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    PE Week Wire -- Tuesday, September 26


Reader Survey Time

The leaves are beginning to turn here in New England, which means that it’s time once again for our annual Reader Survey. We’ve only got 11 questions for you this year, so it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete.

Your participation will help me learn more about the collective you, which is important in determining what types of information to publish. It also helps keep the PE Week Wire free of charge, since both current and prospective advertisers need to know their audience.

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Thank you in advance for your participation, and I’ll be back in this space tomorrow with random ramblings on the private equity market...

    Top Three

General Atlantic has agreed to acquire a 52% interest in Emdeon Business Services from Emdeon Corp. (Nasdaq: HLTH). The total transaction is valued at approximately $1.2 billion, including $320 million from General Atlantic and $925 million in leverage from Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Bear Stearns. Emdeon was advised by The Blackstone Group and Citigroup Corporate and I-Banking. Emdeon Business Services provides revenue cycle management and clinical communication solutions for the healthcare market.

Rebtel Networks AB, a Sweden-based provider of mobile VOIP services, has raised $20 million in Series A funding from Benchmark Capital and Index Ventures.

Dave Newman has joined Ridgelift Ventures as a managing director. He previously was a venture partner with Charles River Ventures and, before that, was co-founder of Alidian Networks. In other Ridgelift news, the firm has added Kendall Cooper as its chief financial officer. He previously was a general partner and CFO with Dominion Ventures.

    VC Deals

BPL Global, a Pittsburgh-based provider of smart grid applications to utilities and broadband services to consumers via power lines, has raised $25 million in Series C funding. Backers include a Kuwaiti consortium led by Al-Deera Holding, International Finance Advisors, International Finance Co. and existing shareholders PA Early State Partners and SZAR Partners.

Air2Web Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of mobile messaging and marketing applications, has raised $25 million in third-round funding. The Carlyle Group led the deal, and was joined by return backers VantagePoint Venture Partners, UPS and company founder Jay Chaudhry. This is Air2Web’s first VC round since 2001, and brings its overall venture capitalization to around $77 million.

Mavent Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of automated compliance solutions for the financial services industry, has raised $10 million in Series C funding led by FT Ventures.

Wallop, a San Diego-based social networking spinout from Microsoft, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Norwest Venture Partners led the deal, and was joined by return backers Bay Partners and Consor Capital.

Macusight Inc., a Union City, Calif.-based drug company focused on retinal disease therapy, has raised $8 million in additional Series A funding. This brings the round total to $26 million, with return backers including Alloy Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, Frazier Healthcare Ventures and InterWest Partners.

Whaleback Systems Inc., a Portsmouth, N.H.-based provider of IP telephony services for small and mid-sized businesses, has raised $7.5 million in Series B funding. Castile Ventures led the deal, and was joined by Egan-Managed Capital and return backer Ascent Venture Partners.

Enkata Technologies Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of enterprise performance management software, has raised $4.88 million in fourth-round funding, according to a regulatory filing. Sigma Partners was joined by return backers ComVentures and Apex Venture Partners.

Sonitus Medical Inc., a Woodside, Calif.-based medical device startup, has raised for than $4.5 million in Series A funding led by RWI Ventures, according to a regulatory filing.

RedPath Integrated Pathology Inc., a Pittsburgh-based lab that provides complex cancer diagnostic testing, held a $4 million first close on its Series A funding round. NewSpring Capital led the deal, and was joined by CID Capital. A second close is expected within 30 days.

Mojix Inc., a Los Angeles-based developer of signal processing products for sensory networks, has raised $3 million in additional Series A funding, according to a regulatory filing. This brings the round total to $5.3 million, with Oak Investment Partners joining return backers Red Rock Ventures and InnoCal Venture Capital.

Sermo, a Cambridge, Mass.-based online community for physicians, has raised $3 million in Series A funding from Longworth Venture Partners.

Genbook Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of online advertising solutions, has raised $2.2 million in Series A funding led by Neo Technology Ventures of Australia.

    Buyout Deals

SIG Holding AG, a Swiss beverage carton and packaging company, has rejected a $1.71 billion buyout offer from CVC Capital Partners and Norwegian packaging company Elopak. SIG believed the offer was too low, but plans to open its books to potential buyers.

Actis has acquired a 71% stake in Ceylon Oxygen Ltd., a Sri Lanka-based manufacturer of industrial and medical gasses, from Yara International ASA. Actis also will make a mandatory offer to acquire the remaining shares in Ceylon Oxygen. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which was transacted in partnership with Ceylon Oxygen management.

HitecVision and Ferncliff have agreed to acquire a 60% stake in Noble Denton Holding Ltd., a UK-based provider of global marine and engineering consultancy services to the global shipping, insurance and offshore energy industry. Key employees of the company will retain 40% of the business. No financial terms were disclosed.

American Capital Strategies has committed an additional $34 million to portfolio company BPWest Inc., a provider of drilling fluid products and services for oil and gas drilling. The capital will be used to help BPWest both refinance debt and acquire Toby’s Vacuum Tuck Service Inc.

    PE-Backed M&A

Bertucci’s Corp., a portfolio company of Jacobson Partners, has acquired 11 Vinny T’s of Boston restaurants from BUCA Inc. (Nasdaq: BUCA). No financial terms were disclosed. The Bertucci’s and Vinny T’s brands will continue to be managed separately.

Gray Wireline Service Inc., a subsidiary of Gray Energy Services LLC, has acquired Southern Wireline Service Inc., a provider of cased-hole wireline services in the onshore and transition zone regions of the Gulf Coast and the offshore Gulf of Mexico. No financial terms were disclosed. Gray Energy Services is backed by Centre Partners.

Aptuit Inc., a Greenwich, Conn.-based provider of streamlining and support services for drug developers, has agreed to acquire EaglePicher Pharmaceutical Services. No financial terms were disclosed. Aptuit is backed by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and Temasek Holdings.

    PE Exits

Boulder Specialty Brands Inc. (OTC BB: BDSBU) has agreed to acquire GFA Brands Inc., provider of heart-healthy food products, for approximately $465 million. Sellers include TSG Consumer Partners, which acquired a stake in GFA two years ago.

Circle Peak Capital has sold Cole Water Company LLC to Idea Sphere Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Cole Water is a Peru, Ind.–based natural spring water bottler and distributor.

    Other Deals

PharmAthene Inc., an Annapolis, Md.-based biotech company focused on biological warfare threats, has been awarded a multi-year contract worth up to $213 million from the U.S. Department of Defense. The contract is for advanced development of PharmAthene’s spectrum chemical nerve agent prophylaxis (Protexia), which it acquired for $18 million earlier this year. VC backers include Teachers' Private Capital, Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund Inc., MDS Life Sciences Technology Fund US, MPM Capital, Bear Stearns Innoventures and Healthcare Ventures.

    Firms & Funds

The Carlyle Group has closed its ninth high-yield fund with $500 million in capital commitments. Approximately 90% of the fund will be used for first-lien bank loans, a maximum of 10% in high-yield bonds and second-lien loans. It utilizes a traditional CDO structure.

Winona Capital Management has launched as the successor firm to Kipp, Reese, Koldyke and Co., and will make minority and controlling inv*stments in consumer-driven businesses. It has $110 million in committed capital, from founding limited partner Laird Norton Co. and others.

Zenshin Capital Partners of Palo Alto, Calif. is raising up to $100 million for a private equity fund to focus on both Japan and Silicon Valley, according to a regulatory filing.

    Human Resources

Lawton Fitt has joined GSC Partners as a senior advisor. She previously was a partner with Goldman Sachs, and a senior member of that firm’s high-tech I-banking team.

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Sept. 26, 2006

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