Allstate to acquire SquareTrade for about $1.4 bln

The Allstate Corp has agreed to buy San Francisco and London-based SquareTrade, a consumer protection plan provider, for about $1.4 billion. The sellers included Bain Capital Private Equity and Bain Capital Ventures. The deal is expected to close in January 2017. Ardea Partners, Lazard and Willkie Farr & Gallagher advised Allstate in the transaction while Financial Technology Partners and Ropes & Gray advised SquareTrade. PRESS RELEASE NORTHBROOK, Ill., Nov. 28, 2016 – The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) has agreed to acquire SquareTrade, a rapidly growing consumer protection plan provider that distributes through many of America’s major retailers. The privately held company will be purchased for approximately $1.4 billion from a group of shareholders, including Bain Capital Private Equity and Bain Capital Ventures, in a transaction expected to close in January 2017. “Allstate’s consumer-focused strategy of providing unique products will be further enhanced with the acquisition of
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Market Recap Aug 4, 2015

Listless trading continued as a plunge in Apple (AAPL) after it fell below its 200 day moving average caught most people's focus. Some comments out of a Fed member also caused some consternation but losses were mild as the S&P 500 fell 0.22% and the NASDAQ 0.19%.
The major averages briefly extended losses after Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, a voting member, told the Wall...<br/>

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Alizé Pharma III collects $1.94 mln

Alizé Pharma III SAS, a developer of biopharmaceutical products that treat metabolic disorders and rare diseases, has raised $1.94 million in funding. The investors included Sofimac Partners via their FCPI Emergence Innovation 1 seed capital fund, Octalfa, Sham Innovation Santé, Rhône-Alpes Création, Crédit Agricole Création, CEMA and TAB Consulting. PRESS RELEASE Lyon, France, March 17, 2015 – Alizé Pharma III SAS, an Alizé Pharma company specialized in the development of biopharmaceutical products to treat metabolic disorders and rare diseases, today announces that it has raised €1.8 million (USD $1.94 million) in a first financing round. The funding round was supported by a syndicate of investors that included Sofimac Partners via their FCPI Emergence Innovation 1 seed capital fund, Octalfa, Sham Innovation Santé, Rhône-Alpes Création, Crédit Agricole Création, CEMA and TAB Consulting. Alizé Pharma III will use the funds to conduct a pharmacology and lead optimization program on a family of peptides with anabolic effects on the bone. The I-HBD1 program will be performed in collaboration with Alizé Pharma III’s US partner New Paradigm Therapeutics Inc., a spin-off from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill founded by Dr. David Clemmons. The aim of the program is to select a drug candidate that will enter development for the treatment of osteoporosis and other diseases with impaired bone metabolism in 2016. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, over 200 million patients worldwide live with osteoporosis and the disease causes almost 9 million fractures each year. The global market for osteoporosis drugs was estimated at over $8.3 billion in 2014, with significant growth expected in the coming years.
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Allstate Investments expands team with a hire and a promotion

Allstate Investments has hired Russell K. Mayerfeld as a senior managing director and promoted Peter Keehn to managing director of private equity investing. Mayerfeld is the former managing director of investment banking at UBS and its predecessors while Keehn first joined Allstate in 2003 a director to head the company’s then $450 million alternative assets portfolio. PRESS RELEASE NORTHBROOK, Ill., Oct. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) has expanded its senior leadership team in investments. Russell K. Mayerfeld has joined Allstate as a senior managing director, reporting to Judith P. Greffin, chief investment officer. Peter Keehn, CFA, has been promoted to managing director, private equity investing, reporting to Mayerfeld. “We expect to capture additional higher-returning investment opportunities by leveraging Russ’ leadership, broad expertise and extensive experience,” Greffin said. “We have an excellent track record, and our team is in a strong position to increase the breadth and size of Allstate’s portfolio in these asset classes.”
Russ Mayerfeld Mayerfeld oversees approximately $10 billion of Allstate’s investments, including private equity, infrastructure and real assets, real estate and commercial mortgage loans. Throughout his career, he has worked extensively with insurance companies and other financial institutions. Recently, Mayerfeld served as an independent consultant to private equity funds and corporations and as a board member for private and public companies. Mayerfeld was managing director, investment banking of UBS LLC and its predecessors from 1997 to 2003, and managing director, investment banking of Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. from 1988 to 1997. He holds an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois. “I am delighted to join Allstate Investments,” Mayerfeld said. “I look forward to building on the success of the team to position Allstate as an even more dynamic investor in this evolving sector. We will leverage the skills and experience of our alternative investment professionals, as well as the breadth and scale of the Allstate enterprise, to source attractive opportunities. With our size, flexibility and creativity, we will continue to help our portfolio companies achieve their objectives.”
Allstate will expand its alternative investment portfolio over the next several years, with much of the growth coming from direct investments. “Allstate will continue to be a fund investor while leveraging its relationships to generate additional direct investments. Ultimately, this dual approach is designed to produce more favorable risk-adjusted returns for the benefit of Allstate’s shareholders and policyholders,” Mayerfeld said. Peter Keehn
Keehn will continue to lead Allstate’s global private equity investing group, which includes the infrastructure and real assets team, managing a portfolio of approximately $3 billion. Recently, he shifted the focus of Allstate’s private equity activities to include more direct investing and co-investments. In 2007, Keehn established Allstate’s London office to enhance the firm’s global perspective and gain greater access to investment opportunities around the world. He joined Allstate in 2003 as a director to head the company’s then $450 million alternative assets portfolio. Earlier in his career, he was a principal at Waud Capital Partners and a director at Northwestern Investment Management Co. Keehn has an MBA from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University. He is a chartered financial analyst. Keehn serves on several private equity advisory boards and has been a director of numerous private companies and nonprofit organizations. “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to continue expanding Allstate’s private equity investments and further developing the expertise of our portfolio team,” Keehn said. “We see strong opportunities throughout the world in this asset class. It’s an important component in the proactive management of Allstate’s portfolio to achieve attractive returns for the benefit of our policyholders and shareholders.” The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life’s uncertainties through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate Financial business segment. Allstate is widely known through the slogan “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®.” The Allstate brand’s network of small businesses offers auto, home, life and retirement products and services to customers in the United States and Canada. In 2013, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners gave $29 million to support local communities. Allstate employees and agency owners donated 200,000 hours of service across the country.

Element Partners invests in Calgarys’ Detechtion Technologies

Calgary-based Detechtion Technologies, a specialist in performance optimization and fleet management technology for natural gas compression fleets, has secured an undisclosed strategic investment from U.S. growth equity firm Element Partners, which is focused on opportunities in energy, environmental and industrial sectors. Concurrent with the deal, Detechtion announced the appointment of Chris Smith, the former CEO of Cygnet Software, as the company’s new president and CEO, and Gerry Conroy, as senior vice president of products and portfolio. Company founder Brian Taylor, previously president and CEO, will become chairman of the board of directors.

PRESS RELEASE

Detechtion Technologies Announces Strategic Investment From Element Partners

CALGARY, Alberta and HOUSTON, Nov. 21, 2013 /CNW/ – Detechtion Technologies today announced a significant investment from Element Partners, a growth equity fund focused on energy and industrial technology companies.

Detechtion Technologies is the world’s leading provider of performance optimization and fleet management technology for natural gas compression fleets. Detechtion’s flagship product, Enalysis™, provides software-based optimization and fleet monitoring services for approximately 20% of the active compression horsepower in North America and manages assets for fifteen of the top twenty-five natural gas producers on the continent. Detechtion has historically provided customers with over five times return on investment. These results are achieved through a unique value proposition of increasing natural gas throughput while simultaneously reducing fuel and maintenance costs, improving equipment uptime and reliability, and assuring environmental compliance.

Concurrent with the investment, the company is also announcing the addition of two experienced industry executives to the senior management team. Chris Smith joins as the company’s President and CEO and Gerry Conroy joins the company in the newly created role of Senior Vice President of Products and Portfolio. Company founder Brian Taylor, previously President and CEO, will become Chairman of the Board of Directors and will continue as a significant investor in the company. Andrew Miles will continue to lead the Company’s operations as Senior Vice President of Operations.

Chris Smith was formerly CEO of Cygnet Software, a software company focused on natural gas SCADA products and services. Cygnet produced strong organic growth during Chris’ leadership, prior to a strategic exit in 2011 to Weatherford International. Chris brings to Detechtion over 20 years of high-level enterprise software, services and international manufacturing experience. Chris commented on joining the company “I am delighted to be joining a proven operations leader in Detechtion Technologies. I look forward to working with our strong customer base and valuable employees to bring improved efficiency and operational excellence to field compression and fleet management.” Gerry Conroy was most recently VP of Global Products at P2 Energy Solutions, and helped grow the business to be one of the largest independent software companies focused on oil and gas. Prior to this, Gerry’s experience included roles leading corporate development efforts, as well as operational, finance, and technology roles at Conoco, Halliburton, Western Gas Resources, and Snyder Oil.

Brian Taylor commented on the transaction, “Our team has built a tremendous company over the past 15 years. We have achieved this by setting high standards for technical competence, product innovation and customer service. We are excited to team up with partners that share those values — Chris, Gerry, and the Element team will help develop Detechtion through the next stage in its evolution.”

Michael DeRosa, Managing Director with Element Partners, added, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Detechtion Technologies. We have enjoyed getting to know Brian and the Detechtion team over the past few years and have been impressed with their record of providing algorithm-based recommendations and fleet management technology to the oil and gas industry. We firmly believe that Detechtion has significant growth potential through broadening its product offering and expanding further into the US market. We look forward to working with Brian, Chris, Gerry and the Detechtion team to build on the company’s momentum.”

About Detechtion Technologies
Detechtion Technologies is the world leader in compression optimization technologies and fleet management services. Currently, Detechtion provides monitoring and optimization services for approximately 20% of active compression horsepower in North America, including client relationships with 15 of the top 25 North American independent gas producers. Through its compression training segment, Detechtion has trained over 9000 operators, mechanics, foremen, superintendents, and engineers, providing them the knowledge and tools to deliver higher levels of compressor performance and profitability to the bottom line.

About Element Partners
Element Partners is a leading growth equity firm investing in high-growth companies offering innovative products and services to the global energy, industrial, and environmental markets. Element has a long history of providing companies with the financial resources, industry contacts, and strategic insights necessary to maximize growth and shareholder return. With 125 combined years of experience, the team has successfully managed over $1.25 billion in capital commitments spanning six investment partnerships.

SOURCE Detechtion Technologies

For further information:
Gerry Conroy, gconroy@detechtion.com, Phone: (303) 578-0851

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

AIMCo joins US$7 mln Series A financing of retail software company Index

San Francisco, Calif.-based Index, a provider of retail software that brings the personalization and measurement of online commerce to the offline world, has raised US$7 million in a Series A funding round. The deal was led by  U.S. venture capital firms Innovation EndeavorsKhosla Ventures and 819 Capital, and Canadian pension fund manager Alberta Investment Management Corp. Index was founded by former Google Wallet executives Marc Freed-Finnegan and Jonathan Wall.

PRESS RELEASE

Index Raises 7MM Series A from Eric Schmidt, Vinod Khosla to Revolutionize In-Store Customer Engagement

Company Launches In-Store Solution and Attracts Top Retail Advisors from Whole Foods, Jamba Juice, J.Crew and Williams-Sonoma

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Index, a retail software company that brings the personalization and measurement of online commerce to the offline world, announced today that it has secured $7.0 million in a Series A round led by Innovation Endeavors, Khosla Ventures, AIMCo and 819 Capital.

Founded by former Google Wallet executives Marc Freed-Finnegan and Jonathan Wall, Index helps top retailers recognize their customers across channels to deliver personalization that builds loyalty and strengthens customer relationships. The company is setting its sights on helping traditional brick-and-mortar retailers reconcile customer experiences across channels and realize the tremendous potential of digital and mobile. Index is now live in stores in San Francisco.

“When customers opt to share their preferences, it’s critical that retailers remember those preferences and going forward, personalize their experience across every channel,” says Freed-Finnegan, Co-founder and CEO. “Not surprisingly, customers who are recognized and rewarded by retailers are more loyal, but for many retailers, it’s a challenge to tailor communication to individual customers.”

Index’s software-only solution ties directly into a retailer’s point-of-sale and provides a real-time connection that links in-store, online, mobile, and social engagement to provide a unified experience. For customers who opt-in, retailers can deliver personalized service — much like what consumers expect when they log in online. It’s seamless for customers and the sales staff within stores.

At its core, Index helps brick-and-mortar retailers once again leverage their physical stores as a competitive differentiator. According to Co-founder and CTO Jonathan Wall, “By helping retailers to put customer preferences front and center with integrated loyalty and promotion programs, Index enables retailers to deliver an outstanding, personalized experience for each customer.”

Investor Vinod Khosla adds, “Index gives brick-and-mortar retailers an Amazon-like toolbox for managing customer data and relationships. It’s the exact solution sophisticated retailers need to stay competitive and this is the perfect team to deliver it.”

“The Index team is uniquely positioned to help retailers measure and improve their marketing impact,” says Eric Schmidt, Founding Partner at Innovation Endeavors. “Google Wallet was an early beneficiary of the founders’ technical know-how and critical execution skills. Now other retailers can benefit, too.”

To tackle the challenge and develop its solution, Index has attracted top technical and retail talent. The product development team brings together technical leadership from Google’s big data efforts and business leadership that partnered with retailers at Apple, ran loyalty solutions for Kroger, Macy’s and Tesco at dunnhumby, and developed pricing analytics at Oracle. Beyond the core team, Index’s advisors have served in C-level roles at leading retailers including Whole Foods, Jamba Juice, Burger King, J.Crew and Williams-Sonoma.

The San Francisco-based company says it will apply its Series A funding to supporting the company’s continued rollout with retailers and the growth of its team.

About Index
San Francisco-based Index provides retailers with software that brings the personalization and measurement of online commerce to the off-line world. Index provides the backbone that powers lifelong customer relationships by delivering unified insight on a customer level. Index helps retailers to meet and greet customers in the channels where they engage, and harness the potential of mobile to elevate and expand these relationships. For more information visit www.index.com and follow @index.
SOURCE Index

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

GenNx360 Capital Partners buys farming equipment manufacturer Salford

U.S. private equity firm GenNx360 Capital Partners has acquired Salford Farm Machinery Ltd. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction. Based in Salford, Ontario, Salford is a manufacturer of tillage, seeding and fertilizing equipment. Update: The company’s partnership with GenNx360 will focus on leveraging Salford’s operational expertise and executing on identified growth opportunities, both organically and through add-on acquisitions.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — GenNx360 Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in middle market industrial business-to-business companies, has acquired Salford Farm Machinery Ltd. (“Salford”) for an undisclosed amount.
Salford is a Canada based leading manufacturer of tillage, seeding and fertilizing equipment for the global marketplace. Salford currently serves the North American and European markets from its facilities in Ontario, Canada, Iowa in the U.S., and through a joint venture in Omsk, Russia. The Company sells through more than 300 dealers and distributors in North America.

With a 30+ year operating history, the Company’s brand has become synonymous with its reputation for innovation and superior product performance. Durable and highly engineered, Salford’s patented tillage products offer the highest performance in all conditions, leading to increased farmer profitability. Salford’s R&D team has driven continuous innovation in product development over the years, with the latest ‘Independent Series’ tillage products continuing to exceed farmer expectations.

“At GenNx360, we strongly believe in the megatrends that drive agribusiness. Tillage equipment manufacturers stand to benefit from the need for higher farm productivity and crop yields,” says Matt Guenther, a Partner with GenNx360. “We believe Salford, with its strong brand, patented technology and established dealer network, is well positioned to benefit from the growth in the tillage market. We expect to build on Salford’s strengths by leveraging our operational expertise and executing on identified growth opportunities, both organically and through add-on acquisitions.”

“We are excited to partner with GenNx360 in our next stage of growth,” said Geof Gray, Salford’s President. “We are certain that GenNx360′s value creation tools and the operational capabilities of its partners will help us in getting to our goals faster and more efficiently.”

About GenNx360 Capital Partners
GenNx360 Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in industrial business-to-business companies in the middle market. It applies years of Fortune 50 operational and leadership experience to these investments to help drive growth and value creation. The firm primarily focuses on opportunities in the industrial machinery and components, oil and gas, transportation and logistics, agricultural, specialty chemicals, and aerospace sectors. GenNx360 was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in New York City, with additional offices in Seattle and Boston.

For more information about GenNx360, please visit: www.gennx360.com.

About Salford
Salford, founded in 1978, is one of North America’s leading manufacturers of non-powered farm implements, including primary tillage, secondary tillage, seeding and fertilizing equipment. With over 180,000 square feet of manufacturing footprint across North America and Russia, Salford has the capability to design, manufacture and assemble farm equipment. The Company tailors its products to operate in diverse regional conditions. Salford’s ‘Independent Series’ range of secondary tillage products is well known for its superior product design and performance.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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VC-backed Boku buys India-based Qubecell

Boku said Thursday that it has acquired Qubecell. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in India, Qubecell is a provider of direct carrier billing. Boku, which is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures and NEA, is a carrier billing and cross-platform mobile payment company.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Boku, Inc., the global leader in carrier billing and cross-platform mobile payments, today announced the acquisition of India’s leader in direct carrier billing, Qubecell. The acquisition of Qubecell provides Boku with direct carrier billing connections with four of the largest carrier networks in India along with a number of key local merchant relationships. This enables Boku’s carrier billing technology to reach more than 75% of the country’s mobile subscribers, roughly 550 million users. The acquisition also makes Boku the largest provider of direct carrier billing in India, and greatly expands Boku’s footprint in Asia and the Middle East.
“India is a tremendously important market for direct carrier billing. What Qubecell has built and the market leadership position they’ve acquired in such a short period of time is extremely impressive,” said Jon Prideaux, Chief Business Officer for Boku. “This acquisition is truly the joining of a market leader with a global leader to benefit customers and merchants throughout the region. Our plan is to leverage the resources built by Qubecell to create a regional hub for our company’s global operation that will provide support for our merchant and carrier customers across Asia, the Middle East, and Australia while helping to continue our expansion into the emerging markets.”
The acquisition provides Boku merchant partners with direct access to the large and growing market of online consumers in India. The agreement includes the purchase of all shares in Qubecell. All of Qubecell’s employees will be joining the existing Boku organization with the Founder & CEO of Qubecell, Ranjan R. Reddy, joining as part of the leadership team in Asia.
“Boku is a company we’ve long admired at Qubecell and there is no greater compliment that can be given to our team than to be asked to join the global leader in carrier billing,” said Ranjan R. Reddy, CEO of Qubecell. “We have poured everything into building India’s first pure-play carrier billing provider and look forward to continuing our commitment to expanding mobile payments in India and the surrounding regions under the banner of Boku.”
About Boku
Boku, the leading operator billing and cross-platform mobile payments company, brings bank-grade payments technology and mobile users together, creating a trusted, accessible platform for consumers, merchants and operators alike. Based in San Francisco with offices in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, Boku reaches nearly 4 billion consumers worldwide, across 70 different countries with more than 270 operators. Leading Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists fund Boku including Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and NEA.
For more information visit: www.boku.com

Iroko Pharmaceuticals to receive $75 mln from OrbiMed

OrbiMed has agreed to provide a $75 million debt facility to Iroko Pharmaceuticals. MTS Securities, a subsidiary of MTS Health Partners, advised Iroko in the transaction. Based in Philadelphia, Iroko Pharmaceuticals is a global specialty pharmaceutical company focused on analgesia.

PRESS RELEASE

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Iroko Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a global specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to advancing the science of analgesia, today announced that the company has entered into a $75 million debt facility agreement with an affiliate of OrbiMed Advisors LLC (“OrbiMed”) to support general business operations and the launch of ZORVOLEX™ (diclofenac). ZORVOLEX was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 18, 2013 for the treatment of mild to moderate acute pain in adults.
“The recent FDA approval of ZORVOLEX marks an exciting time for Iroko, and through this agreement with OrbiMed, we will have the additional resources necessary to commercialize the first lower dose NSAID from our portfolio in the first quarter of 2014,” said Osagie Imasogie, Executive Chairman of the Board, Iroko Pharmaceuticals.
MTS Securities, LLC, an affiliate of MTS Health Partners, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Iroko in this transaction.
About ZORVOLEX
ZORVOLEX is the first and only FDA approved NSAID developed using proprietary SoluMatrix Fine Particle Technology™. ZORVOLEX contains diclofenac as submicron particles that are approximately 20 times smaller than their original size. The reduction in particle size provides an increased surface area, leading to faster dissolution. ZORVOLEX was developed to align with recommendations from FDA and professional medical organizations that NSAIDs be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible duration of time consistent with individual patient treatment goals. For more information, visit www.zorvolex.com.
About OrbiMed
OrbiMed is a leading investment firm dedicated exclusively to the healthcare sector, with over $8 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests globally across the spectrum of healthcare companies, from venture capital start-ups to large multinational companies. OrbiMed’s team of more than 80 employees manages a series of private equity funds, public equity funds, royalty/debt funds and other investment vehicles. OrbiMed maintains its headquarters in New York, with additional offices in San Francisco, Shanghai, Mumbai and Herzliya.
As one of the largest investment firms dedicated to the healthcare sector, OrbiMed seeks to be a capital provider of choice, bringing the global resources required to be an exceptional long-term partner for building world-class healthcare companies. www.OrbiMed.com.
About MTS Securities, LLC and MTS Health Partners
MTS Securities, LLC, an affiliate of MTS Health Partners, located in New York, provides aligned strategic and financial advisory services to companies, academic institutions and other non-profits of all sizes in the global healthcare industry. For further information, please visit www.MTSPartners.com.
About Iroko Pharmaceuticals, LLC
Iroko is a global specialty pharmaceutical company, based in Philadelphia, dedicated to advancing the science of analgesia. The company develops and globally commercializes pharmaceutical products. In addition to the Iroko products that are marketed worldwide, the company has a robust pipeline of investigational lower dose NSAID products being developed using iCeutica Pty Ltd’s proprietary SoluMatrix Fine Particle Technology™. For more information, visit www.iroko.com.

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