-Tech Investment Corp. Providing another 10 percent. The Shandong Academy of Sciences is also involved.