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    PE Week Wire -- Wednesday, August 10

Random Ramblings

There is little that gets Valley girls and boys as hot and bothered as when an Internet company gets funded by both Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. So it’s worth noting that the iconic venture shops have participated in an $8.85 million Series A round for PodShow Inc., according to a regulatory filing. For an added bonus, both John Doerr and Ray Lane have taken board seats, joining both Jerry Newman of Bear Stearns and omnipresent angel investor Ram Shriram (Google, Plaxo, Zazzle, etc.), who is representing shareholder Harris MyCFO Inc.

PodShow is a Miami Beach-based company focused on the development, management and promotion of online audio programming, with an obvious focus on the podcasting phenomenon. It seems to be the renamed version of Boku Communications, which was launched last year by Ron Bloom and “The Podfather” Adam Curry (who was the MTV VJ with whom I grew up).

I can say with 100% confidence that I have no idea whether or not this is a good inv*stment, in part because of my disinterest in buying an I-pod or having much interest in podcasts in general. After all, don’t I have enough to read without feeling obligated to begin listening to lots of content? (Luddite-related: I also don’t understand the digital camera phenomenon. I only bought my first one before going to Italy, and have been tremendously disappointed with what seems to be a higher-cost, lower-quality alternative to the standard 35-milimeter). Maybe it’s just an East Coast thing and I’m just suffering from tech jetlag. In other words, no basis for deal analysis here, but I figured you’d want to know it happened.

*** Yes, the Charity Auction is still happening. I just received a contract from the online auctioning company that’s going to manage it.

*** Even more possible trouble related to private equity dealings at the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System, according to The Chicago Tribune. I feel bad for the non-implicated folks I know over there… what a mess.

*** Yesterday I mentioned Amp’d Mobile, a VC-backed mobile virtual network operator that in Q4 will launch a product that will aggregate a wide variety of content aimed at 18-to-34 year-olds. Its competitors are MVNOs from Virgin and (soon) ESPN, but now it looks like HBO also plans to enter the ring.



Private Equity Fund of Funds/Secondaries Firm
Seeks VP/Principal.

Company invests in private equity funds on a primary basis through funds of funds and in the secondary market through dedicated funds - just raised fifth fund (a secondary fund). We are an autonomous entity within a larger asset management business. Position will be Boston based.

For complete description and email address to which to send resume, click link below:

VP/Principal – PE secondary / FoF - Boston


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    Top Three


NIB Capital has confirmed earlier reports that it will be acquired by a consortium led by UK-based buyout firm JC Flowers & Co. for approximately 2.1 billion euros. NIB currently is owned by a pair of Dutch pension systems.

Genoptix Inc., a San Diego-based provider of personalized medicine services for management of hematolymphatic disorders, has raised $17.3 million in Series D-1 funding. Chicago Growth Partners was joined on the deal by return backers Enterprise Partners, Alliance Technology Ventures, Tullis-Dickerson, U.S. Trust's Excelsior Venture Partners III and Lotus Bioscience Inv*stment Holdings.

Trinity Ventures has raised $300 million for its ninth fund, according to a regulatory filing.  

    VC Deals

Centrify Corp., a Mountain View, Calif.-based network security company focused on integrating non-Microsoft platforms with Microsoft Active Directory management services, has raised $14 million in Series B funding. Invesco Private Capital led the deal, and was joined by return backers Mayfield and Accel Partners. Centrify previously raised $6.8 million in Series A funding at a post-money valuation of approximately $12.5 million.

Veoh Networks Inc., a La Jolla, Calif.-based developer of an Internet television peer-casting network, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by Shelter Capital Partners.

Tentoe Inc., a Pleasanton, Calif.-based provider of product information management software, has raised $7.2 million in Series B funding from Menlo Ventures.

OpTier Ltd., a New York-based provider of transaction workload management solutions, has raised $9.5 million in third-round funding. Return backers include Carmel Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Pitango Venture Capital. The company has raised $25 million in total VC funding since 2003.

Aperto Networks Inc., a Milpitas, Calif.-based provider of multi-service broadband wireless access systems, has raised over $16.25 million of a $20 million Series E funding round, according to a regulatory filing. Company shareholders include Canaan Partners, Alliance Ventures, Tyco, JK&B Capital, Sawtik Ventures and Innovacom.

Navini Networks Inc., a Richardson, Texas-based provider of plug-and-play broadband wireless access solutions, has raised $13.42 million in Series E funding, according to a regulatory filing. Company shareholders include Austin Ventures, Lehman Brothers, Granite Ventures, Sternhill Partners, Sequoia Capital and Motorola.

AMR Inv*stments, a subsidiary of American Airlines parent company AMR Corp., is raising its second third-party, private equity fund-of-funds (American Private Equity Partners II). The vehicle is being marketed with a $200 million cap, and already has secured over $53 million in capital commitments, according to a regulatory filing.

Ivrea Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Quincy, Mass.-based maker of skin care products, has raised $5.1 million in Series A funding, according to a regulatory filing. Participants include Atlas Venture and Easton Hunt Capital Partners.

TotalMove Inc., a Shelton, Conn.-based online provider of real estate-related services, has raised around $1.74 million in Series A funding (including $898,000 in debt), according to a regulatory filing. Equity participants included General Catalyst Partners.

Avigenics Inc., an Athens, Ga.-based biotech company developing therapeutic proteins, has raised $13.1 million in Series D-1 funding, according to a regulatory filing. Company shareholders include Fuqua Ventures, Kitty Hawk Capital, Cordova Ventures, FBB Associates, Four Partners, Tullis-Dickerson and Baker Brothers Inv*stments.

    Buyout Deals

Lovell Minnick Partners has agreed to acquire a control stake in ALPS Financial Services Inc., a Denver-based provider of outsourced back-office administration and distribution services to the fund management industry. The deal also includes ALPS subsidiary ALPS Mutual Fund Services Inc. No terms were disclosed for the deal, which is expected to close next month.

Beacon Roofing Supply Inc. (Nasdaq: BECN) has agreed to acquire Shelter Distribution Inc., a McKinney, Texas-based roofing products distributor owned since July 2002 by Brazos Private Equity Partners. The deal is valued at approximately $152.5 million in cash, and is expected to close apby the end of September.

Phillips & Temro, a portfolio company of Morgenthaler Partners, has acquired Truflo Air Movements, a Tipton, UK-based manufacturer of steel engine cooling fans for the heavy duty off-road vehicle market. No financial terms were disclosed.

Ripplewood Holdings reportedly may raise its bid for Maytag Corp. (NYSE: MYG) to $15.65 per share, from its initial offer of $14 per share. A rival $20 per share bid remains on the table from Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR).

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) has seen its stock price rise over the past few days, based on rumors of a possible leveraged buyout offer.

The Carlyle Group has received European Union approval for its pending acquisition of France-based corrugated paper and packaging materials company Otor Finance.

    PE-Backed IPOs

RBC Bearings Inc., an Oxford, Conn.-based maker and marketer of plain, roller and ball bearings, priced nearly 9.29 million common shares at $14.50 per share, for an IPO take of approximately $134.68 million. It originally had filed to sell 8.17 million shares at between $14 and $16 per share. Merrill Lynch & Co. served as lead underwriter, while Whitney & Co. had been the company’s primary equity backer.

Reddy Ice Holdings Inc., a Dallas-based manufacturer and distributor of packaged ice, priced 10.2 million common shares at $18.50 per share (above its $16-$18 range), for an IPO take of approximately $188.7 million. Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse First Boston served as co-lead underwriters, while selling shareholders included both Trimaran Capital Partners and Bear Stearns Merchant Banking.

Coley Pharmaceutical Group Inc., a Wellesley, Mass.-based drug company, priced 6 million common shares at $16 per share (top of $14-$16 range), for an IPO take of approximately $84 million. Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan served as lead underwriters. Coley had raised around $139 million in VC funding from shareholders like Thomas, McNerney & Partners, Techno Venture Management, Venrock Associates, Global Life Science Ventures and AlpInv*st.

Brookdale Senior Living Inc., a Chicago-based operator of senior living facilities throughout the United States, has filed to raise $200 million via an IPO of common stock. The company plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol BKD, with Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers serving as lead underwriters. Fortress Investment Holdings LLC is Brookdale’s majority shareholder, while Capital Z Partners also has an equity position.

    PE-Backed M&A

Ross Aviation, an acquisition platform sponsored by Centre Partners, has acquired Scottsdale AirCenter, a fixed base operation (FBO) at Scottsdale Airport in Scottsdale, Arizona. No financial terms were disclosed.

    Other Deals

Conceptus Inc. (Nasdaq: CPTS), a San Carlos, Calif.–based developer of a non-surgical permanent birth control system, has priced 3.2 million common shares via a PIPE deal. VantagePoint Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by existing shareholder Federated Inv*stment Management Co. and certain officers and directors of Conceptus. The purchase price was $7.20 per share for VantagePoint and Federated, and $8 per share for company officers and directors.

Eastern Drilling ASA, a Norway-based offshore drilling company, has received $45 million in convertible bond funding from private equity firm Lime Rock Partners. Eastern Drilling is publicly-traded, having recently completed a $200 million IPO on the Oslo Bors.

    Firm & Fund News

Morgan Stanley has raised $515 million for its first Asia-focused private equity fund, according to Reuters. According to an earlier regulatory filing, limited partners include Federal Insurance Co. and Sun Hung Kai Properties Group.

    Human Resources

Oliver Thomas has joined Summit Partners as a London-based vice president. He previously worked at ManyFutures Inc., and before that was an analyst with Goldman Sachs IBD.

Dave Ament has been promoted to the position of partner at Parthenon Capital. He joined the firm’s Boston office in 2003 as a principal.

Fred Conforti and Paul Coughlin have joined the advisory board of WHI Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on the lower middle-markets. Conforti is a founder of residential smoke detector company First Alert, while Coughlin is the former president and CEO of Eastmet Corp.

Correction: Meda AB is a pharmaceutical company based in Sweden, not in Switzerland. It has agreed to buy German  drug company Viatris GmbH & Co. from Advent International for around 750 million euros.


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August 10, 2005


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