peHUB Wire: Thursday, November 12, 2009

HP yesterday agreed to buy 3Com for $7.90 per share, or approximately $2.7 billion. If that seems kind of high, perhaps your frame of reference is the $2.2 billion offer from Bain Capital in 2007. 3Com accepted Bain’s offer, but the deal ultimately fell apart after federal officials were concerned with some of 3Com’s technology falling into the hands of Bain’s Chinese partner on the deal, Huawei Technologies.

In other words, 3Com’s acquisition value has appreciated around 22% over two years of recessionary hell. One could even argue the rise is a bit higher, if you factor in the leverage that Bain was planning to use.

Also worth noting that longtime 3Com shareholders aren’t the only ones benefiting from this deal. Lots of short-term holders also make a mint, but that’s because they cheated. Not only was 3Com’s share price steadily rising for the past two days without discernable reason, but the trading volume on 3Com options spiked several hours before HP an! nounced the deal. And when I say spiked, I mean by around a factor of 40. If only the SEC had actually been open for business yesterday…

*** Internship Rodeo: We now have more than 85 participating firms, and thousands of MBA candidates combing through the wares. If you are one of the latter, just want you to know that I’ll post the final batch of new listings within the next few hours. Good luck.

*** Yesterday I listed a bunch of PE/VC folks who have joined the federal bureaucracy. Seems I missed two VCs who left Polaris Venture Partners to join the FCC: Nick Sinai, who’s leading the agency’s smart grid initiative, and Mohit Kaushal, who is leading its digital healthcare initiative. And I also should have noted FCC boss Julius Genachowsk, who previously ran LaunchBox Digital and served as a special advisor to General Atlantic. Get the detailed list here.

*** A couple of weeks ago, I acknowledged my inability to learn whether or not Highland Capital Partners had closed its eighth fund. Seems part of t! he confusion was borne of the fact that the VC firm essentially finished institutional fundraising back in August, but held off on a final close until getting its entrepreneur/friends/family sidecar in order. Official announcement came this morning, and you can read my story here.

*** FYI: I recently sent a public records request to CalPERS, requesting the carrying values of its stakes in the management companies of Apollo Management, Carlyle Group and Silver Lake Partners. A spokesman sounded doubtful that such info would be forthcoming, but passed my request onto lawyers who so far have responded with silence.

These are major investments by a public pension, and from my perspective should have their values disclosed. No reasonable concerns with underlying asset values being released, meaning the only stumbling block is possible GP/LP embarrassment. Wi! ll keep you updated…

*** Publishing Note: Erin will put together tomorrow’s Wire, as I’ll be attending a fundraising breakfast of sorts in Boston (as will some of my dear readers). Be back Monday, and in Los Angeles by Wednesday for Buyouts West…

Top Three

Playdom, a Mountain View, Calif.-based social gaming company, has raised $43 million in Series A funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round, and was joined by return backers InterWest Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) is considering a sale of its $4.5 billion television set-top box and network equipment business. Both private equity firms and other communications equipment makers are expected to be interested.

Highland Capital Partners has closed its eighth venture capital fund with $400 million in capital commitments.

VC Deals

Cellerix SL, a Tres Cantos, Spain-based developer of adult stem cell therapies, has raised €27 million in a first close on its Series C round. Ysios Capital Partners and Ventech co-led the tranche, and were joined by fellow return backers Roche Venture Fund and Novartis Venture Fund. The company previously raised a €27.2 million round in September 2007.

Altair Therapeutics Inc., a San Diego-based drug company focused onrespiratory diseases, has raised $17 million in new VC funding. Domain Associates led the round, and was joined by AgeChem Venture Fund and return backers Thomas, McNerney & Partners, Forward Ventures and Isis Pharmaceuticals., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of eldercare and end-of-life content, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Shasta Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers DCM and Split Rock Partners. previously raised $6 million.

Redfin Corp., a Seattle-based online real estate broker, has raised $10 million in Series D funding. Greylock Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Madrona Venture Group, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Vulcan Capital and The Hillman Company. Redfin has now raised $30.8 million in total VC funding since its 2002 inception.

Wooga, a Berlin-based social gaming company, has raised €5 million in new VC funding. Balderton Capital led the round, and was joined by return backer Holtzbrinck Ventures.

Adfonic, a UK-based operator of a self-service mobile advertising marketplace, has raised $600,000 in seed funding from cleantech entrepreneur Gordon Shields.

Buyouts Deals

Oaktree Capital Management has helped form Sentinel Capital Funding, a new source of financing for residential developers. No financial terms were disclosed. Oaktree’s partners on the deal are Eugene Rosenfeld and Craig Manchester, principals of Integral Communities.

Ratiopharm, a German generic drugmaker, has attracted at least 10 first-round bids from both strategic and financial suitors. Bids reportedly came in between €2 billion and €2.5 billion. Private equity participants included TPG Capital, Permira, EQT Partners, KKR and a joint offer from Advent International and Goldman Sachs.

PE Exits

Abbott Labs has agreed to acquire the global rights to an antibody to nerve growth factor from PanGenetics BV, a Dutch antibody developer. The deal includes a $170 million up-front payment and up to $20 million in additional earn-outs. PanGenetics has raised VC funding from Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Biogen Idec New Ventures, Fortis Private Equity, Index Ventures, Forbion Capital Partners and Credit Agricole Private Equity.

Firms & Funds

Charlie Eitel, former chairman and CEO of Simmons Bedding Co.,and Jeff Armstrong, a former Wachovia Securitiesexecutive,have formed a new consultancy focused on middle market companies. The Charlotte, N.C.-based shop “will serve companies as an engaged Board Member, Executive Partner, Company Advisor or Interim Management.”

FUEL Capital is raising $100 million for its debut fund, as first reported by Zero2IPO. The focus is on the first institutional rounds for Chinese companies that already have some revenue. The firm is led by longtime Intel Capital vet Cadol Cheung, who most recently served as head of its Asia-Pacific investment activity. VentureWire reports that FUEL’s team also includes S.C. Mak, a former managing director in Walden International’s Hong Kong office, and Intel Capital’s former in-house counsel Joseph Cha.

Human Resources

Harry Sachinis has joined Advent International as an operating partner, with a particular focus on the publishing and information services sectors. He previously was president of The McGraw-Hill Companies’ business information group.