Greetings from Half Moon Bay, where it’s still so early that I can see the moon but not the bay. No column this morning, due to yesterday’s travel and a few other extenuating circumstances. Apologies. But I’ve blurbed a bunch of news, and this space’s random ramblings will return tomorrow…
THE BIG DEAL
• Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM), the Louisville, Ky.-based owner of fast-food brands like KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, said that it will spin its China unit off into a separate, publicly-traded company. Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Yidao Yongche, a Chinese ride-hailing startup, has raised $700 million in new funding from China’s LeTV at a $300 million pre-money valuation, according to TechCrunch. Read more.
• Humacyte, a Morrisville, N.C.-based developer of human tissue-based products for application in regenerative medicine and vascular surgery, has raised $150 million in Series B funding. Backers include Access Industries, Bangkok Bank Public Company Ltd., Brady Dougan, Pacific Eagle Asset Management, Reignwood Group and Gavril Yushvaev. The company said that a second Series B tranche is expected to occur following the achievement of a clinical milestone. www.humacyte.com
• Gritstone Oncology, a San Francisco-based developer of personalized cancer therapeutics, has raised $102 million in Series A funding. Versant Ventures and The Column Group co-led the round, and were joined by Clarus Ventures, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Redmile Group, Casdin Capital\ and Transformational Healthcare Opportunity. www.gritstoneoncology.com
• Illusive Networks, an Israeli cybersecurity startup focused on “deception technology,” has raised $22 million in Series B funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round, and was joined by return backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Marker LLC, Citi Ventures and Innovation Endeavors. www.illusivenetworks.com
• ZeroStack, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of self-service and scale-out private clouds, has raised $16 million in Series B funding co-led by Formation 8 and Foundation Capital. www.zerostack.com
• Stitch Labs, a San Francisco-based provider of multichannel selling and inventory control solutions, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Triangle Peak Partners. www.stitchlabs.com
• Zignal Labs, a San Francisco-based “realtime cross media analytics company,” has raised $15 million in VC funding. Backers include Andy Ballard (Figtree Partners), Mitch Cohen (Ross Investment Advisors) and company founder and chairman Jim Hornthal. www.zignallabs.com
• Attune Technologies,, an Indian developer of cloud software for hospitals and medical labs, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Qualcomm Ventures led the round, and was joined by Norwest Venture Partners. www.attunelive.com
• Vittamed Corp., a Boston-based developer of a non-invasive intracranial pressure monitor, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Xeraya Capital led the round via a special purpose vehicle, and was joined by return backer Imprimatur Capital. www.vittamed.com
• Citus Data, a San Francisco-based real-time big data company that leverages PostgreSQL, has raised $9.5 million in Series A funding. Khosla Ventures led the round, and was joined by Data Collective and Vaizra Investments. www.citusdata.com
• Cielo24 Inc., a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based provider of online searchable captioning and media data, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. ff Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by North Base Media, Pereg Ventures,Indicator Ventures and Wavemaker Partners. www.cielo24.com
• Redox, a Madison, Wis.-based integration platform that lets software systems share data with electronic health records, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding. 406 Ventures led the round, and was joined by Flybridge Capital Partners and HealthX Ventures. www.redoxengine.com
• Sweeten, a New York City-based platform for matching homeowners with renovation project experts, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding led by Navitas Capital. www.sweeten.com
• ROOY, a San Francisco-based shoe design platform, has raised $3.4 million in seed funding. Formation 8 led the round, and was joined by Korea Investment Partners. www.rooy.com
• Frontline Aerospace, a Broomfield, Colo.-based developer of gas turbine engine efficiency technologies, has raised $2 million in new VC funding from undisclosed investors. www.frontlineaerospace.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• BV Capital has acquired a majority stake in GeoLogic Systems Ltd., a Calgary-based provider of data and software solutions to North American oil and gas E&P companies, from company founders Joe and Denise Harris. GeoLogic president and CEO David Hood will retain his entire ownership interest. www.geologic.com
• Carr Management Inc., a Nashua, N.H.-based bottle supplier to the dairy, food and beverage industries, has acquired Hillside Plastics Inc., a Turners Falls, Mass.-based maker of blow-molded containers. No financial terms were disclosed. Carr Management is a portfolio company of Behrman Capital. www.hillsideplastics.com
• Clavis Insight, an Ireland-based provider of e-commerce store analytics for consumer goods companies, has raised $20 million in growth equity funding from Accel-KKR. www.clavisinsight.com
• Crescent Capital has agreed to acquire Australian engineering group Cardno (ASX: CDD), after Crescent raised its bid from A$3.15 per share to A$3.45 per share and dropped several conditions. Read more.
• Exponent Private Equity and Electra Partners have agreed to acquire PhotoBox, a London-based online provider of digital photo services, for around £400 million. PhotoBox had raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding from Insight Venture Partners, Greenspring Associates, Highland Capital Partners, Index Ventures, Quilvest Private Equity and HarbourVest Partners. www.photobox.co.uk
• Gypsum Technologies Inc., an Ontario-based provider of machinery and systems for the wallboard industry, has secured an undisclosed amount of growth equity funding from Wynnchurch Capital. www.gypsumtechnologies.com
• High Ridge Brands, a Stamford, Conn.-based portfolio company of Brynwood Partners, has acquired Continental Fragrances, an Auburn Hills, Mich.-based maker of hair care products under such brands as Salon Grafix. No financial terms were disclosed. www.highridgebrands.com
• Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits Inc., a San Diego-based craft brewer and distiller, has filed for a $172.5 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol PINT, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley serving as lead underwriters. The company reports $9 million of net income on nearly $54 million in revenue for the first half of 2015, compared to $2 million of net income on nearly $21 million in revenue during the year-earlier period. Read more.
• Merus BV, a Dutch immuno-oncology company focused on bispecific antibody therapeutics, has filed for a $60 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MRUS, with Citigroup and Jefferies serving as lead underwriters. The company has raised over $170 million in VC funding from firms like Novartis Bioventures (13.7% pre-IPO stake), Bay City Capital (13.7%), Aglaia Oncology Fund (11%), Johnson & Johnson (10.6%), Pfizer Inc. (9.1%), Sofinnova Venture Partners (8.2%), Novo AS (7.8%), Baker Brothers Life Sciences (7.2%) and Coöperatief LSP (6.8%). www.merus.nl
• MyoKardia Inc., a South San Francisco-based provider of therapies for genetic heart disease, set its IPO terms to around 4.69 million shares at between $15 and $17 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $408 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MYOK, with Credit Suisse and Cowen & Co. serving as lead underwriters. MyoKardia reports a $12.2 million net loss on $7.1 million in collaboration and license revenue for the first half of 2015. It has raised over $90 million in VC funding, from firms like Third Rock Ventures (52.67% pre-IPO stake), Fidelity (13.19%), Aventis Inc. (11.22%), Casdin Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Perceptive Life Sciences and BioBridge. www.myokardia.com
• Warburg Pincus has agreed to sell Electronic Funds Source LLC, an Ogden, Utah-based corporate payments company, to Wex Inc. (NYSE: WEX) for approximately $1.4 billion in cash and stock (making Warburg Pincus the largest Wex shareholder). Read more.
• Microsemi Corp. (Nasdaq: MSCC) has offered to acquire rival chipmaker PMC-Sierra Inc. (Nasdaq: PMSCS) for around $2.4 billion in cash and stock. This comes shortly after PMC-Sierra agreed to be acquired for $2 billion in cash by Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq: SWKS). Read more.
• Teliasonera AB is once again trying to sell Spanish mobile-phone unit Yoigo SA, according to Bloomberg. The deal could be worth around €500 million, with private equity firms and Spanish telecom company Masmovil Ibercom SA expected to have interest. Teliasonera pulled a similar sale two years ago after failing to secure high enough offers. Read more.
• Valeant Pharmaceuticals (TSX: VRX) said that it will explore selling or spinning off its neurological drug unit, which has been criticized for price increases. Read more.
• Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq: WDC) is in “advanced talks” to acquire SanDisk Corp. (Nasdaq: SNDK), according to Bloomberg. The deal could be for between $80 and $90 per share, compared to SanDisk’s $72 per share closing price yesterday. At the high end, that would represent an equity value of $18.4 billion. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• Axxon Group, a private equity firm focused on the small and mid-cap market in Brazil, has closed its third fund with $400 million in capital commitments. www.axxongroup.com.br
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• David Dyckman, a former senior executive with American Tire Distributors, has joined Greenbriar Equity Group as an advisory director. www.greenbriarequity.com
• Geoffrey Levin has joined Sidley Austin LLP as a New York-based partner in the law firm’s private equity practice. He previously was with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. www.sidley.com
• Scot Melland, former chairman and CEO of DHI Group Inc. (NYSE: DHX), has joined Warburg Pincus as an industry advisor in firm’s the tech, media and telecom group. www.warburgpincus.com
• Conrad Wang has joined HealthCare Royalty Partners as a principal. He previously was senior director of corporate development at Medtronic and, before that, was with Three Arch Partners. www.healthcareroyalty.com
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