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    PE Week Wire -- Tuesday, August 30

Monday Mouth-Off

Just a couple quick notes as we wait for the late August doldrums to pass…

*** There are very few venture capitalists or buyout pros based in the areas directly affected by Hurricane Katrina, and most of those folks seem to be ok (I say “most” only because I couldn’t reach everyone). Advantage Capital reports that its New Orleans office is obviously closed, and that “nearly everyone from Advantage left the city, and we believe all are safe.” Enhanced Capital Partners said at 2pm yesterday that it hadn’t heard from any of its New Orleans crew, but believed that they had all evacuated. From further north in Birmingham, Jennifer said that they were simply planning for massive amounts of rain. She then added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with all the VC’s and partners in New Orleans and the surrounding area… Not much business going on today. Everyone is a little on edge. Please do have the PE Wire chain lift up positive thoughts and prayers for everyone in the storm’s path.”

In that vein, if anyone has any status updates on people either based in the storm’s path – or on people who otherwise happened to be in the area – please pass it on so it can be shared with their colleagues. For those who want to help financially, try The American Red Cross’ National Disaster Relief Fund. To repeat Jennifer’s message: Our thoughts and prayers are with those currently going through this horrible situation.

*** Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, who co-founded Columbia Capital before moving into politics, has opted not to run for U.S. Senate against incumbent George Allen. He is said to be considering a 2008 presidential run.

*** I expect Wire readers to come up with something for Paul to shout other than “Tell your bodyguards to sit down, they’re blocking my view.”

*** One more reminder that Buyouts Magazine is looking to add a Senior Editor (which really is more about writing/reporting than editing). Please send relevant materials to Danielle.Fugazy@thomson.com.  

*** You’ll notice a VC funding note for Methanotech, a startup company that just raised $500,000. The regulatory filing indicates that Vinod Khosla is involved, but his listing is “c/o Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.” In other words, I’m not quite sure if Vinod did the deal alone and that KPCB is just a mailing address, or if KPCB also put in some of its own money(I hope to find out the answer later today). The reason for my confusion is that Vinod is not actually a GP on KPCB’s current fund. Moreover, a May 2005 BusinessWeek piece said: “Though he still keeps an office at the firm, he now invests his own money, sometimes alongside KPCB, sometimes with other VC firms, and sometimes solo… But when making new investments, he bets only his own money.” On the other hand, that same piece may already be dated, given its note that KPCB only puts one partner on each portfolio company board. That is clearly no longer operable (at least as a firm rule), based on the recent PodShow example…

 

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    Top Three

 

Jobster Inc., a Seattle-based provider of online job advertising services, has raised $19.5 million in Series B funding. Mayfield led the round, and was joined by return backers Ignition Partners and Trinity Ventures. www.jobster.com

Midasplayer.com Ltd., a UK-based skill gaming company, has raised 34 million euros in venture capital funding from Apax Partners. The deal gives Apax a “significant minority stake.” in Midasplayer.com. www.midasplayer.com www.apax.com

Cardiome Pharma Corp. (Nasdaq: CRME) has agreed to acquire Artesian Therapuetics Inc., a Gaithersburg, Md.-based drug discovery and development company focused on small-molecule candidates for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. The deal is valued at $32 million, although that payment is contingent on Artesian’s first two drug candidates receiving NDA approval. It also involves a side deal with Artesian shareholder Oxford Bioscience Partners, whereby Oxford will inv*st $7.5 million into Cardiome in exchange for Cardiome common stock, as a price of $7.24 per share (a 5% premium pre-LOI five day average). The acquisition is expected to close in October. Artesian has raised over $14 million in VC funding since its 2002 inception, from firms like Oxford and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Alexandria Real Estate Equities and Cooley Godward. www.cardiome.com www.artesianrx.com www.oxbio.com

    VC Deals

Reply Inc., a Walnut Creek, Calif.-based provider of consumer online services and performance-based e-marketing solutions, has raised $17 million in new venture capital. BA Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backer Orix Venture Finance and a group of individuals that included company CEO Payam Zamani. Sharon Wienbar, a managing director with BA Venture Partners, will take a seat on Reply’s board of directors. www.reply.com

Canesta Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of electronic perception
technology, has raised $12 million in Series C-1 funding, according to a regulatory filing. Participants include Venrock Associates, Carlyle Group, TechFund Capital and KGIF LP. www.canesta.com

Methanotech Inc., a Pasadena, Calif.-based startup focused on producing methanol via “biological processes,” has raised $500,000 in Series A-1 convertible preferred funding, according to a regulatory filing. Vinod Khosla is listed as a backer c/o Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Time Plus Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of payroll, tax filing and benefits management services to small and mid-sized businesses, has raised $30 million in venture capital funding. Chicago Growth Partners led the deal, and was joined by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Time Plus management. www.timeplus.com

Machine Phase Systems Inc. of Los Altos, Calif. has raised $6.2 million in Series B funding. Participants included Greylock, Endeavor Group, Boyd Smith and Peter Thiel. The news was first reported by BusinessWeek, and also appears in a regulatory filing from July. www.machinephasesystems.com

Turtle Island Recycling Corp., a Toronto-based multi-material recycling and waste removal company, has received an undisclosed amount of private funding from Whitecastle Private Equity Partners. The deal also included bank financing from the National Bank of Canada. www.turtleislandrecycling.com www.whitecastle.ca

    Buyout Deals

SilkRoad Resources LLC, a private equity firm that acquires U.S. manufacturing companies and moves production overseas, has acquired Pilgrim Fireplace Equipment Co., a Fairfield, Conn.-based maker of hearth and fireplace accessories. No financial terms were disclosed. Triton Pacific Capital Partners also participated on the deal, while Pilgrim was advised by RSM EquiCo Capital Markets. SilkRoad has offices in Palo Alto, Calif., Scottsdale, Ariz. and Beijing. www.pilgrimhearth.com

    PE-Backed M&A

Aptuit Inc., a provider of streamlining and support services for drug developers, has agreed to acquire Almedica International Inc., a provider of clinical trial material supplies and global trial medication management services. No pricing terms of the all-cash deal were disclosed. Aptuit raised $150 million in private equity funding from Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe earlier this year, and has almost completed its $125 million acquisition of three divisions of Quintiles Transnational. www.aptuit.com www.almedica.com

    Firm & Fund News

BlueRun Ventures (f.k.a. Nokia Venture Partners) has opened a new office in Shanghai, China. It will be run by Andrew Chen, who before joining BlueRun was business director with Silicon Storage Technologies. He also served as a Shanghai-based consultant with McKinsey & Co. www.brv.com

    Human Resources

Lincolnshire Management has expanded its deal origination team: Pieter Kodde, New York-based managing director, will focus on the food and beverage industries, after previously serving as managing director of the North American financial sponsors group for Rabobank; and William Hall, Los Angeles-based managing director, who has served as an executive with such companies as Warner Brothers and Capital Records. Hall will work with Ed Moss, a founding partner of Kline Hawkes & Co., who most recently worked with Mellon Ventures. www.lincolnshiremgmt.com

-----------------
Correction: The correct website address for Granite Ventures is www.granitevc.com.

 

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August 30, 2005

















 




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