Today’s planned column didn’t quite come together in time, so just a few quick notes to kick off your Wednesday:
• No comment fund: Earlier this month, I joked that if a pre-IPO company raises big funding but only refers to its lead backer as a “Boston-based institutional investor,” it’s almost certainly referring to Fidelity. But that was actually a bit too simplistic. The company also may be referring to Wellington Management, which has quietly participated in deals for such companies as Docusign, Honest Co., Uber, Lookout and Adaptimmune.
While Fidelity is basically farming out its deals to its various mutual funds, word is that Wellington has quietly raised a quasi-traditional vehicle for privately-held, growth equity companies. Seems to be sized at around $500 million.
Per usual, Wellington declined to comment, confirm or deny.
• Recommended reading: The WSJ today reports that The Blackstone Group is killing off accelerated monitoring fees for new portfolio companies, and will fully distribute them to LPs for current portfolio companies (or cut other fees a commensurate amount, depending on the particular situation). To be sure, this is a positive development. The idea of buying a company in 2014 and then guaranteeing yourself 10 years of annual monitoring fees is absurd in a PE world where most portfolio companies are exited far earlier. It’s also probably necessary in the current fundraising environment, with Blackstone beginning to solicit capital for its new flagship vehicle.
That said, I’d prefer if Blackstone either kill off monitoring fees altogether, or agree to 100% monitoring fee give-backs to limited partners (the latter move often leads to the former). Remember, LPs already pay basic fund management fees that should cover “monitoring” of existing portfolio companies. Anyway, here is the WSJ scoop.
• Answer Key: Following our report on Tiger Global, I asked you to name another venture capital firm that has told LPs to expect its next $1 billion+ fundraise to begin in Q4? You hint was that the firm has been around for much longer than has Tiger Global. The answer is NEA, which raised $2.6 billion for its current fund (NEA 14) back in 2012.
• On the agenda: Today is the final day of Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Summit, which is taking place in Laguna Niguel. So far it has featured such speakers as Ginni Rometty, Susan Wojcicki, Megan Smith, Diana Farrell, Megyn Kelly, Gary Cohn and Warren Buffett. Today’s line-up includes Mary Barra, Melinda Gates, Lynn Good, Elizabeth Holmes and Penny Pritzker. You can get full coverage of past sessions and today’s live-stream (beginning at 8:35am PT) over on our new MPW channel: http://www.fortune.com/mpw.
THE BIG DEAL
• Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) is considering a plan that would split its security and data storage businesses into separate, stand-alone companies, according to Bloomberg. Symantec has a current market cap of around $16 billion. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Segment, a San Francisco-based “customer data hub,” has raised $15 million in Series A funding. Accel Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and e.ventures. www.segment.com
• Interana, a Menlo Park, Calif.–based provider of event-based analytics for customer behavior and product use, has raised $8.2 million in VC funding. Backers include Battery Ventures, Data Collective, SV Angel, Fuel Capital and YCombinator. www.interana.com
• TagCommander, a France–based provider of enterprise tag management systems, has raised €6.5 million in Series B funding. Hi Inov-Dentressangle Initiatives led the round, and was joined by return backer XAnge Private Equity. www.tagcommander.com
• Product Hunt, a San Francisco-based community-curated new product platform, has raised $6.1 million in Series A funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, and was joined by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. www.producthunt.com
• EatStreet, a Madison, Wis.-based online and mobile food ordering service, has raised $4 million in new Series B funding from 4490 Ventures and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. The round total is now $10 million. www.eatstreet.com
• Crowdfunder, a Boulder, Colo.-based equity crowdfunding platform, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding from investors like Tim Draper and Bridge 37 Ventures. www.crowdfunder.com
• SolidX Partners Inc., a New York-based provider of swaps to hedge funds, family offices and other institutional investors, has raised $3 million in seed funding. Liberty City Ventures led the round, and was joined by Jim Pallotta, Red Sea Ventures, Stanley Shopkorn and Red Swan Ventures. www.sldx.com
• Perkville, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based SaaS platform for creating and managing a customer rewards and loyalty program, has raised $2.4 million in bridge funding. Backers include Sand Hill Angels. www.perkville.com
• Uniplaces, a UK-based online platform for helping students rent apartments and other accommodations, has raised £2.2 million in second-round funding from Octopus Investments. www.uniplaces.com
• Morsel, a Chicago-based “social community for culinary enthusiasts,” has raised an undisclosed amount of first-round funding. Chicago Ventures led the round, and was joined by Merrick Ventures and individual angels. www.eatmorsel.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Abraaj Group has acquired a majority stake in Liberty Star Consumer Holdings, a South African provider of food and personal care products. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include Metier, Old Mutual Private Equity, Development Partners International and Lereko. www.abraaj.com
• Advent International has invested an undisclosed amount into The Learning Lab, a Singapore-based provider of children’s education programs. The Straits Times reports that the deal could be for upwards of $300 million. www.thelearninglab.com.sg
• The Blackstone Group has committed up to $700 million in equity to form Windy Cove Energy, a new platform to acquire and develop CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery (“EOR”) assets in the U.S. Windy Cove will be led by president and CEO Chuck Fox, a former Kinder Morgan and Shell executive. www.windycoveenergy.com
• Confie Seguros, a personal insurance company focused on Hispanic consumers, has acquired both Carallo Insurance Group (Garland, Texas-based auto insurance agency) and a retail division of PayneWest Insurance (Marysville, Wash.-based auto, home and small commercial insurance agency). No financial terms were disclosed. Confie Seguros is a portfolio company of ABRY Partners. www.confieseguros.com
• Distribution International Inc., a Houston, Texas-based portfolio company of Audax Private Equity and The CapStreet Group, has acquired Mechanical Insulation Supply Inc., a Redford, Mich.-based distributor of mechanical and industrial insulation and accessories. No financial terms were disclosed. www.distributionintl.com
• ElectroCraft Inc., a Dover, N.H.-based provider of highly engineered and custom motion control solutions, has acquired Hansen Corp., a maker of motion control solutions. No financial terms were disclosed, except that ElectroCraft backer SeaCoast Capital helped support the acquisition. www.electrocraft.com
• Generation Growth Capital has acquired Atlantic Precision Inc., a Port Saint Lucie, Fla.-based maker of aerospace parts. No financial terms were disclosed. www.atlanticprecision.com
• Hellman & Friedman has completed its previously-announced acquisition of Emeryville, Calif.–based supermarket chain Grocery Outlet Inc. from Berkshire Partners. No financial terms were disclosed, although an earlier WSJ report said that the deal would be valued at more than $1.1 billion. www.hf.com
• LifeStorage LP, a Roseville, Calif.-based owner and operator of self-storage facilities, has secured a $120 million investment from TPG Real Estate. www.lifestorage.com
• Timepiece Capital and Gemini Investors have acquired the assets of the Dairy Association Co., a Vermont-based maker of a salve for soothing and softening chapped and chafed skin, from Young America Capital. No financial terms were disclosed. www.bagbalm.com
• Vista Equity Partners is in talks to acquire TransFirst, a Hauppauge, N.Y.-based payment processing company owned by Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, according to Reuters. TransFirst is in registration for an IPO, and previously received takeover interest from CVC Capital Partners and Total System Services (NYSE: TSS). It could be valued at around $1.5 billion (including debt). Read more.
• Atara Biotherapeutics Inc., a Brisbane, Calif.-based drug company focused on muscle wasting conditions and oncology, has set its IPO terms to five million shares at between $14 and $16 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $291 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ATRA, with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup serving as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders in the pre-revenue company include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (18.6% pre-IPO stake), Domain Associates (13.2%), DAG Ventures (13.2%), Baupost Group (11.8%), Celgene Corp. (8.7%), Amgen (8.6%) and Alexandria Real Estate Equities (5.3%). www.atarabio.com
• AutoGenomics Inc., a Vista, Calif.-based maker of molecular diagnostics systems, has refilled for a $60 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol AGMX, with Stifel, Canaccord Genuity and Cantor Fitzgerald serving as lead underwriters. This is the third time that AutoGenomics has filed for an IPO, having withdrawn its two prior registrations (most recently in Nov. 2013). www.autogenomics.com
• Histogenics Corp., a Waltham, Mass.-based regenerative medicine company focused on cartilage, has filed for a $65 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol HSGX, with Cowen & Co. listed as left lead underwriter. Shareholders in the pre-revenue company include Sofinnova Ventures (27% pre-IPO stake), Split Rock Partners (18%), Altima Partners (6.9%), Boston Millennia Partners (5.9%) and Intrexon Corp. (5.9%). www.histogenics.com
• Proteon Therapeutics, a Waltham, Mass. Developer of renal and vascular therapies, has set its IPO terms to 4.7 million shares at between $12 and $14 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $183 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol PRTO, with Stifel and JMP Securities serving as lead underwriters. The pre-revenue company has raised around $125 million in VC funding, from firms like TVM Capital (19.4% pre-IPO stake), Abingworth (19.1%), Prism VentureWorks (15.6%), Skyline Ventures (15.3%), Deerfield Management (10.5%), Pharmastandard International SA (10.5%), Intersouth Partners (10.4%) and MPM Capital (10.3%). www.proteontherapeutics.com
• Advent International has agreed to sell Median Kliniken GmbH & Co., a German operator of rehabilitation clinics, to Waterland Private Equity for between €800 million and €1 billion, according to multiple media reports. Read more.
• Cornerstone OnDemand (Nasdaq: CSOD) has agreed to acquire Evolv Inc., a San Francisco–based machine learning and data science platform. The deal is valued at around $42.5 million in cash, which is almost the exact amount of VC funding Evolv had raised from firms like Khosla Ventures, GGV Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners. www.evolv.net
• Coty (NYSE: COTY) has offered to acquire the Bourjois cosmetics brand from Chanel, in exchange for a 4.4% stake in Coty. Read more.
• Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide has acquired Element Marketing Group, a Monroe, Conn.-based marketing agency for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. No financial terms were disclosed. www.chww.com
• TheStreet Inc. (Nasdaq: TST) has agreed to acquire Management Diagnostics Ltd., a UK–based developer of relationship capital management service BoardEx. The deal is valued at $21 million in cash, plus a possible earnout. www.thestreet.com
• Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX: VRX) and Pershing Square Capital Management reportedly plan to increase their offer for Botox maker Allergan (NYSE: AGN) by nearly 10%, bringing the overall value to around $56 billion. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Madison Dearborn Partners has begun raising its seventh fund with a $4 billion target (including $250m GP commit), according to peHUB. The Chicago-based firm closed its sixth fund with $6.5 billion in 2006. Read more.
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Tasso Argyros has joined FirstMark Capital as a venture partner. He currently serves as co-founder and CEO of FirstMark portfolio company ActionIQ, and previously founded Aster Data (acquired for nearly $300m by Teradata). www.firstmarkcap.com
• Brian Hansen has joined Vortus Investments Advisors as a principal on the investment team. He previously was an executive with Pioneer Natural Resources. www.vortus.com
• Laila Tarraf has joined GI Partners as head of human resources. She previously spent eight years with Peet’s Coffee & Tea as its VP of HR and first chief people officer. www.gipartners.com
• Warburg Pincus has added three entrepreneurs-in-residence to its healthcare group: David Kirchhoff, the former CEO of Weight Watchers International; Philip Gioia, former president of North America at Glenmark Pharmaceuticals; and Richard Hassett, former president and CEO of NovaSom. www.warburgpincus.com
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