peHUB Wire: Tuesday, July 13, 2010

*** Answer Key: Last week, I asked you to name the alternative investment shop that’s in talks to sell a minority ownership stake to a public pension system. The hints were that the two had done business together before, and that I wasn’t talking about AlpInvest (also on the block) or CalPERS (which already holds stakes in Carlyle, Apollo and Silver Lake).

The answer is Lexington Partners, which plans to sell a 9.9% position to the Florida State Board of Administration. I’m hearing that the enterprise value is “in the ballpark” of $1.8 billion, but consider that to be a fairly spacious ballpark.

As the ! hints indicated, this is not the first partnership between Florida and Lexington. The sunshine state funded a $1 billion co-investment program that helped launch Lexington back in 1998, and since has served as one of its largest limited partners (including on the firm’s latest fund).

*** Speaking of Lexington: Citi this morning sent out a press release announcing the sale of its fund-of-funds, mezzanine fund, feeder fund and co-investment fund interests and management to Lexington, with StepStone Group serving as investment manager. This is official confirmation of the deal we broke last week.

*** Last month, Luisa reported that Eric Cohen had stepped down as managing partner of Chicago-based buyout shop WHI Capital. Now we learn that Adam Schecter, the firm’s founder and other managing partner, has also left.

Still no word on Cohen’s destination, but Schecter is headed to a new firm called Geneva Glen Capital. We ex pect to have more details on GGC within the next week or two, but currently know only that it was launched by Jeff Gonyo, a former investor with Wind Point Partners.

Top Three

Gores Group has offered to buy bankrupt envelope maker NEC Holdings Corp. for $134.5 million.

EcoMotors, a Troy, Mich.-based developer of low-emission, fuel-efficient diesel engines, has raised Series B funding from Bill Gates and existing backer Khosla Ventures. The company did not disclose a dollar amount, but TechCrunch puts it at $23.5 million. The company previously raised just over $5 million.

Steve Trevor is stepping down as co-head of Morgan Stanley’s private equity ! unit.

VC Deals

Ventus Medical, a Belmont, Calif.-based medical device maker focused on obstructive sleep apnea, has raised $40 million in Series D funding. No investors were listed, but past backers include Mohr Davidow Ventures, De Novo Ventures and Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. In other company news, former Bayer Healthcare exec Peter Wyles has joined Ventus Medical as president and CEO.

LanzaTech, a New Zealand-based company that uses bacteria to convert industrial waste gases into fuels and chemicals, has raised $18 million in Series B funding. Qi! ming Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Khosla Ventures and K1W1.

Mobile Iron Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based developer of a virtual smartphone platform, has raised around $16 million in Series C funding, according to a regulatory filing. Past backers include Storm Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Big Basin Ventures.

InMobi, an India-based mobile advertising network, has raised $8 million in Series B funding from return backers Sherpalo Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Accuri Cytometers Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based provider of flow cytometers for life science research, has raised $6 million in Series E funding. Return backers include Arboretum Ventures, Baird Venture Partners, Fidelity Bioscien! ces, Flagship Ventures and InvestMichigan.

Scytl, a Barcelona-based provider of Internet voting technology, has raised $9.2 million in new VC funding. Balderton Capital led the round, and was joined by return backer Nauta Capital.

SiSense, an Israeli provider of business intelligence solutions, has raised $4 million in Series A funding from Opus Capital, Genesis Partners and Eli Farkash.

Mantis Deposition Ltd., a UK-based maker of deposition instrumentation for novel materials R&D, has raised £3 million investment wi! th independent private equity specialists NVM Private Equity. B eanstalk Management served as placement agent.

Buyouts Deals

Apollo Management has completed its $694 million take-private acquisition of CKE Restaurants Inc., owner of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains.

Acclaris, a Tampa, Fla.-based provider of healthcare financial SaaS, has been acquired by a private equity consortium. No financial terms were disclosed.Investors include Staley Capital, Trident Capital, HarbourVest Partners and existing shareholder Updata Venture Partners.

Brentwood Associates has made a “significant investment in Chamilia LLC, a Minneapolis-based maker of personalized jewelry.

MinSec Holdings Inc., a Wallingford, Penn.-based operator of community correctional facilities, outpatient programs and behavioral health treatment facilities, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity and subordinated debt funding from Camden Partners and NewSpring Capital. The deal is structured as a recapitalization.

Marlin Equity Partners has acquired Conduit Internet Technologies Inc., a State College, Penn.-basedprovider of product content management software solutions for OEM and dealer-based service organizations. No financial terms were disclosed.

Primary Capital has agreed to acquire stationary retailer Paperchase Products Ltd. from Borders Group (NYSE: BGP). The deal is valued at $31 million.

PE-Backed IPOs

Molycorp Inc., a Greenwood Village, Colo.-based rare earth mining company, set its IPO terms to around 28.13 million common shares being offered at between $15 and $17 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $1.38 billion, were it to price at the high end of its range. The company plansto trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol MCP, with J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley serving as co-lead underwriters. It reports a $28.6 million net loss for 2009 on around $7 million in net sales. The company was created in 2008 when Chevron Mining sold its Mountain Pass operations to an acquisition company formed by Pegasus Partners, Goldman Sachs, Traxys North America and Carint Group.

SafeNet Inc., a Belcamp, Md.-basedinformation security company owned by Vector Capital, has filed for a ! $300 million IPO. plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol SAFE, with Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan serving as co-lead underwriters. The company reports a $49.7 million net loss in 2009 on $403.7 million in revenue. This compares to a $126.5 million net loss in 2008 on $329 million in revenue.

PE Exits

Energy Capital Partners has sold solar development company NextLight Renewable Power LLC to First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR). The deal was valued at approximately $297 million in cash.

Ferrotec (USA) Corp. has acquired Integrated Materials Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of a process for manufacturing poly silicon furnaceware. No financial terms were disclosed. Integrated Materials had raised around $25 million in VC funding from Alloy Ventures, American River Ventures and Labrado! r Ventures.

Willbros Group Inc. has completed its acquisition of InfrastruX Group Inc., a utilities services company backed by Tenaska Capital Management. The deal was valued at $480 million in cash and stock. The deal closing was disclosed by InfrastruX, in an SEC filing that withdrew registration for a $290 million IPO. Tenaska had acquired InfrastruX from Puget Energy Inc for $275 million in 2006.

Firms & Funds

GI Partners and Stag Capital Partners have formed a $200 million joint venture, to acquire individual single-tenant net leased industrial properties throughout the United States.

GSO Capital Partners, an affiliate of The Blackstone Group, has closed a new $3.25 billion fund, which will provide “capital solutions to companies in need of liquidity or significant capital structure transformation due to pending covenant violations, debt maturities or cyclical downturns.”

Nelson Peltz is raising $1.5 billion for a fund that would buy minority stakes in public companies, ! according to Bloomberg. It’s being marketed as a private equity fund, because the capital would be locked up longer than it would be in a traditional hedge fund.

Runa Capital has launched as a $30 million seed fund focused on Russian Internet and software companies. Its principals are Serguei Beloussov, chairman of Parallels, and Alexander Galitsky, founder of Almaz Capital Partners.

Human Resources

Michael Costa has joined Cowen Group has head of M&A and vice chairman of investment banking. He previously was a managing director focused on M&A with Merrill Lynch.

Taimoor Labib has joined Standard Chartered as head of Middle East private equity. He previously led private equity for Jadwa Investment, a Riyadh-based merchant bank.

Vincent Lima has joined Moelis & Co. as a managing director of capital markets. He previously was with Christopher Street Capital.