peHUB Wire: Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Running behind schedule this morning, and already am supposed to be in a meeting about the next Shindigs (a conversation that will include two delicious words: Taco Truck). But since I hate leaving you with nothing…

*** GTCR is in talks to acquire Athletic & Therapeutic Institute, an Illinois-based operator of 44 outpatient physical therapy centers. Sellers would include KRG Capital Partners and Norwest Mezzanine Partners. Jefferies is managing the process. Both KRG and GTCR declined comment.

*** Expect that Battery Ventures will announce a final close on its ninth fund within a week or two. I spoke to several of its LPs yesterday, who say they believe it’s effectively closed, but have not yet received formal notification. The target was $750 million, so the only question now is if Battery held to that number or succumbed to the temptations borne of oversubscription.

In other Battery news, Israeli venture partner Avi Domoshevizki is leaving to form his own firm. He plans to retain his Battery board seats at least through the end of 2010.

*** Remember, you can always drop me an anonymous tip by going here:

*** Thanks to the BU Law students who last night welcomed me into their class to discuss the sorry state of VC-backed IPOs.

Reminded me that I need to write a column about how the “broken” VC model may be more about expectations than about process or fund size. Specifically, it seems to me that VCs – and their LPs — should stop projecting portfolio company IPOs – and just consider them a welcome bonus if they come to pass… Clearly need to flesh that out a bit…

Top Three

Dow Chemical Co. has agreed to sell its Styron plastics unit to Bain Capital for $1.63 billion. As part of the transaction, Dow has an option to retain up to a 15% stake in the company. No details on leveraged financing have been disclosed.

CCMP Capital has acquired a controlling interest in Francesca’s Collections Inc., in an all-equity deal worth between $200 million and $400 million. Francessa’s Collections is a Houston-based operator of 160 small-box women’s fashion retail stores across 33 states.

Archimedes Pharma, a UK-based developer of a nasal spray for cancer pain, has raised £65 million in new VC funding. Novo AS and existing shareholder Warburg Pincus co-led the deal. Reuters reported last May that Warburg was seeking a buyer for Archimedes.

VC Deals

Pivot3 Inc., a Spring, Texas-based developer of high-definition storage based on distributed RAID, has raised $25 in Series D funding. Focus Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers InterWest Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mesirow Financialand Silver Creek Ventures. The company previously raised around $40 million.

Prudent Energy, a Beijing-based developer of energy storage technology tofor electricity grid operations andintegration of large scale renewable energy, has raised around $22 million in Series C funding. Northern Light Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by Sequoia Capital China and return backersDFJ and DT Capital.

Konarka Technologies Inc., a Lowell, Mass.-based devel! oper of flexible solar energy technology called “Power Plastic,” has raised $20 million in strategic funding from Konica Minolta. The two companies also signed an R&D collaboration deal,tojointly develop and distributeorganic thin-film photovoltaics. Konarka previously raised around $175 million from 3i Group, Ardesta, Angeleno Group, Chevron Technology Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Good Energies, Massachusetts Green Energy Fund, NGEN Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Presidio STX, Siemens Venture Capital, Total Gas & Power and Vanguard Ventures.

Audience, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of voice processing solutions enabled with noise suppression, has raised $15 million in Series E funding. Return backers included New Enterprise Associates, Tallwood Venture Capital, Vulcan Capital and VentureTech Al! liance. The company has now raised $75 million.

NetBase, a Mountain View, Calif.-based developer of semantic search technologies, has raised $9 million in Series C funding from Altos Ventures and Thomvest Ventures.

Shocking Technologies Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of voltage switchable dielectric materials, has raised $8 million in Series B-1 funding. Vista Ventures led the round, and was joined by fellow return backers Arch Ventures, ATA ventures, Balch Hill Capital.Korea’s SkyLake Incuvest & Co. also participated. Shocking Technologies previously raised $17.1 millionin equity and $4 million inventure debt.

Navitas Lease Finance Corp., a Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.-based provider of equipment financing to small- and medium-sized businesses, reportedly has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Noro-Moseley Partnersled the round, and was joined by C&B Capital and Lunsford Capital.

Aimetis Corp., a Waterloo-based provider of video surveillance technologies for the retail and transportation markets, has raised C$5 million in VC funding. Backers include Covington Capital.

Adolfo Salume, a Salvadoran businessman and limited partner in funds from Bain Capital and CVC Capital Partners, has launched a new company to distribute cleantech products in Latin America, according to VentureWire. Called Clean Technology Solutions, the company is funded by Salume and Sail Venture Partners.

Buyouts Deals

Eureka Growth Capital and Shore Points Capital have recapitalized Commercial Carpets of America Inc., the largest commercial floor coverings dealer in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. No financial terms were disclosed. SC&H Capital advised CCA on the deal.

Intrawest Holdings, the Canadian ski resort operator owned by Fortress Investment Group, is in talks with lenders about refinancing options on its $1.7 billion debt-load. The WSJ reports that a recent proposal has Fortress injecting $150 million of additional equity and retaining its current ownership stake.

WestLB has receives several non-binding offers for its real ! estate finance unit, Westdeutsche Immobilienbank, but all reportedly are below book value of €850 million.

PE-Backed IPOs

Force10 Networks Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of network routing and switching equipment, has filed for a $143.75 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol FTEN, with J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank Securities and Barclays Capital serving as co-lead underwriters. The company, which early last year merged with Turin Networks, reports 2009 revenue of $113 million and a net loss of $76 million. Force10 has raised over $400 million in total VC funding since 1999, while Turin Networks had raised over $250 million. Current shareholders include Advanced Equities (28.1% pre-IPO stake), New Enterprise Associates (9.8%), DCM, U.S. Venture Partners and Meritech Capital Partners.

PE-Backed M&A

Berlin Packaging, a portfolio company of Investcorp, has completed its acquisition of 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.

Hyland Software Inc., a Cleveland-based provider of enterprise content management software, has acquired eWebHealth, a Reading, Mass.-based provider of hosted medical records workflow solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Hyland is a portfolio company of Thoma Bravo.

Media Source, a Plain City, Ohio-based acquisition platform sponsored by The Riverside Company, has acquired three library publications from Reed Business Information-US. They are: Library Journal, School Library Journal and Library Hotline Join Media Source. No financial terms were disclosed.

Shearer’s Foods Inc., a maker and distributor of branded and private-label snack foods, has agreed to acquire rival Snack Alliance. No financial terms were disclosed. Shearer’s Foods is a portfolio company of Mistral Equity Partners.

USI Holdings Corp., a Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.-based distributor of insurance and financial services to businesses, has acquired National City Insurance Group’s retail employee ! benefit insurance brokerage offices in Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri from PNC Financial Services Group. No financial terms were disclosed. USI is owned by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.

PE Exits

TA Associates has sold Advisory Research Inc., an asset management ifrm focused on equity strategies, to Piper Jaffray Companies. Thedeal was valued at approximately $220 million, including $180 million in cash and nearly $40 million worth of Piper Jaffray stock.

Firms & Funds

ETF Venture Funds, a West Conshohocken, Penn.-based firm that makes early-stage investments, has changed its name to SeventySix Capital.

OMERS posted a 2009 gain of C$4.3 billion, compared to an C$8 billion loss in 2008.

Valeo Fund is planning to raise $150 million for a U.S. commercial real estate fund.

Human Resource

Tony Horspool has joined Ropes & Gray as a London-based partner in the law firm’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice. He previously was with Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Curtis Mo has joined DLA Piper as a partner in the law firm’s Silicon Valley office. He previously was founding partner of the Palo Alto office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.

Shannon Lowry Nagle has joined Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP as a New York-based partner in the law firm’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice. She previously was a partner with O’Melveny and Myers LLP.