Greetings from the home office, where it’s good to be back after having spent the back half of last week in San Francisco. Just a few very quick notes to kick off your Monday:
• But are they on the Form ADV? The NY Post reported on Friday that both Bono and Ashton Kutcher (with partner Guy Oseary) had agreed to serve as special advisors to TPG Growth, which is in the midst of raising a new $3 billion fund.
I know you’re snickering, because that’s what finance folks typically do when they read about pop culture celebrities entering their realm. But it’s worth noting that when Bono co-founded Elevation Partners (RIP), he was credited with being a fundraising force — both in terms of hours spent and investor interest piqued. Obviously Elevation didn’t work out as intended, but don’t discount the possible halo effect here…
• Read all about it: We’ve posted a full transcript (plus some video clips) of my recent dinner interview with Marc Andreessen, where he discusses everything from bubbles to robots to Silicon Valley’s gender issues. Read it here.
• Bell-ringers: We’re finally about to get the first big IPO week of 2015, with expected pricings from such companies as Etsy, Aduro Biotech, Cidara Therapeutics, Party City and Virtu Financial.
• One more NYC pension note: Got to wonder if private equity returns for the NYC pension system would be better if its head of private equity position hadn’t been vacant for several years…
• Winner winner, Carolina pulled pork dinner: A big congratulations to the team from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, which took home top prize at the VCIC International Finals (held in Chapel Hill at UNC). The team members are: Coral Taylor, Eric Ellsworth, Ben Shopneck, Amir Kabir, Jordan Edelman.
• Delayed gratification: For those who haven’t already heard, Fortune last week agreed to hire six tech reporters who previously were with Gigaom. They are: Stacey Higginbotham (Internet-of-things), Barb Darrow (cloud computing), Katie Fehrenbacher (energy tech), Mathew Ingram (media/social web), Jeff John Roberts (tech law/policy) and Jonathan Vanian (biz tech). Very pleased to have these great folks joining us over the next several weeks. Going to be a fantastic addition to our growing crew.
THE BIG DEAL
• Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) is being asked by activist investor Jana Partners to consider spinning off its chip unit from its patent-licensing business. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Voyager Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.–based developer of gene therapy solutions for fatal and debilitating CNS diseases, has raised $60 million in Series B funding. Brookside Capital and Partner Fund Management co-led the round, and were joined by Wellington Management Co., Casdin Capital and two unidentified “blue chip investment funds.” The company was launched last year by Third Rock Ventures. www.voyagertherapeutics.com
• CradlePoint, a Boise, Idaho-based provider of 4G LTE networking solutions for distributed enterprises, has raised $48 million in Series B funding. Sorenson Capital led the round, and was joined by Delta-v Capital and The Caprock Group. www.cradlepoint.com
• Huy Vietnam Group, a Vietnamese operator of local restaurants, has raised $15 million in Series C funding. Templeton Asset Management led the round, and was joined by Welkin and Prosperous Alliance.
• Carbon3D, a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based provider of 3D printing machinery and solutions, has raised $10 million in new VC funding from Autodesk Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK). Existing backers include Sequoia Capital, Silver Lake Kraftwerk, Northgate Partners, Piedmont Capital Partners and Wakefield Group.www.carbon3d.com
• Vacatia, a San Francisco-based online resort marketplace for families, has raised $7 million in new VC funding from Javelin Venture Partners. The company also has promoted co-founder Caroline Shin from COO to CEO. www.vacatia.com
• Khorus, an Austin, Texas-based provider of business management software for CEOs, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by company founder Joel Trammell and angel investor Tom Greig. www.khorus.com
• Magency Digital, a French provider of mobile solutions for corporate events and training, has raised €3 million in Series A funding co-led by Alliance Entreprendre and Sigma Gestion. www.magencydigital.com
• Clyde Biosciences Ltd., a Scottish developer of technology to evaluate drug toxicity for pharma companies, has raised a £2 million in Series A funding. Epidarex Capital led the round, and was joined by the Scottish Investment Bank and Glasgow University Holdings. www.clydebiosciences.com
• Embera NeuroTherapeutics Inc., a Sudbury, Mass.–based developer of treatments for smoking cessation, cocaine use disorder and other addictions, has raised $2 million in Series A-2 funding from backers like France’s HRA Pharma. www.emberaneuro.com
• Wingz, a San Francisco-based airport ridesharing app, has raised $2 million in VC funding from Florence Venture Partners, Binux Capital, Blue Angel Ventures and Larry Marcus. www.wingz.me
• Zeemi.tv, an Indonesian live-video streaming platform, has raised $1 million in seed funding from DeNA and 500 Startups. Read more.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Drive Medical, a Port Washington, N.Y.-based medical equipment manufacturer owned by Medical Depot, has acquired Columbia Medical Manufacturing, a Santa Fe Springs, Calif.–based maker of rehabilitation products for children with disabilities, from Triton Pacific Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. Medical Depot backers include Ferrer Freeman & Co. and Brookside Mezzanine Partners. www.columbiamedical.com
• EQT Partners has agreed to acquire WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems, an El Segundo, Calif.–based provider of route-based laundry services to multifamily apartments and universities, from CHS Capital. No financial terms were disclosed. www.washlaundry.com
• General Electric (NYSE: GE) is expected to receive several private equity bids for its Australian commercial lending assets, according to The Australian. Read more.
• GP Investments is in talks to acquire around a $325 million stake in the telecom unit of Brazilian utility Cemig SA, according to a local magazine report. Read more.
• LBO France has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire French clothing retailer IKKS, according to Private Equity International. The deal reportedly would be worth between €500 million and €600 million. www.ikks.com
• Spotify, a music streaming service, is in talks to raise $400 million in new VC funding at an $8.4 billion valuation, according to the WSJ. Goldman Sachs and an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund are among expected investors. Read more.
• Apigee Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based API management company, has set its IPO terms to 5.115 million shares being offered at between $16 and $18 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $495 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol APIC, with Morgan Stanley serving as left lead underwriter. It reports a $27 million net loss on $32.6 million in revenue for the six months ending January 31, 2015 (compared to a $32m net loss on $23m in revenue for the year-earlier period). Apigee has raised over $170 million in VC funding from firms like Norwest Venture Partners (26.2% pre-IPO stake), Bay Partners (18.6%), Third Point Partners (12%), Wellington Management (7.6%), Pine River Capital Management, SAP Ventures, BlackRock, Focus Ventures and Accenture. www.apigee.com
• Affinia Group, a Gastonia, S.C.-based portfolio company of Cypress Group, has put its auto filter unit on the block for upwards of $1.3 billion, according to Reuters. Possible bidders reportedly include German peers Mann + Hummel and Mahle. Read more.
• Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: CPHR) has acquired INNOCUTIS Holdings LLC, a Charleston, S.C.-based specialty dermatology company, for $45.5 million in cash. Sellers include Ballast Point Ventures. www.innocutis.com
• TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL) has acquired AdvancedCath, a San Jose, Calif.–based maker of catheter systems, from Inverness Graham for $190 million in cash. www.advancedcathetermanufacturing.com
• Avid (Nasdaq: AVID) has agreed to acquire Orad Hi-Tec Systems (Frankfurt: OHT), an Israel-based provider of 3D real-time graphics and video servers, for approximately $68 million in cash (or €5.67 per share). www.orad.tv
• D.E. Shaw is in exclusive talks to acquire a €2 billion portfolio of nonperforming Italian property loans from a real estate unit of Goldman Sachs, according to Reuters. Read more.
• Gamco Investors (NYSE: GBL) said that it is considering a split into two publicly-traded companies, with founder Mario Gabelli to remain chairman and CEO of the asset management piece. Read more.
• KPMG has agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of Beacon Partners Inc., a Weymouth, Mass.–based healthcare consulting firm. No financial terms were disclosed. www.beaconpartners.com
• Recro Pharma Inc. (Nasdaq: REPH) has completed its previously-announced acquisition of the worldwide rights to acute pain drug IV/IM meloxicam from Alkermes PLC (Nasdaq: ALKS) for up to $170 million (including $50m upfront). www.recropharma.com
• Sears Holdings (NYSE: SHLD) has launched a joint venture with Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG), in which the department store operator will contribute 10 properties valued at $228 million. Read more.
• Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) is considering a sale of its Veritas data storage and recovery unit, according to the WSJ. The deal could be valued at more than $8 billion, with both private equity and strategic suitors expected to have interest. Symantec bought Veritas in 2005 for $13.5 billion in stock. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Abraaj Group has closed its third sub-Saharan Africa private equity fund with $990 million in committed capital. www.abraaj.com
• Exponent Private Equity has closed its third fund with £1 billion in capital commitments. www.exponentpe.com
• Pelion Venture Partners, a Salt Lake City-based VC firm, is raising upwards of $300 million for its sixth fund, according to a regulatory filing. www.pelionvp.com
• Quantum Energy Partners is closing in on a $3.45 billion final close for its sixth fund, according to LBO Wire. www.quantumep.com
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Jeff Hoffman, founder and president of sales consultancy M.J. Hoffman and Associates, has joined OpenView Venture Partners as a senior advisor. www.openviewpartners.com
• Harjinder Johal has stepped down as head of fundraising and investor relations with London-based Darwin Private Equity, after eight years with the firm. No word yet on her future plans. www.darwinpe.com
• Tripp Lane has joined New York-based BlueMountain Capital, with a focus on European distressed debt investments, according to LBO Wire. He previously was a London-based principal with Apax Partners. www.bluemountaincapital.com
• Truffle Capital, a Paris-based venture capital firm, has promoted both Antoine Pau and Alexandre Ouimet-Storrs to partner. Pau joined the firm in 2008 as an investment director in the life sciences sector, while Ouimet-Storrs joined in 2011 as an investment director in the cleantech and energy sectors. www.truffle.fr
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