peHUB Wire: Thursday, February 26, 2009

Today’s column kind of fell apart at the last minute, so just a few minor notes and then links to a plethora of new peHUB content.

*** We’ve heard a lot about LPs asking their GPs to postpone, or avoid, capital calls when necessary. Some have even sent out formal letters. But it’s worth noting that there is a second group of LPs who wish their cash-strapped brethren would pipe down a bit. These are the institutions that haven’t reached their target allocation to PE, haven’t been completely decimated by the public equity market (fewer bank stocks, for example) and which invest in private equity because they want their money put to work.

*** Speaking of LPs, someone last night compared the LP default issue the Y2K issue. Lots of hype. Lots of fear. Very few actual glitches.

*** People keep asking what Steve Rattner’s departure means for Quadrangle Group’s effort to raise its third fund. Ok, adding it to today’s to-do list – a list which already includes learning why Bessemer Venture Partners needs an extra $350 million for a $1 billion+ fund.

*** Don’t worry if you can’t reach a Boston-area VC on the phone late this afternoon. Chances are that he/she is at the annual F1 Racing charity event, hosted by the New England Venture Capital Association.

*** Someone yesterday sent over a fund-of-funds’ list of estimated Q4 write-downs for its buyout GPs. They were NAV percentage changes between the end of Q3 and the end of Q4, with most of the firms being in the multi-billion dollar range. The smallest write-downs were by 20%, while the largest was 56 percent. Brutal.

Top Three

Bessemer Venture Partners has raised $350 million in supplemental capital for its seventh fund, which closed in June 2007 with more than $1 billion in capital commitments.

Elevation Partners has acquired a minority stake in MarketShare Partners, a Los Angeles-based marketing analytics firm. No financial terms were disclosed. Ted Meisel, a senior advisor to Elevation and former head of search marketing at Yahoo, will join the MarketShare board of directors.

Michael Lytton has left Oxford Bioscience Partners, where he had been a general partner since 2001. He will become executive vice president of business and corporate development with Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB). All of his Oxford-related board seats have been reassigned.

VC Deals

WaveTec Vision Systems Inc., an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based developer of ophthalmologic devices for intraocular lens replacement procedures, has raised $20.1 million in Series C funding, according to VentureWire. Versant Ventures led the round, and was joined by fellow return backers Accuitive Medical Ventures and De Novo Ventures.

M3X Media Inc., a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based provider of digital entertainment and multimedia technology and services, has raised $10.5 million in private equity funding. Agile Opportunity Fund was among the round’s institutional participants.

BridgeCo., a Huntington Beach, Calif.-based provider of digital home networking solutions, has raised $6 million in new financing. Return backers include Advent Venture Partners, Balderton Capital, Cipio Partners, Earlybird Venture Capital, Fidelity Ventures, Intel Capital and Wellington Partners. The company had previously raised $53 million in private equity and debt funding., a Provo, Utah-based social networking site for families, has raised $2.85 million in Series B funding. Return backers included vSpring Capital and TTP Capital Advisors (Japan). It had previously raised $1.25 million.

Buyout Deals

21 Centrale Partners has agreed to buy Prezioso Technilor from Indigo Capital for an undisclosed amount. Prezioso Technilor is a French provider of surface coatings for industrial applications.

EQT Partners has offered a restructuring proposal to the lenders of EQT portfolio company Sanitec, a European maker of bathroom fixtures like sinks and toilets. The offer would include EQT injecting €100 million of equity into the company, in exchange for reducing the debt to € 350 million. Sanitec’s lenders reportedly are considering the proposal, which is viewed as an opening gambit.

PE-Backed IPOs

Pogo Jet Inc., a Chicopee, Mass.-based on-demand jet charter service focused on the East Coast, has canceled its proposed IPO. The company had postponed the offering nearly a year ago, due to “market conditions.” It had been designed to raise upwards of $115 million, with W.R. Hambrecht serving as lead underwriter (via its OpenIPO process). Backers include Tiger Partners (30.82% stake), Village Ventures, Worcester Capital Partners and Long River Capital Partners. Pogo Jet’s service is expected to launch later this year.

PE Exits

American Greetings Corp. (NYSE: AM) has completed its acquisition of bankrupt rival Recycled Paper Greetings Inc. The deal had been strongly opposed by Monitor Clipper Partners, which bought Recycled Paper Greetings in 2006.

CD Networks has acquired Panther Express, a New York-based provider of content delivery solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Panther Express had raised around $22 million from Greylock Partners, Index Ventures and Gold Hill Capital Management.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has agreed to acquire Fabrik Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of online storage for large files. No financial terms were disclosed. Fabrik has raised around $50 million in VC funding from 3i Group, Velocity Interactive Group and Intel Capital.

Versata Enterprises Inc., an enterprise software subsidiary of Trilogy Inc., has acquired AlterPoint Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of network management software. No financial terms were disclosed. AlterPoint has raised $39 million in VC funding since 2001, from firms like Austin Ventures, JK&B Capital and Palomar Ventures.

Firms & Funds

Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Canada’s largest pension fund manager, reported a C$39.8 billion loss for 2008.

DBS Group of Singapore has formed a $100 million private equity fund that will invest in China.

Energy Capital Partners is raising up to $3.5 billion for its second fund, according to a regulatory filing. Park Hill Group and Bel Air Securities are serving as placement agents. The Short Hills, N.J.-based private equity firm focuses on North American energy infrastructure opportunities, primarily in the power generation, renewable, electric transmission and midstream gas sectors. It closed its debut fund in 2006 with $2.25 billion.

John Costas and Michael Hutchins, former co-heads of defunct UBS-backed hedge fund Dillon Read Capital Management, reportedly are reuniting to form a new financial services firm to be called VinsonForbes.

Human Resources

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been named a venture partner with VantagePoint Venture Partners, where he will focus on the cleantech sector. He has been a member of the firm’s cleantech advisory council since 2007, and will take board seats with two VantagePoint portfolio companies: Premium Power, a maker of energy storage solutions, and Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, a wastewater remediation company.

UBS has named Oswald Grübel, former co-head of Credit Suisse, as CEO. The move follows Marcel Rohner’s resignation.