peHUB Wire: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Greetings from the home office, where it’s good to be back after several weeks of travel.

Unfortunately, the hours of sitting in planes and automobiles (no trains) seem to have hindered my ability to get much actual work done, so no real column. On the upside, my inbox appears full (943 unread messages), so there should be plenty to discuss tomorrow. Two quick notes before moving on:

*** Tomorrow I will post the Desperate Interns listings to the MBA Forum section of peHUB. We’ve got a couple dozen firms participating so far, but I would still like more.

So, if you are looking to hire a first-year MBA candidate for a summer internship, please send me an email with any information you would like posted (plus a contact email address). You can keep your firm name anonymous, if you’d prefer. There is no charge for this service.

*** Just to buttress yesterday’s claim of a coming PE d! eal avalanche, today’s news section includes three sponsor-to-sponsor buyouts in the news section below, plus a sponsor-to-sponsor auction and a PE firm being topped on an existing take-private offer… The sponsor-to-sponsor deals may be the most significant, because they will result in distributions on the sell-side.

Top Three

Stone Point Capital and Hellman & Friedman have agreed to acquire Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., a Temphis, Tenn.-based provider of claims and productivity management solutions to corporate and institutional clients. The deal is valued at $1.1 billion, with sellers including Fidelity National Financial,THL Partners andEvercore Capital Partners.

Fusion-io, a Salt Lake City-based developer of enterprise solid-state architecture and high performance I/O solutions, has raised $45 million in Series C funding. Meritech Capital Partners led the round, and was joined by Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Triangle Peak Partners and returns backers like New Enterprise Associates and Lightspeed Venture Partners! . The company previously raised $66.5 million.

John Paulson has acquired around a 13% stake in American Capital (Nasdaq: ACAS), as part of a $295 million stock offering. The shares sold at $5.06 a piece, a 5% discount to Friday’s closing price, but well below yesterday’s closing price of $5.60 per share.

VC Deals

Sotera Wireless (fka Triage Wireless), a San Diego-based developer of “cuff-less” patient monitoring technology, has raised $10.75 million in Series C funding. West Family Holdings led the round, and was joined by return backers Sanderling Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures and Intel Capital.

Synerchip, a developer of digital interface semiconductors, has raised $10.5 million in Series C funding. JAFCO Asia and Pac-Link Capital co-led the round, and were joined by return backers Spirox, Magic Shares, Shinden and CEO David Lee.

Overtone Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of listening systems that deliver real-time customer intelligence to major consumer brand companies, has raised $7 million in Series C funding. ABS Ventures a! nd Dolphin Equity Partners co-led the round.

Networked Insights, a Madison, Wis.-based provider of social media analytics, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Kegonsa Capital Partners.

Tumblr, a New York-based social networking and online publishing platform, has raised $5 million in Series C funding from return backers Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital. The company has now raised $10.2 million in total VC funding.

MDSolarSciences Corp., a Norwalk, Conn.-based company focused on primary skin cancer prevention and protection, has raised more than $4 million in Series A funding. Investor identities were not disclosed.

Pivot3 Inc., a Spring, Texas-based developer of high-definition storage based on distributed RAID, has raised $4 million in new Series D funding from Northleaf Capital Partners. The company previously held a $25 million first close on the round, from Focus Ventures (lead), InterWest Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mesirow Financial and Silver Creek Ventures. Its total venture capitalization is approximately $69 million.

Buyouts Deals

Carlyle Group, Cinven, CVC and General Atlantic reportedly are prepping binding bids for port and shipping agent Inchcape Shipping Services. Seller Istithmar is seeking more than $700 million.

CKE Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: CKR) said that it has received a $12.25 per share buyout offer from Western Acquisition Holdings, and that it will terminate an existing $11.05 per share merger agreement with THL Partners. CKE owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast-food chains.

HSBC has received multiple bids for its UK train leasing company, which comes with an asking price of approximately $3.1 billion. Suitors include CVC Capital Partners ! and a consortium of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, 3i Infrastructure and Star Capital.

Lilliput Kidswear, an Indian apparel maker, has raised $86 million from Bain Capital ($60m) and TPG Growth ($20m), in exchange for a “significant minority stake.”

Lone Star Funds has completed its take-private acquisition ofhotel owner and operatorLodgian Inc. (NYSE: LGN) for approximately $270 million (including assumed debt). Lodgian stockholdersreceived $2.50 per share.

Oak Hill Capital Partners has agreed to acquire ViaWest Inc., a provider of mission-critical technology infrastructure services, f! rom Trinity Equity Investors, Goldman Sachs and Quilvest. No financial terms were disclosed.

OMERS Private Equity has agreed to acquire U.S. Infrastructure Corp. from Kohlberg & Co. No financial terms were disclosed. USIC is an Indianapolis-based provider ofoutsourced sub-surface utility locating services, and was formed in 2008 via the merger of SM&P and CLS.

Paul Capital Healthcare has acquired from Dyax Corp. (Nasdaq: DYAX) the rights to royalties and other payments related to the commercialization of Xyntha by Pfizer Inc. The deal is valued at $12 million, including a $10 million up-front payment. Xynthia is a recombinant factor VIII product for patients with hemophilia A.

Unilever is preparing to put its Italian frozen foods unit up for sale next week, with an asking price in excess of €600 million. Expected bidders include Lion Capital and Permira.

PE-Backed IPOs

Douglas Dynamics Inc., a Milwaukee-based maker of snow plows and salt spreaders for light trucks, has set its IPO terms to 10 million common shares being offered at between $14 and $16 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $316 million, were it to price at the high end of its range. The company plans to trade on the NYSE undder ticker symbol PLOW, with Credit Suisse and Oppenheimer & Co. serving as co-lead underwriters. It had net sales of $174 million in 2009, compared to $151 million in 2008. 2009 net income was $9.8 million, down from $11.47 million in 2008. Shareholders include Aurora Capital Group (68.65% pre-IPO stake), Ares Corporate Opportunities (33.03%) and the GE Pension Trust (15.23%).

PE Exits

Sandoz, a unit of Novartis, has agreed to acquire Oriel Therapeutics, a North Carolina-based developer of inhaled drug delivery systems for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. No financial terms were disclosed. Oriel Therapeutics has raised over $12 million in VC funding from CHL Medical Partners, Healthcare Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partnersand Thomas, McNerney & Partners.

Firms & Funds

Apollo Management has agreed to cut up to $125 million in fees charged to CalPERS, over the next five years. The savings relate to nearly $2 billion in accounts that Apollo manages for CalPERS, which do not include CalPERS commitments to Apollo private equity funds.

EnCap Investments has closed a new energy infrastructure fund with $791.6 million in capital commitments. The vehicle will focus on the midstream sector of the oil and gas industry in North America, and will be managed in partnership with Flatrock Energy Advisors.

Natixis confirmed plans to sell its domestic pri! vate equity business to AXA Private Equity. The current value of the Natixis portfolio is approximately €534 million.

Human Resources

David Stockman, former White House budget director and co-founder of Heartland Industrial Partners, has agreed to pay $7.2 million as part of a settlement with the SEC, following accounting fraud allegations related to Heartland’s 2001 investment in Collins & Aikman Corp.

Mohammad Almojel has joined Atlantic-Pacific Capital as a principal in the firm’s private funds business, with a focus on the Middle East. He previously was an associate director with MerchantBridge Private Equity in Dubai.

Jan van Dokkum has joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Buyers as an operating partner, with a focus on helping t! o commercialize the technologies of KP’s greentech portfolio companies. He most recently was a consultant and, before that, served as president of UTC Power.

Mark Somol has joined social software developer Mzinga as chief financial officer. He previously was a principal with NeoCarta Ventures.