Yesterday I joked about how Aldus Equity founder Saul Meyer was one of the keynote speakers at last year’s Buyouts Texas event, and offered to bump any of this year’s speakers if Saul was interested in a return engagement. What I didn’t know was that, at the very time I was writing those words, Meyer was in a New York courtroom pleading guilty to felony securities fraud related to the New York Common Retirement Fund’s pay-to-play scandal.
Before continuing, let me say that the offer still stands (stands even taller, in fact), and I’ll personally chauffer Saul to the event. Ok, moving on…
I know some of you are tired of this story, but I think Andrew Cuomo might have moved the ball forward a bit during his press conference. In response to a question about whether Meyer would face jail-time, Cuomo said that the ultimate decision would be up to a judge a! t the conclusion of the state’s case (i.e., when David Loglisci and Hank Morris are adjudicated) – but that the AG’s office would make a recommendation based on Meyer’s level of cooperation.
He then added that Meyer was cooperating in similar investigations being conducted in other states. He explicitly cited a U.S. Attorney-led investigation in New Mexico (which we knew about), but also implied that investigations also are ongoing elsewhere. I can almost promise you that one of those states is California, where multiple pension systems are currently under the microscope (not only the big one in Sacramento).
*** Related #1: Aldus Equity itself was not part of the plea, because it was never charged by Cuomo’s office. It is, however, facing a civil suit from the New York Common Retirement Fund.
*** Related #2 (Quiz Time): What placement agent (not Aldus) has effectively shut down, in large part due to the pay-to-play scandal?
*** Related #3: In his introductory remarks, Cuomo noted how his office’s investigation has led to PE firms paying around $70 million in “penalties.” That word choice was intriguing, since so many of the involved firms have bristled at any suggestion that their payments were anything other than voluntary.
I asked Cuomo about it, and he walked it back a bit – saying that “penalty” was an aggregate term, but that each individual agreement was different.
*** We reported yesterday at peHUB that Marlin Equity Partners is hoping to raise around $350 million for its third fund. Nothing shocking, except that the target – not to mention the $450 million cap – is higher than the $300 million that Marlin raised for its second fund in 2006.
I had been under the impression that the next round of fund-raises would mostly represent steps down, rather than steps up. Maybe that’s just a mega-marke! t and large-venture thing…
*** 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 Monday. Per usual, a big thanks to sponsors Staff One, New Capital Partners and Landmark Partners.
*** Event #2: A reminder for Boston cleantechies that our “Making Sense of Washington” event is in just three weeks. Get your ticket now.
Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq: CPWR) has agreed to acquire Gomez Inc., a Lexington, Mass.-based provider of web experience management services, for $295 million in cash. The deal is expected to close next month. Gomez currently is in registration for an $80.5 million IPO. It raised over $66 million in VC funding between 1999 and 2004, with current shareholders including Dolphin Equity Partners (36.6% pre-IPO stake), AdAstra (19.9%), Doughty Hanson & Co. (17.3%) and ABS Ventures (8.9%).
TransEnterix Inc., a Durham, N.C.-based developer of a laparoscopic surgical platform, has raised $55 million in Series B funding. Aisling Capital led the round, and was joined by Intersouth Partners, Quaker BioVentures and return backers SV Life Science Advisers, Synergy Life Science Partners and Parish Capital Advisors.
Arun Sarin, former CEO of Vodafone PLC, has rejoined Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. as a senior advisor. There had beenreports late last year that Sarin turned down an offer to become CEO of Yahoo.
Accumetrics Inc., a San Diego-based provider of a diagnostic system for measuring an individual’s response to multiple antiplatelet agents, has raised $16.5 million in new VC funding. Return backers include Arnerich Massena, BBT Fund/Apothecary Capital, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and RiverVest Venture Partners. The company previously raised over $85 million.
ABT Molecular Imaging, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based developer of a production platform to generate unit doses of molecular imaging drugs, has raised $9 million in Series A funding. Intersouth Partners led the round, and was joined by the company’s founders.
Adimab Inc., a Lebanon, N.H.-based developer of a human antibody discovery platform in yeast, has ra! ised $8.2 million in Series D funding, according to a regulatory filing. The company announced the investment last week, but without a dollar amount. Google Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backersOrbiMed Advisors, Borealis Ventures, Polaris Venture Partners and SV Life Sciences.Adimab previously raised around $13.5 million. www.adimab.com
Vico Software, a Boulder, Colo.-based provider of software building construction industry, has raised $3.6 million in Series B funding. Return backers include Borealis Ventures, Highway 12 Ventures, and Village Ventures.
Racemi Inc., a provider of image-based provisioning software used to automate data center operations, has raised $2.5 million in new VC fun! ding led by return backer Gray Ghost Ventures. The At lanta-based company alsopromoted Lawrence Guillory toCEO.
Visible Measures Corp., a Boston-based company that measures the behavior of online video audiences, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding from DAG Ventures. The company previously held a $10 million first close on the round, fromNorthgate Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Mohr Davidow Ventures.
Deutsche Wohnen (DE: DWNG), a German real estate company, said that it is unaware of any takeover plans by Oaktree Capital Management. The company’s stock rose nearly 5% on trader talks that Oaktree either planned to increase its stake or attempt a buyout.
OpenGate Capital has dropped out of the bidding for BusinessWeek magazine, which is being shopped by owner McGraw-Hill Cos. Bloomberg LP is considered the frontrunner.
Park Resorts, a UK-based caravan parks company owned by GI Partners, has reached a £325 million debt restructuring deal with its lenders. GI would retain control, but lenders would receive a 5% equity stake.
Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: THLD) has sold $35 million in common stock and warrants to an investor group that included Federated Kaufmann Fund, Great Point Partners and Frazier Healthcare Ventures. The company last year did an $18.3 million PIPE with Sutter Hill Ventures, HealthCare Ventures, LLC, Alta Partners and Three Arch Partners.
Box.net, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of an online filing system, has acquired Increo Solutions, a Mountain View, Calif.-baseddeveloper of collaborative online document and media viewing tools. No financial terms were disclosed. Box.net has raised $12.5 million fromU.S. Venture Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, while Increo raised a small amount of seed funding from DFJ.
BroadSoft Inc., a Gaithersburg, Md.-based provider of VoIP application software to the telecom industry, has acquired Packet Island Inc., a Cupertino, Calif.-based provider of SaaS-basedquality of service assessment and monitoring tools for VoIP and video networks and services. No financial terms were disclosed. Broadsoft has raised around $76 million in total VC funding since 1998, from firms like Bessemer Venture Partners, Charles River Ve! ntures, Columbia Capital, Crescendo Ventures, Grotech Capital Group, RRE Ventures and Meritech Capital Partners. Packet Island had raised just over $3 million, from Garage Technology Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners and Startup Capital Ventures.
Novera Energy (LSE: NOEN), a British renewable energy company, rejected a £90.5 million cash buyout offer from Infinis Energy, a portfolio company of Terra Firma Capital Partners. This is the second time that Novera has rebuffed an Infinis approach.
Sage Holdings, a financial and stakeholder communications company backed by The Riverside Co., has acquired Donlin, Recano & Company Inc., a New York-based pr! ovider of bankruptcy administration services. No financial terms were disclosed.
KIT Digital Inc. (Nasdaq: KITD) has acquired The FeedRoom, a New York-based provider of online video solutions for media companies. The deal is valued at just under $10 million in stock.The FeedRoom had raised over $65 million in venture capital and debt financing, from firms like BEV Capital, NewSpring Capital and Velocity Equity Partners.
Firms & Funds
Axis Private Equity, a unit of Indian lender Axis Bank, is planning to raise $250 million for its second infrastructure fund. It has already invested two-thirds of its $150 million debut infrastructure fund.
The London Pension Fund Authority said that it plans to seek out private equity and infrastructure investments. The £3.2 billion system believes its current cash allocation is too high.
Resilience Capital Partners, a Cleveland-based private equity firm, has formedNorth Coast Minerals, a platform companythat willinvest in the debt, mezzanine and equity of industrial minerals, mining, natural resources and related businesses. No financial terms were disclosed.
Brian Bode has joined Bell Partners as a senior vice president, with a focus on adding global institutional investors to the company’s existing base of individual investors and joint venture partners. Late last year, Bode stepped down as an executive director with UBS Investment Bank, where he had been a placement agent for private equity real estate funds. Prior to joining UBS in August 2005, Bode had been with Atlantic Pacific Capital.
Richard Ross has joined law firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP as counsel in the corporate practice. He previously was a vice president and assistant general counsel in Goldman Sachs’s merchant banking legal group.