peHUB Wire: Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Forbes family has always been associated with financial services, but almost always from the media bleachers. Until now.

peHUB has learned that a new effort called Forbes Private Capital Group recently launched, with plans to raise third-party capital for private funds and transactions. Much of the marketing will be aimed at wealthy families and individuals –i.e., Forbes’ target market — although it also will work to raise money from institutional investors.

The man in charge is Todd Morley, who isn’t new to this sort of thing. In 1999, he co-founded Guggenheim Partners, which now has $100 billion in assets under management. He more recently founded aninvestment management firm called G2 Investment Partners, which is where Forbes Private Capital Group will be housed.

“I have a social relationship with some of the Forbes family from my time with Guggenheim, so they are very familiar with what we did over there,” Morley said in an exclusive int! erview this morning. “I think they saw this as a natural segway from the media business into the financial services business.”

The placement team itself comes from Guggenheim Partners, and is led by David Conrod. Others members include Mel Chez and Colin Dinneen. It will continue to work on existingthird-party engagements, and also will raise money for future Guggenheim-branded vehicles. No terms of the acquisition were disclosed.

In addition, FPCG occasionally will help raise G2-branded funds. The first would be focused on the real estate market, where G2 recently hired a bunch of ex-Lehman Brothers professionals. They include Ken Cohen, Larry Kravetz and Joe Fong.

Also involved is Trevor Neilson, president of Global Philanthropy Group. “Todd and I have been friends for a long time, and have talked a lot about the intersection of high-net wealth and investment matters,” says Neilson, who currently is listed as an advisor to G2. “I think that the Forbes! partnership is a positive step toward bringing those things together. “

*** Big shakeup in the LP community, as Sheryl Schwarz is out as head of alternative investments at TIAA-CREF. Actually, alternative investments as a dedicated group is basically gone, with the insurance company opting to integrate it into the broader portfolio management and private placements divisions.

My colleague Bernard Vaughan first broke the news in Buyouts Magazine.

The question now is what happens going forward. TIAA-CREF reportedly had around $10 billion worth of alternative asset commitments as of 2007, and is known to invest in both ven! ture capital and buyout funds. I spoke to a few secondary market sources who said they haven’t heard about a big portfolio coming to market, and most team members still seem to be around (based on emails/voicemails being operational — whereas Schwartz’s are not).

A CREF spokeswoman said that the firm “remains committed to private equity” and that it “does plan to make new investments in funds and co-investments going forward.”

On the other hand, background sources familiar with the situation implied that things were still a bit murky. “I wouldn’t say it’s a shock, but I also wouldn’t say the path forward is terribly clear yet,” one said.

Top Three

Tesaro Inc., a Boston-based oncology pharma startup, has secured $60 million in Series A commitments led by New Enterprise Associates. The round includes an initial $20 million calldown and $40 million in capital reserves. Tesaro was founded by former executives with MGI Pharma, which was acquired by Eisai Co. in 2008 for $3.9 billion.

The Quadrangle Group has hired Evercore Partners to explore the sale of a minority stake in the firm and/or to find an anchor investor for Quadrangle’s next private equity fund.

Vanedge Capital, a Canadian venture firm focused on interactive digital media, has closed its debut fund with C$100 million in capital commitments. Limited partners include Teralys Capital, BC Renaissance Capital Fund, BDC Venture Capital andNicola Wealth Management Ltd.

VC Deals

Noxxon Pharma AG, aGerman developer of biostable aptamers, has raised €33 million in Series D funding. NGN Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers TVM Capital, Sofinnova Partners, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Seventure Partners, VC Fonds Technologie Berlin GmbH, Dow Venture Capital, FCP OP MEDICAL BioHealth-Trends, IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH andthe Dieckell Group. Noxxon raised a €37 million Series C round in May 2007.

Logical Therapeutics Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based drug developer focused on inflammatory disease, has raised $16.9 million in Series C funding. SV Life Sciences led the roun! d, and was joined by fellow return backers Burrill & Company, Novo A/S and Novitas Capital. The company previously raised over $30 million, and its lead compund is designed to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

TRA Global, a New York-based provider of media planning, measurement and analytics software, has raised $18.2 million in Series C Funding. Intel Capital led the round with a $10 million investment, and was joined by return backers Arbitron and WPP.

Energate, an Ontario-based provider of demand response and home energy management solutions, has raised C$7.2 million in Series B funding. Cycle Capital Fund led the round, and was joined by the Ontario Eme! rging Technology Fund.

Heat Biologics, a Miami, Fla.-basedoff-the-shelf drug developer, has raised an undisclosed amount of first-round funding led by Brightline Ventures. The company’s initial focus is on therapeutic vaccines to treat non small cell lung cancer.

Buyouts Deals

The Carlyle Group and Taiwan Mobile are in talks to extend a June deadline for their stalled $1 billion deal, in which Carlyle would sell its stake in Kbro for a 15.5% stake in Taiwan Mobile. The deal has run afoul of local media ownership laws.

Advent International, Bain Capital and Berkshire Partners have completed their $1.2 billion take-private acquisition of SkillSoft PLC, a provider of SaaS e-learning and performance support solutions.

RockWood Equity Partners has acquired the assets of Minco Technology Labs Inc., an Austin, Texas-based fabless maker of mission-critical chips and components used in military and aerospace applications. No financial terms were disclosed for th! e deal, which was done in partnership with company management.

PE-Backed IPOs

Mirion Technologies Inc., a radiation detection and monitoring company owned by American Capital, has canceled IPO plans due to “market conditions.” The company had planned to sell 11 million shares at between $15 and $17 per share.

PE Exits

Catterton Partners has hired Goldman Sachs to help sell Farley’s & Sathers Candy Co Inc., maker of Brach’s, Jujyfruits, and Now and Later candies.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE: VRX) has completed its $318 million acquisition of Aton Pharma Inc., a Lawrenceville, N.J.-based drug company focused on ophthalmology and certain orphan indications. Aton Pharma had raised over $37 million in VC funding from firms like Aisling Capital, HealthCare Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation.

Firms & Funds

China International Capital Corp. (CICC) plans to raise a $300 million fund in September, with CICC contributing around 10 percent. Deal sizes would range from $20 million to $30 million.

The Blackstone Group and affiliate GSO Capital have completed a $280 million IPO of a senior floating rate term fund, which will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol BSI.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and a group of unsecured creditors have sued JPMorgan Chase & Co., accusing it of taking actions that hastened Lehman’s bankruptcy. The plaintiffs are seeking more than $5 billion in damages.

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP has agreed to merge with fellow law firm Denton Wilde Sapte LLP. The combined firm would have 1,400 attorneys in 18 countries.

Human Resources

Geoff Entress has joined Founders Co-Op, a Seattle-based seed-stage venture firm, as a general partner. He previously was a venture partner with Voyager Capital, and before that spent eight years with Madrona Venture Group.

Daniel Gray and Irene Hong have joined KPS Capital Partners. Gray will serve as managing director of business development, and previously was with Gores Group. Hong will be VP of investor relations and marketing, and previously was in the fund placement group at Jefferies.

David Rosen has joined MPM Capital as an entrepreneur-in-residence. He previously was the head of corporate out-licensing at Pfizer.