Some quick notes to kick off your Monday morning.
• Today’s big buyout news is that TPG has matched KKR's A$3.4 billion offer for listed Australian wine-maker Treasury Wine Estates. This comes just days after KKR and TPG both agreed to settle their respective roles in a lawsuit alleging anti-competitive collusion on large LBO deals.
• Speaking of collusion: I’m not getting the sense that Carlyle is at the settlement table yet, instead waiting for a few more pre-trial procedural questions to be answered (including class certification). After that, all bets are off. The firm’s founders seem personally offended by the accusations, and believe that settling would be a tacit admission of wrongdoing. At the same time, however, one would have to think that such heartfelt sentiments eventually would be overwhelmed by the potential liabilities. Remember, the plaintiffs have requested more than $10 billion in damages. Even if they get just a tiny fraction, it would be much costlier than would be a settlement (and the reputational damage of a loss would be immeasurably greater).
• Magic Mountain: The Private Equity Growth Captial Council this morning reported that private equity dry powder grew by 7% in Q2 2014, up to $440 billion through the end of July.
• Update: Vistria Group, the Chicago-based private equity firm formed late last year by Obama pal Marty Nesbitt, has secured over $148 million in capital commitments for its debut fund, according to a regulatory filing. We’ve also learned that firm executives now include Tony Miller (ex-Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Dept of Education) and that yet another ex-White House guy also is joining (will share name tomorrow once I’ve made one more call). Also worth noting that $5 million of the new fund was committed by the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.
• More Chicago: Earlier this year we reported that mid-market PE firm Chicago Growth Partners had abandoned plans to raise a third fund. Now some of the team – including Rob Healy and Jeff Farrero – have formed a new firm called L Squared Capital Partners. Sounds like it already has secured commitments from some big family offices – like the Crowns – but unclear so far if it’s a traditional structure or a deal-by-deal model.
THE BIG DEAL
• Buzzfeed, the New York-based media company that Disney tried to buy earlier this year, has raised $50 million in new VC funding from Andreessen Horowitz. All of the capital was primary, but existing investors did not participate. Andreessen Horowitz partner Chris Dixon will join the company's board of directors. Buzzfeed previously raised more than $40 million from Lerer Ventures, RRE Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Softbank Capital. Read more
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• IronSource, an Israeli online software distribution company, has raised $85 million at an $800 million valuation led by The Disruptive Fund, according to Haaretz. The company is preparing for an IPO, with Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan expected to lead the offering. Existing shareholders include Carmel Ventures. Read more
• Foodpanda, a European food delivery service that also has operations in Brazil, has raised $60 million in new VC funding. Return backers include Falcon Edge Capital and Rocket Internet. The company now has raised over $100 million in total VC funding. www.foodpanda.com
• Fiverr, an Israel-based operator of a global online marketplace for buying and selling services, has raised $30 million in Series C funding. Qumra Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Accel Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. The company previously raised $20 million. www.fiverr.com
• Plated, a New York-based recipe box subscription service, has raised $15 million in new VC funding, according to the WSJ. Greycroft Partners led the round, and was joined by Formation8, ff Venture Capital, Lerer Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Kite Ventures and Slow Ventures. Read more
• Pivot3, an Austin, Texas-based provider of “hyper-converged infrastructure,” has raised $12 million in new funding. S3 Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers InterWest Partners and Mesirow Financial. www.pivot3.com
• Nasuni, a Natick Mass.-based provider of enterprise storage solutions, has raised $10 million in Series C funding. An unidentified strategic investor was joined by return backers Flybridge Capital Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners and Sigma Partners. The company previously raised $43 million. www.nasuni.com
• Zubie Inc., a Charleston, S.C.- based maker of in-vehicle apps for real-time feedback, has raised $8 million in new VC funding led by Nokia Growth Partners. www.zubie.com
• ViaCyte Inc., a San Diego-based developer of a stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy for the treatment of diabetes,, has raised $5.4 million in new Series C-1 funding (the round total is now $16.5 million). No investor information was disclosed. www.viacyte.com
• Beam Technologies, a Louisville, Ky.-based creator of a connected toothbrush, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Drive Capital. www.beamtoothbrush.com
• Pact Coffee, a British subscription service for coffee bean delivery, has raised £2 million in Series A funding led by MMC Ventures. www.pactcoffee.com
• OpenAgent.com, an Australian real estate platform, has raised $1 million in VC funding from individual angels like Trulia co-founder Pete Flint. www.openagent.com.au
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• The Blackstone Group is nearing an agreement to acquire a 25% stake in a Louisiana gasfield (the Haynesville formation) for around $1.2 billion from Royal Dutch Shell (which owns 50% of the field, with Encana holding the remainder), according to the FT. www.blackstone.com
• The Blackstone Group has acquired Alliance Automotive Group, a distributor of spare auto parts in the UK and France, from Weinberg Capital Partners, according to the FT. No financial terms were disclosed. www.blackstone.com
• EQT Partners and Danaher Corp. are among several suitors circling medical device maker Nobel Biocare Holding AG (Swiss: NOBN), according to Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs is managing the process. Read more.
• Grocery Outlet Inc., an Emeryville, Calif.-based grocery store chain, has received first-round buyout from several private equity firms – including Bain Capital, Hellman & Friedman and Roark Capital Group – according to the WSJ. A deal could be valued at around $1.2 billion. Grocery Outlet shareholders include Berkshire Partners. Read more
• Kuwait Projects Co. and Mawarid Group (Saudi Arabia) have rejected a $3.2 billion offer from an unidentified U.S. private equity firm for part of their OSN pay-TV subsidiary. KPC holds a 60.5% stake in OSN, while Mawarid holds the remainder. Read more
• Treasury Wine Estates Ltd. (ASX: TWE), an Australian wine-maker, said that it has received a buyout bid that matches the A$3.4 billion (A$5.20 per share) offer from KKR and Rhone Capital. Media reports suggest the unidentified suitor is TPG Capital. www.tweglobal.com
• Forward Pharma AS, a Denmark-based drug company focused on a multiple sclerosis treatment, has filed for a $200 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol FWP, with Leerink Partners serving as lead underwriter. Shareholders in the pre-IPO company include Nordic Biotech and BML Healthcare. www.forward-pharma.com
• Audax Group has agreed to sell Tri-Ed, a Woodbury, N.Y.–based distributor of security and low-voltage technology products, to Anixter International Inc. (NYSE: AXE) for $420 million. www.anixter.com
• Beeline, a subsidiary of Adecco Group (Swiss: ADEN), has acquired OnForce, a Lexington, Mass.-based provider of SaaS-enabled workforce solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. OnForce had raised over $20 million in VC funding from Accel Partners, General Catalyst Partners and North Atlantic Capital. www.onforce.com
• CVC Capital Partners has agreed to sell WiniaMando Inc., a South Korean maker of home appliances like refrigerators, for approximately $145 million to Hyundai Green Food Co. www.winiamando.com
• Esperante, the investment arm of Dutch life sciences company C&P Group, has acquired Altacor , a UK-based specialty ophthalmology company, for an undisclosed amount. Sellers include Beringea. www.altacor-pharma.com
• Lassonde Industries Inc. (TSX: LAS) has completed its previously-announced $150 million cash acquisition of Apple & Eve LLC, a Port Washington, N.Y.–based branded juice company, from ClearLight Partners. www.appleandeve.com
• MBK Partners is in talks to sell South Korean bottle-maker Techpack Solutions Co. to Dongwon Systems Corp., according to Reuters. The deal could be valued at around $485 million. www.techpacksol.com
• Platinum Equity has to sell Active Aero Group, a Belleville, Mich.-based provider of transportation logistics for customers with sensitive or time-critical freight, to Roadrunner Transportation Systems (NYSE: RRTS). No financial terms were disclosed. www.activeaero.com
• Rakuten (Tokyo: 4755) has acquired Slice, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based maker of an app for tracking online spending. No financial terms were disclosed. Slice had raised in VC funding, from Rakuten, Russia Partners, NPD Group, DCM, Innovation Endeavors and Lightspeed Venture Partners. www.slice.com
• Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) has agreed to sell its interests in a Cambodian offshore oil block for $65 million to listed Singapore-based oil and gas company KrisEnergy Ltd. Read more
• Murphy Petroleum (NYSE: MUR) has agreed to sell its British retail assets to Motor Fuel Group. No financial terms were disclosed, but Reuters reports that the deal was valued at just under £200 million. Read more
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Bregal Investments has hired Evercore Partners to sell a $400 million NAV portfolio of private equity fund stakes (all pre-2008 vintages), according to peHUB. Read more
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Wes Owen has joined Praesidian Capital as a managing director. He previously spent time with Fuel Break Capital and G2 Capital Advisors. www.praesidian.com