peHUB Wire: Monday, October 12, 2009

I spent most of Friday power-walking in downtown Boston, on a scavenger hunt designed to promote local business innovation. Really quite amazing how much history is in buildings that I’ve passed dozens – if not hundreds – of times without giving them a second thought. For example, my old walk to work apparently passed the nation’s first printing/newspaper shop (opened by Ben Franklin), but I somehow never saw the plaque.

Anyway, much thanks to Polachi & Co. for letting me join their team. We came in ninth (which I like to think is the new first). Also, quite impressive technology from Scavengr, a VC-backed startup that powered the event. The whole thing basically ran on cell phones, with clues and answered submitted via text message.

The downside to Friday’s festivities, however, was that I didn’t do much real work (calling sources, etc.). Plus, yesterday became a s! ulk-a-thon. As such, just a bunch of peHUB links to kick off your un-holiday Monday… Be back Wednesday, as Erin will take care of tomorrow’s Wire while I fly to Dallas.

Top Three

Lionel Pincus, co-founder and former chairman of private equity firm Warburg Pincus, has passed away after a long illness. He was 78 years-old.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ONXX) has agreed to acquire Proteolix Inc., a South San Francisco-based drug company focused on protein degradation pathways in cancer and autoimmune diseases. The deal is valued at up to $851 million, including a $276 million up-front cash payment and the remainder in earn-outs.Proteolix has raised around $142 million in VC funding, from firms like U.S. Venture Partners, Advanced Technology Ventures, Latterell Venture Partners, Delphi Ventures, The Vertical Group, Nomura Phase4 Ventures and Westfield Capital Management.

The Blackstone Group recently sent out an investor letter detailing plans to list up to eight of its portfolio companies. The furthest along is hospital staffing firm Team Health.

VC Deals

EndoGastric Solutions Inc., a Redmond, Wash.-based medical device company focused on endoluminal reconstructive gastric procedures, has secured $9.5 million in new private financing (including equity and debt), according to a regulatory filing. It previously raised around $82 million, from firms like Advanced Technology Ventures, Chicago Growth Partners, DeNovo Ventures, Foundation Medical Partners, MPM Capital and Oakwood Medical Investors.

Morgan Solar Inc., a Toronto-based developer of concentrated solar photovoltaic panels, has raised US$4.7 million in Series A funding. Backers include Iberdrola Group SA, Nypro Inc. and Turnstone Capital Management LLC.

Crescendo Biologics, a UK-based developer of fragment antibody technology platforms,has raised £4.5 million in seed funding. Sofinnova Partners led the round, and was joined by Aitua, Avlar BioVentures and the Rainbow Seed Fund.

Solvate, a New York-based micro-staffing firm, has raised $2.3 million in Series A funding. Backers include DFJ Gotham and RRE Ventures.

Heptares Therapeutics Ltd., a UK-based developer of drugs targeting G-protein-coupled receptors, has signed a strategic agreement with Novartis Option Fund, whereby it will generate novel drug leads against a nominated, unspecified GPCR target of interest to Novartis. The deal includes up to $200 million in upfront and milestone payments, plus potential royalties. Earlier this year, Heptares raised£21 million in Series A funding from Novartis, Clarus Ventures andMVM Life Science Partners.

Buyouts Deals

GF Capital and Stockton Road Capital have acquired Airborne Inc., a Minneapolis-based maker of dietary supplements for bolstering the immune system. No financial terms were disclosed. Sawaya Segalas & Co. advised Airborne on the sale.

JO Hambro Capital Management has acquired Celsis International, a Chicago-based contract research firm for the global life sciences market. The deal was valued at approximately £55 million, and will result in Celsis de-listing from the London Stock Exchange.

PE Exits

Global Payments (NYSE: GPN) has acquired AuctionPay, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of software and services for nonprofit fundraising events and philanthropy. No financial terms were disclosed. AuctionPay had raised $13 million in VC funding from firms like Appian Ventures andMaveron.

Montagu Private Equity is planning to auction off British Car Auctions, with an asking price in the range of £600 million.

Sigma Designs Inc. (Nasdaq: SIGM) reportedly has agreed to acquire CopperGate Communications Ltd. for $200 million in cash and stock. CopperGate is an Israeli maker of home networking chips, which has raised around $18 million in VC funding from Tamir Fishman Ventures, Challenge Fund, Carmel Ventures, Motorola V! entures and TechnoPlus Ventures.

PE-Backed M&A

Motionbox, a New York-based provider of online video sharing services, has acquired rivalViddyou. No financial terms were disclosed. Motionbox has raised over $15 million in VC funding, from firms like Canaan Partners, Constellation Ventures, Itochu Corp. and SAS Investors.

Firms & Funds

GI Partners has closed its third fund with $1.9 billion in capital commitments. Limited partners include Florida Retirement System Trust Fund, Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois, Capital Dynamics and Partners Group. Lazard acted as placement agent.

J.C. Flowers & Co. has filed a lawsuit in Munich, to prevent the full nationalization of German bank Hypo Real Estate. The move is to prevent minority shareholders like Flowers from being squeezed out at €1.3 per share.