Private Equity Week Wire for Friday 8-10

STOCKHOLM — International telecom specialist Jan Wiklund, formerly with Ericsson, has joined ACR Capital as a new partner. ACR Capital is the management company for the well-known Nordic venture-capital firm Slottsbacken. Slottsbacken invests in Nordic telecom, computer and media high tech companies through their two funds of 40 mEUR and 100 mEUR, respectively.

Jan Wiklund’s most recent assignment was that of Vice President of 3G Sales and Business Management for Western Europe at Ericsson Radio Systems in Kista, during which he was engaged in closing most of Ericsson’s international 3G deals. He has held several leading positions in the Ericsson Group since 1989. Jan Wiklund worked for the Volvo Group during the better part of the 80’s. Wiklund has a degree from the Chalmers University of Technology. Jan Wiklund has approx. 20 years of industrial experience, many at managerial positions. He is also the Chairman of the Board of the software companies Marratech and Tific.

NEW YORK — FIRM, a leading global supplier of online business information and research management software, today announced that it has received more than $6.5 million in funding from the Xcelera Inc. (AMEX: XLA) an Internet holding company; and the two Norwegian Venture Capital companies Norsk Vekst and Segmentor. Additionally, KLP, a Norwegian insurance company and existing shareholder, has increased its investment. The new capital will enable FIRM to further extend its development and sales programs into key regions and enable FIRM representatives to work globally in co-development efforts with strategic partners and customers. The three new investors will each gain a seat on FIRM’s board of directors.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Spinal Concepts Inc., a leading innovator of spinal implant technology, announced today that it has completed a $21 million private sale of Series E Preferred Stock. Proceeds from the financing will be used primarily to finance the company’s working capital, expand the company’s network of sales representatives in the U.S. and internationally and support research and development activities. The financing was co-led by Richland Ventures and HLM Management Company. Other Series E investors included KBL Healthcare Ventures, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures and Olivhan Investments.

ROSEMONT, IL — Comdisco Inc. (NYSE: CDO) announced yesterday that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois approved consensual bidding procedures proposed by the Company related to the proposed sale of Comdisco’s Availability Solutions (Technology Services) business to Hewlett-Packard Company. The bidding procedures were supported by the Company’s Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and several prospective bidders that had earlier filed objections to the bidding procedures. Among other matters, the Court accepted Comdisco’s proposed bid deadline of September 30, 2001 and auction date of October 11, 2001 for competitive bidding to determine whether a higher or otherwise better offer should be considered, and set October 23, 2001 as the sale hearing date to consider approval of the Hewlett-Packard or alternative transaction. In the event that the Court approves the proposed sale to Hewlett-Packard, the transaction is scheduled to close on November 16, 2001, approximately thirty days later than the original closing deadline. As announced on July 16, 2001, Comdisco has reached a definitive agreement to sell this business to Hewlett-Packard Company for $610 million.

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