peHUB Wire: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Greetings from New York City, where it’s T-minus eight hours until around 500 of us gather for our largest-ever peHUB Shindig. Really looking forward to seeing so many of you tonight, and major apologies to the hundreds more who signed up for the wait-list but were unable to get a ticket. Next time we’ll try to find an even bigger room…

Some of you also have asked about where the next Shindigs will occur. I’ve got a tentative list, but it all comes down to securing sponsors. If you’re interested in helping to host in your hometown, please just drop me a line. Sponsors are the lifeblood of these events, since the ticket proceeds go to charity (tonight’s event has raised thousands of dollars for Doctors Without Borders).

Speaking of sponsors, one final thanks to those who have helped make tonight’s event possible:

• First Round Capital

• NYPPEX Private Markets

• PCG Asset Management

• RCP Advisors

*** Good scoop by Bernard Vaughan over at Buyouts, who reports that TPG Capital and CPP Investment Board are not going it alone on their $5.2 billion take-private of IMS Healt! h Inc. Instead, Leonard Green & Partners will invest up to $350 million as part of the transaction.

*** We have a new contender for most scandalous private equity exec of the year. And, for bonus points, this one also happens to be a peHUB Wire reader.

The NY Daily News reports that Giri Sekhar, a managing partner with FA Technology Ventures, has been indicted for trying to blackmail the chief counsel of NY State Comtroller Thomas DiNapoli, in order to secure a $25 million fund commitment from NY Common Retirement Fund.

Specifically, Sekhar is alleged to have sent messages threatening to expose the chief counsel’s extramarital affair (which, for the record, DiNapoli’s office denies having occurred).

Also for the record: Innocent until proven guilty. But, if true, Sekhar’s got to be wishing that h! e had just hired someone like Hank Morris. After all, PE pros get slap s on the wrist for indirect bribery. Blackmail can land you in jail.

Top Three

Glam Media, a female-focused online advertising network, has raised $50 million in new VC funding. Aeris Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Burda Digital Holding and Mizuho Capital. PaidContent puts the post-money valuation at around $750 million. Glam has now raised around $150 million, from firms that also include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, Information Capital and WaldenVC.

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based antibacterial drug company focused on gastrointestinal disorders, raised around $187.5 million in its IPO. It sold 16.67 million shares at $11.25 per share, compared to an offering range of between $14 and $16 per share. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol IRWD, while Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley served as co-lead underwriters. Ironwood had rai! sed over $250 million in total VC funding since 1998, from firms like Ridgeback Capital (13.41% pre-IPO stake), Venrock (11.27%), Polaris Venture Partners (8.14%), Morgan Stanley (6.9%), Fidelity Biosciences and Paperboy Ventures.

Lovell Minnick Partners, a mid-market private equity firm focused on the financial services sector, has closed its third fund with $455 million in capital commitments. It had been targeting $350 million. Limited partners include PPM America Capital Partners, HighVista Strategies, INVESCO Private Equity, WP Global Partners, Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group, Kemnay Private Equity, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Private Advisors, RCP Advisors, Twin Bridge Capital Partners and Washington University of St. Louis.

VC Deals

Navigenics, a Foster City, Calif.-based personalized genomics company, has raised around $18 million in new VC funding. Procter & Gamble was joined by return backers Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and MDV. The company previously raised around $25 million.

BrightRoll, a San Francisco-based video advertising network, has raised $10 million in Series C funding. Scale Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers True Ventures, Adams Street Partners and KPG Venture. The company previously raised $6 million.

Coaxis Inc., a Portland, Ore.-based developer of software for the construction industry, has raised $10 million from Updata Partners.

Yammer, a San Francisco-based provider of enterprise microblogging and real-time communications solutions, has raised $10 million in S! eries B funding. Emergence Capital led the round, and was joined by SV Angel and return backers Charles River Ventures and Goldcrest Investment. Jason Green of Emergence and Ron Conway of SV Angel are joining the company’s board of directors. No mention of Founders Fund, which participated in Yammer’s $5 million Series A round.

Scanbuy Inc., a New York-based provider of mobile barcode solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of third-round funding. Motorola Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Longworth Venture Partners, Masthead Venture Partners and Hudson Venture Partners. The company had raised a $9 million Series B round in 2006.

Buyouts Deals

ABRY Partners has sponsored a minority recap of HealthTran LLC, a Greenwood Village, Colo.-based provider of healthcare transaction management IT solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. SDR Ventures advised HealthTran on the deal.

Ambac Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: ABK), a troubled U.S. bond insurer, has hired The Blackstone Group to advise on a restructuring. The company warned in November that it may need to seek bankruptcy protection.

Citigroup reportedly has agreed to sell its ! 5% stake in Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX) to Ashmore Group PLC for $40 million.

Cressey & Co. has acquired a majority stake in VetCor Professional Practices, an owner and operaror of 41 full-service animal hospitals in the U.S. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which included leveraged financing and an equity co-investment from Golub Capital.

Endemol, an indebted Dutch reality show producer, is working to stave off a loan covenant breach and a wider debt restructuring. Three Endemol lenders – GoldenTree, Sankaty and Centerbridge – recently questioned! the company’s use of loan buybacks.

Linden LLC has acquired Hycor Biomedical Inc., a Garden Grove, Calif.-based maker of in vitro diagnostic products, from Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A). No financial terms were disclosed. Thomson Weisel Partners advised Agilent on the sale.

Platinum Equity has completed its $70 million acquisition of several brands and related assets of bankrupt Minneapolis-based boat manufacturer Genmar Holdings.

Platinum Equity has completed its $70 million acquisition of several brands and related assets of bankrupt Minneapolis-based boat manufacturer Genmar Holdings.

Movie Gallery Inc., operator of the Hollywood Video stores, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company previously filed for bankruptcy in October 2007, but emerged with Sopris Capital as its majority shareholder.

Tower Vision Pvt Ltd., an Indian telecom tower operator, has secured up to $300 million in private equity and debt financing, from an investor syndicate led by The Quadrangle Group.

PE-Backed IPOs

Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based developer of anti-inflammatory drugs, has set its proposed IPO terms to around 4.61 million common shares being offered at between $13 and $15 per share. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ANTH, with Deutsche Bank Securities serving as lead underwriter. Anthera has raised around $75 million in VC funding, from firms like VantagePoint Venture Partners (32.97% pre-IPO stake), Sofinnova Ventures (21.24%), Caxton Advantage Life Sciences Fund (6.09%), HBM BioCapital (6.07%), Pappas Ventures (5.55%) and Mitsubishi International Corp.

PE Exits

IBM has agreed to acquire Initiate Systems Inc., a Chicago-based provider of master data management solutions for the exchange of health information. No financial terms were disclosed. Initiate Systems has raised over $67 million in VC funding, from Apex Venture Partners, First Analysis Group, Sigma Partners, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners and Paladin Capital Group. It canceled a proposed IPO in 2008.

Synopsys Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS) has acquired VaST Systems Technology Corp., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based producer of embedded systems development technology. No financial terms were disclosed. VaST has raised nearly $42 million in total VC funding since its 1997 format! ion, from firms that include Allen Buckeridge, Foundation Capital, ZenShin Capital and Mohr Davidow Ventures.

PE-Backed M&A

Black Sand Technologies Inc., an Austin, Texas-based developer of mixed-signal semiconductors, has acquired a patent portfolio related to CMOS power amplifiers (PAs) from Silicon Laboratories. No financial terms were disclosed. Black Sand has raised around $18 million in VC funding from Austin Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Dedicated Transport Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of Centerfield Capital and Patriot Capital, has acquired All Star Transportation Inc., a provider of liquid bulk trucking services to water treatment plants throughout the United States. No financial terms were disclosed., an Israel-based company that combines social networking with family trees, has acquired OSN Group, a Hamburg, Germany-based operator of ten family-tree sites. No financial terms were disclosed. MyHeritage has raised more than $15 million in VC funding from Accel Partners and Index Ventures.


Muzak has emerged from bankruptcy protection, with Silver Point Capital as its majority owner. Silver Point was the elevat

Firms & Funds

Ambrian Capital (LSE: AMBN) has formed a private equity group focused on the minding sector. It will be based in Switzerland, and staffed by former Glencore executives.

Human Resources

Tom Cech has joined Morgenthaler Ventures as a special advisor. He is the 1989 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and currently runs the University of Colorado’s Initiative of Molecular Biotechnology.

James Chapman has joined the Foley & Lardner LLP, as a Silicon Valley-based partner in law firm’s private equity and venture capital practice group. He previously was a partner with Nixon Peabody LLP.

Arsenal Capital Partners has promoted Eugene Gorbach to vice president and Roy Seroussi to senior ass! ociate. Gorbach focused on the financial services sector, and joined Arsenal in 2008 from American Capital. Seroussi focuses on the chemicals sector, and joined Arsenal in 2008 from Credit Suisse.

Marco DeMiroz has been named COO and CFO of Soliant Energy, a maker of concentrated solar energy systems for commercial rooftops. He previously served as Soliant’s interim CEO and, before that, was a venture capitalist with both Trinity Ventures and Selby Ventures. Soliant has raised over $30 million from Trinity, Nth Power and Rockport Capital Partners.