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    PE Week Wire -- Tuesday, November 22


Just Linking Around…

*** Venture Capital Journal this month explores how VC firms are turning toward professional therapists or mediators to handle particularly thorny problems. Find the preview here, and a full list of November stories here.

*** I would like to comment/get your thoughts on what Paul Kedrosky wrote in this post – particularly when one considers early adoption of technologies like video streaming, micro-payments, etc. – but that conversation must remain with bloggers like Paul who don’t have to deal with email spam filters. I just don’t think I could do it and still get the Wire into your inbox.

*** Speaking of email spam filters, you can avoid them by using our new RSS/XML feed (found just above the Login button on the right). I know it’s not pretty, but is a direct and timely link to the Wire that avoids all email slowdown problems.

*** The Boston Globe now has a business blog, although it doesn’t yet have a comment section or enough contributors.

*** The Columbia Journalism Review is now analyzing business covering via an new blog that can be found here. The PE Week Wire link is still wrong, but the idea is interesting. Take particular note of CJR’s analysis of recent “buyout bubble” pieces in the NYT and BusinessWeek. It argues that talk of this particular bubble is “a lot of hot air.” Regular readers know that I disagree strongly with such a conclusion, and tomorrow will analyze CJR’s analysis of the original analysis, and remake the case for an impending buyouts bubble (I would do it today, but all of our deadlines have been pushed up due to Thanksgiving).

*** Finally, the Boston Business Journal yesterday reported that Lowell, Mass.-based Bitwave Semiconductor Inc. has raised $13 million in Series A funding from Apex Venture Partners, e-Century Capital and Techno Venture Management. VentureWire, however, today reports that the company only has raised $9 million of the round, and that it remains open with a $13 million target (citing the company's CEO as its source). I spoke briefly with Bitwave chief marketing officer Russ Cyr, who says that the BBJ got it right, and added that the deal actually closed in November 2004. Just wanted to clear that up…

    Top Three

Madison Dearborn Partners of Chicago is raising upwards of $5 billion for its fifth private equity fund, according to a regulatory filing. Its prior fund was capped at $4 billion in 2001.

Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE: CSC) has lost its suitors. The company had been in talks to be acquired for at least $65 per share by Lockheed Martin Corp., which then would have kept CSC's defense-contracting business and sold off its commercial business to Warburg Pincus, Texas Pacific Group and Blackstone Group. Lockheed and the private equity firms have now backed out of the talks, according to multiple press reports.

Merrill Corp. has agreed to acquire WordWave Inc. from Berkshire Partners, Highland Capital Partners and TCW/Crescent. No financial terms were disclosed. WordWave is a Boston-based provider of court reporting, transcription, captioning and videography services for law firms and corporate litigation clients, television networks and Web-based content providers. It was advised on the prospective sale by Harris Williams & Co.


The 8th Annual MIT VC Conference
December 3rd, 2005

The MIT VCPE Club invites you to the 8 th Annual MIT Venture Capital Conference, “Capitalizing on a Flat World,” at the MIT Tang Center on Saturday, December 3.  This year's conference explores how to take advantage of the new ways that businesses create, communicate, and access data-rich content from anywhere, at any time. The keynote addresses will feature Jim Champy, Chairman of Perot Systems' Consulting Practice, and Jeremy Allaire, former CTO of Macromedia Inc. and founder of Brightcove Inc.

To register online, visit

    VC Deals

cMarket Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.–based provider of charitable online auction services for the nonprofit community, has raised $10 million in new VC funding from Canaan Partners was joined on the deal by return backer Morningside Ventures.

Reksoft, a Russia-based software development company, has raised $2 million from Nordic venture capital firm MartinsonTrigon. 

    Buyout Deals

Sun Capital Partners has sold Hünnebeck Group GmbH to Harsco Corp. (NYSE: HSC) for 140 million euros. Hünnebeck Group is a Germany-based provider of engineered construction framework and scaffolding access equipment services, and was acquired by Sun Capital from ThyssenKrupp AG in August 2003. Brown Gibbons Lang & Co. and its German M&A partner InterFinanz represented Hünnebeck on the deal.

Trimaran Capital Partners has completed its acquisition of El Pollo Loco, an Irvine, Calif.–based quick-service restaurant chain, from American Securities Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. American Securities Capital Partners originally bought El Pollo Loco from Advantica Restaurant Group in December 1999.

    PE-Backed IPOs

Brookdale Senior Living Inc., a Chicago-based operator of senior living facilities throughout the United States, priced 11.72 million shares at $18 per share (middle of $17-$19 range), for an IPO take of approximately $211 million. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol BKD, while Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers served as lead underwriters. Fortress Investment Holdings LLC remains Brookdale's majority shareholder, while Capital Z Partners also holds an equity position.

    PE-Backed M&A

The Cooper Companies Inc. (NYSE: COO) has acquired Inlet Medical Inc., an Eden Prairie, Minn.-based maker of trocar closure systems and pelvic floor reconstruction procedure kits. No financial terms were disclosed. Inlet Medical has raised over $3 million in VC funding from firms like Quatris Fund and Ascent/Meredith Asset Management. In other Cooper Cos. news, the company also acquired NeoSurg Technologies Inc., a developer of reusable and disposable trocar access systems used in laparoscopic surgery.

SonicWall Inc. (Nasdaq: SNWL) has acquired Lasso Logic Inc., a San Francisco–based provider of continuous data protection for backup and recovery solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Lasso Logic has raised VC funding from Outlook Ventures. In related news, SonicWall also has acquired enKoo Inc., a San Jose, Calif.–based developer of remote access technology.

    Firm & Fund News
Monomoy Capital Partners of New York is looking to raise upwards of $200 million for its inaugural fund, according to a regulatory filing. MVision Private Equity Advisors is serving as placement agent. Monomoy focuses on turnaround opportunities in the smaller end of the middle-markets.
Walkers, a global offshore law firm, has opened an office in the Dubai International Finance Center.

    Human Resources

The Wicks Group of Cos. has promoted Daniel Black and Jamie Weston to the position of partner. Black joined Wicks in July 2003 after having served as a managing director and co-head of merchant banking at BNY Capital Markets. Weston has been with Wicks since July 1995, and has been a principal since September 1998.

Kathleen Johnston, Brian Scullion and Mio Stojkovich have been named managing directors with William Blair Capital Partners. Johnson previously served as a principal wit Lake Capital Partners, and will oversee opportunities in the business and financial services sector. Scullion will oversee healthcare products and services deals, after having spent six years in the healthcare I-banking group of William Blair & Co. Stojkovich will lead technology deals, and earlier had spent five years with WBCP.

Aatif Hassan has joined Kleinwort Capital Ltd. as an associate. He previously was with Close Brothers Corporate Finance, and also has held positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Kleinwort Capital says that it plans to continue expanding its team over the next year.

Private Equity Week

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November 22, 2005

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