Tons of news this morning, so just time for a few quick hits:
*** Deal scoop: A couple of months ago, I mentioned that Berkshire Partners had been particularly quiet on the deal-making front. Just one PIPE and a pair of bolt-on acquisitions since October 2007. Pretty slow for a firm investing out of a $3.1 billion fund raised in 2006.
Well, it still hasn’t done a traditional LBO (that we know of), but the Boston-based firm has agreed to sponsor a partial recap of United BioSource, a Bethesda, Md.-based company that previously raised well over $150 million from firms like Grotech Capital Group, J.H. Whitney and New Enterprise Associates (closer to $220m, according to VentureXpert database).
I don’t have the financial terms yet, except that Berkshire will take a minority stake while existing shareholders also will retain equity positions.
United BioSource provides evidence-b! ased services and information to the pharma and life sciences markets. It has annual revenue of approximately $250 million, according to a firm spokeswoman. Worth noting that the spokeswoman also said that no deal has been officially executed yet, although I heard different from a source. Either way, expect an announcement in the near future.
*** Doing a Reuters video spot later this morning on whether or not private equity will begin making casino investments again, following up on Wilbur Ross expressing interest last week. It makes all the sense in the world: Low commercial real estate prices, high fixed costs, general recession, little tech/innovation risk, etc.
Real question is how many firms still have the stomach, following Station Casinos, Twin Rivers, Harrah’s, the failed Penn Gaming deal, etc. Emailed with a few big firms that should want in,! but don’t.
*** Where in the World: I’ll be i n Dallas next week, for the 2nd Annual Buyouts Texas. It’s a phenomenal program, although my guess is that last year’s keynote Saul Meyer — who’s since been arrested as part of the NY kickback scam — won’t be showing up (but I think we’d bump any other speaker if he wants to publicly explain himself). My job is to moderate a debt panel, and then interview Bob Boldt (former UTIMCO CEO and current partner with Perella Weinberg. Get the full agenda and ticket info here.
*** Event #1: Our Dallas Shindig is sold out, but you can get on the waiting list by sending me an email. We’re hopeful that some spots will open up next week. Per usual, a big thanks to sponsors Staff One, New Capital Partners and Landmark Partners.
*** Event #2: More than 1! 00 of you have bought tickets for our Boston cleantech event, which takes place on October 27 at Bingham McCutchen (I saw the facility yesterday, and it easily rivals that Microsoft spot on the Charles). Get yours today.
PopCap Games, a Seattle-based multi-platform video game developer, has raised $22.5 million in VC funding. Meritech Capital Partners led the round, and was joined by individual investors Larry Bowman and John McCaw.
GrainCorp Ltd. (AX: GNC), an Australian bulk grain handler, has agreed to buy United Malt Holdings from Castle Harlan and Australian affiliate CHAMP Private Equity. The deal is valued at US$655 million. UMH is a global provider of malt for the brewing and distilling industries. Read more…
Questex Media, a Newton, Mass.-based B2B media company owned by Audax Group, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It listed assets of $299 million and liabilities of $321 million, and said that it would sell itself to its lenders. Audax acquired the company from Advanstar Holdings in 2005 fo! r $185 million, and has since made several add-on acquisitions.
SANpulse Technologies, a Jersey City, N.J.-based provider of enterprise infrastructure software and services for automated SAN migrations,has raised $5 million from Edison Venture Fund.
Carnegie Speech Co., a Pittsburgh-based provider of software for assessing and teaching spoken language skills, has raised $2.2 million in Series A-2 fundingand signedstrategic partnership with In-Q-Tel. The company previously raised $6 million from Osage Ventures.
DataSync Corp., a Sioux Falls, S.D.-based provider of a small business SaaS platform, has raised $1.2 million in first-round funding led by Rain Source Capital.
Linkdex, a providerof enterprise software that analyzes how websites connect to each other, has raised €650,000 in seed funding from Amadeus Capital Partners.
Bicycle Therapeutics Ltd., a UK-based biotherapeutics startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Atlas Venture and Novartis Venture Fund. Bicycle Therapeutics is a spinout from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
Oak Hill Capital Partners and CCMP Capital Partners have submitted bids to acquire discount retailer Grocery Outlet, according to the NY Post. Goldman Sachs is running the process, which is expected to fetch around $400 million.
Starwood Capital Group and TPG Capital have won the auction for the assets of failed Corus Bank, according to Reuters. The consortium, which also includes WL Ross and Perry Capital, would invest around $554 million for a 40% stake in the assets (FDIC would hold remainder).
Sterling Partners has agreed to purchase up to 2.5 million shares of mattress maker Select Comfort Corp. (Nasdaq: SCSS) for $4 per share, plus receive warrants to buy two million shares at one cent each.
TEOCO, a Fairfax, Va.-based provider of routing and revenue managementsoftware for communication service providers, has raised $60 million in equity funding from TA Associates, in exchange for a minority ownership position.
TigerRisk Partners LLC, a Greenwich, Conn.-based reinsurance broker and risk/capital management advisor, has received an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Aquiline Capital Partners. TigerRisk is was formed last year by Jim Stanard, co-founder and former CEO of Renaissance Re, and Rod Fox, former CEO of the U.S. operations of Benfield.
Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) has put itself up for sale, according to the Wall Street Journal. Possible bidders include HP and Oracle. The ! company’s stock rose more than 18% on the news, bringing its market ca p to approximately $3.81 billion.
Energy Futures Holding Corp. said that it will offer to exchange up to $4 billion of new notes for outstanding notes to extend maturities and reduce debt. The company, formerly known as TXU, was acquired in 2007 by KKR, TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners.
AGA Medical Holdings Inc., a Plymouth, Minn.-based maker of medical devices the treatment of structural heart defects and vascular diseases, has set its IPO terms to 13.75 million common shares being offered at between $19 and $21 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $1 billion, were it to price at the high end of its range. AGA plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol AGAM, with BoA Merrill Lynch serving as lead underwriter. Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe acquired a majority stake AGA Medical via a 2005 equity recap. www.amplatzer.com
Symetra Financial Corp., a Bellevue, Wash.-based life insurance company, has filed for a $575 million IPO. It previously filed for a $750 million IPO in June 2007, but canceled the offering last year due to market conditions. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol SYA. Underwriters includ BoA Merrill Lynch! , JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital. Shareholders include Vestar Capital Partners, Och-Ziff Capital Management, Highfields Capital Management, Caxton Associates, White Mountains Insurance Group and Berkshire Hathaway. www.symetra.com
Team Health Holdings LLC, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based provider of outsourced healthcare professional staffing and administrative services to hospitals and other healthcare providers, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE. The Blackstone Group holds over a 90% interest in Team Health. www.teamhealth.com
Delphi Midstream Partners, an acquisition platform sponsored by American Securities, has agreed to acquire a Tarrant County, Texas-based natural gas gathering and compression system (Mansfield System) from Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. No financial terms were disclosed except that DMP will invest up to $100 million to further develop of the system.
GFI Software, a UK-based portfolio company of Insight Venture Partners, has acquired Katharion, a Los Angeles-based provider of hosted email filtering solutions. No financial terms were disclosed.
HHI Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, has completed its acquisition of the assets of FormTech Industries LLC, via a p! repackaged bankruptcy process. FormTech makes forged metal automotive components, and employs around 400 people in Michigan and Ohio.
Pentaho Corp., an Orlando, Fla.-based provider of commercial open-source solutions for business intelligence, has acquired the technology assets of LucidEra, a business intelligence SaaS provider. NHo financial terms were disclosed. Pentaho has raised around $25 million from firms like Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures and New Enterprise Associates. LucidEra had raised over $22 million from Benchmark Capital,Crosslink Capital and Matrix Partners.
CompuDyne Corp., a portfolio company of The Gores Group, has sold Quanta Systems LLC to Black Box Corp. (Nasdaq: BBOX) for an undisclosed amount. Quanta is a Gaithersburg, Md.-based provider of security and command center solution.
Delhaize, a Belgian supermarket group, has agreed to buy a “substantial majority” of bankrupt U.S. supermarket chain Bi-Lo LLC for $425 million in cash. Bi-Lo had been a portfolio company of Lone Star Funds.
Nuance Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NUAN) has acquired eCopy, a Nashua, N.H.-based provider of solutions for linking scan functionality of digital copiers to enterprise and network applications. The deal is valued at approximately $54 million in Nuance common stock. eCopy had raised nearly! $22 million in VC funding, from firms like Ascent Venture Partners, Canon Inc. and Landmark Partners.
Medical Imaging Holdings Inc., a Golden, Colo.-based acquisition platform sponsored by Galen Partners, has acquired Sonora Medical Systems from Misonix Inc. (Nasdaq: MSON). No financial terms were disclosed. Sonora provides test equipment and biomedical tools for the ultrasound diagnostic imaging market.
ResMed Inc. (NYSE: RMD) has acquired Laboratoires Narval, a France-based maker of a repositioning device for treating for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. No financial terms were disclosed. Laboratoires Narval had raised a small amount of VC funding from Aurinvest SAS.
Firms & Funds
Actis has raised $750 million for its second infrastructure fund, which will focus on power generation and transport opportunities in emerging markets. www.act.is
Harvest Partners has formed a formal partnership with Steve Riordan to target investments in the North American distribution market. Riordan is the former CEO of Communications Supply Corporation.
UBS Investment Bank has formed an 18-person energy lending practice based in Dallas. It will be led by Darrell Holley, who previously was head of global oil and gas banking for Fortis Bank.