I listened to part of The Carlyle Group’s earnings call while putting together Term Sheet this morning, and had three takeaways:
1. LP redistribution: Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein said that the firm’s capital base historically has included 17% sovereign wealth funds and 28% U.S. public pensions. Last year, SWFs comprised 37% of capital commitments while U.S. public pensions comprised 18%. He expects this trend to continue in 2015, adding that energy pricing issues in the Middle East and macroeconomic worries in Asia are not slowing down or shrinking SWF commitments in either region.
2. Silver linings: Co-founder Bill Conway noted that while energy prices have certainly taken their toll on Carlyle, the drop has been positive for the firm’s overall portfolio. Two examples he gave were Exalta, which uses oil for its car paints, and refinery Philadelphia Energy Solutions, which is “benefitting from the very high spreads between what it buys oil for and what it sells refined products for.”
3. Backstory: Rubenstein gave a bit of history related to Carlyle’s relationship with energy-focused private equity firm Riverstone Holdings. The general assumption has always been that Carlyle bolted after Riverstone was implicated in the New York pay-to-play investigation five years ago, but Rubenstein today noted that the deal had economics unfavorable to Carlyle. Namely, Carlyle only received around 16% of the 20% carry from Carlyle/Riverstone funds, and its amount of cash fees was less than 10% of what was earned by Riverstone.
• Update: In late 2013, we reported that Mark Gorenberg was launching his own VC firm called Zetta Venture Partners, after 23 years with Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. At the time, his goal was to raise between $30 million and $40 million, with an investment focus on early-stage analytics and enterprise software companies
Today, Gorenberg is announcing that Zetta’s debut fund has closed with $60 million in capital commitments. It also has a second managing director: Ash Fontana, who most recently launched the online index funds for AngelList.
Gorenberg says that he always intended to add a partner, and that he and Fontana got to know each other over the past several months. The fund is expected to invest between $500k and $2 million in around 20 analytics startups (with plenty of reserve capital for follow-on rounds), including 8 deals it has already done: Content Analytics, Domo, EventBoard, FollowAnalytics, InsideSales, Lucid Design Group,Optimine and Pixlee.
• #GetLiquid: Our Boston Liquidity Event is now sold out, with more than 800 of you expected to attend. We may be able to pull a few folks off the waiting list so, if you’d like to add your name, please do so by going here.
Huge thanks to our sponsors, without whom there would be no open bar nor hobnobbing with giant sea turtles: FKA (firm formerly known as Atlas Venture), DraftKings, Citizens Commercial Banking, Murray Devine, Choate Hall & Stewart and .406 Ventures.
THE BIG DEAL
• Voyager Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based gene therapy company focused on fatal and debilitating CNS diseases, has signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Genzyme that could be worth upwards of $845 million.
The deal includes $100 million up-front ($65m in cash) and up to $745 million in development, sales and royalty-related earnouts.
Voyager was launched in early 2014 with $45 million in Series A funding from Third Rock Ventures. www.voyagertherapeutics.com
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Quixey, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based mobile app discovery engine is nearing an agreement to raise $60 million in new funding at arounds a $600 million valuation, according to Re/Code. Investors would include Alibaba Group, Twitter and SoftBank. Existing shareholders include Alibaba, Atlantic Bridge Capital, SK Telecom Ventures, TransLink Capital, U.S. Venture Partners, WI Harper Group and Innovation Endeavors. Read more.
• AppDirect, a San Francisco-based cloud service marketplace and management company, has raised $50 million in Series D funding led by return backer Mithril Capital Management. Existing investors include iNovia Capital and Foundry Group. www.appdirect.com
• Miovision, a Canadian provider of traffic systems technology, has raised C$30 million in Series B funding. MacKinnon, Bennett & Co. led the round, and was joined by Investeco Capital, Renewal Funds, Plaza Ventures and Comerica. www.miovision.com
• NEXTracker Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based provider of single-axis PV trackers, has raised $25 million in growth equity funding. SJF Ventures and Tennenbaum Capital Partners were joined by return backers Sigma Partners and DBL Investors. www.NEXTracker.com
• Vaxxas, an Australian developer of a needle-free vaccination platform, has raised A$25 million in the first closing of a Series B round. Investors include OneVentures, Brandon Capital, the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund and HealthCare Ventures. www.vaxxas.com
• Jahia, a Switzerland–based open-source “user experience platform” vendor, has raised €20 million in new VC funding from Invus. www.jahia.com
• Reserve, a digital concierge for diners and restaurants, has raised $15 million in Series A funding. Human Ventures Capital and Expa co-led the round, and were joined by SV Angel, Venture51, Visionnaire Ventures, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Advancit Capital and Sherpa Ventures. www.reserve.com
• MineralTree, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of accounts payable and payment automation solutions, has raised $11.1 million in Series B funding. First Data led the round, and was joined by return backers .406 Ventures and Fidelity Growth Partners. www.mineraltree.com
• Humanity.com, a San Francisco-based workforce management platform in the cloud, has raised $9 million in Series B funding. MHS Capital led the round, and was joined by Point Nine Capital, Klever Internet Investments, Team Builder Ventures and Mark Britto (CEO of Boku). www.humanity.com
• Move Loot, a San Francisco-based online marketplace for pre-owned home goods, has raised $9 million in new VC funding. Metamorphic Ventures led the round, and was joined by First Round Capital, Index Ventures, Great Oaks, IDG and Sherpa Ventures. Earlier investors include YCombinator and Google Ventures. www.moveloot.com
• DigiSight Technologies Inc., a Portola Valley, Calif.-based provider of software that integrates data from mobile tests into clinical settings, has raised $7.8 million in Series B funding. New investors include Biosys Capital, Waycross Ventures, GE Ventures and Lagunita LLC. www.digisight.net
• Bento for Business, a San Francisco-based provider of financial solutions for small business, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Anthemis Group. Return backers include Blumberg Capital, LionBird and Pivot Investment Partners. The company’s initial offering is a corporate card specifically designed for small business, which its CEO says is different from small biz cards from big banks that really are just minor modifications of their consumer cards. www.bentoforbusiness.com
• TuneGo, a Las Vegas-based music discovery platform, has raised $1.2 million in angel funding from individuals like Chris Murray and Kenny Kam. www.tunego.com
• BitPesa, a Kenya-based Bitcoin remittance platform, has raised $1.1 million in new VC funding. Pantera Capital Management led the round, and was joined by Crypto Currency Partners LP, Stephens Investment Management, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp. and Future/Perfect Ventures. www.bitpesa.co
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Aequitas Capital has invested an undisclosed amount into Gladstone Analytics, a Conshohocken, Penn.–based business intelligence platform for financial advisors. www.gladstoneanalytics.com
• Bailey International LLC, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based portfolio company of Pfingsten Partners, has acquired Sure Grip Controls Inc., a Canadian maker of joysticks, control grips and controllers for use on forestry, construction and other mobile hydraulic equipment. No financial terms were disclosed. www.baileynet.com
• BuildASign.com, an Austin, Texas-based online custom printing provider of signage and home decor items, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from PWP Growth Equity. www.buildasign.com
• CVC Capital Partners has acquired Wireless Logic, a UK-based provider of machine-to-machine managed services, from ECI Partners. No financial terms were disclosed, except that ECI says it generated a 6.1X return multiple. www.wirelesslogic.co.uk
• The Halifax Group has acquired an equity stake in Pirtek Europe Holdings, a UK-based franchisor of emergency hydraulic hose replacement services. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Vision Capital. www.pirtek.co.uk
• Harbour Group has acquired Air Monitor Corp., a Santa Rosa, Calif.-based maker of differential pressure and thermal mass flow meters, coal flow measurement systems and instrumentation. No financial terms were disclosed. www.airmonitor.com
• H.I.G. Capital has acquired, via an Italian securitization, a portfolio of 52 non-performing commercial and residential real estate loans originated by Group Cassa di Risparmio di Cesena. No financial terms were disclosed. www.higcapital.com
• Millstein & Co. has acquired DLT Solutions, a Herndon, Va.-based reseller of government information technology, software and services. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include TZP Capital Partners. www.dlt.com
Select Family of Staffing Cos., a portfolio company of Anchorage Capital Group and BlueMountain Capital Management, has acquired Employbridge Holding Co., an Atlanta–based provider of specialty staffing services, from Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity and Constitution Capital Partners. The deal was valued at around $410 million. www.employbridge.net
• Sequel Holdings has acquired Lakeview Farms, a Delphos, Ohio-based maker of refrigerated desserts, dips and sour cream. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which also include equity co-investments from Falcon Investment Advisors and WP Global Partners. Sequel had previously held an ownership stake in Lakeview Farms between 2004 and 2011. www.lakeviewfarms.com
• Sigfox, a French provider of a cellular network dedicated to the Internet-of-Things, has raised $115 million in new funding. Investors include Elliott Management Corp., Telefonica, SK Telecom, NTT DOCOMO Ventures, GDF SUEZ, Air Liquide and Eutelsat. www.sigfox.com
• Sycamore Partners is in “advanced talks” to acquire women’s apparel retailer Chico’s FAS Inc. (NYSE: CHS) for upwards of $3 billion, according to multiple reports. Read more.
• Vector Capital has agreed to acquire Saba (OTC BB: SABA), a provider of cloud-based talent management solutions, for around $300 million, or $9 per share. www.saba.com
• Avenue Financial Holdings Inc., a Nashville, Tenn.-based bank with five branches (four of which are retail), raised $28 million in its IPO. The company priced 2.5 million shares at $11 per share (low end of $11-$13 offering range), and will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol AVNU. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods served as sole underwriter. www.avenuenashville.com
• Inovalon Holdings, a Bowie, Md.-based provider of healthcare data analytics, has set its IPO terms to 22.22 million shares being offered at between $22 and $24 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $3.61 billion, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol INOV, with Goldman Sachs listed as left-lead underwriter (9 total banks listed). The company reports $52 million of net income on $272 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2014, compared to $27 million of net income on $231 million in revenue for the year-earlier period. www.inovalon.com
• PGI Specialty Materials Inc., a Charlotte, N.C.-based maker of polymer-based nonwoven materials for such products as diapers, has filed for a $100 million IPO. BofA Merrill Lynch and Citigroup are serving as lead underwriters. The company reports a $97 million net loss on $1.5 billion in revenue for the nine months ending last September 27. PGI is owned by The Blackstone Group. www.blackstone.com
• Exponent Private Equity is in talks to sell luxury handbags and accessories maker Radley & Co., according to The Telegraph. The deal could be worth more than $300 million, with Asian buyers being targeted. Read more.
• GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) has acquired GlycoVaxyn, a Swiss developer of conjugate vaccines, for $212 million. Sellers include Sofinnova Partners, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners and Index Ventures. www.glycovaxyn.com
• Platinum Equity has completed its previously-announced sale of Fishing Holdings LLC, a Flippin, Ark.-based maker of fishing boats, to Bass Pro Group LLC. No financial terms were disclosed. www.basspro.com
• Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) has agreed to acquire Envision Pharmaceutical Services, a Twinsburg, Ohio-based pharmacy benefit management company, from TPG Capital. The deal is valued at approximately $2 billion, inclusive of an expected future tax benefit of $275 million. Envision expects to generate EBITDA for 2015 of between $150 million and $160 million on around $5 billion in revenue. www.envisionrx.com
• Warburg Pincus said that it plans to sell 25 million shares of Poundland Group PLC (L:SE: PLND), following which Warburg Pincus would still hold a 20.4% stake in the British discount retailer. www.poundlandcorporate.com
• Telecity Group PLC (LSE: TCY), a UK-based data center company, has agreed to acquire Interxion Holding NV (NYSE: INXN) for $2.2 billion in stock, at a price that represents around a 15% premium to yesterday’s closing trades for Interxion shares. Interexion is a New York-based provider of carrier-neutral colocation data center services in Europe. Read more.
• Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) has agreed to acquire bankrupt Dendreon Corp., whose assets include prostate-cancer drug Provenge, for $400 million in cash. Read more.
• Yelp (NYSE: YELP) has acquired Eat24, a San Bruno, Calif.-based local restaurant delivery service, for $134 million in cash and stock ($75m/$59m). Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Lux Capital, a VC firm focused on physical and life sciences, is seeking to raise upwards of $350 million for its fourth fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.luxcapital.com
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Niklas Amundsson has joined U.S.-based private equity placement agent Monument Group as a Hong Kong-based managing director. He previously was a partner with MVision Private Equity Advisers. www.monumentgroup.com
• James Clarke has joined Landmark Partners as a New York0based director of investor relations. He previously was a managing director of business development for Golden Tree Asset Management. www.landmarkpartners.com
• Gustavo Loyola, former chairman of the Brazilian Central Bank, has joined the Latin American advisory board of H.I.G. Capital. www.higcapital.com
• Brett Moraski has joined Frazier Healthcare as an operating partner in the firm’s “growth buyout” practice, with a focus on payor services and IT-enabled ancillary services to the payor industry. Her previously was a senior operator advisor at LLR Partners and corporate VP of transformation at WellPoint. www.frazierhealthcare.com
• Jim Rutherfurd has joined private equity firm Pine Brook as a managing director and head of investor relations and communications. He previously was with 3i Group and, before that, Veronis Suhler Stevenson. www.pinebrook.com
• NGP Energy Capital Management has promoted Chris Carter to managing partner and a member of the firm’s executive committee. He joined the firm in 2004, and had been serving as a managing diredtor and chief investment coordinator. In other NGP news, the firm said that managing director Robert Edwards will relocate to Houston in order to lead NGP’s office there. www.ngpenergycapital.com
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