peHUB WIre: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

KKR is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange sometime this summer, in what many have referred to as the private equity giant’s “IPO.” I’ve steadfastly resisted the acronym, because KKR had not indicated plans to “offer” anything. Instead, it simply wastransferring its listing from Amsterdam to New York. As such, I began referring to the move as KKR’s “un-IPO.”

But now I relent. The mega-buyout firm yesterday filed with the SEC for a $500 million capital raise, which would occur either simultaneous to the re-listing or shortly thereafter. Not a pure IPO, but closer than not.

The offering would be purely dilutive, as none of the firm’s principals or major shareholders are selling current holdings. Instead, KKR “expects to deploy the proceeds from this offering primarily in lower risk assets and cash.”!

KKR clearly believes that the public markets will be receptive, even though the performance of other publicly-traded PE firms has been lousy of late. After all, it could have done the list transfer without an additional equity raise. Or it could have held off on its S-1filing until the recent market volatility ebbed (particularly given that KKR’s 2005 European fund is by far its worst-performer). Maybe it figures that it can piggyback off momentum generated by the upcoming HCA IPO.

Or perhaps KKR is so hell-bent on conquering the public markets that it views the broader context as an irrelevant irritant. That’s what Heidi basically argued at peHUB yesterday, when she wrote: “KKR is determined to go public even if it has to do so among the dessicated carcasses of Western civilization in a Roland Emmerich film.”

But here’s a reason why KKR’s move matters beyond West 57th Street: If KKR succeeds in pricing the $500 million at attractive terms, it may prompt other large PE firms to tap the public markets. There were a number of shops considering such a move before the economy tanked in 2008, and KKR could make them feel “safe” again…

*** The Riverside Company yesterday announced that its Micro-cap Fund has acquired Mansell Group, an Atlanta-based email marketing company. No financial terms were disclosed, except that Fifth Street Capital provided debt financing.

Not the sort of thing that typically gets “blue text” treatment, but Mansell isn’t just any virtual postmaster. For the past five years, it’s been responsible for sending out these morning missives.

So a big congratulations Allen, Tim and the other folks at Mansell. We aren’t their typical client — time-sensitive news pub as opposed to marketing blasts — but they understand our needs and work hard to satisfy. Hoping this deal can help them grow into the busine! ss they want to become, particularly via acquisition. Oh, and Riverside, don’t screw things up!

*** Chicago Shindig: We still need a couple more sponsors for the planned peHUB Shindig in Chicago next month. Shoot me an email if your firms has interest.

*** Inappropriate Request: Over the years, I’ve asked you for help with lawn care, pet care and home care. Now I’m asking for some help with child care.

Yup, J is pregnant. Exhilarating, terrifying and all that good life-changing stuff. Not due until early November, which means we’ll need some help caring fo! r the tyke come next spring. And all the advice I’ve gotten is to plan ahead, because such places fill up. So if you’re a reader somewhere near Framingham, MA with some thoughts on quality child-care, please pass it on. As always, much thanks for humoring my non-biz digressions…

Top Three

Think Global, a Norwegian electric car maker, has raised $40 million in new VC funding. Return backers RockPort Capital Partners and Ener1 Inc. co-led the round, and were joined by existing shareholders Valmet Automotive (Finland), Investinor (Norway) and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The company has now raised $87 million since a bankruptcy restructuring last August. It had previously raised $85 million.

Mill Road Capital has agreed to buy Mexican restaurant chain Rubio’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: RUBO) for around $91 million. The $8.70 per share offer represents around a 14% premium to last Friday’s closing price. Sellers would include Rosewood Capital. Last October, Rubio’s rejected an $80 million buyout offer from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.

Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to sell the global rights to Lysteda, a non-hormonal therapy indicated specifically for treatment of women with cyclic heavy menstrual bleeding, to Ferring Pharmaceuticals. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which Xanodyne says is part of a strategic refocusing on pain management drugs.Xanodyne has raised over $270 million in VC funding, including a $170 million Series A-1 round in 2005! that helped finance the $210 million acquisition of aaiPharma’s pharmaceutical division out of bankruptcy. Backers include MPM Capital, AIG Investments, Aisling Capital, Blue Chip Venture Co., Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, HealthCare Ventures and Union Springs.

VC Deals

CureVac GmbH, a Germany-based developer of mRNA vaccines, has raised €27.6 million in Series C funding from existing shareholder Hopp BioTech Holding GmbH & Co.

Astute Medical Inc., a San Diego-based medical diagnostics company focused on high-risk conditions, has raised $26.5 million in Series B funding. Domain Associates and Delphi Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. and return backer De Novo Ventures. The company previously raised $6.25 million.

Infineta Systems, a San Jose, Calif.-based maker of network optimization products, has raised $15 million in Series A funding from Alloy Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Vantrix Corp., a New York-based provider of mobile multimedia adaptation and delivery solutions, has raised $14 million in Series C funding. Tudor Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Venture Partners, JK&B Capital, BDC Venture Capital, Innovacom Venture Capital and Entrepia Ventures.

SocialVibe, a Los Angeles-based social media monetization platform, has raised $11.65 million in third-round funding, according to a regulatory filing. The company previously raised just over $12 million f! rom Redpoint Ventures and JAFCO

Heroku, a San Francisco-based provider of a cloud application platform for Rubym, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Ignition Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Redpoint Ventures, Baseline Ventures and Harrison Metal Ventures. The company previously raised $3

Crocus Technology, a France-based developer of magnetic random access memory (MRAM), has raised €8 million in third-round funding. Return backers include AGF Private Equity, CDC Innovation, CEA Investissement, Nanodimension, Sofinnova Ventures and Ventech. !

Integrien Corp., an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of real-time performance analytics, has raised $8 million. Clearstone Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by Acartha Group and Mariner Capital Ventures. The company previously raised over $20 million.

Swipely, a Providence, R.I.-based “online service that gives users an easy way to turn their purchases into conversations,” has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Index Ventures led the round, and was joined by Greylock Partners, First Round Capital and indiv! idual angels.

Finestrella, a provider of mobile telephony services to the low income and un-banked populations in Mexico, has raised $7 million in Series A funding. Backers include Ignia Fund, Bay Partners and Storm Ventures.

Demdex, a New York-based provider of online audience management solutions, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Shasta Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers First Round Capital and Genacast Ventures (Comcast Interactive Capital affiliate).

AdReady, a Seattle-based provider of software solutions for digital display advertising, has raised $5.3 million in Series B funding. Return backers include Madrona Venture Group, Bain Capital Ventures and Khosla Ventures. The company previously raised $10 million.

Doxo, a Seattle-based paperless billing startup, has raised $5.25 million in Series A funding from Mohr Davidow Ventures and Bezos Expeditions.

Localytics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of a mobile analytics platform, has raised $700,000 in first-! round funding co-led by Launchpad Venture Group and New York Angels. The company was part of TechStars Boston’s 2009 class, and then was chosen to be an inaugural resident at Polaris Ventures Partners’ Dogpatch Labs in Cambridge.

Buyouts Deals

Apax Partners has agreed to acquire a 54.25% interest in TIVIT, a provider of IT and BPO services in Latin Americal, at an enterprise value of approximately $1 billion. Sellers include Votorantim Novos Negócios and Pátria Investimentos.

Golden Gate Capital has agreed to acquire up to a 25% equity stake in jeweler Zale Corp. (NYSE: ZLC), via the purchase of common stock warrants. Golden Gate also is provided Zale with a new $150 million, five-year senior secured term loan.

Godrej Consumer Products, a listed Indian company, is in talks to raise $125 million from private equity firms.

PE-Backed IPOs

Winsway, a Chinese coking coal logistics company, has hired Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank to finalize plans for an $800 million IPO in Hong Kong later this year. Company shareholders include Hopu Investments.

PE Exits

Aruba Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN) has agreed to acquire Azalea Networks, a Milpitas, Calif.-based provider of outdoor mesh networks. The deal is valued at up to $40.5 million, including $27 million in stock and $13.5 million in cash. Azalea has raised over $14 million in VC funding.

CVC Capital Partners has sold half its stake in British betting firm IG Group (LSE: IGG), a 4.2% stake, for nearly $90 million. (NYSE: CRM) has completed its previously-announced acquisition of Jigsaw, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of crowd-sourced business contact information. The deal was valued at $142 million in cash, plus the possibility of around another $14 million in earn-outs. Jigsaw had raised just over $20 million in VC funding, from Austin Ventures, El Dorado Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners.

Vitamin Shoppe Inc. (NYSE: VSI) filed tooffer 5.5 million common shares in a secondary public offering. Sellers are expected to include private equity firm Irving Place Capital, which currently holds a 52.7% ownership position (14.25m shares). The retailer last fall raised $162.1 million in its IPO, pricing its shares at $17 a piece. Its shares today closed at $

Yardi Systems has acquired DIY Real Estate Solutions, a Cleveland-based developer of Web-based property management software solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. DIY Real Estate has raised a small amount of VC funding from JumpStart Ventures.

PE-Backed M&A

Adenyo (f.k.a Silverback Media), a Toronto-based provider of mobile marketing software, reportedly has acquired nobile advertising company MoVoxx. No financial terms were disclosed Adenyo recently raised US$26.9 million in financing led by Genuity Capital Markets. MoVoxx had raised an undisclosed amount of capital from BV Ventures, First Round Capital, Greycroft Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

Alteris Renewables, an integrator of renewable energy systems in the Northeastern U.S., has acquired ISI Solar, a designer and installer of solar electric systems in New York and New Jersey. No financial terms were disclosed. Alteris is a portfolio company of Riverside Partners.

Firms & Funds

Close Brothers Corporate Finance, a mid-market advisory firm, is cutting ties to former parent Close Brothers Group PLC and renaming itself DC Advisory Partners. The firm was sold last year by Close Brothers to a unit now wholly-owned by Japan’s Daiwa Securities.

Early Stage Partners, a Cleveland-based VC firm focused on the Midwest, has closed its second fund with nearly $55 million in capital commitments.

Human Resources

Chrysalis Ventures has added five new staffers: Alan Ying as a ventire partner, Jill Force as chief operating officer, Derek Fricke as an analyst, Doug Cobb as an entrepreneur-in-residence and Greg Foster as an entrepreneur-in-residence. The first four will be based in the firm’s Louisville office, while Foster will work out of Atlanta.

Kurtis Fechtmeyer has joined the Silverfern Group as co-head of the firm’s technology merchant banking group. He previously was a managing director in the technology group at FBR Capital Markets.

Colleen Palmer has joined turnaround firm Getzler Henrich as a Chicago-based managing director, with a focus on business development and financial restructuring engag! ements. She previously was with GE Commercial Finance.