Greetings from the home office, where the computer concerns have been solved. All it took was a trip to Best Buy, a few hundred dollars and a trash can. Moving on to the business of business…
*** Well, it’s official: KKR is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and was up 1% in early trading. Guess this means we’re going to in for Blackstone vs. KKR stories at the end of each quarter (and I’ll probably write half of them)…
*** Speaking of KKR: The firm recently sent out books for the KKR China Growth Fund, which will write equity checks of between $35 million and $75 million in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. This is different than KKR Asian Fund, raised in 2007 and primarily focused on buyouts throughout Asia (China, Japan, India, Australia, Kor! ea, etc.).
The fund target is $800 million, and seems to be the first time KKR has raised a private equity fund that didn’t consider leveraged buyouts to be its primary investment strategy. KKR China chief David Liu will run the show, but the firm plans to hire a dozen fund-specific staffers. PE Insider first broke news of the fund…
*** Personnel Note: Dan O’Keefe is leaving North Bridge Growth Equity, where he has been a principal for the past three years. New destination is Technology Crossover Ventures, although he’s not there yet.
Prior to joining North Bridge, he spent time at Pequot Ventures, Apple (strategic marketing) and Apax Partners.
*** In-Housekeeping: My corporate overlords have quietly signed an agreement with Hamilton Lane, to improve the quality of their private equity benchmarking data. This is a very welcome development, as the sample pools have been a bit shallow of late.
The deal is! basically that Hamilton Lane will lean on its GPs to voluntarily prov ide data, first via letters and then via phone calls. The consultant considered doing something like this a few years back with S&P, but it didn’t work out. It then considered going solo, but decided that Thomson Reuters had a good mousetrap that needed to be bulked up. For its part, TR will continue seeking performance data from LPs and GPs. All contributions are anonymous…
*** Yesterday I noted that a new payment startup called BillFloat would be making a funding announcement. Well, it did: $4.5 million in Series A funding from First Round Capital, PayPal, Venrock, Baseline Ventures and angels like Ron Conway, Mark Goines and Jeff Clavier.
I haven’t yet gotten around to writing a blog post on it, but the headline would probably be: “BillFloat Promises Kinder, Gentler Payday Loans.”
The company may not like the headline, since its sales pitch is that it’s more like an online credit union than online payday provider – in terms of the! fees charged and collection methods. But payday needn’t be abusive, even though that is its unfortunate history (aided, in some cases, by private equity firms).
BillFloat basically pays credit card bills, electric bills, rent, etc. when folks are running a bit short – or those who might miss payment deadlines due to delays in online checking account payments (expedited bank payments typically cost between $7 and $15). It then charges $4.95 for an average bill of $75, but up to 10% or 12% (monthly) or face value for larger loans. There typically are prepayment benefits, and better future rates for those who pay on time (which is opposite of certain payday lenders).
Will be very interesting to see how traditional payday responds…
Worth noting that this startup means the end (at least for now) of The Quarry, a “launch pad for entrepreneurs-in-residence at Venrock.” Both Quarry members – Ryan Gilbert and Sean O’Malley – are now working fulltime on Bil! lFloat.
*** Hey Atlanta: More than 140 of you have tickets for our next peHUB Shindig, taking place in three weeks from tonight in Atlanta. Be sure to join us, by going to: http://pehubatlanta.eventbrite.com
Big thanks to sponsors Navigation Capital Partners, Womble Carlyle and Grant Thornton.
The Carlyle Group has agreed to acquire nutritional supplements maker NBTY Inc. (NYSE: NTY) in a $3.8 billion leveraged buyout. NBTY stockholders would receive $55 per share, while debt financing has been committed by BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse.
Atlassian, an Australia-! based provider of software for streamlining product development, has raised $60 million from Accel Partners. The deal is in exchange for a minority stake, with Accel’s Rich Wong joining the Atlassian board of directors. Atlassian was founded in 2002, and this represents its first round of institutional funding.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., a Kansas City-based cinema chain operator, has filed for a $450 million IPO. J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs are serving as co-lead underwriters. The company had filed for a $500 million IPO in September 2007, but withdrew the offering a year later. Shareholders include JPMorgan Partners (38.98%), Apollo Management (38.98%), Bain Capital (15.13%), The Carlyle Group (1513%) and Spectrum Equity Investors (9.79%). www.amcentertain! ment.com
Trilliant Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of smart grid solutions, has raised $106 million in new equity and debt funding. Equity participants on the Series B round included Investor Growth Capital, VantagePoint Venture Partners ABB, General Electric and return backers MissionPoint Capital Partners and Zouk Ventures. Deutsche Bank served as placement agent. The company previously raised $40 million.
Pacific Bioscie! nces, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based DNA gene sequencing company, has raised $59 million in new Series F funding. This brings the round total to $109 million, including a previously-announced $50 million infusion from Gen-Probe Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO). No new investor information was disclosed, but Pacific Biosciences previously raised around $253 million from Monsanto, the Wellcome Trust, Sutter Hill Ventures, Deerfield Management, Intel Capital, Morgan Stanley, Redmile Group, T. Rowe Price, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Alloy Ventures, Maverick Capital, AllianceBernstein, DAG Ventures, Teachers’ Private Capital and Blackstone Cleantech Venture Partners.
SolarCity Corp.< /b>, a Foster City, Calif.-based provider of solar energy system installation and design, has raised $21.5 million in new VC funding. Mayfield Fund led the round, and was joined by return backers Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DBL Investors and Generation Capital. The company previously raised around $134 million.
ShopKick, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based company that combines mobile apps with physical retail shopping, has raised $15 million in Series B funding. Greylock Partners led the round! , and was joined by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Citi Growth Ventures & Innovation Group and SV Angels. The company previously raised $5 million.
Mirics, a UK-based developer of solutions for the mobile broadcast receiver market, has raised $13 million in Series C funding. Return backers include Acacia Capital Partners, Intel Capital and Pond Ventures.
Anabi Oil Corp., owner of motor gasoline products and properties throughout California,, has raised $8.5 million in mezzanine funding from The Central Valley Fund and Hintington Capital.
Wave Crest Holdings Ltd., a Gibraltar-based provider of epayment solutions, has raised $8.! 5 million in Series B funding. GRP Partners led the round, and was joined by Park Ventures.
Flirtomatic, a social network that lets users flirt with one another, has raised $9 million in Series C funding. Nauta Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Doughty Hanson, Seraphim Capital and company chairman Avi Azulai.
Perfint Healthcare, an Indian developer of oncology diagnostic devices, has raised $7.2 million in VC funding. Norwest Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Accel Partners and IDG Ventures India.
Komli Media, an India-based digital media network, has raised $6 million from existing shareholders Nexus Venture Partners, Helion Venture Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
iGuiders Inc., a Cleveland-based online search compan! y, has raised $1 million in Series A funding from JumpStart Ventures a nd other existing seed backers.
Advent International reportedly is out of the auction for Italian software company TeamSystem, which is being sold by Bain Capital. Remaining bidders are Cinven, HgCapital and Sage (LSE: SGE).
The Carlyle Group reportedly may pull out of a consortium that is expected to bid around $1.5 billion for Australian hospital operator Healthscope. Other members of the group include TPG Capital and Blackstone Group, although Dow Jones reports th! at Blackstone may also bail. Bids are due tomorrow.
Colony Capital and Cogsville Group LLC reportedly have won a $1.85 billion portfolio of distressed commercial real estate loans auctioned off by the FDIC. The two firms would hold a 49% stake in the loans, for $445 million (including a $218m up-front cash payment).
Morgenthaler Private Equity< span class=apple-style-span> announced that is has acquired Enginetics Aerospace, a Huber Hights, Ohio-based maker of metal components for commercial and military aircraft engines. No financial terms were disclosed. The firm also disclosed that it has sponsored a recapitalization of Satellite Logistics Group, a Houston-based provider of reverse logistics solutions and related services to the beer and beverage industry.
PNC Equity Partners and MTN Capital have acquired a majority stake in Revolution Dancewear, a Niles, Ill.-based maker of footwear, bodywear and recital costumes for dancers. No financial terms were disclosed. Revolution Dancewear was advised on the deal by Roth Capital Partners. www.revolutiondance.com
Oaktree Capital Management and Toll Brothers have won a $1.7 billion portfolio of distressed residential loans auction! ed off by the FDIC.
Ambow Education Holding Ltd., a provider of educational and career enhancement services in China, has filed for a $138 million IPO. The company plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol AMBO, with J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs (Asia) serving as co-lead underwriters. It reports $20 million in net income for 2009, on $132 million in revenue. Ambow shareholders include Actis, Macquarie, EdVenture, CStar Investment and JAFCO Asia Technology Fund. www.ambow.com.cn
Fairfield Energy, a British oil and gas company controlled by Warburg Pincus, has withdrawn plans for a $500 million IPO on the LSE.
BMG Rights Management, a joint venture of KKR and Bertelsman, has agreed to buy Stage Three Music, a London-based music publisher whose portfolio includes Aerosmith’s “Walk this Way.” No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Apax Partners and Ingenious Ventures.
ProSight Specialty Insurance Holdings Inc! ., a portfolio company of TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners, has agreed to acquire NYMagic Inc. (NYSE: NYM), a property and casualty insurance company that underwriters ocean marine, inland marine and non-marine liability insurance. The deal is valued at nearly $220 million, with NYMagic stockholders to receive $25.75 per share (23.5% premium to yesterday’s closing price).
Southwest Windpower has acquired Deerpath Energy, a Marblehead, Mass.-based provider of site analysis and deployment of small wind in the multi-unit community and commercial channels. No financial terms were disclosed. Southwest Windpower shareholders include Altira Group, Rockport Capital Partners, Natural Gas Partners and Chevron Technology Partners. Deerpath raised $3.5 million from Rockport Capital Partners.
SunLink Corp., a provider of commercial photovoltaic mounting solutions, has acquired Blue Oak PV Products LLC, make! r of solar combiner boxes and disconnecting combiner boxes. No financial terms were disclosed. SunLink has raised a small amount of venture capital from Clean Pacific Ventures and Angeleno Group.
RoundTable Healthcare Partners has agreed to sell Bioniche Pharma Holdings Ltd., an Ireland-based injectable drugmaker, to Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL) The deal is valued at $550 million in cash.
Firms & Funds
The Blackstone Group is expecting that its latest mega-buyout fund will ultimately close with more than $13 billion in capital commitments, according to a letter sent to investors earlier this week.
James Rothschild has joined Monument Capital Group! as a vice president and partner, working out of both Washington DC and the firm’s new London office. He previously was with Hargreave-Hale.