Tons of news + new broadband install in home office = No time to write real column this morning. Were I to have done so, however, my topics would have included:
1. Peak Sports, the Sequoia Capital portfolio company that went public yesterday with hardly anyone in Silicon Valley noticing (perhaps because it makes sneakers and priced in Hong Kong);
2. Court Square Capital Partners has quietly agreed to buy a piece of 19-year-old Rocket Software, which also happens to be buying some assets from IBM;
3. The reemergence of Mike Odrich, the former head of Lehman Brothers’ private equity unit who is now launching an investment group for turnaround consultancy Alvarez & Marsal.
Great Hill Partners has sold its 91% stake in Brazilian ecommerce company BuscaPé.com Inc. to Naspers Ltd. (LSE: NPSN) for US$374 million. Great Hill acquired its stake in December 2005.
Delivery Agent Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of shopping-enabled programming and content monetization for entertainment properties, has raised $24.85 million in Series D funding, according to a regulatory filing. The company previously raised $35 million, from firms like Bessemer Venture Partners, Cardinal Venture Capital and Worldview Technology Partners.Coral Capital Management came aboard as a new investor on the Series D round. www.deliveryagent.com
Quantum Energy Partners has closed its fifth fund with $2.5 billion in capital com! mitments. Champlain Advisors served as placement agent.
Quanta Fluid Solutions Ltd., an Alcester,UK-based developer of home haemodialysis systems, has raised £9 million in Series A funding. Backers includeNBGI Ventures, Seroba Kernel, Wellington Partnersand BrainsToVentures.
Firetide Inc., a Los Gatos, Calif.-based provider of wireless mesh networking solutions, has raised around $8.59 million in fifth-round VC funding, according to a regulatory filing. It had previously raised $46 million since 2003, from firms like Coral Capital Management and Menlo Ventures. www.firetide.com
TargetCast Networks, a San Ramon, Calif.-based provider of out-of-home digital advertising, has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding from Claremont Creek Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The company previously raised $6.3 million.
Booyah, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based maker of a social game based on real-life achievements, has raised $5 million in second-round funding, according to a regulatory filing. It had previously raised $4.5 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, whose partner Matt Murphyremains listed as the company’sonly non-executive board member. www.booyah.com
Cytoo SA, a Grenoble, France-based provider of technologies and products for high-content cell analysis, has raised $4.7 million in second-round funding led by Auriga Partners.
SiXis, a Research Triangle Park-based developer of silicon circuit board (SiCB) technology, has ra! ised $3 million in new VC funding from existing shareholders RTI In ternational and Intersouth Partners.
Michelle’s Miracle Inc., a Leland, Mich.-based maker of cherry-flavored nutraceutical products, has raised approximately $750,000 in the first tranche of a $1.5 million Series A round. Phenomenelle Angels Fund led the round, and was joined by Fisher Properties and other angels.
HireVue, a Salt Lake City-based provider of video interviewing solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding. Peterson Ventures led the round, and was joined by The Garber Fund (Penn State).
OnLive Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based cloud gaming company, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding. AT&T Media Holdings and Lauder Partners were joined by return backers Maverick Capital, Autodesk and Warner Brothers. The company previously raised over $16.5 million.
ApoCell Inc., a Houston, Texas-based provider of molecular diagnostics, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Summit Partners.
Bloomberg LP is being viewed as the leading bidder for BusinessWeek, which is being shopped by owner McGraw Hill Cos. (NYSE: MHP). Other bidders include OpenGate Capital, Platinum Equity and ZelnickMedia.
The Carlyle Group and 3i Group reportedly are among those in preliminary talks to acquire a minority stake in the injectables business of Indian drugmaker Strides Arcolab. The deal is expected to be worth between $170 million and $200 million, with Lazard managing the process.
Mid Europa Partners has agreed to acquire Invitel Holdings AS (AMEX: IHO), a fixed-line telecom and broadband internet services provider in the Republic of Hungary. The deal would involve three separate transactions: Mid Europa would pay $10.8 million to TDC AS for its 64.6% stake in Invitel; Mid Europa would purchase all of TDC’s rights and obligations under a €34.1 million ! subordinated PIK loan (which would be increased up to €91.4 milli on); and Mid Europa would launch a tender offer for the outstanding €125 million floating rate senior PIK notes due 2013 (held by Invitel).
Navigation Capital Partners has sponsored a recapitalization of portfolio company Five Star Food Service, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based provider of vending, coffee and food services. The deal increases Navigation’s majority stake, although no financial terms were disclosed.
Starwood Capital Group is leading a group of lenders interested in taking control of hotel chain Extended Stay, according to the WSJ. Fortress Investment Group and D.E. Shaw also are part of the group.
Ladder Capital Finance, a New York-based specialty finance company focused on the commercial real estate industry, has indefinitely postponed its planned $400 million IPO. The company was formed last year with approximately $1 billion in equity and debt capital, co-led by GI Partners and Towerbrook Capital Partners. It had planned to trade on the NYSE, with JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citi serving as co-lead underwriters.
RailAmerica Inc., a Jacksonville, Fla.-based short line and regional rail service provider, has set its proposed IPO terms to 21 million shares being offered at between $16 and $18 per share. It plans trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol RA, with JPMorgan, Citi, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley serving as underwriters. Fortress Investment Group took the company private in 2007 for $1.1 billion, including $450 million in equity. I! t would hold a 57.7% stake following the IPO.
Oracle has agreed to acquire certain assets of HyperRoll, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of financial reporting acceleration solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. HyperRoll has raised over $26 million in VC funding between 2000 and 2004, from firms like Bessemer Venture Partners, Denali Venture Capital, Greylock Partners, Lighthouse Capital Partners, Vertex Managementand Sequoia Capital. www.hyperroll.com
Salary.com (Nasdaq: SLRY) has acquired the main technologyassets of Makena Systems, a Lexington, Mass.-based provider of on-demand software for designing sales compensation plans. No financial terms were disclosed. Makena Systems raised a $3 million Series A round in 2006 from TD Capital Ventures. Makena Systems co-founders Teanna Spence and Seán McGinty will join Salary.com.
Firms & Funds
CIT Group shares surged yesterday on a NY Post report that it might merge with IndyMac, but a person familiar with the matter told Reuters that the report was incorrect.
Houlihan Lokey has launched a transaction advisory services group, which will provide clients with financial and tax due diligence services as they evaluate acquisition or investment targets. It will be led by Sam Clark, a managing director in the firm’s Dallas office.
Moody’s has downgraded its credit ratings on Investcorp, citing the Bahrain-based firm’s fragile financial condition and the difficult environment for completing private equity deals.
Princeton University’s endowment lost 23.7% for the year ending June 30, according to a letter sent yesterday by school president Shirley Tilghman.
Marten Mickos, founder and former CEO of MySQL,has joined Benchmark Capital as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Following Sun Microsystems’ acquisition of MySQL in early 2008 for approximately $1 billion, Mickos spent one year as senior vice president of Sun’s database group. www.benchmark.com
Daniel Chinn, a partner with Israel Seed Partners, has been named CEO of Seambiotic, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based developer of marine microalgae for the nutraceuticals and biofuel. He will continue to serve as a partner with ISP, which is managingout a fund raised in 2000.