Private Equity Week Wire for Wednesday 11/29

? ATLANTA ? USgift Corporation, an Atlanta-based distributor of gift, garden and home products, announced today that it has entered into an agreement led by Internet Capital Group (NASDAQ: ICGE) for an additional $8.5 million of backing. USgift will receive $4 million now and the remaining $4.5 million on February 1, 2001. This additional support from Internet Capital Group brings the total amount secured from Internet Capital Group, Gilbert Global Equity Partners, Ingram Industries and others to $40 million.
? NEW YORK — Two partners of International Biomedicine Management Partners (IBMP), the Basel, Switzerland-based biotech venture capital fund, have joined the management team of Bear Stearns Asset Management Inc.?s (BSAM) health care venture capital effort. Jürgen Drews, M.D. and Fritz R. Bühler, M.D. will join Michael Aspinwall, Elizabeth Czerepak and former IBMP partner, Stefan Ryser, Ph.D., as general partners of Bear Stearns Health Innoventures Management, L.L.C.

? MENLO PARK, CA — El Dorado Ventures today announced the formation of its latest fund, El Dorado Ventures VI. The $250 million fund will continue El Dorado Ventures’ focus on early-stage, information-technology investments located in the Western States. Founded in 1986, El Dorado Ventures has concentrated exclusively on early-stage investing for nearly 15 years. Bucking the recent trend toward mega-funds, EDV capped its current fund at $250 million in order to continue executing a strategy that has consistently produced top-tier results throughout changing market conditions.

? BOSTON, — Clarendon Photonics Inc., developer of integrated DWDM solutions for next generation high-bandwidth optical networks, today announced the completion of a $16 million equity financing round. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) led the financing with participation from Sevin Rosen Funds and Vortex Partners. Sevin Rosen led the initial round of equity financing in July, 1999.

? DENVER — Avalanche Technology of Denver is investing $11.9 million to establish an Internet-focused information technology outsourcing operation in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the Industrial Development Board (IDB) for Northern Ireland announced today. The facility will provide IT staff on an outsource basis to major corporations operating in the high-growth e-business market.

REDWOOD SHORES, CA — Joe Roebuck Enhances Gabriel Resources with More Than 30 Years of Experience in Computer Industry Sales and Marketing Gabriel Venture Partners, a hands-on venture capital firm committed to assisting technology entrepreneurs build market-leading companies, today announced the appointment of Joe Roebuck, formerly of Sun Microsystems, as a Venture Partner. Roebuck will join the firm in late November as part of the Gabriel Fund II.

? NEW YORK — Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) is pleased to announce that Lodewijk de Vink is joining as Chairman of Global Health Care Partners. Mr. de Vink is former Chairman and CEO of Warner Lambert and will replace Henry Wendt, who is retiring from Global Health Care Partners after a transition period next year. Global Health Care Partners, a unit of CSFB Private Equity, was established in January 1997 by DLJ Merchant Banking. It has invested in transactions totaling more than $1 billion in the health care field. Prior to establishing Global Health Care Partners, Mr. Wendt was Chairman of SmithKline Beecham.

? FORT LEE, NJ — BRM Group, a venture capital firm specializing in Internet and Communications Infrastructure investments, announced today it led a $7.5 million equity investment in Percite Information Technologies Ltd., a developer and integrator of supply chain management (SCM) applications for enterprises engaging in global trade and for the freight forwarders that support them. Other investors in the round were GreenSpring Ventures LLC and previous backers, Neuron and Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co. Inc. The capital will enable Percite to ramp up operations in the United States and the Far East, as well as to further enhance technology and the functionality of its products.

? NEW YORK — Rare Medium Group Inc. (Nasdaq:RRRR) today announced that it intends to substantially increase its level of support to NextJet, one of Rare Medium’s venture portfolio companies. Rare Ventures, the venture capital arm of Rare Medium Group, plans to significantly increase its stake in NextJet’s series B round of financing, expected to close before the end of the year, subject to execution of definitive documentation. Under the proposed deal, Rare Medium’s Internet services division will continue to supply NextJet with ongoing technology support.

? NEW YORK — Virtual Growth, an accounting Internet Business Service Provider (BSP) for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), today announced that it has closed on $21.5 million in Series C financing. ETF Group, a global venture capital group, led the round. Other participants include Citigroup Investments Inc., a subsidiary of Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Bessemer Venture Partners, StarVest Partners, L.P., Chelsea Capital Partners, as well as strategic partner, Administaff, Inc. (NYSE:ASF).

? ATLANTA — Firstdoor, an innovative business providing access and critical insight on employeebenefits, human resource management and legal compliance issues, today announces the completion of its second round private equity financing of approximately $9 million. Individual and institutional investors including Allen & Co., Paradigm Capital Partners and ING Barings. Wunderlich Securities Inc. acted as placement agent for a portion of the round.

? ROSEMONT, IL — Comdisco (NYSE: CDO) today announced that it will provide Web hosting services for vcapital, the Internet-based exchange for private capital and professional services. Comdisco will also provide continuity and availability services to ensure uptime for vcapital’s site. As part of the service agreement, Comdisco will host vcapital’s primary production site and provide monitoring and support for their Web environment.