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Term Sheet — Monday, January 12

Random Ramblings

I was stuck for much of Friday on a magazine piece, so just some quick notes to kick off your Monday…

• Monster year: U.S. venture capital firms raised $5.6 billion for 75 funds in Q4 2014, bringing the yearly total to $29.8 billion for 254 funds, according to Thomson Reuters and the NVCA. That’s the most money raised by U.S. venture firms since 2007, while the number of funds was the most since 2001. Compared to 2013, the dollar total was up a whopping 69%. The data also showed at 1.8/1 ratio of follow-on funds/new funds in Q4, which was a 13% bump over Q3.

• Legal limbo: There were several reports over the weekend tabout federal prosecutors recommending that felony charges be filed against retired general and ex-CIA boss David Petraeus, for sharing classified information with his former mistress. The matter is being reviewed by top U.S. Justice Department officials, who have not yet decided what to do. Petraeus has spent the past 20 months with KKR, where he is involved in investments and leads a “global institute” group that studies “macroeconomic trends and government policies to assess their implications on the firm’s investments.” KKR declined to comment on the legal developments.

• Bain battle: On Friday, the U.S. Olympic Committee surprisingly picked Boston to be its entry in the global competition for the 2024 summer games. Worth noting that the most vocal local critic of the plan is Chris Dempsey, a co-chair of the “No Boston Olympics” committee and a case team leader at consulting firm Bain & Company. Just down the street, Bain Capital partner Steve Pagliuca is among the plan’s most active supporters, serving as co-chair of the Boston 2024 finance committee. From my conspiratorial perspective, I wonder if the USOC pick was a stealth move by Jeb Bush supporters (and/or Bain Capital’s PR team) to keep Mitt Romney – formerly of both Bain & Co. and Bain Capital — out of the 2016 presidential race, by appealing to his dual experiences with the Olympics and Massachusetts.

• Get Liquid: We’re beginning to plan out our next Liquidity Event, which most likely will take place in Boston later this winter (because it’s just been way too long). If you have interest in being a sponsor, please let me know.


• Shire PLC (NYSE: SHP) has agreed to acquire NPS Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: NPSP), a Bedminster, N.J.-based drugmaker whose lead product treats short bowel syndrome in adults, for $5.2 billion. The $46 per share price represents a 51% premium over where NPSstock was trading prior to the first reports of a sale process last month. Goldman Sachs managed the process. Read more.


• Verne Global, an Iceland-based developer of “energy efficient data centers,” has raised $98 million in Series D funding. Stefnir led the round, and was joined by return backers like – the Wellcome Trust, Novator Partners and General Catalyst Partners.

• MongoDB, a NoSQL database company with dual headquarters in New York and Palo Alto, has secured $70 million of a new $100 million funding round, according to a regulatory filing. The company previously raised over $220 million from Intel Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Red Hat, Flybridge Capital Partners, Union Square Ventures, T. Rowe Price and Sequoia Capital. It previously raised around $73 million.

• Augmedix, a Google Glass-based startup for clinical physicians, has raised $16 million in Series A funding co-led by seed backers Emergence Capital Partners and DCM Ventures.

• Kit Check, a Washington, D.C.-based provider of hospital pharmacy kit processing and medication tracking software, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. Kaiser Permanente Ventures led the round, and was joined by Rex Health Ventures and return backers New Leaf Venture Partners, Sands Capital Ventures, Easton Capital Investment Group and LionBird.

• AveXis Inc., a Dallas-based developer of gene therapies for patients with severe genetic and orphan diseases like spinal muscular atrophy, has raised $10 million in new VC funding co-led by Deerfield Management and Roche Venture Fund.

• RetroSense Therapeutics, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based developer of gene therapies and optogenetics to restore vision loss, has raised $6 million in Series A funding. Backers include Nerveda, Blue Water Angels, SDL Ventures, Tech Coast Angels and Michigan Economic Development Corp.

• Percolata, a developer of in-store sensors and analytics that are designed to help retailers better understand their staffing needs, has raised $5 million in seed funding from Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, according to VentureWire.

• Crowdynews, a Dutch social media curation platform for media companies, has raised €2.5 million in Series A funding. INKEF Capital led the round, and was joined by Singapore Press Holdings.


• American Safety Council, a portfolio company of Falfurrias Capital Partners, has acquired The Online Traffic School, a Camarillo, Calif.-based provider of driving and driver safety e-learning courses. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Aquiline Capital Partners has acquired a minority stake in Virtus Partners, a Houston-based provider of alternative asset collateral administrative services. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Grey Mountain Partners has acquired Sunbelt Transformer Ltd., a Temple, Texas-based provider of new and remanufactured electrical power and distribution equipment. No financial terms were disclosed.

• Marlin Equity Partners has acquired Asentinel, a Memphis, Tenn.-based provider of telecom expense management software and solutions. No financial  terms were disclosed.

• Marquee Brands, a brand acquisition platform sponsored by Neuberger Berman, reportedly has agreed to acquire luxury shoe brand Bruno Magli for €28.5 million. Read more.

• Onex Partners has acquired Survivtec, a UK-based maker of safety and survival equipment, from Warburg Pincus for £450 million. Warburg Pincus had paid £280 million to purchase Survivtec in 2010 from Montagu Private Equity. Read more.

• Persistence Capital Partners has made a “significant equity investment” in mdBriefCase, a Toronto–based provider of online continuing health education. No financial terms were disclosed.

• TPG Capital has acquired a 75% stake in a $2.5 billion U.S. real estate loan portfolio from Deutsche Bank. Read more.

• TPH Partners has invested an undisclosed amount to help form Laurel Mountain Energy LLC, a Pittsburgh-based upstream energy company founded by Clark and David Nicklas (ex-Vista Resources).


• Invitae Corp., a San Francisco-based company that plans to “bring genetic information into routine medical practice,” has filed for an $86.25 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol NVTA, with J.P. Morgan serving as lead underwriter. The company has raised around $195 million in VC funding, from firms like Baker Brothers (20.6% pre-IPO stake), BlackRock (17%), Thomas McNerney & Partners (15.2%), Genomic Health Inc. (9%), The Broe Group, Decheng Capital, Deerfield Management, OrbiMed, Perceptive Advisors, Rock Springs Capital, Wellington Management Co., Casdin Capital, Genesys Capital and Redmile Group.

• Wowo Ltd., a Chinese e-commerce platform for local entertainment and lifestyle services, has filed for a $40 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol WOWO, with Axiom serving as sole underwriter. The company reports a $32 million net loss on $21 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2014, compared to a $21 million net loss on $28 million in revenue for the year-earlier period. Shareholders include Zero2IPO and CDH Investments.


• Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB) has agreed to acquire Convergence Pharmaceuticals, a British developer of ion channel-modulating product candidates for neuropathic pain. The deal is valued at upwards of $675 million, including a $200 million upfront payment and $400 million in possible earnouts.  Convergence Pharma has raised over $35 million in VC funding since its 2010 spinout from GlaxosmithKline, from investors like Apposite Capital, New Leaf Venture Partners and SV Life Sciences.

• MBK Partners and Macquarie Group are seeking to sell jointly-owned South Korean cable TV operator C&M Inc., according to Reuters. The deal could be worth upwards of $2.9 billion. Read more.

• The Michaels Cos. (NYSE: MIK) has filed for a $500 million secondary public offering, but did not specify the number of shares being offered or the selling shareholders. The Irving, Texas-based retailer’s significant shareholders include Bain Capital (39.9% stake), The Blackstone Group (39.9%) and Highfields Capital Management (5.3%).

• Roche (Swiss: RO) has agreed to acquire between a 52.4% and 56.3% stake in Foundation Medicine (Nasdaq: FMI), a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of genomics-based cancer diagnostic tests. The deal includes an initial $250 million investment at $50 per share (109% premium over Friday’s closing price), and a subsequent tender offer at the same price. Foundation Medicine went public in late 2013 at $18 per share, and stockholders include Third Rock Ventures (17.4% stake), Fidelity Investments (11.17%), Kleiner Perkins (9.97%) and Wellington Management (7.07%).


• Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) is in advanced talks to acquire between a 30% and 40% stake in Indian online payment platform One97 Communications, according to Reuters. The deal would be done via Alibaba’s Alipay unit, and would be worth around $550 million. Read more.

• AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) has agreed to acquire MWI Veterinary Supply (Nasdaq: MWIV), a Boise, Idaho–based animal health distribution company. The deal is valued at $2.5 billion, or $190 per share (8.17% premium over Friday’s closing price).

• Elsevier BV has acquired Newsflo, a UK–based bespoke media monitoring startup. No financial terms were disclosed. Read more.

• Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. (Nasdaq: TKMR) has agreed to acquire OnCore Biopharma Inc., a Doylestown, Penn.-based developer of oral treatments for chronic hepatitis B virus. Following the deal, OnCore shareholders would hold a 50% stake in the combined company, which would have an implied market value of $750 million.

• Voestalpine AG, a listed Austrian maker of steel products, has acquired Italian metal-wire maker Trafilerie. No financial terms were disclosed, except that Trafilerie generated €43.8 million in 2013 revenue.


• Helios Investment Partners has raised more than $1 billion for a new private equity fund focused on Africa. Read more.


• The Carlyle Group has promoted 59 professionals to senior positions, including the following eight to partner: Pamela Bentley (chief accounting officer), Jonathan Bylin (investor relations), Andrew Chung (U.S. real estate), Katherine Elmore-Jones (investor relations), Andrew Marino (global energy), Hiroyuki Otsuka (Japanese buyouts), John Redett (global financial services buyouts) and Catherine Ziobro (chief compliance officer).

• Haroun van Hövell has joined KKR as a managing director and head of its EMEA-focused energy team. He previously was a managing director with Riverstone Holdings.

• Institutional Venture Partners has promoted Somesh Dash and Eric Liaw to general partner. Dash joined IVP in 2005, and has led such deals as Business Insider, Klout (acquired by Lithium), Pure Storage, SoundCloud, and Woven. Liaw joined in  2011 and has worked on  such deals as AdRoll, MindBody, OnDeck (ONDK), Supercell, The Honest Company, Wikia, ZipRecruiter and Dropcam (acquired by Google).

• Yangyang Liu has joined EIG Global Energy Partners as head of the private equity firm’s Hong Kong office. She previously spent 12 years with China Investment Corp.

• Bill Mulrow has been named secretary to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He had spent the past three years with The Blackstone Group as a senior managing director of investor relations and business development. Read more.

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