PE Week Wire -- Thursday, July 27
Running a bit late on deadlines, but since I’d hate to leave you empty-handed…
*** Boingo Wireless has raised $60 million in Series C funding, which will be used both for working capital and to help finance some recent acquisitions. Boingo is a Santa Monica, Calif.-based company known for aggregating Wi-Fi hotspots into a single network -- particularly for biz travelers in airports and hotels – and for providing software that helps users connect to said hotspots. That last piece also includes a plan whereby folks would adopt Boingo’s open-source hotspot-connection software as the standard for dual mode mobile phones and other such devices.
Return backers include New Enterprise Associates, Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners, Evercore Partners and Sternhill Partners. No board changes, which means that ex-NEA pro Stewart Alsop remains even though his new firm (Alsop Louie Partners) is not a Boingo investor. The company is viewing this as its last round of VC funding, with hopes that it can hit break-even sometime later this year.
*** Quiz Answer: Earlier this week, I asked if you could name the Boston-area tech company that is close to accepting $70 million in first-time funding. My hint was that you’d think the company could just print its own money. The only reader to get it right was Joshua, and for that he gets the typical prize of recognition and bragging rights.
The correct answer is Zink Imaging, which currently is just haggling over some final terms with deal lead Polaris Venture Partners. This simply is one of the most promising companies I’ve seen in a while, with a real product (i.e., non-virtual) that meets a real need in a real market.
Zink spun out of Polaroid (or whatever remains of it) last year in order to keep working on the holy grail of printing: to reduce the number of moving parts. It has created a 12-layer piece of plastic paper – very similar in feel to traditional Polaroid photo paper – that is enabled with a heat-activated color-release mechanism. What this means is that a Zink printer just needs to heat up certain parts of the paper, and the high-resolution image appears. No ink. Moreover, Zink might end up with a tiny mobile printer (think i-Pod sized) that can connect directly to digital cameras, camera phones, etc. Most folks may not care for such immediate printing, but field technicians would.
Zink’s ability to execute remains unknown, but the very presence of its technology should make companies like Lexmark begin stashing money in the ink-stained mattress. Don Dodge of Microsoft has some more info on the company at his blog. Neither Zink nor Polaris returned calls requesting comment.
*** Then HCA sale agreement does, indeed, include a list of “approved” syndication partners. It is mentioned in Sector 7.10 (c) of the merger plan, although no specifics have yet been publicly disclosed.
*** Some very interesting comments -- some might also call them catty -- over at SiliconBeat.com, related to yesterday's news about Worldview Technology Partners.
*** Finally, happy birthday to my mother (it’s one of those ones that ends in a “0”, so I won’t be so uncouth as to disclose it here). See you tonight, at which point I’ll make good on a small promise I made on April 24, 1995.
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Aerolus Ltd., a Bermuda-based reinsurance startup, has received up to $500 million in funding commitments by a group led by Warburg Pincus and company founders Peter Appel and David Eklund. Arch Capital Group (Nasdaq: ACGL) also has agreed to participate, pending board approval. Appel is the former president and CEO of Arch Capital, while Eklund is the former president and chief underwriting officer of Renaissance Re. www.warburgpincus.com
Infinera Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of digital optical networking systems, has secured around $110 million in Series G funding, according to a regulatory filing. Infinera now has raised over $290 million in total VC funding since its inception, from such firms as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, Applied Materials Ventures, Cypress Semiconductor, Mobius Venture Capital, Sprout Group, Venrock Associates, RWI Group, Worldview Technology Partners, Siebel Systems and Sutter Hill Ventures. www.infinera.com
GreenEarth Fuels LLC of Houston has been formed by Carlyle/Riverstone Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund to build two biodiesel facilities on the Gulf Coast. Construction of the first facility, in the Houston Ship Channel, will begin next month, while construction on the second plant, in New Orleans, will begin in October. www.greenearthfuelsllc.com
MindShift Technologies Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of enterprise IT services, has raised around $18.43 million in Series CC funding from existing shareholders like Columbia Capital and Fidelity Ventures, according to a regulatory filing. Onetime backer Bessemer Venture Partners is no longer a shareholder. www.mindshift.com
Intelleflex Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based RFID company, has raised $15.5 million in Series B funding. Morgenthaler Ventures led the deal, and was joined by return backers Woodside Fund, Alloy Ventures and Selby Venture Partners. www.intelleflex.com
Pi Corp., a Kirkland, Wash.-based developer of information management software, has raised $9.4 million in Series B funding round led by Warburg Pincus, according to a regulatory filing. www.picorp.com
Maxxan Systems Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of storage area networking infrastructure technology, has raised $5.97 million in Series E funding at a pre-money valuation of approximately $100 million. Return backers include BA Venture Partners, Trellis Partners, U.S. Venture Partners and Venrock Associates. The company has raised around $142.5 million in total VC funding since its 2000 inception. www.maxxan.com
Rive Technology Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of catalyst technologies for the refining and petrochemical industries, has raised $5.22 million in Series A funding led by Charles River Ventures. www.rivetechnology.com
ARPU Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based provider of online cross-selling and payment processing software, has raised $5 million in Series B funding from Polaris Venture Partners, The Grosvenor Funds, New Markets Growth Fund and return backer Draper Atlantic. www.arpuinc.com
GarageBand.com, a San Francisco-based operator of an online music community, has raised $2.5 million in first-round funding. Khosla Ventures led the deal, and was joined by angels like former AOL chief Bob Pittman and Herbert Allen of Allen & Co. www.garageband.com
Planitax Inc., an Emeryville, Calif.-based provider of software-as-a-service solutions for corporate tax departments, has raised $5 million in Series C funding. Mobius Venture Capital led the deal, and was joined by return backers Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Access Venture Partners. www.planitax.com
Wiscomm Microsystems Ltd., a Shanghai-based IC design company, has secured $1.53 million of a $2.5 million Series A round, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include IDG VC and Victory One Investment Management.
SnapVine Inc., a Seattle-based provider of a mobile voice solutions for social networking sites like MySpace, has raised more than $2 million in first-round funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and First Round Capital, according to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Synovex Corp., a Cambridge, Mass.-based drug startup, has raised $1.6 million in Series A funding from HealthCare Ventures and MedImmune Ventures, according to a regulatory filing. www.hcven.com
Innovation Engineering Inc., a Mount Laurel, N.J.-based provider of advanced power systems and RF-based technologies for the semiconductor equipment market, has raised an undisclosed amount of venture capital from the NJTC Venture Fund. www.njtcvc.com
Matria Healthcare Inc. (Nasdaq: MATR) has agreed to sell Facet Technologies to Water Street Capital Partners for approximately $122 million in cash. Facet is a Matria subsidiary that designs, develops and assembles diabetes products. www.waterstreetcapital.com www.matria.com
Sun Capital Partners has acquired POP Displays Inc. (f.k.a. Diam USA) from Heritage Partners for an undisclosed amount. POP Displays is a Yonkers, N.Y.–based maker of point-of-purchase display systems for consumer retailers. The sellers were advised by Downer & Co. www.diam-int.com
Francisco Partners has agreed to acquire The Ex Libris Group, an Israel-based provider of applications for libraries and information centers. No financial terms were disclosed. Ex Libris had raised around $4 million in VC funding from firms like Halden Israel and Tamar Ventures. www.franciscopartners.com www.exlibrisgroup.com
TH Lee Putnam Ventures and Freeman Spogli & Co. are nearing a sale of product warranty provider N.E.W. Customer Services Cos. for up to $1.2 billion, according to The Deal. Berkshire Partners is the leading bidder, with other potential buyers including Warburg Pincus, Kelso & Co. and CVC Capital Partners. Credit Suisse is running the auction. www.newcorp.com
Imax (Nasdaq: IMAX), an Ontario, Canada-based operator of mega-screen movie theaters, is on the block for up to $700 million, according to The Globe & Mail. Elevation Partners is viewed as the favorite, with other bidders including Sony Corp. and South Korean theater chain CJCGV Co.
Vista Capital reportedly has acquired a 35% stake in Spanish tourism company Iberostar from The Carlyle Group. Carlyle will retain a 60% stake, with company management holding the remainder.
Emeco Holdings Ltd., an Australia-based company that rents mining and other earth-moving equipment, priced its IPO at Au$1.90 per share (Au$2.10-Au$2.50 per share range), for an IPO take of between Au$857 and Au$910 million. Company shareholders include Pacific Equity Partners and Archer Capital. www.emeco.com.au
InnerWorkings Inc., a Chicago-based provider of print procurement solutions to corporate clients, has set its proposed IPO terms to 10.59 million common shares being offered at between $8 and $9 per share. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol INWK, with Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter. New Enterprise Associates acquired a 25% stake in InnerWorkings earlier this year, for $50 million ($4.92 per share). www.iwprint.com
Wavin Group, a Dutch maker of plastic pipe systems, is planning an IPO this fall on the Euronext, according to Het Financieele Dagblad. CVC Capital Partners holds an 80% stake in Wavin, with AlpInvest holding 10 percent. www.wavin.com
Television Station Group Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of Alta Communications and Boston Ventures, has agreed to sell WTAJ-10 – the CBS affiliate in Altoona/Johnstown, Pa. -- to Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) for $56 million. The deal is subject to FCC approval, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter. TSG also has completed its previously-announced sale of WBNG-12 -- the CBS affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y. -- to Granite Broadcasting Corp. (OTC BB: GBTVK) for $45 million. www.wtajtv.com www.wbng.com
Universal Trailer Holdings Corp., a Cincinnati-based portfolio company of Dubin Clark & Co., has agreed to acquire Featherlite Inc. (Nasdaq: FTHR), a Cresco, Iowa–based manufacturer of specialty aluminum trailers, transporters and luxury motor-coaches. Universal will pay $6.50 per share in cash (52.9% premium over yesterday’s closing price), or a total of $79.5 million. It also will assume around $29.1 million in debt obligations. www.universaltrailer.com www.fthr.com
Cabot Square Capital Partners of London is raising up to $1 billion for its third private equity fund, according to a regulatory filing. It already has secured over $500 million in capital commitments from limited partners like Princeton University. www.cabotsquare.com
DAG Ventures of San Francisco has raised over $320 million for its second fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.dagventures.com
Lovell Minnick Partners is set to close on more than $220 million for its second fund, according to Buyouts Magazine. The formal close is expected to come on July 31. www.lovellminnick.com
Serge Plotkin, a professor of computer science at Stanford University, has joined Opus Capital as a venture partner. www.opuscapital.com
Dennis Wu has joined Blue Point Capital as a Shanghai-based vice president of business development. He most recently served as director of purchasing at Delphi Packard Asia Pacific. www.bluepointcapital.com
Renwick Paige has joined New York-based private equity firm Equifin Capital Partners as a managing director. He previously was chief marketing officer of Preston Gates & Ellis. www.equifincapital.com
Nicholas Nedeau has joined Lincolnshire Management as a Chicago-based managing director focused on deal origination. He previously was general counsel of specialty chemical maker Stepan Company. www.lincolnshiremgmt.com
Barclays Capital has hired ten new members to its US leveraged finance team. They are: Tim Broadbent as managing director, previously with JP Morgan; Dave Scudellari as managing director, previously with Goldman Sachs; Ed Kearns as director of bank loan sales, previously with Goldman Sachs; Jack Melnikoff as director of bank loan sales, previously with CIBC World Markets; Chris Dowicz as a director of bank loan syndicate, previously with CIBC, Faisal Hamdard as associate director of bank loan trading, previously with UBS; Kevin Baer as director and cash CDS trader, previously with Rosedale Capital; Ian Palmer, director of bank loan syndicate, previously with CIBC; Sarah Cole as associate director of high yield sales previously with Goldman Sachs; and George Brickford as associate director of distressed debt treading, previously with UBS. www.barclayscapital.com
Jim Kuncl has joined MFC Capital Funding as a vice president. He previously was with Genworth Financial. www.mfccapitalfunding.com
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July 27, 2006
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