peHUB Wire: Wednesday, 17, 2010

Top Three

Asian Genco Pte Ltd., an Indian infrastructure company with investments in power generation assets and in engineering services businesses, has raised $425 million in private equity funding. Backers include General Atlantic, Stanley Infrastructure Partners, Goldman Sachs, Norwest Venture Partners, Everstone Capital and PTC India Financial Services.

Aurora Biofuels Inc., an Alameda, Calif.-based biofuels company focused on open-pond algae aquaculture, has raised $15 million in third-round funding. Oak Investment Partners led the round, and was joined by fellow return backers Gabriel Venture Partners and Noventi. The company previously raised $25 million.

Avista Capital Partners has closed its second fund with $1.8 billion in capital commitments, according to peHUB.

VC Deals

Horvath Towers LLC, an owner and operator of cellular towers for wireless carriers throughout the U.S., has raised $20 million in new equity funding from existing backer Peppertree Capital Fund.

Kromek Ltd., a UK-based developer of digital color x-ray imaging technology, has raised £12.3 million in Series D funding at a £52 million post-money valuation. Most of the new capital came from individual backers, according to a release put out by existing shareholder Amphion Innovations.

LucidLogix Technologies, an Israel-based dev! eloper of real-time distributed processing engine for visual computing, has raised $8 million in fourth round funding. Return backers include Rho Ventures, Giza Venture Capital and Genesis Partners. The company has now raised $40 million in total VC funding.

PowerReviews Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of customer reviews and social merchandising solutions for online retailers, has raised $6.1 million in new VC funding. Return backers Menlo Ventures and Tenaya Capital co-led the round. PowerReviews previously raised around $21.3 million from Menlo,! Tenaya and Draper Richards.

Weedle, a Dublin, Ireland-based social network for those seeking and offering work, has raised $4 million in VC funding led by Enterprise Ireland.

AuctionPoint, a Marina Del Rey, Calif.-based online auction platform for the commercial real estate market, has raised an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from ! LoopNet Inc. (Nasdaq: LOOP).

MaxIC TechnologyCorp., a Beijing-based developer of ICs for use in LEDs, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding led by WI Harper Group.

Message Systems, a Columbia, Md.-based provider of message management solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of new funding from NewSpring Ventures.

Highwinds, a Winter Park, Fla.-based provider of multi-platform IP services and content distribution solutions, has secured $35 million in debt financing led by Silicon Valley Bank. The capital will be used to refinance existing debt and for working capital. The company previously raised more than $55 million in equity funding from General Catalyst Partners, Alta Communications and European Founders Fund.

Buyouts Deals

Atlantic Street Capital Management is in talks to sell Orlando-based delivery services company Fleetgistics to St. Louis-based buyout shop Harbour Group.

The Blackstone Group and BlackRock are among firms expressing interest in acquiring GMAC’s Residential Capital unit (ResCap). Wilbur Ross also may get involved.

The Blackstone Group has agreed to lead a $600 million investment into Chinese agricultural company Shouguang Agricultural Product Logistic Park, ahead of the company’s planned Hong Kong listing.

Bowmark Capital has sponsored a £48 million management buyout and expansion funding for Leaders Ltd., a UK residentialreal estate listingand property management agency. The seller was RO Group.

Brazos Private Equity Partners has made two acquisitions in the electronic security distribution space: Woodbury, N.Y.-based Tri-Ed Distribution, a provider of security systems and low-voltage products; and Rocklin, Calif.-based Northern Video Systems Inc., a wholesale distributor of security, surveillance and network infrastructure products. The two companies will be combined. No! financial terms were disclosed.

CVC Capital Partners has restarted the sale process for Japanese shoe repair chain Minit Asia Pacific, with hopes of garnering upwards of $166 million. Bidders include Advent International and Wise Partners.

Odyssey Investment Partners has acquired food packaging company Peninsula Packaging Co., according to peHUB.

PE-Backed IPOs

NetMotion Wireless Inc., a Seattle-based provider of mobile VPN solutions, has filed to go public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company has raised over $31 million in VC funding, from Dolphin Equity Partners, Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners (MCVP), Northwest Venture Associates and Alexander Hutton Venture Partners.

Tengion Inc., an East Norriton, Penn.-based regenerative medicine company focused on replacement organs like bladders, has set its IPO terms to 4.44 million common shares being offered at between $8 and $10 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $107 million, were it to price at the high end of its range. The company p! lans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol TNGN, with Piper Jaffray andLeerink Swann serving as co-lead underwriters. Tengion has raised over $140 million in VC funding, from Oak Investment Partners (19.6% pre-IPO stake), HealthCap (14.3%) Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. (12.5%), Brookside Capital (8.6%), Bain Capital Ventures (8.5%), Quaker BioVentures (8.3%), L Capital Partners (6.4%), Deerfield Partners and Safeguard Scientifics.

PE-Backed M&A

Applus, a Barcelona-based provider of inspection, certification, testing and technology services, has acquired two companies in the inspection and non-destructive testing space: New York-based Quality Inspection Services (QISI) and Ontario-based Staveley. No financial terms were disclosed. The Carlyle Group and Caixa Catalunya acquired Applus in 2007 for €1.48 billion.

Pattern Energy Group, a new renewable energy company backed by Riverstone Holdings, has acquired the 283 MW Gulf Wind Farm in Texas from Babcock & Brown. No financial terms were disclosed, except that debt financing was provided by Mizuho Corporate Bank, Banco Espirito Santo, Bayerische Landesbank, Commerzbank, HSH Nordbank and ING Capital LLC.

PE Exits

Arsenal Capital Partners has agreed to sell Genovique Specialties Corp., a Rosemont, Ill.-based provider of benzoate plasticizers, to Eastman Chemical Co. (NYSE: EMN). No financial terms were disclosed.

Exar Corp. (Nasdaq: EXAR) has completed its previously-announced acquisition of Neterion, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of 10 Gigabit Ethernet network adapter solution! s optimized for virtualized data centers. The deal was valued at between $10 million and $11 million. Neterion had raised around $65 million in VC funding, from Menlo Ventures, VenGrowth, BDC and JAFCO Ventures.

GS Capital Partners and Permira have relaunched an attempt to sell Cognis, a German maker of additives for cosmetics and detergents. Cognis is in the midst of preparations to go public, but Reuters reports that the private equity owners would prefer an outright sale.

Towerstream (Nasdaq: TWER) has agreed to acquire the assets of Sparkplug Communications, a provider of fixed wireless broadband services in five st! ates. The deal is valued at $1.6 million in cash and stock. Sparkplug shareholders include Ignition Partners.

Firms & Funds

Elevar has raised $70 million for a “poverty-focused” growth equity fund focused on underserved markets like India, Mexico, the Philippines and Peru. It will back microfinance institutions and other providers of essential services.

The Sterling Group has closed its third fund with $820 million in capital commitments. The Houston-based firm focuses on mid-market private equity opportunities, and had closed its prior fund with $470 million in 2005.

Human Resources

Gina Bianchini is stepping down as CEO of Ning, in order to become an entrepreneur-in-residence with venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Bianchini is a co-founder of Ning, which offers an online platform for people who want to create their own social networks. Her fellow co-founder, and Ning chairman, is Marc Andreessen, who is one of two Andreessen Horowitz partners. She will be succeeded by Ning CFO Jason Rosenthal.

Mark Epley is stepping down as global head of financial sponsors at Deutsche Bank, according to Bloomberg. He reportedly plans to join Nomura Holdings.

Mark Pacala has joined Oak Hill Capital Partners as a senior advisor, with a focus on the healthcare sector. He has spent the past eight years as a general partner with Essex Woodlands Health Ventures. Before that, he ran both the Forum Group (sold to Marriot Corp) and American WholeHealth Inc.

Holger Reithinger has joined Forbio n Capital Partners as a partner and head of the firm’s new Munich office. He previously was with Global Life Science Ventures.

Antonio Rodriguez, former CTO of HP’s consumer imaging and printing division, has joined Matrix Partners as a general partner in the firm’s Waltham, Mass. office. Matrix also announced the opening of a New York City office, which will be headed by Nick Beim. Beim will relocate from Massachusetts.

Jon Skelly has joined Cleveland-based boutique bank Vetus Partners as a man! aging director. He previously focused on the wholesale distribution sector of PCE Investment Bankers, before which he served as a director of business development for Home Depot and director of M&A for Hughes Supply Inc.

Garrett Walls has agreed to join Angelo Gordon & Co. as head of marketing. He previously was with TCW Group, as a managing director responsible for strategic relationships.

Key Principal Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm based in Cleveland, has promoted Patrick Rond to vice president. Rond joined the firm, in 2002 as an analyst. KPP is the private equity arm of KeyCorp.