peHUB Wire: Thursday, August 19, 2010

Greetings from the home office, where it’s good to be back after two days of meetings in New York City. Some quick hits to kick off your Thursday:

*** Back in April, we broke news that Jesse Rogers was leaving Golden Gate Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded in 2000. All indications were that it was a real retirement, with Rogers planning to spend his time kite-boarding or playing cribbage (not certain how active a lifestyle he pursues).

But it seems the retirement was short-lived (or never actually intended). Rogers and two former GGC principals – Randall Eason and Keoni Schwartz – have formed a new shop named Altamont Capital Partners. An LP source tells me that the trio is just around $25 million away from hitting the $450 million hard cap for their debut fund. Not yet sure if the structure is traditional, or uses Golden Gate’s current “evergreen” model.

Private Equity Insider first reported on Altamont’s existence, albeit without many details beyond Rogers’ involvement. The only online reference I’ve found is buried in some recent campaign contributions from Rogers to Meg Whitman’s campaign for California governor.

*** Flipping through the Form D filings yesterday, I came across one for something called Trunk Show Inc. Seems to have raised a $1.15 million VC round led by New Atlantic Ventures.

NAV isn’t talking – the company is in stealth mode – but I did a bit of digging because the name was intriguing:

In the fashion world, a trunk show is a special sale in which designers present new product directly to a select group of buyers (typically department store or boutique personnel). Trunk Show Inc. is hoping to put that process online – both for the masses and to better facilitate distribution to retailers.

The current plan is that Trunk Show Inc. would stream video of fashion shows to the masses. People then would be able to order direct and quick from the manufacturer (i.e., cut out the middle man). Store buyers also would be expected to use the service. Not only to order based on shows they didn’t attend in person, but also because the fashion industry’s antiquated supply chain protocol leads to long lag-times between catwalks and store racks.

Expect a public launch in Q1 2011. The company’s co-founders are New York-based fashionistas Aslaug Magnusdottir and Lauren Santo Domingo (contributing editor to U.S. Vogue).

*** VentureWire reports today that .406 Ventures is talking to investors about raising a second fund, which would be around the same size as its $167 million debut vehicle. The Boston-based shop does early-stage investing, so the size is appropriate. But, just for the sake of synergy, I’d like to see them try to raise $406 million. Or at least a $406,000 side fund.

*** I usually drive to New York City, but this time took the shuttle. And, like most every other time, the return trip from LGA involved a lengthy wait on the tarmac.

A passenger near me complained to the flight attendant after around 35 minutes of sitting (also known as the amount of flight time required to get from LGA-BOS). She said: “It’s because there are too many other planes out there. There’s nothing US Air can do about it.” Apparently escaped her notice that most of the other planes were emblazoned with US Air…

People don’t hate airlines because of things like delays. They hate airlines for always pretending such things are unavoidable cosmic mysteries.

*** No, today is not my last day. One more week.

Top Three

Arsenal Capital Partners is sponsoring the formation of KGS-Alpha Capital Markets, an institutional fixed income broker-dealer, focusing on mortgage-backed, asset-backed and agency debt securities. The New York-based company begins with around $100 million in equity capital, and is being led by former Salomon Brothers/Citigroup pros Levent Kahraman and Dan Goldman.

KPS Capital Partners has recapitalized portfolio company Global Brass and Copper Inc. The addition of $465 million in new debt will refinance existing debt, providea $102 million cash distribution to shareholders and be used for working capital.

SaveWave, a Belmont, Mass.-based provider of digital promotion, distribution and rewards solutions, has raised $2.3 million in Series A funding. Flybridge Capital Partners and First Round Capital co-led the round, and were joined byFounder Collective, IA Capital and angel investors likeRon Conway and Michael Bronner. The company is a spinout from Upromise (now owned by Sallie Mae), and will continue to manage Upromise’s grocery operations.

VC Deals

PlaySpan Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based operator of an in-game commerce network, has raised $18 million in Series C funding, according to VentureWire. Vodafone Ventures and Softbank Bodhi Fund co-led the round, and were joined by return backers Menlo Ventures, STIC Investments and Novel TMT Ventures. No mention of existing shareholder Easton Hunt Capital Partners. The company previously raised around $28 million.

Viridity Inc., an Amesbury, Mass.-based startup focused on the optimization of data center application and equipment deployment, has raised $8 million in Series B funding fromreturn backersBattery Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners. The company previously raised $7 million.

1-800-Dentist, a Los Angeles-based referral and marketing channel for dentists, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Bain Capital Ventures and Cue Ball Ventures.

SpectraFluidics, a Goleta, Ga.-based developer of vapor trace chemical detection systems, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from In-Q-Tel.

Teleplace Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of enterprise-class learning and collaboration solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of new VC funding from return backers Alloy Ventures and Storm Ventures. The company also named former Helpstream CEO Anthony Nemelka as its new president and CEO.

Buyout Deals

Advent International reportedly may invest around $49 million into Mexicana de Aviacion, which would keep the troubled Mexican airline operational.

Avista Capital Partners and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan have agreed to buy INC Research Inc. for around $600 million. INC is a Raleigh, N.C.-based global contract research company for pharmaceuticals and biotech.

The Blackstone Group has agreed to invest $300 million into Moser Baer Projects Pvt Ltd., an Indian power development group.

Morgan Stanley Private Equity has agreed to acquire a 60% stake in Zenith Vehicle Contracts Group Ltd., a provider of vehicle outsourcing and management services to the UK corporate sector. Sellers include Barclays Private Equity and Zenith management (which will hold the remaining 40% stake). No financial terms were disclosed.

NGP Energy Technology Partners has invested an undisclosed amount of “growth capital” into Managed Pressure Operations International Ltd., an oilfield services company with locations in Singapore, Texas and Indonesia.

San Miguel Corp. has scrapped a planned sale of a minority stake in its Pure Foods unit, after talks ran aground over the number of shares being sold. The deal was believed to be marketed with an enterprise value for Pure Foods of around $1.3 billion.

Slate Capital Group has acquired Wythe-Will Distributing from JPB Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. Wythe-Will is a Williamsburg, Va.-based distributor of gourmet specialty food and confections.

Summer Street Capital Partners has acquired an equity stake in Action Environmental Services, a provider of waste management services for New York City businesses. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which will help AES purchase select New York City assets from Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG).

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe has completed its acquisition ofa majority stake in K2M Inc., a Leesburg, Va.-based provider of solutions for the treatment of complex spinal pathologies. No financial terms were disclosed. Existing K2M backer Ferrer Freeman & Co.retained an ownership percentage.

PE Exits

Cardtronics Inc. (Nasdaq: CATM), a Houston, Texas-based operator and distributor of ATM machines, has priced a secondary public offering of 7 million common shares at $14 per share. Sellers includedTA Associates and CapStreet Group LLC, both of which retained shares post-transaction.

So-Net, the Internet unit of Sony Corp., reportedly is offering to buy Taiwanese cable company Gala TV from MBK Partners for around $188 million.

Human Resources

Paul Stapleton has joined investment bank Media Venture Partners as a managing director, leading a practice serving data center, hosting and managed service providers. He previously was a managing director with DH Capital.