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Term Sheet — Monday, August 31

August 31, 2015, 1:36 PM UTC

Random Ramblings

Some quick notes to kick off what may be a very slow week...

Lone star: Lindel Eakman is stepping down as head of private market investments at the University of Texas Investment Management Co., after nearly 13 years with the $35 billion endowment management group. Word is that he plans to form a new fund focused on VC investing -- perhaps building off of his success backing debut funds from such managers as Foundry Group, True Ventures and Union Square Ventures. UTIMCO has not yet announced formal succession plans.

M&A nerdery: Denali -- the original (and about to be restored) name of Mt. McKinley -- also was the code-name for Michael Dell and Silver Lake's $24.9 billion buyout of Dell Inc. in 2013.

Data dump: The only thing growing faster than M&A activity in 2015 is withdrawn M&A activity. Thomson Reuters reports that while global M&A is up 37% year-to-date, the bump in canceled deals is a whopping 53% (representing nearly $336 billion in pulled transactions).

Coming attractions: It’s been nearly one year since Michael Skok stepped down as a general partner with North Bridge Venture Partners, after 12 years with the Boston-area firm. At the time he expressed some ambivalence toward continuing on in formal VC, and said that he wanted to think about different, non-traditional models.

I’m not exactly sure what he came up with, but Skok is now launching a new firm with C.A. Webb (stepping down as executive director of the New England Venture Capital Association) and John Pearce (former president and CEO of Demandware, in which Skok was an early investor via North Bridge, and ex-CFO of Actifio). News of the new platform was first reported by Scott Kirsner, and confirmed with me by Webb (who said she wasn't quite ready yet to disclose other details).

Coming attractions II: Ryan Gembala is launching a new VC fund called Pathbreaker Ventures, according to a regulatory filing. Ryan -- who I first met years ago when he was competing in the VCIC Finals -- has prior VC experience with Azure Capital Partners and most recently spent 15 months working on deals for Facebook in its corporate development group. He’s not commenting yet, likely due to SEC restrictions.

Empty calendar: Judging by where we are and the holiday schedule, it is almost certain now that we will go at least a full four weeks without a single IPO on U.S. exchanges.

Drop a dime: Just a reminder that you always can send me an anonymous message by using our tip function. Just go here.

Get Liquid: We're getting close to putting tickets on sale for our next Liquidity Event, which will take place in San Francisco (at a great venue we've never used before). That also means that I'm on the lookout for a couple of final sponsors (i.e., the folks who pay the bar tab, so we can give the ticket money away to charity). If you have interest, please let me know via email.


Peloton Technology, a Mountain View, Calif.-based developer of vehicle safety systems, has raised $17 million in new VC funding co-led by DENSO International America and Intel Capital. Lockheed Martin also participated. Peloton previously raised more than $17 million from Nokia Growth Partners, Magna International, Castrol innoVentures, Volvo Group Venture Capital, UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, Birchmere Ventures, Sand Hill Angels and Band of Angels.


 Credo Semiconductor, a Milpitas, Calif.-based developer of mixed-signal semiconductor solutions, has raised over $8 million in Series A funding led by Walden International.

 Instabase, a San Francisco-based cloud platform for data, apps and interactive computing, has raised $3.75 million in seed funding from Greylock and New Enterprise Associates.

 Almalence Inc., an Austin, Texas-based computational imaging startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Intel Capital.


 The Carlyle Group has agreed to acquire Blyth Inc. (NYSE: BTH), a Greenwich, Conn.-based direct-to-consumer manufacturer and seller of candles and home fragrance products. The deal is valued at $98 million, or $6 per share (105% premium to Friday’s closing price, 65% premium to 30-day share average).

 Harvey Tool, a Rowley, Mass.-based portfolio company of The Riverside Company, has acquired Helical Solutions, a Gorham, Maine-based maker of end mills. No financial terms were disclosed.

 Landesk, a South Jordan, Utah-based systems lifecycle management company owned by Thoma Bravo, has acquired Xtraction Solutions, a Kansas City-based provider of business intelligence solutions for enterprise IT operations. No financial terms were disclosed.

 Madison Dearborn Partners has completed its $715 million acquisition of Patterson Medical, a Warrenville, Ill.-based distributor of rehabilitation and sports medicine products, from Patterson Companies Inc. (Nasdaq: PDCO).

 Magnate Worldwide, a partnership between CIVC Partners and Magnate Capital Partners, has acquired TrumpCard Inc., a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based provider of logistics services for “high-value and time-sensitive shipments.” No financial terms were disclosed.

 Trimb Healthcare AB, a Swedish portfolio company of Avista Capital Partners, has agreed to acquire YouMedical Group AB, a Dutch provider of OTC healthcare products that generates around 16 million in annual revenue. No financial terms were disclose.


 Cortendo, a Swedish drug company focused on rare endocrine disorders, has filed for an $86.25 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol SBBP, with BofA Merrill Lynch and Stifel serving as lead underwriters. The pre-revenue company is currently listed on the Norwegian Over-The-Counter System, and is backed by such shareholders as TVM Capital (12.5% pre-IPO stake), HealthCap (11.8%), RA Capital (10.8%) and New Enterprise Associates (8.5%).

 CytomX Therapeutics, a South San Francisco-based developer of cancer therapeutics, has filed for a $100 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol CTMX, with BofA Merrill Lynch, Jefferies and Cowen & Co. serving as lead underwriters. The company reports around a $12 million net loss on nearly $4 million in revenue for the first half of 2015. It has raised over $130 million in VC funding, including a $70 million Series D round this past June. Shareholders include Third Rock Ventures (30.8% pre-IPO stake), Canaan Partners (17.4%), Fidelity (8.7%), Roche (6.8%), Pfizer (5.7%), Casdin Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Deerfield Management, Perceptive Advisors, Redmile Group, Tekla Healthcare Investors, Tekla Life Sciences Investors, Venrock and Wellington Management Co.


 The Carlyle Group is seeking a buyer for Landmark Aviation, a Houston, Texas-based provider of fueling and ground support services to the general and commercial aviation markets, according to Reuters. A deal could be valued at upwards of $1.7 billion (including debt), based on a trailing EBITDA of around $170 million. Read more.

 LDC has sold its minority stake in Bifold Group, a UK-based oil and gas engineering firm, to Rotork PLC (LSE: ROR) for £125 million. LDC reports that the sale generated a 2.4x cash-on-cash return.


 Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it has increased its stake in oil company Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) from to 10.8% (currently valued at nearly $4.5 billion). Read more.

 JD Capital, a Chinese asset management firm, has agreed to acquire the Hong Kong life insurance business of Belgium’s Ageas for €1.23 billion. Read more.

 Novo Nordisk has agreed to acquire Calibrium LLC and MB2 LLC, a pair of privately-held U.S. developers of drug candidates for diabetes and related metabolic diseases. No financial terms were disclosed.


No firm or fund news this morning...


 Vineet Asthana has joined investment bank Berkery Noyes as a managing director in its telecom, media and tech (TMT) group. He previously was with Cyndx Advisors.

 HGGC, a private equity firm focused on the middle markets, has promoted Hudson Smith and Neil White to managing directors, and Frank Hussein and Steven Leistner to principals.

 Burt Zweigenhaft has joined BelHealth Investment Partners as an operating partner and board member of portfolio companies Linden Care and Apothecary by Design. He previously was founder, CEO and vice chairman of Onco360.

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