peHUB Wire: Thursday, June 11, 2009

No real column this morning, since I’ve been slacking on the journalism (pretty sure reporting is still my primary job, but it sure hasn’t felt that way this week). Instead, some shameless shilling for a pair of upcoming events. Should be back on point tomorrow…

*** Last week, we noted that former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe had launched a private equity firm that had backed a company that helps recycle industrial wastewater. Now, Bledsoe has agreed to speak as part of Financing The Cleantech Vision, a June 25 event that also includes speaks from firms like Virgin, Google, General Electric, MDV, Westly Group, Good Energies, First Reserve, Rockport Capital and more. The whole agenda has been designed specifically for venture capitalists, and you can get more info and tickets here.

*** Chicago Shindig: peHUB returns to Chicago next Monday night, which is just a few days away. In other words, get your ticket today.

The evening is being sponsored by Bank of Ireland and Crowe Horwath, with ticket proceeds being donated to a charity that will be selected to attendees.

Top Three

The New York Times Co. has hired Goldman Sachs to manage a possible sale of The Boston Globe, with initial bids to be requested in the next few weeks.

A U.S. bankruptcy court judge has told auto parts maker Delphi Corp. to open up the sale of its assets to new potential bidders, who might compete with an existing offer from Platinum Equity.

Palm Inc. said that CEO Ed Colligan is stepping down to join Elevation Partners, which acquired a 25% stake in Palm back in October 2007 for $325 million. He will be succeeded by Jon Rubenstein, who Elevation had previously brought in as executive chairman.

VC Deals

Bayhill Therapeutics Inc. has signed a worldwide license agreement with Genentech Inc., for an antigen-specific immunotherapy currently in a phase I/II clinical trial in patients with type 1 diabetes. The deal includes a $25 million upfront payment in cash and stock, and could be worth up to $325 million. Bayhill had previously raised $62.75 million in VC funding, from firms like U.S. Venture Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, De Novo Ventures, CMEA Ventures, Lilly Ventures, Latterell Venture Partners, Montreux Equity Partners, Pappas Ventures, Boston Life Science Venture Corp., Grand Cathay Venture Capital Co., PAC-LINK Bio Management Corp., Prudence Venture Investment and Vertical Group. It had planned to go public, but pulled the offer! ing last summer.

Wimba Inc., a New York-based provider of collaborative education software, has raised $6 million in Series C funding led by ABS Ventures. The company previously raised around $13

Answers Corp. (Nasdaq: ANSW) said that Redpoint Ventures exercised a $7 million second tranche warrant, issued by the company in conjunction with a $13 million financing last summer.

Buyout Deals

Bain Capital and Permira reportedly are considering buyout bids for Japanese telemarketer Bellsystem24 Inc., which could be worth around $1.5 billion.

Moody’s Investors Service has raised its senior unsecured credit rating on GMAC LLC by one notch to Ca, saying that U.S. government support has reduced the company’s risk of bankruptcy. GMAC is a portfolio company of Cerberus Capital Management.

Thomas Cook, Europe’s second-largest tour operator, may attract interest from private equity firms, after majority owner Arcandor filed for insolvency.

PE-Backed M&A

Echo Global Logistics Inc., a Chicago-based business process outsourcing company focused on transportation and logistics, has acquired Raytrans Distribution Services Inc., a transportation brokerage firm based in Matteson, Illinois. No financial terms were disclosed.

PE Exits

ev3 Inc. (Nasdaq:EVVV) has agreed to acquire Chestnut Medical Technologies Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based developer of minimally-invasive therapies for interventional neuroradiology. The deal is valued at $75 million, of which between 30%-40% will be paid in cash. Chestnut Medical has raised over $9 million in VC funding since 2007, from firms like Synergy Partners, JAIC, Veron International and ITX International Holdings.

P&F Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: PFIN) has acquired substantially all of the assets of Coffman Stairs LLC, a Marion, Va.-based maker of wood and iron stair parts. The deal includes $4.5 million in cash, a $4 million note and the assumption of certain liabilities. The seller is Visador, a portfolio company of American Capital and Carousel Capital.

Firms & Funds

3i Group (LSE: III) is set to return to the FTSE 100 today. The firm’s share price has more than doubled over the past three months.

Human Resources

Andrew Hulsh has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as a New York-based partner in the firm’s corporate practice. He previously was a partner with Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, where he focused on private equity and M&A transactions.

Neil Midler has joined Chicago-based Cook Associates as a managing director in the firm’s M&A advisory services unit.