Some notes before I hop a plane out of Vegas and back to Boston…
• Brand building: Catterton Partners, a Conneticut-based private equity firm focused on consumer brands, yesterday announced a tie-up with luxury product maker LVMH and major LVMH shareholder Groupe Arnault. The result will be that Catterton and L Capital Partners — an LVMH-affiliated private equity firm — will merge into a single entity called L Catterton, which will be 60% owned by the partners of L Catterton and 40% by LVMH and Groupe Arnault. Catterton managing partners Michael Chu and Scott Dahnke will serve as co-CEOs of the new firm, with Chu focusing on Europe and Asia, and Dahnke overseeing U.S. operations.
Dahnke tells me that LVMH has been a limited partner in Catterton funds since 1998, and also serves on some of its LP advisory boards. He says the relationship “evolved organically,” particularly as Catterton told LPs that it planned to expand into Europe and Asia during its next fund cycle (it already is active in Latin America with a dedicated fund). Europe and Asia are where L Capital is most active, so Catterton felt it made more sense to partner with existing teams on the ground than build their own from scratch.
Dahnke could not talk fundraising, natch, except to say that there will not be a global L Catterton fund. Instead, it plans to raise several geographically-focused vehicles (plus continue L Capital’s real estate strategy).
It also is worth noting that the deal does not give LVMH any preferential rights to L Catterton companies, nor does it allow the company to block transactions. Instead, it will remain a standard 2/20 limited partner in the funds.
• Details, details: Yesterday’s ‘Big Deal’ was that Affiliated Managers Group had agreed to acquire a minority stake in Baring Private Equity Asia, but no deal specifics were disclosed.
A reader subsequently sent over a memo sent earlier that morning to BPEA limited partners, which contained two pieces of pertinent information: (1) AMG will acquire a “15% passive minority interest” in BPEA, with firm management to retain the other 85%. (2) Jean Eric Salata has entered into a 10-year employment agreement to remain CEO of BPEA and chairman of its investment committee. Read more here.
• Table talk: Three quick notes from last night’s Fortune Brainstorm Tech dinner, here in Las Vegas:
(1) When NBA chief marketing officer Pam El talked about how global fans can now watch games via mobile devices, Fortune’s Andrew Nusca noted how he can now follow his Philly 76ers (owned by private equity bigs, btw) anywhere in the world. El tried (but failed) to stifle a laugh.
(2) Ford CEO Mark Fields was asked about Donald Trump’s criticism of the Detroit automaker. Fields replied: “It’s really unfortunate when facts get muddled in the fog of politics.” He added that he sent Trump a note recently, detailing how many people Ford employs in the U.S. and how much money it spends in the country. Trump apparently replied with a note of his own, saying that he’s “a big customer.”
(3) Fields also seemed to brush off the importance of the GM/Lyft partnership, but did say that Ford is aiming to build fully-autonomous cars that never need driver control. He added that his assumption is that Apple will try to build a car.
• Today in Theranos: The company’s spokeswoman responded late yesterday, saying: “We now have an advisory board, which consists of Mr. Kovacovich and a governance board, but it’s just in title, they are still considered part of the board.” Ummm… okay.
• Deal data: 2015 was the busiest year on record for global M&A, according to year-end data released by Thomson Reuters. $4.7 trillion overall, of which a whopping 41% came via deals valued at$ $10 billion or more. U.S. targets made up $2.3 trillion of the total (up 64% over 2014), while Asia Pacific was $1.1 trillion. Around 14.9% of the global M&A total included financial sponsors — an increase in PE deal activity, but a drop in its percentage of the whole.
THE BIG DEAL
• NuVasive (Nasdaq: NUVA) has agreed to pay $380 million in cash to acquire Ellipse Technologies, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based developer of devices for orthopedic implant systems. The deal also includes $30 million in additional earn-outs. Ellipse recently filed for an IPO, and said that its shareholders include HBM Healthcare Investors (29.9% stake), Wexford Capital (18%) and HBM-MedFocus (12.9%). Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Petra Pharma Corp., a New York-based cancer and metabolic therapeutics startup launched by Accelerator Corp., has raised $48 million in Series A funding. Backers include AbbVie, Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, Eli Lilly and Company, Harris & Harris Group, Inc., Innovate NY Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, The Partnership Fund for New York City, Pfizer, Watson Fund and WuXi PharmaTech. Read more.
• Toast, a Boston-based maker of a restaurant point-of-sale tech platform, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by Google Ventures. Read more.
• JW Player, a New York-based digital and mobile video platform and player company, has raised $20 million in Series D funding. Return backers include Greycroft Growth, Greenspring Associates, Cueball Capital and e.ventures. www.jwplayer.com
• RapidMiner, a Cambridge, Mass.-based open-source predictive analytics platform, has raised $16 million in new VC funding. NGP led the round, and was joined by return backers Ascent Venture Partners, Earlybird Venture Capital, Longworth Venture Partners and Open Ocean Capital. www.rapidminer.com
• Xfers, a Singapore-based startup focused on simplifying bank transfers, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from firms like 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures, Lazena Investment, GMO Venture Partners, Partech Ventures and Convergence Ventures. Read more.
• Entac Medical Inc., a Memphis, Tenn.-based developer of noninvasive devices for the prediction and diagnosis of gastrointestinal and other medical conditions, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by Innova Memphis. www.entacmedical.com
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, a Norcross, Ga.-based portfolio company of Soundcore Capital Partners, has acquired a trio of AWRS franchises (in Atlanta, Baltimore and Indianapolis). No financial terms were disclosed, except that the three franchises generate combined annual revenue of around $9 million. www.awrswheelrepair.com
• Altamont Capital Partners has acquired a majority equity stake in Access Insurance, an Atlanta-based insurance managing general agency focused on the non-standard auto market. www.altamontcapital.com
• Career Step, a Provo, Utah-based provider of career-focused education and corporate training, has acquired Code3 CME, a provider of EMT, paramedic and critical care transport training. No financial terms were disclosed. Career Step is a portfolio company of Revelstoke Capital Partners. www.careerstep.com
• The Carlyle Group and Revolution Growth have acquired LDiscovery LLC, a McLean, Va.-based provider of e-discovery services. No financial terms were disclosed. Sellers include WestView Capital Partners. www.ldiscovery.com
• Circuit Check Holdings Inc., a Maple Grove, Minn.-based maker of test equipment for electronics and electro-mechanical devices, has secured an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from North Branch Capital.
• DuPage Medical Group, an independent multi-specialty physician group with more than 60 locations in the Chicago area, has secured a $250 million equity and debt investment led by Summit Partners. www.dupagemedicalgroup.com
• HR Outsourcing Holdings Inc., a Springfield, Mo.-based outsourced HR services provider, has acquired Fortune Financial Inc., a Tampa, Fla.-based professional employer organization. No financial terms were disclosed. HROI is a portfolio company of Clarion Capital Partners. www.hrollc.com
• Najafi Companies has acquired Author Solutions, the self-publishing unit of Penguin Random House. No financial terms were disclosed. www.penguinrandomhouse.com
• Pharos Capital Group has acquired a control stake in Dermatology and MedSpa Inc. (fka The Dermatology Center), a provider of dermatology and medspa services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. areas. No financial terms were disclosed. www.pharosfunds.com
• Sonoma Brands, a new health, wellness and food brand platform launched by Jon Sebastiaini (founder of Krave Jerkey, which was acquired last year by Hershey Co.), has secured an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from VMG Partners. www.sonomabrands.co
• Tideland Signal Corp., a Houston, Texas-based portfolio company of Rock Hill Capital Group, has acquired IMT BV Group of Companies, a Dutch developer of lighting, navigation and signalization products and systems. No financial terms were disclosed. www.tidelandsignal.com
• Turning Point, a New Haven, Conn.-based addiction and co-occurring mental health treatment program, has secured an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from North Castle Partners. www.tpaddictiontreatment.com
• University Furnishings LLC, a Farmers Branch, Texas-based provider of unit furnishings and logistics services for off-campus student housing, has secured an undisclosed amount of minority private equity funding from TZP Capital Partners. www.universityfurnishings.net
• 21st Century Oncology, a Fort Myers, Fla.-based provider of radiation therapy and other services to cancer patients in the United States and Latin America, withdrawn registration for an IPO. This comes shortly after The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreed to invest $325 million into the company, which remains majority-owned by Vestar Capital Partners. www.rtsx.com
• Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Milford, Mass.-based developer of drugs based on a proprietary small molecule nucleic acid hybrid, has filed for a $57.5 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol SBPH, with William Blair listed as left lead underwriter. www.springbankpharm.com
• Visterra Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of drugs for infectious diseases like seasonal and pandemic influenza, has filed for a $69 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol VIST, with Leerink Partners listed as left lead underwriter. Shareholders include Polaris Partners (25% pre-IPO stake), Flagship Ventures (21.9%), Merck Research Labs (12.3%), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (8.4%), Omega Funds and Alexandria Venture Investments. www.visterrainc.com
• Highlander Partners has sold its 50% stake in MEDI-system, a Poland-based dependency care provider, to Paris-listed ORPEA Société Anonyme (which also purchased another 40% stake from the company’s founder, who retains a 10% position). No financial terms were disclosed, except that MEDI-system generates around €10 million in annual net income. www.orpea-corp.com
• Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) has agreed to acquire AddThis, a McLean, Va.-based provider of publisher personalization, audience insight and activation. No financial terms were disclosed. No financial terms were disclosed. AddThis had raised around $73 million in VC funding, from firms like Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Amidzad Partners, Revolution Growth, NEA, Institutional Venture Partners, Rho Capital Partners, QED Investors, Signatures Capital, CNF Investments and ZG Ventures. www.oracle.com
• 21st Century Fox (Nasdaq: FOXA) has agreed to acquire a minority equity stake in Osterhout Design Group, a San Francisco-based smart-glass designer and manufacturer. No financial terms were disclosed. www.osterhoutgroup.com
• Bloc, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based online coding school, has acquired DevBridge. A stealthy career services startup. No financial terms were disclosed. Bloc shareholders include Baseline Ventures, First Round Capital, Harrison Metal Capital, Learn Capital and Shasta Ventures. www.bloc.io
• Cloudability, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of cloud cost management solutions, has acquired DataHero, a San Francisco-based provider of self-service cloud business intelligence solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Cloudability has raised over $15 million in VC funding from firms like Trinity Ventures and Walden Venture Capital. www.cloudability.com
• Dalian Wanda Group said that it will invest around $2.3 billion to build three hospitals in China, in partnership with UK-based International Hospitals Group. Read more.
• Orange said that it is in talks to acquire rival French telecom carrier Bouygues Telecom. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• AccelMed, an Israeli private investment firm focused on healthcare, is raising upwards of $300 million for a new growth equity fund, according to a regulatory filing. It already has secured $110 million. www.accelmed.co.il
• Coller Capital has closed its seventh private equity secondaries fund with $7.15 billion in capital commitments. www.collercapital.com
• PAG, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm, has closed its second Asia-focused buyout fund with $3.6 billion in capital commitments. Read more.
Moving In, On & Up
• Eric Aguiar has joined healthcare-focused VC firm Aisling Capital as a partner. He previously was a partner with Thomas, McNerney & Partners and, before that, was a managing director with HealthCare Ventures. www.aislingcapital.com
• Eric Albert has joined Quebec-based private equity firm XPND Capital as a vice president of investments. He previously was an executive VP with Stingray Digital Group Inc. www.xpnd.com
• Balderton Capital, a European VC firm, has promoted Rob Moffat and James Wise to partners. www.balderton.com
• Catalyst Investors has made three promotions: Susan Bihler to principal, Patty Xu to finance director and Isaac Schlecht to senior research/business analyst. www.catalyst.com
• Hugh Mumford has retired as managing partner with UK-based private equity firm Electra Partners, after 34 years with the firm. He will remain chairman of the firm’s investment committee. Alex Fortescue will now serve as managing partner, while Bill Priestley will succeed Fortescue as chief investment partner. www.electrapartners.com
• Onex Corp. has promoted Todd Clegg to managing director. He joined the firm in 2005, and has worked on such investments as York Risk Services Group, USI Insurance Services, Tomkins, Carestream Health and The Warranty Group. www.onex.com
• VMG Partners has promoted Wayne Wu to managing director. He joined the firm in 2008, and currently services on the boards of VMG portfolio companies Babyganics, Justin’s and Perfect Bar. www.vmgpartners.com
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