peHUB Wire: Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A large number of public pension funds now report fund-by-fund private equity performance (if you ask nicely), but they also report on a lag. The CalSTRS website, for example, only reports data through the end of March 2009. CalPERS does one quarter better, while Mass PRIM only releases 12/31 data – which means we won’t see those numbers until May or June. Oregon and Washington are among the best, with their websites currently showing data through the end of Q3 2009.

But Oregon and Washington are not the gold standard. That would be the University of Texas Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO), which seems to operate on one of those calendars that begins being sold around Halloween. You know, the ones with November, December and then all of next year…

Yesterday I asked UTIMCO for its most current PE performance data, and it sent a file that includes numbers through the end of November 2009. That makes it the most current sheet out there, and I’ve posted it to peHUB. I’ve also posted UTIMCO’s performance data through November 2008, for the sake of comparison.

One might assume that the November 2009 marks would be almost-universally higher than the November 2008 marks, but it’s just not the case. Ups and downs all over the place.

The Blackstone Group’s fifth fund, for example, saw its IRR drop from -4.85% in November 2008 to -14.09% in November 2009. Its fourth fund also experienced a slight decline (albeit its IRR remains above 40%). The Carlyle Group’s fourth fund’s IRR turned from positive to negative, while its fifth fund’s IRR increased. Polaris Venture Partners’ fourth fund went from 7.89% to 0.91%, while its fifth f! und rose from -2.1% to 2.33 percent.

KKR’s 1996 and 2006 funds remained relatively flat, as did Hellman & Friedman’s second fund.

The one place we did see notable increases were in funds that have distressed debt as a primary investment strategy. The IRR for Centrbridge Partners’ debut fund, for example, rose from -22.07% to 10.74 percent. H.I.G. Capital’s second Bayside debt and LBO fund’s IRR increased from -.02% to a whopping 22.41 percent.

Top Three

Areva SA, a listed French nuclear power company, has agreed to acquire Ausra, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of utility-scale solar thermal power plants. No financial terms were disclosed. Ausra has raised around $130 million in total VC funding, from Kern Partners, Generation Investment Management, Starfish Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Advent International, BC Partners and The Carlyle Group are expected to submit bids to acquire German cable provider Kabel Deutschland, which is expected to garner upwards of €5 billion. Providence Equity Partners holds an 88% position in Kabel Deutschland, while Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan holds an 8% stake.

ATP, manager o! f Denmark’s $112 billion pension system, plans to increase its private equity and hedge fund allocations.

VC Deals

Petra Solar, a South Plainfield, N.J.-based developer of power electronics for solar energy systems, has raised $40 million in second-round funding. Craton Equity Partners and Espírito Santo Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by return backers Element Partners, Blue Run Ventures, OnPoint Technologies and Kuwait’s National Technology Enterprises Company.

Veracode Inc., a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of on-demand security analysis solutions, has r! aised $12.26 million in new VC funding, according to a regulatory filing. The only new board member listed is Laura Sachar, a general partner with StarVest Partners. Veracode previously raisedover $22 million from.406 Ventures, Atlas Venture, Polaris Venture Partners, Macrovision Corp. and Symentec Corp.

Infinia Corp., a Kennewick, Wash.-based developer of solar thermal engine technology, has secured $11.5 million of a $75 million equity financing round, according to a regulatory filing. The company previously raised over $82 million, from firms like Foxconn Technology Group. GLG Partners, Wexford Capital, Vulcan Capital, Khosla Ventures, EQUUS Total Return Inc., Idealab and Power Play Energy LLC.

Nexamp, a North Andover, Mass.-based provider of advisory services and solutions to help implement clean! energy projects, has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. Backers include Good Energies, Point Judith Capital, RCG Ventures and individual angels. Last week, Nexamp announced that it had received $20 million in federal stimulus funding for use in solar power installations.

Pursway (fka Datanetis), an Israel-based provider of influencer marketing solutions, has raised $6 million in Series A funding from Battery Ventures.

OrthAlign Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based developer of small single-use devices for knee and hip implants, has raised $5.16 million in Series A-2 funding. Return backers include California Technology Ventureswas joined by return backers Okapi Venture Capital and Research Corporation Technologies Research.

Aero Farm System! s LLC, an Ithica, N.Y.-based provider of aeroponic technology and solutions, has raised $500,000 in seed funding from The Quercus Trust and 21Ventures.

CytoSolv Inc., a wound healing startup initially focused on diabetic ulcers, has raised $500,000 in seed funding from The Slater Technology Fund.

3Play Media Inc., a Somerville, Mass.-based audio transcription technology startup, hassecured $450,000 of a $600,000 seed funding round, according to a regulatory filing. The company was launched by a handful of MIT grads in 2007.

Searchmetrics, a Germany-based provider of SEO software and analytics, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Neuhaus Part! ners.

TuneWiki Ltd., a Israel-based developer of social media music players and related applications, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding led by Motorola Ventures. Other participants included Intellect Capital Ventures, HillsVen Capital, Novel TMT and return backer Benchmark Israel.

Buyouts Deals

Champion Enterprises Inc., a bankrupt maker of factory-built homes and modular buildings, is expected to auction of its assets next month. The “stalking horse” bid will come from a group that includes Centerbridge Partners, MAK Capital and Sankaty Advisors.

Duke Street has agreed to acquire a 69% stake in Payzone Group, a UK-listed payment acceptance company. The deal values Payzone at €104 million. Duke Street will invest €45 million in equity, while Payzone’s seven lenders will become shareholders — as part of a restructuring that will cut the company’s senior secured debt from approximately €300 million to €77 million.

Fiat SA has received an approach from Italian PE firm Cimino & Associates Private Equity, about converting a shuttered Fiat plant in Sicily into a facility for building electric cars.

GMR Infrastructure (Bombay: GMRI) is in talks to raise around $322 million for its power unit, from unnamed private equity firms. The group also is in talks to raise $400 million for its airport division.

PE-Backed M&A

Berlin Packaging, a portfolio company of Investcorp, has agreed to acquire All-Pak, a Pittsburgh-based packaging supplier. No financial terms were disclosed. The combined company is expected to have annual revenue of nearly $500 million.

MindBody Inc., a spa software provider that raised $5.6 million last year from Catalyst Investors, has acquired ClientMagic Software, a Folsom, Calif.-based provider of scheduling and business management software to salons and spas. No financial terms were disclosed.

PE Exits

Exar Corp. (Nasdaq: EXAR) has agreed to acquire Neterion, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of 10 Gigabit Ethernet network adapter solutions optimized for virtualized data centers. The deal is valued at between $10 million and $11 million. Neterion has raised around $65 million in VC funding, from Menlo Ventures, VenGrowth, BDC and JAFCO Ventures.

TBA Global, a portfolio company of J.H. Whitney & Co., has sold its U.S.-based Destination Management Services operations to Switzerland’s Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd. No financial terms were disc! losed. Edgeview represented TBA on the sale.

Windstream Corp. (WIN.N) has completed its previously-announced acquisition of NuVox Inc., a Greenville, S.C.-based CLEC. The deal is valued at $643 million, including $280 million in cash, $183 million in stock and the assumption of $180 million in debt. NuVox had raised nearly $500 million in venture capital funding, from firms that included M/C Venture Partners, KKR, Columbia Capital and Wachovia Capital Partners.

Firms & Funds

Clarity Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, is raising up to $650 million for its second China-focused fund, according to a regulatory filing. Clarity’s first China fund closed in 2007 with $220 million in capital commitments.

Human Resources

Magnus Christensson has joined Jefferies as a managing director and European head of the firm’s fund placement group. He previously was with Atlantic-Pacific Capital.

Anand Daniel has joined Accel Partners as a principal in the firm’s India office. He previously was with Flybridge Capital Partners. He had served as an observer on the boards of Flybridge portfolio companies CHiL Semiconductor, Digital Lumens and Sciformix.

Douglas Goodwillie has joined LBC Credit Partners as a director in the firm’s Chicago office. He previously was an operating directo! r with Arsenal Capital Partners.

Christopher Kirkham has joined the San Francisco office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, as a partner in the firm’s private equity and corporate practices. He previously was a partner with O’Melveny & Myers.

Lawrence Larose and Samuel Kohn have joined the New York office of Winston & Strawn LLP, as partners in the law firm’s restructuring and insolvency group. William Grant has joined as senior counsel in the firm’s M&A practice. Larose previously was lead counsel for MBIA Insurance Corp., Kohn was with Dewey & LeBoeuf and Grant! was with Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Charles Watson has joined William Blair & Co. as head of Southeastern U.S. coverage for the firm’s financial sponsors group. He previously was a member of the financial sponsors group at Wachovia Securities, and ran transaction development.